Posted by: bridget | 26 September 2007

Peanut Gallery

Good thing the FAA doesn’t ban cell phones.  As radar and other communications failed at the FAA’s Memphis center, air traffic controllers used their cell phones to communicate with nearby offices to hand off flights.  (Here.)

Help for your gastric reflex is here: Hillary invokes Jesus and keeps a straight face.  In reference to an immigration bill that would prohibit people from helping illegal immigrants, she said, “[the bill] would have criminalized the Good Samaritan. It would have criminalized Jesus Christ.”  (Here.)

Theologians, please help out this pachyderm.  Luke 10:30 only states that a man was going “from Jerusalem to Jericho,” but does not indicate that he was traveling illegally (however one would do so in early Roman times).  Was the good Samaritan helping out someone there illegally, who was not passing through or visiting?

Wear a miniskirt for America (we swear, it’s for the good of the country).  The “hemline theory” states that, when women wear shorter skirts, the stock market does well.  As designers have introduced longer hemlines, some analysts predict a crash.  Perhaps the cliche is worth repeating here: even a broken clock is correct twice a day.  Women’s fashion changes from season to season (designer-wise) and through decades.  Also, women don’t always follow the designers.  Throw both shorts and skirts into the mix, and anyone is sure to find the appropriate hemline to match the Dow.



  1. I think Jesus also told his followers to obey the law of the land, as long as it does not conflict with the law of God.

    As for the hemline theory, some market analysts need to get out more.

    I once read, with amusement, a commodity report that said if the market closes lower, that means it won’t rain this weekend. That analyst had definitely been at his desk too long. Or maybe I just underestimate the power of the market.

  2. Would nudity drive stocks through the roof?

  3. TT as a farmer I have been reading commodity market forecasts for years.

    I believe that a forecast starts with a simple formula that also applies to Wall Street.

    The market will either go up or down unless it stays the same. Then you just use plausible arguments for each point and you have a market forecast.


    The recent popularity of nudity is likely to have profound effects on the stock market. I people take the money they formerly spent on clothing and invest it the market will go up. However we must consider the possiblity that some investers may want liquidity for travel to observe this phenomenon first hand. This could lead to a sell-off and a drop in the market.

  4. “Was the good Samaritan helping out someone there illegally, who was not passing through or visiting?”

    This made me think about all the good people in Europe who illegally helped Jews and others trying to escape Nazi Fascism. I think we would consider them good Samaritans.

    We both know that just because something is “legal” doesn’t necessarily make it right. Conversely, just because something is illegal doesn’t necessarily make it wrong. We conservative types can scream all day long about national security, market systems, the welfare state, etc., but the reality is that many “illegals” are simply trying to escape tyranny & poverty and create some kind of life for themselves. Why should that be “illegal”? America can simply change policy to make immigration easier and more efficient.

    We have a great monument dedicated to American idealism: The Statue of Liberty. And there we find the immortal words penned by Emma Lazarus, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.”

    Funny how material prosperity and protectionist policies changes a nation’s priorities.

  5. SST – I love it. Maybe the market is like an old woman’s arthritis? :)

    Total Transformation: only female nudity; you’ll have to keep that totally transformed body of yours under cover.

    Again, this is all for the Dow Jones and has nothing to do with men wanting to ogle women.

  6. SST – I like your analysis. If flight attendants also joined the nudity thing, more people would travel (which might boost the market, as airlines are 10% of the GDP, right?).

  7. Jay,

    I’ve written a bit about illegal immigration. I think you’re suffering from the myth that the immigrants from Mexico are like the immigrants from China or the refugees from totalitarian dictatorships.

    Not so. Some are moving back to Mexico when they’ve gotten enough money; they use America as an ATM.

    No one has a right to a better life that trumps a nation’s sovereignty. Our country, our laws. I presume that you would not want five homeless men moving into your house, although they would certainly have a better life, healthier life, and a lower likelihood of dying of hypothermia if they moved in. Same principle. We get to decide how and where they come in. Until our immigration laws are reformed, they don’t belong.

