Wednesday, May 2, 2007


The media has been sucked into another "non-event", but this time there has been a pretty nasty backlash. Maybe it will carry over to our so-called representatives in Washington and they will do what the American people want.
No, I'm not talking about the war in Iraq. Nor the curbing of Internet stalkers. Not even considering forcing software manufacturers to stop loading the programs we buy with their bloat. Nope. None of the above.
I'm talking about illegal aliens in this country. I have absolutely no problem with legal aliens. Shucks, I've even been known to help them learn our impossibly difficult language.
The news reports, parroting each other from many, many different sources, is saying almost the same things. Participation was way down on this Mexican Holiday. Fewer illegals showed up this time. There were the paid rabble rousers, of course, yet fewer of the "regular" illegals. They may be getting the message that they are not wanted here. They should be running scared.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Like it or not, the public is learning the true costs of letting these illegals remain in this country. They're finding out that our own low income citizens often can't get into the public hospital services because so many illegals have taken the places designed for them. They're finding out that the starter jobs their kids could use are filled by the illegals. They're learning that Medicaid, designed to help our poorest of the poor, has been restricted to mothers and children only. Many of our citizen seniors now get absolutely no health care.
And then there is the food stamp program designed for our poorer citizens. It has become a nightmare to get food stamps now, unless you can wait and wait, like the illegals, and then ask for help in a foreign language. Apparently that will get you the food stamps more quickly than trying to explain why you need them in English.
The public is learning that illegals will form a group and one of them will get job. The rest will find out about the programs designed for American citizens and apply for all the freebies. The "lucky" job holder will have used a fake Social Security card, false driver's license and be paying some taxes. While not carrying any automobile insurance. It takes a while for our bureaus to find out about the fake Social number and by then the illegal will have found another job, perhaps one not requiring a social security card (employers not only save money with low wages, they don't have to pay their share of the taxes that cover wage earners). And meanwhile his compadres will be getting all the "freebies" they can.
We hear, off and on, that Social Security may be in trouble. But we do not hear that even some illegal aliens are collecting it. Without ever putting a dime into the fund. They are.
Americans are also finding out that certain criminal activities have increased rather dramatically with the advent of the illegals. Car theft, domestic disputes, shoplifting, breaking and entering, gang activity, to name a few, are up all over the country.
The children of the illegals flood our schools without knowledge of English. So we get to pay more for teachers who are bilingual. And we run out of class rooms. And have more cliques forming in our schools. And more gangs.
The women of the illegals make a running start at getting pregnant. They know our rule about a baby born on American soil is an American. They know how to use it to their advantage, too. After all, WIC and various aid programs supply things these illegals have never heard of before. Including medical care and money for rent and utilities. They know we will not, never ever, separate a baby and his mom and dad. And brothers. And sisters. Apparently not even in cases of child abuse.
I have read estimates of the number of illegals anywhere from 12 million to 30 million. I wonder just how one counts a huge number of mobile people and has the nerve to call it "pretty accurate". Beats me.
I used to do professional estimating at one time in my checkered past. I always referred to the results as "my guess". Sometimes I was virtually spot on. Other times I was way off.
Our governments don't want to make the English language mandatory because then these people would start to read the facts about being Americans and be able to get real help in becoming citizens. Think about this: we supposedly deplore slave labor conditions in foreign countries, but we are busy setting up our own slave labor conditions. To really protect these people, we need to force them to return to their homelands and enter the country legally. I am disgusted by the fuzzy thinking here. Wake up America.


Derek said...

I want to congratulate you on your good fortune. Unlike most people born on this planet, you have the luck to have been birthed in the USA. It would make no sense to give you any sort of credit for this, any more than it would be to honor you for being born with no birth defects, or for having a pretty face. But of course the real challenge facing you is to find the humility to accept that your biggest attributes and advantages weren't earned or developed by you, and that it's profoundly unlikely that you'll ever equal this degree of success on your own.

Good luck trying to keep others from equalling your good fortune. Even if they work hard and play by the rules, they'll probably never find themselves as comfortable or blessed. And of course your comments will help keep it that way by making it harder for them to even have a chance. (Somehow, somewhere inside you I suspect you realize this already, or you wouldn't have the strong feelings you do, and the need to express them.)

