Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Minutemen Are Coming--To Herndon, Virginia

According to a recent article in the Washington Post, residents of Herndon, Virginia, will be getting some help with the monitoring of the day-laborers center due to open in December:
"A group of Herndon residents that is part of the national Minutemen organization is planning to patrol day laborer hiring sites in the town and report illegal immigrant workers and their employers to authorities.

"An offshoot of the Arizona-based Minutemen Project, which launched civil patrols to stem illegal immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border this year, the Herndon group says it will gather evidence of immigration and employment violations by photographing illegal workers and those who hire them.

"'The ultimate goal is to rid Herndon of illegal aliens,' said the group's leader, Herndon resident George Taplin."
For a variety of reasons, law enforcement is not getting the proper monitoring done, so citizens will be assisting. Is this vigilante justice?

Operation Spotlight, the patrol group, has a specific plan:
"[M]ore than 50 volunteers, who are all Virginia residents but whose names he would not divulge, will begin staking out informal hiring sites and trailing laborers to their work sites in about two weeks. He said they will compile a database of photographs and record the names of companies hiring workers, then give the information to federal immigration authorities, local law enforcement and other agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service.

"Taplin said the volunteers would avoid confrontation. They will be told that they cannot carry firearms, he said. 'We're here to collect data, and that's it,' he said.

"Taplin said the group would also follow workers home to document possible zoning violations, such as overcrowding.

"Taplin said he met with Herndon Police Chief Toussaint E. Summers Jr. to assure him that the patrols would not cause disruptions or hurt anyone..."
This plan does not appear to be vigilante justice. Nevertheless, Operation Spotlight is meeting with resistance:

"With the formation of the group, tensions over day laborers and illegal immigrants reached another peak in Herndon...

"Kerrie Wilson, who sits on the executive council of Project Hope and Harmony, the nonprofit group that will operate the planned job center [For information on the Muslim origins of Project Hope, click here] , said she has received several calls from laborers and employers who are worried about the patrol. She said she and members of her staff have informed them of workers' rights and discussed 'conflict avoidance.'

"She said she did not know whether the patrols would discourage workers from gathering in public.

"'Certainly, workers are concerned now, but it's just too much to say' what the effect will be, Wilson said. She added: 'We believe this is an attempt to provoke a reaction. And, frankly, mostly what we're focusing on right now is getting the center up and running.'"
As I see it, if the center, funded in part by taxpayers' dollars, will in any way foster or encourage illegal immigrants to utilize it, such a matter should be of concern to those who will be operating the center. Why does it not matter to Project Hope that illegal immigrants might be present?

In addition to those involved with Project Hope, some governmental officials also are not pleased with Operation Spotlight:
"Law enforcement is best left up to professionals,' said Dean Boyd, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, when asked what the agency would do with reports from the Minutemen about illegal immigrants. 'Obviously, we do welcome tips from the public, but obviously, we have to run down the information and verify it.'"
Somehow, I always thought that such was the job of law enforcement--to run down information which might lead to the disruption of illegal activity. And from what I understand of Operation Spotlight, the group will serve to provide tips to the appropriate authorities.

But Wilson, of Project Hope, sees the matter differently:
"Wilson said the hiring center is scheduled to open in December. She said she thinks the Minutemen's attention is focused in the wrong place.

"'I think the real issue is, of course, that for folks that have questions about immigration and the immigration system, the answer is down the street from Herndon, in the halls of Congress and the White House,' Wilson said."
If, right now, laws regulating immigration are on the books, I want to see those laws enforced. Is there anything wrong with private citizens' facilitating the enforcement of the law?


At 10/25/2005 7:52 PM, Blogger Bassizzzt said...


Come to WAYNESBORO, STUARTS DRAFT and STAUNTON, VIRGINIA. We're being inundated by illegals and no one is doing a goddamn thing about it.

At 10/25/2005 7:58 PM, Blogger jakejacobsen said...

You want inundated you should try living in Chicago. English speakers are quickly becoming a minority.

I hope operation Spotlight is a success and that we can get these going all over the country.

The irony to me is that our government pats us on the head and says in a condescending voice "we
'll handle this, don't you worry your pretty little head" and then does absolutely nothing.



At 10/25/2005 8:39 PM, Blogger Mustang said...

I fear that social progress is working mightily against those of us who want no more than secure communities, jobs, and borders. Of course, "social progress" is that mindset among some (too many?) who have adopted that "I'm okay, you're okay" attitude. Suddenly, people who demand secure borders and who insist on the government doing it's constitutionally mandated job, are ogres, racists, and latino-phobes.

For me personally, this isn't a racial or ethnic issue. I don't care where illegal immigrants come from, nor do I care about the color of their skin. What I do care about is that if they are going to come to America, they do it legally.

I do agree that this is principally a failure of the Congress, but the current administration has ignored the issue for much too long. It is time to start voting out of office those who can not, or who will not, execute their respective political offices and responsibilities.

I applaud the Minutemen for their commitment to civic virtue, and I have nothing but disdain for government officials (who took an oath to preserve and protect) who apparently don't get it. It is time that WE THE PEOPLE started voting these nitwits OUT of office, starting with the next congressional elections.

At 10/25/2005 11:43 PM, Blogger Bassizzzt said...

I strongly agree with you, Mustang. As a staunch Conservative and registered Republican, I am sorely disappointed with the way Bush has handled the border situation. He hasn't. It doesn't matter to him. He called the Minutemen Militia "vigilantes." That is like the mouse calling the rat a rodent. Hello?? If you have common citizens taking up for the slack where the federal government is asleep at the wheel, they are not vigilantes. They are patriotic Americans.

At 10/26/2005 1:30 AM, Anonymous Elmers Brother said...


At 10/26/2005 12:44 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Don't care about ethnicity, mustang?

I was always confused that back in the 80's when things were bad in Ireland and we had lots of white undocumented Irish all over Boston that nobody cared. Didn't say a word. Always made me suspicious of the "I don't care about ethnicity" crowd.

So what are the Minutemen going to do? Harass somes guy trying to make it on $8 an hour? Pretty noble. Real white of you folk.

Tips to the proper authorities? They don't know who's hiring illegals? What kind of freakin' Andy of Mayberry huckleberries do you hire for police down there? Just go to city hall and check out the roofing permits. That will net you a ton with far less work.

I would like to draw your attention to a related, if not obviously so, topic of Supreme Court nominees. What do Roberts and Miers have in common? They are both corporate attorneys. All restrictions on capital are being removed in this country and the use of illegals is just one aspect of the larger picture.

AOW do you actually believe that someone is going to step in and block the major home builders from using cheap labor during this boom? You think Toll and the others aren't feeding back big bucks to the pols and that the Supreme Court appointments aren't chosen to ensure that campaign finance reform never happens?

We sold the country. We let it get sold and it is time to accept that and do something about it or stop whining.

Right now we are just blowing smoke out of our collective arse with this Minuteman silliness. It pains me to see how ill prepared we are to even analyze the problem.

Hey, mustang, did you ban me from your site. I've been banned from places with a higher collective I.Q. than yours. Wouldn't surprise me.

At 10/26/2005 4:42 PM, Blogger G_in_AL said...

Duck... "all over Boston"

That is slightly different, and much smaller in scale than ALL OVER THE NATION!

Quit trying to find some minute hang-up on which to post your "Hypocricy" flag on. I could care less if Boston has a few too many Irish. But I do care of the entire nation now has almost more illegal Mexicans than it does legal ones.

This is like asking why someone didnt get upset about the bird poop on their car, but got pissed about the tree that fell on it.

You act like a real tool sometimes.

At 10/26/2005 4:49 PM, Blogger Esther said...

Wild stuff. I wonder where they'll go next. Thanks for telling us about this, AOW. Great post!

At 10/26/2005 5:16 PM, Anonymous Felis said...

These guys did a great job before and I am sure they will again.
They are well organized and disciplined lot.

At 10/27/2005 6:03 AM, Blogger LASunsett said...

I hope that they are able to draw the attention that the minutemen were able to. This problem must be fought not only on the supply side, but the demand side, as well.

At 10/27/2005 8:58 AM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

The preamble of the Constitution of the United States begins ``We the People..``

Government is ultimately the collective expression of ``We the People..``

The Minutemen should have been called to arms long ago. Who defends the borders, or upholds laws? ``We the People..``

As long as our government fails to do its duty, the Minutemen will continue to grow. About time!

Great post!

At 10/27/2005 9:49 AM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

g, get a clue. Mustang is typical. Notice that he leads with the mandatory
"For me personally, this isn't a racial or ethnic issue."

What brought that up? Why does he have that qualifier foremost on his mind?
You know and I know.

