Maine Writer

Its about people and issues I care about.

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Location: Topsham, MAINE, United States

My blogs are dedicated to the issues I care about. Thank you to all who take the time to read something I've written.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Paying Republicans in Congress while they do nothing

It's shameful to see our US Republican House of Representatives fail to get anything of substance passed during Speaker Boehner's failed leadership.  

It makes no sense for members of Congress, who are paid $174,000 a year (that's one hundred and seventy four thousand dollars a year), to accept tax payer paid salaries to do nothing to help Americans during the past two years. Nothing!

Now, the GOP are preparing to go on vacation without finishing their jobs. In fact, they never even started!

Even when Republicans scream about doing something, they do nothing! While the Republicans harp on about the urgency to pass meaningful immigration reform, they have failed to do anything.

CNN Reports
Washington (CNN) -- On what was supposed to be the last day before summer recess, dysfunction reigned in Congress.

House Republican leaders called off a vote Thursday on their $659 million emergency response to the border influx from Central America overwhelming immigration resources, unable to agree among themselves about what to do.

That sparked a revolt in their caucus over doing nothing, which forced GOP leaders to delay the start of August break to discuss the matter further on Friday morning.

Caucus revolt

Asked what happens now, Speaker John Boehner said he'd be working with his caucus. Asked if that would go into the night, he responded: "Oh yeah."

Meanwhile, a separate Senate border measure proposed by Democrats failed to overcome a Republican filibuster later Thursday, effectively killing it for now.

The end result? Politicians eventually go home for five weeks to campaign for the November congressional elections without sending President Barack Obama legislation to address what both parties agree is a humanitarian crisis at the southern border.

How does any thoughtful business person deal with employees who don't do their jobs?  In the US "GOP" led House of Representatives, the right wing conservatives are feeling good about using other people's tax money to pay puppet representatives to do nothing. But these RWE-RWEs (ie "right wing extremists") are spending my money to pay Congress to obstruct rather than govern.

Minority extremists cannot be allowed to control our democracy?

It's time to fire all the GOP employees who are being paid to do nothing.  Moreover, they should be required to refund the American taxpayer for the pay they received while doing nothing.  

Our 2014 mid-term election is a time when democracy should reclaim our government and majority rule returned to Democrats, who will work for pay.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

World is a mega crises but Boehner & do nothing Congress wastes money and time with frivolous Obama lawsuit

Today's world news is worse than reading a doomsday novel because what's happening is unbelievably morose.

Women are being raped in Africa, Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria continue to engage in kidnapping women and young boys to enslave them for nefarious purposes. In the Ukraine, Russia is leveraging a full fledged war against an elected government in Kiev; in the Middle East, the Israeli and Palestinian violence is unsolvable. Syria continues to be a humanitarian crises with refugees, ravaging of Christian religious sites and ongoing fighting. 

Meanwhile, western nations agreed to support devastating economic sanctions against Russia because of Putin's aggression in the Ukraine. This allied economic action obviously precipitated an acceleration of US-Russian animosities.

Nevertheless, in the face of what's clearly a build up of world evil, the United States Congress under Speaker John Boehner's failed leadership voted to launch a frivolous lawsuit against President Obama. Rather than stand up and support Pope Francis in Rome, who pleaded with the world to stop the violence impacting millions of innocent people, the Speaker of the House of Representatives decided it was more important to waste taxpayer money to launch a lawsuit against President Obama. This ridiculous lawsuit is a response to the President's executive action to implement a policy Americans don't understand regarding the affordable care act aka "Obamacare".

Rather than allow Speaker Boehner and his groupie Republican followers to launch a lawsuit against the President of the United States, the American people should demand, instead, a counter lawsuit. Americans should demand Speaker Boehner to refund Americans all of his salary for the past two years, since he led obstructionist efforts in the Congress.  

Can the President of the United States launch a lawsuit against Congress for doing nothing?

Congress is supposed to support the interests of the American people by investing in progressive policies.  Sadly, the Boehner led Republican Congress is wasting money on a frivolous lawsuit and getting paid by taxpayers to do nothing.

Perhaps Americans can sign on to a counter lawsuit against Speaker Boehner for fraudulently collecting a salary without n working to earn his paycheck.  Speaker Boehner could well be the highest paid welfare recipient in America.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Putin wants to see a Russian military victory to a renewed Cold War

There's a direct correlation between Russia's useless ruble (one ruble - $0.28 US) and President Vladimir Putin's aggression in the Ukraine and, potentially, elsewhere.  

As the ruble currency tanks, Putin's obsession to keep Russian prominence in the world order increases. This dangerous correlation has caused Putin to have delusions about opening the old Cold War, but with a Russian victory, even if it means using military might to achieve what his Soviet predecessors were unable to accomplish.

The Cold War was a sustained state of political and military tension between powers in the Western Bloc (the United States, its NATO allies and others such as Japan ) and powers in the Eastern Bloc (the Soviet Union and its allies inWarsaw Pact). China was originally close to the USSR but became distanced over the question of fidelity to Marxism. Historians haven't fully agreed on the dates, but 1946-1991 is common. It was "cold" because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides.

Obviously, Putin didn't learn much about why the Cold War ended. Although Putin was a minor player in Cold War politics during the 1980s and 90s, the reason the Soviet Union was
overcome by Cold War politics was because their nation's economy tanked and the ruble was worthless. 

