Thursday, March 27, 2008

What I want to hear from the candidates

I want to hear Clinton & Obama say what they'd do when pork-stuffed spending bills from the Democratic Congress reached the White House.

I want to hear McCain discuss the situation in Iraq--not his stance (stay 'till the last dog is hung). He's spoken about his stance nonstop. I want him to describe the situation--what's going on with the Sunnis, including Awakening factions and Al Qaeda-leaning ones, and where their support is coming from abroad (Saudi Arabia via Jordan and Syria mainly); The Shia, including the conflict between the Sadrists and the Maliki-"led" faction, and Al-Sistani, and where Shia support is coming from relative to these factions (that would be, by and large, different factions in Iran, one led by Ahmadinejad, the other by less hard-line folks, both opposed weakly by more liberal politicians, mostly out of office now).

Because while I don't think much of Clinton's braggadocio (next thing you know she'll be talking about how she was nailing snipers with a 50 cal. machine gun, hand-held) or Obama's attempt to become black after an totally unblack upbringing by attending the blackest church in Chicago and kissing off his white family to some extent, I think even less of McCain's apparent ignorance about who's who in Iraq. I appreciate his military background--that's fine with me. But just as I don't think Rev. McNasty was being taken out of context, and I don't think Clinton just misspoke, I'm not buying McCain's having "misspoke" either. I'll assume he's either ignorant or borderline senile until he speaks on Iraq enough to convince me that he knows what's going on there.

You can't hear the loudest voice in the immigration debate

The illegal immigration debate has three sides: one for amnesty for illegals, one for denying illegals entry, employment, and social services, and one for the status quo. The first two don't matter, even though they're the only ones you hear about in the news--both the mainstream media and alternative news sources.

The third only speaks in private, and only to lawmakers and elected officials, and it represents only a few thousand Americans. But they're also the richest Americans, and the largest contributors to campaign coffers. This group wants a steady flow of illegals so they can drive down wages for blue-collar work and bust the unions. They don't want them legalized; nor do they want them stopped.

You don't need access to those private conversations to figure out whether what I'm saying here is true. Just look at the news. You see lip service paid to public pressure groups for and against illegal immigration, but the people keep coming, in enormous numbers. It's ridiculous to say that we can't stop this. Just have the National Guard guard the nation--deploy them across the southern border, with rules of engagement appropriate to the fact that most illegal immigration is now managed by the drug cartels, using militias armed with automatic weapons. And have employment filtered through a national biometric ID--also well within our technical capabilities now. But everything gets slow-walked if it's even tried. Look at Bush's pathetic "efforts" to build a border fence mandated and budgeted by Congress. Look at the draconian federal prosecution and incarceration of border agents Ramos and Campeon--guaranteed to demoralize other Border Patrol officers. There are numerous other examples.

So don't let anyone tell you this is a two-way debate...well, except it is: the public debate, which provides the illusion of representative democracy, and the private non-debate, which is really just marching orders issued by the wealthiest Americans to their dedicated, hardworking servants, otherwise known as Congress and the Executive branch.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

NYTimes says Taiwan should cave

This editorial makes a pragmatic recommendation about the Taiwan-China situation. However, I fear it also implies a moral equivalence between the two countries' governments. Wrong-o.

True, once there was a moral equivalency between them. Chiang-Kai Shek's Kuomintang and Mao's People's Army--both were brutal, despotic organizations.

However, over the decades Taiwan's government evolved into a democracy, while the mainland government remained as brutal and despotic as ever. And imperialist (just ask the Tibetans, who they invaded and conquered in 1951). And racist.

Only not the sort of racism most Americans recognize. The People's Republic of China is Han, while the Tibetans, to name just one example within today's China, are a different race, culture, and language.

The indigenous Taiwanese are also a distinct people, but the Kuomintang were Han. However, sharing Taiwan in a burgeoning democracy has made the combined culture of the island far less racist than the mainland's government.

On the other hand, the Communist Chinese government is steadily moving to wipe out Tibetan culture and even its people as more and more Han Chinese move into Tibet--and Tibetans are systematically excluded from the economic development there, in the same way that China treats all its racial/cultural minorities--much as Americans treated blacks before the 1970s. Taiwan, in contrast, now gives all its citizens a shot at the good life.

