Monday, March 27, 2006

Right Here Waiting for You

Last week was Jr. Prom week here at the High School and I was asked to give a “Heritage Speech” on our Roman Lancer Mascot. The theme of Prom 2006 was “Right Here Waiting for You”. As I considered the lessons to be learned from this song title it occurred to me that wonderful things in life are waiting for those who will pay the price of excellence. This is not only true in personal accomplishments, but applies directly to the struggle between freedom and terror our nation is facing in today’s world. The speech ran like this:

“Our Lancer Heritage reveals that each Lancer has a wonderful future “Right Here Waiting for You”. The potential for good, for greatness, and success can be found in our legends. Great things often have humble beginnings; it is the mastery of potential that produces excellence.

Rome began as a single boy; one facing troubles and challenges. There was a day when the unwanted baby Romulus, who had been abandoned to die, was Rome. Romulus and his twin brother were conceived by rape, his mother, imprisoned for un-chastity, could not protect him when murderous thugs took him to drown in the flooding river. He was saved from death by a she wolf who nursed the twins until they were discovered and raised in poverty by a swineherd and a prostitute. Romulus grew up tending pigs. He was forced to educate himself. Gangs of bullies and criminals infested the hills around his home. He lived in a land without law.

But as Plutarch explains of Romulus, [in his] very infancy, the size and beauty of his body intimated his natural superiority; and when [he] grew up both [he and Remus] proved fair and manly, attempting all enterprises that seemed hazardous, and showing in them courage altogether undaunted. Romulus seemed rather to act by counsel, and to show the sagacity of a statesman, and in all his dealings with their neighbors, whether relating to feeding of flocks or to hunting, Romulus gave the idea of being born rather to rule than to obey. To their comrades and inferiors they were therefore dear; . . . [Romulus] used honest pastimes and liberal studies, not esteeming sloth and idleness honest and liberal, but rather such exercises as hunting and running, repelling robbers, taking of thieves, and delivering the wronged and oppressed from injury. For doing such things [he] became famous.

It was Romulus’ courage that restores his grandfather to the throne of the city of Alba. When he became a man, Romulus took his many friends and established the city called after his name. He created Rome, not just as walls and buildings, but as a people and a government based on respect for law; a haven for all who value justice and peace.

Romulus was the first Lancer, he built himself and his city to greatness in spite of the challenges of his youth; he overcame his limitations by realizing that success and greatness are just waiting for those who will pay the price of excellence.

Let’s all remember the struggles and triumphs of the first Lancer, of Romulus, whose example of excellence out of hardship reminds us all that what we want most in life is “Right Here Waiting for You”.”


There are always those who are looking for the easy way out. Right now for the Democrats the easy way out is to Bush bash while presenting no plans or policies of their own. The world neighborhood is full of brigands and we have an entire political movement which is hanging its hopes on America’s wanting to take the easy way out. As the life of Romulus demonstrates, the easy way out is death.

Romulus took on the evil doers around the Tiber Hills. His courage made many enemies among those who profited from brute force, and their angry plots nearly ended his life. His willingness to do the difficult thing laid the foundation for 1200 years of Rome, for the civilization that still guides the world today.

The world neighborhood of today is full of evil doers. There are those who council caution; who promise, as Kipling said that – “if we give up our weapons, the wars of the tribes will cease.” But Kipling finishes this stanza in “The Gods of the Copybook Headings” with – “And when we disarmed they took us and led us bound to our foe, and the Gods of the copybook headings said, ‘stick to the devil you know’.”

Saddam was one of the world’s greatest evil doers (he is the devil we know). His removal has dynamically changed the out look in the Middle East. It takes no imagination at all to recognize the nightmare that would be Iraq dominated by Saddam. Romulus was “made famous” by his defeat of the neighborhood thugs. The American people have given their support to President Bush’s courageous removal of the monster Saddam from our world, “The American public was certainly entitled to make up its mind whether or not Bush had made a mistake and to fire him if it felt that he had done so. The electorate chose not to do so, implicitly accepting either the administration’s rationale for invading or the irrelevance of the discussion to the matter at hand.” (Frederick Kagan, American Enterprise Institute, Myths of the Current War; thanks Reach!) The American People have been wise enough to recognize the need to do the difficult thing now so that the bright future waiting for the world can be crafted.

Many challenges lie ahead. There are those who would “cut and run.” The bullies have found support in the likes of John Murtha (D-Pa), who pretend that turning Iraq over to
al Qaeda would be in America’s interest.


A group of brigands is trying to create a base for world-wide terror in Iraq. Some would blame the current insurgency on US led liberation of Iraq. This is like blaming the anger of the brigands defeated by Romulus on the boy hero himself. But this is not true in either case. I further quote from Kagan’s article: “In 2005, a number of insurgent groups decided to prioritize attacking collaborators and members of the Iraqi Security Forces over hitting coalition troops. Insurgent literature regularly distinguishes between civilians, who are not to be targeted, and traitors or collaborators who are legitimate targets. This differentiation and refocusing of targets priorities clearly showed that the presence of coalition forces is by no mans the only – or even the main – catalyst driving the insurgency.”


Romulus’ enemies tried to regain the hold of terror that the twins had broken. Too weak and cowardly to face Romulus in battle, they turned to tricks and lies. President Bush’s enemies must rely on falsehood to weaken his successes. One of the most incredulous lies is that the War in Iraq is a distraction to the War on Terror. Kagan presents some excellent explanation of the flaw in this argument:

“This question, however, is no longer relevant to the problem of determining U.S. strategy in the war on terror. Al Qaeda’s second-in-command? Ayman al-Zawahiri, has repeatedly said that he now sees Iraq as the central front in the struggle with the West.[11] Zarqawi has linked his ideological program with that of Zawahiri and bin Laden to make plain that he has no intention of stopping with success in Iraq, should he attain it. Above all, the key question is: will chaos in Iraq help or hinder al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations in their struggle with the United States and the West? The answer is, of course, that it will help them.” (ibid)

“The real issue about the popularity of American forces is the degree to which their presence fuels the fighting or contains sectarian conflict. As we have already seen, the evidence that the U.S. presence is the key driving force in the insurgency is thin, and the evidence that that presence is an essential precondition for avoiding civil war is strong. Iraqi attitudes about that presence only really matter if they change this calculation in some important way. These attitudes are therefore worth monitoring, but should not be allowed to drive coalition strategy by themselves.” (ibid)

If the President’s enemies have their way all the gains of his Romulen efforts will be lost and the monsters will seize back the gains of our heroes. This cannot be allowed. More from Kagan:

“. . . those who argue for an immediate (or rapid) withdrawal of American forces to ?refocus? those on the war on terror have the burden of showing that such a withdrawal will not lead to the sort of chaos in which terrorist organizations thrive. There can be no question of the inability now and for some time of the Iraqi government to control its territory fully. Nor is there any question of the resources potentially available to terrorists in Iraq--as they were not readily available in impoverished and war-torn Afghanistan. Those resources include not only money and weapons, but access to military specialists, technology, and scientists who had been working on Addams WMD programs. This is a recipe for catastrophe on a greater scale than September 11, and there is every reason to believe that a premature withdrawal of American forces would precipitate such a catastrophe. Whatever the relevance of Iraq in the war on terror in 2003, it is a critical front in that war today.” (ibid)

The people of Iraq want to grab the chance for freedom. Kagan further argues:

“. . . hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have volunteered for the most dangerous duty in their land, fighting insurgents with inadequate training and equipment. Those volunteers have frequently come under attack at recruiting stations and in their barracks, yet their numbers have not flagged. Iraqi units no longer shirk combat or run from battle. They have fought toe-to-toe with insurgents on many occasions, have been badly bloodied, and have returned for duty the next day. Iraqi government officials have persevered despite improvised explosive devices (IEDs), mortar and rocket attacks, kidnappings, and assassination attempts. It is difficult to see how it might be necessary to ?incentivize? people fighting bravely in the face of greater danger to themselves and their families than Americans have faced since the Civil War.” (ibid)

The example of Romulus and the reason and evidence presented by Kagan are further supported by a Washington Post op-ed by Ibramim Al-Fafari, the Prime Minister of Iraq. (Not the “former”, or “want to be” Prime Minister, but the one actually chosen by democratic process by the Iraqi people.)

“My vision for Iraq Includes Overcoming Many Major Challenges” (March 26, 06)

The elections last December in Iraq were a monumental stage in my country’s history and a testament to the courage of its people, who refuse to bow to any dictator or terrorist. . . the war against the terrorists cannot be won by military means alone. It is paramount that all Iraqis work together to build a democratic, free Iraq. . . The other major challenge my government will face is reviving Iraq’s economy. Iraq has been drowned by decades of Baathist socialist policies that have made millions reliant on government handouts. We must encourage entrepreneurship and enterprise, while establishing adequate safety nets for the less privileged. . the reality of a democratic, liberal, peaceful Iraq – a beacon for freedom in the Middle East This is not merely a wish but an article of faith. Having lived in London for the majority of my years in exile, I appreciate the importance of liberty for both guaranteeing democracy and ensuring human development.”

Romulus was not discouraged by the attacks of murderers or by the challenges of founding Rome; and Rome was not built in a day. We must recognize and deal with those who attack the march of freedom in the world today.

The idea that one can gain excellence without struggle, that we can overcome evil without sacrifice is so foolish that no one can honestly claim to believe it. The idea is antithetical to the self-evident and absolute laws of nature that we were born knowing. Therefore I am forced to conclude that those who call for it are motivated by other factors, those who support it are either deceived or deceivers. The good people of the world must put aside their fears, reject the lies, and follow Romulus to the great things that are “Right Here Waiting for You”.

354 comments:

1 – 200 of 354   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

"Right here waiting for you" could be an excellent precursor for a spirited discussion and exchange of ideas about the REAL topic 'de jour' of considered changes in the IMMIGRATION policy of the United States.

Strangely, Immigration is a topic Lysis has seemed reticent to comment on -- ever. With Bush throwing himself under the wheels of the bus of public opinion with his past policies and pronouncements for future changes, I would expect Lysis to have SOMETHING to say in the Administration behalf!!!!

Maybe Lysis could describe Remus and Romulus standing like the colossus of Rhodes astride the border between Mexico and the United States welcoming all 12 million undocumented illegal workers -- " . . . and crowned their city with the spoils taken from the enemy" IT'S HERE WAITING FOR YOU!!!!

What a deal -- sacrificed homeland security for cheap immigrant labor -- Bush opportunism at its best!!!!

truth to power said...

I liked Lysis's post, but couldn't he have looked up "The Gods of the Copybook Headings" to quote from it? It's been one of my favorite poems for some time. Although you got the gist right, you mangled Kipling's beautiful words. Tsk, tsk! And this after you've defended the idea that form as well as content matters in poetry and the other arts.

