Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Happy and Safe Holiday Season

(Crossposted to Alchemical Thoughts)

Soon, I will be taking some time to rest and spend with family. We celebrate Christmas, but people at this time are also celebrating other holidays such as Hannukah and Kwanzaa. So, whichever holiday you are moved to celebrate, may it be a safe and happy one. To give readers a small gift before the holiday, here are a few links and items that may be of interest.

Readers can look over my post last year for the holidays. At the rate this is going, I may make a holidays post an annual tradition. Last year, I offered the legalistic holiday greeting, which I am sure you may want to use for those situations when you just want to cover all the bases. Here it is again:

From Your Lawyer Friends:

"Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. We also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2006, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. And without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee. By accepting these greetings you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself or himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher."

I think that should about cover it. Moving right along, the Census Bureau always comes through with one of their Facts for Features releases. Here is the one for the Holiday Season. Among some of the interesting facts:

  • $485 million
    The amount of money the nation’s Christmas tree farmers received from tree sales in 2005. Oregon was the top state in tree sales ($126 million), followed by North Carolina, Washington and Michigan. (Source: USDA Economic Research Service at <>)
  • $3.2 billion
    Total value of shipments for dolls, toys and games by manufacturers in 2004.

While talking about toys, Radar Magazine has a feature for the 10 Most Dangerous Toys of all Time. For some, this may be a ride down memory lane. I had no idea at one point you could buy a small atomic energy lab; it's number 2 on their list. A hat tip to Stephen's Lighthouse.

In our home, we will be tracking Santa on Christmas Eve. You can keep track of the jolly man with NORAD's Santa Tracker. I wrote a note about it in my post last year. We will also be baking cookies for Santa, and we will make sure he has a good bottle of Coke to wash those cookies down. We figure the man wants a cold non-alcoholic beverage since he is driving, and he may want some variety from the usual milk. The reindeer will get carrots as well.

We have managed to put our tree up this week, a bit on the late side, but it has been a busy month in our neck of the woods. Unlike last year, the cats, who are no longer kittens, seem a bit more mellow about the tree. At this point, they have only knocked it over twice, which is definite improvement. However, the decorations are not faring as well, and the tree looks different pretty much by the hour as we put things back on it. We hope to spend Christmas Day at home, and the day after we'll be heading out of town to Fort Worth to see family. The university closes next week, so might as well take some of that time and travel a little. The better half actually managed to get some time off, so woo hoo. Actually, today is the last day we are open prior to the holiday. We will open again on January 2nd, 2007.

For more holiday season humor, please take a look at the collection of links compiled by The Laughing Librarian. Among other things, the Laughing Librarian points to a letter pointing out the real reason for Christmas (not for those who may offend easily, but a favorite of mine), you can pimp my nutcracker, and you can take the Christmas Carol quiz.

And while on the topic of quizzes, Whitney Matheson at Pop Candy blog points to a holiday movie trivia quiz. She claims it is quite hard, but I only missed 3 out of 10, which is not bad considering there were a couple of movies I have not seen. However, given some of these movies are perennial classics or part of pop culture, you either know an answer or can guess the answer. At any rate, I was never much of a holiday movie fan. In fact, I can't really stand too many holiday movies. My idea of a fun Christmas movie is this one, and only for the opening scene, which is how I think Santa should handle a few snotty families who obsess over the perfect Christmas while actually hating each other. It's the kind of film you don't want to laugh, but you do anyhow. There are a couple other holiday movies I like, but they are far and in between, such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Polar Express.

Of course, this blog belongs to a librarian, so I would be neglecting my vocation if I did not provide some reading suggestions. Here are then some book lists to give you some ideas of what to read during the holidays:

Here is a collection of winter holiday websites from the Springfield public library. A good number of links to explore.

If there are questions about how to behave or manners, Emily Post may have some answers here on topics like re-gifting. If you have more spiritual/religious questions in terms of etiquette, you can visit Beliefnet here (the link is to their holidays section, which covers various holidays. However, the main site is a good resource for learning about other's beliefs). Here is another interesting little article on "Celebrating the holidays in an interfaith family," out of Baby Center, a parenting site. A good book on the topic of interfaith etiquette is How to Be a Perfect Stranger.

