What’s all this then about immigration?

AntiillegalIt’s not what you think; this was shot in New Jersey.

Greatest threat to U.S.
is immigration? Since when?

By Brad Warthen
Editorial Page Editor

WITH CONGRESS on break, U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett has been meeting with his 3rd District constituents. So what’s on their minds?
Immigration” comes in first.
Second, he says, is “immigration.” Third is immigration. It’s also fourth.
And he supposed that “the war” maybe came in fifth. I’m sure our troops over there will appreciate making the Top Ten.
He admitted that he was being “a little facetious.” The war is “a cloud” casting its shadow over everything political. But there are no clouds on the stark immigration landscape. There, you’ll find nothing but a blinding, hot interrogation lamp surrounded by shadows. If you give the wrong answer, there are a lot of GOP voters out there ready to cast you into the everlasting darkness.
“Wrong,” of course, can vary, depending on whether you’re a lobbyist for the big business types who have been the GOP’s bread and butter for generations, or one of the salt-of-the-earth folk who crowded into the Big Tent in recent decades and created the vaunted GOP majority.
The main question I have on the subject is one that neither Rep. Barrett nor anyone else has answered to my satisfaction:
How did this issue become such a big deal all of a sudden? What changed? We’ve had Mexican tiendas in our neighborhoods, even in South Carolina, for much of the past decade. For even longer, it’s been hard to communicate on a construction site without a working knowledge of Spanish. Our last two presidents could hardly put together a Cabinet for all the illegals their nominees had employed as nannies.
Over the last 10 or 20 years, there’s been a huge influx. But what changed in the past 12 or 15 Sombreromonths? As near as I can tell, looking at the real world out there, nothing. But in the unreal world of politics, it’s as though, sometime during the summer of 2005 or so, a huge portion of the electorate suddenly woke up from a Rip Van Winkle catnap and said: “Whoa! Why are all these people speaking Spanish?”
There were always a few who considered illegal immigration Issue One. On the left, you had union types concerned about cheap labor depressing wages and working conditions. On the right, you had culture warriors furious at hearing anything other than English spoken in the U.S. of A.
On both sides, drifting amid the high-sounding words about fairness and the rule of law, there was a disturbing whiff of 19th century Know-Nothingism.
I had one or two people who e-mailed me about it regularly, always furious at us for taking the “wrong” position on the issue — even though, until it moved to the front burner back in the spring, we didn’t have a position on it.
Nor did Mr. Barrett consider it a priority, until late 2004. At least, none of the thousands of news outlets whose archives are available on Lexis-Nexis report his having a burning concern.
During the past year, his name and the word “immigration” showed up 53 times. In the previous year, only 20 times. In all previous years, 40 times. Back when he was first running for Congress in 2002, he was talking about keeping out terrorists, mainly from such places as Iran and Iraq. In fact, opponent Jim Klauber blasted him for paying too much attention to countries “where terrorists come from,” while ignoring “the greatest problem in the 3rd Congressional District” — which, to him, was illegal immigration from Mexico.
But now, and for the last couple of years, Mr. Barrett has stood foursquare behind the House’s “enforcement first” approach. He demonstrated his deep concern most recently by visiting the border personally, just before coming home to see constituents. So when he got an earful, he was prepared.
But I wasn’t, probably because I don’t watch TV and therefore haven’t had it explained to me by Bill O’Reilly. I still find myself wondering: Where did all these angry people come from? The ones who weren’t even talking about this issue a year ago, but now promise to toss Lindsey Graham out of the Senate for actually recognizing that this issue is really complicated.
How can anyone see this issue in black-and-white terms? Hey, I want to see the laws enforced, too. But I know that a nation that can’t find one guy in the mountains of Afghanistan isn’t going to round up 10 to 20 million people walking the streets of the freest, least-controlled nation in the world.
Yes, it’s theoretically possible to round up most of them. The Nazis probably could have achieved a success rate of 80 or 90 percent. And it’s probably possible to build a 2,000-mile fence that would be more-or-less impassable. China did it.
But at what cost? I’m not even talking moral or spiritual cost, in the sense of “what kind of nation would that make us?” I’ll let somebody else preach that sermon. I’m talking hard cash.
Look at the national debt. Look at our inadequate presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. Check out the rising power of nations such as Iran, Russia and Venezuela, whom we are making impervious to international pressure with our insatiable thirst for petrol. Note that we don’t have the military assets to make Iran take us seriously when we suggest it should stop working on nukes for terrorists, or else. Or else what?
Let’s talk priorities, folks, not fantasies. The “invasion” that endangers this country isn’t a bunch of people looking to (gasp) sweep our Wal-Marts to feed their families. It’s Londoners getting on a flight at Heathrow with bogus tubes of Prell in their carry-ons.
Illegal immigration is a serious problem, when it gets to where you have 12 million aliens you can’t account for. Having our labor market, wages and working conditions distorted by a huge supply of cheap, illegal labor is also a serious problem. So is the fact that our neighbors suffer such crushing poverty that they will risk their lives coming here just to have their labor exploited.
But not one of these things is the most urgent problem facing this country. Not a year ago, and not now.

Proimmigrant

310 thoughts on “What’s all this then about immigration?

  1. Bruce Blodgett

    Here is what I sent to the White House:
    Dear President Bush:
    Twice you took an oath of office to uphold and defend our constitution. As incredible as it seems, we have abandoned the rule of law for an entire category of people (illegal aliens) by allowing them to remain in our country outside the enforcement of our laws. As chief executive of the USA, responsibility ultimately rests with you.
    Here’s my personal story: I recently learned from my father (who lives in Indiana) that all through the state it is implicitly recognized that illegal aliens ARE ALLOWED TO VOTE; they simply commit felony perjury by claiming to be U.S. citizens. No proof of citizenship is even requested! I couldn’t believe him, so I confirmed this by calling government officials in South Bend and Indianapolis. This situation is intolerable and must be stopped now! (Just think how many fewer Democrat votes there could be).
    With so many illegal aliens already here, what can be done now? I recommend going after the source of the problem. In my opinion, the worst culprits are those who hire illegal aliens. I’m sure you can see the temptations: sub-minimum wages, terrible working conditions, dispensable workers.
    I propose that we establish a clearinghouse (online and via every employment office) for employers who are having difficulty finding legal workers domestically. After a short amount of time (if there are no challenges by competing domestic applicants), the employer may hire anyone in the world. The employer brings in the worker, spouse, and immediate children, and becomes responsible for them until they become legal citizens or leave the USA. In the meantime, they earn at least minimum wage and pay taxes.
    To prevent continued use of illegal aliens, I also propose that we fine employers $100,000 per illegal alien employee, and offer a $500 reward for turning in those employers.
    — Bruce Blodgett

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  2. Mark Whittington

    Wonderful piece Brad. How much did the Chamber of Commerce pay you for that one?
    Republican politicians are focusing on illegal immigration because their free market policies have been a disaster for ordinary people. Additionally, the unsuccessful occupation of Iraq is yet another nail in the coffin for doomed neo-conservative ideology. What else are they going to talk about?
    Yet illegal immigration is a serious problem, and as always, you advocate the wrong position because your greed blinds your judgment. You’ve been a cheerleader for the war and occupation because there is no realistic chance that you or people close to you will actually have to fight and possibly get killed. You’re all for illegal immigration because it lowers wages for workers, and you therefore pay less for vital goods and services from people who actually work. You always wave the flag as long as it’s someone else doing the fighting or paying the price. Of course, we should stop all illegal immigration immediately, but illegal immigration is only a byproduct of the real problem, not the main problem itself. Neo-liberal trade and economic policy that is endorsed by almost all of the Republican Party and a significant portion of the Democratic Party is the real problem.
    Don’t you see what happens when you cut taxes on the wealthy while simultaneously passing the tax burden down to the common people through higher sales taxes and property taxes? Don’t you understand that the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs is destroying the remnants of the middle class?
    Outsourcing, illegal immigration, pre-emptive war, and a declining middle class: that’s what Corporatism, the Chamber of Commerce, and Brad Warthen are all about.
    Oh yeah, and Brad, don’t go around accusing people of being Nazis, especially when you and your buddies have advocated torture and starting a pre-emptive war that has unnecessarily killed tens of thousands of innocent people. You deride the longstanding American traditions of due process and rule of law because the way you see it, you are above the law, as privilege dictates.
    People should expect their government to enforce their immigration laws. You advocate a Corporate State and euphemistically call it the “public/private partnership”-the basis for fascism. Fascism, by definition, is the merger of corporations and government (i.e., totalitarian capitalism).

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  3. chris W

    Brad,
    Immigration, not the war in Iraq, will be George Bush’s lasting legacy, and it will not be pretty. The war transcends current politics and traditional thinking, and like Vietnam, the blame or credit is diffused among many people, groups, countries and movements. On the other hand, immigration will be seen as a direct result of George Bush’s policy…and it will taint any other achievement he may have.
    We on the “thinking right” have been talking about immigration for a long time…but the moderates and the press have not been listening. But that is ok as we are used to that…
    But then George Bush and his buddies like Lindsey Graham started demeaning us, and calling us “nativist” and “isolationist”…and invariably state that anyone that wants closer controls on immigration wants to depart ALL illegals NOW…which is of course not true.
    We believe in a big fence with wide and hospitable gates…but the powerful forces that encourage open boarders paint us a rednecks and fools…so I for one have abandoned those that do so…and have whereas I gave Lindsey $2000.00 during his last campaign, I will be “taking a walk” during his next election.
    I like immigration. I like the American culture. Failure to manage the former destroys the latter.

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  4. bud

    Chris W writes:
    “Immigration, not the war in Iraq, will be George Bush’s lasting legacy, and it will not be pretty.”
    There has always been immigration and always will. The current hysteria regarding the Mexicans will eventually fade away as the current crop of immigrants assimilates into the rest of the population. The Republicans needed an issue to draw attention away from their failure in Iraq and that’s when the neocon propaganda went into high gear. Hence was born the immigration issue.
    Iraq, not immigration, will most assuredly be the legacy of George W. Bush.

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  5. Marshall Lawson

    Only in the self absorbed utopian world of the left-wing-press could Brad Warthen ask the question, why, after decades of massive illegal immigration into our nation is this issue suddenly on the front burner. The obvious answer is that the American people are starting to tell their elected representatives en masse to start protecting our nation and its people and natural resources from invasion or we will end your lifetime tenure in office. And they are saying this in spite of a decades long news black out on immigration and alternate pro-invasion-spin by the American media. If not deliberately ignoring the issue, this same nest of spiders pounced on anyone as racists for daring to stand up for their nation and the rule of law. How many puff pieces, for example, has The State published on Hispanic culture in South Carolina without once mentioning the word “illegal.” And contrast the editor’s celebration of so called Hispanics with the way The State “celebrates” American citizens, especially Southerners whose families have lived, worked, and died in this state and nation since its founding. We are either ignored or vilified as impediments to global progress. And has Warthen and company ever once mentioned that an overhelming majority of American citizens, across race and party lines want the border with Mexico secured and disfavor yet another massive amnesty? You bet your life they haven’t. In the arcane world of dihonest journalism, polling data is only relevant if it comports with something the editors favor.
    Thanfully, in the past few years, this monopoly kabal of social engineers masquerading as journalists has been broken by cable TV and a handfull of honest journalists like Lou Dobbs who not only cover the issue but actually report its reality: massive illegal immigration is turning the U.S. into a crowded banana Republic presaging a permanent dissaster for citizens’ quality of life and what’s left of our wildlife and natural resoruces.
    In addition to finally receiving some news coverage on our nation’s broken borders, citizens were genuinely shocked and disgusted at the site of thousands of foreign nationals marching in our streets carrying foreign flags telling gringo to get out (maybe Warthen missed this uplifting event). And knowlege that our young men are being killed in Iraq defending a hell hole from invasion while our elected representatives allow our own nation to be conquered by a third world mob is making the blood of the most timid citizens boil.
    But even more ridiculous than Warthen’s question about why illegal immigration is a now a major issue with the American people is his assertion that we shouldn’t be concerned that flood-tide immigration is fundamentally altering our nation politically, economically, and culturally. We should just accept the fact we are being conquered and learn to live with it.
    Apparantly, Mr. Warthen believes the American people should have no say in someting as fundamental as what sort of nation we are to become or if we will continue to be a nation at all? He believes this question should be answered by an oligarchy of imperious politicians like Lindsey Graham, unelected special interests like the U.S. Chamber of “Cheap Labor” Commerce, La Raza (The Race) and of course the editors of The State monopoly.
    The rhetorical question Warthen is really asking is why should anyone care if the U.S. is no longer a Republic or even a nation? We should just learn to accept the global reality that nationhood is an outdated notion and start learning Spanish. We will all be better off as one big banana republic run by some multinationalist think tank.
    Mr. Warthen chides us that the real danger to this nation is not open borders immigration but terrorism (as if the two were unrelated). In reality, the single greatest threat to our Republic is a national press that is as thoroughly anti-democratic as it is dishonest.

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  6. Randy Ewart

    A couple pre-emptive strikes here.
    First, Republicans need to look to the Great Communicator for the role he took in allowing in a major influx of immigrants and instilling the American dream of working to get ahead in life.
    Second, Lee will appear any moment and spew figures for illegal immigrants in the 20 million range. I’d like him to show a link to an unbiased source for that number and for him to avoid extrapolating the growth rate to achieve some distant figure.
    Something else to consider, haven’t we tried the enforcement first approach with the drug trade, and to what end? When there is money to be made, people will go to extremes to get it. Maslow’s Theory kicks in. The immigrants are desperate and see America as the way out. The national guard won’t keep them out. Graham actually stops to think about this in lieu of jumping on the demagoguery band wagon.

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  7. Brad Warthen

    Marshall writes, “The obvious answer is that the American people are starting to tell their elected representatives en masse to start protecting our nation and its people and natural resources from invasion or we will end your lifetime tenure in office.”
    Let’s start from there, because this is a question I sincerely want answered. I don’t mean that in an argumentative way or anything. Think of me as an historian who is trying to find causes and effects at certain times in history.
    As Marshall says, this happened “after decades of massive illegal immigration into our nation.” I had said as much in my column. What I’m asking is, since the influx had been happening for all this time, and as near as I can tell there was no sudden increase or new development in late 2004 and 2005, why did this suddenly go from something in the background to THE issue within the GOP?
    Others have suggested bud’s answer, but it doesn’t make sense. This is not an issue Republicans can use to their advantage. My point is that it is a terrible dangerous issue for them that drives a sharp wedge through the party’s own base. From what I’ve seen, most Republicans wish this had never come up, and would love to see it fade away.
    It may be hard for Marshall to see my question because he writes from an almost unique perspective. He is one of those few for whom this has been THE issue for years. (He’s one of the few who castigated The State for years for having the “wrong” position, when we had no position. To me, the issue was too complicated to advocate any clear solution, and if I don’t have an answer for an issue, I write instead about the many issues concerning which I HAVE reached a conclusion.)
    What I want to know is, how did it suddenly and very recently become THE issue for a lot of people who had paid little attention to it before?

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  8. bud

    Marshall writes:
    “In reality, the single greatest threat to our Republic is a national press that is as thoroughly anti-democratic as it is dishonest.”
    That is the single most completely discredited declaration spouted by, guess who, the (right-wing) press. How many times has Rush, Sean, Bill O’Rielly or a host of others IN THE MEDIA, spouted off against the liberal media. It’s just laughable. Just check on the discussion about Al Gore on the Monitor Group thread. There was an example of the so-called liberal press attacking a terrific man over silly stuff while the Decider was left alone. And the election was lost because of it.
    As for the immigration issue. Lighten up everyone. We’ll be just fine. A few illegals from Mexico are not going to do us in. This is really not a big issue.

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  9. Doug Ross

    Brad,
    Why is illegal immigration such a hot item? It’s called the “tipping point”. Enough Americans have experienced enough frustration with a policy that has dramatically altered our lives over the past decade to where critical mass has been achieved. I would compare it to the abolitionists movement. Slavery existed in the U.S. for many decades before enough people felt it was time to take a stand.
    We’ve reached that point now.
    It’s the old death by a thousand cuts process. Eventually, after you see things like having to choose English or Spanish at the ATM, or English as a Second Language classes in our public schools, or insurance costs rising dramatically to cover uninsured illegal immigrant care, etc.
    Eventually people start asking, “What happened?”
    Let’s not forget that these people are commiting a crime. There is a perfectly legal process for them to enter legally yet they choose to break the law. I have zero tolerance or sympathy for that behavior.
    I’m a “build a BIG wall” person. I’m a deportation proponent. I’m also in favor of large fines for employers who take advantage of cheap labor to pump up their profits.
    There’s also this feeling that I have that there are those in the government who want to turn all these illegal immigrants into citizens for one reason – to create a huge influx of Social Security paying “citizens” to cover the baby boomer deficits that are going to show up in the next few decades. By creating a workforce of taxpayers who are statistically less likely to live to the age where they will collect Social Security, the government generates a very profitable caste system to fund everyone else’s retirement. Call it George Bush’s plan B for his failed private Social Security plan (which I did support).
    Oh, and Brad, when you use the old “Nazi” cliche, it diminishes the rest of your argument by about 90%. Opposing illegal immigration is not Nazism, it is law enforcement…

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  10. Randy Ewart

    Brad used the Nazi reference to demonstrate how difficult it is to round people up – perfectly legitimate point to make. It requires reading the context in which the word “Nazi” was used. The response to his use of the word is more of a cliche.
    No doubt this action of sneaking in is illegal, hence the term “illegal alien.” It reminds me of the situation major league baseball has created. All these years the league enjoyed success from the contributions of sluggers on the juice and gave a nod and wink at the problem. Now that they want to crack down, but they have no ethical standing for their position.
    If the potential immigrants or illegals know there are high paying jobs (relative to their current situation) waiting here they will do what it takes to get into the country out of pure desperation. No wall is going to stop this. El Paso had a massive fence on the border with extra security 20 years ago. It slowed some of the traffic at best.
    As Graham understands, this hard line position of throw up a wall and deport them all makes some of us feel better, but will hardly fix the problem.

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  11. LexWolf

    Brad,
    I don’t think this is anything new. This issue has been brewing for at least a decade but was ignored by all the bien-pensant old media. Yet the “regular” people weren’t ignoring it as they saw a separate nation springing up right here in our country and a year ago or so the issue finally reached critical mass again, as it did 20 years before. People see more and more illegals flouting our laws at every turn and nothing much is done, even while we get a ticket for going a few miles over the speed limit. They deeply resent the cant from our self-appointed elites (“Undocumented workers” my foot). It’s simply a case of the last straw that broke the camel’s back and I can’t even tell you what the straw was. Maybe it’s the neverceasing coddling of illegals by our elite. The demonstrations by the illegals. The endless demands for special treatment. The steady invasion by millions of illegals which at some point just became too large to ignore any longer. Maybe the slow realization that a nation will not survive for very long if it can’t even control its borders.
    You’re quite right that neither party really wants to deal with this and both would much rather see it all go away. Yet this is an issue that MUST be dealt with if we are to survive as a nation in control of our destiny. Here are some points about the current situation.
    1. This country is built on the Rule Of Law and it is simply intolerable to have millions of people decide for themselves to invade this country while totally ignoring our laws. If they could, probably half the world’s people would want to live here but obviously that’s impossible. So who gets to decide which people get to live in this country? Do we as a nation establish and enforce laws on immigration or do the illegals simply get to flout any laws governing their entry?
    2. Illegal immigration is holding back this country’s progress, just as slavery was holding back the Old South. Why develop new and better ways of doing things when you have such a cheap source of labor? And why hire legal workers when you can get illegals at half the wage? Not only that but an employer doesn’t even have to worry about benefits either because our government has seen fit to provide all that to the illegals at taxpayer expense. You better believe that the regular people that don’t figure much in your worldview want something done about illegal aliens who often get more benefits than they do. For example, there are a number of states which grant in-state tuition to illegals yet a citizen from another state has to pay full out-of-state tuition. Obviously this breeds massive resentment.
    3. The simple unfairness of illegal immigration in how it undermines the legal system. Last year the WSJ had an article about a guy from Britain who was here on a legal work visa which was about to expire soon. He’d spent the entire 5 years he’d been here and many thousands of dollars trying to get a “green card”, without any success. So he was facing the very real prospect of having to leave soon. Yet if he had simply come in on a tourist visa and gone “illegal”, he would have a good chance of qualifying for any amnesty plan that might become law. Ditto for a friend of mine who’s been here 6 years on a work visa. $20K later still no green card, yet some guy who simply walked across the border could now be closer to being legal than my friend who’s been playing by the rules all along. For $20K my friend could have gotten quite a few trips with a coyote.
    4. The Social Security Administration already has a system which allows any employer to verify the validity of a social security number. Make it mandatory and give safe harbor to any employers who have used this system to verify employees’ status. Impose large fines on employers who continue employing illegals.
    5. At the same time that we crack down on illegal aliens, we should also expand legal immigration. Double it, triple it, whatever. If a million illegals a year are OK, then surely we can allow a million legals instead. This country is obviously a nation of immigrants and most people would have no problem at all with legal immigration. It’s illegal invaders that get people all upset and it’s not all that hard to understand either. What would you say if I simply walked into your home and took over a spare bedroom or two, without even asking you? This is essentially the situation we’re facing. Intruders simply taking what they want. If they asked us, and followed the immigration laws, most people would have no problem at all. But this illegal invasion is simply a no-go.

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  12. Ready to Hurl

    Gresham Barrett ranks immirgration in the top four spots of importance for fairly obvious reasons:
    (1) His party leader single-handedly created the disaster that is the Iraq Occupation. There is no solution that wouldn’t (A) admit failure, at least tacitly; and, (B) taint Barrett with the stench of failure.
    (2) Joining the quasi-racist hysteria against Hispanics promises to be a winning issue for the party that won the Solid South by appealing to racists. The appeal to the bigoted nativist strain of “cultural conservatives” will do double duty with blue collar GOP-believers feeling economically threatened.
    In short, when your party has created multiple disasters (Iraq, Katrina, corruption and run-away deficits) then the best solution is to cook up a “looming threat” to distract the people from your record of mis-governance.

