Wall Street Wet "Dream"

Ever ready to gild the dungheap of illegal immigration, the Wall Street Journal, with which I usually agree, tried Friday morning to put a new spin on the “Dream Act”. It is, so say they, a solution to the problem of finding recruits for the military. Unfortunately, a cow patty, regardless of how much gold leaf one encases it with, still smells like bovine residue.

From page A8 of Friday's (Sept. 21) edition we find this- Quoting Senate Majority whip Dick Durbin Journal reporter Miriam Johnson wrote,

"On the Senate floor Tuesday, Sen.Durbin said the Dream Act would help solve the 'recuitment crisis we face today.'"
"under the Dream Act, he said, 'tens of thousands of well-qualified potential recruits would become eligible for military service for the first time. They are eager to serve in the armed services, and under the Dream Act, they would have a very strong incentive to enlist because it would give them a path to permanent legal status'"

One can hardly imagine a more cynical approach to filling the military's ranks than this scheme. One of our issues with illegal immigration in the first place is the manner in which it is contrived to compromise the rights of laborers, thus making them inherently less able to stand up for themselves in matters of wages, job safety, and job security. This use of the so-called "Dream Act" carries this even further, putting the carrot of legal status before people who otherwise might not even consider military enlistment.

As if anticipating this criticism the Journal closes its article with this paragraph,

"'This bill amounts to an aggressive draft of Hispanics', says Fernando Suarez del Solar, director of the Guerrero Azteca Project, an Escondido, Calif., organization that works with Hispanic youth to discourage them from enlisting in the military."
There, 'fair and balanced' on the part of the Journal.

In truth, this has virtually nothing to do with the military, as can be witnessed by Sen. Durbin's usual disregard for the institution (and the Journal's usual disregard for Durbin). Instead it is a feint, intended to get the rest of the Dream Act carried along on the military's coattails among Senate and House moderates and conservatives. These have not been able to persuade their constituencies to sell out their citizenship over cheap labor or threats of the economy's emminent collapse from actually enforcing current law. Thus it is necessary, so it seems, to find yet another white elephant to present to a nation that stubbornly refuses to be as stupid as we are supposed to be.

If Senator Durbin has suddenly found religion and a new love of America's military let him strip out this provsion of the amendment and focus it strictly on military recruitment where, incidentally, exactly this sort of recognition for volunteer service has been permitted before. Otherwise let the Senate be honest with the American people and tell us what they intend to do with a stand-up bill- to be haggled out honorably in public. If the Wall street Journal really respects their readers they, too, should call on Congress to do just that. If, between them, they can't get a bill they like through when they tell us what they want they ought to give up on selling us out and ENFORCE CURRENT LAW.

Posted by Lee Emmerich Jamison at September 21, 2007 11:14 PM
Comment #233898

Look, I have no desire to encourage illegal aliens to remain in this country without consequence, but I believe that when these people have grown up on American soil, having been brought here as children, rather than as adults capable of making decisions for themselves, it is only fair to give them the chance to not only prove themselves, but to let America benefit from their resolve to become Americans. If they were to gain their citizenship that way, they would not be the first Americans to do so, and they’d be chosing an honorable path to citizenship.

If you look at what’s required of those seeking this path to citizenship, it requires them to do what it takes not to be a burden on society, but rather to be productive members, which immigrants often prove to be, even in comparison with those born on American soil.

I know there are those looking not to encourage those who only come here to try and mooch off of society here, but here’s what you do: On one hand, you set statutes of limitation and limited forms of alternate citizenship.

On the other hand, you improve border security to the degree that it’s practical. You don’t try to create the impossible, that is impenentrable physical and/or surveillance barriers to the north and south along some of the worlds longest running borders.

Finally you vastly improve internal security. You making crossing over difficult, and staying and finding a job difficult. This provides the disincentive to counter the mercy of not deporting children who’ve grown up American, or people who we’ve neglected to catch in time. make no mistake, the two must go hand in hand. Firm enforcement, merciful enforcement.

Finally, we remove the motivation for illegal immigration by making it difficult to find work, and by making legal immigration easier, and therefore more attractive. A lot of immigration restrictions are based on the false premise that the poor and the foreign from other countries are lesser peoples, an unspoken racism and elitism that is a relic of earlier times. Those who come here are disproportionately hard workers. That was true in old times, and it’s true now.

America is a composite country, a confluence of the world. If we make peace with that, we make peace with ourselves. Dealing with immigration fairly is not about bribing the hispanic voters by looking the other way on illegal immigration. It’s about dealing with the conflicts and the hardship of immigration, a recent experience for many hispanics in generational terms in a fair, sympathetic manner, rather than engaging in what has become a typical element of post-9/11 security hysteria. Enforce the laws, but enforce them fairly, with a sense of mercy. Discourage illegal immigration, but provide a not so daunting alternative.

In short, meet the new, willing immigrants to America halfway.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 22, 2007 1:39 AM
Comment #233909


As I said in the article, if the Senate wished to do the HONEST thing it would set up the military service option as a stand-up bill rather than quietly attempting to use it as a carrier for a whole set of options that put illegals first in line in front of people who have actually been respectful of our laws. The fact that the WSJ is willing to crawl into bed with Dick Durbin on what pretends to be a conservative issue ought to have us all looking for Rod Serling.

Look, If I find people squatting in my storage room and complain to the law that they don’t belong on my property, it does not mean they belong there more if they were children when their parents brought them. It does not mean they belong there more if the constable is too weak-willed to evict them. It does not mean they belong there more if the people who work on my property use them to trim the garden. What all of that means is- 1. they have trespassed, 2. public officials have aided and abetted in the comission of a crime, and, 3. people have made promises to the trespassers they were not authorized to fulfill in order to leverage their compromised situation into cheap labor and high profits.

Every argument you and others use to excuse this sort of breach of our citizenship rights is directly transferrable to breaching our property rights whenever it becomes convenient to the powers-that-be to do so.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at September 22, 2007 11:01 AM
Comment #233911


This has nothing to do with your property rights or advantaging one group over another.Young people that work hard ,keep their noses clean and sign up for the toughest task,make the greatest possible sacrifice to serve the country, should be allowed to fully enter American society.Period.

Give me your tired,your poor
Your huddled masses yearning to be free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these,the homeless,tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Now that is the American spirit,not the fear that somehow someone else might get a break or the utter terror of people that speak a different tongue or have brown skin.

Posted by: BillS at September 22, 2007 11:28 AM
Comment #233912


I’ll have to admit to launching after reading only your first paragraph. Not listening is one of the maladies of modern American politics, an I’m not immune. I’ve also heard some of these arguments too much. The rest of what you said is quite thoughtful and you should be given credit for that.

There are a couple of implied assumptions you make I find troublesome. First is the notion that simply being here in the U.S. is somehow a neutral act. Such is not the case any more than it is simply neutral to have been born into the culture of a good family. Families with a great heritage reinforce the notion that it is a privilege to be a member of the family. It was pounded into me that service to society was a part of my heritage. That does not mean we have no borders between the family and other families. Nor does it imply other families are inferior. We define ourselves by what we do within the family and how that upbringing is reflected in our relationships with others.

As a country America works the same way.

Secondly, education is treated in your styling as a service done to the society by the learner. I can’t agree with that. Education is a privilege as much as the heritage of a good family. It is the product of the strength of a nation’s economic foundations. To bestow it on people who simply arrive here is to lay a greater burden on the labors of all those who have done the real service of making that economy possible. One may argue that these arrivals are doing that work, but doing so begs the question of why their labors in their former land did not achieve the same economic pawer we have here.

There’s more to say, but I have to judge an art contest. I’ll be back later.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at September 22, 2007 11:31 AM
Comment #233918

Lee Jamison-
The people who seek out a college education are much more likely to earn a decent living, and therefore remain off of entitlements and government assistance.

Moreover, the subject of these bills are minors who cannot make legal choices the way their parents can. They are often people who live nearly their entire lives as Americans. Should we not give them the chance to make a choice as adults to become citizens?

Look, I’m not saying don’t enforce the laws. Quite the opposite. I’m not saying, that if they, as minors are caught with their parents as illegals that we don’t deport them. I’m saying that if, at age 18, they are still here, and they have made the decision to do what their parents would not, that is report themselves to the authorities, making their status known, and seek a lawful means of becoming citizens, it should not be denied to them, on account of decisions they could not legally make themselves.

They are not going to become citizens for free. Nor will their parents escape suspicion, given that their sons and daughters will have to confess their status to get onto this track. There will be no gain here without sacrifice.

The real question is, why are we denying those who are motivated enough to become Americans the chance to become so? Why are we keeping the economic requirements of immigration high, despite strong evidence of their hardworking nature? Why are we punishing children for their parent’s actions? Why are we allowing internal enforcement to become so lax, then blaming people for coming in and sticking around. We must give people strong disincentive to do the wrong thing, and strong incentive to do the right thing.

That is the backbone of my opinions on immigration.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 22, 2007 12:04 PM
Comment #233923

Lee, Wall Street is for anything that would depress wages and salaries for production and rendering of services, as these are typically a major cost of doing business and subtracted from potential profitability.

No twilight zone at all here. Democrats slobber at the stats revealing 3/4 of immigrants legal and illegal given amnesty, would vote Democrat in elections. So, these bedfellows of Democrats and Wall Street corporate investors actually spoon quite seductively in this bed of schemes to shrink the middle class, and the share of wealth distributed to labor.

Democrats seem to think that if Wall Street corporate benefits through depressed wages, Democrats will compensate with larger spending programs and entitlements to make up the difference (See Hillary/Edwards/Obama Health Care plans). And to pay for that, they will tax coporations and investors at a higher rate to pay for the increased spending.

One major flaw in the ointment. Haliburton will not be the only corporation to move its operations to more favorable tax nations like the United Arab Emirates, thus bypassing Democrat’s taxing efforts, and taking American jobs with them as they give up American corporate citizenship.

If the American voters do not start cutting these Democrat and Republican incumbents off at the knees by electing their challengers instead, America’s future, our children’s future, is going to look more like the 1930’s than the 1990’s, and China than the U.S. in population growth, that’s for sure.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 22, 2007 12:33 PM
Comment #233929

Folks, beware of Stephen D.’s sophistry on this issue. He opposes controlling our immigration. Let me paint a picture of the situation and you all can watch Stephen D.’s sophistry and straw men in action.