If you would like some art, there is an online exhibit on "The Christmas Story" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art website.

Take a look at the origins of winter solstice celebrations from ancient times to today at Candlegrove's website. Online since 1995, this site has become a very good resource on the traditions of the winter holiday celebrations.

And what is a holiday season without some fun and romp in bed (or any other part of the house)? This is the part of this holiday post where I give the warning that the next link contains adult content. If you are not into that or you offend easily, or you happen to be a minor, please do not click on the link. You won't be hurting my feelings, that is perfectly cool if you prefer not to. On the other hand, if you are like me (a regular heathen who likes his fun), and you want to consider some options for some sexy play, here is a link to a Sexy Holiday Guide, from Fleshbot. The post provides a list of various sexy gift guide ideas with a a brief pro/con review. I am sure even Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be having some fun after he is done with his sleigh run.

So, this post got a bit longer than I thought, but I found a lot of interesting things that I hope readers may find interesting. Have a safe and happy holiday. Feliz Navidad to our Spanish speaking friends who celebrate Christmas. I will see you next year. Best, and keep on blogging.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

What to expect from politicians now that the midterm election is over

Michael McGrorty, of Library Dust, presents a list of what to expect from political conservatives and liberals after the election. Definitely worth reading. If nothing else, goes on to reinforce why I usually hate politicans, who pretty much make a career out of staying in politics rather than actually being public servants. I think rather than getting on my soapbox, I will let the list speak for itself.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

"When Librarians Attack" (humor)

Fish and game wardens say librarians are unlikely to attack unless provoked, although they may view late returns of books as a threat. "If your book is overdue you should approach librarians with caution, holding the volume out at arm's length with your hands palm down to show that you are not an aggressor," says Billy Ray Lyman of the Missouri Department of Wildlife. "And don't show fear--librarians can sense when you don't have the two cents a day fine, and they will go for the jugular."

From The Spoof website, a story about how the DVD for the video "When Librarians Attack" is doing well in sales. While the setting is in school libraries, I am sure we could soon see titles such as "When Librarians Attack 2: The Campus Edition" and "When Librarians Attack 3: Public Librarians Go Wild."

A hat tip to Library Garden, where Janie Hermann claims she knows librarians are underpaid and overworked, but she does not know many frustrated ones. I say she is not looking hard enough. Don't get me wrong; I love my profession, but it certainly provides its moments of frustration. Anyhow, go have fun reading the spoof.

Students should not be opposing freedom of speech

I may not agree with a lot of people. Ok, it's more like I don't agree with a lot of people, but I am not about to go incite a riot or bully others to shut up. In fact, it is something I find a turn-off in many political pundits who rather than engage the points of debate instead shout, demean, and use bullying to stiffle their opponents. I don't think imitating that bad behavior lends credibility to anyone's cause. So, it was with some concern that I recently read this article on "Mob Rule on College Campuses."

"While academia has its own crimes to atone for, it's the students who have become the bullies as of late. A disturbing number seem to feel that theirs is an inviolate world to which no one of differing opinion need apply. As a result, everything from pie throwing to disrupting speeches to attacks on speakers has become commonplace."

That kind of behavior is not acceptable. A college campus should be a place where students and other members of the academic community should be exposed to different ideas. They should be coming together to discuss and debate the points, not to bully or disrupt. If you don't like what someone has to say, say so in a civilized manner. If you feel a need to get violent, maybe it is time for you to get up and leave. Part of the beauty of freedom of speech is that they may be free to speak, but you are free not to listen. When students behave in disruptive and even violent ways, it takes away from their dignity as well as from a campus's ideal of being a place for ideas to flow.

"It is not only conservative speakers who are at risk of having their free speech rights trampled upon on American college campuses. Those who dare criticize radical Islam in any way, shape or form tend to suffer the same fate."

