Monday, February 4, 2008

Immigration Gumballs

It is pretty clear to us here in Flemington that we have an illegal immigration situation. The main problems we face are the overcrowding and over use of our infrastructure and water. Boro council monitors the situation and this fall passed the stacking ordinance to begin to address this strain on our limited resources due to this continuing influx. I witnessed the discussion on the stacking ordinance among the stakeholders here, Boro council, Police Chief Becker to name a few. I felt it was an intelligent and fruitful discussion. Flemington has begun to face the reality of illegal immigration and the problems that accompany it, intelligently and with a fair amount of compassion too.

So I was particularly put off by the take on it Bishop E. Roy Riley expressed in the Courier News this Sunday. He describes another heartrending tale and then he casts the problem as a brutal American response to poor folks who just want a better life and how can Americans just not understand this. Unfortunately there is no absence of heartrending tales that come with immigration. I will cut him a bit of a slack in that he refers to a situation that involves raids and detention. I cannot say this is my solution either but poor responses do not erase immigration problems anymore than bad medical care means there is no illness.

“Costly immigration policy destroys families” Courier News, ‘Opinion”, Sunday, February 3, 2008

Google ‘Immigration Gumballs’ and get a lesson here on the effects and common sense perspectives on immigration. After you view this piece on YouTube, consider this---about 15 years ago I waited for the school bus on the corner of West Road and N. Main with my two daughters. In those days, fewer than 5 students at any given time got on and off the school bus at this stop. Today at times I may see 25+ high school students get off the school bus and they appear to be mostly Hispanic. Second, having children that age, I am around the twenty-something/early thirty-something crowd now and then. These newlyweds, double income/no children young American citizens, are paying their own way. They can barely afford a house and to start a family. Meanwhile illegal immigrants are taking advantage of America’s entitlement programs such as free education and medical care in emergency rooms that cannot refuse them, living in places that those paying their way and for these entitlement programs as well cannot afford. This hardly seems like fair or sound policy.

The gumball mathematician makes a good point. The best way to solve the immigration problem is for America to help people of poor nations live better in their own countries. America can bolster ventures like the Grameen Bank (Google it), for instance. The strategy works. It preserves dignity and fosters self-reliance without threatening the solvency of other nations.

On the down side this approach does not address our immediate immigration problems. It is a tough issue. That’s for sure.

To learn where your candidates stand on immigration see…

New York Times Election Guide 2008

On another note...What about those Giants!!!! It ain't over 'til it's over...right, folks?

Stay tuned.


MediumPetey said...

“It is pretty clear to us here in Flemington that we have an illegal immigration situation.”

First of all, you don’t speak for all of “us" here in Flemington, so please don’t.

Next, what is your empirical data that indicates there is an undocumented alien problem here in Flemington? When you say that “it is pretty clear to us…”, do you follow the example of our newly elected sheriff who can see the ‘illegal immigrants’ on the streets of Flemington because they’re Hispanic? [She indicated as such in the Democrat] Is that what you mean? That brown skin equals ‘illegal immigrant’?

I assume that is the case you’re making from your assertions.

In your narrative, you assert that “Today at times I may see 25+ high school students get off the school bus and they appear to be mostly Hispanic.” Why is the race or skin color of the high school students so important to you? Also, are you actually asserting that since these students are Hispanic, that you assume they are from the “illegal immigrants” population? Has this been proven?

Finally, your assertion that the ‘overcrowding’ issue is only in the Hispanic community is racist at its core. You mention in the ‘overcrowding’ issue in graph one, and the Hispanic issue in the remaining graphs, so I have to assume that is what you mean.

You do no service to your community blog by such racist assertions. The overcrowding issue is NOT a problem created by people with ‘brown skin’, as much as you may like to think it is ---figuring that an anti-stacking ordinance will once and for all solve the overcrowding problem, and rid the town of those ‘brown skin’ Hispanic people.

The fact of the matter is that the REAL problem is from unscrupulous landlords who are willing to rent apartments to more than the allowable numbers because it is more profitable for them. And because of unscrupulous business owners who are willing to hire those who are here without proper documentation because they provide a cheaper form of labor for less than the minimum wage. They are the real culprits, not people with ‘brown skin’.

If, Mrs. Greiner, it is clear to YOU “here in Flemington that we have an illegal immigration situation”, then it should be handled like any other ‘crime’. If you’re so sure that it is clear to you that someone you have seen in town is an undocumented alien, then you need to identify that person to the proper level of authorities [the INS or the Flemington Police]; and provide the objective proof of your assertion that they are here illegally [in what ever way this information has become CLEAR to you], and be available to testify against the perpetrator when the issue is adjudicated in court.

I would think being the good law abiding citizen that you are, if you have such proof, that you would feel obligated to provide it to the police, and do so immediately.

Courier News Flemington blog said...

