For you were aliens in the land of Egypt

Alabama’s governor and legislators really, really hate Sooners.

Alabama Republican Gov. Robert Bentley signed on June 9 the nation’s harshest anti-immigration law, surpassing Arizona, while the state’s Christian denominations sat on the sidelines.

“We have a real problem with illegal immigration in this country,” said Bentley, after he signed the bill that passed by a significant margin in both state houses.

A member of First Baptist Church of Tuscaloosa, Bentley said, “I campaigned for the toughest immigration laws and I’m proud of the legislature for working tirelessly to create the strongest immigration bill in the country.”

… House Bill 56 passed in the House of Representatives by a 67-29 vote and was overwhelmingly passed on a 25-7 vote in the Senate.

“A person without valid federal alien registration or other proof of legal presence in the United States would, just for being in Alabama, be guilty of a crime, under a bill passed … by the Legislature,” reported the Birmingham News. “The crime, ‘willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document,’ would be punishable by a $100 fine and 30 days in jail.”

… One of the chief bill sponsors, state Sen. Scott Beason (R-Gardendale), a member of First Baptist Church of Gardendale, told a breakfast gathering in Cullman County earlier this year that Republicans needed to “empty the clip” on the immigration issue, according to the Cullman Times.

“The reality is that if you allow illegal immigration to continue in your area, you will destroy yourself eventually,” said the senator.*

That’s from the sane Baptist site Ethics Daily, which helpfully supplies that information about church membership.

Say you’re a Baptist traveling through or relocating to Gardendale or Tuscaloosa. You might have considered attending the First Baptist Church in one of those cities. You might have thought it was some kind of gathering of Jesus’ followers.

But now you’ve been warned that it isn’t anything like that at all. Now you realize that there is something horribly wrong going on in those congregations — something soul-killing, toxic and twisted beyond all recognition.

But at least now Christians have been helpfully warned to stay far, far away from those houses of horror.

Useful public service, keeping readers abreast of information like that.

Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, Republican state Rep. Ryan Fattman one-ups Beason’s “empty the clip” imagery by declaring open season on Sooners. If you weren’t born in this country, Fattman says, and you can’t produce the proper paperwork condoning your presence, then you have no rights and may be raped or detained or raped with impunity.

I know I said “raped” twice, but that’s because Rep. Fattman is creepily eager to make the case that he and other citizens shouldn’t have to worry about punishment if he or other citizens were to rape Sooners.

Marie Diamond points us to this article from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette:

Mr. Fattman dismissed concerns of some law enforcement officials — cited by the governor — who said using local police to enforce immigration laws could discourage reporting of crime by victims who are illegal immigrants.

Asked if he would be concerned that a woman without legal immigration status was raped and beaten as she walked down the street might be afraid to report the crime to police, Mr. Fattman said he was not worried about those implications.

“My thought is that if someone is here illegally, they should be afraid to come forward,” Mr. Fattman said.

The article goes on to demonstrate that Fattman himself would not be able to pass the citizenship test, which includes several questions about the Bill of Rights:

Mr. Fattman acknowledged that people could be deported after an arrest even if they are not convicted of a crime, under the program in use in more than 30 states.

While citizens have the right to be viewed as innocent until found guilty in court, he said, “I don’t think that principle extends to illegal immigrants.”

He’s wrong about that, of course. The presumption of innocence necessarily applies to all defendants. Their citizenship status is irrelevant. Fattman’s response?

“My philosophy is a little different,” Mr. Fattman said.

His philosophy says that Sooners do not enjoy basic rights. They are presumed guilty. They should be afraid to report crimes against them. And citizens — legal citizens such as, for instance, Ryan Fattman  — ought to be allowed to rape them without fear of punishment.

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* Note to the people of Alabama: When politicians are working this hard to demonize some group, when they’re this desperately intent on distracting you with fear, it always, always, always means they’re up to something else they hope to distract you from.

Don’t fall for that. Don’t look at the flashing fingers held high in the air sprinkling glitter-dust. Watch what the other hand is doing. It’s probably after your wallet.

  • Amaryllis

    It’s not just a War on Women; it’s also a War Against the Poor.

    It also appears to be a War on Children (and schools). It seems that the public schools will be required to determine the legal residency of every student.

