incoming (2005-51)

Illegal People

Violence vs. Ham Sandwiches

A Tennessee Dog-Whoopin’

Illegal People

First, the illegal or undocumented immigrants are off to a bad start; they have knowingly slipped across a river or over a wall that was intended as a barrier to entry. Their U.S. employers hired them in defiance of our laws. We can blink and say that all this is undocumented, but a better term is dishonest.

Second, while Mexico is a third-world country right on our border, we should keep in mind that there are many people in third-world countries—those in Africa, for example—who would come to the United States and work if they could just get here, and they would work at most anything. There are tougher places to make a living than in Mexico.

Third, there are many professionals and blue-collar workers doing well in other countries; a lot of them would love to come here, and build a career here. But in general they don’t subvert the law to gain entry.

Fourth, the suggestion that we’ve got a new modern slave trade going on is a very poor analogy. One hundred fifty years ago there were many slaves who had better characteristics than undocumented/dishonest immigrants, namely: honesty, loyalty, a sense of fairness, patriotism and a long-term objective to gain their freedom and be citizens of this country. Plus, they adapted to the culture of the United States and learned to speak the same language. Aren’t these the characteristics you’d like to see in the next wave of immigrants?

Glenn Marshall


Violence vs. Ham Sandwiches

Remember the ever-increasing attacks on American interests before Sept. 11, 2001? The bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, plane hijackings and passenger executions, bombings of military bases in Saudi Arabia, embassies in Africa, and the USS Cole? Each attack was more brazen, the attackers knowing that a tepid U.S. response was forthcoming? Since the United States reacted with force, I can’t think of a single attack on the United States or its facilities abroad since!

Why you believe unthinkable evil should be rewarded is beyond me. Why you would send aid to those who go to incredible lengths to kill innocent people who have done absolutely nothing to them defies all human logic. Instead, those rewarded for the actions of terrorists would more likely think, “I got food and clothing for the destruction of the World Trade Center! What will I get if our people blow up the Lincoln Tunnel, the Capitol Building, or the Golden Gate Bridge?  Maybe the stupid Americans will send us all BMWs!” Now that’s silly.

You start your column with an analogy about a little bully in a bar annoying a big guy, and the rest of your column is based on that analogy. The problem is your analogy is totally wrong in the way it represents terrorists. A much better analogy would be this: The little guy in the bar is annoying, just like you say, but the big guy learns to live with him and his bad behavior. Months later, the little bully waits until the big guy is having a good time at the bar, relaxed, unsuspecting, and sneaks into the big guy’s house, kills the big guy’s mother while she sleeps, poisons his dog, and pees in his coffee pot.  He then runs and hides, calls a newspaper reporter, and crows about the vicious blow he has dealt his “enemy.” While hiding from the now enraged big guy, he calls the papers and brags about his “brave deed” every chance he gets. Occasionally he sneaks around and cuts the tires on the big guy’s car or breaks a window out of his house.  But he never, ever, stands up and punches the big guy in the face. The little bully is weak and cowardly and will never face up to his “enemy” and punch him in the nose. Terrorists are cowards who never go toe-to-toe with anyone.

You claim the current administration labeled these criminals as “soldiers.” I don’t know who did, or if they did, and so I cannot argue that point. However, you clearly glorified them by calling them “warriors” in an earlier column of yours entitled “Terrorism is a Tactic” [Aug. 12, 2004]. I remember being amazed and angered that you would refer to the worst, most cowardly elements of humanity as “warriors.”

One of your suggested responses to 9/11 was to “unleash the CIA.”  This “unleashing” would involve fearsome acts such as to “spread pictures of them around with a ham sandwich in one hand and a beer in the other.” Now that’s a real unleashing of this nation’s most elite intelligence operatives! It reminds me of the circa-1960 plot to make Castro’s beard fall out. I’m not sure the world is ready for your level of cutting-edge covert ops.

More seriously, you suggest covertly killing or discrediting everyone who even appeared to have ties to the event. Two problems: One, we may have done that to some extent, and since the operations were covert, no one knows what the CIA did. Which leads to the second problem: True covert ops are invisible to almost everyone, so it appears to me, you, and the rest of the world that nothing is happening.

I wanted to see something happen after 9/11! I wanted the most overt operations possible! I had time for their “silliness!” I would have gone back on active duty in an instant, and would do so today, to do whatever I could to avenge the deaths of those Americans and to prevent it from happening again. Don’t talk about covert CIA operations, Steve. You don’t have a clue if they happened or not, and to imply that you do know is just plain stupid.

Your column was flawed from the start, with your scenario of the little bully hitting a much bigger guy square in the face. Not the way terrorists operate. Not the way of war in the Arab world, where children are used to clear minefields and young zealots are recruited to kill themselves and dozens of innocents in the name of a “holy war.”

I guess that makes me a member of “you people,” whoever we/they are, that you don’t understand. I know I certainly don’t understand you.

John Parrott


A Tennessee Dog-Whoopin’

The night was fairly lackluster, with the Dirty White Boy winning his match and good triumphing over evil, as it should. The crescendo of the evening was supposed to be a special tag team match with a celebrity referee. We were all wondering who this could possibly be. As the tension increased to a fever pitch, rumors abounded. Could it be Peyton Manning? Maybe Kenny Chesney, or possibly even David Keith? Well, if it hadn’t been for the kids, I would’ve asked for my toy back. It was City Councilman Joe Bailey.

Now Joe is a good guy; his folks are great people, although I would give the edge to his very sweet momma. His brother Jimmy and I grew up together. His brothers Jack and Jeff are my friends. His dear wife, who is carrying his first child, was even in attendance. I don’t have a problem with Joe’s professional career or his family. What I have a problem with is his referee skills.

The blatant disregard for the rules of Professional Wrestling was evident. Joe constantly allowed himself to be distracted while the bad guys applied an illegal chokehold. And the illegal use of fingers to the eyes was apparent to this one-time wrestling aficionado. Mr. Bailey, you still have my vote and respect, but sir, to quote the civics-deprived woman with big hair who blocked my view, “You may know how to run Washington, but you don’t know nuttin’ about no pro-’rasslin.”

Tim Burchett

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