Punishment and Profits: Immigration Detention

Punishment and Profits: Immigration DetentionImmigration is a key issue in the US presidential election, with the Republican candidates trying to demonstrate their tough stance on undocumented immigrants.

But under the Obama administration, the detention and deportation of immigrants has reached an all-time high.

Every day, the US government detains more than 33,000 non-citizens at the cost of $5.5mn a day. That is a lot of money for the powerful private prison industry, which spends millions of dollars on lobbying and now operates nearly half of the country's immigration detention centres.

Fault Lines travels to Texas and Florida to investigate the business of immigrant detention in the US and to find out how a handful of companies have managed to shape US immigration laws.

Watch the full documentary now

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Ratings: 7.86/10 from 7 users.

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Comments and User Reviews

  • brutusaurio

    It's always the same: money, profits, corporations,....
    It's an illness and never ends. Brief and good doc.

  • fonbindelhofas

    good short & like

  • http://www.facebook.com/esmuziq Deejay Es

    damn this suckssss

    nice docu !!!

  • arifkarim

    Lol. Land made of undocumented european and african immigrants is punishing other "undocumented" IMMIGRANTS :D
    Did the so-called "Americans" ever received legal documents from the true people of the american continent: Native Americans? :D

  • drinker69

    These Illegals should put their energy and numbers into bettering the conditions of the country they are leaving. Why not try that. I feel bad for the US having to deal with these people who don't get it through their thick, sombrero wearing heads that the people of the US don't have to take this. I think Canada has already given them the boot.

  • robertallen1

    We owe these illegals nothing. They are for the most part a drain on our resources. They come here holding their hands out for freebies in the form of medical care, welfare and education and expect equal treatment with citizens and legal residents. In addition, they have the temerity to demand that they be catered to linguistically. I've seen it and for most of them, the so-called American dream is no more than a free ride.

    The woman fleeing from her husband is a case in point. Are we obligated to overlook her being here illegally and expend our resources to give her safe harbor because her country cannot take care of her domestic difficulties?

    Imagine 11,000,000 illegals over 50 states; that's 220,000 per state. Think of what an improvement it would be if the money spent on them were spent on citizens. Think of how much better it would be if we didn't have this problem in the first place or at least to the extent that we now have it. Something's certainly wrong--and Drinker 69 is right; Canada did what we should have done long ago and given them the boot.

    If we're that concerned about private companies profiting from incarceration, just round up the illegals and deport them. It's not worth the time, effort or money to charge them with violations of immigration law and then have to provide them with room and board while they await trial after which they will probably be deported anyway. In addition, a message must be sent to those planning to enter this country illegally that they are not wanted or welcome.

    I

  • observernumber321

    this documentary is so bias. anyone in detention chose to be in detention in order to exercise their rights under our constinution to all the free **** we have. if they want they can just say, yeah, you got me, im here illegally. ill go back now. but some people get here, have babies, or claim fear of returning to their homeland, or say they have families here, etc, etc.. so they go through the process. **** this documentary. its all lies. compare to what the mexican government is doing to the central and south american immgrants entering their borders to get to the U.S. this is nothing to even make a stupid documentary about. and these so called activists, yeah its not their fault, i guess, but we are a country of law. they should go cry to their illegal parents about their situation. or if they want to draw attention to anything, why dont u start with ur home country. mexico and central america are pretty much dead when it comes to any media. and as far as race issue, U.S. is the most race friendly country in the world. and people still bitch. go to china, or russia, or any other big country. then come back and shut the **** up and live by our laws. just be greatful u got to this this country in one piece.

  • enlightened777

    You are ridiculously ignorant. Plain and simple. Better their countries? Do you know what the all-amazing-and-righteous US HAS DONE in their countries???? My advice: READ. EDUCATE YOURSELF. VISIT OTHER COUNTRIES. GET A HEART. AND A BRAIN. Wow, you feel bad for the US having to deal with "these people"? But you have no idea the horrible things the US government has done to them in their own countries.

  • enlightened777

    You, also, are incredibly ignorant.

    First of all, you "owe illegals nothing"? What about your vegetables, much of the food you and I eat? You DO owe them that, many of whom work in extremely difficult and unsafe conditions, sometimes even in slavery.

    Second of all, immigrants (ESPECIALLY undocumented immigrants) are NOT AT ALL a drain on the economy. ACTUALLY: They do not qualify for welfare, food stamps, medicare, loans, most scholarships, et cetera! Basically, any handouts that citizens (and some residents) can receive from the government, they DO NOT receive. AND they pay sales and income taxes (Many will use a fake social in order to pay their income taxes, but are so afraid of being found out that they do not file for their tax returns- so IN ACTUALITY, they put MORE IN and get LESS OUT!).

    As far as being catered to, the LARGE MAJORITY of immigrants try their best to learn English and actually learn it well. The few reasons that some don't learn it is: lack of opportunity/time/funds, or possibly a fear of being too involved in the community if they lack documents.

    You've "seen" the free ride? Really? Do you know anyone personally who is undocumented ("illegal" as you say), let alone who is an immigrant?

    Seriously. Do your research. Educate yourself. Your arguments are all based on assumptions and irrational fears...making you an unreasonable bigot.

  • robertallen1

    First, my obligation ends when I pay for the food I eat. Second, those whom you describe are probably in this country legally. Third, they are owed their wages and that's that.

    I have no idea where you're getting your information, but you need to do further research on the percentage of illegals on the welfare rolls or receiving food stamps or medicare. The figures are appalling. I also suggest that you read about what happened when the voters in California overwhelmingly approved Proposition 186 which was struck down by the courts.

    Don't try to justify their using fake social security numbers, etc. If they were here legally, they wouldn't need to compound their violation of immigration laws with violations of the Penal and Government Codes.

    What makes you think that the vast majority of illegals (and remember they've committed a crime by being here in the first place) try to learn English and actually learn it well? Your apology for the alleged few who don't won't wash as it is simply a justification for sub rosa conduct based on an illegal act.

    And yes, I've seen and am disgusted.

  • robertallen1

    Yes, our government has done some horrible things in their countries, but this does not justify 11,000,000 of them being in this country ILLEGALLY and receiving benefits.

  • robertallen1

    And who did your precious "Native Americans" steal this land from?

    Your trip down memory lane is poor justification for illegals.

  • Guest

    The large majority of illegal residents wish to work more than anything else.
    Always was always will be, that's the primary reason they cross borders.
    az

  • Guest

    In Canada:
    Canadian Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (CSAWP)
    az

  • Guest

    In many case the privatization of jails creates as many criminals outside the cells as in the cells....within the walls.
    az

  • robertallen1

    Who cares? They're still illegal.

  • Guest

    Many people care even though you don't.
    az

  • robertallen1

    How do you know about most people?

    And yes, I care. I care that they are here illegally and reaping benefits which they don't deserve.

    Obviously, the world illegally has no meaning for you.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZMK6YNWJACHQ5CRCJW5TNYFURI KsDevil

    Some of this sappy hand-wringing bleeding heart commentary in the documentary is very annoying. However, it is clear that the for-profit detention business is costing the tax payers more than it should. Unfortunatly, the Republicans turn a blind eye when calling for a reduction in government spending. The Democrats turn a blind eye when looking for the sympathy vote. Government waste is everywhere and the all mighty dollar is lord and master.

  • drinker69

    You make some good points and by calling me ignorant and brainless you only solidify what I already know. I realize the US is a right SOB these days and I was coming to the defense of the ordinary citizen who lives there, not defending the US actions worldwide as a whole. If I lived on the border or something I don't think I'd want thousands of Mexicans, Central Americans, or whoever streaming in with no papers all the friggin time. You think they are all angels with sad stories to tell of escaping a drought or something and just want to pick fruit for us gringos? I'd just like to know how many thousands are criminals who could give 2 f**ks about where they go or what they do. And these days, I'm not talking about stealing cars or food for the family, I'm talking about people who come from a culture that has evolved to the sickest, most depraved acts of torture and murder that's so beyond reason it makes the Medieval days look like a holiday. You have to question this no? The killings are so prevalent that they're getting creative with it. One of my all time favourites is when they removed a guys face and stitched it onto a soccer ball. Seriously now, who does that? And this happens every hour of every day.

  • Guest

    The world illegally? Name me a very high paid profession that doesn't include illegal practices. When there is huge amount of money to be made there is illegal practice, tax evasion, money under the table, abuse of power...and many other ways of stepping aside the law. Privatized jails are a fine exemple.
    Be more observant, i didn't write most, i wrote many.
    az

  • robertallen1

    Don't skirt the issue. As illegals, they are entitled to nothing except a quick deportation.

  • Sieben Stern

    technically, nobody. the native americans were first to this land. there are no other 'peoples' who were here first, as was the case with homo sapiens taking the place of neanderthal in Europe.

    i have a feeling you would change your tune if you had to pay the true cost of meat and produce without the help of cheap immigrant circuit labor.

  • Sieben Stern

    well said! immigrants are not the drain on the economy that the right wing would like us to think all the while hiring them as nannies and gardeners. there needs to be a system in place where they are treated fairly for the hard work that they do!

    i'm pretty sure robert dear has been staring at his television much too long and has forgotten how to read, possibly even think.

  • a b

    I accidentally clicked "like". Didn't mean to.
    Unfortunately there is no button “absolute dislike”.
    Robertallen, you deserve what the US is becoming.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/LCON3J3X2VLN5SGZE5752QKONQ leo

    You should look into Medieval torture methods, when you do, you'll realize it isn't any less vicious than what is now happening in a few areas in Mexico "every hour every day", that's 24 balls a day according to your sources, but thankfully it's not happening any where near all the people and family members I know and talk to all across Mexico. So people don't worry, not every Mexican is into stitching faces into balls, like drinker69 would like you to believe.

  • Guest

    I am not skirting or pantaloning any issue, you tried to belittle me with a stupid phrase that makes no sense :"Obviously, the world illegally has no meaning for you", i simply answered accordingly.
    az

  • robertallen1

    When you aver that those who are here illegally have a right to remain, the word illegally obviously has no meaning for you.

    Also, citing illicit practices in the business and political worlds to justify the illegals' right to remain in this country is illogical and absurd.

  • robertallen1

    That is not the issue. They are here illegally and should be dealt with by immediate deportation.

  • robertallen1

    "Immigrants are not the drain on the economy that the right wing would like us to think . . . " Do you mean legal or illegal? If they are illegal, the only system that needs to be in place is the mechanism of deportation.

  • Guest

    Please show me where i state that illegal immigrants have a right to remain other than in your mind. See my comment about Canada's laws with migrants workers.
    Your phrase makes no sense because of the word "world illegally" (bad english or one more of your typo).
    My citing illicit practices in the "business" has everything to do with this doc. Did you even watch it?
    Just hope a bully like you never end up in jail.
    az

  • robertallen1

    O.K. Then state your position on illegals.

  • Achems_Razor

    Ha, Ha, I love it when youse guyses fight!

    @robertallen1: a bully? only a woman would say that, lol

    See, again you got me off topic!

  • lakhotason

    My position is: What are you going to do? People emigrate. That's been the history of mankind. Do you honestly think anything we do will stop the flow of humans?

  • Guest

    My position is that the situation with illegal immigrants is not cut and dried. As with the young man who was released after being interviewed for the doc.

    "There is an estimate of 190 million immigrants world wide, the last 50 years has seen an almost doubling of immigration". As the world globalizes in terms of nations’ economies, trade and investment, borders are opened up more easily for “freer” flow of goods and products. People are supposedly freer to move around the world, too. Immigration - Global Issues

    It is obvious that immigration will not be stopped, if anything it will augment and a large part of people immigrating will not necessarily go through the regular process of applying from outside the borders. In the case of wanting to marry a US citizen it is actually easier to first go to the US, live together, get married and apply from within, a much faster process than getting the approved documents from the country of residence.
    Rich people emigrating to third world countries are not always bringing positive influence either, it is in fact the opposite in many cases. Just because they can afford buying their way in doesn't make it better, unless all one cares about is financial gain for big corporates.

    az

  • Guest

    a man would surely use a more confronting term.
    az

  • Sieben Stern

    honestly i think it is a valid point but you lack the depth to understand and discuss anything deeper than parroting the word 'deportation'. turn down the volume on fox news, and maybe try changing the channel.

    you know that deportation's not going to solve the 'problem', right? the problem is caused by the us government policies toward trade and economics. IE - we flood mexico with cheap subsidized corn, trashing their ag economy, suddenly tons of farmers are out of work and what do they do, they head north for work. think about it. have some cold water next to you in case your head starts smoking.

