Show me your papers

Today I was reading through the Rude Pundit's blogentry on a new law in Arizona that deals with whether immigrants can be asked to show that they're legal:

"No official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state may adopt a policy that limits or restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law."

The way that our Rude Pundit interprets that in his usual rude way is:

[...] Arizona, decided that the police now have the power to stop and ask people for their papers in order to determine if someone is a citizen. And if that person doesn't have papers? Are they assumed to be innocent? Aw, fuck no. That's for pussy states, not Arizona, which all big and tough with its big and tough white people. You are assumed at that point to be illegal. It's charmingly retro, like South African apartheid, except a few skin shades lighter.

First off, Arizona didn't actually create a brand-new policy, they simply said all AZ state and local police should obey federal law. And, as a greencard holder myself, the law is clear: As a non-citizen, I must carry proof of visa status or greencard status at all times.

The problem lies with the negative: What if a law officer asks a citizen to show proof of immigration status and he can't because he's really a citizen and is not required to carry papers? What if a law officer asks a non-citizen to show papers and that person actually simply says he's really a citizen? Can you then be detained?



Today I read jwz's post linking to an article that claims "Of all the people in human history who ever reached the age of 65, half are alive now."

That reminded me of a question I've had for a while: "How many people have every lived on Earth", so I finally googled it. Of course, first you have to define "what is a human", so I put the marker at around 10,000 years ago. I found that in 8,000 B.C., scientist project there were about 5 million people on Earth, about 300 million in 1 A.D. and about 2.5 billion in 1950. Then it shot up over the past 50 years to the current 6 billion.

When you do that math, it turns out about 100 billion people were ever born, with about 6 billion alive right now. That's 6% of all people who have walked the earth are alive right now, and 10% of the people who live in the past 10,000 years have been born in the last 100 years.



Two things:

1. My parents decided to try the Capital Metro red line to go downtown today. But the Southbound trains don't run after 8am, except for 1 trip at 5:30p. Ref

2. Why can I not dial a number (or even cut&paste the number) from an iPhone calendar item. Isn't that the most logical thing to do, to dial the conference call number directly from the invite/cal item?? 

Gun control and credit cards

From the NYT:

"President Obama will this week sign into law a provision allowing visitors to national parks and refuges to carry loaded and concealed weapons."
It seems that this provision is added to the "Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act" ("the Credit CARD Act", yes someone spent waaay to much time on this title). So in the end I guess I can agree with everything in this bill: Credit companies cannot jack up my rates and law-abiding citizens can carry a gun in a national park.

But that's not the reason I'm posting this.

Why is it allowed under Congress rules or US law to tack on completely unrelated riders to bills?
Now Democrats who are in favor of gun control cannot vote this down because it would mean they have to vote against the credit card bill as well. And this happens all the time, especially with military appropriations bills, I understand.

This doesn't make any sense to me at all...

Music taste

Just signed up for Pandora Internet Radio. I've never seen my favorite music explained and disected this well!  Please keep bringing me "trance roots" with "laid back female vocals" please! I'm excited, and I need to read up on the Music Genome Project some more.