Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Your tax, Your vote, Your Sovereignty

One challenge that I have never had to meet is proving to citizens of my own country that I have full franchise in everything it does. Sure, I know the anxiety of making a grade, a team; even engaging in an election. But to engage myself in a new citizenship, abandoning one of my birth, in a country with guaranteed freedoms, and with it the immediate values and a chance to share responsibilities with my new fellow citizens is beyond any experience I've had.

It is only with the election season upon us, that issues of voting, voter fraud and indifference to appropriate identification that we hear of newer scrutinies of the electorate. Particularly, the environment of the electorate needs serious attention. I'll only suggest here that one might enter "voter fraud" into "Google" maybe set up alerts for a few days and witness what comes down. It's a universal and bipartisan issue, and though I'll cite one element of civic distortion, I'm sure the idea is in ferment in other parts of the country as well.
Over a few weeks I've come across a couple of articles by one Mark Puleo who writes for "Metro", one of those free print rags that pop up in cities with over-priced, fading newspapers. Mr. Puleo has presented two very well written articles with which I couldn't agree. One is the idea of giving green-card holders the right to vote, and the other is granting non-citizen voting rights for the sake of local elections; cities, townships, school boards and the like. (I'll list these article below.) and
As you may gather Mr. Puleo is rather free with your franchise as citizens and would even suggest that you just give away your vote or dilute it in a the gush of compromise. Depending on how many non-citizens may reside in the vote zone, a citizen could find that all he or she held in civic terms was gone. Let's just for a moment take a school system; the selection of disciplines, the imposition of language requirements, or as we have seen in some communities throughout the country, Dearborn, Michigan, and Fairfax County, Virginia, and Charlotte, North Carolina, to name a few, where cultural imposition has given way to a belief system (religious focus) that is totally alien from American principles. Let's not pretend we don't see this. Better yet, let's not lie to ourselves. Let's not let anyone else lie to us either.
Now as cute and folksy as Mr. Puleo would have us see this, these people would be given a say in your tax spending. Writing, with a heart toward infantilizing these faux-citizens, he would say they pay taxes too. But remember, few, very few school systems function without federal funds. And the use of federal funds run up and down the policy execution ladder. So, Mr. Puleo, apart from the idea of one little village inviting the new folk to the process is suggesting they take part in whole. While we're considering this, let's remember jury duty is drawn from the voters lists.
In the effort to show the merit of this civic franchise giveaway, Mr. Puleo has provided what he evidently believes is compelling drama to his case. Well, I consider it an outrage.
He tells us the story of one Alvaro Lima, Director of Research, Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA). (This is the same group that gave away at below market value city land for the New England Islamic Center. And if you think these authorities function with our laws, take a good look. They function by their own laws and above those of the rest of us. {Read Robert Caro, "The Power Broker".}) Mr. Lima came to this country on a student visa twenty (20) years ago. "..high powered officials in Boston depend on his advice and statistical analysis to shape the city's future.." As I suggested, authorities function above the laws of the rest of us. We are to believe that this urban linchpin who "Diligently jumping through hoops to become a permanent resident (note that is not citizen), whose naturalization process drags on, is the only candidate in twenty (20) years found to be capable to conduct urban research. And we are to feel bad that "he cannot decide how his own property taxes are spent." So, Mr. Puleo would have us lament the injustice that Mr. Lima, employed by a premier hackerama, and has evidently purchased property in these twenty (20) years, hasn't had time to take basic citizenship classes. He can be part of a organization that parcels out tax-free property to a religiously oriented group. He certainly has the opportunity to know what economic impact is on the citizens of Boston, but in twenty (20) years too busy to become one. I guess, like the Islamic clients of the BRA, he wants it all below market.
Of course, by this time we might just guess that Mr. Puleo is either a self-impressed liberal or a well-penned mercenary. He plucks further at the heart-strings suggesting that we consider the feelings of the 35,000 green-card-holding soldiers in Iraq feel about not having a vote. Well, Mr. Puleo, they do have green-cards. And that makes me feel good. And, Mr. Puleo, why don't you ask why US military votes are often not counted at all. Oh, I almost forgot, you'd dilute their franchise anyway. Or should we be more self-scrutinous and just consider voting a job Americans don't want to do anymore. I'll avoid raising the issue of absentee voting in Mr. Puleo's contrivance. I'll not even venture how each vote should fit into census records. (I guess liar's poker and the census are really for amusement anyway.) And, Oh Lordy! I'll leave the legal status or the issue of illegal immigration to common interpreters. Just mention "illegal immigration" and the speaker is painted head to toe as "anti-immigrant".
To add irony to this part of my story, I was taking the "T" to the State House just last week, 2 to 4 weeks after Mr. Puleo's lament. The same publication was on my seat. Front page story was "Big Papi sworn in as US citizen", "David Otiz, the pride of the Red Sox nation became a US citizen yesterday (6/12/08) with 220 other immigrants from 57 countries."
Somehow the 32 year-old new citizen managed to fit the process into his training schedule and games away. I bet he'll vote too.
As I mentioned the issue of voter-fraud, I'll also draw caution to the Supreme Courts decision to allow Indiana to ask for an ID when conducting elections. Let's remember, that was based upon the law that Indiana enacted and only states who enact like laws will be so governed. So organizations like ACORN, CAIR, VIP (an operation run by the Muslim American Society), and various local undertakers can still get into the racket.
After that decision I noticed Donna Brazile, Democratic National Committee bassa profunda, expressed concerned about the expense for the poor and the difficulties for the handicapped and the elderly. Well, Donna, Dear, if you know about them; get them ID'd and scam an absentee vote as usual.