Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Rand Paul, the son of Congressman Ron Paul, has won the Republican Senate primary

in Kentucky. He and the Tea Party Movement want to return the government to the golden

years when the federal government was weak, states powerful, and corporations ruled with

unfettered authority. His rant plays on the uneasy feelings of Americans who believe our

country is in trouble, the future bleak, and our ascendancy over. Paul acts like his message

is new; but it's as old as the nation itself. Jefferson and Madison almost came to blows arguing

over a strong or limited federal government.

Paul should have lived during the early 1900's at a time called the "Gilded Age". It had

everything the Paul's and their tea baggers would love. The federal government was weak.

Business titans like Morgan, Carnegie, and Rockefeller strode over the land. The robber

barons...Stanford, Huntington, Hopkins, and Crocker...ruled without opposition. There was

no income tax, no unions, no Social Security, and no healthcare nor Medicare. There were no

inconvenient regulations of Wall Street, the environment, or food and drugs. People could

have a confession beaten out of them, no one was guaranteed a lawyer, and most workers

(especially women and children) were brutally exploited in unsafe factories.

It was an age of imperialism where America started wars to expand its borders, where

Jim Crow was alive and well in the South, and whole political parties rose up to vent their

anger at unwanted minorities (Micks, Waps, Pollacks, and Krauts) who were taking jobs away

from hard-working Americans. The gap between the rich and poor was dramatic with virtually

no middle class. No one talked about safety nets. There was only the cliff...and charity.

Paul's message isn't new. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, coined a term "new

federalism" to explain his Contract on America. Gingrich wanted power returned to the

states, a weaker federal government, less regulation, and more freedom for corporations

to do the whodoo/voodoo they do so well. Paul and the tea sackers are the latest in a long

line of Mr. Peabodys who want to get into the "wayback machine" and return to an era when

the average American was worse off, children were exploited, and virulent racism dominated

the land. Ah, yes, what would Paul call the "Golden Years"?

A recent Vanity Fair poll showed more Americans (29%) trust Fox News than the New

York Times (8%); and I think I know why. Americans are scared. They are worried about

their jobs, the economy, education, healthcare, terrorism, and immigration. They watch Fox

and those fears are validated. They read the New York Times and their fears are put into

context and they are told it could get worse. Fox is the "wayback machine" while the Times

is a mirror reflecting a situation which is troubling. Ironically, the Times is still towing the

corporate line and sugar-coating the message. If you read the alternative media...Mother

Jones, the Nation, ThinkProgress.org, the Progressive, CommonDreams.org...you discover

things are even worse; and it's the Pauls and Gingrichs, McConnells and Cantors, Boehners

and Liebermans who are leading the charge into the valley of death.

When Rand Paul screams to take the country back, the question to be asked is back to

what? A castrated Securities and Exchange Commission, a weak Federal Deposit Insurance

Corporation, and a somnolent Federal Reserve looked the other way as Wall Street invented

and fired credit default swaps of mass destruction almost wrecking the economy. Or how

about an anemic Food and Drug Administration that allows medical device manufacturers

to test their own devices and drug makers to pay for their own quality assurance tests,

resulting in drugs which harm and devices which are found to be defective.

For years, the Transportation Department ignored complaints about Toyota; and now,

we are informed the Interior Department allowed BP to drill in the Gulf with no emergency

contingency plans. Safety devices were found to be faulty and permits to drill were based on

BP's solemn promise that accidents were not possible.

Currently, regulations are in place with the force of law. The same law that extracts a

pound of flesh from the everyday street criminal merely winks at the grand and destructive

schemes of highly placed politicians and corporations. Laws are in place to protect Americans,

but the political and corporate crooks aren't satisfied with their buddies doing the oversight

and enforcement; which in itself is shameful. In Rand Paul's world there would be no SEC,

FDIC, Federal Reserve, no FDA or Transportation Department, no Interior or Commerce or

Education Departments, and no Social Security or Medicare either. Is this really what

Americans want to go back to and embrace?

Americans want their Medicare and Social Security. They want to maintain a military

to police the world. They are outraged when a bridge collapses or an oil well leaks. They

want Wall Street to behave. They want their cars to be safe to drive and their food safe to eat.

Americans demand a lot but don't want to pay for it, in spite of paying the lowest Federal

Income Tax rate since 1951. The richest 1% have seen their taxes reduced over 50% since 1960.

Corporate taxes and capital gains taxes have been slashed. With less tax revenue and

Americans demanding more, the deficits which follow can't be a surprise.

