Monthly Archives: May 2010

Happy Mother’s Day, Arva Orr

Forty years ago.

Statue to be unveiled today.


Britain goes to the polls

Guardian: Did Sun Photoshop Page 3 girls’ underwear Tory blue?

The Sun, champions of women everywhere, urges its readers to “Save these girls from the dole tomorrow”. It’s talking of course about today’s page three feature, which features no fewer than 16 topless women.

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Guardian: Election Day front pages gallery

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AFP: Voters cast ballots in pubs

Locals who would normally pop into The Anglesea Arms pub for a pint of Broadside, Brakspear or Wandle ale were instead making the much more serious decision of who should represent them in parliament.

Regular punters poured into the boozer in plush South Kensington to choose their MP rather than their main course as they sidled into the half-dozen voter booths in what is normally the restaurant section.

One mother trooped in with her three children, all wearing their school uniform of navy blue blazers and straw boater hats.

Outside, the Conservative teller, wearing a blue rosette and a smart suit, took a risk by leaving his overcoat under the freshly-watered hanging baskets of pansies.

“I think I’m very fortunate to be able to vote in the pub,” said the retired Judy Carter, whose home overlooks the alehouse. “I think I’ll be popping in for a drink later on.

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Telegraph election coverage

Times election coverage

The Spectator Coffeehouse

Sea Lion Hall wishes you a Happy Cinco de Mayo

Charley “Sea Lion” Hall, pictured here warming up for the Red Sox in 1913, was born Carlos Clolo, of Mexican parentage, in Ventura, Calif.

As far as the ‘Sea Lion’ name, the only thing I ever heard was, ‘he had the voice of a walrus.’ ~ a baseball historian quoted at Wikipedia

Sea Lion Hall they used to call him. He had a raucous penetrating voice like a fog horn at sea, and when he roared, especially from the coaching lines, you could hear him all over the stands.

Hall pitched in the big leagues….when inelegant players referred to Charley as ‘the Greaser.’ He didn’t mind Sea Lion, rather relished it, but Greaser was a fighting word, and Charley was in plenty of fights. He capitalized on his ability with his fists and in handling rough customers. ~ The baseball writer Fred Lieb, quoted in a history of the St. Paul Saints

Image: Library of Congress

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The author Richard Rodriguez, himself of Mestizo (Indian and Spanish) descent, offers a fascinating and very useful perspective on the immigration controversy in his essay “Mexicans in America”:

Hispanic. In all the video footage I have seen of people crossing illegally from Mexico, of people arrested, the faces look more Indian than Spanish. Most of the illegal immigrants from Mexico may be mestizo, racially, but Indian features predominate. And isn’t that curious? The Indians are illegally coming into the United States. Indians will always wander in the Americas and they should.

Elsewhere he says:

I keep trying to tell people that Los Angeles is already the largest Indian city in the U.S., that there are Toltecs playing Little League baseball in Pasadena, Mayans making beds at the Marriott in Westwood, and Chichimecs driving buses in L.A. Los Angeles is a majority-Indian city. Of course, since we don’t see the Indian as a living figure — having turned the Indian into a kind of mascot for the ecology movement, a symbol of prehistory — we can’t see the Indian among us. But what really terrifies Americans right now is the prospect that the Indian is very much alive, that the Indian is having nine babies in Guatemala, and that those nine babies are headed this way. This is one reason why Americans hold on so dearly to the myth of the dead Indian.

Again, Richard Rodriguez — very much worth a read:

“A View from the Melting Pot”

“Mexicans in America”

Suppliant to the Queen of Heaven

Bette Davis as Carlota, Empress of Mexico, in Juarez (1939)

Mr & Mrs Al Smith

My South Boston grandmother looked a lot like Mrs Smith. (Library of Congress)

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His campaign song, ‘The Sidewalks of New York,’ still moves me as ‘Dixie’ moves a Southerner.

~ Dean Acheson, A Democrat Looks at His Party, 1955

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And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his gods?

~ Thomas Babington Macaulay

American Liberty as Goddess of Youth

Edward Savage. Liberty in the Form of the Goddess of Youth, Giving Support to the Bald Eagle. Philadelphia: Edward Savage, June 11, 1796.

Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

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The Jury Box never has liked the spirit he perceives underlying the anti-immigration movement, and doesn’t like it now.

This space agrees with John Salmon:

Unlike most of my conservative brethren, I am not obsessed with illegal aliens-who, as it must be noted again and again, are not felons, even if AZ thinks they are. (Bet it doesn’t hold up in court).

Why would we think it is some kind of grave offense against mankind to want to improve the well-being of yourself and your family? As a Christian I am concerned about those who seem to want to seal the borders, as if that were possible, against the poor. I guess we Catholics are typically more open-minded than evangelicals on this point.

But with the amnesty-loathing crowd, it always comes back to BUT THEYRE HERE ILLEGALLY!

So what? Change the law. Make them legal. Make them pay taxes, and a small fine if you like. But make them Americans.

This is largely what America exists to do, to make opportunity available for the less-fortunate. My Grandfather (maternal) came over on a boat, from Italy, and included with his contingent were various “uncles” who were no such thing, but claimed to be, to evade immigration law. Is this a stain on my family’s history? Hardly.

All of these “relatives”, whatever their origin, made good on the American Dream. I think the vast bulk of Mexicans and others who come here want to do the same. What’s the problem?

The problem is that a lot of people just don’t want them here. This is the one area where liberals’ accusations of racism, so easily tossed about, make sense. As more than a few people have pointed out, were the illegals Canadian, I doubt there’d be much of an uproar.