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Sunday, May 28, 2006

Damn the man!!! Don't Buy Sony products!

I'm sure by now you are all aware of the attempts by the Recording Industry Association of America's attempts to deny the fair use of their products to the consumers, and while it is true that they are far from alone in doing so, they did something far more cheesy and dangerous to the security of their consumers' computers. At the beginning of last week, a judge approved the settlement of a case against Sony over their "rootkit" CD's. For more information on why this is such a bad thing for your computer, please click on this link. For those of you who do not wish to do so, the nuts and bolts of it is this: Certain CDs produced by Sony after August 1, 2003 contain Digital Rights Management software that sends back information to Sony on their consumers' use of these products and runs in a manner that leaves the infected computers' hard drives more vulnerable to malware attacks. For a more thorough explanation of what exactly these "rootkits" did, I recommend visiting the articles linked above.

Since even Sony and the courts have agreed that this was a wrong and dangerously defective product, the question then becomes "What is the next step?" For me, that answer is incredibly simple: Boycott the sacks of shit. By visiting Sony's website, I have been able to compile this partial list of companies and brands owned or in partnership with Sony: Sony; BMG; Vaio computers; BluRay videodiscs; PlayStation; Nav-U GPS devices; GSN (Game Show Network); the Columbia, Epic, and Legacy record labels; and Walkman. All of the aforementioned trademarks belong to Sony, and I encourage everyone to research this further and find other brands and labels affiliated with Sony so that they may learn that abusing their customers is not in their own best interests. On June 6, it will be time for the primary elections in my native Alabama. In that vein, I encourage all of you who read this to vote with your wallets and tell Sony NO MORE!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Food for the body, then food for thought...

I had a very interesting meal tonight, nothing too fancy, but it was good. I mention this because this was also much better for me than my usual fare. It was spaghetti, but instead of ground beef, I used ground turkey, but what really made it great was, as usual, the sauce. I've long been a huge fan of Newman's Own and, more recently, Newman's Own Organics, products. Part of it is the knowledge that profits from the sale of their products go to charity, to the tune of over $200 million since 1982. However, the benevolent nature of a company alone is not nearly enough reason to keep coming back to a product. I and many others keep coming back because of the taste. Their Sockarooni sauce is my favorite, and is an excellent sauce for everything from spaghetti to lasagne to even stuffed bell peppers, and works well with both ground beef and ground turkey. It's the closest I've ever had to a perfect commercially-available tomato sauce. Also, the Newman's Own Family Recipe Italian Dressing is of equally high quality and flavor, and I've only seen its equal in restaurants. It costs a little bit more than other brands, but it's worth it, and besides, it helps someone out.

Now that I've pretty much eaten a disgusting amount of food and enjoyed every second of it, it's time for the food for thought as advertised in the blog's title. Ken Lay and Jeffery Skilling have been convicted of various charges in the Enron trial, bringing to a close one of the worst economic disasters in recent years. The actions of Mr. Lay, Mr. Skilling, and others cost thousands their jobs and life's savings, and the fallout of this scandal rocked corporate America, and the aftershocks cost even more jobs and led to a change in corporate law. In all likelihood, both men will spend the rest of their natural lives in prison, and considering the harm they caused, I find this both fair and just.

On a different note, I have a long history of giving credit where credit is due, even to those I detest. This is true of the current administration, and now, this is true of Nancy Pelosi, a person I find very poorly suited to her job as House Minority Leader. All that said, I think she is doing the right thing in asking Congressman William Jefferson to step down from the House Ways and Means Committee in light of the allegations against the Congressman from the Big Easy. These are very serious allegations, with some very serious evidence, apparently, to support them, and this is the right decision. Perhaps she is doing this because she feels it prudent to put forth at least the appearance of a commitment to ethics, if not a genuine commitment.
However, this unbridled skepticism is not limited to Ms. Pelosi, but rather, extends to Congress as a whole. I have heard yammering from Congress about how the raid on Congressman Jefferson's office was a violation of the separation of powers. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The task of Congress is to write the laws and perform other legislative duties. The task of the Judiciary branch is to make sure those laws, upon enaction by either a supermajority or the Executive Branch, does not violate the Constitution of the United States of America. The task of the Executive Branch is to enact or veto bills, and to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America and enforce the various laws that have been passed. At present, Capitol Police is in violation of this most important principle, as was most recently exposed in the brouhaha over an obviously impaired Congressman Kennedy not being given a Breathalyzer test or field sobriety test after running into a barricade at an odd hour of the morning. Should some members of Congress get their way, Capitol Police, who answer directly to Congress, would be responsible for any searches in the Capitol. Many members of Congress are mistakenly referring to this as a violation of the separation of powers. I call this a violation of the law and common sense, and sets up a wide variety of potential conflicts of interest. If Congress were to get its way, the rooster would be left to guard the henhouse, and that is in no one's interest. Devolve the powers of the Capitol Police to DC Metro P.D., or place them under the chain of command of the Justice Department. I would probably prefer the former over the latter, though I would allow for FBI involvement upon the request of the DC Metro P.D. To do otherwise is madness and an invitation to corruption and other criminal activity.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Fate of Barbaro, or why Nick Zito is a cunt...

