Monosyllabic Pedantry

Friday, November 30, 2007

Santa Jesus

NPR has the story of Jesus Cortova. He is an illegal immigrant, who was sneaking into the US. He came upon a 9-year boy, wandering barefoot in the desert. It turns out that the boy's mother had driven their van off a cliff. The boy had gotten out of the crash. The mother was still trapped.
The boy led Cortova back to the crash site. He kept the boy on the road while he checked out the crash. The mother was still alive, but he couldn't enter the van. Instead, he built a fire, with the intent of attracting the authorities.
The authorities arrived. The young boy was safely returned to his father. The mother did not survive.
Jesus Cortova was detained and returned to Mexico.


Lucky Georgia

A new study indicates that most of the immigrants in Georgia are here illegally. It calculated that 53 percent of the state's foreign-born population — 504,000 people — are illegal immigrants.
The analysis said half of the immigrants from Mexico and Central America are in the country illegally and one-third of those from South America are illegal immigrants. It also documented the surge of new arrivals and described its impact.
"The last seven years have been the highest period of immigration in American history," it concluded. "Immigrants and their young children [under 18] now account for one-fifth of the school-age population, one-fourth of those in poverty and nearly one-third of those without health insurance."

The Center for Immigration Studies' analysis found that in Georgia:

• 7 percent of the state's total school-age population — were illegal immigrants or the offspring of illegal immigrants.

• 32.9 percent of immigrant households use at least one welfare program compared to 19.1 percent of native-born households.

• Immigrants and their U.S.-born children under the age of 18 make up 13.3 percent of the state's total population.

• The number of immigrants in the state has more than tripled in a little more than a decade — growing from 268,000 in 1995 to 378,000 in 2000 to 953,000 in 2007. Since 2000, the state's immigration population has increased 58.2 percent.

• 39.7 percent of the state's immigrants and their kids lived in or near poverty, compared to 28.9 percent of the native population and its children.


Investors Business Daily has more information from the same study.

Of America's 39 million immigrants, representing 12.6% of our total population, at least 12 million are illegal. Most, but not all, come from Mexico and Central America.

What exactly do the numbers mean? Well, for one thing, they mean we're importing a lot of poverty — and it's skewing the debate over key public policy issues.

How often, for example, have we been hit over the head with the scary statistic that "48 million Americans don't have health insurance." But the statement is only partly true.

According to CIS, 34% of all immigrant households — or 13.3 million — don't have health insurance. And of those, 8.3 million are here illegally.

They make up 18% of the nation's uninsured, if you count their American-born children.

The crisis of the uninsured, in other words, is in significant part an imported one — one that is costing untold billions.

CIS also reckons that immigrants and their U.S.-born children account for 71% of the increase in the uninsured since 1989 — a fact that usually goes unremarked upon in the debate over health-care reform.

Nationwide, 40% of all households headed by illegal aliens use one or more major welfare programs. The share in cash programs is actually quite small — less than 1%. But 33% of all illegal households get food aid, and another 27% are on Medicaid.

Again, this means billions spent each year — and that doesn't include the growing costs associated with jailing and policing illegals who have turned to crime or gangs.

But uncontrolled illegal immigration is a big problem, especially for states such as California, Texas, Arizona and Florida.

Together, they have 54% of all the illegals and bear the brunt of the problem. States together spend $20 billion a year on illegals' welfare costs alone.

That spending has become a kind of subsidy, luring ever more illegals to the U.S. Those that come have fewer skills and less education than the rest of the population. Anyone who thinks waving a magic wand over the illegal population and making them legal will solve the problem is dreaming.

"Legalized illegals will still be overwhelmingly uneducated," the CIS report points out, "and this fact has enormous implications for their income, welfare use, health-insurance coverage and the effect on American taxpayers."

In short, they've becoming a semi-permanent, welfare-dependent underclass.

