Illegal Immigration: The Issue is Coming to an End

First, a report from the Wall Street Journal:

Net migration from Mexico has plummeted to zero thanks to changing demographic and economic conditions on both sides of the border, a new study says, even as political battles over illegal immigration heat up and the issue heads to the U.S. Supreme Court.

After four decades that brought 12 million Mexican immigrants—more than half of them illegally—to the U.S., the curtain has come down on the biggest immigration wave in modern times.

“The net migration flow from Mexico to the United States has stopped and may have reversed,” says the report, which is based on an analysis of U.S. and Mexican government data by the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center…

There are three reasons this is happening:

1.  The Mexican economy, relative to the United States economy, is doing pretty well.  There simply isn’t as much economic need to migrate as their used to be.

2.  The United States economy – especially in home construction – is not as vibrant as it once was, and so there is less need for a pool of cheap labor.

3.  The Mexican fertility rate has cratered – going from about 7 children per woman 50 years ago to just over 2 children per woman today, and continuing to rapidly fall.  Mexico’s fertility rate will probably drop below replacement level in just a few years.  Long term, this means fewer young Mexicans and thus a simply smaller pool of people who would even want to move to the United States.

Of course, once we get rid of Obama, the United States economy could well take off in to boom times and that would act as a magnet for immigrants – but it would also benefit the Mexican economy, thus providing yet more reason for Mexicans to stay home.  Additionally, the trends in Mexican migration are not exactly duplicated in non-Mexican migration, but the fact of the matter is that all south of the border is growing economically and all of those nations are undergoing rapidly declining fertility rates…there might be a little over hang of Salvadorans coming after the Mexicans stop, but it won’t last long.  If anything, our next illegal immigrant problem will come from Africa as people there get wealthy enough to flee nations which are basket cases or likely to become such in the future…but its a long trip from Africa to the United States and we’ll never again have a situation where a large population of potential illegals is separated from us by a mere walk.

My point here is that the illegal immigrant problem, as such, is over or will be very soon.  The problem we have is what to do with those who came in the past 20 years – and in that, my fellow Republicans/conservatives we have a choice:  we can welcome them per Rubio’s plan or we can provide one, last insult which will ensure Democrats getting 70% of their votes for the next 50 years.  What will it be?  You know my answer – I have favored amnesty since 2007 (even back then I knew that the realities were changing – I wasn’t thinking in terms of electoral math but just hard facts:  birth rates declining, economy improving = less and less Mexicans coming across the border; so, why make a gigantic, heart ache issue out of it?).  I’m with Rubio; secure the border (which, at any rate, is mostly about protecting us from cross-border drug/slavery gangs and possible terrorist incursions) and provide a path to legality for those already here.  Issue ended.  Yes, as these people become citizens over the next ten years, they will give a majority of their votes to the Democrats – poor, immigrant groups have always voted for whomever showed willing to pass out some government assistance (and this goes all the way back to when my Irish Great-great-grandfather arrived in the 1850’s…Irish Catholics became dedicated Democrats for more than 100 years because the Republicans didn’t welcome them or offer them any aid); we can break that by welcoming them, providing some aid and while we’ll initially only win 35-40% of their votes, we’ll get their grand-children voting for us at least 50/50 (additionally, we’ll have made Americans out of them because that is what will come along with our welcome and our aid – teaching them of the greatness of America:  right now they are being taught to despise this nation by liberal Democrats…you want that to continue?).

The issue is over – our choice is to decide how we want to wind it up?  I go with welcoming and helping and turning them in to conservative, pro-life, gun-toting, patriotic American TEA Party fanatics…what do you want to do with them?

UPDATE:  Rubio has received some kudos out there for his reform proposal, but he’s also getting some stern pushback from some conservatives.  Allahpundit has the run-down.

The objections seem to revolve mostly around the fact that the 1986 immigration reform act was a complete failure on the enforcement end and, so, a lot of people are worried that Rubio will get rolled by the Democrats – leaving us with toothless enforcement mechanisms while a whole lotta amnesty is going on.  That is a legitimate worry, but Rubio has said he’s firm:  no strong enforcement, no Rubio vote…and if Rubio votes against, I can’t see the proposal getting the necessary 60 votes for cloture in the Senate (a Rubio “no” would give a lot of GOPers cover to go along with the “no”…just as a Rubio “yes” gives a lot of cover for going along with the “yes”).  I can definitely see scenarios where Obama and his Democrats poison-pill immigration reform just so they can race-bait on it going in to the 2014 mid-terms…we’ll see if that eventuates; but it is risky for them…honest Latinos who are not race-baiters (ie, almost all of them) simply want to ensure that family members can’t be deported…Democrats killing the bill by inserting enforcement-destroying provisions might get themselves a bit of a backlash.  At all events, having a prominent, Latino GOP Senator being out front on this issue and essentially giving any honest Latino what he wants vis a vis immigration is already doing well by the GOP.

Another objection is that doing this won’t win the GOP a huge number of Latino voters.  To me, this is a big “no kidding” objection…of course it won’t.  Its not designed to.  It is because we want to be merciful (seriously, I doubt that too many GOPers have to stomach to round up millions of people and send them home…there’s just something un-American in such a concept) and we need to deal with the problem that we move on this…and, in purely political terms, it gets a monkey off our back.  We no longer have to carry around this issue, trying to court Latinos while Democrats are telling them, “those GOPers are going to deport your uncle Jose”.  It clears the field and allows us to compete…and, remember, a crushing victory against liberalism means getting not all of the liberal voters, but just 10 or 15% of them…this will allow us to start doing that.

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84 thoughts on “Illegal Immigration: The Issue is Coming to an End

  1. bardolf2 January 29, 2013 / 2:53 pm

    The link is from April and the data is even a little older. Also, the Hispanic birth rate in the US is set to match the general population soon so a GOP strategy for outreach a la Gingrich should take that into account. I agree with the parallel between the Mexican experience and the Irish experience. In the end Mexican culture is primarily based on Spanish culture which is European and not too far from Irish culture.

    Legalization of marijuana and other drugs will solve the drugs flowing across the border problems and give states more money since they’ll be locking up fewer people. The money can then be used for areas like education where the federal government has no business thereby reducing the deficit.

  2. Cluster January 29, 2013 / 4:57 pm

    ….my fellow Republicans/conservatives we have a choice: we can welcome them per Rubio’s plan or we can provide one, last insult which will ensure Democrats getting 70% of their votes for the next 50 years. What will it be?

    In 1984, Regan received 37% of the Hispanic vote. In 1986, under the promise of border security, Reagan agreed to amnesty for 3 million illegal immigrants. Then in 1988, hoping to capitalize on the gift of amnesty, Bush I received just 30% of the Hispanic vote. So, “welcoming them”, doesn’t exactly equate to votes.

    Now I agree we need to remedy the situation, and border security is job 1. Job 2, should be creating a path to legal status, and that should include the provision that they do not have the right to vote for the first 10 years. (Rush has previously advocated a 25 year ban on voting). Let’s push for that and see how the Democrats react

    • Amazona January 29, 2013 / 6:00 pm

      Why should they ever be allowed to vote? They didn’t come here to be citizens, they came here for jobs and opportunity and, more often lately, for stuff.

      As I said in the post now posted below this, I am for AMNESTY regarding the waiver of a fine or deportation for illegals who have been employed and not broken other laws, but not, ever, of devaluing our citizenship by just handing it out to people who have never shown any respect for it.

      I for one find my American citizenship to the most precious thing I own, and I resent the idea of cheapening it by just handing out citizenship to people who flagrantly broke our laws and disrespected our country.

      Accommodate them, understand the humanitarian aspect of letting them stay and make better lives for themselves, but why reward them?

