Sunday, July 31, 2005

Illegal Immigrants and Political Correctness

One of my favorite daily sites is Tongue Tied. This is a blog that posts pretty much daily, pointing up the absurdities caused by too much political correctness all over the world.

Now don't get me wrong: I believe in manners, civility and politeness. It's how we keep from killing each other over simple attitude differences when dealing with strangers. But anything PC begins to rattle my cage just because I want people to say what they think. If I get my feelings hurt, well, it won't kill me. It's an opportunity to reevaluate my values and my (quite possibly overinflated) ego.

So naturally I reacted egocentrically to this item. Look, I am the granddaughter of immigrants. Legal, legit immigrants. Working people. And I have played and worked with immigrants, including illegal ones. They have my sympathy when they come here to better themselves. But they are still illegal. My good friend E is an immigration lawyer in NYC, who spends her life working to legalize illegal immigrants. They are legion, and by and large, they are all able to find work and do what's necessary to become legal, and eventually even US citizens. God bless them and love them and help them in their endeavors. But what about the ones who come up to birth their kids here and collect benefits? Come on, this is just wrong: savvy, conniving and wrong.

Listen. We have had family members collecting benefits. But we have earned those benefits to get us past difficult times. Prepaid by ourselves, in other words. And we may need them again some day. So I don't want our benefits piddled away on people who came here deliberately and specifically to collect them. (By the way, that goes for those people coming here to NYS specifically to collect disability and other benefits that may be harder to collect in their own state.)

So it doesn't break my heart if some politically incorrect humor is targeted to them. It's the very least we should do: we should pack them up and ship them back. And that's what the INS does. We shouldn't hinder them; we should help them. And humor biased against illegal immigrants does just that. It's vulgar, and it's impolite, but aliens who break our laws are not entitled to our usual civil liberties.

Little Pond

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Physical, Mental Health Days

Those of you visiting from the MSCompanion already suspect what's up. A visit with my neurologist left me reassessing my mental and physical condition. See, Multiple Sclerosis is badly affected by heat. Every summer leaves me a little worse for the wear. The heat wave accelerated the effect.

I'm off from work for a week. More time to blog!!! Just kidding. Really.

Let some other bloggers to do the work:

Start with Good News Saturday at Winds of Change. From our Jewish friends a "carnival" of cute animals. Scroll down further at Winds for a bunch of good stuff.

Shelley at BurningBird warns about what I've always called Blogger Fatigue. Severe Blogger Depression hasn't become a problem for me.

And finally, some first class reportage from the Blog to Watch in Iraq. Michael Yon's site is a constant inspiration for a person tired of slipshod journalism. Not all our troops are American. Yet.

VeggieGirl is 19 years old today, and experiencing growing pains. Hope a couple of presents, parental love and support, and a "triple-chocolate overload" cake will soothe her temporary troubles. Growing up is hard to do.

Anyway, give me a few days. Need some rest.

Little Pond

Thursday, July 28, 2005

In Case of Emergency

Note to self:

Have each family member key an ICE number into cell phone.

First heard about this from GruntDoc: If an emergency room physician makes a recommendation for our safety, it seems to me we ought to pay attention.

Saw another reference in Winds of Change. Could the idea be catching on? Needs to be well-known if it is to work. No point in an emergency number if emergency workers don't know about it.

And finally, from a very opinionated blog with a vulgar name. At this point, third time's the charm.

Let's do it.

Little Pond

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Ellie the Flip-eared Granddog

Are the ears cooler this way? Doesn't even look like a dachshund, does she? It's Ellie's last day as visiting housesitter in the Glow. Took her to the boat launch there.

Monday, July 25, 2005:

Just some links:

For my cat-fancy friends: The 70th Carnival of Cats, at the Oubliette.

and for those who prefer socioeconomics: Why I, too, support the CAFTA, despite the probable, but temporary, costs to the American economy. Thanks to Winds of Change.

Little PondPosted by Picasa

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Eating Well Before the Dog Days

Here is Husband RJ's semi-vertical garden. We reach inside to harvest marrow and petit-pan squash, cuchinos, string beans and soon, tomatoes. Been eating pretty well from it so far.

