Tags: Political | Prisoners | America

Political Prisoners in America

Friday, 18 May 2001 12:00 AM

So, does the United States have political prisoners now? If we’re talking about people who are sitting in a cell somewhere because it is politically correct that they do so - then the answer is yes. The United States has political prisoners.

No - I’m not talking about that dreadlocked Mumu guy up there in New York - the cop killer. He’s just a current fad of the left. I’m talking about the thousands of people jailed in this country - and Daryl Strawberry may soon join them - simply because they consumed a substance that the politicians didn’t want them to have.

They didn’t deprive any other person of life, liberty or property. They committed on violent act or fraud. They simply decided (wrongly) that they might enjoy sitting in the privacy of their own home and altering their mental state with some substance that may or may not be all that good for them. These people are in jail not because they committed any sort of a crime against anyone else, but because they did something that politicians don’t like. Make me president for just one day - and they’re on the streets again.

When a Republican president suggests that one of the ways to resolve our nation’s need for more electric energy is to make it easier and more profitable for the companies to provide that energy to do what they do … it’s called a "giveaway to Big Oil.”

So, when Democrats suggest that the way to improve education is to put more money into the hands of union teachers and education administrators, how come it’s not a "giveaway to big Education?” Just wondering.

All the debate over drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has ignored one very important question: What do the natives want?

According to National Review, the Eskimos own about 92,000 acres of the 19.6-million-acre ANWR. Their right to lease that land for fossil-fuel production depends on congressional approval to open the rest of the ANWR. So they're sitting on their hands wondering when Congress will come through. One member of the Inupiat Eskimos says "the standard of living has increased dramatically in the last 30 years since the oil companies came to Alaska." John Jemewouk, chief of staff to State Senator and Inupiat Eskimo Donald Olson, says the Eskimos have used petroleum royalties and tax revenues to manage caribou herds more effectively, raising their numbers six-fold.

Bottom line: The Eskimos want the ANWR opened to oil exploration. The Alaska Federation of Natives calls it a "critically important economic opportunity for Alaska natives."

Betcha didn't know that there are people who call the ANWR home. The environmentalists who want you to think it's some pristine wilderness devoid of human influence neglected to tell you that there are U.S. citizens who live there. Shouldn't they have some say in the matter?

Bill Clinton never listened to the people who lived in the states where he made his big land grabs and declared national monuments. His friends in the environmentalist movement don't believe in private property. So they conveniently leave out the Eskimos and claim that Dick Cheney and Big Oil are out to rape the virginal forests of the ANWR.

On April 27, band members from Oak Hill Middle School in Newton, Mass., were riding a chartered bus from Newton to Nova Scotia, Canada. The driver, Hin Chi Kan, missed a turn and crashed in Sussex, New Brunswick. Four students died in the crash.

Reports in the Boston newspapers indicate that Kan's inability to understand English may have contributed to their deaths. The Boston Globe and the Boston Herald both reported on Wednesday that Kan had told a parent chaperone shortly before the crash that he spoke "only a little English" and that he might need the parent to translate for him.

Now let's look at Executive Order 13166. Bill Clinton signed it. In the order, he declared that language choice is a protected civil right. If you require your employees to speak English, then under E.O. 13166, you're just asking to be slapped with a civil-rights lawsuit.

To comply with E.O. 13166, the Department of Transportation issued a document called "Guidance to Recipients on Special Language Services to Limited English Proficient (LEP) Beneficiaries." The document says a person's inability to speak English shouldn't keep him from driving on our nation's roads because "the inability of LEP persons to obtain driver's licenses presents serious problems." The DOT adds that there's no evidence that non-English speakers are a greater safety risk than English speakers.

So, if the state of Massachusetts had chosen to deny Hin Chi Kan or any other non-English-speaking person a commercial driver's license for safety reasons, they would have faced a legal complaint. And look what happened.

The solution is clear: Repeal E.O. 13166. It's nothing but another piece of misguided political correctness that will end up costing lives. It's already cost the lives of these four middle school students.

Does the Bush administration want to repeal E.O. 13166? Nope. There are hints from insiders that the administration believes repealing E.O. 13166 would send the wrong message to Hispanic voters ... despite the body count that will only climb as more non-English-speaking drivers get behind the wheel.

Preserving political influence is apparently more important that protecting lives. Some things never change, even with a Republican in the White House.

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So, does the United States have political prisoners now? If we're talking about people who are sitting in a cell somewhere because it is politically correct that they do so -then the answer is yes. The United States has political prisoners. No - I'm not talking about...
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2001-00-18
Friday, 18 May 2001 12:00 AM
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