Letters to the Editor

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ARIZONA: Armchair conscience

Letter by Gene Harvey, Puyallup on May 27, 2010 at 12:47 pm with 36 Comments »
May 27, 2010 12:47 pm

The rarefied air of political correctness continues to provide steroids for America’s propensity to identify with those we perceive as victims. The Tacoma City Council’s armchair vote of conscience against Arizona’s revised law to manage an out of control illegal immigration is a case in point.

Those who bother to read the law would discover that safeguards that address their main objections to the bill are in place. The Arizona law is modeled on the Federal law but, unlike the Federal law, has built-in safeguards that address the possibility of racial profiling. Even so, the concern now is “the possibility” of racial profiling.

Every nation has the right and responsibility to manage their borders. Those who have not eventually learn the error of their ways. With benefits come responsibilities. In our permissive society there is much more focus on “rights” than on responsibilities. To believe showing one’s identification of citizenship is an intrusion on one’s rights flies in the face of reality.

If I or any other person is suspected of a crime, the first thing an officer of the law will do is ask for identification. When we travel in Mexico to visit members of our family, we have to carry papers identifying us as authorized visitors. If stopped, we must show our identification.

Arizona is acting on behalf of their citizens because the Federal Government continues to dither over whether or not to control our borders. Only after this occurs can we sensibly orchestrate guest worker programs.

Leave a comment Comments → 36
  1. the3rdpigshouse says:

    I believe “the possiblity” Washington’s ignorant electorate may one day wake up and fire all the socialist democrats currently running the Socialist State of Washington!!!!

  2. LuckyCharm says:

    “If I or any other person is suspected of a crime, the first thing an officer of the law will do is ask for identification.”

    Right, but if you don’t have it on you, you’re not necessarily arrested and transported to an ICE facility — at least if you’re white and don’t speak with too “heavy” of an “accent” (presumably defined by the state of Arizona as well).

    And identification can take many forms, not all of them proof of citizenship. If a Mexican tourist shows a Mexican driver’s license, that’s ID, isn’t it? Will all persons venturing into AZ now have to prove American citizenship? Guess all those Canadians had better sell the homes they’ve been buying there!

  3. Libs don’t read laws and if they do, they don’t care what they say. It’s all about feelings and what they know is “right”.

  4. Italian Spring speaks truth, as do you Gene Harvey. You also speak from a base reality while folks like LC speak from their vivid imaginations, and of course from the lofty heights of hubris.

    It must be nice to appoint oneself spokesperson for the downtrodden, but if one is going to assume that role, it might be good to actually READ and know the facts. Hint: do not look to the the current administration as role models.

  5. Volks253 says:

    Blah blah blah is all the right has.

  6. Volks253 says:
    “Blah blah blah is all the right has”.
    I have never heard anyone on the right use ALL blahs, but it seems that
    of ALL Volks253 has, 37.5% is blah.

  7. Cheryl, still swinging at the strawman… it’s not illegal for foreigners to purchase homes in the U.S.A. It’s Mexico that doesn’t allow it.

  8. LuckyCharm says:

    jim, it might not be illegal for foreigners to purchase homes in the US, but if they get stopped in AZ without proof of American citizenship on their person, what then? Under the law, they must be arrested. Don’t tell me every Canadian owner of an AZ home is supposed to walk around with his mortgage documents, and even if he did, how does the law prevent his arrest? He is not an American citizen, and therefore must be turned over to the feds for processing. RIGHT?

    sozo, you can write a bunch of fluff about where people “speak from,” according to you, but how about some good ole’ down-to-earth facts?

  9. beerBoy says:

    sozo – just how does Italian Spring speak truth when he makes gross, unsupported denigrations of all liberals? And how does your support for tit-for-tat insults add to anyone’s understanding of anything other than the fact that you cheer for “your team”?

  10. yabetchya says:

    Volks253 says:
    May 28, 2010 at 11:13 am
    Blah blah blah is all the right has.

    How Crafty is that,,,such a little T-man :)

  11. Get off your high horse bBoy, you’re as petty as they come based on your comment today to the veteran who wrote in.

    My affirmation of IS comes from years of life and witnessing the left govern from “feelings” and a platform of victimhood and entitlement. I have eyes and ears and the ability to discern what I observe. I was one of them when I was young and impressionable and thought my feelings were the final word on everything. Then I grew up.

    Lucky, read the damm law.

  12. the3rdpigshouse says:

    sozo – she has to not read it (like Holder, Napolitano, & the rest of the Obamunists) or she would either be accused of being unable to grasp the english language or lying!!! So the leftists FEEL that someone MIGHT use it for PROFILING!!

