Saturday, May 1, 2010

Shakira, Go Home

We don’t need international celebrities telling us what to believe in or what our government should do, especially when THEY AREN’T CITIZENS.

The Colombian singer said when she was in Arizona on Thursday, she thought about how the new law would affect her. ‘If this law was already in effect today, for example, I could be detained and arrested and taken away because I don't even have my driver's license here. I'm completely undocumented here,’ Shakira said.”

If Shakira wants to be able to vote on the Arizona immigration law, then she should move to Arizona and become a citizen. But you notice…she didn’t mention that possibility in her interview. Hey, Craig Ferguson decided to become a citizen. If it’s good enough for him, then it’s good enough for her.

And in that same tone, I really dig this woman: “Sue Schwartz says she's been called a racist so many times she doesn't mind the label anymore. If wanting immigrants to enter the country legally, like her great-grandparents from Mexico, and obey the laws of the land makes her racist, then so be it, she says firmly. ‘I'm getting to the point I wear it with pride,’ says Schwartz, a lifelong Arizonan who has warily watched the growth of the illegal immigrant population in the state over the course of her life.” Sue Schwartz GETS it.

"'If I entered another country illegally I'd go to jail, yet they're demanding better treatment than their government would give us,’ she says.” DAMN SKIPPY.

“Sporting a white baseball cap that that reads, "100% American Citizen," Schwartz says she believes that SB 1070 came about because law enforcement in Phoenix was fed up over not being able to ask suspects about their immigration status.” That’s probably true. But would this then make racial profiling legal, thanks to a loophole, in Arizona?

Friday, April 30, 2010

Fla. boy with leukemia has special visit with Norfolk SEALs

"The sleeves of Colton Seybert's green and brown camouflage uniform have to be rolled up a few extra times. His top hangs a little too low and his pants fit baggier than military dress codes might allow. Finding combat boots in kids' size 5 presents a small challenge. It's not every day that the U.S. Navy outfits a 10-year-old.”

It takes a lot for me to get all mushy over a kid. I’m more likely to get teary eyed over an animal than a kid, especially over a kid I don’t know, but this article in The Virginian-Pilot today really tugged at my jaded, hardened old heartstrings. I actually got a little misty over this article.

“Colton is visiting Norfolk this week with his mom, his dad and his little brother. The Make-A-Wish Foundation paid for their trip. The reason they're here? Colton wished to be a Navy SEAL.”

I mean, seriously, how can ANYONE not be touched by this? One poster, in the comments story online, made a wonderful point: this little boy could have chosen anything for his wish. He could have gone to Disneyland, Universal Studios, probably have met an athlete or gone to a sporting event. Instead, he wanted to be a Navy SEAL. How humbling is that? You already know who his heroes are. If he stays healthy, I wonder if Colton will enlist someday in the military. I can see him as a future sailor.

“So that the family wouldn't see all unfamiliar faces when they arrived in Norfolk, Schroeder made a trip to Florida two weeks ago to meet them.” The local SEALS even welcomed Colton’s younger brother and parents. Our military community really rocks! How awesome is all that?

These are the guys who are trained in things we can only guess at and go on missions most of us never hear about, but they took time out of their schedules to spend a couple of days with a  little boy that idolized them because of the little he knows about them and their jobs. This experience will stay with Colton his entire life. I think that’s a wonderful gift the local SEAL community gave him.

Why Does Obama Need to Do More?

Because I feel like some of my previous posts about Obama have been ragging on him, today’s entry is one to convince people to lay off the man. We’ve all heard about the leaking oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, right? It happened on April 20, because of an explosion. This is a terrible thing, aside from the thousands and thousands of gallons of oil headed toward Louisiana right now, but also because of the 11 rig workers that are missing and presumed dead.

