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 Stars align at last for immigration plan - CNN.com
Bill Richardson on immigration reform.


A comprehensive plan should create a path to earned citizenship, enforceable border security, a realistic guest worker plan, accountability for employees that hire illegal immigrants and passage of the DREAM Act. … Unless we come to groups with all aspects of the immigration issue, we are going to end up with the same impractical, expensive and ineffective solutions we have had for years.


It’s about time immigration reform has arrived. Due to smuggling over the border and various other violent acts being overly exploited politically, immigration reform didn’t get the attention it deserved. Driving optimism or changes in immigration policy are rising bipartisan cooperation and more leaders willing to take part in the debate. A huge concern for those who would affected by legislation is making sure the family stays together.
A good bill would include a path to citizenship, increased border security, a reformed guest worker plan, penalties on hiring undocumented immigrants, as well as passing the DREAM act. Due to immigration being at a low point, and political support having increased, this would be a perfect chance at addressing the topic. The broader financial crises have changed some immigrant’s minds from coming to America for work and better opportunities. Along with the economy, Mexico’s middle class growth and increasing senior citizen population may also be why we have a million less illegal immigrants then in 2007, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
While immigration is not at a critical point, talks and debates will be less exaggerated and a reasonable solution can be much more easier to attain. Immigration reform can be an opportunity to boost trade relations with Mexico, with possible mutually beneficial plans increasing the odds.
There is reason to believe that the public supports this since Obama was re-elected. Obama came through on immigration promises made to Hispanic and other immigration communities who voted for him in 2012, even announcing plans this Tuesday. Republicans have little political maneuver considering the very low Latino percentage that voted for them. Due to rhetoric from Republican candidates who targeted Hispanics and other ethnic groups, Democrats have been enjoying that constituency’s support. Finally, the Supreme Court had already ruled that the federal government has responsibility over immigration concerns, making the issue out of the state’s proverbial hands. Hopefully, this immigration reform changes many things, for the better of course.

Stars align at last for immigration plan - CNN.com

Bill Richardson on immigration reform.

A comprehensive plan should create a path to earned citizenship, enforceable border security, a realistic guest worker plan, accountability for employees that hire illegal immigrants and passage of the DREAM Act. … Unless we come to groups with all aspects of the immigration issue, we are going to end up with the same impractical, expensive and ineffective solutions we have had for years.

It’s about time immigration reform has arrived. Due to smuggling over the border and various other violent acts being overly exploited politically, immigration reform didn’t get the attention it deserved. Driving optimism or changes in immigration policy are rising bipartisan cooperation and more leaders willing to take part in the debate. A huge concern for those who would affected by legislation is making sure the family stays together.

A good bill would include a path to citizenship, increased border security, a reformed guest worker plan, penalties on hiring undocumented immigrants, as well as passing the DREAM act. Due to immigration being at a low point, and political support having increased, this would be a perfect chance at addressing the topic. The broader financial crises have changed some immigrant’s minds from coming to America for work and better opportunities. Along with the economy, Mexico’s middle class growth and increasing senior citizen population may also be why we have a million less illegal immigrants then in 2007, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

While immigration is not at a critical point, talks and debates will be less exaggerated and a reasonable solution can be much more easier to attain. Immigration reform can be an opportunity to boost trade relations with Mexico, with possible mutually beneficial plans increasing the odds.

There is reason to believe that the public supports this since Obama was re-elected. Obama came through on immigration promises made to Hispanic and other immigration communities who voted for him in 2012, even announcing plans this Tuesday. Republicans have little political maneuver considering the very low Latino percentage that voted for them. Due to rhetoric from Republican candidates who targeted Hispanics and other ethnic groups, Democrats have been enjoying that constituency’s support. Finally, the Supreme Court had already ruled that the federal government has responsibility over immigration concerns, making the issue out of the state’s proverbial hands. Hopefully, this immigration reform changes many things, for the better of course.

