This week, once again, our country was immersed in harrowing sorrow. We watched someone violate our peace, our frivolity and our very culture. Once again we saw heroism by ordinary Americans who without regard for personal safety leapt to the aid of fellow Americans who had been injured. All this is heartwarming and is a temporary relief from the pain and the horror, but it is short lived because, consequentially, come the funerals and the memorial services. The wound is reopened, if it closed at all, and we have to relive the heinous event all over again. It is at times like these when Americans need and want hand-holding. They want reassurance and comfort. They want the rousing words of our past leaders or Scripture or both and they want reminders of the great events in our history, which at the time, were all pain inducing and from which we emerged stronger and more resilient as a nation.
There is no better agent to deliver this comfort than the President of the United States. As Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces there is a perceived strength and power to the office and therefore, the man himself. As our Chief Executive there is a Supremacy (we forget about checks and balances and the intent of the founders to make the Legislative branch the pre-eminent branch at times like this) and a perceived ability to correct the wrongs and fix the problems for us. As the leader of our nation and because of our status as the only super power on the planet, as the leader of the free world, we have the notion that this man and this office can right wrongs and assuage discomfort and alleviate pain almost instantly. It is a burning desire to have recourse to someone with these powers that allows us to believe this of our President.
In 2001 only months after George Bush had been rashly accused of stealing the election which, it was believed by half the country, Al Gore should have won, he underwent months of derogatory bashing by the Main Stream Media, we saw the nation come together under Mr. Bush to build a determination to defeat terrorism, as we understood it, albeit steeped in our naivety and innocence, at the time. I recall him standing on some rubble at Ground Zero with a teary firefighter standing by his side and with the use of a loud-hailer letting the world know, “I hear you ….”. He told us that the evil people who harmed us also heard all of us and we were coming for them. We saw a divided nation coming together by the speech, actions and intent of the President.
Today, in Boston, we saw President Barack Obama do the same thing. There is little doubt that Mr. Obama is perhaps the most divisive President we have ever had. Even Lincoln at the height of our Civil War (perhaps I should call it the war of Northern Aggression for my readers in the South) did experience a house quite so divided as ours is right now. But, within minutes of Mr. Obama’s starting to speak, we forgot all that and listened to words of comfort. He started with a Scripture verse which were apropos of the bombing at the end of the Marathon and he went on to remind Bostonians and Americans of the greatness of the American spirit, and it did its work. I will bet that polls well show a bump in his popularity in the coming days.
In the past we have heard FDR telling us that we had nothing to fear but fear itself. It helped a limping nation get through the starvation of the Great Depression. We heard JFK asking what we could do for America. It inspired us to land on the moon. We remember Ronald Reagan, in his Farewell speech, telling us that we were a ”Shining City on a Hill”. It helped us say goodbye to a beloved leader who was already smitten with Alzheimer’s disease, and we recall Bill Clinton telling us that he could feel our pain. I am not sure that in this latter case it did anything more for us then to provoke a good belly laugh, but you understand what I am saying here. The President has been endowed, by us, with the power to move us with fine speech, rousing words and a kind of gentle parental prodding in the right direction, as no other American can. The Constitution didn’t do this. The Founders may not have even thought of this, either. George Washington, because of the kind of man he was, definitely did this for the country and, if not for the entire nation at least for the army.
“We the People” did it. Perhaps it is the hope that every president will be a “Washington”. Naturally, a juvenile notion like that is bound to disappoint, often. From time to time when the nation is in pain, we benefit from this pluralistic endowment of parental coddling which we have given to the President of the United States. When we are hurting we want him to tuck us in and pull the covers up over our shoulders.
And thank God for it.
We deserve it. We need it.
We needed it in New York in 2001, in New Town last December and right now, in Boston!
God Bless the President of the United States.
In Presidential politics the GOP got some more bad news this week. James Carville, the strategist who got Bill Clinton elected twice, joined the Political Action Committee that is behind the election of Hillary Clinton as President of the United States in 2016.
In recent days Hillary Clinton has had a makeover. She is sporting a new hair style and could quite possibly have some work done on her face. She does not want to look like a 69 year old woman when she gets that concession call from whoever it is that the GOP gets to run against her in the General Election of November 2016.
