Thursday, April 29, 2010

a quick thought regarding the recent oil spill

Robin's commentary

for years, the EPA and the federal government have been opposed to offshore oil drilling and when President Obama finally decided to investigate the feasibility of offshore oil drilling, we have the oil spill and explosion from a BP site in the Gulf of Mexico.

“The questions about the practices of the oil industry raised in the wake of this still-unfolding incident require that you postpone indefinitely plans for expanded offshore drilling operations,” Florida Senator Nelson wrote in a letter to the president.


More information about the oil spill from Bloomberg

Arizona -- making it illegal to be illegal (like Duh!!!)

Robin's commentary --

Arizona passed one of the toughest laws in the nation regarding illegal aliens...

They made it illegal to be illegal.

As stupid as that may sound... Arizona is actually picking up the slack where the federal government has dropped the ball. They have given authorization for police to check someone's immigration status if they are stopped for a LEGITIMATE reason. This has nothing to do with racial profiling as people who oppose the new law are trying to make it sound.

Let me spell this out for those who have trouble comprehending.

If you break into somebody's house you are now a criminal and you risk being arrested. Most criminals who get caught is due to some minor for traffic infraction.

Entering a foreign country unauthorized is a crime, which makes you a criminal, and if you are caught, you risk being arrested.

Under the old system, the police may discover that you are a wanted burglar by running your criminal record, however, they are not allowed check your citizenship status.

The only thing the new system does is that it gives the police the power to verify your immigration status by checking your driver's license or some other form of ID which by the way carrying ID is required already in most states. So therefore, if you are stopped for a legitimate reason and the police discover that you are not authorized to be in the United States, they now have the power to take appropriate action such as place you under arrest and leaving it up to the courts to decide what to do with you.

Remember, just as the burglar fully knew the consequences before breaking into that house, the illegal alien fully knew the consequences before crossing the border.

Now that Arizona has decided to start enforcing immigration laws, people are now calling foul and claiming that it is unfair.

To those people that are in opposition to enforce immigration laws, I ask what you feel is a solution.

Do you feel that we should just totally ignore the situation and leave our borders wide open for anybody that wishes to enter the country at will any time?

Are you fully prepared for the consequences?

And what is the message it sends to our children? That it is okay to break any law as long as enough people decide they don't want to follow it?

In that case why have speed limits?

Here's the point...

When you have a large mass of people who enter a foreign country illegally that is officially called an invasion.

And one way to judge the success of that invasion is when the schools starts requiring the grades 1-12 to learn the language of the invading country such as the one in Oregon. (Mexico has succeeded by the numbers where Japan and Germany has failed)

In closing, with 70% of the people in Arizona being in favor of the bill and other states considering to follow suit, it is going to be very interesting to see how this will play out.

At the very least, it brings the discussion of the illegal immigration back to the forefront.

I want to remind everybody... that WE as a nation are also responsible for letting illegal immigration to get to the point that it has.

We are part of the problem... and we have to be part of the solution. 12 million plus people are not going to be deported or simply leave.

This is my suggestion.

I do not believe that amnesty should be handed out as a reward for people who knowingly broke the law. However, the victims of illegal aliens are the children who were brought here at a very early age and their home country is now foreign to them. Therefore, deportation of these children is not practical or humane.

These children should be offered citizenship along with their immediate family (mother, father, brother, sister) in accordance with current INS regulations, which also includes learning English and assimilation into the culture.

After one year after the implementation of the new law, it would now be a federal crime instead of a misdemeanor to be in this country unauthorized and therefore punishment by jail time, chipped and deported.

This way, it would be fair to the children and harsh on the individuals who still refuse to go through proper channels for lawful status to be in the country.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Arizona Governor signs tough immigration bill giving the police the powers to confirm you are in the country legally


in Arizona today, the governor signed one of the "toughest immigration bills" that the country is seen, basically making it "illegal to be in the country illegally" which I was under the assumption that it already was illegal to be in the country illegally. (those are not the droids you are seeking...)

Obama called the Arizona bill "misguided" and instructed the Justice Department to examine it to see if it's legal. He also said the federal government must enact immigration reform at the national level — or leave the door open to "irresponsibility by others." "That includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona, which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe," Obama said.

"... which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans... do you think that it is fair that we've been turning our backs and "allowing" the flood of millions of illegal immigrants to enter this country and violating the sanctity of our borders and forcing our children to learn Spanish as being basic notion of FAIRNESS?