So even if Taiwan's new government is doing what it needs to do to survive under the constant threat of military invasion by China, no one should try to equate the two countries' governments morally. The Communist government of mainland China (strange to call them that, but that's how they describe themselves) never ruled Taiwan, just as it never ruled Tibet. They're just engaged in a permanent quest for Han lebensraum.

And right now they're quietly pondering whether we'd go to the mat for Taiwan if they invaded. Meanwhile they secretly build up their armed forces, aiming to reach the point where they could knock out several U.S. carrier groups if need be, or, better yet, become so threatening that we'll just back off. One faction of the Chinese military believes we'd just stand by wringing our hands and issuing stern warnings. Are they right?

Last November China refused entry--without explanation-- to a U.S. carrier group scheduled to dock in Hong Kong. Many friends and relatives of the crew had flown there to see them. In Chinese terms they made us lose face, as we did nothing about this calculated insult. Quite a few incidents like this lend strength to China's militarist faction's argument that we won't defend Taiwan if push comes to shove.

And by the way, all this is going on under the watch of the ultra-macho Bush administration. Seems like their real motto is "Speak loudly and carry a teensy-weensy stick."

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Obamaphiles miss the real issues again

Frank Rich wrote another Sunday column for the NYTimes praising Obama and excoriating Clinton and McCain (

I wrote this response:

Granting all you say against McCain and for Obama--you still haven't acknowledged what could give McCain the gig:

(1) he supports the illegal alien invasion of our country slightly less than Clinton/Obama, and
(2) he has vowed to veto earmarked/bloated spending bills and Clinton/Obama haven't.

We who are centrist independents are inclined to vote for a president of whichever party isn't dominant in Congress, in recognition of the fact that neither party can govern itself, much less the country. And the disappointing continuation of the GOP's corrupt practices by the Democratic Congress hasn't allayed this fear.

Plus Rich's Beltway blindness to the impact of illegal immigration continues to warp his judgment.

Of course he doesn't live in--or apparently recognize the existence of--the American Southwest, where the illegals have concentrated, dragging California's school system to nearly the bottom of the states' rankings, choking our ERs, stuffing our prisons, and presenting us with the dismal fact that second- and third- generation descendants of previous amnesties of Mexican illegals (the last in 1986) have not assimilated into American society like other immigrant waves have. They speak English of a sort but they stay firmly rooted to the bottom of the economic ladder and the top of the ranks of high school dropouts.

This has contributed to the third worldization of the Southwest. And the advocacy for illegals by Clinton/Obama/Rich says less about their "humanity" than their determination to let the ruling elite of Mexico outsource its overpopulation problem and social welfare infrastructure to America.

And news flash--America had no part in Mexico's population booming from a comfortable 20 million in 1940 to a seam-busting 100 million in 2000. They did that all by themselves, primarily due to the dominance of a church that calls condoms murder and today instructs its American adherents to break American laws when they conflict with Church dictates.

None of these facts appear to have penetrated Rich's consciousness, which makes his political commentary parochial and lopsided.

One out of eight Americans is a Californian. And the likes of Rich are contributing to turning my state (along with Arizona, New Mexico and Texas) into an American Quebec. Even today the most-watched TV station in LA broadcasts only in Spanish. And the children of illegal immigrants will be a majority of Californians by 2050. Thanks heaps, Rich.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

No good without God?

On Good Friday (the Friday before Easter, when Christ was crucified according to most Christians), the Washington Post published an op-ed piece by Michael Gerson, a former Bush speechwriter, touting Christianity and dissing Unbelievers. Find it at:
(free registration required).

I entered two comments, one at the beginning, the second after 50 or so had been posted. Here they are:

Many scientists (at least in America) are religious. However, the higher you ascend in the scientific pecking order, the more likely it is that you're an empiricist. Note that I didn't say "atheist" or "skeptic." Such terms are used by theists like Gerson much as terms like "miscegenation" were used by racists in the Old South.

The simple fact is that many clearheaded people are neither religious, atheistic, nor skeptical. We aren't atheists because an atheist is someone who, when you ask him "Do you believe in God?" says "No." A skeptic is someone who answers the same question by saying "I doubt it."
But empiricists like me simply say "Your question included a word I don't understand. What do you mean by 'God'?"
Truth is you can't define that word without descending into tautology. It's no different than asking "Do you believe in Blipsquitch?" For us all your blather about God and Faith and, for that matter, atheism and skepticism, are simply irrelevant to our lives.