We need to be able to engage ideas, debate them openly and freely. And yes, we need to criticize bad ideas. This sounds easier said than done. However, if we claim that as a nation we value free speech, then such behavior on our campuses, which are supposed to be havens of ideas and free thought, is simply not acceptable.

It would be nice if we could look to our colleges and universities as the bearers of progress, but at this rate it seems an unlikely prospect. If we are to truly promote an atmosphere of intellectual openness, respectful political debate and the free flow of ideas on campus, then we must stem the tide of thuggery, bullying and intolerance that threatens to subsume future generations.

A hat tip to The Kept-Up Librarian.

Monday, December 11, 2006

On predator hysteria

We are constantly bombarded in the news by stories about how bad MySpace and how it is pretty much a paradise for sexual predators. While sexual predators are a threat, they are certainly not the threat that the press and hysterical government officials appealing to people's fears make them out to be. Readers may want to take a look at this recent article on "Predator Panic" from the Skeptical Inquirer for September 2006. Some highlights from the piece:

  • On the famous 1 in 5 statistic: "According to a May 3, 2006, ABC News report, “One in five children is now approached by online predators.” This alarming statistic is commonly cited in news stories about prevalence of Internet predators, but the factoid is simply wrong. The “one in five statistic” can be traced back to a 2001 Department of Justice study issued by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (“The Youth Internet Safety Survey”) that asked 1,501 American teens between 10 and 17 about their online experiences. Anyone bothering to actually read the report will find a very different picture. Among the study’s conclusions: “Almost one in five (19 percent) . . . received an unwanted sexual solicitation in the past year.” (A “sexual solicitation” is defined as a “request to engage in sexual activities or sexual talk or give personal sexual information that were unwanted or, whether wanted or not, made by an adult.” Using this definition, one teen asking another teen if her or she is a virgin—or got lucky with a recent date—could be considered “sexual solicitation.”) Not a single one of the reported solicitations led to any actual sexual contact or assault. Furthermore, almost half of the “sexual solicitations” came not from “predators” or adults but from other teens—in many cases the equivalent of teen flirting. When the study examined the type of Internet “solicitation” parents are most concerned about (e.g., someone who asked to meet the teen somewhere, called the teen on the telephone, or sent gifts), the number drops from “one in five” to just 3 percent."
That is an example of what happens when people don't read closely or look at the source of a statistic, let alone see the context of it. And yet, the statistic, flawed as it is, continues to be cited.

  • On the (supposed) high offender repeat rate: "The high recidivism rate among sex offenders is repeated so often that it is accepted as truth, but in fact recent studies show that the recidivism rates for sex offenses is not unusually high. According to a U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics study (“Recidivism of Sex Offenders Released from Prison in 1994”), just five percent of sex offenders followed for three years after their release from prison in 1994 were arrested for another sex crime. A study released in 2003 by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that within three years, 3.3 percent of the released child molesters were arrested again for committing another sex crime against a child. Three to five percent is hardly a high repeat offender rate."
  • And something to think about the next time some legislator comes up with another law to make people feel better: "The tragic irony is that the panic over sex offenders distracts the public from the real danger, a far greater threat to children than sexual predators: parental abuse and neglect. The vast majority of crimes against children are committed not by released sex offenders but instead by the victim’s own family, church clergy, and family friends."
No one is saying that sexual offenders are not a threat or should not be dealt with. What I am saying is that maybe people should be more critical of the information they get, think a bit more before pushing laws, many of which are useless or meaningless, and then deal with the problems in a proportional and rational manner.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Taste in music

It's Friday, so readers know what that means for this blog. Why am I not surprised? Actually, this is pretty accurate for me since I seem to be stuck in that decade, and I am still pissed that MTV does not stand for music anymore. While I do listen to a few other things, and when someone recommends something I will go seek it out, I am mostly an 80s kid.

