Why Do F1 Students In The USA Clamor For OPT Jobs?-guest post by Sophia Harris

Guest post by Sophia Harris

Many immigrants all over the world are striving to find their way into the United States. Many immigrants have been able to find this path through their education and training and pursuing OPT Job programs and eventually H1B visas. In the past, things looked dire for H1B visa applicants and the future seemed unsure for OPT workers as well. Fortunately things may be taking a different turn as America enjoys a new president.

Still, one thing hasn’t changed over the years. Everyone wants to come to America, but it isn’t an easy path. Many may find a step in the right direction, however, by pursuing an OPT program.

The United States of America has won everybody’s heart all over the world. No one dislikes America. The United States of America is a land of many opportunities. There’s nothing wrong with loving the United States and wanting to live there. Yet there many who aspire to live there or at very least spend as much time there as they can. The United States will always attract young people from around the globe who wish to enjoy the country’s many liberties like freedom of speech. Along with that, many enjoy a unique culture, which includes an ecliptic blend of people from countries all over the world.

The United States is home to Hollywood, which plays a major role in why the country is so popular. Many aspiring immigrants, for instance, admire the example of Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is a highly successful actor and famous movie star and even went on to become the governor of California. All of his success began with his dream to come to the United States of America.

The USA is also famous for some of the best Universities in the world. Harvard University, Stanford University, Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, and Yale University are some of the names of highly reputed Universities in the world situated in the United States of America. American universities provide quality education in a friendly and peaceful environment allowing international students to socialize and make friends. The life of American Universities is amazing. Many students come to the United States determined to study and achieve the life goals in the USA. America is a great country, but to land and live in this country sometimes becomes too expensive, especially for International Students. The majority of International Students apply for the (Optional Training Program) OPT Jobs program to gain practical experience by entering the US labor market. It also allows them to make some money to support their expenses.

Finding a job in the US while studying is a great idea. You can cover your expenses and gain practical experience in the US job market. As an international student, you will get 12 months for OPT Jobs. You can work for any American employer in that 12 month period, even if your job role and your education program are different from each other. You can work for any employer no matter what course you have elected but only in the category of OPT Jobs. There is a similar program to OPT Jobs which is (Curricular Practical Training) CPT Jobs in which you can only work for an employer who belongs to the industry of your education program. CPT Jobs are curricular based done to gain practical experience in the US market. But OPT Jobs are the best for all the international students as if you don’t get a job in a field relevant to your education program you would still be able to do OPT Jobs for employers who are not relevant to your education program. This is the difference between CPT and OPT Jobs.

 

 

The main benefit of OPT Jobs is not the 12-month program but the 24-month extension that you can get after the completion of your 12 month OPT Job program. That means you can work for a total of 36 months in the US without changing your visa status from an F1 visa to some other work visa. You can get a 24-month extension for OPT Jobs under the STEM OPT Extension program. STEM OPT Jobs are jobs that fall under the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics category. If your education program comes under this category you will be able to extend your 12 month OPT Job for 24 more months.

 

The Importance of OPT Jobs is different in every international student’s life. Some students take the OPT Job program to enter the American Job market while some choose it to earn money through the 12 month OPT Job program. Very lucky are those who work in the relevant field as per their education program while earning money at the time. You can apply for your OPT Job program before or after the completion of your education program. Most international students apply for OPT Jobs after completing the first year of their program.

The STEM extension can help you in getting a Permanent Residency Card or Green Card if you apply for OPT Jobs and STEM extension after completing your master’s program. Your master’s program is of two years and your OPT Job with STEM extension is of three years so you are giving your five years to the USA. After completing your OPT Jobs with STEM extension you will become experienced and talented enough to get an H1b visa. That’s it! Get an employer who can handle the cost and documentation process to get you sponsored on an H1b visa or tell your old employer to sponsor you after the completion of your OPT and STEM OPT Jobs. Visit the official website of US immigration https://www.uscis.gov/ for more details.

 

It is tuff to get an employer who can sponsor you on an H1b visa from outside the USA. The process of getting a permanent residence card or Green card is even lengthier. The best way to achieve a US Green card or an H1b visa is to get an OPT Job and extend it under the STEM OPT Jobs category. It can be the most rewarding opportunity if you work hard for it in your life. Get thousands of job opportunities on United OPT as they have got a team of professionals who will get you hired in less time. United OPT is a specialized platform providing CPT/OPT Jobs and H1b sponsorship to their clients. They will provide you end to end assistance from professional resume writing to resume marketing.

 

Conclusion: – OPT Jobs is one of the most important parts of every international student’s life in the USA. OPT Jobs are extendable for 24 months so the total amounts of time OPT program provides you to work is 36 months. It is a great opportunity which you cannot take lightly. Hire professional consultants and get an OPT Job quickly as you will get only 90 days to find an OPT Job.

Are All Taxes Evil?

taxation is theft

It’s almost that time again America

Tax season, the time Americans dread, is just two months away. By now, American companies should be sending out their W2s, and the filing will begin. We have had some discussions on taxation on this blog, from a religious standpoint before.  Now we turn to a philosophical and political one.

In my last post Is Taxation Theft and Does that Make it Evil?, I discussed the question of taxation. I believe in the most technical sense that taxation is a form of theft. Many argue that taxation is not theft, but if anything, it is extortion. However, most people regard extortion as a form of theft. In fact, most states include the crime of “theft by extortion” in their criminal codes. Generally, it differs from the crime of robbery in that the threat does not involve immediate harm. Still, theft by extortion can include an array of things. The intent is to take property that by right does not belong to you. The means generally include intimidation and any number of threats.

Using my home state of Pennsylvania as an example, our criminal code lists a number of things that would constitute a threat that would fit the definition of this crime. One of the possible factors included threatening to “accuse someone of a criminal offense.”

In other words, “Give me your money, or I’ll have you charged with a crime.”

How is that any different than what the government technically does?

We can then conclude that taxation is indeed “theft by extortion.”

