Archive for March 3rd, 2017

This is what makes a good day: learning something new. Often it’s at work, but not always.

I was doing some research on demographics. I could NOT find what I wanted at the Census, so I looked on the page for the Department of Homeland Security. I discovered a word that was new to me: asylee. My spellcheck does NOT like it.

USCIS’ somewhat skewed definition: “An alien in the United States or at a port of entry who is found to be unable or unwilling to return to his or her country of nationality, or to seek the protection of that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution. Persecution or the fear thereof must be based on the alien’s race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. For persons with no nationality, the country of nationality is considered to be the country in which the alien last habitually resided. Asylees are eligible to adjust to lawful permanent resident status after one year of continuous presence in the United States. These immigrants are limited to 10,000 adjustments per fiscal year.”

The difference between a person seeking refugee status and asylum status you can check out here; the distinction is narrow. The dictionary definition of asylee is merely “a person who is seeking or has been granted political asylum.”

That day, Facebook decided that I might want to repost something from five years ago, and I, unusually, actually did. The item received more likes this time around than it did in 2012, maybe because it’s even more true:

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”
― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

On my way home on the bus that night, I hear the guy behind me talking, ending with “I try not to f@#& too many of the shanks in the apartment building.” I figure he’s some sort of lowlife scum.

But then I hear, in an odd mechanical male voice, “I try not to f@#& too many of the shanks in the apartment building,” which is oddly amusing. And then he sends the audio file to someone, I believe to himself. Is he some sort of writer? If you find that line in a book published in the next couple years, or hear it in a movie theater near you, know it was created and dictated on the CDTA 905 bus.

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