December 30, 2007

Huckabee--Gag Me With A Spoon

I just heard this guy on Meet The Press this morning.
The good news:
He backpedaled from everything he has said over the last eight years or so about religion.
He backpedaled on what he has been proposing on immigration.
I can't imagine that people who would otherwise vote for him would stick with him as he distances himself from HIS OWN WORDS on these two issues.

Of course, he reduced me to screaming at the TV again, when he equated women who are making their own reproductive decisions as 'victims' while stating that HE will ride to their rescue by refusing them choices in this regard.

And, I began screaming again when he speculated on attacking Iran while admitting that he doesn't have all the facts he needs to make that decision.

The 7 Deadly Lies

All I can say is, 'Thank goodness I'm not Catholic!'
Thanks, Mary Ellen for nominating me for this meme. At least I won't have to spend hours and hours on my knees to atone for it. How are YOUR knees, by the way?

OK, so here are The 7 Things I Never Did:

1. When I was in high school, I was a bit of a hellraiser. I used to slip out nights and go for swims in Russel Stoffer’s pool. Stoffer’s HQ is located in KC and he had a house across town from us. What can I say? I was addicted to chocolate, even then, and I’d heard that the family had bribed another kid with candy to, ‘Stay the hell out of our pool!’
It didn’t work out that way for me, though. I’ll leave it to the reader to figure out what happened in MY case———

2. Even though I had—ermmmm—a spirited streak, I was an exemplary student. I graduated at 15 and was in the running for valedictorian but got beat out for the position to a ‘more deserving candidate.’ SHE was some 12 year-old prodigy who had finished high school in 1 year. I don't know what's so great about being 12 [I beat her to it by 3 years, after all!] but, for political reasons, I got leaned on to let her carry the day and I graciously stood aside.
Hey! It's not MY fault she got stuck in her locker the day of the ceremony and almost missed it. That's what comes of kids skipping grades. Their motor functions aren't fully developed and they do things like trip while opening their lockers.

3. After graduating high school, I made good on my threat and ran away to join the circus. I started out at the very bottom, mucking out the big cat cages and the elephant cages. Then I moved on to feeding the animals and finally graduated into the Big Top where I eventually had a clown act that involved balancing on the high wire with 2 chairs and a parasol. I was pretty good, too—even though I never did work without a net. A good thing, all in all, as I regularly landed in it—and not on purpose.

4. Finally, I left the circus [and, no, it had nothing to do with my affair with that roustabout—I don’t care what ANYONE says!] I gave no notice, just packed my bags and lit out for New York [the Show of Shows was in Philadelphia when I deserted] and wound up in Bethel in 1969. Well, what can I say? I was great friends with Max Yasgur and just decided to drop in and chill out for a few days. Who knew the hoardes were about to descend?
So, being smack in the middle of a massive traffic jam AND a disaster area, a few days later, I mosied on down and participated in the fabled, ‘Breakfast in Bed for Half a Million.’ To this day I can’t look a pot of oatmeal in the eye.

5. When I was in my mid-thirties, I wrote a letter to my good friend Joanne Rowling in Scotland outlining a story about an orphan being brought up by relatives and, in his early teens, learning that he was a wizard. But, she kinda pooh-poohed the proposal, telling me it wouldn’t sell. So, I just dropped the idea.
I later lost track of Joanne. I sometimes wonder whatever happened to her.

6. On my 50th birthday I took off to follow the famous route of Lewis and Clark. Well, I cheated a little bit—I actually took off from Westport, MO—the posting point for a lot of saratoga wagons that just happened to be about 12 blocks from my home.
I mean, why fly to St. Louis when such a major landmark was in my neighborhood? Anyway, I picked up the official trail at Atchinson, KS and began following Independence Creek at that point. I was back in KC 4 ½ years later. What a ride!

7. I read the Borowitz Report this morning [see Scattershot Thoughts] and I was able to follow the whole thing without, even once, needing to go back and reread the last couple of sentences or so. I completely understood the entire article without a hitch.