Today, Putin is resurrecting the Cold War by driving aggression in the Ukraine, taking the risk that President Obama will not retaliate. This aggression rips the scab off of Cold War politics. Even more dangerous, this time Putin is using the military strategy his predecessors withheld, because of fear of atomic retaliation.  

Putin would've been a lot further along in his aggressive plan to stir up war over the Ukraine if troops sympathetic to the Russians hadn't used a heat seeking missile to mistakenly shoot a civilian Malaysian airliner MH17 out of the sky, murdering everyone on board. Included among the victims were highly praised public health experts who specialized in the treatment of HIV-AIDS. Small children, babies and a religious nun were also among the innocents lost.

Yet, Putin and Russia will eventually pay huge reparations for the death, and destruction of the MH17 disaster. At the same time, Putin must continue to pay (in rubles) for the military aggression he has commanded.

President Putin must take a refresher course to learn the reasons why the Cold War ended with Russia taking the brunt of effective Western and NATO policy.  Russia came in last in Cold War politics because their nation's economy was collapsing under Communism. Right now, a chuck of Russian wealth is living in Southeast Asia and, likely (although I'm speculating about this information ) these new Oligarchs are hiding their wealth far-far away from where Putin can claim it back for his own purposes.  
Putin can't possibly keep Russia solvent in the absence of a viable currency.  

Nevertheless, Putin can cause havoc as a result of being cornered into an economic silo by Western sanctions. Putin's anger can erupt like the heat seeking missile that horribly took down an innocent Malaysian passenger jet. 

Obviously, Putin is like a caged bear with no place to go except to attack his captors.  

Therefore, bringing back Cold War politics is sort of like throwing away the locks on Putin's bear cage. Putin is breaking out of the confines of economic sanctions with the excuse of Russian nationalism as his misplaced cause. This time around, Putin is determined to win the Cold War, regardless of what it costs or how badly the world perceives his ambitious motivations.

Clearly, the world is a more dangerous place as a result of Putin's anger, ambition and aggression.

Putin is in a pile of political problems at home, because of his nation's tanking economy and worthless ruble. Any reasonable person would want to win the confidence of the wealthy Western nations, to bring Russia back to economic prosperity. Unfortunately, this is clearly not going to happen while Putin is obsessed on retaliation to NATO for winning the Cold War.  

Tragically, it's just a matter of time before the West must confront President Putin or risk falling victim to growing aggression. Not only will the Cold War be re-opened but the ghosts of the Hitler era seem to be looming as well.

Surely, the Russian people will eventually see through Putin's ambitious veneer and demand his removal. Russians have a violent history of getting rid of leaders when they no longer serve the people. Sadly, Putin will do a lot of damage in the world before any decisive actions can effectively oppose him and his aggression. What Putin can't calculate, however, is how his aggression is solidifying the West in the same way NATO was aligned during the Cold War. With Russia's economy on the brink of disaster and the West unified against Putin's aggression, it's clearly fanciful thinking on Putin's part to believe the outcome of his renewed Cold War aggression will turn out any differently than in 1991, when Russia's economy collapsed. President Putin is in a pile of political problems, but he has not seemed to calculate the risk of a unified NATO to respond to his aggression.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Airplanes shot out of the sky innocent victims must receive compassion

Although the heinous shoot down of Malaysian airlines flight MH17 over the eastern Ukraine was totally preventable, with nearly 300 innocent people blown out of the sky, this unfortunate tragedy isn't an isolated incident.  It seems like all airplanes are at risk for unforeseen catastrophes.

Nevertheless, the cause of the MH17 aggression caused an extraordinary reaction against how Russia horribly responded to this unfathomable killing of innocents.  

World wide condolences are flowing to the families of the victims of the MH17, most of them from the Netherlands. 

Nevertheless, the Russians don't "get" what their nation should've done to respond.  

Unbelievably, Russian leadership hasn't shown the compassion they should've demonstrated, regardless of the circumstances of the assault on the innocent passenger airplane.

This attack is a war crime. Shooting MH17 out of the sky with hundreds of innocent lives lost, because the airplane happened to be flying at 33,000 feet, over a war zone, is a war crime.  

Russia will pay reparations for this crime. 

President Putin has pushed the world to an unusual tipping point, not entirely because the airplane MH17 was shot down, presumably by a Russian heat seeking missile. That's heinous enough.

MH17 was a preventable shoot down, but the world could rationalize the incident as the airliner being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  

No, it's not the incident that's caused international outrage.  

Rather, it's the total lack of compassion by Russian President Putin and his right wing finger pointing that's caused world outrage.

Very sadly, the preventable shooting down of MH17 has shown Russian President Putin to be an egotistical dictator. He showed no compassion toward the victims of the MH17 airline disaster.  

Now, it appears President Putin is planting conspiracy theories about how the MH17 tragedy might have happened and the motivation behind the attack on the airplane. Unbelievable, there are are people who are quick to believe any conspiracy theory for any of a litany of issues. Nothing will dissuade the conspiracies.

Compassion, however, can't be projected to a conspiracy theory.

Wouldn't it be amazing if Russian President Putin's leadership was taken down because he grossly mis-manged the MH17 response, by demonstrating a lack of compassion? 

Perhaps the tipping point Russia has pushed upon the world won't become a "quid pro quo" or an "eye for an eye".

Instead, the world might've finally reached a tipping point with President Putin because he had virtually no compassion for innocent people.

If lack of compassion brings down President Putin, then the lives lost on MH17 may not have been entirely lost in vain.

