….Janet Napolitano has resigned as DHS head in favor of a quieter life in the realm of California academia. However, I think she’s doing what Hillary Clinton did a few months ago: distancing herself from the present administration so that she will not be tainted by association come 2016. Furthermore, I think she will end up being on the Democratic ticket as Hillary’s running mate. Here’s why I think this:

  1.  Obama fatigue has set in, and it will only get worse–this is inevitable given his being in office for two terms; the electorate will want something different in 2016, which is why Clinton and Napolitano are bowing out now and (temporarily) fading from the public eye, which has the general attention span of a spastic kitten and the memory-span only slightly longer than that of a goldfish.
  2. The unfortunate state of politics is such that tribalism rules, meaning the one who can unite the most identity groups among the low-information voters (since those who take the time to be informed will usually vote accordingly) will win. A Clinton/Napolitano ticket has a decent chance at doing this:
    • The ghouls and harridans at NARAL and NOW will be beyond ecstatic that a viable two-woman ticket will be on the electoral menu (Republican women don’t count as they lack the “correct” views). This has not happened before in our history, and now that the first black President has been elected, the time has come, they will shriek, for a woman in the Oval Office. Women (and men who wish to be seen as enlightened) will rejoice and flock to the voting booth.
    • The black community has been a nearly solid voting bloc for the Democrats for decades, and that will not change any time soon. Same goes for the gay community, the Occupy-type hipster youth, and the environmentalist acolytes of Al Gore.
    • Pro-amnesty Hispanics are another solid voting bloc for the Democrats, and Napolitano being former governor of Arizona might translate into more votes from the southwest. Speaking of which….
  3. There was a brief attempt in 2012 to flip Arizona, and I think that attempt will be repeated in 2016, especially if the Democrats gain a victory on the immigration front. Here’s something else that I’m sure Hillary Clinton has (or will) consider: there are a lot of Libertarians in Arizona as well as disaffected Republicans. Depending on what the Republican ticket looks like in 2016, a Clinton/Napolitano ticket has a good to very good chance of capitalizing on that schism to win a plurality of votes, especially if they quietly encourage the Libertarians to vote for a third party candidate (it won’t be Ron Paul, so they’ll have to find someone else) or stay home. This is what happened in my district–the Libertarian candidate took just enough votes that would have gone to the Republican candidate so that the ultra-left Kyrsten Sinema ended up winning. At the very least, a Clinton/Napolitano ticket could divert GOP attention/money into keeping Arizona red, leaving purple states more vulnerable.

Usually, the opposition party has a really good chance of coming into power after a two-term President leaves office, but it’s very questionable this time, especially given the tendency among the GOP elite to spit on the Tea Party and those Republicans of libertarian persuasion (small “l”, not to be confused with the Ron Paulians) these days. The usual suspects in the media will promote Clinton talking points, build up their preferred RINO candidate during the primary (Chris Christie, most likely) in order to tear him down in the general, and otherwise do whatever water-carrying/dirty-trickstering the Clintons want done, thus helping to cement the low-information cabal, who will blithely return to their soma of choice and their endless pursuit of bread and circuses, until they are summoned to be the tools of the cynical political class once again.

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Onward, no matter what.

So, the corrupt national media has won, and succeeded in pulling the wool over the eye of the majority of the country….again.

Here’s what will happen:
–The economy will get worse as the massive taxes and regulations of Obamacare, take effect. Obama will still blame Bush, and the media, emboldened by their victory, will continue to allow it.
–If Israel is attacked by Iran, the United S
tates won’t lift a finger to help our ally. The Middle East will be lost.
–Gas prices will continue to skyrocket while tax dollars will continue to be funneled to Obama donors that run “green” companies without result, while domestic coal and oil production is crushed by the EPA.
–We will be attacked by terrorists again, and Obama will demur and do nothing, again. Ambassadors in volatile countries: beware, for it has been proven that Obama would rather dither and prevaricate than take action to save your life.

Oh well, those of us with the will and the skills to survive will do so, and America will eventually recover. History has confirmed this, so take heart. As for those of you who voted for Obama? I wish you well, I truly do, but you’re in for a very rude awakening, indeed. Our country will feel the cumulative crush of incompetence, corruption, and deliberate mismanagement as we continue our march towards the soft-socialism of Europe. Everyone will suffer, and those of you who voted for Obama will bitch, moan, and complain while you suffer, as you are wont to do. You will only have yourselves to blame. Instead, though, you’ll blame those of us who tried to stop it, as you’ve always done.

