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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Illegal Immigrants? Take the Buffalo approach!

I am here to say that the problem of illegal immigration is a big one for a number of reasons. Illegal immmigration is a huge security problem, for one thing, and so we most definitely need to close down the borders. There is a growing consensus in this country to do just that, even as the method of doing so is debated. All good and necessary.

But what about the illegals already here? Do we give them amnesty? Do we offer a kind of a guest worker program of a retroactive nature. Do we put them on a kind of probationary time to fulfill certain requirements and then they get citizenship?

NO! No, no, no and no! Anytime illegal aliens have been granted amnesty, it has emboldened more new illegal entries into the country. On top of that, the illegal immigrant situation we have now threatens to bankrupt several states that find themselves providing all sorts of services to people who are in the country illegally. We cannot afford to reward bad behavior. Plenty of people have entered into this country legally, followed the law, and become great citizens. These are the people we reward, not the ones who begin their stay here as criminals. ILLEGAL ALIEN denotes a criminal, right?

SO WHY ARE THEY HERE????? To do the jobs Americans won't do?

Unfortunately, while some like to say that they are here to do the jobs Americans refuse to do, or can't do, that is a crock! They are here to hold down the cost of menial labor so that Freddy and Muffy can have three servants for the price of one. They are here so the local lawn company can charge less to mow your lawn or put in new sod at a lower cost and thereby get more business. Illegal aliens pick our vegetables and hold down the cost of fresh produce, true. But somebody has to do it. If the cheap and illegal labor was not available, then the employers in these fields and the elite who want gardeners and maids and cabana attendants would all have to pay an American more money to do the same thing. Then that American would have more money to spend. Having done the work legally, a paycheck would be getting cut, taxes paid, and the money to fund the services like schools and hospitals and clinics would be available. The economy would be doing even better and unemployment would drop.

I understand why the illegals come here. I think this is the greatest country in the world. But our border states are reeling under enormous costs and there is a small minority in this country that doesn't just want to come here, they want to change here. I see shirts with Aztlan, MEChA, Raza and I get angry. I hear slogans like, "we didn't cross the border, the border crossed us!" and I get angrier.

We are a nation of immigrants. These immigrants came here to assimilate, to join the "melting pot" of America and enrich our country with the varieties of culture that came with them. These immigrants have come to our country legally and sought citizenship. It has been this way for multiple generations. But so many illegal aliens want us to speak their language, to follow their ways and to ignore our laws so they can just take cash money under the table and live in part off of our hard-earned tax dollars. We shouldn't, and we can't stand for it.

What can we do about it?

We can learn from Buffalo, New York. Now in Buffalo the rat problem in the city was a huge one. Exterminators could not handle the problem. But then in 2001 the city mandated that everyone would have to begin using special anti-rat garbage totes that the rats could not open. With no way to get to the garbage, the rats left Buffalo. Now, they went to the suburbs and now the suburbs are fighting them. But it is no longer a problem for the people of Buffalo, New York. Here is how to do the same with our problem:

1) No services.

Absolutely no services of any kind for those who cannot prove they are in the country legally. Nothing but emergency medical care. Without all the social services, medical and other services provided for them, the illegals will find life here less attractive.

2) No schools.

Absolutely no schooling for anyone who cannot prove they belong here legally.

3) No easy birthright.

Change the law. Now, if you are born here, you are a citizen. I say, if you cannot prove that you were born here and that your mother was here legally at the time, then your citizenship is that of the mother and not of the USA.

4) No legal status. No drivers licenses. No bank accounts. No ability to sue a citizen. No legal standing for anyone who is in this country illegally.

5) No free lunch for "The Man".

Make it a criminal offense (and enforce it if it is already on the books) to hire an illegal alien, or to rent a dwelling place to him, or to sell him a home knowing that he intends to live there. Make employers provide documentation for all of their workers. You put the onus on "The Man" and it suddenly becomes less appealing to take advantage of the illegals.


THE RATS WILL GO SOMEWHERE ELSE


If illegals cannot benefit by being in this country illegally, they will either decide to make it legal or they will go away. If they come into the country legally and seek to make a home here, cool, come on in! Otherwise, not one nickel for services to illegals, not one seat in a classroom, not one job opening, not one drivers license and not one apartment to rent. Once we nail that down, the traffic at the border will probably reverse for awhile as those who seek a free lunch look for it somewhere else.

It will work. We just need to have the guts, the will and the integrity to follow it through.

43 comments:

highboy said...

A good plan. Lets get 'em. The Christian response has been disgusting, as many mainstream evangelicals openly call for the Church to ignore the law in order to "help their fellow man." By letting illegals steal jobs from Americans and suck our economy further into the rabbit hole?

creeper said...

Suck the economy further into the rabbit hole? I thought everything was going swimmingly.

Rhetoric like that is an interesting parallel to Christians claiming overwhelming dominance one moment and crying victim the next.

Anonymous said...

"Now in Buffalo the rat problem in the city was a huge one."

Comparing people to vermin. Where on earth have I heard that before? It sounds so strangely familiar . . .

"As many mainstream evangelicals openly call for the Church to ignore the law in order to "help their fellow man."

Yep. Darn Christians, ignoring laws to help their fellow men. How dare they?! For did not Jesus say, 'the meek will inherit the earth, except those meek who happen to come from another country and are taking away your construction and lawn-care jobs'?


-Dan S.

Middle_America said...

Good and accurate post Radar.
I have heard some talk show host go as far as call it an "all out invasion". It's funny to me out of 191 nations, everyone expects United States to be the only one to simply continue to allow illegal immigration to come it.

It's not like a global terror war is going on or anything.

Congress needs to enforce the current laws. I personally say put a wall up down there on the Mexican border and on the Canada border.

radar said...

Creeper-Hmm..Christians claim overwhelming dominance? That is something that Islam is attempting to accomplish. Christians are not looking for world domination and I really don't know what that statement means?

Secondly, I don't believe that we have a lot of Christians crying about being victimized. Where is this happening? Oh, you mean if someone violates a Christian's civil rights and he fights back, that is crying but if it is a non-Christian then it is good old patriotic freedom in action?

But on to Dan S- Did you notice that every one of those 9/11 hijackers were aliens and some of them were illegally here?

Did you see the news yesterday about the illegal alien who caused the worst bus accident in US history during the Katrina disaster? He had a fake ID and had switched the plates on the bus. He didn't read English well enough to be able to tell his passengers how to get off the bus in an emergency. People burned to death, horribly, because an illegal alien who was not qualified to do the job was driving the bus. Twenty-three people died. He had been charged with 23 counts of murder (criminally negligent homicide) back in October and now the details are beginning to come out.

Haven't you read about the school systems and hospitals in Arizona, in New Mexico, in Texas and even in Southern California that are reeling under the cost of providing services for illegal aliens?

Illegal aliens aren't poor, victimized people found bleeding by the side of the road. They are people who deliberately break the law to enter this country. Therefore, they are criminals from the start. Many of them were criminals already, fleeing prosecution elsewhere or counting on their "gray area" status here providing them refuge and an opportunity to commit more crimes.

There are plenty of citizens who are looking for a job, or a better job. It cracks me up when some liberal cries about the poor illegals being mistreated when in fact the most affluent segment of our society is the one fueling the fire. Big money wants to hire illegal labor on the cheap and sometimes entirely under the table. They must laugh out loud when they see the liberal community take their side. Meanwhile, there is still a large segment of our population, legally here, who because of skill level or age are having trouble finding steady employment.

