Statue of Liberty Turns 125

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

125 years ago today the Statue of Liberty opened with that message. Starting today, via Earthcam, you can watch live feeds from the statue with stunning views.

The Statue of Liberty should not be treated as an artifact of the past. But the reality is: We build walls and fences to keep people out and when that doesn't work, we jail them. We deny social benefits to the undocumented, even when they've worked and paid taxes. We conduct raids at businesses and separate families. [More...]

Former Manhattan DA Robert Morganthau writes in the New York Times:

Our restrictive immigration laws are bad enough — separating families, sending refugees like Haitians back to devastated countries, denying jobs to foreign students — but how they are administered is even worse. Some immigrants languish in privately operated detention facilities for months, denied any civil rights, until they are deported. Immigration agents profile people improperly, based on their apparent race or religion, detaining them at will.

In 2006, complaining about the immigration raids at the Swift Company in Greeley, CO, I wrote: :

These employees are hard-working residents of our communities. Social security, federal, state and local income and unemployment taxes are withheld from their paychecks, whether they are in this country with or without proper documentation.

Many of them have children who were born in this country. These children are United States citizens with the same rights and privileges as all of our children.

Do we need immigration reform? Yes, but not the kind our politicians suggest. We need to:

  • Provide the opportunity for undocumented immigrants to legalize their status
  • Eliminate criminal sanctions for immigration violations
  • Expand avenues for legal immigration and support family reunification
  • Strengthen labor protections and their enforcement for all workers, both native and foreign born
  • End border and immigration enforcement abuses.

How is it acceptable for a government to to round people up on buses, separate them from their children and take them to an undisclosed location? Immigrants to the U.S., even the documented, should be treated with respect and basic human rights.

Here's a view from the live-cam:

After today's 125th anniversary celebration, the Statue of Liberty will close for remodeling for up to a year. The park will remain open to visitors.

In 1887, Emma Lazarus died at age 38 from Hodgkin's disease. She never knew her poem would appear on the Statue of Liberty.

< Thursday Night Open Thread | Taliban Suicide Attack in Kabul Kills 13 U.S. Soldiers >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Just walked by her house last week (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 10:33:03 AM EST
    Same street in The Village where the BF grew up. (Also the same street apparently where Mark Twain lived).

    Here's the entire poem:

    The New Colossus

    Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
    "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
    With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

    Emma Lazarus, 1883

    Maybe (5.00 / 0) (#5)
    by sj on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 10:59:30 AM EST
    I'm just a sentimental sap, but this:
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    Mother of Exiles.

    just moved me greatly.

    Mother of Exiles.


    Me too. Love that line. (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 01:31:51 PM EST
    Like others, I think of my ancestors - my great-great-(great?) grandmother came from Ireland with 11 children and no husband. I wonder if she could ever imagine her descendents having the life I have now.

    Did your ancestor(s)... (5.00 / 0) (#30)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 01:45:01 PM EST
    enter through Ellis Island?

    The coolest part of the Ellis Island museum for me is finding your ancestor's name etched in the wall.  So many names, all with a helluva story.


    FWIW (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by NYShooter on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 09:59:52 PM EST
    The 1'st place my folks took me & my brother to visit after immigrating thru the East River depot (we were too poor for Ellis Island) was the Statue of Liberty (when you could still climb to the crown)

    They wanted us to see and know why we left a "comfortable" living in Europe after WW2 and come to a country with nothing but lint in our pockets. My Dad, who lived through two World Wars, told us, "boys, we don't have any money......now, but we're free, and I hope you grow up to understand that that's worth more than all the money in the world."

    As bad as things seem now, my parents never lost hope, and neither will I.  


    All of my 4 grandparents... (none / 0) (#63)
    by desertswine on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 11:16:05 PM EST
    were Ellis Islanders, from 4 different countries! They all came before WWI from Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Romania. I'm sort of an East European DNA stew.

    I hope (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by NYShooter on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 03:08:14 AM EST
    you didn't make the same mistake that I did. I was so engrossed into becoming assimilated into this new culture, I ignored the past. What an idiot I was! I can't tell you how many times, how many questions I have now. All that knowledge, all that history, all those experiences........thrown away.

    Whoever coined the phrase, "youth is wasted on the young," sure knew what he/she was talking about.


    Not sure - I will have to check my Dad's research (none / 0) (#76)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 12:17:59 PM EST
    again. The settled in Paterson, NJ, so I assume they came in through NY Harbor.

    I did not know that about the etching in the wall. I will have to look at that next trip to NYC.


    if you are downtown, you should (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 10:37:28 AM EST
    check out the new Emma Lazarus exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage that opened this week.

    Makes me think of my grandmother (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Dadler on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 10:37:42 AM EST
    And orthodox Jewish woman, with my oldest uncle a baby in 1921, her husband having left for NYC six months before her to find work, she set sail from Eastern Europe to join him and start a new life in America.  Her father-in-law and brothers-in-law were also in NYC, having never met her.  After a three week journey in steerage (very third class), breast feeding a baby, she walked down the plank in New York, only to have her father-in-law take one look at her, then turn to his son, her husband, and say to him with disgust: "Send her back."  And he turned and walked away.

    Send her back.  

    The coldness has stayed with me since my father first told me the story as a boy.

