May 23, 2007

Strakon Lights Up

Utopians in action
Yet another Mexican Car Crash

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On May 14 a rural county in the Fort Wayne area experienced one of those Mexican Car Crashes that folks in the West and Southwest have long been accustomed to. This alcohol-expedited accident was a one-car crash, luckily enough, so no Americans were killed, injured, or forced to see their property wrecked and their insurance rates elevated. In any event, once the SUV overturned with a clatter of empty beer cans, killing one passenger, the other three occupants staggered across the cornfields in an attempt to evade the aftermath. State and county police were able to round them up readily enough, though it took a day to run the driver to earth. He has resided in the county jail before (under a different name), and in addition to the charges brought as a result of the accident, he's now facing a forgery charge for reasons as yet unexplained.

None of the three Mexicans admitted to having a scrap of English, none was carrying any ID, and according to early news reports, the cops at first couldn't even extract names from any of them. I can't remember hearing this detail, but I'd be dumbfounded to learn that anyone had insurance. It is suspected that these people are all illegal immigrants: No — you don't say! Authorities in the rural county are already worrying about hiring translators for the upcoming court cases. (Get used to it, Hoosier taxpayers.)

Since I'm developing a theme, I'll describe another incident, this one occurring April 17 in Fort Wayne when a Mexican gent attempted to abduct a 14-year-old girl right in front of her middle school. In a stirring act of courage and heroism, two other little girls piled onto the monster, screaming and kicking and flailing away at him until he fled. But as they say on the cop shows, this skel is still in the wind — even though he has been identified with apparent certainty as Zaid [sic] Torres Bernal. (Turns out he has a criminal record.) It is likely that he is riding on the Mexican Underground Railroad, and could be anywhere — Mexico, Texas, Arizona, California, somewhere in between, or even still in Fort Wayne. The SUV Mexicans, crashing in white-farmer territory, couldn't reach the closest Railroad station, though obviously they were trying.

As an anti-statist I'm not going to lower any strictures onto the SUV people about obeying the jots and tittles of traffic law. However, as an ordinary American I'm not just plugged (willy nilly) into the statist network; I'm plugged into cultural, social, and moral networks as well. Even if I had somewhere to hide, it wouldn't occur to me to flee an accident that I'd been involved with, especially if I were the driver. Well, come on, how could I? But colored illegal immigrants move within another kind of network, they have other incentives, and as Third Worlders they tend not to observe or even understand what white Western folks would describe as a "civic culture."

Given all of that, how likely is it that the giant, complex new immigration bill can usher the migrating Hispanic hordes into what remains of our culture and put an end to Mexican Car Crashes? If I may wax metaphorical, to me the bill itself looks like a Mexican Car Crash writ large. It is hard to imagine that a large part of the onrushing Third Worlders would pay any attention to its provisions even if they understood them. That's assuming they could satisfy those provisions: Fareed Zakaria, opining on the Stephanopoulos show for May 20, maintains that the proposed immigration fee of $5,000 would actually run "more like $15,000, fully loaded."

But perhaps I'm being too pessimistic again. People, after all, do have resources. Take my dad. In the course of the last Medicare changes, which pushed elderly people in that program to make some new choices, he consulted his attorney and financial advisor, and he also enjoyed the close and continuing counsel of my highly focused, highly organized sister, who is both a professor of business and economics, and a member of the board of a local bank. For weeks she roamed through the Net and pored over the available print literature for clues on how best to proceed. And she discussed the situation with other college-educated acquaintances who were facing their own Medicare dilemma. Finally she and Dad made their choices.

True, Medicare still had some upsetting surprises in store for Dad, on the basis of those choices, but that doesn't undermine my point, does it? Let's just take the immigration fee. Whether it turns out to be $5,000 or $15,000, surely all the Mexicans, and all the Salvadorans, et al., who are filtering north through Mexico, have at least that much uncommitted cash in their bank accounts or money-market funds. And if by some fluke they do not, they can just dip a spoonful out of their stock portfolio or mutual funds, though I understand the pain that such an invasion of capital would inflict on the Scottish-Mexicans ...

Here I'll suspend the satire, and just ask: See what I'm getting at?

As I write, the bill is still stuck in the Senate, and if it ever does get to the House, it's likely to arrive with many revisions to the current text. But whatever amendments are made, our supervisors will still be unable to actually advertise the measure as anything like a utopian solution. At best, they'll only be able to portray it as a grittingly-ground-out compromise and the sweaty product of rough politics, which we all learned as schoolchildren was the "art of the possible." But actually that juvenile lesson was wrong: politics is the mask of the impossible; and any conceivable version of the bill, messy and ugly as it may appear, will glow with utopianism under its pimply skin.

People in our community know that the lawfakers' product cannot simultaneously serve justice, freedom, and the preservation of white Western civilization. But we may want to point out to everyone else that it cannot succeed even on its own terms.

May 23, 2007

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