Friday, August 26, 2011

Muslim Hysteria. Rant.

This is mostly a rant in response to some of the people in my hometown. They're of the "Tea Party" crowd - you know, the We Hate Obama and Hence Muslims Club? Yeah, them. The goodly dose of Muslim Hate they've got in them is mostly what this post is about.

Apparently, there's an Islamic university in Brunei, and someone in my town has a relationship with them. As he owns some land here, he decided to donate land to this organization for the purpose of starting a Muslim community center. Just a quick note: we have about 100 Muslim families in our town, and that number is growing. (We also have a pretty healthy Hindu community. It's pretty fun, but that's neither here nor there.) Currently, the Muslim worship center around here is properly termed a cultural center, and it's about the size of my house. Which is pretty tiny. It's probably some kind of fire hazard or something.

Edit: I have since heard from someone who actually went and talked to our local imam and Muslim clerics that the planned community center is not, in fact, affiliated with the Brunei university. Big surprise there. It's funded by a private individual whose name is Unissa, apparently. Fun times.

Anyway. No sooner did certain people in my town hear about this absolutely awful Big Bad Plot than they started talking about it anywhere they got the chance: on Facebook, on message boards, on news stories, at council meetings. Now, I'm all for getting your concerns out there. That's perfectly logical.

But dear people...why?

Of course, compounding all this is a government investment program geared towards immigrants. Our City Council is (quite misguidedly, in my opinion) planning a grand redevelopment of our downtown area. It's pretty ridiculous and wasteful, for multiple reasons, but I won't get into that here. The thing that is getting the We Hate Muslims Club into such a tizzy is the EB-5 program.

Quick overview of EB-5: it allows foreign investors to gain green cards much more quickly than they would otherwise. Basically, they have to invest no less than $500,000 in a struggling or new business in the US, create 10 stable jobs for 2 years, and they will then get a green card. Note that all regular forms and tests for citizenship have to be completed and performed, no exceptions. In effect, the only thing EB-5 allows foreign investors to do is get put at the top of the list for the 100,000 or so green cards we issue each year. (The cap for green card admittance into the US - that is, total, all the dependents who come with the actual holder, etc., is 480,000.)

There are a few different tacks people in my hometown are taking in opposing this:
  1. It's "not fair"
  2. We'll let evil Muslims in
  3. Or possibly commies, which is even worse, naturally
  4. We don't need foreign investment. Because, obviously, national investors are investing in our hometown. Obviously.
To the first, let me just say: life isn't fair. It's not been fair for many years. If you think people don't already buy their way into this country, you are very naive, and probably trust your government way too much. The fact is that people with more money will always get in first, or get preferential treatment, or be the only ones who get in. It's how it works. Yeah, it's not "fair"...but as I said, life's not fair. Get used to the idea.

As to commies and Muslims (or possibly commie Muslims, which is much worse than the two separately)...really?

First, let me make it clear that not every Muslim is radical. In fact, not even most Muslims are radical. The percentages for radicalized Islam are very low. They're rising, but that's more due to our actions in their countries and the foothold bin Laden's ideology took than anything. Just because someone calls itself Islamic - be it a university or a grocery store or a kiddie pool - doesn't mean it's radical. Seeing as there are over 1 billion Muslims on the planet, and only about 400,000 of them actually want to kill us - and probably less than 100,000 actually have anything near the capability to do so - I'm pretty sure we're relatively safe.

Furthermore, let's face facts. If you're bent on causing destruction and mayhem in as cheap a manner as possible (considering you've probably come from a poverty-ridden family in Afghanistan somewhere), are you really going to have the resources or inclination to invest $500,000 USD in a company, stick around for two years while you create 10 jobs, get your green card...

All just to blow something up?

Am I the only one who doesn't see the logic in that? It simply makes no sense for someone to go to all that trouble, especially considering it's not all that difficult to get into this country some other way. Just go to Mexico first, and you can practically dance across the border. After all, we do have such a big illegal immigration problem, it can't be that hard. Right? Furthermore, considering how much Muslims like making babies, they'll out-breed us long before they manage to blow us all up.

As to the communists: we've been there, done that. Get out of the sixties already.

Investors aren't coming to our hometown. There's probably a reason for that. I think it has something to do with the fact that nobody even knows where it is, and even though we're one of the larger cities in Texas, people prefer DFW or Houston to our town. Sorry, but them's the facts. Not to mention, our people make huge talking points out of things like EB-5. And you wonder why people think we're a little bit mad.

So in summary: America's still free, even for Muslims. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And for the love of my sanity, please stop harping on things that don't really matter.

Edit 11/21/11: For a related, more Christian-oriented post, see this post on my personal blog.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ron Paul Being Forgotten

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Indecision 2012 - Corn Polled Edition - Ron Paul & the Top Tier
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And this is why I love Jon Stewart, because even if I don't agree with him all the time, he stands up against things he finds his own unique way.

Also, he's right: Pew found that Ron Paul is mentioned less than other candidates, despite his popular support.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I Nominate...

In the spirit of the "ABO" movement, I would like to make my own nomination for the office of President of the United States.

Bugs Bunny.