Calling us "atheists" is just your way of framing the debate to make you affirmers and us deniers--reminiscent of the scene in Faust when Satan appears in a puff of smoke and Faust asks "Who are thou?" And Satan says
"I am He who denies."

Well, we're empiricists--that what we actually ARE. Calling us atheists is like calling us non-Martians--it's a negative definition that says almost nothing about us.

So instead how we call us reality affirmers--and you, reality deniers?

As for your blather about how we must be religious if we're moral...this verges on solipsism. Morality of some sort is hard-wired into every social animal. You can only defeat this by raising a child with the equivalent of the wire mother in Harlow's classic monkey experiments.

Discussions about the existence of what you call "God" became irrelevant sometime around the dawn of empiricism in the 19th century. Folks like Gerson and Keller are fighting a rear-guard action that gulls a lot of people.

Yet another proof that we're genetically 98% Chimp. They don't reason very well, either--and they have a strong sense of "fairness."

To put it somewhat more charitably, human minds have a powerful tendency to connect the dots--even when the dots don't connect. And it reveals a powerful nostalgia when we imagined that the entire universe was built to house us, and that we dwell at its exact center.

So despite all their talk about morality, religious people are ultimately narcissistic. And mean spirited to boot when they strive, as Gerson does, to act as if only religious people can be moral (with the Catch-22 that if an empiricist is moral he is by definition religious).

Actually you could argue that only empiricists can be moral. We aren't bucking for a big fat reward in the hereafter, after all. Whereas religious people's altruism is almost invariably tied to winning the Infinite Lottery. How is that anything but terminally selfish?
2nd comment:

It just amazes me that the vast majority of Americans reject--as does Gerson and his fellow travelers in these comments--the scientific thought that produced every bit of the technology they use daily, from their telephones to the computers and Internet some of them used here to disseminate their rejection.

Metaphorically they're intellectual shoplifters--taking and using what they want without paying for it. Of course for them the price would be steep. They'd have to accept the sort of rigorous, pitiless analytical thinking that engendered all this technology.

And of course that sort of thinking isn't tolerant of mush-brained thinking at all. Tolerance has its place, but not in science. In the marketplace of scientific ideas, doctrinaire hacks like Gerson get ridden out of town on a rail.

If these science deniers lived like the Amish at least they'd be intellectually honest.

Yet they think nothing of advocating a Medieval mindset via broadband, just as the Islamofascists do.

It shows how one of the miracles of the human mind is its propensity to think mutually exclusive things at the same time--without even worrying about trying to resolve the cognitive dissonance involved.

And then they have the gall to accuse us of us of their sins--the smugness, the rigidity of thought, the constant use of false choice arguments and reductio ad absurdums, arguing from false's a garden of rhetorical toadstools.

Q. What does the dyslexic agnostic insomniac do?
A. He lies awake all night, wondering if there's a Dog.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Why not let Wall Street chips fall where they may?

Today's New York Times published an editorial on the Fed's semibailout of Bear Stearns. Titled "Socialized Compensation." Its pitch was: "Until bankers face a real risk of losing their shirts, they will keep ratcheting up risks to collect rewards while letting the rest of us carry the bag when their punts go bad."

Here's the comment I posted:

For me the New York Times editorial board is a Jekyl/Hyde phenomeon. When it opines on illegal immigration it's little more than a far left rant that substitutes namecalling invective for anything approaching reason. Yet when it comments on economic matters--as here--it seems well within the ballpark of resonability.

But then I'm a moderate Democrat/populist. On the other hand my spouse of many years is a born Republican/devout Mormon/social conservative accounting manager who has never voted for a Democrat for president (just as I have never voted for a Republican so far). She also believes the NYTimes is such a committed left-wing advocacy organization that she gives it little credibility up front. Nevertheless I read her this column and asked what she thought of it.

She said it made sense to her from an accountant's perspective that financial executive compensation should be based on trailing indicators. But she questioned the "inflammatory headline" ("Socialized compensation) and felt that the editorial didn't do enough to link such compensation to tax dollars.