I'm sure that for those of you who watched the Preakness Stakes yesterday, you were alarmed to see poor, adorable Barbaro brought up lame about 1/8 of a mile into that jewel of the Triple Crown. I happened to read a story on USA Today, since they had updated more recently than any other news source I could be bothered to find as of the writing of this post. I admit that I too was a little bit upset when I saw that footage, but that was nothing compared to the deep and abiding anger that was sparked when I read what Nick Zito, trainer to this four-legged juggernaut, had to say on this matter. "It's a little bit like Hurricane Katrina. It happened to us now." Well, Mr. Zito, I don't want you to take this the wrong way, but as a show of my deepest sympathies and well-wishes for someone else's livestock, I would like to invite you to go to fuck yourself using the object(s) of your choice. Yeah, a horse, even an expensive one, breaking three bones and dislocating another in the ankle area is every bit as awful as the deaths of 1,747 people with 485 people still missing, the destruction of a major city and several small and mid-sized towns, the first mass evacuation of an American city since Atlanta during the Civil War, hundreds of thousands of people rendered homeless, either temporarily or permanently, and damage estimated around US$75 billion. Mr. Zito, just do everyone a favor and take a vow of silence, since you are obviously too stupid to be allowed to speak in public.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Now, for something completely pointless: New 7-Up(tm)

I bought a bottle of 7-Up(tm) just to see if the flavor had improved in the years since I last tried it. I saw on the label that it is now 100% natural. So, to test their claim, I read the label. The contents are as follows: Filtered carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, natural citric acid, natural flavors, natural potassium citrate. Aaah, I remember the halcyon days of my youth, when I frolicked (Okay, I've never actually frolicked at any point in my life, but work with me here) along the shores of a brook of filtered carbonated water. As I bent my knee to grab a pebble to toss, I remember how the carbonation tickled my nose, and in the winter, how the ice was full of tiny frozen bubbles of carbon dioxide. And as I passed farms in my travels, I remember seeing farmers tap ears of corn to harvest the high-fructose corn syrup. And as a kid in the grocery store, I remember seeing natural citric acid in the produce section, though it was most plentiful in the sources of the natural flavors implied by this product, lemons and limes. I even remember seeing people grab natural potassium citrate by the side of the road, or was that road apples? Despite my searches, I have yet to find a natural source of this chemical, though I'm sure there must be, because, after all, why would a major corporation mislead the public. Or maybe they're not misleading us after all. After all, if this is made by people, and people are part of nature, isn't everything we as a species do "natural"?

But enough of that. How did the new 7-Up(tm) taste? It was fairly alright, but the formula will need to be tweaked quite a bit to replace Sprite(tm) or Sierra Mist (tm) in my refrigerator. Nice try, but not even close.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Music Review: Fort Minor's new single, "Where'd You Go?"

Some of you may know that I'm a fan of Linkin Park. Fort Minor is a side-project of Mike Shinoda, who you may know as the rapper in the aforementioned band, and this new single also features Holly Brook. The song "Where'd You Go?" just struck a chord in me. It sounded very desolate and yet very matter of fact. It's definitely one of the better songs I've heard recently. Fort Minor and Holly Brook will be performing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Wednesday, May 24 if you want to see this live, and I certainly recommend it. I know I'll be watching it. I would be remiss as a red-blooded male if I didn't also mention the fact that Ms. Brook is as beautiful as she is talented, though this in no way influenced my opinion of this single. I certainly wish both Fort Minor and Holly Brook plenty of success in this and future endeavors.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

My bullshit meter went way off the chart with this one:

First, this in no way should be construed as support for Bush, Rumsfeld, or any member of the current administration. Frankly, I'm more than a bit disgusted with them over a variety of issues, and this is not exactly a new phenomenon. However, sometimes people need to be reminded that President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and others are not the source of all evil in the world. There's more than enough blame to go around, both inside and outside of the United States, and, for that matter, inside and outside of the Republican Party. The link is here, and the specific bit of bullshit is the "Rumsfeld connection".