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An Analysis of Eric C. Miller’s Essay: “Barack Obama, Pro-Life Hero”

Published on October 22, 2012 at  My comments are by no means exhaustive, but what I could accomplish in the time I had to devote to the task.

Eric C. Miller is a lecturer in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University. His research focuses on the rhetoric of the religious right.

The word choices of that last sentence tells me that he will be approaching this article from a point of view that that presupposes that the so-called “religious right” is in the wrong, as the only people who use the phrase “religious right” are those in opposition to them.  Without reading further, I can surmise that he will be unlikely to represent the viewpoint of those who are against abortion fairly, as that would weaken his own arguments.  In the interest of fairness, though, I will analyze this essay completely.

Writing in the National Catholic Reporter in early August, Nicholas Cafardi made the provocative assertion that between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, the president is the more pro-life candidate. A significant part of the Duquesne law professor’s argument is that Obama favors “support for vulnerable pregnant women and alternatives to abortion [which] will make abortions much less likely, since most abortions are economic.” A few weeks later, just thirty-four days before the election, that argument became even stronger.

This analysis by Dr. William Robert Johnston, a physicist, concludes that while economic reasons for abortion are significant, they do not constitute “most.”  From the limited data available, an average of 98% of abortions are elective, meaning they are not meant to terminate a pregnancy for health or criminal (i.e. rape/incest) reasons.  Of the 98%, only 25-30% (averaged) of that is for solely economic reasons, meaning that 68% of abortions occur for reasons that are not solely economic.  Among the other reasons given, the one cited as being the most important is that mother felt that she was not ready for a baby.

This is not to say that economics does not play a significant role—in the 2004 AGI survey cited by Dr. Johnston, for example, 73% gave economics as ONE of the reasons that an abortion was chosen—it says that there are other reasons to consider, reasons that having free contraception would not address.  For example, the most common reason for choosing abortion according to that same survey, given by 74% of responders, that they were  “concerned about how having baby would change her life,” a reason that has nothing to do with contraception.  Furthermore, according to the same data compiled by Dr. Johnston, 53% of women who became pregnant and subsequently had an abortion were using contraception at the time.  Considering that the entire premise of this essay is that Obama is the more pro-life President based on the fact that he mandates contraception be paid for by the woman’s employer, these facts cast the veracity of the entire essay into serious doubt.

On October 3, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine published a study with profound implications for policy making in the United States. According to Dr. Jeffery Peipert, the study’s lead author, abortion rates can be expected to decline significantly—perhaps up to 75 percent—when contraceptives are made available to women free of charge. Declaring himself “very surprised” at the results, Peipert requested expedient publication of the study, noting its relevance to the upcoming election.

As most observers surely know, the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. “Obamacare”) requires insurance coverage for birth control, a provision staunchly opposed by most of the same religious conservatives who oppose legalized abortion. If Peipert is correct, however, the ACA may prove the single most effective piece of “pro-life” legislation in the past forty years.

Before teasing out the implications of this claim, it’s important to understand the conditions that make such a claim possible. Drawing on a sample of 9,000 St. Louis women—many of whom were uninsured—Peipert and his colleagues covered the costs of birth control, making a variety of options available free of charge. Once price was no longer a concern, many of the women opted for relatively expensive intrauterine devices (IUDs) which are among the most effective forms available:

The effect on teen pregnancy was striking: There were 6.3 births per 1,000 teenagers in the study. Compare that to a national rate of 34 births per 1,000 teens in 2010.

There also were substantially lower rates of abortion, when compared with women in the metro area and nationally: 4.4 to 7.5 abortions per 1,000 women in the study, compared with 13.4 to 17 abortions per 1,000 women overall in the St. Louis region, Peipert calculated. That’s lower than the national rate, too, which is almost 20 abortions per 1,000 women.