BP owns the rig and they are working to contain the oil and plug the leaks. BP CEO Tony Hayward was on The Today Show on NBC just yesterday morning. He said BP is willing to continue working to clean up the Gulf but would also accept any help from anyone that came their way: the government, the military, you name it. Hell, the Coast Guard is out there, working side by side with BP. “As the expanding oil slick threatens marshlands and wildlife along the coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi, BP faces perhaps the biggest public relations challenge an oil company has experienced in the U.S. since the Exxon Valdez tanker disaster in Alaska in 1989.” In my own opinion, I don’t think this disaster will really affect the public’s perception of BP as a corporation. They are owning up to it and taking responsibility and accepting help. However, my own little opinion and the work BP is doing now doesn’t diminish the ecological problems the Gulf coast may face in the future because of this spill.

That being said, where does Obama come into this? On the Today show this morning, Anne Thompson was doing an on-air report, and to paraphrase, she said, “There are those people who think Obama is not doing enough right now with this disaster.”

“No new offshore drilling will be authorized until authorities learn what caused the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, an aide to President Barack Obama said Friday as oil oozed ashore in Louisiana.” I agree with this. There needs to be an evaluation of the rig and others like it currently in use, so there’s not a problem with waiting on future drilling.

I would imagine some people against the wait will complain that gas prices are going up and if we drilled now, we could drive the prices back down…never mind it would take time to turn that oil into something usable for the general public.

But other than a call to wait on offshore drilling, what more is Obama supposed to do? Should he and Joe Biden go suit up and get out the Gulf to work alongside the BP engineers and Coast Guard, and try to contain the spill so they can burn it off the surface of the water? As the Commander in Chief, I think Obama is doing his job just fine where this spill is concerned by having the Coast Guard out there. He’s not an engineer or an oil expert, or even an environmental volunteer of any kind. I think the Obama-hating public needs to realize he is doing what he can by calling off future drilling.

I bet Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, the President of Iceland, wasn’t blamed for a lack of involvement when the volcano started spewing ash that shut down European airports.

But maybe that’s part of the American way of thinking. We’re spoiled because this country was settled by those seeking religious freedoms. Over time, maybe it’s given us a mindset that citizens of other countries might not have: we can have and do whatever we want, blaming others when convenient. Obama is doing just fine. Get off his back.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

It’s a sad day for Happy Meals in Santa Clara County

"Happy Meal toys and other promotions that come with high-calorie children's meals will soon be banned in parts of Santa Clara County unless the restaurants meet nutritional guidelines approved Tuesday by the [Santa Clara] county Board of Supervisors… Voting against the measure was Supervisor Donald Gage, who said parents should be responsible responsible for their children.

As someone without children, I think this is a little dumb. I don’t see parents as needing those toys to control their children. It’s just a little prize to go along with the meal. I remember as a kid, a kids’ meal somewhere was a little treat in itself. To me, this screams out as being a case of nanny government.

And I have to admit that as an adult, I’m a little insulted about it. I tend to collect the odd toy occasionally, usually ones from movie tie-ins. In fact, I intend to stop at Burger King to see if I can get the 7” tall Iron Man figure in their kids’ meal. So if I lived in Santa Clara County, I’d have to go to a BK in another county.

I see one minor and one major loser in this scenario. The minor loser would be the toy companies that make and distribute the toys to the restaurants. Off hand, I can’t even imagine how many companies that would be. BK, KFC, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Hardee’s, McDonald’s, Chik Fil-A, how many other restaurants have toys in their kids’ meals? In only Santa Clara County (for the time being), those companies might feel a small dip in their sales.

The major loser would be all of those chain restaurants in Santa Clara County. Parents (and toy collectors) might start taking their business out of Santa Clara and go to other restaurants. Which, when you see that idea in black and white, it seems a little extreme, but, will the kids’ meals be dropped in price in Santa Clara since there won’t be any toys? Their sales might drop more than the toy companies" sales.

“Supervisor Ken Yeager, who sponsored the measure…’This ordinance breaks the link between unhealthy food and prizes.’" Ummmm, not necessarily. The “adult” meals don’t come with prizes, so that link still could exist in some people’s minds.