"Meek" is not synonymous with weak, nor with being a breaker of the law. Jesus would tell someone who wanted to enter the USA to follow the law.
"Obey every law of God and man" is what Jesus says. Anyone who breaks the law to help illegal aliens either come into this country or stay here is choosing to be a lawbreaker as well, but forget bringing Jesus in on your side. Baloney! That isn't being kind, that is being blind and foolish.

A law-abiding Christian does not help illegal aliens. If he does help them, he is no longer law-abiding and he is doing far more harm than good.

This is not about people of Latin heritage. We have a large Latin population, here legally, who outnumber any other minority. They have added to this country, not detracted, and belong here just as much as someone of German or English or Japanese or Polish or Nigerian or Russian or Chinese or Libyan or whatever. This is just not about race, not about skin color, not about prejudice. This is about being a sovereign country, about safety, about securing our borders and about the systems we have in place to care for and provide for our citizens.

I have contempt for those who break the immigration laws in the "name of Jesus!" Do it in your own name and quit defaming His. You are the one who should take all the credit for helping to bring further ruin upon our nation!

highboy said...

Dan's idea of helping his fellow man is letting foreigner literally steal jobs from people, and turn the healthcare system inside out.

Oh, and don't forget the crime rate due to illegals. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, 95% of all outstanding homicide warrants target illegals. Got any Scripture you want to take out of context to support that Dan?

Anonymous said...

Hey Creeper, I think we touched a nerve or something . . .

-Dan S.

IAMB said...

Comparing people to vermin. Where on earth have I heard that before? It sounds so strangely familiar . . .

Okay, I hereby invoke Godwin's Law.

radar said...

Does this mean that I am soon going to be compared to a Nazi???? (Godwin's Law) I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I voted for bushchimp hitler, after all, plus I am one of those nasty Christians to boot!

I wanted to stir things up so deliberately used that analogy. But if you read the post I don't cut anyone down personally nor do I care to do so.....but when someone chooses to break the law and continues illegal activities then they are exhibiting rat-like behavior. Because at that point their actions make them a problem to society as a whole. A big problem, in fact.

So then you guys are happy the illegals are coming here and taking jobs and stealing services and committing various crimes? Is that your idea of a good time?

Also, is this fair to the immigrants from all nations who have gone to the trouble to do things right? The people who did the paperwork and so on....it is a slap in the face of every legal immigrant when we allow the illegals to have equal footing with them.

Maybe we should just throw away the laws of the land and try anarchy for awhile? Because if you are willing to ignore and break one part of the law you show you have no respect for the law, period. Maybe we should have more mercy on the poor, misunderstood bank robbers? So many of them are just trying to pay a few bills. How about rapists? They are just expressing their sexual orientation, how mean of us to have laws that stifle their urges, right?

The ignorance!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!

IAMB said...

Does this mean that I am soon going to be compared to a Nazi????

No, it means that Dan already made a Nazi analogy. It was a sad attempt on humor. If "trying to stir things up" was the goal of the analogy, you did a smashing job of it!

No, I'm not about to hate you for your views on immigration, nor do I think that illegals are a good thing. I just normally don't get into blogging about politics at all.

I voted for bushchimp hitler, after all, plus I am one of those nasty Christians to boot!

Looks like I'm not the only one with an overactive snark dispenser today.

Nasty Christians? Nah. You're by far my favorite creationist, but you and I seem to get along pretty well despite our differences. That's why I keep hanging around.

radar said...

Matt,

I'll tell you a story. It seems I can be bitingly sarcastic and whereas that can be funny, it can be over-the-top as well.

I wrote a column (pre-blog days) a couple of years ago that an Australian friend of mine read. He wrote and said that it "didn't sound like me, it sounded like a whiny arsehole" (not swearing for me but I am sure it is down under).

Gee, that hurt, and I could see that it could be true. I like making the point, but being either the "w" word or the "a" word means I am over the top.

Anyway, I will get the politics urge out of my system today and go back to doing a science posting on Saturday.

My word today is "ewwdnc" !!!

Yep, I go "eww" when I think of the dnc so that is quite appropriate.

highboy said...

Dan: It always touches a nerve when unbelievers take Scripture deliberately out of context to prove a ridiculous point.

Anonymous said...

"It was a sad attempt on humor"

Well, it wasn't an attempt at humor - although I agree that it is pretty sad. And to be honest, I wasn't just thinking of Nazi propaganda (though that is the classic reference) but also Madison Grant's description, in the 1926 bestseller The Passing of the Great Race, of hordes of Polish Jews scurrying around New York - although I don't know if he actually compared them to literal vermin, now that I think about it . . .

But that's what I've always seen as a problem with Godwin's Law - as a prescriptive rather than descriptive matter, anyway. When someone trots out this kind of literally dehumanizing rhetoric, I think it's entirely valid to point out some of the precedents. On the other hand, between the emotional content and our habit of taking exactly the wrong lesson of history, it comes across as 'you're a bad, bad man!!' rather than 'no matter how nice you are as a person, this sort of thinking paves a very, very bad road, and the stones you've laid down 'trying to stir things up' may be trodden on in earnest by people willing to go much further than you. Whatever evil is, it isn't safely outside us and in the past, and doesn't come wearing a historically familiar insignia, rubbing its hands together and laughing evilly. Instead, it shows up in a pleasing form, and offers us what we most want. When it talks, it's voice is our voice - our true voice, not the flat replica that we hear on answering machine messages, and it's face is the face we want to see when we look in the mirror. I'd imagine that most folks learning about Nazism (or any similar atrocity) in school imagine that they'd have fought it, had they been there. Unfortunately, I suspect relatively few go on to the next step - realizing that odds are they wouldn't have. After all, if you don't belive you might fall, you're unlikely to walk carefully.'

Or something like that.

Anonymous said...

And it's should be its, of course. That's how upset this gets me!

-Dan S.

radar said...

Well, Dan S, I find it odd that you are upset that I would compare the immigration issue to a pest problem but seem to have no concern about the problem itself.

Let's change the comparison. Let's say legal immigrants are like air. We need them, in fact we all pretty much come from them. Like breathing, the USA depended upon legal immmigrants to grow and survive.

But illegal immigrants are like air that is put in a hypodermic needle and injected into the blood stream, going in the wrong way. Now if and when that bubble of air reaches the wrong area of the body??

Embolism? Death? Is that a problem, you think?

Illegal immmigrants are the problem. Not Jews. Not Mexicans. Not Arabs. Not any one race, any one creed, but all who come into the country illegally. Our security as a nation is at stake. This is not an attempt to dehumanize a particular people but to make people stand up and realize that illegal aliens are criminals and are a danger to America.

Do you, Dan S, disagree with this????

There are those who want convicted felons and illegal aliens to be given the right to vote!
I believe they do so because they think illegal aliens and felons will vote for them, not because it is the right thing to do.

The whole Nazi thing is ridiculous. Let's focus on the issue. Illegal aliens, yes or no?

highboy said...