I read Peipert’s study, available in PDF form at the first link given.  Here’s the problem I had with it:

  1. The study was funded by an organization whose goal was to promote the decrease in pregnancy rate in particular sections of the population while also promoting socialistic healthcare policies.  They chose for their study individuals that were more likely to be irresponsible (harsh perhaps, but true—the majority reported a history of promiscuity, STD infection, and/or previous abortions).  Among such individuals, contraception that requires a certain degree of vigilance is more likely to fail (e.g. taking the pill at the right time, having a condom available in “the heat of the moment,” etc.).  They provided an expensive, permanent form of contraception among other more traditional options to these people and encouraged them to choose it, which, logically, they did—after all, they did not have to pay for it.  The IUD that was favored did, in fact, reduce the pregnancy rate, which, logically, resulted in fewer abortions among that particular group.    In other words, the study was set up in such a way as to come to the very conclusion that this organization wanted to get, and then Miller decided to extrapolate that because the study had that effect on one, very specific population, it would therefore have the same effect on the entire population.
  2. The study was only concerned with the immediate effect of lowering the pregnancy rate and ended up disregarding the bigger picture of sexual health, which is bad science and ethically irresponsible, to say the least.  For example, the study completely ignores the long-term effects of IUDs, copper or hormonal.  It also ignores other factors related to women’s health—the prevalence of STDs, for example, which can also cause infertility, even death.  It ignores the behavior that can lead to these diseases or unintended pregnancy, which is like putting a band-aid on an infected cut without treating the infection itself.  After all, responsible behavior—waiting until marriage for a sexual relationship, eschewing the hook-up culture, completing one’s education—can all reduce the pregnancy rate in any population, but is not considered a politically-correct approach by groups like the CHOICE Foundation (because it concerns treating the morality/ethics of the individual, and that’s, like, so uncool and judgmental, man).  For more, read this article that discusses the ethics behind Peipert’s study.>

Encouraging as these results are from both a women’s health and, ostensibly, pro-life perspective, they become even more so in light of their economic benefits. Author Brian Alexander notes that, according to a 2011 study from the Guttmacher Institute, “unplanned pregnancies cost the United States a conservatively estimated $11 billion per year,” money that may be saved simply by covering the cost of birth control.

Peipert himself touted this benefit. “The way I look at it as a gynecologist with an interest in women’s health and public health and family planning, is that this saves money,” he said. “When you provide no-cost contraception, and you remove that barrier, you finally reduce unintended pregnancy rates. It doesn’t matter what side one is on politically, that’s a good thing.” Dr. James T. Breeden, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, called the data “an amazing improvement,” adding, “I would think if you were against abortions, you would be 100 percent for contraception access.”

There are three fallacies at work here:

1. They conflate the concept of “affordablility” vs “access.”  In Peipert’s study, more than half of the enrollees in the study had some form of insurance.  Most insurance companies cover IUD’s, though a copay is often necessary.  I can’t say this for certain without more information, but I would venture a guess that a lot of the people in this study could very well have afforded the copay, but instead chose to spend their money elsewhere.  Even if they lacked insurance, most doctors allow monthly payment plans, but again, making such payments requires planning and forethought—responsible thinking, in other words.

2. The assumption that lowering the pregnancy rate in the poor by forcing other people to pay for their contraception will save the amount of money associated with pre-natal and post-natal care of unintended pregnancies in the long run (the $11 billion, in other words)—it won’t.  Contraception, like every other product, costs money, and that money has to come from somewhere—namely, taxpayers.  Furthermore, I pointed out earlier that more than half of abortions occurred in women who were already using contraception, which means even if contraception was free, it doesn’t always work, and the subsequent costs are still covered by the taxpayers.

3. Perhaps the biggest fallacy of all: the conflation of “unintended pregnancy” with “unwanted pregnancy.”  Miller, Peipert, make the argument that an unintended pregnancy is an unwanted one—I beg to differ, though it’s difficult to argue why in a purely logical, non-emotional manner.  Suffice to say that all of my children fit the technical definition of “unintended:” we were weren’t trying to get pregnant with any of them; we just let nature take its course, so to speak.  The pregnancies that resulted were not always convenient, and were often very difficult for a myriad of reasons, but to say that, in the long term, that these pregnancies were “unwanted” is grossly inaccurate.  The authors of this CDC report, from which the $11 billion number comes, made that distinction, but those that used this report to support their own agendas glaringly did not.  I know it’s not politically-correct to say, but it’s true: Having children will force an adult to grow up and become more than what he/she could be otherwise, provided that that adult is not prevented from taking responsibility for his/her children, no matter how well-meaning such prevention may be.  Even if a pregnancy is unwanted at first, that doesn’t mean that the child himself/herself will end up being unwanted, as anecdotal evidence, at least will attest.

