7/23/14 Children on Parade

Is this politics? Please indulge me. Old sins easily beset us from time to time.

Though I am extremely suspect of any statistics published by any UN agency, I will use them when I find them convenient. Doesn’t everyone like statistics that are convenient? I don’t have time to waste with inconvenient statistics. They don’t help my case a bit. While that bit of useful information is fresh in your mind, know that I recently read a report based on UN statistics that said eighty-eight million (88,000,000) children are born into extreme/dire/deadly poverty in Africa, Asia, and South and Central America each year. These children are born into households where their parents earn less than the equivalent of $2.00 per day. This is tragic. Eighty-eight million is hardly a small number.

While America has been a haven of for immigrants since its founding, a poet’s lines, though inscribed on the Statue of Liberty are not part of our governmental responsibility.

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Thanks, Emma Lazarus, for those beautiful words. This has been the hope of millions for generations, and those huddled masses of wretched refuse from teeming shores have worked hard to become American, participate in the American dream, and helped to forge America into the great nation it is.

So, in order to help those who suffer from terrible economic hardship, we should prepare to annually bring into this nation the entire class of 88 million wretchedly poor people because this is the obligation of our government because Emma Lazarus said so in a poem and it is inscribed on a statue given to us by the French which sits in New York Harbor, right?

Hmmmmm! Let me think about that one for a while before I answer. In the meantime, feel free to bring out the children and parade them  around before me, the ones with placards and signs created for them to hold while someone takes their photo and publishes it on the internet for political purposes, exploiting them for their own benefit, as it were, but exploiting them nevertheless.

Bring out the children and parade them around.

Perhaps Lazarus’ poem represents a dream people can aspire to. Like all dreams, many will not see them realized. Some dream of becoming rock stars and find out that they’ll have to work at the tire shop instead. Unfortunately, many dream of just having a job at the tire shop, and a paycheck, and a roof, and food on their table, and a better life for their children only to have that not work out, either.. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to become a rock star. There’s certainly nothing wrong with wanting to provide an honest living for yourself and your family by the sweat of your brow, and be free of poverty, oppression, famine, and violence.

Bring out the children and parade them around.

Teacher’s unions’ primary function is to see to the increasing benefits and working conditions of teachers (actually teacher’s unions’ primary function is to collect dues to handsomely pay teacher union executives and their nepotistic employees): more money, less accountability, less performance evaluation, more assistants, better retirements. If only education received more funding at the federal, state, and local levels, schools would be better and kids would learn more, never mind that more money has not resulted in a better education, just more administrators. If only our curricula were more diverse and we stopped the oppressive performance evaluation testing of the students and adopt the new Common Core standards our children would be better prepared for a future requiring more math and science…never mind that Johnny can’t read a book and write a readable report that analyzes what it is that he has just read. It’s all because there is not enough money. Never mind that Johnny can’t learn in a fifty year old school building in elementary school, but two hundred year old buildings on a college campus means that Johnny has to borrow far more money to pay tuition that is five times as much to get an education that will not necessarily make him employable. “It’s all about the children,” the teacher’s unions tell us.

Bring out the children and parade them around.

“In the eyes of god (which god, please?) no child is illegal,” says disingenuous people who likely never read any holy book from cover to cover, and certainly never read Voltaire, who wisely said, “A witty saying proves nothing,” which, itself, proves nothing, but that did not escape Voltaire, nor me. Just redefine terms as you wish anytime you want, though in relation to immigration “Illegal” means in violation of the law, and “alien” means foreigner, or not a citizen, so how God (that’s the capital G God, folks) views children does not alter the fact that many of them are illegal aliens. You can try to make me feel guilty about their illegal alien status. Just do this:

Bring out the children and parade them around.

