Great quote for your 4th of July hangover

This is from Werner Herzog, talking about his new film “Rescue Dawn.” This is a nice summation of how it feels to be living in the greatest country on earth right now:

We should be cautious, because there are an abundance of films that are anti-American or at least question American’s attitude in the world. Strangely enough, this is a film that praises the real qualities of America. In Dieter Dengler, you had the best you can find in America: courage, frontier spirit, loyalty, the joy of life. He’s the quintessential immigrant. He wanted to fly and America gave him wings. As you may know, I live in America, and it’s not for no reason. I like America, even though I see there’s trouble at the moment and turmoil. But in my opinion, America always has a kind of resilience and youthfulness to overcome all these things. Everyone is desperate about the situation right now and I keep saying, “Look back 50 years ago, how America overcame the McCarthy witchhunts.” There is something I like about America, it’s dear to my heart and I’m a guest in your country. It’s not that I don’t have some ambivalent feelings, but strangely enough, the film is against the trend.

I have had much time with English expatriates lately. They all live in America or are coming here to work, even though the Pound is SMASHING the dollar on world currency markets. I love open space and I love living on 3 acres for which I paid a very reasonable sum.  I like that there are no cameras watching me most of the time.  I like that I can shoot tin cans and clay pigeons from time to time.

I am no raging patriot.  I am not from the “Love it or Leave it” crowd.  My opinions on the current president and the war and the state of American Health Care are well documented.  Feel free to read though the archives on the right there…  But I am not about to say I’d rather live anywhere else.  Not at this point in my life, anyway.
Here’s my quick Independence Day quiz for all you “America-hating liberals”! List some of the things you love about your country in the comments. It would make me very happy if you did.

A brief break from my career as a travel writer

I found this story from the Washington Post to be touching and very powerful.

Think of “El Chino” when you see people like Tom Tancredo talking about how “These people” come to steal “our jobs.”

The whole issue of illegal immigration is terribly complex, and there’s no ground upon which to stake your tent that isn’t at least partially shot through with contradictions. BUT, if I had to make a decision between partnering up with El Chino or Tom Tancredo to move forward and to define what it means to be American, the choice is pretty clear.

Oh, this is priceless

The Minutemen (fuck you, by the way…) are at each other’s throats. Seems someone’s been dipping in the bean jar….

A growing number of Minuteman Civil Defense Corps leaders and volunteers are questioning the whereabouts of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of dollars in donations collected in the past 15 months, challenging the organization’s leadership over financial accountability.

My GOODNESS! All those upright, patriotic American Men… behaving like…. GANGSTERS!

Several of the group’s top lieutenants have either quit or are threatening to do so, saying requests to Minuteman President Chris Simcox for a financial accounting have been ignored.

At each others’ throats! Like ANIMALS!

Other Minuteman members said money promised for food, fuel, radios, computers, tents, night-vision scopes, binoculars, porta-potties and other necessary equipment and supplies never reached volunteers who have manned observation posts to spot and report illegal border crossers.
Gary Cole, the Minutemen’s former national director of operations, was chief liaison to the national press corps during the group’s April 2005 border watch in Arizona. He was one of the first to raise questions about MCDC finances. He personally collected “tens of thousands of dollars” in donations during the 30-day border vigil. But despite numerous requests — many directly to Mr. Simcox — he was never told how much money had been collected or where it went.

See? I told you that you just can’t trust white people. They’ll steal from you as soon as look at you. Honkies- can’t trust ’em!

As eponymous has just said to me, “Once they start suing each other, it’s all over.”

There are all kinds of luck

I am lucky enough to work somewhere I can watch the US vs. Ghana game on the break room tv while working from the laptop.

That’s one kind of luck.

I am pulling for the US.

That’s another kind.


::Update 2:: well, that didn’t last long.

una dia sin immigrantes

Well, it looks like the Day Without a Mexican marches were a huge success. Someone thoughtfully sent me a link to an excellent retrospective on what May Day celebrations have meant in the past.

Because today’s marches are on a workday, they recall the mass strikes and marches that turned workers out of factories that convulsed America in the decades after the great railway strike of 1877, the first national work stoppage in the United States. Asserting their citizenship against the autocracy embodied by the big railroad corporations, the Irish and Germans of Baltimore and Pittsburgh burned roundhouses and fought off state militia in a revolt that frightened both the rail barons and the federal government. Hence the 19th-century construction of all those center-city National Guard armories, with rifle slits designed to target unruly crowds. The protesters wanted not only higher pay and a recognized trade union but a new birth of egalitarian freedom. Indeed, May Day itself, as an international workers holiday, arose out of a May 1, 1886, Chicago strike for the eight-hour workday. The fight for leisure—clearly lost today—was a great unifying aspiration of the immigrant workers movement a century ago with its slogan, “eight hours for work, eight hours for sleep, eight hours for what we will.”

Of course, red-baiting and a pro-big business lapdog government have made sure that May Day got turned into Law Day, and don’t you commies even THINK about it…

My own experience yesterday was pleasant enough. I didn’t go downtown to Atlanta for the big march there, though I probably should have. I focused on working in my garden, got a haircut, did a little business for my band. As I was kneeling down to pull some weeds around my collard greens, eponymous called to tell me that there was a demonstration brewing right in downtown Athens. If I hadn’t been working in the garden, I would have been right there.