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  13. John Solomon

    Dear Brad,
    In answer to your question, ‘How did this issue (immigration) become such a big deal all of a sudden?’ I can only quess that it has something to do with the prinmary purpose of members of congress – to get reelected. Since reading your fine article I have learned that another South Carolinian was killed in Iraq yesterday. David Weimortz was my son’s best friend and an “adopted” member of our family. David was more important than any immigration issue flaunted by our elected officials. Unfortunately David will become another number in the death toll of a mismanaged war while immigration gains headlines as congress proposes to save us from the Mexicans. Am I angry. You are damn right I am. Congress has avoided the complex issues of our day (war, health care, poverty, government fraud and abuse, etc.)in favor of issues they think will garner them votes in the next election. There are no simple solutions to complex issues such as immigration. The thinking appears to be that if they (our elected officials) can get the Americans to buy simple solutions they will see the problems as simplistic. Consequently, Americans will feel good because they think they and their elected officials are able to do something. And, somebody just might get reelected in the process. We build miles of walls while the shipping containers become the port of entry for terrorist deeds. We obviously can find no simple solution to the container situation. The mismanaged Iraq war continues, the oil companies reap obscene profits, Americans pay more for health care than any country in the world and receieve poorer results, pharmaceutical companies are immune from competition under the new drug program for the elderly, no one can understand the “donut hole” (what bright Washington minds came up with that scheme?), health care bills contribute to 48% of personal bankruptcies, and the rich get get saved from the “death tax”. There are more important issues than illegal immigration but as long as politicians can get our society of lemmings to follow their “flavor of the month” we will not have to think about the really important issues that affect all of us. However, I am greatful today. I am greatful that God put a wonderful young marine in our lives to make us laugh and to remember what is really important.
    John Solomon

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  14. Lee

    The current crop of illegal aliens have no intention of assimilating and becoming Americans. If they did, they would not sneak into the country, and chant support for the racists hate messages of La Raza about “reclaiming the West for Mexico”.
    They are criminals. Those who employ them are criminals. The politicians who permit it are traitors.

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  15. Herb Brasher

    Lex makes a good point with encouraging legal immigration while discouraging illegal; I’ve had a little bit to do with the legal side, and I must admit that the little I have seen (of our immigration guidelines) does not impress me overly much.
    That being said, I have to think that Brad is pretty much right; I don’t see how we can ever really get a handle on illegal immigration, apart from instituting national identity cards as in Europe, and mandating local registration of all citizens and aliens at their county courthouse (also as in Europe), I don’t know how you get a handle on this. And wouldn’t the neocons among us go ballistic if we even started talking about implementing such rules!? I can hear Dave now . . . .
    I don’t have the time to research this, but my impression was that, if the German authorities had difficulty in tracking down illegal immigrants, even with the above precautions in place, how is the US going to do it without them?
    Actually, I don’t think national ID cards are a bad idea. And why shouldn’t we have to register with the local county courthouse everytime we move? Can anyone enlighten me on that? Oh, obviously you are registered if you are a homeowner, but is a renter necessarily?

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  16. Randy Ewart

    John, you forgot about throwing in gay marraige and flag burning as priority issues. Carl Rove is not a public servant, he’s a political servant and these are his babies, no doubt.
    I do think the immigration issue is important, but I agree with Brad. Why now?

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  17. Lee

    How to get a handle on illegal aliens:
    * Fence the border. Shoot anyone caught cutting wire.
    * No tax deductions for wages paid to illegal alien workers.
    * Any company caught hiring illegals the second time loses rights to bid on government contracts for one year. Third time, and it is 3 years.
    * Fine every employer 3x the wages paid to illegal workers.
    * Abolish all the H1-B and L1-B visas which are routinely abused by false applications of the employers and workers. Deport them all.
    * Set up a newer, smaller H1-B program which does not allow broker companies. The actual employer will have to submit the application, not a phony front company from India with a U.S. corporate front.
    * Since the average illegal costs the taxpayers $20,000 a year (GAO report 2005), charge the offending country by reducing our aid to them by that amount for every illegal they let come here.
    * No government services for non-citizens. No medical care, no education, no welfare.
    * Confiscate all property of illegals captured.
    * No child can become a citizen by being born here. You have to be the born to two parents who are both citizens.
    * Outlaw all bank accounts, wire transfers, and automobile loans, real estate loans, and other financial transactions to anyone who is not a citizen or here on a legal visa.
    * Everyone on a work visa must report to a local INS office nearest their residence every month. There are currently 3,900,000 illegals who came here legally and have disappeared.

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  18. Randy Ewart

    Lee, you forgot about the following:
    If an illegal parent buys a pet, we use it as a pinata for his kids birthday party.
    If a illegal alien tries to take cash back to the mother land, we hold him upside down by his ankles and keeping any money that falls out, then make him go duck hunting with Cheney.
    Any illegal domestic worker discovered will be publically humiliated by having to buy Viagra for Rush in a busy pharmacy.
    Illegal migrant workers found on our farms will be forced at gun point to sing the national anthem IN ENGLISH while a group of Minutemen jeer and yell “how do you like El Norte now wetback?!?!”

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  19. LexWolf

    Herb,
    getting a complete, 100% handle on immigration is impossible, I agree. That’ll never happen as long as there are shady employers, or illegals coming in for criminal or terrorist reasons.
    However, a vigorous enforcement approach, especially at the border and on employers, would probably result in an 80% to 90% reduction in illegals. Once we get a pretty good handle on illegal immigration, dealing with long overdue reform of the legal immigration process will be much easier.

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  20. LexWolf

    Self-identified Randy Ewart,
    a little over the top there with your vicious personal attack on Lee, aren’t you? Is this what you consider civility?

    Reply
  21. Dave

    As long as the illegals were here, working while keeping their mouths closed, they sort of stayed under the radar with the American people. Now with enough of them here to populate their own ghettoes and with some stepping out vocally to demand citizen type rights, the American populace is taking notice. The boldness of the criminal element has also increased as the criminal illegals have begun organizing gangs. A popular initiation right with Hispanic gangs is to do a gang rape. N. Carolina has had 5 girls gang raped in the past year or so. Then we see Sen. Graham, who I contributed money to help his election, proposing to award these people full social security benefits into an SS system already bankrupted. So yes, Americans are waking up to the destruction of American life as we know it, or at least have known it. I say all of this while also knowing that their are many decent Hispanic families in the US. But I agree with Lee, learn English or leave. If you want Spanish street signs, go back to your own country.

    Herb, the problem with national ID cards is that these can be counterfeited and what has the federal government operated properly and efficiently to date? Please give an example. Most dangerously, a future socialist leaning president can and would use the national id card to control guns and ammunition, as just one example of a potential invasion of the privacy of law abiding citizens. No, the federal government needs less involvement in our lives, not more.

    Reply
  22. Randy Ewart

    Lex the Anonymous,
    Personal attacks are the type which were spelled out in the thread focused primarily on two specific individuals. These attacks included calling people “dense” and “pathetic” and calling someone a “crybaby” because he has asthma and needed to use a breathing machine.
    The difference here is I offered satire on his suggestion and not him as a person. As MLK Jr. said, “love the person, hate the deed.” I love Lee. :) But, I find “shooting people” because they are cutting a fence to be “a little over the top.”
    Funny that you are more concerned about satire than someone who believes in shooting people.

    Reply
  23. Randy Ewart

    “what has the federal government operated properly and efficiently to date?”
    Are you talking about the Bush administration, the republican congress, or the conservative supreme court?

    Reply
  24. Herb Brasher

    Well, I for one am sure that glad that my passport isn’t issued by the free market. And even Lee admits that federal roads should be administered by the federal and state governments, nicht wahr? Let’s hope that they maintain funding them. Or maybe we should sell them off to the highest bidder? Then everyone could set their own speed limits. Think of the wonderful results. Trucks at 100 mph downhill. Come to think of it, since SC doesn’t have enough funds for state troopers, maybe we should turn traffic and even all law enforcement over to the private sector.
    With technology and thumbprints nowadays, they ought to be able to come up with a pretty much counterfeit-free ID card.

    Reply
  25. LexWolf

    Or maybe we should sell them off to the highest bidder? Then everyone could set their own speed limits. Think of the wonderful results. Trucks at 100 mph downhill.
    How does that make any sense? Have you ever been on the NJ or PA turnpikes? Or the Italian Autostrada? They are privately owned and operated yet police enforce the usual speed limits. Nice try, though.

    Reply
  26. Dave

    Herb, Passports are administered by the feds and they have improved administration but it used to take 2 months to get one. Now its a month. BofA will get you a credit card in a couple of days with your picture on it. And BOA controls that CC much more effectively than we do passports. If the highways were put under outsourced private contracts, you would see vast improvement.

    Reply
  27. Lee

    Randy, what does your inability to seriously discuss even one of my proposals for controlling the illegal alien problem tell you about the maturity of your political thinking?

    Reply
  28. Lee

    If you make it impossible for the illegals to get work, handouts, or back-door citizenship, they will deport themselves.

    Reply
  29. Alex Rath

    I agree with pretty much every word of Lex’s post of Aug 27, 2006 12:28:04 PM. Couldn’t have said it better.
    When the other side… the side that ‘doesn’t see the harm’ (obviously people in jobs that are not at risk, so why care about anyone else) throw out words like “bigot,” “Nazi,” and “racist” it’s a pathetic attempt at using buzzwords to inflame people. Sounds more like something a politician would do than someone who is intelligent and thinks for themselves….. well, that answers that.
    Illegal immigration is a problem because… GASP… it’s ILLEGAL!! Get it? Against the law? Not legal? Is any of this getting through?
    Here’s a story for you…. And it’s a true one.
    Two guys are working on a new house, in the crawlspace, doing electrical wiring. They did NOT lock and note the main electrical box as they are supposed to. Someone else comes on site to do some work inside the house, and needs the juice on. He calls out “Anyone working on the electric?” He gets no response, so he flips the switch. The two people under the house are electrocuted.
    The two people under the house were illegals who didn’t understand English. The last time I checked on the matter, a settlement was pending, and the illegal families of these illegal immigrants will likely drain a substantial amount from an insurance company (which we’ll all pay for later in increased premiums).
    Enjoy the fruits of your illegal labor.
    In some states, illegals can get driver’s licenses?! What?! My wife accidentally didn’t renew her license, and had to provide a copy of a birth certificate to get a new one. Maybe if she’d been illegal it would have been easier.
    As to the question “Why now?” it’s been answered right here in this thread, but apparantly folks aren’t reading. It’s a matter of critical mass. Honest, hard working Americans have simply had enough, and I’m one of them.
    One could ask “Why now?” of pretty much any issue that isn’t spurred by a major event like the laughable “war on terror” after 9/11.
    This was an issue way back… I rather like Larry The Cable Guy’s take on it….
    Press 1 for English
    Press 2 for Spanish
    Press 3 if you want the person who pressed 2 to learn English.

    Reply
  30. Lee

    More things to help get rid of the illegal aliens:
    * Require all business to be conducted English. No Spanish, no Portugese, no French, no German, no Vietnamese…
    * Grant no licenses for non-English radio and television stations.
    * Anyone caught helping an illegal alien to vote or obtain a driver’s license or welfare benefits will lose, for 5 years, their right to vote, their government benefits, or their driver’s license.

    Reply
  31. Doug Ross

    Bud… point taken. How about we amend Lee’s suggestion to read “Require all government business to be conducted in English”? End English As Second Language education.. no government forms in Spanish… no government contracts for any employer who is caught using illegal immigrant labor.

    Reply
  32. Lee

    One legitimate role of the federal government is to maintain the uniformity and honesty of interstate commerce. Anyone who is doing business in America has no legitimate reason to use anything but English, because all persons here are supposed to already know English well enough to have a temporary work visa, or be learning it well enough to become legal citizens.
    Everyone who is not learning English will certainly not learn it if they have employers and retailers catering to them in their native tongue.
    The Spanish radio and newspapers are sources of lies to keep the Latinos stirred up and under control of the radicals in La Raza and the Democratic Party. That seditious media has no legitimate place in a free country.

    Reply
  33. Ready to Hurl

    Maybe you “English language only” folks ought to focus on a constitutional ammendment. It’s not mandated anywhere now and, unlike you, I don’t see a threat to the Republic if Americans communicate in different languages.

    Reply
  34. LexWolf

    Be careful what you wish for. I suspect that such a constitutional amendment would pass with flying colors if put to a vote.

    Reply
  35. Randy Ewart

    Lee, I suggest that shooting people for cutting a fence is probably not a good idea and now I’m for massive entitlements? A little reactionary there Greengo. I guess if I said maybe we shouldn’t mandatory prayer in school you’d call me an athiest devil worshipper.

    Reply
  36. Spencer Gantt

    We don’t need a national identity card. Just a “Resident Data Base” run by each state. No cards other than the ones we now carry. It’s a real solution and not “cheatable”. No ones civil liberties get stepped on.

    Reply
  37. Randy Ewart

    You boys spend some time in the Northeast. ATM machines have script available in atleast 6 languages and names with more vowels that a Spin the Wheel Hour special. Imagine the language issue around 1900.
    The Spanish language is here to stay. The MARKET ECONOMY some of you worship is at work. Lowe’s wants the money from non-English speaking customers so they post signs with both languages. Funny that some of you want government intervention for this – I guess government isn’t bad when it suits some people’s needs.
    I’m not suggesting we simply fling open the gate to all immigrants. There has to be controls. But this constitutional amendment for language and outrage over ATM machines with Spanish script is beating your heads against the wall.

    Reply
  38. Alex Rath

    Randy,
    It’s not a matter of “government isn’t bad when it suits some people’s needs.” That’s nothing but an inflammatory statement with nothing behind it.
    Some of us are not Republican… not Democrat.. we actually look at each individual issue, and make decisions based on logic.
    I know that’s an amazing concept to some people who do nothing but tow the party line blindly (not saying you’re like that Randy), but there really are people that think for themselves out there.
    Yes, there are times when government intervention on an issue is fully proper, and there are other times when they should be hands-off, at least in my opinion. Thinking that way isn’t wrong, it isn’t bad, it’s called not being a sheep and responding to the buzzwords that some people want me to react to… like “bigot,” “racist” and “Nazi.”

    Reply
  39. Randy Ewart

    Alex, nice input. I take a position on each issue based on individual merit and rational. I have some conervative beliefs and liberal. I am mostly moderate.
    There’s a huge difference between blind demagoguery that “government is bad” then turning around and pushing for intervention. The Schiavo issue is a great example. I happened to be in agreement with keeping her alive, but I was appalled at the government intervention.
    I think that was your point, eh? Good input AR.

    Reply
  40. Randy Ewart

    Between blind demogoguery and opposing government intevention on a per case basis.
    I need to preview my statements.

    Reply
  41. bill

    What’s the big deal? Hispanic immigrants have had a very positive effect on my life.I can walk three miles down the road and have a truly authentic Mexican dinner.Five-star cuisine.

    Reply
  42. bud

    Dave writes:
    Bud, what next, begin to accept payments in pesos? This destruction of our culture has to be stopped.
    You anti-immigration folks are so negative. Lighten up. “Our” culture is different things to different people. I for one don’t like sweet tea. But in the south it’s a cultural icon and a few Mexican immigrants isn’t going to change that or any other well established tradition. But some new, and positive additions to our culture are likely and that’s a good thing. I’m with bill, the Mexican food in Columbia has improved dramatically over the last few years. As for pesos, what’s the problem? If I have pesos and someone accepts this as payment for a service rendered is that a bad thing? As for all this paranoia about Spanish, again, what’s the problem? Would it kill you to learn a few Spanish words? Are pinatas somehow a bad thing? How about Mexican beer? I think it’s great.
    The anti-immigration crowd is really gone off the deep end with all this hysteria. As with the war in Iraq this is mostly a fear thing. Fear of change in this case. Most Mexicans are hard working, industrious people who only want to better themselves and their families. This fear of immigrants is nothing new. Perhaps in 20 years Hispanics may be griping about a new wave of immigrants from some other country, perhaps Iraq. Now wouldn’t that be a hoot. One cultural change I’d really like to see is the mid-afternoon siesta.

    Reply
  43. LexWolf

    Bud,
    your first paragraph is relatively OK. I’d love to have more Mexicans because all the ones I’ve known so far have been hard workers. In fact, give us more Mexicans and instead send the laziest of our own citizens back to wherever their ancestors came from. The key thing, though, is that the Mexicans have to be LEGAL. If they are here legally, I’m all for them. If not, hasta la vista!!

    Reply
  44. Randy Ewart

    I have to say Lex makes a good point. Most are probably not anti-immigration. They are anti-illegal immigration.
    The issue is incredibly complex and simply putting up a wall and hunting down illegals isn’t going to solve it. In fact, the backlash hurts the moral fiber of our country.
    Some suggested laws that would prohibit helping illegals with fundamental needs like food and medical care. I guess next they’ll propose changing the inscription on the Statue of Liberty from “Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” to “the illegal scum sucking up tax dollars and making us hit an extra button on our atm machines”.

    Reply
  45. Dave

    Randy, if asking that the laws be obeyed and enforced is now called government intervention, well, that shows how far down the slippery slope we are now with immigration. To many, illegal immigration isnt illegal anymore. Another big so what from the left in this country. As many have said before, a country without borders is not a nation. As for the hard working immigrant cliche, think again. I work with Mexicans in Mexico. The college educated, business owners, and rock solid families are not leaving their homeland to come here. No, it’s their unemployed, many criminals, and a lot of young men who want to make some quick bucks. For us to permit these type of people to jump the waiting line and then give them citizenship is beyond reality. In short, we rigidly restrict Irish, Poles, Germans, Indians, Taiwanese, Phillipinos and Brits from moving here but continue to absorb a massive illegal migration of the poor and uneducated and many unhealthy from Mexico, Guatemala, Nicarauga, you name it. It is a national disgrace that even the Latinos who are here LEGALLY dont want to condone.

    Reply
  46. Randy Ewart

    Dave, you relly jumped into the middle of this conversation. Go back and read. The governmnet intervention to which I am referring is a constitutional amendment to mandate English because people don’t like seeing Spanish script on an ATM. (Maybe the menus at bill’s restaurant down the street should be written in all English).
    If you read my post a couple places back, you see that I agree “there needs to be controls”. I think this backlash and includes jumping on anyone who seems to disagree. It’s similar to labelling anyone questions private vouchers as being for the status quo or anyone who questions the war as anti-American. Discussion and critical thought are good things.

    Reply
  47. Herb Brasher

    Randy, you make good points, so does Alex. Nobody probably understands what I am after, but that is why I keep pushing the speed limit button. The neocons want speed limits (I do too, but that is beside the point; I’ve never hidden my support of government intervention). Why? Well, because the government owns the roads, so it has a right to set the speed limits. So why not sell off the roads, I ask? Good idea, says Dave. But then why shouldn’t the people who own them set the rules? Why let the government in on them? If the government can’t limit guns, then why should the government set traffic laws, especially if we privatize them?
    These people aren’t consistent, in my way of thinking. They want government to interfere, when it is to their advantage.
    Of course, I already know what the answer is going to be: some sort of insult like “you can’t understand anything because you went to public schools.” (Lee)
    As I’ve said a hundred times before, I’m an evangelical Christian, so I’m convinced in the depravity of man. Not that man is as bad as he/she could be, but I can depend upon people to generally do the selfish thing in any given situation.
    So we need government. As Luther wrote:

    Das ist das Nötigste in der Welt, dass man ein streng, weltlich Regiment habe. Die Welt kann nicht regiert werden nach dem Evangelium.
    The most necessary thing in the world is that the world be ruled by a severe (or stern) worldly authority. The world cannot be ruled by the Gospel.

    So limit immigration if you like. I’m sure it is a good idea, depending on how it is done. But please be consistent and let yourself be limited in other ways as well.

    Reply
  48. Steve Gordy

    Herb, I’m with you. Everyone wants controls and restrictions on some things, which may include: marriage; gun ownership; highway use; real estate development; smoking in public places; immigration. We get into trouble from the contortions that result when contradictory impulses on control vs. freedom clash.

    Reply
  49. Lee

    Getting rid of the illegal aliens and instituting a policy of very limited immigration which has been thought out and debated from the viewpoint of what is best for the nation, is not complicated.
    The policy we have now is the result of people who do not care about our nation, but rather their own selfish, short-term desire to profit by trafficking in the cheap labor of a Mexico’s deportation of its social problems.
    If American citizens decide they want to increase the population by an influx of foreigners, we have the ability to select a mix of the very best the world has to offer.
    It is senseless to let US Senators be bought off by the exploiters of cheap labor, to continue an abdication of law enforcement that permits the lowest echelons of Latin America society to select themselves as the muddy pollution of our culture.

    Reply
  50. Lee

    Randy, the use deadly force is the ultimate cost of breaking any law. How do you intend to stop illegal aliens from cutting up a fence on the border if you are unwilling to shoot them?
    I suspect that you don’t want a fence, and don’t want to stop the illegal aliens, but are unable or afraid to tell us why.

    Reply
  51. Steve Gordy

    Let it be noted that the wisdom of the Soviet Union (remember it?) in building the Berlin Wall in 1961 has now been ratified in retrospect by some of our bloggers.

    Reply
  52. Ready to Hurl

    Once again Lexie demonstrates that authoritarian gubmint is “good”– as long as it tells people to do what Lexie wants.

