Illegal representation in Congress
(Re: “Crackdown: ‘Dragnet’ may fend off Arizona-style immigration law,” cover story, Jan. 27.) There is a paradox to illegal immigration that is not discussed.
States may gain additional congressional representation because of their population of illegal immigrants. How many congressional representatives was Colorado awarded (in the 2010 reapportionment) because of the state’s population of illegal immigrants? Is it in the best interest of illegal residents to be counted in redistricting/apportionment and not allowed to vote? These additional House seats can now be used against the undocumented. This harkens back to slavery and the 3/5 clause that gave Southern states additional representation in Congress.
In a radio interview (WNPR, Dec.15) recently retired U.S. Sen. [Christopher] Dodd, D-Conn., said he would change congressional apportionment/redistricting if given the opportunity, but did not specify how.
My upcoming book Vote Thieves:
Illegal Immigration, Redistricting, and Presidential Elections argues for changing our basis of apportionment from total population to voters. Might this provide an impetus for true immigration reform if states such as Colorado, Texas and California were to lose congressional representation because illegal immigrants are excluded?
A similar proposal was made in January 1941, but was then forgotten after the country entered World War II.
Our current method of apportionment creates an incentive for illegal immigration and polarizes our political system. Historically, it caused the end of the Federalist Party, bolstered slavery, disenfranchised African Americans after Reconstruction, fostered segregation in the South, denied voting rights to women, and disenfranchised voters in the presidential election of 2000.
See www.votethieves.com. Orlando Rodriguez/via Internet
Alternative to solar farms
There is understandable local opposition to the construction of large solar “farms” in rural Colorado. The greatest demand for electricity is, after all, in urban areas, and the resulting miles of transmission lines, while once seen as a sign of progress, are now regarded as unwelcome intrusions upon a growing environmental aesthetic of open, untrammeled land in the West.
Rural communities over and over see their valuable resources, be it water, oil and gas, their children, and now treasured vistas, being drained into the seemingly insatiable metropolitan lifestyles they eschew. Apparently overlooked by the power brokers is that there are thousands of acres of roofs, already connected to the grid, in the very areas in need of additional electricity. A combination of private and governmental incentives and directives could create a modern, state-of-the-art, decentralized power-generating network that would both serve our needs and preserve our Colorado landscapes.
Germany, a country with far less sunshine than here, has done exactly this with remarkable success.
Pennies for Penney
J.C. Penney announced last week it is closing six stores, its catalog business, and its call center, plus consolidating its outlet stores and custom-decorating business. Hundreds more jobs will disappear. Is it a coincidence that two heavy-hitting investors just joined the Penney board? They did the math. This will boost company earnings by seven cents a share and cost eight.
The corner office is having so much fun it’s no wonder many college grads are choosing “management” positions instead of, say, petroleum engineering (when a real job is offered at all). At the Colorado School of Mines, arguably the best university in the state academically speaking, except perhaps the Air Force Academy, 18 percent of 2009 and 2010 graduates had found full-time work in their field by last Thanksgiving. Here’s the rub: The ranks of petro-engineers are thinning — many are approaching retirement. And the low-hanging fruit in the oil forest is all gone.
Sadly, it seems many are attracted by prospects such as J.P. Morgan, which provides food-stamp debit cards for 26 states and Washington, D.C. J.P. Morgan is paid by the case. But the new grads need to watch out: J.P. Morgan’s customer service center is in India!
Do something about Iran
Although Iran continues to claim its nuclear development program is designed for peaceful purposes, U.S. intelligence services believe Iran is developing nuclear weapons.
Iran poses a significant risk to use nuclear weapons because of its unstable leadership. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has proclaimed that Israel, the U.S. and other Western countries are Iran’s enemies and could come under attack by Iran depending on conditions in the region and the world. The Iranian Defense Ministry recently published information on a nuclear attack strategy to be used against the U.S. and Israel and possibly other countries.
Economic sanctions imposed on Iran have not deterred it from developing nuclear weapons. Time is running out and the options to neutralize the Iranian nuclear weapons program are becoming more limited.
Donald A. Moskowitz/Londonderry, N.H.
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