Lets also stop misrepresenting the comparison. Its not like Radar refered to normal every day Mexicans or immigrants of another ethnic background when he used the word "vermin." He's talking about criminals. Comparing that to Hitler who refered to innocent people as the same thing is a stupid, idiotic comparison. Its not dehumanizing to refer to criminals as a pest problem. Its dehumanizing to normal, hardworking citizens to have to pay for criminals and watch them operate, and PROTEST publicly with impunity.

IAMB said...

Well, it wasn't an attempt at humor - although I agree that it is pretty sad.

I was saying that my invoking of Godwin was an attempt at humor...

The use of Godwin was meant to be in a literal (descriptive) sense, exactly as the law reads. I guess if I had that comment to write over, it would say this:

"Wow... Godwin's Law proven in record time" or something of the sort.

Sorry for any confusion or hard feelings I might have contributed to.

Anonymous said...

"Sorry for any confusion or hard feelings I might have contributed to."
No hard feelings - I assumed you meant it literally, but it reminded me that it's a pretty useless tactic, resulting in responses like:
" Comparing that to Hitler who refered to innocent people as the same thing is a stupid, idiotic comparison."

Ok, forget Hitler. Why am I upset, Radar, that you would compare the immigration issue to a pest problem? Well, Refering to a group of people as vermin generally isn't a good idea. It's a dehumanizing tactic. You could have presented your idea (putting aside the issue of merit for a moment) as a simple supply/demand issue. Instead, you framed it as a plague of rats. Long before Lakoff, it was obvious that metaphors structure the way we think. In your example, the rodents standing in for people were dealt with in a progressive and humane manner, but there are always people willing to take shortcuts, if it comes to that. The embolism example isn't much better (why not an cancer? after all, normal cell growth is necessary, just not uncontrolled . . .) You're talking about people. Men. Women. Kids.. Families.
I'm sure you're a pretty decent guy. So how do you justify your hardline approach? Well, we have the dehumanization, which is SOP when it comes to overcoming our general reluctance to be crappy to other humans (which only works insofar as we regard them as being like us).

But the distancing/smearing tactics only begin there. Next the bad motives of industry and the upper class are rhetorically shifted onto the people themselves: "They are here to hold down the cost of menial labor . . . They are here so the local lawn company can charge less to mow your lawn." That is why those groups generally support either the status quo or, barring that, a guest worker but the subtle unconscious implication is that the people themselves came here for those specific purposes.

Passing over the Malkin talking points (should that be Malkin points?) about how a student organization wants to reconquer the Southwest for Mexico, there is the mytholgized history about how the last wave of immigrants got off the boat pledging allegiance, waving little flags, and exclaiming how they came out of a unselfish desire to help build a great land of liberty and justice, as they were warmly embraced by their new countrymen. Nice movie, but you should read the book. When my great-grandmother got to New York, she was so upset that the streets weren't actually paved with gold that she threw a fit and demanded that Great-Granddad take the family back to Russia (so there was a pogrom or two, so what? You knew what to expect!) And my ancestors, crazy as some might have been, were almong the relatively small proportion of immigrants actually fleeing specific oppression. Most came here for fairly pragmatic reasons - making a better life in a land of economic and social opportunity. Assimilation wasn't entirely a cherished ideal (although for some it was, albeit often as a key to social and economic advancement), but more specifically a practical necessity, and to some degree a very ambiguous one. The melting pot was born as a controversy.

But those earlier immigrants (I'm thinking mainly of the Irish and then the giant late 19th-early 20th surge of folks - including mine - from Southern and Eastern Europe played it straight, one might say. They came here legally, and - at least in the vaselined soft-focus blur of nostalgic quasi-history - worked hard and prospered. They were the good immigrants, against which any modern group - legal or not - can be compared and found lacking. It's not entirely true, of course, but there's enough truth that we can pass over that, because all this was recognized at the time, and they were warmly welcomed, right, for doing everything right? Xfqnvs! People flipped out Hordes of inferior peoples were flooding our country, threatening to submerge us under an inferior culture and outbreed true Anglo-Saxon Americans into extinction (especially if foolish women insisted on committing race suicide by trying to become educated!) They were useless! They had no capacity for democracy! They could not be assimilated! They clumped together in weird poverty-stricken ghettos where they were signs in unreadable languages, the streets were noisy with foreign gibberish, and weird-looking people wandered around in outlandish garb!! They were driving down wages!! Second verse, same as the first - the reconquistabullshit that's been surfacing like a stubborn floater in the toilet of rightwing discourse is just the latest tired iteration of the garbage frightened people dumped on the Irish (slaves of Rome trying to wreck American traditions and culture and put our country under the thumb of the Pope), the Jews, the etc., etc., etc. . . .

Sorry - this makes me rant more than usual. Where was I? Oh yes - then we have the piece de resistance - they're just seeking a free lunch (oh, maybe not all, you suggest by the end, but does that matter?). Just seeking a free lunch. Forget the bit about getting here - they're seeking a free lunch by . . . taking jobs from American workers. That is, performing strenuous menial work for low wages (amid conditions ripe for exploitation). Doesn't sound like a free lunch to me.

Oh, they dare to go to the doctor - or take their kids to the hospital? They dare to enroll their children in school?! Evil, evil creatures!! (Let's not think about how increasing numbers of illegal aliens are paying taxes, since that kinda breaks up the lovely flow).

Guts, will, and integrity? I want to see you, Radar, and you, Highboy, look into a mother's face and tell her that her child cannot receive medical treatment. I want you to pull Vicente out of school, even though he goes to the teacher and asks for extra work so he can learn more. I want you to personally come along to evict this or that family from the house they bought - or built - by years of barely paid hard work, years of following the laws after that one admittedly bad act of arriving here illegally (quite possibly the only realistic option). If you would call that guts, will, and integrity, then go ahead! After all, they're criminals, they're stealing jobs, they're pests - why not wash our hands of them?

And onwards, going from the mindboggling contradiction of 'they're here for a free lunch of low paid menial work' to the simple non sequitor of " It cracks me up when some liberal cries about the poor illegals being mistreated when in fact the most affluent segment of our society is the one fueling the fire." Generally, liberals (at least, ones not totally useless) oppose both nativist stupidity and exploitation. I'd like to think lots of conservatives were helping fight for higher wages for migrant workers in the Hudson Valley back when I was there. Maybe there were (and it's good to hear you all support unions and minimum wage laws, and criticize Walmart for trying to drag American capitalism back to the sweatshop days, by the way). Your proposals do nothing to address this, except worsen the situation by driving the illegal economy further underground and depriving them of the most elementary rights ("No ability to sue a citizen. No legal standing for anyone who is in this country illegally."?? Where on earth this coming from?? And this constant refrain of criminal, criminal! Yes, illegal immigrants broke the law coming here (because y'know, say, Somalia just isn't as desirable as it used to be). Forgive me if I can't see that as quite equivalent to murder and rape. No doubt a very small percentage of illegal immigrants are real criminals, and that's a problem, since we definitely don't want them here. To imagine that "many" of them are, in any sense of many commonly understood, is absurd. (How many illegal immigrants live near you, Radar?)


]Deep breath[

Look, illegal immigration is Not a Good Thing. These people can be subject to all kinds of exploitation and unfair treatment. Border security is important, both in terms of terrorism and who-knows-what new emerging diseases in the age of nearly-instant travel. Companies are using illegal immigrants to drive wages down, and while the economic impact is probably smaller than one might think, it has to be affecting folks on the very bottom of the economic ladder (although I suspect that if we deported all illegal immigrants, many of these jobs would be filled by legal immigrants being paid as little as possible, since first-generation voluntary immigrants from places with lower standards of living will generally put up with things many born-n-bred Americans won't; in fact I suspect we'd end up with some program where industries basically imported people for this purpose. (I mean, anothersuch program.)