    He says, as a result of this welcom, she was a loner her entire life in America, had no real friends, never spoke Enlgish, only Yiddish, and never again saw anyone from her family back in Europe.  She died of cancer when my father was 20.  

    He talks of the poverty they lived in during the Depression, in the tenements of the lower east side of Manhattan, of walking block after block with her dragging him behind her, as they tried to find a grocery store that they hadn't tapped out their credit at.  As a result, my father, never a wealthy man by any stretch, has always needed to have a house full of food to feel secure.

    Send her back.

    Peace, Bubbeh, I never met you, but I have always felt your presence in my life.

    Peace to you, as well (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by sj on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 11:04:38 AM EST
    Well He Probably Wasn't Alone... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 11:13:43 AM EST
     ...and certainly not these days, that's probably a more common thought.  "Not good enough for us" seems to be how people view this country.

    I went to a family reunion this summer and learned nothing.  That side of the family has gone to considerable lengths to trace their heritage, way before coming here, but not one personal story.

    As heartbreaking is that is, at least you have some sense of your history.  Me, I can tell you from a book where my ancestors lived in 1650, but I don't even know how my parent met, and at this point in my life, nor do I care.


    I know too much (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Dadler on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 11:49:50 AM EST
    Eight marriages between my parents, nine really since my dad lived with a girlfriend for three years when I was a kid, she was de-facto stepmother during that time.  I almost wish I had MORE mystery to work with.  And, with two of my half siblings, I kind of carry around certain secrets about their father that really burden me and have for decades.  Such is life, nothing but ugly ironies sometimes.

    While ignorance may not be bliss by any means, knowledge is sometimes just as sh*tty.

    And no doubt about it on your comment about how many people are in that Depression era sort of situation.  I see it down the street, at the little market I go to now and then.  The husband and wife there extend credit to many people, and I had an interesting conversation with the wife about it.  She doesn't mind doing it, she relies only on her intuition about people: "I just have a pretty good sense of who's good for it and who's gonna move away or just stop showing up without paying their tab."  Watched her do it for a Hispanic kitchen worker, neither of them sharing a language.  Humanity works sometimes, and it's going to need to put in a lot of overtime right now.  

    Peace, my man.


    I Hear Ya, But Context is Everything (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 12:51:40 PM EST
    And if I wanted to live in ignorance I probably wouldn't be here or too worried about what's going on in the world.

    Not the same of course, and I really wasn't complaining, trust me, my issues with ma and pa go well beyond some family history stories.  

    I love History in general, and to understand anything, be it political, historical, or people in general, the past is fairly important context in understanding the present.


    Very true (none / 0) (#21)
    by Dadler on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 01:07:27 PM EST
    And I didn't mean to imply any complaining on your part, bad on me if I did.  Your comment just resonated with me in a unique way.  

    2 things struck a nerve.... (5.00 / 3) (#62)
    by NYShooter on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 10:27:39 PM EST
    1. "send her back."
    That phrase reminded me of the biggest fear everyone on the WW1 troop transport ship that carried all of us (about 3000) deportees to America had. And, that was the "Dr. Joseph Mengele" Moment we all had to go through. That was a mandatory physical exam, very thorough, conducted assembly line fashion. At the end sat a doctor, with the decision: Thumb to the right, you continued the processing procedure; Thumb to left, you "went back."

    2. Traveling through Russia during The War, my folks witnessed the horrifying sight of hundreds of thousands of frozen dead bodies on the shores of the Volga River. These were Russian refugees fleeing Hitler's Blitzkrieg, but were stopped in their journey Eastward because the Luftwaffe had bombed all the bridges. Nowhere to go, they simply huddled together, starving and freezing to death. Ever since then, after coming to America and settling into a nice, secure lifestyle, my Mom kept a freezer in the garage filled with nothing but bread.

    Funny how there seems to be an historic, invisible chord that binds all of us together.


    Lou Reed... (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 10:51:03 AM EST
    nailed it with an updated version of the Lazarus classic in "Dirty Boulevard".

    Give me your hungry, your tired your poor I'll piss on 'em
    That's what the Statue of Bigotry says
    Your poor huddled masses, let's club 'em to death
    And get it over with and just dump 'em on the boulevard

    Oh please (none / 0) (#108)
    by NY Progressive on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 09:48:52 PM EST
    We're letting millions of people come here from other countries, both legal and illegal immigrants. All babies born to illegal aliens are automatically citizens, entitled to all social services including free insurance, Section 8 housing, welfare, ADC, HEAP utilities payments, free school, free college, even Social Security Disability, even if their parents have never paid a dime into the system.

    And you think we're clubbing them to death?  Jeez.


    Reading comprehension... (none / 0) (#109)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 11:37:41 AM EST
    Lou Reed is suggesting we just club them to death as a cut to the chase.

    Lady Liberty herself... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 11:49:14 AM EST
    is on lock-down...used to be buy a ticket and climb up to the crown no worries...now it's like trying to visit somebody in prison.

    Perhaps the "someone" who is in prison (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 12:00:27 PM EST
    IS Lady Liberty?

    It isn't just that she no longer has the weloome mat out for those from other shores, it's that her beacon of light, that used to shine so brightly on the freedoms we enjoyed here, is flickering, and feels like it's on the verge of going out altogether.

    Were I to see the statue in person, today, I might weep for what we have all lost, and for what I fear are the slim chances of ever getting it back again.