  • Sieben Stern

    hee hee - he'd be grabbing his ankles so fast! XD

  • Guest

    I don't think he'd want to bend down to reach them.
    az

  • Guest

    And what do you have to say on the topic?
    az

  • drinker69

    No No. The stitching of the face to the ball was done by someone very good. Someone who thinks laterally. The stuff that happens everyday is castration while alive, chainsawing arms and legs and heads off, skinning people or beating them to death with bats, you know, the regular stuff. I really don't care and I know its mostly on the border but it happens. All the time. How else does a nation rack up 50,000 murders in 5 years. Just at random?

  • a b

    Exactly right. Set up sweatshops, pay them peanuts and build a big wall around them so they can't escape.
    Do what the US does best; bribe corrupt leaders of third world countries, bleed them dry of their resources and when their economy is ruined (if they had one to begin with) and they go hungry, send food aid so you can pat yourself on the back.
    Meanwhile burn their oil in your big wasteful cars, wear the clothes they made for a few dollars a day, eat the produce they picked and treat them like the dirt they surely are, for wanting some too.
    The US, with its largest GNI in the world, is one of the smallest aid donors as a percentage of GNI.
    It is also one of the biggest polluters per capita ?
    What does that tell you?

    If you want to stop the immigration, give them a fair go in their own country.
    Buy only from ethical companies and, for godsake stop super-sizing everything you put in your mouth so you can fit into smaller cars.

  • robertallen1

    I am under no obligation to investigate the ethics of a company before I buy from it.

  • robertallen1

    Deportation is an awfully good beginning.

  • robertallen1

    There is nothing wrong with LEGAL immigration.

    Also, the young man who was released was here legally, as he had a green card which is more than I can say for the woman with domestic problems

  • a b

    And that makes you the unethical, self-indulgent citizen you demonstrate so well.

  • robertallen1

    You're right. People emigrate. My gripe is not with legal immigrants who come here, practice a trade or profession and pay their own way, such as my grandparents who, despite being of peasant stock, learned English well enough to get along. My gripe is with the illegal immigrant with outstretched palms and the bleeding-hearts who cater to them in everything from welfare and education to language.

  • http://www.topdocumentaryfilms.com Epicurus

    then you dont really have the right to complain when their negative practices start effecting you on a level you seem to feel so strongly about.

  • a b

    For a mother to abandon her children, she must be either completely heartless, or under extreme duress. Odds are the latter and also because she was allowed to stay would confirm that she had, what you so lightly call “domestic problems” at home.

    Just because you fell on American soil when you climbed out of your mothers womb doesn't make you any better or worse than anyone else.
    What you do and say decides your value as a human.
    So far you're doing a sh*tty job.

    I don't think this documentary was about the immigrants per see, but more about how the US treats those other humans. They, too, are doing a sh*tty job.

    Everyone wants to keep their country safe. Immigrants should be vetted and the rotten apples sent home.
    The US is very cleverly processing all illegals and giving them a criminal record, so they become rotten apples and can be sent home.

  • robertallen1

    This woman's extreme duress is her country's problem, not ours. She is no different from any other illegal and should be deported.

    While I agree that giving illegals a criminal record for immigration violations is expensive and desultory, they should not be allowed to remain in this country period. Indeed, they are all rotten apples for being here illegally, just as we would be if we were in their country illegally.

    If the immigration laws bother you, I suggest that you lobby for their change.

  • robertallen1

    In other words, you're for the proposition that before I patronize say a supermarket chain, make sure it conforms to your (or my) ethical standard. That's crap! And refusing to do so does not make me unethical, for I am under no obligation to investigate a company before dealing with it.

  • Achems_Razor

    I plead the fifth amendment!

  • Sieben Stern

    aaand my point found the path of least resistance between your ears, a straight line, and exited promptly.

  • robertallen1

    What are you talking about, or do you know?

  • a b

    Of course you don't have to investigate the supermarket, nor its personnel.
    You should check the products before deciding which to buy.
    And yes, it is unethical to buy a shirt of which you know that it is produced with child labour.
    You are right that you are under no obligation.
    Go ahead and keep your head firmly stuck in the sand.

    The way the US is going, you may eventually find yourself on the receiving end of those new laws.

    Your stance is also pretty hypocrite considering the middle east is full of illegals.
    But that's ok, because they are Americans .

    And you say send that lady back even though she might get beaten to death? Not our problem?
    Pretty heartless.

  • robertallen1

    Wrong. When I buy a head of lettuce, I don't research the conditions under which it was grown or harvested and for that matter, neither does almost anyone else, the same when I buy a shirt or a pair of pants--and I'm not about to--and I resent you're telling me that I have to. Like most, all I care about is the product; the conditions under which it was manufactured are of no concern to me nor should they be. If you want to boycott certain companies and products which you feel don't come up to your social expectations, you have the right to do so, but I also have right to do business with them if I so choose.

    As for the lady, first of all, we have only her side of the story. Second, if she had endeavored to come through the front door, it might have been a different story, but she didn't and must take the consequences of being an illegal, namely deportation. This country should not have to make up for her country's inability to resolve her domestic difficulties. Once again, remember, she has no business in this country in the first place.

    "Your stance is pretty hypocrite considering the middle east is full of illegals. But that's O.K. because they are Americans." Are you saying we shouldn't be in the Middle East? No, it's not O.K. We have no business there. So you've mischaracterized my stance based on supposition, tools of the ignoramus.

    "The way the US is going, you may eventually find yourself on the receiving end of those new laws." Do you have any idea what you're talking about or are you just canting and ranting?

    You have no idea how much I despise you and those like you who try to dictate to others which businesses to patronize and which products to buy based upon whether the companies we choose to deal with conform to your cheap social concerns. In short, I'll buy what I like with or without your approval and I resent your intrusion into my privacy.

  • a b

    Robert, you've been given enough rope.
    It has been like talking to a child.

  • rebelkq rebelkq

    I totally agree with enlightened777. The US, in the name of democracy or religion has gone to other countries and deplete them of their natural resources. The US will never give something from a good heart. They will always look in the country to see what they have and pay the least possible and once their pockets are full they leave the country in ruins. Yes, they bribe the people in power, so that they get their way in without hassle.
    Many US citizens don't know the atrocities the US has done around the world. But, the time is coming and has come, when the whole world is seeking revenge against the aggressor.

  • robertallen1

    In addition to trying to tell me what to buy, you want dictate how much rope I should be given. It's like talking to a would-be dictator.

  • robertallen1

    Indeed, our country has done horrible things to other countries in the name of who knows what and continues to do them. In short, we've gotten too big for our britches. However, this has nothing to do with illegal immigration.

  • Guest

    Everything is interconnected, nothing is not related. Every actions creates a reaction. To think that illegal immigration is a separate issue from global issues is to be blind to the reality we hold as a mass.

    az

  • WTC7

    Hi rebelkq rebelkq, admitting that I still haven't seen the doc (which I am just about to do), I would only like to make one general remark to your post. It is not my intention to defend the foreign policy of the US (and its many wrong-doings)in any way, but I must say that it is not exclusively the US that will never "give something from a good heart". No single country that I know of would do it. Many individuals do it, all the time, but no country ever acts in those terms.

  • robertallen1

    Your statement has nothing to do with what should be done and deportation is the best solution.

  • robertallen1

    You're right, but all this is merely a red herring, i.e., it has next to nothing to do with the problem of illegal immigration in the U.S.

  • WTC7

    Immigration is considered to be a serious problem in many countries in the world, in particular in the developed ones which get the largest influx of people escaping poverty. I felt so terribly sad for those poor men at the beginning of the doc getting into vans to be taken into detention. Their only crime being crossing that imaginary line on the other side of which there is a hope for a better life for them and their families. I doubt that the vast majority of them present any kind of security issue (for US or any other country which is their destination). They may present an economic issue but that would be a topic that would require broader analysis of a global economic and financial system. I would say that the distribution of wealth in the world, in terms of which countries own the resources and which are actually benefiting from them, is a far more pressing issue.

    Money runs the world around is the ultimate problem. US acquired great wealth from the countries the majority of these immigrants come from, but which party in the States would ever acknowledge that. The only thing one hears is the burden the immigration presents. In which way I am yet to understand, despite the official explanations.

    I only see desperate people who, without their own wrongs, are forced to seek ways to survive in the world created by those who don't care about human beings.

  • WTC7

    @ robertallen1,

    I have no solution to the problem of immigration in any country including the US. I assume that you would favor the expulsion of all of the illegal immigrants from the US (forgive me if I am wrong, I haven't read your comments here). But from my point of view, people from poor countries will keep trying to get into richer countries regardless of the laws of the latter. The problem can ONLY be solved (in my opinion) through the revolutionary change of the global system of the distribution of wealth. You can continue detaining these people, they will keep comming. Most of them are not criminals and present no problem in that respect. They just want to work and feed their families. Global revolution in terms of such a change is not in view though. So, let these people either obtain a legal immigrant status (without putting them in prison!) or return them to their countries in the shortest period of time possible (meaning, don't keep them in detention for no reason).

  • Guest

    Deportation is not a solution, deportation is an action which doesn't solve the issue.
    az

  • a b

    Sweden, Denmark, Holland, to name the most generous countries.
    US, Japan, South Korea the least.

    (I like your nomme de plume. It's amazing how they're getting away with it.)

  • a b

    The best sollution for who?

  • robertallen1

    We have enough to contend with without having to tend to those whose countries cannot take care of them. Illegals are an economic and social drain which we can do without.

  • robertallen1

    What's the matter? Is increased deportation too direct for you? What other way is there to solve the problem other than letting these freeloading illegals remain in this country?

  • robertallen1

    We're not going to change the global system of the distribution of wealth. So get that out of your head. If they can't enter this country legally, why should we want them? Deport, deport, deport.

  • robertallen1

    For legal or legalized American citizens which when it comes to this country is all that should matter.

    P.S. For whom.

  • a b

    Anyone can cherry-pick part of an argument to fit a mantra without ever bringing anything new to the table.
    Repeating the same thing ad infinitum doesn't make it true.
    You are on this site watching documentaries, so you're probably smarter than your one track mind suggests.

    There are 300 million people in the US.
    22 million of them are illegal aliens.
    It would be interesting to see what would happen if you had your way with them.

    PS
    Bedankt voor de Engelse les.
    Merci pour la leçon anglaise.
    Danke für die englische Lektion.

  • robertallen1

    For the citizens of this country, the people who should matter as far as this country is concerned.

    P.S. For whom.

    P.S.S. Solution.

  • robertallen1

    If I had my way with them, they wouldn't be in this country.

  • a b

    Since you insist on being childish, there is no such thing as P.S.S in the context you are using it in.
    If you insist on correcting others' spelling, at least get it right.
    Otherwise you look real silly.

    P.S. You didn't pick up “sollution” the first time round.
    P.P.S You went all the way back to find fault.
    P.P.P.S Get it ?

  • robertallen1

    I admit to the typo, but that's it.

    We have immigration laws for a reason and if you don't like them, trying lobbying for a change rather than making exceptions for every immigrant who comes into this country illegally.

  • a b

    This is obviously going nowhere.
    To characterise people as g******!
    Every post of yours is the same tripe, said slightly differently.

    Tan adiós fanático despiadado.

  • robertallen1

    P.S. And every post of yours shows disregard for the immigration laws which, whether you like it or not, are still on the books.

  • robertallen1

    I don't like the idea of private prisons any more than you, however, I did not hear any allegations in the documentary of illcit conduct on the part of companies who run them. I think you should keep in mind that these companies have as much right to lobby for their cause as anyone has to lobby against it.

    Considering the life I lead as a law-abiding citizen, landing in jail is extremely doubtful. Now, what about you?