  13. Roncella says:

    Sozo, You have to hand it to Liberal/Progressive/Socialists. They never give up on their causes. They have been wanting to remove don’t ask don’t tell for years now, and they finally did it. They are willing to ruin the Military in order to futher their socialist agenda.

    The Republicians and Conservatives/Independents just don’t have the fight in them to stop the Leftest movement as President Obama and the Dems in the Congress are taking America as Fast As They Can to a more socialistic form of Government.

    Look at the caliber of the lastest Supreme Court Justice submitted by Obama. With all the great Lawyers and Judges we have in this Country he picks this odd ball from the very far left. Her brother is an extreme leftest and teaches Socialism to anyone who will listen to him.

    Like I have said so many times ” Liberalism is a sickness in the reasoning ability of normal intelligent people “. God help us, for another 2 1/2 years.

  14. LuckyCharm says:

    sozo, I have read the law — it’s not that long. Which portion have I misunderstood, in your opinion?

  15. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Don’t waste your energies on that one sozo!!

  16. the3rdpigshouse says:

    bB – sozo’s “team” is the United Sates of America – you anti-American leftists should try supporting the team once in awhile – you really will feel better about yourselves!

  17. LC, how does this law compare to the federal law?

  18. Taken from the full text of the AZ law….

    where reasonable
    2 suspicion exists that the person is an alien who AND is unlawfully present in
    3 the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to
    4 determine the immigration status of the person, except if the determination
    5 may hinder or obstruct an investigation. Any person who is arrested shall
    6 have the person’s immigration status determined before the person is
    7 released. The person’s immigration status shall be verified with the federal
    8 government pursuant to 8 United States code section 1373(c). A law
    9 enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other
    10 political subdivision of this state may not solely consider race, color or
    11 national origin in implementing the requirements of this subsection except to
    12 the extent permitted by the United States or Arizona Constitution.

    IF you are going to make the argument that this direct instruction against profiling won’t stop it from happening….there probably will be times that it will be hard to tell whether it was part of the whole picture. Why?

    Because, and I realize this might be hard for some of you to grasp, but MOST of the people coming to the U.S.A. across the Mexican border are…gasp…Mexicans so they will probably be people of color, or “little brown people” as some you have condescendingly referred to them.

    It would be great of sanity and reason prevailed here, with a dash of reality for good measure.

    There is nothing ghastly or hateful about this law, and if it gets the feds off their butts to do something that is THEIR responsibility to do, good.

    Unfortunately they are too busy “asking and telling” and otherwise ignoring this elephant in the room until, and we all know until what….

    after elections. Politics as usual.

  19. LuckyCharm says:

    It all boils down to ideological differences, sozo. No law is perfect, and any man-made system is prone to error. The essential question is which side to err on: the side of individual liberty and the right to go about one’s business peacefully without being harassed (and I’m talking about LEGAL citizens who unfortunately happen to fit the description of what any given cop might deem “reasonably suspicious”), or the side of legality, whereby we MUST find and punish those who’ve managed to slip through our defenses even if it means some innocent people might be inconvenienced, detained, and possibly even wrongfully deported.

    It also centers on where to place the blame: on the poor, uneducated people who might naively respond to pressure and promises on the part of smugglers and other riffraff in order to enrich their bosses, or on those bosses who make a killing off cheap labor and the fact that you can work those guys till they drop, in unsafe, unsanitary conditions, and they can’t do a thing about it.

    Why does the law punish the little guy harshly, while imposing only a series of weak probations and warnings on those who beckon them here?

    No one is saying we don’t have an illegal immigrant problem, only that AZ’s law takes a backward approach to solving it. If their aim is to forfeit revenue, spend more on jails and law enforcement, degrade the police’s ability to work in a cooperative relationship with the community, and drive even legal residents into their homes, afraid to go out at night to enjoy dinner and a movie because they might find themselves face down in the dirt until they can satisfy some cop as to their citizenship status, they’ve succeeded.

    But why would anybody support forcing any American citizen to live in that kind of fear? Aren’t we supposed to be the land of the free?

  20. beerBoy says:

    sozo – define “reasonable” as applies to the AZ law:

    where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who AND is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person

    Therein lies the crux of the problem with the law – what is “reasonable” – and who determines what is “reasonable”.

    As your post points out “MOST of the people coming to the U.S.A. across the Mexican border are…gasp…Mexicans so they will probably be people of color, or “little brown people” – so……is suspicion of alien status “reasonable” based upon the color of skin and/or socio-economic status?

  21. Unless we all ride along with every cop, we are going to have to trust that they stop people based on “reasonable” suspicion. We do this all the time now. How is this different.

    Reasonable means just what it says…something the individual does or says that gives the officer a “reason” to question their motives. And remember, this is after the people have been stopped for another reason, right?

    As I pointed out in another post, we are becoming absurd in that we are withholding due respect to law officers and authorities in this age of cynicism and doubt.

    I understand that AZ would not have done this had the federal government stepped in long ago to do something about this flood of activity on our southern border.

    Once again, if this law gets action out of the feds who actually SHOULD be dealing with THIS problem, it will have served a good purpose.

  22. Roncella says:

    beerBoy, if the Mexicans stopped for traffic violation is not illegal there’s no problem is there, nothing to be nervous about right ? Yes as most of the illegal folks coming across the border are Mexican, they will be under the micro-scope, is that our fault beerBoy ??

    If your driving without a drivers license and your stopped for speeding, the first thing you are asked to do by a police officer is show him your license/proof of insurance etc. If you have a license no big deal, right ? But if your driving around without a license/proof of Insurance, then You Do Have A Problem. Don’t you see the its the same thing.

  23. LuckyCharm says:

    sozo, nobody “will have to trust” that AZ police officers always act in good faith, especially when they’ve already shown that they are often abusive and discriminatory, and in fact, many people won’t extend trust that far. They’ll stop coming forward with information on criminal activity, lest they themselves wind up in a legal bind, stop going out and spending money on the economy, etc. I almost hope the feds don’t step in and take action on this law, because it’ll be hilarious to watch more and more of their state money going to lawyers to defend them against harassment cases, and watch the crime rate increase because the police are getting fewer leads to solve cases.

    Ron, I know it’s hard for you to imagine, but people who are still ambulatory often travel on foot. Some of them may not even own a car and wouldn’t have a driver’s license or proof of insurance — neither of which is proof of citizenship, by the way. Since when does an insurance company ask for your “papers” before issuing you a policy?

  24. beerBoy says:

    sozo – I have noticed an irony: Conservatives, who claim to completely mistrust the government, place complete trust in uniformed and armed officers of the government to do the right thing. Liberals, on the other hand, tend to distrust the enforcers of government but trust government social programs to do the right thing.

  25. Roncella says:

    beerBoy, Liberals want and trust as much Government involvement in there lifes as possible. This is easy to see as they pass more and more government over sight on almost anything they can.

    Where did you get the idea that Conservatives “completely mistrust” the government ?

    Most Conservatives do completely mistrust some of our current Congressional leaders like, Pelosi, Frank, Boxer, Frankin, Bill Clinton and so many others who like to do business like effecting election outcomes by elminating one candidate with bribes and jobs, or passing important bills, wheeling and dealing behind close doors on party lines exclusively.

  26. That IS an interesting observation, bBoy and I think it has merit. I think it may be because conservatives place more value in individuals than they do in systems. I know I do. Even knowing that individuals are flawed and that mistakes will be made, I am inclined to trust people to do what’s right.

    Systems, especially those formed via politics, eg. the government are necessary, and I certainly do not mistrust government altogether. I am well aware that we need government to do things individuals cannot do.

    But, and it’s a big butt, the potential for misconduct and corruption in government is so huge…and the ability to hide in the crowd so available, AND the presumption that the government should be the Big Daddy of every single person in society — these are things that should concern us all.

    Add to that the imbalance that we currently are witnessing…where the checks and balances that were built into the system are threatened — and you’ve got the potential for death by suicide. IMO

  27. LuckyCharm says:

    “…conservatives place more value in individuals than they do in systems.”

    Except when individual civil liberties must be sacrificed to immigration enforcement systems. What’s a little police harassment if you know you’re in the right, as long as it protects our system?

    “I am inclined to trust people to do what’s right.”

    Except when it comes to abortion and gays in the military — then, it’s up to the government to dictate what’s right or “normal.”

  28. Roncella says:

    LuckyCharm, The Congress has no business trying to shape social standards & morals, using the Military as a proving ground. Our troops have enough pressure to deal with already, with worry about their families back home and fighting Terrorist and all the rest.

    Liberal/Dems need to stop the Social Engineering using the Military.

  29. Lucky Charm, earlier you accused me of thinking I know you when I don’t. Based on your remarks today (at 12:18 pm) you clearly do not know me.

    I have been and will remain a believer in freedom including the freedom to make lousy, unhealthy, even immoral choices.

    What I don’t like is the government sanctioning, and in a sense, blessing certain choices and working in concert with the media to make sure that anyone who disagrees is portrayed as either an imbecile or a bigot.

  30. LuckyCharm says:

    I’m so glad to see that at least on this one point, Ron & sozo and I agree. The federal government has no business trying to legislate morality, and as long as you can shoulder a weapon and physically participate in war, no one should worry about your sexual orientation.

    This was the last issue I ever expected us to agree on. Just goes to show, there is still hope!

  31. LC, you expose your naivte when you toss out the cliche about not legislating morality.

    On what are laws based if not morality?

  32. LuckyCharm says:

    Fundamentally, laws should protect the rights of the individual and foster an orderly society. When they attempt to impose moral standards, the question becomes, “Whose moral standards?” In some cultures, it’s considered immoral for women to show their hair or to be in public with any man who is not a relative. In the United States, people are free to adhere to that particular moral standard if they so choose, but no one will be punished under the law if they don’t, because that would violate their basic human rights as provided in the Constitution.

    In Tacoma, we have laws against excessive noise or littering. Are these behaviors “immoral”? Not in and of themselves, but doing them promotes discord and disorder. Collectively, through our elected representatives, we’ve decided that people should have the right to sleep peacefully at night without the neighbors blasting music at our homes, and to walk down streets free of garbage piles.

    Moral judgments have no place in civil law. But when laws are passed that do violate human rights, such as the right of innocent people not to be treated as if they were guilty, it is appropriate for elected officials to act against them, if only to affirm that justice should be impartial and that laws should be applied fairly.

  33. On what do we base the law that makes murder illegal? How about stealing?

    You think of all this in terms of rights because that’s the context in which you were taught.

    Where does the right to live without fear of being killed come from?

    I say God. What say you?

  34. LuckyCharm says:

    The Founders stated that the Constitution was based on inalienable rights conferred by the “Creator.” It then lays out the framework for protecting those rights. Obviously, murder infringes upon the victim’s right to life. Stealing infringes upon personal property rights. Those behaviors are legislated. Other behaviors, like lying (except under oath), adultery (except under the UCMJ), greed, gluttony, hypocrisy, etc., while undoubtedly immoral, are not legislated, because it can be so unclear as to exactly how they infringe upon other people’s rights.

    If every immoral action or behavior was made illegal, we wouldn’t have enough judges or prison guards left to incarcerate everybody. Fortunately, the Bible tells us over and over to leave moral judgment and vengeance to God. The earliest judicial system in the Bible was set up to resolve disputes between individuals — in other words, to decide cases of personal rights being infringed.

    Or, do you believe that the modern legal system should replace personal conscience and morality?

    Our laws should reflect our collective character, and transcend any particular faith or creed. Almost everybody, even atheists, agree that the rich and powerful should not be allowed to victimize the weak, that no community should have its water, soil, and air poisoned for the sake of a buck for Big Business, and that those who have profited greatly from our economic system owe a little bit in return so that those less fortunate might have a chance at a decent life also. To the extent that our laws reflect those values, they exemplify who we are as a people, but not necessarily any single moral standard, because once you choose a moral standard by which to legislate, that standard can always be changed by the next guy, not always to our benefit.

  35. LC, you say: Almost everybody, even atheists, agree that the rich and powerful should not be allowed to victimize the weak, that no community should have its water, soil, and air poisoned for the sake of a buck for Big Business, and that those who have profited greatly from our economic system owe a little bit in return so that those less fortunate might have a chance at a decent life also. ”

    Really? You’re pretty sure almost everybody agrees with all of this?

    I’m interested in only one aspect of this quote from your last lengthy post… and it’s this. Your final comment…that those who have profted greatly from our economic syustem “owe” a little bit in return….

    Let’s say that philosophically I agree with you, even morally. Here’s where I believe we differ…

    I insist that we are free to make that choice or not, and answer for it to a much higher power than government.

    You seem to think the government has the “right” to step on my right to choose whether or not I will “share the wealth.”

    You’ve made a lot of noise about our right to choose, and yet you support a system where that, the most fundamental right of all, is taken away by a government who, ironically, presumes to dictate morality from on high.

    Can you not see the irony here?

  36. larsman says:

    I’m a “person of color”. I’m White. I’m not translucent, opaque or even “clear”, that is what the president is continuously trying to convince himself of, being clear( define irony here). So why does La Raza not give me free legal assistance? Am I the ‘wrong’ nationality (U.S.) Perhaps my inability to speak Spanglish disqualifies me from advising me on how to “photo-shop” my falsified “proof” of car insurance. Would a Viking descendant get such assistance in Sonora State from el Centro de la Viking? Can I lobby Mexican elections as a non-voting non-citizen? Can I selectively break laws I don’t care for and call anyone who questions my act a “racist”(remember I am a “person of color”)? LC, did you attend Evergreen?

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