Harold Ickes, a Clinton loyalist renowned for his ability to solicit tens of millions of dollars from a vast network of Democrat donors, is assisting the “Ready for Hillary” independent political action committee, or super-Pac.
Having served as Secretary of State for over four years she has the foreign policy experience. On the economy front all she needs to do is continue in the same way with the same economic policies of Barack Obama and she will continue to get the Welfare vote. The stupid old white people who actually stayed home instead of voting for Paul Ryan because they thought he would cut their Medicare benefits will vote for Hillary Clinton because a “Democrat would never push granny off the cliff”. Remember there is no cure for stupid.
The minority vote is hers. Her husband was touted as the first black President. Every black American who voted for Obama will vote for Hillary and there is absolutely no way the GOP can woo them away from the Democrat party. The wonderfully engineered public opinion that the GOP is anti-Hispanic will need very little feeding to keep it alive and well and then Mrs. Clinton gets the Hispanic vote. Hispanics proved that Governmental support is thicker than blood. Florida, where the GOP thought it had the Hispanic vote tied up because of Marco Rubio, fell to President Obama. And so it shall to Hillary Clinton.
Women will finally have the champion who they have been praying for decades. Mrs. Clinton has paid her dues. Mrs. Clinton was beaten by men all her political life. The female sympathy vote is completely tied up. She is pro-choice, pro-giving free birth control to the likes of Sandra Fluke and the speeches she gave this week at the “Women in the World” conference wherein she made the case for women being able to do whatever they had made up their minds to do will set the thirty something female vote aflame. You will not be able to pay a liberal woman to vote for anyone else.
The youth vote having had their brains addled by the progressive teaching all of them are receiving will vote for her because they will want to be a part of history, by electing the first woman to the White House. There is also a hint of defiance and radicalism that the young enjoy. It is their way of getting back at “the man” represented by their parents.
The not-too-bright independents who, in spite of the dire consequences of Democrat policy for the economy, were not intelligent enough to make up their own minds between a socialist, redistributionist like Barack Obama and economic conservative like Mitt Romney will not even have to think before voting for Hillary Clinton. This means Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan will all fall into her lap. You count the electoral votes involved. I won’t waste my time.
Finally, the white males, so overwhelmed by guilt because of liberal propaganda, who voted for Barack Obama in recompense for slavery, will vote for Hillary Clinton in recompense for everything that their grand daddies did to women. Picture here, a glass ceiling and women not getting paid the same as men for doing the same job. I call this the Pseudo-Misogyny vote.
I wish the GOP would simply take a sleeping aid, save a lot of money, get under the covers and forget about the White House until Mrs. Clinton has been in office for her eight years? Maybe after that we can try again, in our customary feeble way!
There is something to be said about pageantry. Pomp and Circumstance and large military bands seem to trigger adrenaline surges that get one’s pulse racing. I love pageantry. It is fun watching movies about English monarchy wherein Henry VIII or Elizabeth I ride down the Thames with trumpets sounding out Handel’s Water Music and Royal Pennants snapping in the wind. I once stayed up till the early hours of the morning to see Queen Elizabeth II open Parliament. She rode up a in a carriage, bedecked in a cape lined with ermine, a huge crown on her head encrusted with diamonds all purloined from India during the Raj and she carried a large scepter. Pure Magnificence. I could hear “Zadok, the Priest”. When she got to the door of the Westminster Castle she knocked three times and called out “Black Rod” (the guy who maintains the Houses of Parliament and must give the Monarch entrance). It is goings on like this that I love to watch. It seems to mean something because English monarchs have done this since a few weeks after William landed on English soil in 1066 and then decided to walk into parliament or something like that. It makes a huge difference, doesn’t it, when there’s so much history behind it all. But this post is about pageantry and not about history, so my historical facts might quite erroneous.