Lastly she felt the editorial didn't clarify why the Board felt the Fed did the right thing in helping to bail out Bear Stearns. Speaking from a fiscal conservative viewpoint, she asked why not let Bear Stearns suffer the consequences of its own rashness--essentially saying "As ye sow, so shall ye reap." And if some other Wall Street financial institutions took the fall with it--well, wouldn't that be the Darwinian thing to do? Wouldn't that best teach the remaining institutions more caution? It was the main thrust of this editorial to get financial institution executives to act more like bankers and less like casino high rollers.

Well, by far the simplest, least regulatory way to do that would be to let stupid companies die. And in the long run that might well be the biggest favor the Fed could do them.

So said my very conservative wife--and somewhat liberal me is inclined to agree with her.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Gun control and the Second Amendment

The Supreme Court heard arguments about the D.C. handgun ban today in what appears to be becoming a referendum on the meaning of the Second Amendment.

The problem most people have in discussing the Second Amendment is that they don't seem to be able to consider whether we should have gun control separately from what the Second Amendment says.

That's a tangled web, though. For example, I don't think the Second Amendment precludes gun control. That doesn't mean I favor gun control, nor does it mean I oppose it. That's just my reading of the Amendment. Moreover, anyone who says the Second Amendment is perfectly clear to anyone reading it in the 21st century is a partisan--because it's not clear to contemporary Americans who aren't partisans. You have to imagine a radically different world from the one we live in before you read this amendment. What did they mean by "militia?" --much less a "well-regulated militia"? What did they mean by "arms?" Why did they link those two phrases? Any reasonable interpretation must address all three of those issues--not just one or two. Anyone who doesn't isn't reasoning--just hyperbolizing about his ideology.

The kinds of militias described in the Second Amendment no longer exist. Nor do the sorts of arms referenced by it. Do you seriously suppose the Founders would have countenanced every able-bodied citizen bearing an "arm" the likes of, say, a shoulder-mounted Stinger that can down a 747. "Arms" then meant muskets or, at the outside, flintlock pistols, all of which take a minute or so to reload, and have questionable accuracy and stopping power. If you want to stick to the "original intent" of the Founding Fathers, our automatic right to bear arms would be restricted to these muzzle-loaded weapons. But even if you think the Constitution is a "living document" no one in their right mind would claim the Constitution justifies me owning a Stinger. But if not, where DO you draw the line?

So I think we need to rewrite it in terms that are clear to any reasonable American living today. I don't say that from a position favoring or opposing gun control. I just think this will continue to spawn frenzied debate because it is so unclear to us. We could simply say "Adult citizens have a right to keep and bear arms, but governments have a right to regulate the ownership of arms." Or some such.

Obama as racial bargainer?

Today's Wall St. Journal published an editorial by conservative writer Shelby Steele that described Obama as a "bargainer" like Oprah Winfrey--someone who, without ever saying so, offers whites absolution for their racist sins in exchange for whites' support. My spouse (unwaveringly Republican from birth) sent me the editorial. Here's a link to the editorial:

And here's my reply to my spouse:

I’d pretty much agree with this. But I wonder why Steele didn’t avail himself of this opportunity to mention that Obama’s support for illegal immigration extends the bargaining past just white guilt over blacks but white guilt over Latinos as well. I wonder if Steele is so focused on black-white relations that he missed this? Of course it’s a point that the WSJ’s corporate-tool editorial position doesn’t want to talk about…

I do think he’s right (i.e. he agrees with what I’d already said to you) about Obama’s reasons for attending a black nationalist anti-white church—and marrying an “all black” woman—he was trying to become what others saw him as—black—despite his having been raised by a white in areas nowhere near black communities. I’m guessing he has unresolved inner conflict over his biraciality. I don’t think this disqualfies him for the presidency, but I’m sure he lacks inner peace because of it. I wonder what Michelle’s relationship with his mom was like?

One cavil—Obama’s first memoir is by all accounts extremely self-revelatory (while his second is standard P.R. fare). So he precluded being a cipher in this regard.

Let me add that assuming he gets the nomination, even if everything Steele says—and other things his detractors say that are factually correct (as opposed to all the Swiftboating that has already started), we still have to evaluate him vs. the GOP nominee—not against our abstract notions of who we’d like to have as our president.