This kind of violence and intimidation is certainly distasteful at best, but it is evil? Is it the act of a robber baron or of a Robin Hood stealing from the rich and giving to the poor? In exploring this question, I suggest we look at two historical figures.

A Necessary Evil

Taxation is a necessary evil

Winston Churchill, who served as prime minister of the United Kingdom during the Second World War, had a more complex viewpoint on taxes. On one side, he recognized their practical necessity for the funding of vital government functions at the time. On the other, he believed that working people should be allowed to keep the fruits of their labor.

He also spoke in the House of Commons as a fervent advocate of free trade, decrying tariffs when he said,

“Taxes are an evil—a necessary evil, but still an evil, and the fewer we have of them, the better.”

He held a somewhat alternative view on taxation, hoping to enact taxes on land, property, and inheritances rather than on regular income. He seemed to believe that if taxes were to exist, they should be taxed on the accumulation of wealth rather than wages.

Churchill’s plan didn’t pan out in the end, but even to this day, countries struggle with the question of taxation and how to carry it out fairly. If someone must be taxed, then who? How much should they pay, and what should they be expected to fund? At the very least, we should consider the philosophy that extortion by theft is an evil if a necessary one.

A Matter of Life or Death

 

Is there ever a reason to justify theft? Many would argue “no,” not in any situation. Others would disagree. Some of their names may come as a surprise to you, including one of our founders. I recently had the opportunity to hear a lecture on constitutional history and law by professor Thomas G. West. He is an author and a professor who teaches politics and political science at Hillsdale College.

In one of his lectures, he discussed a writing by Thomas Jefferson in which he presented a hypothetical moral dilemma. While not necessarily related to the issue of taxation, this philosophical thought does provide us with some insight

taxation, life, and death

Let’s say there are two ships passing at sea late at night. Both are fully manned and on their way to the next port. One ship has a full crew but little to no supply. It’s absolutely certain that if they don’t find food soon, some of their crew will die. The other ship is fully stocked with more than enough supplies to make the trip with plenty leftover. With all other options exhausted, the poorly stocked ship decides to board the other vessel and overruns their crew. After finishing the violent assault, they then take off with the ship’s precious cargo and return to the sea.

Were they morally wrong to rob the other ship?

According to Thomas Jefferson, the answer is no because it was a matter of life and death.

Could one argue that mounting a national defense is a matter of life and death? What about providing emergency care for the poorest and most vulnerable members of society? What about the prevention of violent crime?

While we can certainly have a discussion on what government should and shouldn’t do, we should not discuss the morality of taxation on theory alone without also considering the facts. Under the current system, taxation, though no one likes it, would seem to be the “necessary evil” that Churchill described. However, does that mean we can’t have alternative systems?

Alternatives To Consider Ahead

Are there less extortionate and more efficient ways to fund a government?

In his article Taxation is Theft, Andrew Napolitano points out that in the early history of the United States, there were no taxes on income. The federal government, he says, was funded through the sale of public land and the collection of fees for government services.

Some experimented with tariffs, but they often led to trade wars and other disputes with our neighbors and harmed us economically. They also carry the added burden of discouraging foreign investment, which may actually create jobs in America.

While taxation may be here to stay for some time, there are still alternative systems that may work better for society. As it stands now, democrats and republicans have continued to play tug of war on the income tax. It’s getting to the point where we expect our already complex tax code to change every four to eight years. In all this back and forth, our system of taxes and how they affect the economy and how they affect everyday Americans hasn’t changed much.

A Less Unfair Tax

Some believe that if we want an improvement, we have to scrap the current code altogether. Advocates of the Fair Tax, for instance, have proposed a tax on consumption rather than income. They say the system accounts for the needs and struggles of the poor and is carefully tailored to spread out the tax burden fairly. Not only that, but the system works better economically. According to their research, a tax on consumption may be a more stable way to generate revenue. It also carries the added benefit of encouraging investment by eliminating the capital gains tax along with the personal and corporate income taxes. At the same time, it also encourages savings by taxing frivolous spending, more of which would likely be done by the rich.

The Fair Tax would also drastically simplify the tax code for millions of Americans by doing away with the sixteenth amendment, the IRS, and those pesky yearly tax returns. Plus, working Americans would get to keep more of their checks.

There’s no perfect system, but whether you believe taxes are the price we pay for society, theft, or a necessary evil, they won’t be going away anytime soon.

I suggest the question shouldn’t be on whether taxes are evil.

How we can make them work better for us, even if that means down the road, fazing them out?

Is Taxation Theft And Does That Make it Evil?

Taxation: Theft or Not?

There is an old adage that goes, “nothing in this world is certain but death and taxes,”

Indeed, history would seem to prove this is true. It has been so since the dawn of civilization. The question of taxes, tributes, and how to fairly collect them has plagued mankind since the foundation of government. Some say taxation is theft. Others say it is the price we pay for society.

I have explored this issue on a religious level in discussing my views on taxes and Christianity. This time, I thought I might discuss it from a more philosophical standpoint.

A brief but persuasive case can be seen in the words and writings of Andrew Napolitano. Napolitano is a former judge and constitutional scholar. He is perhaps just as famous for his work as a libertarian analyst working with Fox News. He asserts that taxation is theft, and it cannot be seen otherwise. This, he says, is a matter of natural rights. We as human beings have the right to keep the fruits of our labor just as we have the right to keep, own, and acquire property. It appears the rights we have to our money are intertwined with the rights we have to our property.

The founders did, in fact, believe this to be a natural right, but it went beyond that. They believed that preserving the right to own and also acquire property to be paramount. They saw it as vital to the preservation of liberty as well as a free and just society. They strongly believed that property ownership should be widespread, which we will discuss in another post.

Napolitano seems to suggest that the belief in a system that taxes its citizens by violence and force gives credence to a”frightening notion”. It suggests you don’t own your property. The government does. The government has the right to withhold the fruits of your labors and to determine what you’re entitled to. It then gets to do with its allowance whatever it pleases.

