Sunday, August 29, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
I'm "aggregating" posts again. Three posts are a continuation of MissBeee's series about our China trip. She has some great pics:
1) Xi'an: Er.
2) Going South.
3) Tiger Leaping Gorge.
Plus another post from Mrs. B. about last weekend in NH:
A month of this and that.....
The pic above is at the guesthouse in Lijiang.
Earlier posts about our trip to China:
a great wall day
aggregated post on china trip
someone's grandparents went to china
aggregated china post #2
Posted by RB at 4:44 PM
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
This is a follow-up to a recent post on birthright citizenship. The 14th Amendment clearly gives citizenship to a child born in the United States. This right does not depend on the legal status of the parents. The courts have a 100+ year record of consistently upholding this right.
Why debate whether babies of illegal aliens born here should have citizenship? It is a settled issue with the courts. This constitutional right to citizenship cannot be changed with legislation. Only an amendment to the Constitution can change it.
Such an amendment to the Constitution will not happen.
So why have the debate? What is the point?
The point is for so-called conservatives in the GOP to curry favor with angry white voters already voting for the GOP. The point is for the GOP to permanently lose socially-conservative Hispanic voters to the Democrats. This is in not in the interest of the conservative movement but is in the interest of individuals going after the angry white-guy vote.
Time to move on.
RB's related posts:
gop out for a generation?
Posted by RB at 12:09 PM
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Animal and human behaviour
Manager's best friend:
Dogs improve office productivity
Aug 12th 2010
THERE are plenty of studies which show that dogs act as social catalysts, helping their owners forge intimate, long-term relationships with other people. But does that apply in the workplace? Christopher Honts and his colleagues at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant were surprised to find that there was not much research on this question, and decided to put that right. They wondered in particular if the mere presence of a canine in the office might make people collaborate more effectively. And, as they told a meeting of the International Society for Human Ethology in Madison, Wisconsin, on August 2nd, they found that it could. To reach this conclusion, they carried out two experiments. In the first, they brought together 12 groups of four individuals and told each group to come up with a 15-second advertisement for a made-up product. Everyone was asked to contribute ideas for the ad, but ultimately the group had to decide on only one. Anyone familiar with the modern “collaborative” office environment will know that that is a challenge. Some of the groups had a dog underfoot throughout, while the others had none. After the task, all the volunteers had to answer a questionnaire on how they felt about working with the other—human—members of the team. Mr Honts found that those who had had a dog to slobber and pounce on them ranked their team-mates more highly on measures of trust, team cohesion and intimacy than those who had not. In the other experiment, which used 13 groups, the researchers explored how the presence of an animal altered players’ behaviour in a game known as the prisoner’s dilemma. In the version of this game played by the volunteers, all four members of each group had been “charged” with a crime. Individually, they could choose (without being able to talk to the others) either to snitch on their team-mates or to stand by them. Each individual’s decision affected the outcomes for the other three as well as for himself in a way that was explained in advance. The lightest putative sentence would be given to someone who chose to snitch while the other three did not; the heaviest penalty would be borne by a lone non-snitch. The second-best outcome came when all four decided not to snitch. And so on. Having a dog around made volunteers 30% less likely to snitch than those who played without one. The moral, then: more dogs in offices and fewer in police stations.
Posted by RB at 9:27 PM
Saturday, August 14, 2010
The Wall Street Journal
OPINION | AUGUST 11, 2010
The Case For Birthright Citizenship
Since the abolition of slavery, we have never denied citizenship to any group of children born in the U.S. Why change now?
By LINDA CHAVEZ
Republican leaders in Congress are now flirting with changing portions of the 14th Amendment—which grants citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof"—to deny citizenship to children born here to illegal immigrants.
The idea of modifying birthright citizenship has been around for decades but was previously relegated to the fringes of the immigration restriction movement. Yet in recent days, Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Jon Kyl have embraced the idea; Senate and House GOP leaders Mitch McConnell and John Boehner have proposed hearings.
Repealing birthright citizenship is a terrible idea. It will unquestionably jeopardize the electoral future of the GOP by alienating Hispanics—the largest minority and fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population. More importantly, ending birthright citizenship would fundamentally change what it means to be an American.
Proponents of repeal argue that the 14th Amendment was passed after the Civil War to guarantee citizenship to freed slaves, and that it was never intended to grant rights to the offspring of illegal aliens. But this argument is a non sequitur. At the time of the adoption of the amendment, there was no category of "illegal alien" because immigration was unrestricted and unregulated. If you secured passage to the United States, or simply walked across the open border with Mexico or Canada, you could stay permanently as a resident alien or apply to be naturalized after a certain number of years. And if you happened to give birth while still an alien, your child was automatically a citizen—a right dating back to English common law.
The most serious challenge to birthright citizenship for the children of aliens came in 1898, and it involved a class of aliens who were every bit as unpopular as present-day illegal immigrants: the Chinese. Like most illegal immigrants today, the Chinese came here to work as common laborers, eagerly recruited by employers but often deeply resented by the workers with whom they competed. This popular resentment, coupled with racial prejudice, led to America's first immigration restriction law, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. It was followed by successively more restrictive federal and state laws that denied Chinese aliens—and, later, other Asians—the right to own property, to marry, to return to the U.S. if they left, or to become American citizens.
With anti-Chinese alien sentiment still high, the Supreme Court took up the case U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark in 1898. Born in San Francisco to alien parents who later returned to China, Wong travelled to his parents' homeland for a visit and was denied re-entry on his return in 1895. The government argued that Wong had no right to birthright citizenship under the 14th Amendment because his parents remained "subjects of the emperor of China" not subject to U.S. jurisdiction, even while residing in California at the time of his birth. In a 7-2 vote, the Supreme Court ruled otherwise.
The court found that the only persons Congress intended to exclude from birthright citizenship under the 14th Amendment were children born to diplomats—an ancient, universally recognized exception even under common law; Indians, who by treaty were considered members of sovereign nations; and children of an occupying enemy. "The amendment, in clear words and in manifest intent, includes the children born within the territory of the United States of all other persons, of whatever race or color, domiciled within the United States," wrote Justice Horace Gray for the majority. To hold otherwise, he noted, would be to deny citizenship to the descendants of English, Irish, Germans and other aliens who had always been considered citizens even if their parents were citizens of other countries. For more than a 100 years, the court has consistently upheld this analysis.
Our history has been largely one of continuously expanding the community of people regarded as Americans, from native-born whites to freed slaves to Indians to naturalized citizens of all races and ethnicities. Since the abolition of slavery, we have never denied citizenship to any group of children born in the U.S.—even when we denied citizenship to their parents, as we did Asian immigrants from 1882 to 1943. This expansive view of who is an American has been critical to our successful assimilation of millions of newcomers.
Conservatives should not betray these values based on a misreading of American history and legal precedent. Instead of amending the Constitution to eliminate "anchor babies"—the ugly term opponents of birthright citizenship use to describe these U.S. citizens—Republicans should be helping them become good Americans.
Ms. Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity in Falls Church, Va. and was director of public liaison in the Reagan White House.
RB's related posts:
gop out for a generation?
Posted by RB at 8:59 PM
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tonight, August 11th, forty years later, RB took this same attractive, non-short woman out for enchiladas. If memory serves me correct, The Cactus Grill is better than dorm food.
Posted by RB at 10:59 PM