The Daily Radical

June 6, 2007, 1:23 pm

In an effort to keep up yesterday’s momentum on book revisions, I am limiting today’s blogging to pruning, adding links and what I believe is a phrase originally arising at New Kid on the Hallway: “random bullets of crap.” (Thursday update: I’m told these random bullets were first named by Ianqui.) So without the bullets (which, as an anti-war Radical, I will pretend is a gesture towards ideological consistency — OK, I admit it, I don’t know how to do bullets), here goes:

Added links are: Mary Dudziak’s Legal History Blog, Adjunct Whore’s Narratives, and that terrific medievalist squadratomagico. Why no one else? I told you — I’m trying to keep up momentum! And I am generally lazy about links.

A small bit of happiness and political progress has come our way in Shoreline. The Board of Aldermen voted Monday to provide official identification cards to illegal immigrants so that they can identify themselves to police, open bank accounts, get driver’s licenses and function like the law-abiding people they generally are: read about it here. Police in Shoreline (a legendarily uneven lot who are dealing with a federal corruption probe at present) are already operating under instructions not to question people they stop about their immigration status, which helps them investigate crimes and protect everyone from felons on the loose. This new law will give people living here illegally the basic tools to protect themselves from violence and exploitation, although — for those small people who seem to view this as a free ride for the undocumented — they will not be protected from poverty, hard work, lack of health care, poor housing and low wages. Despite this, already there are howls going up around the nation that our city is providing a “safe haven” for immigrants. Well, yes. And what are we trying to keep immigrants safe from? Violence by people who are already citizens who stalk, beat, torture and rob them, knowing that an illegal immigrant keeps a lot of cash around (no bank account) and will not call the police or testify against them if the police are called (threat of deportation.) And employers who promise to pay workers and then don’t because the workers are entirely powerless. You see why in Shoreline the status of illegal immigrants does not appear to be precisely the ethical issue it is cracked up to be in Arizona.

Honestly, I have never understood why illegal immigration was such a big deal anyway. Why *not* let everybody come? It certainly made the nineteenth century interesting.

Anyone see that our very own Dean Dad now seems to be a regular featured columnist (blogumnist?) at Inside Higher Ed? I learned this by checking the “referrals” on my site meter, which I do regularly to see where I am being picked up. I never claimed not to be a narcissist, fans of the Radical. This is not only good for Dean Dad — he who is a smart cookie, entertaining and a great writer — but good for academic blogging in general, if you ask me.

In a final note, did anyone see this article in the New York Times by Samuel Freedman about little Kevin Robinson of Doylestown, PA? Robinson is pictured at left, in a picture stolen from the Times. According to Freedman, Robinson got into a good college by basically doing nothing at all except minding his p’s and q’s. No test prep, no worries, no college essay written by his Mom. The moral of the story is: maybe refusing to stress out about getting into college is ok after all. How is it that, since I support the sentiment that college admissions should not be so stressful and that the kid seems like a sweetie pie, I find the story itself so noxious? I dunno. Maybe because I don’t think that it is the fault of students, or even their parents (who should probably know better), that the college admissions process is so horrid. It is the fault of the colleges, Samuel. How about doing a story about a college that doesn’t market itself as God’s gift to higher education, and that admits most of its applicants so the students are not forced to market themselves as God’s gift to higher education?

Such a crabby Radical. OK, back to the book.

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