NORTH OF THE BORDER

NORTH OF THE BORDER
(To the tune of, “South of the Border,” by Jimmy Kennedy & Michael Carr and featured in Frank Sinatra’s 1958 Concept Album “Come Fly With Me.”)

North of the border from old Mexico.
Down where the Rio Grande lays out its hand
in gentle flow.
The Donald is building a wall soon to grow.
North of the border from old Mexico.

He’s spending a billion to seal-off the land
But he could spend a trillion and still not even understand
These people keep coming, where else can they go?
But North of the border from old Mexico.

In their eyes you can see desperation.
There is violence and chaos about.
And when people have reached desperation.
No silly wall will keep them out.

North of the border we’re really naïve.
Thinking a wall defends when in the end walls deceive.
In shutting them out, we’re shut-in you know.
North of the border from old Mexico.

Lyric © 2017 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reservied

LET THEM STAY

Over 50,000 young unaccompanied children seeking to enter the U.S. without papers have been detained on the Texas border.  Few Americans appreciate the complexity of the situation or that U.S. policies toward Central America are largely the cause.   The children are fleeing a lawlessness and gang violence in their home countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.  The threats to their safety are real but so is the reality that many come believing they will be permitted to remain in the U.S. due to a law enacted to combat trafficking in people.  On one side of the argument are those screaming “Send them home;” and, on the other side are those pleading “Let them stay.”  I choose the latter side because speeding up deportations would establish a bad precedent in denying them hearing rights and because we are the last refuge for these young “huddled masses.”  The numbers of children sound large but in actuality are a pebble in the stream of our over 300 million. The real questions:  Do we want to be moved by fear and hate or by compassion?  Shall we live up to the promise of our beginning and ideals or succumb to a baser emotion that pulls us downward into a spiral of falling short.

 

LET THEM STAY

(To tune of “Bring Him Home,” by Claude-Michel Schonberg and Herbert Kretzmer (English Lyrics) from Broadway Musical Les Miserables)
U.S.A.
Keep them here.
In the past
We have always been there.

They are young.
They’re afraid.
Hearts turned brave
For the trip they have made.

Desperate times
On the run.
Don’t send them home
To the law of a gun.

Let them stay.
Let them stay.
Let them stay.

To show compassion isn’t wrong.
We can be kind and still be strong.

What they’ve seen
They’ve endured.
Fragile hopes
On our doorstep are poured.

Show them love.
Resist hate.
Look at them.
Do they threaten our state?

They’re just kids
Like our own.
Tired and hungry
Scared and alone.

Some have died
on the way.
All have cried.
Let them stay.

Who we are
Show the world.
We still care
For each boy and each girl.

Let them stay.
Let them stay.
Let them stay.

Lyric © 2014 by Robert S. Steinberg,
Esquire All rights reserved

LET’S CALL THE WHOLE THING OFF – 2014

Pat Buchanon recently said that immigration could split the USA into two countries.  Immigration is but one of many issues that spark partisan outbursts that grow increasingly strident.

LET’S CALL THE WHOLE THING OFF
(To tune of “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” by George and Ira Gershwin)

Intro
Things have come to a great impasse
And the blame flies “tit for tat”
The Republicans want one thing
But the Democrats don’t want that
Oh I fear a sad end we’ll see
Will democracy fall flat?
This great nation born, no longer one
Something must be done.

Verses
You’d cut spending, with budget axes
I’d trim spending, and edge up taxes
Spending, taxes, budget axes
Let’s call whole thing off

I say public, and you say private
You’d kill health care, and I’d revive it
Public, private, kill re-vive it
Let’s call the whole thing off

Bridge
But oh, if we call the whole thing off
Then we might start to think
And oh, given proper thought
We might do what we ought

Verse
Cut big spending, and raise some taxes
Stop pretending, to grind no axes
Feed-up, knowing
To hell the country’s going,
The people call the politics off
Let’s call the whole thing off

Additional verse
You’re against, Latin immigration
I say immigrants, build a nation
Immigration, build a nation
Let’s call the whole thing off

Bridge 2
For oh, lest we call the whole thing off
We might just fall apart
And oh, if we fell apart
Well that would break my heart

For this nation’ founders, were wise and dreamers
But their dream flounders, when used by schemers
Fed up, knowing, to hell the country’s going
People call the politics off
Let’s call the whole thing off

Lyric: © 2011, 2014 by Robert S. Steinberg
All rights reserved

 

KICKING THE CAN ON DOWN THE ROAD – 2014

Were congress a car it would have only one gear – political overdrive – no neutral, no reverse, and certainly no work-on-governing drive. With mid-term elections looming near and 2016 positioning already begun, congress is in lock-down.  Immigration reform, tax reform and other serious issues languish while our glorious constitutional institution kicks the can on down the road some more.  I’m republishing a 2011 post, with minor editing changes, to show how some things never change.