      • M. Noonan January 29, 2013 / 6:04 pm

        Amazona,

        Listening to Rubio explain his plan, it is clear that he wants the path to be long and slow for the illegals…some years before they can even get green cards, let alone become voting citizens. In thinking about it, an unintended (?) consequence of passing Rubio’s plan would be that for a lot of illegals it would be faster for them – if they are determined to permanently reside in the United States and become voters – to go back home and come back in legally under an expanded guest-worker program. I’m hoping Obama doesn’t figure this out – because if he does, I figure he’ll try to torpedo the whole bill…Democrats want, as swiftly as possible, to turn illegals in to voters who, in their minds, owe their voting rights entirely to the Democrats…Rubio wants them to jump through some hoops so they will be grateful to America for their chance…we’ll see in this who really is the slick politician who can get things done. I’m betting on Rubio.

    • M. Noonan January 29, 2013 / 6:01 pm

      Cluster,

      The model is Texas – Texas actually has a slightly higher proportion of Latinos than California, and yet that State is solidly red (though Democrats are starting a project to turn it blue – figuring that race-baiting like happened in California will eventually allow for a Democrat take-over of the State and thus a permanent Democrat majority for President). But McCain got 55.5% of the vote in Texas in 2008 while Romney pushed that up to 57.2%…there were more eligible Latino voters in Texas in 2012 than in 2008 and yet Romney scored much better than McCain in a year when, elsewhere, the Latino vote was crushing the GOP (it definitely cost us Florida and probably cost us Nevada and Colorado, as well…had we done as well with Latinos in those three States as we did in Texas, then Romney would have got 250 electoral votes. And if we were doing better with Latinos then New Mexico and California suddenly become competitive for us…screw a bunch of Ohio! If we could take California back for the GOP (it used to be pretty solid GOP at the Presidential level, you know?) then we don’t need Florida, Virginia or Ohio…Given the results at the State level over the past 10-20 years, there are out there 395 electoral votes (not counting California) which should to us at least half the time…we can be a permanent majority party if we go and get it…and getting it right on immigration is a key element of this.

    • ricorun January 29, 2013 / 7:47 pm

      I thought this was a pretty good analysis of the situation. What they basically say is: (1) that even if Romney had supported immigration reform, it probably wouldn’t have been enough to swing the election in his favor, because the Hispanic vote wasn’t pivotal enough. However: (2) in some swing states, notably Florida, Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico, Obama did need to carry the majority of the Hispanic vote to win them. Obama still would have won the election even if he had lost all four, but it would have been a whole lot closer. So (3) if, in the future, the Republican candidate and platform has broader appeal among Hispanic voters, they are in play. But the article also points out a major caveat: (4) Contrary to popular belief, polls indicate that Hispanics on average tend to be more liberal. The article says, The exit poll results suggest that the Republicans’ assertion that Hispanics are socially conservative is not necessarily true. Two-thirds of Hispanic voters said that abortion should be legal in most or all cases, compared with slightly more than half of white voters, according to exit poll results. Hispanics were also more liberal when it came to same-sex marriage, with 59 percent saying it should be legal in their state, compared with 51 percent of blacks and 47 percent of white voters. Exit poll results also indicate that Hispanics are not necessarily racing to adopt the Republican platform of smaller government. Nearly 6 in 10 Hispanics said Mr. Obama’s health care law should be expanded or left as is, compared to about a third of white voters. And 57 percent of Hispanics said that government should be doing more to solve the problems of individuals, compared to 36 percent of whites. Hispanics, like the rest of the electorate, were also in favor of raising income taxes in order to reduce the federal deficit.

      All that said, my take on it is that the GOP should not expect an immediate, major turn-around vis-a-vis the Hispanic vote. Cluster’s analysis supports that. However, as Mark intimated, the bleeding has to stop somewhere. If the GOP continues to appear to the general Hispanic community as uninterested in their plight, and certainly if they continue to appear draconian in their proposed solutions to it, their candidates will face an ever greater up-hill slog.

      • M. Noonan January 29, 2013 / 9:37 pm

        Its a real pity that, apparently, no exit polls were taken in Texas – any poll which purports to say that 59% of Latinos favor gay marriage is a poll massively over-weighted with liberal Latinos…which, in turn, means there is likely a body of conservative Latinos who, not appealed to, didn’t even show up…and least in most States, as they likely did show up in Texas.

        My view is that Latinos – in their broad majority – are socially conservative, with the caveat that urbanized, second-generation plus Latinos are probably not so much so. But, also, social issues are not the way to appeal to them – being heavily at the lower end of the economic scale, the way to appeal to them is on bread and butter economic issues, plus on education and law enforcement (on both sides of that – ensuring against harassment but also ensuring proper policing…people who live in crime-ridden neighborhoods don’t actually want there to be deals between upper class white liberals and the gang bangers…they want the gang bangers gone).

  3. dmlma January 29, 2013 / 5:24 pm

    I think Amazona laid out a pretty good strategy when this subject was discussed before. I believe the nuts and bolts of it was;
    1.) Secure the border first,
    2.) Require all current illegal’s to register in a given time frame, say 90 days. Anyone who does not register will automatically be deported and given no chance at returning,
    3.) Those who register will be given a background check. Anyone with a criminal background will automatically be deported and given no chance at returning,
    4.) All who register and pass their background check will need to show they are independent and can provide for all of their financial needs, food, shelter, medical, etc… and they must do so without taking a job from a US citizen willing to do that work (certain exceptions may apply). If they have children and those children are sent to our schools, they will need to pay for this as well.
    5.) Then and only then will they be given a card which allows them to stay for a given time frame (maybe 5-10 years). This time frame will be finite and not renewable. Anyone who wishes to gain citizenship will need to apply like everyone else before them.
    If they move they will need to notify the appropriate people. If they commit certain crimes (high level crimes, not jay-walking) they will be deported and not allowed to return. If they lose their ability to pay for their financial needs, they will be asked to leave until they can provide for themselves.
    There should be absolutely no reason for US citizens to subsidize legal / illegal ALIENS. There should be no reason for ALIENS to continue residence in the US if they committed serious crimes against their guest country.

    • Amazona January 29, 2013 / 5:55 pm

      This is a pretty good summary of my ideas, though I did not include having aliens pay for their children’s schooling, and I said that after a longish period, say 10-15 years, the immigrant would either have to apply for permanent residency or go home

      In my plan the temporary work visa would depend on passing an English equivalency exam and attending classes on functioning in the U.S. and the permanent residency would involve something much closer to our current citizenship qualifications.

      However, I have changed some of my ideas, though not very much. I was very impressed by a November article by Charles Krauthammer, in which he talked about much of what we have gone over here. He talked about “normalizing” illegals, short of citizenship and making the entire plan contingent upon sealing the border. I really liked that idea—put up a generous plan but make it contingent upon a good border policy.

      The biggest change I have undergone has been my approach to the word AMNESTY. I have fought the word, fought the idea, and been quite unyielding in my opposition. But now I like the word.

      This is why: The word really only means a waiver of a penalty for an action. It does not mean a reward for doing something, or an incentive, or any such thing. It’s just forgiveness of a penalty.

      So now I think the GOP ought to promote pretty much the plan described by dlmla, and by Dr. Krauthammer, and by me—but using the word AMNESTY, loud and proud, over and over again.

      Because really, what IS amnesty but not fining someone for being here illegally, or deporting him?

      The thing is, our law is so flimsy and weird that the actual penalty for being here illegally is basically the same as a traffic ticket, unless it is deportation, and I think we all agree that deportation is not a realistic or even rational goal, at least not for the law-abiding. So what is the big deal about trumpeting AMNESTY !!!! from every pulpit, on every talk show, in every article? Because all it would be would be a waiver of the fine, and waiver of deportation for those who have followed our laws, which is what other plans have anyway.

      It would not include this much-vaunted “path to citizenship”. People who came here to be citizens came here legally. We are not talking about them, but about people who came here to work, “for a better life”. And this would give them what they came here for in the first place.

