I welcome my neighbors on their new path to full citizenship

Obama announced some changes to immigration policy. Like everything Obama, it’s a mess of compromise, but at least it’s a step in the right direction. It’s also all dressed up in religious language, which drives me a little nuts: I don’t consider Scripture a source of racial and ethnic tolerance. But he also shows a little spine.

Had the House of Representatives allowed that kind of bill a simple yes or no vote, it would have passed with support from both parties. And today it would be the law. But for a year and a half now Republican leaders in the House have refused to allow that simple vote. Now I continue to believe that the best way to solve this problem is by working together to pass that kind of common sense law. But until that happens, there are actions I have the legal authority to take as president, the same kinds of actions taken by Democratic and Republican presidents before me, that will help make our immigration system more fair and more just.

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Every university is broken

But the University of Hawaii at Mānoa looks to be more broken than others. Christie Wilcox writes about the budget cuts there: the place is being gouged to the bone — the College of Natural Sciences has a cohort of graduate students to whom they are failing to live up to their responsibilities (the university brought them in, these students made a commitment to UH Mānoa, you don’t get to suddenly decide midway through their training to abandon your obligations.)

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I loathe guns

Do you have your guns locked up? Do you only bring them out when you have a very specific purpose, like target shooting at a range or hunting? Do you own fewer than a handful? Then you might be OK. I might look at you suspiciously, but I won’t actively despise you, like I do the obsessed gun-fondlers.

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Hovind could get another 20 years tacked onto his sentence

The unrepentant con man is getting shuffled around a lot, lately; he was in a Colorado prison for a while, then New Hampshire, then Alabama, Georgia, and is now locked up in the Santa Rosa County Jail in Milton, Florida. It was all apparently part of phasing him in for a new trial in Florida.

Hovind, 61, is approaching the end of that sentence, but he is now facing a new suite of charges on allegations that he tried to stymie the government’s efforts to collect on his outstanding debt.

According to an Oct. 21 federal indictment filed against Hovind and Paul John Hansen — a Nebraska man known for his vigorous opposition of government tax and property laws — the duo has been charged with mail fraud and criminal contempt for interfering with the sale of Pensacola properties Hovind was forced to forfeit as a result of the 2006 case.

The indictment says that in 2011, Hansen filed liens on nine of Hovind’s forfeited properties on North Palafox Street, Cummings Road and Oleander Drive.

In 2012 the government was granted an injunction ordering that neither Hovind nor any agent acting on his behalf file or attempt to file any "liens, notices, financing titles and claims of whatever nature … to cloud the title of the properties."

The following year, both Hovind and Hansen reportedly mailed additional documents disputing the ownership of the property.

Both men were charged with mail fraud, attempt and conspiracy to commit mail fraud and criminal contempt. Mail fraud can be punishable by up to 20 years in prison and as much as $500,000 in fines when involving an organization.

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Truth doesn’t change from building to building on a college campus

Georgia Southern University has a history professor teaching creationism. This is absurd; no serious academic in any discipline should be misinforming students about the state of knowledge today. That Emerson McMullen is in a history, rather than biology, department, is no excuse at all — I should think that we ought to defer to a significant degree to our colleagues’ expertise, so McMullen ought to be paying attention to what more knowledgeable people are saying, and striving to give his students better representation of what we actually know.

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