America Has A Problem With The Truth.
- by Subversify Staff
- Posted on 9 July, 2010
Kyle K is a first time contributor to Subversify and we are happy to break his cherry.
Kyle works as a factotum in the non-profit publishing arena while working on his English degree. He says, ” I have one wife, two boys, three dogs, six chickens, and a broken motorcycle. I like rainbows and ponies dolphins, and air.” He also believes Captain Crunch is guilty of war crimes and serial killers need hugs too…and don’t we all?
By: Kyle K.
America has a problem with the truth. It’s no big secret, we always have had a problem with the truth, it’s just that now we’re really starting to pay for it. The amazing thing is that no one wants to stand on the truth alone. Everyone has an agenda and they bend and warp only the facts they need in order to support their cause. Walt Kelly’s character, Pogo, once said, “Yep, son, we have met the enemy and he is us.” Though this was used to bemoan the state of pollution and the destruction of natural resources back in the early 70s, it applies to us as a nation today as well.
One of the latest uproars in the media, the white house, and in the grassroots arena is Arizona’s new law on illegal immigrants. So far there has been so much posturing, grandstanding, accusations, and fear-mongering that the truth is once again buried under piles of still-steaming political rhetoric. I listened when Obama, Holder, and Napolitano all said things that made the Arizona law seem like a draconian, Soviet-era infringement on freedom and the destruction of one’s first and fourth amendment rights – then they all admitted that they hadn’t even read the bill. Does this make sense to anyone at all? Here we have a president who was once a law professor, the attorney general of the United States, and the head of homeland security (also a former state attorney general) none of whom could take the time to read a 17 page bill before commenting. Considering Obama’s record of speaking first without knowing the facts (the Gates fiasco) it seems to me that the truth would have been far more helpful than fear-mongering and baseless claims of profiling and harassment.
I decided to take the time and read the bill, since no one else seemed to be doing it, and found it rather limiting compared to what I had heard and read. I then went a step further and read up on Mexico’s illegal immigrant policy and our own federal government’s policy. I found several facts (truths) that were very interesting.
1. I would much rather be an illegal immigrant in the United States than in Mexico.
2. Our federal government has failed at one of its key purposes – protecting and defending our national borders.
3. Arizona’s new law doesn’t provide for any enforcement or prosecution that is not already federal law.
4. Arizona’s law makers seemed to anticipate trouble with the current administration and tried really hard to word their bill so as not to supersede any federal authority.
So now I’m left asking myself, “why is this a big deal?” Then it hit me, no one wants to face the truth. If there is a federal law on the books making it a crime to enter the country without proper authority then anyone who does so is a criminal. It really is that simple, but it’s not. There are several groups in this country who are against our immigration policy. In order for that policy to be changed to fit their desired agenda the law must first be demonized, then made to look inhumane and immoral, then made to look like it violates human rights. Once we have this, the perception of the American people is that the law must be changed or done away with all together.
On the other side, there are groups who don’t want illegal immigration. This, to me, would be the most easily defended position and the easiest to get the government to respond to – if those people stuck to the facts. These groups use almost the same tactics as the pro-illegal immigration groups, but they target a different audience. The racist groups are the easiest to motivate because they are generally already angry. They are fed stories about how illegal aliens are stealing jobs, committing crimes, destroying our culture, and ruining our schools. Then others are riled up with stories about how much American money is being sent across the border, how the illegals are flooding our hospitals, homeless shelters, food banks, and the welfare system. Taxes aren’t being paid, illegals are getting Social Security assistance, children of illegals are being given citizenship, and illegals are getting in-state tuition at colleges and universities. Now the immigration laws aren’t strict enough, the government is not doing its job, the country is being overrun, and we’re losing our way of life.
So now both sides have their ardent followers, chaos ensues, and nothing gets done in Washington because all the overpaid, power-hungry political hacks are afraid of making a decision that might screw up their chances at reelection. What if we just stood back and accepted the truth? Countries all around the world are struggling with immigration problems due to the same kind of policies and political games that America is dealing with.
All over Europe – in France, Germany, and Spain – and also in England and other parts of the U.K. Muslim immigrants are flooding in and setting up shop. The politically correct and humanists have no problem with this, just like they have no problem with it in America. Only there is a problem. Muslims, particularly those from the Middle East and Asia, are used to a Theocracy where Islamic law trumps all else. In France, the Muslims are angry that full-faced burqas are being banned. They feel it is a violation of their religious freedom and their culture. Point taken, but what about the country they are now living in? Is France now supposed to cater to the needs of a group of immigrants over their national security and laws of the land?