Picture this. You have a box 6 feet square. Now put 100 mice in the box, lower the front wall of the box and see how many mice you can catch before they all get out of the box to invade your home.

Now, same box, same number of mice, but, this time you put a single hole big enough for one mouse to pass through at a time, before they can enter your home. As they come through the hole, you can pick them up, size them up, and decide if this or that mouse should be allowed into your home as a pet, and the rest you toss in a trash bag to be turned back to the humane society of Mexico.

OK, now while your examining one mouse at a time coming through the one hole, some other impatient mouse at the back of the box says, “hell with this, I will chew my own hole through at the back of the box”. But, you are vigilant to what is going on (border patrol); even if that mouse chews through a new hole in the back of the box and scurries off into your home, its scurrying alerts you to block the newly chewed through hole, and you still have control of how many of the rest of the mice are allowed to reside with you or sent back to Mexico.

This provides the clearest possible picture of how border barriers can be effective in controlling illegal immigration. They won’t stop every illegal immigrant from chewing a hole through and coming across before their tunnel is discovered. But, it will without any doubt, give our Border Patrol the upper hand in containing the illegal invasion problem.

Now Stephen D., whether he admits it or not, whether he does so knowingly or not, supports his Democratic strategist’s plan based on the “3/4 of illegals will become Democratic voters if given amnesty” data set.

But, their strategy utterly undermines law and order, public health (illegals don’t get immunized), public safety, and sovereignty issues, all for the sake of increasing political power.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 22, 2007 12:54 PM
Comment #233935

just some fodder for the debate

If a person has been a permanent resident or green card holder and has been serving, or has served, in the U.S. Military for three years or longer, s/he may be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship. In addition, some of the other requirements for citizenship could be waived. Also, if one has fought for the U.S. during a period of active hostilities, such s/he may be able to file for citizenship directly without even having been a permanent resident of the U.S.! It is advisable to discuss these issues with an immigration attorney if you believe that you fall into one of these categories and could be eligible for expedited citizenship processing.

Denver Post article reported:
“[T]he citizenship of 16,031 members of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines is listed as ‘unknown.’ That’s about one in 100 active-duty military members who might be U.S. citizens, legal immigrants - or just about anybody else

Posted by: john at September 22, 2007 1:15 PM
Comment #233938

David R. Remer-
I can speak for my self in saying that my saliva is safely in my mouth, but that doesn’t stop you here from including me in this generalization of yours. It’s not sophistry. The problem is complex.

Let’s say you have a hundred mice in a box. Only it isn’t a box. There’s only one side to this “box”, and can only be one side. To either side, there’s water, and the enterprising creatures can get in little teeny tiny boats and get around that one side. Or they can get in little model airplanes and go over that one and only side of the box. For some, that boxside wouldn’t even be relevant, especially the ones who of late, did the worst damage to us. No box like the one you talked about would keep them out.

And there’s the little matter of this side of the box either ending up this massive surveillance project, or being another Great Wall of China, a physical barrier that would require a mammoth expenditure not only to build, but to keep up, to monitor, and so on and so forth. As for concentrating them? That’s only if they decide to take the fruitless route of walking right into the trap, and not simply figuring out ways around it. I’d say improve border security, but count on people getting through, and strategize to catch them in the interior. Keep a better watch on those who overstay visas, who pass forged documents. Enforce workplace documentation, and look for bogus social security numbers.

Instead of engaging in pointless engineering exercises that are merely going to be circumvented, leaving you with the same problem, assume the border’s going to be a little leaky no matter what you do, and work interior enforcement to take up the slack. Plus, it gives you the benefit of allowing you to keep track of those, who like the 9/11 hijackers, have nothing whatsoever to do with the land borders of this country.

You talk about what we are supposed to believe, but you know something? People like me are the wrong folks to fight with. We have no love of illegal immigration. Perhaps if you appeal to us, and were willing to compromise on the barrier part of it, you could put together a real movement in Washington towards better immigration security. Unfortunately, you want total victory, or nothing at all. Nothing, therefore, is what you’re going to get.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 22, 2007 1:35 PM
Comment #233942

i am all for immigration control and i freely admit i do not have the answer to the problem but doesnt this border fence smack of isolationism?

we need immigration it is sad that people flee their countries due to poverty or oppression or just wanting a better life and we turn them away…
reminds me of an engraving i once saw it said

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

Posted by: john at September 22, 2007 1:59 PM
Comment #233951
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

As heartwrenching and poignant as this poem is, it is just that, a poem. It has no bearing at all on our immigration policies.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 22, 2007 3:08 PM
Comment #233953

it is engraved on the statue of liberty
it has been the philosophy of the USA forever. France recognized this when gifting us the statue and praised it by memorializing it on the statue of liberty…

it is important to always remember that from which we come.. well most of us..
myself, i am a native american

Posted by: john at September 22, 2007 3:45 PM
Comment #233973

john, it was a good policy as long as we had more square miles of land than people. It is not a good policy anymore since the root of 95% of all our problems today are connected or dependent on too much population. It is everything we can do as it is to keep folks employed, fed, insured, housed, and law abiding.

