Monthly Archives: October 2006
I received a gift last night. Along with some other bloggers, I got to meet Claudia Núñez, her husband and her two children. I got to put an actual face with the illegal immigration issue. But, this is really not about me. But one thing became crystal clear to me last night – a one size fits all immigration law does not work.
We supposedly have twenty million illegal immigrants in our country. Most people realize that there is no way to deport them all. When you examine the issue there should be some clear strata. One place to start is to not send folks back if they are probably going to be killed when they return to their home country.
Claudia came to the US from El Salvador legally on a travel visa. Her husband is here legally. She has two children, both born in the US and therefore, US citizens. She has no family remaining in El Salvador. Claudia is not a criminal and in fact has been working at a restaurant in Cool Springs to help support the family. Several weeks ago, she was cited for driving without a license. After her arrest, it was discovered that she had outstayed her travel visa. If the letter of the law is applied, she will be deported back to El Salvador.
Here’s a blurb about El Salvador:
Urban violence, one manifestation of the gross economic and social inequality in which Salvadorans live, is certainly the most prevalent in El Salvador. The largest contributing factor is the surge of gangs that grew in its urban areas following the end of the civil war, when many families who had immigrated to the United States lost their refugee status. Children of many such families had grown up in inner city neighbourhoods where they faced discrimination and learned gang violence as a means of survival and acceptance. After 1992, the Immigration and Naturalization Service policy on Salvadoran refugees shifted and families were sent back home. Young men, who had been raised entirely in the United States, were greeted with suspicion upon returning to an unfamiliar country coming out of a bloody war.
The government has little, if any control, over these gangs. Salvodorans who return from the US return with a target on their back because they are considered to have lots of money.
I don’t know why Claudia did not apply for a visa extension. I wish she had. It seems some type of fine (this is a civil matter – not criminal) would be reasonable. If she is deported she faces a horrible dilemma. Does she leave her children behind for their safety? If I were deported and separated from my family, I know that I would attempt to return.
In my opinion, there are people who should be deported, but the totality of immigration policy is not the issue here. You hear a lot about the sanctity of the family and how children should have both a mother and a father. I don’t think the truth in that statement is just confined to United States citizens.
Watching Claudia with her kids was a gift. Claudia’s desire to stay here with her family is not a crime. The true crime would be to split this family up and throw Claudia’s fate to wolves.
So has the Scene
Update: The petition to request special consideration for Claudia is HERE
Thirty-five years ago today, Duane Allman (Allman Joys, Allman Brothers) died in a motorcycle wreck. It’s hard to really hear the song “Layla” anymore because it’s been played 6 jillion times on classic radio, but if you listen to it closely and forget that you’ve heard it before, you’ll be hearing one of the greatest guitar ‘duels’ ever recorded. That’s Duane stinging Clapton.
Pick up the remastered verion of ‘Fillmore East’ and listen to Statesboro Blues. Find the old Boz Scaggs album/CD and listen to ‘Loan me a Dime’ or download ‘Hey Jude’ by Wilson Pickett..that’s Duane on guitar. Duane perfected the bottle-neck slide guitar sound that weaves through most of the great soul classics recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama (including Aretha Franklin’s sessions).
“For a slide, I’ve always used a glass Coricidin bottle, just like Duane Allman. He told me that a bottle sounds different than a steel slide, and I think it does, so I copied him. Duane was one of my heroes and, in my opinion, he was the best slide player who ever lived. He had such a great touch. He was always on pitch – never sharp or flat – and that’s hard to do.” — Gary Rossington (of Lynyrd Skynyrd from Guitar Player Interview 03/99)
Duane understood that you didn’t have to play 300 notes in 10 seconds..he understood space between notes and the drama of holding back. Rolling Stone named him the 2nd best guitar player of all time..some may disagree, but I’ll take him over Clapton any day of the week.
R.I.P guitar god….
According to some bloggers and pundits, racial discrimination is an historical artifact. Not surprisingly, these bloggers and pundits are usually middle-class white guys. Perhaps they can explain why black people pay a higher rate of interest for houses than white people, even though they have the same or similar credit ratings.
The point here is not to catalogue prejudice or engage in some kind of white-liberal guilt or self-flagellation. Somehow, though, anytime a white politician makes a racist statement (and I realize that with some conservatives, their ilk cannot make a racist statement), or anytime a black politician claims that they are victims of racist advertising or racist statements, the hue and cry across pundit-land and blog-land is that ‘here we go again..pulling out the race card’.
Some actions are racist. Some ads are racist. George Allen with his noose and confederate flags was not celebrating the Confederate cowboy ethos. George Allen’s endorsement of the Conservative Citizen’s Council rises above code words and icons. Here’s part of the CCC mission statement:
We believe that the United States derives from and is an integral part of European civilization and the European people and that the American people and government should remain European in their composition and character.
We therefore oppose the massive immigration of non-European and non-Western peoples into the United States that threatens to transform our nation into a non-European majority in our lifetime.
We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called “affirmative action” and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races.
All the tap dancing in the world does not mitigate the racism in that credo.
When Ronald Reagan opened his 1980 campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi he perhaps was a little more subtle than the above statement, but he was sending a clear signal to southern white folks with his message of state’s rights.
I want to believe that Bob Corker knew nothing about the creation of the ‘Playboy’ ad belittling his opponent, Harold Ford, Jr. I want to believe he meant it when he asked the RNC to pull the ad. I want to believe that Corker saw the inherent racism and wanted nothing to do with that attribute of the message.
I would like to believe that the spirit of racism is fading from our hearts and the political world, but I know that racism is more than a card.
For some people to see racism, it’d probably take a public lynching of a random African-American on December 25th on the new Courthouse Square. Even then, the complaint of some people would not be the lynching, but the fact that someone deigned to call it a HOLIDAY event…
Pacman Jones aka Mister Blutarsky is at it again. The Titans best cover guy can’t quite seem to stay out of the clubs and out of trouble. According to THIS, Pac was hanging out at Club Mystic sometime around 1:00 AM last night and was trying to dance with the friend of someone named Krystal Webb. Krystal apparently is NOT a Pac fan and tried to pull her friend away. According to the po-lice account, Pac spit on Ms. Webb. The good news here is that no gunplay occurred.
Pac continues to weave a fine reputation here in Titan-town. In fairness to the Pac, his attorney says it was a case of mistaken identity. There are a few guys in town wearing dreadlocks, but most of them are on the Titans.
I’d like to give Pacman the benefit of the doubt, but..what can you say…
Titans front office has no comment on the issue, so we are not sure if Pacman will be playing tomorrow and perhaps intercepting a pass of a different nature.
Update 10/29 – According to today’s Tennessean, Ms. Webb collected the alleged ‘Pac-spit’ in a plastic ‘baggie’. Which leads to the obvious ‘Chochranesqe’ defense mantra: “if it’s not his spit, you must acquit’.
I was driving around running errands (the chief errand being to ingest some Mothership BBQ) when I heard a commercial for some balm that supposedly removes tattoos painlessly over several days. I have no idea if the stuff works (I’m tatless, so I can’t be a test case), but I was thinking, based on the evidence I’ve seen in the past few years, there are going to be LOTS and LOTS of people who are going to want to shed their body-art in about 10 to 20 years. Witness:
If I had any business sense (I don’t) and money to invest (I don’t), I’d save up because I think that if someone can come up with a really efficient relatively painless way to remove tattoos starting in about 2015, somebody is gonna make a mint.