So, here’s my contribution to the meme—and haven’t I had a fascinating [even if false] life???
Now, I gotta get off here and go wrestle a big-foot this afternoon. Hey! I'm not all that gung-ho to do it--but I DID promise. . . .

And, far be it from me to let this little meme die:
so, 'TAG Fran, Larry and Snave -- You're It!

December 28, 2007

Impeach Cheney now -- The allegations that he abused power are credible

The Philadelphia Enquirer ran the editorial written by Wexler and other members of the Judiciary Committee. An excerpt along with a link to the complete text are below. Maybe this time???
by -- U.S. Reps. Robert Wexler (D., Fla.), Luis Gutierrez (D., Ill.) and Tammy Baldwin (D., Wis.): members of the Judiciary Committee

Last month, the House of Representatives voted to send a resolution of impeachment of Vice President Cheney to the Judiciary Committee. As members of the House Judiciary Committee, we strongly believe these important hearings should begin.

The issues at hand are too serious to ignore, including credible allegations of abuse of power that, if proven, may well constitute high crimes and misdemeanors under the Constitution. The allegations against Cheney relate to his deceptive actions leading up to the Iraq war, the revelation of the identity of a covert agent for political retaliation, and the illegal wiretapping of American citizens.

Now that former White House press secretary Scott McClellan has indicated that the vice president and his staff purposely gave him false information about the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson as a covert agent to report to the American people, it is even more important for Congress to investigate what may have been an intentional obstruction of justice.
Click here for the complete text of this important article.
I just listened to Rep. Wexler’s [D-FL-19] interview on Progressive Talk Radio that was held last week. [Unfortunately, I’m unable to provide a link to this particular piece though if you check Youtube you’ll find plenty of other material.]
Something was said toward the end of the interview that reduced me to, once again, screaming at the radio.
Congressman Wexler has, himself, admitted that he was not committed to Cheney's impeachment until he went home to his district and was asked repeatedly, ‘Why are you doing nothing on this issue?’
My guess is that he began to realize that he would be packing up his desk in January, 2009 if he didn’t do something.

During the course of the interview, a caller reminded the congressman that Pelosi’s removal of impeachment from the table rendered the Constitution toothless and gave the Administration the green light to continue business as usual. The caller also said that the Constitution doesn’t propose impeachment in cases of high crimes and misdemeanors; it doesn’t suggest impeachment in those circumstances; it doesn’t even recommend impeachment, it MANDATES IT! The Constitution states that it is the RESPONSIBILITY of Congress to impeach the Administration in cases of high crimes and misdemeanors. And Congressman Wexler agreed with this assessment.

So, my question to the Congressman is this: ‘Where were you last year?’
If you understand that it is the responsibility of Congress to impeach an administration which has committed crimes, why have you waited until it is so evident that NOT to do so will result in your recall next year?

Referring you to my earlier post: THIS is why I’ve been burning out on the blog. jfwiw.

December 27, 2007

So Sad for Pakistan

Although I had seen her profiled on 60 Minutes some months ago, I don't know nearly enough about Bhutto to post anything remotely resembling knowledgeable about her.
So, I will simply say I'm sorry for Pakistan -- though I can't say I'm surprised that a free election was thwarted there.

Hangin' In While Hangin' Out

Recently I’ve read in a couple of places about blogs being deserted. I can certainly understand why. After blogging for a little over 2 years about the machinations of our government, I’ve been burning out and I’ve thought seriously about throwing in the towel, myself.
But, though I don’t have that many regular readers and I wouldn’t leave behind nearly the hole that some other blogs would, I just can’t bring myself to axe the site completely.

So, as you may have noticed, I’m changing my focus. Instead of writing about the government regularly [though I may insert the occasional political or news item] I’m moving toward posting possible solutions to the myriad of problems the world faces today. Thus the articles on bicycle generators, stoves that can be donated to Darfur, sites where free donations can be given just by clicking, etc.
And I do still love to opine about history, politics, religion, etc. so I'll be airing my **ahem** 'wisdom', such as it is, on various topics. :)

I think I’ve found my new niche. It will be a way to make a contribution while staving off the depression I’ve been finding myself sinking into while researching articles on what our politicians are digging us deeper and deeper into.

