'I decided I was going to be the mayor for everybody'

This, from CNN, is a beautiful story about an impressive man, Paul Bridges, mayor of tiny Uvalda, Georgia: “Republican mayor in the South becomes unlikely advocate for immigrants.”

Bridges is an unlikely soldier on the front lines of the nation’s immigration debate. The 58-year-old native Southerner describes himself as a conservative Republican. For years, he knew little about immigrants but didn’t lack strong opinions about them: “They were just low-class people,” he recalled. “They weren’t even able to speak English.”

Bridges’ English is laced with a folksy drawl; he tosses out phrases such as “heck no” and “that just flew all over me.” But he can switch into the singsongy Spanish of a Mexican farmworker. And he counts immigrants among his closest friends.

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

… Bridges is waging a deeply personal battle.

Enforcement of the Georgia law could put him in prison and tear apart the families of some of his closest friends.

In his City Hall office, just a few feet away from a handbook for Georgia mayors and council members, he keeps a glass paperweight engraved with a Bible verse.

A family of illegal immigrants gave it to him for Christmas.

What’s most inspiring to me about this story is Bridges’ account of how his views on immigration came to change. This is a conversion story, a personal testimony, the story of a man being born again:

Bridges knew immigrants were a growing labor force on South Georgia’s farms, but he never heard or saw them.

That changed one afternoon in 1999 when he was looking for lasagna ingredients at a Soperton grocery store.

A brown-skinned couple caught his eye. From the way they leaned toward each other, he knew they were deeply in love. Words tumbled from their mouths — a series of sounds without meaning for Bridges. He listened anyway, wishing he could understand.

He spotted them walking outside the store, plastic grocery bags in hand. “Do ya’ll wanna lift?” he asked. They looked at him quizzically, so he tried again, “Do ya’ll wanna ride?”

The couple and another man piled into his car, pointing the way to their destination a few miles away: two rundown trailers in the middle of a cotton field. Bridges dropped them off and went home to make dinner.

But he couldn’t get what he’d seen out of his mind. Nearly 30 people lived in the two trailers.

A few hours later, Bridges went back to the cotton field, carrying lasagna and his daughter’s Spanish-English dictionary. It was the beginning of a whirlwind journey into a new world that would change his life.

People he had never noticed embraced him. They taught him new words, served him soup and showed him the pictures of their children taped to the trailer’s walls.

“It made me realize that I need to take another look at myself. … It really brought out the ‘me’ in me,” he said.

Read the whole thing.

Paul Bridges is facing an uphill battle against overwhelming odds in fighting Georgia’s current wave of anti-immigrant sentiment, but read the whole thing. He’s stronger than anyone he’s up against.

Stay in touch with the Slacktivist on Facebook:

'To keep oneself unstained by the world'
'We must love one another or die'
Postcards from the culture war (12.1.16)
The Salt Lake Remonstrance: Mormons are out-Baptist-ing Baptists (in a good way)
  • http://post-modernenlightenment.blogspot.com Enigma32

    What’s this… a Republican showing COMPASSION?

    Holy… I need to lay down… /disbelief

    I applaud the good mayor. I suspect if you set us down in a room we would never get along on anything else, but at least we could come together on this.

  • Matri

    What’s this… a Republican showing COMPASSION?

    Holy… I need to lay down… /disbelief</blockquote
    I'm telling you, the pigs haven't started flying yet.

  • Matri

    Argh, I screwed up the HTML.

  • Anonymous

    Only because he is directly affected.  One of the biggest difference between Republican and Democratic politics is that the former lacks empathy, and lacks the ability to place themselves in another’s shoes.  Once you realize this, it will become obvious in every story you read.  Republican politicians only fight for things that affect them directly.

  • Anonymous

    ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS AGAINST THE LAW

    HOW HARD IS THIS TO UNDERSTAND?

  • http://post-modernenlightenment.blogspot.com Enigma32

    c’mon poe, do a different trick. Old trick is old.

  • Anonymous

    So, pointing out the Emperor’s lack of clothes is trolling now?

  • ConfusedReaderofComments

    Who are you and what did you do with the soul of the person’s body you’re inhabiting?

  • Anonymous

    ANSWER THIS QUESTION.

    WHY SHOULD ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION BE TOLERATED?

    THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO BE IN THE NATION. THEY DID NOT GO THROUGH THE LEGAL CHANNELS. THEY ARE IN VIOLATION OF THE LAW. IT’S NOT A MATTER OF COMPASSION.

  • Rikalous

    ANSWER THIS QUESTION.

    WHY SHOULD ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION BE TOLERATED?

    Do you think ConfusedReaderofComments is obliged to answer EVERY question ze’s asked? Do celebrities personally answer every e-mail, twitter, etc. they get, even if the asker uses the caps lock of AUTHORITY?

  • ConfusedReaderofComments

    Compared to a celebrity.  I like it.  :)

  • Green Eggs and Ham

    Good thing the Native Americans couldn’t enforce their anti-immigration policies several years back. /s

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=752002772 Andrew Glasgow

    You, sir, are a troll.

    That said, the point you raise ought to be addressed.

    Some people think that undocumented immigrants are simply taking shortcuts to get into the U.S.A. before they otherwise would be allowed to. This is not the case. Most of them would never have had any way to immigrate legally. Unskilled workers with no close relatives here and no employers willing to sponsor them have no way of legally immigrating. These people have only two choices; remain in the country where they are currently living a life of desperation, or come to the U.S.A. and take the risk that has the potential for lifting themselves out of the poverty of their origins.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=752002772 Andrew Glasgow

    You, sir, are a troll.

    That said, the point you raise ought to be addressed.

