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Predators and Victims September 10, 2010

Posted by rjpeel in Life and Politics, Truth.
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When I was young, there were special times in schools when they taught you life lessons in addition to the regular school work they’re supposed to teach you. I know that there is a whole controversy about what schools should and shouldn’t teach, but in this case, I’m talking about good life lessons that I don’t think anyone would have a problem with school teachers covering.

The one life lesson in particular was how not to become a victim to a mugging or sexual assault in public (this was back when we still believed this was where this happened mostly). We watched videos and heard lectures about how to avoid becoming a victim: walk with good posture; don’t stare at the ground, but instead look around and be aware of our surroundings, appear confident and ready to react.

As we approach November, there are many commercials and pundits trying to convince you to get out and vote. Both sides want their supporters to get out and vote. But getting out and voting really isn’t enough if we’re like the wannabe victims of my childhood–keeping our eyes down and not paying attention to what’s going on. Maybe we think that things just can’t be as bad as some people say, maybe we think that our opinion just doesn’t matter, or maybe we think it’s all too complicated and it’s better that we just find someone we like and take their word for it.

This is a good recipe for becoming victims and for getting predators elected–predators that are seeking their own power, wealth, and influence rather than the good of the people they serve.

Wake up, look around, pay attention. Get informed and develop your own opinion. What you’ll find is that there is merit to some arguments on both sides of the political aisle and that there are sinister characters and malicious policies on both sides as well. You may even find that you don’t like either side and that there is another alternative you like better. What matters is that you make your own opinion (based on facts, not someone elses opinion) and get involved. Once you’ve done all this, your vote will matter–until then, you could actually be doing more harm than good with your uninformed, misguided vote.

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The Hypocrisy of Hate May 17, 2010

Posted by rjpeel in Life and Politics.
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Has anyone else noticed that often those who are the loudest in their condemnation of hate are so very prone to hate?

For decades homosexual advocacy groups have preached about how wrong it is to hate someone because of their orientation or lifestyle choices. However, when Carrie Prejean answered a question in a way they found offensive, their speech was vile and hateful and extremely prolific. Even organizations dedicated to the proper treatment of women were silent or even supportive of this hateful rhetoric even when everything they have stood for should have made them stand against such rhetoric, even if they disagreed with her comments.

Groups that advocate for illegal immigration tell everyone else that they are hateful whenever they try to enforce laws that already exist, or create new laws that are really no different from the ones that already exist–when such laws are meant only to protect everyone in this country from a growing problem (speaking specifically of the criminally minded illegal immigrants). In fact, the demonstrations and reactions against those in favor of getting control of this are very vile and hateful.

Remember when Sarah Palin ran for Vice President? The liberals in the country went absolutely crazy with their attacks on her. People that I respect would exclaim that they couldn’t stand her–but could never explain exactly why. The hateful rhetoric was abhorrent and overwhelmed even the good sense of normally decent people.

Those of us that truly believe that hate is wrong may find at times that we become passionate on an issue–maybe even angry, but we eschew hate–knowing that there is no justifiable reason for this.

The world has a long history of coming up with reasons to hate. These days, those who want to hate seem to be content with the idea that it’s OK to hate a hater. So, all you have to do is convince yourself–and a few of your buddies, that that guy over there is a hater–and if you can do that, there is nothing you can do to him that would be wrong. After all, he’s a hater and you hate haters.

Racism in the Political Machine May 6, 2010

Posted by rjpeel in Conservative, Liberal, Life and Politics, Politics, Truth.
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I’m watching all of this furor over the new Arizona law. As I said before, I have personal reasons for feeling compassion toward some illegal immigrants. My family counts some illegal immigrants among the circle of friends we have built in the course of our lives–those friends that always remain friends despite distance and even lack of communication in many cases. Despite this, though, I have been supportive of Arizona’s new law because I feel I understand the need for it and the out of control problems that have been caused by the immigration issues. I also feel that since the Federal Government has failed in its responsibility to address this issue, states have every right to protect their own citizens and communities.

However, after seeing the expansive nature of the furor over this new law–and all of the ugly things being said about it by various groups and individuals, I wanted to know for myself if the law really had anything in it that either 1) promoted or 2) allowed for racial profiling and the targeting of Hispanics.