    I thought it was the conservatives who objected to schools spending any time on any function other than teaching enough of the “three R’s” to pass the latest, greatest tests.

    Bad enough they want to turn every local police into a department of the INS (regardless of local resources or training); now they want to put that burden on the schools also?

    Is the entire purpose of government, at any level, merely to keep “those people” off our lawn? (Unless, of course, they’ll mow the lawn on the cheap.)

    Makes no sense.

  • Anonymous

    Or a Dickens novel.

  • Lori

    I’ve watched the GOP transform over my lifetime from “the party of Lincoln” into “the Star-Spangled Taliban”.  It’s been terrifying… particularly because their opposition seems to just cave into this hateful rhetoric and the voters seem to eat it up. 

    I recently read an article or blog post somewhere where the writer was talking about the modern GOP. S/he pointed out that their vision for America isn’t the Taliban, it’s Pakistan. 

    Military that eats up a ridiculous % of GDP?  Check

    Nuclear weapons?   Check

    Belligerent relations with other nuclear nations?   Check

    Women have legal rights, but social norms tend to keep them in their place?   Check

    Abortion illegal?  Check

    No QUITLBAG rights?   Check

    Heavy emphasis on religious education?  Check

  • Tonio

    It’s creating a secret unofficial serf/slave class. It’s a feature not a bug, and it’s horrifying.

    Except that people like Fattman generally aren’t the ones hiring undocumented workers. If anything, they perceive themselves as losing their jobs to those workers. Or losing their possessions or tax money.

    Anyone here ever had someone like this complain that “anyone who opposes illegal immigration is automatically branded a racist”? That’s not what’s happening – opponents are being branded as racists if they use terms like “anchor babies” and “welfare class” and “criminal element.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anna-Besmann/59703189 Anna Besmann

    Mostly because they are. Those are pretty blatant dogwhistles.

    Ugh. So your legal status determines whether you have basic human rights. Way to Christian, guys.

     

  • Mackrimin

    First of all, the issue with Jews and Egypt was that the latter didn’t let the former _leave_, or _emigrate_. Using it as an argument against _immigration_ controls seems a bit dishonest. Unless, of course, you are suggesting that being required to carry ID with you and being able to leave if you don’t like that is the same as being a slave in chains?

    But now you’ve been warned that it isn’t anything like that at all. Now
    you realize that there is something horribly wrong going on in those
    congregations — something soul-killing, toxic and twisted beyond all
    recognition.

    Perhaps. Or perhaps not. There’s not enough context to decide: is there a problem with enforcing existing immigration laws? Is that problem bad enough to warrant action? _Would_ this action help, or is it simply a pretext for cops to harass foreign-looking people? Would it help _enough_ to justify likely bad effects? Could these bad effects be eliminated without sacrificing too much effectiveness?

    You may wish to elaborate on these questions a bit on a follow-up blog, since right now the law doesn’t seem quite evil enough for supporting it to be “soul-killing”.

    Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, Republican state Rep. Ryan Fattman one-ups
    Beason’s “empty the clip” imagery by declaring open season on Sooners.
    If you weren’t born in this country, Fattman says, and you can’t produce
    the proper paperwork condoning your presence, then you have no rights
    and may be raped or detained or raped with impunity.

    Well, Fred, if you want to oppose him, all you have to do is point out the obvious conclusion of such a proposition: a foreign workforce of slaves.

    I think there’s enough people unemployed or afraid of their jobs to stop this plan from going through, once they realize they’re the real targets.

  • Anonymous

    Mackrimin: First of all, the issue with Jews and Egypt was that the latter didn’t let the former _leave_, or _emigrate_. Using it as an argument against
    _immigration_ controls seems a bit dishonest. Unless, of course, you are
    suggesting that being required to carry ID with you and being able to
    leave if you don’t like that is the same as being a slave in chains?

    The reference is to Exodus 22:21, when God tells the Israelites “Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt.” Whether or not the current aliens’ situation is precisely comparable to that of the Jews in Egypt doesn’t factor into it at all

  • Amaryllis

    I just hit “Like” when I meant to hit “reply.” Am covered in blushes, because I don’t like it. That’s it, I’m going back to italics.

    What I meant to do, was quote a few proof texts to you, to provide the context for the title.

