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May 31, 2006

THOUGHTFUL POLITICAL STATEMENT OF THE WEEK SO FAR

(Thanks to Karl Weckstrom)

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So one has to be up at 5:30 AM in order to be FIRST?!

Dave, you forgot 'tasteful'.

Well, the statue of liberty is French, so the thong is appropriate, but not the "American Ass" - I mean, she's an immigrant, for Pete's sake, though not an illegal one (not to mention the Emma Lazarus poem). A big thong-wearing Uncle Sam would have been much more appropriate, and jsut as tasteful.

Lady Liberty could use some time on a Thighmaster.

Interesting form of protest, but I completely agree with his statements. The illegal alien problem has almost reached the point of no return. I welcome the troops put at the border now, but really, it's a token gesture and too little too late.

Immigration is fine. LEGAL immigration. I don't know what part of the word "illegal" these people do not understand. They should have absolutely no rights here, no incentives to come here illegally, no benefits, and no citizenship for their kids that they popped out after coming here. I don't care how long they've been here, how hard they work, what sort of family they are, or how much they love this country. If they are here illegally, then they don't belong here, and they should be prosecuted and deported. Period.

Any form of amnesty or any other incentives to be here is a joke and an insult to the people, like my ancestors, that DID come over here legally and went through the immigration and citizenship process.

Otherwise, GET OUT.

but how do you REALLY feel?

I was just in it for the thong.

The problem with this sort of political statement is that it invariably provokes condescending, lecturing comments from humor impaired bloglits with throbbing forehead viens and spittle on their monitor which explain in a very taught, loud font, that those of us who feel X about Y are complete idiots and then invariably they swerve into questioning the president's motives, intelligence, hygiene and ancestry. I used to enjoy making little lighthearted quips that would evoke that response, but decided that I was probably doing long term damage my fellow bloglits, (you know the ones that responded with the flame-thrower - blood pressure, etc.) Having said all that, here, here, well spoken, Wavy.

BTW: We oughta put one of those statues up in Bhagdad.

Snork @ judi

Of course, that IS how I really feel, judi. And having lived in Southern California all of my life, I cannot even begin to tell you how strongly I feel about it.

Mudstuffin's point is well-taken, too, though. I hope that my post won't provoke some sort of rabid political mudslinging fest by the loud font, throbbing vein, President-bashing crowd. (And when it comes to that, believe me, I'm no fan of many of Bush's policies either. I have major issues with a lot of them, like his position on this one.) But it's a raw-nerve subject for me and I just felt compelled to post what I did.

And, on behalf of my Cherokee great, great, great, great grandmother:

"All ya'll get the h*ll out!"

(snorks @ self)

wavey: i'm certain there are people within striking distance who believe exactly the opposite, and just as strongly, but i'm happy to report that so far none of the rest of them have responded. yay for the bloglits with throbbing veins!
thing! thing a thong!

That comparison doesn't really work. We are talking about present-day immigration policies and a present-day problem with people that are breaking present-day laws regarding entrance to this country. Not about something that happened centuries ago.

On that subject, the Mexicans around here like to hold up protest signs that say things like, "This IS our land." No, it's not. The present-day borders are the borders that you are under. You were born in Mexico. MEXICO is your land. Don't give me any of this coming over to the U.S. illegally and then proclaiming that you're in YOUR land. Because you're not. You're only in your land if you followed the legal immigration process.

Oh! Oh! I just noticed that the statue guy is from OHIO! I'm sooooo proud.

Judi: Oh, I know there are people within striking distance that believe exactly the opposite. Believe me, So. California has plenty of them. But polls say that the majority are actually getting fed up, as I am.

And yes, I applaud the fact that there have been no flames thus far.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
But dang it makes my thong ride up!

I suggest, lest we forget in these troubling times we take a moment and think of the often overlooked victims of this type of protest. IE the guys neighbor who is confronted with that ugly @ss while engaging in nothing more menacing then retrieving his morning paper.

I believe we all can agree this is the best form of protest

well maybe not.

My neighbors have never objected to my lawn jockey's thong.

orcel | 09:05 AM

That should have a Not safe for work WARNING

Wavy - I feel for you. Living in Ohio, I am not as affected by the illegal immigrant issue, but I know how much an issue it is in your part of the world. I wish there were a quick, fair, simple solution to fix this issue. The impact "ILLEGAL" aliens have in regards to medical costs alone are staggering.

I refused to hire a roofing company because they were very non-committal as to who would be working on our home. Instead, I hired a local man who did the work with his family. Much better use of my hard earned, taxed out the wazoo dollars!

I agree Mud, score one for the Buckeye State! The other Ohio related headline today is about a pitcher for the Indians who got busted for riding around with a 28 year old woman in ( she was driving) his car, the cops chased them, the two of them , hid in the bushes beside a house and then got nabbed by the cops..The film from the waitng room at the police station had them making all nice nice in the holding area..And his wife is not so happy.. Which is actually a metaphore for the immigration problem we are chatting up.. It has all the neccessary elemnts: Indians, fire water, cavalry, hiding illeagally ,paleface chicks..incarceration and ultimatly his wife will tell him to kiss her ass.. " From sea to shining sea !"

Just had to throw in a hearty "Dittoes" to Wavey- I lived in AZ for about 10 years, and even now in CO it is WWAAAYYY out of hand w/ the illegals. Being a case manager for Medicaid, we are NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO ASK if our clients are here legally or not- EXCUSE ME?!?!?!?!