    They say... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 12:10:59 PM EST
    the salt water air turned her copper skin green, I think it is the acid in her constantly flowing tears.

    OT link for you... (none / 0) (#22)
    by Dadler on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 01:09:25 PM EST
    Hmm.... (none / 0) (#16)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 12:35:21 PM EST
    I looked at her from the Staten Island Ferry last week and thought, that depsite how many problems we face in this country, how thankful I am to be an American, where we've faced worse adversity  and come through stronger.



    Today, the adversity we face is a (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 01:24:38 PM EST
    one-two punch of a government that has been working overtime to accrue power by taking more and more of it from the people, while simultaneously working to ensure that whatever wealth exists in this country flows up to an elite class that is happy for the help.

    Has it always been this way?  Well, it seems to me that there used to be more pushback from the Democratic party and Democratic representatives, who managed for many years to look out for the interests of the average person, with special attention for the interests of the least among us.  And there used to be more of an interest on the part of the Democratic party with preserving, protecting and defending the constitution for the benefit of the people, instead of for the benefit of and in service to their own power.

    Do I still love my country?  I love what it used to stand for.  I love the promise it used to hold even for those at the bottom of the economic spectrum.  

    In truth, the essential day-to-day parts of my life have not changed much, but I am not so selfish that I don't understand and see that it has changed for an awful lot of people - and not for the better.  I'm a "greater good" kind of person, someone who believes that how we treat the least among us defines who we are as a nation.  And this nation has gone from keeping its promises to provide a safety net for its citizens, to thinking it would be a good idea to make that safety net weaker, to send more people into lives of quiet desperation, to make it just a little harder for people to get through their days with enough of the basics.

    This adversity of which you speak, that you seem to think we will overcome and be made stronger by - it's not being treated as adversity, but as the new normal.  As people adjust to each new thing that gets taken away, or reduced or denied, the next bad thing is just around the corner.

    The Statue of Liberty represents for me what we used to be, and what we cannot claim with a straight face to be today.

    It hurts to look at her.


    I'm a "greater good" person too (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 02:05:02 PM EST
    But I just can't always focus on the negative.  There are lots of good things that this country offers to people - lots of things you can't get anywhere else.

    Are there bad things?  Yes.  Is it worse than it was 50 or 60 years ago? I dunno - you could ask Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King, Jr. if they were alive if things are better than they were in 1955.  You could ask domestic violence and rape victims in this country if they have more opportunities to get help than they did in 1955 and if courts actually treat them as victims as opposed to those who "asked for it".  You could ask gay couples who, even if they can't marry yet in their state, if it's better now that (at least in most places) they can live their lives openly.  You could ask women who now have a choice of careers outside of just teacher, nurse, or secretary (but they can be those things if they want to).  You could ask people who, 60 years ago, would have died at an early age of disease, but thanks to modern research and innovation (done either because of government money or the freedom within a private environment), are able to live full and productive lives. You could ask the people who didn't have the ability to see further than their back porch step, but now thanks to the internet, can connect to people in ways unimaginable 50 years ago. Look how many people are now engaged in the political discussion of this country (whether or not you agree with the content of that discussion). I could go on and on about how much better it is today than "the good old days".  That argument sounds like those who get nostalgic for the days of "Leave it to Beaver" - our country really wasn't any better (probably worse), even though TV portrays it as idyllic.  You just didn't realize all the bad stuff that was going on.

    There are lots of negatives in this country, yes. We have lots of problems, yes.  But we've had much worse and been much closer to complete collapse.  But I refuse to just give up and act like Eeyore and say, "Oh woe is me - we suck," because if I do that, then the battle is over and I may as well stay in bed and pull the covers over my head.

    The Statue of Liberty still does shine as a beacon - if you choose to see the world that way. This isn't about burying your head in the sand, but it isn't about finding fault with everything either.  It's about hope.  It's about potential.  And you know what?  We still have that in this country.

    Thank goodness.


    I'm not giving up, at all. Nor am I (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 03:41:09 PM EST
    claiming that the things you recited as being better, aren't.   There has been progress on a number of fronts, no question.  But you'd think, for example, that with all the advances in medical care and technology that the country that keeps trying to claim that it has the "best health care system in the world" wouldn't be ranking lower than some third world countries on things as basic as infant mortality, for example.  Or per capita spending on health care.  

    We champion our accomplishments, which are many, but we ignore the class-based, ability-to-pay standard by which the people of this country have access to the benefits of those accomplishments.

    And while we preach about the glories of democracy, we continue to see our freedoms, our privacy, our ability to move about the country without fear eroded.  

    I would argue that it is not burying one's head in the sand to acknowledge where we are failing and how we are failing; it won't surprise you to know that I feel that taking the but-we're-still-better-off-than-we-were-50-years-ago is actually a form of denial.

    As for hope and potential, I think people still cling to the idea of these things, but I think more and more are losing their hold on them because the reality tells them they are slipping away.  Hard to keep hope alive in the face of long-term unemployment, or inability to access affordable care, or the unending efforts of the power structure to keep sticking it to the little guy.

    I guess I'm not content with the glass being half-full - I want it to be as full as possible - and I guess I will refuse to accept that half-full is good enough, especially when it seems like there is more effort being expended in draining more out of my glass and your glass so those whose glasses are already overflowing can have more.


    I don't disagree (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 04:50:23 PM EST
    But look how many protections people have gained - gays, the right to be free (and marry), women, the right to be equal to men, more protections for children, more environmental protections, etc.

    Seems like everyone in the world still wants to come here and/or emulate us, so I guess we can't be all bad.

    We must be vigilant and hold our leaders accountable, yes.  But to say that Lady Liberty weeps, and that you are sad when you look at her, well, on point 1, I disagree, and on point 2, I'm really sorry you feel that way. When I look at her, I am pulled out of my funk about this country and remember all that is great about it. I am inspired.


    You said it... (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 05:24:46 PM EST
    vigilance...eternal vigilance.  

    Don't mistake many of us being down on our institutions with us being down on what this place was, is, and can be in her finest moments.

    Look at the occupiers...there is nothing more American than that.  


    We must ... hold our leaders accountable (none / 0) (#91)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 09:00:55 PM EST
    Face facts.  Our self-annointed leaders have legislated accountability out of the picture.

    Thank you, jbindc (none / 0) (#83)
    by christinep on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 01:42:32 PM EST
    I've been thinking of what could be added (or subtracted) from what you said. Nothing. You said it all; and, you said it with beautiful feeling. Thank you from my heart as well as my head.

    I don't think you and Anne are that far apart (none / 0) (#84)
    by sj on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 02:00:45 PM EST
    Or at least, I personally can identify with both of your points of view.  I'm not giving up either.  To me, not enabling the corruption of the political system is an act, not lack of action.  

    I was pretty disappointed when my friend opted not to go to the Statue of Liberty on our recent trip, although he's right.  You can hardly see everything in three days.  Still, seeing her even from the Brooklyn Promenade did something to my heart.  She is a powerful symbol, our Lady Liberty.

    But, I do wonder what this country offers that is not available anywhere else.  This is a pretty amazing world we live in.


    Wow. (none / 0) (#50)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 05:29:30 PM EST
    The Statue of Liberty represents for me what we used to be, and what we cannot claim with a straight face to be today.

    It hurts to look at her.

    Movingly expressed.


    Still just a ticket required (none / 0) (#15)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 12:32:13 PM EST
    At least, according to the NPS

    "Crown Ticket Reservations Full"... (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 12:41:18 PM EST
    that is new, no reservations were ever required before...just show up, pay, and up you went.  And no double airport-style screening...also new.

    Seems to me (none / 0) (#31)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 01:45:57 PM EST
    That the crown only holds so many people at a time, no?  More people are going to see it than did say, 50 years ago, and to give people more than a minute up there, they have to limit the numbers.  A reservation system is the only way to do that.

    I don't see a sinister plot here.


    I'm not talking ancient history.... (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 02:12:37 PM EST
    I'm talking ten years ago...first come first serve for access to the crown.

    Not true (none / 0) (#43)
    by sj on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 03:51:11 PM EST
    A reservation system is the only way to do that.

    First come, first served also does that.

    And ticks people off (none / 0) (#44)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 04:44:26 PM EST
    who made the trek all the way over there. It saves a lot of time and grief if someone just makes a reservation.

    Everything ticks somebody off (none / 0) (#46)
    by sj on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 05:10:08 PM EST
    Some people are going to get ticked off if they don't know they need a reservation when they head out there.  Some people are going to get ticked off if they can't make a trip to the SOL impulsively.  People are going to get ticked off if they can't micromanage their trip by advance planning everything and have to -- heaven forfend -- stand in line.

    I prefer to have the option to be impulsive.  It sounds like you prefer advance planning.  I dunno jb, it sounds more and more like we would not do well at traveling together.  :)


    Someone needs to stand (none / 0) (#32)
    by dead dancer on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 01:47:38 PM EST
    up for Lady Liberty.

    The youngsters got it!


    There is a proposal being bandied about (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 01:02:49 PM EST
    to let people in with a residence visa (not a green card) IF they buy a house here.

    So basically 'Give me your rich...'

    I support open immigration, but this seems so unfair I cannot get behind it. What, we are willing to drop all other concerns if there is enough money involved?

    Always have always will... (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 01:12:52 PM EST
    We like to think we accepted all the immigrant hordes with open arms out of a sense of decency and humanity, but really we just needed laborers and laborers needed opportunity.

    Now we don't need laborers, we need money....err, more money more money more money.


    ..when what we REALLY (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by jondee on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 01:27:33 PM EST
    need is a sense of decency and humanity..

    The money-crackhead-lunatics have taken over this here asylum.


    I'm not sure we were ever (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 01:41:07 PM EST
    all that accepting of "the immigrant hordes with open arms out of a sense of decency and humanity."

    This is an example of immigration policies around 1886 when Lady Liberty was dedicated:

    Chinese Exclusion Acts / Immigration Exclusion Act (1882)prohibited citizenship for Chinese immigrants. Subsequent acts reinforcing the exclusion of Chinese immigrant were passed in 1884, 1886 and 1888.

    "In 1882, 1884, 1886, and 1888, Congress passed Chinese exclusion acts, suspending immigration of Chinese laborers and barring reentry of all Chinese laborers who departed and did not return before the passage of the Act" (Lowe 180-81fn14).

    I know we weren't.... (5.00 / 0) (#33)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 02:04:09 PM EST
    but the history often gets told like we were.