Unfortunately, when anyone brings this up, charges of "xenophobe" and "racist" get thrown around. But that only keeps us from an honest discussion — and accounting — of both the benefits and costs of our burgeoning illegal population.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

All roads lead to the mouse

We're home again, jiggidy jig.

We went to Disneyland for Thanksgiving. We've had it planned for a while. In fact, Mrs Schwartz got a great deal on our room; something like $30/night. We were within 5 minutes of Disney. They had a shuttle, but we drove every day. Parking was worth the $11 to come and go as we pleased.

The best part? Hoo, there were many. We drove down on Thursday morning. There was very little traffic. After checking in, we had a great Thanksgiving dinner at the steakhouse connected to the hotel. They had the thanksgiving buffet with all the essentials. The problem is that I was raised (and brainwashed) with that idea that you never leave food on your plate. I just can't do it. If Mrs Schwartz leaves food on her plate, I have an urge to finish it. So after gorging myself on the Thanksgiving buffet, the next morning, they had a breakfast buffet. It was really good too! Ugh! I think I gained ten pounds.

Nobody was at Disney on Black Friday. It was great! I don't think I waited more than 5 minutes for any ride. We hit the basics first: Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, Jungle Boatride. I skipped Small World, because I remember (from when I was 4) how lame it is.
When we were leaving the Haunted Mansion, two staff members handed us Dream FastPasses.

Some background. FastPasses are a horribly wonderful invention at Disney. The deal is like a reservation for a ride. You get a ticket at a machine near each ride. The ticket tells you a window of time to go on the ride. When you return at that time, you go into a FastPass line that goes by all the people waiting in line, right to the front. How evil is that? All the people give you dirty looks as you go by them. Since anybody can do it, I don't know why anybody would not do it. In addition to that, the Dream FastPass, that we randomly got, has all the major rides on it. You just tear off a little tab for each ride, and there's no time window.

We spent pretty much all day at Magic Kingdom, then took a break for dinner, then returned to Epcot to catch the fireworks, which were excellent. Epcot is better geared to adults, so we spent all day Saturday there, after briefy checking out MGM Studios. Again, very light crowds. Mrs Schwartz couldn't believe it.
We had dinner in "Japan". It's been a long time since I've had teppanyaki. Also excellent.

The drive back was mostly in the rain. The weather was perfect other than that. When we got north of Macon, I-75 started getting bound up. We'd start and stop. It got so bad, that we jumped off of it a few miles south of Atlanta and took back roads.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Read on the Web

"When seconds count, the police can be there in just a few minutes."


Saturday, November 17, 2007

A little update on the JENA 6

Given the recent protest in Washington, I thought it was a good time to add a little perspective and hard truth to the Jena story.

From the Christian Science Monitor:

The author lives in Jena. His wife has taught at Jena high school for many years. He is the only reporter who has covered these events from the very beginning.

Myth 1: The Whites-Only Tree. There has never been a "whites-only" tree at Jena High School. Students of all races sat underneath this tree. When a student asked during an assembly at the start of school last year if anyone could sit under the tree, it evoked laughter from everyone present – blacks and whites. As reported by students in the assembly, the question was asked to make a joke and to drag out the assembly and avoid class.

Myth 2: Nooses a Signal to Black Students. An investigation by school officials, police, and an FBI agent revealed the true motivation behind the placing of two nooses in the tree the day after the assembly. According to the expulsion committee, the crudely constructed nooses were not aimed at black students. Instead, they were understood to be a prank by three white students aimed at their fellow white friends, members of the school rodeo team. (The students apparently got the idea from watching episodes of "Lonesome Dove.") The committee further concluded that the three young teens had no knowledge that nooses symbolize the terrible legacy of the lynchings of countless blacks in American history. When informed of this history by school officials, they became visibly remorseful because they had many black friends. Another myth concerns their punishment, which was not a three-day suspension, but rather nine days at an alternative facility followed by two weeks of in-school suspension, Saturday detentions, attendance at Discipline Court, and evaluation by licensed mental-health professionals. The students who hung the nooses have not publicly come forward to give their version of events.

