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No Lamp. No Golden Door. No Door. December 17, 2007

Posted by voolavex in Amnesty, English, Golden door, illegal, immigration, lamp, Mexicans, peasants, solutions, Spanish, Uncategorized, USD.
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The forthcoming election (thank God) is bringing the perpetual immigration question back to the fore.  Every “solution” is filled with landmines and this means nothing gets done because people are scared of stepping on toes.  And there are lots of toes to be stepped on.  The righteous right, the liberal left, the mediocre middle and the folks beating down a door to get into this country.  So what really is the elementary problem?  Well xenophobia is a huge factor – these folks are new and different and therefore we must fear them.   One economics arguments comes in on a simplistic level – they take our jobs. Do they?  (When was the last time anyone actually applied for a job cleaning toilet downtown at night?). They tax the system and steal our social benefits.  Assimilationists argue they won’t fit in.  Humanitarians argue they have to be absorbed.  But I don’t think it’s all that complicated – it has simply been made so by our forked-tongued PC  hypocrisy.  First look at the who  we are talking about when we say “immigrants” – oops, illegal immigrants.  We are not speaking broadly of an international bunch of illegal immigrants – we are talking about Mexicans and Central Americans and we are talking about – largely – folks of indigenous heritage. So let’s take a risk and call it what it is right away. These folks are usually Catholic and they have lots of babies.  They don’t come to the US to get PhD.s – they come to escape a life of dirt floors and not enough food in many central Latin American countries.  They do this by sneaking over the border.  Sneaking over the border is illegal and as such – no one is supposed to do it for any reason.  Too bad for your dirt floors and snotty kids, but you can’t just amble or swim or coyote over the border when you want to come here.  So on one level it’s a criminal act instantly and in doing it these folks are breaking the law and therefore are technically criminals before they even get a breath of air.   So send them home. That’s one thing. But moreover, to us, how they get here is an act of risk and desperation and messy. Not at all the way we think people should come into the US.  Most of us think planes and trains are more fitting. Catholic churches offer sanctuary – and why not – they have to at least look as though they practice what they preach.  And these illegal border crossers fill empty pews in churches that are rapidly losing their congregations.  And churches are sacrosanct,  so we can’t raid the church and ship the folks in hiding, back over the border because that would violate something – I am not sure exactly what – but it does.  The next level of disdain and argument is what they areThey are peasants.  We don’t have peasants in America and we don’t like them.  It’s a shame too because we might have a better work force if we did.  These Latino peasants are often unread and uneducated and speak Spanish and don’t feel good about trying to learn English.  So we get annoyed.  But instead of making it simpler for them to  use English- we print lots of stuff in Spanish and English.  This is an unfair mixed message.  You don’t see it in other countries very often.  We haven’t made it essential to learn English and so many don’t.  Why bother?  Would you? This presents a weird dichotomy because their children often emerge from our schools bi-lingual – something we don’t often produce in native born kids. So they wind up better equipped for better jobs in the public sector because of this very bilinguality and we get pissed about that.   Moreover, in peasant culture your wealth is your children.  That doesn’t really change for them here.  And better yet, babies born in the US are automatically US citizens – probably something that should have been better thought out when we made it a law.  You have to do more in other countries to get the official seal and the work permit.  Being born isn’t enough.  Yet we oblige ourselves to offer these tiny citizens (and their families) the same benefits as other Americans and this includes the social welfare system. You can see where I am going with this.  And because we are essentially a cheap nation when it comes to wages – these people present a perfect chance to get cheap help with cheap pay in cheap jobs that are not very appealing.  Certain cultural characteristics make many Latinos very polite and agreeable and so when it’s time to get a raise they get fired instead and don’t make too much of a stink.  Americans sue.  Why wouldn’t you hire the cheap labor at the best price and the added value of fast turnover?  There is a little Wal-Mart in all of us .

But even more, the nub of the whole mess is money.  Many, many illegal immigrants become citizens one way or another but there are others who don’t.  But either way – we allow them to export US money (in the form of wages in high value dollars) back home.  One LATimes story put the exportation of USD at 6 billion in a six month period giving USD the distinction of being Mexico’s most profitable GNP.

Here is my suggestion. Why not just take the carrot off the stick and see what happens as a result. No more giros to Mexico.No envio dineros – No mas.  Stop giving automatic citizenship to all immigrant newborns here and set a ceiling on how much anyone can send back home to improve another country’s economy.  (Years back Britain would not allow UK subjects to bring more than a certain amount of pounds out of the UK. )  Others have come to this country with their diamonds  the soles of their shoes – not to mention undies.  Most illegals come with nothing. But we must stop putting the blame on the peasants who, after all,  just want a better bite of the apple Remove the damned apple.  Do as Canada does – insist potential workers bring something to the table.  We can’t improve the politics south of the border so give up that pipe dream. Simply get rid of the incentive for trying to cross the border.  Declare an amnesty on anyone who made it over and then end the ride there.  No harm, no foul, no lamp.  And enforce it. The last I looked no statue was lifting her lamp beside the golden door on either our northern or southern borders. 

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The Green Guilt Relief Fund December 8, 2007

Posted by voolavex in bribery, carbon emissions, carbon offset, global warming, green, guilt, Guilt relief, hippies, Hummers, Kyoto.
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Without entering the complicated world of global warming and planetary catastrophe- let’s just have a look at carbon emissions and how you can still have them and feel green too.  To be clear,  I am speaking only for the US because I don’t know if anyone else in the world has a similar buy out.  Having said this – it is not hard to understand why Americans talk the green but drive the car.   People were green in the 70’s and got laughed at so often they gave up.  It was viewed as some lunatic fringe behavior that was a holdover from the hippies.  Plus the fact there was no tangible return on the effort.  The heart of the matter: return on the effort.  We like to be paid for everything.  No good deed should go unpaid in this country.  Including litigation if you happen to do one out of kindness and get caught.  But we have sunk recently to a new low with the advent of Terrapass.    According to the NYTimes “”…companies like Terrapass allow consumers to invest in projects like renewable energy and reforestation in an effort to remove greenhouse gas from the atmosphere equal to that produced by their cars, airplane trips and home energy use”.  So this is really having your “fill in the blank” amount of cake and eating it too.  No restrictions apply. Not to mention having had ample time and warning for the upcoming climate change and all it brings with it; face it, using the planet like a styrofoam cup is not new.  Now we have guilt relief and it’s cheap too.  I give up.  Where did it say it should or would be easy to try to fix the environmental problems we face.  Why should it be easy?  Shouldn’t all of us have to do a lot more to try to save the only place we have in the entire universe to live?    As it says in the Times “give us your money and we’ll deal with the problem”.  And of course you get a snappy bumper sticker to let others know just how lazy and willing to pass the buck you are.  Stop. We need hands on efforts to face this dilemma – not pay-offs to the private sector to assuage our guilt while we toddle around town in our Hummer, SUV or other gas guzzler.  I think what we need are rules – not guidelines, laws, not suggestions and participation, not bribery to bring this country into being a more aware and involved partner in fixing our global health.  I promise you, that should the moment come when it gets too hot to handle and we start to be a serious part of it , global warming will NOT exclude the US and its pay as you go citizens.  No matter what anyone thinks.  We sould have signed Kyoto.