Who the Hell is Rand Paul?

The shock waves are still filtering down, a "bagger" winning in Kaintuck and beating the GOP's establishment candidate of choice, but the reality is far more subtle and complex.

Those who wish to understand the Tea Party movement should understand that there are really two of them: the Sarah Palin, pro-war, pro-torture Neocon wing and the Ron Paul-based Libertarians, who both employ the same small gubmint rhetoric while arriving at it from vastly different perspectives.

During the Rand Paul campaign one of the most contentious episodes was the debate among his supporters, who were responsible for the hugely successful "money bombs" which raised large amounts of money for chosen candidates, over whether to accept a Palin endorsement of Paul the Younger.  The vast majority of Paulers, Rand Paul's base, consider Palin a war-monger Neocon and Constitution-shredder, in contrast to Rand Paul's tendency to follow his father's philosophy of considered non-intervention in foreign affairs and slamming US empire-building in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Many of Paul's early supporters swore that they would be done with Rand Paul if he embraced Palin.

Others saw Palin's overtures as an effort to latch onto Paul's popularity, which resonated with conservative voters who insisted that although they opposed Obama and everything he stood for, they would not be tools of the establishment GOP either.  

In the blogs and forums of the Tea Parties frequent reference was made to Hannity/Limbaugh attempts to portray the Tea parties as anti-Obama outpouring, with scornful remarks added to the effect that "yes, we are against Obama, but we're not yours either."  If anything the Tea Parties reflected an anti-incumbent sentiment which sprang from the bipartisan TARP and subsequent financial services industry bailouts, when fiscal conservatives learned what the anti-war left going back to the Impeach Bush Movement already knew.  Despite a truly impressive outpouring of anti-bailout phone-calling and lobbying even by organizations such as the anti-illegal-immigration ALIPAC, the politicians simply no longer gave a shit what anyone but their corporate benefactors thought.  Main Street felt the sting of pure powerlessness, and vowed primary challenges.  

Rand Paul accepted Palin's embrace, with supporters arguing slyly that it was Palin who would now be schooled, not the other way around.  Palin's outreach was seen for what it was by more pragmatic Paul supporters: an attempt to appropriate some of the luster Paul was enjoying, which they argued would help him more than hurt him, by bringing the You-betcha-winking, anti-elitist side of the social divide over to Paul's side.  It was a tactical move, and as far as Rand Paul's true feelings about civil liberties and war, the inch to the right was not a worry since this was above all Ron Paul's son, and that "the acorn does not fall far from the tree."  

Paul's anti-torture, pro-civil liberties, anti-war supporters, who were in essence his base, argued that it was time to grow up and this was an election with potential for victory.  For the moment, there was no time to educate all of Kentucky on the beauty of the Constitution.  

Although Paul stuck to his guns on the Constitution and civil liberties against the attacks of primary opponent Trey Grayson that he was "weakening America" and leaving it "vulnerable to attack," Paul was forced to concede after watching his polls drop that perhaps "enemy combatants" captured on "the battlefield" did not "deserve" the rights inherent in a civilian trial, but rather a military tribunal.  

This concession cost Paul further support from his pro-Constitution, anti-Neocon base, but supporters saw it as a necessary evil in the superheated primary environment.  

Paul's civil liberties issues page reads:

The Founding Fathers warned of a Federal Government bent on usurping the power, rights, and privacy of its States and citizens. In the last nine years, the Federal Government has expanded the scope of its power at an alarming rate, while blatantly ignoring the Constitution.

Whether it’s passing the 315 page Patriot Act without a single member of Congress ever reading the bill, proposing a National ID Card, establishing FISA courts and utilizing warrantless searches, or betraying the medical privacy of ordinary citizens, the Federal Government has overstepped its limited powers as stipulated in the Constitution.

The good news is that the Republican voters of Kentucky's closed primary have rejected the fear-mongering, pro-war GOP establishment figure of Trey Grayson, a Dick Cheny replica who never met a form of torture he didn't like.  Paul's victory presents the spectacle of a pro-Constitution Republican who in foreign affairs likes to quote Eisenhower and calls out "the military-industrial-complex."  Socially he is every bit as conservative as his father. The question for Democrats is where in this new and interesting political continuum will they position themselves.  Paul is no Trey Grayson, but neither is he a friend to Obama.

