Saturday, April 2, 2011

Immigration & Citizenship

When Emma Lazarus wrote The New Colossus for the Statue of Liberty "--- Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore; Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" 
Did she know what the future immigrants of America faced?  Prior to this 1883 poem immigrants were thoroughly exploited and used for low paying backbreaking jobs; the building of our railroads, working our coal mines and sweat shops.
The list of abuses immigrants faced was long but most egregious was being pressed into service during the Civil War.  This action gave the rich the opportunity to buy their way out of the draft and let the have-nots do the majority of fighting and dying in order to preserve the Union.  Things changed little after 1883, immigrants were used to build America into an industrial powerhouse and the robber barons became rich on the fruits of their labor. 
In the modern era of immigration legal immigrants have the best America can offer.  Protected by labor laws they are paid at least minimum wage.  With assistance from their ethnic community and a lot of self-sacrifice they have the opportunity to open a business, and if things go badly they can fall back on government programs set up to assist them.
This is not the case for the millions of illegal immigrants who have come to America.  They are relegated to our low paying and sometimes below minimum wage jobs.  They work our fields, factories, restaurants and construction jobs.  The excuse given by their employers for breaking the law and hiring them is that the average American citizen does not want to work the type of job an illegal is willing to work.
Of the millions of citizens unemployed the Best Party would like to know what survey was taken that tells us a citizen would not want to work in a restaurant or construction job?  The answer is self-evident.
On February 8, 2011 The New York Daily News reported that a national chain restaurant fired hundreds of workers in Minnesota after an audit by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement found that these workers presented fake I-9 forms.  This chain of restaurants is also facing investigation in other states for the same infraction.  How much trouble would this chain have filling these now vacant jobs with Americans?  When these jobs are filled, let the critics of the American work ethic admit to their twisting of the facts or in middle-class terms, their spreading of BS. 
Our present day robber barons both big and small use illegal immigrants to enrich themselves at the expense of the American taxpayer and the subclass of workers they have created. Hearing our politician’s cry of the injustice being done to illegal immigrants if we dare to identify them makes the Best Party wonder who’s hand is in the politicians pockets.  In New York City we are told Stop-and-Frisk is an "essential crime fighting tool".  This policy allows police to stop and frisk citizens on the street and take an appropriate action if a weapon or contraband is found.
Since 2004, three million people have been stopped on NYC streets and frisked.  This policy seems to be in violation of our IV Amendment Right "...against unreasonable searches....." but as of this writing no court has put a stop to this policy.  The Best Party finds it hypocritical that the same billionaire Mayor and members of his City Council that support the Stop-and-Frisk policy in New York, express their criticism of the government of Arizona for checking on a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws.
The question is why do politician's from NY and around the country disapprove of the proposed Arizona law?  Some states have threatened to stop doing business with Arizona.  Are they humanitarians only seeking to help the underprivileged?  If so why do we not hear their outcries about the working conditions of the countries these illegal immigrants come from.
In Cancun, Mexico condo/resorts pay their security guards $100 a week to work twelve hour days.  This is up from the $4 per day workers received in 2001.  Should we not stop doing business with Mexico?  Tourists are charged American prices for everything, why not share the wealth?  Should we not demand that Mexico and all tourism countries share the tourist dollar with their workers.
Should not the humanitarians demand that all countries we trade with pay their workers a fair wage based on the profit they make trading with America?  Logically this would reduce the flow of illegal immigrants to our shores.  But we hear no demands from our humanitarians and politicians on this.  We are only given press releases with meaningless objections.  The issue of illegal immigrants can never be solved unless we insist the robber barons abroad pay a fair wage to their workers and the American robber barons are prevented from preying on illegals.
The Best Party welcomes illegal immigrants to become citizens on the condition that they have made the same contribution to America as present citizens have.  Have they made an effort to pay taxes, especially in local communities where they are sending their children to school?  Are they making an effort to pay any medical bills they have incurred. This does not mean paying the whole bill but at least making a small payment to the provider? Have they served in the military?  If some of this criteria is meet it shows the person is of moral character and should be given the opportunity to become a citizen.
As proved in 1986 blanket amnesty does not work, after granting 2.9 million illegal immigrants amnesty we are now faced with untold millions of illegal immigrants.  Our government failed to secure our borders and failed to hold employers accountable for hiring illegals.  Those newly made citizens who moved on to jobs paying a fair wage were easily replaced by a new wave of illegals. America cannot afford to make the same mistakes again. Keeping the status quo is not an option.
History tells us that you cannot exploit a segment of society indefinitely without repercussions.  Has our present government thought out what happens when millions of illegals demand their right to the American dream.  If they are granted citizenship does the taxpayer pick up the bill for their share of universal health care and all the subsidies they would be entitled to?  We must make some unpleasant choices but for our future generations we must enforce our immigration laws and deport those illegal immigrants, who understandably, have come here for a better life but are a drain on our local economies and a contributor to unemployment among American citizens. 
Robert Schlaffer                                                                                 
Best Party for the Middle Clas

