Last time, I left off about to discussion immigration. Of course, I had to trot down to Florida and do some campaigning -- and I'm gearing up for Super Tuesday. Does that make me a Super Hound? Or is that part of the noosphere taken up by Underdog?
Anyway, to questions. I'll start with a few simple ones. The most intriguing:
Lance Fedderreich of Orangeberg, SC writes in:
Q: Poochles, man, you haven't answered the question on the minds of so many: Pirates or Ninjas, dude?
A: Pfft. It is well known, "dude", that Pirates rock. Thanks to my excellent growl, I can "rrrrrrr" with the best of them. But that could also be down to genetics.
One of my more illustrious ancestors was Stede "Gentleman" Basset, the well-known Basset pirate. He would board ships all up and down the Spanish Main and the Coast of the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia, bow politely and say "Sirs, Lady-Sirs, your valuables, your hams. There's no use in reacting with violence to poor fortune." He would then abscond with the plate, coin and jewelry of those aboard, give the ladies a smooch and a turn about the deck and return to his ship, The Black Peascod. Unlike most pirates, he lived to ripe old age, since when he removed his pirate hat, clothes and eyepatch, we was indistinguishable from a dog.
Allan Rego of Charlottesville, VA asks:
Q: Who do you want to win the Superbowl?
A: I do not follow sport, sir, so let's say: The Brooklyn Dodgers.
Cyrus MacDoodle of MacDoodlesville, Alberta says:
Q: I hate Mexicans. Will you keep 'em outta my property?
A: Uhhh. You're Canadian. I can't much help. However, since you bring up immigration:
Let me first say I'm a big supporter of legal immigration and the efforts of what used to be the INS -- and continues to operate under the titles of USCIS and CBP. But we do have illegal immigration problems.
I don't want to point to many fingers, but we do need to look closely at the business community. Most immigrants come here to make money. This isn't debatable. If all businesses ran completely according to law, there would be no jobs and consequently no money for people here without correct authorization. So the first order of business is to properly fund and man the above services to make sure they run at complete efficiency. In fact, this can be a self-fuelling process: if more fines are established and collected, they can be used to further fund the service.
Secondly, we need to be realistic about what jobs are getting done by the workers. Despite the fear-mongering claims of the Republicans, it is not the jobs of the middle class that are threatened. The jobs occupied are the lowest rungs of regulated (and un-regulated) labor. Consequently, these are often the most important jobs. An enlightened Guest Worker policy as advocated by Mr Bush Jr would seem to be ideal, and indeed, would work best under an invigorated USCIS. It may mean marginally larger costs for some consumers in the short term, but the ethical and fair treatment of all workers, I feel, will be worth it.
Hams and chorizo to you,
Sebastian K Poochles