  • a b

    I can't help myself.
    Playing with you is so much fun.

    Let's imagine that you are married and have children.
    Lets further imagine that Mexico is the richest country on earth after having stolen the US's riches. A role reversal if you will.
    You love your wife and children, but you can't feed them.
    You are desperate.
    You have tried to enter Mexico legally, but because of your lousy attitude they won't give you a green card.
    And so you sneak in, in an effort to get some shitty job, any job that those filthy rich Mexicans are too snotty to do themselves, so you can feed your family.

    By your standards you are immigrant?

    By my standards, apart from your lousy attitude, you deserve a medal.

    How about temporary green cards? For a year or so.
    Work in the US, doing the jobs gringos don't like to do themselves and live in Mexico.
    The Turkish used to do it all the time in Europe. They would do menial jobs for months in foreign countries, then go home to Turkey in their second hand Mercedes and be the richest man in the village.

    Unfortunately the US prefers to bully.

  • Achems_Razor

    @a b:

    @robertallen1: has a lousy attitude? news to me lol. And I sort of agree with him in what he is saying in his posts, and I say without "prejudice" his scenarios are similar as to some? (actually a lot!) of Yanks coming over the border to our beloved Canada and stealing our free medicare, like taking our tax money right out of our pocket (billions) you guys GIVE IT BACK!!

  • robertallen1

    I own a macaw and wish I had another and another, but I know that I can provide adequately for only one. So I don't acquire more, much as I would like to.

    The same with your scenario. First of all, before I had children, I would make sure I could provide for them, not the other way around. In other words, I would not produce offspring and then have to scrounge around to support them. So I would not need to resort to the tactics you describe and if I did ,I, too, would be an immigrant--and I have too much self-respect for that. Why many people can't subscribe to this simple philosophy is beyond me. Perhaps the Catholic Church has something to do with it, but that's another story.

    While temporary green cards imply legal status, their issuance is discretionary. If a country doesn't want you, an alien, that's that.

  • dewflirt

    I think most illegals would think twice about hopping borders if they knew what was on the other side. Without papers they are unable to find work, if they do the pay is usually so poor that they find themselves living in awful conditions (garden sheds etc) and unable to feed themselves properly. Should they need medical care they run the risk of being found out and often go without because of that. Adults pay their money and take their chances, if they manage to hide long enough the likelihood of being allowed to stay increases, good luck to them. My problem with that is that it frequently goes wrong, they have kids here and they go to school here. Their parents are illegal, are they also? Do they deserve the trauma of detention centres and deportation? The care system is struggling as it is so apart from the fact that they should not be separated from their parents, what would we do with them? Is it right to send them away to a country they don't know? Privately run detention centres here leave much to be desired, people held in them should really only be waiting for the next available flight, for one reason or another they and their children have been held for as long as 3 months in unsuitable facilities. Deport people if you must, but do so swiftly and in a way that causes as little heartache as possible. Nobody would choose to live that way, what have they left behind that they see this as preferable? In the last 10 years voluntary deportation has been rising. From around 400 to almost 14 thousand (uk). The numbers speak for themselves. As for Law, there is little to respect and much to condemn, as corrupt as any criminal. Still not lovin' the police ;)

  • dewflirt

    Mr Allen, I wonder when your Grandparents arrived in the US, 1910-20 ish? Immigration then was nothing like it is now, would have been difficult to do it illegally as there were so few laws to comply with. I also wonder what prompted them to leave home. Did they learn English before or after their arrival? Do you ever worry that your macaw misses other bird company? :)

  • WTC7

    Hehehehe, good man ;)

  • robertallen1

    1. You're right; the immigration situation has changed since the time of my grandparents--it's gotten worse.

    2. They learned English after their arrival for they knew that if they were to get along in this country, they would have to learn the language and not expect people to speak Russian, Polish or Yiddish to them.

    3. No, my macaw knows on which side his cracker is buttered, but thanks for asking.

  • robertallen1

    As I have previously indicated, quick and painless deportation is the solution. Stepping up the process might send a message to would-be illegals.

  • Guest

    Canada is, by it's location is in a different situation than the US or Europe.
    Our only land neighbours are US citizens, anyone else wanting to come here has to either cross the US or fly in. As for migrant workers who come from Mexico and Jamaica (mainly), there are government programs who facilitate seasonal employment. A good friend of mine lives in a apple growing county in Quebec, many of her neighbours employ migrant workers. According to her the living conditions are quite comfortable although minimal and shared by many local young residents who chose to make a buck in the summer working outside. That said, still many farmers abuse with injustices.
    We do have illegal immigrants, US citizens running from the law or as @Achems wrote, Yanks who come to steal our free medical care. There are also (now) legal immigrants who first came as illegal AWOL by the thousands.
    As for the programs with migrants workers, it has many loopholes. Many workers will remain pass their allowed stay, especially if they have family members who have emigrated and established themself.

    Immigration will not be stopped therefore illegal immigration will not be stopped either. As many as California sends back to Mexico, twice the amount comes in. The world is merging. Third world countries residents have been surrounded by rich casual travellers since the 60's when travelling started augmenting. Also the huge amount of backpackers swarming around the world in cheap places who appears to live their life in the local standards, creates a longing for locals to see the "lands of the free" and perhaps get a piece of it for themself.

    It is a fact that without migrants workers the vegetable fields and fruits orchards would be covered with rotten produce unpicked, the green lawns of California, Texas, Florida and other southern States would be dry and untrimmed, proposed solution often create other problems.

    @Robertallen1, you are one of thousands who thinks the best solution is to get rid of the illegal immigrants.

    As i wrote earlier every world issues are interconnected, nothing is not related. To think that a problem can be solved independently of the rest of what caused it, is to be blind to the reality we hold together as a mass.
    az

  • Guest

    The process used to be quick until the law found a way to make profit and create holding jail....it never detered anyone from trying because so many succeeded.
    az

  • robertallen1

    The migrant workers you mention are here legally. So don't distort.

    To hell with interconnectedness. Let's step up our efforts and send a message.

  • robertallen1

    That's the problem. So many succeeded. A point for increased enforcement of immigration laws.

  • dewflirt

    Don't know about painless, I know that people pay thousands for a risky journey over to England in the back of a lorry, money they don't have. Payment is usually a family effort and they see it as an investment, as if the money will come flooding home each week and support them. Others get free or cheap passage but find themselves paying in ways they hadn't expected, prostitution for one. Another type of illegal immigration. I do think there is some confusion between illegals and asylum seekers who deserve a fair hearing. To spin them round at the port and send them home could be a death sentence for some, that has to be a concern. An injury to one is an injury to all. The difficulty is to strike a balance between fair and efficient. Glad it's not my job, I'd probably end up with lodgers ;)

  • dewflirt

    Money helps when fighting deportation, Abu Qatada - suspected terrorist - 10 years and counting. That's justice?

  • WTC7

    Laws you have. And ever more by the day. On the increase are particularly those that have to do with Vaterland.... sorry!, I meant Homeland Security. As for the dollars, I get the impression they are getting ever more scarce in your homeland. You may soon have to immigrate to China to earn some.

  • robertallen1

    At least asylum seekers are open and aboveboard.

    A country's primary duty is to its citizens and permitting illegals to remain in the country does them a disservice.

  • WTC7

    @ zatarra, nice response. Thanks :)

  • robertallen1

    You're right. It's the same thing with Yanks coming over the border to your country to help themselves to something to which they are not entitled. Now, if they applied for Canadian citizenship, that would be a different thing.

  • dewflirt

    A good number of asylum seekers will sneak in and then claim asylum. We are responsible for our own first but we also have a duty to help where we can, if we can. I don't think of them as illegal, more lost or misdirected. We flaunt our freedom and relative wealth and security and they want it, why wouldn't they. The grass must look so green.

  • robertallen1

    Absolutely not. We have no obligation to them other than a quick and painless deportation. No matter how you regard them, they are illegal and should not be our problem.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JPYMGWDPRZYIMJGLBQHUW3XFZE Isa

    I am Mexican... and I agree with you.

  • robertallen1

    Interesting. Could you please elaborate?

  • a b

    It's not for want of your trying that everyone doesn't subscribe to your philosophy, that's for sure.
    Religion doesn't come into it. Just common decency.

    The US causes the problem and won't deal with the outcome.
    That makes yours a hypocrite attitude.

    I'll bet that your macaw lives in a cage, or has its wings clipped.
    While funny, saying it knows which side its cracker is buttered, is completely inaccurate.
    It simply has no choice.
    If you had another macaw they would get along like a house on fire and completely ignore you.
    The is the real reason people usually have only one budgie, parrot, macaw or whatever.

    It is easy to take the high moral ground from the comfort of your lounge chair about having children. If and when you do have them, I hope for their sake that you never lose your job.
    That neither you nor they ever get so sick that you have to beg, steal or borrow for the treatment.
    That your economy doesn't go bust because of the stupidity of your monetary system.
    God forbid, you might have to sneak into Mexico to pick fruit.

  • a b

    Hi Isa,
    The fact that you are Mexican is here nor there.
    If you were an illegal alien your opinion would carry extra weight.
    As it is, you are just one foreigner among many.

  • robertallen1

    Excuse me, but whether you know it or not, whether you like it or not, we have immigration laws and if you think I am being hypocritical by demanding that they be enforced, sobeit, but it doesn't say much for you.

    The only time my macaw is in his cage is when I'm asleep or not at home--and for your information, I'm home most of the time and the bird has the run of the place. Yes, his wings are clipped for his own protection. Also for your information, like many macaws, mine prefers human company, largely because he has been raised in captivity; this I know from experience. Your entire paragraph consists of assertions anent something you know nothing about and its distortion and ignorance show you up for the classless boob that you are.

    Your general vacuity is further manifested in your negative characterization of a set of intelligent, thoughtful realistic decisions about raising a family. And yes, I take a high moral ground because I had the wisdom to think this through in contrast to the illegal immigrants that you shed crocodile tears about. They made their bed; let them lie in it.

    The main thing is that I am not accountable to a low-life, pathetic ignoramus such as you.

  • robertallen1

    Yes, but I bet if he lives in this country, it is legally.

    And, by the way, how do you he is a foreigner--or is this another one of your asinine assumptions?

  • Guest

    @moderators
    There are millions of people who are illegal residents in the world at this very moment for a multitude of reasons, some very painful. Many of them just want to reach a better life by working and are hopefull that the country they are in will grant them legal status.
    At least let's have the decency to treat them like human being.
    az

  • robertallen1

    Oh, so now you want to change the policy to conform to your view.

    By standing up for these illegal immigrants at the expense of citizens and legal residents, you are no better than it.

    P.S. The word is allowed.

    P.P.S. The word is hopeful.

  • a b

    Ah, the real robertallen1 rears its ugly head.
    Thank you for that demonstration. I was expecting it a lot sooner.

    I also had a hand raised bird. A lorikeet named Oscar.
    His cage was outside and the door was shut at night so the cat wouldn't get it.
    He spent most of his time in the veggie garden or in the bird bath.
    When I eventually put a box in his cage it turned out he was a she, and she layed a couple of eggs.
    Having discovered she could do stuff like that, she flew away and I haven't seen her since.
    Or maybe I have, because there's often a bunch of them in our trees.

    I know it's of topic, but I am curious. How does clipping its wings protect it?

    Talk about blowing your own trumpet. “intelligent, thoughtful realistic decisions”. I'll give you “decisions” the rest is rubbish.
    I have two beautiful daughters. I know what's involved.
    You don't.

    Since you are such a stickler for the law, I'm sure you've heard the phrase “all people are equal before the law”.

  • a b

    I've been putting some typo's in all my posts, because I know how you like to point them out.
    So far you've misssed them allll.
    But (never start a sentence with “but”) at least you are getting the hang of the P.P.S.'s

  • a b

    With sentences like: “And, by the way, how do you he is a foreigner--or is this another one of your asinine assumptions”? You're one to point the finger at others' typo's.
    You sure like that word “asinine”.
    How do you know he isn't a she?
    Going by the picture he definitely looks like a she to me.

    To answer that silly question, she said she was Mexican.