Rand Paul Youtube on Foreign Policy

 

 

Moses & The Constitution

Today's Constitution is a realistic document of freedom only because of several corrective amendments. Those amendments speak to a sense of decency and fairness that I and other Blacks cherish. – Thurgood Marshall

The one thing that troubles me about many on the right and the left is both sides belief that the Constitution is untouchable and engraved in stone. The American Constitution despite the proclamations of tea-baggers was not written by the hand of God Almighty, instead it was written by a group of 18th century men with the limited knowledge of the world and history that they had. I will grant strict constructionists the fact that many of the concepts they enshrined in the constitution were ahead of their time, but let’s not forget all of the concepts that they neglected in the document or perverted due to their prejudices. All “men” were created equal so long as they were men, white, and property owners.

I believe that instead of looking at the constitution as absolute and complete we need to view it as a living, breathing document. A document whose basic tenets we hold untouchable but one where we also recognize that it can be amended to include those situations that men of the 18th century would never have imagined would exist. How could we expect them too, unless we believe that it was written by the hand of God a position which I personally do not subscribe to? Students of history can attest to the fact that the complexion of our country has changed dramatically and continues to change. There are those who want to cling to the America of the 18th century in the false hope that the sands of time can be stopped by the sheer will of stubbornness and ignorance.

What does it mean to be a strict constructionist? Does it mean that you believe that the constitution was complete as originally written or does it mean it was complete after certain amendments? I have never been sure what exactly these people believe. As a member of one of the groups who were originally left out of the constitution I find it difficult to accept the completeness of the original document. We are not the society we were in the 1700’s and we will never be again. Our society and our country are evolving and if we believe that our constitution will not have to evolve then we are laying the foundation for our demise into irrelevancy. I find it interesting that those who label themselves strict constructionists are usually those who were included in the original document and therefore believe that there is no reason to make it more inclusive.

"With regard to that we may add that when we are dealing with words that also are a constituent act, like the Constitution of the United States, we must realize that they have called into life a being the development of which could not have been foreseen completely by the most gifted of its begetters. It was enough for them to realize or to hope that they had created an organism; it has taken a century and has cost their successors much sweat and blood to prove that they created a nation. The case before us must be considered in the light of out whole experience and not merely in that of what was said a hundred years ago. The treaty in question does not contravene any prohibitory words to be found in the Constitution. The only question is whether [252 U.S. 416, 434] it is forbidden by some invisible radiation from the general terms of the Tenth Amendment. We must consider what this country has become in deciding what that amendment has reserved." – Oliver Wendell Holmes

I believe that the constitution has been incorrectly interpreted in decisions like Dred Scott, the Santa Clara County decision, and even today with the recent decision to allow corporations unlimited campaign funding. These decisions have one thing in common and that is they were decided using strict constructionist views. The courts rather than applying the standards of the period they were in chose to retain the standards of the original framers complete with their prejudices and ignorance. As the President continues to fill vacancies on the court, as groups like the tea party continue to call for strict constructionist reading of the constitution, as states continue to enact draconian legislation, and as the threat of terrorism continues to loom over us it is important that as nation we define what we stand for. Do we stand for a society that is inclusive and believes in the value of all people or will we continue to claim this right only for those who look like we do?

The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy - Charles de Montesquieu

The Disputed Truth

Arizona and the Alien-Nation of America

by Walter Brasch

             My father, a federal employee with a top secret clearance, carried a copy of his birth certificate when he went into Baja California from our home in San Diego. Many times, when he tried to reenter the U.S., he was stopped by the Border Patrol. He had thick black hair and naturally dark skin, and the Patrol thought he was a Mexican brazenly trying to sneak back into the country by claiming to be married to the black-haired, blue-eyed, light-skinned woman he claimed was his wife.

