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So I was flipping through the channels just now, unwinding from a busy day of studying for exams, when I came across CNN Headline News, just as they were beginning a story on the noxious Minuteman Project - you know, the racist thugs who have taken it upon themselves to patrol the border.

Anyhow. The short clip was very, very favorable to the Minutemen. It described them simply as volunteers who were there to "help the Border Patrol," described how they had sighted some possible illegal aliens and were familiarizing themselves with the border and the area.

The report gave no mention of the domestic opposition to this. At all. Worse, it mentioned how Mexican officials were watching to ensure that no vigilante violence was happening - a statement which had the effect of making it seem that any opposition to this project was foreign in nature, implicitly saying that no Americans opposed this.

I'm really quite deeply concerned about this. The Minuteman Project, as David Neiwert has shown, is filled with white supremacists and other far-right lunatics. The entire thing is a thinly disguised modern equivalent of the 1860s-era KKK. Many, many groups oppose this effort.

For CNN to whitewash the entire thing is a very serious problem. It would be one thing for them to do the usual SCLM evenhandedness crap, but that would at least make note of opposition in Arizona and the US to this. But they didn't even do that. Their reportage has normalized the Minuteman Project, has made it seem acceptable and noncontroversial, at least among Americans.

I've been busy studying the history of 20th century Germany. In the later years of the Weimar Republic, the news media was concentrated in the hands of an industrialist named Alfred Hugenberg. He was a member of the far-right German National Party, and in 1928, I believe, brought the UFA film empire under his control - UFA was by far the predominant German film studio of the '20s. This gave Hugenberg control of the newsreels that were shown before films at UFA theaters, complementing his grasp over more than 50% of German newspapers. Hugenberg used this to glorify right-wing interpretations of events, to denounce the Weimar Republic, and increasingly, to valorize the Nazi stormtroopers of the SA who were beginning to rachet up their acts of street violence.

In 1930 Hugenberg and several other leaders of the German right met with Hitler in an attempt to form a united right-wing front. This only slowly came together, but the Hugenberg empire did go ahead and give support to the government of Ernst Bruning, an authoritarian conservative who ruled by decree. Hugenberg helped create the conditions whereby violence against Social Democrats and Communists was legitimated, easing Hitler's path to power. Many historians believe that the crucial elections of September 1930, in which the Nazis made a spectacular showing and crippling the Weimar Republic, was in no small part the produce of Hugenberg's favorable coverage.

The moral could not be clearer - when media power is concentrated, the ability to shape popular discourse and perception is heightened. When that power falls into the hands of right-wingers, all kinds of ugly things become possible.

Given their reprehensible coverage of Terri Schiavo, and now their whitewashing of the Minuteman Project - certainly the closest thing we have in America to the SA - I think it is clear that CNN has become more than a whore. It has wholly gone over to the dark side.

And so we must boycott it. Most of you, I imagine, do not watch Fox News. I deleted it from my cable lineup. Now I will do the same with CNN and CNN Headline News. I hope you will all do likewise. For whatever reasons, we can no longer delude ourselves that the SCLM is simply misguided or after cheap ratings. They're in the pockets of the enemy, the enemies of democracy and justice. Our work is made immeasurably more difficult by this turn of events. Let us not labor under any further delusions - and instead let us free ourselves from the lies and distortions of the mass media, to the extent that is possible - in order to build the organization and publicization infrastructure that is needed, sorely needed, to stop this madness in its tracks, before it reaches what is the only possible destination.

Update [2005-4-4 10:50:34 by eugene]: Lots of interesting replies. I wish I could stay and debate, but I've got exams shortly. I posted a general response down here. All I can say is that I'm appalled to see how many Democrats support this. You are crazy for doing so. If you think you can arm a bunch of white supremacist far-right nutjobs and not have it come back to bite us all in the ass later, then you're recklessly ignorant. I thought I was worried when I saw the report on CNN last night. I'm even more concerned now that I've seen some of the responses posted here. We are REALLY screwed.

Originally posted to eugene on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 12:22 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I so agree with you! This is a disaster. (3.73)
    I heard a piece on NPR including some really chilling interviews with the "minute-volk." They all talked in terms of "national security," but the hatred was thinly veiled.

    One woman described walking near the border, seeing signs that some of "them" had been there--some water bottles and a pair of shoes, how pitiful!--and saying it made her feel "violated." Her tone was one of disgust and rage. The interviewer asked her about the high-powered firearm she carried. She said that as a woman, she needed protection--she didn't want to be "raped" out there.

    Some poor desperate people are going to die because of this. I just feel sick. What is wrong with us?

    •  and when (4.00)
      ..someone does die, hunted down like a fucking animal - I am holding Lou Dobbs and CNN personally responsible. He has enthusiastically supported these assholes for a while, and when Bush - yes Bush, used the word 'vigilante' to describe the group, Dobbs broke rank and was critical of the King.

      That's not to say that CNN has acted independently - of course that's impossible given the degree to which they have happily become a fascist propaganda tool - but still...UG - <sorry to rant>

      It's not hypocrisy - it's unadulterated evil.

      by wabegg on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:04:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you'll be holding the wrong people responsible (3.54)
        None of our esteemed elected officials are doing anything about illegal immigration. They are afraid to piss off the growing latino community. The repubs want to pick of the social conservatives, and the Dems want to keep their pro-labor Hispanic immigrants. The GOP and Democrats are doing nothing but punting the issue back and forth. I don;t think the problem is with the Minute Men or television pundits, the problem is none of our leaders have the spine to reform immigration policies.

        "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."- Benjamin Franklin

        by bluestateLIBertarian on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:29:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If they'd enforce the laws (3.96)
          If they'd enforce the laws against exploitative employers as stringently as they enforce the laws against poor folks trying to cross the border...

          Oh, wait.  That would be holding corporations to the same standards as we hold private individuals.  Can't expect that from a Republican.

          •  asdf (3.00)
            Enforcing the laws on corporations isn't going to slow people comming over the border illeagaly. I'm not saying that business shouldn;t be held accountable for their part, just that it isn;t going to stop the people from comming.

            "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."- Benjamin Franklin

            by bluestateLIBertarian on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 02:38:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And? (3.42)
              Let 'em come. It's not like you're going to sweep floors, clean toilets and mow lawns for $5 an hour. Clearly this is a case of supply and demand - we need cheap labor to do the jobs our children won't, and they need American dollars.

              I just don't get why, simply because someone was born on the other side of an imaginary line, we have to treat them differently.

              •  You're buying into Republican lies (4.00)
                when you say "we need cheap labor," or "Americans just won't do certain jobs." It's total bullshit. It's designed to keep prices and wages artificially low so rich people won't have to pay as much for their pristine lawns. Americans will clean toilets and mow lawns, if you pay them enough. But expanding the low-wage labor base hurts everyone in that class: it's a misuse of economics to say otherwise.

                And this is not an excuse for racism or xenophobia. I don't care what color people are or where they come from (as long as they make an effort to learn English) but I do care about Americans being kept in virtual wage slavery because of a massive inflow of immigrants undercutting them. I don't like fascist dipshits monitoring the border even when the gov't has clearly abdicated its responsibility, and I totally don't support this Minuteman garbage. But only once every American has a job at a decent wage do we need more immigrants.

                •  asdf (none)
                  The economic analyses I'v read mostly conclude that immigration is bad for the very poorest- those who would be mowing the lawns instead- but economically good for everyone else.  You don't have to have a mansion to benefit from immigration.
                  •  So Screw the poor! (none)
                    I like getting my landscaping done for cheap!  

                    You're right. It's good for most of us in the shrinking middle class.

                  •  Immigrants Compete with Poor AMERICANS (4.00)
                    for low-paying jobs. But the assumption here is that  ones humanity is enhanced by being an American. WE have a world increasingly characterized by the free flow of capital and the free flow of goods. In this context, immigration controls are really just a form of global apartheid. The repsonse to cometition for low paying jobs is not to tighten border controls, but to ORGANIZE workers transnationally. The main effect of anti-immigrant hysteria of the sort whipped up by Lou Dobbs is to create further obstacles to building unity between poor and working class people from both sides of the border. Indeed I would suggest that that is its REAL purpose.

                    "Tell no lies. Claim no easy victories." -- Amilcar Cabral

                    by Christopher Day on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:33:17 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yes, but... (4.00)
                      while working-class people DO need to organize among themselves and resist the temptation to be divided by nonsense like racism, the rest of your point doesn't follow.

                      But the assumption here is that ones[sic] humanity is enhanced by being an American. WE have a world increasingly characterized by the free flow of capital and the free flow of goods. In this context, immigration controls are really just a form of global apartheid.

                      I wouldn't go so far as to call this "moonbat," but someone on another site might. I don't think someone is objectively better or more human if they're an American. But I am a patriot, of the real kind, not the faux-Minuteman/101st Fighting Keyboarders kind, and I want to make sure Americans, esp. poor Americans, have decent wages and living standards before depressing wages by letting in a huge influx of low-wage workers. Calling something "apartheid" is coming perilously close to invoking what I believe is referred to as Godwin's Law. I don't think the American upper class is doing, say, the Mexican economy any favors with its policies, but that's a very far cry from confining them to townships and beating the crap out of them when they stray out of their box.

                      Now, some of the old Jim Crow policies -- that was apartheid.

                      •  so why? (3.40)
                        do poor Americans deserve more than even poorer Mexicans?

                        They are both people. What difference does their location of birth really make to justice of their situation?

                        The real problem is the false choice between helping American poor versus foreign poor. So little is done to help either that the only way to help one is not to hurt the other. If people really wanted to help American poor and poor immigrants, they could.

                        There isn't a "huge influx" of illegal immigrants. They are undocumented so by definition we can't track their numbers. Lou Dobbs and the rest of the nativist cabal use the most ridiculous estimates that they can fabricate to scare working class people. Sadly, many people fall for the sham.

                        •  America isn't just a hangout (4.00)
                          It's a country, and Americans do have the right to represent their own interests first. If Mexico would do a little more of that for its own people there wouldn't be so many dying to come across the border.

                          These nutjobs at the border have to be stopped, but the best way to do that is to push Mexico for reforms that redirect its oil money into education and development of various regions. The US should kick in quite a bit too, perhaps as belated payment for stealing California.

                          It used to be Italians came to the US in droves...then Italy got "first world" and now you don't see nearly so many Italian immigrants any more. They're happy at home.

                          The solution is making Mexico better. Period.  Then we can relax our border and allow transit to and fro without worry.

                          •  Exactly (4.00)
                            This is the reason for true free trade.
                            1. Eliminate tax breaks for offshoring, make companies that offshore pay for retraining.
                            2. Give workers the right to organize freely in ANY country.
                            3. Unify trucking standards.
                            4. Eliminate government tax subsidies for plant location.
                            5. Enforce US law for "offshore" subsidiaries-your head office should be in the state and country your  business is registered in, and it should be the country you do most of your business in-this includes "Delaware companies" and "Liberian freighters".
                            6. Have the minimum wage a living wage EVERYWHERE.
                            7. Double immigration quotas to roughly match actual immigration, simplify the process so anyone without a criminal record can qualify after a few years.
                            8. Audit companies caught using undocumented workers-nail them for paying less than minimum wage and force them to pay back wages.
                          •  Ha Ha! That's a good one! (4.00)
                            the best way to do that is to push Mexico for reforms that redirect its oil money into education and development of various regions.

                            Chavez did exactly that in Venezuela and was rewarded by U.S. complicity in an unsuccesful coup. The U.S. government wants as much money as possible from all countries to go into the pockets of huge U.S. based corporations. Hoping for Bush to persuade them to use more of it to help the poor is a hilariously nutty idea.

                            Here's an idea: Why not patrol the borders and prevent illegal immigration and then increase the amount of Mexican immigrants allowed in legally? I'll tell you why. Because illegal immigrants will work harder for less pay with no benefits  in shittier conditions, because if they have a problem with it, their employer can make a call and have them shipped back to Mexico. The "illegal" factor benefits employers and helps undercut the bargaining power of all low-wage workers.

                            As far as the minutemen go, I depise their racist motivations, but I agree with their actions.

                          •  oh, ok (none)
                            so progressives like the folsk on daily kos should give up our principles and back a bunch of KKK-style nutjobs, because Bush tried to screw Chavez?

                            Er, no, the solution is to oppose policies that undercut developing nations from healthy development. Not to get reactionary about it.

                          •  "healthy development" (none)
                            Er, no, the solution is to oppose policies that undercut developing nations from healthy development. Not to get reactionary about it.

                            Part of that solution is to wake up and smell the coffee by realizing that our government is the primary force opposing healthy development. You can't oppose such policies without shedding the naive belief that the WTO exists to help the poor.

                            I admit that I have not been following this minuteman thing at all. I will take the diarist"s word for it that it is directed by racist nutjobs. But my view is that illegal immigration is allowed because it creates a large group of workers with no rights at all, which undercuts the bargaining power of all workers.

                            I'm all for healthy development, but don't expect it to be encouraged by the corporate owned U.S. government.

                          •  er (none)
                            I don't think anyone here is saying the US government isn't part of the problem. You are suggesting that we give up opposing those policies altogether.
                •  it's not so much we "need" cheap labor (none)
                  I would would love to see an increase in wages for Americans (and immigrants)The problem is without these jobs they will wither away in Mexico (as well as other places) They need these jobs and the money does make a difference. Without real steps to end world poverty, like it or not  it's something.

                  FWIW I have scrubbed toilets for a living. I would be really amazed to see many Americans willing to do it for more than say, a summer job. I was paid pretty well for it but still when I talk about this, most people blanch.

              •  Because if you do not, those lines have no meaning (none)
                Borders are there to make political divisions. Basically, everyone born on our side is a part of our American collective. Those born on the other side are not, and are considered part of the Mexican culture/collective. The borders determine who is responsible for whom and who is responsible for maintaining the land. Is the line imaginary? Sure. But it is there for a reason. The line essentially means that we have no duty to care for, maintain, or otherwise sustain those born outside our borders. Those who come anyway are the equivalent of licensees on private property: our only duty to them is not to intentionally harm them. But, we also do not have any duty to sustain them...unless and until they naturalize to become American citizens. This is our way of saying "Now, we (the American collective) are responsible for you".

                If you want to assume that the border is meaningless, then you are arguing that the border be completely dissolved. What good would that do? What purpose would that serve except to increase conflict between states? If you honestly want to get rid of borders, what sort of regime would replace it?

                •  Not true. (4.00)
                  The border just indicates where our Constitution is applicable and delineates political jurisdiction.  

                  The idea of controlling borders is pretty foreign to America.  People have been crossing the Mexican and Canadian borders largely unimpeded for two centuries until the 1980's.  This closed border thing is the new development.

                  No one is talking about sustaining other people.  People don't come here to be sustained, they come here to sustain themselves and us through their labor.  That's about as mythically American as you can get.

                  As far as security, the only real rationale for controlling a border, it just makes more sense to allow people who want to work to come legally, thus freeing up police resources to track down real criminals and terrorists.

                •  huh? (none)
                  How is letting migrant workers come and pick fruit during the harvesting season 'wanting to dissolve all borders forever'?

                  The idea that these people are enemies of America that we want to keep out is pure xenophobia. If all these people decided tomorrow to obey every immigration law, there would be no food in our grocery stores. We RELY on their labor contribution to make our country work.

                  And no there is no nativist 'American collective'. We are a country of immigrants. How did your ancestors get here? Unless you are a Native American, there is only one way.

              •  God forbid (4.00)
                That you should offer enough money for a job that a fellow Ameircan will want to do it.

                Illegal immigration is being used to push down wages of the American worker, by finding people willing to do it for less, people who can be abused because if they speak up they will eventually be deported, perhaps after they are detained for a while as a potential terrorist.

                Someday, of course, everyone will be as rich as we are, and then this comes to an end.

                •  So if you legalize them, (none)
                  they can't be used to drive down wages anymore due to fear of deportation, can they?
                •  Your statement is not entirely true. (none)
                  I worked with a company where the majority of our employess were immigrants from Mexico. Some legal and some not. We did not hire these people exclusively to keep wages low. We offered a job at rate well above minimum wage but was a temporary seasonal job. In the 4 years that I worked there I could count the "American" citizens applying on less than one hand.
                  If they did get hired the liklihood of them lasting until lunch was a stretch.

                  The reality is that there are very few jobs for the Mexicans in the rural areas of Mexico which is vast. Their alternative is to migrate to where there are jobs. The issue is that American citizens have come to expect a standard of living being of a different standard than our neighbors to the South. They do not take jobs away from us we give them to them because we do not want them.

                  I do agree that there are unscruplulous types out there that take advantage of these undocumented workers for less than noble reasons but not all employers fit that mold.

                  •  By definition (none)
                    you did not offer enough money.

                    You filled those slots by paying below-market wages and you gained a cost advantage over firms that obey the law.

                    •  You are wrong. (none)
                      We did pay enough money for the type of work that it is. This work is manual manufacturing labor that requires absolutely no education but the ability to follow directions. The wages were comparable to working at any fastfood restaurants.

                      Every year we had more than enough interested candidates in applying for the jobs.

                      •  To quote you: (none)
                        /In the 4 years that I worked there I could count the "American" citizens applying on less than one hand. /

                        So which is it?

                        •  Majority (99%) Hispanic. (none)
                          We even recruited through agencies so that you do not think we were looking specifically for Hispanics. I realize you do not know the whole story about the company I worked for. We were above board on everything. The owner is a solid Democrat and a good guy. My point to you was to be that not all "immigrants" legal or otherwise are keeping all wages low. I might agree with you when it comes to certain occupations but not all.
                          The trades such as construction, roofing, etc. you may have a point because from what I understand the illegal immigrants are used so that the operators can get around insurance and wages that do not require minimums for the job.

                          I do not understand your hostility?

                          •  Apologies (none)
                            for my stern resistance. Obviously, there is some factor other than wage levels that made it difficult to attract workers in your situation.

                            I am hostile to the stigma attached to high wages, as if America can thrive by short-changing the wages of citizens.

                            What is happening in this country is an attempt to demean the goal of high median, mean, and minimum incomes, even though those conditions make for greater prosperity for all.

                            That opposition to high incomes is the work of social climbers for whom success is not enough. They want superiority, so they seek to insure the failure of others to acquire comfort and security.

                            There is a common fallacy thrown around that there are vital economic functions that require labor at a price that Americans will not accept. By definition, if the service is vital, it is worth the price required to attract labor. If it's not worth the price, a rich nation can live without that service.

                            The myth of American wage intransigence is a smoke-screen for a fundamental opposition to high incomes for all.

                •  Or someday we will be as poor as everyone else (none)
                  with the same result. At least, I think that's the agenda of the multinationals, and it seems to be working.
              •  Imaginary line????? (none)

                You consider a border to be an "imaginary line"?

                Try this then, put your mouth where your money is: drive upto the Niagra bridge and try crossing the "imaginary line" into Canada and when they catch you within 5 minutes of entry, tell them you are willing to undercut their labor market and willing to work for $5/hour.

                Let's see how much time it takes for them to bounce you back over the "imaginary line".

                •  yeah, but (none)
                  If you put on your hiking gear there's thousands of miles of "imaginary line" you can easily cross unimpeded on the northern front.
                  •  Sure.... (none)
                    But that doesn't lessen the value of an international border, does it?

                    If the Canadians catch you doing that, they won't take it that lightly.

                    I was just amused at the euphemism of "imaginary line" to suggest that our borders don't count for anything.

                •  imaginary line? I think so (none)
                  The idea of a border is based on some notion of spatial homogeneity and spatial distance.  However, this notion is increasingly being broken down.  Culturally I am closer to most residents of England than I am to many folks who live on my block (I live in a pretty diverse place).

                  International trade agreements have served corporations well in this respect.  "Distance" as defined by an international corporation (or any of us having this discussion on the internet) is defined by the nearest internet connection.  How many of us use goods and services produced (stretch here and think of the raw materials which go into the end product in your home) by people who live in poverty of the worst kind?

                  So if international trade agreements continue to keep making poor folks poor and rich folks rich, continue to restrict the rights of governments to regulate the behavior of corporations within their own country, continue to allow coporate predators to prey on the poor of the entire world through low wages, deplorable working conditions and destruction of natural resources to benefit people like us, then there are some unavoidable results.  Illegal immigration will continue unabated and will increase as we get richer and the rest of the world gets poorer.

                  This is all quite jumbled but I guess my main point is that we cannot look at our borders as the simple delineations they have been in the past.  Corporations certainly don't see them that way.  As evidenced by multinational trade agreements, corporations want a borderless world  (read: one absent regulation), up to the point where corporate executives would be forced to actually view poor people.  Are we really going to let them have their way with our borders, bend them and tweak them so that every single extra dollar can be pinched out of all of us: worker and consumer alike, but then use them to remove themselves from the results of their policies?  I say let the immigrants come, perhaps then somebody will notice that you can't shit on the rest of the world and expect everyone to line up for it.  

                  Don't whine about illegal immigration and what it's doing to your taxes or give some principled argument about the sanctity of our national laws and how they should be enforced (I can think of a few other laws we should be enforcing first).  Tell me what you're doing to make wages more fair.  Tell me how much you'd be willing to pay for coffee or paper or furniture or cars or electronics.  Tell me about what you're doing to rectify the artificially low prices americans pay for goods (the other costs, of course, being borne by government welfare systems, our environment, workers, and finally, the consumer).  Then I'll listen to arguments about how we need to tighten up our borders.

                  The real evil are the corporations who are pushing this system, not the poor Mexican trying to make a buck to feed his family.  

                  •  Makes no sense (none)
                    Essentially, your argument in favor of illegal border crossing is:

                    I say let the immigrants come, perhaps then somebody will notice that you can't shit on the rest of the world and expect everyone to line up for it.  

                    Isn't that cutting off your nose to spite your face?

                    Do a second wrong to point out the wrong the businesses here do? (instead of taking up enforcement against them as well?)

              •  Hi (none)
                This same line of reasoning was used to justify the slavery of black people in America.

                John Stossel looks like a 70s porn star.

                by bink on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:45:09 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's absurd (none)
                  He's proposing that people can come here to find the best wage they can get regardless of their birthplace.  That sounds to me the opposite of slavery.
                  •  Exactly my point. (none)
                    Look, if 3000 people die at the World Trade Centers, the world mourns, but America mourns hard because it's 'our people'.

                    But when 11,000 people died of heat exhaustion in France a few years back, it barely rated a mention in the US. Why? Because they weren't 'our people'.

                    That baffles me, and always will. The life of a person in Rhode Island will make front page news, while 20,000 dying in a flood in Bangladesh is meaningless. It makes no sense when you realize that, but for the grace of god/vishnu/buddha/allah, every person reading this could just as easily been born in Mongolia as Philly.

                    You lucked out, you were born in the USA, but the guy who was born a mile south of El Paso had no such luck, and rather than give a damn about his ability to make a better life for himself and his family, we shove that imaginary line in his face and say "queue up like everyone else, and feed your family on $2 a day making Eddie Bauer shirts in the meantime."

                    I consider myself a citizen of the planet first, my country second. And that means I care as much about Miguel's ability to eat as I do yours.

                    If that's worthy of scorn, then scorn away.

          •  Absolutely (4.00)
            It's not as if all immigrants from Central and South America are coming to the US blindly, not knowing where to go for work.  Most know EXACTLY where they are going after they cross the border because they have been told which employers are hiring people just like them.  Many are returning to the US to reclaim jobs that they held previously.

            Employers know how to exploit the system, and they're making huge profits off the backs of undocumented workers.  And they're the ones putting the pressure on the US government to not enforce the law.

            •  Stop blaming the employers (none)
              If you've ever eaten meat, vegetables, or at a restaurant in the last 10 years,  you have profited as much from the labor of undocumented immigrants as the employers have.
              •  There is no doubt ! (2.00)
                That when you look in the mirror you believe every thing your told.
                •  true (none)
                  A few days ago eastsidedemocrat was posting that the immigration issue in Minnesota and So. California are just the same. Never mind that the pressure from  illegal immigration has places like LA bursting at the seams in terms of social services.

                  eastsidedemocrat's solution was be to raze any  encampments and to enforce housing laws so all the immigrants would not have a place to live.

        •  And the immigration problem is (4.00)
          what exactly? what harm is it that you are proposing to cure.

          Beyond the mere fact of illegal immigration I mean.

          "Just say no to torture." -Semi-Anonymous Blogger.

          by Armando on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:39:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the illegal part (none)
            I think that our country has greatly benefited from open borders. I'm kinda sentimenal about the "bring us your poor, tired, huddled masses" stuff.

            The problem as I see it is the same that generations of immigrants endured at the 5 points region of NYC. They're closed off from the rest of society and they cannot integrate themselves as easily as they could. Legal immigrants have a much chance at this I think through the naturalization process. I would like to see more legal immigration.