  • a b

    What on earth could you possibly mean by “it” in this sentence: “By standing up for this illegal g****** at the expense of citizens and legal residents, you are no better than it”.

  • robertallen1

    A lorikeet is a different type of bird entirely. So you still don't know what you're talking about and for your information, clipping a bird's wings prevents it from flying into the ceiling and hurting itself.

    You made the decision to have "two beautiful daughters" and unlike the trash you stick up for, hopefully you didn't need to burden others with their sustenance and raising.

    I agree, all illegals are equal or should be in the eyes of immigration law which is why they should be quickly deported.

  • robertallen1

    I'm not making the assumptions; you are. In the context of the post, Mexican could be taken to mean of Mexican descent.

  • robertallen1

    A "legal sentence." What is that other than something a court hands down. The remainder of your post is too inane for comment.

  • robertallen1

    Typos are one thing, solecisms another--and it's generally easy to tell them apart.

  • a b

    Is you macaw so stupid that it flies into the ceiling?
    Into windows, for sure, but never heard of birds flying into ceilings.
    And it only takes once to learn about the windos. <<<<

  • a b

    You've never heard that phrase “legal sentence” other than in court?

  • a b

    No it couldn't.
    I am a Texan means I am from Texas.
    Not “my parents are from Texas”.
    Where did you go to school?

  • robertallen1

    Fine, windows as well. One way or the other, it's for the safety of the bird.

  • robertallen1

    Texas is a state. Mexico is a country or haven't you heard?

  • robertallen1

    No, I never have. The term "legal" does not apply to grammar or spelling.

  • robertallen1

    And in case you didn't know, birds have been known to fly into ceilings due to improper height perception or too speedy a takeoff.

    And no, my bird is not "so stupid as to fly into the ceiling" or any other obstruction for that matter because I take the precaution of having its wings clipped.

  • a b

    And still you take it upon yourself to decide which is which.
    You cherry-pick a meaning of a word like solecism, in this case I take it you mean grammatical error, while it can also mean “non-standard usage”.
    Where do you get off?

  • a b

    That's just childish nitpicking.

  • robertallen1

    Most of the time anyone (except apparently you) can decide which is which--and yes, solecism can mean non-standard usage, but it's obvious from the context of the sentence that I meant it in the more traditional sense as a grammatical error. What cherry-picking has to do with it is beyond me.

  • a b

    Yes you are right.
    I humbly apologise,
    English is not my first language.
    In my own language one synonym of legal is “allowed”.

  • a b

    Do you mean you don't understand the saying “cherry-picking”, or do you mean you do understand the saying, but not how it applies here?

  • a b

    I wasn't talking about what you meant with solecism.
    I was talking about the arrogance of telling other people what they mean.
    If you're confused about cherry-picking, I'll try to explain it.

    You pick the bits and pieces you can use to make your point without much logic, while ignoring all else.
    The Texan bit is a good example.
    You: “Mexican could be taken to mean of Mexican descent”
    Me: “No it couldn't. I am a Texan means I am from Texas.”
    You: “Texas is a state. Mexico is a country or haven't you heard?”
    Surely you can see that that doesn't work as an argument?

  • a b

    Robertallen1, thank you for a great time.
    You sure are tenacious
    I have a father-in-law just like you.
    Be good, and spare some positive thoughts for those poor buggers who are worse off than you.

  • dewflirt

    Hey, hold on guys, you can't stop now! I've been waiting all night for the fishy slap dancing ;)

  • a b

    @moderator
    C'mon guys, you can't moderate against words like “garbage”.
    This whole thread looses its meaning if you do that.
    Don't become what you are against.

  • Achems_Razor

    Az, yes I also agree with you, people should never be called or treated like g******! As per president Kennedy's speech.

    "For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breath the same air. We all cherish our children's future.
    And we are all mortal"

  • robertallen1

    It is common to heard say "I am Mexican" or "I am Polish" when they mean I am Mexican-American or Polish American. The context decides it. Please see my response to the post in question, as the individual merely owned to being Mexican, to avoid unwarranted assumptions such as those you like to make, I asked for general elucidation which so far has not been received.

  • robertallen1

    What about Charles Manson and his followers?

  • Achems_Razor

    Manson? we are talking about illegals not probable insane or psychopathic people.

    And no human is garbage, have not seen that word in any law books, unless we are talking about refuse that people throw away.

  • robertallen1

    Your comment was " . . . PEOPLE should never be called or treated like g******! . . . (emphasis added)" You did not indicate that your remark was confined to illegals.

  • Guest

    Robertallen1, why don't you let it go? You can express all the rage you have about illegal residents, in all the ways it upsets you, you can repeat over and over again deportation, deportation, deportation, do it respectfully if not to them, for the people who read these threads.
    Do you really think the fact that a person who has a stamped paper by a f*ck-up goverment (and by that i mean any one gov.) takes him out of the dump? These people are no more garbage than the ones who have had enough money to acquire entry.
    az

  • robertallen1

    Wrong as usual. That stamped paper means something, namely that this person is allowed to reside in the country that issues it irrespective of your perceptions of the nature of that government.

    And get this, I don't have to be respectful of lawbreakers or those who support them such as you.

  • Guest

    I do not support the fact that they are breaking the law, read every single comments i have posted on this thread. I just am aware enough to know that this situation is more complex than what you make of it.
    And i think everyone deserve respect, the same way your parents deserved respect when they first arrived on this continent which i suspect was
    not an easy arrival. In those days legal immigrants were often considered the scum of the country...doesn't make it right.
    az

  • dewflirt

    It's not illegal to travel or attempt to travel without a passport although you might find it difficult, even in the eu. Difficult but not impossible, its a condition of airlines that you have one, they take the flack if baddies get in or out. When exactly does an illegal become illegal if it is not when they cross borders? I could be wrong, I checked it out a few years back when I went to Ireland and also for France, it's all a bit vague to be honest which is why I gave up and got my passport renewed anyway. Makes you wonder about people in boats though, how is anyone to know whether you've sailed up the coast or across an ocean. Do you need a passport to sail from one home port to the next?

  • Guest

    In north America you cannot cross from Mexico to US, Us to Canada or fly from Canada to Mexico or vice versa without a passport.
    You are considered illegal if you stay abroad longer than 6 months per year. If you needed a visa for entry than the time allowed on your visa preceeds.
    az

  • Guest

    You sure are looking pretty these days! Did you have a sex change? or were you tricking us all these months? lol
    az

  • dewflirt

    Damn, that's my people smuggling career over before its begun, I'll just pick up hitchhikers on the way to Butlins instead ;)

  • Achems_Razor

    Yes I noticed, pretty women everywhere!

  • robertallen1

    No, it's not complex. The direction solution of deporting them will solve or at least alleviate the problem.

    No, it doesn't make it right because they were LEGAL immigrants. Now, illegal immigrants are another story.

  • Guest

    It's almost impossible for a Mexican to get a visa if he doesn't own a house, have a business, a lump sum of money in the bank and in some case married with kids. Canadians and US citizen do not need visas to travel within the three countries.
    As oppose to Europe where you can be a poor Portuguese and end up in Nice in the south of France without being stopped by anyone.
    The laws to cross the borders between Canada and USA are getting stricker by the minute too. The two countries exchange personal info on their citizens.
    az

  • robertallen1

    In this way, the odds of a person's becoming a burden on society are greatly decreased, one of the advantages of legal (read aboveboard)immigration.

    As a side note, it is just as reprehensible for Americans to sneak into your country to take advantage of your free health care as for immigrants to sneak into ours. Both sets of people are garbage.

  • Guest

    Again, people are not garbage...no matter how much you stubbornly like to use the term.
    az

  • robertallen1

    What about Charles Manson and crew?

    You just can't get it through your head that people are like wine. Some are fine chablis and some are muscatel.

  • Guest

    and some just turn to vinegar every chance they get.
    az

  • Guest

    @robertallen1
    This thread is not about you and me....you have repeated over and over again the same solution and you have gotten very little support for your narrow view. As i said earlier you can express all the anger, rage, hatred at illegal aliens, but realize that people have been deported for eons all over the world and it hasn't stopped more people to reach for a better life despite the fact that the law tells them to stay home.
    az

  • robertallen1

    You still don't get it. There is nothing wrong with people reaching for a better life as long as they do it LEGALLY and as long as they don't become a burden to a government due to their illegal residence.

    As for your assertion that deportation receives little support, is your knowledge of the world confined to this website? Why don't you check out the history of Proposition 187. Why don't you check out what's happening in Arizona and in other states? Why don't you stop to think why the immigration laws between the United States and Canada have by your own admission become stricter.

    Also, I don't see you coming up with any workable solution, just a lot of half-baked and generally irrelevant observations coupled with maudlin expostulations.

  • robertallen1

    Should I take this to mean that you do not regard a monster such as Charles Manson and his equally vile minions as garbage. What about Bernie Madoff? What about Jim Jones? As a matter of fact, what about Adolf Hitler. I suppose that in your mind it's wrong to consider them as garbage due to their membership, past and present, in the human race.

  • a b

    Ah, robertallen1, my ornery friend, still at it, sticking it to everyone with insults to boot.
    I wouldn't have thought it possible, this endless iteration of the same narrow minded incite.
    I suppose having a macaw would give you plenty of practice in repetitious behaviour.

  • robertallen1

    First of all, what's the matter with quick deportation without criminal charges being filed?

    Second, I am not your friend.

  • a b

    No, you are certainly not my friend and I didn't imply that.
    If you look up the word ornery and then apply your skills with solecisms, it will become clear to you.
    I'm surprised you didn't trip over my use of the word “incite”.

    It's you who doesn't understand.
    I don't believe the general consensus here is against deportation, it's against how it's done and in particular, I think, about your description of those involved.
    You are a bigot.
    Nobody likes a bigot, except perhaps another bigot.
    That is why I used the word “incite”, because that is what you do.
    You incite hatred against others, and that backfires because most people are decent and they resent your kind of hatred.

  • Guest

    have you a giving hand
    to help a friend on the ladder of life
    a beautiful face
    that blossoms with every smiles
    are you rich or poor
    rich and famous for what you give
    poor and remarkable in little you take
    how are you
    a very simple phrase
    people throw around
    fine
    a very simple word
    people throw back
    how about
    jubilant triumphant delighted excited
    thankful confident calm boundless purified
    and more
    az

  • a b

    Good for you Azilda.
    Without decent people the world would be a sh*t hole, A.K.A. a W.C.

  • robertallen1

    You still haven't answered the question: What's the matter with quick and painless deportation of people who have no business being here and who, despite what you posit, are merely drains?

    Also, spare me your turgid rhetoric as well as your groundless assertions.

    And you're right, I'm bigoted against illegal immigrants.

  • robertallen1

    Sounds silly and trite. Did you compose it?

  • Guest

    Yes i composed it...quite a while ago...it is part of a 40 pages long poem on peace within.
    I wrote it here yesterday thinking of my father who two days ago had a blood clot to his heart. Today they tried to do a minor procedure to unblock his artery but it did not succeed. They plan to do an open heart surgery tomorrow. I just heard that two hours ago.
    It is very hard to be so far away at the moment.
    az

  • Guest

    From the moment he first lays eyes on her, I don't believe a daughter ever leaves the chambers of a father's heart. That kind of shared love is indescribable and priceless, and different from any other kind he can know. Especially now, you know you're foremost in his thoughts, too. Hang in there, and I'm hoping the best for you all.

  • dewflirt

    Morning Az, all my love and cuddles for you and your family x I'll give all my fluffy rabbit paws a good stroke and send their luck your way. Stay strong Beauty xxx:)
    P.S love the kissers, your parents? X

  • Guest

    Yes it's them. It was taken last year when they travelled in their camper from Quebec to BC (to see me and my girls) down to San Diego through the National parks (where i once lived) across to Florida (where my sister spends her winters) back to Quebec...4 months at 74 and 76 yrs old.
    Wonder why i have the travel bug? They taught me love.
    az

  • WTC7

    Az, I am sure all will be fine with your father and my heart is with you xx

  • Achems_Razor

    Az... wish all the best for you and your family.

