Out of Control Immigration

If you asked me a year ago about immigration reform, I would probably shrug my shoulders as if immigration issues don’t really affect me. Ask me today, and my answer will demonstrate an out of control point. A close friend of mine recently had a car accident where another motorist ran a red light t-boning his car. He was injured, and both cars were totaled. What makes this interesting is the person that was at fault was in the United States illegally driving someone else’s driver license with expired license plates under a fictitious company name and no insurance. Needless to say, it is a messy situation. The driver was arrested but released on bond and never showed up to court leaving the insurance company to sort it all out. The police officer that arrived at the court said he has dozens of similar cases mounting to frustrations, but his department is prohibited from making minor traffic infraction stops for fear of profiling.

 

I am mindful that this case could be a small portion of issues versus an entire migrant population that does obey the law. However, I am surrounded by illegal pop-up businesses in my neighborhood. It is so bad that county inspectors come to cite improper business operations without a license or permit only to have the inspector be greeted by someone that doesn’t speak English or a different person on each visit. The homeowner who doesn’t exist receives unanswered mail. The county inspector I recently spoke with said, “I have thousands of such infractions that have overwhelmed our department. All we can do is flag the property tax records to collect.” Many of the homes with illegal businesses have children born in the United States making them immediate citizens while the parents are the ones here more than likely illegally. It is a huge dilemma that places innocent children and parenting at risk begging the question of how to remedy the immigration problem?

 

Another issue in our neighborhood is Hispanic gang activity. To be honest, I was unaware of this activity until police began hinting at organized crimes where innocent people are gunned down to clear neighborhoods to make them Hispanic or Latino only. A recent violent parking lot robbery only blocks from my home have put my community on high alert. I fear that because there is a division between Hispanics, African Americans, and Caucasians. The tension is growing because of hit and run accidents, graffiti on homes or stop signs, break-ins, and violent crime. It seems that when an arrest is made and a deportation order is rendered that the person disappears into the system only to reappear later under another false pretense of an assumed name. Our town has seen too many repeat offenders that were deported only to return within the year. To me, this is nothing more than a form of organized crime.

 

Personally, I want everyone to have a chance at the American Dream. But I do have an expectation and prioritization that those that applied and provided due diligence in the official application process be granted priority. Those that bypassed the process should, in my opinion, go straight to an immigration jail. There are rules and procedures for a reason. I think it is time to revamp our naturalization laws with regards to birthing rights. Your parents must be American if you are born in the United States. If the laws are good enough for our allies, then it should be good enough for us. I am not trying to close the door on immigration. Instead, I suggest that we have a door that opens and closes. The current immigration door appears to be propped open with no guard at the door checking to make sure that those that meet our basic immigration standard are allowed into the United States.

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Age of Consent and Homosexuality

Today I was listening to a rather heated conversation about alt-right speaker Milo Yiannopoulos. Apparently, he was alleged to have spoken with an online broadcast about his sexual relationships at an early age with older men. The conversation went over the top, so to speak, and became a cross over the line where Yiannopoulos eludes to himself and his priest engaged in a sort of sexual circumstance when he was a pre-teen. Naturally, this is a profoundly disturbing revelation, but Milo does raise an interesting perspective and disturbing information about consent in America, the definition of classical pedophilia, and how homosexuality is labeled.

 

I am in no way defending pedophilia or Milo Yiannopoulos’s extreme rhetoric. However, he began this taboo conversation with some nearly correct facts. He was correct that pedophilia is listed for a child that is under the age of thirteen years old. The age of consent in America significantly differs state to state and is widely misunderstood. But most conservative Americans tend to create this false impression that homosexuality is linked to pedophilia. Because of what Yiannopoulos said I am confident that the religious right will once again begin to label the LGBT community as a precursor to pedophilia. Milo said, “if I were 15 and experimented with another boy a year older than I then we are freaks. But when a straight couple the same age does the same thing they are coming of age.”  He is correct there is a division of standards between the straight and homosexual community.

