“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

When I was young

When I Was a Boy, America Was a Better Place
By Dennis Prager
Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The day the O.J. Simpson verdict was announced, I said to my then-teenage son, "David, please forgive me. I am handing over to you a worse America than my father handed over to me."

Unfortunately, I still feel this way.

With the important exception of racial discrimination -- which was already dying a natural death when I was young -- it is difficult to come up with an important area in which America is significantly better than when I was a boy. But I can think of many in which its quality of life has deteriorated.

When I was a boy, America was a freer society than it is today. If Americans had been told the extent and number of laws that would govern their speech and behavior within one generation, they would have been certain that they were being told about some dictatorship, not the Land of the Free. Today, people at work, to cite but one example, are far less free to speak naturally. Every word, gesture and look, even one's illustrated calendar, is now monitored lest a fellow employee feel offended and bring charges of sexual harassment or creating a "hostile work environment" or being racially, religiously or ethnically insensitive, or insensitive to another's sexual orientation.

Meanwhile, all employers in California are now prohibited by law from firing a man who has decided to cross-dress at work. And needless to say, no fellow worker can say to that man, "Hey, Jack, why not wear the dress at home and men's clothes to work?" An employer interviewing a prospective employee is not free to ask the most natural human questions: Are you married? Do you have a child? How old are you? Soon "How are you?" will be banned lest one discriminate on the basis of health.

When I was boy, what people did at home was not their employer's business. Today, companies and city governments refuse to hire, and may fire, workers no matter how competent or healthy, who smoke in their homes. Sarasota, Fla., the latest city to invade people's private lives, would not hire Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt or John F. Kennedy if they applied for a job.

When I was a 7-year-old boy, I flew alone from New York to my aunt and uncle in Miami and did the same thing coming back to New York. I boarded the plane on my own and got off the plane on my own. No papers for my parents to fill out. No extra fee to pay the airline. I was responsible for myself. Had I run away or been kidnapped, no one would have sued the airline. Today, fear of lawsuits is a dominant fact of American life.

When I was a boy, I ran after girls during recess, played dodgeball, climbed monkey bars and sat on seesaws. Today, more and more schools have no recess; have canceled dodgeball lest someone feel bad about being removed from the game; and call the police in to interrogate, even sometimes arrest, elementary school boys who playfully touch a girl. And monkey bars and seesaws are largely gone, for fear of lawsuits should a child be injured.

When I was boy, I was surrounded by adult men. Today, most American boys (and girls, of course) come into contact with no adult man all day every school day. Their teachers and school principals are all likely to be women. And if, as is often the case, there is no father at home (not solely because of divorce but because "family" courts have allowed many divorced mothers to remove fathers from their children's lives), boys almost never come into contact with the most important group of people in a boy's life -- adult men. The contemporary absence of men in boys' lives is not only unprecedented in American history; it is probably unprecedented in recorded history.

When I was a boy, we had in our lives adults who took pride in being adults. To distinguish them from our peers, we called these adults "Mr.," "Mrs." and "Miss," or by their titles, "Doctor," "Pastor," "Rabbi," "Father." It was good for us, and we liked it. Having adults proud of their adulthood, and not acting like they were still kids, gave us security (as well as something to look forward to in growing up). Today, kids are surrounded by peers twice, three, four times their age.

When I was a boy, the purpose of American history textbooks was to teach American history. Today, the purpose of most American history texts is to make minorities and females feel good about themselves. As a result, American kids today are deprived of the opportunity to feel good about being American (not to mention deprived of historical truth). They are encouraged to feel pride about all identities -- African-American, Hispanic, Asian, female, gay -- other than American.

When I was a teenage boy, getting to kiss a girl, let alone to touch her thigh or her breast (even over her clothes) was the thrill of a lifetime. Most of us could only dream of a day later on in life when oral sex would take place (a term most of us had never heard of). But of course, we were not raised by educators or parents who believed that "teenagers will have sex no matter what." Most of us rarely if ever saw a naked female in photos (the "dirty pictures" we got a chance to look at never showed "everything"), let alone in movies or in real life. We were, in short, allowed to be relatively innocent. And even without sex education and condom placement classes, few of us ever got a girl pregnant.

