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Arizona, Supreme Court and Immigration Madness

So today, there is much discussion going on concerning the Supreme Court, by a 5-3 vote, striking down a significant part of the recent Arizona immigration law. While the majority of the law was ruled to be in violation or undermining federal law, the part of it that allows police to demand proof of citizenship remained, angering some and bringing great joy to others. I am here to tell you this whole fight is ridiculous, foolish and a real sign of how truly broken our system of government has become and as usual, I will be happy to explain why.

First off, let us all get one thing straight. This country was founded by immigrants. Unless you are of Native American lineage, then you are the descendant of an immigrant if you live in the United States. That being said, all these people out there who are calling for the borders to be completely closed are, at best hypocrites and at worst racists. Every single person who is willing to go through the necessary steps to live here has just as much right to do so as any American so again, unless you are a Native American, you should quiet down unless you feel the country should be closed off to you as well. Nobody stopped your relatives from making the move that allowed you to be born here so shut up already, you sound like a fool.

Secondly, if you are in this country illegally then you are breaking the law, plain and simple. If your parents came here illegally and then had you once they were here, illegally, then you have no one to be angry at other than them, plain and simple. Your parents breaking the law when you were a child does not change the law, nor does it justify you not taking the steps as an adult to abide by said law. If you are a child still and your parents are not taking the legal steps to help you gain citizenship, then your parents should still have the pay the penalty because they are breaking the law!

Thirdly, no one in the government should be surprised that this group of people breaks this law. Do you know why? It is very, very simple. If the government, either state or local, refuses to enforce the penalty for breaking a law then why would the people breaking it stop doing it? Do you really think that if suddenly the state and federal government no longer cared about, or pursued the people committing bank robberies that the number of robberies would go down? Of course not, and if it was publicly known that bank robbing was a crime that would no longer be enforced, as is the situation with it being known fact that pretty much no one enforces being here illegally as a crime, then we would see the bank robberies skyrocket. Why wouldn’t we? You walk into a bank, harm no one and walk out with free money and even when a cop knows you did it, he doesn’t arrest you? Hell, I would almost consider robbing a bank in that scenario.

The reason I make that comparison is this. I spent about five years living in Arizona in my mid-twenties. During my time there I saw protest march after protest march, literally thousands of known felons walking down the street in a parade, walk right past policeman after policeman and I never once saw a cop arrest one of these people as they committed a felony right in front of them. What was even more ironic was the fact that the people protesting their treatment by the government were not citizens!! Is that how the world is now? I can go to Russia and say their government isn’t treating me right when I am a citizen of another country and not theirs?? WHAT???

Now some of your reading this may think I am being harsh or unfair but let me expand on my statements a little more before you judge me fully. The system in this country for gaining citizenship is obviously flawed. If it was not, we would not have this problem. Both sides are to blame. The government is to blame for not pulling their heads out of their asses and fixing what is obviously a broken system and also allowing this problem to fester as long as they have. Not to repeat myself but when it is a known fact for decades that coming here illegally is no big deal, and also why corporations and employers are able to financially profit from it, why would either side worry about fixing it? On the immigrant side, in my opinion, saying that the process is too difficult or too much of a pain in the ass, or takes too long is still no excuse to not even try. If you own a business, there are all sorts of rules that are an annoying and frustrating process to go through, from insurance, to wages, to taxes, to liability but that doesn’t mean a business can just skip doing them. Saying “I do not like a law” is not justification to then just ignore it and if you  choose to do so, you should be held accountable.

I believe marijuana should be legal and for much of my younger life, I was a regular smoker. The thing is though is that despite my disagreement with the law, I knew I would be liable for the consequences if I was caught and I accepted the risk. At no time would I walk by a cop smoking a joint because I knew I would be arrested and I do not see how being here illegally, a much more serious felony, does not fall into the same category. Immigrant protests participated in by openly illegal immigrants are a regular thing in this country because the law is not enforced. You will never see a pro-marijuana protest in a major city with thousands of people walking down the street openly smoking pot because police would arrest these people. You can bet if it became common knowledge that they wouldn’t though, people would do it right out in the open.

So as you can see, both sides of this issue are hugely at fault and have a responsibility to meet somewhere in the middle. I propose what I believe is a very simple fix. First off, the government has a responsibility to fix the system, to make it more efficient so that the process doesn’t rob people of the fair opportunity to become citizens. The illegals have a responsibility to begin the process for citizenship, even if they don’t like it because it is the law! I propose that all illegal immigrants be given a window, let’s say six months, to apply for citizenship. If they refuse to even apply after that window, then they should be arrested. I am not talking about the people already in the process but those who have never even tried. Doing so would increase the burden on the system to increase its efficiency in order to handle the sudden influx of all these people who should have applied before. Actually, if you think about it, doing this would likely increase the need for people to work on immigration applications and in doing so CREATE MORE JOBS! This way, we end illegal citizenship, we put the onus on the government to quit screwing around and infighting and actually change the system for the better and we add a positive effect on the economy. If you want this change to have an even further positive effect for everyone, give businesses out there that are employing illegals right now some sort of tax break or tax credit for every employee they assist in gaining citizenship, therefore helping the businesses pay lower taxes, which in turn will help them have more capital to spend in the economy and also to put more people to work. It would be a win for every single person out there, even the police. The police could then spend less time worrying about what seems to me to be a crime fueled by bureaucratic incompetence and more time chasing actual criminals that are hurting innocent, hard-working citizens.

In the end, I support anyone who wants to be an American citizen having the right to but they have to follow the rules. Those who write and enforce the rules have a responsibility to both enforce them and also to make the process not so painful that people will risk jail or deportation to avoid the headache. I hate the DMV like everyone else. It is slow, inefficient, confusing, uncomfortable, a headache every time I go there but it is the law and I need to drive so I deal with it. Immigrants who want to live here need to do the same as far as applying for their citizenship but I do sympathize with their frustration and wish the government would quit being a constant headache and actually start helping the people. I just don’t get why both can’t happen.

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Marijuana Versus Alcohol…No Contest

I am a mixed martial arts fan, and in reading the news today concerning the sport, I was disappointed to see that Nick Diaz, a fighter hated by many people but someone I routinely cheer for, tested positive for marijuana following a recent loss. This is not the first offense for Diaz and because of that, he likely faces a long suspension but I am not disappointed that he tested positive for what he did, I am more disappointed that marijuana continues to be marked as a dangerous and illegal drug when there are so many facts that prove the opposite.

This is often a country of hypocrisy but in the case of marijuana, it is even worse than usual. To have alcohol consumed at virtually every public establishment legally while non violent, pot offenders sit in jail is one of the longest running and most ridiculous travesties of justice in American culture.

We live in a society of drug users. From nicotine, to caffeine, to any number of prescription drugs used to “relax”, you would be hard pressed to find someone in this country that truly does no drugs. We demand our right to calm ourselves but we are illogical in our choice of what is allowed and what isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, drugs are generally bad. Drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and LSD are dangerous and should be kept away from the general public but to classify marijuana in the same category is beyond ridiculous. For a comparison, let us take a look at alcohol. Anyone who has gotten drunk in their life knows that too much alcohol has a serious effect on a human being. Physically, alcohol affects coordination, balance, vision and over time will destroy both the liver and the brain. Even worse, alcohols biggest negative is the effect it has on others when you are using it. Though the numbers vary, alcohol is typically involved in over 40% of all fatality related accidents. Almost half. Even worse, consider the following example. On a Friday night in this country, most bars are packed. Full of people getting drunk, and despite the fact that drunk driving is illegal and dangerous, how many of those people do you think have a designated driver? Or will take a taxi home that night? A small percentage, let me assure you. Despite that fact, instead of ensuring people are drinking responsibility, police would rather let those people leave, get in their cars, and drive off before pulling them over to enforce this “law”. In doing so we wind up with literally thousands of drunks on the roads virtually every single night, thousands of people whose vehicles have now become weapons of destruction. Additionally, we accept the fact that people are just going to do this, going to kill others with their irresponsible use of alcohol, and we are happy to just catch the ones we can and let the rest slip through the cracks, often killing innocent people as a result. If we really cared about people not doing this willing act of endangering other innocent people, wouldn’t we have a system in place to prevent the drunk from even driving in the first place.

The reason I attack alcohol so feverishly is that when you look at those facts, and then compare the damage that something like marijuana does to a person you see there is truly no comparison between the two. In truth, the biggest reason, at least in my opinion, marijuana remains illegal is simply because of the religiously zealous and the government’s refusal to admit they were wrong. On top of that, during a time in our country when so many states are financially struggling, we are ignoring a cash crop that people are using anyway and in doing so, throwing away literally hundreds of millions of potential tax dollars that would benefit states in ways that few other things would right now while doing practically no damage beyond anything that is already going on.

Wake up people and get with the times. People are going to use, en masse, anything they deem worth their time and whether you like it or not, there are many of us out here who enjoy smoking a joint as much as you enjoy downing a shot of whiskey. the only difference is that while your drinking contributes to death of others legally, our habit gets us thrown in jail while harming no one save ourselves, and that harm to us is far less than legal things like cigarettes and alcohol.