Sociologists and Social Anthropologists seem to celebrate diversity and diverse culture above all things, but seem to reject the culture which made America American, the very thing that brings millions upon millions to our border, those who are yearning to breathe free, not because they want government help, but because they are escaping the oppression of their own governments, or the corruption of their own governments, or the economic deprivation in their own country and simply want to be left alone in peace and safety to make their own way. No one leaves their home to go to a place that is worse. Everyone leaves their home to go to a place where there is the hope of a better life. So, let’s all move to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. American mothers, send your unaccompanied children to El Salvador; pay a criminal to take them through the desert and deliver them safely onto El Salvadoran soil right into the hands of their new parents, the El Salvadoran government and get yourself arrested for child neglect. Don’t worry about the ones who never make it and are diverted into sexual slavery….they’ll never be seen again. But the rest of them? The ones we can get on TV?

Bring out the children and parade them around.

On a radio interview yesterday, I heard a woman excoriating state initiatives to drug test people receiving Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) benefits. We used to call this welfare. The woman said that if people failed their drug test and were denied TANF benefits, it would be their children that were hurt. It really puzzles me as to how people receiving family support aid and spending money on drugs is benefiting their children. Should parents in need using aid money for drugs that they could otherwise use to feed their families cause me some sense of shame? I’d argue otherwise.

Bring out the children and parade them around.

EBT cards are being used to withdraw money in strip clubs, casinos, adult bookstores, liquor stores, and now, lo and behold, in weed shops in Colorado. Denying ATM access to  EBT transactions in these places is hurting children? I didn’t know they let children in those places. There’s certainly nothing in those places children need. But:

Bring out the children and parade them around.

When our border patrol agents are fired on from Mexican territory by 50 calibre weapons so people can cross the Rio Grande as the agents wisely seek cover from the suppressing fire, remember, those are children firing those weapons. Oh! They’re not? You mean they’re former Mexican military people profiting as Coyotes, those who bring people across the desert, across the entire north/south length of Mexico, and then across the border for a fee, perhaps as much as $5,000? Those desperately poor in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, who make less than $2.00 per day can afford $5,000? Or is it only the more well off who can afford this? Thus, the most desperately poor cannot afford to send their children illegally to America. In the meantime:

Bring out the children and parade them around.

Hamas is a terrorist organization. Israel effectively practices apartheid. The cure for this, according to both sides is apparently:

Bring out the children and parade them around.

That is especially beneficial if the children are dead. Never mind that missile installations in Gaza are placed in civilian neighborhoods, though I will admit that in Gaza, there is absolutely nowhere else to place them. Gaza’s size and population mean that the Gazans have about six square feet per person. Of course this is an exaggeration, but Gaza’s population density is way on up there, exceeding Manhattan’s I may have read somewhere; I cannot confirm it at this time and will not bother. You look it up if you want to. Keep on looking until you find the numbers you want to find, or the story that supports your own narrative. Legitimate problems exist between Israel and Gaza, on both sides of every issue. The Arab nations and Iran could exterminate Israel if they made a determined effort. The Israelis know this already, though it might make the Israelis a bit less paranoid if the Arab nations and Iran would simply stop saying that this is their intention. I have no answer, but if it will help:

Bring out the children and parade them around

When the apostles and aides-de-camp of Jesus’ entourage tried to keep children away from Jesus, just to stop them from annoying Him, He refused to let them do so. “Suffer the little children to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven,” He said. Ironically, Jesus never expected the government to do anything for the children. Jesus never expected anything whatsoever from the government. What the government did and what Jesus did, and what He expected from them had no connection to His spirituality or His devotion to children or His fellow man. The only governing authority Jesus condemned was the governing authority of the Sadducees over the temple mount in Jerusalem and the corruption they allowed, encouraged, and profited from. Though Jesus expects me to do something about hungry children, He does not expect it from the government. He expects nothing from the government. In the meantime, though:

Bring out the children and parade them around

Some of those children illegally entering our country are late teenagers and undocumented to the point that their names are whatever they say they are, and their birthplaces are wherever they say they are, and their ages are whatever they claim them to be, because they have no documents of any kind. As a US citizen, in order to legally get a job, I have to show either a US passport or two other forms of identification: one of them must be a government issued photo ID, and the other must be my social security card. As an employer, I have to sign a form, swearing under the penalty of perjury, that I have reviewed those two forms of ID and that they appear to be genuine, or I have to use the government’s E-Verify system that proves someone’s eligibility for employment in the USA. Meanwhile, employers are either violating this law, or “undocumented workers” formerly known as illegal aliens are earning their income through illegal means or from government support. I can go to prison or be forced to pay ruinous fines for hiring illegal (undocumented) aliens (workers), so I won’t hire them if they don’t have their documents. How, then, do they support themselves? Are they all working as maids in congressional delegation and cabinet appointee homes? Hmmm! It seems that some of them have. In the meantime:

Bring out the children and parade them around.

