Nine Years On

Today i was reminded that I started this blog nine years ago. I suppose that means I’m due for some introspection. Fair warning: this post is going to ramble a lot.

Continue reading “Nine Years On”

Saturday Morning Coffee

Come on in! I just finished my morning run and sat down to a light breakfast. As always, the coffee’s hot and fresh. Continue reading “Saturday Morning Coffee”

Statistics Don’t Lie, But People Do

Book GunNew to Uncensored Saturdays? Please read the disclaimer.

Otherwise, feel free to jump right to today’s tirade.


Saturdays here on Running in My Head are what I call “Uncensored Saturdays” in that I write what I really feel about a particular subject with no regard for tact or certain types of political correctness.

You may not like my point of view.

You may find what I have to say offensive.

And that’s fine.

However, I hope they won’t make you feel less of me or cause you to stop reading my blog on the “creative” days.

See something you don’t like, disagree with, or think I’ve got totally wrong?

Great! Leave a comment; let’s start a discussion.

I consider myself both educated and open-minded. I know why I believe what I do, yet I’m not so stuck-in-the-mud to consider other opinions or the fact I might be wrong.

Ten years ago, I was an authoritarian-leaning Republican; now I’m a centrist independent leaning mainly conservative or libertarian depending on the issue.

That change didn’t come about on its own, it came about because I was willing to listen to others with opposing views.

I’d like to think I still have that open mind.

I only ask you keep the conversation civil.

With that in mind, here we go:

Recently, a friend shared this chart and I saw it on my Facebook news feed:

propaganda gun murders chart
Getting shot
– at work
– at school
– at the movies
Isn’t something people in other developed countries worry about.

Based on my own research, the graphic and its caption originated at a page called “Everytown for Gun Safety” and let’s just say they have a knack for avoiding inconvenient truths.

My friend made this statement:

I’m honestly baffled how people who are against reasonable gun restriction laws and tougher background checks can feel the way they do with statistics like this.

While I addressed the issue directly on their feed, I also knew this would make an excellent topic for today’s Uncensored Saturday.

How can I feel the way I do?

Easy: this particular chart and these particular statistics don’t tell the whole story.

First, while it’s obvious that countries with tight gun control have lower gun crime (the countries listed here have largely outlawed gun ownership), the statistic you really want to look at is either total number of murders or overall violent crime. The graphic implies that reducing the number of guns would reduce murder and other violent crime; this reasoning is false. Other countries with tighter gun control than the United States have per-capita rates equal to or higher than the United States – the most notable being Australia, the oft-touted “utopia” of anti-gun advocates.

Second, this chart simply says “gun murders” meaning it also includes murders with guns owned or obtained illegally – guns that shouldn’t be on the street according to gun laws already on the books. Fact: tighter gun control would not have stopped the recent so-called “massacres” in the United States.


I mean no disrespect to any families, but not all killings are massacres. A massacre is the indiscriminate and wanton killing of a large number of people. While what constitutes as “large” is up for debate, I personally would not classify the recent tragedies in America as massacres. The Holocaust was a massacre. The Russian pogroms were massacres. However, I realize that hyperbole is an American tradition; after all, it was Paul Revere (yes, that Paul Revere) who stirred up anti-Crown colonial sentiment over the Boston Massacre in which five colonists were killed. In fact, you might recognize his work:


Back to the Topic at Hand

Many of the guns used in most of the recent killings were purchased at gun stores – not online or at gun shows – while others were stolen from their rightful owners (such as Sandy Hook). As gun stores already run background checks, increased background checks would not have stopped the murders.

Ultimately, criminals will be criminals; deprived of guns, they will carry out their schemes via other methods. See Point One.

Third, I have to balance safety with freedom. TL;DR: I don’t trust government as a whole. I believe the purpose of the second amendment is for the citizens to defend themselves from a tyranny, and a disarmed populace has no final recourse.

Finally, one can make numbers say anything they want. There’s a saying that numbers don’t lie; I counter that the people using numbers do.

I don’t mean to come across as mean, belligerent, or otherwise hostile. I feel the question asked deserves an honest answer – something more than “America!” or “The Constitution!” or other sound bites people like to spout off.

I respect the opinions of others – so long as they’re informed. We can’t make the country work if we’re ignorant of opposing views and treat them with hostility and not the respect and care we expect ourselves.

Welfare: Entitled To Nothing


Saturdays here on Running in My Head are what I call “Uncensored Saturdays” in that I write what I really feel about a particular subject with no regard for tact or certain types of political correctness.