BTW—if I do decide to stop entirely, I won’t do it without saying g’bye. And, no matter what happened, I would continue to visit the blogs of others just to stay in touch with all the friends I’ve made around blogsville.

Still, sometimes, it DOES get to be a bit much as I watch the earth liquifying and spinning down the drain. :(

December 26, 2007

One more way to stave off the Grinch--
Today, I noticed something on the hunger site.
A stove. I saw a similar one demonstrated on Invention Nation recently. It's simple to build, runs on 75% less fuel than conventional wood stoves, emits very little smoke [it does both these things because it burns VERY efficiently]. And an organization is giving them out in Darfur where it continues to be extremely risky to leave the refugee camps to gather cooking fuel.
So, here's another gift idea for someone who has everything, jfwiw. It costs $20.00 to send one to Darfur and your gift is tax deductible. If you're interested, you can click on the link above to see details.

December 21, 2007

Shades of Soylent Green [NOW I've Dated Myself!] :)

As threatened in the comments section of one of my posts, I've checked out bicycle generators and found one that looks right for me.

When I began looking into this I was astounded at the interest out there. I found people who have designed and built their own generators and describe them in loving detail. There's a site for the people who demonstrated their contraptions on Ellen Degenerous' TV show. And there are those folks who participated in a fair some time ago where they charged people's cell phones while they waited.

And there are commercial sites that sell them for prices ranging from $716.45 to $1025.00. While some of these offer converted exercycles, I prefer the bike-n-go type which allows you to drop your own bicycle into the unit for stationary biking to charge batteries [cell phone, robot vacuum cleaner, robotic mop, standard batteries from AAA to 12 volt and higher] and pull it out for biking to the pool or to a friend's home. The cost of the generator itself is $339.00 + $37.50 to ship. The inverter, the thang that converts the DC power into AC, costs $365.95 and that price includes shipping within the US. To ship outside the US, add another $79.00. The pic below is the unit I'm probably going to get.

Now, I consider myself somewhat adept -- at least as a 'that'll do' carpenter. [I build a piece, stand back, squint and say, 'That'll do.'] But, I'm completely self-taught and, therefore, sufficiently respectful [read terrified] of such things as electricity, plumbing and so on, to know enough to hire professionals for those jobs. For the hardier of spirit, Convergence Tech which sells the Pedal-A-Watt system offers the plans to build your own for $50.00. There is a site that offers free plans [unfortunately, I lost that site -- I'll put on my deerstalker's hat, hunt it down again and post it later.]

Not having a spare $716.45 lying around at the moment, I'll be putting this off for a while. But, I'm definitely going to buy it asap unless I can persuade Santa to drop one off next week. But, somehow, I don't think I've been NEARLY good enough this year to convince him to make the stop, especially on such short notice.

December 19, 2007

I received this via email from Avaaz this morning-- This is good news indeed.

Wow - on Saturday, in desperate last-minute negotiations, the world faced down an effort by the US, Canada and Japan to wreck the crucial Bali Climate Change Summit. Over 600,000 Avaaz members mobilized to save the Bali talks, including 320,000 in the final 72 hours! Click below to read the whole story with photos and videos:

Arriving in Bali, most countries wanted to work towards a new global treaty on climate change as well as new targets for carbon emissions by rich countries. But late last week, the US and Canada teamed up to undermine the talks -- the US blocked the whole Bali summit consensus, and when a smaller group of Kyoto treaty countries tried to move ahead without the US, they were blocked by Canada. The summit was in danger of deadlock.