            If my father were still alive, and chose to drive into Arizona or to walk on the streets of any of its cities or towns, he probably would be stopped and asked to provide identification. Naturally, he wouldn't be carrying a U.S-issued visa or Mexican-issued passport, since he was an American citizen. He probably wouldn't even be carrying his birth certificate, since he would have assumed he was traveling within the United States, and there was no need to carry it. He would probably have a Social Security card and his California-issued ID card—he didn't have a driver's license because he was blind in his left eye—but both of those could easily have been forged.

            After a few minutes, he would probably be released by the local police officer, perhaps after providing his federal identification. But, maybe a few hours later, he'd be stopped again, perhaps by a sheriff's deputy, constable, or even a mall's part-time security guard.

            Everyone under SB1070, signed into law by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, April 22, can be stopped and searched by any officer for any reason, and required to produce documentation that they are in the United States legally. A hastily-added amendment a week later modified the original law to require that police have to have a reason to stop persons. The reason could be as simple as the officer claiming the suspect was loitering, jaywalking, or playing a car radio too loud. The law also allows any citizen to file suit against any law enforcement agency if the citizen believes the state law isn't being followed. Pushed by a fearful citizenry and a politically opportunistic Republican party, the bill takes effect in August.

            Legislators from several states, including Pennsylvania, have followed Arizona's lead. Pennsylvania State Sen. Daryl Metcalf (R-Butler) filed HB2479, which almost duplicates Arizona's law. With inflammatory rhetoric at the bill's introduction, Metcalf told about rapes and murders, about the "financial drain" upon the state's economy. The bill will probably die in committee. Even if it should get majority votes in both houses, Gov. Ed Rendell says he will veto it.

            Forget the constitutional concepts of "due process" and "probable cause." Under Arizona's new law, persons are presumed guilty until they produce identification that they are innocent. And, disregard the Constitutional mandate that immigration is the responsibility of the federal, not the state, government. What Arizona saw was that about a half-million persons, mostly Hispanic, were in their state illegally. They saw that the federal government wasn't effective at sealing the southern border, even after 9/11. They saw that President Bush had tried to reform immigration policies, only to have to back down when he faced a divided Republican party. They saw that President Obama has tried to assure the safety of Americans, but that a squabbling Congress rendered any reform inert. And they also realized that for many years, adequate funds were not put into the budget of the Border Patrol.

            They also saw a significant increase in crime, including drug trafficking, kidnapping, and murder by illegal immigrants. They saw thousands of immigrants living in squalor, dozens in the same room, forced to work at starvation wages to pay back the gangs that brought them north. Anglo and Hispanic residents had become afraid of living in their own houses because of the gangs.

            They also saw myriad problems caused by illegal immigrants who came north and gave birth to what are known as "anchor babies," so the children would become U.S. citizens and the parents, still in the country illegally, could not be deported. They saw that undocumented workers were somehow "stealing" their taxes by getting food stamps, welfare, and aid to families with dependent children.

            Although there is increased crime because of the presence of persons from Mexico and Central America who are in the country illegally, most undocumented workers are law-abiding residents. They don't go to the ER and get "free" medical help or try to scam the system by claiming welfare payments, since most believe that just registering for medical help or welfare could lead to them being identified as illegal residents and deported. But they do want their children to be in school, to get an education, perhaps to become American citizens.

            The Hispanic immigrants, with their gangs, are no different from those of any other culture, which developed gangs and societies that were originally designed to help and protect them from exploitation, but did so using fear and criminal activity. The Irish came to America in the mid-1800s, but they also developed Tammany Hall and the Molly Maguires. The Chinese had to deal with the Tong gangs. The Italians brought with them the Mafia. The Russians and eastern Europeans in the latter part of the 20th century are dealing with the Bratva, the "brotherhood," sometimes known as the Russian Mafia. But, like most Hispanics, most Irish, Chinese, Italians, eastern Europeans, and every other cultural minority, were and still are law-abiding citizens who only want to live in peace. Americans have a long history of hatred for newly-arrived immigrants, who later become assimilated, and continue the hatred against the next culture to try to assimilate into American society.