Immigration that is mutually beneficial to the immigrant and the American population and their children’s future, is rational, just, and justifiable. But, like most else in America, we take good things and expand them to the point of gluttony, turning them into bad things.

Food, law, transportation, environmental pollution, energy dependence, debt, more debt, and even more debt, federal, trade and personal, and we continue to demand more and more of it all.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 22, 2007 6:54 PM
Comment #233974

Stephen D. sophistically states: “To either side, there’s water, and the enterprising creatures can get in little teeny tiny boats and get around that one side. Or they can get in little model airplanes and go over that one and only side of the box.”

All the time he is saying this he ignores the laws of supply and demand refusing to see how his own scenario drives up the cost of illegal immigration which will drive down the numbers of illegal immigrants.

Told you all his sophistry would be tricky. He continues to argue a barrier will have no effect despite empirical historical evidence to the contrary in San Diego County, despite empirically proven rules of supply and demand, despite my mice box example, which, as you notice, he had to ignore replacing it with his own model. A model in which the implications he himself chooses to ignore in his own comments.

And did you catch this bit of sophistry: “a physical barrier that would require a mammoth expenditure not only to build, but to keep up, to monitor, and so on and so forth.”

Here Stephen argues public health, public security, sovereignty, and trespassing laws are too expensive to protect with barrier borders. Our national sovereignty, our public health directly threatened by illegal immigration, and private property along the borders are not worth the expense of defending and protecting. Cute, eh? As he argues for infinite overpopulation of our nation through illegal immigration as if it carried not cost.

Gotta watch these wiley Democwatic wabbits, they will wob you blind if you aren’t wery, wery, careful. And we all know what wabbits are famous for, over-wabbiting the carrying capacity of their environmental wabitat.

And Stephen argues for environmental conservation right along side unlimited population growth. Quite a cognitive dissonance and set of sophist gymnastics to make those two go together.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 22, 2007 7:10 PM
Comment #233977

Has nothing to do with immigration policy/ Why is that.


The arguement that immigration is somehow damageing to the enviornment is a phony cover for elitism and xenophobia. Some how even “liberals” think that if one puts a green cape on the uglyness it is OK. Fact is that the enviorment is global. Most of our new immigrants are from the same continent. They are already born. They eat food,they breathe,they create waste. If you want to discuss the population problem and the need for birth control fine but that is tangential at best to the immigration issue unless you want these people to drop dead so you can romp through your field of flowers.

Posted by: BillS at September 22, 2007 7:28 PM
Comment #233978

BillS said: “The arguement that immigration is somehow damageing to the enviornment is a phony cover for elitism and xenophobia.”

The very definition of environmental pollution is defined by the impact of humans behavior upon the environment. More humans, more degradation of the environment. Your argument rings hollow as rotted log.

Ask ranchers along the border if those 10’s of thousands of plastic water bottles discarded on their property are environmental enhancements brought by illegal immigration. Or the plastic bags hanging everywhere on barbed wire fences in the West near the border areas. Not to mention the human waste left to run off into arroyos and streams used to water horses, cattle, and sheep.

Then there is the public health environment degraded by 20 million immigrants who bypassed immunization and have shot the incidence of malaria, hepatitus B, plague, smallpox, diptheria, and other diseases way up in border states and beyond. That’s right, Black Plague is making a resurgence in the U.S, not to mention lice outbreaks in Texas schools keeping school nurses busy the entire school year. Measles, and whooping cough are also on the rise.

Legal immigration halts those diseases at immigration ports of entry through immunization and physical examination. Illegal immigration is free to bring the world’s diseases in without oversight until a public health emergency occurs.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 22, 2007 7:31 PM
Comment #233980

BillS said: “If you want to discuss the population problem and the need for birth control fine but that is tangential at best to the immigration issue unless you want these people to drop dead so you can romp through your field of flowers.”

I paid my taxes and served in our armed forces in order to preserve and enhance the quality of life in America for myself and child’s future in America. You are damned right I want to protect this great and beautiful country I was fortunate enough to be born into from being overrun and degraded by the impact of gratuitous overpopulation and total absence of public health controls and a massive reduction in American standard of live to the mean of the rest of the world.

You are damned right about that. I am all for sustained population numbers and LEGAL immigration to maintain those numbers constant. But, any 5th grader can tell you that unchecked illegal immigration, given the world’s population of billions living in lesser conditions than our own, is a prescription for disaster.

Americans lost an entire week of work last year, 38 hours on average for every commuter, stalled in traffic jams. The economic cost of that congested population fact of American life lies in the billions. To solve it through accommodation of highways sufficient for the population congestion is again, many, many more billions.

Don’t even try to make the argument that population congestion doesn’t come with a huge and growing price tag, not just in dollars and productivity but, in quality of life and peace of mind. Road Rage is all the rage in America today. Check out the national statistics. They are frightening and costing insurance companies and premium payers a steadily climbing annual rate.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 22, 2007 7:52 PM
Comment #233990


remember last years day with out a mexican? i do. it was wounderful. not only were the roads far less congested, but they got everyones attention while they flew mexican flags, and demanded amnesty for breaking our laws. in my opinion it was a smashing success. they woke up the sleeping masses, and created the outrage necessary to stop the first two amnesty bills. we can only hope they’re stupid enough to do it again. this isn’t about race, it’s about our quality of life, and controlling who gets in and who doesn’t.

