That was then, this is now

From Mrs. Bird, wife of Senator Bird, from Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin:

“Well; but it is true that they have been passing a law forbidding people to give meat and drink to those poor colored folk that come along?  I heard they were talking of some such law, but I didn’t think any Christian legislature would pass it!”

And today’s version?: “An activist faced 20 years in prison for helping migrants. But jurors wouldn’t convict him.”  The activist was giving them food and water, but that law against that of course is on the books, as it was in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s time for aiding fugitive slaves.  Later in the chapter (vol.I, chapter IX) Mrs. Bird continues:

“It’s a shameful, wicked, abominable law, and I’ll break it, for one, the first time I get a chance; and I hope I shall have a chance, I do!  Things have gotten to a pretty pass, if a woman can’t give a warm supper and a bed to poor, starving creatures, just because they are slaves, and have been abused and oppressed all their lives, poor things!

…Now, John, I don’t know anything about politics, but I can read my Bible; and there I see that I must feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and comfort the desolate; and that Bible I mean to follow.”

Here is a discussion of the religious issues behind current “aiding the immigrant” cases.


Is there a difference between someone helping a person in need, occasionally—in passing—and someone who does so serially, i.e. is an activist?

I used to give things (and money) to the homeless, like a used winter coat to the mentally challenged but interesting guy I talked to periodically outside the Arts Faculty building. But I stopped giving when it became a veritable army of sullen reprobates.

Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

Oh, there's a difference alright. One need not zoom out as far as Tyler does; there are do-gooding people in my own town who, I really believe, will be thrilled to their very marrow if by their direct efforts they manage to start a cholera epidemic soon ... but not on their own street, no, somehow never on their narrow leafy street ...

My preferred prayer for the longest time was that of Graham Greene: "O God ... leave me alone forever." Is it a hopeful sign for my soul that more recently, it's been, unbidden, "Please God, save us from your devoted followers"?

But there's one variety of do-gooder mysteriously absent: the crusading reporter. Aren't there Pulitzers to win anymore? Why are journalists not embedded in these migrant caravans on their long journeys? Why aren't we getting nightly reports from Honduras, say, if it's a war zone? Could it be because *nothing is happening there*? Why, in my own town, aren't the cub TV reporters setting up shop in the tent cities to interview their denizens, so we can get a sense of who they are, their shattered hopes, how they came to be on the street, as our politicians assert, because of our town's lack of "affordable housing"? Is it because they are not actually *local* people at all? If not, why then were they attracted to one of the most expensive places in the region? Explain - I'm sure a good reporter can - how choosing this place will make their transition - which just involves a step or two, we're told - back to ordinary life easier?

Dey took er jerbs!

Trump 2020 “back to the gay orgy pile!”

Texan lady unaware of reporters covering the migrant caravans. Texan lady unable to use Google:

"We spent 24 hours with a family as they trekked through Mexico for an up-close view of what’s at stake."

That's some hard-hitting 4 minutes and 48 seconds. I learned a lot.

Oooh, those serial helpers are the worst! I heard about this guy wandering around Palestine healing the sick, not just once or twice, but serially! A real activist type. I hope they crucify the bastard.

A very late reaction tot the 8 june post "Is country music becoming more reactionary?". I just got this skit from a friend in the US. It illustrates the case with humour:

We should be able to design a rational and humane system. Not that I think this is the best, last plan, but:

1. Points based immigration favoring high productivity workers.

2. Lots of other work visas granted, dependents accepted.

3. End of birthright citizenship.

4. Prompt removal of felons of any of these categories.

Overall, manage the stock rather than the flow. Work visas should cut down on desert deaths. You can structure lower/no benefits for visa holders to discourage slackers.

Oh, also treat economic development in the Americas as a strategic investment. This includes educating the children of work visa holders.

I am ok with all of the above except educating their children. Let the adult work visa holders come and go as they please and send the money home. They would probably prefer that anyway.

Right now, they sneak in illegally but have to stay or pay huge sums of money to corrupt and dangerous coyotes. Since we have no effective internal mechanisms to catch and deport them once they get past the border, they are stuck and we are stuck with them and their children.

Crossing the border is like running the gauntlet - once you get through you are home free.

There are lots of reasons to educate work visa, or even illegal, kids:

1. Cultural Imperialism

2. Prevent an illiterate underclass

3. Create expectations for law, order, and good government among returnees.

Maybe 3 equals 1. Or it should.

#1= you are a nut case

2&3 are good, but enforcing immigration laws are even better.

