Monday, September 01, 2008

Firearms in society: what are we to do?

Gun laws are part of the world these days. As is the occurrence of people ‘going postal’ or school killings. And the responses to these new threats and outbreaks are as varied as the nations they occur in.

In Canada as a response to the murder of Anastasia De Sousa and injury of 20 other people at Dawson College in 2006, a new law - ANASTASIA'S LAW – has been enacted in Quebec. This law restricts firearms in public transit, and at schools and daycare centers. It requires psychologists and other medical professionals to report people with high-risk behavior and/or gunshot injuries.

Jacques Dupuis, Quebec's public security minister, said that the package "is not perfect. But, it's a piece of the puzzle, a way to try to prevent tragic events like Dawson from happening again."

In England the fear is their terror in becoming what is perceived as American life

“Everyone wants to be a gangster now, mainly the kids. You have five or six in a little crew and one of them will be carrying. They want handguns - shotguns are too big and bulky. The sawn-off doesn't look so good but use a machine gun and you get known as a heavy guy. They have them just to be a chap on the street, to pose. Some of them walk around all day with a .38. It's 16-year-olds at it and it's getting like America, silly as it sounds.”

Though their problems are not American imitation as much as the breakdown of social morals that every nation these days faces.

“Playground squabbles are now being settled with guns," he said. "And drug dealers are taking a policy decision to get youngsters to carry guns.”

But in the U.S. there are some other views.

“Spurred by fear of a violent attack or because they have actually survived one more Washingtonians are getting a concealed pistol license. The license, or CPL, allows them to travel with a hidden gun among an unknowing public. License holders jumped from about 179,000 to 258,000, 43 percent, between 2003 and 2007. The state Department of Licensing says permit applications in Kitsap County jumped from 1,587 in 2004 to 3,339 in 2007.”

“Mike got his concealed pistol license about four years ago and carries a .45-caliber Glock (he has a smaller 9 millimeter for when he's wearing lighter clothes or is in the company of his "anti-gun" relatives). He carried intermittently until the Virginia Tech massacre, in which 32 people died when a gunman shot up classrooms in a building and then killed himself.

“It was then that I realized that you can't count on help being there when you need it. You're only guaranteed a chance when you are able to defend yourself," he said.”

And in at least on school

“Harrold Supt. David Thweatt said some of the school's 50 employees are carrying weapons, but he wouldn't say how many.”

So which thought is the right one? Which provides the best answer to the public?

Is Canada right in their restrictive measures? But what happens when a criminal or crazed individual does get a firearm, which in England is easy and cheap, and the police are minutes away? What if a teacher, or a responsible trained civilian with a liscenced concealed weapon is right there and able to prevent the wanna-be ganster with a machine gun, or end the threat that could create a Dawson College or Virginia Tech. What if a teacher or school employee is able to stop a Columbine before dozens are injured or killed.

The issues involving firearms are universal in this world. There are always people who want to be a gangster, or are criminals, or deranged. There is no preventing the proliferation of firearms – whether converted, smuggled, or sold legally – in a world where the internet can provide the instructions to convert a fake or rendered safe firearm into a functional weapon.

Blame is a wonderful tool to obfuscate the resolution. Blame movies, or television, or drugs, or cartoons, or American culture. Blame never resolves the issue at hand, nor brings the dead to life. Blame never prevents violence.

So what is the best answer?

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

How pure and safe are your natural health products?

In Canada there is a new argument brewing that could lead to a change in the United States as well. The question is what to do about the various natural health products that are imported into the country. Some feel that these products should be tested in their version of the clinical trials drugs must undergo to receive FDA approval. Without this approval the natural products would be restricted from sale in Canada.

Some feel that
“Traditional medicine cannot be tested the same way as pharmaceuticals," explained Peter Wood, President of Traditional Chinese Medicine Association of B.C.