As for the Irish in Boston, well it was a very relevant microcosm. Massachusetts is becoming quite vocal about illegals in our midst....never happened when the illegals were white.
This is primarily about race and whitebread like mustang who think that sending some goons down to employment sites is an effective response to the issue.

I don't have a lot of hope for a board that includes people like yourself who at one time voiced the opinion that the London bomb makers needed to go to "training camp" to learn to mix ingredients for a bomb when the mechanics for that task are all over the internet. Like mustang, you seem short on solutions that don't require force. Violence and outsiders....that's the mix you folks seem to enjoy.

At 10/27/2005 1:22 PM, Blogger G_in_AL said...

No Duck, it's called reality over ideals. Something you lack on a regualar basis.

Logic says that 100 "Micks" at a pub in Boston wont crash our economy or invite a serious national security threat.

Ideals and political correctness say "We must treat it equally lest we appear racist or insensitive".

You try to connect the most remote events to preach your consistant message of self loathing... then when someone calls you on it, you try to imply that they (me in this case) am some kind of knuckle dragger because I dont aspire to the enlightened sensabilities that you do.

Hogwash, and you know it. Your arguments are nothing but academic theories, that have never played out in reality... a fact i suspect that is still irritating you.

What other solution are you looking for (That I also notice you seem to lack)? Should we just open our arms and let them all come and live off the riches of our hard work?

How about instead, we accept that it is a problem, and to get to the root of the problem, you must attack the source. The source for this problem is the availability of work to illegal immegrants. If we remove that... thus the demand falls.

Just like the drug war (if we would have fought to win, not for votes) would have been more effective if getting caught with some coke or heroine was an immediate 10 years, no probation in prison... guess how many folks would "just try it out"?

Get your head out of the clouds (or your ass?) and smell the real world... it is much different than the "reality based community" you ascribe to.

At 10/27/2005 1:55 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

So tell me "G"...how are illegals crashing our economy. Last I heard growth was great. Of course a lot of that was on productivity gains obtained by using lower payed illegals but you are such a damn scholar that you are going to tell me just how you managed to figure out that you are going to share your formula that prooves illegals are going to "sink the economy".

That isn't going to happen. The economy will grow but the benefits are only going to a restricted few. If you bet on Bush and you find yourself on the side of the line that's loosing ...tough. But don't expect the people who are turning money hand over fist to end this. You are owned, little bubba.

National security....yeah, harassing Mexican day laborers is going to enhance security you little closet racist. A foofer working for low money is living off your hard work?
What color is the moon in your solar system. What a maroon.

Funny you mention the drug war. How about that Bush...turning Afghanistan into one big heroin lab. Man, you rethugs can't win with this guy, can you?

At 10/27/2005 5:42 PM, Blogger Ogre said...

Hey Ducky, why do you support lawbreaking? Why do you oppose law and order? How many people do you pay under the table, illegally, to avoid paying taxes yourself? If none, then why do you support this illegal activity so strongly?

At 10/27/2005 5:46 PM, Blogger G_in_AL said...

Duck... "going to... try HAVE ALREADY sunk the economy. Illegal (aka "cheap" labor) combined with the idiot-boy mentality of the modern Union work force has taken the production industry right out of the borders.

How you ask... well, without getting too long in the teeth about it: People will aways pay less if they can. Because we do not enforce our own immegration laws, people then hire an illegal for next to nothing. While the common line is they are doing "the work Americans wont do"... it is better said they are doing the work Americans wont do.. for $2.00 an hour. Now, this padded many of industries with very cheap labor. Suddenly the crazy illegals wanted more money, and the government started selectively choosing whom to enforce the law on.

Welcome in India and China... where it's just as cheap, but it's also legal!

National Security.. Duck, I did expect you to make this jump in logic by yourself (you are an "educator for heaven's sake), but the Mexicans that are comming to pick your fruit are not the threat. The open boarder and Mexican gangs are.

Now, how will harassing the day workers solve that problem... another big jump here so hold on tight.

If you cut the demand side of the illegal employment opportunity, then the supply end sputters (the flow of illegals). WHen that happens, our over-burdened boarder patrol can then manage security much better.

Now, you ask about how they benifit from our hard work (yours too i suppose, becaue you probably pay taxes)... just go to any public hospital in a boarder state. Case closed.

Dont be a moron again and again. And then going onto to bash Bush on the drug war... wow, there is a new idea...