When I was a boy, "I Love Lucy" showed two separate beds in Lucy and Ricky's bedroom -- and they were a married couple. Today, MTV and most TV saturate viewers' lives with sexual imagery and sexual talk, virtually all of which is loveless and, of course, non-marital.

When I was boy, people dressed up to go to baseball games, visit the doctor and travel on airplanes. Today, people don't dress up even for church.

When I was a boy, Time and Newsweek were well written and relied little on pictures and illustrations. Today, those magazines often look like adult comic books by comparison. They are filled with large illustrations and photos, and they dumb down the news with features like "Winners and Losers" and "Who's Up and Who's Down." And when I was a boy, it would have been inconceivable for Time to substitute anything, let alone a tree, for the flag planted by the marines on Iwo Jima.

One might argue that these are the same laments that every previous older generation has expressed -- "Ah, when I was young" But in America, that has not been the case. In America, the older generations tended to say the opposite -- "When I was a kid, things were worse."

Can we return to the America of my youth? No. Can we return to the best values of that time? Yes. But not if both houses of Congress, the presidency and the Supreme Court move the country even further leftward. If that happens, many of the above noted changes will simply be accelerated: More laws restricting "offensive" speech will be enacted; litigation will increase and trial lawyers will gain more power; the American military will be less valued; trees will gradually replace the flag as our most venerated symbol; schools will teach even less as they concentrate even more on diversity, sexuality and the environment; teenage sex will be increasingly accepted; American identity will continue to be replaced by ethnic, racial, gender or "world citizen" identity; and the power of the state will expand further as the power of the individual inevitably contracts. It's hard to believe most Americans really want that.

Dennis Prager is a radio show host, contributing columnist for, and author of 4 books including Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual.


  1. Why don't fagots fight to set up their own homeland like other normal people do?

  2. Now, is still the good life. In many ways much better than it was 20-30 years ago, though the barbarians, inside and outside, at working at the gates, as they always will be. As a whole, probably better here than for any other people at any other time in history.

    I'm thankful, and feel spoiled, for now.

    20-30 years from now, that's when it might start getting ugly again.

  3. When I was a boy, Las Vegas was kind of neat, The Golden Nugget was the big deal. When I was a boy you could cross the Snake River on a six car barge, with the current, the barge pulled back upriver by the mules. When I was a boy Sun Valley was still pristine. When I was a boy there was a dirt track up the St. Joe River. When I was a boy all of Idaho had 200,000 people. When I was a boy Idaho was in the Pac 8, playing against UCLA, USC. When I was a boy I listened to the flap of the tires on the old concret highways. When I was a boy there was no Planning and Zoning committee and one's own business was one's own. When I was a boy lawsuits were rarely filed. And when I was a boy the Nez Perce used to come to the football games at the U of I en masse, sitting in a group, with Indian regalia and American flags. When I was a boy Seattle was still Seattle, and not Seattle sprawl, and it took two days to get there. And when I was a boy, I flew with dad on a DC 3 to Boise, and when you walked up the aisle, you were walking up.

    Which goes to show you how old I'm getting.

    DC 3

  4. And I should add, you didn't have to go through airport security to board a DC 3 either.

  5. I'm still young. My only nostalgia is for a better future.

  6. And I hope you have one, Mat, the best future possible.

    Otherwise, one day you'll be spilling tears in your beer, like me:)

  7. Imagine the whining if you'd switch to wine. :D

  8. And if I got on hard likker I'd probably shoot myself.

  9. Bob,

    Youz need a vacation. This is one I highly recommend.

  10. When Hemingway first went to Italy he said he was going "woplandward". I'd be happy if I could just make it to Ohio again. We're driving 'upriver' to look at a camper. Later.

  11. When I was young I visited with folk that were planning on changing the "World".

    They did.

    Started in Italy and now they're movin' on up. Doin' their thing, in Mexico.

    Incremental progress, to be sure.
    Not even polite to talk about it, amongst those that are in denial of its' happening, while they're on watch.

  12. The ancient Greeks always believed that their Golden Age was behind them. Such a part of their cultural temperament was this belief, that when the owl of Minerva really did take flight they were unable to perceive the oncoming darkness.

    Gene Healy has noted that the American conservative temperament is naturally one of pessimism. The conservative inclination is toward a kind of doctrinal melancholy or gloom. Maybe one of these days they'll feel the necessity to cultivate confidence and optimism as well. Before the owl of Minerva really does take flight.

  13. Conservatives are, basically, grown-ups; and, grown-ups know how fast the shit can hit the fan. Like that Geico commercial (or State Farm, or Allstate, or whatever,) "Life comes at you Fast."

    An "ex"-liberal with "Experience."

  14. When I was a boy...

    Here's a man that should have stayed in Zambia.

    AP--Court Upholds HIV Conviction

    Moscow--The 2006 conviction of a Moscow man for transferring body fluid that may contain the virus that causes AIDS has been upheld by the Idaho Supreme Court.

    The court's opinion concerning the case against Kanay A. Mubita was filed Wednesday. Mubita, who immigrated to the United States in 2001 from Zambia and relocated in Moscow, was convicted on 11 counts after a number of women testified at trial that they had unprotected sex with him.

    Mubita denited any knowledge of having tested positive of the HIV virus, despite expert testimony to the contrary.

    According to the 23 page ruling, Mubita created 'a clear and immediate danger to public health', and his records, which he'd voluntarily created with the Department of Health, were therefore subject to release during the criminal investigation.....

    Mubita, 33, was sentenced to 44 years in prison. All the women who testified against Mubita said they agreed to have sex with him, with several testifying they engaged in sex on the first meeting and multiple times thereafter.

    Moscow police launched an investigation when the office of the prosecutor was notified that a Moscow man who was thought to be HIV positive was having sex with two women without notifying them of his status.

    Mubita was arrested later in the month, at which time police issued a news release asking people who may have had sex with Mubita to contact the department. According to records, police interviewed 13 potential victims, after which Mubita was charged with 11 counts.

    And that's only the girls who came forward, folks.

    When I was a boy things like this were unheard of, unimaginable.

  15. When I was young--

    All appeared new, and strange at first, inexpressibly rare and delightful and beautiful. I was a little stranger, which at my entrance into the world was saluted and surrounded with innumerable joys. My knowledge was Divine. I knew by intuition those things which since my Apostasy, I collected again by the highest reason. My very ignorance was advantageous. I seemed as one brought into the Estate of Innocence. All things were spotless and pure and glorious: yea, and infinitely mine, and joyful and precious, I knew not that there were any sins, or complaints or laws. I dreamed not of poverties, contentions or vices. All tears and quarrels were hidden from mine eyes. Everything was at rest, free and immortal. I knew nothing of sickness or death or rents or exaction, either for tribute or bread. In the absence of these I was entertained like an Angel with the works of God in their splendour. and glory, I saw all in the peace of Eden; Heaven and Earth did sing my Creator's praises, and could not make more melody to Adam, than to me: All Time was Eternity, and a perpetual Sabbath. Is it not strange, that an infant should be heir of the whole World, and see those mysteries which the books of the learned never unfold?


    The corn was orient and immortal wheat, which never should be reaped, nor was ever sown. I thought it had stood from everlasting to everlasting. The dust and stones of the street were as precious as gold: the gates were at first the end of the world. The green trees when I saw them first through one of the gates transported and ravished me, their sweetness and unusual beauty made my heart to leap, and almost mad with ecstasy, they were such strange and wonderful things: The Men! O what venerable and reverend creatures did the aged seem! Immortal Cherubims! And young men glittering and sparkling Angels, and maids strange seraphic pieces of life and beauty! Boys and girls tumbling in the street, and playing, were moving jewels. I knew not that they were born or should die; But all things abided eternally as they were in their proper places. Eternity was manifest in the Light of the Day, and something infinite behind everything appeared which talked with my expectation and moved my desire. The city seemed to stand in Eden, or to be built in Heaven. The streets were mine, the temple was mine, the people were mine, their clothes and gold and silver were mine, as much as their sparkling eyes, fair skins and ruddy faces. The skies were mine, and so were the sun and moon and stars, and all the World was mine; and I the only spectator and enjoyer of it. I knew no churlish proprieties, nor bounds, nor divisions: but all properties and divisions were mine: all treasures and the possessors of them. So that with much ado I was corrupted, and made to learn the dirty devices of this world. Which now I unlearn, and become, as it were, a little child again that I may enter into the Kingdom of God.

