Friday, September 18, 2009

An FB discussion on immigration

Here is a recent post and comments thread from my FaceBook page that I thought I would save here rather than watching it get lost and buried.

Mike Thomas I’m glad to see Archbishop Gomez speaking up about the health care debate and I support his position that coverage should be extended to immigrants both legal and illegal.
Yesterday at 10:36pm · Comment · Like / Unlike · View Feedback (21)Hide Feedback (21) · Share

Wes Howard
We should send the illegals back home!

Mike Thomas
If it was that simple we would have done it a long time ago. But it is not practical or possible on many levels to extract so many millions of people who are enmeshed in our society.

Virginia Chapman Bugai
My ancestors came from Germany, but they came to learn the language and ways and became true Americans, not forcing their homeland and trying to change the language! They also came legally to this country, not sneaking in and working and not paying taxes!

Wes Howard
Great point Virginia!

Virginia Chapman Bugai
Don’t get me wrong, I am proud to be from a German hertiage, but you don’t see me carrying their flag and making the schools print everything in the German language because myself or my parents refuse to learn the language of the country that I CHOSE to move to!!

Virginia Chapman Bugai
My Grandmother speaks German, but she is also affluent in the English language.

Kristen Cherry Williamson
I don’t agree with this at all. If you want social benefits that my tax dollars are paying for, then go thru the immigration process the correct way. They’re called illegal for a reason.

Mike Thomas
I am sympathetic to your concerns about integration and bilingual education, but those are separate issues from the need to have basic health coverage for everyone. It is not good for society to have millions of people without basic health insurance. It is more expensive when they end up in the emergency rooms of our county hospitals for ailments that could have been easily treated with preventative medicine. Diseases get spread more quickly and widely in countries without adequate health care.

Mike Thomas
Health care is not just a benefit to the individual. It is a benefit to society as a whole. Same thing with education. Once you accept the fact that we can’t just drive around in a big paddywagon through all the poor Hispanic neighborhoods and gather up all the illegal immigrants for deportation, then you have to deal with these societal issues of health care and education.

Virginia Chapman Bugai
Well, I guess if they would have gone through the naturalization process, they would have been issued a number so that they could work for companies in a legal manner (not paid under the table because they are illiegal), and then possibly they would be paying taxes on their income, just like the rest of us hard working citizens. They would also be... Read More paying into social security and medicare and have health insurance coverage. From what I understand, they make more money in America than their own country, so they are already better off, but instead of choosing to spend the money here on healthcare and doctors, most of their money is sent back home.

Mike Thomas
Actually, most illegal immigrants do pay taxes - - more than you would think. And while there are many who fit the description you state (Which is why we need to institute a Guest Worker Program), many more settled down here years ago with no intention of ever going back.
I’m all for enforcing our borders - but we have to ... Read Morebe realistic too with those who are already here. And it is not good for society as a whole to have such a large population of people who are kept sickly and uneducated. We should provide these “benefits” because it is the right thing to do and because it is better for society in general.

Carlos Johnson
Whether they are here legally or not, if an uninsured person goes to the hospital and can’t pay then we all pay through taxes, higher insurance costs, etc. If the goal is to get everyone covered then I personally don’t have that much of an issue with covering illegals. My problem is with the goal itself and the likelihood that the solution will be worse than the problem.

Kristen Cherry Williamson
Health coverage is a privilege, NOT a right and it is not the American taxpayers responsibility, nor is it within the scope of what our founding fathers intended to be the role of the federal government.
Forcing hospitals to treat anyone who comes into their emergency rooms even if it is not an emergency is a main cause of our woes When hospitals start sending people down the road to urgent care clinics for snotty noses where the cost is 20 percent and they have to pay when they are treated we will see improvement.
Another main reason our costs are so high is that we are in dire need of tort reform. Doctors are currently having to do so many unnecessary tests just as a CYA to help from being sued or to defend when they are sued. While illegals may pay sales taxes, they are not filing federal income tax returns, nor are they paying payroll taxes (medicare and medicaid...).
While illegals may pay sales taxes, they are not filing federal income tax returns, nor are they paying payroll taxes (medicare and medicaid...).