The idea "that one can gain excellence without struggle, that we can overcome evil without sacrifice" is certainly foolish,
but it's far from rare. It's a recurring theme in human history. Some natural appetite seems to draw us to the promise of something for nothing. And there have always been those who will exploit this appetite, who amass power by promising "abundance for all". So yes, there are a great many people who promote these ideas, both the wishfully deceived and the plotting deceivers.

If we are used to certain people and groups fostering this belief in our domestic political debates, why should we be surprised that they base their war politics on the same values?

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved." --Helen Keller

Flaccid, at least you can say you're consistent. Anything Bush supports, you automatically oppose. Never mind that virtually all of your fellow travellers believe in opening our southern border. I happen to think Bush is wrong on this one. Do you really believe in enforcing tough immigration laws, or does it depend on who's in the White House?

Anonymous said...

I had reservations about the war in Iraq, but I DID support the intervention, deferring to what I acknowledged as the greater information about the threat of WMD's the Administration purported it could verify.

I did say at the time that intervention/invasion plans needed to be accompanied with CLEAR objectives and an EXIT STRATEGY -- "What is it supposed to look like when we leave? How do we know when we've won and can go home? These are questions the Administration still has difficulty answering. (Hell, Lysis can't even answer these questions about Viet Nam). The deposing of Sadam and the Iraqi "evil empire" are reasonable consequences of war, and even "nation building" and now democatization schemes MIGHT have been worthy goals if they had been proposed, debated and DEMOCRATICALLY APPROVED per se!!!! -- however, WMD elimination goals have NOW been co-opted with what I believe to be politically motivated "feel good" Democratization schemes that are inherently unworkable and dangerous to U.S. long term interests in that region (see sectarian violence and divisivness).

I am not for withdrawing, I am not for staying -- poor leadership and Neo-con opportunism has left the United States with Hobson's choice!!!!

Bush said last week that the U.S presence in Iraq would extend beyond his administration -- you see, he doesn't know what victory is supposed to look like -- let someone else figure it out!!!!

Lysis said...
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Lysis said...

Truth to power;

I am pleased to be corrected on my quote from Kipling. Perhaps others in the Agora would like the corrected words. Allow me.

“When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.

They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.

But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,

And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know”.”

TtoP; you have also correctly analyzed Flaccid’s attack on President’s suggestions on IMIGRATION Policy.


Flaccid:

I see your position of the Liberation of Iraq was the same as that of the Bush administration. I’m sure the President was just as disappointed as you (that’s sarcasm) when Saddam managed to cover his tracks on his WMDs. One of Saddam’s “former” generals is now telling the story of where the weapons went. I am sure you are not interested in these new supports for the President’s actions. I notice you are also avoiding talking about al Qaeda links to Saddam, now that Saddam’s own words have revealed they existed. Typical of your style.

As for IMIGRATION; Rome also faced the problem of everyone in the world wanting to be part of the Roman Empire. When the let the Goths, who were fleeing the Huns, in – it did cause them some problems. I support the President’s willingness to try to find a solution to this difficult problem. This is President Bush’s style, to meet difficult challenges and meet them. Unfortunately, the mess at our border will not be solved until Mexico gets its act in order. When people can live in Mexico as happily as they live in the U.S. then they will quit coming here. Perhaps by that time we will have a United States of America that stretches from the Artic to the Antarctic. This is the hope we can hold for the Rome of the future.

Flaccid, perhaps you should give up Hobson and take the advice of President Bush’s favorite Philosopher who said, “Choose the Right”. I know, not your style.

mostly just listening said...

Sorry to be off topic. Rumpole, check out the March 2 article at www.weeklystandard.com by Steven Hayes. He has been working for a couple of years now on the story about the documents coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Anyhow, it references the NYTimes story and oped on this information. Now, Hayes himself has said he doesn't expect a smoking gun. Still, it begs the question, first of all, is the NY Times Bias? Are they purposefully Bias or bias and don't recognize it as you have mentioned in reference to Goldberg's book? Finally, is it possible that the NY Times is writing left talking points to respond to the information coming out now that the documents are finally being released for public consumption?

Rumpole said...

Truth to power,

I have greatly enjoyed your posts. You have much to offer to the discussion. You post “Some natural appetite seems to draw us to the promise of something for nothing. And there have always been those who will exploit this appetite, who amass power by promising "abundance for all". So yes, there are a great many people who promote these ideas, both the wishfully deceived and the plotting deceivers.”

I do not disagree. There are those in history (and in all of our own personal interactions) who have amassed “power by promising ‘abundance for all.” What end does that power bring? Does it bring success?

If success is defined as control and personal wealth then there are many who have proffered from just such a philosophy. Both of those traits can be obtained quickly. They are not, however, obtained quickly without expense. The cost of such “success” comes by sacrificing traits that others may deem more valuable. I would refer to those sacrificed traits as “true success”.

How would I define this “true success”? Perhaps it is defined by traits like virtue, character, integrity, and the gift of self-determination. This success cannot be obtained quickly and without struggle. And in the process (for it is a process rather than an end) it does not have to be devoid of wealth and power. I believe those are traits that can be enjoyed along the way in their proper course.

The Republican-at-the-peak-of-his-knowledge-curve is downstairs playing the piano. He is much better today than the early, painful days of “chopsticks”. He has not yet gained a full appreciation of his talent (that won’t be until he comes down off the knowledge curve). But in the “process” he has enjoyed much along the way. His friends are envious of his talent; his closet is lined with trophies from past successes; he even smiles about the trips to Baskin Robin’s after recitals.

Unfortunately, there are those like our own Anonymy who don’t seem to understand such a concept. As you imply, I also hope that the American people are wise enough to avoid the desire for instant gratification; I hope the American people are wise enough to “stay the course”.

Mostly,

Thanks for the reference. All at the Agora would benefit by reading the article. This is another clear demonstration of why it is important to have other media sources besides traditional outlets.

I am not surprised by the Times response. As Goldberg points out, the Left believes it has the truth. That position coupled with (as Lyis has pointed out on several occasions) the Left’s hatred for President Bush, removed any rational thought from the debate long before the War began. The article is truly appropriately titled “Choosing Ignorance”.

It seems to me that the debate has reached such emotional levels that the priority of the Left has become the destruction of the President independent of the consequences. As the Anonymy has demonstrated on several occasions, when this much emotion is involved admitting you were wrong is next to impossible.

Anonymous said...

Before Lysis makes the Hobson of "Hobson's choice" into a "philosopher", I suggest he grab a good dictionary (If such a thing can be had at LHS) and educate himself.

Also, just because 'CTR' is on some religious zealots' pinky ring, there is no reason to
believe Christ actually said those words or that a distinguished morality has been achieved.

Lysis said...
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Lysis said...

Just because Thomas Hobson worked in a livery stable rather than a university does not make him any less of a philosopher. Just because one must read the whole of the Gospels to fully understand the message of the Savior does not make that message any less real. Jesus taught the world to choose the right by the example of his life. Face it Flaccid, some things are more powerful than words. Actions speak louder that words, whether the actions of a stable boy, a carpenter, or a U.S. President.

Reach Upward said...

Despite the rantings of the cut-and-run crowd, journalist Amir Taheri believes (after "meeting ordinary Americans and senior leaders, including potential presidential candidates from both parties" in NY and DC) that Americans and their leaders have the will to stick with the war on terror for the long haul (see this WSJ article. That is a refreshing view that you won't find in the NY Times.

Dan Simpson said...

It is always gratifying to see how right I am on a subject.

I wonder how anonymous feels about standing hand in hand with good old Sean Hannity against the plague of illegals?

I am curious how Anonymous feels Bush's plan will hurt our national security. Perhaps he is all for building a wall around the entire country and placing a guard every 100 yards or so. That way no one can come in, and he can sleep at night.

Lysis said...

Reach and all:

Here are some refreshing tidbits from “The Weekly Standard” article by Stephen Hayes that “Mostly Just Listening” recommended. The flood of new documents becoming available in the debate will prove to be of great advantage in dealing with the neo-Libs in the “hate Bush” crowd.

1. “In any case, the release of the documents allows the debate to move from speculation to fact.”

2. “. . . the question is: “Why did Saddam help al Qaeda?” According to the document, Saddam Hussein personally approved bin Laden’s request – made in a face-to=face meeting with Iraqi intelligence – to rebroadcast al Qaeda’s anti-Saudi propaganda on Iraqi airwaves.”

3. “. . . the very document that includes bin Laden’s requests also shows that Saudi Hezbollah was one of the four Saudi opposition groups from which the Iraqi regime sought cooperation.”

4. “. . . the U.S. intelligence community has only recently begun to exploit many of the documents captured in Afghanistan.”

5. “One document captured in postwar Afghanistan and released with 27 other in February, is filed as AFGP-2002-601693, and called “Statue of Jihad.” The letter between two al Qaeda terrorists (of apparently high rank) makes several references to connections between the Islamists and Iraq. One passage notes the bin Laden’s chief deputy, Ayman al Zawahiri, “went to Iraq and Iran” seeking support.”

6. “It is worth noting that two 9/11 Commissioners also see value in the Iraqi Intelligence documents.

a) Commissioner John Lehmen offered this prophetic warning . . . “There may well be – and probably will be – additional intelligence coming from interrogations and from analysis of captured records . . . This [the 9/11 Report] is not phrase as, nor meant to be, the definitive word on Iraqi Intelligence activities.”

b) Bob Kerry, a former Democratic senator who also served as a 9/11 Commissioner, recently told . . . that the Iraqi Intelligence documents offer “a very significant set of facts.” While cautioning that the documents don’t tie Saddam to 9/11, Kerry added that they do tie Saddam to “a circle that meant to damage the United States.”

7. “As U.S. News & World Report first reported, one high-ranking Iraqi military official told U.S. interrogators that the Iraqi regime provided Zaahiri with $300,000 in 1998.

8. “. . . another captured Iraqi document, this one from 1992 and authenticated by the Defense Intelligence agency, reveals that Iraqis considered Osama bin Laden an Iraqi Intelligence asset who had good relations with the Iraqi intelligence station in Damascus, Syria.”

Had the documents failed to substantiate President Bush’s position on the War on Terror, that failure would have been front page, lead story reporting for weeks. Now that more and more evidence to prove that it was not President Bush who was lying is coming forward, the Media is eager to lose interest in the topic; perhaps switch it to a discussion on IMIGRATION?

Anonymous said...

"Just because Thomas Hobson worked in a livery stable rather than a university does not make him any less a philosopher" -- . . . nor any MORE of one either!!!!

Also: "Some things are more powerful than words."

John I and 1 and 2
"In the beginning was the WORD and the WORD was with God and the WORD WAS GOD." . . . . FACE IT Lysis!

And now tell us what might those more powerful "things" be?

Jupiter/Zeus in the pantheon????

"Actions speak louder than words."

Did Christ say that too? Which scriptures are you now quoting? -- the Lysis' paraphrased and expurgated edition?

Anonymous said...

