Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Balanced Approach to an Immigration Nightmare

Over at VA's blog I ran across this link he provided and decided to check it out.


If you're confused about where your representatives stand (not necessarily where their rhetoric is) on the vital issue of immigration reform, this is a wonderful resource. And it's easy to use. No longer do you have to go to your representative's voting record, the people at immigration stance have done all the work for you. They've rated each House and Senate member from the various States on a spectrum ranging from "highest ranking" to "lowest ranking." You can figure out the rest.

I did my own quick survey of a few selected States finding results not too surprising, but interesting nonetheless. I think my investigation included such States as Oklahoma, Illinois, Kentucky, Wisconsin...you know, those States represented by our readership. Oh yeah, a few others like Kansas, California, and Massachusetts - not that Kansas belongs in that latter group. I also did a quick compare/contrast study of the various representatives, and the States and districts which they represent. Again, my findings didn't surprise me much -all the usual suspects taking all the usual positions- but I found them to be pretty interesting in one particular way - if the positions of the respective representatives from the various districts and States were put in map form, it'd probably look a whole lot like the county by county red and blue map of the 2000 Presidential election. In other words, we definately occupy the vast extent of the territory, yet, if their representatives are any indication of where the actual constituents stand on the issue, which would include the all too common "I don't really give a hoot," they've almost got us outnumbered.

Speaking of which, what is it about living in huge population centers near large bodies of salt water? Does the combination kill an inordinate number of brain cells or what? Ultimately I'd like to do a more exhaustive study to include every representative from every State and district in this union. So I'll be visiting the site again....and again I'm sure.

The real point?...

It seems to me that a return to proper balance in this government might well work in the interest of the American population on immigration reform. Specifically, as has been mentioned before, our national government has improperly moved into the realm of providing services that would be best provided at the local and State levels, if government is to provide them at all. If the American people need more government than they once did (and I don't think there's any question about that), it's ok, that's where we're at, but we're going to have to make some changes in the way that authority is delegated so that the national government can concentrate as it should, on the national business, e.g., on sealing our borders as one immediate and prime example.

Now, I've stated before that if this massive influx of immigrants and illegal aliens, particularly from the south, is what it takes to wake the American people up to the fact that they're going about tending to (or not) their government all wrong; that if inaction, or action contrary to their interests from their representatives in Congress on this issue is what it takes to make them realize that they need to restore some foundational Constitutional Principles (not to mention some semblance of common sense to their government), then I'm all for it. And I haven't materially changed my position on the subject yet. To paraphrase VA in a conversation between he and I over at his blog: "it may take a loss, or a near loss of our way of life before we decide to do something about it." I tend to agree. However, if we can offer up a viable, and a preventative governmental solution that most can get onboard with, then we oughta, right.

Why don't we start by educating folks on the governmental imbalance that has precipitated, and actually brought on some of our more striking and dangerous tendencies as a nation, including this one...


Michael Tams said...

Good site and better points, DW.

Immigration policy is a tricky thing. We need to have that debate about how many people come here and, although it may make people uncomfortable, where they come from. But a properly balanced government could have that debate today; we cannot.

And while there are certain very clear lines (with respect to such issues as border enforcement, as you note), this issue blurs the lines more than most. Suppose a border state, say, Arizona, decided that they wanted to admit 400,000 people a year to live and work in their state and pursue citizenship. What role would the federal head have in saying yea or nay to that? Intuitively, I sense that the federal sphere would have some proper role to play (preventing a state from bringing in too many people, perhaps), but the specifics are hard to fathom. I suppose this is because we're in such a state of imbalance today that it would be much like a child imagining what marriage is like. You can have a very general sense of what balanced government would be like, but we're too far away from the reality of it to determine the specifics.

As long as the border is open and there are few disincentives to coming here or hiring someone here illegally, setting limits on how many workers this country needs is going to be like playing darts with both eyes closed. Hitting the target would be blind luck and a near-miracle, but the most likely scenario is going to involve people just getting hurt.

Hence the need for balanced government.

Short of waiting to do something until we've achieved some sense of balance, a phased approach as I outlined would make an awful lot more sense than the "comprehensive" approach put forth by our elected "representatives."


Daniel Webster said...

