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Saturday, May 27, 2006

But first...these commmercial messages

My wife and I were talking over a few things today, and the subject of the blog and things relating to the blog came up. My wife is so great that she has probably ruined me for other women forever. One of the many reasons is that we can enjoy just sitting around and talking about all sorts of things and not get bored. We both find life fascinating and like to research topics that catch our attention. Anyway, during that part of the discussion we agreed on the following:

The commenters on this blog are great!

YO, you guys? I think most of you are just awesome! I am now going to give out some thanks.

Thanks to the guys who disagree with me and make reasoned arguments to present their side of the discussion. I think that if this were a one-sided blog it would be rather boring. Yeah, sometimes you say something I think is whack. Mostly you present evidence and make arguments that add tremendously to the subject under discussion. Thanks very much! (And a nod to s cohen, who is indeed the one who pointed me towards The Mars Volta.)

Thanks also to the people who agree with me and bring in more evidence, or yet another viewpoint, or just an 'atta boy' now and then. I do participate in the comment thread but it works best when the comment thread itself is a back-and-forth discussion. Sometimes it gets heated but that is because we are talking about stuff that really matters to us.

Thanks even to the occasional bonehead who writes something really stupid so the rest of us can hoot at it! It's all good.

~~~~~~~

Thanks to any and every one of you who has taken the time to serve his country in any branch of the Armed Forces. No nation is great, or even good, if it is not peopled with those who will serve others for the greater good. Whether you schlepped cargo or shot rifles or simply sat at a desk keeping records, you are part of the reason your country is standing free. Thank you Americans and British and Canadians and Australians and even Kiwis who have stepped up to the task! (I realize some of the commenters here are not from the States.)

It is Memorial Day weekend here in the states, when we remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of our nation. God bless them, every one!

God bless my oldest son, Rob, now a sergeant, for serving with honor. We will be so glad when you can finally come home!!!

17 comments:

A Hermit said...

Much as I beleive the Iraq war was a mistake my disagreement is with the politicians who made the decision, not with the brave souls who are doing their best to finish the job. I have profound respect for those who are willing to put their lives on the line to serve their country. I wish your son well.

You must be proud, Radar, and rightly so.

Sincerely

A Father of Two

A Hermit said...

And just for the record, the post that originally drew me to your blog was the one in which you called illegal immigrants "rats" and compared them to cancer.

Here is one "illegal's" story:

Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez came to the US illegally, was educated at US taxpayers expense, housed, clotehed and fed at US taxpayer's expense, was granted "amnesty" when he turned 18...and gave his life for his new country.

Still think they're all rats and criminals who should be denied all services, shipped "back home" and never granted citizenship? Or is it maybe not so simple after all?

highboy said...

"Still think they're all rats"

Some, not all.

"and criminals who should be denied all services, shipped "back home"

Yes. They broke the law.

"Or is it maybe not so simple after all?"

It actually is. Illegals and those that support their illegality keep claiming that without them our economy would collapse. That is wrong. Our economy is worse because of 12 million illegals who take jobs (that Americans WILL work. Bush is an idiot, I KNOW people who have done those jobs)and recieve benefits that U.S. born citizens cannot attain. I don't get free healthcare, taxpayers don't support me, and I'm American. My newborn SON cannot get healthcare because I can't get him a social security card and birth certificate. I've been getting the run around since I got home and meanwhile he needs immunization shots, and hasn't had a checkup yet.

I reject the notion that shipping 12 million illegals back home is unrealistic and unfair. That is sending the message that if enough people break the law, the law is no longer enforcable. Illegals do nothing but suck off of this country. Americans will gladly take those jobs, employers just wouldn't get away with paying the .50 an hour. I say ship the employers hiring these illegals to Mexico and see how they like poverty.

It is not the U.S's job to fix Mexico's economy.

By the way, your soldier is in our prayers.

highboy said...

"and never granted citizenship?"

Not NEVER. But they should be moved to the back of the line behind those that respected our laws and are patiently waiting citizenship.

By the way, a worker's visa is not hard to get at all in this country, easier than most. Pay the $100 dollars instead of the God knows how much to be smuggled.

radar said...

Thanks for good wishes, hermit, and all the best in endeavoring to be a good Dad!

I see the immigration problem as being like a pest control problem, as I posted, and also see that to cut off the reward the behavior will change. It is simply an analogy but it makes sense. On the other hand, it isn't personal. Every illegal immigrant is just as much a human being and no better or worse than someone like me as a man or woman. But their behavior is illegal and this is therefore a problem. Wise people seek to solve problems. Stupid ones wait until the problem overwhelms them.

oriolebird38 said...

once upon a time, i thought about joining the military. mainly cause i was in grade school and i wanted to join the air force cause "flying planes is cool"

at this stage in my life i realize that serving on the front lines is so beyond my capabilities in just about every regard, that i can't help but marvel and applaud at those who would volunteer to serve their country in such a manner. Bravo.

I don't know how easy it is to transport 12 million illegal immigrants back to their origins. Woudl take a lot of money and manpower, and I don't really see how , logistically, it could be done. If it could, i'm all for it.

Honestly, I think the biggest contribution to this problem would be to rather than attack the illegal immigrants, attack people who employ illegal immigrants by making it a crime to do so and enforce that. The only reason illegals get hired is because they're easier to employ. Solve that, and I guarentee you put a serious dent in the problem.

A Hermit said...

"Every illegal immigrant is just as much a human being and no better or worse than someone like me as a man or woman."

If you really believe that why do you insist on describing them as "pests" "rats" and "cancer"? Dehumanizing people is not something you do if you really have respect for them. It's a way of marginilizing them so you don't have to deal with them as human beings.

"Wise people seek to solve problems."

Spoken like a humanist! >;-}

"Stupid ones wait until the problem overwhelms them."

Or grasp at the first available soluiton that suits their emotional response to the problem, no matter how simplistic, unworkable and inhumane.

Real solutions have to first be doable.

A Practical Hermit

creeper said...

Hermit,

Rock on. EXCELLENT COMMENT.

radar said...

Good grief! I proposed a solution, as commenters have not. I showed that both the situation and the solution were akin to a pest control problem. I stand by that. I said the people were human beings just like me, other than the fact they are engaging in criminal behavior.

highboy said...

Radar, your solution is a good one: send them home. Other solutions have been tried (remember?) and failed, even made things worse. Yes, it MAY take a lot of money and manpower, but what is the alternative? "Too many have broken the law, therefore, the law shouldn't and can't be applied." That is what I'm hearing. Deportation is not the first solution, its never been tried. Amnesty has been tried. It failed.

"Dehumanizing people is not something you do if you really have respect for them. It's a way of marginilizing them so you don't have to deal with them as human beings."

You're right, they are human beings, not pests. They are criminals, and that is how they should be dealt with, not given a pass ahead of people trying legally migrate here, simply because the alternative is hard. They are criminals. That is how I deal with them. That is how I refer to them.

oriolebird38 said...

highboy, it's 12 million people. i think we can safely take the "MAY take a lot of manpower and resources" tag off and replace it with the "WILL take a lot of manpower and resources" tag.

Though, it would create a fair share of jobs. Tons of people are unemployed in Detroit with all the factory layoffs, maybe could move them to Arizona and they could help. Hell, I'll do it, I need a job for the summer. Kidding aside, that wuoldn't be a bad idea but I just don't see the US govt. having the money to put that together. We still have to pay for that war thing. I could propose raising taxes, but that's more of a liberal thing, which tends to be frowned upon here.

highboy said...

"Kidding aside, that wuoldn't be a bad idea but I just don't see the US govt. having the money to put that together. We still have to pay for that war thing."

