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Monday, April 26, 2010

Show Us Your Papers

Once upon a time there was a state which suffered through a horrible economic recession. A major war had recently caused a large drain on the economy and, as with all wars many lives were lost. Those who had returned home from the war found themselves significantly under skilled and without a job. Employment was hard to find for anyone and a large percentage of the working poor were self employed small business owners without a social security net to rely on. Adding to the tension was a rise in crime, and a widely publicized immigrant population which was a perceived threat of competition in the job market as immigrants were willing to work longer hours for less pay. The citizens of this state were in an uproar, demanding that something be done! Then, one day, an elected official stepped up and signed into law a decree that police would require all people living within the state to show them papers proving that they were natural born, true citizens. The citizens were convinced that this law would bring about a new era of prosperity, as everyone knew it was these unlawful immigrants who were causing the rise in crime rates. And these immigrants too were to blame for the poor economy and lack of jobs. The only option was to identify and remove these immigrants from the state. The year was 1937. The state was Germany. And I think we all know this story did not have a happy ending.

The Spanish-American philosopher George Santayana famously remarked, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Unfortunately, if Mr. Santayana were living in Arizona today, that remark would have been met with the response, “Show me your papers.” for apparently Governor Jan Brewer does not remember the holocaust.

Friday, Governor Brewer signed Arizona SB1070 into law, which states: “WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE, WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON.” Aside from the obvious implications that this law promotes racial profiling, another aspect is the dangerously vague language of the law, both of which have civil rights groups up in arms. As anyone who has ever been awarded “reasonable visitation” in a custody dispute knows, the term “reasonable” is virtually undefined and unenforceable by the law.

Arizona officials have stated that it was a lack of federal immigration reform that provoked this new controversial law into being. In response to that I would have to quote my 7 year old daughter in saying, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”


  1. Arizona can pass race base laws, pass Birthers laws and the state can continue to boycott Martin Luther King Day, well the rest of the Country can boycott the state of Arizona and spank them where it hurts them the most their pocket book. Their phony patriotism is sickening, they are just racists going by another name. We all know you are just itching to put a sheet on their head? Let’s face it the Republicans had eight years to deal with health care, immigration, climate change and financial oversight and governance and they failed. It appears that the Republican Party is only good at starting wars (two in eight years, with fat contracts to friends of Cheney/Bush) but not at winning wars as seen by the continuing line of body bags that keep coming home. The Republicans party will continue turned inward to their old fashion obstructionist party (and their Confederacy appreciation roots) because they continue to allow a small portions (but very loud portion) of their party of “birthers, baggers and blowhards” to rule their party. I will admit that this fringe is very good at playing “Follow the Leader” by listening to their dullard leaders, Beck, Hedgecock, Hannity, O’Reilly, Rush, Savage, Sarah Bailin, Orly Taitz, Victoria Jackson, Michele Bachmann and the rest of the Blowhards and acting as ill programmed robots (they have already acted against doctors that perform abortions). The Birthers and the Tea party crowd think they can scare, intimidate and force others to go along with them by comments like “This time we came unarmed”, let me tell you something not all ex-military join the fringe militia crazies who don’t pay taxes and run around with face paint in the parks playing commando, the majority are mature and understand that the world is more complicated and grey than the black and white that these simpleton make it out to be and that my friend is the point. The world is complicated and people like Hamilton, Lincoln, and Roosevelt believed that we should use government a little to increase social mobility, now it’s about dancing around the claim of government is the problem. The sainted Reagan passed the biggest tax increase in American history and as a result federal employment increased, but facts are lost when mired in mysticism and superstition. For a party that gave us Abraham Lincoln, it is tragic that the ranks are filled with too many empty suits and the crazy Birthers who have not learned that the way our courts work is that you get a competent lawyer, verifiable facts and present them to a judge, if the facts are real and not half baked internet lies, then, and only then, do you proceed to trial. The Birthers seem to be having a problem with their so called “facts”. Let’s face it no one will take the Birthers seriously until they win a case, but until then, you will continue to appear dumb, crazy or racist, or maybe all three. I heard that Orly Taitz now wants to investigate the “Republican 2009 Summer of Love” list: Assemblyman, Michael D. Duvall (CA), Senator John Ensign (NV), Senator Paul Stanley (TN), Governor Mark Stanford (SC), Board of Ed Chair, and Kristin Maguire AKA Bridget Keeney (SC), she wants to re-establish a family values party, that’s like saying that the Catholic Church cares about the welling being of children in their care, too late for that.

  2. Just goes to show that the average person knows more than the government.