The Avaaz community flew into action, signing and spreading petitions to each of the governments, supporting ad campaigns in Bali and Canada, marches around the world, and phoning and lobbying elected officials. At the summit, Avaaz members brought the storm of public criticism inside the conference walls with the only march allowed inside the venue, the largest climate petition delivery in history, daily press conferences and "fossil awards" for the worst countries in the negotiations, and constant lobbying of officials.

In the final hours of the summit, Canada backed down completely and allowed Kyoto countries to agree to strong 2020 targets on carbon emissions, and the US team, now entirely isolated and actually booed by the world's diplomats, compromised and agreed to call for "deep cuts" and "reference" the 2020 targets. This paved the way for the summit to agree to sign a new global climate change treaty by 2009.

Usually these conferences are stuffy diplomatic affairs - but this time the world was watching, and speaking, each day. Together, we brought people-powered politics to the halls of power, and put our governments on notice: in the fight to save our environment, we will not be spectators.

This is just the beginning. Every nation of the world has now agreed that they will enter into accelerated negotiations and, by 2009, sign a new treaty to confront global warming. We need this treaty to set binding global targets for carbon emissions, and a mechanism for meeting them, that keep the earth's temperature from rising more than 2 degrees celsius - the amount that scientists say would be 'catastrophic'. Such a treaty will change the world's economy forever, weaning us off oil and fossil fuels to cleaner sources of energy. Some leaders, in the pocket of the oil industry, will fight it tooth and nail all the way. And we will too. A great struggle to save our environment has begun, and this weekend, we showed together that the people of the world aren't intending to sit this one out.

December 18, 2007

Politicians Listening to Voters? What IS the Country Coming To?

This from the Huffington Post:
Introducing This Election's Swing Vote by Sally Kohn

The American people are tired of the politics of division and isolation. For too many years, politicians on both sides of the aisle have told us we're on our own, that we have to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps, that it's an us-against-them world and selfishness and greed are our best defense. But the politics of isolation have only led to a broken economy and a broken social safety net, division between nations and division between communities. We, the people, have had enough. It's time for a new politics in America.

On Saturday December 1, in Des Moines, Iowa, more than 3,600 people packed a crowded hall in Des Moines, Iowa, to hear everyday Americans tell their stories to five of the top presidential candidates. At the Heartland Presidential Forum, Senators John Edwards, Barack Obama, Chris Dodd and Hillary Clinton and Representative Dennis Kucinich did more listening than talking as real people finally took center stage in this election.

Click here for the complete text.

December 14, 2007

OK -- I'm Done
You may consider this official. My gloating days are over.
I tuned in to the Weather Channel tonight and saw the second storm sweeping across the Midwest while the first hasn't cleared the Northeast yet.
So, no more gloating. This is WAY TOO MUCH and I'm truly sorry you folks up north are getting this one-two-punch-to-the-kidneys. :(
Please be safe, keep warm and, if you don't HAVE to drive, DON'T!
Take care of yourselves. . . .

An Apologist? Sorry--It's Too Little and Too Late

This from the Washington Post:
The Heart of Conservatism -- by Michael Gerson

'For many conservatives, the birthday of the movement is Nov. 1, 1790 -- the publication date of Edmund Burke's "Reflections on the Revolution in France." Burke described how utopian idealism could lead to the guillotine, just as it later led to the gulag. He . . . argued that social reform, when necessary, should be gradual, cautious and rooted in the habits and traditions of the community.

'But there is another strain of conservatism with a birthday three years earlier than Burke's "Reflections." Some of Burke's contemporaries took these arguments further. "I am one of those who think it very desirable to have no reform," declared the Duke of Wellington. "I told you years ago that the people are rotten to the core" . . . Wellington took to carrying an umbrella tipped with a spike to protect himself from protesters.
'Prime Minister William Pitt pressed a young member of Parliament named William Wilberforce to introduce a bill for the abolition of the slave trade. . . .
'A later conservative, Lord Shaftesbury, fought against conditions that amounted to slavery in British factories. . . .
'But both were also evangelical Christians who believed that all human beings are created in God's image . . . .
Other conservatives dismissed these reformers as "saints," prone to "fits of philanthropy."
'This history is directly relevant to modern debates. In some conservative quarters we are seeing the return of Burkeanism -- or at least a narrow version of it. These supposed Burkeans dismiss the promotion of democracy and human rights as "ideological," the protection of human life and dignity as "theological," and compassionate conservatism as a modern heresy.'
Click here for the complete text.
Now, I'm sorry--
I believe current conservatives have no more right to cite the Constitution, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. [which Gerson does] than Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin or Hitler would have had.

