Sunday, January 29, 2017

Executive Order - Justice? Home of the Brave?

Malala, the girl who won the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17 after an attempted assassination by Islamist terrorists, spoke out against Mr. Trump’s Executive Order. I immediately donated money (again) to The Malala Fund ( because I agree with her views about refugees, loved her book, her fund fights for the education of girls, and because I disagree with our president’s refugee ban.

First, the ban is probably unconstitutional and simply caters to the illusion of security. Why? The people involved in the 9/1 attack were from or sponsored by Saudi Arabia and that country is notably absent from the list of countries included in the ban.

Second, Israel, who has much to fear from Arabs, is horrified by Mr. Trump’s Executive Order.

Third, the U.S. does not accept many refugees from those countries. This Executive Order is theater.

Americans think that we accept a lot of refugees and are a beacon to the world. The number of refugees we accept is embarrassingly small and the percentage of world refugees we accept (based on either our population, economy, or land mass) is morally offensive.

Have we forgotten why there are laws to protect refugees? This might be what Israel is asking. We (and all civilized nations) enacted these laws after the world-shame when we viewed hard evidence of the results of not protecting refugees – the Nazi death camps.

Here is a little bit of our history that is not taught in our schools.
On 13 May 1939, more than 900 Jews fled Germany aboard a luxury cruise liner, the SS St Louis. They hoped to reach Cuba and then travel to the US - but were turned away and forced to return to Europe. This was the time of the Nazi Death Camps. Hitler’s propaganda in the United States and elsewhere worked. We were, after all, a Christian country. Jews would not assimilate, they looked different, the dressed different and, we were told, sacrificed Christian babies in secret ceremonies. We were told that the Jews were the reason for the problems in the world.

Today, the United States and the nations of Europe offer protection to refugees. Although they can apply to be accepted as refugees and wait for decades in refugee camps. This orderly process is what ‘we’ prefer, although they may wait for decades before being approved.

Our laws, the laws of individual European countries, the laws of the EU and International Protocols also guarantee that if a person is on a country’s soil (regardless of how they came to be on that soil) that they can apply for refugee status. If their claim seems likely to be valid, they may legally remain on that country’s soil until their claim is adjudicated. They cannot, under our own laws and international protocols, be forced to leave our country unless they commit specific crimes or the courts deny their refugee petition.

In simple terms: once on our nation’s soil, refugees cannot be forced to leave unless they commit a serious crime or the court rules against them. Period.

However, the president has authority to use a proclamation to suspend the entry of “any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States [who] would be detrimental to the interests of the United States,” for however long he deems necessary. This provision was included in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. But, many Constitutional scholars agree that President Trump’s Executive Order will likely prove to be unconstitutional.
At the end of the day, each of us decides what is just. Many of us believe that our decisions should not be based on unreasonable fear but upon:

  • ·     Our own self-interests
  • ·     Our nation’s self-interests
  • ·     God’s teachings

I did not number these beliefs. You put them in the order of how you define your own life.

Your position about our president’s order is as worthy as anyone else’s position if your reasoning is sound. Here are some facts that I am sure you considered.

Refugees are defined under international law as being outside their home country and having a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. (Poverty and wealth does not matter).

Regardless of how a refugee come to be on our soil, they cannot, under our own laws, be forced to leave if they do not break our laws or engage in specific plots against our nation.
About half of our refugees are Christian. The remainder are Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, other faiths, atheists, and agnostics.

How many refugees?

When considering the GDP and percentage of total population, the graphs are too embarrassing to depict.

The United States should be proud of the fact that we provide more financial aid to refugees around the world than any other nation. We also permit our refugees freedom to live and work where they please. However, that also means that our dismal record of accepting refugees dooms millions to live for decades in refugee camps in countries that deny them the opportunity for jobs or real freedom.

What does the world want of its refugees?
The ‘good’ answer, the logical answer, is that the world wants its refugees to be able to return home. If that is not possible, the world wants its refugees to be good citizens that care for their own needs. At least this is what most people say they want. However, they are like the man who says that he wants to lose weight and be in great shape and that he would do anything, except diet and exercise, to achieve that want. Actions can predict the likely results. If the man eats like a pig and never exercises, we can make some safe predictions. The same is true in the way we treat refugees.

What would we expect to happen if refugees are forbidden to work, dumped in a ghetto, not offered job training and education? In the largest refugee camps, entire generations of refugees are raised to learn how to stand in line for aid and there are almost no schools.

