Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog

 
Thursday, August 30, 2007

KNS Editorial Misses the Point

Talk about burying the lede!

The KNS editorial for today focuses on illegal immigration and manages to say very little over several paragraphs, and what it does say is buried in the ninth paragraph.

After saying that studies show that Tennessee doesn't need to do anything about illegal immigration because it provides a net benefit to the state, then lamenting the fact that the federal government failed to do anything about illegal immigration, the KNS editors drop this little bombshell.

Illegal immigrants in Tennessee are about 2 percent of the state’s 6 million residents. The number of foreign-born residents in Tennessee was about 223,118 in 2005, with the majority in Memphis and Nashville.


"About 223,118?" Not exactly? Apparently the editor could use an editor.

OK, 2% of 2 million is 120,000. That means that there are more foreign born residents here illegally than legally! We aren't in a border state folks;this is ridiculous.

Incidentally, it would have been nice if the KNS had linked to the study it quotes from, but no such luck. I guess I've been spoiled by reading blogs, where I can almost always find a link to their source material. I found the link with one search and two mouseclicks so it shouldn't be that difficult. Now there might be some newsy reason why they can't add the link to the online version of the article and I just don't know what it is or maybe newspapers still don't get the whole online experience yet.

Reading the actual report reveals a couple of interesting things.

Tennessee was one of eight states, which included 15 percent of native born workers in the U.S. in 2000, with above average growth in the foreign-born population and below-average employment rates for native-born workers.


In other words, in Tennessee,the rapid growth in illegal immigrant population is resulting in lower employment for US citizens. Yet here is what the KNS editorial says:

The report from the state comptroller’s office also concludes that illegal immigrants probably have an overall positive effect on the state’s economy...


Here's the thing that really gets me. According to the study, while the federal and state economies as a whole benefit from illegal immigration, it is the local governments which pay the price. Consider these two quotes:

The 2005 Economic Report to the President concluded that unauthorized aliens do not impose a net cost at the federal level but notes that most of the costs are at the state and local level.


And

The [Texas Comptroller’s report (December 2006)] report focused on state costs and revenues but acknowledged that local government costs exceeded estimated local revenue from unauthorized aliens.


No wonder nobody wants to do anything. The feds and the states are making money. The only folks suffering are cities, counties, and closer to home, Tennesseans looking for a starting job. Now remember, it's not me saying it; it's the Tennessee comptroller's report. You know,the same one the KNS editors use to say our legislators should be spending their time on something other than immigration.

Instead of regurgitating press releases from TIRRC, the KNS editors might try actually reading the report they're quoting from.

Posted by Rich
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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cloture Passes and I Re-assess My Patriotism

Remember when the Democrats told us that since 55% of the American public were against the War in Iraq that we should pull out because it was "the will of the people?"

How is it that those very same Democrats are silent while immigration policy opposed by 75+% of the American people is being shoved down our throats by a Democrat-led Senate?

I'll take hypocritical asshats for 2000, Alex.

Don't think I give the Republicans a pass, oh no. They're right in this thing because instead of voting on principle, they are playing political games with this bill, allowing President Bush just enough leeway to slide this one by. I'll give the President his due; all along, since he first started campaigning for the presidency, he's promised he would provide an immigration reform package. He hasn't flip-flopped, and as is his nature, he's pursuing the course he thinks is right with bulldog intensity, with every bit the same energy and determination he's shown with the War on Terror.

That he is as wrong as it is possible for a man to be is tragic; that he is being aided and abetted by a cynical Senator who is willing to sacrifice America's long term security for short term political gain is shameful; that our Senate as a whole is willing to disregard the loudly expressed will of the people in favor of corporate lobbyists and visions of their own electoral invincibility is a national disgrace; that our national press corps is more concerned with covering the release of an heiress convicted of a misdemeanor than covering an issue that will, regardless of the decision made, radically affect the character of our nation for generations to come is sadly typical.

