This is an interesting and informative article I found on Huffington Post today. It seems that for all the demonization Republicans heap on Obama for not enforcing the illegal immigration laws, their claim might be up for debate. According to this article, the Obama Administration has deported more illegals than the Bush Administration did. One big difference is the percentage of criminal illegals being deported has risen under Obama. What are your views, thoughts and comments? Is Obama being a hypocrit or is he simply following our established illegal immigration laws and trying to resolve this issue the correct way? Indypendent
Category Archives: Diplomacy
Civility. Compromise. Discussion.
Remember them? Me too. I feel as if I’ve been a witness to their destruction at the hands of Stridency, Volume, and Exclusion.
Consider the news this week. A man with Parkinson’s disease, engaged in the simple act of letting his opinion in the face a of anti-health care reform protest – shouted at, mocked, humiliated. Was he hit or injured? No. Can you say you didn’t believe it was about to happen the first time you saw that video? Me neither. I feared for him and admire his bravery.
Where was the voice of reason in that crowd? I’d like to think I live in a nation where people are not afraid to protect those who need it, regardless of their political stripe. Yet none of the bystanders raised a hand to stop what was going on. “This is wrong, brother. I don’t agree with him either, but this is wrong.” That is all it would have taken. It didn’t happen.
This morning’s news is that Congressmen in favor of health care reform were spat upon and called hateful names that dredge up shameful portions of our nation’s history. What has become of us when men who are responding to the voices of their constituents can be humiliated for doing their job?
An important principle of our nation gives us all a voice. We’re all blessed by that principle. I’m not sure that principle doesn’t imply that we use that voice responsibly. Who in that crowd on Capitol Hill yesterday said “this is wrong brother. I don’t agree with them either, but this is wrong”?
On social media sites, opinions on health care are often met with strident opposing responses that come across as dismissive of opinions other than what the responder holds. Friends and families become estranged because the political atmosphere calls for not only rejection of opposing opinions, but shaming those who hold them.
My son will vote in his first election in November. After seeing the tone of arguments made on-line by admired friends and family, he has made the choice to speak only with his vote on political matters. I’m proud he’ll stay engaged in the process, but saddened that the tone of discussion these days is driving his voice, and probably others, into silence.
This is wrong, brother. We don’t agree, that’s our right, but this atmosphere is wrong.
President Obama left his signature domestic policy in the hands of Congress, and now he is facing the consequences. From the outset of his presidency, Obama invited Congress to devise the details of health care reform legislation — an apparent bid to avoid what happened when President Clinton tried to overhaul health care 17 years ago.
Leaving it to Congress put an unusually glaring spotlight on how Capitol Hill does business. The spectacle of Congress’ horse-trading, secrecy and gridlock has fueled today’s virulent anti-Washington mood. The public’s reaction was all the greater because Obama had campaigned on a promise to change the way Washington did business, and because health care reform engendered such personal high hopes and anxiety. Continue reading
Republicans who attack President Obama over the national debt were unwilling to create a bipartisan deficit commission with him. So the president has decided to go around them: He will issue an executive order on Thursday creating an 18-member deficit commission. The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform will be chaired by Alan K. Simpson, a former Republican senator from Wyoming, and Erksine Bowles, the former chief of staff to President Clinton who brokered a 1997 balanced-budget agreement with Congress. “There isn’t a single sitting member of Congress—not one—that doesn’t know exactly where we’re headed,” Simpson tells The New York Times. “And to use the politics of fear and division and hate on each other—we are at a point right now where it doesn’t make a damn whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican if you’ve forgotten you’re an American.”
A fascinating article by Glenn Greenwald, at Salon.com, not only attempts to categorize (not an easy endeavor) Glenn Beck. Along the way, Greenwald has much to say about the political climate in the states today. To say the bulk of the protesters (teabaggers, etc.) don’t have a clue about what exactly they’re protesting is oversimplification.
Last night during his CBS interview with Katie Couric, Glenn Beck said he may have voted for Hillary Clinton and that “John McCain would have been worse for the country than Barack Obama.” This comment predictably spawned confusion among some liberals and anger among some conservatives. But even prior to that, there had been a palpable increase in the right-wing attacks on Beck — some motivated by professional competition for the incredibly lucrative industry of right-wing opinion-making, some due to understandable discomfort with his crazed and irresponsible rhetoric, but much of it the result of Beck’s growing deviation from GOP (and neoconservative) dogma. Increasingly, there is great difficulty in understanding not only Beck’s political orientation but, even more so, the movement that has sprung up around him. Within that confusion lies several important observations about our political culture, particularly the inability to process anything that does not fall comfortably into the conventional “left-right” dichotomy through which everything is understood.
Some of this confusion is attributable to the fact that Beck himself doesn’t really appear to have any actual, identifiable political beliefs; he just mutates into whatever is likely to draw the most attention for himself and whatever satisfies his emotional cravings of the moment. Although he now parades around under a rhetorical banner of small-government liberty, anti-imperialism, and opposition to the merger of corporations and government (as exemplified by the Bush-sponsored Wall Street bailout), it wasn’t all that long ago that he was advocating exactly the opposite: paying homage to the Patriot Act, defending the Wall Street bailout and arguing it should have been larger, and spouting standard neoconservative cartoon propaganda about The Global Islamo-Nazi Jihadists and all that it justifies. Even the quasi-demented desire for a return to 9/12 — as though the country should be stuck permanently in a state of terrorism-induced trauma and righteous, nationalistic fury over an allegedly existential Enemy — is the precise antithesis of the war-opposing, neocon-hating views held by many libertarian and paleoconservative factions with which Beck has now associated himself. Still other aspects of his ranting are obviously grounded in highly familiar, right-wing paranoia
John O. Brennan outlined the differences between the Obama vs. Bush conceptualization of the fight against terrorism. Not suprisingly, the Obama version is comprehensive, well thought out and adverse to simple slogans for a complex problem. I think we are on the right track now. See Brennan’s speech here.
This morning, I had the opportunity to sleep in. I woke to the sound of my wife getting ready for work and watching the news. She passed on the news that Laura Ling and Euna Lee are on their way home from being captive in North Korea. It is a good day. What could be bad about that?
Well, apparently it can be bad, because according to the Republicans, sending Bill Clinton to speak to the North Koreans was wrong because it gives that countries leaders opportunities to use the release and photos of Kim Jong Il and the former president as propaganda tools. Continue reading
It was quite a treat to come home last week and find I’d been offered the chance to write something for this website. It is certainly one I read and admire. As the week went on, I struggled though; most of what I write isn’t all that political. What could I possibly contribute? Then came the encounter between Professor Gates, the Cambridge Police Department, and the subsequent reaction by President Obama.
In short, I see the President’s handling of this as a great positive, a leap forward over what we endured over the past eight years. But first, a little personal revelation so you’ll know where I am coming from.
I’m a cop. I’m starting my 25th year of service at one of the largest police departments in the country. I’ve worked in our local school system; I’ve been a detective. I started our department’s domestic violence unit. I currently work on the street as a sergeant in an inner city neighborhood. I’m also the senior member of our Hostage Negotiation Team. I teach a mental health intervention class. I’ve been busy. The thought of my oncoming retirement makes me smile.
The facts of the encounter between Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sergeant James Crowley have come out in dribs and drabs. Few, and certainly none of us, know the entire circumstance. There have been no shortage of opinions floated by folks who don’t have any perspective on the situation. Sadly, one of them was the President.
On the one hand, I can’t blame him. He stood behind a person he considers a friend, whose background he knows and respects. If one of my friends ended up in hot water, my first instinct would be to rise to their defense.
On the other, I know that folks in my profession are painted with a broad brush. If Crowley and his department are painted as bumbling and racist, the reality is that that assessment and situation will color how people approach me and the officers I supervise hundreds of miles from Cambridge. Bumbling and racism are things I do not tolerate. So, I was a little frustrated with the President’s reaction. I voted for him, how could he do this to me? Continue reading
“RIP NEDA, The World cries seeing your last breath, you didn’t die in vain. We remember you.”
That Twitter post was from a man who said he is a guitarist from Nashville, Tennessee.
“Don’t be afraid Neda”, her friends and father are telling her as she dies. One blogger posted that Neda was protesting with her father in Tehran when pro-government Basiji militia opened fire and shot her.
“The final moments of her tender young life leaked into the pavement of Karegeh Street today, captured by cell phone cameras,” the unnamed blogger posted on Newsvine.com. “And not long after, took on new life, flickering across computer screens around the world on YouTube, and even CNN.”
With journalists in Iran being arrested, deported and generally shut down, kids on twitter have become the eyes and ears of the world. I see the world changing from the common man’s point of view. Government leaders here, and all over the world are clueless when it comes to the new networking. Not only do they not know how to use it to their advantage, they have no idea how to deal with those who do!
If twitter had been online during the Teinamen Square uprising, we would all know the name of the one brave Chinese sould that we only refer to as “The tank guy”. Thanks to twitter, which suspended scheduled downtime to facilitate the protestors in Iran, the whole world knows about Neda. Shot dead in front of her father on the day we celebrate as father’s day. The most shameful actions brought into the world’s view by the younger Iranians who use modern networks.
On a slightly lighter side, I am thoroughly amused and can relate to the scramble in Washington DC to sign up for twitter. God help us if the congresscritters and lobbyists figure out what 16 year old kids already know.
I feel Obama’s response has been appropriate. I also feel deeply moved by the bravery of these common people. Being on twitter and watching the tweets from Iran while seeing video of Neda has deeply moved me. Many twitter users have either changed or modified thier avatars to anything green as a show of support. I do the only thing that Obama can do. Watch, listen and comment in support. ~sekanblogger
Did you ever think it was silly when you hear people say, WE’RE WITNESSING HISTORY! My first thought was always, “GEE, isn’t every waking moment ‘witnessing history’?” I know, I’m just parsing words. What they surely mean is that we are witnessing milestones, tipping points if you will.
Remember the good ol’ days of the internet, say 8-10 years ago in ancient internet times? We had these quaint things called ‘chat rooms’ and ‘message boards’? I thought that was so cool. Leaving a message that somebody on another continent could read. Wow. Not quite what Kubrick envisioned in 2001 A Space Odyssey. But to me, very cool. My Aunt and Uncle were Kansas dairy farmers who just got electricity and plumbing in the mid 1950’s.
So what’s the big milestone? The Iranian (so-called) election, or rather the way it is being exposed! A phony rigged election in a theocracy, I have no doubt that will happen again. The milestone is that we have reached the age of super-connectivity. An exponential proliferation of connectivity, made possible by; Emails, Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, del.icio.us, Digg this!, Linkedin, Reddit and RSS feeds.
Not to mention the old fashioned thing you’re reading now, a blog post. Many blogs are networked to ALL of these, making them accessible practically everywhere. And, here’s the Big Brother part, the proliferation of cheap mobile devices that access any or all of these in virtually real-time.
No longer can an oppressive nation publish strictly controlled press releases and suppress the truth for any period of time. Even though the Iranian govt has tried, the networks have just become overwhelming! Just as electrical grids are re-routed when one connection fails, modern networking has proved to resistant to attempts to block and disrupt the flow! I believe that the 2009 Iranian farce elections should be held as an epic moment, just as Tienamen Square is now.
The Iranian people were not allowed to be counted in their own country, dismissed as mere ‘motes of dust’. They will not be dust to the rest of the world. Their voices have become a swarm on every network possible. The age of governments hiding their deeds behind ‘iron curtains’ is over. We, the citizens of the world can be the antithesis of the Owellian Big Brother. Let North Korea’s people be heard next!
Okay, enough playing politics for NOW. For more about networks – Continue reading
1. Spend 5 minutes at the beginning of each day remembering we all want the same things (to be happy and be loved) and we are all connected to one another.
2. Spend 5 minutes breathing in, cherishing yourself; and, breathing out cherishing others. If you think about people you have difficulty cherishing, extend your cherishing to them anyway.
3. During the day extend that attitude to everyone you meet. Practice cherishing the “simplest” person (clerks, attendants, etc) or people you dislike.
4. Continue this practice no matter what happens or what anyone does to you.
These thoughts are very simple, inspiring and helpful.
The practice of cherishing can be taken very deeply if done wordlessly, allowing yourself to feel the love and appreciation that already exists in your heart.
“I was six when I saw that everything was God, and my hair stood up, and all,” Teddy said. “It was on a Sunday, I remember. My sister was a tiny child then, and she was drinking her milk, and all of a sudden I saw that she was God and the milk was God. I mean, all she was doing was pouring God into God, if you know what I mean.” J.D. Salinger -(Teddy, 1954)
I would like to ask a question. This is the same question I ask every new minister at our church. Do you believe that men like Ghandi and the Dalai Lama will be punished in the afterlife, for no other reason than not being called a Buddhist or Hindu? ~sekanblogger
The credit industry is scared and willing to settle debts on the cheap right now. If you have credit card debt and they are hounding you, offer them 50% of what you owe IF they will settle the debt and close the account.
A 50% OFF SALE ON DEBT.
I’m not kidding. Be firm. Don’t let them dick you around. Offer them half and tell them if they don’t take it you are moving to the next person on the list.
I payed off my debt just like that. By the way that’s me digging in the garbage there. I payed off debt and got some used furniture free this week.
Do it now before congresscritters SELL OUT to the banking industry’s lobbyists. The fight on The Hill is starting already. I have a feeling the K street boys have plenty of money. If you can settle before they’re sure thay have Obama on their payroll, do it. NOW.
North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan…the list goes on. So, how does Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cope? By requesting the advice of her predecessors, apparently. On Tuesday all but one of the living secretary’s of state convened at Madeline Albright’s home in Washington, D.C. to talk diplomacy. The list of those seated at the dinner table was full of political all-stars, including Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, and James Baker. The only one missing was Alexander Haig.
And after she asks all those who have experience and knowledge she will be well prepared to make decisions for America. I’m proud of her.
What do you think of the job Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is doing?