My question is what do Paul and his tea cozies intend to take us back to? It's a nice

sounding slogan, but returning to the year 1900 is not an option. Our nation has progressed

dramatically over the last fifty years and government played a role in that progress. If you

look at the savings and loan debacle, Wall Street meltdown, Gulf oil spill, California energy

crisis, your cable TV bill, and the rise of Hanbaugh and the gang; it all came about due to

de-regulation and a weak federal government. Meanwhile, Mr. Paul and his fellow teatravelers

have nothing to say about a government which can tap your phone, read your email, and spy

on you online without a warrant. They are silent when it's announced our government can kill

American citizens without due process.

In a world where the Fourth Amendment is gutted and your privacy non-existent, the

Paul's are mute. The Paul's have nothing to suggest about reining in a government which tracks

your cell phone and now wants to be able to hold you in prison longer without letting you

appear in front of a judge to defend yourself. Your Miranda rights? Smoke and mirrors. Nada!

The next time you hear someone scream they want to "Take the Country Back"; why don't

you ask..."to what?". What do you think? I welcome your comments and rebuttals. Please

send them to lionoftheleft@gmail.com

Friday, May 21, 2010


Over the next few weeks three of my children will graduate from various institutions.

One from graduate school, one from university, and one from high school. At each event,

someone or a number of someones, will try to summarize the experience and offer sage words

to send the graduates on their way. If I could give one of those commencement addresses,

what would I say? What would you say? Are there still nuggets of wisdom to be panned out

of the river of life they will soon be plunging into?

One thing for sure, the nuggets remain. My wise words? Those have changed because

I have changed. A few years ago I would have been filled with exhortations to seize the day.

I would have railed against conventional wisdom and begged the young graduates not to sell

themselves short. They would have had to listen to stories about the mavericks and

malcontents who took on the powers that be and won great victories. I would have had them

hear the clarion call that motivated my youth and my battles with established authority.

Oh, the rhetoric would have soared; calling them not to squander their precious education

and to challenge the whole wide world and make a difference! Yes, it's important not to settle,

to work for change, and to challenge conventional wisdom...but like I said, I've changed. My

message now would be less Jerry Rubin and more Ted Kennedy. They would not hear "Boots

and Saddles" blaring from a bugle; but rather, would hear me speak about life's journey and

what awaits them beyond the classroom. My address would center around three important

words: Perseverance, Honor, and Compassion.

Most parents and educators never consider preparing their children and students for

those times when life doesn't go as expected. We don't spend a lot of time educating our most

precious resource to the fact that it's natural for life to involve suffering. Fact is, they will get

knocked down. It will probably happen more than once. There will be disappointment and

sadness. Goals will not be readily achieved and success may remain illusive. Every young

graduate will face trouble and adversity. They need to be warned about being knocked down

and shown how to continue moving forward. This will determine a great deal about their

character and the quality of their lives. They need to "persevere".

I would present them with the life of a Ted Kennedy. Burying two brothers, facing a child

with cancer and being declared politically dead; yet continuing to move forward and become

one of the greatest political figures of his generation. They would encounter Nelson Mandela;

imprisoned as a terrorist for over twenty years, and yet the figure of reconciliation for a nation

torn apart by racial strife. I would have them fully aware of the sacrifices others have made

to support them in their education. They would hear about "perseverance".

It is when things go wrong we experience our true character. Overcoming adversity is

how a successful life is defined. Refusing to give in is the foundation to success, no matter

the journey.

On Wall Street, they sold investments designed to fail and then bet against their client's

interests in order to make vast sums of money. In athletics, we have the examples of Tiger

Woods and Ben Rothlisberger and Lawrence Taylor. The political world is filled with Clintons

and Sanfords, Ensigns and Vitters, Rangles and Palins. "Honor" seems an old fashioned word

without a lot of street credibility. To expect someone to be "honorable" is almost quaint in

today's environment. Yet, without "honor", all their education comes to naught. Ethics and

morality can seem to slip and slide with the tide of history and time; but acting "honorably"

is never out of fashion.

Keep your word and be judicious about giving it. Live up to your commitments. Treat

others the way you wish to be treated. Avoid the temptation to choose the path of least

resistance because the quick fix is often a slippery slope on which you will eventually stumble.

"Honor" has never been open to rationalizations and fake logic.

To be "honorable" and to "persevere" in the face of tragedy and adversity, but to lack

"compassion" is like a ship with no port to call home, cruising from place to place with little

attachment. "Compassion" means to live "with" passion. It means to wear your heart on your

sleeve and to be open to love and to understand when people fall short of expectations.