Sadly, their deaths might....(might)...have changed the world.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Sand Hill- Franco-Americans in Augusta

Sand Hill- Franco-Americans in Augusta

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Obamacare the winners and losers so far article from The Week

Republicans who are harping about the value of the private sector over government programs and claim to be fiscal hawks, have again demonstrated the hypocrisy of their obsessions.

Obamacare is the latest winner in the list of issues Republicans have wasted time and energy trying to discredit. 

Right wing political opposition is based upon the wrong minded argument that the Affordable Care Act is another "government handout".  In reality, the law has brought about important insurance reforms while improving access to health care coverage for the uninsured.

Republicans wasted millions in negative ads during their relentless attack on the law, passed by Congress, with the intention of providing uninsured Americans with affordable health insurance, in a statute deemed Constitutional by the Supreme Court

Obamacare: The winners and losers so far is reported in the July 25,2014 "The Week":

"Obamacare haters, your case just got weaker," said Johathan Cohn in A Commonwealth Fund study revealed last week (July 2014) that about 9.5 million fewer adults are uninsured than when open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act's exchanges began last fall. Many of these adults had purchased subsidized insurance under Obamacare or enrolled in "the newly expanded Medicaid program." Even better, they're satisfied customers, regardless of their politics. Even 74 percent of Republicans are happy with their new coverage. The ACA has faced nonstop "predictions of disaser" from conservatives, said Paul Krugman, in The New York Times, "none of which have come true."  Enrollment has surged past White House targets, and most people have bought policies on the exchanges at low or reasonable cost.  "The usual suspects will keep crying failure, but the truth is that health reform is----gasp!----working."

Predictions of a catastrophe from conservatives who spent millions to defeat and discredit Obamacare, simply has not occurred, said Ezra Klein in  

Indeed, many more insurance companies are joining the exchanges in 2015, and the ACA will only improve as competition increases and the bugs are worked out.  

Most important, in my mind, is how Obamacare is using the private sector to improve access to health insurance and the private insurers are joining in the program exchanges.

Obamacare: The winners and losers so far isn't totally about health insurance and coverage of the uninsured. In addition to achieving the goals of the program to bring down health care costs and increase access, the Obamacare law has proven, again, how Republicans really are the "stupid party" as Gov. Bobby Jindal prophesied. They've wasted taxpayer money to create a myth about a law that's Constitutional and, "gasp!" might even be working. 

Grand Old Party hypocrisy reigns with their party's stupidity.

I simply can't imagine how Republicans can continue to preach about fiscal austerity, when they waste millions to create myths.

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Putin in a pile of problems

Ordinary Russians visited the Dutch embassy in Moscow to pay their condolences for the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine as it was flying from Holland to Malaysia. Many left flowers, reports BuzzFeed

And some left notes. This one says, simply, “Forgive us”.

It seems the Russian people are already way ahead of their heinous leader Putin in asking for forgiveness.  

Vladimir Putin, president of Russia,on the other hand, hasn't even acknowledge Russia's involvement in providing the missile and the technology that took down the passenger airliner.

Well, maybe the Dutch, who suffered the unimaginable loss of citizens in the completely unwarranted attack on the Malaysian Airliner MH17 by a Russian built missile, can possibly forgive the Russian people.  But they absolutely won't forgive Vladimir Putin.

Russians leave flowers at Dutch embassy in Moscow

As a matter of fact, President Putin is up to his cold blue eyes in a pile of problems resulting from the destruction of MH17.  

Now only did the Dutch people loose nearly 200 people in the attack, but the world lost a team of international AIDS experts who were excellent advocates for humanitarian public health. 

Putin must somehow explain how Russia will pay reparations for the unprovoked crime against a passenger airliner with heat seeking missile. Moreover, he must resign as a result of his failed leadership.  
Not only has Putin's puffed up ego driven Russia into economic stasis, he's created a useless ruble worth about "2 bits" or a US quarter. His outrageously grand spending on the Sochi Olympics drove the Russians into debt and Putin's war mongering in the Ukraine brought about US economic sanctions. Now, Putin's problems include international disdain, including the potential for a United Nations investigation. Moreover, his arrogance and lack of remorse reflect on Russians living or traveling in Asia. Many Russians live as expatriated Oligarchs in Asia. Now, they'll likely be in a position of having to pretend they're either Polish or Ukrainian, to avoid the ire of the Asians, who also lost citizens in MH17 and, by the way, don't like the Russians' bossy attitudes, anyway.

Putin is in a pile of problems. His predicament is creating pressure on him to respond. Unfortunately, Putin has been in a defensive and finger pointing mode. He's in psychotic denial of the preponderance of evidence about the Russian mistake that now puts his leadership in jeopardy.

Meanwhile, it will be a long time before Russia can recover from this totally preventable MH17 tragedy.  

Regardless of how Putin ends up - banished or worse, the Russian people will have to find a way to pay reparations to the Dutch and Malaysian airlines for this disaster. I doubt the families of the victims of this tragedy will be very patient with their expectations.

P.S. Additionally, when Putin goes, as he must,......Syria's tyrannical President Assad will be vulnerable, as well.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Franco-Americans: Who are they and where do they live?

Franco-Americans: Who are they and where do they live?

Acadian Roots: Images of the St. John Valley ready for CMA 2014

Acadian Roots: Images of the St. John Valley ready for CMA 2014

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Russians living high life in South East Asia will see Rubles used for Mahjong chips

1 Russian Ruble equals 0.028 US Dollar

In other words, an American quarter is roughly the equivalent of a Russian currency ruble. 