Boy, Mediumpetey, you can certainly put words in other people's mouths...and spin...I could never dance with such a spinner. Suffice it for me to say that you are the one who cries racism to prevent a real dialogue...spin, spin,spin...there is not a person who knows me that could ever suggest I was racist...spin, spin, spin...

MediumPetey said...

I stand by my previous commentary. Your assertions, "“It is pretty clear to us here in Flemington that we have an illegal immigration situation.” and "“Today at times I may see 25+ high school students get off the school bus and they appear to be mostly Hispanic.” taken together make for conclusions that ---you 'know' where the alleged 'illegals' are in Flemington, and observe them on the high school bus as Hispanic.

How can you make such an assertion and have anyone not think that is racist?

Instead of just denying my assertions made, prove them wrong. You're a philosopher; I am sure that is not hard for you!

Courier News Flemington blog said...


Since I have been blogging I have observed that you want to censor those who disagree with you. You do not support the 4th Amendment very vigorously. In discussions you tend to stereotype negatively those who disagree with you while it is somehow racist to refer to Hispanic people as Hispanic for some reason. This an extremely manipulative maneuver, like Jets and Sharks calling each other names to set off mindless gang wars. Or you wildly extrapolate, attributing despicable viewpoints to others that they do not hold as a way to thwart a seminal aspect of being an American and the American political system, specifically valid discussion. You do not seem to support making sure our own young Americans who are paying their way are getting a fair chance to have shot at the American dream. If I were going to stereotype you, I would say you are anti-American. But I won’t stereotype you…but if I were, that is what I would say…you are anti-American.

Now regarding “brown skinned people”, terms I am loathed to use but it is your wording and I feel I must address these terms. Consider that I had lived in Houston for 10 years and our family was sustained on great Tex- Mex before tacos and tortillas and mole enchiladas ever hit the Garden State. Our second home was that of my still soul-sister, Agelia Perez McGowan. We had our babies together, shopped together, cooked together, vacationed and worked together… ...her home was bi-lingual…her father Pepe was tan as was brother, Beto...but both Manuel and mother Agelia, as well as my dearest friend, were fair. Agelia has porcelain skin with deep black hair as a first generation Mexican American. So I do not see Hispanic people as brown skinned people whatever that may mean. Hispanic people and their culture, intermarriage are as indigenous to Texas and Houston as are the cowboys. I have known Hispanic people to be generous, sensitive, kind and hard workers with a deep sense of moral values. They do not all look alike to me. An uncle of mine from Poland was much darker than Agelia. I guess to you he is a brown skinned person…what an ugly term….

Given your comments I think you did not check the URL and hence missed the point of the entire exercise here which is discussing a long term solution to problematic, unchecked immigration. I suggested that readers check the post on YouTube and see my comments in that context. I suspect you did not.

MediumPetey said...

Wrong, wrong, and wrong again. You know, I mostly stopped reading your blog because of your jump around/make a point where there is no point style. The gostak distims the doshes sort of thing. It became tiresome. However, when a friend pointed out what you wrote, your assertions, and so forth, I could not let them stand.

It is fascinating how someone of your ilk claims 'victim' status when challenged; that some who disagrees with you is trying to censor you; And then default to the ever-popular name calling of--"anti-American"--as if you have the sole status of being the judge or who is an American patriot and who is not; and finally to the equally laughable 'some of my best friends are black reasoning [in this case, Hispanic].

First of all, your assertion that I somehow want to censor you based on your view point----is completely baseless, and you know it. I have NEVER in any of my blog posts asserted anything of the kind. I challenge you to 'cut and paste' from my posts anything to back up your assertion. You will not be able to, because they do not exist. The closest you'll come is my assertion that your posts should be on the same line as Bob Engle's and Joey Novack's because your posts are mostly political, and not 'community' oriented. But censor you? Never happened/never will.

Next, once again, I stand on my previous assertions about your being able to see "clear[y]
that Flemington has an "illegal immigration situation." Three posts, and still no facts to back your assertion or just how you see this "clear[y]". I can only assume [once again] it's based on your additional observation of Hispanics getting off the school bus.

If you wrap up your two assertions in a nice little package, and top those off with the overcrowding issue you refer to, I think that any independent thinking person in Flemington would draw the same conclusions I have drawn. That you believe you can identify undocumented aliens on the street by their race; if they are Hispanic, they are undocumented aliens; and that the undocumented Hispanic aliens are the sole cause of any overcrowding in Flemington. Linear, narrow, one-dimensional thinking that is wrong, wrong, and wrong again.

And I don't care how many friends you have with Hispanic last names or how much Tex-Mex food you've eaten, or how many years you lived in Texas. It's simply not proof of any special 'sensitivity' toward the people you see who have brown skin and may or may not be Americans or Hispanic.

