Saturday Thread

Would you describe Republican government as more of a disaster from a deontological or a consequentialist perspective? Discuss.

BTW, apologies for tardy beer blogging. Friday was unexpectedly ridiculous and I am still catching up.






238 replies
  1. 1
    ppGaz says:

    The former. The latter view opens the door to giving them a pass on the small chance that one of their fuckups produces a good result. Thus forming the basis for the “ends justify means” defense.

    It’s my opinion that Ends Justify Means is not compatible with democracy.

    (The current classic EJM defense is, of course, “The world is better off without Saddam.” A claim that is not only reprehensible for its EJM foundations, it is also not supportable in the facts. The bottom line is that the United States did not support the war in Iraq on the premise that the “world would be better off without Saddam.” That would barely have been supportable as a defense for an assassination, much less a trillion dollar war boondoggle).

  2. 2
    ppGaz says:

    Darrell needs to weigh in on this story

    Apparently those “scum” employers who are attracting illegal workers like flies to a balonga sandwich are … us.

    Homeowners.

    Darrell, want to weigh in? Surely you have a solution ….

  3. 3
    tBone says:

    Darrell, want to weigh in? Surely you have a solution ….

    Easy. Find these scofflaw homeowners and build a 20-foot wall around all of their houses. That should teach them to subvert our democracy.

  4. 4
    tBone says:

    BTW thank God for an open thread. You can only spend so much time on Scrutator before you actually feel your brain begin to liquefy.

  5. 5
    ppGaz says:

    He hired day laborers over several months while remodeling his Hermosa Beach house. One man tiled a floor and installed a granite countertop for $1,000, jobs that Peters estimated would cost $5,000 if he used the Yellow Pages.

    “I know if they didn’t have a job, they wouldn’t be here,” said Peters. “But we all shop at Target and Wal-Mart, and all their stuff is made overseas with cheap labor.”

    –excerpt from the MSNBC story

    I guess in Darrell’s world, it’s okay for the corporate cronies of the Bushes to hire foreigners for thirty cents and hour to make shoes and underwear and DVD players for us, and ship the goods over here and sell them to us at stratospheric markups, and get rich ….

    …but it’s not okay for some wage earning slob to save a little money on the tile job at his house to try to make up for the fact that his real wages have been going steadily down for years while Bush’s friends get richer and richer.

    That’s about it, isn’t it, Darrell? Slave wages are okay if they’re on a corporate scale and out of sight, out of mind. But not okay in Orange County or Houston, if ordinary folks are the beneficiaries?

  6. 6
    tBone says:

    This argument should be even more entertaining when the other half of it actually shows up.

  7. 7

    You know, if we had legalized slavery the work could get done even cheaper.

    Think about it.

  8. 8
    ppGaz says:

    This argument should be even more entertaining when the other half of it actually shows up.

    Pecking Darrell’s eyes out is a form of relaxation.

    I do it to lower my blood pressure and reduce stress.

    He doesn’t actually have to be here for it to work.

  9. 9
    ppGaz says:

    Well, we do have legalized slavery, Steve.

    It’s called WalMart.

  10. 10
    tBone says:

    He doesn’t actually have to be here for it to work.

    Yeah, but don’t overdo it – it’ll make you go blind.

  11. 11
    ppGaz says:

    it’ll make you go blind.

    LOL.

  12. 12

    Well, we do have legalized slavery, Steve.

    It’s called WalMart.

    So this is ok?

  13. 13
    ppGaz says:

    So this is ok?

    It depends on what Darrell thinks. I go to him for guidance in these matters.

  14. 14
    ppGaz says:

    I mean, he’s not of much use on the social issues, like queer-baiting and such. But when it comes to how to handle the Mongol Hordes, he’s the man.

  15. 15
    ppGaz says:

    Hookergate? Where to put it on this list? I mean, I knew they were only kidding about restoring honor to the White House and everything, but really! What do you do with people like this?

    Drunk Driving
    Texas Air National Guard
    Don’t Take This as a Precedent: Bush v. Gore
    Laura’s Past (drug dealing? Manslaughter/murder?)
    Arbusto stock sale, Saudi bailout, lack of SEC followup
    “Please don’t kill me! Heh heh heh!” Bush and the Texas Death Row
    Kenny-Boy Lay of Enron
    Cheney’s a resident of Wyoming??? He is? Our impeachable Vice-President
    Cheney Shoots a Man in the Face
    Smear on John McCain
    Florida vote scandal, voter suppression
    Cheney/GAO. Are those meetings STILL secret??
    Bush Chokes on a pretzel
    Longest vacation time of any president
    Ashcroft the Boob: Eagles Soaring over Prayer Circles, and Venus de Milo porn
    No Vetoes–ever. For the first time in history.
    Missile Defense Shield: The Indispensable Program (you don’t hear about anymore)
    Enormous Deficits
    Stem Cells: The Compromise that Wasn’t
    “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” Now what could that possibly mean…
    My Pet Goat
    Extrication of the Saudis after 9/11
    “Find Out What Saddam Had to Do with This”
    9/11 Commission?? No way! Or, I dunno…why not? Sure. My idea all along!
    You want to see my…library records??? Excesses of the Patriot Act
    Failure to Catch Bin Laden (or Omar) in Afghanistan–Wanted Dead or Alive
    Yellowcake from Niger
    Curveball
    Ahmad Chalabi
    Downing Street Memo
    PLAMEGATE: Intrigue followed by intrigue
    “God Told Me to Invade Iraq”
    Humor Dinner “Are the WMDs under my Desk?”
    No-Bid Halliburton Contracts
    Vast Monies unaccounted for in Iraq
    700 TONS of the explosives Unguarded? Are you freaking kidding me?
    ABU GHRAIB (and where are the rest of the photos, Mr. President?)
    Gonzales and the Torture Memo, or “What could possibly hurt worse than organ failure?”
    “But they said they wouldn’t!”: extraordinary rendition, and boiling people in our name.
    Bunnatine Greenhouse
    Giulia Sgrena: or, What the Hell is Negroponte doing in Iraq, anyway?
    Judith Miller, Embedded Reporting
    Targeting Al-Jazeera (and other reporters)
    MISSION ACCOMPLISHED
    Sacked By His Own Team: The Tragedy of Pat Tillman
    Missing White Girl, Embedded Edition: Jessica Lynch
    Flying UN colors to goad Saddam into war
    Paying of Journalists and Planting of Stories in the U.S.
    Paying of Jouranlists and Planting of Stories in Iraq
    JeffJim Gannon/Guckert
    Stunning Incompetence: De-Baathification and the Breakup of the Iraqi Army
    Swift Boat Vets
    You Have a Call on lines #1 through #3,258: The NH GOTV scandal
    The Wrath of Khan: Gushing National Security Secrets for Electoral Politics, & the London Tube.
    Terror Alerts: What happened to them all, and Olberman’s 19 “total coincidences”
    The Bush Debates: Is that a Hump on your Back or are you just happy to see me?
    Diebold–hackable voting systems and their corrupt CEO
    Ohio Voter Suppression, Ken Blackwell
    Terri Schiavo
    The Medicare Bill: what’s a couple hundred billion dollars, between friends?
    On Bribing Senators for Medicare
    Cloture? What Cloture? Creativity in Parliamentary rule-bending. Or breaking.
    HURRICANE KATRINA RESPONSE: Sloth
    Hurricane Katrina response: Indifference.
    Nero Strummed while Rome Flooded, and his (Wife) bought shoes
    Barbara Bush at the Superdome
    The Brownie scapegoating
    The whitewashed reconstruction of New Orleans and wage freezing
    “No One Could have Predicted the Levees Would Fail”
    CRONY-GATE: Doin’ a Heckuva Job, Brownie
    (More CronyGate)
    Bill Frist & and the FEC
    Bob Ney of Ohio
    Duke Cunningham of San Diego–now with Watergate prostitutes!
    Tom Delay Redistricting
    Tom Delay Ethics Violations
    JACK ABRAMOFF–Saipan to Indian Tribues
    Ports, Inc: Bye-Bye, Dubai!
    The Loofah Factor in the No-Falafel Zone
    “It Depends on Why the President Would Need to Do That,” or What does John Yoo have against little boys’ testicles?
    Able Danger
    Zoned Out: Town Halls and the Curtailment of Free Speech
    NSA Wiretaps without Warrants–Domestic-International division
    NSA Wiretaps without Warrants–Domestic-Domestic Division
    “How Quaint Thou Art”: Gonzales and the Geneva Conventions

    –A little something my clipboard snagged over at DKos

    The WMD “humor” and the McCain Brown Baby are my favorites.

    Which are your favorites?

  16. 16
    Kirk Spencer says:

    I’ve always disliked the EJM philosophy. It’s because I know the end, isn’t. That “perfect moment” is followed by another moment which is the result of the means preceding it – one of which was just recently known as the end.

  17. 17
    srv says:

    I have problems with either. How does one apply Deontological ideology to pop christianity or republicanism? Who can recognize the republicans of today? Let alone the “christians”? These people aren’t anything like their ancestors.

    Now, if you make up something like “Deontolocigal relavitist”, maybe that would fit.

    The only values most republican wingnuts have is that they don’t like those of others. That is their real philosophy. What those other problematic values are changes with the seasons, typically depending upon the election cycle.

    Anyone for a Flag Burning Ammendment? Or the English-only National Anthem Ammendment? Isn’t it about that time?

  18. 18
    Slide says:

    It really is amazing how utterly bereft this administration is of ethics, morals and good judgement. I knew they were going to be bad but damn they have exceeded my expectations. The Worst President Ever ! The next couple of years is going to be fun to watch.. especialy with a Democratic House.. let the hearings begin.

  19. 19
    Darrell says:

    Easy. Find these scofflaw homeowners and build a 20-foot wall around all of their houses. That should teach them to subvert our democracy.

    That is funny. I’m glad tBone has returned to BJ, even though we don’t agree on much politically

    In answer to ppgaz, I would be happy with severe enforcement on the large employers of illegal aliens, which is where I believe the bulk of the problem lies. If we have to turn a blind eye to individuals who hire illegals for odd jobs around the house in order to make a real crackdown of illegal aliens and their employers more palatible to the general public, that’s a compromise worth making

    Although let’s not pretend that Joe taxpayer is getting much benefit from them. He may save a few hundred bucks every couple of years on odd jobs, but he’ll pay thousands more in increased taxes to pay for the social services of the illegal aliens. Typical public school costs are $8,000 per year per child while making maybe $20,000 yr. total salary. That doesn’t include the cost of free school lunches for his kids, free vaccinations, police protection which they enjoy, healthcare provided to the family which they cannot afford, and all the miriad of other social services they consume but do not pay for.

    Problem is, we are having the type of immigrant who comes to the US being dictated to us by illegal immigration. 55% of illegals are from one country only, and by and large they are uneducated. My last two employers were immigrants who came here legally for graduate studies and started their own companies, creating opportunities for themselves and Americans.. We need more of those types of immigrants, and less of what we are getting now.

  20. 20
    Darrell says:

    The Worst President Ever !

    Leave Jimmy Carter out of this

  21. 21
    Slide says:

    Leave Jimmy Carter out of this

    compared to George Bush, Jimmy Carter is Sir Winston fucking Churchill

  22. 22

    compared to George Bush, Jimmy Carter is Sir Winston fucking Churchill

    As much as I didn’t much care for Carter.

    He is right. Whatever Carter did, he was trying to do it for the good of the country. Bush just tries to do whatever will benefit him politically.

  23. 23
    Darrell says:

    Bush just tries to do whatever will benefit him politically.

    Bush’s boldest political move by far was the invasion of Iraq. It was a big risk for him politically, with nothing to gain really.. but he thought it was the right thing to do

    Bush’s actions in Iraq flies in the face of those who claim he’s they type that will do things which benefit him politically. That’s Clinton, not Bush

  24. 24
    Darrell says:

    typo – should have written do things which ONLY will benefit him politically.

  25. 25
    VidaLoca says:

    Leave Jimmy Carter out of this

    Carter is derided as being ineffective today, but in his time (up until the embassy in Teheran was taken over, at least) he wasn’t — because the bar for effective had been set so low by his predecessor, Gerald Ford. Lest we forget, it was Ford who pardoned Nixon.

  26. 26
    ppGaz says:

    Bush’s boldest political move by far was the invasion of Iraq.

    Dr. Pangloss, I presume?

    with nothing to gain really

    Heh. Just in case anyone forgot who Darrell is, now you remember. No incredible piece of bullshit is too over the top for this guy.

    Your version is cute, Darrell. But I think the Woodward version is more likely close to the truth:

    Woodward reports that just five days after Sept. 11, President Bush indicated to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice that while he had to do Afghanistan first, he was also determined to do something about Saddam Hussein.

    ”There’s some pressure to go after Saddam Hussein. Don Rumsfeld has said, ‘This is an opportunity to take out Saddam Hussein, perhaps. We should consider it.’ And the president says to Condi Rice meeting head to head, ‘We won’t do Iraq now.’ But it is a question we’re gonna have to return to,’” says Woodward.

    “And there’s this low boil on Iraq until the day before Thanksgiving, Nov. 21, 2001. This is 72 days after 9/11. This is part of this secret history. President Bush, after a National Security Council meeting, takes Don Rumsfeld aside, collars him physically, and takes him into a little cubbyhole room and closes the door and says, ‘What have you got in terms of plans for Iraq? What is the status of the war plan? I want you to get on it. I want you to keep it secret.’”

    Woodward says immediately after that, Rumsfeld told Gen. Tommy Franks to develop a war plan to invade Iraq and remove Saddam – and that Rumsfeld gave Franks a blank check.

    ”Rumsfeld and Franks work out a deal essentially where Franks can spend any money he needs. And so he starts building runways and pipelines and doing all the preparations in Kuwait, specifically to make war possible,” says Woodward.

    “Gets to a point where in July, the end of July 2002, they need $700 million, a large amount of money for all these tasks. And the president approves it. But Congress doesn’t know and it is done. They get the money from a supplemental appropriation for the Afghan War, which Congress has approved. …Some people are gonna look at a document called the Constitution which says that no money will be drawn from the Treasury unless appropriated by Congress. Congress was totally in the dark on this.”

    Woodward says there was a lot happening that only key Bush people knew about.

    ”A year before the war started, three things are going on. Franks is secretly developing this war plan that he’s briefing the president in detail on,” says Woodward. “Franks simultaneously is publicly denying that he’s ever been asked to do any plan.”

    For example, here’s Gen. Franks’ response to a question about invading Iraq, in May 2002, after he’s been working on war plans for five months: “That’s a great question and one for which I don’t have an answer, because my boss has not yet asked me to put together a plan to do that.”

    But according to Woodward, the general had been perfecting his war plan, and Vice President Dick Cheney knew all about it. Woodward reports that Cheney was the driving force in the White House to get Saddam. Cheney had been Secretary of Defense during the first Gulf War, and to him, Saddam was unfinished business – and a threat to the United States.

    In his book, Woodward describes Cheney as a “powerful, steamrolling force obsessed with Saddam and taking him out.”

    “Colin Powell, the secretary of state, saw this in Cheney to such an extent, he, Powell, told colleagues that ‘Cheney has a fever. It is an absolute fever. It’s almost as if nothing else exists,’” says Woodward, who adds that Cheney had plenty of opportunities to convince the president.

    ”He’s just down the hall in the West Wing from the president. President says, ‘I meet with him all the time.’ Cheney’s back in the corner or sitting on the couch at nearly all of these meetings.”

    The president had hoped Saddam could be removed in some way short of war. But early in 2002, Woodward reports, the CIA concluded they could not overthrow Saddam. That word came from the CIA’s head of Iraq operations, a man known simply as “Saul.”

    “Saul gets together a briefing and who does he give it to first? Dick Cheney. He said, ‘I can count the number of sources, human sources, spies we have in Iraq on one hand,’” says Woodward. “I asked the president, ‘What was your reaction that the CIA couldn’t overthrow Saddam? And the president said one word. ‘Darn.'”

    The vice president led the way on declaring that Saddam Hussein definitely had weapons of mass destruction. Before that, the president had said only that Saddam “desires them.”

    But ten days later, the vice president said Saddam already had weapons of mass destruction. And 12 days after that, the president too had apparently been persuaded: “A lot of people understand he holds weapons of mass destruction.”

    Three months later, on Dec. 21, 2002, Woodward says CIA Director George Tenet brought his deputy, John McLaughlin, to the oval office to show the president and the vice president their best evidence that Saddam really had weapons of mass destruction.

    ”McLaughlin has access to all the satellite photos, and he goes in and he has flip charts in the oval office. The president listens to all of this and McLaughlin’s done. And, and the president kind of, as he’s inclined to do, says ‘Nice try, but that isn’t gonna sell Joe Public. That isn’t gonna convince Joe Public,’” says Woodward.

    In his book, Woodward writes: “The presentation was a flop. The photos were not gripping. The intercepts were less than compelling. And then George Bush turns to George Tenet and says, ‘This is the best we’ve got?'”

    Says Woodward: “George Tenet’s sitting on the couch, stands up, and says, ‘Don’t worry, it’s a slam dunk case.’” And the president challenges him again and Tenet says, ‘The case, it’s a slam dunk.’ …I asked the president about this and he said it was very important to have the CIA director – ‘Slam-dunk is as I interpreted is a sure thing, guaranteed. No possibility it won’t go through the hoop.’ Others present, Cheney, very impressed.”

    What did Woodward think of Tenet’s statement? “It’s a mistake,” he says. “Now the significance of that mistake – that was the key rationale for war.”

    It was just two weeks later when the president decided to go to war.

    “That decision was first conveyed to Condi Rice in early January 2003 when he said, ‘We’re gonna have to go. It’s war.’ He was frustrated with the weapons inspections. He had promised the United Nations and the world and the country that either the UN would disarm Saddam or he, George Bush, would do it and do it alone if necessary,” says Woodward. “So he told Condi Rice. He told Rumsfeld. He knew Cheney wanted to do this. And they realized they haven’t told Colin Powell, the Secretary of State.”

    “So Condi Rice said, ‘You better call Colin in and tell him.’ So, I think probably one of the most interesting meetings in this whole story. He calls Colin Powell in alone, sitting in those two famous chairs in the Oval Office and the president said, ‘Looks like war. I’m gonna have to do this,’” adds Woodward.

