Immigration and War
If the number of comments is an indication of what our readers really care about, the top two subjects these days are immigration and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The comment-getting winner today tells us that a federal judge has barred the Bush administration from launching its crackdown on U.S. companies that employ illegal immigrants. The runner-up is about the Army offering cash bonuses of up to $35,000 in an attempt to retain young officers, many of whom have found repeated deployments a good reason to leave the service.
Meanwhile, if you're sick of this stuff, read and comment on William Booth's mahvelous profile of Billy Crystal, who tonight at the Kennedy Center will receive the Mark Twain prize for American humor.
The comments on the judge's ruling oppose it overwhelmingly, although the action was sought by an interesting coalition that included the AFL-CIO, the American Civil Liberties Union and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Readers employ the familiar arguments that what's illegal is illegal, that there is a threat to the country that the ruling ignores, that immigrants place demands on public services and, of course, that this is exactly what you would expect of a Clinton-appointed judge on the notoriously liberal 9th Circuit, based in California.
The ruling does have its defenders, however, and we'll start with chrisfox8, who wrote, "Bravo to this judge. It's gonna take a lot more than some undocumented workers before the American people give their blessing to a POGROM."
But ronjaboy seems to have just such an outcome in mind in saying, "Unless they do something pretty soon it's going to be open season on the illegals. We'll be hunting them in the streets and the people down on the border will be picking them off as they come across the border."
StarsAndStripesForever, another of our superpatriots, said, "This Judge should be impeached and disbarred! Then the 9th CIRCUS court should be closed down and burned to the ground!"
And Saladin3 said, "wow 9th circuit sides with illegals, that's a shocker!
Oh please this is a non story, now if the 4th circuit [in Richmond, regarded as the conservative antithesis to the 9th] had done this you'd have something"
Carrick319 opined that "Justice is served one more time. Although a lot has been said about judges applying "selective justice," I knew that they weren't going to approve "cracking" illegal immigrants if it was going to "harm" some legal citizens."
And drihl expressed the frustration many law-abiding citizens feel, in saying, "This is a no brainer. It is the responsibility of the employee to prove they are citizens. I was born here, but still had to show 2 forms of proof (one from column A, one from column B). If there is a problem with a SSN, then the employee should be made aware of it just like the employer. Maybe the time frame could be modified, or the penelties for failure better defines, but doing nothing isn't an option eather!"
Now to Cash Bonuses. Some of our readers were sympathetic to both the military's needs and the individual officer's decisions to take the money. Others repeated the assertion that this is just another proof that an all-volunteer army is basically a band of mercenaries. And Blackwater comparisons also played a role.
For example, twistedreality109 wrote, "Captains make 50K to 60K, Blackwater agents paid over $200K by US taxpayeers and operate outside the law. The government's answer, a token 30K for 3 more years. What's wrong with this picture?"
And ggwalt123 said, "Why would anyone want to stay in the military when he/she can make far more money being a mercenary for Blackwater, have better equipment, and operate outside the law?... There was a time I thought military service would be a good option, but not as long as our country is in the hands of crazy people who view war as the first and only alternative."
But RobertTaylor1 said, "Come to think about it, the $30,000 bonus is a small compensation for the Captains and Majors who worked overtime and risked their lives over the past 3 years. This bonus is a compensation but it is disguised as bonuses to retain the services of the Captains and Majors..."
negotiator6 said that, "...money cannot be the prime motivation. If soldiers do not believe in the mission or have lost faith with their leaders, then leaving the Army is normally the only option..."
alzach disagreed, writing, "Mercenary: A soldier who is induced by money to join and serve in the military. Forget about all the talk about the honor and the glory, folks. It all boils down to the money."
However, therebel, commenting on the retention problem that is the genesis of the signing bonus, asked, "could it be they are sick of the mess that W created?"
And MajorConfusion gets the last word: "I expected nothing but anti-military pabulum from most of you pukes. Boy was I not disappointed. Any of you ever wear the uniform?"
Comments on the Army's cash bonus plan are here.
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