Saturday, July 31, 2010

Immigration and Racism

What has happened to this country? What ever happened to the lady in the harbor, with the light shining and telling the world to send us your tired and huddled masses? I'll state this from the outset, I have always advocated an open-door policy to LEGAL immigration. I do not believe that this country needs any quotas whatsoever. If you want to came to our shores (albeit today, I'm not sure you would want to), then just sign the guest book on your way in the door. When it comes to the illegal immigrants, it is time to slam the door in their face. We should have a ZERO tolerance when it comes to illegal immigration. By all estimates, we have twelve million illegal immigrants in this country. That is ridiculous, what is even worse, our president is considering granting the illegals amnesty. If this situation couldn't get any worse, now people are telling individuals like me that if we are opposed to illegal immigration, then we're racist. I realize I'm not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, but disagreement does not always beget racism. If the left disagreed with former President Bush, would that make them racist? Now we're being told that anyone who disagrees with President Obama is a racist. That might be the stupidest thing ever uttered in this country (and that is saying a lot considering some of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Keith Olbermann's comments). Why can't we go back to having legitimate political discourse in this country? Of course, if one of my non-Caucasian friends reads this and disagrees, I guess I can simply accuse them of racism. If it's good for the goose, it's good for the gander.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Gambling in Alabama

Let me "roll the dice" and hazard a walk down some dangerous territory. Yesterday's state-wide election returns in Alabama gave us some conflicting signals on the future of legalized gambling. First, Ron Sparks (totally supportive of legalized Gambling and the state being able to tax it) won an "upset" victory over Arthur Davis. Did Sparks win because of his gambling stance or due to the fact that Alabama is not yet ready to elect an African-American to a state-wide position? In other words, what decided the democratic nomination for Governor, gambling or racism? On the flip side, Troy King, the incumbent Attorney General who has opposed Governor Riley's attempts to raid the electronic bingo halls, went down to a crashing defeat. Many Alabamians viewed King's actions as a de facto endorsement of legalized gambling. It seems the Republicans voted against King due to those actions. So we have two conflicting signals about the future of gambling in Alabama. I'll go ahead and state my obvious solution, either legalize all forms of gambling or outlaw ALL forms of gambling (including the current dog tracks). Forget this nonsense of "some" gambling being allowed and others are not. I know the consequences of legalized gambling, but I am also swayed by the potential tax revenue from legalized gambling. Why should Mississippi have all the fun?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The "Evolution" of America

From this nation's outset, this country has been shaped (and in many cases-reshaped) through a conflict of ideas. In the days of the founders, the debate arose over the size, nature, and role of the federal government. This debate prompted the infamous Jefferson-Hamilton debates. At the risk of over-simplification, we then "evolved" into a debate over westward expansion and the slave issue. Once again, the debate centered on how much power should be afforded the central government in dealing with issues such as expansion and slavery. Furthermore, who should be supreme-state or national government? After the War Between the States settled those questions, more questions arose over the monetary system and internal improvements. Eventually, the Great Depression exploded and we were then, once again, debating the role of the federal government. Since that war we have debated issues such as political alliances, the U.S. as the policeman of the world, Civil Rights, and Abortion. Presidents have come and gone, but the debates remain.

Forgive the historical wanderings, but the previous portion was quite necessary. Once again, we have arrived at a central issue of the role of Representative Government and the power of the Federal Government. What truly troubles this writer, is the lack of civility in the debate. Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neil could beat each others brains out during the day, and then have a drink and laugh with each other at night. Now there is such hatred in the air. I have stated this before, I did not vote for Obama and his performance thus far strengthens that vote. However, I will not fall victim to the disease that plagues many of my brethren on the right, hatred for the man. I still do not feel that the president is evil or socialistic. I honestly believe that he truly is convinced this his vision for America is the correct one. I just happen to disagree with him. I just wish there was some way that we could tone down the hyperbolic rhetoric and return the debate to the halls of civility. The blame lies with both sides. We need an honest, intelligent debate on the future of our country. Let us have the debate and let the chips fall where they may. If the American people decide that Obama has "won" the debate, then re-elect the man in 2012. If they don't, then vote him out. It is just time for both sides to take a step back and tone down the rhetoric. Not that there is much at stake, just the future and security of this nation. The stakes are enormous, let the debate rise to the lofty status necessary for such monumental consequences.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Personal Note to Tim James

