Thursday, November 29, 2007


Still waiting for one of the NPR shows to pick up this story, not holding out for Lou Dobbs to pick it up...

Migrant Thought of Own Kids in Rescue

PHOENIX (AP) - An illegal immigrant who gave up his long walk into the U.S. to help a boy whose mother was killed in a van crash in the desert said Wednesday that he never thought of leaving the child.

"I am a father of four children. For that, I stayed," Manuel Jesus Cordova Soberanes said in Spanish from his home in the Mexican state of Sonora. "I never could have left him. Never."

Authorities said Cordova may have saved the life of 9-year-old Christopher Buztheitner, whose mother was killed when their van ran off a cliff in a remote area north of the Mexican border on Thanksgiving Day.

A spokeswoman for the Mexican consulate in Nogales said the office is working to obtain a short-term visa for Cordova so he can come to Arizona and be recognized for his actions.

The 26-year-old bricklayer was two days into his walk and about 50 miles from Tucson when he saw the boy, who had walked away from the crash.

In a telephone interview with The Associated Press from his home in Magdalena de Kino, Cordova said Christopher had scrapes on his leg and was dressed in shorts despite the desert cold.

The boy had his dog with him and was holding a side mirror from the wrecked van.

Neither Cordova nor Christopher spoke the other's language, but the boy took the migrant to the edge of a canyon and showed him the accident site.

Authorities said Christopher and his mother, 45-year-old Dawn Alice Tomko, had been in the area camping. Tomko was driving on a U.S. Forest Service road when she lost control of the van, which landed 300 feet from the road.

By the looks of the mangled van down below, Cordova said, it was obvious the boy's mother had died. The child was distraught but did not cry.

"I felt frustrated and sad because I couldn't do anything for the mother," Cordova said. "And I didn't know how to console the boy, so I just sat next to him."

Cordova gave the boy the sweater he was wearing, climbed down to the van, and found chocolate and cookies to feed him.

He then built a bonfire, and the two hunkered down. The boy slept most of the night; Cordova kept watch and tended the fire.

Fourteen hours later, a group of hunters found the pair and called for help. U.S. Border Patrol agents took Cordova into custody, and Christopher was flown to a hospital in Tucson.

Christopher was reunited with family over the weekend; a message left with his uncle was not immediately returned Wednesday.

Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada said Cordova is "very, very special and compassionate" and may have saved the boy's life.

Adriana Hoyos Rodriguez, the mayor of Magdalena de Kino, called Cordova a hero. "He left everything to save that boy," she said.

Cordova said he wanted to come to the United States to earn money to feed his four children, who live with their mother, and help support his girlfriend's three children. "I have two families, many mouths to feed," he said.

He said that even though his trip was thwarted, he is glad to be back home and wishes Christopher the best. "I hope he has a good life," he said.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

another news round up

Reaction Updates Included

Since it is my blog, I am posting what I plan to read today... it amuses me to look at the list of things that call out to me.

Barely Getting By and Facing a Cold Maine Winter
just heartbreaking

Vindicated by DNA, but a Lost Man on the Outside
Wow...must read. It's hard to read, to know what "little" mistakes in the name of justice can do to a person's life; it's hard also to see how you can take a person's life without killing him. Hopeful, though, to see someone making his way despite all, one day at a time. For all those people who scorn those who end up back in jail after being exonerated, take a look, attempt to walk two steps in those shoes.

Farmyard Stills Quench a Thirst for Local Spirits
Although initially drawn to this article, I left it for second to last, wondering if I would really have the time or the inclination to actually read it. It was a pleasant surprise, first impressions were right... here's a taste, just in case you are doubting me
In trying to take advantage of generations of his family’s moonshining expertise, Mr. Fox, for instance, had no business plan, no employees and about $100 in his checking account. Only his timing was rich: the national demand for high-end spirits, especially vodka, has soared over the last several years, along with the general consumer craving for products with local flair.

Peace Corps Looks for Older Volunteers
somewhat interesting, you could live without it

Medical Examiner, Differing on Ground Zero Case, Stands His Ground
fascinating case, not truly fascinating article

Immigrant Workers Caught in Net Cast for Gangs

Gay Pastor in the Bronx Could Lose Her Collar
Better than the title implies.

The Geography of Hate
fairly disappointing...the title doesn't really relate to the kind of info in the article

How "What It Takes" Took Me Off Course
Not nearly as interesting as it could have been...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

These stories caught my eye ...

Updates included.

I am catching up with my online NYTimes reading. I am a few days behind, but these are the stories I intend to read today, not sure what they say about where my head is.

Suit Over a Woman's Suicide at an Elite Private Hospital (so, morbid stories do call to me)

The Immigration Wilderness (no surprises here)
Tidbit to make you want to read the whole thing:

We are already seeing what a full-bore enforcement-only strategy will bring. Bias crimes against Hispanic people are up, hate groups are on the march. Legal immigration remains a mess. Applications for citizenship are up, and the federal citizenship agency, which steeply raised its fees to increase efficiency, is drowning in paperwork and delays. American citizens are being caught up in house-to-house raids by immigration agents.

