The Passing Of Nan Cheney

This morning Madison’s Nan Cheney passed away.  She fought the good battle of living a productive and fruitful life, and always stood on the side of justice.  Just this past Monday her husband, Dave, and son were at our home surveying the property.  We talked about Nan and her health and I was informed she was not doing well. 

I first met Nan at the statehouse and came to admire her faith in a better world if we all stepped up to make it happen. She never lost that faith, and as such she will continue to be a source of strength for her family and friends as we continue to make our way in the world. The clouds opened this afternoon and let go a good cry.  But let’s remember that tears are not just for sadness. There  are also tears of joy. Since I think Nan is in a much better place tonight let us see the rain as a sign of hope and calming peace-not just for Nan, but for those who will one day see her again.

Why Does Arizona Immigration Law Make Me Angry?

And why will it continue to have so much attention on this blog?

It is a correct statement to say that the immigration law signed last week in Arizona has really cranked me off.  This is not the United States that I know and love.  Instead the mean angry side of the country broke wide open.  Usually these ugly moments are smaller and less publicized.  But when a state-wide law of the type signed last week by Governor Brewer is seen in the full light of day, one can then truly see the underbelly of the beast. 

To pretend that this law is constitutional is utterly nonsense.  It is not, and I will outline why below.  Those who rant about the ‘treason’ in government, and blame all the ills on President Obama, are the same ones now pressing this law as some natural right for a state to take when they have a policy dispute with the  federal government.  They have it all wrong!  Those who profess to have a copy of the United States Constitution in their back pocket at all times so to follow along with the readings on the Glenn Beck Show, might read it sometime without the case of beer.

Under our constitution, Article One clearly makes citizenship and naturalization a congressional matter. There is no debate about this matter.  NONE.    Furthermore there is no ambiguity in the placement of matters of citizenship and immigration policy in Article One making this a federal matter.  There just is no room to argue the matter.  In addition, the federal nature of immigration matters is dealt with in the Fourteenth Amendment, which means that no state can retract privileges and immunities, or rights that are dealt with under the federal government.  The Fourteenth Amendment federalizes these matters, and again there is no argument to be made by the other side.

There are those who will still argue the police are doing their sworn duties under the Arizona law, but I firmly stand on the side of those who claim the high ground knowing that the immigration law contradicts federal policy in the area of privileges and immunities, and citizenship and naturalization laws.

There will continue to be a loud and harsh outcry over this matter from little outposts on the internet such as mine, to the major legal offices in the land who will fight this matter.  In the end our country will see this law removed.  The stain of the meanness, however, will linger and be remembered as a sad chapter in our nation’s history.  The only thing one can do now is to stand tall on the correct side for the history books.

Wildlife Threatened By Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill

Here’s a selection of animals at risk in the open water, along the coasts and in the wetlands.  Thanks to our quest for oil they now get to suffer.  I am just as guilty as my readers are in this matter.  But if there was ever a wake-up call that we must find another answer than drilling in fragile areas, this surely is the event.  With an estimated rate of 210,000 gallons per day of oil leaking from the damaged site we can only imagine the horrorific effects this will have on wildlife.   The spill threatens 445 species of fish, 45 species of mammals, 32 species of amphibians and reptiles, and 134 species of birds.  Is our trip down the street to visit a friend in a car worth the damage?  Might we learn to walk or ride a bike?  We really do need to think in more global terms.  In addition, we need to find a sustainable energy plan for the long-term.

1. North Atlantic Bluefin Tuna: The Great Bluefin Tuna, prized for sushi and sashimi, is one of the species most in danger of slipping into extinction. Traveling down across the Atlantic seaboard, bluefin tuna spawn in the Gulf of Mexico between mid-April and mid-June.

2. Sea Turtles: Five of the world’s seven sea turtle species live, migrate and breed in the Gulf region. Kemp’s ridley is the world’s most endangered species of sea turtle, and one of its two primary migration routes runs south of Mississippi. Loggerhead turtles, also endangered, feed in the warm waters in the Gulf between May and October.

