My last words on illegal immigration

Most in “America” have no problem with those who come over the border legally. Most in America have a problem with those that come over illegally. But I have a huge problem with a racial profiling bill written by Russel Pearce who seems to have close allies in the AZ Neo Nazis… How does one tell a legal immigrant from an illegal one? Why single out Hispanics when one out of every six illegals in this country are Caucasian or Asian… Or when an estimated 40,000-50,000 humans are brought to this country against their will to be prostitutes, sweatshop workers or servants (i.e. slaves). This bill is wrong on so many levels… not only because it’s unconstitutional.

There are about 2.5 million Hispanics in AZ (an est 500,000 are illegal), so 1 out of every 3 people in the state. Giving police open license to question anyone they “think” is suspect is wrong. It is an unreasonable search and is protected against in our constitution. Once you are a “legal” citizen, you are protected by the 4th amendment, are you not? What’s next, legal immigrants must show “outward” evidence of their legality? Should they sew patches on their jackets a la stars of David? This sets a dangerous precedent for the future.

Yes, millions of dollars are leaving the country to help their families back home and about one half of one percent of the our tax revenue in the US goes to schools and ER visits just for illegals. BUT, it has been estimated by the Social Security Admin that 3/4 of illegals pay payroll taxes. They add about $7-$10 billion a year into Social Security funds. So, it is even possible that the taxes they pay actually offset the services rendered… Ask yourself this, how does it compare with the BILLIONS spent in Iraq and the HUNDREDS of BILLIONS that leave the country due to corporate (both US and non US) greed and offshore investments? How many BILLIONS are spent on a useless drug war? Illegal immigration is the wrong fight at the wrong time. It pulls us away from the bigger issues in our country and around the world.

I don’t deny there is an immigration problem and that taxpayers pay a cost, but it will never end, even if we made illegal immigration punishable by death. For many illegals the prospect of death is what drives them here… If you’re an illegal immigrant trying to choose between a life of poverty, with no prospect of an education or a job, versus a life of poverty in America with an education and a job, it’s a very simple choice. You would risk deportation, prison or your life to do it.

There really are only two choices, make it easier to become a citizen or help them improve their own countries… To solve illegal immigration you have to give these people a reason to stay home, to believe there isn’t a better life up North. Our money would be better spent helping our neighbors and other illegal immigrants to get education and employment within their own borders.

But then, that’s not what we Americans are about, is it?

I imagine the native Americans felt much the same way when white Europeans flooded into their lands. It is what humans do. We are like a plague on this earth. Ebbing and flowing across borders. Consuming everything in our wake. Frankly I doubt anything will improve until population is controlled. The earth is overpopulated by about 1.5 billion people. 1 in 6 people go hungry every day. Immigrants (legal or not) will be the least of our worries when food and water start to be an issue for 1 in 3 people in 20 or so years.

Just learned a bit about Erich Fromm… never had philosophy or psych in school. Better late than never…

Don’t know if you’ve heard of Erich Fromm, but his ideas give some insight into why personal freedoms we enjoy in this country may lead to many of the issues we see in our society today (eg TEA party, fundamentalism, etc). Fromm grew up in Germany between the first and second world wars…

He said that freedom can create anxiety from aloneness and our inability to exert individual power. He said we use different unhealthy ways to deal with our perception of freedom: automaton conformity, authoritarianism and destructiveness.

Automaton conformity is when we mimic a larger society (or religion). By acting like everyone else we think we have control thereby making us not feel alone and helpless.

Authoritarianism is when people gain strength from the belief that there is a greater power, leader or belief. By giving up power to the powerful, we become the powerful and no longer feel alone.

Destructiveness, is an attempt to destroy those we perceive as having the power. Actions (often hurtful, socially unacceptable, sexist, racist,etc) are rationalized through a sense of duty to god or country or leader.

Fromm believed that real power came from individuality and freedom and we should embrace our selves and we should do what we want to do… But that’s not the society we live in…

This I believe…

I am a secular humanist, one who believes that we can be good and further humanity while we are here and do not need any supernatural sugar daddy waiting to party for eternity with us (thank you Bill Maher)…  Life is what you make of it, if gaining some special salvation at the end is what YOU need to motivate YOU to do good, then go for it, but don’t hang your need for a eternal severance package on me, your children or anyone else.  Humans should do good for the sake of good and the sake of humanity, not for some “deal”.  If there is a reason for existence it is that we exist and strive to continue to exist so that those that come after us can continue to exist…

I hope humanity is moving towards a post-theological existence.  It has caused enough grief.  Our need for the supernatural is inversely proportional to our universal knowledge.  We’ve basically gone from many gods to one.  As we learn to explain life and the universe’s processes better, I believe we will become less reliant on our need to say “it’s God’s will” and therefore “it be done”.  The last vestiges of a primal need to use the supernatural to explain how things work can then fall away, without ramification.  We just have to let them… good bye Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, angels, demons and God…

My faith is in humanity and it’s potential to overcome it’s own animal nature.  We are a product of nature.  Our animal tendencies are exhibited on a daily basis through greed and the battle for power, the devouring of other species, the waste of resources and rampant procreation are visible at every level of life on this planet, including our own.  We should use our ability to rise above those animal tendencies, with NO hope of reward.  We should strive to become the caretakers of this world.  That should be the true goal of humanity… and if you need a purpose for human life, well there ya go…

My Letter to da Pope

I was reading about Pope Benedict’s recent speech to a group of UN delegates sent to Italy for a conference on the impending global food crisis. He stated that technology should find a way to fix the crisis. I think that population, which begets poverty, which begets famine, which begets disease (like that Bible bit?) is a much more important topic, and something that the all powerful church could impact. So I told them they should condone contraception…

I am not an elegant or eloquent man, so writing to the Pope was initially a daunting idea. Of course, the probability that he will ever actually read my letter is somewhere in the infinitesimally small percentage range, so I went ahead and did it for piece of mind.

Letter follows:

Dear Pope Benedict,

In your recent statement to the UN delegates in Italy you stated “hunger and malnutrition are unacceptable in a world which, in reality, has sufficient production levels, the resources, and the know-how to put an end to these tragedies and their consequences.”

Humanity’s technological prowess should be able to conquer hunger and malnutrition. But hunger and malnutrition will always be predominant in countries with high population and high birth rates. Even Thomas Malthus said that population will outstrip any increase in the food supply. Would it not be prudent for the church to endorse contraceptive techniques in order to slow world population growth? Abstinence from sexual relations would be preferable to the church I am sure, but my own country the United States, has shown that abstinence programs do not work better than contraception and safe sex education.

In this day and age, I am sure Jesus would have understood that the health of humanity is of the greatest importance. The church has been reinterpreting the words of Jesus and the Bible for two-thousand years. I do not think literal policy derived from the Bible is possible here. In times past the command “be fruitful and multiply” had a direct correlation to the survival of a community and society. It does not have that impetus any longer. In fact, I would argue that the opposite has become the norm. The survival of humanity may rest in our ability to curb population growth. As you may know, the Earth is already at more than twice the human capacity it can handle naturally. It is only though our technology that many of us survive in the first place.

The fact that the population grows exponentially will eventually lead to far worse problems than hunger. Poverty is directly linked to overpopulation. Disease and pestilence are also on the heels of the hunger problem. I am not a member of your church, but I implore you to consider my words. The church and it’s massive resources could lead the charge in reversing this crisis on a different front than technology. Abstinence and alternatives to personal childbirth like adoption help, but could never out pace education about human sexuality and contraception. It is of paramount importance to our survival.

Christopher Moran