"My argument failed, so... Bush sucks!"

And news for you dip, no one in this country is doing more smack because of Afghanistan's poppy fields... they may get it cheaper, but not more of it.

What is with you anyway? I would love you hear something akin to a solution or even (gasp!) and idea. Not more complaints and cut/paste bullet lines from your last visit to "LeftiesAreUs.com".

I really like the "closet racist" part... thats cute.

At 10/27/2005 5:46 PM, Blogger G_in_AL said...

be back for you later Duck, got a kid to pick up

At 10/27/2005 9:00 PM, Blogger Gindy said...


And here. California is being buried in red tape partially due to out of control illegal immigration.

At 10/28/2005 5:11 AM, Anonymous Felis said...


And to Oz as well!!

At 10/28/2005 7:40 AM, Blogger Ogre said...

In North Carolina, they just did a raid on a manufacturing plant and found a whole pile of illegals. The INS did it, so there MIGHT be some deportions -- but it's unlikely. Know what the state government is doing about this documented crime? Absolutely nothing, despite the fact that it's a crime in this state to employ illegals.

At 10/28/2005 12:40 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

ogre, you indicate that you believe I "Support" lawbreaking. Very silly statement.

I support reason. If you believe that hassling a few illegals who are just trying to earn a days pay is going to do anything to resolve this issue then you are foolish. You want to stop this? Institute penalties for hiring undocumented workers and for falsifying records and identification.

Now that isn't going to be done because the people who are making big money off illegals aren't going to allow it to be done. They will allow you and I to pay for illegals visiting emergency rooms and such but thats what suckers who think The Minuteman are a serious response to this problem are for.

Take away the economic incentive or stop wasting your time. Since neither party is going to risk that action, live with the modern world.

At 10/28/2005 12:41 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Terrific reasoning, g. If we had more $5 hour jobs with no benefits we'd have the economy smoking.

Damn, you are one hell of a scholar.

At 10/28/2005 1:17 PM, Blogger G_in_AL said...

Duck, if we had people that were earning a wage that was consitant with the level of productivity... your right.

If you do nothing but push a button all day... I think $5/hour is pretty generous..

But not the Union. THey think that job is worth $20/hour with full benifits.

And guess what happens? Cost of production rises, so they either look for some illegal work here (because we dont enforce it), or they jump overseas.

You work on the backwards logic of "trickle up" economics... assuming that if we can just pay everyone enough, there will be plenty of consumers to buy all the products and keep the companies running.

But it doesnt work that way, and never will (French and German economies for example).

But again, instead of anything close to an original idea, alternative, or reasoning...

You just spit out more insulting garbage.. and complain.

Do you Pinkos have a rule book you follow or something? Some kind of "Intro to Debate for Liberals" book that always has the bottom half of the page ripped out?

I ask because you always seem to lack the whole "explination and factual back up" portion of a debate....

Or maybe that is just because you cant back up or explain bull shit.

At 10/28/2005 1:19 PM, Blogger G_in_AL said...

AOW, please forgive my use of profanity. I wont let it happen again.

some Jarhead snuck out on me there.

At 10/28/2005 2:47 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Well g, Henry Ford was one example of a stone capitalist who understood the benefits of paying his workers decent wages.

You are also free to look at the stock performance of Costco vs. Walmart recently and explain why Costco is doing much better even though they pay decent wages and benefits.

Of course one thing we could do is stop the insanity of coupling health benefits with employment. The European single payer system is desirable.

Well once again I will restate that I have an affinity to Mill's utilitarian idea that production and allocation of wealth can and should be seperated. In fact the only one who seriously challenged that idea was Marx.

At 10/29/2005 6:13 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I'm not advocating harassing day laborers, who BTW here are not all "Mexican," which term (a racist one in Latino culture) Salvadorans think of as demeaning. What I do advocate is strict enforcement of immigration laws. If Toll Brothers, or any other construction firm for that matter, is hiring illegals, make that hiring unprofitable by levying heavy fines and revoking their license to build. Whatever home-buyers might be saving via cheap labor needs to be balanced against the societal costs of illegals: health care, education, crime rates, slumifying neighborhoods as health codes are violated, etc. The Minutemen advocate "harassing" the employers as well--not a one-pronged strategy targeting only the laborers.

production and allocation of wealth can and should be seperated
Step up, Duck, and surrender your income to those who need it more. Lower your standard of living so as to create "a level playing field." LOL.