    Some people think that undocumented immigrants are simply taking shortcuts to get into the U.S.A. before they otherwise would be allowed to. This is not the case. Most of them would never have had any way to immigrate legally. Unskilled workers with no close relatives here and no employers willing to sponsor them have no way of legally immigrating. These people have only two choices; remain in the country where they are currently living a life of desperation, or come to the U.S.A. and take the risk that has the potential for lifting themselves out of the poverty of their origins.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    In that case, we need to strengthen labor unions here in the U.S.  Maybe make some broad network of them?  If the union itself is recognized as an incorporated labor placement agency, it should have access to a lot of the same protections.   

    Or am I revealing my ignorance? 

  • ConfusedReaderofComments

    Well, first of all, it’d be super great if you’d turn off your caps lock because it’s not polite to yell at someone when having a discussion.  So thanks for that.  Although, it doesn’t really matter because I’ll likely not respond to any more of your comments here because you display all the characteristics of a troll and I do believe in not feeding the troll. 

    But seeing as how you asked so nicely and all…

    The answer is…drumroll please…..

    Because I do not worship my government and my government has no jurisdiction over my heart. 

  • Anonymous

    Have you ever jumped a traffic light?  You are an illegal citizen.

    You shouldn’t be allowed to vote, or receive benefits from the government, and should probably be imprisoned.

  • Anonymous

    Because, our benighted compatriot, illegal immigration is not about the law but about racism and it always has been; until the Page and Chinese Exclusion Acts, there was no such thing as illegal immigration.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Sentences start with capital letters and thence use lower case, except to begin proper nouns. How hard is this to understand?

  • Anonymous

    CORRECTING MY PUNCTUATION, SPELLING, AND GRAMMAR IS NEVER, EVER GOING TO DIMINISH THE TRUTH OF WHAT I SAY

  • Anonymous

    I’ll just leave this here.

  • Anonymous

    What a coincidence! I just saved an image that perfectly counters the argument EVERYONE has been trying to stick to me!

    Now you’re back to square one… Which is what I’d say if I were using the same warped logic as you all.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Well, first, I’ve never called you a troll or agreed with anyone who has, so neither saying nor emphasising “everyone” is correct.

    Second, we can’t be losing arguments with you because you’re not engaging in any. You’re just shouting shit then when people respond to your specific points you move onto a new line of shouting.

  • Anonymous

    But come on. You’re arguing in favor of something obviously and deeply WRONG. ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. ILLEGAL. IMMIGRATION.

    ILLEGAL.

    IMMIGRATION.

    I’m… just at a loss. Just… why? Do you not value your nation? 

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    But come on. You’re arguing in favor of something obviously and deeply WRONG. ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. ILLEGAL. IMMIGRATION.

    Where have I done that?

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    But come on. You’re arguing in favor of something obviously and deeply WRONG. ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. ILLEGAL. IMMIGRATION.

    ILLEGAL.

    IMMIGRATION.

    I’m… just at a loss. Just… why? Do you not value your nation?

    I think that we have a chicken-and-egg situation here.  Is illegal immigration wrong because it is illegal, or is it illegal because it is wrong?  If the former, that is enforcement for enforcement’s sake, which is pointless.  Enforcement is only useful if it is to serve a particular purpose.  If the later, what about this immigration specifically is wrong that it needs to be illegal?  Further, assuming that such immigration is wrong and is illegal, we run into issues of how best to reduce the problem.  Sure, we can crack down in a heavy handed way, deport people by the busload, but more will keep coming over the border, hoping to dodge the patrols.  It treats the symptoms, but it spends a lot of energy doing so, having a “Red Queen Effect” of having to run as fast as we can to stay where we are.  I think that the only way to effectively stop people from coming over the border illegally will be to equalize the economic pressure on both sides of it.  If more opportunities for these people are created in Mexico, or fewer in the U.S., there will be fewer people trying to jump the fence to come here.  Now, having fewer opportunities in the U.S. is a bad thing, as that means our economy would have gotten even worse than it is, so it seems to me that the only viable option would be to increase the amount of opportunities south of the border.  A lot would need to be invested in local Mexican businesses near the border, helping the local economy to develop.  Not handouts, but certainly lots of modest-sized government-sponsored business loans.  There needs to be a lot of negotiating with the Mexican government to ensure that no toes are stepped on.  Maybe an arrangement can be reached where the countries share some joint policing duties, so hopefully we can do something to help clear out the drug cartels that wield a lot of influence there.  We are also going to need to do a lot of checking of officials to make sure that none of our investments are being compromised by corruption.  If the Vatican could be convinced to make some kind of proclamation saying that birth control was not only acceptable but encouraged, that might help to keep the population growth rate in step with the economic growth rate, but that is admittedly wishful thinking on my part.  I think that economic stability is good for everyone involved, and hopefully will help reduce the pressures which push people to enter the country illegally in the first place. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Lochmoeller/100000461280203 Scott Lochmoeller

    I’m starting to get it now. It’s not just the “Illegal” that’s got you rankled. It’s also the “Immigration.” 

    Mono, care to elaborate why you are against any form of immigration?

  • Anonymous

    What you don’t seem to understand is that, as there are only two explanations for your posting behavior, most of the people here are actually giving you the benefit of the doubt by assuming that you are a troll.  I, on the other hand, am perfectly willing to take you at your word and therefore conclude that you are simply an imbecile.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Keep it down, would you? I have sensitive hearing.

  • Shay Guy

    Of course not. After all, ~∃x∈N(x<0).

  • Rikalous

    CORRECTING MY PUNCTUATION, SPELLING, AND GRAMMAR IS NEVER, EVER GOING TO DIMINISH THE TRUTH OF WHAT I SAY

    It’s true that, in a perfect world, everyone’s arguments would be judged by their content and not their form. However, we are only human, and some people won’t take seriously the arguments of someone who seems barely literate in their mother tongue. Likewise, some people will ignore the arguments of anyone leaning on the shift key. If you want to convince the widest possible audience of the truth of your arguments, it seems silly to pointlessly alienate a subset.

