Thursday, June 28, 2007

My father

My father has passed away. He is a good man. He gives money to temples and churches, but rarely attends them. He believes what they do is good for society, but he simply does not have the faith. He witnessed a lot of deaths. He said those Christians, when they die, they are at peace, as if they are returning to God, and that influenced his decision to send us to a Catholic school.

My father sees people as people. Gays are people. Gangs are people. He makes friends with all of them. I asked him several times - 'Are Communists bad, is that why we are fighting them?'. My father never reply to that question. I asked him if he has ever killed anyone? He said he came close ... but he never did. They come face to face, but both of them decided to walk on without killing the other. In the craziness of war, you can see pockets of sanity here and there.

My father's decision to join the military is probably because there is money in the military. He was able to go to France and the United States for his studies. He is compassionate, and the weapons are more for display than to use.

My father is very analytical. People are drawn to him to hear his analysis. How I wish my father is alive today to see how he would analyze the Iraq situation.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


I attended a Townhall meeting this weekend.

Immigration was a hot issue. There was a lady who raised the issue about the enforcement of the law - keeping illegals out. She is concerned about the cost of having these illegals, and also frustrated that when calling the company, there will be some computerized machine giving the option to speak in Spanish. It is as if the country is taking over by Mexicans. The Congressman initially joked about the idea of building the wall. He obviously think it will not prevent illegals from coming in. He joked about having company building ladders to get over these walls. But ultimately, he believes these illegals are just working, they are not doing anything wrong and shouldn't be punished. The lady was upset, feeling disparaged, and somehow feeling her right to speak up was impeded. There was another man who was upset about companies who are hiring these illegals, which he thinks is contributing to the problem.

It's funny. It seems people are afraid to be associated with the word 'amnesty', which to me is equivalent to 'forgiveness'. They remember the failure of the previous 'amnesty' policy.

I feel this is the growing pains of the 'globalized' world. People have risked their lives crossing oceans hoping to have an opportunity to have a better life. Before, they don't know that there is a better world out there. They just know their world. But now, they know the world outside of them. Mexico is just right next to the United States. So, the chance of them successfully coming across increases. Canadian is next to us, and I presume they don't migrate down here because there are good opportunities for them up there. Mexicans migrate up here probably because there are better opportunities for them up here. When Mexico have good opportunities for them down there, I presume the migration will slow down.

As far as enforcement goes - if you are making a decision between saving a life and breaking the law, or abide by the law and risk having a person's death on your conscience, what would you choose? It is in our nature to be compassionate, our instinct to save a person's life, and that's why it's hard to enforce the law, and you'll hear of churches being sanctuaries for these illegals.

Whatever policy the United States chooses, I don't think it will stop the flow, just like when there is an imbalance, energy will flows in a way to achieve a better equilibrium. It boils down to what you choose to do to them once they are here. Personally, I feel they have done nothing wrong, and shouldn't be punished. Can companies stop hiring them? They say they have needs that Americans are not willing to do and Mexicans are willing to do them, and in a way, Mexicans are solving their problems, so why punish them.

I remember the first essay that I had to write when I came to the United States is - is America a Melting Pot or a Salad Bowl? I think it's kind of both. We are transformed by the society that we live in, but we still retain the identity/culture that we grow up with. I think America is afraid of losing its identity, which is not hard to understand, given the many ethnic backgrounds that make up the American population.

Let diversity be the strength for America. I remember when I first came to the United States, I was impressed by the vast knowledge that America has. It is an open society. It is curious of other cultures. Its citizens can speak up whatever they have on their minds without fear of retribution. Although America has dark past, such as the slavery period, it has corrected itself. Look at Hillary - a woman - she is running for president, and she has a substantial following. Look at Obama - a black man - he is running for president, and he has a substantial following.

America trained their young to be 'creators' at a young age. My culture trained our young to listen to elders and study hard at a young age. I think this is the reason American has surpassed other cultures, in encouraging creativity. Because of the globalized world, other cultures are catching up however. Let the globalized world be a strength for America and not a threat to America.