Tag: Politics

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Be Better Neighbors

Yesterday, I wore my Alienware T-Shirt, with the company’s logo on the front—an alien, of course. For some reason, I got several questions about it. So I said: “Well, this is my illegal alien. He’s afraid of getting sent back to his home planet, and I’m protesting with him.”

There’s truth to what I said. I’m unfavorable to the hardline US legislators are taking with this immigration bill. I just don’t see turning all these immigrants into criminals, or turning them away. As one of the sixth graders pointed out today in the Sunday school class I teach, most Americans are immigrants. And to the Native Americans here 400 hundred years ago, the off-continent settlers were the illegals and, as it turned out, invaders, too. 

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You’ve Got Be Kidding

I am glad it’s an election year. Conservative legislators held a news conference today, where they lambasted Senate lawmakers for passing an immigration amnesty bill. The House wants to tighten immigration rules.

According to CNN, Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.) said, “I say let the prisoners pick the fruits”. From Rep. Steve King of Iowa: “Anybody that votes for an amnesty bill deserves to be branded with a scarlet letter A”. The brand should be on these representatives and their colleagues making these outrageous statements.

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Shame on Congress

I have my differences with President Bush, but there is one issue about which we agree: UAE. Congress’ unwillingness to accept a United Arab Emirates company’s taking oversight of some U.S. ports brought to a close on Wednesday a visible disagreement between the President and his Republican allies on the Hill. American flags around the Capitol building should be lowered in shame.

The ruckus started about a month ago when the UAE company bested a rival to buyout London-based P&O, which had a contract for six U.S. ports. The UEA company, Dubai Ports World, will walk away from the U.S. ports deal, following a stunning 62-2 House Appropriations Committee blocking vote. Democrats, lead by Sen. Hillary Clinton, had made big noise against the deal—and she’s supposed to be a presidential candidate in 2008

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Where Milk Matters

My quote of the year (so far) goes to Vermont Governor Jim Douglas, explaining why the state isn’t cracking down on illegal immigrants working on dairy farms: “I respect the laws of the United States, of course. But the cows have to be milked”.

The governor is quoted in a New York Times story about Vermont’s massive exodus of young people. One result is a worker shortage that makes it hard for businesses to justify staying in the state or simply expanding operations. Fewer jobs mean more young people looking elsewhere for work. Fewer young workers mean fewer businesses offering jobs. Pick a term: Negative feedback loop, perpetual motion machine, or the economic equivalent of song, “There’s a Hole in the Bucket“. 

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The Buck (Shot) Stops Here

I simply cannot resist. Well, actually I did resist for a few days—OK, maybe a day—but cannot any longer. Some broadcaster named Bob Rivers has got this in-bad-taste but funny Flash movie, “Cheney’s Got a Gun,” poking fun at the Vice President’s recent hunting accident.

Yes, I feel for everyone involved in the incident. But this bit of Flash foolery is just too good to pass over. I’m a fan of political humor—all targets (pardon the pun) accepted, whether conservative, liberal, Republican, Democrat, or some other political persuasion. I’m not partisan. 

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This is Your Brain on Politics

Last night I fumed on about closed-minded evolutionists and creationists, neither of which is probably right but both think their position is absolute truth. Maybe science has an explanation for them in their good friends the politicians.

LiveScience.com today reports on a new study to be released about how politicians think. Researchers from Emory University MRI-scanned politicians’ brains while presenting them information about the “their preferred candidate prior to the 2004 Presidential election”. The results were surprising, or maybe not, depending on pre-conceptions about politicians. 

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An Encouraging Development

A story in today’s New York Times pictures a U.S. soldier unloading bottled water in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. The U.S. $350 million aid commitment and rallying of local resources—in this case the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln—is an encouraging improvement over the earlier U.S. “stingy” commitment to aid.

I’m too young to remember the America of World War II; it’s all just history to me. But goodwill went a long way in Europe and Asia, even turning enemies like Germany and Japan into allies following the war. 

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The Times is Right

In October, I slammed the New York Times for leading off a story about the Bush-Kerry debate with a political ad for Kerry. That was bad form. Good form: Yesterday’s gripping analysis about U.S. aid in the wake of the devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean. With respect to U.S. aid response, the story’s headline makes the point: “It’s About Aid, and an Image.” I agree, and I contend that the country’s response so far has been slow and, yes, stingy.

Even viewed from the most selfish perspective possible, public relations, the Bush Administration missed an important opportunity in the hours following the horrific disaster, which, I might add, based on the number of missing Americans, might have a death toll close to the Twin Towers disaster. 

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The Raw and the Raw

Oh the stinging raw emotions rumple through offices along the Northeast and West Coast. The Kerry crowd is none too happy about Tuesday’s election results. I talk to lots of really angry people, during the course of a work day. My advice: Drive the speed limit (to avoid road rage), stay out bars (to avoid a table aside the head), and read a trashy novel (to separate from all the post-election anxiety).

Me, I’m ambivalent. I live in the metro-D.C. area and just don’t take politics too seriously. Besides, I didn’t much like either candidate. I’m also pretty emotionless about the election. In the end, I just wanted a winner, whichever candidate that turned out to be.