On my friend Snave's website, I posted two rebuttals to the spam. I won't dignify that spam with yet another forum, so instead, I'll refer you to his site and post my responses here The only thing I have redacted from my original responses have been the names and snark This amounts to the loss of one fairish-sized paragraph and a few sentences.

"I'm not so sure about all of the conclusions in your post. I do know that FDA approval is among the toughest hurdles in the world to overcome. Furthermore, most of the star anise, which differs from aniseed and is the basis for the shikimic acid which, in turn, is the base of Tamiflu, is grown mainly in China, and I sincerely doubt any American company has a dominant stance in that nation. Star anise gets its name not from its actual relationship to anise, but rather, because of the similar flavor. China is the major exporter, though the Phillipines and Jamaica are starting to play a significant role in its cultivation. Finally, the number of confirmed fatalities is 122 according to the World Health Organization, though the number of actual fatalities could be an order of magnitude higher. It's amazing how otherwise sensible people can be conned into believing a conspiracy theory when that theory in some way meshes with their world view. Oh, and Rumsfeld actually was not president, but was chairman of Gilead Sciences, though this did not occur until 1997. He's not the only politically-connected person to hold stakes in Gilead, though. For more information, click here, but this comprises of people from both sides of the political aisle.

"I think that this is a potential threat, but that potential has yet to be realized and may, hopefully, never be realized. As for me, it's currently a very tiny blip on my radar, though I am certainly keeping an open mind and will reevaluate should additional information become available. I think the threat of a worldwide influenza outbreak is a very real possibility and that measures to prevent it and prepare for such an eventuality should be taken. Just because such a pandemic on the scale of 1918 hasn't happened in the 88 years since then doesn't mean it couldn't happen again, and half of 6.5 billion is a lot more than half of 1.8 billion, and there are a lot fewer isolated communities than there were 88 years ago."

The only conclusions I have been able to draw from this are that some people are willing to believe the worst about people they don't like, regardless of any amount of evidence to the contrary, and that Rumsfeld isn't a crook. That does not mean that he is competent to fulfill the duties of his position (though he would be more than adequate as the Secretary of the Treasury or Commerce), but this and actual corruption are far different animals.

As a bonus, I think I'll take this moment to point and laugh at that son of a bitch Ward Churchill at the University of Colorado. Awww, poor little bitch was found guilty of plagiarism, falsification, fabrication, and misrepresentation of facts, and could lose his job. To the good people at the University of Colorado, first, I think you took your sweet time, and second, I'm glad you finally did something. Now, perhaps, we will never have to hear that son of a bitch's name ever again. Never again will we hear him compare victims of the 9/11 disaster to Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi organizer of the Holocaust. It is my most sincere hope that Mr. Churchill live a very long life, and that he see only heartache and failure the rest of his days.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Random thoughts about Ubuntu

I visited the Ubuntu website, and I couldn't help noticing that they charge no extra fee for their enterprise edition. After checking out their downloads page, I found that they only have one type of their current version, instead of distinguishing between an enterprise and a home version. I cannot help thinking that this is bloody brilliant, and actually saves their people a lot of work. After all, they're not having to cripple the better version so that they can make a home user's version, and that allows their programmers as well as the independent contributors to the Ubuntu projects to focus on more important things, like making it a better operating system. I also admire the decentralized approach to the decision-making, as I feel this affords them a much greater level of flexibility than might otherwise exist. I am somewhat concerned about their long-term viability since they do not charge for their software, and instead rely on donations and sales from their shop. They even sell a Ubuntu thong, though I think it may be best if I not go there. However, this concern has been ameliorated by news I just read on ZDNet about Sun Microsystem's interest in shipping their servers with the upcoming "Dapper Drake" release of Ubuntu, a move that could very easily prove beneficial for both organizations and communities.

