Yes, reform is needed. It’s a travesty that people are viewing others discriminately. Such is a part of the American history and culture. Have we forgotten that this country was built on the backs of immigrants?


According to an article in the Washington Post, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough reiterated that President Obama will be prepared to offer his own immigration reform proposal if a bipartisan effort on Capitol Hill fails. McDonough’s comments followed a recent USA Today report that said the White House is drafting a proposal to allow illegal immigrants to seek permanent legal residency within eight years.

The reality is that any politician who looks at the issue seriously comes to the same conclusions (and this includes GWB whose immigration plan was sensible, but shot down by the republican controlled congress).  In short, the plan that is actually workable and does not include crazy people absolutes includes:

1.  limited amnesty for those who are here a long time and are willing to enter into agreements to pay back taxes and perhaps fines (spread over a few years)

2.  strict border controls along the southern…

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Immigration Reform 2013: Obama Speaks On Leaked Bill; Senators Debate Federal ID Card For All Workers

Immigration Reform 2013: Obama Speaks On Leaked Bill; Senators Debate Federal ID Card For All Workers

Although leaked, President Obama’s discusses his Immigration reform. He believes it won’t hurt talks on the reform. Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, several key legislators are looking into the possibility of an immigration bill that would force every U.S. worker to carry a high-tech ID card that could use fingerprints or other markings to determine a person legal status.

Too often, in this highly politicized, highly polarized society, we approach questions through the lenses of politics or economics, job security, family concerns, security concerns – and these things become the categories and lenses through which we approach a particular question. And in addition, too often our thinking is by the pundits – what does Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, or Rachel Maddow or some other person that we listen to say and think about a particular issue.

Prosperous nations such as the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom will always attract immigrants that are in search for a better life. The problem is that many immigrants do not follow the proper immigration channels. The United States has an illegal immigration problem as immigrants enter the country illegally by crossing the border between the United States and Mexico, or they enter legally but overstay their visas. The United States Immigration Reform is specifically targeting the problem of 12 to 20 million undocumented workers in the United States.

On January 28, 2013, a bi-partisan group of eight Senators announced principles for comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). The Senators involved include: Chuck Schumerof New York, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Bob Menendez of New Jersey, and Michael Bennet of Colorado, and Republicans John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Jeff Flake of Arizona.[10]

The policies envisioned by the Senators include the following provisions:

  1. A citizenship path for undocumented immigrants already in the United States contingent on certain border security and visa tracking improvements. The plan provides for permanent residence for undocumented immigrants only after legal immigrants waiting for a current priority date receive their permanent residence status and a different citizenship path for agricultural workers through an agricultural worker program.
  2. Business immigration system reforms, focusing on reducing current visa backlogs and fast tracking permanent residence for U.S. university immigrant graduates with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering or math also known as the STEM fields.
  3. An expanded and improved employment verification system for all employers to confirm employee work authorization.
  4. Improved work visa options for low-skill workers including an agricultural worker program.

As mention President Obama has his administration’s effort for immigration reform. I hope that our country will find a way to common ground on immigration, which is currently tearing us apart.

Response to Stacey:
Wow, what an interesting perspective from your life. In fact, you’re not alone as people steering clear of others that are different from them. However, I was fortunate in my up bring. I grew up in a diverse neighborhood. Lucky for me that I’ve heard most sides of people’s views. Unfortunately, for me, I never experienced the harsh reality of ignorance until I became an adult. Yikes! However, I learned to work with people who have opposing views. I will add that I’ve open my eyes to an abundance of information to other cultures and view. It was my ah-ha moment.


I know we are suppose to blog about the media and what we think of the news, but I have something to say about my college experience. I grew up in a white Republican middle class household in rural Pennsylvania. My whole family for generations back were Republican–on both sides. They were coal miners, steel workers, factory laborers, country store owners, homemakers–just your average joes and josephines. I married someone just like me–white, middle class and Republican for generations back on both sides. I thought everyone thought and lived like me the whole time I was growing up. The first encounter I had with someone who didn’t agree with me politically was when I was employed as a nanny in New York during the Bush/Dukakis campaign in 1988. I was watching the news alongside the family I was working for and a story came up about Dukakis’ stand on abortion, which was…

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Thanks! There’s a lot of information we need to know. Best of luck to you as well.


Good luck everybody on our first Political Science test tomorrow. Of course, by the time you read this it will probably be over. Don’t forget to have fun! A great piece of advice from my 11-year old.

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Young People should Stop Smoking


Many people say that smoking makes them more alert and improves their concentration, while others believe that smoking calms them down, especially when they are feeling anxious or stressed. While scientists believe this is because the chemicals in the cigarette (especially nicotine) have reduced the withdrawal symptoms that smokers get between one cigarette and the next. Smokers are ‘addicted’ to smoking!

Most people begin smoking when they are teenagers and go on to become regular smokers as adults. Why do young people start smoking when there is so much information available about the damage smoking does to the body?

