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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Where do they get those notions?

A letter writer in today's paper described Democratic Party as one that doles out the goodies in exchange for votes. Where did they get that notion is a rhetorical question because I know exactly where it came from. It's a generational myth that's been successfully passed down. That myth took off after the New Deal was passed, gained strength after Medicare, civil rights and affirmative action became law. It’s a simplistic view, but the writer believes it because he took the time to write a letter expressing his feelings knowing that his friends, neighbors, relatives and friends will now know how he feels. The letter writer wants his country back, but he had it from 2000-2008 and what did he do with it?

I wonder if anyone really thinks that a Democratic candidate goes around talking to potential voters while handing out stacks of food stamp applications? Do those same people think that Democrats should go around demonizing legislation that was passed by Congress and signed by a president? Democrats do support a safety net and the theory of social justice. The Democrats I know believes everyone should pull up themselves with their own bootstraps, but we also realize that some don't own a pair of boots. I believe in the type fiscal conservatism that means that the government should not spend more than it takes in, but I don't approve of austerity measures.

Let's pretend I’m a congressman who believes our country is spending much more than it takes in, but I also know that we are trying to turn our country around. My counterpart believes the same thing but has a different approach to solving our problem. I'm more flexible when it comes to balancing the budget because I know that we will have to make allowances for security measures, weather-related disasters and other unforeseen problems. I also know that we should never neglect education, innovation incentives, and infrastructure. I would walk away from the bargaining table if my counterpart didn't cut one dime from defense spending but instead increased it and, provided tax cuts for the wealthy, while making all his cuts on the safety net side. If the letter writer wants to call that “doling out the goods," then I am guilty as charged. I also believe that defunding Big Bird, Planned Parenthood, and other small items of the budget is just to satisfy a political interest. Its equivalent of sitting down at the kitchen table with your new budget, after the wife lost her job and the husband got his hours cut and the first thing that he throws out there is taking his own coffee and sack lunch to work. It's not a "you've got to start somewhere" situation because we know that entitlements and defense spending are the big-ticket items we need to bring back under control.

I would like to bring a different viewpoint to the “remember crash victims were also illegal" article because it's important to understand all viewpoints if we're going to make any headway in our divisive country. The title alone could be offensive because it doesn’t really matter if the crash victims were illegal; they are dead? It gives more clarity to the story and it's important to know but in the case of this article it was meant to send a message. It's not as if it was imperative for the letter writer to remind us of the crash victim's status. I knew right away that they entered this country illegally, but I didn't automatically reach for the word" criminal." I could agree with misdemeanor trespassing that led to their deaths and injuries, which could've been avoided, as other accidents that had nothing to do with entering this country illegally. I also knew that the race card would be used as an offensive and defensive weapon. The local Hispanics are defending people who look like them, so they don't particularly want them demonized. Others are saying, “don’t let your sympathy get the best of you" because those people were breaking the law. I believe it's becoming routine to ask after every major accident “were there any illegals involved?"  Here is the original article.This type of rhetoric will continue until Congress comes up with a comprehensive reform package, or we get back to 4.0% unemployment.

 Even with the new VA FB format ,I've noticed that when asked to present facts like actual cases of voter fraud or any subject where documented facts are important,posters will either go away  or changes the subject...It's as if it's a battle between myths & unverified postings against those wanting a discussion.

That's  the way I see it.

 I keep trying to get back to nonpolitical subjects that I would like to write about but the Advocate letters and comments and national politics are like a giant magnet.


dale said...

Thanks for the use of "letter writer" rather than the name of what I assume to be a Vicad ltte contributor. I seldom ever visit the Vicad as my little form of protest. So without the name... anyway thanks.

So lets talk about non-politics. I was driving up to Hallettsville today. What a difference a year makes. Grass is everywhere. There are several new big pipelines crossing the US 77. The cows and the ranchers seem so happy. And then I recall the death of a person on the Old Highway Road.

I must have passed that fellow's body 45 minutes previously as I drove to Inez. On the way back to Midway Road I was stopped near the Garcitas Bridge where I noticed a multitude of police vehicles.

I am told the poor soul was "sitting up, slumped over" next to a utility post. My thought returned to the parable of the Good Samaritan. So I wonder, how many times have I not noticed someone in need? Am I so stuck in my own life that I did not even "see" a poor abandoned soul? Perhaps we should all slow down just a little and seek out those who may benefit from our time and assistance. Government can't and will never be able to help. We must be our brother's "safety net". It is up to Mike, you and me to be there for our brothers and sisters in need.

So much for my non-political statement. Have a good day Mike.

Mike said...

And you're welcome; I aim to please..:-)

“Government can't and will never be able to help.".... That's a definite statement that I cannot agree with, without being hypocritical. You see, I receive Social Security and Medicare. I want FEMA to be here if our city gets hit with a devastating tornado. Government is not my enemy and either is the private sector.

As a country we're not living up to “We must be our brother's "safety net." Our church tells us that their cupboards remain bare and nationally charitable contributions are down. Our brothers in need could use some actual assistance. They need a lot more than our good intentions. It’s a good use of my tax dollars.

born2Bme said...

One thing that just popped into my mind after reading this and then going to the VA and see the names of those defending those that were killed...I'm wondering if those same people would defend them if the deceased were of Arab descent and possible terriorists?
How much you wannna bet they wouldn't?

Mike said...

I don't know exactly what you mean because it's rather vague but I'll give it a try.

It seems like an apple to oranges but I wrote a blog in defense of Muslims building a mosque next to ground zero and argued with several posters about their condemnation of people of Arab descent just because they didn't hear them denounce acts of terror by Islamic extremist. I have a record.

I remember my late mother making the sign of the cross every time we passed the scene of an accident. Most of the time we didn't know the ethnicity of those did not involve, nor did it matter. It was a way for praying for the souls of the dead and for the survivors. WE weren't a perfect "Leave it Beaver" family, so whenever we went to the funeral of a wayward relative, my mother would always remind us not to talk ill of the dead. I don't know if that was a culture ,religious or family thing but it stuck with me...Recently (last December) my nephew died of a drug overdose (25 year user) but I don't know of anyone who told my sister to remember that he was a junkie.

As you know I can't speak for others but thanks for allowing me to express how I feel. I hope I answered you question.

born2Bme said...

Let me clarify a little bit, if I can put it into words.
Most of the posters defending those coming here illegally, seem to take it as an ethnic battle, which it seems to be tied to their ancestors, in one way or another.
Would those same people defend those coming here illegally from Arab countries, or Russia, or China, etc. as adamently as they are defending those that come from those countries south of the border?
I think not, but I've been know to be wrong a time or two. :P

Mike said...


We're talking about two entirely different things. In the short paragraph I wrote in the blog, I based my opinion on a “let the dead rest" narrative.

It seems to me you're talking about those (Mexican-Americans) who consistently defend people who come here it legally. I gather you think it's because of ethnic ties and you probably right. I'm sure that each group has their own activists who defend their own kind. I can imagine in Chicago there are many Russian activists whose loyalties lie only with their own. That's human nature. I remember years ago when Haitians fled their devastated country and made it to the Florida shores only it to be met by immigration officers sending them back. They didn't get the same privilege as Cuban refugees and there wasn't as much outrage from American citizens.
I'm just guessing by being a participant in those ad hominem arguments for many years; that most of the complaints are about harsh rhetoric, misunderstandings, and a reluctance by each group to see pass their own points of view.

This will continue until fix our broken immigration system. The reform package will not keep people from wanting to come here illegally but it will start a process of documentation which will lead to better system so we can monitor those who are here.
It is my opinion that we can't compare the defense of illegal immigrants from Arab countries, or Russia, or China, to the defense of people who are only 232 miles or less from our southern border. I've seen Great Britain, France, Denmark and Germany battling their immigration problems but there it was Muslim activist who were defending those who entered those countries illegally. We have a long history of immigration problems; check out the movie or the book “Gangs of New York" where this situation was much worse. In the early 1900s, being a stowaway was must more fashionable than crossing a dried up river bed.

Again, I know that my words don't really matter and they don't coincide with your train of thought but perhaps others will read this and not come to the same conclusion...:-)

born2Bme said...

I guess I was going off of your statement,

"The local Hispanics are defending people who look like them, so they don't particularly want them demonized."

I'm just pointing out that you were right and it's the basis for the attitude of most of the people on the VA who get so insulted by those who think it is a "legal" issue more than a moral one.
Ethnicity plays a huge role in those feelings. Do we ever hear this kind of "argument" for other races when they enter this country illegally?
It may be going on in other areas of this Country, but we never hear about it.
I may be wrong, but I have a strong feeling that those who are taking up for illegal entry of Latino's now, wouldn't be so kind with other races.
It's human nature not to trust those different than ourselves, and it's basically the driving force behind most, if not all, prejudices.

Would you be comfortable with a huge influx of Arab-born illegal immigrants? My first thought would be "terriorists".

Mike said...


