Migration and Immigration

The big day has arrived! Today is a memorable day inthe Dowbrigade household, and in the evolution of the Dowbrigade itself. At 12:30 pm, in Faneuil Hall, the Revolutionary marketplace in downtown Boston, the lovely Norma Yvonne will be sworn in as an American citizen. And then, afterwards, we will come home and begin the distasteful and traumatic process of migrating the Dowbrigade News from the Manila universe to the WordPress world.

After surviving nearly 10 years of marriage to the Dowbrigade, no mean feat in and of itself, and 5 years as a green-card holder (the five years before that she was in the well-known pre and post-9/11 INS limbo, as the agency shuffled towards transforming itself into the more muscular but still torpid ICE, and petitions were frozen, paperwork was lost, documents were), Norma decided she wants a US passport and she wants to vote in the next presidential elections, both of which she will now be able to do.

Even after 10 deliriously happy years of marriage and being more in love with the multi-talented soon-to-be-citizen today than the day we were married, one tiny, insecure iota of our soul fears that all this time she has been stringing us along until the day she gets her citizenship, at which point she will throw off the disguise, laugh wickedly into our stunned face, and hand us our walking papers. But that’s probably just something we should work out in therapy, if we ever get around to any therapy beyond blogging, which we won’t.

Norma is going to make a hell of a U.S. citizen, and the country is lucky to have her. She is one more reason that we need to keep the immigration pipeline open, and not just for college-educated economists like her. It’s not the immigrants and their values that are endangering the country.  Hell, their values are working their asses off, saving their money, and turning their kids into regular American citizens. They are thankful every day for the opportunities that this country offers.

The people WE are worried about have been here for so many generations that they take America’s freedoms for granted. The ones who expect (and in millions of cases receive) handouts from the government, are not working although they could, or instead working one of a hundred million scams, cons, or frauds through which they leech of of honest citizens.

But we can’t get caught up in that evil screed right now, we have to start getting ready for the Citizenship ceremony. And yet we can’t go without a word of warning.

This may be the last posting of all time for the Dowbrigade News as we know and love it. Reports from the far side of the migration from Manila to WordPress are mixed and sketchy. Bob Stepno reports a fairly problem-free transition. j’s Scratchpad reports managing the transition via a number of ingenious scripts that some clever friend sent her which sound way beyond our computer skills to facilitate. An unknown but disquieting number of other Harvard blogs have disappeared into the digital wilderness, and no one knows if or when they will reappear. We are particularly worried about the images, on which the Dowbrigade News relies.

But onward and upward, undaunted. The plain fact is that sometime tomorrow, or next week (details are still somewhat vague and contradictory) the Manila server will shut down forever.  Those who have not migrated will lose their blogs. Unfortunately, in WordPress we are not allowed to fiddle with the template code, as we were in Manila. We must choose one of the standard, pre-loaded templates.

As a result the Dowbrigade News will look considerably different.  No longer will it feature that attractive plaid stripe, the title strip photo of the trees along Memorial Drive, or the portrait of our cat, Chiqui. Some readers will applaud.

We remind ourself that using the same design for 3 years is slothful and unimaginative.  We remember that it is always good to learn to use new tools.  We are trying to look at this migration as an opportunity to try new and different things with our blog.

But we are going to miss Manila, our first blogging ax, as clunky and media-unfriendly as it became in its old age. It was its fatal talent as a Spam magnet that finally did it in. Let it Rest in Peace, and in its place  in blogging history.  And stay tuned, in this space (the URL and name will stay the same) for the New, Improved Dowbrigade News.

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