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Let the Panderfest Begin

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Republicans and Democrats are vying to see who can come up with the stupidest pander to motorists — all part of a short-sighted election-year reaction to $3-a-gallon gas.

President Bush eases environmental standards for refineries, trading long-term environmental damage for short-term price relief. Republicans say “drill in ANWR!” and suggest sending every taxpayer a $100 rebate, which at least gets points for honesty as a direct money-for-votes proposal. Democrats talk of temporarily suspending the federal gasoline tax.

Then there’s the ever-popular “let’s investigate the oil companies for price gouging”, along with the related “let’s make the oil companies pay higher/lower taxes.”

None of these “solutions” are more than drops in the bucket, and the oil companies aren’t the problem: the problem is ever-rising demand for oil, nervousness in the futures markets and refining bottlenecks.

Frankly, the only rational move thus far was made by Bush, who decided to stop putting oil into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. But he did it for the wrong reason: to try to lower prices at the pump. The real reason to stop putting oil into the reserve is that it’s needlessly expensive to buy and store oil you don’t need at peak price. Let it drop a bit before resuming purchases.

Here’s an idea, guys: stop messing with a good thing. Get up there and lead, and have the courage to explain the real problem with $3 gasoline: it’s not expensive enough.

Current “high” gas prices have already had all sorts of salutory effects: renewed interest and investment in alternative fuels, energy-efficient transportation and mass transit. People are carpooling or biking or walking. They’re trading in gas guzzlers for Priuses. And there’s growing acknowledgement that our oil addiction is a Really Bad Thing, both economically and politically. Imagine how much those effects would intensify if gas got even more expensive.

What we actually need is a hefty increase in the gas tax to drive home the real problem: an economy built on artificially cheap imported oil. Until the pump price of gasoline starts to accurately reflect the true cost of an oil-dependent culture, people will continue to make irrational decisions about energy use. And we will continue to be beholden to despotic oil-rich dictators whose people blame us for their woes.

What is the true cost of a gallon of gasoline? It can be hard to calculate. But for starters we can throw in the $400 billion we’ve spent in Iraq, and arguably the $1 trillion or so we’ll eventually spend in the overall fight against terror. I’m not saying we invaded Iraq for the oil. But we wouldn’t give a rat’s ass about the Mideast — or have spent so much time and money backing regional dictators whose oppression and economic mismanagement is part of the longstanding root of the problem — if it weren’t for oil and our desire to maintain a steady and cheap supply of it.

This 1998 study predates Iraq. But it puts the externalized cost of gas at between $4.60 and $14.14 per gallon. If they’re right, we should be paying at least $7.60 a gallon for gas. I don’t vouch for the validity of all the factors they use, but I think the general point — that what we pay at the pump reflects only part of the true cost of gasoline — is valid.

Why are there so many hidden costs? Because assumptions about energy availability and price underly everything we do. As individuals it affects where we live, how we work, the size and construction of our houses, the price and quality of everything we buy, even our health. As companies it affects where we locate, what we produce and how we produce it. As a nation it affects who we trade with and what our diplomatic and military priorities are. Change those assumptions, and you change the fabric of the country.

So I don’t see a hefty gas tax as social engineering or punitive or anything like that. I see it as true-cost pricing, allowing us to finally start making smart decisions about energy use and start down the road to true energy independence. EThe extra revenue could be used to defray the cost of the Iraq war. Or support the development of alternative energy. Or build giant space billboards that say “Screw you, Iran!” in letters readable from the ground.

A 2002 study by the Congressional Budget Office examined three ways to reduce gasoline consumption: increased fuel economy mandates, gas taxes, and “cap-and-trade” schemes. It concludes that raising the fuel tax is the most cost-effective way to reduce gas use, as well as having positive effects elsewhere. They didn’t contemplate a tax anywhere near as large as what I’m suggesting, but it still demonstrates the validity of the idea.

Like any addiction, kicking our cheap oil habit will take time. We’d have to phase in the tax so as to avoid serious economic dislocation, and we might want to provide exemptions or discounts to efficient users. But the sooner we start, the sooner we can tell the oil despots to perform anatomically impossible feats.

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About Sean Aqui

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Brilliant observations, Sean. If only someone in the big wide political world were paying attention instead of going for the easy pandering pseudosolutions.

    Dave

  • stan

    no worries, 30 years of oil crises – wouldn’t expect a resolution.

  • http://midtopia.blogspot.com Sean Aqui

    And my rates are so reasonable, too!

  • http://midtopia.blogspot.com Sean Aqui

    BTW, I’m beginning to get slightly depressed by the steady drumbeat of “great idea; it’ll never happen” reaction to my posts….