Why would a country put itself in a position to have to deal with this? Why allow a problem to grow so big that the only solution is no solution? Here in America, what are we to do? Our country is in such a financial crisis and now in so much debt that even if we wanted to deport every illegal alien we no longer have the financial means to do so. Now that so many illegals have lived here for so long and had children on top of children who only know this country as their home, what can we do?
The truth is, realistically, we can’t do anything. We avoided the truth of what was happening at our southern borders for so long that now we are left with no solution. We can deport illegal aliens as we catch them, but for every one that is deported 50 or more get through the net. It’s already against the law to employ an illegal alien, but no one is enforcing the law, so there are still plenty of jobs to be found. We could cut off government aid to illegal aliens, but that would mean making a decision in Washington and that’s never going to happen.
The problem is this, we have met the enemy and it is the truth. The truth now has us cornered and we’re afraid. We’re lashing out in fear and anger at an enemy that we have fed and nurtured for decades. Everyone sees that enemy in someone else. Speak a truth that someone disagrees with and you are attacked, mercilessly, from the other side until you shut up or go away or are discredited. Anyone, from either side, that only embraces part of the truth will always be seen as the enemy by those with opposing views. We must stop taking sides and politicizing everything. America is a great nation with great promise and opportunity for all. She may not be perfect and justice may not be truly blind, but there is no place greater in the world. If we could just look truth square in the face and accept it over our meaningless and blind political agendas it will no longer be our enemy, it will be our purpose.
By: Kyle-It’s no big secret, we always have had a problem with the truth, it’s just that now we’re really starting to pay for it. Everyone has an agenda and they bend and warp only the facts they need in order to support their cause.
Kyle, what you’ve pointed out here, whether you meant to do so or not, is that there are really two truths here.
One is about two hundred years old – it’s relatively recent, in fact.
The other dates back around two thousand years.
You did a good job of explaining the first one – the Constitutional and Federal mandate to protect a political border.
The other one is even bigger – and it’s a remorseless beast that we’ll not be able to control.
Back around the latter part of the fourth century (378CE, to be exact), the Romans had to deal with an immigration problem which had culminated in a war with the Goths and the defeat of an army under the Emperor Valens (no relation to Ritchie).
During that conflict, the Romans learned that there was no form of political border which could possibly stand up to economically-driven human migration.
Caracalla, who was emperor about 150 years before, had declared every freeman living within the borders a citizen. Actually, as it turned out, it was a pretty good move – by the stroke of a pen, he’d created nearly a million new taxpayers, and levies for the legions.
We’re not the first country to go through this. We’ll likely not be the last.
I’m going to step out a bit here and say that the real issue here is how we deal with humanity, and how we want to be remembered.
Santayana probably said it best: “If you seek his monument; look around.”
Of course, he was discussing Hitler – but that’s for another time….
missleading numbers if it were true that for every deportee there 50 who get in then we would have 20 000 000 more illegals every year, that is in 2009 there were 387,790 deportations so in 20 years we would have a population of 400 million illegals? more than the entire US population?
The author makes some good points, but he fails to address the heart of the issue – that all this “illegal” immigration nonsense all stems from one key economic issue: cheap labor. Various special interests (from the agri-businesses to large fast-food companies) face the need to keep production costs low if they are to continue functioning, and the most expedient way of doing this was through a cheap, compliant unskilled labor force.
And what labor force would possibly be cheaper and more compliant than one that’s used to living in poverty, has little or no education and lives in perpetual fear of being kicked out by the feds? Such a people group could easily be made to work for the lowest wages possible, be denied benefits and, should certain individuals within the group begin to grumble, they can be dismissed from work (the country even – via a call to the INS) without any consequense to the employer. The fact that we have an immigration at all is due to these interests purchasing influence over the so-called “elected” policy makers: nobody did anything about the holes in our border security because there were too many people who stood to profit from them!
The whole reason we are in the immigration crisis we are in today is quite simple – big business simply didn’t want to pay full price for employees to run its day-to-day operations. Think about that…
“There is no greater place on earth.” (than America)? I would really love to hear the truth arguement behind that one…I truly would.
But as to this arguement I read the 17 page bill too. While I don’t find it quite Draconian, I do find it ridiculous and unenforcable. It reaches too far, especially for something that (if the truth be told) is only meant to affect the Mexican border. What keeps this bill from working is the fact that any citizen can be treated like an immigrant until proven not. That means red-headed hicks too…after all they could be Irish papists.