Looking at it another way, Russian rubles might make interesting Mahjong wager chips.

Russian rubles will likely be reduced to the creating arts and crafts projects when reparations are demanded for the destruction of a Malaysian airliner, taken from the sky today, by a Russian heat seeking missile.

Was it a mistake, deliberate, terrorism or something unforeseen? Whatever the motivation, the cause will support the assessment of the cost of what Russia will have to pay to the Malaysian airlines and to the 265 victims of this airline attack disaster. Indeed, the cost will be extraordinarily high.

Russian President Putin continues to lie about his nation's persistent involvement to stir up trouble in the eastern Ukraine. He lies about this involvement because Russia can't withstand much more in the way of international economic pressure to leave the Ukraine. Therefore, Putin pretends his nation is an innocent victim of the US led international sanctions.  

Meanwhile, the Russian ruble is the value of a US "two bit" quarter, while the billion dollar bill to pay for the exorbitant Putin Olympic games in Sochi will probably never be paid.

When my husband and I visited Southeast Asia a few years ago, we were surrounded by Russians who were doing business, touring and acting like their Oligarch's rubles would last forever.  

Well, even if the Russians swarming Southeast Asia have rubles hiding in the foundation of their beach homes, their reputation among the local people (which was never very good because, frankly, they're "cheap"), will now tank. 

Russia clearly made a horrible humanitarian, and financial mistake by somehow releasing a surface to air heat seeking missile, to attack and destroy an innocent Malaysian airliner, with civilian passengers on board.  Russia will pay for this mistake. Moreover, Putin will undoubtedly be forced to face the court of international opinion, or worse, as a result. Russia may not recover from this attack.  

Worse, terrorist factions within Russia might now have an opportunity to escape their barbed wire encampments and retaliate for the oppression they've experienced as a result of Putin's pogrom of extremists . 

These are dark days for Russians as well as for the governments around the world that must respond to the attack on the innocent Malaysian airliner. 

Regardless of the intention, motivation, mistake or whatever else, the Russians will pay a huge price for this disaster.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Help for immigrant refugee children- where are pro-life Republicans?

It's impossible to understand how Republicans can call themselves Christians, when they're compulsive about deporting refugee immigrant children from Central America, rather than help them in their desperation.  

Now, sadly, U.S. immigration has deported a group of the children who risked their lives to reach Texas. Although it's impossible to know how or why the children who were returned to their original nations was determined, it seems just plain cruel to prevent these refugees from seeking asylum in the U.S. 

Where are the Christian pro-life groups, demonstrating to prevent the U.S. from deporting these refugee children?

The Wall Street Journal reports;  Pope Francis is urging the U.S. and other governments to protect the migrant children, who are flocking by the thousands across the Rio Grande and to rectify often appalling conditions at home that have set them on the road.

The pope's call comes as U.S., Mexican and Central American officials scramble to contain what President Barack Obama and others have called an "urgent humanitarian situation" unfolding along the U.S.-Mexico border, primarily in Texas.

"I must call attention to the tens of thousands of children who migrate alone, unaccompanied, to escape poverty and violence," Pope Francis said in a letter, read at a migration conference in Mexico City sponsored by the Vatican and the Mexican government. The letter says youngsters cross the U.S. border "in extreme conditions, in a hopeful search that most of the time is in vain."

Where are the Right wing Christian pro-life advocates in response to Pope Francis and his appeal to help the refugee children?

Christian Science Monitor reports on child migrants 101: 
What does it take to win US asylum?

It's not enough to come from a dangerous place. Child migrants seeking to stay in the US must show they face persecution due to a specific group affiliation. That's why so many apply instead for Special Immigrant Juveniles Status.

By , Staff writer 

When it comes to the ongoing flood of unaccompanied children illegally crossing the US-Mexico border, the political battle lines have been drawn. Republicans by and large want new spending to focus on the swift deportation of unaccompanied alien children (or 
UACs, the legal term used in legislation), while Democrats aim to ensure that those eligible for asylum receive it.

The Obama administration says most of these migrant children likely will not be eligible to stay. “Based on what we know about these cases, it is unlikely that most of these kids will qualify for humanitarian relief,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest in a press briefing on July 7. But what exactly makes a child eligible for asylum? And under what circumstances is a judge likely to grant it?

According to immigration judges and lawyers, the laws are complex, open to interpretation, often misunderstood, and affected by several extralegal factors, including financial and legal resources available to a given applicant.

The most common way such minors are granted permanent residency is not via asylum at all, but rather by receiving Special Immigrant Juveniles Status (SIJS), which aims to help foreign children in the United States who were abused, abandoned, or neglected.

Of all migrant children apprehended traveling alone, 2,588 children, or 42 percent, were potentially eligible for relief in 2011, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Of those, 1,449 applied for SIJ status, while 785 applied for asylum. (These numbers predate the current big wave of migrant children entering alone. New Border Patrol estimates project that some 90,000 unaccompanied children will try to cross this year.)

Before a US immigration court can take up an SIJS case, a state court must find that the minor is the court’s “dependent,” typically meaning the child has no parent or guardian in the US and cannot be reunited with a parent because of abuse, neglect, abandonment, or a similar reason under state law. The state court must also determine that returning the child to the home country would be against his or her best interests. 