  • Guest

    @Vlatko...thank you for allowing so many comments on the off subject. Every member of my family are holding his hands in thought...together with my mom we form a circle despite the distance. Join in if you wish, even for a second.
    No more needs to be said, I appreciate your caring.
    az

  • http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/about/ Vlatko

    @Azilda,

    Not a problem. I hope everything will be OK with your father.

  • I AM THE BEAST Sssotlohiefmjn

    I am a white american from white american parents from white american parents back into the 1600,s and I do not want any immigration in America any longer at all. I want a constitutional amendment to make it illegal for any person from any parent who is not USA born american today to get US citizenship. Ending anchor babies period. The military should round up these illegals and deport them with bias and we should make an amendment to treat them to corporal punishment at the border to facilitate an end to their malice and crimes against the respecting of OURS versus THEIRS lines we want established. We do not want them to work any job, they remove the work we should make our hearty own people do. Go back to your homeland outside the USA should not be a pleading request but an absolute law that is enforced without any deviation.

  • robertallen1

    With the exception of corporal punishment, I can understand your position with respect to the unskilled and the uneducated. We have enough of them as it is; but by your criteria, some one as valuable as Einstein would not be allowed U.S. citizenship. How about someone who can independently support himself and his family without being a financial drain?

  • sknb

    Fantastic.

  • sknb

    You poor soul. It must be a huge mental drain thinking of things in your own us vs. them hate filled world view.

    I work with and teach undocumented workers everyday.

    I have seen their humanity and will fight everyday so others do to, because when we take away the humanity of any man, we take away the humanity of this nation, and the world.

    I am the child of a legal immigrant (my father).

    I am as American as you and so are the students I teach.

    Please know that every day of my life I work to fight viewpoints and attitudes like yours through education, empowerment, and kindness.

    I am not alone. There are whole organizations fighting you.

    I understand your screen name now, for you are on the side of evil.

  • WTC7

    Despicable! Being proud of calling yourself a beast needs no additional elaboration of how much human you are! Hence, your place is in a forest, or in a zoo.

  • WTC7

    @robertallen1,

    You are just a bigot, accept it.

  • http://www.topdocumentaryfilms.com Epicurus

    if you go back further into your ancestry you will find middle eastern and african relatives. why do you arbitrarily draw the line at 1600's?

    you make me embarrassed to be white.

  • dewflirt

    Google his name :)

  • WTC7

    Absolutely appropriate reply :)!

  • WTC7

    Gee! I see what you mean :). Sad...

  • http://www.topdocumentaryfilms.com Epicurus

    lol look at his google+ page....some people are a complete lost cause.

  • http://twitter.com/kierstydaisy Kiersten Michele

    Hahahaha it's never this simple! The weaving of Immigration Law is more intricate than any of us know-- the US govt reaps BILLIONS upon BILLIONS of tax dollars from UNDOCUMENTED persons. Why would they reform such a thing?!UNDOCUMENTED persons CANNOT file for welfare, Social Security, or any other social service-- but they pay for it, they pay taxes. And MILLIONS of Americans get to reap the benefits of UNDOCUMENTED persons billion-fold. (And this is coming from years of experience and education)

    I'm not saying that entering another country in violation of it's migration laws is OK. However, given that there are children and families being torn apart for laws that even congressman cannot comprehend is a problem. And racial discrimination, marginalization, within poor legislation is not OK and should be addressed with swift attention.

  • http://twitter.com/kierstydaisy Kiersten Michele

    but seriously....the blog might be worse. It even explains the name....I just hope all goes well with him in his journey-- that's what matters at the end of the day.

  • Guest

    Update and a little something i found along the way:

    My father was flown in an ambulance airplane from the Gaspesie Peninsula to Quebec city to the *Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec*. He has been sitting in a comfortable double room, receiving the upmost care, and he is waiting for the next available operating room. They apparently perform 4 heart surgery a day, his will be a coronary bypass but his turn hasn't arrived yet and they are now telling him it may be an other 5 days. (This is all for free in Quebec)
    I call him every day and we go on laughing and joking most of the time.

    "According to internationalliving dot com, health care in Mexico is described as very good to excellent while being highly affordable. In fact, some California insurers sell health insurance policies that require members to go to Mexico for health care where costs are 40% lower. Residents of USA, particularly those living near the Mexican border, now routinely cross the border into Mexico for medical care. Popular specialties include dentistry and plastic surgery. Mexican dentists often charge 20 to 25 percent of US prices,while other procedures typically cost a third what they would cost in the US. Some 40,000 to 80,000 American seniors spend their retirement years in Mexico with a considerable number receiving nursing home and health care."

    USA wake up!
    az

  • robertallen1

    In other words, you defend illegality and freeloading.

    I am unimpressed.

  • robertallen1

    You're right. I'm bigoted against illegal immigrants.

  • robertallen1

    Yes, swift attention in the form of deportation.

    Also, what makes you think that illegals pay taxes. They have to have a valid social security number to do so.

  • Guest

    Anyone can get a social security number in the US even if you are not legal resident. One is not entittled to work under it though.
    az

  • robertallen1

    O.K. Then if they are not entitled to work under it, they have no income. So much for the assertion that they pay taxes.

  • Guest

    The fact is many illegal workers use that SSN to work and pay tax (as a way to show good will). It must work because the Gov. do not go after them, why would they when they make millions with those good willers? These people often are already in the process of applying for permanent residency. And as Keirstein noted: "UNDOCUMENTED persons CANNOT file for welfare, Social Security, or any other social service-- but they pay for it, they pay taxes".
    I have written over and over again, this issue is more complex than you seem to know about it. I see that i am right.
    I have also noticed that one of the few people you have been polite with so far in this thread is a lunatic called I AM THE BEAST.
    az

  • sknb

    Thank you Thank you Thank you.

  • sknb

    Not everything that is illegal is immoral and not everything that is legal is moral.

    If you base your worldview and morality on what one country, in one small blink of time regards as legal, then I probably will never relate to your worldview.

    My students are not freeloaders. They pay taxes, they contribute socially, culturally, artisically, and have helped build up the communities where they live.

    I will never change your mind. I will continue to fight every day against viewpoints like yours. Every goddammed day.

  • sknb

    Not true.

    I work every day with undocumented workers who pay taxes and contribute greatly to the communities where they live. I work in a Latino Community/ Education center and I have seen the documents proving that they do.

    If you think they don't pay taxes, you are factually wrong.

  • lovetrouble

    anyone who says 'I am a white american from white american parents from white american parents' should be deported to a country where whites are the minority.

  • robertallen1

    Whether you like it or not, your students are still illegal and have no business in this country. By standing up a non-existent right, you abet illegality in the name of your pathetic morality. If your students have the ability to make all these contributions, then there's no reason why they shouldn't have tried to enter through the front door.

    As a side note, how many of your flock speak English?

    I will continue to fight as best I can against their being here. Every goddammed day.

  • robertallen1

    So they pay taxes, do they? What income do they have? If it's wages, they are either earning them legally which means that they are at least legal residents or illegally which means that more laws are being violated, thus compounding the problem.

    So don't tell me I am factually wrong unless you can offer proof, not assertions such as "I have seen the documents proving that they do."

    By working with the "undocumented," you are simply abetting illegality.

  • mudshark23

    You smoke pot, Bro?

  • robertallen1

    Is this the extent of your intelligence?

    Only a troglodyte uses "Bro."

  • sknb

    All my students are learning English, I am an English teacher. They try every day to improve their

    If you don't understand how legal immigration works then you will continue to be an unempathetic ***hole.

    Example: 65 year old woman from Romania working at a local grocery store. Entered this country legally. Wants her daughter to join her here because she is dying. The legal wait for immigration papers is now TEN YEARS. People who applied in 2002 are now having their papers looked at. If this woman's daughter takes the legal route she will never be able to live with her dying mother.

    Ten years is a lifetime to people escaping countries in Latin America who have been ravaged for years because of OUR stupid foreign policies of supporting coups and overthrowing democratically elected leaders, not to mention multinational corporations leaking the people dry and destroying their resources or charging them exorbitant amounts, basically starving them.

    Did you know one million Mexican Farmers were put out of work directly from legislation supporing Monsanto and our government's subsidy of cheap corn? (now poisoning us in the form of HFCS)

    Did you know that American meat packing companies advertise in Mexico and bus workers over the border to work in order to continue their assembly lines? They can not find enough workers from the U.S. to do this job. They have agreements that ICE will deport only enough each month not to effect their bottom line.

    Also, everything that is legal is not moral, and everything that is illegal is not immoral. If you base your morality system on what is legal then, no, I will never understand or support your limiting moral view. Slavery was once legal. Firing women for being pregnant was once legal. Excluding Jews from buying real estate was once legal.
    Legality is not morality. Illegality is not Immorality.

    You are made of the same sets of molocules as I am, and the same molecules as every other human being. If you don't think the pursuit of a better human life for all people, regardless of their country of origin, is worth fighting for then I can't understand you and never will.

    Xenophobia is an ancient and wicked tool used by the powerful to make the ignorant feel superior. It is not new in this country, but it is ultimately on the side of cruelty and injustice.

  • sknb

    Also, I will chose to fight for morality over legality any day.

    I have no respect for laws that are immoral.

  • sknb

    He doesn't understand the parallel you are drawing - he never will.

  • robertallen1

    And I have no respect for lawbreakers such as you.

  • sknb

    Oh man, you are so silly!

    I have respect for you because you are human being on this planet, even if you have different views. I hope for you what I hope for all my students - that education will transform your life and your viewpoint, expand your world, and that you will have a happy and prosperous life as long as you are not hurting anyone else.

    Justice, Justice, I will pursue.

  • robertallen1

    That's fine coming from someone who's possibly engaged in something illegal.

    P.S. I have no respect for you, human or not.

  • mudshark23

    Robert,

    If we, as a fledgling nation of future Proud Americans, had followed the laws of The British Empire, well... You figure out what kind of accent you'd have right now.

  • mudshark23

    And BTW, if you DO SMOKE POT... then you're a hypocrite.

    If you don't... you really should.

    It'd do WONDERS for the level of stress hormones coursing through your veins.

  • robertallen1

    Is this supposed to pass for a justification of illegal aliens? Once again, I wonder if this is the extent of your intellect.

  • mudshark23

    Why don't you address what I laid out?

  • robertallen1

    Again, you show the paucity of your intellect.

  • robertallen1

    You haven't laid out anything except for your lack of class and intelligence.

  • Guest

    He will not answer this question which i suspect is a huge NO.
    He will not bash you about pot because he knows that Epicurus is a smoker and he happens to respect him. Robert likes to team up with the big boys on religious people.
    By the way i am surprised Epicurus has not addressed him on this issue (immigration)...well...not that surprised.
    az

  • http://www.topdocumentaryfilms.com Epicurus

    i hope you are not surprised because you know that i know this would a waste of my time.

    i certainly hope it is not because you think i agree with robert here.

    I agree with the stance that people would not be doing what they are doing if their lives weren't terrible and it wasn't a last ditch effort. and i also realize that our countries (Canada and America) are the main cause of Mexico's poverty.

    and i vehemently disagree with the stance that just because something is illegal that means it must be wrong or anyone doing it should be looked down upon....

    see now i have already gotten into this s*** storm, and i really didnt want to. waste of time if you ask me.

  • robertallen1

    The immigration laws of both our countries were enacted for a reason and unless they are enforced, they have no meaning or respect. Those who don't like them have the right to lobby for change, but if they break them, they must be prepared to suffer the consequences.

    Neither your country nor mine is responsible or should be for the plight of illegals. This is the concern of the countries from which they come. If their lives are so bad that they feel the need to emigrate, they must do it through the front door, fully realizing that the country to which they desire to emigrate might turn them down, which it has a right to do.

    I don't think that you like it very much that Americans are illegally entering your country merely to take advantage of its health care. It's the same thing.

  • http://www.topdocumentaryfilms.com Epicurus

    "I don't think that you like it very much that Americans are illegally entering your country merely to take advantage of its health care. It's the same thing."

    if you want my honest feelings about that issue, i literally dont care. infact i would help any americans who needed that. especially when i realize their lives are being ruined due to their lack of healthcare (losing houses, going bankrupt).

    we could easily call jews in nazi germany "illegals" or blacks in southern states 1700's "illegals" if they werent slaves.

    the use of that word wont change the view. what they really are, are people who are in such a down trodden position that they will do anything to better their lives.