And the fact is that you don't seem to worry much about the fact that illegal immigrants are illegal, yet you rightly point out their employers' complicity. I admit that I haven't scrutinized all your comments here (Crises!), but it seems to me that you advocated selective law-enforcement: hold the wealthy accountable, but let the "poor" have their own way outside the law. Are you a closet advocate of class status?

Mustang, whom I know better than you ever will and who is my friend, is not a closet racist. Watch the name-calling and personal insults (pathetic attempts to rile your variable targets, IMO), or I, too, despite my policy to have an open blog, will ban you--fair or not. If you want to rant, get your own blog.

Conversely, present a reasoned argument as you sometimes do, and continue to comment here.

At 10/29/2005 6:14 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

No need to apologize. While I try to keep this blog free of profanity, I understand that occasional slips occur.

At 10/30/2005 8:07 AM, Blogger Toni said...

AOW - don't you find it interesting that anytime American Citizens get "involved" in fulfilling their civic duty these citizens are somehow denigrated by government bureaucrats whether local, state or federal. Hopefully this group will be successful as a model to be used for other cities in the country.

At 10/30/2005 8:51 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Don't you understand? American citizens shouldn't see to it that the law is enforced, yet we must pay the taxes to support illegals. [sarcasm]

At 10/31/2005 11:46 AM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

AOW, first, on pregessive economics.

The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth. BENJAMIN M. FRIEDMAN

He's a Harvard educated capitalists. Nothing to fear. You could even have him speak to your class. Don't worry, no Gramsci stuff. However, he does an outstanding job of presenting the case that simply maximizing GDP growth with making democratic decisions leads to negative consequences.

I think he also does a good job making the (easy) case that poor nations don't become democracies. Given what we have done to destroy Iraq's infrastructure if presents another solid reason why our actions have been a guarantee that democracy will not be seen in Iraq any time soon.

As for mustang, I think it is quite reasonable that when the issue of The Minuteman is brought up (an inherenlty racial issue) and someone walks into a straight right by leading off with "I'm not against any race or nationality..." then there is every reason to question that statement since race is so central to the question.

Meanwhile, just what have The Minutemen accomplished? Wouldn't we be better off and more likely to get to a resolution if we discussed why the problem exists in the first place? I maintain that illegal workers are used because someone benefits. Not only does someone benefit but they are also able to shift the costs to the public thanks to Bush's corpratist governance. Capital gets the profit, labor gets the expenses. You've figured out that Bush works it that way, correct?

You really should read Friedman, quite good. Whether you realize it or not there is an economic battle going on and we will benefit from understanding it. Merely putting up a picture of night time energy use in North Korea and assuming that demonstrates the failure of "socialism"(as someoene nearby did) is not getting us anywhere. Not only does it demonstrate a real tunnel vision to assume that North Korea is accepted as a valid model for anything by any right thinking people but it really demonstrates a misunderstanding of the continuum of progressive economis that some inquiring individuls may wish to discover.

At 10/31/2005 12:46 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I've now reserved a library copy of the book you recommended. I am no authority on economics, but I am always willing to learn new things.

Wouldn't we be better off and more likely to get to a resolution if we discussed why the problem exists in the first place? I maintain that illegal workers are used because someone benefits. Not only does someone benefit but they are also able to shift the costs to the public thanks to Bush's corpratist governance.
Yes, I agree that this country is in denial as to why the problem exists in the first place, though I don't blame GWB's administration for the problem itself; the problem predated GWB's "corporatist governance." And I want the employers targeted, as I've so stated many times.

Meanwhile, just what have The Minutemen accomplished? (1) Bringing the issue to the national forefront on the news. (2) Curtailing some border crossings. (3) Exposing GWB's Achilles heel; dating at least from the time of his governorship in Texas, the man has nearly advocated open borders--or so says my best friend in Texas. If the Minutemen can help by assisting in law enforcement, I support the efforts to do so.

Here in Virginia, the gathering of immigrants at day-laborer sites is a quite recent matter, though I have known of the "underground" for some time--one of the benefits of being a Spanish major, I suppose.