You may not like my point of view.

You may find what I have to say offensive.

And that’s fine.

However, I hope they won’t make you feel less of me or cause you to stop reading my blog on the “creative” days.

See something you don’t like, disagree with, or think I’ve got totally wrong?

Great! Leave a comment; let’s start a discussion.

I consider myself both educated and open-minded. I know why I believe what I do, yet I’m not so stuck-in-the-mud to consider other opinions or the fact I might be wrong.

Ten years ago, I was an authoritarian-leaning Republican; now I’m a centrist independent leaning mainly conservative or libertarian depending on the issue.

That change didn’t come about on its own, it came about because I was willing to listen to others with opposing views.

I’d like to think I still have that open mind.

I only ask you keep the conversation civil.

With that in mind, here we go:

I enjoy watching House of Cards on Netflix.

Now, I could never vote for Frank Underwood; however, in Season Three he gave a speech which resonated with me:

In the full clip, Underwood uses this as a springboard to launch a program even more ambitious than the New Deal – the very system of programs that created the problems he’s trying to fix.

Nevertheless, I agree with him on this point:

House of Cards Entitled to Nothing QuoteLike Henry David Thoreau (and possibly Thomas Jefferson), I am of the opinion that

the government is best which governs least

Now, I understand that government must tax in order to function. However, not all governmental functions are necessary, neither are they all the government’s responsibility.

According to the Preamble of the Constitution of the United States, the purpose of American government is to

1. form a more perfect Union

2. establish Justice

3. insure domestic Tranquility

4. provide for the common defence [sic]

5. promote the general Welfare

6. secure the Blessings of Liberty 
   to ourselves and our Posterity

I want to focus on No. 5, but feel I should briefly address the other 6; perhaps they’ll appear in future Uncensored Saturdays.

For better or worse, the form of the “more perfect Union” was decided on the battlefields of the Civil War. Personally, I feel our current system invested the central government with far too much power.

As a people, we’re still working on what, exactly, Justice means and how to adequately implement it. This means we’re also working on insuring Tranquility.

I think we’ve done a fair job on providing for the common defense; so long as the Second Amendment remains intact and SCOTUS decision in District of Columbia v Heller is strengthened and applied nationally.

With every attack on personal liberty in the name of diversity, safety, security, or some other intangible notion, we chip away at those Blessings of Liberty. Soon, we will have no Blessings to pass down.

Yes. I can see these will become fodder for future Uncensored Saturdays.

So many ideas!

Now, welfare is a tricky word whose meaning has changed over the years.

I cringe whenever I hear it.

Using That Word MemeWebster’s 1828 Dictionary of the English Language (the closest online dictionary to 1789 I could find) defines welfare as

Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the ordinary blessings of society and civil government; applied to states.

Now, I understand that even this definition can be interpreted many ways.

Nevertheless, I see in this definition no basis for such government programs as

Medicare / Medicaid

Food Stamps / SNAP


Social Security

AHA / Planned Parenthood

Before you jump all over me as a woman-hating Republican racist bigot, let’s clear a few things up:

1. Disagreeing with government programs does not equate with hating the people those programs benefit. It means I disagree with the nature of government. Go read some political theory then come back when you can carry on an intelligent conversation.

2. Disagreeing with certain government programs does not mean I think people shouldn’t have access to certain services. It means I think the government has no right or responsibility to either fund or run said programs. Most likely, I feel those services should be in the hands of the private sector.

3. Whoever said I was a Republican? I haven’t identified as a Republican since at least 2004. I’m a registered Independent who leans conservative/libertarian depending on the issue. Like any well-informed citizen of the United States, I refuse to believe that any political party hold all the answers to all the problems. I have never voted a straight party ticket, and I’ve voted for candidates from a wide variety of political parties.

Now let’s look at the programs I listed and I’ll tell you why, exactly, I am against them.

First, I am against the Affordable Healthcare Act for two reasons:

1. It only passed SCOTUS review in that it was interpreted as a kind of tax. As such, it is a tax on life. Too many people likened it to a driver’s license or car insurance, but this is a false equivocation. Only those who drive need a driver’s license or car insurance; the AHA applies to anyone living – it is essentially a tax on life.

2. As such, the AHA violates Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution, which prohibits such taxes.

Along the same lines, I view the Sixteenth Amendment (Income Tax) as directly opposed to the original intent of the Constitution and blame the increasing liberal SCOTUS of the early 1900s for allowing its continuation.