            There is also another part of American history that is overlooked by the masses. When the Native Americans first greeted Columbus, they met a man who spoke his native Ligurian, as well as Portuguese and Spanish. It would be more than a century until the first English-speaking settlers arrived. (Ironically, the top name for baby girls born last year was Isabella.) The French owned a large part of what is now the Midwest, often called Middle America. Mexicans and Native Americans civilized much of the Southwest, including Arizona, long before Anglos moved west in what they believed was their "manifest destiny" that would lead to what centuries later would be called "ethnic cleansing" if it occurred anywhere but in the United States.

            The day Gov. Brewer signed the bill, massive protests began. They saw this new law, essentially racial profiling since fair-skinned blondes were unlikely to be stopped, as violating everyone's Constitutional rights, and as a desperate attempt to control a problem that became magnified by media-savvy politicians and the compliant news media.

            At a rally in Phoenix, Mayor Phil Gordon spoke against the law, which was roundly condemned by numerous Hispanic celebrities, including Grammy-winning Colombian singer Shakira. "I came here to offer support and defend human rights," said Shakira, who said she opposed the law "because it is a violation of human and civil rights and goes against human dignity."

            President Obama said the law undermined "basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and our communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe." Most law enforcement officers don't want to expend their resources to enforce what they believe is an illegal and unwieldy law. Chief Robert Davis of San Jose, Calif., president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, points out, "immigration enforcement by local police would likely negatively effect and undermine the level of trust and cooperation between local police and immigrant communities." The Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police said the law "will negatively affect the ability of law enforcement agencies across the state to fulfill their many responsibilities in a timely manner," and argued that although the police chiefs recognized that immigration was a problem in Arizona, "it is an issue most appropriately addressed at the federal level." Sheriff Clarence Dupnik of Pima County (Tucson is the closest major city to the border), not only said he wouldn't enforce the law, which demands compliance of every police official, but filed suit in federal court against the state. The law, said Sheriff Dupnik, is "disgusting," "unnecessary," and "racist." It is that same law that, if fully enforced, will likely cause significant overcrowding in jails, and force local government and the state to spend millions to house persons whose only "crime" is to live in the United States.

            More than two dozen major national organizations have already said they will not hold conventions in Arizona, hoping that an economic boycott will force the state to reconsider the law that was written, voted upon, and passed in the juices of hate and fear. Two decades earlier, economic boycotts led Arizona to declare Martin Luther King Jr. Day a state holiday only after the NFL had pulled the Super Bowl from Arizona in 1993 because the state refused to follow the rest of the country in recognizing Dr. King. Major League Baseball is deciding whether to pull next year's all-star game from Phoenix. About one-fourth of all major league players are Hispanic; several teams conduct about two months of Spring training in Arizona; about a dozen teams in the Arizona Rookie League each have at least five Hispanics players, all with legal status to work in the U.S. On Cinco de Mayo, every member of the Phoenix Suns wore jerseys identifying them as team members of "Los Suns," their support of the state's Hispanic population.

            University of Arizona President Robert Shelton told students and employees at his university that the families of several out-of-state honors students who accepted admission to UA, "have told us that they are changing their plans and will be sending their children to universities in other states." He also said that UA students and employees, all of them citizens or who have legal visas, fear they "may now be subject to unwarranted detainment by police" although they "are from families that have been residents of Arizona for generations."

            Even the national Republican party may have been blindsided by the swift passage of the law and the national outrage. Under President Bush, the Republicans had tried to increase the number of Hispanic voters in the party, and is now faced with the reality that there could be a massive retaliation. Phoenix, along with Tampa and Salt Lake City, were the remaining three cities for consideration for the 2012 Republican National Convention. Suddenly, it seems as if a $100 million economic advantage for Arizona would turn into a political liability.

            Many prominent conservatives, including Karl Rove, have also spoken out against the law as a major infringement on personal freedoms. Rove, the architect of George W. Bush's presidential campaigns, said he saw not only "constitutional problems with the bill" but that he wished Arizona "hadn’t passed it."

