Wednesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

Immigration reform has been on my mind. Two House Republicans so far — Jeff Denham of California and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida — have signed onto a Democrat-led bill that is both fair and tough. This is an issue near and dear to my heart as I am the daughter of an immigrant and I work as a campaign associate on this issue. For the first time this rough political year, I am going to say that I am seeing a glimpse of hope…

In the meantime, I bawled when I saw this music video by American soul singer Aloe Blacc featuring real-life DREAMers — undocumented youth brought to this country at a young age. Please do watch it, but have the tissues handy!

Finally, I just finished another compelling read: And Hell Followed Her: Crossing the Dark Side of the American Border by David Neiwert. Neiwert, a journalist, author and expert in right-wing extremism, is the senior editor of the popular political blog Crooks and Liars.

In his most recent book, he did an impressive amount of on-the-ground research and wrote an exposé on the anti-immigrant vigilante group the Minute Men. They have largely been discredited because of an internal civil war and also the death of a 9-year-old Hispanic American girl in Arizona at the hands of hit men ringed by a Minute Men activist.

The murder of 9-year-old Brisenia Flores is one that I have not read much about outside of Latino circles. I am grateful to Neiwert for covering details of her life that I had never read anywhere else, the horrendous details leading up to her death and the trial itself which was covered only by local press and the Daily Beast. Two people ended up with death penalty verdicts against them, a third with life in prison without the possibility of parole, and a fourth man is still at-large.

Neiwert is a gifted writer in that he had this tired mama staying up late and turning pages. He did a beautiful job of detailing the Flores families’ lives, that of their murderers and the town in which they lived. I’ve been telling my husband and those around me to read this book. I hope you will, too.

What’s on your night table? What else is in the news? What’s up with you?


Wednesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

Lately our Dana over at Mombian has published some great stories on the state of adoption by gay parents. I was especially blown away by the fact that gay parents are more common in the south than anywhere else in the United States.

Our Katy over at Non-Toxic Kids reviewed a book about raising children in the age of environmental guilt. She also doled out 7 practical tips on how to enhance your child’s school performance. Katy is a teacher and has written a book about teachers, by the way.

Blogging mommas are on fire this week. Laurie Puhn over at the Expecting Words blog had a couple good columns about the importance of not neglecting your marriage. She mentioned the importance of not-so-little things like thanking your mate for taking out the trash.

In related news, Carolyn Hax had the same to thing to say in a similar conversation. This is how she summed it up: “marriage + kids + work + housework = love-killing drudgery. I think you are dooming your marriage if you’re trying to have the kids and careers and the nice/clean house without setting aside any energy for or making a priority of your marriage and family life.”

In the same chat, Hax doled out advice to a single woman wondering whether she should adopt even though she has no partner.

Here is one trial I will be following: that of former Minutemen and anti-immigrant crusader Shawna Forde. According to the The Village Voice blog, Forde is accused of shooting 9-year-old Brisenia Flores and her father in a faux raid for drugs and money. Of course, there were no drugs and money, and sadly, this case has been underreported in the news.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?