You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘immigration’ tag.

The new female dragon in “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” illustrates a sexist trend in children’s animation.

How Donald Trump got his inspiration for his new border policy from Australia.

How upcycling can enhance your life.

Puerto Rico is a “Playground for the Privileged”: Investors move in as homes foreclose and schools close.

Native Americans remember the trauma of children taken from their parents.

Murder with impunity: Where killings go unsolved.

Lavender lemonade is the best and most natural way to get rid of headaches and anxiety.

Immigrants describe the horrors that made them flee Latin America for the U.S.

The origins of America’s unique and spectacular cruelty.

Five reasons why Linda McCartney is a fierce role model.

Why the face of immigrant family separation is a white woman.

Woman’s obituary takes a dark turn over a long-ago extramarital affair.

Six of the worst “work for exposure instead of money” stories seen online.

Remembering the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy 50 years later.

Study estimates Hurricane Maria killed nearly 5,000 people but barely makes the news.

This German children’s book is the creepiest thing you’ll see today.

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Ramadan

This week the Internet lost its mind for three reasons—two of which were legitimate and the other will have you go WTF?!?

The first legitimate reason was the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, which is a decision that is so controversial and such a hot flashpoint among the Israelis and Palestinians that the vast majority of other countries prefer to have their embassies stay put in Tel Aviv. A group of mostly unarmed Palestinians peacefully protested that embassy opening and it led to Israeli troops firing weapons on them, killing and injuring many Palestinians. Of course this brutal attack on unarmed protesters were rightfully condemned on social media and in real life. There were even a group of Jewish protesters who blocked a major thoroughfare in DC in protest against what happened to the Palestinians.

The second legitimate reason why the Internet blew up was over this video that had suddenly gone viral for the most insane reason. Basically a New York lawyer named Aaron Schlossberg was in a local fast food place where he heard some employees speaking Spanish amongst themselves and he literally exploded in this crazy rage that was caught on video, uploaded online, and suddenly went viral.

Then this photo surfaced of Schlossberg attending a rally in New York City in May, 2017 where he’s standing next to a man holding a sign that’s written in Hebrew. This guy goes off on a couple of fast food workers for speaking Spanish amongst themselves because he believes that everyone should be speaking English since they are in America yet he has no problem with standing next to a guy with a sign that’s also written in a foreign language (Hebrew).

An earlier video from 2016 have also surfaced on Twitter where Schlossberg called a white man from Massachusetts “an ugly fucking foreigner.”

Since that time Schlossberg has had to deal with trolls giving his law firm negative reviews on Yelp, someone starting a GoFundMe page that would raise enough money to hire a mariachi band and a taco truck that arrive outside of his office, being kicked out of his office space, and having to dodge reporters by cowering under his oversized umbrella.

I can understand why the Internet went in an uproar over those two stories. Having military troops firing heavy artillery at mostly peaceful unarmed protesters is wrong. Adam Schlossberg is a total asshole for thinking that he has the right to publicly bully anyone whom he thinks is a foreigner (with the exception of anyone who speaks Hebrew, which is a foreign language just like Spanish) even though his targets are basically law-abiding people who just want to go on with quietly living their lives.

But the third story this week is one that has also gotten as much attention as the other two and it has me totally annoyed: Does a certain sound clip sound like the word “Yanny” or the word “Laurel?” I first heard about this when one of my Facebook friends posted this sound clip on her wall asking what does it sound like. Half of us answered “Laurel” while the other half answered “Yanny.” Okay I thought it sounded innocuous.

But then this whole Laurel or Yanny sound bite exploded on the Internet to the point where people are actually spending time arguing over what is the actual word being spoken. It has gotten mainstream media attention. The U.S. military issued an apology over a tasteless joke conflating bombing the Taliban in Afghanistan with Laurel or Yanny.

It reminds me of a similar argument three years ago over the colors of a certain dress and I found that argument to be just as annoying as this current argument over a sound bite. I have no problem with people being passionate over the recent bloodshed in Gaza or Aaron Schlossberg because those are legitimate issues. But if you’re risking longtime close relationships over your stance on a stupid issue like Laurel or Yanny, you are a pretty pathetic person who needs to step away from the computer and go outside for a while (while leaving your mobile devices indoors).