    “And then Powell says to him, somewhat in a chilly way, ‘Are you aware of the consequences?’ Because he’d been pounding for months on the president, on everyone – and Powell directly says, ‘You know, you’re gonna be owning this place.’ And the president says, ‘I understand that.’ The president knows that Powell is the one who doesn’t want to go to war. He says, ‘Will you be with me?’ And Powell, the soldier, 35 years in the army, the president has decided and he says, ‘I’ll do my best. Yes, Mr. President. I’ll be with you.’” And then, the president says, ‘Time to put your war uniform on.’”

    Woodward says he described Powell as semi-despondent “because he knew that this was a war that might have been avoided. That’s why he spent so much time at the United Nations.”

    But, it turns out, two days before the president told Powell, Cheney and Rumsfeld had already briefed Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador.

    ”Saturday, Jan. 11, with the president’s permission, Cheney and Rumsfeld call Bandar to Cheney’s West Wing office, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Myers, is there with a top-secret map of the war plan. And it says, ‘Top secret. No foreign.’ No foreign means no foreigners are supposed to see this,” says Woodward.

    “They describe in detail the war plan for Bandar. And so Bandar, who’s skeptical because he knows in the first Gulf War we didn’t get Saddam out, so he says to Cheney and Rumsfeld, ‘So Saddam this time is gonna be out, period?’ And Cheney – who has said nothing – says the following: ‘Prince Bandar, once we start, Saddam is toast.’”

    After Bandar left, according to Woodward, Cheney said, “I wanted him to know that this is for real. We’re really doing it.”

    But this wasn’t enough for Prince Bandar, who Woodward says wanted confirmation from the president. “Then, two days later, Bandar is called to meet with the president and the president says, ‘Their message is my message,’” says Woodward.

    Prince Bandar enjoys easy access to the Oval Office. His family and the Bush family are close. And Woodward told 60 Minutes that Bandar has promised the president that Saudi Arabia will lower oil prices in the months before the election – to ensure the U.S. economy is strong on election day.

    Woodward says that Bandar understood that economic conditions were key before a presidential election: “They’re [oil prices] high. And they could go down very quickly. That’s the Saudi pledge. Certainly over the summer, or as we get closer to the election, they could increase production several million barrels a day and the price would drop significantly.”

    For his book, Woodward interviewed 75 top military and Bush administration officials, including two long interviews with the president himself. Mr. Bush spoke on the record, but others talked to Woodward on condition that he not reveal their identities.

    60 Minutes won’t name those Woodward interviewed, but we’ve listened to the tapes and read the transcripts of his key interviews to verify that his accounts are based on recollections from people who took part in the meetings he describes, including a historic meeting on March 19, when Bush gives the order to go to war.

    He’s with the National Security Council, in the situation room. Says Woodward: “They have all these TV monitors. Gen. Franks, the commander, is up on one of them. And all nine commanders, and the president asks each one of them, ‘Are you ready? Do you have what you need? Are you satisfied?’ And they all say, ‘Yes, sir.’ and ‘We’re ready.’”

    Then the president saluted and he rose suddenly from his chair. “People who were there said there were tears in his eyes, not coming down his cheeks but in his eyes,” says Woodward. “And just kind of marched out of the room.”

    Having given the order, the president walked alone around the circle behind the White House. Months later, he told Woodward: “As I walked around the circle, I prayed that our troops be safe, be protected by the Almighty. Going into this period, I was praying for strength to do the Lord’s will. I’m surely not going to justify war based upon God. Understand that. Nevertheless, in my case, I pray that I be as good a messenger of his will as possible. And then, of course, I pray for forgiveness.”

    Did Mr. Bush ask his father for any advice? “I asked the president about this. And President Bush said, ‘Well, no,’ and then he got defensive about it,” says Woodward. “Then he said something that really struck me. He said of his father, ‘He is the wrong father to appeal to for advice. The wrong father to go to, to appeal to in terms of strength.’ And then he said, ‘There’s a higher Father that I appeal to.’”

    Beyond not asking his father about going to war, Woodward was startled to learn that the president did not ask key cabinet members either.

    ”The president, in making the decision to go to war, did not ask his secretary of defense for an overall recommendation, did not ask his secretary of state, Colin Powell, for his recommendation,” says Woodward.

    But the president did ask Rice, his national security adviser, and Karen Hughes, his political communications adviser. Woodward says both supported going to war. And in the run-up to war, Woodward reveals the CIA hired the leaders of a Muslim religious sect at odds with Saddam, but nonetheless with numerous members highly placed in Saddam’s security services. The CIA’s code name for them: the Rock Stars.

    “Before the war, they recruit 87 of them all throughout the country and they give them satellite phones. And they report in regularly on secret things that are going on,” says Woodward.

    And it turns out, reports from the Rock Stars led to the first bombing attack, on March 19, to try to kill Saddam – at a place called Dora Farm, a farm south of Baghdad that Saddam’s wife used.

    “And Saddam went there at least once a year with his two sons. The security person at Dora Farm was a CIA spy, a Rock Star, and had a telephone, a satellite phone, in which he was reporting what he was seeing.”

    Other Rock Stars are apparently there too, so Rumsfeld and Tenet rush to the oval office to tell the president what the spies are seeing.

    “They’ve seen the son. There is communications equipment coming in that would show that Saddam is going there. They get overhead satellite photos that show dozens of security vehicles parked under palm trees. And they say, ‘Holy Moses, this is for real.’ And they start getting better and more detailed reports that they think Saddam is coming. And the question is, do we take them out,’” says Woodward.

    “The president asks everyone, and they all recommend doing it. And then he kicks everyone out, except Cheney. And he says, ‘Dick, what do you think?’ And Cheney says, ‘I think we ought to do it, and at minimum, it will rattle Saddam’s cage.’ …They start getting intelligence that maybe they hit Saddam.”

    But Woodward says that Tenet was wrong. Again. And to this day, Woodward reports, the CIA still doesn’t know if the information from the Rock Stars was reliable, or if Saddam was really there that night. “Again, we have the fog of war, the fog of intelligence,” says Woodward.

    Although Saddam has finally been captured, Woodward says that so far, interrogators are learning very little from him.

    ”What people have told me is that he he’s kind of out of it. Unreliable,” says Woodward. “That he, at some moments, thinks he’s still president. He’s not in touch with reality, to the point where they can find what he says is reliable.”

    And in the wake of the war, according to Woodward, there’s a deep rift between Powell and Cheney.

    ”The relationship between Cheney and Powell is essentially broken down. They can’t talk. They don’t communicate,” says Woodward. “Powell feels that Cheney drove the decision to go to war in Iraq. And Cheney feels that Powell has not been sufficiently supportive of the president in the war or in the aftermath.”

    Which of the two was more prescient about how Iraq would turn out? “All of Powell’s warnings think of the consequences, Pottery Barn rules: If you break it, you own it. And that’s exactly what has happened in Iraq. We own it. In a way, they’ve had victory without success,” says Woodward.

    “Dick Cheney’s view is that in a way, it doesn’t matter how long the aftermath is… What matters is the ultimate outcome… Whether there’s stability and democracy.”

    Are there post-war plans? “There were innumerable briefings to the president about currency about oil. And on the real issue of security and possible violence, they did not see it coming,” says Woodward.

    Did the administration really believe that they were going to get flowers and kisses? “Some of the exiles told them that,” says Woodward. “I think the president was skeptical of that. I think people like Cheney believed it more.”

    Today, while most doubt that Saddam still possessed any weapons of mass destruction, the president told Woodward he has no doubts at all about going to war.

    ”The president still believes with some conviction, that this was absolutely the right thing, that he has the duty to free people, to liberate people. And this was his moment,” says Woodward.

    But who gave President Bush the duty to free people around the world? “That’s a really good question. The Constitution doesn’t say that’s part of the commander in chief’s duties,” says Woodward. “That’s his stated purpose. It is far-reaching, and ambitious, and I think will cause many people to tremble.”

    How deep a man is President George W. Bush? “He’s not an intellectual. He is not what I guess would be called a deep thinker,” says Woodward. “He chastised me at one point because I said people were concerned about the failure to find weapons of mass destruction. And he said, ‘Well you travel in elite circles.’ I think he feels there is an intellectual world and he’s indicated he’s not a part of it … the fancy pants intellectual world. What he calls the elite.”

    How does the president think history will judge him for going to war in Iraq?

    “After the second interview with him on Dec. 11, we got up and walked over to one of the doors. There are all of these doors in the Oval Office that lead outside. And he had his hands in his pocket, and I just asked, ‘Well, how is history likely to judge your Iraq war,’” says Woodward.

    “And he said, ‘History,’ and then he took his hands out of his pocket and kind of shrugged and extended his hands as if this is a way off. And then he said, ‘History, we don’t know. We’ll all be dead.’”

    My favorite part is the lengths we went to to reassure Prince Bandar. I mean, he’s in charge of our foreign policy, right?

  27. 27
    VidaLoca says:

    Darrell,

    If Bush had “nothing to gain really” from invading Iraq, what was that whole “Mission Accompolished” thing on the deck of the USS Lincoln, back when he thought he had it all sewn up and in the bag?

    “Nothing to gain really” my ass.

  28. 28
    ppGaz says:

    Typical public school costs are $8,000 per year per child

    So, you think that school costs are basically like money down a rat hole, right Darrell?

    Society reaps no benefit from the educated person, later?

    Explain it, please.

    I mean, look at the money we wasted educating Alberto Gonzalez.

  29. 29
    VidaLoca says:

    Darrell,

    Clinton, I’ll grant you, was incredibly tuned to what would benefit him politically. As is his wife. I don’t trust him and I don’t trust her.

    That said, the peace and prosperity of the late ’90s is not looking bad right now.

  30. 30
    ppGaz says:

    Bush’s boldest political move by far was the invasion of Iraq.

    I swear, that is just priceless. Had to quote it again.

    That’s like saying that Osama’s boldest move was attacking the WTC and Pentagon.

    Gotta admire those bold people!

  31. 31
    ppGaz says:

    We need more of those types of immigrants, and less of what we are getting now.

    Un-fucking-believable.

    You just never let me down, Darrell.

  32. 32
    VidaLoca says:

    I mean, he’s in charge of our foreign policy, right?

    Heh. With the amount of our debt that the Saudis and the Chinese hold how long will we really have a foreign policy other than what they say our foreign policy is?

  33. 33
    tBone says:

    That is funny. I’m glad tBone has returned to BJ, even though we don’t agree on much politically

    Thanks. And whatta ya know, here’s something we agree on:

    In answer to ppgaz, I would be happy with severe enforcement on the large employers of illegal aliens, which is where I believe the bulk of the problem lies.

    I’m going to ignore the rest of your post because it would destroy the warm fuzzy vibe we have going here.

  34. 34
    Darrell says:

    So, you think that school costs are basically like money down a rat hole, right Darrell?

    Your argument was that average Joes were benefitting from illegal aliens. I pointed out that those same Joes are being forced to pay through their taxes for the illegal aliens and the children of the illegals. I assert that it is a big net loss for the average taxpayer and backed up my assertion with some cost figures.

  35. 35
    Slide says:

    How many bush/cheney cronies have profited from the Iraq war? Nothing to gain? Wasn’t rove the one that said,

    “From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.”

    Nothing to gain? Oh, these fucking incompetents didnt’ think Iraq would turn out bad.. they though that little boy george would be a conquering hero (mission accomplished). It was ALL politics for Rove to go into Iraq. Now others had their own agenda of course, the neocons naively believe in Pax American and the projection of military strength was the way to go. Cheney saw the profit for his Halliburton friends. Rummy wanted to demonstrate his streamlined military.. and little boy bush, ever the dissapointing son, wanted to complete what his dad couldn’t finish.

  36. 36
    Slide says:

    I pointed out that those same Joes are being forced to pay through their taxes for the illegal aliens and the children of the illegal’s. I assert that it is a big net loss for the average taxpayer and backed up my assertion with some cost figures.

    pure bull shit. These illegal aliens come here for one reason, to work. They work and they pay taxes. Some have created businesses and have hired others.. all paying taxes. The businesses that hire them for their landscaping, construction, restaurant, and farming all pay taxes as well. Nobody can convince me that they are a net loss for the tax payer.

  37. 37
    Darrell says:

    Heh. With the amount of our debt that the Saudis and the Chinese hold how long will we really have a foreign policy other than what they say our foreign policy is?

    I see a lot of confusion on this issue. The Chinese hold a lot of US debts, not at all unlike a bondholders holding debt of a company. Bondholders would prefer not to do anything to rock the boat, because if the company whose debt they hold goes into bankruptcy, they will collect little of that debt.

    Same with the Chinese. The fact that they hold debt means zero as far influence with us, foreign policy or otherwise. If anything, it gives us more influence over them, as they have too much to lose if they piss us off.

  38. 38
    ppGaz says:

    From a fall 2002 interview with John Nichols of The Nation:

    John Nichols: Rest assured, all signals point to the current pressure for a war with Iraq being driven entirely by the election schedule. The Bush administration has looked very seriously at its realities. They are one seat away from control of the U.S. Senate. Most of the Senate races in play this year are in states which might be vulnerable to a sort of last-minute patriotic appeal: South Dakota, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, South Carolina and North Carolina. They signaled early on they were going to try and make their fall campaign be about national security issues and in August, they started to rather ineptly ramp up a threat from Iraq — a supposed threat. Now, as we’re barely 40 days away from the election, it’s all anybody’s talking about. They’ve succeeded quite brilliantly.

    No, no gain WRT to Iraq was ever considered by the Satanic fuckheads in this White House. Never happened. Nuh uh.

  39. 39
    ppGaz says:

    I pointed out that those same Joes are being forced to pay through their taxes

    Exactly how much is the taxpaying Joe paying, Darrell?

    Put a number on it.

  40. 40
    Darrell says:

    These illegal aliens come here for one reason, to work. They work and they pay taxes.

    First of all, many are working ‘under the table’ paying zero taxes. Those who are using fraudulent SS numbers pay very little, as they earn very little, certainly not enough to pay for the social services they consume. At $9 or $10 dollars an hour, how much taxes could they pay anyway? Not jack shit in taxes, that’s how much.

    What’s more, because we cannot filter the illegals who come here, rapists, murderers and other criminals come with those who want to work. 17% of those in federal prison are illegal aliens. The percentage of illegal alien criminals is likely much higher than that, as some are simply deported without being jailed.. another cost paid for by Joe Taxpayer

  41. 41
    Jesse says:

    Your argument was that average Joes were benefitting from illegal aliens. I pointed out that those same Joes are being forced to pay through their taxes for the illegal aliens and the children of the illegals. I assert that it is a big net loss for the average taxpayer and backed up my assertion with some cost figures.

    Hmm…let’s see here. Just looking at schools, the vast majority of funding for schools come from property taxes, ignoring things like funding from state and federal governments. But, illegal immigrants in a rounfabout way pay property taxes. If they own the house which isn’t likely, it doesn’t matter whether he’s legal or not, he still has to pay the property taxes on the land. If they rent somewhere, the landlord is using that rent money to pay the mortgage and property tax. So, with schools, the DEM MEXICANS PAY NO TAXES!!!111!! argument doesn’t hold much water.

  42. 42
    ppGaz says:

    Nobody can convince me that they are a net loss for the tax payer.

    Well, give ol’ Darrell the chance. I put the question to him, just upstream of here.

    Now, we know that schools costs are generally paid for out of property taxes. It’s a pretty local, pretty linear affair. So, you have to picture all those little brown kids living in Joe’s neighborhood and going to Joe’s schools …. while their parents are …. what? …. living in their car?

    Let’s let Darrell come up with some numbers. Let’s find out what ol’ taxpayer Joe is actually spending to school those little Mexicans. Darrell will not let us down.

  43. 43
    Darrell says:

    Hmm…let’s see here. Just looking at schools, the vast majority of funding for schools come from property taxes, ignoring things like funding from state and federal governments. But, illegal immigrants in a rounfabout way pay property taxes. If they own the house which isn’t likely, it doesn’t matter whether he’s legal or not, he still has to pay the property taxes on the land.

    They pay a tiny percentage of the cost, but it is a net loss to the taxpayer. A family making less than $20,000 a year isn’t paying much in rent, that is for sure. Certainly not enough to pay in property taxes for 1 kid, much less 4 or 5. Huge net loss for the taxpayer, because poor uneducated mexicans and central americans are dictating to us what type of immigrant comes to our country

  44. 44
    ppGaz says:

    Huge net loss for the taxpayer,

    Prove it, Darrell. How much, and to which taxpayers?

    Prove it, or shut the fuck up.

  45. 45
    Jesse says:

    So, when we’re throwing out the illegals, should we throw out the other children who’s education would be a “net loss”, like those of waitresses, retail workers, and other work that doesn’t pay enough in property taxes or are you going to realize that argument is sort of stupid?

  46. 46
    ppGaz says:

    should we throw out the other children who’s education would be a “net loss”, like those of waitresses, retail workers, and other work that doesn’t pay enough in property taxes

    You mean, like the white trash who live in Darrell’s “Airstream Heaven” trailer park?

    See, Darrell is going to come back and prove that Joe Taxpayer has a real burden here, and how much that is, and how much of it is the unreturned cost of alien kids, as compared to his own white trash neighbors.

    Just give him a few minutes, I’m sure he has the facts and figures at his fingertips. Darrell would NEVER shoot his mouth off without the facts and figures to back it up.

  47. 47
    Darrell says:

    Jesse Says:

    So, when we’re throwing out the illegals, should we throw out the other children who’s education would be a “net loss”, like those of waitresses, retail workers, and other work that doesn’t pay enough in property taxes or are you going to realize that argument is sort of stupid?

    If that argument so “stupid”, then your side should run with it.. seriously, make it a huge election issue for Democrats and see what happens. Since the other side is so ‘stupid’, you must have a winning issue.

    Just because we have poor people, uneducated, or people with leprosy for that matter, doesn’t mean it’s good for America to have an immigration policy tilted almost entirely toward the poor, undecated or lepers.. that is your ‘logic’, is it not?

  48. 48
    srv says:

    Bush’s actions in Iraq flies in the face of those who claim he’s they type that will do things which benefit him politically. That’s Clinton, not Bush

    Yeah, Kosovo was a win-win for Klinton.