    Exodus 22:21: Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt.

    Leviticus 13:33-34: When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him.The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born.
    Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your
    God.

    Deuteronomy 24:17: Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice..Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there. That is why I  command you to do this.

    In other words, the point here is not immigration law.

    Well, Fred, if you want to oppose him, all you have to do is point out
    the obvious conclusion of such a proposition: a foreign workforce of
    slaves.

    But, that’s exactly what Fred is doing in this post…

  • Amaryllis

    I just hit “Like” when I meant to hit “reply.” Am covered in blushes, because I don’t like it. That’s it, I’m going back to italics.

    What I meant to do, was quote a few proof texts to you, to provide the context for the title.

    Exodus 22:21: Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt.

    Leviticus 13:33-34: When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him.The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born.
    Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your
    God.

    Deuteronomy 24:17: Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice..Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there. That is why I  command you to do this.

    In other words, the point here is not immigration law.

    Well, Fred, if you want to oppose him, all you have to do is point out
    the obvious conclusion of such a proposition: a foreign workforce of
    slaves.

    But, that’s exactly what Fred is doing in this post…

  • Albanaeon

    Let’s also not forget that Jesus chap chiming in with “Do unto others as you would have done to you.”  Unless of course Mackrimin would like to be someone in a foreign land, trying to make something better for hirself, and be treated as less than human with out any rights or legal recourses…

  • Amaryllis

    My state has just passed a law allowing “undocumented” students to attend state colleges at in-state tuition rates. This is not all that generous a deal: the student has to have spent at least three years in state elementary or secondary schools (i.e., we already have an investment in them). They or their parents have to have paid state taxes (i.e,. they’re supporting state institutions). They’re not eligible for scholarships or financial aid. And I believe they need to start at a community college before being eligible to transfer to a four-year college. In other words, all they get is a chance to pay the local sticker price at the local college, instead of paying the even higher out-of-state rates.

    And the way people are screaming about this, you’d think we were handing out full scholarships to Harvard with every nighttime border crossing.

  • Anonymous

    And the way people are screaming about this, you’d think we were handing
    out full scholarships to Harvard with every nighttime border crossing.

    There’s a wonderful implied concession that the swarthy ones sneaking in are smarter, or smart enough, harder working, or hard-working enough, to beat Junior, in a fair fight, out of what would otherwise be his rightful bed in Straus or Thayer.

    So the fight can’t be allowed to be fair.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=659001961 Brad Ellison

    Man, actions like this make me feel like I need to set Mister Fattman up for an exclusive interview with The Chairleg of Truth. It does not lie.

    No it does not.  And unlike the more popular bowel disruptor, chair legs are readily available in the real world.

  • Anonymous

    “Unless, of course, you are suggesting that being required to carry ID with you and being able to leave if you don’t like that is the same as being a slave in chains?”

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. ”

    Translation: “You want these rights? You can pry them from my cold, dead fingers.”

    It’s not about whether its inconvenient. It isn’t about whether its a good idea. Its about the entire basic idea of this Great Experiment of ours- that we are free, motherfucker.  That we don’t have to prove who we are to any curious Stasi agents- as a matter of fact, we’re entitled to to demand to see the badges of the cops!  We don’t have to carry ID, we don’t have to prove we’re citizens, because- innocent until proven guilty. Hell, life would be a LOT more convenient without those silly “rights.” Imagine how much quicker courts could go through their dockets without the pesky fifth amendment. Imagine how many more drug dealers could be caught without that pain in the ass fourth. But thats not the POINT, dummy.  They aren’t there to make things easier. They’re there to make things harder- harder for those bad, evil people who would strip away ALL our rights. And people like you? Dangerous MORONS like you?  You are, quite literally, the reason Adolph Hitler was neatly, legally, and without fuss, elected into office. And I’ll tell you something- if you’re worried about convenience, or safety?  Hitler’s Germany? VERY safe place. Like, no crime. Very efficient too.  And oh so very nice for all those people who fit the bill of “person.”  

    In other words, shitheads like you are the reason we can’t have nice things.

  • Tonio

    Way to Christian, guys.

