Beyond the Cusp

January 24, 2018

Congress Allows Government Funding, for Now

 

Congress reached an agreement to fund the government, as most people have heard. Their idea of funding the government is a three-week stop-gap measure and not an actual budget. Reports told that DACA amnesty supporters were furious that the Democrats permitted funding without any guarantee of amnesty. In reality, it should be those supporters of the wall who should be disappointed with this so-called compromise. The DACA amnesty is not the main bone of contention when compared to building protection on the borders. We were wondering if anybody out there has kept count as to how many times the wall has been promised and then pushed off and never considered after gaining the promised prize of amnesty again. Does anybody remember when President Ronald Reagan exchanged amnesty for border security and a wall across the majority of feasible regions to be financed the next session of Congress? We fully expect at some point the Democrat leadership to offer holding a vote next year for funding building the border wall. This is the ruse used by before and even getting to the point of voting for funding initially but when the time was imminent for building, the funding was mysteriously diverted elsewhere. The Democrats have supported a border fence as stated by President Barack Obama in his speech in El Paso, Texas on May 10, 2011. Allow us to first quote the President and then show a picture of his completed fence for discussion. President Barack Obama stated fence along the border with Mexico is “now basically complete.” But he continued on to describe the whining he expected from Republicans over his wall stating,

“We have gone above and beyond what was requested by the very Republicans who said they supported broader reform as long as we got serious about enforcement. All the stuff they asked for, we’ve done. But even though we’ve answered these concerns, I’ve got to say I suspect there are still going to be some who are trying to move the goal posts on us one more time.”
“They’ll want want a higher fence. Maybe they’ll need a moat. Maybe they want alligators in the moat. They’ll never be satisfied. And I understand that. That’s politics.”

Jim DeMint wrote the response to President Obama stating, “Five years ago, legislation was passed to build a 700-mile double-layer border fence along the southwest border…This is a promise that has not been kept. Today, according to staff at the Department of Homeland Security, just 5 percent of the double-layer fencing is complete, only 36.3 miles.” So, was the fence completed as stated by President Obama or do the Republicans have an argument that the fence was not built as promised. Below is a picture of the fence near San Miguel, Arizona, part of the seven-hundred-mile fence described above.

 

Picture of the Fence near San Miguel, Arizona

Picture of the Fence near San Miguel, Arizona

 

The promised double fence, does this really appear to be what was promised? Granted, there are two different sized posts but does that make it a double fence? Then we are told that this fence is designed to stop vehicles from crossing the border. We are willing to bet that most of us were under the impression that the entire idea behind a double fence was to prevent people crossing, with or without a vehicle not to mention it is doubtful that most people crossing at this location are coming across on vehicles from dune buggies to recreational vehicles but rather they would probably be walking. We seriously doubt anybody thinks that this fence would prevent people walking across the border or matches the concept of a double fence by any rational concept of a double border fence designed and built to secure the border. Surprisingly, we actually believe a double fence requires two distinct and separate fences in relative close proximity equally difficult to traverse with an enforcement dirt track between them providing an area for ease of enforcement personnel patrolling in vehicles and responding to sensors and other alarms (see image below).

 

This is What We Believe a Border Fence Looks Like

This is What We Believe a Border Fence Looks Like

 

Now we have cleared up the definition of a double fence, which is why we advise the members of Congress desiring a real double fence include pictures, diagrams and other necessities so there will be no confusion as to what they mean by a double fence. The coming debate over the fence and the DACA refugees who are, and never forget this part, illegal immigrants who face deportation for crossing the border illegally, granted not of their own choosing as their parents brought them when they crossed the border illegally. The pivotal word is illegally. All the claims to the DACA having Constitutional rights are a bogus argument meant to allow these illegal immigrants to get around enforcement by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agents. Constitutional rights are for United States citizens which illegal immigrants are not. If the government was to dispatch ICE agents to one of the rallies supporting the DACA individuals and they were to arrest those announcing their being a, “proud child of an illegal immigrant whose parents brought them across the border,” to hold for a hearing and potential deporting, they would be well within legal rights to do so. Such has not been done nor have the ICE agents been ordered to even monitor these events. We guess that perhaps those enforcing the immigration laws are not the heartless beasts described in the media.

