May 21, 2010

AP Wastes Almost 1,000 Words Wondering: ‘Is Dora the Explorer an Illegal Immigrant?’

DoraTheIllegalImmigrantThe Associated Press’s Sophia Tareen has apparently had a lot of time on her hands the past couple of days, and her wire service bosses couldn’t find much for her to do. How else to explain Tareen’s devotion of almost 1,000 words to the burning question of whether cartoon character Dora the Explorer is an illegal immigrant?

You read that right, but it’s worse than that. Tareen claims that images of Dora “are being used by those who oppose and support Arizona’s law,” but could only cite actual instances of usage by leftists at the Huffington Post and at a a Facebook page whose category is “Just for Fun – Outlandish Statements.”

Along the way, Tareen oh-so-predictably resurrects the late-1990s “Teletubbies are Gay” kerfuffle (incompletely, of course); waits until the 27th paragraph to tell us that the image at the top right, which “is circulating widely in the aftermath of Arizona’s controversial new immigration law,” has really been around since last year (originating at freakingnews.com); and quotes a “gender studies” professor at the University of Arizona who — undisclosed to readers, naturally — is virulently anti-capitalism.

Having appropriately forewarned everyone, here are samplings of Sophia’s choice chestnuts:

In her police mug shot, the doe-eyed cartoon heroine with the bowl haircut has a black eye, battered lip and bloody nose.

Dora the Explorer’s alleged crime? “Illegal Border Crossing Resisting Arrest.”

The doctored picture, one of several circulating widely in the aftermath of Arizona’s controversial new immigration law, may seem harmless, ridiculous or even tasteless.

But experts say the pictures and the rhetoric surrounding them online, in newspapers and at public rallies, reveal some Americans’ attitudes about race, immigrants and where some of immigration reform debate may be headed.

… It’s not the first time a children’s character has been dragged into a serious debate.

In the late 1990s, Tinky Winky the Teletubby, a purple children’s TV character with a triangle antenna — was called out by Christian leaders for being gay. Sesame Street roommates Bert and Ernie are often involved in statements on same-sex marriage.

Both shows’ producers say the characters aren’t gay.

… since the passage of the Arizona law — which requires authorities to question people about their immigration status if there’s reason to suspect they’re in the country illegally — Dora’s life and immigration status have been scrutinized and mocked.

Several websites, including The Huffington Post, have narrated Dora’s mock capture by immigration authorities. One picture circulating on Facebook shows an ad for a TV show called “Dora the Illegal Immigrant.” On the Facebook page “Dora the Explorer is soo an Illegal Immigrant,” there are several images showing her sailing through the air over the U.S.-Mexican border.

Tareen conveniently “forgets” that “A 1998 Salon.com article previously had noted (Teletubby) Tinky Winky’s status as a gay icon.” That’s like “forgetting” that Al Gore used the Willie Horton incident as a campaign weapon during the 1988 Democratic presidential primary long before Bush 41′s people referred to it.

As has been almost universally the case in the establishment press, Sophia’s sophistry mischaracterizes Arizona’s law by conveniently leaving out the fact that law enforcement officials (not “authorities,” ma’am — read the law) first have to be involved in a “lawful contact” before they can question a person’s immigration status — and only then if “reasonable suspicion exists.”

The AP writer spends eight excruciating paragraphs trying to glean clues about Dora’s origins from her appearance, background scenery, music, and characters’ voices, deciding that none “provide insight.” It seems like it might be a bit more useful if Tareen would explore the writings, backgrounds, and associations of, say, Elena Kagan, but I obviously don’t have my priorities straight.

Later, she goes to Nicole Guidotti-Hernandez, describing her as someone “who teaches gender studies at the University of Arizona.” While true, there’s much more to Ms. G-H, whose main focus really appears to be “Latinidad,” described here as “a shared sense of a ‘Latino’ identity.” Cutting through the excessive verbiage, Latinidad (or Latinidades) appears to be directed toward ensuring political groupthink instead of individuality or specific home-country identity among America’s legal and illegal-immigrant Hispanics.

