Saturday, April 24, 2010

The case for illegal immigration: why are some worthy and some not?

Every politician loves illegal immigration. It's one of those hot button, emotionally based, issues that's sure to get the true blue constituency fired up and behind the obviously "pro American" candidate supporting shipping all the illegals back to wherever they came from. Everyone from would be Governors to Presidential hopefuls have used the 'illegal card' to garner votes, yet, it remains one of the most hotly contested issues in our modern political discussion. But is it really the problem that the manipulative politicians want us to believe it is or is it yet another version of manufactured reality they are pushing us to accept?

Let me start off by saying that I agree that our country has an immigration problem. But I don't believe it's the same problem the politicians would like us to believe it is. The problem the United States has with illegal immigration is one of its inability to properly handle the small number of violent offenders that stream into our country every day. In a country where we can't properly deal with American born and bred offenders, it's no surprise that we don't stand a chance against offenders who sneak into the country illegally.

Understand that the problem, as I see it, is not the fact that there are millions of people here illegally. Personally, I don't have a problem with that. I know many people who came to this country illegally and are hard working, contributing, members of their communities. Sure, there are certain ways they can't "contribute" but they often make up for it in other, non-monetary, ways.

This country was founded by those who, today, would be considered illegals. Our ancestors came here for the exact same reasons that those who cross rivers and borders come here: to find a better life for them and their families. Our ancestors often took what they wanted violently from the natives yet today's immigrants are most often the recipients of much of that same violence. The shoe has indeed slipped on the other foot.

Have we as a nation forgotten that we are 'the better life'? Have we forgotten that the reason people risk their lives to come here is because they want the simple things that we take for granted? How can we fault someone for doing whatever it takes to raise their family out of desolation when we wouldn't think twice about doing the same thing ourselves if the situation called for it?

So, how do we solve illegal immigration? We shouldn't. We should throw open our boarders and welcome those who are less fortunate with open arms. We should expand the American dream to everyone and make it possible for everyone to enjoy a piece of the good life. Yes, there should be certain safeguards in place to make sure that those who would take advantage of the system, not contribute, or would commit crimes, are kept out, but we should not deny someone the things we feel are our 'god given rights' simply because they don't have a piece of paper. Does the U.S. government now validate rights holders for god?

Now, I'm sure some reading this will be offended. But, before you send me a nasty email, consider this: we've invaded other countries to 'spread freedom' and make peoples lives better. How can we exclude people based on a piece of paper? What makes one group of people worth starting a war to set them free and another worthless? The insanity of such 'logic' baffles me and I hope it baffles you too.

I, for one, welcome our immigrant brothers and sisters. Be free, be productive, and live a good life. You are here for a reason and you are valuable.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Twitter developers: quit whining and innovate!

Twitter has always been very developer friendly. With an open API and tons of tools and documentation to help new client developers get up to speed quickly, it might arguably be the most developer friendly service on the Internet. The service has always maintained good relations with third party developers who've extended its basic web based service and brought it to exciting places like the desktop, the mobile phone, and even, plants and beer mugs.

But now, that seems to have changed overnight. With the announcement of Twitters acquisition of client developer Tweetie, the company has set itself on a direct collision course with other client developers and might have changed the developer-company relationship forever. For the first time, Twitter will directly compete with the very developers it's long held are the key to its success. Will this mean that the service will become less developer friendly and more closed? Is it a bad thing if it does?

I've long held the belief that Twitter isn't a benevolent ecosystem. The company is there to eventually make money and give their investors a return. While it's nice that they've been so great to third party developers, it's unrealistic to expect that they never expand their service to include features long supported by third party apps.

That's growth.
That's evolution.
That's business.

Developers, a painful as this might be for you to accept, Twitter is not there to help your business grow. Their primary concern is not your bottom line. They are an investment driven company who's only, single concern is and should be to make money. And they have the right to do that in any way they see fit. If that squeezes third party developers out, too bad. Innovate, redefine, and move forward. Quit whining about hour unfair Twitter is being. Twitter isn't here to be fair to you and, if you really think they are, then software development probably isn't the business you should be in.

Don't get me wrong, I understand why developers are feeling betrayed and a bit confused right now. While Twitter never directly said it wouldn't compete against third party developers, it definitely gave that impression by all the developer friendly hoopla it puts out. Still, at the end of the day, we need to remember that Twitter is a company that is no different in its mission than Microsoft, Oracle, or any other company on the planet. Making money and surviving is the prime directive. Nothing else really matters.

Get over it, developers.
It's time for something new.