WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, 2010
U.S. President Barack Obama turns 49 years old today. He was born in Honolulu, Hawaii (YES, HAWAII, the fiftieth state to enter the union) on August 4, 1961. I can not believe all the paranoia and the xenophobia among extreme right-wing Republicans and Tea Party types regarding the president's birthplace. They don't like the president and want to label him an illegal alien or a foreigner. It's just ridiculous! John McCain was born on a military base in Panama and nobody questions his patriotism or his credentials as an American. Nor should they, solely on his place of birth.
Had the Tea Party gang lived during the 15th or 16th centuries, they would have argued that the Earth is flat or that it is the centre of the universe. Instead, these 21st century Flat Earthers deny the reality of global warming and climate change.
Anyway, Happy Birthday, Mr. President!
I have always had an aversion to the term "alien" with regard to legal or illegal immigrants. This is not an unconditional defence of illegal immigration. It is merely to state that whatever one thinks of illegal immigrants, they are human beings - not aliens from outer space. By the strict definition of the word "alien," the usage of the term "illegal alien" technically correct. The Oxford Dictionary defines "alien" as "from another country or society; foreign." In brackets, Oxford points out that the word is "often disapproving." I would like to emphasize that Oxford, also defines "alien" as "strange and frightening; different from what you are used too."
It's the connotation of the word "alien" which I find objectionable. It sounds as if immigrants and illegal immigrants are of another species or from another planet. When someone is not considered human, it is easier to be hostile and cruel to them. That is why it is a good thing that the term "alien" with regard to immigrants is not used as frequently in Canada as it is in the United States.
Oh Happy Day! The Toronto Blue Jays entered the Bronx Zoo and they won two games in a row from the New York Yankees. Last night they defeated the Pinstripes by a score of 8-2. Ricky Romero pitched a coplete game (shades of Roy Halladay) and Jose Bautista bashed his 33rd homer.
A-Rod still hasn't hit his 600th home run. That can wait until the Blue Jays leave town, thank you very much.
Welcome to Number 16, the fun website that focuses on words, language and literature. It also contains quizzes and opinion pieces. Number 16 is named after my favourite number. I am Joanne Madden and I'm from Toronto, Canada. To find out what I have written on any topic, use the search box directly below. For TV trivia, please check my other website, TV Banter (www.tvbanter.net).
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Wednesday, August 4, 2010
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