  • Tonio

    I can’t believe I’m going to write this…

    What YOU don’t understand is that illegal immigration is not a problem that can be solved by law enforcement and criminal justice. It doesn’t work with abortion (by which I mean unplanned pregnancies), it doesn’t work with drug abuse, and it doesn’t work with unhealthy food (such as San Francisco’s misguided Happy Meal law). Laws aren’t about societies stamping approval or disapproval on things like a parent trying to keep candy away from a child. That authoritarian mindsetis guilty of every-problem-looking-like-a-nail syndrome,
    wrongly believing that all problems are caused by the breaking of rules.
    What that mindset fails to recognize is that if INS deports all 30 people in that trailer, very likely it will be filled with 30 more in a month or so.

    You want to stop illegal immigration? Change the economic and political realities that create it.

  • Guest-again

    Trying again – hope this is another damn disqus double

    ‘Paul Bridges is facing an uphill battle against overwhelming odds in
    fighting Georgia’s current wave of anti-immigrant sentiment’

    No he isn’t –

    ‘According to the Pew Hispanic Centre, in 2010 Georgia had around
    425,000 such immigrants, putting it seventh among American states.
    It may now have fewer: 46% of respondents to a recent survey
    conducted by the Georgia Agribusiness Council said they had too few
    workers. Some reported that workers had left or were planning to leave
    for other states by July 1st. And though that may be welcome news for
    politicians such as Mr Ramsey, it could portend disaster for farmers.
    According to Charles Hall, director of Georgia’s Fruit and Vegetable
    Growers’ Association, harvest crews during the busy months of May and
    June had between half and two-thirds as many the workers they had last
    year. Migrant-worker crews follow the harvest north from Florida; this
    year many seem to be skipping Georgia. He estimates that the state’s
    $1.1-billion fruit-and-vegetable industry could suffer a $300m loss.’

    http://www.economist.com/node/18836420?story_id=18836420&fsrc=rss

    Bridges has a few hundred million helpers in tilting the odds – ever
    wonder why you are hearing about this man now, one deeply concerned
    about the people whose labor generates that sweet profit?

    Nice information and decent comments here – http://www.metafilter.com/104839/Crops-dont-pick-themselves

    ‘He’s stronger than anyone he’s up against.’

    Well, especially since he just happens to be on the team that makes
    money on the labor of those farm workers, making Bridges part of the
    winning team, a team with a winning streak going back generations.
    Assuming that CNN’s reporting is fairly accurate, including the
    ‘Republican’ designation.

    This is not to impugn his true decency in any way, but it would be
    interesting to see Bridges do something really radical, like help the
    workers form a union, to get decent pay and decent working conditions
    for doing hard labor in the summer sun. That would be a conversion
    story.

    This story is merely about ensuring that a bad law which will end up
    costing farmers a few hundred million dollars, will get repealed –
    without anything being otherwise changed.

    (And it didn’t take long for the first idiot to appear, did it? – Illegal immigration isn’t illegal as long as it profits the largest industry in a state, just watch how that works in the good ole U S of A – your right to be sold cheap produce at a nice mark up, particularly at places where you don’t even think about it, like a salad bar or on a McDs Big Mac, is more important than any ‘illegal immigration’ claptrap – useful though it is to get idiots elected to office.)

  • Matri

    This story is merely about ensuring that a bad law which will end up
    costing farmers a few hundred million dollars, will get repealed –
    without anything being otherwise changed.

    Baby steps. Who knows how this will end, but this is still a good step to have made.

  • Guest-again

    Or ‘isn’t’ another damn disqus double, as the case may be.

  • Matri

    Aww look, he’s resorting to all-caps now, like he knows he’s lost but can’t accept it so he’ll just scream until he gets his way.

  • Anonymous

    IT’S THE ONLY WAY YOU’LL UNDERSTAND! HOW CAN YOU FAIL TO COMPREHEND THE ABSOLUTE OBVIOUS?

  • Anonymous

    I’m new here, so a question for you- are the all caps on purpose? Do you intend to be yelling at everyone all the time? Or is your keyboard perhaps broken? Because I respond differently to someone who is yelling at me, versus someone who is undergoing what must be a frustrating technical difficulty, and I’d like to know which it is before putting time and thought (and hey, maybe even some compassion, because *everything* is a matter of compassion to me) into my answers to your comments.

  • Anonymous

    I’m fine with compassion, as long as it’s not being used as a buzzword (ie all the time nowadays).

  • Anonymous

    I’m fine with compassion, as long as it’s not being used as a buzzword (ie all the time nowadays).

  • Anonymous

    … well, I’m entering the Christian clergy, so I’m certainly used to people *saying* compassion (and similar words) and *meaning* something entirely different, and I agree that’s irritating, if that’s what you’re talking about.

    Anyway, to answer your earlier question of “Why should illegal immigration be tolerated?”, my compassionate answer would be- it shouldn’t.

    Illegal immigration in this country has lead to mental, physical and sexual abuse of the immigrants on a massive scale.  Those doing the abuse have moved further down the road from compassion towards callousness.  Laws are being passed in reaction to… well, a lot of things- and those laws are encouraging racism and callousness on an equally massive scale.  (Getting pulled over for “Hispanic while driving” to have your driver’s license checked is bad- women afraid to report being raped because they’ll get deported is *atrocious*.)  And, oh yeah, the workers are also without the protection of unions and therefore getting paid non-living wages to work in dangerous and non-regulated conditions, with no one to turn to.