Graduates need to discover what moves them and fills them with passion and then go about

deciding how to participate in living it.

Understanding "compassion" will eventually lead to the transcendent wisdom of

Matthew 25: "Whatever you do for the least of your brothers and sisters, you do for Me."

Contrast that with the superficial message of American culture and capitalism: "You only go

around once in life, so go for all the gusto you can." Go out and consume. Grasp that car,

the house, the flat screen TV, have a smart phone and computer to use on Twitter and

Facebook, live in a gated community, work ungodly hours, and sell your soul to achieve

economic prosperity and all the goodies that go with it.

Young graduates should be warned that this path to "prosperity" is actually a siren's call

from which they will awaken one day only to discover they are selfish, alone, and have missed

out on the best of life and its purpose: to feel "compassion", thereby knowing what it is to be

fully human.

Life's path is filled with unexpected curves, obstacles, and tragedies. You must

"persevere". You must know how to regain your balance. You must continue to move forward;

and as you move through life, strive to be "honorable". Stay true to your principles, overcome

adversity, and pursue "honor" with a spirit of "compassion". These qualities will not only draw

you to others, but will draw others to you. You will grow. Your heart will be opened and able

to tap directly into the divine which is at the center of your creation.

Yes, the person I've become would be singing a different tune if I had the chance. I won't

get that chance; nor will I be able to attend any of the upcoming family graduations. I will miss

the chance to see my beautiful children walk across the stage and receive their diplomas, but I

will not miss the opportunities to be an example of God's grace in their lives.

The seeds of "compassion, honor, and perseverance" growing in me are a work in progress

and based on the example set by Jesus 2000 years ago. Together we try to embody the

ancient wisdom, no challenge being too great, as we reach out and take the hand of our

neighbor moving with passion into the dawn of each new day. The cross? It is nothing to fear

for anyone that understands perseverance, honor, and compassion. The cross is not a symbol

of defeat. It is the gateway to redemption and resurrection. Now! Not only at the end of

one's life.

There you have it...my new song and the hope that we can all sing from the same page

one day. What do you think? Please send your comments to lionoftheleft@gmail.com

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Residents along the Santa Barbara coast were assured every precaution was being taken

to protect the area from accidental oil spills which might occur from offshore drilling.

Residents in Alaska were promised the latest safety techniques were in place to make sure

accidents while transporting Alaskan crude could not occur. Residents in Pennsylvania heard

experts proclaim the safety records of nuclear plants and certainty an accident was not

possible. Old news all. Now, the reality of failure falls to the people living along the Gulf

Coast from Louisiana to Florida. They were told drilling rigs fifty miles offshore could never

spill so much oil or that it would never reach the shore. Once again, Americans are reeling

from the good intentions of well-intended lies.

Like comedy, timing is everything in politics. President Obama announced his support

for opening sections of the East Coast, the Gulf, and Alaska for offshore oil drilling. He was

trying to attract Republicans to support his energy legislation. California Governor Arnold

Schwarzenegger came out in favor of opening up offshore drilling to close a $20 billion state

budget deficit. He's now reversed himself, opposing all new offshore drilling because of the

potential environmental and economic damage a spill could cause. Environmental groups

who reluctantly supported the President are heading for the hills. Progressive Senators may

oppose the energy bill if the President doesn't change his position on the issue. While damage

to the Gulf is serious and growing, imagine this catastrophe occurring in the Alaskan National

Wildlife Refuge. The environmental damage would be incalculable.

Spilling milk is an accident. A fender-bender is an accident. Millions of barrels of oil

flowing into the ocean from a ship or an oil rig is a disaster. This should not have happened.

There is no excuse.

Could the Exxon Valdez disaster have been avoided? Yes! If the ship had had a double

hull, the spill would have been significantly less or possibly even totally contained. However,

the Exxon Valdez was an older tanker; and Exxon would have had to spend a lot of money to

retrofit its fleet and that would have reduced profit.

The Wallstreet Journal reported back in 2004 that the fail-safe mechanism that BP

(British Petroleum) was using on their deep-sea wells had experts raising questions whether

it could work at depths of 5,000 feet. These concerns were never addressed. The EPA

(Environmental Protection Agency) did not do their job. Drilling should not have begun

until oil companies could prove their device worked. Too late, we now know the device failed

and it could be another week or more before the flow of oil is stemmed.

