Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Some lawbreakers are more equal than others

Dems Push Ahead With DREAM Act, as ICE Offers New Guidelines for Illegal Immigrant Cases
Sen. Dick Durbin plans to make a full-court press Tuesday to revive the debate over a controversial proposal to give illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children a path to legal status, as the Obama administration moves on a separate track to grant what some describe as "amnesty" to the same group.

The hearing and a recent memo from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement suggest officials are moving on two fronts to give illegal immigrant students a chance at staying.

The memo issued June 17 from ICE Director John Morton instructs staff to consider 19 factors when exercising "prosecutorial discretion" -- or the discretion an ICE attorney has in deciding whether and how to pursue or dismiss an immigration case.

What if there was a memo that suggested "discretion" could be used when prosecuting white drug dealers? Would that be equal justice under the law?

When those in the executive branch issue memos instructing people to refuse to enforce the laws written by the legislative branch we have a serious problem.

Again I ask, which laws can the rest of us ignore?

24 comments:

DAVE01 said...

Where's the libs screaming about abuse of power and illegal activities by our president and his administration? Obama's minions don't mind if he breaks the law as long as it fits their agenda of hurting America.

Kaelri said...

@Daniel:

> Which laws can the rest of us ignore?

Well, I can give you some examples.

In Texas, it is illegal to have a pair of pliers in one's possession. In Connecticut, it is illegal to walk across a street on your hands. In Florida, it is illegal to sing in a public place while wearing a swimsuit, or to parachute on a Sunday. In Indiana, you may not ride in a public streetcar within four hours of eating garlic. In Massachusetts, there is a law against wearing a goatee without paying a license fee, and another that prohibits snoring unless your bedroom windows are closed and securely locked. In Oklahoma, you can be fined, arrested or jailed for making faces at a dog.

Here's another act that was pretty unambiguously illegal: the Boston Tea Party. Also when some private citizens fired weapons at British soldiers in a pair of towns called Lexington and Concord.

Now, before anyone decides to willfully misinterpret my meaning: I am not saying that illegal immigration is morally comparable to the Revolutionary War. I am saying that your simplistic position on crime - as expressed in your favorite marching slogan, "enforce the damn law" - would have put you on the side of the Loyalists. Against Thomas Jefferson, against Susan B. Anthony, against Martin Luther King.

Consequently, I know that you don't really believe in it. You believe in exceptions. You believe in "discretion." So don't pretend that there's a fundamental difference between Jose Antonio Vargas and the people I listed just because he's adding a new skin color to the mix. This country has a long history of celebrating lawbreakers whose causes were ultimately vindicated. That doesn't mean illegal immigrants are automatically heroes; it means that we have a responsibility to take each case on its merits. All crime is not equal, and I know you don't disagree.

@Dave01:

> Where's the libs screaming about abuse of power and illegal activities by our president and his administration?

Man, you haven't been paying attention, have you. Read Glenn Greenwald. Andrew Sullivan. Arthur Silber. Bill Press. Arianna Huffington. Watch Maddow, for heaven's sake. This President has kept Guantanamo Bay open, expanded the Afghanistan war, continued illegal drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, violated the War Powers Act with regard to Libya, and tortured Bradley Manning. And it drives liberals up a wall. Especially people like me, whose criticism of President Bush focused on his foreign policy and disregard for constitutional separation of powers. I do not march behind Barack Obama in lockstep, and I never expected to agree with every decision he made - nor do I feel obligated to make myself an apologist. But on the whole, I do continue to support and believe in his presidency. I think that's the part that frustrates you, Dave.

Anonymous said...

What about unlawful gun possession laws???

Scottiebill said...

And we don't want to forget about all the laws that are broken by simply ignoring them. This is especially true when it comes to The Shyster General of the U.S., Eric Holder. And of course, The Komrade Doofus and his immediate family, the children excepted. They all do what they damn well want to do, and to hell with the wishes and advice of their minions and sycophants, all at the expense of the taxpayers.

