Tuesday, December 04, 2007


You know, I really don't want to turn this blog into a venue dedicated to the illegal immigration issue. Despite the fact that Costa Mesa's young jailer/mayor, Allan Mansoor, has placed himself and our city squarely at the forefront of this issue and used it to get re-elected last year, I think it's been blown all out of proportion.

Yesterday, Los Angeles Times columnist Max Boot, shown above, hit the nail right on the head. In a column entitled, "Immigrants are a boon, not a curse", he articulated how I have felt about this issue for a long time - only much better than I ever could. As an interesting aside, in the print edition of the Los Angeles Times the editors chose to entitle Boot's commentary, "End the immigrant hysteria". Regardless the title, the message remains the same and was stated concisely in the sub-title, "Republicans should stop treating millions of people who want to better their lives as a threat." Well said!
You can read his column at this link.

Boot's a pretty smart fella. He's a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a contributing editor to the Los Angeles Times Opinion section and the author of "War made new: Weapons, Warriors, and the Making of the Modern World."

In his column Boot addresses many of the myths currently being foisted upon us by the more rabid anti-immigrant factions in this country, like Jim Gilchrist and his not-so-merry band of malcontents in the most recent iteration of his Minuteman Project - whatever they're calling it today. Among those are that illegal immigrants are taking jobs from "real Americans", and thereby stifling economic growth. Humbug! Read Boot's column!

He also addresses some solutions, among them the creation of a method of legalizing many of those illegal immigrants already here. Read Boot's column!

As I've said many, many times on this blog, in my view the first thing that needs to happen is that our borders need to be secured. Anything else comes after that. Once the borders are secured we need to develop a method of "earned amnesty" - a way those illegal workers already here can pay some form of restitution and be granted immunity for their "dastardly transgression" - trying to make a better life for their families. It is also likely that some method of providing "guest workers" will also be necessary to fill the ongoing demand for labor that is being filled by illegal immigrants. This is not rocket science - it was done in the middle of the last century through the bracero program and worked just fine.


It is also my view that illegal immigration is not what drives our mayor and his motley crew. I think it's something much darker than that - an abhorrence of those brown skins among us - the illegal immigrants just make an easy target for their wrath. I've chronicled just why I feel that way from nearly the first words I wrote on this blog and it's predecessor more than two years ago and in newspaper commentaries before that. I won't re-hash all that here.

I welcome comments on this blog, but before you go all apoplectic on me and melt the comments inbox with your rants, please take the time to read Boot's column. It will either provide you with some answers or give you more ammunition, depending on how firmly you've got your feet dug in. Remember, I'm the sole arbiter of what appears here. I'll publish your comments unless you use bad language or libel someone. Put a name on them, even if it is fictitious - no comments addressed as "anonymous" will be published. My blog - my rules.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boot's comments can be refuted by a myriad of sources. However, even if illegals are not taking jobs away from legals, there are plenty of folks waiting to come here legally that I would prefer to get the jobs. As for your comment that the real agenda of improvers is driven by a dislike of brown skinned people, I have never heard anything like that being said by any improvers. It is impossible to know what is really inside someone although you seem to think that you possess that ability. You would be good for a Human Relations Committee, they all seem to have that ability.As for your charges, I can only speak for myself. I am against illegal immigrants. I am colorblind in all my dealings with people. I resent it that you stated in a past blog that the planning commission must have felt uneasy with all the brown skinned kids singing at our meeting remembering 9/11. That must have been the real reason we were all near tears and choked up, huh? I think your comments are very divisive but they do serve the improvers well so keep it up. You state you are against illegal immigration. Great! Are you against brown skinned people?

12/04/2007 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Commissioner Jim, such a loyal reader! I'm honored! If, as you say, "Boot's comments can be refuted by a myriad of sources.", why didn't you do so? He gave us chapter and verse - you gave us only your opinion without supporting documentation. Typical! No, I don't know what's in the alleged minds of the so-called "improvers". I only see what they do, read what they write and hear what they say, then base my opinion on those facts. I enjoyed reading your comments over on the Powder Blue Report - such a prolific writer! When do you plan to announce your candidacy for a council seat next year?

12/04/2007 09:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Fisler,

To claim there is not a racist element in the Improver movement in Costa Mesa is to tell me that you have buried your head in the sand. At least one leading and vocal Improver is a known and documented racist. I have personally heard disparaging comments about Latinos from some of my neighbors. Most of the comments center around bringing down property values and school performance and blaming it on a wide range of characteristics that were attributed to people of “their” type (I paraphrase as I won’t repeat the racial epitaphs). Your claim you are colorblind is great! We can add you to the list of people we will never hear commentary from regarding economic drag or failing schools being the fault of our Latino community.

Dear Geoff,

As Max Boot asserts, I too believe that the economic consequences of illegal immigration are complex and a mixed bag. I am of the opinion that processing the present illegal immigrants and deporting them would be a monumental task. Some middle ground I am sure can be worked out, but not to the detriment of those following the rules to immigrate. I personally support the concept of requiring employers to check the eligibility status of employees. Of course our inept federal government can't seem to develop a system that employers and employees can count on working with any degree of accuracy.

I also believe that there is almost universal agreement that securing the border is job number one. To that end, let's get that done at least and then continue looking for an appropriate plan for those already here. Of course given the glacial pace at which were are moving, it will be a moot point in something less than a hundred years as all of those that came here illegally will be dead and gone. Then we won't have to worry about deporting them! At least I hope not.

12/04/2007 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Bruce, well said, as always. Thanks for adding your view to this discussion. I'm sure Commissioner Jim appreciates it, too. :-)

12/04/2007 10:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Max boot does an excellent job of explaining neoconservatives in, "What the Heck Is a 'Neocon'?" too.

12/04/2007 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Not Foolya, You're right! Thanks for the link. I'd seen the article while researching Boot, but hadn't taken time to read it. Now I have.

12/04/2007 12:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Boot's column is a good one, and he makes some excellent points. But he glosses over a few that need addressing.

He acts as if "many millions" of people coming here illegally is no problem socially or logistically. He ignores the myriad other laws that are broken on a daily basis by millions who must break those laws to continue living here illegally.

Each of the 20 million illegal immigrants must commit a felony to get a job - they must provide a SSN, which is either fake or stolen.

If they drive or own a car, they are breaking a raft of laws related to that, and endangering millions of legal residents every day by driving without any training or testing and without insurance.

Just recently on the Westside, a two-vehicle collison occurred that resulted in a woman pedestrian being run over by one of the cars. Both drivers were unlicensed.

Each and every time an illegal day laborer gets picke up to work, a legitimate contractor, painter or mover gets hurt by being undercut by a criminal employer who does not pay taxes or workers comp for their illicit employees.

Illegal immigration is NOT a victimless crime. Boot's points about securing the border and providing a path to legal staus are well taken and valid, but his fatal flaw is the pass he gives to the real impacts of illegal immigration.

12/04/2007 03:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pot Stirrer -

I received this from a friend who grew up in Newport, graduated from UCLA, and now calls Tennessee home (why, I'll never know). 'Dan' was always one of the smartest guys in the room, I'll leave his name out of it, but I thought it was pretty thought provoking, particularly since I tend to be one of the 'Latino sympathizers.' I just thought it was worth posting locally for others to consider and side as they may.

He writes:

As I'm sure many of you may already be aware of, there's a growing crisis here within our country, a crisis that threatens not only our culture and way of life but even, perhaps, the stability of our nation.
Sadly enough, the government seems either unwilling or incapable of taking decisive action; thus, I thought it might be beneficial to get something going on a grassroots level. Every year our borders are overrun with thousands of immigrants from Mexico, fleeing the impoverished, corrupt conditions of their own country in the hopes of finding economic stability here in the United States. This has gone on, unchecked now, for at least two decades. The end result is that, in places like Southern California, due to neglect and decay and, most importantly, crime within these immigrant communities, huge swaths of the urban and suburban landscape have now become unfit for decent, civilized human habitation. Wherever Mexicans settle within our country, this same pattern of decay and crime can be seen, and what is particularly disturbing is that it doesn't seem to change over time, in spite of ample opportunities for education and self-improvement. The hard very politically-incorrect truth of the matter is that Mexicans seem to show no real interest in assimilating basic ideals and values of American culture, the ideals and values which were so readily assimilated by our grandparents and great-grandparents and which allowed this country to come together as a cohesive and powerful whole. Not only does this new wave of immigration from Mexico exhibit no real desire to assimilate, but they actually express quite a bit of open hostility towards white America and its goverment, oftentimes to the point where, amongst themselves at least, there is much talk about taking back what they feel is rightfully theirs. Just as shocking, there is a growing trend amongst Mexicans to denigrate and ridicule white America, to portray us as too fat and slow and stupid to either recognize the threat amongst us or to be willing to do anything about it. This is the direct result of dealing with a people who, with their overly proud Aztec warrior history and traditions, have a marked tendency to take kindness for weakness.(Visit www.BrownPride.com for a very interesting and highly disturbing look at Mexican-"American" culture and their views towards white America.) That this kind of violent, defiant, uncivilized culture exists within the confines of this great nation is not only extremely alarming but is also a terrible insult to all the generations of our ancestors who worked so hard and sacrificed so much to make this country what it is today. Between the American Revolution, The Civil War, WWI, and WWII, hundreds of thousands of men have shed their blood so that, today, you and I can enjoy unprecedented freedom and security. In places like Southern California, that security is now being threatened by a people who really have no true love or respect for this country or its laws and who see the United States as nothing more than a giant bankroll. Wanting to open our doors to the hungry and oppressed is a wonderfully noble ideal, and, once upon a time, it served this country well, but that open invitation is being horribly taken advantage of. Thus, people like you and me are now paying a huge price for our kindness and generosity, namely the loss not only of our security and peace of mind but, just as important, the American way of life, something which I treasure deeply and will always be willing to fight for. Should you agree with what I'm saying here and should you be a good patriot who loves his/her country as much as I do then perhaps you'd be willing to pass this email on to your friends and co-workers, for the first step towards solving any problem is developing an awareness of that problem, preferably before that problem is so big that it defies simple solutions. Thanks for taking the time out to read this, and God Bless America!

12/05/2007 09:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. McNiff,

You friend is misguided. If he was the brightest bulb in the room I hope you brought candles.

Let’s start with “crisis that threatens not only our culture and way of life but even, perhaps, the stability of our nation.” What a load of BS. We have heard this same tired cry to arms for centuries in this country. Every wave of immigration brought it on. We heard it when blacks were freed. We heard it when women got the vote (OK, maybe that was a real crisis; just kidding!) It is equivalent to the bearded robe wearing would be prophet walking around with a sign reading “The end is near.” Sure it is, “near” is relative now isn’t it? So is crisis. This country has one major crisis from my vantage point. It is the tumbling economy. Illegal immigration is barely a readable blip on the economic seismograph. Sure, on the Republican emotional hot button chart it is right up there. But let us vest ourselves in reality for a change shall we?

Now, “huge swaths of the urban and suburban landscape have now become unfit for decent, civilized human habitation.” Where? South central Los Angeles? How about Detroit Michigan or perhaps New Orleans. There are a myriad of reasons for urban decay. All of a sudden this is put on the backs of Mexicans? Absurd!

What about this statement; “the ideals and values which were so readily assimilated by our grandparents and great-grandparents and which allowed this country to come together as a cohesive and powerful whole.” Am I to ignore the neighborhoods in Chicago where all of the street signs and shop signs are still in Polish? Is Korea Town or China Town a figment of my imagination? What of Dutch Pennsylvania? Those are shinning examples of assimilation! Let’s face it, people adopt cultural change on a pace that is comfortable for them. That can take many generations.

Then we have “Between the American Revolution, The Civil War, WWI, and WWII, hundreds of thousands of men have shed their blood so that, today, you and I can enjoy unprecedented freedom and security.” Did your buddy conveniently forget about the Hispanic population that has and continues to fight, voluntarily for these United States?

I grow tired of this exercise, I will leave it to the rest of you to debate, but this essay is hardly worth the effort.

12/06/2007 10:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I have suggested that people who are "Latino sympathizers" read a VERY compelling book - Mexifornia - by Victor Davis Hanson, a Cal State Classics Professor. The link to Amazon is here:


and an excerpt of a review is here:

"Classics professor Hanson is also, like generations of his family before him, a fruit farmer in California's central valley. He has employed immigrants, seen them flood his community during the last 30 years of mass flight from Mexico, and endured the crime associated with illegal immigrants. Hanson is immensely sympathetic to poor Mexicans, however, and the most powerful chapter here outlines the harried life of the illegal alien. But he hates to see the ordered culture in which he grew up drowned by an alien inundation whose undeserving beneficiaries are Mexico's kleptocratic rulers, for whom an open border is a safety valve expelling the potential for democratic change. The four solutions to the mess that Hanson enumerates include continuing de facto open borders but insisting on rapid acculturation; patrolling the border effectively and reducing legal immigration; imposing "sweeping restrictions on immigration" and ending Mexican chauvinism in the U.S.; and allowing present policies to make California increasingly mirror an unreformed Mexico. Hanson thinks that the U.S. "still need not do everything right" to prevent social collapse in the Southwest and that the totalitarian uniformity of valueless mass culture may soften that collapse. He also sees very clearly what has brought this crisis on: the American globalist ideology's lust for cheap labor and emphasis on "raw inclusiveness" instead of "standards and taste.""

12/06/2007 02:18:00 PM  

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