I did not go as far as to read Mexico’s laws on immigration so I will have to trust you on that for now, from what I’ve heard I cannot disagree with you. I don’t want to end up in prison down there I have no family to bring me meals and money.
I have to agree with Christopher. None of this will ever work until we break out of our slave holder mentality and start treating workers like human beings.
In Mexico, you’ll find that what’s on the books and what’s enforced, isn’t always in agreement. During the ten years i lived there, i knew a lot of people who were there illegally. They entered on a visitor’s visa, then stayed, sometimes for years without bothering to obtain more documents for their legal tenure. Although sometimes these extended visitations were motivated by people escaping U.S. law, it represented only a small faction. Many of the Americans that remained did so because they liked Mexico better. The largest percentage of “illegal immigrants” came from Europe, primarily Italy, whose laws are apparently much harsher than Mexico’s. At no time were any of these obviously foreign visitors asked to show their green cards or otherwise give proof of their legal entry. The prevailing attitude seemed to be, “as long as they aren’t hurting anyone, i don’t care.”
I find borders disagreeable for many of the reasons Christopher stated. We don’t just fence out the world; we fence ourselves in. We are a giant prison camp, easily controlled if our movements are restricted. We are subject to whatever propaganda is spread about activities in other countries, we are blind to cultural differences, and we retain no idea of the value, quality or potential of foreign goods other than those corporate investment chooses for us. With closed borders, we have closed communications, misunderstandings and lies.
How many generations must live in the United States before they are no longer “alien”? I know people whose ancestral linage can be traced back only as far as the first or second world war before they jump over into Europe. I know Hispanics whose ancestors lived in Arizona, New Mexico or California before the taking of the Alamo. Are they still aliens?
Economics is a weak argument, for those who migrate for jobs are not going to stay in an area where there aren’t any. They are not interested in changing our politics. They don’t want to force us to wear burgahs. They only want to make money.
One question: How does the wearing of a burqa compromise the security of France or violate its existing laws? There are NO existing laws prohibiting the wearing of religious or cultural attire in France. Sikhs wear turbans, Hindu women may wear saris if they wish. Hasidic Jews are not railed against for their attire.
You seem to argue for the truth… so let’s be truthful here. This new law French law you seem to be defending has nothing to do with “security” or “law” or even the attempt to conserve a “culturally pure” society (which in itself begs to be defined).
I agree that in certain situations where one’s identity is an issue one should be required to make identification possible. Bank transactions and identification papers come to mind. But to impose a blanket law forbidding a woman from wearing a burqa in the street is something else entirely. It’s selectively targeting one people… one religion… and in so doing compromising our own freedom, because once you allow for this infringement of personal choice and liberty, where does it stop?
As to the problems with illegal immigration in the US… Christopher makes some very salient points.
The problem exists because these people filled a purpose: Cheap labour
Oh… of course now that the shit has hit the fan (economically speaking) these people are suddenly “a problem”.
Well, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t simply just use these people and exploit their efforts when it suits you… then turn around and kick them out when they no longer serve your purpose unless you’re willing to bring into question the very integrity of your country and all that it stands for. THAT, to me, is the “truth” you should be looking for.
First of all, thanks for taking the time to read this and comment. Second, I know this is not an all-encompassing article, nor does it have all the answers and I appreciate the weak points being pointed out.
That being said, there are some things I’d like to clarify and/or defend.
As to the burqas in France. Being a former military guy and having dealt with all levels of security issues I can say with absolute certainty that a full-face burqa that disguises the person’s identity is a security threat no one wants to deal with. If you are in a bank and someone were to walk in completely covered from head to toe in any outfit other than a burqa, would you be worried? There have been numerous incidents that I am familiar with where men were caught wearing burqas in order to get past security checkpoints and if it weren’t for the cruel Americans violating their rights, they would have entered a secure area with weapons and or intel. I know this doesn’t mesh with the idealistic mentality of a lot of people, but it happens.
As far as the cheap labor goes, yep, you’re right. I think it would be great if there was no labor pool for unethical employers to choose from that gave them an economical advantage. Everyone keeps saying that as long as there are companies who will give the illegal aliens jobs they will keep coming. A point I tried to make is that there are already laws that could be enforced, along with all of the other immigration laws, that would eventually end this type of employment.
Finally, as to whether there is no greater place than America, I guess that comes down to what type of person you are. There are some people who are completely enamored with the idea of a utopian land where everyone contributes to the greater good of the whole. A land where no one is too poor and no one is too rich. A land where the government provides for all and all provide the government with everything. For these people, America will never be the greatest land on earth. I guess I spoke out of turn in the belief that all people cherish liberty, freedom, and lots of really cool guns the way I do. Believe me, there are tons of things I would change about this country if I could, but after being in several countries all over the world, even some of the really neat European countries that are socialist and all the people are so “happy” all the time, none of them hold a candle to America and the rights provided to the citizens.