      I see a huge difference between waiving a penalty and rewarding law-breaking, and I have the strongest possible aversion to the slap in the face this “path to citizenship” would be to those who respected the nation, followed the law, and did the right thing. If we’re going to devalue citizenship, and hand it out like Halloween candy to people who have done nothing to earn it or deserve it, then we ought to reimburse every cent legal immigrants spent to gain THEIR citizenship, and for the heartache and sacrifice and time and energy they had to expend, as well as offering them a huge apology. To me, offering “a path to citizenship” is grossly devaluing what should be the most sacred thing to any American.

      But if we can take over the word AMNESTY and make it ours, and apply it to our own program, of quickly ‘normalizing’ illegals while they are investigated, and make it all contingent upon sealing the border, I think we would have something workable, and productive.

  4. Amazona January 29, 2013 / 6:20 pm

    One thing I hear little or nothing about is a guest worker program.

    When I was a kid, we had migrant workers in the summer working on our farm. They didn’t bring their families, but stayed for two or three months, saved all their money, and then went back home where they and their families could live very well.

    Now they bring their families because there is no reliable way to get back and forth, so what they make here, while substantial by Mexican standards, means subsistence living here. They live crammed into nasty little trailer houses in often-dangerous trailer parks, or other substandard housing. The women seldom speak any English at all, and look terrified and intimidated. There is no pleasure for these families, living here. They live in Mexican ghettos, isolated from American culture, in abject poverty. I have often interpreted for these young women when they venture out to buy fast food or go to WalMart and many are too timid to do even that. And the culture is one where young mothers are part of an extended family of mothers, aunts, cousins and sisters, when the have their babies and rear their families. Here, they don’t have that.

    I firmly believe that if we were to establish a good migrant worker program, many of the poor families would be thrilled to return to Mexico, where the income from the U.S. jobs would provide a good way of life, where they have dignity, where they can relax in their own culture. A few months of work here, by a young man bunking in dormitory style with several others and sending home nearly everything he makes, will support a family in comfort, but he needs to be sure he can come and go, so he can go see his family every few weeks, and know he can return here for seasonal work when it comes around.

    I believe a good guest worker program would solve a lot of the problems we see now, such as poor families using emergency rooms for general medical care and schools inundated with children who speak no English.

  5. 02casper January 29, 2013 / 8:03 pm

    Mark,
    I agree that it’s time to get something done. If nothing else it will also add a number of taxpayers to the rolls which in the long run will help pay down the deficit.

    • ricorun January 29, 2013 / 9:57 pm

      Actually, casper, it’s more complicated than that. However, the growing consensus is that immigration reform could boost economic growth. The article says, “Numerous industries in the United States can’t find the workers they need, right now even in a bad economy, to fill their orders and expand their production as the market demands,” said Alex Nowrasteh,
      an immigration specialist at the libertarian Cato Institute
      [emphasis mine]. The emerging consensus among economists is that immigration provides a net benefit. It increases demand and productivity, helps drive innovation and lowers prices…” They go on to say that there is little agreement on the size of the impact on economic growth associated with immigration alone, and that’s not a surprise — other considerations have a stronger impact in that regard. Nonetheless, the bottom line message is that effective immigration policy can have a facilitatory effect on, and a symbiotic relationship with, economic growth. And that’s something we’ve been missing for the last decade or so.

      • ricorun January 29, 2013 / 10:00 pm

        Oh shoot… I meant to underline the immigration specialist at the libertarian Cato Institute part.

        My bad.

      • ricorun January 29, 2013 / 10:02 pm

        Shoot again! Apparently this site is not fully HTML compatible.

        I tried to fix it for you, but it doesn’t seem to like the underscore command//Moderator

        I underlined his name. Is this what you wanted? //Different Moderator

  6. Retired Spook January 30, 2013 / 10:07 am

    OT, but it looks like we could be heading back into recession.

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy shrank from October through December for the first time since the recession ended, hurt by the biggest cut in defense spending in 40 years, fewer exports and sluggish growth in company stockpiles.

    The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the economy contracted at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter. That’s a sharp slowdown from the 3.1 percent growth rate in the July-September quarter.

    The surprise contraction could raise fears about the economy’s ability to handle tax increases that took effect in January and looming spending cuts.

    Isn’t it interesting that, when GDP slows down the emphasis is on “the biggest cut in defense spending in 40 years”, but when GDP picks up it’s never mentioned how much of the increase was government spending.

    • Amazona January 30, 2013 / 10:31 am

      “Surprise contraction”? Surprise to whom?

      It’s always such a SURPRISE !!!!! when Leftist policies result in economic misery. There is always this wide-eyed amazement that such a thing could possibly happen.

      Again.

      Now what’s that old line about doing the same thing and expecting different results……??

      BTW, Spook, I always appreciate your take on things, as you often note a different aspect than what first jumped out at me.

      I just read this on RedState, in the comments column. (BTW, I highly recommend taking a look at Eric Ericson’s post on his farewell to CNN—he makes a very good point about friendships with and admiration for people on the other end of the political spectrum).

      “That said, there are venues where that discourse is welcome, such as in our personal contact with friends and colleagues. On Redstate.com, as my contributor/moderator colleagues and I have pointed out repeatedly, we’re not here for debates with liberals. We’re here to energize our side, and rarely does such discourse accomplish that. So we’ll continue to bounce many of the leftists who try to come in here and spout the party line. There are certain ones who come here and interact in a way that doesn’t emanate from The Talking Point-o-Matic, and they continue to be welcome. Our site is unapologetically partisan.”

      This struck home with me, and made me think that our efforts here to engage in rational and mutually educational discourse with representatives of the RRL have been so unproductive and unpleasant, with no real debate on anything but just conservatives posting ideas and the Left posting attacks and sneers, perhaps RedState has the right idea in identifying itself not as a forum for debate but as venue for energizing (and yes, educating) our side.

      ??????????

      • Retired Spook January 30, 2013 / 11:03 am

        Amazona,

        I absolutely agree with the comment you posted. In 9 years I can count on one hand the number of Liberals who have come to B4B/B4V in search of honest political discussion. I’m finally to the point where I just ignore them unless they post a really egregious lie. Like you, I have the innate aversion to people who attempt to influence opinion by making things up.

        I read Eric Ericson’s farewell to CNN, and this part stuck out:

        I had to learn an art form too often missing these days in partisan talk — the art of conversation, particularly with those who might disagree with me. I had to learn to be friends with people who I disagreed with. And I leave deeply caring for those people.

        He’s a better man than I, as I have a difficult time making friends, or even wanting to make friends with someone who is in favor of a system that I served to protect against for 24 years.

      • neocon01 January 30, 2013 / 12:48 pm

        He’s a better man than I, as I have a difficult time making friends, or even wanting to make friends with someone who is in favor of a system that I served to protect against for 24 years.

        AAAAAAAAMEN to that Brother!!

      • Cluster January 30, 2013 / 1:26 pm

        I agree with Amazona as well, and don’t have the solution yet, but we have to find a way to get through to a large segment of the population that are just massively uninformed and over emotional.

        Whatever happened to the President’s laser focus on jobs? Nobody seems to be concerned about that anymore, specifically the President.

      • Retired Spook January 30, 2013 / 1:38 pm

        AAAAAAAAMEN to that Brother!!

        Neo, I suppose being in the broadcast journalism business requires a completely different mindset. Personally I have no use for anyone who subscribes to the progressive agenda.

      • Amazona January 30, 2013 / 3:11 pm

        ‘I have a difficult time making friends, or even wanting to make friends with someone who is in favor of a system that I served to protect against for 24 years.”

        I understand—yet I think that few if any of these people actually ARE in favor of the system you fought against. There seems to be an impenetrable veil of disconnection between the feel-good, warm fuzzy, “wouldn’t it be great IF…” motivation of the vast majority of those who are the American Left and the true believers in the political system you are talking about.