This process is complicated, however, because the laws relevant to an SIJS determination vary from state to state, meaning the same child may be eligible for SIJS in Arizona, but not in Texas or California.

What’s more, most unaccompanied minors have no legal representation. Immigration court judges will advise children to pursue a certain legal path, such as receiving an SIJS determination from a state court. But, immigration advocates say, children often lack the resources and the basic understanding of American law to follow the judges' orders.

“Many of these children don’t even know what a lawyer or a deportation order is,” says Kristen Jackson, a lecturer at the University of California at Los Angeles, who specializes in immigration law. “Once … [unaccompanied children] are taken in, all are placed before an immigration judge. The question is whether they’re going to be able to access a state court, which often depends on circumstances beyond their control.”

Not all see the lack of legal resources as a significant issue, however. Some experts point to the existing process to guide SIJS applicants as proof that migrant children are getting a fair shake.

“I can’t imagine that an eligible child is going to slip through the cracks, because the immigration judge is going to go out of his or her way to look out for the interests of the minor,” says Dan Cadman, a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, which opposes illegal immigration.

Standard Asylum

The second most popular program for unaccompanied children seeking permanent residency is standard, non-age-specific asylum, which aims to protect people who face torture or persecution back home.

Asylum is typically more difficult to obtain than SIJ status, and as a result, children both with and without legal representation apply for it less often. In 2013, 718 children applied for the program, according to the nonpartisanMigration Policy Institute (MPI).

To be eligible for asylum, an applicant must show that he or she has been persecuted as a result of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or social group.

“It’s hard to show that your persecution is related to group violence,” says Marc Rosenblum, deputy director of the US immigration program at the MPI. “Gang violence is not a sure win, and judges are discouraged from recognizing generalized violence” as a reason for granting asylum.

The gang-related violence that befalls children in Central America rarely falls under one of the five categories that makes a person eligible for asylum, experts say. Children need to show they face persecution due to a specific group affiliation, so living in an extremely violent neighborhood or region is often not enough.

Unlike SIJS, asylum determinations do not depend on the state where the court is located. However, they do depend on the inclinations of judges to some extent, as the provisions of the asylum law are fluid and interpretable.

According to Judge Dana Marks, president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, the persecution by “social group” criterion for asylum seekers is especially difficult to prove.

“It’s something that’s subject to evolving court interpretation,” she said. “So even experienced judges struggle to determine whether someone is eligible under that category.”

As with SIJ status, minors applying for asylum without lawyers face an especially steep uphill battle, advocates for such children say.

“There are situations that occur when minors don’t have enough connections, and as a result they might miss out on possible relief,” she says.

“[Receiving asylum] depends on whether they have appropriately expressed enough information in the court,” she adds. “This is always hard for a child in a courtroom setting," especially after a child has been through traumatic experiences.

All Americans, except for those who are among Native American indigenous groups, are descendants of immigrants.  

Therefore, it's wrong for us to turn away others who aspire to the hopes and dreams of our ancestors, who arrived in the U.S. as a result of being unable to live where they were, before immigrating.

Christians who are pro-life Republicans should demonstrate in support of Pope Francis and his call to help the immigrant refugee children in Texas. 

It's impossible to understand how pro-life groups can demonstrate to end abortions of the unborn, but remain silent and passive in the face of the humanitarian crises with immigrant refugee children in Texas.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Franco-American culture in a mural, folk art and quilt

Franco-American culture in a mural, folk art and quilt

There should be many more artistic creations exhibited by Franco-Americans.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Litany of Republican hypocrisy grows longer with frivolous lawsuit, obstructing immigration reform & needed highway safety funds

People who support Republican politicians aren't thinking clearly. because the hypocrisy list of issues they can't support continues to grow. Nevertheless, those who believe the false GOP reasoning about important issues like immigration reform, blocking the release of highway safety money to protect America's infrastructure, the relationship between guns, and gun violence and their disregard for women's reproductive health, are people who're immune to truth.

Add to the above the frivolous Republican lawsuit, now wasting taxpayer money, to challenge President Obama's authority to delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate.

Republicans have no leader to help them out of this hypocritical abyss. Unfortunately, Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner is simply a grouchy man who reminds me of a person perennially recovering from a hangover. He's not a leader.Worse, he's not enlightened. Rather, he's a concrete regressive thinker.  

Boehner's lawsuit comes at a time of peak pressure from GOP members urging Congress to check what they claim is Obama’s use of power. Early this week, former Governor of Alaska (she resigned before completing her term) and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin joined a number of conservative voices calling for President Obama’s impeachment. Palin told Sean Hannity of Fox News on Tuesday, “The tipping point in this drive toward impeachment for me has been the illegal immigration issue.” Her call-to-arms op-ed piece has gotten over 21,000 comments since it was posted on Tuesday. On Hannity, she accused the Republicans in Congress of not having “the cojones” to impeach the president.

Democrats don't seem to take such a threat seriously. Former Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell (D) said on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation on Wednesday, “The constitution says you can impeach the president for high crimes and misdemeanors. There is nothing President Obama has done that is remotely close to a high crime or a misdemeanor.”

Hypocrisy fatigue is obviously infecting Americans who find it challenging to confront every obstructing Republican position, while wasting taxpayer money to make their redundant points.  

Let me get this right - Republicans want immigration reform but their idea is to send the National Guard to stand down innocent women and children refugees? This isn't a solution. What they want is to deviously create a "Katrina" disaster moment for President Obama. This image conjures up more of a Kent State scene, than one of American compassion towards children immigrants.

