Arizona's Immigration Law
I just wanted to say thank you for posting this article ("Don't Buy the Hype About Arizona's Law"). There are so many people who don't like this new law but really have no idea what it is. Finally ... someone who will explain what it really means ... and not put the people down who back it. I commend you!
I read with interest your opinion on this subject and have a few "opinions" of my own. First point, I am going to assume you don't live in Arizona and that you are not a minority. Arizona has been and still is a "white bread" state. Phoenix Metro Police have a long history of not only hassling Native Americans, blacks and Hispanics, but any other minority who is not white. This is still very much a cowboy and redneck town despite the cultural and financial growth that has occurred over the years.
Racial profiling is alive and thriving and will never stop. Let's not skip over the reason minorities are stopped. They are stopped because they are minorities! Forget about the legalities of the questions asked after the fact. Whites are going to get a pass and minorities are going to be stopped. Anyone who tries to convince you otherwise lives on a different planet. The Hispanics have become the new blacks. Ever heard the old expression "Driving while black"?
Leaving the choice of who to stop to the discretion of local law enforcement is laughable. Gov. Brewer is not naive nor is she not intelligent. With 1070, she has secured herself as a lead contender in the governor's race.
I buy into the hype. I am a minority; I have been stopped DWB. I live in Arizona. I am a reliable witness.
All this anger about Arizona has hit a nerve with me. I am a registered Democrat and former labor union secretary for 38 years, so no conservative. But as a witness within the labor movement, I know first-hand that California would not be in such a financial mess if it did not have approximately one-third of all the illegals in the U.S.
Our schools are suffering (I have two teachers in the immediate family), our hospitals are in dire straits (I have an M.D. daughter-in-law), and our jails and courts (my No. 2 son is an attorney) are in absolute chaos .
There is a solution. We need the grunt labor and they need our money, and a Green Card Work Program could be up and running in no time (as was a Homeland Security Department) and the taxes now lost would more than cover expenses of personnel, etc. Employers register need (how many and how long), and those employed are fingerprinted, photographed and cleared as to health and background. Then they are on a list to become citizens after returning to their home base.
Why condemn Arizona when the federal government should have done this years ago?
Regarding Michael Cohen's article ("The GOP's Short-Sighted Immigration Strategy"), when have politicians ever taken the long-term view on anything? The future rarely extends beyond one or two election cycles; no politician is thinking about the country's demographics in 2042 (most will be long gone from the political scene by then anyway). Thus, with everyone focused on November 2010, the GOP's actions in Arizona don't seem so absurd. After all, the bill does have more than 60 percent support among the citizens of Arizona.
And for all the talk expended about what this or that ethnic group might do, the outcome of most elections is determined by what independent voters do (it was their movement from the GOP in 2008 that made Barack Obama president). Outside the border states, these voters may not care very much about the immigration issue in 2010. Their focus is, and will probably remain, jobs and the economy.
The reason Arizona passed this immigration bill was the federal government's inability to address the situation. I think it's the way to go for not Arizona but the U.S. as a whole. Illegal means just that ... illegal.
They should have absolutely no rights whatsoever. Once it sinks in that America won't give them anything if they are illegal, they may just consider becoming a U.S. citizen. The problem is that people like you and other such ilk are promoting their illegal status by crying for their civil rights.
The Arizona situation is a perfect example of Alan Colmes' distorted views on justice and peace for all mankind ("What's Up With Arizona?"). The people of Arizona have literally been invaded by Mexican illegal immigrants who have disrupted their lives and violated their rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The governor has merely had the courage to do what the U.S. government has failed to do, and what is already sanctioned by rulings from the Supreme Court. The last thing this sad situation needs are political ideologues -- from both sides -- whose comments only exacerbate a serious matter that could threaten our national security and result in violence and death.
I personally love and embrace all legal Hispanic immigrants in our country. They are good, hard-working and spiritual people who contribute greatly to our welfare and culture. What Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has done will also protect them, and the other Arizonians, from those who would, if not controlled, overrun Arizona and other neighboring states, and bring nothing but death and turmoil to the whole area.
North Babylon, N.Y.