Ironically I found this very interesting article on Snopes about the origins of the Laurel or Yanny debate and how it’s scientifically possible for two people listening to the same audio to hear different words. But this debate does NOT deserve to have as great importance as the killings in Gaza or the openly public racist rants of Aaron Schlossberg.

And, no, I have no intention of divulging whether I really heard Laurel or Yanny because I am really not in a mood for a drawn-out debate on something that’s totally frivolous like the Laurel or Yanny issue.

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Ever since Donald Trump has gotten into office there have been so many incidents of ICE agents cracking down on immigrants and deporting them along with so many stories about families who have literally been torn apart. To be fair, Barack Obama’s administration did a lot of deportations as well but those flew under the radar because President Obama was the first African American president and there were plenty of people leery about criticizing him although one could easily criticize President Obama’s policies without resorting to racism. Since Donald Trump is an old white guy who ran his campaign based on his racist imagery of Mexican drug dealers and rapists and building a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, there is now more media attention on those deportations—most of which affect immigrants with black or brown skin. (And that’s not to mention President Trump’s recent descriptions of Haiti and Africa as “shithole countries.”)

Recently a white immigrant was rounded up by ICE agents and they are trying to deport him as well. Lukasz Niec was a guy who was born in Poland and he was brought to the U.S. with his parents back in 1979 when he was only five years old. (At that time Poland was a communist country that was aligned with the Soviet Union and it did the usual communist repression against its own citizens so it was understandable why his parents wanted to leave.) When he was a teenager he got into some minor troubles with the law. He got a green card and he decided to straighten out his life by going to college then to medical school. He became a doctor and he eventually got married and had two children. His most recent offense was an arrest on a domestic violence charge in 2013 but he was later found not guilty by a jury.

Those brief brushes with the law were enough to provide an excuse for ICE agents to round up this guy and begin proceedings to have him deported back to Poland. This is a country that this guy had not even lived in since he was five years old. He has long since forgotten how to speak Polish and he has no immediate family ties in that nation.

When I saw this story blow up on social media I read social media posts from people acting surprised that the Trump Administration would focus on a white man. As I think back to my childhood, I have to say that I’m far less surprised that his ICE agents would pick on a Pole than most people.

Let me give you a brief history lesson here. There was a time prior to the Industrial Revolution where most Americans considered themselves to be WASPs—White Anglo-Saxon Protestants. Beginning with the Industrial Revolution there were plenty of immigrants from many European nations, including Poland. While many Polish immigrants had white skin, they were not Anglo-Saxons so, according to attitudes of the time, they didn’t count as being real white people. On top of it, most Poles were either Roman Catholics or Jews, which made them be seen more as outsiders by the WASPs. Given that attitude, it was no wonder that hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan considered Jews and Roman Catholics to be just as bad as African Americans.

Even though Poles gradually were assimilated into the melting pot, there were stereotypes that still persisted. I was born in Baltimore, where many Polish immigrants settled, and I grew up in nearby Glen Burnie. Even though my family lived next door to a Polish American family and there were plenty of people of Polish descent, I still grew up hearing Poles being described as “Dumb Pollocks.” I heard a lot of Dumb Pollock jokes being told on the playground while I grew up. Here’s one such example, which was among the milder Dumb Pollock jokes I heard:

Q: Take Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Smart Pollock, and the Dumb Pollock. Put them all into a single room together. Place a $5 bill in the middle of that room. Who would get that $5 bill?

A: The Dumb Pollock because there is no such thing as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, or a Smart Pollock.

The Dumb Pollock stereotype didn’t end with just jokes. There was a liquor store that I used to go with my parents when they made an occasional trip there. That was because that store had a shelf that sold novelty gag gifts and I loved looking at them. Among the gag gifts sold was a box marked “Polish Gun.” When you open the lid, you see a gun with the barrel bent backwards making it look like you would get struck with a bullet when you pull the trigger.

But that’s not all. When my family used to make its annual summer vacation to Ocean City, I remember the raunchy t-shirts. Among the t-shirts I remembered was an illustration of a guy looking down his own pants with the slogan “Polish Peeping Tom.” Another shirt had an illustration of a guy in a boat holding a fishing rod where the hook was on the back of the guy’s pants that had the slogan “Polish Fisherman.”