So, I read the law. The law was not as short as some reports I’d read (it was 17 pages long), but it was very organized and easy to understand–and it gave clear answers to my questions.

My first question was: Does it promote racial profiling? The answer is no. My second question was: does it allow for racial profiling? The answer to this was also, very clearly, no.

The law specifically forbids acting on the basis of race alone. Given the sue happy society we live in, this will give anyone who was even possibly stopped for only this purpose grounds to sue and create a real problem for any authorities caught doing this. So, the pressure will not only be present it will be HUGE in favor of having other concrete and provable factors present before pursuing the identification of a potential illegal immigrant.

Given this, I believe that every group or individual who is laying claims of racism and racial profiling with regards to this law has committed a serious infraction against our society. It is clear that this law will not promote either.

To all of the Hispanic communities and their supporters that are rising up against this law, I say: Read the law. Tell the rest of us where, exactly, you see racism in its text. Prove to us that you have real grounds for fear that this law will target honest, law-abiding citizens of the United States. Otherwise, we can only conclude that you are simply trying to protect illegal immigration–and if this is the case, you are complicit in every murder, drug addiction, rape, broken home, and ruined life that results from your protection of this activity. Those tragedies are what the state of Arizona and their supporters are trying to stop.

Let’s find a way to fix legal immigration and stop illegal immigration, so we can at least attempt to keep the murderers, drug dealers, gang members, terrorists, and other bad guys out. Arizona is helping us with one half, let’s all work together and focus on getting the other half done. Hate is wrong, no matter what side of the issue you stand on.

Arizona’s New Law April 27, 2010

Posted by rjpeel in Conservative, Democrat, Liberal, Life and Politics, Republican, Truth.
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It is truly amazing to see the brouhaha over this illegal immigration law in Arizona. However, what really amazes me is the idea that some people think that the law is racist or worse. Arizona is being labeled a Nazi state (notice they don’t say communist, why is that?). 

Does it really not make sense that in an area where there is a massive influx of illegal immigrants and illegal invaders, the authorities would require individuals to be able to prove their citizenship, so they can remove those who are there illegally? I mean, really?

Now don’t get me wrong, I see the issue of illegal immigration as being more complicated than many conservatives. I believe our country has a right to protect itself against illegal immigration and that we need to close the borders and instead focus on ways to bring the people who want to come into this country here in a way that is legal and mutually beneficial–however, I do have compassion for some of those who already find themselves here.

I believe that our response to those already in our country illegally should be tempered by an understanding that it has been our choice for years not to enforce the laws–which seems an invitation to a people who are desperate to escape abject poverty and horrid violence. They must bear responsibility for coming here illegally, but our lack of enforcement did create an unwritten invitation for these people and we must include that understanding in our response.

In addition, my family knows, from personal experience, that some of the illegal immigrants here in this country are here because they were brought here by others–and they bear NO responsibility for the crime that brought them here. Some might say that then it is their responsibility to leave. I say that compassion can and should lead us down a different road for these individuals. Our family knows a young man and a young woman who were brought into this country years ago by their parents. These children did not commit any crime, their parents did. Our hearts were softened to the plight of the illegal immigrant and those U.S. citizens who help them when we learned of the young woman in this family I mentioned leaving her parents because her father was abusive. She was scared, all alone, and in this country illegally. Someone helped her. They gave her a place to live for a short time, helped her with other resources, and did not turn her over to the authorities. I admire and applaud this family for their compassion.

So, like so many of the issues that are so divisive between the political factions in our country. Things are much more complicated than either side wants to admit. We should neither turn a blind eye to illegal immigration because we want to increase our voter pool, nor treat all illegal immigrants without compassion or understanding. It takes more effort, it takes people who care more about right and wrong than they do about right and left.

Arizona’s law is a good one. Rather than focussing on killing a good law that the people of Arizona need to protect themselves against drug cartels and other criminals, we should be focussing on working with those who made the law to ensure that it is not abused. Those of us on both sides of the aisle must work with mutual respect to see that this law is implemented with that same respect.

Instead of turning our wrath on the typical illegal immigrant, we must hold accountable those politicians and businesses who create an environment that encourages people to enter this country illegally. These are the people who deserve our disdain. They are the ones who are keeping our borders open to drug cartels, murderers, and gangs for their own selfish benefit.