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Immigration And The ‘True American’

A tale of blood and forgiveness out of Texas that goes to the heart of America’s immigration challenge. Tracking the “True American.”

Supporters of immigration reform protest outside as House Speaker John Boehner addresses the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, Monday, May 12, 2014, in San Antonio. (AP)

Supporters of immigration reform protest outside as House Speaker John Boehner addresses the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, Monday, May 12, 2014, in San Antonio. (AP)

Ten days after 9/11, tattoed Texan Mark Stroman shot Bangladeshi immigrant, Muslim, Raisuddin Bhuiyan in a mini-mart outside Dallas.  He wanted to kill him, and others, in revenge for 9/11.  Bhuiyan did not die.  He went on to forgive Mark Stroman.  To fight for Stroman’s life when he was on death row.  And to learn a lot about the hard side of American life.  The immigrant ended up doing well, and feeling sorry for his assailant.  Isolated, angry, lonely.  This hour On Point:  Beneath the immigration debate, a tale of blood and forgiveness out of Texas.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Anand Giridharadas, columnist for the New York Times. Author of the new book “The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas.” Also author of “India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation’s Remaking.” (@anandwrites)

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post: Book review: ‘The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas’ — “Trained as an air force fighter pilot in his native Bangladesh, accustomed to the rhythms of armed robberies from working nights at the Buckner Food Mart, Bhuiyan got the sense that the man in front of him was not there for the $150 Bhuiyan had taken out of the cash register. He stepped back and turned his head, and then he experienced what felt like a million bees stinging the side of his face.”

The Wall Street Journal: Book Review: ‘The True American’ by Anand Giridharadas — “The title of Mr. Giridhadaras’s book is of course pointedly ambiguous. Stroman, the self-described True American, sees himself as having risen directly from a noble national tradition of action and self-reliance. He never seems to quite purge himself of the idea that his savage vendetta against innocent dark-skinned people was a patriotic act. Yet he is poignantly capable of recognizing and reacting to Mr. Bhuyian’s forgiveness and vastness of spirit, ‘the first act of kindness that I’ve ever known.’”

MSNBC: John Boehner still working on immigration reform as time runs out — “Republicans are close to working out a plan for immigration reform, House Speaker John Boehner said Monday. Just don’t expect a vote on it anytime soon. Boehner, who has chided his caucus in recent weeks for their reluctance to pass legislation on the issue, said that many in his party were still too upset with President Obama’s performance in office to take any action at all.”

Read An Excerpt From “The True American” By Anand Giridharadas

See The #TrueAmerican Hashtag At Work On Twitter

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  • Yar

    Systems exist because they serve a purpose to someone or a group. Take our lack of progress on immigration reform, we won’t change policy as long as the current system continues to serve its purpose. To change the current system we have to call out how it is broken and who is benefiting from the brokenness. Please focus on the brokenness of current policy and those who are mining it for political power. Immigration policy in America today is a form of slavery! Call it what it is, so we can fix it for real.

  • Shag_Wevera

    There is plenty I don’t like about unchecked immigration, but you might as well stuff it in a sock. It isn’t going away and nobody is going to stop it. Yar below has it right on, the status quo serves both sides of the political aisle. This hour’s conversation might be a waste of time.

  • Human2013

    My ten year old son is a True American. After watching a short PBS documentary that tracked African Americans through slavery, post slavery, and the civil rights movement. He jumped up infuriated and declared, “Why don’t they understand all men were created equal.”

    • Human2013

      I had to explain to my son that it wasn’t too long ago that artificial categories were created to make some superior to others. I told him that we now know that these divisions are fallacies and we are all just Human — he gets it.

    • TFRX

      I don’t know you from a fencepost, but it sounds like you raised him right.

  • X Y & Z

    The truth is that both corrupt political parties want illegal aliens to flow into the country. The Democrats want them voting in elections (illegal aliens do vote), and Republicans want them for cheap labor. In the end, the few remaining fragments of middle class America get cheated out of jobs and a better future for their own (legal) children.

    • Ray in VT

      Perhaps you have some evidence of illegal aliens voting? Also, most of the blue states are estimated to have relatively few illegal aliens, so at least in terms of statewide elections even if large percentages of the illegal aliens there were voting it might do relatively little to change the outcomes of elections.

      • jefe68

        I keep reading about this as a problem in states such as Florida and Arizona. However the results in state elections do not seem to back up this claim. As the majority of legislators and governor’s are very conservative Republicans in both states.

        • Kyle

          Yea, I don’t know about anyone else, but if I was an illegal alien, I wouldn’t be bold enough to try voting for fear of being discovered and deported. I think they mostly try to make a living and keep to themselves because of this constant threat.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Isn’t CA a “blue” state?

        Also, feel free to come to MA. There are plenty of illegals. In fact, the Atty. General of MA infamously said: “It isn’t illegal to be illegal in Mass”.

        Also, note that at least two of Obama’s illegal relatives decided settle in Mass.

        • Ray in VT

          Obama carried both of those states in 2012 by over 23 points. Care to argue that those states would have been competitive were it not for illegals supposedly voting?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Just because margins are large that somehow justifies illegals voting? One instance is too many.

            We don’t know the extent because we don’t have the measurement systems in place to MEASURE voter fraud — illegal immigrants or otherwise.

            I was just taking issue with your assertion that there is little illegal immigration in “blue” states. That may be true in VT but not in the rest of NE and I know CA has the largest number of illegal immigrants.

          • Ray in VT

            I didn’t say that there “is little illegal immigration in “blue” states”. I said that “most of the blue states are estimated to have relatively few illegal aliens”, and I based that upon this http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/map_of_the_week/2013/02/map_illegal_immigrant_population_by_state.html. I also stated that “in terms of statewide elections even if large percentages of the illegal aliens there were voting it might do relatively little to change the outcomes of elections”, and I think that such a contention is valid based upon available evidence.

            Also, if you are somehow suggesting that I am justifying voting by those who are ineligible, then you are pretty far off base.

    • anamaria23

      Please provide researched evidence that illegals vote.
      There are reports that it is very difficult to work at the pace and intensity required to sustain work as farm laborer- picking , etc Most of our citizens are not up to it.

      • X Y & Z
        • Ray in VT

          That is not evidence. That is an opinion.

          • X Y & Z

            It’s a news article based on fact and merit.

          • Ray in VT

            It’s a piece written by a guy who cites only what he claims to have seen (the falsification of certain forms) while offering no specific examples, evidence or research on the matter. He then goes on to claim, again without any specific cases or evidence, that illegal aliens are voting for Democrats.

          • X Y & Z

            Fine, continue then to ignore the facts.

          • Ray in VT

            I see no facts that have been presented. His opinions and claims would have to be backed up with them in order to either support or refute them.

          • jefe68

            Yep, it’s another right winger coffee klatcher.

          • Jill122

            Maybe we’ve discovered part of the problem. Conservatives are used to reading the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth. Perhaps they just don’t understand op/ed, or fiction and that’s the reason they believe everything they see and read.

            Oops! No that can’t be true. They’re always going on about a liberal press. So they must be able to discriminate on some level.

            OKay back to the drawing board for me.

          • anamaria23

            No facts that prove illegal voting by immigrants.

        • anamaria23

          Not one fact, mostly speculation.

          • X Y & Z

            The story is credible, plus there are thousands of other stories on the web to validate the fact that some illegal aliens have voted in US elections.

          • Yar

            For every fraudulent vote, there are thousands of people who could legally vote but don’t.

          • TFRX

            I’ll go you better: For every case of voter fraud, how many tens of thousands of legitimate voters are scrubbed?

            Cos (and I’m sure you know this) it’s bunkum for people to compain about “voter fraud” and not voter suppression.

      • hennorama

        anamaria23 — best of luck with that line of commentary.

  • notafeminista

    The economy being what it is, and the jobless rate being what it is, you would think American citizens wouldn’t be above picking a few tomatoes, cleaning a few toilets or roofing a few houses.

    • Yar

      These are highly skilled jobs, not even our top athletes could keep pace with current farm workers. Acting like they are jobs anyone can do is how low pay is rationalized. All part of the lies to keep immigration reform where it is. We can’t free the slaves because we don’t want to pay the true cost for labor!

      • notafeminista

        Someone is living on it.

        • Shag_Wevera

          Depends how you define “living”.

          • notafeminista

            To Ray and Shag, what precisely do you demand? A roof over one’s head seems reasonable. Utilities in the home obviously. Is a TV necessary? One could probably make a case for a computer of some sort as the educational system requires it, although computers are accessible at most public libraries these days – and at least one local school here provided students with Ipads. What else?

            And if they can’t live on what they’re being paid, then where’s all this money that’s supposedly being sent home coming from?

          • Ray in VT

            Food would be good. Transportation often helps, as does clothing. People also tend to need things like pots and pans for cooking and other such things. A First World existence well above something seen in early 20th century slums and such would be acceptable to most, as would the ability to access medical services when necessary.

          • notafeminista

            All completely doable on your brother’s proposed salary of (currently) 9.25 an hour.

          • Ray in VT

            Why? Are you looking for work?

            He usually pays about $10, which is what he can afford based upon how the American milk market functions. Two or three people living together working for 40 hours per week in an area where he is, where some costs of living are relatively low could do okay with the basics. Most of the guys around where he works, though, seem far more interested in drinking than in getting manure on them, even if getting covered in manure will buy them the beer, and most of the guys that he has found have been guys who have maybe finished high school and tend to still live at home with their parents. He’s thought about providing housing, but hasn’t gone that route. He’s currently installing a parlor in order to cut his labor needs by half.

            Illegal aliens, of course, can be paid much less, in part because they’re generally in a much lower bargaining position, and many will work in conditions that Americans have found to be unacceptable.

          • adks12020

            A lot of the small-medium size dairy farmers in my hometown in upstate New York provide housing on their property for a farm hand or two. It’s usually a doublewide or something similar. Nothing special but it works and it helps both parties financially. The worker doesn’t have to pay for rent and the farmer can pay a slightly lower wage.

          • Ray in VT

            We used to have a duplex on our old farm that we either rented out or used for hired help. My brother might think about boarding guys at his house, but I think that he’d end up having to pay the guys extra in order to deal with his wife.

          • notafeminista

            Really a great post on so many levels and you don’t even know it. Well done!
            I have a job thanks, but have no objection to milking cows, or cleaning toilets for matter. One of the two I’ve already done for a living.

          • Ray in VT

            Yes, I’m sure that you think that you’re really onto something that I may have totally overlooked in my own words or something.

            I’ve done quite a few jobs, and with all of them I have thought “this is better than farming”, although I’m not totally opposed to doing that either, at least on a part time basis, if I have to.

          • notafeminista

            Lots of things worse than farming too, as I’m sure you’re well aware. Point being, if someone claims to have been unemployed for six months or longer then he or she ought not turn their nose up at the cow-milking job (or show up drunk to which you alluded [although on some level the notion of milking cows whilst intoxicated does amuse me]). Or cleaning toilets or whatever the case may be.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m sure that we could get some more people working if we just made life more miserable for the unemployed. In times of economic crisis, downturn or collapse that sort of logic doesn’t work out too well, as the number of job seekers outstrips the number of available jobs.

            I tend to find that some people would probably do a lot of things before getting covered in manure, and some of the guys who have worked for my brother from time to time seem to somehow get by bouncing from job to job every little while. Of course one guy who comes to mind lives in a place that I would not let dog live, but that’s how he’s set himself up. Some farm around always seems hard up enough for help that they’ll hire a guy who shows up late, drunk or not at all sometimes.

          • Shag_Wevera

            Food shelter education medicine. Every human is entitled to these, in my universe.

          • notafeminista

            I’d argue the “entitled” bit, but otherwise agreed. See my response below.

        • Ray in VT

          Living how? Like the people described here:

          http://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-media-release/2012-03-15-040000/illegal-aliens-found-living-deplorable-conditions

          Could one get by on low skilled, low pay labor? Sure, but at what level? Likely, in many cases, in conditions that citizens of the world’s wealthiest nation would balk at.

        • Yar

          Yes, we are still living off slavery. A big difference than a living wage, it is a system that is destine to collapse, maybe violently. Violence is an essential component of slavery, is this a system consistent with the idea of equality? Not equal but equitable.

  • X Y & Z

    The notion that Americans won’t pick lettuce, won’t cut lawns, won’t clean hotel rooms is a fallacy. Americans will do tough manual labor, the problem is that illegal aliens will work much cheaper, most of them work under the table. Many employers also prefer to hire illegal aliens because they don’t have to pay social security taxes for them, or provide Obamacare for them.

    • Shag_Wevera

      …and Americans aren’t willing to pay $4 for a head of lettuce.

      • notafeminista

        Hum. So much for the true cost of labor.

      • X Y & Z

        You’ve obviously never travelled outside of the US.

    • Ray in VT

      My brother has long had trouble finding reliable workers for his farm. He has expressed interest in hiring migrant workers because in his experience they show up to work when they are supposed to and work hard. Most of the help that he has had over the years has been unreliable, drunken and rather lackadaisical. Most people who have much of any other option don’t seem to want to milk cows or stack hay, even for wages a couple of bucks above the minimum wage.

      • X Y & Z

        Would you milk cows for a whopping $2 dollars above minimum wage?

        • Ray in VT

          Yup. I’ve been working in the barn since I could scrape off a cow with a hoe.

          • X Y & Z

            Good, tell your brother you want a job. Plus, you’ll be paying taxes to support all the illegal aliens and their families who work under the table and don’t any pay taxes.

          • Ray in VT

            I’ll make sure to tell him on Friday when I’m milking his cows.

            Due to the very nature of illegal immigrants and their labor exact figures are hard to determine, although the does appear to be evidence that quite a few illegal immigrants are paying taxes. Take this story, for instance:

            http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2017113852_immigtaxes29.html

          • Jill122

            Yeah, he’ll take it — and tear it up. It doesn’t fit his notion of how horrible it is to have immigrants in this country. His lineage, of course, is all native born from the beginning of time.

            How did so many lose the “empathy” gene? Where did the memories of their own families go?

          • TFRX

            Hahahahaha.

            That “don’t pay any taxes” is a talking point fail that’s too stupid to refute with numbers.

          • X Y & Z

            Yeah, and California isn’t on the verge of bankruptcy from the flood of illegal aliens who take advantage of all the benefits, yet work off the books.

        • Kyle

          How much do you think a farm worker should be paid? Higher pay means higher prices, so the entire industry would have to change at the same time.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that higher wages could be paid if we had a better system for paying farmers. I’m thinking here of dairy, where extreme swings in milk prices are not uncommon.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — farming is such a crazy business.

            Not only are farmers at the mercy of the weather, they have little control over the prices they receive for the goods they produce.

          • X Y & Z

            I’m more than willing to pay a little more at the checkout so that farmers can provide for themselves and their families, a comfortable lifestyle for the vital work they do.

          • Kyle

            As am I, but you need enough people that are willing to do so to keep these farms afloat. I personally see the “buy local” movement as a way to keep farmers living more comfortably than those on factory farms, but I don’t know how much of a wage increase a farm worker can see before it cuts the farm out of the market due to prices.

          • hennorama

            Kyle — first of all, Americans spend a very low portion of their total household spending on food consumed at home (less than 7 percent, per USDA sources).

            Second, increases in farm commodity prices generally don’t result in much increase at the grocery store. Again, per the USDA:

            “Even large commodity price increases result in modest food price inflation.”

            Finally, what’s more at issue is that Americans now spend nearly half of their total food expenditures on food prepared away from home.

            “U.S. food sales are almost evenly split between at-home and away-from-home markets.”

            See:
            http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/ag-and-food-statistics-charting-the-essentials/food-prices-and-spending.aspx

            http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2013/03/daily-chart-5

            http://www.ers.usda.gov/datafiles/Food_Expenditures/Expenditures_on_food_and_alcoholic_beverages_that_were_consumed_at_home_by_selected_countries/table97_2012.xlsx

          • Kyle

            My point was more that a unilateral increase in wages would result in that particular farm not being able to profit from its sale. I agree that we should be spending more on food as a percentage of our household spending, but I didn’t think $10/hr was unreasonable to expect for a farm laborer to make in the current economy. I think Ray’s point that reliable, “unskilled” laborers are hard to come by in this country, necessitating the hire of immigrants for many farmers in the country. It seems the only way to get a higher wage is to make “premium” products, like things labeled organic and local, but even then, you have to compete with that market. To change it would require a new industry standard, like a “decent wage” type of label on products that came from farms paying their laborers $14/hr or something like that, but the market for that would be a subset of the organic market, so would it be able to survive on its own?

          • hennorama

            Kyle — thank you for your thoughtful response.

            There are multiple issues for farm labor, most of which have been articulated:

            transportation
            housing
            wages
            working conditions
            seasonality

            The nature of farming, in addition to it generally being away from mass transit and dense populations, makes it less attractive than jobs that pay the same wages. In other words, the available labor pool in rural areas is already small, and the work is less attractive and more costly to the worker. Paying higher wages might help, but only to a limited extent. The other disadvantages to the worker are difficult to overcome.

            So farmers mechanize and increase labor efficiency as much as possible. As [Ray in VT] indicated, his brother is installing a (milking) parlor to decrease labor needs.

            These issues are not new, and are not going away.

            Thanks again for your thoughtful response.

        • HonestDebate1

          It all depends on what Walmart is paying.

          • X Y & Z

            I can remember when Walmart used to pride themselves on selling products that were made in the USA, not anymore. For Walmart, cheaper is better, whether it be labor or goods.

        • Steve__T

          I’ve done it for less.

      • hennorama

        Ray in VT — I forgot this earlier:

        Who the hell still stacks hay by hand? Didn’t that go out in the 1970s, with the advent of mechanized bale stackers?

        http://www.fwi.co.uk/assets/getAsset.aspx?ItemID=5105759

        • Ray in VT

          I’ve never seen one of those, but it would be handy. My brother has an old style barn, and in addition to using bunk silos, he finds it productive to square bale and mow away either that which isn’t very good (for bedding) or that which is very good (nice fine 2nd cut to supplement his usual haylage/corn mix).

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — TYFYR.

            They are super-handy, but if the barn can’t accommodate the stack, hand-stacking makes sense. I remember building many a hay/straw stack, and interweaving the bales so they stay put, especially on the hay wagons. Lucky me — I was the only sibling without allergies, so I always got stuck at the top of the conveyor, in the hot, dust haymow in those old barns (in summer we’d hire out to local farmers when they were putting up their hay).

            As anyone who has ever worked on a farm knows, that’s real work.

          • Steve__T

            AMEN

          • Ray in VT

            It can be pretty rough. It’s not my favorite job to do, and my brother doesn’t really stack it in the barn anymore (mostly). He just lets it fall, and the amount that he wants to put away allows him to do that. Of course you get deformed or broken bales that are a pain, but oh well.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — well, that is another way to do things, assuming you have sufficient floor space for the jumble pile. (I assume you mean that he unloads onto a conveyor, and just lets the bales freefall and pile up). It also means the hay will deteriorate and dry out more quickly, but if you’re up against a labor shortage, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup, that’s how he does it. I can be a pain trying to pull bales from the pile sometimes, but it is what it is, and in terms of the good hay it is only supposed to last until the next harvest, so I don’t think that he is too concerned with deterioration.

  • notafeminista
  • notafeminista

    On the other hand, there is Dr Quinones…talk about an inspiration!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfredo_Quinones-Hinojosa

    • hennorama

      notafeminista — Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa’s story of his journey from being a border fence-climbing illegal immigrant to a world-renowned neurosurgeon is indeed inspiring.

      He is also an inspiring example of an outcome of Pres. Reagan’s amnesty program

  • HonestDebate1

    Whatever you do, don’t get caught in Mexico without proper documentation. They don’t mess around.

    • Bigtruck

      Really? having actually been there many times I haven’t noticed that.

      • HonestDebate1

        Were you there illegally?

  • HonestDebate1

    There is immigration policy and there are policies on immigration. We know this administration walked guns across the border without the Mexican government’s knowledge and there wasn’t even an attempt to track them. This resulted in murder and mayhem. No he’s played pout the clock on many people astonishingly dismiss it as old news; another phony scandal.

    Obama went on Univision and said, point blank, he did not have the authority to halt deportations by Executive Order. He just waited and did out anyway. No one cares.

    The kicker is he somehow simultaneously convinced people he was tougher than ever with record numbers of deportations. That was a lie too.

    • Ray in VT

      Those things would be pretty damning were they to be true, but as usual you have presented your views through the warped prism that shapes so many of your comments.

      • HonestDebate1

        Just saying so doesn’t make it so.

        Are you prepared to say the MExican government was informed about Fast and Furious or that the guns were tracked? Was there an attempt to track them?

        Are you saying he didn’t say he had no authority to stop certain deportations by EO? It was on TV Ray.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25lCNHtzJJA

        Do you maintain he deported a record number of illegals under his watch?

        • JS

          “Just saying so doesn’t make it so.” – pretty much sums up what Ray said about your comment

        • Ray in VT

          Correct, just saying it doesn’t make it so, as JS pointed out, which was why I replied to your post.

          I am prepared to say what is possible based upon the evidence.

          He also said at other times that various actions could be taken regarding deportations for certain classes of people, and that has a substantial history with previous administrations. Thems just the facts.

          • HonestDebate1

            My comment was factual. Yours, not so much.

            There guns were not tracked and the Mexican government was not informed.

            He said on Univision he could not do what he did. He said it. It doesn’t have to do with anything anyone else did. If he said other things at other times then he was directly contradicting himself. Why did he lie?

            And the numbers he touted about record deportations are cooked. He reclassified what is considered deportation to falsely imply he was doing something he was not.

            Look Ray, you can get all self-righteous and snippy but your hate just blinds you and makes you look silly. If you’re going to make silly comments then you need a leg to stand on.

          • Ray in VT

            Indeed, I do hate your distortions, misrepresentations, over-simplifications, and lies. Such blatantly dishonesty annoys me, but it is what I expect from you.

            When one only presents part of the facts, then one is often guilty of a lie of omission. You may claim that using such a tactic is honest, and you may even believe yourself to be, but it is a shady way to go about things. It isn’t really honest debate. I would put much of your original comment in that realm. It’s pretty typical, it seems, in the world of right-wing politics, where seemingly few adherents look further into such things or lack the ability or interest to see a larger picture or nuance.

          • HonestDebate1

            What I wrote is true, you dismiss lies. Fast and Furious is a real scandal. so is Benghazi. New emails released show the IRS thing was coordinated from DC. And all you can do is defend this disaster at all cost. Find religion Ray.

          • Ray in VT

            I am merely defending facts against your distortions.

            You say that there was no attempt to track the guns. The ATF was trying to keep track of them. You say that the Mexican government was not informed. Maybe they weren’t. It’s been pretty well established that the Mexican state is pretty corrupt and information gets from the government to the drug cartels. Perhaps the ATF agent in charge felt that it was a security threat to tell the Mexicans. The phony scandal is from GOP and 2nd Amendment dips who claim that Obama is fueling violence in Mexico in order to crack down on gun rights here. Some can’t even take a real scandal when they find it and have to spin some sort of conspiracy.

            I guess that no President has ever said something in a public forum, taken another look at available policy options and come to the conclusion that he could in fact take an action that contradicted what he had said in public. How terrible of him. I bet that this is the first time that a President has ever done this.

            You accuse the administration of lying about deportations, yet it seems that it reports actions in the same way as Bush’s did, both somewhat using a term not really current since 1996ish. I guess that Bush lied too. Also, please prove intent, which you insist my exist.

            From what I have seen about these new, ground breaking emails, your contention that the whole “thing was coordinated from DC” is not supported. Not surprising, considering your general inability to present things honestly or accurately.

            Do you have a religion suggestion? What are the criteria for joining the TOP Church of Hating Obama For Everything Real or Imagined, aside from some blind rage and a low IQ? I mean I don’t have either of those, but I could fake it. Rush great. Obama evil. Grrrrr. How’s that? Would it get me in the door?

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    “LAMAR SMITH CALLS ICE RELEASE OF 36,000 CRIMINAL IMMIGRANTS A PRESIDENT-SANCTIONED PRISON BREAK”

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/05/13/Lamar-Smith-on-ICE-release-of-36-000-criminal-aliens-President-sanctioned-prison-break

    • hennorama

      WftC — what nonsense.

      These persons were released while waiting for the final disposition of their deportation cases, or after final disposition of their cases.

      They were not set free completely, but instead were released under bonds, recognizance orders, orders of supervision, detention alternatives such as electronic tracking devices, or parole.

      Please explain how that might be termed “A PRESIDENT-SANCTIONED PRISON BREAK,” if you can.

      • OnPointComments

        “A majority of the releases were not required by law and were discretionary, the organization [Center for Immigration Studies] says.

        “According to the report, the 36,007 individuals released represented nearly 88,000 convictions, including:
        • 193 homicide convictions
        • 426 sexual assault convictions
        • 303 kidnapping convictions
        • 1,075 aggravated assault convictions
        • 1,160 stolen vehicle convictions
        • 9,187 dangerous drug convictions
        • 16,070 drunk or drugged driving convictions
        • 303 flight escape convictions”
        http://www.cbsnews.com/news/report-36k-criminals-freed-while-awaiting-deportation/

        • hennorama

          OPC — TYFYR.

          Still waiting for an explanation of how these releases are “A PRESIDENT-SANCTIONED PRISON BREAK.”

          I’m not aware of any “prison break” that has persons being released under bonds, recognizance orders, orders of supervision, detention alternatives such as electronic tracking devices, or parole, are you?

    • TFRX

      You lost me at Breitfart.

      • Jill122

        He lost me at the second capitalized letter.

        • hennorama

          Jill122 — that’s just how DullLisa.com rolls — all caps in the titles of their “articles.”.

      • hennorama

        TFRX — c’mon … DullLisa.com is entertaining if nothing else.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    The only true Americans are the descendants of those who fought to own this country free and outright: French & Indian Wars; Revolutionary War; War against the Brits in 1812; War for Texas Independence; Wars with Mexico; American Civil War.

    Everyone whose family has moved here since is an interloper.

    Thanks much. Vietnam-era Draftee/Veteran {direct American descendant of the Harrison* family – produced two US presidents & the Texas Independence branch}

    * Major General Thomas Harrison, The Regicide

    • AlanThinks

      Are you being sarcastic or are you nuts?

      • Human2013

        Let’s hope it’s the former!

    • tbphkm33

      What an uninformed load of bull sh***

      The only “true American’s” are the native Americans. The indigenous cultures that HLB’s not-so-honorable ancestors waged ethnic cleansing and a holocaust against.

      Imagine if the Nazi’s had won WWII and HLB was proudly extolling his Nazi grandfather as a great immigrant who proudly carved out the country with his bare hands.

      The conquerors always write history, but that does not mean we have to be so uninformed to believe that is the only and whole truth.

    • StilllHere

      I’ll say one thing, you sure know how to get a rise out of the crazies here.

    • Kenny LogIns

      Wow… this has to be the first time anyone’s called me an interloper… and I’m white as f*ck.

  • MrNutso

    I’m not totally caught up on this, but how does the shooter get sentenced to death?

    • Ray in VT

      Texas.

      • MrNutso

        Got the story now. More than one shooting.

    • hennorama

      MrNutso — he was on a post-9/11 anti-Muslim killing spree.

      From HuffPo, at the time of his execution(emphasis added):

      After a lifetime of bitter prejudice that drove him to kill innocent strangers, Mark Stroman died with a message of peace.

      Stroman, 41, was executed by the state of Texas on Wednesday night by lethal injection, punishment for a shooting rampage in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks that left two South Asian convenience store workers dead and another seriously injured.

      Before his trial in 2002, Stroman, an avowed white supremacist, dubbed himself the “Arab slayer” and called the shootings “patriotic” retribution for the terror attacks.

      But by the time prison authorities at the Texas death chamber in Huntsville strapped Stroman to a gurney and prepared to execute him, he had undergone a remarkable shift in perspective.

      “Hate is going on in this world and it has to stop,” Stroman said in his final moments. “Hate causes a lifetime of pain.”

      See:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/21/mark-stroman-execution-texas_n_905579.html

  • X Y & Z

    Much of the rise in illegal immigration from Mexico to the US can be attributed to passage of NAFTA in 1994, which financially ruined many of the small farms in Mexico.

  • J__o__h__n

    I’m opposed to the death penalty, but don’t see why the victim did anything to reduce the sentence of the thug who shot him. No victim’s religion allows him to override the state’s power to carry out the law. Most native born less economically privileged people didn’t respond to 9/11 by attacking brown-skinned Americans.

    • Ray in VT

      I think that it speaks to mercy and forgiveness by the victim. True, I don’t think that the victim’s religion should play any sort of legal role, but I think that it does speak to the fine character of the victim.

      • J__o__h__n

        I admire the victim. I don’t think it has any relevance to the criminal’s fate.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    American life is saturated with stores of sacrifice for others, personal courage, honesty and integrity, the admixture of new blood and old genetic lines, standing up and letting right be done.

    None of that addresses the problems that more immigrants bring with them: bigger population; more violence; more economic and societal inequality; stress of the exiting water and utility supplies; higher demand for education resources; and the largest Global Heating footprint per capita, on earth.

    We need more Americans during the declining days of our greatness like the planet itself needs more Republican/Democrat Wall Street bailouts.

  • Human2013

    Wow, what an amazing story — a “hurting America”. We say immigrants come from the third world, but I think think the perpetrator is from the “American Third World.” Many Americans don’t fully understand the caliber of the new immigrants that come to America — educated, religious, law-abiding, disciplined, motivated and energetic. How much of America’s success can we assign to these new immigrants — more than we are willing to allow.

  • ToyYoda

    Do a search for “snap judgement Mark Stroman” and listen to the podcast that you find.

    Snap Judgement is an npr program where people tell their stories to a beat. Bhuyian and Stroman are actually interviewed. I heard the podcast about 2 years ago. It’s a very dramatic story that will bring you to tears.

  • J__o__h__n

    Great, he had children while trying to get his life together. Perhaps that should be the last step.

  • hennorama

    What an interesting aspect of Islam and Sharia law — that the victim has a right to forgive the offender.

    Gives one pause, and provides food for thought.

    • Ray in VT

      Way to support Sharia law in America, hennorama. ;)

      • hennorama

        Ray in VT — I know, right/ The horror of merely mentioning it.

      • J__o__h__n

        The corollary to that is that the victim is free to set a harsh sentence. Justice works best when it is dispassionate.

        • Ray in VT

          Of course, but I do think that the forgiveness aspect is interesting even if it is not in line with our legal traditions.

      • hennorama

        Ray in VT — what do you think the over/under is for the time until someone writes “It has no place in America!” or similar?

        • Ray in VT

          I would have thought that it would already have happened. Maybe some were up a bit too late celebrating the victory of the TEA Party backed guy in the Nebraska GOP primary.

        • J__o__h__n

          No religious law does.

          • Ray in VT

            If only we could get rid of some of those blue laws.

          • Jill122

            Sure, blue laws, but what about those anti-sodomy laws and anti-gay laws.

            Are the anti-voting laws religious? I forgot.

      • http://www.google.com Big Brother

        Sharia law also requires the stoning of women who commit adultery and hanging men for practicing homosexuality.

        • Ray in VT

          By finding one part to be either interesting, intriguing or perhaps admirable does not mean that I am endorsing other aspects.

    • Human2013

      I wish Christianity would allow this type of forgiveness.

      • http://www.google.com Big Brother

        you are being sarcastic, I see

  • Human2013

    I wish more Americans would come to the realization that much of America can be considered the “third world.” Not just in monetary terms, but in education and civility. This story epitomizes this unfortunate truth. As the guest stated, “the America between the Amtrak stops.”

  • X Y & Z

    The big corporations that control Wash. DC love open borders and cheap labor, the cheaper the better in their view. Look for a day when the borders between Canada, the US, and Mexico are taken down and all three nations are merged into one. It will be the end of US sovereignty.

    Adios America.

    • Ray in VT

      Have a time table on that? Personally I would very much like to be able to cross the border into Canada as we here in the Northeast have long been able to do, although not of late.

      • adks12020

        I hear you. I lived in far upstate New York for a long time. We crossed back and forth over the border all the time. Now you need a special driver’s license or passport to do so and there is a lot of extra scrutiny. It makes the trip much less pleasant.

        • Ray in VT

          Yeah, it’s a real pain. In Derby, VT the border runs right through town, and even through buildings in town, with generations of families living on different sides of what is now being a more closed off border. One can see pretty far into Canada from my brother’s farm in northern New York, and he does a pretty fair amount of cross border business, but I don’t think that he has gone across the border since they made the requirements more stringent.

          • TFRX

            I won’t mention my favorite crossing–don’t want to ruin it–but its border guards sit

            in what look like repossessed Foto Huts.

            I remember my first time coming back from Canada, on a motorcycle. After producing the license, the guard pointed to my Expos souvenir and said “Went to the ballgame?”

            That was the extent of the grilling. It was a long time ago.

          • hennorama

            TFRX — that gets a [Vote up] for the Foto Huts reference.

            Talk about an anachronism.

          • TFRX

            Really? The cool kids today take all their 110 film to Walmart to be developed?

          • hennorama

            TFRX — what’s this “film” you speak of?

          • TFRX

            I’d say “ask one of your steampunk buddies” but I think they’re all going back to glass plates.

            Y’know, old-school!

      • X Y & Z

        So you’re willing to give up US sovereignty and your US citizenship?

        • Ray in VT

          Please tell me under what proposed plan that is an option or is mandated.

          • X Y & Z

            How can you be a citizen of the US if it has merged into two other countries?

          • Ray in VT

            My ancestors were citizens of the U.S. after their nation, Vermont, entered into the Union.

            Also, please tell me under what plan or proposal either Canada or Mexico would be merged with the U.S.

          • X Y & Z

            I would direct you to some credible news articles like I did earlier (Huffington Post), but what’s the point? You dismiss everything out of hand that you don’t agree with.

          • Ray in VT

            Seeing as how you did not point to a credible news article, I cannot investigate it. You make some interesting assumptions, and by interesting I mean wrong.

          • jefe68

            Must be HD’s proxy.

          • X Y & Z

            Yeah, you’re right. The editors at the Huffington Post allow their writers to publish stories that are completely made up.

          • Ray in VT

            No, but they do allow people to publish opinion or position pieces, which are held to different standards than a news story.

      • hennorama

        Ray in VT — best of luck with that line of discourse.

    • red_donn

      Actually, that is not the historical trend. It used to be, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, that people were very free to move around and capital was highly restricted from crossing borders freely. Over time, this has reversed for reasons that suit transnational capital very well. The ability of corporations to play disparate groups of people against one another, including jingoist trends, and prevent certain groups from developing can result in huge economic advantages.
      The borders that are taken down are in terms of laws regarding corporations, not people.

      • jimino

        You have identified the core source of our nation’s problems.

        Far more damage has been done to our economy by US-located capital being deployed in low wage countries, then getting access to our consumer market to sell the resulting goods, than all the illegal immigrants in history who have entered our country to work.

        We should deport those corporate persons who do so and let them “live” in the conditions where they employ their labor rather than enjoying the valuable benefits of our country, to whom they really show no allegience.

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    The third world in America is supported by lots of $80,000 year government jobs.

    • StilllHere

      That’s entry level, plus you need to factor in the substantial and ever-growing benefits which you qualify for in as little as 15 years, leaving you plenty of time to get another government job & pension.

  • Human2013

    I had a Bangladeshi Finance professor in college that had a PH D in Physics. He was so obviously dismayed by the lack of knowledge and education that he witnessed in his classroom. To be honest, I was a little embarrassed, but he understood the erosion of American education and the dichotomy of capitalism and enlightened individuals.

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    if someone tried to kill me and failed. then he was arrested and executed, I would be ready to forgive. that is why I support the death penalty.

  • mikepiehl

    Can someone find out if Michele Bachmann is a Native American so we can tell her to shut up about immigration from now on?

    • OnPointComments

      I asked Fauxcahontas Elizabeth Warren if Michele Bachmann is a Native American, and she said that Michele is as much of a Native American as Warren is.

      • X Y & Z

        Good one, thanks for the laugh.

    • Jill122

      In answer to your question, interesting read when you have the time

      http://tinyurl.com/k72r4mg

    • TFRX

      Naw, listening to Michelle Bachmann is now become like listening to Jack Benny answer a question with “Well!”: I know what’s coming, but it’s funny every single time!

      Must be something in her delivery.

    • notafeminista

      My that is fair-minded of you.

  • Jim

    “True Americans” = the American Indians… which will have its culture pretty much wipe out very soon. other people outside of this group should respectfully be called “American” only…

  • X Y & Z

    I’m surprised that Tom didn’t invite at least one writer from the Wall Street Journal’s Editorial page to take part in this pro-illegal immigration discussion. The WSJ has been editorializing for years how beneficial illegal immigration is to the US is since it helps to suppress wages.

    • jefe68

      That’s not what this show is about. Are you even listening?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    The population of the USA has more than doubled since 1955. How many is enough, already?

    • jefe68

      So has the worlds population. Where have you been?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Dear Immigrant: if you’re moving to California you’re going to have to bring your own water.
    –Governor Moonbeam Brown

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    “Norway”, the highest per capita economy on earth “will never have what America has.” What? The fat burger? Financial bailouts? Water restrictions? Endless wars overseas? Wal-Mart? Gentlemen’s clubs? Fracking? Science denial? GOPer morons?

    Bring Norway on! We can use a lot of it here.

    • J__o__h__n
    • Jeff

      Shhhhhh, don’t tell anyone but the entire country of Norway is built upon oil & gas revenues from the North Sea.

      • Yar

        And far enough north to never have been invaded.

        • X Y & Z

          Germany occupied Norway for most of WW2.

      • tbphkm33

        The only successful oil producer – Norway has cash reserves to tend to the country for the next 300 years. An the Norwegian economy is a lot more diverse than just the oil sector.

        • Jeff

          Norway’s exports are 60% fossil fuels…if you want to call that diverse go for it, but that looks they are heavily invested into a single natural resource.

          • tbphkm33

            Look at the size of the oil exports, compare that to the small population – then you understand that the rest of the economy is diverse.

  • Yar

    Anyone you exclude from community becomes your responsability! Our prisons are examples.

    • StilllHere

      They are not excluded, just in the prison part.

  • Yar

    As a followup to today’s show, do a show on Brown vs Board of Education 60 years later. Look at how funding for public school is declining. Look at where the wealthy are sending their kids to school.

    • StilllHere

      Why do you think declining? The wealthy all are sending their kids to public school; property taxes are so insanely high it doesn’t make sense to do anything else.

    • notafeminista

      http://www.caintv.com/mlk-iii-stuns-msnbc
      Not public education, but still suitable for this Brown v. Board anniversary I think.

  • M S

    The author is incorrect in regard to the history of immigration in America. American culture is based upon Western European culture, not Asian, South Asian, African, Eastern European, Middle-Eastern, nor South American. I also would contend that many traits brought by new immigrants are the antithesis of what it is/was to be an “American”. For instance, on the subway all the time, Chinese immigrants always run and are willing to literally push people out the way just for a seat. At first, I was appalled, but it just the way it is in China. For me, the idea is forming a line is a natural as breathing, if you were a new immigrant from Korea, you’d probably find it a difficult concept to inhibit. There are countless other examples.

    • hennorama

      M S — the United States of America has always had immigrants, and very likely always will. Our culture steals the best aspects of other cultures, and (mostly) discards the rest.

      If everyone suddenly began running and were “willing to literally push people out the way just for a seat” on the subway, or other mass transit, then it would be time to worry.

      • M S

        hennorama — We all know we are a nation of immigrants, so I’m not sure why you would point this out, but it seems like a common thing these days for some to begin with.

        Anyway, rather than “steal”, I’d prefer to say “adopt”, but I can definitely tell you many, many negative traits, that in my opinion (and probably of many others’), which have been recently imbued into our society and for which we’d be better off without.

        I’d say you should begin to worry, because many things in our society are being eroded, including the Rule of Law and a certain idea of fairness (difficult to expound upon, but almost certainly arise but is increasingly less apparent – see several shows ago topic of Affirmative Action in California – Asians wanting to ensure it doesn’t come back, lest they loose seats in the California university system. It’s pretty funny they only exist here due to the civil right struggles of African-Americans and Latinos, yet they have no appreciation of that, go figure, eh?).

        • hennorama

          M S — thank you for your response.

          Perhaps you will only be satisfied if American culture reverts to what you described as “Western European culture.”

          That culture of course includes a history of fuedalism, monarchies, and very distinct class systems. More recently, Western Europeans’ cultural values have led to adoption of very robust social safety nets.

          Are those The True American values, or are they actually “the antithesis of what it is/was to be an ‘American’ “?

          • M S

            hennorama — There you go again with your selective memory; well-done conveniently leaving out the Magna Carta in your historical analysis. I hope you’re not a historian by profession.

          • hennorama

            M S — thank you for your response, and for your excellent Reagan impression.

            Sorry you mistook my comment for “historical analysis,” as clearly it is no such thing.

            You wrote that “American culture is based upon Western European culture, not Asian, South Asian, African, Eastern European, Middle-Eastern, nor South American.”

            Perhaps you might clarify.

            For example, is Greece in Western Europe? What exactly is “Western European culture”? Is it unique amongst all cultures? If so, what makes it unique? Is “Western European culture” inherently superior to other cultures? If so, what makes it superior?

            Also, why do you limit your examples to “Chinese immigrants” and “in California – Asians”?

            Please, continue with more of what you described as “many, many negative traits, that in my opinion (and probably of many others’), which have been recently imbued into our society and for which we’d be better off without.”

          • M S

            hennorama — No need to apologize, I’d just advise you to not say ‘history’, when it is not what you mean.

            Fine, you’re right…our country’s founders were strident followers of Confucius and Hinduism and they had zero ties whatsoever to England and/or Europe. And of course, the Age of Enlightenment plays no part in our culture…the idea of reason and individualism is of no import.

            You said: “Our culture steals the best aspects of other cultures, and
            (mostly) discards the rest.” So apparently you already know the negative
            traits for which I elude to.

            The fact you are not even willing to acknowledge the roots of our society is ridiculous and it is shows your tendency toward a certain cultural Marxism.

      • notafeminista

        There might be a distinction between “our culture steals” and what is brought with the immigrants you mention.
        Outside of what was or is brought here by those seeking a better life than what they’ve left behind, “American culture” is not so easily defined.
        George Lakoff would be proud.

        • hennorama

          notafeminista — TYFYR.

          To an extent, American culture is similar to The Borg, who often stated things like “We are the Borg. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.”

          Our society and culture steals/adopts/assimilates ideas and cultural characteristics quite routinely.

          My apologies as to not commenting on your reference to Mr. Lakoff, as the connection escapes me.

          Thanks again for your response.

          BTW, in case you are not familiar with The Borg, they are from various Star Trek productions.

    • jefe68

      My great-grand parents, on my mothers side, never learned to speak english and never really adapted to the US. My grand parents on both sides were fully interrogated. Although my mothers parents spoke Yiddish to each other their entire lives.

      • jefe68

        Lower East Side, circa 1890:

      • hennorama

        jefe68 — thanks for your immigrant family’s story.

        (pssst … you must mean “integrated” or “assimilated,” not “interrogated.”)

        • jefe68

          Yes, assimilated is the word I was looking for. But integrated also works.
          What a lot of people don’t realize is that the German Jews who were more affluent
          and fully assimilated tended to look down on the Eastern European Jews who were mostly poor and uneducated.

          • hennorama

            jefe68 — such class distinctions within immigrant communities have been repeated in a variety of locations and time periods. Relocation doesn’t necessarily leave behind such relics.

  • spirit17of76

    A true American pays attention to the general welfare of all Americans (and of the citizens of other countries when America’s actions impact them._

    A true American is aware of the deep and damaging legacy of slavery and its continuing effect on former slave populations through a legacy of racism in some quarters and economic marginalization in many quarters, and, more recently, of the unequal justice and economic devastation of mass incarceration. A true American asks “What can I do to improve this situation?”

    A true American patriot treasures democracy and works to make sure no American is excluded from voting through “dirty tricks,” unfair or dishonest election practices, or undue influence on public policy by a small percentage of the population who have great wealth. Or by
    commercial interests, motivated chiefly by their own financial profits without a substantial regard for the general well-being of all citizens.

    A true American seeks to be informed and to be fair-minded.

    • notafeminista

      Awwww…that’s cute.

      • spirit17of76

        Well, this may not describe the typical or average American – though I hope it describes a fair chunk of us. However my list above is what I would describe as the essence of American patriotism given the goals of those who risked life and treasure to create our country.

        I was not linking this to the immigrant experience. But in that regard I have observed for decades that new immigrants tend to succeed financially when many native sons and daughters do not. I always suspected that the reason for this is the highly supportive family cultures of such immigrants who feel much less isolated and disheartened than many Americans do. Personally I think our culture of exaggerated personal independence has unintended negative health and spiritual consequences. A strong community is a great boon to confidence, joy and success, imo.

  • Adrian_from_RI

    In the 60th Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty got underway. The progressive, yet intellectually honest, senator from NY, Daniel Moynihan, predicted that LBJ’s war would lead to the disintegration of the very families this war was supposed to help. It has.

    Tom, should not be LBJ’s and the government’s continued complicity in the war against the poor and their families have been part of this Onpoint program? Could this destructive war explain why so many immigrants like Bhuiyan believe in America, whereas so many Americans like Mark Stroman do not?

  • tbphkm33

    Lately I have been thinking about the concept of the US as a “mixing pot.” Reality is that cultures and individuals are not as much mixed in the US, as they are assimilated. You are an American if you wear Levis bluejeans. Overall, the US points fingers and look down upon those who are different. First generation immigrants might retain a lot of their home culture and stick out, the second generation then spends even more energy on making sure they are assimilated into something that in reality does not champion the individual, but exhorts conformity.

    In some ways, this reality is neither good nor bad, it just is. Although, if you extrapolate, it is also evident that mainstream (white as white) American culture limits assimilation based on race – why else do you find distinctive African American and indigenous American cultures who are kept from assimilating. Its not that these subgroups might not was to assimilate more, especially in the case of African American’s, they have been kept from assimilation.

    • brettearle

      I can’t fully agree with you on this.

      The country’s ethnicity is changing before its own eyes.

      The white population is decreasing, by comparison to all other groups, combined. Noticeably.

      That’s why American National Purists like Buchanan are panicking.

      The voting trends are changing. The Future of the GOP. as we know it, is in trouble.

      Although I still believe that Christie is our next President.

      • tbphkm33

        I guess the really interesting concept or discussion here is how will US culture be transformed as the whites loose their strangle hold over the society.

        I think the US will blossom, becoming a more tolerant and happier place. Although, there will be growing pains. Like what happened in South Africa, the whites (or the well off) will increasingly concentrate themselves behind gated communities. Ultimately, to their own peril.

        • M S

          Given human nature, I think you’re being pretty optimistic about the U.S. “blossoming”. Haven’t we already? It seems to me we are in a post-blossom phase, a certain decline and regression. I also would not point to South Africa as an example of what’s ahead, I’d say Brazil is more appropriate.

          • ebonyy

            Both futures are possible. If we continue down a partisan path where we base our policies on what we don’t want the other to have, then a future where America experiences great decline is highly likely. If we are able to get past our fear and biases, then we have the resources to hold our place as a great civilization. It starts with me and you though.

        • notafeminista

          For someone complaining about a lack of mastery of language you sure commit a lot of spelling and grammaticall errors,.

          • hennorama

            notafeminista — “grammaticall”?

          • notafeminista

            Ha! Serves me right for typing w/o my glasses. Thanks for the catch.

          • hennorama

            notafeminista — you’re welcome.

            Karma kin bee crewel.

          • notafeminista

            Or just perverse :-)

          • brettearle

            Karma Kosts Krazy Kapital Konnected to Kalcified Konversation

          • hennorama

            brettearle — Nice try, but I am not going to follow you down that particular rabbit hole.

          • brettearle

            You’re just sayin’ that to prove to Andersen that ya ain’t misbehavin’.

            You’re doing it for `Go Along, To Get Along’ points.

            Let’s face it….

          • hennorama

            brettearle — again, nice try.

        • brettearle

          And yet, you and I both predict possible revolutions–yours, ostensibly, happening earlier than mine….

          How does your vision, of this part of the Future, comport with your comment above?