And likewise, while the drain on services is much smaller, proportionately, than many folks might think, it can be a major local burden. This, of course, isn't an argument about illegal immigration per se (since one obvious answer would be make sure all illegals, not just a growing number, are paying taxes), but simply too many immigrants too quickly in limited areas. Everything put together disadvantages these people, and makes it harder for them to fully contribute to - and receive the benefits of - American society. We do need to do something to improve the situation.

Why then, am I not running around like a chicken with its head cut off? Well, for starters, it's fairly obvious that this issue is being flogged right now for political purposes. It's a problem, not an urgent crisis. It's also, in its more unpleasant manifestations, an example of a process that David Neiwert terms transmission - when (in this case) far-right-wing ideas (cuckoo reconquista/MEChA/Aztlan nativist nightmares) are injected into mainstream conservative discourse.. It's also a difficult situation that will require creative solutions that balance both our country's and our citizens' legitimate interests with our best traditions and a big dollop of basic human decency, a goal that going on about vermin is probably not going to help much, is unlikely to be achieved in the current political climate, and is certainly beyond my meager talents.

Highboy: "It always touches a nerve when unbelievers take Scripture deliberately out of context to prove a ridiculous point."

It's almost a shame that I'm not fervently anti-Christian, 'cause then I'd be lovin' the way you take your religion's greatest strength and desperately try to deny it. When it was young, Christianity was the religion of the despised, drawing many of its adherents from the lowest ranks of society - the poor and poorly educated, women, slaves, even tax collectors. But what can I say - it's always easier for those in power to convince others that the weak and exploited are the strong, the exploiters. Might not be what the prophets say, but it's always where the profit is.

Back to Radar: "There are those who want convicted felons and illegal aliens to be given the right to vote!
I believe they do so because they think illegal aliens and felons will vote for them, not because it is the right thing to do. "

Could be. And I could say that those who oppose such a thing do so because they think that illegal aliens and felons will vote for their opponents. Could be. When it comes to ensuring democratic representation for all, is it better to be overly generous or overly stingy. Commit a crime, do the time, never get to vote again under any circumstances, even if, say, the state where they originally lived and committed the crime restores this right?)

-Dan S., going to bed.

Anonymous said...

I should proofread a bit more. All those errors - it;s downright criminal.

-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

That comment was way too long. Let me try again:

Yes, illegal immigration is a complex problem upon which good people can differ. However, refering to undocumented workers as 'rats' is simply not acceptable. Radar knows that, hence the comment about wanting to stir things up. Imagine someone saying this to a gathering of relatively like-minded people. I can hear the response: nervous almost-laughter, defiant supportive defensiveness, etc - the response one gets when someone says something people know is wrong, but for various reasons refuse to reject. It's all very nice, the instance that this isn't about race/skin color/prejudice, but simply illegal immigration. Perhaps Radar is naive enough, clueless enough about current events to imagine that he's innocently tossing pretty-colored-smoke dispensers instead of rhetorical grenades. I hope so, I guess. Anyway, as I was saying, simply not acceptable, and Radar knows it. That's why (unless simple ignorance and misinformation) there is this constant refrain that undocumented workers are criminals - not just in defiance of American immigration laws (a genuine issue) but overwhelmingly honest to god criminals, doers of all sorts of nefarious deeds. It's necessary, since Radar is no doubt a decent man, someone who would have trouble going up to young children, weary mothers, hard-working men, wrinkled grandmothers, get all up in their face, and start screaming "RATS! RATS! YOU'RE ALL CUQVNMFING VERMIN (or at least that's a reasonably safe assumption)!! YOU'RE A DANGER TO AMERICA!! GO HOME, CRIMINALS!" Hence all the distancing techniques. I hope he'll realize, with reflection, that doing so in writing isn't appropriate either - even to stir things up - and does him no credit. Somebody bring back the Radar who wrote movingly about balance, maturity, and belief - I'm sure that one could face a real and dificult problem while looking upon the people involved with genuine compassion.

Then we could argue about, say, the best way to balance the sensible desire to offer people who have spent years in this country working hard, raising families, growing roots, and being good law abiding citizens in all but name a reasonable route to citizenship, and the equally sensibly reluctance to embark on a predictably regular cycle of amnesties that result in a de facto unrestricted immigration policy, something that is in no one's best interest. We can argue about how to manage the reality of a poor country bordering one of the world's most affluent, in an increasingly globalized economy, in a manner that is both efficient and ethical. We can argue about the pressure that should be placed on businesses (although both Radar and I agree that it should be pretty substantial). We can argue about a lot of things, but it has to start from the recognition that undocumented workers are, in truth, no worse than you or I* - otherwise it's not an argument, but one person yelling, and I expect more from you.

* Perhaps this is hard to swallow. It's a general statement. No doubt there are individual illegal immigrants who are pretty bad people. No doubt there are some who are better, in many ways, than those of us in the comment section here. In other words, it's a group of people, with all that entails.

-Dan S.

creeper said...

"Christians claim overwhelming dominance? That is something that Islam is attempting to accomplish. Christians are not looking for world domination and I really don't know what that statement means?"

I mean that some Christians claim overwhelming dominance in the US (not aiming for world domination), as in claims that the US is a Christian nation etc.

"Secondly, I don't believe that we have a lot of Christians crying about being victimized. Where is this happening?"

Your skewed representation of what the ACLU does is a good example. You go on and on about separation of church and state cases that involve Christians but ignore the fact that the ACLU also defends Christians on freedom of speech issues. Misrepresenting the situation like this allows you to trumpet the mistaken conclusion that Christians are somehow being victimized by the evil ACLU.

highboy said...

Dan: It is not a complex issue. Illegal immigration is illegal and illegals should be deported. Very touching, that bit about looking into a mother's face and telling her child they can't recieve healthcare. However, I'd like to see you have the guts to tell all the mothers waiting, trying to get in the country legally that they have to keep waiting until we get all people that jumped ahead of them established first. I'd like to see you tell all the REAL Americans who can't afford healthcare that they have to keep paying for the healthcare of those who have broken our laws, and contribute to a nice chunk of homicide in our country. If you don't like the reference to vermin, oh well. I call them criminals, because that is what they are.

radar said...

We are a nation-state, Dan. Like the walls of a city when armies had swords and shields rather than tanks and helicopters, our borders are our strength. We are looking weak these days.

Imagine if we were a secured apartment/business complex. No one comes in or out without showing ID to the guard on the first floor. But a few people break in some how and occupy rooms in the building without paying rent. Perhaps one or two or more of them make it into your apartment?

So the illegal tenants eat your food and sleep on your couch. But you don't care, they are people just like you and me. (Maybe if they rape your wife you begin to change your mind?)

Anyway, with the influx of extra (illegal) tenants using the utilities without paying rent, the complex manager announces that your rent is going up by 10%.

But you don't care, they are people just like you and me. Gee, one of them has a little girl. How are you going to have the heart to tell her to quit drawing on the walls and throwing your CD's around like frisbees?