Filed under news politics immigration obama illegal immigration united states

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 How Obama Got North Korea Wrong
Michael Mazza on North Korea.
“Just hours ago North Korea successfully tested what many consider to be intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) technology, underscoring the failure of two decades of U.S. policy. How Washington expected to halt Pyongyang’s missile development program without taking serious steps to do so remains a mystery. While ineffective policies date back to the previous Bush and Clinton administrations, the current administration bears its fair share of the blame.”
Obama should’ve shot down the first missile being tested in North Korea, then would Korea’s leaders know that this is not an acceptable act. Instead, he did the thing world leaders have been doing too much lately: condemn and sanction. Spokesman Mark Toner said that sanctions can be “strengthened”, but China, North Korea’s favorite neighbor, would not allow this. Speaking of China, they stood idly by, allowing North Korea to conduct whatever tests they wanted because they have equal rights to make “peaceful use of outer space”.
It’s time for a different approach to North Korea, and something should’ve been done back in April when the first missile as tested. Jong-un might be less stable now than in April, as he is constantly dismissing military leaders and oppressing his people – a common sign of paranoia as he doesn’t know who to trust and he fears for his life. Before, there would be a wait in years for the next Korean missile test, but this test was way too close in relation to the one in April. We shouldn’t be underestimating North Korea’s tenacity to create an ICBM and learn from their mistakes. The United States missed a shot to throw North Korea off balance and might have confirmed to their leaders that the world is scared of them.
Shooting down the missile would’ve stopped Kim Jong-un from knowing whether his rocket would’ve ever worked, and it would’ve been the proportional response to a provocative action. Obama’s style of doing things is to lay back and watch what happens. I disagree with Mazza in that we should’ve been provocative back. This is not the age of war hawks anymore, where the slightest chance of military competition is an invitation to flex our muscles. We are not the country to do that. In effect, we are scaring the rest of the world from ever doing business with us of any kind. The United States is not something to be feared, we are something to be respected. Shooting down a missile would be grounds for saying that we have the right to stop another country from advancing their own technology. No matter how much we paint North Koreans as evil, let it be known that there are things in the world that are not black and white in this respect.

How Obama Got North Korea Wrong

Michael Mazza on North Korea.

“Just hours ago North Korea successfully tested what many consider to be intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) technology, underscoring the failure of two decades of U.S. policy. How Washington expected to halt Pyongyang’s missile development program without taking serious steps to do so remains a mystery. While ineffective policies date back to the previous Bush and Clinton administrations, the current administration bears its fair share of the blame.”

Obama should’ve shot down the first missile being tested in North Korea, then would Korea’s leaders know that this is not an acceptable act. Instead, he did the thing world leaders have been doing too much lately: condemn and sanction. Spokesman Mark Toner said that sanctions can be “strengthened”, but China, North Korea’s favorite neighbor, would not allow this. Speaking of China, they stood idly by, allowing North Korea to conduct whatever tests they wanted because they have equal rights to make “peaceful use of outer space”.

It’s time for a different approach to North Korea, and something should’ve been done back in April when the first missile as tested. Jong-un might be less stable now than in April, as he is constantly dismissing military leaders and oppressing his people – a common sign of paranoia as he doesn’t know who to trust and he fears for his life. Before, there would be a wait in years for the next Korean missile test, but this test was way too close in relation to the one in April. We shouldn’t be underestimating North Korea’s tenacity to create an ICBM and learn from their mistakes. The United States missed a shot to throw North Korea off balance and might have confirmed to their leaders that the world is scared of them.

