Friday, May 31, 2013

America's First Marijuana Brand: Diego Pellicer

   Cigarettes brands range from Camel to Winston. Well, now that marijuana is legal in Washington and Colorado, will we be seeing brand names for pot? 
   Yes, apparently so. Former Microsoft manager Jamen Shively has announced he will market marijuana under a brand named for his great-great grandfather, Diego Pellicer.
   Former Mexico President Vicente Fox joined Shively for the announcement, hailing the founders of Diego Pellicer. "They have the vision, " he said.
   Not persuaded America's move toward marijuana is wise, I am not so happy as Shively and Fox. I remain of the opinion the drug enslaves its takers, lessening reality to them and making them less inclined to work.

Yanira Maldonado Freed

  Yanira Maldonado, who had been arrested in Mexico on drug charges, has been freed. Officers evidently had no evidence against her other than that marijuana was found strapped underneath her bus seat. While, the defense had witnesses and a video showing she didn't haul the marijuana aboard.
   Bless the fact that justice won.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Kerry and State Department Should Consider Maldonado's Case

   John Kerry and the U.S. State Department should consider stepping in.
   With a U.S. citizen jailed in Mexico on what might be trumped up charges, is it not the obligation of Kerry and the State Department to weigh what we know of the case, and determine if Yanira Maldonado is being railroaded by a foreign government?
   If this had happened in, say, Iran, would we be saying, "Let the judicial system take it's course, for she might be guilty"? What makes us think the legal system in Mexico is any less suspect? We owe it to our citizens, when they are arrested there and the case seems suspect, to review their cases and make our own determination of guilt. And, if it is determined the the American citizen is guilty, our State Department should demand that that person be set free.
   Yanira Maldonado is accused of carrying about 12 pounds of marijuana onto the bus, having it strapped under her seat.
   In America, we do not take lightly to other governments abducting our citizens. At least we shouldn't. It is not only a matter the State Department should be looking into, but perhaps a matter President Obama should be speaking out on.

(Note: Story edited May 31)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Abduct an American Citizen, and Expect Outrage

   If a foreign government dares to abduct an American citizen, watch the story sail to the top of the news line, right?
   Well, not necessarily. Word is, an American citizen is being held in Mexico, by the government, and while the story is making news, it has hardly sailed to the top of the charts.
   Yanira Maldonado and her husband, Gary, were returning from a funeral in Mexico when the bus they were on was stopped and searched, and Gary was arrested for having about 12 pounds of marijuana hidden under his seat. Then, the searchers switched up the accusation, saying the marijuana actually was under Yanira's seat, and she was hauled off.
   "You know how it works in Mexico," a lawyer reportedly told the Maldonado family as Yanira was taken to jail. The lawyer suggested a little payment would secure Yanira's release. So, the family scrambled to put together the $5,000 they were being bribed, only to have the authorities drop the call for money, and reportedly say, "It's not about money anymore, and they want you to leave."
   Witnesses have already testified at a hearing that she and her husband boarded the bus carrying no package of drugs, and given that they originally detained the husband and said it was he who had the marijuana under his seat before switching the accusation to her, yes, the authorities are the ones who seem guilty.
   Foreign government abducts American citizen? Seems this might deserve bigger play. I think of Benghazi and the outrage there with the death of American citizens. This time, American citizens have not died, but one is being detained. It can be suggested she could be guilty, but the evidence weighs against that. 
   Bless her, then, and may America rally to save her.

(Note: Story edited May 31)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Greatest Advancement of Society

   The greatest advancement in society would be the atonement and resurrection of the Savior. Through it, life gained meaning. Without it, all died and none would be resurrected, nor could they overcome their sins.

Monday, May 27, 2013

What Would the Advances in Society be?

