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June 15, 2007


Let me put it another way, OCSteve: that Jon Kyl wants to see the overall bill passed, and makes various votes to accomplish that, including amendments that affirm or support getting current illegals to eventual legal status, doesn't mean he favors "amnesty." It simply means that he agrees that the only way to get the provisions that he wants is to get the overall agreement, including the provisions he doesn't like, passed.

Same with everyone else.

Same with every complicated bill. It's hard to pass a day in Congress without voting for a provision or motion that could be characterized as one you might oppose in some sort of vacuum.

But there is no vacuum.

this is ObWi After Hours ™ ... when the knives come out.

Cleek, has anyone told you lately that you're brilliant?

Someone somewhere explained how to fix the illegal-immigrant problem: $100,000 + automatic citizenship (for himself & up to 3 family members, say) for any illicit worker who turns in his employer. The $$$ of course would come from the fines on the employers.

Doubt we'll be seeing that enacted any time soon, however.

Gary: You seem to be saying that you believe that a vote for a provision means you favor the underlying purpose of that provison. This is, of course, not at all how our legislative process works.

Of course. I mean I understand the back-room deals and arm twisting that goes on to get votes, and politicians vote for things they are against all the time.

But the example I highlighted was of prominent Democrats speaking out in favor of expanding guest worker programs. And not just speaking out in support, but pushing to have the provisions included, and taking flak from big labor for doing so. When someone speaks publicly in favor of a provision and fights to have it included in a bill then I conclude they actually do support it.

There are two "elephants in the living room" here.

1. One of the main attractions of illegal workers is that they are illegal -- and can be threatened with deportation if they complain about, for example, unsafe working conditions.

2. Mexicans come to the US not so much because of conditions in the US, but conditions in Mexico. Mexico's wealth is highly concentrated and its government is profoundly corrupt. There's nothing we can do about that.

And the winning strategy for the Dems would seem to be sitting back and playing the Cheap Labor Conservatives against the xenophobes and both against the Repub's attempts to recruit Hispanics.

"2. Mexicans come to the US not so much because of conditions in the US, but conditions in Mexico. Mexico's wealth is highly concentrated and its government is profoundly corrupt. There's nothing we can do about that."

Actually we are fixing that one rapidly. Just a couple more Republican administrations and the US will be even more corrupt and wealth-concentrated than Mexico.

the prolix valley-guy hair-fluffing persiflage sounding liberal rhetoric aside

Don't worry, Jay, I'm getting a little pear shaped and I'm not the stunningly handsome young man I once was, so you can safely consign any points I made to the waste basket. That is how you like to reason, isn't it?

"and it seems to underline that you think of the country as something _you_ possess "

Ah, no, and that's a rather absurd conclusion. I think of the country as something it's present citizenry possess. A present citizenry which every poll shows want the front door locked at night, so that people can't sneak in. Unfortunately, the poltical class seem determined to ignore that clear desire. As I've related before, the whole situation reminds me of Bertolt Brecht's "The Solution":

"After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?"

Our political class are in the process of electing a new people. That's what's going on, and they plan to ignore the complaints until it's a fait accompli. Democracy is failing in the face of their determination to accomplish this.

Unfortunately, the poltical class seem determined to ignore that clear desire.

vote with your pocketbook: make and distribute lists of companies using illegal labor, refuse to buy their stuff, tell them why. or... keep on complaining about the workers while hypocritically enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Brett: Unfortunately, the poltical class seem determined to ignore that clear desire.

Just as they ignore the present citizenry's clear desire for a pony. The bastards!

Populuxe: You need help, Jay. Only a frivolous, drug-addled crank feels that threatened by lattes. We're here to help you, Jay. Why do you hate lattes so much?

I now hate lattes, but only because I just drank one made with cream. And even now, nine hours later, I can still taste it...

[I screwed up the order and didn't feel it was fair to ask them to change it. A glorious failure, indeed.]

I'm not sure why it is so absurd. You obviously feel that you are a part of the present citizenry, unless you want to suggest that you aren't like all these other folks, you don't have anything against people doing what people have done since the birth of this nation, but you, head bowed, sadly have to accept their conclusion because this is what democracy demands. Unfortunately, without a true understanding of how illegal immigrants underpin society and the current standard of living, any poll is going to be an exercise in deception. The question then remains whether it is self-deception or demagogery.

"I'm not sure why it is so absurd."

Because I took that "you" to be implying exclusive, rather than one part in several hundred million, possession.

"We, the People" don't want other people to be deliberately imported without our consent, from a different (And rather disfunctional, or they'd be glad to stay there.) culture in sufficient numbers to change the character of the nation to something more to the liking of our "leaders". And less to our own liking. But our leaders don't mean to give us any choice in the matter.

THAT is why this whole immigration mess pisses off so many people. It's one of those occasional topics, like term limits, where the interests of the governing class are so at odds with the interests of the people, that democracy just flat out stops working. Couple that with the massively dishonest way they're approaching the subject, and you've got an explosive situation.

It's an explosive situation which is hurting both major parties, but it hurts the Republicans more, because the minority of people who are happy with the situation are concentrated in the Democratic party.

But I suppose it doesn't really matter if it hurts both parties, because they've engineered a situation, with all the campaign 'reforms', where the possiblity of a third party displacing one of them is gone. And in a few more years, they'll have their new people, and what the old "We the People" think about it won't matter.

Good bye, America. There's still going to be something around going by that name, but it's just going to be another central American kleptocracy, writ large, not the country I grew up in.

from a different (And rather disfunctional, or they'd be glad to stay there.) culture

So, every nation had a chance to be the United States of America and it was only because we had the best and the brightest that we are pre-eminent. Had those people from dysfunctional cultures (cause they obviously aren't as good as the US in generating wealth, which, as anyone knows, is the only thing that one judges a culture on and lord knows, there's nothing dysfunctional about the good ole USA) been on the ball, Central America would have been Los Estados Unidos, and we'd have been wondering if that Babe Ruth guy would have been able to compete against the real pros south of the border.

I'm willing to donate some money to help you build that fence on your northern border. In fact, if you ran a telethon here in Canada, I'm sure lots of Canadians would be willing to help you out on that project.

Securing the borders is almost self-evidently an aspect of national defense, and we're talking a tiny fraction of the defense budget. You're never going to convince anybody that this is too expensive if they think it would work

Brett: 1) $21 billion is the bill for raw materials only. You still have to buy the land, build the fence, plus access roads, install surveillance and employ people to monitor it.

And, as for defense, remember that this fence will only be a good protection against very lightly-equipped threats. An AFV will roll right through it without even noticing. Aircraft will fly over the top.

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