            The Immigration Reform and Control Act, signed into law by Ronald Reagan in November 1986, was a comprehensive reform of immigration law, and supported by strong majorities of both major parties. It granted amnesty to illegal residents who were in the country continuously prior to Jan. 1, 1982, protected the rights of persons illegally in the U.S., and imposed heavy penalties upon businesses that hired workers who were not citizens or did not have appropriate work visas. Unfortunately, the law has not been as effective as planned.

            Corporations and small businesses are all too willing to violate federal law by hiring undocumented workers, pay them significantly less than they pay American citizens, give them no benefits, pay no Social Security or unemployment taxes, and allow them to live in poverty. Even when there is a relatively rare raid on their premises, usually the owner or corporation pays almost no penalty, or one that is a minuscule part of its profits. Corporations, including Walmart, also found a major loophole in the law by working with subcontractors who provide laborers at a fixed rate; thus, the workers are never considered to be employees.

            American citizens who wrongly complain about immigrants taking their jobs are also a part of the problem, since they don't seem to have a problem with outsourcing or low factory pay, as long as it allows them to buy cheaper goods.

            My father, who survived the Depression, the Communist witch hunts, and was a part of the fight for civil rights, was subjected to bigotry and racism, as was my mother, but was spared the viciousness of a White population in a neighboring state that passed a law in 2010 that could only be seen as not much different from laws and "police practices" in the Deep South in the 1950s. The South learned; Arizona hasn't.

 

[Dr. Brasch's current book is Sex and the Single Beer Can (3rd ed.), a humorous and sarcastic look at the media and American culture. The book is available at amazon.com, and other stores. Rosemary Brasch assisted on this column.]

 

 

 

Arizona and the Alien-Nation of America

by Walter Brasch

             My father, a federal employee with a top secret clearance, carried a copy of his birth certificate when he went into Baja California from our home in San Diego. Many times, when he tried to reenter the U.S., he was stopped by the Border Patrol. He had thick black hair and naturally dark skin, and the Patrol thought he was a Mexican brazenly trying to sneak back into the country by claiming to be married to the black-haired, blue-eyed, light-skinned woman he claimed was his wife.

            If my father were still alive, and chose to drive into Arizona or to walk on the streets of any of its cities or towns, he probably would be stopped and asked to provide identification. Naturally, he wouldn't be carrying a U.S-issued visa or Mexican-issued passport, since he was an American citizen. He probably wouldn't even be carrying his birth certificate, since he would have assumed he was traveling within the United States, and there was no need to carry it. He would probably have a Social Security card and his California-issued ID card—he didn't have a driver's license because he was blind in his left eye—but both of those could easily have been forged.

            After a few minutes, he would probably be released by the local police officer, perhaps after providing his federal identification. But, maybe a few hours later, he'd be stopped again, perhaps by a sheriff's deputy, constable, or even a mall's part-time security guard.

            Everyone under SB1070, signed into law by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, April 22, can be stopped and searched by any officer for any reason, and required to produce documentation that they are in the United States legally. A hastily-added amendment a week later modified the original law to require that police have to have a reason to stop persons. The reason could be as simple as the officer claiming the suspect was loitering, jaywalking, or playing a car radio too loud. The law also allows any citizen to file suit against any law enforcement agency if the citizen believes the state law isn't being followed. Pushed by a fearful citizenry and a politically opportunistic Republican party, the bill takes effect in August.

            Legislators from several states, including Pennsylvania, have followed Arizona's lead. Pennsylvania State Sen. Daryl Metcalf (R-Butler) filed HB2479, which almost duplicates Arizona's law. With inflammatory rhetoric at the bill's introduction, Metcalf told about rapes and murders, about the "financial drain" upon the state's economy. The bill will probably die in committee. Even if it should get majority votes in both houses, Gov. Ed Rendell says he will veto it.

