Decisions Have Consequences

In an editorial on Tuesday, September 18th, the Kokomo (IN) Tribune took the position that requiring the children of illegal immigrants pay out-of-state tuition at state-supported colleges and universities is “unfair to immigrants”. They forgot an adjective. The headline should have read, “Law is unfair to illegal immigrants”.
The opinion piece went on to criticize Indiana Representative Mike Karickhoff who is from Kokomo and a co-sponsor of the bill passed by the Indiana General Assembly establishing this requirement. For one, I applaud his efforts.
One allegation in opposition to the measure is that “many undocumented students have been living in Indiana much of their lives and their parents actually have been paying taxes to support the state’s public institutions of higher learning”. I don’t know how this is possible without additional falsification of such as a Social Security number since that is required to file a tax return. Illegal immigrants don’t qualify for a Social Security number. If they have one, it would be yet another violation of law. Further, it is common street knowledge that a substantial portion of income received by illegal immigrants is in cash and never reported by either the recipient or the company that illegally operates this way.
Decisions do have consequences. The illegal actions of parents do not exempt their children from the consequences of violation of law by the parents. It should not be up to the taxpayers to subsidize non- Indiana citizen students which is what the Tribune is proposing. This is not offered to out of state students who are United States citizens. It makes no sense to offer reduced fees to students who are not citizens of Indiana or the United States.

Beard or No Beard

Major Nidal Hasan. Remember that name.
Hasan is the shooter that killed 13 people and wounded more than two dozen others at Fort Hood in November 2009. He was on a jihad mission to further his Islamic beliefs. He is entitled to a fair and open military trial, but there were so many witnesses of this attack that there is no doubt about his guilt.
Now Major Nidal Hasan has grown a beard to express his Muslim fraith. He does not want to shave it off for his trial. His defense attorneys have said, “he won’t shave it since he’s had a premonition that his death is imminent, and he doesn’t want to die without a beard because he believes not having one is a sin.” What a crock.
Hasan agreed to no beard when he signed up for the United States military. He was a member of that military when he shot fellow servicemen and wounded others. He will stand trial in a military court. It is all military. The rules did not change. Beards are not allowed in the military. There should be no debate about that. The beard must go.
The news says the trial is expected to last more than two months. I cannot imagine this. The case is open and shut. Major Hasan without beard needs to stand before the court and hear all that is presented against him. He then needs to spend the rest of his life in a small jail cell out of sight and out of mind with a shave scheduled at least weekly to remind him of what he has done.

Indiana Illegal Immigration Cost

In case you missed it, the State of Indiana recently submitted a $130.4 million bill to the United States Congress for services provided to illegal immigrants in Indiana. This billing was a requirement under Indiana’s illegal immigration law passed by the General Assembly. The bill was broken out to $110.6 million for K-12 education, $8 million for welfare, and $12.3 million for prison services (that would be for criminals). You can bet Congress will do nothing about this bill which means the taxpayers of Indiana foot the cost of illegal immigrants in our state.
On the other side of the coin, you hear that illegal immigrants contribute to the state economy. Frankly, I suspect most illegal immigrants working in Indiana are paid cash under the table. The companies that hire illegal immigrants and pay this way break the law themselves. This goes for contractors, landscapers, fast food businesses and others, alike. Cash means no tax and violation of wage laws by those doing the hiring. And, this says nothing about the jobs taken by illegal immigrants that otherwise would be available to Indiana citizens.
You can be assured the federal government will do nothing to remedy this situation. President Obama in his latest move is clearly pandering to the Hispanic vote. This should tell us mountains about Obama’s character and integrity. Enforcement of immigration law has not been a hallmark of the Obama administration. It is just the opposite.
Clearly, immigration reform is sorely needed. Newt Gingrich recognized this and proposed pragmatic solutions. Getting the border tightly secured is step one. Then the Congress must practically and compassionately deal with policy and law. We cannot and should not simply round up everyone in this country illegally and ship them back to Mexico or whatever country they came from, but neither should we ignore the cost of doing nothing. It is not up to the President to decide what laws to enforce or not. That would be the right of a king, emperor, or dictator; not a President. In the meanwhile, the law should be enforced.