  49. 49
    ppGaz says:

    IN OTHER WORDS YOU HAVE NO FUCKING IDEA, DO YOU DARRELL?

    NOT A CLUE.

    I got news for you, Darrell: I AM JOE TAXPAYER, a homeowner in Arizona, ground zero for illegal immigration.

    I want you to tell me what my tax burden is to pay for schooling those Mexican kids.

    Now.

  50. 50
    Darrell says:

    I got news for you, Darrell: I AM JOE TAXPAYER, a homeowner in Arizona, ground zero for illegal immigration.

    I want you to tell me what my tax burden is to pay for schooling those Mexican kids

    Take the total amount of school taxes you and your fellow taxpayers pay per property evaluation, calculate the percentage of students enrolled in your school district who are illegal immigrants or children of illegals, and you’ll begin to have an idea.

    Don’t forget to figure in the free lunches they eat, the free vaccinations, the free medical care they and their parents receive when they show up at the emergency room, and the other social services they enjoy paid for by joe taxpayer, and you’ll be on track to understanding the problem.

  51. 51
    ppGaz says:

    Take the total amount of school taxes you and your fellow taxpayers pay per property evaluation, calculate the percentage of students enrolled in your school district who are illegal immigrants or children of illegals, and you’ll begin to have an idea.

    Well, I’ve done just that, you stupid shit, and I do have an idea.

    But you don’t. You are sitting here blabbling about and you have no fucking idea on earth.

    I know all about it. I am in the middle of the middle of Phoenix, one of the most densely Hispanic areas in the country, less than two hours from the desert area that bears some of the highest illegal alien traffic in the world, year around.

    This is my school district:

    Osborn Schools

    This is where my son went to school:

    Encanto School

    I grew up in this neighborhood. I went to school here. I’ll retire here.

    Yeah, I know what my tax burden is. I know all about it. I know the history here going back sixty years. I’ve got neighbors here who moved into this neighborhood when these houses were built in 1954. My house is right exactly at the median house value for the area. My taxes are right at the median too.

    But you know nothing about it.

  52. 52
    ppGaz says:

    Don’t forget to figure in the free lunches they eat, the free vaccinations, the free medical care they and their parents receive when they show up at the emergency room, and the other social services they enjoy paid for by joe taxpayer, and you’ll be on track to understanding the problem.

    No, Darrell, YOU figure it in,and you tell me.

    What is this costing me?

    And show your work.

  53. 53
    Slide says:

    illegal aliens pay social security taxes but are never eligible for social security

    illegal aliens pay property taxes

    illegal aliens pay payroll taxes

    illegal aliens pay sales taxes

    illegal aliens pay gas taxes

    I would venture to say that many illegal aliens pay a higher percentage of their income in various taxes than do many legal Americans due to the very regressive nature of out tax code.

  54. 54
    Darrell says:

    illegal aliens pay social security taxes but are never eligible for social security

    illegal aliens pay property taxes

    illegal aliens pay payroll taxes

    illegal aliens pay sales taxes

    illegal aliens pay gas taxes

    Illegals pay some small amount of taxes, I never denied that. Many work under the table for cash without paying SS or income taxes, others use fraudulent SS cards, but they don’t earn enough to pay much.. certainly not enough to pay for all the social services they and their family consume. Why? Because they are dictating to us, rather than vice versa, that a large majority of immigrants, through illegal immigration, are poor and uneducated with little earning potential.. with a disproportionate percentage of them criminals. As a result, taxpayers are saddled with paying for the social costs of these illegals who come here knowingly violating our immigration laws.

  55. 55
    Slide says:

    Illegal aliens are contributing quite a bit to our Social Security fund even though they don’t get a penny back as this NY Times article shows:

    Starting in the late 1980’s, the Social Security Administration received a flood of W-2 earnings reports with incorrect – sometimes simply fictitious – Social Security numbers. It stashed them in what it calls the “earnings suspense file” in the hope that someday it would figure out whom they belonged to.

    The file has been mushrooming ever since: $189 billion worth of wages ended up recorded in the suspense file over the 1990’s, two and a half times the amount of the 1980’s.

    In the current decade, the file is growing, on average, by more than $50 billion a year, generating $6 billion to $7 billion in Social Security tax revenue and about $1.5 billion in Medicare taxes.

    In 2002 alone, the last year with figures released by the Social Security Administration, nine million W-2’s with incorrect Social Security numbers landed in the suspense file, accounting for $56 billion in earnings, or about 1.5 percent of total reported wages.

    Social Security officials do not know what fraction of the suspense file corresponds to the earnings of illegal immigrants. But they suspect that the portion is significant.

    “Our assumption is that about three-quarters of other-than-legal immigrants pay payroll taxes,” said Stephen C. Goss, Social Security’s chief actuary, using the agency’s term for illegal immigration.

    .

  56. 56
    Slide says:

    now who are you going to believe, Darrell or the head actury for the Social Security administrtation?

  57. 57
    ppGaz says:

    Use Google Maps and the Satellite View for this, Darrell

    Zoom in until you see the large campus on the NW corner of Thomas and 3rd Avenue. Notice the large dirt area at the north side of the campus. That dirt area today, about two years after the picture was taken, is a multimillion dollar new wing on the hospital, which is one of the top premier hospital and trauma centers in the country. It’s home of Barrows Neurological Institute, probably the premier neurosurgery facility in the world.

    This campus is about a ten minute walk from my house Darrell, which sits between that campus and the school I linked you to earlier. Here is the giant emergency room bulging with illegal alien patients that you spoke of.

    My brother was born at the hospital. My son was treated there. I had my appendix out at St. Joseph’s when I was five years old. My dad had brain surgery there.

    So, tell me more about how much treating those illegal aliens over there is hurting me, Darrell. How much is that costing me?

    And, how’s it coming with that Joe Taxpayer information, Darrell? Got those figures yet?

  58. 58
    Darrell says:

    Slide, how much in SS and income taxes are paid to someone making $8 – $10/hr? Too bad the NY Times didn’t talk about how much those same illegals are costing taxpayers in social costs. Schooling costs ALONE are $8,000 per child per year. In NY City I believe it’s closer to $13,000 per child per yr. That is just one component of their costs. There are many others. Not that logic could ever persuade you though

  59. 59
    ppGaz says:

    Darrell, when are you going to admit that you basically sit here and run off at the mouth and have no idea on earth what the fuck you are talking about?

    How much is Joe Taxpayer — that is, me — paying for schooling those illegals, Darrell?

    How much is it costing me to treat them over at the hospital here?

  60. 60
    Slide says:

    Darrell one thing that you are missing is that yes, newly arrived illegals usually get very low paying jobs.. but they work.. and pay taxes.. and they live the American dream and move up the economic ladder.. many illegals have been here for years and years… they are firmly in the middle class…. paying taxes.. owning homes. .owning businesses… just like other immigrants.. such as my mother and father that came over here to this country from Sicily without a penny to their name and managed to send all four children to college. The American Dream darrell.. why do you hate America and what it stands for so much?

  61. 61
    ppGaz says:

    Slide, how much in SS

    Hey, who the hell are you to be asking questions here, Darrell?

    Why don’t YOU ever answer the questions put to you?

  62. 62
    Darrell says:

    just like other immigrants

    That’s the crux of the problem. They are not “just like other immigrants”. They skipped the line over those playing by the rules waiting to come. I don’t know how many illegal immigrants are ‘firmly in the middle class’, as so many of them come here unskilled and uneducated. Either way, they came here ILLEGALLY in violation of our laws

  63. 63
    ppGaz says:

    That’s the crux of the problem

    .

    SHUT UP. You don’t know anything about the “crux of the problem.”

  64. 64
    Darrell says:

    How much is it costing me to treat them over at the hospital here?

    You tell me. Several hospitals have had to shut down as a result of being overwhelmed by illegal immigrants. County and city clinics and hospitals charge little or nothing to treat patients.. Joe Taxpayer foots the bill for all this.

    Why are you Dems siding with businesses who hire these illegal aliens, defending their right to do so, while saddling the poor and middle class with the costs of those illegals?

  65. 65
    Steve says:

    The Chinese hold a lot of US debts, not at all unlike a bondholders holding debt of a company. Bondholders would prefer not to do anything to rock the boat, because if the company whose debt they hold goes into bankruptcy, they will collect little of that debt.

    Same with the Chinese. The fact that they hold debt means zero as far influence with us, foreign policy or otherwise. If anything, it gives us more influence over them, as they have too much to lose if they piss us off.

    There’s some truth to this, in the sense that we are playing an economic version of Mutually Assured Destruction. The Chinese obviously can’t afford to take some action that would wreck our currency, as their economy is dependent on ours to a large extent.

    But the problem is, we also depend on the Chinese to finance a huge amount of new debt, year after year. There are any number of actions they could take in the economic arena taht would hurt us far more than it would hurt them. Even a decision to slightly reallocate their investments would harm our markets in a big way.

    There’s no question that the Chinese have us over a barrel in an economic sense. This hurts our national interest in a world where we may need to confront them in any number of other spheres.

  66. 66
    ppGaz says:

    You tell me. Several hospitals have had to shut down as a result of being overwhelmed by illegal immigrants. County and city clinics and hospitals charge little or nothing to treat patients.. Joe Taxpayer foots the bill for all this.

    No, you lying piece of crap. You tell me, you raised it as an issue.

    Name a hospital here in Arizona, ground zero for illegal immigration, that has shut down as a result of being overwhelmed by illegal immigrants. Ever.

    I am Joe Taxpayer, you lying sack of crap. How much is that costing ME?

    And what about the school costs that you pulled out of your ass?

  67. 67
    Darrell says:

    There’s no question that the Chinese have us over a barrel in an economic sense.

    To the contrary, we have far more influence over them than they have over us. We are their #1 customer. They depend on the US buying their products more than any other country. And those investments you refer to are hedging currency to make sure their products continue to be affordable to US businesses and consumers.

  68. 68
    Brian says:

    Prove it, Darrell. How much, and to which taxpayers?

    Prove it, or shut the fuck up.

    It doesn’t take long when reading a thread to see ppGaz get righteously indignant and start insisting that others cough up facts, when he himself is intellectually lazy (he even admits it).

    And ppGaz, knock off the long block quotes. I believe John and Tim have waved their fingers at this in the recent past. That comment at 6:12pm was gratuitously long, and I will guarantee not one person read it. So, knock it off, or find another blog to stalk, Little Napoleon.

  69. 69
    tBone says:

    This argument should be even more entertaining when the other half of it actually shows up.

    Was I right, or was I right? Huh?

    Keep it up, fellas. There’s nothing good on TV tonight anyway.

  70. 70
    ppGaz says:

    Fuck you, Brian. Darrell is the problem, not me.

    The fucker comes here every day and begins or ends every post with his “all lefties are stupid poopyheads” crap.

    He makes shit up and lies and changes the subject when challenged. You got a problem, take it up with him.

    The lying sack of shit sat here in the last hour and claimed that “Joe Taxpayer” is bearing a burden of illegal aliens’ education.

    Then let him produce the facts. I am Joe Fucking Taxpayer, how much is it costing me? Let him answer the question, or shut him up. Why should we have to put up with his stupid crap every day?

    Why should he be allowed to post any nonsense here and never have to answer a damned question or put up a fact?

    And who the hell are you to tell me that I can’t demand that he answer a frigging question?

  71. 71
    Darrell says:

    Steve, I will grant you that if the chinese stopped buying US t-bills and notes, we would likely have to raise interest rates to attract other buyers for that debt. I still don’t see how they have us over any barrel though

  72. 72
    ppGaz says:

    Answer the questions, or shut up, Darrell.

  73. 73
    Slide says:

    seems like “our” side are the only ones supplying any factual information… I showed you that the head actuary of the Social Security Administration believes that 75% of illegal aliens pay payroll taxes while you indicated that most do not. I then gave you numbers of how much money is put into our Social Security system by illegal aliens who are not eligible to receive a penny back.

    the only number I recall you giving was that 17% of all prisoners in federal prison are illegal aliens.. can you provide a source for that please

  74. 74
    Darrell says:

    the only number I recall you giving was that 17% of all prisoners in federal prison are illegal aliens.. can you provide a source for that please

    Well, I did give per pupil annual costs for schools, which is substantial. I don’t have exact numbers for the other costs, so therefore they don’t exist [/sarcasm on the last comment]

    Regarding the 17% of inmates in federal prison being illegals, here’s a lefty source you may trust

  75. 75
    Slide says:

    so what is your solution to the some 12 million illegal aliens already here in this country, some for decades, many with children that are US citizens, many who are married to US citizens… your solution? what shall we do? Make them criminals? deport them? round them up and put them in camps? what do we do Darrell other than attack them and dehumanize them so things like this happen?

    Schwarzenegger told reporters Monday about the threats against Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, both Democrats, during a news conference in his office Monday.

    “There’s something very important that I need to speak to my fellow Californians about,” he said. “It has come to my attention that our Lieutenant Gov. Bustamante and our Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa and other elected officials of Mexican heritage have received disturbing and hateful death threats.”

    Schwarzenegger said he also was disturbed to learn that vandals had torched and spray-painted ethnic insults on a Mexican-owned restaurant in San Diego County earlier this month.

    Sheriff’s officials ruled the April 10 attack a hate crime.

  76. 76
    ppGaz says:

    Well, I did give per pupil annual costs for schools, which is substantial.

    Liar.

    You started with a claim that illegal aliens are a tax burden, then referenced the school costs. But you have no idea what the actual cost to the taxpayer is, unless you are refusing to reveal it for some reason.

    So, what is the actual burden to me, the taxpayer, to educate those illegals, Darrell?

    Who taught you that you can go through life making shit up, and then changing the subject whenver challenged?

    Does that work for you in real life?

  77. 77
    Steve says:

    To the contrary, we have far more influence over them than they have over us. We are their #1 customer. They depend on the US buying their products more than any other country. And those investments you refer to are hedging currency to make sure their products continue to be affordable to US businesses and consumers.

    As a matter of pure economic interdependency, you could be right – I’m not sure. But my point is, their decision to hedge currency or allocate their borrowing differently is something that their government can easily adjust at the macro level. Whereas the market we provide for their goods isn’t so susceptible to manipulation by our government, without a major policy change. China is largely dependent on US consumers having sufficient disposable income and the like, sure – but that’s not something our central bank can change on a whim just because we feel like fucking with China.

    It’s a moot point, I guess, because as you saw during the recent visit by the Chinese president, there is absolutely no limit to our willingness to suck up to them. The question of what might happen if we decided to play hardball with China is therefore academic in the extreme.

  78. 78
    ppGaz says:

    Darrell is never going to answer the taxation question, obviously. We have long ago learned that his stock in trade is to pull nonsense out of his ass, and then run away when challenged, or pull a jackalope picture out of his wallet.

    It was Darrell who brought up “Joe Taxpayer.”

    Well, that’s me. Mister Middle Class America here in the very center of immigration ground zero, in a heavily Hispanic school district.

    My house is about as middle as you can get, being within 5% of the median house value in Phoenix.

    I pay about $1100 per year in property taxes. I happen to have the mortgage company escrow statement in front of me as we speak. I pay this amount on two houses, actually, one to live in, and one to rent.

    $1100 per year is about $91 per month.

    If you figured very generously that 5% of that tax burden is spent on educating illegal aliens, then my Joe Taxpayer “Darrell Burden” would be $4.58 per month, or about $1.15 per week. As I said, I think that is a very generous estimate. Your mileage may vary.

    So there you are. Darrell will sit here on this blog and crap on a thread to complain that others … not he, apparently, as he has made no such claim … might have to pay as much as $1.15 a week to educate illegal aliens.

    Others, not Darrell. Others, as in me, Joe Taxpayer, homeowner here in the Illegal Alien Ground Zero.

    Do you think my 5% estimate is low, Darrell? I think it’s high. Do you have any figures to support another rate?

  79. 79
    Once-ler says:

    Who taught you that you can go through life making shit up, and then changing the subject whenver challenged?

    ppGaz, surely you know that Darrell would have to make shit up to do what you are demanding of him. He doesn’t know how many illegal aliens are in your community, what is spent for government services for them, or how much taxes they pay. I doubt if you or anyone else knows either. It might make a good Ph.D. thesis for someone.

    One study (http://www.cis.org/articles/2004/fiscal.html) that I found in about 2 minutes of Googling concludes:

    When defense spending is not considered, illegal households are estimated to impose costs on the federal treasury of $6,949 a year or 58 percent of what other households received. When defense spending is included, their costs are only 46 percent those of other households. However, they pay only 28 percent as much in taxes as non-illegal households. As a result, the estimated net cost per illegal household was $2,736.

    That’s just federal costs, not state or local. So I think that Darrell’s opinion that illegal immigration represents a net cost is not an unreasonable one, even if he can’t prove it. The fact that I’m finding agreement with Darrell today kind of scares the shit out of me, since I think it means that this is a really bad issue for Democrats and a really good one for Republicans.
    I have two questions for you about immigration:

    1. Does the United States have a right to regulate it’s borders?

    2. When it comes to illegal immigration, how much is too much?

  80. 80
    Davebo says:

    1. Does the United States have a right to regulate it’s borders?

    The obvious answer is yes. The question of whether or not it’s wise to do so is also open.

    2. When it comes to illegal immigration, how much is too much?

    We’ll know when we get there. We definately haven’t yet.

  81. 81
    ppGaz says:

    1) Of course.

    2) Well, the rate has been flat for most of the last century or so, excluding a couple of anomalies such as WWII. The combined legal+illegal rate has averaged about 0.6% of the total population over that period. Seems to be a relatively reasonable figure.

    Recently, though, the illegal rate has gone way up. Why that is so is open to question, but my opinion is that the governments of Mexico and the US have been complicit in causing this to happen and do nothing about it. According to linked data I already supplied, the main drivers appeared to be conditions in the inflow and outflow countries, and not policies such as “guest worker” programs and the like.

    Additionally, I have never seen any figures indicating to me that I have an onerous tax burden caused by illegal immigration. Not zero … onerous.

    I have, however, seen plenty of information that says that the Republican government now fucking up this country is costing me and my children and their children an onerous amount of debt, running into the thousands of dollars, that we’ll be paying off for a long fucking time. When I see Darrell complaining about that, and the taxation and spending policies in place now that are aggravating it, I’ll take his complaints a little more seriously.

