Columns » Soap Box

Visas, trade, prayer, charter schools, and the POTUS at the AFA


Editor's note: The following have been submitted by Indy readers, unedited, un-fact-checked, and presented in whole. Join the conversation in the comment section below, or via email to

Narrow minds

I read you newspaper's recent editorial and wanted to drop you personal note to let you know how absurd this kind of writing makes you folks look.

For full disclosure, I was a computer programmer for many years until I got so sick of watching the Americans around me being replaced by incompetent buffoons on H-1B visas that I went back to law school to fight this nonsense. I am the attorney in the lawsuit that prompted the Trump administration to rescind work authorizations for H-1B spouses.

Now to your editorial.
To begin you folks miss that the very purpose of the H-1B program is to replace Americans with cheap, foreign workers. No other statement of purpose is consistent with what Congress has enacted. Congress explicitly made it legal to replace Americans with H-1B workers and made it legal to pay those workers at the bottom 1/6 of U.S. wages.

So when Disney, AIG, McDonald's NY Life, .... replace hundreds of Americans at a time with H-1B workers, that is not abuse. That is what Congress intended. The H-1B program itself is abusive.

Your newspaper describes these folks as "immigrants." They are not. They are explicitly non-immigrants under the law. In 1990, Congress created a mess by allowing H-1B workers to apply for green cards. The transformed green cards into a public-provided fringe benefit to induce aliens to become guestworkers, instead of hiring such aliens directly on green cards (where they could change jobs). Doing so had the entirely predictable effect of creating huge backlogs in the green card system. The backlog for India is about 60 years.

Your newspaper claims the aliens in question are "already far along in the process toward American citizenship"—but it is so only if you call a decades of waiting as being "far along." The reality is few of the non-immigrants in question will ever get a green card. The H-4 EAD was simply a means to induce more of these workers who are replacing Americans to remain in H-1B status, bound to their employers, during an increasingly futile wait for a green card by allowing their spouses to work as well.

That is why the "heavy-hitters" your newspaper refers to are all behind spousal employment: more cheap labor bound to employers for a longer time.

When you write, "After all, about 30 nations, including Canada and Australia, already offer a warm welcome to immigrant couples who wanted to join their workforces,: you forget" the United States also is among the countries that allow IMMIGRANT couples to work.

Your newspaper asks "So why, really, does Trump want to kill this program?"

Actually, he doesn't want to kill the program. He has to do so because of our lawsuit. This is a long tale in itself but the administration needs to protect against Obama's house of cards collapsing and creating a train wreck in the immigration system. That is a long story; too long for this email. The short version is Obama had no authority to grant work permits to H-1B spouses but did it anyway.

Instead your newspaper comes to this: "The only thing we can figure: Trump’s move to end the H-4 EAD program is just another handful of bloody red meat he can throw to his base — the incurious and the insular, whose fear of the vast multicultural unknown makes them uneasy."

If that's the only theory your writers can come up with, I can only say that your writers have extremely narrow minds that cannot incorporate the underlying legal issues in their analyses.

Still, maybe it is red meat for the Americans at Prudential, Pfizer, Abbott Labs, Marriott, Bank of America, University of California, NASD, Southern California Edison, Siemens, AC Nielsen, etc. who have been replaced by H-1B workers and had to train their foreign replacements. These people could only dream that American news media would give 1/100th of the coverage to Americans being replaced by H-1B workers that it has given to the spouses of those replacements potentially losing their jobs.
— John Miano

Power of prayer

The most recent issue of the Indy's column regarding IN GOOD FAITH, which asks what we should to do when a family member is struggling with drug and alcohol addiction left me curious as to why NONE of the four local religious leaders suggested employing the Power of Prayer. Did they just not think of it? Perhaps they are aware that there is no scientific research supporting intercessionary prayer, although many have tried to find a connection between prayer and requested outcomes, apparently no correlation exists. Perhaps praying for others has just fallen out of fashion. Even the Christian Minister from Focus on the Family, Jim Daly, did not suggest such action. Curious, these are Religious Ministers right? I would think at least one of their answers would suggest they possessed some faith in the power of the almighty to listen and to heal?
— Rich Lins

Trade talk

His dissenters hate to admit that Trump is the first president to stand up to China. Obama was delighted to ship our plastic water bottles to Asia, then shipped back to Dollar Stores as action figures.

This trade war is going to devastate the poor and middle class in China and the USA. We will have plenty of soybeans for those with five figure incomes, the Chinese will starve. ...but that’s not the big story...

Trump will attack Iran on a Friday, news cycle trick. Saudis will be stoked, thousands will die, Trump sails to second term(guaranteed during wartime).
— Kenton Lloyd

We the people

Post the 2016 Presidential election (where candidate Clinton won 3 million more votes than President Trump,) there is a national movement to make elections more democratic. In March, Governor Jared Polis signed into law that Colorado will join eleven other states in allocating the state’s electoral college votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote. However, a popular vote couldn’t bypass the Electoral College until enough states take the same course of action totaling 270 electoral votes.

