Sunday, May 21, 2006

Press Secty Tony Snow and Mexican fences

For those who like to watch politics with a smile, I’m sure you have seen the Jon Stewart Show. But in-between those laughs there are some solid items to be found. In this case I’m referring to the recent episode (I believe it was Thursday May 18, 2006) where comments from the new press secretary of President Bush, Mr. Tony Snow, were featured. Now while there were nice jibes at his demeanor and easy going speech style, something else truly caught my attention, and obviously those of Mr. Stewart et al. In responding to a question, Mr. Tony Snow responded “I don’t want to hug the bar baby...” What the hell was that? What possible reason could he have for that statement. What possible implication could he mean besides the one I am alluding to. I am VERY offended. I cannot fathom one possible reason for such a statement. I do thank Mr. Stewart et al. for catching this despicable comment, and I now have an incite to the mind of this individual. And it is very important to understand Mr. Snow, as he is the voice of the Presidency. His comments are the comments of the highest office of this nation, and the meanings are felt throughout the world. To know that such an offensive and derisive thought can flow from his mind in such a casual manner is maddening. I can only hope that others see either this post or the actual program from Jon Stewart.

Why there has not been more information and question over this I do not know. Where are the liberal and other governmental watchdogs after this comment? Where are the supposed Black community leaders [whose legitimacy I dispute in any case]? Why didn’t the reporters on hand at this outburst not make comment? Is it so mundane, so commonplace, or worse yet so acceptable to make a derogatory racial comment, as the voice of the President and therefore the sanction of the United States, without any counter-comment? I really look forward to someone giving me a legitimate, solid, reasonable argument that can explain why such a comment by Mr. Snow was required.

On another matter that I have some thoughts, there has been a lot said on the matter of the U.S. border with Mexico. I agree that there has to be more done to protect our borders (note that I used the plural), and to slow the number of illegal immigrants in this nation. Isolating the nation with a fence on one border is not an answer. Let me detail why.

A fence is hardly a hindrance to those seeking to enter this nation. Tunnels, similar to those found under San Diego some years back, are not hard to build. Ladders and other structures have been made to overcome obstacles such as this since the days of castles and forts. Cutting tools from the industrial to the household exist in every nation and do not depend on a Lowe’s to be bought. A fence will not work, just as the Berlin Wall did not stop people from getting across, and that had armed soldiers, dogs, possibly mines, and was far shorter in distance that this proposed one. Perhaps the only fence that did function properly was the Great Wall of China, which is debatable, and the expense and requirements for such a wall is unreasonable. And even if it were feasible, the implications of such extreme isolationism is far reaching and terrifying.

I won’t even address the feasibility of troops manning our border. I have mentioned before, and friends are aware of my thoughts regarding using troops to perform police actions. I feel troops are ill equipped to act in a manner needed for this type of activity. It is not part of the dogma of the military. It will lead to additional problems, and I will not blame the troops for the bad command decisions made to place them in an inappropriate situation.

What is more important is the fact that all attention has been focused in one place, creating a false sense of security. I mean that with all the focus being driven to the Mexico border, where there has been no evidence of terrorist activities ever nor terrorists crossing the Mexican border to my knowledge, no attention is being place on the Canadian border. We do know that terrorist have come via Canada to the United States. Yet there is no fence nor troops being stationed to our northernmost border. There is no cry to secure our border with Canada, and I have to ask why. There has been a clear and continues to be a present danger expressed at the Canadian border, yet all eyes look south. This creates a question of why this is the case. What is the difference?

Yes there are immigrants coming into this nation from Mexico. This is not new and has been happening all of my life at the least, and obviously far longer. Businesses have complained, and many have flourish on the cheap labor of Mexican immigrants. It can be argued that as many benefit from these illegal immigrants exist as problems. Given that, I do not agree with granting them the same privileges as a citizen. The price of the higher wages, obtained without taxes and the cost to the nation in having to investigate and remove these individuals, is that they do not have the benefits every citizen has. This is no surprise, and I am sure expected by these immigrants. It is no difference in expectation than from 20 years ago, or 5 decades ago.

The last real question is drugs. While many drugs enter via Mexico, far more enter via Florida, and Canada. Florida is more accessible via water, and the Everglades allows ample hiding places. Canada is idea because the border is quite lax, far more than Mexico. I am unaware if any studies have been done, but I would guess that the Canadian border exceeds any other entryway into this nation, for drugs or non-Mexican immigrants.

So overall, what reason are we left with to draw so much attention to our Mexican border? Possibly that Mexican immigrants are far more identifiable and numerous targets to be used via political games. That is not to say there are not concerns, and that those concerns need to be addressed. But half-hearted, misguided [my view] legislation that creates more problems and fails to see or acknowledge the scope of a problem makes me agitated.

This is what I think, what do you think?

