Monday, May 29, 2006

OpinionWatch: Liberals in Texas Edition

A good friend of mine is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at West Texas A&M. Yeah, there's actually a University in West Texas. When he's not pitching class ideas that involve learning history, politics, and martial arts or preparing for his new career as a superspy, he's bitchslapping the Minutemen in their local newspapers. I can't find a link online, so here's the text of his editorial that ran yesterday.

Guest Column: Do most Americans deserve their citizenship?
By Rick Parrish

In this latest debate over illegal immigration, we have heard from economists and politicians, U.S. citizens and recent immigrants. So far we have determined these facts:
Based on all available evidence, illegal immigration either helps or hurts the U.S. economy; it either does or does not have an effect on national security; it is either part of the American way or a momentary aberration; it is either a left-wing election-year stunt or right-wing xenophobia. All this we know for certain.
Many of us also seem to know for certain that we do not want illegal immigrants gaining access to all the rights and privileges they would receive if they were allowed to remain in the U.S. and seek citizenship.
Unfortunately, there has been very little mention of the obligations of U.S. citizenship that these immigrants should meet, perhaps because so few of us who are already citizens meet the obligations ourselves. The most fundamental of these obligations is to maintain some basic level of knowledge about the rights and privileges that we don't want these immigrants to get.
Even as 78 percent of us decry the singing of "our" national anthem in Spanish, 61 percent of us don't know the words to it in English, and 38 percent of us don't even know the song's name.
Although many of us argue that illegal immigrants should not have the same legal protections that we as citizens enjoy, 64 percent of us cannot name a single U.S. Supreme Court justice; 58 percent cannot name a single Cabinet-level department; and only .1 percent (yes, that's point one percent) of us can name all five First Amendment freedoms.
In contrast, 22 percent can name all five members of the cartoon family "The Simpsons," and 41 percent can name two out of three "American Idol" judges.
Many U.S. citizens also are angry that illegal immigrants would gain the right to vote upon becoming citizens, yet too many of us shirk our own obligation to participate in the democratic process that we claim to hold so dear. In the 2004 presidential election, widely regarded as one of the most important in recent history, only 64 percent of those currently eligible to vote actually bothered. Here in Texas, the turnout among eligible voters for last year's state constitutional amendment vote was a miserable 18 percent.
Even worse, the overwhelming majority of those who do vote fail to do it in a thoughtful, judicious manner. In the last presidential election, 85 percent of voters reported that they knew who they were going to vote for before the campaigns even started - they never even considered the issues or entertained alternative points of view. They just looked for the little "R" or "D" after the candidates' names, and their minds were made up.
I don't know if immigration is good or bad for the economy, and I don't know if it helps or hurts national security. But I do know that before we try to stop others from gaining our rights and freedoms in the name of history or justice or whatever, we should meet our own obligations to be reasonably well-informed, moderately active U.S. citizens ourselves. Until those of us born in this country invest the time and effort to understand and appreciate what citizenship both grants and requires, we have no more claim to "citizenship" than those who were born elsewhere.
Rick Parrish is an assistant professor of political science at West Texas A&M University.

Memorial Day

I asked my father, a Vietnam veteran(1969-1971, and yes, he was actually there), if the french toast he was making was special Memorial Day French Toast.

"Yes, it's in honor of our fallen bretheren. Today, we call it 'Trench Toast.'"

This one's for all our Western Front Homies.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Things I love

I love that the Season Finale of House watches like a live action, misanthropic version of Waking Life.

I love that Elias Koteas is on that same episode.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Hail the Monsters of ROCK!

So Lordi won the FIRST EVER Finnish Eurovision title. I've been in Chicago for the last couple of days, so imagine my embarrassment when I discover this fact from Go Fug Yourself! I have mixed feelings about this, but I suppose since I discovered these geniuses through the New York Times, I shouldn't talk. Nevertheless, congratulations to the best Zombie, Mummy, Alien Bull, and whatever the last one is that ever played rocking rock music. You are officially the The Darkness of 2006. May God have mercy on your souls and your second album.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

My dog has cancer. 13 years ago I talked my parents into bringing him home with us. He probably won't last through the weekend.

Books and stuff

My lovely boyfriend has often said that John Updike ruined the New Yorker, and has said that Phillip Roth is exactly what Jewish-American literature doesn't need anymore. I'm not saying I agree with him, I just prefer the Brits. And pulpy spec fiction.

However, according to the New York Times, I am a philistine(along with Frank and Ivan, but that's a good thing, I think). A.O. Scott's essay doesn't exactly clear things up. Am I still allowed to be a literate individual if I don't dig the American bigwig authors? Am I totally wrong?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Something Fishy

Seriously, these guys will stop at nothing. I'm again disgusted by the Corporate Pigs who would rather see us cancer ridden mounds of blubber than lose a little money. The Fish Scam is especially funny. The FDA is secretly trying to hurt us by suggesting we try and protect our children from mercury poisoning, you know, because being super-cautious about these things is just hooey.

The horror!

I was at a wedding shower over the weekend(a surreal experience in itself) , and the hostess cooked some delicious food. I wasn't surprised at that, she's very domestic, but then she told me where she got the recipe: Rachael Ray. The longest single conversation during this entire affair, longer even than anything related to the bride, was about how much everyone just LOVES Rachael Ray and her recipes.

Ugh. If all bridal showers are like this, I hope none of my other friends get married.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Minneapolis Greyhound Station: Thoughts

1. The bathrooms to only be cleaned when people are waiting for multiple buses.

2. There are more people in line for the bus to Grand Forks, ND than there are for the bus to Chicago.

3. The employees here are WAY nicer than the snotty, power mad jerks at the Madison Greyhound Station.

4. CNN Headline News is really, REALLY stupid.

5. Today was a bad day to forget to bring my CD player headphones.

6. The most interesting thing about Stick It was not the message of rebellious solidarity. It was the casting of so many classic teen movie bit players in so many supporting roles. Lazlo from Real Genius? That's Dad. Rudy the oily bowhunk from Sixteen Candles? The rival coach. Liz the screechy, conformist partner from Strictly Ballroom? That's Mom. I'm pretty sure a few of the supporting moms were early 90's TV parents, but I haven't done the research. Good job with the subtle bridge to classic teen flicks of the past.

7. Classic punk rock band t-shirts on today's teenagers are Sausurrian(so what if it's not really a word. It is now.) as fuck.

8. Someday I might get on a bus to Canada, just for the heck of it. Not to Winnipeg though-the whole city is trapped in 1993.