Shooting down the missile would’ve stopped Kim Jong-un from knowing whether his rocket would’ve ever worked, and it would’ve been the proportional response to a provocative action. Obama’s style of doing things is to lay back and watch what happens. I disagree with Mazza in that we should’ve been provocative back. This is not the age of war hawks anymore, where the slightest chance of military competition is an invitation to flex our muscles. We are not the country to do that. In effect, we are scaring the rest of the world from ever doing business with us of any kind. The United States is not something to be feared, we are something to be respected. Shooting down a missile would be grounds for saying that we have the right to stop another country from advancing their own technology. No matter how much we paint North Koreans as evil, let it be known that there are things in the world that are not black and white in this respect.

Filed under news politics korea north korea missile launch foreign relations united states

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(via BBC News - Rattlesnake bites customer in Wal-Mart)
United States:
In a bit of unrelated news, in which I’m not sure whether this’ll be of any importance to anyone.. at all.. Customer Mica Craig entered a Wal-Mart in the state of Washington, and in the process of doing some gardening shopping, got bit by a snake. A snake in the northwest.. Who saw that one coming?No wait.. This story does get interesting..

"The purchase was intended for his marijuana plants, which Mr Craig said he was licensed to grow for medical reasons"

(via BBC News - Rattlesnake bites customer in Wal-Mart)

United States:

In a bit of unrelated news, in which I’m not sure whether this’ll be of any importance to anyone.. at all.. Customer Mica Craig entered a Wal-Mart in the state of Washington, and in the process of doing some gardening shopping, got bit by a snake. A snake in the northwest.. Who saw that one coming?
No wait.. This story does get interesting..

"The purchase was intended for his marijuana plants, which Mr Craig said he was licensed to grow for medical reasons"

Filed under united states news weird lol

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Internet Freedom Starts at Home: The United States needs to practice what it preaches online

socialuprooting:

“An electronic curtain has fallen around Iran,” U.S. President Barack Obama warned in a recent video message marking the Persian New Year. Government censorship and surveillance, he said, make it more difficult for Iranians to “access the information that they want,” denying “the rest of the world the benefit of interacting with the Iranian people.”

Implied though not explicit in Obama’s remarks was the idea that if Iran’s Internet were freer and more open, Iran’s relationship with the world generally — and the United States in particular — would be different. Cases like Iran are the main driver of Washington’s bipartisan consensus around the idea that a free and open global Internet is in the United States’ strategic interest.

Yet more than two years after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave her first speech declaring “Internet freedom” to be a major component of U.S. foreign policy, it turns out that many of the most sophisticated tools used to suppress online free speech and dissent around the world are actually Made in the USA. American corporations are major suppliers of software and hardware used by all sorts of governments to carry out censorship and surveillance — and not just dictatorships. Inconveniently, governments around the democratic world are pushing to expand their own censorship and surveillance powers as they struggle to address genuine problems related to cybercrime, cyberwar, child protection, and intellectual property.

Even more inconveniently, the U.S. government is the biggest and most powerful customer of American-made surveillance technology, shaping the development of those technologies as well as the business practices and norms for public-private collaboration around them. As long as the U.S. government continues to support the development of a surveillance-technology industry that clearly lacks concern for the human rights and civil liberties implications of its business — even rewarding secretive and publicly unaccountable behavior by these companies — the world’s dictators will remain well supplied by a robust global industry.

American-made technology has turned up around the Middle East and North Africa over the past year — from Syria to Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, from pre-revolutionary Tunisia to Egypt — in contexts that leave no doubt that the software and hardware in question were being used to censor dissenting speech and track activists. While much of this technology is considered “dual use” because it can be used to defend computer networks against cyberattack as well as to censor and monitor political speech, some members of Congress are seeking to prevent its use for political repression. To that end, the Global Online Freedom Act (GOFA), which passed through the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights last week, takes aim not only at U.S.-headquartered companies but also overseas companies funded by U.S. capital markets.

In short, America is seen as a country that has immense democratic freedom in terms of the Internet. The free usage of the Internet is what inspires certain uprisings against oppressive governments and the fact that governments bar free Internet usage in the first place is a sign that it is suppressing the potential for human beings to communicate without interference. However, in this country, we see a lot of attempts to “regulate” the Internet in a way that benefits the corporations and government administrations. How good of an example can America be if we constantly strive to greedily handicap democracy and take away freedom from the people?

