Friday, April 30, 2010

Immigration Refrom

I am not a politician. However, I think I have come up with a pretty decent solution to the immigration problem. And no, it does not include arresting anyone who "looks illegal".

I think the most practical and reasonable solution is to have a registration program. Yes, registered illegal aliens. These registered aliens would be able to get jobs, and would have to pay taxes just like everyone else.  They would also have to pay an additional "illegal" fee with every paycheck. This fee would be minimal, not more than $5. Then, after a set number of years (5, perhaps 10) the person would be allowed to apply for citizenship. While they are registered aliens, they would only be eligible for select social services programs (public school, emergency room care, etc). If they break any law during their "probation" period, they will be deported.

This is a practical solution because it is a good compromise. deporting every illegal immigrant is just not feasible. But at the other end, granting amenisty is not a good solution either. With my plan, the people who committed a crime do have to pay for what they did, and the government will make millions of dollars in revenue as a result.

Obviously, the second half of the plan involves tougher restrictions for companies that hire unregistered illegal workers, and tighter security at the border. Without these safeguards in place, we would have to face the same problem in a couple of years.

I know the plan isn't perfect, and I haven't thought out any of the details, but it is better than any other plan that I've heard.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Arizona Govenor Signs Immigration Law

I didn't think it could get worse than the House passing the Birther Bill. But I turned on the news today and saw that the Governor of AZ actually signed the Immigration Reform Bill into law.

Well, they call it immigration reform. Here is what it really is: A law that legalizes racial profiling and makes not having your ID on you grounds for being arrested. It also makes being a passenger in a car with someone who forgot their ID grounds for being arrested as well.
I usually don't care for the ACLU (they think every little thing is racist or sexist) but I think they have a valid reason to step in and fight this law. Every police officer in AZ can now pull a car over just because the driver is Hispanic. Or Asian. Or "insert ethnicity here". No probable cause is needed, no justification, just a "feeling" that the driver (or passenger) might be illegal. And if he/she can not prove that they are legal, they get to go to jail. Along with any friend or relative that happens to be with them. What happened to being innocent until proven guilty?
I honestly do think that we need some type of immigration reform. Throwing anyone who is illegal (or looks like they might be, whatever that means) in jail is not the answer. I have my own ideas on what the foundation of a good plan would look like, but I will post that on a later date. It involves registration and illegal fees though. I think its a good plan. I'll give details on my next post.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Birther Bill

Conspiracy theorists rejoice!  Someone is actually listening. And not just anyone, but the Arizona State Congress.

The Arizona House of Representatives voted 31-22 in favor of a bill that would require any presidential candidate to submit proof of US citizenship before being allowed on the ballot in the state.

This sounds kind of harmless on the outside. One of the requirements to be President is to be a natural born citizen, so aren't they just enforcing an already existing law?

Let us dig a little deeper. First, this has not been an issue since 1788, when the constitution was ratified. So why is it an issue now?  My guess is that it is an issue because there are a lot of people who do not like having Mr. Obama as president.  Many of them will do anything they can to challenge his legitimcy, even when proven wrong over and over again. Drop it people. He is president. It is over. You lost. Look towards 2012 and offer a better candidate (please not Palin, pretty pretty please)

Next, Let's talk about the individual states infringing on the rights of the federal government. Is it constitutional for a state to interfere with a federal campaign?  Is it a violation of the powers reserved to the state to have restrictions in place as to who may run for a federal office?  I don't think this is the state's place. If any governing body would be justified in making this type of law (for presidential elections) it would be the federal government.

And finally, let's talk about what the tax payers of Arizona are paying for. Legislatures who make laws based on conspiracy theories?  What about all of the real issues that the state is facing?  Illegal immigration, the economy, education, poverty...these are real issues that the state legislature should be trying to find solutions to. I would be pissed off if I were an Arizona tax payer, paying for a legislative body to come up with these types of off the wall laws.

Now, let's get back to the real reason for this law: President Obama. How many different ways does this guy have to prove that he's a citizen?  He submitted a copy of his birth certificate, and he found 2 Hawaiian newspapers that listed his birth announcement. Also, let's just say for sake of argument that he was born in Indonesia. His mother is an American citizen. Maybe I'm just not well ad versed in law, but isn't there a clause about being a citizen if born to an American citizen traveling abroad?  And if not, his mom brought him back to the states when he was a baby, so he wouldn't even know if he wasn't a true citizen. Should that be held against him?

I was really just venting in the last paragraph, I think this whole thing is incredibly ridiculous.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Parents Stranded in Europe Rush to Get Back to Kids

I am sure that everyone has heard about the volcano that erupted in Iceland which grounded all flights out of Europe.  But now, the big story that all the media channels are covering is of these unfortunate American parents who are stuck in the Netherlands away from their 4 children in the states, all who are under 9 years old.