The Real Rudy (ummm...liked the headline, hope I'll like the story)
Update: wow...not at all what I expected... but interesting and thought provoking nonetheless.

As a Life is Celebrated, a Death is Questioned (can't get away from these, the tragedy calls)

Foreign Fighters in Iraq Are Tied to Allies of U. S. (even though I can't really handle any more bad news about our country, I keep reading these)

Western Union Empire Moves Migrant Cash Home (there are so many sides to the immigration issue, got to get to as many as possible)
Update: no small part of keeping world peace...
Last year migrants from poor countries sent home $300 billion, nearly three
times the world’s foreign aid budgets combined.
Killing of Chicago Students Unsettles Campus Life (tragic, just tragic; my interest also is also picqued because my friend goes to school there)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Dems guilty of 'political cowardice' on immigration

I know I said I wasn't going to post whole articles anymore...clearly, I lied. This one is too good to pass up. Emphasis mine, of course. Teresa rocks, by the way.

Teresa Puente/Chicago Sun Times/November 26, 2007
Remember Willie Horton? He was the convicted rapist who was allowed out on a weekend pass and attacked another woman while Michael Dukakis was governor of Massachusetts. Playing to white America's fear of black men, Horton was used in a campaign ad against Dukakis when he ran for president in 1988. It probably cost him the election.

Fast forward almost 20 years. Illegal immigrants are the new Willie Hortons of this campaign season. They are being used to rile up American fears of Mexicans and the Latinization of the United States.

Republicans are having a field day taking a hard line and blaming illegal immigrants for everything wrong with this country. Democrats, afraid they will also lose big, are too sheepish to take a stand on immigration.

"It's a kind of political cowardice," said Joshua Hoyt, executive director of the Illinois oalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. "We need people to speak the truth on these issues and not run scared."

Instead of bashing Republicans, who won't change their hard line on immigration, immigrant advocates are now going after U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel, Democratic chief strategist, who they say has betrayed the immigrant community.

They're furious Emanuel has called immigration the new "third rail of politics," a topic so charged it could result in political death. They are running ads in Spanish, Polish and Korean slamming Emanuel.

"There's a lack of leadership. There's a lack of action," said Young Sun Song, a community organizer with the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center in Chicago.

Emanuel said Democrats will not give up on immigration reform. But immigrant advocates charge he is backtracking. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is doing it, too. First she kind of said yes, then she said no on giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, an idea proposed and then nixed by New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

Clinton and Congress need to stop flip-flopping and propose real solutions. They failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform this year. As a result, we have chaos with states and cities proposing everything from asking landlords to play immigration police to the driver's license proposal.

Yes, we do need secure borders. Nobody is calling for open borders. Yes, we also need comprehensive immigration reform to legalize many of the people who are law-abiding and contributing to our economy. So what's the alternative?

Kick out all the illegal immigrants in a nationwide raid. Practically, that won't work, and it would have a devastating effect on our economy. Are you willing to pay $5 for a head of lettuce? Are you willing to pay $12 for a sandwich? This is the kind of inflation we could see without the illegal immigrant work force.

Another cost: Namby-pamby politicians risk losing the legal immigrant vote.

The number of legal immigrants applying for citizenship doubled to 1.4 million in fiscal year 2007. Many have illegal immigrant relatives and are likely to vote for candidates who support amnesty for their families.

Immigrants and their children are and always will be part of the American fabric. For the first time this year, the Census Bureau found two Latino surnames -- Garcia and Rodriguez -- are among the top 10 most common last names in the United States. In the Chicago area, two-thirds of the Latino population are citizens.

Most Americans are ashamed of the way immigrants have been treated in the past -- from Japanese internment to bigotry against the Irish and the Italians.

We need a real leader to step forward, one who isn't afraid to defend immigrants. We need a leader to remind us how immigrants have -- and will -- strengthen our, and their, homeland.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Will this story make it to Lou Dobbs?

I doubt it very sincerely. So in the interest of balance, I present it to you.

Illegal Immigrant Rescues Boy in Desert
Nov 23, 8:47 PM (ET)By TERRY TANG

PHOENIX (AP) - A 9-year-old boy looking for help after his mother crashed their van in the southern Arizona desert was rescued by a man entering the U.S. illegally, who stayed with him until help arrived the next day, an official said.

The 45-year-old woman, who eventually died while awaiting help, had been driving on a U.S. Forest Service road in a remote area just north of the Mexican border when she lost control of her van on a curve on Thanksgiving, Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada said.

The van vaulted into a canyon and landed 300 feet from the road, he said. The woman, from Rimrock, north of Phoenix, survived the impact but was pinned inside, Estrada said.