  • http://blogcritics.org/author.php?author=Casey%20Lunkley Casey Lunkley

    That’s all well and good, but you have to relaize that unfortunately, people as a whole are just too stupid to figure out that extremely expensive gas is a reason for them to dish out money on a new car, whether it’s fuel efficient or not. They might complain for a very long time about how much they’re spending on oil, but will they lift a finger to help the enviornment or their own wallets?

    No way. Not unless we have a very high-priced advertising campaign with the “Desperate Housewives” cast driving Priuses.

    Sorry to depress you. But it’ll never happen.

  • RedTard

    What makes people think that government taxation is always the answer?

    Market forces will replace oil when it is necessary and economically feasible. It’s not worth ceding more authority to an already corrupt and bloated government. They’ll take those tax $$$’s and blow them with the rest of the Trillion or so they spend every year.

    The attitude that everyone is too ‘stupid’ expressed by Casey above is just the sort shit that turns people off to your ideas. Maybe the average citizen doesn’t jump when the media throws up the red flag.

    Now it’s Bird Flu and oil prices and global warming. Before that it was SARS and mad cow. Before that ebola and Y2K and even the 70’s oil freakout and global cooling. The media whips you into a frenzy and you jump like a puppet on a string. Oil finally passed the price of bottled water, big deal, the world isn’t coming to an end.

    You can hide in the basement with your mask and duct tape and recycle your own shit to make organic compost if you want to. Me, I’ll drive what I want and do as I please and all you leftist government control freaks can fuck off!

  • nugget

    my mother-in-law is burying garbage bags in her back yard because self-proclaimed time traveler John Titor (who drives a gravity distortion unit) predicted WWIII in 2015.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Nugget #7… Good God! Nugget I hope they’re biodegradable, or she’ll have to file an environmental impact statement!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Comment #7 of my article “Frist and Big Oil Try to Buy Alaska for Two Tanks of Gas!” gives a current breakdown of how much crude we import from the top 15 sources…

    Jet

  • Dave Nalle

    Um, what does she think burying trash bags in the back yard is going to do for her?

    Dave

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Daaaaaaaave! Now think, after the apocolypse, who’s going to manufacture trash bags? She can sell them for $5 a piece and make a fortune!

  • Arch Conservative

    Three days to go and still no one has written a post on the “Great American Wetback Walkout” scheduled for Monday.

  • Nancy

    Archie, you’re one of the commentators here at BC, go ahead & write one. I look forward to it, because it needs to be said, ‘enough is enough’ with these vermin.

  • Arch Conservative

    I’d like to write one but I don’t have the time to write a lengthy reasoned post citing the facts that show what these ILLEGALS are doing to this nation.

    I am sure someone will soon be labelling me a racist for dubbing Monday’s festivities as the “Great American Wetback Walkout” but that’s exactly what it is and I’ll stop using the term wetback when wetbacks stop calling me a gringo. [Manners maketh man, Archie. Comments Editor]

  • http://blogcritics.org/author.php?author=Casey%20Lunkley Casey Lunkley

    Why are you “two” bringing up illegal immigrants? Nothing in this blog says anything about illegal immigrants.

    ” Fuck them and fuck anyone who disagrees with me.”

    Glad to know you have an open mind.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Arch, we haven’t even heard of this walkout on Monday. But of course over the past week the INS has rounded up just about every illegal in the Austin area and now we can’t get service at fast food restaurants and the entire system is grinding to a halt.

    As for the walkout, I predict gross failure. Illegals don’t want to walk out, they want to work.

    Dave

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Illegals don’t want to walk out, they want to work.

    If only we could foster that mindset among more of the legals.

  • Arch Conservative

    They wanna work? Do they also want to pay taxes, speak english, and pay for thier healthcare Dave?

    Casey you said “Glad to know you have an open mind.”

    I say to you glad to see you believe American laws should be obeyed.

    Ill talk about ILLEGAL ALIENS all day long on every post wether it’s mentioned or not casey because it is an important issue that needs to have much more attention paid to it than we currently do.

    As for Michael West’s insinuation that there are too many legals who are lazy……

    While that may be true it does not justify the mass invasion of ILLEGALS.

    I am tired of being civil to jackasses who believe that being politically correct is more important than being honest and BC is full of these.

    If you’re against ILLEGAL ALIENS you’re a racist right?

    Hell no and anyone who says I am can kiss my ass because you’re a bunch of race baiting pinheads.

    If you’re not with myself and those on my side of the issue you’re with the 20 million wetbacks who are here illegally and demanding the rights that legal citizens have.

