Chris's Rants

Monday, November 05, 2007

Papers, please

Dartmouth Coach's Fiancée Faces Deportation Over Visa Flap:
Vinnikova, 21, was arrested for a minor infraction related to her visa paperwork, Wiens and lawyers involved in the case say, and now faces a deportation order that would bar her from returning to the U.S. for 10 years. The scenario is a nightmare for the German couple, who were just settling into Hanover as Wiens begins his coaching career with Dartmouth's athletics department.


The 21-year-old, who like Wiens is an accomplished squash player and speaks fluent English, has no criminal record and no past immigration violations, according to Arn. The lawyer said it's clear her client was trying to follow the rules in extending her time within the U.S. -- unlike other immigrants who simply overstay their visas without seeking to renew them.

“What this all really boils down to is bad handwriting, and that's going to wreck this girl's life, potentially,” Arn said.
Thanks, Lou Dobbs.

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Emma Lazarus, 1883
I want my country back. All this unwarranted fear of "terrorism" is just that, unwarranted. You are more likely to die in a car accident than be affected by a terrorist attack.
Even if terrorists were able to pull off one attack per year on the scale of the 9/11 atrocity, that would mean your one-year risk would be one in 100,000 and your lifetime risk would be about one in 1300. (300,000,000 ÷ 3,000 = 100,000 ÷ 78 years = 1282) In other words, your risk of dying in a plausible terrorist attack is much lower than your risk of dying in a car accident, by walking across the street, by drowning, in a fire, by falling, or by being murdered.

So do these numbers comfort you? If not, that's a problem. Already, security measures—pervasive ID checkpoints, metal detectors, and phalanxes of security guards—increasingly clot the pathways of our public lives. It's easy to overreact when an atrocity takes place—to heed those who promise safety if only we will give the authorities the "tools" they want by surrendering to them some of our liberty. As President Franklin Roosevelt in his first inaugural speech said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself— nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." However, with risks this low there is no reason for us not to continue to live our lives as though terrorism doesn't matter—because it doesn't really matter. We ultimately vanquish terrorism when we refuse to be terrorized.
While it may seem all tin-foil-hatty, I really do fear that the war criminals in the Administration will find an excuse to declare a national emergency on Jan 19, 2009 much the way that their "closest ally in the war on terror" has done this past weekend, with barely a whisper from the State Department, and ho-hum treatment from our asleep-at-the-wheel MSM (as compared to say the rest of the world).

Frankly, the fact that Pakistan, a nuclear power that is also the chosen residence of OBL and his cohorts, is in political turmoil should worry the administration a whole lot more than the prospect that Iran might someday in the distant future develop the capacity to develop a nuclear weapon. Apparently, not. Terrorism is just another bogeyman that the neocons in the Bush administration have exploited to unburden us of our civil liberties in the furtherance of their power-grab.

Oh, and Go, Pats!


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