    Reply
  53. Alex Rath

    Let me say this again….
    It is NOT a conflict when we want the laws enforced that are on the books.
    Steve mentions: marriage; gun ownership; highway use; real estate development; smoking in public places; immigration
    Of these, some of them are already on the books, and others are what people are trying to force on others based on their own morals and a lack of respect for the fact that not everyone beleives the same thing. (Please, don’t insult our intelligence and take this to extremes like saying some people believe murder is okay.)
    Crossing the border illegally is… well.. illegal!!! Why do you folks not understand that all we want, is that the laws that are on the books be enforced?? Yes, some are proposing new ways of strengthening the laws, such as denying illegal immigrants free healthcare, etc.. and I agree with them completely. It’s not a moral decision, it’s a legal one. Frankly I think providing illegals with any form of benefit is simply ackowledging the problem without dealing with it. Anyone who knows someone is here illegally and doesn’t report it, should be subject to arrest and prosecution for harboring an illegal alien.
    As for bud’s comment that it’s “hysteria.” No, it’s not hysteria, that’s yet another buzzword that’s used to attempt to weakly discredit a legitimate argument. Also, we’re not talking about “a few” illegals here, we’re talking over 10 million based on what I’ve read and heard (I don’t have a source and don’t feel like looking one up, but I think it’s safe to say that 10 million is conservative). We’re talking about construction workers, hard working Americans, not being hired because the illegals will work cheaper. We’re talking about illegal workers who don’t understand the language, or the concept of building codes. We’re talking about our tax dollars being used to care for people who entered this country illegally, when those dollars could do more good for people who actually belong here. Sorry, but the impact is NOT as minor, at least to me, as people would have us believe.
    I welcome anyone into this country that obtains citizenship legally, learns to speak English, and doesn’t demand that our government and businesses change the way they do things to cater to them, by spending more dollars to produce things in other languages. Unfortunately, businesses have had no choice but to do this, because to refuse, is to lose business to those that will. Even if a company disagrees completely, they just can’t afford not to do it.
    I’ve been reading a lot of articles on this issue lately, some from an admittedly biased source, The Nation. While the source may be biased, they don’t lie about the reporting they do when it’s factual. Several businesses have been forced out of business, because they cannot beat the contract bids of other companies that use illegals so they can underbid anyone who doesn’t. Is this a “minor” impact?? American businesses being shut down because they refuse to break the law?? These businesses should get pats on the back, a handshake, and a government contract, not bankruptcy.
    I owned a business for about 10 years, recently having closed it down (just can’t compete with Wal-Mart). Several times, I got phone calls from people speaking what I assume was Spanish/Mexican.. whatever. I simply told them that I was an American, running an American business, and that if they wanted to do business, they would speak English. I really didn’t care if I lost their business, I support an American, America. And.. before someone goes off the deep end and tries to run with this, no, that’s not why my business folded. It was only about 4 calls in 10 years.

    Reply
  54. Alex Rath

    Actually Steve, you couldn’t be more wrong when you say Let it be noted that the wisdom of the Soviet Union (remember it?) in building the Berlin Wall in 1961 has now been ratified in retrospect by some of our bloggers.
    It was exactly the opposite. The Berlin Wall was constructed to keep people IN East Berlin, because they were losing too many skilled workers to the West.
    Let me say this again. It was built to keep people in, not keep them out.
    There’s a striking difference there. Sorry you failed in your attempt to compare the desire for enforcement of the immigration laws to the acts of a Communist government.
    Your comparison would be accurate if you were in Mexico, and the Mexican government wanted to build a wall to keep people from crossing into America.

    Reply
  55. Steve Gordy

    The Great Wall of China couldn’t keep the Mongols out; the Berlin Wall couldn’t keep the East Germans in; the English Channel couldn’t keep the Normans out of England; the Alps couldn’t keep Hannibal out of Italy. There is no impenetrable barrier, and wasting money on one is a fool’s errand. Alex, exactly how does the effort to build an impenetrable wall equate to “the desire for enforcement of the immigration laws”? One thing that MIGHT help is passage and enforcement of a tamper-resistant national ID card.

    Reply
  56. Lee

    Actually, very few people escaped through the barbed wire in East Germany or anywhere else.
    The US maintained a wire fence between Turkey and the Soviet states on its border very effectively.
    The Great Wall of China was very effective for hundreds of years.
    The few miles of fence that we have put up along the Mexican border since 2001 have reduced crossings there as much as 98%. The problem is that the criminals have too many other places to cross, until we seal off the entire border.
    Those who don’t want a fence across the Mexican border, usually just don’t want any other restrictions on the Latino invasion.
    But the fence is only one part of the solution. Cutting off the transfer of funds home to Mexico and putting employers out of business are the keys to taking away the economic incentives.
    Lindsey Graham, McCain and Kennedy simply don’t want want to implement ANY measures that will reduce immigration. The Senate bill actually removes almost all limits on legal immigration, and legalizes much of what is now criminal.

    Reply
  57. Alex Rath

    You’ve picked ONE issue out of many that have been proposed and discussed here.. the wall. If you’re going to discuss the issue, how about discussing the entire issue Steve, rather than picking one item? Have you even read all the posts here? Or did you just skim unti you found something you could argue against? No offense, but it doesn’t seem like you’ve put forth the effort to read and understand all the different ideas that have been discussed here. That is obvious from the fact that you didn’t get what I said about enforcement of immigration laws.
    You’re probably right, a wall wouldn’t keep them out. I’d be more in favor of increased funding for border patrol agents and electronic surveillance.
    As for a national-id card…. there’s no such thing as “tamper proof.” Even RFID can be manipulated. If the DoD computers can be hacked, what makes anyone think it’s even possible to build anything that’s “tamper proof?”
    The primary issue as I see it, is that there are Americans who harbor and aid the illegals, including our own government. We need new laws on the books (yes, proposing new laws) to fine and punish those that help them. We need to cease giving them free medical care and other services.
    As many have said. Take away their lifeline in the US, and they will find it harder to live here than in Mexico, and hopefully go back. In addition, we need more funding for the INS and Border Patrol, to capture and deport those that are here illegally. I’m sure they could be rounded up by the truckload if the funds where there to do it. Offer rewards per head for people who report immigrants to the INS. I don’t have the magic bullet, but certainly there’s something better than the “who cares” approach our government is currently taking.

    Reply
  58. bill

    No,let’s tax all the churches that are PACS or organized hate-groups posing as houses of worship.That would include most of the Baptists.Talk about revenue.Why isn’t Pat Robertson in jail yet? Look at what happened to Jim and Tammy Faye.Jim has realized the error of his ways,and,last I heard,is running a respectable ministry.I haven’t been keeping up with Tammy’s health reports,but hope she’s OK.
    Back to the burning issue of the day,here’s a suggestion:Go get some grub at this place,
    it will change your life,Taqueria El Rincon Vaquero
    West Columbia/Cayce: 517 12th St., 939-9011
    Mon-Thu 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sun 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
    An authentic and no-nonsense taqueria across from the towering Zesto cone in West Columbia, El Rincon Vaquero offers numerous traditional Mexican dishes. ¢.*****

    Reply
  59. Lee

    The First Amendment protects free speech, and there are some political topics directly concerning churches where they have a right and obligation to take a stand. Aiding and abetting the trafficking in slave labor from Mexico is not a protected activity.
    To answer your other red herring:
    There was good Mexican food in Columbia in the early 1970s, prepared by legal immigrants. I don’t do business with anyone that I even suspect of using illegal aliens, whether they are illiterate mojados from Guatemala, or educated Indians here on falsified H1-B and L1-B papers.

    Reply
  60. Ready to Hurl

    Herb writes: As I’ve said a hundred times before, I’m an evangelical Christian, so I’m convinced in the depravity of man.
    Thanks, Herb. You just pinpointed why I’m not an “evangelical.”

    Reply
  61. Alex Rath

    Actually, Spencer… no.
    Fingerprints can be duplicated, and virtually any fingerprint scanner can be fooled.
    So, you ask, “How would they get my fingerprint?”
    If there’s a fingerprint scanner, then there’s a fingerprint database that it must compare to. Databases can be hacked. With a computer imaged fingerprint, a chemical process can be used to create a ‘dummy’ print pattern that can fool scanners.

    Reply
  62. LexWolf

    RTH, Aug 29, 2006 5:47:13 AM
    Once again you jump to unwarranted conclusions. Where exactly did I say that I support such an amendment? All I said is that it would most likely pass, yes, just like those marriage amendments. Of course, that’s what happens when some special interest group goes too far. The backlash is something fierce!

    Reply
  63. Lee

    I have developed applications which use biometric identification, including the development of fingerprint recognition and storage algorithms. These have their place in ID badges for secure access in business and military, but not for general control of illegal aliens, most of whom are working underground or just committing robbery and prostitution to make a living.

    Reply
  64. Randy Ewart

    The postings today support Brad’s original contention. This is a very complicated issue. Simply building a wall and rounding up illegals isn’t the solution in of itself. Before some of you get your panties up, I did NOT state that I am for an open border (sad you have to explain that there is middle ground). That’s L.Graham’s point. He’s not one to go hopping on the latest demogoguery bandwagon. He thinks through the issue.
    Does anyone in the pro-wall faction have estimates for the cost for building such a wall or fence, the cost for maintenance, and for manning it with gaurds? While you’re at it, please explain to Lee that we don’t use shooting people to enforce any old law (talk about a military state)- drunk driving results in a tremendous number of DEATHS Lee, why don’t we shoot intoxicated drivers while we’re at it?

    Reply
  65. Alex Rath

    I just love how some folks ignore multiple suggestions and discussions, and only hone in on the ones they can try to argue against, as if ignoring the fact that other ideas have come up…..
    Sounds like something a politician would do.

    Reply
  66. Alex Rath

    People whining about the costs of taking action…. consider this. I did some brief research, ignoring the radical web sites as sources, and settled finally on a report from Bear Stearns.
    From a Bear Stearns report:
    The implications of these massive inflows of workers are enormous. Although there are economic benefits to cheap, illegal labor, there are significant costs associated with circumventing the labor laws. The social expenses of health care, retirement funding, education and law enforcement are potentially accruing at $30 billion per year. Many of these costs lag and will not be realized until the next economic downturn and beyond as new immigrants require a safety net.
    While I did finally find the report on what I would label a one-sided web site, the report speak for itself and is from a major corporation that does not appear to be affiliated with the site:
    http://www.illegalaliens.us/images/Bear%20Stearns%20Study.pdf
    Does taking action look expensive now? And no, I don’t mean a wall!!!! Get over the wall and address the entire issue if you can.

    Reply
  67. Spencer Gantt

    Thanks to Alex and Lee. Further questions on my part, since you seem to know something about this technology.
    What I’m talking about is MY fingerprint in a database “somewhere”. Only MY FINGER can access that database, not some “copy” of my fingerprint. Tie that in with an ID number or password known only to me, and would not that produce a virtually tamper-proof system?
    How about the grocery store(s) here in Columbia where you can pay your bill with your fingerprint and password? How about “PAY BY TOUCH” where you can make certain payments via the WEB using this technology (from The State Newspaper 02/07/2006). Also, what about retina scan and DNA. Can those be duplicated?
    My point is that I think such a system can be developed for citizenship verification, job application, hospital admission, state residency, voting, whatever. One system maintained in each state, all interlocked in one such as the Social Security Database.
    Whaddya think?

    Reply
  68. Alex Rath

    Spencer,
    Your fingerprint can be copied… simple as that. I don’t know how else to explain it. It is possible (like you’ve probably seen in the movies) to make an overlay for a finger that will duplicate someone else’s fingerprint. Then add to it that, quite simply, once stolen, that’s it! You can’t get a new fingerprint like you can get a new credit card if it’s stolen. Do you still want a fingerprint database out there?
    Here’s a link to an article regarding that, under the heading “Fun with Fingerprint Readers”
    http://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram-0205.html
    A password known only to you? Password systems can be cracked. Once again, if it’s tied to you, and there has to be a database to check it against, your password CAN be compromised. So.. there goes the ID and fingerprint scheme.
    Pay by touch. Well, I think I’ve already addressed that, though I doubt criminals would go to the trouble of hacking a system to buy groceries.
    Retina scan and DNA…. there you run into civil liberties issues. Not to mention the logistics would be mind-boggling.
    Here’s a few articles for your review:
    http://www.schneier.com/essay-034.html
    http://www.eff.org/Privacy/Surveillance/nationalidsystem.html
    Now.. with that said.. and??? Okay, so let’s say, for the sake of argument, that a National ID system with DNA is implemented (at a staggering cost I don’t even want to think about). What then?

    Reply
  69. Alex Rath

    I was discussing this with a friend of mine, who brought up another point…
    What about double-amputees who have no hands to fingerprint? They can’t have an ID?
    There are multiple other medical issues that would and could prevent the use of Fingerprints as a primary method of identification. Something as simple as a bruise can throw off biometric scans due to distortions in the ridge lines, or perhaps a job that interferes with the ridges on the finger due to wearing down, can make fingerprint IDs unreliable.
    Just another random thought on the fingerprint idea.
    I did look at the site you noted, Spencer. It looks like they have a pretty solid system. They don’t store the entire print, but simply 40 points of identification. Though, I feel sure that if someone really wanted to, they could fake it. The ingenuity of criminals should never be underestimated.

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  70. Spencer Gantt

    Alex, what you say is true. ALL systems can be compromised, I’m sure, especially the ones we currently have. I agree criminals would hardly go to the trouble of hacking a system for buying groceries. Would they hack voting, hospital admission, job application or legal residence systems? And, why?
    As for a national ID system with DNA or any other identifier, I don’t see how it could be any more expensive than many systems we currently have, especially if maintained by the individual states.
    Don’t people already pay for certain items and services via the internet using their credit cards, PAY PAL, PAY BY TOUCH, and so on? I monitor my bank account and pension account via the internet. What about Social Security and the Pentagon? Have any of these methods/systems been cracked? And, if so, what were the ill effects? What magnitude?
    Oh, yes. Why are there civil libery issues with retina scans and DNA (freely given), but not fingerprints? And can retina scans and DNA be stolen like fingerprints?
    Thanks very much for the reading suggestions. I will give them a look. Also, I appreciate the conversation.

    Reply
  71. Alex Rath

    There is a civil liberties issue with fingerprints.. I just failed to mention it due to the other problems with fingerprint usage.
    As for cost.. I’m talking cost of implementation. You’d need a huge supply of new generation computer hardware and software, not to mention the cost of time of people to go through the process. What if the network went down? What about the occurrence of something like a hurricane that takes down power for days or weeks? Can I no longer go to the hospital because their biometrics don’t work? Yes, that’s a rare thing, but it could happen, and in security, we look at what could go wrong, not what could go right.
    DNA and Retina fraud… not to my knowledge. Though I should qualify that by saying “not with current technology.” Technology is ever moving forward, and there’s no telling what will be possible in another 5 years, or less.
    The Pentagon? Yes, it’s been hacked. Do a Google search and you’ll find plenty of examples. I seriously doubt the Pentagon would ever admit to any serious damage or theft of data though, so even if it happened, we wouldn’t know it.
    I could find no record of the SSA being hacked, but I could give you a huge list of other companies that have been hacked, revealing SSNs.
    Also, there’s this from 1998:
    http://hsgac.senate.gov/091898press.htm

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  72. Lee

    Look no further than SCDMV SELLING your SSN and other information to Image Data, LLC, for the purposes of creating a national dossier on every adult, in an off-budget program run out of VP Al Gore’s discretionary funds.

    Reply
  73. Spencer Gantt

    Well, I still think such a system is possible. For “warts & flaws” it would be no worse than anything we have now. For susceptiblity, maybe no better but certainly no worse. If the internet goes down or we lose power for days/weeks, what do we do now? Backup systems? Also, “what could go wrong” should not be a reason for NOT doing something, but a reason for installing safety measures and preventing a problem from occuring. As you say, “technology is ever moving forward ….. “.
    Again, thanks.

    Reply
  74. Alex Rath

    I think your shot is pretty well wide of the point of the topic here, Spencer… The discussion of IDs and such is interesting.. but.. it really doesn’t get to the core of the need to enforce immigration laws.
    We don’t need a different ID system. We just need for people to do the right thing, and turn in illegal immigrants. Then we need the government to do something about it when they are notified.
    It’s not that they don’t know who the immigrants are, I think. It’s that they don’t care.

    Reply
  75. Wally

    Brad. addressing your original question:

    It’s the ILLEGAL aspect of immigration, not the color of skin or the worthiness of the immigrant. But what pushed it over the edge for me, at least, was the waving of Mexican and other latino flags during the marches DEMANDING rights. A sea of green white and red. The idea that this is race based is not true, it’s the illegal status of the immigrant. Saying they aren’t illegals or criminals is wrong. As I’ve said before, using/stealing SSNs is a FELONY. ILLEGAL entry is also a crime.

    We owe nothing to these illegals. Not work, not health care, no education and definitely no financial assistance.

    Reply
  76. Herb Brasher

    So is your system really doable, Alex? Anything that presupposes massive reorientation of our whole populace is rather far-fetched, don’t you think? And what good does it do to lament the fact that most people don’t even know any illegal immigrants, and probably aren’t interested? Those who do know them (e.g., employers), aren’t going to be interested in turning them in.
    Germany had and has, as far as I know, very sharp laws against illegal workers trying to slide under the tax laws. Germany has a national ID card. But people were doing “Schwarzarbeit” all the time, in spite of the laws. Reason: economic. It is massive. Laws that go against vested economic interests don’t have much of a chance, and I doubt they are enforceable. And if you don’t have a viable ID system, they sure enough aren’t enforceable.

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  77. Wally

    I’m not sure how the topic changed to identification process, but be that as it may, why not try bar coding or tattooing like the nazi death camps. If bar coding, just tattoo it acroos the forehead and be done with it.

    Reply
  78. Randy Ewart

    I’m fine with national ID cards, but there are some heavy ethical, moral, and Big Brother issues with this and technology in general. Bioethics has become a hot topic because we are going into unchartered frontier with DNA and stem cell research for example. It’s not just the pro-gun crowd that is worried about big brother government.
    Alex, bringing up the wall is not cherry picking a small issue. People are making it a very big issue because that is their primary solution proposal, along with hunting down all the illegals. I’m dismayed that you take issue with people asking about the cost – sort of the best defense is a strong offense. Talking cost is essential and shouldn’t be brushed aside.
    Additionally, this complex issue is being pulled many different directions because of political grandstanding. It’s like the dems in the lead up to the war. So many wanted to sound like patriotic hawks they went running to Bush (kind of like Wil E Coyote running into a tunnel chasing Road Runner, then running out with the train on his tail). So many politicians are talking tough not because of a belief in a solution, but in a belief in getting re-elected.

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  79. Ready to Hurl

    I haven’t made up my mind about the “Big Brother” implications of a national ID card/system. However, one secondary benefit could be revamping the voting system using such a card/system.
    It certainly couldn’t be any less secure than the paperless Diebold machines favored by Republicans that can be hacked without a trace.

    Reply
  80. Dave

    RTH – Yes, just imagine all the democrat ghost voters in Chicago and New Orleans voting multiple times with multiple national ID cards. Not!!!!!!!! Diebold voting machines are the most incorruptible devices we could use so stop whining about Diebold.

    Wally – you are thinking what I think. If an American citizen went into Mexico and tried to protest politically, they would be arrested, fined and deported without a hesitation. Illegals have no rights other than God given rights to be provided food and water. Beyond that, nothing is owed.

    Reply
  81. Spencer Gantt

    After 80+ comments on this blog, it’s reasonable to think that the subject could “wander” a bit. But, I don’t think identification of ALL of us here in this country is “wide of the mark” when it comes to the criminal trespass we refer to as “illegal immigration”. Besides, I learned an awful lot about security and technology in the last twenty posts or so.
    And for me, RTH nailed it with his post about “revamping the voting system” using a card/system change. The touch screen system is totally unaccountable and a sham. As is the registration system, and party declaration. But, here I go wandering “wide of the mark” again.
    Perhaps BW will supply new fodder with a column about how to vote, who can run for office, primaries, write-in & third party candidates. Or, perhaps there is another blog site where such things can be discussed. Know any?
    I have enjoyed it.

    Reply
  82. Spencer Gantt

    There is a way to limit multiple votes by single individuals regardless of the ID system used. National ID’s or voter registration cards or water bills, or whatever.

    Reply
  83. Randy Ewart

    “God given rights to be provided food and water. Beyond that, nothing is owed.” – Dave
    So an illegal hit by a car and bleeding on the street can be given water and some bread but no medical treatment?
    If you’re going to bring God into this, then you’d better think in terms of humanity and not patriotism.
    Speaking of which, I think I’ll open a can of worms. I am baffled by the conservative Christian platform in the republican party. They preach a staunch God fearing family value focus when it comes to gay marriage, obscenity, and pro-life. This same focus becomes fuzzy when it comes to the death penalty, taking care of the poor, and the environment.
    How is some scripture promoted while other parts are conveniently ignored? And please don’t even bother with “compassionate conservatism”.

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  84. Ready to Hurl

    Wow, Dave, your last post made even less sense than your others– which is a true accomplishment for you.
    Obviously, the ID card or whatever system would need to be as secure as possible. Witness the exchanges above about fingerprints, retina scans etc.
    You seem to believe that the Dems in N.O. and Chicago have the current system figured out. At least introducing a new system would make these supposed vote riggers have to figure out new ways to scam the vote.
    But, your most ludicrous idea is that the Diebold machines are anything other than blackboxs that Republicans can program for victory. Maybe that’s what you like so much about them.
    Volusia County FL dumps Diebold
    Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2005 –
    UPDATE Dec. 16: Volusia County (FL) joins Leon in dumping Diebold. Due to contractual non-performance and security design issues, Leon County (Florida) supervisor of elections Ion Sancho has announced that he will never again use Diebold in an election. He has requested funds to replace the Diebold system from the county. On Tuesday, the most serious �hack� demonstration to date took place in Leon County. The Diebold machines succumbed quickly to alteration of the votes. This comes on the heels of the resignation of Diebold CEO Wally O’Dell, and the announcement that stockholder’s class action suits and related actions have been filed against Diebold by four separate law firms. Further �hack� testing on additional vulnerabilities is tentatively scheduled before Christmas in the state of California.
    Finnish security expert Harri Hursti, together with Black Box Voting, demonstrated that Diebold made misrepresentations to Secretaries of State across the nation when Diebold claimed votes could not be changed on the �memory card� (the credit-card-sized ballot box used by computerized voting machines.
    A test election was run in Leon County on Tuesday with a total of eight ballots. Six ballots voted “no” on a ballot question as to whether Diebold voting machines can be hacked or not. Two ballots, cast by Dr. Herbert Thompson and by Harri Hursti voted “yes” indicating a belief that the Diebold machines could be hacked.
    At the beginning of the test election the memory card programmed by Harri Hursti was inserted into an Optical Scan Diebold voting machine. A “zero report” was run indicating zero votes on the memory card. In fact, however, Hursti had pre-loaded the memory card with plus and minus votes.
    The eight ballots were run through the optical scan machine. The standard Diebold-supplied “ender card” was run through as is normal procedure ending the election. A results tape was run from the voting machine.
    Correct results should have been: Yes:2 ; No:6
    However, just as Hursti had planned, the results tape read: Yes:7 ; No:1
    The results were then uploaded from the optical scan voting machine into the GEMS central tabulator, a step cited by Diebold as a protection against memory card hacking. The central tabulator is the “mother ship” that pulls in all votes from voting machines. However, the GEMS central tabulator failed to notice that the voting machines had been hacked.
    […]
    The Hursti Hack requires a moderate level of inside access. It is, however, accomplished without being given any password and with the same level of access given thousands of poll workers across the USA. It is a particularly dangerous exploit, because it changes votes in a one-step process that will not be detected in any normal canvassing procedure, it requires only a single a credit-card sized memory card, any single individual with access to the memory cards can do it, and it requires only a small piece of equipment which can be purchased off the Internet for a few hundred dollars.

