Friday, June 24, 2005

Illegal Aliens - and Other Stuff and Nonsense

Okay. Let's start with this front page from yesterday's Rocky Mountain News. The story behind the headline appears here, and reads in part:

A Mexican immigrant has sued Park County, alleging that his seven-day stay in a filthy, overcrowded jail cell in Fairplay cost him his leg.

Lawyers for Moises Carranza-Reyes, a 29-year-old who remains in the United States illegally, say county officials sacrificed their client's constitutional rights in order to turn a profit - and left federal taxpayers paying most of his $1 million hospital bill.

Carranza-Reyes entered the jail a healthy man and left it near death, with gangrenous legs and infected lungs, the suit says. It seeks unspecified damages.

Do I dare ask about the expenditure of almost one-million bucks of American taxpayer dollars on this guy's health problems (albeit allegedly caused by unsanitary conditions in the jail)? Do I dare ask why this guy wasn't just deported immediately and handed over to the Mexican government?

Saw a bumper sticker today: "Cowboy foreplay: Get in the truck!"
Who is Senator Ken Salazar, Really? And, His Brother U.S. Representative, John?

This from the Denver Post this morning reports that both Democratic senator Ken Salazar and his brother Democratic U.S. Representative, John Salazar sided-up with the Republic majority in Congress to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ban flag burning.
Before I go on here, the Post also provided an editorial this morning that reads, verbatim:
Short-sighted flag waving.
In its 218 years, the U.S. Constitution has never been amended to take away even one of the freedoms guaranteed to the American people. But there is now a real risk that Congress will set just such an abridgment in motion. If that happens, Sen. Ken Salazar will be at the head of the parade.
Salazar announced Thursday he would co- sponsor a constitutional amendment to overturn two Supreme Court decisions that said burning the flag is a form of political speech protected by the First Amendment. An Associated Press survey shows Salazar's support brings the amendment within two votes of the two-thirds majority it needs to pass the Senate and head for the states for ratification.Salazar said he backs the amendment because, "The flag is special and deserves our reverence and protection."
We don't disagree, but the Constitution is even more deserving. Trampling on freedom of expression diminishes the flag, it doesn't protect it.The House has passed the flag amendment four times, but the pre-Salazar Senate has always blocked the way. We hope it will do so again. To their credit, in the House, Reps. Diana DeGette and Mark Udall voted to uphold the Constitution as it now stands.
We urge the Senate to weigh the words of Gary E. May, chairman of Veterans Defending the Bill of Rights, who lost two legs in Vietnam: "This amendment would not honor veterans; it would attack the very principles that inspired us to serve our country. My fellow veterans fought for a set of ideals that binds this varied and dynamic nation together. We defended this country's autonomy, not a piece of cloth. We fought for a society free of repression and filled with open debate."
The Senate should not let their fight be in vain.
I took a look at Senator Ken's bio and, nope, he never served in the armed forces. His brother, John, did serve in the Army for a few years.
Not that I believe anyone who has served their country in the armed forces is any more qualified or privileged or sanctified to pontificate on the nonsense of a Constitutional amendment to protect the flag. But, as a veteran of the Army who volunteered to serve his country after completing five--yes, count them, five--years of college, let me just suggest that what we've got here is another hot button, neocon, Karl Rove, God, Mother and Apple Pie issue that just begs to be soundly defeated in the U.S. Senate. And, Senator Ken Salazar, nomial Democrat that he is, should get a clue; should understand that supporting the nomination of Alberto Gonzales to be Attorney General (the guy who told Dubya that, well, no, it wasn't really torture that US forces were perpetrating against prisoner's of war) and, consequently, breaking with his Democratic colleagues and tap dancing over to the GOP side of the aisle on the Gonzales question; yes, Ken Salazar and his brother John really need to understand the difference between being independently minded and biting, hook, line and sinker into the bullcrap of Dubya's and Karl Rove's strategic blueprint.

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