livin’ la vida mocha

That professional football is a business I know all too well. Since the day of the unceremonious firing of the honorable Tom Landry, I have been painfully conscious of it. That singular event muted my rooting enthusiasm permanently, but still I clung to my team.

Eventually, and much like in earlier years, a new crop of Good Guys helped me not to notice the occasional rotten coach or player. You see, I still want to root for the guys in the white hats even if in the real world, perfect heroes are not to be found. The Cowboys were just good enough for my willful disbelief to be sustained.

So imagine my horror when MY football team signed the infamous and odious Terrell Owens.

The day after the Owens signing I saw some idiot wearing a Cowboy’s jersey with his name and number on it. At that moment, I though about how quickly attitudes can change when Character Doesn’t Matter anymore. The new mantra has become “whatever helps my team win is good.”

This fundamental shift in what people look for in their sports heroes set me thinking about all kinds of things. Things like who we, the American people, have become. And the more I contemplated our corporate identity, the more it seemed that Americans have changed over the last four decades in fundamental and profound ways.

Whether Americans or I have changed or not, it is my first responsibility to keep my own house in order. When I stop and reflect, I know that my inability to root for the Cowboys this year is truly inconsequential to my life outside of spoiling a few Sunday afternoons. Afternoons should be more profitably spent anyway.

So in my small quest for self-improvement, I quickly noticed that I needed to find more time for prayer. Since I started a new job some weeks ago, the miles involved in that change caused me to lose access to the Church sanctuary I used regularly during the week. I knew that I was overdue to fix the situation.

To my dismay, looking for a place to pray on a day that is not Sunday has made me feel like TO looking for a football team willing to take him. The difficulty has been shocking. I do not begrudge Churches their locked doors even if I find the realities of good stewardship unfortunate. In fact, my old place of respite was always locked and a very nice lady was always there to let me in when I knocked. But Church after Church was the same experience: locked doors and groundskeepers staring at the strange fool who wanted in the Sunday Place.

I went to a LOT of Churches.

At three of them, at least I actually got to see a kind friendly face. The friendly looks seemed to give way to confusion when I asked if I could use the sanctuary or other chapel for prayer, but each did offer places to pray. The one offering that wasn’t a couch in a hallway was a brightly lit glass walled sitting room next to the entrance of a busy day care facility. Sadly, all three of these churches had nice big sanctuaries sitting dark and lifeless.

There was a fourth Church I snuck into. My intention was not to sneak but there wasn’t a soul around to ask permission of. Perhaps this would be a good place I thought as I entered and sat in a pew. I could not help but notice how beautiful the place was. It was so magnificent, perfect and unused as to feel sterile, almost surreal.

As I prayed silently, two older gentleman entered as well. They were talking loudly and examining the magnificent architecture seemingly oblivious to my presence initially. When I noticed their repeated inhospitable glances my direction as they loudly toured the facility, I did as they wished and left as quietly as I had entered. I skipped my usual practice of dropping a small offering on the way out: it was better to let others pay to polish this edifice of excess.

Slowly then it has dawned on me that even here in the Bible Belt the ancient tradition of going to a holy place for quiet contemplation and prayer is essentially dead. Our Churches have become Sunday Places. Not a place for life, but a place for a weekly fill-up. The signs outside our theaters invite us eagerly to the Sunday matinee.

I have to admit, I am jealous of those who can make it on a single fill-up for the entire week. My mileage is not nearly so good.

Perhaps I get poor mileage because of the time I spend in the drive through lines at Starbucks. After all, when I want a mocha, I want it quick. Unfortunately, I increasingly find that when Starbucks is not quick, my anger often is. My defense is that it is all a part of my conditioning as a modern. If a website does not appear in a couple of seconds, the back button takes me quickly to Google where I try the next link on the list. For better or worse, we are all living at the speed of the Internet.

One’s tank can get drawn down pretty quickly in Internet paced plastic America.

Americans have become so comfortable with plastic things that we are remaking our notions of even our most fundamental values with the stuff. A prominent nominally Christian evangelist starts their slick television production with the theme, “This is Your Day”. It is no longer God’s day apparently: the world revolves around me.

I can see now that the future really was plastics.

Truly, both the Owens signing and Sunday Places fit our plastic lives perfectly. If MY Cowboys are to win at internet speed, then how they go about it is of little consequence. If I am to be sanctified, then I need to get it done efficiently in the time allotted on my Outlook calendar for Sunday. I want what I want, when I want it.

The greatest concern of franchise owners and ministers is that back button and the cornucopia of choices.

We are so fortunate in America because our Horns are truly full of Plenty. I would not trade life here in the land of Milk Duds and Honey Buns for that available elsewhere—at least not yet. But when I look a little harder and see that the horn is made of polycarbonate fiber and the fruit is enhanced with genetically modified high-fructose corn syrup, I can not help but wonder if life at the speed of electrons leaves too much of the past behind too quickly.

