Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Hard Truth From Orlando


CNN contributor Ruben Navarette wrote about the 4-year-old American-born Emily Ruiz (with a US passport) who got sent back to Guatemala after vacationing there with her grandfather. He wasn't allowed to re-enter the country on his expired visa. Emily spent several hours in detention while grandpa had a panic attack over what should not have been a surprise to him. Emily's dad gave the officials permission to have Emily go back to Guatemala with grandpa who was being denied entry to the US .

Emily's parents admit to being in the United States for years illegally. While Mr. Navarette insists on the politically correct silliness of the term "undocumented,” they’re in fact here illegally, because they are here in the United States in violation of federal and local law. That's what makes them "illegal" aliens. And they've been here for at least 4 years illegally, because that's when little Emily was born here in the US . So Emily's parents have had at least 4 years (and probably more) to get down to the closest Immigration Office and get started on legalizing their immigration status.

Apparently, Emily's parents weren't totally confident that the Federal Government wasn't going to do anything about their violation of the law, and they were cognizant of their illegal status, or they'd have accompanied their four-year-old daughter to visit with family in Guatemala . So rather than taking a chance on being caught at the airport by ICE, they sent Emily with her grandfather -- who couldn't get back into the country because of an expired visa and a previous illegal entry into the U.S. back in the 90's. In other words, grandpa was a repeat offender who got caught and deported.

Mr. Navarette takes exception to little Emily being labeled as an "anchor baby," a child born of illegal parents in the United States who serves to be the excuse to keep illegal parents and other family in the country. He seems to believe that officials were wrong to give Emily's parents the choice of sending their 4-year-old daughter back to Guatemala with her grandfather or being put in government-sponsored care. Emily's dad says authorities didn't give him the third option of coming personally to get his daughter; the authorities say they did.

I don't care. Dad got a choice he didn't merit to say where this minor child went. I think the authorities did the nice thing and not the correct and legal thing they should have done.

Mr. Navarette thinks what happened to Emily was tantamount to being "deported." Actually what should have happened was, in point of law, Emily should have been handed over to the local social services, grandpa and parents immediately arrested and deported. But because our legislators and courts are hell-bent on respecting parental rights of parents who put their children in jeopardy, legally and physically, law enforcement puts apocryphal parental rights ahead of international and federal law.

This idiot situation of Emily and others is being played out all over the country because our local and federal legislators have failed to take a definitive stand on "anchor babies" and the disposition of their parents. Was Emily placed in jeopardy? Indeed she was -- not by ICE, but by her parents. They decided to enter the country illegally (apparently it’s a family tradition if you look at grandpa's deportation record). Her parents chose not to seek legal residential status at any time between the time they entered the country and the date of the incident Mr. Navarette decries. Her parents then decided to send their 4-year-old to another country with an adult with questionable re-entry status. And Mr. Navarette thinks this is the government's fault. Where, in all of this was basic parental, commonsense responsibility?

And we have so many attorneys who smell money and are willing to assist illegals, not in establishing legal residential status, but in cashing in on frivolous law suits for self-generated slights of their purported "civil rights." Illegal immigrants don't have civil rights. Emily has a citizen’s civil rights. Her scoff-law parents don’t. We need to follow Japan 's lead and give the parents a choice: Your citizen child can stay here with a legal relative or in foster care or your child can go home with you to Guatemala and return when she's ready. But you parents are going to Guatemala , on the plane, tonight. Will Emily suffer? Possibly. But her parents put her in that position; the US government did not.

Our malfunction as a nation is that we let lawyers re-interpret the law when it becomes a personal inconvenience instead of enforcing it uniformly. We never draw a line in the sand that we're not willing to keep re-drawing until we back ourselves off a cliff. We don't consistently make decisive public examples of non-compliant people who have to have the obvious spelled out for them or they simply will not comply.

Mr. Navarette seems to think that America needs to re-write the rules for Latinos; somehow because there are so many more of them here illegally, he feels they're being singled out. What all immigrants need to do is follow the law. What all attorneys should be doing is pushing their clients into compliance with the law -- not helping them evade responsibility for their actions. What all law enforcement needs to do is enforce the laws. And what our legislators need to do is lock in the policy for dealing with "anchor babies" and their dereliction of duty non-citizen parents so there's no more wiggle-room for these hand-wringing, whiny criminals.

Mr. Navarette needs to take off his Latino hair shirt and think like a tax-paying American who's looking for policies to bring the best and brightest of other countries to come on, join us and make us a stronger nation -- instead of extorting us to embrace a tsunami of two-legged, self-victimizing economic and social liabilities, whatever language or culture produced them.

Best of luck, Emily. With your family’s history of really dumb decisions, you’ll need it.

Florida Cracker

Monday, March 28, 2011

Inside Japan's nuclear emergency

Not a terribly cheery post this week, I confess, but interesting. The above link takes you to a fabulous graphical video from The Washington Post that succinctly shows and describes the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant far, of course. And, oh yeah, somebody did predict the whole nasty scenario, as is noted in the accompanying story

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Thought For Today

“Information is the currency of democracy.” - Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Hard Truth From Orlando


Florida's Governor Rick Scott -- where can I start? This guy is what Bugs Bunny would call a "maroon" -- and a dangerous one. He's the new Republican Tea Partiest -- he belongs to the party of "NO." No, we can't work on that. No, we can't do that. No, we don't need that. No, I'm not going to help, I'm just going to obstruct. No, we're not going into the future; we're going to embrace the past -- the 1950's past. No, we're not going to work together. No, I'm just protecting taxpayers, even if they don't want my protection and what I'm doing is more injurious than if I left things to hell alone -- although protecting taxpayers was apparently the farthest thing from Scott's mind when he was gouging the taxpayer-based Medicare system as CEO of a hospital corporation and even further from his mind when he became a venture capitalist funded by those ill-gotten gains with which he could then afford to buy the governor's office and get a whole state to plunder. Now, he purports to be the Florida taxpayer's Father-Knows-Best, orchestrating the state's finances based on his shady experience in every state he's worked.