I disagree. I cannot see the problem in testing a product that, for example, cures headaches. The fact that it has been reputed to do that for over 1000 years does not mean it is perfectly safe for everyone. Does this item have the same effect on children? Or the elderly? What if you already have an ailment like cancer or diabetes?

The fact is that 1000 year old wives tales may hold a good deal of truth, but that does not mean that 1000 years ago they also had certain side effects or limitations that have since been forgotten in the telling. Thus there is a benefit in checking.

Another question that could be answered is the purity of the products. Maca may well be fantastic, but in the supplement you might take how much Maca is actually there? How much do you need to be effective? Do the other ingredients have negative effects, or detract from the benefit you hope to receive?

There is no clear answer to any of these questions today. Testing the natural products can give us these answers, and testing should be relatively fast since it’s already known that most people have not had deadly effects of any product. So I don’t understand the argument against Western-style testing.

In Canada the Bill is C-51, and I think it should pass. And if Canada can do this, so can America. But I’m only one voice, what are your thoughts?

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Omar Khadr: Beyond media, bias is it fair?

There is an international shit storm about to hit the U.S., and the American media is eating it up. The storm comes in the form of a video released to the Canadian government of detainee Omar Khadr. Omar Khadr is currently held in Guantanamo, after being captured in Afghanistan where he is alleged to have killed U.S. Sgt. Christopher Speer and blinded another with a grenade.

Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizen. He is the son of alleged Al Quida financial supporter Ahmed Said Khadr, his father. He was captured when he was 15, six years ago. Canada has not tried to get his release, and continues to make no efforts to regain him. He is facing life imprisonment in October.

The following video is the longest version of the video released to Canada, that I have been able to find so far. It is 5 minutes of 10 that exists. This snippet of video is the material being used by Canadian defense lawyers on behalf of Khadr.

When I say snippet that is because there is in fact 7.5 hours of video. The defense obviously used the most beneficial minutes for their cause. Part of what was excluded was video showing Khadr denying the existence of his family, and urinating on their photo.

I will comment further after the video

First let me say that I am a supporter of the Child Soldier Act [also see here What's better a laptop or food?]. I believe everything possible to prevent children from engaging in war should be done. The U.S. government (at all levels) has dragged its feet in this matter.

Now as for the video, it’s not horrendous. It does show that he is being treated like an adult though, which is illegal for a U.S. citizen child. He is Canadian. I cannot comment on international law (I don’t know it I’m not a lawyer).

The interrogations are being done by CANADIAN agents. They were involved lock step with his American detainment. The Canadian government was directly aware of what was happening, and they felt it was appropriate.

He was deprived of sleep, that is illegal mental torture. But he was given food and rest as the video clearly states.

The wounds he wants to receive pity for were inflicted (as reported by Rolling Stone in the most anti-war form) from the grenade he used to kill a U.S. soldier. [I have seen one news item stating the chest wounds were from gunshots – it is not made clear how he was shot in that same article] That grenade injured his eye and chest. And as noted in the video and the fact he has lived for 6 years he received adequate medical treatment, which the Canadian government was aware of.

These are facts we can determine from what is known. Anything else is subjective, and based on the views of the viewer. And the media is definitely against Guantanamo.

The first sentences of several media news releases says it all.

AP via Yahoo – TORONTO - A 16-year-old captured in Afghanistan and held at Guantanamo Bay sobs during his questioning, holding up his wounded arms and begging for help in a video released Tuesday that provided the first glimpse of interrogations at the U.S. military prison.”

Newsblog - “A 16-year-old sobbing teenager is not, needless say, the image the Pentagon would like you to associate with its infamous destination for "enemy combatants".”

Rolling Stone – “At that moment, Omar entered the extralegal archipelago of torture chambers and detention cells that the Bush administration has erected to prosecute its War on Terror. He has remained there ever since.” [3rd paragraph]

Leader-Post – “Canadian Security Intelligence Service officials "callously disregard" everything terror suspect Omar Khadr had to say during an interrogation when he was 16 years old, according to the Guantanamo detainee's two lawyers.”

