Remember When

Think back to when you were a kid.

Didn’t have much control of your life, did you?

Dinner was what mom cooked. If you didn’t like it, you had the option of going hungry. That’s if you were lucky. Some of you lived in households where you were cleaning your plate whether you like it or not.

You didn’t have any say over whether mom and dad had money for the latest cool toy. Strictly speaking, you didn’t have any say over whether mom and dad had money for shoes that actually fit you.

And you sure as heck had no control over where you lived. You lived where mom and/or dad said you would live. Doesn’t matter if it’s a nice house, a cheap apartment, a rat infested tenement, or wherever.

So this is why I support a clean DACA bill to give a clear path to citizenship to kids whose parents decided they would live in a foreign land. Those kids did not ask to be brought here illegally. They certainly did not have any say in the decision, no opportunity to persuade their parents otherwise. I also still support comprehensive immigration reform that involves greatly simplifying the process, raising immigration caps, and stiff penalties for employers who don’t like following the law.

But while we’re on the topic of stuff kids can’t control, they also can’t control whether there’s enough money for health care. Unfortunately, Congress is continuing to drop the ball on renewing CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program. That’s despite the fact that it has bipartisan support. That’s despite the fact that no Congressman is brave enough to come out against health care for kids who can’t afford it. Imagine the campaign ads against him!

Remember this when your Senators and Representatives come up for re-election.

In Closing: Poverty in America; Joe Arpaio just won’t go away; they missed #6, Democrats can win if they actually run better candidates than the competition.

Keep It Simple, Silly.

Alright, so apparently it took tens of thousands of kids showing up all alone in our country, having traveled thousands of miles through incredible obstacles to get us to collectively pay attention to immigration policy for more than 5 minutes. There’s screaming on both sides: they’re kids, many of them little, and they need our protection; they’re here illegally and we need to send them back to their [incredibly impoverished and unsafe] homes as quickly as possible before they bring crime and disease for crying out loud, due process be damned.

Let’s be clear on this. Immigration policy is broken. Further, our current system for asylum and naturalization is so complicated that any solution that does not involve radical simplification is no solution at all. That simplification needs to include a reduced amount of paperwork, written in a way that it can be filled out in some cases without the help of expensive lawyers. That simplification needs to eliminate limits on the numbers of immigrants that can come from specific regions and get work permits — unrealistically low limits that even the Senate knows need to go. Maybe it doesn’t need to be so simple that a little kid can navigate the system, but certainly an adult who knows how to read should be able to get started.

Of course that’s only one piece of the puzzle — the part the most helps the kids right now. In the long term, we as a nation have to stop doing things that increase poverty and gang violence in Central and South America. That will make it safer for other children to stay in their homelands with their families rather than come thousands of miles to a strange land that only offers the faintest hope of a better life.

We also need to remember that children aren’t the only ones who illegally come to the United States because no matter how bad conditions are here, it’s better than at home. Conditions are bad here for undocumented immigrants because the byzantine rules for work permits means they work in low wage, low skill, long hours, sometimes blatantly illegal, non-existent protections for workers jobs — the so-called “Jobs Americans Won’t Do [because we foolishly want minimum wage and a safe workplace]”. The employers who exploit these willing workers (and put law abiding businesses at a competitive disadvantage) must face consequences: fines, inspections, jail for the people who sign off on breaking the law.

This is not a complete solution. However, it’s how we “stop digging the hole” we’re trapped in.

In Closing: “The beatings will continue until morale improves”; the latest attempts to undermine your privacy (and indeed, your access) online, and bonus NSA links; the rich get richer and the poor get poorer yet again; “This isn’t about your health. It’s about control.”; great, because it turns out we’re gonna need some new bridges soon! (I saw a picture of the set-up last week and it’s truly impressive); and Remember Come November. Oh, and vote in the damned primaries so we at least have decent candidates!

Over 95% Bums and Idiots

I’m more than a little peeved at Washington today.

Let’s start with the reply I got from Senator Reid regarding NSA spying programs, including this paragraph:

These surveillance authorities are important tools for the counterterrorism officials working to dismantle foreign terrorist networks and keep America safe. These authorities have played a vital role in helping the U.S. Government identify and disrupt terrorist plots, and have helped our Intelligence Community better understand the nature and extent of terrorist networks. However, I share your concerns about ensuring transparency and protecting the privacy and civil liberties of law-abiding Americans as our government uses these expansive tools. I have strongly supported efforts to strengthen oversight and disclosure requirements as we have periodically reauthorized these surveillance authorities.