    Fred has described several times how RTCs seem to define Christianity as about obedience and allegiance, not about love for others or actions toward others. Not being religious, I can’t claim any knowledge about what truly makes a person a Christian, but I can say that the latter position is by far the most moral one.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    What bothers me is that I cannot see this going forward without a massive upswing in criminal enterprise.  Much like terrorism is fostered in nations with terrible economies and little central authority, crime tends to foster in cities where there is an underclass with no oppertunity for wider social integration.  It is not just the undocumented women who cannot report rape, it is the fact that no one can report anything without risking deportation, and people who have to provide for their families without any legitimate opportunities to do so, and children who have no education and no future adult prospects to risk against crime. 

    Having people that, even if they entered the country illegally, at least can get by with a legitimate job, have access to affordable housing and services, with children who can get fair education that gives them a decent chance at adult life and citizenship, helps to integrate them into the wider social network and decrease crime. 

  • Rider

    I wonder how many illegal workers there are in those states.  IF there are many, AND this sort of measure makes them leave THEN who will do the jobs?

    Ones who come in despite the measures?

    Citizens?

    if Citizens, will pay and conditions change, and will they change enough to eliminate the jobs?  If an illegal nanny works for say $4 an hour, and a citizen one can only be got for $8 an hour, will the nanny job go away?

    Or given the current unemployment, will the citizen take the $4?

    It’s my suspicion that a lot of people think if all undocumented aliens were removed overnight (raptured?) then there would be a lot more jobs for citizens.  I can’t see it as not only are these likely to be at pay and conditions that even desperate ciitzens would baulk at, I suspect a lot of them (eg kitchen hand) are catering to the alien community.

    A lot of citizens picked fruit when that was the only job going, what is it about modern agriculture that means they won’t now?  

    I can’t see these measures as being sensible or proper, but I can see how people could easily think “If there were fewer workers, I might get a job”

  • ako

    Except that people like Fattman generally aren’t the ones hiring
    undocumented workers. If anything, they perceive themselves as losing
    their jobs to those workers. Or losing their possessions or tax money.

    Really?  He’s a state representative and professional politician who also works part-time as a policy analyst.  I suspect that many of the people voting for him are the ones wo think their jobs and tax money are being taken away by foreigners, but Fattman seems to be much more in the “How do I get a maid for cheap?” class than the “If I get laid off at the slaughterhouse, how will I feed my family?” class.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

    but Fattman seems to be much more in the “How do I get a maid for cheap?” class

    Not to mention a maid who will be afraid to report him if he rapes her.

  • Mackrimin

    It’s not about whether its inconvenient. It isn’t about whether its a
    good idea. Its about the entire basic idea of this Great Experiment of
    ours- that we are free, motherfucker.

    Really? What country was it again that runs Gitmo and outsources torture of prisoners, both specifically to circumvent its own laws about rights?

    And since you mention Stasi, I feel it fitting to inform you that your own country runs _several_ such shady agencies: CIA, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, etc. And especially the CIA is well-known for supporting several brutal tyrannies – it _easily_ out-evils Stasi.

    Put your house in order before you start boasting about it and projecting your sexual fantasies on others.

    That we don’t have to prove who we are to any curious Stasi
    agents- as a matter of fact, we’re entitled to to demand to see the
    badges of the cops! We don’t have to carry ID, we don’t have to prove
    we’re citizens, because- innocent until proven guilty.

    You _do_ have to prove your identity when you’re suspected of a crime. Crossing the border illegally is a crime. That leaves the question: is simply looking foreign sufficient cause for reasonable suspicion?

    You may disagree with this procedure, of course, but that’s not what’s under discussion here, and making Stasi and Hitler references isn’t a convincing argument.

    Hell, life would
    be a LOT more convenient without those silly “rights.” Imagine how much
    quicker courts could go through their dockets without the pesky fifth
    amendment. Imagine how many more drug dealers could be caught without
    that pain in the ass fourth.

    Since I haven’t suggested suspending any of those rights, I fail to see the relevance of your rant. However, I contest your assertion of convenience: life _wasn’t_ convienient without them, that’s why they were specifically listed in the first place.

    But thats not the POINT, dummy.  They
    aren’t there to make things easier. They’re there to make things harder-
    harder for those bad, evil people who would strip away ALL our rights.
    And people like you? Dangerous MORONS like you?  You are, quite
    literally, the reason Adolph Hitler was neatly, legally, and without
    fuss, elected into office. And I’ll tell you something- if you’re
    worried about convenience, or safety?  Hitler’s Germany? VERY safe
    place. Like, no crime. Very efficient too.  And oh so very nice for all
    those people who fit the bill of “person.”