One of the wonderful things Pope Benedict did was to resurrect all the traditional ceremony which John Paul II had done away with. How Wonderful! I never forgave Paul VI for selling Bernini’s Papal Triple Crown to help some charity or other. It is somewhere in New York now, under glass instead on the Pope’s head. Pope Francis is said to be a very charitable, loving, giving man. Very nice, indeed, but he is also the Pope. He doesn’t like ceremony. O woe is me! There is ceremony that goes along with being Pope. Wear the damned red shoes already! You are the Pope. Popes have worn red shoes since one of the Borgia Popes got a pair of red shoes as a Coronation gift from his Aunt Ethel, or something. It is a centuries old tradition. Stick with it. Wear the brocade sashes. Another tradition. Perhaps Adrian II found that it held his abdomen in and disguised his girth. So what? It is tradition. Stick with it.
It is said that Francis went and paid his own hotel bill. Good grief. Aren’t there a few dozen Monsignori who have nothing else to do? He made a phone call himself instead of getting some minion to make it for him and he was greeted on the other end by someone who facetiously said he was Napoleon when the Pontiff identified himself. Again there must be hundreds of Nuns running around who could have made the call and considered the privilege a blessing. One more thing. Ride in the blessed Pope mobile. Mercedes designed it especially for the Vicar of Christ. What’s this nonsense of riding in the minivan with all the other Cardinals who didn’t make it? These are the same guys who knelt down and kissed your ring. You don’t ride in minivans with them. You are the Pope.
I much fear that in a fit of elevated charity Francis is going to tear down a Caravaggio from one of the Vatican walls and sell it to sustain some charity in India or El Salvador. Shudder! He could even rent out the Papal Apartments, quite possibly to an American tourist or Donald Trump, to feed the starving in the Congo, while he lives in the little garret above the garage. Noble sentiments but, common now, be the Pope. Start acting Papal. After all, everyone calls you “Holy Father”. Please wear the red shoes! And the brocade. Buy back the triple crown. Have a special collection in all the American churches to do this. I’ll put in ten bucks. And stop selling Vatican art to feed the poor. Even Jesus said “the poor you will always have with you.” I love being Catholic for all the right reasons, but it also feels good to know that Buonarroti’s Pieta belongs to my church and that no other religion owns anything as majestic as the Sistine chapel and its decorated ceiling or Bernini’s magnificent spiral pillars in St. Peter’s basilica.
Please know that I’m being facetious here. Don’t condemn me! Don’t call me a heretic! Please don’t write to Francis and ask him to ex-communicate me!
So, is gay marriage here to stay? Does it really matter if it’s here to stay or not? With the number of Americans who are living together without the benefit of marriage and with 70% of all black babies, 70% of white babies (born to mothers under the poverty line) and 52% of all Hispanic babies being born illegitimate, what, exactly, about the sanctity of the Institution of Marriage are we trying to protect? Could it be the 68% divorce rate in the country? Why does anyone want to marry a second time? You screwed up the first time, are you going for the luck of the draw a second time? TV ads promoting unbridled sexuality are doing more to hurt traditional marriage than any two guys or gals who want to be married, who want to remodel the kitchen and who want to have cats together!
I am going to ask that we please let’s leave religion out of this. I know what it says in Leviticus and what St. Paul wrote about the subject. What about Americans who either have never heard of the Pentateuch and the itinerant disciple with a penchant for writing letters or simply don’t care about either? I came from a country where Islam was rammed down my throat 24/7 and it felt awful and tasted worse. As a practicing Catholic, I cannot marry another guy, or shack up or make a baby without being married to its mother. I am in trouble if I even think about having sex with an inflammable female I see walking down the street. I also cannot eat meat on Fridays in Lent, I am supposed to fast on those same Fridays, and I have to, under pain of serious sin, go to Mass every weekend of the year unless I am too ill to do so. Does this give me the right to go “Bloomberg” and ask for legislation banning the sale of red meat on Fridays in Lent, closing down all fast food joints on those same Fridays and having Catholic police rounding up people who have not been to Mass between Saturday evening and Sunday evening? Perhaps a small fine of say $50 for missing Mass; it can go directly to Catholic Charities and you do not get to deduct it. See how absurd this sounds? Don’t talk to me about natural law, either. Who did Cain make babies with? Eve, his mother, was the only other gal around. Can you imagine how screwed Cain’s head was? He killed his brother and made babies with his mother. Right out of Greek Mythology! If you are Evangelical or Catholic, by all means follow your own rules no matter how hard they are, just don’t force them on anyone else. As a Catholic, in Pakistan, we had to stop a long standing tradition of a church procession(for the Feast of Corpus Christi) down a street that quite suddenly sprouted a Mosque on the route. We could not have bacon and eggs or ham for Easter either; Pakistan is an Islamic Republic with all the intolerant regulation that comes with that title.