   You've seen these timelines outlining the advances in science. What if we were to try to put one together outlining the advances in society?
   For one thing, it wouldn't be as definitive. Some would say the recent acceptance of same-sex attraction is an advancement, while others would argue against it. Some would put public schools as an advancement. Others would not. 
   And, when it comes to advances in society, sometimes societies advance, only to then decline. The advances tend to not be as permanent as they are with science. Further, while one country might progress in building a better society, that does not so readily translate into other countries adopting the same advances.
   Still, it would be fun to see what would be on such a timeline. Has anyone ever compiled one? I do a quick  glance with a word search and find nothing. No time to look further. Off to bed.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

In a Free Country, Those from Other Countries Should be Free

   Oh, I confess I am not against background checks for those wanting to immigrate to America, and I think it would be wonderful to figure out a way to screen out potential terrorists. But, yes, other than that I am in favor of what is termed "open borders." I even favor "amnesty," dirty as that word is to some.
  I just simply plainly honestly do not like it that we make it a crime to come to America. Really? In the land of the free it is illegal to freely exist? It is a crime to live and breath on American soil? In America, they make it illegal to come from another country? Oh, I know you are going to say they can come, they just have to do it legally. But, remember, I'm arguing for open borders (or at least more open borders), and that means pretty much everybody gets in. That means there isn't a waiting list, or a quota, or reasons for telling you you don't qualify.
   Doing it legally takes on a new meaning. If everybody qualifies, everybody comes. Screen out those with criminal backgrounds, and maybe even give all immigrants a probationary period, during which, if they break laws more than a speeding ticket, back they go. But everyone else? Tell them in America, they are free. Tell them our way of thinking is that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are unalienable rights. A piece of paper doesn't grant those rights, for they are unalienable. And, the lack of a piece of paper cannot take them away.
  Some say, What part of the word "illegal" don't you understand? To them, I would reply, What part of the word "America" don't you understand?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Shurtleff Tried to Broker a Deal for a Man on Lam from the Law?

   Oh, Mark Shurtleff, what have you wrought? Today's Salt Lake Tribune article is a stunner, even after all that has already come forth about Shurtleff, our past Utah attorney general, and John Swallow, the current A.G.
  Shades of a movie, Shurtleff and Darl McBride sit down for lunch at a cafe, McBride with a voice recording whirling.
   And, Shurtleff tries to get McBride to back off seeking to find a man on the lam from the law for a different matter. Shurtleff suggests he knows someone who will pay McBride $2 million, if only McBride will nix seeking Mark Robbins via a website he set up called Skyline Cowboy.
   Two million, then, with the state's top cop suggesting he will get it from another person in trouble with the law, Marc Jenson, and this to help someone else who is in trouble with the law. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

 What to do with Guantanamo Bay?

  Guantanamo Bay. No, I'm not well acquainted with this issue, but I have some preliminary thoughts -- and questions.
   First, I understand those in the camp are awaiting trial. I could be wrong, but that is my understanding. For how many years? No human being should be imprisoned for 10 years -- what a large chunk of life -- without his or her case coming to trial. No one. Our Constitution promises people a speedy trial, and, while it can be argued these are not Americans, and therefore do not have the right to a speedy trial, it should be noted the rights of the Constitution, for the most part, express what every human should have, how every human should be treated. That is why they are in the Constitution.
   You don't treat yourself one way and other people another.
   Are others in the camp, besides those awaiting trials? If so, why, and for how long? Do we justify holding political prisoners indefinitely? Are they merely political prisoners? Or does the fact they are potential terrorists make them more?
   What of the Geneva Convention? I do not know the specifics, but I understand President Bush argued the Geneva Convention does not apply? Why?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My Take on Apple

  Apple, then. Did I hear correctly that they dodged paying $7.7 billion, that, in spite of that, they are the largest corporate tax payer in America, and that they moved money overseas to steer clear of the taxes.
   Oh, and that they owe it to their shareholders to avoid the taxes, thus returning to the investors all the money possible. And, maybe one more thing: their tax rate was 30.5 percent, or something like that.
   I'm grateful to them for the taxes they did pay. Being the largest corporate taxpayer in America should bring them honor. Bless them, too, as Rand Paul would have us do, for giving so many people jobs. Rand Paul is also correct in saying the government set up the tax code, and, it should be responsible for what has happened.
   But, I stop a little shy of letting Apple go its merry way. Yes, they have the right to take every advantage the tax code offers, but should they -- even in the name of doing what is best for the shareholders?
   I would just hope they would look at their bottom line, weigh whether they could keep more of the money inside the U.S. where it could be taxed, and decide that they wanted to do that. If being organized with shareholders means you cannot make decisions like that, well, that isn't right. These companies have power to give to charities, to donate to communities. Why should this be any different.
   And, there is the question of whether taking the money overseas to dodge Uncle Sam is ethical. I'm not sure it should be considered unethical, but it is. Otherwise we wouldn't be having this discussion.
   And certainly that you have shareholders should not mean you cannot be ethical.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