Moreover, Republicans who filed a lawsuit against the President are the same people who scorn "frivolous lawsuits", whereby ordinary people receive justice for offenses, in a law court. Nevertheless, millions of dollars will be spent to sue President Obama just because Republicans want to create trouble, rather than solve problems,whenever they can. Meanwhile, everyone, including Republicans, agree that the lawsuit against President Obama will go nowhere.

Taxpayers should be exposing right wing Republicans, but somehow we've become immune to their growing hypocrisy.

Except, maybe the preponderance of the hypocritical issues just may be enough evidence for voters to put all Republicans out of office, in the 2014 fall election. Hopefully.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Incredibly regressive political theater to make contraception a legislative issue - keep politicians out of our bedrooms

Women must vote in 2016 to protect the right to keep politicians out of reproductive health.  

In my lifetime, I never thought it possible for politicians and court judges to control access to women's reproduction. Unfortunately, the men on the U.S. Supreme Court have ruled that women must abide by the decision of their family owned company employers, who want to deny them access to contraception paid for by health insurance.

It's inconceivable for a person's employer to influence a woman's access to reproductive health care. But, that's how the U.S. Supreme Court men ruled, while the women on the Bench didn't support this decision.

It was a split vote, with the men supporting the right of family owned companies to deny paying for contraction for women in health insurance policies.

Regressive medieval style behavior on the part of the Supreme Court, especially the right wing decision by Justice Alito, must be reversed.  

Meanwhile, the Democrats in the U.S. Congress will try to follow the Court's advice and include the provision of birth control in the health insurance law that was challenged by the right wing businesses like "Hobby Lobby".

Congressional Democrats said Tuesday that they had developed legislation to override the Supreme Court decision on contraceptives. The bill would ensure that women have access to coverage for birth control even if they work for businesses that have religious objections.

The bill, developed in consultation with the Obama administration, would require for-profit corporations like Hobby Lobby Stores to provide and pay for contraceptive coverage, along with other preventive services, under the Affordable Care Act.

The measure could be on the Senate floor as early as next week, Senate Democrats said.

Women must unite behind this effort to protect contraception coverage in health insurance plans with federal legislation. 

Even more important, the risk of having right wing zealots interfere with women's health should be eliminated by voting all Republicans out of office.

In the meantime, women can put Hobby Lobby out of business by shopping elsewhere for crafting items.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2014

"I can't wait to study and work" said young immigrant refugee from Central America on NBCToday

Instead of President Obama visiting the immigrant processing facilities on the Texas border, packed with children, I submit the American people should be demanding for Speaker John Boehner to visit these immigrant refugee children, instead.

Meanwhile, the kids fleeing Central America and landing in the U.S., need our help.

There’s a wave of unaccompanied children from Central America flooding across the U.S.-Mexico border. 

These children are here because they risked their lives to find a future, free from the violence of heinous  gang violence in their home countries.  On NBCToday, one young man said he was going to Virginia to "study and work".

For mean spirited, and wrong minded people, who call themselves Americans, all of them descendants of immigrants, to consider blocking or turning back these desperate children, is totally wrong.

Americans must respond to this humanitarian crises with compassion.  

First and foremost, these immigrant children want to go to school and to work. They did not risk their lives to be a burden on American society.  Rather, they overcame dangerous terrain during an arduous journey for the purpose of working toward finding a better life than the one they left behind.

Compassion appears to be the motivation of Dallas County Texas humanitarians, who are responding appropriately to the sad childen immigrants.  Rather than wasting time pointing fingers at inept politicians, whose inaction started this wave of refugee immigration, they're working with Catholic Charities and Christian groups to respond to the needs of the children.

In fact, Dallas County plans to soon welcome 2,000 of the 52,000 children who’ve entered the country illegally in recent months

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins was in the border town of McAllen Wednesday and toured immigration centers that are sheltering children. Three of the Dallas County shelters were announced Thursday afternoon.

The Dallas delegation, which included State Sen. Royce West, went to McAllen detention centers where mostly unaccompanied children were living. Reporters weren’t allowed inside. After the visit, West called what he saw deplorable. He saw 15 to 20 children stuffed in rooms designed for just five – and they shared one bathroom. Many of the kids hadn’t bathed in days, West said.

“Based on even the most fundamental standards that we have in the United States, the conditions they’re living in right now would not be acceptable to Texans,” West said.

Jenkins told critics to stand aside!

“Whatever you think about immigration, these are children," Jenkins said. "We have the capability to ensure that this is handled in a safe way. Step back and let us do our jobs. Remember, if the shoe were on the other foot, and it was your child that’s 1,000 miles away from you, you would be praying for someone to do what we’re trying to do now.”

Although 2,000 children saved from deplorable conditions in holding centers are only a fraction of those needing help, Jenkins' boldness in his humanitarian response on behalf of Dallas County is a role model for other communities.

Nevertheless, the waves of immigrants traveling into Texas must be stopped.  

This humanitarian crises is a result of Republicans who failed to pass immigration reform proposed by President Obama.

Republicans should be accountable to the American people for their inability to get anything done- and now there's another crises. 

As a result, Americans will likely spend billions of dollars to try to fix an immigration loophole allowing these children to stay in the US, a problem that should have been managed before it turned into this humanitarian crises. Mean spirited people are blaming the immigrant refugees for their desperate situation, rather than the Republican politicians who decided to do nothing when something could have helped prevent this crises. 