But it remains the case that, by and large, those most opposed to abortion are not “100 percent for” contraception access. In fact, Peipert’s study comes at a time when more than thirty federal lawsuits have been filed by social conservatives bent on overturning the ACA’s contraception mandate. In many cases, these suits are “religious freedom” complaints, arguing that requiring religiously-affiliated organizations to include contraception in their health care plans violates their rights of conscience. These claims are, in most cases, dubious given that the ACA offers a religious “accommodation” whereby the onus of contraceptive coverage is placed on insurance companies rather than organizations.

Miller completely ignores the fact that it is the employer who pays for the insurance to begin with, not the employee (though the cost is passed down to the employee, it is the employer who decides which insurance company gets his/her business).  The so-called accommodation is nothing more than a bait-and-switch, a weaselly way of absolving the employer of responsibility of conscience in the legal sense while doing nothing of the sort in reality.  For some, that may be enough, but for those who take their religious beliefs seriously, to be forced to contravene those beliefs because their employee doesn’t want to pay out of their own pocket is unconscionable.  Considering the common practice of businesses is to pass their expenses down to the consumer,  the cost of the additional coverage will be paid for by the employer anyway in the form of higher rates, which is like pouring salt on the proverbial wound.

Such efforts by social conservatives to oppose the ACA betray both an unseemly partisanship and a nervous insecurity. It seems entirely plausible that, in the contraception mandate, leaders of these groups see not a violation of their own freedom so much as a weakening of their ability to dictate the terms by which their members live.

It’s also worth noting that, as a premise for political arguments, religious freedom has become strikingly promiscuous in recent years. Now cited as a justification for opposition to same-sex marriage, anti-discrimination laws, and—stunningly—anti-bullying initiatives, conservative activists are finding they may apply religious freedom to any number of disparate issues. Apart from trivializing what ought to be a sacred liberal right, the widespread deployment of religious freedom arguments indicates a weak rhetorical posture. In each of the cases mentioned above, opponents of a particular piece of legislation embraced religious freedom only after other strategies failed to persuade. Such arguments thus served as a sort of fallback position, allowing their advocates to re-frame the debate on terms entirely separate from the practical merits of the policy at issue.

Miller is using the same strawman argument that so-called progressives love to employ: namely, if you disagree with our specific method of solving a particular problem, then you must be in favor of the problem.  It is well-documented that even voicing one’s opinion against a particular group, for example, is tantamount to hate-speech by those who champion these particular anti-discrimination laws.  It is well-documented that homosexual activists have tried to force their inclusion by legal fiat into religious groups who teach that homosexuality is wrong.  It is well-documented just how selective some of the anti-bullying initiatives are—bullying of the “right” groups is horrific, while bullying the “wrong” groups is fine and dandy.

Most people know as well as I do that there are no mainstream conservative groups or religious groups that advocate bullying or discrimination, at least as the terms have been traditionally defined.  The above sentence regarding the “ability to dictate the terms by which their members live?”  That is pure, 100% projection, considering that the initiatives that Miller supports act to curtail the First Amendment rights of the individual while exerting control over the definitions of terms like “discrimination” and “bullying,” replacing traditional meanings with their broader, self-serving versions.

The rest of the article is a rehash of the same points raised in the beginning, so I won’t waste time with them, as I’ve spent enough time on this already.  To summarize: Miller went into this essay with his narrative predetermined, based on a fundamentally faulty premise, and used a combination of verbal slight-of-hands and outright falsehoods to support his case and to give himself the veneer of reasonability and impartiality.  He’s lying, pure and simple, in an attempt to bolster Obama’s image among pro-life voters.  Unsurprisingly, Miller ignores Obama’s actual record in the attempt.

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Playing the Long Game

I find myself rather….disappointed….with the whining and hand-wringing on the right side of the aisle that has taken place in the last 36 hours or so.  Obamacare was held up, granted on the flimsiest of arguments, and because the Chief Justice did not do as many conservatives thought he should do, he is now a traitor in their eyes, no matter what may be said in his own defense.