    Last, let me say that Darrell is the subject here AFAIC. The man constantly trashes all opposition to his political views, makes assertions without facts to back them up, and never has the courtesy to answer direct questions or be honest enough to say “I don’t know” when he doesn’t know something, which is quite often. He’s an arrogant lying dishones manipulative asshole and he deserves every bit of the shit I’m giving him, and more.

  82. 82
    ppGaz says:

    Now I have a question for you,Davebo:

    What should we do with the (10-11-12)m illegal immigrants we seem to have in the country now?

  83. 83
    Once-ler says:

    As to the US having a right to regulate borders, that’s not a universally held opinion. I just had to see how far out there you were.

    Additionally, I have never seen any figures indicating to me that I have an onerous tax burden caused by illegal immigration.

    I’m just trying to tell you that it’s probably nonzero. Onerous is a matter of opinion.

    I have, however, seen plenty of information that says that the Republican government now fucking up this country is costing me and my children and their children an onerous amount of debt, running into the thousands of dollars, that we’ll be paying off for a long fucking time.

    Agreed, without question. It’s also the same as the “But Clinton did it” defense.

  84. 84
    ppGaz says:

    Onerous is a matter of opinion.

    Certainly. But I am not the one who raised the issue of schooling costs for illegals, Darrell is. I am not the one who said that “Joe Taxpayer” bore this cost. Darrell did.

    The problem is that Darrell had no idea on earth what Joe Taxpayer is actually paying for those schooling costs when he made the assertion. None, zero, nada. Not even the remotest clue.

    When challenged, he changed the subject. Challenged again, changed it again. Ignored the question.

    Yet this is the asshole who will post here all day and make dismissive remarks about “the left” and “lefties” as if he were some kind of expert on the topics he talks about. As if he knew something his adversaries don’t.

    Darrell is a dishonest shit who makes things up.

    Unfortunately for Darrell, I am Joe Taxpayer, and I do know what my tax burden is. And I am not just any Joe Taxpayer, I am Joe Taxpayer in the middle of the area most affected by the issue he is talking about.

    I’m the guy paying the taxes Darrell is bitching about, and he doesn’t even know how much that is.

  85. 85
    ppGaz says:

    It’s also the same as the “But Clinton did it” defense.

    Uh, no. It’s not. When taxes and costs are being discussed, facts and figures count. Money talks, and bullshit walks.

    Are you telling me that the cost, apparently unknown to you, of illegal immigration, is equivalent to the unprecedented mountain of debt being created by this administration?

    That’s called “Look – a jackalope!” Darrell’s stock in trade.

  86. 86
    Once-ler says:

    But I am not the one who raised the issue of schooling costs for illegals, Darrell is. I am not the one who said that “Joe Taxpayer” bore this cost. Darrell did.

    But “Joe Taxpayer” does bear this cost. You (ppGaz) and Darrell just disagree on whether that cost is “onerous” or not. It seems to me that’s all it really boils down to.

    Darrell is a dishonest shit who makes things up.

    He may be a dishonest shit who makes things up 364 days a year. But I haven’t seen him do it yet today. Oh, wait, didn’t he say…

    Bush’s boldest political move by far was the invasion of Iraq. It was a big risk for him politically, with nothing to gain really..

    You’re right, that one was a real whopper!

  87. 87
    Once-ler says:

    Are you telling me that the cost, apparently unknown to you, of illegal immigration, is equivalent to the unprecedented mountain of debt being created by this administration?

    I’m saying that the mountain of debt being created by this administration is irrelevant to the immigration issue. It’s not connected. Bringing it up is the Chewbacca Defense.

  88. 88
    ppGaz says:

    Bringing it up is the Chewbacca Defense.

    Um,no. The issue here really isn’t immigration. It’s Darrell. Because Darrell will bust your balls about a buck a week tax burden, but he won’t allow that his favorite president is costing you a hell of a lot more than that with his insane policies.

    If tax burdens are the issue, then let’s get all the fiscal policies out on the table. If they aren’t the issue, then take them all off the table. You can’t bitch about one fiscal policy and then try disqualify the ones that don’t make your side look good. “Your” here is generic, it does refer to you.

    And if tax burdens are in fact the issue, then at least come to the table knowing the damned numbers. It isn’t enough to say “well, they aren’t zero.” None of them are zero. The actual amounts count.

  89. 89
    ppGaz says:

    You (ppGaz) and Darrell just disagree on whether that cost is “onerous” or not. It seems to me that’s all it really boils down to.

    No, it boils down to this: I knew better what the cost is than he did. And what’s more, he didn’t know at all, but that didn’t stop him from raising it as an issue. That’s the point.

  90. 90
    Once-ler says:

    Um,no. The issue here really isn’t immigration. It’s Darrell. Because Darrell will bust your balls about a buck a week tax burden, but he won’t allow that his favorite president is costing you a hell of a lot more than that with his insane policies.

    My mistake, I thought we were talking about immigration. I’m not really interested in Darrell.

    No, it boils down to this: I knew better what the cost is than he did.

    Sorry, I don’t believe you know the cost either. Sure, you know what your tax bill is, but how much of that goes to support illegal aliens? I don’t believe you know. I don’t believe anybody really knows.

    See you tomorrow, but it’s late here, and I’m going to have to call it a night.

  91. 91
    ppGaz says:

    Sorry, I don’t believe you know the cost either. Sure, you know what your tax bill is, but how much of that goes to support illegal aliens? I don’t believe you know. I don’t believe anybody really knows.

    I made a generous estimate based on a real live tax bill in a real live high-immigration school district.

    Darrell pulled a “concern” out of his ass and then ran away when challenged. He did not have the slightest idea what he was talking about.

    What the fuck you are arguing, I have no idea. That I have to know to the penny before I can challenge the asshole Darrell’s complete lack of information and facts?

    No. That’s bullshit. You and Darrell deserve each other, that’s the kind of argument he would make. And does, regularly.

  92. 92
    Once-ler says:

    I made a generous estimate…

    In other words, you made shit up.

    What the fuck you are arguing, I have no idea. That I have to know to the penny before I can challenge the asshole Darrell’s complete lack of information and facts?

    No. That’s bullshit. You and Darrell deserve each other, that’s the kind of argument he would make. And does, regularly.

    It sounds to me like that’s the argument you’re making. You expect Darrell (or me or anybody else) to know to the penny. Meanwhile, you don’t know either.

    I’m really going to bed now.

  93. 93
    tBone says:

    Forget illegal immigrants – I think the Bush admin may be building a wall around the Comedy Central studios to keep Stephen Colbert in after his performance at the White House Correspondents dinner. Holy shit, that guy’s got big brass ones. Can’t wait to hear the howls of wingnut outrage over this one.

  94. 94
    ppGaz says:

    It sounds to me like that’s the argument you’re making. You expect Darrell (or me or anybody else) to know to the penny. Meanwhile, you don’t know either.

    Nope. I expect Darrell to do the reasonable thing, and say he doesn’t know. Or, to say what he does know, which is what I did. I said what I knew. I stated my tax bill and made a reasonable estimate. Anyone is free to argue with my figures, which I notice you have not done.

    But Darrell had no idea. Rather than just say, I have no idea, Darrell … changed the subject. Rather than say, well, here’s my tax bill and my situation, and my estimate, Darrell changed the subject.

    Rather than say anything specific to the question, Darrell changed the subject … until you came along and for some unknown reason, gave him cover.

    I’m Joe Taxpayer, the guy who lives in the district, and pays the taxes. I’m the guy who is affected by the issue Darrell is “concerned” with. Not Darrell. I’m the guy who opened up my tax bill right here online and exposed it to view. I’m the guy who worked some reasonable numbers.

    Darrell is the weasel lying motherfucker who tossed a turd and then ran away when called on it.

    With the information I gave you, you can look up the county and school district budgets and get a good clear idea of the whole fiscal picture. You can find out that my $91 a month property tax bill pays for schools … and libraries, and

    all kinds of services, from schools, to fire stations, to parks and libraries. Maricopa County uses its portion of your property tax to pay for County services like the Superior Court system and the Sheriff’s Office. Public safety and health, transportation, and emergency services could not exist without the funding provided by property taxes.

    With the information Darrell gave you, you can ….. do absolutely nothing. You are no closer to knowing what Joe Taxpayer is paying for alien education than you were yesterday. And if you point that out to Darrell, you’ll get … nothing. Not even the courtesy of an answer. Nothing.

    You can explore my tax bill and my school district and my state and local school funding. You can end up knowing more about my school tax situation than I do, because the facts are public. You can even find out the approximate value of my property! With Darrell, you can do … nothing. Nothing at all. Either take his out-of-his-ass complaint about Joe Taxpayer, or leave it, he’ll not explain it, defend it, support it or answer any questions about it. Don’t like it? Tough. You’re probably just another stupid “lefty” anyway.

    But just wait until some “lefty” says something Darrell doesn’t approve of, and watch him attack it, call the poster a stupid “lefty” and do the frigging whole Darrell routine.

  95. 95
    Dana says:

    What’s this all about Fox?

    http://internationalpress.blogspot.com/

    Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Channel is about to stun the political world. Fox will take a hard left turn in its political coverage. Long known as the first choice among right wing Republicans, Murdoch hopes the move will place Fox just ahead of the rapidly changing trends of American politics. International Press investigative reporter August Riis has worked for weeks cultivating an insider who has been with Murdoch publications from the origins in Australia through the current media empire.

  96. 96
    ppGaz says:

    What a hoot. I visited a rabid anti-immigration website and got a figure for California’s cost to school the children of illegal immigrants at (gasp) $1b per year.

    That’s billion, with a B!

    So let’s see … according to census, about 12 million households in California in 2000. So that’s …. a little more than $80 per year per household.

    That works out to about $1.65 per week, per household. My estimate for my situation in Arizona, upthread, was $1.15 per week for me, Joe Taxpayer.

    California spends more per student than Arizona. Around 22 percent according to a chart I found here. So if you take my “reasonable estimate” of $1.15 and add 22 percent … you get $1.41 or so.

    So my reasonable estimate was off by maybe 20 cents a week or thereabouts.

    Wow. No wonder Darrell had no answer, this is absolutely rocket science stuff.

    Here’s the bottom line:

    1) Darrell had no clue when he posted his baloney, which is often the case
    2) Darrell refused to answer any question about the facts
    3) I did a little research and got some reasonable numbers
    4) I cross checked those with facts from another state and found that I was in the ballpark
    5) My facts from another state are from a website that appears to be strongly anti-immigration, so I have no reason to suspect that they’ve downplayed the costs
    6) Darrell’s big Joe Taxpayer burden appears to be in the neighborhood of one or two bucks a week in two of the worst illegal-immigrant states in the country. I’d wager that it is pennies in other states. Pennies per week.

    Why didn’t Darrell want to answer? Either because he is a stubborn shithead who won’t face facts unless they support his dubious claims, or because he didn’t know and wouldn’t take the relatively small amount of time to look some up.

    Or both.

    Darrell, I’ll make a deal with you. You show me your work and tell me what your actual tax burden is to educate the children of illegal aliens. If I can afford to reimburse you for the amount, and your figures are reasonable, you will shut up and go away from this blog for the length of time represented by my reimbursement.

    Deal? Or no deal? You show me the bill, and if I can pay it, you go away.

    Whaddya say, Darrell? Show me the money. Show me what this terrible burden is costing you, and let’s see what we can do. One American helping another.

  97. 97
    Gray says:

    Totally OT, but important sad news:

    John K. Galbraith died yesterday at the age of 97. The world lost its greatest living economist (imho). Liberals will miss his influential voice in the fight for social justice. May he rest in peace.

    http://www.iht.com/articles/20.....braith.php

  98. 98
    VidaLoca says:

    Steve,

    You raise a couple of interesting points here.

    It’s a moot point, I guess, because as you saw during the recent visit by the Chinese president, there is absolutely no limit to our willingness to suck up to them.

    While I agree with this generally w/r/t our policy toward China, I was amazed at the Bush administration’s willingness to simultaneously insult and humiliate Hu Jintao when he was in Washington (recap here). Meanwhile Hu’s main priority seemed to be talking to Boeing and Microsoft up in Seattle, not Bush in DC. That I can sort of understand, the diplomatic reception I cannot — was somebody just doing a heckuva job, or was a deliberate decision made to be rude? In the latter case, why?

    …my point is, their decision to hedge currency or allocate their borrowing differently is something that their government can easily adjust at the macro level. Whereas the market we provide for their goods isn’t so susceptible to manipulation by our government, without a major policy change. China is largely dependent on US consumers having sufficient disposable income and the like, sure – but that’s not something our central bank can change on a whim just because we feel like fucking with China.

    Exactly. We can’t refuse to buy cheap Chinese exports any more than we can refuse to buy Arab/Nigerian/Venezuelan/Mexican oil. We’ve shipped a sizeable fraction of our productive capacity to China; we’re dependent on them to sell us that stuff because it ain’t made here any more. Could we make a “major policy change” to fix that fact? Well maybe, but I can’t envision what it would be — it would have to be “major” in the same sense that not depending on foreign oil so much is “major”, ie damn-near-impossible “major”.

    Also, I agree that China is at the moment dependent on US consumers having sufficient disposable income — but going forward it looks to me like China will be able to diversify its markets a lot faster than the US will be able to diversify its vendors.

  99. 99
    Darrell says:

    What a hoot. I visited a rabid anti-immigration website and got a figure for California’s cost to school the children of illegal immigrants at (gasp) $1b per year.

    How convenient of you not to cite the source. If there are 12 million illigal immigrants in this country, which is the number widely reported, it’s not unreasonable to guess that probably around 4 million of them are in California. If only half of those 4 million CA illegals have only 1 child (many have large families), a conservative estimate in my opinion, those costs alone are 2 million children in school X $8,000 per year per pupil = $16 Billion per year, not $1 Billion as ppg asserts. Those costs don’t include that a disproportionate number of those children are taking free lunches paid for by Joe Taxpayer. And that $8,000/yr per child is an ‘average’, which doesn’t account for the fact that bi-lingual teachers cost more, and bi-lingual students take more resources than ‘average’. It doesn’t account for their health care and many other of their costs. It doesn’t account for the health care and other social costs their parents enjoy but do not pay for either.

    As of now, our laws grant citizenship to anyone born here, a law most Americans I believe disagree with, but nonetheless skew the illegal numbers downward, as the children of the illegals born here are not counted in their numbers since they are US citizens. Doesn’t change the fact that Joe Taxpayer is bearing the costs of those illegals, while wealthy business owners are reaping the profits from hiring them.

    Which side do you support ppgaz? Joe Taxpayer who has to pay for them, or wealthy business owners who knowingly hire and exploit those illegals?

  100. 100
    Darrell says:

    Exactly. We can’t refuse to buy cheap Chinese exports any more than we can refuse to buy Arab/Nigerian/Venezuelan/Mexican oil.

    I disagree. I think it’s obvious to most people that we need oil far more than we need most products exported to us from China.

    That’s not to say we wouldn’t lose a lot by breaking off economic relations with china. My point is that they would lose much more. They need us more than we need them.

    Much of the stuff that isn’t made here anymore isn’t made ‘only’ in China, but also in India, Dominican Republic, Indonesia and other countries. Not saying the US could replace all of what we get from China, but where does China replace the catestrophic loss of their #1 customer the size of the US? think about it

    but going forward it looks to me like China will be able to diversify its markets a lot faster than the US will be able to diversify its vendors.

    I disagree for the reasons stated above, and I’ll bet you are unable to make a good argument to back up that assertion

  101. 101
    Brian says:

    Arizona, ground zero for illegal immigration

    I doubt that very much, ppGaz. I believe the leader would be CA or TX, not AZ.

    What exactly are you arguing for? That’s what I would like to know. Is your argument, since you’re behaving as though you’ve been hired as the official spokesman for the illegal immigrant community, that illegals are not a drain on the economy and local resources, that their return of their paychecks to Mexico is a good thing for the community they reside in, and that we can continue absorbing them ad infinitum?

    Or, is your position only the opposite of the Bush, Darrell, etc., positions?

  102. 102
    Brian says:

    What’s this all about Fox?

    It would not surprise me one bit if Murdoch turned Left in his news coverage. I worked for him for 7 years, and if nothing else, he is a very shrewd and opportunistic businessman. If he feels the trend of politics is Leftward-leaning, that’s which way he will go. He will drop the GOP like a petrified turd.

    Then, when that happens, the Left will suddenly LOVE Murdoch and his Fox News. It will no longer be “polluting” the airwaves, but rather be washed clean with the sudsy comfort of Democratic, Socialist politics.

  103. 103
    Darrell says:

    John K. Galbraith died yesterday at the age of 97. The world lost its greatest living economist (imho). Liberals will miss his influential voice in the fight for social justice

    John K. Galbraith was the economist who told us, before the fall of communism, that the USSR’s economic system was doing as well for their people as US capitalism. He also touted Japan’s central driven economy as superior to the US, just before Japan’s economic collapse.

    He was dead wrong and I mean DEAD wrong, on the biggest economic issues of his time and his quotes and predictions are out there for all to see. That he was proven wrong for all to see, yet his work still enjoys support as the world’s “greatest economist” by so many on the left. That is testament to the the old school left’s denial of reality, to move on after being proven wrong on communism, as if they had never promoted, defended and excused it before.

  104. 104
    D. Mason says:

    ppgaz, I haven’t come on here and pulled some numbers out of my ass and posted them as if they were cold hard facts like darrell does, so I expect to not get treated as if I had when I ask you this question. Are you honestly proposing that there are no negative side effects of such a huge number of illegal immigrants? I realise that it’s best for your “side” to only focus on the positives, of which there certainly are some(there is good and bad to everything). Still, when someone mentions one of the negative effects, you dismiss it, just like the other side dismisses any of the positives you list. So are you willing to recognise the negative effects of immigration on the economy? Otherwise you’re basically doing the same thing as Darell, you’re just using a little more class.

    Why not talk about the positives and the negatives with a little honesty. That’s all it would take to have a reasonable discussion about the topic you know.

  105. 105
    Darrell says:

    ppgaz, I haven’t come on here and pulled some numbers out of my ass and posted them as if they were cold hard facts like darrell does

    I’ve tried to be reasonable and sincere. The $8,000 per year per child school cost is right on as a national average. Much of the rest is honest speculation backed up by logical argument.

    On what basis then do you accuse me of coming here and “pulling numbers out of my ass”?