This is Like a Birthday Party Without Cake

   Being it that an election should offer a choice of candidates, why is it the Republicans refuse to pass along more choices to the voters?
   At the state convention Saturday, the delegates decided if 60 percent of them agree on a candidate, they will not pass the decision along to the voters. It had been proposed that the threshold be raised to 66.7 percent, which would have resulted in more races advancing to the primary.
   My thought is, why have an election if you are going to winnow the race down to a single candidate before the primary. An election is not really an election if you are limited to a choice of one. 
   Would you throw a party and not serve the cake? An election without a choice of candidates is like a birthday party with no birthday cake

Monday, May 20, 2013

Are They Guilty of the Same Thing?

I wonder -- just wonder -- if some of those upset about the IRS scandal are not guilty of the same thing. Do they target Obama because of his political beliefs? Do they go after him harder than they do those of their own party in searching out scandals? I do think it worthy of my thought, for it just might be true. 
Are They Guilty of the Same Thing?

I do wonder -- just wonder -- if some of those who are upset with the IRS targeting people for their political leanings are actually guilty of the same conduct. Do they target President Obama, looking under every hill to find faults in him? If so, they are targeting him. They seem intent on investigating him for anything, but much less inclined to investigate those of their own political persuasion. I'll give it some thought. But, I do wonder.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Seek Only to be Good, and not to be Great

   Seek to be good, but not to be great. The person seeking to be good has an eye to honor his or her fellow humans, while the person seeking to be great seeks to be honored in their eyes.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

 Get Them to the Polls Informed

   I wonder if there is more to this problem than just getting everyone to vote.
   We are doing all we can to get every person to vote. But, what if you get everyone out to vote, but none of them know anything about the candidates? Have you achieved anything? You have voters fulfilling a patriotic charge, but what good is done if they haven't studied the candidates?  I mean, more than to determine if there is an "R" or a "D" after their names.
   No, the pursuit shouldn't be just to get them to the polls, it should be to get them to the polls informed. 

Utah Legislature has Its Own Responsibility in Swallow Case

 Those who believe in the U.S. Constitution's call to provide for a speedy and public trial need to be responsible for there own domain.
   If you are the government body charged with impeaching office holders, you need not wait for the federal investigation to be complete.
   I, of course, am speaking of the case involving Utah Attorney General John Swallow. The Legislature is charged with impeachment powers. It has its own charge, its own responsibility, separate from the federal government.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Hire Teachers With Passions

   We could cure America's educational woes if we could instill a love of job into the system. Take anything where anyone achieved anything, they achieved it because they loved what they were pursuing. If you are the student, that means a love of being educated. And, if you are the teacher, that means not only having a passion for what you do, but a love for the students you teach.
   As I thought about this while in bed the other night, I wondered how we might go about getting teachers who loved what they were doing, and loved the students they were teaching.
   Hire the ones that are already that way.
   Ask them on their applications and in their interviews, what their hobbies are. What are the things they do. What are their loves and pursuits. Ask them what service projects they are involved with. Ask them the last time they helped someone, and what they did to help. 
   Find out if they have passions for the things they are already doing, for if they don't, they won't likely develop the a passion for teaching. And, consider what their hobbies and pastimes are. A person who spends time trying to achieve something will likely do you better than a person who is passionate only about going to the movies every Friday night.
   But, if they are into movies or such, find out what they have done in pursuing that interest. If they do something showing extra effort and showing achievement, consider them. A Star Trek groupie might be good, if they are doing something extra, more than just attending groupie activities. Still, a person who has a hobby that makes the world a better place -- there aren't many of those -- probably belongs at the head of the line, ahead of the Trekkies.
   Their ability to love the students? Find out if they are helping anyone in their lives, whether it means they visit their grandmother everyday or whether they have a neighbor they help.
   Take their references. Talk to their family and friends. And, don't just select a teacher based on the checklist. Consider whether the energy they exert in their pastimes is going to transfer into the classroom.
   Put the right people in place -- the right teachers -- and you'll be more likely to have a successful education system.
Here's How to Measure a Person's Goodness

   One of the greatest measures of a man, is his ability to find good in others.
Here's leadership

  A good leader is someone who makes friends out of their enemies.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

