Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ends and Odds, 3

Weather Underground forecasts a middling chance of snow hereabouts on Saturday morning. I will, of course, believe it when I see it.

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I've been ambivalent about which of my phones to use, but I think that's over now. My newer one -- which runs an outdated version of Android but is supposed to get the latest update sometime this decade -- has better battery life (and if the battery dies it can be replaced) but doesn't interface well with in-car Bluetooth for hands-free telephone use. My older phone, which has had the latest Android version for months already, has no trouble with Bluetooth but suffers from its 2014 battery that can't be replaced.

I'm hoping when the new phone does finally get updated the annoyances will go away, but if the Bluetooth bug remains I'm willing to revert to how I used my phone in previous vehicles -- by not taking calls while I'm driving.

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I've seen at least one argument to the effect that Ted Cruz is not a "natural born" citizen, but is instead an "ordinary" citizen. I can't help but wonder what is the "ordinary" manner of gaining U.S. citizenship, and how it differs from being "natural born."

There are only three ways to become a U.S. citizen. The one that applies most, er, ordinarily is by being born on United States soil. That's how I got mine, and it's how Donald Trump got his. Another is by undergoing a naturalization ceremony. For this you have to apply, take a test, and swear an oath.

The third way is to be born outside the United States but to a parent who is a U.S. citizen. That's how Ted Cruz got his -- and also John McCain. And even if Barack Obama had been born in Kenya instead of Hawaii (spoiler: he was born in Hawaii), he too would be a natural born citizen of the United States because his mother was a U.S. citizen.

There are three ways to become a citizen, but there are not three classes of citizenship. If you gained your citizenship at birth and did not have to take an oath, you are a natural born citizen. If you were not natural born to U.S. citizenship, you have to be naturalized. It really is that straightforward.

Many people object to the blanket "born on U.S. soil" path because of the "anchor baby" problem, and argue that even on U.S. soil "natural-born" citizenship should be limited only to cases where at least one parent is already a U.S. citizen, and require a naturalization ceremony otherwise. I am inclined to agree with that. But it wouldn't change this simple fact:

The "ordinary" form of citizenship is natural-born citizenship.

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