Except for short trips to check on the doggies in Golden Glow, our only venture into the heat of these pre-dog days was to the Fitch's Bridge Access site to let Granddog Ellie wade in the cool Chemung River.

Mostly looking for some good news on the Internet. A little hard to find, but check this item out at Afghan Warrior. Maybe some day we can expect the same from Iraq. Maybe some day.

Little Pond Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Hold Your Breath

Each of the following links had me holding my breath as I read them.

This is simply good reporting from Iraq. First person report of a weapons cache discovery. There are photos, too. We may want to remember the blogger's name: Michael Yon.

This is quite different. I am amazed at how often Winds of Change speaks to me. A brush with death, a change of outlook.

This kind of stuff we rarely get on television and the printed media. It got me musing (direct link) over my own little situation.

Little Pond

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Going to the Garden to Eat Worms

Well, not exactly. Husband RJ's garden is already overflowing with minicukes (the ones without the warts) and the pale, striped zucchinis called Marrows. I asked for them, and they are overpowering the carrots requested by VeggieGirl. This is a semi-vertical garden growing on wired supports. Maybe I'll take pictures before it gets too hot to weed.

Update: The place is lousy with produce! Off to the Food Bank with them all!

Gotta get started. I leave you links:

Women's issues for Wednesday:

A note from Afghan Warrior. We can only hope that American influence will allow these ladies there to blossom and thrive. Or at least, the lessening influence of Taliban. So very basic: school the girls.

And it isn't just the Taliban actively creating problems for women. Looking way past the Mideast to Japan, where immigrant women are finding almost overwhelming discrimination, aimed not only at them, but also their children. Plunge Pontificates highlights a part of the world where the bigotry is so ingrained, it's mindboggling. By the way, the problem is not aimed specifically at women, but at anyone wishing to enter the collective Japanese gene pool.

But, back to the USA, where Burning Bird has an unusually extensive essay on women in wartime. This is meaty stuff. I'm saving the link for further study. The posters alone are worth a look, and Shelley always has an interesting twist to ponder.

Speaking of women on Wednesday, we are late for the Cotillion! The Costume Ball started on Tuesday. But it's never too late to link, I hope. Refreshments are provided smorgasbord-style, with dozens of links to the ladies.

Okay, so I've discriminated against the gentlemen. Indulge me just this once. After all: it's my blog.

Little Pond

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Adventures in Linkage

Lots to do this weekend. Sunday will be spent at Roseland in Canandaigua. The Multiple Sclerosis makes planning essential. Heat is dangerous, cold water could be trouble and overstimulation, well, that speaks for itself.

Take that, Osama! How to turn the other cheek and still conquer your enemies. Courtesy of Blogs of War, although the video and other related items are all over the internet.

While I've always understood the gist of it, here is a full explanation of the saying: "Letting the camel's nose into the tent." After all, it's Good News Saturday at Winds of Change.

And finally, if you can't say something nice... At least the person was decent enough to apologize. The poor man was mortified. I can sympathize with his initial reaction. Low to ground flyovers terrorized me when I lived in Annapolis, Maryland, where they were often staged by the Blue Angels for pomp and ceremony sort of occasions.

Have a happy and safe weekend.

Little Pond

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Just a quick note to explain: don't much feel like posting lately. The heat is goshawful with enough humidity to curl the dachshund's short hair. So I will play video games in the air-conditioned living room.

Don't misunderstand me: This entails cleaning the entire first floor of the house. Not because I believe in work before play. But because I need glasses to play my Final Fantasy. VI, to be specific. Where the world is being destroyed by (naturally) an evil emperor and a demented Magitek knight. This time around I am playing with the minimum of magic. Eventually I hope to play without access to any esper magic whatsoever. In the meantime, my head is full of the gameplay music (some with lyrics!)