This is incredibly sad, for it brings to mind the puerile and short-sighted behavior of the progressives after Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut voiced his support of the War in Iraq.  The leftists stomped their feet like spoiled toddlers and made sure a more suitable candidate won the next Connecticut primary.  This is the way the system is supposed to works, so I’m not criticizing that.  I just find it ridiculous that the Democrats chose to ostracize one of their own, to the point of trying to end his career, because of his disagreement with them on one single issue.*

Usually, when I compare Conservatives and Progressives, I see those who recognize the forest from far away vs those who cannot see the forest because they are too focused on the trees right in front of them.  Granted, the particular format of communication made possible by the Internet does result in a rather myopic point of view, as it’s easy to get so focused on what’s happening minute-by-minute rather than to place what is happening within its proper framework.  To accomplish such a placement–to be able to see the forest despite the multitude of trees–requires a sense of perspective that only comes with time, patience, and humility.

Time, to learn about the past and experience enough of the present.  This is why youths trend towards Progressivism, while older adults trend towards Conservatism.

Patience, to slow down and think about what is going on rather than letting emotions dictate one’s actions.

Humility, to keep the proper perspective about oneself and one’s short-comings, as there will always be another who knows more or a fact not yet considered.

What I have been seeing in the past 36 hours, however, has been both sides behaving shortsightedly.  The Progressives are crowing about their victory and trying to prevent the mechanisms of government from turning back to correct a grievous wrong.  They shout about winning, though the football is still in play, in the hands of the opposing team, and the fourth quarter has yet to begin.

Many conservatives, on the other hand, are walking off the field, so focused on the unpleasant obstacles in front of them that they are forgetting (or ignoring) that there is still plenty of time left to win and plenty of plays that can be run.  In other words, they are letting their emotions dictate their actions, rather than their brains.

I’ve skimmed Chief Justice Roberts’s decision, and I plan to read it more thoroughly.  What has stood out for me the most is the following:

Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments.  Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them.  It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.

The United States is one of the most, if not the most, resilient countries the world has ever seen.  The Founders knew that we as citizens would make mistakes, because we are, after all, imperfect human beings.  And we have made mistakes, many times over.  But what we have also done is, for better or for worse, learn from those mistakes.  And, as Roberts pointed out, it is not always the responsibility of the courts to correct those mistakes; it is ultimately the responsibility of the American people.  Therefore, the mechanism for correcting any mistakes was written into our Constitution: our vote and our voice.

Roberts also pointed out in his ruling opinion that, despite the protestations of the President and the Democrats in Congress while trying to get Obamacare passed, the so-called Individual Mandate is nothing more than a massive tax increase, which Obama’s own lawyers ended up agreeing with (see the second paragraph of the quote):

Under the mandate, if an individual does not maintain health insurance, the only consequence is that he must make an additional payment to the IRS when he pays his taxes….That, according to the government, means the mandate can be regarded as establishing a condition–not owning health insurance–that triggers a tax–the required payment to the IRS.

Neither the Act nor any other law attaches negative legal consequences to not buying health insurance, beyond requiring a payment to the IRS.  The Government agrees with that reading, confirming that if someone chooses to pay rather than obtain health insurance, they have fully complied with the law.

In other words, by the Federal government’s own admission during the Supremem Court hearing, the Individual Mandate is a tax.  Because Congress has the authority to tax the American people, the Mandate must be upheld.  In other words, when Obama went on record and insisted that the Individual Mandate was not a tax, he was lying.  When he and his surrogates insist today and for the next four months that it is not a tax, they will be lying.

If Romney is smart, and I think he is, his message will be crystal-clear and relentless: Obama and the Democrats in Congress raised your taxes, and they did it by lying to you.  If you do not remove Obama and the Democrats, your taxes will skyrocket.

The economic woes are not going away any time soon.  Gas prices are still high, trips to the grocery store are high, and jobs in many sectors are not easy to come by.  The middle class is the bread and butter of this country, and the absolute last thing they need right now is a huge increase in taxes, which is exactly what they will get if the rest of Obamacare takes effect.