 If You Go Around Making Enemies, You are Going to have Enemies

  There is IRS Gate, getting all the attention, and Golden Gloves Gate, getting hardly a pingle. 
   Golden Gloves Gate is not a scandal, on par with IRS Gate, but it might well be the bigger tragedy. To learn about Golden Gloves Gate, we need to turn back the pages of time to 2010, when the debate over immigration was about as hot as it was ever to get.
   And, it was in 2010 that Golden Gloves changed its rules. No longer would it accept participants who had legal residency. No, that would not be enough. Now, they would need to be full citizens.
   Wonder then, if you will, how news of the change was greeted by Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Yes, how was it greeted by the man who, with his brother, would go on to infamy for the Boston Marathon bombings. Tamerlan, the boxer, how did he take it? He had fought in the Golden Gloves in Salt Lake City just the year before. He was an accomplished fighter, having won a title in New England. And, he aspired to more.
   But, he wasn't an American, at least not in terms of being a full citizen.
   It seems only natural that the decision stung him, that he felt rejected, that we, as a society, made him feel unwanted. 
   Now, if you go around making enemies, you are going to have enemies. We, as a society, were certainly not making friends with Tamerlan.
   There is no justification for what Tamerlan and his brother did. None. It was terrible and heinous. Nor do we know that Tamerlan would not have gone the same route even if not rejected by Golden Gloves. But, we do know this: Rejecting people does tend to make enemies out of them, and making enemies can cause problems.
   So, while the rest of the country is more concerned with IRS Gate, I can't help but wonder if the bigger tragedy was that we didn't show a little love for Tamerlan. Rather than more or less telling him he wasn't good enough for us and wasn't good enough to play with us, and we didn't want him in our tournament, why not just let him box? What harm would there have been in that? Why reject him? Why make him feel unwanted?
   Everyone has a seed of greatness in them, and I use the term "greatness" to mean they can accomplish notable though terrible things, as well as wonderful and nice things. All of us are sleeping giants, in a way. Don't wake a sleeping giant? We might never know if that is what we did.
   Yes, there is no harm in treating people right. But, there can be much harm in treating them wrong. If you go around making enemies, you are going to have enemies. And, sooner or later, it is going to come back to bite you. Was Tamerlan an example of this?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Rejecting Tamerlan for No Good Reason Couldn't have Helped

   Comes a story, in the day's newspaper, that makes me wonder if we if we antagonized Tamerlan Tsarnaev a few years ago and he responded by turning against us, and eventually killing and injuring many.

   Don't antagonize your friends and you won't have so many enemies, it might be said. Or, don't alienate those who are not your enemies and they will be less likely to turn into your enemies.
   Nothing can justify what the Tsarnaevs did. It was cold, brutal and inhumane. They are responsible, both for the act and for how they might have been reacting to the way they perceived they were being treated.
   But consider. Consider if just a little love might have made a whole lot of difference.
   The story in the paper told how boxers were being turned away from Golden Gloves because they were not U.S. citizens. I'm not saying they weren't legal to be here. You can have a resident card and still not be a citizen. Now, expecting them to be a citizen in order to fight for the U.S. in the Olympics is one thing. (Perhaps, just perhaps, as I'm not even sure about that.) But saying being a resident is not enough to box in Golden Gloves seems a little overly rejecting of someone, to me. They just want to box, just want to pursue a life while legally in America. Why tell them, "No, you aren't an American. We only play with fellow Americans. Go find another sandbox to play in."
   Tamerlan, then, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
   We understand he was a pretty good boxer, even came to Salt Lake for a Golden Gloves fight in, what, 2009? And, didn't he win some kind of championship in New England?
   Tamerlan, Tamerlan the boxer.
   Well, he wanted to be a great boxer, wanted to pursue that, had a dream and we took it away from him, In years when they are selecting an Olympic team, they don't let you box in the Golden Gloves tournament. To make matters worse, in 2010 (right in the middle of when immigration was the biggest issue in all of America) they changed the rules. No more legal residents allowed, period. You had to be a full citizen. So, Tamerlan was barred from the 2010 Golden Gloves tournament. 
   Tamerlan, Tamerlan the rejected.
   He aspired to being a great boxer, It was his dream and life's ambition. And, it was being cut short because, although (I believe) he had paperwork to be a legal resident, he wasn't a full citizen.
   The story in the paper referred to another story, one published int he New York Times that said Tamerlan's life veered at that point. From the rejection in Golden Gloves, he veered toward the path of terrorism.
   Well, I don't know. I don't know but what Tamerlan wasn't already on the path to terrorism. Maybe he even would have arrived at the same point even without the boxing rejection.
   But, I do know it doesn't hurt to treat people right, when you can. Sometimes, it does make a difference. And, well, I can't see the harm in letting a legal resident fight in Golden Gloves. Turn a person away, and they might turn into something you don't want.   