            Forget the constitutional concepts of "due process" and "probable cause." Under Arizona's new law, persons are presumed guilty until they produce identification that they are innocent. And, disregard the Constitutional mandate that immigration is the responsibility of the federal, not the state, government. What Arizona saw was that about a half-million persons, mostly Hispanic, were in their state illegally. They saw that the federal government wasn't effective at sealing the southern border, even after 9/11. They saw that President Bush had tried to reform immigration policies, only to have to back down when he faced a divided Republican party. They saw that President Obama has tried to assure the safety of Americans, but that a squabbling Congress rendered any reform inert. And they also realized that for many years, adequate funds were not put into the budget of the Border Patrol.

            They also saw a significant increase in crime, including drug trafficking, kidnapping, and murder by illegal immigrants. They saw thousands of immigrants living in squalor, dozens in the same room, forced to work at starvation wages to pay back the gangs that brought them north. Anglo and Hispanic residents had become afraid of living in their own houses because of the gangs.

            They also saw myriad problems caused by illegal immigrants who came north and gave birth to what are known as "anchor babies," so the children would become U.S. citizens and the parents, still in the country illegally, could not be deported. They saw that undocumented workers were somehow "stealing" their taxes by getting food stamps, welfare, and aid to families with dependent children.

            Although there is increased crime because of the presence of persons from Mexico and Central America who are in the country illegally, most undocumented workers are law-abiding residents. They don't go to the ER and get "free" medical help or try to scam the system by claiming welfare payments, since most believe that just registering for medical help or welfare could lead to them being identified as illegal residents and deported. But they do want their children to be in school, to get an education, perhaps to become American citizens.

            The Hispanic immigrants, with their gangs, are no different from those of any other culture, which developed gangs and societies that were originally designed to help and protect them from exploitation, but did so using fear and criminal activity. The Irish came to America in the mid-1800s, but they also developed Tammany Hall and the Molly Maguires. The Chinese had to deal with the Tong gangs. The Italians brought with them the Mafia. The Russians and eastern Europeans in the latter part of the 20th century are dealing with the Bratva, the "brotherhood," sometimes known as the Russian Mafia. But, like most Hispanics, most Irish, Chinese, Italians, eastern Europeans, and every other cultural minority, were and still are law-abiding citizens who only want to live in peace. Americans have a long history of hatred for newly-arrived immigrants, who later become assimilated, and continue the hatred against the next culture to try to assimilate into American society.

            There is also another part of American history that is overlooked by the masses. When the Native Americans first greeted Columbus, they met a man who spoke his native Ligurian, as well as Portuguese and Spanish. It would be more than a century until the first English-speaking settlers arrived. (Ironically, the top name for baby girls born last year was Isabella.) The French owned a large part of what is now the Midwest, often called Middle America. Mexicans and Native Americans civilized much of the Southwest, including Arizona, long before Anglos moved west in what they believed was their "manifest destiny" that would lead to what centuries later would be called "ethnic cleansing" if it occurred anywhere but in the United States.

            The day Gov. Brewer signed the bill, massive protests began. They saw this new law, essentially racial profiling since fair-skinned blondes were unlikely to be stopped, as violating everyone's Constitutional rights, and as a desperate attempt to control a problem that became magnified by media-savvy politicians and the compliant news media.

            At a rally in Phoenix, Mayor Phil Gordon spoke against the law, which was roundly condemned by numerous Hispanic celebrities, including Grammy-winning Colombian singer Shakira. "I came here to offer support and defend human rights," said Shakira, who said she opposed the law "because it is a violation of human and civil rights and goes against human dignity."

            President Obama said the law undermined "basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and our communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe." Most law enforcement officers don't want to expend their resources to enforce what they believe is an illegal and unwieldy law. Chief Robert Davis of San Jose, Calif., president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, points out, "immigration enforcement by local police would likely negatively effect and undermine the level of trust and cooperation between local police and immigrant communities." The Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police said the law "will negatively affect the ability of law enforcement agencies across the state to fulfill their many responsibilities in a timely manner," and argued that although the police chiefs recognized that immigration was a problem in Arizona, "it is an issue most appropriately addressed at the federal level." Sheriff Clarence Dupnik of Pima County (Tucson is the closest major city to the border), not only said he wouldn't enforce the law, which demands compliance of every police official, but filed suit in federal court against the state. The law, said Sheriff Dupnik, is "disgusting," "unnecessary," and "racist." It is that same law that, if fully enforced, will likely cause significant overcrowding in jails, and force local government and the state to spend millions to house persons whose only "crime" is to live in the United States.