And it just goes on.

But let me refer back to something. Ahmed Khadr trained his son to be a fighter. Ahmed Khadr placed his son in a war zone to kill Americans for Al Quida. Omar threw the grenade that killed Sgt. Christopher Speer.

It’s one thing to be against recruiting children into a military, or to force them to fight. It’s quite another to defend yourself as the child tries to kill you. Successfully at that.

In that video, did you hear remorse? Did you hear any argument that he did not kill Americans? Did you note him being upset that his father placed him in the situation he was in? NO, I did not.

You heard a child that wanted sympathy for the consequences of the actions he took, and his father wished him to live. You heard a child (whether he states, Kill Me or Help Me) that realizes that he has done a wrong and is being punished. You hear a trained assassin that is seeking means to circumvent any legal reprimand for his actions.

Are those my opinions? Yep. And of his Canadian government.

So while the media may want to focus on the fact that this murderer, active in a war zone, was a child and was treated, admittedly, badly stop. Before you give him pity stop. Before you hear the roaring tide of liberals saying that war is bad, stop.

Before Omar Khadr threw that grenade he had a choice. While in interrogation he had a choice. Before he urinated on the picture of his family he had a choice.

The lawyers from his defense team had a choice after viewing 7.5 hours of video tape. They chose the most sympathetic 10 minutes. What happened in the remaining 7+ hours?

The news media at large had a choice in how to frame this video. They could present facts, or color the presentation to increase exposure, gain sympathy, and support their political views. Call me old-fashioned but I believe Edward R. Murrow was in favor of facts.

Is his incarceration fair? Not entirely. But then again many nations incarcerate minors that commit murder, some less Westernized nations kill them.

Was his interrogation and torture fair? Who are you asking, me, yourself, the members of SGT. Speer’s unit, or the family of Sgt. Speers? You might get different answers from each, and every one of them is valid.

War is not without its mistakes and over-reactions. It is the single worse state of Mankind. But it is also a reality that has existed for as long as Mankind.

In the end this particular story does not reflect on Guantanamo, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Oil, Terrorism, America or Canada. It is a very small piece of war, and it is sad. Any other thought is what you bring to it, just as I have and the news media in general have not.

I would have to believe that overall we all would agree that this was not a shining moment for anyone involved, but that it is part of the price of war. It’s one outcome in a sea of tens of thousands of outcomes, just as occurred in Viet Nam, World War I, the Spartans last stand, the Crusades and every other conflict known to Man.

So what do you think? Not what the media, or fanatical political or religious groups want you to think, but your thoughts?

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Wilderness Society doesn't like oil shale - I'm shocked

Earlier today I wrote about oil shale, and it’s potential to help ease energy needs in the future. I received an email later in the day from a Mr. D.B. [I’m withholding his name since he did not publicly make a comment] pointing me to information found at The Wilderness Society. The specific page I was directed to mentions (with a nice use of bold tags and darkly worded writing) how oil shale is ineffective as a fuel source today, will not affect prices today, and that any new action is inadvisable since oil companies have access to oil shale today.

I never stated that oil shale or anything else will resolve the price of crude oil, or the need of energy in the United States, tomorrow. In fact in the few lines I devoted to a timeline I clearly stated a far future point.

“Now since there is no oil shale market (yet) and given that mining shale is a very different process from drilling for oil, I would imagine that several oil companies will be looking for acquisitions and joint-venture deals with mining companies that have the ability and experience in this field. Schlumberger, Shell, EnCana, Chattanooga Corp, Fushun Mining Group, Tosco Corporation, Petrobras, Viru Keemia Gripp are just a few involved in some aspect or projects with oil shale. I doubt that the number of companies will decrease in the coming years.”

