Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Libertarian Kool Aid

I mentioned previously that this blog is about my home repairs, random libertarian rants and ninja news. Since a ninja assassin broke my camera when I wasn't looking, and I don't have any ninja news, I guess it's time for a libertarian rant. This might get ugly, so stop reading if you don't like cuss words.

Since the immigration rallies have been in the news of late, this will be freakishly relevant.

I guess one of the issues that distinguishes real libertarians from a la carte libertarians (a/k/a libertarian poseurs) is their stand on immigration. It's what separates the people who attend the church from the ones who drink the Kool Aid.

I was going to title this post "Tom Tancredo is a scumbag". Partly because he is, in fact, a fascist scumbag, but also because if you know that I think Tom Tancredo is a scumbag (which he is) then you would know where I stand on immigration.

If you ever want to see me get worked up until the vein in my forehead starts throbbing, ask me about warantless wiretaps, the seventeenth amendment or immigration reform.

First of all, let's get something out of the way. Building a wall between the US and Mexico wouldn't have prevented the 9/11 attacks. The terrorists didn't sneak in through the border. They didn't have to, we gave them visas. Secondly, no one is talking about building a wall between the US and Canada. So is the real reason for a wall that you want to stop terrorists, or the darkies?

The rhetoric and name calling on the hill has gotten really bad. These fear-mongering rednecks on the government's payroll should be ashamed of themselves. The rhetoric got so bad that Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM), got up and told them a story about his mother, who was an illegal alien and how he watched federal agents take her away when he was a child. This moved several republicans because when they referred to illegal aliens as criminals and lowlives, they obviously weren't referring to the Senator's mother...she is white, after all.

But it's easier to demonize people who look and speak differently even if they are law-abiding, pay taxes , and contribute to your economy.

One of my favorite economists* Steven Landsburg a few years ago had this to say:

"the Senator appears to subscribe to some bizarre notion that we should care more about total strangers who happen to reside in the United States than about total strangers who happen to reside elsewhere, and that if we can force those strangers to stay on one side of an imaginary line then we need have no concern for their welfare. I cannot imagine any reasonable moral principle that would justify such anotion.


If Senator Feinstein were, say, a principled libertarian, then she'd favor allowing people to live where they choose. If she were a principled egalitarian, her concern for the relatively fortunate Mexicans who have made it across the border would be dwarfed by her concern for their impoverished former neighbors still stranded on the other side. Only by having no principles at all can she simultaneously demand that we offer more to the fortunate few and less to the unfortunate many."

With the war in Iraq faltering, the economy petering out, and republican loyalists everywhere under indictment, it looks like the neo fascists were looking for a feel good distraction (like gay marriage or Terry Schiavo) to rally the mob around. I'm glad that this is backfiring on them.

As a kid growing up, my dad had pictures (plural!) of Reagan in the living room, and the quickest way to get kicked out of our house was to make a disparaging remark about Reagan or stare at my sister's tits. Most of my family are republicans, so that's why I am completely disgusted by the behavior and rhetoric of Tom Tancredo and fascist scumbags like him. You make me ashamed that I ever voted republican. Don't worry, I won't make that same mistake in the next election.

*Yes, I have favorite economists, because I AM that much of a geek. Check out my faves on the sidebar of this blog.


Anonymous said...

Nothing to do with your views, which I mostly agree with, but we have to admit that there is irony in discussing immigration and home remodeling on the same blog.

HomeImprovementNinja said...

Yeah, I saw somewhere that 1/3 of all roofing workers were undocumented immigrants. I don't doubt it. Some Pakistani guys who didn't speak english did the roof of an apartment bldg my Dad owned in Brooklyn.

No doubt that a lot of immigrants (especially latino) work in the building trades (go to any Home Depot and take a look).

My friend Easy Rider hired an illegal alien to do a bunch of stuff on his place--his fiance's uncle, who is a contractor in Canada came down to do work for him. It worked out good for both of them. He got paid more than he would get in Canada, and ER got the work done for less than it would cost him here.

I think half the new construction in DC and VA would grind to a halt if there were no "illegal" immigrants working there.

ghettodev said...

You make some very good points in your entry and i agree with most of them. Although I think necessarily think that the influx of illegal immigrants is good for the econonmy both in the U.S. and in their country of origin. This is something i will explore in my next entry about immigration.

I'm neither a democrat or a replican, because i think both parties make valid some points but both are also full of "fill-in-any-insult" leaders.

Stef said...

I don't know all the ins and outs of this issue - particularly the economic points - but I think a fence is just the most ridiculous idea I've ever heard.

Allison said...

Not long ago, a journalist friend of mine was doing a story for Government Executive (gov't watchdog mag) on immigration - and was taking a trip out to AZ during the whole minuteman thing - I went with him to take photographs. While most of the people there were more or less normal, the leaders were total nutcases - Jim Gilchrist particularly. They were totally playing up the terrorism thing, playin on the xenophobia of midwest america. Everyone there seemed to believe that illegal immigrants were the source of all America's woes. Terrorism seems to be the latest hook for the American people - if you can tie any issue into terrorism, you can get people to back it up. Soon, the republicans will come up with a way to associate abortions and gay marriage with Al-qaeada.
Anyway, the only way that to stop the influx of immigrants is to promote economic reform in Mexico and Latin America. I don't understand why more people don't see that.

Anonymous said...

Slightly off-topic for the post.. but on-topic for the blog..

New in Ninja news:

I see Ninja news and I think of you. You must have a good branding message.

HomeImprovementNinja said...

ghetto, I'll keep an eye out for it.

stef, neither party thinks any is too ridiculous to spend our tax dollars on.

allison, yeah those minutemen sound just like the klan.

monica, thanks. someone else sent that to me too. I was saving it for the next issue of ninja news. Which always comes when it's least expected...