Tag Archives: immigration reform

2 Cents Worth On Life Its Ownself

We’ll take a peek at some history to get perspective on the news of the day and add a couple of random life thoughts for free….

Regardless of other troubling issues with the proposed comprehensive immigration reform what difference does it make if the illegals have to go to the “back of the line”?   Yeah, they have to pay some fines and wait for a while.   But the fact is they are “golden” once the immigration reform is passed.   They won’t be worried about having to wait.  They go the golden ring on the merry-go-round.  They can stay work, get benefits (read the fine print) and will get citizenship if they don’t commit a felony.  Doesn’t seem like much of a burden to have to wait until those who applied legally get processed first.   The line may be long but the point is they will get to the head of the line–guaranteed.

Another sore spot is that those who stole ID’s or forged paperwork should have to pay a special fine of at least $10,000.00.   If they stole someone’s social security number that money should go directly to the victim and those who made one up or forged paperwork should have the money go to the Border Patrol.

How many times have you read about some Federal employee who was derelict or really pulled a bad one that got “reassigned”, “fired” or demoted yet learn later that they were only shuffled around or in fact never fired.   You know, on the street without any pay.  Lois Lerner is the most recent example of this; she clearly was out of line if not doing something illegal yet she is on administrative leave with pay.  This problem is part politics and part the difficulty of firing a Federal worker due to the Civil Service Code and companion laws.   We’ll do an examination in detail later about the Civil Service Code.  For today though is suffices to say that it must be made easier to fire Federal employees for incompetence, laziness, criminal acts, negligence and those who simply can’t cut the mustard.  They system needs to be revised so there is a very quick appeal after a supervisor fires someone.  It should be like private industry where those above can fire those below.  The review board should meet within 30 days.  The board should consist of a union representative, a Federal worker and three private citizens.  The citizens should be at least 60 years old and have never worked for any governmental agency.  You want people with experience in life, who’ve seen the way the  world works, have some wisdom from living and understand the requirement that people do their jobs correctly and ethically or they get removed.  No appeal after that hearing.   Boy would that change things for the better.

You probably read the story about the 72 year-old fellow shot by the cops in his own yard.   They were responding to a burglar alarm across the street.  The man and his wife heard a commotion and he got his gun and went out back and then was shot by the cops.  Supposedly the cops were shining their flashlights and yelled “police” and when he didn’t drop his gun they fired and killed him.  A real tragedy.  He was no doubt pumped up with adrenaline and nervous.  Who wouldn’t be with those loud noises.  Even if they did yell out he might not have heard them correctly or at all and those lights were probably shining in his eyes so he couldn’t see clearly.  Under the circumstances how would he have known who they were and why would he believe they were cops even if they said so?   I mean this man was on his own property and doing something completely legal–carrying a gun which he had the right to do even without a carry permit and he had a right to defend home and hearth.   Why the hell didn’t they knock on the door or make a phone call to the house before they just barged in?  A sad case of friendly fire.   Can you imagine if he had shot one of the cops and the evidence was they never had identified themselves as such?

The headlines for the last month or so thunder with the news about the resurgent boom in housing.  They cite year over year increases that are dramatic.  Of course the percentages seem dramatic because we are starting from such a low base.  The raw numbers aren’t that impressive.  Only about 800,000 new starts a year last I read which is actually not very good and far below 6 years ago.  Also I have a question.   New housing starts require lots and lots of new lumber production for the building.   Yet, one–we are cutting timber for wooden pellets to ship to Japan for power plants and, two, the lumber futures have dropped sharply for the last 90 days by about 40%.   Some piece or pieces of that housing picture puzzle don’t fit.   Normally in a real housing upturn the lumber yards are working flat-out just to keep up with domestic demand and the price of lumber rises accordingly.

We’ll find out in time if Eric Holder lied under oath I hope.  You are reminded that there are three elements to taking an oath when testifying.  One–tell the truth.  Two–the whole truth.  Three–nothing but the truth.  If you fail on any of those three then you are lying under oath.  Q–was it day or night?  A–day, when if fact it was at night.  That is a lie under oath.  Q–did you see anyone come out of the house?  A–yes.  But in fact it was a one-legged man wearing a pirate hat and you simply state you couldn’t remember anything but a man.  That is a lie under oath.  Q–Tell us about that man?  A–well, he was carrying a large knife, when in fact he had nothing in his hand.  You lied and added an embellishment to the truth.   From watching the testimony and learning the facts of his personal review of subpoenas it is hard to see how Holder can pass muster under all three standards of the truth.