    I hope the government finally grows a pair and listens to the vast majority of legal citizens who are fed up. I hope they spray the fuckign “Wetback Walkout marches with tear gas. I hope INS rounds thousands more of them up on Monday and deports them. I hope someone decides to run over 20-30 wetbacks with his car because he is a legal citizen trying to get to work on Monday morning to support his family but soem wetbacks are marching in front of him and they will not let him pass.

    I will make a comment about this issue in every topic that I respond to on BC regardless of the subject matter from now on. I will increase the vitriol tenfold with every post I make. I will tell anyone who disagress with me exactly where to stick it.

    It’s time for the party to end.

    [Sorry, Archie, that’s just not gonna happen. You’ll be polite or be edited, your choice. Have A Nice Day… Comments Editor]

  • http://midtopia.blogspot.com Sean Aqui

    Gee, Arch, I’m sure you’ll win a lot of people over to your way of thinking with that strategy….

  • Arch Conservative

    Well anyone who doesn’t come to the same conclusions that I have about this issue before ever seeing one of my posts is a fucking idiot anyway and beyond reaching with the truth.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Arch, that has to be the biggest {expletive deleted} fowl-mouthed load of {expletive deleted} I’ve ever read! How on earth can you be convinced that any {expletive deleted} moron with half a brain would believe such {expletive deleted}. For God’s sake man, are you {personal attack deleted} or something?

    {I lovvvvvvvvvve being my own sensor!}

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Do they also want to pay taxes, speak english, and pay for thier healthcare Dave?

    Nobody wants to do any of THAT stuff.

    But I’m sure that becoming an internet terrorist is going to make you really, really popular.

    Dave

  • Arch Conservative

    Internet Terroist?

    I’m just expressing my extreme frustration at America’s cavilier attitude toward illegals and the illegals arrogant smug give me give me give me attitude.

    I should have said do and not want. Most legal citizens pay taxes, obey the law, and speak english…while illegal aliens don’t.

    Jet have you hugged an illegal today?

    I’m the asshole because I am lashing out while the illegals who are raising the cost of your healthcare, lowering the wages of jobs for you as a legal citizen and committing violent crimes and then returning to thier native nations get a pass?

    That’s how you feel Jet?

  • http://midtopia.blogspot.com Sean Aqui

    Arch, you don’t suppose you’re engaging in just a teensy bit of broadbrush stereotyping, do you?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I’m happy to announce that the very assinine and childish remark that Arch just made on my editorial entitled “High Gas Prices: Is Bush to blame? or “Houston We Have a Problem!” has been removed.

    I really feel sorry for you Arch. Maybe it’s time to visit your local priest or minister?

    Love
    Jet

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I’m just expressing my extreme frustration at America’s cavilier attitude toward illegals and the illegals arrogant smug give me give me give me attitude.

    It’s not a cavalier attitude, it’s a sensible attitude. We need the illegals. Without them we’re seriously screwed here in the southwest. In the week since they started rounding them all up here in central texas our businesses are grinding to a halt and everything is becoming slower and more inconvenient. It’s a clear object lesson.

    We have 4% unemployment. There is no one who is willing to work who is available to do the jobs illegals are doing. If we got rid of all 12 million of them we’d have a disastrous labor shortage, rampant inflation and even more problems.

    It doesn’t matter that they’re illegal, it matters that they are available to do the work. As a nation we are exactly like the business owners who don’t question their papers because they need workers and can’t get them anywhere else.

    Dave

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    What about people collecting welfare being required to do those jobs? OR does that idea make too much sense?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Jet, you can’t force people to work. It doesn’t happen that way. The cost of having someone overseeing them to see if they actually show up – which they won’t – puts the entire burden on the government and the taxpayer. And when they don’t show up anymore after a couple of days then the business is screwed and has to go find and train another worker.

    The only effective way to achieve what you suggest would be to get rid of welfare alltogether for anyone capable of working. But even that would probably only add a fraction of the needed jobs.