Ahem. As I was saying, this entails cleaning the living room, at the very least. Wearing my glasses will point up how dirty the place really is, since I usually clean without glasses, to minimize the effort that will be largely wasted on cleaning a house that is shared with an avid gardener. Husband RJ passes the entire summer planting and transplanting flowers and, this year, veggies. My floors are dirty with real earth-type dirt, and strewn with tiny bits of grass.

And I cannot stand to sit in a dirty room, even if the dirt is healthy, organic-type garden loam. That really should be carefully collected and lovingly re-deposited in the backyard. So, to the vacuum, to watch the cats and Granddog scatter. As if I regularly reinforce their terror by sucking them up into the darn thing, just to be mean.

But that's a whole other blog.

Little Pond

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


It was a hot and muggy morning, but I bravely went to the River with Granddog Ellie. Didn't get much in the way of photos, but I posted them anyway because everyone should see Harry at least once a summer.

Shelly at Burning Bird always gets the best photos. And here are some of her best closeups. Always a pleasure.

Little Pond

Monday, July 11, 2005

Afghan Update

If you've been following the links to stories about Afghanis and some by Afghanis (Afghan Warrior), then you may be interested in this tidbit at Winds of Change. Student exchange programs have not always yielded the best results. After all, Osama Bin Laden came to the USA as a student calling himself Sam.

Frankly, though, student exchange programs are about all we have, if we don't personally visit a country such as Afghanistan. I don't imagine that country being a major tourist destination any time soon. Let's hope things change for the better. And the people who took in the students in the above-linked story are doing more than hoping. When those young folks return to their land--and see that the Taliban is still beheading as many Afghanis as they contact, and that the United States is still defending and providing safe haven to as many Afghanis as we contact--they represent the best shot we have at a peaceful future with our allies there.

Little Pond

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Uncle! We say, Uncle!

Enough already, we give up.

Several weeks ago I pulled down the front porch awnings and watched a nest slide onto the shrubs. Fortunately, it was empty, all perfectly designed and formed and unused. I set it on a table on the porch and mentioned it to Husband RJ.

Made a point of drawing down the awnings every day during the hot spell. Then came the rainy spell, during which time the awnings remained up, tight under the eaves. Only a few days.

Yesterday we were faced with a new attack. This one completed whilst we slept away the damp days. So we give up already. Raise your family, and we will stand by till the little stinkers leave the nest.

Little Pond


We really missed something. The nest is now empty except for one lone egg (that we don't date touch, let alone break). Guess they've moved on. The awnings are now down. Hope I didn't radiate negative energy to drive them off prematurely.

Little Pond

Avian Awning Abode

The victorious squatter.

Little PondPosted by Picasa

Thursday, July 07, 2005

God Save the People of London

Wasn't going to blog the attack in London, but my heart aches for them. They deserve at least a passing prayer. London was a busy city when I visited in 1974. A very young woman then, I loved Londoners the way I love New Yorkers, because they are so different from me. I'm used to small cities and countryside. Londoners are exuberant urbanites; they love their city just because. I did, too. Just because it's so incredibly multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-class. Heck, London is multi-everything! God bless the Londoners, and console them today.

For news and links with little, if any, editorializing, go to Blogs of War.

And say a prayer for our English brothers and sisters.

Little Pond

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Lotsa Links

Today actually affords me a little time to myself. So, naturally, I'm going to scrub floors. I'll never have the floor anyone can eat off of, except the cats. And yet, every now and then I scrub floors and carpets. So many memories of my mother cleaning floors crowd my brain.

Our house is a dump-in-progress, due to too many cats and not enough maintenance. They shred the furniture, the wallpaper and the woodwork. Years ago, when I felt my newborn was threatened, I had my cats declawed, for her protection. It was an appalling sight that still makes me blanch with guilt, just at the memory. So I patch the furniture, replace the panels of wallpaper, and constantly plot sanding expeditions to repair the woodwork. Been looking for something to spray that wouldn't be obnoxious to my sensitive nose. Haven't found it yet.

Before I hit the floors and carpets, I scoured my favorite blogs:

Afghan warrior on the residual (we hope) effects of the Taliban in his land: need we ever doubt that they are still a threat to all peace-loving people?