Even though I lived next door to a Polish American family and grew up attending a Roman Catholic parish that had Polish Americans among its membership, I still heard those Dumb Pollock jokes. Given that Donald Trump spent his entire life in New York City, which was another place where Polish Immigrants settled in large numbers during the Industrial Revolution, I’m sure that he heard those Dumb Pollock jokes as well. Except he was more insulated from actually knowing any person of Polish descent than I was because he grew up in a wealthy neighborhood in a WASP family (two of his grandparents were German immigrants and his mother was from Scotland) and his father was arrested back in the 1920s for attending a Ku Klux Klan rally. (Like I wrote a few paragraphs ago, the KKK hated Roman Catholics and Jews just as much as it hated African Americans.)

Growing up I used to love telling Dumb Pollock jokes as much as the other kids on the playground. But it has been many years since I told those jokes because I don’t find them funny anymore. What happened? I can’t say for sure but there were a few factors. First of all I grew up and I became exposed to more sophisticated adult humor (especially from watching TV shows like Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Saturday Night Live) that made those Dumb Pollock jokes seem stupid and childish by comparison. Then I went away to college at the University of Maryland at College Park where I met a variety of people and there was sort of an unsaid social thing against telling ethnic jokes of any kind. (At least that was the case among the groups of people I socialized with.)

What finally got me to quit telling Dumb Pollock jokes for good was when I converted to Unitarian Universalism a year after I graduated from college but shortly before I got married. That faith has seven principles, the first of which is this:

The inherent worth and dignity of every person.

In a nutshell every person is entitled to being respected no matter what that person’s background is. Telling Dumb Pollock jokes—or any other type of ethnic jokes—dehumanizes a certain category of people simply because they were born that way and it’s not something that one can control.

While I managed to let go of the Dumb Pollock stereotype, it’s obvious that President Trump has not. In fact back in the 1980’s it was said that he broke the law by hiring illegal Polish immigrants to work on building his Trump Tower without even providing the proper safety equipment necessary to do the job. He paid them $4 per hour, which is far less than the minimum wage at that time. Of course that was when he even bothered to pay them. Many of these workers weren’t paid at all yet they were forced to continue working on that building project because they were threatened with being reported to authorities and deported. If that weren’t bad enough, here is what one Polish worker said about his time working on the Trump Tower project:

Trump also hired a smaller crew of unionized demolition workers who teased their nonunion Polish counterparts. “They told me and my friends that we are stupid Poles and we are working for such low money,” Adam Mrowiec, one of the Polish workers, later testified.

So here is a man who was probably exposed to the same Dumb Pollock jokes that I was, except he grew up in a more insulated environment than I was so he never learned to consider Polish people as being anything other than Dumb Pollocks to be used and discarded for his own purposes just like inanimate objects. And if these Dumb Pollocks aren’t useful to him, then they should just go away.

With a mindset like that, it’s no wonder the Trump Administration has sent ICE agents after a Polish American man to be deported from the only country he has ever known to a nation that he hasn’t seen since he was five years old.

If you’re a Polish American who voted for Donald Trump back in 2016 expecting that he will—to quote his campaign slogan—Make America Great Again, then the joke’s on you since he’s basically a con artist who could care less for anyone who isn’t a wealthy WASP like he is and who basically looks down on people like you.

Passover

There’s no glory in overworking. It’s just imminent burnout.

Tesla is now worth more than Ford and Elon Musk is already rubbing it in to everyone who ever doubted him.

14 stunning embroidery Instagrams.

Magic moments marking 170 years of British photography.

A Singapore man who lives with more than 9,000 Barbie dolls.

YouTube will now block ads on channels with under 10,000 views.

This robot will literally make you a salad.

A beginner’s guide to microblogging on Mastodon, the open source alternative to Twitter.

An interesting story on how writing on Medium each week has changed one woman’s life.

A 27-year-old entrepreneur talks about how he launched a seven-figure snack business in 18 months.

3D knitting brings tech to your sweaters—for a price.

There’s more to tech stock photography than hokey gold bitcoins.

3D printing in-store is very close and retailers need to address it.

A comparison of six free web-based SVG editors.

Nine anime things that Astro Boy did first.

Chinese man “marries” sex robot he built for himself after he failed to find a girlfriend.

Seven integral WordPress plug-ins.

White toddler girl defends her choice of a black doll to a cashier at Target.

Animated vloggers like Kizuna Ai could be the future of YouTube.

