Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Illegals and all that Jazz

Some people in the media are trying to make me apologize to the illegals who broke our laws and sneaked across the border. I am sorry, I just don’t feel guilty about their lawlessness.

And now President Bush has decided I am un-American if I question the Senate bill on immigration. I am getting it from all sides and still I am not feeling guilty. I know I should look ashamed, but I just cannot bring myself to that point.

I have read the arguments in favor of the Senate bill and do not understand what is going on. Every point in the argument that assures me about how great the future will be with the new law, is invalid because we already have laws about the same topics that we do not enforce. And now I am expected to believe Big Brother will enforce a new set of laws?

I am especially concerned when I see laws that say illegals will not be hounded by the IRS for back taxes, but I, a law-abiding citizen of many years will be hounded day in and day out by the tax collectors.

President Bush may suddenly be very concerned about the illegal immigrant question, but he does not tie the hands of future presidents. If the next president belongs to a political party that is soft on crime and coddles criminals in order to get votes, we will be far worse off with the proposed Senate bill.

There are people who believe a new law, some act by a bunch of loud, opinionated fat people in Washington, DC, will fix what a previous law, enacted by a bunch of loud, opinionated fat people in Washington, DC, failed to fix. Laws don’t cut it—actions cut it. We have enough laws and not enough enforcers.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Congress Shall Make No Law

The First amendment to the Constitution is a beautiful thing. It says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Nothing wrong with the First Amendment, except that it does not go far enough. The Founding Fathers did not seem to think the Judicial Branch would make laws, but it does. So the First Amendment should read: Congress and the Supreme Court shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Surely this small change could easily get enough states to ratify it so that it would become the law of the land. And not a minute too soon.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Back to School

A few days ago I was invited to the retirement party of a principal of a highly successful middle school. I had not seen him for three years, or the school or the teachers. But there was a time when I knew them all quite well, because I had worked at the school as a substitute teacher.

Substitute teaching was a fluke for me, a time filler after I retired from industry as a manager of people who ran factories. Teaching is quite a different undertaking, but my wife was a very good teacher in public schools and I felt I learned enough from her to try it, myself. I’ve always had a very high opinion of teachers, and of my wife’s professionalism, so I could not think of any calling more useful.

It took a while to learn how to deal with kids in the school environment. I found it was an honor to work with most of the students. And it was a privilege to work with the other teachers. The school district was one of the best in California and the school one of the best in its district. But I didn’t know it when I was so busy figuring out math and science lessons on the spur of the moment.

When I was invited to the retirement party, I went, honored to be remembered. It was a big party with officials and teachers from all over. I knew many of them somewhat and a few of them very well. I had forgotten how well. There were hugs and handshakes all around. Some tears on my part, too.

That chapter in my life was finally over last Friday afternoon. I had spent most of my life in industry, but the last eight years I spent in the classroom have a special glory. As a teacher, I learned that there is hope for tomorrow because of the bright, idealistic boys and girls we are training today. I wish more retired people would make the effort to see what really goes on in our public school classrooms, and who the heroes in our cities really are.

Congratulations, Dr. Joe Fox of Dana Middle School in Arcadia, California.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

FDR Lied and People Died!

While doing research for my new book, Swords into Ploughshares (which is about the contribution of Caltech during WWII), I came across the history of the beginnings of WWII. Isolationists tried very hard to keep us out of the war. So did some Communists, for their own reasons. But then Japan attacked us at Pearl Harbor and other places, and then Germany also declared war, so we had no choice but to stand and fight. Very few isolationists in Congress held out for peace.

We had not been in the war very long before unhappy people began circulating rumors that Franklin D. Roosevelt knew the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor, and just let it happen so he could get us into the war. They dreamed up worse theories that that, but the one that stuck was the one about knowing what the Japanese were up to. As soon as the war was over and Roosevelt was dead, the rumors arose again.

Books were published about Roosevelt’s supposed evil plan. Those were the days when, if something were put into print, it was supposed to be true, so many people believed it. Nowadays, we are used to seeing all kind of junk in print and on the Internet, but in 1946, such books had more credence.

I was young at the beginning of WWII and not a Roosevelt fan, but intuitively I knew the rumors were baseless. They proved to be so; or at least no one was able, in the past sixty years, to prove the rumors were true. Roosevelt had plenty of enemies in his Democrat party and in the Republican party, so there was no end to the efforts of many people to try to convict Roosevelt of some kind of perfidy.

If all this sounds familiar, so be it. You can hardly find a period in which the same rumors have not been resurrected and applied. Tongues will always wag, and some people will believe anything.

But if you have lived a while, such accusations become tiresome.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

We Are Still Guilty

Over the years, I have come to expect one or more people to say after a huge tragedy, “In a sense we are all guilty.” It never fails that some ass decides to try this banal tack and in so doing, attempt to sound wise.

Recently, in the wake of the Virginia Tech killings of thirty-two students, I believe it was Barack Hussein Obama, the presidential candidate, who was the first to make such a pronouncement. It was indirect, but it was really what he said.

I have never connected the “In a sense” words to any political group. There are plenty of asses to go around in most political parties. But this morning I saw in a column by Dr. Thomas Sowell a statement that made me wonder. He wrote, “A reader writes: ‘Liberals hold us individually responsible for nothing but collectively responsible for everything.’”

Now I am beginning to wonder . . . “Collectively responsible for everything?” Could it be that Liberals have been leaders in the large field of saying, “In a sense we are all guilty”?

A Liberal gentleman once told me very affirmatively about his theology as he stated “We are all God.” I took that to be a collective personal conclusion and told him not to hang that awesome responsibility on me.

But I wonder. It has been so many years since I was a Liberal that I have forgotten all the tenets of Liberalism.

In a sense, we are all guilty of forgetting.