Sunday, December 27, 2009

Illegal Aliens in Arizona

Recently when I was driving back home from work and listening to KJAZ, the Phoenix, NPR station, they had a story about a gentleman, Walt Staton, who was fined for littering.

But this is not the issue at hand (Arizona doesn't have a lot of earth-shaking news but their news agencies can do better than a mere littering case). Staton was fined littering because he and others were putting water bottles out in the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in Southern Arizona, along a well-known illegal alien border crossing path. This story plays right into the illegal alien debate - but to me this is more of a humanitarian issue.

As the bleeding heart liberal that I am, I side with Staton. I see nothing wrong with providing water to illegal aliens who have already crossed the border. To give or not give water is not going to stop illegal aliens from coming over. I guess those who are vehement that all illegal aliens are bad could argue that if there is the threat of dehydration and death, it will stop people from crossing. I have seen nothing to support this nonsensical argument. To most of these illegal aliens death is a threat they face daily be it on either side of the border. The larger issue could be that border patrol should stop this crossing in the first place.

Yet, getting back to the main point of this post, I just think it is basic human decency to provide water to these suffering souls. I don't see it encouraging illegal immigrants. As American's we fight for human rights around the world and this is human rights, to not allow these poor people to die out in the middle of the desert.

I am sure many will disagree (in Arizona, a very Republican state, illegal aliens are treated like dirt and many would say let them parish in the desert like dogs), but this is how I feel and in light of the holidays and the spirit of the Prophet Jesus PBUH, perhaps we can extend this kindness to those who desperately need it.

“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets." (Matthew 7:12)

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true servants of your Lord in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else?" (Matthew 5:43-47 )

To read more about the incident in question -

Monday, December 21, 2009

Traveling Round Ireland with a Fridge and Irish Rental Car Companies

I read this interesting book about a guy who travels around the country of Ireland with a fridge. The title of the book is aptly named "Traveling Round Ireland with a Fridge," by Tony Hawk.

The whole concept is that this guy is a comedian and one drunken night makes a bet with a friend that he could hitchhike around Ireland with a mini fridge (you know the type college students typically have). Once sober he decides to go through with the bet.

The story is quite funny actually, though it helps a lot that Hawks is a comedian and writes as one also! The tale of the bet catches the attention of a radio DJ who is popular around all of Ireland and Hawk gets to give daily reports of his whereabouts and any adventures that ensured the day before. This helps Hawk get A LOT of rides, from beat-up trucks to car rentals in Ireland.

It is a quick read, if you are traveling this holiday season, as I am, I recommend reading this book - plus it will help put into perspective all the aggravation that is the flying/driving experience during the holidays, you know crying kids, overbooked flights, snow, etc.

*You wouldn't have problems though if you had this Dublin Airport Car Hire!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Amy Adams, Leap Year and Irish Car Hire Companies

Has anyone seen the previews for that new Amy Adams film? It is called Leap Year. I am a big fan of Amy Adams and I do love all things United Kingdom, and finally as this film is a romance – I’m going to be waiting in line to see this movie! It comes out the first week of January (if anyone else is interested in waiting in line with me, hint, hint).

The premise of the movie is that Amy Adam’s character wants to get married, but her boyfriend goes off to Ireland for some work instead of purposing to her. She nurses her woes in a bar where she meets an old Irish gentleman who says its an Irish legend that women can propose to men on February 29th, during a leap year (hence the title). The movie than finds Adams in Ireland rushing to get to her earnest while boyfriend, circumstances threaten to derail her plan but with the help of a nice guy (introduce the hero we are rooting for) she does make her cross-country destination (but of course the car the hero takes breaks, forcing the hero and heroine to spend more time together to get to where they are going and hilarity and romance ensues).

Yes the whole thing is quite far-fetched, but isn’t that what Hollywood is all about, particularly in this recession? We need something that will take us away from our everyday woes, no? This movie has already got me salivating for travel….to Ireland no less! I have sent away for my passport and started to look into air tickets, hotels and car hire Ireland. Of course this is all contingent on me getting a proper job.

Either way I am definitely going to see the movie, were I will be cheering on the Irish looking Amy Adams to go for the good guy (who is Irish, come on, this is a no-brainer, go with the guy with the sexy accent!) and booing for the bad guy (dull staid American boyfriend) while soaking in all the beautiful Irish background!

*Just think if Adams character had considered a Dublin Airport car hire what the story would have been then?? (though I like the look of these car hire guys -, yowzeers!).

Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday fun!

Just some winter funny....with the holiday season in full swing, thought we could all use a laugh!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Moon Actress

Rather than speaking about something that gets me upset (the Amanda Knox - Meredith Kercher murder in Italy story), I wanted to bring to attention this actress, Anna Kendrick.

I am impressed with her. She was one of the few good spots in the first Twilight movie. She can act!! (Sadly the same cannot be said for some of the main stars of that film series). I just noticed Ms. Kendrick in the previews for the new George Clooney movie. So while her Twilight co-stars do dopey stunts that land them in silly entertainment magazines and while they are filled with inflated senses of self and their worth (based on what I would like to ask them??) Anna Kendrick is building up an impressive film resume and making important Hollywood connections. All I can say to that go girl!!!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Big News for St. Alban's!

The picture above is of St. Alban's Church of England in Copenhagen. Long time readers to this blog will recognize this as the location where I went to Sunday services during my time in Copenhagen (spring 2008). I keep in touch with a good friend from my time at St. Alban's, his name is Peter (older gentleman, more like my grandfather, very sweet and kind). He recently wrote me with BIG NEWS regarding St. Alban's......

On Sunday December 13th, at St. Alban's of Copenhagen, the Archbishop of Canterbury will be the preacher and preside over the communion!!!!

What I wouldn't give to be in Copenhagen for that!! It happens to coincide with the Climate Change conference, so I suspect that is the prime reason for the Archbishop being in Copenhagen. But what a coup for the church!! I would LOVE to hear his sermon, oh to think, I could have been sitting in those pews listening to such a great person (I'd like to think as a regular church-goer I would have gotten a reserved pew seat, I was there every Sunday except Easter, when I was out of town). I am so envious of my friend Peter, he always took Eucharist (while I sat in the pew), so to think Peter will get to meet the Archbishop of Canterbury up close and personal!!! I wonder what his sermon will be about (13 of December falls right in Advent so probably something related to that, no?).

I am so happy for all my friends at St. Alban's, the church provided me with many a comforting start to the day and a warm cup of tea, they deserve all the happiness in the world!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Swiss Vote

This weekend's decision in Switzerland to vote to ban minarets on Muslim mosques scares me.

I just finished the book, "Sarah's Key" about the French roundup of its Jewish citizens in Paris and surrounding towns, in July 1942. The book is amazingly moving and makes you feel the despair of those days by those who were directly affected (additiionally the book is a great read, I finished it in one day, I couldn't put it down, for the first 150 pages it is moving at a rapid speed).

After reading this book and in light of what has happened in Switzerland, I wonder if much in thinking and attitude has really changed in Europe? It seems to me that in some European countries, people have forgotten the lessons of the Holocaust, the evils of intolerance, ignorance, injustice and indifference; given a few adjustments and this time it would be Muslims instead of Jews being rounded up and killed?

fyi - minarets are part of the entire religion, it is the point from where the call to prayer is given.