No Dan -- draconian fines and/or prison time for employers who employ illegals would solve the problem VERY quickly.

Am I still lined up with Sean? I didn't think so! Hannity has a clear understanding of who he is beholding to!!!!

Do you own stock in a fencing company or something????

Lysis said...

Flaccid:

St. John actually wrote “In the beginning was the Logos . . .”. Logos has a much better interpretation than “Word” that meaning is “Reason”. Reason that is the controlling principle in the universe, (The mind of Divine Jupiter) not something you can look up in your dictionary while cooking up debate definitions to control discussion. Divine Reason is what makes a philosopher of a stable hand or a teacher. The refusal to use it relegates one to quoting scriptures one does not understand. Flaccid, on this last point, you once more provide an excellent example to us all.

truth to power said...

I agree that the employers who exploit illegals are a serious part of the problem. Illegal aliens tolerate much more than legal workers in terms of pay, working conditions, etc. They don't want to rock the boat, and the employers know it. Certainly some of the supporters of the immigration status quo are these employers and their political buddies.

On the other hand, as a country we don't make it easy for employers to verify that they're only employing legal workers. Too many well-meaning government agencies have made it too easy for illegals to obtain seemingly legitimate identification. The very question of which immigrants are authorized to work is a complex one; the regulations are long and immensely detailed. And any employer in a position to hire foreigners has to tread very carefully to avoid charges of discrimination. Add to this our modern obsession with privacy. Nobody shares information with anybody else, even post-9/11.

Employers have many incentives to hire questionable applicants, and few to reject them. I don't think it makes sense simply to impose draconian penalties on these employers without addressing such obstacles. I would like to see all these problems addressed, and stronger steps taken against both the illegal aliens and employers who violate the law.

At the same time, I believe our immigration restrictions themselves need an overhaul. It should be easier for people who are willing to immigrate legally. But I sympathize with those who oppose any form of amnesty. Those who are willing to follow the rules should always be preferred over those who choose to cheat.

I keep hearing Bush talk about how necessary our undocumented workers are because they do "jobs Americans won't do." Does anybody know what jobs he's talking about? Does he just mean that without their illegal workers, employers would have to offer a competitive wage?

Beef Jerky said...

Living for two years on the west coast of Mexico did a lot to open up my mind to the "Mexican" view of the United States. I was often shocked at the lack of respect most of my friends down there had towards American laws, claiming that American Spring Breakers don't respect Mexican laws, so why should they? My argument was always that it is the Mexican government's fault that they don't enforce their laws better, and cater to the dollar.

About a month ago, a very close friend of mine (Alberto) from Cabo San Lucas tried to cross the border at Tijuana and was rejected. He had a current visa, passport, sponsor, and had already been accepted at Utah Valley State College. He had even paid his first months's rent, thanks to another of our friends who is in Orem already. Alberto had done everything right - and was still rejected at the border. He had endured a 20+ hour bus ride from the tip of the Baja peninsula to the border, and had to give up and go back.

It angers me that so many of the Mexican people I grew to love have come to this country the "wrong" way (without respect to American law), and have therefore made it difficult even for law-abiders to cross. The sad, depressed voice of my friend over the phone as he called me from Cabo to tell me the bad news was absolutely heart-breaking.

Rewarding the law-breakers and punnishing the law-abiders seems like an absolutely ridiculous, but very real, scenario. All I can do is hope that our nation's leaders solve this problem.

Strategos said...

Beef Jerky
It’s nice to hear from someone with real perspective and insight, I too have spent a lot of time “South of the Boarder,” and it really is an eye opener. I would like to know if Anonymous has any experience abroad, and if so how has it affected his perspective.
Now my views on the blog.
As is often the case this blog has largely been a war of ideologies rather than an attempt to get at real answers or solutions. Let’s try to pull ourselves back to reality.
On the al Qaeda Saddam connection.
Bush was right whoopi! First, whether or not support for the connection was ever substantiated by evidence, Bush is not a liar unless he knew there was no connection and went to war with malicious perposes. Secondly even if proof surfaced that Bush was dead wrong we would still be at war shouting, “I told you so,” is not going to help us move forward.
As I’ve said before I am a little uniformed about this situation (I was abroad when we went to war and I have only recently become deeply involved in current events.) but even I know that Bush has always had clear objectives and an exit strategy. He gets up and explains them at least once a week, “he that hath ears let him hear.” True he has no exit timetable but that is for obvious security reasons.
The conflict will extend beyond his administration, of coarse, can you name any president who fought a war, defeated the enemy, and built an entirely new government from scratch all within two terms? Bush has had to do a lot of cleaning up for past presidents himself.

About Immigration:
Inclusion not exclusion is the key to survival. I am not for tightening boarder security; the truth is I am not for boarders at all. It may seem extreme but it would solve a lot of out problems. Opening the boarder would stop illegal immigration. Giving immigrants legal working visas would place them under American employment regulations and give them a “competitive wage,” life in Mexico would become better as they become more and more integrated into the American economy.
As to the terrorist threat, if we had the cooperation of the Mexican government, we could stop terrorists before they even got to the Mexican boarder. Inclusion not exclusion is the key to survival.
As to the idea that we must not “reward people for breaking the law.” I think this argument is founded in prejudice but even if it is not it is still flawed. Offering a program whereby people outside of the law could can be reconciled to it and come to live under it, is not a reward it’s repentance and forgiveness. Punitive measures have never served as an effective deterrent. When Anonymous say that stiffer punishments will solve the problem he’s wrong. I guess we could round up the 11 million people and send them back to Mexico or put them in concentration camps, then the Mexicans could send the Americans out of Utah, and restore their boarder, then the Ute’s could kick them out, then they could get kicked out by whoever was there before them, then we could all move back to Africa and take our jungles back from the Chimpanzees that have illegally immigrated into that area. (This was a hyperbole not an actual suggestion.)
My real suggestion is simple, (and I think a lot like Bushes.) Open the boarder to those who want to come, keep track of who they are how and where they work, and forget this Michael Savage, “defend our boarders, punish the aliens,” attitude.

Strategos said...

One more quick question: I'd like to know how imposing fines on people who employ working immigrants will stop the flow or criminals and terrorists into our county.

Reach Upward said...

I can vouch for the fact (from business owners I know in Texas) that it is difficult for employers to know whether a person is legal or not, especially in areas where there are high concentrations of illegals.

But the high concentration of illegals depresses wages, which in turn reduces costs for the employers, which in turn reduces the prices of the goods and services offered by these employers, which in turn produces happy consumers, but not happy taxpayers who have to pick up the tab for the additional consumption of government services. It amounts to an externalization of costs and risks for the businesses.

TtoP is right in saying that businesses have little incentive to ensure legality. These issues must be addressed in any kind of reform if it is to be viable.

Anonymous said...

St Lysis:
"Logos has a *much better* interpretation than "word" . . . "

Lysis chooses to edit the Bible to proclaim the "mind of Divine Jupiter" by substituting 'Logos' for 'Word' in "and the word was God". He TESTIFYS that "This is what John *actually* wrote!!!!

Well, this isn't Fast and Testimony meeting, Lysis -- do you KNOW or is it your OPINION. (Lysis doesn't know the difference)

Some interpret WORD to mean Adam, some interpret that WORD means Christ, some think it means Logic, some believe "word" was inspired translation and it would be blasphemy to redact anything else . . . but Lysis KNOWS!!!!
And still I will never understand how to get from Logos to 'Divine Jupiter' -- I doubt ANYONE but Lysis could say. Is 'divine Jupiter' a super-sized rabbit that follows Lysis around and that only he can see????

It is a wonder that with Lysis' divine knowledge, wisdom and 'Divine Jupiter' he needs any gospels at all -- God speaks to Lysis, Lysis speaks to God. (divine Jupiter?) Lysis! Lysis! Lysis Almighty!!!!

Strategos said...

Wow now we’re arguing about the Bible. How do we get sucked into these things?

Oh yaw Lysis made a simple observation that actions speak louder than words, and Anonymous who for some reason thinks he needs to disagree with absolutely everything Lysis says, made the outrageous claim that nothing is more than words, and used his own interpretation of the Bible to justify his claim.

It’s obvious to anyone that John did not write that line to prove that words are the most important thing in the universe, even if he did mean “word” he meant it symbolically, God is not a word, but a vibrant active being. (According to the Bible)

Then when Lysis presented another, (Historically more correct) interpretation, Anonymous accuses Lysis of trying to push his interpretation on others.
Anonymous I had a little hope for you after the last Bog but this latest line of argumentation, is irrelevant, extremely subjective, and ultimately hypocritical, (you can’t use your interpretation to support your claim and then condemn Lysis for doing the same.)

If we must look at it let’s take in the whole picture instead of arguing about specific translations of specific words. In the old and new testament God clearly places actions above words. In fact he places actions, thoughts, and even desires, as more important than words. Again and again he condemned those who knew and spoke the words, and did not take action, or those who spoke one thing and thought another, or those who praise God with their lips, but who’s hearts where far from him, calling them Liars and Hypocrites, condemning them below prostitutes, thieves, adulterers, and even murderers. Words are arbitrary sounds that mean nothing without the things they represent.

Could we please get back to the subject I'm trying to find answers here.

And by the way God does speak to Lysis, he speaks to me, as he speaks to all of us, “he that hath ears let him hear.”

Strategos said...

One more comment (I just can’t help my self)

Let me explain the Logos, Jupiter connection. Logos and Jupiter are both words that describe the same God. There is a irrefutable historical connection between Jupiter and the God of the Bible, which name came first is a matter of belief, but the fact is, Jupiter, Jesus, Zeus, Ala, are all just words; meaningless without the thing they represent.

Lysis said...

Flaccid;

News flash (to you) the New Testament was written in Greek not English. There is a Greek word for “WORD” in Greek, and it is not Logos.

As for the name of God, well said Strategos!

a quiet listener said...

i too have lived "south of the border" and have a heightened sense of compassion for those seeking a better life after seeing the misery they are exposed to daily.


maybe of interest ...
is that on jan 31st of 1844 joseph smith wrote and published General Smith's Views of the Powers and Policy of the Government of the United States. this document outlines his presidential platform during his short run for office. one of the nine important points in his presidential platform was the "annexation of Texas upon her application, and the extending of an invitation to Mexico and Canada to become parts of the United States of America" (The Restored Church by William Edwin Barrett, p.179, Deseret Book)

i believe God had a hand in founding this country and specifically in the liberties therein. why would God want such freedom and prosperty for one group of people alone? does God make exception of persons?? of course not. survival is in inclusion not exclusion.

truth to power said...

Strategos, I'd really like to know what you meant by, "As to the idea that we must not 'reward people for breaking the law.' I think this argument is founded in prejudice..."