Iowans have a chance to get it right on caucus Tuesday. The last time that state made a significant political choice was in the battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. They chose Obama. How is that working out for the country? If the Republicans there choose Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman, or Rick Perry; they have chosen to make themselves irrelevant. None of these people are electable in the general election. Never again should any candidate spend time or huge amounts of money convincing the folks of Iowa about anything. They will have proven themselves too stupid for words.
The only real choice for a candidate that has a chance to beat President Barack Obama in the fall of 2012 is between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Obama has over a billion dollars to spend in attacking whatever opponent he may have. The Republican candidate had better be up to the task.
So, now the choice becomes real. On the one hand there is a candidate that really has never been confronted with hard questions or pressed on the issues. He has mostly gotten a pass from the electronic media. He has run for office multiple times with success in a couple. He was a one term governor although he wanted to be two. He has changed positions on several issues depending upon how the political winds were blowing. He has had significant success in private enterprise but not without blemish. Some claim he cost hundreds their jobs while creating jobs for others in the course of buying, closing, consolidating, and starting businesses. The Republican establishment wants this candidate on the ballot in fall 2012 and will do about anything to get him there. This candidate reminds me a little of a department store mannequin with not a hair out of place that changes clothes and positions on issues as needed. Mr. Nice Guy, Mitt Romney. One minus with him is that he does not seem to engender passion from Republicans. One plus — he does have a ton of money behind him.
On the other hand, there is Newt Gingrich. Here is a candidate that does have a serious track record. He has warts, scars, and bumps to prove it. He is real. His positions are clear and reasonably consistent. There is no doubt at all that he is up to the job of the presidency. Many may not like the way he did business in the past in Congress, but he was able to lead the charge to balance the budget multiple years and get welfare reform passed among other significant matters. Yes, some have griped about how he got it done — wasn’t mister nice guy all the time. He, too, is not without blemish. He has changed position on key issues over time. He has been through two wives and is now on the third. He has become a Roman Catholic and adopted the “no abortion” and anti-gay marriage positions which appear to be politically expedient positions for today’s Republicans. His coffers for future advertising and organization are lacking.
But, we don’t need a nice guy. We need a strong leader who knows what the hell is going on domestically, in the halls of federal government, and internationally. The social issues will need to wait. This country must get back on course financially and internationally. There is only one proven candidate on these two key issues — issues about survival of the United States of America — and he is Newt Gingrich. We will see if Iowans are smart enough to make this choice.

Republicans find themselves in a Pickle

I just finished reading a column by Dick Polman, a columnists with the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper. The headline for the column was, “Republican hopefuls risk alienating independent voters”. So true.
Polman quoted Mark McKinnon, an ex-George W. Bush strategist, as saying that Rick Perry and company “seem intent on putting an increasingly ideologically conservative and intolerant face on the party. They are pulling the primary contest so far right that the party will be far less attractive to the independent voters needed to win the election”. The independents are sure not enamored with the current crop of leading candidates.
It is the crazy talk that scares independents. I think this all has come from Perry: 1. Declaring that evolution is ‘just a theory that’s out there’. (I think Perry had a bit of a problem with school; guess he did not learn that part.) 2. Insisting that the scientific consensus on climate change is ‘all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight” (not much education showing here, either.) 3. Decreeing that revenue increases are unacceptable under any and all circumstances, and signing a pledge to that effect. (How about getting General Electric to at least pay some taxes?????). 4. Promising to fill all key Cabinet and executive jobs with foes of abortion, and signing a pledge to that effect. (There went a big chuck of Independents who have a brain.) 5. Asserting that “its time for us to just hand (America) over to God and say, ‘God, you’re going to have to fix this’.” 6. Announcing in a book that Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional and should be scrapped. (There went Florida for sure.) 7. Contending that gay Americans are “part of Satan”. (That should be enough to have Perry declared a wacko!!) 8. Dissing the Bush appointed Federal Reserve chairman as “treasonous”. (He may be even paranoid to some degree.) 9. Insinuating (yet again) that Obama is insufficiently American and insufficiently in love with America.
Even Jeb Bush is showing concern with comments about no one being willing to even talk about tax reform with some paying more; like GE who pays nothing.
Mark my words, if the Republicans nominate someone as far right as Perry, they can kiss a good chunk of the Independents good bye. Obama will win by default. There has to be a better choice than from the field of nut cases.
Ummmm…… Gingrich or Romney come to mind. I think they both have brains, relevant experience, and are not part of the kooky, dangerous right wing of the Republican Party. Hear me Rush and Glenn!!!