            "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."- Benjamin Franklin

            by bluestateLIBertarian on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:45:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  but that was when (3.00)
              there was a frontier to fill up (never mind the slaughter of natives that caused this...) and we had a manufacturing economy that required cheap labor. Sentimentality, with all due respect, is not a particularly good basis for social policy.
              •  Italian, Jewish, and Irish immigrants (4.00)
                weren't exactly "filling up" the frontier.  They lived in New York, then some moved to Chicago, Cincinnati, etc.  The whole fantasy that immmigration was good then, because we needed cowboys, but bad now, because we're out of room, is just silly.  

                Do you want to fix the immigration "problem" and still be the country of our immigrant forefathers?  Easy.  Have a national minimum wage indexed to inflation, and put the CEO of Wal-Mart, and every other company that violates wage laws, in federal prison, confiscate their property, raze their homes to the ground and salt the earth upon which they tread (the last two are only suggestions).  Then let them in, for "they" are us.  Anything else is NIMBY of the ugliest racial sort.

                Follow the money. It leads to the truth.

                by dhonig on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:36:09 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Better be careful before (none)
                  you call me a racist, bub. You want to troll me out, you're going to have to try harder than that. Call me a racist, you'd better be prepared to back it up with actual statements of mine that are racist, or you'll be ignored as you deserve.

                  The urban immigrants of late C19 were there for the manufacturing economy. The agrarian immigrants of mid C19 were there for the frontier. I was speaking in shorthand and should have been more clear.

                  Now I'm all for salting the earth of the Wal-Mart CEO's home. That's a fine idea. And a national minimum wage would be a good one, too. So would really tough border security and a clear adherence to the law in re immigration.

                  NIMBY refers to trying to displace a nuisance from your immediate environment and is thus not the appropriate term to use in this situation.

                  •  asdf (none)
                    (a) no offense intended.  My reference was not to you personally, but to the grand overarching scheme of immigrant baiting, e.g. the new "Minute Men," etc.

                    (b) the NIMBY reference was more to the other part of NIMBY, which involves people moving someplace and building, then not wanting anybody else to do the same.  It is certainly a sub-category, and not the whole NIMBY pie.  Thanks for the opportunity to clarify.

                    Follow the money. It leads to the truth.

                    by dhonig on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:38:42 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That's cool (none)
                      I realized after I posted that you were referring to the Minutemen, who are a bunch of racist pigs. I've never heard the second version of NIMBY, but I guess it follows from the first def'n.
                •  asdf (4.00)
                  'We' are 'them.' 'They' are 'us.'

                  Exactly right.

                  I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth and I am a citizen of the world -- Eugene Debs

                  by dove on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 11:00:49 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  That's a really bad example. (none)
                  The Italian, Jewish and Irish immigrants of whom you speak happened to come through Ellis Island - like my mother's family did - and submitted themselves to the immigration procedures of the day.

                  What we're talking about now is a mass influx of illegal immigration, human trafficking and cross-border death marches for the mere promise of a few dollars to Western Union back home, all sustained and nurtured by both conservative notions about the value of cheap labor and liberal pandering to a large block of voters.

                  What we ought to be discussing here in this supposedly enlightened, progressive forum, is

                  • how to bring these people across legally, safely and humanely
                  • how to ensure the payment of applicable state minimum wages
                  • how to ensure that the same OSHA standards the rest of us work under apply to migrants
                  • how to reach the point - security-wise - that we have  absolute knowledge of who happens to be entering our country from foreign lands

                  It ain't that hard, people. We just have to talk it through without immediately jumping to accusations of racism or immediately jumping on the "cheap labor is good" bandwagon we've been force fed over two decades of conservative dominance.

                  The truth is in the middle.

                  •  But (none)
                    they're only "illegal" because we have decided to tighten immigration rules, with an inverse relationship between letting people in and how much light their skin reflects.

                    The only racism involved here is the racism that limits immigration to people that look and talk exactly like the people that already got in.

                    Follow the money. It leads to the truth.

                    by dhonig on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 11:07:20 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  low quality low wage service jobs are magnets (4.00)
                Though there's no frontier left and no manufacturing jobs, this economy is depending more and more on very low wage and low quality service jobs. The people crossing the border know they can get those "jobs" because there are employers, mainly households, agriculture and small businesses, that are quite ready to offer those jobs to those people. Damn it, even Wal-Mart has been caught doing this.

                These immigrants, though living the lowest standards of living possible on this side of the border, may have a better standard of living than what they have in their own countries. That's enough incentive for them to cross. Call this the localization of globalization. People like Bush actually want to promote this, even though the politics are too complicated to effectively do it in some legal way. Mainly it upsets their GOP racist base.

                Vigilantes at the border are just predators who get their kicks out of beating people who are struggling, even more than the vigilantes themselves. Last I checked vigilantes are outlaws. Why doesn't CNN present it that way?

            •  Learn from Canada (none)

              Look at Canada and learn from them.

              What's happening is that a lot of H1 visa holders, who unlike the border crossers from Mexico have undergrad and beyond degrees are looking to Canada to get permanent residency there. Canada gains HIGHLY skilled workers, high earning workers.

              A lot of foreign students who complete their masters here in the US and can't get a job right off and risk being sent back also apply for PR in Canada. That's net gain for Canada.

              Canada didn't spend $1 on their education but now has gained a lot of skilled labor.

              This is what we need to be doing in the US: increase legal immigration for people who are going to be an asset, who have skills.

              And clamp down on the border crossers, be it from the North, or the South.

              •  Here's the problem with that: (none)
                High skill and high wage workers come accompanied with high wage demands.   They want more stuff;  they eat out more; and they want more services.  Those demands have to be filled with low wage workers, otherwise life is too tough and expensive for them, and they will move somewhere that can fill those demands.

                A high-wage immigration strategy still creates huge demands for low-wage labor.  You need to have a liberal policy of accepting both in order to gain the benefits.

                •  Either way.... (none)
                  You could be right.

                  But there's another thing: a lot of educated immigrants in Canada (for example doctors) work outside their fields because there are not enough jobs in their respective occupations.

                  So an engineer from China who can't find an engineering job is more likely to find work in a call center without the system having to support him.

                  Basically, i am saying that skilled workers are scalable...they can find work (maybe less paying) outside their fields.

                •  Hogwash. (none)
                  You are just saying that we all like our incomes to be higher and the prices of things we like to buy to be lower.

                  Some of us perhaps also suffer from a desire to know that the people serving us are paid less than we are, but that is not a widespread or honorable desire.

                  Your paycheck is not necessarily diminished when someone at a business where you buy things makes more money. Higher compensation to humans does mean, however, that businesses have to invest in improved efficiency to keep prices down.


                  •  Some business, services in particular, (none)
                    cannot gain from production efficiency.  A teacher can only teach so many kids in a day before quality suffers.  A doctor or nurse can only treat so many patients, and a server in a restaurant can only bus so many tables.  Service industries are  the ones that are least amenable productivity increases.   That why prices in those sectors tend to increase faster than inflation.

                    Yes, a large number of immigrants will depress wages somewhat.  However, in most cases, absence of immigrant workers would mean no business or jobs at all.  If no one can wash the dishes for lack of workers, which is the case in most of the country, the restaurant will simply close, and the chef, manager, and other employees will lose their jobs too.  It's called interdependence, and its what makes economies tick.

                    •  Right. (none)
                      And same goes for tailors and manicurists and a lot of other "services" which, when wages are high enough, turn out not to be that important to customers and so demand winds down.

                      High wages are good for anyone who works for a living. A nineteenth-century middle-class woman could not manage a household alone, but the washing machine and the vacuum and frozen food have diminish the place of the domestic servant who found a happier position elsewhere.

                      As for the nurses and doctors and teachers analogy, the same applies to footmen and valets.

                      We don't need servants.

                      •  Do you need restaurants? (none)
                        Or new roofs, or building services?  Do you need food, like meat, milk, and frozen or canned vegetables.  All of these would be provided at much lower levels were it not for human labor. Lower levels means of production means fewer people can be supported, so some of us, maybe you, will have to move or starve.  You're talking about reducing economic growth -- not winning strategy.
                        •  Oh, yeah? (none)
                          So how is it that agricultural labor has plunged in the past century while overproduction has been the industry's main worry.

                          And why is it that labor compensation for building is flat while housing prices are through the roof?

                          You are employing a fairly limited horizon of analysis, a model that prognosticates that if fewer milkmaids operate churns, there will be less butter.

                          It doesn't happen that way.

                          •  In the short term, (none)
                            it does happen that way.  Technology takes a while to develop and in the meantime towns dissappear and businesses close up shop.  

                            Agricultural labor for vegetables has not plunged, because it is still hand picked.  Labor for grains has plunged becasue it can be mechanized.  New home construction is only recently using immigrant labor.  The immigrants were doing roofing and repairs before, so they haven't been depressing the carpenter wages.

                            But hey, you've got no argument from me that more people will tend to depress wages in some industries.  The problem is that lots of businesses simply will close if they can't hire enough workers.  That means that everyone else that worked for or supplied those businesses will be out of work too.  Low wages for some are better than no wages for anyone.

                            In the long run, the  out of work folks will move and technology will keep up, but who wants to propose a recession just to get technology moving when you don't have to?  There are lots of people who can do the work in the meantime.  

                          •  High wages are never bad. (none)
                            "Low wages for some are better than no wages for anyone" is never the dilemma in an industrialized economy. Quite the contrary. The businesses that depend on low wages are opportunistic responses to the existence of cheap labor. They are not intrinsically competitive. They disappear because no one who has better options will offer to work in them.

                            Efficiency is in the midst of a Great Leap Backward with China trying to catch up with the world economy. Cheap labor introduces all kinds of sloppiness with production processes.

                            Cheap labor also devalues humans in the political and economic sphere and obscures the importance of high wages in achieving security and prosperity.

                            No hand-wringing over who will change the chamber-pots. Plumbers make good money.

            •  As someone (none)
              with the word "libertarian" in your screen name, you should perhaps be aware of the hypocrisy of your position. Simply put, if you believe in free trade (which generally, I do) you also have to believe in liberal immigration laws. People have to be able to maximize advantage in a global economy or the benefits of the global economy do not accrue.

              To me, I think there are reasons to be concerned about the border because of terrorism, but when anti-immigrant sentiment focuses on Mexicans, to me it is fuzzy thinking about the nature of our society (as a capitalist, supposedly "free market" society) at best, racism at worst.

              Ben P

              The United States has a conservative political culture defending a liberal heritage. The modern Republican Party's problem is that it is neither.

              by Ben P on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 11:42:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Low Wages. (none)
            If landscapers paid $40,000, they would have reliable legal employees.  Same for WalMart store cleaners.

            It's not that legal residents won't do the work, we just won't, in general, do it for what they're paying.  However, there are MANY legals who do do the work every day and they make crap, because the labor market is flooded with illegal competition.  The legals doing the same work are really suffering.  They have to raise their families in the U.S., with the U.S. cost of living.

        •  And why would you believe... (none)
          this is not just another aspect of the main RepubliCorp policy drive to push the cost of labor ever lower?  "Ohh... those nasty immigrants!  BTW, I will need another dozen next week for sweat labor."

          And I will leave my rant at simply that.

          Please visit my webby, A friend said, "I feel like I've entered a slick modern museum of cool stuff."

          by stumpy on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:18:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Immigration is a part of life (3.75)
          You may as well try to stop the rain. What we need to do is manage it responsibly. The war on immigration is just like the war on drugs, a needless tragedy. It's just so much harder to deal with it like adults than to put up a wall, thrust our heads firmly into the sand (not to mention our asses) and pretent that it we "just say no" it will stop happening.
      •  It won't stop unless (4.00)
        (wingnut mode) So what's one more dead spic? (/wingnut mode)

        There are any number of US citizens, even governmental officials, who might easily be mistaken by simple-minded vigilantes for illegals, at a glance.  Dead bodies won't stop them.  Dead American bodies might not even stop them.  People die in desert crossings every year, and I have yet to see an ounce of remorse for this fact from those Fortress America types.

        •  Death in the desert (none)
          (wingnut mode) So what's one more dead spic? (/wingnut mode)

          The problem is as it currently stands you have thousands of illegals walking across some of the fiercest desert in the world, and scores of them dying on the way mostly from dehydration. If the Minutemen actually do discourage them, or spot them and get Customs agents there to return them south, it will save lives. Of course, you have to balance this against the fact that it will also encourage the illegals to try even more impossible routes. But there is already that factor since Customs watches all the highways and easy ways through.

          There was an interesting interview somewhere in the MSM Web sphere (ended up there through Google, can't remember which paper's site) with a Mexican-American member of the Minutemen. He said he still basically regards his identity as "Mexican," but strongly supports the project. So some of the Minutemen are not racists; and even racists on occassion do good things, despite the awful flaws in their attitudes. If this really discourages more illegals from becoming corpses in the Sonora, this is a very good thing.

          Plus, bin Laden really is still determined to strike in the US. Border security is an urgent need. For us to discount this reality is no less serious than it was when Bush did (and still does, as is evident by the lack of port security etc.).

      •  wow (none)
        I threw out an angry rant and went to bed. Look at what I started....

        Just to clarify - by personal responsibility - I meant just that - groups of individuals  following the rules,  doing what they were told, protecting their jobs, protecting their salaries - and absolving themselves of the responsibility of being part of a larger experiment to destroy the country. When anyone who engaged in inciting violence later claims that they 'were just doing their job' and 'didn't really know' what would happen as a consequence....I won't care or feel a moment of sympathy.  

        It's not hypocrisy - it's unadulterated evil.

        by wabegg on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 12:48:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Lou Dobbs... (none)
        ...talks more common sense than anybody on television. He doesn't have a problem with immigrants at all. In fact, if someone came up with a logical proposal for an updated bracero program, I'm sure Dobbs would support it.

        What he has so diligently worked to elucidate in his "Broken Borders" series is the cross-the-board, bipartisan cowardice and hypocrisy regarding our porous southern border.

        He's gone after liberals for making nice-nice with their Hispanic base and proposing initiatives as silly as giving drivers' licenses to illegals. But he's also gone after conservatives who, for all their rhetoric about being "strong on security," find themselves compromised by their equally strong affinity for below-minimum-wage labor.

        More than anything, the Minutemen are a product of bipartsan cowardice. And, as illiberal as it may sound, I understand where they're coming from. It IS, after all, a miracle that Al Qaeda hasn't yet smuggled something horrible across the massive unpatrolled stretches of our border with Mexico.

      •  Lou Dobbs... (none)
        ...talks more common sense than anybody on television. He doesn't have a problem with immigrants at all. In fact, if someone came up with a logical proposal for an updated bracero program, I'm sure Dobbs would support it.

        What he has so diligently worked to elucidate in his "Broken Borders" series is the cross-the-board, bipartisan cowardice and hypocrisy regarding our porous southern border.

        He's gone after liberals for making nice-nice with their Hispanic base and proposing initiatives as silly as giving drivers' licenses to illegals. But he's also gone after conservatives who, for all their rhetoric about being "strong on security," find themselves compromised by their equally strong affinity for below-minimum-wage labor.

        More than anything, the Minutemen are a product of bipartsan cowardice. And, as illiberal as it may sound, I understand where they're coming from. It IS, after all, a miracle that Al Qaeda hasn't yet smuggled something horrible across the massive unpatrolled stretches of our border with Mexico.

    •  The disaster is (none)
      overcrowded health clinics, schools and freeways.  Unaffordable housing and garbage knee deep.  To aliens in our neck of the woods, streets, parks and lakes are their garbage dump.
      •  Okay, how about (none)
        going after the employers hiring illegals instead of shooting folks just wanting a chance at a decent life?

        Reason: the employers are all big GOP donors.

        So: the GOP wrings its hands and decries "illegal immigration", cuts the Border Patrol budget, then looks the other way when Lone Ranger wannabes go out to protect our borders from the "evil furriners".

        Oh, and we have quite a few "day laborers" and others up here in Silly Con Valley; I've never had a problem with any of them. Then again, I follow the precepts of my religion and treat them with respect...maybe that might have something to do with it...

        "It's an unnerving thought that we may be the living universe's supreme achievement and its worst nightmare simultaneously." -- Bill Bryson

        by Cali Scribe on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:53:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  they'll never go after the employers (none)
          The GOP is using this to whip up hysteria and racism. Thye have no intention of doing anything to fix a simple problem.

          Want to get rid of illegal immigration ? Hit Wal-Mart with a 1 billion dollar fine for their use of illegals instead of cutting a deal with them. Use the money to fix "the problems" illegals are causing. Make an example of a major company , and wipe out their profit for a year, and the business community will get in line.

          But the libertarians who value private business and the private sector above life itself, will always let business off the hook.

    •  God (4.00)
      This is one of the instantiations of creeping Republican brutality infiltrating this country's culture. Suddenly it's acceptable to form a vigilante squad. Who wants to hazard a guess as to the thoroughness of their procedures in vetting 'suspects' for whether they are actually illegal? Or how about the protocol once a 'suspect' has been so identified?

      This, and that evil she-witch Nancy Grace, chirping about victims ad infinitum. The country is better without them, and yet we find them to be acceptable??

      "We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality."

      by Marshall on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:48:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah--the unholy combination of 9/11 (none)
        and George "Dead or Alive" Bush have made this brand of vigilante brutality acceptable again. I know it never died, but now they've been empowered. It's really astounding how full of hate relatively privileged white Americans can be.  
    •  Maybe She's the Girl from Zappa's ..... (none)
      Carolina Hardcore Ecstasy. And she's feeling remorse since she converted to Bush's brand of religion and racism. Lyrics below.

      I coulda swore her hair was made of rayon
      She wore a milton bradley crayon
      But she was something I could lay on,
      Can?t remember what became of me
      Carolina hardcore ecstasy

      She put a doobie brothers tape on
      Ooh, ooh, ooh listen to the music
      I had a roger daltrey cape on oo-wee-oo
      A roger daltrey cape on, ooh ooh
      There was a bed I dumped her shape on
      Can?t remember what became of me . . .
      Carolina hardcore ecstasy

      Somewhat later on I woke up and she was gone
      There was dew out on the lawn in the sunrise
      Later she came back with a rumpled paper sack
      Which she told me would contain a surprise
      She stuck her hand right in it to the bottom
      Said she knew I?d be surprised she got em
      Take a charleston . . . pip . . . to spot em
      Then she gave a pair of shoes to me . . .
      Plastic leather, 14 triple d

      I said: I wonder what?s the shoes for
      She told me: don?t you worry no more
      And got right down there on the tile floor:
      Now darling
      Stomp all over me!
      Carolina hardcore ecstasy

      Is this something new having people stomp on you?
       Is it what I need to do for your pleasure?
       (and other things)
      What is this, a quiz?
       Dont you worry what it is
      It is merely just a moment
      I can treasure

      You know
      By ten oclock
      Her arms and legs were rendered
      She couldnt talk cause her
      Mouth had been extendered
      It looked to me as though she had been blendered
      What was this abject misery, no no
      Carolina hardcore ecstasy, weh-hell

      What was this abject misery, no no
      Carolina hardcore ecstasy
      It might seem strange to herb and dee
      Carolina hardcore ecstasy

      With a big ol' lie And a flag and a pie And a mom and a bible Most folks are just liable To buy any line Any place, any time ~ FZ

      by f furney on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:10:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I did not think the NPR story... (none)
      was nearly critical enough of this group (at least the one I heard--maybe you heard a different one). They did not talk to anyone who opposed this group other than someone from US border patrol basically saying, "We don't need their help." They went out of their way to interview members of the group who at least managed to sound more moderate. One interviewee commented on how he didn't blame the poor "economic refugees" but rather the government who was beholden to the big businesses that were eager to exploit the cheap, illegal labor.

      Overall NPR worked hard to present these people as merely concerned citizens, instead of what they are, which is racist vigilantes. I was very disappointed with NPR, and felt they did their listeners a real disservice.

      •  I think I heard it on Weekend Edition (none)
        I remember they also had a Mexican migrant worker commenting on how this makes it more difficult to get to his tomato-picking job.

        While the report could have been stronger in presenting opposition voices, I thought the vigilantes themselves did a good job of making the case against what they're doing. That one woman's comments were what I remembered most, and they had such a racist undertone, that I really felt a sense of horror. But, I'm sure that's in the ear of the listener to some degree. NPR is pretty middle-of-the-road these days, but at least they still try to present an unsensationalized, unbiased view (for the most part).

        Of course, I prefer the POV of Air America Radio! But unfortunately they don't have the resources to do first-hand reporting.

    •  Off-topic (none)
      Why the fuck did you get a 0 for this?

      Never mind.  Ratings abuse!  It's the new hobby here at dKos.

  •  Recommended. Thanks for posting this. (4.00)
    The moral could not be clearer - when media power is concentrated, the ability to shape popular discourse and perception is heightened. When that power falls into the hands of right-wingers, all kinds of ugly things become possible.

    The only modification I'd make to that statement:

    The moral could not be clearer - when media power is concentrated, the ability to shape popular discourse and perception is heightened. When that power falls into the hands of ideologues, all kinds of ugly things become possible.

    I'd say media concentration is inherently bad, no matter who has the stranglehold on the media.  If extremists of any flavor have the reins, the culture in question is in for a wild ride, indeed.

    Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.
    ePluribus Media - Donate!

    by mataliandy on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 12:36:00 AM PDT

    •  A Reason to Start Watching? (none)
      If some left wing ideologues ever got a cable network I'd want to watch! What fun. I might even order cable then.

      But it is the combination of extremism and concentration of power that is killing us. And the weird part is that conservatives still call CNN a "liberal" network. Get off your knees CNN, you're embarassing yourself.

  •  P.S. On boycotting the cable news stations (none)
    I never watch them anymore--they're useless, and increasingly disturbing. But you said that you "deleted" them from your lineup. Is it possible to do this when you have a bundled package (e.g. from RCN)? I would certainly at least delete FOX. And threats to delete the others would seem a good tool. But I don't know how to do it.
    •  Turning stations off (none)
      If you have Comcast you can 'Block' them. I did that to Fox News last week. I don't know if that signals Comcast or not but I feel better for it.

      What a fool I would have been to let self-respect interfere with my happiness! - Kurt Vonnegut Bluebeard

      by SteveK on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 02:16:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  FoxNews in Canada (none)
        Was free until March 31st, at which point you now have to pay for it.

        The funny thing is that on Canadian cable, the cable company sells ads on networks, during what I guess are local commercial breaks. Well on Rogers cable, you can find ads for the FoxNews channel while watching CNN.

        Too funny.

    •  Use your TV's Setup button (none)
      No matter what "package" you have from a cable provider, or even if you receive via antenna, most modern TV's have a Setup button on the remote and the TV itself.

      When clicked, a displayed menu allows you to adjust a variety of things like contrast, brightness, tint and saturation of the picture. You can also move through the menu to turn on or off other features like visual subtitles (for the deaf) or second language programming.

      I regularly have to go into my TV's setup mode to switch the "input" instruction back or forth from "cable" to "aux/VCR/DVD" depending on whether I want to watch TV or a video rental in my DVD player which is plugged into the back of my TV.

      One selection in the TV setup menu is "channel memory". When highlighted, you then change channels on your TV choosing to either "erase" or  "store" the showing channel in the TV's memory.

      You then exit the TV's setup menu, but now with a customized selection of channels you'll only see no matter what your "input" (antenna, cable, satellite) is pumping at you.

      Of course, your changes are not permanent. You can always go back into Setup and restore an "erased" channel if you change your mind. The default for all TV's is "store all", so if you have a power outage or unplug and move the TV, when the TV first kicks back on it will autoprogram to accept  all channels.


  •  White Supremacists and Far Right Lunatics (4.00)
    In other words, the GOP.

    "Just say no to torture." -Semi-Anonymous Blogger.

    by Armando on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 12:37:00 AM PDT

  •  Recommended (none)
    The only news I watch is local news, simply for entertainment value (we call it "crime TV"... they don't film COPS here anymore, but the local newscast is the same thing).

    Anyway, I called CNN the "Cheney News Network" up 'til the election.

    I don't know what to call it now, except, as you said, it's gone over to the dark side.

    Thanks for this diary.  Beats the hell out of "here's a link and no analysis, please recommend my hysterical diary on the Minutemen" that I've been expecting (pardon my cynicism).

  •  done and done (4.00)
    I don't own a television. =]
  •  I agree (4.00)
    with your assertion that propaganda is dangerous, and that is definitely what we're being served - but I admit that I watch a lot of CNN. Why?

    When Anderson Cooper in that loveably unsure way of his, advises all good and patriotic Americans to prepare a list of the names and addresses of all traitors in their neighborhoods and school boards and churches under the new 'American Freedom of Thought' executive order - well, shit - I just don't want to be the last to know.

    It's not hypocrisy - it's unadulterated evil.

    by wabegg on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:14:47 AM PDT

  •  Even simpler. Turn off the TV, (none)
    Leave it off.

    Move it out of the house.

    Not ready to do that? Put a cloth over it, something that requires an effort to actually see it. Put it in an obscure room. Did you buy the frig with a TV in the door? Maybe rethink that.... One in every room? Establish one TV-free room.