The current crop of Republicans often do invoke the name of Lincoln [I know both Bushes and Nixon have done so] merely because he was instrumental in the birth of a party that called itself Republican.
The Republicans back then were the progressive party and the Democrats were ultra-conservative and reversalists [yes, I made that term up -- but it does describe their tactics]. So, claiming Lincoln as one of their own makes as much sense as calling me a Republican because I agree with what they stood for when the party was founded 151 years ago. The fact is, things have changed since 1856-- and not for the better.
And Martin Luther King, Jr????? Do they seriously think he would vote Republican today or approve of what they are doing?

IMNSHO, if you make a pact with the devil, you deserve what you get.
The Republicans were more that willing to pander to the far right to get their votes and their money. And NOW they want to back away from them? They didn't start doing that till their polls went into free-fall and it became starkly evident that, come next November, they're going to lose all 3 houses [Senate, Representatives and White] because the only people who will be voting for them are those same ultra-conservative theo-cons they've courted for the last dozen years or so.
[And, anyway, you don't back away by continuing to ignore the Constitution while taking a vote to say, 'Christmas Is Good'. Someday, this Congress will wake up and realize you can't have it both ways. But they'll probably be back home by the time they notice.]

In any case, Gerson is trying WAY too hard, here. He cherry picks his history to make certain points and ignores anything which isn't convenient to his arguments. Sounds just like what the Republicans in Congress are doing as they rapidly back away from the facts of today along with the bullying tactics they've been using-- until they blew up in their faces.

Today's neo-cons would welcome slavery if they could get away with it; in fact they do exactly that when they propose allowing Mexicans to enter the US as 'guest workers' who are welcome to pick our crops but not to bring their children with them or pursue a path to citizenship.

How compassionate is THAT?

December 12, 2007

A Portrait of Bush

Do you see the face?
Do you also see the word? If not, tilt your head to the right. See it now?
Hint: it begins with a capital L.

December 10, 2007

Our Tax Dollars at Work

Sorry I'm getting this up so late. In fact, I have a confession-- this was sitting in my hopper awaiting just such a day as this has been [having no time to research something new.]
The fact is, friends from KC are down for a 2-day 'Hi, how-ya-doin,' blow-kisses dash. I'll be off-line tomorrow, as well. So--here's something anyway. . . .
Dogs can now be allowed to accompany their owners out to dinner.

In June, 2006, Florida's Governor Jeb Bush signed a 'dining with dogs' bill. The legislation gave local governments the OK to let restaurants permit dogs to eat with their owners in outdoor dining areas [something that had been occurring informally for a long time, anyway].

The measure created a three-year pilot program after which time the state would revisit the issue to determine whether it was a good idea.

Allowing dogs to dine will be up to the local city or county, and then even if local restrictions were waived to allow it, it would still be up to the restaurant owner as to whether to participate.
Of course, I have nothing against dogs eating with their people. We’ve been sharing our meals with them at home for millenia with no discernible adverse effects. And, if people are squeamish, they can always move to a dog-free zone.
My concern is this: what MIGHT Jeb have been doing rather than assigning the research into such a bill to a subordinate? What might that subordinate have been doing other than handling this meaningless gesture?
I’ve got a few suggestions:
How about spending some time and money on Florida’s education system?
Or looking into environmental concerns?
Or making sure the voter registration system is truly fair and equal?
Or hurricane preparedness?
The list just goes on and on. . . .