It is roughly estimated that 2% of our population is gay. At least 75% of those people are private people who, for one reason or another, do not care to flaunt their sexuality. Whose damn business is it anyway? This leaves 25% of that 2% of the population who might have the courage to say that they want to be married to someone of their gender. If we are 310 million strong, 2% is roughly 1.5 million Americans who might be gay. If only 25% of these are tough enough to admit being gay and want to be married to someone of their own gender, are we really afraid that half a million people will destroy America as we know and love it? Don’t we have bigger and better things to worry about, like the National Debt, wayward Governmental spending and the resultant deficit? Isn’t it a sure sign that the economy is improving if we are wasting our time worrying about gun control, gay marriage and large sugary drinks and we are legislating the calorie count in a hamburger? God Bless America! In Cypress they could not care less how much fat they imbibe as long as they can still pay for it with an ATM card!
The first amendment protects me from the Mosaic dietary restrictions which orthodox Jews follow. I love shrimp! Thank God for the First Amendment! It also protects me from Shariah Law. I have a fairly good relationship with God but I just couldn’t spare the time to be involved in ritualistic pray five times a day. Thank God for the First Amendment. It also protects me from the Hindu restriction against eating beef. I love a good steak. Thank God for the First Amendment. Is there a Gay couple who could be thanking God for the First Amendment which protects them from my Catholic rules and regs? See what I mean?
Interest in the Catholic Church and the activities it is involved in, seem to be a perennial and, as far as this country goes, a national past time. The News Media loves to discuss things Catholic. Whether the most recent sex abuse case to surface or the latest cover-up of abuses past; if it is Catholic, it is fun to discuss. The Catholic Church seems to have a giant target painted on it’s back. The most recent new item was the resignation or the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and then the subsequent election of Pope Francis. Everyone became an expert on how no one since the Middle Ages had resigned the Petrine office and how the last man to do so was a saint. Everyone became an expert on how the voting within the concealed walls of the Sistine chapel was going to be conducted. The two-thirds plus one majority required to elect the successor of St. Peter. But among these self-proclaimed experts there were many morons who did not take the time to get things straight.
I can count many occasions on which I foudn myself cringing while listening to some term or some sentiment expressed which was so blatantly ignorant that it was inexcusable and unpardonable. I felt like yelling: “Do your research, for goodness sake!”
Here are some of them. One idiot said that this time around there was no sadness because a Pope had not died. Then he felt obliged to recall how he had been it the Vatican City when Pope John Paul II had been “read his last rights!” I had visions of one of our favorite Popes ,of all time, being led out to a wall to face a firing squad. This ignorant peddler of news had not consulted with any church going Catholic to discover that a dying Catholic is not read his last rights, he is given the last rites of the church in a special ritual designed to comfort the dying and to prepare them for their journey into eternal life.
Another one that is horrifying is when a non-Catholic, invariably, says that the Pope or the Cardinal Secretary of State will “do” a mass. Just as bad is when someone is said to “perform” a mass. Catholics go to a mass which is “said” by a celebrant. It’s that simple, dummies.
I heard one rather prominent talking head ask a Catholic priest, who I am sure was offering up the embarrassment of being interviewed by a mindless philistine as a penance for Lent, if he had a favorite nominee for Pope. A nominee? What the hell are you talking about you dolt? A conclave is a spiritual retreat during which the Cardinals of the church cast ballots for the man they think will best fill the office of the leader of 1.1 billion Catholics all over the planet. A nominee? Can you get more mundane?
Another one spoke of offering to vote for a cardinal for favors after the votee was elected and of politicking for personal favorites. If this did happen, it would be sinful and completely against every intent of the conclave.