If the EPA had attempted to stop drilling until tests were run, BP would have screamed

bloody murder. The Bush Administration would have fired the head of the EPA and the U.S.

Chamber of Commerce would have attacked bird-huggers as environmental whackos bent on

destroying the economy of this nation. We now face an environmental Chernobyl with no idea

how bad it will be, how much oil will spill, the effect on the coast, or how much it will cost to

correct. And we can expect this cycle of irresponsibility to continue as long as those in charge

are willing to sacrifice environmental safety for short-term profit.

When talking about oil drilling or nuclear plants, the word "accident" should be removed

from the language. "Accident" implies something unforeseen and mostly manageable.

"Accidents" require a band aid, some Bondo, or maybe a cast. The word "accident" lulls

the listener into a false sense of security. The Exxon Valdez, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island,

and this spill in the Gulf are disasters. They are catastrophes. They are nightmares. The

nuclear energy industry likes to talk about how many years they have been "accident" free.

The oil industry takes great pride in having no major "accidents" in years. Supporters of

drilling in ANWAR always site the lack of "accidents" as proof the drilling can be done safely.

It's time for the language to change.

As things now stand, "accidents" are simply factored into the cost of doing business.

Preventable catastrophes are not business expenses! "Accidents" are not to be understood

in terms of risk in the profit-loss game. At some point, too much risk will be considered

acceptable; and when that happens the "loss" will be insurmountable! After the fact, we will

be told of some "unfortunate miscalculation" which no creative accounting adjustments will

be able to placate.

We have no idea how much of an ecological and environmental disaster this latest event

in the Gulf will be. We won't know for months or years. The pressure to open up more areas

of the U.S. coast to drilling won't go away. It's a simple answer to a complex problem.

Pressure to license new nuclear plants in this country is perennial. Once again, a simple

answer to a complex problem and we'll be told that the technologies are safe. We will continue

to be told every effort is being made to prevent "accidents". We will continue to be told there

is no other way, that these are the only solutions to our energy needs. Projects will be pushed

for the jobs they create and how they will reduce our dependency on foreign oil. It will be

"un-American" to oppose them. Groups who organize against these policies will be called

"obstructionists, luddites, tree-huggers, whackos, and unpatriotic". They will be attacked as

21st century "chicken littles". This cycle of failure and blame must end.

As the sun sets over the Gulf of Mexico and fishermen, shrimpers, coastal residents, and

businesses monitor this most recent environmental and economic tsunami; do you think they

wish someone had pushed harder to prevent drilling until "accidents" were not possible? As

delicate and vulnerable marshes and wildlife sanctuaries are threatened and destroyed, do you

think someone should have pushed harder to make sure fail-safe devices didn't fail? As the

Nuclear Regulatory Commission issues the first license for a new generation of nuclear plants,

do you think someone should protest until the problem of where to store spent fuel rods and

the possibility of "accidents" is eliminated?

Don't count on any help from President Obama. He has already shown he will cave in on

any issue to look bi-partisan. Environmental groups who signed on to move drilling offshore

have shown how easy it is to be stampeded. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will continue

pushing to befoul every coastline, poison every bird or fish, and bury spent fuel rods in your

backyard if it means an extra buck for corporate America. The only way we can prevent

disasters is to not be stampeded, not be afraid to be called names, not be intimidated by

shouts of traitor or of being "un-American". We have to hold politicians and environmental

group's feet to the fire. We must never allow the word "accident" to be used in this context

ever again. Pogo was right. "...we have met the enemy and it is us." What do you think?

I welcome your comments and rebuttals. Please send them to lionoftheleft@gmail.com

Note: Sometimes more than one blog is posted at a time, so be sure to check previous blogs

to make sure that you haven't missed anything!


"Take me out to a protest. Take me out to a crowd. Buy me some paper and markers

black. I don't care if I have to come back. Cuz it's hoot, hoot, hoot at the owners. If they

don't get it it's a shame. For it's 1, 2, 3 rights are gone in this old ball game."

Protesters have begun stationing themselves outside baseball stadiums when the Arizona

Diamondbacks come to town. They are angry at the recent law passed by Republicans in

Arizona which give police the power to stop anyone in the state and make them show papers

proving they are in the country legally. This brand new law is causing great weeping and

gnashing of teeth on sports talk radio and the offices of Major League Baseball because a

large proportion of professional baseball players are Latino. Could the protests cause some

of them not to play against Arizona? Could they refuse to go to Arizona to play? Could this

spread to the Phoenix Suns during the NBA playoffs? What about the NHL Phoenix Coyotes

or the NFL Arizona Cardinals? Will they have to cancel next year's All-Star game in Arizona?