Where is the prejudice? We are talking about people living and working in this country in violation of the law. A lot of people have a big problem with the idea of giving these lawbreakers an advantage over those who have chosen to obey the law. This is not a question of race, religion, national origin, or any of the other categories typically associated with prejudice and discrimination. If I'm prejudiced against illegal aliens, then I suppose I'm prejudiced against tax cheats and deadbat dads, too.

I think the immigration debate has been stifled for a long time by the specter of racism. The immigration laws themselves still contain traces of our racist past, and this should be fixed. But it's too easy to dismiss people who disagree with your views on policy by labelling them bigots. Why can't we simply debate in good faith, accepting that others are sincere and not motivated by evil intent?

There have been a number of repetitions here of variations of the slogan, "Inclusion not exclusion is the key to survival". I think this is a sort of straw man argument, again imputing malicious motives to someone who disagrees.

If we are to have meaningful immigration reform, we have to move past the name-calling and point-scoring. I think the president himself has been guilty of sidestepping the issues in this way. We need an honest conversation on how to fix this system.

I'm intrigued by this comment from strategos:

"Offering a program whereby people outside of the law could can be reconciled to it and come to live under it, is not a reward it’s repentance and forgiveness."

What kind of forgiveness program can we develop that doesn't elevate the repentant above those who never sinned in the first place? If such a solution can be found, I think it would satisfy all sides. If you have such a solution, please run for Congress.

Reach Upward said...

Peggy Noonan cuts past programs directly to the roots of our immigration problems in this insightful essay. She essentially causes the reader to consider what it means to be an American and what the United States of America means. She argues that our current methodology of assimilating immigrants needs fixing because it is woefully inadequate to make immigrants Americans in their hearts. I believe all would be profited by reading her essay.

I am all for dissolving borders if the joining countries ascribe fully to the principles that make our country great. Yes, I believe in American exceptionalism, although, this opinion is not in vogue in many circles. My father is an immigrant. Although he will never stop being a German, he is American in his heart. I would like more recent immigrants to experience this change of heat as well.

Reach Upward said...

Oops -- I meant change of *heart*.

Lysis said...

Truth to Power:

Some questions to ponder

1) Are present immigration laws just?

2) Have immigration laws been enforced in the past – and would it be just to start punishing people today for things we weren’t punishing them for yesterday. (My students might legitimately question my justice if I did not enforce a classroom rule against tardiness for three quarters of the year and then suddenly refused to allow them to graduate because of a tardy in the forth quarter of the same school year.)

3) What is the cost benefit analysis on these illegals? – do they really hurt the U.S. economy? - do they help the economy? (The U.S. economy seems to be doing very well with 12,000,000 illegal aliens aboard.)

4) Wouldn’t making obtaining citizenship easier for everyone help everyone? Why would those who have waited in line be angry with those who have not if we did away with the line and let everyone in? (I seem to remember Jesus teaching a parable on this line. He got rather snooty with the folks who came to work in the morning and then complained when the “lord” paid the late comers the same wage.)

5. What is the harm of this crime of illegally immigrating? (I can see the “evil” of “tax cheaters” and “dead beat dads”; what is the evil of people coming to American the same way everyone’s – including the Indian’s - ancestors did?

Just looking for some answers.

Anonymous said...

Suppose you're traveling to work and you see a stop sign. What do you do? Evidently at the Agora that depends on how you exegete (interpret) the stop sign -- or you could just let Divine Lysis and STRAT interpret for you!!!!

1. A post modernist deconstructs the sign (knocks it over with his car). ending forever the tyranny of the north-south traffic over the east-west traffic.

2. Similarly, a Marxist refuses to stop because he sees the stop sign as an instrument of class conflict. He concludes that the bourgeois use the north-south road and obstruct the progress of the workers in the east-west road.

3. A serious and educated Catholic rolls through the intersection because he believes he cannot understand the stop sign apart from its interpretive community and tradition. Observing that the interpretive community doesn't take it too seriously, he doesn't feel obligated to take it too seriously either.

4. An average Catholic (or Orthodox or Coptic or Anglican or Methodist or Presbyterian or Mormon) doesn't read the sign but he'll stop the car if the car in FRONT of him does.

5. A fundamentalist, taking the text very literally, stops at the stop sign and waits for it to tell him to go.

6. A seminary educated evangelical preacher might look up "STOP" in his lexicons of English and discover that it can mean: 1) something which prevents motion, such as a plug for a drain, or a block of wood that prevents a door from closing: 2)a location where a train or bus lets off passengers. The main point of his sermon or blog the following Sunday on this text is: when you see a stop sign, it is a place where traffic is naturally clogged, so it is a good place to let off passengers from your car.

7. An orthodox Jew does one of two things: a) Takes another route to work that doesn't run the risk of disobeying the Law; b)Stops at the sign, says "Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, king of the universe, who hast given us thy commandment to stop," waits 3 seconds according to his watch, and then proceeds. Incidentally, the Talmud has the following comments on this passage......Rabbi Meir says: He who does not stop shall not live long. R. Hillel says: Cursed is he who does not count to three before proceeding. R. Simon ben Yuday says: Why three? Because the Holy One, blessed be He, gave us the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. R. ben Isaac says: Because of the three patriarchs. R.Yehuda says: Why bless the Lord at a stop sign? Because it says, "Be still and know that I am God.

8. A scholar from the Jesus Seminar concludes that the passage "STOP" undoubtedly was never utteredd by Jesus himself because being the progressive Jew that he was, He would never have wanted to stifle peoples progress. Therefore, STOP must be a textual insertion belonging entirely to stage III of the gospel tradition, when the church was first confronted by traffic in its parking lot.

9. A NT (New Testament) scholar notices that there is no stop sign on Mark street but there is one on Matthew and Luke streets and concludes that the ones on Luke and Matthew streets are both copied from a sign on a street no one has ever seen called "Q" steet. (something like "Divine Jupiter) There is an excellent 300 page doctoral dissertation on the origin of these stop signs, and the differences between stop signs on Matthew and Luke streets in the scholar's commentary on the passage. There is an unfortunate omission in the "Divine Jupiter" dissertation, however; it doesn't explain the meaning of the text.

10. An OT (Old Testament) scholar points out that there are a number of stylistic differences between the first and second half of the passage "STOP". For example, "ST contains no enclosed areas and five line endings, whereas "OP" contains two enclosed areas and only one line termination. He concludes that the author for the second part is different from the author on the first part and probably lived hundreds of years later. Later scholars determine that the second half is itself actually written by two separate authors because of similar stylistic differences between the "O" and the "P".

11. Another prominent OT scholar notes in his commentary that the stop sign would fit better into the context three streets back. (Unfortunately, he neglected to explain why in his commentary.) Clearly it was moved to its present location by a later redactor. He thus exegetes the intersection as though the sign were not there.

12. Because of the difficulties in interpretation, another Lysis-like OT scholar amends the text, changing the "T" to "H". "SHOP" is much EASIER TO UNDERSTAND IN CONTEXT than "STOP" because of the multiplicity of stores in the area. The textual corruption probably occurred because "SHOP" is so similar to "STOP" on the sign several streets back, that it is is a natural mistake for a *translator* to make.
Thus the sign should be interpreted to announce the existence of a shoping area. If this is true, it could indicate that both meanings are valid, thus making the thrust of the message "STOP (AND) SHOP" . . . . (surely no more a ridiculous interpretation than a Divine Jupiter????)

13. A "prophetic" preacher notices that the square root of the sum of the numeric representations of the letters S-T-O-P (sigma-tau-omicron-pi in the
GREEK alphabet) multiplied by 40 (the number of testing), and divided by four (the number of the world -- north, south, east, and west) equals 666. Therefore, he concludes that stop signs are the dreaded "mark of the beast" a harbinger of divine judgement (by Divine Jupiter????) upon the world, and must be avoided at all costs.

14. The Strat-like "spiritualizer of biblical text" looks at the "S" and deducts that the serpentine symbol is a clear indication that this "sign" is of a LIBERAL devil. He then interprets the "T" as the form of the cross, thereby deducing that the serpent in the first place is defeated by the cross in the second place. He progresses to the "O" and instantly sees the eternal struggle (the circle) of the serpent in the first place with the cross in the second place. Moving on to the "P", his acute spiritual mind sees the former "T" now with a bulge of the serpents tail making a "P" and sees the final outcome of the eternal (O) struggle finally consummanting in the LIBERAL serpent (S) defeated by the cross (T). By placing them all together he sees "S-T-O-P" and concludes that since it is all "P-A-S-T then the sign is of no PRESENT value -- it was erected only for historical value and that God talks to EVERY MAN and no longer needs gospel wisdom. So Strat roars through the intersection only to meet a very present MACK truck head-on . . . His last thoughts are . . . "M -- now what does that really mean?"

. . . Or WORD doesn't mean WORD . . . how stupid of anyone to say so!!!!

Strategos said...

“The old Dogs have got a new trick It’s called criminalize the symptoms while you spare the disease.” -Ani Diffranco.

Truth to Power: I believe that most people are not prejudice no matter where they stand on this issue, but prejudice is at the heart of it.
The laws are based on prejudice, the desire to punish people who break those laws is also based on prejudice, “They broke the law, law breakers must be punished” is the straw man argument because it diverts attention from the real issue.

Like Lysis says, the real issue is “is this law just?” closely linked to this is “Are punishments proposed for committing this crime justified?” I think any punishment that does not cause reform, or lead to repentance, or prevent further crime is not punishment, but vengeance.

“Inclusion not exclusion is the key to survival.” Is at the heart of the issue.
What’s the best way to deal with Immigrants already here? Include them; bring them in, regulate their employment, collect their taxes, educate their children, benefit from all they have to give us.
What is the answer to the problem of people waiting in line? Include them; let them in and they’ll have no reason to feel cheated or unfairly treated.
What is the answer to the living conditions in Mexico that cause people to move here (the disease)? Not a wall, not exclusion, the answer is again inclusion; integrate our economies; pool our consumer and production populations.

To your Question What kind of forgiveness program can we develop that doesn't elevate the repentant above those who never sinned in the first place? Let us again turn to the philosopher, Jesus Christ. His answer was a program that treats all men the same. “I say unto you, likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”
There is my answer, I need not run for congress, though I’m flattered by the offer, Bush has already proposed it.

Anonymous said...

Strat:
What a wonderful idea. All that needs to be done to rid the world of crime is to do away with law -- that makes for ULTIMATE "inclusivness" alright!!!!

truth to power said...

My answers to Lysis:

1) Are present immigration laws just?

Probably not. I've studied them somewhat, but not enough. I'm convinced they are seriously flawed, at least. Maybe "justice" isn't the right criterion.

2) Have immigration laws been enforced in the past – and would it be just to start punishing people today for things we weren’t punishing them for yesterday?

Obviously, enforcement has been inconsistent. I would say this is what is unjust, not a change to consistent enforcement.

3) What is the cost benefit analysis on these illegals?

Nobody knows. Many regulations and policies exist specifically to prevent the collection and analysis of such data. No one is allowed to officially know who the illegals really are. I do think we should have this information in order to make good policy.