  106. 106
    Ancient Purple says:

    I’ve tried to be reasonable and sincere.

    I guess there’s a first time for everything.

  107. 107
    VidaLoca says:

    I’ll bet you are unable to make a good argument to back up that assertion

    Let me start with an anecdotal argument. Please bear with me if it turns out to be long winded.

    First of all, I’d be more inclined to agree with your original point if the issue were limited to the mountains of cheap shiny Chinese bling that fill up Wal-Mart and BestBuy. Because we’re so spoiled and so fascinated with that stuff, it would be hard to imagine life without it, but we could survive. The problem comes from the fact that all of the productive capacity and the skills that made it work, are now in China as well — and the implications of that fact go way beyond bling.

    You’re of course familiar with the term “Rust Belt”. I lived in the middle of it, in Milwaukee, and I worked for a lot of years as a skilled toolmaker there. I’m not doing that any more because most of those jobs are gone. The biggest and oldest (and yes, most inefficient) companies went first, beginning there in about the mid-1980’s. The medium and small ones are now going. A few of the latter have moved their operations but the majority have simply folded up and shut their doors: all their customers have gone, or are purchasing tooling (of the kind I used to make) from China. So, toolmakers, machinists, welders — all have to either find new jobs or retire or go live under a bridge. Same story all over southeast Wisconsin: Janesville, Beloit, Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee. An area that used to be a major manufacturing center in the country is pretty much of a hollow shell (with some exceptions: assembly of components made elsewhere for example). So no young person graduating from high school wants to go into the trades any more. The more ambitious go on to college, the less go on to God-knows-where; the technical schools are cutting back on their skilled trades instruction and apprenticeship programs. The people who knew how to do that stuff (and you know perfectly well if you’ve ever worked in a factory that that’s not the shirts) die off. Nobody comes to take their place. It’s not long until you have a hard time finding someone who knows which end of a damned hammer to grab to drive a nail.

    And the steel we used to use to make tools from? All came from Japan. Nobody in the States makes high-tech prehardened steel as good as the Japanese do. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still steel made in the States though in much lesser quantities than in years past; my point is that all steel is not the same and no steel will be made here if it can’t be made competitively. Which mostly, it cannot.

    Where’s your industrial economy going without steel? Where’s it going without computer chips, for that matter? Most of the computer chips we use are made offshore (though a lot come from Korea, not China, I’ll grant you: and how long before the Chinese undercut Korea like they did Mexico?) — my point is this:

    Sure, it’s great for us so long as the Chinese are willing to sell us manufactured goods. But if they change their minds they own us because we’ve given up the equipment and we’ve lost the skills to do it our own damn selves. Yes they like us as a customer, but look: if they can ratchet up their internal economy to the point where even a small percentage of their people can buy like Americans do — they’ll have an internal market ready made.

    We’ve got bupkis. Well, that’s not entirely true, we’ve got bupkis and our credit cards.

  108. 108
    Accusyn says:

    Foreign policy? Kerry was all peace corps people and the unilateral destruction of North Korea and Iran.

    I don’t know who is nicer the deons or the theons. Do any of ’em sneak up behind ya, pretend not to be who they were after threatening physical damage.

    Beat and cuff them both.

  109. 109
    D. Mason says:

    On what basis then do you accuse me of coming here and “pulling numbers out of my ass”?

    I didn’t notice any link or citation to where it came from, so as far as I can tell, it came from your ass. If I overlooked the link or citation, which is possible, then my most sincere apologies.

    As for you trying to be reasonable and sincere … You and several others are ideological extremists. Feigned sincerity and reasonability as bait for a rhetorical ambush is pretty standard fare for “debaters” like yourself. I’m not biting. My post was in no way directed at you. I want to chat about the subject with ppgaz and if you wanted to join us at the “big boy table” then maybe you shouldn’t have acted like a right-wing nut job for so long. No, I believe your only goal is a poison the conversation and muddy the waters so that no real discussion can take place. No thanks.

  110. 110
    Darrell says:

    My post was in no way directed at you. I want to chat about the subject with ppgaz and if you wanted to join us at the “big boy table” then maybe you shouldn’t have acted like a right-wing nut job for so long

    You call me a “nut job” yet you admit you took an unfair unjustified cheap shot at me because you “feel” I may be poisoning the debate. Look whose talking

  111. 111
    ppGaz says:

    I doubt that very much, ppGaz. I believe the leader would be CA or TX, not AZ.

    Actually, it was CNN’s appellation, in a recent report (within the last ten days).

  112. 112
    VidaLoca says:

    Darrel,

    Sorry, in my last post I don’t think I addressed these points you raised:

    Much of the stuff that isn’t made here anymore isn’t made ‘only’ in China, but also in India, Dominican Republic, Indonesia and other countries. Not saying the US could replace all of what we get from China, but where does China replace the catestrophic loss of their #1 customer the size of the US? think about it

    1. Yes you’re right on the point that we buy from a lot of other countries, but you have to look at what we buy. For example, from the Dominican Republic and Indonesia it’s mainly (from what I’ve seen) clothes and shoes. Sure we could buy more of those from them and less from China (we may be doing that already). India is a little different because they’re on a higher rung economically. From them we get some of what I called “bling” above; we also get cheap labor (the infamous call centers) and a lot of software. The latter is, like I was arguing in my last post about China, skilled work being done there that is not being done here. If you want to argue that that means India owns us rather than the Chinese, well I’ll grant you that. And I’ll grant you the call centers too. But is there any difference in the distinction? Owned is owned.

    2. They’ll replace the US through development of an internal market that will dwarf the US several times over. They’ll go after the same market that the US and the Europeans are over there scrambling after now — only they’ll have the inside track. No doubt this will not happen overnight — but they more than anyone are in control of the pace at which it does take place. Us, we’re onlookers.

  113. 113
    D. Mason says:

    because you “feel” I may be poisoning the debate.

    Sorry, nice try but anyone who’s been here a while knows it has nothing to do with feeling. I *believe* you will try to poison the debate because I’ve *seen* you do it on numerous topics. Not that you are the only one who does it, but your track record speaks volumes about your intentions. Try again.

  114. 114
    Darrell says:

    So, toolmakers, machinists, welders—all have to either find new jobs or retire or go live under a bridge

    From everything I’ve read, outside of the auto industry our manufacturing industries are booming. Maybe not the same type of manufacturing as in decades past, but nonetheless booming. Do you disagree?

    And it seems that Japan supplying our steel undercuts your argument that China is holding the cards over us.

  115. 115
    Darrell says:

    No doubt this will not happen overnight—but they more than anyone are in control of the pace at which it does take place.

    The market determines their pace. They are still socialist, with an ageing population as a result of their decades of 1 child only birth control policy. I don’t see much to justify your China-takes-over-the-world economic predictions

  116. 116
    ppGaz says:

    ppgaz, I haven’t come on here and pulled some numbers out of my ass and posted them as if they were cold hard facts like darrell does, so I expect to not get treated as if I had when I ask you this question. Are you honestly proposing that there are no negative side effects of such a huge number of illegal immigrants?

    Nope. The only assertion I’ve made in this exact context is that I do not believe that there is a huge “crisis” as described by the hardliners such as the Minutemen. The reason I don’t believe that there is a huge crisis is that I have not seen numbers or facts leading me to the conclusion that there is a huge crisis.

    I realise that it’s best for your “side” to only focus on the positives, of which there certainly are some

    I don’t think anyone here could describe me as being on a “side.” But I’ll gladly state my main assertion here, which I have done before: Most of the people who are making the most noise about this subject have very few facts to support their views. In other words, they don’t know what the hell they are talking about. They are reacting mostly out of emotion, or spouting talking points.

    That’s why when Darrell says “$8000 a year to educate a child” I jump in and challenge him. First of all, the amount varies greatly from state to state. Second, his figure means nothing until you know two other things: (a) What percentage of the school population is from illegal immigration, and (b) what does that percentage actually cost the taxpayer?

    “The taxpayer” in this thread is Joe Taxpayer, Darrell’s moniker, not mine. And the typical Joe Taxpayer here is me, ppGaz, squarely in the middle of one of the hottest illegal immigration zones in the world. So when Darrell says that Joe Taxpayer is carrying this “burden” my question is, oh yeah? How much IS that burden?

    Darrell has NO FUCKING IDEA. That’s my point. Here he is, the proven dishonest lying sack of shit, spouting off his claims and his bullshit, with no idea what the facts actually are.

    That does not translate into “there’s no problem with illegal immigration.” It translates into “who in their right mind would listen to Darrell on this subject?”

    If you think Darrell is the guy when it comes to getting a clear idea about this issue, then good for you. Learn at his feet. I have a different opinion, which is that the craphead shoots his mouth off here every day, calls everybody on the left stupid, has no idea what he is talking about most of the time, and refuses to answer simple direct questions when challenged.

    I don’t like that and I don’t like him.

    Why not talk about the positives and the negatives with a little honesty

    Tell it to fucking Darrell.

  117. 117
    Darrell says:

    Yes you’re right on the point that we buy from a lot of other countries, but you have to look at what we buy. For example, from the Dominican Republic and Indonesia it’s mainly (from what I’ve seen) clothes and shoes

    And we buy high tech manufactured products from Taiwan, Singapore and other countries. Look, China doesn’t “own” the high end manufacturing market, but they are a significant player. Again, I don’t see how China is going to run away with the world economy as you claim, and I don’t see how they hold more policy sway over the US than the US holds over them

  118. 118
    Darrell says:

    I’m not biting. My post was in no way directed at you.

    No? then why single me out when, by your own admission, you were unjustified in your cheap shot at me?

  119. 119
    ppGaz says:

    I’ve tried to be reasonable and sincere.

    Really? Then why, when I asked you exactly how much your putative school cost burden was costing Joe Taxpayer (YOUR label, not mine), you didn’t just say “I don’t know, exactly” or “I’m not really sure?”

    The fact is, your $8000 figure means absolutely nothing to any particular taxpayer anywhere in this country. Without additional facts, it can’t be translated into any actual cost borne by any actual taxpayer.

    I ran two sets of very approximate numbers based on reasonable estimates and (a) my own tax bill and(b) a published figure for California’s cost to educate illegal alien kids. As you will see upthread, the two estimates came out very close to each other, having your Joe Taxpayer coughing up a whoppng buck and a half a week, or so, to bear the brunt of those costs. As near as I can tell, your big complaint is all about a buck and a half a week. Wow.

    My numbers are right out there for all to see and for anyone to take apart, bash, criticize, improve upon, whatever. I pointed you toward public information that you could drill into to get even closer than I did. I gave you the perspective of a real Joe Taxpayer in the middle of the fray … anyone can take their shots at it.

    But you? Sling a rock, and then run and hide.

    You call that sincere? I call it shit.

  120. 120
    Kirk Spencer says:

    Darrell, I believe your 17% number is mistaken.

    The most recently report of prison statistics is for 2004. http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/p04.htm is the page to get to the report in the format of your choice.

    In that report, in 2003 10% of all FEDERAL inmates were illegal immigrants. In 2004 that declined to 7% of all FEDERAL inmates. Illegal immigrants formed LESS THAN 2% of all prison inmates in 2004. A bit over 19,000 illegal immigrants out of 1.4 million prison inmates.

    Now if you’re pulling a separate report I’d love to see the cite. Otherwise I’m going to request you start using the number that can be supported if you want me to give your opinion any weight.

  121. 121
    D. Mason says:

    ppGaz I don’t know why you keep going back to Darrell. I thought I sufficiently dismissed him and his antics to make sure you didn’t accuse me of being some kind of Darrell apologist, guess not. This topic is not about Darrell, but if that’s the only angle you’re interested in discussing it from then I suppose that’s your loss. Once-ler, who seems to not be very familiar with the way things work around here came along with some interesting figures and you dismissed him in the same fashion you’re trying to dismiss me.

    You say you want an exact figure of how much it is costing “joe taxpayer” but you know as well as I do that such a figure wold be elusive and transient. There is no satisfactory number because the number will have changed by the time you could have figured it out, sometimes drastically. Still, just because the number cannot possibly be pinned down doesn’t mean that you can simply assume zero. Just as Darrell or his ilk cdould not legitimately assume that the net benefit of illegals is zero for the same reasons. And yes I realise that they would try, but I’m counting on the belief that few here would let them.

    My point is that I have seen you do nothing but dismiss counter arguments. The ones from Darrell I can understand but not everyone who is concearned about the alarming rate of illegal immigration is a Darrell or GWB sympathiser. Painting them as such is so … Rovian.

  122. 122
    VidaLoca says:

    it seems that Japan supplying our steel undercuts your argument that China is holding the cards over us.

    Yes and no. It certainly undercuts it at the moment and for the short term — China as much as the US would have to be buying tech steel from Japan. On the other hand, to get seriously into steel making, you need lots of electricity — that’s how it’s done nowadays. You need lots of electricity for smelting aluminum too. Hence the Three Gorges Dam. Now supposedly they only closed the gates on that thing in 2003, they can’t make much steel until they get it all the way on line, plus build the steel-making capacity. Plus even assuming all of that, it still takes time to get steel-making right. It won’t happen overnight. But when it does — all they have to do is beat Japan’s price. Then they can use what they need to build up their own economy and sell us they surplus.

    Shit, Darrell. It used to be that the Japanese were pricing the US machine tool makers out of the market, cost-for-quality, even on the high-end high-tech pieces. Then the Taiwanese and the Koreans started pricing out the Japanese. We’re not even in the running. And the Chinese (People’s Republic) are now beating out the Taiwanese and Koreans. You look at the tools they build today in the PRC, they’re not as good. The steel isn’t as good, the castings aren’t as good, the bearings aren’t as good. But they’re way cheaper so they’re in the market, and the quality catches up year to year. They’ll catch up on the steel, they’ll make better bearings; they’re not only after the US they’re after every other market as well. To get back to the point I was making in one of my comments to you earlier, we can buy clothes and sneakers from almost anywhere. Steel, and the tools to machine it — choices are a lot narrower. Essentially we’re approaching being incapable of supplying those to ourselves in a meaningful way (again I’m factoring in the time horizon here). Computer chips, software — again the choices are a lot narrower. These are choke points. And the Chinese are moving toward controlling them.

    From everything I’ve read, outside of the auto industry our manufacturing industries are booming. Maybe not the same type of manufacturing as in decades past, but nonetheless booming. Do you disagree?

    Well I haven’t been back there since December, but booming I did not see. I’m going back in a couple of weeks, if I hear anything good I’ll let you know.

  123. 123
    ppGaz says:

    ppGaz I don’t know why you keep going back to Darrell. I thought I sufficiently dismissed him and his antics to make sure you didn’t accuse me of being some kind of Darrell apologist, guess not. This topic is not about Darrell,

    Well, in case you haven’t picked up on this yet, it is as far as I’m concerned. So on that point we do not agree.

    Darrell made an assertion without knowing the facts underlying the assertion. This in itself is not a capital crime. But then he refused to answer any questions directed at the assertion.

    This is not an isolated incident. This is the kind of crap that Darrell pulls here every day. He slings the talking point shit, and then runs away when challenged. But he’s the same shithead who will pounce on your factual slipup in a heartbeat, or call all those who disagree with him “stupid lefties” and his other patented monikers, dismissing as worthless any opinion that he doesn’t share.

    I don’t know what you are looking for here. You don’t want to defend Darrell? Then … don’t.

    You have some point about illegal immigration? Make it.

    Here’s another question Darrell has dodged: What should we do with the (10-12) million illegals in the country now? What is his proposal? What’s yours?

  124. 124
    ppGaz says:

    My point is that I have seen you do nothing but dismiss counter arguments.

    What counter arguments? Can you summarize them?

    You aren’t paying attention. I’ve asserted two rather profound things (whether you agree or not, up to you, but don’t tell me I haven’t made these arguments):

    1) The Mexican-American border cannot be sealed without draconian measures. What are these measures, and who here advocates them?

    2) There are 10-12 million (depending on whose figures you use) illegals in the country now. There is no practical or humane course of action WRT to these people other than a reasonable path to legal status. If somebody has such a proposal, LET HIM STATE IT.

    Those are positions I’ve taken from the get go on this issue. I still haven’t seen the proposals or counter arguments, have you?

    So don’t tell me what I’ve done or said or not done and said on this topic, because you don’t know, obviously.

    And if you are so interested in worthwhile debate on the topic, why the fuck don’t you start one?

  125. 125
    VidaLoca says:

    Darrell,

    Look, China doesn’t “own” the high end manufacturing market, but they are a significant player.

    I know we’re cross-posting here, I don’t know if I’m keeping up with you…

    Anyhow, you’re exactly right: they don’t own the high-tech manufacturing market, but they are a significant player.

    But this has taken them, what — 10 years to get to this point? Where were they at 10 years ago? At the rate they’re going, where do you think they’ll be 10 years out?

    They are still socialist

    You say that like you think it’s a bad thing… :) Seriously, with them do you think it’s anything more than a name and a label to give legitimacy to the Party? I’d say they’re getting the best of both worlds: an economy that operates on an essentially capitalist model, with enough muscle left at the top to be able to direct it politically.
    And it’s an open question to me to understand where that will take them; it’s a historical phenomenon that we haven’t seen up to now outside of (possibly) Germany in the 1930’s.

    with an ageing population as a result of their decades of 1 child only birth control policy.

    Again, an interesting question to see how this plays out.
    It may be that, as I think you’re arguing, they won’t have the labor pool they need to drive the economy forward. It may also be that they really, really need a lot of those people to die because historically a big problem in China has been too many people, not enough land — a major cause of the peasant revolts. Can they build enough tech into their economy that a big labor pool is less of an issue?

  126. 126
    D. Mason says:

    This is not an isolated incident. This is the kind of crap that Darrell pulls here every day. He slings the talking point shit, and then runs away when challenged. But he’s the same shithead who will pounce on your factual slipup in a heartbeat, or call all those who disagree with him “stupid lefties” and his other patented monikers, dismissing as worthless any opinion that he doesn’t share.

    Yes, that’s what I meant in my response to him when I said he poisoned the conversation and muddied the waters. ]

    Those are positions I’ve taken from the get go on this issue. I still haven’t seen the proposals or counter arguments, have you?

    Once-ler gave you a counter argument to your position that the cost was negligable, but you dismissed it then forgot about it on the grounds that he was defending Darrell.