Sports talk radio and sports coverage generally is some of the most jingoistic media in

the country. The protesters have them stirred up; so they've come to see defending or

preserving some kind of precious torch of American tradition which never should have been

disturbed. One Houston sports talk host predicted protests outside Minute Maid Park on

Cinco de Mayo would actually cause fans to support the Arizona law rather than oppose it.

How dare these protesters wreck a day at the park? How dare they dirty American sports

with politics? People go to baseball games to escape, don't they? They don't want to be

reminded about "someone else" losing their Constitutional rights, do they? This same

sports talk host then went on to rail about how families are spending money they can't afford

on tickets, parking, food, and souvenirs (good old capitalism); and how no one has the right

to detract from this positive, wholesome American experience. If protesters insist on making

a nuisance of themselves, he proclaims, baseball fans will turn on them and take even more

of their rights away. He must have a point, since the fever is spreading as Texas Republicans

talk of passing a similar law in their own state.

It's simple. Want to pass a law which legitimizes prejudice and bigotry? Sure, but only

if it doesn't effect me. Want to pass a law to wipe out the Fourth Amendment? Sure, but only

if it's absolutely necessary. Want to give the police the power to stop anyone anytime they

wish? Sure, why not, I've got nothing to hide. Want to pass a law which could cause people

to boycott the state, cancel tours, stop going to the Grand Canyon, and not attend football,

basketball, or baseball games? Hey, what's money got to do with civil rights? If you want

to hit bigots where they live, threaten their pocketbooks!

We've heard these arguments before. A prominent talk show host once excoriated gay

activists for shutting down the Golden Gate Bridge to protest the lack of funding for AIDS

research. He proclaimed the action would backfire because all the people who were

inconvenienced or delayed would get so angry they would intentionally withhold money for

AIDS research. Want to engage your right to civil disobedience? Fine. However, you will

alienate all the people you are trying to influence. (I always wondered if Martin Luther King

worried about such things when he marched through Selma and Montgomery.) For the

record, the protesters outside the baseball parks aren't even engaging in civil disobedience;

they are peacefully protesting. Yet, some say, baseball fans will be so outraged that they

will rush to fine more racially bigoted laws to support and more civil liberties to give away.

As Yakov Smirnoff said, "..what a country!"

If you don't have to go to Arizona, don't go. If you can vacation somewhere else, why not?

If you can change your plans and not go to spring training in Arizona this year, it could do

some good. If the Diamondbacks come to town, you might think about not going or going

to protest. If you have a convention or trade show meeting scheduled in Arizona, see if it can

be moved somewhere else. Nothing will cause a change in the law faster than some economic

pain. Civil libertarian concerns about the expanding police power of government may not

move anyone, but excess Grand Canyon chotchkies sitting on the shelf can move mountains.

What do you think? I welcome your comments and rebuttals. Please send them to


Sunday, May 2, 2010


"They are lazy and no good...They have too many children and you can't understand a

thing they say...They take away jobs from hard-working Americans and they get into fights,

rob, break into homes and clog up our jails and courts." This is not a rant by a current resident

of Arizona. Rather, it is a compilation of criticisms and comments made about the rapid influx

of Irish immigrants who flooded into this country after the Great Potato Famine. According to

the new book, The History of White People, the Irish like the current influx of illegal Mexicans,

were faced with the belief they weren't "White" and were attacked because they would "muddy

up" the races if allowed into our nation.

Arizona's governor just signed into law measures which make illegal immigration a state

crime requiring police to stop and question suspicious people about their immigration status.

It's clear that few French Canadians will be stopped and searched near Lake Havasu; but every

person of color, particularly brown, will be subject to being stopped and searched anytime and

any day. The new law raises to a sacrament the process of racial profiling. Are we determined

to prove Santayana correct? Doomed to repeat our mistakes eternally?

Over the last ten years, the protection guaranteed Americans by the Fourth Amendment

has been eviscerated. The amendment is supposed to protect us from unreasonable search and

seizure by the government; but since September 11th, the Fourth Amendment has been on life

support. The Patriot Act allows the government to open your mail, bug your computer,

subpoena records of books you borrowed from the library, all without ever having to notify

you that you are being or have been investigated. Telecom companies allowed the government

to open and read your email and tap your cellphones, as well as monitor all your cyber activity,

without a warrant. Questioned about this travesty, Congress passed laws defending this and

further dilutions of the Fourth Amendment. And now, Arizona has given the police the power

to stop "anyone", not just Latinos, demanding proof they are in this country legally. That's the

foot in the door. From there, the police can do anything to you, including lying about what you

were doing or what you were planning to do. It used to be police could only check into

immigration status if they were investigating a crime. Now, they can claim they stopped you

in Phoenix simply because they "thought" you might be here illegally. From now on, you're

taking a big risk just vacationing in Arizona.