    Our current 4% unemployment essentially represents the number of people temporarily between jobs. Those who are long-term unemployed and on welfare are a tiny number who are mentally, emotionally or temperamentally unemployable.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    Here I part company with you, Dave. If they want to work here, then they can also pay the proper taxes, and so can their employers, who are the ones who really ought to be jailed, since they’re the ones who hire them solely with an eye towards cheating on taxes, etc. If they want to come in here and help pay for their upkeep, that’s not a problem. We do need cheap labor. But they can go out & come back in again legally, in that case. We don’t need people who have no respect for the law to begin with, and who don’t cavil at helping others violate the laws & cheat lawful citizens & legal residents out of public services that we all pay for with our taxes – like schools, public housing (which is already in short supply), medical care, etc. One woman interviewed after the latest roundup was whining about her husband; who would support her & their 5 little illegals – all currently enrolled in FREE public schools courtesy of US taxpayers, all getting free meals, all getting free family services including food stamps, subsidized housing & medical care, and one of the brats also being ‘special schooled’ because of a disability which US taxpayers are also paying for thru the nose for special, very expensive medical treatments as well? I have to agree with Arch on this one, if not in verbal terms, certainly in sentiment: I’m sick to death of my wallet being sucked dry by uninvited, outlaw vermin who sneak in here & drain resources intended for the bona fide homeless, hungry, needy LEGAL US citizens we have in plenty. If these foreigners are needy, well that’s just too bad. Our dollars stretch only so far, and my charity starts and HOME and does NOT extend beyond the borders unless and until my own fellow citizens are taken care of first. If these people are needy, then let them march on Mexico City, where the Mexican government is rolling in money – and graft, even more than here. I have no sympathy for these trash, or their employers, or those who are “inconvenienced” by not having them littering the countryside performing cutrate services. Shame on anybody who is willing to violate the law & look the other way to accomodate these resource vampires.

  • RogerMDillon

    “If you’re against ILLEGAL ALIENS you’re a racist right? ”

    No, it’s your use of the term “wetback” that does that, Arch. I have yet to see anyone call you gringo on this site, but feel free to continue to use your racial slurs.

    What’s funny about you is that you don’t see that you turn people off to your cause. The hatred by you and other vermin like Nancy lessen my position against illegals.

    Also, if you are going to attack them for not knowing English, you should check your own grasp on the language because your comments are poorly written. Learn how to use a comma or go back to the land of your ancestors, you stupid Americano!

  • Nancy

    How is the term “wetback” racist? To my knowledge, it applies to all illegals of any provenance, except perhaps Canada, which entry route is over dry land. Is it also racist in your opinion to refer to them as ‘illegals’?

  • http://theallinoneblog.blogspot.com Casey

    Illegals to pay taxes. When they give their rent to their landlords (illegals can’t own homes), the landlord pays property taxes. A lot of illegals are also paying income taxes, with help from the IRS csmonitor.com

    I don’t agree that illegals should be here. I think we should build a wall, hire more border patrol and give citizenship to the ones who are already here. Deporting 14 million people is unrealistic.

  • http://theallinoneblog.blogspot.com Casey

    Nancy, you’re not very intelligent sweetie. “Wetback” is a racial slur that applies to Mexicans.

  • zingzing

    Nancy: “How is the term “wetback” racist?” Nancy! when did you become a moron? of course it’s racist.

  • Nancy

    No, I’m just not very versed in racial slurs. It’s not something I’ve spent much time engaging in. With your experience & tuition, doubtless I’ll learn a lot.

  • http://gratefuldread.net NR Davis

    Mr. ArchConservative, as a person born in the US who is NOT equal under law, I will have to stand on the side of the people you label… god, I can’t even write it. Disgusting.

    Indeed, illegal immigration must be curbed. But rounding up all the illegals here and shipping them to their countries of birth isn’t going to happen. It’s not (and imagine what things might be like in Austin if that happened).

    But to the actual point of this article: Mr. Aqui, brilliant. It is time people accepted what is reality – and that is that while high gas prices suck all kinds of moose phalluses in hell, that’s what has to happen. Everywhere else, petrol prices are much higher and have been for years. Americans are now around three bucks – which does SUCK – but that’s still WAY under the prices found in other countries. Why do so many Americans think they should have some right to cheap oil or cheap energy? Oh right – lousy economics education.

    Right now, Marylanders are up in arms because a legislative dam between cheap electricity and market rates has expired. We’re looking forward to a 72 percent rate hike come July. People are outraged, but the fact is that everyone else pays around market rates. Why not Maryland? Because, they’ll say. But reality is what it is. Energy is NOT cheap and shouldn’t be, however much the high costs suck (and chances are I won’t have electricity come summer – them’s the breaks). And putting the environment in jeopardy to quench the American thirst for lots o’ cheap gas… or raiding public coffers to offset rate hikes (would the gummint do something like that if, say, the price of milk or wheat or MEDICINE abruptly rose like a Roman candle? I think not) is poor policy for the long term. As horrible horrible horrible as all this is – I loathe high energy prices AT LEAST as much as the next guy – we must face reality and realize that sometimes things simply must be endured. The conditions are such that there is no avoiding the fund-letting. And actions to circumvent reality are only going to cause more troubles in the future. We have to face the truth and suck it up.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    As for Michael West’s insinuation that there are too many legals who are lazy……

    While that may be true it does not justify the mass invasion of ILLEGALS.

