All for cameras I consider myself a civil libertarian, but I believe in public surveillance cameras. They have been in use in major cities worldwide for some time. Their widespread use in London is credited with preventing and solving many crimes, including muggings, robberies, assaults, rapes and drug dealing. This is not Big Brother. There is no expectation of privacy in public.
If it was not for the images provided by the cameras of private citizens and businesses, the Boston bombers might still be on the loose. I think it would be a good thing if law enforcement had cameras all over our major cities, just as they have in London.
Immigration exceptions Much is being written about the immigration reform bill being advance though Congress. I find it interesting what is not being written about it. Consider the following: The bill, as I understand it, will have a cutoff date of Dec. 31, 2011, for eligibility to participate in the program. The participants will have to pay fines and back taxes and not be a potential welfare recipient. My question is: What is going to happen to those who are, in one way or another, ineligible for participation in the program leading to “legal permanent resident” and, ultimately, citizenship? Are these people going to be deported? Or are they going to be allowed to remain in limbo status?
What of the person who arrived on Jan. 1, 2012, who now is married to a U.S. citizen and has an anchor baby? Is there going to be a flood of “exceptions” to the requirements? If so, the bill might as well include those who had breakfast this morning on the Mexican side of the border.
Of course these and other problems will probably be addressed in the Immigration Reform Bills of 2023 and 2031.
Obama’s fiasco Howard Altman probably wrote something like 2,000 words for his excellent story Sunday on the inexcusable backlog at Veterans Affairs (“Workers: Strained VA office a misery,” front page). But two words were still missing: “Obama administration.”
The wait for our war veterans to get the benefits they’re entitled to is much worse now than it was in 2009, the year President Obama took office. And this is after his administration has invested billions in new systems and the countless hours that VA employees have wasted. It’s yet another example of gross mismanagement by Obama and another group of incompetent political appointees, including VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.
When the American people gave into fear and ignorance to re-elect failure, people like our brave men and women in the military are the ones paying the price. And the bill will come due on a lot worse than this fiasco before it’s all over. Meanwhile, Obama’s two political Davids — Axelrod and Plouffe — are laughing all the way to the bank while we cruise toward bankruptcy. Forward!
Synchronizing Big Guava I recently read with interest former Tribune sportswriter Bobby Austin’s letter plus two or three others regarding traffic lights. What mystifies me is that the people who are in charge of traffic control have the skills to synchronize the lights on Florida Avenue but are incapable of synchronizing those lights on our other major arteries.
Last Wednesday I drove from Platt Street to Florida Avenue and stopped for only two traffic lights on my way to Columbus Drive. Normally, I have to stop at Kennedy Boulevard, but this time it was Jackson Street. I would have made the one at Columbus Drive also except that due to road construction they funneled four lanes into one lane once you passed Palm Avenue.
If they can do that on Florida Avenue, why can’t they synchronize our other major roadways in the Big Guava?
Edward C. Prange
Political agenda Now that the legislation to unnecessarily expand background checks to purchase firearms has been defeated, let us get rid of the liberal slant that President Obama has been promoting just as he did in Chicago.
Most gun shows have a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms presence. This is true at the gun shows at the Tampa fairgrounds and most gun shows in Florida. BATF officers walk the show undercover and have a table if anyone has questions as to firearms transactions.
Here’s the rub. Sen. Marco Rubio had an amendment to the gun bill to support law-abiding, gun-owning Americans. People with a concealed carry permit issued in their state of residence would have reciprocity with all the states. The holder of a concealed carry permit has the ultimate background check. He or she has been fingerprinted, provided a recent passport photo, took a gun safety class and paid for their license. Fifty-seven senators voted for this, which was three short of the 60 needed.
As to the other 43 senators who voted against it, it shows freedom-loving Americans those senators have their own political agenda.