Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A follow-on post regarding Tancredo's "alarmism" on immigration... (poster's name excised)

p.s. The "ragging on Mexicans", etc. is directed at someone else, not at anything I said.

Anyone who thinks that Mexico is a threat to the United States, aside from their deliciously artery-clogging food, is living in fantasy land. If anything, without the US, the Mexican economy would collapse. And these Mexicanos who cross the border, their kids speak both languages, and their grand kids speak English. This is the way it's always, always been in the U.S. Little Joey Guiterrez is going to be American as apple pie. Assimilation, integration. Don't believe me? Why don't you speak German, or whatever language your folks got off the boat speaking?

And um, hello? [B]THAT'S WHY ANYONE COMES TO AMERICA TO BEGIN WITH![/B] To find a job and be safe from the dangers of your home country. You think the Constitution means boo when your family is hungry and threatened by the Tzar/Nazis/Mexican Druglords? America is a golden land (built by immigrants, whites and slaves altogether). You come here first for a better life. That's why my mother's people came here from Germany at the end of WW1. And my father's people ILLEGALLY IMMIGRATED in the friggin' Mayflower, STOLE Indian jobs in Massachusetts by farming on their land, and built this great damn country.
People come to America as IMMIGRANTS. They become Americans when they accept and defend the values of the Constitution. And as I said before, Latinos - and yes, even illegal ones - play a HUGE role in the United States military nowadays.

You think your grandparents came to this country with lofty ideals? You think your spit don't stink? 80-150 years ago, all the white folks on this board were their generation's Mexican. Uneducated, poor and desperate for a better life. Especially you damn Italians and Irish. Came off the boat like locusts. Took 50 years to weed out the mafiosos from the pissanos. Please. And you want to rag on Mexicans? Please.

First, ****, let me say that I agree with a great deal of what you say. And I would venture to guess -- from what I know about him -- that Tom Tancredo would agree with you as well. But I think sometimes it's possible to believe one rational thing so strongly that it blinds any consideration of other rational points of view.

Secondly, let me say that I know many Mexican immigrants -- as well as many Vietnamese, Korean, Cuban, etc. -- who are some of the hardest working people I know. We should be proud to have them in this country, provided they are here legally and are law-abiding citizens, which many of them are.

But as someone (probably Tancredo) recently summed up about as well as anyone can, why should we welcome people to this country whose very first act on entering this country was to break the law? They have right up front demonstrated an unwillingness to live by the rules, laws and customs of the United States of America.

******, your relatives did not break any laws getting into this country. They came for jobs. They contrast stunningly with the illegal immigrants of today, simply by the fact that they entered this country legally, meaning to start a new life and to INVEST their hearts and souls in this country.

When I watched a pro-immigrant march through Denver recently -- thousands of marchers -- I saw 100 Mexican flags for every American flag they had. That shows that they are more proud of their former heritage than they are of their new country, and it demonstrates just how committed they are to the US -- not at all (as you say!).

I recently saw video footage on one of those "extreme videos" shows of a boatloat of Haitian immigrants the Coast Guard intercepted before they reached Florida. They were also overloaded and in danger of sinking, and knew it. When the USCG pulled up alongside, there was a stampede of people wanting to get onto the boat. They were so desperate that they actually capsized their own boat because there were too many people and they weren't following the rules. This can be a metaphor for what is happening in America today, and for why there need to be rules for immigration, and those rules need to be followed.

You earlier said that illegal immigrants pay for their stay by paying sales tax. In my opinion, that's a vastly distorted argument. First, many Mexican immigrants come here to work, make lots of money under the table, and send most of it to their families back home in Mexico. Then, many of them return to Mexico, stay, and return again later to repeat the process. They pay very little in the way of sales taxes -- just enough to keep themselves fed -- they pay no income taxes (some do, but very few), no social security taxes (again, some do, but not many), no payroll taxes, etc. They may end up costing the US very little also, except for forgone taxes for the minor services they consume, but if they ever get sick or injured, they are 100% on the taxpayer to be taken care of. The high cost of uncompensated Medicare treatment for a few illegals in this category far outweighs any benefits from those who never get injured.