Ok, so I know it sucks being stranded at the airport. I know it sucks when travel plans get disrupted, and it must be hard when it takes a few days or even a few weeks to get it straightened out. But you should see these people. Crying and bawling on the webcam because they are away from their precious babies.

I don't understand what they are so upset about. It's not as if they were kidnapped and taken away from their children. They chose to spend the first week away, and all of a sudden a second week is so much that they are bawling on the news?  Also, its not like the kids are home alone. They are being cared for by family members and friends, just like they were the first week.

I see this as a pathetic attempt to claim their 15 minutes of fame. It's even more pathetic that the public is eating this story up. I don't get it.

But maybe I'm just callous and insensitive.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Freedom of Speech Vs. Freedom of Religion/right to peaceful assembly/right to privacy

I am at a loss when I read the articles about the father of the Marine who was killed overseas who is batteling the Westboro Baptist Church in the legal system. I am glad that this issue has finally made it up to the highest courts, but I am afraid that the wrong decision will be made.

I don't trust our current judicial system. It seems as though the rights of the minority are usually protected either over the rights of the majority or at a loss of rights to the majority. This is not equality. This is not equal protection under the law.

I don't understand how the appeals court could say that the Church's right to free speech trumps the family's freedom to engage in a religious ceremony (most funerals are fundementally religious ceremonies). Doesn't the right to free speech already have certain limitations?  For instance, if you say you have a bomb on an airplane, you are going to jail. Bottom line. Also, if someone were to run into a Mosque or a Synagogue during a religious ceremony and yell slanderous things about the respective religion, that person would go to jail for a hate crime, or disturbing the peace, or something.

Nobody is trying to take away the Westboro Baptist's Church's right to say whatever they want about Soldiers, Homosexuality, or whoever else they feel like offending. However, they should not be able to say things in a setting that disrupts another groups constitutional rights, for instance, during religious ceremonies.

I am usually a strict defender of constitutional rights, especially free speech. My favorite quote is from Voltaire "I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to my death your right to say it".  I still agree with that. I will defend that church's right to say whatever hateful slanderous things they want. But I will also defend the fallen Marine's family's right to have their religious ceremony, have a peaceful assembly, and their right to privacy.

I should caveat this, I have a close friend who I lost to combat in Iraq. The protestors were at the funeral, but the Freedom Riders came with their flags and did an excellent job of blocking them, so the ceremony was not really disrupted. However, seeing those people with their signs saying such horrible things about my friends and other Americans whom we fight to defend was extrememly painful. I couldn't even imagine how much extra distress that would cause the family.

So take that for what you will, I might be a little biased. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Vatican Blames Catholic Priest Scandal on Homosexuality

The Vatican has determined why so many priests and bishops abuse children.  It is not due to the fact that the Catholic Church holds its priests to an outdated and unnecessary standard. Nor is it due to the fact that the strict religous views of the Church often turn natural behaviors into sins. No, it is the gays' fault.

That is right. The Vatican has officially blamed the entire child abuse scandal on homosexuality. Homosexuality is a sin, all homosexuals are also child molesters, it is a sickness, and that is why their poor priests and bishops abuse children.

I hope anyone reading this is also scratching their head and saying "huh?"  This makes absolutely no sense at all. Homosexuality is a naturally occuring condition. It has been documented in the wild. It was considered the norm in many ancient cultures. And per every 100, there is not a greater rate of homosexual child molesters than hetersexual ones.

The Vatican is just joining the "not me" culture and trying to blame somebody else for their problems. Maybe if they lifted the outdated ban on marriage for clergy members, people who have those types of tendancies wouldn't be as eager to join. Or, maybe if they realized that homosexuality is natural and not a sin, those within the faith who are homossexual wouldn't feel like they were outcasts, and wouldn't try to hide themselves behind the priesthood.

Although I don't think the Church will have that kind of foresight anytime soon, I always hope that the day will someday come. In the meantime, I would really like to hear your thoughts on the subject.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Celeb Media frenzy

Is it just me, or is it kind of silly that all we see on the news channels revolves around celebrity gossip? 

I don't understand why, when a pro golfer decided to cheat on his wife, we had to hear about it on the news...every day. For two months! I also don't understand why, at the begining of this year, a magazine (not sure which one...People maybe) put out an issue which listed the biggest scandals of the decade - and all of the cover photagraphs (except one) were of celebrities. One political scandal did hit the cover, and that was one of the congressmen who cheated on his wife.

I can think of many more scandals that happened during this past decade that were of much more social, economic, and political importance than what Britney Spears or Tiger Woods did last week. What about the IL governor trying to sell Obama's Senate Seat?  What about the scandal at Abu Ghraib and the resulting cover up?  What about the CIA agent who got her cover blown?  And for a society so worried about who is having sex with whom, what about the DC Madame, and her resulting suicide? 

Apparently, imporant scandals like these aren't interesting enough to grace the cover of a national magazine. Americans won't buy it unless it involves celebrity sex scandals. Let the dumbing down of America continue!