    Reply
  85. Randy Ewart

    Another Dave classic from the Monitor thread:
    “which makes him even more suspect to the anti-Semitic leftists.”

    Reply
  86. Herb Brasher

    RTH,
    I hope you don’t reject evangelicals based on my feeble attempts at explaining what we believe (though I haven’t really much of any attempt to explain what we believe, but rather apply what we believe to the realm of politics). Human “depravity,” in evangelical thought, need not necessarily mean more than that we need someone outside of ourselves in order to save us.
    An evangelical can include anyone from C. S. Lewis (at least I would include him), to a staunch Calvinist.
    I think we certainly have to include Tony Campolo and Brian McClaren in the evangelical camp, though I wouldn’t necessarily subscribe to their thought. They are, however, giving new thoughts to some old questions, no doubt about it.
    What I am trying to say is that the term “evangelical” encompasses a broad range of thought, and it is easy to misunderstand a word like “depravity” to mean something that it doesn’t, at least in Christianity. Don’t reject us out of hand. And most assuredly please don’t reject us on the basis of a few loud-mouthed individuals who think they have to be in everybody’s face., and who never come close to understanding 1 Corinthians 13, let alone applying it to themselves. Actually, many of us don’t apply it much at all.

    Reply
  87. Herb Brasher

    I am baffled by the conservative Christian platform in the republican party. They preach a staunch God fearing family value focus when it comes to gay marriage, obscenity, and pro-life. This same focus becomes fuzzy when it comes to the death penalty, taking care of the poor, and the environment.

    Good observation, Randy. We do tend to pick and choose. I for one think that Christians need to be really careful about aligning themselves with a particular party.
    That being said, I’m sure you do understand that the Bible plays an important role in the understanding of conservative Christians. Right in the beginning, the death penalty is given to government as a right (it puts teeth into governmental authority, and scripturally, includes the “right” to wage a “just” war).
    However, conservative Christians aren’t good at applying the truth to real life situations, probably because too many of us are too little engaged in real life. Bob McAlister is an exception on this issue, and his opposition to the death penalty, especially as we practice it in this country, is well known. Just ask him! But the other side has reasons for it’s position as well, as I have discovered.
    Depending on how broad your definition of “conservative Christian” is (conservative in beliefs, or in politics?), it should probably include Tony Campolo. Check him out. He has some good stuff at that website. He’s an example of an evangelical who applies faith into practice.

    Reply
  88. Dave

    An interesting phenomenon of the left is to select successful American corporations and attack them by demonizing the company in the media and then unscrupulous weasel lawyers file money grabbing lawsuits hoping for easy out of court settlements. Microsoft and Halliburton, along with Wal-Mart, and many others have experienced this scenario. Diebold’s class action lawsuits are about potential misrepresentation of future stock value. No one has ever proven that any fraud was committed using Diebold gear. So some so called expert took a voting machine apart and put in a substitute memory chip and the left proclaims that the machines are corrupt. That is the modern day eqivalent of switching the ballot boxes on the way to the vote counting center. How dumb is that. The voting machines are in custody at all times so this type of experiment is off the charts of believability.

    Real voter fraud has occurred in democrat strongholds around the nation. In Philadelphia, more voters voted than the number of voters registered. Curious yes? I could cite numerous examples of actual voter fraud but dont have time to post all the references. I understand that Cook County in Chicago (one of the MOST corrupt voting locations in the US) has now purchased voting machines from some company in Venezuela. Watch for future REAL fraud with these machines, not some experimental test fraud. Count on it.

    Reply
  89. Lee

    Herb, stop staring at your navel and raise your eyes back to the thread topic – how to cleanse America of the illegal alien problem.

    Reply
  90. Alex Rath

    Laws that go against vested economic interests don’t have much of a chance, and I doubt they are enforceable.
    So.. because they’re here already breaking the law, we just give up? Sorry, I’m not that weak, and I don’t think America as a whole is either.
    They would be enforcable, but it would take people with a backbone that aren’t willing to slink away and ignore the problem. It would take people willing to say “I understand why they came here, and I’ll welcome them if they come in legally, but if they don’t, GET OUT!”
    You don’t think anyone would report them?? Sure they would! For every business that uses illegals, there’s a business that is in competition with them that is suffering because they won’t. They’ll report them. If only INS had the funding to do something about it.
    I don’t think anyone here has said that “a wall” is the only solution, or even the primary one, though I admit to not re-reading every post, so I may have missed that statement. Personally, I think we need to focus on getting the ones that are already here OUT, then work on keeping others out basically as we do that.
    Now, cost, and I’m addressing this for the fun of the exercise… Okay. Did you look at the report I provided a link to concerning the cost of the illegals that are here? Do you honestly believe that if we cut off those services, that wouldn’t pay for it?
    According to a San Francisco Chronicle article, it would cost about $2.2 billion for 700 miles of wall to cover the most abused areas. The entire border is approximately 2000 miles. So we’re talking a cost of, we’ll round it way up for you to cover extra costs for water crossings, to $8 billion. That’s less than it costs to provide 1 year of services to the illegals according to the report I referenced that probably no one looked at because it went against their “what’s it hurting?” philosophy.
    I’ll be the first to admit (as I have already) that the wall would only stop the least committed illegals from crossing into the country. But put another bit of money into electronic surveillance and better staffing and training for Border Patrol agents, and you’ve got something there.
    Personally, I believe the wall is a symbol to many people, though there would be some function to it. I think our primary problem is getting the illegals that are already here, out of the country and back to their land of origin. WITH their kids.

    Reply
  91. Ready to Hurl

    The voting machines are in custody at all times so this type of experiment is off the charts of believability.The voting machines are in custody at all times so this type of experiment is off the charts of believability.
    Hold on to your hat, Dave! DEMS (the EVIL VOTE RIGGING party in your fevered imagination) protest the insecurity of letting voting machines spend the night with pollworkers before the election.
    From 10News.com…
    Local Democratic Party Raises Concern Over Electronic Voting Machines
    Party Wants To End So-Called Sleepover Policy

    POSTED: 2:51 pm PDT July 18, 2006
    UPDATED: 7:35 am PDT July 24, 2006
    SAN DIEGO — The head of the local Democratic Party asked the San Diego County Board of Supervisors Tuesday to schedule public hearings on election policies and practices.
    Jess Durfee, chairman of the San Diego County Democratic Party, said the integrity of local elections is being compromised by what he called a sleepover policy related to electronic voting machines.
    Durfee opposes the policy in which election workers are allowed to take electronic voting machines home with them in advance of an election.
    […]
    County Supervisor Bill Horn said a public hearing was not warranted unless there was proof of fraud.
    “The machines are taken home because there are so many of them they couldn’t possibly be delivered the morning of the election,” he said.
    […]
    Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas also defended the decision to send the voting machines home, telling the newspaper it was a practical way of making sure the devices reached all of the county’s 1,646 polling places on time.
    He also noted that the machines are placed only with poll inspectors.

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  92. Ready to Hurl

    In Philadelphia, more voters voted than the number of voters registered.
    Evidence from a non-partisan source?
    You’re going to tell me that the losing candidate(s) haven’t appealed the results or taken this election to court?
    See if you can retreive your common sense from whereever you stashed it in when you succumb to ideological brainwashing.

    Reply
  93. Spencer Gantt

    HOW CAN THE VOTING PROCESS IN SOUTH CAROLINA BE CHANGED FOR THE BETTER ?
    I realize I’m “wide of the mark” once more, but RTH is talking about it and it’s a good subject. It seems no other threads are getting much traction.

    Reply
  94. bud

    Brad, Spencer’s right the voting issue needs some attention. I think we’ve exhausted civility, immigration, Iraq, smoking and TV shows.

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  95. Ready to Hurl

    Spencer, I don’t think that election reform can be accomplished below the federal level. Almost every election has a federal component.
    Some doctrinaire conservatives will claim that federalism gives the states the responsibility for administering elections. Obviously, this view has been trumped by court decisions since at least the ’50s.
    There are some practical considerations, also. The method of voting that we use now means that thousands of people are required to work for most of one day every two years, or so. Sites for polling places must be found for each little precinct– again, for a single day every two years.
    In the 21st Century I think that we should be thinking outside the 18th Century box and creating simple, transparent, secure, auditable procedures which will make voting convenient for Americans.
    It’s not rocket science but the approach taken so far, combined with the Republican hijinx in Flordia and Ohio, sure leads rational people to wonder about the ultimate goal.

    Reply
  96. LexWolf

    Alex,
    some businesses are already taking the law into their own hands:
    Firms Who Hire Illegal Immigrants Sued
    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Frustrated by lax enforcement of immigration law, businesses are taking their fight against illegal immigration to court, accusing competitors of hiring illegal workers to achieve an unfair advantage.
    Businesses and anti-illegal immigration groups said the legal action was an attempt to create an economic deterrent against hiring illegal employees.
    “We see the legal profession bringing to this issue the kind of effect it’s had on consumer product safety,” said Mike Hethmon of the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a Washington D.C.-based group backing the efforts.
    In the first of a series of lawsuits, a temporary employment agency that supplies farm workers sued a grower and a two competing companies on Monday.
    Similar cases claiming violations of federal anti-racketeering laws have yielded mixed results. The California lawsuit is believed to be the first based on a state’s unfair-competition laws, legal experts said……(more)

    Reply
  97. Alex Rath

    Lex,
    I recall reading that very article, and it’s what spurred a lot of my commentary regarding businesses having problems due to illegals, contrary to the “it doesn’t hurt anyone” crowd’s mantra.
    I guess their mantra should really be “It doesn’t hurt me so why should I care about anyone else.”

    Reply
  98. Spencer Gantt

    RTH,
    I’m not sure I agree that “almost every election has a federal component”. That may be true if every election has a slate for Pres/VP or the Senate or the House. Most do, I suppose, but I don’t think that necessarily “federalizes” the election process in each state. But, that actually doesn’t matter as far as I’m concerned.
    At any rate, you are right that we’re still in the 18th century regarding the process of any election. Crowded polls? Create MORE polling stations. This creates a need for MORE poll workers and watchers, MORE machines, MORE counters, MORE everything. Elections officers use this to expand their turf, their kingdom so to speak.
    I think a combination of the election systems of Oregon, Texas, Louisiana and South Carolina would move us in the right direction. Ballots obtained by mail or computer; a 30-day voting period; open primaries where 50%+1 wins outright OR the top two vote-getters square off in the general election; and, touch screen ballot producers (counting by Optical Scan).
    Of course, no change will occur ANYWHERE in our government until those in “POWER!” are voted out of office entirely. This includes all Republicans, all Democrats and all Incumbents. Ain’t likely.

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  99. Spencer Gantt

    Oh, yeah, and no registration by party. In fact NO REGISTRATION AT ALL. You only have to be 18+ years old, and a legal resident of the state in which you vote. You register as a legal resident. This can be done at the county courthouse or at the hospital when you’re born, as is SocSec.

    Reply
  100. bud

    Just type in your ssn and a pin number at any voting location. The ballot that applies to your particular address comes up. You select the candidates and a printed copy of your choices are given to you. Afterwards, at your leisure, you review the candidates and place the paper ballot in a secure lockbox in your voting precinct. The bar coded ballot is verified and at a later date a hand re-count can be conducted. All voting equipment is strictly open technology stuff that can be easily verified whenever a dispute arrises. The paper ballots serve as the ultimate safeguard.

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  101. Lee

    The only honest election is on a paper ballot, in person, with proof of identity and residence, in English, by people who have passed a basic test of citizenship questions, present proof of paying property and income taxes, and have received no welfare, food stamps or other handouts in the last year.

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  102. Ready to Hurl

    I hate to really muck up the issue but, since we’re wishing, I’d like to see some objective way to draw district lines.
    This will run afoul of the Voting Rights Act of 1964, I’m sure. It’ll almost assuredly guarantee no predominantly minority districts. I’m not sure how that might be addressed.

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  103. Alex Rath

    Since we’re dreaming…
    Bah, let’s just do away with congress and the senate, and have every single issue put to a vote of the citizens. That way the wealthiest wouldn’t be able to buy the Bills and Laws they want, at least not as easily.

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  104. Ready to Hurl

    AR, the rise of the reactionary rightwing in the last 40 years would seem to belie your last sentence.

    Reply
  105. Randy Ewart

    Alex, it’s not simply on this post that erecting a wall and hunting down illegals is promoted. There are demogogues in office who promote this as the focus of their solution. This ties in with a backlash against immigrants.
    I give Lex props on his posts in here. He clearly contrasts the illegals and related problems with the value of legal immigrants who contribute to our society (including my grandfather who worked on the railroad for 20+ years, bought a house, sent his boys to college, gave me life). Not all are so reasonable.
    Lee proposes shooting people and chain gangs. As ludicrous as he sounds, he’s not alone. Some people are so irrate about the issue, emotion override reason.
    Yes, illegal aliens are ILLEGAL and I agree that this has to be controlled. BUT, I also have empathy, because these are humans who are trying to survive. These are not animals. These are not all criminals. While we deal with this issue, we should keep this in mind.

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  106. Brad Warthen

    Wow. So many issues.
    I’m all for a national ID card. I may not quite love Big Brother, as Winston Smith did after his special treatment in Room 101, but I am not afraid of him. I liked Tom Friedman’s suggestion that we have a very high fence (the ID card) and a very big gate (higher, more realistic immigration quotas).
    Voting — personally, I liked punch cards. I held them up, examined them front and back, and then put them back in the machine to make sure the holes lined up, and finally checked the numbers next to the holes to make sure they matched what I wanted. A bit excessive, perhaps, but I’m a little bit OCD. One could be a little more relaxed than that and still be SURE, based upon something that you could hold in your hand, of one’s vote. It is absolutely beyond me that anyone could find punch cards too complicated.
    Yes, it’s illegal. So is speeding. I’m for enforcing all laws, but between the two, I’m more worried about speeding. I’m also for examining whether laws are sensible and just, and changing them if they aren’t. If the market demand for Mexican labor is so great that people will put their lives in the hands of coyotes to get here and work, we ought to look at whether the numbers should be adjusted.
    Is illegal immigration fair to people who play by the rules? Hell, no. My wife looked at a pro-Mexican-immigrant rally on television and thought it awfully unfair that she had just spent the day trying to help a hard-working Somali Bantu woman get her green card. Of course, the Bantu can’t just walk across the border, so I hesitate to ascribe any greater morality to them on the basis of their different legal status. I also find myself wondering about some of the ancestors of fiercely individualistic people who are fourth or fifth or 10th-generation Americans. Do you think the original white inhabitants of Georgia, or the Barbadians who got South Carolina started, would have let a line drawn in the desert by some government keep them from a huge economic opportunity? I doubt it. But that wouldn’t make them right. I would have supported the redcoats who tried to keep them from breaking the law. It’s complicated.
    Here’s another complicated thing: Driver’s licenses. On the one hand, it’s a terrible idea to give illegals the legitimacy that a license bestows. Their use as conclusive, legal identification is far more ubiquitous than passports or birth certificates. At the same time, I wonder whether issuing licenses freely — and illegals would flock to get them, for the reason I just cited — might not make our society safer. For one thing, it would make it a little easier to keep track of them in case we DID want to deport them, or if …
    I witnessed a traffic collision two or three years ago on Sunset Blvd. A pickup truck pulled out of a side street and slammed with tremendous force into the back of a new Mustang. The explosion of plastic from the rear of the Mustang looked like it had had an IED in the trunk. This happened about 100 yards in front of me. As I slowed, the truck paused, and then took off like a scalded dog. I pursued it. When it pulled onto the ramp to get on 26, I decided I’d better go back and check on the Mustang driver. We waited close to an hour for various police jurisdictions to decide who was responsible, and to finally send a trooper. By that time, another driver who had pursued the truck farther than I did had returned and said he’d gotten a close-enough look to determined the folks in the truck “were Mexicans.” I almost challenged him to ask how he could tell a Mexican from a Central American by looking, but let it go. They had gotten away in any case, thanks in part to slow police response.
    I couldn’t help thinking that if they had had licenses, MAYBE they wouldn’t have run off the way they did — seeing as how their first instinct had been to stop for a few seconds, before they decided to run. Then again, they might have run anyway.
    Like I keep saying, it’s complicated.

    Reply
  107. Doug Ross

    Brad’s comment about being more concerned about speeding than illegal immigration was the most mind boggling thing I have read on this blog. Then I read the part about giving illegals drivers licenses to improve security.
    Wow.
    Someone please remove the sharp objects anywhere in the vicinity of Lee.

    Reply
  108. Herb Brasher

    I am offended by the statement, “staring at my own navel.” Yes, my statements were off the topic. But they were responses to posts by RTH and Randy. I’ve never noticed that Brad was particularly offended by someone posting something off topic, especially in response to someone else.
    Randy mentioned opening another can of worms. I was prepared to help him open it. I don’t mind if nobody is interested, but at least I can reply, right?
    Is this Brad’s blog, or is it Lee’s or Dave’s? I’ll let Brad decide that, thank you very much. If he wants to zap my posts, then that’s fine.

    Reply
  109. Randy Ewart

    US Dept Transportation
    “In 2001, 36 percent of male drivers
    15 to 20 years old involved in
    fatal crashes were speeding.”
    Consistently from 1991-2001 33% of car accidents involving a fatality involved speeding (all ages combined).
    This doesn’t include injuries and property damage.
    I don’t think his statement was “mind boggling”. It’s up for debate, but speeding is a serious matter. EVERY day driving through the Summit, people are flying by me in the school zone. I bet parents with students at this school don’t see speeding as a minor issue.

    Reply
  110. Doug Ross

    So what’s your solution to the speeding problem, Randy? Ever get that urge to, I don’t know, shoot those speeders when they whiz by? or at least shoot them the bird? :-)
    I don’t have a problem with speeding. It’s only a problem when speeders crash… and there are definite consequences to those actions. Fines, increased insurance costs, injuries, death, jail, etc.
    Remind me of what the penalties are for being an illegal immigrant? Lets see: free healthcare… free education… no taxes… a better lifestyle.

    Reply
  111. Randy Ewart

    “It’s only a problem when speeders crash.” – Doug
    Yes, to the tune of 33% of fatalities in car crashes due to speeding. I bet if your daughter was involved because someone else was speeding, you would have a problem with speeders – especially with these young males driving the way they do.
    What’s my solution? Tickets,troopers on I-20 and I-77. Richland County in Summit.

    Reply
  112. Doug Ross

    Uh, no, Randy, I wouldn’t… I wouldn’t
    start a one man “let’s stop all the speeders” crusade. That would be foolish and irrational. I would hold the driver responsible and proceed accordingly. Take that however you want to take it.
    I’ve got better solutions: raise the driving age to 17; not in school, no license; speed bumps allowed in residential neighborhoods like the Summit (Richland County will not allow them);
    lifetime license ban for accidents that involve speeding/drinking where another person is injured;
    Personally, I’d rather see police pursuing gangmembers instead of speeders.

    Reply
  113. Doug Ross

    Randy – did you notice that your solutions require ongoing, expensive government involvement in trying to solve a problem?
    At least you’re consistent. The Big Daddy government can handle everything. My solutions cost very little and puts the burden of responsibility on the public.

    Reply
  114. Randy Ewart

    Grasping for straws now Doug? I suggest that speeding is a serious issue and you respond that my position is a “one man crusade to stop all speeders”?
    My solutions; having State Highway Troopers look for speeders on the interstate? Richland County Sheriff patrol school zones? Yes, that solution screams big government.
    Your solutions: “I’m a “build a BIG wall” person. I’m a deportation proponent. I’m also in favor of large fines for employers who take advantage of cheap labor to pump up their profits.” – I guess you’ll contract with private industry to handle all this.
    Boy you got me on this one!
    And yes, I’m sure we’re all convinced that if a speeder caused your daughter bodily harm you wouldn’t take issue with speeders.

    Reply
  115. LexWolf

    “Consistently from 1991-2001 33% of car accidents involving a fatality involved speeding (all ages combined).”
    “Yes, to the tune of 33% of fatalities in car crashes due to speeding.”
    Perfect example of how Randy mangles even his own quotes!

    Reply
  116. LexWolf

    Speeding is all relative. The lower you set the limit, the more “speeding” you will get. The more unjustified a low speed limit seems to drivers, the more “speeding” you will get.
    For example, there’s a stretch of I-20 in Alabama where the highway changes from 2 lanes in each direction to 3 lanes. The 2-lane part is old and bumpy but you have a 70mph speed limit. The 3-lane part is brand-new, very smooth, and has a 55mph speed limit, and it’s not an urban area. Needless to say, drivers keep zooming right along at 70-80mph on the 3-lane road because the low speed limit makes no sense whatsoever. Also needless to say, the state troopers are out in force. Couldn’t the whole issue be solved simply by making the speed limit 70mph throughout?
    I’ve driven extensively on the German autobahns. Most drivers will not go faster than 80mph (if traffic allows), even though there is no speed limit most of the time. I submit that this is probably a “natural” speed limit. Most people will not go faster than they feel safe doing.
    The same would probably be true here as well. In fact, go up I-77 to Charlotte sometime. About 20 miles before Charlotte, the road goes to 3, then 4 lanes, and the speed limit drops from 70 to 65, then 60. Yet most people don’t slow down at all but keep right on zooming along at the same 75 to 80 or so, no matter what the speed limit says.
    Yes, we should have special speed limits around schools etc., and we should throw the book at the worst 1% or 2% of speeders but in most cases “speeding” is simply a function of incorrectly set (read: too low) speed limits.

    Reply
  117. LexWolf

    Self-identified Troll Randy Ewart,
    feel better now? You call it petty, I call it muddled thinking, and inability to distinguish between cause and coincidence.

    Reply
  118. Randy Ewart

    “but in most cases “speeding” is simply a function of incorrectly set (read: too low) speed limits.” – Lex
    Link!
    Yes, throw the book at only 1 or 2% of speeders – the other 98% speeding won’t hurt anyone. I find it completely disengenuous of parents being so dismissive of an issue which, if it invovled one of their daughters, would certainly be up in arms.
    BTW, it’s interesting that you challenge my position but then agree that the school zones should be patrolled. That was one of my main points about speeding.

    Reply
  119. Randy Ewart

    Lex, the “muddled thinking” on here is a grown adult acting like a child calling others names. I have freshmen in class that have outgrown that behavior.

    Reply
  120. LexWolf

    Randy, are you back to that all-or-nothing, un-nuanced stuff again?
    School zones obviously have lots of kids around who may need additional protection. Otherwise however, most speeding laws, especially on interstates and major highways, are useful only in bringing extra money into county coffers.

    Reply
  121. bill

    What about the illegal aliens coming here from other planets?It’s impossible to do ANYTHING about them because they have special powers.
    They don’t have to worry about speeding when they can make themselves invisible and hover all around us while planning to take over the earth.

    Reply
  122. Randy Ewart

    Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:
    “In 2004, more than 13,000 people died in speed-related crashes. NHTSA estimates that the economic cost to society of speed-related crashes is more than $40 billion each year.”
    “The Institute estimated a 15 percent increase in fatalities on interstates and freeways.” when the maximum speed was increased
    Death is “all or nothing” Lex. Again, if it invovled your daughter, your ivory tower would come crumbling down.
    And I, for one, don’t particularly enjoy having SUVs or 18 wheelers flying up behind me on the interstate or cutting me off to make an exit they are fast approaching (see I-20 East at Clemson Road). I guess we tax paying citizens are not allowed to be concerned about issues unless the demogogues have determined what issues warrant concern (see Doug and Lex’s reaction to my concern about speeding).

    Reply
  123. Lee

    22,000,000 illegal aliens slivering across our borders, and the airheads want to whine about an SUV scaring them on I-26 being the “real issue”.
    Grow up.

    Reply
  124. Steve Gordy

    Lee, follow your own advice. Perhaps if you’d had someone seriously injured (as I have) or killed by a reckless driver, you’d regard it as a more urgent problem than all these stats you keep throwing up about illegal immigrants.

    Reply
  125. Doug Ross

    Randy says:
    “Grasping for straws now Doug? I suggest that speeding is a serious issue and you respond that my position is a “one man crusade to stop all speeders”?”
    Where did I say that was YOUR position? You were the one who suggested I would have a problem with speeders if my daughter were involved in a crash. I said I wouldn’t.
    I said I would not turn it into a one man campaign against speeders. Me. Myself.
    Do you comprehend it yet? I said I would deal with the responsible person accordingly. Depending on the circumstances, I could envision seeking eye-for-an-eye “restitution”.
    If you want to stand on Hardscrabble Road with a radar gun, more power to you. Maybe you should be working with your principal to get the police stationed outside Ridge View every day at 3:30. A few weeks of ticket writing might put a serious fear of God (and Allstate) into the speeders.

    Reply
  126. Doug Ross

    Randy says:
    “Your solutions: “I’m a “build a BIG wall” person. I’m a deportation proponent. I’m also in favor of large fines for employers who take advantage of cheap labor to pump up their profits.” – I guess you’ll contract with private industry to handle all this.”
    As a big time proponent of a Libertarian philosophy towards government, one of the few government programs that I do support is the absolute protection of the borders of this country. That is one task a government SHOULD be responsible for.
    Using police resources to set up speed traps for the purposes of increasing the revenues of a government is not. If you can prove to me that our police departments do not have quotas on tickets, I will believe their motivation is purely related to public safety.

    Reply
  127. Lee

    Steve, I was hit by an impaired driver who ran a stop sign at 45 miles an hour and T-boned me in the driver’s side, but I don’t let that destroy my objective observation that the highway death rate today is less than it was when I started driving 40 years ago, even with twice the number of drivers on the road.
    Now, back to the thread topic, a real issue – immigration.

    Reply
  128. Lee

    Highway carnage caused by illegal aliens
    A report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Study found 20 percent of fatal accidents involve at least one driver who lacks a valid license. In California, another study showed that those who have never held a valid license are about five times more likely to be involved in a fatal road accident than licensed drivers.
    Statistically, that makes them an even greater danger on the road than drivers whose licenses have been suspended or revoked – and nearly as dangerous as drunk drivers.
    While police do not routinely ask drivers about their immigration status, New York’s Rockland County District Attorney Michael Bongiorno – who has prosecuted more than 20 felony cases this year involving people accused of both unlicensed driving and drunken driving – estimated that two-thirds of about 70 drivers charged in Spring Valley with misdemeanor counts of driving while intoxicated and unlicensed driving were illegal immigrants.
    Over half the fatal accidents in NC in 2005 involved illegal aliens.

    Reply
  129. Spencer Gantt

    Alex Rath, you seem to be a security expert type and you reponded to my post earlier about a “fingerprint data base” (negatively, I think). Brad mentioned above that he had no problem with a national ID card as many others do not. Would not such a card have a fingerprint on it somewhere?
    COULD THIS FINGERPRINT BE COMPROMISED?
    (This comment in keeping with the thread of this post on illegal immigration – i.e., identification – so as to not once again be wide of the mark).

    Reply
  130. Lee

    The fingerprint itself need not be on the card. It could just be an electronic code for the geometric formula which is unique to every person for every finger.

    Reply
  131. bud

    Lee writes:
    “Over half the fatal accidents in NC in 2005 involved illegal aliens.”
    I don’t know where you got that figure from but it is flat out wrong. Hispanics make up about than 5% of all traffic fatalities in SC (probably about the same in NC). I don’t have any statistics on how many of these are illegal but I’m sure it’s no more than half. So unless there are a high percentage of Caucasion or African-Americans who are illegal that percentage cannot be true. As far as I know no one has actually done a study in the Carolina’s on illegals involved in fatal crashes. It’s tough enough to get DUI information.

    Reply
  132. Lee

    I worked in NC last fall. One week in Charlotte, there were 4 fatal vehicular homicides by intoxicated illegal alien drivers. The public radio station in Charlotte did a program on the high numbers of accidents caused by illegals in NC. Contact them for the NC Highway Patrol representative, if you are unable to find any figures you don’t like.
    I was just testing to see how many liberals shut up about their pet issue when a privileged group is the culprit.

    Reply
  133. Lee

    Most ID cards can be forged, because they lack the mix of technologies, such as holographic logos and electronic imprinting. Most fingerprints are not just on the ID, but refer to prints on file for law enforcement, military and others with secure access levels. A badge I did sent that to the computer for the codes, to match up to the user’s index finger presses on a reader at the door. Such readers now exist in law enforcement vehicles, connected to laptop computers.

    Reply
  134. Alex Rath

    Steve’s comment : Perhaps if you’d had someone seriously injured (as I have) or killed by a reckless driver, you’d regard it as a more urgent problem than all these stats you keep throwing up about illegal immigrants.
    I’ve known people close to me who have died in wrecks due to speeding, drunk driving, etc… and I’m still passionate about the immigration issue. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.
    And.. yes.. I actually think the immigration issue is a larger problem for the nation because I think beyond my own personal needs and wants and consider others. Some are incapable of looking beyond their own little world, I am.
    Spencer: I’m sure a National ID would involve a fingerprint. I’ve actually been doing some research, and the new ways of storing patterns actually do make it VERY difficult to duplicate, so they’re better than they used to be since they don’t store the actual print. Though, nothing is impossible.
    I’m not sure how I personally feel about it. On the one hand, it’s an invasion of privacy issue. On the other hand, it could be a great boost for multiple areas, including law enforcement. I think on this one, I’m honestly on the fence, leaning toward “No thanks.” I also honestly don’t see it as a solution to the immigration issue, or even something that’s necessary, though that is purely my point of view.

    Reply
  135. LexWolf

    Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:
    “In 2004, more than 13,000 people died in speed-related crashes. NHTSA estimates that the economic cost to society of speed-related crashes is more than $40 billion each year.”
    Randy,
    the Insurance Institute is hardly an unbiased entity in this matter, wouldn’t you agree? Plus they are dead wrong.
    According to the NHTSA, since 1995 when states were freed to increase their speed limits, fatalities have gone from 41,187 to 43,443 – only a 5.5% increase. That however, is a useless statistic unless we also consider that miles driven went from 2,423 billion to 2,965 billion, a 22.4% increase. Population also increased by 12.8%. In other words, fatalities actually fell far behind the 2 most relevant factors. In fact, the fatality rate per million miles traveled dropped from 1.73 to 1.47, the second lowest rate EVER!
    According to you, “”The Institute estimated a 15 percent increase in fatalities on interstates and freeways.” when the maximum speed was increased”
    As you can easily see at the NHTSA site linked above, the Institute was dead wrong both in absolute number (up 5.5%) of fatalities and in the rate, minus 15%. In fact, the rate reduction is the exact opposite of what the Institute predicted!

    Reply
  136. Alex Rath

    On the issue of Driver’s Licenses.. I have to literally laugh out loud that the concept of giving illegals licenses will make the roads safer.
    Anyone can drive safely for the 20 minutes to pass the test. Then they get back into their rusted out pickups and do 80 on the Interstate.
    Or.. in the case of upper-class stuck on themselves white folks, get into their H2, and nearly run me off of the road on I-20 by driving 75 in the rain with no lights on.

    Reply
  137. Lee

    Why don’t you worry about the more than 20,000,000 illegal aliens, many of them driving for the first time, illegally, in junky or stolen cars with no insurance?
    And stop envying those whites in nice, insured cars.

    Reply
  138. bud

    Lex, first of all you mixed up the statistics. IIHS was talking about SPEED-related fatalities. The NHTSA figures you cite are for ALL fatalities. Big difference. We’re actually making great progress in some highway safety areas, railroad crossings for instance. These offset, to a certain extent, the huge increase in speed-related crashes.
    Second, you cited the 1.47 deaths per 100m vmt in 2005 as the second lowest MDR in history. Guess what the lowest was. Yup it was 2004. In fact as I’ve noted in other threads the increase in 2005 was the first since 1986. Hopefully this is not the start of a pattern but it’s certainly something of grave concern to those of us in the field of highway safety.
    Third, this cavalier attitude about a 2,000+ increase in traffic deaths is amazing. We should never look at an increase in deaths as anything but a failure in an important area of American society. The Europeans decided years ago that the number of deaths is a far more important measure of highway safety than the mileage death rate. And that’s as it should be. Given the increase in what we know about crash dynamics, fatalities should be going down, even if we have a greater exposure level.
    This points out a tremendous failure in our system of reporting in this country. The media tends to sensationalize incidents that are rare and hence claim few lives (Jon-Benet Ramsey for instance), while at the same time ignoring real problems (highway deaths). To their credit, the State has been a great supporter of highway safety issues over the years. But far too little is done in certain areas. Drunk driving, speeding, too little enforcement (because we have too few troopers) and many others. Perhaps this post will get people to think just a bit about the very real dangers we face each day on the highways.

    Reply
  139. Alex Rath

    Why don’t you worry about the more than 20,000,000 illegal aliens, many of them driving for the first time, illegally, in junky or stolen cars with no insurance?
    Funny.. I thought I’d made it abundantly clear that I thought the illegal immigration issue was a higher priority… hope the jab made you feel better though.

    Reply
  140. Lee

    Deporting the illegal aliens will significantly lower highway deaths, robbery, murder, burglary, prostitution, and drug abuse in America.

    Reply
  141. LexWolf

    Lex, first of all you mixed up the statistics. IIHS was talking about SPEED-related fatalities.
    Link, please, Bud. Randy’s quote of “”The Institute estimated a 15 percent increase in fatalities on interstates and freeways.” when the maximum speed was increased” only states that fatalities will increase after the speed limit is lifted. It doesn’t say that “speed-related fatalities” will increase.
    One uptick doesn’t make a trend. Somehow, the tone of your comment also makes it sound as if you are blaming this, too, on Bush – just like everything else that goes wrong in the world. If so, note that the rate for any of the 5 years with Bush is lower than any of the years with Saint Bill or any previous president for that matter. The rate has been on a steady downtick for many years and I suspect you will find that next year it will be no different, when the 2006 data come out.
    Nobody is saying that any of these deaths should be ignored. In fact, going by Demo rhetoric about pulling out of Iraq we should certainly pull out of driving at this point, shouldn’t we? However, the only meaningful way to measure these accidents is by comparing against either miles driven or population or both. With raw figures, you will almost always have an upward bias, simply because there are more people driving more miles.
    In any case, the fatality rate in 1975 was 3.35 per million miles driven. Now it’s 1.47. There is no evidence that increased speed limits had any effect at all on the fatality rate.

    Reply
  142. bud

    Lex, last year mileage death rate was 1.47 deaths per 100 million miles vehicle miles of travel, (not per million) a commonly used gauge to measure how we’re doing over time. One year certainly doesn’t make for a trend but given the consistent steady decline in that statistic an uptick raises eyebrows in the highway safety community. It would be almost the same as a decline in life expectancy. It’s a very rare occurence.
    As for Bush, of course he’s to blame. He’s at fault for everything.
    Seriously, the traffic fatalitiy situation is very complex, not unlike the middle-east, and one man can only have so much influence. However, his complete lack of attention to domestic issues most assuredly has contributed. How? There are fewer law enforcement officers now, thanks to his ending Clinton’s highly successful 100,000 new cops program. There is also a lack of attention to highway programs and safety standards on vehicle, especially heavy trucks, are becoming dated. Even ineffective safety measures for vehicles are seldom updated due to bueracratic resistance. As we saw with Katrina, the Bush administration simply does not care about issues that are important to the safety and security of American citizens.

    Reply
  143. Randy Ewart

    “22,000,000 illegal aliens slivering across our borders,” – Lee
    LINK! to these bogus numbers
    “and the airheads want to whine about an SUV scaring them on I-26 being the ‘real issue’. Grow up.” -Lee
    You resort to calling someone an “airhead” then tell them to “grow up”. As I said to Lex, I have freshmen who have outgrown your behavior.

    Reply
  144. Randy Ewart

    “the Insurance Institute is hardly an unbiased entity in this matter, wouldn’t you agree? Plus they are dead wrong.” – Lex.
    Yes Lex, we don’t want to post any biased sources on here like the “schoolchoice.org” and “Manhattan Institute”, both self-described pro-voucher entities. Unless of course you post them.
    I also like your take that this data is for “ALL fatalities” when I cut and pasted from the site; “speed-related fatalities”.
    Spin away Lex, but remember what YOU said, “data don’t lie”.

    Reply
  145. Randy Ewart

    “Randy – did you notice that your solutions require ongoing, expensive government involvement in trying to solve a problem?…My solutions cost very little and puts the burden of responsibility on the public.” – Doug
    Randy’s solution: “Troopers and Richland County looking for speeders.”
    Doug’s solution: “A few weeks of ticket writing might put a serious fear of God (and Allstate) into the speeders.”
    You suggest the same thing I did, but my way is expensive and yours is a low burden on taxpayers. Interesting way to look at this Doug. I can see how this fits into your analysis in other areas.

    Reply
  146. LexWolf

    Self-identified Troll Randy Ewart,
    some of us here post links with facts. You rely on mangled quotes and bumbersticker soundbites. Oh well.

    Reply
  147. LexWolf

    Self-identified Troll Randy Ewart,
    some of us here post links with facts. You rely on mangled quotes and bumpersticker soundbites. Oh well.

    Reply
  148. LexWolf

    Bud,
    great article here, pulling everything together:
    Safe at Any Speed
    With higher speed limits, our highways have been getting safer.
    Friday, July 7, 2006 12:01 a.m.
    It’s another summer weekend, when millions of families pack up the minivan or SUV and hit the road. So this is also an apt moment to trumpet some good, and underreported, news: Driving on the highways is safer today than ever before.
    In 2005, according to new data from the National Highway Safety Administration, the rate of injuries per mile traveled was lower than at any time since the Interstate Highway System was built 50 years ago. The fatality rate was the second lowest ever, just a tick higher than in 2004.
    As a public policy matter, this steady decline is a vindication of the repeal of the 55 miles per hour federal speed limit law in 1995. That 1974 federal speed limit was arguably the most disobeyed and despised law since Prohibition. “Double nickel,” as it was often called, was first adopted to save gasoline during the Arab oil embargo, though later the justification became saving lives. (Click on the headline for the rest)

    Reply
  149. bud

    Lex writes:
    As a public policy matter, this steady decline is a vindication of the repeal of the 55 miles per hour federal speed limit law in 1995. That 1974 federal speed limit was arguably the most disobeyed and despised law since Prohibition.
    Yes it was time for the double nickel to go. It had certainly lost any value as a safety measure by the 90s. But repealing most assuredly did not make the roads safer. The mileage death rate has declined since records have been kept with only a handful of exceptions (usually when Republicans were in the White House). The sharpest decline was after “55” was first enacted in 1973/74. Last year, as speeds began to creep up, we saw a big increase in traffic deaths.
    As I’ve said, there are many reasons for this, but most importantly, this is a cultural change. A mix of big SUVs and tiny cars contributed. So did a sharp increase in motorcycle deaths because of greater ridership and low helmet usage.
    This year will probably see a drop in deaths. In SC we’re down nearly 100 from the same time last year. This is mostly due to 3 factors. (1) enactment of the primary belt law (2) increased gasoline prices and (3) the fact that 2005 was so bad (the second worst in history with 1,094 deaths on SC highways alone. It’s time we took a “liberal” approach to highway safety in the US and in SC. It’s the smart thing to do.

    Reply
  150. LexWolf

    Bud,
    Could you provide us with a link to fatality statistics since 1975 or so? I tried looking for some earlier today but most go back only to 1994. The only thing I found before that was the first graph in this GAO study which amazingly shows no decline at all after 55mph was introduced, but rather an upward spike! It wasn’t until 1981 that the fatality rate resumed its longterm decline. That graph also shows the sharpest fatality drop during Reagan and Bush I, with only modest reductions under Clinton and none at all under Carter. Could you help with some original-source data?
    Although the data look quite favorable for Republican presidents, I’m still at a loss as to what exactly a president has to do with the fatality rate. Surely he’s not in the back seat when Jim Bob decides to get drunk and thinks he’s driving the General Lee down the back roads. Nor is he in charge of legislatures setting traffic laws, or of the police enforcing them. Please enlighten us!
    If your point is that we’re not spending enough on highway safety programs, please provide links showing outlays in 2000 and then the most recent year available.
    BTW, I don’t think taking the “liberal” approach to anything is ever the smart thing to do.

    Reply
  151. Randy Ewart

    Lex, you can nuance and Clinton all you want, the original issue was that speeding is serious. I provided the fact that 33% of auto fatalities involved speeding. That’s serious to me. I also find speeding in school zones to be dangerous.
    BTW, did your daughter teach you to refer to others as “troll” when you disagree? Perhaps she knows how to play nice and you picked this up elsewhere. I know you didn’t pick it up from my freshmen students, they can make it through a day with calling others names.

    Reply
  152. LexWolf

    Of course, speeding is serious but it’s much less serious than it used to be or should be. Nor do your “solutions” make any sense. I also find speeding in school zones to be dangerous but that’s not the main issue – I think everybody agrees on that.
    As for “troll”, just take an unbiased look at your posts. I think you’ll have to agree with me.

    Reply
  153. Randy Ewart

    Lex, we teach young people in school not to call others names, even if they don’t like what someone else said or did. I think if you took an unbiased look at the thread directed specifically towards two people on this blog “you’ll have to agree with me” that you are not playing nice.
    “Solutions?” You mean like the one where I “agree with Lex” about alternative schools? Of maybe the one where “I agree with Lex” about a pilot program? Or maybe the one where “I agree with Lex’s take on immigration”?
    If you were more interested in a meaningful exchange of dialogue in lieu of calling people names and making the “you’re either with us or against us” “un-nuanced” approach you’d see that others have some good ideas.

    Reply
  154. Randy Ewart

    My “solutions” I’ve offered on this blog to date:
    troopers and Rich County look for speeders (unless Lex and Doug suggest that we don’t worry about this issue)
    more alternative schools for students who fail middle school or for behavior issues (Lex’s bootcamp for example)
    more vocational education
    hold students and teachers accountable
    provide accountability for parents
    Ok Lex, which solutions “do not make sense” and please elaborate.

    Reply
  155. Lee

    1973 was also the first full year of all new automobiles being sold with shoulder harness seat belts and padded dashboards and steering wheels, following the design lead set by Mercedes Benz in 1967 and Ford in 1971.

    Reply
  156. Lee

    Randy, you suggestions are too vague to be implemented, which means they are not solutions. They are no more than expressions of feelings about what you want, not what you would DO. Unfortunately, that is as deep as it gets with most government reform efforts, which is why they have new failures every year to improve the schools.

    Reply
  157. LexWolf

    Thanks, Bud! (I don’t care if it’s a link or a URL as long as it points to the document you’re talking about).
    Now please explain this to me (see Table 2 at your first link). The 55mph speed limit was passed in 1974, I believe. In the seven years from 1968 to 1974 the fatality rate dropped from 5.2 to 3.5, a huge 1.7 drop. In the seven years from 1975 to 1981 it basically flatlined, dropping only 0.3, from 3.5 to 3.2. This happened while population and miles travelled increased at the normal rate.
    Wouldn’t it be fair to say that the 55mph speed limit is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths?

    Reply
  158. LexWolf

    Self-identified troll Randy Ewart,
    the problem with your posts is that basically they are at the level of Nahnah-nahnah-booboo and “I know what you are but what am I?”. Certainly not what one would expect of a 40-ish HS math teacher, as you claim to be.
    It’s like pulling hen’s teeth trying to get a real answer out of you, or a link. Your usual response is to fold, spindle, mutilate and otherwise mangle some out-of-context quote and then misapply it to a completely different point.
    IMO, your intention is not to advance the discussion but to disrupt it by any means possible.

    Reply
  159. LexWolf

    “Solutions?” You mean like the one where I “agree with Lex” about alternative schools? Of maybe the one where “I agree with Lex” about a pilot program? Or maybe the one where “I agree with Lex’s take on immigration”?
    If you were more interested in a meaningful exchange of dialogue in lieu of calling people names and making the “you’re either with us or against us” “un-nuanced” approach you’d see that others have some good ideas.

    Here’s the problem in a nutshell, Randy. Note that “your” solutions are actually all things I posted and you just profess to agree with them? We want to see ideas and solutions that are really yours, not just disruptive Nahnah-nahnah-booboos. If you could manage that, then you might even get some credit for some good ideas. Other posters do – why not you?

    Reply
  160. bud

    Lex, I think you’re trying to fit the data with your own particular point of view. The double nickel was passed in late 1973 in response to the oil crises. So it would be fair to say that the oil crises was the important factor in driving traffic fatalities way down in the mid 70s. However, after the crises subsided fatality figures (both rates and numbers) remained well below pre-embargo levels. Why? In part because drivers were observing the lower speed limits. Over the course of time these limits lost public support and effectiveness. And the result was a gradual increase in the number of fatalities. But mileage soared, hence the continued decline in the mileage death rate.
    Of course speed is but one factor in traffic deaths. Seat belt usage (which went up sharply in the 90s), drunk driving (which declined sharply in the 80s after the drinking age went to 21 nationwide) and many other factors have all helped to reduce the mileage death rate. It’s time we began some new and innovative initiates to make sure the rates continue to decline.
    One interesting idea that has worked in Australia and Europe (both a conservative and liberal part of the world) has been widespread use of roundabouts. These are specially designed traffic circles that eliminate stop signs and signals. Many folks in the U.S. balk at the idea but people overseas, after a period of adaptation, have come to like them. And the safety impact has been enormous.

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  161. Ready to Hurl

    Bud, you were inordinately kind in describing Lexie’s attempt at “logic.”
    What’s the aphorism about “occurrence not signifying cause?” Numerous factors (someone mentioned seatbelts, for instance) may have been impacting highway death rates but Lexie has his pet “villain” and even manages to contra-logically, indict it for causing deaths.
    Now, that’s a feat of pretzel logic.
    re: roundabouts
    I chanced to catch a couple of minutes of National Lampoon’s European Vacation once. There was a scene where the Griswolds spent all day stuck on a Paris roundabout.
    As you note, it would sure take some getting used to.

    Reply
  162. LexWolf

    Bud,
    that makes no sense whatsoever. The fatality rate was plunging before 1974 – even without the 1974 oil crisis it dropped over 1 point in just 5 years – but after the 55mph speed limit was imposed, the rate barely budged. Then after 1981, when I would submit that drivers started widely disobeying 55, the rate again started dropping at its usual 0.1 or 0.2 per year.
    Even going by just raw fatality numbers, the only period where we can note a pronounced increase was from 1974 to 1980. Again, the heyday of the 55mph speed limit. That number also has been mostly on a downward trend since 1980, despite higher speed limits now.
    I can’t accept your explanation for the fatality rate rise from 1974 to 1981, simply because it doesn’t fit the facts. The worst period was precisely when 55 should have held down fatalities the most. It didn’t and in fact the rate resumed falling only when 55 was becoming enforced less and less. There also was no increase in the rate after 55 was finally abolished in 1995.
    The oil crisis certainly had an effect in 1974 but it should have continued – it didn’t. It also should have had a big effect in 1979 but didn’t.
    I think you’re trying to fit the data with your own particular point of view. The difference is that the data don’t support your interpretation while they do match mine.

    Reply
  163. Randy Ewart

    Lex, I’m surprised at how petty and small you can be. You seem to be regressing back to the pre-Civility Thread form.
    My solutions were posted repeatedly – asked and answered. When I posted that I agreed with you, it was after I had suggested similar measures with details. By the way, I am willing to acknowledge solid points made by others, even you, despite your claims to the contrary. I have done so with Dave, Doug, and even Lee.
    I am also amused at how, after stumbling over the details of your plan, you accuse me of being the problem. All I’ve done is asked reasonable questions about your plan.
    You still haven’t answered one question. YOUR swampfox source shows the SC middle and elementary schools are mostly on par with the NATIONAL average. That being the case, are you revising your plan to include only high schools? After all, it was you who claimed “it’s not where we start, but where we finish”.
    Will I get an answer, or will you call me names and try to belittle me again then suggest you did answer my question?

    Reply
  164. Lee

    Oh, well, if our dropout rate is close to Detroit and DC, why worry about it? Let’s throw a party – at taxpayer expense, of course!

    Reply
  165. Lee

    ‘ll bet some education entrepreneurs would find a way to motivate and educate even the poorest children for $8,000 each a year.
    They might figure out how to do it profitably for $5,000 a year, and set up a reward program to those who graduate out of the remaining $3,000. That is a pool of $36,000 per pupil over 12 years. A student who makes 1100 on the SAT gets $20,000 for college. A diploma gets $6,000, or whatever.
    The free market has lots more imagination and flexibility to motivate students.

    Reply
  166. LexWolf

    Randy,
    first, it’s not “my” Swampfox source. Second, if you want to say that those 4th and 8th grade NAEP scores conclusively “prove” that SC is at the national average, then surely you will henceforth also accept NAEP scores as the metric for determining whether our public schools are doing well or not. Right? We will not hear you yammering on about how NAEP scores shouldn’t count because blah blah blah. Right?
    Of course, if NAEP scores are acceptable, maybe SAT scores should be as well. Just three days ago, The State ran a story that showed SC SAT scores dropping by 8 points, compared to 7 points nationally. This is clearly evidence that SC is falling even farther behind.
    I might also point out SC’s national ranking this time, once again:
    South Carolina ranked last among states on the SAT’s traditional critical reading and math sections. On the new writing portion, the state was tied for second worst with Florida and ahead of Hawaii. On all three combined, the state was next-to-last in the nation, ahead of Hawaii.
    I guess we can’t even say “Thank God for Mississippi” anymore because even they beat us!

    Reply
  167. Randy Ewart

    Lex, do you have ANY data contradicting the NAEP middle and elementary scores? You admitted that the issue is “not where we start” (because we are at the national average) “but where we finish” (citing low SAT scores).
    Because you don’t have data showing public middle and elementary schools are “terrible” as you have claimed, then why would you support private school choice for middle and elementary schools as a solution? I take it you are amending your plan to focus on high schools alone.
    Simple question that you continue to avoid.

    Reply
  168. LexWolf

    I’m not amending anything at all. Who cares if you’re in the middle of the pack by the 4th and 8th hole if you end up last at the end of the course? The final result is the only thing that matters.
    In fact, your apparent glee and satisfaction at being average is a big part of the problem. What exactly is so great at being average? I certainly wouldn’t be happy about just being average. Why are you so self-satisfied and complacent about that? No wonder we’re so far behind. If we ever manage to get close to average on anything, I guess in your view we can just quit right there cuz we gots it made, right?

    Reply
  169. Randy Ewart

    Yes, the state SAT scores are a blackeye. BUT, it’s not the all encompassing evaluation of high schools as some make it out. I have two arguments for this point.
    First, there are freshmen and sophomores who take the test and do well. This should hardly exempt them from the rest of their high school courses.
    Second, There is a clear association between family income level and score. Every 10k increase in income shows an increase in score. This is true for SC as well as Massachusetts.
    Third, there is a clear association between race-ethnicity and score. True for both states again.
    I understand when the SAT is broken down by subgroups, SC is still low. My point is the SAT hardly measures accrued knowledge.
    Look at another measure of national academic success –
    mean AP state scores. South Carolina is ahead of 10 other states. Not good, but contradicts SAT scores.
    South Carolina 2.78
    North Carolina 2.78
    Neveda 2.66
    Indiana 2.63
    Florida 2.61
    Kentucky 2.59
    Texas 2.58
    Oklahoma 2.53
    WV 2.53
    Wyoming 2.49
    New Mexico 2.49
    Mississippi 2.26
    Arkansas 1.99

    Reply
  170. Randy Ewart

    Glee? Lol, the only glee I have is in disproving your assertion that “SC schools are terrible”.
    You still avoid the question. Should we have private choice for middle and elementary schools even though YOU admit they are not the problem?
    Simple question to answer.

    Reply
  171. LexWolf

    Randy,
    there you go quibbling again! On one hand, you want me to accept the 4th/8th grade NAEP scores as “justification” that all is fine with SC education. On the other hand, there are all sorts of excuses with the SAT, according to you. You leave the clear impression that any scores are fine with you as long as they show SC schools in a favorable, or at least average, light. Any negative scores are obviously unreliable, flawed in numerous ways, and can’t be trusted. Unfortunately you can’t have it bioth ways. Either you accept all scores, bad or good, or you don’t. No cherrypicking!
    Should we have private choice for middle and elementary schools
    Of course we should! What a question!! Should we have choice of cars? Should we have choice of houses? Should we have choice of professions? Should we have choice of foods? Music? Books? Spouses? On and on and on… We should always have choice instead of some educrats or bureaucrats deciding what’s “best for us”!

    Reply
  172. Randy Ewart

    Ahh, you finally admit your contradiction. You have been “yammering on” (your term) about how your private school plan is what we need for our “terrible schools”. When presented with evidence that the elementary and middle schools (your own swamp fox source) are solid (national average), you now suggest you simply want choice for the sake of choice. The true motives coming out.
    I admit the high school scores are not good and I’m not happy with the status quo at this level (which is why if you read carefully what I’ve been posting my complete disatisfaction with Rex).
    My point was the contradiction in your positions. If you weren’t so “un-nuanced” (your term) you may understand this.
    “Choice is always good”. Show where complete private school choice has been successful…oh ya, educators have blocked the rest of the country from enacting it (your actual claim). I didn’t realize how weak the rest of you are and how strong we are.

    Reply
  173. Lee

    You government teachers sure are afraid of school choice, for someone who claims that it wouldn’t work and would be no competition for the government schools.

    Reply
  174. LexWolf

    “I admit the high school scores are not good and I’m not happy with the status quo at this level”
    Great. Admitting the problem is always the first step on a long journey. Come join us in pushing for real school reform! Rearranging the deck chairs just won’t do anymore.

    Reply
  175. Randy Ewart

    “Come join us for real school reform.” – Lex
    Now that you have admitted that the reform is only for high schools, a drastic departure from your previous positons, let’s talk about this “real school reform”.
    You don’t want to “rearrange the deck chairs” but you expect the same teachers from the public high schools to be teaching at these new private high schools. You suggest that this is ok because these new administrators can “salvage” these teachers. Where will these new administrators come from?
    You still haven’t answered how these private schools will handle the influx of diversity which the public schools have handled – the same students you admittedly keep your daughter from. Well, no answer unless we count your “guarantee” that these future private schools can handle this diversity.
    So, please answer these questions about your newly revised plan which is to reform high schools.

    Reply
  176. Randy Ewart

    Oh, and spare us how educators have controlled the rest of the country and stopped all efforts at full private school choice. If we are that strong, we’ll simply block it here and your high school reform plan is moot.

    Reply
  177. LexWolf

    Randy,
    do you get your jollies deliberatly mangling quotes? There is no newly revised plan! Nor have I “admitted” that school choice is only for HS. The intent, now as before, is to have full school choice from K-Graduate School. The higher education part is already reality. Now we just need to free the K-12 kids from your plantation.
    The real question is how YOU will handle providing a quality education to our kids with the educracy currently in place. I have asked you this dozens of times and have yet to receive an answer. How will you guys finally do better?

    Reply
  178. Randy Ewart

    Sorry Lex, I was giving you the benefit of the doubt, but you insist on maintaining your contradiction:
    You stated that SC schools are terrible and vouchers were the solution.
    Then you admit the middle and elementary schools are at the national average, which is a clear indication that they are not terrible as you suggest. So you now contend that there should be school choice at these levels simply because choice is good.
    “Contradiction – assertion of the contrary or opposite; denial.”

    Reply
  179. Randy Ewart

    Voucher supporters had envisioned a system in which parents would choose only good schools, so the worst ones would fall by the wayside due to market forces. But that hasn’t proved to be the case.
    Studies done in the early years of Milwaukee’s program, before the state stopped requiring yearly reporting from voucher schools and before religious schools were allowed into the program, showed little difference in student achievement among voucher students, but measurable improvement in parental satisfaction. – Christian Science Monitor
    This certainly contradicts Lee’s and Lex’s main arguments for choice.

    Reply
  180. Ready to Hurl

    Randy, the administrators will be former managers of McDonalds and Radio Shacks.
    I’m surprised that Lexie hasn’t cited Edison Schools. Oh wait. They apparently failed.
    I guess the true-believers just didn’t clap hard enough.

    Reply
  181. Randy Ewart

    Does this approach sound familiar?
    Pro-voucher campaigns throughout the world have followed a predictable format: denigrate public schools, blame the apparent flaws on unions and bureaucrats, and then selectively use evidence to support the introduction of vouchers.

    Reply
  182. LexWolf

    Does this approach sound familiar?
    Anti-voucher campaigns throughout the world have followed a predictable format: denigrate proponents as rich guys who just want to shut down public education; demand a detailed “plan” showing how vouchers would fix all the problems the educracy has been utterly incapable or unwilling to fix over the past 50 years; blame the apparent flaws on parents, kids, society, anyone but the educracy; and then selectively use evidence to oppose the introduction of vouchers.

    Reply
  183. Randy Ewart

    Lex, role playing the victim is unbecoming of you and unfounded.
    denigrate proponents as rich guys who just want to shut down public education – point to a post in which I characterized you as a “rich guy”. As far as “shutting down public schools”, that’s pretty accurate.
    demand a detailed “plan” – how unreasonable of us to ask for details before we overhaul the entire education system. I guess we should leap right into this “plan” as you apparently have.
    blame the apparent flaws on parents, kids, society, anyone but the educracy – quote from Lex: “I don’t want my daughter in class with those idiots who act up.” Sounds like you were blaming KIDS!
    selectively use evidence to oppose the introduction of vouchers Evidence such as scores are not significantly different between voucher students and non-voucher students? You were the one who said “data doesn’t lie.”
    Sounds more like self-victimization.

    Reply
  184. Lee

    Just because you have no new ideas for classroom instruction doesn’t mean that others don’t. There are tens of thousands of former public school teachers who left the government schools to become private tutors and corporate trainers.
    The same innovation would occur if more parents choose where to spend their education dollars.

    Reply
  185. Randy Ewart

    I have plenty of ideas which I’ve posted. Until we establish how futile this complete voucher “plan” is, the ideas of myself and others will be overshadowed as is happening in the state super race.
    Lee, can you give one example of where complete choice has been successful? You can’t and will blame educators for blocking it, attributing vast powers to us to the point we control the entire country on this issue – laughable.
    You’ll also point out how other innovations didn’t have to be completely justified before implementing them. True, but other innovations were tested on a small scale BEFORE implementing them on a larger scale. It’s ludicrous to think SC will put into place a state wide plan on a program that hasn’t been piloted even one time.
    Until then, we’ll continue debate on what amounts to a big fat red herring.

    Reply
  186. LexWolf

    Randy,
    if you have ever posted any genuine ideas, I must have missed them. Could you perhaps repeat a few of them? Or at least point us to the exact date/time/thread where you posted them. A “quote artist” like you should have no trouble at all finding a few of your own ideas for us, right?
    Please get off that laughable idea that complete choice has ever been allowed anywhere by the educracy. Even when we have a modicum of choice, i.e in Milwaukee or Cleveland, the educracy makes sure that vouchers are only half or less of what the public schools spend, and that only a small minority of kids can use them. Then they turn right around and cry crocodile tears because the private schools “only” do as well as the public schools. Yeah right, give vouchers in the same amount and the private schools would totally blow you guys off the stage! Even with just half the amount, they are doing at least as well as the public schools.
    In the meantime, I want to thank you for your posts. While they will probably work with likeminded readers, you have been great at illustrating the underhanded, obstructive tactics of the educrat blob. You couldn’t care less what happens to our kids as long as you can keep your cushy jobs. Most people who were on the fence at one time have undoubtedly jumped off by now, since you’ve made it abundantly clear that the educracy thinks they are too stupid, rich, racist, or immoral to decide what’s best for their kids.
    Please don’t ever stop, Randy, you’re making our case for us better than we ever could.

    Reply
  187. Randy Ewart

    Please get off that laughable idea that complete choice has ever been allowed anywhere by the educracy. – Lex
    Yes, we control the country.
    You couldn’t care less what happens to our kids as long as you can keep your cushy jobs. – Lex
    Yep, that’s why I got into education. For example, I exchanged emails with a parent several times this weekend about a student because I am lazy. The parents of my students care enough to email their teachers. Some parents drop their kids off and wait for an email.
    you’ve made it abundantly clear that the educracy thinks they are too stupid, rich, racist, or immoral to decide what’s best for their kids. – Lex
    You can’t quote a single post I’ve made to justify that statement. I’ll take this as venting because you are frustrated with how I’ve highlighted the many holes in your “plan”.

    Reply
  188. Randy Ewart

    Here’s how I’ve made the case for vouchers:
    We don’t know how to staff the new private schools. When first asked about this, Lex replied “who knows, it’s not a concern for you.”
    We don’t know how the private schools will handle the influx of diversity. Lex even admitted to keeping his daugher from private school because they don’t have to deal with this diversity (he referred to some public students as “idiots” then accused me of blaming students for problems). He then guaranteed they could handle it.
    We haven’t seen any evidence that complete choice works. In fact, there is an abundance of evidence that vouchers, at best, are on par with regular schools. Lex, of course, accuses educators of blocking all efforts for such a plan. We teachers are apparently mightier than any lobby group in the world!!
    The middle and elementary schools are about on par with the national average. So why would we need to overhaul this system? Lex admitted that it was high schools that are the problem, but he wants choice for the sake of having choice – contradicting his earlier assertions.
    Lex, I don’t see how anyone would NOT support choice after reading all this. Maybe I should submit my talking to points to Floyd.

    Reply
  189. Dave

    Did anyone else catch the John Stossel documentary on “Stupid in America”? They pointed out that the SC state education dept had contacted the governor and his wife when they first moved to the governor’s residence. Guess what, they offered them a “special” exemption so their kids would not have to attend the local public schools but could go to any public school they wanted. Sanford and wife turned it down as a Choice option that is denied other SC parents. They sent their kids to Heathwood Hall. Good for the governor and wife. People of honesty and principle. What does this lead one to infer about the State Education dept?

    Reply
  190. LexWolf

    hmmmmm…..wonder why the educracy doesn’t make the same offer to all South Carolinians? Now there’s a question that just cries out for Randy’s mangled quotes! Why would the educracy make that offer to one of the richest and most powerful in the state but not to the peons? Come on, Randy, rise to the occasion.

    Reply
  191. Randy Ewart

    The Stupid in America report was incredibly shabby and is little more than a pro-voucher infomercial:
    education has increased more than 100 percent since 1971. More money hasn’t helped American kids.
    Most of this money going to special education starting with the 1973 Rehabilitation Act and the 1975 Education of All Handicapped Children Act
    we gave parts of an international test to some high school students in Belgium and in New Jersey.
    Belgium divides their secondary schools into general, technical, vocational, and art schools. He would have used a magnet or specialty school in Belgium – he conventiently leaves this out. Furthermore, in Belgium they do very little for their special ed students – sending many to special schools in lieu of mainstreaming.
    One was Woodrow Wilson High. Newsweek says it’s one of the best schools in America. Yet what the students taped didn’t inspire confidence.
    A report in the Washington Post on 11/17/05 on the conditions of this school Stossel highlighted an example of a great American school:
    Paint is peeling off the walls. Each classroom had little to distinguish it from the rest. There were no textbooks for three out of seven subjects. As I walked down the halls, I had to tell myself over and over that I was not in a developing nation. I would expect these conditions in a Third World country, but not in the nation’s capital.
    I’m surprised Stossel didn’t also point out that from 2001-2003 the number of public school teachers in the US increased as did the amount of beer consumption in the US. Maybe he could blame that on teachers as well.
    He makes good points about not being able to fire teachers. Alas, this is lost in the red herring known as choice. His work is on par with Geraldo now.

    Reply
  192. Randy Ewart

    Lex, explain each of these “mangled quotes”
    When I asked you long ago, where will you find the teachers for the new schools, you resonded “who knows, why would you care?”
    I quoted you as admitting you won’t send your daughter to public school because of the “idiots” who act up, but then you suggest the private schools can handle these same “idiots”. You “guaranteed” it.
    I asked for an example of full choice and you stated “educators have blocked all efforts.” You suggest we are that powerful?
    I quoted your swamp fox source about how our elementary and middle schools are at the national average and you changed your position from choice as a “solution” to choice for the sake of choice.

    Reply
  193. LexWolf

    Here’s how Randy mangles, spindled, folded and mutilated numerous quotes in an unsuccessful attempt to disparage the case for vouchers:
    We don’t know how to staff the new private schools.”
    They will be staffed just like any other business is staffed. The schools will offer to hire qualified teachers at a certain salary, set at the point necessary to attract the desired number of teachers. Just like Milwaukee, Cleveland have done.
    We don’t know how the private schools will handle the influx of diversity.
    They’ll handle it just like the schools in Milwaukee and Cleveland have done.
    “We haven’t seen any evidence that complete choice works. In fact, there is an abundance of evidence that vouchers, at best, are on par with regular schools.” even while the vouchers are only about $6,000 each, less than half the money going to the fatcat public schools. If private schools received the same amount per student as public schools the educrats would all be trampled as parents and kids stampeded out of the gates of the PS plantations.
    Lex, of course, accuses educators of blocking all efforts for such a plan. We teachers are apparently mightier than any lobby group in the world!!
    Try to belittle it all you want, Randy, but teachers and their unions are indeed right up there at the top of the lobbying foodchain, right next to the lawyers and the seniors.
    The middle and elementary schools are about on par with the national average. So why would we need to overhaul this system?
    Because we’ll never get anywhere if average is all we aspire to! Show me just one great scholar, businessman or athlete whose life goal was to be “average”. Besides, there’s only one year’s NAEP scores that put 4th and 8th graders even close to the average. By all other metrics, they are far behind so your point is bogus from the beginning.
    Randy, I don’t see how anyone would NOT support choice after reading all this. Maybe you should volunteer for Floyd’s campaign and help us finally achieve real school reform.

    Reply
  194. LexWolf

    Here’s how Randy mangles, spindled, folded and mutilated numerous quotes in an unsuccessful attempt to disparage the case for vouchers:
    We don’t know how to staff the new private schools.”
    They will be staffed just like any other business is staffed. The schools will offer to hire qualified teachers at a certain salary, set at the point necessary to attract the desired number of teachers. Just like Milwaukee, Cleveland have done.
    We don’t know how the private schools will handle the influx of diversity.
    They’ll handle it just like the schools in Milwaukee and Cleveland have done.
    “We haven’t seen any evidence that complete choice works. In fact, there is an abundance of evidence that vouchers, at best, are on par with regular schools.”
    Milwaukee private schools are indeed on a par with public schools, even while the vouchers are only about $6,000 each, less than half the money going to the fatcat public schools. If private schools received the same amount per student as public schools the educrats would all be trampled as parents and kids stampeded out of the gates of the PS plantations.
    Lex, of course, accuses educators of blocking all efforts for such a plan. We teachers are apparently mightier than any lobby group in the world!!
    Try to belittle it all you want, Randy, but teachers and their unions are indeed right up there at the top of the lobbying foodchain, right next to the lawyers and the seniors.
    The middle and elementary schools are about on par with the national average. So why would we need to overhaul this system?
    Because we’ll never get anywhere if average is all we aspire to! Show me just one great scholar, businessman or athlete whose life goal was to be “average”. Besides, there’s only one year’s NAEP scores that put 4th and 8th graders even close to the average. By all other metrics, they are far behind so your point is bogus from the beginning.
    Randy, I don’t see how anyone would NOT support choice after reading all this. Maybe you should volunteer for Floyd’s campaign and help us finally achieve real school reform.

    Reply
  195. LexWolf

    Here’s how Randy mangles, spindled, folded and mutilated numerous quotes in an unsuccessful attempt to disparage the case for vouchers:
    We don’t know how to staff the new private schools.”
    They will be staffed just like any other business is staffed. The schools will offer to hire qualified teachers at a certain salary, set at the point necessary to attract the desired number of teachers. Just like Milwaukee, Cleveland have done.
    We don’t know how the private schools will handle the influx of diversity.
    They’ll handle it just like the schools in Milwaukee and Cleveland have done.
    “We haven’t seen any evidence that complete choice works. In fact, there is an abundance of evidence that vouchers, at best, are on par with regular schools.”
    Milwaukee private schools are indeed on a par with public schools, even while the vouchers are only about $6,000 each, less than half the money going to the fatcat public schools. If private schools received the same amount per student as public schools the educrats would all be trampled as parents and kids stampeded out of the gates of the PS plantations.
    Lex, of course, accuses educators of blocking all efforts for such a plan. We teachers are apparently mightier than any lobby group in the world!!
    Try to belittle it all you want, Randy, but teachers and their unions are indeed right up there at the top of the lobbying foodchain, right next to the lawyers and the seniors.
    The middle and elementary schools are about on par with the national average. So why would we need to overhaul this system?
    Because we’ll never get anywhere if average is all we aspire to! Show me just one great scholar, businessman or athlete whose life goal was to be “average”. Besides, there’s only one year’s NAEP scores that put 4th and 8th graders even close to the average. By all other metrics, they are far behind so your point is bogus from the beginning.
    Randy, I don’t see how anyone would NOT support choice after reading all this. Maybe you should volunteer for Floyd’s campaign and help us finally achieve real school reform.

    Reply
  196. Randy Ewart

    Referring to diversity: They’ll handle it just like the schools in Milwaukee and Cleveland have done. They don’t have full choice in those cities so they don’t have students forced to stay in those private schools by law (unless you have a link to refute this), they can go back to the other schools – a terribly weak apples and oranges comparison.
    Milwaukee private schools are indeed on a par with public schools – Hardly an example of complete choice, you are talking about schools with a very high proportion of motivated parents vs the general population. The Mil Journal blasted the Milwaukee program, as was clearly laid out in an earlier post.
    but teachers and their unions are indeed right up there at the top of the lobbying foodchain In SC the NEA membership rate is in the mid teens. Nationally they (I’m not a member) spend 1.4 mil on lobbying (Lobby Watch) while lawyers and gun rights groups spend 4 times that much each. Teachers are just a shade under the 1/2 billion oil spends. Yes, we control the country.
    By all other metrics, they are far behind so your point is bogus from the beginning. LINK! I’ll keep asking until you find one.
    Because we’ll never get anywhere if average is all we aspire to! nice red herring. who said this is our goal? The point is YOU first suggested the schools are terrible so we need choice as a solution now you are backtracking and admit they are not terrible at the lower levels and NOW want choice for the sake of choice. Why didn’t you admit this in the first place?
    How many times do I need to keep beating this dead dog of a “plan”?

    Reply
  197. Randy Ewart

    By all other metrics, they are far behind so your point is bogus from the beginning. – Lex in reference to the middle and elementary schools.
    LINK!

    Reply
  198. LexWolf

    Self-identified troll Randy Ewart,
    since you are so sure that the educracy hasn’t fought tooth and nail wherever parents have demanded school choice, perhaps you could give us just one link where the educrats have supported school choice, or even just tolerated it.
    Also, since you’re sure that middle and elementary schools are not behind, you could provide us a few links to that effect as well?

    Reply
  199. Randy Ewart

    LOL, Lex, this is hysterical.
    When you get clobbered in a debate your responses become very predictable: 1) call others names as a child on a playground would (that is so small). 2) In lieu of supporting your position, attack the position of others. 3) Blame educators when possible.
    Lex’s swamp fox source: tables 1,2,3 show that in reading and math, SC 4th and 8th graders are at the national average. This is a big Rick Flair karate chop to the throat of your “SC schools are terrible” Lex!
    since you are so sure that the educracy hasn’t fought tooth and nail wherever parents have demanded school choice, perhaps you could give us just one link where the educrats have supported school choice – Lex
    LOL, you came up with the whole “educators have stopped school choice” and “the educator lobbyists are at the top of the lobbying foodchain” so you provide the links. You make a statement, you support it.

    Reply
  200. Randy Ewart

    By all other metrics, they are far behind so your point is bogus from the beginning. – Lex in reference to the middle and elementary schools.
    LINK!

    Reply
  201. LexWolf

    Here’s your problem, Randy: you find one year’s data that show that 2 grades NAEP scores in just one subject are getting close to the average. That, to you, “proves” that all is well with SC education when your “proof” in fact is just as fake as a “Ric Flair karate chop to the throat”. It is nice to know, though, that our HS math teachers spend more time watching “rassling” than teaching our kids.
    Then of course, you are totally ignoring that SC kids were at average only in Math. They continue to be behind in the other 3 areas: Reading 4th SC is at 213 vs 217 nationally, Reading 8th is at 257/260, Science 4th is 148/149, Science 8th is 145/147, Writing 4th is at 145/153, Writing 8th at 146/152. Hardly something to be proud of, I would say.
    Here are the PACT Scores for 2003, 2004, and 2005.
    Note how the level of proficiency declines steadily the longer the kids are exposed to the educrats’ ministrations. In other words, the longer you guys are “teaching” them, the dumber they get.
    And of course, our SAT scores are still next to last in the nation. Our ACT scores are 3rd from last, before DC and MS. Our dropout rate is around 50%, worst in the nation.
    But hey, these are cheery statistics for someone who thinks that all we can be is average!

    Reply
  202. Randy Ewart

    Sigh, ok Lex, I’ll run your bogus claim into the ground AGAIN:
    Lex stated South Carolina schools are terrible. and we need school choice as a solution
    He then referred to the swamp fox data as proof. The problem here is this data shows that the math and reading scores for SC 4th and 8th graders is at the national average.
    Then Lex states By all other metrics, they are far behind so your point is bogus from the beginning in reference to these same elementary and middle schools.
    When I called him on this bogus claim he cited the following data:Reading 4th SC is at 213 vs 217 nationally, Reading 8th is at 257/260, Science 4th is 148/149, Science 8th is 145/147, Writing 4th is at 145/153, Writing 8th at 146/152.
    These metrics are on a 300 point scale for science and writing and a 500 point scale for math and reading and he uses 1-4 pts as evidence of how low our scores are. This hardly bolsters his claim SC schools are terrible.
    Finally, he tries this red herring: being average is nothing to be proud of.
    Lex, I never suggested we should be proud. I simply blew a large gapping hole in your assertion SC schools are terrible and that the middle and elementary schools far behind which you have used as justification for your choice “plan” as a “solution” (but then amended your argument to suggest we should have choice for the sake of having choice). If you are changing your argument to we are merely average, then I’ll have to agree with you.

    Reply
  203. Randy Ewart

    I’ll give Lex this much, he’s like Rocky vs Creed in the first movie. Mickey’s screaming at him Down! Down! Stay down! but he keeps getting up.

    Reply
  204. LexWolf

    Self-identified troll Randy Ewart,
    You really need to read for comprehension. And read the actual report I linked to. The reading scores on the NAEP are NOT at average. The only average scores are in Math. The other six scores are distinctly below average, up to 8 points (guess your math isn’t all that hot either).
    As for the rest, the truth is undeniable. At the end of the game, the only part that counts, we are either last or second last in SAT scores, ACT scores and dropout rates. Come on, Randy, let’s see you spin that some more – you’ve already worn a hole in the floor with your furious revolutions.
    There is one thing, though, where SC is very close to average. Yep, you guessed it, FUNDING for education:
    FUNDING
    South Carolina Average Spending Per Pupil = $7,776
    National Rank = 30
    National Average Spending Per Pupil = $8,041
    Yet for being 30th in spending, in a low cost of living state to boot, we only get abysmal results at 49th or 50th in the state. We are being overcharged on a horrific scale! This certainly isn’t full value for our taxmoney.
    I would gladly increase teacher salaries if they performed accordingly but as of right now, it appears that a 40% pay CUT would be more appropriate.

    Reply
  205. Randy Ewart

    Lex states By all other metrics, they are far behind
    Reading 4th SC is at 213 vs 217 nationally (4 pts on a 500 pt scale), Reading 8th is at 257/260 (3 pts on a 500 point scale), Science 4th is 148/149 (1 point on a 300 point scale), Science 8th is 145/147 (3 points on a 300 point scale), Writing 4th is at 145/153, Writing 8th at 146/152.
    My math is pretty good here, maybe I can help you. Being 1-4 points behind in the scores highlighted is hardly “far behind”. Your original contention was SC schools are terrible., which these scores disprove at the middle and elementary levels. Again, I blew holes in your argument.
    Keep grasping at straws Rocky.

    Reply
  206. Lee

    No amount of spending on education will overcome the major root causes of poor outcomes today:
    1. low IQ students being produced by welfare parents
    2. huge numbers of normal IQ students born to single parents, many of whom are illiterate dropouts themselves, unable to provide even a basic home life
    3. influx of millions of illegal alien students from the most backward cultures in the world
    1 and 2 require the complete reversal of the immorality and welfare policies which produced most of the children in these conditions.
    3 can be solved within one year by getting serious about illegal aliens and instituting a comprehensive crackdown which makes it impossible for them to work or receive any legal income or handouts in America.

    Reply
  207. Lee

    And Randy makes no point…yet again.
    Randy, do you favor denying education and welfare benefits to illegal aliens? If not, why not?

    Reply
  208. LexWolf

    And so once again troll Randy thinks readers of this blog are stupid and leaves out the items which show that his math is abysmal. No wonder our kids aren’t learning.
    “Writing 4th is at 145/153 (that’s 8 points!), Writing 8th at 146/152 (that’s 6 points).”
    I have finally reached the point where I will no longer feed this troll, and other pro-school choice poster might want to consider the same thing. There is no sense in a “discussion” with a troll who consistenly cherrypicks quotes, then mangles, folds, spindles and mutilates them so he can misapply them to a completely different point. A troll who insists on putting words in people’s mouths even after he has been repeatedly told that he is wrong. A troll whose above actions are the height of incivility and disrespect, and who has no interest whatsoever in a real discussion. Whose only interest is in disrupting any such discussion.
    Bye, Randy.

    Reply
  209. Lee

    Lex,
    You’r right. We have let Randy disrupt every thread topic with attacks on private schools, which have all been answered and ignored by him.
    We can continue the discussion of solutions without letting him divert us. If he wants to join in with civil comments, fine. Otherwise, fine, too.
    Lee

    Reply
  210. Alex Rath

    The day when calling someone names like a 5 year old is “civil” .. well.. guess that’s what private school does to people.
    Sorry, Brad.. you’re doing absolutely nothing to keep things “civil” here.
    I guess coming to this blog was a mistake after all. Fare well folks, and good luck.

    Reply
  211. Randy Ewart

    Here’s some “discussion” for you Lex. Let’s see how reasonable you are. From the same website with the NAEP scores:
    In 2005:
    only 15 states have a higher 4th grade math score
    only 11 states have a higher 8th grade math score
    SC was higher than or on par with 15 states on the 4th grade reading
    SC was higher than or on par with 16 states on the 8th grade reading
    22 states had a higher 4th grade science score
    23 states had a higher 8th grade science score
    26 states had a higher 4th grade writing score (2002 was last year for this comparison)
    22 states had a higher 8th grade writing score (2002 was last year for this comparison)
    SC was higher than the national median on 5 out of 8.
    LEX, what do you have to say about these terrible schools now!??!?! And remember YOUR words: data doesn’t lie.

    Reply
  212. Lee

    This thread is supposed to be about immigration. How many of you who claim concern for public education also want to remove the deadbeat illegal aliens who dilute out tax expenditures by freeloading on our schools?
    I think there is too much concern over where SC ranks in spending and SAT scores vs other states. What is important is what the scores are, and how they are distributed. Being 50th is fine if the mythical “last place” means that students are achieving near their potential. Being “first” means nothing if the “competition” is also a bunch with average scores below 850.
    What is significant is the illiteracy rate of the young people and the dropout rates for schools.

    Reply
  213. Randy Ewart

    Lee, I posted data along with the source that clearly shows the elementary and middle schools are not “50th” and are even or better than most schools in 5 out of 8 measures.
    If you want to criticize SC HIGH schools, ok. But your blind broad brushed remarks about schools in general are clearly wrong.

    Reply
  214. Lee

    Randy, your problem is you want to argue with things that other people never wrote. I guess that is one way for you to avoid the real facts posted here that you cannot explain away.

    Reply
  215. Randy Ewart

    From the Monitor thread:
    Randy laughs off the racial segregation in public schools, as if it doesn’t exist. Why don’t the districts publish the racial composition of the individual home rooms? Because many of them are all black, while others are predominately white.
    We parents and PTO members notice things like that.

    Posted by: Lee | Sep 3, 2006 2:22:06 PM
    Lee, you never wrote this? Justify this statement. LINKS! FACTS!

    Reply
  216. Lee

    Randy, you claimed that public schools offered more diversity than private schools. Segregated classrooms everywhere, and 59% entirely segregated schools in Illinois dispute your claim. I notice you still have not posted the racial composition of even your own school. Afraid of retribution from the district office?

    Reply
  217. Randy Ewart

    From the Monitor thread:
    Randy laughs off the racial segregation in public schools, as if it doesn’t exist. Why don’t the districts publish the racial composition of the individual home rooms? Because many of them are all black, while others are predominately white.
    We parents and PTO members notice things like that.

    Posted by: Lee | Sep 3, 2006 2:22:06 PM
    Lee, you wrote this statement, the onus is on YOU to justify it. I think you know nothing about this and are recklessly fabricating disparaging information which throws everying you write into suspicious light.

    Reply
  218. Lee

    I guess that means you refuse to address the segregation in public schools. At least you dropped the lame jokes, as if it didn’t exist.
    Public schools fail all the time.
    Unlike for-profit education, they just keep on going, like zombies. There is no mechanism to kill them off and to nurture those which do things right.

    Reply
  219. Randy Ewart

    BOGUS post from the Monitor thread:
    Randy laughs off the racial segregation in public schools, as if it doesn’t exist. Why don’t the districts publish the racial composition of the individual home rooms? Because many of them are all black, while others are predominately white.
    We parents and PTO members notice things like that.

    Posted by: Lee | Sep 3, 2006 2:22:06 PM

    Reply
  220. Lee

    You can’t back up your assertion that public schools provide more racial diversity than private schools. You should have done your homework.
    The fact that there are all-black classes in Richland and Lexington schools lets the air out of your bluff.

    Reply
  221. Lee

    Randy attempts to laugh off the racial segregation in Columbia schools here:
    Public schools practice a lot of segregation, internally, with all-black classes. – Lee
    Yes, it’s life imitating art. We watched the latest rendition of Survivor and made a conscious effort to segregate students. Funny how no parents have picked up on this. I’d better tell guidance about our segregation mandate. My AP ratio is 7:9 white to minority. We’d better transfer one of those populations. – Posted by: Randy Ewart | Sep 2, 2006 1:22:01 PM
    Yuk, yuk, yuk, as if the all-black classes and all-black schools don’t exist.
    59% of Illinois public schools are all black. LOL, says Randy.

    Reply
  222. Lee

    Lex, I am not feeding the troll.
    I am using him as a punching bag, since he offered himself as a sacrifice to the Truth Volcano.

    Reply
  223. Randy Ewart

    I backed mine up. Heathwood Hall costs 12K a year for hs. 25% of those families get subsidies to help pay this tuition. At AC Flora, 25% of students get subsidies to help pay for LUNCH! 85% of private school students are white. 65% of public school students are white.
    You have posted squat so support your statement that schools schedule so there are all white and all black homerooms. You made this up.
    Hey Lex, is that all you have left, to call me a name? I’m still willing to discuss your new updatted school choice plan which focuses on high schools only now.

    Reply
  224. Lee

    Are you claiming there are no all-black classes in Richland and Lexington public schools?
    Would you care to wager, say $100 for every one I can find that is 90% to 100% one race?

    Reply
  225. Randy Ewart

    INTERESTING! Why would you need to “find” any if you already have the data to support your disparaging post?
    Why don’t you post the demographics of the homerooms in your wife’s school in lieu of hunting down classes elsewhere?

    Reply
  226. Lee

    Because, unlike you, I try to discuss the data, instead of making it personal by embarassing individual teachers and students who have no control over the racial segregation of principals and administration.
    If I posted each class, the names of the students and took their picture, you diehards would still deny it, because you have an aversion to reality, don’t do your homework, and make wild assertions to attack any reform alternative to the socialist status quo.
    If you dismiss the 59% of schools being segregated in Illinois, you just don’t have any right to bring up race in the discussion of private schools.

    Reply
  227. Randy Ewart

    Lex, I guess you are “staying out of the kitchen” now a days. Too bad, I’d like to dialogue with you more about your altered private school plan. BTW, Lee agreed that these private schools should be held accountable by the government. Even Lee is altering this plan.

    Reply
  228. Randy Ewart

    Lee, you don’t have any evidence to support your hateful remarks about schools segregating students.
    This is on par with your statement that the parents of black students from nontraditional homes “don’t care about their kids”.
    And your statement that 96.8% of all crime is committed by illegal aliens, which Lex agreed was bogus.
    And your statement that most Hispanics are illegal (I gave statistics from census which showed you are wrong – I posted these repeatedly for all too see).
    Several people have pointed out that you make bogus claims. I already pointed out that our homerooms are assigned alphabetically and this is true for other schools at which I’ve taught. This is quite a bit more evidence than “walking down the hall and peering into classrooms”. I doubt you were in these schools.
    You don’t have any evidence. That’s ok, it’s obvious enough to all who read your post.

    Reply
  229. Lee

    How is it hateful to post the fact that many public schools practice racial segregation? One of my sources is from a federal judge. You have no sources.
    You don’t have the guts to post the racial composition of even the classes your own school.
    That’s why you post meaningless statistics like, “public schools are 65% white”.
    Yes, on AVERAGE.
    Just like Lake Murray has a average depth.
    But some parts of Lake Murray are very deep, and others are very shallow, just as many schools and classrooms are almost entirely of one race.

    Reply
  230. Ready to Hurl

    Randy’s evidence/reseach: Randy is an eyewitness to his homeroom’s diversity… for years, I presume.
    Every year he gets to look out at a homeroom. He looks at the roll. He states that students are assigned to homerooms alphabetically.
    Lee’s evidence/research: Lee states that he “peered into some rooms.” Later he clarifies that those rooms are 4-5 year-old kindergarten classes, not homerooms. He states that he’s “observed” segregation by class by being a PTO member and parent.
    I’ve known PTO members and parents who barely know where the school is located. Lee offers no official or unofficial data to confirm his homeroom segregatoin allegations. He doesn’t even offer purported first-hand observation, yet. (Maybe he’s just not telling us the entire truth so that he can childishly score debating points. Who knows?)
    It’s peculiar that, as an expert economist and engineer, Lee won’t quantify how many classes he “peered into” (sample size, iow).
    Verdict: Lee loses decisively. His veracity is questionable since he witholds pertinent facts in his accounts. He offers a fuzzy account of his research methods and shifts subjects (homerooms, “classes,” kindergarten classes etc.). Lee can’t or won’t explain how this segregation is accomplished despite having a ready source inside the school.
    Lee has leveled the charges. It’s Lee’s burden to support his allegations, not Randy’s job to refute them.

    Reply
  231. Lee

    Randy stands on a street corner every day, sees no accidents, and concludes there are no car wrecks anywhere in the world.
    Lee looks up the number of car wrecks all over America, 45,000 of them fatal.
    Randy looks at a few integrated classrooms in his school, and brags that public education is so much more racially diverse than private schools.
    Lee looks up the fact that hundreds of public schools are segregated, in some states the majority are segregated, and drops in on a few Columbia schools to volunteer and sees segregated classrooms.

    Reply
  232. Lee

    Randy, how about my wager? I’ll make it more affordable for you – $10 for every public classroom I can find in the Columbia area with 95% black students.

    Reply
  233. Randy Ewart

    Lee,
    go back and look at your quote which I cut and pasted repeatedly. You said HOMEROOMS are segregated by race. I’ll make a bet that more homerooms are within 5% of the school ratio of white to minority than there are homerooms which are “95-100%” homogeneous.
    There are many homogeneous classes, but to suggest this is an attempt by a school to segregate is reckless on your part. You should be ashamed which is why, I suspect, you post anonymously – to make such hateful posts.
    After I research this at my school, you can donate my money to Oliver Gospel Mission. OR, you can have your wife research it, and you can donate my money to this charity – your choice.

    Reply
  234. Ready to Hurl

    Y’all are going to have to formulate the bet and wagers in a statement agreeable to each of you.
    Since there’s probably not a readily available source for each district perhaps you should limit the districts to Randy’s district and possibly one other in the midlands.
    Even determining the info in Randy’s district may not be easy. You may have to have permission to access the student info system to make the determinations.
    Good luck.

    Reply
  235. Lee

    Go ahead, bet me $100 for every room I find that is outside your 5% band.
    You folks refuse to acknowledge the glaring example I gave of 59% of Illinois schools being racially segregated.
    Paul DeMarco gave you the example of Marion County schools. How many kicks in the head will it take for you to admit that “lack of diversity” was another of your bogus arguments against vouchers?

    Reply
  236. Lee

    If the classes you euphemistically call “homogenous” (racially segregated) were not constructed that way based on race, exactly what was the criteria?
    Show us where we can read the criteria in the words of the administration, not your fabrication or wild guess.
    I already posted the district policy, which is obviously not being followed.

    Reply
  237. Randy Ewart

    Lee,
    I thought you were a volunteer in schools and your wife, mother, and aunts are teachers but you have nothing to offer from these sources – very suspicious.
    HOMEROOMS, which you claim are “racially segregated” are assigned by grade and alphabet. There’s no wild guess. Rolls are usually last names Je through Ka for example.
    Ridge View Registration Guide
    P.14: “schedule all requests if prerequisites are met”
    p.15: “courses selected by parents and students”
    For example: p.28 “Pre-requisite for algebra 1 cp is a C or better in pre-algebra”
    There you go, clear examples which clearly refute your reckless, misguided, and reckless post. Mean while, you have NOTHING to support your statement.

    Reply
  238. Lee

    Classes are supposed to be assigned alphabetically “black male-white male-black female-white female” whenever possible, according to District 1 policy.
    Is it not uniform over the whole state?
    Why are some classes 100% black in schools which are 50/50 black/white?
    Please LINK to the various district class assignment policies, any of you who claim to be teachers or educrats.

    Reply
  239. Randy Ewart

    Lee, please link to evidence to support your bogus claims. I’ve posted evidence to refute your hateful statements.
    You claim to be married to a teacher, to be the son of a teacher, and to be the nephew of teachers yet you can’t post a single shred of evidence.
    Very suspicious.

    Reply
  240. Lee

    Randy, your assertions are not proof of anything except your lack of examples.
    Did you ever take geometry?
    Please post the racial makeup of each class room and home room in your school, if you want one example, which doesn’t extrapolate to the rest of the state schools. ( You do know what extrapolate means, don’t you?)

    Reply
  241. Randy Ewart

    Lee, you claim to be married to a teacher, son to a teacher, and nephew to teachers. Yet you have posted squat to support your hateful statements.
    Not only does this completely undermine these venomous statemetns, it also makes your claims about your relationships VERY suspicious.
    Funny you won’t support your hateful statements with so many resources supposedly at your disposal – suspicious.

    Reply
  242. Lee

    59% of Illinois schools are racially segregated. How do they provide the “diversity” you claim is so beneficial?
    I don’t think it is right for me to post the all-black classes, because it is not the fault of the teachers and students.
    But if you think it is okay, why don’t you post the racial composition of all classes in your school?

    Reply
  243. Ready to Hurl

    Classes are supposed to be assigned alphabetically “black male-white male-black female-white female” whenever possible, according to District 1 policy.
    LINK? EVIDENCE? PROOF?

    Reply
  244. Randy Ewart

    Lee, you claim to be married to a teacher, son to a teacher, and nephew to teachers. Yet you have posted squat to support your hateful statements.
    Not only does this completely undermine these venomous statemetns, it also makes your claims about your relationships VERY suspicious.
    Funny you won’t support your hateful statements with so many resources supposedly at your disposal – suspicious.

    Reply
  245. Ready to Hurl

    I asked for some support for the above statement from Lee because I think that it’s either incomplete or utter bilge.
    I’m not familiar with District 1 policy but I can assure you that District 5 policy separates students in high school by previous academic performance.
    I have stated as much numerous times.
    Again, a supposed expert economist and detail-oriented engineer either posts a sloppily phrased statement or simply doesn’t care about accuracy.
    Which is it, Lee?

    Reply
  246. Lee

    If you don’t think the 59% of schools being segrated in Illinois is a problem, I understand why you dismiss the segration in SC public schools.
    If you teach in one, I can understand why you are ashamed to post the racial composition of all the classes.

    Reply
  247. Ready to Hurl

    Once again you dodge the question, Lee. That’s a sure sign that you’re full of crap.
    You make derogatory comments about racial segregation and educational quality of SC schools in a discussion of vouchers for SC schools. Then you suddenly want to bring in Illinois schools as a red herring.
    If you think that this is some kind of super clever debating technique then you’re sadly mistaken.
    Btw, I have no connection with any school system other than my kids attending them.

    Reply
  248. Lee

    I have made no derogatory comments. I merely posted the facts about racial segregation being so common in public schools. So did Paul DeMarco and others.
    Why don’t you post the racial composition of all the classes in your school, and your district class assignment policy, so you have some factual basis for disagreement with us?
    Either you don’t know or don’t want us to know.

    Reply
  249. Ready to Hurl

    Classes are supposed to be assigned alphabetically “black male-white male-black female-white female” whenever possible, according to District 1 policy.
    LINK? EVIDENCE? PROOF?

    Reply
  250. Ready to Hurl

    Are you drunk, Lee?
    We’ve been over this exact same discussion before.
    You display a lot of the tendencies of drunks: sloppy thinking, inattentive, sloppy phrasing, and a tendency to insult those who disagree with you.
    Debating a drunk is pointless.
    Sober up and we can try it again.

    Reply
  251. Lee

    I see Mr Hurl has tagged up for Randy, whom I asked for data about racial composition of classes.
    We’ve been over the facts I posted before, with the same denial responses. Since you don’t care about 59% segregated classes in Illinois, what number do you think is significant?

    Reply
  252. Randy Ewart

    Lee, you claim to be married to a teacher, son to a teacher, and nephew to teachers. Yet you have posted squat to support your hateful statements.
    Not only does this completely undermine these venomous statemetns, it also makes your claims about your relationships VERY suspicious.
    Funny you won’t support your hateful statements with so many resources supposedly at your disposal – suspicious.

    Reply
  253. Ready to Hurl

    Lee, in case you were in the bottle when I posted this the last three or four time: YOU make the allegation then YOU prove it– unless your subscribe to the guilty until proven innoncent standard.
    I wouldn’t be surprised.

    Reply
  254. Lee

    Actually, Randy made the allegation that private schools would not provide the “diversity” of public schools. He was trying to dodge another subject by Lex Wolfe.
    Several of us posted facts about the racial diversity of private schools, and the facts about segregation of many public schools. I even walked some halls in Richland One and Two and saw several all-black classes.
    Randy went into the Bluff-Dare-Lie routine, demanding details, but refusing to provide any data about his own school, and ignoring examples provided. Then he just ran off and hid.
    This is the pattern of most “arguments” waged by the opponents of diversity of consumer choice in education.

    Reply
  255. Lee

    Why do so many union teachers send their own children to private schools?
    1. They can afford it, since they make much more money than the average American
    2. They obviously recognize some value.

    Reply
  256. Ready to Hurl

    Lee, I’ve asked you to detail your methods and observations but you consistently refuse to answer straight forward, easily answerable questions whenever the reply doesn’t work to support your allegations.
    Therefore few rational, unbiased readers believe you anymore.
    Sorry.

    Reply
  257. Lee

    I was donating some supplies to a local school, walking down the hall, and saw several classes which were all black. Others were mostly all white. So I KNEW right then that public schools are not as integrated as many private schools I have visited.
    Then others posted about the nearly all black schools in their home towns.
    Third, I searched the internet and found lots of states, especially up North, are very segregated.
    So much for Randy’s contention about the great ethnic diversity in public schools. I asked him for policies and examples. He provided none. Neither did any other defender of segregated public schools

    Reply
  258. Randy Ewart

    More bogus posts from Lee, the economist, engineer, fingerprint technician, fire captain, hall monitor, WIS reporter, and statistician:
    Why do so many union teachers send their own children to private schools? Lee has no evidence for this. He’ll either ignore this or tell to prove him wrong.
    Several of us posted facts about the racial diversity of schools Lee has posted squat about schools other than a claim that he walked down two public school hall ways.
    Third, I searched the internet and found lots of states, especially up North, are very segregated. Lee posted a single percent for a single state.
    What Lee has NOT posted is a defense for how I called him out about supposedly being married to a teacher, a son to a teacher, and a nephew to several teachers. And how I called him out about his claim to have all these different jobs.
    Some people make up stories to make themselves look better. I let them slide because they have issues. But when Lee slanders school administrators based on what he claims to have seen in two hall ways and has shown he makes up data (96.8% of crime committed by illegal aliens, which even Lex admitted was bogus) then I will take issue with him.
    Defend yourself Lee!

    Reply
  259. LexWolf

    Teachers give public schools a revealing report card
    For good investment tips, you might ask a financial planner where he puts his own money. If he bails out of a fund, you might want to do the same. Likewise, how better to learn about the quality of a public school system than by asking the teachers where they send their own children?
    The answer is revealing about the state of public education. Urban public school teachers are nearly twice as likely as other parents to send their kids to private schools, a study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an education-reform group, found last month. Nationwide, 21% of teachers have children in private schools. In Philadelphia and Cincinnati, more than 40% do. Why? Religious and other private schools impose greater discipline and achieve higher academic standards, teachers told researchers.
    The report should serve to mobilize educators and communities to intensify efforts to improve public schools. Instead, teachers unions and many school officials dismiss the report as a flawed ploy by an interest group intent on diverting resources from public schools to private ones.
    While there’s no instant panacea for fixing failing schools, a first step requires recognizing the problem, not denying it.
    Political leaders and school officials in some cities, such as New York and Chicago, acknowledge that their schools are in crisis. They’ve shaken up their systems by closing dozens of chronically low-performing schools and opening up dozens of new ones, many under the charter-schools concept, which promotes greater innovation.
    More needs to be done…….

    Reply
  260. Ready to Hurl

    Of course, “more needs to be done.”
    In Lexie’s view “reform” and “more” are code words for purging the country of “socialistic” institutions like public schools.
    Lexie’s first aid for public schools is the cowboy’s prescription for injured horses: shoot then in the head.

    Reply
  261. Lee

    Randy, we already posted detailed surveys of how many public school teachers send their children to private schools, and you already responded with insults. Now you dishonestly pretend to be unaware of the facts. That is an uncivil way to disrupt the discussion, but you failed again.

    Reply
  262. Lee

    PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS MOST LIKELY TO SEND THEIR CHILDREN TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS
    More than 25 percent of public school teachers in Washington and Baltimore send their children to private schools, a new study reports.
    Nationwide, public school teachers are almost twice as likely as other parents to choose private schools for their own children, the study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute found. More than 1 in 5 public school teachers said their children attend private schools.
    In Washington (28 percent), Baltimore (35 percent) and 16 other major cities, the figure is more than 1 in 4. In some cities, nearly half of the children of public school teachers have abandoned public schools.
    In Philadelphia, 44 percent of the teachers put their children in private schools; in Cincinnati, 41 percent; Chicago, 39 percent; Rochester, N.Y., 38 percent. The same trends showed up in the San Francisco-Oakland area, where 34 percent of public school teachers chose private schools for their children; 33 percent in New York City and New Jersey suburbs; and 29 percent in Milwaukee and New Orleans.
    Michael Pons, spokesman for the National Education Association, the 2.7-million-member public school union, declined a request for comment on the study’s findings. The American Federation of Teachers also declined to comment.
    Public school teachers in Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Chicago, Rochester, N.Y., and Baltimore registered the most dissatisfaction with the schools in which they teach.
    “These results do not surprise most practicing teachers to whom we speak,” say report authors Denis P. Doyle, founder of a school improvement company, SchoolNet Inc.; Brian Diepold, an economics graduate student at American University; and David A. DeSchryver, editor of the Doyle Report, an online education policy and technology journal.
    “Teachers, it is reasonable to assume, care about education, are reasonably expert about it and possess quite a lot of information about the schools in which they teach. We can assume that no one knows the condition and quality of public schools better than teachers who work in them every day.”
    “They know from personal experience that many of their colleagues make such a choice [for private vs. public schools], and do so for good and sufficient reasons.”
    The report says the school choice movement has begun competitively forcing public school improvement, particularly in cities like Milwaukee, called “a hotbed of school reform,” where 29.4 percent of public school teachers sent their children to private schools, the study finds.
    “Narrow the search to teachers making less than $42,000 and the percentage enrolling their children in private schools drops to 10 percent. Because Milwaukee is a hotbed of school reform, it’s possible that teachers making less than $42,000 are beginning to favor the public school system.”

    Reply
  263. LexWolf

    You weren’t posting my agenda. You were posting what you “think” is my agenda, without any evidence to support your claims. Since you also didn’t address my points in any way, the only proper description for your post is “ad hominem attack”. Case closed.

    Reply
  264. Ready to Hurl

    Lexie, one need only read your posts and draw well-supported conclusions since you’re apparently unwilling to admit openly what you wish.
    Like Randy, I’ll have start compiling Lexie’s Revealing Posts because you’re denying your obvious agenda.
    (1) You think that public schools are “socialism.”
    (2) You’re opposed to “socialism” (such as public highways).
    (3) Ipso facto, you’re opposed to public schools as a manifestation of “socialism.”
    Ad hominem— 1. appealing to one’s prejudices, emotions, or special interests rather than to one’s intellect or reason.
    2. attacking an opponent’s character rather than answering his argument.
    I, in no way, attack your character by noting that you favor replacing public education with private or parochial schools funded by tax dollars. Do you think that your position is something to be ashamed or embarrassed about?
    If I alleged that you look like Mr. Potatohead; that would be an ad hominem attack.
    If I note that you favor private roads over publicly funded roads then am I “appealing to one’s prejudices, emotions, or special interests rather than to one’s intellect or reason”?
    The obvious answer is no.

    Reply
  265. Ready to Hurl

    Lexie you could clear this up by simply saying “I don’t favor replacing public schools with tax-funded private and parochial schools.”
    But, then you’d have to explain why you favor “socialism.”

    Reply
  266. Lee

    How about just replace the government schools and the tax-funded private schools with a totally free market system, like the one that supplies the most prosperous consumers in history?
    We want to help the children.
    A lot of government apologists want to help themselves to more face time in the trough.

    Reply
  267. LexWolf

    Interestingly enough, the US is distinctly in the minority on school choice. Government-funded school choice in other countries is as high as 76 percent and most of those countries do better than we do on test scores.
    The Right Thing: Why Liberals Should Be Pro-Choice
    The New Republic, October 8, 2001
    Diane Ravitch, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Governmental Studies
    …..
    Some comparisons are instructive. Among the modern industrialized nations of the world, the United States is in a minority on this issue. Of the thirty nations that are part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, only seven do not permit any government funding of K-12 private schools; in addition to the United States, they include Greece, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, and Turkey. The proportion of students in government-funded private schools is sizable in countries such as Australia (25 percent), Belgium (58 percent), Denmark (11 percent), France (16.8 percent), South Korea (21 percent), the Netherlands (76 percent), Spain (24 percent), and the United Kingdom (30 percent). The remaining sixteen nations subsidize private education, but their enrollments are smaller. In this category are countries such as Austria (7 percent), Canada (2 percent), Finland (4 percent), Luxembourg (6 percent), Sweden (2 percent), and Switzerland (2 percent). Yet even these small enrollments are significant: in the United States, 2 percent would translate into about one million children.
    In the countries that provide public funding for private schools, the government pays for all or part of the cost of non-public schools so that parental choice (and, in most cases, religious freedom) is not limited by the family’s ability to pay. In all instances, the government establishes quality standards and accountability for government-funded private schools. In some, students in the non-government schools must adhere to the national curriculum; in others, they must take the national test; in still others, the private school may develop its own curriculum and tests. Typically, the government requires independent schools that receive public funding to agree to respect the constitution and democratic values, as a way of ensuring that the state is not supporting schools that teach hateful ideologies.
    The OECD recently reported that demand for government-funded private school choice has grown in Belgium, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Spain. In the United States, on the other hand, the 14,000 or so students using vouchers in Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Florida are not even a blip in the nation’s educational statistics. Even public charter schools are a relatively minor phenomenon: their enrollment grew from zero to about 500,000 during the 1990s, but that is less than 1 percent of enrollment in American K-12 schools…….

    Reply
  268. Randy Ewart

    Government-funded school choice in other countries is as high as 76 percent and most of those countries do better than we do on test scores. – Lex
    Thanks for the overly simplistic analysis. Interestingly, from 2001-2003, the number of teachers in the US increased as did the amount of beer consumed. Using Lex’s analytical approach, it’s clear that all these new teachers must be drinking all this extra beer.
    Overlooked factors in the latter situation involving teachers and beer are the US population increase, beer commercialization factors, economic factors etc.
    A major overlooked factor in the former situation about schools is tracking. For example, in Belgium, high school students go to 4 different types of schools: academic (for college), vocational, technical, and art. In the US, ALL of our high school students are combined. Scores easily can result in an “apples to oranges” comparison.
    And, the US does a great deal more for her special ed students. In Belgium, these students are often shipped off to special schools in lieu of mainstreaming.
    Of course, Lex’s analysis doesn’t begin to touch the depth of the situation hence, it should be treated as the shallow and simplistic comparison that it is.

    Reply
  269. Randy Ewart

    I fully expect Lex to reply to my post by calling me “troll”, blaming teachers for the lack of private schools choice because their unions control the country, and ignoring the points that I make because they don’t fit into the “un-nuanced” (his term) analysis he likes to use to bolster his ideology.

    Reply
  270. LexWolf

    Two tries, and still no counter-argument or point. Only to be expected, though, considering the source.
    Anyway, with over 300 posts on this thread, it’s time to move on so I don’t have to keep scrolling down.
    The troll can have the last word.

    Reply
  271. Ready to Hurl

    Obviously, Lexie has a unique definition of “counter-arguments” or “points.”
    Randy made salient point about why the article that Lexie posted could be comparing apples and oranges.
    Lexie doesn’t think that pointing out that his evidence in favor of destroying public schools may be based on a faulty comparison.
    In Lexie-World refusing to acknowledge inconvenient facts is always the first resort.
    Lexie refuses to either admit that he favors “socialism” or that he’s consistent in his ideological opposition to public schools as a manifestation of “socialism.”
    Instead he pretends that a simple restating of his position is a personal attack.
    Talk about non sequitars.

    Reply
  272. Lee

    If other countries have socialized medicine, the “liberals” in this country hold them up as shining examples of progress.
    But any examples of free market solutions in other countries are ignored, dismissed without comment, or as “fascist”.

    Reply
  273. Randy Ewart

    Maybe we could have a free market solution in which a government official oversees the industry in which he makes millions – see child care article 9/17.

    Reply
  274. Lee

    700 miles of fence
    Last week the House passed The Secure Fence Act which calls for 700 miles of double
    layered fencing and improved surveillance along the southern border. It also
    reverses present policy and gives border agents the right to disable fleeing vehicles along the border.
    Then yesterday Senator Frist picked up the bill and appears determined to carry it
    into law. He actually filed parliamentary motions that will force the bill onto the
    Senate floor, saying ?It is time to secure the border with Mexico.?
    http://www.teamamericapac.org/plainpages/senatenumbers.htm
    (R) Jim DeMint (202) 224-6121
    (R) Lindsey Graham (202) 224-5972

    Reply
  275. Payday Loan Advocate

    The short term financial assistance that payday lenders offer, often are one of the fastest and safest ways out of a sticky financial situation if used responsibly. Unfortunately, people of somewhat political importance don’t see it this way, probably because they have never been in a situation that would require a little help from the payday loan industry. These bipartisan efforts to outlaw the entire industry just go to show how detached they are from real Americans. Get educated on the facts today and exercise your right to financial freedom on November 4th.
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