And I did watch the video on YouTube, all 16-17 minutes of it. He's almost as loony tunes as the rest of the ranting anti-immigration extremists in NJ. And I don't have the time to slice through the incorrectness of the assumptions his assertions are based on.

Still, why are you so unwilling to address the points I made earlier in a substantive way?

Courier News Flemington blog said...


Cut and paste..

On censorship…

“I urge all on board here to call the editor of the Courier News and let them know the false product they are putting out here. Perhaps they will have second thoughts about giving Mrs. Greiner this type of forum, that purports to be one thing, but is clearly another” Mediumpetey, January 4, under “comments” section of ”Re-

So you want the CN editor to pull the plug on this forum, which is Greiner on Flemington, advertised as such by the CN and would certainly include Flemington government… no false product here other than your spin that it is. I said things you did not approve of so you concoct some fantasy here that I am not doing what I should be doing. How is your comment not about censorship again, MP? Check comments on drug testing posts. I stand by my conclusions about you and your commitment to American values or lack thereof..…

I find you at times verbally abusive, calling people racist, for instance. I will not tolerate that on this forum. Take responsibility and clean up your act instead of spinning my reactions and expectations to be treated respectfully as victimhood.

One of my points, addressing your racism accusations and hence one of your points, is that I have lived in Houston which is not lily- white America or lily- white Flemington for that matter. Immersed in that culture for years, I do not see Hispanic people as different which seems to be one of your underlying presumptions. I am beginning to wonder now if you see Hispanic people as different because you are making such a fuss. My point is--- the Hispanic population is more prevalent and integrated in Houston than here. Were I racist, how is it that my dearest friend is Hispanic???? Here you do not know what you are talking about and you seem to think I should just let your lies stand. Instead of accepting the info I provide about what I am like, you dismiss the information because it contradicts your perspectives of me. You seem to just argue points not concerned if they are grounded in any truth.

Immigration, particularly from Central and South America is a nationwide concern and a presidential campaign issue. I provided the NY Times URL for reference here. The US is building a fence. NJ, along with California and Texas, is one of the states most affected by illegal immigration. So why would you and your friends be shocked if someone thought the growing Hispanic population, in Flemington, including students, consists of some people who are here illegally? As for Hispanics being the sole cause of overcrowding...never said that...get grip on yourself here, MP, you are spinning and exaggerating my position and misrepresenting me. We are perhaps overbuilding here as well and that is an overcrowding issue too.

MP, get back on the planet…what do you think the immigration problem is all about???? .

And what substantive points have you made for me to refute...that I should not say the word “Hispanic”? Should I call these people Germans? It's a substantive point that I have not personally checked the legal status of all Hispanics in Flemington? These are substantive???

If you want to discuss illegal immigration local or nationwide, you might can begin the discussion by telling me specifically what the loopholes are in the
Video, instead of summarily blowing it off or perhaps you might tell me your version of the US immigration problem and your explanation of why the US is building a fence. If you want to use this as an opportunity to bash me, game over.

MediumPetey said...

Yes, I stand by that assertion.

I urged all on board to contact the Courier News editor to let them know “the false product they are putting out”, and change the forum from a “community blog”, which it is not, and to a “political blog”, which it is.

I never asserted that you should be censored. Once again, never have never will. I think that the product you put out should be labeled correctly.

And, once again, who are you to declare who has “American values” and who does not? Please, get over yourself.

I still stand by my assertions made previously. Once again, you’re the one who made the observation that the high students who got off the bus looked “mostly Hispanic”. That was your assertion. What was the point of that assertion? It did not just come out of the blue. The lady doth protest too much.

“Were I racist, how is it that my dearest friend is Hispanic????”

Once again, the argument that “some of my best friends are black [or in this case, Hispanic] holds no water.

I stand by all the points made in previous posts. You have neither supported your assertions here nor negated my points. The questions still remain as to how you “clearly” see that there are undocumented aliens in Flemington. By the way, no one is an “illegal immigrant” ----any more than you are an “illegal pedestrian” if you jay-walk. What is “illegal” is the action, not the person.

Being an undocumented alien means that a crime has been perpetrated. If you’re so sure that you “clearly” see that there are undocumented aliens in Flemington ---and know where they are in Flemington,--- what would compel you to not point them out to the police or Borough Council or to the INS?

Why don’t you provide the proper authorities with the proof of how you have come to know that the particular person[s] are/is undocumented. And please make sure you’re available to testify to those facts, when that person’s trial comes up in court.

If you’re a good citizen, I am sure you will do so and make a great witness. If not ----I am not sure of the law---but that might be aiding and abetting a crime, if you have knowledge of the crime, but fail to report it. For example, if you see someone steal money or break into a home, I am sure you would feel obligated to report that person and crime to the police. Why not do the same here, if you’re so sure you “clearly” see the undocumented aliens? You’d be doing Flemington a service, I would imagine. And you certainly have the obligation to do, being so community minded, and all.