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Immigration, Again…

By IrishOutlaw

January 21, 2008


Sometimes I am accused of hammering this issue into the ground. That’s fine with me. It comes up a lot among the different factions of the libertarian movement and, to my mind, has become a good measure of where people stand on individual rights versus collective rights. There are a bunch of different views on why there might be a case for collective rights, and just as many excuses.




To me, there is no difference between collective rights and socialism and I think I should state that from the beginning. Socialism is a socio-economic belief that property and the control of wealth are subject to the control of the community as a whole, working towards some “greater good”. As I have stated previously, there is no greater good than personal freedom, so for this reason I am totally opposed to the concept of socialism. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think people have the right, need or desire to work together for a common goal and they should always be free to voluntarily associate to do that. And there is the rub.


If you are not given the choice to participate in something voluntarily, what is the difference between that and being a “subject” of who ever? In this country that “who ever” is the majority sometimes, the government other times, working on behalf of the perceived wants of the people. In this case, the perceived want is to keep “illegal” aliens out of the country. There are a couple of understandable (although incorrect) beliefs behind this for the socialist minded. First is a protection of the environment. I know that may sound strange on its face, but the belief is that more people equal more of a negative impact on the environment. Next is protection of public goods, such as welfare programs, “public” roads, “public” education, etc. As I pointed out in an article entitled, “Quit Saying Public Please”, “public” is actually a euphemism for government owned. Just because they take our money to pay for those things doesn’t make us co-owners of them. And these “public” goods are usually administered on the state, not federal level. Every immigrant, whether they are legal or “illegal”, pay as much into the system for these local goods as anyone else, especially when we break down the amount paid based on what economic class the people are paying into it from. The money that is pumped into these programs from the federal government all comes from federal taxation that comes from the people of the states anyway. The third and probably most vocal opposition to immigrants is their entry into the labor pool. Socialists have a need and desire to protect “their” labor pool from outside competing labor. For a socialist system to operate (for however temporarily they are able to keep it a float) they must have control over the flow of people into and OUT OF the system.


Socialists are not the only ones opposed to immigration, even though the other groups, if they were capable of being honest about it, should be able to trace their reasons back to this socialist standpoint.




Nationalists are also opposed to immigration on the grounds that it “dilutes” the culture of the country they are entering. This is the group that will be most vocal about their opposition not being “racist”, even though their argument is nothing but racist. Their arguments all sound something like this…


“These people bring their culture with them and don’t integrate into the culture of the US. They keep their language. They bring their politics with them. They tend to keep to themselves and not become a part of the larger community. They are not educated and they take all the entry level jobs. They don’t care about their communities, they leave trash everywhere. They are more involved in crime than normal citizens (and if you ask for proof of that, they use the old line, “They are here illegally, that means they are criminals).”


To me, those are all racist reasons and we should call the people that make them racist. The exact same arguments against the blacks, Irish, Germans, Italians, and every other group, were used to keep these groups from being accepted into the mainstream society of the US.


But we have another one to add to the list since 9-11. “They might be terrorists or sympathetic to terrorist groups.” Of course, this one falls apart pretty quick when the opponent is honest. Someone can be any race and be sympathetic to terrorists. They can be from any country. They can come to this country from anywhere or already be in this country. So, why aren’t we building the wall along the Canadian border? That’s were the hijackers came into the country from. And out of the 19 hijackers, only 3 were here illegally. But the wall isn’t going along the Canadian border. This same argument isn’t being used against white people. The focus of the attack is on the Hispanic immigrants, not even on the immigrants from the Middle East, were the supposed breeding ground for “Death To America” comes from. Mexicans on the other hand love America. They have loved it so much in the past that a third of the country belonged to them.


When these arguments fail, they retreat to the socialist economic positions that I mentioned earlier.