    No, Hitler was elected into power because he painted himself as the only source of stability against dangerous radicals who’s blind adherence to ideology would destroy Germany. At the same time, he promised to right the wrongs of World War I peace treaty and lead Germany to greatness – it’s own “Manifest Destiny”, if you will.

    Which gets us to the next point:

    In other words, shitheads like you are why we can’t have nice things

    Really now? Because it seems to me that _I_ have done nothing except ask for more information, while _you_ have attacked me for deviating from your ideology. Guess which one makes for a better follower for the next Hitler?

  • Mackrimin

    Let’s also not forget that Jesus chap chiming in with “Do unto others as
    you would have done to you.”  Unless of course Mackrimin would like to
    be someone in a foreign land, trying to make something better for
    hirself, and be treated as less than human with out any rights or legal
    recourses..

    Whenever I’ve been in a foreign country, I’ve been required to carry identification papers with me. It has never occurred to me that this might make me “less than human”. It has always seemed a perfectly reasonable requirement to me: it’s someone else’s home, I can’t expect to have the same rights there as I do in my own.

    Nor do I have any idea why you think I’d want anyone to be without rights or legal recourses. Perhaps you could quote where I said so?

  • Anonymous

     I can’t expect to have the same rights there as I do in my own.

    Except this isn’t “You can’t put your feet up on my couch.” This is a discussion of basic human rights, which are universal.  I have the right to free speech. Period. A government that doesn’t allow me to speak freely is illegitimate, not a government at all, but a collection of thugs in fancy suits.  Civil Rights do not arise from governments, or even from the will of the people- they are inherent in nature.  one might even say people are  “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…”

    What you are doing is claiming those rights are fungible, are alienable, just by crossing a border. Now, there are some rights you don’t have in other countries. Voting in that country’s elections, for example. However, the most basic human rights- trial by jury, free speech, due process, the protection of the police against rapists, the ability to get justice when you are raped- are all un-fucking-alienable. And by suggesting that they are alienable, that you can be placed outside the rights due to all human beings by as simple a thing as a border is the single most dangerous idea I’ve ever heard in my life. 
    And since you mention Stasi, I feel it fitting to inform you that your own country runs _several_ such shady agencies: CIA, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, etc. And especially the CIA is well-known for supporting several brutal tyrannies – it _easily_ out-evils Stasi.I’ll give you the CIA, although you do know the FBI are just fancy, federal cops, right?  But I fail to see how supporting evil regimes is worse than being the secret police of one of the most evil regimes in history.  And I never claimed we were perfect- I have no idea where you’re from, but I’ll bet you every dime in my bank account I can find an atrocity your country has committed in the last sixty years.   Here’s a tip. bright spark. EVERY nation has committed atrocities. Every, single one. Well, ok, maybe not Micronesia, but pretty much every other one. England? What they did to India. India? Race riots, poverty, corruption.  France?  Vietnam- oh yes, the entire reason we got involved in that stupid war that everyone still blames us for?  The French wanted desperately to hang onto their last colony, and we stepped in to help our ally. So much for their constant whining about everyone else’s wars.

    So yes, we’ve done bad things. So has your country.  Get over it, and try to move on with your life. 

    You _do_ have to prove your identity when you’re suspected of a crime. Crossing the border illegally is a crime. That leaves the question: is simply looking foreign sufficient cause for reasonable suspicion?The answer to that question is “no.” Actually, the answer to that question is “Fucking CHRIST, NO!” Actually, the answer is “FUCKING CHRIST NO!” followed by a quick kick in the balls to whatever racist prick suggested it.

    You may disagree with this procedure, of course, but that’s not what’s under discussion here, and making Stasi and Hitler references isn’t a convincing argument.Actually, the treatment of immigrants, illegal or no, is EXACTLY whats being discussed here.

    Since I haven’t suggested suspending any of those rights, I fail to see the relevance of your rant. However, I contest your assertion of convenience: life _wasn’t_ convienient without them, that’s why they were specifically listed in the first place.

