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The [Tuesday] Papers

"The lightning-swift deportation of Elvira Arellano triggered an equally sharp debate Monday about whether her dramatic battle to stay in the U.S. will help or hurt attempts to liberalize immigration laws," the Tribune reports.

And a debate between Sun-Times columnists.

Mark Brown is puzzled by those cheering the deportation.

"If you're of the opinion that Arellano deserved to be sent back to Mexico, then it logically follows that you want all 12 million illegals to return there with her," he writes. "Do you?"

Esther Cepeda is one of those cheering.

"Elvira wasn't 'the face' of the 12 million illegal immigrants she claims to represent - they've been out working every day, unsheltered by the fear of the publicity disaster a church raid would have rained on ICE," she writes. "Those 12 million aren't out flaunting their illegality in people's faces or getting free food, shelter, child care, toys and cash donations delivered to their door daily while they spend their time doing radio interviews and posting protest songs to their MySpace pages."

Frankly, I don't get Cepeda's argument. Arellano indeed was one of those 12 million going to work every day to provide a better life for her herself and her son. She was gainfully employed as a janitor at O'Hare airport when she got swept up in a post-9/11 security sweep. She wasn't "flaunting" her illegality; she fought her deportation.

Apparently Cepeda would have preferred that Arellano would have just gone along quietly. Had Arellano done that, who in her stead would have been the "face" of illegal immigrants? Who is their face now?

One thing Arellano accomplished: We're all talking about her. In other words, we're talking about immigration reform as it concerns an actual human - a single mother who was employed and her son - instead of speaking in sweeping but useless rhetoric.

For whatever reasons, Arellano may not have been "the perfect face" of illegal immigrants, but life doesn't work that way. You can't wait around for the perfect face, and in fact I'd argue that whatever complicating details that surrounded Arellano did make her the perfect face, because people's lives are rarely neat and simple and media-ready. Otherwise this issue wouldn't be so hard.

American Dream
"People don't have years to wait," Pablo Serrano told the Trib. "People are taking risks, dying in the desert, to get here."

Drunken Sailors
"Legislation passed in Springfield this month grants wineries around the nation permission to ship large quantities of their products directly to Illinois consumers but takes away the right to shop for alcohol on Internet sites run by retailers outside the state," Crain's reports. "Wine retailers inside and outside Illinois reacted angrily to HB429, which was passed Aug. 7 and now awaits the governor's signature."

What? The state wants to prohibit residents from buying alcohol online from outside of Illinois?

What's next, prohibiting buying out-of-town rock and sex online too? This state is really starting to piss me off.

The Fine Print Is Killing Us
Newhouse News Service reports on some of more grievous examples of fine print:

* Cruise ship agreements call on customers to resolve any dispute by flying at their own expense to the cruise line's hometown, often Miami.

* Provisions waive the right to trial by jury, or agree to arbitration in a venue unsympathetic to customers.

* A prohibition on criticizing a product, such as in the license to Microsoft's Windows Vista software.

Mouseprint reports on AT&T's fine print:

"AT&T's terms and conditions statement is over 7,700 words!"


" You will be charged for unanswered calls:

Unanswered outgoing calls of 30 seconds or longer incur airtime.

* You could be charged twice for one call.

You may be charged for both an incoming and an outgoing call when incoming calls are routed to voicemail, even if no message is left.

* Seven thousand words of terms and conditions is not enough.

See Wireless Service Agreement for additional conditions and restrictions.


Do we really have to live in a world where everyone is trying to screw everyone else?

The Tribune editorial page should never write about what is and isn't cool, because a basic theorem of cool never yet disproved is that they will never get it right.

Gov. Baloneyvich
Worst Governor Ever Part 3748.

Sneed Tease
"Sneed hears a prominent state power broker being investigated in the ongoing federal probe of businessman and political fund-raiser Tony Rezko . . . has just been diagnosed with cancer."

She's not going to tell us who, though.

Michael Sneed: Serving the public for longer than we care to remember.

Southern Hospitality
"In the hit TV show The Dukes of Hazzard, them Hazzard boys had a not-so-secret weapon that always allowed them to get one up on Boss Hogg and the bumbling sheriff: their car, the General Lee," the Daily Southtown notes.

"Alsip police seem to have learned the moral of the story.

"Like the General Lee, Alsip's new squad cars are Hemi-V8 Dodge Chargers.

"With 340 horsepower, bad guys are going to need some serious muscle to outrun the cops in Alsip.

"The Charger cop cruiser races to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and to 100 mph in 16.2 seconds - 7 seconds faster than a standard, 250 horsepower Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor."

Um, why do cops need muscle cars in Alsip?

Rule 1 of Journalism: Question the premise.

Stella's Fella
Stella got comped at the Beyoncé concert and guess what, she loved it!

"It was a great evening of entertainment and I thank United Center mogul William Wirtz for having me as one of his guests."

In fact, I would like to thank him in print! And that goes for anyone else who wants to buy me stuff!

The Stella Foster School of Journalism Ethics rolls right along.

Devil's Due
I think it was the Bible that said only the little people go to heaven.

Comics Plot
In response to my comment (last item) yesterday about the Tribune once again discovering comics are for adults, too, So-Called Austin Mayor writes:

"Fourteen years after Maus snagged the LA Times Book Prize for Fiction, fifteen years after it was awarded a Pulitzer Prize Special award and TWENTY-ONE YEARS after its first nomination for the National Book Critics Circle Award - Maus II was nominated again in 1992 - the Chicago Tribune reports that some funny-books gots them some actual plots and themes and such.

"One day, I hope that someone at Trib Tower lets me know if some gals like to rock out and play the guitar . . . "

The Beachwood Tip Line: Both bad and nationwide.

Posted on August 21, 2007

MUSIC - Spring Awakening Wake-Up Call!
TV - Goodbye, Apu.
POLITICS - The Political Odds.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Catching Bears Fever.

BOOKS - Gov. Ed Coles.


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