Kansas, Mexico and Points Beyond

I could write about how Mitt Romney just revealed that the elderly, the military, the poor and disabled consider themselves victims and don’t want to take care of their own lives but I had a few other random thoughts I wanted to cover. This will be brief.


An idiot in Kansas files a petition to have Barack Obama kept off the ballot in November on the grounds he was not born in the United States. Birther nutjob and Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach considers the petition along with the rest of the all-Republican Objections Committee. Of course the fact that Kobach is a self-described “adviser” to Mitt Romney didn’t seem to make him think he should recuse himself from this judgment on Obama. Apparently enough people contacted the original petitioner and called him a moron that he withdrew his petition. Kobach, not wanting to appear the Birther-wuss said more investigation was warranted. Then Monday he finally agreed to have Obama placed on the November ballot. Of course, one of the folks demanding that this birth issue be thoroughly examined was “California lawyer and dentist” Orly Taitz, a lunatic I thought had finally faded from the scene.

There was a time in this country when no decent person would have made such outrageous claims about a sitting President for fear of being roundly rebuked. But then as Bill Clinton reminded Ted Kennedy back in 2008, there was a time in this country when Barack Obama would be doing nothing more than getting Kris Kobach a cup of coffee.


I guess I’m ashamed to admit it but the one area in which I identified a bit with conservatives was their attitude toward “illegal aliens”. As someone who has been income-challenged for the past few years, I bought hook, line and sinker the notion that Mexicans were stealing jobs from deserving Americans. Even when I recognized that for the most part they were doing jobs most Americans didn’t want to do, I still resented it.

Watching the Democratic National Convention a few weeks ago gave me a bit of an epiphany. I already agreed that Obama was right to extent flexibility to children of undocumented workers who came here by no choice of their own. But the DNC gave me a new perspective on the parents. For the most part, these “illegals” represent the promise of the American Dream. They are no different from the scores of immigrants who have come to our shores over the past 200+ years. They come here to escape a life of certain poverty. They come here because they believe they will find opportunities not available south of the border. What makes them different is that instead of an ocean, there is only an invisible line in the soil separating them from their dream.

I don’t believe we should have open borders. I know it is not feasible to simply let every Tom, Dick and Harry enter the United States at will.  But the DNC made it clear to me that we need a compassionate immigration policy. Undocumented workers don’t come here to hurt us. They come here to help themselves.

Points Beyond

The Muslim Meltdown

Once again an insult to the Muslim prophet Mohammad is propagated and once again a small contingent of angry Muslims go wild. This time the rage is accelerated by newly elected unstable central governments (Cairo) and opportunistic terrorists (Benghazi, Libya). It was humorously suggested on Comedy Central this week that perhaps Islam’s big problem is immaturity. While at first blush this might seem absurd, Islam is a good 600 years younger than Christianity. Christianity’s record for civil behavior was not peachy keen even within the past 300 years (e.g. Salem Witch Trials). Perhaps a Muslim reformation sometime in the future is not outside the realm of possibility? I believe the only way to get rid of radical Islam is from within.

Israel v Iran

That Israel possesses nuclear weapons is the worst kept secret in foreign affairs. So, as a foreign policy neophyte, I ask my more knowledgeable readers why can’t the Iran/Israel standoff be resolved this way:

Iran simply says to Israel, “We will stop developing nuclear capability when you demonstrate that you have disarmed your nuclear weapons.” Seems simple enough to me. What am I missing?


Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Barack Hussein Obama: The Muslim Speech

Today’s speech by President Barack Obama in Cairo, Egypt was greatly anticipated. This was the first time that an American President went out of his way to speak to the practicing Muslims of the world and attempt to forge a new beginning in how Americans view Muslims and how Muslims view Americans.

The speech addressed seven major areas of concern:

  1. Violent extremism
  2. Israel
  3. Nuclear proliferation
  4. Democracy
  5. Religious freedom
  6. Women’s rights
  7. Economic development and opportunity

Nothing Obama said in these areas should have surprised anyone. In each area his message was consistent with America’s core beliefs. Conservatives, of course will be enraged by the fact that Obama called the war in Iraq a war of choice (as opposed to the war in Afghanistan which he labeled a war of necessity). The “right” will also get their undies in a knot over Obama’s concession that we have tortured and his commitment that we will do so no more. As far as I am concerned, these things had to be said. If we hold ourselves to be perfect, we cannot build peace with other nations. We must first look to our own deficits, admit them, and correct them before we can hope to influence the minds and hearts of others.

Obama did not let Muslims “off the hook” for their own contributions to the current state of affairs. He pointed out how Muslims must resolve the Sunni/Shia struggle. He commented on how Muslims must not oppress followers of other religions, singling out the Copts in Egypt as an example.

What I felt Obama did most skillfully was what every preacher does. My criticism of organized religion is that scripture can be cherry-picked to prove just about any point you want to prove. Today, Obama was a master of scripture cherry-picking, relying mostly on the Quran, but ending in a beautiful “triple-play” of Christian/Jewish/Muslim text.

As the Holy Quran tells us, Be conscious of God and speak always the truth.

The Holy Quran teaches that whoever kills an innocent is as — it is as it if has killed all mankind.

And the Holy Quran also says whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind.

There is one rule that lies at the heart of every religion, that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

And then the grand finale:

The Holy Quran tells us, Mankind, we have created you male and a female. And we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another.

The Talmud tells us, The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace.

The Holy Bible tells us, Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

When all is said and done, I don’t expect the world to change because of this speech. Yet it still says something about the United States of America that we can send forth a leader to deliver a message to the world that needs to be delivered.

The man who does not speak because he believes no one will listen, is not a noble man. The very act of trying to change hearts and minds through peaceful persuasion is a noble one, regardless of the consequences.


For other perspectives on this speech from around the WPPBA, please visit these blogs:

Cadillac Tight
In One Ear … Out The Other

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