How About a Little Skepticism Here?

I was emailed this photo as a "shocker" and "outrage" as it somehow is the smoking gun to show what immigrants are after.

Really?  You don't think there is any chance this is a plant or satire?  I understand that the folks protesting are far more radicalized, and have different goals, than the average immigrant, but it really takes a lot of credulousness to take this picture as representative of the goals of Mexican immigrants.


  1. Ken:

    No movement or political ideal is well-represented by the sort of people with the free time and inclination to stand around with signs.

  2. Captain Obviousness:

    THANK YOU! I've seen this on several "conservative" sites and wanted to point out how obvious it is that the guy is a fake trying to make everyone around him look stupid, like the people who go to Tea Party protests with outrageous racist signs about Obama because they want to discredit those around them.

  3. Brian, follower of Deornoth:

    I quite agree. No leftard would limit his demands to something nearly so reasonable.

  4. Che is dead:

    I missed your post condemning the temporary detention of "white-skinned" fans at the Phoenix Suns game simply because they were wearing t-shirts supporting AZ 1070. Where's the outrage?

  5. Michael:

    He's a plant. The giveaway is that there are at least 5 American flags in the photo.

  6. caseyboy:

    Surprised one of the signs doesn't say give us the right to conduct "cock fights". I understand that bigot, Sheriff Apraio arrested a number of people that were attending a recreational cock fighting event on the property of two illegal immigrants (oh yeah, I have to say "alledged" until their status is officially determined). Of the 60 people having a wonderful family outing at the cock fight, 20 were "alledged" to be illegal. Of course the new AZ law is not yet in affect so I'm sure the deputies were not comfortable inquiring about their immigration and/or resident status. After all these are just hard working folks looking to build a better future here as well as transfer some of their rich, custom filled culture.

  7. caseyboy:

    Michael, I just want to let you know that the rally organizers instructed attendees to wave American flags and not do anything that would inflame bigots like me who want to enforce our immigration laws. This particular guy either didn't get the memo or indeed he is a plant. Having taken a closer look I think he may be Italian or perhaps Spanish?

  8. astonerii:

    If it were a plant, then those who saw it should have shunned and isolated the plant, otherwise they either condone or are neutral to the sentiment.
    If it were satire, it would be at a rally against illegal aliens, not one for illegal aliens.

    Your argument, as always, when about illegal aliens and the laws to reduce their numbers and their effect on our nation is fully flawed. It is one thing to support immigration, it is another thing altogether to support the destruction of the way of life we call the American Dream through the advancement of hyper immigration.

  9. WHIPsmart:

    Yeah, having more people is a terrible idea. I assume you're in favor of forced sterilization as well? After all, babies can't contribute anything economically. They're poor, they require a lot of medical care, and in generally they're leaches on society what with public schools, playgrounds, etc. And until they're born they're not even citizens!

    Why with some of the tax breaks we give people we're incentivizing this hyper-reproduction! It's one thing to support controlled reproduction. It is another thing altogether to support the destruction of the way of life we call the American Dream. I'm with astonerii, we need to sterilize American citizens before they have these "anchor babies" that become American citizens!

  10. Elliot:

    Like others, I suspect that image was altered with Photoshop (or GIMP, for people who aren't suckers). That's not just because the text on the sign seems to have too perfect a level of color and contrast (compare it to the logo on the hat of the person to the left). It's also because the "demands" are too overboard and play into the anti-immigration camp's propaganda.

    If you do fear that immigrants are going to suck up the tax dollars with health care, welfare, etc., the answer isn't to keep people out, it's to stop giving out free health care, welfare, etc.. Then, the only thing an immigrant gets for coming to America is a chance at the American Dream, just like all of our ancestors had (with the exception of American Indians and African slaves, of course).

    Worried about drug violence, end drug prohibition. Let American farmers and industry produce what people want and watch the superbad cartels collapse.

    Alternatively, we can stubbornly cling to what has failed, insist that the law must be obeyed (no matter how immoral), and hype more horror stories to slander the 99+% of immigrants who are peaceful, hard workers.

  11. chembot:

    Wow. Talk about over the top. So having a concern that massive influx of non-citizens taxing our welfare state and other municipal infrastructure == support for forced sterilization. Having a large population of folks cheating the system and doing a great injustice to legal residents, i.e. documented immigrants, is apparently also of no concern. Concerns about depressing labor markets and wages are apparently also simply a product of paranoid delusion. The tacit acceptance of an semi-permanent economic underclass which by definition has fewer rights and is subject to far greater intimidation and exploitation by employers or others is OK. No, with banners flying and trumpets blaring we endlessly hear about the poor, the huddled, unwashed masses just yearning to be free... and as Rodney King once remarked, "Why can't we all just get along?" (Or else, as I have seen in some comments remarks to the effect of "Well, just get rid of the [insert hated statist policy here] and it would be OK" to which I say fat chance. There is a greater chance of getting struck by an asteroid than have government willingly relinquish any of its accreted ill gotten illegitimate power.)

