Memorial Day 2010

In Flanders Fields
Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

For all the Veterans & military personnel currently in service and their families, we thank you for your hard work and service to the American People so that we may remain free.

Thanks, Dad…

My Response to a Comment on Immigration

A comment from the previous post concerning immigration by a commenter by the name of Horatio states:

I hope that every American, regardless of where he lives, will stop and examine his conscience about this and other related incidents. This Nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened. All of us ought to have the right to be treated as he would wish to be treated, as one would wish his children to be treated, but this is not the case.

I know the proponents of this law say that the majority approves of this law, but the majority is not always right. Would women or non-whites have the vote if we listen to the majority of the day, would the non-whites have equal rights (and equal access to churches, housing, restaurants, hotels, retail stores, schools, colleges and yes water fountains) if we listen to the majority of the day? We all know the answer, a resounding, NO!

Today we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free. In a time of domestic crisis men of good will and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics and do what is right, not what is just popular with the majority. Some men comprehend discrimination by never have experiencing it in their lives, but the majority will only understand after it happens to them.

Doesn’t this sound nice and reasonable?  But examine the words carefully, and the flaws in the argument start to appear.  Let’s start with the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

WE THE PEOPLE has a nice ring, doesn’t it?  We the People are us, the Citizens of the United States, who are law-abiding and one of the most generous people on the face of the Earth.  We the People also stand for what freedom really is, and ask, not demand, respect for our country, its people, and the laws that we live under so that our country can continue to exist.

Our country is a country of laws, which were first set up by the Founders in the form of our Constitution.  The initial Constitution was not complete, which is why the Founders of the Country made it possible for the People to change or amend the Constitution.  Thus, the first changes were the Bill of Rights, and afterward, more changes were made allowing for women and minorities the right to vote as well as other equal civil liberties.  The Suffrage and Civil Rights Movements made that possible.

At this point, let us note that the Founder’s of the Country were white, well-to-do gentlemen of substance of various backgrounds, and subjects of the British Crown, and not of many nations as Horatio posits.  Let us also note that the majority of people of the days of the Suffrage and Civil Rights voted for these rights to be granted to women and minorities through State elections, not through a minority of civic-minded politicians that didn’t listen to their constituents.  Remember, it was the majority that granted the rights to the minority through their elected Representatives.  Last we should also note that the rights of women and minorities were granted to legal residents of the United States.

This is where Horatio loses the concept of a sovereign nation.  Our nation, like many other nations, has borders and laws to enforce them.  It has an immigration policy and laws to support them.  Arizona, for the most part, is reiterating the Federal laws on Immigration.  No other country, including Mexico, will allow people to enter the country without due process.  Why does anyone think that the United States should be different?

The United States is a shining beacon of what a country can do if governed by the will of the people and not by the will of a despot, dictator, or king.  The United States is (or should be) a champion of that concept throughout the world, and support the rights of people in their respective countries.  But if those people wish to come to the United States, then I, as a citizen of this country, would welcome them – after all, part of the poem on the Statue of Liberty states,

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

My Great-Grandmother came to this country from her native Ireland fleeing the Great Potato Famine, and passed through Ellis Island.  At no time was it considered to sneak into the United States like a thief in the night.  People came to this country as a land of opportunity, a chance to start over.  Coming in illegally was not the way to start a new life.  This is the strength of the United States.

Let’s look at this excellent video (h/t to GeeeeeZ!):

I take great insult to Horatio’s implication that it is somehow the duty of the United States and its citizens to welcome people who cross our borders illegally, and that we should “stop and examine [our] conscience.”  Horatio also implies that to do otherwise is discriminatory. 

What is right and legal is for immigrants to follow the due process of our laws, for then we know (at least in principle) that these people intend to be law-abiding.  It’s not discrimination, it’s self-preservation given the world today.  The violence in Arizona and Texas from Mexican gangs crossing the border illegally should give one pause the practicality of having an open border.

Horatio, I’m sorry, but you dream of a Utopia that cannot exist in this world or in any other.  It is not the fault of the immigrant that wants a better life for himself or his family.  It is the fault of the country he lives in for being repressive and closed to opportunities to better his lot in life.  The United States, realistically, cannot have unlimited immigration with open borders.  It is not practical nor is it sustainable.

And finally, I sleep very well at night because I have a clear concience, and I have suffered discrimination.

Immigration Reform Redux

Over the past week, I have heard and read many different things about “Immigration Reform” as far as dealing with the numbers of illegal aliens, uh, undocumented workers, in this country.  I’ve also heard that several cities as well as the Federal Government crying “FOUL” over Arizona passing what amounts to be a clarification of existing Federal Law.  And you know, this isn’t about the laws of this country being enforced, this is more about politics and power than anything else.

This past week, the Los Angeles City Council passed legislation banning the city from doing any further business with the state of Arizona because of its new law targeting illegal immigration.  So have other knee-jerk politicians vowed to take their business elsewhere.  Obviously trying to pander to the Hispanic communities for votes rather than enforce laws…

And that seems to be the mood of California.  Let me ask a question:  How much has California spent on providing services to the illegal aliens, and has that amount contributed to the state & various cities teetering on the brink of bankruptcy?  I’ll tell you one thing, it certainly hasn’t helped their financial situation one bit.

