Wednesday, September 4, 2013

snippets of news

News that caught my eye ...

Sergio Garcia
-- In California, an illegal Mexican immigrant who passed the California bar exam (on the first try) is seeking a law license -- a request many approve, but the Department of Justice does not.
The federal law was "plainly designed to preclude undocumented aliens from receiving commercial and professional licenses issued by states and the federal government," the DOJ said in court papers after the state's high court asked for the federal government's position.
In the long-running argument about "illegal immigrants," those immigrants are often relegated to professions like house-keeper and pool boy and pea-picker and fast-food worker. It's never spelled out that way, but that's the feeling that debaters bring to the topic. Sergio Garcia has met the educational demands of his profession and yet is badgered and questioned and suspected of all sorts of failure even though he has clearly been a success. So it goes in the land of -- sort of -- opportunity.

-- In a tone of ill-concealed anguish, my friend Frank sent me an email today that said, "Do I have a randomly skewed view, or has the US government and the American media basically ignored the fact that there are some 2 million Syrian refugees?" As the U.S. debates the possibility of military retaliation for the gas attack that left between 350 and 1,400 dead and dying Syrians, the plight of these refugees has lately received a kind of back-burner, heart-throb attention ... but really, everyone is thinking about front-burner war. Ain't-it-awful just does not have the simplistic cachet of a Scud missile. I mean sure, we care and all, but the complications and implications and hard work are too damned daunting. Moral indignation, like any other, seeks out a quick fix. Waging war is just plain easier than waging peace so .... 

Those who favor a strike will suggest that without reshaped conditions of power, no peace can be waged. But when anyone looks at the peaceful efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan ... where's the evidence? ... how much are they outshone by the righteous flash-bang of more death? How much bombing is necessary before the conditions for peaceful work are achieved? And once achieved, how many efforts are actually made to implement the conditions of peace? Perhaps if we sent our legislators to live in Iraq or Afghanistan there might be a different debate.

Two million refugees represent something more than 57 times the population of the bucolic, academics-and-Volvo-strewn community in which I live. Wipe out my home town 57 times over ....

-- Ariel Castro, a 53-year-old who pleaded guilty to 937 counts of  kidnapping, rape and aggravated murder as a means of escaping the death penalty, was found hanged in his Ohio prison cell Tuesday. Castro had held three young women hostage for close to a decade before one escaped and police were summoned. Castro was sentenced to life without parole plus 1,000 years. Did he jump or was he pushed ... did he hang himself or was he helped along in the endeavor? I suppose it doesn't matter, but it seems strange that a man who would accept a plea deal in order to escape the death penalty would then implement that penalty himself.

1 comment:

  1. Some thoughts about your snippets:

    - I have always suspected that politicians, even the ones who say that, "Good fences make good neighbors" in regards to illegal immigrants, secretly condone the preserving this underclass in our society, who don't need to be paid minimum wages or have their rights protected by law.

    - Sweden has taken a huge step in doing something to actually help refugees.

    - I have searched my soul for some sadness on the death of Ariel Castro, but I keep coming up empty.