Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The Numbers Game: Latinos

Yesterday, one of the big stories up here in the Virgina, Maryland, and DC area...was this report from the Migration Policy Institute (who proclaimed themselves as a non-partisan group).  They basically said that illegal immigrants were in the decline since the region had 'cracked-down' on illegals.

They then went off to cite some figures.  In one county in Maryland alone....it was a sixty-one percent loss over a five year period.  Course, then they cited a couple of other counties that had a plus-factor of twenty-four percent.  So folks got tough in one area and everyone moved to the other?  Yeah....more than likely.  The same was true in Virginia....some counties gained and some lost.

The curious thing when think-tanks or special interest groups come out with numbers like this....it's always rounded off and you start to wonder how they'd ever collect data on illegal citizens.  Eventually, you realize that you really can't.....and that most all of these numbers are made up by someone.  They might stand around a mall and just guess who is Latino and who is not....but you can't figure illegals unless you asked questions and no one is stupid enough to admit they were or not.

Adding to this report....they more or less label all illegal immigrants as Latino.  The fact that you might have some Russian illegals, or Nigerian illegals, or some Tonga illegals.....doesn't really figure into their reporting scheme.

So the value of this report showing decline?  Mostly worthless, if you ask me.

Maybe I'm Too Old

It's a curious thing....if you read the business news today.   Borders Group....which is currently the second-largest U.S. book chain....will likely file for bankruptcy by the end of February.  Borders runs around 500 stores and we may end up watching a third of those shut down....to survive.

I can remember book stores....being book stores, and maybe that's a sign of me being too old.  I have a Borders here in my neighborhood of Arlington.  If you walk in....there's this coffee shop and reading area.....where I watch people sit there with books in their hand and read.  I've sat and watched people sit with magazines....reading them.  It is....almost without thinking....a library, and frankly...libraries don't make money.

I can remember walking into a book store in 1977 and you'd never find a chair or seat.  I can remember clerks hustling up people who stood there for an hour reading a magazine rack area....just to pass time in the mall.  I can remember when coffee wasn't associated with book shops.....but with cafe businesses.

My guess is that Borders will begin to realize part of their business model is screwed up.  Maybe they will toss coffee shop scene and get back to basics.  Maybe they will chase out the free-loaders.  Maybe things will change (I said that about the banks, the mortgage business, and Chrysler....you know).    Maybe I am too old.

Just An Observation

I have come to see over the past couple of years....these bone-digger guys who proudly jump out and announce a bold new dinosaur existing.  You'd think at this point that they'd have found all the various types....but every couple of months....another guy freaks out and announces his finding.

Today....some guy jumped out and announced that he found a variety of the Triceratops but it was bigger and bolder.  So he's naming this discovery (bones do exist apparently)....a Titanoceratops.  Pretty nifty name, if you ask me.

So it's just like a Triceratops but it's got bigger horns, a longer nose, and a longer frill.

Yep.....almost like a Tricertops but a bit different.

After a bit of reading....I just sat there and kept thinking....he's only got one set of bones.  So what are the odds of this being Larry "the oddball" Tricertops.....who was a bit genetically deformed.  A one-of-a-kind?  Well....it'd help if he had more bones but he doesn't.  That kinda leads me to think that maybe it was just an oddball thing and thats all.

I'd hate to rain on this guy's parade, and he's probably a big legend already.....but it'd help to have another set of bones before you run off and get excited.  Just an observation....that's all.