Maybe the purely symbolic aspect of an Obama presidency would be worth it. The country won’t go to hell in a handbasket with either Obama or McCain—if it could, it would have after eight years of epic mismanagement under the biggest spendthrift in American history (when you take into account the long-term costs of the Iraq war and occupation and the long-term consequences of massive business deregulation).

My personal dilemma is that I get the impression that an Obama presidency would be better for you & me personally (via reforms in medical care especially) but a McCain presidency would be better for America in the long run (providing a check to opposite-party Congress).

Or to put it another way:

Being black is a disadvantage if you look and talk Ghetto. Being white is a disadvantage if you look and talk Hick. Being white is an advantage if you look and talk College Educated--and being black is an even bigger advantage if you look and talk College Educated. True, you'll still have trouble hailing a cab at midnight in D.C. But you'll have a leg up in corporate America, as any Human Resources pro will tell you in private.

American society, in various aspects, discriminates by dress, speech, race, gender, and other factors. Any of these factors can be an advantage or disadvantage in different circumstances. For example, even though uneducated-sounding speech generally hampers anyone in business regardless of race or gender, Bush's success depended in part in sounding like an ignorant yahoo (with a Harvard MBA). Hence "new-kew-lur" for "nuclear," along with innumerable malapropisms--none of which were apparent in public speeches and debates at the start of his political career.

Steele's comment on Obama's bargaining is true, I think, on a subliminal level, for many Americans. I regret that Steele apparently didn't see that Obama's support for illegal immigration extends this bargaining to Mexicans. Obama's candidacy must have a powerful psychological component--otherwise how could you explain so many people supporting Obama when his preference for illegal aliens undercuts the Democratic Party's traditional mainstay--blue-collar American workers, who have seen their wages depressed 10-20% due to competition from illegal aliens.

It's as if Obama has taken a page out of the Republican Party's playbook--developing emotional appeals strong enough to get people to vote against their economic self-interest. And he is an apt student, isn't he?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Demos guilt-trip; GOPers revile--both want to censor you

As so many pundits have said, the Democratic Party truly is the Mommy Party and the GOP the Daddy Party. And like so many parents, both want to control the people they regard as their children. That would be us, the electorate. But they use very different methods. The Demos want to censor your speech to avoid anything any racial/ethnic/socioeconomic/trade union identity group might object to, because not to do so would be "hurtful." The GOP wants to censor your speech to avoid anything right wing fundamentalists/Veterans of Foreign Wars would object to, because not to do so would be "unpatriotic"--or, in extremis, "traitorous."

In both cases facts must be subordinated to each side's fantasy version of reality.

At least we haven't sunk to the level of the Islamic world, where publishing a cartoon of Muhammad--even in another country--leads to deadly riots and assassination plots against the cartoonist in his home country.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

on L'affaire Ferraro (when she said Obama benefitted from being Black)

Washington Post columnist Colbert King wrote an editorial lambasting Geraldine Ferraro for her remarks about how Obama benefits from being black. See it at Here's my response to the column and the reams of reader comments on it:

Unlike most commentors here, I don't have a dog in this fight. All three contenders believe Mexico's ruling elite should be allowed to determine America's demographics by outsourcing their overpopulation problem and their social services infrastructure to this country. That said, neither this columnist nor most commentors have acknowledged a simple fact in America today: a Black man with a college education who looks and talks like a network news anchor has it made, even if a homie with dreads whose pants are saggin' and draggin' doesn't. Sure, maybe a college grad Black will still have trouble catching a cab in D.C. at midnight--but every corporation will be dying to hand him a plum position. And though he may have trouble reaching the very top...well, so would most people, regardless of skin color or gender.

And that's what Ferraro meant.

Moreover, if you follow the fountains of invective burbling over this campaign, you'll see bloggers and media commentators treating Clinton way more viciously than Obama. I'm not talking about legitimate issues--conflicts of interest, voting records etc. I'm talking about stuff like Limbaugh saying nobody wants a wrinkled old woman in the White House, or nasty remarks about Chelsea Clinton's looks (those have simmered down now that she's grown up beautiful, but it was a different story when she was an awkward teen).

I've concluded that misogyny is still acceptable to a remarkable extent, while overt racism isn't. Yes, yes, yes, there's plenty of covert racism. But survey the blogosphere and the editorials and you'll see that I'm telling the truth.

