Prez's Compromise Solution on Immigration

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President Bush is still speaking about his immigration proposals, but my immediate reaction: The National Guard and border-tech proposals may make some incremental difference in the number of people sneaking across the border, at great cost in dollars and less clear cost in militarization of civil policy (I'm not sure I have a problem with the National Guard doing domestic security work, which seems to be the Guard's job).

More broadly, this is like any political compromise: displeasing to both sides and unlikely to help solve the problem.

NEXT: Bush: National IDs Soon

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  1. Tim – you forgot to mention the other negative aspect of a DC-style compromise…it usually costs way more money than any one idea, even the really bad ones. 🙁

  2. “The United States is not going to militarize the southern border.”

    I found that statement ludicrous.

  3. No, Ken, you aren’t doing it right. We aren’t going to militarize the southern border. . .<mumble>of France.</mumble>.

  4. Listening to the Prez, I thought, “this ain’t SO bad. Sure, it is a stupid compromise, but why would I expect more or less.” Then he started speaking about learning English and assimilating.
    Nick Gillespie tackled the language issue already, but why should they be encouraged to assimilate? Surely, the majority of immigrants do, in time, but isn’t a right to live here in the manner one wishes to, as long as one obeys the law? Will the gov’t start encouraging me, a natural born citizen, to fit in better with my neighbors? Do I need to run out to buy the new Jack Johnson and James Blunt cds because that’s what a lot of people of my age and background do? Should I keep my mouth shut since I don’t watch American Idol? How about we encourage the newly immigrated to be iconoclasts? That would be more in keeping wioth the ideals this nation was founded on.

  5. highnumber wrote: “Should I keep my mouth shut since I don’t watch American Idol?”

    Unmutual! Unmutual!

  6. highnumber,

    I guess we could always follow the European model of extreme multiculturalism. But that doesn’t apparently work very well.

    I find it sad that so many Libertarians are short-sighted enough to take for granted the libertarian friendly cultural values of this country. It is these very values that are under threat by non-assimilation of large immigrant inflows and enclaves.

  7. “displeasing to both sides and unlikely to help solve the problem.”

    Reminds me of a bizarro version of this advert:
    “Travels the smoke further, and
    makes it mild.” … Pall Mall cigarettes

  8. Mike,
    What are you smoking?

  9. Ruthless,

    You Big “L” Libertarians just don’t get it…open borders would be the quickest way to kill your Libertarian dreams.

  10. Mike,
    The US is not Europe. We are not coming from a homogeneous society to one suddenly filled with immigrants. We began as a nation of (nearly all) immigrants. We are different from Germany, France, Denmark, etc. in so many ways that your comparison rings false. Immigrants do tend to assimilate here on their own. That is a good thing. Should, however, the gov’t be encouraging them to become a part of what is some sort of sanctioned culture? Maybe we, as a society, will move to become more like the immigrants’ cultures. Hasn’t this always happened in the past? I live in Chicago. Here, the city accepted a lot of Irish immigrants and they became Chicagoans, while the city became more Irish. Ditto with the Polish, German, Lithuanian, Bohemian immigrants, etc and the African-Americans who moved here from the southern US. We are better for it, and the immigrant populations do fit in, while I can go to Bobak’s Sausage Co. and get some incredible food.

  11. Mike, the problem is not the immigrants, it is the culture of government. The problems we have in this country, which include the ability of immigrants to suck off the public teat, are directly related to what AMERICANS have asked for, voted for, and tolerated in all elected officials.

    We are getting the government we asked for and to parpharase HL Mencken, we’re getting it good and hard.

  12. Let’s say, entirely hypothetically, that somebody from the government approaches you and demands some confidential business records. They don’t have a warrant, and they refuse to get one. (Not that such a request would ever be made in real life, of course.) Since you promised your customers to protect their privacy, you refuse to comply.

    Now, let’s say that after refusing their request you find yourself indicted for a crime. (Some might look at the former CEO of Qwest and think that such things happen in real life, but that is of course paranoia.)

    Anyway, you didn’t commit this crime, but the fabricated evidence is quite convincing. You decide that you need to leave the country. So you head south, figuring that once in Mexico you can use cash to get yourself to a place more comfortable than Mexico.

    Oops, troops on the border. Too late. You’re screwed.