Next, there are the illegals whose entire families are here. Generally, the man will work, producing none of the paycheck taxes, but then the needs of the family pay for some of that in sales taxes. But this in no way makes up for the fact that the man isn't paying income tax, SSI, payroll tax, etc., because a legal American citizen also pays those same sales taxes PLUS all of the others. Furthermore, in most cities every child here from these families receives a public education (about $5,000 a year), plus free lunch (another couple thousand or more a year) -- this burden is entirely upon the backs of the taxpayers, and in many communities it means that working parents are paying for not only their own childrens' education, but for a large share of the education of the illegal students in their school (this issue alone is breaking America's public school systems). Some of these illegal families receive public assistance for housing, utilities, or other needs (depending on which state and city). And, like the single worker mentioned above, these families -- grandmother, mom, dad, kids, etc. -- are mostly on Medicare for any illnesses or injuries. And these costs often run into the tens of thousands of dollars for each individual.

There is no way at all that an illegal immigrant individual or family is more of a resource for this country than a liability. The millions of illegal immigrants in the US today cost the taxpayers tens or hundreds of millions of dollars every year.

In Defense of Tancredo

This is a post I made to a public politics forum I often post to -- I came upon a bunch of Europeans and liberal Americans making fun of and abusing Congressman Tom Tancredo, and I couldn't let it go. Please note that this is not an endorsement of Tancredo's potential Presidential bid -- I'm currently supporting a different Tancredo-style conservative named John Cox ( But I couldn't let them get away with maligning Tancredo as if he were some kind of nutcase.

I would personally rather Tancredo run for Wayne Allard's seat in the US Senate (or Bob Schaffer). The Denver Post claimed Tancredo today suggested Scott McInnis would be good for that seat, but I have trouble believing that -- McInnis isn't my kind of conservative, and isn't Tancredo's kind of conservative either.

Anyway... The Post:

Tancredo himself has said that he doesn't think he could win, and so he probably won't run. But he might run for the purpose of getting the immigration issue before the public. Mere noise, rather than action, is partially effective in doing that.

I know Tancredo personally -- not as a friend, but as someone who I've spoken to on numerous occasions, who I've watched closely, and who spent 20 minutes with me and my wife on a boat (with others, but the conversation was just us) chatting about personal stuff -- stuff you could never imagine talking with a US Congressman about, because you generally assume they're arrogant, guarded and busy with other things (and you'd generally be right!).

Tancredo is not like that. He's one of the coolest people I know -- one of the most open, most honest, most intelligent, most sincere, and most humble people I know in all of politics. He's intelligently conversant on a wide variety of issues, including education (that's his background -- he was a public school teacher), fiscal policy (taxes, spending, budgets, etc.), foreign affairs, foreign trade, etc.

Has he said outrageous things? Yes -- that's how he gets people's attention. As he's said himself, he likes to raise the red banner of revolution, in hopes of getting a reasonable modification in the government's policies. He's good at getting attention! Perhaps a dozen members of the US House have better name recognition than he does -- out of hundreds!

He picked immigration as his main issue because it's something important to him, and because no one else really had the stomach to bring it to the forefront like he does. Why? Partly because they know that everyone who makes it a major issue is going to get tarred with the label "racist", whether they are or not. That's just how that issue is these days -- important issues like that cannot be discussed without names and accusations being brought out.

Is he a racist? No. His family came over with a lot of other Italians as immigrants, and were mistreated for it. He understands the plight of immigrants, but there is a fundamental difference between what his family did and what families today are doing -- the Tancredos got into the United States legally. That's a sound and realistic distinction. They didn't break laws to get here.

A Colorado Hispanic magazine interviewed Tancredo recently, and the interviewer admitted that his impression on meeting and speaking with Tancredo was exactly the opposite of his expectations from what he'd heard about him. Tancredo raised reasonable concerns, expressed sympathy with the plight of many of these immigrants, but maintained that the issue of jobs and the adherence to the rule of law are important. The Hispanic interviewer came away understanding the immigration issue very differently, and found some common ground with Tancredo, even on such a polarizing issue.

I also happen to know that a good many of Tom's supporters are Hispanics whose families came to the US legally, and who resent illegal immigration just the same as do most immigrants of other ethnicities.

Anyway... No one else is going to tell you these things, so I figured I'd better. You can believe me or not.

Tancredo is one of my very favorite people -- he's earned my respect, and there aren't very many politicians at all (even among those who I support!) who can claim that.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Free Speech

Sen. Salazar,

Surely you are aware of a new bill -- I believe it's SB 1 -- which would restrict lobbyists. There is a provision within it -- Sec. 220 -- which would drastically and negatively impact grassroots organizations.

Certain groups speak for me, and I am a private citizen who otherwise doesn't have much of a voice. Please do not lock me out of the political process by putting grassroots organizations into a box with Sec. 220.

Thank you!