But then, what do I know. I still pop my popcorn in a pan on the stove top when the world has long moved on to microwave packets. I am a true Curmudgeon, I suppose, finding pan-popped more satisfying because it tastes better. More satisfying like football with respectable players. Like prayer on a weekday when I just need it.

Really, is it any wonder at all that microwave politicians leave most of us feeling empty?

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39 thoughts on “livin’ la vida mocha”

  1. Common Good: “<>Wow… a nationwide semi-orgainized protest, with almost zero violence.<>”Hmmm. A day of showing America the clout of Illegal’s by withholding their economic effect resulted in zero violence. I don’t think that was the intended economic effect they wanted you to notice. I thought you were on their side. 🙂 “<>… but why is killing Indians to get rights and land noble and risking your life {only your’s} to cross a desert to work in a land where half the population views you as lessor humans NOT NOBLE.<>”You see, this, this is evidence that the current hug-a-tree, trans-gendered, save-the-owl-darters, hole-in-the-ozone, Washington-had-twelve-wives, Gaia-is-our-true-god, Abraham-was-a-homosexual, your-being-judgemental, you-evolved-from-primordial-slime, Heather-has-two-Mommies, ban-the-Bible educational system has failed us miserably. THANK GOD I got to go back to original source documents and journals and teach my children about an America so different, so very different, than Hollywood, radical deviant political groups, and our educational institutions now teach. Unbelievable.“<>I say these guys should do this as many times as it takes to make the knuckle-draggers “get it”<>”I’m ready for the year long boycott. No cheaters. Every last one of the Illegal’s must participate. We want this to be a success! Who’s with me?Prof. Ricardo

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  2. Wow… a nationwide semi-orgainized protest, with almost zero violence. These guys did themselves proud. So many with so little, with politicians threatening their families and those that help them with felonies.. and no violence. Sure ruins that “gang member” blanket bs. I will take a million of these folks any day over the part of the population preaching to them “you haven’t earned your rights”. Not to repeat myself… but why is killing Indians to get rights and land noble and risking your life {only your’s} to cross a desert to work in a land where half the population views you as lessor humans NOT NOBLE. I guess killing Indians was legal and crossing the border is illegal… doh!… it’s the rules stupid. Well… a few Dems get economics. We just lost one… Kenneth Galbraith. He seemed to have “gotten” economics more than any eat-your-own-kill laissez-faire worshiper ever will.A tip of the hat to any of the peaceful protestors reading Curm’s blog. I salute you… and stand in line with you {in spirit}.btw… it occurs to me the so called damage to our economy was much more a damage to corporations squeezing cheap labor out of the immigrants than any personal economic damage. I’m in… I say these guys should do this as many times as it takes to make the knuckle-draggers “get it”. It will take several more… humility isn’t something they will swallow easily.

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  3. I actually consider myself more/ less a Republican. I notice this group has split into two camps. The business-elite types that write books about economics, made fortunes on the stock market, etc.These are the ones saying let the Mexicans in, they are good for the economy. They say that these people who are determined to make a living against all odds are the kind of people America needs. Then there are the other “Republicans,” you know, the pawns in this game, the kind that think we should feed homosexuals to the lions and like to eat low quality food from Sam’s Wholesale, and are usually big, fat, and ignorant rednecks, or the next evolutionary step-up from that. And they are vocal about those “law-breakers.” I tend to take the words of advice from the rich white people, not the Rednecks that are just afraid of foreign people because they are so uneducated.As for the success of America, it’s not merely our political and economic system that put us where we are. It was also a lot of luck, historical, geographical, etc.

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  4. Common,“<>I will not accept the nonsense rantings of politicians or citizens claiming this a illegal immigration problem.<>”That’s all it is to me. “<>This is a failure of our government… not a failure of any kind of a human being seeking to improve their lives.<>”100% of all human beings want to improve their lives. There are a plethora of nations to choose from. Each has a different level of political/economic freedom along the spectrum. Those nations with greater political/economic freedom have less poverty and a higher standard of living. To differentiate nations and entities, we define their range, scope, borders, etc. We have chosen a form of representative government that has produced one of the highest standard of livings for the average person, the world has ever seen. So much so that people want to flock to the promise land. The boat people left oppression. My CVS photoprocessor was from Syria. He said they would go into your house in the middle of the night, drag you naked into the street and beat you in front of your family. Mexico is a corrupt socialist hell hole that a starving populace is trying to flee (at least economically). The answer is not to bring 106 million Mexicans into our benevolent arms, as well as another 6 billion the world over. You think your lawn care is cheap now, try a team from S. Yemen. If your immigration policy is to limit those coming in to those who want to come in, then you have no immigration policy. You’re letting the patients run the asylum. You’re letting the inmates set their departure date. You’re letting the law breakers determine what the law is.When you say that you will not accept that this is an illegal immigration problem, you define yourself out of any way to understand what is going on. I haven’t heard anyone say send the Latinos home, or stop immigration, or anything similar. Only ENFORCE THE LAWS!You want to change the laws, FINE! But whatever they are, enforce them.HOWEVER, in response to being called a bigot, a racist, it is interesting to note the anti-white, anti-European, anti-American flood of words coming from protestors, LULAC, NAACP, etc. and the totally lack of such quotes from those opposed to an open border or immigration lawlessness.How about take something the Mexican government wants (open borders) and use it to our advantage. How about DEMAND economic/political freedoms in their country for slight increases in allowed immigration and other immigration concessions.One problem. Dem-O-Libs don’t understand economics. They would demand that Mexico tax itself to death, nationalize the energy industry, and create nationalized heathless insurance. What once was understood and worked and has brought the envy of the world is misunderstood by an increasingly clueless population devoid of even a modicum of economics laws. Listen to the rants about obscene profits of petroleum companies for examples.You say the one argument opponents to illegal immigration have, that is that they are opposed to illegal immigration, is bogus, LEAVES YOU in the position of making stuff up if in fact there is a great body of people that want an enforced border policy.Do not make the mistake of defining yourself out of a position to understand what is going on. It will destroy any good you could contribute to the discussion.Prof. Ricardo