    Lost in all this hyperbole is the fact that not one nation on Earth is living the libertarian pipe dream of open immigration. They all have restrictions of some sort, and in that regard the US has one of the most open immigration systems in place. This is to our honor and credit. However, it is not our duty and honor to be the world's sole safety valve to relieve the pressure on corrupt kleptocratic governments the world over. Borders do exist for a number of reasons and not all of them are unjust. Language, culture, ideas, history; all are a part of what makes a nation. Borders protect those ideals and the communities that share them; it is not necessarily "nativist" or "xenophobic" or "hateful to the brown-skinned" to state that fact. It is not hateful or racist to resist extreme cultural dilution by those who do not share our values and have little interest in actual assimilation but are perfectly willing to exploit our openness and charity and cheat our system to get ahead. After all our much cherished idea of a melting pot necessarily relies on all components being soluble. The alternative is balkanization of our society, and as we've seen, that didn't work out so well for the Balkans themselves. (A point could be made here about the insistence some have about being hyphenated americans, but this comment is already too long and is a topic for another day)

    In many ways, our immigration system should probably be expanded, particularly programs like the H1-B visas which apply to highly skilled workers that we don't produce enough of. A non-citizenship path guest worker program would probably also be a good idea

  12. Michael:


    Without knowing the city or the event, it's a tough call on whether he's a plant. If he's real, he's got a big set.

  13. WHIPsmart:

    Language, culture, ideas, history;

    1. Language - Switzerland, a rather prosperous nation, has 4 (well, 3.25) languages. Canada has two. Many countries have more than one, and they get by just fine.

    2. Culture - I submit to you that the cultural differences between Southern Arizona (or California or Texas) and Mexico are less than the cultural differences between Arizona and Minnesota.

    3. Ideas - This seems like meaningless pablum. Individuals have ideas. I think you may have just been looking for another way to say "culture" so see number 2.

    4. History - Aren't you just saying that "what happened before" is what makes a nation? Have anything a little meatier? It was a nice flowery sentence though. Very poetic.

    Borders do (or did. Some still do, others do not) have a purpose. That purpose, I submit, is primarily military. If the people on the other side of the border want to kill you, you need a border. If the people on the other side of the border want to join you, then much of need for that border goes away.

    And my sterilization comment was over the top, but you still haven't made any argument to distinguish that point from your own position, so at least we are both over the top.

  14. Less smart, I guess:

    WHIPsmart, I'd suggest two days in Tijuana and two in San Diego before you make a ridiculous comment like your number two. Among other things, abortion is illegal in most of Mexico. Is that a meaningful cultural difference? Seems to trouble people here. As to your borders are primarily military argument, one reason Texans declared independence from Mexico was that they didn't want to be required to be Catholic. I'm all for immigration of Mexican people, but their corrupt government and much of their culture need to be left behind, just like all the other immigrant groups left behind theirs.

  15. WHIPsmart:

    The legality of abortion is not a meaningful cultural difference, no. Most of Texas would like to join Mexico in that regard. If anything, it is a cultural similarity. I suggest you spend a few days in Duluth.

    I was unaware of the Catholic menace that Mexico poses to Texas, however I too will stand with you against this new crusade of Paladins storming the protestant churches of South Texas. Down with the Papists!

    Most of the illegal immigrants are not attempting to import the reason that the are leaving.

  16. smitty:


    I live in Hudson, Wisconsin, a short drive from Minnesota. I spend winters in southern Arizona. Never noticed the cultural differences. Can you tell me what they might be?

  17. chembot:

    Ideas are not meaningless pablum in the manner you seem to think them to be. Ideas are part of culture, but not its totality. America is uncommon in that it was founded largely on ideas rather than ethnicity like so many other nations. How can you not look at our constitution, our bill of rights, etc. and not see that it encapsulates an idea about the role of gov't vis a vis society. I submit to you that this idea is quite unique and has not really been replicated elsewhere. If you dispute this, just take a look at various cultures ideas on free speech.
    We can of course look at different cases such as Iran, or perhaps the old Soviet Union (or other marxist states). Would you not agree that they were also founded on an idea that fundamentally shaped their society and form of government? Would you not agree that these people fought quite ferociously at times in order to protect these deeply held ideals against foreign influence?

    I completely reject your premise about culture. The reason we have survived so well as a nation is that with the exception of the issue of slavery we were and are a very homogenous society in terms of what we believe and how we communicate our beliefs. We have blacks and whites, asians, arabs, and so forth, and immigrants of all stripes, but basically we all believe in roughly the same idea of america. (How many times have we heard about the "Coke and Pepsi" parties after all? Is that not a standard libertarian complaint? Have you heard of any truly serious widespread separatist movements based on either ethnicity or ideology in the US in the past 140 years? Not even the worst of the 60-70s counterculture and left wing terrorists such as the black panthers or the weather underground came close to breaking apart our nation.)