        If any one of most Americans who vote Left could be engaged in a conversation in which emotional bias was removed, one where he did not feel defensive, it is my belief that he would declare with absolute honesty that he believes in the Constitution and that we need to run the nation according to its rule of law. I believe that he would, if you were to go through each and every enumerated duty of the federal government, and discuss the Bill of Rights, be would agree with it all and be in favor of it all.

        What I have seen happen is such an erosion of the knowledge it takes to sort through the political rhetoric people are now fed that any discussion involves an actual educational process, one which conservatives can only accomplish on a one-to-one basis or through freedom of choice in education where parents can get their children out of the indoctrination centers that pass for schools these days.

        An example: I was once dining alone in a hotel dining room and the woman doing the same thing at the next table suggested that we sit together. We talked about general things, and when the conversation roamed into communication with animals and I related some of my experiences she looked at me and said “I can’t believe you are a conservative”. (Early on, we had touched very briefly on the upcoming election and I said I was a conservative, and she identified as a Liberal.)

        I responded with the same kind of thing I say here all the time, that believing that we need to govern the nation according to the Constitution has nothing to do with any other aspect of my life. I took advantage of the situation to say something else I say here—that elections are supposed to be about how best to govern the nation, not personalities or scandals or any of the other things are substituted for politics to sway people emotionally.

        From that point on, we had a very good conversation. She was for government health care, and I said so am I—-on a Constitutionally allowed state or local level, if so voted in by the citizens of that state or county or group, but not at the federal level, and I quoted the 10th Amendment. Now this woman is a highly educated professional woman who was in town to speak at a professional conference, and she had never even heard of what i was saying, much less thought about it or discussed it.

        It was a warm, friendly, cheerful discussion, with laughter and a couple glasses of wine, and she asked a lot of questions. She actually kind of quizzed me on being conservative. She seemed quite taken aback at the concept that I, and other conservatives, want almost exactly the same things she does, and disagree only on how best to accomplish them while remaining well within the guidelines of our Constitution. She was honest and thoughtful, and when we parted she thanked me for being so friendly and pleasant even though we agreed on nothing, politically, and said she was going to go home to Seattle and do some research into what I had told her. She said it was a completely different way of looking at things than she had experienced before.

        Most Lefties are not this open. And I was very careful to never challenge any of her ideas, just to point out that each of the things she found important can be accomplished better, and cheaper, and more efficiently, at the state or local or private level.

        What it taught me was that there is a vast pool of bright, well-educated, well-intentioned people in this country who have never questioned the template they have been taught, regarding the differences between Left and Right. To them, the difference is not one of political ideology, or what kind of government is necessary to accomplish something, but of the morality inherent in wanting something to be accomplished. The US vs THEM paradigm has been so successfully established by the leaders of the Left—people whom I view just as you said, people fighting to dismantle everything I believe in to replace it with something I abhor——that very very few ever look past it to the reality that the difference is only in how the mutually desired goals should be accomplished.

        I think the template can be shattered, and replaced with a calm and rational reality. I believe that for every determinedly hostile Lefty dependent on the hate and suspicion and distrust that drives him, as we see from the Lefties on this blog, there are several good people like this woman who simply have never actually sat down with a conservative to talk about things.

        It’s just that so far the GOP has not had a leader who can convey these things, communicate the reality of the Right, and break through that carefully constructed veil of distrust and disinformation. Not since Reagan, anyway.

      • Retired Spook January 30, 2013 / 5:47 pm

        I think the template can be shattered, and replaced with a calm and rational reality. I believe that for every determinedly hostile Lefty dependent on the hate and suspicion and distrust that drives him, as we see from the Lefties on this blog, there are several good people like this woman who simply have never actually sat down with a conservative to talk about things.

        Amazona,

        You may be right. Based on the vote totals, there were a few million fewer people who voted for Obama the second time around, and I sense that some of those who did vote for him are already tiring of defending his often indefensible actions and policies.

        I was recently approached by the husband of my high school sweetheart who actually lives not far from you about how to solve the terrible ideological divide we face in this country. He and she are both self-described “knee-jerk liberals”. I’ve been kind of uncertain about how to proceed, and, with your permission, I’d like to share your post with him. It might be a good starting point. Maybe if every involved Conservative would adopt an “unexamined” Liberal, we could change the course of history in a relatively short period of time. Can’t hurt to try.

      • M. Noonan January 30, 2013 / 7:10 pm

        The weakness in any attempt to discuss things with our liberals is their unwillingness to define their terms. Plenty of people here have asked liberals to state clearly what they want and only rarely is an actual response given – and those few times when it has been given, I think we’ve all enjoyed the subsequent debate. You have to define terms in order to be friends, even if you disagree with each other…as Chesterton put it, a fervent son of Allah and a Crusader could get along a lot better than modern people…the son of Allah would say, “I say God is one” and the Crusader would rejoin with, “I also say He is one, but also three”…and that would be the start of a good, solid, quarrelsome friendship. But our liberals won’t do that – partially because most rank-and-file liberals have never thought deeply about what they believe (they are merely repeating ad-infinitum what they learned by rote) while liberal leaders know full well that a genuine exposition of liberal ideals would lead to their rejection by the mass of the American people.

        Take our recent debates over gun control – clearly, what the liberal leaders want is an outright ban on firearm ownership among the American people. This would eventually require the repeal of the 2nd Amendment…but they also know that if they laid their cards on the table and said they wanted to repeal the 2nd Amendment, it would end up being a very short debate and it would be resoundingly won by conservatives. Additionally, its not just the lost debate that frightens liberals, but the fact that a full, free and fair debate would force the liberal – unless he’s just a rank liar – to change his views. Nothing seems to frighten a liberal more than the prospect that his views will have to be adjusted – and this is seen in the fact that liberal views only very rarely change. In my life, I’ve gone from pro-choice to pro-life, from barely Christian to orthodox Catholic, from Capitalist to Distributist…because I have learned things as I’ve gone along and as new information comes to me which I consider valid, I change my views to suit the facts as I see them. For the most part – with some honorable exceptions – liberals don’t do this.

      • Amazona January 30, 2013 / 8:46 pm

        Spook, of course you can share the post with your friend. I am flattered that you want to.

        I really enjoyed the conversation I related to you, and would love to be able to have more of them.

        Mark, I know exactly what you mean about the refusal of the Left to define their terms. Look at the many years I have, on this blog, asked various Libs to define their terms.

        But I have seen Libs fall into different categories, and while some of them are not accessible by conventional means, such as logic or reason, I think many are. Or would be, if we could break through that carefully constructed bias that was designed, and which works so well, to keep the two political sides apart.

        The Left excels at the old game of “Let’s You And Her Fight” and it is the biggest obstacle we have to overcome. I think it is doable, and I think the first step is merely to state, a few million times, by a few thousand Republican candidates, that the election (whichever one it is) is not between two people but between two opposing political systems. To state, a few million times by a few thousand candidates, that the end goals of both sides are very similar if not the same, and that the conflict lies only in which method should be used to accomplish those goals.

        Just imagine the difference in our election cycles if, over two or three or four cycles the opposition could be forced to debate not on personality or scandal or lies but simply on which system is the better way to govern the nation.

    • J. R. Babcock (@JRBabcock) January 30, 2013 / 1:34 pm

      Clearly what’s needed is more tax increases, more unemployment benefits and more people on food stamps — all sure positives for GDP growth according to our liberals.

      • neocon01 January 30, 2013 / 3:07 pm

        Clearly what’s needed is more tax increases, more unemployment benefits and more people on food stamp

        more illiterate, peon mexicans? WHO KNEW (all “good” donks)

  7. 02casper January 30, 2013 / 9:46 pm

    Mark,
    Just a few comments.

    “Take our recent debates over gun control – clearly, what the liberal leaders want is an outright ban on firearm ownership among the American people.”

    Except I don’t see anyone with any power trying to ban firearm ownership among the American people. There are some liberals that would be fine with that, but nobody in a position of power.

    “Additionally, its not just the lost debate that frightens liberals, but the fact that a full, free and fair debate would force the liberal – unless he’s just a rank liar – to change his views. Nothing seems to frighten a liberal more than the prospect that his views will have to be adjusted – and this is seen in the fact that liberal views only very rarely change.”

    I’ve changed my views a lot over the years. I’ve gone from homophobe to a supporter of gay rights. I’ve gone from Republican to Democrat, from conservative to liberal. All of this happened as I gained new information and I have to say this blog has helped in that.

    • Cluster January 30, 2013 / 10:31 pm

      Casper,

      Do you equate being homophobic with being conservative? And name one or two issues that persuaded you the most in becoming liberal. If you would please.

      • 02casper January 30, 2013 / 10:45 pm

        “Do you equate being homophobic with being conservative?”

        No, I’m only commenting on my own evolution.

        “And name one or two issues that persuaded you the most in becoming liberal.”

        Torture. The conservative defense of waterboarding for one.

      • Cluster January 30, 2013 / 11:09 pm

        So enhanced interrogation techniques applied to known jihadists whom were known to have timely information is what persuaded you to be liberal? Really?

      • Amazona January 31, 2013 / 1:15 am

        casper, I can understand that you might define waterboarding as torture. I don’t agree, but I can see the position.

        What I don’t understand is how that can change you from believing that the nation must be governed according to the Constitution (conservative) to thinking that it is not only legal but desirable to change from a federal government strictly restricted as to the size, scope and power to a federal government which can and should assume duties not enumerated in the Constitution.

        I see no relationship between the two.

        In my opinion, one could easily find waterboarding abhorrent and call it torture, and decide to vote out the people who approve it, without changing from a Constitutional view of government to a view accepting and supporting an expansion of federal size, scope and power in direct violation of the 10th Amendment.

        One is disapproval of specific group of people in power at a certain time in our history, and the decisions they make, and the other is a complete reversal of political philosophy.

      • Amazona January 31, 2013 / 1:21 am

        I also wonder if your views on the Constitution, such as your belief that the Constitution as written as opposed to as interpreted means support of slavery, have changed due to the decision to save thousands of lives by making a couple of terrorists extremely uncomfortable for a short period of time.

        And please tell us what you have “learned” on this blog that changed you into a Liberal. You have always written here as a Liberal—were you really a conservative merely posing as a Liberal when you came onto the blog?

      • neocon01 January 31, 2013 / 9:26 am

        catspuke

        Torture. The conservative defense of waterboarding for one.

        Ooh gwad go change your diapers you just peed in them……good grief what a never was Moron.

    • M. Noonan January 30, 2013 / 10:36 pm

      Casper,

      Very few make the trip from conservative to liberal – its mostly from liberal to conservative. But I assert that your conservatism – such as it was – was no real thing: just that you say you’ve gone from being a “homophobe” to a “supporter of gay rights” means that you clearly never understood conservatism. No conservative is a “homophobe”; the very word is anti-intellectual and is a mere slur by liberals to shut down debate about homosexuality. “Let’s discuss the place homosexuals have in our society”, says a conservative. “Homophobe!”, shouts a liberal. To say the word “homophobe” is a means of not having a debate – what I would ask is for you to define your terms; tell us, precisely, what place homosexuals should have in our society – and no generalities; you must provide specifics – and then we can have a debate. Or, you can shout “homophobe” and have no debate, at all.

      Getting back to the gun control debate – the only way you can seriously restrict the ability of Americans to own firearms is by repealing the 2nd Amendment. American tradition and the Supreme Court have ruled that we have an individual right to bear arms – to say that the only thing we can bear is an arm which would be useful to defend ourselves or our liberties is to deny this right…and that means the 2nd Amendment must be gone. A rational argument can be made against the 2nd Amendment – but liberals never make it because they know that if they got in to the specifics of it, they’d lose the debate. So, they pull heart strings about dead children (as long as they aren’t dead as the result of abortion) and try to talk nonsense about our right to bear arms only being to bear a muzzle loading musket.

      • 02casper January 30, 2013 / 10:55 pm

        “M. Noonan January 30, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

        Casper,

        Very few make the trip from conservative to liberal – its mostly from liberal to conservative.”

        That’s a myth. I know a lot of former conservatives.

        “Getting back to the gun control debate – the only way you can seriously restrict the ability of Americans to own firearms is by repealing the 2nd Amendment.”

        I’m not saying Americans can’t own firearms but there are already restrictions. Try buying a bazooka. No one in power is trying to repeal the 2nd Amendment.

      • Cluster January 30, 2013 / 11:11 pm

        Try buying a bazooka

        The bubble gum?

      • M. Noonan January 30, 2013 / 11:28 pm

        Casper,

        That is another reason your side wants to avoid an actual debate – an actual debate would not only re-affirm the 2nd, but would also eventually have to come down on the side of Americans being able to own any single-operator weapon…this doesn’t mean a bazooka, but it does mean a grenade launcher. The basic thrust of the 2nd – and the Militia Act passed in 1792 to essentially enforce the 2nd – is that the entirety of the adult American population is to be always armed and trained for war. And that means having pretty much anything an army has…boiled down, outside of naval ships, first-line war planes and things like tanks, we’re supposed to have it all…and the only reason we won’t have those items is because the expense and operation of them is beyond the means of a single person.

        I’ve posted this before, but here it is, again: this is what the Founders envisioned for the 2nd Amendment:

        Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia, by the Captain or Commanding Officer of the company, within whose bounds such citizen shall reside, and that within twelve months after the passing of this Act. And it shall at all time hereafter be the duty of every such Captain or Commanding Officer of a company, to enroll every such citizen as aforesaid, and also those who shall, from time to time, arrive at the age of 18 years, or being at the age of 18 years, and under the age of 45 years (except as before excepted) shall come to reside within his bounds; and shall without delay notify such citizen of the said enrollment, by the proper non-commissioned Officer of the company, by whom such notice may be proved. That every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than twenty four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise or into service, except, that when called out on company days to exercise only, he may appear without a knapsack. That the commissioned Officers shall severally be armed with a sword or hanger, and espontoon; and that from and after five years from the passing of this Act, all muskets from arming the militia as is herein required, shall be of bores sufficient for balls of the eighteenth part of a pound; and every citizen so enrolled, and providing himself with the arms, ammunition and accoutrements, required as aforesaid, shall hold the same exempted from all suits, distresses, executions or sales, for debt or for the payment of taxes.

        Armed for war, my friend…not for hunting and not for personal, self defense…we’re all supposed to be ready to go to war on an instant’s notice…as soon as the alarm sounds, all citizens 18-45 (we progress and what was for white, male citizens in 1792 is now for all adult citizens physically fit to bear arms) are supposed to go home, get their weapons and equipment of war, muster in to companies and regiments and march off to fight…

      • watsonthethird January 31, 2013 / 12:43 am

        Mark, a more thorough discussion of the Militia Acts would be worthy of a detailed post here, rather than a comment to an article about the end of illegal immigration.

        According to Wikipedia,

        The first Act, passed May 2, 1792, provided for the authority of the president to call out the militias of the several states, “whenever the United States shall be invaded, or be in imminent danger of invasion from any foreign nation or Indian tribe.] The law also authorized the President to call the militias into Federal service “whenever the laws of the United States shall be opposed or the execution thereof obstructed, in any state, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the marshals by this act”. This provision likely referred to uprisings such as Shays’ Rebellion. The president’s authority in both cases was to expire after two years.

        Interesting that it calls for the authority of the president to call out the militias.

        The second Militia Act called for the organization of state militias. According to Wikipedia, the Militia Act of 1903 “formulated the concept of the National Guard and also ensured that all state military forces were simultaneously dual reservists under the authority of the Army Reserve.”

        The 1792 act called for “Militia members were to arm themselves with a musket, bayonet and belt, two spare flints, a cartridge box with 24 bullets, and a knapsack. Men owning rifles were required to provide a powder horn, 1/4 pound of gun powder, 20 rifle balls, a shooting pouch, and a knapsack.[5] Some occupations were exempt, such as congressmen, stagecoach drivers, and ferryboatmen. Otherwise, men were required to report for training twice a year, usually in the Spring and Fall.”

        I don’t know about you, but I have never reported to training, spring, fall, winter or summer. And saying that “muskets and bayonets” unequivocally lead to all Americans owning “any single-operator weapon” seems a bit of a stretch. That would presumably include any size bomb that can transported by a man and detonated with the flick of a switch.

      • M. Noonan January 31, 2013 / 12:49 am

        Watson,

        I’m aware that the Militia Act of 1903 superseded the Act of 1792, but I use it for illustration purposes: that is what the Founders meant by militia…not something controlled by the federal government, but essentially the nation in arms. Yes, it could be called out by the President, but it was up to the localities and the States to provide the troops with no input from Uncle Sam – colonel on down (which means everything regiment and below) was a State and local matter. This also meant that the militia would have its own regimental artillery…so, yes, it does mean that a citizen could own some quite powerful weapons.

      • watsonthethird January 31, 2013 / 1:10 am

        Right. But the Militia Act of 1792 was passed by Congress in response to events at the time. At least, from my quick reading it was prompted by fighting with Indians. The Militia Act of 1903 was also passed by Congress, and was also prompted by events of the day.

        Surely you agree that the Founding Fathers granted Congress the authority to make laws in response to the needs of the republic at that time. Which is what Congress did in these cases, and has done throughout the history of the country.

        Your claim the citizens could and should own very powerful weapons because the Second Congress was talking about muskets still seems a bit of a stretch. Which is why a more thorough and convincing take on it would be interesting.

        In addition, to hear some of the commenters around here and the last several years, the purpose of a militia is to overthrow the federal government when they, the militia members, decide the federal government no longer upholds the constitution. And they sometimes base their argument on the Militia Act of 1792. For people making that argument, it must be ironic that the Militia Act of 1792 calls for the president to call out the militias.

      • Amazona January 31, 2013 / 1:27 am

        wattle,will you please tell us who has said that citizens “should own very powerful weapons”?

        All I ever hear is an insistent belief that the term “shall not be infringed ” actually means “ shall not be infringed “.

      • Amazona January 31, 2013 / 1:35 am

        wattle,please tell us how you interpret this: “….the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

      • watsonthethird January 31, 2013 / 1:36 am

        You know, Amy, Mark and I were having a pleasant exchange… no name calling, no vitriol. And then you showed up.

        Mark said, “The basic thrust of the 2nd – and the Militia Act passed in 1792 to essentially enforce the 2nd – is that the entirety of the adult American population is to be always armed and trained for war.” What kind of arms is the entirety of the adult American population to be armed with? “Pretty much anything an army has.” He further explained, “we’re all supposed to be ready to go to war on an instant’s notice…” And then agreed that “it does mean that a citizen could own some quite powerful weapons,” in response to my example of individual citizens owning very powerful bombs.

        That certainly sounds to me like Mark, at least, reads the Founding Fathers as expecting the citizenry to be armed with very powerful weapons, which the individual citizens themselves own. That’s the “should” part.

      • Amazona January 31, 2013 / 1:40 am

        wattle, you know perfectly well I posted a couple of short, calm, rational, non-insulting posts.

        Asking you to back up one of your assertions is hardly the same as “vitriol” and neither is quoting the 2nd Amendment. Yes, I can see how either or both might make you uncomfortable, but squealing that they constitute “vitriol” is just downright silly.

      • Amazona January 31, 2013 / 1:42 am

        Well, there’s “could” and there’s “should” and believe it or not they do not mean the same thing.

      • Amazona January 31, 2013 / 1:43 am

        I would also like to point out that the thrust of the latest effort to infringe upon the right to bear arms is not focused on the power of the weapons but on their appearance.

      • watsonthethird January 31, 2013 / 1:51 am

        Amy said, “I would also like to point out that the thrust of the latest effort to infringe upon the right to bear arms is not focused on the power of the weapons but on their appearance.”

        Fine. But Mark brought up the Militia Act of 1792, which is what I was asking about. I do think it is something Mark could expound on at length some time.

        And then you came along with your name-calling. Apparently you are simply incapable of asking your questions in civil manner. Do you do this at the dinner table when you talk politics with your relatives? Call them belittling names?

        I mean, seriously, Amy. You complain and complain that “liberals” are incapable of a civil discussion, and yet you prove time after time that you are simply incapable of it yourself. We’ve all observed your act for months, if not years. At least you’re consistent.

      • Amazona January 31, 2013 / 1:52 am

        At the risk of being called “vitriolic” I would like to point out an error in your thinking, or at least in your post.

        You say ” And they sometimes base their argument on the Militia Act of 1792. For people making that argument, it must be ironic that the Militia Act of 1792 calls for the president to call out the militias.”

        Yeah, but it doesn’t. The first of the Acts gives the president the AUTHORITY to call out the militia, in certain circumstances, authority which expires in two years from the time of the precipitating event, and the second Act supports this authority.

        Not quite the same as “calling for the president to call out the militias”.

        Not even close. In point of fact, it has always been quite obvious that the purposes of the militias were multiple, including national defense and defense against domestic tyranny.

      • Amazona January 31, 2013 / 1:58 am

        Oh, dear, you poor thing. All this hysteria is because I call you “wattle” instead of “watson”? It must be, as that is as close to name-calling as I got. You notice that I do not get the vapors and flip out when you call me “Amy” though that is a distortion of my name.

        I DID ask my questions in a civil manner. I’m sorry if your personal bias means that you project things into my posts that simply do not exist, but my questions were calm, civil, and straightforward.

        Sweetie, you really do need to take it easy and stop working so hard to be insulted. It’s kinda weird and kinda sad. Just take a deep breath, read the words they way they look on the page without inventing some malignant tone or hostile insult, and you’ll be a lot happier.

      • watsonthethird January 31, 2013 / 2:10 am

        Thank you, Amazona, for a reasonable response. I am by no means an expert on the Militia Act of 1792, and I doubt that many readers here are, if any. I have said more than once that a longer treatment of this topic would be welcome, and I stand by it. Maybe we could all learn a bit more.

        As far as I can tell, the title of the Militia Act of 1792 reads:

        Militia Act of 1792,
        Second Congress, Session I. Chapter XXVIII
        Passed May 2, 1792,
        providing for the authority of the President to call out the Militia

        Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That whenever the United States shall be invaded, or be in imminent danger of invasion from any foreign nation or Indian tribe, it shall be lawful for the President of the United States, to call forth such number of the militia of the state or states most convenient to the place of danger or scene of action as he may judge necessary to repel such invasion, and to issue his orders for that purpose, to such officer or officers of the militia as he shall think proper; and in case of an insurrection in any state, against the government thereof, it shall be lawful for the President of the United States, on application of the legislature of such state, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened) to call forth such number of the militia of any other state or states, as may be applied for, or as he may judge sufficient to suppress such insurrection.

        I understand that “That this act shall continue and be in force, for and during the term of two years, and from thence to the end of the next session of Congress thereafter, and no longer.”

        It still seems ironic to me that people that cite this act as support for the idea that militias need to be armed and ready to overthrow the federal government when the president–namely, President Obama–subverts the constitution. I mean, it’s funny.

        As far as wattle and all the other insults you hurl at people, we all understand that you are simply incapable of a civil conversation without attempting to belittle others.

      • Amazona January 31, 2013 / 2:27 am

        “…you are simply incapable of a civil conversation without attempting to belittle others.”

        Yet I am participating in this conversation in a civil manner, belittling no one.

        And even a casual perusal of the blog will show that this is hardly an exception.

        Clearly you are talking about a matter of personal perception and not of fact.

      • Amazona January 31, 2013 / 2:38 am

        “It still seems ironic to me that people that cite this act as support for the idea that militias need to be armed and ready to overthrow the federal government when the president–namely, President Obama–subverts the constitution. I mean, it’s funny.”

        Perhaps your amusement comes from the realization that your statement is simply not true—-at least not regarding the vast majority of those who defend the 2nd Amendment. You might be able to find a few here and there who believe “… that militias need to be armed and ready to overthrow the federal government when the president–namely, President Obama–subverts the constitution…” but I have not heard this put forth as a defense of the 2nd Amendment.

        No, it is the ABILITY to have a well regulated militia, if “…. necessary to the security of a free state…” that provides one part of the argument. The other is stated in my post on the change in punctuation in the version that was sent to the states for ratification and was then authenticated by the Secretary of State.

        And this ability is not related in any way to President Obama. The statement was written and approved by the states and made a part of the Constitution long before he came on the scene.

      • dmlma January 31, 2013 / 10:20 am

        “– the only way you can seriously restrict the ability of Americans to own firearms is by repealing the 2nd Amendment.”

        I think this is naïve thinking. As already noted, liberals are far too cowardly to attempt a direct ban on the 2nd Amendment. What they will do however, with any and every trick they can muster, is to constantly add new “laws” to trim and handcuff our constitutional rights. I use that term “law” here loosely as I believe much of what they do is unconstitutional and therefore not a true law – but that’s another issue as once the new “law” is instituted, it often takes great resources and people of courage to overturn these.
        Take NY’s recently enacted gun-control “laws”. One simple provision in these new rules is to further restrict the gun magazine size from 10 bullets to a “maximum” of 7. In one swift action liberals (and cowardly RINO’s) have made most every gun owned by the law abiding general public, illegal to own in their current format. While there may be a few manufactures who are willing to make a new magazine with the new provisions, I doubt that most will as it won’t be cost effective. And in many cases the method of holding bullets is not removable, such as a .22 with a rotary magazine. So in effect, a significant number of the currently owned guns and / or guns available are illegal to NY residence.
        Who needs to repeal the 2nd Amendment when you make guns obsolete with new enacted restrictions?

      • Amazona January 31, 2013 / 10:39 am

        Why should we enter into a discussion on the Militia Act(s) of 1792?

        They were statutes, without the force or status of Constitutional Amendments. Any part of the Constitution overrides any legislate act, law or statute.

        And they were temporary. From wikipedia: emphasis mine

        They were replaced by the Militia Act of 1903, which established the United States National Guard as the chief body of organized military reserves in the United States.

      • Amazona January 31, 2013 / 10:44 am

        ” No one in power is trying to repeal the 2nd Amendment.”

        However, many in power are trying, with great vigor and enthusiasm, to whittle away at the rights outlined in the 2nd Amendment, to modify those rights and diminish those rights and in general limit those rights.

        Those in power and those who support them are not going to openly go up against the 2nd Amendment. This is not their way. Their strategy is to nibble away at it, limiting it here and there, weakening it here and there, till although it technically exists as part of the Bill of Rights it is so hamstrung by convoluted laws, restrictions and conditions that it is effectively worthless.

        This is a different strategy than that applied to the 10th Amendment, which is simply ignored as if it does not exist.

    • neocon01 January 31, 2013 / 9:22 am

      catspuke

      I’ve changed my views a lot over the years. I’ve gone from homophobe to a supporter of gay rights. I’ve gone from Republican to Democrat, from conservative to liberal. All of this happened as I gained new information and I have to say this blog has helped in that.

      what utter BS and nonsense, just admit you came out of the closet and met steve.

  8. Amazona January 31, 2013 / 2:22 am

    I always see a version of the Second Amendment which is not, strictly speaking, the version ratified by the states and approved by Secretary of State Jefferson.

    From wikipedia:

    There are several versions of the text of the Second Amendment, each with slight capitalization and punctuation differences, found in the official documents surrounding the adoption of the Bill of Rights. One version was passed by the Congress, while another is found in the copies distributed to the States and then ratified by them.

    As passed by the Congress:

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    The change in punctuation and capitalization is important. In the second version, which ought to be the official version as it is the one ratified by the states and authenticated by Jefferson, the word “militia” is not capitalized, which means it is a general term and not specific to any one militia or category of militia. And two commas were removed in the final, ratified and authenticated, version.

    In the first, which is also the one commonly quoted, the additional commas can be claimed to mean the right to bear arms is connected with the “well regulated Militia”—the capitalized “Militia” could be a specific formal entity.

    The second, ratified, authenticated version is clearer. It is a sentence with two specific parts, separated by one comma. The first part says a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state. This is important, because it not only makes the term “militia” a general one, it specifically states that the purpose is for the security of a free state, and when we look at the contemporaneous writings of Jefferson and the other Founders we can see that this refers to a state free from tyranny. It does not say “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of the Union…” but of “…a FREE STATE..”

    And then there is a second discrete part of the sentence, which can stand on its own——“….the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    We as a poorly educated nation tend to ignore or dismiss the importance of punctuation, but it is critical. An example is the sentence “He wore a hat and gloves made of leather” or “He wore a hat and gloves, made of leather” or “He wore a hat, and gloves made of leather”. In the first two sentences, the hat and gloves are all made of leather. In the third, we don’t know what the hat is made of, but we know the gloves were leather.

    The wording of the amendment was changed, we can only assume to clarify it, before it was sent on to the states for ratification. And the change separates the clause referring to a general militia from the clause stating that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    • neocon01 January 31, 2013 / 9:28 am

      waspstoogetheT*rd

      .the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

      END of the story…..PERIOD!!!!!

    • Amazona January 31, 2013 / 11:02 am

      A lesson in the importance of punctuation:

      “A panda walks into a restaurant, sits down and orders a sandwich. After he finishes eating the sandwich, the panda pulls out a gun and shoots the waiter, and then stands up to go. “Hey!” shouts the manager. “Where are you going? You just shot my waiter and you didn’t pay for your sandwich!”

      The panda yells back at the manager, “Hey man, I am a PANDA! Look it up!”

      The manager opens his dictionary and sees the following definition for panda: “A tree-dwelling marsupial of Asian origin, characterised by distinct black and white colouring. Eats shoots and leaves.”

      This is the title of a book on punctuation: “Eats, Shoots and Leaves” is about, among other things, the way the meaning of a sentence changes when punctuation changes.

  9. Retired Spook January 31, 2013 / 10:50 am

    Meanwhile, the slaughter of innocents in Obama’s home town continues.

    • Amazona January 31, 2013 / 10:58 am

      42 deaths in January, in Obama’s home town.

      Maybe they should make it illegal to own guns.

      Or to shoot people.

      Or maybe they should put up more signs saying Chicago is a gun-free zone.

      Because these are solutions to gun violence. Just ask a Lefty.

      • neocon01 January 31, 2013 / 3:50 pm

        From the Daily Beast,

        Yesterday the Baton Rouge Advocate published a lengthy analysis of the 2012 murder stats in the city. Take a look at this PDF of one of the inside pages. Last year, 83 people died by homicide in Baton Rouge. Of that number, 87% were black, and 87% were male. Two-thirds had been in trouble with the law before, and one-third had been in trouble with the law for drugs. The median age of victims: 26.
        Of the perpetrators, the median age was 22. Get this: 96% of them were black, and 90% were male. Almost two-thirds had previous arrests. One out of four had a drug record.
        Most of the murders took place in the poorest parts of the city.
        What can we learn from these statistics? That murder in Baton Rouge is almost entirely about young black men from the poor part of town killing other young black men from the poor part of town. It’s mostly a matter of thugs killing thugs.

        State Homicide Rates by Race —

        From the Washington Post,
        a breakdown of gun violence in New York City [The Color of Murder and Gun Violence in New York] :”In short, 95.1 percent of all murder victims and 95.9 percent of all shooting victims in New York City are black or Hispanic. And 90.2 percent of those arrested for murder and 96.7 percent of those arrested for shooting someone are black and Hispanic. I don’t even know where to begin to describe the horror I still feel looking at those numbers. But the word ‘hunted’ comes to mind.”
        Vox Day noted that the New York Times published a column arguing that because black people kill black people in urban areas at such extreme rates, all of America should be disarmed. He pointed out something else entirely, illustrating the relationship of gun violence to… race [Race and Guns Part 1] :
        Below is a chart I [Vox] prepared based on the state-by-state offense rates, per 100k population, comparing black homicide to non-black homicide. The source was the commenter Silver’s comment on a recent Steve Sailer post, derived from a 2009 FBI report. The average state homicide rate is 17.3 per 100k for the black population and 2.5 per 100k for the non-black population. As Silver notes, the FBI information cannot be used to directly compare black and white homicide rates, since the non-black rate combines the white, Hispanic, Asian, and American Indian rates. I will attempt to sort out some of those rates in the next post on this subject, but even a casual glance will suffice to show that the states with the highest non-black homicide rates, the District of Columbia (9.1), Nevada (5.2), Arizona (4.4), and California (4.3) tends to coincide with higher levels of Hispanic population.

        If Cole’s thesis was correct, we would have to find that gun ownership and poverty are vastly higher among the black population than among the other U.S. populations. But this is clearly not the case with regards to gun ownership, since 44% of whites own guns compared to 27% of blacks, and the Hispanic poverty rate is 26.6%, nearly equal to the black poverty rate of 27.4%. Therefore, we can not only refute his argument that gun rights entail violence by comparing international crime statistics, but also conclusively show that his “necessary” recommendations for reducing violence are unrelated to the causal problem at hand, and as a result, extremely unlikely to reduce it in any substantive manner.
        The city of Chicago, where handguns are already outlawed, is a case study in why black people should be barred from firearm ownership [Chicago Murder Rate Tops Afghan Death Toll]: A WND review of the Chicago Police Department Murder Analysis reports from 2003 to 2011 provides a statistical breakdown of the demographics of both the victims and offenders in the 4,265 murders in Chicago over that time period.
        Of the victims of murder in Chicago from 2003 to 2011, an average of 77 percent had a prior arrest history, with a high of 79 percent of the 436 murdered in Chicago in 2010 having arrest histories.
        For the same 2003-2011 period, blacks were the victims of 75 percent of 4,265 murders. Blacks also were the offenders in 75 percent of the murders.
        According to 2010 U.S. Census information, Chicago has a population of 2,695,598 people. The city is 33 percent black, 32 percent white (not Hispanic), and 30 percent Hispanic or Latino in origin.
        For the 2003-2011 period, whites were nearly 6 percent of the victims and accused of carrying out 4 percent of the murders.
        For the 2003-2011 period, Hispanics or Latinos were 19 percent of the victims and 20 percent of the offenders.
        Between 2003 and 2011, 4,265 people were murdered in the city of Chicago. In 2012 alone, 512 people were murdered in the city.
        Operation Enduring Freedom, the name for the war in Afghanistan, which started Oct. 7, 2001, has seen a total of 2,166 killed. The war has been ongoing for 11 years, 3 months and one week.
        Operation Iraqi Freedom, the name for the war in Iraq, which started March 20, 2003, and ended Dec. 15, 2011, saw a total of 4,422 killed.

        We could breakdown gun violence in Atlanta, Birmingham (just read The Killing Years), Milwaukee, Washington D.C., Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami, Orlando, Houston, Dallas, Tulsa, Detroit, Indianapolis, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Savannah, Macon (Georgia), Nashville, or Philadelphia.. but we could just read the Wall Street Journal’s power article Communities Struggle to Break a Grim Cycle of Killing [8-18-12] for the truth:

        Bureau of Justice Statistics data show that from 1976 to 2005, white victims were killed by white defendants 86% of the time and black victims were killed by blacks 94% of the time.

        Then there is the matter of who is dying. Although the U.S. murder rate has been dropping for years, an analysis of

      • watsonthethird January 31, 2013 / 7:20 pm

        “The city of Chicago, where handguns are already outlawed, is a case study in why black people should be barred from firearm ownership.”

        So you think there should be gun control, as in banning certain Americans from owning guns?

      • neocon01 January 31, 2013 / 7:26 pm

        waspstoogethet*rd

        *****From the Washington Post,*****

        reading comprehension 101

      • Amazona January 31, 2013 / 7:54 pm

        Poor sad humor-deficient sarcasm-missing wattie, stooping to the pathetic bleatings of such as casper and doing the lame old “SO….(misstate what was said)” ploy.

        There is little as pathetic as someone like this straining so hard, so very very hard, to be relevant, and missing by such a wide margin.

        But he does add a whole new dimension to the term “missing the point”.

      • watsonthethird January 31, 2013 / 8:23 pm

        Hmm. Tried to respond. Maybe its in moderation for some reason. Suffice it to say that the statement I asked Neo about isn’t from the Washington Post. You can Google it yourself to see where it came from.

        As to why Neo felt compelled to bring it to our attention, and whether he agrees with it, that is for Neo to answer.

      • neocon01 January 31, 2013 / 8:36 pm

        waspstoogethet*rd

        NO, YOU posted it, YOU supply where it came from, I will read the article, consider it’s value, consider the source,

        However
        IF you are referring to Felons. criminals, rapists, murderers, insane, etc as certain Americans who should be stripped of the right to own firearms …..most likely yes.

      • watsonthethird January 31, 2013 / 8:46 pm

        No Clown. It’s in the text YOU copied and pasted into this thread. Evidently, you don’t even know what you post. Maybe you should read it. Here, I’ll help. It’s about 11 lines down from the paragraph that starts “If Cole’s thesis”. And it’s not from the Washington Post, and you know it.

      • neocon01 January 31, 2013 / 8:50 pm

        waspstoogethet*ud

        I post articles from many sites, some I agree with, some I dont. They are posted for discussion purpose only,
        nice try there Moron but yer lil gotcha smells like your name. now run along back to the fork where you belong.

      • neocon01 January 31, 2013 / 9:00 pm

        wowser bowzer……

        America’s Suicidal Cities: Detroit refuses to take its medicine.
        National Review ^ | January 31, 2013 | John Fund

        Some major American cities are dying, and the worst part is that these grievously ill patients often are refusing to take even the mildest medicine that would make things better.

        Take Detroit, a city that has become a synonym for urban failure. The murder rate of one per 1,719 people last year was more than eleven times the rate in New York City.

      • watsonthethird January 31, 2013 / 9:10 pm

        Well, let me apologize, NeoClown. You post an article from one of the many sites your troll, “for discussion purposes,” and I attempt engage you in discussion by quoting from YOUR post, merely asking if you agree with it.

        Apparently this is a trick question for you because first you accuse me of making up the quote, and then you hurl lots of insults because I had the audacity to ask a simple question to, you know, further the discussion, which, you know, is the purpose of your copy-and-pastes of stuff you don’t even read.

      • neocon01 January 31, 2013 / 9:21 pm

        waspstoogethet*rd

        question ANSWERED DUHHHH

        IF you are referring to Felons. criminals, rapists, murderers, insane, etc as certain Americans who should be stripped of the right to own firearms …..most likely yes.

      • neocon01 January 31, 2013 / 9:37 pm

        Molin Labe

      • neocon01 January 31, 2013 / 9:55 pm

        Lenin pointed out: “The task of the Bolsheviks is to overthrow the Imperialist Government. But this government rests upon the support of the Social Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, who in turn are supported by the trustfulness of the masses of the people. We are in the minority. In these circumstances there can be no talk of violence on our side.”
        The essence of Lenin’s speeches during this period was “They have the guns and therefore we are for peace and for reformation through the ballot. When we have the guns then it will be through the bullet.” And it was.

        – Saul Alinsky, “Rules for Radicals,” page 37
        Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/01/the-gospel-according-to-saul/#Zxx7ke0H5KgdXLrH.99

    • neocon01 January 31, 2013 / 10:54 pm

      Hmmmmmm

Comments are closed.