Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Sheehan, Kaine, and Phil...Talk about a bunch of groundhogs

Originally Published: February 2, 2006

We begin today with a story that has developed since Tuesday with the State of the Union. As many might know by this point and time, Cindy Sheehan was arrested for wearing an anti-war t-shirt while sitting in the House gallery. After being detained for four hours, she was released. The t-shirt has been reported to have said, “2,245 dead. How many more?” However, Ms. Sheehan was not the only one removed from the Houe gallery that night. Mrs. Beverly Young, wife of Representative Bill Young (R., FL), was removed for wearing a t-shirt which said “Support the troops.” While both women did not like the fact that they were removed for expressing freedom of speech, the officers who removed the two women were following House rules and regulations.
But now we see there is criticism coming down on this. From the Left, the complaint is that if you disagree with the President, you will be silenced. From the Right, if you support the President, you will be silenced. Now as I check the sky and see if the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are riding outside, the Capitol police have commented on the situation. As they point out, they were following “outdated rules” and probably should not have removed the women from the gallery. Apologies have been made to both women; however, Sheehan plans on suing the police for defamation of character and violation of her civil liberties. How far will this case get? Only time will tell.

In other news, Governor Timothy Kaine of Virginia, who recently gave the Democrat response to the State of the Union, said yesterday in a meeting that illegal immigration was not a top issue for the people of Virginia. Instead, there were far more pressing issues that had to be dealt with in the state, but immigration was not one of them. This is rather ironic, considering that is was no more than SIX MONTHS AGO that the issue of illegal immigration in Virginia was making headline news and garnering quite a bit of attention.

The issue was whether or not state tax dollars should be used to build a day laborer center in Herndon, Virginia. For those who do not live or know much about the Northern Virginia area, I will tell you now that there are certain cities in the area that have their map names and their informal names. Annandale is often referred to as Asiandale. The Herndon/Reston area is known as Little El Salvador. One of the greatest problems our country as a whole suffers from today is the issue of illegal immigration. As I am often reminded from one of my own peers, all we need now a days is for one terrorist to enter the country through Canada or Mexico and they can do more damage than we can possibly imagine.

While this is true, it seems that the honorable Governor Kaine does not quite see that. While Governor Kaine talks about a better way, I must give him his dues. Education, health care, employment, and transportation are all important issues. And while Kaine wants to focus our attention on these issues, he seems to be forgetting a few things and not acknowledge one major problem.

The problem is that illegal immigration greatly affects each of these. If children of illegal immigrants enter our public schools, the tax dollars that their families could be generating are not becoming available. This is not a better way. If employers see illegal immigrants as a better source of workers because they are cheaper to pay and do not cause the need to pay taxes, they will hire them. As a result, we find ourselves going back to the days of unrestrained competition and unsafe work environments that make the Big Business factories of the Gilded Age seem like play pens. This is not a better way. If an illegal immigrant enters into a hospital and has no insurance, the taxpayers must pay for these people. This is not a better way. When an illegal immigrant rams their car into another person’s because they do not understand what stop means, the victim of the crash has to watch their insurance rates go up because the illegal immigrant was the one who caused the accident. This is not a better way. So I cannot help but think this, if illegal immigrants can affect so many areas of our lives, does this not make them a top priority?

Finally, today is Groundhogs Day. According to Phil, we will have six more weeks of winter. I don’t know about the rest of you, but if it stays somewhat warm for the rest of winter, I am going to be looking forward to some groundhog stew.

Fact of the Matter

The fact of the matter for today comes with Cindy Sheehan. The fact of the matter is this, we live in a land of laws and rules. If a rule is broken, you will be punished. It is a fact. It is something every one of us has been taught since we were children. There are no exceptions. There are no special considerations. Ms. Sheehan is allowed to have her opinion, but there are certain times and places where her opinions are not meant to spoken, expressed, or heard. The State of the Union is one of those times. While she might not have tried to do any physical harm to the President, her mere presence is a security risk. If we permit people to express their views while the President begins to address the nation and explain his goals for the next year, then we might as well cancel the whole procedure of making this a nationally televised event. The President can have the speech sent to the press and Congress and be done with it.

My friends, some of you may say this is good. You might want to watch some kind of crap that is on television today and not think about politics. The problem with that plan is that as soon as this happens, we begin to lose more of what little political culture every one has in them. When less than half the country votes in a presidential election, there is a problem. When people don’t know who is in charge of what or the difference between the House and Senate or even more importantly, what Congress really is, there is a problem. As a society, Americans must move forward and be willing to listen to all side of an argument, or else we are doomed to never ending squabbling amongst ourselves.

No comments: