Monthly Archives: November 2014

Talking Points: Immigration

Hey, remember a week and a half ago when the President announced that he was going to direct ICE to ignore the law (and half of their reason for existence). Yeah, that’s still a thing. I’m not going to debate whether an elected official directing his subordinates to ignore the law is illegal (it is–there’s no debate on the subject–it’s called obstruction of justice). I don’t mind debating the Illegal Immigration issue, but we all have to admit to a few facts or it becomes a big clusterfuck.

The vast majority of migrant farm workers are American Citizens. I know it’s hard to believe, because it’s been drilled into us for years that our low-cost food and other products is the result of farms paying scut wages to poor immigrants because their undocumented and have no power. Except that’s the opposite of true, Farming is the most protected industry in the US, and one of its protections is that farmers are exempt from a wide range of payroll and OSHA laws and regulations. How do they find American citizens willing to put up with that? It turns out that whole hordes of people will do whatever it takes to not starve.

The Fourteenth Amendment doesn’t guarantee a child the right to stay in the US if his or her parents are foreign nationals. The relevant clause of the 14th Amendment, the one that declares any person born in the US or its legal territories to be a citizen of the United States says nothing about that person having a right to grow up in the United States. The fact is, there is a wealth of rights that are reserved until a person reaches adulthood. This “anchor-baby” notion does nothing for anyone except encouraging stupid people to take ridiculous risks during the most fragile period of an adult woman’s life (at least until she reaches seniority).

There is not a flood of anchor babies being squirted out for Free Welfare Cash. Anchor babies exist, but they aren’t an epidemic. Of the few that do exist, if their parents had any idea of the lifelong shitfest their children would have to endure, they wouldn’t bother trying this law-hack. Speaking as the child of two natural-born Americans, born on a US military reservation on a spoils-of-war territory, I can honestly say that every encounter I’ve had with the Federal bureaucracy started with me being asked for my green card and ended with me showing my consular birth certificate to a supervisor while explaining the laws that make me a natural-born American citizen while writing “Okinawa” as my place of birth.

No one is against immigration. The question at hand is the treatment of illegal immigrants. That is to say, people who have entered the country illegally, are staying here illegally and are probably breaking a few related laws to do so. This is close to my heart because my wife is a legal immigrant, and every time they “reform” the laws to make it easier to be an illegal, they make it harder and more expensive for us to maintain her legal status.

Coyotes are filthy criminal assholes, and no matter what is ultimately decided about the immigrants themselves, the coyotes, regardless of race or nationality, should be punished in some way that better people than me can devise, because everything I can think of as suitable violates the 6th Amendment. Seriously, the nicest thing I can think to do to them would be to banish them to one of the Aleutians with a pen knife and a bottle of Deja Blue.

I have no conclusion, and there are a lot of facts that are misinterpreted or just ignored, but these are the ones that I can’t ignore.

A Congressional Wish List

The 2014 general election is over. I assume that all of the candidates got votes of some sort, and one of them got more than the others. It doesn’t matter who beat who; what matters is that it’s over. Now it’s time to buckle down and do some work,


Here’s a kitten to get us started.

No matter who you are or what you believe, one thing is very clear. We have allowed our country to stray from the path. We’re in the woods and following wills-o-the-wisp isn’t going to get us anywhere. We need to sit down and have a serious discussion about where we are, how we got here, and how we get back to someplace we want to be. There’s no Blair Witch in these woods; the only danger we’re in is from our own stupid, so let’s just work on that, shall we?

The first stage in any discussion, debate, or negotiation is for all parties to know what they want and what they’ll settle for, so here’s my wish list for the 113th US Congress.

Fix the Affordable Healthcare Act

Honestly, I don’t care if Obamacare is “repealed, root and branch,” or not. I just know it’s broken and needs to be fixed. Provisions that should have been included were not, and there was some dumbass shit added that should be removed. Here’s my short list.

The individual mandate needs to go. I’m all for offering a tax deduction to help those who can’t afford basic insurance, but penalizing those who don’t want it is stupid. It’s also stupid to penalize those who can afford better than basic.

While we’re on the subject of basic insurance, let’s all try to agree that basic healthcare does not include any elective treatments. No boob jobs, no boner pills, and no birth control that isn’t related to the immediate health of the mother. You can buy a rider for that if you want to, but it should not be required basic service.

If we’re going to throw a big bag of money into the industry by public fiat, we have to limit who can grab the bag and how much they can grab. This shit where a single hospital stay can net a patient 30 different bills from 20 different “companies” has got to stop. There should be one bill for one procedure, and it should be fully discussed with the relevant parties before anyone starts sharpening a scalpel.

By that same token, drug companies should not be allowed to advertise prescription medication on television. If you think there’s something wrong with you, by all means, see a doctor, but there is no point at which it is okay for a drug company to convince you to harangue your doctor into prescribing their medication.

Repeal the USA Patriot Act

Seriously. Just dump that shit.

We don't know what we were thinking.

We don’t know what we were thinking.

Dissolve the Department of Homeland Security

And return the component bureaus to their original homes. INS (or whatever they’re calling it now) should be part of State. Customs should be part of Commerce. The Coast Guard is a goddamned part of our military and should be part of the DoD like the rest of our military. We don’t need a Department of Violating Every Idea On Which Our Nation Was Founded, and creating it was a bad idea in the first place. Lets dump it.

Reinstate Glass-Steagall

Or something like it. Whether Fannie Mae and the Community Reinvestment Act contributed to the crash of 2007 is open to debate. What isn’t is that it never would have happened if Glass-Steagall (the law that separated banking institutions from less reliable investment entities) hadn’t been repealed in 1996. As long as people who treat other people’s lives as a commodity are allowed access to our savings, our savings will be at risk of another catastrophe.

Enforce our Anti-Trust Laws

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again (and again and again until someone finally listens) “Too big to fail is too big to exist!” There are too many industries dominated by too few companies. The thing is, they are all essential industries. Telecommunications, food production, fuel and energy production, name a national industry. Now name more than five companies in that industry. that needs to be fixed.

End “Free Trade” that isn’t Fair Trade

We have a trade deficit. More money leaves our country than comes in. Shouldn’t we seek some sort of balance?

And finally,

Fix Immigration

No, that doesn’t mean provide amnesty for the million or so illegal immigrants currently living in our country. Since 1985, we’ve done nothing but make it easier to be an illegal while making it more difficult and harrowing for people to immigrate legally. We need to end the by-region immigration quotas and replace it with a first-come policy. I also think favored-professions should go, because who the hell are we to bleed a developing nation of their best and brightest?

And we need to make the punishments for employing illegal immigrants more severe. Get caught employing undocumented labor and you shouldn’t have to pay a small fine, you should have to pay the difference between what you paid the immigrant(s) and what you would pay a legal resident. then you should submit to regular inspections to show that you learned your lesson. Because breaking the law has consequences, and one of those consequences is that you have to prove you can be trusted not to do it again.

That’s my list. You have to register to leave a comment. I’ll keep an eye out for new registrations. E-mail me at bhainley(“at” symbol)casualnotice(period)com or message me on Facebook for expedited registration.