Posted by: dbs at September 22, 2007 8:46 PM
Comment #233991

Your box problem is flawed, because while you are fixing up that hole, the mice are running through the other hole that you made. Also every once and a while a mouse will bite you, and your hand will come away from the hole letting more mice through.
I do think something needs to be done, and mostly the incentives needs to disappear. If you want to take care of population control the best way for that is good old fashion war. Thats a joke, but sadly true.

Posted by: kujo at September 22, 2007 8:49 PM
Comment #233993

The idea of Emma Lazarus as a scholar of political philosophy is just plain scary.

The poem is a wonderful sentiment placed on Bartholdi’s statue by the French people. I’m also not thrilled with French interpretations of American political philosophies, and beg the audience to be reminded that what the French were inspired to by our revolution was the root of the term “heads will roll”.

The Constitution is not founded on the notion that this country should be a sponge for all the world’s indigent peoples. It is founded on the notion that a people should have rights, and parcel them out only sparingly and very specifically to their government. That contract is, in fact, BillS, an agreement that the people of this country own this country, PERIOD. The government belongs to us. The land belongs to us. The inland waters belong to us. The borders are our property line.

When 70% of us agree on protecting what is ours and the government wants to run off and ignore us because the rich and privileged who pay for their political campaigns will be more profitable if they can import people to whom the country does not belong, what they are attempting is theft.

There are more erudite ways of saying what I have just stated, but they all mean the same thing.

In English law from of old citizenship rights were attached to the land. At first this also applied to American voting rights as well. Attaching these rights together has a logical foundation in that the first right of property ownership is that of exclusion: We may if we choose keep our property to ourselves. We may also choose how our property may be used and engage our representatives to enact our desires. These are all outgrowths of legal understandings born of the relationship between property owners and the King- with one caveat. In the United States the authority for governance does not flow down from a royal heir to all the land. Rather, it flows up from the people as mediated by the agreement manifested in the Constitution. That is what gives our government the “franchise” to run the country.
Just because the people who taught you didn’t have the snap to know property rights when they saw them doesn’t mean that’s not what they are.

John, Thanks for the reference on citizenship and military service. I believe there is a formal statement somewhere to the same effect.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at September 22, 2007 9:33 PM
Comment #233994

If thats your position fine but thank you for not trying to cover up elitism with enviormental platitudes. It does not apply and does a dis-service to the cause.

Posted by: BillS at September 22, 2007 9:38 PM
Comment #233998

Historicaly a large portion of what is now the US belonged to Mexico. We took it,stole it, in a war of territorial agression. If property rights are sacred then obviously we should return the property. It happened some time ago but how long is it after someone steals your TV for example, does it cease to be your property?Property rights arguements are fraught with such quanderies. That is why they are made exclusively by those that currently control property and no others.This is of course a ridiculous arguement but it should be remembered that Mexicans in particular ARE the indigenence people of much of the US and this should be taken into account.

Posted by: BillS at September 22, 2007 9:54 PM
Comment #234001

BillS, guess you couldn’t refute my comments so you just toss a negation without any basis, discussion, or debate of the arguments and facts I presented. Thank you for your concession in the debate.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 22, 2007 10:12 PM
Comment #234004


Note that I am careful to mention that the property rights are rights of the people mediated by the Constitution. They are not rights of the land.

I live in Texas. One of my best friends is a professor of Texan and Mexican History who is of Hispanic origin and teaches classes founded in what she calls “dilemmas”- the notion that each moment in history has at least two sides. She always has my ear.

All that said, the Mexican government of the 1830s was a plodding, bureacratic, officious mess led by an egotistical blusterer whose only significant genius was in getting people to follow him into disaster(SIX TIMES). Santa Anna permitted himself to be compromised into a fool’s defeat, failed to recover his lands while he still had a chance to do so without the condemnation of the world, and then, when that land was lost to American statehood, allowed his armies to seem to be inviting attack from a hoplessly more powerful foe.

The first lesson of Government on any frontier is that one must be able to protect one’s claims to territory (property) when pressed. Santa Anna could not.

One may freely wonder if the Mexican government of today has learned any lessons from Santa Anna, but at least they seem to have disposed of his armadillo cunning.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at September 22, 2007 10:26 PM
Comment #234010

David R. Remer-
You can call it sophistry, but can you prove it? I don’t tend to call people liars, because that means proving a state of mind, which is very difficult to do. I suppose you believe I’m lying my ass off, which is an opinion you’re entitled to, like any other, but I’ll tell you the truth: I find it too much damn trouble to hide what I really think.

But what is sophistry? It’s argument that just serves to justify a point, which doesn’t relate back to the real world.

Well, what’s the real world of security? You’re going to build a wall across hundreds of miles worth of border. You will need people or things to pay attention to that, and if we’re talking things, those things will need to have software that won’t be so dull as to miss a Mariachi band crossing the border, nor so hypersensitive that it sends the border patrol after every rabbit. This is just the kind of software that’s not working here.