 

The DACA illegal immigrants should be treated with dignity and understanding with always in the background the fact that they are illegal perched over the proceedings. Those who were too young to have some say in their being smuggled into the United States should have that taken into account. If a DACA individual has no other criminal record should be permitted to stay once they have shown proficiency in English, United States Laws, the Constitution, and American Customs. But those with further felony convictions or several misdemeanor convictions, those should be deported. It will not be up to us to decide their fate, but they should be given a brief and defined period of time to come and apply for asylum, thus having a hearing on whether they deserve asylum or deportation. Those who do not voluntarily apply for a hearing should be deported as soon as possible after the grace period has passed. Providing hope and a fair and reasoned approach with the promise of fairness is what should be offered but making the grace period’s beginning dependent upon completion of the border fence would also be fair. Exchange of a period of a few weeks or months while requiring the completion of the border wall is only a fair and true offer which if refused would reveal whether or not the Democrats are being honest about the wall and remove their ability to later pull the funding by placing the grace period after the wall being completed. The grace for the DACA “children,” as most of them have grown into adulthood, must be placed as secondary to building the wall so as to finally guarantee the wall being constructed this time around. Time will tell.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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February 15, 2012

The Michigan Trick to Circumvent Proportional Representation of Delegates

After what many saw as disenfranchising voters in the winner take all Republican primaries during the 2008 Presidential elections, a request was made by the Republican National Committee that the individual states decide and, if there was no strong objection, commit to using such a proportional system for assigning delegates, at least for the 2012 Presidential primaries. The next two states scheduled for primary votes are Michigan and Arizona. Both states have taken a route which will do as much as possible to negate using a proportional system for assigning delegates. Arizona took the direct route by retaining its winner take all manner for assigning delegates. Guess we can call that the direct “No” route. Michigan, along with a number of other states, has taken a more surreptitious route in an attempt to get as close as possible to the same result.

 

Michigan has decided to use a system where they divide the state up by legislative districts. They then assign the delegates from each individual district on a winner take all criteria. This will lead to reserving a larger percentage of the delegates than the final vote count will show for the person who takes the lead in the state in the vast majority of cases. The states using this method have even agreed that this system will lead to results that more resemble the winner take all method and is a way of meeting the request of the RNC while maintaining their winner take all tradition. Let us look at a couple of examples including a couple that would actually make this system rob the overall winner of receiving the majority of the delegates.

 

Example 1: In this case we have three candidates who split the vote with Candidate One gaining 45% of the total vote, Candidate Two gaining 40% of the total vote, and Candidate Three getting a mere 15% of the votes. Let us assume the best Candidate Two managed to receive in any district was 41.3% while Candidate One took 41.6% and Candidate Three received the remaining 17.1% of the vote. With such results, Candidate One would receive all of the delegates which obviously does not even begin to closely resembling the proportionate delegate assignment proposed by the Republican National Committee.

 

Example 2: This case we have four candidates who split the vote 27%, 26%, 24%, and 23%. This state had two major cities and each represented two districts out of the total of twelve. The two main winners each took one of these cities with over 90% of the vote while the two lowest vote getting candidates split the rural votes in a tightly contested but virtual two man race with the other two getting a very small percentage. In the end count of delegates the two who appeared to win the state get two districts while the two who got the lesser totals would each receive four districts assuming they split the rural districts evenly. This also is not representative of the actual vote.

 

This last example may end up being very close to the Michigan results. For argument sake we will assume that though Ron Paul has polled well and Newt Gingrich has won in South Carolina that neither one garners a significant number of votes needed to win any district, as the polls predict. We can assume that Mitt Romney will very likely poll extremely well in the districts close to where he was born. He is also predicted to do well in Detroit and surrounding areas while Rick Santorum will very likely sweep the countryside, the rural lands and northern Michigan. In the end, I see Rick Santorum squeeze out a slight numerical victory over Mitt Romney in the total vote count. But due to winning the rural and small town vote by a fair but not overly impressive amount while losing the main population centers by a slightly larger share than his rural wins, Rick Santorum may likely walk away with a larger share of delegates than the vote would represent. Of course, I could be off and Mitt might take a clean sweep of his birth state winning even the most highly contested district over Santorum by a slight measure, but enough to take all the delegates. Either way, the delegate count in Michigan may not represent the vote count which will make for very interesting commentary by the spin doctors and talking heads. Me, well, this will probably be my only mention of this as once the delegates are assigned, the rest is hot air.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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