    Reframing the news and people's views of our world:, free subscriptions.

    by AllisonInSeattle on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:52:46 AM PDT

    •  Naive. (none)
      This is hugely naive.  The issue is not about not letting oneself be influenced by the consolidation of media, but the impact of the consolidation of media on the whole of society and the country that contains it.  Are you advocating going from house to house unplugging sets?
      •  I would. (4.00)
        I have done the following:  
        started my own media watch group
        started a blog
        started a list serve
        started giving workshops on liberating oneself from the mainstream media
        I print out news off blogs and leave it lying around in waiting rooms

        I have three kids.  We have never had a TV.  They get Jon Stewart on-line!  We have never missed having a TV.

        The last time I had a TV was 1986.

        Getting poeple to liberate themselves from mainstream media means not balking at the radical notion that we ubplug the set.  When we suggest that, stop calling us naive.

        •  Only... (none)
          ...You're missing the crap, sure, but you're also missing the good. Arrested Development, The Office, Scrubs, BBC World News, Frontline... there's great stuff on the box, if you know where to look.
          •  She did say (none)
            she got Jon Stewart online.

            Personally our family watches almost nothing that hasn't been timeshifted for us by TiVo. The only exception is live sports, and precious little of that. There are days when I think even that is too much TV.

            •  Yeah but (none)
              how can we get regular Murkans to take us seriously when we don't watch TV? That sounds snarky but I'm actually serious: there's no better way to get a normal red-stater to start backing away from you real carefully than to say you don't watch/own TV. Television is the only shared thing we have left. I shudder to think how much bad writing I would have done over the last 10 years if it weren't for continuous Law and Order reruns.
              •  My Red State Friends (none)
                have often looked askance at me and my TV-free habits, BUT -- they ask me about these habits ALL of the time.  Some of them are slowly backing away from all-TV all of the time (and brag about their cutbacks to me).  Most impressive (at least to me) is that when they invite me to come visit, they promise to turn off the tube for the duration.  I expect that visible, hugely functional examples of taking responsbility for yourself -- by turning off a thing that no longer has any real use for you -- instead of asking the govt to do it for you has some appeal.

                But -- I've mentioned this a few times here -- a targeted boycott of a single news network could be a thing of beauty and decidedly NOT naive.  The biggest influence of these networks is MONEY -- with government regulation a pretty far back second.  If enough people stopped watching CNN or whatever for one sweeps month, you begin to mess with the amount of money that network can charge for advertising.  Get it well publicised and you start to make it obvious that the liberal media does not exist.  Work to unconsolidate the media is noble and worthy, but mess with a network's ad rates and you get a lot of people's attention and but quick.

                Whenever a Voice of Moderation addresses liberals, its sole purpose is to stomp out any real sign of life. -- James Wolcott

                by cassandra m on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:03:57 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Well, first off (none)
                don't lead with it. "I don't (fill in the blank), you got a problem with that?" is a guaranteed conversation ender.

                Second, be subtle about it. "Oh, I never watch Fox News. I like to get my news from a variety of sources, and they're just not in the mix."

                Maybe you can frame it a bit differently. "I gave up watching TV so I could find time to write the Great American Novel. Since I did we get actual conversation at the dinner table and my daughter is reading a grade above her level."

                There are plenty of reasons to not watch TV, and they're good ones. There's also good TV out there. And I think people will go along with it as long as it isn't perceived as an elitist, I'm-better-than-you attitude.

          •  Who says I miss BBC World News? (none)
            We get it live on short wave and on the net streamed.

            Look ma, still no TV.

            The other stuff I order as a season series through netflix for 15.99 a month for all the films we can watch.

        •  Alright. (none)
          Well, good for you.  But that's not the point.  The point is that the huge majority of people are plugged in and will always be plugged in.  I appreciate the Mosquito Coasters who are trying to end-around the problem, but that seems like a way of abdicating any attempts to de-consolidate the media.  It's like saying, "Oh, it's not a big deal, just ignore it."  Your efforts are vital, but there is a much more obvious task at hand as far as this particular issue goes.

          I guess in a sense I was saying your comment was a non sequitor.

          •  I'm recommending to friends that ... (none)
            they do something like the TV removal or reduction suggested above.  So many Americans just turn on the TV when they get home, and it stays on until bedtime.  What kind of life is that?  Our lives slip by and our own children grow up, while we're glued to the tube instead of fully experiencing our immediate reality.

            Either getting rid of the TV (works for some, not for all) or making it necessary to make a deliberate choice to turn it on (e.g. rolling it into a closet) is a small thing one can do to change one's media diet.

            When we eat less junk food, we frequently have to monitor our diets to eat more of the good stuff.  Same with TV.  Again, for some this may mean getting rid of the TV and listening to news online, on the radio, reading a paper, etc.  For others it may mean deciding not to watch Fox.  I'd never advocate just tuning out of society.

            I haven't owned a TV since, well ... I haven't ever owned a TV.  We had one in the house I lived in during my junior year of college, in the mid-80s.

            I enjoy programs on TV now and again, at friends' houses or in a bar.  I get plenty of mass culture through commercial radio, movies, and reading popular stuff.  Strange, but I never have the problem of people flipping out because I hadn't seen their favorite show the night before, and I frequently am told I seem well-informed.

            •  Ah, screw that (none)
              You'll get my ESPN when you can pry it out of my cold, dead hands.


              "Don't call yourself religious, not with that blood on your hands"--Little Steven Van Zandt

              by ChurchofBruce on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:08:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Heh. (none)
                I'm not coming for your TV ... by virtue of the fact that you're reading here, you're already likely quite a media critic.

                But, jeeeeeeeeez, I can't believe how much TV some of my friends and relatives watch, uncritically, and they're liberals.  To them, I'm just suggesting they consider making a deliberate choice about what they consume.

                •  Only cable news I watch (none)
                  is MSNBC -- and that mainly because I have an unrequited crush on Keith Olbermann. ;)

                  Headline News is the Reader's Digest of news programs; it's for people who want to assure themselves they're being "informed". I tune in to Headline News, but only during the last five minutes, as Comcast Local devotes that time to community interest topics. I'm trying to get them to feature the non-profit I used to work for.

                  TV helps me relax and unwind; corporate radio all sounds the same (and the local Air America Radio signal sucks at night), though we're hoping to get a  home satellite radio receiver some time this year. TV also gives me the opportunity to work on my crocheting; it's hard to crochet and read dKos at the same time. :)

                  Along with MSNBC, I tend to watch the home improvement shows on TLC (Clean Sweep and In A Fix), and most ESPN programming. I also watch local news to figure out what the hell's going on in the area that might need some attention; we've actually got some decent local news around here. And I'm forced to admit an addiction to televised poker tournaments...

                  "It's an unnerving thought that we may be the living universe's supreme achievement and its worst nightmare simultaneously." -- Bill Bryson

                  by Cali Scribe on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:18:31 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I mainly watch sports (none)
                    sometimes movies. Old shows on Nick at Nite/TV Land. And my DVD collection <G>.

                    But I'm firmly of the TV-as-babysitter mindset. Sorry <G>. My 4-year-old's right next to me as I type--I have Noggin on for her. Franklin is a cool show <G>

                    "Don't call yourself religious, not with that blood on your hands"--Little Steven Van Zandt

                    by ChurchofBruce on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:45:52 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, again, let me promote TiVo (none)
                      We TiVo a bunch of stuff for my granddaughter. Some of it is silly kid stuff like Winx Club, some of it is content we like to watch with her like My Dad the Rockstar or Avatar: The Last Airbender. But the point is, just about nothing but live sports gets watched if it's not on the TiVo. Even then we'll sometimes sacrifice immediacy so we can fast-forward through commercials. That way we control what gets watched. Not being slaves to the network schedule is another plus.

                      The subscription service turns some of my friends off ($14/mo now, I think) but honestly, what do you pay for your entertainment? I paid for lifetime service when I first got the thing in 2001 and haven't looked back.

                    •  sports (none)
                      Sports seems to be the only subject in this country in which you can get in-depth TV coverage, and mutiple points of view. Probably becuase it doesn't threaten anyone's power or money.

                      I hear callers on the radio who know the on-base percentage of a back-up infielder, but probably think that there are WMD's in Iraq.

  •  I Understand The Concern (4.00)
    But let's face it, folks, the Minutemen are a symptom of a greater problem. One more result of idiotic policy in Washington. Polls continually show a vast majority of Americans are irked by our continued border insecurities, and the flood of illegal aliens. This sort of crap was inevitable -- a result of the ineffectiveness of government.

    These "Minutemen" will enjoy quite a bit of support so long as the government is perceived as useless.

    Border Security needs to become a major Democratic Plank. It's something they can really bash Bush over the head with, with being so moronic policy-wise. That doesn't mean start targetting Hispanics. That doesn't mean stop immigration. It just means grab ahold of the borders, and stop people from getting in illegally. Sweeten the deal with worker issues, perhaps some naturalization down the line. Blend it in with other progressive values -- wage issues, worker justice, etc.

    There is a huge need for action. If you let the racists be the only ones to act, then you're going to have to deal with them getting all the favorable coverage.

    •  Excellent point! (none)
      The Diarist has not made his case that the minutemen have been captured by racists.

      The issue of illegal emmigration is a pariah issue, which runs a schism between both conservatives and liberals. It also is a siginificant issue for all developed countries, BTW.

      The big danger is if battles develop between the Minutemen and the pro-illegal immigrant forces. Organized street fighting between polarized groups is the very few Weimarian elements that have been absent to this point.

      I reserve the right to revise and extend my remarks in Sozadee CA.

      by The Messenger on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:31:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Listen to the NPR story (none)
        from this morning. It isn't overt, but tell me the guys making up the little Minute Men (and I emphasise minute) coffee klatch aren't filled to the brim with racist/neo-fascist talking points. Note especially, if you listen to the report, the guy who immigrated from Cuba to California, and turns around to excoriate the flow of Mexicans into the state.

        You know I thought Vicente Bush, I mean Fox, was our best friend. How come they still got so many problems over there, Chico?

        There is a certain providence in the fall of a sparrow

        by mrblifil on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:59:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Very Very Close and getting Hotter (none)
      Can't we all just Think alot.
    •  Great point! (none)
      If the Democratic Party can seize the frustration that Americans face with illegal border crossing and attack the GOP on two levels:

      1. Allowing the border crossing to happen by underfunding the border patrol,

      2. Not enforcing the laws on the books against businesses who hire illegals,

      ...then the party would do a LOT better.

      This should be a strong conviction. Americans, of Mexican descent have told me (and this dude was like 50 year old) how they hate these illegals coming in. They too want a good future for their kids, why would they support illegal immigration from any part of the world?

  •  Hunt brown people for sport and profit! (4.00)
    Well, we all know that it's a political non-starter to go up against hunters. It's part of our culture after all. We've been huntin injuns since this land was founded. No stopping them now.
  •  News isn't about news anymore.... (4.00)'s about ratings.  And the more sensational the pictures, the better the ratings are likely to be, and the more coverage it garners.

    Consider:  If these minutemen were all toothless goobers with pitchforks, making agressive, pitch-forky gestures and mean, scary faces for the cameras, to the accompaniment of banjo music played by a chromosomally-challenged albino boy.....

    would it get more coverage, or less?

    If you answered "more", you win a cigar, and you understand the nature of cable news.

    They don't want their kids to pray in school. They want your kids to pray in school!

    by roxtar on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 02:12:25 AM PDT

    •  Ratings may be the reason (none)
      the media says they don't cover the news but the real reason the news isn't covered is because there was a takeover of our govt. in 2000. No's all out in the open. If the Jeff Gannon story happened to be would be on 24/7...due to ratings. public demand.
  •  My First Blog (none)
    is on the MMP.

    Check it out.

    My Bat Called 'Ann'

    "The modern conservative is engaged in . . . the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." John Kenneth Galbraith

    by wardad on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 02:24:17 AM PDT

  •  I deleted my TV (none)
    after it was clear the war in Iraq was being portrayed as some kind of Western. If it weren't for C-Span on the internet, I'd watch nothing at all.
  •  There is No Fascist Threat (none)
    First of all I believe that fascism is closer to the true political manifestion of capitalist rule than democracy is.  Democracy is a veneer masking the rule of the owners of the means of production.  That being said the specific rule of fascism in Europe was a reaction to the workers' revolutions of 1917-1923.  The revolutions failed and the workers' movement was crushed by fascism backed enthusiastically by the majority of the major industrialists and bankers (except the Jewish capitalists of course).  

    Thus fascism is a specific response to a specific historic situation.  It can't simply arise at any time.  However the veneer of democracy seems to be peeling off slowly and the true essence of bourgeois dictatorship is showing itself.  The difference today is that the class struggle is mounting worldwide, beneath the surface.  Society is bubbling and explosions will come soon.

    As for the news, its propaganda. I always thought that was rather obvious, but I guess many people have been brainwashed for so long they are just now realizing the obvious.

    •  Call it Falangism (none)
      if that makes you feel better.  James R Maclean's article points out, it's both less virulent than fascism, and closer to 'business as usual'.  

      Unfortunately, by the same token it's also less likely to self-destruct.

    •  Hmmm... (none)
      Thus fascism is a specific response to a specific historic situation.  It can't simply arise at any time.

      So how do you account for the rise of fascism in Japan during the same timeframe (without falling back on some variant of "well, it wasn't really fascism in Japan"? Japan certainly didn't have the same degree of labor strife that Europe or the US had. I'm not saying that there isn't an element of truth to your statement - though left to me, I'd choose WWI as the catalyst more than the spread of Marxism/Leninism per se.

      It's kind of like saying Maoism isn't really Communism because it started in an agrarian society, and everyone knows that true Communism requires an industrial state... How "special" do the conditions really need to be?

      A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention in human history, with the possible exception of handguns and tequila. - Mitch Ratcliffe

      by wickerman26 on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 10:08:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Japanese fascism (none)
        was a reaction to the wave of revolutions from 1917 -1923.  The analysis is based on the beleif that it was an international revolt, which was more severe in some places than others.  In some places the wave or revolution expressed itself in the rise of a few more unions, in other places it meant sit down strikes, the formation of strike committees in other places, the formation of soviets (workers' councils) in still other places, and finally the actual fromation of soviet states (Russia in 1917-1923, Hungary in 1919, Bavaria 1919).  

        The failure of this wave of revolts (and this failure was precisely because they successes were too local) also created reactions throughout the world of varying degrees and in varying forms. Stalinism is a part of that reaction within the momentary sucess of Russia.  Fascism is the reaction in other states, the red scare was the reaction in the US.  There isn't necessarily a correlation between the degree of revolutionary fervor and the degree of reaction in each particular state.  But the general GLOBAL tendency of GLOBAL reaction following GLOBAL workers' revolt is discernible.  The revolts by the way had nothing to do with the influence of Leninism.

        AS for China it wasn't communist just as Russia wasn't.  You cannot have a communist state only a communist world.  You cannot have a local revolution succeed unless it spreads thoughout the globe.  Russia was however ruled by soviets for a couple of years, whearas China never was.  SO the Russian revolution had the POTENTIAL of sparking a world rvolution (which it in fact did) whearas China was simply a peasant revolt.

        •  You really think so? (none)
          To what degree did the Western nations' refusal to accept Japan as an equal play a role? It seems to me that Japan's rise to fascism had far more to do with not being allowed to take full advantage of their defeat of Russia in 1905. Japan cooperated with the Boxer Rebellion, they defeated a creaky and aging Great Power, they occupied Germany's Pacific possessions, they participated in the 1917-1922 punitive expeditions against the Red Russian forces - and in the end, they got kicked in the teeth by the US, France & Britain.

          A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention in human history, with the possible exception of handguns and tequila. - Mitch Ratcliffe

          by wickerman26 on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 12:04:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is the same supercifial reasoning (none)
            that blames the humiliation of the Versailles treaty for the rise of Hitler.  Yes these things play a role.  Fascsm necessitates a mass base of support.  This mass base is often an angry financially vulnerable layer of middle class and lumpen people who can be motivated by ideological campaings about national humiliation etc. THey want a way out of their situation and the workers of the world who once offered an alternative have just fucked up.  All of a sudden, Franco, Mussolini and the rest start to make a lot of sense.   Do you realise that the first thing ALL fascist in power do isn't to attack Jews, but to attack anything resembling a working-class organization.  The unions and the socialist parties are destroyed immediately. THis isnt about Versailles, or national betrayal.  Nor is this simply because the media was consolidated and the left-wing politicians suddenly lost their backbones.  A deeper dynamic of action and reaction was at work.
            •  Except that (none)
              Japan had already crushed their labor movement long before WWI, there already was a mass base of support in the form of sonno joi ("Revere the Emperor, expel the barbarian") which in many ways informed the creation of modern Japan in 1868, and the culture is predisposed through a variety of factors to mass movements. Japan was poised to become a miltarist, nationalist, industrialist state prior to WWI, so how is this a superficial line of reasoning?

              And I didn't mention Jews anywhere... Where did that come from?

              A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention in human history, with the possible exception of handguns and tequila. - Mitch Ratcliffe

              by wickerman26 on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:05:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  bush's brownshirts (none)
    armed vigilantes to create mayhem among non-whites, an essential partof any fascist takeover that must preserve face in the early to mid stages. don't buy the bull about him opposing him- these are white trash killers who will kill for him. he's got their phone numbers.
    •  Hasn't Bush ... (none)
      ... Denounced the Minutemen as "vigilantes"? Bush supports a constant influx of illegal immigrants who will be forced to perform unskilled labor at almost slavery-level wages to swell the pockets of his campaign contributors. The Minutemen directly oppose this under the mantra of "borders, language, culture." This is a typical clash between the economic and social conservatives in the Republican base; it is puzzling that you would interpret this as some fifth column emerging from a neo-fascist master plan.

      Moreover, I am offended by the racist locution of "white trash," and equally so by the suggestive statement that "any fascist takeover" must be preceded by "armed vigilantes [creating] mayhem among non-whites" -- a formulation that implies fascism is an intrinsically white phenomenon.

  •  How apropriate (none)
    that I was just at the border the other day, coming into the U.S., and I crossed three times on two different days at three bridges. The weak link in any bureaucracy will always be the humans involved. The customs people..... or lets just call them by something more apripos, CONSUMPTION CONTROL, can't get even the simplest laws straight between themselves, nothing will ever get done at any other level. As far as these unfair and unbalanced jingle assed vigilanies out in the desert are concerned, well it's kind of like playing whack-a-mole, or herpes, they never really go away. I live in Mexico and I sure hope that all the people I know that have gone to find work ( most have been summoned by their US employers ) in the US don't stumble upon these skin heads. They don't deserve that.
  •  immigration (4.00)
    As someone married to an "illegal", I am always offended, angry, and otherwise generally disgusted at the mere sight of Lou Dobbs and his ilk. My husband is very hard working, we pay our taxes, and have been trying for years to get his citizenship. We are now fighting his deportation back to Guatemala. The Republicans always trumpet their Global Economy, but when people try to go where the jobs are, and compete, that seems to be bad. It seems to me, our country pilages the economies of poorer nations and then complains when their people show up looking for work so they can feed their families. These vigilantes will hate the Immigrant,and claim they're stealing jobs, and yet they can't get enough of the Walmarts. I'd also like to know if the Lou Dobbs of this world would be willing to pay more every time they go out to eat, or have their limo washed, so that an "American" might be willing to bus the table, or wash the car? How much more is Lou Dobbs willing to pay so his lawn can be landscaped by an "American".
    •  As the in-law of an illegal (1.05)
      I have first-hand knowledge with the utter contempt they have of this country and the people living here.

      It is the fault of the government that citizens have to start enforcing the law.

      Where we live, rents are sky high, housing unaffordable, health clinics over-run, schools are overcrowded.

      I don't think that citizens are being unreasonable to resist the country turning into a pit of squalor.

      •  amazing (4.00)
        Do you honestly believe that poor immigrants who are mowing lawns in south texas and picking your fruit are causing YOUR rents to go sky high?


        You think that you KNOW SOMETHING about all immigrants because of this alleged in-law who is not legal in the US.  You think that you can generalize and say they all have contempt for the country and people that they come to work for?

        Willful Dillusion.

        You think that your schools are over run because of the illegals who are too busy, working at jobs you wont, to go to school.  I live WELL far north of the mexican border, our schools are JAMMED packed and not a SINGLE KID IS MEXICAN.

        Hateful Dillusion.

        Your schools and services are struggling because of the REPUBLICAN CUTS TO THOSE SERVICES.  Its abundantly simple.  The federal government is starving our society from the top.  It trickles down to your locality, your town/city leaders are forced to 1) cut services, 2) raise your property taxes.

        Selfish Dillusion.

        These vigilantes need to get a job, mind their own  freaking business, and remember that their ancestors were swinging from trees when the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas were charting the skies and working out advanced mathematics.

        Maybe these minutemen need to take a minute and actually think, be Real Men.  

        That would be Hard Work, I know.  It wont happen.  Hate is easy and feels so damn good to this type of person.

        Is that what you are?  Hateful?  

        Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one's living at it. - Albert Einstein

        by nika7k on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:34:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's enough (4.00)
        I've watched yuo all down this thread and you insist on generalizing immigrants.

        You're full of shit.  Your local immigrants may possibly be generalized that way for a variety of factors and your statements might be close to the truth--for the tiny part of reality you can accurately see.  I doubt it.

        You make it cound like the human immigrants themsleves like filth and squalor.  You sound precisely like the early 20th century bigoted views of the Irish, deemed to be filthy and dirty simply because of who they were.

        I rarely pick fights in Kos threads anymore but this ticked me off.  Immigrants do not equal filth, squalor, and automatic problems.

      •  They? (4.00)
        You have first-hand knowledge of the attitudes of every illegal in the country?  Including those that crossed the border at Canada? Are your communiques arranged vis-à-vis your in-law? Wow, s/he knows a lot of peeps.

        (I hope you're just a cranky son or daughter-in law and not someone who thinks being married to a minority--or being a minority one's self--makes you unimpeachably egalitarian no matter what kind of bigoted crud you spout.)

        Is nothing secular?

        by aitchdee on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:50:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "illegals" and contempt? (4.00)
        the county I live in Tennessee is 98% WHITE (per the last census)

        the schools suck, the health clinics are overcrowded, and unemployment is 13%--on the other housing is relatively cheap, but all other costs are sky high

        WHITE people in this area DUMP illegally, toss trash out of their cars everyday, abandon cars and whole "manufactured homes" wherever they finish with them, make and use Meth at alarming rates, allow dogs and cats to roam and breed at will

        they also refuse to allow teaching of birth control (we have a huge teen pregnancy rate), refuse to allow even modest tax increases to allow schools to improve,  curse illegals who work the farms here (taking ther hard labor jobs with no benefits that no one will do any more), and smash our mialbox with baseball bats on a regular basis

        "I have first hand knowledge of the utter contempt these people have of this country and the people living here"

        --they don't respect my right to be an atheist, a feminist, a liberal demoncrat. They don't respect laws about illegal dumping of waste, cutting old growth trees, or hunting out of season or endangered species.  They drink and drive, drink and shoot one another, drink and hit their kids and wives, and no one pays more than a $4 fine and court costs.

        They hate "yankees." They hate judges. They hate "blacks" and "mezicans" and "moozlims." They hate democrats, uppity women, and "the queers." What most of the folk in my area do is hate.

        •  Okay, but (3.33)
          Try to control your own contempt, okay?  This excoriation of hate-filled local culture seems itself filled with hate.  I don't mean to be painfully utopian and naive or anything, but I don't think this helps.  (Now please don't hate ME... apparently several people thought this was a great comment...)
          •  Here's a 4 (none)
            to even out the 1. You're comment was not "unproductive" and you seemed to me to be reasonable in the way that you said it.

            Have to say that I agree with the spirit of your comment. I live in the South, not in, but very close to areas that are similar to what DCS describes. It can be easy to label everyone in those areas the same when you encounter certain kinds of people often enough. But there are also some mighty fine people that live in these same areas. I suppose it's probably a good idea to just avoid using that broad brush stroke altogether.

        •  I live on the Plateau myself... (none)

          What DSC is saying is quite true there are people that act like that and believe just about everything he mentioned. You don't even really have to go far in town to find them either.

          So while some of things that DSC is saying might extreme most of them are quite true. Being a gay liberal democrat I have taken more than my fair share of grief from so folks where I live. It really can boggle your mind at times.

          So I too can really feel for where you are coming from DSC because I live in it too.

        •  OT - Fix for mailbox vandals (none)
          I don't recall where I read this, but someone with a similar problem solved it by putting a small mail box inside a large one, filling the space between with concrete.  Mounted on a cement post to take the weight.  Real suprise for the vandals, especially if they try to knock it down with a 4WD.
      •  What suggestions do you have for (4.00)
        non-violent solutions to the problems you describe?

        To thine own self be true - W.S.

        by Agathena on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:52:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Great Grandma's Split Pea Soup (4.00)
        from my Great Grandmother Nan McKenna, daughter of an Irish immigrant. Simple and tasty. Serves four or so.