Civilly questioning Mustang's statement is one thing; an ad hominem attack is a different matter. I don't feel that he was leading with his chin when he made the comment about race, either (I happen to know of some efforts of his which would debunk your assertions, but those details are between friends), and I did expect you to challenge the statement, as is your wont. However, I don't like to see discussions here degenerate into personal attacks (such as the one we're having right now). Also, I happen to disagree with you that Mustang's putting up the graphic is ineffective and "not getting us anywhere." North Korea may not be "a valid model of anything" (as you put it--what is, in your opinion?), but I happen to believe that Communism is a principal cause of what's going on there; of course, Dear Leader is a maniac, as well.

Mustang is my friend. 'Nuff said.

PS: I'll pretty much be offline Tuesday and Wednesday, and most of Thursday; but I'll check back here when I return.

PPS: You'll love my next post, later this week because it will give you the chance to knock capitalism. Hehehe.

At 10/31/2005 1:46 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

AOW, why do you think I wish to "knock capitalism"? I fully accept the need for a market economy to generate growth and the importance of growth.

I don't get in line with laissez-faire advocates who wish to generate a large welth dichotomy and the problems of class conflict that comes with it. Talking your way out of that issue by merely saying that it's the fault of the poor and they have only themselves to blame is naive and not to put too fine a point on it...wrong.

As for communism.... it's pretty much dissapeared in the form reasonable people define it. Some define anything left of laissez-faire as "communist" ad they are the true impediments to discussion, not the leftists.

At 11/01/2005 8:59 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Let me clarify something....I said,
I don't like to see discussions here degenerate into personal attacks (such as the one we're having right now).
What I was trying to say was that, on this particular thread, we are having a reasoned discussion, as opposed to a series of personal salvos.

I'v been under the impression that you like to "knock capitalism," because of comments you've made at some other blogs. I often stop by Big Bubba's, but rarely say anything. And I've seen your comments at the Beak's, too, of course. I don't have time for a discussion right now, but when my next post goes up this week, I know you'll have a comment or two. Since I queued up the article, I've since spoken face to face with another individual, who gave me his take. I hope to speak with another person soon.

We disagree about laissez-faire and Communism. And that's okay--disagreement is part of "the American way," as I define it.

Really, Duck, you'd be surprised how open I am, I think. My time is limited, so I never get to do enough research to satisfy myself; and the blogs help me to clarify my own position as I get input from others. After all, the subject I most love to teach is Composition Workshop. I think you get my point.


At 11/03/2005 4:27 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

I don't "knock" capitalism so much as I try to point out that it has structural problems like many economic systems. I do "knock" laissez-faire capitalism which was a serious failure in the latter half of the 19th century and caused a lot of death (just like communism).

The "truth" is in the middle and is a blend of market capitalism and democratic socialism. We just have to try to be aware of what we wish to accomplish in the adjustments.

I imagine you would be surprised that I'm a strong supporter of market economies (with regulation). What I really dislike is the way people throow around words like capitalism, Marxism, socialism as if they have spent time to try to understand them.

mustang and beak are two prime examples of folks who could stand to do a little reading with an open mind.

At 11/04/2005 6:19 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

The "truth" is in the middle and is a blend of market capitalism and democratic socialism. We just have to try to be aware of what we wish to accomplish in the adjustments.
You're counting on people, at all levels, to be immune to what I call "the power trip" and to have a good work ethic. IMO, you and I disagree on our views as to the inherent good in people. I don't really see people as inherently motivated to contribute without incentive, usually capital-based. In my experience, most people will do as little as it takes to get by, without thinking much about their debt to society. The "hands out" mentality doesn't lead to productiveness. And of course, people make bad choices too, on both a personal and an economic level. Also, the hybrid you're speaking of will lead to more and more intervention from the government. Again, IMO.

Last night, my husband and I had another negative experience with what we call "socialized medicine," at the local Urgent Care Clinic. The current crisis with the availability of flu vaccine is making me angry! Having had influenza back in 1972 when I skipped my flu shot, I don't want to go through that one more time, yet now one cannot obtain the flu shot because of regulation by the local health authority. Used to be, I paid the fee, I got the shot. And there seemed to be plenty of vaccine to go around when we had "fee for service." Now, with government regulation, the shots seem less available. Well, we got our shots last night--IMO because I had my checkbook in hand. And don't jump to the conclusion that I'm being greedy here about this shot. My husband has severe chronic medical conditions: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, and more. Furthermore, we both have no-work-no-pay jobs; bills have to be paid.

I'm rambling and not phrasing my thoughts too well here--it's early, and I've had a burn-out work week.


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