Scottiebill

Mike from Stumptown said...

Kaelri said:
But on the whole, I do continue to support and believe in his presidency.

Really? After Obama has turned out to be GWB squared?

DAVE01 said...

Kaelri, you still support him when he lies about everything? I thought my kids mother was the biggest liar I've ever seen. I haven't seen her in over twenty years. Obama makes her look like Abe Lincoln. Your political view are all fucked up, but you don't seem like an idiot, why would you believe anything he says and why do you still support him?

I guess the following still holds to be a fact. Liberalism is a mental disorder.

Leo said...

Kaelri:

1) Regarding the Boston Tea Party, I've made that point numerous times here. If you get a response from Miglavs, it'll be a first.

2) Another example: Jaywalking. This happens all the time, everywhere. In city and country. Quite possibly millions of times a day. Where are the Miglavians, demanding that police "enforce the damn law"? This is, bottom line, a public safety issue. The law must be enforced. All laws. They must be enforced. Right Miglavs? I mean, jaywalking might be considered a "gateway crime." One day you're cutting across Burnside between blocks, the next you're robbing a bank!!! It's a slippery slope!

Kaelri said...

@Dave01, @Mike: You're misrepresenting what I said. I disagree strongly with some of the policies that this administration has pursued, but I don't conceive the President to be "lying about everything." I'm old enough to recognize that the only person who's going to agree with me about everything is me, and the only person who doesn't make mistakes is - well, no one, actually. So a purity test for politicians is pointless, because they'll always fail by virtue of being human.

What's important is that I generally approve of the President's character, his approach to governing, and his political objectives. I can't think of many individuals whom I think are better-suited to the challenges of the modern presidency. And I wouldn't say the same about any of the current Republican alternatives.

More relevantly, I agree with President Obama's position that people who love and want to contribute to this country shouldn't be punished for their parents' attitudes toward paperwork. I don't think my birth certificate is what makes me an American, and I'm less interested in abstract, unattainable ideals, like the deportation of 10 million people based on a bureaucratic technicality, than I am in a pragmatic approach to complicated problems. I think the DREAM Act represents the right approach, socially and economically, for reasons that we've discussed before. The alternative - the purity test - is a violent, callous and expensive goal that would require expanding the scope and power of the federal government beyond the constraints of its charter. That radical approach destroyed one empire in the 20th century, and I don't want us to be next.

MAX Redline said...

require expanding the scope and power of the federal government beyond the constraints of its charter

That has already been done, and Barry's goal is to further that expansion.

ObamaCare. Libya. Yemen. TSA. The release of 30 million barrels from the SPR. You know, there are 28 countries in the IEA, which recently announced that it would release 60 million barrels. How is it that half of that total comes from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves of but one country - the USA?

Where in our charter does it say that the federal government has the right to demand that you purchase a specific product?

Where in our charter does it grant the President the power to unilaterally make war? Oh, that's right - it's not really a war, those are kinetic military actions. I suppose it all depends upon what your definition of the word,"is" is.

Where in our charter does it call for the establishment of a federal Department of Education? And why has that massive department never hired so much as one teacher?

The federal government is already out of control; Barry just wants to grow it some more.

Kaelri said...

I'll post my response to that as soon as Blogger stops eating it. (I don't even have any links, so I dunno what its problem is.)

Anonymous said...

"Government that's out of control..."

Then why are we as a nation allowing it?

And is the federal government going to sue every state in the union before it decides to do ITS JOB!

All that it takes is just a minor change in the constitution for a better checks and balance by allowing a vote of no-confidence such as parliament uses to remove an elected official and then, and only then... will government be more responsive to the needs of its people.

Anonymous said...

Of course Obama is lying about everything. DUH! What, exactly, do you think he told the truth about. When he and his administration is finally investigated, and they will be, it will turn out to be a criminal thugocracy breaking laws and infringing on our rights like we never could have anticipated. This man belongs in jail.