I've seen some mockery of Ubuntu over the delay in their release of the "Dapper Drake" version; however, I find this puzzling since the release date has only been delayed 6 weeks, and they have otherwise been very good at sticking to their schedule of a new major release every 6 months. Compare this to other Linuxes, Mac OS X, or Windows. What are the current figures of the delays that Vista will face? How long has it been since XP? What are the current reviews of the Vista betas that are out there? Like I said before, I'm not a computer geek, just someone who knows how to track trends, and I feel these trends are compelling and bear watching. But that's just my tuppence.

Monday, May 15, 2006

An unfortunate realization...

I have just been forced to come to the realization that, while I am a geek, it is of a highly unfocused variety and not in the useful manner that is in common usage in the programming and IT community. This realization was spawned when I realized I can't even program in Java decently, and am seriously considering buying a "Dummies" book for it. Perhaps "nerd" or "dork" would be more accurate, but in its current usage, I'm not a geek. At least I lack the monomania or all of the psychological diseases of an otaku, well, except for those that narrowly overlap with being a nerd or a dork, and only to those much smaller definitions.

And while I do believe Bill Gates is the enemy in the revival of the OS wars (google the reviews of the Vista betas), I think Steve Jobs is clearly the bigger asshole and idiot. His decision to control both the hardware and the OS, while producing a more stable product (though that's now questionable based on some stuff I read about security holes) kept the prices of his hardware artificially inflated. Add in his unwillingness to add x86 support for his operating system (though that may change with the Intel builds) and his obvious dictatorial designs, and you have the fall of Apple and the rise of Microsoft and PC hardware. And the thing of it is this didn't have to happen. Microsoft won the initial platform wars of the early 90s not with a superior product, but with a (for that time) good product, at least once 3.11 came out, and a strategy that was vastly superior to that of Apple, IBM (OS2 Warp), and I think even Linux was in its infancy back then. Well, it's 2006, and the new platform wars are upon us. This is, as it was back then, basically a two-horse race, and Microsoft is still one of the horses. The difference is that Apple isn't the other, and more's the pity; still, Linux, while each distribution is considerably smaller individually, the community as a whole is gaining a solid grass-roots support and is slowly becoming a serious challenger to Microsoft. I don't understand all of the issues of the IT world, as that is not my area of expertise. I do understand trends and at least the rudiments of tactical reasoning, and I am more than capable of recognizing when someone is being cool, and when they're being a tool, and Steve Jobs is, as he has always been, a tool. The Mac OS did not have to be on the brink of extinction as it has been at several points, and may even be dominant or coequal today if ego had not been allowed to supplant sound reasoning at the highest levels of Apple. Ownership of a company, even ownership of the loyalty of a community of customers, is not a divine right to profits or even continued survival. Such things are very valuable assets, not guarantors of future success. Just ask American Motor Company.

I mean no disrespect to the Mac users out there, it's just that your savior's (Steve Job's) feet are made of clay even moreso than your sworn enemy, Bill Gates. As a side note, I'm starting to find reading about the Vista betas particularly traumatic, as I'm getting flashbacks to Windows Millennium Edition. I feel my blue vocabulary starting to surface.

Also, I'm removing moderation from all posts on this blog, as I don't think the perv will be returning.

Apophis-Unlikely but scary as hell

My various webcrawls took me to a potentially scary event that may or may not occur on April 13, 2036, though the odds are only 1 in 6250 that this will occur. As is usual, this number may change between now and then. I certainly hope it changes for the better. This eventuality is named Apophis, and should it impact, it will do so with a force of 880 megatons, or roughly 65,000 Hiroshimas. This asteroid is roughly 300 metres wide and has a mass of approximately 46,000,000,000 kg. Compare this to the Tunguska event, which was a meteorite that detonated with the force of 15 megatons, wiping out an area roughly the size of Rhode Island, though thankfully, with minimal loss of human life.