Myth 3: Nooses Were a Hate Crime. Although many believe the three white students should have been prosecuted for a hate crime for hanging the nooses, the incident did not meet the legal criteria for a federal hate crime. It also did not meet the standard for Louisiana's hate-crime statute, and though widely condemned by all officials, there was no crime to charge the youths with.

Myth 4: DA's Threat to Black Students. When District Attorney Reed Walters spoke to Jena High students at an assembly in September, he did not tell black students that he could make their life miserable with "the stroke of a pen." Instead, according to Walters, "two or three girls, white girls, were chit-chatting on their cellphones or playing with their cellphones right in the middle of my dissertation. I got a little irritated at them and said, 'Pay attention to me. I am right now having to deal with an aggravated rape case where I've got to decide whether the death penalty applies or not.' I said, 'Look, I can be your best friend or your worst enemy. With the stroke of a pen I can make your life miserable so I want you to call me before you do something stupid.'"

Mr. Walters had been called to the assembly by police, who had been at the school earlier that day dealing with some students who were causing disturbances. Teachers and students have confirmed Walters's version of events.

Myth 5: The Fair Barn Party Incident. On Dec. 1, 2006, a private party – not an all-white party as reported – was held at the local community center called the Fair Barn. Robert Bailey Jr., soon to be one of the Jena 6, came to the party with others seeking admittance.

When they were denied entrance by the renter of the facility, a white male named Justin Sloan (not a Jena High student) at the party attacked Bailey and hit him in the face with his fist. This is reported in witness statements to police, including the victim, Robert Bailey, Jr.

Months later, Bailey contended he was hit in the head with a beer bottle and required stitches. No medical records show this ever occurred. Mr. Sloan was prosecuted for simple battery, which according to Louisiana law, is the proper charge for hitting someone with a fist.

Myth 6: The "Gotta-Go" Grocery Incident. On Dec. 2, 2006, Bailey and two other black Jena High students were involved in an altercation at this local convenience store, stemming from the incident that occurred the night before. The three were accused by police of jumping a white man as he entered the store and stealing a shotgun from him. The two parties gave conflicting statements to police. However, two unrelated eye witnesses of the event gave statements that corresponded with that of the white male.

Myth 7: The Schoolyard Fight. The event on Dec. 4, 2006 was consistently labeled a "schoolyard fight." But witnesses described something much more horrific. Several black students, including those now known as the Jena 6, barricaded an exit to the school's gym as they lay in wait for Justin Barker to exit. (It remains unclear why Mr. Barker was specifically targeted.)

When Barker tried to leave through another exit, court testimony indicates, he was hit from behind by Mychal Bell. Multiple witnesses confirmed that Barker was immediately knocked unconscious and lay on the floor defenseless as several other black students joined together to kick and stomp him, with most of the blows striking his head. Police speculate that the motivation for the attack was related to the racially charged fights that had occurred during the previous weekend.

Myth 8: The Attack Is Linked to the Nooses. Nowhere in any of the evidence, including statements by witnesses and defendants, is there any reference to the noose incident that occurred three months prior. This was confirmed by the United States attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, Donald Washington, on numerous occasions.

Myth 9: Mychal Bell's All-White Jury. While it is true that Mychal Bell was convicted as an adult by an all-white jury in June (a conviction that was later overturned with his case sent to juvenile court), the jury selection process was completely legal and withstood an investigation by the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. Court officials insist that several black residents were summoned for jury duty, but did not appear.

Myth 10: Jena 6 as Model Youth. While some members were simply caught up in the moment, others had criminal records. Bell had at least four prior violent-crime arrests before the December attack, and was on probation during most of this year.