Your Taste in Music:

80's Pop: Highest Influence
80's Rock: High Influence
80's Alternative: Medium Influence
80's R&B: Medium Influence
90's Pop: Medium Influence

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bus driver throws hissy fit? But I still got to work

This morning was the kind of morning that you wonder what else could possibly happen. A couple of days a week, it is my turn to drop my daughter off at the bus stop. This morning, apparently, the bus driver got into an argument with a couple of parents, and she decided to throw what I can only describe as a hissy fit and actually drove off leaving about 20 kids or so stranded for the morning. No explanation as far as I can tell; she just drove off. Needless to say, I had to then drive and take my daughter to school myself. I don't mind that part as much, but I did mind the fact it created an inconvenience for me. You see, I take the commuter Metro bus to downtown, and the extra time to take my daughter in to school meant I missed my own bus. While my workplace knows that on the days I drop off my daughter I will come in a little later, I don't think the extra half hour or so was what they had in mind. So, to the driver of bus 784 for the CyFair ISD, thanks a lot for making our mornings that much harder.

I should clarify that I do have some sympathy for the driver; I believe that often there are two sides to a story. I have observed countless times when a couple of parents, who are not exactly paragons of good behavior, go up to the driver as the kids are boarding to either yell at their kids for not behaving or at the driver for trying to get their brats to actually sit down so the bus can move. You see, the driver won't drive on until all the kids are safely seated. Some safety thing I am sure. These are the type of kids that you take a look at them, then at their parents, and you know exactly why the kids are brats. So, dear driver, I certainly have some sympathy as I guess that you simply figured you weren't taking any more crap from those mofos. To be honest, had it been me, I might have done the same thing (or better yet, run those parents over). A pity though that you had to make your stand at the expense of the rest of us who are simply innocent bystanders. My bet is a couple of those mofo parents went to the school to complain, but they probably left out their role in the process. At any rate, odds are good we are getting a new driver tomorrow.

However, the day was not a total loss. I managed to drop my public library and drop some books off in their book drop. As I was driving towards the Park-and-Ride, for a brief time there was this lady in a red Geo Tracker laughing her head off. I don't know what she was reading on her paper, and I hope she was talking to someone on one of those hands-free cellphones (otherwise it would look like she was talking to herself and thus not as sane), but whatever it was seemed funny enough it made me smile to see her laughing so. I guess laughter can be contagious.

Now, I got to my Park-and-Ride late, and it looked like I would have to wait anywhere from a half an hour to an hour for the next bus. After the rush hours, they cut down to about an hour. However, a very nice lady heading downtown gave me a ride. Actually, there is a little carpool system going on that I have seen but never paid much attention to until this morning. So, for the benefit of those who may have the same questions I had, allow me to explain.

Here in Houston, there is an HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lane system on some major highways, which allow commuters to take those special lanes during rush hours. What some people do is they pick up riders so they can share the ride and meet the minimum number of riders in a car (at least 2 where I go from, but it can be up to 3 depending on location and time). When I take my bus in the morning, there is a line labeled "Carpool" and people standing in it. Cars pull up, and people get in, getting a ride downtown. I never gave it a try. For one, I figured you needed a healthy degree of faith to get into a stranger's car, not to mention they had to have the same faith, or more, you were not a carjacker or worse. Two, I wondered how they would agree in terms of where downtown the riders would get dropped off. For me, I can pretty much drop anywhere as soon as one gets off the HOV since the campus is not far from that area, and I can always take the light rail as well. The process can work in reverse in the afternoons as some drivers will pick up passengers at bus stops to ride back to the Park-and-Ride (assuming of course, the driver is headed to that area).

Since I was running late this morning, and this lady was looking for a rider, we both got lucky. We were both running late, and we were both coming in at a time out of the ordinary for us. Her tale of why she was late was certainly more amusing than mine. As she drove, she then told me some of the information I outlined above, which put helped me make better sense of how the carpool process worked. This only works during the rush times. This morning was the tail end of it, she had come to the Park-and-Ride hoping someone else was late too, and she found me. I was more than happy to help out. She did mention she often gets passengers in the mornings, but since she works long hours, does not do so in the evenings since it would be too late. Coming out of town may be more interesting, since people can be a bit more wary over passengers. She explained that, for instance, some women may choose to only ride if the driver is a woman as well. In this day and age, I can certainly understand that. However in her case, by then, traffic going back out of town is not too bad. So, to the nice lady who gave me a ride to work this morning, thank you, and I hope you enjoy your office holiday party.