Catmoves said...

I'm a bit suspicious about this comment. The main reason is that the poster leaves no way he(?) can be contacted. He offers no web page to look at, nor can I send him(?) an email. A good deal of his/(her) sarcasm has nothing to do directly with my post.
Nevertheless it gives me an opportunity to respond.
Yes, I had the good fortune to be "birthed" in this country. How did I work that little feat? Well, my great grandparents were LEGAL immigrants to the United States. Both of them related the long waiting period, both of them told me about the filthy conditions on the ships they arrived in. Yes, they came here separately, from different countries, learned English, grew up, met and married. One of their children died from a birth defect (they didn't really know exactly what it was, but the child died before reaching one year of age).
I've always fancied myself as a self made man. My attributes were, indeed, developed by me. Who else?
You, derek, apparently did not read my blog. Nowhere on it did I even vaguely suggest trying to keep others from "equalling my good fortune").
And, sir(?), "if...they play by the rules" I have absolutely no problem with them exceeding my comfort and blessings.
My comments are not going to keep anyone who is honest have a harder chance to enjoy the American Way of life.
The last sentence is such utter rubbish it doesn't deserve a response.
Write back derek. Give us an email address or web site.
And please read my posting.

Derek said...

Here ( I am and am making no effort to hide; I was born somewhere between first and second base and am neither proud nor ashamed of it.

Now, let's all thank your grandparents and agree that their experience is irrelevant to yours: If they were like the vast majority of immigrants reading the words on the Statue of Liberty, all they had to do was show up at Ellis Island to gain legal admission - and then had to face the same anti-immigrant ranting ("well, MY ancestors came over on the the Mayflower") you help to make so common here now. Will you admit that they didn't do any of this for you any more than the father who showed up on the street corner in L.A. last week looking for a day's work for a day's pay did it for his grandkids?

Birth defects or none, I'm sure your grandparents suffered. Are you afraid that today's immigrants aren't suffering enough? Are you afraid that they're taking something away from you (even though they're paying into the social security system without any hope of being able to claim benefits)? More to the point, how does someone sneaking across our southern border tonight lessen the value of your grandparents' sacrifice?

I'm pleased that you realize that your comments in and of themselves do not prevent anyone from doing anything. As a matter of fact, they're ugly enough to be obviously wrongheaded. Go ahead and express all of the usual ugly presuppositions and antipoor feelings you wish. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, "you paid for this space" and you can make anything out of it you like, unlike the land between Mexico and Canada, which belongs to anyone who can get here, "the rules" notwithstanding.

If you really want to accomplish something useful, why not argue against people (and not just the ones moving from southern North America) having more kids than they can reasonably afford? And then count your blessings: Darfur is on the other side of the globe where you don't have to invoke your grandparents' memory to make a point.

Catmoves said...

Thank you derek,for being a live person, not a spammer. I'm a bit lost about being born between 1st and 2nd base, but it's nice to hear from you.
I'm also a bit miffed about your statement: "...all they had to do was show up at Ellis Island to gain legal admission...." All they had to do? You treat that as if it's a walk in the woods, a stroll. It wasn't. They had to have enough money to come to America, they had to have some skills that could be used here, they had to be prepared to learn the language of a foreign country and they had to be prepared to change they way they had lived in their native countries. To me, that's a major event requiring hard work and perseverance.
As for their not planning for me, I beg to differ. Just as I have planned for my great, great grandchildren, so they planned ahead for theirs. They planned, learned the language, found jobs because they were legal immigrants.
I cannot speak for the ability of the illegal looking for work in L.A., considering whether or not he/she is thinking of their grandchildren.
As for being "afraid", no, I am not afraid. Not of illegals taking something away from me, nor of their suffering. We all make choices in life. Some worth while, some bad mistakes. That's how humans function.
As for paying into social security, please reread my article.
Any illegal entry into the U.S. lessens the value of the
hardships they endured and the problems of changing a life style to conform to the American way.
As for "antipoor feelings," you are reading things that are NOT in the article. I have probably been a champion for the poor here for longer than you have been alive.
"To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, "you paid for this space" and you can make anything out of it you like, unlike the land between Mexico and Canada, which belongs to anyone who can get here, "the rules" notwithstanding." This statement is not clear to me. I really have no idea what you are saying.
As for "arguing" about things, I did not mention anything about people having more children than they can afford. Nor did I mention anything about Darfur.
I read your comments as being heartfelt and passionate. I applaud you for compassion.Please do not insult me for my analyses of a real problem.
I'd like to invite you to start a blog of your own on Google. I will even offer a link to it, if you do, on this site. Discussion, without vituperation, is good for one's soul.