I think it's the basis of the attitude where we might disagree on... I don't like unsubstantiated statements being treated as though they were facts... With the exception of the “open borders" crowd and other uninformed posters who are punching back with a few jabs of their own; I don't know of anyone that approves the continuation of illegal immigration. The only difference is that I spread the blame and don't agree that illegal immigrants should be the scapegoat of all our ills.

"It may be going on in other areas of this Country, but we never hear about it"... As I like to say, I don't know the "WE" you are talking about because I know I'm not alone when I have discussed how other parts of the nation are handling this problem. I know the newspapers I read and the television stations that I view are available for everyone to see.

I am insulted that you think that I automatically associate Arab-born illegal immigrants with terrorist. That's 180°off from the way I think. An extremist can be an American born citizen as we have seen recently or from another country. Let me expand on that. I remember the discussion I had with other posters about NPR firing of Juan Williams for expressing his true feelings. Juan Williams said he would be nervous if he saw Arab-Americans wearing traditional Arab clothing, boarding the same airplane he was on. I immediately said that I would not be that paranoid but I did not consider someone else's viewpoint. I made the same mistake as NPR did.

That's background; now allow me to answer your questions honestly.

1. Do we ever hear this kind of "argument" for other races when they enter this country illegally?

I have to assume you are meant south Texas, so the simple answer is no because as I've said before it's because of the close proximity of the southern border and the culture that was established here centuries ago.
2. Those that get so insulted by those who think it is a "legal" issue more than a moral one.

Don't underestimate the intelligence of your opponents because even though you might not think so, I think they know it's the illegal to cross the southern border into the United States without legal permission. There's no argument on legal vs. moral... The morale argument will always be subjective. Some people resented the two churches taking part in the religious send off for those who died in the horrible accident a few weeks ago, and others think that the Catholic Church should be severely punished for providing sanctuaries across the nation. We are never going to see 100% approval for "we should hate them for coming here illegally or for making those martyrs for trying."...To each their own.

3."I may be wrong, but I have a strong feeling that those who are taking up for illegal entry of Latino's now, wouldn't be so kind with other races"

Number one, I don't think Latinos are obligated to have the strong feelings for other ethnicities who illegally come into this country because emotions come from within. You would be perfectly right to say
that it is selective outrage and if there are advocating for "open borders" then you would have a legitimate claim of hypocrisy....IMO...Welcome to America.

Between now and November the immigration issue will come up several more times and you'll have the same posters posting the same rhetoric...IMO

Now, I've recycled my answers several times now so I'm going to have to pull out that line I used to use with my old friend BigJ" will have to agree to disagree."

Your last question needs to be highlighted because it’s a hypothetical fishing for a political correct answer.


Mike said...

Sorry but I used the 4096 characters with my first answer so her eis the rest.

“Would you be comfortable with a huge influx of Arab-born illegal immigrants? My first thought would be "terriorists

I guess you’re trying to extract selective outrage, hypocrisy, or a justification for my opponent’s point of view out of me. I’m a data person who doesn’t like to deal with an unreal hypothetical. It’s hard for me to envision people from the Middle East coming into this country illegally in masses. There’s big body water between the two countries. I can tell you this; I don’t distrust Arabs because of 911 and I’ve said that publicly many times. My honest answer is” I don’t know” because I would have to see how it played out. But then again I have never said that I supported illegal immigration,so I guess you are asking about my sympathy for other human being in the same predicament .

The views I presented are my own and as usual I don’t have the audacity to think that I can represent any side of the issue

born2Bme said...

whoa, I said that "I" think terrorist, and I'm not trying to speak for you or anyone else, nor am I trying to assume what you think.
I was just asking what you thought.
Goodness, Maybe I need to brush up on my written English a wee bit.

Mike said...

There is nothing wrong with your English but it's a bit of a stretch to go from "all right to have sympathy" for those who died in the auto accident and those who want to remind that mindset that our nation's laws were broken to Arab born illegal immigrants..IMO

I thought that question was a "when was the last time you beat your wife" type of question. It starts off by assuming you beat your wife...I was distancing myself from the Arab= terrorist characterization, which might be a common assumption...That's all.

Mike said...

I guess from what I gather the issue remains: Is it wrong to point out that the illegal immigrants who died in the auto accident were guilty of committing misdemeanor trespassing? If it was their first time, I believe that's still the charge. Is it wrong to continue to have sympathy for those folks because the tragedy can be prevented if they would just stop trying to enter this country illegally? Don’t make them out to be martyrs.

I think if the deaths were sporadic there would be more sympathy but it's far too common and sometimes the people who want these events to stop are inadvertently the reason our Congress are afraid to take up the issue..

Part II: Would the folks who adamantly defend and sympathize with those who will cross our southern borders do the same if the offenders who were from another country other than South or Central America? I can see where that could be a vice versa question.

The truth as I know it is that we no longer have work visas for those who live south of the border. The construction business does not need workers and our agriculture business is suffering from a severe drought. So, the option of coming here legally is not available right now, in fact the southern border crossings is at zero sum, so the illegal immigrants are probably headed to restaurants, hotels, and meat processing plants where they've have been promised that a job is available if they can make it. The immigrants know what they're doing is illegal because you can't deny if you’re hiding in an 18 wheeler; you’re definitely breaking the law. If your leader has a pair of wire cutters in his back pocket; he probably has a use for it. The bottom line is that no matter how many comprehensive reforms we have, poor people will always want to come to our country, no matter what the risk.

The best we will ever be able to do is get to a level of tolerance but for some that will not be enough and the beat goes on.

Mike said...

Sorry that's our Congress is afraid to take up the issue.

born2Bme said...

There are no answers to your questions. Every person must do what their conscience tells them to do, but no one has the right to demand that others feel the same way they do.
I have mixed feelings on the subject. On one hand, I know that every life is precious and we must pray for their souls and feel sorry that it happened, but on the other hand, "except for the children", they knew what they were getting into and purposely took the chance and put their own lives in danger. That makes it no ones fault except their own.
It does not make it any less a tragedy, or less a crime, when people die pursuing a criminal activity.
We have laws in this Country for a reason, and we were taught as children to always obey the law, no matter what. Laws are there for our protection and for the protection of those breaking the laws.
When those laws are ignored, then events are set in place and things can go very wrong and often do.
I don't feel like this is a case where the laws should be changed to justify, or abet, the lawbreakers.
You may think that I do not care about those less fortunate than I am. You couldn't be farther from the truth, but I do know that a sinking ship cannot take on more weight without sinking that much faster.
I think there is a way to help without sinking our ship.

Mike said...


I didn't ask any questions, I didn't demand that others feel the same and whether we like it or not, people will follow their conscience. I've never asked for laws to be changed, other than for Congress to come up with a comprehensive package that will deal with the situation as best they can. I fully understand that we cannot sustain "open borders" and I emphasized that several times.

I also completely understand your sentiments for I know that if I don't curb my salt intake, my blood pressure will remain high but all that is forgotten when I go to eat my meal. It's the same way for those who will walk through a snake infested hot desert to come to our country. As I stated, they're fully aware of the consequences but they will not be deterred.

I had never advocated circumventing any laws but I have sat on juries to weigh the circumstances as to whether the punishment meets the crime or misdemeanor. We see laws broken at the highest levels by our government and business every day and they go unpunished. They too were taught at an early age what is right in what is wrong at an early age. I try not taking the high road when a particular law is broken.

It's not my intentions to judge but if I were to guess; I would think that you are a caring, concerned and an intelligent human being. I think if you read my responses, I agreed with many of your points but you may be misconstruing my sentiments because I didn't agree with you 100%............Just a thought..:-)

As you well know, I despise talking about social issues and would rather talk about economics', policy, the constitution or subjects that can be debated using math, history, court cases and science. The social issues become too passionate and they never come close to being agreed on because each side only wants to win.

born2Bme said...

What I think is that we are both looking at the same semi-filled glass, just from different angles. The end result is the same, but we "see" things a little differently.
I really never expect anyone to agree with me 100%. That wouldn't make very interesting dialog, now would it?

Legion said...

After reading ya'lls first few posts on the immigration subject, I did a little research.

Did you know that for PROFESSIONAL foreign workers there are over 60 different types of works visas available?

I could never find a exact, or even a "over" number of non-professional visas, but there are at least 20 that I did see.

There are a two different visas for chefs and cooks, who knew?

I feel for all the people that have lost their lives entering the US.

Illegal immigrants weren't even worried about until, what 1993 or 4 or so.

IMO, having at least 80 different types of visas, and figuring out which one you need, would be a pain to deal with.

As usually, the government has added layers of regulations and bureaucracy to something, a work visa.

Reform is sorely needed.

Mike said...

Reform is sorely needed is an understatement but I did see where a poster said we have an honest immigration system; whatever that meant...:-)

I didn't know there were so many visas but the last I heard over 300,000 people overstay their visas every year because we don't have the personnel to hunt them. They are students, tourists, and workers who didn't go home after their visa expired. They make up about half of the illegal immigrants.

Rebecca said...

Why would it matter if you mentioned the name of someone who chose to have their name published, especially in the context of their published writing?

Mike said...

That's an interesting question Rebecca.

I referenced the letter in my blog with a link to the letter writer's name. It wasn't as if the letter writer's name remained hidden but it's like those lawyer shows where the opposing Atty. objects to the line of questioning, the judge sustains and the lawyer re-frames the question..Same question..just rephrased..... Dale objects of the use of one's name in a personal blog if that person is not a reader, meaning that they don't have a chance to defend themselves. I assume Dale would rather I not mention any local posters by name and if he accepts me using the “the letter writer" then a compromise has been made.

VicAd did not like anonymous posters criticizing their letter writers and would occasionally shut down a thread to prevent that. I guess they feared that people would stop writing letters if they were going to be criticized by anonymous posters....VicAd no longer has anonymous posters..,-) (wink wink)

Rebecca said...

If I believe in something strongly enough to sign my name to it and publish it in a publication, then I think others have the right to use my name when pondering the topic I touched on. If I'm not a reader of a blog that mentions my published thoughts and even my name, who cares.

It's a free country and we have freedom of the press. That should cover blogs, too.

Dale is being a liberal. =P

Rebecca said...

I used the word "liberal" incorrectly to taunt everyone.

Mike said...

Liberal?Dale would consider your characterization blasphemous....:-) 

dale said...

Note: per population demographics young hispanic males make up a majority of prisoners housed in the local jail. Liberal? I may have some "liberal" tendencies. Does "conservative" equate to the status quo? I for one find the over representation of hispanics in our local jail a social problem. "Conservatives" may see no problem with it. Perhaps a conservative would think "those kinds" are bad apples anyway. Does it make me a "liberal" to question the predominant incarceration of a particular ethnicity?

Mike said...


That could be seen as a racist statement to point out that the current population of Victoria's jails are not white or black but little else. It hasn't a thing to do with liberal or conservative. criminal is criminal. How many inmates are there? Perhaps 300 in city and county jails out of perhaps 20,000 Hispanics in the city. Do the math.

It's mostly about people making bad choices or getting caught and not being able to afford a good lawyer. Is it a social problem? Yes it is but it's also an economic one because the Kentucky jails or the ones in Minnesota are made of white inmates and the ones in Wyoming may have a disproportionate amount of American Indians.

I really don’t know what your point is! It’s not the first time you have made that statement

Edith Ann said...

The Victoria County Jail houses approximately 340 inmates, 40 women, and you can do the math on the men. Not all are obviously from Victoria. Victoria houses Federal inmates from other counties.

I do not know the demographic of the jail, but the demographic of Victoria county is roughly 50% Hispanic, isn't it?

I am not sure what the point it, either. Do you know the demographic of the jail is? Is it really a disproportionate share?

Edith Ann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edith Ann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dale said...

Mike, I have made this comment before. Is it a liberal or a conservative thing? My observation is quite simple. For what ever reason our society is incarcerating a lot of folks. If we are jailing a large percentage of young men of a specific ethnicity we as a society have a problem. Bad choices? Stereotyping? Profiling? Insufficient education oportunities? You name it , the fact is we should be aware that our society has a problem. Jailing young men is not a liberal or conservative issue. This is a human and societal issue. That is my point.

Before a problem can be corrected, it must be recognized as a problem. Funny thing, at lunch I and couple friends were talking. One fellow spoke about a concern for just this issue, young kids joining gangs. He went to visit a local law enforcement leader. That leader had little concern for the issue. Why could that be? Well, he is paid to lock up the bad uns, I guess. So who should be concerned Mike? Rebecca said I could be a liberal. For this social problem, call me a social liberal.

Incarcerating an entire generation has not solved the problem, it seems to have only made the problem worse. There is nothing racist about that fact.

Mike said...

Close EA, it's 45.8%
44740 white
4560 black
25744 Mexican American
Giving your 340 and making that 100% filled with Mexican Americans that still would be .010000 carried out 12 places to mean no significant problem.

Is Dale saying? ...never mind I have no idea where Dale's rationing is taking us.

Mike said...


First, Rebecca can certainly take up for herself but I think she was being a little bit facetious knowing that you were a conservative. She gave a smiley face hint...It’s all about the emoticons, Dale...:-)

Incarcerating a lot of folks is subjective because I think it's normal for a city of this size. We're not going to eliminate crime, drugs and everything associated with it. As a city grows, our gang problem will grow but right now it's manageable.

Yes young kids are joining gangs and but it's nowhere near being the Crips and the Bloods. I've seen the gangs of San Antonio and El Paso and our rag -tag gangsters bear no resemblance to the real pros. We have the wanna be gangsters...IMO

Now if you take the gang problem nationally then there's more to talk about...IMO