Old Greeks on Oligarchy

And what manner of government do you term oligarchy?

A government resting on a valuation of property, in which the rich have power and the poor man is deprived of it.

And then one, seeing another grow rich, seeks to rival him, and thus the great mass of the citizens become lovers of money.

the rulers, being aware that their power rests upon their wealth, refuse to curtail by law the extravagance of the spendthrift youth because they gain by their ruin; they take interest from them and buy up their estates and thus increase their own wealth

– Plato, Republic VIII

Immigration Reality

This topic has become incredibly difficult for public discussion as both sides have been whipped into a frenzy and see the other side as either destroying the economy or wanting to tear their families apart.  This is not a good environment to have a constructive debate.  The debate has just become more and more destructive.

The fact of the matter is that it is solely the job of the federal government to deal with the issue, but the current administration had publicly denied that responsibility and will not do their job.  I understand why many states are moving to enforce the federal laws themselves, because their enforcement is vital for the security of our country and the stability of our economy.  The federal government also needs to deal with the demand for legal entry to the US.  The majority of immigrants would much rather enter the US legally as it would reduce a lot of stress and complications they face.  Our legal immigration process is completely broken and must be fixed FIRST before we start on other solutions.  When the demand for immigration is met fairly and reasonably, we can then secure our borders with Mexico and Canada.  We can then begin enforcing our current laws (which are more than adequate to handle the issue).  Enforcing our laws before the legal immigration issue has been handled will only inspire a greater feeling of oppression among illegal immigrants who see no other option but to break our laws.  This will make them even more mistrusting of our legitimate immigration policies and systems.

A hard line must be drawn in enforcing the immigration issue.  However, to put enforcement in a preferential position to dealing with the problem that exists right now is to put an ideal before reality.  We must deal with what is, not what we think should be.  These people need to work and we need them here, but forcing them into an illegal underground system where they are unable to participate civilly is unreasonable.  They should be able to pay a fine or receive a reasonable sentence for their crime and then be allowed to contribute to our society legitimately.  The idea of busing them all back across the border, or forcing them all to go back home sounds good to many, but it is an absurd notion and will not work in reality.  This problem is here to stay if we do not solve it with reason.

Here comes 2012

I can’t believe it, but we have almost survived the first (and only) term of Barack Obama’s presidency.  Under his direction we have seen corruption and failure it would have been hard to imagine 10 years ago.  He is still blaming Bush for everything, and while he is right that Bush started this recession, he has done nothing but make it worse.  So today we look forward to what the Republicans can offer in 2012.  Sadly, there isn’t much to be enthusiastic about here either.

First lets consider the two media-dubbed “front runners”, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.  Both of these men are your business-as-usual politician.  Perry is pandering heavily for tea party votes, but for the most part we see right through him.  Romney is a nice guy, and would have made an excellent president back in the late ’90s political environment.  Unfortunately, we face a far more hostile and critical situation today, which I do not think he understands.  He would make an acceptable president if he wins.  Perry doesn’t seem to be trustworthy to me, he seems to be all talk and no substance.  He does not seem to fully understand the tea party positions he promotes.  He cannot explain why small government is better and consistently falls into the media’s trappings where they make him seem like a fool. Continue reading

Ten Years Gone

It has been ten years since the twin towers fell, and our future changed.  The end of decadence and unbridled ambition.  We now find ourselves in a very similar position to that of the late 1920s.

Ten years ago I was a scared high-school senior, watching evil at work in my country.  I remember the feeling of dread I felt and the tense recognition my teachers had as they realized my generation would not be without its own bloody fight for freedom.  I remember patriotic school assemblies and American spirit.  I saw my friends join the military, and later, my family members become Marines.  I have seen them go to war.  I have read about others who never came home.  The fight is not over, but is merely changing direction.  Terrorism will likely never go away, but it has inspired chaos around the world.

I would like to commend those who designed and built the 9/11 memorial.  It is beautiful and a wonderful place to remember.  I wish things had been done differently, but it is good to see the skyline rising from the ashes.  If not freedom tower, maybe they should call it phoenix plaza.  At least that has a nice connotation.

For those that died on 9/11 I have no words, for the firefighters and first responders, I would like to say thank you, but I don’t think that quite covers it.  The best I can offer is to say: I will NEVER forget what happened that morning.