Derek said...

Hi there. You're receiving my comments with more positivity than I expected and that's making me feel guilty, as well as more respectful of you.

Yes, I have thought about my own blog but I am not disciplined enough to maintain the freshness required for a vital organ of discussion.

The first/second base reference was to economic advantage at birth...many people work hard (or don't) and at some point decide they're a success when compared to others, without realizing that they may have had an enormous head start. (I believe the quote is from Ann RIchards, referring to our current President: "[he] was born on second base and thinks he's hit a double").

Our Ellis Island discussion continues: Yes, it wasn't a walk in the park, booking passage (or hiding) on a boat and showing up at our Eastern border. I will be the first to admit that the hurdle represented by the Atlantic ocean would tend to bring us tired and poor but ultimately somewhat resourceful people (or their very lucky children, present and future) as compared to someone simply loading up on bottled water and walking across the desert. But there's more resourcefulness in doing that then continuing to live with little or no chance of betterment. And let's not forget the Asians who've managed to get all the way across the Pacific (now THERE's an ocean!) and come ashore without papers.

As for language, many of your grandparents' contemporaries did not learn the language, and instead created the same kind of mini-homelands that people in Los Angeles have.

I beleive the facts show that legal entry is simply not a realistic option for the vast majority of those coming to the United States. Therefore, relying on 'the rules' or 'the law' to explain or justify one's anti-immigration feelings is totally inadequate. The only way to prove my argument true or false is to change the law first, and that isn't going to happen. Forget it....the competing interests here are a political nightmare. All the Minutemen and redneck ranting in the world isn't going to solve it. Too many people here do not want brown people added to our census. They talk funny and they vote funny and they remind us of things about ourselves we don't want to acknowledge....selfishness, a provincial superiority complex, fear of falling below new arrivals in economic or social status....the list goes on. Ultimately it's a part of our nature that too many people simply call 'psychobabble' because they don't want to accept what time has taught us from the beginning of recorded history: new arrivals are not welcome, but resistance is futile.

In the meantime, while the argument continues among overfed white folks, people suffer. It's ugly, pure and simple.

From my first response, my point is that your post helps to perpetuate this ugliness. If something is necessary or inevitable, making or keeping it illegal simply makes it worse. It creates wealth in trafficking, leaves many unfortunate dead, strains our law enforcement community, divides the community, and only serves to give a false sense of security to those who believe that 'the law' is what keeps them safe and free.

I apologize for any insult. I believe one must be very careful when taking a position hostile to those whose lack of wealth, power, and position renders them nearly defenseless. Whether you're a man with a national radio talk show, a pulpit, or some other social position, words are tools of oppression, even when couched in humor. (A joke about a black female college basketball player is alot funnier when you're a rich white man than when you're the great granddaughter of a white man's chattel.) I interpeted your original comments as more concerned about those of us with food, health and security than those without. If I misinterpreted those words, I apologize.

Catmoves said...