I love my nation and believe that we are a part of a very small number of countries that can offer the best opportunities for people fleeing for their lives. The land of the free and the home of the brave. When did we become so damn afraid of everything? We panicked after Pearl Harbor and rounded up U.S. citizens who were Japanese. We look at those internment camps and are embarrassed and wish we could do that part of our history over. Today, we allow politicians and the media to panic us again. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

NPR False Reporting, Again

This morning, January 8, 2017, NPR did it again!

It was widely reported during the past two days that the gunman who shot people in a Florida airport was previously in police custody. Those reports stated that the police took him to a mental health facility where he was accepted and later released. At the time he was taken to the mental health facility the police seized a gun and loaded magazine that belonged to the suspect. It was widely reported that when he was released and not adjudicated to have a mental health problem that endangered himself of the the public that the police were required to return his gun and ammunition. The police followed the law and returned his gun and ammunition.

NPR even ran this report yesterday.

Today's news on NPR had a different slant. The new report began by stating that although there were concerns about the mental health of the shooter, the police returned his gun and ammunition. No mention of the fact that the mental health experts released the suspect and that the police had no choice but to return the gun and ammunition. The remaining story continued to imply that the police did the unthinkable and gave this man his gun and ammunition in spite of concerns about the man's mental health.

It seems as if NPR simply wants to stir up controversy and to make the police look like simpletons.

Why listen to NPR? I like to hear what the enemy of decency puts out to the liberal listeners so I can better understand why so many people hold the police in such low esteem.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Why did these people rush the fence?

Why do these people not respect our borders?

The reports of another mass attempt to rush a border-fence, this time in Spain, is in the news. An estimated 1100 people tried to climb the fence on December 31, 2016. It was raining, the fence was slippery, police and migrants were injured. Why do they not respect our borders?

Speaking with sub-Saharan migrants last year I was surprised to learn that they do not really understand that each nation has the right to prevent people from crossing their land. Several were sitting outside of tents on the Greek Island of Kos, when one said, "You will not believe this! We are told that you can't walk across the land. We can't walk across some imaginary line. Not only that, they tell us that there are actually invisible lines in the water that we cannot cross and that there are even lines in the sky where airplanes cannot cross without permission! How can there be lines in the sky? How can a country, which is made of land, claim that they also own part of the ocean? None of this makes any sense!"

While I could make a fair attempt at explaining national sovereignty, I would need to struggle to explain how a nation can claim ownership of the sea and air. It is not disrespect for 'the law' that drives them to climb fences. It is also anger at what seems to be ridiculous. "I just want to cross their land. I am not even trying to stay in their country".

Many nations, such as Mexico, say that the laws are made for the people and that the people are not created for the laws. When laws make no sense, they should be ignored- is their view. "Why should I obey a law that prevents me from feeding my family without hurting anyone? I am not stealing. I just want to work so my family can eat. The law makes no sense. I have to wait for almost 10-years in hopes of getting permission to cross the border. I have to show that I have money, a job in Mexico and a home. If I had those things I would not be trying to leave! The laws make no sense when they keep a family from eating,"

I do not support illegal immigration, but I do support knowing the facts. Facts are more than numbers, charts, and graphs.

Refugees Storm Fence in Spain January 1, 2017

Today there are news reports of migrants trying to force their way into Spain by rushing a fence. Almost all 1,100 were forced back. (A few went to the hospital). Police were injured.

The obvious lesson from this incident and the hundreds of other attempts by migrants to rush border fences across Europe is that fences and walls are useless without human support. In Athens, Greece many residents, cab drivers, hotel clerks and business owners and a few police officers that I managed to find told me that Athens was almost devoid of police officers because so many were assigned to the fences. "Even the police trainees at the police academy are at the fences".

If we ever invest the billions needed to build the wall on our southern border, we will need to patrol it day and night. The military do not want such a duty. We will not shoot women and children We will not electrify fences or plant mines.

Whoever patrols our border must be trained in our immigration and refugee laws. People seeking refugee status have specific rights under our laws. Those laws need to be changed, but people are so busy screaming, "enforce our laws" that they prevent any real discussion about those laws that even provide refugee status to victims of family violence. The laws are the real problem.

We need a reasonable set of immigration laws that are consistently enforced in an impartial manner. Our first obligation is to our own citizens and it may be in their interest to help Mexico and other nations to improve economically and to live under a rule of just law.

Why did these people from sub-Sahara Africa rush the fence?
I will post my answer, based on conversations from other African refugees.