But I will say that not acting today on multiple energy sources simultaneously will only create a bigger problem in the future. It is the inaction and political bickering of past Congresses that has lead to the problems of today. In 1973 America knew that foreign oil was a problem. It was $10 then. Since that time we have decreased our refineries, decreased our drilling, blocked multiple sources of drilling, blocked or hindered multiple pathways for energy research, and cherry picked the worst energy alternatives in the world. Thus oil today is $140, gasoline at $4.07.

I will also dispute the claim that oil shale is unusable as an energy source. It may have difficulties but several nations use it today. They may not be the size of the U.S. but they are creating power via oil shale. Thus near term use is a reality (unless you believe that Estonia has a secret ability to generate most of its power from oil shale). In fact Canada, Turkey, Jordan, and Egypt all have plans to use oil shale to some degree or manner for power generation. Effective use, which the article states is maybe a decade away, is near-term especially as other nations find means to use this resource.

Thus already 2 of the major themes to not START a serious oil shale program are defeated between this post and the last. The big question, which I know little about, is what are companies doing currently.

The article states that a handful of companies haver some land with oil shale reserves. It states that nothing has been done with this land. It does not state whether environmental regulations will allow the mining of shale, or any other material. Just like the oil reserves found of the coasts of America, we know where it is and comnpanies hold rights to explore – but federal and state regulations prevent any action on them. The article completely fails to address that issue, which is a factor that has helped to cause the current environment.

The article wastes no space in stating we should not rush into oil shale, but it gives no space to any alternatives. It is that kind of philosophy that leads to problems that cause a rush to action. Again, I was not advocating oil shale or any single energy source. I advocate (and believe the government needs to mandate) all energy sources. I think we need to require oil shale development, and solar, geothermal, wind, biomass, grass-derived ethanol, nuclear, and coal as well as oil. Developing all of these ensures that America will have power at reasonable prices in 10 years, 20, even 50 years after all oil is gone.

Now I can understand why no alternative was suggested. Wilderness Society has since 1935 sought to protect wild nature. They are like other groups that prevent logging to save spotted owls, and refuse to allow drilling in ANWAR. The friends I grew up with, went to college with, served in the millitary, and currently live around would call these people treehuggers. Not meant in a nice way.

While I respect their love of nature, I am a city-dwelling internet using, motorcycle riding man of the 21st century. I fully understand that to live the lifestyle we all enjoy there are sacrifices that must be made. I also understand that technology and understanding of the environment have improved enough that we can minimize the impact we make to gain the fuels and resources we need. I futher understand that the only way for humanity to cease it’s impact on nature is to give up computers, cell phones, iPods, cars, lights, television, movies, plastics, hamburgers, you get the point.

Mr. D.B. may have many reasons to believe that oil shale is not viable today. And I agree with some. But I am willing to work on it and other ideas so when we need it in 10 or 20 years we will be ready. Their argument would have you light a candle.

But choose for yourself.

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Friday, March 07, 2008

Canada and the NYC bombing - 3.7.2008.1

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Is anyone paying attention to Canada? Specifically the border. Because, again, it seems that no one is.

On Thursday, some nutjob set off a bomb at the New York City recruiting station which has been in place since WWII. Obviously government agencies are looking at every angle on whom this idiot was and why they committed this act of terrorism. [Personally my first and recurring thoughts are that it’s one of the pathetic ungrateful members of Code Pink and/or the Berkley city council. They are all just loopy enough to do such an act and perversely think that this was a positive.]

Part of the investigation has led to an incident at the Canadian border roughly 1 month ago.

“They went over the facts: Two of four men in a car got out and tried to cross the border on foot; the authorities pursued them but did not catch them; when the car was inspected at the checkpoint, each of the four bags were found to have contained four foreign passports for four people. In one of the bags were those writings and photographs [anarchist writings and photographs of various spots around New York City — including the military recruiting station and the police station in Times Square], the official said.”

