Tag Archives: immigration

MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN? THIS ELECTION SEASON I’D SETTLE FOR MEDIOCRITY.

drumpf

 

Earlier today I blew up on Facebook. I called friends who generally share my views stupid and those who don’t stupider. Much of my heartfelt enmity is the result of the rise of Drumpf.

Why do I refer to him as Drumpf? You can thank John Oliver for that.

Immediately after my viewing of this episode I downloaded the Chrome extension that converts Drumpf to Drumpf (I have found I can’t even type the actual name here without it undergoing the transformation) on stories in my browser. It is one small consolation to see this at work in the headlines and stories I see on Slate, Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, and elsewhere, even on sites that lean farther right.

I deplore the lowlghts from all the 2016 campaigns. Our Presidential  electoral process is in the gutter, dragged there by Drumpf who has been joyfully joined there by Marco Rubio  who questions the size of Drumpf’s penis; by Ted Cruz simply being Ted Cruz; by Jeb Bush forced to defend charges of being a mommy’s boy; by Ben Carson, who fell in while sleep walking; by John Kasich, who destroyed any possible claims of being a moderate by defunding Planned Parenthood; and by the millions of presumably sentient human beings who listen to all the crazy talk about immigrants and an out of control government who couldn’t pass a U.S. citizenship/civics test if it were an open book exam and the original Declaration of  Independence and Constitution were splayed in front of them.

Holding them hostage there are David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremicist groups armed to the teeth courtesy of the National Rifle Association, crazed Evangelicals who believe Drumpf somehow possesses better Christian bona fides than the Pope when The Donald is probably more likely to provide a quote from a Smokey Stover comic book than from II Corinthians when asked about his favorite Bible passage.

Let us not forget the Secret Srvice which somehow has improved its training to the point that a reporter who wanders 10 inches outside the designated journalist area at a Drumpf rally is strong armed when only a few months ago intruders inside the White House grounds stole President Obama‘s favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe before being hustled to the requisite nearby mental hospital for observation.

Oh I’m not forgetting the Democrats. Their participation is in somewhat shallower waters near the curb cutouts that allow wheelchair crossing rather than in the middle of the block, but where the H2O is equally putrid. This time it is not so much the candidates themselves…Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton …hurling invectives at each other so much as it is the so-called BernieBros who have been accused of ugly misogynistic characterizations of the other camp while feminist icons Like Gloria Steinem, though using politer language, are equally sexist in how they portray young female Sanders enthusiasts.

And from these nominal Progressives come the enabling threats to withold their vote from the nominee should he or she not be the one they love to death at this moment. Enabling threats because by doing so they will practically guarantee that our next President will have a bulbous red nose, bizarre multi-colored makeup, a fright wig,  and will be making nonsense noises as he struts around the circus ring. Of course all but Drumpf will need to be fitted for this outfit.

Accompanying this flotsam down the gutter where it will eventually empty into the stream that will make the water supply of Flint, Michigan seem utterly pristine by comparison are various pundits, analysts, economic gurus, and the like offering opinions that may be parsley, rosemary, or thyme, but most certainly not sage.

Perhaps the only good that is coming from this is Spotlight. No, not the latest Oscar winning film but the harsh relentless glare focused on the entire Presidential nominating process that places premiums on a candidacy that begins within weeks after the prior election and is fueled by endless speculation, pollmongering profiteers, the need to fill cable TV news with anything but substance, and the proliferation of web sites whose sole purpose is to promulgate lies, denigrate anyone with opinions different from theirs, and disregard anything remotely likely to benefit the America they all profess to love but which they incessantly subject to virtual domestic violence while declaring their fealty between bruising blows.

Super Tuesday is an agglomeration of primaries in states and American Samoa which would be significant just for the sheer numbers of opportunities for voters to express their choices were it not for the media telling us that the issues have been decided by the primaries/caucuses already consigned to history in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina and whch have a combined poulation dwarfed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania whose own 2016 primary is not until April 26, a date by which the names of many former candidates will be not even a memory and which may represent only the merest possibility of ultimate success to the horses (asses) still in the race.

All this makes the Swiftboating of John Kerry in 2004 look more like the highest level of forensic debate by comparison.

Oh, hell. I’ll admit it. I, too have awkwardly stepped off the curb and fallen into the slime. But the murky waters are deep and I really can’t swim so I am about to drown in this torrent I am now a part of.

In splashing around for survival I might occasionally send splurges of nastiness into the open mouths of others, but they were there first voluntarily.

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FEARMONGER FEARMONGER MAKE ME A FEAR

match

I continually react in disgust to the fearmongering generated by Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Ted Cruz in the agglomeration of news of ISIS  and Syrian refugees and Mexican immigrants and government assisted health care, or anything government assisted, and taxes and any other phenomenon they paint as an existential threat to the United States

There are many other guilty parties and not all are Republicans but this is my blog and I can pick on whomever I want.

None of those are threats…at least not in the way they are characterized.

Then we have the gun nuts, already armed to the teeth, rushing to acquire more firepower after the Paris attacks or any event they believe requires an armed response, even if the “threat” comes from people who are decidedly unarmed or thousands of miles away.

That has provoked in my mind the ear worm of the song from Fiddler On The Roof called Matchmaker Matchmaker. You can view a delightful version below. 

But my ear worm, while employing the instrumental part, has lyrics that are quite different.

And imagine the three pictured above as singing.