I think you make an excellent point and I don’t disagree at all. I’m trying to write from a position I’ve never tried before: what I actually think as opposed to what I’ve been trained to think.
If you look at immigration from the two prevalent positions in America today – the left and the right – I can’t tell you that I agree with either one. There is so much that I hate about big business, poor ethics, the treatment of workers, etc. On the other hand, I see just as much wrong with labor unions, government oversight, spreading the wealth, etc. I wish there really was a way to solve these problems. I wish there was a way for Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, Vietnam, Laos, India, Pakistan, China, etc. to solve their humanitarian and economical problems so that people wouldn’t have to leave their homes and families and cultures in order to make enough money to survive. I guess I was trying to point out that there is so much broken with the system that I can’t honestly see a way out. I just wonder how we can go forward from here if we can’t seem to learn a single damn lesson from the past.
Kyle, i live in a place that is surrounded by foreign countries. To most parts of the world, this is not a unique position, but considering that my location is considered part of the United States, it is. Our truth is that the social development of the native Alaskan has been far more influenced by Canada and Russia than by the United States. Our perception is that the “New Alaskans” who migrated up here in pursuit of oil monies are the invaders. They reign over our politics and conduct our business. They are Colonialists, bringing with them an untarnished view of their own righteousness without ever considering that the local people have their own customs and desires for what we consider fair government.
I would venture to say that this United States so anxious to retain its Colonialist status is not very humanitarian at all. It looks at differences as matters to be corrected instead of genuine alternatives to their basically bland, protective and aggressively protecting life styles. It fears change, but without change, any civilization becomes stagnant, cumbersome and out-dated. Panama solved its own problems. Nicaragua settled its own problems. Without the intervention of the United States into its affairs, Mexico could solve its own problems, too.
A label was placed on the Mexican conflict so we could not hear the real issues at stake; unpopular leaders brought into power through dishonest elections, large corporations pushing out small businesses, privatization of lands once belonging to the indigenous people, all carefully covered under the guise of a war against drugs. Naturally, the war spilled over the borders. Let’s all give a big hand to Con Lady Rice.
I think we need to be more appreciative of our neighbors in Mexico. Some of the best art and poetry of the twentieth Century came from the Latin American countries. Some of our best present day movie directors are of Hispanic descent. Driving away the immigrant who doesn’t look or act or sound the same as you could be losing the voice of the next Pablo Neruda, the visual glory of the next Frida Kahlo or the music of the next Santana.
Americans are rapidly becoming isolationists, and as a member of an isolated state that has benefited more from the Japanese, the Koreans, the Russians, the Canadians, the Irish and the Norwegians who have settled here than from the wispy ties with the Continental U.S., i am beginning to wonder more and more if our alliance is really worth it or if we should become our own country.
I’m not arguing with you at all on that. In the military, I participated in the “war on drugs” in South America. Not only did I cry like a baby every time they made us burn a field of marijuana, I saw that all of the governments involved, U.S., Panama, Columbia, and Mexico all had a huge stake in keeping the war going without ever trying to win it. We were basically given a map provided by the dealers telling us which fields were o.k. to burn and which areas we weren’t even allowed to patrol. And this was during Clinton’s presidency, so there are no innocent parties there.
When I spent some time in Alaska, I saw how native culture had been controlled by the government. The annual whaling and seal hunting had been curbed massively and we weren’t even allowed to accompany any of the Inuit? when they went hunting. I know that’s not the same as the evil corporations coming in and colonizing, but the government is just as guilty.
As far as our southern border, I am aware that there are many talented people in Mexico and South America. The only problem I have is the laws. Either we enforce them, or we change them. The way things stand now, even if a person is highly talented and gifted when they enter the U.S. illegally, they are breaking the law – regardless of their talent. My point was that we have painted ourselves into a corner and there doesn’t seem to be anything anyone can or will do about it. Until something changes, no amount of pontificating or bemoaning the current situation will change anything. We obviously can’t have open borders due to security, but at this point, we might as well.
Americans, if they want to hold on to their way of life, constitutional rights and liberties, and method of doing business will have to be isolationists to a degree. Otherwise we will just become another country like those in Europe or even Canada. This may sound appealing to some, but that’s not what the founders intended and that’s not what the constitution allows. It’s unfortunate that so many people these days have forgotten so much of our history. It’s easy to recollect all the bad and evil things that have happened here over the years, but no one tries to teach or practice all of the amazing things accomplished here that have made us a great nation.