    Actually, you have suggested suspending those rights- specifically, the fourth amendment rights.

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.Second- life was very, very convenient for most people with power- which is why it took ten thousand years after we invented writing to come up with “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights” Which is why it took Magna Carta and ten thousand other tiny steps forward to create the idea of true liberty. And what you’re suggesting is a step backwards.No, Hitler was elected into power because he painted himself as the only source of stability against dangerous radicals who’s blind adherence to ideology would destroy Germany. At the same time, he promised to right the wrongs of World War I peace treaty and lead Germany to greatness – it’s own “Manifest Destiny”, if you will.

    Actually, Hitler was elected into power on a platform of race-baiting (blaming the Jews for losing WWI) fear (the reichstag fire) and vengeance. 
    Really now? Because it seems to me that _I_ have done nothing except ask for more information, while _you_ have attacked me for deviating from your ideology. Guess which one makes for a better follower for the next Hitler?“Why, I’ve done nothing, nothing at all, I mean, its not like I SAID I supported them! I only insinuated, obfuscated, and weaseled around the issue, all the time suggesting it wasn’t really all that bad!  I mean, its not like thats ‘supporting’ them, right?”

  • Anonymous

     I can’t expect to have the same rights there as I do in my own.

    Except this isn’t “You can’t put your feet up on my couch.” This is a discussion of basic human rights, which are universal.  I have the right to free speech. Period. A government that doesn’t allow me to speak freely is illegitimate, not a government at all, but a collection of thugs in fancy suits.  Civil Rights do not arise from governments, or even from the will of the people- they are inherent in nature.  one might even say people are  “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…”

    What you are doing is claiming those rights are fungible, are alienable, just by crossing a border. Now, there are some rights you don’t have in other countries. Voting in that country’s elections, for example. However, the most basic human rights- trial by jury, free speech, due process, the protection of the police against rapists, the ability to get justice when you are raped- are all un-fucking-alienable. And by suggesting that they are alienable, that you can be placed outside the rights due to all human beings by as simple a thing as a border is the single most dangerous idea I’ve ever heard in my life. 
    And since you mention Stasi, I feel it fitting to inform you that your own country runs _several_ such shady agencies: CIA, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, etc. And especially the CIA is well-known for supporting several brutal tyrannies – it _easily_ out-evils Stasi.I’ll give you the CIA, although you do know the FBI are just fancy, federal cops, right?  But I fail to see how supporting evil regimes is worse than being the secret police of one of the most evil regimes in history.  And I never claimed we were perfect- I have no idea where you’re from, but I’ll bet you every dime in my bank account I can find an atrocity your country has committed in the last sixty years.   Here’s a tip. bright spark. EVERY nation has committed atrocities. Every, single one. Well, ok, maybe not Micronesia, but pretty much every other one. England? What they did to India. India? Race riots, poverty, corruption.  France?  Vietnam- oh yes, the entire reason we got involved in that stupid war that everyone still blames us for?  The French wanted desperately to hang onto their last colony, and we stepped in to help our ally. So much for their constant whining about everyone else’s wars.

    So yes, we’ve done bad things. So has your country.  Get over it, and try to move on with your life. 

    You _do_ have to prove your identity when you’re suspected of a crime. Crossing the border illegally is a crime. That leaves the question: is simply looking foreign sufficient cause for reasonable suspicion?The answer to that question is “no.” Actually, the answer to that question is “Fucking CHRIST, NO!” Actually, the answer is “FUCKING CHRIST NO!” followed by a quick kick in the balls to whatever racist prick suggested it.

    You may disagree with this procedure, of course, but that’s not what’s under discussion here, and making Stasi and Hitler references isn’t a convincing argument.Actually, the treatment of immigrants, illegal or no, is EXACTLY whats being discussed here.

    Since I haven’t suggested suspending any of those rights, I fail to see the relevance of your rant. However, I contest your assertion of convenience: life _wasn’t_ convienient without them, that’s why they were specifically listed in the first place.

    Actually, you have suggested suspending those rights- specifically, the fourth amendment rights.