Fearmonger, Fearmonger
Make me a fear
Find me a villain
To attack this year
Fearmonger, Fearmonger
Look through your book
And find me a perfect fear

Fearmonger Fearmonger
I’ll bring the lies
You give me the name
Of whom to despise
Preferably brown
Bring me a cause for I’m longing to put
An innocent person down

For Carson
Make him like Darwin

For Ted Cruz
Make him want more taxing

For Trump well
He will not holler
If he were a loser at everything

Fearmonger, Fearmonger
Make me a fear
Find me a threat
Soon to appear
Night after night in the dark I’m alone
So find me a fear
Of my own

(Much dialogue between the three)

Fearmonger, Fearmonger
I have no brains
I’ve never learned
That playing with fears
Can get U.S. burned
So
Bring me a fear
Let me preach doom
If you don’t find
A threat this year
I will make up my own fear

With the deepest apologies to Fiddler lyricist Sheldon Harnick.

OBAMA DISAPPOINTS PART DEUX

             A quick review of my earlier post is in order. In it I mentioned some of the reasons I was disappointed in the performance of President Obama to date. Unlike the yahoos who claim he’s a commie trying to turn the nation into a socialist haven, I expressed my concern, if not dismay, that he had not taken stronger steps to carry out his promises and his promise that those of us who voted for him saw as an escape from the mistaken policies of the past eight years under ‘Dubya”.

           In reality he has significant accomplishments in less than two years on the job. I won’t make a comparison between him and prior Presidents in that regard, at least not for this post. An article on Slate magazine on line adopts a view of Obama’s failures based not on legislation passed but rather how he has addressed some of the more contentious issues that have drawn outspoken, often rash, ill-considered commentary, especially, but not exclusively, from conservatives.

           The article highlights three of these issues: immigration, gay marriage, and the inaccurately termed Ground Zero Mosque. The author, Jacob Weisberg, declares Obama’s reluctance to make unequivocal statements on these issues to be moral cowardice. Here is a link to that article.     http://www.slate.com/id/2266152/

                Weisberg’s case is pretty convincing. But playing devil’s advocate I offer another explanation for this reluctance. The tone of political rhetoric has become undeniably shrill. I point no fingers, simply offer an observation. The internet is rife with all manner of wild accusations, unfounded allegations and illogical, thoughtless opinions. But enough about my blog. (A little humor there, I need to lighten my tone more often)

          Perhaps Obama is averse to contributing to this babel. To add his voice to to those strident declamations, even when expressed in terms appealing to good moral sense, may not be fruitful. Indeed, given the antagonism toward Obama from many quarters his message may not even be heard. At worst it could prove to be more divisive.

                But ultimately I side with moral cowardice. Any practical reasons that exist to speak temperately are outweighed by the need for moral clarity. President Obama has spoken often of his ideals in the abstract. It is now time to apply them to specific instances crying out for the nation’s elected leader to focus on what is right and what is wrong.

SHAME ON THEM

              There has been a lot of news lately concerning immigration. Much of that news is the reporting of the exhortations of a number of politicians to stem the tide of immigrants and to ensure those filthy bastards don’t cast a shadow on American soil. If they do, they will be quickly rousted and any advantage they sought by moving here will be denied.

               One of the more egregious proposals to accomplish this “ideal” is to repeal or rewrite the 14th Amendment to our revered Constitution so that babies born to immigrants are not automatically entitled to American citizenship merely because of that birth.

               There has arisen a common belief that a large percentage of these filthy folks, if not a majority, cross the border to drop a kid, hoping its citizenship will eventually enure to the benefit of the mother, if not both parents. In fact the term “anchor babies” has been coined as a description of denigration for this supposed trend.

               Like so many of the alleged facts about illegal immigrants, this one lacks substance and proof. I could cite so many examples it would make your head spin. (All cliches and trite phrases are free of charge).  But, to complement my previous post, Hail Hail The Constitution, I will confine my remarks to this situation.

            Here is a link to a refutation to the basic claim:

http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/aug/06/lindsey-graham/illegal-immigrants-anchor-babies-birthright/

        Here is the complete text of the 14th Amendment. Take time to read it and consider it.

Amendment 14 – Citizenship Rights. Ratified 7/9/1868. Note History

1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

             The main provision drawing ire is paragraph number One. The naysayers emphasize the phrase awarding citizenship to all those born in this country. Some context is in order.

           This amendment was ratified in 1868, three years after the end of the Civil War and in the wake of the total abolition of slavery.  The citizenship language essentially meant that these  now ex-slaves were afforded the same rights as all citizens. And they attained their citizenship not through any formal process……after all, the Dred Scott case, among other things, denied them the privilege of citizenship………..but by virtue of being born here, regardless of slave status.

           And the possibility that these rights would not be recognized in those so recently recalcitrant and secessive southern states, necessitated the specific  provision that individual states could not abridge these rights.

                Now anyone even remotely familiar with this nation’s history knows that states violated these rights in so many ways that it required an awakened sense of decency and justice, the sacrifice of numerous lives to racial violence, an extraordinary social movement and an enormous cost to our collective conscience, that culminated in the passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Congress had finally fulfilled its role as outined in Paragraph 5 of the Amendment.

          Even before that momentous event, the provision was occasionally invoked and enforced as intended. Not often enough, but it wasn’t completely ignored either.

        Fast forward to the twenty-first century. Few Americans have not benefitted from the protections offered by this Amendment. It has been or could be applied to racial and gender issues, religion, and so many other aspects of our lives. It served as at least a partial rationale for the recent decision nullifying California’s anti-gay marriage law.

           To repeal or change this amendment would be a travesty and an offense to the sacrifices, physical and otherwise, made by those good Americans that enhanced the freedom of us all. Shame on those demagogues and tyrants who would destroy these protections.

           I love my U.S. Constitution.

            DON’T FUCK WITH IT!!!!