    What has lead to all this?  Byzantine immigration laws, really nasty foreign policy and tariffs, and some frankly disturbing corporatocracy that can now pretty much hire a sitting politician to represent their interests (or several).  So the system needs a massive overhaul.  In the meantime, I’ll take a general amnesty, some serious union growth, and a national wake-up call about how classism and racism intersect.

  • Green Eggs and Ham

    Unless you are one of those oh-so-rare Republican Atheists, compassion is the fundamental message of your faith.

  • http://brandiweed.livejournal.com/ Brandi

    Green– Compassion’s only for what Mono deems people. I suspect his test involves a brown paper bag.

  • Green Eggs and Ham

    I see you’ve accepted the legal theory that because it is a law, it is therefore good.

  • http://brandiweed.livejournal.com/ Brandi

    I sort of wish you considered us animals like you do illegal immigrants. Then you’d probably go ignore us to verbally masturbate elsewhere.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t keep throwing meat to Monoblade and he/she will eventually pack up shop and move on.

    As for the article, oh how lovely. I need read stories like this. I can, and currently am, going through patches where I’m bitter and angry and cynical as hell. So I need to be reminded that we can in fact be quite excellent to each other when we want too.

  • http://twitter.com/glendanowakowsk Glenda Nowakowski

    I think people who get all high and mighty about “Illegal immigration is illegal” should have their cars fitted with a special device that makes a loud noise whenever the car exceeds the posted speed limit.

    ‘Cause that’s illegal too, ya know?

  • Anonymous

    On whose authority? It certainly wouldn’t be legal for you to do so. You’ve failed to make a point.

  • Green Eggs and Ham

    Also, fit it with a breathalyzer so he can’t drive under the influence.

    If he makes a turn without signaling, he gets an electric shock.

    If the music is too loud for safety purposes, another electric shock.

    If he uses his cell phone while driving, automatically bill his telephone number with a fine.

    And of course it would be illegal for me to install any of this;  it would be done by the multinational corporation that lobbied politicians to install these things in every car.  

    And of course, you have to pay for every modification.

    I love the smell of jack boots in the morning. /s

  • https://profiles.google.com/ravanan101 Ravanan

    No they shouldn’t. These people are already driving too fast and a sudden loud noise can disrupt their ability to function properly on the road, making it even less safe. Make the thing keep track of how much they go over and have a monthly bill automatically sent based on how many minutes they spend over the speed limit. Minutes rather than seconds, to give them some allowance for things like passing .

  • Baf

    If your only objection to illegal immigration is that it’s illegal, then there’s an easy and obvious solution: repeal the laws against it. Then it wouldn’t be illegal any more. Problem solved.

    Would that satisfy you? Or do you have some other reason for disliking immigration, some reason why you’d like it to remain illegal? If you don’t, your objections are incoherent. If you do, please say it, because otherwise people will make assumptions about what it is that you’re not willing to say.

  • Anonymous

    Are you kidding? A nation isn’t a public bathroom (well, most aren’t, anyways). To allow everyone in, regardless of the effect those people would have, is DEATH. That’s why there’s immigration quotas and things of that nature. If you want to take that away, why not repeal the laws against murder, theft, etc?

  • Guest-again

    Trolls are a pain, but really, ‘IT’S NOT A MATTER OF COMPASSION’ is quite correct, after all.

    It is about profit, pure and simple (and likely some other things, like union busting and racism, almost as pure and simple).

    Look at the projected losses because Georgia farmers feared rehiring their seasonal labor – and their seasonal labor, being mobile and fearing for their future, decided to find work with other American farmers willing to pay illegally low wages to illegally available laborers.

    It is about money, and has been, for decades – illegal workers are definitely cheaper, and as they rarely have recourse to even the paucity of current American worker protection laws, even easier to keep working under illegally brutal terms.

    Stop screaming about how it isn’t a matter of compassion – the people working under the hot sun are very well of that fact. As are the people paying the wages.

    Unlike the people who expect a low price at the all you can eat salad bar, who have no idea they are the most important link in the chain creating this problem.

    But notice that no Georgia farmer has gone to court, much less to jail, for employing illegals – until this summer, and potentially 300 million dollars of rotting produce in the sun demonstrating a basic point too clearly to ignore – the farmers were the reason for the illegal workers, and after using illegal immigration as a way to get an idiot elected to office, the results of how much of the American economy rests on exploitation is almost impossible to ignore. The farmers certainly know this. They just didn’t think that the elected governor would be so idiotic as to hurt them economically – which turned out to be a wrong assumption.

    However, considering your deep concern, maybe you could be troubled to actually work for the idea that workers should be paid a fair wage under decent working conditions – that would dry up illegal immigration in the agricultural sector in a very short time.

    In the meantime, Georgia plans to use people under state authority (probationers) to fill the labor gap. Which should really be an indication of the desirability of George farm work right there – unfortunately for sourthern Georgia farmers, 3,000 probationers isn’t enough to fill thge 11,000 worker gap, regardless of any other considerations.

    It has never been about compassion, apart from a few decent people – it has always been about money. And these days, sadly, pure hatred against ‘them.’

  • http://www.facebook.com/Blotzphoto Louis Doench

    “In the meantime, Georgia plans to use people under state authority
    (probationers) to fill the labor gap. Which should really be an
    indication of the desirability of George farm work right there –
    unfortunately for sourthern Georgia farmers, 3,000 probationers isn’t
    enough to fill thge 11,000 worker gap, regardless of any other
    considerations”

    Now what did we used to call them there workers we used to have in Georgia… never gave us no problems… Oh yeah, SLAVES… we need some of those… ;)

  • Guest-again

    ‘CORRECTING MY PUNCTUATION, SPELLING, AND GRAMMAR IS NEVER, EVER GOING TO DIMINISH THE TRUTH OF WHAT I SAY’

    You do know what a leap you took there, right?

