Immigration: North Carolina's Challenge

Statue of Liberty

 "Give me your tired, your poor,
  Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
  The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
  Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
  I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

This is what greeted my 10 year-old great-grandfather when he and his family sailed into New York Harbor in 1893. They stepped onto Ellis Island without documents. They were quarantined, processed, and then sent on their way to build our country. After a few years, they filed naturalization papers and became citizens. My ancestors were looking for a sanctuary country and they found it in the United States of America.

God told me not to vote for Huckabee

With all the hubbub going on around immigration these days, and in light of the swarm of right-wing locusts that have invaded North Carolina, I have spent much of the day praying. Seriously.

And in the midst of all my kneeling and genuflecting, I asked God whether or not I should vote for Mr. Huckabee, the rising Christian superstar who fancies himself to be The Chosen One. I took my cue from this excerpt from Huckabee's speech at Liberty University last week:

Much of the news conference focused on Huckabee’s reference to God as a major driving force behind his increasing popularity. When asked if God was solely responsible for his surge in the polls, Huckabee clarified: “I’m saying that when people pray, things happen. I’m not saying that God wants me to be elected. The last time I checked, he hadn’t registered in any of the states to vote. If he does register, be sure to let me know, because I will ask for his vote.”

After all that praying, I am sorry to report that Mr. Huckabee has apparently been talking to the wrong god. The god I talked to today said he would not vote for Huckabee no matter how many times he asks.

I guess that settles that.

Sand fleas, Home ticks, and Astroturf

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I wrote about the Sand Fleas at Figure 8 Island back in July, after homeowners there started leaning on the legislature to allow hardened structures on beaches - the first step toward building sea walls in front of luxury beachfront properties. In case you're not aware, hardened structures on one part of a beach cause accelerated erosion on other parts of the beach. In other words, they're destructive and stupid. The NC Conservation Network was asking people like us to contact our representatives to stop Senate Bill 599.

Well now Adam Searing at NC Policy Watch reports that the Sand Fleas have taken a page from the Home Ticks book and have created an Astroturf organization to give the illusion that there's a ground-swell of grassroots activism behind the scenes.

Dome Infestation

It's hard to know whether Ryan Beckwith is enjoying his new-found popularity, but for those who are interested, Under the Dome is now officially infested with denizens of the rabid right. In response to Martin Lancaster's call to allow enrollment of illegal immigrants in community colleges (he's the President of the Community College system), the bottom has fallen out of the xenophobic barrel. And in case you think I'm throwing that word around lightly, take time to read the comments for yourself. The Old North State is one sad and ugly place.

In the past, I've had the practice of checking out the Dome regularly. No more. The wingnuts can have the place all to themselves.

Where is Liddy on SCHIP?

Elizabeth Dole was against expanding the State Children Health Insurance Program before she was for it.

Dole endangered the health of 123,000 North Carolina children when she voted six times this year against fully funding the program.

Last week, she was among 28 senators who sent a letter asking Senate leadership to expand SCHIP.

“Elizabeth Dole is playing election year politics with the health of our children,” said NCDP Chair Jerry Meek.

Offering Bounties

Everyone knows what a bounty is, right? In the olden days they were offered to anyone who brought in a bad guy - dead or alive. In modern times, we have people like Dog the Bounty Hunter (a.k.a. racist criminal who lost his job) doing much the same thing, hunting people down for money. There are other settings in which bounties are acceptable. Poker for instance.

Does the same player win every tournament? Put a bounty on his head! A bounty is paid to the player who eliminates a "Wanted" player from the game. Take $20 or $100 from the overall purse and put a bounty on the head of the player who won your previous tournament. This will make it more difficult for that player to win again because everyone will be trying to eliminate him for the bounty money!

It's all fun and games here. But, there is a place where bounties are serious business, where they are serious CASH business, and they are still offered - Dead or Alive.

The health care industry.

Elizabeth Edwards, Haircuts, and MRDD

I recently saw a story in the AP that dealt, once again, with the John Edwards $400 haircut. However, this time I was pleasantly surprised that the story was about a good cause - autism research. I was disappointed though, that the AP could not do a complete story and actually follow through with a little research. Unfortunately, our mainstream media have become "reporters", that is they simply report what they are told.

So, I thought I would you give you some background on this issue with regards to the Edwards campaign, and why what happened wasn't a stunt.


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