Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tom "Bust em all now!" Tancredo strikes again...

Tancredo being... well, Tancredo

Well, let us not in the days of wonder forget ol' Tom "Turncoat" Tancredo, he of the virulent anti-immigrant stance. Polling no doubt in the low negatives for the GOP, he unleashed the following move:
Candidate Calls for Raid on Immigration Bill Event

Published: October 24, 2007

Representative Tom Tancredo of Colorado, a Republican presidential candidate whose fierce opposition to illegal immigration is the center of his campaign, contacted the immigration service yesterday demanding that agents raid a senator’s news conference.

The afternoon event on Capitol Hill was held by Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois and the leading sponsor of a bill that would give legal status to illegal immigrants who are high school graduates, if they attend college or serve in the United States military for two years. The bill is scheduled to come up for an important procedural vote in the Senate this morning.

Mr. Tancredo announced yesterday morning that he had contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency, calling for the arrest of illegal immigrants he said would attend the news conference.

“If we can’t enforce our laws inside the building where American laws are made, where can we enforce them?” Mr. Tancredo said in a statement.

Participating in the news conference were three immigrant students who would benefit if Mr. Durbin’s legislation passed; two were born in Germany, and one was from Costa Rica. All were in the United States on temporary legal status, said Joe Shoemaker, Mr. Durbin’s spokesman.

Mr. Shoemaker said the senator was surprised and offended by Mr. Tancredo’s effort.

“Congressman, have you no shame?” Mr. Durbin said in a statement, indirectly comparing Mr. Tancredo to Senator Joseph McCarthy and his anti-communist hearings in the 1950s.

A spokeswoman for the immigration agency, Kelly Nantel, confirmed that officials had received a letter from Mr. Tancredo and were reviewing it. She said the agency took no action yesterday.

Now Goddess only knows what he would say if it WASN'T an election cycle. Of course, when isn't it an election cycle. This pedacito de mierda del GOP truly stuns in his capacity for vileness. He manages to simplify immigration and citizenship to a tiny core of xenophobic hate. The son of an orphaned Italian immigrant, Tancredo has been oddly dismissive of his background in terms of his immigration stance:

"Representative Tom Tancredo, Republican of Colorado, one of the fiercest critics of efforts to legalize immigrants, said his orphaned father was about 11 when he arrived at Ellis Island from Italy around the turn of the 20th century and made his way to the Rocky Mountains.

Mr. Tancredo pondered a bit when asked whether his immigrant background had played a role in shaping his views. Then he thought back to his mother's parents, also from Italy.

"I certainly think back on the fact that their greatest desire was to be Americanized," Mr. Tancredo said. "This desire to cut with the old and attach to the new, speak English, stuff like that. If there was anything, maybe that was an influence."


Ay, que pendejismo....

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sunspots anger China! And fluffy puppies... heh

No offense to the Chinese people, but their government just seems to be the biggest bunch of dopes (ok, ours seem to be too)... among other things, including human rights abuses, environmental terrorism, and incredibly cheesy communist propaganda, there is THIS

Our Fearless Leader met recently with the Dalai Lama, which angered China. His Holiness was awarded the Congressional Gold medal, which angered China. He was well-received in DC, which angered China. Sunspot activity was abnormal yesterday, which angered China.

"The Dalai Lama is in Washington for a week of festivities, including receiving the Congressional Gold Medal in a ceremony Wednesday at the Capitol and delivering a speech on the Capitol lawn. Bush said he would participate in the award ceremony in his first public appearance with the Dalai Lama during this visit."

What, exactly, has this man done to anger China's government? Other than insist on Tibetan autonomy, not much. Except EVERYTHING seems to anger the Chinese government. It is unfortunate, of course, that we're sucking so hard on the Chinese trade tit that we now seem like a bunch of hypocritical imbeciles when we try to placate Chinese "anger".

If they were constantly that angry, the government of China would have had a heart attack by now. Or at least be on statin drugs.

Can't wait to see what the Olympics in Beijing will bring!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Amasando la masa

Tortillas de harina
I had an odd moment of either inhuman awareness or understanding this morning. I think it might be speaking to modern ethnic/ gender relations, but I'm not sure...

Yesterday, I had my significant other-- a 51-year-old blue-eyed white boy of Irish-Bohemian and English stock-- help me make tortillas de harina. In a fit of "I wanna get this done and be distracted from a death in the family", I just used Quaker masa preparada for the masa, kneading it to a nice smooth mass. I rolled out the first, almost-always-lopsided tortilla, then told him to get to rolling while I tended the cast-iron skillet for cooking them.