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  5. Yoshi,<>Common Good, would you validate what I’m saying? Is that not a dead-on analysis of what is happening here?<>Insecurity is certainly part of it… but not with Prof. Prof is a rules guy… you and I buck them (the rules). You can have extremes on both ends… you could have so few rules that society collapses in Chaos, and you could could have so many rules you become a theocracy. Happy pluralism land is somewhere in the middle {much closer to our end}. Nothing trumps rules and laws for the rules guys. The rule buckers and questioners like us two nomads view rules and laws as serving human beings, and not the other way around. Current laws are just the current illusion of {we have it about right}… and therefore we can justify those that fall through the cracks with our laws and our economy… call it set-your-conscience-free laws(illusions). There is no end to our illusion building, and you touched on some of the ironies. Before we could even spawn the rules/laws/tradition worshiping loyal American, we had to go to war with the mother country (so much for those traditions… guess one gets to pick when it’s time for new ones… which maybe that’s what the Mexican are doing). We invaded the Indians… the Mexican are invading us. If we get off without our families masacred… I would call that a win. In order to build that American tradition base that the anti-pluralists clings to… we had to masacre one heck of a lot of native American tradition. I guess those with the biggest stick get to degree what traditions will be created and followed. Our glorious traditons were birthed between Indian masacres and slavery. It’s all an illusion… the best we can ever do is learn how to live together. I’m saddened by the undercurrent I see expressed so clearly in this event. Yoshi, I would say it’s more about so many needing to feel superior to someone else… anyone else will do. Truly… it must be built into our genepool. See the monkies keeping the other monkies out. Prof… yes I am for an organized legal approach. However… while I’m waiting on our government’s fearless leaders to address the problem, I will not accept the nonsense rantings of politicians or citizens claiming this a illegal immigration problem. This is a failure of our government… not a failure of any kind of a human being seeking to improve their lives. I’m hoping for enough immigrants to one day crush the anti-pluralism that makes it so difficult to live together. Be honest.. this isn’t really a rule of law problem… this is a “this is OUR country problem”.

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  6. That is truly scary. Why people can’t just be normal and make it easier on all the rest of us? It’s probably a good reason we should have prayer in school up until 5th grade at least… maybe some of it would sink in at an early age like that…

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  7. Above I said: “Which brings me to Iraq. As we occupy, we need to have American culture infiltrate and attach to the people and geography.”I was a day late and a dollar short….Latino < HREF="http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-gangs01.html" REL="nofollow">Gangs claim their turf in Iraq<>.

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  8. So does that God-given governing stuff apply to Communist governments where they force you to have an abortion? Even if you believe that, I don’t.I don’t insult Christians. Mormons are weird, and so is D. Koresh. And they aren’t Christians by my standards, but they are by their standards. But you miss the point entirely. I’m only saying you can’t group all these people together, drug-dealer gangsters from Mexico with grape pickers, any more than I can lump myself and yoyu in with Jimmy Swaggert. Believe me, you are in a category of Christianity that is totally unique and new from my perspective. It’s some hybrid kind I’m just starting to learn about.Yes, we need to Westernize the Middle East. Global homogenous culture is what I’m going for. The “New World Order” as former President Bush said. I want their tacos, and I want to sell them our hamburgers. As for your argument about California, Texas, they were there first. We basically took it from them because we were stronger. They didn’t just sneak in and change the name to “Saint Anthony” San Antonio or “the City of Angels” Los Angeles or “the Body of Christ” Corpus Christi. Those names were already there. So their culture was here already when we got there with our chuckwagons. You know, this is all about Catholicism actually. White protestants are pissed because they are materialistic and want to have the big middle class house and boat and have birth control and abortions all day, and here come the Mexicans who care about the important things, families, etc, and they have lots of children. And they are breeding us out. I said this earlier. It’s about insecurity. Trailer park people fear losing thier culture. Sophisticated whites such as me love it, because it makes us more cosmopolitan.