 

Let’s face facts. Milo knows how to cleverly troll the internet and media to begin a conversation – even if it’s the wrong way to start a discussion. But I chose to listen beyond the filth and shock to the story of many talking points of the LGBT community. Honestly, there is a divide in our nation with the LGBT age of consent standards. For example, in New Hampshire, West Virginia, and many other states the age of consent between a straight couple is 16 years of age. But the law in these states and others makes it illegal for a gay or lesbian couple to consent until age 18. North Carolina and other states have similar laws. Naturally, there will be either LGBT members remain in the closet until they are adults or the sex offender registry will continue to demonstrate a disproportionate amount of LGBT members because of outdated laws. So basically to combat the age of consent law many states raised the legal consent age to 18 making the slightest form of sexual contact a felonious crime. Maybe we can learn a lesson from our neighbors in France, United Kingdom and Germany where the age of consent is 16 regardless of the other individual’s age. But of course, they teach sex ed in schools where we are nearly forbidden to do so. Instead, you read your taboo sex discussions on internet boards. So much for America setting the standard.

 

Homosexuality in America will continue to become labeled with misinformation and slander as long as constructive sexual discussions remain hidden from view. Dr. Ruth was once a household name on television. She discussed many sexual behaviors but eventually was taken off the air mainly in part by conservatives that felt her educational comments and suggestions shouldn’t be heard during peak broadcast hours. Ruth was eventually moved to cable during the late 1990’s losing the critical audience she should have been talking to all along. I fear that Milo’s comments will hurt the gay & lesbian communities. Some people only hear what they want to hear and that may be “a gay man talked about his pedophilia experience” or something out of context but similar. That trolling moment is what scares me and how it can become similar to the debunked Hillary Clinton Pizzagate conspiracy.

Media Should Reduce Fact Checking

When we sit down to view or read the news we expect and rely on a credible source of information. In reading or viewing it is up to us to determine if more information is warranted. A problem that I see with the media is that it is having to fact check along with providing information from whomever it decides to interview or discuss. This is where the media is caught in a trap because the news is sandwiched in between viewpoints and reporting. Naturally, any opposing person would be quick to blame the media as altering the interview or hinting at its own credibility standard.

 

The media has an intricate delivery system. If you are a newspaper, then you only have an avenue of reporting by a cutoff deadline. The news changes like the wind so that printed newspaper article could potentially become old news by the time it is delivered or read. 24-hour news networks or online news perhaps provides too much news. After all, it must refresh its content if the news story lay claims that its information was taken out of context. This is why I think we have too many political television and radio shows. Each one delivers its own perspective, and in most cases, so one-sided that it becomes an extension of the media which is supposed to be a neutral agent of reporting. In any case, it’s difficult.

 

President Trump has a unique and unorthodox way of creating a news cycle. I remember when President Reagan would speak before a camera it was as if your trusted uncle was telling you a story that made you feel secure. However, when you peeled back the layers, you found that the delivery was great, but safety was questionable. Trump, on the other hand, will shoot from the hip creating an almost circus-like atmosphere with tiny organization or focus. To me, Trump has a subliminal way of changing the subject matter where you begin to wonder what was the original question?

 

While I am appreciative of our media, I must ask that media only report what Trump says and not interpret or provide viewpoints. Let the American people do that. Yes, the media can help become a part of diplomacy but let the world judge Trump by his own words. That alone may be enough for the world and general public to quickly assess that we cannot afford to keep him in office or make the same mistake at election time again. When the media interprets or provides fact checking then perhaps it is getting in the way of what the opposition party should be doing. Let the Democrats step up and become the fact checkers. Eventually, the Trump train will run out of steam and coal of credible information.

FARC Terror Is Likely In America

When we think of terrorism in today’s news, we may immediately turn our attention to terror groups as Al Qaeda or ISIS. That is because our media attention seems focused on terror campaigns combined with diplomacy and military operations. The focus on Syria highlights how terror can spiral out of control to the point of nearly being all out chaos. To combat terror, there are many plans and options. Finding the perfect plan never seems within reach. But what if I told you that the next terror wave that could hit the United States was not Al Qaeda or ISIS. What if I mentioned the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)?