The Republican Crowd

It is time for some trimming down of the Republican Presidential candidate crowd. It is long time for Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman, and Gary Johnson to pack it up and head home. None of them can cut the mustard in the battle for the Presidency. That leaves Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, and  Newt Gingrich as potential viable candidates. The Republican old guard is pushing for Mitt Romney. Cain is a wildcard with virtually no government experience or a notion about foreign affairs. He has been a delight to hear and very good for the dialogue to this point, but, simply put, he is not ready for the top spot; maybe Vice President. That leaves Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Neither is a darling of the conservative religious right but both are better than all the rest if the social agenda takes a back seat over economics and foreign affairs. But, Mitt Romney has a ton of baggage that the media and liberals would have a hay day with if he became the Republican nominee for President.
So, for my money, give me Newt Gingrich. He has not made a lot of noise nor commanded the attention of the main stream media to this point. He has sawed wood. He has put together a 21st Century Contract for America that makes very good sense. No surprises about what he would do as President. He has been very clear about that. He has all the experience in the world with Congress and how things get done there. He knows the closets, the skeletons, the special interest groups, and the back halls. In brief, he is the most qualified potential candidate of them all. Newt is level headed and damned intelligent. Listen to what he has to say. Let’s face it, the next President must focus laser like on the next several years to get the economy moving, the budget balanced, and the size of government reduced while at the same time deal with any threats, terrorist or economic, from abroad. Newt Gingrich is the one who can best handle the tasks at hand.
For the conservative religious right,  I say please concentrate your efforts on electing the Representatives and Senators that share your social goals. Congress is the only place that has the power to accomplish what you desire or not. One man or woman in the Presidency cannot do that.
It is time for the Republican Party to suck it up, quit fiddling around, and select the most qualified person to run the race against President Barack Obama. Only Newt Gingrich measures up.

Scary Rick Perry

For some reason, I find Texas Governor Rick Perry a bit creepy. I have known nothing about him until he showed up as a possible Republican candidate for President of the United States. He was referred to in one column that I read as a “George W. Bush on steroids”. This is really scary.
That is not what got me though. There was something about the way he dressed that caught my eye first. His suit appeared to be one of the very expensive types….. you know, shiny cloth and tightly tailored.
Then I began to hear things that I did not like. He wears his religion on his sleeve. He questions evolution (which likely means science, too) and is proud of the fact that Texas teaches Creationism in schools as science. He has concluded global warming is a scam. He does not believe in a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body. He is intolerant of gay and lesbian folks. He takes credit for the job gains in Texas when other outside factors are largely responsible. He wants to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency. And on and on. In other words, he wants to create a society I don’t want to be a part of supporting.
Just for the record, I have voted Republican for the office of President all but once since first voting decades ago  — and it wasn’t the current one. I am one of the people the Republican Party has to be really careful about now. I thought George W. Bush was a disaster for this country and largely responsible for the ease at which Barack Obama and the Democrats won over John McCain. Of course, McCain didn’t help with his choice of a cipher for Vice President as he attempted a pandering for the female vote.
Now the Republicans have a chance to regain the Presidency and bring some financial sanity and stability to this country. I hope they do this without bringing along a social agenda like that professed by Gov. Rick Perry. If they do, they will lose and we will see a second term for President Barack Obama.