Filed under news internet opinion us united states

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US general fired from Afghan training job

  • John Allen, US General and head of the ISAF in Afganistan, fires Maj. General Peter Fuller for making inappropriate comments about President of Afganistan Hamid Karzai and the rest of the Afghan government.
  • In a recent interview with the website Politico, Fuller characterized Afghan leaders as erratic, ungrateful and isolated from reality. The interview quotes him as saying Afghan leaders don’t fully recognize America’s sacrifices on their country’s behalf.

    He made the right statements. Afghanistan had been quoted as saying that it would side with Pakistan if Pakistan were to ever go to war with the US. And now the insane amount of money that is being sent over to Afghanistan to train their troops to subsequently protect the country is being thrown around like confetti, because their troops just don’t care.

Filed under news international news afghanistan united states politics

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The study that shows why Occupy Wall Street struck a nerve - The Washington Post

The Republican Party these days is filled with hard-line conservatives. These are people who enjoy a world of “looking out for yourself”. Unfortunately this world includes having to use others to further yourself at the same time. Their methodology of no hands on economic regulation has created a change of where the money flows. Even if the United States has become a richer nation, it’s become a nation where all of these riches are going straight to the rich already. Over a period of 28 years, from ‘79 to ‘07, according to the study, average household income grew by 62 percent. This creates an over-generalized image of something ‘good’ that’s happening, but in reality, it’s not that crazy. The very bottom earners had only an increase of 18% in income. The top 1% - 275%! A 4x increase. These Republicans don’t want you think that “freeloaders” are “poor”, or that CEOs are the “wealthy”. The media that this group controls has tried over the years to exact this type of mentality, but with Occupy Wall Street, everything is a means of resistance against this media. The conservative argument is that if there was an income increase across the whole spectrum, why do you care if the rich get richer? Isn’t that a normal thing to think is going to happen?
It isn’t a good thing. The rich control how politicians think because of their power to flow the money wherever they want. Their concerns aren’t of the public, it’s to continue their abundant wealth and make sure it doesn’t go away. The opposite, it’s to make sure it continues to rise exponentially. But then one asks, why do you care about the rich? Just get on top yourself and stop whining. All the time you spend complaining can be used to apply yourself and get on the level where they are. Sorry, but the American Dream isn’t available for everyone anymore. Where we used to think we had the same opportunities as our neighbors, this has completely moved to a society where the rich control the policy and where the Little Man has a hard time striving against the odds that are stacked against Him. The wealth gap shows that we are farther and farther away from reaching that ideal lifestyle that every American wants. The solution is, in my opinion, is to get rid of this selfish individualistic idea that we’re all in it for ourselves. With great power, comes great responsibility. And if you have the power, if you have the wealth, be responsible for making sure everyone else had the same opportunity as you. Help your neighbor out. You live in a community, where hands hold to help keep each other afloat. This community is a nation. We were once a nation that loved our country. But in this nation we live in now, it seems to be a dog-eat-dog mentality. This isn’t right, and I’m not the only one who senses that there’s something wrong with the way things are.

Filed under ows occupy wall street long read news politics government united states america

Notes

Police Censor The Media As They Unleash Devastating Force On Occupy Oakland

What I saw last morning was something I never thought I’ll see in America. Police brutality in every sense of the word. The Occupy protests are a peaceful protest, but it seems that they’ve created a credible threat. So much so that riot cops need to be called in.
Who calls in riot cops for people who aren’t rioting?
This type of thing should never happen in the US. And the media not addressing it to it’s fullest is something that I can’t fathom as well. There’s something wrong in this country.

Filed under occupy oakland ows occupy wall street occupy oakland politics news government us united states america protest police brutality