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  9. Yoshi: “<>Nuts are peppered into everything (check Christianity for example, where the wackiest really are.<>”Insulting Christians is a common thread for you. Its why I questioned your Christianity last year. David Koresh raped young girls and claimed to be Jesus come in the flesh. You have lumped him in with “Christians.” It either says something about your feelings of Christians or your understanding of Christianity. But I digress….“<>S.California is Mexican. So is S.Texas. I mean, the political lines on the map is American, but the cultures are Mexican. San Antonio is Mexican….Culturally Mexican, administered politically by America. They were speaking Spanish there before they were speaking English…..but I’m saying that Mexicans have a cultural claim on those places, and a right to live there….<>”Let me understand the principles involved here. Infiltrate a country legally and illegally. If they don’t treat you badly and kick your hiney out, linger and infiltrate with your culture. Once your cultures imprint is geographically recognized for that area, you have homesteaded “and a right to live there.” Which brings me to Iraq. As we occupy, we need to have American culture infiltrate and attach to the people and geography. Once it becomes a recognized component of our people and the places they are, we will have “a right to live there.” You’re starting to sway me here, Yoshi.“<>Rights are given by God, and our laws should reflect that. So change the laws, give them amnesty. Why do you care?<>”Because rewarding law breakers with giving them what they are trying to steal (citizenship and the its proper rights) and succumbing to the demands of criminals when their allegiance is not to the country they want their “rights” in is so self-evident, I can’t imagine you are missing this.“<>I can’t believe all that mumbo-jumbo about Christianity from you and here it is that you just turn out to be a racially insecure bigot.<>Here is some more “mumbo-jumbo” for you:Romans 13:1 <>Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.<>Uh, Yohsi, that would include immigration laws. The current ones, not the ones you wished were here. Yep, I’m a judicial bigot.“<>Let’s get these illegals in some kind of computer database where we can regulate them and keep tabs on them.<>”I suppose that would make them documented, but if they decline, what the hey, give them amnesty, after all, What’s it to ya?Prof. Ricardo

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  10. Common Good: “<>However, I think 99% of that danger is caused by the host and bigotry rather than the actions of the guest.<>”I remember when I had my car broken into many years ago. It was 99% my fault. I locked the doors. Had I left the doors open, he wouldn’t have had to break the window. Had I left the radio on the seat rather than attached to the dash, he wouldn’t have had to use a crow bar on my dash doing $500 worth of damage on the dash. And I know he did it for his family because he stole the baby stroller with attached toys as well. I am sorry I was such a poor host. We must be more considerate of what we expect the actions of our guests. And, of course, we must check such bigotry against law breakers. I feel ashamed. . . NOT!P.R.

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  11. “It seems like you want an organized, controlled method of allowing them in.”The problem Professor, that no one will be honest enough to admit, is not the they are breaking the law that’s the problem. We can come up with an organized way to get them in here faster, safer, etc. If all you are concerned about is them breaking the law, this should be a great solution from your point of view.Here’s the problem though. Sone white people are insecure about losing their culture that we stole from the British and ruined. It’s the same reason white people stop watching football when they hire black quarterbacks. Or why white guys don’t like it when a black guy is with a pretty young blonde white girl. We all know it’s true. Call it whatever you want, but it’s insecurity. It’s only rednecks and lower class folk that are threatened by Spanish speakers. Obviously, they are the most vocal about it. With their southern, trailer park twang, and their bumper stickers on thier financed trucks that make them feel like their genitals are larger than they are, they say “Learn to speak English!” Coincidence? Common Good, would you validate what I’m saying? Is that not a dead-on analysis of what is happening here? And so, if we start allowing those brown people in, people won’t be appeased. Professor will probably get over it. He’s intelligent enough to agree with what we are saying. I’m guessing it’s just he’s just too old and ingrained in an ol’ Southern racist way of thinking, and he probably feels he has to be loyal to some old social construct he’s been brainwashed into. It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks, bless his heart.

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  12. Common Good: “<>However, I think 99% of that danger is caused by the host and bigotry rather than the actions of the guest.<>”Oh really.“<>Never allow people in other than…. Don’t let them in if ….<>”My, my. It seems like you want an organized, controlled method of allowing them in. That would involve laws…..and having them obeyed. The question before us is not LEGAL immigration but ILLEGAL. The problem is they aren’t obeying the law WHATEVER that law is. You can change the law. Big deal. The problem is they are not OBEYING the law. And what the flaming rip kind of nation are we if it is the immigrants who determine our immigration policy? Sounds more than a little limp-wristed wussyness to me.P.R.

