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"Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

By el fauno in Culture
Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 12:00:00 PM EST
Tags: immigration, labor, central america, usa (all tags)

Not so long ago, after a night of heavy drinking during my self-destructive years, I climbed over a chain-link fence and cut both my hands while negotiating the difficult maneuver. Difficult for a drunk young idiot anyway. When my buddies berated me for doing something so dumb instead of just walking 20 feet around, I remember answering "I just wanted to know how it's like for the illegal immigrants."

Last February, I got the chance to really learn what's life like for an illegal in the US. And getting your hands cut is not the worst of it, by the way.

My family and I hail from a Central American country that shall remain undisclosed. Like most of Central America, it is quite a beautiful place. We have paradisiacal weather all year round, colorful culture, and impressive sights such as stirring beaches and stunning volcanoes. Sadly, it's also ridden with rampant violence, deep-seated corruption, and ubiquitous impunity. Standard fare for Latin America, nothing new here. Perhaps not surprisingly, many of my countrymen are lured by the siren song of the obscenely rich neighbors up north. The gargantuan differences in wealth and income are only accentuated by the fact that the richest country in the world is just next door to some of the poorest and most underdeveloped regions Latin America has to offer.

A few years ago, some members of my family decided they should try their luck in the United States. My aunt, uncle and their kids somehow obtained a visitor's visa despite their poor income and many debts, borrowed even more money for airfare, and headed for a cold, eastern state. I never really understood why they should pick such a frigid destination, but that became more clear when I visited them last month.

Thanks to a university degree I've never really had much trouble whenever I've visited the imposing US embassy downtown to apply for a B1/B2 non-immigrant visa. However, that's hardly the case for most people here. Every single day the place is open, lines of 200-plus people form outside the stately building, after having paid the US government a bit over US$100 for the privilege of having their application processed; not a small amount of cash for people living in such an impoverished economy. While I have no access to official figures, judging from people's reactions upon leaving the building I would guess only about 5% of the applicants are granted visitor's access to US soil. Like I said, that's just a guess; it could very well be lower.

Did I say applicants? I may have meant supplicants. One of the reasons I had been reluctant to visit the US in the past years is because I dreaded having to go through the application process yet again. Of course, I realize that due to the sheer amounts of people that apply for a visa, 3 to 4-hour lines are inevitable. Still, I can't help it but feel it a bit humiliating having to sweet-talk a 20-something-year-old who's sitting on the other side of a bulletproof window into letting you visit her country. "Yes, I have enough money for the trip." "Yes, I brought my bank records and the various documents that prove I have a reason to come back home." "No, really, I promise I don't plan on staying there!"

Many people leave the embassy teary-eyed. Perhaps they weren't eloquent enough. Or rich enough, if you want to be cynical about it. However, like I told you my aunt and uncle somehow convinced the officer that they were only going on a short vacation. If only had they known.

And that's why I hadn't seen them in over 5 years. Once they arrived, they disappeared from the radar the best they could. But that doesn't mean they had nothing to do; friends from church had them set up with a place to stay, jobs to do, schools to attend. In fact, the reason they chose such a freezing place is because of the church connections they had there. One thing I realized when I got there is that immigrants tend to form tight groups, usually centered around a common religious belief. That makes sense, of course, since most illegal immigrants don't speak the language, and don't generally trust their fair-haired neighbors. The feeling is mutual, certainly.

Nonetheless, jobs are hard to come by. This is something I learned first hand. Due to increasing crackdowns, fewer employers are taking the risk of hiring undocumented workers. This has led to an increase in people who work with false documentation, or, falling in a grayer area, who use someone else's working papers. And, contrary to what the media would have you believe, at least according to my own observations most of the people who use someone else's ID do so with the consent of the person they impersonate. To do otherwise is just too great of a risk. You can do the math: for about $800 you can "borrow" original papers from a Puerto Rican who isn't planning to visit any of the other US states any time soon, while you can get fake IDs for $100 to $200; not that great of a difference. And, even though I'm not well versed in the legal details, the widespread belief is that there's a much smaller chance of getting caught using borrowed legal documents than using outright fake ones, or even a smaller chance of doing jail time if you're using papers that someone "lent" you with their consent rather than using the ID of someone who doesn't even know what's going on.

Well, once I was there, I decided I wanted to know firsthand what it's like to work in such conditions. My aunt was kind enough to call up the people who usually arranged employment for them, and soon I found myself waiting outside, in the cold, at 4 a.m., for the van to take me to my new gig: an industrial linen service located in another state, even further up north. After a not so short wait I was sitting in a cramped minivan next to various other boisterous Latin Americans, mostly Caribbean folks. Some fifty minutes later, spent enduring the latest in reggaetón music, we arrived at the location: a large warehouse located in a bleak, wintry, almost rural area.

I decided to play it as low-key as I could. I only wanted to observe, and interfere with the normal course of operation as little as possible: I wouldn't let anyone know I spoke English, or that I had a degree, or that I was only doing this out of pure curiosity and that I wasn't really planning to come back to work the next day. After being herded out of our ride and brought into the building we learned what the work consisted of: we were to feed these huge machines. With clothes. As fast as we could. The many machines took various types of garments; some washed them, and some pressed them. As for myself, I was sent away to the kitchen garments detail, to place semi-clean kitchen towels on a conveyor belt so they could be folded, packed, and shipped out to various restaurants in the area.

Frankly, the job was dehumanizing. After what felt like hours but must have been only like 40 minutes, I swear I could feel my brain turning off. It was such a repetitive task: Take a towel. Examine it: is it too dirty, too torn, or not even a towel? There's a bin behind you for each case. If it looks okay, spread it and put it on the conveyor belt, carefully aligned with the markings or it'll get stuck in the machine. Now pick up another one. Do this quickly, because you have a quota: 12 per minute. Which is 5 seconds per garment. And try to make your movements as efficient as possible, because you'll have to do this all day long, and you don't want to get too tired because you'll have to do it again next day. And the next. And the one after that. For $6.25 an hour, before taxes. That is if you're fast enough to get called again.

Not surprisingly, few Americans worked there, and the ones who did were, with a few exceptions, supervisors. After a couple of hours of playing robot as well as I could, my nose got too stuffed up due to the fibers that rose from the not-so-clean towels, so I had to break character and asked my supervisor where the nurse's station was. Oops, my first faux-pas right there. She looked at me with what seemed a concerned look, which -I believe- I rightly interpreted as "Um, actually, there isn't an infirmary in this kind of outfit." Never mind that over 50 people worked there, or that some of the machines could have eaten a person's arm, easy, or that none of us new guys had been given anything that even remotely resembled training. OK, so I backtracked and explained that I merely needed a face mask. And some gloves if they had them, so I'd expose myself to the contaminated towels as little as possible. Sure, she said, and led me to the supplies cabinet.

So now I was the only guy in the place with a mask and gloves on. So much for keeping a low profile. I offered my fellow machine feeders to get them masks of their own, but for reasons unknown to me they politely declined. Maybe, ironically they felt less exposed that way? In any case, the mask helped a lot with my breathing, and the latex gloves were very useful due to the increased traction. Remember, we had a quota: 12 towels per minute. And if you didn't come close to your share, you might not get called again tomorrow. Having no other job opportunities sure is quite the incentive. Very little conversation went on among the workers, who were all very focused on their mechanical tasks.

I broke character once more, at lunch time: I was standing in line to place my cup ramen in the microwave, and well due to not really being all there, since my brain was slow to turn itself back on, I stupidly stood right on the narrow aisle blocking the way of other people. Well, this old, scraggy American guy, instead of tapping my shoulder or saying "Excuse me", just plain pushed me out of the way while saying "The hell you doing in my way!", and walked off muttering something like "It's always the same with these ... [inaudible]."  I got so pissed that I blurted out in English something like "You don't ever touch me again!", and gave him the dirtiest look I could muster. Well, he just looked back with surprised eyes; guess he didn't expect one of the short, brown folks to actually understand what he said, I thought at the time.

Some hours later, back home, my arms were so sore I could barely move them. My relatives said that it's tough on your body the first few days; but that soon you got used to it. I wondered how people's respiratory systems got used to pumping all that crap inside them. To be fair, they said the laundry service work was one of the worst jobs out there and that they avoided it whenever they could ... but also that, increasingly, better gigs were becoming harder and harder to come by. That broke my heart.

And mine is not the only heart broken. Millions have chased a dream of white fences and big trucks parked in nice suburban homes, but got stuck with toilet detail instead. Fortunately I had a life to come back to, but most don't. They've left everything behind, their homeland, their cultures, and many even their families, and have sold off all their belongings in the biggest gamble of their lives just to give their kids a better chance than they ever had. Or merely for the proverbial fistful of dollars. And all this for the privilege of being considered invaders, and if they're lucky getting their papers after a 15-year or longer wait. But is overstaying their welcome a reason to be considered criminals? These folks are usually among the best behaved in their communities, because they know it's only one strike, however small, and they're out.

In closing, let me quote a letter recently published in The New Yorker: "We have created a class-based form of apartheid in which superiority and inferiority are determined not by whether one is white or black, but by whether one is 'legal' or 'illegal'. These oppositions are historical constructions. Capital moves freely about the earth. Why can't labor do the same?"1

Why, indeed?


1. Robert Hinton, Brooklyn, NY


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Your stance on the US immigration debate?
o Send them all back home 31%
o Amnesty for undocumented workers 34%
o Suspend all current deportation processes 20%
o Reform the immigration system 62%
o Who cares about immigrants? There's a war going on! 13%

Votes: 29
Results | Other Polls

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o Also by el fauno

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"Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" | 175 comments (144 topical, 31 editorial, 2 hidden)
on the movement of labor (2.80 / 5) (#2)
by Morally Inflexible on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 11:08:41 PM EST

nationalism makes me giggle for the same reasons racism does; It's those on the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder fighting over who gets to be second-bottom.

Some labor does move freely- not manual labor, of course, but most skilled labor can be done over the internet. It is perfectly legal to hire someone in another country to do work for you over the internet/phone (so long as they stay outside of the US.) I've been on both sides of this sort of outsourcing.

Also, my (short) experience with manual labor was that it sucks, regardless of your work status. Especially if you have soft office-worker hands. I spent about a month of my youth working in a warehouse for around $6.25/hr (in 1997 dollars). (the place I worked at stocked CDs rather than laundry) At that point I decided to go back to computer jobs. (at the time I was still in high school, and most of the windows monkey gigs I could get paid little more.)

stupid (2.00 / 4) (#11)
by j1mmy on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 11:42:14 PM EST

"Capital moves freely about the earth. Why can't labor do the same?"

This is flawed. Capital is subject to taxes, tariffs, exchange rates, banking regulations, etc.

Overly simplistic, yes. But stupid? (2.50 / 2) (#12)
by el fauno on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 11:58:46 PM EST

I guess the point that brooklynite was trying to make is that, even at a cost, you can pretty much move any amount of (legally obtained) money you wish across any borders. However, most people aren't able to legally work in any old country they choose without spending years wading through red tape and, in many cases, spending their lives' savings.

Actually, when I was in the US, I attempted to get a (temporary, even) job in my field, computers. After replying to countless craigslist ads, I came to the realization that no, without papers, I wasn't going to work in an office. Not without the connections, anyway.

And what's sad is that I felt that that, at least in the East Coast, the computer job market is very much in favor of the worker. Oh well, at least I got to have some unique experiences.

[ Parent ]

craigslist is not the place (none / 1) (#13)
by Morally Inflexible on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 12:06:31 AM EST

to find jobs that will get you papers unless you have some really weird skills; I've been trying to do this in the other direction for some time now, and while it is quite easy to get "work from home" type gigs, where location literally doesn't matter, getting someone to go through the red tape has proven difficult.

[ Parent ]
Yes... (2.50 / 4) (#54)
by starX on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 03:07:33 PM EST

An examination of the issue of illegal immigration is tied directly to the word illegal. From a moral and ethical stand point, I don't want criminals living in my country, and "illegals" are just that because they have broken the law by their entry. Deportation is better for me than sending them to prison, as I am not responsible for their upkeep, so  continuing to treat these illegal immigrants as we do seems perfectly justified within the context of modern law.

They've left everything behind, their homeland, their cultures, and many even their families, and have sold off all their belongings in the biggest gamble of their lives just to give their kids a better chance than they ever had.

Anyone who is going to a casino needs to remember that the house always wins. Illegal immigrants choose to subject themselves to slave-labor conditions where they have very few rights.

And all this for the privilege of being considered invaders

They're the ones who jumped the fence. If I break into your house, I'm an intruder, whether I've broken in to fix your sink or to steal your stuff.  Obviously they find some value in this, or they wouldn't do it.

But is overstaying their welcome a reason to be considered criminals?

According to current laws, yes. If you don't like that, work to change the laws.

These folks are usually among the best behaved in their communities, because they know it's only one strike, however small, and they're out.

Fear keeps them in line? Why should we remove the source of that fear?

"We have created a class-based form of apartheid in which superiority and inferiority are determined not by whether one is white or black, but by whether one is 'legal' or 'illegal'. These oppositions are historical constructions.

I like The New Yorker, but it can be a font of ultra liberal claptrap. These historical constructions are founded on the historical construction of the nation state, which is the basis of world politics. The comparison to apartheid is ludicrous: citizens of a nation state have always reserved the right to protect their communal territory from invaders of all sorts. At bottom, that's what these people are.

All that being said, I am in favor of loosening restrictions on foreign born workers, however it needs to happen through the political process, not by authorities who are supposed to be enforcing the laws turning a blind eye. When they do that, the nutcase paramilitary groups start taking the law into their own hands, and that's a situation that no thinking person wants. However, in the current climate of the "War on Terror," and with a government bureaucracy that won't even work within it's own guidelines, it's easier to close the borders than it is to build intelligent entrance mechanisms.

Unfortunately for all concerned, that's not likely to change.

So yes, flawed AND stupid.

"I like you starX, you disagree without sounding like a fanatic from a rock-solid point of view. Highfive." --WonderJoust
[ Parent ]

+1 FP (2.00 / 7) (#16)
by fluxrad on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 01:12:02 AM EST

Well, I completely disagree with the conclusions. But I like your article.

First, manual labor sucks. There's no to ways about it. I've never seen any kind that doesn't. That said, if any of the people working in that laundry have papers and can admin 100+ Linux boxes (apache, postfix, VMWare, etc.) for cheaper than I can, I'm certain my company would love to talk to them. The bottom line is, unskilled labor is paid crap because there are simply innumerable people willing (and able) to do it. Be happy there's a minimum wage, otherwise they'd be paid even less. This is simply market supply meets market demand.

The solution to America's immigration "problem" isn't simply to let anyone in who wants to come. Though the solution probably does lie in allowing more people in generally. That said, I don't think anyone from Central/South America understands the fact that there won't be many more of them coming in even if America opens up its borders more substantially. You fail to realize that Africa and Asia are willing to provide ten times the number of immigrants that Mexico and the like are. One wonders what would happen if we opened our borders and all of the sudden Mexicans found themselves being undercut in the labor market by cheap Egyptian or Sudanese labor.


"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
Good points there (2.80 / 5) (#23)
by el fauno on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 10:04:38 AM EST

Of course, I had not realized I had imprinted "conclusions" on my article. In truth, I don't think I've my own mind made up about the "problem".

Believe it or not, I do not advocate opening up the borders. I'm sorry if that's the logical conclusion upon reading my story; that's my failing as the writer. Particularly, I don't think anyone who wants to get in the US should be able to do so without some kind of process.

Take my family: I wish they hadn't been given visitors' visas. If they hadn't, they'd be here with us, and I believe in a better situation. My oldest cousin was in his first year of med school, now, he drives trucks from coast to coast. Yes, he's making more money than he ever would even as a doctor here, but as many of us have come to realize as we get older, money isn't everything. There is this little thing called "quality of life".. and well being a doctor anywhere is, imo, a more rewarding life path than driving all day, every day. Or my younger cousins: they were allowed to attend high school, but college? Sorry. Maybe with someone else's papers, and a lot of cash. I do believe that they would be better off if only they had organized their life, spent a few more years paying off their debts (which they were able to do relatively quickly by now).

But the siren song is loud. You wouldn't believe how loud. I remember once reading here in K5 a few years ago something like "Canada's culture is but a poor imitation of the American 'culture', which permeates life here like a stale fart." Well, that's only more true in Latin America. Cable TV, which can be found in most homes with a television, is a huge influence. Plus, there are the many many tales of people who've gone "al norte" and are richer beyond what they ever imagined. Of course, the stories are usually exaggerated; I mean, the relatives left behind aren't about to bad-mouth their emigrados, now are they?

Just because I quoted that guy from the New Yorker doesn't mean that I agree 100% with what he says. But I do agree in that labor should be able to move more freely. What I would advocate is having the US government recognize that, like it or not,
American economy is dependent on cheap labor from immigrants. It can be argued that's always been the case.