This, some may say, is because property rights do not exist. They are a benefit reaped through society derived from the benevolence of a progressive government.

To Establish a Just Society

Contrary to the libertarian view, some on the progressive left see taxes as a duty as members of a society from which we reap the rewards. Looking back at progressive figures, and thought this would seem to be rooted in the “frightening presumption” Napolitano described. Do “natural rights” even exist? Do we have rights, or is everything that we enjoy a special privilege bestowed on us by the kindness of government? This question is asked, and this view would seem to be shared by Professor Philip Goff.

Goff is an associate professor of philosophy at Central European University, located in Budapest, Hungary. In his essay, he poses the very question we are exploring today, Is Taxation Theft? In it, he flays the notion of natural property rights, particularly the right to one’s wages, saying, “The assumption that you own the contents of your pay-packet, although almost universally accepted, is demonstrably confused.”

He begins his arguments on a moral standpoint. He states that one cannot assume ownership of his or her wages unless they receive the exact portion of what they rightfully earn. This can be measured, he seems to suggest, by one’s contribution and the amount of work and effort exerted. Since our economic system does not fairly and justly reward those factors, it cannot be assumed that you are entitled to anything. It demonstrates that natural rights do not exist but must be established by a progressive government.

Human Nature and Natural Rights

The mistake that Goff seems to make is that he assumes that natural rights will automatically mean the condition of man in his most natural state. His arguments assume one must hold the Utopian view that natural rights will automatically exist once government steps out of the way. There may be some who hold this anarchic belief, but the American founders don’t share it.

Throughout the Federalist Papers, we see very clearly how they viewed the nature of man. It differed greatly from the views of the progressive that man is evolving and always improving, and so must the government. The founders saw both human nature and government as something that needed to be restrained. They also argued that It would remain so for all of time. The Papers paint this picture vividly with examples from ancient history as well as from the time. Their thoughts are best summed up in the words of James Madison, who said

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.

Taxes or No Taxes, What is The Purpose of Government?

The founders believed that the only purpose of government was to protect and preserve natural rights. Minimal government has to exist to protect us from those who would take them from their fellow citizens by force or fraud. The purpose of the U.S Constitution served to protect those very same citizens from the government itself by establishing checks and balances. Thus natural rights are not to be understood as rights assumed by how things are in their natural state. They are rights naturally endowed by right of our humanity. What gives us these rights is that we are dignified creatures capable of reason, thought, and complex emotions. We are also capable as living and sentient beings to yearn for those rights and to be free. By that very state, we are endowed with these rights, not by the fact we automatically enjoy them with no intervention or effort.

The fact that in its current state, our economy does not always reward all justly is not evidence these rights don’t exist but that they are violated. We can agree that some kind of mechanism must be implemented to ensure these rights are preserved and protected. The founders clearly believed the constitutional republic to be their best attempt. The establishment of natural rights then did indeed require a government, but a government tightly constrained.

Payment for Services Rendered

The second part of Goff’s argument seems to focus a little less on the moral abstracts and more on the practical. Whatever money you make, you’re able to make because of the government. The roads you use are paved by the government. Many businesses benefit from government programs and contracts. You’re able to enjoy public safety and a smooth commute to work because the government provides it. Prices are reduced by government subsidies. There are surely numerous ways we may not even think about in which the government benefits our lives. In that regard, because we enjoy the benefits and reap the rewards, we should also pay our fair share. Taxation is not theft at all, but payment for services rendered.

The problem with this argument and principle is that it doesn’t account for the quality of services rendered or the absence of choice. I won’t digress by going on about the failures of government or the lack of choice they provide, but they do apply to this post. The problem begins when these principles get universally applied. Imagine if a company was allowed to send their workers into your home while you’re away. They break in and tidy the place. Most of the home is sanitized and now fully clean, but your door is broken, and they’ve used a corrosive cleaning agent on the sensitive surfaces of some of your kitchen countertops.

They then break into the family safe, take your life savings, and run.

The house is clean, so you certainly received some positive benefits from the services. However, someone came into your home unannounced without your consent. They then chose to charge you whatever they wanted with no agreement beforehand from you, the property owner. You look around and note their services are subpar.

You may be able to put in a few more hours at work with the time they saved you from having to clean, so at least you’ll be able to partially pay for some of the damage they did to your kitchen counters. Does this sound like a service you’d want to use, or would you rather pay someone else? More importantly, did they steal your money, or is that the price you pay for having a clean house?

Yet this is the standard we apply to government, and worse, use to justify the monopolization of government services. Democratic or not, no monopoly is good for a free society. It is the absence of choice and any real motive to improve as the progressives believe it will somehow do over time.

Is Taxation Evil?

It does not make consistent sense to redefine the type of an action based only on motive. Not only that, but the breakdown in communication and the deviation from clearly defined terms may open the door up to all kinds of evil. In this case, the ends do not merely justify the means but redefine morality and reality itself.

Taxation seems to match the definition of theft. It is the removal of property and wealth from the rightful owner without their consent. It is the depriving of one of what they originally agreed to be paid. If it is not theft, it is at very least fraud and breach of contract, particularly in failing to preserve this country’s natural rights.

If taxation is theft, however, does that mean it’s inherently evil? That, we’ll discuss in my next post.

The Truth About the Capitol Riots: It was Terrorism

capitol riots

Just days ago, the United States Senate met on Capitol Hill to certify the presidential election results, certifying President-Elect Joe Biden’s win. Not all were cheering for the new president, however. Riots would strike the nation’s capital and make their way to the very chambers of the Senate itself. The protest to the vote very soon turned violent. According to NBC News and Representative Tim Ryan, many of the rioters were assaulting Capitol Police officers with lead pipes. Several charges have been filed against 50+ individuals, and more may be in the future as suspects are sought out. Not only were blunt instruments used, but unregistered firearms also came to the demonstration. The guns came with with live ammo and even explosives, including Molotov cocktails. Rally attendees who reached the capitol came ready for a fight. 

