Voice of the People DACA Response

[Voice of the People response piece sent to the Akron Beacon Journal]

In the September 10, 2017 edition of the Akron Beacon Journal, Doug Brown puts forth some “suggestions” for adult Dreamers who are currently being protected by DACA. Unfortunately, Mr. Brown’s letter is replete with poor reasoning and not a few factual errors.

In his letter, Mr. Brown states that it is “Heartbreaking to think of kids being deported for crimes committed by their parents” while at the same time reminding us not to forget “that the parents did commit crimes by illegally entering the United States”. It seems clear that Mr. Brown is conflating the wrong done by the parents, as if it was a wrong done by the children. He doubles down on this dubious reasoning when he notes that “they chose to come here, albeit illegally”. Given the average age of the Dreamers was six when they arrived, it is doubtful any of them “chose” to come here.

In addition to misplacing the blame and punishing Dreamers for actions beyond their control, he also appears to have a distorted view of the Dreamers themselves. While he calls for them to serve in the armed forces as a path to citizenship, he seems oblivious to the fact that Dreamers have served and are currently serving in the armed forces. He also is unaware that Dreamers do speak our language, have attended our schools, and learned our history. The “heartbreaking” part of deporting these kids/young adults is that they are for all intents and purposes Americans potentially being forced to a country that is now alien to them.

Furthermore, Mr. Brown wants to make sure that Dreamers are fully committed to the only country they have ever known, by renouncing any other citizenship. Yet it is unclear why Dreamers should have to do this, as 1) the oath of allegiance naturalized citizens must take already includes the phrase “renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen.” and, paradoxically, 2) the U.S. State Department does not require naturalized citizens to renounce any other citizenship they may have.

Finally, Mr. Brown mentions how the Christian side of him seeks to help others (presumably the Dreamers), but only if they are willing to “give back to their country of choice” by doing as he did and serve in the military. I did not realize that one’s Christian Here again, I am not sure how the U.S. was the country of choice for the Dreamers as they had no say in coming here. That being said, Christ was pretty clear about what one’s duty is to others, and it has nothing to do with compulsory military service: ’For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; (Matthew 25:35).

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Vex Robotics World Championships – Day 4

The morning of day 4 ended after two losses. The team was naturally disappointed with their resulting standing of 59 out of 100 while going into the alliance selection.


Although they did not rank high enough (nor were they selected for an alliance) for the final tournament, there was a silver lining. The team was recognized for their overall performance by recieving the Judges Award:

The Judges Award goes to a team the judges decide is deserving of special recognition. Judges consider a number of possible criteria for this award, such as team displays of special attributes, exemplary effort and perseverance at the event, and team accomplishments or endeavors throughout the season that may not fall under existing awards – but are nonetheless deserving of special recognition.



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Vex Robotics World Championship – Day 3

Day three resulted in a 3 wins and 3 losses, placing them in the 25th seat for a short period of time. Unfortunately, by the end of the day, they were back down in the 40-50s. Still, it was a good day considering that who you are teamed with is simply the luck of the draw.


The end of the day involved the “big reveal” of next year’s Vex Challenge. Vex does a good job of hyping the event:

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Vex Robotics World Championships – Day 2

First day of the qualifying matches. All teams are randomly put paired up in these matches.

The first match of the day went Firestone’s (7316E’s) way:

Later in the day were the opening ceremonies where 31 countries entered the auditorium where the finals are held. One of the most memorable was the entry of the Syrian team made up of refugees.

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Vex Robotics World Championship – Day 1

Road to Worlds – Day 1  

Firestone Robotics Team 7316E is competing at the Vex Robotics World Championship in Louisville, KY. April 20–23


Stop at the Oasis in Ashland for a quick breakfast:

Arrived at the Louisville, KY Convention Center around 2:00 p.m.


Getting in a little practice.


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Day 1: Travel to Edinburgh

I’m not exactly sure how I did it, but I booked the my trip to Edinburgh with three connection (pretty sure it was to save YSU some money). So today I get to travel from Akron to Chicago; Chicago to Toronto; Toronto to Edingurgh.

I got to start my trip old school-no walkway, 6′ cabin height, and three seats per row. The only things missing were a couple of propeller props on the plane.

Embrace RJ135

The puddle jumper to Chicago


Plane interior

Spacious interior


 After a brief stop in at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, it was off to Pearson in Toronto for another short layover. It has been years since I have been to Canada, and to Tim Hortons. Unfortunately they were so busy I wasn’t able to get some of the strangely addicting coffee (I’ll try again on my return trip).


Incredibly long line at Tim’s


And a mere 6 sleepless hours later…


Arriving in Edinburg

 Heading to the campus.

Street view

Streets leading to the campus


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2015 Society for Applied Philosophy – Edinburgh, Scotland

Looking forward to the SAP annual conference in Edinburgh.   


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