To round them up? Maybe. But what I can't figure out is why people from either side see this as the only way to deport them. How about deporting them as we catch them? How about putting an end to this "catch and release" nonsense? We KNOW where they are, we wouldn't have to just round up 12 million all at once and ship them back. These people were congregating by the thousands here not even a month ago. We certainly have the manpower to deal with this issue.

Anonymous said...

"Deportation is not the first solution, its never been tried."

Actually, it has:

The operation coordinated the Border Patrol and state and local police agencies to mount an aggressive crackdown, going as far as police sweeps of Mexican-American neighborhoods and random stops and ID checks of "Mexican-looking" people in a region with many Native Americans and native Hispanics.

Operation Wetback successfully deported approximately one million illegal Mexican immigrants in the space of almost a year [1954], although its perceived heavy-handed methods raised among some people reactions of public outrage and accusations of police-state tactics, which forced the operation to end."


Regardless of other issues (morality, physical plausibility - manpower, numbers, etc.), I seriously doubt such a thing would be ~politically possible today. (in the sense of massive opposition -legistatively, judicially, publicly, etc). In a not all that far off future America, perhaps, but that would be an America, I think, that had truly lost its way.

" I said the people were human beings just like me, "

Radar, we understand that you don't think illegal immigrants are literally rodents, like in some sort of weird Pied Piper scenario (although there's an actual problem here and abroad with invasive species. And did you know someone actually brought poison ivy to England? Although to be fair, it has very pretty fall foliage, and provides food for birds . . . )

The issue, as was mentioned before, just above by Hermit, and by author and Koufax award winner Dave Neiwert on his blog, is that this sort of rhetoric has a very, very ugly history. It's somewhat analogous to somebody who puts up a Confederate flag and then goes, 'hey, what is all this fuss about?!' It's possible that they might not understand or intend the message it would send, but frankly, that's their fault, and once they found out . . .
(Maybe a year ago or so I was in Wawa and some idjit with a big Confederate flag shirt got into a loud argument with the cashier over how she didn't even know what it stood for (!), the Civil War wasn't really about slavery, and blah blah blahblahblah. Now Wawa's a regional chain - think 7/11 - and one of the things they do is make hoagies (subs/grinders/heroes/po'boys/etc.) to order while you wait, which this guy did - and let me just say, if he went and ate it, he's not just stupid, but stupid.

There's an additional layer, though. This kind of rhetoric has the possibility of encouraging or contributing to new very bad things, rather more so than the Confederate flag in and of itself. I'm sure this is not your intention, but we have to consider the effects of what we do, not just how we mean it.

"These people were congregating by the thousands here not even a month ago. We certainly have the manpower to deal with this issue."

Besides the fact that they weren't all illegal immigrants, you can, I imagine, see how this sort of thing could go very, very wrong, right?

Another issue is that any such plan would involve deporting a significant number of people who are legally U.S. citizens, if sometimes fairly small. What would we do about everybody born here, little and big? Revoke their citizenship? Just deport the rest of their families?

"It actually is. Illegals and those that support their illegality keep claiming that without them our economy would collapse. That is wrong. Our economy is worse because of 12 million illegals who take jobs (that Americans WILL work. Bush is an idiot . . ."

Re: that last bit, whether or not he's an idiot, I think the relevent factor here is the business community, which wants cheap and easily exploited labor, but for the rest, here's an interesting blast from the past, via Neiwert again:

"It has been interesting to note how many contributors have been afraid we would have no garden truck if the Japs are sent to concentration areas. We had gardens long before the Japs were imported about the turn of the century, to work for a very low wage (a move for which we are still paying dearly) and we can still have them after we have no Japs.

Isn't that discounting American ability just a little too low?"