    Quick stats, because you don’t live in a border town and don’t “get it” (I do’nt mean that meanly; it’s you and everyone else who lives nice coddled lives away from the Mexican border):
    *60% of LA gangs are illegal immigrants;
    *Most 4th generation illegals have not graduated high school (some “better life”);
    *95% of outstanding arrest warrants in LA are for illegals;
    *Each illegal immigrant costs us $1,000 in health care (well, I see why you wouldn’t mind; it’s not your ox being gored!)
    *29% of the prison population consists of illegals whose crimes are unrelated to immigration status.
    *Companies who hire legal immigrants are at a disadvantage. Illegals undercut the minimum wage that liberals so love, but, apparently, we can’t afford to pay minimum wage.

    The Statue of Liberty is not a law. Clear? France made it. France does not get to tell us that we must deal with an influx of law-breaking, murderous, gang-joining “immigrants.” They aren’t here to aid our country; they are here to milk it dry. That’s illegal AND wrong.

    You don’t have to deal with the ramifications. I guarantee you, though, by the time you do, it’ll be waaaay too late. We’ll have a permanent underclass of law-breaking persons who will vote themselves welfare and break the back of this country. Sovereign nation: we get to decide who comes in. We can change those definitions; the Statue of Liberty is not a binding contract.

    This is not a bunch of people who “want a better life” and come to Ellis Island; these are people who flout the law, join gangs, drive without insurance and then hit-and-run, fraudulently obtain hospital services that they have no intention of paying for, and then return to Mexico when we cut off the gravy train. It’s an invasion, and, as a sovereign nation, we have every right to stop it.

    You miss a really crucial point: many countries would imprison or execute us if we went there, searching for a better life. The fact that America was once unsettled (or marginally settled) does not forever prohibit us from enacting immigration laws.

    Until you move to San Antonio, El Paso, LA, or San Diego, you won’t “get it.” You will, however, act and vote in ways that will force Americans in those areas to continue to suffer hardships.

    Even the largest estate can be squandered.

    By the way, my stepdad isnt’ a citizen. He and my mum have been together for over a decade and married for almost seven years. Deporting him for breaking the law is legal. He came here for a better life. Those illegal bastards, however, can’t be thrown out because they are “poor, tired, and huddled masses.” Such CRAP!

  8. My mum emailed me with a good analysis of illegal immigration. Here goes:

    You are correct – the assimilation of the illegals (and the need for them here as cheap agri-labor) has been gradual and insidious. However, the amount of political clout wielded by people who can’t even vote is grating on those who can. There is a backlash now that I had hoped Ah-nold would keep going instead of pandering, but noooo-oo. This backlash against Latin power bloc voting is even happening in Florida. Jeb Bush was brilliant at walking the line between emotional overload and sensible policy. Bummer he had term limits.

    Canada is suffering from a lax immigration policy that sees their country having the 2nd largest Chinese population in the world. And they’re trying to figure out how that little bit happened – and are tightening race limits, but forgot to include Latins. So it’s really easer for them to blame us for tightening our borders (after all, we’re wildly unpopular right now with pretty much everyone except Australians) than it is to change the left wing liberal “refugee agenda” that is causing the mess in the first place.

    And only the Australians have the “audacity” to meet ships containing illegals at the 12 mile limit with their navy and escort them back home. The kiwis I spoke with thought this was mean, so I asked “Should they have dropped thousands of illegal Afghani “refugees” in Auckland and would you have provided sanctuary here?” I think we all know the NIMBY answer to that. Every time I go back, Auckland becomes more Oriental and that includes the “..isikstanis.” But no one knows “what to do about it” because it’s just cruel what those people go through. I make allusions to cruel colonialism, unfair representation and a small uprising in the 1770s and I get told it’s not the same. Then the liberals tell me that our ancestors were really just terrorists like the guys in Baghdad blowing up Americans. Yup.

    North of Florida’s state line, and any other state bordering Mexico, people just don’t get it. I had a long conversation with [Fill in name of friend] and other baby policy wonks in DC about this. They told me I was wrong! I invited them to come live here for a year. Sigh….

