At a breakfast on Thursday in Washington, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, tried to tamp down a controversy that started when SenatorLindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, questioned the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which grants the right to citizenship to anyone born in the United States.America gives you something that is better than anything any other nation on Earth can give you, and that's the right to call yourself an American. Look very closely at the last paragraph:
“I am not aware of anybody who has come out in favor of altering the 14th Amendment,” Mr. McConnell said.
But Mr. Graham, speaking on Fox News last week, said it was “a mistake” to allow American-born children of illegal immigrants to become citizens automatically, a practice known as birthright citizenship. He said that along with a plan to grant legal status to millions of illegal immigrants, he would also amend the 14th Amendment as a way of discouraging future unauthorized immigration.
Throughout the week Mr. Graham stood firm on his proposal. “We can’t just have people swimming across the river having children here — that’s chaos,” he said Wednesday in another interview with Fox News.
The proposal caught Republican and Democratic lawmakers by surprise, not least because it came from Mr. Graham, who earlier this year was the leading — and almost the only — Republican negotiating with Democrats to create an immigration overhaul bill. Mr. Graham gave new prominence to an issue that has long been a favorite of conservatives advocating reduced immigration, but has been peripheral to the immigration debate in Congress.
Mr. McConnell said Republicans were calling only for hearings on the issue. The debate centers on the first sentence of what is known as the citizenship clause: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” The amendment was adopted in 1868 to ensure the citizenship of the American-born children of freed slaves.
Opponents of birthright citizenship contend that illegal immigrants are not under United States jurisdiction, therefore their American-born children should not automatically be citizens. They say the amendment could not apply to those immigrants because there was no illegal immigration when it was adopted.
They say the amendment could not apply to those immigrants because there was no illegal immigration when it was adopted.I just want to shake my head and laugh.
There were no assault weapons then, either. This means we should ban them, right? I mean, let's apply some old-fashioned common sense here. If you believe in gun rights, as I certainly do, there's nothing more ridiculous than someone who says, well, you know, back in the olden times when Ben Franklin was president, he said that we should all have guns, but we didn't have like guns that shoot four thousand bullets a second so, you know...
The enticement for people to come to America has always been a free, open society that welcomes all comers. The idea that a woman could immigrate here and give birth on American soil is one that countless people have seen as their best reason to come here. We don't ask for papers in America. We give you freedom. And that kid of yours? Back in the old country, your child was a veritable indentured servant for life. Here, he or she is free.
Anyone who can't figure out that one does not take rights away from Americans is a fool.
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At Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park, where Friday's ceremony was held, some visitors expressed concerns that Japan's view of the bombing — seen by many as excessive use of deadly force — conflicts with America's view.The history is pretty clear. Japan defended numerous islands in the South Pacific to the last man with fanatical determination. Garrisons did not surrender; garrisons fought for months after the battles for control of the islands were lost, continually popping up from holes solely to cause grievous American casualties. The forces assembling for the invasion of Japan were not coming together because the war was nearly over; in fact, the Japanese were defiantly trying to hold on, knowing an invasion of the Japanese mainland would allow for a bloodbath that would force the Americans to rethink just how many casualties they could suffer before giving up their efforts to defeat Japan's rapidly collapsing military.
Katsuko Nishibe, a 61-year-old peace activist, said she welcomed the decision to send Roos, but added that she thought it was dangerous to think that the bombing of Hiroshima was justified.
"I don't think it was necessary," she said. "We have a very different interpretation of history. But we can disagree about history and still agree that peace is what is important. That is the real lesson of Hiroshima."
The number of survivors able to attend the ceremony is steadily falling as more die of old age.
According to Japan's Kyodo news agency, the average age of the survivors is over 76 years, and the number of certified survivors has fallen to 227,565 from a peak of 370,000.
The only other point that I would make is that had the Atomic bomb been dropped on the Imperial Palace of the Emperor, the course of the war would have been much different. A complete and utter decapitation of the leadership and government of the Japanese people would have incited the population to fight until annihilation.
No one should celebrate the deaths of civilians in war but I hasten to point out the terrible pattern of systematic genocides carried out under Japanese instruction throughout the occupied territories of China, Korea, and elsewhere. And no serious student of history would conclude that, had Japan invented an Atomic bomb of its own that it would have applied "humanistic, ethical, or moral" concerns to its use. Japan would have tied the damned thing to the underside of a balloon and would have floated the thing towards the West Coast of the United States without question.
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Campbell's costume, by Sydney designer Natasha Dwyer was said to have been inspired by the outback. But Australian media described it as a "national joke" and a "travesty." The country does not have a national costume.
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) asked Jesinta Campbell not to wear Ugg boots or a lamb's wool shrug at the pageant in Las Vegas on August 23 because it was cruel and unethical, using Australian wool sourced from mulesed sheep.
Mulesing, a common practice among Australian farmers, involves removing strips of wool-bearing skin from the buttocks of sheep in a bid to reduce a potentially lethal maggot infestation called flystrike.
"Some people say that Ugg boots put the 'Ugg' in 'ugly,' but we believe that mulesing puts the 'ugly' in Uggs," said PETA's director of campaigns, Jason Baker, in a statement.
PETA says there are more humane ways to prevent flystrike, and that it has persuaded many clothing designers and retailers such as H&M and Limited Brands to stop sourcing mulesed wool.
When Campbell won last month, there was no mention of the Ugg boots. I think that she should dump them, just to avoid creating any unnecessary controversy. Besides, Australia's national costume is a shirtless flannel shirt worn with no buttons, a beer can three sizes larger than the human hand, and a pair of cutoff jeans that have been set on fire by mistake. Or am I missing something here?
When was the last time you popped in to look at a pretty girl and received a dissertation on the flystrike phenomena in sheep?
It's difficult trying to explain the sports phenomenon that is Jenn Sterger. In 2005, she rocketed to fame after being shown on national television at a Florida State vs Miami college football game. She's a sideline reporter now, she has taken the courageous step of having her breast implants removed and she's making some rather embarrassing claims about being the recipient of some unflattering attention from a Mr. Brett Favre (never heard of him--kidding).
I used several photos of her at my old sports blog--they are amazing shots of a beautiful young woman wearing sporting gear. She is quite the model in her own right. But what will come of this?
Fresh off making headlines for possibly ending his hall of fame career, Brett Favre is suddenly making news for something far more sensational.
According to an article at Deadspin, the quarterback may have sent a slew of graphic photos - namely shots of his private parts - to model Jenn Sterger.
Sterger, who works at the sports show "The Daily Line," allegedly received the images on her phone while she was working as a sideline reporter for the New York Jets in 2008.
Sterger claims Favre, who is married, sent her numerous graphic pictures and flirty voicemails but she rejected his advances.
That really has to hurt. If being Brett Favre can't impress the lady, then who could possibly catch her eye? Does she like dumpy guys who drink too much beer and can't pass a Sociology class?
My guess is that this won't affect Favre at all. If anything, it makes him more human.
Oh, and just because I can, here's another photo of Jenn Sterger.
I know, I know. That photo did nothing to advance the plot, but I had to run it anyway. What a lovely young lady.
Imagine going to your grave knowing you were innocent after a lifetime of serving your country:
President Obama has officially rehabilitated a deceased Air Force general who was demoted in 1972 for allegedly ordering unauthorized bombing missions into North Vietnam, the Pentagon announced Wednesday.
John D. Lavelle, who served as commander of air operations during the Vietnam War, was stripped of two of his four stars and forced to retire as a major general after Defense Department investigations concluded that he had approved the falsification of records to cover up the missions. Lavelle died in 1979, insisting on his innocence until the end.
Although high-ranking members of the military and the Nixon administration insisted that Lavelle had acted on his own in ordering pilots to bomb unauthorized targets in North Vietnam, it turns out that the green light for the missions had come from the very top: President Nixon himself, according to transcripts of Nixon's recorded conversations that were released many years later.
The transcripts and other records backing up Lavelle's version of events were unearthed in 2007 by Aloysius Casey, a retired Air Force general, and his son Patrick Casey, as they were researching the biography of a pilot who served under Lavelle.
It's long overdue, but hopefully this gives some comfort to the man's family.
The history of the Vietnam War is one of the most misunderstood subjects in American history. Few people realize that the period when General Lavelle served was one where the political situation back home had effectively tied the hands of men who knew what was at stake if American forces were withdrawn from Vietnam. Militarily, they had the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese Army on the ropes. They had them beaten back on nearly every front and by interdicting the flow of arms down through the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the course of the war was effectively reversed. But by 1972, you could have written the conclusion yourself--we were leaving the South Vietnamese to their fate and no one was willing to stomach the war anymore.
Whatever happened to taking away stars over serious breaches in trust? It's all well and good to give General John Lavelle his two stars back, but to have given General Stanley McChrystal a free pass to retire with a fourth star he did not earn? Outrageous.
I hate to have to point this out, but the fabulousness of royalty ends here:
After the Palace in Monaco announced to the world 10 days ago that Prince Albert II and South African former swimmer Charlene Wittstock would marry next year in a July 8 civil ceremony and July 9 religious one, someone has had a change in heart.
Now, the couple will be tying the knot a few days earlier, in ceremonies to take place July 2 and 3.
This switch will allow Albert, 52, and his 32-year old bride to attend the International Olympic Committee meeting in Durban, South Africa, from July 5 until 9.
History is chock full of bland looking royals, but Prince Albert might be the most pedestrian of all. He looks like the guy who cleans flush toilets behind the arena after the Jonas Brothers are done playing. A noble pursuit, but nothing to make you want to wish that the man would take the throne anytime soon. Doesn't he have a sister to knock off before that happens?
