Jill Carroll was freed by her Iraqi captors in Iraq today, so there' something to feel happy about if you were looking for a pick-me-up. Apparently she was never harmed or even threatened while in captivity, although the strain of living in captivity with an uncertain future was understandably hard on her. Carrol was captured January 7th in an ambush in Baghdad during which her translator was killed, but her driver escaped.
What else.....? Man, Steanso has been working a lot and not doing a whole lot else this week, so there's not a lot jumping out at me that seems particularly blogworthy. I just got tickets for Weedo, Crackbass, the Pea, and I to go see James Brown at Stubbs on May 10th, so hopefully that'll be a good show. I know that Mr. Brown is probably a little past his prime, but he's famous for touring with really good bands, and the people who saw him at the rodeo here a couple of years ago said he put on a really good show. I just gotta see the Godfather of Soul before he hangs up his cape. You other Adventurers should get tickets and join us for the show.
By the way, there's all kids of controversy brewing over proposed changes with immigration laws. Steanso hasn't commented much on this because he has very mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, Steanso's grandfather on his mother's side immigrated into this country illegally back in the early part of the last century after leaving Finland in search of a better job and a better life (he rode into the U.S. on a truck coming in from Canada and then got a job working as a lumberjack, if memory serves). Later, he was made a citizen during some kind of amnesty period for illegal immigrants which was established by the federal government. My maternal grnadmother entered the country legally from Finland through Eliis Island, but at a time when restrictions on immigration were much less strict than they are today.
So coming from a family of immigrants, I kind of understand where they're coming from (metaphorically). Steanso's grandparents came to this country wanting nothing more than a better life and a chance to make things better for themselves and the families that they hoped to raise.
On the other hand, the practical consequences of the massive amount of illegal immigration seem to have the potential to be quite damaging. The number of foreign nationals crossing our borders unchecked raises legitimate issues regarding national security, and the costs of healthcare, education, and other social services for millions of undocumented workers (many of who are not paying taxes) puts a drag on the economy and our social services infrastructure. It probably sounds callous, but it's hard enough to fund the public education system to pay for schools for the children of citizens who are here legitimately and who are paying taxes. Paying for schooling for millions of undocumented immigrants who don't necessarily pay taxes is simply a daunting prospect.
So we can offer some form of citizenship to the people who are already here illegally- get them registered and have them start contributing to the tax base- but that doesn't answer the question of how to control our borders or what to do about the overall immigration question.
And I don't know the answer. It seems that immigration needs to be controlled in some kind of manageable way in order to protect our security and our economy, but I don't know what the answer is. I don't think we can let massive amounts of unchecked immigration continue without it eventually having a negative effect on the economy (once we have our next true economic recession or a significant slowdown that results in greater unemployment, I think there will be a lot more people who are unhappy about "lower level" jobs being filled by illegal workers). I don't know, I don't know.