Prayerfully this Pope will last a good ten years before we have to undergo this again. Hopefully this illiteracy in regard to the Catholic church will be fixed by then. In the meantime may I suggest a book which can be bought for kindle or in paperback from Amazon for mere pennies. It will educate and illuminate the ignorant about the oldest Christian church in our world. The title is, fittingly: Catholicism for Dummies!
The United States of America has always been a country which held human life in very high regard. Perhaps it stems from that first founding document; The Declaration of Independence which lists “life” as the first inalienable right granted by a benevolent Creator to all mankind, that made Americans once hold life in such high regard. I say “once” because it seems to be a fast fading value; which is the point of this post. The enemies of the United States of America have always known that they could bargain with US Government if human life was at stake. No other country could be held hostage this way. Not even the United Kingdom, where with typical British stiff upper lip, life was dispensable if national pride was at stake. The United States always had the reputation of spending vast sums of money to rescue people stranded in the ocean, or on a mountain top, or in enemy territory. President Reagan violated law when he bartered arms for hostages in the infamous Iran-Contra situation. In the recent past, Islamic Terrorist always hit US targets where the most damage would be done to human life. This is because they knew it would hurt. These same terrorists are gleefully willing to surrender their own lives for their cause. The Japanese, the North Vietnamese and the Nazis used this American value for human life as the bargaining tool that it was to extract information for American prisoners of war. One simply cannot conceive of an American suicide anything…
But this regard for life has seemed to wane with the passage of time. Clearly in regard to the life of the unborn, convenience and political correctness seem to win every time. There is an almost barbaric disregard for life of the unborn. Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York State has submitted a bill which will permit abortions for any pregnancy, up to birth, if the life of the mother is threatened. The loose definition of threat to the mother’s life is paramount to the nature of this bill. When Dr. Tiller, who ran an abortion mill in Florida, used this as an excuse to terminate a pregnancy, merely being unhappy was enough to qualify a woman to end a pregnancy. When a pregnancy is terminated in the late term, the baby is actually partially extracted from the womb before being murdered. This prevents the procedure from being labeled as murder, since to kill a live baby outside the womb is murder!
A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court of New Jersey found in favor of a woman who had ingested large quantities of Coke a few days before delivering her child. The child, while not a coke addict, as many frequently are, was found to have coke in his system. In a brain so fragile and tender, surely there will be learning consequences down the road. We have not discovered these difficulties but we will and I ask you to imagine the horror of raising a child who will not be able to take care of himself because of the irresponsible behavior of his mother. I hasten to say that I have not a solution to this issue. I do not want the courts removing children from homes. The question seems to be: what reason is reason enough to remove a child? Can a child be removed because the court considered the parent or parents too liberal or too conservative? Or because the parents belonged to some religious group or other? It is the dangerous slope of parental rights. Giving any branch of the government the power to cease a child is a box that should stay closed.
On the other side of life, in our country, while we encourage various life style changes which will insure our living to grand old ages, the industry which provides housing for seniors, no longer able to care for themselves, is growing by leaps and bounds. I heard today that in my immediate neighborhood, there are 16 private family homes which have been turned into four bedroom residences for elder Americans, where a nurse and a living assistant is provided for the cost of the person’s board and lodging.
In facilities like these, these poor old people are left to decay slowly until they depart this valley of tears. They are very rarely visited and never taken to a home with a family, where they can appreciate the company of people who once loved them. Senior neglect and abuse is a growing problem as old people become more and more of a nuisance. The sad fact is that right at the beginning, life can be an inconvenience and that is generally solved by abortion. At the end of life when life becomes an inconvenience, we do not yet have euthanasia laws, but can it be far away? In the culture in which I was raised, in India, seniors are a precious resource of wisdom and knowledge and no family would consider relegating one to a rest home. What is the difference? President Obama once, during a campaign said that a baby was tantamount to a punishment! I wonder if he considers a 90 year old parent as much of a punishment.