    Now, you might say that the proposed troop presence is far too small to effectively block escape, and you might be right. But who says that the troop presence won’t expand? If we have National Guard on the border, and they allegedly need more resources, what Congressman or Senator will refuse to Support Our Troops?

    I think we’re fucked. Hard. If they can get a wealthy guy like the former CEO of Qwest, they can get any of us.

    We’re fucked.

  13. (I forgot to throw a shout out to Mac Arthur’s on the West side. Mmmm, good soul food!)

  14. I think that thoreau is right, and I want to expand on the consequences of the fact that we have now officially militarized our border:

    First, to Tim’s point, it’s the National Guard’s job for this kind of security, except it’s supposed to be the GOVERNOR who deploys them…the National Guard is so federalized now, thanks to Bush, that it’s silly to draw a distinction between them and the regular Army in terms of duty and service.

    Secondly, Bush and his crew have claimed that the National Guard is there for logistical/transportation support. However, does he really think, and should we really believe,, that if a National Guard logistical convoy is enroute from Outpost A to Outpost B, and they see illegals sneaking across the border, that they are simply going to turn their heads? Or are they going to radio in, or maybe “detain” the illegals, or just decide to take care of it themselves and arrest him on the spot? This is the first step in a truly slippery slope.

  15. If they can get a wealthy guy like the former CEO of Qwest, they can get any of us.

    I (along with Cathy Young) was very disenheartened when
    this guy was arrested. I didn’t think the US would follow so quickly.

  16. Smoking Penguin-

    Keep in mind that our Dear Leader looked into Putin’s eyes and saw that he has a good soul.

  17. So many problems here. Any one breaking the law should be investigated, tried and judged. If more than 15 million brake the same laws and we, as American citizens pay for it not being enforced, we have smugglers leaving people for dead in abandoned builidings in AZ and people willingly risk their and their families lives to come here, we need to reconsider the law.

    Immigration reform does not come plugging the border and it does not come from handing out cards to people who have been under cover here illegally for more than 5 years.

    It comes from unraveling the mess we have created (immigration law is so convaluted- loop holes made for congress people or other high ranking officials who feel sorry for their fill-in-the-blank’s mother and they get them in this country) taking it back to ground zero and reconstructing it. Reconstructing it to fit today’s needs and today’s demands.

    People want to point fingers and appease all sides… screw it. Start over.

    Stop the influx of suckers of our (tax paying American) benefits. Stop allowing criminals to be here and protest in the street (a right fought for by tax paying, law abiding Americans).

    And start over.

    If anyone in DC had balls we’d be so much better off.

  18. thoreau – He must have recognized a kindred spirit.

  19. Yeah! Not “Let’s end welfare,” but “Let’s keep the United States for United Statesians!”

  20. Now, let’s say that after refusing their request you find yourself indicted for a crime. (Some might look at the former CEO of Qwest and think that such things happen in real life, but that is of course paranoia.)

    I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody did / will get railroaded because of the NSA-Quest disagreement, but what makes you think it’s that guy? He hasn’t been CEO for four years.

  21. Lord Duppy-

    Apparently the request to hand over records came while he was CEO. And the investigation started while he was still CEO.

  22. After 36 years of the failed War on Drugs we are finally going to militarize the border so that paperless Mexicans can’t bus tables, wash dishes or cut grass?

  23. Hey, Beavis,
    Thank you for your post. I have been dying to rant about how much this anti-immigration fervor is (very) thinly veiled racism & xenophobia. I think you have said it all.

  24. Somebody wondered earlier today why immigration has become such a big issue lately. I mean, say what you will about the merits of the issue, but it’s always interesting to wonder why some ongoing issues suddenly vault to prominence while other issues remain in the background.

    I think the answer is obvious now: It became an issue because they wanted an excuse to militarize the border.

    We’re fucked. No escape now. Sure, we could still go to Canada, but I think escape via Mexico would have been easier than escape via Canada. Mexico has fewer cameras, more cash transactions, and more cops who are willing to look the other way (for a fee, of course) if you’re wanted by the US.

    The best escape route was cut off. Next they’ll militarize the northern border, and then Coast Guard will swing its gun turrets toward shore. And then Night will fall.

    Well, Comrades, we had more than 200 good years.

  25. OK, some people had more than 200 good years. It sucked for women and blacks for many of those years. Well, now it sucks for everybody.