Conservatives have a golden opportunity to remove many of the people who created Obamacare, along with the man who told so many lies to help get it through.  The choice, then, is simple: whine about life not going your way, or work with what you have.

Get lost in the trees, or step back and see the forest.

*Of course, what the leftists didn’t factor in was Lieberman’s popularity in his state among Independents and Republicans, and so Lieberman was able to keep his seat simply by switching his party-affiliation to Independent, thus depriving the Democrats (albeit in name only, as he still votes with them most of the time) of a seat in the Senate during a time when the split was 51 Dem – 49 Rep.

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Unintended Consequence?

Mark Levin points out that the decree that the federal government has sole jurisdiction over matters of illegal immigration law enforcement could potentially be a double-edged sword:

“If this case stands for the point that only the federal government has power in the area of immigration, then let me suggest that sanctuary cities and sanctuary states are unconstitutional because they exist to defy federal immigration law,” Levin said. “That’s number one. So folks out there that have standing, sue your cities, sue your states if they have declared themselves to be sanctuary cities or states because they do not have the constitutional authority to declare butkus. So turn this law against them.”

The same goes for states that offer in-state tuition at colleges for illegal aliens, Levin said.

“In-state tuition clearly is unconstitutional because Congress has not authorized it for illegal aliens,” he said. “Again — if the court’s position is that the federal government has complete preemptive authority over this issue, the federal government has not authorized in-state tuition for illegal aliens of any kind. So sue your state if they’ve instituted in-state tuition for illegals.”

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What Recourse Do States Have…

…when the Executive Branch of the Federal Government refuses to do its job?

Here is 8 U.S.C. § 1324 : US Code – Section 1324: Bringing in and harboring certain aliens and here is 8 U.S.C. § 1304 : US Code – Section 1304: Forms for registration and fingerprinting

The latter law is important when considering the so-called “Show Me Your Papers” provision of SB1070:

(d) Certificate of alien registration or alien receipt card
Every alien in the United States who has been registered and
fingerprinted under the provisions of the Alien Registration Act,
1940, or under the provisions of this chapter shall be issued a
certificate of alien registration or an alien registration receipt
card in such form and manner and at such time as shall be
prescribed under regulations issued by the Attorney General.
(e) Personal possession of registration or receipt card; penalties
Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times
carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate
of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to
him pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. Any alien who fails
to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of
a misdemeanor and shall upon conviction for each offense be fined
not to exceed $100 or be imprisoned not more than thirty days, or

In other words, immigrants who have not yet become American citizens are required by federal law to keep proof of their status on their person, and to furnish them when asked.

The federal law is very, very clear on illegal immigration. The issue at hand, which is not discussed as much as it ought to be, is the complete failure of the executive branch, which is the branch of government responsible for enforcing the law, to enforce the laws as written. From Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution (emphasis mine):

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

The current administration has, as have others preceding it, made it clear that they will pick and choose which laws to enforce based on what is politically palatable to them.  The judicial branch has acted, and the executive branch has decided to ignore the judiciary (see the “update” section at the link), and so it is up to the legislative branch to act now.

The problem is, of course, is that the Senate is controlled by Harry Reid and his Democrats, and they have been tabling almost every bill sent to them by the Republican-controlled House, not to mention the fact that they have not passed a budget in over three years, which in and of itself is a violation of the budget process as established by law.

So, in other words, a solution exists, but Congress is not likely to act on it unless the Republicans take the Senate in November, but even then, action is questionable, because Republican administrations have let immigration enforcement slide as well….sigh….

UPDATE: A few reminders why border security is so important.

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Both sides are seeing victory in today’s SCOTUS decision regarding the SB 1070 law.

On one hand, a state’s police has every right to verify a person’s immigration status if that person is detained for another reason (and then, presumably, turn the offender over to federal immigration officials if that person is illegal).  This is extremely important, as it affirms that the state can, to a degree, take action to remove an illegal alien that commits a crime within the country, rather than prosecute him/her at the expense of the local taxpayers and “hope” that the feds will do something about that individual at some point in the future.

In other words, if a person is caught breaking into a house, the local police can demand that that person produce his/her proof of lawful citizenship, much like a local police can demand identification in order to run that person’s name through a national database to determine if he/she has a criminal history, outstanding warrants, etc.  Before, local police were not allowed to ask for proof of immigration status, as that was considered the sole jurisdiction of the federal government.