        2 c. split peas
        2 medium yellow onions
        6 c. water
        tops of one bunch celery
        2 t. salt
        1/2 c. (one stick) butter
        1 1/2 c. milk

        Chop onions and celery tops. Put all ingredients except milk in a large saucepan or stock pot, bring to boil, and reduce to low. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from heat, stir in milk, and serve.

        If you prefer your soup creamier, you may puree some or all of the soup in the blender.

        Great Grandma Bobbie used to make it with rich milk or cream, and she used double the butter, which is a richer soup though of course with loads more fat. I make it in the above fashion and it still turns out splendidly. Also feel free to add in chunks of ham if that's your cup of tea--er, soup.

        There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. --Benjamin Disraeli, cited by Mark Twain

        by sheba on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:18:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  What the heck did you expect? (none)
      Your husband came here illegally. He could have gone through the proper channels and then you'd be fine. We have to respect the rule of law.

      Though the rest of your points about the American economy are spot-on.

      •  Ooooooo this comment pisses me off (none)
        Respect for the law?  Are you out of your fucking mind?

        I suppose the case Bush vs. Gore means nothing to you--my, what respect for the law that showed.  Hmmmm, what about all the energy companies that ripped off CA for billions in electricity?  Where's the respect there?

        Jaysus Christ and General Jackson, the rich and powerful in the this country don't give a shit about the law, why the hell should the Little People?  Why should immigrants?

        I strongly recommned to you The Cider House Rules by John Irving.  Perhaps, just maybe, after reading it you'll understand how the law is all cider house rules and what that means to you as a personal citizen who has to make real choices every day.

        Perhaps, even more unlikely, you'd stop these ridiculous statements that the law is repsected in the United States.

        •  two wrongs (none)
          using your opinion as to the validity of the 2000 election as justification for other unlawful activity is wrong and the first step toward anarchy
          •  My opinion? (1.33)
            Lord above.  Look very, very closely at this, Kossacks, for what to we find here?  I kid you not, we have a Kossack defending the validity of Bush vs. Gore!

            You'll regret the instant you decided to tap out this incredible sentence.  

            There is no validity to the 2000 election.  Please get a fucking clue, it means all the validity of our entire demcoracy and country was chucked out the window like any slop jar!!!!!!!!!!

            At least one Kossack gets it and understands my reaction is the second step in this awful process--citizens giving the finger to all forms of authority because the authority is obviously lying, cheating, and offensive to all forms of Reason, Truth and Justice.

            Your country is gone.  GONE!  Is that finally clear?  God, the self-satisfied clucking on the this thread as to the almighty goodness of the Unites States is highly offensive.

            This fucking joke of a country is no better than any other country on the planet.  Our democracy is just gone, we pollute and kill at whatever whim we fill like, we can't control money or look after our kids for shit.  We can't even do the law right.

            I will do whatever the fuck I preciesly like and accept the consequences as they occur.  The law has absolutely nothing to do with it, I assure you. The Supreme Court doesn't give a fuck about the law, why should I?  Why should immigrants?

            Please explain your premise as the the validity of Election 2000, since you've read this far.  This I really have to see.

            •  Election 2000 (none)
              was indeed a travesty. But ignoring the law because others have ignored it is no way to restore civil democracy.

              Go ahead and "do whatever the fuck you want," dude. Just don't come whingeing to me when someone else does whatever the heck they want to you.

              And in response to the comment below, I do think that someone who's managed to establish themselves, pay taxes, etc. does deserve some consideration. Obviously they will make a fine American, as they've already proved it. Thus after we deport them, they ought to get a certain preference in the queue for legal immigration. But giving them some kind of retroactive residency status only encourages people to go outside the proper channels, rewarding the cheaters rather than the law-abiders.

            •  stupid asshole (none)
              i never told you my opinion regarding bush-gore.  nice way to jump to conclusions
              •  Look, canned fish panties (none)
                You said my opinion of Bush vs. Gore can be used as a justification for unlawful activity.

                It's not an opinion, it's a FACT, Bush vs. Gore was a total, complete travesty for the law and a blatant theft of the election.

                There is no rule of law in this country.  There is only what the rich and powerful decide to steal while lying to the rest of us.

                Any citizen may do whatever they like in regards to the law and get no judgment from me.  Nothing.  The law is worthless and an offensive joke in this country.

                Morally, of course, breaking US civil and criminal code may be problematic, which is the only reason I follow the law--as a guide to be a good person to my fellow humans.

                •  Unbelievable ... (none)
                  "Opinion" denotes a belief that someone tenders.

                  You believe that Bush vs. Gore was a travesty. And you are correct.

                  But the fact that you would infer that any reference to an "opinion" inherently signifies disagreement is so ludicrous and laughable that it would neatly discredit anything else you might venture to say.

                  Except we also have this: "I will do whatever the fuck I preciesly like and accept the consequences as they occur.  The law has absolutely nothing to do with it, I assure you. The Supreme Court doesn't give a fuck about the law, why should I?"

                  Well, we've regressed from the modern into the prehistoric. Because the Supreme Court ruled incorrectly, law is forever dead. Robbery, rape, murder, genocide? If an individual wants to do it, then he can, simply because, at some point in time, some authority likewise disregarded the law. That is puerile beyond words. Compared to you, even the Minutemen are paragons of social conscientiousness.

                  •  I just love the Daily Kos (none)
                    You can rail against injustice and get countered by an idiot who thinks Gore lost.

                    The law is dead to me because the Supreme Court killed it.  But then some hoser will come along and infer that I meant everybody should break the law becuase I have zero faith in it.

                    Along with being called Dickweed and Asshole.

                    That's correct, I do whatever precisely I feel like.  Do I ever break a law?  Sometimes I go 70 on the freeway.

                    The original issue was that illegals inherently do not respect the law, wherein I countred the law is a filthy joke.  I didn't say go become a felon or that I break the law all the time.

                    Don't get all mad at me.  I'm not the filthy scumbag that wrote Bush vs. Gore, I'm not the one who trashed our legal system.

                    Jesus, please forgive the fuck outta me for not reacting perfectly when a sytem horribly screwed me and the country by stealing the election. That  terrible paradox, how dare he get prehistoric?  What a terrible person, just as bad as Scalia or Rehnquist.

                    My my my, who would think that after the Supreme Court trashed the law that ordinary citizens would not?  How dare this citizens get so uppity!  You stay in your place and take it up the ass, boy!

                    Out of respect to Markos I'll stop.  Thank you so much for fucking up what I wrote and then classifying me as a scumbag.  Did real good.

                    •  Irrelevant Blather. (none)
                      Gore did lose. He lost when a deranged Supreme Court threw the entire concepts of judicial restraint, separation of powers and federalism out of the window to anoint their favored son. Basically, you launched a frenzied rant against another poster on the flimsiest pretext imaginable. You consistently read far too much into wholly inoffensive statements.

                      Otherwise, the repeated profanity -- "Take it up the ass," for instance -- is entirely unwarranted. You seem to interpret the Supreme Court's decision as a justification not only for entirely disregarding the legal code, but also for maligning your fellow posters and disregarding the most basic standards of decorum.

                      But I'm wasting my time. I'll just let your words speak for themselves:

                      Any citizen may do whatever they like in regards to the law and get no judgment from me.  Nothing.  The law is worthless and an offensive joke in this country.

                      I will do whatever the fuck I preciesly like and accept the consequences as they occur.  The law has absolutely nothing to do with it, I assure you. The Supreme Court doesn't give a fuck about the law, why should I?

                      •  Al Gore Won (none)
                        And you consistently miss my point--if the Supreme Court cares nothing for the law, why should I?  Why anyone in this country revere once it's been trashed?

                        Ooooooooo, the awful words of paradox!  He must have wrote Bush vs. Gore and been responsible.

                        Hello?  Why am I such a tertible citizen when the country completely failed me?  Why do I have to be so good and clean and pure?  For what?  Why does anyone?

                        You hold me repsonsible for total disregard for the law.  I didn't do it, asshole, the supreme court did.

                        I personally do not break the "law" whenver I feel like it, but I stand by what I said:  the law means nothing, there is no cause for judgment on anyone since it means nothing, and I will do what I like (that means speeding, ooooo how terrible).

                        I didn't do it, the Supreme Court did.  By the way, I will also continue to post how I like, just to piss you off.  You're right, you are wasting your time.

                        •  More unnecessary profanity and juvenile logic (none)
                          If the Supreme Court disregards law, that is no justification for you to do so. If a rapist or a murderer or a child-molester games the legal system and is exonerated, that does not convey unto you the right to rape, murder or molest children. This is basic.

                          I do not hold you responsible for Bush v Gore; I do hold you responsible for the statements you have made, and that you now reiterate:

                          the law means nothing

                          Any citizen may do whatever they like in regards to the law and get no judgment from me.  Nothing.  The law is worthless and an offensive joke in this country.

                          I will do whatever the fuck I preciesly like and accept the consequences as they occur.  The law has absolutely nothing to do with it, I assure you. The Supreme Court doesn't give a fuck about the law, why should I?

                          You attempt to excuse yourself by marginalizing what illegal acts you commit -- just speeding, after all -- but you stand by these principles, where "the law" itself is dead. To punish the Supreme Court, you would literally have the United States thrust into a state of pre-historic anarchy, where, as Hobbes put it, life is nasty, brutish and short.

                          •  Aren't we there now? (none)
                            Congratulations.  You ruined my day yessterday and I've been awake since 0200.  I'v always thought of myslef as a good citizen

                            Fuck you and your judgments of juvenille-ism.  Take it up the ass, boy, and believe in the rule of law even though your government does not.

                            Play by the rules--even the though there are no rules for the rich and powerful.

                            What an adult you are.  Your vote was stolen, your country is at way for no reason, we cannot verify how votes were counted in the last election, but you just sit there, citizen, and shut up while we ram it up your ass.

                            Not only that, we demand that you proclaim faith in the almighty rule of law while we openly shit on it and flout it.

                            If you don't you're just a filthy anarchist who condones the worst of what humans could do.  Never mind, of course, that we currently blow off the limbs of children for lies.  Or let them starve in labor shanty camps.  Or ruin their planet.

                            Congratulations.  You've made me miserable, and even though I'd love to say Im sorry, I fucked up and you were right (something I've done many times, but you're sure I'm just a teenage asshole, right?)

                            Go live your rule of law in some sick fantasy.  For the last time, asshole, i didn't ruin this charade for you.  The Supreme Court did.  You hold me responsible for being faithful to a system to actively fucks me.  

                            I hope you invest better than that.  Great job, another 20-22 hours before I sleep again.  Have a great day, the Republic is saved now that you've put this asshole in his place.

                          •  Rejecting Democracy to Punish Karl Rove ... (none)
                            "Ruined your day"? I would not advise taking a few comments on a political discussion forum so personally. I merely criticized your assertion that the law can be disregarded at any time by any American in good conscience simply because the Supreme Court erred.

                            Anarchy is not a corrective; through embracing a lawless society, you would have the citizens of the United States punished for the transgressions of an unelected judiciary. Such disillusionment and self-destructive nihilism from intelligent progressives is exactly what Karl Rove desires; through marginalizing ourselves, we do the Republicans' work for them.

                            For the record, I have not accused you of being a teenager or an "asshole," though you seem fond of that word (and equally disposed to sodomy metaphors -- "take it up the ass" ad nauseum). It is accurate, however, to classify your reasoning as puerile, for it blithely discards centuries of political theory, much as the Supreme Court did in Bush v Gore.

                            Progressives can accept the concept of a society of laws whilst working to make that society more representative and more equitable. Undoing our Republic to spite the Republicans is supreme folly.

                          •  THE REPUBLIC IS UNDONE!!!!! (none)
                            You fucking obstinate stubborn arbiter of all that is good, there is no republic anymore!

                            I'm diaring on this today, related in a way.

                            You insist on defending something that was stolen right in front of your eyes.

                            I can't take the republic away by my "puerille" reasoning.  The Republicans have already smashed it!  You sit there and seem to think I represent danger--jesus christ, the danger was there six years ago and we blew it and lost the republic.

                            Jesus the Supreme Court threw away hundreds of years of traditon and decency and the country is supposed to get it back by me having faith in it?  Only an idiot would accept such a bargain.  Your stockbroker steals your money but you keep sending it to him becuase there is no choice and the law allows no recourse?  Riiiiiiiiight.

                            Don't take it personally, he says.  You obnoxious charlatan of logic, how am I not supposed to take it personally?  You have fucked up my head, it does hurt, and I am miserable.  By my actions I hurt other people by pissing on the rule of law.  Fuck you, I did and do not.  For the last time:  the Supreme Court did it, not I.

                            My name is Joseph Arrieta--google it if you wish.  I have been fighting frantically since 2000 in the screens--countless blog comments, associate writer at The Left Coaster, author at The Democratic Underground 17 times, a watcher for Media Whores Online, thousands (yes, thousands) of dollars given away to bloggers in the desperate hope they could stem the tide of our propaganda journalism corps.  [Ooooo should I proclaim almighty faith in journalism now too?]

                            I've done everything I possibly can and I love my country deeply, yet to you I can't think or reason and consign others to great pain--for something the Supreme Court did!  No wonder I couldn't sleep.

                            Fuck you--and take it up the ass--for your judgment of me.  I frantically want to save the republic but it's gone and I'm manifestly depressed about it.  Congratualtions on making me more miserable.  I'm sorry I don't meet your 150 IQ and flawless presentation of what should be perfect in the this totally fucked up world, Your Highness.  Good luck in changing the rest of us.

                          •  Please. (none)
                            I sympathize with your "depression," however mystifying your continuing fixation on anal sex. For all your advocacy -- Democratic Underground, the Left Coaster, etc -- you seem unable to grasp the most basic distinctions. I have not attacked you, nor your claimed that you hurt others through your "actions" -- I merely affirmed that your perspective on law is anathema to civil society. And is that not the case?

                            Your rebuttal is that civil society is already dead, and that the United States is a de facto anarchy where citizens discard laws willy-nilly and the government takes whatever it wishes and acts however it wants. Really? Are there no repercussions for thieves, murderers, and rapists? Sure, some of the guilty are released on technicalities, while innocents are sometimes convicted. But are these not the outrage-inducing exceptions that prove the rule?

                            By and large, the majority of American citizens pay their taxes, respect the property and persons of their neighbors, subsidize their schools, and work and save and marry and raise children. The proposition that law is already dead, unlike your assertion that law is abstractly artificial and irrelevant, requires that you prove those subject to the law are universally violating it.

                            Can you really say that anarchy reigns in Michigan, Maine or Minnesota? Do you seriously think that some 300 million people act exclusively according to their inclinations, robbing stores of commodities they covet, vandalizing property that they find ugly, sexually assaulting those they find comely, assassinating any government officials who are disingenuous or pandering or glance at a constituent cockeyed?

                            What minute fraction of Americans would agree with the proposition that "law is dead"? And if ninety-nine out of every hundred Americans abide by the laws except for occasional speeding or jaywalking, how can you possibly assert that we live in an anarchy?

                            The Supreme Court established a precedent too horrendous to be taken seriously in mainstream jurisprudence, and foisted a President George W. Bush upon the United States. Yet the world keeps on revolving. We have endured for over two centuries, and survived Presidents even more brutal and lawless than this one.

                            Consider America's participation in World War II under the leadership of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. We firebombed dozens of heavily populated Japanese cities in a campaign of sustained mass-murder to which this President's campaign in Iraq pales in comparison: 100,000 Japanese civilians perished in a single night of bombardment in Tokyo. We firebombed Dresden, again killing more than a hundred thousand people. Domestically, we removed 120,000 Japanese-Americans from their homes and deported them to concentration camps.

                            Or consider William McKinley, an imperialist par excellence. We invented a Spanish mine as a pretext for adding Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines to the burgeoning American Empire. The last was unsatisfied with being a colony, and an insurrection was led by Emilio Aguinaldo; over years of counter-insurgency, we slaughtered 200,000 people.

                            Or for imperialist war par excellence, observe Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. Conveniently conflating nationalist and an international communist conspiracy rife with falling dominoes, we proceeded to exterminate 3.4 million people.

                            What about the genocide of the Native Americans and the Trail of Tears in an exodus of the Cherokee ordered by Andrew Jackson? What about Rutherford B. Hayes, whose back-room negociations ended reconstruction and issued in a century of relentless brutality towards blacks in the South in exchange for his triumph in a disputed election? Law, precedent and political philosophy have been discarded since the founding of the United States by the powerful and the self-interested. Under your criterion, we have been an anarchy since our inception.

                            But the strength of a nation is not found in the empty pronouncements and self-serving manipulation of its leaders, but in the character of its people. We recognize the law even when those who enforce it do not recognize us. This is not an exhortation to slavish passivity. As progressive Democrats, we must recognize a civil society while striving for greater prosperity and equity.

                  •  One other thing (none)
                    Have you read Bush vs. Gore?  Has anyone who has repsonded to me read it?

                    I doubt it.  Y'all just accepted that Gore got screwed (a few) and then just moved along, just like Ari said you should.

                    Read the case and see if you can stay cool.  Read how they chucked 225 years of judicial history out the window and said it couldn't set precedent.  How they blatantly contradicted previous equal protection clauses--many written by Rehnquist himself.  How they totally stole it.

                    It's so amateurish and plain stupid.  God without their clerks and six months to write these horrible justices tunred out to be no better writers and thinkers than Wonkette.

                    I'll never handle it well.  If ya'll had actually read the case (Kulak might have) you wouldn't either.

                    •  Regarding Bush v Gore (none)
                      Have you read Bush vs. Gore?  Has anyone who has repsonded to me read it?

                      As for myself, I didn't ask you to read it, and I didn't assume that you hadn't.

                      You, however, assume that anyone who references an "opinion" automatically disagrees with it. This is a juvenile and intellectually dishonest trope. You are tilting at windmills, demolishing straw men, refuting conservative bogeymen that troll the boards of DailyKos only in your imagination.

                      The "Equal Protection" interpretation in Bush v Gore constituted no less than the complete repudiation of federalism for crass political advantage, constructing a standard where any local activity can be invalidated insofar as all localities are inevitably unequal. It was a horrendous decision which foisted upon the American people possibly the most corrupt and incompetent administration in history and established a precedent wholly inimical to centuries of political thought. Does that mean the social contract is invalidated, that all laws are revoked, that we should collectively do whatever we feel like until we "punish" the Supreme Court by discrediting and destroying ourselves? No.

                      I sympathize with your sentiments, but Bush v Gore was four years ago, and the 'civil society is dead' moaning is wearing a little thin. We will work hard, work together and, eventually, a concerted and conscientious progressive majority will reclaim power and rebuild our country.

          •  "the first step toward anarchy" (none)
            Now, now. Obedience to the law is not always right. Nor is anarachy always the wrong direction to set off in. If someone has been in this country for a while, established themselves economically and socially, even married a citizen, just because the "law" is on the bureaucrat's side doesn't make it "wrong" for that good member of our community to want to stay on. Justice and the law are often quite different things.

            And as the Republicans proceed to further hijack the courts, respect for law should not be at the top of our own values agenda.

        •  I can see this point. (none)
          I've worked as an environmental and political activist for about ten years now, and my experience here in Florida is that the laws are written by and for the benefit of those who have money, power and influence. And although sometimes I feel like engaging in anarchy, I realize that this won't work either because these same folks control the police, judicial system and jails.

          The only answer I can see for the problem is grassroots activism like Daily Kos, the Dean campaign and ePluribus Media. The trick is to get the majority of the people in the country to pool their power, which, when pooled, is much more powerful than the power of the current power holders. (Try saying that three times fast).

      •  "rule of law" (4.00)
        What a bore Americans are when we prattle on about the "rule of law".

        What was the invasion of Iraq ? Tossing out the Geneva Convention ? Imprisoning an American citizen for two years without charge ? Guantanamo ?

        What hypocrisy we drench ourselves in.

    •  Chocolate Mexican Wedding Cookies (3.62)

          * 1 cup butter, softened
          * 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
          * 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
          * 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
          * 1 cup ground pecans
          * 1/2 cup German sweet chocolate, grated
          * 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
          * 1 pinch salt
          * 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
          * 1/4 cup German sweet chocolate, grated


         1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and 1/3 cup confectioner's sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract.

         2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, ground pecans, 1/2 cup ground chocolate, cinnamon and salt; mix well.

         3. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture.

         4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill 1 to 2 hours, or until firm.

         5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (180 degrees C).

         6. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until the cookies are firm to the touch. Cool 1 minute on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack.

         7. For the coating, sift 1/2 cup of the confectioner's sugar and 1/4 cup of the ground cocoa into a shallow bowl. While cookies are still warm, roll them in the coating.

         8. Enjoy with a mexican friend.

      Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one's living at it. - Albert Einstein

      by nika7k on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:27:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Lou Dobbs (none)
      You may think he's wrong, but he's no hypocrite.  The main reason he speaks up on immigration issues is that he thinks American workers should be paid more, and that that will never happen as long as illegal immigrants are willing to work for rock-bottom wagesm (often under the table).  It's legal workers who subsidize the illegals.  Our whole broken immigration system is set up to pass costs from companies to taxpayers.  Dobbs is actually pro-labor...which neither the Democrats or the Republicans are any more.

      And Lou Dobbs did ask hard questions of the Minutemen.  He had the guy who organized it on his show one night.  He asked him about violence, and was astonished to learn that some of them would be packing heat.  (No longguns, just pistols.  That's so reassuring.  Not.)  Dobbs was very alarmed to hear this, and repeated the question several times.  Then he warned that one hothead with a gun could completely destroy the whole project.  

      Protons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic.

      by randym77 on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:45:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We May Become Aliens (none)
      We're looking hard at Canada. It seems to promise a better future for us at our end of the economy and our particular skills & stage of life. One big factor for us is health care in our later years.

      Right now we have the luxury of making our application through proper channels. But having already lost our house and half our savings, it's easy to imagine our circumstances getting enough worse that it'd be worth breaking any number of immigration laws for the sake of the family.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:53:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As I sit here looking at these bars. (none)
       I think Oh why Oh why won't they just under stand that I needed the money when I went into the bank, and for all the same reasons you so aptly stated. and It was not all that big a withdrawal.
  •  Despoiling of America (4.00)
    If you missed it, I strongly recommend reading the Yurica article The Despoiling of America that outlines the neofascists' agenda very clearly.
  •  I heard on NPR yesterday that the Minuteman people (4.00)
    were going to start legally patrolling the borders and I thought to myself "shit..this is going to be bad".  Heres another case where wackos are sanctioned by the government, where they were allowed to put such pressure on them, that they caved and let these people with guns run wild.  They do have a vigilante attitude and they are going to kill, and once again we are saying ok.  This isn't so far from us sanctioning torture, its all under the guise of national security crap.  And once again, we have extreme measures in place that allow us to act like assholes, no wonder the rest of the world eyes us with distain and thinks we have gone nuts...we have.
    •  Place the blame where it belongs. (3.66)
      What you call 'vigilantes' are stepping in - as they always have in the Old West, where law enforcement agencies have been inadequate. Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld are too busy worrying about the Iraqi borders to provide for maintaining ours.

      Bring the boys home - is what I say - and assign the National Guard to purposes for which it was intended.

      I reserve the right to revise and extend my remarks in Sozadee CA.

      by The Messenger on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:39:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree...these people are defending their (none)
        property-but with the wild west, this was all contained within our borders ( unfortunately for the Indians). Now you are talking about shooting down people from another country-our neighbors, and it becomes an international problem.  I think its a great idea to bring the National Guard home to do this-god knows they would jump at the chance, and Bush etc sure as shit aren't containing the Iraq borders and they never will.
        •  Defending their property? (none)
          From what I can tell, only a minority are local - from David Neiwert at Orcinus quotes an article that isn't loading for me right now.
          About 400 people attended the opening day of the Minuteman Project Friday, coming from states as far as Pennsylvania and Tennessee to protest a lack of proper border enforcement.

          Nearly half the gathered crowd was reporters, photographers and cameramen. Minuteman media liaison Mike McGarry put the number of volunteers at 120 or more.

          One scenario that scares me is that of an actual landowner being shot because he "looked like" an illegal immigrant.
          •  yeah you are right (none)
            just listened to On Point on NPR and he was interviewing people about it.  Apparently people are coming from all over, but especially the south..with their guns, that they say they need in case they run into a mountain, eager to help out the local people.

            When I had heard about this a year ago, it was local people who were having problems with the immigrants  running down their fences with trucks (farmers that had cattle, cattle getting loose etc).

            This is way different and totally nuts.  People are going to get shot.

  •  I've (4.00)
    always used CNN as a sort of egg-timer. The same segments are on about the same time every morning ... so I get cues when I'm running a little slow, when to get out the door.

    I have had to leave it off many times lately, which is screwing with my groggy attempts to get out the door. The morons that call into CSPAN aren't much more comforting, and I can't abide TODAY or the rest.