Monday, January 1, 2007

The Case for the War On Terror

I post comments in many different fora, and sometimes I will re-post here things I have posted elsewhere. This particular post is a response to criticism of the War on Terror and, specifically, a response to someone else's contention that Iraq had nothing to do with the War on Terror. I apologize if it is somewhat rambling -- I'm responding to several contentions at once -- but I believe it is reasonably comprehensive, which is a good way to lead into what I'm sure will be further discussion of Iraq and the War on Terror on this blog.

My Post:

The evidence supports increasing connections between terrorists and state governments.

Implicated by the evidence include: Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, N.Korea, Pakistan, Libya and Saudi Arabia to one degree or another.

Someone earlier mentioned the ISI -- that's the Pakistani intelligence service which basically set up the Taliban puppet government in Afghanistan which was later suborned and more or less taken over by Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda operatives. The ISI had a life of its own to the extent which Pres. Musharraf allowed up until the point sometime in September 2001 when US diplomats approached him and said either you can be our enemy and we will dismantle your government or you can desist in all support of terrorists, collar and manage the ISI, and become an ally in the US-led War on Terror. Given this choice, Musharraf "chose wisely."

We have seen terrorist groups exist for decades, without much accomplishing anything but a few dead soldiers and/or civilians. But with the advent of state supported terrorism, the terrorists have vastly increased their capabilities. Part of it is the funding. But more importantly, is bases. The terrorists get protected havens from which to plan and train for attacks, and then to retreat to when the deeds were done.

For this, Sudan, Somalia (whose government didn't really exist for a decade-or-two until last week), and Afghanistan were particularly useful, and northern Iraq also played a part. Osama bin Laden basically moved into anarchic situations with little or no operating governments, and took over the existing infrastructure -- trading chaos for order on his terms. He used these shell-governments like the Taliban to mask and support his buildup of terrorist schemes, several of which succeeded in being more successful than any previous terrorist attacks, a few of which were defeated, but which culminated in 9/11.

While bin Laden used these geographic locations as his base, the "state support" for his operations came from a loosely defined cabal which included several of the aforementioned governments. Proving which ones is difficult. Of these governments supporting anti-US terrorism, one of the most active was Iran. There is also some evidence that Iraq either directly or tacitly supported and or tolerated the terrorists who were working to undermine Saddam's declared enemy the United States.

We know from the UN that Iraq had WMDs at some point. There was never ay evidence that they were destroyed en masse. Inspectors believed that they still existed as late as 2003, but their efforts to prove this were foiled by constant interference by the Iraqi government (in direct violation of several UN resolutions).

There was also an attempted attack, in 2004 or 2005, made by terrorists coming out of Syria launched against Amman, Jordan, which was comprised of WMDs which the Syrians have never been known to have in their possession. The Iraqis DID have these WMDs (as catalogued and quantified by the UN inspectors before they were kicked out and/or played with by Saddam's government), which leads one to an obvious assumption that they were originally Iraqi WMDs which were transferred to Syria, and from there to terrorists.

This scenario -- the transfer of WMDs from Iraq to Syria -- is admitted as a possibility by the Duelfer Report, with some evidence cited, and is seemingly borne out by the Amman attack (which was intercepted and defeated en-route, before they could kill an estimated 1,000-10,000 Jordanians).

The whole list of connections between and with terrorist groups, as well as the presumed transfer of WMDs mentioned above all provide a framework for believing there is/was a fairly sophisticated cabalist network of anti-US and/or rogue governments supporting anti-US terrorism.

The Bush Doctrine is basically to treat these governments which support terrorism against the US as if they were responsible for the actions of the terrorists, which -- let's be real -- they are!

Therefore, Iraq, if it had any connections with terrorists (and I and many others believe they had plenty), then they were a valid target in the War on Terror. So, too, are other governments listed here. If we went into Iran tomorrow I'd be all for it. Or Syria.

Afghanistan was the obvious first target in this war against states who support terrorism, and Iraq was the second, primarily because they were the weakest of these states. If internal support had existed to continue the War on Terror, perhaps further steps would have been taken. However, support for the War on Terror today is questionable.

I believe the primary reason the American Public is not behind the War is that these things have not been adequately explained to them. One could blame the Bush Administration for this, and it would be valid to do so, but as responsible is the fact that the American news media drowns out the President's voice with its incessant antiwar drumbeat which crows over and over again about the deaths and risks and despair, and allows no room for hope that something could be accomplished through this war (which, of course, would be much easier without the active participation of the American media in the anti-war effort).