Archive for June, 2007

Security forces in Baghdad have full control in only 40 percent of Baghdad

June 16, 2007

Nice to see that four years after the mission was accomplished; after four years of occupation by the most advanced and best-trained military force on earth; after well over 3,000 U.S. troops have died, many more suffering serious injuries, and hundreds of thousands suffering serious and under-treated psychological trauma from their service; after uncounted billions of dollars spent by the most wealthy and powerful nation on the planet; and five months into the Surge, a top U.S. general estimates that the security forces have achieved firm control of almost half of Baghdad. Actually, not even almost half, but in the general vicinity of half, right? The low end of the vicinity, anyway. The fruit of four years of the occupation of Baghdad is control of about 40% of the city. Such an impressive feat! It speaks volumes about the competency and sound judgment of this administration, does it not?

For some stories, there is simply no better response than sarcasm.

Failure to Reform Immigration

June 9, 2007

After all the hoopla, it appears that immigration reform is going to die a quiet death. If so, I’ve mixed feelings. It’s too bad that there won’t be any progress on resolving this very divisive issue. On the other hand, the compromise which had been struck didn’t seem much of an improvement, either. I was glad that it did take the compassionate path in dealing with the currently illegal immigrants. If you want to call it amnesty, so be it. No purpose would be served by “getting tough” on the people just trying to make a better life for their families—even if there were any practical method by which to have them all rounded up and deported or jailed. It may not be “fair,” but we serve our nation better by putting these people on the path to legal status and (should they want it) citizenship.

On the other hand, I was hardly impressed by the proposed changes which appear to give precedence to prospective immigrants with higher education and skills. This emphasis would do nothing to stem the tide of illegal immigrants. Most illegal immigrants come to the U.S. for the opportunity to make something of themselves—something their lack of education and high-level skills prevent them from doing in their home countries. Why prioritize highly-skilled workers, who already have an opportunity for success in their home nations? This change is simply a gift to big business, one which could potentially depress salaries and benefits for the high-end job market in the U.S. as the employment pool increases.

Hopefully the Senate will try again to improve our immigration laws, this time with the goal of better serving the compassionate and honorable principles which the Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform have so capably articulated.

Utah Senate Republicans Favor Judicial Activism

June 7, 2007

Correct me if I’m wrong. But isn’t it conservatives, including many Utah conservatives, who tend to complain about “judicial activism,” and refer to supposedly overreaching judges as “legislating from the bench?”

Isn’t it many of these same conservatives in the Utah senate (and sadly in the governor’s office) who now refuse to take responsibility for the legislative mess they’ve created over school vouchers, preferring to let the Utah state court sort things out?

Kudos to Republicans like Representative Urquhart, sponsor of the original voucher bill, for favoring a special session to repeal the original voucher bills and produce a new unified voucher bill which would be officially suspended until after the referendum and bound to the results of that referendum. While I strongly disagree with Urquhart’s position on vouchers, I appreciate his respect for the integrity of the democratic process.