    If i lived in Mexico in poverty i would try to get in legally, and if that didnt work i would cross over illegally. anything would be better than the poverty and lack of safety they are subjected to.

    bleeding heart democratic socialist here.

    just an addition, i would put what i think to be morally right over what i think to be legally right any day.

    i would rather be hindered a little bit while helping people who have nothing than to live in opulence knowing others are suffering and i could help them.

  • robertallen1

    Let's get this straight, are your students here legally or illegally. If the latter, then you are probably engaging in illicit conduct which doesn't say much for the respect for the law which you should be instilling in your alleged pupils.

    Your account of the Roumanian woman does not stand up to scrutiny. If she is here legally, her daughter should have few problems obtaining at least a visa and perhaps an extended stay. As her daughter does not seem to be applying for citizenship, it is difficult to believe your allegations of a ten-year wait, especially if the daughter can demonstrate financial stability.

    The plight of Mexican farmers is a problem for the Mexican government, not for us. As with your first account, I question the accuracy of this one, just as I wonder about the truth of your narrative anent the meat packing industry and its alleged conspiracy with the immigration authorities. In other words, show me proof of such a deal. Don't insult my intelligence by asking me to take you at your word.

    Most people desire a better life. So what? It does not justify illegal immigration any more than robbing a bank does. In both cases, people are trying to obtain something to which they are not entitled, molecules or no molecules.

    Finally, don't insult my intelligence by juxtaposing xenophobia with being anti illegal immigration. One does not imply the other and if you know it you shouldn't be teaching (that is if you actually are).

  • Achems_Razor

    I am staying out of this sh*t storm, only thing I will say, we still want our money back! from the ones who could actually afford health care in their own country and chose to rape Canada's health care system and are still doing it, and they are not all poor, you know who you are! In Ontario alone up to one billion dollars annually. Google this stuff.

  • robertallen1

    Neither my country nor yours nor any other country for that matter is under any obligation to help what you describe as downtrodden aliens. A government's first moral and ethical duty is to its citizens and when it fails to look after them as with the Nazi government you cited, it has no business existing. No country can or should take on everyone else's problems.

    If you want to put what you think is morally right over what you think is legally right, you have no right to complain of the consequences in the event of conflict.

    Obviously, you don't live in opulence.

  • robertallen1

    And your country is entitled to it.

    I'm certain that your country tightened its immigration laws because it realized that its first duty was to its citizens and that it was ill-equipped to take on the problems of the world. We need to realize this as well.

  • http://www.topdocumentaryfilms.com Epicurus

    if the government is responsible somewhat for the problems it then does have a moral obligation to help.

    I agree that i have no right to complain of the consequences. but the rules will continue to be broken and people will continue to fight to change them or make them better (same goes with cannabis)

    i do live in opulence compared to 70% of the world, and probably 90% of Mexico.

  • robertallen1

    Fine and if a government wants to make up for its transgressions by permitting immigration, it has a right to do so. But it's the government that decides, not the would-be immigrants.

    There is nothing wrong with people fighting to change the rules (read laws) or improve them. It's done all the time.

    Now, with respect to cannabis (you're the one who brought it up), although I can't stand the stuff (I tried it over 40 years ago in college), I endeavor not to let my predilections get in the way of my judgment. In his biography, Charlie Barnet, the band leader, states that in his time, the cannabis was nothing as potent as it is now (read the 1970's)--and this worries me. However, I lean towards decriminalizing its use, but restricting where it can be dispensed and smoked.

    I too live in opulence compared to most of the world, but merely consider it the luck of the draw with no obligation to anyone other than honesty and fair dealing--when I choose to deal.

  • mudshark23

    You don't know me, Robert.

    Please stop calling people stupid.

    It's just rude.

  • Guest

    I wasn't surprised because i knew you didn't want to get into this argument, because i suspected your position. Your answer is pretty close to what i expected.
    Why is this a waste of time? I think arguing with religious fanatics is a waste of time, this subject is at least not talked about every day on TDF and it is an important part of what our world is becoming.
    Because of your present studies and research in anthropology, i think your opinion counts especially that with your knowledge you possibly can give a full circle view.
    thank you/....now i will start reading up...i noticed as i was scrolling down that Achems is here too.
    az

  • Guest

    Now again why is this a shitstorm? No more stormy than the constant repeating of the "same whole same old" shitstorm about religion. People who come on TDF everyday read the same argument about religion, some of them sound like recordings, but they have not read too many opinions on immigration.
    It's one billion our doctors are making, which is possibly the reason to keep them working in Canada instead of crossing the border to go work in the States for much more money.
    az

  • robertallen1

    I know you well enough by what you write and considering what you write, I have no intention of being anything but rude.

  • Guest

    Rudeness is the icing on all his posts. Don't worry you're one of many to be served. If you don't agree with Robert, you're an ignoramus.
    Robert is the know it all of TDF.
    Bravo Bravo Bravo! Encore Encore Encore!
    az

  • robertallen1

    What an ignorant rant.

  • mudshark23

    Azilda seems like an intelligent, well-spoken human. I know little of her but from what I've seen, I can tell that she's polite and engaging.

    Robert, why is attack and insult your default approach?

    It prevents you from learing.

    Don't forget, humans are in constant BETA.

  • robertallen1

    " . . . humans are in constant BETA." What is this, some trendy jargon passing for thought?

  • Guest

    Ignorant? What is ignorant about it? Rudeness is the icing on most of your post of which you serve anyone you deem ignorant. You admit it yourself, i am just repeating with my own words. I never see you change your mind therefore i believe you think you know it all.
    A rant or an affirmation?
    az

    Until you understand a writer's ignorance, presume yourself ignorant of his understanding.
    Samuel Taylor

  • robertallen1

    Oh, argument from authority--the icing on the rant.

    I also never see you change your mind either. So don't try that one on me. It won't work.

  • dewflirt

    Exactly right about everything! :)

  • Achems_Razor

    Az...don't know about you, but I pay taxes, and a good portion of that goes to our (free)? medicare, so I am not about to subsidize USA, they are supposed to be the richest country in the world, or is that just the 1%?

  • Achems_Razor

    Az...shall I put that going to the "Chapel of Love" song on again? for you and the big R". you might make norlavine jealous. lol

  • robertallen1

    Considering our debt to China, I'm beginning to wonder if we're still the richest country in the world.

  • http://www.topdocumentaryfilms.com Epicurus

    If i were walking down a street and saw a child drowning or starving and i knew that i could help and all it would take was a little bit of what i have, i would do that.

    i dont see this as any different.

    about cannabis, it is MUCH stronger than it used to be and that is a good thing. that means people need to smoke less to get the same effect and that leads to less smoke inhalation.

    I personally smoke something which i make (I extract the THC from the plant) and it is 99.7% THC...most cannabis in the 70's was around 10% thc...so yes much stronger. but still just as safe.

  • http://www.topdocumentaryfilms.com Epicurus

    the reason i see this as more useless than religion is that the religious beliefs in our society are much more prevalent and cause much more harm to society.

    i didnt mean that this was pointless to argue in the sense that i dont think the issue is important. just that i realize this is an argument based on deeper issues than i could convince anyone of.

    we would have to explore deeper concepts of what we each see as morality and the foundations of that morality....lol a lot more confusing and difficult than this forum will allow for.

    but we could always discuss it on microphones on skype......lol

  • robertallen1

    It's a matter of individual choice, not obligation.

    I'm not saying one way or the other that stronger cannibis is a good thing. While you might have a point, there are those who always seem to desire a greater high.

  • docoman

    @ Epicurus

    99.7% Epicurus aka Walter White :)

    I'm curious of your method mate. Do you use alcohol? Gas maybe?
    When you say THC, do mean all the cannabinoids, CBN ect or only delta-9?

    Yeah, stronger is still safe. The therapeutic to lethal dose ratio is something like 1:20,000 I read somewhere recently.
    Safer then paracetamol I believe.

  • docoman

    Illegal immigration has been a fairly big issue in Australian federal politics the last decade or so.
    Personally, I understand why people would want to leave a dangerous place and try to get somewhere safer to live. But I also feel that coming in illegally, instead of applying through the official channels (the system is crap, not perfect, welcome to Australian red tape, get used to it if u get in) is akin to instead of walking up to someone's front door and knocking, sneaking in the back yard.
    I feel sorry for people that don't have it as good as we do in my country, but we haven't got room for everyone, and we do have the right to choose who and how many can come over too. I'm not sure about recently, but Aus used to take in more immigrants per capita then anyone else. (might be different now though)
    Knock on the front door and ask for help, don't try to sneak in the back and steal it.

  • robertallen1

    Absolutely. It's the government that calls the shots, not the would-be immigrants or their sympathizers.

  • docoman

    If the Australian Aboriginals had a better 'boat people' policy, it'd still be all their country. ;) lol

    Your original peoples too come to think of it.

  • docoman

    Ahh, tks mate. Yeah, damn it, takes out part of the 'good bits' for what I was thinking, medicinal.
    Sounds very potent. That wasn't your motivation for doing chemistry was it? :)
    I talked to a bloke years ago who said he had some a chemist friend had made up that was quite unpleasant if you weren't expecting it, close to tripping.

    *there were no immigrants harmed in the making of this post, and any likeness to any immigrant chemists is purely coincidental.....

  • sknb

    This is a documentary where I think it is really important to stay on topic.

    I am so saddened and shocked by the people who are have shown their lack of respect and deep prejudice for those unlike them on this site. I don't know why I even bother any more preaching unity and universal kindness.

    Thank you to those who recognize that human rights are global and should have no borders as their limits.

    We should care about the rights to happy, healthy, peaceful life of ALL people. Even if they don't have papers.

  • robertallen1

    Who do you think you are to be preaching or dictating what people should care about?

  • sknb

    If I don't I am complacent to evil.

  • robertallen1

    You have no business preaching or dictating to anyone.

  • docoman

    It's one thing to care and help, and another to just let yourself be used. If you were hungry, would it be evil to not give away the last of your families food?
    It is a complex issue, but you have to balance idealistic views against reality.
    If where you live (country or even just your own personal life) is not acceptable, your options should be;
    1. Fix what's wrong where you are. If that's your home, do what you can to fix up whatever the problems are before you decide to drop things and leave.
    2. IF you can't fix it where you are, then move, legally, to a better place, start again.
    3. IF you can't do either of the above, then you start to look at other options, possibly outside the law. You gotta do what ya gotta do to survive.

    We should be compassionate to people that are at the 3rd step, up to a point that we can afford to be without their problems becoming ours. Anyone that doesn't do the first two steps before going to the 3rd option doesn't deserve help or sympathy, they haven't tried themselves first. No one gets a free ride, you have to earn it too.

  • robertallen1

    Another option is to try not to get yourself in a jam in the first place.

    There's nothing wrong with not raising a family if you lack the means to do so or gauging the size of your family on the size of your means. In other words, use the brain as the organ of thought.

  • docoman

    I'm not trying to 'shit-stir', but Az was right earlier, you do tend to be fairly abrupt or rude to people with a different opinion than yourself. I think you are clearly an intelligent, educated and opinionated man who has some good knowledge to share, and if you used a little less of a 'bare knuckles' approach other people would learn more from you rather then be offended and miss your logic.
    That's just my opinion, I assume you couldn't care less probably. It's a pity though, passing on knowledge is what makes us humans special I think. Personally, I usually get along pretty well with people where we know where we stand with each other, agreeing or not.

  • docoman

    I tend to agree with you. I like the idea China had behind the 1 child policy, they had to do something. I don't have any children, out of choice. 7 billion and counting, breeding now would be more counter productive to our species' survival.

    What's the saying? We sleep in the bed we make. Something like that. We are animals too. Just like a mouse plague (seen a few of them over the years), if you over breed, there is a crash at the end.

  • robertallen1

    Agreement or disagreement is not the issue; it's the intelligence and knowledge behind it. Passing off conjecture, dogma or wishful thinking as fact earns no respect from me--and you're right. I couldn't care less.

  • robertallen1

    China certainly took a step in the right direction, despite what Catholics and the like think. However, I see nothing wrong if a family with the means to do so desires to raise more than one child, either through procreation or adoption.

    I don't have any children out of choice either--because I am well aware not only of my temporal limitations but my personal ones as well. Without meaning to sound self-serving, I regard my decision as rational, thoughtful and informed--besides, as you mentioned, however tangentially, the world is overpopulated anyway.

    I've known the saying as "You made your own bed, now lie in it."

    Religees notwithstanding, as you mentioned, we are simply another form of animal subject to the consequences of overbreeding.

  • docoman

    Wrong doc I know, but that is one point I've never heard any religious person even come close to giving anything like a reasonable explanation to. What makes us modern humans so different to other animals?
    How come we have a soul that 'god' is interested in, and every other life form seems to be just part of the side show? Why are they so arrogant to think that somehow we are way different to the rest of the life on the planet, purely because we can reason better. (I know, a lot depends on your definition of 'intelligent life')

    You've talked to many more then I and read more on the subject, you may have come across something better then I have.

  • mudshark23

    Wow! I live in Mendocino County and you guys just totally lapped us.

    Very impressive.

  • docoman

    99.7%..... hard to top that. Lapped everyone. :)
    Amsterdam... where's that? lol

  • mudshark23

    You show many signs of sociopathy.

  • docoman

    You show signs of psychological training. :)

  • robertallen1

    Now, you see why I treat religees and the like the way I do.

    I must respond to your inquiry with a refinement. Although reasoning entails a chain of logic, it seems to come in a number of forms. I'm sure you've noticed that some people are better at reasoning from the abstract while others are better at reasoning from the concrete, cf algebraic vs. geometric reasoning and their beautiful synthesis in calculus. Some are better at thinking on their feet while others excel in an armchair. The same thing with humans as contrasted with every other living thing. Animals such as chimpanzees and wildebeests are probably more street smart (which I'm sure you'll agree is a form of reasoning) than most humans by virtue of constantly being on the alert for predators and foraging for food. By the same token, other forms of life are probably better at other types of reasoning than humans--except for abstraction--and there I think we have it, perhaps due to our larger brain in relation to bodily size. Physically, as you imply, we are nothing to brag about.

    Like the geocentric theory of the universe, the arrogance on the part of religees is simply the seamier side of wishful thinking which boils down to apothegm.

    As a side note, we are not at the top of the chain mnemonically, for gorillas have been shown to have far better short-term memories than we. If you are interested there is a documentary about this on this site.

  • robertallen1

    And you show many signs of a mental defective.

  • docoman

    Do you recall the name of that one? I would be interested to watch that.
    I watched a Aus TV show a couple weeks ago, with Dr. Dawkins and Cardinal Pell (the top Catholic in Aus). Pell got himself in such a tangle when it came to his knowledge of evolution, and when the soul came into the picture, it was almost painful to watch. Lol, apparently, we evolved from the Neanderthals according to Pell. My point being, even the top Catholic in Aus, one of the ones that cast a vote to 'elect' the current Pope I believe, can't give a logical, reasonable, half believable display of knowledge or opinion or answer.

    (if you go to ABC Australia, the show was Q&A, show 10 I think, a couple of weeks ago. If it's still there you can watch it. Nothing you wouldn't have seen before, but even a jet-lagged Dawkins could out-logic a high ranking catholic. Pell even got some of his own Bible story wrong.)

  • docoman

    I guess we had similar reasons for not having children. I went through a 'grieving process' a few years ago when it dawned on me I most likely wasn't going to have kids. Until I came to the realization that the want to procreate is an instinct. Once I understood that, I stopped grieving, and accepted not only my choice/circumstance but the logic and reasons behind it, and the pain I 'imagined' was only an instinct. Which can be overcome with logic I found.
    I wonder if that is some of the same psychological process with some people and religion. It is almost some 'instinct' to want there to be some higher, good power, and some form of life after death. If you can come to terms with that being only an inbuilt 'instinct', and reason/logic it out, the pain of that possibly not being the case goes away?

  • robertallen1

    I believe it was called "Human Ape." I would be interested in reading your thoughts on it.

    The discussion between Dr. Dawkins and Cardinal Pell was probably not as risible as the debate between Bart Ehrman (if you don't know who he is, look him up. I've read about five of his books.) and William Lane Craig in which the latter, a Christian apologist, offered a mathematical proof that the resurrection probably occurred--which brings me to another of my bugbears, the misuse of probability to prove that the universe could not have come together except through supernatural means.

    On the other hand, Kenneth R. Miller, one of the foremost evolutionary biologists in the world, is a church-going Catholic.

    Because Dr. Dawkins stands for the supremacy of reason and fact over dogma and superstition (read faith), I don't think the term atheist is adequate or accurate, for he does not deny the existence of a higher being, but merely indicates that he has yet to find evidence of one (or two or three). Unfortunately, that's the term that's used although I think rationalist is far more on target--and you must admit that he does take an extremely rational approach, especially to religion.

  • robertallen1

    But keep in mind that it might be this very instinct which caused Beethoven to do such a great job on his fifth symphony.

    While I acknowledge the existence of the biological urge (and its remedy through what in ancient Rome was known as the gentle art), I find that religion drums up some "instincts" of its own which history has shown to be marvelous and unfailing mechanisms for obtaining and retaining control and everything that goes with it.

  • docoman

    Thank you, I will so some research.
    Cardinal Pell tries to 'get' Dawkins on that point, and an audience question as well, about him being an 'atheist'. Dawkins says that he is more accurately called agnostic, because as a scientist he can't rule out the possibility of a deity. (however he says he would need some pretty good, convincing proof)

    Would you agree that to take a position of an atheist, (that being there is no 'god' in any form), is as logically unsound (disregarding mathematical probability) a position, taken without any proof, the inverse yet still as illogical as the 'religiees' take. (confused myself there) Would not agnostic be the only real logical position to take with our current knowledge?

  • docoman

    Yes, art is harder to explain, unless you put it down to a by-product of our 'big brain', our abstraction ability. A need for an after-life, a 'meaning for our life' could also be a by-product, or symptom of this evolution.
    Other then for breeding purposes, I don't recall any other species (maybe some Neanderthal?? ) doing any art.
    I don't count that chimp or elephant, that was more a learned behavior for reward I'd suggest.

  • robertallen1

    How about agnostic leaning towards atheist? This way we combine logic with speculation and still remain intellectually solid.

    And speaking of probability, with the fine-tuned universe of the religees, there would be no such thing, for everything would be a certainty, thus putting all insurance companies as well as Las Vegas out of business.

  • robertallen1

    Definitely the former, probably not the latter, for there are a number of aboriginal cultures (and I don't necessarily mean those in your neck of the woods) where this is not so.

    Certainly it was for reward, but the ability is there. I don't think you could do the same the thing with a snake no matter how tempting a mongoose you place in its path.

  • docoman

    Ahh, it was God's fault I lost last time I went to the casino!! Where's the love?? :)

    I think Dawkins says in his new book he rates it on a scale of 1 to 7, 1 being religious not going to change, 7 being full atheist. He said he rates himself as a 6 on that scale.

    I think one of the failings of science, is that if it can't be observed, it can't be measured and can't even start to be understood. I call myself agnostic leaning towards atheist, but in my heart I hope there is a god, and can't I rule it out (I don't for a second believe anyone alive knows). I hope that this 'knowledge of good and evil' that everyone seems to have translates into some higher purpose after we die, and that we will answer for our actions. (Hitler and co. deserve some hard time.) Nothing I've seen so far suggests to me this is the case though.

    Instead of arguing that only religion gives you a moral rudder, I would be asking why do we have a moral rudder seemingly inbuilt? If we evolved to purely survive, why not just screw over any and every one every chance you get? Yet even atheists know good v's evil.
    But, like I said, even from the top religiees even that basic question seems beyond them.

  • robertallen1

    'll tell you where the love is--it's in the big, beautiful, glorious buildings that house all the games so beloved by all those who are destined to lose.

    And I'll tell you where the failings of science are--nowhere. The evolution of sea creatures to land creatures and vice versa cannot be observed but can certainly be inferred not only from the fossil record but from molecular biology and DNA. What does this tell you about our understanding? Does the inability to observe the elements of particle physics and quantum mechanics pose any problems to mainstream science, much less to our understanding?

    A study of the moral compasses of other cultures, both past and present, might prove enlightening. Because ethics and morality (read good and evil) take their color from surroundings and circumstances and thus vary from time to time and from place to place, it's inconceivable that a knowledge of good and evil (whatever that is) translates into some higher purpose after we die. At least you admit to engaging in wishful thinking on this issue, but the truth is somewhat more prosaic.

    As a side note, it's interesting how Hitler and Co. turned morality and ethics on its ear. Do the legal and moral proscriptions of western culture against lying, stealing, cheating and killing (again read good and evil) apply to prisoners trying to cope with existence in a concentration camp or to those endeavoring to overthrow the Nazi regime?

    "If we evolved purely to survive, why not just screw over any and everyone every chance you get?" The apodosis does not follow the protasis. In other words, this question presupposes a purpose juxtaposed to morality and ethics. To avoid this, why not ask what if there are no consequences to our actions. Then the answer is obvious; there is no need for morality or ethics. But more to the point is to inquire where our morality and ethics come from.

  • sknb

    I completely agree and was just thinking that this afternoon. He puts down any attempt I have made in regards to thinking through empathy and compassion.

  • robertallen1

    Oh, so now you're a psychologist as well as a "teacher." Let's hear your qualifications.

  • sknb

    How can you type this paragraph and then turn around and tell me that I am immoral for supporting undocumented workers because they broke one limited set of laws by one country at one place in time in all the vastness of history?

    How can you rationalize that? You know what, **** it. Don't answer that question. All you want to do is hurt my feelings and insult the value of empathy that I think is the whole basic point of this documentary in the first place as well as insulting my career, my students, their families, and every family who has ever faced a legal risk in getting a better life for their families and themselves in a twisted world.

    If you really think it is ok for corporations to exploit these undocumented workers the way that this documentary shows, if you really, in your heart, when you shut off your computer and step away from it all, think that behavior is ok, if you can't empathize with their suffering at all... then I am best to ignore you.

    Yes, a study of the moral compass of other cultures both past and present would be a really good idea for you if you really believe that the only thing a person has to do to earn your utter contempt, hatred, and clear disrespect is break one law of the United States of America.

    Yes, inquiring where our ethics come from is of the deepest importance and that search should be ever evolving according to the knowledge gained.

    If you don't have anything nice to say I ask that you be a gentleman and leave this conversation to rest.

  • sknb

    "Most of my Latino and black people who are struggling to get food, clothes and shelter in the hood are so concerned with that, that philosophizing about freedom and democracy is usually unfortunately beyond their rationale. They don't realize that America can't exist without separating them from their identity, because if we had some sense of who we really are, there's no way in hell we'd allow this country to push it's genocidal consensus on our homelands. This ignorance exists, but it can be destroyed.

    You see, most of Latinos are here because of the great inflation that was caused by American companies in Latin America. Aside from that, many are seeking a life away from the puppet democracies that were funded by the United States; places like El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru, Colombia, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Republica Dominicana, and not just Spanish-speaking countries either, but Haiti and Jamaica as well.

    As different as we have been taught to look at each other by colonial society, we are in the same struggle and until we realize that, we'll be fighting for scraps from the table of a system that has kept us subservient instead of being self-determined. And that's why we have no control over when the embargo will stop in Cuba, or when the bombs will stop dropping in Vieques.

    But you see, here in America the attitude that is fed to us is that outside of America there live lesser people. "**** them, let them fend for themselves." No, **** you, they ARE you" - Immortal Technique

  • Achems_Razor

    Please read the "comment policy" above, you are using four letter words like "f**k" and so forth, that is why your comments are going into moderation, sometimes comment are not moderated asap, so please be advised!

  • robertallen1

    I don't recall Docoman and I discussing death.

