First the apologies: Sorry for my prolonged absence. We were hit by the stupid internet worm, and once it was cleaned out of our network, work was predictably hectic for a few days while we caught up. There are also unrelated "stuffs" happening at work, so my blogging schedule might be erratic (not to be confused with erotic) for a while.
And now the updates. One of the downsides about blogging about current events is that the known facts change very quickly. For instance, I wrote about Natalee Holloway (Still my #1 searched keyword for my blog) being lost in Aruba. Well, now she's..... Well, she's still lost in Aruba. But other things have changed, and in ways that I feel greatly impact their stories. (None of which had a fraction of the airtime the Aruba case had)
Update #1: Jean Charles de Menezes was even more innocent than I thought. I wrote about this on July 26. Then, the police had admitted his killing was a mistake, but that he had been running through the subway station, evading police, and wearing a bulky, heavy jacket on a warm summer day. Well, video from the subway station has been released which shows that not only did the police kill an innocent man, but that they lied about him and defamed his character. He was not running through the subway station - he walked leisurely. He stopped to buy a newspaper. He didn't jump over the turnstiles, as the police reported - he paid and walked through. And his suspicious "bulky" jacket? It was a light denim jacket. Commenters, who admittedly did not know these new facts, laid blame at de Menezes' feet, saying he should have known better than to run and evade police in these scary times when terrorism is all around us. Now it seems his only crime was living in the same apartment complex that terrorists chose to hide in. In London, they chose to hide in a poor immigrant neighborhood. In the US, the 9/11 terrorists chose to hide in upper-middle class neighborhoods, including the town in Florida where my parents live and a neighborhood in Atlanta near where I live.
So here's the issue, again: Are we safer because de Menezes is dead? People said better one innocent than dozens in a terrorist attack. But his killing didn't help prevent others. The terrorists have likely moved on to new targets. Nervous police are still prowling the subways, and not just in London. The house next door to me was for rent recently. What if a prospective terrorist decided to rent there? Can I expect the next time I'm on MARTA to go to a Braves game the APD will gun me down? Why couldn't it happen to you too?
Update #2: High School students who have limited English skills can't get diplomas. This is nothing earth-shattering, but it's an article I wish had come out before I wrote about Hispanic issues on Monday. My question is, if students can't speak English, do they deserve a high-school diploma? It's hard to find a job without one. (It's hard to find a job with one) But if they can't speak English, how well will they function in jobs that require diplomas anyway? The report did say that students are failing math tests because of their lack of English skills, and fairness should say that's not right. Math is international - the only reason an educated Spanish speaker would fail the math portion is because of an overreliance on word problems or complicated instructions. Either way, it highlights some of the struggles new immigrants have to cope with upon arrival.