3. Sharks: Shark species worldwide are in decline. The grassbeds south of the Chandeleur Islands are very close to the oil spill. These grasses are a known nursing area for a number of shark species, which are now beginning their spawning season in the Gulf. Whale sharks, the world’s largest fish, feed on plankton at the surface of the water and could also be affected.

4. Marine mammals (whales, porpoises, dolphins): Oil spills pose an immediate threat to marine mammals, which need to surface and breathe. Not only does the oil pose a threat, but also the nasty toxins that the oil kicks off into the air. A resident pod of sperm whales in the spill area could be at risk along with piggy sperm whales, porpoises and dolphins.

5. Brown Pelicans: The state bird of Louisiana, the pelican nests on barrier islands and feeds near shore. Brown pelicans only came off the endangered species list last year, but they’ve had a rough time in past seasons with storms. Their reproductive rates are low. Breeding season just started, and with eggs incubating the oil could pose a significant threat.

Tough Words Over Why Arizona Needs To Lose 2010 All-Star Game

From The New York Daily News.

In the short run, however, the only way to stop a political hustler like Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer is for other politicians in her state – and that ought to start with Sen. John McCain – to come to their senses about a bad law that invites racial profiling even though Brewer insists it will not.

And if it can’t be stopped, if it does go into effect three months from now, then Major League Baseball ought to announce that a sport in which 30% of the players are Hispanic will not hold the 2011 All-Star Game at Chase Field in Phoenix.

There is nothing that needs to be done in the moment, other than issue the warning. But if both Democrats and Republicans really are going to run from this until after the November elections, trying to appease the white voters who love Gov. Jan Brewer and somehow not scare off the Hispanic vote at the same time, Commissioner Bud Selig – who  owns a home in Arizona – has a chance to be better than all of them.

Selig has a perfect right to say that if the law stands, then the All-Star Game goes somewhere else.

“Major League Baseball needs to revisit the issue of whether the All-Star Game, one of America’s greatest exports to Latin America, should be played in a state that doesn’t show any respect to Latinos,” Jose Serrano (D-Bronx) said to the Daily News’ Juan Gonzalez the other day.

There is a historical precedent to all this, of course, and it involves another dim-bulb governor of Arizona and voters who backed his play. The governor was the late Evan Mecham, who decided that Martin Luther King Day had been “illegally certified” as a national holiday, and refused to acknowledge it as such in his state. Mecham, by the way, would be impeached and removed from office a year later, the impeachment charges against him including obstruction and misuse of government funds.

Arizona, by the way, is 30% Hispanic. About the same as Major League Baseball. The commissioner of baseball has a chance here to be a lot more enlightened about this issue than the governor of Arizona, a nobody carried along by the roar of the crowd now, suddenly more popular than she has ever been in an election year, an instant graduate of the Sarah Palin School of Law and Diplomacy. It is like getting a degree online.

On Wednesday, the mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, sounded off big on this issue, and sounded the way President Obama ought to, saying this about Arizona’s new anti-immigrant law:

“This is not good for the country,” Bloomberg said. “I don’t agree with it……The country is committing national suicide.”

The mayor went on to say this, making as much sense on this subject as anybody has lately:

“We have to get real about the 12 million undocumented here,” Bloomberg said. “We’re not going to deport them. Give them permanent status. Don’t make them citizens unless they can qualify. But give them permanent status and let’s get on with this.”

Nobody is saying that all law enforcement officers in Arizona will now consider themselves empowered to harass illegals for sport. We keep hearing that the definition of “reasonable suspicion” does not include pinching Latinos for sport. But Gov. Jan Brewer and her supporters are not living in this world if they don’t see the whole thing as an open invitation to racial profiling. One that does nothing to solve the growing immigration problem in this country.

Though it sure does gives white politicians a chance to look good and tough here, and more patriotic than the Pledge of Allegiance.

Brewer, of course, is the same governor who recently signed Senate Bill 1108 into law in Arizona. That one eliminates the requirement for a concealed-carry weapons permit in her state. You wonder which of these two laws she really thinks makes Arizona a safer place, that one or the one where you are now in a bit of peril for being brown.

Legal Cases Start Against Arizona Immigration Law

The legal phase of the highly controversial Arizona immigration law has now started.