This is nothing short of an invasion and we've turned our backs to it.

'Spiral of pervasive fear'
The legislation, sent to the Republican governor by the GOP-led Legislature, makes it a crime under state law to be in the country illegally. It also requires local police officers to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal immigrants, allows lawsuits against government agencies that hinder enforcement of immigration laws, and make it illegal to hire illegal immigrants for day labor or knowingly transport them.
The law sends "a clear message that Arizona is unfriendly to undocumented aliens," said Peter Spiro, a Temple University law professor and author of the book "Beyond Citizenship: American Identity After Globalization."

It is interesting, that the GOP sent legislation to the governor to "make it a crime to be in the country illegally" when it is already a crime to be in the country illegally. However, thanks to the federal government, nobody enforces that law.

That is what Arizona by signing this bill into law is saying that is giving law enforcement the power to check someone's immigration status. This is no different than a police officer running somebody's record and see if they are wanted for a particular crime such as a burglar or trespasser.

At the very least... a illegal alien is a trespasser. On a bigger scale, especially when accompanied by a large number of people who violate the borders is technically an invasion and therefore threatens the security of the country.

Those who harbor or encouraged or higher illegal aliens are not patriots in fact, they are exacerbating the problem.

"A thousand people a day are being deported. A thousand families being destroyed. And this comes at a very high moral and financial cost to this nation," said Maria Rodriguez, executive director of the Florida Immigration Coalition.

How many people per day are arrested for crimes they commit such as burglary, robbery or car theft? How many families are destroyed because a family member or a parent is put in prison for these crimes?

Entering into a country illegally is a crime... how is that any different from the above example?

And why do we not hear people clamoring to let the millions of people out of prison because it has separated families?

The people are imprisoned (excluding the innocent) knew what they were doing and the consequences when they committed the crime that they were charged for. Illegal immigrants were fully aware of the consequences of their actions when they made the conscious decision to step over that line into a foreign country.

"Millions of Latinos around the country are shocked," said William Sanchez, president of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders Legal Defense Fund.
Mexico has warned the proposal could affect cross-border relations. On Thursday, Mexico's Senate unanimously passed a resolution urging Brewer to veto the law.

The Mafia and the drug cartel also thought that it could affect relations by the police arresting their people.

Guatemalan Vice President Rafael Estrada said the law "is a step back for those migrants who have fought" for their rights. Guatemala's Foreign Relations Department decried the measure in a statement saying "it threatens basic notions of justice."

OMG, gimme a break. "It threatens the basic notions of justice?"
Immigrants have the right to come through the front door and apply for citizenship just like people have done for generations.
What threatens the notion of justice is the fact that we have not enforced the immigration laws, have not gone after employers who hire illegal immigrants (who also violate wage and hour laws, OSHA, and other employment related laws by hiring illegal immigrants)
like it or not... WE as a nation are just as responsible for the problem as the immigrant that knowingly crossed the border illegally.
Because of greed, subminimum wages, etc. has encouraged people to take the risk and come here and to settle here for their families.
This has created a new generation of children who thanks to their parents indiscretion have placed them into a predicament where they must constantly look over their shoulder and risk deportation to a country that they had never known.
As I have said many times before, this is a really bad form of child abuse to place a child into this type of situation.
Here's my proposal...
Children who were brought here at an early age and have been here for several years would be granted amnesty.
The children's IMMEDIATE family (mother, father, brother, sister) would also be granted amnesty provided that they follow the INS requirements, which includes learning English.
All others would have one year to leave the country and will be allowed to apply through proper channels to reenter the country legally.
After one year, entering or being in the United States illegally changes from a misdemeanor to a felony, which include imprisonment.

The governor basically echoed the concerns and its citizens that if the federal government is not going to enforce the laws of our nation and protect its citizens, and the states will have to step in and do it themselves.
I do not fully agree with the new law, I do understand it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

If an employer is found not to have used E-Verify, the enforcement officer would issue a fine.


Voters in Marion and Polk counties could decide in November whether their county governments should police the hiring of illegal immigrants.

The initiatives would require employers with five or more employees to use E-Verify, which is the free federal service that lets employers verify if someone can legally work in the United States. In addition, a county tip line would be established and a county enforcement officer would check out the tips. If an employer is found not to have used E-Verify, the enforcement officer would issue a fine.

I do not see how this is any different than the INS I-9 form which is supposed to verify that you have the right to work in the United States except for the fact that the form is a mute point because nobody ever looks at.

all an employer is currently required to do is to have an employee fill out the form, and then it goes into the file cabinet, and the information is not verified.

while E-verify is not a perfect system...perhaps at the very least, it will curb the use of stolen Social Security numbers.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Arizona House of Representatives pass illegal immigration bill 35-21

LA Times
Arizona lawmakers passed Senate Bill 1070, which is the toughest state anti-immigration act in the country. The bill makes it a misdemeanor to lack proper immigration paperwork in Arizona and as the bill's author state Sen. Russell Pearce, said it simply "takes the handcuffs off of law enforcement and lets them do their job."

Immigration rights groups are horrified.
"It's beyond the pale," said Chris Newman, legal director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. "It appears to mandate racial profiling."

Mark Krikorian at the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, D.C., think tank that advocates tougher immigration enforcement, said the legislation was a logical extension of the state's previous enforcement efforts. "It makes sense that they would be the first to do it since they are ground zero for illegal immigration," he said

The ACLU and other groups have vowed to sue to block the bill from taking effect.

I do not 100% agree with the bill because I can see how it could be abused however, I can definitely understand why the citizens of Arizona are upset and want a bill like this especially after the recent murder of Robert Krentz, 58, a prominent Southeast rancher in Arizona was killed along with his dog by an illegal alien before midnight Saturday on his 35,000 acre ranch that is family owned since 1907 about 35 miles northeast of Douglas.

To the Arizona residents, it was the last straw. The borders are wide open, and they feel that the government is not taking the issue seriously.

a follow-up story from the LA Times said that they got over 500 comments on both sides of the issue.

Some expressing their concern about racial profiling [which I agree] , some feel that our economy will fall flat on its face if we don't have sub wage laborers [a form of slavery] and on the other side, people are just getting tired of officials turning their back to trespassers in our nation.

To those people that say that our economy will crash without illegal immigrants I say, get real. If a business can't survive without the use of sub wage laborers, then that business should crash.

As far as the jobs that "we won't do"... first of all change the child labor laws and let our kids do what we did when we were growing up, mow lawns, work in the fields make some extra money. First of all it would help with childhood obesity, secondly, it would get the kids out of the house and third teach kids the value of money because they have to earn it.

In my opinion, it is a Pandora's box that WE in the US opened by not enforcing our immigration laws and now WE have to deal with the problem.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Update -- Teacher who created "crash the Tea Party" placed on leave

The Oregonian--

BEAVERTON -- Jason Levin, the Conestoga Middle School teacher who created the "Crash the Tea Party" Web site, has been placed on paid administrative leave while Beaverton school officials investigate whether he inappropriately used school equipment or time to work on his Web site.

The district received hundreds of e-mail and calls over the past two days with some demanding that the teacher be terminated.

Wind power hits another snag

the Dalles Chronicle --

Wind mills are getting a rough time becoming the nations power resource. first the T-boone Pickens plan that hit a snag in 2008 due to a drop in natural gas prices and the tightening credit market, now it is the FAA that has put the brakes on new tower construction planned in Wasco, Gilliam, Sherman and Morrow counties in Oregon and Klickitat County in Washington in jeopardy

according to the federal aviation administration, projects in the mid-Columbia region are starting to call a scatter problems at the military radar sites in Fossil and if any more projects are developed, the interference would be an acceptable.
“It would be a huge impact to the county,” County Commissioner Dan Ericksen said. “The first $25 million investment in Summit Ridge is scheduled to go directly into our tax rolls.”

Reading the article, I don't know which they are more upset about... the delay in constructing more wind turbines to generate more power or the threat of lost tax revenue.

schoolteacher attempts to crash the tea party movement from the inside


During April 15’s Tea Party rallies, Beaverton Middle School teacher Jason Levin’s group plans to dress and act like Tea Party members but “crazier” with the goal to damage the movement’s reputation...he did have plans to dress up like a member of the movement"

"Welcome to crash the tea party... we are a nationwide network of Democrats, Republicans, Independents who are all sick and tired of those loose affiliation of racists, homophobes, and morons; who constitute the fake grassroots movement which calls itself the tea party.

We want to dismantle and demolish the tea party by any nonviolent means necessary and we will succeed by in for creating the tea party itself..."
see, I don't get it... is this teacher advocating for higher taxes?

To my understanding, the tea party movement was created to express real concerns "against reckless government spending" similar to the Boston tea party of 1773, and was a key event in the growth of the American Revolution.{Wikipedia}

It's one thing to disagree with an organization or a movement and you do have the right to start your own movement in protest, but there are limits.

The only message really that this teacher is sending out is that he is in favor of increased taxes, uncontrolled government spending, and smaller paychecks.

Monday, April 12, 2010

answering ethnic identity forms is no longer optional under new federal requirement

Register Guard--

Under new federal mandate that takes effect next year in Oregon would require that each student must be identified told racially and ethnically which until now, has been voluntary information.

The government believes that it is crucial to collect complete, precise and consistent data, and some state and federal funding hinges on the districts compliant.
" “Our stance in 4J is we do not believe that one human being can observe and identify another individual’s race and ethnicity,” said Carmen Urbina, the district’s parent, family and community coordinator.

Parents who still refuse to report, which is still there right, the schools will exercise a "default" option and mark every single racial category which results in identification of "multiracial."

just like the federal mandate it already requires on all employment EEO forms to indicate whether you are "Hispanic" or "not Hispanic" and then everything else.

I guess the question is, who decides on making these types of regulations that we all have to follow.

Gee, talk about racial profiling.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

If you don't want to spend $250,000 to rename the belt line
How about $250,000 to renovate a hotel in Cottage Grove instead?

The Register Guard --

Cottage Grove’s Village Green Resort and Gardens, 52 year old hotel that has been reportedly losing money and is up for sale so the Lane County commissioners voted to lend the Village Green $250,000 for renovations.
“There’s no guarantee this won’t fail, but I do believe in taking risk, and believing in people in the community is an important step,” said Commissioner Faye Stewart, whose district includes Cottage Grove. ... and the same Commissioner that decided to enact the gas tax anyways despite the fact that voters said NO

The board voted to establish a new program for Motel-hotel development with funds from the county transient room taxes and state lottery proceeds.

Although Cottage Grove Mayor Gary Williams feels that the project is "desperately needed" to provide construction and service jobs for community with a high unemployment rate, commissioners Bill Fleenor and Bill Dwyer even though they voted for the program, expressed concern about using public funds to shore up businesses that, as Fleenor put it, “may not have made good decisions.”

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

ballot measure 68... break out the Kleenex, because here comes the sob stories...

Ballot measure 68 for the May 2010 primary election revises the Constitution allows the state to issue bonds to match voter approved school district bonds for school capital costs and dedicates lottery funds for matching funds and repayment.{ source }

Be prepared for it...

It's worked in the past...

Voters just recently gave more money to the state with measures 56 and 57 because it was "for our children"...

So here's how they're going to try and sell it to you...
“It allows school districts to pass bonds that include critical school infrastructure that’s not currently allowed – like desks and bookcases," said Dana Hepper with the Stand for Children advocacy group in favor of measure 68.{ source }

those poor little kids... no desks or bookcases to put their books on.

The children already have to stand on a street corner just to pay for money to buy pencils for their classes...

Yes! yes, let's give them some more money out of our are ready strained budgets. But how are we going to do that, the Oregon Constitution already restricted states authority to issue bonds?
“Oregon voters have approved 16 exceptions to this restriction, 14 of which are still in effect. The exceptions allow the state to issue bonds for a variety of purposes, including for home ownership loans to veterans, reforestation of state lands, construction of buildings for state universities and community colleges, housing for the elderly and disabled, pollution controls and seismic rehabilitation of public buildings { source }

It's settled then... let's vote in favor of measure 68. maybe we can even give those poor kids a chair to sit on with their new desk as well.


Oh sorry, got caught up in it there for a minute.

{Wiping the tears from my eyes}

Passage of measure 68...
“ would allow local taxing districts to occur bonded indebtedness on or after January 1, 2011 and second, the state would issue general obligation bonds to provide funds to be granted or loaned to school districts to finance the capital costs of the school districts...which are defined as the cost of land and other asset associated with acquisition, construction, improvement, remodeling, maintenance and repair.
Capital cost do not include operating costs."{ source }

You decide... personally, I feel that if schools can't function receiving at least $10,000 a year per student from the all funds budget, perhaps, it's time to start doing some auditing and seeing where the money is really going.

Just my opinion.