Saturday, May 29, 2010


I need to thank a friend for taking the time to thoughtfully read my posts and asking me a question about a statement I made. In my posts on Arizona's Immigration Law I stated that Mexico would deport illegal immigrants from their country within a week. My friend asked for my source on that statement and after researching for hours I have not been able to find one. So, I will have to say that until I find a credible source I retract that statement. I apologize for potentially misinforming you.

While I was searching for that missing source I did come across a few articles that compared Arizona's law with that enforced in Mexico and document the treatment that illegals receive in Mexico. I was also alerted to these interesting reads about the Constitutionality of the law in Arizona and the fact that California already has a similar law on the books.

This is a very complex issue, and I haven't even addressed the amnesty implications yet. It is sad to me that there is such an issue over enforcing our borders, our security, and our very laws that would have even our President saying the law is a bad idea. Really?! I thought he took an oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." It should not be a question at all that our laws as currently stated should be the standard until a better law be passed in it's place.

I'm sorry that this is the only real issue that I have addressed to this point on my blog. I promise I am reading and researching to discuss other topics, but this one has fired up so many people and raised so many questions that I have not been able to set it aside yet. Some issues that I would like to talk about soon are the economy, the environment, and the role of pop culture on politics today. If you have something you would like to discuss just let me know in the comments. I would be happy to broaden my horizons learning about something interesting to you.

As always, thanks for reading.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Free Pocket Constitution

I just got home from work to find in my mailbox my free pocket Constitution and Declaration of Independence from the Heritage Foundation. As their website says:

"The future of liberty depends on reclaiming America's first principles, and The Heritage Foundation is leading the call to awaken our country and get it back on course. With our pocket-sized copies of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, we seek to remind Americans that when you govern according to conservative principles, America flourishes!"

It is a great resource to have and it's completely free. Just fill out the order form here to get your own copy. It took about 3 weeks for mine to arrive.

On a side note, I signed up over the weekend to volunteer for Tim Brigdewater's campaign for the Senate seat available in Utah. I'm excited to get involved and see firsthand all of the work that goes into running a successful campaign.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

To Represent and be Represented

For the last month, and continuing for the next month, there have been primaries all around the country where people have come together to elect their representatives. I have watched the news and read the articles about all of the incumbent representatives who are now out of a job. We are in the midst of a giant political upheaval that will be talked about in history classes for years to come. Even though this history isn't complete yet, I feel the urge to sit back and analyze what is happening.

It seems to me that most Americans have forgotten for too long what a great privilege we have in selecting our representatives. I, for one, have been guilty of this for far too long. In fact, most Americans forget the meaning of the word representative. We are reminded of other American ideals in dramatic fashion - we remember the price of our freedom with every American life that is given preserving those freedoms we wake up to daily. But to be represented and be able to choose those who stand in our stead in the halls of Congress, that ideal and American dream is largely removed from our memories. Do we not remember from our history classes the call of our founding fathers that there would be 'No taxation without representation.' It is one of the major faults they found with the distant monarchy of their day and yet, here we are some 230+ years removed from this rallying call and we don't take the time to choose wisely those who represent us.

The percentages of eligible voters who participate each election cycle continue to drop. Voters turn out in larger numbers to vote for the President every four years, and they generally put more effort into learning about the Presidential candidates than they do for their own local representatives. It is a sad piece of irony that the person we put the majority of our efforts into learning the most about and voting into office will actually represent us the least, be the most out of touch with our way life, and actually affect our lives the least. We are most affected by our local government - the mayor and city council members, state legislators, and governors. But how many of us could remember the names of our state governor and the mayor of our city, while our kids will be taught in school the names of all of the President's family members, pets included.

Represent means to serve as a sign or symbol of or to take the place of in some respect. When we cast a vote for someone to represent us we are giving them authorization to make decisions for us in regards to making laws. When those who have been elected betray that trust, we have the right to remove them from there position in the next election. Unfortunately, the damage is done by the time we realize that they didn't truly represent us in the first place. All of this could be avoided if more people took the time to be educated and aware of their local elections. It has become the American pastime to complain about our corrupt elected officials. And yet we chose them! We don't see that our complaints are simply voicing that we are poor judges of character. We would be a lot better served, complain less, and be more likely to trust our government if we took the time to get to know the candidates before they were elected. Make sure that they represent what you stand for. They should have similar views of the roles of government, share your values, and be people of moral character. It is our job to make sure of this. I intend to be a better voter, and I encourage you to do the same.