Myth 11: Jena Is One of the Most Racist Towns in America. Actually, Jena is a wonderful place to live for both whites and blacks. The media's distortion and outright lies concerning the case have given this rural Louisiana town a label it doesn't deserve.

Myth 12: Two Levels of Justice. Outside protesters were convinced that the prosecution of the Jena 6 was proof of a racially biased system of justice. But the US Justice Department's investigation found no evidence to support such a claim. In fact, the percentage of blacks and whites prosecuted matches the parish's population statistics.


Who knew?

In a previous life, I was a Romanian knife-thrower!

You know the phrase, When Momma's not happy, nobody's happy? Mrs Schwartz was being visited by her apple-eating penance. We went to Walmart, where she was a bitch to every living thing around us, including me. She tried to pick a fight all the way there and back, while I stoically took it.
By the time we got home, I was pretty tense. The final straw was when I realized the makers of my pre-made garlic mashed potatoes decided to seal their product better than Fort Knox.
In a venting fit of anger, I took a butcher's knife off the wall and hacked the bucket open, then threw the dirty knife into the kitchen sink.

Where is landed point-first in the corner and punched a tiny pinhole through the stainless steel sink.

Nice going, dumbass.

So I patched it with JB Weld this morning. If you look closely, you can see the little dot.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Wow, what a leader

After holding her finger in the wind for weeks, brave Hillary has received enough polling data to conclude that she is firmly against giving drivers' licenses to illegals.



Georgia Raindance

Our esteemed governor held a prayer service to pray to the creator of the universe to give us rain.
And then it rained.
Some would argue that rain was already forcast for the next day. {Well played, Sonny} CNN's Robin Meade, whom I can barely stand watching, begged her viewers to send in their feelings on whether praying for rain makes a difference.
Personally, I don't really care. If you want to pray for rain, knock yourself out. I would think the governor had more important things to do, but I guess pandering to idiots is a big part of his job, so what the heck.
Many of the pictures reminded me of those heathen savages that decent god-fearing Baptists used to kill, on account of their foolish religion.
On the other side of the aisle, there was a protest by about four people, who were all worked up that this was a violation of the seperation of church and state. First of all, these rubes must completely misunderstand that clause. Secondly, get a fucking hobby already. Oh this is your hobby? Get a better one.
All in all, it probably gave a chuckle to the yankees.
UPDATE: The brain-damaged hens at The View have chimed in. As usual, the transcript is breathtaking:
JOY BEHAR: Now, wait a minute, before you go off that you say it's not separation, he is the governor. He is supposed to practice separation of church and state.

GOLDBEG: And he did, and he did.

BEHAR: Just because he wasn't in the Capitol steps I’m saying --

GOLDBERG: No, he wasn’t in the Capitol. Now, the separation, he can do whatever he wants to do outside of the building.

BEHAR: Even if he is the governor of Georgia?
BEHAR: Well, they need to be praying to people who will fix global warming and take care of the environment because that's more realistic.
BEHAR: It's a distraction from the fact that there is scientific evidence that we are in the midst of global warming, which is causing a lot of these droughts and fires. So let's focus on the rationality at of it instead-

BEHAR: Yeah, so let’s might as well pray anyway. Yeah, except this is a governor of a state.

SHEPHERD: How do you know that he's not praying for the global warming?

BEHAR: Well, then let's hear that.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Good and bad distractions

We had a pretty busy weekend. On friday, we saw Brian Regan at the Tabernacle. We've been huge fans of his for years, especially the Missus. He was great, as always. The great part about the Tabernacle is that it was originally...wait for it...a Tabernacle. It's got all sorts of cool little rooms and lounges. It's mostly painted black inside now. The other great thing is that there is a bar every 20 feet. We were in the balcony and there were three, huge bars, just in the balcony.
The only downside was, as usual, running the gauntlet of homeless guys who swarm like moths whenever there is a show. We all had to wait in line to get in and the bums just go up and down the line. Finally, a woman in front of us screamed, and I mean screamed, at the guy to GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM US. Pretty funny stuff.