    Thomas Traherne

  16. Grownups don't let grownups vote Obama.

  17. "We're driving 'upriver' to look at a camper."

    Bob, maybe you should be looking at a canoe?

  18. Well it wasn't much of a camper, not a bargain, even at the asking price of $700. We did have a nice drive, the Clearwater River is really high, and the short salmon fishing season is coming to an end tomorrow. I think some lighter fluid and a match would do wonders for that camper.

    At my age, a canoe is for going 'downriver' only.

  19. Why any European woman would have sex with someone from Zambia and not consider AIDS is indeed amazing...

    "Zambia, in southern Africa, has one of the world’s most devastating HIV and AIDS epidemics. One in every six adults in Zambia is living with HIV and life expectancy at birth has fallen below 40 years1. This has compounded Zambia’s existing economic problems. In four decades of independence, Zambia has found peace but not prosperity and today it is one of the poorest and least developed nations on earth.

    Zambia's first reported AIDS diagnosis in 1984 was followed by a rapid rise in the proportion of people living with HIV (prevalence). Although Zambia has received hundreds of millions of dollars from rich country governments toward HIV programmes, prevalence rates are not dropping and have remained more or less stable since the nineties, at as high as 25% in urban areas2."

  20. June 14, 2008

    Flooding: Around the metro area

    Downtown Des Moines

    Downtown Des Moines workers fled for home, business owners moved equipment to higher levels, and downtown residents braced for water to top over Des Moines River levees Friday afternoon.

  21. "Conservatives are, basically, grown-ups; and, grown-ups know how fast the shit can hit the fan."


    And Mr. Healey's words, correct or incorrect in a general sense, will still be out there on the day things do eventually fall down upon themselves.

    Optimism and pessimism can both go screw themselves, in favor of realism and rationalism.

  22. And there is as much in Conservative doctrine that is optimistic, as is pessimistic, so long as you don't hold out for the unrealistic and fairy tale world where everything is perfect and consequence-free. Conservatives as a group - that may be a different matter, I don't know all of them.

  23. My wife was saying, when all that from Iowa and roundabout comes down the Mississippi, it will back up the Ohio, and may cause some flooding there. But, I'm not buying that.

  24. Bob,

    Don't mess with mother nature:


  25. FOR ASH!

    When LOGIC, and RATIONALITY, and THE SURVIVAL INSTINCT won't do the job, maybe HUMOR WILL.

    Qaeda Court to Grant Beheadees Habeas Corpse Writs

    by Scott Ott for ScrappleFace

    (2008-06-13) — As a goodwill gesture in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to grant writs of habeas corpus to detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, al Qaeda today announced it would grant its beheadees what it called “writs of habeas corpse.”

    Under the Supreme Court’s Boumediene v. Bush ruling (PDF), an enemy combatant facing trial before a military tribunal can now petition a U.S. court for a writ of habeas corpus allowing him to challenge his detention in a civilian U.S. court, essentially granting him the rights of an American citizen.

    The Qaeda court, however, lacking a large number of detainees, said it would allow any of its beheadees to petition for the right to appear in an Islamic Court.

    “We feel this is even more generous than the unilateral U.S. decision,” said an unnamed Qaeda Court spokesman, “because we’ll actually issue two writs for each beheadee to assure the court has his undivided attention.”

  26. When I was young we didn't have States doing this:

    FORT WORTH, Texas (Associated Press) -- The cost of the April raid on a polygamist compound in West Texas is expected to top $14 million, about one-third of it in lawyers' fees, according to a published analysis of state records.

    The Fort Worth Star-Telegram published its findings Saturday after reviewing more than 400 pages of invoices, e-mails and other state records that it obtained under an open-records law request.

    More invoices for overtime, travel and professional services are expected to boost the final tab, the records indicate.

    The biggest chunk of spending is expected to stem from court proceedings after the state seized about 460 children from the Yearning For Zion Ranch near Eldorado, which is owned by the polygamist Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

    A state district judge in San Angelo first gave custody of the children to the state child protective services agency, but the Texas Supreme Court later ordered that decision reversed, saying the state had overstepped its authority.

    The children were returned to their families early this month, about two months after the raid. Texas authorities are continuing investigations into allegations of child abuse.

    The state expects to pay nearly $4.5 million in legal fees, including paying for lawyers who represented the state and others appointed by judges to represent the children. The state also expects to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for expert witnesses, visiting judges and office supplies.

    The state attorney general's office has been billed $110,000 for DNA testing of adults and children taken from the ranch in an effort to identify the parents of each child.

    Another big chunk of spending, about $2.4 million, went to rent buses and facilities to house the children and some of the mothers after the early April raid, the newspaper reported.

    Overtime for state employees, including workers in the state's protective services agencies, was about $1.7 million, and travel another $1.2 million during the first month after the raid.

    The Texas Department of Public Safety spent nearly $1.3 million, including $410,000 for overtime pay and about $82,000 for travel.

  27. I admit it, I like Scott Ott--

    CRISIS: Foreclosure Threatens .2 Percent of Homeowners

    by Scott Ott for ScrappleFace

    (2008-06-13) — The U.S. housing crisis reached fever pitch this month, with potential foreclosures up 48 percent compared with May 2007.

    The devastation of receiving foreclosure notices has now swept through a full 2/10ths of one percent of American homes. About 1/10th of one percent of owners may lose their homes. For some of those people, it’s actually their primary residence in jeopardy, rather than a second home, rental property or vacation condo.

    To add insult to misery, mortgage rates skyrocketed this month to 6.32 percent, a shocking figure a full third of what it was during the Carter administration.

    As a result of the flood of homes on the market, real estate agent commissions have dipped precariously, and home buyers increasingly wrestle with the guilt of paying bargain prices for excellent properties.

    Market analysts say home prices could plummet as much as another 10 percent by the end of 2009, leaving first-time home buyers to face the specter of owning a more spacious residence. The additional square footage inequitably boosts the burden of cleaning, heating and air conditioning.

  28. WASHINGTON (Associated Press) -- Questions from the media prompted Republican John McCain to cancel a fundraiser at the home of a Texas oilman who once joked that women should give in while being raped.

    The Texan, Republican Clayton "Claytie" Williams, made the joke during his failed 1990 campaign for governor against Democrat Ann Richards. Williams compared rape to the weather, saying, "As long as it's inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it." He also compared Richards to the cattle on his ranch, saying he would "head her and hoof her and drag her through the dirt."

    Williams' comments made national news at the time and remain easy to find on the Internet. Even so, McCain's campaign said it hadn't known about the remarks.

    "These were obviously incredibly offensive remarks that the campaign was unaware of at the time it was scheduled," McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said. "It's positive that he did apologize at the time, but the comments are nonetheless offensive."

    The campaign said it would not return money Williams had raised for McCain because the contributions came from other individuals supporting McCain and not from Williams. Williams told his hometown newspaper, the Midland Reporter-Telegram, that he had raised more than $300,000 for McCain.

  29. In all truthfulness, Rat, my dad would roll over in his grave seeing those legal fees.

    When I was a boy, lawyers weren't all that bad a type of person.

    It stinks.

  30. Warner rules self out as Obama running mate as he accepts US Senate nomination
    06-14-2008 3:17 PM
    By BOB LEWIS, Associated Press

    HAMPTON, Va. (Associated Press) -- Former Gov. Mark R. Warner on Saturday removed himself from consideration as a vice presidential running mate for Democrat Barack Obama.

    Warner clarified his intentions for the first time as he accepted the Virginia Democratic Convention's nomination for a U.S. Senate race this fall.

    "I have not sought and I will not accept any other opportunity," Warner told cheering convention delegates.

    He was one of three Virginia Democrats frequently mentioned as potential Obama ticketmates. Neither of the other two, Sen. Jim Webb or Gov. Tim Kaine, have ruled out a run with Obama.

  31. I woulda voted for ol' claytile:
    I liked the good old days, when McCain called VC "Gooks."

  32. Anybody wanna lay a bet against Warner w/me?

  33. If you have a functioning brain, you can save yourself some fees by making your own will. Be very careful, and access the sources, and study up, but it is not all that complicated. If you have a whole lot at stake, get a lawyer. If you are getting a divorce, try to work it out with your hated one. Both sides can save that way too. You have to get it fixed up so a court will accept it. Again, if you have a lot at stake, get a lawyer.

    Seems to me a lot of people have been taking themselves off of Obama's running mate list.

  34. Trish,
    Tell us schools are better than they used to be to prove you're not a fellow dumb-assed conservative.
    ...or TV.
    ...or Movies.

  35. Warner woulda been a good one for the bastard, I'll bet.

  36. That looks a little like a Bucky Fuller geodome on wheels.

    A Buckyfullerrufusdome.

  37. Tell us Watts, or Detroit, or DC, (or any number of urban wastelands) are better than they ever were.

  38. Tell al-Bob and I that rural areas overrun w/illegals are better than they used to be.

  39. Watched a video yesterday of a lady running a private school in an area where the pregnancy rate is higher than the drop out rate.
    Not too many of those in my day.

  40. The legal bills to build the Empire State Building were under $500. It took 18 months.

    The United States would be a better place if 75% of the law schools were closed and replaced with tuition free colleges of science and engineering. They would be financed by a excess profits tax on legal fees.

  41. And taxes on the ACLU and the remittances sent back to Mexico.
    I think Mexico taxes them @35%.
    Sounds about right for us.

  42. I absolutely agree with that, deuce. It used to be kind of a noble profession.(you know, in a way) Now it is no better than whoring in so many cases. Dad saw the writing on the wall when advertising for lawyers first got ok'd. It is a guild, with advertising.

    What I don't understand though, is why, with the number of lawyers around now, the fees don't come down. I know of several who gave it up for lack of business, but the fees don't seem to reflect supply and demand.

    It's a stranglehold not broken any time soon, but if the dems want to hammer on the oil companies, who actually do something, I'd say, fix the prices for lawyers instead.

  43. And it gets reflected in this absolutely nonsensical idea that we ought to give all the Constitutional rights we have to those people that are trying to kill us. That we've captured overseas.

  44. - Mexico’s
    Rich Don’t Like To Pay Taxes – They Think You Should

    - Brenda Walker

    “Poor Mexico, so far from God, so close to the United States" is an early example of the now-familiar annoying whine, first voiced by Mexican President Porfirio Diaz .

    Pathetic loser, mooch, social basket case, criminal narco-state: these are Americans' mental pictures of Mexico.

    But more than any other, the image is one of staggering poverty. Anyone who has been to a Mexican border town is immediately overwhelmed by the Third World - the oppressive dirt, decay, too many underfed children.

    However, the truth is that Mexico is a very wealthy country. It is blessed with abundant natural resources and a fortunate location. Mexico is the richest nation in Latin America when measured by GDP, and by a wide margin: in 2001, Mexico's GDP was the highest in Latin America, a substantial 22.5 percent more than runner-up Brazil. When GDP per capita is the gauge, Mexico is second only behind Argentina.

    Half of all Latin American billionaires, 11 out of 22, are Mexicans.

    Mexico is the quintessential banana republic—a corrupt oligarchy of arrogant rich, a tiny middle class and millions of poor people, around half of whom live in poverty.

    But Mexico is not poor overall. It has the resources to improve itself.

    Economist Gary Hufbauer of the Institute for International Economics recently noted that Mexico has tax collections that amount to only 14 percent of the country's gross domestic profit, compared with the U.S. level of 25 to 28 percent.

    Hubauer’s conclusion: "Basically the wealthy classes do not want to tax themselves, period."

    Hufbauer further remarked:

    "Basic social services and infrastructure are awfully lean for a country that wants to move ahead. While I'm not usually an advocate for larger government, Mexico is a country where public investment, done wisely, could pay huge dividends."

    Arguably, with adequate taxation of its freeloader rich, Mexico could follow the example of the Asian tiger nations and invest its way into economic progress by building industrial infrastructure and educating its workforce.

    The recent loss of Mexican jobs to China was partially due to the lack of capital spending on education, ports, roads and industrial parks.

  45. Brenda Walker [email her] is a writer living in California.
    She publishes two websites, and

    She recently advanced the ingenious suggestion that remittances be taxed in order to pay for illegal immigrant healthcare costs borne by border hospitals.

  46. My idea is to build an impenatrable border, and then help build the Mexican middle class anyway we can.

    If we would do that, I'd almost rather pay taxes to Mexico to help the effort, than to see the money go to Washington, D.C.

  47. Thanks.
    (don't make Trish "find the statistics"

  48. Everyone who knew paramedic Ryan Ostendorf agreed that he had a tremendously promising life ahead, as a cardiologist and married to his long-time girlfriend, Meagan Kennedy. But that future is not to be, because a previously deported drunk-driving illegal alien crashed head-on into Ryan's Jeep Cherokee and killed him.
    A resident of Lawrence, Kansas, 28-year-old Ryan was driving to his paramedic job in Topeka when his car was hit. When the ambulance arrived on the scene, the paramedics were shocked to find the body of their friend and co-worker.
    Victor Anzua-Torres was sentenced in Topeka in late June to a measly 13 years and nine months in jail for the head-on crash, which was the maximum sentence he could have received.

    Anzua-Torres had a blood-alcohol level of 0.26 percent, more than three times the legal limit of 0.08, authorities said. He had no driver¹s license, had a prior drunken-driving arrest and had been deported as an illegal immigrant once before.

    Prosecutor Karen Wittman noted that Anzua-Torres insisted on driving to show how "bad" he was even though he was very drunk and a friend offered to drive.
    (Driving while drunk is believed by many hispanics to show macho attributes -- a reason why they are hugely overrepresented in drunk driving crashes.)

    At sentencing, Ryan's friends and family spent two hours explaining how his death left a hole in their lives that would never go away.
    Worthless pile of human debris defined, ...along w/his "culture."

  49. (in CA he woulda got 2years)


  50. Hispanics in crashes lead DWI stats Star-News Wilmington, NC

    Hispanic drivers involved in motor vehicle crashes are more likely to be intoxicated than members of other ethnic and racial groups, according to statistics compiled by state researchers.

    The study by the Highway Safety Research Center at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill was based on information from law enforcement agencies. It states that 7.04 percent of Hispanic drivers involved in crashes in 2005 were intoxicated, compared with 4.87 percent of Native Americans, 2.82 percent of whites and 2.28 percent of blacks.

    Hispanics "are more likely on average to be suspected of drinking in crashes that police officers investigate," research center database specialist Eric Rodgman said.

    Cultural differences and limited knowledge of U.S. laws might be driving the trend, law enforcement officials and community leaders said. Efforts are being made to develop education programs in the wake of recent high-profile fatal crashes.

    The numbers encompass the entire Hispanic community, and officials say it is important to convey the message of responsible driving to all Spanish-speaking residents in North Carolina, regardless of their legal status and education level.

    (I'll bet the "undocumented" are 3 times worse than the community as a whole.)

  51. The wave of the future:

  52. Now I have had many occasion in life to listen to pseudo-sophisticates of the homegrown and foreign varieties drag the US through the mud; been lectured by assholes on our towering evil, cultural shallowness, and impending collapse; given lessons in inventive history by rabid Marxists and knowing sermons on our rottenness by thorough-going cynics. I've had my fill on that end. I'm not going to sit here and contribute to your dirge.

    You all (save mat, sam, and ash) live in the greatest country on earth. You are blessed by its unique history, its remarkable sense of life, and its considerable gifts to humanity. And by its

    That's worth remembering every now and again as you descend into your cantankerous dotage.

  53. Perhaps you may care to comment on the following post.

  54. The shock of the new is nothing new. I am all for creative renewal. Change is not the same thing as progress. Creativity requires criticism. Not all change is bad neither is all criticism.

  55. Trish,

    Corruption is not OK. And a system built on corruption is not OK. Also, the market does not always know best, nor is the market immune to manipulation and disinformation.

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  58. "Fuck it, it ain't worth it."

    What is?

  59. Trish, we were asked to wax nostalgic. I agree with your outlook.