10 April 2006

Immigrant Song

We come from the land of the ice and snow, from the midnight sun where the hot springs blow. The hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new lands, To fight the horde, singing and crying: Valhalla, I am coming!

On we sweep with threshing oar, Our only goal will be the western shore.

So now you'd better stop and rebuild all your ruins, For peace and trust can win the day despite of all your losing.

The Mrs. and I were married in Italy five years ago. The process was a bit more involved than renting a DVD from Blockbuster. We needed copies of birth certificates translated into Italian. We needed those notarized by an Italian speaker. Those needed endorsement from the office of the Secretary of State of Minnesota. Those needed to jump through more hoops at an Italian consulate - nearest one for us being on Michigan Avenue. More of this sort of procedure went on once we got to Rome. We dotted I's and crossed T's, and ultimately delivered an impressive stack of stuff to city hall in Positano where a delighted city clerk clapped her hands together and said "you will be married on Wednesday."

At no time did we holler at anyone for not "doing it" in English. We never stomped our feet and accused the Italians of making life difficult for us. We never accused Italians of overwrought nationalism. We never broke out the Stars and Bars and marched up Via del Corso demanded some imagined rights like spoiled children. We did not behave this way because it was not our country. We also did not do this because we have respect and reverence for Italy and were grateful for the opportunity to be married there; the only sanction being to play by their rules. No problem. Happy to comply. This is where my head is at with these absurd immigration protests. Although it says editor on my business card, I'm unable to craft all this into 3 neat paragraphs, so forgive the Larry King-like all over the place stream of consciousness:

Where are all the people who actually care about American sovereignty? They certainly are not in Washington, where they cannot decide what day of he week it is. The fools are too spineless to do anything that might be seen as taking action, and both side think they can out feet-drag the other side of the aisle so THEY wind up looking like the good guys to the Hispanic electorate.

Yea, Hispanic, and primarily Mexican. Funny how the Scots, Canadians, French, Japanese, etc., are not demanding the world on an American platter. This blog has long lamented the death of shame, and how it is wholly absent form so any who wield so much power. How can Vicente Fox look at himself in the mirror? His people are making the rats on the proverbial sinking ship look like procrastinators. What a crappy leader; what a crappy state Mexico is in.

It just makes my head ache to see all the usual suspects out for a protest: Illegal immigrants, living wage advocates, Haliburton runs everything-types, social justice socialists, homeless hucksters, dried-up Black Panthers, hybrid car drivers, free-tuition heavies, the mandatory abortion crowd, the impeach Bush now gang, trans-gender bicyclists for the whales, and the nemesis of Opus the penguin; Ladies Against Women. Each and every one of them wants it all for free and without barrier, real or imagined.

What was missing, though, among all the twisted Che boilerplate, and all the anti-globalization bile, and all the save-the-redwoods literature was not one person with the slightest sense of irony. One guy who took the podium over the weekend in St. Paul was the head of a hotel company pleading for all the sub market-wage labor he could get. If this guy had been a republican, the crowd would have stoned him to death for such crass eagerness to exploit cheap labor for his glass and chrome empire, but when you're among progressives, you can puke up any soft of jive and get ignoratnt ovations.

At best, the brunt of these mobs are poorly represented. At worst, they must be among the most naive or stupid of any class of immigrant. What a display of nerve and lack of class to march in the streets and flying the flags of foreign countries all while telling Americans how it's gong to be. Just because you made across the border does not entitle you to the prize of citizenship and all its spoils. You scream for rights and demand your dignity; try complying with the laws of the land and then come see us about your alleged dignity.

The lazy mantra is that the Mexicans are here doing the jobs that Americans won't take. Does anyone on Earth besides me wonder about the downward wage pressure from a revolving door of terribly poor people willing to work for anything that keeps these wages below what Americans are accustomed to? If there were no illegal immigrants, do you think the entire hospitality industry would screech to to a halt? Of course not. A night in a Super 8 would cost $9 more, Barbacoa would be an extra $1.30, and the roof on your garage would be maybe $100 more. In all 3 cases; that's nothin.'

These days, too many Americans are afraid of America. They are so desperate to place all cultures and values equal to our own that they cannot see ourselves shedding our own national identity. To cherish this country and what it stands for is not selfish, racist or condescending. It is fundamentally necessary.

Good night and good luck indeed.

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