“As a compromise to win majority support, the five-member board agreed to put off implementing the measure for 90 days, to give the fast-food industry time to come up with a voluntary program for improving the nutritional value of children's meals.” How is that supposed to happen? You “expect” an entire industry to come up with a way to improve the nutritional value of their meals? Sometimes, the test kitchens work on new menu items for MONTHS before they are introduced to the public. I’m sure the board “created” the 90 day grace period to make it seem like they are giving the fast food industry a fighting chance. That’s kind of insulting too, I think.

I don’t believe this ordinance will actually last in Santa Clara County. I think it will be rescinded. I don’t believe the fast food corporations will allow the Board to override their business decisions like that. That’s not the Board’s decision to make.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mexico warns citizens may be "harassed" in Arizona

“Mexico warned its citizens living in or traveling to Arizona that they could be "harassed" there after the state passed one of the toughest immigration laws in the United States last week.

“Arizona's Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed a bill into law last week that makes it a crime to be in the state illegally and requires police to check the status of people they reasonably suspect to be illegal immigrants.”

Is this so bad? The article by Mica Rosenberg and Miguel Angel Gutierrez goes on to say, “The law, decried by critics as discriminatory, will force immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times once it takes effect 90 days after Arizona's current legislative session ends.” This doesn’t seem too out of the ordinary.

For example, according to the U.S. Department of State web page for Costa Rica, “Tourists are encouraged to carry photocopies of the passport data page and Costa Rican entry stamp on their persons, and leave the original passport in a hotel safe or other secure place.” In fact, if I remember correctly from my own travels to Honduras and Vietnam, the U.S. Department of State recommended that for both those countries for American citizens.

But back to the Reuters article. “President Barack Obama denounced the Arizona law as misguided and has ordered monitoring of its implementation. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs has warned that other states could also bring in tough immigration laws if there is no national comprehensive immigration reform.”

This makes me think of two points.

1. Ummmm, are we surprised that Obama denounced the law? He had an aunt living in the United States illegally. The WhizBang Blog described her in this way: “The AP reports today that not only is she in this country illegally, but that she was ordered out of the country four years ago. Obviously, she refused to leave. That makes her a deportation fugitive.” Doncha think he might be a little soft on the status of illegal aliens in this country? The Right Wing News reported she supposedly donated to his campaign, but they didn’t say how much. There could be some importance to their relationship, although I haven't read anything about it.

According to Boston.com, she was supposed to have left in February of this year.

2. Other states might create tougher immigration laws in response to Arizona’s? Bring it on! Do residents of Hampton Roads remember Alfredo Ramos from 2007? “Alfredo Ramos was ordered to serve 24 years in prison and then be deported for the drunken driving crash that killed two teenage girls in March. If he tries to return to the country, he faces additional time, a judge said Monday…The case of an illegal Mexican immigrant who had three prior criminal convictions involving alcohol made national headlines.”

This jerk off didn’t even speak English! And apparently, he STILL thought it was a good idea to drink and drive, even more so in a country where he couldn't speak or read the road signs!

And Ramos wasn’t the only one. On a larger scale, what about known 9/11 terrorist, Mohammed Atta? He was pulled over on July 5, 2001 for speeding and given a verbal warning.

I’m not trying to turn all conspiracy theorist here, as I know that not all illegal aliens are here to kill people. But this is the United States of America...why shouldn't we keep better track of the visitors that come here? If we were stricter on how long people could legally stay here, then maybe, just maybe, we would have fewer Alfredo Ramos and Mohammed Attas to deal with. I'm sure most states, if not all, have had illegal alien problems to try to take care of.

Because the problem at the heart of this issue is just that: ILLEGAL ALIENS. People who come to the United States from other countries, legally, to work and be productive members of society, and maybe to become citizens someday, are welcomed with open arms. Without them, this country wouldn't remain the melting pot of the world.

Yes, this does seem like a measure directed at Latin and South Americans, especially Mexicans. There will be some initial confusion, as I'm sure there will be American citizens that look Hispanic that will be asked for ID to prove their citizenship. But those citizens, and the legal visitors to Arizona, might be somewhat insulted during the process. In a way, it is racial profiling (I could probably go to Arizona as a white woman and not have anyone ask me to prove that I am a citizen). I can understand that, but this is going to happen, whether its welcomed or not.