The Seventeenth Amendment is the worst offender; the Senate was never supposed to represent the People, but the States. With direct election of senators, we may as well abolish the Senate since we already have a body representing the people: the House of Representatives.

3. The government should have no say in how I spend my money or what I spend my money on.

4. The AHA is not affordable; I find myself making too much for any real form of government assistance yet making to little to afford any insurance that would actually benefit my needs. Essentially, I’m paying for insurance which I’ll never use or meet the deductible – beyond a major catastrophe – just to avoid paying a tax penalty. The AHA has placed me in a worse financial situation that I was in before its passing.

Second, I find it well within government’s regulatory power to regulate the insurance and healthcare industries.

Simply forcing the American people onto insurance rolls has not lowered insurance prices, neither has it decreased hospital costs. If it were to regulate the healthcare industry, particularly the monstrosity known as the charge sheet, healthcare costs would come down. Since insurance companies traditionally pay a percentage of hospital costs based on the plan one has purchased, their overall costs would decrease and they could charge less for premiums. I’m not sure that they would without government intervention, but it would be easier for them to turn a profit.

TL;DR: Let the government regulate the business, not the people.

Third, were the government to take such steps, programs such as Medicare, Medicaid Food Stamps, SNAP, WIC, and CHIP could be reduced or outright eliminated.

Again, I’m not against access to affordable healthcare.

I am against government sticking its ever-growing nose and fingers in places where they don’t belong.

Fourth, I am against Social Security in that – again – the government has no business in taking taxes out of my paycheck to support someone else. The program is not a bank; politicians have made it clear they’ve used the money invested in the program, lost it, and it now relies on younger payers paying into the system to keep it going. How is this any different than a Ponzi Scheme? We’d have more economic security investing that money in a bank guaranteed by the FDIC. If Social Security were a bank, it’d have collapsed long ago.

Finally, I’ve already made it clear I’m against Planned Parenthood because I am against abortion. However, even those who support abortion ought to be outraged over its sale of human parts. Isn’t it a bit hypocritical to consider a fetus a “thing” before abortion yet classify a fetus as “human” after abortion? Isn’t killing a human being murder? The hoops they jump through for moral justification puts contortionists to shame.

Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right.

Liberals use this arguments to clam certain moral superiorities and to justify attacks on certain conservative values.

When conservatives use the same argument, they are routinely labelled regressive moralistic bigots.

Furthermore, it’s been proven the so-called “services” (apart from abortion) they claim to provide are either (a) nonexistent at most Planned Parenthood facilities or (b) performed better and more often at other healthcare facilities. Again, why support a failing business?

As my speech teacher once said:

Stand Up. Speak Up. Shut Up.

Since I’ve run out of steam and have nothing more to say, I’ll turn it over to you in the comments.


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We Were Strangers, Too

Last night [20 Nov. 2014] President Obama issued an executive order regarding immigration. A conservative-leaning independent, I tuned in with a certain amount of apprehension. Knowing that his remarks would spark controversy – namely since both major parties were either praising or condemning his actions before he even spoke – I wanted to keep a record of my original reactions untainted by other interpretations.

joker here we go
And here we go . . .

A Transcript of President Obama’s Remarks on Immigration

Given 20 November 2014

With Commentary by this Author in Italics

President Barack Obama:

My fellow Americans, tonight I’d like to talk with you about immigration. For more than 200 years, our tradition of welcoming immigrants from around the world has given us a tremendous advantage over other nations.

 I understand your point, Mr. President, but I really wouldn’t call our tradition welcoming. Perhaps manipulative or exploitative, but not welcoming. Just ask the Irish, Germans, Italians, Russians, Chinese, Burmese, Thais, or Mexicans. But I understand: we’re all immigrants (unless we’re direct descendents of a Native People). Please, continue.

It’s kept us youthful, dynamic, and entrepreneurial. It has shaped our character as a people with limitless possibilities. People not trapped by our past, but able to remake ourselves as we choose.

How the Other Half Lives 1
Exhibit A
Jacob Riis ~ How the Other Half Lives

But today, our immigration system is broken, and everybody knows it. Families who enter our country the right way and play by the rules watch others flout the rules. Business owners who offer their wages good wages benefits see the competition exploit undocumented immigrants by paying them far less. All of us take offense to anyone who reaps the rewards of living in America without taking on the responsibilities of living in America. And undocumented immigrants who desperately want to embrace those responsibilities see little option but to remain in the shadows, or risk their families being torn apart.