Violence In Capitol Hill Riots

The violence that ensued would claim the lives of at least five individuals, including one police officer and a woman shot by one. Family members also claim that one victim may have been trampled to death and personally blame Trump for inciting the riot. 

Capitol Hill is also not pleased with Josh Hawley and other Trump allies.  The Trump loyalist cohort had hoped to instigate a challenge to the final vote count. All but six GOP senators would abandon their mission to derail confirming the nation’s new president. The efforts have earned scathing criticisms from both parties. Meanwhile, either impeachment or the invocation of the 25th amendment may be on the table for Trump. Perhaps worst of all for the president, he’s even been banned from Twitter

Who Caused the Destruction at The Capitol Hill Riots?

Understandably, not many people want to associate themselves with the mess. Already conspiracy theories are abounding and suggest the true perps are Antifa and Black Lives Matter members. The Washington Times went so far as to claim that facial recognition had proven the fact, but USA Today debunked this claim. The article went down. USA Today even reached out to the times’ original source, who confirmed it was actually white supremacists found at the rally. Meanwhile, eyewitness accounts and photo evidence will confirm the violent instigators discovered inside were well-known supporters of President Trump

It’s possible the majority of those in attendance intended for a peaceful rally and demonstration. However, they would have been unlikely to make it lawfully past the police barriers, let alone into the capitol building. Those who were there and instigating the violence, however, were of the radical right. 

Don’t Mince Words: The Capitol Hill Riot was terrorism!

Let’s not pretend that this was simply a protest gone wrong, something that erupted into a riot. Sure, we can pretend its pent-up political rage or a spur of the moment act of violence. To do so, however, would be to deceive ourselves. The truth is this was planned in advance. Not only that but the very nature and intent of this violence will easily reveal it for what it was: 

Capitol Hill’s riot was a blatant attempt to overturn a democratically elected head of state by violence and force. It wasn’t just violence; it was intimidation and terror. This was a coup attempt. An event like this is unprecedented in modern American history. 

What is Terrorism? 

capitol  riots terrorism

The FBI defines domestic terrorism as 

“Violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences, such as those of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature.”

The Capitol Riots certainly fit the bill. They were wanton violent criminal acts. They were acts of intimidation. They carried the specific goal of putting a president in power who  legally lost the election. The hope was perhaps that this president would continue to remake America in their image.

Their plan has failed so far, with the Senate confirming Joe Biden’s election, who will be sworn in on his inauguration on January 20th, 2021. Even so, it may be safe to say we haven’t seen the last, whoever these people may be, and it doesn’t change the acts of terror that they committed. Let us hope they are charged to the fullest extent of the law.

Why More People Should consider the MORE Act

The MORE Act

A historical first has occurred. The House of Representatives for the first time, passed legislation that would effectively repeal federal marijuana prohibition. It would also completely remove marijuana and THC from the list of scheduled substances.

The MORE Act passed the House with overwhelming support from Democratic House members along with a handful of republicans and Libertarian Congressman Justin Amash.

Passing this through the House for the first time in history seems to indicate legal marijuana could be on the horizon. Support for it has certainly grown over the years. Fifteen states have legalized marijuana to some degree. Meanwhile, thirty-six states adopted medical marijuana programs. According to recent Gallup polls, about 68% of Americans believe marijuana should be fully lega,. Only 8% say it should be completely banned.

Wait! Not So Fast

Those hoping that federal legalization has arrived, however, should hold tight. The bill will likely to languish in the senate with a severe lack of Republican support. Only six Republicans voted for the bill in the House. With a republican held senate, there doesn’t seem to be much hope. Majority leader Mitch McConnell decried even putting the matter on the table. He says we should be focusing on getting COVID relief to Americans while those measures, too, amount to nothing on Capital Hill.

Even moderate Republicans like Thomas Massie have expressed reluctance to support the MORE Act despite his positive stance on ending marijuana prohibition. Why? Taxes, regulations, and other provisions in the bill.

Thomas Massie on The MORE Act

Most die-hard cannabis advocates, upon examining the bill, might agree its provisions aren’t perfect. It does come with taxation and regulations. It arguably fails to do enough for the victims prohibition. Even so, it would end a years-long war on a substance that may actually have many positive effects. It would end a federal policy that has reaped economic harm and mass incarceration for Americans. Here is why more people should consider supporting the MORE Act. Here’s why we should ask our senators to do so.

The More Act Would Deal a Blow to Mass Incarceration

According to the Drug Policy Alliance, our incarcerated population in the United States in 2016 consisted of around 2.3 million. That earned us a title as the country with the largest incarcerated population in the world. In 2018 alone, we had over 1.6 million arrests for drug law violations. 1.4 million of those arrests occurred for possession only. That same year 663,000 of those arrests went forward for marijuana law violations.

The federal bill on the table now would be unlikely to end a majority of prosecutions since they occur at a state level. However, the MORE Act does get the ball rolling in expunging federal records and releasing marijuana offenders from federal prison. It also sends a message to the country. It may encourage states to legalize who no longer have the support of the federal government or the rest of the country in enforcing these laws.

The MORE Act may levy a tax, but it will also release people from prison.

Consider Racial and Other Disparities.

Citing research from the ACLU, the MORE Act notes that marijuana use is equal across the board as far as race is concerned. However, black men are as high as almost four times more likely to be prosecuted for marijuana related crimes. Meanwhile, they receive 13-14% longer sentences. It could also be argued that the violence associated with the war on drugs more adversely affects some geographical communities more than others. It also has disproportionately affected the poor. The war on drugs has led to a cycle of violence, incarceration, and injustice that has affected millions of Americans.