    I've always felt that I had to know what my fellow Americans were being indoctrinated with to better talk to them, but it's getting harder and harder to stomach any of it, especially CNN.

    Oh, by the way, the Pope is still dead. CNN was very reassuring on this point this morning. I turned CSPAN, and they were covering the aggressive audits Labor Unions are facing. I thought you all might want to know that the Minutemen thing is going to be the topic about 7:45 (about 10 minutes from now).

    "Whenever a Voice of Moderation addresses liberals, its sole purpose is to stomp out any real sign of life." - James Wolcott

    by Madman in the marketplace on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:32:32 AM PDT

  •  Probably the clip was from Lou Dobbs' (none)
    reporting on this issue. He covertly supports this trend as he is so threatened by the poor schnooks who come here to make $2 an hour.
  •  Don't Worry (none)
    These guys are going to be wasting their time.  Big business and Republican leaders are the ones who want people to immigrate illegally rather than giving people the chance to naturalize here.  They make it impossible to come here legally, then trick these people into risking their lives to come here to work for the Republicans in dangerous and low-paying positions.  The richer Republicans won't let the poor and middle class Republicans who make up the Minuteman project have a real effect.
  •  It will please you to know (4.00)
    that ABC nightly news had a much more "balanced" take on it. It started out by noting there was a great deal of concern about this new vigilante movement. It interviewed someone from the border patrol who was against it stating that he felt they were vigilantes and that it was a dangerous situation. They also interviewed a minute member(/leader?) who gave his views. He claimed that they were only to observe and report.

    Durring the segment it showed a number of the minute men on "duty". They had found a suspected illegal, but it turned out to me a camera man reporting on the story.

  •  The Brownshirts... (4.00)
    have arrived.

    It can't happen here, can it? Well, if it were to happen here, this is how it would happen.

    Christian fundamentalism
    Throwing out due process
    Indefinite detention
    Willingness to use torture
    Association with white supremicist groups

    That is Bush America

    Delenda est Sinclair!

    by mole333 on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:49:17 AM PDT

  •  Hypothesis: (none)
    Bushco can't do a 9/11, too obvious ..his numbers are falling..what to do what to do..start a civil war ..that would be almost as good as a bombing...Delay with the activist judges...minute men versus Mexico.
  •  Don't boycott (none)
    Well at least not everyone. We need to know what's being reported by them, especially if a lot of other people still watch.

    People who are involved already take the time to inform themselves, but for the majority of the country they don't even bother, and take the kool-aid without thinking.

    So a boycott from the people who are already critical won't work, and the people who need to know the truth wouldn't know WHY they are boycotting it in the first place.

    No a boycott would be useless, I say attack. Find an ally and hit them where it hurts.

    Remember, only a small percentage of people get thier news from the cable networks.

  •  Don't these clowns have real jobs? (4.00)
    So these "Minutemen" (by the way, how dare they compare themselves to those who fought the British for independence?) are patrolling the border on their own time?

    "Look!  Another illegal lettuce picker!  Get him!"

    I would argue we need protection from these assholes, too.

  •  Prepare to lose your job (1.66)
    A  few years ago, latinos demonstrated around schools and universities to get administrators and teachers replaced with latinos.

    My brother lost his  job as assistant professor to a latino who would not normally be hired in a university with his qualifications.   The fellow they hired was 3rd generation and as American as they come.  He sucked as a teacher and the kids lost out.  He was paid about $20,000 more than my brother.

    Latinos have an aggressive lobby which seems to be laying low right now, but anyone who thinks that this is just helping out some poor people who make $2 an hour better be thinking about the future when they insist on percentage hirings.

    •  waaaahhh...... (none)
      cry me a river. Why don't you just say what you mean?

      "Minorities and women are taking the jobs of more deserving white males..."

      I've never heard a bigger line of bullshit than this. And I hear this same sentiment way too often from men of privilege who blame affirmative action for their own laziness and failure in the workplace.

      Universities are overflowing with white men in tenured positions. Excuse me while I go throw up.

      "Washed my face in the rivers of empire..."--Sunken Waltz by Calexico

      by pacific city on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:30:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How do you KNOW (none)
        it was his laziness and incompetence that caused it?

        I've had lots of teachers who were white males who weren't particularly competent. I've had lots of minority/women teachers who were quite good. But I've also had lots of minority/women teachers who were so incompetent that it did beg the question of whether they would have got there had it not been for affirmative action policies. Of course, we have a Preznit who only got there because of affirmative action for rich creeps, so it stinks all around.

  •  Pat Buchanan (4.00)
    mentioned this weekend on "The Mclaughlin Group" that his sister is out there with them.  I couldn't help but laugh out loud...I know the situation is not funny, but Bay Buchanan as "boarder patrol?" Oh, I'd pay to see that picture.  

    In the happy-place of my own imagination, I picture her wearing an "Elmer Fudd Meets Crazy Bay" ensemble, punctuated by earthy elements and accessorized accordingly...with a "Fuddy" voice. tee hee

  •  Republican sister in Tucson (4.00)
    said to me just yesterday she was so glad the minutemen were there in Nogales to protect the borders. She feels very strongly that we need "protection" from the illegals because they are coming here for the "free ride" and using our hospitals and clinics for free while we all have to pay for these services. Sometimes I find it hard to believe we came from the same womb.

    I find her arguements weak and uninformed. When I expressed that the media was biased and full of propoganda and that I get my news from the internet she said, "Don't believe everything you read".When I brought up paid shills working for Bushco she said, "Oh that was only a couple of guys" I said a couple too many. She hasn't a clue who Gannon is when I spoke of the gay male prostitue with no journalism experience throwing softball questions to Scottie and Bush. I said you don't know about because of the biased and bought for corporate media. If I make a statement about this administration and the lies she will bring up Clinton or even to my surprise Teddy Kennedy and what happened thirty years ago. Ugh! Pointless to even try to get across to her anymore.    

    The more understanding one posesses, the less there is to say and the more there is to do.

    by Alohaleezy on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:38:06 AM PDT

    •  Who's paying for whom? (none)
      She feels very strongly that we need "protection" from the illegals because they are coming here for the "free ride" and using our hospitals and clinics for free while we all have to pay for these services.

      Arizona has sales taxes and property taxes.  These fall on everyone who lives in an area (sales taxes directly when buying stuff, property taxes indirectly when renting apartments).  Then there are excise taxes on gasoline, alcohol... you name it.

      In 2002, property, sales, and "selective sales" taxes made up almost 80% of tax revenue in Arizona.  That's actually quite a bit more than the national average.

      I guess your sister will have an accurate point when businesses and landlords in Arizona give tax rebates to people who can prove they are not legal citizens of the U. S.

      "You will see light in the darkness. You will make some sense of this."

      by ColoRambler on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:23:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  CNN: We Conduit (4.00)
    Apologies for a reposted comment, but the following item seemed significant to me, and since the original NPR report was broadcast late on the Friday afternoon before Easter weekend, I'm not sure how many people caught it the first time around.

    On the March 25th All Things Considered, David Folkenflik did a story on the distribution of outright propaganda by CNN and other outlets: Video News Releases Find News Airtime (audio only, but it's worth the listen).

    The gist: CNN Newsource provides news clips to 800 local stations a day, a service for which the stations pay.  But CNN is also paid by PR firms to deliver releases from corporations and government agencies to those same stations.   And CNN hasn't gone to great lengths to distinguish between its own purported "news" segments and the VNRs from corporate or government sources. Apparently local stations have been left to guess which is which.

    CNN refused to answer questions for Folkenflik's story (unlike CBS, whose spokesman said their service handles corporate but not government VNRs, and the clips are always clearly labeled with a disclaimer), including what percentage of CNN's business VNRs represent.  But the sound bites from local news directors who discussed (and mostly deplored) the use of VNRs to supplement station content included heated quotes from some who were inadvertently suckered into running government propaganda.  "Shame on us for trusting CNN," says Don Bradley, news director of WPTA, an ABC station in Fort Wayne, Indiana, which ran a Medicare piece by "Karen Ryan."

    At the end of the report, Folkenflik wraps up with an oddly general statement that "CNN, CBS, and other distributors of video news releases say they've tightened their disclaimer policies."  One can only wonder how recently that "tightening" occurred, and why.

    •  VNR's usually have split track audio (none)
      They are designed so that the local station can take out any Voice Over and replace it with their own reporter, further blurring the line between news and propaganda.  They even come with al the video pieces seperated, so the station could remake the story to fit their time slot and to add footage of their reporter, if they like.  But clearly, they are too lazy now to even do that.  

      When all else fails...panic

      by David in Burbank on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 08:10:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not so ironically, cable competition (none)
        is one of the reasons local news stations cite for resorting to VNR material in the first place.  Kind of a viscous circle, huh?
      •  sig-outs (none)
        Also, if a video story originates from CNN, ABC, BBC, etc., the sig-out will be the reporter's name, CNN (or whatever news company s/he is from), then the city.

        For example: Jane Doe, CNN, Washington. If it's from the government, the "reporter" won't state a news company. His/her sig-out would be: John Doe,
        Washington. As such, it resembles an independent news story, and the lazy public doesn't know the difference.

        Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

        by bumblebums on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 09:29:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Inside the Blogs (none)
    Hold it a second, with this Inside the blogs show on CNN, you can actually get the message across to CNN to smarten up, but you'd have to get the message EVERYWHERE, on every moderate blog, and timed well for the show.

    It this feasable?

  •  What scares me ... (4.00)
    How long before 'illegal aliens' is replaced by 'gays?'  Or 'heathens?' or 'Liberals?' or 'Democrats?'

    Don't think it can happen in your neighborhood?  I would have agreed up until about 6 months ago.  But after reading things here about people getting visits from the Secret Service, and bloggers being put on the no fly list I am starting to think otherwise.

    What will you do when they aggressively start stifling dissent?  Will you keep fighting or will you hunker down and keep quiet in order to preserve your family?  Its a question that makes my stomach knot up.

    I have never been scared of my government before now, but I hope that the weight of the 49.xx% who didn't vote for the current administration is enough ballast to keep the whole boat from tipping over.

    Am I overreacting? I really, really hope so.

    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups

    by Catriana on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:56:51 AM PDT

    •  The Turning Point of Real Brownshirt Violence (none)
      How long before 'illegal aliens' is replaced by 'gays?'  Or 'heathens?' or 'Liberals?' or 'Democrats?'

        The turning point into real capital-F Fascism will be legitimized local violence against target groups.

        I'm wary of "thin end of the wedge" arguments, but I can't help wondering if this is the start of it.

  •  I Am Married to a Chinese National... (4.00)
    ...and my wife has now waited, in China, for 17 months to obtain her visa.  IF all goes well, she'll be here in another 4 months.  In other words, it will take the DHS/INS/State Department 21 months to issue my wife a simple visa to be allowed to join her husband (me) here in the US.  It has cost me to date almost $1000 in DHS/INS fees, with no end in sight.

    And the spousal visa as we are trying to obtain is now the quickest and cheapest form of US residency visa now available.  

    This is the present sorry state of our immigrations policy.  The thousands of people coming here illegally may very well want to be here legally, but cannot.  They are faced with coming across illegally to get a job that their own country cannot provide, or letting their family starve.  M<Aybe if we had an immigration policy that worked and made sense<p> We have always been a nation of immigrants, and a nation that is founded on laws derived from the will of the people.  What these skinheads and other racists are doing down on the Mexican border is a disgrace to our country, and the millions of people who have immigrated here from somewhere else.

    •  Not the quickest, I bet (4.00)
      I knew a German fellow who was trying hard to get citizenship here. He tried for two years.

      He could have gotten on a simple, fast track with all expenses paid and paperwork done, if only he'd have been willing to give five years of his life to a major corporation. Since he didn't want to, no dice. He's in Germany now.

      I also know a Dutch citizen who was raised in the US, went to US schools and a US college, etc. But he actually had to leave the country for a few years while the family wrangled with the government over whether a guy who spent most of his life in the US could get US citizenship.

      The government has completely lost the plot. But remember, if you're desperate enough to sell out to a megacorp, they can grease the wheels in a big way.

      Since we no longer have taboos, we have Abus.

      by oldjohnbrown on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:18:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The whole thing is a complete mess (4.00)
        and no one - not INS, not the one seems to know the best way to become "legal" here.  

        We're working our way through the system but it's taking years and tonnes of money to do it.  Each time the parole has to be extended there's a "filing fee" and lawyer fees etc.  Everyone has their hand out.  

        Make it easier for people to come to the states legally and they will.


        just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming

        by confusedintexas on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:33:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I hope your wife can join you soon. (4.00)
      Twenty-one months is a long time to be apart.

      U.S. immigration is hell on wheels. I did my post-grad in the U.S., married a U.S. citizen, and despite the fact that I'd been paying taxes there almost seven years (no taxation without representation my arse!), there wasn't any way for me to successfully adjust my visa status so that we could remain in the U.S.

      Having just finished post-grad I could have applied to do Optional Practical Training for a year -- but was advised that it probably wouldn't be granted because I was married to a U.S. citizen, and that having an application turned down might make it harder to get other kinds of visas. Similarly, we could have applied for a green card (and waited ad nauseum ad infinitum for me to get working rights), but you need a sponsor, and my husband couldn't act as one seeing as he'd been laid off about two weeks before we got married and was still hunting down a new job.

      Then we were told that under INS rules we could have counted my earnings towards his sponsorship of me, which would have been all fine and dandy, except that I didn't have working rights because my limited working rights had been tied to my degree programme. Which was why I was looking at applying for a green card in the first place.

      And round and round and round we went, and everyone we consulted said something different.

      In the end it was simpler for us both to emigrate to a country where neither of us held citzenship or had lived for any length of time and so that's what we did.

      I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth and I am a citizen of the world -- Eugene Debs

      by dove on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 02:24:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for your Kind Wishes (4.00)
        and I am sorry to hear that you both had to emmigrate to another country to be together.  I have actually given serious thoughts on moving to China to live, at least until we could get her US visa approved.  It would take a matter of a few weeks for me to gain a two year visa with working privileges to China.

        I think this is a sad commentary on how far our country has fallen, that I could get a residency visa with working papers for a "Communist/Facist" country in a small fraction of the time it is taking my wife to get her residency visa to the country that "welcomes your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to be free."

  •  We're really screwed now (none)
    Who is "We"?

    This is all about catering to the corporations a steady supply of cheap, unskilled labor.

    So who is getting screwed? Our politicians have been trying to get an increase in the minimum wage so that many US citizens can make a decent living, so is continuing illegal immigration going to help when there is always someone willing to do it for less? It is a race to the bottom for those here in the US.

    However, if your reference to being screwed by the RWCM, that is just stating the obvious.

    •  price of food (4.00)
      Despite all the cries of "alien" imagine the whining if our food doubled in cost, if it was processed by unionized citizen labor.

      Listen to how people moan about a small increase in gas prices, and apply it to food. Illegals are involved in every aspect of food production in the country right now.

      Naw, we like the aliens to work for nothing. And then we like to bash them. God this country is sick.

  •  a brief post (4.00)
    about the topic here at the Next Hurrah.

    What's interesting is the Brit view (compare it to CNN).

        They touted themselves as fearless patriots standing up for the defence of the homeland. Their enemies painted them as dangerous vigilantes who threatened to create a bloodbath on the US-Mexican border. In the end, the so-called Minuteman Project ­ a private, month-long initiative to patrol the southern Arizona border and fend off illegal immigrants ­ has turned out to be little more than an April Fool's joke.

        For weeks, the US media has been intrigued by the possibility of a major stand-off in the Sonoran desert, envisioning armies of white supremacists armed with Uzis and Kalashnikovs, gunning down Mexican immigrants trying to make the dash across the sand and brush to a brighter economic future.

    Sound like that last para was a made-for-CNN/cable event.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:13:47 AM PDT

  •  Suport the minutemen! (2.00)

    I don't understand what's wrong with citizens taking upon themselves to help law enforcement enforce the laws.

    God knows for how long law enforcement has been complaining that the illegals they turn into INS are let loose because of manpower shortages.

    Well, I hope more people sign up and help law enforcement with this.

    Please consider contributing. If i were in California right now, I might have gone to help out too.

    As an immigrant whose family waited 16 years for legal immigration (via the airport, not the Rio Grande), I feel very strongly about this.

    •  Especially that guy (none)
      I saw on CNN the other day wearing a nasal cannula for oxygen delivery.

      These people are loony-tunes. They will be about as effective as a fart in a hurricane--if they don't wind up killing themselves. The Sonora Desert is no place to be messing around, and just because this batch of commando wannabes wears cammies that doesn't mean they know the first f***ing thing about survival in the desert. And while they're tying up resources getting rescued, they'll be leaving holes along the border in other places.

    •  You're right, (none)
      you don't understand.

      I don't understand what's wrong with citizens taking upon themselves to help law enforcement enforce the laws.


      Is nothing secular?

      by aitchdee on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:53:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why? (none)

        So it's best to just sit back and watch this stream of illegal border crossers and no action from Washington?
        •  araina, (4.00)
          you can't seriously be wondering what's wrong with vigilanteism, can you? Are you unaware of its long history in America? Wherever vigilantees have cropped up, things haven't gone especially well. Vigilantees are lawless.

          Our immigration laws need fixing but this no answer, and judging from your diaries--I went back and read a few--you're entirely sane, smart, and humane enough to understand why. Do you want an unofficial, unregulated, unsupervised, unaccountable, untrained, all-volunteer armed gang of dubiously motivated guys deciding, on their lonesome, who's sent packing and who's shot dead? It's lunacy! It's not the way law and order is supposed to be administered in this country in 2005. This is not the Wild West and a bunch of Arizonan rough-and-tumbles do not get to play out their Dirty Harry fantasies at the potentially fatal expense of desperate people fleeing starvation. With all respect, I think you need to read up on the subject. Do you want/need links?

          Meanwhile, check out this book, Crossing the Wire, by Luis Urrea. Here's an amazon review from someone named Carl C. Anderson who says he's ex-Border Patrol (and I see no reason not to believe him):

          "I am a former United States Border Patrol Agent and I read this book while working the fixed positions we often manned along the Arizona-Mexico border.  I was so moved by this story, I cried.  I cried as I read this book, right there in my Border Patrol vehicle on the very line separating two very different worlds!  This book is an easy read and can be taken a little at a time.  Its impact is incredible and your heart will be broken.  It is a must read!  I am not compromising my stance on immigration laws here, I am just expressing my heart-felt pain for some of what the beautiful people of Mexico must face in their lives.  God bless!"

          Another (sorry, can't resist), from "a reader:"

          This book, plain and simple, is about truth: the truth about the distribution of wealth in the world and the truth about the abject poverty our own hoarding of wealth produces.  Those reviewers who find it simply an indictment of Americans "who work hard for what they get" insult the five or so billion people in the world who work just as hard as we allegedly do--and probably more--yet end up living from hand to mouth, day to day.  It is an incredible pathology of the rich, lazy and fat that they attribute their incredible wealth (relative to say, Tijuana) and the poverty of others to such things as "work" and "initiative".  This book clearly shows how fraudulent these claims are.  You want initiative and hard work? Try picking through the trash dump every day to feed your family--as opposed to simply saving up for a new home theater system."

          Is nothing secular?

          by aitchdee on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 08:04:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ok... (3.75)
            Ok..I'll grant you this: the Minutemen might not attract the best of characters (the The Aryan Nation and other white supremacy groups using this as a recruitment drive).

            Heck, I am brown, I wouldn't feel safe myself in volunteering with the Minutemen with the Aryan Nation around. It can get lonely in the desert and armed white supremacists might decide, I am a illegal. :p

            But see, I see this as a wakeup call, an attempt to the vote pandering politicians that people across both aisles are fed up of them not enforcing our laws.

            Tom Vampire DeLay promises action against judges, Bush is positioning troops to protect the Iraq-Syrian border...what the fuck about our borders, what about our immigration laws?

            I am sorry, I might not agree with a lot of you on this but my family waited 16 years for our permanent residence here in the US. We came here, respecting your laws all the way and we are thankful for the opportunity. With the skills we brought, I feel it an honor to contribute to American society, my new adopted country.

            The reason i support the Minutemen is not because i like the Aryan Nation or the other white supremacists but because i want this country to wake up out of it's collective American-Idol induced slumber.

            And look at the balls on that #R$#@% Vincente Fox for threatening our fellow citizens with legal action, in American courts. The same Fox whose government published a guide manual for an illegal border crosser.

            •  Hey, (none)
              thanks for your honesty. I have more to say but have to go to work now; I'll post my thoughts this evening when I get home.


              Is nothing secular?

              by aitchdee on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 08:45:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  It's a shame... (2.00)
              ...that you didn't spend more of that 16-year waiting period learning about this country's history so that you'd know vigilantes don't really mix with our democratic ideals, and that pretty much everyone in America came from somewhere else. Ever hear of Ellis Island? Ever been there?? It was established to expedite the immigration process back in the days when people flooded into this land of opportunity.

              Too bad it apparently never ocurred to you to work to shorten the process you had to go through so maybe your former countryfolk could also get a chance at life in America. I guess you feel that since you had to wait a long time to become an American citizen, that anybody else who comes here after you should also have to wait for 16 years, right?

              Meanwhile, I don't know what this statement has to do with this discussion:

              The reason i support the Minutemen is not because i like the Aryan Nation or the other white supremacists but because i want this country to wake up out of it's collective American-Idol induced slumber.

              I think you're an ignorant Uncle-Tom type.

              ... there never was a revolution unless there were some oppressive and intolerable conditions against which to revolute. -- Twain

              by FemiNazi on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 10:17:38 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Lol @ "Uncle-Tom type" (none)
                Let me guess: you are the kind who'd call Bill Cosby a "race traitor" because he asks blacks to raise themselves up and says things that only "racists" say.

                You'd also think the Orange Revolution in Ukraine was "vigilantism" because the people stepped out to correct a wrong thing.

                Maybe you ought to learn that democracy is a system among other things, "of the people" and "by the people".

                If Americans agree illegal border crossing is a problem and the government refuses to do anything, Americans have a collective responsibility to fix things.

                •  Cosby (none)
                  Why did Cosby complain about "today's kids" and then do nothing about the "Eyes on the Prize" copyright issue , which requires someone with a lot of money to fix ?

                  He had a chance to prove that he isn't just an embittered old man. As it is, he no sway with the "young kids" he's complaining about.

                  As for legal immigrants, there is usually a distinct class difference between those who can get in this country legally, and those who can't. Part of this is a result of our policies favoring skilled labor, folks with a certain amount of cash in the bank, or "knowing" someone with pull.

                  •  adsf.... (none)
                    1. Cosby has, very recently that i read on financed the whole college education for underprivilged kids who made an effort to raise themselves out of their miserable condition. You can  find this really easily. So the guy is putting his money (literally!) where his mouth is.

                    But that's not the point: I was addressing the person who called me an "Uncle Tom-type" because Cosby was called a "race traitor" because he made a comment that usually whites make.

                    I got called "Uncle Tom-type" because i am

                    a) An immigrant myself
                    b) Non-white.

                    If I was neither, FemNazi would call me a good ole' racist.

                    2. What's wrong with our favoring skilled labor? Or people who cash in the bank (legal cash, not drug lords) where we can get them to invest BIG cash here?

                    Why are we to make it our responsibility to take on the underprivileged of the world? By choking off ourselves, are we now in a better position to help the poor around the world? I don't think so.

                •  I admire Bill Cosby... (none)
                  ...and the Orange Revolution could have been a model for us to protest the two recent presidential elections in this country. And "of the people" and "by the people" gives us the right to petition our government and hold them accountable, among other things, but it does not give us the right to form vigilante groups.
                  I don't agree that illegal border crossings are a big problem. I do, however, feel that people who go cruise the streets of border towns looking for day laborers and those who make money from transporting others into this country are a big problem.

                  ... there never was a revolution unless there were some oppressive and intolerable conditions against which to revolute. -- Twain

                  by FemiNazi on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 02:46:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  I already boycott CNN (none)
    ...and have since 11/2/04.  In fact, I pretty much steer clear of the MSM altogether.

    You are absolutely correct that the corporate media is the tail wagging the dog of American popular opinion, and that is ALL they are.

    ALL right wing propaganda all of the time, and ALL the right wing propaganda that's fit to print.

    Long ago it was high up on the neocon agenda to own the media and promote media ownership consolidation until just a handful of people controlled all of the information that people get.

    There used to be a time when there was news on PBS, but that's gone too.  PBS nad NPR are supported by right wing foundations that dictate what's said and what isn't.  

    Even the BBC over here is corrupt.  My sister, who lives in England, was appalled at what she saw on BBC news when she came over here to visit last month.

    If it wasn't for alternative news sources like DailyKos and DU, and free speech radio like KPFK, we would truly be living in the dark.

    Capitalism is cancer on this planet.

    by super simian on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:38:24 AM PDT

  •  Even more scary (none)
    Time-Warner Cable owns and operates local TV stations in North Carolina.

    TV stations that only show Fox programming.

    The notion that CNN and Fox are competitors eludes the blatant collusion that is going on.

