An article in yesterday’s Washington Post attempts to diffuse some of the myths surrounding the illegal immigration debate. It’s pretty straight-forward, if biased toward an opinion in a few spots, but one paragraph jumped out to me, in a section about immigrants’ integration into American life and society. The section overall points out that integration doesn’t happen overnight, and immigrants do work in large numbers to learn the English language and become educated. The paragraph below, however, stuck out like a sore thumb:
However, the unauthorized status of millions of foreign-born immigrants can slow integration in crucial ways. For example, illegal immigrants are ineligible for in-state tuition at most public colleges and universities, putting higher education effectively out of their reach. And laws prohibiting unauthorized immigrants from getting driver's licenses or various professional credentials can leave them stuck in jobs with a high density of other immigrants and unable to advance.
Ummm… isn’t that the point? If it’s illegal for them to be in the country, why should they be getting the benefits designated for residents of a state? Sorry, but I don’t have a lot of sympathy for illegal aliens complaining they don’t have the same privileges as legal residents. I have no problem extending such benefits once they’ve left the country and re-entered through legal processes, at which point I’d be happy to see (and help) them integrate.
As I’m writing this, it’s a little under a half-hour to the exact 40th anniversary of the oxygen tank rupture that severely damaged the Apollo 13 spacecraft, Odyssey. To mark the occasion, of sorts, I just finished watching the film Apollo 13 again. On one hand, it still amazes me what everyone had to go through not only to make normal missions successful, but to come through in pinch after pinch to make #13 survivable.
I’m not sure anymore, with reports of funding and program cuts, that NASA will send anyone to the moon again soon, if ever; government programming to get people to the International Space Station after the end of this year seems to be in doubt. I’m curious to wonder, though, what might come from private business ventures. Time will soon tell; I hope it’s within my lifetime, as I would love to see humans on the moon again, and beyond to Mars.
The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle has a neat article about election inspectors working the polls this year. It’s a quick look into what goes on in the polling places each election, and the people who are working there to make sure voting goes smoothly.
I found it particularly interesting to see what inspectors had to say about their duties in part because I’m also an inspector. I’ll be traveling to a number of districts in east Webster this Tuesday. You can see a little bit about what we do in the article.
This year may not feature a presidential election, but voting is still important. Even more important than voting, though, is voting smart. Be sure to be educated about the races in your district before you go to the polls this Tuesday.
This mouse looks really cool, and I’m looking forward to trying one out when it appears in Apple Stores (the press release announcing Magic Mouse says it will be available at “the end of October”). The scrolling functions look like quite the improvement over the Logitech V270 Bluetooth mouse I have a mild gripe with now. More on that in a minute, though; first, I did notice a possible problem with using it in my setup.
Coincidental with the announcement of the new mouse, a new tech support article was published on Apple’s support site indicating that the scrolling and two-finger swipe controls were not available in Boot Camp (even in version 3.0, the version that just came with Snow Leopard last month). I can deal with not having the swipe, but I use the scrolling controls quite a bit, especially in games. I can imagine it being a problem on games, though, as MouseWheelUp and MouseWheelDown are essentially button presses to which games can map controls, and they would be difficult to map to a fluid scroll motion. Â With any luck, they may release drivers for it in Boot Camp at some future date.
My Logitech mouse, understandably, works great in Windows on Boot Camp (as it did on my previous Windows laptop). The mouse wheel scrolling behaves a little weirdly in Snow Leopard (and presumably in previous versions of Mac OS X, too; I just haven’t had a chance to try it out yet); since the mouse wheel is the version that “clicks,” instead of a smoother-scrolling wheel like many newer mice or the Mighty Mouse’s scroll ball. I’m used to my wheel scrolling the exact same distance with each click no matter how fast I scroll it, whereas in OS X the slower I scroll the wheel, the shorter the scroll distance. At it’s slowest, one click of the wheel scrolls a whopping total of one pixel line, which is next to useless.
From all this, I’m left with a few choices:
- get the Magic Mouse when it becomes available,
- get the Magic Mouse, but hang on to the Logitech mouse for Windows gaming use,
- continue searching for a way to make the mouse scrolling on the Logitech mouse work in Mac OS X the way I’m used to in Windows, or
- go with an altogether different (and presumably more cross-compatible) Bluetooth mouse (Bluetooth is important; I don’t want to tie up a USB port either with a wired mouse or with a wireless transceiver for a different type of wireless mouse).
I’m probably not doing anything anytime soon, but I’m interested in your feedback: which of these do you think is the best way to proceed? Plus, if you’ve got any ideas on the Logitech mouse wheel scroll speed in OS X, let me know that too. Comments are open below!
It has come to be that time of year again. Digital Brainwaves has gone pink for the month to promote awareness of breast cancer. Have a look at the Pink for October website for more details.
(Yes, I know this is the first post I’ve made in a while. I’m hoping to change that soon.)
David Letterman put forth an apology on last night’s show for last week’s joke regarding Gov. Sarah Palin’s daughter, giving, in part, a similar explanation to one I posited last week: he didn’t know either daughter was actually at the game.