          I mean, President Obama, for example, is no Nelson Mandela.

          [But then, again, Mandela might not have been Mandela, had he been an American political outcast for social justice and had tried to have followed a similar path in the US that he followed in So. Africa.]

      • hennorama

        brettearle — as to your last sentence: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

        • brettearle

          Your thinking is that he’s through–because of the scandal?

          Or are the guffaws striking at the Irony of it all
          –because he’s still likely a shoo-in?

          With the growing Ethnicities and the women’s vote, the GOP has to come up with a Center Right candidate, more than ever .

          Who fits that category?

          Bush III is too many Bushes.

          Rubio’s too young and too Right.

          Who?

          Rice won’t run.

          Carson likely lacks the political experience.

          Who?

          • hennorama

            brettearle — TYFYR.

            The 2016 Republican nominating process will be almost as entertaining as last time, although I doubt we’ll be treated to so many circular firing squad “debates,” unfortunately.

            Assuming that he runs, Gov. Christie has some rather sizable (and weighty) negatives to overcome, just to get the Republican nomination. The latest being that NJ’s credit rating was downgraded, again, due to concerns about a lack of revenue.

            And any Republican nominee will have to overcome the demographic negatives you detailed above, which will be no small feat.

          • notafeminista

            In other words, you have no idea.

          • hennorama

            notafeminista — thank you for your response.

            You are correct.

            I “have no idea” what your point is.

          • notafeminista

            It is fairly obvious, but nonetheless: you were asked a direct question regarding possible 2016 Republican presidential nominees and a direct question of your amusement regarding someone else’s suggestion. You managed to fail in both circumstances.

          • hennorama

            notafeminista — thank you for the favor of your reply.

            If you insist on an explanation, I shall humor you.

            (Despite the fact that I was originally responding to [brettearle] and no one else.)

            I found [brettearle]‘s statement of belief “that Christie is our next President” to be amusing on multiple levels.

            I have no interest in handicapping the chances of various specific possible Republican nominees, other than Mr. Christie; neither am I interested in speculating as to exactly who will decide to run.

            Therefore, I dutifully ignored [brettearle]‘s questions along those lines. If he is unsatisfied with my reply, I am confident he will make that known.

            Thank you again for your response.

          • notafeminista

            As I insisted on nothing, there was nothing to humor, but you persisted. I have no doubt brettearle will make whatever dissatisfaction he has, if any, known. “Tis unfortunate though you deprived the rest of the board of your acumen.

          • hennorama

            notafeminista — TYFYR.

            ["Tis]?

            My apologies, but your insistence “[was] fairly obvious.”

            Whatever “acumen” I may or may not have, as stated, and at this time, I have no interest in handicapping the chances of various specific possible Republican nominees, other than Mr. Christie; neither am I interested in speculating as to exactly who will decide to run.

            Thanks again for your response.

            [PS: not to mention that such handicapping and speculation have nothing to do with the topic above.]

          • brettearle

            There’s an ugly mining disaster in Turkey and you have decided to beat a dead horse to a fault?

            This level of pettiness, one rarely sees.

            Most of us can’t physically and mechanically stoop so low.

            We’re sorry that your personal vendetta–if one exists and I suspect it does–could possibly be carried to such imbecilic depths.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — indeed, the horrible mining disaster in Turkey, and the 2 miners killed in the Brody Mine #1 in Wharton, West Virginia on Monday, are far more important than anything we do “in here.”

            But don’t worry on my behalf. My exchanges with [notafeminista] are of rather long standing and doubtless neither one of us are any worse for the wear of it.

          • brettearle

            Good point about the credit rating….

            But if the Revenue issue is tied partially to Fiscal Policy, nationally–and I believe it is, partially–he could ultimately Teflon-out on it.

            Imagine Perry going through his personal fiasco again!

            Or Thune? Who’s excessively ambitious and strident.

            Or Paul–who’s politically Messianic and Thin Skinned.

            Who?

            Christie’s the only one who stands out (aside from his weight and because of it).

            The guy has a great deal of political charisma….

          • hennorama

            brettearle — TYFYR, and your very kind words.

            By way of reply, let me quote your good friend Howard Kurtz, who two days ago wrote:

            “Press says Mike Pence may run in 2016. At this point, who isn’t running?”

            See:
            http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/05/12/press-says-mike-pence-may-run-in-2016-at-this-point-who-isnt-running/

            As to Gov. Christie specifically, he has the Sandy disbursements issues, the GW Bridge issue (and especially the “Hey, I didn’t know what all of these people closest to me, who I picked, were doing” problem, assuming the Gov. wasn’t personally involved), the credit downgrades, etc., etc., all on top of the general Republican demographic issues.

            In other words, he not only has to overcome all of the issues related to him directly, he also has to overcome the issues of the Republican Party.

            Thanks again for your very kind words.

          • Steve__T

            I’m a runnin’ so feet, don’t faile me now!
            ~ Mantan Moreland

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s way too soon to even guess about Christie or anyone else. I don’t buy the dynasty thing regarding Bush or Clinton. I also don’t see the mutual exclusivity of the establishment vs. the Tea Partiers. I could see Romney (al la Reagan) try again or I could see Ted Cruz. Or Scott Walker, Kasich, Pence, Paul, Ryan and Rubio. I like Rice/Carson but that’s just me. And there is more.

            I don’t know where Democrats go beyond Biden or Hillary. Warren?

    • M S

      I would contend that African-American culture has always been very “American”. It is only recently that it has been culturally poisoned and diverged from the mainstream. Moreover, you can know see how cultural Marxism is being played out in with other segments of our society. You should review your history or confirm with more elder African-Americans.

      • tbphkm33

        “confirm with more elder African-American’s” almost smacks of some sort of racism. Like somehow, by the mere nature of the color of their skin, they should have words of enlightenment on the subject. Sure, they have first hand experience, but individuals only provide case study insights into the larger construct of the US as an assimilating culture as opposed to a mix pot.

        • M S

          No, I meant nothing by that other than that more elder African-Americans have a unique perspective in that they have been witness to more. In less than one generation, the African-American community went from mid-size to large families, headed by two parents with strong internal bonds (typically/traditionally “American”) to 70%+ children being raised in single-mother households. This is what I mean by “poisoned”.

        • HonestDebate1

          But assimilation is the mixing pot. We don’t strive to be a country of individual ingredients. We’re a soup.

    • ebonyy

      Both you and M S are correct. Black culture is very American. Many aspects of black culture are appropriated by the larger culture; the way we dress, speak, our music, and so on. The black individual however, still finds him/herself on the margins of society despite their contributions. I should be commenting on a pathway to immigration but I have not listened to the program yet. Get back to you maybe. :)

  • Alchemical Reaction

    Here is how to fix the immigration problem.

    Create a one year citizen’s college, consisting of two courses: English & Civics.

    Those who can pass both courses in three years time, can earn citizenship.

    Those who do not pass get deported.

    • tbphkm33

      Agreed – 1/2 the Nopublican party supporters would be deported as they have no clue about “Civics” and have rather poor mastery of the English language.

    • JS

      Good idea, except also include a provision for revoking the citizenship of anybody knowingly hiring illegal workers: Contractors, landscapers, CEO’s. Then deport them too.

  • jipengipe

    What exactly does this man’s story have to do with amnesty?

  • StilllHere

    Well said.

  • marygrav

    Raisuddin Bhuiyan understands about Americans what James Baldwin wrote about in his essay, “Notes of a Native Son.”

    Baldwin in his signature essay, “Notes of a Native Son,” gives the best understanding of why hatred, particularly, race cannot be maintained in America. And he helps us to understand why Raisuddin Bhuiyan defended his attempted assassin. Baldwin writes:

    In order really to hate white people, one has to blot so much out of the mind—and the hart—that this hatred itself becomes an exhausting and self-destructive pose. But this does notmean, on the other hand, that love comes easily: the white world is too powerful, too complacent, too ready with gratuitous humiliation, and, above all, too ignorant and too innocent fort that. One is absolutely forced to make perpetual qualifications and one’s own reactions are always canceling each other out.

    It is this really, which has driven so many people mad, both white and black. One is always in the position of having to decide between amputation and gangrene. Amputation is swift but time may prove that the amputation was not necessary—or one may delay the amputation too long. Gangrene is slow, but it is impossible to be sure that one is reading one’s symptoms right.

    The idea of going through life as a cripple is more than one can bear, and equally unbearable is the risk of swelling up slowly, in agony, with poison.

    And the trouble, finally, is that the risks are real even if the choices do not exist.

    “But as for me and my house,” my father had said, “we will serve the Lord.”

    We must all serve the Lord in that each of US are responsible for our brother/sister’s condition regardless of what the T-Party/GOP tells US about Self Reliance. The Founding Fathers were not self-reliant. That is why they had slaves.

    It seems that the more self-rightious religiouness America becomes the crueler we are to each other. Like the Right, we become blind to what it means to be human and we close our eyes to the needs of our fellow Americans. We hate ourselves and take it out on others. We imagine that there is a thing called the rugged individual. This lie has caused more misery than our passion for Flag Worship.

  • tbphkm33

    I’m sorry, it is difficult for us intellectuals to self censor ourselves like you conservatives seem to master so well. Funny how the Republican propaganda machine is more efficient than the Soviets ever managed to be.

    So easy to dismiss with “get out if you don’t like it” – so difficult to have an open and intellectual discussion of the topics at hand.

    I’ll take the “leftist Marxist” road – the conservative “yes” ranks are marching too close to what was depicted in the book 1984.

    • pete18

      “so difficult to have open and intellectual discussion of the topics at hand.”

      ” the Nopublican party supporters would be deported as they have no clue about “Civics” and have rather poor mastery of the English language.”

      Do as I say not as I do.

  • hennorama

    Some seem concerned about the influence of immigrants on American culture, and imply/state that it is a negative phenomenon.

    According to the Census Bureau, about 1 in 8 (12.9 percent in 2010) U.S. residents were born outside the U.S. This percentage is lower than what it was in every Census from 1860 through 1920, and the U.S. has done pretty well during that period, and since.

    One question:

    If American culture is truly exceptional, why would anyone worry about the infuence of such a small percentage of the populace?

    Source (with some nice graphics showing changes over time):

    http://www.census.gov/how/infographics/foreign_born.html

    • brettearle

      We ought to mention, for the sake of true humanitarian reasons–and to quell and dispel the intrinsic biases, inherent, in some of the population at large–that second generation families of original immigrants have contributed, noticeably, in numbers, and in accomplishment, to the American system.

      These groups of people might qualify to come under the Rubric–by some nationalists and separatists and racists– of Immigrants who are still having a quote, `negative phenomenon’, unquote…..simply because they come from,
      `The Other’.

      Or shall I say, `The Dreaded Other’?

      • hennorama

        brettearle — TYFYR.

        Not to mention the very prominent examples of foreign-born US residents who are current members of Congress, including Sen. John McCain, Sen. Rafael Edward Cruz, Sen. Michael Bennett, and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, to name just a few.

        (I realize that they are not really examples of “immigrants” per se, but they are all “foreign-born.”)

        And of course, who could forget The Governator — Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is an immigrant.

        • brettearle

          I know that guy, Van Hollen….

          Where’s he from? Scandinavia?

          McCain’s from Panama [I could look it up] or Guam?

          But, please….let’s get serious, will you?:

          McCain…..is…….from……another……planet.

          [Could you please get your facts right?

          Or do I have to stoop so low, by being compelled to say this?]

          • hennorama

            brettearle — TYFY amusing R.

            Bennett – India
            Cruz – Canada
            McCain – Panama Canal Zone
            Van Hollen – Pakistan

            [And last but not least:
            Schwarzenegger -- Austria]

        • TFRX

          Oh, that takes me back to a more innocent time.

          Remember the astroturf “groundswell” to

          change the Constitution so somebody unspecified Ahnulde could be president?

          What happened next? I forget.

        • M S

          OMG, too funny. Just because people were born overseas to American diplomats or military personnel, doesn’t make them a “foreign-born US residents” (excluding Cruz of course), they are still American and not considered naturalized citizens, jeez…some real thick heads around here.

    • HonestDebate1

      “Some seem concerned about the influence of immigrants on American culture, and imply/state that it is a negative phenomenon.”

      Who? I don’t know anyone who expresses such a concern.

  • Bart caruso

    “America Eats It’s Young” – George Clinton

  • DonHonda

    An LA Times article shows that the Obama administration, the Illegal Alien lobby, and the major media outlets have been in collusion to depict the “high” deportation numbers. The exact opposite is true since the beginning of the current President’s policy. Interior deportation has and will be lower than 1973 rates. This is leading towards more people overstaying their visas and currently, more Illegal Alien minors crossing the border. Obama has just recently instructed border patrol to not turn back those Illegal Aliens on record as having entered illegally as priors, but to let them pass IF they don’t have a major criminal record. After the first Illegal Entry, it is a felony each time thereafter.

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-obama-deportations-20140402,0,545192,full.story#axzz2xkzioeHR

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/12/deportations-come-mostly-from-border-dhs-chief-say/?page=1

    • TFRX

      You lost us at MoonieTimes.

    • Pleiades

      President Obama’s administration is in the process of creating an atmosphere of lawlessness among its citizens with many of its policies such as you describe. The simple fact is that many of illegal immigrants may be productive members of our American society, but that does not excuse their unlawful actions to enter this nation.

      There is prescribed method of lawful entry into the United States of America. If an individual did not enter by that method or did not honor the obligations of that method (overstaying a visa, for example), there has be a penalty in order that an environment of lawless does not exist, because lawlessness creates more lawlessness.

  • Steve__T

    The discussion here has everyone talking about Immigrants, and immigration. The story is about an immigrant, but not so much his immigration to America, but his ability to forgive, and to fight for the life of the person who with malicious anger, almost killed him.
    Unfortunately most “Americans” don’t get it. We don’t forgive, we’er arrogant and aloof and forget the wrong we do or find an acceptable excuse not to see the other side.
    We Americans like to show the world our great humanity, the great shining light of freedom. It took this one man to strike a match and show the darkness of America, through his humanity. Far too many just don’t understand.

    We should change the inscription on the statue of Liberty to:
    We don’t want any poor tired huddled masses.
    Send us your wealthy, privileged, and exceptional.
    (all others need not apply)

  • Martina

    Your clip of Mark Stroman explaining why he shot three people sounds exactly like George Bush’s excuse for going to war with Iraq.

    • ExcellentNews

      Yeah, but George W. Bush did not shoot anyone, because he was “leading from behind”. Also, Bush LIBERATED over 2 trillion dollars in public funds from the clutches of Big Govermint. Now, that money is safely stashed in the Cayman Islands’ accounts of crony contractors and local despots, doubtlessly waiting to create jobs.

  • ExcellentNews

    What’s a True American? Well, according to the Republican Party, it’s simple! A Real True American ™ is someone who is white, male, believes the Earth is 6000 years old, denies man-made climate change, owns at least one non-hunting automatic weapon, knows that Jesus wants tax cuts for predatory bankers and CEOs, thinks that France is an enemy of the USA, and wants his women to be pregnant, barefoot, obedient, and in the kitchen. Don’t believe me? Just watch any republican primary since 1996 when they pander to their “base”. It’s all available on YouTube…

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 29, 2014
The U.S. Senate is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. (AP)

The “Do-Nothing” Congress just days before August recess. We’ll look at the causes and costs to the country of D.C. paralysis.

Jul 29, 2014
This April 28, 2010 file photo, shows the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal-fired power plant in Colstrip, Mont. Colstrip figures to be a target in recently released draft rules from the Environmental Protection Agency that call for reducing Montana emissions 21 percent from recent levels by 2030. (AP)

A new sci-fi history looks back on climate change from the year 2393.

RECENT
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Jul 28, 2014
U.S. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker watches as wounded American soldiers arrive at an American hospital near the front during World War I. (AP Photo)

Marking the one hundredth anniversary of the start of World War One. We’ll look at lessons learned and our uneasy peace right now.

 
Jul 28, 2014
This June 4, 2014 photo shows a Walgreens retail store in Boston. Walgreen Co. _ which bills itself as “America’s premier pharmacy” _ is among many companies considering combining operations with foreign businesses to trim their tax bills. (AP)

American companies bailing out on America. They call it inversion. Is it desertion?

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