By Helen Ann Tackett - 04/20/09 06:53 PM EDT
The national tea party protests against big government, whether in the form of the recent Bush administration or the Obama administration, now have the media pricking up their ears. From the popularity of these protests, the media are sensing a grassroots movement toward a third political party that liberates Americans from both the Republican and Democrat parties.
Americans are no longer content to have elitist politicians dictate their lives through government social engineering projects or unjust wars. The resurgence of the individual in America is occurring not in Washington, D.C., policies but in local tax revolt demonstrations attended by thousands of hardworking Americans who are disgusted with big government treating them like cattle and branding them cash cows.
Don’t help illegals amid visa backlogs
Regarding the article “House Democrats ready to give immigration bill another shot” (March 24), members of Congress should first review how long legal immigrants wait for green cards.
A Filipino native sponsored by his U.S. citizen sibling currently waits 23 years for a green card; a naturalized American citizen from Mexico currently waits 17 years to receive a green card for his unmarried son; and a permanent resident in the U.S. from India waits nine years to receive a green card for his married son.
Illegal immigration is an act of selfishness, putting oneself before country. Legal immigration is an act of patriotism, putting one’s new country and its laws first. Green cards and citizenship should be reserved only for those patriots who have followed our laws — those who, unfortunately, have no champions in Congress. Instead of pandering to the illegal alien lobby, Congress should reduce the existing visa backlogs for law-abiding, hardworking Asian-American and Mexican families, as we are the ones most affected by these unfair backlogs.
Dino Teppara, chairman, Indian American Republican Council
Money may help thaw U.S.-Cuba relations
I’m very pleased to see President Obama pushing for more constructive (dare I say normal?) relations with Cuba.
Since the U.S. embargo was imposed nearly a half-century ago, no president has changed America’s position toward that island nation more than Obama did last week. (The 1996 Helms-Burton Act, which forbids U.S. officials from restoring full diplomatic relations with Cuba as long as Fidel or Raul Castro is in charge, hasn’t helped much either.)
Just as Jewish elders refused to buy German cars after World War II, or military veterans resisted buying Japanese cars in the 1960s, older Cuban-Americans have been slow to change their opinions about the Castro brothers.
My feeling is if we can move beyond the horrors of Vietnam, where more than 58,000 young Americans died, to sponsoring surfing expeditions there, anything is possible between peoples and nations.
I imagine first- and second-generation Cuban-Americans not only want to visit family in Cuba, and want family to visit here, but also that they sense an opportunity to make money on a new American-Cuban relationship.
Funny how money seems to wash away old hatreds and fears. If true in this case, then “going green” won’t be just an environmental slogan. It could become the driving force of change between America and Cuba.
Denny Freidenrich, First Strategies LLC
Laguna Beach, Calif.
Salazar saving Western lands
Since taking office in January, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has prioritized renewable energy, put the brakes on the Bush administration’s full-steam-ahead approach to destructive oil shale development and canceled oil and gas leases on the edge of Utah national parks and historic sites on nearby public land.
With the Obama administration placing conservation and renewable energy issues high on its agenda, these first steps should be the first of many more toward the reforms needed to make sure the oil and gas industry doesn’t wreck more of our fragile Western landscapes.
Salazar’s measured approach has provoked a backlash by the oil and gas industry that had enjoyed a privileged status during the eight years of the Bush administration. Salazar’s understanding that he is a steward of our public lands and not the servant of the oil industry is a breath of fresh air.
He should continue the shift from giving the oil industry what it wants to insisting on balance on lands that belong to everyone.
Accountability for memos
With the recently released “torture memos,” we have evidence the U.S. has authorized torture. We can’t afford to move on without first holding those responsible accountable — those who designed and authorized the torture policies that have endangered our national security and national soul, and violated international law.
North Wales, Pa.