By not enforcing existing laws, or by utilizing rediculous legal runarounds or an activist judiciary, sends the message that the rule of law is a farce and laws can be ignored if you can get away with it. That's where we are now due to a defacto conspiracy between the looney open borders left and the corrupt pro-business Republicans. Hence, we elected an outsider for POTUS.

California has been lost to runaway illegal immigration from Mexico. If not for Silicon Valley, unsurpassed physical beauty, and the agricultural industry of the immense Central Valley it already would have collapsed, and it may yet collapse.

The other states in the union are not so lucky.

If we continue to import millions of uneducated, Spanish speaking, unskilled illegal aliens the nation risks economic collapse and civil war.

It's not pretty.

If the cultural imperialism joke goes over your head(*), nothing more to say.

* - missing both the humor and the real value is establishing worldwide cultural norms

As always, you miss the point entirely.

Mexico isn’t insane, and thus won’t sign a “first safe” country agreement, to repatriate any immigrants who claim asylum.

The only way to stop 1.6 million (for now, and this will grow to at least 2.5) immigrants a year would be to pass a law removing the US from international refugee treaties.

This. Will. Not. Happen. Ever.

It is entirely outside the Overton window. The Democrat Party stance, thank god, is de Jure open borders and abolishment of ICE.

We will have open borders, into perpetuity. All your nonsense is a discussion of how many angels can dance on pins.

Vote Dem 2020. At least they’re opening the gates. Much better than children in cages.

Did you attach this in the wrong place?

This has nothing to do with me or my proposal.

You assume the status quo, including birthright citizenship and a need to get a foot in the door.

When a work visa does not automatically lead to citizenship all that goes away.

As should you, if you can't follow a simple conversation.

"1. Points based immigration favoring high productivity workers"

I guess US native born white people will be required to work in the fields doing stoop labor under pesticide and herbicide drift, or work inside with knoves rapidly dismembering animals on high speed disassembly lines?

Maybe carrying hod for immigrant brick layers and stone masons?

I figure Beyond Meat, et al are the next big boom in the US because it eliminates the most workers, replacing labor intensive animal raising with pure highly automated growing on various beans that are processed in chemical refineries and extruded into "meat" into the packaging fron natural gas refined and extruded into plastic. Burgers never touched by human or animal. Both cost too much human labor.

In fact humans cost too much. The world envisioned by economists seems to be represented best by the Amazon Prime/Channel 4 update of Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams short story "Autofac".

I guess you didn't read as far as item #2.

Do you really believe that economic migrants who were recruited to come here and collect welfare are the moral equivalent of runaway slaves? For me that doesn't pass the giggle test.

Since I was responding to stupid people with bible quotes anyway, in a desperate attempt to save my sanity:

"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."

If you want to preserve your sanity, don't take seriously numbskulls' blathering.

I'm not saying you are one of the hypocrites that only cite Gospel/Bible passages when that promote their political prejudices.

You're not demonstrating much more sanity by quoting NT passages about the difficulty of rich people getting into heaven. And economic migrants are just as concerned about acquiring earthly material goods. (Personally, I prefer the OT.)

Jesus, a man, not a god, was only aware of a system in which rich men were rich because they stole or inherited property. He did not know about capitalism and keeping the fruits of your own labor. Since he appears to have been highly intelligent, if he had been born 1800 years later he might have sung a different tine.

Hmm, seems as though you might have overlooked the parable of the three servants in Matthew’s Gospel... the meaning (as with all parables) is meant to go deeper than the surface level meaning...

Seems to me, Jesus was pretty aware of capitalist principles way back 2,000 years ago.

Parable of the Three Servants
14 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. 15 He gave five bags of silver[a] to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.

16 “The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. 17 The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. 18 But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.

19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’

21 “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together![b]’

22 “The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’

23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

24 “Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’

26 “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, 27 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’

28 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. 30 Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

*... to go deeper than the surface level meaning, “but”...


Yeah. Recruited, transported, fed, clothed, hydrated, cartel coyotes remunerated (at $5,000 plus) by well-funded multi-national gangsters out to destroy America.


The NGOs are trying force open borders onto a sovereign nation by intentionally violating US immigration law and exploiting loopholes in the law, specifically the laws concerning minors crossing the border.

Those people working for the NGOs should be prosecuted under the RICO statute.

Besides, the sjws violating our borders, if they believe they are engaging in civil disobedience, should also pay the price. As Thoreau said, "when the laws are unjust, the only place for a just man (sic) is in jail". Ironically, in Thoreau's case, he was referring to the US war against Mexico.

It's tragic that 50 years of the Information Age lead to "well-funded multi-national gangsters out to destroy America" as an all too common lowest common denominator.

Not Bill Gates' nirvana.

+1, is it a good analogy?

Another analogy you could make might be to "sheltering the enemy" laws and treason (the sort of thing you'd get shot for, once upon a time).

Now that would probably be a bad analogy! But is it any worse than Tyler's analogy? Not really.

Treat it as what it is - someone facilitating a break of the US's immigration laws. It's an insult to the intelligence of the audience to treat it as either similar to aiding runaway slaves, or to assisting foreign military infiltration.

'It's an insult to the intelligence of the audience to treat it as either similar to aiding runaway slaves'

You are not familiar with American slavery, are you? It was a crime to to be involved in stealing property from its rightful owner. And after the Dred Scott decision, it was made plain that the American government was required to protect the property rights of those who owned slaves - '“The Southern opinion upon the subject of Southern slavery,” trumpeted one Georgia newspaper, “is now the supreme law of the land,” and opposition to it is “morally treason against the Government.” The view that Southern ideologues such as John C. Calhoun had promoted for more than a decade—that the federal government had a positive, indeed a constitutional, obligation to defend slavery—had apparently triumphed.'

Of course, this did not stop a number of states from violating the law of the land as determined by the Supreme Court in regards to property - 'For all practical purposes, Northern courts and politicians rejected Scott v. Sandford as binding. In an advisory opinion, Maine’s high court declared that African Americans could vote in both state and federal elections. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that any slave coming into the state with his master’s consent, even as a sojourner, became free and could not be reenslaved upon returning to a slave state; the New York Court of Appeals handed down a similar ruling in Lemmon v. The People (1860). In several states, legislatures resolved to prohibit slavery in any form from crossing onto their soil and enacted legislation freeing slaves passing within their borders.'

What is it that you imagined that long winded excerpt on the legal history added, exactly?

That is, my contention is that Tyler's analogy is rather poor and not particularly more or less fitting compared to others in this comment thread (assisting a foreign soldier, or a thief, or murderer).

If your contention is that it is actually rather good (as much as your loath to show even the slightest agreement with "GMU"), why not simply explain why you believe this, in preference to launching into a droning exposition of American legal history that adds nothing particularly clear and drips with your habitual condescension, as if this were an obvious refutation?

You know, I quoted precisely what you wrote - ' It's an insult to the intelligence of the audience to treat it as either similar to aiding runaway slaves' but that did not seem to help.

You seemed to not be familiar with American history, particularly in regards to how federal law was used to stop people from crossing borders in violation of the law. After Dred Scott, the property involved, and those helping in the theft of said property, were in clear violation of federal law.

Americans are generally aware of what is considered the single most shameful decision in the history of the Supreme Court, being taught that in school. Maybe a wiki link would have been more useful in this case?

(And really, GMU is a public university with a multitude of departments and faculty - it makes no sense to talk about 'disgreeing' with it. However, the Mercatus Center, a public policy institute with absolutely no official connection to GMU is easily disagreed with, starting with its long running attempt to conflate GMU and itself as being part of the same institution.)

So, to try and discover your point, it is to try and support that Tyler's analogy is good one as the intersection of state and federal law is identical? If so, you have made it in a singularly non-pithy fashion. If otherwise, I'm still unclear what you're trying to get at here by regurgitating this legal history.

'it is to try and support that Tyler's analogy is good one'

In terms of referring to slavery? Obviously, as most Americans with even the most glancing familiarity with Dred Scott or the Underground Railroad would recognize. Though parallel is a much more fitting term, to be honest.

After all, the people committing theft by taking away the property of its rightful owner were violating federal law (and in the case of the slave states, state law too, obviously). The Undergound Railroad was actively involved in the large scale illegal movement of property, as Americans know, where such theft often involved thousands of dollars of property at a time, often over a period of years.

So effectively you are choosing a long winded and not particularly persuasive way to assert that it is an effective "parallel" (to which a good selection of Americans in the comments do not agree, and even if they did, what of it?). OK.

So who is the planter class in this parallel? Someone has to play that role; and I don't think Trump
will work? The slaves weren't trying to get into the plantation.

I thought it was interesting.

Well, some people may find anything interesting.

Some might find it interesting if you non-sequitur recited the first few pages of phone book during the middle of your response in a public debate.... ("Ooh, I never knew *that* was the first number!").