Then there’s the matter of the response to previous efforts. Sure a wall cuts down on traffic along the ground, in this case reducing apprehensions drastically, but did that stop people? No, they tunnelled under, one even featuring a concrete floor and electric lights.

What’s more, Corruption could easily undermine the whole point of the project. When a third of the employees of the company helping to build the fence are illegal, that should tell you something about the nature of the problem.

The Wall is symbolic in todays world, but it’s not going to solve the problems. It might mollify folks who have their heart set on such obvious signs of increased security, but it won’t stop smugglers who mainly use regular transportation anyways, nor aliens who come in by means that circumvent the wall.

The best security is awareness of the situation within the country, enforcing of employment and immigration laws. It’s knowing whose overstayed their status and having the manpower and information systems to follow up on that.

I disrupted your nice little mouse model because it was too nice, too controlled. Real world border enforcment is a much more complicated matter than principles alone would demonstrate.

Supply and Demand is going to encourage people to look for ways to supply that demand more efficiently. The smugglers will get more clever, perhaps more ruthless. You might push smaller operators out, but sufficiently big ones might just consolidate, and the human smuggling becomes a big dollar trade in human labor, perhaps working in parallel with the drug trade. If there are any obvious holes, people will exploit them. Already, a third of current illegals, who enter by legitimate means and overstay, would not be stopped in the least by any improvements on the wall

As for your paragraph about public health, public security, etc…. The prose is so purple you’re knocking my monitor out of calibration. Could any reasonable person believe that I’m for Infinite over-population, that I even believe in such an absurdity? You’re putting more strawmen in that one paragraph than would show up for audition for a production of The Wizard of Oz, simply deciding on the convenience of your argument what I’m for or not for.

You know, you might bother asking me what I actually believe, then take my word for it when I tell you. I find it rather tiresome that I must repeat myself to such deaf ears.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 22, 2007 10:45 PM
Comment #234042

Stephen D now wants to get personal by saying: “I suppose you believe I’m lying my ass off, which is an opinion you’re entitled to, like any other, but I’ll tell you the truth: I find it too much damn trouble to hide what I really think.”

To which I reply: “No, I haven’t, and wouldn’t call you a liar. Sophistry can be achieved by persons believing in their false premises or conclusions, negating any willful intent to deceive which is a signature characteristic of lying.”

Stephen said: “Sure a wall cuts down on traffic along the ground, in this case reducing apprehensions drastically,”

Thank you, Stephen. That is my argument in a nutshell. We finally agree. Glad you came around. I have never said nor implied that a border barrier would be 100% effective in halting illegal immigration by terrorists, criminals, and good folk seeking a better life without waiting their turn in line. My argument logically posits that such a barrier slows and reduces the traffic significantly, which in turn allows our Border Patrol, Immigration enforcement, and other enforcement personnel to more effectively interdict and apprehend the fewer numbers that do make it through, under, over, or around our border barrier.

As I have also pointed out many times, employer sanctions will only be marginally effective, since we have a 1 trillion dollar underground and illegal economy that will continue to hire labor at the cheapest rate, including illegal immigrants. No single tactic will be 100% effective. But, in combination, they can be highly effective stemming the 1 million a year flow of illegal immigration to as little as a couple thousand or less.

I have a wife and daughter to protect out in a rural area on 5 acres. I cannot guarantee that they will not be harmed by armed intruders onto our property. But, keeping firearms at the ready, two dogs on the property, and a 6’ fence around the property, plus a camera and alarm on the driveway, all insure that I will have time to respond should intruders violate our private property. If harm comes to my family, my grief will be softened by knowing I did all I could to prevent it from happening. In other words, I acted responsibly to prevent such harm.

That is all I ask of my government. That it act responsibly to protect and defend this nation, as they swore to do upon taking office. Which is why I can’t vote Democratic, as long as the Democratic Party chooses the political gain of adding illegal immigrant voters to the registered Democrat voter rolls through Amnesty, and refuse to secure our borders against those would intentionally (terrorists - criminals) or unintentionally (disease carriers and the unimmunized) harm my family, my neighbors, community, state, and nation. That is irresponsible.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 23, 2007 12:53 PM
Comment #234046

Stephen, as for your abject dismissal of the importance of disease control, I am perplexed. The Center for Disease Control says 1/3 of the world’s population is carrying the TB bacterium America has admitted up to 20 million foreigners never tested for or immunized against TB since the Amnesty bill of the 1980’s.

The TB rate among foreign-born individuals (22.5/100,000) was nearly nine times the rate among persons born in the United States (2.6/100,000).

The World Health Organization and CDC report while the TB rate among U.S-born persons has declined 64.6 percent over the past 12 years, the rate among foreign-born persons has declined only 33.9 percent. Clearly the greatest threat for TB in America comes from illegal immigration untested and unimmunized.

Dr. Phil Gingrey said : “CDC experts also reported that ‘for the third consecutive year, more TB cases were reported among Hispanics than any other racial/ethnic population.’… It is not a surprise that the rate of TB infections is highest in the states that attract the most illegal immigrants [including] California, Texas, Florida and New York.”