It makes perfectly logical sense, I promise. Because even though Mr. Bunny lacks the corporate and governmental experience most look for in a candidate, he looks really good in a suit. He's also from Brooklyn, which makes him really interesting and elitist for those of you who look for that. On the other hand, he acts in a casual manner and has an endearing, personable accent that makes him the perfect pick for those of you who like that sort of thing.

An entertainer during World War II, Mr. Bunny played the vital part of making sure children all over the United States retained a bit of their childhood, and also offered firm moral support for the mothers and fathers during that most difficult time.

Mr. Bunny disapproves of sport hunting, but has no interest in gun control, as he prefers to taunt hunters rather than remove the means whereby they pursue their sport. Mr. Elmer Fudd, his longtime antagonist, was unavailable for comment, but I am confident that Mr. Fudd would have nothing to say against Mr. Bunny's impeccable pro-gun rights record.

Mr. Bunny has a wide array of experience, including NASA expertise, an extensive knowledge of the world after travelling around it several times, usually very quickly, and is also very involved in environmentally-savvy activities, having expressed his support for Earth Day several times over the years.

Perhaps Mr. Bunny's most strong platform pillar is his ideas on the economy. As he is a strong fan of carrots, Mr. Bunny believes the United States economy should go completely carrot-based. Since carrots are essentially an infinite resource so long as people choose to plant them, the standard would never fail, and if for some unknown reason the market still crashed, we'd be able to eat our money.

For those of you who want a man strong on defense, Mr. Bunny is your rabbit! He never leaves a stone unturned in the pursuit of victory, and has a canny mind for outwitting the enemy, whoever that might be this episode.

All in all, it is my belief that Mr. Bugs Bunny has the potential to become the greatest leader the United States has ever known. Bugs Bunny 2012, folks. Count on it.

As this is a rather silly post that arose out of a conversation with my mother, I promise that something more serious will be coming soon. I hope. It might be a rant at Rick Perry, but it will be something.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Between Them Both

Pending a post on the Iowa GOP debate and the ensuing drama over the Ames poll, I got into a debate. Sort of. It's not a very strident debate, more like a discussion about the GOP's presidential field and the economics surrounding it. It's with Democrats, a portion of the population I don't get to talk to much. (I live in the Bible belt, and that's obviously synonymous with "Republican Country." Sometimes I wish I could move to California, but I'm sure I'd hate it there just as much, except for the weather around LA which is lovely. New Hampshire, here I come!)

Anyway. Democrats apparently frustrate me just as much as Republicans, mostly because of the inherent contradictions I see in their stances.

Republicans want government to stay out of their pocket and businesses, but it's just fine if the government comes into their bedrooms and tells them what to do.

Democrats want government to stay out of their bedrooms, but if it feels it needs to interfere in money and business matters to keep us "safe," that's just fine.

And it seems to me that, between the two, we're pretty much doomed. The only way those two can compromise is to mandate both sectors. All in the name of keeping us safe and/or righteous, of course. Hush, little citizen. Big government knows best.

Monday, August 8, 2011

O, the Things that I've Missed

And I don't really mind. A quick update - my summer activities are over, which of course means I'll have to start school soon. Sometimes being homeschooled is nice, though. I get to decide when to do my schoolwork. Haha. China was awesome, and I wish I was still there, except for the annoying fact that I couldn't get Facebook there. I love Facebook. But you don't really care about any of that, so I'll get into the interesting here's-what-I-think-about-all-the-junk-that's-still-going-on portion of this post.

Apparently the economy is fixing to crash. Again. In fact, our ole' friends Fannie and Freddie are even in the news again, as credit ratings on those institutions plummet. As if they weren't already in a 5-mile hole it had drilled in the crater made by the last market tank. The cause of the whole commotion seems to be centered around the fact that our Congress has finally realized that you can't expect to both borrow trillions of dollars and pay off trillions of dollars at the same time. (This is especially difficult with trillions of dollars in broken programs hanging onto the trillions of dollars in revenue the government brings in. Just pointing that out.)

In fact, it's apparently gotten so bad that Congress has realized bandaids aren't going to fix their bleeding head wound. They might have to cut more than the $1.5 trillion they'd planned on from the budget deficit. Over the next decade. Of course, we can't get rid of any really important programs like that extra aircraft carrier, Congressional salaries, or the Department on Aging, but we'll see what we can do.

Meanwhile, the 2012 presidential campaign seems to be getting started. Yay. Can't wait for that drama. Something I've observed: adult drama is just as tiresome as teenage drama, they're just older, and political drama is just as tiresome as adult drama, it's just the politicians have more money to spend. (We won't get started on celebrity drama; it's basically just teenage drama with more public scrutiny.)

Rick Perry, Texas' very beloved governor is cementing his run for President, most notably with a day of prayer he hosted recently. Of course, all the conservative Christians are now singing his praises, declaring that they'd love such a righteous president. Blech. Study what he's done to Texas sometime, then come talk to me.

The rest of the GOP field is just as depressing, with the hesitant exceptions of Ron Paul and Gary Johnson: Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Allen West. It reads like a list of who's-who of warmongering Republicans. But I'm being unkind. Can't have that.

I've not really researched the Democratic field, but I'm pretty sure (quite positive, actually) that President Obama will be their candidate. Not only is he in a strong position as an incumbent president, no matter how unpopular, but he still has the hearts of quite a portion of the Democratic voting base. And so, this race will come down to Obama and the candidate who wants to get butchered in the polls.