What really gets me is that if you don't read the blogs, if you just listen to the news, you know almost nothing about the issue. You don't know the costs associated with this bill. You don't know about the automatic extension of benefits to those who came here illegally. You don't know that the so-called triggers are only for show, since they won't apply to the vast majority of those who are already here illegally.

You don't know, and most of you don't care.

George (Not Carlos. Gotta stop typing while listening to music) Santayana said that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, so let me give you a quick history lesson that applies directly to our situation today.

Roughly 500 years after the birth of Christ, the Romans were evacuating the British Isles after years of occupation. As they withdrew, the island fell into chaos, with native Celts and Woads battling with encroaching Norsemen, Angles and Saxons for control of the territories the Romans were abandoning. In this turbulent time, a king who could not control his borders soon found himself without a kingdom. One such king, by the name of Vortigern, thought he'd found a way to defend his borders against the encroaching hordes without costing him the lives of his own subjects. His insight was radical for the time; since the land was already being overrun with Anglo-Saxons, he would make a deal with them. He would trade them living space for their service as defenders of his borders.

Vortigern approached a Saxon leader by the name of Hengest to make his deal. Hengest realized that fighting to defend a land is much easier than fighting to take it, and the deal was struck. At one stroke, Vortigern had taken a liability and turned it to his advantage.

Unfortunately for Vortigern, his advantage didn't outlive him. Hengest died, and his son Horst realized that the Saxons were stronger than the Celts,and reneged on the deal his father had made. He and his men rose up and slaughtered the Celts, including their king, Vortigern, and took all the land.

Here's another example; ask a Cherokee Indian what unchecked immigration does to the native population. Or any member of a Native American tribe. Ask an aborigine in Australia.

The lesson of history is very clear; when a nation loses the ability or the will to defend its borders, it ceases to exist as a nation within a generation. Its people are replaced with a more vigorous, more robust people, a people who are willing and able to defend their territory.

Folks, this is where America is today. Just listen to the rhetoric on the pro-illegal immigration side. If you oppose this legislation, you are automatically, a bigot and a racist. You are prejudiced, and don't understand the true meaning of being an American. You are cruel and lack compassion. You are all of these things and worse, simply because you believe that we as a nation have a right to say who gets in and who doesn't.

Again, listen to what they say. We must have compassion for those who come here. After all, all they want is something better for themselves and their families. They say America should be open to all who want to come here. They say that there are too many here illegally already; there's no way we can correct the problem except by legitimizing them. They say that attempting to secure our borders is a cruel and racist act. They say that asking those who immigrate whether legally or otherwise to assimilate within our culture is wrong; that we should allow them to maintain their own national identity, even though they live and work in this nation.

Listen to what they say; they no longer believe that our borders are worth controlling.

And I have to struggle with the idea that they may be right. Is America still worth defending? Sadly, I have my doubts. I figure that there will be tremendous outrage when this bill becomes a law, but that fewer than 10% of those who vote to pass it will be defeated in their next election cycle. Remember the outrage over McCain-Feingold? How many supporters of that monstrosity were voted out? Nope, John Q is too busy surfing the internet for pictures of Britney Spears' nipple to be overly concerned about immigration legislation.

So I have to ask myself: Is this nation worth fighting for? Killing for? Dying for?

The question is very important because I have a son who is in that position right now and another who is leaning strongly that way. I served, as did my father, my uncle, and my grandfather. My ex father in law once removed (very long story, but he's good people and I'm proud to consider him part of my extended family) served, as did his son.

But would I volunteer to serve today? I really don't know. I don't know if the American people are worthy of such sacrifice, or if they would just waste it.

A few months ago, I jokingly wrote that I wasn't worried about Sharia law being implemented in America because I was pretty sure the new, fervently Catholic Hispanic majority wouldn't allow it. Whatever humor that quip once possessed has been extinguished by its increasing probability.

Posted by Rich
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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Well, That Didn’t Last Long.

So much for one post a week.

I read that the Senate voted for cloture so they can go ahead and debate a bill that they haven't even read yet.

Why am I not surprised? Who better to spend hours on the taxpayers' dime talking about something they know nothing about than our wonderful Senators?

And I see that LAMEr Alexander decided to vote for cloture as well.

I guess the search for the next Senator from Tennessee is on.

Curiously, I also noticed that several presidential hopefuls, including Hillary! and Barack accidentally missed the vote. How sad. Apparently they want to straddle a fence they don't even want to build.

Posted by Rich
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Sunday, May 20, 2007

The New Comprehensive Swindle

N.Z. Bear has created as easily readable, linkable version of the proposed legislation.

Hugh Hewitt has read through the bill and has compiled his thoughts.

And for comparison purposes, here are the GOP talking points about the bill, also from Hugh Hewitt.

Now then, I'm a fast reader; I've never taken any speed reading courses or anything, but I can get through most novels in a couple of days. But the bill is 350+ pages of lawyer speak and political double talk, and it would take me at least two weeks of study to make sure I had a basic grip on its major provisions.

But the Senate will be voting on this thing as early as Tuesday. What does that tell you about it? If it's a good bill, why not give the folks voting on it time to read and digest it? For that matter,why not give the American people time to figure it out?

I feel like I'm at a used car lot listening to a high pressure sales pitch trying to convince me that a Ford Festiva is really a Mustang with a different body style. All that's missing is the fat salesman with beer breath and a bad comb over.Ted%20Kennedy%201.jpg. Oops, never mind.

Now since there's no hope of getting a comprehensive review of this swindle prior to the vote, the best we can hope to do is look at the GOP talking points, and see how well they match up with what we know of the bill so far.

Starting from the top. the talking points stress that the republicans have demanded that all immigration reform is contingent on first improving border security. Sounds good, but the actual bill reads a bit differently. Upon first reading, it seems to say that the benefits of the bill will not apply until certain acts strengthining the border are completed, like building 370 miles of fence, and hiring 18,000 additional border guards. Except that there appears to be one teeny, tiny, small, barely worth mentioning exception. Something about probationary benefits. So let's take a look at the referenced section on probationary benefits. Page 268 is where we find 601(h),and it says that any illegal applying for probationary benefits must be given those benefits if a background check does not reveal disqualifying information within one business day!

No way. The government can't deliver a letter across town in a singe day. Surely this is a misreading of the bill, right?

Nope. In case the general statement isn't clear enough, check out this from 601(h)(2)
2) Timing of Probationary Benefits.-No probationary
benefits shall be issued to an alien until the alien has
passed all appropriate background checks or the end of the
next business day, whichever is sooner.


Whichever is sooner. Wow.

This one section of the bill, hidden nearly 270 pages deep in the bill, puts the lie to nearly every talking point favoring the bill. An illegal alien merely has to apply, and if the background check takes longer than one business day, he must be granted probationary benefits. There's a short word that describes this; it's called amnesty.

I'm not going to waste any more time going through a line by line analysis of the bill; I've already seen enough. Between the hard sell, the short time for review, and the little surprise hidden 270 pages into the bill, that's three strikes against it as far as I'm concerned.

If Corker or Alexander vote for cloture, or vote to support this bill, I will vote against them at the next opportunity. This is as close as I come to being a single issue voter.

Republicans say this is the best they can do; if so, then they don't deserve to be in charge, now or ever.

Posted by Rich
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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Unintended Silver Lining:  A Cynical Post that is Sure to Offend Most Everybody

Mark Steyn, among others, has made a big deal about the disparity in birthrates between Christians and Muslims, particularly in Europe. Others have noticed a similar discrepancy here in the good old US of A, and are sounding alarm bells, warning the Muslims may soon import sharia here, just like they're doing in Europe.

Not to worry folks; it's not going to be an issue.

Once we allow the 12-20 million illegal immigrants already here to remain here legally, most of them devout Catholics, and allow them to import their extended families, low birthrates will no longer be an issue. And while we may be too sensitive and multicultural to oppose sharia effectively, I'm betting our newest American citizens will see the situation entirely differently.

Posted by Rich
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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Why I Can’t Trust Bennie Thompson.  Ever

Via Captain's Quarters

It's flat out amazing. It really is. During the run up to the November elections, whenever we heard about combating illegal immigration, we heard somebody say something like "We have to make the employers of the illegals accountable. If there's no labor market drawing the immigrants across the border, then they won't cross." Yet every time a company takes steps to verify that their workforce is in fact legal, they face government obstruction. In this case, it's uniform company Cintas. House Democrat Bennie Thompson, who is going to be chair of the Homeland Security Committee sent a letter to Cintas, telling them that if they act to verify the hundreds of employees with incorrect SSN's on their job applications, then Cintas could face criminal legal action. Of course, if Cintas fails to verify the SSNs, they also could face legal action.

What kind of government do we have where a company can be penalized for following the law?

A broken one.

But here's what worries me. Mr. Thompson is soon going to be chairing the committee that oversees the department responsible for securing our borders against foreign attack, and he shows more concern over the rights of foreigners who may be here illegally than he does over the security of our own citizens.

Am I the only one that sees something wrong with that picture?

Posted by Rich
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Monday, November 13, 2006

Speaking of Illegal Immigration

One of the favorite gambits from the left is to loudly proclaim that either in addition to or in place of border security, we should levy fines against companies that hire the illegals. They reason that if illegal aliens couldn't find work, then they wouldn't come here illegally.

I think it's a brilliant plan. In fact, I think we should take the very same logic and apply it in many other areas.

  • Fine landlords who rent to illegals. If they can't find a place to live, they won't come here illegally, right?
  • Fine doctors who provide medical treatment for illegals. If they can't get medical care, they won't come here illegally, right?
  • Fine anybody who sells a car to an illegal. If they can't get wheels, they won't come here illegally, right?
  • Fine any utility that supplies power, water, or sewer services to illegals. If they can't turn on the lights, they won't come here illegally, right?


It's really a wonderful idea the libs have come up with, isn't it? Just deny those here illegally all the benefits of being here, and they won't come here illegally.

But for some reason, most libs seem to lack the courage of their convictions. They stop with fining the employers. It's as if the libs think it's okay to take money from illegal aliens in exchange for food, clothing, housing, etc; it's just not okay to let them earn that money.

It's very puzzling.

Posted by Rich
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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Racism or Realism?  You Make the Call!

MowTShirt.jpgMy daughter is mad at me because I find this T-Shirt directly on point as a satirical comment on the current immigration mess. My daughter believes that the shirt is racist.

Before we answer that question, let me ask another one. If the image was of a white man over the Mexican flag, would that be racist?

The answer is obviously "yes". It would imply that Mexicans are a subject race, good only for manual labor. It implies ownership, and would be extremely offensive.

But the image here is of Vincente Fox, Mexico's President, and that makes a huge difference.

Here's the thing; it's beyond argument that the primary factor leading to Mexican poverty is governmental corruption, incompetence, and mismanagement. It's also beyond argument that the Mexican government is acting to facilitate illegal immigration into America. They've published multiple guides for their citizens that not only give tips to those crossing on how to avoid border guards and patrols, but how to avoid immigration agents once in the country while obtaining benefits both legally and illegally. The Yucatan government published a guide almost 100 pages long, giving detailed advice on how to cross, where to cross, how to avoid INS while in the US, how to get a driver's license and obtain services. In short, it is a detailed guide on how to be an illegal immigrant. The Mexican government has also established community groups in the US to advocate for increased benefits for illegal aliens, such as in-state tuition for illegals at US universities.

So, given that the Mexican government would rather outsource its problems by sending thousands of illegals across our borders every year rather than take the steps needed to grow an economy at home, I think the T-shirt is perfectly appropriate. It skewers Vincente Fox, showing him to be just as arrogant as Marie "Let them eat cake" Antoinette.

Now, what do y'all think? Is it racism, or satire?

Posted by Rich
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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

President Bush Secures the Borders

President Bush received praise today from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for his tireless work in securing Israel's borders.

Now, if we could only get him to expend the same amount of energy to secure our borders...

Posted by Rich
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