 

Ask any American citizen if they have ever heard of FARC and they may laugh at the acronym or roll their eyes. But FARC has been around for decades and been a thorn in the side of American-led operations in South America. FARC activities feed on unorthodox methods of terror aimed to spread its information about communism or anti-capitalism. If you think this terror organization is small or doesn’t pose a threat, then you are very misled. The United Nations has published reports that FARC is responsible for nearly 14% of deaths in Columbia alone aimed at spreading terror. Now FARC is making its presence known in the country of Venezuela. The United States relies on some oil exports from Venezuela as well as most South American nations. If FARC can disrupt Venezuela causing the country to starve then what do you think will happen to the youth that has no jobs and spread hatred about the United States? While Immigration and Enforcement may profile Middle Easterners and Mexican nationals, it may have a truly difficult time identifying FARC terrorists.

 

How does FARC arrive in the United States? There will be no need for FARC terrorists to sneak over the border illegally. FARC has been around for a long time and knows how to use the existing system but acquire weapons and other terror materials on the black market. FARC doesn’t use videos or propaganda to get its message across. Its tactics according to Columbia is to send its manifestos to the local media about why it bombed or committed acts of terror. Its message is simple and to the point. Most of all it’s almost a Robin Hood style of propaganda. Take from the rich and give to the poor. Therefore FARC could become a bigger threat with youth and certain gangs. The current administration seems laser focused on Muslim based terror, when, in my opinion, the bigger threat may be in our own backyard.

 

The reason I bring up FARC today is that terror is all around us. It is not isolated to religious issues. FARC can be much worse for domestic terror issues because of snap policies that may hurt Mexico, Central, and South America. Our influence in that region has diminished and lost its way since the invasion of Panama. This is where FARC may rear its head with a propaganda of hatred and scorn for rash American policies that appear directed towards the Latino community. If Latinos feel scared in the United States now, how do you think FARC will respond to the United States to send its message? This is what I fear and perhaps should concern you as well.

Gottfried Fired As Coach

A quick followup to my previous post. Apparently, NC State University athletics lied once again to the media. Nearly identical to the Sidney Lowe firing which it claimed was false and misleading Athletics Director Debbie Yow fired head basketball coach Mark Gottfried today. It is one thing to say “no comment” or to remain silent. But for a university to blatantly lie to the media is not only in bad taste but defies ethical behavior at a publically funded university level.

 

Say what you will about the UNC cheating scandal. But college athletics must be held to a higher level of ethics and disclosure. But Debbie Yow and the NC State University staff lying to media outlets creates a level of distrust not only by its fan base but to the people of North Carolina. For that, Debbie Yow and those that supported her false statements should be terminated from the University immediately.

 

Poor, Poor N.C. State University Basketball

For some of my blog readers, today’s blog may not be filled with political discourse or general policy overviews. Instead, I again will once again write about the North Carolina State University athletics program. When I attended N.C. State I wrote for The Technician about the University piss poor athletics programs. In fact, during that reporting period, the athletics department was headed by athletics director Lee Fowler. Shortly after my scathing, but honest, assessment Fowler retired from the University. He was replaced by Debbie Yow, which is the sister of the late N.C. State basketball coach legend, Kay Yow.

 

First, to understand a typical dedicated Wolfpack fan comes with a standard set of guidelines. 1. The program has an incredible history. 2. The entire athletics program seems focused on only beating Carolina. 3. Preseasons are filled with hype only to dissipate as the season progresses. In other words, the Wolfpack doesn’t have the caliber programs found at Notre Dame, UNC, Arizona or Florida. Instead, it will throw millions of dollars into a “Field of Dreams” style building project to build a reputable and loyal fan base to immediately fail on the field or on the court. Granted, its athletics facilities are some of the best on the planet. Any athletics coach would be in awe to have equal access to such services. In fact, the recruitment is on par with just about any other major university program. Coaching staff typically has some remarkable stats at the initial phase. But once at N.C. State all that falls apart. It’s a university filled with hopes of athletic excellence that consistently fails to deliver.