As of this writing, the above incident has been ruled as not connected to the NY bombing. So does anyone feel any more secure or confident about the incident? I surely don’t.

You may recall me stating

“But if we are to posture about security and claim a need to patrol and defend the southern border, no less attention needs to be directed at our neighbors to the north. And I would wager that if 17 were caught, many more have already crossed without incident.” – June 2006


“But how does a person who is flagged and sought after by the American government enter the nation? Through Mexico, crossing the border with illegal immigrants in the dead of night across difficult terrain? No, a casual drive over the northern border is all it takes.” – June 2007

Now we learn of people that were up to no good at the northern border. I mean they ran from authorities, had 12 passports, and pictures targeting spots in NYC.

And not one of them spoke spanish, or were descibed as Hispanics/Latinos. Amazing, unless you realize that the biggest threat to America is to our north not south.

In the past 3 years there was at least 17 terrorists, one biological idiot, and numerous people with fake documents and troubling photos all at the northern border. Name any threat to national security that entered from Mexico in the same time.

That does not mean that illegal aliens entering from the south are not an issue. The flow needs to be stemmed. But I at least believe that Canada is the waypoint for terrorists hoping to kill hunderds or thousands of Americans. And our elected officials seem not to care.

I hate to say it, but it may take an act that kills Americans and a live chase via helicopter cam crossing our border to the north with caucasian terrorists before the general public wakes up to the present and continuous threat. I pray such an event doesn’t happen, but it seems it’s the only way to be safe.

Maybe the bombing in New York wasn’t done by a sick, deranged, bastard that entered our nation via Canada this time. But that’s where the threats have been in the past, and eventually it will be where we will have to look in the future too.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

More issues at the Canadian border - 6.1.2007.1

While everyone is busy being afraid about the potential problem that Mr. Andrew Speaker has posed to the health of various airline passengers around the world, I have focused on another matter. True, one person can cause a huge problem, infecting enough people to quickly spread an infection to multiple nations and thousands of people. Yet, given the low transfer rate of this form of Tuberculosis and the relatively limited time to contract the disease, my concern is more focused.

What could be more of a concern for me? What is more devastating than this well-hyped health scare? Our northern border.

I do not blame Canada for allowing a U.S. citizen to enter their country, and to leave it. They had no idea who this guy was, nor did we tell them to look out for him. Canada did nothing wrong. But how does a person who is flagged and sought after by the American government enter the nation? Through Mexico, crossing the border with illegal immigrants in the dead of night across difficult terrain? No, a casual drive over the northern border is all it takes.

I’ve spoken about this several times,
“…But if we are to posture about security and claim a need to patrol and defend the southern border, no less attention needs to be directed at our neighbors to the north….”

I further stated,
“The government may wish to stick its head in the sand, and assume that if we protect one border all are safe. The public at large may wish to assume that one culture is more dangerous than another. But the fact is, and is shown to be again, that such precepts are both false and dangerous.”

In that post I spoke of 17 terrorists, in this one we discuss a man who carried a virulent disease, was flagged by the nation, and used his passort that stated exactly who he was. Yet there is rampant terror about what happens at the southern American border. How much more ridiculous does this all get?

I have mentioned this several times, and as often as the media discusses various individuals entering America from the north, nothing is being mentioned by our politicians. That’s quite troubling. Think about it, if you were a demented fanatic and you see the world news where American pundits are arguing about the Southern border – yet let Mr. Speaker pass without hesitation – where would you head to cause trouble? Fanatics may be sick, but they are not necessarily stupid.

When will we stop being obsessively worried about the darker-skinned and more obvious neighbors to the south, and pay attention to the larger, least watched border to the north? If 17 terrorist, among the many others we know have already crossed into the U.S., are not enough of a wake-up call this one incident definitely is. Border security is not a one sided issue, nor should it be focused against one type of people. That’s a huge group of –ism’s that only lead to one thing, a nation less safe for it’s population.

This is what I think, what do you think?