4) Wouldn’t making obtaining citizenship easier for everyone help everyone? Why would those who have waited in line be angry with those who have not if we did away with the line and let everyone in?

I assume you mean legal residency as opposed to citizenship; I think naturalization is a different issue altogether. I want to make legal residency easier to obtain, but it would certainly be unjust to treat the cheaters and the non-cheaters equally. Those who have jumped the line have already been reaping the benefits of cheating; they have jobs, homes, citizen children, etc. They have a head start on those who have waited in line.

You're assuming that we have enough room for everybody who wants to come. Most people believe we don't. Unless our capacity to receive and assimilate immigrants is truly unlimited, we have to pick and choose.

Jesus's parable has a lot to teach us, but you've misapplied it here.
The lord of the vineyard made a deal with each of his labourers. No one sneaked in to get paid illegitimately. And he was able to keep his word to each one. What if ten labourers lined up for their pay at the end of the day, but the steward had only six pennies to pay them?

5. What is the harm of this crime of illegally immigrating?

It's not a crime, but it is harmful. Depressed wages, higher social service costs, and increased crime are very real consequences.

It also hurts the countries they're immigrating from. If all the people who are dissatisfied enough with their lot in life to do something so drastic about it leave, how will their homeland ever improve? I agree with "a quiet listener" who said, "Why would God want such freedom and prosperty for one group of people alone?" I believe we should export these gifts worldwide, not bring everyone here to share them.

Lysis said...

Of course Flaccid left off the most important people from his list of “STOP sign observers” – the ones with common sense, (the light of reason – the mind of God (Jupiter) in each of us.) The ones who pull up to the stop sign, looks both ways, see no danger in proceeding, and get on about their business.

Strategos;

Flaccid’s criticism of your position is typical of those who never get past the “words” in their debate. He doesn’t realize that the measure of a Law is not “was it ever written down in words” but “is it just”. According to Flaccid’s limp defense of “any and all” written statues, we should still be a nation divided slave states – vs – free states with a Fugitive Slave law to keep Blacks in bondage right next to the Immigration laws to keep Mexicans in poverty. If Flaccid’s sputtering dribble held sway, Jim Crow would dominate the South, and segregation along racial, religious, and gender lines would be “The law of the LAND”. We can be grateful that past leaders of character and vision did not get hung up debating “what is is” and struck down injustice in spite of the whining of bigots, slave holders, and word smiths. We can be grateful now that we have a President who is willing to take the foul spew of those who put their hate of him above reason.

Flaccid, some questions to you;

Can you see the difference between just laws such as those requiring the payment of taxes or child support, or prohibiting murder, rape, or robbery; and unjust laws; such as ones condemning all Jews to concentration camps, all Blacks to slavery, or all Mormons to extermination?

Can’t you see the value in a discussion on weather or not our present Immigration Laws are just or unjust?

Are you afraid that those capable of seeking the meaning of words and the justice of laws might thus deprive you of some privilege or power which you do not care to share with folk who speak a different language or have a different shade of skin?

I know asking you questions is like crying to the wind, (broken wind in your case), but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

truth to power said...

Has the president actually proposed an end to all limits on immigration? Is this what Lysis and Strategos support? It would certainly make most of the argument moot, but I doubt that it's practical.

Lysis said...

Truth to Power:

Thank you for the answers to questions. Some more thoughts to share on each point:

1) Are present immigration laws just? You say probably not – but maybe “justice” isn’t the right criterion.” I think Justice is the only criterion on which to measure the justice of laws. My understanding is that all men are endowed by their Creator with a duty to over turn unjust laws. What better measure of the value of a law do you suggest?

2) On punishing people today for things we did not punish before. You say that not punishing them in the past was unjust. Are you suggesting that two wrong will make a right in this case?

3) On the cost benefit analysis of “illegals”; You say we don’t know. I say we should find out. I see many American products being produced at salable prices because “aliens” are willing to produce them; keeping our economy afloat in some cases. I see a very healthy American economy with 12,000,000 illegal alien workers. I see a helpful flow of wealth to Mexico from the U.S. as a result of this cross boarder partnership. I see the need for more facts and more knowledge before we make a decision here. I do believe that destroying our present symbiotic relationship with Mexico and replacing it with one of antagonism and armed boarder confrontation would be a high cost to pay.

4) I would agree that making life better in Mexico so people from there would not need to leave would be the best investment of our money – far more coast effective than fences and mine fields. Better yet, let’s follow Joe Smith advice and work toward no boarders at all.

As for Jesus parable – I admit it is not a perfect fit – but those of us immigrants who “got here first” are definitely angry at those who want to come latter to the field, and those who have been faithful in line are angry at those who cut. I think Jesus was disappointed in those who were selfishly angry with others for getting a better deal than they did. I think the parable applies to workers in a snit over wages or immigrants in a snit over who gets priority in admittance.

5) AS for the harms of depressed wages and higher social service costs, and increased crime; it seems to me that the President’s guest worker plan addresses all these challenges and others to – (such as terrorists sneaking in with the workers) so why not give him a listen and take some action, rather than calling in the “Brute Squad” and rounding up 12,000,000 people, most of whom seem to give at least as much to the system as they seem to take.

As for the departure of immigrants hurting the countries they leave behind – all the more incentive for those countries to get their acts together. I would not condemn those who suffer in those countries from seeking ”greener pastures” in 21st Century America any more than I would fault my ancestors for quitting Europe in the 19th century.

Strategos said...

Truth to power...

Is it practical to assume that we can maintain a complete boarder indefinately. No one in history has ever done so. Exclusion cannot lead to surrvival.

Strategos said...

Anonymous: Your post reminded me of the "A Mexican, a German, and a Jew walk into a bar," jokes I used to hear in middle school. I’m tiered of this topic but just for fun here’s one for you.


Anonymous wants to disagree with Lysis about the war in Iraq, he can’t think of anything to say. He remembers that when he was a kid he once saw a sign that said "Stop." He then cites that sign as a credible source, claiming that it is proof we must stop Bush. Strategos comes on the blog and points out that the sign actually had nothing to do with Stopping Bush. Anonymous forgets his original point entirely and resorts to ethnic jokes, gross generalizations, and name calling. Strategos, Lysis, Truth to Power, and the rest, move on with a structured and rational discussion of U.S. foreign policy. Anonymous racks his brain trying to discover if the “Pedestrians crossing” sign has anything to do with immigration.

Beef Jerky said...

In Mexico my eyes were opened wide to the vast differences between the first and third worlds. Even though I consider Mexico to be one of the most advanced third world countries in the world, with potential to become first world, I am convinced that this will not happen in my lifetime.

I lived in the western states of Sinaloa and Baja California Sur. Sinaloa (Capital: Culiacan; Most famous city: Mazatlan)is notorious for being the weed capital of Mexico. You would be amazed at the number of Cadillac Escalades I saw there, driven mainly by those connected to the narcotic shadow. The government in Sinaloa outfits its police in a similar manner to our SWAT team - each officer carries an M-16. They do so to "protect" the people from the narcos. Yet time and time again, I would hear horror stories about narco-government connections, and I even witnessed (with my own eyes) police pay-offs at weed dealer houses.

I realized that a country as corrupt as Mexico is no place I would want to raise my family. This aided me in my quest to understand immigration to the Uniited States. Why shouldn't I want to seek for a better life, as did my own ancestors?

However, I was brought back to reality by the snide remarks of the very Mexican people I interacted with each day. The people I talked with didn't care about better schools, better health care, less crime, less corruption. All they wanted was more money. Money, money, money.

Many of my Mexican friends would tell me over and over again about how my country had robbed theirs of its land. More than once I was told that someday Mexico and the United States would indeed be one great nation. Yet that nation would be called Mexico, not the United States of America.

As I hear the angry chants of the people I love and learn that Mexican flags are being flown over public American schools, as I hear the anti-American cries of students protesting against stricter border laws, I am disgusted. Are they truly fighting to unite our two countries, or are they just fighting for their own desire for American wealth?

The only way Mexico will ever progress is if its people cease to leave it in turmoil, and instead stay IN MEXICO and work out the flaws in their own system. What happened to Benito Juarez? Where are the patriots of the Mexican Revolution? Why has Mexico allow European indifference to replace its fight for INDEPENDENCE?

I love that country with all my heart, as one brother would love another. If my brother is in trouble, should I shelter him with my own wealth until he dies a vegetable, or should I encourage him (lovingly) to make his own decisions, and take control of his own life?

If we keep babying the Mexican "broken-leg" economy instead of allowing it to heal itself, will it ever get better?

Lysis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lysis said...

Beef Jerky:

I hope GWB took V. Fox to the “woodshed” and gave him the same lecture you gave us. Maybe you could e-mail that one to whitehouse.gov!!!

Rumpole said...

Lysis,

If I may, I’d like to address the questions you asked Truth to Power. My apologies, Truth. Your answers are far more eloquent than mine could ever pretend to be. There are, however, some issues that still trouble me.

1) Are present immigration laws just? - Where are you going with this Lysis? Do you perhaps imply that if through reason you determine a law to be unjust then it need not be obeyed?

My wife was recently traveling with The-Republicans-who-would-be-Olympians. At times they both have a temperament that makes it difficult to accomplish much while traveling. My wife was in a hurry, so she parked in a handicap space. At the time we did not have the handicap placard for the card (we do qualify, and we have the placard now). She got a ticket that she lost on appeal. Do you suggest that we keep parking in those spots without a placard? We certainly deserve to. Isn’t it enough to have the two children with Down Syndrome? Why do I have to obey?

Here is one more example with my same two children. The oldest has just turned 18. It is now my legal responsibility to obtain guardianship. If I don’t complete this process, I have no input into any decisions (medical emergencies, etc.) that may arise. I don’t need the government to grant me the rights as a parent that I already posses. Should I ignore the law because I feel it to be unjust?

We are a nation “ruled by law”. I remember when the “hanging chad” issue and the debate over the Supreme Court’s decision to follow the “rule of law” and respect the constitutional election of President Bush were great fodder for discussion at the Agora. What has changed that allows us to ignore the law because we deem it “unjust”?

Further, what is unjust about suggesting that those who want to come here follow the prescribed procedures? Is it unjust to ask immigrants to speak English? Is it unjust to ask immigrants to join in the support of infrastructure (education, heath, physical media i.e. roads, buildings etc)? With all due respect to Mexico, is it unjust to ask immigrants to proudly, willingly, and openly march under the American flag rather than the Mexican flag?

2) Is it just to start enforcing the law now? - In your example you suggest that it would be unjust to begin enforcement of tardiness in the fourth term. I would submit to you that the problem does not lie with your students being tardy for three terms, rather it lies with your lack of enforcement. There are two ways to rectify. Eliminate the rule, or begin the enforcement. Perhaps you would eliminate the rule in the fourth term rather than enforce it. Then I say you have done your students a disservice for four terms rather than three. I would suggest that the fourth term enforcement gets you, and your students, back on the proper path. In reference to your later post, do four wrongs make a right?

