U.S. News Graduate Rankings Released

My grad school's in the top ten...
Georgia Institute of Technology :: News Room :: U.S. News Graduate Rankings Released: "Tech’s College of Engineering retained its position in the elite top five, behind only MIT, Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley. The eight engineering programs ranked in the top 10 are: aerospace (4th), biomedical (3rd), civil (5th), computer (6th) electrical (6th), environmental (8th), industrial and systems (1st) and mechanical (7th). "


Illegal Immigration

So, I caught the tail end of an NPR story on the drive home discussing a recent study on America's attitudes towards immigration [Pew Research Center]. Leaving the gym, I heard another story about the mixed economic effects of illegal immigrants [Marketplace.org]. This morning, I had caught another essay on NPR suggesting that the US simply focus on reducing illegal immigration through attrition and enforcement of existing laws, rather than through new legislation [NPR Morning Edition].

The Pew study was interesting - one finding highlighted was that support and acceptance of immigrants increased with exposure to them; namely, those most against relaxed immigration policies have the least contact with them. While this invites all kinds of speculation on racism, closed-mindedness, protectionism, etc, I am mostly interested in the third link - the commentary on what to do about things.

I am really uncomfortable with the idea of further criminalizing illegal immigration - I don't see how it would affect the problems associated with illegal immigration, which I perceive mainly as the economic drag on social programs. The suggestion to target employers of illegals seems most appropriate, and appeals to this engineer's sensibilities. Consider that there are some 10 million or so illegals, and that a sufficient pool of potential illegals exists to resupply this number. It seems the logical course would be to try to reduce the driving force - crack down on employers, and this pool will naturally decline. This is also a more practical approach, as the pool of businesses hiring illegals has got to be somewhat, if not significantly, less than the number of illegals (which we're calling 10 million). So, fewer targets to pursue, and this group won't immediately replenish itself. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Unfortunately, it seems instead that Congress would rather take the easier route of targeting the nameless, faceless illegals, rather than targetting American companies that create the demand for illegals. Congress gets to trumpet a new law just in time for the fall elections, people forget as the media changes its attention, and nothing really changes. /sigh


Hail to the chief

This link came to my attention from Buster Olney's blog at ESPN. It's a short anecdote about our president, Dubya. He comes off as a pretty funny, engaging guy - I think it's interesting, and can definitely see that this side of him would appeal to people and engender support. If he were a person who sought multiple viewpoints and to build consesus, he might have even been an effective leader. Instead, we get a guy who seems comfortable in a vacuumand doesn't court outside opinion, leading to our current state of affairs.

The Enquirer - President caught Brennaman off-guard in 2004 meeting

True Dat/Double True

I've linked to King Kaufman's columns before, and I'll do it again. This line's from today's baseball preview. You have to appreciate a columnist that simply understands and accepts the foulness of the Yankees as a basic law of nature, much like gravity and semi-intelligent design.

King Kaufman's Sports Daily | Salon.com: "I'm an honest person who is kind to animals and small children, mostly, and I deserve to see the Yankees not win their division at least once before my grandchildren swindle me out of my pension."