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.Second- life was very, very convenient for most people with power- which is why it took ten thousand years after we invented writing to come up with “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights” Which is why it took Magna Carta and ten thousand other tiny steps forward to create the idea of true liberty. And what you’re suggesting is a step backwards.No, Hitler was elected into power because he painted himself as the only source of stability against dangerous radicals who’s blind adherence to ideology would destroy Germany. At the same time, he promised to right the wrongs of World War I peace treaty and lead Germany to greatness – it’s own “Manifest Destiny”, if you will.

    Actually, Hitler was elected into power on a platform of race-baiting (blaming the Jews for losing WWI) fear (the reichstag fire) and vengeance. 
    Really now? Because it seems to me that _I_ have done nothing except ask for more information, while _you_ have attacked me for deviating from your ideology. Guess which one makes for a better follower for the next Hitler?“Why, I’ve done nothing, nothing at all, I mean, its not like I SAID I supported them! I only insinuated, obfuscated, and weaseled around the issue, all the time suggesting it wasn’t really all that bad!  I mean, its not like thats ‘supporting’ them, right?”

  • Toniocorelone

    Ako, my larger point is that whites who perceive themselves as not being wealthy or powerful (that’s an important clarifier) feel threatened by the current demographic trends, because those will likely mean the demise of white privilege for good. I know many such whites who earn good livings but still have that resentment. In some cases, yes, people like Fattman may worry about being forced to pay more than slave wages to their household help. I’m suggesting that for most, their fears are much greater, what Public Enemy called “fear of a black planet.” Or in this case, they likely fear a Hispanic majority controlling every aspect of society, acting exactly like the “white” majority did for centuries. We’ve already seen how they’ve reacted to having a black president.

  • Tonio

    To clarify, I’m not suggesting a Hispanic majority would inevitably discriminate against “whites,” but proposing that resentful whites fear that outcome.

  • Tonio

    The idea requiring citizens to prove through national ID that they’re not in the country illegally is not only against the Fourth Amendment but is also morally repugnant. We know damn well that anyone who looks “foreign” will be asked to produce that ID far more frequently than others.

    Anyone remember this story? Show Us Your Papers So We Can Make Millions… Apparently the Arizona law was the work of private prison profiteers.

  • Josh

    It was a great Nick Kristof column in the NYT.

  • Lori

    Thank you! I was never going to remember that. 

    For those who want to read original, and vastly superior, version of the Tea Party Utopia = Pakistan argument it’s here: http://www.newser.com/story/120214/nicholas-kristof-tea-party-utopia-already-existsand-its-pakistan.html

  • Lori

    Thank you! I was never going to remember that. 

    For those who want to read original, and vastly superior, version of the Tea Party Utopia = Pakistan argument it’s here: http://www.newser.com/story/120214/nicholas-kristof-tea-party-utopia-already-existsand-its-pakistan.html

  • Mackrimin

    Except this isn’t “You can’t put your feet up on my couch.” This is a
    discussion of basic human rights, which are universal.

    Who’s version of them? Because there’s the United States Constitution, the Un Declaration of Human Rights, Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights (which this blog violates constantly, name section XII c), and undoubtedly lots of others. Which one of these is universal? Or shall we look for the lowest common denominator? Because I’ll tell you, it’ll be low indeed.

    I have the right
    to free speech. Period. A government that doesn’t allow me to speak
    freely is illegitimate, not a government at all, but a collection of
    thugs in fancy suits.

    So a government that doesn’t follow _your_ ideals is illegitimate? _Really_?

    Coming to think of it, there’s not a single government on Earth that lets you speak completely freely (no, not even the US – see obscenity laws), so either they are all illegitimate, or you are drawing an arbitrary line somewhere, presumably based on what you’re used to in your own country.

    Civil Rights do not arise from governments, or
    even from the will of the people- they are inherent in nature.

    No they aren’t. If they were, it would be impossible to violate them – that’s what “inherent in nature” means. You _can’t_ violate conservation of energy, but you sure as Hell can silence someone you don’t like.

    Civil Rights exist because We the People have decided it’s nice having them. They didn’t exist before that, and they don’t exist anywhere we or the local populace haven’t enforced them.

    one
    might even say people are  “endowed by their Creator with certain
    unalienable Rights…”

    Claiming divine authority is an age-old trick to give legitimacy to ones claims. Do you have any proof of it?