DAVE01 said...

kaelri, I don't know where to start. I will say, I like when you say, "scope and power of the federal government beyond the constraints of its charter". It's okay for the government to force me to buy a service or product, but they can't enforce the part in the US constitution where it says each state shall be guaranteed against an invasion.

I view over twenty million foreigners who do not have legal permission to be in the US as an invasion. If twenty million Americans ran into mexico in a few years, they would view it as an invasion. Any country would view that in a similar way.

You contradict yourself. Do you want the federal government doing its job or not?

If you don't believer that obama is lying to you, that's your problem. The only agenda he wants is his own. You are simply a tool for him. His whole history has been nothing but lies and dishonorable actions.

I remember first hearing about him when he had his republican opponents sealed divorce records unsealed. That's pretty fucking low. Obama will use whatever tactic he can to win. The end justifies the means to him. You have to be blind to not see him for what he is.

Obama has been around communists and socialists his whole life. Those type of people are scum. Those are the people who steal the fruits of other people's labor. They will murder other people they don't like because of their skin color, race, ethnicity, class.

Obama has proved all the things that are negative about him. He is not the smartest president we have ever had. He will go down in history ad destroying the US. Unless he is allowed to write the history. We will and are becoming just another country. American greatness and exceptionalism has been destroyed because people like you support people like Obama.

Finally, the government should round up the criminal aliens, that is their job. Read the US Constitution.

Anonymous said...

Those are the people who steal the fruits of other people's labor....

So do capitalists, Dave.

Anonymous said...

Daniel, the Republican writer Paul Craig Roberts answers your question nicely:

US president George W. Bush’s designated lawyer ruled that the president has “unitary powers” that elevate him above statutory US law, treaties, and international law. According to this lawyer’s legal decisions, the “unitary executive” can violate with impunity the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which prevents spying on Americans without warrants obtained from the FISA Court. Bush’s man also ruled that Bush could violate with impunity the statutory US laws against torture as well as the Geneva Conventions. In other words, the fictional “unitary powers” make the president into a Caesar.

So you see Daniel, the example's set at the top. Lead by example.

During eight years of Bush/Cheney, what did you have to say about this?

DAVE01 said...

ANON 10:19 AM
How so?

Anonymous said...

Two words for you, Dave: Surplus value. Look it up. Read about it. Think about it.

DAVE01 said...

Good ole Karl Marx. He's the reason one hundred million people were murdered last century. Why doesn't the laborer just charge more for his labor cost? The laborer can just negotiate more for his labor. It happens all the time.

Can you tell me again why communism is so wonderful? Was it the murder of one hundred million men, women and children? Was it how poor and desolate the communists countries became? Was it the fact that innovation and creativity was crap? Look at N Korea. It's a shining example. Maybe it was the poor health of the citizens that holds that system in such high esteem. It seems as if man has not learned recent history very well.

I remember reading stories when I was younger about when communists defected like their MIG pilots. Some of them would have to return to commie land because of the cultural shock. Do you know why? Because they would go to grocery stores and not see any lines. They were told that capitalism was evil and poor and whatever. They also showed movies of the US during the great depression. The defectors also wondered why if the Americans were so poor (during the great depression), why were there so many cars. You see, the average commie didn't get a car.

You have failed to learn from your history. The average American has a lot more than the average citizen of any commie country. You need to spend some time in commie countries. They are truly evil. Why don't you volunteer to go down to Cuba and be a citizen and liver there and let me know in ten years how it's going? Kinda like put your money where your mouth is.

When I was in the army in basic training, we had a song for our platoon. It had a line in it I won't forget to this day. "Kill a commie for mommie."

You are just one of the have nots who want to take from the people who have. You are just wrapping up common thuggery and theft in some grand idea.

Which group of human beings do you hate and want to exterminate? Blacks, christians, muslims or the always hated jews?

Anonymous said...

Tell you again why communism is so wonderful? For me to do that, I would have had to tell you a first time. How can I repeat something I didn't even say in the first place?