The MORE Act seeks to help individuals and communities adversely affected by the war on drugs, which it notes have not reaped the benefits of current state legalization programs. While it does acknowledge that the majority of these individuals may be members of a minority community, the language of the bill doesn’t strictly define it that way. Eligibility for assistance would go to individuals actually arrested and/or incarcerated for marijuana-related offenses and/or members of their family. In other words, assistance programs would go to individuals and communities actually affected by the drug wars.

Addressing The Economy, Debt, and Welfare Dependence

Understandably, conservatives and libertarians are not known for their love of taxes and regulations. Perhaps, for  good reasons. They stomp out opportunities and may stifle market growth. However, a taxed and regulated market, while not ideal, is still better than a black market or no market at all. This is especially true when considering some measures can always be later repealed. At the very least, it is worth addressing the violence and crime along with the public safety matters created by the war on drugs. Since we’ve broached the subject of money, though, let’s talk.

Marijuana sales in 2017, the text of the MORE Act notes, sat at about $9.5 billion. Projections say they will reach $23 billion over the next two years. These numbers could fly even higher if more states legalized and if interstate commerce became possible.

Not only that, but we always hear about welfare dependence. According to the MORE Act, about 40% of the tax revenue would be reinvested in the Small Business Administration. They would then use it for applicable loans, grants, and assistance to individuals targeted by the bill (i.e., our drug war victims)

How many of these individuals are on some form of public assistance? How many of them could and would get off of it if they had the opportunity to start a business and/or pursue endeavors of their own?

We Can’t Afford to NOT Legalize, Pass The MORE Act Now!

We are trillions of dollars in debt. The economy has been suffering, is suffering, and will continue to suffer even more, especially now that we’re feeling the sting of COVID-19. We can argue about taxes and regulations until we go into ruin, but we can also agree on one thing. The markets need as much legitimate money and human activity as they can get if we’re going to stay over the water. We’d be fools not to legalize soon.

The MORE Act would Allow you To Grow Your Own

According to the language of this legislation, taxes and regulations would only apply to manufacturers and producers in business. They would be levied for sales and distribution. Cultivation at home for personal use would not be taxed or regulated. Don’t want to pay taxes? Grow your own.

Dealing a Blow to Discrimination

In the United States, 36 out of 50 states have adopted medical marijuana programs that have allowed patients to finally get the safe, healthy, and effective treatments they need. While many of these programs came with legal protections for these medical patients, many companies still claim federal policies as a reason to deny jobs to or even terminate the employment of medical marijuana patients. While patients have limited rights under state provisions, they continue to face daunting challenges as it remains a scheduled substance at a federal level. They also continue to be forced to pay out of pocket while pharmaceutical medications are covered by insurance.

Interstate Commerce is Needed

Just recently, the State of Illinois legalized cannabis for recreational use, but they continue to face growing demands and dwindling supplies.  Pipelines across state lines may be able to help. However, this remains impossible as long as cannabis remains illegal federally. Illinois is just one of many examples of this growing problem in the cannabis industry. It doesn’t only affect recreational users but medical patients as well. Consider those in Oregon, for instance. While the regulations and taxes may hurt the industry, not passing the MORE Act will hurt even more.

The MORE Act Will End These Draconian Laws Now

If you you, as an innocent person, sat in a prison cell how would you feel?  What if your child or your mother or your best friend found themselves there? Would you want them out now, or would you be willing to wait for the ideal political situation? Taxes and regulations can be repealed. The years Americans waste sitting in prison cells for victimless crimes can’t be brought back with the stroke of a pen. Human beings do not deserve to be locked away with murderers and rapists for the use of a relaxing green plant.  Nor do they deserve denial of employment, housing, and basic sustenance for it. .

It’s true, the MORE Act won’t give everyone what they want now. It does, however, end senseless Draconian policies, grave injustices, and senseless violence in America.

More people should consider supporting it and hope the senate comes to its senses.

Flaws of the Public Defense System in America

The Public Defender’s System Has Failed the Poor in America

In the past, I have discussed the flaws of the American court system, especially in the matter of the falsely accused, which is too common in America. Many false convictions have ruined lives, and there is something to be said about the relationship they may have to how our court system treats the poor in America. History has shown us, for example in the case of Gideon v. Wainwright just how important a good legal defense can be. Thus, it has been made a constitutional requirement that states provide for a public defender’s program. While these programs have made a tremendous impact, they are still severely lacking.

There is no doubt about the fact that there are some very prominent flaws in the public defense system of the United States. When it comes to the nature of the legal system as a whole in America, you can find a significant number of common issues across the country.

Even though the American court system guarantees “equal justice under law,” most of the courts in the USA have not succeeded in fulfilling this constitutional promise. It is quite understandable that justice can be defined in numerous ways/ It would be irrational to think of justice as a universally accepted ideal. Various bipartisan reports and surveys indicate that the USA has not been able to fulfill its promise of equal justice to the economically poor in our society.

Here are some of the significant flaws in the American court system:

Lack of Funds

The public defense system of the USA is heavily underfunded. According to a research published by California Western School of Law, for every dollar invested on prosecutors in California, only 53 cents is invested on public defenders. Even though both prosecutors and public defenders play essential roles in court, there is clearly a great imbalance in the funding of such offices. As a result, the public defenders facing various issues in the American courts and the entire system is being tipped in favor of the prosecution.

Inequalities

The Gideon supreme court verdict in 1963 provided the constitutional right for needy criminal defendants. This ruling set the foundation of the fact that people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer will get access to legal counsel. Despite such orders, the rate of incarceration in the USA has dramatically increased, and about 90% of the defendants qualify as indigent.

Various studies have proven the fact that the public defender system in America fails indigent defendants which have led to massive inequalities in the entire American court system. As a result, many people are not able to get the best possible lawyers. Even if they are able to get a public defender, such lawyers are often so overworked and underpaid that the accused is not able to get a real, meaningful defense.

Lack of Data

The flaws of the public defense system in American can only be solved if the governing authorities are willing to conduct thorough research, collect essential data, and analyze it to implement strict strategies to transform the legal system. Problems like lack of data and systemic policy have marred the public defense system in America.