The unaccompanied children (UAC) illegally crossing the border are only a very small percentage of those actually crossing the border; that a significant number of those children have the legends and insignia of the gang MS-13 tattooed on their faces is merely a coincidence. It really means nothing, as after all, these are mere children. It’s odd that the children I see with placards others made for them to hold never have moustaches and tattooed faces. Some say that the moustaches and tattoos are inventions…that all the children crossing the border are six to nine year-olds. It’s certainly the six to nine year-olds holding those signs since the moustached and tattooed ones do not fit the desired narrative.

Bring out the children and parade them around.

In order to stop world hunger and violence from being perpetrated on children in desperate places, America can just import all 88 million children born into extreme poverty each year. We can send them a copy of Emma Lazarus’ poem on the back of a postcard with a photo of the Statue of Liberty on the front. We can drop 88 million of these from airplanes all over the world every year. At the bottom of the poem, there can be a little asterisked section that can read, in extremely fine print, “***This card valid for one person to get into the United States free upon presentation. Only one card per family per year. Offer not good in combination with other offers. Participants must provide their own transportation. This offer is not valid in some states. Check your own nation’s laws and regulations before beginning your trip. Do not linger if you are transiting through Mexico. Not responsible for accidents and mishaps redeemers of this card may encounter on their way, and any claim or future claim of responsibility for damages encountered in Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Jackson, Memphis, Oakland, or Washington, D.C., are specifically excluded.

Meanwhile:

Bring out the children and parade them around.

Emigrating to America is not a constitutional right extended to the citizens of the world. Nations are nations and borders are borders. If you claim that you don’t believe in borders, please reassert that claim right after someone violates the border of the front door to your home and forces their way inside with the intent to harm you and your loved ones. Let’s see what you think about borders then. The most basic and sacred border is the door to our homes. With your invitation, when I cross that border it is likely to be a time of joy, peace, plenty, love, music, and laughter. When I cross that border without your permission, or worse, at your refusal, I am likely to soon be reduced to room temperature. Rightly so. I would expect this from you. No hard feelings. Please allow me the same courtesy as to facilitate your room temperature reduction if you force your way into my home. It is a courtesy we owe each other. In a similar vein, if you shoot at me from across the border, please do not be alarmed or surprised when I shoot back, rather:

Bring out the children and parade them around.

After all, everything is about the children.

Oddly, no one brings out the children and parades them around when talking about our national debt which those children will have to pay, or underfunded public pensions, which those children will have to pay. People who mention children when talking about these things are morons at best, or completely lacking compassion at worst. Perhaps it would be better if someone made placards showing the 17 trillion dollars the citizens owe because of the largesse of our federal government, and to that add the billions and trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities owed by state, municipal, and local governing authorities. Those signs should show the astronomical number and read, “Look what your irresponsible generation has left on our shoulders. The sins of you, our fathers, will be visited on us, your children.” Yes, that’s it.

Bring out the children and parade them around.

What a novel idea.

Ellis Island was a place of redemption, hope, and rebirth for millions. Ellis Island and America represented the second chance…the fresh start. It was also a place where many tens of thousands of people were turned away and put on ships right back to their own country because of disease, lice, bad teeth, physical disabilities, unspellable and unpronouncable last names, body odor, halitosis, and a whole host of other reasons, many of them purely pejoratife exclusions by their Ellis Island examiner. Emma Lazarus’ poem and the Statue of Liberty was a tribute paid to America, having absolutely no connection to immigration laws then or now. Appeals to compassion do not trump law. If you think this is in error, rather than work to change the law, then please, by all means, in order to cajole people into allowing circumvention of the law, feel free:

Bring out the children and parade them around.

Everyone else does.

 

©2014 Mississippi Chris Sharp

 

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