I started out at the early P.J. O'Rourke position. He was amazed, humbled, grateful almost to maudlin tears that people risked their lives on makeshift rafts and shark-infested waters to get here from Cuba. All so they can work 7 days a week for 3 or 4 dollars an hour? God bless 'em, here's a phone, call the ones you left behind and tell them to come too. We'll ship the rafts back for them.
Since having been mobilized to serve Uncle Sugar in the trackless sandy wastes, and reading of this fella named Padilla, my view matured somewhat. Not every swarthy undernourished illiterate, or swarthy college-educated H1B visa holder, who risks his life to reach these blessed shores does so to improve his life or those of his children; some seek to end mine or those of my offspring units, and take from me my prized Scotch whisky.
Now that I've listened to anyone who cares to offer his opinion, yes I've grown and now I agree that the borders of the United States should be sealed, effectively, then carefully reopened only to those whom we can positively identify. Bruce Schneier will dispute the equating of identification with security, and he has a point, but not the point I'm trying to make here. We must own our borders.
I offer the foregoing as my bona fides to visitors who identify themselves as conservatives, and any of the talk radio hosts I am inviting. If further bona fides are needed, a quick glance through my archives should suffice. For those needing the executive summary:
- I'm pro-gun, annoyed that the U.S. Congress is as neutered, cloistered, untouchable, and image-obsessed as the leadership of the National Rifle Association (or maybe the other way around); what is my Life Membership paying for?
- After they investigate, arrest, and successfully prosecute Mike Bloomberg for straw-man interstate firearm purchases, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives can quietly close their doors and liquidate the office furniture. Any agents of theirs worth a damn can serve well in Constitutional agencies. The rest should never be allowed near a gun or a badge ever again. Some of them should be cleaning the toilet Mike Bloomberg will sit on in his prison cell.
- I think that Roe v. Wade was wrong, and States should get to criminalize abortion if their legislatures so choose.
- Global warming is not necessarily the catastrophe Al Gore says it will be, humans don't cause it, humans probably can't avert it, and if we could, why should we? An asteroid impact, on the other hand, surely will be that catastrophe, and we can prevent that with less money and time than curing AIDS.
- Rush told me to subscribe to the American Spectator back in 1992. I did and still do (they had George W Bush's number in the 2000 primaries, bully for them; but Ben Stein's whining about his spoiled brat really turned me off). I listen to Glenn Beck, have since before he got the TV show. I like Mike Reagan. I'd like to listen to Laura Ingraham too, and Hugh Hewitt and Bill Bennett, but they arrive at my pickup's antenna from diiiiissstaaaant KNUS rather weakly. My employer frowns upon streaming audio. So I don't get to hear all I'd like and I may miss some nuance of their opinions about my topic below---forgive me if I do.
- I'm mildly annoyed by the Latino radio stations that are filling in the gaps on the AM band, but I tolerate. I'm positively disgusted that the Federal government allows or even requires election ballots to be printed in any language other than English. And I conjugate irregular Spanish verbs better than a guy with the last name of Lopez.
- I had my misgivings about going into Iraq. But now that we're there, we had better win it, and we can win it and are winning it. Ron Paul's vote against The Surge disappoints me, but he neither lied to his constituents nor pandered to his peers; find no fault with how he voted, but what he voted.
- Once we have done with Iraq, we need to secularize Iran. We should have invaded Iran or at least severely destabilized it instead of taking down Iraq.
- Oil companies are making record profits? Buy their stock and shut the hell up.
- Big pharma companies making record profits? Ditto. Ironic that most of the people in Congress who contemplate seizing pharmas' profits would be dead but for pharmas' products.
- The only reason I have a Bank of America credit card is that my employer, Uncle Sugar, mandates that I carry one. If I use any other card, Uncle's regs allow him to refuse to repay my travel expenses.
- I left the private sector and took fulltime work in the military, with zero possibility of reaching an active-duty military pension. For the challenge and the satisfaction. If I said it was for the money, I'd be mentally unfit to serve.
- Call me a lapsed agnostic, but I'd be quite content to enroll my four kids in the Catholic school my wife longs for. Just stop collecting school taxes from me for the government school they'd no longer attend.
- Our single-income military family comes painfully close to tithing.
- We're "single income" because my wife and I agree she does a better job raising the four kids than anyone else could, and that is more important to us than the income she could earn as a security-cleared BSEE.
- I "married upward," after asking her parents for their approval.
- I know how to place the apostrophe to form a plural possessive. Can't marry upward without that.
- I support the Fair Tax, mostly out of conviction that every time your next-door neighbors slid a credit card or bought your daughter's Girl Scout cookies, that 17-to-21 percent cut off the top for Uncle Sugar would remind them that they buy more damned Federal government than they can afford. Maybe they'll start voting for people who will cut spending to what a 3 or 4 percent Federal sales tax would sustain, and keep voting that way until it actually happens.
- When the Heritage Foundation sends me their fundraising letter cleverly disguised as a "Conservative Leadership Survey" I strike through their list of whom I'd select as "the three most influential conservative thinkers" and pencil in below "THOMAS SOWELL!!! MALCOLM WALLOP!!!! WARD CONNERLY!!! JACK KEMP!!! VIN SUPRYNOWICZ!!! WALTER WILLIAMS!!! RONALD F****** REAGAN!!! Now YOU pick three from MINE" and return it with a single, crisp $1 bill for their trouble.
You talk radio hosts who are railing at Bank of America's plan to offer credit cards to applicants without Social Security numbers---you have a screw seriously loose.
Have you folks any notion of the problem of identity theft, and the utter dependence of this crime upon the Social Security number?
Have you any idea of the unfettered reach of the Federal government into affairs not of their damned business, all made possible by their slow, steady, now-complete morphing of the Social Security number into a universal identifier?
I find myself agreeing with the Claire Wolfe-types who wish they could get a credit card without the strings of the Mark of the Beast attached to it.
You focus so narrowly on the obvious (I concede) naked (I concede) effort of BofA to cater to a market that you and I agree ought not to exist, that you miss the bigger picture. We have an underground economy because the economy that lives above ground must survive the merciless ultraviolet glare of excessive laws our Federal government has no charter to pass or enforce. Laws that expose us to the depredations of identity theft. Laws that conveniently don't apply to the lawgivers.
Meanwhile the responsibilities and prohibitions that this Federal government has been given, printed in crinkly Victorian black-and-sepia from the first Contract with America, they ignore.
It's not just the criminals and the underclass who go underground just to get away from the UV burns. It's disheartening that one of those Big Impersonal Corporations you (and I) are usually quick to defend is drawing your fire. It's not the fish in a barrel you think it is.
I'm half-tempted to apply for one of those cards. Probably, though, I'd be turned down because I have a (genuine) Social Security number and I work for The Man. Then The Man would add my unpronounceable name to some list somewhere, and the credit I do have will be lost.
So please, Conservative Radiosphereans: rethink that one. It's not about illegal aliens. It's the choice between cola-nut and un-cola nut, between sic utere and salus populi.