Tuesday, March 27, 2007

scary on so many levels

Homeland Security OIG Issues Report estimates over 600,000 Fugitive aliens in U. S. whereabouts unknown.

From The Department of Homeland Security Office Inspector General
(DHS OIG) report...

In the report fugitive apprehensions are prioritized as:
"(1) fugitives posing a threat to the nation;
(2) fugitives posing a threat to the community
(3) fugitives with a violent criminal history
(4) criminal fugitives
(5) non-criminal fugitives."

"As of August 2006, the Office of Detention and Removal Operations estimated there was a backlog of 623,292 fugitive aliens.

Therefore, fugitive aliens constitute about 5.4% of the estimated illegal alien population"
It is frightening that we can't find 600,000 people. It is more frightening that we have an "office of detention and removal operations". And downright terrifying that we have "Homeland Security". What next -- loyalty oaths? Arlen Specter suggested today that we establish a domestic spying agency, like the British MI-5, since we can't trust the FBI to spy without violating innocent people's rights. Lovely, just lovely.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

I love Baltimore, Reason #202

Saturday, we had a truly wonderful experience. We took two large boxes of books that we had weeded from our collection and dropped them off at the The Bookthing. The Bookthing is a Baltimore non-profit. It gives books away -- free, gratis, no charge. No strings attached. After we dropped off our books, we went inside and browsed the shelves. We were very well-behaved, only picking up 6 books between us. But the experience was amazing. It is set up like a used bookstore, with virtually no staff, and no cash registers. People come in and are encouraged to take as many books as they want. The only thing they ask is that you sign the log, telling how many you take. The day we went, the high total on the sheet was 73 books to one person. The "store" used to have a 10 book minimum (i.e. you had to take at least 10), but they have relaxed the requirement because they didn't want to scare off potential readers.

They are getting all my cast-off books from now on. And I will send them checks when I can, so maybe they can fix the leaky roof. A terrific idea like this should be supported.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Rove gets subpoena!

Well, the political universe is getting interesting. Karl Rove is going to testify before a small senate committee on the firings of federal prosecutors. In particular, they want to examine his role in getting rid of politically inconvenient prosecutors and replacing them with "true-blue Bushies" (his term, not mine). And Gonzalez might, just might, be on his way out. The White House has started work on a short-list of potential replacements, but are still saying they stand by Gonzalez.

The president believes it would harm the presidency if his aides are questioned. I think he has harmed the presidency throughout his time in office -- how much more damage could be done by finding out the truth?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Friday, March 09, 2007

like I won something

I have a son. A gifted 12 year old. He is incredibly incredibly bright, but seriously learning disabled. Last week he had to read a book for a book report. For many kids this is not such a big deal, but in my house, it can be huge.

So, I picked him up from school last week. He says he picked his book for his report. He is going to read Snow Falling on Cedars. I couldn't believe it. I asked why, and he said he thought it looked interesting. Well, he read it. I mean, really really read it. And understood it. And liked it.

I am so unbelievably proud -- I feel like I won something. Although I think maybe we both did.