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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Politics, hatred

August 4, 2014

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To the editor:

I have just heard a news report that the U.S. Congress has failed to approve funds for the government to deal with the immigration problems at the U.S. border. Texas congressman Ted Cruz and his Republican members of the House have decided to oppose this because they desire to restrict the authority of the president of the United States.

Now, with Texas being one of the main locations where this border crisis is occurring, it strikes me as unbelievable that a member of Congress from that state would strike such a position. He is willing to allow this condition to exist and utterly fail to provide financial assistance to deal with the problem.

Is there any more evidence that the political arena of the U.S. is infected with hatred and opposition to any reasonable accommodation or work that would be beneficial to the country

Comments

Bob Smith 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Choosing the lesser of two evils, I'd say.

Ken Lassman 5 months, 3 weeks ago

You mean cutting off your nose to spite your face?

Greg Cooper 5 months, 3 weeks ago

So, Bob, you would rather the nation ignored the hatred and human suffering and all that goes with a lack of immigration control than work out a bipartisan solution that works for the whole country?

Wow, that's adult.

Fred Mertz 5 months, 3 weeks ago

The House passed a bill. Will the senate consider and debate it?

John Graham 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Be sure to remember that even the democrats (Obama's party) did not agree with what Obama has requested to address the recent immigration problem.

Bob Smith 5 months, 3 weeks ago

The meme being pushed here is that any opposition to the current regime's schemes can only be motivated by hatred. We'll be seeing this talking point more and more often as the mid-term elections approach.

Ken Lassman 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Not at all. Anyone can observe the lockstep type loyalty of the powered Republican establishment against doing anything that might give the slightest whif of cooperation with the Democrats, tho. It is more of an Apartheid approach that I'm observing; you know: separate but unequal that not only is applied to the opposition, but to the populace in general. Voter ID laws that act like harassment checkpoints did in South Africa, turning away children escaping from gang violence in their home countries, and so on. Add the twisted logic of suing the president for extending the time businesses have to adopt Affordable Healthcare Act policies, interpreting it as a power grab for their own lack of actions, and you have completed the picture of a party in the grips of fear based strategies that sacrifice the well-being of the many in order to maintain/gain advantage for the few. It reminds me more of an irrational fear of cooties than outright hatred.

Fred Mertz 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Ken, you're a reasonable guy, so let me ask, how does requiring ID to vote constitute harassment. We require ID to cash a check, enter the DNC convention, get medical care, get a passport and so on. Yes, these aren't rights, but is it also harassment in these situations?

We don't know who the children are entering the country so how do we know they are escaping gangs?

My favorite - Obama changed the ACA - he mad law which he has no power to do.. The GOP is right to push back or do you want a George Bush type or other Republican making law on their own too?

Look forward to your response.

Ken Lassman 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Well, thanks for the compliment and the opportunity to explore the issues a bit further. I hope we can do so in a way that will encourage others to do the same.

Good question: does requiring an ID to vote constitute harassment? On the face of it, it seems reasonable enough to ask folks to produce some verification of citizenship/identification in order to fulfill their civic duty in voting. I guess the issue for me comes when you look at how tactics very similar to the current crop of voter ID laws were used historically to actively supress voters in the south, for instance, through things like literacy requirements, poll taxes and the like. It seems reasonable enough to require folks the ability to read what and who they are voting for, right? Not when it is used in an openly selective manner, such that there was no question that the goal was to supress the voters from certain segments of society.

And that's what bothers me about the voter ID laws. I've read in various sources that anywhere from 7-11% of potential voters don't have the requisite documentation to be able to pass muster in these laws. If this percent represented a truly random cross section of our country's population, then you could make the case that it could function as a hedge against voter fraud, I suppose, since no net change would likely be made in the outcome as a result of those folks not being able to vote. But that simply is not the case. Every profile I've read indicates that those 7 - 11% are disproportionately elderly, disabled, African American and students. As a result, I think you can make a pretty darn good case for this becoming a tool for voter turnout manipulation. What say you about that?

As far as all the unaccompanied childrend from Central America, the non-partisan Pew Research group reviewed the results of interviews and documents from Homeland Security, and that was the overwhelming conclusion: they were running away from violence in those countries: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/07/22/children-12-and-under-are-fastest-growing-group-of-unaccompanied-minors-at-u-s-border/

As for the chorus of Republicans saying that Obama usurped power by delaying implementation of the complex ACA, I refer you to a very good exploration of that topic done recently in the Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/07/delaying-parts-of-obamacare-blatantly-illegal-or-routine-adjustment/277873/

Fred Mertz 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Voter ID - they may not have the documentation to get the ID but can they get it? I would not support ID if I truly believed it kept people from voting, but I do believe anyone who wants to vote can get the ID.

If the children are truly running away then we should help them , but we need to quarantine them until we can establish identity and health status. Slightly off topic, but for me, immigration reform isn't amnesty or unfettered and unchecked immigration. It is streamlining the process along with determining how many immigrants our country can handle and securing the border to prevent illegal entry into the country.

The article offers an interesting perspective on the delay. For me, it isn't about Obama, but the power we give to any president. I don't want any president to exceed their authority. I think Obama delayed the employer mandate for political purposes, my opinion. In that case it is wrong, but if it was truly necessary, based on the article it may be within his authority.

Problem is I have lost trust in my government - not just Obama, but all government including our state and local government. Brownback, need I say more? City Council, we need a police station, okay and then they slip in 32 more acres for non-essential purposes. Yes, my trust is gone.

Thanks for the discussion - it was informative.

