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Thoughts on Events the Week of June 23

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on June 30, 2019

Immigration: This should be a subject tailor made for Congress. It is complicated, complex and multi-faceted, with various stakeholders having different interests that need to be balanced out. This is what Congresses are for.

Likewise, this seems to be a subject ripe with opportunities for compromise to achieve a comprehensive solution. There is so much to work with. (See David Frum’s thoughtful piece in Atlantic Magazine.)  For instance, I am very pro-immigration, but I would trade our policy that anyone born on American soil is an American citizen in a heartbeat for something in return.

This issue has festered for decades in this country, known for its generally welcoming attitude toward immigration, for three reasons:

  1. Schizophrenia. Businesses such as agriculture and building trades want immigrants because they need the workers. Therefore, they wink at undocumented alien rules.

Some oppose immigration because they think immigrants are taking their jobs, which is not true (their bosses are eliminating them with technology), but immigrants are easy targets to blame for our own short comings. So, things have been left in limbo, which gives both sides something, but is terribly unfair to the immigrants themselves.

  • Our Congress, at present anyway, can’t hit the floor with its hat. It is paralyzed, impotent, cowardly and stupid. It doesn’t seem to understand, or it chooses to ignore, that we have always been the net beneficiary of in-migration.
  • Although immigration is a problem, it is not our biggest problem, and so we have let it slide.

That is until President Trump decided to exploit immigrants to jack off his xenophobic base, which has elevated the issue, but exacerbated the friction.

Every wave of immigrants – Irish, Italians, etc. – has been met with heavy resistance, even here. And every wave has fought and sacrificed to get a foothold so their children may experience the American dream. It works out great for us.

This wave of Hispanic immigrants is no different. As a percent of the population it is probably comparatively small. And like the other big waves, it was forced by intolerable conditions in the immigrants’ native countries. Think Irish potato famine.

This wave of immigrants has a different skin tone and heritage than that of most European immigrants, and this irrelevant fact seems to disturb people. Hispanic cultures are rich, and they have already contributed positively to our own. Let’s elect people who will fix this thing rather than exploit it.

First Democratic Debates: I didn’t watch them. It’s too early. Besides, I got the headlines from the news channels the next morning. Castro did well, as did Warren. De Blasio surprised, Governor Inslee, on my early long-shot short list, looked presidential and Kamala Harris, another of my favorites, broke out.

In my view, the tone of these debates should be comity, and for the most part it seemed to be. It won’t do this time for the candidates to be trashing one another, because it is very likely that both the presidential and vice-presidential nominees will come from this lot. Why damage them before they get started?

If I had been on the stage, in my opening statement, I would have said that “any of the people on this stage, including the moderators (and probably the camera persons), would make a better president than Donald Trump.” No one said it, but in the spin room after the debate, Elizabeth Warren used my line.

In the early 60s, New York Republican Governor Nelson Rockefeller, who was fluent in Spanish, did some radio commercials and made speeches in Spanish when he was running for President, which was unprecedented, I think. (Of course, the Rockefellers own South America, so that explains it.)

Since then, the occasional candidate has spoken some Spanish, but in the first debate, at least four candidates made remarks in Spanish. It’s a pretty good indicator, I think, of the importance our Hispanic voters are going to be in this next, and future, elections.

I hope some Republican politicians, after watching the debate, woke up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat thinking they had better reconsider their xenophobic rhetoric and positions.  Republicans can’t buy a black vote to save their lives, and at the rate they are going, it will soon be the same for Hispanic votes, which is an even bigger block of voters. In the meantime, pasty white guys are dying off.

Economics: Before leaving for the G20 Summit in Japan, President Trump said it is none of our business what he says to Russian president Putin while he is there. Someone should remind this prick who pays his salary and for his airplane and housing, et. al. Perhaps Robert Mueller will do it when he testifies before Congress next month.

The Supremes: voted this week to allow individual states to gerrymander voting districts, thus abusing one-man, one-vote democracy. This is such an egregious injustice, I will have to address it separately.

Status of the States: The cup goes to Arizona, my own personal state, because on this date in 2013, 19 Hot Shot firefighters died fighting a fire near Yarnell, a piss ant town whose 250 residents had already be evacuated to safety.

I remember this date vividly, because, as we were getting ready to drive to Williams, AZ to have lunch with my daughter who was driving through Arizona on her way back to Texas, the monsoon rains came early, ushered in by the most violent wind storm I have seen in Arizona. The winds whipped around from every direction.

When I heard the news about the Hot Shots, I was incredulous that anyone in authority would send firefighters into a situation with those strong, unpredictable winds to save an empty burg. We are still grieving over this.

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