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Responding to a reader comment Conclusion - 4.23.2007.3

Concluding Response to comments on Immigration and student aid for college...

Given that there is no identical nation to America, the similarities to other nations cultures is hit and miss in a buckshot pattern. 1 million immigrants of any nation would have varying degrees of integration difficulty. Canada is no better or worse than any other country.

I also feel a subtle confusion has occurred. The assumption is that your comments are comparing similar groups of immigrants. This is not the case. When you mention 15 million Hispanics you mention they are poor and from the 3rd world. You forgot to mention that they are also illegally here. To my knowledge most illegal aliens are poor and from lesser countries. That is why they come to America and other nations. To improve their lives. Immigrants that are rich, and/or from non-3rd world nations tend to be less likely to immigrate illegally. They have a lesser need, and time is not a factor that is detrimental to them. In addition the more poor the individual, and the worse the conditions of their native country the less likely they are to have higher educations. That does not mean they are stupid, just less educated. Doctors of any nation have less difficulty immigrating than do bricklayers, in any nation.

To be fair 750,000 poor Canadians that speak French, with sub-high school educations (by American standards) and enter the nation illegally would be a more accurate comparison. Given that comparison do you feel they would integrate into society easily even though they come from a 1st or 2nd world country?

Also do you feel that if 15 million English speaking, middle or higher income (American standard), white-collar, German or Italian (as an example) illegal immigrants were in the nation would that raise the ire and national cries for immigration reform? Does it change if they are now Hispanic? Does it change if they are less educated or don’t speak English or any of the other factors? What combination makes illegal immigrants a national issue? How much of a factor is the fact that many illegal aliens are identifyable due to language and color of skin?

Thus I do not feel that I have made an invalid cry of racism. In fact I mentioned it as a factor, which I have not noted you disputing. I did not state that it was the only reason, which you imply. In comparing apples to apples my opinion does not change. I do not want any illegal alien to receive any benefit derived from citizen taxes. I do think that Canada has proven to be a greater danger to national security than Mexico and continues to be to this day. Efforts to improve national security via heightened activity on the Mexican border is a waste of money if there is no effort to improve the Canadian border as well. The legal immigration policy of the United States is skewed to Europe at the near exclusion of many other nations.

You do not provide facts that dispute any of the points I have made. You have not commented on the immigration policy of this nation which does have a racial component to it. You ignored the point of the post which was the compensation of illegal aliens with money that comes from citizen taxes. You did not touch the point that terrorists have come via Canada into this nation illegally and thus more should be done to secure that border. You ignored the point that language is equally as important in identifying illegal aliens as is skin color.

If you feel I am racist, please tell me why. But do not claim I have made a racist commentary when you take a portion of what I said without considering the whole of what I have said.

This is what I think, what do you think?

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Responding to a reader comment Part 2 - 4.23.2007.2

Continued from Part 1...

The post went on to complain about ANY illegal alien receiving any aid that is derived from taxes I pay. As I mentioned above, I wouldn’t give it to Mother Theresa if she entered the nation illegally I won’t do it for anyone else. No student, that is an illegal alien, deserves any of the privileges of education given to citizens. Student aid for college is a benefit for citizens and no one else. I don’t care if they have lived here virtually all their lives, or if they speak English better than I do. I don’t pay taxes for them, nor should money that some struggling inner city youth could use to improve their life be diverted to an illegal alien child. If it were up to me, I’d take those kids that are illegal (and their parents) and as soon as they apply for student aid I’d round them up and deport them.

I say again, “I cannot fathom the argument that allows my money to benefit an illegal alien in gaining a higher education while denying that right to an African American, Hispanic or other citizen. What is the benefit to the nation? How does this improve America? How does this discourage more illegal aliens from bringing their children? Where does it stem the drain on my taxes.”