As it was, I took a day off from my job as a Macintosh computer consultant at my university job to show solidarity and to have my own private May Day celebration… so, it was A Day Without a Mac-sican where I work…. (ba-dump bump, pish!)

California appears to be full of idiots

I don’t even know where to begin with this:

A recent proposal in Hawthorne to require English on most business signs has highlighted growing clashes over language use in workplaces and the public square.

Although sign ordinances such as the one pursued in Hawthorne are no longer a central issue — a 1989 federal court ruling sharply curtailed language restrictions — charges of language discrimination on the job and in other areas are on the rise, said Anna Park, an attorney with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Los Angeles office.

English-only signs. In California. Yes, you read that correctly. OK, here’s my first point: You can’t even write half a paragraph without using a Spanish word… HELLO!??! “LOS ANGELES”??

There’s more:

Federal law allows English-only rules solely when needed to promote the ”safe or efficient” operation of an employer’s business, according to commission guidelines. Employers may not discriminate against a person’s foreign accent unless it ”materially interferes with job performance.”

Rob Toonkel, spokesman for the Washington-based U.S. English Inc., said his organization has been concerned about growing reports of other languages supplanting English. Arizona had established a Spanish-only court, he said, and a Florida county commissioners’ meeting was held only in Spanish.

”We’re starting to see a de facto second language crop up, which is never how the U.S. developed,” said Toonkel, whose group advocates restrictions on foreign languages in the public square as well as more funding for classes in English as a second language.

What a fucking idiot. Holy cow.

This is me, beating my head against the desk.

OK, English only signs it is!

From now on,

The signs announcing the city limits of Los Angeles shall say “The Angels.”

San Francisco shall henceforth be referred to as “Saint Francis.”

Santa Monica= Saint Monica, etc, etc…

“Beware of Alligators” should simply be “Beware of Big Lizards.” (el ligarto)

The Sierra Madres shall from now on be called “The Mother Mountains.”

Any sign advertising a Taco, a Burrito or Fajitas shall be reworded to say “I mark,” “small donkeys” and “bundles of sticks.”

Pinto beans will be “painted” beans.

Mesa, Arizona shall be referred to on signs as “The Table, Dry Zone.”

The word “canyon” should be removed from the language, as it has Spanish origins: Cañon. Henceforth, the Grand Canyon will be “Big Ditch (near Kingman, Dry Zone.)”

“Palo Verde” will be “Greenwood.”

How can these people be so stupid as to not know that the culture in which they are immersed is totally hybridized?

It’s astonishing, isn’t it?

Dear Minutemen, Fuck You (and have a taco).

I can’t wait for the racist idiots in the Minutemen to either get a new hobby or shoot each other in a spectacular orgy of violent mistaken identity.

In the meantime, one entrepreneur in Costa Mesa is making them look like assholes in real time:

It wasn’t a surprise, then, that Burciaga has emerged as one of the most vocal critics of Mansoor, who seeks to turn Costa Mesa police officers into migra agents. “I’m for getting criminals—I’m against Mansoor’s method,” she said one recent Friday evening outside her 18-year-old restaurant. Burciaga and some friends were waiting for anti-immigrant activists to protest outside El Chinaco, as they had done the previous two Friday evenings. The protesters, waving signs painted with “El Chinaco Supports Criminals,” have promised to do so until Burciaga shuts up or her business suffers. But the threats have had the opposite effect: El Chinaco bustles with customers like never before, many drawn by the restaurant’s Minuteman special: a large chicken, cheese and bean taco for a buck.

“I say let’s take a positive approach [to the Minutemen],” Burciaga said with a radiant smile and quiet laugh. “I offer them our welcome and good food.”

No anti-immigrant activists showed up that Friday.

I wonder if she’ll ship me a case of those Minuteman Specials…

I hate that I have been such a dullard today

I have been working on the advance kit for my band. On the other hand, Fixer and Gordon have been busy. Check out Fixer’s rant about… hmmm… pick one…..

You put a bunch of scared, bewildered kids in a place where they can’t tell friend from foe and can’t speak the language, and then tell them it’s a free fire zone, you’re gonna get a lot of dead innocents. What does that remind you of? Begins with a ‘V’…

I’m really fucking tired of people who speak of going to war so casually when they have zero clue of what it’s all about. Just shut the fuck up. You certainly wouldn’t be so cavalier if there was a draft now; would ya?

Then Gordon

This immigration bullshit has gone on before as Mr. Scheer writes. All kinds of Europeans have been its victims back east, and Mexicans and Asians out west. Most of ’em, particularly whites, have been assimilated over time. Hey, with white people you have to know their last name cuz they speak English. Much easier to discriminate against “culluds” cuz they’re easier to spot. Even if they speak English.

Which brings up a point: I think part of this whole deal has to do with language. Most of the Europeans that I’ve met can speak several languages due to proximity. It’s not far to where a different language is spoken, they’re right there, and it’s fairly easy for them because they’re exposed at a young age.

A good portion of the U.S. is so fuckin’ insular and hidebound that I think a lot of people are insulted that furriners fresh out of the trunk of a car dare to speak their own language.

yeah. Those boys aren’t pulling any punches today.

required reading:

Check out this open letter to the US Media.

I learned an important lesson from the guys with whom I framed houses in Chicago-

You can be Mexican American and never have had an ancestor who crossed the border. As Los Tigres del Norte say in “Somos Mas Americanos,”

Yo no cruce la frontera, ¡la frontera me cruzo!