Mr. James, since you are currently in the middle of a heated race for the republican nomination for Governor of Alabama, please allow me a few thoughts about the campaign. First, you have stated that you believe that any Alabama resident should be required to take the written portion of the Driver's exam in English. For that belief, you have received a tremendous amount of criticism from both inside and outside of our state. Personally, I don't see why this is such a controversial idea. To expect our citizens to be able to read a test in English that is typically given to ninth and tenth graders in High School is not outlandish. In this idea, I support you. However, what about the allegations about your cooperation with Paul Hubbert and Joe Reed (leaders of the Alabama Education Association). A group which has not backed a Republican candidate since the days of Lincoln (forgive the hyperbole). Mr. James, if you want my vote, publicly disavow any connection to Hubbert, Reed, or any of their ilk. Go on the record that your campaign has not accepted any funding from the A.E.A. and make it a public statement. Until that happens, I will vote for your opponent. Generally speaking, if the A.E.A. opposes a candidate, there must be something really good about that candidate. Come on Tim, step up to the mike and let's see if you're a man of principle or not!

The U.S. and Apologies

All right, let me get this one straight. The assistant Secretary of State has apologized to the Chinese government for the recent anti-Immigration law passed by the state of Arizona. First, my what rights can the federal government "apologize" for a state action. Second, we're apologizing to China????????? Remember, this is the most repressive regime on the face of the planet. Does Tiananmen Square ring any bells? What is it with the current administration and the art of the apology? I could understand the apologies if they were warranted. Like, for instance, how about apologizing to the American people for the way Congress and the past few administrations have spent our tax dollars like it's monopoly money. The state of Arizona passed an anti-immigration law because the federal government lacks the courage to do so. So, regardless of what Attorney General Holder and DHS Chief Napolitano say, the law gives the local Arizona authorities the right to ask for proof of citizenship when someone is pulled over for some other offense and their citizenship is in question. Do you think Arizona would have passed such a law if they had gotten any support from Washington? Now, because the federal government has not passed such a law, that same federal government is apologizing to other nations for that law? This is insane. What's next, should we apologize to Castro and Cuba for all of the inconveniences freedom and democracy has caused that island paradise? The saddest part of all, this could always get worse!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Random Thoughts

(1) In all of this midst of the Republican/Conservative dismay over the direction our current "captain" is taking this great ship called the United States, I have a thought to pose. What is the current alternative plan being offered by the Republicans/Conservatives? What really frightens me (as a lifelong Republican voter) is that the Republican Party is in imminent danger of being as marginalized as the old American Whig party. The Whig Party literally became the Anti-Andrew Jackson party. After Jackson left office, the Whigs were left with no chief over-riding philosophy and became splintered over the issues of sectionalism and slavery. I don't think that the Republican party has offered any clear set philosophy since the presidency of Reagan. At that time, the Reagan Republicans were united in a two-pronged vision for America: Anti-Communism and a opposition to the increase in the size/role of the national government. Under President Bush, the Republicans abandoned their opposition to the growth in the government. Now I don't hear any "new" Republican vision minus one that states if Obama is for it-we're against it. If the Republicans are sincere about wanting to re-take the reins of the government, they have to develop a vision that will show America that they are worthy of being trusted with running our government.