After doing a touch of research, I find the naming of this object oddly fitting. Apophis, alternately known as Apep, Apepi, or or Aapep, is the Egyptian deification of darkness and chaos, the opponent of Ma'at, and was represented by a snake. His identity was later completely subsumed by Set in a bit of nationalistic furor after the Middle Kingdom, so if you're more familiar with Set, basically, duplicate it.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Changes to the blog

You may notice that I have recently changed this blog to allow only registered users. Upon reflection, I've found that this was a mistake. I still want to encourage everyone to post on my website. However, "Gary" has made me realize there are people to whom I do not wish to give a forum to express their disgusting views. I have no problem with dissent or alternative viewpoints on most things. However, he has more than crossed the line as evidenced in my most recent posts, specifically, regarding his beliefs on the proper conduct of adults with children. Therefore, I have decided to allow anonymous comments again. That said, all comments on this blog will be moderated, unless you are members of this blog. I will not modify in any way any post that comes my way. If I find it offensive, I simply won't post it. To make it easier for those who regularly comment on my blog, I will allow the option of membership to bypass the moderation features of Blogger, since I have seen what type of people you are over the last several months and have a reasonable belief that, though we will probably disagree a goodish bit of the time, you're still decent people.

Happy Mothers' Day to everyone out here in blogland.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Thoughts on "To Catch A Predator", Florida

I watched that episode, or at least most of it, last night, and I was shocked and disgusted. The actress who played the female decoy was 19 years old, but from the look, sound, and mannerisms, I had no problem believing she was much younger. She will definitely be carded long after she's 21, but that's irrelevant. The point is that she was necessary, and I find that more than sad and infuriating. Plenty of pervs came to do their worst, and to a person, they were arrested and put before a judge. The one I found the most disgusting was the man who came with his very young son. It's bad enough that he was there to do that sort of thing, but to bring his son who was all of 5 years old... I hope he's a very old man when he gets out.

I've known people who were victims of child molestation, and seen how they were as they were adults, and the damage is as severe as it is permanent. Some overcome it, but others don't. In any case, it's sad, and whenever there's a chance to put one of the bastards responsible behind bars, it's a good thing. In the case of the Dateline specials, well, it was a lot more than one of the bastards responsible, and this was done in coordination with local and state law enforcement and the Florida state attorney general's office, so there's a very solid chance that those caught in this sting will be behind bars for a good while. For those out there who are yet to be caught, I sincerely hope you join these bastards behind bars.

For those who encourage this behaviour under the guise of a number of different flavors of bullshit, such as "Child Love", I wish the same to you. As a side-note, until recently, I was blissfully unaware of that particular euphemism for child molestation. Many people truly love children, and as a demonstration of that love, they strive to protect them from harm, such as the predators caught in this sting, and such as those who preach this disease under the cynical guise of "child love". Those who truly care about children are out there, taking care of their families, encouraging our children to be better than they are and to learn from the mistakes of our past, and for a special few, culling the wolves from the herd. They certainly don't ruin childrens' lives to satisfy their own perverse desires, and those who hunt this type of criminal have my undying respect, support, and gratitude. Oh, and for those who have made it their life's work to capture this type of criminal, I wish you happy and productive hunting.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

To Catch A Predator VI

The newest entry into Dateline's series exposing and, in the more recent specials, having police arrest, those who prey on children is, as always, a welcome public service, and I once again express my deepest gratitude for the many individuals responsible for bringing those who prey on children to justice. However, it would seem that others don't share my view. I found this post on JRob's House of Opinions, and it is not the initial poster with whom I disagree. In fact, JRob's sense of outrage that anyone would harm children matches or exceeds my own, though there is no doubt that his eloquence in expressing that outrage surpasses mine. No, the problem is one of the posters in his Haloscan comments in the form of a sick fuck who uses the screen name "Gary". Most of what "Gary" posts is too disgusting for me to post here, but it is my belief that any decent person who reads his words will feel nothing but contempt and/or rage. I certainly was less than happy with that rat-bastard for existing, and it is my sincerest hope that he harms no children, or if he does, that he spends a very long time as a guest of the state after harming as few children as possible. I also recommend visiting Lost in Lima Ohio's blog for more information on this and other related topics, and for better organization of the outrage.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Final thoughts about Zacarias Moussaoui

I suppose this post is giving this bastard more of my time than he deserves, but this case, like it or not, has been in people's hearts and on their tongues for a very long time now. My opinion on this matter has taken a great deal of time to develop and has underwent a number of changes. I am a proponent of capital punishment, but frankly, I think that the jury handed out the harshest possible punishment by sentencing Mr. Moussaoui to life in prison without the possibility of parole. It isn't as dramatic a sentence as capitol punishment, but sometimes, it is worse than death. As I watched CNN, I heard Wolf Blitzer and one of his guests outline exactly what he's likely to face at his probable destination: solitary confinement for life, 23 hours a day in his cell, with exercise only one hour a day outside of a box, and under close supervision at all times.

