Saturday, April 4, 2009

Our Misguided Immigration Policy

You know things are getting bad when an immigrant-friendly mayor is put in the position to lament:
“I’m the hero of every redneck in America.”
This is exactly what happened to Irving, Texas mayor Herbert A. Gears.

Because the federal government has a schizophrenic and ineffective immigration policy that localities are trying to make up for. Upon his election, I think he summed up the problem facing states and cities pretty well, saying:

“We’ve defined what our responsibility is, and that’s only to allow the federal government to do its job. It’s not our responsibility to evaluate it or assess whether it’s good or not.”

Well, enabling bad laws have predictably bad consequences--hurting your own economy, for one:

Just after sunrise one morning last summer, as his two sons hurried out the door to school, Oscar Urbina might have presented a portrait of domestic stability in this Dallas suburb, a 35-year-old man with a nice home, a thriving family and a steady contracting job.

But a few weeks earlier, after buying a Dodge Ram truck at a local dealership, he had been summoned back to deal with some paperwork problems. And shortly after he arrived, so did the police, who arrested him on charges of using a false Social Security number.

Mr. Urbina does not deny it; he has been living illegally in the Dallas area since coming to the country from Mexico in 1993. But the turn of events stunned him in a once-welcoming place where people had never paid much attention to Social Security numbers.

If the arrest had come earlier, it might have had little effect on his life. But two years ago, Irving made a decision, championed by its first-term mayor, Herbert A. Gears, to conduct immigration checks on everyone booked into the local jail. So Mr. Urbina was automatically referred to the federal authorities and now faces possible deportation, becoming one of more than 4,000 illegal immigrants here who have ended up in similar circumstances.

Let's hear it for deporting productive members of society that spend money in our economy!

You can read the rest of this pathetic story here.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Dear America, You Wasted Your Money

Love, the Ex-Chairman of AIG:

WASHINGTON — Maurice R. Greenberg, the former chairman of the American International Group, said Thursday that the government’s $170 billion bailout had failed and that taxpayers would have been better off letting the company go bankrupt.
Either libertarians are psychic, or--GASP!--we might actually know what we're talking about when it comes to economics.

I (Used to) Smoke Marijuana

So Will Wilkinson lays out the cost of the drug war and has, with a growing recent trend, admitted to marijuana use. I can't say I smoke pot anymore, because I don't, but I used to and I am not afraid to admit it.

I never got in trouble with it: never been arrested, lost no jobs, never experienced pot-induced depression, and I suffer no permanent memory loss. I just smoked a lot when I was younger and outgrew it. I didn't stop because it was "the responsible thing to do"--I stopped because I just didn't like the daze I was in the next day. It effects everyone differently, and that is just one of the side-effects that affected me once I became an occasional smoker, and I don't like it.

But for all the marijuana I smoked--I was never a dealer--the law says I was a criminal. And so was Michael Phelps. And Newt Gingrich. And cancer and AIDS patients in California. And Snoop Dogg. And Woody Harrelson. And Bill Clinton. And Barack Obama. And Tony Blair. And tens of millions of Americans in every walk of life--that, through their actions, have subjected themselves to arrest, conviction, loss of job and educational opportunity because some people believe it immoral to get high.

But, indeed, with death tolls rising on the U.S.-Mexico border, with numerous people being kicked-out of college for drug offenses and losing college loans because of drug convictions, and the hundreds of deaths and injuries that have resulted from the law enforcement of this petty vice, marijuana prohibition is itself immoral and must be ended.

I, too, smoked marijuana, and I liked it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Quote of the Day

“If you believe that politicians are about solving problems and need more power in order to do so, then you are going to side with Progressive Corporatism. If you believe that politicians are about power and need problems as an excuse to get it, then you are going to side with The Resistance.” - Arnold Kling

H/T: Caleb "Voice of Liberty" Brown

100 Pot Heads Facing the Wall, 100 Pot Heads an Hour

Take one in, process the kid, 99 pot heads arrested an hour: (click on picture to see full size)
This is your government on Drug War. Any questions?

H/T: Agitator

UPDATE: Uh, I just read a piece by my former colleague Jacob Sullum over at H&R that has a similar headline, albeit for a completely different story. That's just weird--'99 bottles of beer on the wall' is apparently a running theme.