Big Oil & Collective Bargaining

The economists and Wall Street traders give many reasons for the increasing price of oil. The most interesting of them is what they call the "fear factor". Libya is in the state of revolution, it is feared that their revolutionary spirit might spread to other Mideast countries.
    Libya is ranked 18th on the list of oil producing countries and supplies 2% of the world demand. Saudi Arabia has stated they will increase production to meet the shortfall of Libyan oil. Very little of Libyan oil is imported by America.  So the reliable and ever present reason for raising oil prices, lack of supply and high demand, cannot be used for now. Fear is given as the reason.
    It is of little surprise to the Best Party that big oil is raising the price of petroleum products  on such a flimsy excuse. The American public has a short memory and seems to be quite forgiving when it comes to being screwed over by Wall Street and energy companies. It is just over ten years that Enron manipulated the supply of energy to California which resulted in rolling blackouts and  massive profits for Enron. Shouldn't we be getting concerned that the rising price of gas could send America back into a recession and that the main reason for this is price fixing by big oil?
    A large amount of oil produced in America comes from the millions of acres that are leased from the Federal Government. Why does oil, produced in America, have to rise to $100. a barrel because of fear in the Mideast? Why do the many chains of gas stations raise their price in unison once an individual oil company says they have a supply problem ? The economist and commodity traders are paraded before us on the financial news channels giving their rational for why prices rise but they never discuss the most obvious one of price fixing.
    There are two recent incidents that are most telling about the influence big oil has over the American public. On April 20, 2010 the BP oil rig Deepwater Horizon was lost to an explosion. It resulted in a major loss of supply to BP. This event occurred right before the Summer driving season. We now accept as normal that the price of gas goes up during the Summer months as rationalized by the experts. But in the Summer of 2010 the price at the pump made a small downward movement. On April 19, gasoline was $ 2.86 on September 20. it was $ 2.72 per gallon. This oil spill was a nightmare for Big Oil public relations. The entire industry collectively did not raise the price of gas in the Summer of 2010 in order to appease the American public, a form of reverse price fixing.
    During the 2011 State of the Union address Speaker of the House, John Boehner, would politely applaud President Obama's comments. But when the President suggested that the tax credit given to Big Oil be eliminated because they were making record profits Mr. Boehner could not put his hands together. To the Best Party this said it all when it comes to the influence Big Oil has among our politician's.
    Over the last decade America has been on a course to become energy efficient. The most significant effort has been the introduction of the hybrid car. Yet when the economist's discuss supply and demand they do not mention the progress America has made in gasoline consumption. In the year 2000 the "US Product Supplied Of Finished Motor Gasoline" * was 3.1 billion barrels in 2010, 3.29 billion barrels were supplied. In eleven years Americas gasoline consumption increased by a little over 6%. On February 28, 2000  the " US Regular ALL Formulated Gasoline Prices Per Gallon" *  was $1.421 on February 28, 2011 the price was $3.383 an increase of 138%. How does a 6% increase in consumption justify a 138% increase in price?
    Will the economists say no it's not demand, it is supply that is driving prices higher? If this is their rational then why are we exporting gasoline, in the last half of 2010 we exported 5.5 million barrels of gasoline.
    The Best Party is a firm believer in capitalism but not in robber baron capitalism. Big Oil and their political allies are on a course to bring America to her knees for the sake of pure greed. For this reason the Best Party would nationalize the holdings of Big Oil that are on land leased from the American government.
    The expected outcry of the violation of contracts and the rule of law would be meet with a simple argument. With the stroke of a pen state governments are taking away the contracts and collective bargaining rights of middle class workers. Why can't we borrow the same pen and take away the rights of Big Oil?