On Saturday, we went to see White Christmas. It was playing at the Fox. I had no interest, but I knew it was one of Mrs Schwarts favorites, so I surprised her with tickets back in August. The show was at 2pm. We parked around the corner, on the street. I walked around to her side of the jeep as we talked. Just then, she said, Did you lock it? I had just enough time to look down and pat the outside of my pocket, when I heard the shunk sound and saw her slam the door. I was looking through the window, at the keys in the ignition, as the door locked.
So, what the hell. We're stuck. On the way to the theatre. I called a friend and explained the situation. He was kind enough to agree to get our spare set of keys and meet us after the show.
The best part of the show was being at the Fox. My cellphone went dead, so I had to call Mike later on to establish that he'd be there.

The Fox has real, antique phone booths in the mens' lounge, with floor to ceiling glass doors, and the calls are free! How cool is that?

Well, the musical theatre was terrible, of course. I was waffling between falling asleep and trying to get a better look at the impossibly long legs of the chorus girls. Finally, Mrs Schwartz leans over to me and says, This is not very good. Wanna leave? Yes! So we went out and just wandered around the little alcoves of the Fox and talked to the people we ran into until it was time to meet Mike out front.

One other thing; some woman brought her baby! What an idiot. She had to keep getting up to take her screaming brat out to the lobby, only to return and repeat the cycle again. Grrrrrr!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

In Case You Didn't Already Know

Yet another study has come out, showing that women call in sick to work more often than men.

Not just more, nearly TWICE has often.

The obvious answer from human resource experts, employers, employees and even us in the media is always that “working moms have most of the responsibilities at home,” and that translates into female employees having to take sick days to tend to sick kids.

Indeed, new Labor Department data shared with seem to support this to a degree.

“Both married and unmarried women with children report a higher rate of absences than those without children,” says Terence McMenamin with the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among single dads, the absentee rate is also higher than the rate for men without children.


My Birdhouse

*Stolen from the internet:

I bought a bird feeder. I hung it on my back porch and filled it with seed. Within a week we had hundreds of birds taking advantage of the continuous flow of free and easily accessible food. But then the birds started building nests in the boards of the patio, above the table, and next to the barbecue. Then came the poop. It was everywhere: on the patio tile, the chairs, the table...everywhere. Then some of the birds turned mean. They would dive bomb me and try to peck me even though I had fed them out of my own pocket. And other birds were boisterous and loud. They sat on the feeder and squawked and screamed at all hours of the day and night and demanded that I fill it when it got low on food. After a while, I couldn't even sit on my own back porch anymore. I took down the bird feeder and within three days the birds were gone. I cleaned up their mess and took down the many nests they had built all over the patio. Soon, the back yard was like it used to be... quiet, serene and no one demanding their rights to a free meal. Now let's see... our government gives out free food, subsidized housing, free medical care, free education and allows anyone born here to be an automatic citizen. Then the illegals came by the tens of thousands. Suddenly our taxes went up to pay for free services, small apartments are housing 5 families, you have to wait 6 hours to be seen by an emergency room doctor, your child's 2nd grade class is behind other schools because over half the class doesn't speak English, Corn Flakes now come in a bilingual box, I have to press 'one' to hear my bank talk to me in English, and people waving flags other than 'Old Glory' are squawking and screaming in the streets, demanding more rights and free liberties. Maybe it's time for the government to take down the bird feeder.

*Yes, it's an overgeneralizaton. Tough cookies.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Racist Mortgage Lenders

According to the Atlanta paper,

Nearly half of blacks who bought a house in 2005 or 2006 ended up with a high-interest mortgage, compared with 13 percent of white home buyers, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis of federal mortgage data.

Among black home buyers making more than $100,000 a year, 41 percent got a subprime mortgage, compared with 7 percent of whites in the same income category.