    Did I say that it did?

    Bing, your apparent obsession as laid out in comment 18 is extremely disturbing.

  • zingzing

    bing’s on the crusade! to stop illegal immigration! sitting on his ass! eating cheese on toast!

  • Nancy

    In that, Mr. West is wrong: even I will concede that most illegals I’ve seen are incredibly hard working people, for which they are to be commended. If they would just come in LEGALLY I would be thrilled to have them here. But I can’t stomach people sneaking in and breaking the law, & draining us of limited resources, for whatever reason. The only reason I oppose an amnesty of whatever stripe is that we did that before – and it didn’t work. All it did was invite in a flood of new illegals, and it won’t work this time, either. Either we put our feet/foot (? case ?) down & enforce the laws, or we end up losing any meaning to the privilege (and it IS a privilege, NOT a “right”) of citizenship.

  • Nancy

    Ms. Natalie, you are welcome to come toast your toes at my house if you run out of juice to heat yours. I live in Fredneck; I think you’re in Hagerstown, no?

  • RogerMDillon

    “How is the term ‘wetback’ racist?”

    WHAT?! When was the last time you heard Eastern Europeans who are here illegally called “wetback”? Maybe you’re right and it’s not. Please use it freely when you find yourself around illegals, and to make sure their status say it around all people with dark skin.

    “Is it also racist in your opinion to refer to them as ‘illegals’?”

    No, because that has nothing to do with race just like calling someone a fucking idiot isn’t racist. For future reference, Nancy, “nigger” is a racist word.

  • Nancy

    That one I knew. As mentioned in another post, a Canadian illegal I once knew referred to herself as a wetback, and a childhood friend referred to her own grandparents sometimes as wetbacks, which is why I take it to refer to illegals generically. Not knowing any illegal Eastern Europeans, I’ve never heard them referred to by any name. What other terms are there?

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    You misread, Nancy. I said that too many LEGAL people are lazy.

  • Nancy

    My bad. I did misread. Damned bifocals.

  • zingzing

    if you want to refer to illegal immigrants generically, use the term “illegal immigrants.” if you want to be nasty about it, go ahead and use “wetbacks.” of course, it’s not a nice thing to say, and shows ignorance, intolerance, and fucking balls in the right crowd.

  • Nancy

    Well, let me ask you – and this is a serious question of policy, I’m not trying to bait you: illegals are … well, illegal. Being criminal, therefore, are they entitled to respect, in your opinion? If so, why? Doesn’t the fact that they are illegal, and therefore lawbreakers, remove them from the sphere of being accorded respect, which they’ve demonstrated they don’t deserve? Would/do you refer to any of the Al Quaeda monsters as “Mr. So & so”? It seems to me, that anyone who deliberately breaks the law also surrenders their claim to any kind of respectful treatment or terminology on the part of others who do obey. Thanks.

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    Nancy, where you’re going wrong is that you seem to think that treating other people with respect is conditional, like some kind of reward you get to hand out for what you consider good behaviour.

    My personal opinion is that your views are vile, hateful and ultimately pointless and I want to have you locked up for compulsory electric shock treatment to “cure” you, followed by a long time in “corrective” detention.

    A majority of people I know agree with me so we’ve just had a quick vote and passsed a couple of laws. Please report to the nearest police station so your re-education can begin immediately, you revolting criminal.

    Gee, folks, ain’t it fun pickin on them illegals – or nances as I call them!

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Those fucking jaywalkers.

  • http://gratefuldread.net NR Davis

    The “president” breaks laws regularly (in the considered opinion of many) and yet unfathomably still gets respect from some just because he is the “president.” Only certain criminals get no respect.

    And frankly, while I certainly don’t celebrate lawbreaking, I would need to know what law was broken before determining whether withholding respect from a fellow human was appropriate. I’m not suggesting to ignore crimes committed or to just let illegal immigrants do and get whatever they want, but climbing over a fence just doesn’t sound like a big enough deal to justify withholding respect.

  • Nancy

    I guess that makes us even, except if you’re here legally I’ll tolerate your repugnant views encouraging lawlessness because the law says I must. The difference between us, hmmm?

  • http://midtopia.blogspot.com Sean Aqui

    You know, far be it from me to discourage comments on this post. But if you want to talk about illegal immigration, you could do so at my illegal immigration post.

    The BlogCritics version is here.