It even goes so far as names. In the Old South, judges and cops always addressed Blacks by their first names--a condescending, false familiarity. No one dares do that now. Unless it's a woman. The pundits are constantly referring to Clinton as "Hillary," while Obama gets the dignity of being called "Obama." Just as Whites are called "Whites"--never "European Americans" while Blacks are usually referred to as "African Americans"--even when their racial heritage is 50% White, as is the case with Obama.

Decades ago Tom Wolfe wrote a fine piece of journalism titled "Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers" in which he described the how well-spoken Blacks are privileged in liberal circles (again, not in the eyes of cabbies, to be sure), and how some Blacks make a living from race-baiting government agencies, politicians, and vulnerable corporations.

Obama hasn't done that, which is why he's a viable candidate and the Al Sharptons and Jess Jacksons of the world aren't.

I might add that lower-class Whites are heavily discriminated against because of the way they talk and look--often far more than educated, well-spoken Blacks are.

In other words, classism often trumps racism, and sexism also often trumps racism. Racism exists but it ain't the only -ism we should be worried about.

So many people who've suffered from discrimination seem to think that only the group they belong to has truly suffered. Feminists, paraplegics, Blacks, you name it. I'm in none of those groups, yet I suffered from intense discrimination up to and including physical abuse due to being raised in blue-collar communities and having a high IQ. Of course that high IQ has served me well since then. So how is my experience any different from what a smart Black might have experienced growing up in the prejudiced White communities I lived in, before going on to college and corporate success? Or a smart woman? Etc.

It's not. Blacks have legitimate grievances. But so do lots of other people. And Blacks do themselves no favor by playing the race card constantly. Save it for the real deal. Because even when you do succeed in browbeating Whites and Women and others into shutting up, they will say what they think when they vote and when they make decisions in private.

King's excoriation of Ferraro is such an example. The clamor of you and your co-religionists got Ferraro dumped, all right. But you did Obama's campaign no favor. He will only succeed by avoiding the kind of race-baiting that so many Black politicians do daily.

He might well say "God save me from my friends. I can handle my enemies myself."

Thursday, March 13, 2008

New York Times immigration editorial+my response

Here's the editorial:

The Road to Dystopia

New York Times Editorial March 13, 2008

The search for a silver bullet to slay illegal immigration continues. Hard-liners are turning the country upside down looking for it.

They are looking in Washington, where Senate Republicans last week offered more than a dozen bills to further enshrine mass deportation as the national immigration strategy. It is a grab bag of enforcement measures that will be useful for tough-talking campaign commercials, but will not actually solve anything.

Republicans and some Democrats in the House are trying to force a vote on a bad bill called the SAVE Act, which among other things would force all workers, including citizens, to prove they have a right to earn a living — a bad idea compounded by the notoriously bad state of federal government records.

The error rate in just one database, the Social Security Administration’s, is believed to be more than 4 percent, making it likely that many thousands of Americans would face unjust firings and discrimination, and waste a lot of time and effort trying to clear their names.

The harsh-enforcement virus has spread far beyond the Capitol. In states like Oklahoma, laws have been enacted to force illegal immigrants further underground, off official registries and into anonymity, by denying them identification like driver’s licenses. In a growing number of states and counties, politicians are offering up police officers to the federal government for immigration posses. From Prince William County, Va., to Maricopa County, Ariz., officers who pull people over for minor traffic infractions are checking immigration papers, too.

Many law-enforcement professionals say this is reckless and self-defeating, because it sends a deep, silencing chill into immigrant communities. Citizens and legal residents will inevitably be hassled for looking Latino. And it is expensive; Prince William’s new law is expected to cost $26 million over five years, plus a few million more to outfit police cars with cameras, as a hedge against lawsuits.

Maybe some people do not mind that immigration zealotry is sending the country down a path of far greater intrusion into citizens’ lives, into a world of ingrained suspicion, routine discrimination and economic disruption. Is that what we want — to make the immigration system tougher without fixing it? To make illegal immigrants suffer without any hope of ever becoming legal, because that is amnesty?

Could it be that tightening the screws relentlessly on illegal immigrants, even if some citizens suffer in the process, is all for the greater good?

