Friday, December 23, 2005

Getting Shook Out of His Pew

Tucker Carlson is a strange dude. (He's the former host of Crossfire that Jon Stewart so uniquely insulted while visiting as a guest.)

Anyway, he's an Episcopalian "with no plans to change". But a couple weeks ago, he blogged about "the notable lack of urgency in most Episcopal churches." It was such a vivid picture, I must quote it:
Every once in a while, as I shift in my pew listening to one of our unusually well-educated preachers expand on the Aramaic understanding of discipleship, I do wish Jesus would come back, preferably in a massive ball of fire through the ceiling of the church. Spiritually, I'm nowhere near ready to face something like that. But it'd be worth it for the shock value.

Glad I could share that with you. Click here for the whole article.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Warrants, Civil Liberty and Hostile Actions

There is an analogy.

Imagine for a moment that this is the War of 1812, and an American citizen sends a note to a known British citizen. Assume that miraculous scanning technology TOLD the local American commander that the note contained the word “burn”. The question is put to us: is the American cammander required by the Fourth Amendment to obtain a warrant in order to seize and read that letter?

OF COURSE NOT. The United States is engaged in congressionally authorized hostilities against an ally of that British subject (i.e., his country). Frankly, he would be a fool and remiss in his duty not to do so.

This isn’t about prosecuting people for criminal offenses or depriving them of their liberty. It’s about having the intelligence necessary to prevent further acts of violence against our country.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Solution to Illegal Immigration, part 2

Apparently, my idea was already the law -- even the amount of $5000. In fact, second offenses were $10,000, and all subsequent offenses $25,000. Apparently, that wasn't doing the job.

Congress, in H.R. 4437, just recently approved raising these amounts to $7500, $15,000 and $40,000. They allow a first-time-only penalty exemption for good-faith violations. By the way, my representative, Lois Capps, voted against this raise. Unbelieveable. Just who does she represent by voting 'no'?

So now I'm stumped. How can employers possibly continue hiring illegal immigrants? Are there THAT many employers that aren't getting caught doing so? To me, that seems to be a national scandal -- that our auditing programs aren't strong enough to catch these employers who are breaking the law.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Necesito practicar mi español

It's always bothered me that my Spanish is so bad. I just haven't had much opportunity to interact with other people and thereby solidify it. But the truth is that if I would just write in Spanish on a daily basis, it would improve by leaps and bounds.

So I think I'm going to start a separate blog in Spanish-- for now maybe just a translation of the material on this one.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Death Penalty

Maybe it's the self-righteousness that bothers me... I don't know. But my skin simply crawls when I hear people use the phrase, "Thou shalt not kill," as an argument against the death penalty. By doing so, they only shine a spotlight upon their own ignorance of the Old Testament Law.

It is, after all, that same Mosaic Law which *commands* the death penalty in various cases, such as murder, sorcery and sodomy. Essentially, their argument is, "don't enforce the death penalty because the Bible prohibits it." But the truth is that the Bible demands it. Argh. These people... so frustrating... argh...

This is setting aside the fact that "Thou shalt not kill" is more precisely translated as "thou shalt not murder." (Disclosure: I've seen this repeated many places-- I haven't personally researched it. So please rebuke me if I'm mistaken.)

If you oppose capital punishment, fine. I'm perfectly content to respect your right to express your opinion. But don't be disingenuous, and don't pick and choose which passages of Scripture you want to enforce.

The Solution to Illegal Immigration

I have it! I have the answer! I'm brilliant! OK folks, it's very simple. How do you eliminate any type of undesireable behavior? You eliminate the motivation. What's the primary motivation for illegal immigration in America? Employment. So what's the solution? Just three little words: Make Employers Liable.

I propose that any person or company found to be employing an illegal immigrant be fined $5000 per illegal, every time they're caught, even if the employer was unaware. $5K would be not so much as to put a company out of business (usually), but definitely enough to convince an employer not to close his eyes when his employees are likely (or even possibly) undocumented.

If employers refuse to hire illegal workers, then we won't NEED to actively block them or kick them out--they'll leave of their own accord because they won't be able to find work.

Maybe this is impractical for other reasons... I don't know. Maybe with identity fraud, it really ISN'T possible. But we should at least CONSIDER it. Perhaps we could start with lesser fines during the first few years while we work out the kinks in the idea. Say a $500 fine the first year, then $1000, then $2000, then $3500, then $5000.

Once we get that worked out, we can further reduce the motivation by eliminating the constitutional provision that grants citizenship to the babies (born in the US) of illegal immigrants. But that would get a little tricky. To challenge one's status, the onus would have to be on the government to first prove that the parents were indeed illegal, not the other way around.

We could have a statute of limitations, to protect people from the sins of their fathers. I'd suggest that once a US-born illegal reaches the age of 18, even they would be considered a citizen unless the government could prove the person had NOT maintained residency up to the age of 18. (This would also prevent risking the disposition of legitimate citizens.) And for orphaned minors (or those in similar condition), we would show mercy if there were no adult guardian to care for them, and permit them to stay as a non-deportable permanent resident--but they would not have citizenship unless they went through the same process as anyone else with a green card.

I should call my representative.