Now, excuse me while I finish my New York Steak wrapped in bacon, my scalloped potatoes and several ounces of Scotch. you see, I mean to die young. The biblical allotment of three score and ten is more than ample for me. I am not going to sacrifice any of the joys of gracious living for ten additional years of life, while drooling into a cup in some musty old house that has been converted into a place where one is sentenced to hang until dead!
History, frequently, gives leaders monikers which refers to their legacy or their style of governance, after they leave the scene. Edward VII of England was called “The Peace-Maker” because he used his consanguinity with the Royal Families of Europe to keep the peace throughout the continent during his reign. Ronald Reagan, who used his ability to look into a camera and reach the American people is called “The Great Communicator”. Pope John Paul II is called “The People’s Pope”, for obvious reasons. I believe that President Barack Obama will be called “The Great Campaigner” or “The Eternal Campaigner”. The President never stops campaigning. Every speech, including his State of the Union Addresses, are all campaign stump speeches. The speeches are full of grand ideas with no method of accomplishing any of them. Promises, Promises! Evanescent Promises!
The President’s method of campaigning is centered on David Axelrod’s (the man almost solely responsible for Obama’s two terms in office) modus operandi. Destroy the opponent in the court of public opinion. Axelrod was quoted as saying, early on in the campaign, “kill Romney” and this they did, very successfully. Mitt Romney became the woman killer, the man who laid-off your brother, the closer of manufacturing plants, and the neglecter of autistic children. President Obama does this continually. Remember that to make this process work, one has to have an opponent. President Obama manages to find an opponent every time he needs one. During the campaign, naturally, it was Mitt Romney. Now that the campaign is over, he doesn’t have far to look. The President needs only to look out of his office window to see the House side of the Capital Building. The Republicans in the House of Representatives are now the Obama target. The battle ground is the much talked about Sequestering of budget appropriations for several non-discretionary areas of Governmental spending. The Press will be the purveyors of Napalm during teh fire fight.
In a speech attempting to convince the American people of the horrors of the sequestration becoming law, ten days from yesterday, Mr. Obama came out swinging. He blamed Congress, but everyone knows that this is merely a pseudonym for the Republican House of Representatives. His much needed opponent! Here is what he blamed the Republicans for, if the Sequestration happens next Friday!
It will not help the economy, it will not create jobs, and it will not help a whole lot of people. Can one be more general than this? As usual there were no details. Liberals, don’t very often, come with facts. There will be a downgrading of military readiness, an eviscerating of research in energy and medicine and massive cuts in education. Emergency Personnel who respond to disasters will be laid off. Border Patrol Agents will be furloughed. Federal Prosecutors will be forced to terminate investigations and cases and let criminals go free. Air Traffic controllers will be laid off and airports will become an absolute nightmarish quagmire. Many teachers and educators will be laid off. Americans will be denied access to primary care like flu shots and cancer screening. The President went to say that this meat cleaver approach to budget cutting does not differentiate between vitally important programs and programs which have outlived their usefulness and which are bloated and inefficient. The insinuation was that Mr. Obama’s plans were the right way to go for the nation. It is a gentle, more efficient way of cutting the budget! In short, if this sequestration goes through, because of the horrific (read Republican) opposition to the President’s fiscal plan for America, our country will degenerate into something closely resembling the Congo or Mother Theresa’s Calcutta, or the Warsaw ghetto during the Nazi occupation of Poland.
There was no mention that the military part of the sequestration cuts was something that the democrats and the president demanded when this plan was formulated during the Fiscal Cliff crises last December. There was no explanation of exactly which teachers are paid with Federal Funds? There was no explanation of how exactly firemen and paramedics responding to my phone call, to rescue my house or restart my fibrillating heart, are affected by federal budget cuts. Are not these valiant people all funded by the States? His headlong dash towards a new all-encompassing federalism has clouded the president’s view of things. Now he makes very little distinction between the States and the Federal Government. It is all teh federal Governement.
This speech made great use of all the usual talking points. For those Americans who care about education, there was the repeated mention of teachers. For those Americans are worried about blood pressure medication and flu shots, there was the mention of primary care being slashed. For all Americans who fear the loss of police and paramedics, the President caused anxiety attacks which result in insomnia.
