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Food For Thought

Here’s some food for thought to all you "law-abiding, ‘compassionate’ conservatives" out there, as well as democrats who smell the red meat that the immigration issue is sizing up to be for the upcoming solve-all-problems-by-voting-your-1/270,000,000th-say season.

I’m reading reports of the massive demonstrations and I can’t help but recall back in the day when people were breaking laws right and left–peacefully and gleefully–in order to partially correct the institutional injustice faced by the black man. What was their fundamental operating premise, their rallying cry? Was it that blacks were "legal citizens of the United Sates?" Or, was it that blacks are … uh, human beings who ought to be judged, individually, by the content of their character and not the color of their skin, or, and pay attention here: their "legal" status.

Arbitrarily stopping a guy at some arbitrary line drawn on a map when he is coming to peacefully trade with others in terms of employment, food, shelter, clothing, and so on, is not fundamentally different than sending a black man to the back of the bus. If these demonstrators get their fundamental premises and rationale correct, you "compassionate" ones just might get one hell of a lot more than you bargained for.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

50 Comments

  1. Richard Nikoley on April 10, 2006 at 09:46

    "Immigrants come to this country because FREE TRADE has impoverished their countries."

    That's not only about the most ignorant assertion I've heard in a long time, It's patently false. The opposite is true. What passes for "free trade" nowadays, but really is not, enriches other countries.

    Rule of economics #1: a mutually consensual trade only happens because both parties will be better off. If indeed they are, according to their own measures, trade continues. If one or both parties is not, that's the end of trade.

  2. Richard Nikoley on April 10, 2006 at 16:16

    "I'd like to see you cross some of the "arbitrary" lines bordering countries such as Cuba, North Korea or even the one on Mexico's southern border."

    Great list of role-models there, Hank.

    "No other country allows open borders, why should we??"

    Yea, I see what you mean. Why should we do it differently than the commies?

    Jesus, what fucking moron. And here I'd resolved to turn down the language, too.

  3. Kyle Bennett on April 10, 2006 at 17:46

    Gotta love how Hank, of the "Conservative Trailhead" finds that three of the least capitalist countries in the world are the standard of correctness when it comes to his pet issue. That's the difference between positions and principles.

    Adam, didn't Harriet Tubman _help_ people cross arbitrary barriers? Ain't the minutemen doing just the opposite?

  4. Kyle Bennett on April 10, 2006 at 19:00

    VW,

    Not so much *mis*mangement, as management. Trying to manage an economy is a recipe for disaster, and the single reason the US has such a better economy is that it is far less managed.

    Mexicans have exactly the same rights as everyone else in the world, no more no less. Citizenship is overrated, and irrelevant to the issue. Regardless, everyone has the right to live and work where they want to, assuming they can acquire property to live on and that they can find someone willing to pay them for their work.

  5. Craig on April 10, 2006 at 09:24

    My new rules on immigration !

    (1) Immigrants come to this country because FREE TRADE has impoverished their countries. If you shop at WALMART, you cannot protest illegal IMMIGRATION! Places like WalMart support illegal immigration by demanding Free Trade! So, don't burn flags and don't hate Mexicans if you survive because of Free Trade!

    (2) Americans are racist and, because of this, are afraid of Mexicans (and anyone else that isn't WHITE!). If you're a racist fuck, you cannot participate in open discussion regarding Immigration!

    (3) If you want Mexicans in this country to do manual labour that Americans are over-qualified for, then YOU HAVE TO ALLOW THEM EQUAL RIGHTS AS AMERICAN CITIZENS! You can't have it both ways Bush, you twat! God Damn it!

  6. Adam on April 10, 2006 at 17:11

    I agree with your reasoning. If they're not going to go on welfare, I say let them in. The "Minutemen" are just bizarro-Harriet Tubmans.

  7. Thibodeaux on April 10, 2006 at 20:52

    Kyle,

    Everything is opposite in Bizarro World.

  8. Hank on April 10, 2006 at 16:10

    "Arbitrarily stopping a guy at some arbitrary line drawn on a map when he is coming to peacefully…"
    I'd like to see you cross some of the "arbitrary" lines bordering countries such as Cuba, North Korea or even the one on Mexico's southern border.
    No other country allows open borders, why should we??