Scott said repeatedly during his campaign that he had a plan to create 70,000 jobs. Then he got in office and said he wanted to have a conference on how to create 70,000 jobs. (Um, I thought he said he already had a plan.) Maybe he got confused (or we misunderstood) and he really meant that he had a plan to eliminate 70,000 jobs. In that case, he's making great progress on his campaign promise.

Governor Scott decided he didn't want the high-speed rail -- which has been voted on more than once by Florida residents, the majority of whom want it, both for the transportation alternative and the jobs. And he personally turned down the billions the Federal Government is willing to put in because he says he's afraid the taxpayers will have to somehow foot the bill somewhere down the line.

I guess he means like we currently have to foot the bill for the never-ending toll roads system that continues to turn an annual multi-million dollar corporate profit without improving traffic conditions in Central Florida . I guess he means like the ongoing loss of revenue because of the refusal of future employers to relocate to the area because the transportation and traffic along the I-4 Corridor is sufficient to discourage any business in this gasoline-powered urban nightmare.

But he says he wants to spend billions to improve Florida 's ports to encourage sea-traffic from the proposed Panama Canal widening. But any twit-head knows you have to have the infrastructure to move the freight from the ports to other locations and most international ports are attached to the national rail systems, which would have made the high-speed rail a plus for the Port of Tampa as a destination. But no, he wants to do the improvements in Miami , without rail improvements. I guess his Republican buddies down there need the money to make up for their losses in the mortgage melt-down his banking buddies engineered, so he'll help them re-dig the Port of Miami and then figure out how to move the freight from the ships after the price of gas breaks the back of the trucking industry and puts all blue-collar and middle-class workers in the welfare lines. His wealthy Republican buddies will profit from both in the Port improvement and their oil-company stocks at the same time.

Father-Knows-Best Scott has now turned down an offer from the manufacturers of the viciously abused fake heroin Oxycodone/Oxycontin to set up a monitoring system to curb the proliferation of Florida pill mills, a pharmaceutical scandal known throughout our nation. Governor Scott says that any monitoring system is an intrusion into citizens' privacy and it will somehow cost the taxpayers to create and monitor the system. Apparently, he thinks such a system will cost taxpayers more than the immediate epidemic of drug-related crime, incarceration, rehab and other taxpayer-based health programs the pill-addicts are hemorrhaging.

He seems to imply that system will be different somehow than the current legislated system we have in Florida to monitor the purchase of decongestants with a working active ingredient that meth-heads use to cook up methamphetamine; the formerly over-the-counter decongestants for which we now have to produce a photo ID to the pharmacist, register the amount, date, time and location of what we purchased and sign an affidavit that we will not make methamphetamine from our little purchase of head-cold pills. Does he mean a system like that to stop the Oxycodone/Oxycontin pill-mill epidemic is more intrusive and costly than monitoring decongestants?

I think Governor Scott and his buddies in the hospital business, with their heavy investment in pharmaceutical stocks, don't want that pain-pill cash cow slaughtered before they've gotten their pockets stuffed. Good God, Scott's got to make up that 63 million-plus he spent to buy the governorship somehow.

But Scott's says he's going to save the taxpayers money. He's going to break the back of one of the best government employee pension programs in the U.S. He's going to end tenure for teachers, gut the incomes of anyone stupid enough to work for this State or local government at less than comparable private wages, end the benefits (many of which are insurance industry-driven costs which corporations have NOT been regulated and continue to run rampant) packages for employees which are the main incentive for working 30 years for the State at minimal wages with no pay raises for years at a time. He wants 5 to 10% of employee wages to be funneled back into the retirement program -- which amounts a double paycut for every employee; the percentage the State isn't paying into retirement for the employee plus the percentage the employee has to cut out of their wages.

Scott wants you to believe he's a just fiscal conservative, here to man the helm when Florida 's economy is faltering after being bled out by the rampant Wall Street and Washington mortgage frauds and the never-ending wars in Afghanistan/Iraq.

But you know, Scott originally hails from Kansas , home of the Westboro we-hate-fags-let's-picket-military-funerals Church, home of the anti-abortion, anti-women's rights Personhood Movement, you-have-to-teach-Creationism-in-school Kansas . He's a fringe-riding hypocrite, out in search of the God-Almighty dollar. He's made his millions stealing from taxpayers and middle-class workers with the complicity of Wall Street and the health insurance corporations. He rode into power on a carpet of personal money and the endorsement of a Tea Party movement which has proven to be a fine example of what kind of rhetoric it takes to make crack-pot a viable political platform.

In the post Civil War era, he'd have been labeled a carpetbagger. But for now, he's a loose cannon, Tea Party darling, with no brakes and nothing in his head but dollar-signs for eyeballs. Don't blink, ya'll. These next few years will be interesting. I wonder how many of us Floridians will survive the financial wreckage when this rip-off artist is finished fleecing Florida and moves on to his next set of victims.

Florida Cracker

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Problem With Passwords

From Bloomberg Businessweek... Scary stuff.

And from Slate: Sadly for me, I don't own a Cell.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Thought For Today

"I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends." - Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Live The Sheen Dream

Okay, it's hard to believe that Charlie actually said all this in his ravings, but it might be coming from the this same source. And I'm afraid to ask what that is. Have fun.

And from The Washington Post: