Monday, January 28, 2008

Barack Obama?

He shocked in Iowa, came second in New Hampshire, and routed in South Carolina. So who is this candidate? I figured since he has momentum and is the media darling it was the right time to post on Barack.

His website is here. The candidate for change: Black, young, and inexperienced. That is a change in itself. So what does he stand for? Let's review the highlights

Foreign Policiy - out of Iraq and invite all to the tables - friends and foes - in hope that by showing America is willing the world and the enemies would sort of gain respect for us again. IMHO, too naive, too inexperienced. Showing the world that we are willing to talk to Iran, North Korea, Cuba etc. will only appease people into thinking ok so far they are not going to war. Will it do anything to advance our purposes with our enemies? No. Will it disarm North Korea? Only when he has no choice left and has realized his tantrums are getting nowhere. Will it halt Iran's nuclear development? Support for Iraq's insurgents? Acceptance of Israel? No, No and No. But then again nadie aprende por cabeza ajena. If he becomes president he will soon realize he will be the only one sitting at that table. The out of Iraq part, at least in definition seems like everyone else.

Immigration - pay a fine, pay taxes, go to the end of the line. Can they become citizens? Apparently so; I'm against any illegal immigrant becoming citizen. They should only be able to get legal residency status. He favors border security, he just doesn't say in which order he would deal with the issues. End of the line? How do you ensure this will happen? They will be in front of new applicants that are sitting in their countries waiting for the process. Anyway you spin this it just does not seem fair. End of the line should mean, go home, fill out paperwork and wait like everyone else. On top of that, pay a fine and pay taxes.

Energy independence - he has the right goal, I just cannot understand what he is proposing

Healthcare - here is a biggie for me. He supports a national health insurance - bad idea. There is no way I can support this. He wants to expand S-Chip - another bad idea. How can you guarantee that only people who truly cannot afford their kids insurance are the ones benefitting? I know families that get their kids in Schip so as not to have to pay the Family insurance and maintain single insurance at their jobs. He does have one thing in his favor here: reduce health care costs....yes! Finally someone realizes the root of the problem. My advice to Obama is to start there first, with the costs. Once healthcare is actually affordable, the insurance problem will be greatly diminished as will the necessity for Medicaid and Schip.

Economy - he brings all his plans in here. I differ with the fund to prevent foreclosures though I agree with making sure lending practices are fair. People should read what they sign; consumers have accountability too. The government is not our parent and we are not helpless children; it is in our best interest and it is our responsibility to know what we are getting into and defend ourselves. I don't get the mortgage tax credit for everyone; everyone has access to it you just have to fill out the correct form. The rest of his ideas we've all heard before, so there is nothing new. It does seem to entail more government involvement, which I oppose. One good thing is the idea of not taxing some senior citizens.

Homeland security - he really doesn't say much other that we are still not safe. Wow, enlightening.

Education - same old same old. Some tax breaks for colleges and those of us with student loans are still getting screwed. How about some relief for those of us whose education turned us into a walking mortgage? Will there be a rescue fund for us as well? Will the government also help us buy a home? Let me tell you it is not easy to secure a mortgage when you have a debt of 50K+ for your education.

Poverty - I don't see anything about migrating people out of welfare, or making welfare a transitional program. That is not good.

Social Security - how he will save this is not known. He addresses other retirement options, but remains silent on how to make sure I will have my check when I reach 65.

Veterans - hey, I'm all for whatever makes veterans taken care of. Healthcare, housing, food, anything. These people risks their lives for us; we should all be second class citizens next to them.

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Illegal Immigration in the news

As mentioned before, Arizona's new illegal immigration law started January 1st. According to early reports, the law seems to be achieving its purpose: illegals are leaving as they get fired or cannot find work and some businesses have raised wages about 30% in order to lure locals. Makes you wonder what measly pay illegals were getting.

Oklahoma has stiffer laws however, as it also makes it a felony to harbor or transport an illegal immigrant. Again many are leaving. In Oklahoma though some are blaming the law for the death of an infant whose parents, scared of deportation, failed to seek medical attention for the infant who had diarrhea for more than 10 days. Hispanic panic caused negligent parenting. I don't mean to sound callous, but the fear of being deported should NEVER be bigger than the love for your child.

Other states are now pursuing similar laws as heartland citizen are fed up with the federal's government lack of enforcement.

The law has had one intended consequence, whose impact is yet to be seen - some legal immigrants are leaving too. Why? Because they have illegal family members.

As the law plays out in Arizona and Oklahoma, illegals go home or move to other states, and both laws get challenged, it would be interesting to see the impact on government services - food stamps, WIC, Medicaid, schools - , private services - hospitals - versus the impact on the economy and the unemployed. With such localized enforcement it should be easy for both sides, pro and con illegal immigration, to measure the true cost or benefit of illegals and serve as a testing ground for immigration overhaul.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

The Rightification of the EU

I hear liberals complain about the right wing here in the states; and sometimes even cite Europe as an example. Granted, not all liberals are ignorant enough to think Europe is more liberal than the U.S. - it is actually conservative on more issues.

So it was with great interest that I read about the European Union's new party. I wonder what would happen if the far right here would follow suit.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The "Switch"

For a while I've been thinking about upgrading my cellphone; after all my contract was up and I could freely enter a 2-year agreement for a new phone. Problem is my provider had NO phones that really enticed me at all.

So, after 8 years - since it was Omnipoint - and with really no complaints at all, I will be leaving T-Mobile for Cingular (AT&T) all in order to get the Blackjack II (need Flash).

I hope T-Mobile doesn't call, it almost feels like breaking up with your boyfriend.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Well, it's official: Fred won't make it to super Tuesday. Now I have no clue who I will vote for in the primaries.... certainly not for McCain, that much I know.

It is sad to see that someone who stood for the principles of the Republican party could be displaced by a bunch of RINOs and a Mormon. This only goes to show that the electorate, in this case the Republican electorate, cannot recognize a good candidate even if it hits them in the face.

I do hope whoever the Republican candidate ends up being, would consider Fred for the VP position; although in reality, I'd really love to see a bipartisan ticket. Wouldn't that be a true sign of a candidate wanting to mend fences and unite the nation. I won't hold my breath.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Craziness down South

Terrorism is defined many ways but it can be reduced to this: attacking civilians for political gains. The difference between terrorism and insurgency (or political opposition) is that the terrorist, unlike the opposer, will mercilessly and purposely attack (kill, harm) civilians in order to coerce the government into their position while the opposer generally will only attack military or political targets.

It is based on that general definition of terrorism that groups like FARC, ELN and Senderos Luminosos have always been labeled as terrorisms by their governments - they kidnap and kill civilians in order to coerce their governments to give them what they want. They create a state of terror in which people are always expectant, always afraid that they will be next.

In the early years some of these groups where protectors of traffickers - so they were "criminals" by definition. Until they got power hungry and greedy.

Last week Chavez had called for these groups to be recognized as political insurgents or opposition groups; yesterday his assembly approved recognition of these groups in Venezuela as political opposers. (sorry only in Spanish so far)

This could spell a lot of political trouble for Chavez and his views of LatinAmerican domination. His relationship with Colombia is on the brink of rupture; and many of the governments of the region distanced themselves from Chavez's comments. But what does this mean?

Recognizing these groups as political insurgents and not terrorists gives the groups more power ideologically and probably supplies a safe haven for them in Venezuela. If Chavez thinks that by doing this he'll earn their support he is sadly mistaken. These groups would just as well take over Venezuela too.