            More than two dozen major national organizations have already said they will not hold conventions in Arizona, hoping that an economic boycott will force the state to reconsider the law that was written, voted upon, and passed in the juices of hate and fear. Two decades earlier, economic boycotts led Arizona to declare Martin Luther King Jr. Day a state holiday only after the NFL had pulled the Super Bowl from Arizona in 1993 because the state refused to follow the rest of the country in recognizing Dr. King. Major League Baseball is deciding whether to pull next year's all-star game from Phoenix. About one-fourth of all major league players are Hispanic; several teams conduct about two months of Spring training in Arizona; about a dozen teams in the Arizona Rookie League each have at least five Hispanics players, all with legal status to work in the U.S. On Cinco de Mayo, every member of the Phoenix Suns wore jerseys identifying them as team members of "Los Suns," their support of the state's Hispanic population.

            University of Arizona President Robert Shelton told students and employees at his university that the families of several out-of-state honors students who accepted admission to UA, "have told us that they are changing their plans and will be sending their children to universities in other states." He also said that UA students and employees, all of them citizens or who have legal visas, fear they "may now be subject to unwarranted detainment by police" although they "are from families that have been residents of Arizona for generations."

            Even the national Republican party may have been blindsided by the swift passage of the law and the national outrage. Under President Bush, the Republicans had tried to increase the number of Hispanic voters in the party, and is now faced with the reality that there could be a massive retaliation. Phoenix, along with Tampa and Salt Lake City, were the remaining three cities for consideration for the 2012 Republican National Convention. Suddenly, it seems as if a $100 million economic advantage for Arizona would turn into a political liability.

            Many prominent conservatives, including Karl Rove, have also spoken out against the law as a major infringement on personal freedoms. Rove, the architect of George W. Bush's presidential campaigns, said he saw not only "constitutional problems with the bill" but that he wished Arizona "hadn’t passed it."

            The Immigration Reform and Control Act, signed into law by Ronald Reagan in November 1986, was a comprehensive reform of immigration law, and supported by strong majorities of both major parties. It granted amnesty to illegal residents who were in the country continuously prior to Jan. 1, 1982, protected the rights of persons illegally in the U.S., and imposed heavy penalties upon businesses that hired workers who were not citizens or did not have appropriate work visas. Unfortunately, the law has not been as effective as planned.

            Corporations and small businesses are all too willing to violate federal law by hiring undocumented workers, pay them significantly less than they pay American citizens, give them no benefits, pay no Social Security or unemployment taxes, and allow them to live in poverty. Even when there is a relatively rare raid on their premises, usually the owner or corporation pays almost no penalty, or one that is a minuscule part of its profits. Corporations, including Walmart, also found a major loophole in the law by working with subcontractors who provide laborers at a fixed rate; thus, the workers are never considered to be employees.

            American citizens who wrongly complain about immigrants taking their jobs are also a part of the problem, since they don't seem to have a problem with outsourcing or low factory pay, as long as it allows them to buy cheaper goods.

            My father, who survived the Depression, the Communist witch hunts, and was a part of the fight for civil rights, was subjected to bigotry and racism, as was my mother, but was spared the viciousness of a White population in a neighboring state that passed a law in 2010 that could only be seen as not much different from laws and "police practices" in the Deep South in the 1950s. The South learned; Arizona hasn't.

 

[Dr. Brasch's current book is Sex and the Single Beer Can (3rd ed.), a humorous and sarcastic look at the media and American culture. The book is available at amazon.com, and other stores. Rosemary Brasch assisted on this column.]

 

 

 

Immigration Nation and Racial Profiling is Pulling in the Station

Arguably Foreign Looking Individual: Walking nonchalantly down a street in Phoenix

Arizona Officer of the Law:  Approaches Arguably Foreign Looking Individual "Excuse me sir, can I see some proof that you are a United States citizen?"