    What you are doing is claiming those rights are fungible, are alienable,
    just by crossing a border. Now, there are some rights you don’t have in
    other countries. Voting in that country’s elections, for example.
    However, the most basic human rights- trial by jury, free speech, due
    process, the protection of the police against rapists, the ability to
    get justice when you are raped- are all un-fucking-alienable. And by
    suggesting that they are alienable, that you can be placed outside the
    rights due to all human beings by as simple a thing as a border is the single most dangerous idea I’ve ever heard in my life.

    I haven’t suggested any such thing. I have no idea why you assume I have. I have suggested that being required to carry identification with you when in a foreign country is not breaking any of those inalienable rights.

    But I fail to see how supporting evil regimes is worse than being the secret police of one of the most evil regimes in history.

    Stasi served the DDR, which is nowhere near the “most evil regime” in history – simply your standard bureaucratic oppressor. The CIA, on the other hand, has destroyed numerous democracies and installed brutal tyrannies in their place, given weapons to murderous madmen, trained death patrols, etc.

    The answer to that question is “no.” Actually, the answer to that
    question is “Fucking CHRIST, NO!” Actually, the answer is “FUCKING
    CHRIST NO!” followed by a quick kick in the balls to whatever racist
    prick suggested it.

    You seem to have an issue with violence. You’re also being sexist. Perhaps you should calm down a bit?

    Now, the answer may be “no”. It may also be “yes”. It depends on whether illegal immigration is a serious problem in the area, and if race is a good indicator that you’re likely an illegal immigrant. It might be, if said immigration happens between two racially different areas. In that case, one must weight the inconvenience to some of your citizens against the potential benefits.

    None of these questions can be answered by obscenity or threats of violence. All such tantrums do is make me wonder if you’ve really understood the point of those rights you go on about – namely, that some thug doesn’t come and “kick you in the balls” if you say something he doesn’t like.

    Actually, you have suggested suspending those rights- specifically, the fourth amendment rights.

    “The
    right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and
    effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be
    violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause,
    supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place
    to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    Notice the word “unreasonable” there? I’ve asked if this is “unreasonable” or not.

    “Why, I’ve done nothing, nothing at all, I mean, its not like I SAID I
    supported them! I only insinuated, obfuscated, and weaseled around the
    issue, all the time suggesting it wasn’t really all that bad!  I mean,
    its not like thats ‘supporting’ them, right?”

    Insinuated what and how?

    Obfuscated what and how?

    Weaseled around what issue and how?

    Unless, of course, you are suggesting that asking for information before deciding my stance, rather than jumping into conclusions based on a half-page partially quoted article about a law I haven’t even read in an area I don’t know facing a situation I also don’t know, is somehow bad?

  • Camelliagirl101

    One of the big problems for the Hebrews was getting into Egypt when their homeland wasn’t able to support them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/revalexbeaube Alex Beaube

    I am a clergy member of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church, and we are not “Sitting on the sidelines”. In fact one of our clergy has drafted a letter of protest that is being signed by many clergy in our conference. We are also coming together to organize a response to this travesty of justice.

    Here is a link to our letter

    http://www.northalabamaumc.org/blogs/detail/574

  • http://www.facebook.com/revalexbeaube Alex Beaube

    I am a clergy member of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church, and we are not “Sitting on the sidelines”. In fact one of our clergy has drafted a letter of protest that is being signed by many clergy in our conference. We are also coming together to organize a response to this travesty of justice.

    Here is a link to our letter

    http://www.northalabamaumc.org/blogs/detail/574

  • http://twitter.com/Mjausson Apel Mjausson

    With particular emphasis on female staff in often-exploited and vulnerable positions, eg domestic help (Cf Whitman, Schwarzenegger etc). Where is the PayPal button that allows me to contribute to this worthy cause?

  • http://twitter.com/Mjausson Apel Mjausson

    With particular emphasis on female staff in often-exploited and vulnerable positions, eg domestic help (Cf Whitman, Schwarzenegger etc). Where is the PayPal button that allows me to contribute to this worthy cause?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Remember, the immigration of the Sons of Jacob into Egypt was Pharaoh-sanctioned. The Biblical Israelites weren’t illegal immigrants (except at Heshbon and in Cisjordan), they were illegal emigrants! And you remember the events of Joshua and Deuteronomy.


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