    I'm guessin' the heavy liftin' of builidng the railroads were just about complete by the 1880's, hence the exclusion of the Chinese out west while the Europeans poured in back east to work the factories and build the metropolis after so many men were lost in the Civil War.


    Good historical perspective. (none / 0) (#35)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 02:12:11 PM EST
    I had forgotten about building the RRs.

    You're right of course (none / 0) (#26)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 01:27:38 PM EST
    That just seems so blatant, and bound to lead to resentments.

    I agree... (5.00 / 0) (#27)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 01:31:24 PM EST
    and I don't expect the immigration "wait your turn for 20 years!" hardliners to object to the playing favorites, if there is a hike in their property value in it for them.

    Maybe we should inscribe Lady Liberty with a new motto..."F*ck you pay me"


    I and I, brother (none / 0) (#37)
    by jondee on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 02:13:29 PM EST
    I and I.

    "I will not cease from mental fight, nor shall my sword sleep in my hand, till we have built Jerusalem (city of peace), in England's green and pleasant land."

    That great old bluesman, Big Bill Blake wrote that. :)


    Linky goodness (none / 0) (#20)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 01:05:06 PM EST
    here. It is a Schumer idea.

    apparently these days (5.00 / 0) (#39)
    by CST on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 03:22:29 PM EST
    we're settling for

    "give me your rich"

    I get it, the practicality of it, but it just seems so callous.

    I'll settle for a (none / 0) (#41)
    by jondee on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 03:41:08 PM EST
    "give me your people who can pass a civics exam"

    followed by, "give me your people who can prove they've ever read anything besides The Way Things Ought to Be and The Christmas Sweater"


    Heh - maybe can work out a trade arrangement (none / 0) (#78)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 12:21:18 PM EST
    Trade some American born idiots for some smarter immigrants.

    I see Lady Liberty everyday... (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by vml68 on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 06:05:32 PM EST
    morning, noon and night when I am walking the dogs and I still get a kick out of it when I think about what the immigrants coming into Ellis Island must have felt when they first saw her.

    Give me music !!! (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 01:05:26 AM EST

    Why don't we just go back to open borders? (none / 0) (#8)
    by rennies on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 11:20:57 AM EST
    Isn't it unfair that tired, poor, hungry Mexicans can enter the United States so much more easily (although, of course, not without risk and pain) than the tired, poor, hungry people of Bangladesh or Rwanda or Honduras?

    A Littlle off Topic (none / 0) (#9)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 11:23:12 AM EST
    John Stewart in regards to the 10 year anniversary of the Patriot Act,  "What do you get a country that knows everything ?"

    We should just take the SoLibery down and put it in the Smithsonian, right next tot he Constitution, as artifacts.

    Calling it the Statue of Liberty (none / 0) (#10)
    by Edger on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 11:39:24 AM EST
    is somewhat analogous to calling the Democratic Party the Democratic Party, no? Or the Patriot Act the Patriot Act? Operation Iraqi Freedom?

    Health 'Care' Reform, anyone?

    The world changes (none / 0) (#38)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 02:40:57 PM EST
    whether we admit it or not.

    The country that we pine for had lots of open land to settle and unskilled factory jobs. That is no longer true.

    So we have a big problem. Fewer jobs, no free land yet millions of illegal immigrants. What to do?

    1. Close the borders using technology and people. And by close, I mean close. Catch and immediately deport any new arrivals.

    2. Offer a very simple path to citizenship for those now here. i.e. Give'em a Green Card, have'em attend US history classes, pass a test and swear'em in.

    3. Prosecute all who hire illegal aliens who have not identified themselves and started the process to become citizens. Deport all those with a criminal record and/or do not apply for a Green Card.

    4. Keep the border closed except for those with the skills that we need until we have assimilated all those now here illegally.

    Seems pretty simple. And it is except that both sides will play politics and finger point rather than just solving the problem.

    The big problem I see... (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 03:31:56 PM EST
    are human rights problems...the bastard (in)secure communities program, inhumane immigration detention practices and procedures, broken families, needless beuracratic misery.

    Lacking papers ain't no real problem, it's one o' those divisive made up problems to sell a police state "solution".  No thanks.

    The borders aren't faucets that can be opened and closed....people moved from the Fertile Crescent to the Bering Strait and beyond, and they always will move as long as moving gives 'em a shot at an improved lot in life...we can embrace it and make it work or tilt at windmills causing endless suffering in the process.


    Actually any country (none / 0) (#55)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 06:14:35 PM EST
    that cannot control its borders will not, in fact has not, remained a country long term.

    The issue then is both economical, how the old and new "citizens" can have a decent living and cultural as well as how the country can retain the culture that made it a "country."

    An uncontrolled influx of untrained workers works to the advantage of the employers in the agriculture field, construction, and some service industries. It works to the disadvantage of citizens and even to the disadvantage of previously arrived illegal immigrants. Without a shortage of labor no union or labor organization can successfully enforce higher wages and better working conditions.

    As for the culture, America has been a melting pot. Each group that came added something new while adapting to the previous cultural norms. This was aided by the distances and costs of keeping in contact with the immigrants parent culture. Unfortunately that is greatly hampered today by the ease of and low cost of communication and relatively low cost of travel allowing the parent culture to have a longer and stronger influence. While earlier immigrant groups were out of their ghettos in one or two generations we are starting to see permanent ghettos and "group" leaders profiting by keeping them in the ghetto.

