By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Dogging on Michael Vick
Arf, arf: You know, just the other night I was watching an episode of Law and Order where the defendant, who was a bookie, was accused of killing another bookie because he owed him money. The evidence was pretty much cut-and-dried...corpse, fingerprints, motive, opportunity, etc....the whole nine yards.
Slam dunk for prosecuting attorney McCoy? Not so fast. The defendant was also Jewish, as was the judge, as were most of the jurors on the panel...and he was a Jew who actively supported Israel with large donations in order to help Israel fight the Palestinians. The lawyer for the defendant successfully managed to somehow turn the case from a simple homicide into a case about anti-Semitism, Jewish persecution, the Holocaust and the Arab-Israeli wars.
At no point, as McCoy pointed out in his closing arguments, did the defense attorney ever bother to dispute his defendant's guilt. Why? Because he knew that it would be ridiculous to do so. It was so obvious that the defendant was going to win that the DA was willing to cut them a ridiculous deal, one the defense rejected. In the end, however, the prosecution ended up winning...but just barely.
And here we have Michael Vick ("Wat Up, Dawg?" by Richie Whitt, August 30) accused of doing something so vile and disgusting that it boggles the imagination. Does he or his supporters deny he did it? Of course not. So why do people like radio personality Tom Joiner and Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury defend him? You got it: racism. According to them, Michael Vick should not be prosecuted, not because he didn't do it but because he's black and, therefore, a victim of racism. Ironically, it is people like this that hurt civil rights more than any white supremacist group.
Reuben L. Owens
The Huddled Masses
Evaluate your skills: America is considered to be the land of immigrants ("Land of Opportunity," by Megan Feldman, August 30). Every American citizen who cries foul when they hear about legal immigrants has at least one immigrant member in their family tree. So let's get real! I take tremendous pride in the fact that America recognizes merit, not race, religion or language. So all of you who complain about H-1s and L-1s and throw the problem across the fence, take a look in the mirror and evaluate your skills. Maybe they do not meet the demands of the market.
And as far as immigration goes, the system is broken. Period. And it's high time somebody raised their voices to wake up the senators on the Hill.
Broken: America needs legal immigrants. The current immigration system for LEGALS is broken. I feel bad for this girl and thousands of others who suffer because of a poorly designed and conceived system.
Reverse brain drain: America is where it is today because of tremendous contributions made by people who immigrated from all over the world. Reverse brain drain may have a huge impact on America's numero uno position in the world.
Lack of skills: Well, once all the high-skilled immigrants go back to their home countries, then all jobs will move to either Canada or China or India. You know why? Because we can count high-skilled Americans on our fingers.
The fix is in: My cry of foul is not with immigrants per se. The foul is that the system is rigged so that when a company hires an H-1B or L-1 holder, the immigrant is beholden to his/her corporate sponsor and effectually becomes an indentured servant, works extended hours and is paid below prevailing market wages. This results in a savings for employers because they prefer to pay lower wages, they know the immigrant workers will not complain for fear of losing their sponsorship, and since the visa holders cannot easily change jobs there is very low turnover.
As far as looking for Americans beforehand, the reality is that companies do not want to hire Americans and creatively take proactive stances to disqualify us. If people want a fair system, I say let the market freely govern itself without restrictions. Let the immigrant workers enter America with unrestricted visas that are not tied to a corporate sponsor so that they can truly be free and mobile. This will never be done, though, because it would result in having to pay market wages and treat them fairly. We do not have a labor shortage; what we do have is yet another example of corporate welfare and class warfare. Go Edwards in '08!