Monday, December 04, 2006

There is something to humility

I came across this little post on the "honor of humility" over at Slacker Manager. I particularly liked the blogger's use of the Castaneda quote, which I am reproducing here, but do go over and take a look:

The humbleness of a warrior is not the humbleness of the beggar. The warrior lowers his head to no one, but at the same time, he doesn’t permit anyone to lower his head to him. The beggar, on the other hand, falls to his knees at the drop of a hat and scrapes the floor to anyone he deems to be higher; but at the same time, he demands that someone lower than him scrape the floor for him.
—Carlos Castaneda
Just some food for thought.

A hat tip to Problogger.

Friday, December 01, 2006

I may not like what you say, but I will fight for your right to say it

I believe those are the words of Voltaire (ok, as I understand it, it is often misattributed to him. There is some information on that here), and I do believe in that. So to that end, I was glad Keith Olbermann had something to say about Newt Gingrich's recent idea to "rethink" our freedom of speech. I could not say it any better, so I will let Mr. Olbermann's comment do the talking. All I can say is that it is time for people to wake up and be vigilant. Maybe go reread Orwell's works while you are it. I wonder if some of the Founding Fathers are rolling in their graves right about now. As I have said before, I try not to get too political, but as of late, it is getting harder to do so, especially with certain politicos suggesting the Constitution needs to be "rethought."

Some quotes from Mr. Olbermann's commentary:

Well, Mr. Gingrich, what is more 'massively destructive' than trying to get us, to give you our freedom?

And what is someone seeking to hamstring the First Amendment doing, if not "fighting outside the rules of law"?

And what is the suppression of knowledge and freedom, if not "barbarism"?

The explanation, of course, is in one last quote from Mr. Gingrich from New Hampshire… and another, from last week.

"I want to suggest to you," he said about these internet restrictions, "that we right now should be impaneling people to look seriously at a level of supervision that we would never dream of if it weren't for the scale of the threat."

And who should those "impaneled" people, be?

Funny I should ask, isn't it, Mr. Gingrich?

Because, as always with people wanting to take our rights away, they never tell you who exactly is going to be the watcher, and they sure as hell don't want the watcher watching them. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

But apparently there are some of us who cannot see, that the only future for America is one that cherishes the freedoms won in the past, one in which we vanquish bad ideas with better ones, and in which we fight for liberty by having more liberty, not less.

I have always had faith in the marketplace of ideas. I cannot help but wonder, are things really so bad in this nation that people now feel a need to simply silence anyone they disagree with? I thought that soldiers of this nation fought for the freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution, including our freedom of speech? Are we telling those soldiers now that their efforts are not worth it? Indeed, we fight for liberty by having more liberty, not less.

What a dark place your world must be, Mr. Gingrich, where the way to save America, is to destroy America.

I will awaken every day of my life thankful I am not with you in that dark place.

And I will awaken every day of my life thankful that you are entitled to tell me about it.

And that you are entitled to show me what an evil idea it represents — and what a cynical mind.

And that you are entitled to do all that, thanks to the very freedoms, you seek to suffocate.

I am thankful as well that for the moment we still live in a nation where anyone can say what they want. I will grant that if you say it, you should be willing to live with the consequences of your actions, but that is also part of what freedom of speech entails. And I am thankful that I am in a profession that can help people explore ideas and provide access to people looking for ideas or ways to question ideas. And I am thankful that I can be exposed to various opinions and ideas, even if I disagree with them.

Crooks and Liars has a link to the video here along with the transcript. Find it also at the MSNBC Website here.

Does Guacamole Need Avocados In It?

Yes as far as I am concerned. Then again, a reason why I prefer to eat homemade guacamole when I can rather than buying some "dip." First, a judge had to define what was a sandwich and a burrito. Now, a lady is suing Kraft Foods because their product labeled "guacamole dip" does not have enough avocados in it. According to the wire report,

"The Kraft product contains modified food starch, coconut and soybean oils, corn syrup and food coloring. It is less than 2 percent avocado, which in traditional recipes is the main ingredient of the Mexican dish."

