There’s an old saw that says the first step in solving a problem is to identify the problem. That’s wrong. The first step is to admit there is a problem. Over the years, I’ve known or had to work with a number of alcoholics and drug addicts. What they all had in common? None of them would admit that they had a problem with alcohol or drugs. They’d tell you how they could quit any time, they were just being “sociable” or it was just “recreational,” and it wasn’t a problem, objective evidence to the contrary. It wasn’t until they admitted it was a problem, that you could get them to start doing something about it. What does that have to do with the title of this post?
Back in 2013, I wrote this. Unfortunately, this turns out to be needed again. Sadly. Unfortunately, it seems like a new birther idiot has appeared, this time about Kamala Harris.
One of the stories over the past few years has been the efforts of various Republicans to re-write citizenship laws outlawing “birthright citizenship” to the children born here to undocumented immigrants. The most recent attempt was in January of this year. Each of them has failed, which is why some have even discussed changing the Constitution. Why that? Because they don’t have a leg to stand on. I’d like to introduce them to someone.
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In addition to getting back into writing, I’ve been spending some time “under the hood” on the blog. Most of the changes are not going to be visible, but they’re long overdue in some cases. I’ve updated the “About” and “New Reader” pages, and changed the commenting period to 90 days. I had taken it off entirely, but it turns out I was getting a large number of spam comments in the older ones.
We are now in a record government shutdown, and it looks like it will continue for a while. The reason? A “wall” which objectively is unnecessary, a President who boxed himself in, and a Senate Majority Leader too spineless to put budget bills to a vote, because he doesn’t want to override a veto. The news is full of the problems federal workers face either being out of work with no pay, or worse, having to work without pay. The national media focuses on the easily available stories in Washington and other large cities, but it’s national in scope. But that’s not the only bad news.
One of the things about growing up in upstate New York is that you get to know a lot of Revolutionary War history, in particular the earliest battles of the war. New York’s nickname, “the Empire State” is because at that time, it held “the keys to the empire.” This makes sense if you realize that in the 18’th century, moving troops and supplies was a laborious task. Roads were poor or non-existent, so progress overland was time-consuming and difficult. To move heavy materials, troops, and other supplies quickly? The quickest way was by water. Look at a map of New York, and you have Lake Champlain and the Hudson River running North-South. From Albany, you have the Mohawk River running East-West. On the northern end of the state, you have the Saint Lawrence river, leading into Lake Ontario. If you were the British, and wanted to split the colonies, those routes were the key to splitting and breaking the Revolution.