    This is a problem with serious implications.


    more false projection (none / 0) (#69)
    by NYShooter on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 06:06:34 AM EST
    "An uncontrolled influx of untrained workers works to the advantage of the employers in the agriculture field, construction, and some service industries."

    And, that's bad, why?

    "It works to the disadvantage of citizens and ......."

    Really? How?


    It is simple (none / 0) (#70)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 09:47:23 AM EST

    It depresses wages by providing a continual source of cheap workers. And since they are here illegally they can't complain. So there is no driving force to increase wages or improve working conditions.

    It does work to the advantage of some citizens. That would be the owners of the noted industries as well as people, mostly upper middle class, who use the lawn services, etc. employing illegal immigrants.

    And I suppose you can throw in all of us who enjoy cheap veggies and fruits.

    I just don't think we have the right to a better life by taking advantage of others.


    Then (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by NYShooter on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 11:25:24 AM EST
    you don't shop at Walmart.

    I have no clear idea (none / 0) (#75)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 12:14:56 PM EST
    what you speak of... But if it is a cleaning contractor using illegal immigrants is what you refer to, it has been settled.

    Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), the world's largest retailer, escaped criminal charges when it agreed to pay $11 million, a record fine in a civil immigration case, to end a federal probe into its use of illegal immigrants as janitors.

    Additionally, 12 businesses that provided contract janitor services to Wal-Mart will pay $4 million in fines and plead guilty to criminal immigration charges, officials said.

    The deal resolves a more than four-year-long Department of Justice (search) investigation into the employment practices of the company's former floor-cleaning contractors.


    If you are claiming that we take advantage of the cheap labor of China, etc., yes, we do. Just as we take advantage of the illegal immigrants.

    Of course we have it in our power to stop the taking advantage of the illegal immigrant. We do not have a reasonable way to change the latter.

    War between countries is messy.


    An $11M fine? For Walmart that's chump change. (none / 0) (#92)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 09:06:45 PM EST
    Will the (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 05:22:12 PM EST
    US history classes teach them of the genocide perpetrated against the Native Americans?

    I also wonder whether these classes would teach maxims from the founders such as,

    "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety"
    from Ben Franklin


    "The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive." from Thomas Jefferson.

    or this other one from Jefferson:

    "Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms (of government) those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny"

    or yet another by Jefferson - echoing the sentiments of Franklin:

    "A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will lose both, and deserve neither"

    It's interesting and profoundly astonishing to me that both Franklin and Jefferson said that were we to be willing to give up even a little liberty, not only would be get neither safety nor order, but we would not even deserve to have it.

    These sentiments are the ones with which I identify - but I wonder how many contemporary civics courses teaching American history would mention them.


    Do the schools even have (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Zorba on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 05:41:12 PM EST
    civics courses that are required in high school any more?  My kids (now in their 30's) didn't have any, although I did when I was in high school.  I don't even expect them to teach what you have suggested, which are all excellent suggestions, by the way, and should be taught, but won't be.  I would be happy if they just taught the kids the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, with a particular emphasis on the Bill of Rights.

    And that is why my (none / 0) (#57)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 06:18:53 PM EST
    Grandson is in a private school.

    I (none / 0) (#58)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 07:29:05 PM EST
    went to a private school.

    They didn't teach me anything particularly worthwhile.

    I hope your Grandson has better luck.


    With my children (none / 0) (#59)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 07:58:53 PM EST
    I attended school board meetings, reviewed text books and studied the curriculum.

    Fought some battles. Won some,lost some but overall I think I made my points.

    More science. More math. More English. More Civics and History.

    Less Art. Less Band.

    Doing the same thing all over again.

    I have noticed one big difference. The private school listens much better to the customer.


    WTF is wrong with art and music? (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by nycstray on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 02:12:15 AM EST
    Many people make very decent livings in those fields. And the world would be a very sad place without them.

    I did just fine in all those subjects (especially math and science) you seem to favor, but it was art that has been supporting me all these years . . . some kids just swing those ways.


    And students of the arts can apply those (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 12:36:00 PM EST
    skills to other professions and other areas of life if they cannot make the arts their profession.

    Also, the rigors of the serious artstic life not only teach discipline, but weed out those less likely to be able to make it a profession. I don't  know anyone who studied the arts and regretted it. They were all either able to make it as artists - not  rich and famous, but happy, or realized they would not be able to early in life and went into other fields.

    One real problem these days is 'job creaters' automatically weeding out people with the 'wrong' diplomas.  


    Our real problem (none / 0) (#95)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 10:22:23 PM EST
    started when it was decided that a person with a MBA could managed anything, irrespective of that person's lack of knowledge of the products the company made and the market it served.

    And of course people with arts degrees can change fields and be happy.

    But a Liberal Arts degree won't make you an engineer or a MD or chemist or physicist.

    And there is nothing wrong with that. But if a degree is supposed to provide the holder with a means to make a living then winding up with a huge debt and a degree that isn't in demand, or pay what the holder thinks they should be paid, leads to a great deal of frustration.

    I read/heard where tuition went up 8% last year. That appears to be based on lots of students and lots of government money. If the government wasn't there would the prices keep increasing at two, three or four times the rate of inflation?