Hi Derek. This may take me some time 'cause of my knuckle, but here goes:
You have made an assumption that is incorrect: My grandparents contemporaries did indeed learn English. I can remember both visits to and from them where everyone spoke English (except when they didn't want the little kids to understand what was being said). And both of my grandparents made sure that all of their children spoke, read and wrote English. They didn't bother to teach them German, Dutch, French nor Polish. Yes, they were multilingual.
As for the ocean crossings and desert walks, they have nothing to do with my article.
"facts show that legal entry is simply not a realistic option" I have absolutely no idea what you mean by this, unless you are suggesting that the "facts" show that illegal immigrants choose to ignore the law.
I attended both an integrated grade school and high school. We didn't even know we were integrated. It was a number of years later that we found out about Deep South non-integration.
I ate in several black homes and even dated a legal Mexican immigrant teenager. Don't talk to me about "brownskin" people affecting me in the least. Heck I even proposed to a Tahitian gal, but she turned me down. (I don't think her parents liked sailors. Or maybe I was too white for them.) As for voting, you are right. Illegal people have absolutely no right to vote in our elections. I got a kick out of your Borg quote. But again, the legally voting American people have a right to change or not change any law that is on the books.
Re: "overfed white folks": I have spent a fair amount as a touriste in Mexico and the same can be said of many of the locals there. Just substitute "brown" (your word).
As for the law: one of the principles this country was founded on was "a rule of law, not of men".
Discussion, void of personal insults, is never offensive to me. Your apology is accepted and appreciated.
I still think you ought to get yourself a free blogsite like this and join in. You don't have to post every day.

Catmoves said...

One more thing: What gives anyone, an illegal immmigrant, a legal immigrant, a citizen, the right to violate a law? We are a nation of laws, not men.

Derek said...

Sorry about your knuckle.

Unjust laws are made to be broken; each of us has our own sense of justice, and a moral obligation to see bad laws changed, broken, or ignored. Indeed, countless bad laws have been corrected, though nearly as many remain in place and unheeded. Everyone has the right to break the law if they are willing to suffer the real consequences....but those consequences will continue to be minor or nonexistent until we can convince the rich that their right to money is no more sacred than our right to safety. Prisons, policemen, and courts cost money the poor and middle class can't afford. For example, laws against growing, selling, or using marijuana were passed in part by those who were afraid of Mexicans taking their jobs or marying their daughters, despite the fact that this plant is less harmful than any number of legal substances, not coincidentally the sale of which has enriched the few.

The law helps some sleep better at night. So does religion. They have a lot more in common than most people realize. They're traditions, and bad tradition dies slowly. Some of us are impatient.

You're a good man and I've enoyed this discourse, but I'm tiring of it, even my own words. Another reason I don't have my own blog. And the truth is, I'm now a little concerned that I'm not being open-minded enough in weighing your ideas.

Or maybe I just need to eat dinner.

In any event, keep up the good work and take care of your hand.

Catmoves said...

Hi Derek. Thank you for concern. The knuckle is getting better every day.
You point out that anyone (everyone) has the "moral obligation to see bad laws changed, broken, or ignored."
I will agree with you that that we each have a moral obligation to see bad laws changed. However, under our system of justice we do not have the right to break laws with which we don't agree.
Our laws (and I think we have some forty million laws trying to enforce the 10 Commandents) are written by men. Nor does our disagreement with a law give us any right to ignore it. For the sake of arguement, let's say I disagree with the law for driving on the right side of the highway (in this country) and decide to ignore it and drive on left side of the road? How many people could I wipe out at today's highway speeds? The record here in Albuquerque is, I believe, a family of eight killed by a driver choosing to drive on the left side.
"...those consequences will continue to be minor or nonexistent." They certainly weren't minor for that family
"...laws against growing, selling, or using marijuana were passed in part by those who were afraid of Mexicans taking their jobs or marying their daughters...." If you will tune in the History Channel and watch a show they keep repeating called "Illegal Drugs And How They Got That Way" you will have much more balanced outlook about this remark.
I have a difficult time in understanding how all laws are nothing but tradition? I believe you might find that laws are (and were) created so that mankind can and could live in something approximating peace. They are all enacted with the aim of bringing us into some kind of harmony with each other. (That doesn't mean they all are right, nor that they all are just.)
Dinner is good. Hamburgers or turkey. Yummmy.

"You can never tell what type of impact you may make on
another’s life by your actions or lack of action. Sometimes
just with a smile on the street to a passing stranger can
make a difference we could never imagine."
— Ed Foreman