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

If Taking Gifts from Someone being Prosecuted is Wrong,
Then Swallow Impeachment Proceedings are a Must

   John Swallow, on KSL's 10:00 news, says he is not a criminal. I do not know the law, to know whether taking a gift from someone you are prosecuting is illegal. It certainly ought to be. But, if per chance it is not, it is still very, very wrong. I'm assuming our values as a society are not so jaded that we cannot see this. 
   But, I'm beginning to wonder.
   If the legislators can see what Swallow allegedly did is wrong, then they have a responsibility of their own, regardless what the feds or anyone else does. If the power to impeach is theirs, this serious breach of ethics demands impeachment proceedings. Such proceedings are a must, to those who see that going to the resort at Marc Jenson's expense was a very wrong thing to do. If you don't think it was a serious wrong, don't start impeachment proceedings. I wonder, do the legislators not consider what was done to be a serious matter?  For, if the legislators can see how serious it is, then they must realize that to not hold impeachment proceedings is a breach of their responsibility.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Next Up in Technology? A Car that Gets 100 mph

  What is next in the ever-advancing world of technology, maybe a car that travels 100 miles on a single gallon of gas?
   Yes. Some soul named Joe Justice is the chief creator. No ties at all to GM, or Ford, or Audi or Porche.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Picture This

  Here's a picture. Now, you tell me what's wrong with it. You have the state's highest law enforcement official and the person who eventually replaced him in that office, relaxing at a resort, taking in the sun and body massages.
   At the expense of someone they had brought criminal charges against.
   That supposedly is what happened, Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow being the pair who did it. The picture of them doing this is so startling that I question whether it ever took place.
   Racking up thousands of dollars for a stay at a gated Newport Beach villa, and charging it to someone you were prosecuting? Yes, I do think of both Shurtleff (former attorney general) and Swallow (current attorney general) as good men, and shake my head in disbelief that they would do this. But, there the story is, front and top of the page in Thursday's Salt Lake Tribune, saying receipts witness that it did happen.
    Did. Spell that word frontward or backward, it all means the same.
Why? Why would they do it? Was it another of these "consulting" type things, where they did "consulting" work for the man (Marc Sessions Jenson), and then were just collecting after he went to prison? I do not know and can only say, if what was said to take place did take place, there might not be a good explanation, not one that justifies what apparently happened.

Love of Job is Answer to Education

   I once went door to door campaigning for office, and, when I was asked about education, I didn't have a good answer.
   Now, I do. And, if it is too simple of a remedy, still it remains the right one. This is the answer.
   The student needs to love being educated and the teacher needs to love teaching. That is the answer. It is no different than with other jobs. If you love your job, you do it proud. If your job is your passion, you do it well. Take all the programs we are coming out with and throw them away if they are taking away the love of being educated or the love of teaching. If they are seen as oppressive, if they are seen as metal hands clamping down from above, they are not likely to increase the love of learning and teaching, but to decrease it.
   Do teachers not like No Child Left Behind?  It might have some nice points in its favor, but if the teachers are rejecting it, it isn't likely adding to their love of teaching.
   Take a singer, he or she will be much more likely to sing a beautiful song if they sing it from the heart. So it is with learning, if the heart is not in it, the program will not matter. But, if it is the desire of one's heart to learn or to teach, then it will be achieved.
   Instill passion instead of just instituting new and additional programs. Passion over programs, that is the answer.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Extortion, It Does Seem to be

    Okay, of the John Swallow case, of how someone approached him as a public official and asked for help, and of how that person was told to come to a campaign fundraiser to discuss it, is a campaign fundraiser the place for discussing how we are going to help them?
    Among the disconcerting things about the Swallow affair, this ranks high. How can you justify asking someone who is asking for help to meet you at a fundraiser? Doesn't that raise the danger they will think they will only get help if they contribute? And, well, perhaps that is the message intended.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Complaints About Public Officials Cannot be Released?