Her son, unhurt but disoriented, crawled out to get help and was found about two hours later by Jesus Manuel Cordova, 26, of Magdalena de Kino in the northern Mexican state of Sonora.

Unable to pull the mother out, he comforted the boy while they waited for help.

The woman died a short time later.

"He stayed with him, told him that everything was going to be all right," Estrada said.

As temperatures dropped, he gave him a jacket, built a bonfire and stayed with him until about 8 a.m. Friday, when hunters passed by and called authorities, Estrada said. The boy was flown to University Medical Center in Tucson as a precaution but appeared unhurt.

"We suspect that they communicated somehow, but we don't know if he knows Spanish or if the gentleman knew English," Estrada said of the boy.

"For a 9-year-old it has to be completely traumatic, being out there alone with his mother dead," Estrada said. "Fortunately for the kid, (Cordova) was there. That was his angel."

Cordova was taken into custody by Border Patrol agents, who were the first to respond to the call for help. He had been trying to walk into the U.S. when he came across the boy.

The boy and his mother were in the area camping, Estrada said. The woman's husband, the boy's father, had died only two months ago. The names of the woman and her son were not being released until relatives were notified.

Cordova likely saved the boy, Estrada said, and his actions should remind people not to quickly characterize illegal immigrants as criminals.

"They do get demonized for a lot of reasons, and they do a lot of good. Obviously this is one example of what an individual can do," he said.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I was hoping it would just pop up perfectly, but the text is hard to read.

Here's what it says...

I have been counting my blessings.

The greatest of these are my friends.

Have a wonderful holiday!

But, if you click on the picture, you have the power to make it bigger.

Readers = friends
even if you are a lurker... I lurk plenty of blogs and feel as close to those bloggers as I do to some of my friends.

Cleaning out the drafts folder...

There are a lot of stories I bookmarked to write about... it doesn't look like I will have time to write about it and I am tired of posting the whole article, so these are just pointers.

Some are for reading.

Hope this link still works, this story was very satisfying.

Some are for listening.

And, then, there is the story of the half-marathon.

There are more recent drafts, but they haven't made it all the way to the computer yet.

Oh, and there are EVEN older drafts... I guess I will have to work on those soon.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Alexander and I Need to Compare Notes...

You know those mornings when you wake up and the little voice says, stay home. It's not quite a premonition. In fact, it feels like that inner teenager just wanting to be a slacker. So, you drag yourself out of bed and face the day when you really should have stayed put.

The pounding headache should have made a greater impression on me, but since I had a doctor's appointment at noon to the bus stop and waited and waited and waited. Finally a bus appears, and I realized that I didn't have my bus pass... only one five dollar bill. In all that waiting I could have A) walked the rest of the way to work, or B) bought something to break that bill. I checked my change purse and there were exactly the number of quarters I needed for the bus fare... seven. Magic. I guess I was meant to be on my way to work.

I barely made it to the appointment on time, just poor planning, I guessed. When I got there, it turns out there was a pile of paperwork problems. Fifteen or twenty minutes, the physical therapist decided we should have the appointment anyway because who knew when there would be another one available. I thought maybe my luck was turning around. When I went to pay the copay, I realized that I had left my debit/bank card in the atm this morning.

I spent quite a bit of time trying to cancel my card and finding out I would have to wait two weeks to get a new one and that it would cost me... on the other hand, no one had picked it up and charged my life away... now that debit cards can be used as visa's with just a swipe, my entire savings could have been blown at McDonalds. Looking for silver linings...

I decided to take my sore neck to the masseuse. The first place had no appointments available, but the second did. Score. Now my luck was really turning around. I felt so good after the massage, I went grocery shopping, did some laundry and bought myself the first food I had eaten all day. I was happy to be putting the bad day behind me.

Then a knock at my door... a neighbor coming to tell me that a bus had just hit my car and took off. Lucky that I have neighbors who know who I am, notice what is going on outside and bother to call the police. I met the sheriff at my car... I had to take the parking spot on the street today, the one I resist just because other cars have been hit. Usually it is because they are driving too fast and can't negotiate the bump. This was some bus driver who took a wrong turn and was trying to make a three point turn on my teeny tiny street.

I resisted the temptation to march down to the store and buy myself dessert. I met some nice neighbors and had positive interaction with law enforcement. Not sure how I will get to Thanksgiving, but I am sure it will all work out in the end. It certainly was the icing on the cake.

Next time, I wake up with that feeling that I should stay home, I will.

Monday, November 05, 2007


Does thinking about blogging, checking the counter stats or just checking to see that the blog is still there count as blogging?

Because if it does, then I have been blogging up a storm.

Seriously...I have at least five drafts started...and at least another thirteen in my head.

Soon...some or all will make it to the published stage.

I am saying is somewhat publicly to try to force myself to do it.