Tuesday, November 25, 2014

President Obama’s Unilateral Immigration Reform: A Politically Contentious Move?

Even though the U.S. Republican Party has criticized him for acting like a king, does president Barack Obama’s executive order to unilaterally reform America’s current immigration system a “politically contentious move”?

By: Ringo Bones

For all intents and purposes, America’s current immigration system has been broken since the days of Ronald Reagan and for over 30 years has longing for a badly-needed reform. And yet when the U.S. President Barack Obama has recently made an executive order to unilaterally reform America’s broken immigration system, the U.S. Republican Party immediately voiced their “howls of derision” and calling president Obama’s action as akin to those of a king or an emperor as opposed to a democratically elected head-of-state. Given that for all intents and purposes any discussion of reforming the existing American immigration system is a politically contentious issue in itself, does President Obama’s recent move to unilaterally reform it do more good than harm despite of the contentious nature of the action?

Mexicans and other Hispanic groups in the United States had been unfairly bearing the full brunt of America’s dysfunctional immigration system. Not only Mexicans who are sneaking illegally across the border to America in the Arizona and Texas regions being harassed and murdered by white supremacists militias patrolling in that relatively lawless area but also “conservative” American’s are the main exploiters of illegal migrant labor by subjecting them to working conditions in violation of existing U.S. labor wage and safety laws due to their desperation to seek a better life that can’t be found in their native countries. 

“For over 200 years, America is a country of immigrants” – has been the salient theme of President Barack Obama’s speech on his executive action to prevent the deportation of up to 5-million undocumented immigrants, a majority of which are of Mexican and other Latin American ethnicity. Under the new reformed immigration law, if these undocumented immigrants pass the mandatory criminal background checks and qualify to the new reformed ruling then they will be eligible on the path to become fully naturalized American citizens. The immigration reform is primarily meant to benefit science and technology students and migrant workers with temporary visas to ease their path to become legalized American citizens. A semi legal Mexican immigrant and college student named Astrid Silva had become a recent – albeit according to her as an unwilling “cause célèbre” - on President Obama’s latest executive action to reform America’s broken immigration system.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Is President Obama A Closeted Conservative?

Despite being criticized by the U.S. Republican Party for being a left-leaning radical liberal, is President Obama, in truth, is actually a closeted conservative?

By: Ringo Bones

Maybe we should be thanking Bruce Bartlett – that former domestic policy advisor for both former U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush - for raising such a premise that the incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama is actually a “closeted conservative” – as in President Obama’s policies are more akin to Ronald Reagan’s than of any other U.S. Democratic Party president of the last 50 years. If there’s a kernel of truth on Bruce Bartlett’s premise, the only difference between President Barack Obama and former U.S. President Ronald Reagan is that Ronald Reagan was the only one who was rumoured to have starred in his very own porno movie. But is there any truth to this? 

According to Bruce Bartlett, President Obama didn’t govern further towards the right in comparison to the way President Reagan did back in the 1980s. The way I see it, Obamacare is basically a U.S. Republican Party based idea and even Bartlett agrees that Obamacare is not that much different to the universal healthcare first proposed by President Eisenhower near the end of the 1950s. 

As a conservative leaning economist, Bruce Bartlett’s assessment of President Obama being a Reagan-era conservative might apply to the way Obama handled the 2008 Credit Crunch – as in bailing out the “too big to fail” banks and other Wall Street financial institutions reminiscent of Bartlett’s advice to then President Reagan about the merits of “supply-side economics”. But compared to “radical right” U.S. Republican Party politicians that run riot during the 2012 U.S. Presidential Elections that ran on the platform of legalizing rape and banning pornography in America – like Missouri Republican Congressman Todd Akin, Wisconsin Republican Congressman Paul Ryan and Pennsylvania Republican state Senator Rick Santorum – President Barack Obama’s alleged conservatism is much saner in comparison to the G.O.P. stalwarts recently mentioned.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Fall of the Berlin Wall: Unlikeliest Cold War Ending?

Given the prevailing thermonuclear Cold War endgame prediction of the 1980s, was the “Fall of the Berlin Wall” back in November 9, 1989 the unlikeliest Cold War conclusion ever? 

By: Ringo Bones

Even though when Francis Fukuyama published his essay “The End of History” during the summer of 1989, it was primarily inspired by the passing of Japan’s Emperor Hirohito, rather than the “Fall of the Berlin Wall” which has still a few months left before falling, most people at this point back in 1989 still harbour the notion that a full-scale thermonuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union is still possible. I mean during the time I heard of the news that the Berlin Wall fell back in November 9, 1989 - I was both still listening and composing heavy metal songs about a post thermonuclear war world circa 1999 as seen from late 1980s era Cold War. The Fall of the Berlin Wall may seem an anti-climactic ending for those old enough to have lived through the Cold War and did their respective military service – both compulsory and voluntary – but at least it’s a peaceful one. 

 Back then, a “peaceful” transition of totalitarian style Marxist-Leninist-Socialism to a more democratic system in the then East-Bloc countries is still inconceivable to the most of us during the middle of 1989 due to the recent brutal crackdown of peaceful student demonstrators at Tiananmen Square back in June 4, 1989. To tell everyone the truth, I’m still surprised that when the Berlin Wall crumbled, it was largely a peaceful, almost routine passing of power in light of the recent Tiananmen Square Massacre back then. Does this mean that – then and now - the “Slavic People” have a better grasp of what Marxist-Leninist-Socialism is all about in comparison to the Mainland Chinese? 

After seeing the recent 25th Anniversary fanfare of the Fall of the Berlin Wall – with the releasing of the white LED illuminated balloons marking where the Berlin Wall used to be and the musical extravaganza that featured Daniel Barenboim conducting Beethoven’s Ninth which has since become the “theme song” of post Cold War German reunification and Renée Fleming singing. The Fall of the Berlin Wall is probably one of the historically significant event of Generation X’ers.