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The Expansionist
Thursday, June 21, 2007
 
Widening the Majority. I sent, today, the following message to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, Democratic leaders of the House and Senate, respectively:
Would an extra two Democratic votes in the Senate and five or six in the House be good to have? If so, why haven't you moved to make Puerto Rico (with the U.S. Virgin Islands) into a State?
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In the alternative, would saving $11 billion a year on the deficit be a good thing to do? If so, why haven't you told Puerto Rico that it must get into the Union or get out, and thereby cut itself off from U.S. Federal aid?
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There are 4 million U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who cannot vote for President or for representation in Congress. That is a scandal, an absolute outrage to the Constitution and indelible stain on our national honor and anticolonial heritage. We're the people who started the drive to end colonialism. Yet we have colonies! Inexcusable.
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It's time to move the question. Tell Puerto Rico that it must step UP to full equality, with first-class citizenship, by becoming a State, or to step OUT of the U.S. realm: to get the hell off the American dole, and "assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle" it. (Our Declaration of Independence)
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Don't ask Puerto Ricans for permission to introduce statehood legislation. Don't let them talk you into holding yet another pointless, nonbinding referendum. Admitting new States is wholly within the power of Congress, not anyone else. You don't have to ask anybody's permission. Puerto Rico can't make itself a State. Only Congress can create a new State, whether the President signs on or not — and there is no reason to think that President Bush, whose father publicly favored statehood decades ago, would veto Puerto Rico statehood over continued colonialism. Even if the President were to veto such a bill, surely Congress could override such a veto of the right of Americans to vote for President and representation in Congress!
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"New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union ... The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States" (U.S. Constitution, Article IV, Section 3).
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It is a crime against our history to hold territories as perpetual colonies. Puerto Rico has been a colony for 109 years, the Virgin Islands 90 years. That is much too long. It's time to move the question. Merge the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico — which is your right to do (U.S. Const., Art. IV); you don't have to ask anybody's permission — and create them into a new State of the Union, subject only to ratification by the electorate in a followup, binding plebiscite. And make rejection of statehood in that plebiscite an automatic, binding declaration of independence that severs the legal connection between the United States and those colonies, terminating all U.S. responsibility for the people of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and ending all U.S. aid given to them only by virtue of the present legal relationship between those islands and the Nation.
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Given such an ultimatum, the people of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, voting together as a single entity, will almost certainly step up to statehood. But if they don't, we will save $11 billion a year now thrown away on colonialism that robs the people of initiative and blackens our reputation in the eyes of the world, as imperialists who speak of freedom while holding 4 million people in colonial subjection.
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Force the issue. The time for waiting for the people of the islands to make up their minds is over. Statehood or independence: fish or cut bait.
I don't understand why Democrats haven't moved on this yet. They can end the stain upon our national honor of colonialism in the Caribbean, and increase their majority, making it more feasible to override a Presidential veto on at least those issues in which a few Republicans can also be won over.
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Speaking of a Presidential veto, I commend President Bush for vetoing the attempt to provide Federal funds — tax moneys taken by force from me and other people who value innocent human life — to kill babies and chop them up for parts in needless, immoral embryonic stem-cell research. There are things we are not entitled to do, even in the pursuit of knowledge. Murdering children is one of them. Scientists don't like to be told "No!", which is how we get things like the hydrogen bomb and over 21,000 nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles all over this needlessly endangered planet.
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The fact that one person has a medical problem does not justify killing somebody else to treat him. Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's disease is his problem, not that of a baby who has absolutely no connection to him. He should man-up and accept his fate with grace, until such time as some morally permissible technique, such as ADULT-stem-cell research, can fix it. He and others like him must not become medical vampires, killing others to stay alive. At end, everybody dies, and some of us get terrible diseases that make life hard. That's tuf. Get used to it. Be a man. Men protect babies. They do not kill them.
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(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 3,545 — for Israel.)



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