    That which does not troll-rate me makes me stronger. :)

    by cskendrick on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:46:39 AM PDT

  •  Couldn't agree more (none)
    It is scary to know that there is nothing so right-wing-extremist that it won't get positive coverage from some outlet of the SCLM.

    By the way, I read in another diary that even George W. Bush opposes this "Minuteman" nonsense.

  •  Now... (none)
    this just in from the Soviet Bureau of Information, all is well.  Nothing to fear. Ever.

    No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

    by CrazyHorse on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:51:47 AM PDT

  •  No CNN for me... (none)
    I haven't watched CNN since before the election. I can't remember when exactly, my diary on the issue was erased sometime when I took a break from all things political and my profile was started over.

    For me it was about the time that Daryn Kagan, who I like to call skeletor, started dating Rush Limbaugh.

    The only CNN I get is from work where I think I will lobby to get them to change it to something else.

  •  They're healthy and they can shoot? (4.00)
    Then why aren't these "minutemen" in Iraq, in uniform? I wonder if it might be because, in Iraq and Afghanistan, the other side has guns too?

    And are these ofays patrolling the Canadian border as well? Or are they only interested in shooting Mexicans?

    Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest. - Paracelsus

    by asterlil on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:06:15 AM PDT

    •  Canadian border (none)

      Umm..what's the need to patrol the Canadian border when Canadians can legally enter the country for 6 months as visitors?

      Canadians don't cross Lake Michigan, they drive through.

      •  asdf (none)
        I should have made it clear that I was being ironic, there. Of course they're not patrolling the Canadian border, even though the north is just as permeable to people of the 'wrong' color as the south edge.

        Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest. - Paracelsus

        by asterlil on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 08:58:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am not sure... (none)
          I am not so sure if the whole operation's motives are racial.
          •  A few years ago, I was told... (none)
            ...Canadians (not Mexicans) comprised the largest population of illegal aliens in the US.  That's changed but even back then (late 90's, early 00's), the threat was from the South not the North.

            Again, this was my impression.  If you asked for a link, I wouldn't be able to provide one without some serious digging.  

            More dangerous are the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions.

            by Titian on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 11:38:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You are correct.... (none)

              I think I also read there are millions of Canadian illegals who are working in the US by overstaying their 6 month visitor visa.

              So the difference between the Mexicans and Canadians is that the Canadians entered legally and then overstayed.

              So does that mean we should forget about them??


              We should have 2 levels of enforcement:

              1. At the border, people without valid visas cannot enter. Period.

              2. If you had a valid visa and were supposed to leave 6 months after entry and you are found working here illegally and the employer is aware, you get deported right away and the employer is fined $25,000.

              That way, we enforce against the Mexicans who are crossing illegally and against the Canadians who might overstay their legal entry.
      •  other way around (none)
        maybe the Canadian border needs to be patroled to keep us from flooding into Canada?  ;)
        •  Immigration laws are crazy. Everywhere. (none)
          Nobody who is a native-born citizen of a country ever knows a damn thing about them. They think it's so easy to immigrate legally, never having had to do it, whereas in reality it is a Kafka-esque nightmare of bureaucracy. So the last person you should ask about Canadian immigration law is a native-born Canadian like me.

          That said...

          My daughter-in-law is American, my son Canadian. At first, when they married, they thought they'd like to live in Canada. They were married in the US, and at the Canadian border going north, the most my daughter-in-law had to deal with were effusive congratulations from the Canadian immigration officers to the blushing bride. She would have to get some paperwork done, but all that could be done from inside Canada. She dutifully jumped through all the hoops, and eventually, after an embarrassingly long eight months or so, obtained landed immigrant status, which gave her the right to work, and after -- I think it's five years -- the right to become a naturalized Canadian citizen.

          But, alas, she couldn't bear Winnipeg winters. And she was homesick for New Orleans. Can't blame her -- it's easy for even a foreigner to fall in love with N.O. It's so alive...

          So they went back, and my son had to deal with the INS. I was going to detail the mess he had to go through, but in fact, I don't really know all the details. I just know that my son gets real fervor in his voice when he says, "Never, never, never mess with the INS."

          All's well that ends well, I suppose. He's a legal resident alien now. Moral of the story: none, really, except that I have no clue how hard it would be for an American to get permanent residency in Canada, legally.

          Massacre is not a family value.

          by Canadian Reader on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 02:57:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It's not Armageddon. (3.50)
    Yeah, the "Minutemen" are bigoted loonies. There are also about 450 of them. Now don't get me wrong, that's a lot of loonies -- in one sense. In another sense, they're just another manufactured show troupe from the right-wing noise machine.

    Instead of reacting with hysteria, I'll be watching to see if the "Minutemen" actually DO anything, or if they just march around in circles and give lots and lots and lots of interviews. I don't want to be suckered into delivering a hysterical reaction to a bunch of fake vigilantes whose complete and sole purpose is to generate that reaction, and replace Schiavo as the distraction o' the day.

    I think this is a diversion and not an important fight. I have a feeling it will blow over and not matter to anyone at all. Social Security, the Supreme Court and the 'nuclear option' are still the major fights on the horizon. If these guys prove to be anything more than a bunch of bussed-in protesters with a media-grabbing angle, then I'll worry.

    Aside from that, I just hope we're getting lots of footage of these creeps, so that the Hispanic vote knows where its interests lie in 2006 and 2008.

    We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are. - Anaïs Nin

    by Valentine on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:14:47 AM PDT

    •  not even 450 - just "a couple of hundred (4.00)
      pot-bellied retirees," according to the UK Independent.

      "Reporters who attended their inaugural rallies outside two Border Patrol stations in Cochise County, south of Tucson, said there were 150."

      "Some, it is true, were armed with 9mm semi-automatic pistols, but most turned up with nothing more threatening than lawn-chairs."

      As the mayor of "the border town of Douglas" said: "This is a monster created by the media. But by Tuesday it's going to fizzle out."

      I don't want to minimize the harm to the country of the degrading spectacle the media has become -- it's worth being frightened over. But don't give these border clowns more power than they deserve.

      I also find it to be undisputable -- and clearly demonstrated over the last couple of years here at Kos -- that those who are regular TV watchers are more deeply influenced by what they see than they care to admit -- no matter what their politics are.

    •  I think this explains some press (none)
      Don't watch CNN, but I know a lot of the news leading up to this was very nervous and that local law enforcement was very much against this.  As I read an account of the first day of patrols yesterday, it looked like the tone was "hey look, they didn't shoot anybody!"  That's a low bar, but I think some of the favorable coverage was attributable to relief.
  •  So I went to sleep... (3.85)
    ...right after posting this. I wake up and it's atop the recommended list. Wow.

    A few quick things (I gotta run soon). Whatever your feelings on immigration, these Minutemen cannot be supported. If you go back to the actual diary and click on the David Neiwert link, you'll read all about just how racist these people actually are. These aren't simple citizens. They are skinheads, white supremacists, etc. Or read this link if the one in the diary itself wasn't sufficiently convincing.

    Someone said that Bush is worse than these people. I don't agree. I think they're not only equally bad, but self-reinforcing. Bush's contempt for the law and the Constitution is itself frightening, but so is the prospect of TV enabling of the modern equivalent of stormtroopers. And if you believe that illegal immigration is such a terrible problem that allowing armed white supremacists to patrol the border is a good thing, then you are off your rocker.

    This diary wasn't necessarily intended to re-hash the illegal immigration discussion, though that was an unavoidable consequence of raising the issue. Bluestate"libertarian" confirmed my worst fears when he argued the problem with illegals was that they refused to assimilate. Regardless of whether or not that is actually true, one would hope that a so-called "libertarian" would believe that people should be free to live how they want to live, even if that means they speak a primary language other than English and don't socialize in the same circles as the white middle-class.

    Further, there is no evidence that illegal immigration, or immigration itself, harms Americans in any way, aside from harming those who must cross illegally because our legal immigration system is stacked against unskilled and semi-skilled workers from south of the border (and from anywhere, for that matter). Still, even if I were wrong about that, it doesn't legitimate the Minuteman Project.

    Lastly, some folks wondered why anyone would even still watch cable news. I stopped watching it with any regularity around the time of the run-up to the Iraq War. But, what can I say, there wasn't anything else on TV last night - at least not during the commercials during the USA reruns of Law and Order: SVU. Mmmm....Diane Neal...

    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:33:21 AM PDT

    •  Mmmm.. indeed. (none)
      And she rides a bike to work, too.

      But she looked a lot better as a redhead than a blonde.

    •  i am totally in agreement with you on all (none)
      of your points... it's happening under the radar screen for most of us but it's a horrific turn of events... can i have your permission to re-post on my site...?

      i remember way back in the 70's when a study was released that made the clear case that, if the border between the u.s. and mexico was sealed, there would be a revolution in mexico within a matter of months... an even better example from the here and now is that if every hispanic working in this country, legal, illegal or otherwise, were to stop working at precisely the same time, the u.s. would immediately shut down... no shit...

      on a personal note, a good friend of mine who honored me immensely by asking me to be the padrino for his daughter was killed in a tragic auto accident last october... he had crossed illegally a two years ago to work construction jobs with his brother in order to be able to send money back for his family... following the mexican custom surrounding being a padrino, i now have a second daughter...

      The first lesson of democracy is not to hold the public in contempt. - Ronnie Earle, Travis County DA, Texas

      by profmarcus on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:12:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mexico is oil rich (4.00)
    I was just reading in other diaries here on Kos about how the oil-rich countries including Mexico have little incentive to produce more oil because they already make too much money .

    Now where is all this money going in Mexico? Why are folks there so desperate for income that they have to risk a dangerous border crossing into the U.S.?

    I also just saw a great movie, "The Motorcycle Diaries."  It's about the trip a very young Ernesto Che Guevarro (sp?) took throughout S. America. The exposure he got to crass injustice perpetrated by economic predators on the common people turned him into a revolutionary.

    I think the rich Mexican elite are a big part of the U.S. illegal immigration equation.  Essentially they are sending their "problem" to us since they need all the money for themselves.  In turn, the U.S. economic elite are all to happy to have a pool of microwage employees.  Everyone else  gets screwed in the process, but that doesn't matter.

    •  And we're not a part of that? (4.00)
      I think everyone here would be much better off in understanding the world if they saw borders as artificial constructs, not a physical reality. For example, you cannot separate out "Mexican elite" from "US elite" - the links are too numerous.

      I would agree that Mexican workers suffer under the policies of the current government, just as American workers suffer under the policies of our current government regarding wages, benefits, etc.

      And that's one reason why I think the whole illegal immigration debate is a red herring - we should see ourselves as having common interests with those immigrants, not see them as a threat. But, our heritage of racism and xenophobia isn't so easily escaped, and so many people react to increased levels of immigration with alarm, as has always happened in the US - especially when those immigrants are seen as "different" from us.

      They're not different, at least not in any fundamental sense.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:41:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, I was making the link (none)
        between the elites, but apparently you missed that. Economic elites on all sides are preying upon humanity to satisfy their needs for large amounts of riches.

        As for borders, you can try to wish them away as much as you like, but the reality is different economic and monetary systems are in play in regions separated by borders, and the disparity is    exploted by "owners" to take advantage of "workers". In the process the owners get double duty by pitting workers against each other.  That's a time-honored tradition.

        It's important for U.S. citizens to understand that illegals are reacting to economic forces in their own countries foisted upon them by the same kind of predators who are eating the middle class in this country.

    •  Guevara. Loved that movie! n/t (none)
  •  Agree or disagree (none)
      This whole Neighborhood Watch opinion. I think it is fabulous.

      What would you do if your back yard was on the border, and people were using it as a crossing point?

      The problem is, it is not just a FEW people, it is an invasion! Putting your community and its resources on the verge of bankruptcy.

      The administration made the problem worse by promising amnesty. It shows shows that he was pandering for votes...period!

      Something has to be done.

      And my favorite part is it shows how weak Bush is........!

      You should hear the conservative talk. It sounds like liberal radio they way they are dishing Bush! And this is righties!

      And my favorite part! Well the NRA etc. carrying guns is legal!

      This whole problem has been festering for too long!

    People vote for sunshine, not for gloom and doom!

    by missliberties on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:37:36 AM PDT

    •  Wow (3.00)
      You're nuts.

      You think it's OK to allow white supremacists to take up arms and patrol our borders?

      That's...that's...I can't believe you're actually serious. You do realize that April Fool's Day was on Friday, right?

      Actually, after re-reading your post, it is clear that you are quite serious.

      It saddens me to see folks on this website spouting such lies, such hateful propaganda as that. All I can say is that if you think you can arm and enable white supremacists and other far-right wackos without it boomeranging back onto yourself, you're terribly mistaken.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:43:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No I don't think that is okay (none)
        but what I do think is Fabulous, is how much this highlights the complete and total hypocrisy of Bush immigration policy.

        They have had ample time to do something.
        They let businesses break the laws all the time by hiring these illigal immigrants, keeping wages low here in the US.
        It highlights the danger of allowing citizens to arm themselves legally without any paper trail.
        The Invasion of illegal immigrants is a Great Big Problem.
        Terrorists can cross the border easily.
        The border patrol is a great big fat joke, as in underfunded, understaffed, and useless.

         It puts a great Big Spotlight on a problem that needs some attention. And Republicans are appalled at the Presidents lack of action and funding for the border patrol.

          The US can't suport the entire population of Mexico.

          My friends has been working here legally in the US, from Autralia, but was laid off because her work visa expired. Why is it fair for her to be punished while we reward illegal immigrants, citizenship privegleges just for the sake of having cheap labor here in the US.

        It affects You!

        People vote for sunshine, not for gloom and doom!

        by missliberties on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:30:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  i keep re-reading your post.... (4.00)
      ...and i can't help but be reminded of the little old lady who lived in a strategic spot on our block. all us kids hopped her fence and trekked through her yard on the way to and from everybody else's houses. rather than cuss us out and posting "no tresspassing" signs, she put in a front gate and a back gate in her yard. no more ripped jeans and nice and orderly flow of traffic through her yard. we thought she was the coolest.

      there's an analogy here somewhere.

      ... there never was a revolution unless there were some oppressive and intolerable conditions against which to revolute. -- Twain

      by FemiNazi on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 10:41:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  oiy! (4.00)
    Personally I have no problem with the concept of  the minuteman project.  None at all.  Now it is important that we make sure that the people involved in it act within the law.

    But lets be clear here.  You can not run for President, the defender of the nation, and not protect the border.  And as hard as it may be for some on the left to understand, and on some level that is a good thing that they have a problem in understanding since it is a sign of vast amounts of compassion; is that we can not tolerate or absorb hordes of people coming across that imaginary line.  Even if they are desperate and trying to improve their lives.

    Sorry I don't buy into the statement that anyone that can't stand the concept of illegal immigration is rascist.  That is a horrid lie that corrodes the credibility of those saying it.  There are plenty of people out here in the progressive community that have had enough of an uncontrolled border!  

    And not the least of the reasons for that is that it is a backdoor slavery.  The people that come in are horribly exploited, and DO compete for low income jobs with poor Americans.

    I have family that used to work in the meat packing industry.  Thats right USED TO, since illegals and first generation "legals" now dominate that industry.  They will work for half or less what the Native born population will.  So yes they are taking food off the tables of your poorest countrymen.

    So decide who it is that you are going to defend:  Your neighbours or the illegals.  And then figure out which one of your choices is going to be able to vote.

    •  And remember, (none)
      Meijico has the same problem on their southern border.

      I reserve the right to revise and extend my remarks in Sozadee CA.

      by The Messenger on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:54:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  true (none)
        How else are Salvadorans etc  getting in the Southern US unless they are coming from Mexico.

        Do the math people!  How many people live in economic conditions that are frankly appalling in Latin America? And what portion of them could be seen as possible illegal immigrants?

        When you consider that the estimates of the number of illegals that have already come across the border number in the MILLIONS... you are talking about some real numbers!

        Lets put it this way:

        Would you let the guys down the block just waltz into your house and settle into the spare bedroom because their place was a rundown?

        If so, why do you bother locking your door?

        The nation is YOUR house.  And even if you would let the neighbours crash at your place... how many people other then  your family can you comfortably bed down at your place?


        •  Compare to the War on (Some) Drugs (none)
          Border restrictions will never be able to stop the flow of drugs, only marginally increase the price. The same irresistable economic pressure affects the labor market.

          How much enforcement would it take to stop illegal migration? People are already willing to cross the desert on foot, float here on a raft, and get sealed into a shipping container. Would a moat full of pirahna or a laser-beam shield do the trick? Probably not.

          It's more cost-effective to do demand reduction, just like in the War on (Some) Drugs. Combine enforcement of employers with outreach to the rest of the world and we might be able to reduce the marginal benefit of illegal hiring.

    •  Youv'e Hit the hot spot. (none)
      I can hear the sizzle but there may be a little more heat.
    •  meat-packing industry (none)
      read "fast food nation" if you haven't already... it puts and interesting perspective on the meat-packing industry to say the least...

      The first lesson of democracy is not to hold the public in contempt. - Ronnie Earle, Travis County DA, Texas

      by profmarcus on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:16:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, the horror! (none)
    I support the MM project for one reason.  It pisses me off to no end to see the US government purposedly turn a blind eye to a stampede of illegal immigration while those who want to stay in US legally have to deal with the system that is almost too broken to fix.  Waits of several years are common to say the least and the fees can be pretty high as well.

    It really is too bad it takes a bunch right wing gun nuts to get everyone's attention to the problem.

    As for people being killed, that may well be the unstated goal of the project.  If all goes smoothly, everyone will leave in a month and it's back to business.  OTOH, if a few Americans were killed in a shootout with coyotes or drug runners, waving the bloody shirt makes a powerful political statement that will appeal to just about everyone in the South.  That's exactly why the government suddenly ponied up 500 extra agents for just that spot.

  •  Don't fall for the fear mongering propaganda (none) ry

    The Minutemen have already helped law enforcement make 18 arrests before the launch of the event.

    Now if someone thinks those 18 should have contributed to our illegal border crossing problem, I guess they wouldn't like this.

  •  But but but... (none)
    how will we live without Saint Aaron Brown?
  •  How dangerous for border patrol? (none)
    This scares me to think a couple years ago I considered applying for border patrol agent.  They are going to get stuck in the middle of this. This is a danger to our agents.

    I don't think it is racist to be concerned about the immigration problem at all.  

    The far more pertinent argument is why does Mexico think it it's okay to pawn their poor, unemployed, primarily uneducated population off on us?  They need to bear some responsibility for the immigration problem, but their conservative politics won't allow it.  They refuse to build the democratic structures that we have, make the kind of public investments that can bring ecnomic solvency to the population, like public education.  Often there are no counterparts for US agencies to communicate with, and yet they do nothing about their problems. They have resources, such as oil rigs off the coast, minerals,  a thriving tourist industry, and export products to many countries.  They have no problem keeping a heirarchal system in effect (which keeps their undesirables poor and uneducated) and allowing the border issues to continue, because in their eyes, they still own the southern border states.

    In the meantime, there is huge market for young Mexican girls that we cannot protect in this country, it is a drain on the local economies that have to deal with immigrant issues, drugs, gangs, and I don't think it is responsible to just turn a blind eye to the problem.  People are getting hurt, killed, and abused, people are getting taken advantage of, enslaved, exploited, and we cannot and do not have the means of containing these problems at the local level.  

    When people come here from Mexico illegally (or anywhere, China too) and we pay for administrative costs, loss of tax revenue, public education, public defenders, imprisonment, Mexico should be sent the bill.  If people want to work here, I have no problem with that, they get on the books, and drive through the border every day, no problem.  Work here, pay US taxes.  

    Mexico (the government, elites) should issue drivers licenses, they should patrol their own borders, they should maybe get with the development program and stop playing the third world race card.  

    •  Yahoo Article (none)
      This was on Yahoo's front page:

      Border Patrol Complains About Volunteers

    •  Looks like it's headed towards problem status... (none)
      Border Patrol Says Volunteers Interfere With Authorities

      POSTED: 12:45 pm EDT April 4, 2005
      UPDATED: 3:47 pm EDT April 4, 2005

      TOMBSTONE, Ariz. -- Volunteers who have converged on the Mexican border to watch for illegal immigrants are disrupting U.S. Border Patrol operations by unwittingly tripping sensors that alert agents to possible intruders, an agency spokesman complained Monday.

      Minutemen Protester
      AP Image
      A man holds a sign protesting the Minuteman Project in Tombstone, Ariz.

      Scores of participants in the Minuteman Project began assembling late last week and planned to begin regular patrols on Monday, in an exercise some law enforcement authorities and civil rights groups fear will result in vigilante violence. Many of the volunteers were recruited over the Internet, and some planned to be armed.

      Over the past few days, they have set off sensors, forcing agents to respond to false alarms, said Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Jose Maheda.

      "Every sensor has to be addressed," Maheda said. "It's taken away from our normal operations."

      Read more

  •  Want to tackle Illegals? GO AFTER EMPLOYEERS (4.00)
    All you'd have to do is raid about three restaurant's dishwashing area, a Wendy's or two, and a couple cosntruction sites, and arrest all the big-wigs, fine the crap out of them, and throw them in jail.

    People come to America for jobs.  If we just enforced ours, there would be less jobs, and less people coming here.

    I don't see why waging class warfare isn't a winning political issue. There are a helluva lot more poor folks than rich.

    by pacified on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 08:23:26 AM PDT

  •  The Mexicans (none)
    have a long history of replacing power hungry leaders. In fact they have posters and tee shirts with their national rebel leaders depicted as heroes!

    Along with these visual reminders they cherish rebel music as nation hymns. The Mexican Political leaders today have these reminders that if they push to hard rebellion will occur.

    In contrast their northern neighbors are indolent and lazy, using cheap Mexican labor to pick their fruit, prune their trees and keep their landscape. Without the cheap labor they provide the machine of manifest destiny would grind down to a miserable crawl.

    While Pedro is stepping into the military without citizenship, mommy's dear little Joey would have to face the green machine.

    The national pride here in Mexico is not of the government or the elected leaders, but of the power of the people.

    So let the rednecks do the patrols and strut their fucking goose steps under the blazing sun and when Pedro and his amigos are side stepping that area an doing what they do, the patriots will simply wither like a spring flower in the burning sun, and head for the nearest tavern while Pedro washes their glasses in the kitchen.

    I have said this numerous times and must rant on this again, I hope your fuckin listening!


    We all are cowards as we bury or heads in the fear of not having cars, gas, insurance and that way too expensive house.

    When the U.S. economy crashes, take a look at your Mexican neighbors, most of the people have been doing without all the nice plastic goodies. These people know how to survive on nothing, how about you?

    •  "Indolent and Lazy"? (none)
      I wonder what manner of reception a post labelling Mexicans "indolent and lazy" would receive. I'm certain it would earn several angry replies pointing out that, for instance, "indolent" and "lazy" are redundant. No doubt the community would be righteously outraged should some nefarious racist posit that Mexicans, not Americans, are too 'cowardly' for battle and that they "head for the nearest tavern" when danger approaches.

      If the point of your convoluted tirade is that corporate America is exploiting the labor of illegal immigrants to increase their profits, and that undocumented workers cannot be blamed for crossing the border to seek a more fulfilling existence for their families, then I agree.

      But if the people of the United States are so self-absorbed and unproductive, whereas our "Mexican neighbors" are veritable supermen, then why would illegal immigrants be flooding into America, anyway?

    •  you bring up a good (none)
      point!  And related to that point have you considered that the reason that Mexico encourages illegal immigration is as a safety valve?

      We are the steam vent on their pressure cooker.  As long as millions of Mexicans can come into the US they don't have to worry as much about another revolution forcing some kind of REAL reforms.

  •  I Applaud Them (3.00)
    I've read that they have had some supremacy groups offer to help them out but from what I've heard, they have not accepted the offer.
    I have no problem with people coming to this country legally but something has to be done about the illegal immigration problem.
    These people have criticized Bush and his amnesty plan and I think that when the federal government does not want to solve a problem, it's up to the states or the people to solve the problem.
    We know where the Republicans stand on this issue because of Bush and his illegal workers plan but I do not know where the Democratic party stands in relation to immigration. I've read through the party platform and I can't find a thing.
    I think that the Democrats should take a stand on this and say that they do not have a problem with legal immigration but when it comes to illegals, we have to take a stand and not allow these people into America.
    Not all of the minutemen are armed but those that are armed are legally armed.  

    Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake. Napoleon Bonaparte

    by daimon on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 08:24:18 AM PDT

  •  heartily recommended (none)
    I started noticing this rightward lurch at CNN a few weeks ago (or has it been months?). I'm in complete agreement with your thoughts on this "border patrol" fiasco; sadly, it's only the latest parallel I've noticed between the Nazis' rise to power and Bush's. Conclusion: we're not simply screwed, we're almost FUBAR.
  •  great diary (none)
    but unfortunate title. Since there is still a remarkable amount of freedom in this country - fiesty federal judges - power in congress to actually stop judicial appointments and bad bills and many many people who don't like the shit that's going on and may very well be able to vote it away if they do in sufficient numbers - I suggest instead of titles of generic doom and gloom, how about active titles which suggest the possibility at least of victory rather than we all curl up and die folks, it's all over.