“No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people”   H. L. Mencken.  Pundit and social commentator.  http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com




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Filed under business, Economics, government, immigration, law, Politics

Birth Citizenship and the 14th Amendment

The new Administration is pushing for a revamp of our immigration laws and policies with Sen. Schumer taking the lead role at the moment.  We all know that when they talk about “comprehensive” reform that they mean amnesty for the illegals here.  It is only a question of the timing and terms for them to receive their amnesty but the ultimate goal of US citizenship is there for the taking and of course it goes without saying the Democrats will reap a great percentage of those new votes of these newly minted citizens.  As this debate renews itself it would do us all well to revisit at least one of the basic premises of the supporters for this revised policy and for that matter the rulings of some of the courts allowing rights equivalent to those of citizens  in certain instances.  We constantly read or hear in the news that everyone born in the US is automatically a US citizen.  Everyone is under the false impression that anyone and everyone who births a child on US soil makes that baby a citizen.  Even teachers in school glibly propound this proposition.  That is simply not the case.   Illegals who have children here do not confer on those  children automatic citizenship.

Let’s start at a dangerous place by actually reading the Constitution.  In fact take a look at the entire language in the 14th amendment regarding citizenship rather than a portoion of it.  (As always, I urge everyone to get their own copy of the Constitution, one of those little softcover versions, they only cost a couple of dollars.)   It is to be remembered that the Constitution does not define citizenship anywhere except in the 14th Amendment and that was done about 75 years after the Constitution and Bill of Rights became law.  The pertinent portion reads: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States….”.   All attention is given to the first clause of that sentence about being born or naturalized here.  But the clause has a second requirement that is completely ignored by everyone.  The “and” is conjunctive and critical.   To be a US citizen you have to fulfill both of the provisions in that clause.   Simply being born in the US does NOT make you a citizen unless you are subject to the jurisdiction of the US.

There are several examples that make the rationale for the second phrase apparent.  The most obvious one was the question of the Indians.  That amendment was passed right after the War Between The States and there were still lots of Indians roaming all over the West.  The debates and comments by the politicians made it very clear that the children of Indians were not US citizens.  They were clearly born here but they were  not subject to the jurisdiction of the US. Indeed Indians didn’t become citizens for most of them until 1923 by special act of Congress for those willing to pledge their allegiance to the US.   The concept of jurisdiction went all the way back to British common law and was based on the idea  that every person born within the King’s realm was his subject and owed the King allegiance willingly or otherwise.  That whole notion  was refuted by our Revolution.  Under the monarchial systems of old there wasn’t really a concept of citizenship but a birthright obligation to the King.  That notion was denied in the democracies  that began to emerge in 18th and 19th century when citizenship was voluntary by the governed. 

Everyone on US soil is subject to our criminal laws.  Even diplomats are but they have special exceptions due to the requirements of international relations and they are sent home and never prosecuted.   Whether you are a citizen or not you are subject to criminal prosecution for a violation of law.  That is true in all countries.  Suppose criminals from France came here trying to escape prosecution, a man and a woman.  She is pregnant and while they are on the run she gives birth to a child in Chicago.  That child is not a US citizen because although he was born on US soil he was not subject to the jurisdiction of the US.  He doesn’t meet the requirement of the second phrase of the 14th amendment.  Children follow the loyalty of their parents in the law.  Those parents would not be subject to the jurisdiction of the US, never pledging any loyatly to it.  That language has meaning and has an impact.  It wasn’t placed there merely to fill space on the page.  It would be absurd to make any and everyone who happened to be physically born in the US a citizen.  Those French would not have any allegiance to the US and neither would their child.  None of them are subject to the jurisdiction, by loyalty, to the US. 

Illegal immigrants fall into the same category.  Those parents have no right to citizenship and certainly their children born here don’t either.  Indeed their loyalties are to their home country in the eyes of the law and we are a nation allegedly built on the concept of the rule of law.   Congress could clarify this if it wanted by specifically denying citizenship to anyone born here to parents in the country illegally.  The Supreme Court has only ruled on the issue once in an off hand way but that case has a huge distinction because it was dealing with legal residents and their offspring.  I hope that false arguments about who is and who is not entitled to citizenship will not obfuscate the vital issues we face when dealing with the influx of illegal aliens who by their very actions deny the authority of the US rather than demonstrating any allegiance to it principles.