Chobani founder, who immigrated to the U.S. from Turkey, stands by hiring refugees.

Brands see the future of fashion in customized 3D-knitted garments produced while you wait.

3D printing: Don’t believe all of the hype.

Five free graphic design tools.

Top 10 WordPress plugins for business sites in 2017.

Hollywood’s whitewashed version of anime never sells.

New robots just want to be your child’s best friend.

How to make a coin sorting machine from cardboard.

How Harvard Business School has advocated the propagation of immoral profit strategies.

Photos showing 100 years of people knitting.

Talking bendable Justin Trudeau doll for sale.

WordPress for Google Docs lets multiple users collaborate on content in real-time.

Six of the most innovative 3D printing companies.

GIMP is crowdfunding critical updates like high bit depth and layer effects.

This man makes amazing surreal animations from famous artwork.

Open Collective is a GoFundMe-like service for open source projects.

Philadelphia museum showing glass bongs as high art. The museum’s directors say that this exhibit is less about potheads and more about allowing an underground community of artists to showcase their work without fear of being stigmatized or prosecuted.

A look at one crafter who renders pop culture figures in embroidery.

Knitted knockers for breast cancer survivors.

A girl who lost her eye to cancer got the best lookalike doll.

Adobe is currently developing AI that turns selfies into self-portraits.

60 free and easy Easter crafts to make for this holiday weekend.

Improvisation is the heart of Cuban animation.

Researchers are working on robots that can monitor and care for the elderly, such as the animal-like MiRo.

As the ballerina moves, this robot paints the dance.

Passover

I went to the Light City event in Baltimore on its second night, which fell on April Fool’s Day, but this event was definitely no joke. I wrote a previous post about that night where I wrote about what it was like to see my own animation, The March of Liberty, being shown on a giant screen at such a popular event like Light City while posting a reaction video I made. I’m finally getting around to sharing the rest of the photos. (I took a bunch of pictures that night so I ended up having to make decisions on which photos to use.)

I arrived before sunset because I wanted to find where the On Demand area was located. As you can see in the pictures, it was a very cloudy day.

I took a few pictures of Camden Yards when I was on my way to transferring from the Camden Yards light rail stop to the Charm City Circulator heading towards the Inner Harbor. Opening day would take place just a few days after I took these pictures.

Camden Yards

Here’s a statue of Cal Ripken’s retired number.

Camden Yards

Here’s a statue of famous baseball player Babe Ruth, who was born in Baltimore.

Camden Yards

These painted baseballs on the sidewalk near the statue leads the way to the nearby Babe Ruth Museum.

Camden Yards

The street banners proclaim that this year is the 25th anniversary of the day that the Baltimore Orioles began playing their home games at Camden Yards.

Camden Yards

I ended up traveling way out to Pier 6 in the Inner Harbor. I took a few pictures while I was blundering around, starting with one of the Harborplace pavilions, which is currently undergoing remodeling and renovation.

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Here is what one of the Light City art pieces looked like in broad daylight.

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

I walked past the Power Plant, where I noticed the guitar-themed railing that’s currently located outside of the Hard Rock Cafe.

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Located opposite the Power Plant is a tropical-themed bar known as Dick’s Last Resort.

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Some lights resembling birds roosting in trees outside of the Pier 5 Hotel.

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

A whimsical display that looks like something out of the film Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory outside of an office building.

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

McCormick & Schmick’s restaurant at its Pier 5 location.

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Three umbrella-filled boats floating in Baltimore Harbor.

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

I decided that I needed to take a break so I found a bench where I ate my dinner. (It was a fried chicken dinner with thick fries and a roll that I purchased at a Royal Farms store located in Linthicum before I took the light rail into Baltimore.) While I was eating this immigration rights protest march had arrived at the Pier 5 area of the Inner Harbor and the protesters walked right past the bench where I was eating my dinner. I took the opportunity to take some pictures.

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

The marchers made their way to the Inner Harbor Lighthouse, which was being used as a display area for a Light City exhibit about immigrants. A post-march rally was held next to that exhibit.

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Light City at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

I finally found the On Demand area. I took a photo of the sign.

Light City, Baltimore, April 1, 2017

I even took a closeup of the area of the sign where my name was printed.

Light City, Baltimore, April 1, 2017

Here’s a shot of the On Demand screen, which was showing another video, along with a glimpse of the backs of the adirondack chairs that were provided for people to sit in before sunset.