  9. Violence Worker on April 10, 2006 at 18:45

    Mexico's economy is not the result of free trade. It is the result of decades of corruption and mismanagement.

    No country in the world that I'm aware of, free or not, allows unfettered immigration. Even Mexico has harsh immigration laws.

    The essential difference here is with black Americans, they were already citizens. They were being denied the rights of something they already had. People who come here illegaly do not have the rights of citizenship in the first place.

    VW

  10. Richard Nikoley on April 11, 2006 at 13:29

    "1. The US, because of NAFTA…"

    And bla bla bla. Not interested, man. The ignorance of basic economics, long ago settled, is just too profound. It's the equivalent of arguing with savages in the rain forest over the validity of the witch doctor's powers.

  11. Kyle Bennett on April 11, 2006 at 15:39

    Hammer,

    That's hilarious. Send people cheap stuff and give them jobs – oh, the cruelty! oh the oppression! Freedom is no income and nothing to eat! All you have to lose is your chains… er… and your job…. um… and your dinner.

    You've got to be among the stupidest people on the planet. I can't wait for your revolution, when you take power you can force everyone to tie your shoes for you and wipe the drool off your bib.

  12. Hammer on April 11, 2006 at 13:08

    Hey there Richard…

    Let's delve into the area of Free Trade for a moment, because clearly you are ignorant on the matter.

    Let's talk about the impact of Free Trade on Mexico and the U.S. (NAFTA-leaving out other trade agreements like CAFTA, AFTA, FTAA, Bahrain Free Trade Agreements, etc).

    1. The US, because of NAFTA, floods Mexican economy with Rock-bottom priced corn…putting many campesinos out of work…Mexicans are poor working in maquialdoras, etc so of course, like Americans, choose lower-priced goods. Campesinos cannot sell their corn in mexico when import prices are so low. The workers then come to America to be farmers here.

    2. The US exports jobs to Mexico, which is all legal under NAFTA. Corporations want lower-priced work. They hire Illegal mexicans here and take legal Mexicans in mexico. The end result, the working class gets shit on.

    FREE TRADE IS THE CULPRIT HERE. THE VICTIM IS THE WORKING CLASS. GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER MAN!

    All 'corporations' (and the governments that get funded by them) do is bleed the working class until they have nothing left to give. When people try to change their situation they have their status reinforced? Fuck that. The illegal immigrants in this country will be responsible for initiating the much needed revolution here! I'm excited and look forward to the change…

  13. Kyle Bennett on April 12, 2006 at 14:48

    "If you break the law, you have no rights except a fair and speedy trial. "

    Try this one day, keep a journal of all the laws you break that day. Before you do, make sure you read the entire US code, and that of the state, county, city, park district, regional transportation districts, school districts, etc. that you live within. If it's empty at the end of the day, you're lying.

    "If you are protesting to become an American citizen, why are you waving a Mexican flag? Am I the only one that thinks that is really dumb?"

    The reason is that the rallies have little to do with immigration. Immigration is only the useful issue of the moment, and attracts lots of useful idiots.

  14. Richard Nikoley on April 12, 2006 at 14:53

    "1. Comparing illegal immigratrion [sic] to black civil right is wrong and stupid. Africans didn't choose to come here. They were captured and forced to come here. Blacks are now LEGAL citizens."

    It goes to my original argument (and, in other posts on this blog) about how woefully shallow is the thinking of most conservatives in this area.

    Of course, the argument that won the day for the blacks was not that they had been enslaved, or that they were "legal." The argument that won the day was that it was immoral (like the LEGAL LAW permitting slavery, you fucking moron) to treat them other than as human beings.

    It's the very same argument that will win the day for all peaceful immigrants — regardless of what arbitrary piece of paper they filled out or what arbitrary line they stood in.

    Most of you morons will eventually come around. Like the shallow-thinking, rationalizing slaveholders. Like the bigoted racists of the early 20th century. One day you'll marvel about how utterly evil you could permit yourself to be.

  15. Neal on April 12, 2006 at 09:21

    I'm glad Hammer brought up NAFTA. When you take a step back and look at what NAFTA was trying to accomplish, the logical conclusion is to eliminate borders with regards to immigration in North America. If we were to prevent immigration of cheap labor into the U.S., we would be effectively handicapping the U.S. by not allowing the U.S. to reap the benefits of free trade: cheap corn for cheap labor.

  16. Kyle Bennett on April 12, 2006 at 17:36

    "One day you'll marvel about how utterly evil you could permit yourself to be."

    No, most of them will take it to their graves. It's their children, or grandchildren, and the descendants of these new Americans who will marvel.

    Bigmista, if you meant that for me, thank you. She reads my blog, and I believe she is.

  17. DennisK on April 12, 2006 at 11:25

    Screw free trade. Screw NAFTA. Screw Mexico. Its time we dealt with our border like it was a real idea. Otherwise we'll end up like that sh!thole to our south.

  18. Neal on April 12, 2006 at 13:57

    Dennis,

    I've heard some dumbass comments, but your comment is one of the stupidest things I've read in awhile. It's so backwards, I half wonder if you're being saracstic. Are you?

    Neal

  19. Bigmista, The Survival Gourmet on April 12, 2006 at 14:00

    1. Comparing illegal immigratrion to black civil right is wrong and stupid. Africans didn't choose to come here. They were captured and forced to come here. Blacks are now LEGAL citizens. If there are Africans here illegally then they should be sent home or forced to go thru the process to become a LEGAL citizen just like mexicans and every other illegal immigrant.

    2. There are laws in this country. If you break the law, you have no rights except a fair and speedy trial. These rallys are trying to spin the situation and trying to lump the illegal immigrants in with the legal ones. If you came here illegally, you broke the law. You should be punished.

    3. Some of the people at the rally are saying that they helped build this country and they deserve to be here. They do the work that Americans won't do. If that is the case, then why don't they do the same work in their own country and build it up instead of working here? If they spent as much energy working in Mexico as they do trying to come here illegally, Mexico would be a better place and they wouldn't want to leave.

    4. Why isn't the Mexican Government trying to do anything to stop the flood of immigrants? Proably because they want them to come here and work and then send their illegally acquired gains back to Mexico.

    5. If you are protesting to become an American citizen, why are you waving a Mexican flag? Am I the only one that thinks that is really dumb?

    *stepping off of my soapbox*

  20. Bigmista, The Survival Gourmet on April 12, 2006 at 15:40

    Spoken like a true anarchist. You mother should be proud.

  21. vt on April 12, 2006 at 11:42

    Let them in, we need the tax basis.

  22. james on April 13, 2006 at 00:10

    good for you, another good point in this whole non-issue media circus.

  23. Neal on April 13, 2006 at 05:51

    On the one hand, I'm reading these comments and thinking "ouch, harsh!" … on the other, I'm laughing my ass off, so whatever.

    Nice job Kyle and Rich.

  24. Bigmista, The Survival Gourmet on April 13, 2006 at 19:07

    Actually that comment was for Richard, who thinks rules and borders are arbitrary.

    Tell you what, give us all your address and we will come thru your arbitrary door or your arbitrary window and use your stuff. Then we will take what we didn't use, walk back out of your arbitrary door and take your stuff to our homes.

    And we will do it like peaceful human beings. Oh, and if you try and stop us, we will protest because we deserve your stuff. I mean, we are human beings, right?

  25. the commentator on April 13, 2006 at 19:15

    Free trade impoverishes and thus leads to emigration? The study and art of economics and history is officially dead with such nonsense. My father left Southern Italy after the war. Free trade was not the culprit. Fast forward a generation; I'm Canadian and free trade has not pushed me to the U.S. border. For Mexicans, something more is at work for why they leave their country. Humans have been migrating since the start of history. It's a little more complex than lousy partisan anti-Bush babblings to explain why people emigrate. Maybe I'm seeing this backwards?

  26. wally on April 13, 2006 at 20:03

    the end of the republican era is at hand.

  27. Michelle on April 13, 2006 at 23:05

    Thanks for stating what you did about people needing to break laws in order to create better ones – this was running through my head a million miles a minute as I blogsurfed.

  28. Richard Nikoley on April 14, 2006 at 06:07

    "Tell you what, give us all your address and we will come thru your arbitrary door or your arbitrary window and use your stuff. Then we will take what we didn't use, walk back out of your arbitrary door and take your stuff to our homes."

    That border is the opposite of arbitrary. I own it.

  29. Kyle Bennett on April 14, 2006 at 07:01

    Bigmista,

    "Actually that comment was for Richard, who thinks rules and borders are arbitrary."

    Well, I agree with him, so I'll accept your compliment anyway.

    "Tell you what, give us all your address and we will come thru your arbitrary door…"

    I guess arguing with you is pointless, since you can't or won't see the difference. Try again when you've figured out the basis of property rights. And no, it isn't lines on a map. The lines come _after_ property is established, they are not the definition of it. National borders have little basis in property.

    Michelle,

    "Thanks for stating what you did about people needing to break laws in order to create better ones"

    You're way off on that.

  30. Neal on April 14, 2006 at 07:19

    I drew up something last night that I think captures the hypocrisy of the U.S. government's stance on immigration. Please let me know what you think.

  31. Richard Nikoley on April 14, 2006 at 08:44

    This is to Kyle, but I'll barge in.

    "Kyle I'm trying to see your point but I gues I am missing it. Are you telling me that the United States doesn't own the land on which it is situated?

    The U.S. asserts its force (guns, jails, & death chambers) upon all land, even so-called "private property." Ownership is a moral principle, which means that it is justly acquired via a number of elements having to do with the nature of human beings and the way they are supposed to behave socially. It also means that morally, I own all my property. Legally, I don't, you don't, no one does. This is why most law is immoral on its face.

    "If National borders have no basis in property, please tell what there basis is?"

    It's not that "national borders," whatever that means ethically, have no basis in property. It's that national borders are subordinate to private property. Which, of course, renders them arbitrary and largely irrelevant on ethical grounds.

  32. Kyle Bennett on April 14, 2006 at 12:03

    Bigmista,

    The "United States" does not own anything. Individuals own things. Groups formed voluntarily by individuals in which each individual has an ownership right over some portion own things. The United States is neither.

    The land of the United States is owned by individuals, that portion of land that is claimed by government is basically unowned at the present (national parks, the local courthouse, etc.).

    One of the components of what turns unowned, raw land into property is successfully defending it. Agents of the US government have done so, so in that sense they have created property that roughly corresponds to the national borders.

    However, there are several problems with the property status of this land. First, it was not all unowned when the US decided to "defend" it from its rightful owners. Secondly, those who individually worked to defend the land did not always do so in voluntary association, and those who did volunteer did so under an agreement that conveyed no property rights. Thirdly, the "defense" of US territory was usually financed by stolen resources, as was the subsequent "purchase" (also not always voluntary) of land that was originally someone else's property.

    The upshot is that any land defended by agents of the US government is no longer property, it has reverted by default back into raw, unowned land.

    But finally, that portion of the land that is privately owned is in no moral sense under any authority of any government. If I want to hire someone to work for me, I have the right to hire anyone in the world who will agree to work for what I am offering. Otherwise, as Richard said, I do not really own that property.

    Even if you grant some right of the government to prohibit trespass on what it claims as "public" land (though there is really no such thing), that right does not apply to the private land to which the immigrants are headed. The most they would have any right to do in that case is to remove those immigrants it finds on this so called public land, and to demand restitution after the fact from those it could prove did so trespass.

    The US has no such right, but if they did the problem could easily be solved by flying immigrants from Nogales and Tijuana directly to some (private, as they all should be) airport.

    If National borders have no basis in property, please tell what there basis is?.

    There is none, that is the point.

  33. Kyle Bennett on April 14, 2006 at 12:06

    Hammer, you're still a raving idiot. Your whole first paragraph is a long rant against things that are not a problem to rational people. You should go back to your handlers and get some updated talking points.

  34. Richard Nikoley on April 14, 2006 at 13:24

    Hammer:

    Just please stop. Please. I beg of you. You can verify for yourself that neither I nor any of the regular posters here have any problem taking on any argument exhaustively.

    But not only are you not making any arguments, you aren't writing in a coherent fashion. It's complete, incomprehensible gobbledygook that no one in the world but you "understands."

    There's really no point. I would literally rather try to convince an Iranian Mullah that God doesn't exist.

  35. Richard Nikoley on April 14, 2006 at 14:55

    Monika:

    One advantage of having the opportunity to read the comments that came before you is to see if anyone else already made your same particular "point," and to see how that worked out for them.

    See? You could have taken a lesson and avoided looking really stupid.

  36. Bigmista, The Survival Gourmet on April 14, 2006 at 08:07

    Kyle I'm trying to see your point but I gues I am missing it. Are you telling me that the United States doesn't own the land on which it is situated?

    If National borders have no basis in property, please tell what there basis is?

    BTW…I'm loving this debate.

  37. Kyle Bennett on April 14, 2006 at 15:54

    Monica,

    The rights you invoke to keep people out of your house (security, peace, economic benefit)

    Those are not the reasons I invoke. The reason is simple, it's my property. That's all the reason I need to give anyone (though my personal reasons for who I do and don't let in will vary). The United States has no such right.

    Neal,

    to the extent that immigrants are getting a free ride off of government subsidies, this is a problem with government subsidies when you have open borders and not a problem with open borders

    Yup.

    Your comment reminds me to mention that one of the most vocal opponents of open immigration is Tom Tancredo, whose (great?) grandparents were among a previous wave of immigrants who had no jobs, couldn't speak the language, and were expected by many to bring down our culture. Sure, they came in "legally", but only because it's physically really hard to just sneak in from Europe.

  38. Hammer on April 14, 2006 at 12:00

    Okay, so do you idiots still feel the same about the ECONOMICS of free trade after this weeks release of a study (by the WTO) regarding increased percentages(7%) of exports but not imports. This of course means that the money made from exporting goods, MADE BY US-THE WORKING CLASS, stays in the hands of the rich. People aren't spending because WE ARE poor. Meanwhile the gap between the HAVES and HAVE-NOTS grows…

    Ugh, and I'm the idiot? Perhaps we both need to spend time looking at both sides of the issue…in a logical way…WITH THE PROPER DATA IN HAND?!??!?!

    Meanwhile, the WTO, who stated that countries engaged in FREE TRADE are "better off" failed to PUBLISH any data on the ECONOMIC STATUS and ANNUAL INCOME of foreign families directly impacted by FREE TRADE (i.e. campesinos!)

    Children Children Children. You have so much to learn. Especially when you are dealing with someone who has made foreign economic policy his LIFE.

    Of course, when you look at things YOUR WAY…without the PEOPLE…on paper, as NUMBERS, your way WOULD seem right now, wouldn't it?

    Unfortunately, People play a HUGE role in economics…

    Good luck figuring your shit out!

  39. Hammer on April 14, 2006 at 12:11

    ARE NOT A PROBLEM? Are you kidding me? Just because the American people do not see the things I discuss as 'problems' does not mean they are not really important issues! I mean come on! Go to Europe or S. America and look at the physical and economic toll free trade takes on the working class. Don't take the people out of your discussion!

    And, don't dismiss my comments as stupid because you have no knowledge base for the real issues!

    goon!

  40. Neal on April 14, 2006 at 15:15

    Bottom line:

    If immigrants come to this country to engage in free trade that is voluntary and beneficial to Americans and immigrants, alike, EVERYONE WINS. The only reason to get upset about immigration is if immigrants are increasing the amount you or I are being taxed; however, this correlation is far from clear. Furthermore, to the extent that immigrants are getting a free ride off of government subsidies, this is a problem with government subsidies when you have open borders and not a problem with open borders, themselves.

    What are you afraid of with regards to immigrants? Don't you realize that this country was founded on immigration? Immigrants are the lifeblood of the entrepreneurial American spirit: setting off to an unknown land in search of opportunity despite the huge risks. Cut that lifeblood out and see what bad things happen.

  41. Bigmista, The Survival Gourmet on April 14, 2006 at 21:16

    Just so I can be clear on this, are you saying that we shouldn't have any rules about who crosses our borders and comes into our country?

  42. Monika on April 14, 2006 at 14:34

    Do you have a front door?

    If so, why?

    Do you leave it wide open, unlocked, so anyone can walk in at any time?

    If not, why not?

    Doesn't anyone, at anytime, have the right just to walk into your house? What right do you have to keep them out?

    The rights you invoke to keep people out of your house (security, peace, economic benefit) are the same rights nations invoke to keep their doors shut.

    Anyone who wants an open border should leave their front doors wide open for a while and see how it works out.

  43. Kyle Bennett on April 14, 2006 at 23:08

    Bigmista,

    Basically, yes. But to be really clear, you'll need to define "our". That's not a rhetorical question, it goes directly to what we are talking about. Even if you don't tell me about it, try it for yourself. You may find it surprisingly difficult to do so in a way that is consisent with your position, yet also doesn't contradict other things you probably believe in.

  44. Natasha on April 14, 2006 at 23:49

    Pardon me, but Mr. Hammer's comments appear quite insane and ignorant. The real reason why Europe and South America have so many problems is socialism that they eagerly embrace, not capitalism that they denounce, and actively eradicate wherever and whenever it is attempted. If Hammer bothered to study economics and history that go beyond inane declarations of Karl Marx in "The Communist Manifesto", he would not be so eager to make such an utter fool of himself. But, what do I know? I only lived in that wondrous, completely devoid of any Evi Free Trade™, socialist paradise of Russia for the first 14 years of my life. For a concrete-bound mentality such as Hammer exhibits, that should be proof enough of his beloved and desired system being utter nonsense. However, he will argue until he is blue in the face, that the Russians "just didn't do it right". I guess, according to him,if one whips the slaves (or the productive individuals, as is the case) in just the right fashion (prescribed by Mr. Hammer himself, no doubt), with just the right design of a whip,and just the right amount of force, Utopia will surely come!

  45. Richard Nikoley on April 15, 2006 at 09:04

    Welcome, Natasha. I see you've been letting reality get in the way of your fantasies.

  46. Kyle Bennett on April 15, 2006 at 23:26

    The problem, Monika, is that there is no analogy between the door to my house and a national border.

  47. Monika on April 15, 2006 at 20:46

    Just 'cause someone else used the word "door" doesn't mean I don't have a point or illustration of my own to make of it.

    No need to call me stupid. I read the comments. And you did not respond to the illustration. Do you lock your door at night? Or are you even willing to call it "your" door?

  48. Neal on April 16, 2006 at 06:40

    What Monika doesn't understand is that in a free society where property rights are protected, it's better if the door to said society is wide open. Why? Because it reduces the transaction costs of free trade. Thus, individuals can come to trade freely in mutually beneficial manners with the individuals in the free society.

    Monika, you're trying to lead us into concluding that, "since you shut/lock the door on your house, you should do the same on the country." The problem with this argument is that there's a good reason to lock the door to your house: to protect your property; there's no good reason to lock the door to the country due to the aforementioned mutual benefit resulting from free trade. As I noted in an earlier comment, the only reason to be upset about the lack of border control is to the extent that these immigrants are incontrollably misappropriating the property of U.S. citizens. As far as I can tell, this is not and has not been the case in any significant way. To the extent that it is significant with regard to certain governmental subsidies, this is a problem with the subsidies and not with border control. Does that help you understand?

  49. Kyle Bennett on April 17, 2006 at 07:09

    However, because there are a few bad apples in any population, I would like to see controls. Not total discouragement or insurmountable obstacles.

    You understand where that leads, right? And that when you are included among the group that needs controlling, it won't be you who gets to decide what the limits are?

    Free trade is of course a benefit to all and I generally like to encourage it.

    I consider it more than something to be generally encouraged, I consider it an inviolable principle.

  50. Monika on April 16, 2006 at 21:15

    Yes, I understand, although I don't fully agree.

    Free trade is of course a benefit to all and I generally like to encourage it.

    Import of criminals/terrorists/welfare recipients/anti-American types is not.

    I DON'T THINK but a few illegal immigrants fall into those categories, just as I don't think most people who walk into my home mean me any harm. So I think the door analogy is appropriate, although like any analogy it has its limits.

    However, because there are a few bad apples in any population, I would like to see controls. Not total discouragement or insurmountable obstacles. Just controls.

    Thank you for the civil debate.

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