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, R-AZ, told News Hour's Judy Woodruff that he and other Republicans couldn't have foreseen this crises when they didn't pass President Obama's immigration reform and allowed the loophole now keeping the kids in the U.S.  Because of the loophole, the children are given a court date and released. Ninety percent never show up for their court dates.

Maybe, what Senator Flake really meant to say was, "Well, we (Republicans) knew this was coming, but we didn't believe it would be in the faces of thousands of unaccompanied children...."

Republicans should be visiting these refugee immigrant children and explaining to President Obama, and the American people, how it was they were unable to pass meaningful immigration reform, or anything else, for that matter.

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Saturday, July 05, 2014

Humanitarian crises on America's southern border

Ever wonder why Americans threw so much money on Haiti post disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes? Money was used as a way to prevent waves of families from floating up on American shores to escape the havoc in Haiti. Unfortunately, the money showered on Haiti hasn't seemed to improve the human condition in the poor country, but funds probably prevented people from floating their way to the southern shores of the  U.S.  

Now, Americans are seeing another wave of refugees hiking over difficult terrain to escape Central America and crossing our southern border, on foot. They're crossing the southern border with Texas or wherever they can enter, to be deliberately picked up and taken to detention centers. Let's face it. There's virtually no way of preventing this wave of immigration except to fix the problems the refugees are escaping.  

Nevertheless, politically right wing anti-immigration zealots who are, themselves, descendants of immigrants, are creating havoc with innocent Hispanic refugee-immigrants. They're embarrassing all Americans by outrageously blocking desperate Central American women and children from entering immigration centers in San Diego. This is the wrong action to take to bring about immigration reform. These innocent people seeking freedom from tyranny are draining their own country of people who somehow have enough money to pay "coyote" leaders to take them to the American border. In other words, the money paid to the "coyote" is no longer in the Central American economy but, rather, in the "coyote's" pocket. Moreover, the young families fleeing to the U.S. must be a labor drain on the nation they've left behind. 

In America, these refugee immigrants can work, if Republicans would allow them to receive a permit to do so. They want to work and pay taxes. Nevertheless, most of the refugees will likely find jobs for cash, where they are paid under the table and, therefore, won't pay taxes on their incomes. Republicans are blocking immigration reforms, which would help refugees to qualify to work for wages where they'd pay taxes and social security, until they would achieve residency status.

Right wing anti-immigration zealots are making America look cruel to the world by blocking women and children from entering immigration stations. These right wing anti-immigration zealots are, themselves, descendants of immigrants. Rather than waste time blocking innocent women and children, they should advise our U.S. Congress to pass meaningful immigration reform.

Once these refugee immigrants are in the U.S., they are very difficult to deport because they have no way of returning to where they came from. How does the U.S. deport tens of thousands of women and children? We can't.

Unfortunately, there's no quick answer to the current immigration dilemma. Yet, it's blatantly wrong to be angry at the innocent women and children seeking asylum in the U.S., where they want to work and live with their children, in freedom.

In my opinion, one way Americans can mitigate the growing humanitarian crises with Central American and Hispanic refugees is to let them work for taxable wages. It's not the perfect solution but immigrant labor is needed to do the jobs Americans don't want to perform. To do otherwise, not allowing them to work, is inviting a larger humanitarian crises when these waves of immigrants become dependent on "under the table" wages and find they cannot qualify for Social Security later in life.  

Meanwhile, while they're working, their wages would contribute to the Social Security trust fund. In the event the refugees will return to their native countries, the money they'd have paid into Social Security will stay in the fund. If they remain in the U.S., they will have paid into the fund to qualify for benefits later in life and not have to be forced to live on welfare.

This current immigration crises is a humanitarian disaster. But, blaming the victims, ie, the innocent women and children who suffered to reach the U.S., is definitely the wrong way to respond to the sadness of this situation.

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Friday, July 04, 2014

Contraception was once only a women issue with religion but now Supreme Court has a male bias

When Pope Paul VI issued his landmark Humanae Vitae, the cry from women and couples in general was for the Roman Catholic Church to stay out of their bedrooms.

Although intellectuals and philosophers gave Pope Paul VI fairly high marks on his eloquent logic, the fact is, women ignored his message. Today, women's use of artificial birth control is a routine part of their health assessment. In fact, receiving prescriptions for artificial birth control brings women to their physicians on a regular basis, thereby preventing the spread of cancers and treatable gynecological anomalies.

Now, the Christian churches have taken away a woman's right to her own free will about whether of not to use birth control. They've gone to the courts to get their way.

Instead, some churches have taken their bias against the use of birth control to a male dominated and conservative Supreme Court, where the justices, rather than the church, are "entering bedrooms".

Women who wouldn't tolerate churches entering their bedrooms should be outraged by male justices on the U.S. Supreme Court who are now supporting rulings to, essentially, take the place of religious decrees. Religious decrees like Humanae Vitae were ignored,while the U.S. Surpeme Court got the full attention of the law.