(2) It is almost mind-boggling that so many of our governmental officials are now claiming that they were "blind-sided" by our economic down-turn. Anyone with eyes to see saw this recession coming years ago. Once the price of gas started climbing, are we surprised that the economy has headed south? When the American people have to start paying two-times the amount for gas since prior to the beginning of the war in Iraq and 9/11, is it any wonder that we are suffering today. Remember those days prior to 9/11 when gas was hovering around $1/gallon. Now our national, state, and local leaders claim that they "misunderstood" the extent of our recession. The Alabama State budgets were only salvaged by the economic stimulus package money (what happens next year when that runs out????) The city of Mobile is looking at possibly laying off three hundred city employees. What happens to next years budget in Mobile when the local unemployment rate gets blind-sided by those layoffs? When do we, as voters, start holding our political leaders accountable for their actions? Instead of automatically assuming that our incumbents are voted back into office, shouldn't we be looking to "throw the bums out" if they cannot handle our budgets? If my income level drops, I have to tighten my budget and live without certain things. Why can't we expect the same from our government?

(3) Congratulations to Baldwin County for voting a 1% tax increase to "save" their school system. Remember the days when the Baldwin County schools were the peak of efficiency and the Mobile County schools were the "red-headed step children?" What happened???? Before we people on the western part of the Bay start patting ourselves on the back, remember we have to renew our property tax increase from several years ago. Would you like to put money on that vote? Remember, that was the vote where the School Board threatened to cut out all extra-curricular activities if the vote did not pass. Teacher and Coaches hit the streets talking to their neighbors about the need to pass the tax. The vote did pass and the very next day (literally) the Mobile County School Board laid off over three hundred teachers. Do you really think those same teaches will hit the streets now? I would imagine that many Mobile County residents will view the property tax renewal as a prime opportunity to "cut" their taxes. Good Luck Dr. Nichols, I think you're going to need it.

(4) I have lived through many experiences in my life. I can remember the assassination of JFK; Neil Armstrong's walk on the moon; the glorious fall of the Berlin Wall. Even during the dark moments (i.e. Watergate, Vietnam, etc.), there were few moments when I doubted the future prosperity of our country. However, now I'm not so sure that I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Please understand, this is not just an indictment of the current presidential administration. This train wreck has been many years in the making. Our government and our people have been oblivious to the future and have been spending like there is no concern for tomorrow. We (Republican and Democratic administrations) are spending and believing that future generations will pay the tab. For the first time in my life, I am actually worried about the direction in which this country is moving. I'm really beginning to wonder if it is fixable. I remember reading a book in high school, The Promise of Joy by Allen Drury, there was a quote I will never forget: "Let us wear on our sleeves the crepe of mourning, for a civilization that once held the promise of joy." I hope that I'm just being pessimistic, hopefully things will get better (at least for the sake of the children).

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Why Doesn't the Left Understand the Tea Parties????

Now that all of the tumultuous uproar has died down about the "revolution" in Massachusetts, it is amazing to see the pontifications from the left trying to explain the upset. That amazing mental giant Keith Olbermann wrote it off entirely to racism (so it's racist if a white man disagrees with the African-American President but it isn't racism when the African-American president disagrees with the white man!!!!!) Others have written it off by attributing it to a horribly-run campaign by Coaxley. Why can't the left understand the general discontent that is sweeping the nation? As long as those people in the streets are advancing liberal ideas, they are championed as "defenders" of the cause of free speech. Just make sure that we stay in touch with the elite's idea of truth and justice. They currently dismiss the "tea-baggers" as nuts and people that are out-of-touch with reality. If the protests were directed against Republicans like George W. Bush then they are covered and treated with serious news coverage. If the protests are directed against their "golden boy," then the protests are delusional. The elites must begin to understand that their is a current of anger running through this nation. People are beginning to believe that their voices no longer matter. People are beginning to believe that the people in Congress rule in spite of the voters, not because of them. The question is how long will it take for Congress (and the liberal elite) to take these protests seriously? It has been a long time since the American people "took to the barricades," it was long overdue. Before my friends on the right start getting too smug, please remember, this is as much of a warning for the conservatives as the liberals. If our leaders continue to disregard the masses, there may come a reckoning on election day. It will be interesting to see how history records the political landscape of 2009-2010. Was Massachusetts the opening salvo or is there more to come?