Progress first, then the rant. I finished my bus knitting socks for Older Son today on the way home. I gave them to him and he was as appreciative as ever (which is not much). I will start on some tomorrow for Younger Son from the same grey patterned yarn but with a solid grey for the cuff, heel, and toe (so as to differentiate the pairs).
Here's my progress on the Fairisle scarf. I'm working on what will end up being the largest motif. Turns out that most of the larger Fairisle designs really are 24 stitch repeats (John Allen's are all 24 sts, but I thought he tweaked them to match the 24 sts that fit on the old knitting machine punch cards -- his book is a bit biased to the knitting machine). Live and learn, I'll just use the peerie and border patterns from McGregor, which are all multiples of 6, 7, 8, or 12. So, if you want to knit the "Big" motifs, just cast on 96 sts. (Got that, Heather?) Of course, had I seriously looked at motifs before casting on and knitting I would have know this, but where's the fun in that??
Progress on a different front -- I went shopping for new clothes today, seeing as how I got dressed this morning and realized I was swimming in my clothes (always a good thing) and then my skirt started disintegrating (coming apart at the seam) right before my eyes at work (not so much a good thing). So I bought a new suit -- Get this -- TWO SIZES smaller. Woo Hoo!
RANT COMING.....LEAVE NOW! YOU'VE BEEN WARNED.........
OK, the rant. I was forwarded an e-mail today that claimed to be a petition to be sent to Gov. Schwarzenegger and President Bush calling for a moratorium on "any social services" to "anyone not a citzen of the US". Jeez. Everytime I get one of these things I want to respond with "Gee, you seem like such a nice person, I never realized before what a bigot you were." ARRRGH, I just hate these knee-jerk "I'm an Ammurican" reactions to things. Can't anyone think these things through??? Do I think the immigration system/laws in the US need reformed? Absolutely. Do we have a problem with illegal aliens? You bet. But what is denying people social services going to do?
First off, social services usually means medicaid and welfare. Well, welfare is a drop in the US budget. Less than 1%, if I read the numbers right (I'm looking at the 2006 federal budget). Medicaid, now, is about 1/3 of the budget of the Health and Human Reasources Dept. which is about 1/3 of the Federal budget. So that's what? 1/3 of a 1/3 or 1/9? About 10%. And that's for EVERYBODY. Even if illegal aliens are half of that we're down in the single digits %-wise. (Perspective? We're spending more on the Medicare prescription drug program). Compare that with what we're spending on defense, which is about another 1/3 of the budget (slightly less). BUT, that doesn't include all those "extra" billions allocated to the war. OK now, imagine that we do deny these people health care....What does that do? Well it puts alot of people who are really sick and/or dying out in the public for you and I to deal with. Hello? Do YOU want to see people dropping over dead in the street? Do you want to deal with what they will infect you and yours with? There's a reason the gov't provides access to health care! Yes, it's humanitarian, but it's also for the public good!
Next, what about people who are not citizens but who are here legally? They should be denied social services? My family and I spent time living in a foreign country (legally) where we were not citizens. By this definition we wouldn't have had access to any social services. And what about those people working towards citizenship? It takes years, sometimes decades. So these people get no services for that time? While they're paying taxes?
Come on, people give it a rest! The system/process for becoming an US citizen has become so convoluted and prolonged it's a joke. Unless you are Native American your people were "illegal aliens" too (they certainly didn't have the permission of the current government to come here). Really, we should be grateful this group hasn't decided to act like the last group and decimate us then round the survivors up onto reservations.
Honestly, I don't know what the solution to the immigration problem is. I think illegal immigration, like any illegal activity is wrong. I think stiff fines to businesses who employ illegals should be part of the solution (they're the ones who reap the benefits, here.) As an aside, Dave thinks (half-seriously) we should just annex Mexico. (They all want to be in America? Let's just make where they are America.)
OK, I've said way more than I should about this. I guess in a nutshell what gets me is this response without knowing/caring about all sides of the issue. It's the whole mob mentality and people reacting to what they've been told, not what the facts really are. Gets me every time! Don't even get me started on the whole cup of coffee/frivolous lawsuit thing....
7 years ago