  9. Maybe I don’t “get” ALL of it. But I answered your initial question.

    And while I believe that I do understand the dark side of illegal immigration, I’m sure also that there are many success stories of people who risked their lives to find freedom here. (Let’s not forget Cubans.) Anyone can point out the worst horror stories.

    The blame needs to be focused on failed US policy, not people. I’m all for bringing down the hammer, reinforcing the borders, and enforcing the law right now. But there is a pre-existing 18 million person problem that requires a little more careful thought about how we as a nation should deal with it. We can’t just “round ’em up” and “ship ’em back” as some conservatives suggest. And if illegals are voting, obviously the voting system protections need to be revamped. But I don’t see why we can’t get these 18 million people processed, accounted for, paying taxes, etc. They need some incentive and a chance to make things right with our government.

  10. It’s interesting that when I engage in dialogue about immigration, the conversation inevitably centers on illegals from Mexico. But no one really wants to come out and say the problem is illegal “Mexicans.” But if that really is the biggest problem, then non-PC solutions might actually be the best or only way to fix it. But then such proponents are just labeled as being racist. It’s one of the toughest issues of our generation.

  11. Er… there wasn’t a question, Jay.

    I don’t care whether there is one success story, a thousand, or ten million. It remains our choice as a sovereign nation to decide who gets to be in our borders.

    We will have a MUCH easier time of getting success stories in the door and the gang-joining, murdering, drunk-driving nutjobs out the door if we enforce our laws.

    I’m sorry that you are subject to a common fallacy, which is that we are stuck with the Mexicans we have now. By the way, get your numbers straight: it’s 12 million, not 18 million.

    Hum… let’s figure out why they went back home. The United States didn’t need to ship them home. They went back on their own. Gee, can we keep trying this?

    Furthermore, we can afford to deport them. It’s easy: charge their employers the cost. Tell the employers that they can ship the illegals home on their own dime, or, if they are found, the employers will lose their businesses and do jail time for hiring them. I bet you that the Mexicans will clear out in less time than it takes Bill Clinton to drop his pants.

    We will fundamentally disagree. Those jerkoffs don’t need “incentives;” they need to OBEY OUR LAWS. Their first act upon coming into this country is to violate our laws. Then they do it some more. Imagine you are a teacher. A student walks into class, first day, late. Then he doesn’t have his books. Then he mouths off. Do you really think you have a winner on your hands? Or is it pretty obvious that this kid’s ‘tude is not going to do anything constructive for your class?

    There are mistakes that free societies may make only once. If we screw this up (and we are), we will be punished for it forever. There is nothing these people can do to “make amends” to a government that they treat like an ATM. They aren’t here for America. Normal immigrants come here and fly American flags, get teary-eyed when they hear the Star Spangled Banner, and bleed red white & blue. These people talk about how they hate America and are “proud of their nationality.” Jay, they don’t want to make amends to America – they want to suck everything they can out of it. Why can’t you see the vultures for what they are?

    It’s an invasion. Frankly, I think we ought to treat it as such – prosecute those who help them and meet them at the border with firearms. In the alternative, we should impose the same laws upon illegals as their native country would impose upon us if we did the same. If that means executions without trials, rock on.

    Yeah, I’m a cold-hearted conservative. Then again, I don’t like knowing that people are dying because we are too scared to tell Mexicans that economic needs do not justify lawbreaking.

  12. I think there is a difference between an immigrant and other illegal aliens.

    An immigrant wants to become a productive and responsible member of our society. The immigrant will follow our laws and learn our language.

    Too many other illegal aliens are merely here to exploit our system. Some of them want to change our society to suit themselves.

  13. I think we are forgetting that back in the 1950s we successful deported over a million hispanic (mostly Mexican) immigrants- and many more left of their own accord.

  14. Pardon me, but I do believe this is a question, even if it is rhetorical:

    “Was the good Samaritan helping out someone there illegally, who was not passing through or visiting?”

  15. Errr… yes, it is a question, but you didn’t answer it. The answer would be:
    1) “Yes, the injured man was traveling illegally;” or
    2) “No, the Good Samaritan helped out a man who was not breaking the law.”

  16. My Answer: 3) “Illegality” is sometimes irrelevant to a Good Samaritan analysis, i.e. the people who illegally helped Jews and others in Nazi Germany.

    There is much more to law than positive law. It is helpful sometimes to view important issues from a Higher law perspective.

  17. ::Bangs head against desk.::

    CONTEXT. Look at what Hillary said. Her claim is that the Good Samaritan would have violated this law. My question: was she correct?

    No, you didn’t answer my (non-rhetorical) question. You did, however, introduce a lot of totally, completely, 100% irrelevant thoughts.

  18. Hillary Clinton made a good point. The particular immigration law she was talking about would have criminalized just about anyone, including church priests, etc., for assisting and not reporting illegal immigrants (hungry, thirsty, sick, injured, etc). So the only context is whether or not Jesus and the Good Samaritan would also be penalized if they were to administer needed assistance to illegal immigrants in the context of the proposed legislation.

    The only thing irrelevant is whether the Good Samaritan, as recorded in Luke, helped a criminal. There’s no way to know that. Does it matter? According to my Nazi Germany example, no. They all fit the definition of a Good Samaritan.

    I would think you would want to engage in some real intellectual constructive dialogue, but you’d seem rather to just dismiss conversation and the opporunity to cultivate the friendship of someone who enjoys stopping by your blog. What gives?

    The weightier matter is this: “just because something is “legal” doesn’t necessarily make it right. [i.e. abortion] Conversely, just because something is illegal doesn’t necessarily make it wrong.” [i.e human rights] These are serious and significant statements. I made them to to help all of us think more critically about what makes good or bad law.

    Do we as a nation really want immigration reform that effectively trampels human rights? (Your diatribe above would seem to indicate that your position is “yes.”) Well, we disagree. I’m sorry you chose to take the conversation a different route, or don’t understand what I’m trying to say, and maybe I could be more clear. But there’s no point in telling the fine readers of your blog (like myself) that the things we have to say are “irrelevant.”

    Something you said sparked a thought, but I guess you’ll like it better if I try not to let that happen again. My apologies.

  19. If Hillary misspoke (or has no clue about what she is talking about) that is relevant to my point.

    My point was NOT about the nuances of immigration. It was simply that Hillary used an example that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. There’s nothing to indicate that the Good Samaritan was breaking the law in Luke 10:27.

    Now, if you would like to discuss immigration policy, I’ve certainly written more than enough posts on that topic.

    There is a VAST difference between aiding refugees who are fleeing for their lives and aiding, for personal economic gain, people who are in the United States illegally, for no reason than to obtain a better life.

    Hillary didn’t use the example of the Underground Railroad or people who aided Jews who fled the Nazis. (Don’t impute things to me which I have never said.) She used the Bible. Query whether or not her example was correct as stated. If not, it’s worth pointing out — that the current legislation would not criminalise the acts of the Good Samaritan of Luke 10:27.

  20. I’m sorry you chose to take the conversation a different route, or don’t understand what I’m trying to say, and maybe I could be more clear. But there’s no point in telling the fine readers of your blog (like myself) that the things we have to say are “irrelevant.”

    1. My blog.
    2. See #1. I’m not taking the conversation in a different route; you’re the one who did that.
    3. Again, my blog. If you are wondering whether a certain point is relevant, refer to the the post.

    It would be completely rude to go into a book club and start talking about things which are only tangentially related to the books at hand. You would be completely wrong to tell people there that they are being mean if they tell you to stick to the topic at hand. This topic was not “let’s debate the nuances of immigration.” It was: “Does Hillary even know the Bible, or is she talking out of her rear end?” Mental discipline, Jay – stick to the topic at hand.

    If you would like, we can debate whether or not we should allow our country to be overrun by gangs, cheats, and felons in the name of “providing asylum.” That, however, would be another post, and happens at my discretion.

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