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A Teachable Moment

One of the things I find most annoying about the Left is their conceit that their positions are the only reasonable, rational ones. This tends to express itself when they are trying to make their case. How many times have we heard that they just need to properly educate us on their plans, that they just need to explain it clearly enough, and any reasonable person will agree that they're right.

The subtle drawback is that once they've decided that they've explained it enough, then obviously their opponents aren't acting in good faith. That leads to laughable charges that the opponents are stooges or paid operatives for the opposition. In the case of health care financing reform, it's Big Insurance that's pulling the strings. In the global warmening climate change debate, it's Big Oil. For the economy, it's Wall Street.

But it's a seductive, tempting mindset, That it plays into those who like to think of themselves as the elite, the intellectual class, it lets them presume both intellectual and moral superiority as they work on educating the ignorant masses and converting the heathens.

So I think I'll give it a try.

There's a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation going on about Arizona's new law regarding illegal aliens. I can't help but think that if we just get the truth out there, if we explain precisely and clearly what the law says and doesn't say, then a lot of those opposing it will realize that they have been incorrect, and come to the side of logic and reason.

Let's start off with the mistaken notion that police will be stopping people at random and demanding they prove their legality in being within the United States. Heck, even the President of the United States has this one wrong, but I'll cut him some slack -- he's probably trusting his Attorney General, who has announced his opposition to the law, for his information on the law, and Attorney General Holder hasn't even bothered to read it.

But back to President Obama. He said "If you are a Hispanic-American in Arizona, your great-grandparents may have been there before Arizona was even a state. But now suddenly, if you don't have your papers and you took your kid out to get ice cream, you're gonna be harassed. That's something that could potentially happen. That's not the right way to go."

That's simply not true, and he ought to apologize for spreading misinformation.

If that theoretical parent is taking the kid out for ice cream and they see a police officer, then they can tip their hat to the officer or ignore them -- whichever they like -- and the cop will not say or do anything -- no matter how brown they are.

The intent of the law is quite clear: the police can not just go up to people on general suspicion and say "papers, please." They have to have a reason for detaining them -- they have to see them breaking a law or acting in a manner that gives the officer a reasonable suspicion that they are involved in law-breaking.

And let's dump the whole Naziesque "papers, please." I've been detained by the police several times (always in relation to moving violations, and always gotten away with warnings), and the phrasing has always been variants of "license and registration, please." In other circumstances, I've been asked "may I see some ID?"

So if that parent going out for ice cream can avoid littering, jaywalking, speeding, having an expired registration on their car, driving erratically, or doing something else that draws the cop's attention, then they can treat Junior to that Chocolate Triple Dip Sugar Cone without any fears whatsoever.

Yes, there are those who make the argument that the cops can fabricate reasons to detain people. They can say they saw them littering or crossing the line on the highway or a tail light wasn't working, and the potential for that should invalidate the law.

That's just plain horse crap. The same reasoning can be used to attack any other law on the books. If a cop wants to detain someone, they can find or make one up. In Massachusetts alone, there are over 1300 reasons a police officer can pull over a motorist. (Just an odd bit of trivia that stuck in my head during the debates over their seat belt laws.) To cite the possibility that a police officer MIGHT violate the law and police policy in pursuit of it is a non-starter.

And it doesn't even pass the smell test. The main thing this will do is make the cop in question have to do a ton of paperwork, and most cops hate that. The good ones see it as a waste of their time when they could be out doing "real" police work, and the bad ones are lazy. The chances of rogue cops rousting anyone guilty of "driving while Latino" or "walking while Latino" is negligible.

This was the original intent of the Arizona legislature, and they emphasized that by going back and clarifying the law. Originally, it was slightly vague about under what circumstances the police were required to verify legal status; now it's clear that the police have to have a reason to be detaining the subjects before they ask for identification.

The next bit of wrong information is that this makes a whole bunch of people criminals.

The law does not create any kind of new legal status. It is strictly an enforcement issue of existing laws. All the law does is increase the number of law enforcement officials who can enforce existing laws.

The people who are being targeted by the new law already had to live with the ongoing fear of being discovered. The only thing being changed is how many cops they have to watch out for. Instead of having to dodge Immigration, they now have to keep their noses clean and avoid the attention of state and local cops, too.

And that must be spelled out clearly: the only people affected by this law are already breaking existing laws. They are already subjet to arrest, detention, and deportation. The only thing being changed are the chances that they will be caught and punished.

The whole reason the law was passed is because the federal government has failed miserably to uphold its duties to the states to secure the borders and maintain our national integrity. Arizona is simply saying to the feds, "look -- the job has to be done. You're not doing it, so we're going to step up." And the Obama regime's answer is "no, we won't do it, and you can't do it, either. We're going to go to court to fight for our right to ignore the law and pretend it doesn't exist, and we're going to punish you for saying it does."

Arizonans backing the new law have made it clear, again and again, that they don't want to take these actions. If the federal government would just do its duty, they'd gladly repeal it. And that is an eminently reasonable position.

Who could argue with that? Certainly no reasonable person. Why, the only people who could oppose such a move would have to be motivated by something else. Something sinister. Something evil and greedy and malicious. Like, say, a bigotry and a prejudice against the people of Arizona, or an irrational hatred of the United States demanding that its borders and its laws be respected, or an irrational hatred of the United States itself as a nation.

Isn't that how the argument goes?


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Comments (29)

The MFM does not care. It ... (Below threshold)

The MFM does not care. It does not fit their narrative.

I will be a cold day in hell before Obama apologizes for lying to the American people and the MFM will never wake up.

Why must you continue to us... (Below threshold)

Why must you continue to use common sense and facts in your arguments. It's blatantly unfair to liberals who lack both.

Once more, gotta sa... (Below threshold)

Once more, gotta say that we DO NOT need additional laws regarding immigration.

What IS required is ENFORCEMENT of existing law. Such a novel approach, however, may be beyond the comprehension levels of the current crop of politicians.

In respect to illegal immigration, it must be realized that our current problem is simply the effect--the root cause being Mexico's inability or unwillingness to work on improving the living standards of it's citizens. Until and unless THAT changes, the problem can only worsen.

Arizona is to be commended,if this law has the desired effect of reinforcing Federal law by mirroring it, perhaps DC will pull their head out.

One can always hope.

Liberals aren't interested ... (Below threshold)

Liberals aren't interested in facts. They're interested in "feelings". Democrats see additional 'voters' and unions see additional 'dues paying members'.

I also like the government canard that "we can't find them". Odd, one woman got dinged by the IRS for failure to report earned income. A review of her social security reported earnings showed that she worked and held jobs, full time, in six different states, ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Quite a productive woman. Yet she couldn't get anyone in government to grasp the concept that several different people were using her identity in order to obtain work.

You "can't find them" if YOU DON'T LOOK.

The eight hundred pound gor... (Below threshold)
recovered liberal democrat:

The eight hundred pound gorilla in the room that isn't talked about but, everyone knows is the heart of the matter is that liberals and the "reconquista" movement are each others useful idiots. In the name of compassion and change of demographics the liberals want open borders and "rights" for immigrants plain and simple. The "new" voters would help keep Democrats elected far into the future. The "new" voters would help elect La Raza backed candidates and in effect accomplish "reconquista" of the entire South West of the United States. Anyone who has been to the zoo knows that gorillas eat their own feces and throw it at the zoo visitors when they feel threatened. Bon appetit.

I'm curious to see how our ... (Below threshold)

I'm curious to see how our resident libs James H, ryan a, mantis, steve, etc. comment to this.

Or will they?

The open borders crowd will... (Below threshold)

The open borders crowd will change their tune when their boss calls them in and tells them that "Roberto" has just been hired, and will do their job for 1/2 the money. Have a nice day.

I work for a large pest con... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I work for a large pest control company. One of our termite techs (you know, the guys who work all day in crawlspaces, digging, drilling, and sweating for $10-12/hr) is from El Salvador. He's here legally, all crossed t's and dotted i's.

He's got a friend, though, who needed a job. Andreas would have made a great tech, but our routine background check revealed that his work visa was expired, so, no job for Andreas!

Now, another pest control company might just hire Andreas. It's not skilled labor, just unbelievably hard, dirty work. And, Andreas needs a job so badly he might just work for $8/hr instead of $12.

My company charges, say, $1700, for your average termite job. Other companies charge maybe $1200 for the same job. Why the difference? Partly because we hire only legal employees and pay them accordingly.

You see where I'm going with this. Companies who obey the law are made into suckers by the ones who don't. We have to charge more for our products and services, and if consumers want to do business with those who obey the law, they have to be willing to pay more.


Until Americans are willing to pay $10/lb for tomatoes, $11 for a Big Mac, and $60 to get their 1/8 acre lawn mowed, we're gonna keep having immigrants come do those jobs at prices we're willing to pay.

And states can pass all the laws they like, they won't be enforced if consumers start to squeal.

Bruce Henry"Until ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Bruce Henry

"Until Americans are willing to pay $10/lb for tomatoes, $11 for a Big Mac, and $60 to get their 1/8 acre lawn mowed, we're gonna keep having immigrants come do those jobs at prices we're willing to pay."

Sorry that dog dont hunt. When prices rise for a product to unacceptably higher levels then IF the free market is left alone, innovation takes over and finds ways to lower prices. In this case, replace manual labor with automation. It has been done before and it will happen again.

When companies have incentives to automate something that was previously done by hand (ie raising labor rates) than it generally does so to contain costs.

Look at the auto industry, how much of it is automated?

When you invent a robot tha... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

When you invent a robot that can do a termite job, (or paint your house, or plant a rosebush, or clean your office after hours, or nanny your grandkids) RM, let me know. I'll help you get a patent on it and we'll split the dough.

No amount of automation and innovation will solve the problem, nor will a blind faith in the free market.

How about we get rid of the... (Below threshold)

How about we get rid of the illegals and open up all those jobs to see who will fill them? Easy to say no one will do the work when the jobs are full. Some how lawns,construction,nannys,and such where there are no illegals.

Bravo Jay. Well clarified.<... (Below threshold)

Bravo Jay. Well clarified.

Unfortunately, clear explanations of common sense things don´t make any difference to people without reason.
Like the Palestinians who are brought up and indoctrinated to hate the Jews, no amount of logical information makes any difference. They and the hypocritical liberals are gonna believe just what they want anyway.

"And states can pass all th... (Below threshold)

"And states can pass all the laws they like, they won't be enforced if consumers start to squeal."


The laws aren't enforced now, and when the Feds even make a half-assed try, all your fucking liberal pals go on a tear-jerk crying spree.

As for the 1/2 priced workers; yeah they get paid 1/2 price and the employer pockets the difference. THE CONSUMER STILL GETS SCREWED!

Or, Bruce, we take away the... (Below threshold)

Or, Bruce, we take away the artificial wage support, taxes and regulations; and remove the artificial welfare state that encourages folks to collect a check rather than work, and then you'll have a situation encouraging an American workforce and cheaper produce, local labor and a healthier economy.

Or we can keep spending our way into ruin on good intentions.

BruceWhile you are... (Below threshold)
retired military:


While you are at it how about adding in all the prison guards that illegals keep employed, ICE, border agents, emergency room doctors, welfare workers, criminal defense attorneys, folks who work in the court system with the caseload that is created by illegals committing murders, robberies, rapes, etc. I mean then California would have to spend $30 billion elsewhere that they currently spend on illegal health care. Dont forget all the teachers that are busily employed by the illegals kids as well. Got to keep that teachers union happy.

I am all for punishing employers of illegals severely enough to deter hiring them (in fact I think employers who knowingly hire illegals should receive a mandatory 6 months jail sentence for the first offense and increase it from there) but hey we are talking about the real world and if we did that then the dems wouldnt have their next voting bloc now would we.

But hey, you know since I shot down your $10 tomatoe strawman you want to put another one up. Not that I expect anything different.

What's next? The "we are all immigants" argument? Mine ancestors came here legally. Others should try the same thing. But liberals arent all that big on following the law when it concerns their voting blocs now are they.

b henry - "I work for a... (Below threshold)

b henry - "I work for a large pest control company."

That explains a lot, them damn fumes are hell.

bh - "Until Americans are willing to pay $10/lb for tomatoes, $11 for a Big Mac, and $60 to get their 1/8 acre lawn mowed, we're gonna keep having immigrants come do those jobs at prices we're willing to pay."

A Big Mac for 11 bucks? Show me a single Micky Dee's that hires an illegal then I'll consider it.

As for the gardners and produce, the price will be paid or the consumer goes without.

Simple really

Which regulations would you... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Which regulations would you like removed from MY industry, Mr Epador? Would it be OK with you if we used whatever kills the bugs, and screw it if your kids get cancer from long term exposure to our unregulated substances?

If you're still mad about people wanting to "collect a check rather than work," I suggest you get in your time machine and revisit 1996, before welfare was reformed, and fume away.

Here's a hint for those who are pissed about this immigration thingie: When you walk into a Wendy's and see 15 Latino employees, I guarantee you that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM is illegal. So, if you don't want to contribute to the problem, don't eat at Wendy's!

But wait, that won't work, because Arby's and BK are fully staffed with illegals, too. You could get some hamburger at Kroger, but guess what? The meat was packed at a plant FULL of illegal immigrants. The lettuce, tomatoes, and onions you like are all picked by illegals, too.

It's big business interests that make sure that federal immigration laws are not enforced, at least not those regarding employers. You think ADM, McDonald's, and Hormel want immigration curtailed? And those companies have plenty of clout at the state level, too.

I got news for ya. The horse is out of the barn. I don't know what the solution is, but part of the problem is that we don't see that we, ourselves, have an interest in the status quo. Or don't admit it, anyway.

Hilarious, Marc. A... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Hilarious, Marc.

As a guy who works in the pest control industry, I want you to know you are the FIRST ONE to ever make a joke about the "fumes." You write your own stuff? Top notch, really.

One more thing and then I'l... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

One more thing and then I'll shut up.

If you really believe, Marc, that McDonalds doesn't hire illegals, it ain't me who's been huffing bug spray, dude.

BruceFunny thing i... (Below threshold)
retired military:


Funny thing is that my son works at McDonalds. He had to show state issue ID card and social security card to get the job. Not that illegals dont have illegal documents to get jobs.

If the govt would do a better job of policing the workforce (funny how you can have a person working in 5 different states per their social security number) and no red flags get raised b but hey that means that the govt would have to actually try to stop the problem and they dont.

Again, throw employers in jail for 6 months if they hire illegals (KNOWINGLY). And if someone has forged documents deport them the next day instead of playing revolving door.

We're not really disagreein... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

We're not really disagreeing here, RM. All I'm saying is, it AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN.

There's not gonna be any big push to enforce immigration laws on employers. Period. Oh, there'll be a couple of big swoops at a meatpacking plant every so often, but systematic enforcement? No way.

Why? Because Americans WANT cheap pork, cheap fruit, cheap landscaping services, and cheap burgers. And big businesses know that the cheapest, most uncomplaining, and exploitable labor force is found in the hordes of Latino immigrants who come here illegally.

Bruce:Its DOCTOR b... (Below threshold)


Its DOCTOR bud.

Regulations that every employer has to go through to run their business related to taxes, OSHA (look, its good to have an MSDS for DDT but why have one for the detergent you use to clean your equipment, and have to keep it for 30 years?), union stuff and did I mention taxes? THAT's what could be thinned out just a bit to decrease the cost of doing business.

Part of my job is to examine people who claim they can't work and want a check from the state plus health care benefits until they can work again. Of those with physical complaints only, only about 1/3 of them are close to reasonable, and even those who are generally drag their feet once they are qualified on the program to avoid having to go back to work. Because as long as our tax money goes to them for breathing, they DON"T HAVE TO. They move state to state when one program runs out on them and start all over again. They are not crippled, and could be working, but choose not to. SInce I see them every day up close, I think I have a right to bitch about the programs that encourage their parasitism.

"I don't know what the solu... (Below threshold)

"I don't know what the solution is, but part of the problem is that we don't see that we, ourselves, have an interest in the status quo. Or don't admit it, anyway."

Well one hell of a lot of liberals appear DISTRESSED that Arizona is actually attempting to address the issue.

Too bad the federal government; you know, the pious bastards in Washington who granted amnesty in 1985, saying "No more amnesty, we'll secure our borders."

Here's a thought, throw a couple of "business owners" in prison for a year. The employee rolls will "magically" get purged rather quickly. People who have their ass on the line and don't want to meet Bubba suddenly get a 'come to Jesus moment' real fast.

You have my sympathies, Dr ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

You have my sympathies, Dr Epador.

I'm not unaware that there are plenty of deadbeats out there looking to scam the system.

But, just out of curiosity - and I have no idea what the answer to this will be, although I have a guess - how many of the deadbeats you have to deal with are illegal immigrants? Because I personally have NEVER met a lazy one.

b henry - "Which regula... (Below threshold)

b henry - "Which regulations would you like removed from MY industry, Mr Epador? Would it be OK with you if we used whatever kills the bugs, and screw it if your kids get cancer from long term exposure to our unregulated substances?"

Only one, the reg banning DDT. "Thanks" to that ecco-wacko Rachel Carson (or piece of shit as she should be labeled) millions of people have died from malaria.

Finally after many years it's in limited use in Africa and has been called "Kryptonite to the mosquitoes."

bh - "When you walk into a Wendy's and see 15 Latino employees, I guarantee you that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM is illegal. So, if you don't want to contribute to the problem, don't eat at Wendy's!"

Pretty bold statement, a "guarantee" you say... got proof?

Of course you don't, but hey it sounded good when you scribbled it didn't it.

How about this solution... get the damn government off there lazy assholes to do their job and enforce the laws on the books.

bh - "If you really believe, Marc, that McDonalds doesn't hire illegals, it ain't me who's been huffing bug spray, dude."

I fail to see you disproving my assertion they don't.

Go ahead show me the dozens of stories about ICE raids, or investigative reporters reporting on wide-spread and systematic illegal immigrant hiring by McDonalds.

You're so full of shit your eyes are brown.

The new Republican mayor of... (Below threshold)

The new Republican mayor of Albuquerque put in place a policy that all people arrested here will have their citizenship checked by ICE, which will have a 24/7 post in the local jail.

I have never before been so proud of a politician for whom I voted.

"" the only people who coul... (Below threshold)

"" the only people who could oppose (this Law) have to be motivated by something ... sinister. Something evil and greedy and malicious. (By) bigotry and a prejudice against the People of Arizona or by an irrational hatred of the United States and by our demanding that our Sovereign Borders and our Law be respected. Or by an irrational hatred of the United States of America. By our nation.

And isn't that how the "Democratic" potty argument goes?

I'm not going to rehash arg... (Below threshold)
James H:

I'm not going to rehash arguments that have been made elsewhere; that woul dtake time, and nobody wants to hear it, either.

But I'd like to explore another tack that occurred to me today. Should we trust the police? Radley Balko recently noted a drug raid involving excessive force. In Washington, DC, an off-duty police officer pulled a gun on some twenty- and thirty-somethings having a snowball fight after his privately owned Hummer got hit with snowballs. In an ongoing series, the Village Voice reveals questionable goings-on in a police precinct through surreptitious tape recording.

Again and again, we see instances of police officers abusing their discretion. The Arizona law may offer further opportunities to do so. Is this really a good thing?

Re # 25:Common kno... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Re # 25:

Common knowledge doesn't require proof, Marc.

Hey, Wizbangers, raise your hands if you think Micky Dee's doesn't hire illegals. I'm trying to count how many naive dumbasses, besides Marc, are here this evening.

Walk into any Applebee's or Red Lobster kitchen with a suit, sunglasses, and a badge and shout "Immigracion!" and see what happens, dude. Where the hell you been?

You really think all those Mexicans you see at every construction site, or in Arby's, or cleaning your office at night, HAVE their papers?! Where are all the ILLEGAL ones, man?

One more thing, Marc. Try to get over your fixation with anuses and excrement. It makes the rest of us feel icky.






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