    You don't have to look very hard to see that where there is a significant degree of societal inhomogeneity (particularly ideological, but can be ethnic as often as not) there is a greater degree of strife. Let us just name a few of the many places where this is true: South Africa, France, Canada (vis a vis Quebec), Rwanda, the former USSR, the former Yugoslavia, Colombia, Northern Ireland, Korea, you get the point.
    And history is part of who we are, no? Would the Al Sharptons , Louie Farrakhans, and Jessie Jacksons have the power they do if it were not due to the history of Jim Crow and slavery? Where does all the ridiculous white liberal guilt come from? Why don't you ask some Native Americans if history hasn't had an impact on their culture and world view. How about the great depression? Did that not influence our cultural beliefs in the slightest? You are quite snide in your remarks, mistaking juvenile sarcasm for logical argument. I wonder if you really believe that we are so completely disconnected from our past that no historical event leaves an indelible mark on our culture
    Your comment about borders serving solely (or even mainly) a military purpose is incoherent. If we have no unique culture to protect, if there is no essence that defines us as being separate from other people, why do we need a military in the first place? If we are all just one big happy family, Earthian citizens of the world, how come no one else has seemed to have gotten the memo. Last I checked, there are a whole lot of other folk out there with decidedly different ideas about how we should live our lives and aren't afraid to use force to make it happen. But if we have nothing to protect, if radical islamist=marxist=capitalist=anarchist=fascist and culture doesn't matter in the slightest, then you are correct, there is no need for borders and defending ourselves against outside forces is a worthless expenditure of resources.

    And finally, don't try to tarnish me with your piss poor arguments. I have no way to argue against your forced sterilization comment because it's "not even wrong" in the sense that Pauli understood it. I raised 4-5 objections to open borders in my last post, some economic, some basic fairness, some cynical realism when it comes to dismantling big government. All of these things are debateable amongst reasonable people, yet you addressed not one of them, choosing instead to formulate an opinion that: 1) culture is meaningless and that our society is held together by apparently nothing and that 2) we apparently have more in common with Mexicans than we have with each other. Sorry, I'm afraid you're alone in being over the top here.

  18. WHIPsmart:


    First you have to notice the cultural differences between Wisconsin and Minnesota. I mean, Minnesota is a weird place. That passive/aggressive feel-good Scandinavian-Protestant thing is frickin weird. These are people who elected Paul Wellstone, Jesse Ventura, and Al Franken. A bunch of people voted for a crazy flower lady for congress. Hockey players aren't made fun of by high school students. You can't buy beer on Sunday unless it's that 3.2 garbage. Minnesota skeeves me out. And Minneapolis/St. Paul is so strange compared to most other Midwest cities. Most have a blue-collar industrial base (Detroit, Milwaukee, even Chicago) and sort of revel in their workmalike attitude. Minneapolis is almost snobby by comparison.

    Perhaps I should have picked Texas as a point of comparison as I am more familiar with it, I was trying to stay local, and Minnesota is so strange that it is culturally unique from everywhere else in the US, except for places with transient Minnesotans.

    Anyway, I am from the upper Midwest as well, and as a border-dweller, you should be especially attuned to the cultural differences in your own back yard. I could write a treatise on the cultural difference across the country, and I'm sure that many people have. Stephen Fry's BBC documentary, for instance.


    "But if we have nothing to protect, if radical islamist=marxist=capitalist=anarchist=fascist and culture doesn’t matter in the slightest, then you are correct, there is no need for borders and defending ourselves against outside forces is a worthless expenditure of resources."

    Catholics and radical islamist, marxist, anarchists are streaming across the Mexican border! This is serious!

    You talk a lot but say very little. And you are correct that the forced sterilization argument is not even wrong, and yet it is still exactly the same as all of your arguments.

  19. chembot:

    Well, it's true. My posts are generally are less efficiently written than yours, must be the product of having to honestly develop an argument that refutes the criticisms of others. It's quite telling that you don't really address any of the points I (or others) have made. Instead you home in on the weakest argument which is then transformed into a 3rd grade taunt. Then an attempt is made to repackage the rest of the arguments (without actually addressing them) and place everyone else on the short bus with you by claiming that we are all being equally ridiculous. What I am unsure of is whether this is due to intellectual laziness or insecurity... but whatever.

    It is an odd notion to me that you think that we shouldn't worry about having a border unless Santa Anna or Pancho Villa (Onoz! History!) are actively storming it. That strikes me as being about as useful as worrying about the barn door once the livestock have already left. No doubt you choose to not add to the artificial borders of the world by locking your house at night. Perhaps you could take in a few undocumented renters (or vagrants, if you will) who are simply looking for a better life indoors. And if they loot the fridge, depriving you the fruit of your labors, well, I suppose it is no worse than donating our welfare state to the nearest illegal immigrant.