    So don’t tell me what I’ve done or said or not done and said on this topic, because you don’t know, obviously.

    And if you are so interested in worthwhile debate on the topic, why the fuck don’t you start one?

    Well I have been attempting to do so(unsucessfully) but the first step would be to get you, the apparent spokesperson for the pro-illegal immigrant camp to get off his Darrell bashing high horse and address the topic instead of the idiot attempting to make sure you talk about anything but.

    Here’s another question Darrell has dodged: What should we do with the (10-12) million illegals in the country now? What is his proposal? What’s yours?

    I wouldn’t do anything directly to them. I would crach down on the most flagrant corperate violators in a harsh way. After that I would work on catching more employers and make the focus on them. Granted it would be difficult but some offenders are pretty brazen. Once it became difficult to get the jobs they came here for they would leave… In theory. Maybe it wouldn’t work, maybe it couldn’t be done, but it’s an idea that seems alot more plausible than simply giving them all amnesty.

  127. 127
    ppGaz says:

    I wouldn’t do anything directly to them. I would crach down on the most flagrant corperate violators in a harsh way. After that I would work on catching more employers and make the focus on them. Granted it would be difficult but some offenders are pretty brazen. Once it became difficult to get the jobs they came here for they would leave… In theory. Maybe it wouldn’t work, maybe it couldn’t be done, but it’s an idea that seems alot more plausible than simply giving them all amnesty.

    Plausible? Some sort of grotesque crackdown, on the assumption that it will, literally, scare some illegals into going back to Mexico …. is your idea of “plausible?”

    Okay. Plausible to me means making the much more reasonable assumption that the vast majority of these people are going to stay here, and the most cost effective and long-term-positive thing to do is to provide some reasonable path to legal status. This maximizes the positives, creates stability in families and communities, increases the chances of good outcomes which will translate into contributors instead of dependents (people paying their way and building value and equity rather than taking it) … those sorts of things.

    But that’s just my opinion. Obviously, it’s another thing we don’t agree on.

  128. 128
    D. Mason says:

    Well it’s not about scaring the illegals, afterall our jails are probably better than some of their homes in Mexico. No it’s about scaring the employers, who do have alot to lose, into not hiring them. If there is no economic purpose for them to stay here they will likely leave.

  129. 129
    Once-ler says:

    Those are positions I’ve taken from the get go on this issue.

    I actually don’t disagree with those positions (mostly). But you’ve gone beyond claiming that there’s little we can do about it to say that it’s beneficial, or at least, not harmful. Here’s the real root to my position:

    This is another issue manufactured by the GOP to divide and scare people into voting for them. And so far, I think it’s going pretty well for them.

    There’s a reason it’s called “illegal immigration”. It’s illegal. And as long as there are Democrats (and I’m one) saying that the current level of this illegal activity is acceptable, or beneficial, or that we need more of it, we will lose that debate with the public.

    I’d hate to see the GOP keep control of Congress because of this issue. But I can see it shaping up that way.

  130. 130
    D. Mason says:

    And as long as there are Democrats (and I’m one) saying that the current level of this illegal activity is acceptable, or beneficial, or that we need more of it, we will lose that debate with the public

    The situation is to the point where many people see illegals causing them problems(often very minor) in their own daily lives. This has great influence on public perception. If you’ve ever been in line at the bank behind a van full of illegals trying to get their checks cashed you probably know what I mean. It’s not fair, but that’s still how it is with things like public opinion.

    My ex-girlfriend had a car accident with an illegal alien that pulled out in front of her. Of course he didn’t have insurance and she was left paying an extra $75 a month for car insurance because of it. You probably guessed it, she can’t stand illegals. In the small town where I live there are a couple of places where legal citizens may aswell not even go apply for a job because they all go to illegals, one of them is a factory that sends food products all over the U.S. so yeah it’s a big company. You may have already figured out that the legal citizens who want those jobs probably don’t care much for illegals.

    Perhaps these things aren’t important to most people, but most people will be able to relate to such things anyway, so this issue will revolve around feelings of resentment. Rational or not.

  131. 131
    VidaLoca says:

    D.Mason,

    after all our jails are probably better than some of their homes in Mexico.

    hmm. Not a limb I’d want to go out on. Me, I’d much rather be walking around free in Mexico than sitting in jail in the States.

    If there is no economic purpose for them to stay here they will likely leave.

    Well, that’s plausible, but no more plausible than the opposite: that they leave the employer who’s been raided by the ICE for their presence, and go on somewhere else. Then it becomes a double game of whack-a-mole: chasing the employees (who have the incentive of staying in the hopes that they don’t get caught and often have paid serious money besides to get here), and chasing the employers (who have the incentive of losing their businesses if they can’t get employees).

  132. 132
    ppGaz says:

    Well it’s not about scaring the illegals, afterall our jails are probably better than some of their homes in Mexico. No it’s about scaring the employers, who do have alot to lose, into not hiring them. If there is no economic purpose for them to stay here they will likely leave.

    Well … everything is wrong with this proposition IMO.

    First of all, the data I’ve seen in the past (typically, at plcaces (sites) like Center for Immigration Studies) indicate that outflow and inflow drivers are not affected much by policy at the inflow country. In other words, if the pressures and incentives are there at the outflow side, the people are going to emigrate. And clearly, those conditions exist right now. Mexico is doing everything short of actually bussing the unemployed to the border and giving them bottles of water and trail food and maps to American cities.

    Second, we have no reason to think that the crackdown-run away phenomenon will actually produce an outflow of immigrants from the US, or if it does, that the outflow numbers will be effective. We do have reason to think that it will cause panic, chaos, and disorder among families and communities of these people who are in various stages of assimilation into American life and society. Whether these effects translate into anything good for them or us remains to be seen .., and does not seem to me to be very likely.

    The reason why a reasonable path to legal status is a good choice is that it is plannable and manageable, it does stabilize the demographic that we are talking about, and it is consistent with the Statue of Liberty model of America, rather than the barbed-wire Keep Out This Means You model of America. It’s based on positive imperatives and positive views of the future.

    If continued high outflow from Mexico is a worry, then I suggest starting to attack that problem at its root cause … the incompetant government of Mexico, which is all too happy to ship its unemployment to the United States. I think that’s where the real problem is, and trying to undo it once the emigrants are over the border, or staunch it with barbed wire and trenches and ugly “fences” which are really walls … just dumb.

    A lot of the opposition to the approach I am talking about is grounded in things like “sending wrong messages.” As if any message we could send would be stronger than the one already sent by the government of Mexico … but more to my point, the important message we send is not entirely to the illegals. It’s to ourselves. What kind of country do we want to be? One that walls itself off behind 2000 miles of razor wire, or one that stays relatively true to the idea that reasonable immigration is welcome? And by that I mean, something on the order of 0.6% immigration per year, combined legal and illegal, which I think is the average over the last century or so the last time I looked it up. That rate equals around two million immigrants per year at current levels. That rate has not ruined the country in the past, I see no reason why it would do so in the future.

  133. 133
    VidaLoca says:

    D.Mason,

    Rational or not.

    Right. And a lot of it’s not rational. Would your ex-girlfriend be paying a penny less if an uninsured citzen had pulled out in front of her? No. And probably it’s a crime for anyone, citizen or not, to be driving without insurance in your state (it is in my state), so again citizenship status isn’t really an issue.

  134. 134
    VidaLoca says:

    Once-ler,

    There’s a reason it’s called “illegal immigration”. It’s illegal. And as long as there are Democrats (and I’m one) saying that the current level of this illegal activity is acceptable, or beneficial, or that we need more of it, we will lose that debate with the public.

    You make a good point here. The only thing I can see to do to address the point is change the law — that at least gets rid of the formal objection. There are some people (Darrell would be the first example who comes to mind) who won’t be very happy about that idea but I feel pretty confident in believing that there’s only one idea that he’d feel happy about w/r/t immigration anyhow. The Democrats won’t lose many votes to the Darrell point of view anyhow because they weren’t there to begin with.

    Let’s face it: right now, in the face of 10-11-12 million people, this law is about as useful as the law in Alabama that pi is really 3.0. We’ve changed immigration laws many times before in this country, it’s not like the heavens have fallen.

    In an ideal world I think you’d have to have money coming to the areas impacted by the influx of immigrants to handle the changes that a demographic shift of that size can cause.

    On the other hand, in an ideal world we’d have fixed up New Orleans by now and I’d have the pony I’ve always wanted so who am I kidding?

  135. 135
    D. Mason says:

    That rate has not ruined the country in the past, I see no reason why it would do so in the future.

    Well, it’s actually a compounding that’s causing such an uproar. If the only drag on the American economy were illegals I agree that it would be a small drag and probably hardly noticed at that. But that’s not the world we live in, illegal immigration is one factor of many. The problem, as I see it, boils down to this. You have American jobs going over seas to cheap labor and at the same time you have cheap labor coming into America from our southern border to compete here. Add that to a situation where Prices are going up because of Bush’s shenanigans in the Middle East and you have a climate of rising prices and falling wages, each one escalating the other in turn. You can hardly fault people who are having a hard time making ends meet for looking at the most “in your face” of the factors and crying foul. Especially if they’ve been inconvienienced or put out recently by some illegals recently. You may say that it’s intolerant or unfair but that doesn’t change the fact – that’s how it is.

    And probably it’s a crime for anyone, citizen or not, to be driving without insurance in your state (it is in my state), so again citizenship status isn’t really an issue.

    Sure, but she could have taken a citizen to court, tried to get some satisfaction, with an illegal they can just dissapear into the ether.

  136. 136

    Bush’s boldest political move by far was the invasion of Iraq.

    LOL! They were so confident of winning, there was no boldness to it.

    And look back now, they thought winning had only to do with removing Saddam’s army.

    You’re funny.

  137. 137
    VidaLoca says:

    that’s how it is

    Agreed. And that’s why it works so beautifully as a wedge issue. People (north of the border) see their standard of living being threatened and they start to freak.

    As for people south of the border, how has NAFTA impacted their standard of living? In the agricultural sector? In the manufacturing sector? Is there a reason they’re willing to pay big money to take big chances risking death in the desert?

    Insofar as it’s an economic problem, it calls for an economic solution, such as coming up with real jobs at living wages for people on both sides of the border.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    But that is the right idea.

  138. 138
    ppGaz says:

    You can hardly fault people who are having a hard time making ends meet for looking at the most “in your face” of the factors and crying foul. Especially if they’ve been inconvienienced or put out recently by some illegals recently. You may say that it’s intolerant or unfair but that doesn’t change the fact – that’s how it is.

    I agree. But that doesn’t mean that we should lead, and govern, the country according to that unrest.

    Blaming illegals for the plight of those at the bottom of our economic ladder is just scapegoating. Illegals are no more or less “the problem” than …. WalMart and its zeal to ship its suppliers’ production offshore so that WalMart can boast about “low prices.” Or tax policies that are regressive and reward the rich while sticking it to the poor. Or … any number of things. Getting people are hurting riled up over something is relatively easy .. that’s why demagoguery ain’t goin’ out of style.

    But that’s not the right basis for a sound set of policies and programs on a national scale, is it?

  139. 139
    ppGaz says:

    But that’s not the right basis for a sound set of policies and programs on a national scale, is it?

    If you’re not a Republican, I mean.

    Sorry.

  140. 140
    VidaLoca says:

    I’d hate to see the GOP keep control of Congress because of this issue. But I can see it shaping up that way.

    I can see it shaping up that way too. You’re raising a real concern. But wouldn’t it be a refreshing (dare I say, mind-boggling) change to see the Democrats stand for something (anything!) and fight for it because it’s right, rather than making some kind of compromise with wedge politics because it’s convenient?

  141. 141
    D. Mason says:

    But that’s not the right basis for a sound set of policies and programs on a national scale, is it?

    No, but neither is pretending that illegal immigration isn’t part of the problem atall. It is part of the problem, it’s just not the whole problem. And like it or not, public perception does have to be addressed as part of any solution. So while it shouldn’t be the basis, it should be a factor.

  142. 142

    But wouldn’t it be a refreshing (dare I say, mind-boggling) change to see the Democrats stand for something (anything!) and fight for it because it’s right, rather than making some kind of compromise with wedge politics because it’s convenient?

    It would, and we’ll see what happens.

    Unfortunately, I fear they’ll try to pander to the illegal immigrant vote before they realize there is no such thing.

  143. 143

    Transcript of Stephen Colbert at the Whitehouse Correspondents Dinner

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/4/30/1441/59811

  144. 144

    No, but neither is pretending that illegal immigration isn’t part of the problem atall. It is part of the problem, it’s just not the whole problem. And like it or not, public perception does have to be addressed as part of any solution. So while it shouldn’t be the basis, it should be a factor.

    I think if we stick our heads in the sand, it really isn’t a problem though.

  145. 145
    ppGaz says:

    No, but neither is pretending that illegal immigration isn’t part of the problem atall. It is part of the problem, it’s just not the whole problem.

    To go beyond this, I think we’d need to agree on what “the problem” is and then go from there.

    If the problem is that American workers are getting screwed …. I’m on board, because we are.

    But on my list of things to complain about, illegal immigration is not very high. Trade and fiscal policies would be more to the top of my list. Tax policy. Corporate welfare. Expensive healthcare bound to employment, and healthcare policies set by moneyed special interests such as BigPharma and BigHMO, congress in the hip pockets of lobbyists and vice versa, those kinds of things.

    To me, illegal immigration is a classic jackalope issue. Oh look! A van full of Mexicans!

    Meanwhile, corrupt assholes and politicians are helping themselves to privilege and profits at our expense.

    That’s the way I see it. Illegals are the Gays of 2006. A deliberate deflection from the ugly truths.

  146. 146
    ppGaz says:

    Most Republicans, constrained by an ideological resistance to federal regulation, have always opposed tougher mandates. But achieving better fuel economy was once a passion of Democrats. In 1990, 42 of the Senate’s 55 Democrats — about three-fourths — voted to require automakers to reach 40 mpg by 2001. That bill drew 57 votes overall, but failed amid opposition from President George H.W. Bush and a Republican-led filibuster.

    From WaMo. When I say we are getting screwed … this is what I mean. I can pretty well promise you that you and I will both pay more for lousy energy policy this year than we will pay for illegal immigration … no matter where we live. Even if you took the immigrant-basher’s view that illegal immigration is going to cost every California household $100 a month this year … a view which I do not share, I simply pass along …. do you think that those households are not going to pay more than $100 a month more for fuel this year than they did last year?

    And it gets worse. When you pay $100 bucks to school and otherwise take care of immigrants, you end up later with … citizens, mostly. Taxpaying citizens. When you pay a hundred extra bucks for your fuel, you are putting money into this guy’s pocket.

  147. 147
    Darrell says:

    The only thing I can see to do to address the point is change the law—that at least gets rid of the formal objection. There are some people (Darrell would be the first example who comes to mind) who won’t be very happy about that idea

    You seem to be suggesting that my views on illegal immigration are out of the mainstream. Fine. Then demand that your Dem politicos push for citizenship for those who skipped the line and came here illegally.. and make sure you call everyone who disagrees with you an ‘extremist’ (like you suggested about me) or racist and we’ll let the American people decide who the real extremists are

  148. 148
    ppGaz says:

    You seem to be suggesting that my views on illegal immigration are out of the mainstream. Fine. Then demand that your Dem politicos push for citizenship for those who skipped the line and came here illegally.. and make sure you call everyone who disagrees with you an ‘extremist’ (like you suggested about me) or racist and we’ll let the American people decide who the real extremists are

    In case anyone wondered whether was the consummate, practiced, cold and calculating demagogue that he appears to be …. there you have it.

    This goes into the Darrell Museum of Ugly alongside his “who wants their kid to go camping with queers” gaffe.

    Illegal Mexicans, and queers …. Darrell’s new favorite targets. Oppose him …. and find out who the “extremists” are.

  149. 149
    Darrell says:

    fight for it because it’s right, rather than making some kind of compromise with wedge politics because it’s convenient?

    How is giving special citizenship priveleges to those who broke the law by skipping the line to come here illegally, in any way the ‘right thing’ to do for Dems or Republicans? Help us understand that piece of ‘logic’

  150. 150
    D. Mason says:

    Hey I couldn’t agree more about the things you’re saying, but unfortunately those are areas where democrats and republicans basically agree. So until we get off the partisan bullshit and make our representatives start addressing the real problems those issues aren’t really up for debate. If the only available relief for the working class will come through immigration reform then I won’t fault anyone for taking relief where they can get it.

    Voting democrat isn’t going to fix many of the pressing issues that you brought up. That will just change the pockets that the lobbying dollars end up in. Will it be better than the perverse shitstorm we have spinning in DC now? Hell yeah. That’s why I voted for Kerry and that’s why I will go out and vote dem in November. But I won’t delude myself into thinking they will truly address the root of the job problem in America. Which in my opinion is a twisted form of reverse socialism where industry controls government. Until the iron grip that corporations have on DC is loosened we will all feel the squeeze.

  151. 151
    ppGaz says:

    How is giving special citizenship priveleges to those who broke the law by skipping the line to come here illegally, in any way the ‘right thing’ to do for Dems or Republicans? Help us understand that piece of ‘logic’

    No explaining it to a walnut-sized bigot-brain like you, Darrell …. to a guy who can’t post without calling people “lefties.”

    You think everything is about partisanship and political “teams” winning and losing.

    Guess what, it isn’t. The story about 10 million people is not about which party can turn it into the most votes. It’s about the ten million people and their stories, and what is best in the long run for them and for the country.

    It’s exactly because you can’t see that, and because you see everything through a blakc-white lens of dumbshit partisanship, that you are the despicable piece of crap that everyone here loves to hate.

    The issue is about people, Darrell. Not whether your team wins an election, or successfully scapegoats somebody. Hard for a guy who trades on scapegoating queers and Mexicans to understand, I know … but other people here understand what you are really about. Trust me.

  152. 152
    Darrell says:

    It’s about the ten million people and their stories, and what is best in the long run for them and for the country

    Not sure I agree with your priorities that we should be so concerned about the long term welfare of those who willfully broke our immigration laws to skip the line to come here.. but I do agree with with the part about doing what’s best for our country

    Judging by your words, it seems you are placing near equal importance on the “stories” and long term interests of those who came here illegally, without acknowledging that their actions may be in conflict with what’s best for America.

