Day: December 5, 2009

Illegal Immigrants And Basic Decency In An Arizona Court Room

The debate over what to do regarding illegal immigration rages on, but what is happening now in the state of Arizona cries out for a sense of decency and common humanity.

An Arizona resident, a member of a group called No More Deaths, which supports humanitarian aid to illegal immigrants along the US-Mexico border, specifically in the form of jugs of water left for illegals crossing the Mexican-Arizona desert, was convicted of littering, and faces the possibility of 25 days in jail for leaving water to prevent deaths occurring.

The number of illegals who die in the desert is staggering, and no matter what one thinks about the concept of illegal immigration itself, it is obvious that many of these illegals are escaping Mexico out of economic desperation and take dangerous chances trying to walk across the border.

Is it appropriate to put someone in jail for this basic gesture of providing water? Are we that lacking in humanity and decency as to have no concern for life or death of these illegals?

Should someone be punished for having a standard of morality and ethics where he cannot turn away from his fellow man in trouble? I say absolutely NO! This is a disgrace and a miscarriage of justice!

Barack Obama, The Senate Democrats, And Health Care

President Obama is scheduled to go up to Capitol Hill for a meeting with Senate Democrats at 2 pm on Sunday.

This may be the most crucial meeting and moment in the fight for health care, but it does not loom well for the President or the health care legislation, which has been a controversy for many months.

How is the President going to rally the forces in the Senate, a notoriously egotistical body of men and women who all love the sound of their own voices and have complete belief in their own virtues, to overcome their differences, particularly in relation to the “public option”, abortion, and their own individual re-election campaigns that they will face in 2010 or 2012?

This is the time to be the so called “fly on the wall”, able to observe the body language and the verbal interaction between the President and his colleagues in the Democratic party.

Barack Obama has many skills, but it is not clear yet that he is the successor to Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson in the ability to win over support by whatever means necessary.

At this point in the debate over health care, that is what is required! Unfortunately, don’t bet on it! 🙁

The Greatest Crisis For National Security: Education And Our Future

As a college professor, I have witnessed the catastrophic decline in educational standards in public education over the past 40 years. This represents the greatest crisis for our national security in the 21st century.

Young people today may be able to do well at video games, and to connect socially via Facebook and other social websites, but they do not have the basic skills or higher level thinking processes necessary for the secure future of our nation.

When half of our students drop out of high school before graduation in many urban districts, and when only one third of high school graduates come to college, if they do at all, in a well prepared way without the need for remedial work in English and Math, that is a real warning sign for our future.

When countries in Asia and Europe outdo our graduates, and are ahead of us in many fields of knowledge, that is a sign of impending emergency. How are we, the leaders of the free world, to compete and to meet the challenges that face us in this new century?

I wonder, as many do, are we in the direction of dramatic decline, when we have young people who have no thirst for knowledge, who are easily bored, who lack an attention span, who come out of high school with no GK, general knowledge base, to build on?

When we have so many examples of college students, including many who are so ill equipped and lacking in motivation, who seem to show up just to gain financial support from government, and are more interested in the money than the learning, it screams out that we MUST raise standards of what our country expects from its students.

But also, it mandates that our parents MUST instill in their children the importance of learning, not just the acquisition of money for “trying” college, but really putting education first as a priority goal, over video games and “hanging out” on social websites as the way young people “waste” their youth NOT learning what they need, and we need, for their and our survival long term!

If one thinks about it, this is exactly what President Obama has said over and over again. Education is the single most important goal and aim that all of us must emphasize for our own personal futures and our national security.

Do not forget that even in this Great Recession that we are going through, that those with education and professional degrees, have a LOWER unemployment rate than other groups. So again, it rings true: EDUCATION, EDUCATION, and EDUCATION–similar to the saying that when one buys a home, what matters is LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! 🙂