But our Federal government does not seem to understand that these people are breaking laws that were designed to protect this country.  Instead, the lawmakers in Washington want to change the laws to something less restrictive.  And that, my friends, smells a lot like amnesty, which is a slap in the face and insulting to any immigrant that legally entered this country and pursued citizenship.

Around two years ago, I posted a couple of articles on this blog.  Excerpts from these two posts (here and here) are below:

I understand that the majority of illegal aliens residing and working in this country are only trying to make things better for themselves and their families.  They have also broken the laws of this country be crossing the border illegally.  What gets me going is that the media trys to portray them as victims instead of lawbreakers.  Why do our elected officials not understand this?

An example of the above are various mayors in cities who have declared “safe zones” within their cities that are designated safe havens for the illegals.  They defend their decisions by stating that they are under no compulsion to enforce Federal immigration laws.  What???  Excuse me, but isn’t one of the duties of an elected official to uphold the laws of this country, whether they are Local, State, or Federal?  Where did I miss that in Civics Class?

Our elected officials should be ashamed of themselves.  There are existing laws on the books that deal with the issue of illegal immigration.  But all they have done is handicapped our Border Patrol and INS agencies with increased regulations and decreased funding.  Border Patrol agents have been prosecuted for doing their jobs, and INS is swamped.  The border is wide open for almost anyone to cross at will, and that includes terrorists mixed in with the illegals.

“What part of illegal does the Senate not understand? Any plan that rewards illegal behavior is amnesty,” said Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Calif., chairman of the Immigration Reform Caucus.

What should be done is close the border first – manpower and budgets need to have priority.  Second is to find and prosecute all employers of illegal immigrants.  Last would be to find and humanly deport those who do not leave voluntarily – let those people who want to leave first leave without any trouble.

And because our elected “leaders” in Washington have not seen fit to enforce the border & immigration laws, Arizona, to their credit, decided that enough was enough.  Interestingly enough, one poll states that over 60% of Americans approve of Arizona’s actions, and several other states (Michigan, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Maryland, North Carolina, Texas, Missouri, Nebraska, Utah, and Idaho) are considering similar legislation.  Perhaps these states are also tired of providing services to non-citizens that, for the most part, don’t pay taxes, and not getting any help from the Federal government.  As Pennsylvania State Representative Eric Bedingfield stated:

With the federal government currently AWOL in fulfilling its constitutional responsibilities to protect American lives, property and jobs against the clear and present dangers of illegal-alien invaders, state lawmakers … are left with no choice but to take individual action to address this critical economic and national security epidemic.

Why?  Because the laws and policies of our Federal government are becoming increasingly politicized if not downright incompetent.  Nothing shows this better than the following clip:

h/t to The Liberal Lies, The Conservative Truth (http://theliberalslies.blogspot.com/)

While I understand that the Attorney General takes his marching orders from the President, the continued incompetence of the Attorney General taking a stand on a statute (get it here) without reading it pales beyond belief.  But what else can you expect from an administration that appoints political hacks that have little or no experience (let alone competence) to positions of responsibility, and that has a political agenda?

And that political agenda, at least in regards to immigration, is being planned for by Homeland Security (h/t to Right Truth):

The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, already has drafted a plan for processing 13 million illegal alien applicants  for amnesty in a 30-week period at an estimated cost of $1 billion.

The plan anticipates the approval of  so-called “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” legislation pending in Congress and assumes a nine-month ramp-up period for processing of applications.

The undated draft report anticipates the possibility of the legislation requiring public benefits to amnesty applicants.

And here we thought that Obama and his cronies has the American People’s interests first…  Guess not…  Perhaps we need an elected official like New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christy:

h/t to Mike’s America (http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com)

From Governor Christie’s bio on the New Jersey Governor’s website:

Chris was named U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey in 2002. As the chief federal law enforcement officer in New Jersey, Chris earned praise from leaders in both parties and drew national attention for his efforts in battling political corruption, corporate crime, human trafficking, gangs, terrorism and polluters. Chris led a widely acclaimed charge against public corruption. Regardless of party affiliation or political influence, when laws were broken, Chris took action. His office racked up an astonishing record – winning convictions or guilty pleas from over 130 public officials – both Republican and Democrat – without losing a single case.

A damn better record than any of the political hacks that are in the Obama administration, but I had better be careful – speaking out against “the one” and his actions could be considered racist hate speech, and could get me reported & in hot water.  To which I say:

“I’m sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic.  We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration.” – Hillary Clinton

Mr. President, please put aside the political rhetoric and the promises to tirelessly pursue whatever issue catches your attention for the day/week/month.  Respect the laws of this land, its Citizens, and the Constitution of the United States of which you swore to defend and uphold.  To do otherwise is disgraceful to the Office of the President

Happy Mother’s Day

I know I’m late getting this post out – just so dang busy…

I will not be spending Mother’s Day with my mom – she just lives too far away, so flowers & a card with a phone call will have to suffice (no candy – more on that below).

This may be my mother’s last Mother’s Day.  She is in the end stages of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and the disease has progressed to the point that nothing can be done.  She is on oxygen 24-hours a day, and under constant pain medication.  The medication has screwed up her sense of taste and smell, which is a blow to her since she has always enjoyed her chocolate and the flowers in the garden.  She still has my dad with her, and their dog is a constant companion to her.  It could be worse, but it could definitely be better.

While we have had our differences throughout the years, and words less than civilized have passed between us, there is always one constant:

I love you, Mom.