Gringo Manaba

Adventuras y Fantasias or Fantastical Adventures

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Archive for March 8th, 2006

Subdermal Implants – More Than Skin Deep

Posted by glasscastle on 8th March 2006

Subdermal
implants have become popular in the community of extreme body modification.
The process creates a raised area on the skin in a shape
of the artist’s
choosing. The effect is dramatic: Implants can be most any form you can
think of, from Star Trek ridges and small horns, to little stars and hearts
sprayed across the chest. Many people with body modifications have combined
their implants with tattoos to create often beautiful or terrible effects.

article and slideshow from Wired

Posted in Wacky News | 9 Comments »

America’s Secret Treasure

Posted by glasscastle on 8th March 2006

WASHINGTON — The number of illegal immigrants in the United States
has grown to as many as 12 million, and they now account for about one
in every 20 workers, according to an estimate by an offshoot of the Pew
Research Center for the People and the Press.

Efforts to curb illegal immigration have not slowed the pace, said a report
yesterday by the organization, the Pew Hispanic Center.

Instead, the report’s author said, those efforts are having an unintended
consequence: People who illegally enter the United States from Mexico are
staying longer because it is harder than ever to move back and forth across
the border.

from the Boston Globe

The human pipeline bringing working class immigrants into the United
States will never be shut down, as long as the US lasts. It’s been there
since the very beginning, served as the lifeblood and savior of the nation
time and again, and cannot be shut off like a faucet when the tub is full.

These people come here for the same reasons all of our forebears came
here – to work. And work they do, sometimes two or three jobs, staying
afloat here and supporting family members stuck in inefficient and under-performing
economies in the Third World. Almost all of them work for low wages, minimum
or lower,

In addition, most of them are cheated out of taxes and other deductions.
For those who use false ID or social security , their payroll deductions
are eventually retained by the state and federal governments. They do
not get tax rebates or earned income tax credits. Often, unscrupulous employers
keep the deductions, and the illegals, off the books and pocket the difference.

The bottom line, besides the fact that this is the way America has always
worked, is that we need these workers and they need the jobs. The American
underclass has found other ways to survive – off family members, public
entitlement, disabilities, real and imagined, the informal economy (drugs,
sex, gypsy cabs, gambling, Nigerian money laundering, other scams).  They
won’t take these cleaning, gardening, child care, lifting and loading type
jobs.

But so what? The bottom rung of the ladder has always been reserved
for strapping, hard-working foreigners. It’s Darwinian.  In those
dead end economic cesspools these people come from, it is the smart,
the ambitious, and the risk-takers who have the guts to give up all they
have known and come here. Generally, the young men come first, unmarried,
not yet having sunk roots in the old country. Perfect for long hours
of physical labor.

Then, when they get here, the winnowing continues. The weak and the
wimps wash out, and slink back over the border.  But the best and
the brightest have found out America’s real secret, that in this country
hard work is rewarded, and that when combined with a combination of innovative
thinking, self-promotion and pluck anything is possible and the sky’s
the limit.

At the bottom of the current controversy is a strain of racism and economic classism. Illegal
immigration among the middle and upper classes continues unabated as
well, and gets almost no attention. We are talking about the millions
of aliens who come in every year through the airports. Folks who enter
on a 3 month tourist visa and stay 3 years, students on S-1 visas who
get jobs after graduating and never change their status, business people,
disgraced politicos, international criminals, who arrive here with money,
buy houses or condos, and quietly melt into the background.

The Dowbrigade likens the current flood of immigration to the underground
railroad operating in the United States before and during the Civil War.
In fact, in a purely fictional way, the Dowbrigade has served as a way
station on that railroad, hosting a steady stream  of Norma’s Yvonne’s
nieces who are now firmly enmeshed in the American pastiche.

We are all immigrants in America. We are all guests on this earth.

Posted in Prose Screeds | Comments Off on America’s Secret Treasure