Outright Racists


Another group that I am going to mention here is the people who are outright racist. Their arguments usually fall into the above two categories, but they add their old favorite stand bys. Since they don’t really even have their own ideas maybe I could gloss over them like so many others do. But they are out there so no use denying it. Anyone that has seen or been to any immigration rallies (either pro or con) has seen them there, making themselves known and heard on the issue. This group doesn’t get the media coverage that the others do. They aren’t embraced by the public face of the anti-immigration movement, but they are there. And for that reason, they are here too.


Believe it or not, as reprehensible as I find their views most of the time, this is the group that I think is at least honest about their beliefs. They hate (insert some group here) and don’t want to have anything to do with them. Like I said, at least they are honest about it, something to be said for that.


The Stupid Sheep


The last group is the outright stupid. I probably shouldn’t include them in the list either, since every side of every argument or position has their fair share of these people. They are ill-informed of the positions they take, they have nothing but regurgitated propaganda to repeat, they spend their time hammering one point whether it is true or not and they don’t seem to care that they are ignorant. The reason I thought I should include them in this list is because it seems the anti-immigration crowd has more than its fair share of these people. Lots of times it seems like an argument a lot of them hold onto is that Mexico is a third world country were disease (at least in their minds) is running rampant and the immigrants need to be screened for these diseases before they can come to this country.


People come to this country everyday from all over the world without getting screened for disease. That is just the way it is. But even if we did screen everyone that came here legally, how is an invisible line in the desert going to stop diseases from spreading here. It isn’t like you come upon the US-Mexican border and there is force field that keeps diseases from traveling across the border.


Human Rights, Property Rights and Constitutional Rights


“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”


These are extremely powerful words and that is probably the reason they open the Declaration of Independence. They put forward that idea that strikes at the heart of the idea behind natural rights. The Declaration of Independence made clear the idea that regardless of the government that a person found themselves under, they are entitled to be treated a certain way based, not on the laws of the nation that claims to be their master, but on something deeper, something rooted in the act of just being alive. There is nothing in that statement that limits human rights to the rule of any type of law and the document they came from was in fact a rejection of the rule of law for a higher authority.


Some people familiar with natural rights might point out that when Locke was talking about natural rights, he included “property”, instead of the “Pursuit of Happiness”. This is true and deserves to be mentioned. The incorrect assumption that is often made based on this call to “property” is that it isn’t a call to any type of collective ownership of property and surely not a call to a governmental monopoly on land that falls inside of its borders. This call to the idea of collective property goes back to the socialist “collective goods” idea that rejects individual ownership of property and says that there is a greater good that trumps individual rights and freedoms.


Often I get to hear that the rights we enjoy in the US are a result of the laws we have here and that anyone that rejects any of those laws is a criminal that doesn’t deserve to enjoy those rights. Since these people think rights are derived from obeying the laws of the land, they have never been given a speeding ticket, fined for anything, pulled over or anything like that. Maybe, trespassing?


Isn’t that basically what we are talking about here? The law that these evil immigrants have broken can be boiled down to what it really is, trespassing. Do we deny people their human rights in this country for trespassing? I hope not. And what about my “constitutional” rights of freedom of association? Does their fear and loathing of immigrants allow me to be denied of my “constitutional” rights of free association?


Most of the collectivists seem to think it does.



Send hate mail to yousuckirish@yahoo.com




The War On…

By IrishOutlaw

January 14, 2008


The War on Drugs


This one has been going on for a long time. I started with this one, not because of personal preferences of any kind, but because this is the basis for so much federal intervention into the everyday lives of the citizens and it is the one I am most familiar with. The model to enact federal drug laws is still in use today and is the round about way the federal government actually criminalizes behavior. Until the drug war started, it was a generally held belief that the states, not the federal government, had the power to criminalize behavior. You would be hard pressed to find criminal laws from the federal government until after the Harrison Act.


The first state law against marijuana was in 1913 in California. California had previously passed laws against opium dens in1875, the first anti-drug laws in the US. The law against opium dens was aimed primarily at Chinese immigrants. When they got around to passing the law against marijuana, it was primarily aimed at Mexican immigrants. In 1910, Utah outlawed polygamy. Lots of Mormon polygamists moved to Mexico and when they returned a few years later, they brought marijuana with them. As part of cleaning up vices in the Mormon Church, the state outlawed marijuana use.


The Harrison Tax Act was the first federal law to regulate drug use. It was aimed at three drugs; opium, morphine and its derivatives and the coca leaf and its derivatives. The purpose of the act was made clear from the beginning. First, they wanted to regulate the medical use of these drugs. What they did is pass a tax and require doctors to get a stamp to prove that they were in the medical practice and that they paid this tax. Second, they placed a tax of $1000 for any every non-medical exchange of any of these drugs. You have to remember this is in 1915 and a tax of $1000 was obviously a way to prohibit the transfer of what probably amounted to less than $1. I remember my grandfather talking about the benches in the front of drug stores we used to see a lot when I was a kid. He said those benches were for people that had purchased a .5c bag of morphine in the drug store. They would go and “nod out” on the benches. Of course, failure to pay this “tax” led to breaking a federal crime, tax evasion.


Between 1915 and 1937, 30 states outlawed the use of marijuana. The reason for the majority of this is best summed up by the words of one Texas legislator, “All Mexicans are crazy and this stuff (marijuana) is what makes them crazy.” Some states outlawed marijuana because they were afraid that heroin addiction would lead to marijuana use. I think that is pretty funny.


In 1937 the congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act. In the 20’s and 30’s there were two federal law enforcement agencies created. One was the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN). The testimony of congress, before passing this act, lasted a grand total of two hours. The first to testify was the head of the FBN and his entire testimony was, “Marihuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality and death.” Another person to testify was a pharmacologist who said he injected the active ingredient (even though THC wasn’t synthesized until after World War II) into the brain of 300 dogs and two of them had died.


The last to testify is the most important though. You have to remember that this was during the time of FDR and his socialization programs. A group that disagreed often with FDR and his programs was the American Medical Association (AMA). Dr. William Woodward was a doctor and lawyer and the chief counsel for the AMA. He told congress, “The American Medical Association knows of no evidence that marihuana is a dangerous drug.” So what did these “progressive” activists in congress reply to him? “Doctor, if you can’t say something good about what we are trying to do here, why don’t you just go home.” The government had already made up its mind what it was going to do.


As during alcohol prohibition, drug prohibition has led to a huge black market for the prohibited drugs. Cost of enforcement, likewise, has also risen. The number of people in prison hasn’t shrunk due to more enforcement; the market for the drugs hasn’t only increased, but it has soared. People involved in the drug underground can’t go to the police when a crime is committed against them. If they are robbed, raped or murdered, they are treated different in the eyes of the law than other citizens.


And the cost of the drug war can’t be overstated. Even by the federal governments own conservative estimates, the war on drugs cost the taxpayers $37 billion dollars a year.


The War On…


There have been other things that we have declared war on. We have declared war on poverty, cancer, terrorism, all with some of the same effects as the war on drugs. The growth of government programs, out of control spending, private contractor abuses and on and on and on. Regardless of any good intentions on the part of the people declaring these wars, the end results are fairly the same. We lose something every time the government takes up a cause. I am sure that depending on ones perspective, these wars could have some merit, but they all lack the results that show the costs are worthwhile. In the case of the war on terror, the loss of civil liberties may be the most expensive costs.


Battle lines are drawing up again. Who knows what the next “war on” is going to be. Probably immigration. If the government holds true to form, the estimated costs of illegal immigration on the US economy now, will be dwarfed in comparison to how much money and civil liberties the government can take from us.




Welcome to 2008

By IrishOutlaw

January 7, 2008


Election years are always fun for political junkies. The landscape changes quick and there is lots and lots of room for speculation on the part of the part-time analysts. But this race is not generating that kind of deep interest for me really. Yes, it is interesting to speculate what Hillary is going to do slow the roll of Obama. And I know more than a few people are already working on ways to get Rudy from underneath the crush of, well, everyone. The powers that be have decided long ago they want a Clinton vs. Guiliani race, but now it is looking like it might be hard to get there. But I am sure they won’t quit trying, there is a while to go still.


Now is when the claws start to come out. I expect to see some good attack ads pretty soon. And I was all geared up for certain ones. You know, like, Hillary is a fire breathing, baby killing, neo-con in liberal clothing. Guiliani is a gun stealing, war mongering, liberal in neo-con clothing. That type of thing. But it doesn’t look like they are going to really be worth attacking. At least not right away. Bummer.


So now I am going to have to find something else to occupy my time. I was thinking about trying to decide who might pick who as a running mate. To me that is pretty interesting. My favorite combinations would probably be Obama and Richardson. No two people on the Republican side interest me. The only political story at all on the Republican side that even comes close to being interesting is the Ron Paul story. He is the first presidential candidate that I voted for, back in 1988. I was really rooting for Russell Means to get the Libertarian Parties nomination back than. Means was the reason I became a libertarian in the first place, but when Paul got the nomination he got me vote too. But I don’t know who, among the Republicans, Paul could get as a running mate. So, I guess I am going to skip picking his running mate for him. Plus, he has a way to go to get the Republican nomination.


When the campaigns first started I wanted to see Hillary vs. Paul in the debates, and I would still pay to see that one. A pro-war Democrat against an anti-war Republican. How great would that be?


So, you might wonder why I haven’t been talking about the Libertarian Parties candidates. Well, its because I am still not sure who they are. I liked Steve Kubby, but he threw his support to Ron Paul. Than I liked Christine Smith, she threw her support to Ron Paul also. George Phillies is my next pick. Now this is where an interesting thing comes into play in my mind. One of the BIG things I have against Ron Paul is his stance on border control. As some of you have probably surmised, I am an open borders advocate. I believe that “all men are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights.” To me, the nationalism that drives most of the anti-immigration movement is just another form of racism. People disagree with me all the time, since there are diverse ethnicities that support “the wall” and other various immigration control policies. But to me the US is a “culture” unto itself. Attempts to keep other nationalities out so as to preserve that culture brings to mind the “Whites Only” water fountains and all that segregation bullshit that so rampant in the south not that long ago. Anything that is owned by the government, or funded by the government, should be open to any people. If you don’t like that, get rid of those programs or that government property, but don’t deny that “all people are created equal” and try to claim that it is only true for people born within the borders of the US. To me it is pretty hard to reconcile that we should spread our way of life to other countries if we are willing to deny it to people in ours. Which brings me back to Phillies.


I disagree with his stance on immigration also. But since the hijacking of the Libertarian Party platform, it is inline with their stance on immigration. I have been, for about a year, telling people in the LP that it is important to support the party, to vote for the Libertarian candidate. If you are going to do that, I think Phillies is the man, since the other Libertarians candidates have (at least to this point) thrown their support to Paul. The convention is still a ways away, but I think Phillies deserves the support of the party for sticking to his guns and running his campaign to get himself elected.


But back to the majors. I really like the idea of Obama and Richardson. There is something about that ticket that just resonates with me. To elect a black president and a Hispanic vice president, to me, is just an incredibly interesting proposition. Of course, Obama hasn’t announced a running mate and Richardson is still in the race, but if you read this Obama, take my advice. What you lack in foreign policy experience, Richardson more than makes up for. You would be hard pressed to find ANY of the candidates running that have as much foreign policy experience as Richardson.


So, there you have it. I didn’t touch much on who had what ideas about what they would do if they were elected, because truthfully, I don’t really believe them anyway when they say it. I did point out my feelings on a few issues, but nothing spectacular.


The more I think about it, the more I am thinking a Mickey Mouse and Bart Simpson ticket would be interesting too. Hmmmmmmmm…







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