Finally, one of the illegals builds a bomb and blows up half the complex. You are injured and your wife is dead. Are you finally mad about all the illegal tenants? Or will you blame the complex manager for lax security???

So far we are remarkably lucky that illegal aliens have not sauntered across the border and blown up a Los Angeles city block. But ask the LAPD whether any illegal aliens are committing crimes...maybe they are blowing up LA bit by bit. Citizens are being robbed, knifed, killed by illegal aliens.

But you don't care, they are people just like you and me.

You want them to vote, as if they were citizens. You want them to use the social services and the schools.
You don't care if they are illegal, criminals....why? They are people just like you and me.

NO THEY ARE NOT! I am here legally, I am a citizen. I pay taxes. I served my country in the US Army. My country has laws and the laws are voted on by representatives that I elected to serve and represent me. I, via my representatives, have the right to decide whether we should have immigration laws and means by which aliens can become citizens. The law says they don't belong here.

I am stunned at the, I don't know, I don't want to call you stupid because I am sure you are not. I am not sure if ignorant is the right word. Okay, I am stunned at your incredibly poor judgement. If people who think like you get control of the government then we will likely see the end of the USA that stood as a beacon of freedom and truth and greatness. Because we have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights and a system of laws that established our freedom and established our nation. People who wish to disregard the law are a menace to society.

radar said...

Creeper, the ACLU is an institution I abhor and I am proud that I pretty much stand for everything they despise. The ACLU has tried to turn the 1st amendment around backwards, trying to use it to stifle freedom of religion. I think George Washington and James Madison and other founding fathers would be moved to tears of sorrow or shouts of indignation at the actions of the ACLU. I have nothing but contempt for the ACLU.

As to whether we are a Christian nation, well, the majority of people identify themselves as Christians. Also, we were founded on Judeo-Christian ethics. But I don't call us a Christian nation, I call us the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. We are a land of liberty with no official state religion and (supposedly, although boneheads like Michael Newdow and the ACLU fight against it) the freedom of religious expression.

Anonymous said...

"the ACLU is an institution I abhor and I am proud that I pretty much stand for everything they despise."

You stand for the violation of Americans' civil liberties? Weird.

-Dan S.

radar said...

Dan, I think you know I don't believe that the ACLU stands for what is claims to stand for. I believe in civil liberties as found in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They want to change the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, IMO.

Anchorage Activist said...

A good 5-point plan, except for item #3. If you require people to supply both a USA birth certificate and proof of mother's legal residency, a lot of born American citizens could, under extreme circumstances, have their American citizenship questioned. I don't carry around copies of my late mother's birth certificate and my late father's naturalization certificate, nor should I be expected to. I have enough paperwork I have to hang on to.

It is enough simply to end "birthright" citizenship. But let's not make it retroactive, otherwise the ICE bureaucracy would grind to a halt.

Anonymous said...

"Dan, I think you know I don't believe that the ACLU stands for what is claims to stand for."

I know - I just couldn't resist.

I believe in civil liberties as found in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. "

And so does the ACLU! One of the problems is that while there's heavy (and heavily outraged) coverage of their involvement in cases that fit the 'War on Christians' narrative, when they do things like defending kids who wear Christian-message t-shirts (or hand out candycanes with religious slogans) in school, all you get is ' . . . . [sound of crickets chirping] . . . '

Not that it matters, perhaps - after all, that came up in the last ACLU discussion, and didn't seem to elicit much of a response, iirc. Weird.

" Okay, I am stunned at your incredibly poor judgement."

People often are! But I don't think the immigration issue actually is an example of that. I do note, though, that you compared undocumented workers to people - albeit rather dangerous and unpleasant ones - rather than rodents invading a dwelling and needing to be removed - with, one hopes, humane methods.* That's good. More later, maybe.

* Which actually do work, but you have to get those big sturdy metal box traps, not the cheap little plastic things, which are almost useless. And of course, you need to drive a good distance away, or else as soon as you release 'em, they'll head right back. In the old house we'd get invasions of deer mice as soon as the weather started getting cold - cute little guys who had no idea that the house was patrolled by a hunting-deprived cat . . .

bewnaazr!

-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

So, you think all criminals are bad, bad people beyond any hope of redemption, who should be deported (if applicable) or at least punished harshly for their criminal act, even if it was in the past, harmed people at worst slightly and indirectly, and was followed by years of blameless behavior?

Yogfgbxt, blogbot says . . .

-Dan S.

radar said...

Dan,

"So, you think all criminals are bad, bad people beyond any hope of redemption, who should be deported (if applicable) or at least punished harshly for their criminal act, even if it was in the past, harmed people at worst slightly and indirectly, and was followed by years of blameless behavior?"

I believe that felons, not just any criminals, have forfeited their right to vote.

I believe that criminals should be prosecuted, yes. You want to give them a gold star and a pat on the back? What are you trying to say?

By the way, racism isn't part of this for me. Jesus was very likely a man with olive skin, a semetic nose, brown eyes and dark hair who spoke a different language than me. Jesus looked a lot more like the typical Mexican national than me.

I want Mexicans and other aliens to come here legally and apply for citizenship and join my country. I am all for that. I don't want them coming here illegally and bypassing the checks and requirements we have set up for immigration. It is unsafe and unwise.

This is a giant "duh" for me and I am flabbergasted that there are so many who just don't seem to give a rip about the problem. I would say that such people are, as bloggerbot says, "ogfopz!"

highboy said...

Okay, you guys need to tell me what all these things mean: "ogfopz!" Yogfgbxt bewnaazr!

Anonymous said...

"What are you trying to say?"

"I was a criminal in the real sense before I became a Christian. There was a time when I not only did illegal drugs, I sold them and actually belonged to a drug gang, that it, a group of people who produced and distributed "crystal meth" and marijuana in the local area. . . . Had things gone a bit different I would have wound up in prison. I left a drug house just minutes before a raid that landed the remaining people in the slammer. I just missed being arrested with a large quantity of drugs twice, both times when the officer searching me and my vehicle missed my hiding place. If he'd had a dog, I would have been a jailbird."

(quoted by) Dan S.

Anonymous said...

Ahhrg! My browser quit and took a long comment with it (you guys got lucky!)

Ok, real short - in the whole squatter/building complex analogy, there are three problems - 1) quality of life issues (brats scribbling on walls), 2) security issues (theft, rape, destruction), and 3) economic issues (higher cost of services). Let's examine these:

(1), (2) - the thing here is that there's no reason to think that the squatters are any more of a risk than the current legal occupants (in some cases, possibly less!). There already are brats scribbling on the walls, and a threat of rape by legal neighbors. The destruction of half the compound was an unmitigated tragedy, but not only was it preceded by damage to one wing by a legal resident (a minor former employee of building security), the individuals involved in the tragedy had all entered the compound legally on business (although some had remained after they were supposed to check out). These individuals belonged to a specific gang whose goal is to damage the compound; the vast majority (all, essentially) of squatters do not belong to any such gang and are only looking for a place to live.

How about 3, economic aspects? This isn't as clear as it might appear. It's also tied into tangential issues of building operation (some residents feel that services are being provided in a relatively poor manner, given the status of the building; the current board of directors are giving their friends, who occupy the real high-end residential and commercial units, rent cuts). The squatters aren't just skulking in the halls, but are being employed, many in building maintenance, etc., often for lower wages that allow a small reduction in the cost of building operations. However, this is controversial - not only are many squatter employees paid poorly and denied on-the-job protections, legal residents have less of a chance of getting these jobs.