An Arizona police officer and a Latino group filed the first legal challenges of Arizona’s sweeping new law cracking down on illegal immigration Thursday.

Fifteen-year Tucson police veteran Martin Escobar argues there’s no way for officers to confirm people’s immigration status without impeding investigations. The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Tucson, alleges the new immigration law violates numerous constitutional rights and could hinder police investigations.

Escobar is an overnight patrol officer in a heavily Latino area of Tucson. His lawsuit requests an injunction preventing officers from stopping suspected illegal immigrants and questioning or detaining them.

Tucson police spokesman Sgt. Fabian Pacheco said Escobar is acting on his own, not on behalf of the department.

A Latino Clergy group also sued Thursday in federal court in Phoenix. The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders will seek an injunction preventing authorities from enforcing the law.

The group argues federal law pre-empts state regulation of national borders, and that Arizona’s law violates due process rights by letting police detain suspected illegal immigrants before they’re convicted.

Baseball’s All-Star Game Being Encouraged To Be Moved From Arizona Due To Immigration Law

This series of steps will need to be taken until Arizona removes the racist and unconstitutional immigration law.

Arizona’s passage of a controversial anti-immigration lawcould cost the state Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, potentially depriving an already battered economy of millions of dollars.

 New York congressman who called for the league to move the 2011 game from Phoenix is the latest person to push for an economic boycott against the state in protest of the new law. Companies have been pulling conferences out of Arizona resorts while others have suggested consumers shun companies, such as US Airways, that are based in the state and have yet to condemn the the law.

“I think that when people, states, localities make decisions this monumental, they should know the full consequence of that decision,” Rep. José E. Serrano, D-N.Y., said. “I think Major League Baseball, with 40 percent Latino ballplayers at all levels, should make a statement that it will not hold its All-Star Game in a state that discriminates against 40 percent of their people.”

Environmental Disaster In Gulf Of Mexico Shows Folly Of Relying Only On Oil

An environmental disaster. 

Will we learn a lesson from all this is the question we must ask?  There are limits to what man should be able to do to the planet.  We do not have a right to conduct every action we want regardless of the consequences  for the planet just because we can.  Too often that is however how large corporations operate.  The cost of this disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is currently being forecast in the $8 billion range, and now that to will increase with the latest reports that 5,000 barrels of oil a day are leaking.  Who pays the cost, and what the long-term results will be, are questions we all need to ponder.   We blindly think that we can still live in the era of oil as a source for our economic engines.  We must think more clearly about a long-term sustainable energy policy that does not rely on oil from either international markets that are not in our best interest to support, or environmentally fragile areas that can result in disastrous results as such with the case below.

In a hastily called news conference, Rear Adm. Mary E. Landry of the Coast Guard said a scientist from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had concluded that oil is leaking at the rate of 5,000 barrels a day, not 1,000 as had been estimated. While emphasizing that the estimates are rough given that the leak is at 5,000 feet below the surface, Admiral Landry said the new estimate came from observations made in flights over the slick, studying the trajectory of the spill and other variables.

Doug Suttles, chief operating officer for exploration and production for BP, said a new leak had been discovered as well. Officials had previously found two leaks in the riser, the 5,000-foot-long pipe that connected the rig to the wellhead and is now detached and snaking along the sea floor. One leak was at the end of the riser and the other at a kink closer to its source, the wellhead.

But Mr. Suttles said a third leak had been discovered Wednesday afternoon even closer to the source. “I’m very, very confident this leak is new,” he said. He also said the discovery of the new leak had not led them to believe that the total flow from the well was different than it was before the leak was found.

The new, far larger estimate of the leakage rate, he said, was within a range of estimates given the inexact science of determining the rate of a leak so far below the ocean’s surface

TeaBagger Congressman Duncan Hunter And The Lack Of Morals

The hate and meanness knows no boundaries.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) wants to start deporting American citizens.

Not all American citizens, mind you. Just the natural-born American citizens that are the children of illegal immigrants.

At a tea party rally in Ramona in San Diego County over the weekend, Hunter fielded a question about the issue.

“Would you support deportation of natural born American citizens that are the children of illegal aliens?” a man in the audience asked.

“I would have to, yes,” Hunter said.