Of course, one could argue that bare butted thong man is not exactly showing the "best side" of the issue. Nothing screams Tasteful like desecrating a national monument.

*ducks so Wavey doesn't start up his flame thrower*

wavey, i too live in SoCal, born in San Diego, lived here 25 of my 35 years. i'm sick of the anti-mexican sentiment. same people who bitch about illegals selling them flowers at the intersection have no problem day tripping down to tijuana or jetting to cabo for a week vacation. funny how we don't have to join a guest worker program to do that.

anyway, we have 20 million illegal immigrants from mexico here, some 10% of their population. the workers send much of their money home. it is a significant portion of their gdp, even though many work sub minimum wage jobs here. they still come here primarily to work. anyway, 20 million mexican illegals, no blown up airplanes or skyscrapers. i think we should welcome people like them into our midsts.

btw, who do you think is rebuilding new orleans??? why on earth with housing starts sustaining records all over the country would any citizen here want to pack up for the big easy and work, when they can get well paying work close to home? answer me that!!

oh and another thing... maybe i should recount the story of jim gilchrist's (minuteman founder) campaign office when he ran for congress in a special election last year. he lives in my home town (lake forest, ca). anyway, i have a friend who has an office in the same complex where his campaign headquarters was. guess who he had delivering signs and stuff. a whole pack of non-english speaking hispanic males. getting their direction in spanish. you gotta love the hyposcracy.

now back to your regularly scheduled laughing at these inbred idiots... sorry for the interruption.

On the flip side, I'm sure the natives said the same thing about us when we showed up.

And of course, since New Mexico, Texas, and I believe California originally belonged to Mexico before we "borrowed" them, we could always argue for dual citizenship. I could use a good excuse to own a piece of Cancun. Hey! That's my resort! But you're all invited.

SomeNorth- it's not a National Monument.. If it was the real Statue of Liberty, yes, desecration..That's like saying you can't put Old Glory on a cake because you cut into it, ya know?

Your illegals sell flowers? Wow. That's actually nice. Why would anybody be upset about being sold flowers?

We have born and bred in the country, fine upstanding youths with multiple piercings and substance abuse problems who offer to clean your windshield and if, heaven forbid, you refuse, they then beat your car as an extra service.

I like flowers...

Ah yes. Thanks Sean. So following this logic, it would not be desecration to take a revered personality, oh lets say the President and/or (to keep everyone happy) the past president, and put his image on a poster immitating a nasty inappropriate and possibility illegal activity with a goat. Its only if I do it to him personally that its a problem. Good to know!

Reminder! This is a humour column. And rednecks putting up statues of Lady Liberty in a thong to make a "political statement" is funny. Very funny. Especially since they then look especially silly to the rest of the country.

The issue is serious, the blog is not.

Let's focus on Lady Liberty's THONG, people!

Anyone else think her butt looks like a bag of cottage cheese with a string wrapped around the middle?

Anybody? Anybody? Beuller?

"you gotta love the hyposcracy." I'm not sure about that Brad, but I love the spelling!

(Hands Brad a tissue) Here, wipe off your monitor.

My work here is done.

I like this guy's point, but I think it is a bit crudely stated.

Personally I would have thought Lady Liberty was in granny panties. She didn't look the type. Now I need someone to make a political statement and let me know whether Lady Liberty is wearing the new IPEX.

Mud, Mud, Mud...

Never make fun of spelling. Otherwise other blogits who were too polite to mention it previously have to point out your little errors:

The problem with this sort of political statement is that it invariably provokes condescending, lecturing comments from humor impaired bloglits with throbbing forehead viens

I think this blog is strong enough to withstand some serious discussions from time to time. And I think that the people posting the occassional serious comment should be able to do so without being slapped with the label, "humor impaired." (Not that anyone has slapped me with that yet. Just saying...because that seems to be the inevitable response from some folks.) Heck, even Dave makes the occassional serious comment within his humor columns, and sometimes has written entirely serious columns.

Anyhow...Brad, I think you're confusing "anti-Mexican" sentiment with "anti-illegal" sentiment. I have absolutely nothing against Mexicans / Hispanics. (My best friend would be a bit put out if I suddenly developed something against them, as he is one.) I have nothing against anyone of any race coming here legally. No problem!

But come here ILLEGALLY, and I have a problem with that. And if you really want to take it further, don't even get me started on the illegal immigration problem on the *northern* border. Immigration of illegal foreigners via Canada is a HUGE problem, and one that many are ignorant of. It's not just the southern, Mexican border that I'm talking about, although of course in So. California this is the one that I'm most exposed to.

But to address your points: As I said before, if you are an illegal alien, I don't care how hard-working and honest you are. I don't care how much money you generate for this economy, or for the GDP of your home country. I don't care if you've never broken any laws (other than the obvious one of entering illegally, that is). I don't care if you're helping to rebuild New Orleans. You came here illegally, you are an illegal alien, you don't belong here, and you need to get out. And until you decide to come here in a legal manner, that is pretty much the end of that discussion, as far as I am concerned.

Am I a hard-liner? With most things, no. But when it comes to this issue, you betcha.

Somewhere, I know, I'm one of the wurst offendars.