Thumbs up for Arizona! This may seem like a radical move on their part; however, it is the final plea of a desperate state. Records show that the governor of Arizona has written to Washington many times declaring the immediate problem of the illegal people pouring into their state. They needed help and didn't even rate a reply from our "wonderful" leaders. Now, it has become a worthy news story because of their bold move.
It is true, America was built on immigrants; however, they came here the correct way -- not demanding "their rights" and getting it while we who are born and raised here pay the bill. Crime has doubled and the education system is taking a real hit. If they are illegal (illegal being the operative word) then they should not be here. Enough is enough.
President Obama's Debt Commission
Great article on Obama's "debt commission," but it misses the real point ("Is the Debt Commission Serious?"). This commission, just like everything else with Obama, is a smokescreen. The single object of it is to give Obama cover for massive tax increases, including the staple of all socialist economies, the value-added tax.
He knew all along his massive spending could not be sustained without large tax increases, but he was not about to admit it. So he comes up with a phony debt commission that made him raise taxes even though he didn't want to! He has all of these Ivy League economic advisers in his administration, but he needs to name a "debt commission" to figure out how to keep us out of bankruptcy?
High Point, N.C.
There is another option that is totally unaddressed in your budget commentary:
With more than one in five federal dollars going toward supporting the U.S. military, perhaps it is time to look at whether we really need to support what President Eisenhower called the "military-industrial complex."
While we're looking at budgets, let's also remember that the Iraq war, which cost us $2 trillion and counting, has so far produced no stable government in Iraq. That doesn't seem like a wise investment to me.
And while your article bashes President Obama, it does not even mention the Republicans, who during the eight years of George W. Bush took the country from a $236 billion surplus in 2000 to a $1.3 trillion deficit before Obama even walked in the door.
So maybe it's time to stop suggesting the problem lies with President Obama and entitlement programs, and take a hard look at where the money really goes. It's time for Americans to make the difficult choices and decide whether they want to keep funding Medicare, Social Security and defense spending at current levels. And if so, raise taxes to fund them. Or if not, cut the programs, particularly defense, that are bankrupting us.
Santa Fe, N.M.
Supreme Court Debate
The current Republican rhetoric about policies and decisions that "bring us all together" ("Pick a Nominee Who Unites America," Sen. Orrin Hatch, Supreme Court nomination debate) is disingenuous code talk. The polite questioning of Justices Alito and Roberts during their hearings gave us the egregiously reactionary decision to allow corporations free rein to spend enormous sums to guarantee election results favorable to their interests. Alito and Roberts pretended that they would be respectful of precedent and then blithely pursued policies that violated precedents with a long history. What President Obama must do is select a nominee for the court who will function in a manner designed to redress the excesses of a Supreme Court that is currently eroding democracy in this country.
Jackson Heights, N.Y.
Cuba Travel Ban Debate
It is a shame. All our enemies from World War II are major trading partners. Vietnam is a trading partner today. China, still a proud beacon and Communist stronghold, perceived by many in government as a potential major enemy down the road, is a major trading partner. But Cuba, for some reason, is a holdover from the Cold War period ("Keep Cuba Travel Ban in Place").
Why is it that we have had such a bent and unyielding posture for the past 50 years to stick it to these proud, strong and resilient people? Cuba has never been at war with America, but we continue to punish this tiny sovereign country and its people. Do you mean to tell me we cannot find a way to coexist?
I mean no disrespect to Cuban-Americans of the Latino community who want to suffocate the leadership of Cuba to submission. However, they are a small group, loud, well funded and at the same time a misguided voice.
The policy to suffocate the leadership at the expense of Cuba's subjects has been in place since the beginning and it needs to change! The common man is always the one who suffers, and it is played out every day in the streets of Havana.
The Obama administration is changing the tone of discourse toward Cuba. Travel restrictions for relatives to Cuba have been lifted, caps on the free flow of dollars from relatives in the U.S. to Cuba have also been lifted, and trade in some areas of commerce is allowed by our government.
I strongly believe that by the end of Obama's first term in office, Cuba will be a full trading partner with the U.S. We need it. Hands down, it's an easy sell to the American public! And Castro will live to see it!