December 7, 2007

Life University

Thanks to Mary Ellen, The Divine Democrat, who tagged me to do this "Real Life Curriculum" meme after she was tagged by dguzman of Impeachment and Other Dreams who was, in turn tagged by FranIam.

Okay, I'm supposed to "write about 5 classes you would like to take if you could make up your own curriculum. AND -- and this is important-- ONE of them must come from your tagger's list.”
I've known since my undergrad days [hell, since junior high school] that schools aren't realistic in the classes they require.
I mean, how has knowing, at the age of 13, the primary export products of Ecuador [the legal ones, anyway] enhanced my life as a pshrink spanning the period from 14 to 47 years later? Is that a no-brainer or what?

So, my new school: Blind Leading the blind Eclectic Curriculum, Humbug University [BLECH U] will offer, for the coming semester, the following courses. HERE are hands-on classes you can really sink your teeth into:

[see above statement for a stunning example of the abilities you will graduate this class having acquired].
Keep your colleagues guessing about what you really mean after acquiring the skills offered here. Always a positive outcome if you're dealing with the White House Press Corps, most board meetings, staff meetings and even meetings around the water cooler. Always a crowd pleaser.
Requirement: Check your brain at the door and be ready to heave those rotting vegetables back at your audience.

This course is recommended as a follow-up for the above-listed class but will, almost certainly, find other uses in your post-matriculation period, as well. Returning tear-gas grenades to the police during protests, hanging onto iron fence posts ditto and warding off billy club blows ditto-ditto spring to mind.

The video below will act as course description and enactment of abilities graduates will acquire. [Note to the student: being male is helpful but women can, if willing to apply extra effort, learn the skills involved.]

The requirement for a passing grade is a demonstration of both short- and long-term memory loss.
During the final exam, the student will be given a PET Scan and tested for such terms as 9/11, [the alleged] Iraqi involvement in 9/11, the 'Iranian attempt to acquire a nuclear arsenal', the technical term 'nucular', the names of all presidential candidates, the names of all current members of the Federal Government including the Supreme Court Justices, commonly known terms including [but not limited to]: 'Intelligent Design', 'Swift Boating', 'Habeas Corpus', 'Gun Control', 'Faith Based Initiatives', 'WMDs', 'Litmus Test', etc. If any portion of the brain lights up during the course of the scan, the student will fail the class and must take it again.
Becoming proficient in this course [or at least graduating] may require taking the last course on the list.

And, last but certainly not least, the entry taken from Mary Ellen [hey! plagiarism is required in this school!]
I chose this course for purely personal reasons. Fact is, I never HAVE learned this skill to any great degree. As a result, I've been doomed to carry around a pipe during all the years I've availed myself of the medicinal qualities delivered by my herb of choice.

[Note to student: it may be a good idea, in fact, to enroll in this class first in order to make ALL the rest of them go more smoothly.]
Marijuana enthusiast's, this is your chance to acquire the fine art of rolling a joint like a professional! Rolling your own is a time honored way of smoking cannabis and this class will aid you to be the well-trained joint roller that you always wished to be! Don't let your government bring you down, when your President stands before the American people to lie about the state of the union, you will have the tools to withstand anything he says. BYOP (Bring your own pot) rolling papers and lighters will be supplied.
So, now I've got to tag some folks.
I don't know if there's a required number. So, since Mary Ellen tagged 3-- so will I.

1: Polishifter of Pissed on Politics
2: James Joiner of An Average American Patriot
3. Larry Sadler of Let's Talk and Let's Talk God

Please don't feel obligated to follow up if you don't want to.
And remember, I HAVE taken class # 2 above, so it's NOT a good idea to throw rotting vegetation at me! :)

December 5, 2007

Bush's Latest Tactic: What? Lie to the American People?

These Washington Post writers all hit the editor's desk at a dead run today -- and the editor judged it a tie.
U.S. Finds That Iran Halted Nuclear Arms Bid in 2003 -- by Dafna Linzer and Joby Warrick
Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A major U.S. intelligence review has concluded that Iran stopped work on a suspected nuclear weapons program more than four years ago, a stark reversal of previous intelligence assessments that Iran was actively moving toward a bomb.

