Friday, December 4, 2009

Immigration Pains

One of the most debated topics in our government is over immigration laws and how we should enforce them. In Obama’s campaign for presidency he noted that one of his initial priorities would to suggest a series of laws that would essentially allow illegal immigrants to become legal with some restrictions. So far we have heard nothing on the status of this plan, or any plan for immigration for that matter, which frankly disappoints me. I understand that illegal immigration causes an unwanted population boom, but these days it is just too difficult to enter the United States legally. Now, that’s not to say that I support illegal immigration, but I can understand the reasoning for doing what they do.
To enter the United States, the popular course of action is to enter the U.S. and obtaining a work visa while applying for citizenship. This sounds simple enough, but it is a very painstaking process that I completely reject. Finding job is hard enough for people who are already citizens, let alone someone looking to start anew in our “prosperous” country. Secondly, while waiting for citizenship, years can go by and some people are deported during this long period of being stuck on a waiting list. Not only that, but we can only accept so many immigrants at one time, so if we can only take 8,000 out of 9,000 I guess some people are just going to have to miss out. I am fully aware that these obstacles are necessary to keep our population from getting way to out of hand, but I think that we could develop a better plan. Who knows, if we make legal immigration less painful we may even see less and less illegal immigration.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Fort Hood Under attack review"

I think that your post entitled, “Fort Hood Under Attack”, regarding the incident at fort hood isn’t really a commentary about the U.S. national government. All you really did was recount what happened and give some opinion about how what happened was “wrong” and that you hope the person responsible will receive due punishment. This is a good opinion to defend, but I could not immediately see a direct tie to the nation government, and you do not provide a connection in your post itself. After careful thought and dissection of your post, I noticed that you could have made an argument about the fact that this person had been posting threats on the internet, but the government had failed to notice. If they had simply noticed this fact earlier then perhaps this situation could have been avoided. Although this could have been a connection to make, you did not argue any position on the subject so I believe that this was not meant to be your main point. The overall tone of your post is extremely against this action taking place, but again, I do not see this as a topic of national government, that could just be me though. I think that this topic has potential to become an argument over a topic of national government, but right now all I read is a summary of a terrible event that took place in Fort Hood, with some work I think that you could definitely develop a very strong argument.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wiretapping without a warrant? ok... NOT!

Oh nation has, and always will be concerned with matters of having or abusing powers. From the time of our nation’s birth, the founding fathers first action was to limit the power as to not allow a single person to have absolute rule over the citizens of the United States of America. In 2005, the issue of power was tested when former President, George W. Bush, authorized the wiretapping of cell phones without the necessary warrant. Somehow, he got off with barely a scratch even though the United States is usually so concerned with invasion of privacy.
I think that this should have resulted in an impeachment for breaking the law. There should not have even been an argument over whether or not his actions were appropriate, it is unacceptable for the man that is supposed to be the face of our country to be able to break the law so easily, and then be able to back up his reasoning for doing so.
This situation is more than just breaking the law, however, and also addresses the popular issue of presidential powers. The executive branch was originally designed to have close to no power as to avoid a tyranny. The more modern idea is that the President does have the most power, but indeed that would most likely be congress. In order to defend his actions, Bush claimed that this was a duty under his power of Chief executive, a power that has never been clearly defined. I think that is a complete stab in the dark just for any excuse that would free him from blame. I also think that the President should not take advantage of the loosely defined power. If Bush is able to get away with wiretapping our cell phones then what is going to be alright for a president to do next? Things will quickly begin to get out of hand if we do not do something about the growing powers of the executive branch before these powers are unstoppable.

Friday, October 23, 2009

"Smart cars" for drunks

The New York Times article, Progress on drunken driving, explains the advantageous uses of the "ignition-interlock devices" in California, preventing known drunken drivers from starting their car if that don't pass a built in breathalyzer test. I agree that this device would prevent many drunken drivers from hitting the road, but I do not think that the author posed his argument very well.

The idea of preventing drunks from driving is very appealing to the kind of reader that does not drink, has had an incident with a drunk driver, or is just worried about drunk driving in general, but for those that have been drunk while driving, this device probably doesn't sound too great. To them this device will feel like an encroachment on the privacy that American's seem to hold so dearly. The way that the article is presented, in a very condemning tone, seems to push the product only because it would prevent drunks from hitting the road. The article fails to mention any flaws in the system that one should know about, including short circuiting the system, or perhaps even using someone else's breath to start the car. I am also sure that a majority of voters will have been drunk while driving once in their lifetime, and therefore would reject this device if all they knew about it was that it stops you from driving if you don’t pass the test.

I do agree that drunken drivers are a big problem across all of America, and that this device would help limit their numbers, but I think that this article does a poor job of presenting this argument. The people of California will, of course, no base their vote on this single article, but when arguing for something this important, one should present all the facts.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Home Run Health Care

Health care has become a main topic of discussion in the white house ever since Obama has become president, but congress seems unable to settle on any aspect of the conflict. The editorial, “Time for Congress to step to plate", by Cecile Richards, talks about Senator Baucus’ bill on health care, and just on health care in general. She first talks about the failure of a bill, in her opinion, which was presented by senator Max Baucus. She then proceeds to write about her opinions over the health care subject. I agree with her opinions on both Baucus’ bill and health care in general. She describes the first as being a sacrifice bunt for others to work off of. He might not gain any ground with it, but he certainly opens the field for others. However, just because the field is open doesn’t mean that we are suddenly going to have a perfect “home run” bill presented to us. Richards’ other argument over how congress seems to be not taking any action over our health care situation. I agree that congress just seems to be stalled over petty arguments even though we need to make progress in this area before it is too late. Some of these opinions I had formed before I read this article, but even if I had no prior knowledge on the subject I think that the devices that Richards uses would still persuade us to agree with her. First, she uses the analogy of baseball to help us understand her points better. America is not as knowledgeable with the government as we used to be, so using baseball is a great way to catch attention and to provide an easy to understand explanation of the situation. Because of this analogy, I think her intended audiences are the regular citizens of the United States. If it were intended for people involved in the government already, then she wouldn’t need the baseball analogy for explanation. Even if I agree with her, however, there is nothing left to do but listen and wait for someone to finally pull ahead in this very heated debate over health care in the United States.

Friday, September 18, 2009

How far is too far?

While trying to bring the United States out of debt, war, and an economy that never seems to rise, the government has taken more control than they have in the past. This may be necessary with a nation where its citizens seem oblivious to its government, but how far is too far? Are we, the citizens of America, just going to sit and daydream while our government obtains more power over our everyday lives? Of course, it’s too early to say that anything like that will happen, but the possibility is there. In the article "Loans R U.S." by Rachel Martin and Mary Bruce, this is addressed. The article discusses a bill that will allow student loans to come straight from the U.S. treasury. This will enable more loans to be made in this economically harsh time, but it also grants more power towards our government. On the one hand, students are being hit hard economically, but Dan Burton points out that, "government control doesn't work." Both are true, therefore this article should be read by all so that we may form our own opinions over the matter, and become more knowledgeable about our government at the same time.