I don’t really have any subjects that rate a full-length entry today, but there’s a few items I want to make short comments about…
RenFaire – We went to the Virginia Renaissance Faire last weekend. This Faire needs work. The entire Faire was tents and portable booths in an empty field – no permanent buildings, no electricity or other services (useful for merchants who want to take Lady Visa and Master of the Card). It also failed to convey a medieval atmosphere. The “storyline” performers were weak, and the script was worse. Even the “professional” acts were weak – at least, the few we saw. The bellydancers weren’t bad, especially the one who WASN’T in traditional bellydancing costume – but they had not developed a real show, and spent most of their time watching the audience members they had brought up on stage, especially the three-year-old. The juggler was the absolute worst I’ve ever seen, so bad that he had quite a variety of prepared remarks for when his tricks failed. Admission to the Faire was only $5, so we weren’t surprised at the quality – but hopefully the owners plan to reinvest their profits over the next several years, to build this Faire into something worth attending. In the meantime…we still had fun. Any excuse to get into garb!
Immigration – The Washington Post recently published an article comparing the taxes paid by citizens born in this country and those paid by immigrants. An interesting answer to those foes of illegal immigration who say that the illegals are sucking up government services without paying their share – but why did the researchers find it necessary to combine illegal and legal immigrants into a single group? As far as I know, no rational person is claiming that legal immigration is a problem (members of the KKK do not meet my definition of “rational). So why are they mixing two completely separate cases? A possible explanation can be found in the article itself – the D.C. area attracts a large number of highly-skilled, highly-trained, and highly-paid legal immigrants. Since they make well over the national average, they pay well over the national average in income and property taxes…which, when combined with the sales and other such taxes that even people without a legal identity cannot escape, brings the average for this artificial group up close to the average for native-born citizens. While they did include some of the results that show that illegal immigrants pay less taxes than their percentage of the population, the very title of the article – “Immigrants Pay Tax Share” – tells the world what the point of the article is.
Gay Marriage – President Bush is pushing a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. I would have a lot to say about that – but since it has absolutely no real chance of passage, it hardly seems worth it. Politics is supposed to be “the art of the possible.” It is sad that this administration is so far down that the only thing still possible for it is to throw out stumbling blocks to prevent consideration of policies that could actually be accomplished.