On Demand Area at Light City

Here’s another shot of the On Demand screen, showing a different video, at night.

On Demand Area at Light City

Like I wrote in a prior entry, I waited outside in the cold for over two hours until my film was finally shown. When it finally appeared I got very enthusiastic. I shot a short reaction video. I also shot stills of my film being on screen. Maybe I shot too many stills but it was such a rare opportunity to see my video being shown in a public venue like this that I felt like I had to document it from all angles (including some shots of people sitting in the chairs) so I can prove to other people that one of my videos was actually shown in public like this.

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

My Animation Video

As for how the people who were there responded to my video, I wasn’t able to get any kind of an accurate gauge as to whether people liked it or not. I didn’t get any boos. But I also didn’t hear any cheers. I saw a few people sitting in chairs watching it when I was there. By the way, you can view that animation, The March of Liberty, right here.

After my film was shown, I left the On Demand area. I had sat in the cold for so long that my body felt stiff. I also had to start making a move towards the nearest light rail station so I can catch one of the last trains out of the city. I managed to take a few more pictures of the other Light City exhibits as I made my way back to the light rail station while wading my way through the massive crowds at the same time. (Yes, the second annual Light City was just as crowded as the first year was.)

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Even a few Baltimore police officers blended in with Light City.

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Here is one of the bar tents that were set up at the event. As you can see in the picture below, it drew a lot of people.

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

Light City in Baltimore

The last photo shows one of the Light City exhibits being reflected in the back of a bus stop terminal.

Light City in Baltimore

There were more to Light City than what I shot but between fatigue and trying to make the light rail, I wasn’t able to see it all. I had planned to making one return trip but the first night I had scheduled—which was two nights before the final night—it rained very heavily. So I put it off until the following night, which was the night before the final night, only to have a very cold front with heavy winds replace that heavy rainstorm. I wasn’t able to make it the last night because I went to the annual Sakura Matsuri festival in Washington, DC and I really couldn’t physically handle two festivals on the same day.

I was driving through Mount Rainier, Maryland when I noticed a house located just a few doors away from ReCreative Spaces. Like most of the homes in Mount Rainier, this house is an older Victorian-style home with a picket fence. However, instead of this fence being painted white, this one is painted like the colors of a rainbow.

In addition, this rainbow fence also sports a sign indicating that everyone is welcomed in Spanish, English, and Arabic.

This house is an example of some of the subtle yet creative ways of resistance that has taken place since Donald Trump became president. Last week his second attempt to institute a second travel ban against Muslims from certain countries has been overturned by a federal judge. Of course he has banned Muslims from countries where he does not currently have any business ties.

But that’s not all, folks. Trump is also considering breaking up asylum-seeking families at the Mexican border on the rationale that it will “deter more movement.” That means that children can be separated from their parents.

I’m currently living in some dark times in the United States. At least that home in Mount Rainier is trying to do something that’s colorful yet still indicates that the occupants in that home are resisting the Trump Administration.

While I have been recuperating, there were two competing rallies regarding SB 1070 in Arizona. One side was protesting in downtown Phoenix, the other side was protesting near where my husband’s step-father lives in suburban Tempe. The downtown Phoenix featured the people who were against SB 1070 and in favor of immigration reform. Naturally the one in Tempe supported SB 1070 and were calling for the deportation of all illegal aliens.

I’m really pissed at that latter rally in Tempe. Ever since my recently deceased mother-in-law remarried and moved to Tempe, I’ve seen first-hand how the suburbanites there routinely hire illegals from Mexico to do the gardening, house painting, pool cleaning, and even child care. These people support SB 1070 while secretly hiring illegal aliens because they are too greedy and cheap to hire U.S. citizens. With U.S. citizens, you are generally required to pay the minimum wage and you also must adhere to laws regarding work hours, occupational safety, and health care—which is something you don’t have to do with illegal aliens. It’s much easier to intimidate an illegal to work longer hours for low pay and fewer benefits than a citizen because an illegal has fewer legal options.