SomeNorth, I am almost positive that the Statue of Liberty is a symbol, not an actual person..We are talking about a statue, yes? Of a fictitious person or a symbolic person? And not about slandering an individual real person and trying to pass off made up pictures as real.. There is an oft forgotten line in this paper some fellows wrote a few years back about freedom of speech. Perhaps you ought to put down your flag and open a book?

Wavey, I think you have much less to worry about from the northern border. Most of our illegals like it here since we put them on welfare and give them free health care.

Incidentally, our government decided to crack down on the Portugeuse illegals recently (don't ask me why since the Portugeuse haven't been agressive since the 17th century and we have large numbers of gangsters from Jamaica, Tamil Tigers from Sri Lanka, Al Qaeda affiliates from Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries etc that I would have thought were priority but instead we picked on the hard working, tax paying Portugeuse?) and and it pretty much destroyed our construction industry.

I never thought of putting up a statue of a naked beaver in a thong though...

Sean sweetie - if you'd loosen that thong you'd find your not so testy....

Peace brother! Thongs as political statements never go over well.

And before Mud points it out (since I teased him), yes, I spelled "aggressive" and "you're" wrong.

Okay, everyone, deep breath!

"btw, who do you think is rebuilding new orleans??? why on earth with housing starts sustaining records all over the country would any citizen here want to pack up for the big easy and work, when they can get well paying work close to home? answer me that!!

Brad - It's not fair to say only Hispanics are helping in re-building New Orleans. Many, many, many others are helping. My Church youth group is there, for example.

also portuguese. but who's counting ;)

< ducking >

that was to somewhere north, of course. :)

D*mn. I blame my thong. Its hard to concentrate on spelling since its too tight.

If I loosen my thong everyone might find my testis!

haiku:

the midwest/west coast
red/blue, right/wrong viens throbbing
senor, pass the bong

to do the right thing
we demand of government
while distrusting it

my great-grandpappy
arrived on Ellis Island
and danced. Welcome, y'all.

Please Sean, keep your testis covered up. Look at the mess Lady Liberty caused when she showed her privates!

*quickly spell checks message*

Oh, I'm sorry, Sean Hannity. I was looking for Dave Barry's blog. I'll let myself out.

Here's a thing..( not thong) Memorial Day. Just two days ago. My uncle came over from Lebanon with his parents in the '30s and went through the proper channels towards citizenship. By 1945 he was laying dead in a field in Italy fighting for "his" country.Now he is buried At Gettysburg and I have his Purple Heart. ( I inherited it from my Mom who passed sveral years ago, I'm 38, I never knew him). But how many of these illegals would die for the United States? They won't and don't because they will never get drafted( I know there is no draft now, work with me) and they can't join the armed forces, all they have to do is cross the border back home, to wherever that is, and be done. If this is their country, send them to fight battles for Her, whether they agree with those battles or not, because it is their duty. How many of them would give teir life for a country they simply use?

"Ahem" their..And who is Sean Hannity?

Wavey ~ You make my eyes tired from reading. I'm more on the comic-book-ADHD speed.

Now, if you wanna make your point with a little drawing, using stick figures or puppies or something, maybe I can keep up.

*tries to channel the ghost of Gary Larsen for help*

What's that? He's not dead? Well nevermind then.

Uh... Sean, the fatal flaw there is that most of the country who is legal isn't willing to die for a cause they don't believe in either. Including the president, vice president and most of the politicians. You'll notice they avoided Vietnam.

Not that I blame them. I wouldn't die for my country for a cause I don't believe in. To me, that is democratic - making a choice rather than blindly follow the leader.

But then again, I'm Canadian. We're funny that way. Our national icon is a beaver.

SN ~ I bet most American men would rather blindly follow a beaver.

Especially if it was a beaver in a thong.

Nuff said.

True, most aren't willing, but many are.. Are there any, or how many, illegal aliens would be?

*NOT FUNNY ALERT*

Sean, I think you can tell that by taking a look at your military and finding out how many of them are of the same descent/heritage/place of birth as the illegals in question but who chose to enter the armed forces of their adopted country. And how many are either those illegals or children of the illegals who were granted amnesty last time?

Illegals are not necessarily bad people. Most are people desperate for a better life and a way to help their families back home. Doesn't make it right (in fact, its still illegal), but they are people. "Kiss my American *ss" statements are bigotry and ignorance at its finest and deserves to be mocked fully. Yeah, we (Canada included) need a better system and a way to prevent people from abusing it and a way to make legal immigration easier, but hatred isn't the way.

Now, back to beaver thongs...

Wavey, bad spelling aside on all sides, don't you think it's strange that we Americans are welcome with open arms north and south of our borders with as little as a driver's license, and yet we make it a buritocratic nightmare for anyone to come here?

Yes, it all should be done legally, in an ideal world. But we live in a world where it is freaking impossible to do that! We have economic idiotarians like Congressman Senselessbrenner who can't get it through his Wisonsin cheese head that without the willing, cheap labor that comes north, we would have whole industries out of commission in SoCal, even in Eastern Washington. Wisonsin teenagers may all grow up dreaming of milking cows and churning cheese for a living, but the rest of us grow up with higher ambitions.

For our own security in the world, doesn't it make sense that we would want an economically vibrant and growing Mexico, run democratically, marginalizing fascist and neo-socialist influences that have so long dominated its politics and dragged its economy and people in the sewer? Illegal immigration is a phenominally effective foreign aid plan for Mexico.