Really, Harry? Are you sure about that? If these programs are so successful, how come they can’t trot out some captured terrorists? The other day, the NSA said they can’t actually search through the “Centuries of Data” they are prepared to collect. Now which is it? “This is a vital program that helps us find and catch bad guys,” or “I dunno, it’s in here somewhere”?

The nicest thing I can say about having voted for you, Harry, is that you were more sane than your opponent. Don’t make me regret that, Senator.

Remember that the Amash amendment failed bipartisanly. That means the RepubliCANTS and DemocRATS are equally in favor of letting the spies violate your rights under the 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendments all they like.

Speaking of bipartisan idiocy, why won’t Steve King just shut up? Bad enough he wants to compare immigration to choosing “a pretty good bird dog” and can’t understand why anybody thinks that’s offensive. Now he’s doubled down with talk about how most immigrants are drug smugglers with calves the size of cantaloupes. Steve, sweetie, when even Mr. Boehner thinks your remarks are  hateful and ignorant, they probably are.

Remember that an immigration “reform” plan that doesn’t include a way for undocumented workers to eventually become citizens is saying “We like having easily exploited, illegal workers in this nation.” See also, the truth about guest workers, and why unemployment is “down.”

And now there’s serious talk about making Larry Summers the Fed chair? Oh please.

Are there more than a handful of intelligent elected officials who aren’t owned by special interests in all of Washington DC? Who the heck am I supposed to vote for when all my choices are idiots, nutcases, liars, hopelessly out of touch, paid to do as they are told, openly against my interests, and/or quietly working against my interests while telling me it’s for my own good? Jon Porter was a Republican, but at least he had the guts to tell me “I respect your opinion but I disagree because….” on multiple occasions.

In Closing: Thanks for saving Ohio the expense of a heavily publicized trial; some of the smartest stuff I’ve read about Detroit; why yes, I find it convenient to be alive.

Cognitive Dissonance

Hey Christians, can you do me a favor and stop pretending this song has anything to do with Jesus?


Ok, yeah, Light of the World. I get it. The lost without him thing. I get that too.

But there’s no way around the fact that none of you can think of a reason it would be appropriate to say “How can it be wrong when it feels so right” to Jesus.

In Closing: more nonsense they want to stick in the immigration “reform” bill; information coming out confirming what some people already suspected, Bank of America was actively trying to screw underwater homeowners; sociological research; and cheetahs.

Would You Shorties

What is Problem?: Putin sees no problems whatsoever with Prism.

Interesting Statistic: Young children with guns have killed more people than terrorism in the United States this year. Maybe we need a law prohibiting little kids from owning guns… um, yeah never mind.

Wake Up Call: Boomers, this is the future calling.

He swears he doesn’t know where his son could possibly have learned such language: Sure Dr. Heck. Stick with that story.

A Few Items Buried in the Immigration “Reform” Bill: No health benefits (as someone who has heard about multiple reports of tuberculosis in the community in the last 6 months, this strikes me as a recipe for an epidemic); Real ID back from the dead with a side order of a government list of people allowed to work (right, what could possibly go wrong).

A Few Items on Wages, Wage Inequality, and Wealth Inequality: Gatsby Curve; temps; wages for normal people are dropping; and wages vs tuition.

Food Myths: the truth about salt; and 7 other things.

Let me fix that for you, hun: before

These girls can’t get their ears pierced, they can’t take an Advil at school without parental permission. Yet, they can go into a pharmacy in this Brave New World of women’s equality and — quote — reproductive health and get a morning after pill.

Corrected…

These girls can’t get their ears pierced without a parent’s consent, they can’t take an Advil at school without parental permission without risking expulsion under zero tolerance policies. Yet, they can go into a pharmacy in this Brave New World of women’s equality and — quote — reproductive health and get a morning after pill that will keep them from having a baby they can’t take care of and that their body isn’t really mature enough to give birth to.

It’s not a boon for pedophiles. It’s a boon for girls who are mature enough to realize that babies having babies is a bad idea. And yeah, I think maybe schools ought to revisit policies for high schoolers on OTC meds such as Advil and Maalox. But that’s another issue.

Trying to Trick Me

It’s important to read labels: IMG_20130512_103726

 

Hmmm, a whole section of oatmeal! Unless of course you want plain old fashioned instant oatmeal. In that case, enjoy your grits!

In Closing: Crap like this is one of many reasons Congress should read out loud every bill they vote on; I guess the sequester is working =/; for pity sake, do not jaywalk in Vegas (all those pedestrian overpasses are there for a reason!); if I may use a one word answerno; this sucks; Rolling Jubilee is back in the news; and inspirational.