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Bigots are always saying “but *my* ancestors were *legal* immigrants, unlike these brown people who just walked across the border!”.

Yeah? Really? So, how’d those ancestors become legal immigrants?

Hint: It was the same fucking way that my own ancestors became legal immigrants: they just walked across the fucking border.

Deal being, until the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Immigration Act of 1882, there wasn’t a law anywhere on the books that kept you from entering the United States and becoming a citizen. You entered the United States, found a judge or magistrate somewhere to stamp your passport with an entry stamp, and five years later you took that passport to a judge or magistrate and turned it in for citizenship papers. That’s all there was to it. You just fucking walked across the goddamn border, and that was it. There was no such thing as a “legal” immigrant or “illegal” immigrant. There were just immigrants, who, five years later, became citizens.

You get these inbred redneck racist cretins who excuse their racist rantings with “well, *my* ancestors were *legal* immigrants” when their ancestors did the exact same fucking thing as the current immigrants — i.e., they just fucking walked across the goddamn border — and you know it ain’t about legality at that point. It was impossible to be an illegal immigrant back when their ancestors entered the country. There was no such thing as an illegal immigrant back then. All you had to fucking do was walk across the goddamn border and presto, you were a goddamn legal immigrant.

Nowadays, it’s pretty much goddamn impossible to legally immigrate to here from Latin American countries. For example, Mexico. A few years ago, 1.38 million Mexican citizens were waiting in line for a United States work visa or an immigration visa through a family member. But there were only 26,000 visas made available for Mexico that year. That’s a 53 year waiting list. Most of the people on that list are going to be dead before they actually get an immigration visa. The other Latin American countries have similar waiting lists, all of which basically boil down to, “we don’t want your kind here”.

To say that this is different from the way my ancestors came to America is an understatement. My ancestors from England and Scotland stepped off a boat, stepped across the border, and they were fucking legal. They did the exact same goddamn thing that all these recent refugees did — they stepped across a border — and that was all it fucking took, people. There wasn’t any such thing as an “illegal” immigrant back then. It was literally impossible to be an illegal immigrant back then. There was no such thing.

So saying your ancestor was a legal immigrant, when your ancestor came here before 1882, is ridiculous. There was no such as a “legal” immigrant back then, just as there was no such thing as an “illegal” immigrant back then. There was just immigrants, who, five years after stepping across the border, became citizens. That’s all it took — stepping across the border. Well, before 1882, anyhow. That was before racists took over our immigration policy, but that’s another story for another day.

– Badtux the Legal Penguin

By 2040 or so, because most young Americans (and immigrants) are migrating to the few large metropolitan areas in states where jobs are plentiful, 70 percent of Americans will live in 15 states. Meaning 30 percent of the population will choose 70% of the senators. And the 30% minority choosing 70% of the Senate will be older, whiter, more rural, more male than the 70% majority who are only getting to vote for 30% of the Senators.

I do not see how the United States is going to survive this. Not as a democracy, anyhow. We have a name for a nation where 30% of the population rules the other 70% of the population. That name is *not* democracy or even republic. That name is “tyranny”.

Americans have thus far shown a remarkable tolerance for living in a police state, as long as that police state is primarily targeting brown people. (For details of this police state, read Radley Balko’s columns in Reason and the Washington Post). But once 30% of the population is using police state powers to impose their rule upon 70% of the population, they may find that the tolerance of Americans is limited. I don’t see a good outcome from that end state. At least, not an outcome that is nonviolent.

– Badtux the Demographics Penguin

A former ICE chief counsel is facing prison time for stealing immigrants’ identities.

ICE defends America from the Singing Children of Mass Cuteness.

ICE commits 1,600 violations of the Constitution of the United States of America.

ICE has been violating its own policy as well as a court order and the Constitution by failing to exercise individual due process and instead doing mass incarceration. Turns out that due process requires that you make individual determinations, not a blanket “all of group X will be incarcerated”. Who coulda figured?!