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but this is something that’s always bothered me: if illegal immigrants genuinely wanted to participate in the American system and – as you say – “embrace those responsibilities,” wouldn’t they have come into the United States the legal way?

Ellis Island 1905
Ellis Island (1905)
My Grandfather saw it in 1910.

It’s been this way for decades. And for decades we haven’t done much about it. When I took office, I committed to fixing this broken immigration system. And I began by doing what I could to secure our borders.

Three words, Mr. President: Fast and Furious. I haven’t forgotten that you – or someone in your administration – allowed guns to illegally cross the border into Mexico in hopes of undermining the Second Amendment. Even if you didn’t have a priori knowledge, you blocked any indictment brought against Attorney General Holder. Secure border. Ha!

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry
It certainly wasn’t secure
for Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry!

Today we have more agents and technology deployed to secure our southern border than at any time in our history. And over the past six years illegal border crossings have been cut by more than half.

Although this summer there was a brief spike in unaccompanied children being apprehended at our border, the number of such children is actually lower than it’s been in nearly two years.

Overall the number of people trying to cross our border illegally is at its lowest level since the 1970s. Those are the facts.

And, as the saying goes, we’ll let the facts speak for themselves.

Meanwhile, I worked with Congress on a comprehensive fix. And last year 68 Democrats, Republicans, and independents came together to pass a bipartisan bill in the Senate. It wasn’t perfect. It was a compromise. But it reflected common sense. It would have doubled the number of Border Patrol agents, while giving undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship, if they paid a fine, started paying their taxes and went to the back of the line. And independent experts said that it would help grow our economy and shrink our deficits.

Debt Clock Nov 21 2014
These kinds of deficits?

Had the House of Representatives allowed that kind of bill – a simple yes or no vote – it would have passed with support from both parties. And today it would be the law. But for a year and a half now Republican leaders in the House have refused to allow that simple vote. Now I continue to believe that the best way to solve this problem is by working together to pass that kind of common sense law. But until that happens, there are actions I have the legal authority to take as president, the same kinds of actions taken by Democratic and Republican presidents before me, that will help make our immigration system more fair and more just.

Thank you for not vociferously slamming your political opponents as you have in the past. Very classy, Mr. President. I mean it. However, I’m not sure how you participated in that bipartisan compromise.

Furthermore, you are entirely correct that you have the right to execute executive orders. I’m just concerned about what those orders will be.

Tonight I’m announcing those actions.

Take a deep breath. Things are about to get serious.

First, we’ll build on our progress at the border with additional resources for our law enforcement personnel so that they can stem the flow of illegal crossings and speed the return of those who do cross over.

Increased border security? I’m on board with that.

Second, I’ll make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy, as so many business leaders proposed.

Do you mean making it easier for those here on student or work visas to stay permanently? I thought this speech was about illegal immigration.

Third, we’ll take steps to deal responsibly with the millions of undocumented immigrants who already had live in our country.

So far so good, but how do you plan on dealing with those undocumented immigrants?

Keep Calm I Have A Plan
I’m trying, Mr. President.
I really am.

I want to say more about this third issue, because it generates the most passion and controversy. Even as we are a nation of immigrants, we’re also a nation of laws. Undocumented workers broke our immigration laws, and I believe that they must be held accountable, especially those who may be dangerous.

Many conservatives would agree with you. In fact, many conservatives I know believe all illegal immigrants should be deported.

That’s why over the past six years deportations of criminals are up 80 percent, and that’s why we’re going to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security. Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mom who’s working hard to provide for her kids. We’ll prioritize, just like law enforcement does every day.

Hopefully better than the police in Ferguson, Missouri.
Who watches the watchmen?
Anonymous watches the watchmen.

But even as we focus on deporting criminals, the fact is millions of immigrants in every state, of every race and nationality still live here illegally.

Thank you! So many of my students think that only people from Central or South America are illegals. The reality is that we have people from all over the world living here illegally.

And let’s be honest, tracking down, rounding up and deporting millions of people isn’t realistic. Anyone who suggests otherwise isn’t being straight with you. It’s also not who we are as Americans.

You’re right, it is unrealistic. It’s funny and sad that so many conservatives want smaller government and are yet willing to increase government spending to deport illegals. That isn’t a good use of government money.

However, you’re wrong that it’s not “who we are as Americans.” We have a long history of censoring or imprisoning those who don’t follow the majority opinion. I suggest you research the Alien and Sedition Acts, the Know-Nothing Party, the KKK, the treatment of Communists and Socialists in the early 1900s, and the history of the Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press.

