November 2008 Archives

My Politics

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I have a few articles I want to write that touch on politics, so I thought I'd state some of my views as a prelude.

Those of you who have followed my blogs long enough to have read my last blog, Current Events, will know that I was generally a good, conservative right-wing Republican. Well, in the last several years I have moved decidedly left and now consider myself a center-right moderate.

There are some areas in which I am still decidedly conservative such as small government, fiscal responsibility and social issues such as abortion and gay marriage. However there are other areas in which I strongly disagree with my fellow Republicans and which I feel push me farther away from the GOP (though not necessarily to the Democrats). This list of disagreements includes my positions on illegal immigration, the planet Earth and general intellectuality. Let me expound.

I've become somewhat passionate about the illegal immigration issue in a large part because I have several acquaintances or friends who are legal and illegal immigrants, and have come to understand the issue perhaps a little more than the general populace (which doesn't say much). The general argument of the Right is that the illegals committed a crime coming here and thus have no rights. They opine that we should round up all the illegal immigrants, send them home unconditionally and punish those who employee them. Some even wanted to criminalize the providing of general assistance to illegal immigrants. Now, I can see logic in the general argument - that they are criminals, so treat them as such - but I strongly feel the premise is faulty. It's overly simplistic. If you break the speed limit or jaywalk, does that mean you are a criminal and should be locked up? (Of course not; there are different degrees of breaking the law.) The main problem, per my understanding, is that it is nearly impossible to immigrate legally (I've seen it take years for someone's foreign spouse to get residency). If the situation back home (for instance, in Mexico) is terrible, you are going to want to find a way to better your situation. If the country up north won't let you come legally, you take a lot of risks and come illegally, trying to eke out a living. And let me be clear; it's not at all something I condone, but I do understand the rationale. I also realize there are a lot of problems that come with illegal immigration, but I know many who work very hard, pay taxes without receiving tax-payer benefits, and are an asset to the country.  Plus, a lot of those problems (like identity theft) would would largely be solved by legalizing in some fashion the immigrants. My desire on the immigration issue is to find a way to bring those who are assets into the legal citizenry and deal humanely with all. I believe in a 3-prong approach of making it much easier to come legally (even as a guest worker), make it harder to come illegally (I'm OK with the border fence) and deal reasonably with those who are here. Those who can pass English proficiency tests, don't have criminal records (ignoring of course their immigration status), and in general are a boon to the economy should be put on the path to citizenship, paying any relevant fees. This is similar to what Bush and McCain tried to do and I was in favor of that (although, for skilled laborers I wouldn't require them to go back to their home country first). If you want to call that amnesty, then so be it - I call it an approach that could do a lot to solve the problem.

Wow! That was longer than I had planned, but let's move on to Earth. I don't share Al Gore's conclusion that the planet is on the precipice of doom. I'll agree that it is getting warmer, but my priorities are more on taking care of the planet more than aggressively preventing further global warming. There's definitely overlap between those two ideas, but good stewardship of nature is my focus. Two of my personal hobbies are cycling and scuba diving and I can tell bad air from good and polluted seas from pristine coral reefs. Basically, I want clean air and clean seas. The GOP doesn't have a good environmental record and while there has been some progress, I don't see the Right doing much. On a positive note, Bush did set up an enormous marine preserve northwest of Hawaii which is commendable.

On the intellectuality issue, I feel like the politicians are dismissing any intellectuals as "elitists" and basically trying to pander to the less educated - saying they are the "real America." Well guess what, if you want to progress, you need to learn. Intellectuality, science and higher education should be prized, not scorned. There was a great Op-Ed in the NY Times that talked about this issue.

MT-4.21 Upgrade

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After rescuing my blog a little while back, following a lot of meticulous labor and custom scripts, I thought I was finally good to go. However, I've had the nagging problem of RSS feeds having wrong dates. I've looked at the problem for a while and couldn't figure out where the wrong dates were coming from. So, I went for a band-aid and upgraded my archaic Movable Type 2.66 to version 4.21. It has a significantly different interface and method of publishing.

So far my test comments to past entries after upgrading weren't showing up on the web pages (but were registered in MT), so I'll have some playing around to do.


I still have the RSS feed problem with wrong dates. I'm fairly sure now the problem is with the back-end database and since I don't know any good way to rebuild it, I will most likely need to blow all entries away and then re-import them, which is a fair amount of work. If anyone knows any way to help me or is a wiz with mysql and the MT db format, please advise :).

Update 2:

I was just notified that comments have not been working. I can't quite figure out MT's new method of doing things yet so for now, I'm allowing anonymous comments. Chances are that I'll have to disable those as the spammers find me, but for now. Feel free to post, and please let me know if you encounter problems. Thanks!

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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