By collecting data in various states of the USA, the researchers and legal experts will be able to come up with suitable solutions to mitigate the problems faced by the American court system, especially the public defenders. Thorough studies and researches should be conducted at local, state, federal, and national levels to collect useful empirical data.

Lack of Resources

Modern tools and technologies have greatly revolutionized different aspects of society, including justice systems. However, the public defense system in America has not been able to keep up with the evolving times due to lack of resources. This issue is typically more prominent in states that have smaller budgets.

However, it is important to note that the public defense system can become strong only when it has access to the latest useful resources. Having competent and qualified individuals is not enough to build a strong justice system as practices like researching the previous case studies and precedents are an important part of the legal procedures which can be made easier with modern tools.

A legal system that has well-trained public defenders is able to deliver optimum performance and help the courts in dealing with continuously growing caseloads. Ultimately, innovation is important in such systems to make sure the maximum number of efforts are being made to keep the legal processes as smooth as possible.

Conclusion

The importance of improving the efficiency and reliability of public defenders in America cannot be understated as a strong public defense system is a key to fighting wrongful incarcerations and protect the poor citizens of society. It also reduces the chance of citizens being abused by the state.

By having a strong public defense system in America, the legitimacy of the justice system will also increase and lead to more public support. Moreover, policymakers should pay special attention to improving the public defense system and help the entire justice system work smoothly for the prosperity of the country.

Will The Kyle Rittenhouse Case Win On Self-Defense?

Since the killing of George Floyd and a number of others at the hands of police officers around the country, we’ve been having a discussion on reforming our police and criminal justice system. For example, many have demanded an end to qualified immunity, which many, including myself, assert allows police officers to essentially get away with murder. many riots as well as peaceful protests have taken place across the country in response to the tragedies. The demands are for justice, and I think that is a fair a demand. But what about the law and our justice system? In this case what about those who who take “justice” and the law into their own hands?

So far, I’ve paid little mind and spoken little on the Kyle Rittenhouse case. I don’t know much about it or the case of Jacob Blake. Even so, I find them interesting clashing cases as once again, the media has managed to create a dichotomy and divide the country on these petty lines. Instead of talking about reforms, we’re focused on whether to make a hero or a villain of the two young men in question.

In truth, I know too little personally, having tried to avoid either the Kyle Rittenhouse case or the case of Jacob Blake to pace myself against the barrage of violence the media is parading before us. Even so, I’ve looked at the matter from a legal standpoint and wanted to discuss the case there.

Depending on who you ask, the Kyle Rittenhouse case may be a story of white supremacy and domestic terror, with little evidence to support those claims. It may also be the tragic tale of a young man who was just trying to help and was forced to act in self-defense. From a purely legal standpoint, who should we believe? These questions will mostly be sorted out in court by lawyers, judges, and the jury, but here’s what I’ve seen so far.

What Happened in The Kyle Rittenhouse Case

The facts seem to be blurry and change all the time, but the official story seems to be slowly coming together. We’ll probably never have the full picture of the Kyle Rittenhouse case or even a fraction of it until the truth comes out in court. Still, by piecing together the different versions of the truth, I think we begin to see a slightly clearer picture. Here’s what we seem to know:

  • We know that Rittenhouse had crossed state lines possessing a firearm, already violating standing laws, and being underage in Wisconsin, will probably face weapon charges.

  • He has been accused and charged with several serious crimes, including felonies like first Degree Murder and intentional homicide.

  • The defense alleges that these acts were committed in self-defense. They further allege had a right to carry based on a strict interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, a defense that other attorneys don’t believe will hold.

  • Mr. Rittenhouse allegedly participates in a “militia” known as the Kenosha Guard, but the details are choppy, and the evidence seems limited and circumstantial.

  • While “patrolling” most likely as a vigilante, Mr. Rittenhouse was chased down by three assailants, protest participants who may have believed him to be a gunman seeking to provoke violence or even fire on peaceful protests.

  • Assailants attempted to disarm Mr. Rittenhouse, and one allegedly assaulted him with a skateboard. After firing on one assailant, two others chased him down, shouting that he had shot someone.

  • Both assailants were fired upon in addition to a third who was injured.

  • Two of the men in question died, the others suffered serious wounds.

Was it Self-Defense?

There seem to be strong opinions on both sides about precisely what Mr. Rittenhouse’s intentions were in Kenosha and even more so in firing upon his three alleged attackers. Whether or not he was a “domestic terrorist” or simply a kid trying to a good deed and acting in self-defense remains to be seen. Even so, the law may provide some answers on whether Mr. Rittenhouse acted as an aggressor or in self-defense. Hopefully, these rulings will not be formed by political opinions, but by the nature of Wisconsin Law on self-defense, where the case will be tried upon delayed extradition. Was he acting in self-defense? These laws and guidelines tend to vary by state, but generally, self-defense must be determined by a certain set of criteria.

  • To start, to be acting in self-defense, the shooter or “actor” must be in legitimate fear for their life. They must have believed the fatal blow was to prevent imminent harm to their life. Were either of the attackers fired upon fleeing or immobilized? Did they present a viable threat? Was it necessary to fire upon all three?

  • Was the incident provoked? For self-defense to hold, the shooter usually must prove that their situation was not foreseeable and did not involve provoking a violent incident on their part. According to Wisconsin Law, the shooter must not be engaged in provocation or unlawful activity.

  • -Deadly force is not justified solely for property protection, especially if the shooter is not the owner, or is not related as an immediate family to the owner, or is not acting as an agent or employee of the owner.

What Will Happen in the Kyle Rittenhouse Case?

Because he acted as an unlawful agent and/or “vigilante”, it’s unlikely self-defense will hold in the Kyle Rittenhouse Case. Most likely, he may not go down for First Degree Murder or Intentional Homicide. Lawyers should easily be able to talk those charges down to manslaughter, and maybe even lesser offenses. He’ll also likely face unlawful weapon charges and potential felony brandishing since he can’t technically be licensed for open carry in the state.