Which is — what exactly? To drive a large cohort of workers out of a sputtering economy? To take more people off the books? To prop up the under-the-table businesses that inevitably evade such crackdowns? To worsen wages and working conditions for all Americans, since nobody works more cheaply and takes more abuse than a terrified, desperate immigrant?

This is a country that runs on routine amnesties. Where would the courts be without plea bargains, or state budgets without periodic tax forgiveness? Are illegal immigrants the one class of undesirables for whom common sense, proportionality, discernment, good judgment and compassion are unthinkable?

It is frightening to think that this country’s answer could be an emphatic yes.

Here's my response:

Actually what's frightening is to think that this country's leading newspaper could produce an editorial as hostile to our own country—especially its most vulnerable citizens—as this one. It's not that the New York Times editorial board members are false to my principles. It's that they're false to their own principles.

I'm certain they agree with H.L. Mencken's mission statement for good journalism (beyond a commitment to factuality): "To comfort the afflicted—and afflict the comfortable." Yet in their tunnel-visioned advocacy for illegal aliens (that's the legal term, folks—look it up), they comfort the wealthiest 1/2% of Americans and Mexicans, who profit most from illegal aliens' scab labor, and afflict the most afflicted Americans—the poor Blacks, Whites, Asians and Latinos with just high school diplomas or less. Those are the ones whose wages have been driven down by 8-20% (depending on industry and region) by being forced to compete with illegal alien labor. And there's not a single labor category where Americans won't work for a living wage. Moreover, it's the schools those blue-collar Americans attend that are being flooded with semiliterate peasants who can't even speak Spanish grammatically, much less English. It's the ERs those blue-collar Americans can't get into now because they're flooded with illegal aliens who use them for primary care. It's the neighborhoods poor Blacks in LA live in that are being ethnically "cleansed" of Blacks by Mexican and Salvadorean gangbangers. It's the Southwest that's being turned into a homogeneous Mexican barrio, not Greater Manhattan where the NYTimes editorial writers live and work.

Fact is, the New York Times' staffers and their families and friends aren't affected by this massive invasion. Which makes their patronizing contempt for those who are understandable, albeit despicable. Unfortunately it also confirms everything the right wingnuts say about the "MSM," exemplified by the NYTimes. Which is especially unfortunate for the 40% of Democrats who, like me, do have some sympathy for blue collar Americans.

A few specifics:

"mass deportation as the national immigration strategy"

No one is advocating mass deportation--certainly no one in the U.S. Senate. So the New York Times is knowingly lying when they say this...and in doing so they cross the line from advocacy to propaganda of the sort they decry when right wingers do it.

"force all workers, including citizens, to prove they have a right to earn a living"

I had to prove my citizenship the last time I applied for a job, back in 1999. How is this onerous? Illegal aliens don't have a right to earn a living in the country they're in illegally. By what sort of cracked logic is it wrong for wrong to be wrong? If I moved to any other country I'd have to prove I had a right to earn a living there before I could earn a living. Any. Other. Country. Why should the U.S. be an exception to an otherwise universal feature of sovereign nations?

"bad state of federal government records"

The New York Times' logic is that if the Social Security Administration's records err by, as they claim, 4%, then you can't use those records for anything. By that logic we should abandon federal recordkeeping since it isn't perfect. So when someone applies for Social Security the application should be accepted without a confirmation in the records? That's insane. Remember what happened when FEMA doled out payments to Katrina victims without checks? Literally billions of taxpayer dollars went into the pockets of con artists. Moreover, one reason why Social Security records are imperfect is identity theft by illegal aliens that hasn't been tracked down--largely because the federal government hasn't enforced rules regarding ID theft and hasn't required government agencies to cooperate in order to track this down. Talk about getting it backwards.

"driver’s licenses"

The New York Times wants us to give illegal aliens drivers' licenses, or we'll "force them further underground." Well, yes, any crime you prosecute drives the criminals "further underground." By the NYTimes' logic we should then legalize all crimes--otherwise we're driving the criminals underground. And communities with high crime rates won't want to cooperate with police. Of course if we legalize everything we won't need police. Then everyone can come out and play in the sunlight--rapists, con artists, drug dealers, bank robbers...don't you with the NYTimes were running the government?

Isn't is wonderful how privileged, isolated pundits issue prescriptions for the common good from their towers? I could take the rest of this editorial apart, but isn't it obvious how intellectually lazy and hypocritical it is?