    It’s been real, Comrades.

  26. Thoreau,
    Do you need to hide in my basement?

  27. highnumber-

    I’m not hiding, but I’m not fighting either. And I certainly won’t kneel.

    I’m proud of my immigrant ancestors. I’ve boasted of them frequently. When the time comes, I’ll run. I’ll take my chances on the road, just like my ancestors did.

    I don’t know where I’ll go, maybe I’ll fuck up and choose the wrong place. But I’ll at least try to find an island of relative freedom. Yeah, I know, the rest of the world has high taxes. Well, if the Dutch or the Aussies or whoever refrain from torture, I’ll call that a good start. I’ll go there, I’ll naturalize, and I’ll vote for lower taxes.

    Can you imagine the complaints from nativists in my host country? “Damn those American immigrants! They come here and try to shut down our welfare state!”

    If I were single I’d run now. But I’m married to a patient woman. I’ll wait, and when she agrees we’ll run.

  28. My wife & I had this fantasy that if things got bad enough, we would move to one of those walled villages in Mexico where the whole town is part of a tequila distillery. You know, the men go out in the morning and hack the agave plants, return home where the women mash it, the distillery owner’s son blows the glass for the bottles…Yeah, it sounds kind of communal, but at its heart it is a capitalist operation. Now, you’re getting me scared. If Bush killed this dream, too…

  29. Here in CA it’s not so much immigrants per se, but the overcrowding that has resulted from too great an influx, in too short a period of time. The entire school system from top to bottom is overwhelmed. Quotas are an implicit part of life in a free society. A university, a restaurant, a hotel, a freeway, are meant to handle a specific number of people. We need a quota system, as regimented as it sounds.

  30. Has any society changed so dramatically in 60 years and not had dramatic changes?

    Am I a xenophobe if I dislike the fact that just about every sign printed today is in both english and spanish?

  31. You might be a xenophobe if…
    or you might just be cranky. Really, why does it bother you?

  32. Am I a xenophobe if I dislike the fact that just about every sign printed today is in both english and spanish?

    I don’t know. Do you live in Sweden?

  33. mo $$-

    Tell me about it! I mean, here I am, proud to be American and proud of my Italian ancestors, and yet every time I look at a math book they use not Roman numerals, but rather Arabic numerals. Arabic! Has nobody learned the lessons of 9/11?

  34. Quotas are an implicit part of life in a free society. A university, a restaurant, a hotel, a freeway, are meant to handle a specific number of people. We need a quota system, as regimented as it sounds.

    aspendougy,

    Given that the net population change in California comprised a net -28,000 people in interstate migration, a net 207,000 in international migration, and a net 320,000 natural increase (births minus deaths)… just whom do you propose to sterilize first to meet your quota?

  35. A lot more immigrants are going to start showing up, swelling the southwest.

    Of course with global warming, it’ll be more temperate up north.

    And with the money i save from cheaper influx of labor, I can get a cottage in Nunavut, you know, to get away from them broiling Minnesotan summers.

  36. MikeP,
    I have racked my brain. There is no funnier answer to mo $$’s questions than yours.
    Kudos!

  37. Thoreau,
    Did something happen to you at work? Your commenting “voice” seems to be a bit different of late. Not that it’s a bad thing! Do you remember what it was that tipped you from “ok, the state’s incompetent but kind of maybe trying to do a good job” to “the state is a sinister organization?” I know it was the subway bag searches in NYC that tipped me.
    Glad to see you using your eloquence for a little firey rhetoric.

  38. “Am I a xenophobe if I dislike the fact that just about every sign printed today is in both english and spanish?”

    I assume your not fluent in spanish? We all need to adapt and learn new things in order to be productive in the market, eh?

  39. In 1960 the US was 90% white.

    And as we all know, all white people are exactly alike, and have always lived together in total harmony.

    [and from another post]

    Am I a xenophobe if I dislike the fact that just about every sign printed today is in both english and spanish?

    Yes, probably. Do you have problems with the signage in international airports as well?

    I mean, seriously. If the signs are in English and you can read them, why do you have a problem with another sign saying the same thing in another language.

  40. Remember when thoreau was an even-handed moderate? And now he’s posting awesomely wack conspiracy theories. This is what tyranny does to people! We may only hope that he ends up being as loveably kooky as Ruthless.