While I am on this subject might I just mention an article I read recently that asked whether or not it would be important to know the sexual orientation of a certain appointed official. If I haven't made my point clear yet, let me be very clear now - Yes! It does matter what sexual orientation our leaders have. It matters how they view family relations. It matters how they view abortion and gun control. It matters how they view health care. Everything matters when someone is being chosen to represent me! If they do not match up with my values and morals, then I do not want them as a representative. Why? Because if I do not enforce this when I vote then I will become subject to their values and misrepresentations of the law.

Now, to those who represent - you have been given the trust of your constituents. They chose you to stand in for them and be a voice for their needs, values, and morals. Don't screw it up or you will be unemployed very soon.

I can't say that this subject is something that I normally would think of on my own. Politics is something I have always been content to just complain about. I have to give credit to a good friend of mine who has taken the time to research and get involved in his area. He has motivated me to get more involved and educated on my own.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Immigration Revisited

Upon further discussion and reading two more points stand to be reasoned in regards to how we handle immigration laws in the United States.

First, if a person is willing to disregard the laws of the land to gain access to our country what is going to stop them from also ignoring every other law we have established. This is, in fact, a very real problem that we face with illegal immigrants now. They obtain identification illegally, they work illegally, and avoid paying taxes on their wages illegally. And that is only the beginning. Other more serious crimes are being committed on a daily basis. So, the question that should be answered in this regard is do our laws apply only to legal citizens and residents, or do they apply to everyone within our borders.

Second, I am very shocked by the hate and accusations made by the government of Mexico regarding the immigration law. What doesn't make sense to me is that they seem to be encouraging their people to illegally cross into the United States instead of trying to either support immigration reform or make reforms within their own government. Wouldn't a normal government be a bit concerned if it's people were making a mass escape into a neighboring country? Wouldn't they see it as a need for change within? What is so wrong with Mexico that so many people would risk life and limb to come to America?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Arizona's Immigration Law

"Excuse me, Flo? What's the topic du jour?"
"It's the topic of the day."
"Mmmm. That sounds good. I think I'll have that."

First things first - I spent the last 30 minutes reading the text of the Arizona Immigration Law so that I would not be addressing this ignorant of what is actually written in the law. Here's the official brief summary:

This act declares that it is a crime to reside in Arizona as an illegal immigrant, and that law enforcement has the right to demand proof of legal residence of those suspected of having illegal immigrant status. It was signed on April 23, 2010.

Let's jump right in.

I know there has been a big debate and heated arguments over the contents, purposes, and extent of this law. Also, it has been debated about Arizona's ability to enforce a law that assumes a role reserved for the federal government (immigration enforcement). Based on the text of the law, Arizona plainly states it is the intent of the state to assist in the enforcement of federal law, not to assume full control of this responsibility. Isn't that the responsibility of all states? It is nice to see, that while Washington drags their feet on immigration reform and control, at least one state takes our laws seriously.

Racial profiling has been alleged from a number of sources, reputable and otherwise, including the Hispanic population. The argument that a police officer would be on the lookout for Hispanics and watch them with a microscope for any reason to request identification is a compelling one. 'The Man is watching you' is the fallback argument that many resort to when they want to invoke fear instead of intelligent analysis. It's McCarthyism at it's finest. Think about it - Police officers patrol the streets on a daily basis, charged with enforcing the laws of the state in order to keep peace within their assigned community. They carry guns on their hips and in their cars, along with a number of other items to assist the enforcement of law. If they had the desire to profile based on race and incite fear they would have the capacity to do that already. They don't need a new law to facilitate profiling. In all likelihood Arizona police will have enough to do already than to go out of their way to show hate and repress a major percentage of their state's population. This will be another enacted law that will see minimal enforcement, but it serves the purpose of bringing the debate to the forefront of people's thoughts and interests.

The 'It's bad for the economy' card has been played as well. I understand the role of immigrants in forming a strong base in our economy. They fill millions of jobs that most would shun under normal circumstances and provide vital services to millions of others. That's fantastic! I'm all for it. But these aren't normal circumstances. Opponents of this law say that the Arizona economy will collapse because of the jobs vacated by immigrants, both legal and illegal. They may not have noticed that our government is currently reporting a national unemployment rate of approximately ten percent as we recover from a devastating recession. And that's most likely a low approximation because it doesn't factor in the number of people who are looking for a job right out of college and first time job seekers. That's at least 35 million people desperately in need of work. I'm sure a number of them would be willing to fill the positions vacated by evicted illegal immigrants.