    Because your ‘PUNCTUATION, SPELLING, AND GRAMMAR’ is ‘NEVER, EVER GOING TO’ improve whatever argument you believe you are making, either.

  • Fr9175

    Unless “they” can personally profit, it seems “R”s treat every problem as a nail, to be hammered by “enforcement”.

    While imperfect in many ways, for decades California had a bracero program allowing cheap labor to work the fields.

    I see that the law in Az was sponsored by “R”s with ties to private prisons.  I wonder who is behind Georgia’s law?

  • http://www.facebook.com/Blotzphoto Louis Doench

    In reply to Monoblade’s eloquent statement of the obvious, yes illegal immigration is illegal.  In reply I’d like to ask him/her a question. Have you ever read any Larry Niven? Read “Crashlander” the collected stories of Beowulf Schaeffer, specifically dealing with his first visit to Earth, an Earth with a population in the 10’s of billions, a place uncomfortably crowded all the time. And a place where picking pockets is no longer illegal. Because how could you possibly stop it? In order to enforce laws against pickpocketing in a world where you bump into dozens of people every hour would require a law enforcement agency more fascist than Orwell’s worst nightmare.

    That’s the situation we’re in if we insist on treating immigration as a law enforcement problem.  There aren’t enough policemen/soldiers/lynchmobs/whatever’s to enforce our current immigration laws as it is, let alone these draconian new standards.

    I really don’t think you’ve thought through how much blood that will need to be spilt to enforce your vision sir…

  • Anonymous

    Also, by Niven – “A Gift from Earth.”  (And others) Wherein every crime carries the death penalty so the can harvest the organs of the convicted.

    The law is not ethics.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Blotzphoto Louis Doench

    “A Gift from Earth” is possibly my favorite SF story. :)

  • Izzy

    I, on the other hand, am perfectly happy to call troll, and I don’t think it’s because I’m losing anything: I think it’s because MB gets on to spew two-sentence talking points and doesn’t address arguments.

    And if MB wasn’t a troll, zie would still be a dumbass, and probably not worth arguing with. IT IS WRONG BECAUSE IT IS ILLEGAL OMG OMG, as a general thing, however–lord, the Javert argument is tiresome. Laws are not sacred. (I had sex before I was eighteen, drank before I was twenty-one, smoked pot, used Napster back in the day…and I don’t think I or the world are any worse for it. Though I do feel a little bad about Napster.) If the laws are making people suffer, we should change them. If breaking the law doesn’t hurt anyone, then who cares? 

  • Anonymous

    Because, person who just called me a dumbass, if people are let indiscriminately into the nation, that could have unforeseen consequences. Thus, immigration quotes, tests, etc. The system is in place for a reason. Systems of laws, systems of enforcement, systems of justice, all to attempt to impose order on an inherently disorderly people. If the borders were abolished tomorrow, I’d be opposed to open immigration.

  • Anonymous

    Silly rabbit.  The reason the system is in place is to keep the system in place.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve actually lived in an anarchist commune. DON’T SPEW THAT KIND OF RHETORIC AT ME.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve actually lived in a country where they had open immigration.  Don’t spew your xenophobic bullshit at me.

    Look, I can play this game too.

  • Anonymous

    What nation was it? I guarantee it wasn’t as great as the United States of America.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    To quote someone from a few days ago…

    I guarantee it wasn’t as great as the United States of America

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Oh wait, you were serious?

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    To quote someone from a few days ago…

    I guarantee it wasn’t as great as the United States of America

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Oh wait, you were serious?

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • Anonymous

    What anarchist commune was it?  I guarantee it wasn’t as great as San Francisco.

  • Anonymous

    What anarchist commune was it?  I guarantee it wasn’t as great as San Francisco.

  • Anonymous

    What nation was it? I guarantee it wasn’t as great as the United States of America.

  • Anonymous

    If the borders were abolished tomorrow, I’d be opposed to open immigration.

    Then stop hammering the “BUT IT’S ILLEGAL!!!!” argument like it’s something that really matters to you.  You don’t have a problem with illegal immigration, you have a problem with immigration.

    EDIT: Beaten to the punch by Scott Lochmoeller!

  • Anonymous

    that could have unforeseen consequences.

    When people first split the atom, that could have had unforeseen consequences too. There were some highly reputable scholars who believed it might cause an uncontrollable chain reaction and destroy the planet. Yet somehow nobody got round to making the study of physics illegal. And here we all are.

  • Rikalous

    When people first split the atom, that could have had unforeseen
    consequences too. There were some highly reputable scholars who believed
    it might cause an uncontrollable chain reaction and destroy the planet.
    Yet somehow nobody got round to making the study of physics illegal.
    And here we all are.

    I seem to recall some talk that the large hadron collider was going to create a black hole, and we went along with that. SCIENCE!!!

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I seem to recall some talk that the large hadron collider was going to create a black hole, and we went along with that. SCIENCE!!!

    That’s not an apt metaphor, since there weren’t any respectable scientists who legitimately thought that was going to happen; the only people who proclaimed it were luddites and fearmongers who didn’t know what the hell they were talking about.

    Actually, upon reflection, that is an entirely apt metaphor.

  • Rikalous

    if people are let indiscriminately into the nation, that could have unforeseen consequences.

    If the consequences are unforeseen, how do you know they’ll be bad? Maybe the consequences are a booming economy and a cure for the common cold. We don’t know. We can’t foresee them.

  • Tonio

    if people are let indiscriminately into the nation

    (rolls eyes) No one is advocating that. You’re the only one talking about it. And “an inherently disorderly people” sounds very much like an ethnic euphemism.

  • http://twitter.com/celesteh Les Hutchins

    Actually, I would very much like to see open borders.  Yes, this would lead to a lot of economic migration, but right now the way borders are enforced, capital (and jobs) can cross them very easily, but people can not.  Most immigration comes from countries that are having economic upheaval.  Countries with stable middle classes, even poorer countries, send out far fewer immigrants because most people like to be near their families and speak their native language.

    The US is not entirely innocent in regards to the economic upheaval in our hemisphere.  If we’re going to take away so many resources from the Americas, we should allow their people to follow.

  • Tonio

    If we’re going to take away so many resources from the Americas, we should allow their people to follow.

    No disagreement in principle. Perhaps the US has a responsibility to reduce the amount of resources it takes away from those other countries. Or pay them more for those resources. Or at the bare minimum, help stabilize the economies when they are in upheaval.

    Part of my point is that the opponents are peddling a ridiculous straw man, defining “open borders” as anyone being able to cross with no questions asked. There’s a lot about the current system that’s appallingly inhumane and needs to be changed. Unfortunately, I doubt that any migrant labor system can be made anything close to humane, simply because the power disparity is so great. My point is that any immigration reform is futile without a long-term effort at building stable middle classes in the other countries. But listening to the current crop of GOP contenders, all their proposals would further the decimation of the middle class in this country.

  • http://www.daveexmachina.com Dave Lartigue

    I am glad that Bridges is speaking out for these people and I applaud his work, but I really wish conservatives could learn how to give a damn about people who aren’t themselves without it having to be rubbed into their faces to happen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=30319652 Tim Lehnerer

    I consider myself a deeply cynical person with a worst-case-scenario view of human nature, but even I didn’t imagine that Georgia would put black people back in the fields (under threat of imprisonment) so quickly after it looked like their agricultural money was at risk.

  • Anonymous

    Monoblade say something useful or (watch it kids here I am going to put myself at his level) SHUT THE FUCK UP.

  • Izzy

    The only thing I object to in this comment is saying that justified swearing puts you at Dumbass Boy’s level. That’s like saying taking the subway puts you at the bottom of the sea. 

  • Anonymous

    Monoblade say something useful or (watch it kids here I am going to put myself at his level) SHUT THE FUCK UP.

  • Guest-again

    ‘…but even I didn’t imagine that Georgia would put black people back in
    the fields (under threat of imprisonment) so quickly after it looked
    like their agricultural money was at risk….’
    You didn’t actually grow up in the south, did you? I did, and it was as predictable as the sun rising over the fields.

    ‘You’re arguing in favor of something obviously and deeply WRONG. ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. ILLEGAL. IMMIGRATION.’
    You know, one reason you are called a troll is because you refuse to actually engage in discussion. The farmers employing those 11,000 plus illegal immigrants last harvest season in Georgia knew that it was ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION which was contributing concretely to their bottom line – and the lack of those illegal workers is causing a likely multiple hundred million dollar loss this harvesting season. Those farmers even knew, as witness this year’s season with its changed legal environment, that what they were doing to increase their bottom line was illegal.

    And yet, you continue to entirely miss the point – the illegal ‘immigrants’ (which is a false term, actually – they generally are labor, and their interest in staying the U.S. as farm labor isn’t all that profound – after all, Americans have no interest in working under the same – often illegal – conditions) are simply exploited for profit, by Americans who are fully aware they are breaking multiple laws in the process.

    But money is its own righteous justification – something you continue simply ignore. If you have ever eaten at a national restuarant chain’s salad bar, or any fast food chain that uses lettuce or tomatoes in their menu, you have contributed, directly, to the continued problem of ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION.

    Some of us are as disgusted by this fact as you, for reasons which have been clearly explained as they relate to the illegal exploitation of human labor in the pusuit of profit.

    Try harder – it isn’t about ‘them,’ it is about ‘us’ creating the framework in which ‘they’ are treated as nothing but a (though no longer in Georgia, apparently) expendable source of readily available labor willing to work under conditions that no American is willing to – or apparently, willing to stop by simply not buying things produced using the labor of mainly illegal workers, such as strawberries, peaches, apples….

    However, no one is stopping you from working in the Georgia sun picking Vidalia onions for the rest of us to enjoy – please spend some time enjoying the fresh air, and let us know how it was. Since I have actually worked in the Virginia sun doing manual labor over several years, my feeling is that you won’t actually enjoy it, assuming you were even paid minimum wage, something that it is fair to say that none of the illegal workers is likely to ever be paid.

  • Anonymous

    Whatever. I’m too hungry to work out all the logical errors in your post at this moment. I’ll be back in a few hours to see if there’s anything worth responding to.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    See, that right there is why people are calling you a troll.

    SHOUTY STATEMENT

    Full-paragraphed response with examples and reasoning

    WHY WILL NO ONE ANSWER MY QUESTION?

    Here is another answer from a different person

    WHATEVER YOU ARE SO WRONG I WON’T EVEN BOTHER TO ADDRESS ANYTHING YOU SAID WHY WON’T SOMEONE GIVE ME A GOOD ANSWER THEN EH?

  • Anonymous

    Too hungry for what?  Mayhaps salad?!  Salad picked by illegal immigrants?!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=30319652 Tim Lehnerer

    >>You didn’t actually grow up in the south, did you? I did, and it was as predictable as the sun rising over the fields.<<

    No–I grew up in Wheaton, Illinois (which is far, far north of the Mason-Dixon line). It's also, coincidentally enough, where the publisher of the Left Behind series has its headquarters. I was saying that I wasn't cynical enough–when it comes to making money, there's no ground floor in hell and nothing that the right kind of sociopath won't do with a straight face and a clean conscience.