BBWPoster2013After all, most of these immigrants have been here a long time. They work hard often in tough, low paying jobs. They support their families. They worship at our churches. Many of the kids are American born or spent spent most of their lives here. And their hopes, dreams, and patriotism are just like ours.

As my predecessor, President Bush, once put it, they are a part of American life.

Good attempt at drawing in conservatives by quoting President Bush.

I wonder if they’ll listen?

Now here is the thing. We expect people who live in this country to play by the rules. We expect those who cut the line will not be unfairly rewarded. So we’re going to offer the following deal: If you’ve with been in America more than five years. If you have children who are American citizens or illegal residents. If you register, pass a criminal background check and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes, you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily without fear of deportation. You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. That’s what this deal is.

Not A Bad Deal
Not a bad deal at all!

Now let’s be clear about what it isn’t. This deal does not apply to anyone who has come to this country recently. It does not apply to anyone who might come to America illegally in the future. It does not grant citizenship or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive. Only Congress can do that. All we’re saying is we’re not going to deport you.

Proper separation of powers. I like it.

I know some of the critics of the action call it amnesty. Well, it’s the not. Amnesty is the immigration system we have today. Millions of people who live here without paying their taxes or playing by the rules, while politicians use the issue to scare people and whip up votes at election time. That’s the real amnesty, leaving this broken system the way it is. Mass amnesty would be unfair. Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary it to our character.

He’s right, you know. Both parties use immigration to garner votes without actually doing anything. Maybe that was the point all along?

Get The Point
They get the point.
Do you?

What I’m describing is accountability. A common sense middle- ground approach. If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported. If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up.

Sorry not sorry, coyotes. Looks like your job just got harder.

The actions I’m taken are not only lawful, they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican president and every single Democratic president for the past half century.

Lyndon B Johnson George W Bush
In other words, Lyndon B. Johnson to George W. Bush.

And to those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill. I want to work with both parties to pass a more permanent legislative solution. And the day I sign that bill into law, the actions I take will no longer be necessary.

Excuse me, Mr. President, but the issue has never been about the legality of executive orders as a whole. The issue has always been the scope of executive orders. Please understand this.

Meanwhile, don’t let a disagreement over a single issue be a deal breaker on every issue. That’s not how our Democracy works, and Congress shouldn’t shut down our government again just because we disagree on this.

Exactly so. However, it goes both ways. If the Democrats truly wanted to prove themselves the better party, they won’t pursue the same partisan tactics the Republicans used while they were the minority party. I’m no Democrat by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ll respect anyone – regardless of party – who treats others with decency and respect.

Americans are tired of gridlock. What our country needs right now is a common purpose, a higher purpose. Most Americans support the types of reforms I’ve talked about tonight, but I understand with the disagreements held by many of you at home.

Or, they would support them if they actually listened to them. Unfortunately, I think many conservatives tuned you out as soon as you began speaking.

Case in point:
Someone took the time to make this.

Millions of us, myself included, go back generations in this country, with ancestors who put in the painstaking work to become citizens. So we don’t like the notion anyone might get a free pass to American citizenship.

I know some worry immigration will change the very fabric of who we are, or take our jobs, or stick it to middle-class families at a time they already feel they’ve gotten a raw deal for over a decade. I hear those concerns, but that’s not what these steps would do.

If you heard these concerns, why did you pass the ACA? If I couldn’t afford insurance before, what makes you think the government’s mandate that I purchase insurance will automatically make it affordable? $200 per month might be cheap, but it’s still more than I can afford. Sorry, I digress. Back to the issue at hand: immigration.

Our history and the facts show that immigrants are a net plus for our economy and our society. And I believe it’s important that all of us have this debate without impugning each other’s character.

I know some who would disagree with that. They claim the first immigrants (i.e. Europeans) committed – or attempted – genocide. Just look at all the calls to remove Columbus Day as a federal holiday.

That said, I agree. Immigration is a net gain for any society, if only for the fact that they take the jobs most Americans are unwilling to do. Conservatives: please note the difference between unwilling and unable. Immigrants aren’t generally taking jobs that Americans want; they’re taking jobs American’s won’t do.

“Nope!” ~ The Average American

Because for all the back and forth in Washington, we have to remember that this debate is about something bigger. It’s about who we are a country and who we want to be for future generations.

