Thursday, June 07, 2007

Apologists for Terror

A wonderful 50 minute documentary by British Leftist David Aaronovitch on how large portions of the left across the globe have gotten in bed with radical theocrats and abandoned some of their more poignant principles. You can catch the whole thing by double clicking the video and going to the Youtube website. It has been circling around Eustonite blogs for awhile now and definitely worth a watch.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Brawley I Know

It was such a nice day today (much cooler than it normally is in the Imperial Valley during the summer), I decided to walk around Brawley taking some photographs of the places I grew up with. I realized that I have about one month left here in the Imperial Valley before I move on, and I figured I would share some of it with y’all out there.

This is a picture of the grade school I first attended. It is named after the famous Mexican revolutionary and priest Miguel Hidalgo. Although he is not as popular as other Mexican revolutionaries’ like Zapata and Marcos, he was an important figure in fighting the Spanish to gain Mexican independence and is still held in high regard. He was beheaded for his activities and is remembered as Father of Mexico by folks of Mexican descent.

A little known fact (at least to me) was that Cesar Chavez, the California labor leader and UFW founder, was once a student at Hidalgo Elementary. I grew up in the 80’s when Chavez and the UFW were very controversial in this area, and I assume that is why I never knew he shared my alma-mater.

Most of the Imperial Valley’s industry is in the form of agriculture and cattle, making it a hot spot during the farmer struggles a few decades back. Bringing up the UFW at any gathering is likely to bring about some angry arguments.

Most of the classic architecture in the area could be classified as Spanish Colonial and has a distinct “Southwest” look to it. This is the most popular church in Brawley, St. Margaret Mary Church. It is pretty astounding how crowded this place can be (even on weekdays) and just goes to show that the Catholic Church is still an important aspect in Mexican communities.

Here is Brawley’s post office, city hall, and library, which is all nicely centered in the middle of town and maintains its classic charm. It reminds me of the days when folks actually cared what a building looked like before the “fuck you” style of design took hold. (“We know your town has a distinct look and heritage, but we are going to build a tasteless big box structure here anyway, so fuck you.”)

I will take some more pics of the surrounding towns in the coming weeks.

Jason Molina Appreciation

One of my favorite musicians, Jason Molina, will release a pretty hefty box set this summer that compiles a slew of releases that never saw the light of day. Here is a solo track of his called “What Comes After the Blues”.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Hitchens Slaps foe, Smokes Cig

You really have to check out this debate between Christopher Hitchens and Chris Hedges that took place in Berkeley on May 24th (thanks to ZombieTime for the heads up and commentery).

My Thoughts on the Republican Immigration Question

Do most Republican candidates just not get immigration?

John McCain was the only candidate in tonight’s Republican Debate to support the most recent immigration overhaul that the President has been pushing. There is a lot wrong with it, but the alternatives offered by the candidates on stage tonight was at best dismal, and at worst idiotic.

By conservative estimates, there are at least 20 million illegal immigrants in the States. To assume that all of these people are going to be rounded up, or expected to return to their country of origin to obtain work papers is utter nonsense. Most of these people are making less than 10 thousand dollars a year; how the hell are these folks going to quit their jobs, pay for a ticket home, and then sit around in their home nations waiting to return to work? It just isn’t going to happen people; everyone needs to face up to the fact that that option will never be a viable reality.

I know it angers people to think that folks who crossed our border illegally would receive amnesty over individuals who applied through legal methods, but this is the real world, and the real world does not care about what is fair and what is not. We have millions and millions of people here in this country that “shouldn’t be here” and no realistic legislation is going to change that. We need to create a system that allows us to monitor our borders carefully, but also allow for folks who want to work here in. The point of our immigration policy should be to know who is here and why, not to keep people out.

As John McCain said:

``For us to do nothing is silent and de facto amnesty,'' said McCain, 70, of Arizona, during the candidates' third debate. ``It is a serious national security problem. We need to act, my friends. And if someone else has a better idea, I'd love to have them give it to us.''