Monday, June 23, 2008

it's our own fault

It’s Our Own Fault

But we can fix it. According to an ABC News/Washington Post opinion poll, 82% of Americans felt our country was on the “wrong track.” This is the most impressive outpouring of American pessimism since the 1970’s. Respondents point their fingers at gas prices, the war in Iraq, fear of terrorism and concern that Johnny and Steve are finally going to get married. At no point, did any respondent step up and say, “I’m to blame. The country, my country, is doing things I don’t like. It is rushing quickly into a darkness known as the future and it’s all my fault.”

Gone are the days of “the buck stops here.” President Truman roll over in your grave now. No one is embracing the responsibility that comes with freedom. Foolishly and embarrassing ignorantly, most Americans believe we live in a democracy. It simply is not true. I don’t mean the-politicians-are-all-purchased-by-big-corporations lack of democracy frightened little people whine about over their lattes or Milwaukee’s Best. I mean the Constitution of the United States establishes the United States as a republic. What? Those few of you who have read this far may be wondering. A democracy is a form of government where the citizens have to vote on the issues. A republic is where the citizens vote for a government to handle most of the issues on our behalf. Really. Who would want to live in a democracy? Especially one as big as the U.S. Every couple of weeks a whole new round of issues would await you at the polls. It is hard enough to build a quorum at the polls four years, imagine trying to get people to vote every month.

Interesting? Probably not. Most likely you don’t care, so why did I bother wasting your time splicing hairs about a democracy and a republic. In a democracy, since citizens have to vote for every major issue, there is no hiding behind the elected government. In a republic, too many of us treat voting like picking a mechanic. Once we pick a good one, we rely on the mechanic to tell us what is wrong with the car and fix it. We’ll just pay the bill at the end. If we don’t like the mechanic we chose, the next time we need a repair we will pick another one. Anything the mechanic did wrong isn’t our fault. It isn’t our responsibility.

Pulling the level in the voting boot is not the end of our responsibility. It really is just the beginning. We own every decision the elected government makes on our behalf, even if we voted for the other guy. It is our responsibility to monitor the government. It is our responsibility to let them know how we want the government to be run. It is our responsibility to tell the government which track it should be on.

Marco Riz, an illegal immigrant was fired from his job at the Texas Roadhouse. Frustrated by not being able to serve warm cinnamon buttered buns (they really are good at the Texas Roadhouse), Marco decided to go and rape someone. Marco isn’t exactly the type of upstanding law-abiding (other than illegally invading our country and illegally taking a job from a citizen) non-citizen immigrant enablers want you to think about when discussing soft hearted and soft headed amnesty laws. He is the knife wielding, SUV stealing, rape your women type of illegal I like to think about when discussing illegals. Marco apparently was wondering around with a 12-inch knife and happened upon a woman in a parked SUV. He hoped into the SUV and became the poster child of detestable. The brain trust officer discussing this case thought that this was a crime of opportunity. Marco just happened to run into an opportunity and took it. That doesn’t really explain why he was walking around with a 12-inch knife. The knife alone suggests this little crime spree was a bit premeditated.

Marco was the guest of the Providence police department before. There was an extradition order on Marco at the time. Unfortunately the Providence police department has elected to not follow proper procedures when checking on legal status of people it arrests. Instead of sending an electronic verification to Immigrations and Customers Enforcement (ICE), the Providence police department faxes over a hand written list of people they have arrested that day. First, I didn’t know people still owned fax machines. That isn’t really related to anything but I haven’t even seen a fax machine in years. Second, had Providence actually utilized ICE’s system, which is set up and ready to go in the Providence department, Marco would have been flagged as an illegal and perhaps deported.

Last week, Rhode Island Senator Marc A. Cote attempted to introduce legislation requiring all Rhode Island business with three or more employees to utilize Everify, a system allowing employers to quickly and easily verify the work eligibility status of new hires. Had this legislation been in effect when Marco applied at the Texas Roadhouse, he may have been refused employment. Following this line of what-ifs, had Marco not worked with those hot buttery Texas Roadhouse buns and then subsequently been fired, our friend Marco may not have been in Rhode Island to rape one of our citizens.

Unfortunately Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Paiva-Weed (my rule of thumb, never trust anyone that needs so many names) refused to put forward Senator Cote legislation. She cited the growing hour, the lateness of the session and the other pressing issues, for example who pays for fire hydrants. Senator Paiva-Weed broke trust with the Rhode Island citizens by not allowing our representatives to vote on our behalf. One person with selfish desires has set government policy for all of Rhode Islanders. While we do not live in a democracy, Senator Paiva-Weed damages the concept that we live in a republic.

As citizens, it is our responsibility to monitor our government and to take action when our representatives fail us. Therefore, Rhode Islanders must become involved and save our community from our representatives. First, each of us must write or email our representative and insist that Rhode Island enact legislation requiring Rhode Island businesses utilize Everify. If such legislation is not enacted by November, inform your Senator you will be voting against the incumbent. Further inform your Senator you’re your expect Senator Paiva-Weed to be removed from the position of Senate Majority Leader. Second, citizens in Senator’s Paiva-Weed’s district (District 13, Jamestown, Newport) must remove her from office. Third, each of must contact our mayors and police departments with the expectation that they use ICE’s electronic verification system on all people arrested. Four, reach out to local business and ask them to voluntarily use Everify. Give you business to companies that utilize Everify.
That nothing has happened on immigration reform is our own fault. We can fix it. We simply need to inform our elected representatives that we will remove from office anyone who prevents a fair and just protection of our values.

Check out for Rhode Islanders for Immigration Law Enforcement

1 comment:

Richard Goodman said...

I very much like your explanation of the difference between a democracy and a republic.

I live in Oakland, California. If every illegal immigrant left this city at the same time, the ground would probably rise 10 feet ! I don't dislike them, and I don't hate the fact that they are here. I do believe, however, that every country has the right to set and protect its borders.