Alibi V.26 No.38 • Sept 21-27, 2017 ››
On Tuesday September 5th, President Trump took hostage the futures of 800,000 young people when he repealed DACA and demanded Congress “come up with something.” Our Dreamers— American-raised, productive and valuable members of our communities—are being held for ransom. We won’t be a party to this crime.
We need a clean law that will address a path to permanent legal status for people who were brought to our country as minors and who have grown up here with our American-born kids. These young people are a resource to us— they are mostly bilingual, they are educated, they are motivated, and they are stepping up to take law-abiding, productive roles as young adults in our communities. They are a valuable American resource.
On the other hand, we need a border wall like we need another hurricane. The border wall, as a ransom demand or in any other form, will not be a valuable resource. It will use billions of dollars that are badly needed for other essential work such as rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey and Irma’s devastating and deadly attacks. We need the resources the border wall would require for infrastructure projects. The border wall, even if we could build it without financial cost, is an ecological and ideological nightmare. And, as if all that isn’t enough, history tells us that walls don’t work. Building a wall would be expensive and ineffective. Building a wall as ransom for Dreamers is immoral.
Any budget item Congress may use as leverage or bait to entice its members to do right by the young people put at risk by the repeal of DACA is ransom money. Demand that Congress doesn’t make our Dreamers pawns in Congressional wheeling and dealing. Demand that they create a straight-up law that grants legal status to children brought to America as minors. And, please, ask them to go ahead and claim the best and brightest of these American-raised young people as our own; grant citizenship to those who graduate college or have successful military service.
I live in New Mexico, and I am an American. What Congress does and how they behave affects me, our community, our country, and the lives of hundreds of thousands. Demand that Congress does the right thing. Tell them “Don’t hold our Dreamers hostage.” Make US proud.
Another shooting in public at a library and again the online comments are off base: “He’s a criminal, this is what criminals do.” They insist guns aren’t the problem; criminals are the problem. But as far as we know, the shooter in this case had no criminal history. Rather, he was a high school kid with recent personal problems and suicidal thoughts.
Tragically this is what happens when almost anyone has access to a gun.
The town of Clovis is traumatized, and the librarian community nationally is concerned over what is their worst fear coming true. Gun violence is a broad public health crisis, and no one is immune from it.
Two women are dead—and I grieve for them. Three of the four people shot and injured are in serious condition—and I pray they will recover from wounds both physical and emotional.
Here in New Mexico, there are nearly 800 licensed gun shops, yet we still allow gun sales over the internet without a background check. We know, without strong laws and responsible home storage, how easily guns can get into the hands of young people.
We are entitled to feel safe in our public spaces. I want to take my son to a park, a library, his school and know our surroundings are as secure as we can reasonably make them. I’d like to believe that all gun owners have undergone a background check and training. And I want to know that those convicted of domestic violence are prohibited from owning firearms.
Let’s tighten up our gun laws until they make sense.
Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Children?
If we adults want kids to be honest, are we always honest with them? If we adults want kids to be open and creative, do we welcome their questions, treasure their curiosity? Do they feel they can ask us about anything? If we want kids to be dependable, do we keep our promises? If we want kids to apologize and ask forgiveness when they wrong us, do we apologize and ask forgiveness when we wrong them?
If we want kids to be affectionate, do they see us often warmly hugging our friends? If we want kids to reject all harmful drugs their friends offer them, do we reject all booze and junk food our friends offer us? If we want kids to treat all people with respect, do we ever tell or laugh at racist, sexist or homophobic jokes?
Are we two-faced? Do we hold grudges? Do we treasure people and our time instead of making big bucks and buying much stuff we do not need?
When adults teach kids to obey authority without questioning, sadly many of them become soldiers murdering on command in Auschwitz, Vietnam, Iraq, Palestine, Chechnya, Afghanistan. ... Teach kids by our own lives to question deeply everything, to choose life-giving jobs for much less money, to follow conscience, to enjoy living simply, to walk, bike or ride the bus instead of drive and to do good to all people, including our enemies.
Failure of Corporate Trade Policy
Corporate America only succeeds if Capitalism works. Capitalism cannot work if the middle class is in debt, shrinking and can no longer be consumers. America is still the wealthiest nation in the world and in world history … and America also has the greatest wealth disparity in the world and in world history. These are unsustainable conditions … and yet Donald Trump and much of the Republican Party want to increase wealth disparity by decreasing federal income taxes for the wealthy class and corporations, resulting in even greater CEO salaries. This will make American Corporate Capitalism an even more unsustainable system.
Trade policy based solely on the interests of Corporations while disadvantaging workers, the environment, devastating conditions like climate change, etc., etc. only exacerbates these problems. We will either fix a broken system based upon broken trade policies like NAFTA or we will see the whole system fail in worse ways than it did in 1929 when the Great Depression answered years of wealthy class advantage and ignorant policy. You cannot have consumerism without consumers. A 1% wealthy class that does exceedingly well while the 99% continue in decline will not work. … It will fail.
A good metric for how much difficulty we are in here in America is a working class that believes that Donald Trump, the “Blue Class Billionaire,” will save jobs in America. His primary concern is not building a wall or any other concern of the Rust Belt, but in seeing that his own personal and corporate taxes get reduced making him wealthier. In a similar way, no matter what claims are made for trade policies like NAFTA and TPP, their ultimate goal is make corporations and the 1% even far wealthier.
This is not a sustainable system. The longer it goes on, the harder the fall will be. And sadly, the wealthy class will probably survive, just as right now in Houston, Texas it is the poorer class people who are suffering the most and will do so for years to come. Fair trade policy that can benefit all Americans is possible, but nothing that is occurring right now with Republican driven trade policy will achieve that result. Transparency is a necessary requirement for democratic governance. When working people succeed, America prospers and succeeds.
Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter. Word count limit for letters is 300 words.