I think this is one decision that both Chavez and his assembly will regret. It will cost him dearly in the region and even worse - it could cost him dearly at home.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Doing the Right Thing

Arizona has decided to do what the government won't do: impose hefty sanctions on businesses who employ illegal aliens including possible revocation of their business license. The law just went into effect this January not without controversy from illegal aliens, friends of illegal aliens and of course Mexico.
The "Legal Arizona Workers Act" prohibits employers from knowingly employing unauthorized aliens. It requires the Attorney General and county Attorney to investigate complaints about employers who hire unauthorized aliens.It makes it unlawful for a person to file false and frivolous complaints against an employer. If an employer knowingly employs an unauthorized alien, the act requires that the employer's business license be permanently revoked. It requires employers to verify their employees through a free federal basic pilot program. the act makes it a crime to take the identity of another to obtain employment.
Michele Malkin has a post regarding a delegation of Mexican lawmakers from Sonora who went to Arizona to lobby against the law arguing their state cannot absorb all the Mexicans that would come home if they cannot find employment in Arizona.

While I know some of you disagree with Michele, I know I sometimes do, I have to agree with her on this and ask the Mexican delegation who's problem that is: theirs.

I applaud Arizona for daring to draft a law that at least looks good on paper, and goes to the extent of making a criminal act to steal someone's identity in order to work. I also applaud the federal courts so far upholding the law. What remains to be seen, however, is if - at this is quite a big if - Arizona will ENFORCE the law.

After all we got to where we are with the illegal immigration problem by not enforcing laws already on the books. So forgive me if I don't hold my breath waiting for this particular law to leave the paper and become actionable.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

One More Reason.... become a vegetarian. I guess I'll have to start looking for label information next time I buy milk or beef.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Real ID not so real anymore

Try as I might, I cannot understand the refusal of some groups, states and citizens to support a national ID. So many other countries have it, and nothing has happened. There is no widespread ID theft in Chile, Spain, Germany or Poland. Canada and the UK are investigating the possibility of enacting a program to include a national ID.

So I was quite pleased when they came up with the Real ID act; while not a national ID at least it seemed to be a step in the right direction in identity documents in this nation. But alas, it's been pushed back to 2014. It had a lot of opposition from civil rights groups and from states who said they couldn't foot the bill. I agree with states, they shouldn't have to entirely foot the bill; the Federal government should've at least given the states 50% of the cost increase to ensure timely and accurate implementation.

I guess Sensenbrenner said it best:
"While this phased-in enrollment of the law may save states some operational funds, it is important to realize that by pushing back the original 3-year deadline till 2017, a full 12 years after the law was enacted, DHS is weakening the intent of the law," Sensenbrenner said in a statement. "A lot can happen in the next 9 years, and I hope our nation does not encounter a situation in that time that will cause us to regret this delay."
I hope so too. Unfortunately, I don't think even another 9/11 will make people realize the importance of having official documents. And for the life of me, I will never understand this McCarthy era fear mongering by civil rights groups.


Iraq and Election 2008

There might be a new agreement in place by July, that would pretty much render the Iraq war as a non-issue in the Election 2008 race. If this happens, I wonder how the Democrats will differentiate themselves from the Republicans - given that a large chunk of their platform is based on the Iraq war - since the agreement will not be "breachable".

While this probably will not sway Democrat voters, it might have an effect on independents. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Call it Bush's last coup de grace.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

A Good Cause

Ladies and Gentlemen, start your wallets.

Your crazy blogger will be attempting to complete a triathlon and will need all your financial (that goes to a good cause) and emotional support!

As soon as the donation page is up, I will post it here. Please, please, once I've posted it, forward it to everyone you know. The goal is kind of high, but I know I can reach it!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Simple Solution

Everyone is up in arms with Indiana's new voting law; Republicans want stricter control over voter authentication, Democrats and the ACLU are crying foul over disenfranchised voters. The case has made it to the US Supreme Court.

It baffles me that this is even a legal case. I side with Indiana in voter authentication; it has always surprised me that I just show up at a poll and give them my name. But this problem has a simpler solution: voter id card with a picture on it!

Your tax dollars at work people.