Shots Across the Bow

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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. 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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Insightful and meaningful post Rich. I wonder if there is a reason the .gov has not discussed for doing this immigration amnesty. Your mention of Sharia Law may be that reason. Is the real reason for allowing the amnesty to fill the volunteer armed forces?
Posted by Number9  on  06/27  at  01:01 PM

Excellent analogies Rich.
Posted by Mark  on  06/27  at  03:34 PM

I was faced with the same dilemma recently, and advised my son not to serve in the United States military. Another son decided not to re-enlist for the same reasons. I think my advice and my eldest son's decision were correct, although painful, and have decided what will guide my politics from this day forward is what gets put into my pocket and nothing else.

America isn't worth deprivation let alone sacrifice now days.

Tragc, tragic state of affairs.
Posted by jack white  on  06/27  at  04:03 PM

Rich,

I think part of the apparent problem is that the internet age allows us to track and analyze governmental stupidity and public apathy in very close to real time. I'm not sure that the stupidity and the apathy are necessarily on the rise, just our ability to perceive it.

In fact, if I had to hazard a guess, I would say that compared to 50 or 100 years ago, our levels of stupidity in government and of general apathy have actually trended downward, and are continuing to do so.

While congress is a horribly venal and dispiriting institution, it does seem to be better than the alternatives.
Posted by Matthew Goggins  on  06/27  at  04:05 PM

Yes.

But that's George Santayana. Carlos is the guitar player -- Santana.
Posted by Byron Matthews  on  06/27  at  04:08 PM

hey dude,

America..love it or leave it. In all seriousness, I understand your sense of betrayal. Having said that, whats the solution at this point? Farmers and other businesses need laborers and the laws that let people in to do unskilled work are needlessly burdensome and in most cases non-existent. This is a case of government messing with the free market as it did with prohibition. Throw in some business lobbying and you have political pressure to ease up on border patrols to enable all this.

So what do we do now? There are 12 million illegals in this country and getting rid of them would hurt the economy and a lot of Americans who didn't have any role in any of this. Whats the solution.."enforce the laws that we have"? Didn't work so well with prohibition, the war on drugs or the war on guns. What makes you think this will be any better?

The racism charges are a bit over the top, there is no doubt. Having said that, you compare the situation here with the Roman experience and use the statement:

<blockquote>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.</blockquote>

When people come here and become Americans, they become Americans. Americans don't fear being over-run by Americans.
Posted by Manish  on  06/27  at  04:37 PM

I think Britain was one of the few places in the Western Empire where enough barbarians entered for a linguistic change. The Ostrogoths, Visigoths, and Vandals left little impact.
Posted by Joseph Hertzlinger  on  06/27  at  04:38 PM

Rich, a little blast from the past:

“The Irish fill our prisons, our poor houses. … Scratch a convict or a pauper, and the chances are that you tickle the skin of an Irish Catholic. Putting them on a boat and sending them home would end crime in this country.” [Chicago Post, 1868]

"Today, instead of a nation descended from generations of freemen bred to a knowledge of principles and practice of self government, of liberty under the law, we have a heterogeneous population, no small proportion of which is sprung from races that throughout the centuries have known no liberty at all… In other words our capacity to maintain our cherished institutions stands diluted by a stream of alien blood, with all of its misconceptions respecting the relationships of the governing power to the governed. [Rep. Albert Johnson, 1927, justifying the 1924 National Origins Act] "

Immigrant Bashing: A historic tradition, of which you will gladly partake.
Posted by Brad S  on  06/27  at  04:41 PM

Would you like some more? I knew you would!

"The number of purely white People in the World is proportionally very small…in Europe, the Spaniards, Italians, French, Russians and Swedes, are generally of what we call a swarthy Complexion; as are Germans also, the Saxons only accepted, who with the English, make the principal Body of White People on the Face of the Earth. [Benjamin Franklin, 1751]"

"Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Languages or Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion. [Benjamin Franklin, 1751]"
Posted by Brad Schwartze  on  06/27  at  04:48 PM

I think you're being way too pessimistic on most of the counts.

