Democrat and Independent Thinker..."The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." -Nietzsche

Commenting on many things, including..."A government more dangerous to our liberty, than is the enemy it claims to protect us from." - Keith Olbermann

Saturday, December 02, 2006

All are punish'd

There is a disturbing trend in political discourse in the country. Let me name it the "either or" trend.

One example is the search for who to blame for the debacle that is Iraq. The best description I've found is at The Carpetbagger Report, which briefly touches on the situation, then goes on to decry that it's not appropriate to blame the American people.

"For the last several months, as conditions in Iraq have deteriorated, we’ve seen the emergence of a parallel debate that runs alongside the general question of what we’re supposed to do about this mess. It is, of course, the who-deserves-the-blame question.

You’re no doubt familiar with the list of suspects. For the reality-based community, Bush is near the top, followed by Cheney and Rumsfeld. In DC and in the media, some prefer to blame some combination of al Qaeda and Iran. Others argue the Middle East is to blame, because, they say, the region is not ready for democracy. In a variety of places, you can also hear blame go to Iraqis, U.S. troops, and the media.

But as
Josh Marshall noted, Roll Call’s Mort Kondracke has nominated a new scapegoat: the American electorate."

It's not the American people's fault. Alone. But, the people of this country allowed it to happen and have, by their acquiescence, bear their fair share of the blame.

The truth is that it is not EITHER the American people's fault OR the Iraqi people's fault. It is not EITHER Iran's fault OR Al Qaeda's. It is not EITHER the media's fault OR the administration. Or the blogosphere. Or the wingnuts. Or any combination of any of the above or any other entity that did anything other than question, complain, act or speak against the war from the beginning. They are the only blameless, and even they can be held to account for not being strident enough, or loud enough, or active enough.


To paraphrase Shakespeare: A plague on all your houses. ALL YOUR HOUSES! ALL are punish'd. All are punish'd.

That one entity might share more blame than another is a given. And it is irrelevant.

The past, history, that is, is good for one thing and one thing only. To learn from. It is not a weight on an non-existent scale in relation to what is to be done in the present, other than to teach us not to repeat mistakes. It doesn't tell us what to do, but rather what not to do. And no amount of finger pointing is going to solve the predicament in front of us at this moment.

In technical analysis, we call this a "going forward" event. Going forward means that regardless of what we were doing before, we must now do this instead.

It's the instead that must be solved. We must look at the operator's error, and, going forward, not allow it's repetition. Sometimes that means taking the program down another pathway, sometimes it means shutting down the program and re-writing the whole damn thing.

In my humble opinion, I think we have a fatally flawed program, and our client is recalcitrant and unwilling to suspend its operations long enough to allow for new specifications to be written and implemented, nor is its management in a position to provide enough input for the re-write should the user's become able to stand by. Since the cost is now being paid not only by us in time and expenditure to constantly adjust a fatally flawed program, and by the client in chaos and bloodshed, it is time for us to withdraw and allow the client to seek internal or external remedy from another source.

However, Iraq is not the only issue where the EITHER/OR trend in discussion is hampering solution.

Take illegal immigration, for example. The solution is not EITHER amnesty OR no amnesty and deportation instead. There are many viable solutions, all of which have merit and all of which must be applied for the problem to be resolved. Polarization on this issue along partisan lines will result in no resolution. Every available option that is feasible and contributory to the desired result must be implemented.

My humble opinion is that immigration quota's and restrictions should be loosened to allow more legal immigration.

Illegal immigrants who have proven themselves good potential citizens over a long period of time should be allowed amnesty but be penalized in a way that is not merely punitive but beneficent. For example, they may purchase work visa's good for five years, during which time they may apply for citizenship and be given it if they take and pass the test within that time frame and demonstrate a working grasp of the English language. The fine should be substantial but not backbreaking, such as $5,o00, payable over the five year period. The fine should go into a trust to provide scholarships to college for the deserving (meaning good GPA's at high school graduation) children of legal immigrants, which they will be once they pass the citizenship exam. Additional prerequisites should include that they be gainfully employed or legal business owners, have health insurance coverage, pay income taxes and file federal and state income tax returns.

Those who are married, with American born children, or single mothers of same, may request and be given the same amnesty if they can meet the same requirements and be sponsored by 5 U.S. citizens, 2 of which must be native born citizens.

Illegal immigrants who have been in the country less than, say, 5 years, and have no legitimate American born children, must be deported. They may apply for legal immigration.

As of the date of the enactment, all children born to parents who are both illegal immigrants will not be granted citizenship status. One parent must be a citizen or a verified legal immigrant.

Employers of illegal immigrants with no work visa's must be heavily fined for each illegal immigrant worker. Every employee must provide a valid Social Security number and either birth certificate or work visa.

Domestic, farm, and private maintenance workers must be licensed and must produce the same legal documents to the government licensing agent in order to be employed.

Developers and home builders who contract with companies for construction or similar work must be as liable as the contracted companies.

Visa's (or green cards) must be redesigned and printed in the same type methods reserved for U.S. dollars so that they may not be counterfeited.

Illegal immigrants caught crossing at the border must be confined for six months. During that half-year, they may petition the government if they qualify for amnesty under the same conditions. If they do not qualify, they must be deported at the end of the period. If they are caught a second time, or found to be living within the borders at a later time, they must be imprisoned for one year and will be ineligible for amnesty or petition for legal citizenship or work visa for 5 years, regardless of circumstances. A third offense will be a 3 year imprisonment and lifetime ineligibility. A fourth offense will be a federal offense and a 10 year prison sentence with no parole.

Borders must be made as secure as possible, and include fencing and heavily patrolled.

Those are just what I can think of off the top of my head. Surely, our elected officials could come up with an even better comprehensive solution, if they ever tried.

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