Browsing articles in "POLITICS"
Jul 4, 2012

Declaration of Independence pushing for immigration

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On the Fourth of July I have made it my habit to read the Declaration of Independence. Those big words of the preamble and the conclusion continue to impress me by the power that words can execute. This year I’ve been drawn to a more technical section though: “The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”
The most prominent theme that follows is the well-known “taxation without representation” among many others.

My highlight this year is about immigration:
“He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.”
The biggest concern for America was and ought to be: how can we get the most people here and make them citizens as quickly and as smoothly as possible? The king of England is hurting us by putting up a fence around our borders…

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Jun 27, 2012

Our Green Card Timeline

Illegal immigration is not the cause of the problem but a mere symptom.
Legal immigration is the problem. Here is what it looks like in general:

Here is what it looked like for us:

June 2009
Our first attorney charged $50 to refer us to a colleague of hers.

July-October 2009
According to the USCIS visa bulletin there were no green cards available in our category

August 22 2009
Phoebe Katharina Haas was born and automatically had dual citizenship

November 2009
Green cards got available for our category

December 2009
our attorney submitted our packages

April 2010
USCIS lost our application packages

December 2010
our attorney resubmitted our packages

May 2011
Senator Orin Hatch pursued a congressional inquiry about our case

June 5 2011
Benjamin Maximilian Haas was born and automatically had dual citizenship

July 2011
USCIS lost our application packages again

December 2011
USCIS found parts of both lost packages,
an immigration officer came for a workplace visit
and the green card application got approved

January 2012
Had to redo our physicals because they expire after one year
and USCIS invited us to fingerprinting appointments in their local field office

March
Employment Authorization came in the mail with wrong birthdays and names

May 2012
USCIS requested additional evidence

June 2012
Green Cards came in the mail

Total time: 3 years
Total cost: $9,039.56
USCIS fees: $5,565
attorney fees: $2,934.56
medical exams: $540
US citizens born into our family: 2

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May 28, 2012

Reconciliation on Memorial Day


Memorial Day began in this country after the Civil War as an effort toward reconciliation between the families of veterans in the North and the South. [read more]

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Mar 1, 2012

Education Costs

A friend shared the following video on facebook:

Oh, those crazy assumptions that education is free in Germany! IT IS NOT!

The system works slightly differently: Americans take on debt to pay their individual tuition back. In Germany all taxpayers are your lender and you will pay them back through extremely high taxes:
Income Tax
Let’s do some math here:
1. The average student loan debt is $25,250
Over 30 years of professional life that amounts to $841.67 per year
2. The average federal income tax paid is $6275.18 per year.
3. Now applying the American numbers to the German logic you would pay zero student loan, saving you $841.67 per year. Also you would pay roughly double the income tax, costing you $12,550.36 per year.

In what kind of thinking is paying $500 more per month cheaper?

Okay, granted, foreign students, using the system that is paid by locals really fare better and I guess that is what makes the above clip worthwhile.

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Jan 27, 2012

Gingrich’s Kennedy Moment

1962: Kennedy’s eternal speech at Rice University on September 12th, 1962 setting the goal of the space race during the 1960’s.

2010: Obama grounding NASA
For the first time since John Glenn flew in 1962, the United States will have no access of its own for humans into space — and no prospect of getting there in the foreseeable future.

2012: Gingrich brings inspiration back

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Jan 17, 2012

Wikipedia half-wrong

I don’t mean the accuracy of some articles of the world’s most important encyclopedia but its decision to black out the English-language Wikipedia for 24 hours, worldwide, beginning at 05:00 UTC on Wednesday, January 18. The blackout is a protest against proposed legislation in the United States — the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate.

Here is the problem that I see:

Student warning! Do your homework early. Wikipedia protesting bad law on Wednesday! #sopa
@jimmy_wales
Jimmy Wales

Protesting, opposing and stopping SOPA is a very good cause that I fully support:

“SOPA requires online service providers, Internet search engines, payment network providers, and Internet advertising services, upon receiving a copy of a court order relating to an AG action, to carry out certain preventative measures including withholding services from an infringing site or preventing users located in the United States from accessing the infringing site. Requires payment network providers and Internet advertising services, upon receiving a copy of such an order relating to a right holder’s action, to carry out similar preventative measures.”

In plain English: Whoever builds and maintains the road on which bank-robbers escape is considered and accomplice, which is ridiculous.

PIPA on the other hand does something useful:

“PIPA authorizes the Attorney General (AG) to commence: (1) an in personam action against a registrant of a nondomestic domain name (NDN) used by an Internet site dedicated to infringing activities (ISDIA) or an owner or operator of an ISDIA accessed through an NDN; or (2) if such individuals are unable to be found by the AG or have no address within a U.S. judicial district, an in rem action (against a domain name itself, in lieu of such individuals) against the NDN used by an ISDIA.”

In plain English: Overseas websites that offer pirated movies for download will be blocked.

To sum up: SOPA Nay, PIPA Yea, Wikipedia should limit its protest to SOPA only.

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Jul 21, 2011

President Obama, please call Gerhard Schroeder

Mr. President:
As far as the current debt crisis goes you have been compared to almost all of your predecessors in the presidency. Allow me to broaden the horizon of the discussion: To me you are in the situation Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany was in. He ran and won against the party of Helmut Kohl who, by the end of his last term was about as popular as George W. Bush was when you campaigned against the Republicans in 2007.

When Gerhard Schroeder took office Germany was overwhelmed by its public debt and there was not a glimmer of hope except for entitlement reform. Schroeder understood that it was his responsibility with his left-wing majority in the German parliament to accept the challenge of getting entitlement reform done. Only the left can do that. Were the Democrats in the opposition they would fry Republicans for being cold-hearted and going way overboard with their cutting of social programs. In Germany tough reforms can only be brought forth by the Social Democrats and I believe the same holds true for the United States.

Mr. President, only you and your party can get spending under control. It is the nature of the political game that you could never allow Republicans to do that. It’s your turn and it can be done. It has been done before.

Mr. President, please call Gerhard Schroeder and talk with him about getting entitlement reform done with the Social Democrats. I’m pretty sure his cell phone number is somewhere to be found in the White House.

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May 19, 2011

Obama Threw Israel Under The Bus

This is not part of a potential Presidential campaign but part of my daily Bible readings:

Mitt Romney says that Obama Threw Israel Under The Bus.
Benjamin Netanyahu told Obama the 1967 borders are indefensible.
And like so many before him Obama still believes in America’s Two-State Fantasy.
At least God’s people have one reliable ally as today’s reading Isaiah 41:1-20 reinforces:
But you, Israel my servant, you are the people that I have chosen, the descendants of Abraham, my friend. I brought you from the ends of the earth; I called you from its farthest corners and said to you, “You are my servant.” I did not reject you, but chose you. Do not be afraid—I am with you! I am your God—let nothing terrify you! I will make you strong and help you; I will protect you and save you. Those who are angry with you will know the shame of defeat. Those who fight against you will die and will disappear from the earth. I am the LORD your God; I strengthen you and tell you, “Do not be afraid; I will help you.” The LORD says, Small and weak as you are, Israel, don’t be afraid; I will help you. I, the holy God of Israel, am the one who saves you. (verses 8-14)

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May 4, 2011

Yes, We Did!

Lauren Kolodkin explains why her generation celebrated on Sunday night and Monday morning:
“We did not celebrate his death; we celebrated the dawn of a new day without bin Laden. We celebrate because maybe the world isn’t as bad as they told us. We celebrate because we can.”

Mashable has The Osama Bin Laden Takedown, Tweet By Tweet:
Osama Bin Laden

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