But why not allow qualified labor in? I mean, with a more expedite process. As it is right now, a skilled worker can be sponsored by a company for working papers, but something I recently found out is that the sponsored worker has to stay at least the 3 first years with the sponsor. I'm not so dumb anymore that I would call that 'exploitation', since it's voluntary after all, but it does make for a, how to put it, stiffer, more rigid, labor market. Wouldn't the US benefit from allowing educated folks in? At least more easily. During my experience, I learned that the vast majority of American workers are not skilled, at least not highly, or technically.

And speaking of the 100 plus linux boxen, just off the top of my head I can think of 5, 6 guys I know who'd be willing to admin them for less than what they pay you. The thing is the process is so complicated and convoluted that they simply won't bother. And that's bad for the US economy, I believe.

Thanks for your kind words re: the story. I just wanted to share the eye-opening adventure I experienced. But the issue is not a simple one, I know. Hopefully, many (many!) years from now humanity will be able to look back on the times when there were still borders, and think of them as barbaric, in the same way as we look back on forced labor and overt, government-sanctioned racism.

[ Parent ]

illegal immigration (2.28 / 7) (#19)
by circletimessquare on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 06:50:22 AM EST

is all well and good until the next severe economic downturn

it's one thing for a teenager to lose a gardening job to an illegal, it's another thing for a breadwinner from a family to have to compete with illegals for a job that puts food on his family's table

at which point, it's round 'em up and ship 'em back

and it's not like the northern lands of milk and honey will be so rosey if the economy tanks. it will be grim and jobless for the illegals

but until the economy tanks, if the majority of the population doesn't feel threatened, no big fucking deal. as long as the illegals are working (usa) and not sitting on the stoop all day (france) then the general population will tolerate it

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Quite frankly (none / 1) (#27)
by GhostOfTiber on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 10:47:14 AM EST

My family enjoys mexican food (made with real mexicans).

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne
[ Parent ]

huh (3.00 / 3) (#32)
by khallow on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 12:12:53 PM EST

But isn't that a bit gamey?

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

that's one way to stop illegal immigration: (3.00 / 3) (#42)
by circletimessquare on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 02:04:30 PM EST

"come to america!"


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

it's hard to know where you stand (2.66 / 3) (#38)
by el fauno on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 01:42:36 PM EST

Sometimes, you come across as an immigrant-friendly liberal kind of guy. Then you spout stuff like round'emup! ship'emback!

Anyway, if capitalist theory is to be believed, ultimately everyone will be better off by having the jobs covered in the most economical way possible. Of course, capitalist theory is not the same as reality. But consider, those people who leave your regular Joe without a job were themselves denied the opportunity to work, by someone cheaper than them back in their native country.

And, tell me, is that Joe somehow more entitled as a human to not starve than the guy who just got off the boat? If you look at it in absolute terms, considering the whole of humanity, you can't really argue that one human can have more rights than another just because he was luckier in the where-you-get-born lottery.

Just because it's the way things are right now doesn't mean that it's fair. But grim reality is what it is, and things rarely change, sometimes they do but only over the course of decades or centuries. I hope that one day humanity will look back upon the times there were borders as inhumane. Fat chance of that happening, though.

[ Parent ]

who are you criticising? (2.00 / 3) (#41)
by circletimessquare on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 02:03:41 PM EST

the north or the south?

what about the country where the illegals came from. doesn't that country deserve any criticism for having a horrendous economy forcing its citizens out in the first place?

if you want to solve illegal immigration, you don't start in washington dc

you start in teguchigalpa, in medellin, in san salvador

if anyone is deserving of any criticism about immigration, it is the failed policies of the countries the people come from

if the country the people were coming from had good policies, no one would want to leave in the first place!

the northern countries that take in the economic refugees are 100% free of criticism: they are aiding people under stress. there is nothing to criticize in the north. it is the south that must be criticized

so who are you criticising?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Both (3.00 / 2) (#46)
by el fauno on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 02:27:47 PM EST

The blunt of the blame is to be placed on the countries where life is presumably so unbearable that people want to leave everything behind for the chance to live as pariahs in a country that doesn't want them but will at least allow them to not starve to death, to be sure.

But that's a derail. That's ok, we can take the discussion in that direction if you wish, I also dislike sticking to one topic. However, what I was arguing is that it is basically unfair to presume that one given individual has more rights than another to all the world has to offer, simply because his birthplace happened to be Stockholm rather than Managua. What would you say to that?

And the part about 'aiding people under stress'? You make it sound so humanitarian, like it's somehow because of the good of the employers' hearts that these illegal immigrants get jobs. It's not. It's a basic economic transaction: I have what you want, you have what I want. Tit for tat. A humanitarian gesture would be an amnesty for undocumented workers, for example (not that I'm advocating one, to be clear). But as it is, if illegal immigrants continue to populate the US and various other industrialized countries it's because they have something to offer (their dirt-cheap labor), not because of the charitable nature of their richer neighbors.

[ Parent ]

reality versus idealism (2.00 / 2) (#47)
by circletimessquare on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 02:45:42 PM EST

first, i agree with you 100% that all humans are equal and the ideal is a world without any borders

now reality

say the usa was going to merge with latin america, with the new capital of the transamerican country being in yucatan, for example (a first step to no more countries, like the eu: dissolve nations into regional governments)

ok, now the usa says to el salvador: "we are one country now, so we have to share a common set of laws about commerce, #1..."

el salvador: "who are you you imperialist american pig who is going to tell el salvador how to conduct it's business?"

usa: "well i'm not taking any of your tomatoes unless it adheres to my inspection guidelines"

el salvador: "neocolonial asshole! el salvador will not have its pride insulted by you!"

etc., etc., etc.

and it's not even a made up storyline above: go look at windbag chavez in caracas. he's riding antimaericanism to a populist high, backed up by high oil prices... that feeds the very country he rails against, meaning the biggest chavez supporters are americans filling up their automobiles with venezuelan gas. how weird the world is

the point is, no borders is the dream, but in a world populated with human beings, who are full of blind pride, and egos, and different sets of values (how, for example, is saudi arabia and the netherlands going to get along peacefully, considering the most conservative and the most liberal areas of the world), the dream stays a dream

nationalism is a curse, but just saying "nationalsims is wrong, it creates borders across which injusitce and people starve" is nice, but to actually CHANGE that reality you are fighting huge forces which will take centuries to dissolve until we reach that promised land

of course, that is the direction to go in, but we are millions of miles away from cleaning up that injustice which is nationalism

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Oh, yeah (2.66 / 3) (#57)
by el fauno on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 03:16:56 PM EST

It is a huge momentum to fight against. Truth be told, I don't think people's egos and fears will ever be won over and borders abolished. But yeah, it is the ideal. And, why not, worth fighting for.

The thing is, decent Latin Americans are different in few ways from their US counterparts. I'm guessing you know this.

And lol, "neocolonial asshole!" Really, I laughed out loud. That's just so close to how it would actually go down.

You mentioned the antiamerican sentiment prevalent across the "south". Oh yeah, it's true, there's a lot of that. But it's mixed with the love for all things American, all over Latin America, and within the same individuals. It's a hate/love relationship that stems from envy. I guess Latin America sees the US as the cool rich kid in class, that everyone wants to be like and wants to be friends with, and therefore loves the guy but at the same time utterly despises his guts.

And don't even get me started on that Chávez clown. Just goes to show that when it comes to uneducated voters, populism will take you places.

[ Parent ]

nunca dejar nos olvidarse (none / 1) (#73)
by circletimessquare on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 07:04:16 PM EST

a pesar de toda la xenofobia en el norte, y todo el demagogues en el sur, que seguimos siendo todos los seres humanos, mi buen amigo

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
In France (3.00 / 2) (#92)
by Wen Jian on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 07:52:03 AM EST

The vast majority are not actually illegal. They just get treated like they are.
It was an experiment in lulz. - Rusty
[ Parent ]
Criminal Capitalists and Their Slave Labor ... (2.00 / 12) (#20)
by Peahippo on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 07:33:27 AM EST

... is a love affair that we can't afford.

El Fauno said: «[J]obs are hard to come by. This is something I learned first hand. Due to increasing crackdowns, fewer employers are taking the risk of hiring undocumented workers.»

Oh, STOP. You'll have me in fucking TEARS. Oh, the crackdowns! How horrible! If only labor could be a mobile as capital?

Could I follow my fucking job when it went to India? No? NO. Then fuck you and your LatiMobility sentiments. You're just another squirrel trying to get a nut for yourself while everyone else can just fuck right the hell off. The concept of national sovereignty doesn't just fly out the window if it proves inconvenient for a capitalist and his belly-crawlingly-poor labor prospects.

Americans would do that towel-sorting job if the employer was forced by national circumstances to pay the real price of the labor. PERIOD. It's long since time to start tossing these capitalist criminals right into pound-me-in-the-ass prison for a few rounds with Bubba's veiny torpedo.

Umm, ok (2.83 / 6) (#25)
by el fauno on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 10:31:24 AM EST

Allow me to bite:

First, I meant "jobs for undocumented workers". Of course jobs everywhere are hard to come by. But try getting work without papers. Scrubbing toilets will be one of your best choices.

Look, I'm sorry your job got outsourced to India (if that's even true). Really, I am. I've been left without a job before because they gave it to someone cheaper. I didn't keep a grudge; it's just capitalism after all. But what does that have to do with anything I wrote?

And fuck me and my "LatiMobility" sentiments? Oy. Profanity is the resort of those not eloquent. But don't worry, I've been insulted worse before, and not only by slashdot trolls. But did I advocate somewhere something that could be called "latimobility"? What does that even mean?

Look, I'm not for opening up the borders. Not right away, anyway. But skilled workers who are offered a job? Why can't they easily relocate? What reason could possibly be proferred for not letting in your country someone who's willing to do a job that no one around is even qualified to do? In my opinion, xenophobia is not morally justified.

And finally, if you had ever spent a night in prison, you wouldn't be joking about ass-poundings. Trust me on this one: rape makes for poor, juvenile humor.

[ Parent ]

what are you trying to say? (2.00 / 2) (#31)
by khallow on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 12:11:38 PM EST

Look, I'm not for opening up the borders. Not right away, anyway. But skilled workers who are offered a job? Why can't they easily relocate? What reason could possibly be proferred for not letting in your country someone who's willing to do a job that no one around is even qualified to do? In my opinion, xenophobia is not morally justified.

I don't get this. The US already has H1B visas in the hypothetical situation you describe. I dislike that program for other reasons, but it does adequately cover special labor that somehow cannot be found in the US.

And xenophobia is justified on practical and evolutionary grounds. The US has a huge investment in infrastructure at the physical, legal, political, and social levels. That's why someone fresh off the boat can earn considerably more than they could in most Third World countries. There's no reason to bring in people who don't demonstrate willingness to preserve that infrastructure.

The problem is that immigrants who show up routinely naturally want things to be like they were at home. That's what they know and are accustomed to. That's not a real problem if you came from the EU or Japan which in places are even better than the US. But we have good reason not to run things like they are run in Third World countries. Uncontrolled immigration means that you end up with massive populations from these other countries who will eventually be able to vote and who have little understanding of how the US works or why it is so wealthy.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Oh, the H1B visas (2.25 / 4) (#37)
by el fauno on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 01:31:58 PM EST

They're simply not enough. I remember reading somewhere, slashdot I believe, that there were more still to be covered IT positions in the US each year than H1B slots available. And that's just IT. I may be wrong, I'm not afraid to admit that I don't know everything, but still the process is a long, gruesome one, taking more than 15 years to be completed.

Xenophobia. You justify it. That's ok, you can be xenophobic all you want. But I just refuse to believe those are the ideals the US was founded on, the same ideals that led to the US government putting up that plaque on the base of the Statue of Liberty. You know, the one I quote in this story's title.

But yeah, I agree with you in that people who come from a crappier place will inevitably increase the crappiness level. However, that's true for everywhere. It's too bad, I know. I see it here at home, my own neighborhood has been overrun with people from outside the city, and well I'll just say that the value of homes has gone down. But simply putting up gates is not an effective solution, at least not in the long term. I don't know what the solution is either, but that doesn't mean we should stop looking for one.

And about "opening the borders not right away". I do hope that someday there will be no more borders. It's an ideal. Just as I hope that someday humanity will live without the fear of world-obliterating warfare. Not likely to happen, I know. But I want to still believe in humanity, in that the good in all of us will eventually outshine our selfishness. As it is right now, it's basically a lottery. Your destiny as a human is determined mostly by where you had the good or bad luck to be born. That's certainly unfair, but yeah, it's the way it is. But just because it's the status quo doesn't mean that we shouldn't strive for something better, right?

I may sound like an idealist, but in truth I'm quite cynical. I don't really believe any of this will happen, but I'd like to believe it's possible. Know what I mean?

[ Parent ]

Founders' sentiments vs. Emma Lazarus (none / 1) (#48)
by kurobots are funny on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 02:46:15 PM EST

With equal pleasure I have as often taken notice that Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people -- a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who, by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established general liberty and independence.
John Jay

About Emma Lazarus:

Emma Lazarus  was a fourth-generation American, a member of New York's Sephardic Jewish community (described in Stephen Birmingham's The Grandees),  a philanthropist interested in aid to Russian Jewish refugees persecuted by the Czar. (Russia was an evil empire even while they still had Emperors.) She supported the immigration of Russian Jews to America, then as now, the least anti-Semitic country on Earth.

She wrote "The New Colossus" for the Bartholdi Pedestal Fund in 1883, before the statue was erected ("Here at our sea-washed sunset gates shall stand, etc"), but it was not inscribed on a plaque inside the statue's pedestal until 1903.

By who, you ask? The statue, not, as I've pointed out a government project, had been administered by first the Lighthouse Bureau, and then it was transferred to the War Department. Could it be the local authorities who asked the War Department to put this plaque there? And do either the War Department or the Lighthouse Bureau set immigration policy?

This whole thing is very strange. Imagine a hypothetical foreign country with immigration problems explaining its policy this way: "We used to have sensible immigration laws, but someone built this damn statue." You'd think they were mad.

It turns out that the tablet was the gift of Georgina Schuyler, a New York philanthropist who was a friend of Emma Lazarus', but who didn't even know about the sonnet until she found it in a bookshop years after Emma Lazarus' death.

Georgina Schuyler was descended from the Dutch founders of New York, and was a direct descendant of Alexander Hamilton. She didn't consecrate this tablet to the concept of unrestricted immigration but rather "in loving memory of Emma Lazarus."

The Statue of Liberty didn't become an official national monument until 1924. Bedloe's Island (renamed Liberty Island in 1956), is Federal territory, "the former site of a quarantine station and harbor fortifications."

(Immigration skeptics note: Both quarantine stations and harbor fortifications are designed to protect America from the world, rather than promiscuously admit it.)


The "ideal" of immigration doesn't, therefore, go back to Plymouth Rock, or 1776.

Not even 1886, when the statue was erected. You could ask Frederick Bartholdi.

Immigration Myths (contd.): The Statue of Immigration, or Liberty Inviting the World

[ Parent ]
Fascinating (none / 0) (#51)
by el fauno on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 03:01:15 PM EST

Thanks for sharing this (some of which can be found in the wikipedia article I'd linked to before, btw).

But yeah, I guess you could argue that the plaque is in direct opposition to the sentiment of the country. After all, people quickly forget their roots. For example, I have relatives who live legally in the US, and well their sentiment is anti-immigrant as well. Some even went so far as to vote "yes" on Proposition 187, having so soon forgotten how they got in the country in the first place.

[ Parent ]

I don't think they forget (none / 1) (#94)
by Cro Magnon on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 08:27:58 AM EST

They probably remember quite well all the stuff they went through to get here LEGALLY and they get pissed off when they see millions of people swarming across the border without going through proper channels.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Originalize This! (none / 1) (#157)
by postDigital on Sun Apr 01, 2007 at 07:17:07 AM EST

You've got your founders, and I've got mine.

The fallacy in attempting to justify an anti-immigration argument using the Founders becomes very transparent by simply investigating the concept of expatriation as a Natural Right. If it were not considered to be a Natural Right by the Founders, then they could not have justified the expatriation of English citizens living in the American Colonies as being a rightful act in The Declaration of Independence. The use of America's Founders for opposing immigration requires slippery and devious convolutions regarding original intent, because of this.

The opinion of Supreme Court Justice James Iredell in Talbot v. Janson, 1795, has an interesting description regarding the right of expatriation:

"This involves the great question as to the right of expatriation, upon which so much has been said in this cause. Perhaps it is not necessary it should be explicitly decided on this occasion; but I shall freely express my sentiments on the subject. [p162] That a man ought not to be a slave; that he should not be confined against his will to a particular spot, because he happened to draw his first breath upon it; that he should not be compelled to continue in a society to which he is accidentally attached, when he can better his situation elsewhere, much less when he must starve in one country, and may live comfortably in another: are positions which I hold as strongly as any man, and they are such as most nations in the world appear clearly to recognize."

Justice Iredell later admitted that this right may not actually be absolute, and that his description was his general perception of this natural right.

John Jay was indeed a founder, First Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and a Governor of New York. He was not a signaotry on the Declaration of Independence though, and amusingly, given the rationale for this citation, his descendants were French Huguenots, which devalues its usage here. Also noteworthy is that there is no mention of the right of expatriation, which many Founders clearly considered to be a Natural Right, and as mentioned previously, was certainly implied by the Declaration of Independence. If the right of expatriation was indeed a Natural Right in the Founders eyes, then playing by the rules of Conservatism's "Original Intent" doctrine, freedom of immigration is a right which exists without the reach of a legitimate government's actions. Without further context, and or citations, Jay's statement cited here could just as easily be an argument for immigrants' assimilation by society, which is entirely different from an anti-immigration argument, which you are attempting to support with this citation.

With this in mind, I call and raise your John Jay with three Thomas Jeffersons. The first two citation are from:

Thomas Jefferson's Autobiography as published in
"The Writings of Thomas Jefferson; Definitive Edition"
Albert Ellery Bergh, Editor
Copyright, 1905, By The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association
Volume 1

"Being elected one for my own county, I prepared a draught of instructions to be given to the delegates whom we should send to the Congress, which I meant to propose at our meeting. In this I took the ground that, from the beginning, I had thought the only one orthodox or tenable, which was, that the relation between Great Britain and these colonies was exactly the same as that of England and Scotland, after the accession of James, and until the union, and the same as her present relations with Hanover, having the same executive chief, but no other necessary political connection ; and that our emigration from England to this country gave her no more rights over us, than the emigrations of the Danes and Saxons gave to the present authorities of the mother country, over England. In this doctrine, however, I had never been able to get any one to agree with me but Mr. Withe. He concurred in it from the first dawn of the question, What was the political relation between us and England? Our other patriots, Randolph, the Lees, Nicholas, Pendleton, stopped at the half-way house of John Dickinson, who admitted that England had a right -to regulate our commerce, and to lay duties on it for the purposes of regulation, but not of raising revenue. But for this ground there was no foundation in compact, in any acknowledged principles of colonization, nor in reason: expatriation being a natural right, and acted on as such, by all nations, in all ages." - pp10,11

"Early in the session of May, '79, I prepared, and obtained leave to bring in a bill, declaring who should be deemed citizens, asserting the natural right of expatriation, and prescribing the mode of exercising it. This, when I withdrew from the House, on the 1st of June following, I left in the hands of George Mason, and it was passed on the 26th of that month." - p 60

The third Jefferson citation is a letter To Dr. John Manners, June 12, 1817 as published in:

The Writings of Thomas Jefferson; Definitive Edition
Albert Ellery Bergh, Editor
Copyright, 1905, By The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association
Volume XV; pp 124,125

"My opinion on the right of Expatriation has been, so long ago as the year 1776, consigned to record in the act of the Virginia code, drawn by myself, recognizing the right expressly, and prescribing the mode of exercising it. The evidence of this natural right, like that of our right to life, liberty, the use of our faculties, the pursuit of happiness, is not left to the feeble and sophistical investigations of reason, but is impressed on the sense of every man. We do not claim these under the charters of kings or legislators, but under the King of kings. If he has made it a law in the nature of man to pursue his own happiness, he has left him free in the choice of place as well as mode ; and we may safely call on the whole body of English jurists to produce the map on which Nature has traced, for each individual, the geographical line which she forbids him to cross in pursuit of happiness. It certainly does not exist in his mind. Where, then, is it? I believe, too, I might safely affirm, that there is not another nation, civilized or savage, which has ever denied this natural right. I doubt if there is another which refuses its exercise. I know it is allowed in some of the most respectable countries of continental Europe, nor have I ever heard of one in which it was not. How it is among our savage neighbors, who have no law but that of Nature, we all know."

All of this is tempered a bit by the US Constitution Article 1, Section 8:

Clause 1: The Congress shall have Power...
Clause 4: To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization...

Although establishing a uniform rule for Naturalization is a far far cry from an expressed power to deny the right of expatriation.

[ Parent ]
English, motherfucker, you know the rest (none / 1) (#161)
by kurobots are funny on Mon Apr 02, 2007 at 06:33:45 PM EST

Although establishing a uniform rule for Naturalization is a far far cry from an expressed power to deny the right of expatriation.

Do you know what "expatriation" means?

Saying someone has a right to leave his country and change his allegiance is not the same saying everyone has a right to immigrate to America.

Familiarize yourself with the Naturalization Act of 1795.

IF we want to let someone become a naturalized American, their old country has no say in the matter. That is what "right of expatriation" means. It doesn't mean a central American can just up and decide to waddle across the Rio Grande to work illegally in the U.S. while remaining loyal to its homeland, with Americans having no say in the matter.

More relevant quotes from Thomas Jefferson:

"[Is] rapid population [growth] by as great importations of foreigners as possible... founded in good policy?... They will bring with them the principles of the governments they leave, imbibed in their early youth; or, if able to throw them off, it will be in exchange for an unbounded licentiousness, passing, as is usual, from one extreme to another. It would be a miracle were they to stop precisely at the point of temperate liberty. These principles, with their language, they will transmit to their children. In proportion to their number, they will share with us the legislation. They will infuse into it their spirit, warp and bias its direction, and render it a heterogeneous, incoherent, distracted mass... If they come of themselves, they are entitled to all the rights of citizenship: but I doubt the expediency of inviting them by extraordinary encouragements." --Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.VIII, 1782. ME 2:118

"I mean not that these doubts should be extended to the importation of useful artificers. The policy of that measure depends on very different considerations. Spare no expense in obtaining them. They will after a while go to the plough and the hoe; but in the meantime, they will teach us something we do not know." --Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.VIII, 1782. ME 2:121

"A first question is, whether it is desirable for us to receive at present the dissolute and demoralized handicraftsmen of the old cities of Europe? A second and more difficult one is, when even good handicraftsmen arrive here, is it better for them to set up their trade, or go to the culture of the earth? Whether their labor in their trade is worth more than their labor on the soil, increased by the creative energies of the earth?" --Thomas Jefferson to J. Lithgow, 1805. ME 11:56

"Although as to other foreigners it is thought better to discourage their settling together in large masses, wherein, as in our German settlements, they preserve for a long time their own languages, habits, and principles of government, and that they should distribute themselves sparsely among the natives for quicker amalgamation, yet English emigrants are without this inconvenience. They differ from us little but in their principles of government, and most of those (merchants excepted) who come here, are sufficiently disposed to adopt ours." --Thomas Jefferson to George Flower, 1817. ME 15:140

[ Parent ]

dude..mf?..you ignorant asshole (none / 0) (#162)
by postDigital on Tue Apr 03, 2007 at 08:30:01 AM EST

Maybe if you would have actually investigated the word, expatriation, instead of spewing a mindless insult, you could have decreased your innumerable prejudices. I took it easy on you, but see that meant nothing. Ok, I'll play.

From Wordnet served from Princeton dot edu, the second definition for expatriation is:

(n) emigration, out-migration, (migration from a place (especially migration from your native country in order to settle in another))

This was of course transparent from my cite of a Justice James Iredell decision, yet ironically you challenged my comprehension of the English Language.

Here have another cite from an early post American Revolution Judicial decision. This one was penned by William H. Cabell, who sat on the Virginia State Appellate back when they still exercised a great deal of control over our judicial process:

"Nature has given to all men the right of relinquishing the society in which birth or accident may have thrown them; and of seeking subsistence and happiness elsewhere; and it is believed that this right of emigration, or expatriation, is one of those 'inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive, or devest their posterity.'"

That's straight from the originalist fount and it states that the term expatriation is synonymous with emigration as well as being a Natural Right.

I gave you the benefit of the doubt with the VDARE citation in your post at the start of this subthread's fork, as they hide their racist swill very well, pretending it is just an anti-immigration site, and you may have been duped. Given your insulting reply, I believe the issue of of whether you are a pitiful rube or a racist asshole is no longer germane, because even if it's the first case, you've been affected by palovian behaviour mods.

Still I'm curious which case applies. Are you a vacuous salivating dog under external control, or just a hate breeding swine? There is an off chance though, I am way off of the mark, and you'll redeem yourself with a proper response.

Until then you'll be categorised: an otiose slack-jawed nazi's girlieboy slut.

[ Parent ]
So your rebuttal is you knew you were making a (none / 1) (#164)
by kurobots are funny on Tue Apr 03, 2007 at 01:07:50 PM EST

specious argument? Quit wasting my time, bitch.

[ Parent ]
preponderate vacuity (none / 0) (#165)
by postDigital on Wed Apr 04, 2007 at 09:51:51 AM EST

My point was that a definition of expatriation is synonymous to immigration, the modern usage in that context is hardly used, but in post colonial America it was the understood definition, especially with individuals who believed in the pre-eminence of natural rights.

My first response to you wasn't provocative, other than the title; still you escalated with the mother fucker and i replied in kind.

Continue on with your beliefs if you wish, but my first argument is not specious: anyone attempting to ground ardent anti-immigration policies in original intent is basing their thoughts of fallacy.

In the case of VDARE, they extend it further, it is always stated in terms mighty white, but polite, but look around, click a few authors' bio links, and you'll shortly arrive at some nasty places on the web.

The immigration argument can be distilled down to one point; whether you believe in what was stated at our country's very foundation, positing as self-evident truths that all humans are created equal, and endowed with what they perceive to be the creative power with inalienable rights, and that three of these rights of significance worthy of special citation are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, or whether you no longer believe in the Dreamtime America.

No American can escape this, we all must choose.

and btw, don;'t take my posts personal; i often am compelled by other motivations, and on sites which possess healthy google JuJu such as kuro5hin, I am usually considering future implications.

If you're fond of Jefferson though, and do not know, the complete Definitive Edition, Albert Ellery Bergh, editor, which I cited in my first post is available in text files from the constitution dot org.

[ Parent ]

Wait a sec... (none / 1) (#170)
by localman on Fri Apr 20, 2007 at 11:57:01 AM EST

Wasn't US immigration basically a free-for-all until 1891?  And from then until 1921 or so pretty darn open, refusing only people who couldn't pay the 50 cents or were otherwise serious trouble?

And those immigrants who came before the clampdown built most of the infrastructure and economy that we enjoy today, right?

[ Parent ]

there was that brief time (none / 0) (#171)
by postDigital on Sun May 06, 2007 at 02:25:01 PM EST

In 1798, the Federalists under John Adams, having become terrorised at the thought of 'French' influences infecting America, enacted the Alien and Sedition Acts, which was quickly opposed in The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions. This was a main reason for Jefferson's election to US President. History has vilified the Alien and Sedition Acts to the point that even the Present-Day NeoConnivers of the Bush Administration don't dare to invoke it as precedent for their unconstitutional overreaches. That says a lot, when considering that these same persons, who claim to be 'conservatives', ground their justifications for the Bush Tyranny in the antithesis of 20th Century American Conservatism, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

I am not familiar with Early 20th Century US immigration policies, but what you stated seems to fit with my limited knowledge. All I was stating is that anyone who attempts to justify current anti-immigration legislation upon the bedrock of Conservative theory, original intent, is a liar and/or a fool.

[ Parent ]
said on /. != must be true (none / 1) (#98)
by khallow on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 10:08:34 AM EST

They're simply not enough. I remember reading somewhere, slashdot I believe, that there were more still to be covered IT positions in the US each year than H1B slots available. And that's just IT. I may be wrong, I'm not afraid to admit that I don't know everything, but still the process is a long, gruesome one, taking more than 15 years to be completed.

There are businesses complaining about that (Microsoft being a great example). But it doesn't mean it's true. I haven't been keeping track, but last I heard the average length of a career in high tech for a US resident (or perhaps citizen) was seven years. It chews through people pretty fast. Course, I heard that on slashdot too...

But that jibes with my limited experience in the industry back around 2000. H1Bs are cheaper to employ than US residents. So there are some shops with a very high H1B fraction. I worked in one shop where there were about 80% people from India in the programming side of mixed quality. It was a great place to work, but when the parent company canceled the program, they laid most of them off. I assume those who didn't transfer to another part of the company or manage to pick up a green card ended up back in India.

In comparison, most of the US citizen employees either weren't programmers (we had a marketing group which was virtually all US citizens including the only token black male who impressed me as one of the most competent of the lot), had some sort of pseudomanagement position (eg, were "architects" or "research associates", that sort of thing), had a couple of years to go to retirement, or were contractors (the contractors were US citizens except for a extremely well qualified Brit tossed in). I was unusual in that I was just a programmer of relatively modest credentials and talent, and born in the US.

I knew a bunch of contractors including the ones at the place where I worked. Most of those were out of Silicon Valley within two years after the dotcom bubble burst. Out of seven that I knew pretty well, only two were still there in 2002-2003.

My take is that the high tech industry is rough enough that US citizens stay away from it. I think it's a combination of immigration and cushy jobs elsewhere. But it's not a result of some sort of skills shortage in the IT industry. The skills are out there (or for that matter can be trained), but industry doesn't want to pay what it'd have to pay to get US citizens to work. And the US populace continues to vigorous resist any attempts to make US labor cheaper (eg, reduce the amount of medical benefits, Social Security, etc).

A world without boundaries would be an interesting place. This appears to be the fastest way to wither away nations, if the US is any example. There used to be high identification of the citizen with the state they live in. This even lead in part to the Civil War which from the US point of view was the most costly war we fought in. Now one can hop around from state to state very trivially. Once the EU goes to a similar scheme, that'll be the begining of the end for the nations that constitute it.

But even in such a world, I see a reasonable place for xenophobic societies. Perhaps societies with tight controls on who can enter can be better societies. I think of Japan in particular. At the least, they can provide examples of how not to do things for the rest of the world.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

H1B Backfire (none / 1) (#169)
by localman on Fri Apr 20, 2007 at 11:49:26 AM EST

As is so often the case with the government intervention in markets, H1B's often create more problems than they solve.  I know of several cases where people who came on H1B's were payed a substantially lower wage because the H1B limited their employment mobility.  Even if you don't care about the immigrants this should still worry you because it means that companies are incentivized to get H1B's instead of US citizens.  And so they do: they falsly represent that they must hire immigrants, and then use the program as a form of servitude to drive down labor costs.

[ Parent ]
Honest question (none / 1) (#168)
by localman on Fri Apr 20, 2007 at 11:43:30 AM EST

And xenophobia is justified on practical and evolutionary grounds. The US has a huge investment in infrastructure at the physical, legal, political, and social levels.

I'm not sure why people who happen to be born in this country are considered to have earned the rights to that infrastructure.  I mean, sure we can't have everyone in the world live in the US but why draw the line at where you happened to pop out?  It just seems arbitrary.

On some level, one could consider immigrants (illegal or otherwise) might be on average more ambitious and industrious than the average human, but virtue of them having taken steps to change their environment.

I guess I'm just saying that none of us individually "earned" the wonderful success of our nation.  So what is the best way to choose who gets to benefit?


[ Parent ]

College Degree? Sheesh. Get Your Money Back. (1.37 / 8) (#33)
by Peahippo on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 12:13:25 PM EST

'El Fucko' said: «I meant "jobs for undocumented workers". Of course jobs everywhere are hard to come by. But try getting work without papers. Scrubbing toilets will be one of your best choices.»

I'm still bawling my goddamn eyes out. There are tens of millions of these "undocumented workers" (i.e. illegal aliens and illegal immigrants). They have infested America and have flooded into every nook and cranny where there's a scumbag fucking capitalist whose respect for the law ends when it touches his wallet, his Christianity, his Whiteness, and his outright Imperialism. Yeah, it REALLY sounds like there are a lot of barriers. BULLSHIT. The problem is so large that we've effectively been invaded.

'El Fucko' said: «[I]t's just capitalism after all. But what does that have to do with anything I wrote?»

Because that's the modern form of capitalism, which I call "Hypercapitalism". It's done without any social or government controls whatsoever, and is ruled only by greed. THAT is what it has to do with what you wrote. The enabling of illegal alien/immigrant labor (among other things) is being done to support Hypercapitalism. If capitalists weren't such scum nowadays, there just wouldn't be such a problem. Central America also wouldn't be so fucking poor, since it's been impoverished BY Hypercapitalism. You claim to be educated. Thus, you MUST know that the modern form of capitalism doesn't BUILD wealth at all ... instead, it redistributes it from the many to the few. Hypercapitalism CREATES poverty. THAT is what happened to Central America, and in fact to virtually every poor nation on Earth ... which are only so depressingly poor now since the Great War of the Rich Against the Poor really picked up a head of steam in the 1960s.

Capitalism is the problem. Regulation and Populist government are part of the solution. Unfortunately, those are in an increasingly shorter supply, barring exceptions like Venezuela and Bolivia (which in themselves are not stable examples of Populism since they rely on strongmen).

'El Fucko' said: «And fuck me and my "LatiMobility" sentiments?»

Yes, that's right, Chum. FUCK YOU ... fuck you and your concern for Latino labor mobility over MY RIGHT to have a sovereign nation with a secure border. Fuck your LatiMobility right up your stupid anus. Give me a few more years and I'll have your illegal-ass class completely kicked out of here. You can't expect me to somehow respect your LatiMobility if you're doing it on the back of a complete contempt for the law of the United States.

'El Fucko' said: «[D]id I advocate somewhere something that could be called "latimobility"? What does that even mean?»

Contraction of "Latino-Mobility". That was just obvious since "Latino" sounds like the "Lati-Mo" fragment. Get with the program, Sparky. Spanish isn't the official language of America yet (and it will never be, if I have anything to say about it).

'El Fucko' said: «Look, I'm not for opening up the borders. Not right away, anyway.»

In other words, you're for opening up the borders. Sorry. I have a rifle, you have a head, and I'll defend those borders if and when it comes to that. Kevlar makes a poor helmet, so it's not like you're going to survive that one. Take the hint and stay away if you can't be bothered to obey the law of the United States. Apply for entry as the law requires and get the fuck out when your time is up. Note you can also apply for citizenship. In that case I'm more than happy to welcome you. (Note: In that case, please arm yourself.)

'El Fucko' said: «But skilled workers who are offered a job? Why can't they easily relocate?»

I already explained that one: Because they aren't US citizens and national sovereignty still exists for the United States as a perfectly valid concept. Furthermore, to defend our borders, we -- the armed citizenry -- will become violent. I really can't make all that any plainer. Stop invading before we kill you and many people like you.

'El Fucko' said: «In my opinion, xenophobia is not morally justified.»

Defense of national sovereignty is not xenophobia. Please go back to college and ask your instructors where your particular Hyperliberal falsehood came from.

'El Fucko' said: «And finally, if you had ever spent a night in prison, you wouldn't be joking about ass-poundings. Trust me on this one: rape makes for poor, juvenile humor.»

I stand by my previous statements and it doesn't matter how juvenile you decide they are. Prison is a torment ... and that's as it should be. If you don't like prison, then bother to obey the laws of the United States and in fact don't try to take advantage of fellow citizens. Personally, I hope Jeff Skilling is screaming in fear right now. Good, I say. He had had more than enough education and experience to know that being a capitalist criminal means the end result of jail. Justice has been served!

[ Parent ]
Haha! "El Fucko"! (2.66 / 6) (#40)
by el fauno on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 01:49:58 PM EST

Clearly, I am no match for your profound wit. I hereby concede victory on all points to you, sir.

[ Parent ]
Dear Sir (none / 0) (#111)
by vectro on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 10:09:56 PM EST

It was a good start, but you went overboard when you started talking about employers' christianity and whiteness.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
I disagree. (1.75 / 4) (#89)
by Zombie PoopyPeanutz on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 05:17:07 AM EST

I find prison rape to be extremely funny.

[ Parent ]
Speaking as an American (3.00 / 3) (#71)
by Morally Inflexible on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 06:26:21 PM EST

I fear American Socialists far more than I fear foreign laborers.

[ Parent ]
you're a hard core nationalist (2.00 / 5) (#84)
by circletimessquare on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 10:32:02 PM EST

therefore you can't see what el fauno is saying that is essentially true: all humans should be equal

the inequality between nations is something your brand of thinking depends on. you're part of the aristocracy. say the same words above as spoken by you above instead by a french nobleman shortly before the french revolution about a peasant

same thing

you can't see how you fail it, so miserably: for you nationalism is a bedrock concept, unquestioned, unchallenged

which renders everything you think and say poisoned by essential inequality and tribal racism

say it loud, say it proud, skank. you're the biggest fucking twat i've met all week. and i live in new york city, so that really means something

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

He's our crawling hero. (3.00 / 3) (#119)
by slaida1 on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 05:26:34 AM EST

What's even more sad is his nationalism is over land stolen from native inhabitants by illegal european immigrants or their descendants who killed or drove the natives away.

But let him feel the righteousness of his rage because, let's face it, might makes right. In other words, some people are more legal than others only because they have more guns than others.

In the end, it's about as significant as bacterial mass on a petri dish conquering, killing, eating, using resources, dying. And all those little crawlers feel just as righteous as our cute nationalist here.

[ Parent ]

Please remember... (3.00 / 2) (#137)
by SnowBlind on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 05:07:55 PM EST

South America had the same thing done, but by a different set of Europeans.

So really.. it is just another French/English/Spanish proxy war from the Age of Conquest...

If there were no illegals to hire, either we would get computers/machines to do the sorting work or stick the dirty ones on container ships to China to have it done.

There is but One Kernel, and root is His Prophet.
[ Parent ]

What you describe is hardly unique to being an (2.20 / 5) (#21)
by xC0000005 on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 08:08:49 AM EST

illegal immigrant. I spent a few years doing road work and working as a garbage man, a maintenance man, and other odd jobs after college. Most were barely minimum wage (the exception being garbage duty - those guys have a hot, dirty, nasty job and get paid more for it - ALL of them). Manual labor is rough. My Dad raised a family on it (though in the later years his skill at aluminum fabrication moved him off the grunt line more). It's rough as an illegal, I have no doubt, probably worse if you have an employer who purposefully hires illegals. Read up on working as a packer for Compaq or Dell (jobs that you can get as a legal, us citizen). Then tell me that it's different. Oh - wait - we have a choice, right? Not so. Millions of legal americans have little choice or hope than to do their menial jobs for pay that barely lets them survive. That's not unique to being illegal either.

Despite these flaws I think this story is worth the read - it will probably spawn good discussion. I would have liked to see more detailed information on the difference between a standard menial labor job and the illegal route, but that could wait.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't

Actually, I have little experience (none / 0) (#24)
by el fauno on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 10:31:11 AM EST

with standard menial jobs in the US (other than illegal ones), so sorry I couldn't provide something to contrast my experiences with.

I would be very interested in hearing about your post-college experiences. I now know that a college degree doesn't guarantee shit. However, I guess I was lucky to choose computers, because even though by now I'm fed up with working at a keyboard all day, I've rarely had a hard time finding a (what could be called) decent job. What kind of degree did you get.

Hopefully more kurons will share their crap job experiences. One thing I learned is that the linen service gig was hardly the worst you could find. Like I explained in more detail in another comment to this story, I met this girl who was happy working there after spending months standing on street corners in L.A. for the chance of cleaning office buildings in the graveyard hours. She said that was way worse than the laundry warehouse, and well that must be true, after all, California is riddled with unskilled, illegal immigrants.

[ Parent ]

The worst job I had... (none / 0) (#78)
by dissonant on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 08:47:10 PM EST

...or at least one of them was $6.50hr (this was in probabl 96 or 97), repairing computer hardware that had been rejected by the OEMs or coming off of lease.  Usually there would be CPUs with bent pins, or CD drives with scratched lens, but sometimes the "repairs" were simply cleaning, and sometimes the cleaning involved horrible smells (computers leased to chain smokers), rot or mold, and more than a few times blood, sometimes alot of it.

You had to haul ass to meet orders.  You were constantly being barked at and given conflicting orderspriorities by different levels of management and being berated when you explain to manager Y that you were told to work on something by manager X.  One day it would be 200 CD ROM drives, the next, it would be 70 motherboards, or 500 sticks of memory.  All in a tin roofed, non air conditioned warehouse that was frequently over 100 degrees.

Even then, $6.50hr was just barely enough to put something vaguely resembling food with questionable nutritional properties on the table and pay my share of the rent and utilities on a small apartment in a bad neighborhood with two roommates.  So yeah, most of us born here have worked a shitty job or two as well.

[ Parent ]

$6.50/hour in 1996 or 97 (none / 1) (#102)
by Psychology Sucks on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 10:37:37 AM EST

is equivalent to $8.60/hour in today's dollars.

Still little money, but not quite so bad when taking inflation into account (certainly no enough to live off of today without subsidized housing or govt. assistance in general)

[ Parent ]

Those who condemn the undocumented workers, (1.66 / 3) (#36)
by daani on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 01:17:33 PM EST

should at least concede it's a two-way street. Claiming that America has been invaded is pretty fucking ridiculous anyhow. Invaders don't show up and start mowing your lawn, doing your laundry and harvesting your vegetables. Seriously.

Were one to magically remove all the illegals from the economy tommorow, the price of many services would rise dramatically overnight. Some industries would relocate to places where labor was available, others would raise product prices to compensate for the higher payroll bills.

It might be that the lives of poorer working class Americans might be improved by the removal of undocumented immigrant labor. But it seems to me that the lifestyle of the American middle-class might suffer disasterously. All because we hate the poor mexicans slightly more than the poor locals. I for one don't care, fuck 'em both.

Yeah, and if you want to talk about invasion, (none / 1) (#44)
by el fauno on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 02:09:34 PM EST

look at the antics of the CIA in the 50s (Operation PBSUCCESS, anybody?)

The immigration topic touches a raw nerve, to be sure. Most people have already made up their mind on the issue, and defend their viewpoint vehemently, no matter how logical or illogical.

My own viewpoint is that it's unfair that some get to be fantastically (and exclusively) richer than their neighbors simply by the virtue of having been lucky in the where-you're-born lottery. But yes, it is also unfair that the quality of life in a determined area will go down because of the influx of even less educated migrants.

There is a US immigration problem. I would phrase it thus: unbelievably impoverished folks want to get in the land of their fantastically rich neighbors by any means necessary, including illegal methods. It gets hairier, since the rich neighbors have come to rely on the low wages the poor(er) guys accept for doing the shit jobs.

If you look at it this way, you can come to the conclusion that it's not the US that has an immigration problem; rather, it's Latin America that has an emigration problem.

IMO, the long-term solution lies in making the places where the poor folks live into a less shitty place to live. And, after years of observation in my own surroundings, I would say that the underlying problem in Latin America is corruption. As simple and as complicated as that. Deep-seated, practically unconquerable corruption.

There's no silver bullet here. This is the way the world's always been: nations at war over who gets what resources. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't look for solutions.

[ Parent ]

I felt your article was definitely revealing but.. (none / 0) (#109)
by Mystery on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 09:35:11 PM EST

... but only in regard to your experiences. Life in America is definitely heavily glamorized to the outside world, and doesn't hold a candle up next to the ideals it forms in the minds of other people.

I grew up in Canada, fed US TV, trivia, politics and pop culture. I lived very close to the CA-US border (as 60-80% of Canada does if I remember right) and the level of propaganda is stifling there. During the last elections, I went to visit my family whom still live there and they tried to convince me -- the family member living in the US -- that the war on Iraq was important and that people in the US were screwing it up by attacking the president. I think I sat there for 5 straight minutes, opening and shutting my mouth, trying to think of which particular mix of words I wanted to use without offending my parents by claiming they are stupid. Hey, they're my parents after all.

The main reason for the glamor is that the American media is showy, sort of like the difference between a good drama and an action flick. The media in Europe, Australia, and most of the other culture-pushing regions use subtle marketing and covert messages that provoke a chuckle. In America, you walk up to a store and get kicked in the face by the advertising. "Wear these $189 shoes made in a sweatshop in Cambodia! Our basketball players do!" And suddenly every kid wanted a pair of Air Jordans, even the ones that didn't like basketball. This sort of marketing, much like a hand grenade is bound to splash over a little bit on your neighbours. In comparison, the European marketing might make your cheeks blush (see some of their lingerie adds, rrow) but they don't leave an imprint on your face. Much more like a narrowly placed bullet striking your wit.

This media, especially advertising, tends to market as large an audience as they can (for cost basis benefits). And hell, they do it using human social dynamics which are one of the strongest forms of inter-human warfare that you can arrange. They market cigarettes in primarily African-American ghettos (where smoking is an even more social thing), liquor to the children of the baby boomers (where drinking is a social thing because their parents are selfish and drive them crazy), and target sexually charged movies and games at males aged 11-27 (because they have both a social need to be seen doing what the other guys are, and because men are by nature sexually obsessed).

They know their audiences and they target them thusly. The main problem? Spill over. They've gotten way better at it than they were 100 years ago. This means that if you are sitting in Manilla, or Mexico City, or Timbuktu, you can find some way of running into "Whats Hot" in the USA. The advertisers want it to spread out. They want to be nationalized. The sales makes them look better to their customers, the companies, whom like it when everyone on earth hears about their product. That is how you measure your success at your job, in marketing.

See this example of marketing a product that doesn't even need to exist: Celebrity Fragrances. Ugh.

Now realize that one of Paris' stops for her very own fragrance was Puerto Rico, a US protectorate with even more exposure to Latin America than mainsteam America (and it may as well be a state). Even while we were hating her openly in the news here, and people were watching her trainwreck of a life while the Associated Press did experiments with her exposure... We was still in Puerto Rico looking glamorous. See the article.

I've been sort of stabbing in the dark around my primary point: America markets to it's neighbours. It's good for our economy for you in Brazil or Africa to want what we have here. We want to export it to you for exhorbitant prices, we want your cheap labor to come here and be abused by us without us ever knowing... And most of all, we want to make another buck.

That's pretty much the american way. And as a US cubicle jockey, I pretty much hate it. So does everyone I work with these days and we work with money. Hell, there have been times where moving to a third world country to do something psychologically and emotionally enriching sounds pretty good by comparison to a droning hollow existence here.

If you want to solve immigration problems, take away everyone's money all over the planet and force them to barter. It's hard as hell to tax a goat traded for 5 chickens; governments would be pointless after 5 years spent building deficits and trying to figure out how you claim 8% of each chicken for society. Especially after they fail at trying to outsource the task to everyone else's countries. Advertising would be restricted to painting a sign for passers by.

Everyone is looking for something, latin america needs money and a way out... we need our souls back.
Failure is not an option -- It comes bundled with the software.
[ Parent ]

from a pure self-interest standpoint (none / 1) (#75)
by Morally Inflexible on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 08:13:36 PM EST

I think in the short-term, restricting the flow of labor would be good for American workers; Right now, well over 50% of the people doing my job in my area are foreign-born. Undoubtably, removing them would allow me to charge more for my services.

(also, America has a vast untapped pool of people willing and able to become manual laborers for the right price; we don't have as many potential Engineers. I think this means that wages would go up more for Engineers than for manual laborers. )

The problem with restricting immigration is that many of my bosses - and the owners of companies that I have worked for have also been foreign-born, and most of the companies I have worked for have a global reach. Without the availability of imported workers and imported entrepreneurs, I think a lot of companies would leave the US, taking those jobs with them.

[ Parent ]

Yeah. (2.20 / 5) (#43)
by Icehouseman on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 02:06:57 PM EST

150 years ago, people showed up at Ellis Island and within a day they were allowed to live within the US. You were given a physical, answered some questions and either you were allowed in or in rare cases, sent back. Today there's mountains of paper work and bullshit to put up with for years before you can become a citizen. So whenever conservatives say our ancestors came to this country legally, it's a rather bullshit point because most European ancestors took about a day to become a legal immigrant. Today it takes entirely too long...
Bush's $3 trillion state is allegedly a mark of "anti-government bias" on the right. -- Anthony Gregory
Now that you mention this, (2.50 / 2) (#49)
by el fauno on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 02:52:08 PM EST

the US had always been proud to call itself a "nation of immigrants". They rarely do that anymore, I guess because they realized more people were coming in that they could handle.

And do even the Mayflower descendants have the right to call themselves "true" Americans? Many First Nations folks would disagree.

I remember, as a child, the textbooks we used in school for learning English went on and on about how the US was a melting pot of humanity, and how everyone who embraced its ideals of liberty and justice was welcome there. I guess the 'melting pot' is just another fading ideal, in the face of modern reality. I've always been a big fan of the US. Most Latin Americans are. It just saddens me to see how this and other ideals, like individual freedoms, are slowly being eroded. I sincerely hope that Americans will rise to the challenge, and make the US the great nation they have always envisioned and sometimes embodied.

[ Parent ]

Good points, but...no (1.00 / 4) (#50)
by Kariik on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 03:00:45 PM EST

I'm having trouble wading through the sarcasm, juvenile humour and obscenity to find those good points. You're Hyper-conservative, whoo. Way to state that in the most offensive way you can. "Chum."

Sorry, (none / 0) (#52)
by el fauno on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 03:03:09 PM EST

were you replying to my story?

[ Parent ]
No, glitch (none / 1) (#55)
by Kariik on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 03:09:18 PM EST

I posted my comments wrong. Whoops. Was replying to Peahippo. My apologies. Still learning to work the system.

[ Parent ]
Oh. (none / 0) (#56)
by Kariik on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 03:11:13 PM EST

It messed up because your story hit the 50 comment threshold and it changed how the first comments arent shown. Just bad timing on my part.

[ Parent ]
That's cool (none / 1) (#58)
by el fauno on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 03:28:22 PM EST

Oh, and I wouldn't bother biting for that guy's trolls. I remember when K5's trolls were at least witty.

[ Parent ]
Keep writing (none / 1) (#53)
by Kariik on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 03:04:32 PM EST

I want to hear that story. Personally I find personal experiences more interesting than what to me are mostly political issues (being an urban white teenager with no real experience of what most of this article mentions, to be honest).

Keep writing, its good. And wordiness is fine, just remember paragraphs and variety.

Canada desperately needs immigrants (2.50 / 6) (#64)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 03:54:00 PM EST

There is a huge labor shortage in Canada, due to the two oil booms - the Alberta tar sands, and offshore oil off of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

Also the population is aging, and there aren't enough young workers to provide for the medical care and pensions of retirees.

So now Canada is very eagerly encouraging immigration.

A couple years ago Nova Scotia institued a provincial immigration department with the aim of getting immigrants to move there, as most immigrants settle among the existing immigrant communities in the big cities.

If you'd like to immigrate to Canada, I highly recommend my immigration attorney M. Lee Cohen. Besides working for paying clients like myself, he does a lot of pro-bono (that is, unpaid) work for refugees.

Even though he's in Halifax, he can handle your immigration to anywhere in the country, with the possible exception of Quebec, as it handles its own immigration and doesn't do it through the national immigration office.

Looking for some free songs?

Mike! Good to hear from you again. (none / 0) (#65)
by el fauno on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 04:03:18 PM EST

I read around here that you're now working in Canada, hopefully you've reunited with Bonita?

And re: Canada immigration, yes, that is one thing I myself have considered. But truth be told, the frigid cold I experienced in the East Coast in this recent exploit was extremely off-putting. Do Canada's immigration policies allow for one to relocate to any city where one can find a job? Or are there specific areas to be, er, populated?

I ask because the best alternative might be Vancouver, weather-wise (and also tech-job-wise). I also hear Toronto's weather is similar to New York's, which at least is better than Alberta's from what I've heard.

And what about those Quebecois? You think they'll finally vote for the separation?

[ Parent ]

Yes, you can live anywhere (none / 1) (#67)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 04:13:30 PM EST

I'm in Vancouver, but Bonita is still going to art school in Nova Scotia. She's going to take longer to graduate than we expected when I took the job here, unfortunately, but happily my company offerred to pay for the plane fare for some visits.

You can live anywhere in Canada once you have a work permit. I'm not sure how this works with Quebec handling its own immigration - I applied through the national office, but I understand I could live in Quebec if I wanted to.

And yes, Vancouver has the best climate of anywhere in Canada. Bonita says Toronto is miserable during the winter. Here we get mostly rain and just a few light snowfalls.

Nova Scotia has the dual curse of hot, humid summers and frigid winters, with a foot of snow on the ground for several months.

There is lots of work to be had in Vancouver. I'm not sure how one can immigrate without a visa sponsor, but I think there must be a way.

Looking for some free songs?

[ Parent ]

Nova Scotia is "hot"? (none / 0) (#103)
by Psychology Sucks on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 10:41:03 AM EST

I don't know about you, but I don't consider 74 degrees Fahrenheit to be "hot" in July, as Halifax averages, even if the humidity was 100%.  (June is 68 degrees, August is 73 degrees) Check out weather.com.

Freezing winters, you are correct there.  Dec-Jan-Feb avg. highs are 34-29-29.  Though to be honest, that's virtual identical to Chicago or Detroit, and nowhere near as bad as Toronto or especially Winnipeg, etc.

[ Parent ]

Sweltering. I'm serious. (none / 1) (#105)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 02:43:59 PM EST

It's the humidity. There are often afternoon thunderstorms during the summer as a result.

Looking for some free songs?

[ Parent ]

Yeah, but you're from California (none / 0) (#116)
by curien on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 02:09:52 AM EST

So am I, and I can attest that coastal Californians just can't deal with humidity. I lived in the South for about 10 years, so I can kind of deal with it now, but I still absolutely loathe it. If you don't have a nose bleed, it's not dry enough.

Wiser words have never been not said. -- lilnobody
[ Parent ]
Toronto much, much colder winter than NYC (none / 0) (#101)
by Psychology Sucks on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 10:33:19 AM EST

And freezing spring, somewhat colder summers and falls.  Toronto is overall a very, very cold place to live, while NYC is extremely mild.

Courtesy of weather.com: Avg. high/low temperatures by month, in Fahrenheit (Celsius in parentheses)

Dec: NYC-44/32(7/0), TOR-32/18(0/-8)
Jan: NYC-39/26(4/-3), TOR-27/12(-3/-11)
Feb: NYC-42/29(6/-2), TOR-29/12(-2/-11)
Mar: NYC-50/35(10/2), TOR-38/22(3/-6)
Apr: NYC-60/45(16/7), TOR-52/33(11/1)
May: NYC-71/55(22/13), TOR-65/43(18/6)
Jun: NYC-79/64(26/18), TOR-74/52(23/11)
Jul: NYC-85/70(29/21), TOR-80/57(27/14)
Aug: NYC-83/69(28/21), TOR-77/56(25/13)
Sep: NYC-76/61(24/16), TOR-69/48(21/9)
Oct: NYC-65/50(18/10), TOR-57/38(14/3)
Nov: NYC-54/41(12/5), TOR-45/30(7/-1)

[ Parent ]

Do you think it is easy to go to Canada with a PhD (none / 1) (#69)
by V on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 06:15:36 PM EST

in one of the sciences?
What my fans are saying:
"That, and the fact that V is a total, utter scumbag." VZAMaZ.
"well look up little troll" cts.
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[ Parent ]
I bet it is. (none / 1) (#70)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 06:23:26 PM EST

The shortage is particularly acute for skilled workers.

Looking for some free songs?

[ Parent ]

how are wages? (none / 1) (#79)
by Morally Inflexible on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 08:47:25 PM EST

compared with the bay area?  I'm not too interested  in cost of living vs. wages;  I live cheap while I finish cleaning up the financial messes I made playing businessman.  I'm interested in the comparitive number of dollars I can buy with an hour of nerd-time (my messes are all denominated in dollars)

[ Parent ]
Not as high as the Bay Area (none / 1) (#80)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 08:59:45 PM EST

I'm making about twenty percent less than what I was told I could make in the Bay Area. However, the cost of living is much cheaper than the Bay Area.

Wages in Eastern Canada aren't so good, but from Montreal westward they're comparable to what I'm making in Vancouver.

Looking for some free songs?

[ Parent ]

it's too damn cold. except vancouver. go there nt (none / 1) (#83)
by circletimessquare on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 10:25:20 PM EST

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
WIPO (1.57 / 7) (#68)
by livus on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 05:42:45 PM EST

The US should:
End U.S Imperialism, stop messing with other soveriegn nations' political systems, recall the CIA.
Support abolishment of world bank/IMF debt in places like central America, reign in exploitative transnational corporates. Give more of US America back to the original Nations.

Basically the immigration hypocrisy as we know it is predicated on an inequality that is itself caused by gross injustice.

Expecting them to relax their immigration laws is just another form of supplication when they're in that position. Of course pigs will fly before they do a single thing that could weaken their position, much less take up my excellent suggestions here.

HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

yes, it's about inequality (1.50 / 4) (#82)
by circletimessquare on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 10:23:49 PM EST

now say in some magical universe the usa actually did every single thing you say

what would change?

not a damn thing

you are right, the problem is inequality, but you somehow think the inequality is caused by washington dc

no: guatemala is poor, because guatemala has problems, period. end of story

if the usa turned into a giant lake tomorrow, guatemala would not suddenly rise up, unburdened and unimpeded by the evil machinations of transnational corporations and the cia

no, guatemala would simply still be guatemala, and still have all of the problems guatemala has: chronic poverty, corruption, bad infrastructure, etc

these things were not created by the usa. these things are not perpetrated and maintained by the usa. these things are created and perpetrated by guatemala

when people like you blame the usa for all of the worlds problems, you don't solve any problems, you just play a giant blame game of creative reasoning that acutally doesn't help anyone suffering in this world

so: do you care about suffering in the third world? do you really? you care about them more than you hate the usa? really?

then start criticising third world governments

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Bring back P. Lumumba and then we'll talk. (none / 0) (#107)
by livus on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 09:17:11 PM EST

(zombie account creators please disregard that remark)

Hey, I criticise all kinds of governments, though frankly I doubt what I'm talking about is in the hands of governments at all.

I'm only picking on the USA here because in case you didn't notice, the poll I am WIPO-ing is about the US immigration policy. If you read my comments outside this context that's fine but I suggest an Omega 3 supplement.

HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

i read your comment for what it is (1.50 / 2) (#110)
by circletimessquare on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 09:39:19 PM EST


sorry, context doesnt save you

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I read your comment for what it is (none / 0) (#113)
by livus on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 11:15:10 PM EST

pure love.

That's okay, we'll always have Paris.

HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

my take on this (none / 1) (#131)
by khallow on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 11:27:14 AM EST

If these Third World dives would clean up their act, then there wouldn't be any illegal immigration. I'm unclear on what the US is supposed to do about this since imperialism isn't the problem here. I guess the IMF/World Bank loans probably should be reduced or even eliminated in some cases, but that's just a symptom of the Third World's problems.

Here's the three key issues that Third World countries should be doing: 1) reduce (with the ultimate goal of eliminating) government corruption, and 2) make the local environment friendly to the creation of new businesses, and 3) build up infrastructure (not just physical).

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

I have to ask this: (1.20 / 5) (#77)
by Brogdel on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 08:45:22 PM EST

Is it true that people of Latin descent have tails?

Double standards (2.00 / 3) (#85)
by foon on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 11:16:11 PM EST

I'm sure there is an equally touching story to be told about any of the hundreds of thousands of poor and desperate central americans who risk everything to sneak into Mexico illegally because of the greater opportunities available there. Yet for some reason, no one here seems quite as interested in telling that story. I wonder why that is?

Because the site's US centric, of course (none / 1) (#108)
by livus on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 09:23:00 PM EST

no one here really cares about what happens in other nations, especially not poor ones. I could write one about NZers swimming to Australia I suppose but I'd still only get maybe 10 votes.

HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
its only US centric (2.00 / 2) (#114)
by foon on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 11:38:03 PM EST

When it comes to blaming America and singling America out as the source of all the world's problems.

[ Parent ]
hardly (1.50 / 2) (#140)
by livus on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 07:37:16 PM EST

USians post endless things about US politics, US invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq etc and basic navel gazing about healthcare and social problems, all of which stresses your importance to the rest of the world; so don't complain if the rest of us take up your favourite subject once in a while.

HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
yea... (none / 0) (#130)
by khallow on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 11:21:18 AM EST

I could write one about NZers swimming to Australia I suppose but I'd still only get maybe 10 votes.

It depends on how funny it were or if someone actually did that.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

yeah I know (none / 0) (#141)
by livus on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 07:41:48 PM EST

I was thinking it might be worth doing, given the increasing number of swimmers getting caught in the Tasman by Australian authorities.

HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
Once again, brilliant job, Fleece... (none / 0) (#86)
by Gracefalling on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 11:20:33 PM EST

If I'm wrong, take it as a compliment. Don't hate.

"And then beyond breath, psswrd libby done with account there were many." -Spooked.
lol no (none / 0) (#91)
by zombie HollyHopDrive on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 07:35:40 AM EST

[He blew]inside..m..e.. [and verily] corrected a deviated septum and cauterized my turbinates. - MichaelCrawford
[ Parent ]
We did tell you not to stay in our country, right? (1.60 / 5) (#87)
by LilDebbie on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 11:35:17 PM EST

We told you there wasn't going to be any legal employment, access to government service, etc, right?

There's a reason the visa you were given was only for a few weeks. Christ, how would you like it if a bunch of sub-Saharan Africans started pouring into your country uninvited and then bitched about their living standards?

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

Just remember, illegals are our lawful slaves (1.50 / 2) (#88)
by fyngyrz on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 12:14:43 AM EST

Read the 13th amendment, think, and weep:

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted*, shall exist within the United States [emphasis mine.] [*Note the lack of specification of what level of crime - for instance, speeding ticket? Slavery. All you smug bastards keep this in mind over the next few years]

In other words, the system is set up so that if they catch people who are not in the country legally, they can simply be directly enslaved without any recompense - so there is one more rung of the socioeconomic ladder that remains to be descended. Bills are pending right now to formalize such enslavement, specifically to pick which jobs the convicted class will be assigned to; Apparently, $6.25 an hour is too much. The wage will be 10 cents an hour.

I lift my lamp beside the golden door, and smack it right on your funny-colored, or slanty-eyed, or odd-sounding little head.

One more telling piece of evidence that America has lost its way, at least, in the opinion of this US citizen.

Blog, Photos.

oh come on (none / 1) (#129)
by khallow on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 11:18:15 AM EST

I'm personally waiting for the bill (that is pending right now!) that will allow me to hunt idiots like you down in the streets with my pack of ferocious illegals.

More seriously, every time some stupid congressman (and there are 535 of them) opens their mouth, we have yet another sinister bill "that is pending right now". It's not "evidence", it's fantasy. Too bad you can't see to figure out the difference.

One reason that slavery has always been unpopular is because it competes with genuine labor. US citizens won't let government get away with creating a massive slave class and undercutting the US labor market, especially a scheme that is fundamentally unconstitutional.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

You're funny, though entirely incorrect (none / 0) (#166)
by fyngyrz on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 04:18:50 AM EST

US citizens won't let government get away with creating a massive slave class and undercutting the US labor market, especially a scheme that is fundamentally unconstitutional.

US citizens have let the US government get away with ex post facto law, complete and utter mangling of the commerce clause, numerous unconstitutional restrictions on free speech and weapons ownership, elimination of habeas corpus, torture, wiretapping, violation of the presidential oath, numerous and sundry lies, a major invasion of a nation that was no threat to us, the theft of our social security funds, the theft of our social security numbers, the instantiation of soviet-style papers-please, restriction on travel, secret listings of undesirables, executive refusal to comply with congress, direct government support of religion, a war on personal choice (aka "the drug war"), a war on sexuality (aka the various "marriage for heterosexuals only" bills), and a whole lot more.

Your very silly idea that the citizens would, through some magical means apparently only known to you, be able to stop the government from doing anything at any time is no more than black humor.

Citizens have zero control over the government. Zero.

Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

Mr. Republican, Tear Down The Wall (2.33 / 6) (#90)
by postDigital on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 06:12:21 AM EST

I am strongly libertarian (Note the small-cap l, and please do not slander me with an assumption of association to the political party which last November was more concerned with mucking-up the already fucked-up imminent domain process, to the advantage of the large landholder, and utterly unconcerned that our congress had violated the Constitution at least twice in their aiding and abetting GW's tyrannical theft of habeas corpus.)

I believe in free markets, sadly there is little that functions as a free market in this modern world economy. An example of this can easily be offered. Corporate Capital is not imepeded by international borders. It flows freely across them any time, any place, any direction. Labour on the other hand is seriously restricted by international borders. This is a primary reason that so many Americans feel they are wage slaves. All restrictions on immigration, other than past criminal histories should be lifted.

I realise that very few if any who read this will even attempt to understand, but the US economy would be in one hell of a lot better shape that way. First and foremost, many of the current illegal workers, who send every last extra penny back home to their families, would instead be living in the US with their families, being compensated fairly, which would increase their base income. They'd have more money for consumption, and a much higher percentage of it would be spent with non-corporate local businesses which is a dream booster of micro economies. Less gets sucked up and out of nearby recirculation into dividend streams.

Now some will claim that immigrants bring crime, but if immigration violations and all drug trafficing related crimes are subtracted from the count, the argument becomes specious. The drug war has always been a failure, and it has a destablising effect everywhere. It is also a serious distorter of the free-market process. Drug dealers should be properrly viewed as high risk venture capitalists, instead of thugs. The products would be dosage/quality stablised, the prices would go down, and tjhe criminal element at the top of the supply chain would soon be squeezed out of their positions.

Lastly, there is another very strong reason why the borders should be opened up. That is simply because:

We're American,
and We Believe In
Liberty and Justice For All

Bullshit (2.33 / 3) (#95)
by emohiphop on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 08:32:47 AM EST

Low wage workers consume much more in government services than high wage workers - whose taxes essentially pay for these services. Illegals, sincethey  are  barely taxed, consume even more federal resources.

Illegal immigration is essentially a goverment subsidy for big business, as it keeps wages low, and government bears the cost of the migration of laboor.

[ Parent ]

cronyCapitalism's freemarket distortions (none / 0) (#117)
by postDigital on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 04:38:32 AM EST

What you imply is an inner willingness to acquiesce to the obscene manifestations which are resultant from free market distortions, being pitched to the people as procedural purity. If wages are so low to some workers, that they cannot cover the basic costs of a decent life in society, there are significant anti free market forces being applied. A great deal of these forces are easily hidden within the whole immigration issue.

It is amazing how well the right-side of the political linearity has been pwned on this issue. Public Corporations, inhuman business entities, fictional constructs, are designed to work almost autonomously, driven by nothing more than maximization of profitability, have standing as persons in courts of law. These Corporations after cost/benefits analyses have concluded that pocketing as client-sided, as many politicians as possible is extremely beneficial and cost conscious in the American Political environment. Often, anyone who questions the justice of this is publicly derided by right-siders as being too Marxist tinged for acceptability.

A nightmarish dream sequence scripted in Cervantes style using Rabid Dogs baring wooden fangs, whose behavior was triggered using Pavlovian preprogrammed hot button words, barking at windmills impotently, while the world's evil continues unabated behind them. Corporations are collectivist entities. The right should have built-in defenses against supporting collectivist entities, yet they cheer them on, and believe that the rights of individuals are furthered by giving them free reign in society.

My twisting contorted raving drifts far from the thread's topic, yet still is germane when contemplating causes for topic's existence. But you probably don't care about the effect upon da_po_folk you seem to despise and fear, believing you exist upon a higher plain, when in truth, you are just standing on the next rung higher in the ladder of sequencing.

Sheeple bunched up in line waiting at the abattoir's entryway.

[ Parent ]
Say wha ? (none / 0) (#121)
by emohiphop on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 08:05:29 AM EST

Being opposed to hidden government subsidies for big business is not caring about Po' Folk ?

See, the Left has been pwned by the illigal immigrant issue, too.  By mixing in matters of race, and poverty, it becomes easy to convince lefties that they are on the Moral high ground when they argue to open the borders to bring in wage slaves to support collectivist corporations.

At the expense of their poorer, less sophisticated neighbors, whom they dispise.

[ Parent ]

i'll try to simplify (none / 0) (#153)
by postDigital on Sat Mar 31, 2007 at 07:40:45 AM EST

First, quit thinking all is either {left OR right}, I do not play by the those rules.

If there are working persons who are not compensated enough to cover what is essential for the basic elements in life, then there is a serious distortion in the free-market process.  The distortion comes from the empowerment of corporations.

Corporations, are collectivist societal entities, consisting of multiple owners shielded from the true cost of business which are in the form of potential liabilities.  In effect, they do not accept personal responsibility.  Why then do conservatives, who claim to be opposed to societal collectivist entities,  as antithetical to individual liberty, and that accepting personal responsibility for actions is a moral duty, support the corporations with such fervency?

Yet you do not understand, and even sadder, cannot comprehend that if it weren't for the immigrants getting shafted, it would be your ass in the ringer.

[ Parent ]

in part, i agree (none / 1) (#112)
by wampswillion on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 10:57:49 PM EST

the part where i jump off tho is where you say we should treat drug dealers as high risk venture capitalists.  not that i think the war on drugs has been a success, i don't.  but drugs kill and they harm and they maim.  that's their only purpose.  they need to stay illegal.  and those who traffic them need to be treated as the criminals they are.  

[ Parent ]
Ok. (none / 1) (#115)
by The Amazing Idiot on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 12:16:54 AM EST

Since I cannot reason with statements such as:

"but drugs kill and they harm and they maim.  that's their only purpose.  they need to stay illegal."

I can only bring up errors in that thinking.

1.Are you for or against cigarettes or alcohol, and why so?

2.Are you for prescribed antidepressants and such psychoactive drugs?

3.Are you for treatment of drug abuse, or harsh sentences?

4.Does doing 'illegal drugs' indicate that you are a violent criminal that deserves to be with real criminals (rapists, murderers and such)?

5.Is this not "cruel and unusual" for dealing with non-violent substance users in terms of jail?

6.In your quote, has anybody ever died of marijuana poisoning? Better yet, is anybody capable of dying from overdosage from this drug?

If you cannot understand why your statement is wrong, It's not worth my effort in arguing with you.

[ Parent ]

point by point (none / 1) (#133)
by wampswillion on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 01:08:32 PM EST

1. for or against cigarettes or alcohol.  well, let's see.  i'm neither?  i think the answer to nicotine addiction lies with science rather than moral high horses and legislation of where people can or should smoke. and alcohol, i'm for it as along a you aren't driving and as long as it doesn't define your life or your family's life.
2. yes
3. treatment
4. only if you've committed violent crimes as well.
5.  i think you misunderstood. i am harsh against the trafficers, not the users.
6.  i think i almost saw members of my family die (in spirit.)  when i say harm, maim, or kill, i'm not just speaking of physical harm.  i'm speaking of long term psychological and social harm.  but i could almost bet you also that there has been physical harm caused by pot smoking as well.  you can't tell me that no child has ever been put in a car and driven off somewhere by parent who has toked on a joint and fell asleep at the wheel or didn't react normally to a changing traffic light.  so no, i can't tell you i've heard of pot poisoning.  but i still could tell you that the purpose of pot smoking is alter your state of being.  and not for the better.  
do i believe in medical marijuana? yes.  do i believe in woody harellson, no.  

[ Parent ]
Well said. (none / 1) (#134)
by The Amazing Idiot on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 02:02:51 PM EST

It seems we are in an agreement on most ideas, except for the harsh treatment of traffickers.

I look back to a time in which alcohol was trafficked. Did legalization ever stop consumption or making and moving of alcohol? It sure didnt. Instead the vacuum allowed creation of a black market to form, and they didnt mind using violence because it already had harsh punishments.

What was more damaging: Drinking an "illegal substance" or the criminal black market set up to make money from it? My mind has been set to the black market.

Fast forward from 1920's to the 2000's. We've seen "Just say No" for 20 years now, and the irrational view that "nothing we say is illegal can ever have any good for you" is just scientifically disgusting. It's obvious that scientists will complain. Instead who is the violence causers? The ones who sell en masse to dealers. Once you deal with X grams deemed worth Y dollars, you're already locked up for 40 years, yet murder gets... 7.5 years.

I want a time with these drugs in the way we dealt with alcohol. Legalized, but with heavy regulation. Perhaps that way, we can eliminate associated crimes along with providing a clean product. At least we wont have the strychnine/cocaine problem again.

[ Parent ]

the original post (2.00 / 2) (#135)
by wampswillion on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 02:17:19 PM EST

was advocating that "dealing" (in terms of handling and in terms of provision of) be left to high risk venture captitalists.  there's a big distinction between that and your use of "legalization but heavy regulation."   i just do not think that anyone should be making a profit off of drugs.  

[ Parent ]
an analogy for thought (2.50 / 2) (#118)
by postDigital on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 05:10:51 AM EST

free-falling query-musing:

  • do you believe wholeheartedly that high risk venture capitalists are by their nature, societal white hats?
  • do you believe my analysis was in some manner supportive of damn fools ingesting synthetic drugs manufactured in their entirety by persons who have never even taken a HS chemistry class?
  • what ever happened to the American oleWest adage; "choose your poison"?
  • if humans are going to succumb to their inner yearnings to self-medicate, is it a good idea for society to assure that their choices occur within an open freemarket, so any subsequent controversies regarding product liability can be properly adjudicated in public civil courtrooms?
  • specifically; methamphetamine: once a main precursor in its manufacture was ephedrine, and this was readily available OTC. The government clamped down on its availability, yet this did not curtail market demands for the product, and creative entrepreneurs reacting to market pressures, devised new manufacturing techniques which substituted pseudoephedrine for ephedrine. Sadly, this process involved a much higher energy need for molecular restructuring, and this was supplied with chemical catalysts which were also the cause for a higher toxicity in the final product as well as a substantial increase in environmental harm from the improperly disposed laboratory wastes. Governmental response has been predicable, and I also predict will in the end be as ineffectual. It has involved the severe limitations of pseudoephedrine's OTC availability, which has its own inherent negative effect upon society, since it is the most effective chemical to treat cold/allergy/flu related nasal symptoms which do not also carry significant impairment to consciousness as side-effect. This will be a cause for highway deaths, and other sleep-disorder related injuries, but will never be noted in statistical analysis as such. There will be another manufacturing process created in market response to a greater artificially created demand by governmental interference for methamphetamine. The new process will require methods which further increase product toxicity and environmental degradation. A downward spiral, and caught up in the spiral are the ever increasing numbers of humans imprisoned in a dispositive prison environment that is based solely upon retribution.

[ Parent ]
dot by dot (none / 1) (#132)
by wampswillion on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 12:55:13 PM EST

1.  no.  i do not believe they are white hats.  i also don't believe they are black hats. black/white denotes good/bad - moralistic terms.  and i don't believe it's a matter of morals.  but if you are asking do i think that high venture capitalists aren't in fact good for a society. yes,  i do. but only to the extent that there are checks and balances to their behavior.
2. no.  i didn't believe that.  and furthermore i'm not so harshly inclined toward people who find themselves using drugs.  or have used drugs.  good grief, if i were that harsh then most of my peers (age wise) would have to be thrown out like babies in the bathwater.
3. choose your poison?  what happened to that?  i say choose a legal one.  you might ask "is it any better to run someone over if you are impaired from smoking pot or if you are impaired from drinking?"  well the answer is "no"  but it's really very much easier to tell a drunk person from a high person. and i'd be inclined to stop a person that is drunk from driving or call the police if i saw one leaving a restaurant and getting behind the wheel of a car.  however a high person often just looks like a dumb person with allergies.  and so i'm more inclined to think "oh i'm being ridiculous"  and not make the same call.  but you know? their impaired reactions may cause an injury or a death all the same.  
3.  "inner yearnings to self medicate."  you know i had a spouse who had an inner yearning to self medicate.  and so you are asking me if perhaps i'd like a "slower, safer, more regulated" process for him to have self destructed as a human being?  so i'd have to say "no. i would not wish him to have had that.  it would have simply prolonged my family's misery really.   it was hard enough for our kids to understand that it was the drugs rather than their dad choosing to lie on the sofa all day rather than get out and play with them or take them somewhere on sat. afternoons.  i simply don't want to imagine a societal system where it's said "hey kids, it's ok that your dad has a bigger inner yearning to self medicate than he does to spend time with you.  can't be helped."
4.  otc ephidrine. you know i have right now one of the most wicked colds/flu of my life.  i've had it for over 3 weeks now.  and yet i don't use sudefed or other such stuff.  i've never been able to because of another medical condition that i happen to have.  i have to drink lots of liquids, feed myself a bunch of those zinc things.  take aspirin, apply vics, ingest these cvs brand sugar free black cherry cough drops that cool my nasal passages, soothe my sore throat and don't promote tooth decay.  and well you know what?  i predict that although i'm pretty miserable right now- i will, in fact, live.   without medicines that speed up my heart rate to keep me moving or knock me out cold so i can rest etc.  and well i think that if i can do it, then so can other people.  

[ Parent ]
liberty/and/responsibility have downsides (none / 1) (#139)
by postDigital on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 06:02:46 PM EST

Would your spouse have been other than self-destructive under any conceivable different reality that also carried a strong tendency to individual liberty? I am presently obliged, and will respond with more detail later.

[ Parent ]
i think (none / 0) (#142)
by wampswillion on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 10:39:06 PM EST

honestly there was a point where if i'd known enough to have drawn a line and said "i won't accept this here- it's not going to be accepted"  he'd have realized what he would have been walking away from and he'd have shaped up.   however, that said, i was really dumb and didn't really know what i was seeing until it was way too late for that.  and it was a small window.  
but you know?  it was the late 70's (early 80's) and well it sorta seemed like it was normal behavior then- for awhile.  

[ Parent ]
the time... (none / 0) (#149)
by postDigital on Sat Mar 31, 2007 at 12:47:34 AM EST

seems to strongly indicate an obsession with glassware, screens, torches and the assorted chemicals involved in the process of removing impurities from cocaine that rendered the final product into a readily smokable variety, otherwise known then as 'free-base'.

That was one ugly societal compulsion if this is the case.  The presidential cycling timeline turned out to have significance, and just a scant few years later, Reaganomic policy created by evil Reagancomic clowns' piss on the downtrodden with trickle-down methodologies, opened the trade barriers to drug importation for a selected few deepcover friendlies in possession of contra connections, who then flooded inner metropolitan areas with a superabundant supply of cocaine cheap enough that it finally could be afforded by America's poor.  Along with this came brand new chemical process instruction sets that even the illiterate could follow along step by step, that instead of purifying the product in a separation process, added great toxicity along with a volume for the final product in its transformation to smokability by street level merchants.

And in a phantomized dream deeply steeped in irony's leaves, Nancy said no, whilst Ollie said yo, but it turned out that Ronnie under oath a bit further on, when giving testament to this time wasn't lying after all, and in truth didn't have a fucking clue.

[ Parent ]

well, (none / 1) (#154)
by wampswillion on Sat Mar 31, 2007 at 11:10:27 AM EST

i suppose i was thinking more in terms of my own little world than i was thinking in terms of the "drug scene"  on a national basis.  it just seemed to me like there was more of a mindset then that our parents and our grandparents had been fools to have worked so hard and that they never seemed to have  stopped and enjoyed life at all.  and well, heck, we weren't going to be that way.  
we were going to do what we could, while we could.  and not one of us little selfish brats ever stopped to think that it was our parents working hard that allowed us the freedom (and the money) to be able to do that in the first place.  we also didn't stop to think of that there were actual joys to be had in accomplishing things and in raising families and in being responsible.  
nancy reagan's "just say no" has always hit me as high comedy tho.  what?  who?  who was telling us what?  that's hilarious.
and ollie north?  oh my!  a stereotype magically come to life?  
and well for all that i could never understand that ronald reagan was a popular president (as he was popular with no one of my age)  i actually do look back now and think "you know? perhaps i misjudged the man quite a bit. and perhaps i had no right judging him at all."

at any rate, what i think at this point is that i was much too young, immature, and inattentive to realize that a person can't really go in two directions at the same time.  that you have to commit to a direction.  you can't just float along and hope that things will turn out all happy.  

[ Parent ]

no, don't be deceived (none / 1) (#156)
by postDigital on Sun Apr 01, 2007 at 04:46:45 AM EST

Reagan was a horrible president. What Reagan was good at was pitching a soap additive on a weekly B grade western television series. His administration is in great measure a cause for much of the woes which caused September 11, 2001, for a large percentage of a generation of America's Inner City Black males' addiction to crack cocaine, for the present underfunding of many programs which in the past had been considered a primary governmental function, for the belief that a President can rightfully act outside of Constitutional dictates and restrictions, and where these same fucktards who have been instrumental in taking America into an unrighteous war upon Iraq, based upon false pretexts, were first empowered with unsupervised policy promulgation, as Reagan began his long drifting good-bye.

The belief that Reagan represented core Conservatism has provided extra propulsion in Conservatism's continuing decline into the foul well of relativism. He was not the cause of the Soviet's fall. Even Robert Gates, who was a part of Reagan's and GHW Bush's administration has given props to the Carter Administration, and an integral cause for the Soviet's fall is one of the few positives of the Nixon presidency in my mind. Dealing with the Soviet in Nixon's realist strategy of grab 'em by the testicles and squeeze was very effective. What he did was to open up American markets for consumer goods, and then at moments he needed to coerce specific acts from the Soviets, he'd threaten to take this away from them, causing discontent in their citizenry. He corrupted them with capitalism, which is both amusing and proper in my mind. As much as I rail against the evils of our corporate world, it is far preferable to the drab grays and browns in the artistry of Soviet worker realism. There have been some very credible Russian analysis of the Soviet's fall, which posited that Reagan's huff and puff was actually responsible for an extension of the Politburo's grasp as the cardboard bear was collapsing under its own weight, after having grown too massive for the state controlled factories to sustain; that Reagancomics was in truth a cause of more misery and death in the USSR.

Still all of that pales in comparison to this present Administration, which has brought into this country's psyche: acceptance of American torture of humans; a belief that the Geneva Conventions are not an ideal, but instead antiquated ideology; a belief that habeas corpus is not a natural right of all humans, but instead a state's gift of kindness meted out to its citizens. I can only resist and will that this tyranny and obscenity is reversed before our dreamtime is destroyed.

Our pasts are different, I was drafted in '69, picked-up in the first lottery, and because of my family's religion sucked through the intakes as Conscientious Objector and trained as a medic. I experienced one tour as chopper doc, and returned repulsed by our war in Vietnam, there was nothing which could have furthered, other than committing genocide against a significant portion of the Vietnamese people. All I saw was needless death from innocents, while the evil continued on in the respective national capitals. I am witness to a cornucopia of death I was powerless to stop. Upon return, I engaged in sporadic antiwar activities, but not often in the massive protests, and never spewed idiotic marxist ideology, but instead tried to explain what we were causing in terms of death for futility's sake. About the only positive I discovered in the intellectual left was that I could usually find an articulate intelligent female companion for a time, who had a great desire to aid in a returning son's effort to chill out from the past, and truthfully, a few times accepted this gift of charity a bit deceitfully. My experiences with the blue collar left was entirely different, and I found that they were willing to accept and embrace, and without expectation of renumeration willing to provide shelter to any bro afflicted with the war sickness.

I've also had a life of good fortune, traveling to many different localities, for a few years as a musician, then finishing up a University degree, and after that accepting work where it pleased me, but I seldom accepted parental gifts of financial support, never after completing my degree, and managed on my own.

I now am compelled by a personal sense of duty to resist the present manifestation of evil, and have traversed along a path towards an inner summit, which twice before in my life I started upon, but stopped, believing it was not a propitious path. I have now passed beyond those points, and there are many personal dangers and risks, which includes my sanity, as well as my morality. I now will to power, and lately have begun to notice a change in the effectiveness of my rhetorical ability. There is a great need to step carefully. This is a reason why I came to Kuro5hin, figuring it to be a crazy as well as strong enough willed community to take some of the exhaust I may now need to expel forcibly. I hope that the symbols are unable to consume me, and that the rectitude of my intent is strong enough to keep my soul intact. I "wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places".

Will peace, but prepare for other eventualities.

[ Parent ]
first let me say (none / 0) (#158)
by wampswillion on Sun Apr 01, 2007 at 06:37:31 PM EST

how surprised i am to find someone even older than myself on here.  
second, let me explain that my thoughts on not being judgmental of reagan have less to do with being actually knowledgeable (in retrospect) of what was going on during his presidency than they have to do with knowing that my reaction to him at the time was merely an unstudied knee-jerk reaction.  he was old, "one of them"- and so therefore i didn't like him.  and well, maybe it was the "correct" attitude, but it was completely for the wrong reasons.  
i'm saying that i  know that my own personal thoughts regarding anything at all political from the time i was a teen to the even the time i was about 40 were rather peripheral thoughts to what was going on in my own life.  that's a long way of saying that i wasn't paying too much attention to anything, i was just living my life.  
at any rate, i try to pay a lot more attention these days.   but i lack a lot of the "historical" perspective.   and that's one of the things that positively fascinates me about this place.  these "kids" here actually listen to and/or read the news.  they actually pay attention and have opinions. and debate.  i like that about here.  and well, many of their opinions are outrageous and/or said in outrageous fashion, and lots of the opinions are in jest or laced with sarcasm- but wow, they are paying attention.    
are you in the right place for what you are trying to do with your life?  i don't know.  but i wish you luck.  and i know you'll find it interesting here.  

[ Parent ]
do you have proof of this? (3.00 / 2) (#128)
by khallow on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 11:07:20 AM EST

but drugs kill and they harm and they maim.

Are they more dangerous than alcohol? Maybe meth and heroin are, but most such drugs aren't.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

go back to slashdot, country's full (nt) (none / 0) (#146)
by kromagg on Fri Mar 30, 2007 at 10:31:50 AM EST

[ Parent ]
um...but...I FEEL PRETTY! (none / 0) (#150)
by postDigital on Sat Mar 31, 2007 at 12:57:57 AM EST

I like to be in America!
O.K. by me in America!
Ev'rything free in America
For a small fee in America!
Automobile in America,
Chromium steel in America,
Wire-spoke wheel in America,
Very big deal in America!
Immigrant goes to America,
Many hellos in America;
Nobody knows in America
Puerto Rico's in America!
I like the shores of America!
Comfort is yours in America!
Knobs on the doors in America,
Wall-to-wall floors in America!

"America" - West Side Story
whole cast segments of song

[ Parent ]

Send the message (1.71 / 7) (#93)
by Noexit on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 08:23:19 AM EST

When you get home, be sure to let everyone know it sucks here. That'd be doing us a big favor. Maybe stem the tide a little.

I'm all for legal immigration. We need both highly skilled and totally unskilled workers here in the U.S. Right now the best source for both of those doesn't seem to be our own pool. So let them come, but they got to follow the rules.

Do it legally, get your papers. Follow the laws once you get here: no DWI's, no assault, rape, drug charges. Be a good pseudo-citizen. If you don't, you shouldn't be surprised if we ship your brown ass home, or keep you in one of our fine penal colonies.

But, the first thing that happens is that WE, the U.S. gotta follow the rules we've already established for ourselves, and make the process for legal immigration more streamlined. And I don't see that happening any time soon.

0 for saying brown ass, and making racial (1.33 / 3) (#106)
by circletimessquare on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 03:14:59 PM EST

fucking moron

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Oh look (1.50 / 2) (#123)
by wuckers on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 08:21:32 AM EST

at Mr. PC trying to improve his self esteem by tilting at all those dirty racists he sees everywhere.  What an emotional fucking FAGGOT.

[ Parent ]
it's very simple (none / 0) (#124)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 09:10:34 AM EST

if you act like an ignorant twat, i will call you an ignorant twat

sorry if that's so emotional for you


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

provide non-anecdotal citations for implied crimes (2.25 / 4) (#120)
by postDigital on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 05:40:14 AM EST

or eat shit, ditto-head.

What studies I've seen indicate that immigrants criminally offend at a much lower frequency than native-born but are subjected to a much higher standard of punishment for the offenses, which skews society deeply toward an unjust perversion, as any just process of law must have at its core, an equal applicability.

[ Parent ]
Illegal immigrants (2.50 / 2) (#122)
by wuckers on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 08:15:31 AM EST

are criminals by definition.

How about not being a hypocrite and providing cites for the studies you mention.

[ Parent ]
oh my, but i think it is a logical fallacy (none / 0) (#138)
by postDigital on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 05:48:07 PM EST

to challenge in this fashion. I will comply with citations, but later this evening, as I'm presently facing a scheduling snarl that need attending, and am just quickly replying to others replies to my...will the circle be unbroken?

In Re: your post's title though: when did the terms immigrant and illegal become paired together in the American consciousness. A majority of Americans have within their ancestral past, an impressed sailor from a foreign land who decided he wanted to be an American, and went AWOL, or a prevaricating dreamer at Ellis Island. To turn our backs and shut the door on this is to deny what makes America great. The largest identifiable group of Americans who do not have 'illegals" in their near ancestral past are the same ones who were brutally yanked from their homeland and deposited in America as slaves, yet many of the same spawn of "illegals" who shriek in horror about immigration, deny the implications of this.

[ Parent ]
here's a few pard'ner-where are yours? (3.00 / 2) (#143)
by postDigital on Fri Mar 30, 2007 at 06:29:05 AM EST

Hey, here's a few cites, where are yours? I anxiously await them, especially the Newsmax ones...Right, I don't think I'll be holding my breath while I wait.

A few articles gleaned from a one pass quick google news search.

Sacramento Bee - March 7, 2007
Editorial: Immigration's impact - In California, it's not what you might think

All who believe immigrants reduce job opportunities and depress the wages of U.S.-born workers should read the new study by an economist at the University of California, Davis, challenging that assumption.

Using data from the census and the 2004 American Community Survey, economist Giovanni Peri concludes that increases in immigration, both legal and illegal, between 1990 and 2004 helped boost wages for U.S.-born workers in California by an average of 4 percent.

In "How Immigrants Affect California Employment and Wages," Peri says that the higher the education for a U.S.-born worker, the bigger the immigration-induced wage increase. Rather than directly competing with native workers for low-wage jobs, immigrants "complement native workers," Peri found. "The increased supply of migrants is likely to put native workers in jobs where they perform supervisory, managerial, training, and in general interactive and coordinating tasks, which makes them more productive."

The Giovanni Peri study is available for free download (PDF) at the Public Policy Institute of California

American Public Media-Marketplace-March 22, 2007
Immigration Backlash in Texas

...a study done by the Texas State Comptroller last year showed that undocumented immigrants actually boosted the state economy overall by $17.7 billion a year.

So, where Republican primary voters see a threat, the state's business leaders see an opportunity. Agriculture, construction and hospitality all rely heavily on immigrant labor.

This gets to a salient point regarding the claims that Immigrants are over burdening the public school system; Immigrants increase the economy and pay into taxes too. Of course, if people want to continue whinning about this, I think that my taxes should be dramastically reduced, since I've never had children, and because of that have to pay a higher taxation rate than those who have chosen to spew their DNA wantonly, and then receive yearly deductions for this instead of receiving a tax increase to defer the extra costs that their children's needs will place upon the public school system. The argument is full of shit, unless all dependency deductions are removed from income taxes, and instead an extra tariff placed upon birthing.

Now here is a really bright plan:

WCCO- CBS Affiliate-Minneapolis/St. Paul-March 25, 2007
Bill Introduced To Limit Banking For Non-Citizens

This is what comes from an drive to simply punish. It will not stop Illegal immigration, and will only provide more profits to shady businesspersons engaged in wire-transfers, looking to make a quick buck off of the immigrants' plight. It will negatively affect real banks' bottom line, and effectively remove potential positive effects from the advantages on the local economy in a bank's ability to loan money, and more money staying in the possession of the immigrant who earned it.

Here's an interesting article about elected morons in Scranton, PA, who legislated a heavy handed anti-immigration law, claiming all sorts of evil from Immigrants, but when the law was challenged in court, admitted they had no real proof about any of the claims they made about immigrants.

The Times Tribune - Scranton, PA - March 14, 2007
Hazleton's lack of study on issue draws questions
By Wade Malcolm

Hazleton City Council President Joseph Yanuzzi testified Tuesday neither he nor council - nor anyone in the city to his knowledge - conducted any research, thought to commission any study or received any training on immigration documentation before passing the controversial ordinance.

From the Pure Libertarian UK publication:

The Economist-March 22, 2007
American idiocracy-Why the immigration system needs urgent fixing

Here's an article regarding North Carolina's over burdened medicaid system:

International Herald Tribune-March 13, 2007
Study: Emergency health care for North Carolina's illegal immigrants is costly
The Associated Press

RALEIGH, North Carolina: Pregnant, illegal Hispanic immigrants make up the overwhelming majority of patients seeking emergency health aid for poor immigrants, according to a study of one U.S. state facing a dramatic increase in its immigrant population.

But the cost of treating the emergency health care needs of recent and illegal immigrants still makes up less than 1 percent of the overall spending in North Carolina each year on Medicaid, according to the study that appears in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association. Medicaid is a joint state-federal program that gives health care coverage to the poor and disabled.

[. . .]

The study also suggests that paying for basic checkups and pregnancy care for illegal immigrants would save states money.

Ooh those awful illegals, eating up 1% of the medicaid bill. The interesting stat that it would be cheaper to just provide decent prenatal care for these women is a fact that will not be repeated often.

Here are two from Migration Immigration source, a website I picked-up off of the google news search:

[ Parent ]
I never (none / 0) (#159)
by wuckers on Mon Apr 02, 2007 at 11:27:25 AM EST

said I had any articles or citations, dumbass.  I just wanted your side of the debate on this.  So I thank you for responding with your cites.

[ Parent ]
Illegal immigration = Government subsidies (2.50 / 4) (#96)
by emohiphop on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 08:44:53 AM EST

Illegal immigration causes two things, lower wages, and Higher taxes.  Those skilled, middle class wage earners pay taxes that go to fund the law enforcement and social programs required by low wage illegals.  At the same time, the quality of government services for the middle class wage earner is diluted, and The quality of her environment decreases from over population.

of course certain businesses gains from the availability of wage slaves, that can not organize or complain and for whom they do not need to provide health care.  

So spare me the How good hard working most of the people are, spare me the open border libertarian fantasy.    

A Third Thing (1.83 / 6) (#97)
by tthomas48 on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 09:49:28 AM EST

You've forgotten the third thing illegal immigration creates. Even as the quality of government service is diluted, the quality of life improves for the middle class wage earner. We wouldn't have 24-hour restaurants. The cost of eating out would double or triple. The cost of everything sold at walmart or the grocery store would triple. The entire "back of house" economy is made up of services provided by illegal or recent immigrants. Without illegal immigration we would probably find ourselves having a flashback to the seventies.
So don't give me the middle-class wage earners are carrying this country sob story. It's pathetic and untrue. Every part of your life is made possible because you are living a colonial lifestyle. It is where you were born that gives you the lifestyle you have, not your skills. Your skills are a product of where you were born.

[ Parent ]
Walmart IMPORTS stuff (2.50 / 4) (#99)
by emohiphop on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 10:10:51 AM EST

Its totally wrong that - The cost of everything sold at walmart or the grocery store would triple.

It maybe true that - We wouldn't have 24-hour restaurants. The cost of eating out would double or triple. But so what, there are alternatives to resturants, they are a luxury that most middle class people can easily do without.

I suppose trips to disney land would be more expensive too, again, so what, its not a quality of life issue that equals rising costs in security, health care, and education.

You see the the impact of  illegals on the economy is small - less than 1 % of the GDP, but  Their impact on services is much greater. That 1 % is great for the rich who use the  luxury services, and corporate farmers, that have enough employees to matter.

[ Parent ]

Bull (2.00 / 2) (#127)
by khallow on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 11:04:52 AM EST

So don't give me the middle-class wage earners are carrying this country sob story. It's pathetic and untrue. Every part of your life is made possible because you are living a colonial lifestyle. It is where you were born that gives you the lifestyle you have, not your skills. Your skills are a product of where you were born.

You don't get it. The US has tremendous infrastructure at the physical, educational, political, legal, and social levels. The "colonial lifestyle" is a direct outcome of this infrastructure, not illegal immigrants.

And your comments on 24 hour restaurants and Walmart are just uninformed. They might be a little more expensive with a bit less unskilled labor around, but there's no case for your wild claims.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Then make it legal, genius (2.50 / 6) (#100)
by cburke on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 10:17:46 AM EST

As is sometimes the case, all the negatives you mention are a side effect of the fact that they are illegal immigrants.  If employers had to abide by the labor laws of our country when employing immigrants, then they'd earn at least minimum wage, pay their taxes, and have health care.

It's their status as illegals that prevents honest contractors from being able to compete with dishonest ones employing teams of illegals.  Force these people to pay the immigrants a legitimate salary, and then suddenly without the huge cost advantage aspects like how well the workers communicate becomes more important, and the playing field becomes more level.

If you don't want to make them legal immigrants, and are still against this real version of the "open border libertarian fantasy" because you just don't want a glut of minimum wage Mexicans et al in the country, well, then I'll be generous and just say that this exemplifies unenlightened self-interest.

You know why?  Because legal or not they're still coming.  These are people so desperate to improve their lives that they are willing to climb our fences, sneak into our country, and basically live as fugitives and wage slaves because it's better than what they had.  Keeping them illegal is not going to disuade them, it demonstrably isn't.  All keeping them illegal does is hurt you in exactly the ways you describe, and hurt them too and perpetuate the system.  You're injuring yourself to spite... who?

[ Parent ]

The question is where is the tipping point (2.50 / 2) (#104)
by emohiphop on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 12:06:56 PM EST

Say we open the borders, or even just make everyone here Legal. That has to increase the total number of immigrants that will come, and does not allow us any control the types of people who immigrate, so a higher percentage will be Low wage, and even criminals.  If enough people come, it will over burden all the social systems. We will become even more like a third world country.

Because of our Non-libertarian social welfare system, we can easily overpopulate the United states. . . For a short time. . . At this point, there will be a huge downswing, as Industry fails, People leave, and land becomes useless. My enlightened self interest is sustainablity over the long term, not short term economic growth.

If we wanted, we could significantly reduce the number of illegals. This would promote sustainablity, allow for better allocation of resources, and methods of educating, and improving the lives of our current citizens.    

[ Parent ]

That's one way to look at it. (none / 1) (#145)
by daani on Fri Mar 30, 2007 at 09:46:12 AM EST

Say we open the borders, or even just make everyone here Legal. That has to increase the total number of immigrants that will come, and does not allow us any control the types of people who immigrate, so a higher percentage will be Low wage, and even criminals.

If you're talking about opening the borders completely, yes. But a moderate approach might allow more control over the types of people who enter. At the moment, there is no control at all. People enter from Mexico (or other) without ever presenting for inspection. And there is a whole industry set up to enable the illegal entry, a host of employers ready to save a buck by hiring them, and a left-wing political lobby that rallies behind illegals simply because they think the alternative would be inhumane.

On the other hand, if the United States had more or less open borders (subject to criminal background/health check etc.) there would be no employers willing to take on illegals, very little political sympathy and it would be a hell of a lot harder to find somebody to help you across the desert.

From a national security standpoint, the current situation must be close to the worst possible...

[ Parent ]
quite the opposite sir. (2.33 / 3) (#125)
by daani on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 10:38:56 AM EST

of course certain businesses gains from the availability of wage slaves, that can not organize or complain and for whom they do not need to provide health care.

True statement. And also the reason your concern for the middle-class is misplaced. The economic effect of removing the so-called "illegal immigrants" from the system would be to replace cheap, unorganized and unprotected immigrant labor with expensive, unionized and legally protected Americans. i.e. free market out, artificial scarcity and regulation in.

Now why the fuck anyone would imagine this would be good for the middle classes is beyond me (no, the folk who fold laundry for a living, worthy as they are, are not middle-class).

[ Parent ]

heh (2.00 / 2) (#126)
by khallow on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 10:56:27 AM EST

Now why the fuck anyone would imagine this would be good for the middle classes is beyond me (no, the folk who fold laundry for a living, worthy as they are, are not middle-class).

Because it's an artificial subsidy of businesses that are deliberately breaking the law and using inefficient labor practices. And you ignore the infrastructure costs of illegals. That alone justifies the "artificial scarcity and regulation".

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Forget about legality (2.00 / 2) (#144)
by daani on Fri Mar 30, 2007 at 09:23:27 AM EST

That's just politics.

The difference between illegal and legal labor is that legal labor is artificially protected by government regulation. You can fire illegals if they turn out to be lazy. If more labor shows up you can drop everybodies wages. The *only* reason an employer wishes to risk his neck and hire illegals is to obtain the benefits of a free labor market.

Trust me, extending benefits and paying more to the people who perform menial chores for you is not going to improve your standard of living.

[ Parent ]

tragedy of the commons (none / 1) (#147)
by khallow on Fri Mar 30, 2007 at 02:33:28 PM EST

The thing that gets ignored here is legal immigrants at least have for the most part demonstrated some intent to fit in with US society and/or skills that are very useful to the US economy. There's a lot more economically than just cheaper labor (which incidentally the average US resident is going to experience a net loss from).

One doesn't expect Coca Cola to lower its standards (eg, remove carbonation) just because it is cheaper. In a similar fashion, the US has built up a "brand", a collection of infrastructure that would be mostly destroyed by a massive wave of uncontrolled immigration. Why expect them to sacrifice that for a hypothetical gain from a slightly freer but far cheaper labor market? Among other things that would destroy the value of the labor that currently exists in the US.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

oh goodness. (2.00 / 2) (#148)
by daani on Sat Mar 31, 2007 at 12:00:36 AM EST

legal immigrants at least have for the most part demonstrated some intent to fit in with US society

Bullshit. Utter bullshit. I had a legal working visa a few years ago and trust me - get in, get out, take some of those (then strong) US dollars with me. If your circumstances allow you to be legal, you are. If not, you are not. Nothing whatsoever to do with character or commitment to your adopted country. For Christ's sake, think about it just a little bit.

Why expect them to sacrifice that for a hypothetical gain from a slightly freer but far cheaper labor market?

It's already happening. Aren't there 10 million undocumented immigrants already? Americans have never had it so good, and they know it. This is not because you all work so much harder than you did in the 50s, it's because of cheap goods from overseas and cheap labor at home. Decision has been made - and any attempt to roll it back with walls or stricter checks will cause massive econonmic damage.

[ Parent ]

ok, so what? (none / 1) (#152)
by khallow on Sat Mar 31, 2007 at 07:16:12 AM EST

Bullshit. Utter bullshit. I had a legal working visa a few years ago and trust me - get in, get out, take some of those (then strong) US dollars with me. If your circumstances allow you to be legal, you are. If not, you are not. Nothing whatsoever to do with character or commitment to your adopted country. For Christ's sake, think about it just a little bit.

I thought about it. You provide some sloppy anecdote and no real support for your argument. I on the other hand, can point to the various criteria for acquiring work visas. These usually involve demonstrating that the immigrant has some sort of necessary work experience. Any one who jumps through the hoops to get a green card has demonstrated that they want to stay in the US (at least to a sufficient degree to get that card). And becoming a citizen means you have to demonstrate intent and some types of useful knowledge (eg, ability to speak English).

It's already happening. Aren't there 10 million undocumented immigrants already? Americans have never had it so good, and they know it. This is not because you all work so much harder than you did in the 50s, it's because of cheap goods from overseas and cheap labor at home. Decision has been made - and any attempt to roll it back with walls or stricter checks will cause massive econonmic damage.

illegal labor is easy to reverse. Just go after the employers and the money. And remember "massive economic damage" doesn't matter to the person who is earning more (which would be most US workers) and has a higher standard of living because a) they earn more, and b) the infrastructure that makes them more valuable is being sustained. Please remember that increasing economic efficiency usually doesn't benefit everyone.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

again requesting citations (none / 0) (#151)
by postDigital on Sat Mar 31, 2007 at 01:10:21 AM EST

I especially like ones from Newsmax and World Net Daily, because they are so much fun to trash, but FAIR is ok for easy target acquisition also.

Then there are the MinuteMen, who set themselves up to be buried in heaps of ironic mockery by promoting to a leader/spokesperson role, some clown named SimCock.

Possessing a SimCock is prerequisite to becoming a MinuteMan.

[ Parent ]

downside, only... waaah (none / 1) (#136)
by grant7 on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 03:45:33 PM EST

I'm tired of hearing about problems.  They are not real.  A problem is in deciding there is a problem, same as every type of negative perception.

Live and let live (and let die).  Old ways are changing, rapidly.  Learn not to fight fire with fire, or as Ghandi suggests re: passive resistance - first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.  Don't get drawn in to the fighting, don't fight back or out or away - the other side is breaking on through.

Now I know you're right, and this is a great story to hear, but it is mundane and uninteresting in its abstract application to reality.  I'd rather hear a real horror story.

Personally on the side of my family most recently emigrated to the US (3 generations) there was much too much laboring, educating & general signing up for the we-need-to-get-ahead mentality.  Bunch of bullshit that resonates in perfectly well-off people's heads to this day.  Amounts to not sharing, feeling sorry for oneself and being closed off from others.

Here is an anecdote of another color...

Presently I am happily living in California.  I should emphasize at this point NORTHERN California.  As an internet engineer I do have clients and opportunities for work.  Presently I am hoping to rent a place again soon, staying with people who also surf or oscillate between walking upon, swimming or drowning in watery economies.

In a nearby town I was very nearly accosted by a happy go lucky "tourist" who traded Spanish for English at a rapid rate.  Told me how great the US is (mucho trabajo!) invited me over to meet his familial clan (muy bonitas hermanas).  It's hard not to be sick if your view is downtrodden, and most of the mainstream views in the US are certainly that, but it takes me for a spin to see someone viscerally appreciating my environment in a meaningfully different fashion.  How can I deny this love of life?  Indeed my own enjoyment of the context allowed this interaction and acceptance.

End of anecdote, on to the normal crap... I have been screwed over by one company in particular which inefficiently wastes its physical & monetary resources.  I assisted in building the inside of their warehouse office & recording space with a crew of Columbians from DC - flown out and back at least a week per month at home with family.  The studio is cleaned by local low wage workers of unknown status.  The full-time employees are wage slaves with an inordinate amount of confusion from not being involved in decision-making processes.

That's a high end problem which I consider beneficial and buoying, for me personally.  As a freelance contractor that's what I get for not being more circumspect about my employers and their emotional baggage surrounding priorities, overall misconceptions, etc.  Makes me downright glad I don't work there or anywhere else full-time... talk about wage/mind slave, the hierarchies are for shit if not multiplicit.

What language is this? (none / 0) (#167)
by BJH on Sun Apr 15, 2007 at 04:03:47 AM EST

It can't be English, because i can't understand a fucking word you said.
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]
So you... (none / 0) (#155)
by lruerk on Sat Mar 31, 2007 at 06:24:39 PM EST

... are a kind of roving reporter? I like that!

PS. my first post on k5

the only problem I have... (2.00 / 2) (#160)
by CAIMLAS on Mon Apr 02, 2007 at 03:46:50 PM EST

I am very, very strongly against illegal immigration for a myriad of reasons. However, when these reasons are distilled, it comes down to a handful of primary concerns:

  1. The lack of assimilation is one of the largest concerns I have. A society which is not culturally homogeneous is not a society; it is two societies sharing a common ground.
  2. While the vast majority of the people coming here are undoubtedly healthy, well-intentioned, and hard-working families, there is no small number of illegals who come here with criminal intent, are ill (bringing commutable diseases such as TB), and want to take advantage for personal gain without becoming a part of the culture (see #1).
  3. There are, without a doubt, specific groups within the illegal communities who wish to subjugate our systems and our land for their own means (Atzlan, for instance) - to take us over from the inside.
  4. The sheer number of immigrants being allowed into the country, both legally and illegally (from South America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East...), is more than the infrastructure of the country can withstand without a substantial amount of social turmoil. The rate of immigration is substantially higher than the native birth rate; within only several generations, we will see a complete upheaval of the institutional cultures of our country; in fact, we've been seeing it for the past decade or so, as this wanton immigration has been occurring since the 1970s.
  5. It is bad for their home countries. Instead of staying to fix the problems they have been party to (through omission of action), the able bodied leave and allow the predators to prey on the weak. There would be no need for them to immigrate at all, if the people who had illegally immigrated had stood together against the localized tyranny. There are a LOT of illegals (and other South American nationals) in the US now; more than enough to have positively impacted politics at home (for instance, there are more Mexicans in the US now than there are in Mexico - one can only assume, on good faith, that these are all people in this country with positive intent, right?)

So, there you have it. I personally welcome immigrants, and it's only natural that they would want to come here due to the economic benefits of doing so. But it's reasonable to expect something in return for that - namely, you've got to not go against the grain, become like us, and not form subversive enclaves. That's not American.

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.

more wrong than right (none / 1) (#172)
by postDigital on Sun May 06, 2007 at 03:02:00 PM EST

  1. Assimilation is a valid concern. It is important that anyone who emigrates to a different country becomes a part of it. There is a big difference between assimilation and shed cultural heritage though. We are a country of immigrants, and unless you are going to rail against Octoberfest, and St. Patrick's day celebrations, you have no right being upset about Cinco De Maya.
  2. Studies indicate that foreign born American residents are more lawful than native born. Why the displacement. Drug law crimilisation is the Real Cause for much of the crime associated with illegal immigration. This is not the fault of the immigrant, but flows from governmental anti-market initiatives, which have greatly distorted supply and demand. Again, you are demonising the wrong cause for the crime, which is our own government's attempt to legislate in an area of personal liberty, which they do not rightfully have the authority to do so.
  3. Atzlan is a conspiracy theory, promoted by anti-immigration groups, and almost entirely without substance. C'mon, these people are trying to get away from the governments of their birth.
  4. Citations?

    Most Americans have come to believe that the United States is accepting unprecedented numbers of immigrants -- that the nation is virtually "under siege" from foreigners. Many of our politicians, such as Pat Buchanan, have tried to reinforce this sense of an out-of-control border by resorting in some cases to frightening rhetoric. Buchanan, for example, speaks of the need to "build a sea wall around the United States" to keep out "the rising masses of foreigners."

    The truth is that the numbers today are not unusually high or unmanageable. It is indeed true that in the 1980s and 1990s the U.S. admitted about 15 million new immigrants. This was the most immigrants to come to the United States since the great wave that arrived through Ellis Island between 1900-1910. Roughly half of all immigrants settled in just four states: California, Florida, Texas, and Illinois.

    Perhaps the best measure of America's ability to absorb immigrants into the social and physical infrastructure is the number of immigrants admitted as a share of the total population. The U.S. immigration rate has risen from about 2.0 per 1,000 residents in the 1950s and 1960s to about 3.5 per 1,000 residents by 2000. In earlier periods of our history the immigration rate has been as high as 16 per 1,000, or five times higher than today. The average immigration rate over the past 150 years has been about 5 per 1,000 residents.

    Stephen Moore, "A Strategic U.S. Immigration Policy for the New Economy", Center for Immigration Studies

  5. This is offensive to the very concept of freedom, and completely overlooks the fact that many of these countries of origin which you are referring to have evil and corrupt societies, because of interventionist policies of other foreign governments, often America's. Again, I point directly to the "War on Drugs".

[ Parent ]
I disagree on point 5 ... (none / 0) (#175)
by GiTm on Tue May 22, 2007 at 01:31:57 PM EST

... although there are a number of countries that have had their economies unbalanced due to the 'War on Drugs' (so far that's a war on a substance and a war on a tactic - neither is really winnable). I do agree with the previous posters stance that more people need to take a stance against what is causing the problem in the first place.

If America was serious about spreading democracy they would concentrate on getting people to change their own surroundings - real change (and I think Iraq has proved this) must come from the inside, not the outside. Let people know - if you want to change we will support you. If people don't want change (or don't want change in the way that you want them to change) nothing will happen or things will just get worse.

[ Parent ]

eyes wide shut... (none / 0) (#177)
by postDigital on Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 11:15:40 PM EST

First, the original causes for The War Upon Iraq was not about bringing Iraq democracy. That was a revision after the other causes proved to be false. Paul Wolfowitz, while still Deputy Secretary of the Department of Defense, stated this clearly in his May 9, 2003 Interview with Sam Tannenhaus, Vanity Fair:

"The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason, but...there have always been three fundamental concerns. One is weapons of mass destruction, the second is support for terrorism, the third is the criminal treatment of the Iraqi people. Actually I guess you could say there's a fourth overriding one which is the connection between the first two...

To wrap it up.

The third one by itself, as I think I said earlier, is a reason to help the Iraqis but it's not a reason to put American kids' lives at risk, certainly not on the scale we did it. That second issue about links to terrorism is the one about which there's the most disagreement within the bureaucracy, even though I think everyone agrees that we killed 100 or so of an al Qaeda group in northern Iraq in this recent go-around, that we've arrested that al Qaeda guy in Baghdad who was connected to this guy Zarqawi whom Powell spoke about in his UN presentation."

The "guy Zarqawi whom Powell spoke about in his UN presentation" was a one-legged amputee, who had lost his leg fighting American forces in Afghanistan, and had received hospitalisation care in Baghdad. All bogus tripe that Doug Feith's OSP had swung for the fences with...a curveball low and away, in the dirt.

Secondly, here are just a few cases of The American government's less than democratic intervention in the Americas, documented at the NSA Archive:

[ Parent ]
I've been through some of that (none / 0) (#163)
by alecsmare on Tue Apr 03, 2007 at 12:57:24 PM EST

I have spent half a day trying to get a tourist visa, unlike you I was denied one. I had a 9 AM appointment and I left the embassy around 4 PM. I had over $10k in my bank account, I owned an apartment, I had a fairly prestigious job for a multinational NYSE quoted company with about 8 times the average salary and I spoke fluent English, which was probably my biggest mistake. I tried to start a conversation in English with the lady behind the double bullet-proof glass and she pretended that she couldn't hear me, she kept saying that in my native language (which she spoke quite badly) until I decided to give up and switched to the language of her choice. It all went downhill from there.

I've spent hours standing up in the sun without being allowed to even lean against the fence, then more hours in a steaming room with no AC, then finally about one more hour in a room with the AC set on "freeze".

I was just going to visit the US for a couple of weeks, see Yellowstone and some more sites and pick up my fiancee, born in MO. Now we're married and it wouldn't be a problem to even get a green card, except I don't want to. For as long as I have to endure that kind of humiliation again I'm just not going to fly to the US even if that means I'll never meet some of my extended family.

Also my home country is not anything close to Central America, we're members of the EU and have pretty decent living standards. We can fly to (and even work in) countries like Sweden, France, Italy without having to submit to any humiliating experiences or paying any ridiculous fees.

A flash of light, a cloud of dust and ... what was the question?

Perhaps you would be better off ... (none / 0) (#174)
by GiTm on Tue May 22, 2007 at 01:19:23 PM EST

... fighting for increased pay and conditions so that people didn't have to feel they needed to flee 'up north'? Or at least passing on your experiences to others so that they know that fleeing the country is not an improvement.

Certainly not something that would happen overnight but definitely achievable (and worth fighting for).

Let the Americans fight their political battles over immigration (legal and illegal) - your country sounds physically beautiful why not make it personally beautiful as well?

I'm not going to enter into any immigration battles (especially not American ones). I personally believe that any country can choose who it allows over it's borders as permanent residents regardless of whether I consider those choices moral or not. It's just a fact of life.

"Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" | 175 comments (144 topical, 31 editorial, 2 hidden)
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