from my mind to yours...

June 2006
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On Solving the Problem of Improvised Explosive Devices
Filed under: Politics and Economics
Posted by: site admin @ 7:39 pm

Soldiers continue to die in Iraq because of roadside bombs, commonly referred to as Improvied Explosive Devices (IEDs). If we are going to attempt to solve the IED/ Urban Combat problem, we need to look at the problem more abstractly .

An initial assessment of IED’s yields (at least) the following failure points. In order to deal with IED’s, we need to do any or all of :

Sample solutions:
Some possible solutions are listed below, along with an indication of how they might have their effect:
Employ MANY people cleaning the streets thoroughly. Remove trash, rubble, etc. This keeps people busy AND leaves nothing to hide an explosive behind. (1a,1c,3c)

Liquid nitrogen spray (6.2, 7.2)

Mechanical flail (7.1)

Quick set foam (9.1)

High powered laser (7.1)

VERY loud noises (5.1.2)

I’m offering this as a way to potentially jump start some ideas. I assume others will add to it.

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On Illegal Aliens and Immigration Reform - Part 3
Filed under: Politics and Economics
Posted by: site admin @ 6:41 pm

I’ve written on illegal immigration before1. Since then I’ve been doing some thinking. Since it appears that amnesty of some sort is in the works, what kind should it be? For me, the solution is simple:

They need to pay their fair share. Quite simply, anyone who wants to get on the good side of the law needs to make complete amends financially - paying all the back taxes (Federal, state and local) they avoided while living under the radar.

My reasoning is as follows: Why do they come here? And why do they stay? And how will they benefit over the long haul? We know that as soon as immigrants become legal, they can participate openly in any social welfare or other government programs available. These programs include such things as Social Security and Medicare as well as the full protection of the justice system, the military - even disaster recovery assistance through such entities as FEMA. None of this is free. These benefits are part of the social contract with those who are here legally.

So if someone wants to come clean, they should pay up. Specifically, they should go back and file Federal and state taxes for every year they’ve earned anything in the US. They should fully pay up for all income, Social Security and Medicare taxes, etc. With interest. They should also be required to identify their employers during all those years - and those employers should be held liable for unpaid Social Security and Medicare taxes. With interest. And penalties. And, if they can’t find the employers that hired them, they should pay the employer’s portion of Social Security and Medicare as well.

If the illegals don’t want to pay, they should be sent back to their country of origin. Obviously, we can make arrangements for them to pay over time - the IRS already has mechanisms for that. For added incentive, if they don’t pay, any descendents that obtained citizenship because of their being here illegally could be stripped of their citizenship.2

Let’s face it. A significant number of the employers that hire illegals do so to avoid not just paying market rates for legal labor, but to also avoid the additional costs from Social Security and Medicare taxes. If they are forced to pay market rates, they’ll have no incentive to break the law.

This whole debate could be about xenophobia. But it could also be about money. Here’s a proposal that should ameliorate the money side of the debate.

One other thing: Why do we continue to grant citizenship to any child born in this country, regardless of whether or not the parents are here legally? In the past this might have been done simply because we had no way to do the recordkeeping necessary to determine the legal status of the parents, but that isn’t an issue anymore. Just as foreign embassies are considered “foreign soil” even though located within the US, we can easily designate a part of every hospital as “foreign soil” for the purposes of childbirth, and those who cannot show that they are citizens or legal immigrants will be sent there. Removing the possibility of automatic citizenship for children will help lower the incentive for illegal immigration.

1. See Part 1 and Part 2
2. This is based on the legal doctrine called “The fruit of a poisonous tree”.

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