If the suburbanites who were at the Tempe protest would stop hiring illegals, then this problem would go away in a short period of time because people in Mexico would be less likely to make a risky move if there were no jobs available for them. But they are too greedy and self-centered to do so because they want to have their cake and eat it too. And don’t give me that crap about "we need to hire illegals because they do very necessary jobs that U.S. citizens don’t want to do". Given the current high unemployment rate, I’m willing to bet that there are unemployed and underemployed U.S. citizens willing to do the so-called "jobs that U.S. citizens don’t want" that could be hired instead of illegals if it weren’t for the greed and selfishness of the job providers.

This morning I was so tired that I skipped going to the local Episcopalian church that my husband’s step-father belongs to so I could sleep more. The extra rest helped me enough that I was able to walk to the nearby community pool with my husband and do some brief swimming and a little bit of hot tubbing. By the early evening I felt well enough so I was able to go to my husband’s step-brother’s home with my husband and his step-father for a pleasant evening of dinner and conversation.

Unfortunately things took a turn for the worse totally out of the blue. As the three of us were leaving my brother-in-law’s home, my husband’s step-father suddenly fell right on his back on to the floor in the foyer. He was lying there for several minutes totally confused. We managed to get him to sit up only to find blood on the floor where his head was and he was also bleeding on my brother-in-law. At that moment we knew we had to get him to a hospital but he kept on saying "No, I’m fine." Well, my brother-in-law talked him into going to the hospital and he drove him there while my husband and I drove his car back to his house. As of this writing, we are there with my father-in-law’s dog, Jay-Jay, while waiting for word from the hospital. I really hope everything is okay because I really don’t need another sudden family tragedy just two months after my mother-in-law’s sudden death.

As of tomorrow my husband and I will be traveling to Arizona. I know we will be violating that boycott against the state because of its asinine new law that is encouraging police profiling of all Hispanic immigrants regardless of whether they are citizens or not (SB 1070) and its equally asinine newer law prohibiting public schools from teaching the history of non-white ethnic groups (HB 2281). If I had my choice, I would rather honor that boycott but my husband’s recently widowed step-father lives in the state as well as all four of his step-siblings. We are only flying out for the weekend to look in on my father-in-law and go over a few loose ends regarding my late mother-in-law’s estate. While we are there we will look in on my Mexican-American sister-in-law to see how she and her three children are faring since those horrible laws were passed.

If I happened to have any free time while I’m in Arizona, I’ll update this blog. Just keep in mind that if I do so, I won’t be as consistent or prolific as usual. If I end up not having any free time, then I’ll resume writing in this blog after we return and get over the jet lag.

As for my online stores, I’ve just put my Etsy store in vacation mode. My Zazzle store is not directly operated by me so you can still order things from there and get them in a timely fashion.

But it's a dry fascism in Arizona!

Soon after creating the first t-shirt regarding the passage of the new Arizona law (SB 1070), my husband came up with the slogan for another t-shirt. I finally got around to creating a t-shirt around my husband’s idea after I read Sarah Palin’s idiotic quote from yesterday when she said "We’re all Arizonans now." Uh, no, Sarah, we are not all Arizonans. Or at least we are all NOT the white Arizonans who support the police questioning anyone whose skin is darker than caucasian skin and who also support the ban on public schools teaching any kind of ethnic studies class (especially the ones that focus on African Americans, Native Americans, and Latinos).

My husband came up with that slogan based on the "But it’s a dry heat" one that one can frequently find on t-shirts, shot glasses, and other stuff sold in Arizona souvenir shops.

You can now purchase that shirt in a variety of sizes, colors, and prices right here.


Happy May Day! Last May 1 I was attending a Craft Summit in Washington, DC that was put on by Hello Craft when a May Day demonstration just happened to march past the building where the bulk of the conference was held. The demonstrators were in favor of immigrants’ rights and immigration reform. I pulled my portable Insignia video camera out of my purse and shot the march as it passed by.

Since that time, Arizona has passed the most restrictive immigration bill in the country (SB 1070) and it has caused a major uproar. In fact, I heard on the news today that there will be even larger immigration rallies in cities across the country today (including Washington, DC). If it weren’t for the fact that I already have plans to attend a party at a friend’s house today, I would be in DC with the protestors. There are times when I am worried about my Mexican-American sister-in-law, who lives in Phoenix and is at risk for police harassment despite the fact that she is an American citizen and has absolutely NOTHING to do with those Mexican drug gangs who have been slipping into Arizona and kidnapping people in places like Phoenix and Tucson (and whose activities have spurned this harsh law).

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