I'm not going to bother to look up the royals in the South of France. I just can't be concerned.
The problem with Prince Charles is not that he cares about the environment; it's that he's delusional in thinking that he has the correct answers:
The Prince of Wales says he believes he has been placed on Earth as future King ‘for a purpose’ - to save the world.
Giving a fascinating insight into his view of his inherited wealth and influence, he said: ‘I can only somehow imagine that I find myself being born into this position for a purpose.
‘I don’t want my grandchildren or yours to come along and say to me, “Why the hell didn’t you come and do something about this? You knew what the problem was”. That is what motivates me.
‘I wanted to express something in the outer world that I feel inside... We seem to have lost that understanding of the whole of nature and the universe as a living entity.’
That's all well and good, but this speech, given last year, typifies his thinking:
In so many areas, the only serious goals seem to be greater efficiency, inducing ever more economic growth, and increasing profits. Not to achieve these goals is to be marked down as a failure. The trouble is, these goals were only ever going to be possible if the apparent clutter and inefficiency of traditional thinking was swept away. It was only ever going to be possible if the bio-diversity in Nature was reduced to a much more manageable mono-culture. And it was only ever going to be possible if the inner world of humanity – our intuition, our instinct – was ignored, or over-ridden.
Instead, we conform more readily to the limited and linear process of the machine. Such is our conditioned way of thinking along purely empirical, rational lines that we now seem prepared to test the world around us to destruction simply to attain the required “evidence base” to prove that that is what we are indeed doing. And then, of course, it is all too late for the Sorcerer's Apprentice to summon back the Master to cast the necessary spell to restore harmony and balance.
Nature, I would argue, reveals the universal essence of creation. Our present preoccupation with the individual ego, and desire to be distinctive, rather than “original” in its truest sense, are only the more visible signs of our rejection of Nature. In addition, there is our addiction to mechanical rather than joined-up, integrative thinking, and our instrumental relationship with the natural world. In the world as it is now, there seems to be an awful lot more arrogance than reverence; a great deal more of the ego than humility; and a surfeit of abstracted ideology over the practical realities linked to people’s lives and the grain of their culture and identity.
At a time when we, as a people, are struggling to find ways to use less power and make things more efficient, Prince Charles is decrying those efforts and is essentially saying that we should forgo the practical and wallow in the false insight of celebrating nature. What does that mean, exactly? Does it mean that someone should use materials that are efficient or materials that are "natural" but inefficient? How do you get to the ideal the Prince Charles is chasing? Do you hear anything rational in this statement?
It was only ever going to be possible if the bio-diversity in Nature was reduced to a much more manageable mono-culture.
Who, exactly, is out there accomplishing this? Can someone point to the corporation or the conglomerate that is turning natural biodiversity into a mono-culture? Is that in their mission statement or is that part of what their stated goals are each quarter when they file public financial disclosure statements.
This is the definition of mono-culture:
Monoculture is the agricultural saying of producing or growing one single crop over a wide area. It is widely used in modern industrial agriculture and its implementation has allowed for large harvests from minimal labor. However, monocultures can lead to the quicker spread of diseases, where a uniform crop is susceptible to a pathogen. 'Crop monoculture' is the practice of growing the same crop year after year.
The term is frequently borrowed for other uses, such as raising one species of livestock in a factory farm, or even in fields other than agriculture to describe any group dominated by a single variety, e.g. in the field of musicology to describe the dominance of the American and British music-industries in pop music, or in the field of computer science to describe a group of computers all running identical software.
While there may be mono-cultures in modern agriculture (I see no evidence here in Germany), all of nature is not being reduced to a mono-culture, thanks to the modern environmentalism movement. Environmentalism throughout the world is more than adequately fighting this notion (even in China) and continues to prevent the wholesale reduction of all biodiversity to a single plant, crop, animal, or species. We have terrible challenges on that front but equally dedicated people who are spending vast amounts of time and money to prove the Prince's theories wrong.
Who could possibly make money from such an endeavor? Who could reduce everything down to a "mono-culture" and turn around and churn out products from that? It's absolutely ludicrous. It's as if the Prince of Wales sees the world as if it were the grounds of Buckingham Palace with simplified order and simplified botanical specimens lovingly tendered by people he never notices. And while he has been staring absent-mindedly into a flower put there by a vast array of Royal minders and tenders, the world outside has gone on and surpassed the Empire, the Kingdom, and the reach of his limited intellect.
Anyway, the man is full of beans. Thankfully, he will not rule England for very long because the British preference for long-lived queens continues well into another century. I have no doubt that Queen Kate Middleton Windsor will be ruling in 2100, aged 118, preserved by unnatural processes and defending a biodiverse faith, glum son at her feet, waiting to become king for the last few years of his dotage.