Immigration (political rant)

Sometimes my politics gets the better of me. If this offends you, ignore this post and wait for the next pretty picture or genre thing. There is a genre reference in this rant, though.
Okay, still here? Immigration.
The Immigration debate, especially by the Right, is absolute nonsense. The phrase I hear as the reason why we can’t have immigration reform is the catchphrase “Secure the Border”. Has anyone asked the proponents of this just exactly what they mean by this? Are they asking for a Festung America? Do they have a *clue* how long the US-Mexico border is? (And don’t get me started on the US-Canada border: But let’s face it, most of these ilk don’t care about that border. It’s to stop the Great Brown Hordes from Mexico and Central America.
Okay, so even if you wanted to spend the billions to make The Great American Wall first (physical or virtual), then what? What do you then do with the estimated 12 million people here without proper legal residency?
A. The Kratman Option: You deport them all. This would be massively difficult, massively expensive, and massively stupid. (In one of Tom Kratman’s novels, it apparently does go off in the backstory to the novel). And the effort to do so would be extremely harmful to America as a country–the militarization inside our borders would be something that I think would be hard to undo once done. Because, really, it would take the military to do it. ICE is not equipped to do so. Do you want troops deployed in your town looking for undocumented immigrants? Do you think that they won’t have to stay around to make sure The Great Brown Hordes stay out? Do you want the third Amendment to the Constitution to be the one shredded next?
B. The Underclass Option: You let people stay here with wishy washy words that you aren’t going to deport them, but you never provide a way for them to become citizens. You create a permanent underclass of non-citizens in the country, not able to vote, relegated to the lowest jobs, a permanent untermenschen. Oh, perhaps some will rise above their station, but for the most part, they stay in the shadows. (They might vote against the party that relegated them to this after all if you gave them the vote.). Last I checked, that wasn’t very American, either.
The only option is C. The Reagan Option. You have to provide a rational and reasonable path to legal status and citizenship to those 12 million people here if you want to be true to this country and its founding principles and beliefs. Yes, “Amnesty” Anything else changes America in ways that I think are undesirable.

Horseshoe Park, Rocky Mountain National Park

It is said that every stop on the Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park is a photographic opportunity, and I believe them. This is a view of ‘Horseshoe Park’ in Rocky Mountain National Park. The term park in the context of the numerous “parks” in Rocky Mountain National Parks comes from the French trapper term “parques” , the meadows in the former glaciated valleys between the peaks. There is a stop on the Trail Ridge Road, matter of fact, called “Many Parks Curve”.

Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde

If people have any conception of Mesa Verde, its usually of pictures of Cliff Palace. It is one of the largest and certainly the most famous of the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde. This is an early morning view of Cliff Palace from the overlook where you meet the Ranger to go down and see the ruins close up.
Cliff Palace

Five books for non-genre readers

Damien G. Walter asked:
Now that Fantasy / SF is taking over the mainstream, which books do you recommend to people who have not read it before?
I decided on a quick list of five novels, off the top of my head and a very quick reaction. I am assuming someone who does read novels, just not genre. I tried to be as contemporary as possible, too.
Corey, James S.A:. Leviathan Wakes. Big scale, wide screen solar system space opera. Its amazingly accessible and not so buried in jargon and the history and baggage of the genre that it would make a fine entry point for someone who wants to read space.
Bujold, Lois M.: The Warrior’s Apprentice. This is the first novel with Miles Vorkosigan as a main character, and tells the story of how he gets washed out of the Imperial Academy, and his acquisition of a mercenary force. Bujold has improved and grown since then, but I think starting with the start of Miles story gives new readers to SF a reasonable starting point.
Kemp, Paul S. The Hammer and the Blade I think sword and sorcery has an advantage over epic fantasy in many ways for new fantasy readers–smaller cast, smaller scale, more characterization. Egil and Nix do derive and are informed by the history of the genre (c.f. Fritz Leiber) but starting here is no bad thing.
Butcher, Jim. Storm Front. This list HAD to have urban fantasy somewhere on it, and so I decided to go with a favorite. The only wizard in the Chicago phone book is a concept that lets readers get used to the idea of magic in the modern world. (Emma Bull’s War for the Oaks might also work here)
Gilman, Laura Anne Flesh and Fire. I needed an epic fantasy on this list, but a lot of epic fantasy is really not for first time fantasy readers. Even Martin is best read once you start understanding the conventions of the genre, although if you wanted to put a Game of Thrones here,I won’t argue hard. But Flesh and Fire is a story that slowly introduces the main character, and us, to a rich and vibrant fantasy world where magic is based on wine.

My Journey to the West

My Journey to the West:
Total miles drove: 4318.9 (6950.6 kilometers)
Cities Slept in:
Arvada, Colorado
Mesa Verde, Colorado
Montrose, Colorado
Alamosa, Colorado
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Westminster, Colorado
Estes Park, Colorado
Wall, South Dakota
National Parks Visited:
Arches National Park
Mesa Verde National Park
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Great Sand Dunes National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park
Badlands National Park
National Monuments Visited:
Florissant Fossil Beds
Capulin Volcano
Mount Rushmore
State Capitols visited:
Lincoln, Nebraska
Denver, Colorado
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Hitherto not visited states reached:
New Mexico