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  13. Prof. Should-be-a-French-citizen-from-Paris,Of course, there are some super-militant Latin racist whackos out there. Nuts are peppered into everything (check Christianity for example, where the wackiest really are. Mormons, David Koresh, Jerry Farwell, etc.) That doesn’t delegitimize the whole movement. Actually, the site you gave brings up a point. S.California is Mexican. So is S.Texas. I mean, the political lines on the map is American, but the cultures are Mexican. San Antonio is Mexican. Los Angeles, San Diego, are Mexican. Just check the names bro. Culturally Mexican, administered politically by America. They were speaking Spanish there before they were speaking English. So any “just” judge would concede that. I’m not saying give it back politically to Mexico, but I’m saying that Mexicans have a cultural claim on those places, and a right to live there. Rights are given by God, and our laws should reflect that. So change the laws, give them amnesty. Why do you care? I can’t believe all that mumbo-jumbo about Christianity from you and here it is that you just turn out to be a racially insecure bigot. We might as well be “realistic” as Bush said. Let’s get these illegals in some kind of computer database where we can regulate them and keep tabs on them. Because we are getting a net profit on these people. And cut health services if you want, so you nationalist guys will lose your alleged reason for whining. Cause like it or not, these people are here to stay. You can’t win this one. America isn’t E. Germany, or N. Korea. Please stop trying to make it that way. As for those evil men who didn’t go to work, of course, the whole point is to show America how economically valuable they are. Sounds like was effective.

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  14. Prof,I second the danger of failing to assimilate. However, I think 99% of that danger is caused by the host and bigotry rather than the actions of the guest. Society guests are a bad concept anyway. Never allow people in other than those given a full and quick path to citzenship. Europe is a perfect example of the combination of arrogance, bigotry and a stupid immigration program. Don’t let them in if you don’t intend to treat them as full class citizens in a prompt time frame. I think we need to allow more Mexican immigrants, and the state needs to do this. The “more” probably needs to be a rotation schedule of “6 months on”, or maybe even “3 months on”. If we divide the available immigrant work in half, twice as many Mexicans get to make some improvement to their lives. We should have permanent 24 x 7 state sponsored (not necessarily state run) buses (and maybe airplanes) going back and forth. The path to citizenship would first be earned year round stay in the US… but we need to help more (not less) Mexican get a foot in that life improvement door.

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  15. C.G.: “<>If all you are seeing in this event is criminals, then I have to suggest corrective lenses for my friend.<>”I’m well aware of their composition. Talk to a client yesterday. A construction crew of 7 didn’t show. Five had green cards. Three white guys showed up. My client in his late 60’s was helping them do a bit of hard labor. Some or all of no shows may be fired. One of his concrete layers said the whole crew didn’t show. The concrete foundation to be laid was important and needed to be timely done. It was more important for these “wanting to make a better life” to tell the country that promises them a better life, gives them medical care, and teaches their children for free, “Up Yours!”No they weren’t all criminals. But they were in solidarity with breaking current immigration law. None of them know what laws should be in place, they just want blanket amnesty, the Gringo to shut up, and keep those American dollars flowing.“<>There is a difference between visiting your country and visiting your home. Even when visiting your home, we would be talking about a difference in politeness… not a difference in custom. In fact, I always thought it was the host who tried to make the guest feel comfortable, not the other way around.<>”Social grace demands that you accommodate others period. When you are a guest, its nice to know that leaving one hand in your lap in Japan is considered rude. Here in the south it is considered polite. In Japan certain numbers, like our number “13” are considered bad. When you are a host you overlook your guest attempts at grace that may have missed the mark. Their current attitude – not all Hispanics, not all immigrants, just those marching – is no attempt at assimilation. Did you go to the link I gave in the last blog? Here it is again: http://www.mexica-movement.org/granmarcha.htmCheck it out and tell me the sad story of their trying to make it a better life by becoming Americans.Prof. Ricardo

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  16. Also Prof. Frenchie, you seriously think that some of them (a small handful at best) haven’t learned English just so they can keep getting all these benefits? That’s almost laughable.As for the rule of law, everyone knows if you have money for a good lawyer, of course, sometimes you get a year in a posh jail cell with a big screen TV, but you more or less get to keep the money you stole. And as for the murder, I’m referring to the OJ Simpson incident, as well as the others I’ve seen come out of California in the past few years.Yea, yea, yea, “just judges, just juries.” In a perfect world where no one uses curse words maybe. But for now, let’s get real. And talk about logic, don’t try and equate murder or white collar crime worth people’s life savings with immigrants who just couldn’t wait 10 years for the bureacratic government agencies to process them “legally.” I would imagine you more than anyone here would understand how inefficient government agencies are in getting anything done. That’s the only reason they’re “illegal criminals.” Privatize the process. Let people pay their way in. Let some people get fired for taking 5 hour coffee breaks at immigration. I’ve dealt with these people personally. They get paid for nothing, just like the people at the nursing homes, the schools, etc. Privatize it somehow. I’m sure there’s a way. Okay, and fair enough. Deny them all those benefits that I’ve never heard about from anyone but you (so they are questionable.) But just in case, let’s cut them out of all benefits. But sales tax, they pay those, so they’ve a right to whatever that’s used for. “apparently are not smart enough to become citizens under the laws that the rest of us have.”What the? See above. If they’d make it a little easier to get in here. Like I said, the bureacracy takes too long, so a black market fills the void. Privatize it somehow. It’s the American way.