Interestingly, he rolled several nicely round ones. Granted, he also rolled a bell-shaped one and together we mangled one into the shape of Nevada, but he really did very well and we munched em all down with bastardized veggie taco filling, pickled garlic and chiles, and butter.

What I found revealing this morning was how easily he slid into the maternal/ Mexiccan role of tortilla maker. He was even good at it, and this morning it returned me to a grad school space in which I worked on la cocina as a site of resistance to overweening racist patriarchal structures. I even read a bit on it this morning while my kids were doing a test: Tey Diana Rebolledo has a nice chapter on it called "Constructing identities as Writers" in her 1995 book Women Singing in the Snow.

Naturally, at least to me, this bears more on Chicana life and writing than it might for males, but watching Bear work that masa and rolling pin revealed that the kitchen space might also be for men, and not just as a place to break open a Bud. Countless political meetings occur with food, around food, or are about food-- remember pie contests? How many of us have seen politicians eating at some Iowa pork roast or something? Just how much embedded in the kitchen and cooking is politics in our country?

I'm still thinking this over. Meanwhile, I leave you with this:
There is nothing
so lonesome
or sad
papas fritas
won't cure.
(Gloria Gonzales, NM poet)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Miss Meeko B Puggula

Miss Meeko Puggula

We had to put our 10-year-old puggie, Meeko, to sleep yesterday. She had advanced cancer and abdominal bleeding, and had lost a good deal of weight. She, of course, was feisty as pugs are, but was so anemic she was shivering and it was not going to get better. We only had her for 8 months, since February, but she made a huge impact on all of us and everyone who met her. Blind in one eye, 10 years old,and arthritic, Meeko fought every step of the way, making sure all our cats and our bigger dog Auggie knew who ruled the home. She wanted nothing more than good food (whatever you were eating, of course), organic shredded wheat or peanut butter for a snack, and to be next to you.

We miss her so very much. At the end, the doc agreed we could hold her while we stood outside the vet clinic under a tree--I didn't want her to be alone in a hospital setting. We brought her a tray of that Cesar food she liked to eat, and she ate it right down. I think she wanted to go home, and I wanted her to go home so much too-- her sweet one good eye really was asking to be picked up and taken home. We let her walk around outside in the sun and petted her. It was a nice day yesterday here, not too hot but clear with a nice breeze. Chris held her while they first put in an anesthetic, and she was of course not having people touching her paws! We spoke to her and loved her up until she went to sleep. It was by far the hardest thing I've ever had to do. She knew until the very end, though, that she was adored by us. We held her for some time, and even after we let them take her in, I had Chris ask if we could hold her again. Our sweet little puggie was finally out of pain, but of course the hard part is starting for us.

I hope she's happy and painfree, either in her next life or happily in puggie paradise. Remember to hug your pups and cats today, and spare a moment to remember Miss Meeko B. Puggula.

Monday, October 01, 2007

36 years... wow!

Today I complete 36 years. Tomorrow is my birthday, and I really can't believe I'm still alive! What am I supposed to be doing, anyway??

On This Day I Complete My Thirty-Sixth Year

George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788–1824)

’TIS time this heart should be unmoved,
Since others it hath ceased to move:
Yet, though I cannot be beloved,
Still let me love!

My days are in the yellow leaf; 5
The flowers and fruits of love are gone;
The worm, the canker, and the grief
Are mine alone!

The fire that on my bosom preys
Is lone as some volcanic isle; 10
No torch is kindled at its blaze—
A funeral pile.

The hope, the fear, the jealous care,
The exalted portion of the pain
And power of love, I cannot share, 15
But wear the chain.

But ’tis not thus—and ’tis not here—
Such thoughts should shake my soul, nor now,
Where glory decks the hero’s bier,
Or binds his brow. 20

The sword, the banner, and the field,
Glory and Greece, around me see!
The Spartan, borne upon his shield,
Was not more free.

Awake! (not Greece—she is awake!) 25
Awake, my spirit! Think through whom
Thy life-blood tracks its parent lake,
And then strike home!

Tread those reviving passions down,
Unworthy manhood!—unto thee 30
Indifferent should the smile or frown
Of beauty be.

If thou regret’st thy youth, why live?
The land of honourable death
Is here:—up to the field, and give 35
Away thy breath!

Seek out—less often sought than found—
A soldier’s grave, for thee the best;
Then look around, and choose thy ground,
And take thy rest.
AT MISSOLONGHI, January 22, 1824.