Punishment has two aims, depending on the circumstances: to provide a disincentive to reoffend, and to provide lasting consequences for illegal acts. This is true of everything from a speeding ticket to a major felony case. In such cases where the latter reason is of primary concern, the harshest punishment is to provide the hope of the convicted person's greatest desire, only to deny it to them instead. In the case of Mr. Moussaoui, his greatest desire was to die as a martyr, either while murdering his perceived enemies or to be put to death by the same. Had that happened, he would have become a rallying cry for jihadists everywhere, and his name would have been plastered on television, the internet, and print media every time he attempted to appeal a death sentence, enhancing his fame and sense of self-worth. Instead, with his sentence, he becomes utterly and completely irrelevant, an embarassment to the cause to which he devoted what passed for his life, and he will die, forgotten and alone, hopefully decades from now. For a person of his beliefs, I cannot imagine a harsher sentence, and for that, I thank the jury, the prosecutors, and the defense attorneys in this case.

Immigration Reform

I have been silent about this issue, as I much prefer to think before I share my thoughts. The more difficult the issue, the more thought I put into it, and the longer I am silent. I suppose this makes me the last person in the blogosphere to comment on this issue among those who will do so. So be it.

Some people have viewed this issue, mistakenly, as an issue of race. Others have wrongly used this issue to further their own racist and/or xenophobic agendas. To both groups, I say with all that I am, all that I believe, and all that I love, GO FUCK YOURSELVES.

The issue in question is, of course, illegal immigration, as distinguished from legal immigration, a lengthy, expensive, and difficult process. However, like anything else worth doing, this is worth doing right, and some of the most ardent opponents of illegal immigration are those who underwent this difficult process. I will agree with those who say that the immigration process should be made easier. I will even go so far as to say it is unnecessarily complicated at this point. However, it is currently the law of the land, and those who are here illegally are in violation of the law. This is not a matter for debate, nor is this a matter for a few mindless demagogues to score points with their constituencies. This is a matter of fact.

The issue, then, becomes what would be the most proper way to handle immigration. I realize there is huge amount of debate over the issues that are of primary importance with immigration, but I have my own thoughts about this. The primary questions are those of national security and the ability of each immigrant to function in our society. To those who wish to enter this nation in peace and to be productive members of our society, I have no problem with you. I wish you well, and I wish you happiness and success. What you are doing is difficult and requires either a courage and/or a desperation I cannot even begin to comprehend. If, however, you lack even a rudimentary understanding of the English language, many, if not most, paths will be closed to you, in much the same way that many roads to success would be closed to me if I were to move to Japan without first understanding their language and gaining at least a rudimentary understanding of their culture. This isn't an issue of race, or of ability, or of anything else aside from a cold, hard look at the facts. It would be nice if this weren't the case, in much the same way that it would be nice if lions could sleep next to lambs instead of dining on them. One possibility would be to grant conditional residency and have either fluency or instruction in English a condition for remaining in the United States, while also keeping the current exemptions to allow refugees and other special cases to remain. Further expansions to the humanitarian exemptions would be an issue to be addressed on a case by case basis. I am unaware of whether this is currently the law or not, but I would also grant automatic citizenship to any infant or young child adopted from a foreign nation.

All that said, I also believe that stiffer penalties are needed for violating immigration law, both for those who immigrate illegally and for those who knowingly employ them in violation of our laws. Mexican President Fox complains about the proposed changes in our laws, yet in Mexico, illegal immigration is punishable by deportation, fines, and/or a felony conviction and prison time of up to ten years. More information can be found here. This policy is in line in spirit, if differing in some specifics, with the laws of several European nations, and, in fact, a good number of nations around the world.

The protests were a mistake on two levels. First, the protests were a result of a willfully mistaken belief that this was an issue of race, when this is an issue that affects illegal immigrants of all origins, be they Latin American, European, or other. Secondly, the protests only succeeded in drawing the ire of those whose sympathies they were attempting to gain. The tactics of the leaders of these protests were not dissimilar from those of Roy Moore, George Wallace, and other demagogues, with the main differences being that they had far friendlier press and better organization. I believe the proper terms for the protests are "organized expressions of racism," "shooting themselves in the foot," and my personal favorite, "bullshit." But that's just my tuppence.