 

The last time N.C. State basketball program went to the NCAA Elite Eight was in 1986. That program was led by the late Jim Valvano. Les Robinson took over the program after Valvano was forced to leave under athletics misconduct allegations. Then came Herb Sendek which took the Pack to a tournament for 9 out of 10 seasons before his firing and departure to Arizona State University. Sidney Lowe, a former N.C. State player became the next coach that never had one appearance at the NCAA tournament. Now we come to the current Wolfpack basketball coach, Mark Gottfried which seated the Pack at a NCAA Sweet Sixteen position at his first season as coach. As a coach for five seasons, Gottfried has been to the NCAA tournament four times. This season his Wolfpack is struggling. But the Wolfpack apparently, once again, want change. It is highly rumored that Gottfried will be fired after the end of this season. Why the Wolfpack hired Gottfried after being fired from Alabama is perplexing. Perhaps it’s because N.C. State athletics has issues securing good coaching talent. After all, it’s a trainwreck in the making.

 

A problem for the Wolfpack is that its programs and fan base utilize the eligibility rule to secure a seat at playoffs. Nevermind about becoming a conference champion or a NCAA ranking. Instead, Pack fans and its program will ever endure the Cinderella syndrome of its only hope of being crowned Champion. The Cinderella method is fine for UTEP or Pepperdine but not N.C. State. The University is a Division 1 contender with Duke, UNC, and Virgina in its brackets. Yet, the Pack seems unconcerned or effortless in securing solid and robust wins against those adversaries. This is why the Wolfpack and all of its athletics won’t win championships. If the Wolfpack wants to begin winning, then its coaching staff must stop being a friend to its fan base and become autocratic, disciplined and focused leaders on the field and court. Until then, the Wolfpack athletic program will continue to be the hum-drum back pages issue filled with canned expectations and mediocre write-ups. After all, that has been the typical sports writing style since the departure of Valvano.

 

Mark my words, the Wolfpack will hire another coach, and you will hear the same canned commentary each and every time. “The new coach must be given several seasons to select his own players” or “the Wolfpack signed one of the best recruits for next season.”  The end result is that without a robust and disciplined coaching staff none of that will matter. The Wolfpack, in my opinion, will continue to rank between mediocre and below average regardless of what stellar facilities it builds. Go ahead and fire the Wolfpack basketball coach. It will only make it harder to find a better replacement. It only gives the university another poor excuse of additional time and recruiting to rebuild with same repeated insanity laced expectations that NC State fans have come to endure.

Word Extremism

In recent weeks we have heard about “fake news” or “alternative facts.” Let’s be honest with ourselves. Blown out of proportion headlines and misleading information has dominated our televisions, mailboxes, homes, and workplace for decades. While all cameras and microphones turn towards Donald Trump, perhaps we should reflect a moment and ask ourselves if we have ever had a Trump moment in our lives.

When I read headlines of “serial spree” or “massive demonstrations” or other colorful and perhaps misleading rhetoric, then I sometimes think that sort of talk is similar to what Trump says on a daily basis. People tend to exaggerate the facts and replace them with almost folklore comment to raise the quality or excitement level. Another problem is that our news and daily conversation does not seem balanced or centered. In fact, our language is emotional in nature to persuade our listeners. It is similar to those that claim “I am swamped with work overflowing on my desk” when in fact the desk is clean but the data to be entered in the computer is backlogged a bit.

Another issue is how we take our daily language as if we are skilled attorneys. When I hear sexual assault, breaking and entering, or violent activity then I quickly assume that the crime is a horrible event. However, if you drill down and take a closer look you may be amazed to learn that the sexual assault was a slap on the butt and the breaking and entering was someone opened what was intended to be a locked door. There is nothing at all violent, but we are presented information to believe it was. Another reason our court system is clogged with minor situations deemed as crimes but in hopes that the accused will take a plea deal. Again, this is where fake news becomes lubricated.

In essence, we are all a bit like Trump. We use words we do not mean to get our point across; perhaps not as excessive as he does. However, as a capitalistic society, we do attempt to push our agenda ahead of others with sometimes false data and misleading words. Our sets of beliefs are under scrutiny today because we are not using the correct words, timeline, and events to tell an accurate story. We love pizzazz and entertainment value. After all, that is Trump. What I’m afraid of is that we will eventually become a little like Trump if we fail to become a bit more realistic and tone down the word extremism.