Voices
August 22, 2013 Issue

LETTERS


Too many are quick to judge based on difference

Dear Editor:

Dear Editor: Apparently FWR (Future Wadley Resident) and I have a lot more in common than it sometimes appears. I am very much in agreement with his recent letter regarding his take on gays/homosexuals.

Too many in our society today are quick to judge those who may be different. They are eager to condemn others for their differences because, “The Bible says it is a sin,” yet they express hate, loathing and disgust for those who may be different in any number of ways while ignoring that “The Bible says it is a sin” to hate like this, yet they have their favorite seat in church on a regular basis.

 

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We are dealing with the same mentalities that some years back were “burning witches at the stake.”

For those who feel being in church regularly will get you a reservation in heaven, in spite of all the hate in their heart and mind, not to mention other transgressions that perhaps they sometimes ignore when assessing their relationship with God, one would think that maybe they have no idea how to avoid an eternity in hell.

Robert Clements
Louisville





D’Antignac on immigration

Immigration reform in the United States of America is widely used to describe proposals to increase legal immigration while decreasing illegal immigration, such as the guest worker proposal supported by Pres. George W. Bush.

Illegal immigration is a controversial issue in the United States. Proponents of greater immigration enforcement argue that illegal tarnished immigrants cost taxpayers an estimated $338.3 billion and jeopardize the safety of law enforcement officials and citizens, especially along the Mexican border.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 made it illegal to hire or recruit illegal immigrants, but left the immigration system without a key component - a workable non-immigrant visa system program for lesser-skilled workers to enter the United States. Following the 1986 amnesty, almost 12 million undocumented workers came across the U.S. border. It was estimated that this undocumented workforce made up about 5 percent of the U.S. workforce. It was also estimated that about 70 percent of those undocumented workers were from the country of Mexico.

In 2006, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Border Protection, Anti-terrorism and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 and in 2006 the U.S. Senate passed the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006. Neither bill became law because their differences could not be reconciled in conference committee.

The legislative negotiations and national activism behind immigration reform from 2001-2007 is the subject of a 12-part documentary film series, “How Democracy Works Now.”

In 2009 the immigration reform became a hot topic, since the Barack Obama administration recently signaled interest in beginning a discussion on comprehensive immigration reform before year’s end. The proposed comprehensive immigration reform plan had as its goal bipartisan support and includes six sections designed to have “something for everyone.”

These six sections are: (1) to fix border enforcement, (2) “interior enforcement,” such as preventing visa overstays, (3) preventing people from working without a work permit, (4) creating a committee to adapt the number of visas available to changing economic times, (5) an ‘amnesty’ type of program to legalize undocumented immigrants, and (6) programs to help immigrants adjust to life in the United States.

On Jan. 28, 2013, a bi-partisan group of eight senators announced principles for comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). The senators involved include democrats Chuck Schumer of New York, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Bob Menedez of New Jersey and Michael Bennet of Colorado, and republicans John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Marco Rubio of Florida and Jeff Flake of Arizona.

The policies envisioned by the senators include the following provisions:

A citizenship path for illegal immigrants already in the United States contingent on certain border security and visa tracking improvements. The plan provides for permanent residence for illegal immigrants only after legal immigrants waiting for a current priority date receive their permanent residence status and a different citizenship path for agricultural workers through an agricultural worker program.

Business immigration system reforms, focusing on reducing current visa backlogs and fast tracking permanent residence for U.S. university immigrant graduates with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering or math also known as the STEM fields.

An expanded and improved employment verification system for all employers to confirm employee work authorization.

Improved work visa options for low-skill workers including an agricultural worker program.

On June 27, 2013, the United States Senate approved S.744, known as the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 in a historic 68-to-32 vote. The immigration reform bill has been sent to the United States House of Representatives, where the bill is expected to face opposition from the republican party majority. The legislation is a product of bipartisan cooperation among lawmakers, business groups, labor unions, agricultural interests and immigration advocates, who negotiated many compromises resulting in an architecture for reform – including a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants, an innovative temporary worker program, increased visa numbers for skilled foreign workers and a nationwide employment eligibility verification system.

(The above information comes from Wikipedia)

My short take on this is, the House won’t pass this bill, and if they do, they’ll tag on so much extra junk and send it back to the Senate, to make We the People think, it’s the democratic controlled Senate who’s keeping it from becoming law. If that’s their mindset, they will be very disappointed come 2014.

Bottom line, the democrats will pick up more seats in the House from large Hispanic populated states, and could end up being the majority, again.



Future Wadley Resident
Clyde D’Antignac







Peace must be promoted

Benjamin Franklin once said, “There is no such thing as a good war or a bad peace.” While humanity isn’t officially engaged in a world war, endless conflicts are spreading in growing parts of Asia and Africa. Former Vice President Dick Cheney predicted 50 years of war when the Bush administration launched the U.S. global war on terror in 2001. Mr. Cheney did everything in his power to make that prophesy come true, but it is true nonetheless.

If WWIII is to be avoided peace must be promoted everywhere. We cannot count on the American establishment to wage peace when it is committed to fighting endless wars in the name of national security. Pres.Obama has increased the use of drone strikes more than six fold over that of former U.S. Pres. George W. Bush. There have been more than three dozen drone strikes in Yemen in recent weeks which have killed and wounded civilians, but the main target of these drone strikes, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s top bomb maker, has not been killed. Even if this individual is killed as Osama bin Laden eventually was does anyone expect the U.S. to end its war on terror?

On Wednesday, Aug. 14, at least 638 people were killed by security forces in Egypt, and despite international protest, 173 more Egyptians died in continuing violence on Friday, Aug. 16. The situation remains tense in Egypt on Saturday, Aug. 17 as I write this letter to the editor.

United States supports the Egyptian military. It did so for 30 years under former dictator Hosni Mubarak. United States continued to support the Egyptian military under the democratically elected government of Pres. Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Now United States is still engaged with the Egyptian military after its coup against Morsi and military repression on a massive scale. Is it any wonder that anti-American sentiment is widespread in Egypt?

United States supplies billions in military aid to Egypt annually including the tear gas, weapons and ammunition used by the Egyptian military against their own people.

Some U.S. officials pooh-pooh any suggestion that Egypt is becoming the next Syria, but the risk of civil war in Egypt is clearly high. At any rate, U.S. claims of fostering democracy in Egypt are absurd. The Egyptian general, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led the coup in Egypt and now is the de facto power in that country, received training at the U.S. Army War College. The military men who overthrew democratically elected, civilian led governments in Haiti, Gambia, Honduras and Mali also received military training in United States.

U.S. officials argue that Egypt is too important for U.S. national security to abandon. United States will continue to support the Egyptian military in a bid to maintain influence in that country regardess of who is in power and regardless of repression. Staying the course is U.S. policy. Another stated reason for continuing U.S. military aid to Egypt is to sustain jobs in United States that would be lost if United States ceases to be the largest arms dealer in the world. One has to wonder whether the bottom line in U.S. foreign policy is democracy or corporate profits which are at an all time high. A debate is ensuing within the Obama admistration over what is more important, maintaining a U.S. strategic interest in Egypt or standing for basic principles like Egyptians’ right to peacefully protest without being gunned down in the street by an Egyptian military armed and funded by United States.



Randy Cain,
Avera


 


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