Anyway, I've been meaning to say nice things about this post and the end of the Hendrix one (and yes, you must be proud! and here's to a safe return) - we're not just keeping brain cells alive; debate and discussion of issues is a major part of democracy,etc. . . I was quite impressed with the recognition that both sides are working to defend and carry out things they perceive to be good, even if these things may seem hard to understand or deeply mistaken. This is an essential starting point for working or just living together in any useful way The trend for a lot of political discourse to ignore or deny this - most glaringly, overwhelmingly noticeable on the right, but it's seeping into the left, too - is very, very dangerous. Besides starting down a road that can end someplace rather bad, the more we make decisions - supporting policies, voting, etc. - not on merit but on this kind of shuttered, exclusionist mindset, the more we lose part of democracy, until we might as well be subjects rather than citizens. Anything that reminds us that the folks on the other side of the aisle are people - even deeply misguided ones - rather than inscrutable alien entities gleefully bent on the destruction of all that is good and holy - is a good thing.

Anyway - so, a lot of political stuff is non-rational, right? But that's not necessarily a bad thing - common sense (and possibly neurology - see points 1 & 2 here) tell us that people can't live on reason or logic alone; we need values, emotions, etc. to guide us, however imperfectly. (I'm including values and all when I talk about merit above).

Certainly there are problems that stem from illegal immigration, although we can argue about what they are, and to what extent, etc.. But the idea of kicking out millions of people who are here working, raising families, etc. - even though they broke immigration law to come here - is deeply repugnant. It's something like what I imagine some of you feel about abortion, or the ACLU's actions, or whatever. Without denying that there's an actual issue, such a proposed solution goes entirely against my sense of both personal and American values. Highboy writes in another comment elsewhere about how '"we don't kill human beings because their presence is emotionally stressful." Without getting into that issue here, I imagine it's a similar thing - we don't - can't - do (b) even though (a) - we have to find another solution.

-Dan S.

highboy said...

"There's an additional layer, though. This kind of rhetoric has the possibility of encouraging or contributing to new very bad things, rather more so than the Confederate flag in and of itself. I'm sure this is not your intention, but we have to consider the effects of what we do, not just how we mean it."

Perhaps we should send this comment to Murtha, Kerry, and the rest of the surrender brigade?

"We had gardens long before the Japs were imported about the turn of the century, to work for a very low wage (a move for which we are still paying dearly) and we can still have them after we have no Japs."

A very true statement.

"even though they broke immigration law to come here - is deeply repugnant."

No, repugnant is allowing illegals to collect free healthcare (does anyone here get that?) suck up jobs, ignore the law, while the real citizens pay the difference. (Like I'm not taxed enough?) What is more repugnant is giving them a pass simply because there's too many of them. Again, I'm hearing that if enough people break the law, that law in not enforcable. It is also repugnant to reward these criminals with a pass while those who have been waiting patiently to get in this country legally are still at the fence, waiting there turn. The message we would be sending them is that if they sneak across, we'll give them a pass too. What is more repugnant is that you equate how you feel about enforcing our laws in this country to how I feel about the murder of 1.3 million innocent babies per year. What is more repugnant is this:

"Without denying that there's an actual issue, such a proposed solution goes entirely against my sense of both personal and American values."

So to follow the law and enforce our laws is un-American to you?

Anonymous said...

A woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging ten times what the drug cost him to produce. He paid $200 for the radium and charged $2,000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman's husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could only get together about $ 1,000 which is half of what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said: "No, I discovered the drug and I'm going to make money from it." So Heinz got desperate and broke into the man's store to steal the drug-for his wife.

Should Heinz break into the laboratory to steal the drug for his wife? Why or why not?

Anonymous said...

oops. that last anon was me . . .

-Dan S.

highboy said...

Dan: That hypothetical is old. I listened to it twice so far while up in Bible College. Christians debate that one too. The problem though is that story doesn't apply to all illegals, and we have no way of determining that. Are you suggesting that if your hypothetical happened today, that we shouldn't enforce the law that says stealing is illegal?