Winds of Change salutes one of our newer citizens and his take on Blogging, Democracy, and Freedom of Speech. Makes me proud of my country.

Something strange has been blogging itself at Burning Bird. Had to follow up on her Squid Hunting references. The technical stuff overwhelms me, but squid I can understand.

Hooray for the Cotillion! Let's not be ashamed to blog our babies. I admit it: I'm a sucker for those chubby cheeks and innocent stares.

Finally, one heck of a Kitty Fix. Shhhh. Don't say the F word outloud; my Big ole Bubba, doesn't know he's neutered. Enjoy. Courtesy of my everloving Blogmother, Sissy, who tosses in a lovely sunrise and her own little gremlin poolside.

The floors await. Quick, before Granddog Ellie gets up.

Little Pond

Too late. She's now at my heels, waiting for her walk.


Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Fifth of July, 2005 and Everyday Heroes

We all know what a war hero is. But what is an everyday hero? Is a person who lives heroically, and gives inspiration to others a hero? Surely.

God bless our war heroes. They pay the price of our freedom. God bless our everyday heroes, too. They pay the price of our comfortable lifestyle. Everyday warrior heroes in my family would be all my relatives who served in the Armed Forces, whether they shipped out to the battlefield or not. Thank you, from your loving sister, daughter, niece.

Everyday heroes are the saint and martyrs that abound in everyday life. We all readily name our parents, but I bet there are those who recognize the hero in them where we might not, or when we forget. Take my Grammy, Home-front Hero. She never went over, but she too was martyred, by the death of her brother. She responded by raising a brood of heroes: firemen, teachers, workers with the handicapped in the community--and some in their own family--and those who simply worked right up to the day they died to provide for their own. If that isn't the definition of a hero, nothing else is, either. Thanks to Grammy (posthumously), and again to the everyday (living) heroes in my family.

I don't want to forget what I learned from September 11, 2001. We say aloud that our firemen and police officers are heroes, but we secretly pray that we never have to see them martyred, as we all did that awful day in Manhattan. So now our world is normalizing again, and there are many fewer killed in their normal day-to-day duties. But they still die, and far too often. Thank them again for their everyday heroism and sacrifices and pray they are spared the ultimate gift to the community, their lives.

The Fifth of July is a return to the everyday world. It's quieter, and less spectacular, but the heroes are there, too.

Little Pond

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Memories of World War I

Happy Independence Day. Three men from World War I: My Grampa Baker, his brother-in-law Henry Lamb, and a friend, Harold Simmons. Henry Leander Lamb died the day before the Armistice Posted by Picasa

Independence Day Downtown in Elmira, NY

Grab up a bottle of water and your walking shoes, dear Hometown Tourist. Our little Wisner Park is full of war memorials. Not just a plaque or two, but some very elaborate marble and granite tributes to our War Heroes and Martyrs. God Bless the USA!

Little Pond

Saturday, July 02, 2005


Apologies to anyone clicking on "Your Link Here" in the sidebar, earlier today. I put in generic X's to remove the link, and leave the type. Yup, you guessed it. Changed all six of my blogs with it. Then decided to check to see if clicking would get the desired result. Surprise! Pretty Red Adult Site! Actually a rather tastefully done opening page, thank heavens.

No, don't bother. I've removed them all, thank you.

Little Pond

Idiotic Formula One, A Followup

If you're still interested in fallout from the Indy Formula 1 debacle, go to GruntDoc. And he links to the official Formula One site. This just gets more and more stupid. Whatever the idiot Micheliners think, we have a free market here in the USA, and if a supplier doesn't deliver (or if racers leave after the initial parade lap) the customer takes his custom elsewhere. Whatever the market will bear.

My advice to the Europeans, again: If you can't take the heat, get the hell out of the kitchen. Punish the drivers and backers that cheated the race fans, and punish them severely. If we don't get what we pay for, Americans vote with their feet. I've already lost interest in Formula One. Obviously they can't properly race unless it's properly rigged to their satisfaction. Unbelievable.

Little Pond