Casey Anthony

The Casey Anthony trial is over. The verdict is “not guilty”. It is time for the tabloid, yellow journalism TV and newspaper coverage to end. It is time for Nancy Grace to button her sensationalism up. The justice system worked. All 12 members of the jury decided the prosecution did not make their case beyond a reasonable doubt.That verdict could have been blocked if even one of the jury believed otherwise. None did.
Casey Anthony has a screwed up family that seems not to know truth from lies. Casey Anthony needs psychiatric treatment. Caylee is dead. There was insufficient tangible evidence to determine the clear circumstances of Caylee’s death. Those are the facts.
The mobs outside of the courthouse need to go home and tend to their own business. Judge Belvin Perry, who came across as somewhat of a dunce at times, needs to return to routine court cases where he may be more competent.
The true culprits in turning this trial into the circus it was lies at the doorstep of Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, and CBS. Ratings were the driving force. It was not that the public clamored for news of the trial. It was the TV hyping of the case. I never heard so much speculation as I heard in this trial. It is a wonder justice found her way in the end. You may not like the verdict, but it is time to go home and get on with your life.

Temper Tantrums

So, now we have rule by mob at the Indiana General Assembly. In case the Democrats missed it, they lost the last election. The Republicans gained majorities in both the Indiana House of Representatives and the Indiana Senate.
It is unconscionable the Democrats would now seek to control the legislative process by temper tantrum. There are no other words for it. They have demanded and succeeded in getting the “Right to Work” bill pulled off of the agenda. They have demanded several other pieces of legislation not be brought to the floor for debate and vote or they will take their marbles and go home.
This is the worst case of dereliction of duty I have ever seen in Indiana. The absent legislators did take an oath of office. The House Rules clearly state (IV-A-36) that “No member shall absent himself from the service of the House unless he is excused by the Speaker, is sick or is unable to attend”. The Rules further empower the Speaker to fine and censure absent members and adjourn from day to day until a quorum of 2/3rd of the members is present. Fine and censure he should do.
The behavior of the Democrats should not and cannot stand. The voters of Indiana have spoken and the business of Indiana must move forward. If the Democrats don’t like being in the minority, they have every opportunity to change that in the next election. In the meanwhile, they need to suck it up and behave like responsible legislators rather than spoiled losers. Our form of representative government cannot function this way. If they cannot adhere to the rules of governing under our State Constitution, they should step down in favor of someone who will; someone who will honor the oath of office.

Kokomo Schools "International School" Follow up

Kokomo-Center School Corporation announced in mid-January the initiation of an “International School” to function within the K-C system beginning in 2011. Jeff Hauswald, Superintendent of the Kokomo-Center system, told the public that the School Board approved of three new “International” schools. These are to be housed within traditional school buildings along side the traditional academic programs offered in each location. Each will require classroom space and teachers. The “International” school label mostly means teaching Spanish beginning in kindergarten.
In other school news, the recently released Indiana school performance data show an alarming decline in math and language proficiency among Kokomo High School students. Tenth graders in Kokomo High School that meet or exceed the math standard set for 10th graders has fallen from 66% in the 2007-2008 school year to 44% in the 2009-2010 school year. Tenth graders that meet or exceed the language standard has fallen from 63% to 47%. In other words, less than half of Kokomo-Center’s 10th graders are proficient in math and language skills.
Now, the KC system is proposing to divert resources to the teaching of Spanish. They do not appear to be able to teach math and English. If additional resources are available within the system, a much better use would be to remediate the pathetic performance of students in basic skills. It is no wonder that a high percentage of applicants to universities must take remedial math and English courses before being formally admitted to university level work. They are simply not coming out of high school equipped with the required skills in either math or English.
The idea of diverting resources to establish extensive Spanish programs within the Kokomo-Center School system is a perfect example of wrong thinking. The idea should be discarded quickly.