Ken Lassman 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks for the civil discussion, Fred. I honestly think that the voter ID initiative does create more of a burden to those segments of our society that I identified above, i.e. more than the population in general, and I honestly think that is likely more central to the reason that these laws have been pushed onto our states instead of the lip service given to voter fraud. You need only look at the number of confirmed fraud cases vs the number of incomplete registrations that are here in Kansas to see that far more people may be excluded from voting in state elections than fraudulent voters.

I agree that immigration reform is a top priority, and that responsible procedures would go a long way toward clearing up the mess that unaccompanied children are only one symptom of. It is a sad state of affairs that the issue has been gridlocked by our political process, not addressed effectively. It is an indictment on how we are conducting our politics that we can't use the political process to help resolve these issues, and I'm afraid until we address things like campaign finance, we will continue to see these impasses regardless of who is "at the helm."

I can certainly relate to your loss of trust--at best, we as citizens should keep in the back of our minds: "trust--but verify."

Mike Ford 5 months, 3 weeks ago

really....I've seen it for at least five years now. Heck the people I encountered down south never really curtailed their lovely epithets to begin with because they thought they were amongst like minded people which is what this comes down to anyway.

Sam Crow 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Ted Cruz is not a congressman. He is not and never has been, in the House. But that is alright. Just make up whatever you need to in order to fit your diatribes.

Lewis Thomason 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Actually Ted Cruz is a member of Congress since the Constitution defines congress as composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives. It is true however that members of the Senate are referred to as Senators and members of the house as Congressman.

Sam Crow 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Regarding the letter, "es ipsa loquitur"

Bob Forer 5 months, 3 weeks ago

you got it wrong, again, Sam.

It is "res" and not "es." It's latin and essentially means, "the thing speaks for itself.

Leslie Swearingen 5 months, 3 weeks ago

res ip·sa lo·qui·tur [reez ip-suh loh-kwi-ter, lok-wi-, reys] Show IPA noun Law. the rule that an injury is due to the defendant's negligence when that which caused it was under his or her control or management and the injury would not have happened had proper management been observed. Origin: 1650–60; < Latin rēs ipsa loquitur literally, the thing itself speaks

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/res+ipsa+loquitur

Yes, I am going to copy and paste because that is the best way to get the information in my comment.

Sam, do you mean that the children crossing the border brought all this on themselves so they should not be helped? We in Lawrence cannot possibly fully understand the level of violence in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. the desperation of the families, the horrors that these young girls face. These children, boys and girls, deserve the same security and love that our children have and I think we should do all we can for them.

I don't know what the American government can do in countries where their is such chaos and such blatant disregard for law.

Chris Golledge 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I am wondering how bad conditions would have to be before I sent my child off to a foreign country without friends or relatives. I'm pretty sure the Latinos don't love their children any less.

Granted, I think we have to have some control over our boader, but I'm not sure what Ted's solution is. Bus the 10-year olds over to Tijuana and just drop them off?

Richard Heckler 5 months, 3 weeks ago

The right wing party of the United States is posing as the republican party. The right wing party of the United States declared very early on that their main issue was to make Obama a one term president. Obviously that is still their objective no matter that he was elected for the second time around. Obviously paying attention is the least of their concerns.

The rt wing party of the United States does have one much larger objective which is to distract voters from the rotten economic times that the right wing party has delivered to the USA and millions of hard working Americans. See below the examples.

Richard Heckler 5 months, 3 weeks ago

So why does the US economy stink?

Why has job creation in America slowed to a crawl? Why, after several months of economic hope, are things suddenly turning sour? The culprits might seem obvious – uncertainty in Europe, an uneven economic recovery, fiscal and monetary policymakers immobilized and incapable of acting. But increasingly, Democrats are making the argument that the real culprit for the country's economic woes lies in a more discrete location: with the Republican Party.

In recent days, Democrats have started coming out and saying publicly what many have been mumbling privately for years – Republicans are so intent on defeating President Obama for re-election that they are purposely sabotaging the country's economic recovery. These charges are now being levied by Democrats such as Senate majority leader Harry Reid and Obama's key political adviser, David Axelrod.

For Democrats, perhaps the most obvious piece of evidence of GOP premeditated malice is the 2010 quote from Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell:

"The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."

Such words lead some to the conclusion that Republicans will do anything, including short-circuiting the economy, in order to hurt Obama politically. Considering that presidents – and rarely opposition parties – are held electorally responsible for economic calamity, it's not a bad political strategy.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/09/did-republicans-deliberately-crash-us-economy

in addition to these problems:

--- The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist aka Home Loan Scam http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

--- The Bush/Cheney Wall Street Bank Home Loan Scam http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/02/25/700272/-FBI-Kills-RUSH-s-Blame-the-Borrower-Meme-and-Ignore-the-Money-Launderers-UPDATED

--- What did Bush and Henry Paulson do with the $700 billion of bail out money? http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

--- Why did GW Bush Lie About Social Security?( This would cost taxpayers $4 trillion,place taxpayers insurance money at risk and wreck the economy) http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2010/0111orr.html

--- Still A Bad Idea – Bush Tax Cuts = The ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2001/0301miller.html

M. Lindeman 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I tire of all this BS defending each others side, doing so on this issue and so many other issues only prove to the politicians that we are all fools they can control. Everyone here has seemed to forgotten that we have already passed and funded a border fence that never got finished because Janet Napolitano put the brakes on that. I find fault on both sides when it comes to this issue and many others, we are all the losers when we blindly fight for a side. I will say it again, TERM LIMITS, because after they have been there for an extended amount of time the only difference between the sides is there party letter.

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