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Historic Sunday Readings: 12 October 2008

12 October 2008

One American History

Former Argentine “illegal” Maria E. Andreu in Newsweek:

When the pundits began to tear into undocumented immigrants last summer, using terms like “parasites” and “criminals,” my first reaction was to bury my head and turn off the TV. I had worked too hard since my own illegal Mexican border crossing 30 years ago, at the age of 8, to blow my cover now. I had assiduously cultivated myself as an American, reading the right books, sporting “the Rachel” haircut in the ’90s, gossiping about reality TV with gusto on the sidelines of my children’s soccer games. I was aided by pasty white skin that placed my ancestry vaguely somewhere in the northern Mediterranean countries or Eastern Europe in most people’s imaginations, not among the stereotype of an illegal immigrant.

Burying the past:
Burro Hall is working in gringolandia:

Later this week we’ll be filming, among other things, the burial of Abraham Lincoln – at 6’4″, the tallest president in American history.

We’re sunk…

(“Nonny Mouse”, Crooks and Liars)

… only ‘Jesus and the Civil War have been written about more.’ Nearly 200 books have been written on the disaster, with countless documentaries, movies, historical and scientific studies analyzing what caused the Titanic to sink. Was it the fault of the captain, running the ship too hard to make a deadline to New York? Was it the fault of the engineers, some defect in the ship’s design? Was the fault of the Marconi wireless officers too busy tapping out passenger’s messages they failed to heed iceberg warning from other ships? Was it the wrath of God angry because the White Star Line didn’t christen their ships? Was it incompetence and the lack of enough lifeboats? Was it just plain bad luck? What they all didn’t know was that a confidential investigation launched by the ship’s builders shortly after the disaster had all too quickly – and all too easily – determined exactly what sank the Titanic.

It was the lack of regulation.

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