The actual drain on services is pretty small*, but is amplified by a quirk of building operations - services for each floor is in part funded by the residents of that specific floor. Since the squatters are concentrated on a few specific floors, it is a much higher burden for those residents than it would be otherwise.

More importantly, all squatters actually are paying some amount of rent,** and an increasing number of them are paying much or all of their rent (which often isn't very high, since they tend to be in low-end units). One solution to the economic issue would be to work to ensure that all building residents were paying rent, and that all building employees were paid appropriate wages.

Leaving allegory-land for a second, I agree that there are real issues. Border security is very important, not just to keep out terrorists and similar criminal undesirables, but also to make sure we don't have folks just wandering in with untreated serious infectious diseases (something that will probably only get worse in the future).

The ~labor issues are real. Many to most undocumented workers are being exploited (and while this may be relatively better than conditions back home, that's not an acceptable argument - we have higher standards). There's surely some negative impact on the lower end of the economic ladder, although it's not clear, actually, how much: in the paper today: Cost of Illegal Immigration May Be Less Than Meets the Eye
"CALIFORNIA may seem the best place to study the impact of illegalimmigration on the prospects of American workers. Hordes of immigrants rushed into the state in the last 25 years, competing for jobs with the least educated among the native population. The wages of high school dropouts in California fell 17 percent from 1980 to 2004.

But before concluding that immigrants are undercutting the wages of the least fortunate Americans, perhaps one should consider Ohio. Unlike California, Ohio remains mostly free of illegal immigrants. And what happened to the wages of Ohio's high school dropouts from 1980 to 2004? They fell 31 percent. . .

. . . Yet a more careful examination of the economic data suggests that the argument is, at the very least, overstated. There is scant evidence that illegal immigrants have caused any significant damage to the wages of American workers.

The number that has been getting the most attention lately was produced by George J. Borjas and Lawrence F. Katz, two Harvard economists, in a paper published last year. They estimated that the wave of illegal Mexican immigrants who arrived from 1980 to 2000 had reduced the wages of high school dropouts in the United States by 8.2 percent. But the economists acknowledge that the number does not consider other economic forces, such as the fact that certain businesses would not exist in the United States without cheap immigrant labor. If it had accounted for such things, immigration's impact would be likely to look less than half as big
."

Of course, I have no skills to evaluate either the reporting or the study - go read it; there's more, including one of the study's authors agreeing that "the impact at the bottom end of the skill range was significant," and other arguments and numbers and etc.

There are real problems. However, unless we can deal with the reality, rather than our fears, there is a little chance we will be able to deal with them either effectively or ethically. I think it's quite unlikely we'll end up seeing illegal immigrants rounded up and sent to internment camps prior to deportation, while neighbors loot their belongings and grab their properties, but there's a whole host of bad outcomes - both in terms of decent behavior and national interests - that come before that.

One of the things is that for many liberals (besides us being all nice and stuff, and wanting to treat small children and old grandmothers as kindly as is reasonably possible) is that in terms of problems facing folks at the bottom of the ladder, we see competition from illegal immigrants as being pretty far down the list. In a very simplified sense, one side is saying, here's this tiny piece of dried-up leftover pie with all the yummy apple filling gone, and these bad people are trying to take it from you!!, while another side is saying, that's a pretty small piece of pie - what can we do to help you get a bigger piece?

For me, the biggest problems stem not from their being illegal immigrants, but undocumented workers, so my priorities tend to involve fixing that, if possible (ideally) in some way that doesn't just put the whole issue off for the next decade.

* if I understand correctly, the % of school age kids who are illegal immigrants is quite small to the overall % of school age kids - it's just that they're pretty clustered.

** for example, sales tax, and, directly or indirectly, property tax.

Anonymous said...

highboy:

"Very touching, that bit about looking into a mother's face and telling her child they can't recieve healthcare."

I'm glad you see that; unfortunate that you immediately wall that response off, and don't allow it to influence, say, consideration of whether there might be other options.

"However, I'd like to see you have the guts to tell all the mothers waiting, trying to get in the country legally that they have to keep waiting until we get all people that jumped ahead of them established first."

Is that how immigration actually works?


" I'd like to see you tell all the REAL Americans who can't afford healthcare that they have to keep paying for the healthcare of those who have broken our laws."

Is that a major factor as to why many Americans can't afford healthcare? Perhaps there are other features of our healthcare system and demographics that are mainly causing this problem?

-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

"and (supposedly, although boneheads like Michael Newdow and the ACLU fight against it) the freedom of religious expression."

Well, since you bring up Newdow and the Pledge issue (although that's quite marginal among seculars in general, and not even all atheists support it, either tactically or substantially):

Situation 1a: Young children repeat (often by route) a national loyalty oath, invoking God, voiced by an authority figure and effective representative of the state (usually a principal) and echoed by another important authority figure andrepresentative of the state. Children may have the option to refrain from saying it (although this has been challenged both in practice and legislatively), as their principal, teacher, and classmates recite it around them.

Whose freedom of religious expression is being involved?

Situation 2a: Someone legally challenges this practice, on behalf of their child, since they don't believe in God, as an establishment clause issue.

Whose freedom of religious expression is being affected? When government-employed authority figures recite the Pledge in the version invoking God,* for whom does this serve as a genuine and important example of religious expression? What's to stop children from adding, on their own, 'under God' if they so desire, or reciting this version of the pledge at other times, if the original version (not mentioning God) was restored? If it is an authentic religious expression, doesn't that mean it might serve as a curtailment of religious expression for children with other beliefs? If not, what's the point? Why are public school officials, rather than parents or priests, even being enlisted in a religiously-tinged ritual within the classroom setting (rather than at home, church, etc.)

Situations 1b, 2b - same as above, except for "God" insert "Mithras, The Unconquerable Sun." Does this change any of the issues/answers?

Situations 1c, 2c - same as above, except for "God" insert "No God, since God is just a silly make-believe sky-fairy." Does this change any of the issues/answers?

* Not in the original version, as you know, but rather added decades later, in the context of the Cold War.

- Dan S., would-be killer of the astral bull . . .

radar said...

Did you guys even read the post from Mr. Minority?

These comments are like a cancer patient rationalizing a small cancerous mole on his body. It is just a small spot and maybe with treatment it will be okay. It is on my left arm, so if they cut off the arm I will still have the rest of my body. No need to panic yet...

Uhm, but skin cancer often winds up killing the patient!!!!! Illegal aliens are illegal, they are criminals...I guess it is no use trying to reason with some of you guys. You want illegal immigrants to be here and stay here no matter whether it is right, it is smart or it is safe. What can I say?

A Hermit said...

First its rats, now its cancer...

You don't like being compared to Nazis? Maybe you should stop talking like one...

highboy said...

"You don't like being compared to Nazis? Maybe you should stop talking like one..."

Actually, if he were talking like a Nazi, he'd sound more like illegals that have been protesting under the "they stole our land" banner, much like Germans who blamed the Jews for all their ailments.

"I'm glad you see that; unfortunate that you immediately wall that response off, and don't allow it to influence, say, consideration of whether there might be other options."

Such as what? Liberals on one hand don't want to pay to liberate people getting gassed to death (Iraq) but have no problem spending tax money on people who break the law and enter our country illegally. I'll never understand that.