But I assume it would be rather confusing to person that you were arguing with and to most of the audience.

... a commandment emanating from the authority might be contrary to the very end in view of which authority is instituted, i.e., to be an educator to, and a preserver of, virtue. Should therefore the authority command an act of sin contrary to virtue, we not only are not obliged to obey but we are also obliged not to obey, according to the example of the holy martyrs who preferred death to obeying those ungodly tyrants.- St Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the sentences of Peter Lombard.


No, they are not the same. One games the immigration system, the other were slaves.

Although I'm sure the guy who broke America's laws is the first to promote himself as the modern day H. Tubman

'No, they are not the same.'


However, this needs to be corrected so that the first statement is correct - 'One games the immigration system, the other were property.'

Are we puffing you up with pride or telling you to be despisers of well-ordered authority? We do not say this. . . . The Apostle himself tells us: ‘Let every soul be subject to the higher powers; for there is no power but from God.' But what if he commands what you ought not to do? Here certainly despise the power, fearing the power. Note the hierarchy of human affairs. If the prefect commands, is it not to be done? But if he commands against the will of the proconsul, you do not despise the power, but you choose to obey the higher. Again, if the proconsul commands one thing, and the Emperor another, can you doubt that the proconsul must be despised and the Emperor obeyed? Therefore if the Emperor [commands] one thing and God another, what is your judgment? Pay your tribute; do your obeisance to me.' 'Right; but not before an idol. He forbids it in the temple.' 'Who forbids?' 'The higher authority. Pardon me; you threaten prison, He threatens Hell.' St Augustine, Sermo 62

Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.

My point exactly.

While the Gospels teach that compassion for the poor will be rewarded, that's not what's preached in the pulpit on Sundays in many churches. The social gospel, which was ascendant in the late 19th century and early 20th century, has been replaced by a more self-absorbed gospel, one that focuses on one's faith alone as the path to salvation and on one's earthly rewards as proof of God's blessing, the corollary to earthly rewards as proof of God's blessing being earthly deprivations as proof of God's punishment.

Let me plug this book once again: Harold Bloom, The American religion --- Bloom's view is that all of these groups in America are united by requiring that each person may only truly meet with the divine when experiencing a "total inward solitude" and that salvation cannot be achieved by engaging with a community, but only through a one-to-one confrontation with the divine. --- See Wikipedia for more.

How much time and energy do you expend entering churches to learn if the pastor preaches stuff you don't like?

I love you man.


Uh huh.

There is nothing current about this discussion - 'I analyze the case of humanitarian pro-migrant activists in southern Arizona between 2000 and 2010 to explore how contending groups wield law and legality claims in a dynamic policy environment. Humanitarian activists both evade and engage the law. They appeal to a higher law to elude charges that they are acting illegally, while seeking assurances that their actions are within the law. Law enforcement agents rely on the authority and technical neutrality of the law in redefining humanitarian aid as illegal, while expanding their own claims to carry out humanitarian work. This case study of advocacy on behalf of “illegal” migrants highlights how both activists and those who enforce the law redefine legality in strategic ways.' '

And of course, all those concerned with religious liberty are clearly going to be on the side of those who claim their actions are motivated by religious devotion, undoubtedly.

Is it OK for a religious person citing Gospels and 2,000 years of church teaching to use physical force to stop murdering unborn babies?

Not to worry. So-called anti-abortion activists have no hair on their asses.

'to use physical force '

Gunning a Christian worshipper down in a church has never been considered justified - 'Dr. George Tiller, one of the few U.S. physicians who performed late-term abortions, was shot and killed this morning at his Wichita church, where he was serving as an usher.'

And you should be old enough to remember what this is about - 'People like Lewis Smedes and Carl F.H. Henry remain revered figures in evangelical history, but if they were saying publicly today what they said publicly about abortion in their lifetimes, they would be excommunicated and shunned as heretics.

The speed and totality of evangelicals’ sea-change on abortion is remarkable. But what’s really astonishing is that such a huge theological, political and cultural change occurred within evangelical Protestantism and no one talks about it. No one acknowledges that this huge change was, in fact, a huge change.

The convention among American evangelicals, in fact, is to pretend that no such change ever occurred — that white evangelical Protestants have always been as preoccupied with abortion and zealous in their opposition to it as they are today.

It really is Orwellian. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

It’s unsettling. Rewriting history from earlier generations is one thing, but this is a change that occurred within my lifetime. This is history that can only be rewritten with the consent and participation of people who ought to be able to remember the truth.