The blatant attempt at fear mongering was easy to see. There were two rows of Police and Fire personnel behind the President during the speech. All the right images. The press will pick this up and run with only those facts which support this progressive, campaigning President.
This is another battle, fought by vilifying an opponent, which Mr. Obama will win. It is inevitable. The GOP will come out looking really bad. As for America; well the 52% who voted Democrat deserve what they are bound to receive soon. It will come just like the surprise of the additional tax deductions, in all pay checks, which came on January 1, 2013. As for the 48% who didn’t vote for Mr. Obama … Oh well; four more years!
The conversation that we were bound to have has finally started. It was triggered by two significant factors. The first was the President’s realization that this might be a major portion of his legacy, healthcare being the other, and the second being the Republican realization that without the Hispanic vote there is absolutely no possibility of ever winning any kind of election in which Hispanics participate as members of the electorate. What this has created is a deep and profound love by both parties for Hispanic Americans of a nature which no ethnic group has ever enjoyed in our history. And I say good for them!
In an effort to trump the President a group of eight senators, Republican and Democrat, got together and put together a plan. They presented this plan in a dog and pony show which reeked of bipartisan participation the like of which we haven’t seen for a long time. Lefties like Chuck Schummer, Robert Menedez, Michael Bennet and Dick Durbin joined John McCain, Lindsay Graham and the Tea Party’s own Marco Rubio (there were others) to design this plan. It is a noble effort and those Americans who keep begging for bipartisan cooperation had to feel a sense of elation that there was a coming together of the two parties who have not been able to agree on what to have for breakfast in the last few years.
The plan is solid and outlines some very intelligent handling of this illegal immigration problem. It would set up a system whereby people who have overstayed their visas would have to go home, having been discovered by a more efficient system of tracking visas. It would create an impenetrable border by use of drones and border guards and would also create a commission in the Border States which would oversee the maintenance of this border tightening. It would require a “getting in line” behind legal immigrants, for all illegals who comply with the other requirements. It would also ease the path of those illegals with families and children brought to the United States as infants, so that citizenship is quicker. There are other great ideas like granting green cards for people with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering or math from American universities. The plan talks, further, about using non-forgeable green cards and bio-technology to link a card with a recipient. This is all well and good but the biggest flaw lies in so far as it requires that illegals pay fines and back taxes in order to earn a “probationary legal status.”
This is patently asinine. Which one of these people, who have been living in the shadows, are going to come forward if they have to pay thousands of dollars in fines and taxes when they do so? Ask yourself if you would. If you were making all of $5 an hour picking strawberries, barely managing to send $100 a week to your starving family in Tijuana, and you were expected to collect $2000 in fines and pay taxes on every dollar you have made since you jumped the border, would you register? Would you reveal yourself? I believe I would remain illegal, continue to live in some canyon, and continue to send money home.
We need to find a way of making it relatively easy to legalize those who are currently illegal. They must get something out of it that doesn’t cost a preposterous, almost unreachable sum of money. We get a secure border, and end to a very ticklish and annoying matter and a return to sane legal immigration for those seeking the American Dream and the 20 million people, who are illegally in America, get some security in their lives.
I say that all those who are here illegally should be able to register, start paying taxes from this point on, and then get in line to apply for a green card. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who is the force behind the taxes and fines, has said that people who broke our immigration laws must be punished for doing so; hence the fines. Nonsense! The incentive for registering and becoming a legal resident who pays taxes and who pays into Social Security and Medicare should be that all it is going to cost you is a long six year wait until you become an American citizen.
I might consider taking the Citizenship apple out of the equation altogether. Simply register, get a work permit and cross the border every day to earn your wages. Go home to your family every night. You have to renew your green card every year or every two years. I really don’t think that most migrant workers, who exist at a subsistence level, want to become citizens at all. I know there is the argument that they want the monetary benefits which come with citizenship; but what if we terminated those benefits for people in this category? They would not want to be citizens. There would be no additional value to being a US Citizen! They want a chance to earn money which they cannot earn in their own countries and they would have that with impunity!
To their credit, the gang of eight, who drew up this plan, has admitted that it needs refining. Perhaps they will think this through. If they do, we will at last have a comprehensive immigration policy that everyone can live with!