You said that "communists" and "socialists" steal the fruits of other people's labor.

I replied that capitalists do as well. That is all I said.

You can hate Karl Marx all you want, but the concept of surplus value is not an opinion, it's not a theory, and it's not even a prescription or plan for any kind of political or social agenda. It is a fundamental fact of capitalist life.

Tell me, if that is not how profit is produced, how is it produced? Where does it come from?

By simply pointing out a FACT of economics, you have deduced that:

1) I don't know history.
2) I'm a communist and/or that I "love" communism.
3) That I hate and wish to "exterminate" blacks, christians, muslims or Jews.

Particularly regarding #3, I would ordinarily think that it's not even necessary for me to point out the epic, laugh-out-loud lunacy of such an assertion, but I realize that I'm talking to you, so I guess it is necessary.

DAVE01 said...

Did you even read the definition of surplus value? It's a marxist concept. You might view it as part of capitalism, I do not. So, you are saying the worker deserves a larger chunk of the pie. Did the worker invest his life savings? Did the worker take the risk of losing everything? No!

I remember twenty years ago when I worked for a company that made a pretty good profit. A lot of the older guys wanted a larger share of the profit (surplus value). They asked the owner why they couldn't invest in some type of stock or shares. We had a bonus program that was ok. Well the owner said no. He said no because when he started the business with his money, he asked the employees if they wanted to invest in the business. They said no at that time. In the beginning the employees didn't want to 'risk' their money for the surplus profit, when things got great after a few years, they were all willing to 'risk' their money for the surplus profit.

Workers these days are able to get that surplus value by investing (risking) their money with the company they work for or go work for a company that will allow that, or they can start their own business.

You may find it funny when I ask which group you want to exterminate, but that is usually what happens when the left wing crazies get power.

Look at Obama, he allows blacks to intimidate white ate polling booths. These days blacks are allowed to assault whites and commit race crimes and they are not called race crimes. Only whites can commit race crimes.

Anonymous said...

You don't view surplus value as part of capitalism? That's like saying that you don't view gravity as part of physics. Or you don't view Mars as part of the Solar System. Look: You can argue that surplus value isn't exploitative, but you're not entitled to argue that it doesn't exist. For someone who professes to be a fan of American capitalism, you sure as hell don't understand how it works. Do you view profit as part of capitalism? Then you must view surplus value as part of it, because that's what profit is, moron! It's the VALUE created by labor power that is over what is necessary to produce a product ... the SURPLUS, in other words. Do you agree that "surplus" is a word? Do you know what it means? Jesus! Pull your head out of your ass.

DAVE01 said...

I call it profit, you call it surplus value. Why didn't marx simply call it profit. They are one and same. Because he wanted to make it all warm and fuzzy as if something was stolen from the worker. Nothing was stolen from the worker. Nothing is forced on a worker in this country. They have every right to work for another company for that extra surplus value or start their own company. That's the beauty of our system.

In commie crazy land, you are told to work where the government wants you to work. The worker will never have a chance for more surplus value. That's stolen by the state and redistributed according to the heads of the government.

Anonymous said...

He did call it profit!!! He wrote massive volumes about it. You do not need to be a leftist, Marxist or communist to know that much of his analysis of how capitalism actually works was and remains sound. I've read quotes from Wall Street types and CEOs who say as much, grudgingly of course, but at least they're smart enough to recognize it. The phrase "surplus value" is in business dictionaries, for crying out loud.

You first state that you do not "view" surplus value as "part of capitalism," and now you state that profit and surplus value are "one and the same," WHICH IS WHAT I'M FUCKING SAYING!!!! Do you even know what your position is?

Anonymous said...

1:42- I think Dave's objection is that you say that capital is stolen from the workers, whereas Dave's position is that workers enter into contracts with businesses where workers get a set share of cash from the business, and the business gets to keep everything else. I think Dave would take the position that this is not stealing.

Let me know if I'm wrong.