  • http://accidental-historian.typepad.com/ Geds

    No–I grew up in Wheaton, Illinois (which is far, far north of the
    Mason-Dixon line). It’s also, coincidentally enough, where the publisher
    of the Left Behind series has its headquarters.

    Holy shit.  I grew up in the Holy Land West, too.

    And I’m about to be moving back there (temporarily), as a year and a half in Dallas is just too much for me, thankyouverymuch.

  • Anonymous

    This story is all about hardness of heart.  There were only a few things Jesus repeatedly criticized during his earthly ministry, and hardness of heart was at the top of the list.

    Paul Bridges had the nerve to open his heart to people different from him.  He refused to harden his heart, and he’s catching a lot of heat for it.

    In rural Georgia, it goes without saying that a good deal of that heat comes from evangelical Christians.  In their eyes, hardness of heart is a virtue, not a sin.

    They have stood the gospel of Jesus Christ on its head.  They are the anti-Christians.

  • Morilore

    Reason #12,532 why Monoblade is a fool: reason.org/files/a87d1550853898a9b306ef458f116079.pdf

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/5OPDTGMVEFDYDKHEXSNNWOFNWY Jim

    Hi! Illegal immigrant here. An actual one – entered the country without the appropriate paperwork, didn’t have a stamped visa, all that rot. I was 20 and stupid. Thankfully, I was also college-educated and English-speaking, so I was able to jump through the necessary hoops to become what I am today: a landed immigrant, working toward naturalization.

    What most people call illegal immigrants actually aren’t – they’re undocumented alien. In many cases and in many times, the bean counters would be happy to simply document them – charging a fee for each documentation, naturally – and the immigrants would be able to stay. The current xenophobic climate prohibits that, but what’s funny is that I, the one whose initial entry into the country was a violation of federal law and was at one point at risk of being convicted of an actual federal crime (as opposed to an undocumented immigrant, where the worst you can face is extradition), I am seen as being a “good” immigrant. Because I’m a white-skinned Canadian? I think so.

    This is why I volunteer my time to assist with the undocumented alien population in my state of residence and why I hate the stigma attached to them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Lochmoeller/100000461280203 Scott Lochmoeller

    So, because Monoblade won’t explain his points, I’ll have to do that for him. Above, I’ve indicated that Monoblade is more against Immigration it self than he is the illegality of it. I’ve already quoted above why I came to that conclusion. Why is he against immigration? Because he appears to be at lunch, I’ll answer for him. Here are his own words from the immigrant labor in philly thread. (this is his original break-out hit)

    “I can only put my hands up and sigh at such an attitude. Immigration IS
    good for a nation… IF IT’S USEFUL PEOPLE IMMIGRATING. Homogeneity is
    the strength of a nation, and multiculturalism for the sake of
    multiculturalism is a disease. It’s not necessarily nice, but it’s TRUE.

    It appears Monoblade is for homogeneity in the US, which he believes would be reduced with further immigration, or at least immigration that isn’t carefully controlled.

    But what is Homogeneity anyway? From the audio English Dictionary:
    http://www.audioenglish.net/dictionary/homogeneous.htm
    1. all of the same or similar kind or nature

    In political parlance, this usually refers to a country that has all the same culture, language and race. People are more similar than different. Japan is one of the classical example of a “Homogenous” nation. The United States of America is a classical example of the complete opposite of a homogenous nation, a heterogeneous one.

    It has become fashionable in the right wing blogosphere to relate “homogeneous” nations to nations that are healthier, happier, and freer of crime. Here are a couple of linked examples:
    http://www.parapundit.com/archives/003609.html
    http://www.stormfront.org/forum/t775920/
    Is this true? read the answers in this post for some examples of why Homegeneity in some nations is the golden ticket to success.
    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110418211713AA0Y7AT

    But I’m going to grant for the sake of argument the “virtues of Homogeneity” to make a point. If people who are homogenous get along better together, why would that be? It seems the inescapable conclusion is that there is no one for them to “other.” They know “other” people exist, but they are in other countries and don’t have to be dealt with on a daily basis. In the US, we see people of other race and culture all the time. Which means that no matter who you are, there is always someone to “other” and blame for the problems of society. So you see, the fundamental problem isn’t a lack of homogeneity. It’s a lack of being able to put yourselves in other peoples shoes, it’s “other”ing in the first place.

    I’ll just say it: being in a homogeneous nation just makes it easy to be a racist. That’s why certain parties covet it so much.

    And how would the US become Homogenous? We’d have to pick a race, a culture, and a language and run with it. Whoever wasn’t in the chosen race, culture and language would have to be deported. The US would experience a massive population reduction. But everyone left would be able to live in a country where everyone was more or less like themselves.

    That’s why Monoblade is against immigration. That’s why I don’t agree with him.

  • Rikalous

    From the parapundit link:

    Also, an ethnically more diverse country will have a wider distribution
    of levels of intelligence. Part of the decreased happiness in ethnically
    more diverse nations may flow from having larger populations of lower
    IQ groups.

    Citation freaking needed.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/5OPDTGMVEFDYDKHEXSNNWOFNWY Jim

    To expand a bit, Scott, I also find it interesting is this idea of a people who are homogenous being of greater use or having greater utility than a people who lack homogeneity.

    The question comes, of course, on whether someone who’s non-homogenous is of lesser utility or is useless. Both are opinions based on racism and bigotry, but there is a difference there – it’s been my experience that people in the former category (the category that I think Paul Bridges was in before his conversion) can be persuaded otherwise. Those in the latter category . . . not so much.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/5OPDTGMVEFDYDKHEXSNNWOFNWY Jim

    To expand a bit, Scott, I also find it interesting is this idea of a people who are homogenous being of greater use or having greater utility than a people who lack homogeneity.