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Senators Obama, Clinton and McCain

Recently there was something that I ran across that may be of interest. Well for Democrats anyway. Senator Barack Obama was recently joking on the Conan O’BRIEN show about running for president. I don’t see this as such a joke as it is testing the waters out there to see how people feel about him. And the thought of a potentially Black African American president. I must say that there a few things that appeal to me about Senator Obama. I like that he has worked hard to get where he is. That he is educated. That he has strong values and sticks by them. And he is a Black African American. In that order.

I’m sure many of the democratic pollsters and politicos are valuing his appeal with minority voters more than I do. I can only hope that I don’t start hearing people refer to how well Senator Obama speaks. It’s insulting and ignorant. And for those that have forgotten, it’s what was often said when Mr. Colin Powell was rumored to be considering a run at the presidency. It was so prevalent that comedians (notably Mr. Chris Rock) made many jokes about it.

But ignorant statements or not, I’d rather see the relatively inexperienced Senator Obama run for president as opposed to Senator Clinton. My reasons to oppose her are numerous and can be found throughout my posts here.

Actually my thoughts can be seen right here. In another example of backpedaling on a statement she has made, Senator Clinton tried to retract her rebuke of the youth of today. She was directly apologizing to her daughter though, and not the students at Long Island University. It’s not that I disagree that many of the youth today are grasped by either an attitude of entitlement, or apathy. All too often it can be seen in the Black African American and Hispanic youth of today in the inner city, and in the White youth at many colleges (ie. Duke lacrosse team - though I admit its not entirely accurate). But rather than stand by the statement, even to say that perhaps her child might be able to work harder - because there are others who are - Senator Clinton instead let’s it be know that her intent was just to raise the bar. I see fear of offending some young voters. Why can’t she seem to make a stand rather than bouncing around trying to get the best option for votes by saying anything and then backing away from it. At least that’s how I see her actions.

On the other end is Senator John McCain, who I respect and like. While Senator McCain hurt his position with the religious right, calling then “agents of intolerance,” he did stand by his statements. That means a lot with me. I would suspect that it means a lot with most voters, that is a politician that stands by his words. Of course politics being what they are, even those that make a stand do bend. And Senator McCain did bend when he was at Liberty University with Rev. Jerry Falwell. But Senator McCain is correct that, “Americans deserve more than tolerance from one another.” It’s not to much to ask for I think. And I think it should be expected. And it should be expected that America does something about the loss of life in Dafur. I agree in that, if for no other reason beyond the large loss of life in a non-eastern european nation, is the fact that Osama bin Laden drew a line in the sand and told us not to. Liberals may not like Senator McCain’s views, but I think everyone has to respect that he stands by them. Even if sometimes he may lean a bit, it’s still better than flipping the position entirely.

This is what I think, what do you think?

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Mossaoui in prison for life

On the 3rd of May 2006, there was a verdict entered against Zacarias Moussaoui for life imprisonment. This man has admitted being a terrorist, and planning attacks against America. Of the jurors in this case 6 found that at least some level of involvement with the 9/11 attacks was borne by this man. Reasons for the life sentence instead of death included the fear of making Moussaoui a martyr, as per MSNBC at 6:10 on 5/4/06.

I say this to express my disgust in the verdict. Once guilt was determined the penalty should only have been death. The violation of national security, the planned extermination of civilians en masse, with prejudice, and the complete lack of remorse would make that obvious to me. Serial killers have been given the death penalty for far less victims and a negligible threat to the safety of the nation. By Moussaoui’s own admission of his intent/participation in attacking this nation he has labeled himself a combatant against the institution of America. Combatants against a government are normally armies, and their punishment is normally death. Even spies during, and sometimes without, times of war have been killed for their part in weakening the nation and increasing the threats against American. (One example is the Rosenbergs from the 1950's)

Unlike those who feel that imprisonment for life in a primarily solitary cell is harsher punishment, an opinion I do respect but disagree with, there is no punishment greater than death. For someone without remorse and convinced in their righteousness, I feel, life is just the opportunity to continue to revel in their actions. A person in such a sentence becomes a symbol for those who believe in the same views. Similar in a way that Mr. Nelson Mandela was a symbol in South Africa. And of course keeping such a person alive is an expense to the American taxpayer, to provide food, electricity, water, housing and guards.

The question is not if this is a gut reaction to having the only person with a responsible connection to 9/11 in our system. Much like the execution of Tim McVeigh for the terrorist act of 1995, it is the penalty paid to attack civilians of our nation. Those who believe in the actions of Moussaoui and others do not fear imprisonment, nor even death. They are not afraid of incarceration, or our justice system. It is my impression that they see our actions as being soft and a sign of weakness.

I have mentioned that I feel our actions in Iraq are not linear nor are they as effective as we would hope. I have mentioned that I feel it is impossible to fight an ideal physically. Given that I must say that it is possible to fight and punish individuals. I think that not fully penalizing individuals, those that would kill without cause or concern for children, mothers and civilians, is insulting to the victims.

Would anyone question whether Osama bin Laden should be held responsible for all the American lives lost since 9/11? And would anyone think that life imprisonment is worth the effort and lives?

This is what I think, What do you think?

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