Without cheap immigrant labor, who is going to keep our cars shiney for $15 - $20, our meals prepared at our favorite restaurants for a smaller percentage of our income year after year, our houses cleaned and yards kept up affordably? Who is going to take care of our elderly without breaking our bank accounts? Who is going to keep that ponzi scheme we call Social Security afloat as people my age wait to have kids or just decide that dogs are enough responsibility? Yeah, it sucks that it's all off the books and under the table. The solution is not to crack down on people we depend on. The solution is to make what we all do anyway legal. It's like the old 55 mph speed limit (that Hillary Tree Note wants to reinstate now). We all broke the law badly, and those who followed it became hazardous to the rest of us. The solution was to scrap it. Same with all the barriers we have to people coming here to help us out.

Ok, look - All the Mexicans are doing is "yearning to breathe free". Since we're so concerned with helping the people of Iraq "breathe free" over there, why not invade Mexico and set up a government to take care of the people. To give them jobs with fair wages, affordable housing and decent healthcare.

Um, wait a minute...why can't we do that HERE???

it's impossible for anyone from england, scotland, greece, canada, and about 14 other countries to come here legally -- you can't even get on the WAITING LIST for a green card which would take five years to get anyway. i know this from very very sad experience. the ONLY way to immigrate from one of those countries (unless you're a millionaire looking to invest, or in a field of work so specialized that a U.S. company can justify hiring you over anyone from this country) is to marry someone who is a US citizen.

Nice job, everyone, leavening this thread with actual humor and keeping the blows above the belt. Seriously. Or not.

That being the most humor I can muster on this subject said, I invite you to read this letter to the editor of the Rocky Mountain News. Tell you what, it's the most common sense I've seen spent on this debate in a long time.

And as a Canadian whose cousin married an American, it still takes several years and you have to provide them with telephone bills, love letters, e-mails, bank account information, lots and lots of personal information about your relationship that I'm sure gets shared at the Immigration employee water cooler etc etc etc and then you get approval to enter the states with a week's notice so you can't actually set your wedding date and you have to get married in the States 'cause otherwise you're just not allowed in and then you are not allowed to come back to Canada for 2 years and you still have to wait for a green card.....

I dunno. Seems the system is working fine to me...

*sigh*

I, too, live in Southern California. I kick myself for not having attempted to learn Spanish in high school. To have done so would have made me a more welcoming person and I intend to work on that in the future.

Most of these people are doing nothing more than the rest of us - trying to make a living and support a family - and are coming from situations that are very desperate. Worse, they are coming here and living in conditions that are a lot less comfortable than what most of us would put up with.

Let's be *very* clear about this: The vast majority of the undocumented workers would not be here if there wasn't a vast and thriving market for their labor. The bill for all the "benefits" that these people "consume" must be laid at the feet of those for whom these people work. American citizens who profit by paying substandard wages and (no) benefits are the ones to blame. American citizens who prefer low prices to lawfully produced goods and services are responsible. (I include myself, here.) All those who worship at the altar of unfettered free market economics should have no problem with this form of supply and demand.

I'm only a generation removed from my Midwestern agrarian roots. How many of us would consider taking off a couple weeks every year to trek up to California's Central Valley to help harvest lettuce and grapes? How many of us would encourage our children to do that? Not a good career move, you say? What more important job is there than growing food?

Undocumented workers are not the biggest threats to our way of life.

Well, I'm LTTG here but I just have to say that I, living about 30 minutes from the U.S./Mexican border do NOT agree with Wavey, but I'm not here to throw flames. Or delve deep into the discussion or my opinions, but rather to suggest that there are many here who feel as I do too.

I will say though, that to not grant citizenship for someone born on American soil is to make him/her a person without a country. Should we just put them on barges and let them float in the ocean for their entire lives? And what could a newborn possibly have ever done to deserve that?
/

To interject some facts from the Center For Immigration studies (2002):

The poverty rate for immigrants and their U.S.-born children (under 18) is two-thirds higher than that of natives and their children, 17.6 percent versus 10.6 percent. Immigrants and their minor children now account for almost one in four persons living in poverty.

The proportion of immigrant-headed households using at least one major welfare program is 24.5 percent compared to 16.3 percent for native households.

One-third of immigrants do not have health insurance — 2.5 times the rate for natives. Immigrants who arrived after 1989 and their U.S.-born children account for 95 percent (7.5 million) of the 7.8 million increase in the size the uninsured population since 1989.

While some immigrants die and others return home, the issuance of 800,000 to one million permanent residency visas annually and the settlement of hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens each year greatly exceeds deaths and out-migration. The immigrant population in the CPS includes perhaps eight to nine million illegal aliens and 900,000 persons on long-term temporary visas, such as students and temporary workers.

Mexican and Dominican households have welfare use rates that are as high or higher than Russian or Vietnamese immigrants, and virtually none of these immigrants are refugees.