Mike Thomas
Health care is more than a privilege or a right, it is a necessity like food, water, clothing, shelter. I WANT my neighbors to have good health care because then they are less likely to pass diseases on to me and my children. And I think having universal health coverage is a perfectly reasonable and practical goal. Most Western, economically-... Read Moreadvanced nations already do this. Why we are dragging our feet I will never know.
And it is most certainly within the purview of the federal government to provide health coverage. The Constitution is very broad in its determination of what the government CAN do and very specific about what it CAN’T do. (The Texas Constitution is exactly opposite which is why it is a million pages long and totally screwed up). The Constitution gives the federal government the power to “promote the general welfare” and I would say that giving people access to health care falls very neatly into that definition.

Mike Thomas
I don’t want to live in a country where people would be turned away for medical treatment because they cannot pay. Certainly, as in your example, a person with the sniffles should be directed to go to a clinic and leave the emergency room for true emergencies. I think most already do that.
As for tort reform, haven’t the Republicans who have been ... Read Morerunning this state for the past hundred years or so already passed half a dozen “tort reform” bills over the past several years? Did our insurance premiums go down as a result? Did I blink and miss it?

Kristen Cherry Williamson
Promoting the general welfare does not mean that congress has the right to play Robin Hood and rob from the taxpayers to give to the non-contributing members of society, and it also doesn... Read More’t give congress the power to legislate for the general welfare of the country, that power belongs to the States and is given to them thru the 10th amendment. You are overlooking the fact that the federal government has only specific enumerated powers. The Ninth and 10th Amendments limit Congress’s powers only to those granted in the Constitution. What we have is simply an abuse of power by the federal government for political reasons. The president wants to reward his supporters with free health care that the rest of us have to pay for.

Virginia Chapman Bugai
Well said Kristen.

Virginia Chapman Bugai
What it all boils down to is hard working taxpayers who are tired of the people who work harder circumventing the system so they don’t have to work and just continue to live off the government and the bleeding hearts who continue to allow them to do it. I saw it first hand, young mother with a child quit working, because she received more in ... Read Moregovernment benefits when she didn’t work. I tried to appeal to her pride and work ethic, but to no avail, she said when she worked they cut her benefits, so she quit! What a backwards system.

Virginia Chapman Bugai
Or should I say not so much a backwards system, but a backwards ethics! I realize the system is put in place to help these people, but at some point we have to say enough is enough.

Mike Thomas
How can you say that the government doesn’t have the authority to do something that it has been doing for over a hundred years? This whole 10th Amendment argument is completely bogus.
Here is a good article that slices and dices the whole mess -
Taxation is a necessary component of our government and our society and you ... Read Morecan’t just call it robbery whenever you disagree with a particular spending program. I wasn’t happy that George W. Bush wasted $1 trillion of my tax dollars on his boondoggle in Iraq (and never managed to catch Bin Laden either!). But I would be incorrect to call it robbery.
Furthermore, Obama is not rewarding ME with free health care! In fact, chances are that most of the people who will benefit from health care reform didn’t even bother to vote. I think Obama’s actions are completely selfless and probably politically damaging in the short term, but entirely necessary for the long-term health of our nation and our democracy.

Mike Thomas
What I saw firsthand working the watermelon fields in Premont years ago were illegal immigrants doing the toughest jobs that nobody else wanted to do. These were some of the hardest working people I’ve ever seen in my life. Us pampered city kids got to unload the trucks under a shed where there was a bit of shade. The illegal immigrants were the ... Read Moreones out in the full sun in the fields loading the trucks. One of our friends decided to work in the fields one day with the promise of higher pay and ended up in the hospital with heat stroke.
We take full advantage of many of these illegal immigrants for their labor and then treat them like criminals. It is a shame and a disgrace. We need a Guest Worker Program - - and less draconian immigration laws that recognizes this business-labor relationship that is the current reality.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Catholic Church supports "Obamacare"

San Antonio Archbishop Jose Gomez has made it clear that he supports health care reform. In fact, he wants to take it further and include illegal immigrants in the plan.

