October 26, 2007

Malkin's Nightmare: That would be USC's new quarterback, Matt Sanchez. Por El Trojan todo, Fuera de El Trojan, nada.

October 25, 2007

If this is serious, it's refreshing to know our colleges still produce men such as these. [link via Deadspin]
Avedon Carol has a provocative post this morning about the false labeling of the anti-abortion movement as "Pro Life," especially since so many of them lose interest in the post-natal "life" of the fetus. "Pro Life" seems to have been given greater credence by the media as the name of a movement than it's opposition, "Pro Choice," but it's clear that the Anti's (my preferred term) have a clear rhetorical edge. By framing the debate as one over "life," they create a battle between defending the life of an innocent proto-child versus the sexual freedom of a young woman, and the Pro's usually get suckered into making the laughable claim that the fetus isn't really "alive."

A better argument, and one that doesn't get into theological musings about the life continuum, is the notion of the forced pregnancy; an abortion ban, or even any limitation of the practice, is tantamount to forcing a woman to giving birth. If the state has the power to forbid when a woman can make such a decision, it also has the inherent power to force her to make the same decision, as the sad history of China and Nazi Germany attest.

I'm sort of torn on the issue of what to call the two sides, since neither term is truly accurate. I prefer the "Pro's" vs. "Anti's" formulation noted above, but I also believe that a person should have the power to label himself, and I no more have the right to force the label of "anti-choice" upon someone as I would referring to Muhammed Ali as "Cassius Clay."
DrudgeGate? Is there no American institution that the Bushies haven't corrupted?

October 24, 2007

Some days it just pays to be a Democrat, and this is one of them. Senate Republicans just denied cloture to a bill that would enable the children of illegal immigrants to become citizens if they complete two years of military service or attend college for two years. Seems like an easy call, what with the "War on Terror" and all that, to let people who are putting themselves on the line to fight and die for the U.S. of A. (or, for that matter, staying in school to get an education) to become citizens. At least, I haven't heard anyone claim recently that this country has too many smart and courageous men and women.

Well, apparently in the GOP, and among the more conservative blogs, courage and education are vices of the lowest order. It's hard to imagine what they gain from the obstruction. On the scale of public outrage towards illegal immigrants, non-citizens who are nevertheless volunteering to fight in Iraq would be rather down on the list. Since there is a five-year residency requirement, the class of people eligible under this law encompasses immigrants who were taken over the border by their parents (who do not receive citizenship under the measure), and for which more draconian measures would have little effect.

If anything, these should be exactly the sort of immigrants America wants: hard-working people with families, willing to defy convention and authority (like any real American) to come to the promised land, with children committed to defending and improving our great nation. To put it another way, what sort of person is more likely to benefit our nation: someone who sits on their ass and waits years for a favor to be granted, or someone who seizes their opportunity? I think the answer is obvious. America has always valued the ambitious, whether it's a Greek or Italian worker docking at Ellis Island in 1900, the Filipino couple using a "work visa" so that their daughter could be born on these shores in 1970, or the Mexican day laborer crossing the Colorado River today.

And that's why this issue has proven to be such a bomb as a wedge issue for the GOP. The people who are most angered by the "illegals" are bigots and nativists who are already in their camp. The rest of the country just sees human beings working to improve their lot. And when it comes right down to it, the Republican caucus in the Senate simply revealed the hard, mean face of modern conservatism this afternoon.

October 23, 2007

Frankly, I've always enjoyed the Santa Anas: they're warm and they're breezy, so it's the best of both worlds. But then again, I live in the flats, like 85% of the rest of Los Angeles, not the hillside, like Joan Didion and the affluent crowd she writes about, so I don't connect the winds to that foreboding cleanser which is a brush fire. Still, even in Bel Air or Beverly Hills, I've never heard of school being cancelled because the wind picked up.

Rule of Thumb for the rest of you: never pay attention to any sociological observations about SoCal from anyone who lives in the Santa Monica Mountains.

October 22, 2007

And now, for your musical enjoyment: