Showing posts with label illegal immigration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label illegal immigration. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Trump save Amerika from the advancing horde!

The hordes, circa 1907.

This is for all you descendants of the hordes. You know who you are.

You're the Heebs. The dagos. The Polacks. The micks. The greasers. The spics. The bohunks. The krauts. The frogs. The chinks. The Japs. The gooks. The camel jockeys. The cheeseheads. The Scandihoovians. The Russkies. The towel heads. The wetbacks. The coonasses.

Me, I'm mostly frog and coonass, with significant DNA from the cheeseheads, krauts and micks.


All of my ancestors came to the United States "the right way." When they came over to the land of milk, honey and red-and-black genocide, "the right way" generally was understood to be "getting off the damn boat without tripping on the gangplank and drowning in the drink."

Actually, my French and Cajun ancestors never came to the United States -- they came to the Spanish colony of Louisiana in the 1780s. Les Americains came to them in 1803 . . . in 1810 to those on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River after the rise and fall of the West Florida Republic.


My people may have thought of les Americains as les hordes -- I don't know.

That's not important now. What's important is that, at some point, in American history, descendants of previous hordes swarming toward American shores decided that the next wave of immigrants were the real horde, the one that totally was going to fuck up "American culture" for everybody. Right after, of course, they stole every last American job.

Recently, Real Americans (TM) have been concerned about the tag-team hordes of Muslim Suicide Bombers and Latin American Rapist Drug Smugglers. (Hey! It must be true! President Trump keeps saying it, and millions of people with bad teeth and worse educations keep repeating it!)

The tweeter-in-chief (whose personality and IQ may or may not be why they call it Twit-ter) largely managed to stem the tide of Muslims Who Blow Shit Up, but he's having limited success in stopping the Menace Coming From Mexico. (I mean, you'd think he'd extend professional courtesy toward a horde of rapists, but I guess not. They. Must. Be. Stopped.)

THERE IS SOME overlap between our present horde threats; Trump tells us that "unknown Middle Easterners" are mixed in among the Latin American rapists and drug smugglers, and he's "alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emergy."

It's the nativist obsession du jour. It's The Caravan, it's coming up through Mexico from the violence and grinding poverty of Central America . . . and it's coming for you. That is why our president says it's a National Emergy.

I am unsure what a National Emergy is, but it must be Serious, because it's Capitalized like Border Patrol and Military. And Southern Border.


Now, I have no proof of this, but it may be significant that Ellis Island also is capitalized, and that had something to do with why it was bad over a century ago to let in all those Heebs, dagos, bohunks, krauts, Scandihoovians, Polacks and Russkies. Of whom almost none spoke English, which until recently was our unofficial national language before it was replaced by Trumpian.

I digress.



WHAT WE DO know is that The Caravan is a National Emergy because it is almost entirely a horde, which is coming to invade America and rape your women and force all the signage to be en Español. This is bad, because Real Americans (TM) still have to master the English "lanoguage."
According to Trump, The Caravan, in fact, is an attack on the United States. Really.
President Donald Trump on Monday vowed to send as many troops as necessary to the U.S.-Mexican border to block a growing caravan of Central American migrants, calling their trek “an assault on our country.”
In an exclusive interview with USA TODAY aboard Air Force One, the president said there were “people from the Middle East” in their ranks, reiterating a claim he made without evidence in a morning tweet. The president declined to say whether his assertion was based on intelligence agencies or some other source.

While Trump has made unsubstantiated charges that Democrats had funded the migrants, he said the television footage that showed them straggling north was rebounding to the political benefit of Republicans in the midterms. The caravan could be seen on a TV, tuned to Fox News, on the wall of his office aboard the presidential aircraft.
“I think this could be a blessing in disguise because it shows how bad our laws are,” he said. “The Democrats are responsible for that.”

That was akin to the unexpected political repercussions of the bitter Senate confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh, now a Supreme Court justice. The controversy helped energize GOP voters in advance of the Nov. 6 elections, he said.

How many troops was he prepared to send to the border?

“As many as necessary,” he replied.
AND THE REFUGEE I saw on television being pushed down a Mexican road in a wheelchair is the same as a resurrected Santa Anna in a Sherman tank. Desperate mothers with their small children? No different than Pancho Villa, no doubt.

Really? Really. Ask American Conservative senior editor and blogger Rod Dreher, who has invoked (for the 975th time, but for the first time concerning this continent . . . I think) the dystopian 1973 French novel, Jean Raspail's The Camp of the Saints, which depicts desperate hordes from India descending on southern Europe . . . and a continent too culturally and spiritually exhausted to defend its borders -- and Western culture and civilization.


THERE'S THAT word -- horde. Not "caravan." Not "column." Not "migrants." Not "refugees."

Horde. That's quite the loaded word. There is no such thing as a good horde.

Dreher was alarmed Monday that over the weekend, "the migrant horde" had grown to about 5,000. Later media reports said the caravan now might number 7,000-plus.

But, hell. The man was slinging exclamation marks like a methed-up fishmonger at a Washington Post report that the Border patrol was apprehending "a caravan a day" -- 1,500 people -- at the U.S. border with Mexico.

"Fifteen hundred a day!"


Holy fuck! It's the Latino Apocalypse!

"Fifteen hundred a day!" They're invaders! Invaders, I say!

Actually, Dreher did say.


SO . . . like, what do we do? Can we shoot the "invaders"?

To Dreher's credit, he's not so sure. Unless there are no non-lethal ways to keep poor women and children from "invading" the richest country on earth? So, maybe as a last resort 5-year-old Jesus gets a slug in the head just shy of territorii Americae?

It's just so goddamn complicated!


YEP. You know you really and truly live in a Christian nation when mercy is when you don't shoot Jesus bambino and his mama in the head during their flight from Herod into Egypt to keep them from "invading" the United States as they flee violence and grinding poverty in Central America. 

But, you may exclaim, "It's a massive caravan! Five thousand, nay, 7,000 people! What if they were armed guerrillas!?!" (Oh, wait. Dreher already brought up the armed guerrillas. Sorry.)

To which I respond "1907."

Specifically, April 17, 1907.

On that day, 11,747 immigrants were processed through Ellis Island in New York Harbor, on their way to permanent residency in these United States of America. As I said before, in 1907, all that was required for the wretched of the earth of legally immigrate to this country was . . . to get here.

Unless, of course, you were Chinese. In 1907, they were chinks, sometimes Chinamen or slants, and we banned their entry from the 1870s to the 1940s.

Anyway, April 17, 1907, was the high-water mark for immigration through Ellis Island. That year, 1,004,756 souls entered the United States there. Averaged over 365 days, that's a "caravan" -- actually, a flotilla -- of (rounding up) 2,753 "invaders" every single day.

That year, 1,285,349 immigrants entered the country via all ports of entry. The estimated population of the United States in 1907 was 87,008,000.

Here's some more perspective for you: In 2016, 1.18 million people immigrated legally to the United States, which had an estimated population of 323,127,513.
 

OVERRUN? Have we been overwhelmed by "the wretched refuse" of countless teeming shores? Can we not accommodate one more of the "homeless, tempest-tost"?

If the perpetually nativist -- and racist -- Donald Trump and the perpetually alarmed Rod Dreher are going to make a case for extinguishing Lady Liberty's lamp beside the golden door, they're damned well going to have to do it apart from numbers and demographics.

In 1910, the total immigrant population of the United States came to 14.7 percent. Remember, there really wasn't such a thing as illegal immigration then.


And in 2016, America's immigrant population -- legal, illegal and temporary residents -- came to . . . wait for it . . . 13.5 percent.

If the combined 33,074,071 souls who live in Guatamala, Honduras and El Salvador said "Screw it!" got up and started marching toward the southern border of the United States -- then we might have a problem. On the other hand, Cherry County, Neb., is a fair piece bigger in area than Connecticut (and just a little smaller than Hawaii) but has only 5,818 inhabitants.

That's a middling size in this state. Arthur County, which is almost half the size of Rhode Island, has a population of . . . 457. Although some folks may have died or moved out since last year.


THEN AGAIN, there never has been room enough in America for "those people," whomever "those people" happen to be at any given point in our history. I don't know -- maybe there always has been room for the English and the Norwegians, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it.

Whenever I see footage of yet another of Adolf Trump's Nuremberg for Dummies rallies (or, for that matter, when I read yet another of Dreher's Camp of the Saints exercises in hand-wringing over the overwhelming of Western Civilization by the "hordes"), I always think of a story our parrain used to tell us about his school days in early 20th century south Louisiana.

Uncle Joe wasn't my godfather -- that's what "parrain" means in English -- but that's what all us cousins used to call the husband of Mama's second-eldest sister. And I guess the fact that we called him "parrain" would be proof enough for tons of alleged Americans that Frogs and coonasses like us don't belong in this country, despite the fact that we were in Louisiana long before "les Americains."

Parrain was a good bit older than Aunt Rose. In fact, he was of the same generation as my maternal grandparents, who were born in the late 1800s, and that was the first English-speaking generation of the family. Which had been in Louisiana, remember, since the 1780s.

Even though my grandparents and Uncle Joe were English-speakers, they were bilingual, and French was the language of their households. That is totally like the situation of many, many second-generation Mexican-Americans (and Dreamers) today -- the kids translate for the parents. In fact, my grandparents were the translators between their French-speaking parents and their English-speaking children.


There's a reason their kids only spoke English, and it goes back to what happened to Parrain . . . and thousands upon thousands of French and Cajun schoolchildren in early 20th-century Louisiana. The short version of the story is that one day the teacher, one of les Americains, heard Uncle Joe and his friends conversing in French, and le professeur beat the shit out of those coonass kids.

Those stupid coonasses -- and for certain of les Americains, the slur coonass always was preceded by "stupid" -- needed to become American, and Americans speak English. Only. And by the mid-1960s, the French language had almost died out in Louisiana, except among the old folks. Like my parrain. There's a term for that today -- at least among those who don't shit themselves at the thought of a "horde" of poverty-stricken desperates fleeing toward sanctuary in the richest country ever.

I think the term is "cultural genocide."

IT WAS carried out by a country that never even asked the "stupid coonasses" whether they even wanted to be Americans back in 1803. Les Americains were the purchasers, the "stupid coonasses" were the spoils.

And I had to take French in high school and college, because my mother could only speak a few words. My kraut, cheesehead and mick father, I don't think, had any desire to pick up any of that "coonass" lingo.


Because, no doubt, us real Americans -- and our blessed culture -- are better than the other guy.

God bless Amerika.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Brown Plague Report . . . or News Down the Rabbit Hole


If I never see Michelle Root on television again, it will be too goddamn soon.

In January 2016, Eswin Mejia rear ended Root's daughter, Sarah, on L Street in Omaha. He was driving a pickup. She was in a car. She was slowing down or stopped. He was street racing.

She was sober. He, say authorities, was drunk as a skunk.

He also was 19,  from Honduras, had no license and no papers. The judge set bail, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement wasn't interested enough to take him into federal custody when he left the state's.

Mejia, for his part, wasn't interested in a future as a guest of the Nebraska Department of Corrections. He skipped bail and, presumably, the country. All political hell broke loose. And the Root family has been poster children for "doing something about them fuckin' Mexicans" ever since.

Hondurans? Whatever.

The bottom line is the Roots have immigrated to the local TV news . . . and the pages of the Omaha World-Herald . . . and they won't leave. Because now they're activists for "immigration reform." And whenever somebody with brown skin and no immigration documentation does any damn thing that somehow impacts a regular white American, it's lights, camera . . . MAGA!


MEANTIME, regular white American drunk drivers who fatally plow into regular, sober white Americans are feeling a little ignored. Not-as-regular black American evildoers are thanking their lucky stars they're not Dominican.

And Michelle Root can be found on television sympathizing with any other regular white American who's had a regular white American child hurt or killed by One of Those People (TM). That is, when she's not found on television campaigning for Donald Trump . . . or onstage at a Trump presidential rally . . . or at the White House or otherwise protesting the Brown Menace.

Facts are facts: The Root family, with Michelle right out front, has been exploited by Trump from Day One. Michelle Root has become such a pro-Trump and anti-immigration fanatic that, to my mind, she's completely tainted as a news source.

And that's completely apart from the ethical and media issues that present themselves when shallow reporters -- particularly the TV variety, who always have been and always will be suckers for this sort of journalistic cheap grace -- put their brains in neutral and set their jerking knees to 11 anytime a Latino without papers does any damn criminal thing.

This is the laziest form of bullshit, stereotypical journalism there is. It plays into the hands of demagogues -- like the one Americans elected president -- and it will get someone killed.

You don't have to be a journalism professor, a philosopher or an ethicist to be outraged the 10th time some lazy reporter or editor tries to foist this sob-sister act on the public (which, naturally, will eat it up), much less the hundredth time the Roots pollute my TV screen with their grief-soaked vendetta.


IS NO JOURNALIST curious about Michelle Root's Twitter feed? About the retweets of posts from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a group that not only advocates against illegal immigration but also against most legal immigration and is considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center?  Retweets of extremist Iowa congressman Steve King? Retweets of missives by Arizona's "Sheriff Joe" Arpaio?

Listen, any normal human being grieves for, and with, any parent who loses a child. But that cannot and does not give the press license to turn a blind eye to reality for sentimental reasons, nor does it give the reporter license to become, in effect, a propagandist. In this case, we have local reporters who cross that line every time they run to the Roots for another bong hit of tragedy and aggrievement every time an illegal-alien Latino hurts somebody somewhere.


It's not only wrong, it's horrible journalism. The victimized Michelle Root the Omaha press portrays is a simplistic and deeply misleading portrait. It's sanitized. People who should know better are engaging in some real "fake news" because, one suspects, they figure the public can't handle the truth . . . and neither can their ratings or circulation numbers.

Reality in this case is a lot messier, a lot uglier and a lot sadder. I think it's also a lot more interesting, but there's more profit in playing to people's prejudices than in piquing people's interest. Always has been, always will be.




IF YOU'RE a reporter tempted to lazily saunter over to the Roots for yet more pathos and dire warnings about the Brown Menace, just ask yourself this: "Would I dare do this kind of story every time a white person is killed by a black person? Would I dare do it every time a Gentile gets offed by a Jew? If I would, exactly why would that be?"

I think we all know the answer to that question. So does Donald Trump. So did Adolf Hitler.

And isn't propaganda nothing more than telling the same misleading, incomplete story over and over and over again? That's where the Omaha press is now with the Root family. We hear all about the tragedy of Sarah's death. We hear all about criminals with brown skin and no papers.

We never hear a fucking thing about the rabbit hole you followed Michelle Root down into so you could do the same damn interview you already have done -- or so it seems -- a thousand times before.


I, for one, eagerly await the next Michelle Root PR availability when, say, a Norwegian who overstayed his visa slits an American's throat or drinks a fifth of Jim Beam before turning some young woman's compact car into a sheet-metal accordion.

I said I eagerly await it. I didn't say I'd be holding my breath.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Rick Santorum and his shit-eating smirk


What can you can about an allegedly "Catholic" former senator, perpetual presidential candidate and full-time self-righteous chickenshit whose advise to a "DREAMer" pondering her uncertain future under Donald Trump was this: Go back where you came from?

Trouble is,  this 27-year-old mechanical engineer was brought to the United States when she was 7. Where she "comes from" is here.

Really, what can you say about such a man as Rick Santorum?

OK, what can you say that I'd feel comfortable repeating?

WELL, that's all right. I'm pretty much at a loss, too. Everything that immediately comes to mind is unprintable . . . and note that I'm reasonably comfortable with "shit-eating smirk" and "self-righteous chickenshit."

OK, what about calling him a "vile, crypto-Nazi, cafeteria-Catholic mother. . . ." No, I'd have to confess that one to Father.

I guess we're at loggerheads on l'affaire Santorum. I'll just leave my comment at this: What we need is a name for the particular species of culture-war "cafeteria Catholic" that Rick Santorum exemplifies. I propose "Kultur Krieg Katholiken." Just call 'em KKKs for short.

Everything is better in the original German, ja?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The smoking lamp is off

Click on ad for a higher resolution view

The black eye the Pillsbury Doughmagogue got Wednesday from the Nebraska Legislature means that babies will live.

That Medicaid money will be saved.

And that, here in this beautiful corner of the Great Plains, the founders' words mean a little more than they did the day before.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Not white men. Not Anglo-Saxon men. Not American men.

All men . . . and women. And children in the womb.

ONCE AGAIN in this state, future American citizens in the wombs of their mothers -- whether those mothers be poor, undocumented or both -- won't be regarded by the state as throwaway stepchildren of a lesser god. No thanks to our petulant and Mexican-baiting governor, Dave Heineman, who consistently has seen feeding on the bottom as a sure path to coming out on top.

God don't sleep, and this time neither did the unicameral, which ended its session with multiple political bitch slaps for the Doughmagogue. The
Omaha World-Herald was there for the festivities:
Teary-eyed supporters predicted Wednesday that the Legislature's decision to restore taxpayer-funded prenatal care for illegal immigrants will result in fewer newborns with birth defects and fewer expenses for intensive care stays and delivery room complications.

“For the women, it means they won't have to worry anymore. They can come and get care,” said Andrea Skolkin of South Omaha's One World Community Health Center.

Lawmakers voted 30-16 to override Gov. Dave Heineman's veto of Legislative Bill 599.

The governor predicted that the 2012 legislative session will be remembered most for providing free health care for illegal residents while allowing cities to raise sales taxes on legal residents — referring to the lawmakers' override of another veto.

“I strongly disagree with their decisions,” Heineman said in a prepared statement. “Providing preferential treatment to illegals while increasing taxes on legal Nebraska citizens is misguided, misplaced and inappropriate.”

The vote on the prenatal care bill came at the end of the session's last day, providing an emotional finale to what has been a rough-and-tumble session.

“I like soft landings,” said State Sen. Mike Flood of Norfolk, the speaker of the Legislature. “We had to foam the runways this year. But any landing you walk away from is a good landing.”


(snip)

A similar prenatal care bill was withdrawn from the agenda two years ago, lacking enough votes to pass. This year, a new estimate of the expected fiscal impact of providing the care placed the state's annual cost at about $560,000.

That was less than the cost to taxpayers and hospitals for just two cases of extended neonatal intensive care for babies born to women lacking prenatal care. One case cost more than $800,000.

Sen. Kathy Campbell of Lincoln, a leading supporter of LB 599, said charities and private donations cannot be counted on to finance the care.

Clinics in Omaha and Columbus reported dramatic increases in the number of women seeking free prenatal care, but also several cases of women skipping the care or coming in too late to address early developing problems in their babies. Health professionals have said that for every $1 invested in prenatal care, savings of up to $4 is expected.

“Fiscally, this makes sense,” Flood said. “This is an innocent child in the middle of a red-hot debate about immigration.”

Despite lobbying by Heineman and other foes of the bill, only one previous supporter — Sen. Tom Seiler of Hastings — switched from supporting the measure to opposing the override.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Uneasy lies the head of the Doughmagogue


When you hit bottom in politics, you have only yourself to compete with for King of the Muck.

In which case, put a crown on the Pillsbury Doughmagogue -- Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman. And if you're an all-'Mercun mouth-breather, the king wants to hear from you at 1-800-LYIN SOB. He's ready to talk "illegals" and "anchor babies" if you are; the fewer actual facts, the better.

And know that your "pro-life" monarch -- the one who vetoes funding for prenatal care for poor fetuses -- has what it takes to once again make the Cornhusker State (both in taxes and in complexion) "the white spot" of America.
Sorry . . . 'Mercuh.
As promised, Gov. Dave Heineman on Friday vetoed a controversial bill that would restore prenatal services for illegal immigrants.

But the pro-life governor's veto message included a new and potentially explosive new charge: that some of the prenatal funds could find their way to a leading pro-choice organization, Planned Parenthood.

“I oppose providing taxpayer benefits to illegal immigrants,” Heineman said in a press release. “I oppose providing taxpayer funding to vendors that perform or promote abortions.”

A Planned Parenthood of the Heartland official said Friday that the organization doesn't provide prenatal services at its Nebraska clinics, which are in Omaha and Lincoln.

Supporters of the bill, including some anti-abortion officials, said the charge was a last-minute attempt to derail an attempted override of the governor's veto. The Legislature's override vote on Legislative Bill 599 is scheduled for Wednesday.

“This is nothing more than an eleventh-hour attempt to scuttle LB 599,” said Julie Schmit-Albin, the executive director of Nebraska Right to Life, the leading anti-abortion organization in the state.

State Sen. Kathy Campbell of Lincoln, the chief sponsor of the bill, said she was “disturbed” that the comment about Planned Parenthood wasn't raised until after the measure had progressed through three rounds of debate in the Legislature.

But Campbell said she did not think it would erode support for LB 599, to which 31 lawmakers gave final-round approval — one vote more than necessary to override the governor's veto.
OF COURSE, there is that veto-proof majority thing in the Legislature. Sigh.

"Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown."

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Don't fear the (bleep)er


There are times a writer needs a while and many words to say -- and say well -- what needs to be said.

Other times, however, one can say what needs to be said, and with clarity, in just a few words. This is one of those times.

Over the years, at least once a legislative session, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has exposed himself . . . philosophically and morally, that is. The result is about what one would expect if he had dropped trou and let it all hang out.

In the latter instance, we would see one. In the oft-recurring former, we see that Heineman
is one.

Let me be clear. The Pillsbury Doughmagogue is a deeply cynical man. He does not hesitate to give himself over to evil whenever he thinks crossing over to the dark side will make him some political hay. He is a discredit to his office and to Nebraska.


"Why should illegal aliens receive millions of
taxpayer dollars when those funds should be
used for increased state aid to education?"
-- Gov. Dave Heineman, pretending to
care about state aid to public education

ONE OF NEBRASKA'S
saving graces is that its people are so much better than its governors -- and most of its politicians, for that matter. Generally, Nebraskans understand "the common good."

Another Nebraska saving grace is that its legislature is usually better than its governors, is capable of learning from -- and fixing -- its mistakes, and is willing to bitch-slap a governor when bitch-slapping is called for. It does this to Heineman regularly.

Thus we have this "God bless the unicameral" moment in today's Omaha World-Herald:
The day after 30 state lawmakers advanced a controversial bill to restore taxpayer-funded prenatal care for illegal immigrants, Gov. Dave Heineman singled out for criticism a fellow Republican leader who helped push the bill.

Heineman, who has made a reputation for his staunch anti-illegal immigration views, called a press conference Wednesday to express his "extraordinary" disappointment in State Sen. Mike Flood of Norfolk, the speaker of the Legislature and a leading pro-life senator.

"Why should illegal aliens receive millions of taxpayer dollars when those funds should be used for increased state aid to education?" Heineman asked.
Flood, who has been mentioned as a possible candidate for governor in 2014, was among senators giving first-round approval to the bill, under which an estimated 1,100 low-income, women, mostly illegal immigrants, would be eligible for prenatal care funded by the state. The bill would resume a decades-long policy that was ended in 2010.

Flood said Wednesday his support for the prenatal bill was linked to both pro-life and fiscal reasons. He said he had not talked to the governor.

During floor debate Tuesday night, Flood said that in balancing the "rule of law" with the "pro-life position," he has to side with the health of an unborn baby.

"The unborn child should not be punished for the actions of his or her parents," he said. "We should protect the life of an unborn child whenever possible."

At least 13 other Republicans voted "yes" on the 30-16 vote to advance Legislative Bill 599. Heineman said he singled out Flood for criticism because he had become a "leader" in the effort to pass the prenatal bill.

Heineman said that passing LB 599 with make Nebraska a "magnet" for illegal immigrants because neighboring states don't provide such prenatal care.
MIKE FLOOD is a good man. Unlike another Nebraska Republican in a high office.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mayor takes up cross, fights for Them


Repeat after me: Justice without mercy is no justice at all.

During this sad season of empty wallets and cold hearts in America, one small-town Georgia mayor understands this. It probably will end up costing him dearly.

Acting like a true Christian usually does. It was for no small reason that Jesus told His disciples, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me."

Today, in state after state across this country, the cross we take up will look something like what
Cable News Network illuminates here:

Paul Bridges leans toward his desk, picks up the phone and punches in a number with the fast, laser focus of a man on a mission. The mayor of this tiny town in South Georgia is ready for battle -- and looking for a new weapon.

"I need some help getting a website," he said, spelling out the words of the domain name he wants for a site promoting immigration reform.

The man on the other end says he'll try to help. But that isn't enough for Bridges.

"I really don't know what your beliefs are on this issue," he said, "but I'm going to persuade you."

Bridges wants the federal government to come up with a solution that gives the millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States a chance to work here legally.

"You get me an invite to that Tea Party meeting and I'm going ... I'd like to give the contrary viewpoints. Surely one person in the audience is going to be sympathetic."

(snip)

Bridges is one of more than a dozen plaintiffs suing Georgia and its governor, trying to stop the state's new immigration law. They won a reprieve Monday when a federal judge temporarily blocked parts of the law scheduled to go into effect July 1.

One of those sections would criminalize exactly what the mayor of Uvalda does almost every day: knowingly driving a car with illegal immigrants as passengers. The judge also put on hold parts of the law that allow police to ask about immigration status during investigations of criminal violations.

But the legal fight is far from over. It could drag on for months and reach the chambers of the nation's highest court. It's a struggle that pits Bridges against many members of his own party and could hurt his political future. But that doesn't stop the mayor.

THE HEART of Georgia's law -- like so many others that have been, or will be, passed across the United States in these times -- is a basic indifference to the humanity of its targets. Justice is one thing, as is upholding the law. Intentional cruelty and a one-size-fits-all approach to a vast array of humanity and motivations is entirely another.

It is here that American "respect for the law" begins to ape that championed by monstrous regimes we once fought to the death.
Bridges sits on a wood bench in the front row of a courtroom in Atlanta, clutching a notebook. The atmosphere is tense, quiet. He is nauseous and alone.

Friends are waiting in a van in a nearby parking deck. The family has lived in Georgia for more than a decade, but now they are afraid to walk outside.

Bridges is fighting for them, and for countless other friends and former students. His decision to be "the mayor for everybody" led him here.

The family is willing to sit for hours in the heat so he can drive them to a shopping mall after the hearing. Uncertain how the law will affect them, they have canceled plans for the 14-year-old's coming-of-age quinceañera party in case they have to leave the country. They hope to get their deposit back on a dress.

"All rise. Court is now in session," the bailiff said.

Omar Jadwat, an attorney from the American Civil Liberties Union, mentions Bridges in his opening argument, describing him as "Mayor Bridges, who on occasion helps undocumented friends come from Florida to Georgia."

U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash Jr. grills the attorney representing the state.

He asks what would happen if police pulled over an 18-year-old citizen for speeding while he was on the way to the grocery store with his illegal immigrant mother.

As the judge speaks, Bridges nods so intensely that his whole body rocks back and forth. He is encouraged by the questioning. The judge seems to see what he does: a law that makes criminals out of good citizens and tears families apart.

But he grimaces at the attorney's answer.

"It would be no different than if his mother had pockets full of cocaine, and he was knowingly transporting her to go sell it," said Devon Orland, senior assistant attorney general for the state.

THINK about that for a minute.

Repite conmigo: La justicia sin la misericordia no es justicia en absoluto.

It is a finer line than we think between "truth, justice and the American Way" and "ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer." That line usually is crossed when scared people blame THEM! -- and then do evil, calling it good.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A simple solution to the 'anchor baby' problem


Remember when Nebraska cut off prenatal care to pregnant illegals and some other poor women?

Now the results are starting to come in some eight months later, and I think I've figured out the philosophy of "pro-life" Gov. Dave Heineman and all the other Republican defenders o' the border. It's as ingenious as it is simple.

But before I tell you what it is, why don't you get yourself up to speed with what the Omaha World-Herald is reporting today? Basically, it's that doctors are reporting levels of stillbirths they haven't seen in years and years and years among poor women:

Health-care providers for the poor have seen five stillbirths in Columbus and Omaha since March 1, when the state decided to end prenatal services for illegal immigrants, they said Friday.

The providers said they could not definitively link the stillbirths to the policy shift by Gov. Dave Heineman's administration.

But they said it was clear women had forgone or delayed the preventive care, which has been proven to head off expensive and complicated deliveries and higher long-term expenses for birth defects and special education services.

As little as $800 worth of prenatal visits, they said, can head off $5,000-a-day stays in intensive-care units for children who automatically become U.S. citizens at birth.

"It's shocking that the State of Nebraska has chosen to disregard the huge weight of medical evidence about preventative (prenatal) care," said Dr. Paul Welch, an obstetrics/gynecology physician from Columbus.
THIS IS Tea Party America. I frankly am shocked that the doctor is shocked. It's going to get worse.

Anyway, back to the story.
Advocates for prenatal care said they are already seeing some of the higher costs and poor medical outcomes associated with a lack of such care.

Rebecca Rayman of the Good Neighbor Community Health Center in Columbus said her clinic has seen four unborn babies die since March after having no stillbirths in the previous six years.

“Only God knows” whether those deaths were directly attributable to the lack of prenatal care, Rayman said. She had evidence at least one was directly linked to lack of care.

Two emergency births took place at a South Omaha clinic because women are afraid of the costs of going to a hospital.

One infant, delivered at 20 weeks of gestation, died, said Andrea Skolkin of OneWorld Community Health Centers. The infant's mother had received no prenatal care.

Skolkin joined former U.S. Rep. John Cavanaugh, who now heads an effort to improve education for the poor in the Omaha area, in asking legislators to restore the prenatal services.

“This is a domino of destruction that will follow (these children) and us,” Cavanaugh said, in terms of higher costs for special education and poorer academic performance.

“There is not one word of testimony about the positive impact of this change,” he said.

NOW THAT you've been filled in, here's Heineman's brilliant strategy -- in the sense, of course, that Lex Luthor comes up with brilliant strategies for thwarting the Man of Steel. Like I said before, its brilliance lies in its very simplicity.

There's only one sure way to keep the Mexicans, and other impoverished opportunity-seekers, from flooding across our besieged borders and overwhelming the Greatest Nation on Earth (TM). And that, children, is to make America into Not the Greatest Nation on Earth.

You stop Mexicans, etc., and so on, from "flooding the zone" by taking away any advantage we have over places like Mexico. If Mexico sucks and we suck, too, there's no percentage in risking life, limb and la Migra by sneaking across the border, now, is there?

Accomplishing this while also making sure Mexican mommas deliver more dead "anchor babies" -- and doing it all while you proclaim your "pro-life" bona fides -- is just a bit of panache that borders on showing off.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

'Patriots' and their sympathy for the devil


Here's all you need to know about America and her "patriots" today, in three simple video clips.

Above, we see that "patriots" today are so offended by Muslims building a mosque blocks from Ground Zero in New York that they're willing to give offense to the most precious principles of American constitutional law, as enshrined in the First Amendment.


AND THEN we see that Republican "patriots" in Congress and elsewhere are so upset about illegal immigration, they are chomping at the bit to undo the 14th Amendment, undoing some foundational principles of their own party in the process and once again leaving the question "Who is an American?" up to the political whims and prejudices of the moment.


LET'S ASK St. Thomas More, as depicted by Paul Scofield in A Man for All Seasons, how that's going to work out for them.

Has anyone considered that it's better to give the devil his due than to give him the whole bloody country, something our American "patriots" seem hell-bent on doing?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A pouch of Red Man with every internal passport!


Leave it to a conservative, God-fearin' enclave of flag-wavin' all-Americanism like Fremont, Neb., to turn itself into a Stalinist enclave in the name of . . . Americanism.

Because there are Hispanics in town, and because some of them might be illegal, a town's gotta do what a town's gotta do. In the case of the small city northwest of Omaha, that means "requiring renters to provide information to the police and to obtain city occupancy licenses," says an article in today's
New York Times.

And people think Barack Obama's a Nazi.
Or is he a totalitarian commie? I forget which . . . maybe he's both.

Now I'm wondering what America has to say about this brand-new, pint-sized police state on the Plains?


HERE'S WHAT
the Times said, anyway:
In Fremont, a meat-packing town of about 25,000 people, unofficial results from The Associated Press late Monday showed that 57 percent of voters approved a referendum barring landlords from renting to those in the country illegally, requiring renters to provide information to the police and to obtain city occupancy licenses, and obliging city businesses to use a federal database to check for illegal immigrants.

Opponents of the new law, including some business and church leaders, had argued that the City of Fremont simply could not afford the new law, which is all but certain to be challenged in court. In a flurry of television commercials and presentations by opponents in the final days before Monday’s vote, opponents said paying to defend such a local law would require a significant cut in Fremont city services or a stiff tax increase — or some combination of the two.

“There were a lot of tears in this room tonight,” said Kristin Ostrom, an opponent who gathered with others in an old V.F.W. building to await the results. “Unfortunately, people have voted for an ordinance that’s going to cost millions of dollars, and that says to the Hispanic community that the Anglo community is saying they are not welcome here. They thought they were coming to a small-town community with small-town values.”
AYE, THERE be the rub -- those "small-town values" again. What people forget is "small-town values" cut both ways.


OFTENTIMES, "small-town values" are dictated by small-minded people with big-boned fears of The Other. Like Mexicans coming into town to work at the packing plants for low wages and few benefits -- big-corporation "values."

This, of course, is more commonly known as "exploitation." And none of it can work without the diligent efforts of local managers who, no doubt, will wax eloquently all day long about how it's "small-town values" that make Fremont such a great place to work and live.

For all I know, some of the packing-plant brass might have voted for Fremont's little totalitarian scheme. It's no skin off their nose; their plants lie outside the Fremont city limits.
As residents of Fremont began considering what the decision would now mean, details of the new law were a new matter for debate. Some noted, with puzzlement, that the law would not apply to the area’s two biggest meatpacking plants (including Hormel, the largest employer) because they are just outside the city’s official boundaries, and that the law would also not apply to “casual labor for domestic tasks” around Fremont homes. But some said they believe the housing requirements — and new $5 occupancy license rule — might apply to people living in nursing homes.
SEE, THE LAW doesn't even cover the gardener. Is Fremont a great town, or what?

Still, you have to wonder how seriously anyone -- including what illegal immigrants may reside in Moscow on the Platte -- will take it when the person demanding
"Your papers, please" is wearing a seed cap?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ve haff veys uff keepen ziss town Amerikanische


Way to represent, Fremont.

Because you people up there northwest of Omaha are so good at throwing hissy fits -- at using the law as an excuse for dehumanizing your fellow man -- you've ended up in The New York Times. And now the whole damned country knows about Nebraska's crazy uncle in the attic.

And it's all because of a stupid little ordinance that will be really good at stirring up hate and s***, but not so good at stopping illegal immigration one iota.
This is ordinarily a serene place with polite politics and votes that sail through City Hall 8 to 0. But in a special election Monday, residents will decide whether to ban businesses from hiring illegal immigrants and bar landlords from renting to them. Residents demanded the vote, fighting off challenges by some of their elected leaders all the way to the State Supreme Court.

The election has opened a rare and raw divide. There are awkward silences for some who fear offending their neighbors (whose position they cannot be certain of), and, for others, volleys of suspicion.

Wanda Kotas, who pushed for the special election, said her family’s cat, Mr. Sippi, was killed by a pellet gun not long after her efforts, an act she suspects is related. Kristin Ostrom, who has spoken against the referendum, said a rock was heaved through her front window, an old barbecue grill was dumped at her doorstep, and, this week, an e-mail message arrived promising in red letters to “shed blood” to take back the country. And Alfredo Velez, who once worked at one of Fremont’s meatpacking plants and now owns a Mexican grocery, received an anonymous letter accusing him of harboring illegal immigrants, and said someone screamed at him on these neatly kept streets: “Go back to Mexico!”

The Hispanic population, while growing, still makes up less than 10 percent of Fremont, yet some say they blame illegal immigrants for what they see as a rise in crime here, the loss of good jobs for local residents and a shift in the culture.
NAW . . . the loss of good jobs never could be the result of your living in Fremont, a small city pretty much like all small cities in the lack of staggering levels of economic opportunity. No, that could never be the problem.

Listen, you want an amazing, high-paying job? Get an MBA and move to Omaha.

Wait . . . on second thought, don't.
Some complain about shoppers speaking Spanish at the Wal-Mart, businesses with phone messages saying “Press 1 for English,” and the need for two interpreters last fall at the annual “kindergarten round-up” where children meet their teachers.

Perhaps these are ordinary growing pains for Midwestern cities like Fremont, anchored by meatpacking plants with many immigrant workers, some of whom residents here suspect of being in this country illegally.

But the struggle has taken an unusual turn. After Fremont’s political leaders rejected an ordinance intended to keep illegal immigrants out, residents fought back and insisted, finally getting approval in the Nebraska Supreme Court to take the matter straight to voters.

This is a legally complicated realm given the federal role in handling immigration; a lawsuit is all but certain if it passes. In other places where such immigration laws have been pondered (and often contested later), state lawmakers and local governing bodies have usually made the call, not citizens by referendum.

“In this very quiet little town where this hasn’t been an issue, it’s uncomfortable,” said Michelle Knapp, who opposes the anti-illegal immigrant law but acknowledges that she has at times only whispered her view. “You don’t know what people are listening.”
WELL, YOU can't say the fine, all-American folks of Fremont have accomplished nothing with their quixotic little campaign against Pedro.

No, it takes moxie and skill to turn a peaceful little Midwestern town into a fear factory where people are terrified to say what they think. And it takes real imagination on the part of those "patriots" earnestly looking forward to a future where the most uttered phrase in Fremont, U.S.A., is
"Your papers, please."