Immigrants who arrived after 1989 account for 6.9 million or 77 percent of the growth in the uninsured. Moreover, there where nearly 600,000 children born to post-1990 immigrants who lack insurance, meaning that new immigrants and their U.S.-born children accounted for over 95 percent of the growth in the uninsured population. Thus, it is reasonable to say that the nation’s health insurance crisis is being caused by our immigration policy.

vote for Pedro

SoNorth, I don't follow the first paragraph of your " not funny alert" 100%. I think that those who choose to do it right are fine. I don't care where they come from. 99% of us on this blog probably have grand parents or great grand parents who immigrated here legally and made a better life for themselves and or fled oppression of some sort. Worked for them. And, if they became citizens of the U.S., they too could say " kiss my American Ass" and look like the rest of the people who HAVE FREE SPEECH and choose to use it no matter how moronic they look. I had a teacher who said, " My right to swing my fist ends where another man's nose begins". True. That is the beauty. Or should I say, " Beauty, eh?" . :)

Sean, I hope your teacher has not copyrighted the "right to swing my fist" comment because I will be stealing it as a lesson for my children. Excellent point!

24-aholic- go for it ! His name was Mr. McNutt. No kidding!! From Akron, Ohio area .

Hmmm..my husband is from the Akron area!!! So, we're keeping it in the Buckeye state!

Sean, too many people use 'free speech' as an excuse for bigotry. However, the guy has the right to say whatever he wants and we have the right to call him an uneducated, redneck bigot who fondles sheep. :)

Now, nobody go burn down a Danish embassy over this okay?

Wavey
"Any form of amnesty or any other incentives to be here is a joke and an insult to the people, like my ancestors, that DID come over here legally and went through the immigration and citizenship process."

For most of our history it was hard to be an illegal alien because to be legal all you had to do was show up. If you arrived at Ellis Island you might be quarantined, but if you weren't sick and you weren't Chinese (post 1882) you were legal. You most certainly weren't necessarily welcome, but you were legal. In the 1920's, when some Americans were disturbed that too many Italians and other Southern Europeans were coming, qoutas (total and by country) were set to "fix" the problem.

I'm really grateful that my ancestors braved all the problems and came here, but I'm damn sure they didn't have to climb over any fences to do it. But if they had I wouldn't be embarassed, just still grateful.

Last?

Whatever...

As I essentially said before: Different times, different laws.

I stand by my previous statement. ANY form of amnesty for illegal aliens is a joke. Come over here legally, period. I don't care if it is more difficult to get in now than it was ages ago. Considering the times in which we live, it darn well SHOULD be more difficult, background checks and all.

Perhaps the legal immigration process could be streamlined a bit in certain ways. But this, too, is fraught with complications and peril. You don't want to make legal immigration exceedingly easy, due to the very real terrorism aspect, among many other concerns. And if you make it exceedingly difficult, then it just encourages more people to do it illegally. So yes, the legal immigration process has to be thorough but not impossible, tough but fair.

None of this excuses those who choose to break the law, though, and come here illegally. I don't care what their story is, how much they "yearn to be free," how much they express their patriotism for this country, or anything else. They are here illegally, and they should be deported. And that goes for their kids, too, who should not be considered citizens. It is a big incentive to come over here illegally: Come over, have a kid, the kid is automatically a citizen, and you even get other benefits because now you have a kid to support. That needs to change.


Wavey - nobody disagrees with you that the system is broken and needs fixing. Nor does anyone disagree that people shouldn't break the law. I think what the other voices are saying is that it is very easy for us born into a rich country with opportunities, jobs, democracy (sort of), plenty of food, good education systems etc to stand in judgement of those desperately trying to just feed their families and build them a better life which is exactly why our ancestors either stowed away on ships, or otherwise escaped their countries (think the Irish who escapted the potatoe famine) back when the land belonged to the natives. I personally know illegal immigrants to my own country and I know their stories and the desperate circumstances that brought them to leave families, homes, friends, social circles and cultures. They didn't do it for fun or some high ideal.

Should the circumstances be reversed (and they could be with that 800 billion deficit down there)- could you say you wouldn't do the same? Of course you would. So would I.

Yes, I am sure that these people have a lot of touching personal stories and accounts of struggles and hardships and whatnot, which would no doubt make great Pulitzer-winning tearjerker front-page stories in the NY or LA Times or Miami Herald.

It makes no difference in my opinion, which at its very core, is pretty simple: People should not be rewarded in any way, shape or form for coming here illegally. Nor should there be any sort of incentives for them to come here illegally. In fact, there would be a multitude of disincentives, if it were up to me, starting with strong border protection and immediate deportation of anyone that does make it through. And there would be some incentives to do it legally.

Lastly, don't try to tell me what I would think or what I would do in a hypothetical situation. Because your "of course you would" is flat, dead wrong. No. I wouldn't. Period.

Wavey, why do you think illegal immigration is an issue now? Is there some super important emergency that has put it on the agenda? Maybe the illegals are conspiring with the oil executives and driving up gas prices? Could that be it? Cuz I don't see what is so different now than a year ago that justifies the vitriolic fervor for "securing the border".

I ask this because the effect of this debate will ultimately be to split the Republican party and put the Democrat Party in control of Congress and the White House. I don't know any Dems who think we need to secure the border. About the only ones for whom that is an issue are private sector union leaders who either want to organize them or exclude them from competition, and that's a marginal constituency of the Democratic Party at this point. And I'll tell you this... I will not vote for any Republican who pounds his fist about illegals. If it means voting big-L Libertarian for a candidate who wants to legalize sex with goats, fine. At least they will be reliable on economic issues. Splitsville is what you should expect for pushing the issue.