  • Nancy

    Thank you; I will. Thanks for the direct.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    Being criminal, therefore, are they entitled to respect, in your opinion? If so, why?

    Yes. Because they are human beings.

  • zingzing

    damn it. took the words right out of my mouth. well, whatever the proper… yeah. okay. thanks.

    nancy’s view is very simplistic and it doesn’t take into account any of the illegals motivations for coming here.

    also, she’s already admitted to committing crimes in her past, so, by her own measure, she shouldn’t respect herself. maybe she should wear a hairshirt. or whip herself or something.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Hey! Don’t pick on Nancy. I just found out her ancestors were just racially balanced, judeo-christian, pro-business liberals, who worshiped God, America and the American flag, hoping that the budget surplus they brought over with them would last long enough to find some erroneous facts, concerning gay dinosaurs that were impeding some cave man’s free speech.

    Then again, that might just be a kneejerk reaction?

  • RogerMDillon

    Nancy, if I think your opinions are idiotic, are you entitled my respect, in your opinion? If so, why?

  • zingzing

    did you copy and paste that?

    i’m not really picking on nancy. sometimes, she seems alright. her selective respect for human dignity is a little suspect though, and i hope that she properly punishes herself. not really. i don’t care what anybody on this site thinks really… doesn’t effect me one bit. is that selfish? damn it. go get my whip. 1… 2… 3… 4… shit, owww… 5…

  • Nancy

    I don’t know, I may come to change my opinions, if someone can give me a good enough reason, but so far I haven’t seen any to be pro-illegal, and many to be anti-illegal, and meanwhile while I can (to a very short degree) sympathize with those who are pro-illegals, I can also sympathize with Arch & the anti-crowd. In any event, not all human beings are entitled to or worthy of respect. Osama bin Laden is one. W Bush is another. I don’t approve of any illegal activities, be they illegal wiretapping or illegal immigration, especially if they’re committed deliberately & w/malice aforethought, so to speak. There’s a reason we’re still a place everyone wants to be and that’s because for the most part we still are a nation (mostly) under the rule of law and not caprice – altho that is being eroded by our Fearless Leader, it would seem. Do we really want to be someplace like Iraq where law is what the person with the biggest gun says it is, or the one who can afford to hire the biggest goons? I don’t, and if that means throwing some people out, then so be it. If this be treason (or idiocy, according to some of you) then make the most of it. Basta.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    I happen to believe that all human beings, bar none, have some form or another of actual human dignity and value. In some it happens to be far harder to find than in others. In some it’s substantially less than in others. But it’s there, and it’s worthy of respect, if by no other virtue than that it’s a fellow human being.

    Me and my damned Unitarianism.

  • Nancy

    Well, then, isn’t Arch entitled to at least the same modicum of respect, erroneous as you hold his opinions to be? To castigate him & yet insist on being civil about illegals is kind’a hypocritical isn’t it? But I disagree, anyway; I do think there are some two-leggeds who have NO entitlement to respect, starting with child molesters, & including terrorists who kill innocent people and presidents/politicians who lie to the people they’re supposed to serve. I guess jaywalking is mild enough I could still manage to call Zing “Mr. Zing” if he refrains from cussing me out.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    I don’t believe I have disrespected Arch, Nancy. I said that his apparent obsession is disturbing. I don’t find that disrespectful, and that’s the absolute worst thing I’ve said to him on this thread.

    And much as I would love to agree with you on who is and isn’t entitled to any form of respect whatsoever…I just can’t. Even while I believe that all child molesters must be eliminated from Planet Earth by any means necessary for the sake of children’s safety, I can’t thereby ignore the fact that they are human beings.

  • zingzing

    did i cuss you out? sorry bout that. didn’t… realize… where did i cuss you out at?

    when illegal immigrants are child molesters, terrorists or politicians, then you can show your disrespect. all you know about that person is that they wanted a better life and that they did something about it. maybe they didn’t take the best way there, but they haven’t done anything that lessens their humanity in any way, and they haven’t done anything that is your right to judge.

    as for bing… no one is suggesting kicking him out of the country or arresting him just because he likes to be an idiot… if he wants to leave, that would be cool. who knows, maybe he’ll go out this may day… isn’t that international worker’s day, where workers can air their grievances? kind of fitting… maybe bing will go out this may day and shoot himself a wetback, thereby landing himself in jail. wouldn’t it be great if the trial was in mexico? oh my.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    It was me zingzing, I stand guilty as charged… sorta. See comment 21, of course you have to use your imagination. That’s what I like about being my own sensor!

    Love Jet

  • RedTard

    How bout we try giving our old oppressed minorities, native American and blacks a hand up before we start importing another one.