The governor of Arizona and police officials downplay this extraordinary expansion of

police powers; claiming the police would never abuse such authority and there will be clear

criteria established and abuses dealt with swiftly. (Complaints about police abuse and brutality

in San Francisco are so backlogged, they aren't dealt with for years in many cases.) What is it

you said Mr. Santayana? We already know the FBI, NSA, and Pentagon violated the provisions

of the Patriot Act frequently. They abused the use of "national security letters", they illegally

collected data, and they tapped phones without warrants. We know local police departments

all over the country spied on peace groups, Arab organizations, and charities; once again in

violation of the law and meaningless assurances. In Arizona, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe

Arpaio has been accused of raiding entire towns trying to round up illegal immigrants. His

actions have gone so far beyond the law that the Justice Department has prohibited him or

his department from engaging in any more raids. If you believe giving police the power to stop

"anyone" to check on their immigration status will not lead to abuse, I have some lovely

beach front property to sell you right outside of Tucson.

Arizona's governor claims she had to sign this bill because the federal government has

failed to protect the nation's borders. Supporters of the legislation say Arizona is in crisis and

needs a drastic solution. The only problem is illegal immigration has dropped over 20% in

the last year; and it is estimated the population of illegal immigrants in the state has dropped

by over 100,000 people. The governor signed the bill because she faces a tough primary

election campaign. Senator John McCain, also facing a tough primary opponent, has now

repudiated all previous positions on immigration reform and endorsed this law. Not a single

Democrat voted for this law. Yet, despite cries about inaction in Washington on immigration

reform by Arizona Republicans; when Democrats announced they were going to bring

immigration legislation to the floor of the Senate, Republicans immediately attacked, accusing

them of playing politics with the issue.

Imagine a crime is committed in a heavily Latino neighborhood of Phoenix or Tucson.

Imagine the police trying to go door-to-door canvassing the neighbors to find witnesses or

gather information. Who will talk to them? Who will cooperate with them? There is already

great distrust between poor people and people of color with the police in America. This new

law will make police work all but impossible in the very neighborhoods who need it the most.

Imagine Joe Arpaio armed with this new law. He has shown a total disregard for civil

liberties throughout his career. Now he has legal authority to stop anyone. In the past, he has

raided and harassed journalists, city council members, mayors, and anyone who publicly

disagrees with or criticizes him. Now his tactics are perfectly legal.

In a state as regressive as Arizona, imagine the rise of anti-war groups, radical

environmentalists, progressive political organizers like ACORN, or vocal critics of the police

and law enforcement; ask yourself if this law could be used by the powerful monied and

political interests in the state to moderate a perceived social or political crisis? It could and

it will!

I have often said Americans don't deserve America. In 2001, Americans were stampeded

like sheep into surrendering key rights which distinguished this nation from all others. One

of those rights was freedom from government intrusion, specifically the freedom of our person

and property from unreasonable search and seizure. Without this one right, the word freedom

is meaningless. Despite the obvious racial component of this new law, despite the fear and

distrust this will create between the police and the people (especially the poor and working

poor), despite the regressive politics this law represents; the real concern is how cavalierly

Americans sacrifice their civil liberties on the altar of fear and prejudice.

The New York Times quotes fifty-two year old Grammy Award nominated Ron White

about the new law. He is relieved something is finally being done about the "illegals". He

adds, "I wouldn't want to show proof of citizenship, but I don't feel it's racial profiling. You

are going to look different if you are an alien and the cops know it." My advice to Mr. White

is to retain a bulldog of a lawyer right now. And when confronted by a policeman under any

circumstances, do not respond to any questions asked. Simply repeat over and over that you

want to consult with your lawyer. If you think I'm exaggerating and want to keep on believing

the police are your friends and that politicians love American freedoms above all else; then

pray, Mr. White, pray that at some future date you're not singled out of the crowd for looking

suspicious and then interrogated. You may lose more than you could ever imagine when that

"alien" you speak of becomes YOU! What do you think? I welcome your comments and

rebuttals. Please send them to lionoftheleft@gmail.com