Am I saying that a massive paramilitary organization with almost no oversight has ended up being a huge problem, overstepped its authority wildly, and turned into a terrifying force that threatens to permanently damage our democracy by trampling on our most fundamental rights at every opportunity? No way. Surely nobody in Congress could have seen that coming. It’s so unexpected. SNRK.

It’s built into the agency’s genome, people. By creating an agency that has only a single purpose — deporting as many people as possible — the Homeland Security Act created an agency that has an incentive to trample people’s rights in a lawless rush to deport as many people as possible (like, duh?). ICE is irredeemably corrupt. The agency should be abolished and re-established as a new combined entity with USCIS as INS, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, with a director who is as committed to naturalizing new citizens as he is to deporting wannabe-citizens. Having an entire department that is only about deporting immigrants — and not at all about naturalizing immigrants — gives them an incentive to trample on rights in order to deport as many people as possible, whereas a more balanced agency’s incentives work differently.

But hey, as long as it’s brown people having their rights trampled on, who cares, right? Right?!

– Badtux the Sadly Snarky Penguin

If every single member of the Walton family died tomorrow, nobody would notice until the next Walmart board meeting. Even then, all that would happen would be that the outside directors would appoint new board members. You would go to Walmart and it’d be operating as usual

If every single shelf stocker and cashier walked out of Walmart tomorrow and nobody took their place, Walmart would be done. There would be no more company. Because it is the cashiers and shelf stockers who keep the shelves stocked and the money flowing. Without merchandise on the shelves, without cashiers taking money in exchange for that merchandise, there is no Walmart.

Who, then, creates the wealth? It isn’t the Waltons. It is the shelf stockers and cashiers and the purchasing officers and the truckers who bring the goods to the stores and all those other little people. The Waltons are not billionaires because of their hard work or genius. They are billionaires because of government saying that they own the wealth created by all those shelf stockers. Without government police to enforce their ownership of this wealth created by others, they would be as impoverished as a Central American peasant on a subsistence farm. More impoverished, actually. The Central American peasants at least know how to grow their own food. I doubt any Walton has ever gotten his or her hands dirty in the soil, nevermind growing food with them.

If it makes me a socialist to say that the Waltons should be taxed in order to provide health care and education for the people who actually created their wealth, so be it. They are leeches who have wealth only because government allows them to take it from the actual wealth creators, the workers who work in their stores, and if government wants to take some of that wealth back after providing the men with guns that allow them to steal it from the workers in the first place… well, I don’t see what the problem is.

If health care and education for all Americans is “socialism”, then I’m a proud socialist. Economies exist to benefit *all* the people, not just a handful of billionaires who’ve managed to grift their way to the top by rigging the system so they can loot wealth created by others via government guns.

Carl Hiaasen’s younger brother was gunned down in Annapolis, Maryland today along with four others executed for the crime of being a journalist.

Unknown is whether the killer was a MAGAt, spurred into violence by his fascist overlords in the White House and elsewhere. It would not be the first time that fascists attacked newspapers. Their campaign was largely successful in Weimar Germany — of all of Germany’s newspapers, only one single newspaper, the Munich Post, dared to oppose Hitler directly. The rest of Germany’s press, cowed by the brownshirts / MAGAts, tried to be “fair” to the Nazis. For their trouble their reporters and editors ended up in the exact same concentration camps as the reporters and editors of the Munich Post. Appeasement, it turns out, is a rather ineffective tactic for dealing with fascists. As is civility.

Let us hope that our own newspapers have learned that lesson. I’m not holding my breath though.

– Badtux the News Penguin

Author Harlan Ellison is dead at age 84. While somewhat expected — he has been in poor health for years, from a series of heart attacks and most recently a stroke — as usual for Harlan, he decided to do it when he decided to do it, dying in his sleep of natural causes rather than of cancer or a respiratory infection like most of his 80-something peers.

Harlan was a puncher, not a boxer. His specialty was the knockout punch in the first round, where you’d sit back in awe at what you’d just seen, and… well, that was it, KO. That was why Harlan’s best form was the short form, short stories that packed a wallop and then were done. As a result, he got far less fame for his literary output than he should have. His TV writing perhaps got more attention, but he grumpily noted that he’d written hundreds of television and movie scripts and only a handful ever got produced.