    I seem to remember bringing blacks here to pick out crops once. Riots, lynchings, burnings, a civil war and 100+ years later we still haven’t got over that one. (Blacks could at least speak english)

    If you enjoy ethnic, religous, and racial conflict, overpopulation, continual wage stagnation, permanantly skyrocketing healthcare and social services costs, and mariachi music then by all means we should continue our moronic policy of importing all of Mexico’s poor.

    I’m not crossing my fingers waiting for anyone to do anything, Dems are having wet dreams of another oppressed minority to stir up class hatred in, and Repubs are more interested in this quarters earnings than the fact that the southwest is being turned into an overpopulated spanish speaking shithole. Personally, I’m practicing up on my Espanol it looks like I’m gonna need it.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Don’t look now, but hispanics are quickly overtaking blacks in terms of percentage of population and may overtake whites by the end of the next decade!

  • Arch Conservative

    Zing said ”

    if you want to refer to illegal immigrants generically, use the term “illegal immigrants.” if you want to be nasty about it, go ahead and use “wetbacks.” of course, it’s not a nice thing to say, and shows ignorance, intolerance,

    Not a nice thing to say? Well sneaking across the border illegally working here without paying taxes and getting free healthcare is “not a nice thing to do.”

    You’re right zing I do not tolerate illegal alieans and considering that most illegals are mexicans who liek to call whites gringos i don’t think calling them wetbacks is particularly inappropriate.

    Are you going to be marching along side them in the Great American Wetback Walkout zingzing?

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    Bing,

    most illegals are mexicans who liek to call whites gringos

    “Most”? I presume you have numbers to back up that assertion?

  • zingzing

    marching? nah… although my bus goes through the international district, which is right where they’ll march in all likelihood… so, i’ll have to get off the bus and walk home from the edge of downtown. so, it will look like i am marching at least.

    i don’t think i’ve ever been called a gringo before… but, no, any racism they exhibit does not excuse racism on your part. turn the other cheek? golden rule? judge not…

  • zingzing

    hey mike, why do you “presume” that bing has evidence? i should think that you would know by now… he can’t back that up. why would he? it’s amazing how many times he can get away with saying “wetback” so many times. fucking white people.

  • nugget

    dave, I don’t believe this statement: “There is no one who is willing to work who is available to do the jobs illegals are doing. If we got rid of all 12 million of them we’d have a disastrous labor shortage, rampant inflation and even more problems.”

    That’s not in context at all. Firstly, it’s obvious that we’re not going to get rid of all of them. Secondly, Americans will do those jobs. You’re crazy if you think they won’t.

    As for this subject, I think taking legal action against the illegals at THIS point in time is a mistake! They shoulda cracked down 15 years ago! NOW they’re in a pickle. Now it’s a problem and the solution is to grant amnesty and not fill the jails. Former Mexicans are important to our economy now, so live and let die. Focusing efforts on BORDER PATROL and not making the same mistake twice is the solution.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Nugget, WHAT Americans will do those jobs? Find me some unemployed people who aren’t already looking for a better job, or unemployed by choice. And by some I mean more than a handful. Like even a couple of million of them.

    The truth is that you can’t find those people. Those who are unemployed are either overqualified and looking for better work – even if it requires retraining – or chronically unable to work at all. Do you think someone who just lost a job in a shut-down GM plant at $32 an hour is going to go looking for gardening work at $8 when he can take courses at the local community college and retrain to become a nurse or an cable technician and earn two times that or more? Or he can just learn to type and answer phones and start working data entry or telemarketing for $12-$15 an hour.

    These are jobs Mexicans can’t take and virtually any US citizen with a high school diploma and a small to moderate amount of specialized training can do and they pay way better and they are ALWAYS hiring.

    Dave

  • RedTard

    Dave,

    Quit playing dumb, you know exactly how supply and demand works. Pay a reasonable wage and you will always be able to find someone to do the work.

    Importing uneducated poor from third world conditions throws the balance off. There are billions of poor, ignorant people in the world, this is not where the United States needs to compete economically.

    I’d pay an extra $.25 for my little package of strawberries and head of lettuce to prevent overpopulaton of the southwest and the creation of what will be the eventual downfall of our system as we know it.

    In 50 years at best you will end up with an ‘oppressed’ minority, blaming whites that they showed up with a 3rd grade education and didn’t immediately end up in the ruling class. It’ll be reparations and affirmative action all over again. The Democrats will harness the racial tension to gain votes and implement left wing changes to our government.