    I think not.


    There is nothing wrong with art and music. (none / 0) (#71)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 09:54:51 AM EST
    It's just that with schools having limited time and limited resources teaching should focus on the hard sciences plus English, Civics and History rather than art, music and the other "soft" subjects.

    Note I said "less" not "none."

    A great deal of attention should be given to keeping politics out of science and history.


    My school... (none / 0) (#60)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 08:12:04 PM EST
    I had no art.
    No band.

    No civics.

    History was so boring my eyes would water trying to read the textbook. Certainly nothing subversive like Franklin and Jefferson.
    No talk of genocide of the Native Americans. Smokum peace pipe. Turkey.

    But the school had a pretty good record when it came to people getting into colleges.

    I don't know what any of what I am saying means in the scheme of things.


    A cure for boring History... (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 10:02:30 PM EST
    Harvey Wasserman's History of the United States.  

    When you're done with that, read Howard Zinn's, A People's History of the United States.


    That sounds so dismal (none / 0) (#66)
    by sj on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 02:30:15 AM EST
    My grade school had a traveling art teacher who gave a lesson to each class about every two weeks or so.  For me, those art sessions were a necessity.  And I can't imagine how it would have been without them for my brother who was an artist born.  Moreover, there is a verified connection between the music and learning of math.  I think we need things that nurture the spirit if we want to get the most out of our minds.  And our bodies.

    It's funny, now that I'm talking about art class, I still remember some of those projects.  I was also blessed with a teacher who made history fascinating.  To this day, I actually feel cold and hungry when I think about Valley Forge. She also had an inspired way of teaching spelling and vocabulary.  A student who got 100% on the spelling pre-test was privileged to spend the week working on a special set of even more difficult words.  We got to work in another room and everything.  Unmonitored.  It was a great privilege. :)

    And now kids are taught to the test.  It's tragic on so many levels.

    As fondly as I remember it, though, we weren't taught about the genocide of the Native Americans, either.  I was an adult before I learned that the US had broken every single treaty made with them/us.


    Except (none / 0) (#68)
    by lentinel on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 05:41:55 AM EST
    for the inevitable sanitizing of American history, your experience sounds exciting. It is one I wish I had had.

    I believe that I was, as you say, taught to the test.

    I do remember cramming for exams.
    Staying up into the next morning.
    Getting a few hours of sleep and then getting up two hours early to do some extra cramming.
    Then cramming on the bus to school.
    Making up words, anagrams, to help me remember answers to questions.

    Then there was the exam.

    Then, the next day, I would have forgotten absolutely everything.


    Exams (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by sj on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 01:41:10 PM EST
    I was a good student who was told I could be an exceptional student if I would just learn how to take notes.  I would usually draw during lectures.  But when I was taking the test, I realize now, I would often think back to what I was drawing when the material was covered and could then "access" the answer.  I wish I understood then how my brain worked.  I would have really used that in a more conscious way.  

    I still haven't mastered the art of taking notes.  I write down keywords to remember where I have a question or to remind myself of further research.  If I try to take notes, I lose track of what I should be taking notes about.  And I rarely refer to those notes.  It's as if the act of writing it is what imprints it on my memory.  I'm very, very visually oriented.  I have to see.  Reading about it is fine as a reference, but not as the basis for real understanding.  As a software engineer I find my learning curve is somewhat exponential.  Once I have mastered the basics enough to explore it on my own, I'm off.  But that first part, where the learning curve is flat is really tough on my psyche.


    I don't know, Donald (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Zorba on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 05:36:31 PM EST
    But Mr. Zorba has sort of always felt that, before you're allowed to vote, you should be able to pass the citizenship questions that immigrants must answer before they are granted citizenship.  I have real mixed feelings about this, because it strikes me as much too close to the "literacy tests" for voting (which were, of course, far too often rigged) that kept way too many black Americans from voting "back in the day."

    In Illinois when I was in jr high school (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 12:25:18 PM EST
    every student had to study civics and pass a Constitution test before moving on to high school. That was one of my favorite classes. I hope they still do that.

    In the mid 50's (none / 0) (#81)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 12:55:34 PM EST
    where I lived you had to pass US and State history to graduate.

    I was in school in Illinois in also. (none / 0) (#87)
    by caseyOR on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 03:28:03 PM EST
    Catholic grade school and public high school in the '60s. We had civics class in 8th grade. At the end of 8th grade we took tests on the Illinois Constitution, the U.S. Constitution and flag etiquette. These were required.

    In high school every student was required to take a year of U.S. history and one semester of U.S. Government (a more advanced civics class). Once again, in order to graduate, we had to pass a test on the U.S. Constitution.

    I understand that these requirements were a reaction to the Red Scare of the late '40s into the '50s (Joe McCarthy, HUAC). So, while I think the reason was a bit shaky, making everyone learn these things was very good.

    The only commies we now fear are the fake ones that exist only in the minds of rightwing demagogues (Kenyan socialist commie in the White House, for example), and Castro, of course (we don't really fear Castro so much as we are insulted that he hasn't had the decency to die already and let our corporate raiders plunder Cuba).

    Now the real threats to "our way of life" come from within our borders. They totally own one of the two major political parties and they are quickly buying up the other one. A truly informed citizenry would just muck up their plans. Hence, no civics classes.