Arguably Foreign Looking Individual: "What? Why?"

Arizona Officer of the Law: "Because I have reasonable suspicion that you are not a legal citizen."

Arguably Foreign Looking Individual: "Reasonable suspicion? That is horseradish! Explain yourself."

Arizona Officer of the Law:  "You look suspiciously latino to me, and according to the new law recently signed by Gov. Jan Brewer, you are required to show proof of your citizenship."

Arguably Foreign Looking Individual: "I carry no such thing."

Arizona Officer of the Law:  "Well then, I will now handcuff and escort you to the county jail."

(note:  I have nothing against Arizona police-officers or Arizona as a state, this is a satirically hypothetical take on the new immigration law passed)

Ahhh yes, Arizona.  Land of pungent and vibrantly green flora, cascading aquatic oases, and vibrant game that would make any modest hunter giggle with glee.  Err... wait, maybe thats one of the other states that allows concealed carry without a permit.

Annyyywayyy....

 

I realize by now that the Arizona Immigration Law recently passed has probably been beaten into your heads more than teetotalism is at BYU, but I think it needs a bit more attention.

I find it very sad that this new immigration law exists.  It hurts the civil rights of many individuals that will no doubt be profiled based on their appearance.  I challenge Jan Brewer and the other stunning prodigies who crafted this law to define what "reasonable suspicion" really is.

 

 On Fox News Sunday, Bill Kristol (self-proclaimed liberal on immigration issues..what?) claims that the newest addition to Arizona's repertoire of anti-immigration decrees doesn't violate civil rights

Source:  ThinkProgress.org

Now I don't typically make an attempt to pillage through the proverbially mine-field that is Bill Kristol's brain, but I shall attempt to deconstruct his claims and try to make sense of them

KRISTOL: I doubt that it violates the Constitution, if it does, it’s a matter of federal preemption against state law. I don’t think it violates anyone’s civil rights. … I have actually read this bill it is not draconian. It is not going to lead to major civil rights violations. Will a few people get stopped perhaps because some policeman has reasonable suspicion that a person is illegal? Will he be stopped perhaps on the street and asked to provide his driver’s license? Yes. That is the huge horrible civil rights violation that’s going to occur 5 times or 8 times or 13 times in Arizona.

I fail to see how basing reasonable suspicion solely on looks and a good hunch constitutes good legislation, but hey far be it from me to question the state government of Arizona.  Even Mike "the body (of Christ)" Huckabee denounced this bill, saying there's no such thing as "american-looking."  Pro-life Libertarian Judge Andrew Napolitano even threw his hat into the ring.

Napolitano also said the law is “so unconstitutional that I predict a federal judge will prevent Arizona from enforcing it.”

Of course not all notable conservatives share the views of Huckabee and Napolitano.  Sarah Palin added her opinion to the matter, because nobody knows what they would do without it.  With millions of adoring fans and Palin-junkies tuning their Palin radar to here the verdict that they will no doubt blindly support, Palin didn't quite give an official answer or endorsement but instead offered this insightful and astute remark:

So more power to Jan Brewer for deciding that she was taking on an issue

So Palin is essentially praising Brewer's ability to sign her name on a paper.  Palin groupies will have to continue waiting in hopes of a verdict.

I'm no Constitutional lawyer, so I cannot definitively condemn this as Un-Constitutional.  However, the arguments against the laws constitutionality keep piling up.  No doubt this has more chance of getting repealed due to violation of the supreme law of the land than the Healthcare law does. 

But Bill Kristol isn't the most reputable person to be commenting on profiling-sensitive issues.  Let me jog everyone's memory a bit.  Heading back down memory lane take exit 34 to Fox News Sunday circa Feb. 3rd 2008.

BILL KRISTOL: Look the only people for Hillary Clinton are the Democratic establishment and white women... it would be crazy for the Democratic party to follow the establishment that's led them to defeat year after year... White Women are a problem - but, you know... we all live with that...

Source:  Media Matters

Kristol, you are indeed a piece of work....

 

... and an idiot.

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