It’s hard to say exactly how the ruling will go since the facts will likely be skewed by politics, the media, and the court of public opinion. One thing is for sure; however: it will be an interesting case. The real question in America, though: will this case of vigilantism go wrong lead to even more violence across the country? It’s likely in the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, it inevitably will, especially in election season.

Even so, some believe he’ll be acquitted, but that remains to be seen. Self-Defense is not as easy to prove, as many may think. Only time will honestly tell for sure in the Kyle Rittenhouse case, which may help set a fascinating precedent.

 

Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration Gets it Wrong Again

Trump's immigratioon executive order get's it wrong again

 

President Trump’s executive pen is at it once again, and of course, it’s while Americans are too distracted by black lives matter protests and COVID-19to notice. Donald Trump’s vendetta against immigration into the U.S, especially from poorer countries south of the border, has been no secret since he ran in 2016. He became famous most of all for his hard stance on the issue. Then, there was his promise to build a “big beautiful wall” across our border. That, of course, would be a promise yet to be fulfilled or paid for by Mexico. Donald Trump’s latest stunt does come as a surprise to some, however, in announcing a temporary executive ban on new H1B visa recipients entering the country.

Although Republicans have famously supported reforms to reduce immigration into the U.S by as much as 50%, historically, it’s always been with an emphasis on banning only the poor and low-skilled. Historically, H1B Visa programs are among those they have sought to protect, but times have changed under Donald Trump.

What Does Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration Mean

First, it’s important to understand exactly what this order means. According to the executive order itself, this is an effort to help improve the economy and protect American jobs in light of COVID-19. The order will freeze the entry and approval of all new H1B visa applicants outside of the United States who do not currently have a visa approved. Fortunately, OPT Job programs will still be protected, and H1B visa recipients already in the United States should still be protected and free to renew their visas.

On its face, this freeze does not appear to be a direct attack on immigration, though perhaps a side-winded one, but what is its purpose? According to the order, the hope is to protect American jobs and help the U.S economy recover in these difficult times. No doubt Trump is desperate to drive the unemployment numbers done before his election, especially since the unemployment numbers themselves may not be as rosy as once believed. But does Trump’s executive order on immigration actually help?

How Does Trump’s Executive Order Affect Immigration and The Economy?

Trump's immigration executive order

It would seem that Donald Trump is wrong on immigration once more and has resorted to the impulse defense mechanism of protectionism to artificially drive up the employment numbers before his reelection is put to the vote. However, does his executive order on immigration help American workers? Of course Trump is not the first to misunderstand the facts on immigration and the economy, but he certainly pushes the ticket. Well, certainly not long term. First, we should consider that immigrants are becoming rapidly and substantiallymore likely than American citizens to start businesses. Immigrants run close to half of all new firms and tech companies, and many of them are prominent leaders in Fortune 500 companies across the country. 

Immigrants, time, and time again are job creators, not takers, as Trump so consistently claims. Trump’s executive order on immigration will not likely help the economy but hurt it, and proof of this has been shown through research by economists and even prominent business schools. Among these is the Wharton School of Business, always ironically the school that President Trump proudly graduated from. In 2018consistent research by Whartonshowed that immigration, by and large, was good for the economy. First, high-skilled immigrant workers correlate to better pay, higher productivity, and improved employee morale for American workers with whom they share a workspace. Furthermore, clusters of immigrant communities attract foreign investment. Companies from their home countries are more likely to set up shop to sell their target market working abroad. The result? More jobs, more business, and more money in the United States.

What is the Real Motive Here Trump’s Immigration Executive Order?

It doesn’t seem clear why Trump is so eager to throw American companies and tech workers under the bus the way he is. Trump’s immigration order will never help the economy or create American jobs, especially long-term. It defies logic and reason, as well as factual research to believe otherwise. So what is Trump’s real motivation here? Does he believe American companies will scramble to hire unqualified American workers to temporarily boost his unemployment figures? Is this an attempt to appeal to base on immigration reform before an election? Does he truly believe this will make life better for American workers, or has he just lost his mind?

George Floyd and The Tale of Two Protests

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Since the killing of George Floyd by former police officer Derek Chauvin we’ve been flooded with images of rioting and looting across the country. We’ve seen nationwide and even worldwide protests against oppression and police brutality, some ending more violently than others. In some cases, we have seen blatant and overt attempts at inciting violence in such a manner that it would discredit these protests, tasking exhaustive efforts to do. We have even seen violent plants sent by extremists from both sides to hijack the movement and incite violence. But what is the truth about these protests? Who is behind them all? What is their purpose, and are the stories we see on the news true? Depending on who you talk to, you may get a different answer about the nature of these events. Many seem to have reason to believe you will only find racial division, looting, and rioting if you attend. I thought I’d see for myself and cross-compare some experiences as well as offer some insight.

Harrisburg, PA Community March

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Over the weekend, I attended a community march in the city of Harrisburg, PA, to see for myself and show my support for criminal justice reform. I have blogged extensively about fixing our system and have called out a few of the injustices and flaws I’ve seen over the years. I wanted the opportunity to see one of these events for myself to make my own judgment, as well as to put my money where my mouth was and show my support.

It was a small to moderate sized, but hearty and energetic gathering of maybe a few hundred people that attracted no shortage of attention from onlookers and passersby. Drivers honked their horns to show their support while people came out of their homes to thank us, and even us show off signs they had just made in the moment. The police had a very small, but hardly noticeable presence.

The event was organized on a clear, hot summer day by a small collection of local churches representing the Harrisburg community, including my own The Rock Church, run by Pastor Josh Robertson. We began our march just outside the National Civil War Museum, where we began with a quick prayer. It was quickly followed by eight minutes of stillness and silence in honor of the eight minutes that George Floyd suffered, unable to breathe while his neck was pressed under the knee of an unruly police officer. Standing there, still as a statue, under the hot afternoon sun wearing a mask helped at least simulate the feeling, but I can only imagine experiencing the horror of the real thing. It also helped show the amount of time the police officers had to at least attempt to regain control of the situation.