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  17. Common Good, you hit the nail on the head with that one. What criminals is Prof. Frenchie talking about? First, about Spanish. Yes, I think all immigrants should learn Spanish. Good for commerce, etc. And guess what? Almost every Spanish guest we have that I come across is learning and speaks some. It does take a little time Professor. It isn’t some pill you can take. And I still stand behind the notion we should all learn Spanish. Why? Because America doesn’t have to be a bunch of lazy, uncultured ignorant Rednecks. We should learn Spanish, it’s part of our Southwest heritage. It makes us more marketable, more sophisticated. So how ’bout a compromise. All immigrants learn English. And all of us learn Spanish. I’m in. By the way, Tony is right. Few of us speak proper English, not even the President. So where do we get off because a Hispanic doesn’t speak perfect?

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  18. Hey, don’t call me a racist. I agree though that there is a lot of racism in all of this crap.What I mean is clearly this: when in Rome, it is most profitable to do as the Romans do. It is just simple common sense.I certainly am a strong supporter of more foreign language education. Sadly, our pathetic public school system, and even more pathetic dumbed down society that feeds those schools, can’t even teach English effectively.A very sad state of affairs indeed.

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  19. <>Ask me if the criminal immigrant march impressed me.<>If all you are seeing in this event is criminals, then I have to suggest corrective lenses for my friend.btw… why would another human being owe you anything on the custom front when visiting your country. There is a difference between visiting your country and visiting your home. Even when visiting your home, we would be talking about a difference in politeness… not a difference in custom. In fact, I always thought it was the host who tried to make the guest feel comfortable, not the other way around.

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  20. Yohsi: “<>What? Why should they have to learn English any more than we have to learn Spanish? <>”How about out of politeness and consideration? How about because it is historically our chosen language and the most internationally known language for commerce? How about because it would speed commerce and bring them into a level playing field not being pandered to by Democrats and Republicans seeking votes and out of that victim-hood mode that earns them so much attention and free stuff…….er…….OK. I get it.“<>Legality is all a matter of “if you got ….money, then it’s legal. Even legal to kill your damn wife. But if you don’t got money, it’s “against the law” to try and secure a better life for your family.<>”I’m disappointed in you Yoshi. I figured you would have seen the logical error in your statement above.The rule of law is what prevents the king (or wealthy) from skirting the law. With a just judge, and a just jury, and just laws, then all are treated equal. Murder is murder regardless of the criminals characteristics and regardless of the victim’s characteristics. It is not the wealthy that bypasses the rule of law. It is our bias or prejudice in his favor.However, your supposed offense at the wealthy bypassing the rule of law falls flat on its face when you excuse such flouting of the rule of law by certain people, because their motives are supposedly more honorable, to “secure a better life for your family.”These individuals that you praise for their higher intellect because they know more than one language, apparently are not smart enough to become citizens under the laws that the rest of us have. But, that of course depends on if that is their true objective. When they marched the first time they flew Mexico flags. After they found out that wasn’t good PR in America (DUH? Intellectual superiority?) They nixed the Mexico flags and wrapped themselves in the US flag. Notice where their allegiance was when they weren’t concerned with how it looked. Where your treasure is, there will be your heart also. And so the dollars flow with vigor to Mexico and become their second largest cash crop (pun intended).“<>I say we do this the market way. Everyone wins….Let’s privatize it. For two grand, which is roughly what it costs coyotes to bring immigrants over, let’s process them in, expidite the procedure. Then the government make 2 thousand dollars a head!!!! <>”Which would then be used up at the first visit of said illegal immigrants on their first visit at the county hospital for FREE medical care. If you want to privatize it, have all immigrants pay their own medical, own schooling, own interpreter expense for the luxury of making other nations conduct business in YOUR language rather than the historic native language of the land.My wife has made several trips to Europe. Each time she made extraordinary efforts to learn the language and customs and geography of the area she was visiting. Since she was the visitor she felt compelled to accommodate them rather than to be accommodated. Yet, what attitude is expressed towards this country that attracts the world, but one of stick it to the whites, the rich, the Americans, the Gringos, as if it was the U.S. of America’s policy to wet-nurse every whiney, tantrum throwing, person who seeks wealth and the good life as though it were an entitlement, and particularly, if it causes displeasure to those native to this country.Ask me if the criminal immigrant march impressed me. On second thought, don’t bother.Prof. Ricardo

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  21. <>I think that it is a shame when immigrants do not learn English. I do not think I would compell them to learn, but I have some sympathy for the thought that it keeps them a lower productivity levels than if they learn.<>I agree it’s a shame for them, but think the “you have to learn English” is just a bunch of racist talk dressed up in Nationalism. The Hannity’s of the world just got their panties all in a wad because some dude had the nerve to create our anthem in Spanish. I heard someone quote a stat that only 40% of the American public new the words to our anthem in the first place. And other interest in our anthem (any interest and in any language) hurts our country… HOW? Some people just can’t seem to handle the concept they are no better than others…. and the irony, they are worse than others.Yoshi… you are exactly right. How many home owners who get frustrated with their lawn service workers bad English can even come close to speaking another language. These folks are working hard and just getting by… and yet they speak 1 1/2 languages. That’s almost always a half language more than the rest of us.

