Rights....

Oct. 7th, 2008 10:48 pm
dwivian: (Gondolier)
Would you say that American children have a "right to an education"? Has this been codified, formally, as a right? Can you defend it being a right, and not something else? If it is something else, what is it?

I have a quandry, and this is the source of it, for now....
dwivian: (head buttocks)
The Department of Health and Human Services wishes to redefine abortion to include any method that terminates a pregnancy. They also wish to define a pregnancy to conception, in order to provide the greatest level of general inclusiveness to people. This change could be used to challenge other rules, and thus permit any entity that receives federal funds to deny access to contraception, as it inherently is an abortifacient under the new rules.

Who receives federal funding? Pretty much every pharmacy in America (getting medicare/medicaid money).

Details here. Activists among us will probably want to make their voices heard.

English!

Jun. 16th, 2008 10:28 pm
dwivian: (Alarmed)
Should Nashville's official language be English? Let your voice be heard! Share this poll! Go vote!

http://www.nashvilleenglishfirst.com/index.php?name=Polls&req=results&pollID=3

I was personally hoping that they'd make it a slavic variant, but nobody seemed interested.....
dwivian: (Default)
How could they do such a thing? The House of Representatives of the 110th Congress voted on a matter of recognition of RELIGION. Can you imagine such things happening in this enlightened age? And, I see so many on my friends lists all pissed off about it!

I mean, really! House Resolution 635 has them recognizing a faith as one of the great religions of the world and "acknowledges" a major holiday, to boot! The nerve!

That is just so wrong!

Oh, wait... you were talking about House Resolution 847, weren't you?

Well, carry on. Bashing Christians is perfectly fine. Just leave Ramadan alone.

(ETA: THOMAS likes to lose my search, so please use the tool to look for the resolution and read the text. Apparently there are no static links into this system that persist.)
dwivian: (Perspective)
I've seen a lot of posts on the immigration issue -- the fact that hiring immigrant labor is only one step above slavery, the fact that America is a country of immigrants itself, the fact that it can be expensive to get sponsorship these days, the fact that a labor force that unifies can spell danger to existing labor unions....

So. My views:

Unless you are currently living in Africa as the latest in an unbroken line of African descendents, you are a child of SOMEONE that immigrated somewhere. There is no difference in my mind between the child of immigrants from 20 years ago or 20,000 years ago. Native americans came here by boat or the Siberian Land Bridge, and I'm sure there are a few Buffalo that would have disputed their rights to the land, had they not been scared away by a cellphone.

And, don't give me that crap that only Europeans were a conquering culture -- the Aztec and Mayans both developed large governments by overtaking those around them. When there are limitations of resource you are going to find competition, and thus groups of people that establish rules that say THEY should be in charge. This is where governments arise. This is why our government exists.

So, why should we assert OUR rights over those we took the land from? Because, ultimately (and to our discredit as a species), might makes right. Territorial rights are no different than trademark rights -- if you don't protect and defend them, they aren't yours. It you defend your territory sufficiently from invaders/squatters/immigrants, then nobody will come in and be a problem. If, on the other hand, you welcome outsiders in, you also welcome their influence in your territory even if they rank no higher than slave. It's up to you to figure out how to deal with it.

Many years ago people would just show up in the ports of American cities, no sponsorship or job awaited them, and they were welcomed through our processing to become residents that may seek citizenship. The work force was abused by management, of course, but it was renewing so there was no risk to management, so long as the body parts were cleared away and didn't interfere with the bottom line. Then, as a part of labor efforts to gain rights, the tide of cheap workers was stemmed. Worker safety became a real issue, as opposed to worker commodity, and management had to bid their jobs higher to get good people. The system worked to help the worker and the immigrant alike. The worker may have a harder time getting into America now, but they have a strong system of support for them when they arrive, to protect their civil rights, their labor rights, and their property rights. Even when America screws up (and we do), there is hope that efforts can be taken to fix the wrong and make it all better.

Even so, there are countries that will treat their citizens far worse than the voyage to America can, who's risk of death at home exceeds the voyage and the attempt to invade, and so they risk their lives to come to our shores. And, if they were coming here to make a better life for themselves, to contribute to the new culture they were joining, that would be fine. This is not their goal. Instead, they seek to create pockets of their own countries inside ours. They claim ownership of our cities, mention secession as a real possibility, and strive to create a hybrid of the land they left (which they hold in higher esteem than it deserves) and America. Just as there is French Quebec, there is Spanish California and Mexican Texas.

The Melting Pot of America is not hot enough to smelt down their nationalism. And, I fear, to make it so would remove the differences that remain, leaving us with a single undifferentiated culture, and I have no interest in such a monstrosity.

So, we must seriously stem the tide. We must work to protect the rights of those that came before, to prevent the abuses that cheap labor can introduce, to teach a respect of our law. In order to remain America, where many different cultures come together, we much work to bring people into our society that want to be a part of the great diversity we have become. And, yes, it will hurt. When it costs more than $20 a day for a laborer, you won't find cheap products at your local megamarts. We will all bear the burden of our preference for quality of life for all. I am willing to take that step, to carry that load, when we push back against the immigrant army.

I doubt a wall would help -- it never kept the Mongols out of China, and I dare say no invading force would be daunted by a humane defense. So, we will have to just collect up every unprocessed person, return them to the border, and repeat until they get tired or they go through the system the right way. We cannot make this invasion felonious, as we want people to strive to become citizens, and that felony conviction would permanently revoke many of their citizenship rights. Instead, we make it a felony for employers to engage in the slave immigrant trade. Make it so expensive that businesses that want the labor will become sponsors for new workers.

That's a good start.

I don't believe in amnesty -- we did that before for over 13 Million immigrants, and we have 11 Million more to show for our good will. It is time to take a stand, to recall our army and national guard, and put them to service in a different desert. Then, let's welcome a few million close friends and workers back to join with us in celebration of a new era.

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