3) Cost/Benefit Analysis - Though we are a nation who adheres to the “rule of law” we are able to do a cost/benefit analysis to decide whether or not we enforce the law? I’m sorry, Lysis, but you are sounding an awful lot like the Anonymy. If you don’t like the law, change it. Don’t decide just not to enforce it because it doesn’t fit in the cost breakdown.

4) Easier citizenship for all - No debate here. I only wish to see requirements for that citizenship enforced like I listed above.

5) What is the harm of illegal immigration? – Those immigrants participate in the infrastructure (as I listed above) that they do nothing to support or maintain. They put employers who want to follow the law at a disadvantage. They restrict the functions of a free market. Again Lysis, you sound a little like the Anonymy. Should we only support the market and capitalism when we feel that it is to our advantage?

Additionally, and this is critical to me, do we send the proper message to a "new citizen" about respect and reverence for law if we allow him to enter illegally and then say, in essence, "never mind that you came here illegally, just obey the law from now on?"

You later post that immigration laws are “designed to keep Mexicans in poverty.” With my apologies, that is the kind of emotional rhetoric (just like the race card) that hurts your position rather than helps it. Has anyone suggested that we discontinue aid to Mexico? Have we cut off Mexican oil imports? Have you heard of the movement to repeal NAFTA? Perhaps if Mexico’s own “culture of corruption” (sorry libs, but the phrase is accurate here) were to change, its citizens could climb out of that poverty. Your emotional plea is nothing more than that, an emotional plea. It is not a reasoned arguement.

Strategos,

You post “I believe that most people are not prejudice no matter where they stand on this issue, but prejudice is at the heart of it.”

I am troubled by conservatives (Lysis included, see the discussion on port authority), or anyone, for that matter, who immediately claim that all are racist because of disagreement. Race is irrelevant to me in this discussion. Truth to Power pointed this out far more eloquently than I ever could have. I just wanted to add that I feel it is a trap that is easy to fall into because so many have called upon it and used it with some success.

I agree that “inclusion . . . is the key to survival”. I disagree that that very inclusion ought to be kayotic rather than ordered.


Beef Jerky,

You post “The only way Mexico will ever progress is if its people cease to leave it in turmoil, and instead stay IN MEXICO and work out the flaws in their own system.”

Absolutely! Mexicans must take responsibility for their own actions. How does the violation of another nation's sovereignty re-enforce that principle in an effort to improve one’s own lot?

Lysis said...

Wow Rumpole, well done.

Please don’t be concerned if I seem to disagree with you at times in the post up coming. Please notice that I have tried not to take a side on this “IMIGRATION” discussion, but I do have some questions for you as well. Besides, you can take heart in knowing that Flaccid will try to stick up for you!

Just watch and see if you find me “teaching” you anything – or if I just ask you questions.

1) On your wife’s parking ticket. Are you really claiming that a law made, not to take away your legitimate right to park in a “handicapped” parking place but to protect your legitimate right to do so from those who would unjustly steal that spot, is unjust?

(I will note that children on their way to compete in Olympic Games, even children with Downs, hardly warrant the benefits of “handicap parking”; but that is a different argument for a different time.)

2) Are the laws that require the guardians of adult Downs children unjust if they properly award custody to legitimate guardians, and prevent unfit ones from controlling handicapped children? If the law really did place your child under the control of an unfit guardian would you feel bound to obey that law, just because it was a law of the land?

3) If I lead my students to believe that there are not consequences for disobeying my arbitrary rules and then change my mind and punish them for my mistake, am I being just?

4) No question – I also wish to see requirements for citizenship enforced justly. Since you have already realized this, I can hardly be teaching you on this one.

5) What value do undocumented aliens bring to their employers? What value do these employers bring to America? How is placing government control on whom a business employs following Adam Smith “hands off” admonition in free market capitalism? Who is being situational in their application of free market capitalism here, you or me? By the way wouldn’t we be telling our new citizens that we, (the one who ignored the rule in the first place) would be obeying it from now on? Since we (Teachers, Americans) ignored the rule, shouldn’t we be the ones who have to bear responsibility for a change in policy? Why do Mexicans come to the U.S.? Isn’t it to escape poverty? Wouldn’t sending them back to Mexico be sending them back to poverty?

On your comments to Strategos:

6) If claiming racism when there is none is playing the race card, what is accusing one of playing the race card when there really is racism? If men are kept in servitude because of their race, is it wrong to play to cry racism. If nations are prohibited from owning port facilities because they are Arabs, is it wrong to point out that racist motive? If people are feared and hated because they can’t speak English and have brown skins, is it playing cards to point out that such attitudes are held?

7) How would you order the chaos of inclusion?

On your comments to Beef Jerky:

8) How can you blame Mexico for twenty five years of American laxness at the boarder?

9) How do you suggest America make Mexicans take responsibility for their own actions? How do we take responsibility for ours?


Finally:

How can you justify keeping me up this late? I suppose you are going to say it’s my own fault?

Reach Upward said...

Just for the record, this study shows that illegals actually do take jobs from the least educated of our native population. This somewhat debunks the claim that illegals only take jobs Americans refuse to work.

Still, I believe that all of the economic and policy concerns are merely a side note to the more important need to turn immigrants into Americans in their hearts. I have no problem welcoming immigrants if they will subscribe to those ideals that make America great -- if they will become Americans in their hearts.

truth to power said...

Fair's fair. I'm going to respond to this one:

"How can you blame Mexico for twenty five years of American laxness at the boarder?"

We are to blame for not enforcing our laws. Let's accept responsibility and reform our behavior.

At the same time, the Mexican government is also at fault here. Not only are they constantly lobbying us to take the people they want to dispose of, but they actively encourage them to violate our immigration laws. Again, it's in the best interest of the corrupt powers that be to get rid of those who are dissatisfied with the situation in Mexico.

Reach Upward said...

In another interesting take, the editors of the WSJ caution here against taking a heavy-handed punitive aproach to the immigration issue, claiming that the political costs the GOP will pay for such policy will be high.

"This is not Ronald Reagan's view of America as a "shining city on a hill." It is the chauvinist conservatism usually associated with the European right."

Rumpole said...

Lysis,

I had a chance to sneak out of work for a minute. Here are some answers and more questions.

1. Parking law - Perhaps I am wrong in my reasoning about the “unjustness” of the parking law. Let’s accept your premise. You post “I will note that children on their way to compete in Olympic Games, even children with Downs, hardly warrant the benefits of “handicap parking”. Can I infer, then, that you believe the law to be unjust because privileged parking is afforded to those who you believe are undeserving? I think my children are very deserving of such privilege. Who is right?

This is a terrific example of your promotion of civil disobedience. Can I now expect you to park in handicapped stalls at every opportunity? At this point is that not your responsibility? Further, why is your determination through reason any more valid than mine? When there is genuine and legitimate disagreement, if the pendulum of the law does not swing in your favor is it your responsibility to disobey, or is it your responsibility to uphold the same law that in other instances gives you protection that is not had by others?

Additionally, mechanisms are in place to change the law if we are able to persuade the majority to agree with our position. If we can’t win that battle we find a way to work within the framework of the law and then we move on.

2. Guardians of children with Down Syndrome – Is guardianship always justly and properly awarded? Is it the role of government to make such a determination? What makes government any more fit to make that determination than me? In my specific example, if I am not granted that control I will do everything in my power within the law to change the law. At that point, what is my next recourse? If the discussion were about abortion, would you then suggest that I “blow up the clinic”? Would that action be just?

3. Consequences – As Truth to Power has suggested, where do we begin to accept responsibility and reform our behavior? As I have suggested, three wrongs are better (because they are one less) than four.

5. What value do undocumented aliens bring their employers? – Wage and benefit costs are reduced. What value do these employers bring to America? – they provide lower costs of goods and services to Americans. I believe that is your position. I have never before seen you take the view that “the end justifies the means”. The market is deflated contrary to what the market would truly support (and in violation of the law, I might add). Further, costs are transferred to others unfairly, again in violation of a true market economy. I can’t accept that “the end justifies the means.”

How is government placing government control on whom a business employs following Adam Smith’s hands off admonition in free market capitalism? - That control already exists when it comes to employing me. I pay social security. My employer pays social security. I pay taxes. My employer pays taxes. If you suggest that no one, documented or undocumented, ought to have that control placed upon them, I’m all for it! Change those laws now! Until then, however, if I have to pay for that infrastructure, then everyone else better pay their share too, undocumented or not!

Who is being situational? – Me! As I said before, change the law so I don’t have to pay! It isn’t going to happen, if for no other reason than to support defense alone! So let’s all bear our portion of the burden!

Who broke the rule first? Those who crossed illegally! I can’t impose consequences on an action that has not been committed. Though I have been slow to act, it is my responsibility to rectify my omission to enforce. It has to start somewhere.

Sending back to poverty – How do we control a “culture of corruption”? Do we do so by rewarding behavior that has been determined illegal? Sounds like reinforcement to me!

Strategos comments - If nations are prohibited from owning port facilities because they are Arabs, is it wrong to point out that racist motive? Absolutely not! It is, however, wrong to claim that Arabs didn’t gain control of those ports when the reason is not because they are Arabs, but rather because the Arabs are racist! A declared war based on the “race” of another people? Not allowing a “race” of people to set foot in their own ports? Who is really the racist?

I’ve got to go back to work. I’m not avoiding the rest. I will respond after I finish paying for your “bankers hours”!

Lysis said...

Rumpole:

I guess its OK for you to sneak out of work – just don’t try sneaking over the boarder!

1. Let’s continue to discuss the justice of your wife’s taking a parking place away from some handy caped person because, to quote your WORDS: “she was in a hurry.” I notice you do not say she took the spot because her children are incapable of walking a few yards to the door of the Olympic Gymnasium. Suppose while your wife and “Olympic participation capable” children are at their games, a person who has extreme difficulty traversing even a few yards showed up. Would you say that your wife’s convenience justified her taking a place, which while she might have technically been entitled to it, she did not need any more than I would in her circumstance. Perhaps because the law allows her to get a permit she gets one. Now the law decides that it was wrong in allowing her the privilege she did not deserve and not only takes away her parking pass but punishes her for having taken it in the first place. Perhaps she, like the “Evil Mexican undocumented workers”, felt she was justified in requesting a parking pass she does not need and taking a parking place from someone who deserves it because she could. We are left to contemplate justice. Maybe you shouldn’t have to obey. Does not being able to feed one’s children give just cause for a Mexican worker to cross the boarder and find the job?

