Re my post Finding the Empty Spaces in Immigration Rhetoric:
Number of immigration measures introduced in state legislatures this year: 1,404
Number introduced during the previous 10 years: 1,300
(Source: Harper's Index)
Researchers at University of California's School of Public Health published a study this week which found "Illegal Latino immigrants do not cause a drag on the U.S. health care system as some critics have contended and in fact get less care than Latinos in the country legally."
Writing in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the study team stated "illegal Mexican immigrants had 1.6 fewer visits to doctors over the course of a year than people born in the country to Mexican immigrants. Other undocumented Latinos had 2.1 fewer physician visits than their U.S.-born counterparts." "Low rates of use of health-care services by Mexican immigrants and similar trends among other Latinos do not support public concern about immigrants' overuse of the health care system. Undocumented individuals demonstrate less use of health care than U.S.-born citizens and have more negative experiences with the health care that they have received," they said.
A beautiful and informative post by Jesse Wendel at Group News Blog tells the story of how 9-year-old Christopher Buchleitner's life was saved by border crosser Jesus Manual Cordova after Christopher's mother had a car wreck in the desert near Tucson and lay dying. Jesus Cordova remained with the boy overnight, building a fire for him and his mother, until help arrived in the morning. For his efforts, Cordova was deported without any thanks or exchange of addresses. Read the story and pass it on.
At John F. Kennedy's inauguration in 1961, Robert Frost recited his poem, The Gift Outright:
The land was ours before we were the land's.
She was our land more than a hundred years
Before we were her people. She was ours
In Massachusetts, in Virginia,
But we were England's, still colonials,
Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
Possessed by what we now no more possessed.
Something we were withholding made us weak
Until we found out that it was ourselves
We were withholding from our land of living,
And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
Such as we were we gave ourselves outright
(The deed of gift was many deeds of war)
To the land vaguely realizing westward,
But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,
Such as she was, such as she would become.
We are all, every one of us, immigrants here. Even if we are born here, we still have to forge our own relationship with this country, this geography, this continent that was devoid of human inhabitants until very recently in the span of time. Every single American you love and admire is an immigrant or the child of immigrants. When we say no to those who seek the same things our ancestors did, we are not just arrogant, we are unbelievably stupid -- we are saying no to what may well be our "salvation in surrender". We have no way of knowing who is coming to join us, except that in the greater scheme of things, we need them as much as they need us.
Re Polar Exploration:
The USGS has a Landsat Image Map of Antartica you can download and muck about with. Zoom in to search for Captain Oates' sleeping bag.
(Kitchen in Scott's Hut as it still looks today, Antarctica)
Re my story about my little brother and I bringing home a giant toad in Brasil, reader little gator created the following personalized I Can Haz Cheezburgr image:
No, ours was bigger. And not as green.
Re the movement to save Texas' only feminist bookstore, former employee Kristen A. Hogan has a website Defining Our Own Context: the past and future of feminist bookstores. The title comes from the1975 mission statement of the Common Woman Bookstore, now known as BookWoman, in Austin, Texas:
"Our primary goal is to distribute women's works not readily available elsewhere, those written, published and/or printed by women. It is important to us that works by women be allowed to define their own context by being brought together in one place."
Lastly, an e-mail from reader Kat in Berkeley:
"You and Ginny will be so proud: I finally started cooking with whole wheat flour.
"I know, I know, how could I have waited so long? I didn't grow up with it, I guess, so it took me a while. Anyway, my multi-grain dinner rolls were the hit of Thanksgiving, and I even made a pretty decent batch of biscuits that used about half-and-half unbleached and whole wheat. they had a sweetness and crunch on the outside that was really yummy. Not authentic, I know, but still good.
"I've been thinking and observing the world with regards to your accessibility post on the Watershed. I've realized just how many places really aren't accessible to folks who are disabled. I honestly didn't realize just how inaccessible the world is. An interesting image came last evening in a card shop. The counter was really high, so underneath there was a fold-out counter at about wheelchair-height. Except that the nearest display was only about 3 feet behind......Not making a point or anything, here, just sharing what I've observed...."