Predictably, the leadership in these counties were not pleased with the new arrivals that have forced upon them by city leaders.
Obviously, the big-picture solution would come via Congress and an overhaul of our immigration system. But until that happens, President Biden and the federal government have to step in. I don’t know if it is via funding, or finding where these people can work, or something else. Either way, leaving it for the states or local municipalities to handle is making the problem worse.
There was a time in this country in which adults dealt with conflict (hopefully) like adults. Whatever the issue was, it was resolved in a mature and reasonable manner. These days, resolution comes via a gun and killing innocent people.
Last Friday, a man in Cleveland, Texas was asked to stop shooting his rifle outside because his neighbors were trying to get their baby to go to sleep. He could have done the decent thing by waiting until Saturday morning. Instead, he knocked on their door and killed 5 people. Among the dead is an eight-year-old boy.
Instead of consoling the family and using his power to find the accused killer, Governor Greg Abbottaccused the victims of being “illegal immigrants“. Regardless of whether they are citizens or crossed the border yesterday, his comments were insensitive, hurtful, and racist. The sad irony is that the suspect is himself in the country illegally.
Then, on Sunday, police were called to a house party in Bay St. Louis, Mississipi. A young man has been charged with murdering two of his peers and injuring four others. Those in attendance were there for a post-prom party. Instead of enjoying their last few weeks of high school, the lives of all affected have been forever changed.
And finally, authorities in Atlanta captured a suspected shooter who opened fire in a medical facility earlier today. One woman was killed and four were injured. His reason was that he was unhappy with the treatment he was receiving. He could have gone through the proper channels. Instead, he chose to resolve the problem with a firearm.
I don’t know what it is going to take for us to enact sensible gun control laws. This is not about removing or devaluing the 2nd Amendment. It is meant to save lives. But until some politicians decide that American lives are just as important as freedom, these senseless deaths will continue.
I really liked the four female leads. Instead of being limited to the standard narrative of love, marriage, and motherhood, they are fully drawn as full human beings. I also liked the immigrant narrative and the fear of immigration. Though it is set decades ago, the themes and narratives are true today as they were then.
Eighty-plus years after World War II, the stories of both civilians and soldiers continue to captivate us.
American Brush Off, by Max Willi Fischer, was published in 2020. In 1942, Lud Mueller is 17 and an average teenage boy. The son of German American immigrants family, he is as American as apple pie and baseball. Due to his lineage, Lud, his family, and thousands of others are labeled as “enemy aliens”. Forced out of their homes and sent to the Texas desert, they secretly become a collective pawn by the government.
Forced to deal with Nazi wannabes and a romance that goes south, Lud changes in ways that are unforeseen and life-altering. When the war finally ends, he is not the young man he was previously, but those at the top remain the same.
We all know about the Japanese internment camps. Up until this book, I had no idea that German Americans were treated in the same manner. As the protagonist, Lud is a compelling character. But I could not get into the story.
Do I recommend it? No
American Brush-Off is available wherever books are sold.
Given the tidal wave of misinformation over the last few years, the “outrage” over CRT, and the growing list of banned books, I think that this book is a necessary read.
America is a great country, and always has been. But in order for us to achieve the ideals set forth in our founding documents and be as great as we say we are, we have to face facts. Our history is flawed. Until we realize that and confess our collective sins, that greatness will be shallow and unworthy of the tales that have been told.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Myth America: Historians Take On the Biggest Legends and Lies About Our Past is available wherever books are sold.
It takes a person with a cold heart to use human beings to score political points. It takes a person with no heart to use human beings to score political points on a day that is supposed to represent peace and understanding. These people, by the way, did not travel for thousands of miles just for shits and giggles. They wanted (like all previous generations of immigrants) a better life for themselves and their families.
I don’t believe in Santa Claus (for obvious reasons) and never have. Come next Christmas, I hope that Santa gives him the biggest lump of coal that he can find. It would be a fitting response for someone who is more concerned with keeping his job than being his sibling’s keeper.
P.S. In contrast, the President and First Lady spent the 23rd visiting sick children who were not able to come for the holidays. That is what the season is about.
Human trafficking is both a crime against humanity and a crime in the United States. At the same time, it is not against the law to ask for asylum in this nation. Immigration has been the backbone of this country since its founding. And yet, there are some who want to restrict who can enter the US.