“All right, here – I’ve been thinking about this situation with Governor Palin and her family now for about a week – it was a week ago tonight, and maybe you know about it, maybe you don’t know about it. But there was a joke that I told, and I thought I was telling it about the older daughter being at Yankee Stadium. And it was kind of a coarse joke. There’s no getting around it, but I never thought it was anybody other than the older daughter, and before the show, I checked to make sure in fact that she is of legal age, 18. Yeah. But the joke really, in and of itself, can’t be defended. The next day, people are outraged. They’re angry at me because they said, ‘How could you make a lousy joke like that about the 14-year-old girl who was at the ball game?’ And I had, honestly, no idea that the 14-year-old girl, I had no idea that anybody was at the ball game except the Governor and I was told at the time she was there with Rudy Giuliani…And I really should have made the joke about Rudy…” (audience applauds) “But I didn’t, and now people are getting angry and they’re saying, ‘Well, how can you say something like that about a 14-year-old girl, and does that make you feel good to make those horrible jokes about a kid who’s completely innocent, minding her own business,’ and, turns out, she was at the ball game. I had no idea she was there. So she’s now at the ball game and people think that I made the joke about her. And, but still, I’m wondering, ‘Well, what can I do to help people understand that I would never make a joke like this?’ I’ve never made jokes like this as long as we’ve been on the air, 30 long years, and you can’t really be doing jokes like that. And I understand, of course, why people are upset. I would be upset myself.
“And then I was watching the Jim Lehrer ‘Newshour’ – this commentator, the columnist Mark Shields, was talking about how I had made this indefensible joke about the 14-year-old girl, and I thought, ‘Oh, boy, now I’m beginning to understand what the problem is here. It’s the perception rather than the intent.’ It doesn’t make any difference what my intent was, it’s the perception. And, as they say about jokes, if you have to explain the joke, it’s not a very good joke. And I’m certainly – ” (audience applause) “- thank you. Well, my responsibility – I take full blame for that. I told a bad joke. I told a joke that was beyond flawed, and my intent is completely meaningless compared to the perception. And since it was a joke I told, I feel that I need to do the right thing here and apologize for having told that joke. It’s not your fault that it was misunderstood, it’s my fault. That it was misunderstood.” (audience applauds) “Thank you. So I would like to apologize, especially to the two daughters involved, Bristol and Willow, and also to the Governor and her family and everybody else who was outraged by the joke. I’m sorry about it and I’ll try to do better in the future. Thank you very much.” (audience applause)
That this is coming nearly a week after the original joke is a little concerning; I’d have liked to hear this sooner, rather than give the appearance that the statement was anything other than genuine. Nonetheless, I’m going to take Dave at his word and consider this a settled deal. (EDIT: So has Gov. Palin.)
Right, moving on, then.
(Hat tip: Allahpundit at Hot Air)
One of the big dust-ups in the news lately has been between David Letterman and Sarah Palin regarding a joke he made about her daughter. I think it can be chalked up to an innocent mistake, if he’s willing to make the admission.
If you’ve been hiding under a rock this week, a line during his June 9 monologue referenced Governor Palin’s recent trip to New York City with her daughter. While in New York, they took in a New York Yankees game, about which Letterman joked, “an awkward moment occurred for Palin when during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.”
Dave’s defense has been that he was just making a joke about her 18-year-old daughter, Bristol, who made headlines last fall becoming an unwed teen mom, and since making jokes about people in the news is his job, he hasn’t done anything wrong.
The problem is that Bristol wasn’t in New York with her mom; Gov. Palin was accompanied by her 14-year-old daughter Willow. The outrage, therefore, isn’t the pregnancy, but at the implication of statutory rape.
Accusations and rebuttals are flying all over the blogosphere, some relevant, some not. Depending who you’re listening to, either Gov. Palin’s a bad mother who’s asking for it by having her kids out in public life with her, or Dave’s a perverted old man who gets his jollies making fun of abusing young girls.
A popular adage states, “never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.” My own humble opinion (which could easily be flat out wrong) is that Letterman never intended the joke to be about Willow, and he and his writing staff just assumed that it was Bristol in New York without doing the appropriate research. Since that’s not the defense Dave’s using, we can’t be certain of that, but it seems to make more sense to me.
What’s your take? Comments are open as always, as long as you’re nice.
Count Morgan Freeman in the group of intelligent African-Americans soon to be shunned by the black community for saying what none of them will:
NEW YORK – Morgan Freeman says the concept of a month dedicated to black history is “ridiculous.”
“You’re going to relegate my history to a month?” the 68-year-old actor says in an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” to air Sunday (7 p.m. EST). “I don’t want a black history month. Black history is American history.”
Freeman notes there is no “white history month,” and says the only way to get rid of racism is to “stop talking about it.”
The actor says he believes the labels “black” and “white” are an obstacle to beating racism.
“I am going to stop calling you a white man and I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man,” Freeman says.
He’s absolutely right — both white people and black people have to stop worrying about black and white and see everyone else as people, or racism is never going away.
My previous entry notwithstanding, I do respect and acknowledge Christmas as a very important religious holiday. That in mind, and also to go along with my love of space travel and exploration, I present (albeit a couple days late) a commemoration of an important anniversary in human spaceflight.
We are now approaching lunar sunrise and, for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
– William Anders
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
– James Lovell
And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas â€“ and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth.
– Frank Borman