Quote of the day/week/however long

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."
~William James

Friday, September 24, 2010

Of All Places...

In the interest of complete disclosure, Madam must admit that she actually lived in Los Angeles for several years.  She also grew up with a father who used to say, "It's obvious that California is the lowest part of the US.  Loose nuts always roll downhill."  There's balance for you.

Even so, that well-known, long-time provider of non-news, the Los Angeles Times, recently carried a thoughtful and pretty complete article on the 14th amendment and immigration enforcement.  Unlike most recent immigration-related rants*, Charlotte Allen seems well aware of existing laws and acknowledges the difficulty involved in changing the Constitution as well as in determining how, then, US citizenship might be determined and adjudicated.  Of course, much more thought and planning would be required, but this is not a bad start.  Well done, Ms. Allen.

Why, a consular officer might be asking, do I need to know about all of this discussion/debate/ranting going on in the US about these issues?

Because you are a consular officer and they have to do with citizenship, nationality, and legal status in the US, three things out of many others that you should be up on and should be ready to discuss - quietly, rationally, and with a sense of history and balance - with whomever brings them up at any public or private gathering, including on the beach or at a grocery store.  You're an expert.  People look to you for valid information (not uninformed opinion and prejudice) on deceptively complex subjects.  Being able to explain all sides equally lucidly is part of your job.  You will be practicing diplomacy.

* By the way, this is one of Madam's all-time favorite public rants.  She is ashamed to admit that she would have tasered the good pastor, too, and probably far faster than the cops did.  Especially when he got to the part about "some dog."  Harumph.

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