Robert Schlaffer,
Best Party for the Middle Class

* U.S. Energy Information Administration,                           


      There is no denying that war is sometimes necessary. There is also no denying that war can lead to the demise of a nation even after it has been victorious on the battlefield. A modern example being the British Empire, Post-World War II.
      The Best Party position on war is that it should only be undertaken if America or one of its true allies is attacked or that there is substantiated evidence that a verified attack was imminent. Since 1960s we have participated in a number of WHY Wars. Our troops gave their lives,bodies and hearts in trying to enforce a mandate given to them by politicians. Uncountable billions of dollars were spent to fund these wars. Beginning with Vietnam and continuing to Libya we must ask ourselves as a nation WHY were we involved in most of them.
      Vietnam was fought to save Southeast Asia from the Communists. After America withdrew from Vietnam in 1975 the feared domino collapse of this part of the world did not occur. Vietnam did invade Cambodia in 1978 to counter the actions Pol Pot. Vietnam also has a strong influence in Laos but they did not become the evil overloads of Southeast Asia as we lead to believe prior to going to war with them. Today all the propaganda we were feed is forgotten and we are one of Vietnam's biggest trading partners.
      Why Somalia? What was the benefit to the Somali people? Was it worth the lives of our troops? When we entered Somalia it was a nation of warlords. Today little has changed except that they are now a nation of warlords and pirates.                                                                                     
      Why two Iraq wars? The first was to save Kuwait. Is Kuwait such a great ally that we should go to war for them? How many troops did they commit to fight along us during the first and second Iraq wars.  Yes we protected their oil and they are quit happy to sell it to us for $100 plus dollars a barrel. The second Iraq was was fought because of miss-information feed to the American people by politicians and the news media. Our President told us Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, CNN newscaster Paula Zahn would frequently bring on a Inspector, who returning from Iraq, swore unequivocally that Saddam Hussein had these weapons. No weapons of mass-destruction were found. Why did we fight this war and why are we still there?
      The reasons for fighting the war in Afghanistan are valid. The Taliban gave refuge to the 911 terrorists and were held responsible for this action. Our troops swift response in toppling the Taliban and sending Osama bin Laden into hiding was an example of Americas military expertise. But this war also has a Why attached to it. Why are we still there, trying to rebuild a country whose population has no love for anything American.
      Prior to our air incursions in Libya CNN newscaster Wolf Blitzer was on the air nightly calling for America to create a no fly zone over Libya for humanitarian purposes. Why? Are the people of Libya our allies or do they despise America ? At this point in time we do not have the answer but we are willing to risk American lives for humanitarian purposes. How noble our politicians are. How noble they were when they supported Pol Pot against Vietnam. Our hatred for Vietnam was so great that we were blinded by the fact that Pol Pot was a mass-murderer who was responsible for the deaths of over two million people.
      To help ensure that America does not go to war based on falsehoods feed to us by politicians and the media and as a warning to our enemies the Best Party would mandate the following.
      1, If it so critical that war is the only option for America then it is critical that the Commander and Chief be on the front lines with his/her troops. The purpose for this would not be to actually take command but to ensure that we are going into war with the proper resources. Once this established the Commander and Chief can skedaddle back to Washington.
      2, The fighting of a prolonged war would not be left to a volunteer military, the draft would be reinstated.
      3, We would no longer be influenced by reports in the news media that encourage us to become involved in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation. Rather we would rely on the information provided by our intelligence agencies and Joint Chiefs of Staff.
      4, All those skewing valid intelligence with the purpose of engaging America into war would be held accountable under the laws of our Constitution.
       5, America will no longer be involved in a limited war. If war becomes inevitable we will wage a total war. We will no longer try to rebuild what has been destroyed. All wealth and resources of the enemy will be confiscated.
      Senators McCain and Lieberman both stated that we waited too long to establish the current no fly zone and to committing our air and sea power to bomb Libyan targets. Effectively declaring a war on Libya.  They are correct except that their timing is off by 25 years. In 1986 Muammar Gaddafi declared war on America by allowing the bombing of a Berlin discotheque that was frequented by American serviceman. President Reagan responded by a limited air war and in a thirteen minute attack destroyed various targets. The Best Party would have had a different strategy in 1986. Total war would have been declared on Libya. After the destruction of their military installations by air power troops would be committed to engage their army. Terms of Peace Treaty would require Libya to vacate the majority of its oil fields and seed them to America.
      Harsh and ruthless terms but war is just that. Enemies should not expect mercy in defeat. If this action had being taken in 1986 it would have sent a clear message to Iraq, Iran and North Korea among others. The Why wars we are now involved in might have been avoided. Those countries that we now fear of acquiring weapons of mass destruction would know that total and not limited war is what they face if they attack America.
                                                                                                                                                          Robert Schlaffer                                                                                                                                  Best Party for the Middle Class                                                                                                           March 25, 2011

The Best Party for the Middle Class, USA: A Prologue

      When citizens have had enough of politicians that are not working for the good of the nation but rather for the good of their party and /or themselves they seek a change. In 2010  the people of Reykjavik, Iceland elected a mayor from the Best Party.  The candidate, Jon Gnarr, promised free towels at the public pools,to build a Disneyland at the airport and to display polar bears at the zoo. The new mayor states he is an anarchist and that he left school at age 16. But he also considers himself a "very moral person".
      As Americans we may ask how does a person with no campaign promises of substance and with a checkered past get elected mayor ? The answer is "protest vote " against the self-serving ruling party that was perceived to be non-functional  at all levels.
      To his credit Mr. Gnarr made promises that would not do harm if not kept. Unlike our well educated and properly mannered American politicians who year after year come up with substantially important platforms and campaign promises that they have no intention of implementing or keeping.     
      The Best Party for the Middle Class, USA like our counterparts in Iceland will seek a protest vote. We will try to gain this vote by publishing a manifesto that contains our views on subjects such as big oil, immigration & citizenship, war, abortion, right to bear arms  and other pertinent topics.
      Some of the solutions to the problems these topics cover are in some ways radical but we are in radical times. Not many will agree with all of the planks in our manifesto but it is hoped that most of it is accepted by those who read it.
      The number one belief of the Best Party is that there is a God and that he loves all his children. Other then this we have no answers to the questions our great and small religions pose to us.
      As Americans we believe in capitalism but not robber baron capitalism. We believe that the present two party system is not working for the benefit of the American middle class citizen. With the pending formation of the Best Party we intend to give the ruling parties a good reason to start acting responsibly.
      Robert Schlaffer
      Best Party for the Middle Class
      March, 2011