The issue that Arizona is obviously trying to address is illegal immigration from Mexico. What is interesting to note is that the Mexican government (and most other governments, for that matter) has a strictly enforced immigration law that would have any illegal immigrants shipped out of Mexico within a week of their arrival and yet they complain if they receive the same treatment from America. Some of the problem, it's been said, is that the immigration process into America is difficult and tedious. I concede the point that our immigration system is difficult to navigate, is outmoded, and needs to be brought up-to-date to ease the burden it places on those seeking the American dream. But a difficult immigration process is not an excuse to illegally bypass the system completely. It is difficult to get a lot of things done through the government but that doesn't stop people from getting them done legally everyday. Ask any entrepreneur in America how long and difficult is was for them to get all of the necessary permits to start a business. And yet it happens daily. It's not any easier for the citizens of America to pay taxes on a yearly basis, but we do it (well, most of us). And we put up with these pains to PAY the government out of our hard-earned money.

Our country was founded on the backs of immigrants (some by choice and others by unfortunate force) and has been seen as a melting pot for hundreds of years because of it. Our doors were open to the world to send us "your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free " and we welcomed them with open arms. But since the inception of our revolutionary government that door has been a guarded door so that America is not overrun by another country. We establish immigration rules and laws for a reason. We welcome any who want to come to America seeking the freedom's we offer, but do it the right way. We aren't racist (I'm not, and most of America isn't either). But we establish rules for a reason. I heard it said of the recent health care reform bill that it was a good thing to at least have something in place even if it is still flawed. This is a weak argument for accepting trash from our legislators, but if they can play that argument and expect me to accept it for poor health care reform, then they can accept the same argument from me in this case. It's not a perfect law by any means. Mankind cannot create such a thing. But for now at least we have something in place.

I think I have made my position clear on this matter. If you have an opposing view I welcome it, but do take the time to actually read the text of the law before voicing it. Otherwise I will disregard the comment as uneducated dribble.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Why do we distrust the government?

This is just one example of why we, as concerned citizens, have a negative perception of our political system and those who run it.

I was planning on discussing the Arizona immigration law tonight, but I haven't been feeling well, so I will get to that at some point in the next few days. If you have any topic suggestions let me know in the comments.

Ungrammatically Discorrect also

Thanks to my lovely wife I am now aware that the sticky keys on our keyboard led to a slight typo in the domain name for my blog. This will probably happen a few times over the course of posting as well. It may be time for a new keyboard - one that the kids aren't allowed to touch. So, just bookmark the page if you like it or find some other convenient way to find it on a regular basis.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Opinions are like....

I think we've all heard someone say "Opinions are like..." followed by some body part that everyone has. This is especially true when people discuss politics, as I will attempt to do here. As I begin this journey of expression through the medium of 'blog' I think it is important that we explore the source of our opinions. By doing this from the start it may be possible to avoid any hurt feelings (in theory this would be true, in reality though there will still be a lot of hurt feelings by the nature of the topics to be discussed).
Opinions can be defined as a personal judgment or view based on our perception of facts. A number things influence how we view these facts - culture, sex, age, religion, education level, societal influences, peers, personal experiences, etc. My views may be different from your views because I am a young, religious, and college educated. My opinions will be influenced by growing up the South, but also having lived in Hawaii and the Mountain West. The people I admire most and those I call 'friends' have an impact on the way I see the world around me. None of these things makes my opinion of any more value than yours. What separates opinions is the amount of effort we put into forming them. Did we form our opinion based on gut reactions to what we see and hear? Or do we take the time to research, study, and ponder all of the information available in order to make an educated assessment of a situation?
When opinions are expressed it is very easy for the words expressed to be misinterpreted because we do not fully understand the many influences upon the person expressing their opinion. Often, we do not even wait for an explanation for the opinion before we either agree or oppose it. For instance, if I were to say to you that I agree with many Republican policies and practices some of you would interpret that to be 'conservative' while others would say 'right-wing nutjob'. You instantly have a reaction to the expressed opinion without waiting to find out why I might be inclined to agree with those policies. Rather than react to the statement of my opinion immediately, listen to the reasoning behind that opinion. In that way we can all come to a better understanding of each other and work together in bringing about necessary change.
My goal in writing this blog is to express my opinions, hopefully in the most educated and unoffensive fashion I can muster, and back them up with facts. I hope that you will share your opinions with me in a similar manner so that I can broaden my horizons. Let the journey begin...