Have white evangelicals in their 50s and 60s really completely forgotten the 1970s already? I don’t think so. But they are willing to pretend they have — en masse. Not for religious reasons, and not for ethical reasons. For political reasons.

It’s more than a little bit creepy. (And it’s even creepier to see the same pattern repeating itself with evangelicals and contraception.)'

Of course, the Catholic Church has been consistently opposed to abortion for an extended period of time. However, it has also been consistently opposed to murdering people in its church buildings.

"Gunning a Christian worshipper down in a church has never been considered justified - 'Dr. George Tiller, one of the few U.S. physicians who performed late-term abortions, was shot and killed this morning at his Wichita church, where he was serving as an usher.'"

Looks like poetic justice to me.


Look! A squirrel!

'Looks like poetic justice to me.'

I bet this looks like poetic justice to you too then - 'On March 24, 1980, the archbishop of San Salvador was shot inside his own church in a deliberate, cold-blooded murder that shocked the world.

Now, almost 40 years later, the Catholic Church is preparing to make the slain religious leader a saint. In early March, Pope Francis approved a miracle attributed to Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero – the spontaneous healing of a woman in a coma – paving the way for his canonization.

Many Latin American Catholics thought this moment would never come. Romero was a human rights activist whose bold opposition to his country’s military dictatorship got him assassinated.'

The murdered part, that is, not sainthood. One assumes you feel that Romero likely deserved being gunned down, just like Green politicians deserve to be punched.

No. Romero's murder was evil.

Yes, the green politicians deserve to have milkshakes thrown on them, though punching sounds awfully good too! :)

Now that you are virtue signalling, let's talk about the post where you bragged about intimidating a mentally ill panhandler to impress your date. I have never done that. Nor have I ever punched anyone since I became a legal adult at age 18.

You are a transparent phony with a lot of time on your hands.

For your own sake, get a life. If you don't have any friends or family, try volunteering. I recommend helping aggressive mentally ill panhandlers as penance.

'Yes, the green politicians deserve to have milkshakes thrown on them, though punching sounds awfully good too! :)'

And to think this is what you wrote on the day where more than 50 people were slaughtered, many of them in a house of worship - 'Greenies deserve black eyes.' and 'All politicians should live in fear of their constituents.'

'Now that you are virtue signalling, let's talk about the post where you bragged about intimidating a mentally ill panhandler to impress your date. '

Well, it was not a date but a female work colleague, and here is the link (I realize that linking is often considered poor form here) - 'You would be right - but the several aggressive 'beggars' seemed to find the experience less than pleasant. Including one in Germany, where the woman I was with wondered why I acted like in such fashion, as she was sure it would end in violence - on the part of the 'beggar.' Which was not quite accurate, but there was no reason to correct her.' That you assume the woman was a date is understandable enough, though where 'mentally ill' came from is harder to guess. And maybe it was not clear that I merely stood my ground, letting him shout at me until he gave up.

He was not a panhandler (though he was 'begging' from a certain perspective), he was quite drunk while shouting in Karlsruhe's Marktplatz that I needed to give him money for a train ticket.

'Nor have I ever punched anyone since I became a legal adult at age 18.'

Congratulations . you are more law abiding than I in this area, it appears. Admittedly, I don't think anyone deserves to be gunned down in a church as poetic justice, nor do I believe Greenies deserve black eyes, but yes, sometimes the best way to handle getting hit is to hit back.

"Nor have I ever punched anyone since I became a legal adult at age 18."

Ah well, I'm sure Tyler would still include you in his memorable description of the "brutes" (a definition I suspect to not include anarchists who punch people in the street).

This story has multiple layers:

1. The importance, or not, of the consistent and egalitarian enforcement of the rule of law.

Do we not enforce the law, in this case immigration law, when the violaters are otherwise sympathetic characters, like poor people fleeing a corrupt state?

2. The law is downstream from cultural values and is in fact the embodiment of those values. In the case of the USA, those are Christian, more specifically Protestant values. The enforcement of borders are contrary to Christian values. Do do we just open the borders because it's the Christian thing to do?

3. Jury nullification, which is not new. In this case, the result seems virtuous, but there is a dark side, an unintended consequences. What if a jury frees an obviously guilty person based on tribal affiliation, like the OJ Simpson case. Is that just something we have to live with? I don't see any way around this. Jury nullification is here to stay.

You forgot the freedom to feed whoever I want. I don't need to check anybody's papers out of fear for running afoul of the law. I'm tired of government encroaching on every aspect of my life criminalizing every damn thing. Just because the government failed to do its job doesn't make it my fault for making the best of a tough situation.