Going back to your comments, Canada is similar but that does not mean the same. Many Canadians refuse to speak English and want French as the national language. While I cannot comment on the lifestyle of Canada as I have not been there I am unaware of it being the equal of the United States in terms of economy, technology, freedoms of speech or other rights. Similar yes, but lower standard all the same. In that sense they are somewhat equal to Mexico. As I have mentioned before America is more favorable to any nation that shares in a European ancestry, which is also reflected in color of skin.

Skin color is a major issue in America. It always has been. To try to deny that is to be blind to the obvious in my opinion. We see this every day, on television, movies, and the legal system. Riots based on inequality of treatment have occurred for centuries, one of the more recent and notable being the L.A. riots over the Rodney King trial decision. I’ve spoken about various aspects of America’s issue on color on this blog and . Again I say, this is not a question nor racist. It is a fact and the truth of that can be found in everyday life as well as my blog sites. [What Georgia House Speaker Richardson should apologize for - 3.9.2007.1, The uneven hand of justice - 3.3.2007.1, Imus, Rutgers basketball, and Rev. Al Sharpton - 4.9.2007.1, Do you see a media bias? - 3.20.2007.1]

As for your theory that 1st world citizens of the world are interchangable, it is a subtle fallicy. It does not take into account culture, language, potential religious conflicts and other aspects. It also fails to define what is a first world nation. According to some America is the only 1st world nation, every other nation being secondary. Others state it is a combination of economic size, military power and technology. That classification made the former Soviet Union a 1st world nation. China, Japan, Australia, South Africa and other nations may or maynot be considered 1st world. None of those cultures are identical to America’s. In fact American culture is considered very unique in most aspects. Perhaps only England meshes with the least friction, and that is probably due to the historical connection our nations share.

Continued in part 3...

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Responding to a reader comment - 4.23.2007.1

This post is in reference to a comment made to the post Immigration and student aid for college

First I would like to thank Anonymous and Mike for responding. I know that these issues are a trigger point for many people, and that some may respond without spellchecking their comments. It’s not a big concern, but I mention it because I do not alter any aspect of the comments made. I just suggest pausing before sending the response, no matter how passionate you are on the issues (and I’m sure that is the cause of any typos and missing words your comments may contain).

To Anonymous I wish to say that my position does not change whether any illegal alien is proven to be a great person or not. If Mother Theresa was an illegal alien, I would not provide her healthcare or student aid as stated in my post. I don’t care how worthy an illegal alien may be, they don’t belong here and thus deserve nothing. That is my feeling, as stated above.

To Mike, I think you failed to read through the post intensely, or perhaps I was not clear. While I did make an assumption that a major motivation for the intense efforts against Hispanic illegal aliens is the ease in identifying them it is not merely due to the color of their skin. That is a part, but it is also the fact that many are not bi-lingual or even marginally competent in English. That lack of ability to communicate in the national language (and yes English is the national language) AND their darker color makes them an easier target than say a British White female. That not racist, it is a fact. If I am correct and the motivation of many lawmakers and others is solely fixed against Hispanic illegal aliens due to a fear based on their different look and manner of speech (like their influence is somehow ‘tainting’ America – one argument I have heard and dislike) then that is racist. I thought I had made this point directly, if I did not here it is now.

I must dispute another of your thoughts; it is skin color and language as opposed to standard of living and quantity. The policy on immigration to the United States has always been skewed to Europe versus any other country since the time of the first policy being made. It continues to emphasize immigration for Europeans today. I have not been to Italy, but I understand it to not be the same standard of living as here. Nor is most any other part of Europe except England.

When this policy says that a Polish, or Croatian, or Russian immigrant has an easier chance to immigrate, and has more chances as there are 3x as many people allowed than say Africans or South Americans, then I must conclude it is about skin color. Poland or Russia, as examples, is not similar in lifestyle, quality of life, or language yet they are given greater slots for entering this nation. That is a bias that’s sole, as I understand it, reason is color of skin. That is racist, if my understanding is correct.