Harlan was a man who wore his heart on his sleeve without apology and without pulling punches. He was infamous at science fiction conventions for not suffering fools gladly, even to the point of making young people cry. Yet for all that, he was a bit of a mensch. Tales of unexpected kindness abound. Harlan was a bundle of contradictions that way.

BUt mostly what I remember are the stories he wrote. Probably thousands of them over the years, but there’s a couple dozen of his stories that just knock my socks off. Plus the anthologies he edited — “Dangerous Visions” and “Again, Dangerous Visions” — which are chock-full of excellent stories.

And now his story is over. Bon voyage, Harlan Ellison. Your time for screaming at the stupidity and hate in the world is over. Now it’s our turn.

– Badtux the Obituaries Penguin

Caveat Emperor

Reminder: Race, gender, and religion are protected classes under anti-discrimination laws. You aren’t allowed to discriminate against people based on those things.

However, “liar”, “bigot”, and “baby snatcher” are *not* protected classes under anti-discrimination laws. If you want to refuse service to liars, bigots, and baby snatchers, i.e., if you want to discriminate based upon the character of their soul rather than upon the color of their skin, you are entirely within your freedom of association rights under the 1st Amendment to tell them get off your property.

I mention this because multiple Trump Administration officials have faced difficulties eating out ever since the story of the baby gulags broke. And the question is this: Is it okay to make sure that baby snatchers don’t get to eat out in peace, as Maxine Waters suggested?

On one side you have rabid racists, baby snatchers, people who harass women outside of abortion clinics, and an assortment of other white racists some of whom, our dear Hair Twitler has assured us, are good people. On the other side you have believers in justice, tolerance, decency, and kindness. We already know what the first side is like. The Trumpanzees come out of the woodwork hooting and howling and throwing feces every time their Hair Twitler tweets a twit on Twitter, making life miserable for anybody who dares criticize their God-Emperor Donald The Trump. On the other side you have nice people who really aren’t all that into getting up into people’s faces and being loud. Unless….

Unless the people they are being unkind to are BAD PEOPLE. And I have a sure-fired way of telling who are BAD PEOPLE right now: If they defend snatching babies away from their parents — or lie about it — they are BAD PEOPLE. People who force 8 year old children to represent themselves in immigration court even though it is illegal to charge someone under age 11 with a crime in Federal court because they are held to be too immature to possess mens rea, the ability to comprehend the difference between lawful and unlawful behavior? BAD PEOPLE. If they defend those who snatch babies away from their parents? They are BAD PEOPLE. If they help snatch babies away from their parents? They are BAD PEOPLE.

Yes, it really is that simple.

And what should be done with BAD PEOPLE when law fails to deal with the fact that they are BAD PEOPLE, other than a good old fashioned shunning, including refusing to date them and restaurants refusing to serve them — especially Mexican restaurants (duh)? I mean, really. Should good people associate with people who are BAD PEOPLE?

And then some good people say, “but if we just explain and are kind and patient to them, they’ll become good people!” Sadly, that really doesn’t happen. Bad people don’t possess the empathy or willingness to listen that is necessary to become good people. You take your average racist inbred vicious redneck, all he’s going to do is sneer at good people who try to be friendly with him. Because they are cruel people, and see nothing wrong with cruelty and sneer at those who do as being “weak libtards”, and are never going to change. They haven’t over the past 50 years of my life anyhow, so why would they change now?

Given that, the only thing we can do with these BAD PEOPLE is to not voluntarily associate with them. Because voluntarily associating with them says we condone being bad people, and encourages children to themselves become bad people.

So yeah, shun these motherfuckers. Shun them good. And those who go beyond being BAD PEOPLE, who actually make it possible to do bad things? Well. Play this for them at high volume:

Because no, they don’t deserve to live in peace. Because people who make children cry for nothing that the child himself did are BAD PEOPLE. And bad people don’t deserve courtesy, respect, or peace.

– Badtux the Vicious Penguin