Archive for politics of fear

"It's Arm the Rebels o'clock. Do you know where your Senator John McCain is?"

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john mccain arm rebels

How many times have we been subjected to John McCain's myopic rants about arming the rebels in any given civil war or in any given area of conflict?

Rachel Maddow:

It's Arm the Rebels o'clock. Do you know where your Senator John McCain is?

Per McCain, it really doesn't matter much where or who they are, if they're rebels, just arm them. Especially if President Obama is taking a more measured approach. Grampy McDrumbeat is just itching to hand over lethal weapons of war to someone, anyone, because if fits into his whole Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb [insert country here] mentality: the more explosions the better. Especially if we aid and abet some of them. Blow 'em up! Kill [insert bad guys' name here]! What a blast! (Pun intended.)

weeee smaller

There's just one problem with that mania, Senator McDrumbeat. It can backfire.

Take Guatemala, for example. Via the Los Angeles Times:

Perez Molina said the violence and crime in Guatemala were a byproduct of the Cold War when the U.S. and the Soviet Union were funding opposite sides of civil wars in Central America to gain influence.

Perez Molina was a top intelligence officer in the Guatemalan military in the 1980s and ’90s.

Moral of the story: Don't listen to John McCain.

Real moral of the story: A more rational, measured approach is most often very wise and can save lives.

Other moral of the story: The road to more violence and crime is paved with shortsighted intentions.

Immoral of the story: Stop treating horribly abused child refugees like criminals.

In related news, there was an L.A. Times letter to the editor that is worth a share. I'd link to it, but I can't find it on the Times site, so I'm transcribing it verbatim:

Re: "Texas to send Guard troops to border," July 22

I hear echoes of Kent State University. What are the National Guard troops to do to these migrant children in Texas: shoot them?

Pat Mauer, Pasadena

What is it with Republican presidential hopefuls and violent troubleshooting? (Pun intended.)

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What can brown do for you? #Immigration

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what can brown do for you smaller UPS

Remember the old UPS slogan "What can brown do for you?"? It seems to have taken on a whole new meaning these days. To many Republicans, brown means "illegals," "diseased," "gangs," "invasion," threat. If it's got a negative connotation and can generate fear, then that's what brown means to them. To them, brown also means cheap labor, house cleaners, gardeners, nannies, and farm workers.

Reasonable people, however, understand that we are a nation of immigrants. Conservatives bellow about how abortion "kills babies" in the womb, but don't blink an eye when protesters physically block and verbally abuse tiny, confused refugees seeking to escape death in their countries of origin. Saving those lives? Pfft! Living, breathing children, toddlers, and babies don't count. Only zygotes. Only feti. Only potential lives, not young struggling ones who endured rape and other horrific violence in order to come to America, because what they left behind was even worse.

Via .ecobumperstickers.com

Well, panicky anti-immigrant mouth-breathers, get out your asbestos hats, because your hair is about to catch fire. Here's what brown means to Miami. Via the New York Times, from an article titled, "Influx of South Americans Drives Miami’s Reinvention":

It was less a commentary on soccer than a tableau vivant of the new Miami, which has gone from a place defined by Cuban-Americans to one increasingly turbocharged by a surge of well-educated, well-off South Americans in the last decade. Their growing numbers and influence, both as immigrants and as visitors, have transformed Miami’s once recession-dampened downtown, enriched its culture and magnified its allure for businesses around the world as a crossroads of the Spanish-speaking world. [...]

The transformation, the latest chapter in the city’s decades-long evolution, is especially apparent amid the building cranes, street life and nightclubs downtown. But it is seen across Miami-Dade County, where highly educated South American immigrants and second-home owners have increasingly put down roots and played a major role in jump-starting a region that not long ago was ravaged by recession. [...]

Jorge Pérez, the wealthy real estate developer for whom the the new Pérez Art Museum Miami is named, said the latest surge of South Americans was turning the city into a year-round destination and luring more entrepreneurs and international businesses. Latin American banks have proliferated as they follow their customers here.

So, Republicans, are South Americans acceptable to you? Is it just Mexicans and Central Americans who creep you out? And how will brownophobics respond to this statement by Pérez: “South Americans are the game changers — they are the ones that allowed the housing market to bounce back."

Irony is not dead.

irony3

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"Billions on wars-- little spent on humanitarian problems-- is stupid, immoral"

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anti-immigration racist protests humanitarian crisis

We as a nation are appalled and stunned by the latest horrible news about Malaysian Air 777 being "shot down" over Ukraine. Our hearts go out to those whose lives were taken, even though they're not all white Christian American conservatives. But when it comes to horribly abused children, tiny Central American refugees who need a safe haven, kids who are risking their young lives to escape from threats of rape, violence, and even death... well, let's just say what little humanitarian impulses may have existed in right wing minds went by the wayside.

Instead, this is what we got from "pro-life patriots" who are so very "compassionate" when it comes to saving a zygote:

As Jon Stewart said the other night, "We are a nation of immigrants... who hates the newer immigrants."

This is a humanitarian crisis. What part of that don't these vile racists understand? Apparently they understand none of it. Which brings us to today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever envision being a citizen of a country that would turn its back on women and children regardless of where they come from, what skin color, what religion, what political association or any other reason for being here. ("U.S. sends first planeload of moms, children back to Honduras," July 14)

They are here, and we as Americans can well afford to provide the help they need.

The billions spent to sustain wars —and the comparatively little this country spends on solving humanitarian problems — is stupid and immoral.

Allen F. Dziuk, Carlsbad

..

The Central Americans arriving at the U.S. border are fleeing horrific violence in their countries. The governments of these countries cannot protect them. So let's use the right terminology — these people are "refugees," not "illegals" or "migrants." They are turning themselves in to Border Patrol agents.

I fear we are moving too quickly without consideration of why these people are fleeing in such great numbers.

We should not blatantly put these people on planes and return them to possible harm. We should grant them due process for claims of asylum. The U.S. is a nation of immigrants. We have a legacy to uphold.

Alba Farfaglia, San Clemente

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Rick Perry and his many Moments of Oops... including on immigration

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Rick Perry has had so many Moments of Oops that they're hard to count, let alone keep track of. But Rachel Maddow did just that. She compiled the best (meaning, the worst) Rick Perry "oops" reel in recent memory, all in one cringe-worthy segment.Why, here's one now!

rick perry stupidity

And that collection puts into context why Rick Perry would be a terrible, horrible, no-good president. That context includes his new-found, hypocritical, irrelevant "tough guy" attitude about immigrants. Rachel explains below:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Maddow:

He thinks about what he wishes he could have done differently or wishes what he could do over about his presidential run. Because other than his new fashionable eye glasses, the one major makeover that Governor Rick Perry has gone through since his disastrous presidential run, is that he no longer makes the mistake of talking about immigrants, or the issue of immigration, without pounding his chest...

Rick Perry's proposal to President Obama for what ought to be done, the one thing that President Obama says Rick Perry demanded of him yesterday that's not already being proposed by the Obama administration, the one thing Governor Perry wants, is that he wants the National Guard sent to the border....

It's very important to him that he sounds tough on this issue. And there's nothing tougher than sending troops.

But troops and the National Guard are also completely irrelevant to this particular crisis on the border right now... As an empirical matter, putting troops in armed positions on the border is irrelevant to this crisis. It would have absolutely no effect on this crisis.

Because what sets this border crisis apart is that this is not a situation in which people are sneaking across the border. This particular crisis is one that manifests as people walking up to border patrol agents and surrendering themselves to them. Walking up to border patrol agents and turning themselves in...

How is having troops there going to help that not happen?...

And that is why nobody asks Governor Rick Perry for his opinion on big policy matters.

oops he's doing it again

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Anti-immigrant letter: "Our land is full. The invitation wasn't for forever."

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misspelled amnesty sign anti-immigrant

Undocumented immigrants are not "illegals." They are people. Unfortunately, all too many other anti-immigrant "people" don't treat them as fellow human beings. They treat them as though they were diseased animals (and have even used that word to describe them), or worse. It sickens me, and it should sicken you.

Ironically, it was GW Bush who signed law protecting young migrants, but, hey... #BlameObama. Ironically squared: Those who demand an English-only America can't spell worth beans. See image above.

The Los Angeles Times letters to the editor included a couple from anti-immigrant writers that I ordinarily wouldn't share with you, but they got under my skin, so here they are. I added my two cents, because, as I always say, our voices matter. First, though, there's a letter that makes sense. The next two, not so much:

There's irony in the descendants of Europeans in North America, which was stolen from natives who had been here for centuries, reacting angrily to "immigrants" moving north. These native North Americans are coming back to their land.

Renee Veale, Pasadena

..

Two letter writers urge "compassion" for the illegal immigrants flooding our borders and condemn the protesters in Murrieta. I have a challenge for both of them. ("Murrieta's anti-immigrant protesters could learn something from Lady Liberty," Letters, July 3)

My daughter is a single working mom raising my granddaughter. They live in a rented condo in Costa Mesa. Money is tight for them.

I ask each of these compassionate letter writers to send me their addresses. I will go check out their residences, and if they are better than my daughter's, I will have my granddaughter break in so she can have a better life using their homes and amenities.

I am sure people imploring us to be compassionate will jump at the chance to show my daughter compassion.

John C. Vita, Huntington Beach

One: Um, Mr. Vita (an Italian name, I take it?), they're not "illegal immigrants." They're people. Do you refer to Nixon as an "illegal president"?

Two: Did your daughter get raped and/or abused on her way to her residence? I sincerely hope not.

Three: And this concludes another episode of "Really Bad Analogies!" (h/t: The Stephanie Miller Show) brought to you by John C. Vita of Huntington Beach.

..

More than a century ago, when America needed labor to build its cities and farmers to till its soil, the Statue of Liberty raised its lamp to encourage ambitious, creative, eager, industrious immigrants to come to our shores. Emma Lazarus wrote a noble invitation to these immigrants, a poem that one letter writer quoted extensively.

The invitation was not and is not the law of the land.

The immigrants came. Our land is full. The invitation wasn't for forever.

Our country cannot support the wretched refuse of every country of every continent in perpetuity, and neither Lazarus nor Statue of Liberty sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi intended for that to happen.

Ermanno Signorelli, Mar Vista Crest

"Wreched refuse," Mr. Signorelli (an Italian name, I take it?)? Somehow I don't think Emma Lazarus meant to imply that immigrants are people that this country doesn't accept. In fact, including the words "wretched refuse," "she saw a way to express her empathy for these refugees." By suggesting the opposite (after all, you didn't put her words in quotes), that struggling human beings are contemptible, repulsive, sleazy trash, you took on the very traits you attributed to those you hate.

"Our country cannot support the wretched refuse of every country..." But some countries are acceptable? Just not the ones in which brown people reside. AmIright?

"Our land is full." Only when it comes to intolerance and exclusion, Ermanno. Sadly, the U.S. has way more than enough of those. Your letter proves that.

"When America needed labor..." Psst! Ermanno! We still do. Some of our finest were born in other countries.

"Encourage ambitious, creative, eager, industrious immigrants to come to our shores..." We do. And how do you tell the unambitious, uncreative, uneager, unindustrious ones from the others? Doesn't every person have the potential to be successful? And if someone is less ambitious or creative or successful, does that disqualify them somehow? How many lazy, untalented, passive Americans do you know? I've met quite a few. Should we deport them?

"The invitation wasn't forever." Someone please direct me to the "give me your tired, your poor" expiration date. The Statue of Liberty seems to have torched it.

statue of liberty give me your tired your poor

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GW Bush signed law protecting young migrants, but, hey... #BlameObama

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migrants, so-called illegal immigration rights sign

You should take a gander at my Twitter timeline sometime. If you were to do so with any regularity, you'd see the venom spewed at "illegals" and at me personally for saying we have a humanitarian crisis on our hands. The recent hostility aimed at very young migrants making their way from Central America is disturbing, to say the least. And sadly ironic: Anti-immigration protesters are afraid of children. And many of those children have been abused and/or raped.

Note to nasty trolls: There are no such thing as "illegals." There are, however, people who have entered the country illegally. Key word: People.

Note to self: Find out if irrational conservatives refer to former President Nixon as an illegal. And Scooter Libby.

Of course, conservatives are pointing every finger they have-- and some they probably don't have-- at President Obama. Unfortunately for them, their fingers have no sense of direction. Because guess who signed a law protecting young migrants back in 2008? Hint: He started a fraudulent war, made torture "legal," paints naked self-portraits, and has his very own liberry.

Via the Los Angeles Times:

The 2008 law signed by Bush expanded legal protections for young migrants. The changes were intended to prevent immigration officials from inadvertently sending them back to pimps and drug violence.

The law, for example, expanded the ability of children who were abused or abandoned to be granted "special immigrant juvenile status" to stay in the country, and to eventually apply for lawful permanent residency. [...]

The U.S. law, which sought to crack down on modern-day slavery and the trafficking of children, passed easily by a voice vote in Congress with broad support from both parties. Bush signed it shortly before he left office in January 2009.

Maybe those who have such disdain for people who look and sound different than they do should point their big, fat fingers at themselves.

If they're reluctant to do that, I have a Very Special Finger of my own that I'd be more than happy to share with them.

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Anti-immigration protesters are afraid of children

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pro immigration protesters Murrieta CA

"Many of them are fleeing violence and extortion from gangs..."

And many of them have been raped:

“It’s not just the heat that could kill them but there are other dangers. Officials at Lackland Air Force Base told us that one-third of young girls that come across – and they were just like little babies; 10, 11, 14 years of age. That about one third of them get raped and/or abused on the way here.

"This is about the kids, that's what it's about."

"They're destroying our country."

"President Obama has called it a humanitarian crisis."

President Obama is right.

Here's an idea, protesters. If you don't like what's happening, call on Republicans in the House of Representatives to get off their obstructionist asses and support an immigration reform bill. It would likely pass... if they'd allow a vote, that is.  Actually, this could very well happen... after the November elections. That way those Republican paragons of bravery can say they accomplished something on immigration reform just in time for the next election cycle in 2016. How courageous of them.

By the way, Boehner, how's that Latino voter outreach shaping up?

But what struck me about this particular protest was the following. Via the Los Angeles Times:

Police said about 100 to 150 people met the buses a few blocks away from the Border Patrol station, chanting "Go home" and "We want to be safe."

The detainees — many of them women and children from Central America — had crossed the border in Texas recently and were flown to San Diego by the Department of Homeland Security.

I watched Tamron Hall's reporting on this today (video unavailable), and the person "on the ground" did indeed confirm that most of the immigrants were women and children. Ooo, scary. Better get out the firearms and hide the kids, protesters. After all, you "want to be safe."

anti immigration protesters CA Murrieta

statue of liberty give me your tired your poor

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