"It must include immigrants, especially legal immigrants, but all immigrants," Gomez told 1200 WOAI news. "We are concerned about the immigrants," Gomez said. "The immigrants are human persons too, and one way or another, they are going to need health care. I think it is important to recognize that, and be open to them participating one way or another in the health care system in this country."

One Republican commenter on FaceBook reacted to the news by spitting back "But the Democrats don't listen to the Catholic Church regarding human life..."

To which I would respond that beyond the disagreement over abortion rights, Democrats are much more in line with the Catholic Church's "pro-life" agenda than Republicans are. The church's position on war, foreign policy, foreign aid, health care, immigration, capital punishment and much more is closer to the Democratic side than the Republican one.

It is just that Democrats do not favor criminalizing abortion because rather than stopping abotions it would just send them underground and result in the deaths and maiming of thousands of women on top of the number of abortions that would still occur. So safe, rare and legal is the best way to go as far as reducing the number of abortions is concerned and a little more help in spreading the family planning message and birth control would go along way in that direction as well.

But I certainly welcom Archbishop Gomez to the cause of promoting universal health insurance and I endorse his view that immigrants, both legal and illegal, should be included as well.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Acorn double standard

Let me see if I have this Acorn thing straight....
A wingnut on a crusade with a video camera manages to videotape of couple of poorly trained Acorn employees doing and saying some stupid and reprehensible things...
(He conveniently does not show anyone the videos he took of Acorn workers who did not fall for the scam)
In response, the federal government is cutting off Acorn from future government contracts and Republicans want to strip them of all current funding as well.

So what about KBR/Halliburton? A couple of KBR employees were involved in a gang rape of a fellow employee a couple of years ago. That would seem to be infinitely worse than what the Acorn employees did. And yet, KBR has continued to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in government contracts since that occurred. And there are no cries from Republicans to strip them of funding.
I wonder why that is?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Are they idiots? Or is it a setup?

I have to agree with the conservatives on this one, and boy does that tick me off!!

Proposed Texas social studies curriculum change angers conservatives

The Associated Press
AUSTIN – A proposal for new social studies curriculum in Texas public schools removes a mention of Christmas in a sixth-grade lesson, replacing it with a Hindu religious festival, a change that has riled conservatives who say it’s another battle in the “war” against the Christian holiday.
“It’s outrageous that the war on Christmas continues in our state and in our nation,” said Jonathan Saenz, a lobbyist for the conservative Free Market Foundation. The draft proposal being considered by the State Board of Education won’t be formally adopted until May for the 2011-12 school year.
The standards now instruct sixth-grade students to be able to explain the significance of religious holidays such as the Christian holidays of Christmas and Easter, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and the Jewish holidays of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah.
The proposal, which is set to be debated during a hearing next week, removes Christmas and Rosh Hashanah from the listing. Diwali, a Hindu festival, is added.
In a note explaining the change, members of a review committee wrote, “the examples include the key holiday from each of the five major religions.”

This is so completely asinine I can’t help but wonder if the conservatives aren’t setting this up on purpose. I mean, who are the MORONS on this committee recommending that we remove any mention of Christmas from Social Studies textbooks? You want to add a reference to the Hindu holiday? Great! But you can’t replace Christmas with it. The Christian faith has two major holidays - Jesus was born, Jesus died (and was born again) - and you can’t mention one without the other. This is so idiotic that I can’t believe that there are rational people who are sitting on that board making this recommendation. It plays right into the hands of the Bill O’Reilly-Glenn Beck lunatics who can now wave this story around as evidence that their shrill warnings about a “War on Christmas” were correct. The Board of Education, with its heavy tilt to the right, will no doubt knock this recommendation down long before it has a chance to draw breath. But then they will parade it around as proof that they are needed to stand guard against these anti-religious liberals who are trying to wipe out Christmas and all vestiges of Christian faith from the schools.
If these people really do exist they need to be slapped upside the head. And if not, then the conservatives who set up this little charade need to be exposed.