  153. 153
    VidaLoca says:

    You seem to be suggesting that my views on illegal immigration are out of the mainstream

    No — I understand your position (elaborated as recently as yesterday I believe) to be that people employing (large numbers of) illegal immigrants should be prosecuted and heavily fined. As to whether that’s “mainstream” or not I have no statistics but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if a lot of other people agree with you, completely or in part. So no, you’re not an extremist, more’s the pity.

    I thought I was being fair in saying that you wouldn’t be enthusiastic about a proposal that solved the issue of illegal immigration by changing the law as opposed to going after a subset of the people violating it. That does not seem to be an extreme inference to make but if it was incorrect (e.g. if you think it’s just an issue of legalisms, and not an issue of immigrants) I apologize.

    As to racism, broadly speaking, no I don’t think that’s what is driving this controversy. I think this is a wedge issue being demagogued to death by politicians (possibly even Democratic politicians), who are succeeding with a public that, as I said to D.Mason, is freaking as it sees its standard of living sliding away and is looking for a solution.

    demand that your Dem politicos

    Well, they’ll listen to me about as much as they listen to you — but yeah, I’d like to see some of them run on a position of a reasonable path to legal citizenship for people who are currently here illegally.

    we’ll let the American people decide who the real extremists are

    And I’ll even grant you that that might not be the winningest position to run on. But I still think it’s the corrent one.

  154. 154
    Darrell says:

    This is another issue manufactured by the GOP to divide and scare people into voting for them

    No, it’s a real issue that has been brewing for quite some time on the minds of voters. It didn’t have to be “manufactured” by the GOP, and in fact, Repubs seem to be reluctant to deal with it now that it’s boiled to the surface. But please go ahead and pretend the issues and concerns surrounding illegal immigration aren’t real, only an ‘invented’ issue

  155. 155
    VidaLoca says:

    Voting democrat isn’t going to fix many of the pressing issues that you brought up.

    Sad but true. I’m not fooling myself into thinking that I’ve got a persuasive argument going here. The economics go back to what ppGaz outlined upthread so there’s no need to re-plow that ground: as long as the pie keeps shrinking the temptation will be to fight for your shrinking piece rather than figuring how to make the pie bigger. Democrats are pretty useless insofar as all of that is concerned.

  156. 156
    ppGaz says:

    but I do agree with with the part about doing what’s best for our country

    So, there are the (approx) ten million people. What do you propose we do with them?

    That’s question number one.

    Number two is, do you or do you not believe that it is not safe to send kids camping with a gay scout leader?

    Just answer those two questions, Darrell. Be honest for one day in your life.

  157. 157
    VidaLoca says:

    without acknowledging that their actions may be in conflict with what’s best for America.

    In the end, Darrell, I’m trying to argue that, since those folks are here, finding a reasonable, plannable, manageable means by which they can become citizens may be exactly what is best for America. It’s how my family got here. It’s probably how your family got here. This is not the first, and it won’t be the last, big immigration wave to come ashore here. They’re always rough to deal with but somehow we find a way.

    In the long run it’s always paid off.

  158. 158
    Darrell says:

    It’s how my family got here. It’s probably how your family got here.

    Your family came here illegally? You mean they jumped the line over those playing by the rules? By bestowing citizenship on those illegals, you are in fact rewarding their behavior and encouraging more of it in the future from illegals hoping for yet another “one time” amnesty. How do you figure that’s best for America?

  159. 159
    Darrell says:

    The economics go back to what ppGaz outlined upthread so there’s no need to re-plow that ground: as long as the pie keeps shrinking the temptation will be to fight for your shrinking piece rather than figuring how to make the pie bigger

    Except that our economy “pie” is expanding at a fast clip, so that sort of blows out of the water the shrinking pie theory, don’t you think?

    Few people would argue we don’t need lots of new immigrants. This issue is, do we, or do we not get to decide who comes into our country and who does not? Do we get to pick the immigrants coming here, or do we continue to have that mix dictated to us by illegals who jump the line over those playing by the rules. If you agree that we have the right to control our borders, I’m not sure what your argument is

  160. 160
    VidaLoca says:

    Darrell, c’mon. You can do better than that. When my mom’s parents came here they found a reasonable means by which they could become citizens and took advantage of it. On my dad’s side they came over so early that there may in fact not have been a de jure system in place so in a perverse way, you may be right: they may have been illegal immigrants. Possibly even jumped in line if there was in fact a line to jump.

    I never thought of it that way. What a hoot.

    But that was then and this is now. Now, you’ve got millions of people who are in fact making a constructive and productive contribution to the society.* It’s not a matter of “rewarding behavior” and it’s not a matter of “sending a message”. It’s a matter of acknowledging that fact and acknowledging along with it that good can come — for us, the people who are only different because we got here first — from the contribution they can make if we let them.

    Hopping the line? Well, if we’re going to change the policy to reflect the reality for one group, we have to change it for all groups. So essentially the consequence of that is to change the way the line gets formed. In the end, you rationalize the process for everyone.

    *how do we know that? Because if you had order 10 million people who were not contributing more to the economy and the society than they took out of it, you’d have frikkin’ anarchy — it would be a scene out of a Mad Max movie. You youself don’t argue that this is going on.

  161. 161
    VidaLoca says:

    Darrell,

    You live in Houston, right? I can believe that it’s possible, if that’s true, to think of the economy as expanding at a fast clip. I was talking this morning about where I came from; back there expansion is not happening. As to condtions in AZ, NM, CA, I don’t know — but your assertion of yesterday that Joe Taxpayer will

    pay thousands more in increased taxes to pay for the social services of the illegal aliens.

    isn’t consistent with an economy expanding at a fast clip either.

    This issue is, do we, or do we not get to decide who comes into our country and who does not? Do we get to pick the immigrants coming here, or do we continue to have that mix dictated to us by illegals who jump the line over those playing by the rules.

    No question that we don’t want people who have, for example, some kind of criminal background. Or who can’t prove citizenship in their country of origin (or some kind of stable work/family/residence history here) for that matter.

    One of the values of expediting a legal procedure to get in and get citizenship is that you get some control over the procedure. Right now we don’t have much real control and I think we’re agreed that that’s not a good state of things.

    Do we get to pick the immigrants coming here,…

    Did we ever? It used to be that you got off the boat at Ellis Island, Angel Island, New Orleans and there you were. Boom. Welcome to America. The rules changed at various times but for many years all you had to have was a sponsor that would vouch for you. I don’t think that that loose a system would work today but I also think the idea of historic “control over the borders” is not as tight as you think it is.

  162. 162
    ppGaz says:

    Answer my questions, Darrell.

    Do you believe that it is not safe to send kids camping with a gay scout leader?

    What is your proposal for dealing with the 10+ million illegal aliens in the US now?

    I promise your sorry ass, you’ll never post here again with me here to ask you these questions, so you might as well answer them now.

  163. 163
    Pb says:

    Darrell,

    Your family came here illegally?

    More or less; actually, I think they just fled here seeking freedom, and weren’t too concerned about the potential legalities. I’ve got some ancestors from both sides who came over on The Mayflower, which makes me a relative newcomer, really:

    There was a cartoon floating around Indian country several years ago of two Indian men crouched on a hill watching the Mayflower dropping anchor in what is now Plymouth Rock.

    In the cartoon one Indian is saying to the other, “Do you think we should start thinking about creating some immigration laws?”
    […]
    Ironically, most of the illegal immigrants are Indians, or Indios, as they are known in Mexico and in Central and South America. Most of their ancestors did not come over on the Mayflower or on the Spanish galleons. They were indigenous to the Western Hemisphere.

  164. 164
    ppGaz says:

    “without” me here

  165. 165

    I was amused at PP and Darrell’s joust. Here is the spin from a local Phoenix station.
    They quote some numbers that may be interesting to all of yizz regarding the Cost of Illegal Immigration.

    Note to Darrell: try Googling the words “hospital costs indigent Phoenix” or something similar…you’d be surprised what is out there.

    Enjoy!!

  166. 166

    Here is the spin from a local Phoenix station.

    It is certainly spin. The numbers aren’t that substantial. $32 mil in health care, $6 mil in welfare. But as noted by the restaurant owner, the cost of all kinds of other services being lower does offset these.

    Unfortunately the cost thing isn’t much of a valid argument. A point I made way at the start of this thread. We could also control costs by legalizing slavery. But the real question is, is that the right way to treat people?

  167. 167

    I have decided, today is a Day without an Immigration Debate.

    I am the Decider. I decide.

  168. 168
    Darrell says:

    Unfortunately the cost thing isn’t much of a valid argument.A point I made way at the start of this thread

    Well you didn’t make your point worth a shit, as cost is definitely an important factor. Since we don’t get to choose the type of immigrant who comes here (it might be nice to have more who have a high likelihood of good earning potential), we are having illegal immigrants ram down our throats the costs resulting from an illegal situation in which the uneducated, unskilled, and criminal elements come in disproportionate numbers into our country unchecked. Cost is most definitely a factor. So is the right and need to control our borders

  169. 169
    Darrell says:

    Pb, I want you and rest of your felloow loons who oppose immigration controls to shout your argument from the rooftops, so that Americans can see up close how whacked your side truly is – tell all Americans, like you just told us, that because Pilgrims, French and Spanish settlers conquered land from the Indians (many/most of the Indians who themselves had violently stolen the land from other tribes), that because of that history, we have no moral right to control our borders. Go ahead and scream that as loud as you can.. you would be speaking truth to power man. Do it

  170. 170
    Darrell says:

    I never thought of it that way. What a hoot.

    Did you never “think of it that way” because you lack the mental capacity to conceptualize the problem? Earlier you referred to today’s illegal immigrants as ‘just like previous generations’ of immigrants.. Except that we are talking about ILLEGAL immigrants who come to this country in violation of our laws. The entire issue revolves not around immigration (few would argue against immigration), but specifically illegal immigration. Those who skip the line over those waiting to come here legally

  171. 171
    SeesThroughIt says:

    I have decided, today is a Day without an Immigration Debate.

    I am the Decider. I decide.

    Oh yeah? Well, I am the Chooser. I choose. And it appears that you and I have a Mexican standoff. (Can I say that it’s a “Mexican” standoff today? Can we get outside arbitration on this?)

  172. 172
    Darrell says:

    Well I haven’t been back there since December, but booming I did not see. I’m going back in a couple of weeks, if I hear anything good I’ll let you know.

    Outside of the auto industry, manufacturing in the US is booming, and has been for some time now.. even despite high energy costs

    The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index rose to 57.3 from 55.2 in March. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.

    I blame Bush

  173. 173
    D. Mason says:

    Outside of the auto industry, manufacturing in the US is booming, and has been for some time now.. even despite high energy costs

    What your study seems to indicate is that productivity is up slightly at existing factories… that’s HARDLY a “boom”. Infact it could indicate any number of things that don’t involve more jobs or better paying jobs. You talk about everything except the auto industry, but do you know what auto industry jobs pay? They pay a living wage. They don’t make employees rich but they pay em anough to get by. If, for example, an Auto industry job got replaced by two dog food factory jobs, it’s still a net loss for the economy. Therefore I consider your argument dishonest, but I believe you knew it was dishonest. Anyone living in the real world knows that the only industries that are booming are defense and oil.

  174. 174
    Darrell says:

    What your study seems to indicate is that productivity is up slightly at existing factories

    Dumbass, that wasn’t a “study”, but a monthly report from the Institute of Supply management (ISM), and organization closely followed by economists and investors. Just thought you might want to know

  175. 175
    Darrell says:

    They pay a living wage. They don’t make employees rich but they pay em anough to get by.

    If you are sincerely, honestly concerned about wages paid to the average worker, then you do understand that illegal immigrants keeps wages down for working Americans, do you not? Here in Houston, the average carpenter makes less than $14/hour according to BLS. Not beginning wages, but “average”, which means 10+ years of experience to ‘rise’ to that level of pay. Why do you suppose the wages are so low for many blue collar working Americans?

  176. 176

    Well you didn’t make your point worth a shit, as cost is definitely an important factor.

    The point is if you start talking about costs to the system, you must also talk about benefits to the system. Otherwise you are looking at one within a bubble.

    I don’t think either are particularly noteworthy reasons for a discussion of immigration either pro or anti. I am more concerned with the meta-what is right argument.

  177. 177

    Oh yeah? Well, I am the Chooser. I choose.

    You cannot choose what I cannot Decide.

    I AM THE DECIDER!

  178. 178
    Darrell says:

    The point is if you start talking about costs to the system, you must also talk about benefits to the system. Otherwise you are looking at one within a bubble.

    But we haven’t discussed only costs, but also the fact that these immigrants don’t make enough to pay sufficient taxes to pay for those costs.

    Other costs are depressed wages. Now lets talk about benefits. Most of the benefits are being channelled to businesses who hire these illegals, taking advantage of cheap labor while Joe Taxpayer pays the social costs of the illegals. Oh sure, after lining their pockets with all the labor cost savings, some of the employers might see fit to lower to price of lettuce $0.10 to consumers. Some cost vs benefit ratio, huh?

    As for what is right? We are talking about a group of people who came here illegally, who skipped the line over those waiting to come here by the rules/laws. I don’t see anything right or honest about that

  179. 179
    D. Mason says:

    then you do understand that illegal immigrants keeps wages down for working Americans, do you not?

    I never argued that it didn’t. I just said you were dishonest. The two have no bearing on the other. I am not some pro-illegal immigrant lefty as I’m sure you would love to assume. I am a conservative, I just realise that Bush isn’t. I will vote dem in November because I choose socialists over fascists.

  180. 180
    Darrell says:

    I just said you were dishonest

    Let’s look at the basis for my “dishonesty” according to dumbshit logic

    If, for example, an Auto industry job got replaced by two dog food factory jobs, it’s still a net loss for the economy. Therefore I consider your argument dishonest

    So you float a theoretical strawman situation which has no basis in reality, then based on that strawman you declare me to be dishonest… Incredible when you think about it. Do you consider yourself to be intelligent and honest? just curious

  181. 181
    D. Mason says:

    no basis in reality

    It has some personal basis in reality to me, actually. You see, I was raised on Auto industry money. My single mother works for a major U.S. auto company, and her ability to put food on the table when I was a child was thanks to this. Well she still works there and I get ocassional reports about what’s going on there. I know that despite many cut backs and job losses, they make something on the order of 4 times what people at a local dog food plant make and the dog food plants are cutting back too.

  182. 182
    SeesThroughIt says:

    You cannot choose what I cannot Decide.

    I AM THE DECIDER!

    Screw that, I choose to overlook your decision.

    THE CHOOSER HAS SPOKEN!

  183. 183
    Perry Como says:

    I think we need to get rid of college students. Every time a college student graduates and enters my profession, the average wage goes down. How dare they drive the average wage down in my industry (my wage stays the same, but I’ll focus on the average) by flooding the market with their cheap labor?

    Deport the college students before it’s too late!

  184. 184
    Darrell says:

    Well tell those people to apply at Caterpillar, John Deere or other manufacturers. They are paying good wages and business for them and other manufacturers is on fire. Sorry if reality interferes with your ‘sky is falling’ ignorance

  185. 185
    Darrell says:

    I think we need to get rid of college students. Every time a college student graduates and enters my profession, the average wage goes down. How dare they drive the average wage down in my industry (my wage stays the same, but I’ll focus on the average) by flooding the market with their cheap labor?

    So you think that we have no right to restrict immigration to this country? Open borders, one world government, right?

  186. 186
    D. Mason says:

    Sorry if reality interferes with your ‘sky is falling’ ignorance

    Hmmm, actually it seems to be interfering with *your* ski is falling ignorance. I mean, if wages aren’t being depressed then how can illegals be depressing wages?

  187. 187

    Sorry if reality interferes with your ‘sky is falling’ ignorance

    What ignorance?

    In real world dollars, I’m worse off then I was 5 years ago. While salary has remained stagnant, the cost of goods has gone up above and beyond salary increases. (inflation was 4% for last year)

    Obviously you agree, or you wouldn’t be desperately trying to dispute the point. It would be apparently obvious, such as it was in the 1990s that everything was going well.

  188. 188

    Hmmm, actually it seems to be interfering with your ski is falling ignorance. I mean, if wages aren’t being depressed then how can illegals be depressing wages?

    That is a good point. Darrell’s caught in a connundrum, pretending to care about workers while at the same time shitting on their complaints.

  189. 189
    Darrell says:

    In real world dollars, I’m worse off then I was 5 years ago.

    Most americans are better off than they were 5 years ago. Wages are up, not stagnant, and both housing and stock market has increased significantly

  190. 190
    D. Mason says:

    inflation was 4% for last year

    That’s what they say anyway, Any housewife who has done her family’s grocery shopping for the past few years knows that 4% is wishful thinking at its peak.

  191. 191
    Darrell says:

    Darrell’s caught in a connundrum, pretending to care about workers while at the same time shitting on their complaints.

    How am I “shitting” on their complaints? I want a crackdown on illegal aliens, many of whom are causing wages to be depressed.

  192. 192
    Darrell says:

    Any housewife who has done her family’s grocery shopping for the past few years knows that 4% is wishful thinking at its peak

    I do my own shopping. There’s been no big spike at the grocery store. Boneless, skinless chicken breast at $1.25/lb sound like runaway inflation to you? Clothing cost less now than it did just a couple of years ago

  193. 193
    D. Mason says:

    Wages are up

    I want a crackdown on illegal aliens, many of whom are causing wages to be depressed.

    Which is it?

  194. 194
    Darrell says:

    Which is it?

    Overall, average wages are up. Illegals are depressing wages for many blue collar professions such as carpenters. Otherwise average wages would be up even more. You don’t seem particularly bright or informed, do you?

  195. 195
    John S. says:

    Most americans are better off than they were 5 years ago.

    Perhaps you have a source that indicates this? Consumer confidence index, polls, economists weighing in – anything at all? My guess is no.

    Wages are up, not stagnant, and both housing and stock market has increased significantly.

    Again, do you have anything other than your ‘gut’ to indicate that this is so? I mean many economists seem to think that real compensation is down as the wage squeeze continues, contrary to your assertion. And how exactly do new home sales (at record high prices) and the reduction of capital gains taxes associated with investments affect the wallet of the average American.

    You like to sling a lot of shit around, Darrell, but none of this is sticking to the wall. You don’t seem particularly bright or informed, do you?