    The question comes, of course, on whether someone who’s non-homogenous is of lesser utility or is useless. Both are opinions based on racism and bigotry, but there is a difference there – it’s been my experience that people in the former category (the category that I think Paul Bridges was in before his conversion) can be persuaded otherwise. Those in the latter category . . . not so much.

  • Guest-again

    ‘I was saying that I wasn’t cynical enough’
    See, the part about ‘cynical’ was the distinction. In the south, there is nothing cynical about recognizing the basic facts of life, as they have existed for generations and generations – it is only in other parts of the U.S. that people seem surprised at how things work in the former Confederacy, a formerly proud association of state rights supporters that fought a war to preserve slavery.

    Nobody, absolutely nobody, that grew up in the south is ever surprised at a southern government institution being used to supply cheap labor in a fashion with more than a merely coincidental resemblance to past practices.

  • Anonymous

    I am pleased that someone in Georgia is paying attention to the obvious fact that these people are here and they contribute to society in positive way. Forget compassion, what about just giving people their dues?
    It is sad that Mayor Bridges is such an anomaly.

    My own family history is replete with people who would never have made it through the modern immigration system. Some could even be considered illegals in their own time. My 1640 New England relatives, not quite the Mayflower, but I’m pretty sure the Wampanoag weren’t hyped at the prospect of hundreds of diseased, religious fanatics washing up on their shores. Then there were my Hessian relatives who left their homestead in Upper Canada to enjoy life in Michigan, once they felt that Hessians wouldn’t be lynched in the US. And my stevedore Swedish great-grandfather from some dismal Baltic island that is rarely even on maps or my housemaid great-grandmother also from Sweden. Or the great-great grandfather who was draft-dodging the Imperial German Army (and whose son was a WWI vet). Basically, the greater part of my family tree wouldn’t make it through the net today.

  • Rowen

    I’d just like to point out that should we be successful in getting Monoblade to vacate this site, s/he will create a troll vacuum. And since nature abhors a vacuum (like my cat), it just might be filled with someone worse.

    Just putting that out there.

  • Rowen

    I’d just like to point out that should we be successful in getting Monoblade to vacate this site, s/he will create a troll vacuum. And since nature abhors a vacuum (like my cat), it just might be filled with someone worse.

    Just putting that out there.

  • http://scyllacat.livejournal.com Scylla Kat

    Ohgodworse?  

  • http://scyllacat.livejournal.com Scylla Kat

    Answer this question:  Why should I take anyone seriously who can’t turn the caps lock off?

  • Shay Guy

    Would that technically be a tone argument?

  • Anonymous

    @Monoblade:disqus 

    People come into this country indiscriminately ALL THE TIME. It’s called “Birth.”
    Your main argument seems to be “Some of these people will be BAAAAAD.”  So will some of the babies down at the county hospital. And what is worse, these ‘babies’ (or “natal freeloaders” as I like to call them) EXPECT a handout of an estimated TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS over 18 years.  This is a disgusting affront to all hard working Americans. I don’t get free handouts just because I’m breathing. Where’s my free diapers? Who is cutting up my steak to make it easier to chew?  Heck, there are even widespread programs teaching these people NOT TO RUN WITH SCISSORS. I didn’t need some big government “daycare” telling me not to run with sharp objects! That’s because I pulled myself up by my bootstraps. 
    The whole “caring for children” is nothing more than a scam by Big Mommy to get government handouts. Do you know that the government is so dedicated to protecting ovarian immigration, they give tax breaks to those who shelter these freeloaders?

    And what is wrong with most of these immigrants? People who care so much about success that they travel thousands of miles in the harshest conditions merely to make a pittance, and do nothing but work as hard as they can at two or three jobs just to get ahead, seem like they’d make excellent citizens.

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

    Cary, there aren’t enough “like” buttons for your excellent write-up on America’s natal freeloader problem.

  • Izzy

    In fact, who is the government to restrict my freedom to run with sharp objects? The Founding Fathers didn’t die at Yorktown so that I could approach my construction paper AT A SEDATE PACE. 

  • Anonymous

    Oh.

    Oh, I just got it.

    Ladies and gents, we are dealing with a celebrity, and a legend.  Monoblade, who we have clearly maligned, is no less a person than the greatest force for Law and Order that Megacity One has ever seen:
    Folks, Monoblade is no less than the great hero- Judge Dredd.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycmH1tMp_0s&feature=related

  • Anonymous

    @caryjamesbond:disqus :

    I am da LOL!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=30319652 Tim Lehnerer

    @Geds:  Wheaton was its own special kind of weird, wasn’t it? But I’m grateful I grew up there, because I doubt that I’d have been an atheist for the last 23 years or so without seeing so many different horrific perversions of what Christianity was supposed to be.

  • Anonymous

    Moreover, this fashion young girel is so that knows tips on how to decorate herself. Just like if you get stunning fame, you may devoted much money at christian louboutin replica shoes clothing and make ups. Such as you love Chanel handbags a lot and you maybe carry different types of Chanel christian louboutin knockoffs if feasible. Meanwhile, you may also maintains this advantage towards high heels which all famous Showmanship stars need countless high pumps, boots and sandals for different types of ceremonies.
    However, we can see Blake’s crazy in the direction of christian louboutin online store. And christian louboutin really influence this sincerely nice lady and decided to make a couple of shoes that name after her name. After times, your beautiful gradually changed colourful were called Christian Louboutin pumps sale. The love toward christian louboutin will grows rapidly and she may bough herself many christian louboutin shoes. Via christian louboutin shoes, this red sole girl obvious best and genuinely get prettier. For that, there is seldom of celebrities and girls could easily get this privilege.