But the focus of the post was more to the point of the disparity that should not exist. The argument of creating walls at our border with Mexico is claimed to be needed for security reasons. That seems silly when it’s considered that Canada is where all terrorists that have attacked, and several that planned to attack, this nation entered from. Lifestyle is not a factor here, nor is quantity of people. The argument is made for homeland security and thus Canada and not Mexico is the greater threat.

Continued in part 2...

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Immigration and student aid for college

Well a lot is being said about immigration as the next voting cycle approaches. Various senators and representatives are on both sides of this issue. Fear is also high as a factor dealing with the question of what to do. Amnesty, walls, and other compromises are being stated as races move forward.

As I have mentioned before [in post So what about Canada?] all the questions are firmly focused on Mexico and Hispanics with no mention of Canada. I can only assume that the reason is that Hispanics are darker skinned and more easily identified than any other illegal immigrants in this nation. If that is the case it is very sad. The youth of the nation should take note. If this is the reason of the focus, which I think it is or at least the major part, then it is just a very visible expression of racism in this nation. While the youth may deny or not notice racism it still exists. This is just one form of it.

I say it is racist because if we were to truly be concerned about our borders we would have more action to the north. Of course the size of our border with Canada makes it difficult at best to manage. Yet no thoughts of fences have ever been made to the north. Their are no ‘minute men’ or other watchdogs patrolling our larger open spaces in the north with our quiet neighbor.

That is not to say Canada is a hot bed of incursion, but the facts are that several terrorists [let’s face it a large part of the current impetus to restrict our southern border is due to the fear of terrorists entering the nation] have arrived from the north not the south. If we want to act on our fear we should do so in a fair and proportionate manner. Where the greatest threat has appeared the greatest safeguards should exist. That has not happened, and seems unlikely if it will anytime soon.

I am upset by illegal immigration as well. Not for the fear of terrorists infiltrating the nation with the illegals but for other reasons. [As comedian Mr. Carlos Mencia aptly put it, I paraphrase, ‘The Mexicans don’t want any terrorists screwing up their ability to cross the border. One terrorist get thru and does something and the next thing you know the military is on the whole border and nobody will be able to get over. They don’t want that. So if a possible terrorist is in the van he will be pointed out.’] I do not agree with anyone receiving medical treatment, or financial aid that is not a citizen. I pay taxes [and the IRS knows it] every year and with every purchase, to fund programs aimed at benefiting those less capable than myself. Regardless of my qualms on how much should be taken from me, or how much aid is needed by someone trying to better themselves, it is my strong feeling that that money be directed to other citizen who do pay taxes as well (whether those taxes are for purchases or IRS it doesn’t matter). It is not the responsibility of this nation to take care of those in our borders illegally.

Would I support emergency care that prevents imminent death? Yes. But if you have diabetes or high blood pressure, go back to your nation for medication. Do I think children should be able to get proper healthcare? Yes, if you are a citizen. Do I think that an illegal immigrant child deserves to pay in-state rates for state-run colleges? No, they are not citizens of the state or country. They pay out of state fees at best if not foreign student rates. They definitely do not deserve to receive student aid that is for citizens. My taxes are for the betterment of young citizens trying to improve their minds that in turn will help this country continue the quality of life that currently exists into the future.

I cannot fathom the argument that allows my money to benefit an illegal alien in gaining a higher education while denying that right to an African American, Hispanic or other citizen. What is the benefit to the nation? How does this improve America? How does this discourage more illegal aliens from bringing their children? Where does it stem the drain on my taxes.

America is not an open door to everyone. Our immigration policies need improvement, that is a given. We can do better, given. But for those that enter without permission we have no obligation. Nor do we have the need to improve their lives at the cost of our own children. There is only so much money that is available for various programs. Each dollar spent on an illegal alien is money taken from a citizen, and that is not what I pay taxes for. Especially when higher education is involved.

This is what I think, what do you think?

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