Mt. Vernon Register-News


April 18, 2014

Only love can re-make your heart

Was Jeb Bush right to insert love into a political debate?

Such was the gist of a question I was asked on talk radio in response to the former Florida governor’s assertion that some immigrants come into the United States illegally as an “act of love.”

It would be trite to echo the Beatles a half-decade later and say, “All You Need Is Love.” It would also oversimplify and obscure rigorous policy differences. But it also could be a start.

It was decades ago when I first heard someone suggest “higher fences” — wired for electricity — as the optimum solution for any and all immigration problems. The commenter may have been half-joking, but the sentiment exists, and it’s distressing. To borrow a phrase from Boys Town, he’s not an illegal, he’s my brother.

That’s the point Cardinal Sean O’Malley and others were making earlier this month when they celebrated Mass at a Mexico border crossing in Phoenix.

For two decades, O’Malley, the current cardinal archbishop of Boston, worked with immigrants in Washington, D.C. At the Mass, he said: “I often share the story of my first days at the Centro Catolico, when I was visited by a man from El Salvador who sat at my desk and burst into tears as he handed me a letter from his wife back in El Salvador, who remonstrated him for having abandoned her and their six children to penury and starvation.”

The man in O’Malley’s anecdote had been putting all his earnings in an envelope, which he put in what he’d been told was the mailbox on the corner. In truth, it was a fancy trash can, and his money was being stolen.

When we talk politics, this is what we ought to bear in mind: people, humiliations, hopes and dreams, pain and heartache. And, yes, love.

Text Only
  • Teachers unions' destructive behavior You can always count on the national teachers unions to behave badly at their annual conventions, and they certainly didn’t let us down this month. In doing so, however, they let down many of their members, along with students who are working hard to

    July 26, 2014

  • Workers of the world, curb your ambitions A group of Democrats introduced legislation this week to protect low-paid shift workers from last-minute changes in their schedules. The idea fits into an intriguing category of economic activism: Not trying to lift low-paid workers out of poverty, n

    July 26, 2014

  • State of the reunion ‘Katy! It’s been so long! How’ve you been?”My God, she’s gained so much weight I didn’t recognize her. It’s a good thing we’re all wearing nametags. I thought it was some distant cousin past due with triplets.“Bob! Long time, no see.”No hair, either.

    July 26, 2014

  • Fear indifference ‘Perhaps the Catholic church would volunteer to pony up some cash for the illegals’ care then? Hmm?”“Pope should stay out of it. Matter of civil laws, not church laws.”“Thinking that the pope should want the illegals to go to Argentina to get better

    July 25, 2014

  • A push for felon voting rights If advocates have their way, voting rights could be a new reality for the nation’s incarcerated.Full voting rights for felons is as hot a topic in Washington as voting rights in reverse pushed by voter-ID-tickled Republicans. But with new legislation

    July 25, 2014

  • Big insurers need better oversight Could Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. threaten the stability of the financial system? The U.S.’s top regulators are asking themselves this question as they consider whether Berkshire and other large insurers should come under Federal Reserve

    July 25, 2014

  • Questions for Obamacare after the ruling Tuesday, I outlined what we knew about Halbig v. Burwell, the case in which a federal appellate court ruled that subsidies for purchasing insurance under Obamacare can only be made available on marketplaces established by states. Now I propose to out

    July 24, 2014

  • Pensions not the problem I see in last night’s Register-News paper that James Rippy has attempted to enlighten us on pensions in Illinois. I also notice he has written so often he no longer has the title “guest columnist.” It is obvious he has the time and energy to work on

    July 24, 2014

  • Impasse threatens border solution After more than a year of contentious debate, could Congress be any more divided over the issue of immigration? The answer is yes.In the House, positions are hardening over what to do about the tens of thousands of families and unaccompanied young im

    July 24, 2014

  • Take a lesson from Texas I like to eat at blue-collar diners and cafes, particularly when I’m on vacation.It’s a chance to step beyond the homogenized national chains and experience a bit of local flavor.And being a reporter, I like to chat up local folks to find out a bit a

    July 23, 2014

Twitter Updates