Respecting the DREAM

June 19, 2012

 

President Obama did what he could to show people the way this last week on how to deal with the massive immigration dysfunction that our US system has become.  In years past, it has been far easier than present day to enter the US and immigrate.  All the way through the late 70s, immigrating to the US was a process that had a finite beginning and end.  Today it is a maze of bureaucracy hampered by pre 911 prejudices and post 911 paranoia.

Homeland Security is a department in the executive branch and thus under the authority of the President.  The policy change is fairly simple.  Children of illegal or undocumented residents could gain at least a 2 year stay on their deportation if they :

• Came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
• Have continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the U.S. on the date of this memorandum;
• Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
• Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
• Are not above the age of 30.

This announcement has been widely criticized as a political move by the President, but  ask the GOP and Mitt Romney for their vision of how to handle illegal immigration.  They do not have a plan on how to deal with the millions of illegal and undocumented residents.  They do not have a plan on how to change anything from the current status quo which is onerous, cruel and unusual punishment to people for simply wanting a better life but not necessarily committing other crimes.

The children of families caught up in the ICE and Homeland Security bureaucracy are truly innocent in the situation and blameless for the choices of their parents.  This is a bad situation where the government truly needs to reorganize and restructure.

The overall policy is misguided and unrealistic as well.  If we wish to stem the tide with illegal immigration we need to address the rules of employment and the enforcement of hiring and documentation.   As long as illegal immigrants can get a job in the US, they will continue to come.    So far, it appears that Mitt Romney and the GOP want to close their eyes and continue to pretend the current state of our immigration policy is just fine.

The day that President Obama announced the change to deportation policy which is only to be a two year trial, the President was heckled during his opening statement by Neil Munro, an online reporter-blogger for the Daily Caller, a GOP newsite.   As the cameras were trained on the heckler to capture the exchange between President Obama and Mr Munro, you can see the frustration and even seething hatred as Mr Munro appeared to be trying contain himself and allow the President to speak.   Mr Munro, if nothing else is just the latest symbol of the unthinking raging hateful angry opposition which believes that the office and functions of the President is not worthy of high respect, no matter who is in that place.  Mr Munro is just another zombie of the right blinded in their rage.

 

MLK Jr Memorial

MLK Jr Memorial (Photo credit: alvesfamily)

I should not have been shocked when I learned that George Zimmermans father is a retired judge.  There is a long history of bubbas backhand overlooking the excesses of their progeny.   It is easy for a racist mindset to rationalize the killing of an unarmed kid and then stand behind a law supposed to protect people in their home.

Some people say that George Zimmerman is lucky to have a retired judge for his father.  Talk about some kitchen table legal advice.   I wonder how involved Robert Zimmerman has been with the lack of an investigation.  So far, it looks like this law is being used to stand down expensive investigations when the injustices may be better swept under the blind rug of hypocrisy.  The plan was for this story to go away.  Maybe there is hope for our news media if it can shine a light on what looks like a pile of rats chewing on goobers.

My kids are not African American but as MLK said ‘Injustice anywhere, is a threat to Justice everywhere.’   It sounds like the wild west has gone south and east.  Our children deserve better.

El Rushbo Speweth Over?

March 6, 2012

Rush Limbaugh - Caricature

Rush Limbaugh - (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

I was just graduating from college in the Midwest  in 1991 when I remember becoming aware of Rush Limbaugh.    A good friend of mine listened to him regularly and had become quite partisan to the right back in the days when politics were almost like cryptography, the era for me when anything to do with politics was ‘wonky’.   I checked in with El Rushbo then and sampled his offerings and it did not take long before I was thoroughly disgusted by the content that was alternately misogynistic, racially degrading, menacing, self aggrandizing pomposity and never ending foul tasting ?humor?  Further, the ‘news’ and opinion was full of easily debunked mendacity.   Never truly challenged, Rush’s conservative brand of ‘entertainment’ apparently was embraced by a mostly white male audience.   Being a new graduate, I was moving around through out the Midwest as I started my own career and was able to sample various radio markets while looking for work.  Exploring the radio dial across the midwest was a pasttime and I was amazed by the reach Rush had established already and the lack of any true counterpoint to all of his outrageous claims.

Being curious about this new exciting conservatism and whether there was a fair debate available on his broadcast, I personally spent time calling in to his show to present points in contention with his arguments of the day.   It took only two attempts before I realized there would be no fair debate with liberals on his show.  Anyone who made it to the airwaves was cut off as soon as was convenient and then thoroughly excoriated and marginalized.  Most liberals will never get past the call screener filtering callers so Rush doesn’t have to face the ‘unwashed unruly’ masses with inconvenient and embarassing questions.

Rush established a platform and echo chamber in which only right conservative ideas were allowed and no rigorous debate with consensus beyond that of the right wing could form.  He is an architect of the polarized political environment we now find ourselves in where neither side can have a fair discussion with the other.   He allowed and encouraged conservatives to believe they do not have to concede anything in a debate with the left and that they do not even need to engage in a debate at all with counterpoint from the middle and poverty stricken classes.

In turn, conservatives came to worship at the platform he created and maybe even mistook it for a town square of sorts.  Rush became so elevated in their eyes, that there is nothing the the Rushbo can do that could be wrong or indefensible.  Megadittoes became the code word for everything you say is true and we surrender our critical thoughts over to you Rush.

I say Rush deserves to be able to speak his mind freely, as loudly and as noisily as he wishes — on a street corner.  He should be able to go out on the internet and blog all he wants and podcast all he wants even.  I do not think he deserves however, the benefit of the American public’s am or fm radio air waves.  There is nothing in the bill of rights about the freedom to speak on the radio.  We have something in the US called the FCC that settled that years ago.