The killing would seem on its face to be quite intentional.

From there, we marched to The Rock Church, about a 30-minute stroll or so away, where we gathered to hear a few speakers. Speeches were made, proposals and ideas were put forth, and there was a call to action for the crowd. I didn’t feel quite as much acceptance and racial unity as I had hoped, but there was no hostility either. Everything said was fair, and no violence or aggression developed at any point during the event. Overall, it was a positive experience and a good show of strength and solidarity among the community.

Across the country, in the state of Arkansas, a friend of mine attended a similar event in his hometown. I was particularly interested in his experiences, especially in a southern state with some history of racial violence.

Meet Tommy Thorpe

tommy

Like myself, Tommy is a registered independent. However, he considers himself to be a moderate republican with some libertarian views. He prefers to live a simple life and enjoy the simple things while spreading positive vibes to the people around him. He loves to help and get involved in his community, as well as to advocate for justice, equality, and change, thus why he wanted to attend.

Conway Arkansas BLM Protest

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The protests Tommy attended in the vibrant community of Conway, Arkansas, also possessed a small, but diverse and energetic crowd of maybe 200 at most. The attendees gathered to pray and honor the lives of those lost to police brutality by reciting the names of victims. Everyone was friendly, had a good time, and the organizer commented that they were “doing it right” by protesting peacefully and without violence. The police we’re in even attendance themselves with a few officers marching side by side with other protesters.

When the event was over, Tommy could be seen giving out “free hugs” a gesture some have seen as superficial, and he admits it is not enough to fight injustice. Even so, he believes in the importance of spreading love, peace, and positive energy and has noted the power such a gesture can have for healing.

The Media’s Tale of Two Protests

Across the country, I’ve seen peaceful protesters gathering in their communities and coming together for change. On the other hand, most of us are more than familiar with the stories of riots, fires, and chaos in cities that are falling apart because of civil unrest. There’s two very different things happening in this country, but it seems there are some that only focus on one aspect. Many of those who are quick to condemn the rioters and looters have been just as quick to assume they represent the majority of protests. More often than not, these assumptions are based on what we see in the media.

The question is, has the media engaged in responsible reporting, and have we who rely on them operated as responsible consumers of the information made available to us? I suggest that by hyper-focusing on riots, we make them more likely to happen. If this continues, protests will be more likely to end in violence simply for the sake of media attention. When people try to act peacefully, but nothing is done, there is often a more deadly recourse man will consider. Perhaps this is what was meant when Martin Luther King said that “Riots are the language of the unheard”

By focusing only on violent riots and looting, we encourage it to happen more, even as we use it as an excuse to turn a deaf ear to what’s being said. We are glorifying violence and inviting it to our doorstep.

This will end in our ruin…

Scott Perry: End Qualifed Immunity

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Photo by Todd Trapani on Pexels.com

Hello everyone, the letter below is an open letter to Scott Perry, asking him to end qualified immunity. I run a professional service on Fiverr writing advocacy letters online, however, if you’re letter is on THIS issue I’ll partner with you and write for free! So let me know, thanks,

-Dave,

The Independent Thought Society.

 

Dear Representative Scott Perry,

My name is David B. Beaver, and I am a new constituent of yours who just moved into Mechanicsburg, PA, although I was here and a constituent of yours years ago.

In any case, I wanted to write to you today about a particular pressing matter that is near and dear to my heart. I am sure you’re more than familiar with the events that have transpired across the country following the death of George Floyd at the hands of former Officer Derek Chauvin. The truth, while the media may be popularizing this incident at this time, this kind of thing has been going on for years. There have been countless cases of police officers who have taken up arms against citizens and in so doing, denying their right to due process as guaranteed by the U.S constitution. Police officers do not have the right to play judge, jury, and executioner in the field, and I feel this issue needs to be addressed.

I am curious about what reforms you are supporting. However, I think this begins with accountability. The U.S constitution guarantees us equality under the law through the provision of the 14th amendment. The equal protection clause states that the law cannot treat one set of citizens one way and another group in another way. If an electrician can be held accountable for providing poor service to the extent that a citizen is injured or even killed, so should a police officer.

I am asking you to support and co-sponsor Justin Amash’s bill “The End Qualified Immunity Act” and do away with this injustice once and for all. I would like to ask you if you can point me to a single federal statute or piece of legislation, which you support, that allows for qualified immunity. As I’m sure you are aware, it is a judicial creation, but one that has been neglected for years by the limited interpretation of case law. It has shielded government officials from justice, and we have seen that it leads to corruption and violence. The constitutional duty of our legislative branch is to counteract this injustice, which was created by the courts. So Represent Perry, I am respectfully asking you to do so, even at the risk of defying your political peers. I remind you, sir, with all due respect that your first duty is to the constitution and the individual liberties of your constituents. We cannot continue to allow police officers to murder our citizens in cold blood, much less without a trial by jury, as is our constitutional right.

I understand the burden this would create for police officers, especially at first. However, first, it is necessary. Police officers should be required to carry insurance like any citizen who performs in a job that places the people they serve at risk. That includes those accused of a crime. The cost of liability insurance would deter misconduct and police officers who have a history of it. Meanwhile, the laws of what’s fair and what’s not in civil rights violations and police violence could be determined by case law through civil suits, as is the intension of our system.

Surely you can see sir that qualified immunity has only led to corruption and violence. It is not just a disservice to our communities, citizens, and victims of police brutality. It is also a disservice to officers who honor their position through their conduct and service. Our broken system has forced even them to tolerate this misbehavior in their names because of our broken system. It needs to be fixed, as our courts were designed to do.

With respect, but also urgency Representative Perry, I am asking you to end qualified immunity now. I look forward to your response and thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

-David B. Beaver.