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I do not have much use for labels--Democrat/Republican, conservative/liberal, progressive/traditional. None of these actually fit me and their widespread use is indicative of the tendency to think that if you have named something that somehow means you understand it. 


I have sincerely searched to find some measure of truth, some value, in religious beliefs.I have studied Christianity (many forms of it), Judaism, Islam, Buddhism (again, many forms), as well as a large number of non-mainstream belief systems and they seem to have one thing in common: they are all completely lacking in credible evidence for the claims they make. I would like to see all the religious zealots of all the different faiths sent to an isolated place (another planet would be good) and then they could fight each other over which pack of lies should be followed.




It appears that the opposition to all sorts of things, sex education, encouraging use of condoms, sexual themes in music and video, is based not on the merits of the subjects or their possible effects but rather on a deep-rooted fear of sex itself. Some people apparently cannot stand the idea that other people have sex. Especially young people.The opposition is not based on the problems of STDs or unwanted pregnancy but on the position that they are somehow entitled to decide who will have sex with whom. It is evident, also, that a large part of the homophobia that is out there is the result of some folks spending entirely too much time thinking about the things homosexuals do with each other in private.


Illegal Immigration


There is a story in the LA times that claims to have "proof" that illegal immigrants actually cause wages to go up.

Complete nonsense. The idea that adding several million people to the pool of job applicants will somehow result in HIGHER wages is absurd. The concept that opposition to illegal immigration is racist only serves to muddy the waters and obscure the real issue at the core of this problem. Some of the opponents of high levels of illegal immigration are indeed racist but the real issue here is wages. Illegals work for less money (often a lot less) than employers would have to pay citizens. That is the only reason employers continue to hire them and it is opposition to control of the flow of cheap labor that frustrates attempts to limit immigration. Cheap labor. That's it.

So what can we do?  Build a fence? Deport several million people? The only effective way to handle this problem is to dry up the source, i.e., the availability of jobs. The way to do that is not to punish the illegal immigrants but those who hire them. A schedule of escalating fines, starting with a warning for a first offense and increasing with each subsequent offense up to something like $1000 per infraction would compel employers to stop hiring illegal immigrants. When the jobs are no longer available, they will go home on their own and stay there.