The phrase “illegal alien” is a favorite of newscasters and journalists, but in hard legalese, no such phrase exists. What “illegal alien” refers to, legally speaking, is something called an “undocumented immigrant,” or “undocumented resident.” An undocumented resident is essentially someone who was born in a country that isn’t the United States, and is living in the United States illegally, without the proper “documents” (like a green card).… [Read more]
Far too often when we think about the environment, only our immediate surroundings or issues impacting our own nation crosses our thoughts. In one way or another, all life on this planet is connected; our nations are not as separate as we may think and, in fact, what is done in one country often impacts life in others.… [Read more]
No nation on Earth is associated with immigration more profoundly than the United States. That born Americans will proudly rattle off laundry lists of ethnic backgrounds is a testament to the “melting pot.” But the state of immigration has traveled a long way (so to speak) since the days of grainy film footage of Ellis Island.… [Read more]
We all know the cliche: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If we know this and believe it to be true, then when it comes to the election cycle we’re definitely insane.
Every year we’re bombarded with advertising that’s mostly negative. We get our full share of speculation from the various media pundits and, because we’re special, we get to hear the candidates debate issues that someone else decided were important for us to listen to.… [Read more]
A few weeks ago many folks in New York City were in an uproar. First because a young man, who lives with his mom in Corona, Queens, is studying engineering at the New York City College of Technology, and has a work-study job was detained by law enforcement stemming from the purchase of a $349 Ferragamo belt at Barneys.… [Read more]
Although doctors still haven’t perfected the “Star Trek” body scanner that can diagnose with one swipe of the patient, 21st century medical advances are still pretty impressive. Just because the diagnostic and treatment procedures exist, however, that doesn’t mean that everyone in the free world can have access to them. Maybe it’s a growing trend, or it could just be that news spreads faster these days, but a number of bizarre reasons for denying medical treatment have come to light, even for — or especially for — those with health insurance.… [Read more]
A new Gallup survey was released yesterday that indicates opinions in America are shifting with regard to marijuana use. Given the legal penalties for drug use, and the current overcrowded state of America’s aptly named ‘prison industrial complex, it’s time to revisit the nation’s record on crime and punishment.
With so many behind bars for drug charges at a time when the legalization of marijuana spreads across the country, Americans are paying more attention to the question, “Why do we have so many prisoners?” With 25 percent of the world’s prisoners comprised of Americans in U.S.… [Read more]
“In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for. As for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican….” H.L. Mencken
These words, penned in 1949 by the peerless ‘Sage of Baltimore’ have additional piquancy in the aftermath of the latest American political comedy series masquerading as effective governance.… [Read more]
Congress: you should have seen this one coming.
I know you’re busy congratulating yourselves for hauling yourselves out of a self-created mess that was the government shutdown, but in that time did you stop to think about the implications of your pointless turf war? Others around the world certainly have.
How embarrassed would you be, Congress, to find that while you’ve been in your filthy trenches China has provocatively suggested that our time as a leading nation is waning?… [Read more]
We hear a great deal about a wide range of environmental issues in today’s world. In broad terms, these issues mostly consist of climate change and pollution; more specifically, they comprise issues of material waste, fuel consumption, water pollution, and any number of other problems with significant environmental risk.
But one issue that seems to get surprisingly little coverage in broad economic discussions is that of paper consumption and, through it, the process of tearing down trees.… [Read more]
One of the problems with economics is that economists use complex words like “coefficient,” making a term like “Gini coefficient” unpopular before people even know what it means. If the term referred to some abstract number that people use to explain recessions it probably wouldn’t be worth explaining. This number, however, has been connected to fetal mortality and the likelihood that crazies will go shooting up our preschools, so it’s worth a little more than a dismissive glance.… [Read more]
For many same-sex couples across the country, the dream of one day wedding their partners was realized when individual states started legalizing gay marriage. Even more couples celebrated when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act.
But the honeymoon has to end sometime. And many same-sex couples are starting to consider what approximately half of all married couples eventually face: Breaking up.… [Read more]
Most recent statistics and analyses of the economy point to some good news. As a general rule, the economy is improving overall. But that doesn’t mean families aren’t still struggling to get by and recovering from economic hardships from the last few years. The big picture may be getting a little better, but there’s no doubt many individuals are still struggling.… [Read more]
I have lived in Boulder for nearly 30 years and have never seen anything — weatherwise — like what I’ve witnessed these past two years.
Last summer, standing in the front yard of my friends’ home in east Boulder, I watched pine trees near the iconic Flatirons burst into flames like matchsticks. We were in the midst of a severe drought, which had sparked a spate of deadly wildfires.… [Read more]
It is usually bad form to reference ones own writings to support a particular cause or contention, but a recent experience with cyber-fandom prompts this modest account. Frosh Week insensibilities, campus ‘rape culture’ fear-mongering, and the wonders of instant digital communication all play their cheerful part.
Ten days ago, a video clip of some festive, apparently over-refreshed frosh at St.… [Read more]
My grandfather was fond of a certain saying, and it made him at once endearing and off-putting. It went something like this: I’d love to argue with you, but I’d have to educate you first. It’s a sentiment that many of us would do well to keep in mind.
The world is smaller than ever, thanks to the Internet.… [Read more]
In a publicity stunt so ridiculous it could have been cooked up by Glenn Beck, former Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara has suggested that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe build a lighthouse on the disputed Pinnacle Islands. This move, he claims, would help break the political stalemate that Japan and China have been sitting in for the last year, thereby improving the situation, somehow.… [Read more]
Imagine that feeling you get in your gut sitting in your car on the side of the road after you get pulled over by the police. Why did the officer pull you over? Are all your documents up to date? Will he or she give you a ticket or let you off with a warning? You can’t help but feel anxious, even though in most cases the worst that will happen is you’ll get a fine and maybe a few points on your license.… [Read more]
During the 1960s, politician after politician said that if we do not stop the communists in South East Asia they would take over the continent. The Domino Theory would take place where, if not stopped, every country in that part of the world would fall to communism.
Fifty years ago President Kennedy sent large numbers of American troops into Viet Nam to help the South Vietnamese government fight Ho Chi Minh’s army of communists. … [Read more]
In the filthy Syrian conflict, the Obama Administration ‘red line’ drawn has been declared crossed, and now there’s hell to pay. Sarin deployed by the government forces against civilians (Russian skepticism aside) has stirred the international community to encourage America to play the good cop, and selectively hammer Syrian military targets for a bit. Teach these dirty, nerve agent spewing Arab bastards a lesson, right?… [Read more]