There are two types of mass in the universe.  The first is gravitational mass which means the attractive force of one body on another.  Then there is inertial mass which references the resistance of a body to any accleration.   Mass is a more scientific word for what we commonly call weight.  www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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Filed under Foreign Affairs, government, history, immigration

Walls–Tangible and Legal

The current administration is making noise about reforming the immigration laws for our nation.   The old bug-a-boo of “comprehensive” reform is being bandied about again.  Of course that simply means all0wing law breakers a way to gain undeserved citizenship and indeed to award illegal behavoir.  I wonder how all those seeking entry and citizenship into our country who have followed all the rules will feel when they  see others who did not follow the rules elbow their way to the front of the line.

From the earliest recorded times all cities had walls.  You have all heard of the walls of Jericho if no others.   Virtiually every town of any size would have a wall around it.  This wall was for security of those residents inside and to protect them from dangers coming from afar.  The walls all had gates.  Those gates had guards.  They were there to regulate entry to the city.  Only those who complied with the requirements of the city were allowed entry.  Rome had extensive walls around it.  Likewise all the ancient cities of Europe.  Earliest London had a wall around the city from Roman times to centuries later.  They served a good purpose.    Only those who were believed to  comply with the laws and customs of the city were allowed to enter.  Regulating those wishing to gain access to an independent city-state was important for their survival and growth.   A linchpin of sovereignty for any nation is controlling its borders and preventing those it does not want to have access from entry.  Indeed when there are no borders that borderless territory throughout history has generally been considered hinterlands or barbaric areas.  Much like northwest Pakistan today.

Nations had borders that were “walls” by using the major geographic features of the area.  Rivers and moutains are the most obvious examples of this.  Rome used these formations and rivers to mark boundaries all the time.  European nations used the major rivers of that region to mark the boundaries between countries and do to this day.    Sometimes barriers were built such as the Great Wall of China.  That was a vast undertaking and designed to protect and define its borders and control the flow of peopole.  Using barriers to control the flow of people is as old as mankind and the current use of them is nothing new.  We are using a “wheel” that has already been invented eons ago. 

Nations have also used the law to regulate entry to their domains and for citizenship.  Rome controlled vast reaches of the known world.  Roman law applied except as Rome allowed local law to be enforced to maintain the peace.  A good  example of that is Israel.   All the ancient Israelis were subject to Roman law and the Judaic laws at the same time but not all were permitted to be citizens of Rome.  That was a prized status and Rome had restrictions on who could become a citizen.  The most famous of these was probably Paul.  He was a Jew but he also attained Roman citizenship.  You recall after his trial in Israel he pled his right as a citizen to appeal to Rome.  That is why he was shipped to Rome. 

It is right and proper that the US should have laws and walls to protect the American identity and provide security to its citizens.  Everyone today should be acutely aware of that need after 9/11.  To allow those who have violated our laws to get a preferred place in the line for citizenship is to erode respect and obedience to our laws generally.  Once that respect diminishes too far we face a perilous future.  It is our belief in laws and respect for their even handed enforcement that sets us apart from so much of the world.  Do you believe that Mexico has the same heritage and respect for the rule of law as we do here?  They certainly have no regard for our laws and I doubt they have mujch respect  for their own laws south of the border.  If they break our laws for entry what makes anyone think they will respect or obey our other laws.  

Just this weekend I heard a pundit on TV discussing the economic crisis and the fact of Government, Inc. removing presidents of companies and taking over banks without regard to the law or the Fifth Amendment, state that he didn’t care if such action was Constitutional or not because we are in an emergency!   At least he was straightforward about it.   I say that the wall of the law is our best and last refuge in turbulent times and also to protect  the fundamentals that are the basis of our democracy here.  When that respect is gone then truly what do we have to depend on?    We need walls now as much as ever.  We should finish the walls on our southern border and expand them.  We must enforce the existing laws of the land including those to arrest and expel illegal aliens.  If we don’t then who or what is in charge of deciding the other major issues of our time?   Are we to become a nation based upon the whims of the moment–the rule of the mob of the moment?   Who decides which laws will be enforced?  Don’t ignore our laws.  If there is ample support then repeal laws but maintain a respect and reverance for the rule of law.  When those walls come tumbling down you don’t know what will replace it.  It sure won’t be the paradise many predict.  It will lead to a balkanization of our country and a big step down on a spiral to anarchy.

A “dog robber’ was an assistant to a field grade officer in the armed forces.  Its use goes back at least to WWII.  His job was to provide goodies and perks for his boss.  He would use the black market or otherwise pillage to get better food, housing, etc. for his commander. Not all commanders used them, indeed the good ones did not.  This niche in the military was the foundation for the movie “The Americanization of Emily” a number of years ago with James Garner and Juile Andrews.

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Filed under Culture, geography, history, immigration