"Is that how immigration actually works?"

You mean you don't know? Its unfair for one group of starving, oppressed people to sneak under the border and TAKE what is not theirs while other starving and oppressed people play it straight and go through the process of legal entry. Workers visas are easier to get in America than almost anywhere else, and that includes Canada. It says something of someone's character when they feel they deserve special treatment and hop the border, whether they have kids or not.

"Is that a major factor as to why many Americans can't afford healthcare? Perhaps there are other features of our healthcare system and demographics that are mainly causing this problem?"

Its not a factor as to why Americans can't afford healthcare. (That has to do with frivelous lawsuits that lead to malpractice insurance going up to $175 grand a year) It does have to do with Americans who can't afford healthcare watching their tax money go to paying for healthcare of foreigners who have no respect for our laws. You can play the emotional card by bringing children in it all you want, but the fact remains Americans who can't afford healthcare are forced to pay for the healthcare of illegals.

One statistic that is repeatedly ignored is that by the Center for Immigration Studies that says 95% of all outstanding homicide warrants target illegal immigrants.

"When government-employed authority figures recite the Pledge in the version invoking God,* for whom does this serve as a genuine and important example of religious expression?"

Perhaps the goverment employed authority. If you say kids should not have to add the words "under God", I agree. If you think teachers should stop saying it, I disagree. Just because someone takes an oath of office or is employed by the goverment does not mean they lose their freedoms of religous expression, not even public religious expression. The establishment clause protects children from having to say "under God", but does not protect them from hearing the words "under God."

The whole religion in politics issue is awesome, especially when debating issues such as illegal immigration, healthcare, welfare, etc. Liberals are against the goverment practicing what they call "the legislation of morality," than expect Americans to follow their morality, and even have it LEGISLATED. For example: your modern day liberal would be against the government demanding everyone follow Christianity, but would not be against forcing Americans to pay for a complete and total strangers retirement (aka social security) or in this case a complete total CRIMINAL's healthcare. Weird. God loves a cheerful giver. Not a mandated one.

Anonymous said...

"illegals that have been protesting under the "they stole our land" banner,"

well, there is a historical case to be made, although I'd rather like to stay here . . . and I haven't actually seen any of those, don't watch enough tv . . . have any pictures you could link to?

"Liberals on one hand don't want to pay to liberate people getting gassed to death (Iraq)"
Hey, back during the whole Gulf War 'RISE UP! REVOLT! THROW OFF YOUR CHAINS! - oh, but we never said we'd actually help you or anything, so sorry, you can't blame us for how you interpreted it . . .' bit, I was both completely horrified and wanted us to march into Baghdad (although I - reluctantly - understand Bush I's reason's for not doing so). If that's what the Iraq War had actually been about . . . but it wasn't.

Hey, I'd love it if America could right all wrongs, could charge in with the armour of righteousness (and a lot of high-tech weaponry), blow the bad guys away, toss a few chocolate bars around, and then sit back and listen to all the cheering of [oppressed minority of the week]. It never works out, though. : ( Annoyingly, the world is not a Saturday morning cartoon. Would be a lot easier, granted . .

(There was actually a few days, during the run-up to war,during the inspections, when I started wondering if maybe I was wrong, if maybe Bush II was a bold and daring leader whose high-risk game of chicken was suceeding in humiliating Saddam as a impotent (outside his borders) dictator, rendering any residual Iraqi threat harmless, and possibly hastening regime change from within (which we would then be in a position to try to guide to a hopefully bloodless and reasonably human-friendly end).

Yeah, I don't know what I was smoking either. Oh well, would have been nice. It's why every time I start wondering - maybe we're just trying to psych out the Iranians? - I end up realizing no, sometimes -as the song goes, kinda you just need somebody to nuke . . .

"'ll never understand that."
Read Lakoff.

""Is that how immigration actually works?"

You mean you don't know?"
No, I mean, do we have situations like: 'Congratulations, ma'am, you are now a United States cit . . .oh, wait, my spider sense detects an illegal immigrant crossing the border. Sorry, ma'am, you need to go back in line (or the non-silly practical equivalent), or is it just, as you point out, that it seems kinda unfair?

"that has to do with frivelous lawsuits"
I might be wrong, but I don't think that's true. As far as I can tell, the whole 'frivolous lawsuits are everywhere and destroying everything!!' meme is largely produced and funded by industries and organizations who have good (practical,not moral) reasons to try to seek protection from lawsuits. Read The Myth of the Frivolous Lawsuit and Teresa's excellent Making Light post on Common fraud (you might want to skip section 1 as being too softy-squoshly liberal (although as a former teacher in an urban public school system I pretty much agree with her).

So, anyway, I think we need healthcare reform, and a way to make sure that folks living in the U.S. are all paying taxes, and a system that makes sure most folks can go see a doctor so they don't - and this goes for pretty much everyone who's uninsured - have to end up going to the emergency room, often with a condition that would have cost very little to prevent or head off, and now will cost large amounts of money to fix.

[and of course, that's all illegal immigrants do all day - go to the hospital. Yep.]

"the Center for Immigration Studies that says 95% of all outstanding homicide warrants target illegal immigrants. "

Actually, it says 95% of all outstanding homicide warrants in L.A. target illegal immigrants. Might even be true, but I'll save the fact-checking for a rainy day . . .

". If you say kids should not have to add the words "under God", I agree"
me too.

" If you think teachers should stop saying it, I disagree."
Oh, I think they can keep saying it! On their own time, that is. Just like they can pray, ritually sacrifice a chicken, whatever - on their own time, without involving the kids (although wearing religiously-mandated garb/symbols sounds fine . . .) When I was in the classroom, I always did my best to behave in an appropriate and ethical manner here. You wouldn't want me going off to a room of middle-schoolers about how God doesn't exist, nor would it have been right for me to do so (nor did I ever want to, but imagine if I had? I also tended to answer any evolution questions with 'go talk to the science teacher, they'll explain it better') After all, at least for younger kids, it's not even appropriate to discuss your voting preference (which led a lot of the kids to conclude that I was going to vote for Bush in '04, since I wouldn't tell them who I wanted to vote for, and bent over backwards to try to give them a fair picture of the whole campaign, etc.)

" Just because someone takes an oath of office or is employed by the goverment does not mean they lose their freedoms of religous expression,"

True - except where it runs into church/state issues. Teachers are, as a manner of professionalism and employment - bound to certain curtailments of freedom of speechh in practicing their profession, and (generally) rightfully so. Imagine I kept cussing out kids to their faces, and when the district tried to fire me, I started going that they were infringing my freedom of speech? (Not to say that cursing and prayer are comparable).

Look, you get two kinds of pressure, hard and soft. Hard pressure - say this prayer or we're going to beat you (as happened in 19th C New York public schools) is generally recognized to be bad and icky. Soft pressure is trickier. Remember, a teacher is supposed to be both an general authority figure and an important, influential figure to the child, teaching both academics, social skills, and character - for a good chunk of the day, they're like a quasi-surrogate-parent. To have this person going through a quasi-religious thing, along with many members of the child's peer group - that's soft pressure. In terms of religion, we don't want any pressure in the school! That's what parents and churches and etc. are for!

"The establishment clause protects children from having to say "under God", but does not protect them from hearing the words "under God."

