As I mentioned before, the fact that you can shut down debate, or get what you want, by playing the "terrorist threat" or "national security" card is really ridiculous.
This morning, NPR was talking about the new immigration "crisis" we're facing. And I heard some southern congressman drawling away about how this would let in one to two hundred million Mexicans (huh?).
Let me say from the outset I think that the anti-Mexican-immigration thing is nothing more than racism, pure and simple. I live in Southern California and, as a group, the latino immigrants to this area are some of the hardest working people I know. I complain about my hours, but they're not half as bad, and I get paid a ton of money more. These are decent hard working people trying to make their lives better (which, I had thought, was the whole point of the USA). The announced motives to exlude them are, to be honest, horses*it. They aren't taking jobs from Americans? How many white southern Californians do you see clamouring for gardening or cleaning or busboy jobs? And the unemployment rate certainly doesn't reflect any sort of theft of jobs from "Americans."
No, the only reason I can see that all these Republican nutjobs want to get rid of them is that they're dark skinned and don't speak English as their first language.
But what a gift Sept. 11 gave to racists everywhere. We don't need to show our colours and say we don't like them because they're different. We can say that they're threats!
Now, I don't know about you, but I haven't seen all that many terrorist luchadores troups or Mariachi bands. Can anyone tell me the last time a terrorist snuck across the border from Mexico? Or from Canada? I seem to recall that terrorists entered the US lawfully via an airport. Any danger from terrorism comes from nutjob islamic extremists, not hard working Mexicans who want nothing more than a step up.
But in this present climate, National Security always works. Don't like immigrants? National security's your ticket. Don't like garbage? It's that dangerous terrorist garbage! Don't like abortion? Remember, every dead foetus helps the terrorists! Journalists reporting on government abuses? Giving comfort to the enemy.
What a great country we've become.