Experts on mortgage lending offer a variety of explanations. Some say differences in credit history cause the variation. Others argue that subprime mortgage lenders aggressively targeted minority communities.

"People who have low [credit] scores are people who have difficulty managing credit and repaying promptly," said Anthony M. Yezer, a professor at George Washington University who is an expert on subprime lending.

The metro area's highest foreclosure rates are in minority communities.

At 49 percent, blacks were the most likely minority group in metro Atlanta to end up with a subprime loan. For Hispanics, about a third of home buyers got a subprime loan in 2005 and 2006. Only 10 percent of Asians used a subprime loan to buy a house, the lowest of any group.

Federal mortgage lending statistics show that blacks and Hispanics across the country are much more likely than whites and Asians to end up with a subprime loan.

Subprime mortgages across Georgia are nine times more likely to be seriously delinquent or in default than prime mortgages, according data compiled by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

A national study of credit scores of all consumers, not just mortgage loan applicants, found that 52 percent of blacks have credit scores that would classify them as subprime borrowers, compared with 16 percent of whites.

Fittingly, Atlanta also hosted
the Hip-Hop Summit's Financial Empowerment Tour on Saturday.

Their message: "get your money right." Or to put it another way, bling doesn't grow on trees.

Jermaine Dupri warned of trying to emulate the lifestyles of the hip and famous.

"Kids watch these music videos and they want what they see," said LaVar Arrington, a former All-Pro linebacker with the Washington Redskins. "They want the fast cars, the big money, but they don't see there's a lot that comes with it. Sometimes it's harder to keep money than to make it.


What a transparently dim bulb

I'll admit that most of what I've heard Nancy Pelosi 'say' has been written down. Whether written or said, that has typically only been one or two sentence sound bytes.

NPR had an interview with her yesterday.

Good Lord, what a moron. Ladies, I would think you would be leading the charge to NOT have this woman represent what it is to be a successful woman.
Of course, looking at her bio, it shouldn't be surprising. Daughter of a congressman and mayor, she's worked exclusively in politics her entire life. It's nice to have connections. Looking at the job she's done so far as speaker is also a dead giveaway. Don't vacation in Turkey any time soon.

Back to the interview. I haven't heard fear-mongering propaganda of that caliber in some time. Names like Stalin and Goebbels come to mind.

She thinks the reason her congress has the lowest approval ratings ever is because of the war, which is all Bush's fault anyway.

The best part was her discussion of the SCHIP. Keep in mind a few things.

Congress wanted to expand SCHIP to $60 Billion over the next five years.

The new expansion would include families of four making up to $72, 500 per year. That's pretty damn good money for someone who needs welfare. Hell, New York wants to increase the eligibility to $82,000 per year.

So what is this dope's response to Bush vetoing that abomination?

You either share the value that 10 million children in our country who are eligible should have access to health insurance — and that's a value; it's not even an issue in our country; it's a value; it's an ethic. We're 10 votes short, 10 Republicans short of 10 million American children getting health insurance. ...we will not compromise and negotiate away one of those children. ...we will not say to a million children or 5 million children, as the president wants us to do, that you're not going to get health insurance, even though you're entitled to it.

Apparently it doesn't occur to her how many of these poor children would be taken off of private health insurance and put on the government dole, simply because it's cheaper.

In 1996, over 60% of eligible children {under the much lower guidelines} already had private health insurance. In 2005, the number was 55%.

But Nancy's fear mongering doesn't stop there! When the subject of product inspection is raised, she immediately goes to the "children well".

...products that are being sold to our children, the toys our children have, we are on Halloween. Our children are in costumes. They're carrying around plastic pumpkins, many of them laden with lead beyond a safe level. We're getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner, where much of the food may be imported and uninspected. We're buying toys for our children — and in my case, grandchildren — for Christmas, which can be a danger to their health.

More government, more control, more power. And always remember, it's for the children.

Labels: ,

counter stats