Thanks Mike, and top of the mornin' to ya! ;)

Yes; I see what you mean. There's a good deal of speculation and conjecture that goes into explaining how a government properly balanced might approach something like our current immigration crisis given that we've grown so accustomed to governmental imbalance and that's what we know best. On the other hand, we recognize certain ways in which our government is indeed out of balance, so that speculation isn't altogether out of order:

You're fifty miles in either direction from the nearest service station somewhere in the middle of the high desert and you've got a wheel severly out of alignment. Do you:

a. speed up throwing caution to the wind,

b. slow down and proceed with caution,

c. pull over and change your tire, or

d. call triple A to tow you in?

I suppose that all depends on a number of relevant factors, doesn't it. LOL

I guess in a perfect world we'd be able to handle the immigration crisis (correctly) while at the same time beginning the restoration of balance process, e.g., straightening out the governmental mess that at least helped pave the way for this other (related) mess we find ourselves in. Thus killing two bir...aliens with one stone so to speak. But if we lived in a perfect world we wouldn't be experiencing either crisis now would we...we wouldn't need any government.

I guess that was mainly my rant -that I'd like to see us Americans exercise our brains a little more often. I don't expect us to do the exact right things, at the exact right moment all the time, but it sure seems like we could improve upon what we've been doing in significant ways given just a little more effort...to resist the urge to throw all our eggs into one shrinking basket.

Now, if you can figure out what I just said, you're a freakin' genius. Go back to bed, Webster! lol, lol, rotfl!!!

Michael Tams said...

What an early riser you are!

Your point is a good one, and I get it, though I hardly think this qualifies me as a genius; yet if you insist, out of courtesy I will accept and not be rude! ;)

If we could only trust our "representatives" to act on our behalf! It would be best to stop and fix the problem now, but I think the fixers (here, our "reps") are inclined to hit the gas and keep going, whereas you and I and a whole slew of other people would pull over and fix the problem.

Simply put, we need new governors, and so long as those people are a reflection of the PEOPLE, we need some new thinking from the electorate.


Call Me Mom said...

Gentlemen, I agree with you on the balanced government principle.

I think, however, that there is something insidious that affects people once they have spent enough time in office. It seems to change them, and not for the better.
I teach my son, that when something seems funny about the way things are being done at any level, you need to follow the money. In this case, I believe "the money" is from big companies, special interests and the media.

In the case of a large company attempting to influence policy, that's to be expected and one believes it should be fairly transparent. They want to make a profit and some piece legislation will help them do so.

In the case of special interests, we have a tendency towards socialist policy changes based on the Christian underpinnings of our nation.

In the case of the media, however, we have a whole different animal. While a free press is essential to the maintenance of a free people, there must also be accountability. An individual's freedom of speech ends at the point where it harms(notice I said "harms", not offends) their neighbor. Where does the freedom of the press end? Consider this thought too. The mainstream media today encompasses all three of these groups in one entity. At what point is political coverage news? At what point is it lobbying for special interest groups and at what point is it simply using it's power to enhance it's sales? How are our elected officials to govern with the threat of media censure for media's profit hanging over their heads?

The government cannot take over the media, because then we would not have a free press. At this point, I don't think we have a free press anymore anyway. I think what we have is a pandering for profit press(witness the coverage of who is winning on American Idol- since when does that qualify as news?-If I wanted to know, I would watch the show.) which is largely controlled by liberal and socialist individuals who relentlessly push their own agenda at the cost of our liberties.

I don't think we can properly address changing the way the government runs without discussing the media's influence.

That's one of the reasons the internet is so important. Blogs like this one and VA's give Americans an opportunity to voice their opinions, practice their logic skills and inform each other of what is really going on in our country. If I had read State of Emergency" without having the background material gleaned by reading this blog and others, of personal experiences with the problems encountered daily by those who live on the border, I would not have believed any of it. There is zero coverage up here in Wisconsin about incursions on our southern border by Mexican armed forces except when a few National Guard units were shipped out to help with that duty. Sure, we may see a piece here and there from a show like 20/20 or Nightline, but that's about it. May I say that those pieces will also have the liberal slant of "let's let them come legally so that decent hard working people who just want a better life can come here without being subjected to these horrible coyotes". It rather reminds me of the logic used to get the Roe vs Wade decision. You know the "Let's make abortion legal so those poor souls who are pregnant through rape or incest don't have to suffer at the hands of back alley abortionists with coat hangers" one?