One should note that feeding the hungry in America, even when those being provided food are American citizens, can also be illegal.

'Volunteers made headlines Sunday when 12 of them were charged with misdemeanor offenses after feeding homeless people in El Cajon, California, but the ban against feeding the homeless is not unique to the city. Dozens across the United States have similar policies that ban food-sharing in public places.

After the charges in El Cajon, activists and attorneys said Monday that they would file a lawsuit against the city regarding the ban. Leaders called the policy unconstitutional and discriminatory, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. Similar stories have been reported across the nation. In December 2017, Adelen McLean was issued a ticket for feeding the homeless in Atlanta's Hurt Park, and in January 2017, seven people in Tampa were arrested for feeding the homeless without a permit.'

So religious freedom protects bakers from baking cakes for gay couples but does not protect religious folks from saving the lives of illegal immigrants.

Bigotry lives!

The first policy is right for freedom of association/contract reasons, otherwise you're mandating slavery. The second policy is more complicated. If your "saving" the illegal immigrants means interfering with the ability to defend the border, then you're not right.

Being Black: not illegal

Being an illegal immigrant: illegal

Would you consider it not a crime to feed and house an escaped convict? I'm not even against giving food and water to a famished fleeing felon, but these people aren't doing it as an opportunistic good deed. It is systematically aiding and comforting known criminals in serial fashion.

Do you know that in many places it is illegal to feed pigeons and feral cats?

So you think Pip was a criminal.

Apt. After all, Magwitch did threaten Pip that he'd "rip out his heart and liver" if he didn't bring him some wittles.

Americans are not unlike Pip really. Rather ignorant, good at heart, confused about what's happening (don't have all the facts, nor did Pip) - and under duress. Have had about as much say in their current economic situation, as Pip did into his living conditions with his horrid sister and "The Tickler."

Looking forward to the fortune that will drop into our laps at the end of the story!

But Pip tried to help Magwitch again. Even after knowing who he was helping. Shouldn't he? Shouldn't we?

Children are not generally held to be capable of having mens rea in these cases.

Possibly these activists would agree that they are moral speaking equivalent to children and as such similarly lack moral capacity to choose, however.

What about 23 year-old Pip, when he helped Magwitch a sedond time?

That is a somewhat different situation from simply helping an escaped criminal as a child, because it gets into questions of whether duty to uphold the law overrides an (unwanted) moral debt to a father figure (rather than simply human duty to "a person in need" or 'compassion').

But nonetheless, yes, he is a criminal for doing this, and rightly so, even if the law is lenient on him in punishment, because laws are meant to represent categorical imperatives and a society cannot run on principle that "an Upright Son Does Not Disclose His Father Stealing a Sheep", as Confucius would put it (to much debate). E.g. where exceptions to the rule of law, when this conflicts with personal relationships and loyalties are not only tolerated as understandable moral failings, but encouraged and praised.

So that is what we become. An unbending, merciless nation ready to crush those we don't like. We are just following orders.

Laws made by common assent, with the consent of the governed and upheld for the common good are not the "orders" of dictators, and criminals are not "those we don't like".

If people cannot make even these distinctions correctly, they're pretty clearly not really fit to have an opinion on justice and right moral action that can be taken seriously.

Magwitch was alone and friendless.

If Pip had encountered, that night on the marshes, 1000 people - would you be so sure it was they that needed help ... and not Pip?

You are saying border patrols are like children?

The thousand stepped through a hole in the fence in what I like to think of as "Beto's sector." [There's more than 180 miles of fencing, I believe, in the vicinity of what Beto likes to boast is the safest city in America ...]

So, upon stepping through, these folks whipped out their phones and called the Border Patrol (on speed dial?), to come and collect them. I picture whichever officer was closest to the scene being dispatched there, perhaps alone.

Do I see that guy as being one side of a power imbalance, as children are with adults?

Yeah, I do.

He probably is not expecting trouble - at this point, the activists have disseminated a script which everyone, from the ilegales to the Border Patrol, *must* follow; but it certainly hasn't always been this way - and he knows if trouble starts, and anything should provoke him to discharge the weapon that I suppose you imagine separates him from them, he'll be in a world of hurt. And I don't mean with the folks in Manhattan, though that too, of course.

Like Engineer below, I think absolute numbers matter, absolutely.

It is systematically aiding and comforting known criminals in serial fashion.

It is systematically saving people from dying of thirst or hunger.