The new findings, drawn from a consensus National Intelligence Estimate, reflected a surprising shift in the midst of the Bush administration's continuing political and diplomatic campaign to depict Tehran's nuclear development as a grave threat. The report was drafted after an extended internal debate over the reliability of communications intercepts of Iranian conversations this past summer that suggested the program had been suspended.
A Blow to Bush's Tehran Policy -- by Peter Baker and Robin Wright
Tuesday, December 4, 2007

President Bush got the world's attention this fall when he warned that a nuclear-armed Iran might lead to World War III. But his stark warning came at least a month or two after he had first been told about fresh indications that Iran had actually halted its nuclear weapons program.

The new intelligence report released yesterday not only undercut the administration's alarming rhetoric over Iran's nuclear ambitions but could also throttle Bush's effort to ratchet up international sanctions and take off the table the possibility of preemptive military action before the end of his presidency.

Click here for the first article and here for the second.
Uh huh--
Do we REALLY think Bush [well, Cheney, anyway] hasn't known this since 2003?
And do we REALLY think it'll make a whit of difference when banging the drum for war?
Since when has this administration let little things like facts stand in its way?

Bush's Post-Presidency Activities: One Suggestion

This from Dan Froomkin's column in The Washington Post:

Richard Roeper writes in his Chicago Sun-Times opinion column: "In a recent column I speculated on President Bush's post-White House plans. What should he do with himself?

"Alice Collins of Oak Lawn has an idea.

"'Three hundred and sixty-five days a year, in the wind and snow of winter and the heat and humidity of summer, let him tend to the graves of the almost 4,000 men and women who have given their lives in the debacle of Iraq. They honored their oaths, obeyed their commander-in-chief and sacrificed their lives of promise to a lying, unprincipled warmonger.

"'He can begin at the grave of my grandson, Lcpl Jonathan W. Collins, killed in action on 8/8/2004.'"

December 3, 2007

The Immigration 'Crisis'

They came to this country because they were desperate. They came to escape impossible living conditions. They took the jobs no one else wanted.

They left everything they owned behind. They left their culture, their customs, their way of living—in order to cast themselves into a foreign culture they didn’t know or understand. They discovered that living conditions in the United States were often more difficult than had been the case at home. At least part of the reason for this was the loss of their extended families and supports they had left behind.

They arrived by the millions. They were met with derision and scorn. They were unwanted in this country. They were perceived as a threat by those already here. Many, many US citizens urged them to ‘go back where you came from.’ Often they thought about doing just that, but they remained, basically because they had nothing to go home to.

Earlier immigrants from their own country resented the recent arrivals. They did everything they could to demonstrate that they were different from the newcomers. In fact, when it came to urging them to go back home, their voices were often the loudest.

The US government passed laws designed to make it harder for them to remain in this country. The reason it did this was because of the perceived threat that the new immigrants would take over this country and reshape it in their own image. Our way of life was seen to be at risk.

This story is not that of the Mexicans. It’s of the Irish who arrived during the potato famine of the 19th century.
As late as 1960, one of the descendants of this population, while running for President, was met with hostility and fear. A question often asked in all seriousness was: in a contest between the Constitution and the Catholic Church which might John Kennedy follow? That question had never been asked of a Protestant candidate.

Of course, we will never know if his assassination was the cause, but the fact remains, today Kennedy is one of our most revered presidents.

Another fact is: although one of them did become president, the millions of Irish who arrived on our shores became Americans—they did not turn America into New Ireland.

Yet another fact: in the 1960's, when people from Viet Nam and Laos were arriving in large numbers, similar complaints and concerns were voiced. Look around--does this country look, culturally, like Viet Nam to you?
Think about these facts when dealing with the immigrants arriving today. And, please remember: they’re only people—trying to live as best they can—just like you and me.