2. As for your not needing the government to grant you rights as a parent that you already possess; you are asking for a special right to be the guardian of an adult – do you already possess that right? If so, why? Because you sneaked them while the law was looking the other way? Are you now acquiescing to the government if it tells you next week that you are not fit to take care of the child you love and have cared for these past 18 years? I’d like to see that! (Careful – sarcasm)

3. You ask where do we (The US in case Flaccid is wondering who WE are.) begin to accept responsibility? I say we begin by fixing the “three wrongs” we committed by not committing a fourth by punishing others for our mistakes.

4. As for Adam Smith – you can joyful pay your taxes, you can even require undocumented aliens to pay taxes, or their employers to do so for them, but don’t scold me for deserting my Free Market ideals if I suggest that such “government controls” are not in the spirit of pure capitalism. I believe that giving guest worker status to aliens and require them to pay taxes is an excellent and just solution to the present mess we (still meaning US, Flaccid) created by allowing twenty years of un-enforced law to create this present mess. We have done wrong; the Mexicans who are trying to feed their children have done right. Now if they (Meaning Mexicans, Flaccid) refuse to pay their fair share from now on, we would be justified in taking the same steps against them that we take against Americans who refuse to pay their fair share. Rumpole, we agree – we must change the law, not start enforcing it at some arbitrary date because our politicians want to take advantage of racist fear and bigotry to gin up votes.

As for dealing with the culture of corruption – let’s deal with the corrupt Mexican government not with the poor who are justly seeking food for their children.

Well, get back to work before you get caught sneaking. I am forced to gather from your “parting shot” comment that your bigotry extends beyond race to means of employment. Believe me, if I had to work as long hours as bankers do I would be all over my union rep.!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Divine Lysis:
Kindly provide some "foothold of reality" as a reference point for your response to my criticisms of Strat's arguments on immigration.

I DID write a 28 word posting criticizing "ironically" the ridiculousness of Strats' choosing "inclusiveness" over "law", and then MOCKING how "brilliant" that would be by extending to the absurdity of the condition of ALL inclusiveness and NO law.

How you then extrapolated your flatulence (is THAT divine too?) from my one word mention of LAW in that posting to your ideas having ANYTHING to do with my stated sentiments is an astounding misinterpretation of what was said!!!!

There IS one thing I would like to extend on, however. You claimed that I "don't realize that the measure of a law is not "was it ever written down in words, but is it just."

Well, ALL laws that are written down surely are NOT just -- however, I think a necessary condition of a law to BE Just is that it be written down. Jehovah of the Old Testament (sorry NOT Divine Jupiter) WROTE the TEN COMMANDMENTS on tablets for the Children of Israel -- I am sure the "justice" of the law pleased Him -- God used His finger, so I suppose it was IMPORTANT to
WRITE them down.
Today the law should be WRITTEN on our hearts,(not our minds) but WRITTEN never-the-less!!!!

truth to power said...

Lysis, I disagree with this idea:

"I say we begin by fixing the “three wrongs” we committed by not committing a fourth by punishing others for our mistakes."

I don't see enforcing our immigration laws as punishing others for our mistakes. Any punishment would be for breaking the law. Do you mean to say that many people have broken these laws who would have stayed home or immigrated legally if not for our lack of enforcement? That we enticed them by our laxness to come illegally? That suggests they come because they think they can get away with it. I don't think so.

In my considerable experience with illegal aliens, they live in fear of being caught and deported. Any knock at the door, any phone call from someone who sounds "official" could mean the end of their American dream. They don't come because they don't fear the law, but in spite of their fear.

Oh, and do you really believe they're coming here "to feed their children", or is this just a useful rhetorical device?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lysis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lysis said...

Flaccid:

I post your comment here:

Anonymous said...
Strat:
What a wonderful idea. All that needs to be done to rid the world of crime is to do away with law -- that makes for ULTIMATE "inclusivness" alright!!!!
3:59 PM
I will admit that you only used the word law once, that still does not preclude the fact that you were talking about law, and that you were demonstrating that you don’t know what it is. I have attempted to help you, casting out my little pearls of wisdom, and all you can do is turn and rend me.

I will try to continue to give you a hand on this: Here are some questions: were the “ten commandments” not laws before God got around to writing them out on the hill side. ? I mean, before the Israelites left Egypt – sometime around 1,200 BC were murder, and robbery OK?

How does one write something in ones heart, is that an invasive surgery, or can it be done by introducing ideas into one’s mind?

As for laws having to be written down I would like to give you a couple of my favorite references to contemplate; perhaps write in your heart.

1. Form Sophocles’ *Antigone*:

Creon (to Antigone)
You – tell me not at length but in a word. You knew the order not to do this thing?

Antigone
I knew, of course I knew. The word was plain.

Creon
And still you dared to overstep these laws?

Antigone
For me it was not Zeus who made that order.
Nor did the justice who lives with the gods below
Mark out such laws to hold among mankind.
Nor did I think your orders were so strong
that you, a mortal man, could over-run
the gods’ unwritten and unfailing laws.
Not now, not yesterday’s, they always live,
and no one knows their origin in time.


2. From Cicero’s *On the Laws*:

MARCUS “. . . Law is the highest reason, implanted in Nature, which commands what ought to be done and forbids the opposite. This reason, when firmly fixed and fully developed in the human mind, is LAW. And so they believe that Law is intelligence, whose natural function is to command right conduct and forbid wrongdoing . . . . Now if this is correct, and I think it to be in general, then the origin of Justice is to be found in Law, for Law is a natural force; it is the mind and reason of the intelligent man, the standard by which Justice and Injustice are measured. But since our whole discussion has to do with the reasoning of the populace, it will sometimes be necessary to speak in the popular manner, and give the name of law to that which in written form decrees whatever it wishes, either by command or prohibition. For such is the crowd’s definition of law. But in determining what Justice is, let us begin with that supreme Law which had its origin ages before any written law existed or any State had been established.”

MARCUS. “Ever since we were children, Quintus, we have learned to call, “If one summon another to court, and other rules of the same kind, laws. But we must come to the true understanding of the matter, which is as follows: this and other commands and prohibitions of nations have the power to summon to righteousness and away form wrong-dong; but this power is not merely older that the existence of nations and states, it is coeval [of the same age] with the God who guards and rules heaven and earth. For the divine mind cannot exist without reason, and divine reason cannot but have this power to establish right and wrong . . . Even if there was not written law against rape at Rome in the reign of Lucius Tarquinius, we cannot say on that account that Sextus Tarquinius did not break the eternal Law by violation Lucretia, the daughter of Lucretius! For reason did exist, derived from the Nature of the universe, urging men to right conduct and diverting them from wrongdoing, and this reason did not first become Law when it was written down, but when it first came into existence; and it came into existence simultaneously with the divine mind. Wherefore the true and primal Law, applied to command and prohibition is the right reason of supreme Jupiter.
QUINTUS. “I agree with you, brother, that what is right and true is also eternal, and does not begin or end with written statutes.”

MARCUS “Therefore Law is the distinction between things just and unjust, made in agreement with the primal and most ancient of all things, Nature; and in conformity to Nature’s standard are framed those human laws which inflict punishment upon the wicked but defend and protect the good.”

Just for interest sake, I would note of the Ten Commandments that Jehovah “wrote out on the mountain: Numbers 1) no other gods, 2) no graven images, 3) no taking god’s name in vain, and 4) remembering the Sabbath day, seem not to meet Cicero’s definition of eternal law – Numbers 7) on adultery and number 10) on coveting, seem open to debate. Only Numbers 6) no killing, 8) no stealing, and 9) no bearing false witness, seem to me to be eternal Laws based on Nature.

Flaccid: to return to your “post” while we should all work hard to do away with unjust statutes, there is nothing any man can do that will “do away with Law”.

Lysis said...

Truth to Power:

If the U.S. had enforced our immigration laws at the boarder and beyond to begin with, then 12,000,000 people would not have built their lives around living in the USA. We are now taking back the “Gift” we gave them for our own “selfish” reasons. Sounds a little like some of the dells we made with the Indians doesn’t it?

Yes – I am sure many would have stayed out or sought legal entry had the US followed its own laws. Many of the people who came here are not seeking to do anything wrong – and when the US treats “illegal immigration as if it is nothing wrong” it is hard for those who want America so much to see it as anything but a gift.

I know many fear deportation. Years ago some of my adult camp crew and I walked into a Mexican restaurant in Drigs Idaho in our Scout uniforms and cleared out the place like we had the plague. When the owner found out we were Boy Scouts not Immigration and Naturalization officers, all had a good laugh. Still, enforcement has been lax, and a quick duck out the back door has been all that has required in order to stay in the country. Some cities have even passed ordinances to make local law enforcement cooperation with the INS illegal in their jurisdictions. What kind of mixed message is that?

Truth to Power; you tell me, do any of the illegal aliens you work with and know work to feed their children, or are they here for some other reason? What is that other reason?

Rumpole said...

Lysis,

More answers and questions:

Parking example – Take note that I acknowledged to you that “Perhaps I am wrong in my reasoning about the “unjustness” of the parking law.” Further, it was your own example that allows my inference that “you believe the law to be unjust because privileged parking is afforded to those who you believe are undeserving”.

That being said, I would submit to you that your extension of the example is flawed, as follows:

As to my wife obtaining the permit, “Perhaps because the law allows her to get a permit she gets one. Now the law decides that it was wrong in allowing her the privilege she did not deserve and not only takes away her parking pass but punishes her for having taken it in the first place.”

In the example, my wife obtained her permit legally. The law has provided a method for those who immigrate also to do so legally. Our discussion centers on those who have circumvented the law and entered illegally.

Additionally, you post “Now the law decides that it was wrong in allowing her the privilege she did not deserve and not only takes away her parking pass but punishes her for having taken it in the first place.” Where has such a change taken place in immigration law? I acknowledge that the law has not been enforced; however, it has not been changed. The consequences of the parking law were never in question for my wife, nor were they ever changed. She clearly understood that before she ever parked the car. Just or unjust, now she must accept the consequences.

Further, let’s take your extension of the example to what I believe to be its natural end. All tickets for my wife, though she be undeserving of the placard (by your definition), will be forgiven. Those who are truly deserving of the placard (by your definition) must gladly accept that end with the understanding that even though she didn’t, and doesn’t (again by your definition) deserve the privilege all must be forgiven and she will now be allowed the privilege.

As to enforcement, we will have to agree to disagree. You suggest in your post that enforcement begins “arbitrarily”. I would suggest that the change in the law is what is arbitrary. Truth to Power said it better than I ever could. I’m confident you will reread his most recent posts.

Guardianship – Why is it that you feel I am being granted a “special” right for the guardianship of my daughter? Implicit within her disability is the absence of the ability to make critical decisions on her own. I would suggest that you recognize that. Do I therefore already posses the right to make those decisions as her natural father? Yes, I believe that I do. It was a law that suggested that I didn’t have that right until the law “arbitralily” deemed it to be so. What do I do if the government doesn’t give me that right? If I may repeat, “if I am not granted that control I will do everything in my power within the law to change the law.” At that point, what is my next recourse? As I asked you before, if the discussion were about abortion, would you then suggest that I “blow up the clinic”? Would that action be just?” I hope that this time you will answer these same questions.