He conveniently left out his own state of Georgia, which was also cited and is a major magnet state for illegal immigrants.

This is just one airborn communicable disease. To entertain that this is not a serious threat boggles the logical and rational mind.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 23, 2007 1:16 PM
Comment #234053

The “box” has two large doors on the back, wheels underneath and a tractor hooked to the front. In all likelyhood, the box will be traveling north unimpeded right through the hole in the wall. Stopping the box at the hole to check it for illegal content would be a gross inpediment to commerce and very damaging to our economy.

Ten years from now will the number of illegal immigrants be 25 million, 50 million or will we all be citizens of the Corporate World?

Posted by: jlw at September 23, 2007 2:17 PM
Comment #234073

I did a little research and need to correct an error of fact on an earlier comment. I attributed the use of Emma Lazarus’s poem on the Statue of liberty to the French people. I was in Error. Lazarus wrote the poem in 1883 for an art auction in support of the pedestal fund, which was raised in America to provide a fitting foundation for the French statue.
Lazarus was, in fact, a Jewish refugee to the United States. While not a member of the working classes she had a genuine concern for their plight in their new, and old, lands, and frequently volunteered her time and effort in their service.
She did express some sympathies for Marxist ideals, but apparently drew a fairly bright line about such things when speaking for her adopted homeland, so I suppose I owe her something of an apology. She was a better political philosopher than I took her to be.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at September 23, 2007 5:38 PM
Comment #234076


You keep returning to two basic themes, supply and demand in relation to people wanting to get into the U.S., and the difficulty (complexity) of border enforcement. That is exactly the problem in slum communities.

In slums crime does not come from outside the community. It is the product of the community itself. When someone in the community has some money, jewelry, furniture, or other valuables (a “supply”) those who want those valuables (a “demand”) find out about it and seek to take it for themselves.

Slums breed on a distrust of authority, indeed, it could be said such a distrust leading to failure to cooperate with law enforcement protects the very criminals who keep a slum poor. See, for example this story from 60 Minutes, April 22, 2007. We do this same thing, promoting a sense among illegals that nothing will happen to them when we fail to enforce our own laws. They have the same sort of cocoon of protection slums provide the predators who feed on them.

It is simply false to claim one cannot sustain a contrast in standards of living. It happens in respectful neighborhoods all over America, where people of humble means are happy to work for people who are well-to-do. But it is a matter of respect or, rather, the expectation of respect.

It is also false to claim that one cannot manage the complexity of enforcing laws. We do it all the time in neighborhoods all over America, where, again, it is a matter of the expectation of respect.

One achieves that expectation by enforcing the law and allowing people to see the benefits of living in places bouyed up by having relationships not founded in predation. When people live in the expectaion of such relationships they become a part of the enforcement structure themselves.

This comparison of countries to neighborhoods is not flippant. In the 1950s there was little expectation of an advantage to be gained by illegal immigration so, though the contrasts were at least as great as they are today, there was very little illegal immigration. We enforced the law fairly well and cooperated with that enforcement but didn’t have to put as much effort into it overall as we must today. The same thing was true at that time in poor neighborhoods. Crime from within neighborhoods was vastly less than it is today and, in spite of then rampant racism and blatant opression, there was better cooperation with law enforcement. The overall situation within neighborhoods was better for raising responsible people.

When we encourage people not to cooperate in enforcing the law we get a degenerative situation, whether in local neighborhoods or in relationships among nations. Then, eventually, everyone suffers.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at September 23, 2007 6:27 PM
Comment #234083

Santa Anna being a poor leader still would not justify,in any international tribunal, the Mexican War. Our national conduct was as deplorable as Iraqs invasion of Kuwait. Mexico was had just gone through a revolution not unlike our own against a European power and was in a weakened state generally.This is beside the point. Seems to me that Mexicans should have additional consideration in legal immigration matters as the decendants of the indigenious population of much of the US in light of our historical ties.

Posted by: BillS at September 23, 2007 7:43 PM
Comment #234089

jlw, it could go that way, if voters, especially indpendent voters who control election outcomes these days, fail to boot incumbents who promote the scenario you depict. But, independent voters are growing in number, and they turned the tide in 2006, and will again in 2008 in reactionary mode. They will do what voters were always meant to do, react to the performance good or bad, of politicians, with their vote.

Democrats are poised to become a one party dominated government in 2008 with 60 votes in the Senate or very close to it, and hold a significant majority in the House, as well as take the White House, which will in turn reverse the Supreme Court in less than 4 years.

Democrats will then be in hot seat to put the nation’s and the peoples, especially their children’s future first and foremost ahead of political, campaign financing, or lobbyist agendas. The big question is, will they be up to the task? If their stance on securing the borders is any indication, the answer to that question is an emphatic, NO!

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 23, 2007 8:28 PM
Comment #234100


The transfer of power from Spain to Mexico was a war, but only barely.

The most violent thing to have engaged the government of Mexico prior to the Texas Revolution was the Zacatecas revolt.