So it seems that this debate is between the small-l libertarian free trade wing of the Republican Party and the Pat Buchanan curmudgeon wing, i.e. the hip, intellectual wing vs. the Lou Dobbs crusty old fart wing. Now why on earth would you want to be on that side and drag the whole Party down the drain with you? That's what I don't get. And why when you have a neighbor to the south where half the population dreams of "going north" (it's like going to Disneyland in the national culture) do you want to shut down their dreams and give them every excuse to hate us like most of the people in the Middle East do? How productive is that?

Why do I think illegal immigration is an issue NOW? That question is a non-starter for me.

As far as I am concerned, it did not just suddenly became an issue now. It has always been an issue. It is something that has been allowed to happen for decades now, and it has had a cumulative effect.

The reason that it is more in the news now has largely been driven by the fact that the problem has reached critical proportions, prompting new proposed legislation, which in turn prompted massive demonstrations by the illegals, which may or may not have politically motivated Bush to do something about the borders. Whatever his motivation for that, I welcome the change, but it is too little, too late, and it (actually, something more substantial than this) should have been done literally decades ago.

By the way, I'm an old-school libertarian with a small "l," not part of the "crusty old fart" wing that you disparage.

Also, to address your last sentence about "crushing their dreams": If not allowing illegal entry into the country means that I will "crush their dreams" -- I have absolutely no problem living with that. Enter legally; otherwise my sympathy for you is zero, zilch, nada.

thith theems like the thame old thong and danth ... merely thayin' ...

(On the wall above my computer desk, I have a framed "antique" sign that says:

HELP WANTED
No Irish need apply

(This was the "policy" for much of the 19th and early 20th centuries ... yet the Irish (and immigrants from many other nations) managed to thrive here in the USA ...)

My grandparents came over here legally (in Steerage), passed thru Ellils Island, took the "Canadian Route" to the Great Plains, and worked to become landowners ... I actually do not know if they ever "became citizens" ... but I do know that they were Americans ... who raised eight boys, four of whom were born in the Ould Country (and I do not know if any/all of them "became citizens" either), and four in Nodak ... OTOH, my mother's parents were 6th or 7th generation "Americans" ... whose ancestors arrived in the early 1600s, and THAT generation merely stole or cheated the prior residents out of the land on which they lived ...

whut's my point? I dunno ...

wavey: THERE IS NO LEGAL WAY TO IMMIGRATE from many of the larger countries of the world.

what is it that you don't understand?
go here:

http://www.usimmigrationsupport.org/greencardlottery.html

here's some more info:

Which countries cannot participate in the lottery?

Most countries are involved in the Green Card Lottery, but there are a few exceptions. The following countries are excluded from participating in this year's Green Card Lottery (and have been for the past several years):

Canada
Jamaica
China (mainland-born) *
Mexico
Colombia
Pakistan
India
Russia
Dominican Republic
Philippines
El Salvador
South Korea
Haiti
United Kingdom and its dependent territories **
Vietnam


so, if you come from one of those countries, just go ahead and starve to death, and resign yourself to your families doing the same. right? 'cause you CANNOT GET IN LEGALLY.

And your rant justifies illegal immigration...how?

Believe me, as someone who closely follows and feels strongly about this issue, I am fully aware of and understand all of the facts that you presented. They have no relevance to, and do not change, my statements or opinions whatsoever.

Can't get in legally? That doesn't mean you have anymore justification for coming here ILLegally. What part of THAT do you not understand? There is NO justification, under any circumstances, for illegal immigration.

As I mentioned previously, perhaps the immigration process could be streamlined in certain ways, and certain aspects of it could make it easier and provide more incentives for people to immigrate legally. I think that more incentives for doing it legally would be a good idea, as long as it is also accompanied by serious DISincentives for doing it illegally.

Typo: "anymore" should be "any more"

By the way, if you want to read some interesting ideas as to how to go about legal immigration, read this: http://cis.org/articles/2001/blueprints/toc.html

I read this document several years back (keep in mind that these were all written PRE-9/11), and am pleased that it's still out on the Net.

Read Roy Beck's Numbers in particular. Beck's "big idea" is a good one, even if I don't agree with him on every small point. And this guy is a card-carrying liberal.

I love this from Roy Beck: "Americans are absolutely fed up with the sprawl, traffic, congestion, and disappearing open-space opportunities that are the result of adding 1 million people each year."

Wavey, he is so full of shittake, it's spilling out his mouth. People live in the burbs and participate in sprawl because they like having bigger living space than cities afford. Beck's statement is like saying people are fed up with eating out because they are getting heavier. Puh-lease. Read up on some public choice theory before believing the morons who purport to know what we're all so fed up with.

Also, point of anecdotal evidence. I have a very good friend from Ghana who was an illegal immigrant in the 80s, as his student visa had run out. He got in on the last amnesty to obtain citizenship. He's married to a Dutch immigrant. They have three beautiful, well-behaved, very intelligent kids. He came to America because his father wanted him to be educted here, and he stayed, because the opportunites here as a mid-level engineer far exceeded those of the son of a wealthy tribal chief in Ghana. Down the street from us, we have a 30-something year old meth-head living with a 19 year old girl who he knocked up when she was 15 or 16. Non immigrants, whiskey tango all the way, of course, the kinds of people you and Pat Buchanan and Lou Dobbs want to protect from the sinister immigrants coming to steal jobs and ruin our way of life and all that.