  41. highnumber,

    France is also a nation of immigrants. That has been the case for two centuries. The statistic (as I recall) is something like this: nearly 1/2 of all Frenchmen are 3rd generation or less. Why don’t people generally know this? Because there are lot of myths about European ethnicity (that it is static, etc.) which are simply untrue.

  42. I’m not sure I have a problem with the National Guard doing domestic security work, which seems to be the Guard’s job

    That may be what the Nationa Gaurd does in recent history, but it isn’t what they were supposed to do originally. Their primary purpose was supposed to be repelling invasions.

    The National Gaurd is trained to be an army, not a police force. So what’s the difference between putting the National Gaurd on the border, and regular army units?

    I have a real problem using the army for what are basically police duties. The military the police are separate for very rational reasons.

    Using the National Gaurd on the border scares me more than it does thoreau. Are we going to declare war on Mexico? On US citizens? Both? Are we catagorizing Mexican migrants as an invasion?

    For christ’s sake Bush, get a grip.

    People are already dying, trying to get across the border. If they actually do this, I predict a lot more are going to die before it’s over.

  43. TWC,

    We are getting the government we asked for and to parpharase HL Mencken

    You really should take a look around. The Republicans were, in theory, supposed to represent small government and lower taxes. I think a lot of Bush voters (and Republican congressional voters) are wishing there was a way to get their money back on this one.

    A lot of people didn’t expect what they’ve gotten from their politicians in recent decades. The fact that “we” voted for them doesn’t change the fact that we expected better performance than we got.

    It isn’t my fault that the only real options for president last time around were Kerry and Bush. Precisely how is it my “fault” if I vote for what I perceive the lesser evil? Is it also my “fault” if I give up and don’t vote at all?

    Our democratic process is entirely off the rails, in case nobody has noticed yet….

  44. mo $$

    Am I a xenophobe if I dislike the fact that just about every sign printed today is in both english and spanish?

    No, you really aren’t. But don’t tell anybody around here because they’re missing something from childhood. Or they’ve been indoctrinated and we haven’t. Or something.

    THAT’S it. You and I haven’t been indoctrinated. We’ll know we’re there when we automatically come up with lines like these whenever we’re drunk.

    Really, why does it bother you?

    every time I look at a math book they use not Roman numerals, but rather Arabic numerals

    We all need to adapt and learn new things in order to be productive in the market, eh?

    But I for one am not indoctrinated yet.

    Portions, at least, of THIS country is turning into some OTHER country. But there’s really nothing to worry about. Just remember that you voted for it and it’s your own fault asshole. See how it is? They come here, and now it’s up to me to learn their language. That, or maybe one day I won’t be able to vote anymore because the ballots here in Arizona won’t even be printed in English anymore.

    I must have some kind of attitude problem. Because I don’t want, or intend, to learn Spanish. Nor do I want my tax dollars spent printing everything in goddamned sight in two languages.

    There’s some smart people around here. But there are some things they just don’t get.

  45. thoreau wrote: “yet every time I look at a math book they use not Roman numerals, but rather Arabic numerals. Arabic! Has nobody learned the lessons of 9/11?”

    Don’t you mean the lessons of IX/XI?

  46. moonbiter

    I mean, seriously. If the signs are in English and you can read them, why do you have a problem with another sign saying the same thing in another language.

    Everything our government puts out,it now puts out in both English and Spanish.

    I call bullshit. Who’s PAYING for all the Spanish publications???????? Can anybody around here think, or have you all had this part of yourselves lobotimized?

    Why are my tax dollars being spent on publishing everything that comes out of our government in both English and Spanish? Why SHOULD my tax dollars be spent this way? Wax cute and eloquant if you like, but there really is no rational come back to this question. It isn’t right.

    I don’t owe a damn thing to Mexico or Mexicans. If they want to come here and work, even become citizens, that’s fine, but they can learn English or suffer if not. They also should (but to a large extent don’t, at least around here) have to obey every law that every other American does. They also should (but I know for a fact around here, they very often don’t) have to pay exactly all the same taxes that every other American does. Because it truth, the fact that they don’t pay taxes is letting them underbid US citizens in the construction industry every day.

    You wanna know why some people don’t want Mexicans around? I’ll give you three guesses, and the first four don’t count. There are in fact segments of our population who should dislike these “illegals”.

    So much for should. I mean, seriously.

    Sure enough, we should banish the welfare state. And sure enough, it isn’t going to happen.

    So long as that’s the case, there’s going to be resistance to Mexican immigrants. Y’all can come up with as many wise-ass remarks as you like. But this is the way the cookie is going to crumble.

    This resistance is what leads to idiots like Bush putting the National Gaurd on the Mexican border.

    What we’ve got here is a contest to see who can come up with the stupidest idea. Competition is so fierce, I’ve yet to decide who ought to be the winner.

  47. We all need to adapt and learn new things in order to be productive in the market, eh?

    Well, hey, it’s a free country. At least in theory. So why don’t we all come up with our very own little individualized languages, eh?

    Then we can spend all day, every day, figuring what the hell we’re trying to say to each other.

    I’m sure economic productivity will skyrocket. Eh?

    No need for just one language in this country. We really should have three or four or five. Or add as many zeros to end as you like.

    Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Somebody has got to let the economists know that this is genuine Progress in America. We’re really getting somewhere now. Eh?

  48. Stop speaking Canadian, Kahn.

  49. I don’t know where I’ll go, maybe I’ll fuck up and choose the wrong place. But I’ll at least try to find an island of relative freedom.

    I’ve often had this Pitcairn Island fantasy myself, of going “somewhere else” in light of George “Adolph Jr.” Bush’s open disregard and destruction of the Constitution (no, Mr. Franklin, we didn’t keep it). At least from the financial magazines I read, Eastern Europe is looking pretty free market and open these days. But cold weather is anathema to me. So maybe I can take a row boat to an Melanesian Island …

    If I were single I’d run now. But I’m married to a patient woman. I’ll wait, and when she agrees we’ll run.

    *Sigh* I’m single and was hoping to get married before the Great American Collapse. But if I implement your ex-patriate plan, maybe I can enjoy all the island babes somewhere who haven’t heard of paternity suits and “Earned Income Tax Credits” yet ….

  50. Considering that there are about 290 million people with strong opinions about illegal immigration in this country, I really think Bush deserves some credit for finally jumping into this swamp and whispering ‘here, alligator, here’, late though it may be. I’m trying to imagine what Boy Clinton would be doing to deal with all this — oh yeah, probably what he did on just about every other issue, NOTHING.

  51. I’m trying to imagine what Boy Clinton would be doing to deal with all this — oh yeah, probably what he did on just about every other issue, NOTHING.

    hey, just because it’s an issue doesn’t mean it’s a problem.
    and just because it’s a problem doesn’t mean that the government has to solve it.
    what are you, some sort of statist?

  52. Do the people railing against illegals collecting welfare know that illegals can’t collect welfare? I mean sure they can use public school, but the most fervent opponents of illegal immigration want them to learn English, which is best done [drumroll please] in American schools. That’s quite a conundrum.

  53. Randolph-

    It happened gradually for me. I think the change in rhetoric, though, came only recently. For some reason the thing about the phone companies handing over records caused me to snap.

    Yeah, I know, there have been plenty of other bad things. And yes, I know, gun owners have been treated like criminals since the 1990’s (that point has come up a lot on this and other forums). And yes, I know, the phone data isn’t the worst thing that the NSA has done, let alone the rest of the feds.

    But, well, your breaking point isn’t always a strictly rational thing. If it were, then the detention of Jose Padilla should have caused everybody on H&R to jump ship. But a lot of H&R posters didn’t turn on Bush until fairly recently. For a few people it was when he evaded the FISA Court, declaring that as our Dear Leader and God-Emperor he has the inherent power to disregard the third branch of government.

    Of course, I opposed Bush even before Padilla. But my point is that big changes, whether it’s opposing somebody that you used to support, or going from optimist to scared pessimist, don’t always happen on a strictly rational schedule. Your breaking point comes when it comes, and then you change.

    We’re screwed.

  54. Ive only scanned the posts, so forgive me if this point has been made, but anyone remember the Katrina debacle vis a vis who called in the National guard?

    Didnt Kathleen Blanco look at the Prez and say you should’ve done it, while the Prez said no no no silly governor, the States always call in the Nat. guard. Isnt that how it went down?

  55. Because there are lot of myths about European ethnicity (that it is static, etc.) which are simply untrue.

    There are lot of myths about European everything.

    I find myself constantly confronted by people who know less about Europe than I do make sweeping (and incorrect) statements about the place with more absolute certainty than I can muster to assert that the sun will set this evening.

  56. Mind you, there is a converse to this also.

    I’ve spoken to a number of foreigners who will say with certainty “In America they ______”, and relate some anecdote about a friend who encountered some asshole somewhere.

    Another one is, “they don’t have any welfare in America, so people are dropping dead in the streets.”

  57. thoreau, it’s okay–the numbering system we use is actually Hindu. The “Arabic” label came from some fiendish plot of radical Islam. Or from the fact the we got the system via the Arabs.

    Equally disturbing is the fact that we’re using Babylonian systems for our time and degrees of a circle measures. You know who the Babylonians are? That’s right, Mesopotamians!

    I started opposing the God Emperor Bush II when he took the sandtrout as his skin and began his long transformation into a sandworm 🙂

  58. Not that it matters much to the likes of Beavis, but the statement “In 1960 the US was 90% white” is a very good demonstration of how effective the American assimiliation machine is.

    Do you think that, in 1920, people were looking at the Italians, Jews, Poles, Bohemians, and Hungarians getting off the boats and saying “Look at the white people?”

  59. Pro Libertate,
    I thought the current number system used in Arabic was Hindu and the number system used in the West was Arabic. I could be wrong though.

    Isaac,
    You have no idea how many Europeans have been surprised that I wasn’t beaten to a bloody pulp after 9/11. Especially after they discover I was living in NYC at the time. Americans are apparently the most racist people on earth.

  60. Okay I must be a xenophobe then. Actually I just dislike lawyers who are probably the proximate cause of our bilingual signs.
    I’m not sure why it bothers me, but it probably has something to do with being connected to something larger than myself (e.g. religion, country) and not wanting to see that change.

  61. Mo, Wikipedia looks reasonably correct on the origins of our numbering system, so see the “Arabic” Numerals article. We certainly call our system “Arabic”, but it was invented by the Indians. Along with the concept of zero, I believe. Pretty big accomplishment, especially if you’ve been working math problems using Roman numerals.

  62. Okay I must be a xenophobe then. Actually I just dislike lawyers who are probably the proximate cause of our bilingual signs.

    Well, if the bilingual signs were written with the blood of lawyers, I could find them more tolerable.

  63. PL,
    Hmmm, right you are. Though I suppose you can’t blame Arabs for the misappropriation, since they call the numerals “Indian”. The numerals used in Arabic are the East Arabic numerals as opposed to our West Arabic ones. Confusing bunch.

    With all the numbers and math that was born in India and the Mid East, is it any surprise that a shitload of good engineers come from that part of the world?

  64. mo $$,
    Actually, bilingual signs are created by two groups of people: people that speak the other language or capitalists trying to attract speakers of that language.

    I know when I’m abroad and see a sign in English, I know where I can spend my money because I know I can get something and speak English at the same time.

  65. We’ll know we’re there when we automatically come up with lines like these whenever we’re drunk.
    When I get drunk, I stop posting and start dialing old friends.
    I’m holding back from getting snarky, but, come on! Everyone who has a problem with signs in two languages, admit that you are scared of foreigners. I am reminded of some lines from a song that has stuck with me for many years:

    I look at things I wasn’t meant to see
    and selfishly assume they were meant for me.
    Get the person who got me good:
    Myself myself myself

    Maybe I am going a little off the deep end quoting Ian MacKaye, but how on earth could you be so upset by a sign?

  66. Kahn,

    It isn’t my fault that the only real options for president last time around were Kerry and Bush. Precisely how is it my “fault” if I vote for what I perceive the lesser evil? Is it also my “fault” if I give up and don’t vote at all?

    It isn’t your specific fault, it isn’t my specific fault, but the net effect of the democratic process is exactly what we have. That may be an arugument against democracy in general, but it is the fact of the matter.

    The process will continue to move in a direction we don’t like. This will happen even if we reduce immigration to zero.

    I could have been clearer but my point is that the values and cultures that immigrants bring to the US is not going to bring us down. Americans are bringing us down and will continue to do so. After 60 years of indoctrination in the public school system there is nobody left that actually even understands what liberty means.

  67. TWC:

    lib?er?ty – A period, usually short, during which a sailor is authorized to go ashore.

    Does it have some alternative meaning? I attended public schools, by the way.

  68. Everyone who has a problem with signs in two languages, admit that you are scared of foreigners.

    That is absolutely not true. I’m married to a foreigner, though her family (all here) is Vietnamese not Mexican. At most family gatherings I hear 95% Vietnamese spoken, and about 5% English.

    It isn’t “fear of foreigners” that motivates me. You’ve completely misunderstood my arguments.

    I got “snarky” because it’s clear that a) nobody around here understands the kinds of arguments I’m raising and b) it’s not likely they’re going to listen.

    You’re just as closed-minded as the red necks who are afraid of foreigners.

    Let’s put it another way. I don’t have a problem with private companies publishing their instructions etc any way they choose. But I have a real problem with the US government publishing everything in both English and Spanish. If you’re going to include Spanish, then why not Vietnamese too? Hmmmm?????

    And why, while we’re here, shouldn’t we also include Chinese? And Swahilian? And every other language that anybody in the US might choose to speak?

    There is in fact a rational case to be made for having “a primary language by which people communicate” in a nation.

    Don’t give me the “oh but there is” crap. There isn’t one, but now two, when Uncle Sam prints everything in two languages. If two languages is fine, then I contend that we should publish everything in every language on earth. We’ve got somebody here from everywhere, so why shouldn’t we?

    I could have been clearer but my point is that the values and cultures that immigrants bring to the US is not going to bring us down. Americans are bringing us down and will continue to do so. After 60 years of indoctrination in the public school system there is nobody left that actually even understands what liberty means.

    Now, that I agree with.

    I’m not a fan of democracy. But I’m not a fan of any other form either. They’ve all got their fundamental flaws.

    We really need to invent something better.

  69. Well, hey, it’s a free country. At least in theory. So why don’t we all come up with our very own little individualized languages, eh?

    Then we can spend all day, every day, figuring what the hell we’re trying to say to each other.

    OK Kahn you win. I’ll stop hitting on your girlfriend and I’ll have a body gaurd whenever I am in your neighborhood.

  70. I’ll have a body gaurd whenever I am in your neighborhood

    You can if you like. And I’ll remember that around here, on this free-thinking libertarian blog, there are things that in fact are not debatable.

    I see the same things tossed out here every time this subject comes up. Anybody who disagrees gets ridiculed, which is a whole lot different than a rational debate.

    Don’t dish it out if you can’t take getting the same kind of crap thrown back at you.

  71. Why are my tax dollars being spent on publishing everything that comes out of our government in both English and Spanish? Why SHOULD my tax dollars be spent this way?
    Well, should we start a list of all the ways MY tax dollars should not be spent? Maybe we could do a tit-for-tat. I’ll specify how mine should not be spent and you specify how yours should not be spent.

  72. You’re just as closed-minded as the red necks who are afraid of foreigners.

    There’s a good way to keep a discussion going!

  73. Americans are apparently the most racist people on earth.

    Uh huh, I know, I get told that constantly. By both Americans and foreigners. Must be true.

  74. Mo, I get the impression that as much as we don’t get Europe, they’re practically delusional about us. I guess there’s a little world domination envy going on there, because it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, otherwise. Or we really are all racists, mobsters, fat, and cowboys. Yee-hah!

    I, for one, rather like the Europeans. We’re much more like them (and vice versa) than either side would care to admit. Especially when it comes to our hypocrisy and ability to rationalize 🙂 Sure, some European nations like to issue a 20-minute hate on the U.S. from time to time, but I think that only goes so deep. For all of the West’s failings, I’d rather live in the liberal West than anywhere else. I think the U.S. is the best of the bunch, but I also acknowledge that it’s a debatable point. However, I do occasionally wonder whether I’d be happier living in Umbria. In a villa. With slave girls. Wait, how did that get in here?

  75. Well, should we start a list of all the ways MY tax dollars should not be spent?

    We aren’t talking about everything else. And you obviously don’t have a problem spending tax dollars this way.

  76. There’s a good way to keep a discussion going!

    You aren’t discussing it. You’ve got a stock set of assumptions about what everyone who disagrees with you thinks. Then you ridicule anyone who has the audacity to disagree with you. Nice little formula, it reminds me of being back in the class rooms in high school and college. No need to debate — or think — when you can just say “nah nah!”

    You assumed wrong.

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