In school? From a teacher? Why should they? (and of course, I think it does). Learning about religions? Sure. Learning religion? Wrong building.

Honestly, this isn't about forcing religion into tiny dark corners (ok, I can't swear there aren't a handful of people who would probably like this, but they're so far to the fringes that the freakishly bastard offspring of Michael Moore, Jane Fonda, the Nation's editorial board, and everybody on MoveOn.org's e-mail lists look mainstream (although you know kids - it would probably become a Republican . . . or worse, a liberal) . . .
. . .where was I - oh, right - it's about the state pretty much bending over backwards so that no one's freedom of religion get's trampled on, making sure that the public square is a place where all sorts of beliefs can thrive. It's anti-religious monopoly (which may, some folks have argued, explain why the U.S. is so much more religious than Europe)

"Liberals are against the goverment practicing what they call "the legislation of morality," than expect Americans to follow their morality, and even have it LEGISLATED."

Yeah, and we're against murder and theft, too. Funny, that,

Morality isn't limited to religion. We're all good with legislating morality - heck, we're all about it - it just really needs to also have a more or less secular purpose. Make a good case that way why pork-eating and polyester blends should be banned, and hey, you've got yourself a bill!

" but would not be against forcing Americans to pay for a complete and total strangers retirement (aka social security)"
See - pragmatism. Unless you want folks spending their golden years eating out of pet food cans - or moving back in with their kids (as a regular occurrence, not a relatively rare (middle class) last-ditch measure).

-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

I meant:
"but they're so far to the fringes that they'd make the freakishly bastard offspring of Michael Moore [etc.] look mainstream by comparison. . ."

"First its rats, now its cancer..."
I'm waiting for Radar to compare illegal immigrants to rats with cancer. Like sharks with frickin' lazer beams, or T. rexes flying F-15s . . .

In yahoo news (besides the article about the million-year old ice)
"Bush Taps Portman As New Budget Director"
which for a second I read as 'Bush taps Natalie Portman as New Budget Director.' - which would be kinda cool . . .

blogger verification word: groqveg.

-Dan S.

radar said...

Heck with Natalie Portman, I would appoint that Alba chick!

Illegal aliens are a problem whether you want to admit it or not. I want them to either go legit or go away. Either way works. Call them cute little fluffy kittens for all I care.

I want us to control our borders for several reasons.

My platform?

Alba, not Portman

Identification proving you are legal for jobs, services, employment, housing and schools

Border security that actually secures the border

How can you not want all three???

highboy said...

"If that's what the Iraq War had actually been about . . . but it wasn't."

If you mean the first Iraq war, you're right, it was about the U.N. pressuring Bush Sr. into going into Kuwait to protect THEIR interests. They opposed Bush Jr. however, so damned if you do, damned if you don't. The U.N. contributes nothing but oil for food scandals and gang rape in third world countries so they lost all credibility a while ago. Anyway, as I posted on one of the posts above, there were WMDs, unless you don't think a WMD is a weapon used to kill a lot of people.


"Hey, I'd love it if America could right all wrongs, could charge in with the armour of righteousness (and a lot of high-tech weaponry), blow the bad guys away, toss a few chocolate bars around, and then sit back and listen to all the cheering of [oppressed minority of the week]."

Then you must have loved what we did in Iraq. We killed the bad guys, and they cheered and danced in the street. Now bad guys from the outside want to ruin it all, and we'll kill them too.

"Read Lakoff"

I'd rather piss glass.

"No, I mean, do we have situations like: 'Congratulations, ma'am, you are now a United States cit . . .oh, wait, my spider sense detects an illegal immigrant crossing the border."

Of course a ridiculous representation of my argument. You must be out of answers.


"I might be wrong, but I don't think that's true"

Yep, you're wrong. Take Michael Schiavo for example, who walks away with $1 million of a $2million law suit because they didn't pick up on his wife's balemia. (If I spelled that correctly) Which, by the way, even by testing the acid content on one's teeth is virtually impossible to test for.

"" If you think teachers should stop saying it, I disagree."
Oh, I think they can keep saying it! On their own time, that is."

Nope, sorry. That is not freedom of religous expression. That is a violation of their civil liberties.

"Just like they can pray, ritually sacrifice a chicken, whatever - on their own time"

No, sacrificing kids is illegal. Wait, I forgot abortion. Got me there.

" When I was in the classroom, I always did my best to behave in an appropriate and ethical manner here. You wouldn't want me going off to a room of middle-schoolers about how God doesn't exist, nor would it have been right for me to do so (nor did I ever want to, but imagine if I had? I also tended to answer any evolution questions with 'go talk to the science teacher, they'll explain it better') After all, at least for younger kids, it's not even appropriate to discuss your voting preference (which led a lot of the kids to conclude that I was going to vote for Bush in '04, since I wouldn't tell them who I wanted to vote for, and bent over backwards to try to give them a fair picture of the whole campaign, etc.)"

Which is why public education always has been and always will be unconstitutional. First, it is not the government's responsiblity, nor does our Constitution say that it is. Second, someone will have their rights trampled on. This is why schools should be privatized, that way parents/kids alike can go where they choose, and not have their civil liberties of religious expression trampled on.

"True - except where it runs into church/state issues. Teachers are, as a manner of professionalism and employment - bound to certain curtailments of freedom of speechh in practicing their profession,"

You'll have to show me in the Constitution where that is made explicit, that everyone has a freedom of speech and a freedom of religion until they are employed as a teacher or take an oath of office. Pretty sure it just says everyone.

"In terms of religion, we don't want any pressure in the school!"

So "soft pressure," as you call it, would obtain to a teacher saying that Bush is a Nazi, or requiring students to write their president and tell him to bring troops home, and such?

". . .where was I - oh, right - it's about the state pretty much bending over backwards so that no one's freedom of religion get's trampled on,"

And as a result, tramples on everyone's.

"making sure that the public square is a place where all sorts of beliefs can thrive."

How can they thrive in the public square if they are eliminated from the public square?

"Yeah, and we're against murder and theft, too. Funny, that,"

Actually, since most liberals are for legal abortion, and amnesty for illegals, I'd say you're wrong.

"We're all good with legislating morality - heck, we're all about it - "

Apparently so, if you're willing to force complete strangers to support one another.

"Learning religion? Wrong building."

How is a teacher exercising his/her constitutional right to say "under God" during the Pledge (without forcing others to do so) teach Christianity to students? It exposes it to them, but too bad. This is America, and the Constitution allows for us to practice our religion freely.

"Unless you want folks spending their golden years eating out of pet food cans - or moving back in with their kids (as a regular occurrence, not a relatively rare (middle class) last-ditch measure)."

Oh, I see, if you don't want to take care of your parents you feel it perfectly moral to shove that responsiblity on us. Got it.

All of this establishment clause stuff would be solved if liberals would stop so obviously misinterpreting it. All historical evidence goes against the whole "separation of church and state", at least the way you seem to want to define it. Under your interpretation, literally every single politician that has ever served in office in the U.S. is guilty of breaking this clause.

Anonymous said...

I hear you radar, those mexicans need to be taught a lesson. I say we bring the troops home after we're done killing towelheads and have free target practice on the brown running vermin. Then they'll think twice before coming into our borders. The problem with people in poor third ass countries is that they don't know how to follow the LAW, specially OUR LAW. What are the UN fags gonna say anyway? Human rights bullshit and such.