On the other hand, SCOTUS has ruled that a state has no right to enforce laws that fall within the jurisdiction of the federal government (including state prosecution of those who hire illegals)–even if the federal government has made it abundantly clear that it is not interested in enforcing federal law in certain situations.  In other words, this ruling affirms the “right” of the federal government to enforce the law in a prejudicial manner.

This is deeply troubling in several respects, most especially for those who believe that states should retain their sovereignty–as long as that sovereignty does not entail violating the Constitutionally-guaranteed rights of a citizen, of course.  On a micro level, this is tantamount to homeowners being told that they have NO RIGHT to defend their homes if someone breaks in–no right to use their own weapons, no right to hire private security, nothing.  Defense of their private property is left to the sole discretion of publicly-financed law enforcement, and the homeowners have to trust that police will arrive in time to apprehend the criminal.*

Forget for a moment what you were taught in school**: this is the fundamental reason why the Civil War occurred–slavery aside, when the Union army invaded the South, citizens were forced to choose between their state and their country.  They had to decide if their loyalty to the corporate body, if you will, superseded their loyalty to their home within that corporate body.  We know what happened–the Union won, and the states were forced to relinquish some of their sovereignty to preserve the integrity of the country as a whole.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m very glad that the Union won the Civil War and slavery was officially ended, but it is a mistake to assume that the Confederacy was completely in the wrong just because they lost, especially when the deeper philosophies of State Sovereignty vs. Federal Sovereignty are considered.

If you look back through this country’s history, both before the Civil War and afterwards, these battles between State and Federal occur constantly.  As you can see by this current fight over illegal immigration, the battle still continues.  I’ve written before about what increasing federal power is doing to the economies in the states, and what I said earlier bears repeating: today’s SCOTUS ruling has affirmed the supremacy of the federal government at the expense of the sovereign state in matters of law enforcement, even though the federal government has been proven to enforce their own laws with extreme prejudice.  Think long and hard about what that means for the future of this Constitutional republic.

Fortunately, there are solutions: exercise the vote in both local and national elections to elect people that believe in the preservation of the balance between state and federal power.  Stay informed of what they do to keep them accountable.  Governments don’t change very quickly, but they do change.

Remember this: America was founded to be a nation of adults, independent and proactive.  Don’t passively assume that the government will take care of everything, because that leaves the door wide open for your rights to be curtailed to the point that they no longer exist.  We are not serfs or peasants to be lorded over by royalty or tyranny.  We have fought many wars to escape that existence and to prevent being sucked back into it, but we cannot win if no one knows or cares enough to fight anymore.

So take responsibility.

*If you cannot see the inherent problems in that philosophy but want to understand them, then ask me in the comments and I’ll explain.  If you will not see the inherent problems in that philosophy because it conflicts with your immutable worldview, then this blog is not for you.  Go away.

**History in public schools, a.k.a. social studies, is taught in a condescendingly simplistic and incredibly biased manner, which infuriates me because it leaves students wholly ignorant and apathetic about the fundamental truths upon which this country was built, but that’s another post for another time.

UPDATE: The Department of Homeland Security REFUSES to comply with the SCOTUS ruling regarding the right of state law enforcement to verify immigration status:

The Obama administration said Monday it is suspending existing agreements with Arizona police over enforcement of federal immigration laws, and said it has issued a directive telling federal authorities to decline many of the calls reporting illegal immigrants that the Homeland Security Department may get from Arizona police.

What we have here is a severe case of runaway executive branch, and a divided legislature dominated by petty tyrants in the Senate to do anything about it.  Lord willing, that will change come November.

Update: More analysis of the ruling from Professor Jacobson of Legal Insurrection, including excerpts of the dissents authored by Scalia, Alito, and Thomas.  There’s also an interesting take on the political meaning of today’s ruling, courtesy of Mr. Rush Limbaugh:

If you’re the Supreme Court and you’re gonna strike down Obamacare, you’d go ahead and protect Obama in a previous ruling so that you save the court’s image.” The theory being that they gave Obama most of what he wanted on Arizona ’cause they’re gonna skin him alive when it comes to health care. Who knows.

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