OK, I have another question for you... How would you feel about Baja or Northern Mexico eventually becoming our 51st state? Perhaps with non-Quebec portions of Canada (British Columbia to start)? Hypothetically of course, good or bad for the United States over say the next 50-ish years?

Brad, it is extremely obvious that we come from polar opposite ends of the spectrum on this subject, and I think that it is fair to say that neither of us is going to be swayed one iota, in one way or another. So, that renders further debate futile and moot.

I will say these last things to you, Brad: The Beck statement that you quote is absolutely true. We ARE very fed up with the increasing traffic, congestion and disappearing open-space opportunities. Sure, people here live in the burbs because they at least USED to have more living space than the big cities provided. They still do to some extent, but that extent is getting smaller and smaller and smaller with every passing year and decade. Why? Increased immigration, much of it illegal, is the reason.

The traffic congestion here has reached insane proportions. The living space here, even in the burbs to which you point as examples of "open living space," is cramped in most areas, with new development constantly further diminishing it and encroaching on the last vestiges of "open space" that there were. In short, the advantages to living in the burbs and "sprawl" that you mention, as opposed to living in the cities here, have narrowed and have been steadily doing so for decades.

I don't know where you live, Brad, but you sound like someone that has never spent any significant time in Southern California. Or if you have, then you must be absolutely in denial as to what has been going on for at least the last 30-40 years. You also appear to be someone that actually has never read up on public choice realities (as opposed to theories). Most polls and public choice opinion indicators point to an ever-increasing dissatisfaction with the illegal immigration problem (and that is what it is -- a very real PROBLEM). In addition, there has not been a soul that I have met in recent years that is not fed up with the amount of congestion here -- not only traffic congestion but everywhere you go. Crowds everywhere.

The problem has reached such proportions that there has been a significant exodus of legal citizens from the state. Georgia, Colorado, Idaho -- these are just a few of the states that have large populations of "California transplants." The phenomenon has actually been a hot point of discussion in Georgia, where some of the long-time locals see it as an invasion of too many Californians (although these, of course, are legal immigrants migrating from state to state).

Also, your anecdotal story really has no bearing on any of this discussion. So there are some illegal immigrant families that obey the law, and there are some legal citizens who don't. Well, duh. And this proves...what now? This justifies illegal immigration...how?

As I said before: If you are an illegal alien, I don't care how hard-working and honest you are. I don't care how "patriotic" you are. I don't care how much money you generate for this economy, or for the GDP of your home country. I don't care if you've never broken any laws (other than the obvious one of entering illegally, that is). I don't care if you're helping to rebuild New Orleans. You came here illegally, you are an illegal alien, you don't belong here, and you need to get out. And until you decide to come here in a legal manner, that is pretty much the end of that discussion, as far as I am concerned.

You keep mentioning Pat Buchanan, for some reason. Funny, because I think that Buchanan is an annoying isolationist nutjob, whom I would never vote for if he ran for anything.

Lastly, I would need to do some serious analysis on the social, economic, political, cultural, and legislative effects of bringing in Baja as a 51st state, before I could knowledgeably form an opinion on that topic. Many will answer that question with their emotions without first taking all of the aforementioned factors into serious, thoughtful consideration. The emotions need to be separated from the equation first, and few people on either end of the argument seem willing to do that.

But I doubt that what I have said will sway you, and I am fairly positive that you will be itching to come back with another statement proclaiming how full of "shittake" I am. So be it. I don't really care if I sway your or anyone else's thinking one way or another. I am simply stating my views, that's all.

Having said all of that -- I'm glad I am not living next to the Statue of Liberty thong-butt guy! What an eyesore. Glad he's not next to me, dragging down my property value. I think I'd probably lodge some sort of complaint with City Hall if he were.

Let's just agree to disagree. I'd say that, just like on every other "issue", half are in favour and half are not. I don't think anybody can speak for the majority since the country is pretty much divided right down the middle on everything. And, everyone is entitled to their opinion whether the other half agrees or not. And whatever solution is proposed, half will agree and half will not.

Ah well. Thus is the fundamental principle of democracy.

The debate between us may be "moot", but let's consider the remifications of enacting the political solutions you want. As Carlos Mencia points out, if we deport all the illegals and build a fence, um, who is gonna actually build the fence? There's far more truth to that statement than humor value.

I have lived continuously in SoCal for 17-1/2, nearly half my life. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, in the San Ramon Valley which went from quiet cow town to suburban paradise (and yes, lots of sprawl and upheaval and all that) in the 10 years I lived there. Prior to that, I lived 6 years in SoCal, a year in Louisiana, and a year in New York. Born in San Diego, about 10 miles from the border. So now that we've established a little bit of my street cred to engage in this discussion, let's establish a little more. My folks moved to Nevada 4 years ago. My sister and brother-in-law moved to Portland, Oregon. My folks sold high and bought a friggin mansion. My sister and her husband were able to afford their first house on a decent sized lot to raise their daughter. My best friend moved to South Dakota years ago. I live in a condo worth half a mill and climbing at 8-10% a year in South Orange County. Yeah, the freeways suck during rush hour, and I'm thankful for the 241 tollway -- wish we had more toll highways down here, as they would regulate traffic by assigning an immediate cost to people's trips. I have seen South OC grow from a small college/military town (and small communities to the south) to what it is today and I love it here. I love the weather, the people, all the things to do, all the places to shop, that I can get a great meal at restaurants ranging from high end to corporate franchise to fast food to mom and pop, from Thai to Kosher deli to Mexican (cooked by real Mexicans) to authentic Italian. I love that there are bike and running paths, dog parks, and all sorts of other frivolities that only a large population could support. While family and friends have left for colder pastures, I've stayed because I love it here. When I ask new neighbors why they just spent half a mill on a condo, they tell me it's because there is nowhere else like SoCal to live, even with all the negatives like traffic. I suppose it's like why people move to Florida, with hurricanes and alligators.