American women must pay attention to who on the court is supporting rulings restricting women's access to birth control and reproductive health care.  Only the men are supporting these biased rulings.  In fact, Justice Sotomayor issued a lengthy rebuttal to the male only bias against the inclusion of birth control in health care plans supported by Obamacare.  The conservative and male majority of the U.S. Supreme Court told an evangelical college on Friday (Wheaton) that it does not have to abide by an Affordable Care Act contraception requirement if it has a religious reason not to provide birth control to students and staff. But, this provision was always available to Wheaton College. In fact, the anti women ruling by the males on the U.S. Supreme Court is more of a back door legal way of dismantling Obamacare, than it is about birth control. In fact, if women are dissuaded from supporting Obamacare, because there'll be less coverage for contraception, the chances of its repeal increase. These expensive law suits against Obamacrare are disingenuous, because they're political, rather than religious, with a right wing veneer.

Yet, conservative, right wing and Republican hypocrites are adding birth control to their beliefs that, somehow, religion has a right to take away a woman's free will. They are asking Supreme Court justices, rather than clerics, to determine whether or not women can access artificial birth control.

Sooner or later, as with women's suffrage, the voter will prevail. Women voters must un-elect right wing conservative lawmakers; let's put them out of office! In so doing, women can elect a Presidential administration who will appoint women justices to the US Supreme Court, where they will become the majority.  

Meanwhile, women can put the right wing Wheaton College and the conservative Hobby Lobby out of business. In fact, Wheaton College and Hobby Lobby, apparently, have enough money to waste discriminating against women's health. The money spent on taking law suits to the U.S. Supreme Court would fund many minority women's health programs. Money wasted to defeat an issue as important as contraception can't be rewarded. Instead, it must be disdained. Let's put both Wheaton College and Hobby Lobby out of business. Now.

Compassion for people must be reintroduced into our US Supreme Court. Somehow, people must become more important than institutions, businesses and corporation.

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Franco-American patriotism: Washington’s French-Canadian Spy & Loyal but French

Franco-American patriotism: Washington’s French-Canadian Spy & Loyal but French

Americans have a historic connection with the French. This shared history is remembered on Independence Day.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Twitter responses to #refugeeriders on NBC Today

Sometimes, the social micro-blogging site "twitter" is like draining a rancid skin lesion with hashtags rather than a poultice. #hashtags can serve as social media exfoliates, acting to bring venomous opinions to the service.

In other words, how can the descendants of American immigrants, who were raised in our nation's huge "melting pot", possibly object to others who want to achieve the same freedom as our immigrant ancestors?

This can be a tribute to "tweeters" like me, who howl at the vitriolic responses from irrational thinkers who create reactionary arguments to logical thinking. 

Okay, at least, it should be a tribute, if the responses weren't also outrageous.

Weird tweets to logical posts means the outrageous responses are real time replies to something the tweeters really read before answering. In itself, that's at least some progress. Most times, radical reactionaries concoct theories about intellectual concepts and just blubber zealous garbage. On twitter, however, one can assume the respondents read 140 characters and understand the meaning of the messages to which they're responding. 

On NBCToday on July 2nd, the "Orange Room" question asked tweeters to respond with the hashtag #refugeeriders, in response to our nation's growing wave of immigration from Central America.  

Carson Daly of Today asked for twitter opinions about the desperate immigrant children and their mothers who were filmed being turned away from immigration processing centers in San Diego by angry demonstrators. 

I can't understand how people who are descendants of immigrants, like the protesters, could cruelly prevent other people from entering the US. Central American refugees are like any of our own ancestor, who came to the US to find a better life and to seek freedom.  

Nevertheless, here are the irrational responses to my #refugeeriders tweet:

2.  Laura Winkler ‏@stjohnswoods 7h

That statement might be worth a pittance if borderfelons were held 2 the standards of, at very least, my ancestors @julianawriter @TODAYshow

3.  LoneStar Dad ‏@LoneStar_Dad 8h

@julianawriter @TODAYshow ...Legal immigration v "illegal" why is that so hard to understand? #RefugeeRiders #tcot

4.  GimmeGowdy ‏@PolitiKellyRite 9h

@julianawriter @TODAYshow ...My WHITE European family cannot get more than a 3 month visa. Why.

5.  GimmeGowdy ‏@PolitiKellyRite 9h

@julianawriter @TODAYshow because they didn't follow the LEGAL PATH to citizenship, right?

6.  Additionally, to the above response, 7 people gave a "favorite" to my tweet #refugeeriders

Consequently, simple math, those who supported my #refugeeriders tweet outnumbered those who provided the vitriolic responses.

Nevertheless, none addressed the premise of my tweet.  

My premise is this: how can people, like us, who are descended from immigrants, ethically object and block others who are striving to achieve the same freedoms sought by our ancestors?

GimmyGowdy and her "white" family are the worst response because skin color has virtually nothing to do with immigration status. This racist response, more or less, supports the presumption that the #refugeeriders negative responses are more anti-Hispanics (who are Caucasians, by the way) than they are opposed to immigration.

When my grandparents immigrated, the US was decidedly anti-Catholic. My grandparents might as well have been people of color as Catholic. Today, religious prejudice against Christian faiths has largely subsided but, a century ago, it was as real as racism is today.

Immigration status should be awarded to those who enter the US with the intention of finding legitimate refuge from oppression, tyranny, and political executions and willing to work for a better way of life. These people want to work! They didn't travel dangerous terrain to seek asylum in the US because they're lazy!

Those of us who are descendants of immigrants must meditate about the intentions of our own ancestors. We are ethically called to prevent blocking the desperate refugees, mothers and children, who came from Central America and other Hispanic nations, from seeking a better life in the USA.

#refugeeriders - Please answer my tweet rather than waste social networking time creating vitriolic and illogical responses. 

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