That there are so many here, and elsewhere, who think this is a bad thing, as opposed to a virtuous act, is a sign of how morally degraded the anti-immigrant bigots are.

'Being an illegal immigrant: illegal'

Well yes, it is true that someone crossing the border of the U.S. is violating the law. Laws which refer to 'improper entry,' actually. And a crime where the penalty is not a death sentence.

'I'm not even against giving food and water to a famished fleeing felon'

Which shows that at least you have the moral decency to understand that allowing another person to die through immediate inaction is never a moral act.

And which is completely to your credit, of course.

I'm pretty sure this guy is a right-wing nut job who does a nice sideline in making any left-wing position look ridiculous.

No One Is Above The Law. Except 25 million illegal invaders.

A sad reflection on life in Trump's America.

Das dicke Ende kommt noch. The worst is yet to come.

It's very sad. There was a time when America could manage to have a non-crazy policy. Meanwhile other countries, such as Brazil, are overhauling their immigration laws to protect its citizens' interests. Why can't we get it right?

There is no evidence that this was "jury nullification" rather than "not proved beyond a reasonable doubt". He was charged with 8 usc 1324 - "harboring aliens" not giving water and there are specific elements to that crime.

the meme zombie headline is misleading
"How giving water to migrants became a religious freedom issue"
when in the text below it says the charge was "conspiracy to transport "
+1 postmodern

Numbers matter. One person in distress may elicit sympathy, and a ready consensus that's its appropriate to offer help. A million a year is different. We are YTD running at the rate of 1.6 million a year on the southern land border, not counting visas overstays (see below).

I suspect even the Mrs. Bird character from the novel would understand 1.6 million people, many is large organized groups, is not a charity case.

Release Date: June 5, 2019
WASHINGTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection released the agency’s May 2019 migration statistics today, which indicate that fiscal year to date (FYTD) enforcement actions on the Southwest border reached 676,315, up 99 percent over last year at this time.

Total apprehensions on the Southwest border by the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) reached 593,507. In the previous seven years, the highest fiscal year total of apprehensions was 479, 371 in 2014 – which U.S. Border Patrol has already exceeded by 24 percent through May of this year.
USBP has already encountered over 180 large groups this fiscal year. The two largest groups ever encountered by USBP were apprehended in May, groups of more than 400 and 1,000 people.

Another example of too many laws in the USA.

I am almost done reading Conrad Blacks excellent albeit eccentric and rambling but highly nuanced and sardonic "A Matter of Principle" (2010) and he cites a somewhat suspect stat that nearly one out of six Americans have a criminal record. Too many felonies.

Bonus trivia: former Reagan appointee Richard Breeden the "corporate governance" hawk who made $50M (!) in legal fees from investigating Black's newspaper company for alleged irregularities (ultimately, none were found on appeal, but they did imprison Black for nearly six years on a Martha Stewart type 'obstruction of justice' charge, which amounted to moving boxes of duplicate materials after instructed by a lawyer it was OK to do so) was the person who cleared George W.Bush of insider trading in Harken Energy shares in 1990 and paved the way to Bush's presidency, the libertarian appeal judge who was extremely hostile to Black was the famous jurist of the appeals court (7th Circuit), Richard Posner, who Black describes as lacking focus and sounding in the transcripts like a Nazi judge, the trial court judge of the 7th Cir, who is amusingly described by Black as a lightweight, was Amy J. St. Eve, who was promoted by Donald Trump last year to the 7th Cir. court of appeals, and Trump pardoned Black this year after Black had finished his sentence. Black says he lost $250M in the entire fiasco, caused when his board of directors, including Henry Kissinger (who Black says Nixon told him could not be trusted) turned on him out of fear they would be investigated by the aggressive Breeden, for certain routine management fees that are termed "non-compete" agreements and common in the newspaper industry. During the trial Black's board of directors admitted they read nothing that they signed (they had approved of Black's non-compete fees) and spent just a few hours a year on their jobs, making about $80k a year (and typically serving on numerous such public company boards). Nice work if you can get it. How the 0.01% live. Black's saga is no love letter for Big Business.

'We are YTD running at the rate of 1.6 million a year on the southern land border'

Thankfully, Obummer is not in charge anymore, so things are going to improve real soon, one can confidently assume.

I'm sure you've noticed that Obummer's fellow travelers are doing everything they can to make sure it doesn't improve.

Why yes, I did notice that Obummer'se fellow travellers who controlled both houses of Congress from 2016-2018 did everything they could to make sure it doesn't improve.

