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 Post subject: Illegal immigration and public music programs
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:03 pm 
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Ryan H. Turner wrote:
Apparently you again misread me. I have contempt for my government making it possible for these people to come in illegally, and if you think that they're NOT a drain on our tax dollar, hence, the support for our music programs, then you my friend are sadly mistaken and don't know what you're talking about.

It's not a question of walking in anyone's shoes. It's not a question about me disregarding the "invisible" person. Hardly. I know that Mexico and and central America is a cesspool, and these people want hope and opportunity. That's not my beef.

It's a question of law. And it's a question of where our hard-earned tax dollars are going. And it's a question that our government doesn't give a rat's ass, and THEN, sticks me, the taxpayer, yet again with the "cost" of doing business...or the shortfalls we now have. And it wasn't my fault. Yet strangely, I'm made to feel like it IS my fault.

But while you're do-gooding everything, I'm curious why you don't have the same level of appreciation for the plight of the ignored law-abiding American citizen.

This subject matter is DIRECTLY part of the reason why these music programs are getting the axe. It may be uncomfortable to read my non-politically correct terminology and feelings. I could give a flip. I pay my taxes and I don't break the law. Thanks. So therefore, I get to talk.


Ryan,

I don’t think I misread or misinterpreted the tone of your post nor the focus of your anger. You were quite direct in identifying certain groups as the culprits, specifically, liberals, union members and Latinos, and not conservatives, big business or public policy. Your choice of words (i.e. “contempt”) also attest to your tone of vituperation.

I do have a few questions for you. What do you suppose you will achieve with posts such as these? Is this a cause in search of a opportunity, something to set off your rage? I am trying to understand how others can be accused of misinterpreting you, when the derogatory nature of the language you are using is so much in evidence, i.e. in the purposeful incorporation of bad puns in Spanish and insults (fat jokes, “do-gooder” characterizations). The thing is, do you ever take a step back and consider what you write? Most of the time, your posts are humorous, and even evocative when it comes to this music activity that we both enjoy. However, when you feel free to levy accusations and abuse towards groups that are thereby being scapegoated for wider, deeper problems, then of course I feel the need to respond.

Another question: what does the term “politically incorrect” mean for you? I am curious, because it is somehow used as a shield to express a certain outlook predicated on offensive mischaracterizations of the past. Somehow, you can say anything offensive and patently untrue, such as making affirmations about women, African-Americans (none of which you uttered, but which are targeted by many others who use this special dispensation), or a whole category of people (“illegal aliens”) which you have explicitly targeted. I am concerned because, as a “do-gooder” (what a dismissive term!), I do have certain biases of my own, foremost among them the values of tolerance, fairness and compassion. Yes, I can feel a disturbance in the force, the zinger which is winging my way when you (and others who have posted on this thread) read this, but nonetheless these are my values, and I try to put them in practice with my family, with my neighbors, with my students and with strangers.

Now, I am concerned about some of the characterizations which are brought up, by you and by others. To wit, have you ever been to Mexico or Central America? What is this “cesspool” you are talking about? Is this language that is meant to engage constructively with others, or is this meant to implant a negative perception conducive to your argument? I assure you, Mexico and Central America are not "cesspools".

In argumentation, the terms of the argument are very important, and can unfortunately take precedence over the actual identification of a cause-and-effect relationship such as the one that you are postulating, that of “too many illegals lead to cuts in music programs”, without seeking to investigate further the actual effects of economic downturns, tax policies, a lax regulatory structure which leads to widespread speculatory economic activity (were "illegals" behind the sub-prime mortgage crisis?) and structural reorganizations (with the demographic shifts and specifically the declining enrollments that are being experienced by many districts). The use of abstractions favors this process as well, because, as with the term “illegal aliens”, it serves to dehumanize in the way that, for example, numerical expressions or categories can do. For example, expressions such as “millions” of people (we can’t identify with millions, so we can form no connections), or categories such as “the bad guys”, the “criminals”, or the “illegals” (categories which explicitly invite our opprobrium). What I am questioning is the way in which you are formulating your argument, and setting up certain groups as scapegoats, thereby giving evidence of a crusade in search of an opportunity.

It is not a matter of being for or against laws; that is a false dichotomy that you are setting up. Of course I am for respecting our laws, and resent your trying to put those with whom you disagree on the defensive in such a cheap, simplistic fashion. In this case, it is about trying to identify and remedy a situation of budget shortfall which was created by public policy. Undocumented immigration has been a long-standing and much wider phenomenon, and you haven’t convinced me that it is directly responsible for the boom and bust cycle we find in our economy. After all, economists point to the 90s (well, at least to the latter part of the nineties) as a period of record economic expansion, an era which coincided with massive legal and illegal immigration. In the attribution of blame for this present budget crisis, are there not more concrete public policy factors at play?

Like it or not, I don’t see how this is helping the discussion regarding saving our music programs. This is coming from someone who is also a law-abiding, tax-paying citizen, who is the son of immigrants who became citizens, and who won’t let certain posts pass without response.

One last item: what is with it with regards to the remarks about climate change? I’m trying to understand the outlook which conflates illegal immigration with the death of Western civilization and with skepticism about climate change. Am I imagining the melting of the Arctic glaciers?


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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 6:48 am 
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Ask a licensed meteorolgist about global warming.

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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 8:07 am 
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what's with the desperate attempt at muckraking? it's the H. you know you're gonna lose in every attack on him on here so just drop it.

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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 1:24 pm 
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Ask him in PM's. I'm going to lock this thread based on the fact that it seems it was created for confrontation, rather than discussion, purposes.

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