Ms. G-H’s take on certain aspects of Dora the Explorer’s success is expressed in a 21-page 2007 paper (downloadable at the link, if you can bear it). At bottom, she is intensely hostile to capitalism, still carries a 500-year grudge, and assumes the worst in others, as these snippets will demonstrate:

  • (Page 6) “capitalist-style individualism is not consistent with the cultural values embedded in Latina feminist liberation strategies”
  • (Page 18) “Dora as explorer (because of her knowledge of geography and cartography) and global citizen is a radical departure from the ‘original’ script of colonizer of the New World.”
  • (Page 8) “While … (having Dora as a universal Latina subject) is a useful way to understand the contradictory position of Dora the Explorer in this moment of global capitalism, it is politically dangerous because the dominant viewing group can assume that all Latino/as are like Dora and thus are all the same.”

But as noted at the beginning, Ms. Tareen’s most important error is that she claimed that some Arizona law supporters are exploiting Dora and provided no specific evidence. Without it, what remains is leftists exploiting one of the more interesting examples of creative, capitalistic success in the past decade to further a cause that would work to destroy the system that made her.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Parlor Game: Find and Capture Calderon’s Cheerleaders

Filed under: Immigration,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:02 am

Here’s the YouTube (HT Breitbart):

While it’s pretty safe to assume that every Democrat in attendance stood and cheered Mexico’s Prime Minister when he expressed his strong disagreement with Arizona’s recent immigration law-enforcement measure, specific identifiable individual pictures would be extremely welcome.

This blog would be particularly interested in full-throated, standing-O blow-ups of:

  • Steve Driehaus (D, OH-01)
  • Charlie Wilson (D, OH-06)
  • Marcy Kaptur (D, OH-09)
  • Marcia Fudge (D, OH-11)
  • Betty Sutton (D, OH-13)
  • Mary Jo Kilroy (D, OH-15)
  • John Boccieri (D, OH-16)
  • Tim Ryan (D, OH-17)
  • Zack Space (D, OH-18)
  • Dennis Kucinich (D, Outer Space)

These will be employed at appropriate times during the upcoming campaign for maximum effect. Send all pics or links here.

After last night, no congressional Democrat has anywhere they can run and hide on illegal immigration.

_____________________________________________________

UPDATE, 4 PM: On April 28, Amnesty International sounded an alarm about Mexico’s treatment of “migrants” (this includes “immigrants” passing through Mexico on the way to attempting to get into the US) at a page entitled “Widespread abuse of migrants in Mexico is ‘human rights crisis’” –

The Mexican authorities must act to halt the continuing abuse of migrants who are preyed on by criminal gangs while public officials turn a blind eye or even play an active part in kidnappings, rapes and murders, Amnesty International said in a new report released on Tuesday.

Invisible Victims: Migrants on the Move in Mexico, documents the alarming levels of abuse faced by the tens of thousands of Central American irregular migrants that every year attempt to reach the US by crossing Mexico.

Here’s an interesting finding: The link cited above, which comes from the U.S. site, does NOT contain a link to the underlying report. I couldn’t find a link to migrant-focused after several key word searches. To be fair, there is a link to the group’s 2009 report on human rights in Mexico that includes a reference to the migrant/immigrant situation.

This page at amnesty.org, presumably the group’s main international site, does have a link to the report, Invisible Victims: Migrants on the Move in Mexico. (scroll to the bottom to get to it). So if you want to see the full 48-pager, go there.

Positivity: Woman Thanks Rescuers for Saving Her Life at Target Field

Filed under: Health Care,Positivity — Tom @ 8:59 am

From Minneapolis:

Updated: Wednesday, 19 May 2010, 6:12 PM CDT
Published : Wednesday, 19 May 2010, 6:12 PM CDT

MINNEAPOLIS – A woman, who almost lost her life at the Target Field, thanked her rescuers on Wednesday.

Pat Hall was at the Twins game against Cleveland on April 21, when she suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed.

Hennepin County Medical Center EMS and Target Field first responders were able to quickly intervene to save her life.

Hall and her family went to Hennepin County Medical Center on Wednesday to thank those who saved her life.

This week is National EMS Week. …

Go here for the rest of the story.