    At worst, we’ll end of with a Spanish speaking quadrant of the country with an active ethnic conflict. Your a student of history. Different race, different language, different religion = conflict in almost every single example.

    We need to close the border and apply the standards we use for others to Mexicans wanting to enter this country. We like our Indian immigrants, they all seem to be doctor’s or in business, why?

    Because we have high standards, we only allow above average, well educated Indians into the country and it’s a great plan. It improves our system. We would have quite a different view of Indians if we went and grabbed 11 million ignorant urban poor ones out of their cardboard boxes and dumped them in San Francisco. That’s essentially what we’re doing with Mexicans and it’s foolish.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    The figures just don’t support your view, RedTard. Hispanics are more upwardly mobile in the economy than whites or blacks, and they haven’t turned into an oppressed minority in the last 400 years, so why should the turn into one in the next 50? They adapt and assimilate extremely well, and ultimately succeed.

    As for paying a higher wage, it’s going to take a hell of a lot more than 25 cents to get a white guy who can read and write English or talk on a phone to go out and pick lettuce. You’d have to increase that wage by something more like $10 to attract any workers from other easily available jobs.

    The problem isn’t that the wages are too low anyway, it’s that there ARE NO AVAILABLE WORKERS in the domestic population.

    Dave

  • RedTard

    I sincerely hope you are right. Stats show a high school dropout rate of 3 times that of blacks and about 6 times that of whites for Mexican immigrants. I think that in itself paints a dangerous picture for their future.

    In fifty years when they look around and see that they’re not represented in certain sectors where education is critical that work happy attitude might start to sour.

    They’ll have the obligatory 2 political messages to choose from

    1) Personal responsibility, you came here with nothing and didn’t finish high school, that’s why you’re not represented at Harvard and in the engineering and medical fields. We’ll call that the Republican reality.

    2) You are having trouble because the white majority treated you as second class citizens for all those years. You’re a victim of a racist oppressive system and need government help if you ever want true equality. We’ll call that the Democrat message.

    I’m a little concerned as to which they might choose. Democrats are willing to shun unions and blacks, two of the hardest hit groups, in order to get the latino vote. I think they may be onto something.

  • nugget

    “Nugget, WHAT Americans will do those jobs?”

    The same Americans that did those jobs 20 years ago. In fact, they’re still doing those jobs. When Mexicans started getting hired by contractors “for the day” (you remember when the bunch of them sat on the curbside waiting for work), they paid them ridiculously low wages (illegal wages) and kept their current workers. They sped up building and were able to pay for the extra employees by doing extra work. The same is true now. The only difference is that contractors and companies charge more and have more employees. They just do more jobs at a faster pace. And what makes you think that Mexicans are making 6 bucks an hour? They were already pretty skilled with their hands, and once the govt. stepped in to protect the latinos, wages were raised at least to a fair and reasonable rate. Contractors were wipped into shape but still probably pay the Americans higher wages. The on-site rationalization for that is simply the amount of years worked. I doubt Bubba or Billy Bob is gonna trade their $15-20/hr construction job for a crappy telemarketing job and like hell they’re going back to school!

    Blue collar ain’t goin’ nowhere. They’re still here and they hate workin’ indoors. This is all rhetoric anyways. Maybe Billy Bob’s wife will talk him into getting a welding degree or something, but this shift is happening much more slowly than you think. Maybe in 30 years “Americans” won’t do that work, but that’s because community colleges, tech schools, and other localized forms of post-secondary education are gaining ground.

  • nugget

    “In fifty years when they look around and see that they’re not represented in certain sectors where education is critical that work happy attitude might start to sour.”

    Redtard, I doubt they’d care. The only reason immigrants care now is because they’re getting taken from work and their families are temporarily split up. The Mexicans crossing the border are the ones content doing the low wage jobs. They don’t have a bone to pick with the whites like the blacks did, so they don’t give a shit about “proving” how smart they are. Perhaps this will change, but not at the rate African American assimilation has changed to some degree. The white intelligenstia accepted people like W.E.B. Dubois, Maya Angelou, etc. and that gave blacks the surge of idealism they needed to enter the university mold with credibility. What the latinos really need is an American leader that is respected by the white intelligentsia. If they don’t have a platform of idealism like civil rights or some sort of oppression card, then they won’t be living in suburbs with Tahoes.

    In my opinion, the same thing will happen with the latinos as it did the blacks. 2/3 of the Mexicans will prefer to live in the ghetto and enjoy life. the other 1/3 will want what the rich anglo-saxons already have. The larger group of mexicans will accuse the latter group of “trying to be white,” and the entire race will chuckle secretly, but despairingly, because they will all know it to be true.