    You make a good point (none / 0) (#56)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 06:17:43 PM EST
    That is, people should know about their country. But I don't see why two wrongs, make a right.

    Which would be the case if you said it was okay for both groups to be ignorant.

    My answer would be stronger civic and history classes for everyone.


    But what is (none / 0) (#72)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 10:22:08 AM EST
    stronger history is the question? I grew up in SC and so much of what I was taught in both the public and private schools in the south I later found out was wrong.

    And here in the south, the majority of private schools are actually worse than the public schools.


    Were you taughgt about (none / 0) (#73)
    by MKS on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 11:02:51 AM EST
    the War of Northern Agression?

    Oh, please (none / 0) (#86)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 03:07:22 PM EST
    No, I was not. It was called the Civil War. But I had a teacher who told me that black people were better off in slavery than free among other things. I went to private school during middle school and they were even worse than the public school on this type of thing.

    And your proof (none / 0) (#77)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 12:18:51 PM EST
    that the majority of the private schools in the south are worse is........?

    And what was taught that you later found out was wrong??


    Looking at their (none / 0) (#85)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 03:05:43 PM EST
    numbers if they release them. I lived in an area where there were a lot of private schools and I checked them out at one time. There were about 20 and about 4 of them were really good. The rest were a piece of crap basically diploma mills for students who couldn't graduate from the public schools.

    Where I live now there are only a couple but they are all pretty bad. There was a good one but it went under. I mean these private schools in the county that I live in, couldn't even get accreditation because they were so bad.

    They are basically fundamentalist schools that don't educate the kids and are more into fundamentalist indoctrination.


    Heh (none / 0) (#88)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 05:27:46 PM EST
    Apparently, your response was funny (none / 0) (#89)
    by Yman on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 05:39:52 PM EST
    Who knew?

    Evidently you didn't. (none / 0) (#94)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 10:09:17 PM EST
    Not so much (none / 0) (#99)
    by Yman on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 07:56:36 AM EST
    But a reply from you - demanding "proof" - is ridiculously funny.

    Feh (none / 0) (#98)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 07:27:21 AM EST
    when someone can't back up what they're saying oh, well...

    GA you made a claim (none / 0) (#102)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 09:51:16 AM EST
    I requested some proof.

    You come back with what is "everyone" knows.

    Well, everyone doesn't know.

    I think you are blowing smoke.

    'Nuff said. I have proven my point.


    LOL, you're a National Treasure, (none / 0) (#103)
    by NYShooter on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 11:56:31 AM EST
     the perfect, non-pharmaceutical cure for depression. Who could read one of your posts and not break out in hilarious laughter? No matter how low one feels, along come Jim and "proves" you weren't that low after all.

    Thanks, Jim

    "'Nuff said. I have proven my point."

    LOL, please, please stop!
    You're killing me.

    O.K. one more time......."'Nuff said."

    lol, lol, lol


    Nope (none / 0) (#104)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 12:26:30 PM EST
    I said nothing about everyone know. I stated the facts that the private schools in my county are not accredited. I said that I have investigated standards in private schools and found them lacking in many of them. Jim, it's not that hard to do.

    I don't know what your problem is with assigning people statements that they don't say.

    I've also worked with a lot of people from some of the fundamentalist segregation academies and they were some of the saddest people I think I've ever met. Hateful and ignorant and desiring of killing people they don't agree with. The radical fundamentalists in this country were largely produced by the same game plan that the middle east has had used.


    Hahahahahahahahahaha .... (none / 0) (#105)
    by Yman on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 02:18:05 PM EST
    I requested some proof.

    You come back with what is "everyone" knows.

    Well, everyone doesn't know.

    I think you are blowing smoke.

    'Nuff said. I have proven my point.

    You realize this could be applied to 99% of your posts, right?

    Gonna have to keep this one handy ...


    As if "everyone knows..." (none / 0) (#107)
    by sj on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 04:31:23 PM EST
    wasn't a favorite response of yours.  Just sayin'

    According my niece, the crown (none / 0) (#51)
    by oculus on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 05:29:54 PM EST
    Closed for a few years. When it reopened a couple years ago, time ticket system started.

    buy lots of dialysis machines (none / 0) (#90)
    by diogenes on Sat Oct 29, 2011 at 06:39:19 PM EST
    Since we have unlimited kidney dialysis in this country, if we have open borders then everyone from a country which limits the availability of dialysis will move here.  Maybe that's good, as long as it's part of the meme along with pictures of Lady Liberty.

    I've got to hand it to you (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by sj on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 03:00:43 AM EST
    You keep putting yourself out there.  Even if what you say is ... odd.

    It's none of my business, (none / 0) (#97)
    by NYShooter on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 03:16:24 AM EST
     of course but, what are you doing up at this hour?
    I've got an excuse (as if I need one on Saturday night, lol) I'm buried in 15 inches of snow. Power went out before the first snow flake hit the ground. But, thank goodness, I've got a generator, and I've got to make sure it doesn't run out of gas.

    And you? Hmmm?

    You know I'm joking; it really is none of my business. And furthermore, It's just the kind of question I hate when its done to me. My first reaction is, "who are you, my Muthah?" Bug off!



    No worries, LOL (none / 0) (#106)
    by sj on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 04:29:41 PM EST
    insomnia.  The absolute worst situation for a born night owl.