The real story behind immigration


People who get beyond their xenophobia and take the time to fully understand the immigration debate recognize that the most effective way to curtail illegal immigration is to crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants with penalties and pass additional laws making it much harder to hire illegal immigrants.  In no great surprise, it turns out that the Bush administration is not all that interested in cracking down.  Turns out Bill Clinton's administration was much more interested in penalizing the hiring of illegal aliens:

“Between 1999 and 2003, work-site enforcement operations were scaled
back 95 percent by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which
subsequently was merged into the Homeland Security Department. The
number of employers prosecuted for unlawfully employing immigrants
dropped from 182 in 1999 to four in 2003, and fines collected declined
from $3.6 million to $212,000, according to federal statistics.

In 1999, the United States initiated fines against 417 companies. In 2004, it issued fine notices to three.”


Why should this be?  Quite simple really.  The Bush administration has had to choose between the big businesses who fund the Republican party and profit from cheap, illegal labor, and the populist elements who want the immigration crackdown.  As with most things in politics, so far the money has won out.  What is making the immigration interesting right now, is that the one time money does not win out is when there is intense popular opinion mobilized in the other direction.  I think it is safe to say we've got that now.  The thing is, though, it seems like most of that intense opinion is more focused on the actual border and keeping immigrants out than on the employers who are basically enablers of the current system (haven't heard calls for boycotts of major hotel chains or for meat produced in the typical immigrant-heavy labor force slaughterhouse, yet).  Thus, I am truly interested to see how this all plays out. 

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Hand preference– written on your head

So apparently whether you are left-handed or right-handed is closely tied to the genes that control whether the hair on the crown of your head swirls clockwise or counter-clockwise.  If you have a clockwise hair whorl there is a 90% chance you are right-handed and if you have counter-clockwise whorl it is 50-50 that you are a lefty (Turns out that Alex is counter-clockwise.  I've always assumed he's right-handed, but I'm watching a little more closely now).  This website explains the genetics of it quite nicely.  As with most cool science factoids I've learned of late, this one comes to me courtesy of the Quirks and Quarks podcasts.  Check it out.   

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