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I certainly don't dispute the idea that man will eventually reach Mars but the deadline discussed in the article is based off a model assuming optimal funding and no delays due to technological setbacks, politics, or any other factors that might slow the process. 2037 isn't unreasonable in the least but if budge cuts forces NASA to reconsider the Constellation program, which is a real concern as Congress reassess it's priorities and Constellation's first real test looms, it may be as much as a decade or more after.
In this situation economics is the driving force behind any amnesty plan. Simply put, rounding up a million people and deporting them is both ridiculously expensive and labor intensive. A better solution is to offer amnesty to anyone who turns themselves in and goes through the proper immigration process for a specific period. If after that period (perhaps as much as a year and a half) anyone found to not be a legal immigrant should be deported. In this way we establish that there are consequences to circumventing the rule of law, but also recognize that the United States is a nation of immigrants and that though we do need to know who is coming in and leaving the country that we welcome the work ethic and perspective of immigrants.
An immigrant is not a citizen. There is a process to becoming a citizen and if an immigrant is causing trouble and hasn't bothered to become a citizen then they should be deported. Especially considering how expensive resorts...err prisons, are now. I agree, however, that there should not be any requirements for specific skills or lingual abilities. If they can't find a job however, then they cannot be allowed to become burdens to society. There are enough citizens out of work that immigrants do have to be placed lower down on society's list of priorities. It's a sad reality but much of reality is. When hiring new employees employers should be required to consider citizens first, and only consider immigrants when there are no qualified Americans applying for the position, and by that I do mean that if an immigrant is better qualified (education, experience, etc.) he should be hired over an American less qualified but if the two are equally qualified citizenship should come first.
I'm not defending the Zionist movement, merely pointing out that the Jewish population was already in the region when the country of Israel was established. Would it be any more right to force these natives to leave their homes? The UN plan would have carved up Palestine along cultural lines. I agree that the Palestinians have a right to their own sovereign state; but it will be extremely difficult for this to happen now that Palestine has spent so many lives on both sides fighting a war that never needed to happen.
If we're looking into the past for reasons lets consider the Palestinian "Exodus" once more. The Arabs of the region refused accept a Jewish dominated neighbor and in order to avoid a war that they instigated the Palestinians left their homes. Rather than accept the plan that would have left everyone with the lands that they already inhabited the Palestinians have conducted a campaign of terror and propaganda. Israel has responded with overwhelming force. The fact remains: the fighting was instigated by Arabs not Jews.
Many of the Israelis went to Palestine during the era of the British protectorate. The Palestinians were not displaced by any Jewish occupation. On the other hand, Jews were forced out of their homeland during Arab occupations of their native lands. Does that give them a legitimate claim? Not necessarily, but clearly the majority of the UN believed that they did have a right to a separate state. As I said before the native Arab population did little to prevent the formation of the state of Israel, instead they waited until the deal was finalized to ask for assistance from surrounding Arab states. There is only one incident that I know of in which Israeli soldiers forced any Arabs from their homes, most abandoned their homes with the belief that the Arab armies would be victorious and they would then return. Their refusal to accept Israel as a legitimate state made them refugees, not the existence of Israel or actions taken by the Israelis.
Yes, the Jews had a right to a nation in their homeland. Historically the Arabs are the invaders, this of course does not make the modern Palestinians invaders, however it should be remembered that the Jews and Arabs have a very long history. Further one has to remember, during British rule thousands, perhaps even millions of Jews fled to Palestine in the hopes of a new future far from the antisemitism that plagued the world in that period. There were conflicts between the Jews, the Arabs and the British. When it was decided that the United Kingdom would relinquish their protectorate the UN needed to find a way to prevent conflicts. The Jews were there, and were as much entrenched into their homes as the "native" Arabs and the UN developed a plan that was intended to give both the Palestinians and the Israelis land to avoid conflict between the two groups. Great care was taken to avoid displacing anyone in the process. Obviously it would have been impossible to prevent all displacement but as I said an effort was made to avoid that unfortunate circumstance. To my knowledge the Palestinians did not participate in that process.
I would be terribly amiss to make any claims that one side or the other is completely without blame for the current circumstances, however history shows us that it was indeed the Arabs that have consistently tried to eliminate the Israeli nation. Consistently Israel has defended itself with whatever force necessary and consistently the Arabs have tried to turn their defeats into a story of oppression by the Jews. I believe that both have a claim to the land and that through reason and compromise a solution that is beneficial to both sides can be reached. However, as long as organizations such as Hamas continue to escalate the Jewish-Arab conflict no such compromise can be reached.
The violence in the region was initiated by the Palestinians and the Arab nations bordering the region. Under British rule Palestine was a haven for both Jews and native Arabs. However, in recognition of the long chain of abuses against the Jewish nation throughout the world the United Nations determined to create a sovereign nation for the Jews in the former British protectorate. The Arabic inhabitants of the region refused to accept the plan, though they made no attempt to make their case in the UN or to try and peacefully mediate a new plan. Instead shortly after the Israeli nation was created the Palestinians welcomed an Arab army invading from Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq in May of 1948. Many Arabs fled the region (estimated up to 80%), with the promise of a triumphant return when the Jews were utterly defeated. They would be disappointed. The Israelis refused to give up their new state and forced a stalemate ending the war.
Personally I believe that the Israeli and Palestinian nations are entitled to their own states. However, concessions must be made by both sides in order for this to be a practical solution. The UN's original partition plan, or another like it, should be adopted and Jerusalem should become an international territory controlled by neither country. However, this cannot occur until Palestinian terrorism is desisted and both parties become willing to come to the table peacefully.
And yet you do nothing except reinforce my point that atheists as a whole believe themselves to be superior to religious people. Why it is that you feel the need to try and belittle someone else's beliefs I'll never understand. I've never said that atheists are stupid because they don't believe in God, only stated observations about atheists' behavior. I think that atheists are arrogant because they don't bother to acknowledge they may in fact be wrong and as a whole demand that everyone believe exactly as they do. I find religious people who do the same to be arrogant as well.
It's one thing to voice your beliefs and try to convince someone, it's an entirely different thing to tell someone that they are wrong when one cannot provide any proof to support the claim. Personally I think that the universe has far to many coincidences to have been created by accident, I also think that God put in place a system of rules for the universe to follow and that investigating those rules is one of the most enduring and worthwhile uses of one's life.
Science and religion study too different things, science is the study of the universe, religion is the attempt to understand God and God's will. Both could coexist, many of the earliest scientists had the same world view as I have described, and the Church supported the. However people choose to ignore what to me seems to be fairly simple and straightforward. However, perhaps I am wrong and God will condemn every scientist who wanted to know how something worked, but that doesn't sound like the the God I believe in.