  196. 196
    D. Mason says:

    You don’t seem particularly bright or informed, do you?

    I know that insults are a favorite debate tactic for your ilk but that shit won’t fly with me. You are welcome to consider me stupid, ignorant, leftists, whatever you like, but until you can reconcilse your own “wages are up wages are down” connundrum you will be the one with egg on your face. You can call me fat and ugly, feel free. Call me inbred or call me a pig fucker and I won’t give a shit because you’re the one floating rhetorical turds.

    My personal wages have gone down. Several local factories closed their doors only to be replaced by jobs that pay 1/3 as much. The amount I spend on necessities has gone up by atleast 20%. I don’t deal in dubious studies and reports whos writers may or may not have motivation to deliver slanted results. I look at the things I can see around me. The experiances of people I know and trust.

    I live in one of the most defense contractor heavy areas of the nation and even here people are hurting. So please explain to me how things are going so well. They aren’t going well here.

  197. 197
    John S. says:

    Boneless, skinless chicken breast at $1.25/lb sound like runaway inflation to you?

    You idiot, try using a real inflation index.

    Hint: The last 12 months don’t look too great.

  198. 198
    Darrell says:

    And how exactly do new home sales (at record high prices) and the reduction of capital gains taxes associated with investments affect the wallet of the average American.

    Most Americans own their own homes, I believe close to 70% home ownership in the US, and most american households own stocks too. Both the stock market and housing market are up significantly over the past 5 years. Oh, and the unemployment rate, currently at 4.7% is lower than in 2001 too.

    Sorry those facts come as such a shock to someone as obviously well informed as you

  199. 199
    Darrell says:

    You idiot, try using a real inflation index.

    According to your own source, inflation in 2000 was 3.38% and last year it was 3.39% (2.68% the year before). Yeah, only an “idiot” could ignore such ‘out of control’ inflation, huh dumbass?

  200. 200
    D. Mason says:

    It’s great that so many people own their own homes and own stocks but those things don’t really speak much to the problem of falling wages. Stop trying to change the subject. Are wages going up or down? Try to answer the question this time.

  201. 201
    Darrell says:

    Call me inbred or call me a pig fucker and I won’t give a shit..

    I live in one of the most defense contractor heavy areas of the nation and even here people are hurting. So please explain to me how things are going so well

    Low unemployement and economy booming overall. Sorry you’re not participating in the boom, because most Americans are

  202. 202
    Perry Como says:

    So you think that we have no right to restrict immigration to this country? Open borders, one world government, right?

    We have every right to restrict immigration. I’m with you on this one, I just don’t think you are going far enough. What we should do is lock up the illegals in the Clinton built FEMA camps and let them rot. I would suggest that the illegals should make license plates or do telemarketing, but that would drive down the wages of prison workers that already have those jobs.

    I think building a wall on the southern border is a good start, but it lacks vision. It would be better to set up some kind of human roach motel for all of those dirty, criminal immigrants. They check in, but they don’t check out. If illegal immigrants are willing to break immigration laws, what other laws are they willing to break?

    Next thing you know you’ll have roving mobs of day laborers running energy pricing scams in Kalifornia. Strawberry pickers will be cooking up some ricin to load up on their crop dusters. Your gardener will be naked shorting stocks on Wall Street. If we don’t do something about this soon it will be chaos! CHAOS!

  203. 203
    D. Mason says:

    economy booming overall

    Prove it. And no, a vague report that says factories are producing more(employees working harder) doesn’t get it. Show me some reports of large numbers of people who have recieved raises that beat out inflation. Back up what you’re saying please. Being a shill for the most corrupt, secretive and dishonest administration in history isn’t easy.

  204. 204
    Darrell says:

    Prove it.

    Already done. Employment rate lows, stock market and housing highs, manufacturing sector booming. I’m sorry you hate facts. But you consider yourself part of the ‘reality based’ community, right?

  205. 205
    D. Mason says:

    I think building a wall on the southern border is a good start, but it lacks vision.

    I think it just lacks creativity. You see, a wall isn’t very impressive, until it’s built from the rotting corpses of the 12 million illegals already here, then it sends a real message. That’s what we need and I don’t know why the idiots in congress haven’t figured it out yet.

  206. 206
    Perry Como says:

    Sorry you’re not participating in the boom, because most Americans are

    Count me in. Instead of those pesky home equity loans I hired a contractor to install an ATM directly in the foundation of my house. Any time I need to fill up my Hummer, I just stop by my home ATM and withdrawl $150 so I can drive to Home Depot and pick out a new set of granite counter tops for one of my five bathrooms.

    If this administration has taught me anything it’s that debt doesn’t matter. Well, that and punching my neighboor in the face is okay. It was a preemptive ass whoopin’ because of the way he was looking at my wife. But I digress. So what if I have a -1% savings rate? It’s free money out there!

    Ride the snake!

  207. 207
    D. Mason says:

    Employment rate lows, stock market and housing highs, manufacturing sector booming.

    You seem to have confused the term “Prove it.” with the term “say it.”. Saying something is not proving it. links? I gave you a link discussing the near 50% increase in foreclosures over the past few years, and a link to some recent stock market sucesses for the working man. Others have given links too. You gave one link that shows that seems to indicate that people are working harder for the same pay and then call that proof of an economic boom. Pathetic. You forced your way into this conversation then continue to prove that you don’t belong.

  208. 208
    Darrell says:

    You see, a wall isn’t very impressive, until it’s built from the rotting corpses of the 12 million illegals already here

    Ah yes, this thread just wouldn’t have been complete without the drama queen hysterics so embraced by the whackjob left.

    “But what of the children?”

  209. 209
    Darrell says:

    Saying something is not proving it. links?

    Already given and provided. What now? you want to “challenge” the 4.7% unemployment rate because you’re too stupid to use google?

  210. 210
    D. Mason says:

    Already given and provided

    I said it once and I’ll say it again.

    A vague report that says factories are producing more(employees working harder) doesn’t get it. You gave one link that shows that seems to indicate that people are working harder for the same pay and then call that proof of an economic boom. Pathetic.

  211. 211
    D. Mason says:

    Ah yes, this thread just wouldn’t have been complete without the drama queen hysterics so embraced by the whackjob left.

    I said it once and I’ll say it again.

    I am a conservative, I just realise that Bush isn’t. I will vote dem in November because I choose socialists over fascists. You are welcome to consider me stupid, ignorant, leftists, whatever you like, but until you can reconcilse your own “wages are up wages are down” connundrum you will be the one with egg on your face. You can call me fat and ugly, feel free. Call me inbred or call me a pig fucker and I won’t give a shit because you’re the one floating rhetorical turds.

  212. 212

    I wish the economy were booming. I really do.

    Unfortunately it just seems to be overall stagnate. Yeah, at least my 401k isn’t going down, but I still haven’t recovered all my losses from 2001.

  213. 213
    Darrell says:

    I will vote dem in November because I choose socialists over fascists

    You see yourself as reasonable and intelligent I’ll bet

  214. 214
    Darrell says:

    Unfortunately it just seems to be overall stagnate

    How does a “stagnate” economy keep creating so many new jobs then? Look, if you want to complain about govt spending, I’m with you. But your side has a serious “reality based” deficit by not acknowledging the very real upswing in our economy which has been going on over the past 3 years.

  215. 215
    Darrell says:

    I am a conservative

    Sorry, but I think it’s clear to everyone who reads your posts that you’re lying sack of shit when you claim to be a conservative. I note that many liberals/leftists claim to be moderates or conservatives (DougJ comes to mind as having claimed that too) when they are anything but. I think the left is more dishonest, in that they are more likely to lie about their political affiliation.

  216. 216
    D. Mason says:

    you’re lying sack of shit

    You are welcome to consider me stupid, ignorant, leftists, whatever you like, but until you can reconcilse your own “wages are up wages are down” connundrum you will be the one with egg on your face. You can call me fat and ugly, feel free. Call me inbred or call me a pig fucker and I won’t give a shit because you’re the one floating rhetorical turds.

  217. 217
    Perry Como says:

    I think the left is more dishonest, in that they are more likely to lie about their political affiliation.

    I think the real problem is that the left doesn’t see in black and white like we do. There are no shades of gray in politics. You are either a Bush conservative or you are a moonbat.

  218. 218
    Darrell says:

    but until you can reconcilse your own “wages are up wages are down” connundrum

    Already clearly answered in my 12:34pm post. Can you read?

    Call me inbred or call me a pig fucker and I won’t give a shit

    Is this where all the smart lefties come to post?

  219. 219
    Darrell says:

    I think the real problem is that the left doesn’t see in black and white like we do.

    Sure they do. “No blood for oil”, right?

  220. 220
    D. Mason says:

    Already clearly answered in my 12:34pm post. Can you read?

    Why, yes I can read, and here is what it says:

    Overall, average wages are up. Illegals are depressing wages for many blue collar professions such as carpenters. Otherwise average wages would be up even more. You don’t seem particularly bright or informed, do you?

    I don’t however see any facts, figures, links, studies, reports, personal accounts or even anecdotes. So once again were back to the difference between saying somethign and proving something. You managed to dig up one lousy report that says factories are producing more, with no indication that they are paying their employees for increased production. You can spew as much bullshit and insults as you like but some type of evidence will be required if you want anyone to accept your half-assed arguments.

  221. 221
    tBone says:

    If this administration has taught me anything it’s that debt doesn’t matter. Well, that and punching my neighboor in the face is okay. It was a preemptive ass whoopin’ because of the way he was looking at my wife. But I digress. So what if I have a -1% savings rate? It’s free money out there!

    Ride the snake!

    POTD.

  222. 222
    Mr Furious says:

    Boneless, skinless chicken breast at $1.25/lb sound like runaway inflation to you? Clothing cost less now than it did just a couple of years ago
    May

    The foundations of a healthy Bush economy according to Darrell: Loss-leader poultry prices and clothing sewn in third world sweat shops. Kisk ass!

    When’s my $100 gas rebate showing up?

  223. 223
    Mr Furious says:

    Well, that and punching my neighboor in the face is okay

    Or in Florida, you can gun him down…

  224. 224
    Mr Furious says:

    Dammit! KICK ass!

  225. 225

    But your side has a serious “reality based” deficit by not acknowledging the very real upswing in our economy which has been going on over the past 3 years.

    Let’s get real here. Bush’s job creation record has been terrible.

    However, I don’t know what that means. I think you need to crack the statistics and figure it out. We’re entering the baby boomer cycle of early retirements. We’re also seeing a decrease in people even trying to find jobs, particularly 16-20 year olds.

    If you want people to take you seriously, don’t make claims you can’t back up.

  226. 226

    Boneless, skinless chicken breast at $1.25/lb sound like runaway inflation to you?

    Are you sure it’s chicken?

  227. 227
    Kirk Spencer says:

    For what it’s worth, and hopefully without the mutual insults I see above…

    The economy finally appears to be doing well, provided you don’t look too closely at some of the underpinnings. I mean, Darrel and Brian are right – GDP is up, employment’s up, what’s the problem? Well….

    There are three underpinnings that have me concerned. The worst, first, is that while employment’s finally going up, wages are STILL below what they were six years ago (if adjusted by inflation). That is, more people are working, but their purchasing power is less than that of the people who were working six years ago. This is a major conundrum as it’s been consumer purchases that have been the big driver for the GDP growth. Which brings me to the second underpinning, almost as bothersome – the savings rate is negative.

    That is, by both accepted and proposed measures, people as an aggregate are spending more than they’re earning. They’re less and less prepared to cope with problems as they’ve no buffer. Their credit card debts are climbing. They’re financing more and more things. And the largest chunk of the money’s coming from housing.

    People are buying and refinancing their housing on shakier and shakier grounds. They’re taking on greater debts relative to their incomes, and more and more of it’s by using shakier and shakier debt instruments – ARMs and Interest Only loans being the best known.

    There’s a third underpinning that concerns me as well. That’s the trade balance – the fact that we buy a lot more than we sell. In many ways it’s the national version of the second concern. We’re buying other people’s stuff on credit, and paying with treasury notes that will someday come due. We’re very close to the point where all our current tax revenue base is necessary to pay the interest with nothing left for principle or the government services for which we’re supposedly being taxed.

    So yes, after 5 and a half years of poor performances we’re finally looking good – but only if you don’t look under the hood.

    Basically,

  228. 228
    D. Mason says:

    So yes, after 5 and a half years of poor performances we’re finally looking good

    Only if you also ignore the fact that many of the jobs that have been created to fill the unemployment gap are low paying service sector jobs.

  229. 229
    SeesThroughIt says:

    Great post, Kirk.

  230. 230
    Darrell says:

    The economy finally appears to be doing well, provided you don’t look too closely at some of the underpinnings. I mean, Darrel and Brian are right – GDP is up, employment’s up, what’s the problem?

    Good post.. at least someone elses acknowledges the obvious, that our economy is doing well, and has been doing well for a good 3 years now

    wages are STILL below what they were six years ago (if adjusted by inflation)

    I’m too lazy to verify that, but assuming you’re correct, you are criticizing the fact that current wages are not quite at the level they were back at the peak of the smoke and mirrors bubble economy before the bubble burst. I don’t think that is a fair or realistic barometer for comparison for that the very reason that wages at that time were way artificially inflated.. Basic web designers making $150k + stock options was commonplace back in 1999. That’s not realistic imo, and I think in the opinion of most others as well. Furthermore, wages have been gaining even more steam of late, with the year-over-year gain at 3.5%, above the 15-year average of 3.1%.

    Which brings me to the second underpinning, almost as bothersome – the savings rate is negative.

    I think that’s a valid area of concern, but nothing particularly remarkable from a historical perspective.. Over the past 20 years, consumption outpaced wage growth in the US economy by 0.5 percentage points on average according to this article

    There’s a third underpinning that concerns me as well. That’s the trade balance – the fact that we buy a lot more than we sell.

    You don’t make much of case for that argument and I disagree with it. We don’t buy more than we sell, we import more than we export. One huge factor in that trade balance equation is that we are importing a lot of oil which uses less of our domestic reserves. I have a huge trade balance with my grocery store, in that they buy none of my company’s software, yet I spend a lot of money with them each year. Please make the case why this is such a big deal concern. I don’t see it

    I’m surprised you mentioned trade imbalance but you didn’t mention the federal deficit, which I believe to be the biggest concern

  231. 231
    Darrell says:

    Only if you also ignore the fact that many of the jobs that have been created to fill the unemployment gap are low paying service sector jobs.

    Since you demand facts and figures, can you back up that assertion? You can’t, because you pulled it out of your ass.. I can recognize ignorant leftist talking points when I see them – “all the good jobs are gone and we have McJobs in their place”.

  232. 232
    Darrell says:

    Let’s get real here. Bush’s job creation record has been terrible.

    Yes, let’s get real.. if you can be honest. Bush inherited an economy in which the smoke and mirrors bubble had collapsed and was headed straight into a depression. Are you so partisan as to blame Bush for that?

    Then on top of that, we were hit with 9/11. But within 15 – 18 mos. after 9/11, the economy bounced back, and has been going strong ever since. After a popped bubble economy followed by a depression and 9/11, I think a growing economy with 4.7% unemployment is not too shabby at all. It’s difficult to have a substantive discussion on this because so many on the left are too ignorant, or too dishonest to acknowledge any of the positives in the economy.

  233. 233
    D. Mason says:

    Since you demand facts and figures, can you back up that assertion? You can’t, because you pulled it out of your ass.. I can recognize ignorant leftist talking points when I see them – “all the good jobs are gone and we have McJobs in their place”.

    It took me a moment because I had to do a little of the math myself(therefore some of the figures are give or take a little) but based on the table here from the dept. of labor and statistics, jobs in the service sector grew by 684,000 from 2005 to 2006, thats a 3% increase. Compare that to the 1.85% increase of 175,000 jobs in the manufacturing industry during the same period. I would say there is a quite noticable difference in the amount of people getting new service jobs and the amount getting new manufacturing jobs. Wouldn’t you? Infact, service jobs represented the highest growth percent of all. Service sector jobs represented about 23% of all job growth in the same period. Manufacturing growth was 6% of the whole. It’s true that professional/management jobs represented the largest net growth at 1,222,000 new jobs but it still came in at a smaller growth percent, 2.5, than service jobs.

    Need anything else?

  234. 234
    TBone says:

    Well, that and punching my neighboor in the face is okay. It was a preemptive ass whoopin’ because of the way he was looking at my wife. But I digress.

    If your neighbor happened to invade another neighbor’s house, killed and brutally tortured its occupants; killed and brutally tortured the people in his own house; gave support (monetary and otherwise) to people who blow themselves up; and attempted to kill your Dad; perhaps you might consider giving him a pop in the jaw if he eyeballed your wife. If you didn’t even have a small urge to give that neighbor a knuckle sandwich, then I suspect you don’t have a pulse…or are a scared woman.

  235. 235
    John S. says:

    If your neighbor happened to invade another neighbor’s house, killed and brutally tortured its occupants; killed and brutally tortured the people in his own house; gave support (monetary and otherwise) to people who blow themselves up; and attempted to kill your Dad; perhaps you might consider giving him a pop in the jaw if he eyeballed your wife. If you didn’t even have a small urge to give that neighbor a knuckle sandwich, then I suspect you don’t have a pulse…or are a scared woman.

    That’s one of the most specious analogies I’ve ever seen. And besides, the Republicans of today should be asking themselves, What would Jesus do?.

    Somehow, I don’t think our Lord and Saviour dreamt of knuckle sandwiches, unless you are thinking that He is Bush.

  236. 236
    Darrell says:

    I would say there is a quite noticable difference in the amount of people getting new service jobs and the amount getting new manufacturing jobs. Wouldn’t you?

    As I said before, you literally pulled that “fact” out of your ass, and when called on it, now you’re too dishonest to admit that is exactly what you did

  237. 237
    D. Mason says:

    As I said before, you literally pulled that “fact” out of your ass, and when called on it, now you’re too dishonest to admit that is exactly what you did

    That has to be a joke right? I provided you with a link to where those numbers came from, you can click it. Unless of course you are of the impression that the department of labor and statistics is somehow in my ass. If so I believe you’ve given my sphincter too much credit.

  238. 238
    scs says:

    Another intersting Guardian article on the sexes that has nothing to do with this thread.

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