Will Sharia law be implemented in America? No, it never will. But it won't be because of a new Hispanic Catholic majority. That won't happen either.

While I agree the bill is garbage and what you say is true about the "rationale" Congress puts forth behind its passage, nobody thinks that way EXCEPT the politicians. I have yet to see a single blog, editorial, news story, radio host or even word on the street that supports either of the two bills. While it may not translate to voting out incumbents, it will translate into an impenetrable barrier in changing our culture. The worst that can happen is a terrorist or group of terrorists get in and wreak their havoc.

I believe this because American culture is simply to resilient to wholesale alteration. If anything it either rejects it or assimilates it.

I don't believe we have less than "a generation" before we cease to exist". That is simply a pessimistic viewpoint I don't subscribe to. I have yet to see the real evidence that would suggest it. And, yes, historically it happened to Rome and ancient Britain but all those cultures have one thing in common American is not - they're all ancient. Mankind and civilization was more primitive and dealt with change in more primitive ways. We also have the benefit of knowing what happened to those cultures.

I just don't see it happening.
Posted by Barry  on  06/27  at  04:53 PM

<i>what will guide my politics from this day forward is what gets put into my pocket and nothing else.</i>

Hey, thanks Jack! What a great example you set.

Don't get me wrong - I empathize with what you're feeling, but you've distilled it down to "This is a nation of quitters. I quit. And you should too."

I can't agree with that.
Posted by Hogarth  on  06/27  at  05:01 PM

To Manish: "when people come here and become Americans" really begs the question. Are 12 million illegal immigrants here to become Americans, or just pushing the borders of Mexico north. If its the former, why couldn't they stand in line like millions of others who want to come here and indeed become Americans.

To Brad: immigrant bashing? hardly. some of the most prominent opponents of the amnesty bill are in fact legal immigrants from Spanish speaking nations. This bill *undermines* legal immigration - which I think all of us favor - and rewards illegal immigration. It makes suckers of the immigrants that respect our borders and laws and want to become Americans. it is the bill itself which is "immigrant bashing" in the sense that an immigrant is a legal status. people who cross illegally are either refugees, law breakers, or invaders. it may be hyperbole to call them invaders at this point, but i think it blurs a key distinction to call them 'immigrants' - when every year millions of people come here, legally, to become Americans, and are embraced. this bill puts their status in doubt, because those Americans who are in fact bigoted will just assume that any person speaking Spanish (legal or not) is illegal, because of this bill.
Posted by Horst's Nephew  on  06/27  at  05:29 PM

If there was a country in the world that mirrored the America of my youth, I would give up my American citizenship and move there and die there.
Posted by Labamigo  on  06/27  at  05:33 PM

Thank you Brad for illustrating my point. I said nothing in this post regarding legal immigration, nor has anything I've ever written used the race of the illegal immigrants as a foundation for my position. Your comments demonstrate the knee jerk lack of thought that passes for intelligent debate on the side of many of those who support this legislation.

In fact, if you've read me for any length of time, you'd realize that I support a rational immigration reform policy, one that streamlines the process for those who will be a net addition to our nation, ie skilled workers,educated workers, educators, etc. I also support reform that allows unskilled workers to have a visa that is transportable, ie it stays with them, not the employer. This would go a long way towards curbing abusive employment practices. I also support holding businesses accountable when they hire illegal aliens.

What I don't support is giving a free pass to those who chose to break the law to enter this country. And before you try and argue that the law they are breaking is a civil law, and not criminal, may I remind you that in order to work in the US, you must fill out an I9. In order to do that, you must have documentation. Illegal aliens must acquire forged documents in order to fill out an I9,and that, my friend, is a violation of criminal law.

Barry,I hope you are right,and that history is wrong.

Byron, thanks for the correction. I've updated the post.

Manish, if these immigrants were interested in becoming Americans, I would agree with you. Unfortunately, far too often, that isn't the case. Many of the illegals I know are sending most of the earnings back home to Mexico, and plan to move back once they've made enough money. They have little to no interest in becoming citizens, or permanent residents. And they certainly have no interest in assimilating. Drive through the south ern neighborhoods in Nashville and you'll see what I mean.

Joseph, we're seeing Spanish as the first choice in voicemail systems now. I think it wouldn't be hard to argue that a linguistic change in America is already in progress.
Posted by rich  on  06/27  at  05:34 PM

<i>There are 12 million illegals in this country and getting rid of them would hurt the economy and a lot of Americans who didn't have any role in any of this.</i>

For starters, 12 million is just a guess. Illegals driving wages down in industries like housing construction, meat packing and other industries aren't fair to American workers. They accept less in wages, often under the table, it prices unskilled Americans out of jobs.

Any guess as to how much it will cost us in an economic downturn to provide continued education, social and hospital services to millions of illegals? We are now. It's costly and shows up out of state's coffers. Good thing times are good.

25% of tech jobs are unfilled while skilled/educated legal applicants rot on waiting lists. Wouldn't it make sense for some thought, comprehensive studies and public dialogue as to who/how many/with what skills merit immigrating here rather than this solution?

I'm not willing to compromise my kid's economic welfare for the poorly examined mantras that we need mass immigration and the-jobs-Americans-won't-do.

Securing the border, enforcing the laws on the books, and having a rational enforceable guest worker program makes sense. The frontier is long over in America where vast spaces need bodies. Immigration isn't a right as some of you imply. Better thought needs to be put into this than this forged in the shadows blanket amnesty by another name.
Posted by penny  on  06/27  at  05:58 PM

"...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 is one of Bush's biggest flaws, IMO. A sane individual would say to himself "well, I see this little pet project of mine isn't going anywhere, so I'd better get back to working on the other stuff I was elected to do."

Instead, Bush seems fixated on doing favors for a group of people he feels an emotional connection to, knowing full well that his party's most loyal voters are outraged by it. To compound the error, he sulks when he does not get his way, and cheap shots people in his own party as bigots and racists, while making nice with Ted Kennedy, just like he did on the education bill back in '01.

That said, our country is worth defending. It's our government and the people within it that aren't. The whole idea that we would fast-track green cards for illegal aliens who agree to serve in our military is naked political vote buying, and smacks of citizenship for sale. All of them - Bush, Chertoff, Kennedy, Reid, Lott, Mc Connell - disgust me.
Posted by Gary  on  06/27  at  06:01 PM

Eighty percent solution of the "problem" without erecting a fence or building massive paperwork bureaucracies or propagating a book of procedures no one will follow through - Annex Mexico. No fence, instant citizenship, no four inch piece of legislation, just two pages. We're getting the people anyway, might as well take the whole enchilada at once.

Don't ask me to surrender the sovereignty and culture of my country if you're unwilling to ask the same of the society that has generated this problem caused in the very end by the Mexican ruling caste that has chosen over two generations to dump their uneducated, unskilled, and unwanted mestizos and indios rather than implement real reform in order to retain their power and privileges. My god, the Communist in Beijing have created more jobs and opportunity in the last ten years than thirty in Mexico.
Posted by Don  on  06/27  at  06:03 PM

<i>Many of the illegals I know are sending most of the earnings back home to Mexico, and plan to move back once they've made enough money.</i>

Thats probably because they have no means of attaining legal immigration. If the option were there, I'm sure most would stick around. They would bring their families too and not send money back home. Other than that, I agree with much of what you've said. However, you've still not offered a solution to the problem other than the status quo.

As to the whole unfair to legal immigrants things and waiting in line, let me say this..I am a legal immigrant and its no skin off my back whether we legalize or not. Having said that, I had it easy. As a skilled person born in Canada, things are much easier than if I were an unskilled person from Mexico.

The Mexicans have no line to stand in. The visa process is much more bureaucratic and expensive for them than it is for skilled laborers so most employers don't bother. For that matter, they have a greater burden to prove that the workers are temporary, while H1-B's don't need to do so. And its only the employers that can do anything.
Posted by Manish  on  06/27  at  06:42 PM

<i>..I am a legal immigrant and its no skin off my back whether we legalize or not</i>

Come again. If you are a person intending to put roots in America rather than economically just passing through, this isn't a "no skin off my teeth" issue regarding illegals and the economic/social implications of mass amnesty to an unknown millions number of illegals.

Brad Schwartze - trying to silence debate by crying racists in order to silence others is so a typical lefty fascist tactic. It doesn't work. Try another tact.


Glad to hear you had it easy, most on the waiting lists don't.
Posted by penny  on  06/27  at  07:20 PM

Rich, when you mention things like "ask a Cherokee Indian what unchecked immigration does to the native population," you are making statements that have been made countless times before. Those statements were constantly proved wrong.

And by the way, there was no concept of "illegal immigration" until quotas came about around 1918. That was around the same time that states like South Dakota were forced to pass laws that banned the everyday use of the German language by the original settlers of the state and their descendants.

And Penny, when you make statements like "The frontier is long over in America where vast spaces need bodies," how does that make you any different than the anti-suburban enviromentalists?
Posted by Brad Schwartze  on  06/27  at  07:30 PM

Brad, get real, sovereign nations all have borders. They all have rules and enforce the who/why/when people can cross their borders as they should, otherwise it's illegal trespassing. Try entering China, France or Mexico with the purpose of squatting for life or taking a job without a visa.

Excuse me, but, we have always had an "illegal" concept in our laws, a trespassing concept in our culture. Your reference to immigration quotas is just stupid.

Your reference to "anti-suburban enviromentalists" is bizarre. I have no idea what you are talking about.

Whatever your lame left poli-sci/history professor fed you too bad you can only spew it back.
Posted by penny  on  06/27  at  07:51 PM

So Penny, did the Chinese who worked on the Union Pacific and other western railroads in the late 19th Century have all their immigration paperwork in order? As far as the environmentalist comment, the arguments they use against suburbia are often the same arguments YOU use against illegal immigration. You know, the arguments about "land being all filled," and "taking up too much resources."
Posted by Brad Schwartze  on  06/27  at  08:01 PM

The bill is about votes and money. The bill will artificially create an initial 12+ million new voters that will grow to 20 to 30 million with ongoing growth from the inevitable chain migration that will recur via judicial action stripping the bill of any enforcement amendments that managed to pass.

Those voters will be beholden to the government for programs and welfare. These new voters will be easily controlled by pandering politicians (predominately Democrats) and activist groups (ie. La Raza). The net effect is a dilution of legitimate lower and middle classes voting power - especially conservatives.

The newly legalized voters will no longer work for the same sub-market level wages so a continued influx of illegal workers will be required - hence the gutless enforcement provisions of the bill. Besides we all know that once the bill becomes law any provisions disliked by La Raza, ACLU, et al, will be rescinded through judicial actions.

We will be left with tens of millions of new voters who are for the greatest part owned by politicians and activist groups; an unabated influx of illegal aliens (that I believe will only grow over time due to the new power structure); and a dismal future for legitimate Americans and their children.

I've followed this bill for some time, read every piece of it that I could, and I can only come to one sickening conclusion: In terms of America's future viability and promise, this bill will have a vastly greater negative effect than did 9/11.

And we have our very own politicians of both parties to blame for the Kennedy/Bush Atrocity of 2007.
Posted by Pragma7  on  06/27  at  08:28 PM

Pragma7 - what we are doing is mass importing a large unskilled lower class in an age when globally skills count. The days of frontier warm bodies needed ended long ago.


Brad Schwartze - give it up. You are stuck on stupid.

Posted by penny  on  06/27  at  09:02 PM

The problem with the bill and the reason it should be rejected is the Senate has chosen to hide it from us rather than sell us on it. The text of the Bill's changes were only made public yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon, to be voted on Thursday. And changes to the published text were still being revised this morning. Has the non-blog reading public read even portions of the text? Has any newspaper published the text? No. Incredible.

Secrecy does not breeed trust.
Posted by Corky Boyd  on  06/27  at  09:22 PM

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