    Darkness washed over the Dude...darker than a black steer's tookus on a moonlight prairie night...there was no bottom

    by moon in the house of moe on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 08:28:04 AM PDT

    •  That's not the intent here (none)
      Part of the title came from how shocked and appalled I was to see how CNN covered it. But I also think it is important for us not to be naive about the problems we face. It is a major impediment if the news media are actively promoting the actions of the radical right. I would hope that the diary's title and the diary itself would spur folks to recognize the gravity of the situation we face and work seriously and effectively to counter it.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 08:33:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  fair enough (none)
        It's a great diary.

        Darkness washed over the Dude...darker than a black steer's tookus on a moonlight prairie night...there was no bottom

        by moon in the house of moe on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 08:37:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I should also add... (4.00)
        ...that the number of folks here who think the Minuteman Project is a good thing - that it's OK to arm 200 Tim McVeighs - is a disturbing sight. That really bothers me, and I can't put a happy or positive face on that. That so many Democrats are willing to arm their mortal enemies - radicals and racists - is, well, just scary. It bothers me a great deal, and I wish you'd be more interested in combating that than my diary title.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 08:37:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  So Wanting a Secure Border (none)
        and a stop to illegal immigration are part of the "radical" agenda now?
        You do realize that the majority of these people love America and most are not white supremecists.
        Seems like you have an agenda of your own.

        Do you support illegal immigration?
        Are you against border security?
        Do you think it's wrong for Americans to gather freely and do a watch on the border?

        Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake. Napoleon Bonaparte

        by daimon on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 08:38:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  *WHY* are the borders not secured? (4.00)
    There are reasons the US does not secure its border with Mexico.  The Bush administration somehow manages to patrol frickin' parking lots looking for noncompliant bumperstickers, for crying out loud -- why do you think Bush is so loathe to secure the border?

    High-bucks GOP donors own businesses that benefit from undocumented workers.  They don't have to give sick leave, pay minimum wage, or offer other benefits.  They don't cover disabilities -- if someone loses a hand in a meatcutting accident, tough darts; they just let them go and hire someone else.  The INS often calls before raids to let the businesses know they're being inspected because business owners make nasty calls if they get fined.

    Business owners also can lower their wages for legal workers because of the competition in pay.  They reduce benefits for other workers, and they can nudge out documented workers by replacing them with undocumented workers -- or intimidate them by threatening to hire others.

    Some businesses (such as WalMart) end up paying their workers so little and offering so few benefits that the workers and their families qualify for government assistance, such as food stamps and Medicaid.  Having the government pay for workers' health care keeps the company's profit margins high and makes their stockholders very, very happy.

    If undocumented or improperly documented workers do pay payroll taxes, they usually pay more than is required and don't claim their refunds because of fears they'll be discovered by the government.  Undocumented workers don't file for disability after labor-related accidents.  They may pay social security taxes, but they don't apply for the benefits.  Most don't dare apply for poverty-amelioration benefits they're entitled to, such as food stamps or medical assistance.

    Ask yourself why the US government has chosen not to stem the tide of illegal entrants.  Do you think it's because the administration's getting a lot from the immigrants -- or maybe because they're getting a lot of support from the businesses and people who hire them?

    •  That's not the point (none)
      The point is that 200 white supremacists are patrolling the US border and our media is legitimizing their actions. These people need to be disarmed and preferably jailed - and, failing that, need to be exposed for who they are instead of being whitewashed by CNN.

      Mark my words - those patrollers are more dangerous to the US than any illegal immigrant. No matter where we fall on the question of immigration, we MUST strenuously oppose these lunatics. If we don't it's the end of our democracy.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 08:39:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh Yea! (none)
       You're right on, but I can't believe that I haven't seen one comment so far about one of the biggest issues that dictate these policies.
      Housing Housing Housing. Have you ever seen or heard the sound of high-density rentals. Who do you think fills up all this empty space???????? and when it does what do you think happens to the next level up. Buy a house. And what has held our economy together the last????? Many years??????
  •  It's not an immigration issue (4.00)
    The problem here is legitimizing an army of rednecks with guns. Give them power to patrol the boarder today and tomorrow they will be busting into the warehouses and pulling anybody who looks Mexican off their forklifts at gunpoint.
    What happens when a new administration decides that it's inappropriate to have a civil militia patrolling the boarder? You think these guys will give up without a fight? It will get ugly.

    This is not a signature

    by Bohous on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 08:44:22 AM PDT

    •  WoW! (none)
      I Don't know what to say.
      I can't believe the discrimination that's going on here.
      You do know it's legal to carry guns in the southwest when you have a license, right?

      Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake. Napoleon Bonaparte

      by daimon on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 08:48:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sure, they can own guns (3.66)
        to hunt and for self defense but I don't think they are doling out licenses so Joe Buckshot to play cop. Imagine the stink when one of these guys puts a bullet through a Mexican's head and the state tries to take his gun license away.

        This is not a signature

        by Bohous on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 09:02:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Felony to own a gun after attempted murder (none)
          It's a felony to own a gun after committing a crime, and putting a bullet through a Mexican's head qualifies. Losing the gun license would be expected, and since they know that, chances are their behavior will reflect that risk.
      •  Bohous didnt say anything about gun licenses (none)
        being 'wrong'. The point is that the govt should not be legitimizing independant border militias. Its common sense not to allow this to happen, BECAUSE ITS DANGEROUS.

        In the midst of life we are in debt, etc.

        by ablington on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 10:47:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Same media bias in Rwanda: 1 million dead (none)
    Daily Kos :: Ann Coulter was born in Rwanda or Why Gannon matters

      A legitimate free press is our main weapon to prevent hate speech from dominating the public media

    Hate is hate in any language
    Ann Coulter on tour: "I think a baseball bat is the most effective way these days" to talk to liberals (1)

    Rwanda: In the cover of the December 1993 issue of  a very popular Hutu magazine A machete is displayed under the question about "what weapon to use to defeat the [Tutsi cockroaches]" (2)

    A chilling coincidence ?
    Both propaganda machines are using many of the same tactics, namely:

    Staged events:
    creating events to lend credence to propaganda

    Accusations in a Mirror:
     projecting into their opponents exactly what they and their own party are planning to do.

    Hate Radio:
    Pundits like Rush Limbaugh

    Six months later: 1 million dead in 4 months The weapon of choice ? A machete

  •  A simple question (4.00)
    For those open borders folks participating in this thread.

    Can anyone who is both open borders and anti-offshoring tell me why? It is an honest question and one wherein I am very keen to understand your logic.

    In the one case cheap labor is brought here, or enticed to come here, to do a job, in the other case the job is shipped to where that cheap labor exists.

    Can someone please explain to me the difference, and why you would support the first case, but not the second? In a nutshell, both cases at their root are simply a form of global labor arbitrage and large corporations, generally speaking, are the largest benefactor in both cases.

    Now if you are for both, that is to say, you are both open borders and pro-offshoring, while I will disagree with you I would at least applaud you for your consistent logic. However, if you are open borders and anti-offshoring like many Dem's, or anti-illegal and pro 'free trade', i.e. pro-offshoring, like many over in Freepville then I will ask the question again; please explain to me what the difference is ... pretend I am a four year old.

    thunder's just the noise boys, lightnin' does the work - Chad Brock

    by superscalar on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 09:13:37 AM PDT

    •  I've pondered and asked that too -- (none)
      never got a satisfactory reply.

      Why is out-sourcing for cheap labor bad?
      But in-sourcing cheap labor good?

      At least Republicans are consistent on this issue: cheap labor rocks ;)

      If you support illegal immigration, then embrace outsourcing, no?

      Maybe it's b/c YOUR job may be out-sourced? while the odds of your choice being in-sourced are slim to none?

      ...Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things....

      by PhillyGal on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 09:52:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  business interests dominate (none)
        Republicans are consistent on this issue: cheap labor rocks ;)

        That's correct, no matter where the labor is or where it's coming from, for the business interests controlling the GOP cheap labor rocks. That's the key issue. It's a political red herring when those interests launch their attacks against immigration, while those same businesses strive for the cheap labor that microwage laborers from other countries provide right here. That's labor that can't be offshored like agricultural workers, low skilled construction jobs carried out by small outfits, service jobs of all types that require little face to face interaction (kitchen workers). It's called globalization in your own backyard (or kitchen, etc.)

        This is a problem also with "legal" workers as, for example, those with H1B visas. While claiming that there is a shortage of high tech workers in some fields, businesses demand that borders are opened legally using those visas. The whole purpose is to drive wages down for everyone in those fields. There's a lot more bipartisan support for this type of loophole than you can imagine.

        Bush himself has been proposing some liberalization of immigration laws to offer some sort of temporary legal status to the microwage laborers who today cross the border without documentation. But his own political base, mostly racist in nature, has confronted him and paralyzed those efforts, some using 9/11 as the excuse.

        But if you want to address this immigration issue as essentially a problem of declining wages, then you have to confront the businesses that push for the policies of offshoring, and the increase of "legal" and "illegal" supply of low wage workers from abroad. Every worker is a victim in this game no matter where they are or where they came from. But there are some people who prefer to blame the victim anyway.

        •  RE: business interests dominate (none)
          Bush himself has been proposing some liberalization of immigration laws to offer some sort of temporary legal status to the microwage laborers

          What Bush in fact said. Immigration Reform on Bush Agenda

          Bush said at his year-end news conference last week that he was preparing to send Congress recommendations for an "immigration policy that helps match any willing employer with any willing employee."

          If people think this will only affect low wage workers they are sorely mistaken. For those of us engineers who have been on the forefront of the H1B/L1 issue, this is a nightmare come true, as it would signal an end to the current cap of 65,000 H1B visas.

          I only wish I could find a link to a quote by Karen Hughes in what, IIRC, was a Brookings Institute discussion on CSPAN about the subject of Bush's immigration plan. Hughes' response to a question along the lines of 'will this plan affect all wage classes' was positively scary.

          thunder's just the noise boys, lightnin' does the work - Chad Brock

          by superscalar on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:07:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  This assumes that off-shoring (none)
      is a function of a free market, which it is not.

      Off-shoring is a government-run program to enrich investors. The US government makes specific political decisions to give tax credits to businesses that ship jobs overseas while the profits from those jobs fill American coffers. It discriminates against certain businesses and gives (totally illegitimate, if you ask me) privileges to others.

      Off-shorers benefit from our restrictive border systems because the workers in the countries to whom the jobs are outsourced face massive restrictions in trying to emigrate to other countries. They are a huge, captive, unfree labor market. An investor in this situation would not want these people moving around freely.

      Most of the Washington establishment supports the free movement of capital and severe restrictions on the rights of labor. Given existing economic theory, these two are consistent, if one's goal is top-down class warfare.

      The left needs to smash right-wing economic populist arguments because they make them seem anti-corporate, when in fact corporate power is perfectly happy with restrictions on free movement of labor and rightists tend to support this.

      Such deceit on a massive scale is going to have very nasty effects. I have already seen such things taking place here in Arizona.

      •  Wrong (none)
        This assumes that off-shoring is a function of a free market, which it is not.

        I make no assumptions in my post except to say that both instances are indeed a case of global labor arbitrage, and I was I think careful not to claim is either a good or a bad thing.

        Off-shoring is a government-run program to enrich investors.

        I would take this as a claim that our current immigration policies do not constitute such a program. Please read the link I provided in 'large corporations'.

        Off-shorers benefit from our restrictive border systems because the workers in the countries to whom the jobs are outsourced face massive restrictions in trying to emigrate to other countries.

        This is simply untrue. Offshoring has nothing to do with 'restrictive border systems', it has everything to do with the cost of labor and the rights of workers, as does the current immigration policies of the U.S. I would submit NAFTA and the plainly loose border between the U.S. and Mexico, or the offshoring that occurred to India by IBM at the same time the H1B visa quota was still at 195,000.

        Most of the Washington establishment supports the free movement of capital and severe restrictions on the rights of labor.

        How do you, as what I take to be an open borders person, support labor when the simple act of the stance that you take serves to undermine unions more than any anti-union legislation that the Republicans could think of?

        thunder's just the noise boys, lightnin' does the work - Chad Brock

        by superscalar on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 10:53:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  pretend? (none)
      who "opposes outsourcing"?

      nobody denies the right of a company to have an overseas operation. there are legitimate issues, however, in terms of "domestic content", tariffs and a notion the government should be permitted to "buy american"

    •  It's not that I favor importing cheap labor (none)
      any more than outsourcing jobs--but rather that I'm against having armed vigilantes with racist attitudes hunting the poor people caught in the trap of a bad economy and trying to survive as best they can.

      I would favor putting pressure on business to comply with labor laws here, as well as giving them incentives to employ people here rather than to outsource jobs.

      But I see the people, both the illegal immigrants and the foreign workers, as fellow victims, far more than we are, in fact; and I am appalled by the tendency to blame them and the apparent willingness to accept persecuting them as the solution to our problems.

  •  If you watch cable news (none)
    you are complicit. To me, you are no different than someone who religiously listens to Rush Limbaugh every day. When the fuck will you people wake up and turn off the tv and show these fuckheads who is boss? If you stop watching then they will have to move to the left to win you back. Right now they have the best of both worlds. The right wingers watch because they are catered to, and the left wingers watch because they LOVE being outraged. Quit watching or else you are complicit in the fascist takeover of the United States.

    We don't go out and hire journalists and propagandize and lie and put people on payroll so that they'll say what you want. - Donald Rumsfeld

    by The past is over on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 09:19:52 AM PDT

  •  If you eat fruits and vegetables (none)
    You are complicit.
  •  What's So Wrong? (4.00)
    Look, I'm a pretty liberal guy.  But I don't see what's so wrong with the Minuteman project.  I do, however, see what's wrong with this diary.

    No one has been hunted down like an animal; no one should.  All persons are. after all, created equal.  This diary makes grand and enthusiastic statements -- even comparing it to the Nazis -- and offers little in the way of actual evidence.  As is, this diary constitutes nothing more than a grandiose attempted parallel to Nazi Germany while offering little substance to offer such a MASSIVE assertion any credibility.

    As far as I have seen, this project is win-win-win.  The element of the population that is deeply concerned with immigration can't complain; they can volunteer, and they will be supervised by the agents themselves.  As the Minutemen state on their web page:

    "Our   policy of passive activity  will be to OBSERVE  with the aid of binoculars - telescopes - night  vision scopes, and inform the U.S. Border Patrol of the location  of illegal activity so that border patrol agents can investigate.  

    We will  not be confrontational with anyone.  Each  volunteer will be solely acountable for his or her actions and  will be required to complete and sign a "hold  harmless" waiver before participating in field activities. "

    The federal government doesn't have to hire as many Border Patrol agents, ligthening their load.  As far as aliens are concerned, they will not have to face the unbelievably terrible concept of attempting to cross some of the harshest terrain.  This will help reduce the overall amount of alien hardship.

    •  Er... (none)
      "This diary makes grand and enthusiastic statements -- even comparing it to the Nazis..."

      That would be because some of the people involved are in fact associates, if not actual, neo-Nazis. This is a lot more serious than you think it is, and I'm flabbergasted at the low level of knowledge here regrading right wing extremism. Prior to 9/11, the fringe right had set previous records for domestic terrorism. Prior to OKC, a result in part of gun show culture, the KKK and the Branch Davidians, the most violent terrorist group was the wide-flung The Order.

      For an overview of the activity and thinking of the fringe right, I'd strongly recommend reading Neiwert's "In God's Country." An earlier book that reads like a how-to for the OKC conspiracy is James Coates' "Armed and Dangerous, The Rise of
      the Survivalist Right."

  •  The Minutemen in AZ (4.00)
    As an AZ resident who knows some people that protested this group, I can see somewhat clearly how they operate and the assumptions they are making. It's pretty revealing.

    The Minutemen are not going after the infamous coyotes, paid smugglers who receive several thousand dollars at a time to bring people into the country. It's taken action on the part of Gov. Janet Napolitano to pass strong anti-coyote legislation that punishes the people who make money off of this.

    Instead, they are targeting peasants from various places in Mexico and Central/South America trying to cross the desert on foot, as if these poorest of the poor are the problem's source. These individuals cannot in most cases even afford to pay a coyote. The Minutemen are right; they are easy targets great for PR.

    For conservatives, illegal immigration functions much as abortion does: a great issue to scream about but not one that should ever be solved.

    And now the anti-immigrant extremists have suddenly started caring about the pristine desert? What about when all those much, much larger numbers of people flooding in from Iowa and Michigan and California destroy the desert to build nice houses, does it matter then? (Take a WILD guess what the answer is.)

    It's worth noting that most of the Minutemen are from out of state. That makes me wonder about where the locals were and their real concern over this. This is not even a genuinely local, grassroots project, so making it into that is crass propaganda designed to make them look good.

    Speaking to the wider set of issues, look at it philosophically: I am forced to compete in a global market against Mexican peasants, Chinese prison factory workers, hungry Eastern Europeans, and so on. If my job can be moved over there, the people from over there should at least be allowed to move here. The current situation is absolutely unfair and exploitative. You either believe in the free movement of labor as a crucial adjunct to free movement of capital or you don't and are just using it as a political tool.

    Besides, keeping people in an illegal status, being what's proposed by many here, isn't going to raise anyone's wages, either. That's the system we have now and the results are available for all to see.

    As for Mexico, I despise its government. It's sort of gauche to say this too loud, but the country is a former one-party dictatorship with some serious internal problems. This does not have consequences only for politics. It also affects economic well-being because Mexico's elitist class system defines opportunity out of existence for most of its population. This can't be stressed enough: if you are poor in Mexico, you will stay that way. I don't expect others to just resign themselves to this hopelessness because I sure wouldn't. And modern America largely consists of the spoilt progeny of those who also didn't.

    Saying that illegals despise this country is a joke. Most do not. Those that may dislike some things about the US despise Mexico even more by a factor of ten, guaranteed.

    •  Inaccurate analogy... (4.00)
      I am forced to compete in a global market against Mexican peasants, Chinese prison factory workers, hungry Eastern Europeans, and so on. If my job can be moved over there, the people from over there should at least be allowed to move here. The current situation is absolutely unfair and exploitative. You either believe in the free movement of labor as a crucial adjunct to free movement of capital or you don't and are just using it as a political tool.

      This analogy ignores some basic facts about "free movement of labor".

      First, you are not forced to compete. You choose to. So do most consumers. More on that below.

      Perhaps the strongest argument against this analogy is that it assumes that everyone plays by the same rules. The reason most immigrants (illegal or otherwise) come to the US is to improve their lot in life. As accurately described in this diary, Mexico (as an example) makes it very difficult for their citizens to rise above their station in life. So their poor try to come here. Why? Because we provide more for individuals  who make it into the country. We have benefits, minimum wage rules, etc.

      And this is where the analogy falls apart. We are taking in immigrants, giving them more than they can earn in their own country, allowing them to try to prosper. Meanwhile, countries like China do not provide these benefits to their workers, and can mass-produce goods at a fraction of the cost of doing the same here. This is not free labor movement. It is a shifting of cost.

      The argument presented is that if they are allowed to reduce costs, we should increase ours.

      While I agree that the problem is too complex to be solved by folks like the "Minutemen", the real solution is unlikely to ever be accepted. The solution to the problem of losing jobs is to reduce the demand for products being produced in countries that do not hold the same standards as we do for their workers. If they don't offer a fair wage, don't buy their products. Pretty simple right? Unfortunately, this means buying higher priced products.

      While many will rail against Wal-Mart and other discount outlets, the plain fact is that they continue to grow because most American consumers care more about their wallet than the conditions of workers in other countries. As long as imported goods cost less than domestic goods, they will be purchased. As long as they are purchased, they will be manufactured by countries that don't properly protect and value workers. As long as those workers are undervalued, they will desire for a better life, and will want to emigrate. And the more they want to emigrate, the more likely they will try to enter the US by any means possible.

      So they enter the country, and we complain that they take jobs, or use up resources, or that they are affecting our schools - pick a complaint. But it comes down to our consumerism and our desire to "have" without having to pay.

      So the idea that allowing their workers in is somehow a "fair trade" for jobs going overseas is misguided. We (the US consumers) have created our own dual-edged problem. We refuse to pay more for goods to ensure that production stays here and to reject exploitation of workers, and in the meantime, we provide ample incentive for those in exploitative countries to try to come here to improve their lives.

      Want to end illegal immigration? Stop supporting the reasons for their desire to come here. And the first place to start is to get people to stop buying goods from countries and companies that exploit their workers to drive costs down.

      Good luck on that.

      What's the Question? - What do you want to ask? -

      by lsoderman on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 10:29:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Close to the Heat (none)
        Is it the Answer or is it really the ?????
      •  Close to the Heat (none)
          Is it the Answer or is it really the ?????    
      •  much better than my attempt (none)
        This is much better than my feeble attempt to get the same ideas across upthread.  As long as we keep buying up all those cheap goods, we're pretty much doomed to having an "immigration problem" (that sounds disgusting).  Having a truly "fair" system where folks are paid a living wage for work and the real costs are included in the price of products (including the environmental/biodiversity costs!) sounds pretty utopian.  But really, isn't that the root of the problem.  Won't we accomplish a lot more by trying to address the actual problem, rather than discussing this minutemen nonsense.
      •  I agree with most of what you say but (none)
        it's not as simple as US citizens not being willing to pay more. Many now cannot pay a fair price for goods because they themselves are not getting a fair wage, if they get one at all. And now it's becoming impossible to find goods not manufactured in sweatshop conditions either here or abroad.

        I do think we have let ourselves be lulled by the fantasy of cheap consumer plenty, have neglected to stand up for workers' rights, and our lack of foresight is largely responsible. But with a weak educational system and media, it's not too surprising.

        Now more radical actions are needed to reverse this trend, if it's even possible. We need comprehensive reforms, and movements led both by consumers and workers. It's a complex subject, too much to go into here. But (the point of this diary) armed vigilantes are not any part of the solution, and in fact are a very dangerous trend.

        •  There's the catch... (none)
          If we choose to pay more for goods, and not accept the product of low wages, worker exploitation, etc., then the chance for better paying jobs for citizens increases.

          We don't want to pay more for TVs, so we support substandard wages and conditions overseas. We don't want to pay more for produce, so we create conditions that reward employers who find a way to cut their labor costs. Both of these are examples of behaviors that reduce the wages that get paid to US citizens. We have created the situation ourselves.

          I agree with you that there are many citizens who can't pay a fair price. But it's my belief that they are a symptom of the problem. They can't keep up because we have created a situation where the lowest bidder continually wins the consumer dollar, and in the process makes it impossible for many citizens to pay anything but the lowest price.

          We've seen this is a number of industries, particularly retail. Consumers have been trained to look for the lowest price, period. Quality? Nope. Value? Nah. Just give me what costs less. And as time passes, we pay more and more dearly for the nearsightedness of this philosophy.

          What's the Question? - What do you want to ask? -

          by lsoderman on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 10:20:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Right--I agree. But we can no more say people (none)
            should just be willing to pay more (under the present earning conditions) than we can say they should just refuse to work for low wages (when higher-paying jobs are not available).

            Going at it from only one side is like trying to untie a Gordian knot. Instead, we need to raise our collective consciousness about the root cause of the bind we're in--which in my opinion is the power and wealth grab by the corporate class. Realize that we're playing a game with rigged rules, take that sword of insight and cut the damn knot.

            That's why I want the Democrats to consistently speak about, and DEFEND, the rights of the middle, working and poor classes against the corporate interests. But they keep caving.

    •  nice catch (4.00)
      "caring about the desert"

      yes, these are the same white trash who have forced the republicans to open up the desert for their ATVs.

  •  Wow (none)
    "If you think you can arm a bunch of white supremacist far-right nutjobs and not have it come back to bite us all in the ass later, then you're recklessly ignorant."

    Let's see. If you're against illegal immigration and Bush's open borders, you're a white supremacist. Never mind your backhanded insults about "armed" nutjobs.

    Sometimes I can't decide what pisses me off more. The Republicans I talk to or the Democrats.

  •  CNN has been scary for a long time now... (none)
    and I think it's time for the word to get out that they are way farther to the right than the public realizes...

    overlaying quotes onto debates...

    the night of the election they covered a story that compared the way Kerry people were treated in Bush Rallies versus Bush people in Kerry rallies... and somehow were able to come out saying "they both don't treat them well"-- when of course the Kerry  people in Bush rallies were escorted out or arrested, while the Bush people in Kerry rallies were surrounded by dancing folks in big signs...

    not to mention the lack of real news coverage (voting irregularities, Barbara Boxer objecting to the certification of the vote) while grandstanding crap like Schavo and Jackson...

    sigh... what to do?