  • It has been suggested that young people are attracted to the ‘image’ they associate with smoking. The tobacco industry has created an image of smoking as being tough, cool, sophisticated, sexy, attractive or a form of rebellion. Although nicotine addiction keeps people smoking, young people usually start smoking because of the social image they want to present to others.
  • Young people are also more likely to start smoking if their friends or family are smokers.
  • In some cultures, smoking is still widely accepted.

Apart from the health risks, smoking is not seen as ‘cool’ any more. Its banned in so many places these days, that it can be hard to hang out with your friends.

There is no ‘safe’ level of smoking, and the reality is that ‘cutting down’ just doesn’t work! It has been proven that, when people reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke, they take more ‘drags’ from each cigarette. They also take the smoke deeper into their lungs, and hold it in their lungs for a longer period of time. This means they just end up soaking up the same amount of nicotine and other chemicals from fewer cigarettes.

The same thing happens when people switch to cigarettes with a lower tar  and nicotine content (so-called ‘light’ cigarettes). People usually do the same things described above, or actually end up smoking more cigarettes!

Also, research on ‘light’ cigarette smokers has:

  • Not shown any reduction in smoking-related health risks,
  • Not shown that people are more likely to quit,
  • Shown that smokers are exposed to at least as much nicotine, carbon monoxide or tar,
  • Shown that they still get as much heart disease and lung cancer.

Research has also shown that young people do not know this, and many think that they will be healthier if they smoke light cigarettes. This is not true. Light cigarettes will also be just as likely to make a smoker addicted.

Young adulthood is a time of many transitions, including changes in smoking behavior. Adolescents who experiment or smoke intermittently often progress to daily smoking in young adulthood. Young adulthood is also a time when some smokers make quit attempts. Unfortunately, young people who try to quit are likely to relapse, similar to older adults. Often, it is with their first quit attempt that young smokers realize that they have become addicted to tobacco and will not be able to quit easily.

Response to Stacey

Yes, Buffett is dipping into the ketchup business as part of $23.3 billion deal to buy the Heinz ketchup company, uniting a legend of American investing with a mainstay of grocery store shelves. It’s also reported that this is the largest deal ever in the food industry and will help Heinz continue its transformation into a global business. The Heinz Company also makes Classico pasta sauces, Ore-Ida potatoes and Smart Ones frozen meals. Additionally, 3G Capital is the investment firm that bought Burger King in 2010. Furthermore, Heinz CEO William Johnson said at a news conference that taking the company private would give Heinz the flexibility to make decisions more quickly, without the burden of having to report quarterly earnings. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter. We’ll have to sit and watch if Heinz find new home.


This recent NY Times article reported that secret negotitations have resulted in the sale of long time Pittsburgh company Heinz Corporation to Warren Buffet’s company and some rich guy in Brazil who owns 3G. As a native of western Pennsylvania, I take a special interest in this. Pittsburgh has been known for three things in my life time–the best NFL football team, the Steelers; the worst pollution due to the steel industry and the best ketchup, Heinz. Heinz has been based in Pittsburgh since the mid-1800’s. I am proud of that. Although it’s been a publicly traded company for quite some time, it’s always been known as a family company in the hearts of Pittsburghers. Warren Buffet insists that he and his partner insist on keeping the company headquarters in the Steel/Ketchup city but who really knows? He’d better because, to Pittsburgers, Heinz is a name ingrained in their…

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Response to Janett

In never cease to amaze me how peace talks with two opposing countries are at a stalemate due to another country’s interest in assisting them. Our country has been riddled with major issues such as market failure, natural disasters, and attacks from unknown enemies in our blind spots. I will add that these two opposing factions have been fighting almost a century. Wow! Here’s little history:
The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict has its origins in the confrontation between immigrant Zionist Jews in the Mandate of Palestine and their interaction with the indigenous Palestinian Arabs in the 1920s and 1930s. Before that point, the immigration into the land had been a small trickle and Arabs were not terribly concerned. However, the Jewish immigration in the 1920s was quite large and disruptive. By the mid-1930s, both sides had developed militias which they used both to attack British colonial institutions and each other. In 1947, as UN Resolution 181 was being debated, a full-scale war erupted between the Jewish militias and the Arab militias. When Israel declared its independence in 1948, the neighboring Arab States joined in the War, which caused it to be internationally recognized and called the Arab-Israeli War of 1948-9.
The U.S. is a super power and we’ve helped so many. However, we still have to take care of home in order to help others.


According to an article in the New York Times  President Barack Obama plans to visit Israel, the West Bank and Jordan this spring, the White House said on Tuesday, raising the prospects of a new U.S. push to restart long-stalled Israel-Palestinian peace efforts. For more than two years, many Israeli and Palestinian leaders have placed blame for their stalemated peace process not only on one another but on a lack of engagement by the Obama administration. This is clearly a complex situation that has many complex solutions, that I do not for one second propose to have the solution to, but IF the United States policy was concerned with peace we would withhold all aid to Israel. Why, You may ask?… well in my opinion, 400,000 Israelis will NOT be moving out of Gaza, and they will not stop settlement building, No territory is going to be turned over, and Israel…

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