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  22. I’m all for immigrants learning English for their sake. But I think it should be mandatory that we learn Spanish. Because it’s a pride thing. C’mon, every European and Asian and African speaks more than one language, surely us white trash rednecks can learn another language as well? Right?There should be one of those lines from Jeff Foxworthy…“if you don’t speak a second language, you might be a redneck.”

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  23. Well, I’m working on a blog post on immigration. Hopefully in the next day or two.I think that it is a shame when immigrants do not learn English. I do not think I would compell them to learn, but I have some sympathy for the thought that it keeps them a lower productivity levels than if they learn. Anyway, I have a lot of thoughts here that I will be sharing shortly.

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  24. Bigotry is what a lot of it is. I was at a school the other day and heard the secretary get off the phone (with a Mexican, I presume). The secretary was flustered and said, “if you want to live in America, learn English!”What? Why should they have to learn English any more than we have to learn Spanish? I mean, it kind of makes me insecure as a “white” guy to know that these “brown” folks (that most of us white trash think we are so much better than) can speak not one, but TWO languages. That alone is a testament to our stupidity. Common Good was right on in his last posts. Legality is all a matter of “if you got fucking money, then it’s legal. Even legal to kill your damn wife. But if you don’t got money, it’s “against the law” to try and secure a better life for your family. I say we do this the market way. Everyone wins. The coyotes are merely a black market provider, since the legal route is simply too bogged down (like every government agency is). Let’s privatize it. For two grand, which is roughly what it costs coyotes to bring immigrants over, let’s process them in, expidite the procedure. Then the government make 2 thousand dollars a head!!!! Just keep out the ex-cons and Mexicans with visas and passport stamps for Pakistan. Or charge them extra.

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  25. Actually, it occurs to me that I do support illegal immigration. Of course, I think it’s an oxymoron to call desperate people crossing a border to feed themselves and their families ILLEGAL. Stupid laws should be broken. If our nation requires a better policy, then that’s on us… not the desperate soul crossing the desert. The tradition clinging anti-pluralism strain that runs through our society in this country is both off base, and pathetic. You must speak English, you must sing our anthem in English, we are a Christian nation, don’t follow our laws exactly right while doing those jobs that are beneath the rest of us… get a fine, get shipped back home like the convict you are. These are our morals. Add to those morals a pat on the back for an American life/dream lived well at the collection of your $400 million retirement package. $400 million collected from a public company in the business of retrieving nation’s natural resources and selling them back to the same citizen base. Maximum harvest for a few at the expense of everyone else in the same society. They tell me it’s illegal for the poverty stricken Mexican to come here and work in agriculture, hotels, yard service… but it’s legal for that Enron fat bastard to swim in natural resource profits. Strange when you think about it. Maybe we need to work on that law thing. It all just makes me want to hurl.

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  26. Unfortunately, much like every other form of political action in our society, this boycott is ill-conceived and unlikely to accomplish anything significant. I’d love to support the immigrants in some fashion, but I do not support illegal immigration. On the other hand, those who want to make currently illegal immigrants into felons are somewhere between cruel and insane.One interesting thing I heard of was a restaurant chain here in Dallas that was contributing all of its profits for the day to charities that support the needs of immigrants. Their statement was really nice saying that they knew a lot of their employees wanted to support the cause, but that they could not take off because they need the money to eat. Most unsurprisingly, the CEO of that company was a naturalized US citizen.I hope the movement gets organized and focused because there is a lot of work to be done on the immigration issue. And if they don’t get focused soon, all the noise thus far will amount to nothing at all.And for the record, I don’t think the anti-immigrant sentiment is all about greed. I think there is equal measures of bigotry and fear mixed in. I think many politicians cultivate support by very artfully feeding the fears with rhetoric that sounds neutral.

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  27. I wish I could be there in line with the {illegals} today. I would spit at those people that want to fine poor people for trying to feed their kids. Morons… a nation of morons and greed.Speaking of greed. It occurs to me it is only those that reach a certain amount of financial success in eat-your-own-kill laissez-fair USA that have the time and the luxury to define what “too much greed” in our society is. It certainly isn’t these folks in the streets today… they are too busy trying to survive. They will have to leave the greed defining to others.

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  28. By the way Professor, after so long of substitute teaching, I’ve realized that there is no reason tax-payers should be expected to pay for “students” who DO NOT WANT to be there. I’d say about 95% of of the kids are just there as if they are in a prison 8 hours a day. Imagine how much the quality of the schools could improve, how much money could be saved, it kids could “opt-out” of the system?I think if you want free public schooling, then you can sign up for it, and if you don’t want to go there and act like a normal human being, then you don’t need to be there.There are kids who are there and are learning, disciplined kids, good kids, and they are distracted by the 99% of the rest of the class that are there just to goof-off.