  •  Most Polarizing Issue (4.00)
    Unintentionally eugene hit upon one the most polarizing issue I have found here at Kos: Immigration.
    There have been many diaries addressing immigration. I've taken part in many and even wrote one myself, but they all have one thing in common. There is complete disagreement on this issue. Comments always vary from "Death of the West" type statements like build the big wall to complete open borders statements. Inevitably the discussion of this issue usually degenerates into a pissing match with accusations of racism and ignorance being throw around.
    This is a very unfortunate situation since immigration will eventually become a hot button issue that will divide the electorate. The fact that even the Kos community is deeply divided on this issue shows how vulnerable we are as a political party to being outmaneuvered on this issue in upcoming elections.
    I think we, as a community need a real effort to reach consensus on this issue. If we can't come up with a reasonable, rational, fair and practical solution to this problem , the opposition will put forward a plan I'm sure they'll with sell with fear and patriotic fervor.
    Perhaps a weekly discussion could be started here at Kos, with no name calling, troll rating or hysterics and we could hash something out.

    "We are all worms. But I do believe I am a glow-worm" Winston Churchill

    by Duke1676 on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 10:29:57 AM PDT

    •  Good Point Duke (4.00)
      But I don't even think it's up for discussion. Meaning the American people by and large are for stricter immigration control.

      We'd be fools to not listen to the people (again).

      I'm an overeducated elitist liberal and all (don't get me wrong), but I'm not stupid.

      The Democratic Party needs to stop being "smarter" then the people it seeks to represent. That does not mean give quarter on Roe v Wade, or a homophobic Constitutional Amendment however. The people are with us there.

      There's wisdom in polls. We're the party of the people. No shame in doing what they want. Letting states do what they want. And letting people do what they want.

      •  The deivil is in the detials (none)
        "American people by and large are for stricter immigration control."

        But what form these "controls" are to take is the big question that needs to be addressed. Here is where consensus is required.

        "We are all worms. But I do believe I am a glow-worm" Winston Churchill

        by Duke1676 on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 10:51:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Your burning up, You win the discussion! (none)
      As you so correctly state.
      "I think we, as a community need a real effort to reach consensus on this issue. If we can't come up with a reasonable, rational, fair and practical solution to this problem"
    •  RE: Most Polarizing Issue (none)
      There have been many diaries addressing immigration. I've taken part in many

      As have I Duke, and I am happy to say that while we don't agree on the subject, at least we have remained civil in our discourse and have had some interesting back and forth, which I think in the end is what this community is all about.

      Inevitably the discussion of this issue usually degenerates into a pissing match

      Which is exactly the same comment that I made to you in our last exchange on this subject ;-).

      thunder's just the noise boys, lightnin' does the work - Chad Brock

      by superscalar on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 11:17:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Very True (none)
        I would love to see some kind of open thread on this topic, where those of us with differing views could post up facts and info on the subject. A more constructive debate is definitely called for.

        "We are all worms. But I do believe I am a glow-worm" Winston Churchill

        by Duke1676 on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 11:47:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I agree that the hostility around this subject (4.00)
      is remarkable (although of course that makes it interesting... otherwise why would we all recommend pages and pages spotted with vitriol for others to read?).  But I'm not sure I agree that there is a need to build consensus on every issue.  Is it not a sign of health in this community that people still feel free to dissent, that all our intellectual and political loose ends are not neatly wrapped up?  If we valued consensus above all else, we would be buying all the propaganda fed to us.

      As for curtailing the name-calling, troll-rating and hysterics, I'm all for that.

      •  Perhaps Consensus is the wrong word (none)
        Perhaps "compromise" is better.
        I agree that healthy debate is essential.
        I just feel that if even a progressive and tolerant community such as this can't find common ground on this issue there is little hope for the public in general. My greatest fear is that the issue will be co-opted by those who will appeal to the most base and intolerant impulses in the electorate.

        "We are all worms. But I do believe I am a glow-worm" Winston Churchill

        by Duke1676 on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:45:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  IMHO (none)
        That name calling is beneath the dKos community. Crap like "white trash", "Uncle Tom", etc. does not further the discussion.

        Furthermore, down rating a person's comment without replying to it should be cause for concern. For that too, does not further the debate. dKos should consider doing away with the rating system altogether if this keeps up.

    •  Well, I polarize, I guess (4.00)
      Because there has never, ever been a moment in American history where anti-immigrant sentiment did not devolve into racism and discrimination and the harming of innocent people. And there have been a disturbingly large number of these moments.

      My concern is that the folks here who are concerned about immigration - and they have a right to be - are really quite reckless about it. They don't want to admit that their concern can be used by some bad people for nasty purposes. And that blindness frightens me. I am more than happy to have a civil debate with people on the issue, but I can't do that when they refuse to admit that 1) there is a better way to deal with the matter than rounding up people and sealing a border and 2) that whatever they do, they not allow their ideas and concerns to be used by racists, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and the scum of our society.

      I agree that there needs to be a better way to go about this. But I never, never thought for a moment that there would be this much support amongst Kossacks for neo-Nazi thugs. It is a very disturbing day here on dKos. Some folks are allowing their passions to get carried away with them, and we will all pay the price for it.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 02:18:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  RE: Well, I polarize, I guess (none)
        Because there has never, ever been a moment in American history where anti-immigrant sentiment

        You see, this is what begins to really pisses me off a bit. As I have stated in the past, you provide no proof to support your position, you simply claim the moral high ground, declare yourself to be the victor, and depart the field.

        I refer to the way in which, either cleverly or clumsyly, instead of using facts to support your argument, you use of the term 'anti-immigrant' to inject a semantic higher morality to your argument. But let me use some recent comments to make my point.

        Any discussion about illegal immigration that

        doesn't begin with the words "blanket amnesty for immigrants already here" is mean-spirited, unrealistic, and doesn't particularly deserve my attention."
        by spot on Thu Mar 3rd, 2005 at 19:08:23 PST

        rated a four by eugene

        Fair enough, no facts to support a position, but a clear position.

        How much are you willing to pay for a head of lettuce?

        2. They're taking away good jobs.
        Perhaps there's an argument with respect to skilled trades in some areas, but nationally there's a shortage of skilled tradespeople to the tune of several million. And I happen to like my lettuce crisp, and cheap.
        by spot on Wed Mar 30th, 2005 at 19:28:42 PST

        again, rated a four by eugene

        Again, no facts to support this position, just a position, and a statement that spot likes his lettuce cheap

        My reponse downthread -

        RE: How much are you willing to pay

        I do not understand this mentality that says we should formulate our immigration policy based upon our need for 'cheap stuff'.

        Heck, if you want cheap, just go ahead and offshore all the jobs, ship every job, to VietNam and China where they really work cheap.

        Is this really about our concern for the so called 'brown skinned people' and thier rights, or is this about our need for these 'brown skinned people' 'cause they can supply our relentess need for 'cheap'.

        By the way, the cheap lettuce argument is a non-starter. It has been shown by more than one university study that if all the illegal aliens in the U.S. disappeared tommorow, your lettuce cost would increase by, IIRC, about eight percent.
        by superscalar on Wed Mar 30th, 2005 at 20:04:01 PST

        not rated

        spot replies -

        You're absolutely right.

        "I do not understand this mentality that says we should formulate our immigration policy based upon our need for 'cheap stuff'."

        Neither do I man. I believe we should formulate our immigration policy based upon our nostalgia for an earlier, simpler time, when the negroes rode at the back of the bus, the homos remained in the closet (or even better blew their brains out), the brown people stayed in their own countries, and the ladies were barefoot, pregnant, and really high on good, legal speed.
        by spot on Wed Mar 30th, 2005 at 20:22:34 PST
        not rated

        spot does not reply to my comment with facts to support his 'I need cheap lettuce' statement, or why we get cheap lettuce and should continue to support our current immigration policies 'cause cheap lettuce supports the common good. No, spot does a pivot that would do Rush Limbaugh proud, and talks about the sixties, negroes and gays. In other words, instead of addressing my point spot claims the moral high ground, and exits the argument.

        spots How much are you willing to pay for a head of
        is then followed on by you eugene Excellent, but one quibble.

        I think it is about race, in the end, but only some conservatives are conscious about it.
        by eugene on Wed Mar 30th, 2005 at 19:42:46 PST
        rated a four by spot

        In the meantime, neither you eugene, nor spot cited any real facts in your comments. spot simply claims that he wants his 'blanket amnesty for immigrants already here' and his 'cheap lettuce', and anyone who feels different, regardless of the fact that we may be able prove that spot's lettuce is not so cheap, and that spots blanket amnesty will only perpetuate the situation we now face, can basically fuck off.

        You eugene enable spot's behaviour by rating up his initial 'cheap lettuce' comment which contains no facts, and spot enables your behaviour by rating up your comments which again contain no facts, simply statements about how those of us who do not agree with comments made by you and spot are 'anti-immigrant' and 'racist'.

        Between you eugene and spot I have seen no facts, links, or cites to support your arguments. I have however seen a whole lot of both overt and covert accusations about the nature of those who may oppose what you believe in.

        By the way, my facts about the fallacy of the cheap lettuce comment are here. If you would like more facts about the fallacy of the 'cheap lettuce' argument, let me know, I will be happy to provide them.

        thunder's just the noise boys, lightnin' does the work - Chad Brock

        by superscalar on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 03:41:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not to sound like Rodney King but..... (none)
          I believe that too many people on both sides of this issue rely too heavily on emotion, fear, knee jerk liberalism and sometimes racism. You are quite right about the lack of factual information, but it has been lacking on both sides of the debate in general. This is why I suggested some sort of organized discussion of this issue. It would allow people to organize their factual material, or anylize facts posted by others before the diary falls off the board. Last week in one of our discussions I asked: " and your solution to the problem is?" I did not mean that as a rhetorical or sarcastic question. I think we all need to start a more meaningful dialogue to try to answer that question.

          "We are all worms. But I do believe I am a glow-worm" Winston Churchill

          by Duke1676 on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:47:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  RE: Not to sound like Rodney King but..... (none)
            I believe that too many people on both sides of this issue rely too heavily on emotion, fear, knee jerk liberalism and sometimes racism.

            So true.

            Last week in one of our discussions I asked: " and your solution to the problem is?"

            I will try boil some of my past comments down. Not only do I know that I do not have a solution, I do not think that there is a solution, and if any solution is proposed, I am fairly confident it will not be the will of the majority, and it will in the end look like the 1986 solution.

            No. 1- Immigration Reform and Control Act Amnesty of 1986:
            The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) was enacted by Congress in response to the large and rapidly growing illegal alien population in the United States. The final bill was the result of a dramatic compromise between those who wanted to reduce illegal immigration into the United States and those who wanted to "wipe the slate clean" for those illegals already living here by granting them legal residence. As enacted, IRCA included a massive amnesty program for two main categories of illegal aliens:

            1. those who could show that they had resided illegally in the United States continuously since at least January 1, 1982; and

            2. those who had worked as agricultural workers for at least 90 days between May 1, 1985 and May 1, 1986.

            As a "balance" to this huge amnesty, IRCA also included several provisions designed to: strengthen the enforcement of immigration laws (including sanctions for employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens); increase border controls; and create a program to verify the immigration status of aliens applying for certain welfare benefits.

            The IRCA amnesty has been tied to terrorism. Mahmud Abouhalima, a leader of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was legalized as a seasonal agricultural worker as part of the 1986 IRCA amnesty. This allowed him to travel abroad, including several trips to Afghanistan, where he received terrorist training. Read the full report.

            NOTE: In the 1990 Immigration Act, an additional 160,000 spouses and minor children of aliens amnestied under IRCA were granted amnesty as well. These 160,000 aliens are not included in the total numeric impact of the amnesty.

            In addition, another 350,000 illegal aliens who were initially disqualified from the 1986 IRCA amnesty because they had traveled abroad while in the U.S. illegally may qualify for amnesty under proposed settlements in lawsuits resulting after the 1986 amnesty.

            The 10-year impact of both the SAW and general amnesty in the Immigration Reform and Control Act was 2,684,892. For the computation of the total number of immigrants to be added by this amnesty, click here.

            How'd we do on this one? Or 245(i) in '94, or the 245(i) extension in '97, etc., etc., etc.

            Also, in the end, as I have commented before, there are forces at work here that do not want a solution. It is in the interest of a few that there is no solution, the status quo serves their interests.

            thunder's just the noise boys, lightnin' does the work - Chad Brock

            by superscalar on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:01:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  RE: Not to sound like Rodney King but..... (none)
              "Not only do I know that I do not have a solution, I do not think that there is a solution, and if any solution is proposed, I am fairly confident it will not be the will of the majority, and it will in the end look like the 1986 solution."

              Or it could be something completely outside the box. Maybe just a variation that addresses the previous attempts shortcomings, who knows? I believe an effort must be made by those on both sides of the issue to try to solve this problem before the Republicans use it to bite us in the ass. Certainly the attempt is worth the effort rather then everyone just yelling at each other from across the barricades.

              "We are all worms. But I do believe I am a glow-worm" Winston Churchill

              by Duke1676 on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:32:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Not my fault... (none)
          ...that you are ignorant of your country's history.

          Go look up how the immigration of the Irish, the Germans, the Eastern Europeans, the Southern Europeans, the Jews, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Filipinos, the Okies in California in the '30s, the Mexicans in SoCal in the 1850s and 1930s and the '80s and '90s were all complained about by Americans.

          The arguments made in each instance were precisely the same as are being made today - immigrants are taking jobs from deserving whites. And in EVERY instance, the end result was some form of racial discrimination. Every instance.

          My argument is that it is almost unavoidable to have that conclusion happen. The Republicans will always out-do our side in how far they'll go, how many innocent lives they will ruin, to appease the populace.

          People who are concerned about immigration, by and large, that I have seen post here refuse to admit that their stance can enable racism and injustice. Until they recognize that possibility, I cannot take them seriously, because they are not engaging in honest debate.

          I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

          by eugene on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:04:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  RE: Not my fault... (none)
            Go look up how the immigration

            You totally mistake where I am coming from. Is it not possible for one to be both pro-immigration and anti illegal immigration at the same time?

            You assume that one is anti-immigrant because one may be anti illegal immigration, or at the least think that there are serious flaws in our current immigration policy. I would suggest that, for the sake of clarity, you do not make this assumption.

            I would also suggest that, if you are going to make an argument in favor of illegal immigration, that you cite some factual reasons such that we who may be against it now might change our minds and support it, not just claim 'it is a good thing' and that anyone who does not support it is a 'racist'. You do not further your cause in this manner.

            Finally I would suggest that while I know that racism exists on one side of this issue, if you beleive that it monopolized by only one side of this issue, you might direct your attention to La Voz de Aztlan.

            thunder's just the noise boys, lightnin' does the work - Chad Brock

            by superscalar on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:29:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Scenario for a right vs. right civil war (none)
    When I was a college freshman, I wrote a sketch for a second civil war -- between (internationalist) corporations and (xenophobic) fundamentalists.

    My perspective at that time (mid-1980s) was that the Soviet Union was going to become increasingly occupied with holding down the fort in its sphere (Afghanistan at the time was thought of as just the beginning of a series of upheavals in Central Asia, and Poland was looking to be the tip of the iceberg in Eastern Europe), but China was going to become an increasingly influential player as a Third World advocate and likely recipient of investment capital, should the free market competitive economics of the United States be replaced by runaway racism and xenophobia.

    In the novel-that-never-was, the paradigm shift is the rise of a Patriot Party, significantly farther to the right than the GOP of the Eighties, and it pulls the social right fully into its grasp. The impetus is that the GOP isn't doing nearly enough to assert Christian values and morality, which is upheld as the basis of American might and prosperity and should never be compromised, period.

    You know, just like the Brownbacks of today (trivia: a 'brownback' was slang for a Confederate dollar, back in the day!)

    In this fictional reality, the schism between Corporates and Fundamentals occurs...well, it occurs about 2004, with the partisan paradigm shift hitting in 2008, and the real fireworks starting in 2010.

    Like I said, immigration was the issue. By the time of this story, new Hispanic immigrants are an important and highly visible component of life throughout a far wider range of states than in the 1980s, and are irksome even to Hispanic-Americans who have resided in the United States as citizens for several generations (in the sketch, the earlier and settled immigrants are now the 'Hispanortes', and the come-lately's are the 'Hispanuevos', neither appellation well-received by one other..that being the point.)

    Strange alliances, along lines of 'values' and 'law' and 'rights', but in reality along preservation of economic advantage, appear; violent tensions emerge not simply against Hispanics but among the Latino community, as well; many neighborhoods and shopping districts in the lower third of Florida are devastated by sustained tensions between Cuban and Mexican-Americans.

    And this is used as a perfect excuse to "sadly, necessarily, with great hesitation" begin the systematic and comprehensive registration of all persons residing within the territory of the United States of America.

    Oh, the other shoe: All undocumented residents are shipped to army bases.

    For a while, this is a popular move...

    ...then the scope of the captures, confinements and concentrations extends to critics of policy.

    At that point, the country is on the verge of civil war.

    Exacerbating the trouble is the passage of autarkic (self-reliance) economic policies, ostensibly to revitalize and reward American industry, innovation and values of good, hard work for a fair and honest wage...that is, whatever the (largely uncompetitive) domestic companies say it should be.

    Investors take their money and run as fast as they can, while they can...then capital retention laws are passed, akin to legislation from Latin America in the 1960s and 1970s.

    Never mind the devastating impact on the United States; the sudden withdrawal of the American marketplace from the global trading milieu wreaks havoc with Europe and China, alienating almost all allies, though the British stick it out and leave the EU in order to maintain their 'special relationship' with the USA, and begin similar policies on their own account.

    Back in the states, companies are split along two lines -- those that benefit from political patronage and domestic oligopoly, and those companies that make significant revenues overseas, and are harmed by such policies -- or are on the political outside. Essentially, uncompetitive firms like Hawkins. Winning firms dislike him intensely, enough to contemplate far more aggressive modes of sharing their displeasure.

    The immigration topic for the Corporates is synonymous with free trade and international markets -- they are for the most part pro open border, and certainly hostile to the creation of a domestic trading milieu where the partisan patronage and state sanction and explicit kickbacks to persons in elected and appointed offices are part of the picture. Business is difficult enough without having to line the pockets of an emergent American Imperium, and worry about a new Caesar's displeasure.

    They'd as soon go back to the old days, where lobbying was enough.

    And that is the onset of an old story-that-never-was in a nutshell -- a civil war between two camps, neither of which are widely thought of as champions of the little guy....more akin to the struggles between the Optimates and the Populares, the two factions of the Roman Senate, than any latter-day partisan strife.

    The reason for that was inspired by the widespread apathy in politics held by Americans at the time of concept.

    You know, the same widespread apathy that reigns today.

    That which does not troll-rate me makes me stronger. :)

    by cskendrick on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 10:41:19 AM PDT

  •  Regardless of one's opinions on immigration... (4.00) of two things is going to happen, here; possibly both:

    1. Since the Minutemen aren't subject to the limitations and oversights we place on police and federal agents, the people they "apprehend" stand a chance of being assaulted, tortured, killed, and/or raped.

    2. Since the Minutemen aren't professionals, they're going to get blown away by well-funded, well-armed drugrunners.

    In order to protect both the illegals and the Minutemen, we can't allow this sort of vigilante behavior.
    •  Oh and one other solution (none)
                Requiring helmets on motorcyclists.
      Require helmets for all who sleep in unprotected
      This is a rounda bout tit for your tat.
    •  Thank you, thank you, thank you (none)
      For putting it so simply; and for thinking of EVERYONE'S welfare.
    •  The facts don't suppor that (none)
      1. I posted a link to a news story where the Minutemen helped law enforcement arrest 18 illegals. They don't handcuff these people, they call in the law enforcement.

      So the question of "apprehension" doesn't arise.

      That is if things stay as they are today.

      2. Sure, it would be very good if we could let our government do what it's supposed to do: enforce the law on the books.

      If the government were protecting the borders, these people would have no need to do what they are doing.

    •  The facts don't support that (none)
      1. I posted a link to a news story where the Minutemen helped law enforcement arrest 18 illegals. They don't handcuff these people, they call in the law enforcement.

      So the question of "apprehension" doesn't arise.

      That is if things stay as they are today.

      2. Sure, it would be very good if we could let our government do what it's supposed to do: enforce the law on the books.

      If the government were protecting the borders, these people would have no need to do what they are doing.

  •  Trying to find something positive left me with (none)
    the hope that perhaps the "Great Middle of the Roaders" who threw their support to Bush during the last election because they swallowed his ... "Keeping America safe and Moral/I am just a regular guy looking out for the little guys" propaganda,  will begin to see how the results are affecting them and our Nation and wake the hell up.
  •  wow (none)
    who took in the trash?

    sorry, eugene. you are finely attuned to the threat here. the commmunity let you down. and me, for what it's worth.

  •  Glass half Full (4.00)
    Tactically, this may be a very bad thing for Bush, because it puts him on the spot to get off the fence and make some decisions on the immigration issue.

    If he goes with the so-called Minutemen [good marketing thought went into the label], and really clamps down on the borders, he will greatly  anger the business owners who fund Bush, and who want very much to have cheap, hard working laborers that they can often pay under the table, and abuse labor-wise, without serious legal consequences.

    If he opens up immigration and/or keeps the Mexican border very porous, as he has done for all his rule, it will seriously alienate his blue-collar voter base.  This base has been carefully built up through the Southern strategy of pandering to people's racist prejudices, religiosity, and fear of losing out to foreigners, and xenophobia toward brown-skinned people in general,  attacking America.

    If Bush decides either way, he loses. [that is, unless, votes no longer matter.]

    If he goes with business and keeps Mexican/Latin American immigration very porous, it is likely Bushco is not concerned how people will vote. [That raises another question.]


  •  I don't support the minutemen BUT (none)
    I support LEGAL immigration. Open borders sounds very humane but in practice are anything but.
    btw, wouldn't you consider the statement, "All these people want to do is work and to fill the jobs the Anglos don't want,"  racist on it's face?
    What jobs are off limits anyway? Roofer,
    plumber, landscaper, electrician, nanny, pest
    controller, waiter, cook, forklift driver, painter,
    HVAC installer..? What?
    Illegals are cheaper to hire for the short-sighted
    "citizens" who enrich themselves at the expense of
    their fellow taxpayer/citizens.
    It is "On-shoring" the pain of the 3rd world to our shores and it is odious. Also, what are you doing materially, to help them? How many families have you taken into your own home? How may would be too many, finally, for you?
  •  One other thing (4.00)
    I recommended this diary and I wouldn't mind seeing a permanent link to it on the front page for a while. Illegal immigration is an important issue that is rarely discussed on the left despite widely divergent views. It IS a volatile subject. (and, i sense, the DK version of "don't discuss politics and religion in mixed company)
  •  It looks to me like... (none)
    it was started as an ominous threat. Then it shifted away from threat to a bunch of people in lawn chairs, which I though was a bit odd.

    But the seeds are there. So if there is need of bringing up a big bad militia can be done--quickly.

    Those characters have been wandering along the border in Texas for quite some time. At one point, the were flying remote controlled airplanes with cameras attached. That went away when the authorities pointed out that they were breaching privacy regs.

    If anything, they remind me of the pre-Bloody Sunday IRA...a bunch of cranky old farts, and a few randy new bloods, railing against the unfair system.

    It'll just take one bad incident for things to get shut down. And for someone to get pretty disaffected by the shut down.

  •  Minutemen tripping border sensors (none)
    way to go, guys.

    Citizens who volunteered to patrol the Mexican border for illegal immigrants and smugglers are disrupting Border Patrol operations by tripping sensors that alert agents to possible illegal crossings, an agency spokesman said Monday.

    Even though volunteers for the Minuteman Project were only beginning their regular, monthlong patrols Monday, they have unwittingly set off sensors during the past few days, forcing agents to respond to what essentially is a false alarm, said Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Jose Maheda.

    "Every sensor has to be addressed," Maheda said. "It's taken away from our normal operations."

    from today's AZ Republic.

  •  You're quite right. (none)
    We are really screwed.
    Sadly though, I'm not that surprised at the sentiments being expressed here -- though they are appalling. It's the same kind of stuff that I used to hear in my union when I lived in the U.S.
    What it boils down to is that lots of U.S. people think that non-American lives just aren't as important, or worthwhile, or as real as American lives - and that belief is far from confined to the Republicans. Which, I guess, is a useful thing for non-Americans to know.

    I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth and I am a citizen of the world -- Eugene Debs

    by dove on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 03:14:04 PM PDT

  •  Another thing to consider (none)
    This thread is too old for anyone to pay attention to this, but, another thing you have to consider when you privatize security forces like this is corruption.

    These "minutemen" could make themselves a nice packet facilitating human smuggling through areas they are supposedly patrolling.

    Furthermore, this sort of thing is a "gateway" power trip...if you get lots of people used to the idea of going out and overpowering, killing or capturing other people, they will start to feel comfortable doing so...where does that lead?

    It's different when it's your job and there is an institutional structure around the use of power. That is what we created gov't for. That is what we pay taxes for.

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