Over the last few weeks, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott have been using tax dollars to ship South American migrants to blue states. Not knowing where they were going, they were expecting that jobs were waiting for them when they reached their final destination. Instead, the locations they arrived in (New York City for the migrants sent from Texas and Martha’s Vineyard for the migrants sent from Florida), the local officials were not aware or prepared for the new arrivals. As of this past weekend, NYC is looking at the possibility of taking legal actionagainst Abbott.
This goes back to what we all know. Serious reform of our immigration policy is necessary. The most recent change was a decade ago with DACA. While DACA was a huge step forward, it does not solve the overall issue. The problem is made worse by our current political climate, which has at best led to mostly partisan legislation and at worst, created a deadlock that cannot be overcome.
I think the answer to the question should be yes. They have broken the law and like anyone who has been accused of a crime, should have their day in court. But only time will tell if this comes to pass.
P.S.: A woman who was among the over 10,000 migrants bused from Texas to New York killed herself on Monday. Abbott has blood on his hands.
Though the truth is out, the question of Rafael’s future is now unknown.
I loved this memoir. His voice is so clear that you can easily see the world as he knew it to be then. The narrative speaks to the American dream and why so many have walked on that same path.
If nothing else, it reminded me of why my own relations immigrated more than a century ago. Their dreams of their future and their children’s future were the same as Agustin’s parents, even in a different time and place.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
Illegally Yours: A Memoir is available wherever books are sold.
Intergenerational family stories are a genre unto themselves. What makes one narrative compelling or another boring depends on the writer ensuring that all of the threads weave together to create a coherent and engaging tale.
No Country, by Kalyan Ray, was published in 2014. The novel starts in a small town in rural Ireland in 1843. Brendan and Padraig have been best friends since they were young. As it usually happens when we are on the cusp of adulthood, the boys are torn apart by blossoming and confusing romantic feelings. Padraig is unaware that his girlfriend, Brigid is carrying their child, when he leaves for the city to fight for his nation’s independence. Instead of returning home, he makes a dangerous mistake that sends him instead to India.
Back in Ireland, Brendan is raising Padraig and Brigid’s daughter, Maeve as his own child. When the potato famine struck, he decided that it would be better to start a new life in America. As the years pass and different branches of the family tree come into being, questions of identity, politics, and history play with the fate of their descendants.
The book started off well enough. I was drawn into the narrative and the character’s struggles. The problem is that about 2/3rds of the way in, I got lost. I can’t put my finger on what went wrong, but for whatever reason, the story lost its momentum. While I did finish it, the ending left me with an empty feeling.
Every birthday is special. But among the milestone birthdays, the day we turn thirteen is the first that represents a change in our lives. The subtle and not-so-subtle shift from childhood to young adult starting at this age is complicated for both the young person and their parent(s).
Turning Red is the newest release from DisneyPlus. Meilin (voiced by Rosalie Chiang), has recently turned thirteen. The daughter of a Chineseimmigrant family who made a new life in Canada, she is smart, confident, and driven. Meilin is also on the verge of puberty (i.e. menstruation) and everything that comes with it. While she is on the slow road to becoming an adult, her mother, Ming (voiced by Sandra Oh), would prefer to keep her child from growing up.
One morning, Meilin wakes up and sees a giant red panda in the mirror. Her parents sit her down and reveal a long-held family secret. Upon reaching the age at which she starts to become a woman, every female in her family turns into a red panda. Any extreme emotion, either good or bad, will facilitate the transformation. Torn between wanting to please her mother and starting to take the first step on the figurate path to independence, Meilin has to make certain choices that we all had to make back then.
I loved this movie. I love that Meilin is a dork and proud of it. I love that that she looks like a normal girl and not the preteen version of a supermodel. I love the diversity and the strong female role models, both on the screen and behind the scenes. Though she does develop romantic feelings (well, as much as one can at the age), it is not the crux of the story.
The heart of this narrative is the push and pull between Meilin and Ming. Ming is not a bad mother. The idea that Meilin is no longer clinging to her 24/7 is an idea that her mind cannot compute. Directed and co-written by Domee Shi, this film has heart, humor, and fully human female characters.
Though it is not without controversy. Some parents have complained that that analogy of a girl getting her period is inappropriate. First of all, this is the color of the animal’s fur. It’s not like Mother Nature purchased a box of hair dye and decided to paint this creature red. Second of all, this is a normal process. Without the monthly visit of our friends, we would not be able to carry and birth the next generation. The fact that it is 2022 and some adults are afraid to talk about this topic speaks volumes about our culture.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely. I would also venture to say that I wouldn’t be surprised if Turning Red was on several “Best Of” lists come the end of the year.
Turning Red is available for streaming on DisneyPlus.
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