Tuesday, July 31, 2007

This Is Both Sad And Comforting

Oscar the Cat Predicts Patients' Deaths - so this hospice cat curls up to people right before they kick the bucket. Staff has taken to calling family members when the cat chooses the next patient, so the family can come say good-bye.

Ha!

So, SF tries to steal water too. I knew it.

Offending Voters Also Makes For Bad Challenges

Former SF supervisor and charmer Matt Gonzalez won't run for mayor again, because:

In an interview with The Chronicle Monday, Gonzalez said polling showed voters seem to be complacent about the problems the city faces and do not hold Newsom accountable for those ills -- two factors that would be nearly impossible to overcome as a challenger.
Wow, is that offensive to voters. He encouraged others to get into the race though. If they want to deal with the complacency, I suppose. Barf.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Test Your Patriotism - Compare Old, New Citizenship Tests

Interesting article on the proposed changes to USCIS's citizenship exam.

Here's the current exam. And here's the new exam.

Some examples:

Now:
Q: How many branches are there in the United States government?

A: There are 3 branches.


Soon:
Q: Why do we have three branches of government?

A: So no branch is too powerful.
Ya hear that, current administration?

Of course, it's good that this question from the old exam is being changed, since it conflicts greatly with the way Bush seemed to characterize the First Branch's relationship to war in this morning's news conference:

Question 71. What group has the power to declare war?

A71. Congress has the power to declare war.
And the Federalist Papers get a question (well, maybe, since they are still deciding on the final 100 questions out of a larger list of contenders). That should make a good Stag or Athena smile appreciatively. I'd like to see a fill in the blank: "Ambition must be made to counteract ______________."

And I want to know if inventor of the bifocal and Franklin stove count for this question:

95. Name one thing Benjamin Franklin is famous for.
A:U.S. diplomat
A:Oldest member of the Constitutional Convention
A:First Postmaster General of the United States
A:Writer of "Poor Richard's Almanac"

The new version doesn't seem vastly different, but it certainly aims more toward indoctrination over mere facts. That's not a wholly bad thing - though since political philosophy nuances will get lost in the shuffle, it makes this gov major wince a bit every now and again. Like this one:

26. Who does a U.S. Representative represent?

A: All people of the district
Were the answer only that simple!

Please Accept This Flower . . . .

Hundreds of Green Card seekers stuck in admin hell flooded USCIS's office with bouquets of flowers, inspired by Gandhi to peacefully protest recent DHS mismanagement of immigration processes.

This graf got to me:

But they are weary of how their lives have been frozen in time. They must retain the same job title and income they had when they began the application process, which can last for eight years.
Our national relationship with the immigrant identity - both as imagined and as realized - is so terribly at odds with our policies . . . .

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Donate

Not money or time. Organs. The man profiled in this article about organ donation in minority communities was in my fellow class in the Assembly Fellowship Program. He's a good guy. I hope he gets the kidney he needs.

Visit Donate Life for more information on becoming an organ donor.

Stupid Burners

Don't vote for this dude who wants to see the destruction of the Bow & Arrow sculpture on San Francisco's Embarcadero.

That happens to be my favorite piece in the city.

Yet another example of why Burning Man is the best time to visit San Francisco. Because all the Burners are elsewhere.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Who Needs Coverage Of Stuff Like the State Legislature Anyway?

I can't believe I missed this in last week's Roundup:

And layoffs continued to ravage the Capitol press corps yesterday. The San Jose Mercury News released 40 employees Monday, including Sacramento reporter Kate Folmar. Steve Maviglio writes in the California Majority Report:

"I've been on the receiving end of Kate's daily probe for Capitol gossip and info. Try as I often might, I sometimes was stopped in my spin tracks with Kate's no-nonsense-get-to-the-point-you're-full-of-it comebacks. And just about every conservation has a patented "ok, what else do you have," as she tried to get a unique angle to the many straightforward stories that eminate from the capitol on a daily basis. I'll miss those calls -- unless, I hope, another big city major newspaper adds her to their staff."

Hear, hear.
What the hell, Merc? Badly done.

Monday, July 02, 2007

'Today' Show Biased Against Legal Immigrants

Well, there goes one reality show-like opportunity I would've actually enjoyed:

Each applicant, of a couple submitting an Application, must be at least 21 years of age as of July 2, 2007;
No whammy . . .

The couple submitting an Application must have become engaged to be married prior to June 2, 2007 (i.e., at least one month prior to July 2, 2007);
No whammy . . .

Each applicant must be a legal resident of the United States and must have a valid United States passport;
Whammy.