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  29. “a relative that had committed adultery. A fine upstanding Christian. Until this happened at least. How did it happen? Without knowing the particulars, I bet they skipped that mid-week fill-up, and the consequences are as painful as they are real.”Sounds like the consequences aren’t so painful to me. He might be getting out of a dead, old relationship and into a new, growing one.Maybe it’s the wife’s fault. Maybe she got a little too complacent. Talk about skipping the mid-week fill-up, it seems there are most “wives” out there are only just that, a “wife.” Nothing interesting about them except that they like to kiss their husband’s ass all day and laugh at his unfunny jokes. They start equating their success with their husband’s success, and they try to piggy-back on him their whole lives. If there is a recipe to build restentment towards a spouse, that’s got to be it.I meet so many dumb young women out there, who only want to be a “wife.” They think it’s their ticket to everlasting security. Sorry ladies, but you have to keep it interesting. Because when your looks run out, YOU’D BETTER HAVE SOMETHING TO OFFER. Otherwise, be prepared to get dumped for the 25 year old European girl who reads literature in the park and who your kids like better than they do you. When I get married, I hope the woman I’m with always remains a mystery, at least, I mean, I hope there is always something new for me to learn about her, always a little distance I’ll never be able to make it across. That to me seems the only way for a marriage to ever last.And of course, this street goes both ways.

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  30. Nice post. There are so many different church philosophies of dealing with the world. Some have become “Sunday places” like you said. Some are a busy grand central station of activity of numerous ministries and ministers. Some separate from the world so much that they aren’t available as an example or to minister. Other church congregations co-mingle so well with the world, its hard to see the difference, its hard to see the light shine because it looks, sounds, and acts like the world.I don’t think you need to be jealous of those who can make it on a single “fill up.” Either they are being fed by scripture reading, media evangelist, small groups, or they really aren’t being nourished in the faith. Once a week doesn’t do it for me and too often my personal lapses of being nourished during the week (none of my excuses are valid) leave me undernourished. But if we distract ourselves enough, we don’t notice our spiritual tummy grumbles and it eventually shows.Its almost like being on an excellent diet and exercise program. You feel great, you look great, birds tweet, the sun shines, and everything is wonderful. You feel good enough that you think you can skip a workout and have a Little Debbie Swill Roll. You rock along nourished in the faith, you’re at peace, then work or other time wasters creep in and in no time your spiritual Dunlap begins to show.Friends of mine recently told me of a relative that had committed adultery. A fine upstanding Christian. Until this happened at least. How did it happen? Without knowing the particulars, I bet they skipped that mid-week fill-up, and the consequences are as painful as they are real.Prof. Ricardo

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  31. CG,I have never said or implied that human nature has itself changed. After all, Adam Smith disciples built this land on the bedrock of human avarice. I’m very realistic about that.But I do think there has been a historical counterbalance in America wherein individuals would put their group’s interest ahead of their own. Generally, this was exhibit on a small and close scale. Helping the neighbor cope with a challenge was not just common, but a social norm.Their are many examples of the change I describe, but I would point to two. First, I would point to the Black Sox scandal. Were that to occur today, Shoeless Joe would suffer hardly a dent in reputation or income. A century ago however, the shame was complete and overpowered everything else. Contrast this with our treatment of Pete Rose or Barry Bonds. It really is a stark shift in attitudes.The second thing I would point to is the volunteer spirit that existed in this formerly great nation at the time of the Second World War. It is almost shocking to remember that even prior to the Day that Would Live in Infamy, many thousand Americans where already serving overseas in foreign militaries because of a sense of duty to their fellow man. When we were attacked directly, the rush of volunteers was immediate and enormous.I’m not saying that In the Good Old Days everything was perfect and honorable. What I am saying is that the social norms were different. We valued integrity and community spirit even if we did not always align as well as we should with those ideals.And that is what is changed. The ideals are dead. The only ideal remaining is the market. We have substituted the market as mystical Platonic ideal that solves all problems.

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  32. Tony,I agree and disagree. I agree humans are generally made up of the plastic material. I disagree that there was ever a time where people were much different. Circumstances change… human nature does not. Survival at the birth of our country required communities pulling together… I don’t for a second think people were any less self-interested then. Sure… we have had a couple hundred years of perfecting <>getting ours<>, but mainly it’s the same greedy natures wrapped up with more wealth. Our entire Capitalistic culture seems to be built around “getting ours with no concept of ENOUGH”. Why would anyone wake one day to a shocking conclusion that humans are less than satisfying. If you build a nation around “getting yours”, then that’s what you will get. It’s not that complicated really. I don’t think any other culture or society can claim to be much different… perhaps just marginally. I also give some pass to humans because even if the planet was filled with angels, there is no escaping the fact this life thing is a tough gig. Our only hope has always been our minds… using our minds to win out over human nature. I’m sorry to say, my very good friend… it turns out our minds were no match for what they were up against. < HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060418/pl_nm/energy_exxon_senator_dc;_ylt=Am4Q5sVgldOejnZp5eUENLkEtbAF;_ylu=X3oDMTBhZDJjOXUyBHNlYwNtdm5ld3M-" REL="nofollow">Same human nature… just dipped in more cash<>

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