Monday, June 28, 2010

Seattle's jaywalking: Cop strikes jaywalker

First, if you're not familiar with what happened recently in Seattle,watch the video:

Let's break it down. Is jaywalking something that should be enforced? Quite simply, yes. If it is a law on the books, then it is enforceable, and should be enforced. If the citizens of Seattle do not want it enforced, then get involved and have it repealed.

Did the officer over react? No. First, although I am not, nor have never been a police officer, I do know that it is standard procedure in most jurisdictions...and common sense to boot that when citing, or simply questioning someone and others insert themselves into the situation, the officer, most especially when alone, must contain the situation. This will often result in at least one individual being handcuffed. The fact that the jaywalker's friend assaulted the officer (pushing is assaulting), thus inserting herself and escalating the situation, the officer was fully within his rights and responsibility to strike her in an effort to gain compliance.

The fact that Seattle has chosen to step up enforcement of jaywalking, again is an issue that will take community involvement to change. From what I know of Seattle, it is known as a pedestrian-friendly city. It only stands to reason that as a matter of public safety, pedestrians choosing to cross traffic lanes outside of marked crosswalks should be cited.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Oil vs. Immigration

Which direction does our President want to go? He is adamant that he wants comprehensive immigration reform, then secure our borders. Yet he wants to stop the oil flow, and then focus on clean-up. Do you see the parallel? It appears that there is a lack of consistency within our President's management philosophy.

The cliche, first, stop the bleeding has been used often to describe the situation with our southern border. Yet our leadership refuses to devote anything other than a token amount of National Guard Soldiers to the problem, insisting that we need immigration reform first. Yet sensibly, he is focusing on stopping the oil flow before we begin the clean up. A lot of effort is being placed on mitigating the impact on the oil that has escaped thus far, which again is sensible. Why not take the same tact with our border issues?

I have no idea how to stop the oil. I feel for the people along our coastlines that will be so terribly impacted by this tragedy...however, have no doubt that ultimately, every American will feel the effects of this through the environmental impact and most likely, through the cost of gas and other petroleum-based products.

I do however have a suggestion on how to stop the flow of illegal immigrants through our southern border. Most of these have been batted about for over twenty years, I will just put my spin on them.

First, build the fence. It will be expensive, very expensive if done correctly, but it will be effective. It most definitely won't be Tom Sawyer's fence!

Actually, build two fences, with a "no man's land" in between. The second fence will be a technological marvel, replete with night vision sensors, temperature sensors and ground-sensing radar. The space between the fences should be covered with a mesh screen. This will prevent rocks, etc. from being thrown to give false-positives to the sentries.

Second, place guard towers at specified intervals along the border. The sentries in the towers should also have night vision ability along with the necessary monitoring equipment to observe their sector.

Third, have the Border Patrol and ICE stationed at intervals as a QRF (quick reaction force) to respond to illegal entries. They can respond when alerted by the sentries, who through training and experience will hopefully be able to discern between illegal entry and any feints that may be attempted.

Fourth, create detention centers along the border. As I envision this, everything should be able to fit within about a quarter-mile strip along the border. The detention centers should be very austere, i.e. tents, port-a-potties, and bologna sandwiches, a la Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, AZ.

I do not like the fact that our federal government is so big. Nor do I like the idea of expanding our federal workforce to implement this plan as suggested by me. However, as a veteran myself, and knowing that we have many veterans that are, like so many Americans, unemployed, I feel we have a ready, and most probably willing workforce readily available.

This may appear to be too simple to work. I've been thinking about this for some time though, and really, when you look at it, it will. Sometimes simple is good.

This should be our first step. The reform can work itself out in Washington. It should include the recently suggested legislation that will seek out and penalize employers that hire illegal aliens. I feel that it should also include expedited legal status for those already here that turn themselves in. Anyone that does not, and is subsequently arrested should be persona non grata and forever banned from entering the United States. Actions deserve consequences.

We also need to take a serious look at the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. This amendment was ratified in 1868, just three years after the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery. It was created in great part to ensure citizenship for former slaves, something that wasn't made clear with the demise of slavery. My suggestion is that one of the parents should already be a United States citizen. It's simple...again, K.I.S.S.

I am very interested to hear arguments against my plan, or suggestions for improvement.