In a democracy, we the people are the ones who are supposed to hold the power. We have the right to vote and certainly shouldn’t take the right for granted. In addition to exercising voting power (and making it reflect democratic values,) how else are we the people supposed to help create the society in which we live?

In addition to voting for the President, we elect our local and state representatives. Currently, Senator Michael Bennet, Senator Cory Gardner and Congressman Doug Lamborn are El Paso County’s elected Congressional representatives. We voted them into their positions as public servants to represent us and our concerns. Aside from voting them into their jobs, we have the right to contact our representatives through calling, emailing and writing to their offices to voice our concerns about legislation and budgets. The offices even keep tallies about which issues constituents contact them. Less than one dozen calls under 30 seconds each to one of the Senators and/or Congressman can make an impact. It is our civic responsibility to hold our representatives accountable and to be an active part of the democratic republic of the United States of America.

The United States Constitution says “We the people.” If we aren’t exercising the right to vote, if we aren’t engaged in what our elected officials are doing on our behalf and if we aren’t voicing our genuine concerns, to whom are we allocating the power to make decisions concerning our own well-being and how the United States acts on a global level? The personal is political and the political is personal. As citizens, we owe it to ourselves and to each other to be an active part of the nation’s decision making process.
— Keeley Griego

Understanding charter school costs

Regarding the May 1 Your TurnIt is appropriate for Steve Schuck to be part of my memorial to Lisa because he still does not understand what is happening to Public School District Budgets which have Charter Schools after all these years of exchanges. Lisa was the first in the country to assess these costs back in 2006. She presented her data to the D-11 school board and the State Education Committees. There are now an additional 10 studies showing these losses to the economies of scale in the country which I put in my paid memorial in March. It is time you open your eyes!

In Colorado Springs D-11 there are 3,000 charter students and 24,000 regular students. After the charter schools get their money from D-11, the per pupil revenue, the school district gets to reduce their budget by another $15,000,000 through a loss of economies of scale or $625 per student per year. This is what is being measured and being considered as school needs are being assessed. With D-11 having 60% of its students on “free and reduced lunch” these low income students are being hit the hardest by these losses of staff and programs. There are real negative educational consequences to real kids in the public schools because of Charter schools. Choice has having a negative effect.

(PS: Every Charter School is a private corporation (profit or non-profit) using public tax money. The law says they will be deemed public schools because they are funded by public tax money.)
— Patrick Mieritz (Lisa died in 2013)

POTUS at the AFA

To the outsider, this graduation [on May 30] will look like all the rest. Faculty draped with extravagant regalia will take their seats on the field, students will stride lockstep in uniform lines to rows of folding chairs, and the band will play to cheering families. As the registrar drones down the list of nearly a thousand names, thunderclouds will form in the west and threaten to ruin everything.

But for the insiders, this rodeo is different. POTUS is here. President of The United States.

I am a teacher at the United States Air Force Academy, an institution that, like the other military academies, holds character development as a top priority. I have seen cadets disenrolled for lapses that would receive a wrist slap, if that, at most colleges – lying to excuse an absence, passing exam questions from a Monday to a Tuesday class, getting a DUI. The most important thing we do is to prepare our graduates to make ethically sound decisions under intense pressure.

Presidents speak at our commencement ceremonies every few years, and while their messages are not always memorable, their stamina is. Clinton, Bush, Obama – they saluted and shook the hand of every single supercharged cadet, occasionally punctuating the ritual with high-fives and chest bumps. For the sake of our graduates, but especially the women, I hope that this POTUS takes a seat.

The first women graduated from the Academy in 1980. The 1979 graduating class adopted the moniker of LCWB, the Last Class With Balls. Proud of their chauvinism, they return every five to ten years to embarrass us with sophomoric shenanigans. One year they spray-painted those letters in 20-foot relief on the wall in front of the field where acceptance and graduation parades take place, in full view of families that come to celebrate the achievement of their relations. The LCWB has not matured, but the Academy has. Women commonly hold leadership positions in their squadrons, lead basic training, compete and collaborate at every level with their male peers. This is not to claim that gender bias has been eliminated, but at the very least our women have learned to expect – and demand – dignity.

All of our graduates, women and men alike, are expected to face, salute, and shake the hand of a man who brazenly denigrates women, a man whose public behavior would disqualify him for any position at my institution. In the future, these graduates will be asked to make many personal sacrifices, most of which will reflect their personal values and support the values of this nation. This rodeo is different.

— Name withheld at the request of the author, who fears reprisal and negative career consequences if their identity is revealed.

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