Thursday, May 18, 2006

Two Smallholders

Here's Smallholder's latest response to my posts. Since his insistence on continuing to link the original discussion regarding the border to the economic issues is a bit distracting, I shall attempt to split my response into two posts, one on the economic isues and one on the original issues. I may or may not post my economic response when I have more time to compose it to my satisfaction, if Smallholder responds to THIs post to my satisfaction.

In his post and in comments on my blog, Smallholder expresses his belief and hope that the harshness of my tone is in jest and that the ribbing is good natured. I'd like to say that is the case, but Smallholder engages in some rhetoric and commits a couple of offenses which make it difficult for me to maintain that good will. They are evident in this post and I wish to address them.

I will NOT be addressing or rebutting his specific crime statistics, since I do not dispute them. what I do dispute, and highly resent, is:
1. His misrepresentation of his original claims
2. His misrepresentation of my counterargument and position
3. His aspersions regarding my motives for opposing illegal immigration

The first two are closely related. Let's look at what I mean:

However, although I never claimed that all immigrants are honest and law abiding,
Not in so many words, but you DID make the claim that,

People who don't want to work hard and/or don't care about improving the lives of their children don't cross the border into the United States.
While not exactly identical claims, those two claims are similar enough to be easily mistaken. which Smallholder are we to believe? Own up to your original claim. Either defend it or admit it was wrong, but don't deny making it.

In fact, the reason I brought up the issue of criminal activity among illegal immigrants -- specifically to rebut the claim that "only people who want to work hard" cross the border into the United States. The fact that there ARE violent criminals (further homework for Smallholder: Google the violent gang MS-13 for more on their ties to illegal immigration) among those crossing our borders, that there ARE drug dealers and rapists and child molesters, means that, regardless of the "harmless" nature of the rest of the illegal immigrants (whether you accept that II is a "victimless crime or not), it is in our best interests to make every attempt possible to create a more secure border, if for no other reason than to screen out such individuals.

In this regard, I disagree strongly with this statement:

That said, I do agree with Mac Donald and Mr. Memnento that sanctuary laws ought to be repealed. Local law enforcement officials OUGHT to report violent illegals to the INS.
Wrong. The police ought to arrest and prosecute those who commit violent crimes, be they illegals or citizens. Furthermore, an illegal should not feel save to cruise the streets just because he has not been caught/suspected of a violent crime. If the fact that an individual is in the US illegally is established or likely, that issue should be addressed regardless of their violent tendencies.

But Smallholder would have you believe that my original point was that all or most illegal immigrants are violent:

But even if we accept that 12,000 18th street gang members are illegals, that in itself does not prove the violent criminality of illegals as a whole, even when we include grizzly individual crimes. This kind of "illegals are all violent narco-trafficers" fuzzy - even magical - thinking...

Brian pooh-poohed this, bur[sic] perhaps he will accept it now if it inflates the perceived criminality of all illegal immigrants.
That was never my intention, and I resent the implication. I am happy to agree that the vast majority of illegal immigrants are guilty ONLY of violating our immigration laws, and have no intentions of committing rape, murder, robbery, etc. But enough of them ARE that our porous border is a problem. My claims had nothing to do with the percentage of illegal immigrants who are violent criminals, and everything to do with the percentage of our violent criminals who are illegal immigrants -- especially here in the West, and most predominantly in the border states. The fact that it's so easy for ANY illegal to cross into the US means that it's far too easy for the VIOLENT ones to cross in amongst the harmless ones.

It must have been an easy mistake to make, misconstruing my point, since apparently the fact that I oppose illegal immigration means I'm a closet cross-burner:
It all boils down to "fags/wetbacks are icky and I don't like them sorts of people."
Smallholder can keep his crops fertilized with that one, if he intends to paint me with that brush. I resent the implication that I'm a hateful bigot simply because I believe that those who come to this country should be required to do so according to our laws.

If Smallholder wishes to "smackdown" a strawman (point 2 bove), he is free to do so, but I see no reason why I should defend the Scarecrow. If he wishes to engage in personal insults (point 3), that is beneath a rational debate, and beneath me. In either case, if these are the courses of discourse he wishes to continue down, I am growing disinclined to follow.

Reader and best friend Lurch makes a good point regarding Illegal Immigration and criminality:

I would contend that it is a near-certainty that the percentage of illegal immigrants who are violent criminals is inordinately high compared to the percentage of "human beings in general", or the percentage of "Mexican people in general" (in the case of the Mexican border).

Although it is true that nearly all the immigrants that enter our country do so in search of "a better life" (by whatever personal definition the individual may use), it is equally true that, among those who enter the country illegally to find this better life, absolutely 100% are willing to break the law to get it. It would seem unlikely, and even irrational to expect, that a normal percentage of these would be violent criminals, (or repeat offenders or career criminals, or any other kind).

When you start with a population of proven law-breakers, you're going to get a lot more of the worst of humanity than you would from a random sampling.

Parenting Wars: Blue-on-Blue Psy Ops

Normally, in the battle to rear ones children, parents are supposed to be on the same side. But occasionally, it becomes necessary to engage ones partner in combat in order to get things done right. That happened this week.

From birth, The Lad has been blessed with a full head of hair. And despite dire predictions from family members, it never fell out. It has finally reached a length where a haircut is in order (he had a symbolic cut at Christmas time so that his great aunt, a career hairdresser, could do the honors, but it was literally like three snips and done).

The Feared Redhead has been reticent to get the deed done, because she feels that once his hair is cut, he's a little boy, not a baby any more. But I have wearied of having to tell people he's a boy. Despite my exhortations, TFR has dragged her feet.

By this past Monday, I'd had enough. I decided to engage in a little psychological warfare. Did I mention him looking like a girl, or pony tails, or braiding? No -- I went for the jugular. As we were all enjoying an evening together, I began playing with the hair at the back of The Lad's head and commented nonchalantly, "You know, this is long enough to make a mullet."

TFR called the hairdresser Tuesday morning.