Accepting responsibility – I would again refer you to Truth to Power’s post. He is very clear.

Adam Smith – I do not disagree that “governmental controls” are not in the spirit of pure capitalism. I do not, however, retract my assertion to you that as the control exists for “citizen” employers and employees it must also be imposed upon illegal immigrants and employers of illegal immigrants who gain advantage by not following the law. On that basis, consider yourself scolded. I’m glad we agree that all must be currently responsible to share their portion of the burden. We do not, however, agree that turning our head to the past illegal behavior ought to be ignored.

Feed the Children – Both Beef Jerky and Truth have articulated well differing views as to immigration motives. I would detract by attempting to add more.

Order the chaos – A very fair and difficult question. I have addressed your arguments. I as you, have not specifically stated a position on the President’s proposal. Frankly I don’t know enough about it. Give me time to study it in detail and I will respond.

Blame for Mexico – I would suggest to you that our poor enforcement of our own law does not give Mexico the right to violate our national sovereignty. Further, I would suggest that Mexico has no right to complain when we "correct the three terms of wrong with a fourth term of enforcement."

The only place we can make Mexico take responsibility for its actions is where Mexican territory ends and U.S. territory begins. Isn’t time to take that step?

Sorry, I’m awfully tired. I look forward to continued discussion, but now is time for bed.

Lysis said...

Rumpole:

I will allow that if the law which allowed your family a handicapped parking permit was just; then you are just in complaining if that law changes. At present the laws of America seem to allow undocumented Mexicans all kinds of access to our nation. If we change them so they don’t, is retroactively applying this “crack down” any more just that fining your wife for getting a parking permit for Olympic athletes who didn’t need it?

I also agree with you that if your wife has been allowed a permit in the past she should not be punished for having it now. The state might justly set up better standards for handing out permits, and require her to obey in future, but this sounds like Bush’s plan for dealing with Mexicans in America doesn’t it?

As for your guardianship question, while your daughter’s disability might imply the need for a guardian, your being her father does not imply you are necessarily qualified to be that guardian. The chances are that the state will say you, Rumpole, are. But I am quite confident there are others who are not fit, and their personal desires should not be placed above the welfare of the handicapped adult in question.

As to you question about blowing up abortion clinics. I do not think that violence is justified in preventing abortions that are at present sanctioned by law. Like Lincoln, I would rather try other ways of ending this atrocity, before resorting to atrocities of our own. But in the end, abortion must be ended, and while John Brown went about it in the wrong way, Slavery was justly ended by war. If the people of America justly call for an end to abortion, and abortions continue, I say send in the Marines! I have answered your question, I have said that blowing up abortion clinics is not just. Now you answer my question, is getting guardianship of you daughter from a government agency which miss interprets your fitness, a purely hypothetical situation, just? And I ask you again, is it unjust to find a way to accommodate 12,000,000 people who have found their way into America, and been tolerated here for years, or would you feel that resorting to violence to remove them would be just? I answered your question; how about a little turn about on this one?

You can say what you want about your opinions of fairness in taxation. That was not the issue, you implied that I was being hypocritical in my disproval of government intervention in the hiring of alien workers as being contrary to my views on free enterprise capitalism. I feel I have demonstrated that Adam Smith and I must disapprove of such government intervention to remain true to our position. In fact, I would argue that we are more true in our stance here than you, who pretending to support free enterprise then demand more government control so every one will be treated the same.

You may scold all you want, but turning our collective heads to past infractions in the only viable plan I have heard suggested. Until you offer another I will scold you for disagreeing without offering any viable alternative. A rather Democratish stance I must say.

I feel that Beef Jerky’s angst over the few that disrespect America’s generosity does not preclude the fact that most immigrants, now and in the past, have come to America looking for a better life, and often for the betterment of their children’s lives. I have no recollection Truth to Power’s articulation of differing views to which you refer. I asked TtoP for evidence in support of this position, I am still waiting the reply. (I admit I could have missed it, perhaps you could help me to find it.)

You can preach all you want about forcing Mexico to take responsibility for past misdeeds, but until you can show me how you will justly start enforcing a set of laws ignored for 20 years without creating a far grater mess than we are now in, you are so much “sound and furry signifying nothing”. President Bush is offering a just and viable means for expiating the problem and calling on Congress to come up with even better ideas if they can. All I hear from those of you who demand reparation and vengeance for past “broken laws” is anger without resolution.

Sleep well my prince!

Rumpole said...

Lysis,

I need to go till the garden, so I’m going to have to be brief!

You post “At present the laws of America seem to allow undocumented Mexicans all kinds of access to our nation.” The laws do not allow access! The laws are being ignored! How can the “crackdown” be considered retroactive? I am not familiar with a statute of limitations on illegal entry into the country. If I am wrong, I will happily acquiesce.

You post “The state might justly set up better standards for handing out permits, and require her to obey in future, but this sounds like Bush’s plan for dealing with Mexicans in America doesn’t it?” As I have said before, I have not studied the President’s plan. I have not taken a position on the plan. When I do, you will be the first to know.

My struggle, and I think the great difference between us in our discussion, is that I find it difficult to reward illegal behavior. I also do not believe current law to be unjust. I respect your opinion on these matters. I think I now clearly understand their basis. I simply don’t agree.

As to guardianship, my point is that I feel the law to be unjust. I do not feel it to be the role of government to make such a determination. That being said, I will still support the law, and if it turns out contrary to my interests, I will work within that framework for change.

You post “I do not think that violence is justified in preventing abortions that are at present sanctioned by law.” If I may infer by this statement, then, there are apparently limits on behavior even if a law is considered unjust. Perhaps it is even possible to have a legitimate disagreement about the “justness” of a law.

With that inference in mind, I would suggest that working within the framework of the law for change would be the most prudent course.

Your question “is getting guardianship of you daughter from a government agency which miss interprets your fitness, a purely hypothetical situation, just? And I ask you again, is it unjust to find a way to accommodate 12,000,000 people who have found their way into America, and been tolerated here for years, or would you feel that resorting to violence to remove them would be just?” If I am not granted guardianship, I feel the decision will have been unjust. I will work within the legal framework for change. 12 million people have been tolerated in America under false pretenses for many years. I would send them back with the clear understanding of the opportunity to return immediately under new law. Perhaps this is the intention of a “guest worker” program while in the process eliminating a logistical nightmare. I have some homework!

As to your “hypocrisy”, my view has not changed. Unless I do not understand your position, I see it as being very inconsistent. As I have said, I agree that Adam Smith would favor no government intervention in his model for “pure capitalism. That, however, means that I shouldn’t have to pay taxes in the same way that illegal immigrants don’t pay. But that will not happen! We all must pay! Therefore, let’s be consistent! Illegals, too, must live under the “demand (of) more government control so every one will be treated the same.” I do not believe that Adam Smith would have citizens support a tax system while allowing non-citizens to enjoy the same services while not supporting that same system. Am I wrong?

As to Beef Jerky’s comments and your response, both sides are difficult to quantify. I can produce no statistics to promote either side. Nor can you. It certainly makes for interesting discussion.

I applaud President Bush for facing the problem head-on. He may well have the best solution. At worst, he has once again demonstrated his willingness to tackle the most difficult issues. It is another example of why I believe my respect in him to not be misplaced.

Lysis said...

The law is retroactive if it is applied retroactively.

Yes, there are limits to dealing with unjust laws, and behaving unjustly would be one. But following your inference, one would say that runaway slaves have an obligation to be returned to their masters because America is not willing to go to war to end slavery. Sneaking across the boarder is not even a felony offence in this country, enforcement of these rather limp laws has been ignored, and their justice is questionable. Let’s come up with something better!

Your “send them home then let them come back immediately” plan seems vindictive and superfluous.

Anonymous said...

BrainMech says-

On Immigration-
No law, or an unwillingness to follow the law, equals chaos/anarchy

1-Our economy is built to support and sustain the US. It is not equipped to support the economies of Mexico and several other Central American countries

2-Perhaps we should be more kind, more loving, more like Mexico. Perhaps we should follow their immigration laws (look them up...)

3-Documented workers here legally and paying taxes for community serices...who could have a problem with that?

4-If a republican stood before a few hundred thousand protesting immigrants of dominant hispanic origin and made comments like "The United States needs these second class non-citizens to come here and do all the dirty filthy low paying disgusting jobs that no American would ever deign himself to do" and "These people risk their very lives for the opportunity to come here...why shouldnt we reward them by paying them ridiculously little while they cook for us, clean for us, raise our children, and tend our yards and gardens"...I wonder...would a republican making comments like these by cheered wildly or would they be rightly branded racist?

5-Allowing the current illegal immigration picture allows Mexico's best and brightest young minds to forego that career as a doctor, an engineer, or an educator, and enjoy a fulfilling life as a short order cook, janitor, day laborer, or gardener.

Politics aside...isnt there a better answer somewhere between the black and white?

Anonymous said...

From BrainMech

Anonymous said...

I am not for withdrawing, I am not for staying -- poor leadership and Neo-con opportunism has left the United States with Hobson's choice!!!!

Bush said last week that the U.S presence in Iraq would extend beyond his administration -- you see, he doesn't know what victory is supposed to look like -- let someone else figure it out!!!!


BrainMech says-

Do you hold the same scorn for Roosevelt? We are still in Germany. Truman? We are still in Korea. Clinton? We are still in Bosnia.

Anon-do you suppose that if we left tomorrow terrorism would cease? Do you believe these terrorists truly are freedom fighters? If so,
1-One can only wonder what evil attrocity the club-goers Bali committed that caused these freedom fighters to strike there.
2-I wonder if we will ever know what crime the school children in Chechnya committed that justified those valiant freedom fighters wrapping them in explosive primer chord.
3-Perhaps the UN should join sides with those freedom fighters to arrest and convict all of those evildoers in Jordan that were righteously struck down during a wedding party.
4-I suppose we may not learn the true crimes of the people Saddam and his cronies lowered head first into their human meet grinder, but it was probably on par with the crimes that must have been committed by muslims worshipping at the golden domed mosque.

And of course, these are just the most recent acts of freedom fighting that you must support. And no doubt, Bush is to blame, right? Because the world never suffered at the hands of these insurgents and freedom fighters before 2001. Right?

The war against terrorism has finally been joined. 'Victory' may never occur. It is entirely possible that there will ALWAYS be bitter angry horrible littloe people that will justify their use of terror and the slaughter of innocents. And as long as they exist, the fight should...no...MUST go on.

The fact that you and people like you will so readily politicize the war against terrorists is all that is needed to show that liberals can NEVER be trusted with national security.

And in your pithy response...please identify YOUR solutions. Identify the liberal plans. You see, expressing your hatred for Bush and maintaining your anger over the 2000 elections does NOT policy make.

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