KICKING THE CAN ON DOWN THE ROAD
(To tune of “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” by Burt Bacharach and Hal David)

Kicking the can on down the road
When responsibility becomes a heavy load
Congress won’t decide
They just kick that old can again a little bit further

Because, to make a decision takes a stand
And taking a stand in an election year is banned
Campaign suicide
So, they just kick that old can again a little bit further

But they must surely know
They’re putting on a show there
And we know here
A country kicking cans is heading nowhere

Because, kicking the can on down the road
Is just like the hopping of a narrow-minded toad
Feeling satisfied
But toads never make it to the end of a long road
Your feet are free
Kick them out of DC

Lyric © 2011, 2014 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

 

CRUZ AND RUBIO

CRUZ AND RUBIO
(To tune of, “Here Comes Santa Clause,” by Gene Autry and Oakley Halderman)

Cruz and Rubio
Cruz and Rubio
Pulling another stunt
Filibustering.
Phony Blustering,
as party leaders grunt.

Sounding like two candidates
pretending to be friends
Come the ’16 great debates
they’ll show us how a friendship ends

Cruz and Rubio
Cruz and Rubio
Far right’s brightest pair
Plain folks don’t mean a thing.
Money’s everything.
Brazenly they dare.

“Let’s close the government,” they shout
to make a pointless point
Instead they both should mellow out,
Smoke a medically prescribed strong joint

Cruz and Rubio.
Cruz and Rubio.
Argue who’s more right.
Stop those Mexicans,
some call Texicans.
Deport them out of sight

Even Boehner shakes his head.
They’re way, way off the scales.
Not careful how they make their bed,
they’ll end up sleeping on sharp nails

Cruz and Rubio
Cruz and Rubio
Think they’re Obama’s bane
So unrealistic,
and narcissistic,
Says Senator McCain

If one became the President
the middle class would smart.
Don’t want a right-wing President,
another tin-man there without a heart.

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

HOW LONG WILL VOTERS PUT UP WITH THIS CRAP?

HOW LONG WILL VOTERS PUT UP WITH THIS CRAP?
(To tune of, Suicide is Painless,” by Johnny Mandel and Mike Altman, the theme song from the movie and T.V. series M*A*S*H)

The sentinels of righteous right
are dangerous and too uptight.
Obstructionism’s losing sight
of what should light this country’s light

Governing’s not tactics.
It takes us only backwards.
How long will voters put up with this crap?

The House defunds Obamacare.
A futile effort, they don’t care.
A world grown skeptical of where
Democracy’s now very weird.

Governing’s not tactics.
They’ve got the whole thing backwards.
How long will voters put up with this crap?

Reform for immigration sits
As yet another good man quits.
For wise men congress is the pits.
So, leave it to the worst nitwits.

Republicans say “trust us.”
No mercy but swift justice.
How long will voters put up with this crap?

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

THE GOP STRATEGY

THE GOP STRATEGY
(To tune of traditional children’s song, “She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain”)

Shall we vote on immigration?
No, we shan’t.
Shall we vote to fund the nation?
No we can’t.
No, we’ll spend good time on drama,
flaunting health care and Obama,
cause our right-wing delegation
wants to rant.

Shall we go on with obstruction?
Yes we shall.
Keep that R&D deduction
for our pals?
We think Rubio is dreadful.
Of baloney he’s a head full.
But we hate Obama, that’s our
rationale.

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

E-VERIFY

The USCIS E-Verify data base can be used by employers to check whether information provided by a prospective employee on his or her I-9 agrees with federal records. Some have worried that the system will be abused by both employers and ever more intrusive federal agencies. My concern is with those undocumented workers who have been in the U.S. for some time, have families and now will be denied the ability to support a family.  We plan to spend billions to build a Berlin Wall along the U.S. – Mexican border.  Perhaps we would more wisely invest those funds on programs to help Mexico create sustainable jobs in Mexico and safer conditions there  that its citizens do not have to risk life, limb and deportation to earn a decent living and find a livable life.  I do not here debate the cost versus benefit to the economy of illegal immigration.  I address only the human hardship that causes migration.  I chose a fight song because some support deportation with the fervor of a collegiate football fan.

E-VERIFY

(To tune of “Roar Lion Roar,” fight song of Columbia University, by Corey Ford and Roy Webb – originally written to different lyrics – source of fight-song lyrics unknown)

E-Verify
Is now the echo of the right and royal,
loyal republicans who chime:
Fire those, illegal immigrants,
who earn a dime.

Report them all!
Deport them all!
Bus them back home.

Mean laws make life a crime.
E-verify,
and any Mexican a job deny.

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved