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Old 11-10-2012, 08:18 PM   #1
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American Politics

And as we say our goodbyes to the election season and our Controversial Candidates thread, I think it's time we move on to bigger and better things. Seeing as we no longer have a place to discuss general politics, I think we need a new thread specifically for that - a "general" thread, if you will.

So I'll kick things off in the post I spoilered below to kind of get the ball rolling, I suppose. Or, ignore it, and start your own topic!

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Please take no offense to this, the few of you that may - it's all in good fun and debate .
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:24 PM   #2
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Hey look. unownmew's real name is Thomas Strickland. Wait, wasn't that someone from King of the Hill?

No, that was Strictland.

All that Facebook comment or post is, is fearmongering. I also like how it is "taking over our lives" when what is being put out is not Christian.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:36 PM   #3
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Something's telling me that was a bad way to get the ball rolling...
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:40 PM   #4
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Probably. Don't know how you're going to get debate, though, seeing how most people pretty much agree on most things.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:02 PM   #5
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Eh, I don't think we're as homogenous in our political beliefs as you think, T-Dos, but we will largely agree, I imagine.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:09 PM   #6
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A lot of us also take positions that can't actually be debated. As far as ethics/ideology are concerned, we could be all over the place, but might agree on a policy decision because the policy affects so many people, and can only assume a limited number of states.

VGM's post was way too teal deer for me and I couldn't focus on it, so my general opinion of American politics is that it's a system with strong regimes driving it that few people can exert total control. If you want to make big changes in America, it starts with education of the next generation and massive, coordinated unilateral political action. Most people are too lazy for a revolution like that, and not all those who participate are of a selfless enough caliber to work in the best interests of the team effort.

If I wanted to, I could find my way into a bureaucratic job in any state capitol. I know the methods for doing it. But what's the point of I'm not interested in the retirement, or my own little slice of heaven influencing the governing process in some small way?
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerichi View Post
Eh, I don't think we're as homogenous in our political beliefs as you think, T-Dos, but we will largely agree, I imagine.
Maybe if we get into the more finer points of certain topics, but based on the reaction to um, I'd say we're pretty homogeneous.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:32 PM   #8
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Christ, if you guys are part of a pinko commie leftie conspiracy, I'd love to see what he thinks of mainland Europe.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:45 PM   #9
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Thing that got me the most from that snippet...

"Eugenics (ethnic cleansing) most certainly is the driving force behind abortion."

I mean, come on now. That's just a blatant lie. As were many of the other things that he said there, but that's the one that really irks me out of everything. Heck, I don't even fully support abortion* and I'm offended by that. There's no "ethnic cleansing" reasoning involved at all. If that were the case, do you really think the Democratic Party would've nominated an African-American for the 2008 election? If anything, Democrats are increasing diversity by giving more rights to women and homosexuals. Stuff like this is why I just can't identify with the Republicans, even if I do agree with them on some points.

*I think it's okay up until the fetus has a beating heart
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:14 PM   #10
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It's quite funny though, in Freakonomics the authors make a pretty compelling case for Roe v Wade being a major contributant to the significant fall in the US Crime Rate seen since. It stands up logically as well.

Nothing ethnic directly in that (although I suspect the fact that poor people are more likely to come from minority ethnic groups means there is some indirect element)

Besides, minority ethnic groups vote pretty heavily Democrat so it would be crazy...unless he means ethnic cleansing of whites which in the context of the rest of the rant would seem likely, which is just plain dumb.

The OP is essentially a large barrel of fish with a machine gun poised over it though, so it's not really worth bothering with.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonely Cubone View Post
The OP is essentially a large barrel of fish with a machine gun poised over it though, so it's not really worth bothering with.
You asked for it. You got it.

BORKED

(Yeah, yeah, off-topic. I don't have much I want to say in response to what is either Obvious Troll or else Crazy Ideologue. Not exactly the best way to start the thread off indeed. ^^; )
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:20 AM   #12
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Let's actually discuss some issues that we may differ on

We've got an abortion thread already, so let's talk immigration. Under what circumstances are you fine folks okay with illegal immigrants being able to attain citizenship/permanent residency in the US? Do you approve of the DREAM act? What about illegal immigrants needing to "earn" citizenship through military service? Let's have some debate, as I can't imagine this is a topic we'd all be in lock step on.
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muyotwo View Post
We've got an abortion thread already, so let's talk immigration. Under what circumstances are you fine folks okay with illegal immigrants being able to attain citizenship/permanent residency in the US? Do you approve of the DREAM act? What about illegal immigrants needing to "earn" citizenship through military service? Let's have some debate, as I can't imagine this is a topic we'd all be in lock step on.
My mother is a legal immigrant to this country, and I can tell you almost all legal immigrants hate illegal ones; because of all the requirements they have to meet to get into the country, and the limitations on family members immigrating due to said requirements and US priority.

Illegal immigration rates are considered when setting quotas for legal immigration. This means that legal immigrants are penalized for an estimated number of legal immigrants. For someone coming from the Philippines, due to how priorities are set, sons/daughters/husbands/wives are allowed first, with brothers/sisters, and finally nephew/nieces/cousins after. On top of that priority is another for education. A man who married a Filipina doctor pretty much ensures she'll be in the United States ASAP, but if you're trying to bring your brother who has a high school education, his status depends on the number of immigrants into the US during that particular year.

I live my life by the law, so even if I didn't have a horse in this race, I'd still be against illegal immigration in principle. Economically I'm against it too...for whatever labour benefits the illegals bring, it's going to be a short-term exploitation of labour until no more illegals will be willing to pick tomatoes for pennies, and we'll be stuck with a larger population and (by extension) a higher poverty line.

I don't mind the Starship Troopers style of earning citizenship through military service, in fact I'd support repealing naturalized birth citizenship in the US. Who would argue in favour of that anyway, from anything but an philosophical standpoint? But the problem is that kind of incentive is best suited when bodies are needed, and our weaponized warfare has less use for bodies and there hasn't been a war bloody enoug to eat up would-be citizens.

My whole extended family was petitioned when I was born. In the 24 years since, two of my uncles and my grandfather have died. My aunt has cancer. I had six uncles and one aunt. If they all die, their kids can't come to the US on my mother's petition because their kinship is one more step removed.

Ultimately, illegal immigration debates tend to devolve into issues of fairness/equality, which are more fundamental than illegal immigration specifically. I'm not going to bring it up for that reason - it's an entirely different discussion.

In summary...

>Under what circumstances are you fine folks okay with illegal immigrants being able to attain citizenship/permanent residency in the US?

Political asylum. Otherwise, no dice.

>Do you approve of the DREAM act?

No.

>What about illegal immigrants needing to "earn" citizenship through military service?

No, not in this climate.
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:58 AM   #14
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I'm for citizenship for a child if the child of two illegal immigrants was born in the US. I'm pretty conflicted on a few things, as there are things about the DREAM Act I like, but there are also things I don't agree with. On the one hand, if the illegal citizen has already been living in the country for a very long time, they may as well become a full fledged citizen. On the other hand, I don't know if it's right.

I don't agree with the military service for citizenship, as Dopple said, not in this climate.

I don't know if deportation is an answer - it's all very confusing because there are so many gray areas, but you unfortunately can't pick and choose with a topic like this.

I think, what should really be discussed, is the state of applying to become a citizen. Those who actually go through the process of becoming one legally typically go through hell and back to do it, and then have to wait for a very long time, sometimes several years before the process is complete. That is absurd. There is no real way to accurately describe the copious amounts of bullshit that is the legal immigration system of the United States.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:11 AM   #15
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I am a legal immigrant to the United States and I do not hate illegal immigrants.

That being said, I mostly agree with deo. In principle, the DREAM Act is a good thing (much like NCLB), but it should be changed. The problem with this (not like NCLB) is that I have no idea what to change. Right now, it seems like it gives incentive for folks to cross the border illegally and just try to dodge the police for a few years before qualifying for permanent residency (though if they've managed to be productive people in this time, then maybe it isn't such a bad thing). I feel like part of the problem is the drug wars in Mexico, as people might be just seeking a stable environment to raise their family. But on the other side of the coin, the DREAM Act could be used by cartel members to further their operations.

I'm not familiar with the current process of becoming a legal immigrant, as when my family went through it (before 9/11 as well as the illegal immigration boom) it wasn't a long and arduous process. This could be because my mother was applying for a student visa to get her PhD, and as Doppel said, people with higher education may get theirs faster. If the current process is bogged down by a lot of bullshit, though, streamlining it would certainly help.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:11 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger View Post
My mother is a legal immigrant to this country, and I can tell you almost all legal immigrants hate illegal ones.
And as the son of two legal immigrants, I can tell you that it is not this cut and dry.

Speaking for myself (I want to clarify that I am doing this and not speaking on behalf of my parents, given the above rebuke of Doppel's sweeping generalization), I feel that the biggest ethical problem with illegal immigration is that it is unfair to those who try to become citizens legally. The #1 reason immigrants are told they can't come to America is that we're already filled to capacity and have met our immigrant quota. Even as far back as the 1980s when the population was roughly 238 million (July '85), it could be difficult for foreigners to immigrate to the United States unless they met one of the following criteria:
  • life immediately in danger and only the quality of American medicine could save them
  • children are in America; spouse is in America
  • fleeing a war zone
Things like this. If you were Joe Schmoe and you just wanted to come to America "for a chance at a better life," you probably were going to get turned away. That seems to be especially true now. So basically, the reasoning goes, if you're a law-abiding person who isn't in any dire need to get to America, you're not getting admitted. Is this 100% true? Of course not. We still admit legal immigrants yearly. But there is more than a kernel of truth to the argument. The majority of people who want to emigrate to the United States are told they cannot because of capacity issues.

So when illegal immigrants, by the nature of illegally immigrating, "cut in line" ahead of those who are waiting to immigrate legally, they exacerbate the problem. This, to me, is the primary ethical argument against illegal immigration. Not the "took er jerbs!" xenophobic arguments. Not the "they're a drain on our economy" arguments. Not the "they bring crime and drugs with them" arguments. But the ethically basic "they cut in line and that's not fair" argument.

So the question becomes, is this line of reasoning strong enough that we should strive to deport illegals? Should they be deported en masse? Should we set up rigorous border patrols? Or is the war on illegal immigration as futile and misguided as many claim the war on drugs is? Y'see, the first question leads naturally to this second question. Is the war on illegal immigration futile? and if so, is there any merit in fighting a lost cause?

I'll leave you with those thoughts for now.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:41 AM   #17
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Deportation by itself isn't good enough, it's expensive, prolonged and non-permanent. There's nothing to stop the deported illegal from coming back eventually, and the numbers are severe enough that deportation is a symbolic gesture only.

One of the nastiest solutions I've seen, and the most vocally opposed, is to construct something like a "great wall" along the southern border of the United States. It not only stops illegal immigration, but drug smuggling as well. It would be a public works project that would help with employment. Combine such preventative measures with deportation, and we might see the illegal immigrant problem abate.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:11 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger View Post
One of the nastiest solutions I've seen, and the most vocally opposed, is to construct something like a "great wall" along the southern border of the United States. It not only stops illegal immigration, but drug smuggling as well. It would be a public works project that would help with employment. Combine such preventative measures with deportation, and we might see the illegal immigrant problem abate.
Although only made from wood and rising "only" 14 feet off of the ground, they've pretty much already done this in Arizona. See:

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Old 11-11-2012, 11:13 AM   #19
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Just to ask the American participants: by illegal immigrants, are you talking mostly about the Mexican ones or are there other nationalities as well? Because the Mexicans are the problem I keep hearing about over and over again.

Hard to take part in this conversation otherwise, since I'm not American nor have I ever been there.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:20 AM   #20
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Illegal immigration refers almost exclusively to Mexicans entering the United States. While it technically includes illegal immigration from elsewhere (I know the stories of Asians sneaking in tankers) the ocean barrier makes that kind of immigration a more manageable problem.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:57 AM   #21
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Canadians, Cubans, and Europeans as well.

However, it generally refers to people from Mexico, because stereotypes.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:47 PM   #22
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I was torn between bumping the election thread (given this story clearly relates) and posting it here. Ended up deciding to go for here since the core issue at hand goes beyond the election.

BBC reports 100,000 petition White House for right to secede

I originally wrote some thoughts up but I worry they will bias people too much. So ... I'll just leave the link there and let you guys discuss it amongst yourselves first.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:58 PM   #23
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Quote:
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I was torn between bumping the election thread (given this story clearly relates) and posting it here. Ended up deciding to go for here since the core issue at hand goes beyond the election.

BBC reports 100,000 petition White House for right to secede

I originally wrote some thoughts up but I worry they will bias people too much. So ... I'll just leave the link there and let you guys discuss it amongst yourselves first.
They're using the TSA as the reason why their rights are being violated. While it may be true, the TSA was formed under their boy GWB.
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:07 AM   #24
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This is just ridiculous.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:12 PM   #25
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How exactly would seceding from the Union be good for any of those states?
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