I am sorry, but less than two percent avocado a guacamole does not make. Heck, it does not even make a simple avocado dip. Of course, we soon get the corporate reply,

"'We think customers understand that it isn't made from avocado,' Claire Regan, Kraft Foods' vice president of corporate affairs, told the Los Angeles Times. "All of the ingredients are listed on the label for consumers to reference.'"

Oh really? Well, on the one hand maybe that is a spot for reminding people to read those labels. On the other, it sounds like another shameful corporate excuse after getting busted for not having a true guacamole dip. I wonder what the average consumer thinks when they see something labeled as "guacamole dip"? Me, being the cynic I am, well, I don't want to know what is in it. I say stick with the homemade. It's not that hard to make. Find some recipes here and here.

Drawing a New Tarot Card

It's Friday folks, so odds are good readers of this blog knows what this post is. This is the result from a more recent draw of the Tarot Deck. Different result than last year, then again, different quiz. Definitely liked the heavenly body question, hehe. I also like the idea of infinite possibilities, which is something that goes well with librarians, especially with Instruction Librarians who have their own bags of tricks.

You are The Fool

The Fool is the card of infinite possibilities. The bag on the staff indicates that he has all he need to do or be anything he wants, he has only to stop and unpack. He is on his way to a brand new beginning. But the card carries a little bark of warning as well. Stop daydreaming and fantasising and watch your step, lest you fall and end up looking the fool.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

A hat tip to Liz's Library Tavern.

Booknote: Come Hell or High Water

Title: Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster
Author: Michael Eric Dyson
Publication Information: Cambridge, MA: Basic Civitas, 2006
ISBN: 0-465-04761-4
Genre: Nonfiction
Subgenre: Current affairs
258 pages, including notes and the index

This was a short book that I found hard to read because the more I read, the more angry I got at the government's incompetence and flat-out negligence during Katrina's passing. To be honest, I have avoided reading books related to Katrina, but I finally decided to pick this one up after one of our students was interested in it for a class assignment. Dyson looks at the hurricane through the lens of racial relations and poverty in the United States. The main theme of the book is that there was a storm brewing in New Orleans, and it was happening long before Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. Dyson looks at the politics, the levees, leadership (or rather the lack of any), FEMA, the profiteers, and even the role of faith and religion. In the end, a huge group of American citizens were neglected and abandoned by the leadership of their nation, and this book provides a very strong indictment. To support the indictment, Dyson cites a variety of sources, which are documented in the notes to the book.

There are various passages in this book worth thinking about. Here is a small selection:

  • "Race and class are two of the most salient social issues that the administration had failed to come to grips with. Katrina blew their cover-- and if we're honest, it blew our cover, too. We will remain imperiled if we postpone grappling with the lethal effects of race and class in our society. As horrifying as the actual events were, almost more disturbing was what Katrina revealed about the way the nation still thinks and feels about black people--whether in the media or in the culture more broadly. Ironically, this may also be the most opportune time in a while for the black elite to confront its own bigotry toward the poor and do something to help their plight" (138).
Dyson does not excuse anyone. From the administration to society to the black elites. He takes the time not only to indict but to explain how some of the attitudes and feelings come about. He also reminds us that it was not just blacks who suffered, a fact that was pretty much left out of most media coverage.

  • "But one of the untold stories of Katrina is how the hurricane impacted racial and ethnic minorities other than blacks. For instance, nearly 40,000 Mexican citizens who lived (mostly in trailers) and worked in New Orleans were displaced. Altogether, nearly 145,000 Mexicans in the entire Gulf Coast region were scattered by Katrina. Latinos make up 3 percent of Louisiana's population, 124,222 people of the state's 4,515,770 residents. Many Latinos who live in the South are foreign born and are undocumented laborers on farms or in hotels, restaurants, and other service industry jobs" (142).
This is definitely a book to read and a book that should encourage discussion.