In that event a largely indigenous population (fancy that)was brutally crushed by Santa Anna’s armies, which were, themselves, largely made up of indigenous conscripts. (The vast majority of the human fodder, 600 to 1000 soldiers marched to their deaths before the cannon-fired cannister of the Alamo, were also indigenous peoples. Santa Anna’s response to the carnage? “It was a trifle.”) So much for how the Mexican governmentc cared for its indigenous peoples.

As to the conflict with the United States itself, Mexico, falling to its own internal strife attacked the U.S. Army positions at what the U.S. recognized as its own territory. Your discussion of tribunals is folly in the historical context of the day, in which both France and England had sought to intervene on behalf of the United States. The 19th century was, as you may recall, played by 19th century rules.

Again, a government that was too weak to maintain internal stability (having changed presidents four times in 1846, before settling on Santa Anna for disaster #2) could in no way pretend to be able to provide stability for its supposed colonists in Indian territories.

The Mexican War was a misadventure of a government driven to irrationality by its own roilings. Merely by accepting the Treaty of Velasco it is highly likely Mexico would have been able to hold the U.S. at bay with diplomatic embarrassment and at least gotten a price greater than had been paid to France for the much more easily settled Great Plains. Instead they got a catastrophic war, a pittance of a payoff for tranferred lands, and international humiliation.

Oh, and Santa Anna was deposed a second time.

But, of course things have changed so much today…
Have you ever watched the television made for Spanish speakers, telemudo and such? Notice all those WHITE people, all those blue eyes? Boy the dominant culture of Mexico really embraces its indigenous peoples.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at September 23, 2007 9:22 PM
Comment #234119

Lee Jamison said: In slums crime does not come from outside the community. It is the product of the community itself. When someone in the community has some money, jewelry, furniture, or other valuables (a “supply”) those who want those valuables (a “demand”) find out about it and seek to take it for themselves

your argument that crime exists in slums is because people are poor is uninformed poor people even indigent are no more criminal than the average middle class citizen. Being poor does not make you a criminal nor amoral. Crime exists over abundantly in those neighborhoods almost entirely due to fear of the law and uninformed populase as to how to deal with criminal activity, due to lack of education and or resources. I also assert that law enforcment does not give these areas the attention needed as is given in more affluent areas you see i speek from experience i grew up in one of those slums and today i am a police officer i have seen both sides. quote as many studies as you wish, none are as accurate as experience. but at least you did mention that; “ Slums breed on a distrust of authority, indeed, it could be said such a distrust leading to failure to cooperate with law enforcement protects the very criminals who keep a slum poor.

i just thought you might benefit from a real point of view rather than a chart. I am just saying that people livings in such conditions are the prey of criminals not the source.
if that where true then to follow that logic…. George Bush must have grown up in a slum seeing that he loves to force people living in slums (make no mistake that much of iraq is destroyed)to bow before his tyrrany now that he has replaced Saddam with himself and a puppet govt. but that is a debate for another thread.

Posted by: john at September 24, 2007 1:11 AM
Comment #234132


I didn’t say, I do not intimate, nor, certainly, do I believe that crime in slums is a product of poverty. I say, quite specifically, that crime in slums and elsewhere is the product of an atmosphere in which people, both criminal and victim, do not trust and will not cooperate with the law and its enforcement mechanisms. I supplied a link in which a liberal news source demonstrates this distrust being disseminated and culturally enforced within a minority community. It is that atmosphere, enforced by the predators, that makes of their neighborhoods a wonderful feeding ground.

The poor are not criminals because they are poor, but in much of America they are poor because they are awash in predatory criminals and they would be ostracized for cooperating with law enforcement to end the criminal hegemony.

Predatory crime thrives on an atmosphere in which there is little or no expectation of consequences for bad acts. It is that sort of atmosphere, in which members of a community feel powerless to impose a set of values on each other, where civilizing pressures among people fail and it becomes necessary to resort to the inherent clumsiness and inefficiencies of the external imposition of formal law enforcement.

If people don’t look up to each other they can’t apply social pressure to civilize each other. Demonstrated brute force becomes the only recognized social benchmark. That is what makes predators seem rich and it will keep their pool of prey poor.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at September 24, 2007 9:51 AM
Comment #234152

David R: Independent voters are not some great entity that votes in mass for one of the two major parties. They are as divided on many issues as everyone else is. While it is true that independent voters influenced the 06 election in favor of the Democrats, it wasn’t a mass movement. It is also true that independent voters helped the Republicans take over the government in 2000 and despite the fact that the Republicans gave huge tax breaks to the wealthy and gave us War in Iraq while handing the bill to our grandchildren, the independent voters gave the Republicans a big victory in 2004. Perhaps the independent voters gave the Democrats the edge in 2006 out of a sense of guilt for what they helped the Republicans do to our country.

Illegal immigration is a perfect example of how Republicans play the game. They have been harping on this issue for many years now and yet they have done nothing. Oh, I forgot, in an effort to sway the voters in 2006, they passed your fence bill. They as usual, gave the bill to your grandchildren while at the same time they have made sure that the fence would resemble swiss cheese that can easily be penetrated by the trucking industry. I have to go now, my towns monthly shipment of Mary Jane herbal remedies just rolled in.

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Comment #358747

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