The post mortem analysis of the election and why the GOP lost an election which was so winnable, goes on. Everyone has an opinion. It reminds one of the crude joke comparing opinions to lower, while necessary body orifices. This week the GOP got together to formalize the autopsy. The party met in Charlotte, North Carolina and for starters re-elected the party chairman, Reince Priebus. Then there were speeches. Many speeches. Interminable speeches. There are always speeches, aren’t there? These speeches might have been slightly different to the ones we have heard before. There was clear consensus: the GOP is in trouble. The poll numbers are bad. The brand is damaged. The values are not populist anymore. Everything from abortion, through gay rights, and finally to governmental fiscal responsibility is misunderstood.
What then is the solution? Should this party change its core values? Should a woman’s right to choose be more important than human life that conservatives believe begins at conception? Does the GOP do a 180 degree swing and accept gay marriage as a viable social alternative for homosexuals? Should the GOP abandon the entire spending cuts hullabaloo and just let the chips fall where they may? Finally, is it time for the GOP to accept some euphemistic backdoor to a general amnesty to millions of illegals hiding and working in the shadows of American society? Was Colin Powell right when he said that there is a deep-seated vein of intolerance in the GOP?. Let it be known that this is the strategy of the other party. The party which controls half the legislature and the Executive Branch could quite easily get control of the House in two years. Let it be known that that party – the Democrat party– will definitely use every one of these items as ammunition against the GOP and they will win! They will continue to win and the GOP could well disappear forever.
It is clear that rhetoric is not going to fix things. It hasn’t in the past and it will not in the future. It is also clear that the majority of the voting public is not the same crowd which voted Ronald Reagan, both George Bushes and Bill Clinton(the era of big Government is over) into office. Thirty percent of the electorate earns less than $30 thousand a year and this segment pays no taxes. This segment readily and willingly accepts government financial help and appear in no hurry to let go of this golden egg laying goose! With this realization comes the crux of the problem facing the GOP. How can they continue with the “entitlement spending cuts” argument and the “balancing the budget” argument when the people voting for them are the very ones receiving the entitlements and that number is growing daily? It doesn’t work to tell these people who have grown accustomed to getting free money, that it is the aim of the GOP to lift them out of their dependent quagmire and get them better paying jobs with health benefits and more prestige! These people are way past that hope. A large portion of that 30% receiving governmental help has been receiving that help for over two years.
Bobby Jindal, one of the stars of the GOP, who has taken a traditionally Democrat State, Louisiana, and turned it around to where it is actually becoming prosperous through massive tax cuts and creating a business friendly atmosphere, said that the GOP has got to stop being the stupid party. It has got to stop sounding like the party of austerity, but the party of growth. He said that the GOP had become obsessed with zeroes! Here is a quote from the Governor’s speech: “If this election taught us anything it is that we will not win elections by simply pointing out the failures of the other side. We must boldly paint the picture of what America can be, of just how incredibly bright America’s future can be.” Well said Bobby!
The GOP on the Hill is taking the attitude that they need to be quiet for a while before trying to come back. If you watched the anemic showing at the Hillary Clinton hearings you saw this first hand. All the Sunday Morning talk shows this week were about the GOP and what they have to do. The way I see it, the GOP is like a town the morning after a huge and devastating storm has hit the area. There is mass confusion, desperation, a lack of leadership, no sense of direction and a terrible and pervasive fear that damage control is not possible any more. The party looks like the Titanic at 1:55 AM on April 15th, 1912! There is some rearranging of the deck chairs on the promenade and the band is still happily playing on but, the end sure looks imminently inevitable to the knowledgeable.
Finally Bobby Jindal said that we could choose to go down the Government path or the American path. I agree. But first we have to restate the American path the way we define it, and we have to be bold. We have to remind the American people that reliance on the government is an almost shameful thing and is calculated to make one dependent and therefore controllable. It is obvious that 52% of the people (the Obama base) have forgotten what the real American path is. It will be the task of the GOP in the next two years to make sure that everyone remembers what the American path is. Winning elections will be a happy adjunct to the effort when that task is completed!