Kushiel’s Chosen readalong: week 7

Time for the final readalong post, chapters 73 to the end. Questions by me. Thank you to everyone for participating in the readalong. It’s been great fun, and I’ve really enjoyed having my opinions challenged, being wrong, and changing my mind. This is a really smart bunch. So many times I have wanted to scream “omg, keep reading!” or “wait until Kushiel’s [fill in the blank]!” I hope we continue reading, because I can’t wait to hear all your opinions on later events.

Without further ado:

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Kushiel’s Chosen readalong: week 6

Time for week 6 discussion of Kushiel’s Chosen! Questions from Lynn.

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Subject to the jurisdiction thereof

I’ve been trying to understand what some of the Republican candidates mean when they say they believe that the 14th Amendment does not mean that people born in the US are citizens. I think they are looking at the language “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” and not understanding what that means. They, bizarrely, think it means something like loyal to the United States. Thus the text of the amendment becomes “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and loyal to the United States, are citizens of the United States,” which would render the clause weird, if not redundant, considering the loyalty oath naturalized citizens have to take. But more importantly, this is not what the term jurisdiction means.

Jurisdiction means the power to have judgment over. People in the US (whether they are citizens, LPRs, non-immigrant visa holders, out of status, or undocumented) are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. This mean they have to obey the laws of the US and will be punished in US courts for violations of US laws. What this doesn’t refer to is diplomats and their children. Yes, this means that diplomats can come to the US, get into all sorts of trouble, and not get convicted and punished unless immunity is waived. Google Gueorgui Makharadze.

So my question is this: if we say that the 14th amendment does not mean that people born in the US are citizens because they are not subject to the jurisdiction of the US, do you really want all these people running around who are legally allowed to violate US law?

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Kushiel’s Chosen reread: week 5

Time for the reread discussion. This time it’s chapters 50-61. Questions by Susan. There will be a mild spoiler for the next book (I mention the big bad and Phedre’s feelings concerning the big bad) following the discussion questions when I get to my own thoughts. I will place an additional spoiler note there when I get to the spoily bit.

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The Separation of Church and Hate

And here’s another great post:

Now, I realize that there are many many Christians and Christian organizations that do good for their fellow man, that reserve judgment to their God and their God alone, and that tolerate and respect other religions, yet those organizations get overshadowed by mega churches with six figure salary earning, Lear jet flying, philandering pastors who shout perversely paraphrased versions of God’s words on issues like same sex marriage, birth control, abortion, and politics. I believe that this war on Christianity that people reference is actually a war on hypocrisy and the religious manipulation of a secular government and good God fearing people are caught in the crossfire. So, praise whatever god you wish, and pass the ammunition.

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The danger of thinking he can’t really win the election.


I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to distract from Alexandra’s message (as I think I may have done in my comments). This post is excellent. If it’s tl;dr, the picture really says it all, but please, do us all a favor and read it.

Originally posted on Jump:


Here is my disclaimer:  I was a republican up until a few months ago when I officially changed my voting status to non-affiliated.  

I am not a historian, but I have a small amount of understanding as to the relationship between economic instability and  world instability.  And here is what I know.  When one group of people lose “power” resulting in economic decline and hardship  the blame tends to focus to some “other” group of people who  seem to be the cause of the shift.  

The thing about Donald Trump is that he is a neighborhood bully who has been able to tap into the underlying fear of white, middle america by brilliantly pointing the finger at certain groups and by giving name to the fear of the “others” who are not like “us”.   Haven’t we heard about how “illegal aliens” are taking our jobs?  What about those…

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Kushiel’s Chosen readalong: week 4

Chapters 37-49. Questions by Lisa. More on the readalong here.

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What’s another word for anchor baby? Citizen.

When listening to the ideas coming out of the Republican primaries, my heart stopped for a minute. With the exception of Jeb Bush, it appears that the candidates want to repeal the 14th Amendment. My first child was born in the US to one non-citizen parent. I remember how easy it was to get his birth certificate and passport. I filled out a form in the hospital. They sent it off to the great abyss. A few weeks later, we applied for his US passport. Then we traveled as a family to Israel so he could meet the rest of his family.

I also remember my husband naturalizing. To our interview, we brought pictures of our wedding and of our baby. I had joked that we should dress our baby like this for some of the pictures.

My husband was not amused.

Like the fertile octogenarian, the welfare queen, or the American dream, the anchor baby is a fiction. An anchor is, generally, a heavy object attached to a chain, which, when thrown from a boat, buries itself in the bottom of the body of water to hold the boat in place. The myth of the anchor baby is that having a baby in the US (thus a US citizen baby) will keep the parents from getting deported. That’s just not true. A child cannot apply for immigration benefits for its parents until it turns 21. People are not showing up in deportation proceedings with babies and having the judge say “oh, ok, you can stay.”

My second child was born outside the US to two US citizen parents. Because her parents are citizens, she is a natural born citizen (similar to Ted Cruz*). I remember the pain in the ass it was to get her a US passport. The London embassy was uncooperative and unresponsive. I couldn’t get good information concerning what documents we had to bring to the appointment to prove her eligibility or what the requirements even were. Eventually, the State Department told us that my husband and I weren’t really married. Funny, since we got my UK visa through marriage. The menial office worker at the consulate told us that there was a technical glitch that any other government wouldn’t catch. Well, the US Department of Homeland Security didn’t catch it either, since marriage is how my husband got his US citizenship. I think it was just her making shit up to make things more difficult or stressful for us than it needed to be.**

When listening to the Republican primaries and hearing this idea about requiring new mothers and fathers to have to apply for citizenship for their children, it was like I had flashbacks to dealing with the State Department (though in these cases, as it will likely be done in the US, the paperwork will likely be handled by DHS. Praise God, as they are a lot more competent and able to provide good information). I can’t imagine forcing every new parent to have to provide proof of their own citizenship or immigration status in order to get a passport, for example, for their child (haven’t we learned what a pain in the ass it is to get voter ID? That’s not even when you have a newborn with you).

How does it benefit anyone to revoke birthright citizenship? There is no such thing as anchor babies. How is it a good idea to pretend that they are and force every new parent through the already painfully slow process of applying for visas and citizenship? It’s not like we’re the UK and we have a fast and easy process and we have to worry about who is entitled to NHS care. Maybe it’s just me–because I’ve been through what can be the headache of the US immigration system when it works like it’s supposed to, I don’t see the point of overburdening the system or parents for a mythical creature.

*I’d like to point out that even if there were any truth to the ridiculous claim that Obama forged his birth certificate and that he was born outside of the US, by virtue of being born to a US citizen parent, he is a natural born citizen. The alternate title to this post is don’t trust birthers on immigration policy issues.

**There was no technical error. Even if there had been an error in our Maryland ceremony, after the ceremony, we lived in Texas as husband and wife and so were married by virtue of Texas’s common law marriage statute and the full faith and credit clause. This was more the consulate having a case of the stupids, but it makes a good story.

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How to change the “Leave a comment” prompt on a WordPress.com website


Just so I don’t forget (again) how to do this…

Originally posted on James Riddett:

Karthik asks…

“Is it possible to change the text ‘Leave a comment’ to something else that’s personalized to the content of the site?”

It sure is! In your dashboard, go to Settings > Discussion and scroll right to the bottom of the page. Under the “Comment Form” header, enter new prompt text and click Save Changes.

Best wishes,

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Kushiel’s Chosen readalong: week 3

Yay! Time for more Kushiel’s Chosen discussion (chapters 27-36)! This week, questions are from Allie. Find out more about the readalong here. Again, I will try not to spoil. If I do inadvertently, please tell me.

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