Residency Not Determined by Undocumented Status

The Idaho Supreme Court ruled today that an undocumented immigrant who was injured in Ada County was entitled to medical assistance from that county regardless of his immigration status, stating that “the concept of residency does not distinguish between citizens and those who have entered this country illegally.”

The ruling reversed a board opinion and resembles the approach ten states have already taken to giving instate-tuition to undocumented students. Namely, residency and citizenship are two separate matters and defined differently.

A resident of Idaho as defined as “a person with a home, house, place of abode, place of habitation, dwelling or place where he or she actually lived for a consecutive period of thirty (30) days or more within the state of Idaho. A resident does not include a person who comes into this state for temporary purposes, including, but not limited to, education, vacation, or seasonal labor…”

Following that definition, most undocumented immigrants with the exception of seasonal migrant workers, are deemed residents by the county or state in which they reside. Their immigration status has no bearing on their residency.

The Supreme Court Opinion is here

The Sexist Politics of Online Censorship

Youtube has a strict policy of banning boobs or nipple show (unless we are talking educational material like self-examination – Actually on that note I am even going to defend the educational value of love scenes but not here). Getting to the point, someone please explain to me why showing L-O-V-E scenes with boobs (or even just sex for the sake of sex) is censored on the most popular video site but watching and listening to ignorance, bigotry, violence and hate speech online is not? What is ultimately more harmful to society? Kids seeing natural things like mammary glands or a twisted view of the world through this, this and this? I am just tired of the amount of times the L word community has had to remove or edit out certain portions of sex scenes to upload them — mind you, the scenes are done in good taste and I don’t remember anything vulgar about them. I simply don’t understand why it is acceptable to show your midriff or thighs but not other parts of your body. And then we have the double standard in society that men can walk around topless while women cannot. Explain.

On a good note, while prostitution is not legal, sites like Craigslist are not liable for postings that offer prostitution services. Heck, even child prostitutes are selling themselves on Craigslist but the Courts have ruled (and RIGHTLY in the case of file-swapping especially) that a medium of exchange is not liable for the views or materials exchanged on that medium.

Maybe I stand on an extremely liberal position on issues when it comes to sexuality — I cannot stand any sort of repression of human sexuality (unless we are talking about some issues involving minors). But I really do believe that our priorities are screwed up.

On a final note, here, here and here are some videos that show nipples during sex scenes that Youtube has not taken down YET, so enjoy while you can.

83% Blame Government for 'Illegal Immigration' not Immigrants

In a new poll by Rasmussen Reports, 32% of likely voters polled expressed anger over “illegal immigration” whereas 39% said it was just another one of the issues.

However, only 12% of people blamed immigrants for coming here–an overwhelming 83% held the federal government responsible for inaction and being lobbied by ‘special interest groups.’ It is indeed true that the federal government is unlikely to make any new immigration laws until after elections–increasing border control, passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Agjobs and the DREAM Act–are issues that the government would much rather ignore than tackle effectively.

Survey questions revealed that 43% of Americans thought that the government allowed immigrants to retain the culture of their home country while 32% thought the government encouraged them to fully embrace American culture with 26% unsure. It is unclear whether this issue contributed to voter anger and dissatisfaction.

How can ‘illegal immigrants’ be encouraged to assimilate into American culture? The obvious answer is to stop driving them underground and encourage them to become a part of American society. And yet, the expectations of the American public with regards to assimilation disregard history and the processes of cultural change. A first generation of immigrants hardly assimilate or integrate, even though studies suggest that they are assimilating and integrating in larger numbers than the first wave of European immigrants in American. It is usually the second-generation that adopts American culture much more readily than the first.

Americans want immigrants to adopt American culture–and there is nothing wrong with that desire. However, cultural change is a process and not something that should be ‘forced’ upon people. In itself, culture is also not a fixed immutable object–it is open to change, much like American culture that is an amalgamation of immigrants from many walks of life and continues to change.

There are studies that suggest the harmful side-effects of ‘assimilation’ — adopting American habits and behaviours, especialy diet, is particularly degrading for immigrant health according to a Smith College-led study.

“Simply put: the longer an immigrant lives in the U.S., the heavier that immigrant becomes. Scholars theorize this weight gain as due, in part, to acculturation,­ the adoption of U.S. diet and physical activity habits,” said Park. “Although in the popular imagination, acculturation is thought to be a positive factor for immigrants, in many arenas of health, acculturation has been shown to have a negative effect.”

Surely, we must be welcoming towards immigrants and encourage everyone to speak English. But there is no harm in learning foreign languages and eating healthier foods–it wouldn’t make us less American or threaten our sovereignty. After all, we are a nation of immigrants and adopting parts of other cultures into our own is ultimately very American.

Ontology, Space and Radical Politics

The Spaces of Democracy and the Democracy of Space Research Network invites you to:

Ontology, Space & Radical Politics, 4-5 August 2008

August 4th: Radical Politics Today, Community Forum

Long Beach Public Library, 101 Pacific Avenue, Civic Center Plaza, Long

Beach, 90822, 6-8pm

Panelists: Gilda Haas | Strategic Action for a Just Economy, Los Angeles; Laura Pulido | American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California; Goetz Wolff | Harry Bridges Institute, San Pedro & University of California, Los Angeles

Moderator: Jon Pugh| Director, The Spaces of Democracy and the Democracy of Space Network & Geography, Politics and Sociology, University of Newcastle

August 5th: Ontology, Space & Radical Politics, Workshop

Karl Anatol Center, California State University, Long Beach, 9am-430pm

Speakers: Nigel Thrift | Vice-Chancellor, Warwick University; Edward Soja | Urban Planning, University of California, Los Angeles; Lawrence Berg | Geography,

University of British Columbia; John Paul Jones III | Geography and Regional Development, University of Arizona; Sallie Marston | Geography and Regional Development, University of Arizona; Keith Woodward | Geography, University of Exeter; Liz Philipose | Women’s Studies, California State University, Long Beach; Mary Thomas | Women’s Studies & Geography, Ohio State University

Moderator: Deborah Thien| Node Director, The Spaces of Democracy and the Democracy of Space Network & Geography, California State University, Long Beach

For further information about these events, or to reserve workshop space, please contact Deborah Thien at

Flyer available in PDF format here:

or here:

Please circulate widely, with thanks.

Deborah Thien, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Geography

Book Review Editor, Emotion, Space & Society

Node Director, Spaces of Democracy, Democracy of Space

California State University, Long Beach

Telephone:         (+1) 562-985-7072


"Mann Tu Talbat" – Language and Meaning – TRANSLATION

Alright, so I am trying to understand this song called “Mann Tu Talbat” which is in Hindi, English and Arabic. I am having trouble with the Arabic part. Some say “Mann tu Talbat” means “I want you” whereas others say it denotes a double meaning or confusion like “I want you but I don’t want you too” ?? I usually detest translating language to understand it because you really cannot outside the cultural context in which is exists. Anyone who speaks Hindi (or a non-Latin language) knows what that means — there are some words and meanings that just do not translate over into English.


My buddy from UAE has kindly offered some translation. Thank you Sam!

Wainik inti  —Where Are you
Wainik inti  —Where Are you
ye noor al Aaien — Oh light of my eyes
Wainik inti  —Where are you
Ta’aali hayati  —Come here my Life
Ta’aali Aayouni —Come here my Eyes (like the one for whom his eye searches…or like the one his eyes are on..or even light of his eyes..justa  different word this time)
Ya Mafi Galbi — Oh the one without a heart (He’s saying this is a sense of “dont u love me? dont u have a heart?”)
habbikiiii – My Love