Friday, April 4, 2008

Moi? En el periodico again?

The final straw that broke my procrastinating back was an article in The Examiner last week about a man who was arrested for threatening to strangle the governor because he's lost his business and then home from being undercut by illegal immigrants in the constructions business. And about Governor O'Malley's push to give $200 million to CASA, a program that houses, prepares, sets up jobs, and generally helps immigrants (no ask, no tell) integrate into American society. As a liberal and a Democrat (the only realistic choice in my opinion, otherwise I'd be a Socialist), I generally go along with throwing money at a "problem" but this is a lot of money and we still have a lot of bridges that need mending, etc. We have so many challenges in this country that could have used all those billions of dollars we've spent on Iraq on things like health care, starving children, schools without trailers (but trailers in Louisiana and Mississippi where they are still needed), music teachers and librarians in schools again, the real estate crisis, and on and on. You can click on the copy of the article below to enlarge so you can read it. Here are a couple of, what I thought, were important opinions of mine that were edited out: Over 25 years ago I worked in restaurants in California and Texas and there were always illegal immigrants working in the kitchens and no one said a thing. It seems to me a lot like wagging the dog since this issue seemed to come out of nowhere a couple of years ago as though, "Iraq? Look-there's an illegal immigrant!". Could just be coincidence but why now, why so long? I am in favor of amnesty and especially for any political or otherwise refuge seeking asylum in this country for fear for themselves and/or their families. I do, however, vacillate when it comes to immigration in general. I certainly can’t judge as I am privileged enough to not be able to imagine what I would or wouldn’t do to have my family survive in the same circumstances. The discussion that Paul and I had before marrying in California started as a disagreement regarding an upcoming proposition in an election proposing English and Spanish be required on all state and federal forms in California. It led into educating illegal immigrant children which my side was that who would benefit by not educating a generation of children becoming members of our society illiterate and unprepared. Even looking at it from a selfish point of view, the benefit of educating every child is better for everyone and society in general. Please excuse how it sounds like I come from a family who owned an escort service! It wasn't supposed to sound like the way it does to me. "Hospitality Professionals" may catch on now as a new p.c., gentler/kinder way to address hookers but for us is was being waitresses and innkeepers-really, we never took money for anything fun!

Praise Be, He's Home!!!!!

Glory be, the day we'd all been waiting for since he left in December finally came last night...Cedric came home from Iraq!!! A little worse for the wear but he's home and he's upright.
Poor guy, he just wanted to slip back into town quietly but his brother Allen, in his excitement, told the mouth of the county-me, the day before. I quickly went into "statewide parade" mode. Running things by oldest son, Andre', and Allen I pared down to big yellow ribbons, alerting the neighbors, and forming a welcoming group for 7:00, his theoretical time of arrival. Allen invited us for dinner to savor the food he'd been working on all day. Justin and I went over about 7:30 to start a vigil, Paul strolled in around 8:00 and by 8:30 we were all getting really jumpy. Andre' was going to call us when they got near but Allen forgot about his cell phone so by the time we got the message and I was headed out the door to gather the neighbors, Cedric was walking toward the door. I hollered to Allen then stepped aside while Allen hurdled couches and chairs to get to his brother and almost hug the rest of life out of him. All the other neighbors had been sitting by their phones in front of their windows so they started streaming in soon after.
Cedric said he had specifically put NO CALL on the paperwork to his C.O. but he temporarily forgot technological advancements because Allen had received word by email. I suppose it could not have been as overwhelming as being under mortar fire in Baghdad but it was a frolicking great celebration except for Cedric coming in and out of looking like he wanted to curl up into the fetal position. We didn't care about him, WE were excited to have him home and we were having a ball.
Here's reason #1 why he didn't take "them" up on the offer to stay for HUGE amounts of money, Alec, just turned 9 a few days ago. This was Cedric's third stint in Iraq, second time to be wounded, and more than a few times to turn down Purple Hearts and other badges of honor. "There are so many people who come home without limbs, eyes, abilities, or not at all...", he says, he doesn't believe in receiving the honors for less. He's really something. Iraq has a new chemical weapon that sounds like something from out of a Sci-Fi movie. It literally melts whatever it hits and they shoot it out of something. Anyway, Cedric's vehicle was hit by it a few days ago and that's all he's saying other than he was hit in the side, they wanted to medivac him out but he refused. He's quite serious about his job, I'm sure that's why he's with special ops. He was supposed to retire in March but with the new backdoor policy that was put into force since he left he'll have to wait and go through hoops of fire to get out. In the meantime we are ready to remove every carburetor in town so he can't go anywhere.
This is Allen, Uncle Allen, the man who took care of the three boys and the home, plus, plus, plus while Cedric was gone. Then cooked up the fab meal we chowed down last night between beers. Allen and Justin got pretty tight recently, they've all become like family to us. I want Cedric to be able to retire easily but that means they move back to Georgia ASAP. I can't even go there for now...