An aside... what public choice theory (an important branch of economics) teaches is that you ought to observe what people actually do, not what they say to pollsters. You can glean a lot about what their real preferences are. If you ask my grandmother (who still lives here in SoCal) about illegal immigration, she'll sound just like you. But when they need the fountain in their back yard releveled, a couple strong guys from the local Home Depot parking lot for $50 cash and a couple cervesas are the most obvious and affordable solution to the problem. Or when they need their house cleaned, they don't question why the Spanish speaking girl is so affordable. Do you see why your public opinion polls aren't terribly relevant? And do you plan to throw my grandparents in jail because they aren't gonna bother running Social Security numbers on occasional day laborers?

Wavey, you might as well be for relowering the national speed limit to 55. Congratulations if you can pass it. Most of us will just ignore it. Law must, at some level, be legitimate and relevant or it will be ignored and we'll lose our collective respect for it. It's pretty much where we are with immigration law, and it's why your "illegals need to be deported because they are illegal" rhetoric is so laughable. The difference here is that if you pass that kind of thing, expect a good chunk of previously (mostly) law abiding citizens to show their thongs, hold their torches, and tell you to kiss their asses.

"Law must, at some level, be legitimate and relevant or it will be ignored and we'll lose our collective respect for it."

Agreed as a general principle, but this is definitely NOT where we are with immigration law.

Essentially, the only ones that have no respect for it are the illegals themselves (well, and dyed-in-the-wool libs). Believe me when I tell you that the rest of us, the majority -- as public opinion has OVERWHELMINGLY shown, in case after case after case -- are very much fed up with it.

"and it's why your "illegals need to be deported because they are illegal" rhetoric is so laughable."

Laughable to libs like you, maybe, but not to a large section of the country.

For all of your irrelevant rambling, Brad -- (I mean, equating speed limit laws with the illegal immigration problem?? Puh-lease!) -- you simply choose to ignore the most basic tenet of this argument, which is: There is a right way and a wrong way to do things. Immigrating here illegally is the wrong way. Likewise, supporting, encouraging, or rewarding illegal immigration in any way, shape or form is the absolute wrong way. It has to be done legally. And like I said before, perhaps the legal immigration methods could be changed to streamline the process. That would be fine with me. As long as you follow the system and come over here legally, I have no problem whatsoever with that. But if you ignore the sovereign laws of this nation and just come barging in here illegally, you receive no sympathy from me. You do not belong here, you are an illegal alien (NOT an "undocumented immigrant" or some other such evasive euphemism), and until you are able and/or willing to come here legally, you deserve to be sent back home. I have absolutely no use for anyone who comes over illegally. You can't just break a law because "it doesn't work for you." Do it legally or don't do it at all.

I have no respect for anyone who actually supports illegal immigration, or that hires the illegals that are already here. If you don't like the current immigration laws, work to change them, and also make your voice heard at the voting booths.

The day I heard that a school was attempting to ban it's students from wearing the American Flag as it may offend immigrants, I found myself firmly planted on Wavey's side of the issue. He is absolutely right that this issue has become an epidemic and as much as I support Bush (yes, some still do), he needs to take a much more firm approach regarding illegal immigrants.

Wowser!

This conversation somewhut reminds me of the debate, public opinion, "preference polls" v. "actual behavior" and other such stuff that surrounded the ratification and later abolition of the Volstead Act.

I could name numerous places where people could move, with uncluttered freeways and/or other highways, less population density, better schools, friendlier and more helpful neighbors, lower crime rates (MUCH lower), cheaper gasoline (a little cheaper -- tho travel distances are correspondingly greater, so that's a trade-off), and several other "advantages" ... alas, these areas also boast four genuine seasons (especially WINTER), and lack numerous "amenties" that the people-clogged population of places like SoCal and Florida seems to feel are necessary to survive ... or at least, to "enjoy" life ...

I live where I do by choice ... others do the same ...

Back to the "opinion poll v. actual behavior" concept, when the speed limit was 55, people voted with their right foot ... and paid their speeding tickets, most of the time ...

I agree with the concept that something should not be accomplished illegally, but should be done thru licit actions.

HOWever, I also remember that our country was developed and established by an "illegal" rebellion ... and nearly torn apart by another ...

No, I have no simple answers ... merely observin' here ...

First it was the Irish, then the Polish and other Eastern Europeans, then the Gypsies then it was the Italians, then the Jews, then the Chinese, then the Japanese, then the Arabs and now the Mexicans (I may have the exact order mixed up). There is always a group that is blamed for all the social ills that the society experiences and told they are not welcome. People shouldn't do things illegally and conversely they shouldn't be put into a situation where that is their only choice for a better life.

Since my relatives fall into at least 4 of the categories above, I can't judge. Otherwise my ancestors wouldn't be here either.

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