The fence between Mexico and the U.S. isn’t always on the border. Sometimes it’s over a mile away, leaving Texans’ homes on the wrong side of the fence, sandwiched against the Mexican border. They’ve had their property split in two by the fence, and some homeowners have found that the Border Patrol guards not the actual border, but the fence, leaving these folks as the first line of defense, and the fence second. →
- Frontline: The U.S. Immigration Detention Boom
This map of the growth of immigrant detention facilities is a great—and alarming—illustration of the rise of these ever-larger, often private facilities.
- Wikipedia: Northwest Angle
Insufficient understanding of North American geography in the late 1700s resulted in the Treaty of Paris accidentally assigning a notch of land in Canada to the United States. These 600 square miles comprise the "Northwest Angle" in Minnesota, the northernmost point in the continental U.S. To get there, one must fly, drive through Canada, or take a boat across the Lake of the Woods. 152 people live there.
- Search State and Federal Campaign Contribution Data
All of your bulk downloads for government data in one place, courtesy of the Sunlight Foundation. There's even a 2.2GB download of all state and federal campaign contributions (ever?).
- New York Times: Herman Cain is a Candidate Writing His Own Campaign Rules
Running for president? Nah. Herman Cain has decided he'd rather go on a book tour. Much like Sarah Palin and Donald Trump, Cain appears to view running for the Republican nomination as a cheap method of getting national press.
- MSNBC: Secret panel can put Americans on “kill list”
- New York Times: Farmers Strain to Hire American Workers in Place of Migrant Labor
It turns out that if you don't hire immigrants then Americans will not, in fact, do the work. That's the experience of one Colorado farmer, who raised his wages to $10.50/hour. Only 2/3 as many people showed up as he normally gets, and most of them quit within the day. The work is just too hard. I don't want to harvest onions. Do you?
- Chattanooga Times-Free Press: 96-year-old Chattanooga resident denied voting ID
Dorothy Cooper even managed to vote under Jim Crow, but the Tennessee Republican Party has proved to be one obstacle she can't overcome. She's never driven, so she has no driver's license. She tried to get a photo ID, but she has to present her marriage certificate, and she got married a long, long time ago, and doesn't know where to find that. I guess the new photo ID laws are working just as intended.
- Flickr: Fed Up with Lunch
A Flickr stream of nothing but photos of what passes for school lunch in the Chicago Public Schools. Parents never see what the kids get for lunch, but this teacher did. I'd love to see somebody do this in area schools. Heck, the schools should be willing to do it themselves.
- New York Times: After Ruling, Hispanics Flee an Alabama Town
Alabama's new immigration law has left crops rotting in their fields, farmers unable to find workers. Business at grocery stores and restaurants has evaporated. Hundreds (thousands?) of people working perfectly legal have gotten the message loud and clear: Latinos are not welcome in Alabama. So they're packing up and moving.
- Wikipedia: Timeline of Web Browsers
A family tree for web browsers. There are a lot of browsers here I hadn't thought of for years. HotJava, ViolaWWW, and Cello, in particular.
- Voice of America: Historian Recounts Role of Chinese Americans Who Fought in US Civil War
In 1861, there were only 200 Asians living in the Eastern U.S. Fifty-eight of them fought in the Civil War, at least five of whom fought for the CSA. Two of the Confederates were Christopher and Stephen Bunker, the sons of famed Siamese twins Chang and Eng, who owned slaves on their North Carolina farm.
- New York Times: The Ultimate Kentucky Derby
A simulation pitting the last twenty Kentucky Derby winners against each other. (Barbaro repeats his 2006 win.) Without any context as to how the simulation calculates the winner, this is just an amusement for horse racing fans.
- The First State of the Union Message
President George Washington to Congress, 1790: "[T]here is nothing which can better deserve your patronage, than the promotion of Science and Literature."
At some point, conservatives must reflect on how many allies, and how many issues, we are willing to sacrifice in a fey and futile attempt to get field workers, busboys, and nannies out of the country. […] Every hour we postpone a border reform that respects the interests of employers and Hispanics, our entire agenda suffers.
Nadler heads a non-profit that’s working to grow the Republican Party’s constituencies. (He’s also a creationist and a racist, incidentally.) I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Republicans warn that Latinos will make up a majority of the nation’s population within a few decades but, if they really believe that, they’d best start courting that population rather than attacking them.
UVa’s Weldon Cooper Center has found that 10% of Virginians are immigrants. The top five countries of origin are El Salvador, Mexico, Korea, the Philippines, and India. What must Virginia Republicans think of this demographic shift? Well, to quote Grandpa, from The Boondocks: I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you over the sound of me shittin’ myself.