We cannot address changing the government without considering how to change the other forces that will be working on those who serve. It kind of reminds me of a puppy my brother found at a wayside once. We couldn't feed him safely from our hands because he was so used to people teasing him by pulling the food away at the last minute that he would lunge and snap so ferociously we would fear losing a finger. I got him over it by being willing to let him bite my fingers. It only took a few tries before he came to trust that the food wouldn't be pulled away and it made him a much better dog for the family. (Thank God for thick leather gloves.)I think we need some folks representing us who are willing to let the media dogs bite their fingers. Of course the puppy was a much more reasonable creature than the MSM is today.

Goodness this has turned into a book. How's that for you Mr. Webster? My apologies for not posting much lately, but, better busy than bored...

Michael Tams said...


I think the media will take care of itself. I don't know how, but I see the media becoming less relevant in a balanced government scenario.

The money thing is problematic, unless you account for it from the get-go. I'd suggest that there would be a code of conduct that American Federalists would have to adhere to. If you're not willing to live by certain standards, this wouldn't be for you.

Although it would severely depress fundraising efforts, for example I would strongly consider limiting campaign contributions to individuals only (no PACs or corporations). I think this makes sense as it is consistent with one of my pet peeves during election season: television ads. Do you mean to tell me that you can convince a potential voter of the superiority of your ideas and characteristics in a 25 second ad? Get real. Nope, it's hard work alone, and there's no sense in trying to tell ourselves otherwise.

May I ask one other thing? Could you elaborate on your statement about "special interests" - I need a little clarification there, thank you.


Daniel Webster said...

Mike, I don't anticipate that the media will become less relevant, but more so. Particularly over the long haul under a balanced scenario. Unless by "less relevant" you mean to say less of a primal force in American politics, or, less influential if you will. In that case I agree. And I think that's probably what you meant, btw, so I hope you don't find my clarification too presumptuous.

Mom, I recognize in your post an intuitive sense that informs you (correctly I might add; btw, I find it necessary in this context to reduce all your concerns under a general heading here, so think nothing of it) of the necessity of carefully guarding ourselves against the tendency to single-mindedness in this effort, if that's the right way to describe it. It's a legitimate concern, it's duly noted, and it has been given much thought, I assure you.

I've decided against going into much detail on the subject here, primarily because I'm persuaded that we'll all be better served discussing it elsewhere; under a post that lends itself more to that kind of a discussion.

I'll be posting a piece very soon that should serve to ease that feeling of anxiety I'm detecting in your comments, and which will allow for a fuller, more detailed discussion on your concerns, or the remnants of them once you've read the piece. And btw, I think your comments may well have served to inspire a few neglected items which have kept it in the draft phase all these many months. So thanks.

Thanks for the comments, and don't change that dial. ;)

Call Me Mom said...

By special interests, I am referring to folks like those groups promoting the homosexual agenda, or the environmentalist lobbies or even the ACLU. They feel very free to use the Christian underpinnings of our nation to endorse their causes and chastise us for not being Christian enough in our views to give them what they want.
The money path isn't as clear for those folks as it is for businesses because much of the time the money is donated. Often, these donations are solicited under the guise of some other cause.
Sometimes they have legitimate concerns which should be addressed, but much of the time they are abusing their positions and the money which is donated to their causes.

Mr. Webster, I shall await your future posting. :)

Michael Tams said...

Webster, you were right on. I think the media's clout may decline; how's that for a more clear statement? Or, perhaps even clearer: the alphabet soup media's power will decline.

Mom, thanks for the clarification, I was hoping that's what you were saying.

DW, man, ler 'er fly.


Richie said...

Take Back Our Country Song


Can you please place a link on your website / or blog; to this Take Back Our Country Song it’s a patriotic song that is very inspiring, and truthful. I wrote this song after being fed up with what I see happening in my neighborhood and to our country daily on the news.

I am just an ordinary citizen that went away to serve at age 19. And I am sick and tired of the lies and chaos our ELECTED SELLOUT OFFICIALS has put this country into. So I wanted to do my part, as a soldier of the USANG, I wrote this song and put it on this video.

My state Louisiana was hit hard by hurricane Katrina and hundreds of illegal aliens moved into our community took away jobs that we Americans were ready to do, and now crime has gone thru the roof. I am sick and tired of these people in my neighborhood and hanging out on our street corners. WE MUST DO SOMETHING TO PUT A STOP TO THIS!

Please check out my video Take Back Our Country Song on YouTube.com here’s the link. And FORWARD it to everyone on your email list. This is my way of fighting back and giving back to my country.


Please, I served my country in the US Army National Guards, and I hate what’s happening to our country. We must do all we can to Take Her Back!

Thank you,
Richie Collins

Take Back Our Country