   Utah Attorney General John Swallow says that telling the media about complaint filed against him violates the state bar's rules of ethics.
   Really? That sounds like one rule that ought to be changed. It just cannot be that we make it illegal for complaints against public officials to be disclosed to the public.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Background Checks are the Right Idea

   Senator Orrin Hatch would have background checks, and DNA testing added to the Gang of Eight's immigration bill. Amending the bill to add the background checks sounds wise. The DNA testing sounds good, also, until you consider it probably will not pass constitutional muster concerning searches.
   Don't even put it in the bill if you know it is going to be constitutionally ill-founded.
   The background checks? If it is crime we are wanting to stop from coming across the border, if it is terrorism we are hoping to avoid, yes, background checks are the right thing. While most countries do not have as good of national background bases as we do in the U.S., at least contact their home city, or home province.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Let In the Ones Who Money Wants In

   I do wonder how many of the proposals for immigration reform get their start. Are lobbyists behind them?Who proposes who we should let into this country? It is as if the reformers are saying, These are the ones we're going to let in, the ones that money wants in.
   I want more immigrants to be allowed here, but wish it didn't almost seem as if the invitations were being issued by those with money, on the basis of the desires of those who are rich.
   Who will we let into America? The ones that money will have? If an industry is needing high-tech workers, do we say, Let them in? If an industry is needing If an industry (paid prisons) are making good money off jailing souls till they are deported, do we continue to require them to return to their home countries? I suppose that will be okay with me, as long as we do not jail them in paid prisons while we await their departure. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

I Run Into Those Suffering for Food

  By the time I got home from the charity banquet, I had already ran into someone who said they grew up missing food, and even now she struggles to feed her children. The next day, I ran into a lady who said she might not be going hungry, but she sometimes can afford no more than a simple sandwich for lunch. I consider that there are probably a lot of folks like that.
   Utah, fourth in the nation in hunger? Utah, where one in five children suffer hunger? I do not know, but wonder.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Utah is Fourth in the Nation in Hunger

   Utah ranks fourth in the nation in hunger. And, it has one five of its children who suffer hunger. Such are the statistics I heard tonight. Surprising, aren't they. I do question them, though, just not being able to believe the numbers are that unfavorable, that that many people are going hungry here.
   Hungry, I said, not starving. It was explained that the measurement was going without just one meal in a day.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Unemployment Stands at 19.2 percent?

   Cannot find it.
   Heard a story on KSL Radio today, saying that there are different ways of measuring unemployment, and, by one measurement, the national unemployment sits at 19.2 percent.
   Sit on that. Think about it. That is not so far removed from -- what was it, 24 percent -- during the Great Depression? Back when the Great Depression was starting, it is true, there were not the safety nets we have today, unemployment insurance and much of the welfare programs. So, if you were unemployed, the danger of having no source of food was greater.
  Still, if this 19.2 percent is true, our unemployment is great. Will a nation wilt, eventually, if it does not have greater employment? I only know it cannot be healthy for the economy. That is obvious, isn't it?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

 Convenience Should Not Dictate Our Freedoms

  As I and a friend debated whether English should be spoken by immigrants in America, I thought, "One person's freedoms should not be determined by another person's convenience." The right to speak whatever language one wants is a freedom. We take that freedom away when we mandate English just to make things more convenient for ourselves. We might argue that we should not have to push "One" if we want to hear a phone directory in English and "Two" if we want to hear it in Spanish. We might think we should not have to order at McDonald's from someone who can't even speak English. But those are but inconveniences.
   Now, freedoms should be taken away when it is not convenience that is involved, but damage and harm. Murder is a harm. Arson is a harm. Rape is a harm. If there is such a harm in their speaking Spanish, then we should take away from them the freedom of choosing their own language.
   Is there such a case? Is there a way in which speaking Spanish causes us not just inconvenience, but actual harm?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Poor Immigrants Also Deserve a Break

   What has it been, two weeks on since the Gang of Eight released their immigration reform proposal?
   I still haven't caught up with what all is in it, but I do understand it offers more opportunity for the educated than for the common worker.
   I sure would like to see us throw an arm around the common workers, the day laborers, the people who come here willing to work for a pittance. These are the people who deserve a break.