Odd how Obummer's fellow travellers during that period were members of the Republican Party, wasn't it? Which I am sure you noticed, of course.-

Democrats were loudly claiming it was real easy to get into the US and get rich on welfare since Trump came down that escalator?

Trump is promoting immigration by seeking asylum using Twitter better than Elon Musk has increased sales of electric vehicles in the US by at least ten fold by Twitter. Tesla has no ad budget, just Elon on twitter and in interviews. The US has no need to advertise for immigrants as businesses often did overseas in the past because Trump recruits far more immigrants by tweets and interviews.

Migrant has become a euphemism for illegal immigrant.

There is no tax rate reduction or regulation reduction that would make me vote for people that support such laws.

Why not send that aid directly to the people in the countries they are coming from, rather than targeting specifically that slice of people in need who are breaking our immigration laws?

Or is "not having open borders" now actually the moral equivalent of slavery, in Tyler's eyes?

Well that would deprive the Democratic Party of voters and the Republican business owners of cheap labor, so we can't have that, now can we?

Victor Davis Hanson, author of "Mexifornia: A State of Becoming"

From 2002, but still good:

VDH bio:

That's an interesting article. I myself am more leftist inclined but VDH is one of the rightists that I really respect. He knows his Thucydides :-)

For Republicans, the cruelty is the point. Of course, they still think they're good Christians.

The road to Greece is paved with cheap moralizing. All of us who have had friend's tourist visa applications denied or have been through the process in which we paid thousands and waited over a year and submitted hundreds of pages of documentation, sat through interviews and been subjected to health exams in order to enter legally sure do feel like chumps. But hey, if cheap moralizing makes your feel more entitled then by all means, undermine the rule, don't bother fixing the laws, and just do whatever you please: you are morally superior after all.

All part and parcel of the Yes In Your Back Yard movement. The dormitories at George Mason which are only occupied 8 months are never going to be turned over immigrants. The 677 acre campus will never host high rise low income housing. Nope, finding housing and providing services to impoverished immigrants long term is a job foisted upon others.

Jury nullification is a wonderful thing and I am all for it. But it works both ways. I mean who has a juror would want to vote to convict some student loan slave who snapped and say did something like firebomb a college campus?

Next, will some kind professor help students take courses at government universities that were denied admission papers?

First things first, they should probably make sure they are not starving or dying of thirst.

I’m surprised no one has mentioned how much money these NGOs receive from the government (i.e., taxpayers) for their “immigration services”. For example, the US Catholic Church receives fully 1/2 its income annually from the government. Their traditional membership (and hence income) has been falling off a cliff for several years but has been somewhat buoyed up the last few by government payments and new immigrant membership.

In case no one of the 108 commenters mentioned it: people seeking a better future are not the same as slaves suffering from drapetomania.

Whatever your beliefs and feelings about people's freedom and rights to have better lives versus state's freedom and rights to regulate immigration, immigrants are not slaves.

'immigrants are not slaves'

You are correct - slaves are property. And of course, as property, they could never be considered people seeking a better future by running away from their masters.

As for drapetomia, truly fascinating -

'In Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race, Cartwright points out that the Bible calls for a slave to be submissive to his master, and by doing so, the slave will have no desire to run away.

If the white man attempts to oppose the Deity's will, by trying to make the negro anything else than "the submissive knee-bender" (which the Almighty declared he should be), by trying to raise him to a level with himself, or by putting himself on an equality with the negro; or if he abuses the power which God has given him over his fellow-man, by being cruel to him, or punishing him in anger, or by neglecting to protect him from the wanton abuses of his fellow-servants and all others, or by denying him the usual comforts and necessaries of life, the negro will run away; but if he keeps him in the position that we learn from the Scriptures he was intended to occupy, that is, the position of submission; and if his master or overseer be kind and gracious in his bearing towards him, without condescension, and at the same time ministers to his physical wants, and protects him from abuses, the negro is spell-bound, and cannot run away.

Cartwright described the disorder – which, he said, was "unknown to our medical authorities, although its diagnostic symptom, the absconding from service, is well known to our planters and overseers" – in a paper delivered before the Medical Association of Louisiana that was widely reprinted.'

I'm going to start leaving lots of stuff for the homeless in the back yards of GMU economics professors. Then I'll preach Bible passages to them out of context when they complain.

Also, it's really weird how liberals view the rest of the world as this awful prison where Americans keep everybody locked up. If these places are so dysfunctional, then they just need to be conquered so they stop generating "refugees."

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