I better go now. I’m starting to sound like a radio talk show guy or something.
Kyle, as i mentioned, the Colonialist attitudes control our politics; i.e., government. There are not more than two or three legislators who were actually born in Alaska. Most of them followed the scent of oil back in the seventies when the pipeline was introduced; including the families of Sarah Palin and Lisa Murkowski, whom i have a bit more respect for than Sarah because even though she belongs to the old Republican vanguard, she at least attempts to make a majority of her decisions based on what she perceives to be for the well-being of her constituents instead of a special spotlight agenda.
Rights to whale and seal hunting have been restricted to the Native population because village survival is dependent on it. By necessity, the quota has been restricted because of the endangerment to the species, although i’ve been reassured by my Inuit friends that the quota is still enough to feed their villages. Whale hunting is difficult and dangerous. They use every hand on board a boat to accomplish their task, and only take on their most experienced hunters as well as a few young trainees. You must become a member of one of the Inuit families in order to take part in one of their rituals. This is the choice and organization of their culture.
A radio talk show guy is not a bad thing. Our radio has been idle for awhile. Maybe you could come up with an idea for rejuvenating it.
I can relate to where you are coming from – and like you, I’ve abandonned the dominant views of both wings of this sham republic we live in. But unlike you, I don’t think that this problem can be fixed (not without some serious social destruction first, anyway…): my goal is not to repair the damage so much as plan for surviving the disaster that’s been a long time coming – the fall of the U.S. empire.
From where I’m standing, the immigration policy that the government (at the behest of various special interests) has adopted over the last few decades is just one more nail in a very long coffin of corrupt policy-making – one that further exacerbates the conflicts between the working classes and the social elite by giving the native worker competition from people who are motivated to work for next to nothing. Seeing as to how the agenda of big business is to constantly cut costs (especially in light of the recession – I don’t care what the government says, it’s still not over!), this situation isn’t likely to end until without a full-scale revolt on the part of the working classes (a situation that just might put an end to the social establishment’s pretenses to being a “republic” – I can only guess what would happen from there…).
In short, I doubt that this country can be saved – my goal is simply to survive its destruction and build something new in my own local area when the collapse finally happens.
Interesting read, and plea for finding a middle ground. I would disagree with two points (one short, one long).
“I would much rather be an illegal immigrant in the United States than in Mexico.”
Relative arguments don’t really tell me very much. So what if things are better in the US than in Mexico on a relative scale? It still doesn’t tell me what is better or how much, or even whether those conditions are something that the reader would deem acceptable. And it sort of hints that maybe it’s okay to be intolerant and ignorant because those guys over there condone it.
I also take issue with your comment about burqas in France. First off, on a relative scale, it is a minor issue with regard to most of the policies promoted by Eric Besson.
Secondly, I think you exaggerate the power of Islamic law in the countries of origin of most immigrants to France. Keep in mind that during les Trente Glorieuses, the French actively recruited individuals to immigrate to France FROM THEIR OWN COLONIES, primarily in the Maghreb countries. Immigrants today are still largely from those countries, and their governmental systems tend to have a mix of Islamic and FRENCH influences.
And lastly, the generalizations you made are dangerous. When someone of North African background is pictured in the French media, many people automatically assume they are immigrants. It’s kind of like when someone looked up the number of babies born to women of Latin American heritage in LA County and wrongly (perhaps fraudulently) translated those figures as the number of births to illegal immigrants. Attitudes like this fuel Besson’s policies. I know of a few French citizens of Maghreb descent who recently had problems renewing their passports (not applying for new passports, renewing their old passports). These are people who were born into French citizenship, they were not immigrants. And yet they had to provide not just their own documentation, but that of their parents, and in the banlieue where a friend of mine lives, the documentation required by the administrators was inconsistent from day to day.
It’s not going to work. If this bill soon to be law does not include crippling fines and JAIL time for people who hire and house undocumented workers nothing will change. If you put a piece of candy on the sidewalk ants will come for it if put a rock in front of the candy the ants will go around and over if you sit there all day with a magnifying glass and thumb squashing and burning them the will still come and you wasted your day. Until you get rid of the candy and the ones placing it on the sidewalk the ants are going to come
REALLY? That 2 year old kid from Indonesia who smokes 40 cigarettes is NUTS. Someone needs to punch his folks around, or just launch them into the ocean I saw the video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TOtoVEJSTU