Are we a nation that tolerates the hypocrisy of a system where workers who pick our fruit and make our beds never have a chance to get right with the law? Or are we a nation that gives them a chance to make amends, take responsibility, and give their kids a better future?

If the past is any indication, we’re the former. Yes. Definitely the former.

Are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents’ arms, or are we a nation that values families and works together to keep them together? Are we a nation that educates the world’s best and brightest in our universities only to send them home to create businesses in countries that compete against us, or are we a nation that encourages them to stay and create jobs here, create businesses here, create industries right here in America? That’s what this debate is all about.

As a nation? Cruelty. Remember Elián González?

Are we educating the world’s best and brightest? America’s educational system is considered one of the most dysfunctional systems in the first world. At least, that’s what we’re led to believe. That’s why we need educational reform, right?

English Muffin
Have a picture of an English Muffin.
No reason.

We need more than politics as usual when it comes to immigration. We need reasoned, thoughtful, compassionate debate that focuses on our hopes, not our fears. I know the politics of this issue are tough, but let me tell you why I have come to feel so strongly about it. Over the past years I’ve seen the determination of immigrant fathers who worked two or three jobs without taking a dime from the government, and at risk any moment of losing it all just to build a better life for their kids. I’ve seen the heartbreak and anxiety of children whose mothers might be taken away from them just because they didn’t have the right papers. I’ve seen the courage of students who except for the circumstances of their birth are as American as Malia or Sasha, students who bravely come out as undocumented in hopes they could make a difference in the country they love.

But if they came in legally, they wouldn’t have to worry. In this case, they brought it on themselves, didn’t they?

These people, our neighbors, our classmates, our friends, they did not come here in search of a free ride or an easy life. They came to work, and study and serve in our military. And, above all, contribute to American success.

I’ve always wondered why we allow non-citizens to serve in our military. Can anyone answer this?

Now tomorrow I’ll travel to Las Vegas and meet with some of these students, including a young woman named Astrid Silva. Astrid was brought to America when she was 4 years old. Her only possessions were a cross, her doll, and the frilly dress she had on. When she started school, she didn’t speak any English. She caught up to other kids by reading newspapers and watching PBS. And then she became a good student. Her father worked in landscaping. Her mom cleaned other people’s homes. They wouldn’t let Astrid apply to a technology magnet school, not because they didn’t love her, but because they were afraid the paperwork would out her as an undocumented immigrant. So she applied behind their back and got in.

Hooray for PBS (and NPR)!

I must confess, as soon as you said “Astrid” I thought of this:

We need more dragon-riding immigrants!

Still, she mostly lived in the shadows until her grandmother, who visited every year from Mexico, passed away, and she couldn’t travel to the funeral without risk of being found out and deported. It was around that time she decided to begin advocating for herself and others like her. And today Astrid Silva a college student working on her third degree.

Are we a nation that kicks out a striving, hopeful immigrant like Astrid?

I hope not. We need more dragon-riding immigrants. Sorry. That was wrong of me. Let’s set the record straight. This is Astrid Silva:

Not everyone gets a shout-out from the President.
Way to go!

Or are we a nation that finds a way to welcome her in? Scripture tells us, we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger. We were strangers once, too.

Exodus 22:1 and 23:9 to be exact, and The Federalist already beat me to the punch in pointing out both the misapplication of Scripture and the [possible] breach in the so-called “Wall of Separation” between Government and Religion.

Please note that I object to The Federalist’s use of the word amnesty. Simply because I link to an article or website does not mean I agree wholeheartedly with everything in said article or on said website.

My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too. And whether our forbearers were strangers who crossed the Atlantic, or the Pacific or the Rio Grande, we are here only because this country welcomed them in and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like or what our last names are, or how we worship. What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal, that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will. That’s the country our parents and grandparents and generations before them built for us. That’s the tradition we must uphold. That’s the legacy we must leave for those who are yet to come.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless this country we love.

So, we end on an emotional appeal. I suppose that should be expected.

My overall opinion?

Everything went better than expected!

Again, I’m not an apologist for President Obama. I just so happen to think that on this one particular topic he made a well-formed and reasoned decision. This doesn’t make me a traitor to America, regardless of what Rush Limbaugh says.

However, all this does is put a bandage on the severed artery. If we’re really going to have immigration reform, we need to change the way we deal with future immigrants, not the ones who are already here.

A good first step would be to abolish unconditional citizenship by soil (jus soli), whereby anyone born on United States soil is automatically a United States citizen.

But, that’s just my two cents. What’s yours?

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