  • sknb

    Every singly of my students would not have come here unless they were desperate. You know how I know? Because I ask them. You don't walk three weeks across the Sonoma desert with dirty water and only a can of tuna a day unless you are suffering greatly. You don't spend 80% of your savings to hire a Coyote who will only take you to the Rio Grande and then says "now swim and watch out for snipers" to enter a country where there is racism against you unless there is no other options.

    What other people on here don't seem to realize is that we are talking about real, human people with complex emotional lives as you and I, people who love, and feel pain, who cry, and have dreams.

    This is not just an ethereal intellectual conversation for me. This is not just a political sidenote, or an excuse to throw around what philosophy I learned. This is dead serious. This is real life. I see every day the crushed spirits of people who are the living evidence of the near genocidal consensus of the American government to ruin their homelands.

    It takes a minimum of ten years to enter America legally as of today, 2012. Immigration is only now processing requests from the year 2002. Ten years is a lifetime when NAFTA trade agreements and cheap American corn subsidies have ruined your ability to be self sustaining farmer, and your brother just dissapears one day that the death squads are in the area, so you leave. That is a true story of someone's life. Her name is Carmina. Her dream is to learn English and go to college. She does her homework every day, has perfect attendance, raises a two year old boy, and works six days a week.

    I do want to thank you for being polite in your arguments, unlike some other people on this site.

  • Achems_Razor

    Re-read your and docomans posts. There was talk of after death in some posts, but since you feel it is not relevant I will remove the post.

  • robertallen1

    Now you have the gall to equate yourself with "every family who has ever faced a legal risk in getting a better life for their families and themselves in a twisted world."

    Placing yourself above the law is proof positive of the inflated opinion you have of yourself and by aiding and abetting illegals (assuming you're telling the truth), you are no better than they and merit the slings heaped upon your so-called career, illicit as it possibly is. Desisting from your practice would probably be the best thing for you, at least in a temporal sense.

    Whether you like it or not, I will respond to any post I desire to, even yours.

  • mudshark23

    WORD, sister... word.

  • mudshark23

    Why are you so full of hate?

  • robertallen1

    Everyone has problems and what you apparently desire to do is make their problems your problems. Well, that's your individual choice, but don't make their problems and your problems our problems.

    Remember, illegal is as illegal does.

  • robertallen1

    I don't recall this. However, there is no need for you to remove the post.

  • robertallen1

    Not towards those here legally.

  • sknb

    I am aware of that, thank you. I am advised. I use curse words only out of frustration from the lack of empathy I have seen over and over again on this site. Every time I try to engage this community the racists come out of the woodwork and make me wicked depressed. I think it might be the only way to get through to them, but I know it is futile. I will never make robertallen see the humanity in people he has already devalued.

    @Vlako. Thank you for having this site.

  • robertallen1

    Now because some of us are anti-illegals, we are racists. Do you have any concept of the ignorance and illogic reflected in that statement or do you just like to engage in mulierish rant.

    You're no more than a little girl who suffers from fits of wickedness and depression when someone refuses to bow to her as the herald of empathy and compliment her on her mission, no matter if it be of doubtful legality--and speaking of legality, have you been following what went on today in the U.S. Supreme Court? But why do I ask this of someone who regards herself as above the law.

  • sknb

    I do not "equate" myself with them. Compared to many of them I have lived an incredibly fortunate life raised in a different culture. I do identify with their suffering and want to stop it.

    em·pa·thize/?emp??TH?z/
    Verb:
    Understand and share the feelings of another: "counselors need to be able to empathize with people".

    e·quate/i?kw?t/
    Verb:

    Consider (one thing) to be the same as or equivalent to another: "customers equate their name with quality".
    (of one thing) Be the same as or equivalent to (another).

    I am not the same as them in every way. I am the same as them in some ways, just like I am the same as you in some ways. In fact, I am very different from my students in many, many ways. I will defend and assist some people who are different than me. That is a deep part of my personal beliefs and my vision for the world. However, I do not believe that some human animals like myself deserve worse treatment or deserve to suffer only because they were born in a different country then myself.

    Inflated opinion? No way. I don't often post on this site. I am engaging you because you have sparked something deep within me about a topic I happen to be deeply personally involved with. I really can't invest any more time in this. I have better things to do with my time then argue on a website with a cold-hearted man who wants to hurt me. I am sure you will try to have the last word by insulting me yet again, but I'm done.
    Also, wicked does not mean "wickedness". It means "very". And I wasn't calling you a racist,there are other people on this site besides you. I can't understand why it excites you so much to be mean to people. Oh well.
    If you want to tell me that I am a horrible person for trying to remove suffering from this world and help people learn a new language, then really I think you have made yourself clear as a bell.

  • robertallen1

    Your vision for the world? How conceited can you get?

  • mudshark23

    Seriously. Look at how many posts this guy has... ehm, posted.

    Apparently, this otherwise fantastic site has it's very own resident troll. Such a shame considering that the focus of the site is listening, learning and discussion.

    He literally destroys the entire reason for the existence of TDF.

    If, every time YOU post something *this guy* jumps in and repeatedly shoots you in the back of the head with an over-pumped BB gun... you eventually give up and move on, leaving TDF with less diversity and more of.... that.

    There are people like him everywhere.

    They're emotionally messed up, either from childhood abuse and/or a chemical imbalance. Either way, he probably went through some emotional horror at an early age that warped/annihilated his empathy center and caused him to be the way his is today.

    He probably hated pot because it caused great reflection... scary.

  • sknb

    It is terrible how these companies use these illegal immigrants like slave labor and then lobby politicians in the name of business.

  • robertallen1

    You make all these statements about my being emotionally messed up, abused as a child, suffering from a chemical imjbalance and all this based on absolutely nothing and then you bring cannibis into the mix (which might be the center of your culture but is irrelevant to this discussion) and you wonder why you receive no respect from me.

  • mudshark23

    She totally beat the crap out of you.

  • mudshark23

    I don't wonder that.

    You have no well of respect for you to draw from.

    You are empty.

  • Guest

    Kinda hard to enter Australia illegally, long way to swim from most third world countries.
    az

  • robertallen1

    Speaking of respect, why does cannibis dominate just about every one of your posts?

  • Guest

    Ya budder is well known here, but i still think the goo you collect on your fingers from trimming top buds is best.
    az

  • mudshark23

    Because I think that Robert needs to either smoke a joint or get laid.

  • robertallen1

    How you've added sex to the irrelevance.

  • mudshark23

    Wow. We broke nearly every rule in the commenting policy book. My apologies. What a rookie mistake.

  • mudshark23

    I fed the biggest fattest troll I've ever seen.

  • docoman

    The ones that make the news here are coming in boats. Small, leaking, rotten crappy little boats. I would rather walk a desert with not much supplies then do the leaking boat trip. Either one would not be fun at all.
    Most leave from Indonesia, heading either for the north west Coast (bad idea, not much up there but crocodiles and minerals), or a Island that is Australian that is closer to them, Christmas Island.

  • robertallen1

    Do you know anything about the immigration situation in New Zealand or Tasmania?

  • docoman

    I agree with you, it is very serious, life and death for many people in the world. Those of us typing on here are all part of the lucky few. It is very easy to take that for granted, if you're one of those few.
    You are correct, the bravery and strength showed by people like Carmina is beyond words. And a lot of this all comes down to a fluke of chance, where and when you were born, which none of us got to choose.
    It is a very complex issue. I think you are correct, those of us in wealthy nations need to force our governments to put a leash on big companies and corporations. They are doing a hell of a lot of damage in the world, and are in the end mostly benefiting only a few, who are already rich. While making a mess for the rest of us.
    You could simplify it and say a few rich, strong people are using their power to hold on to, and increase their wealth and power. If you look back through our known history, I think you could argue that that's always been the case. Some rich, strong people wanting more power and wealth, and the poorer, weaker masses always pay the price.
    Corporations, religions, countries, empires, ect. all boils down to the same thing. The greed and corruption of power meeting human nature. It's one of the traits in our species.
    I have had the luck and pleasure of seeing outside my own country. I've lived in Cairo, where basically the whole population of my country was condensed into one city. (Roughly 20 million Aussies all up, 20 million Egyptians in Cairo). I saw first hand a lot of very poor, desperate people. The sad fact of it is, they have just breed too many people for what their land can support.

    If my country can provide for a bigger population then we currently have, we should take in people that are willing to call Australia their country. To me, being an Aussie has nothing to do with skin color ect., it's about your attitude to this country as your home.
    But, we can't just open the doors and let any and everyone come over here too. I know the process here in Australia can take years, I don't think 10 years like you say in the US, but still a long time. That should be improved, there are many area's our governments could improve in IMO. But if we just let everyone who lives somewhere worse then here move in too, pretty soon my country would look similar to what I've seen elsewhere, overpopulated.
    I do feel sorry for people in the world that are suffering. We should take responsibility for the consequences of our actions on others, we should help out what we can if we have extra. My country usually does that ok. I don't believe we should just throw open the doors to take everyone in. Which means we can't just allow people to sneak in illegally. Not detaining and verifying who and why people that sneak in are, and then deciding if you can/should let them stay would be a dangerous path to start down. Allowing the prison system to become a corporate money maker is wrong. It should be handled better and faster then it currently is, with more emphasis on being as humane as possible rather then someone making a profit out of it.

  • docoman

    There are a lot of kiwi's here :) We've always been pretty tight with NZ, we have similar recent histories, common interests usually.
    I've known and worked with a few. It's pretty relaxed between NZ and Aus as far as I know. Only need a drivers license, no passport or visa a few years back from what I was told. I used to know a ex-gang member, who must have had a pretty long police record. He was unsure if he would get let in, but got let in no worries.
    I don't really understand what you mean by Tasmania. 'Tassy' is an island, part of Aus. Kind of like Hawaii with the USA.
    Tasmania has a low population. Too bloody cold down there! lol. With the necessary infrastructure, Tasmania could hold many more people. It is a very pretty, lush part of the planet.

  • docoman

    I've replied to you Az, it's got a link in it, waiting for the mods :) I see you've changed your pic. I always wondered what the fingers in your last one meant? :)

  • robertallen1

    You've just justified legal immigration. However, as you point out, a nation must be selective about those whom it takes in, for if it takes in everyone, it is likely to become disquietingly similar to the countries producing the immigrants.

    It is the designated agency of the government that makes the decision as to who should be let in, not people like sknb, and when the government says no or no more, that's it.

    P.S. You've not answered my question as to the immigration situation in New Zealand or Tasmania, that is if you know.

  • robertallen1

    Please ignore the P.S. in my last post. Apparently the posts crossed.

    By the way, how are the marsupials? Are they still endangered or are some of them making a come back?

  • docoman

    I don't know anything about NZ's immigration policies. I know there are a fair few kiwi's over here working, (and paying tax here as far as I know). It's easy to travel between the two countries regarding visas ect.

    Tasmania is part of Australia. I would assume once an immigrant is accepted into the country, it's up to them which state they choose to live in. I could be wrong. There is not a lot of industry there other then the logging and farming. Hobart, the capital city, is not very big. It is probably much harder to find work in Tasmania as an immigrant compared to the more populated cities. If you're looking for a cooler, lush spacious place to live, Tasmania would be a good choice, if you can get work there.

  • docoman

    Haha, too slow.

    There are a lot of species in trouble here I believe. Some of the Kangaroo species are going strong, probably always will be. The Tasmanian Devil has some face tumor infectious disease, not going well at the moment. I've got a number of aquariums, quite interested in our native fish. I know a number of those species are in trouble as well.
    I watched a documentary on the thylacine, the Tasmanian Tiger. The last one we know for sure about died in the 1930's I think it was. There is the odd reported sighting, nothing that has been confirmed for a long time, they're most likely extinct. (There is a lot of bush in Tassy though, it's not impossible some are hiding) We shot them, blaming them for killing sheep. Turns out something like 80% of the 'missing' sheep weren't because of the tiger, it was because of the convicts. (Nobody wondered where the roast dinner came from? :) )
    They have extracted some jumbled DNA from some that were preserved in Alcohol I think it was (apparently formaldehyde destroys DNA). They were saying that maybe, if we could map the gnome for it properly, it might be possible to 'bring them back'.

  • docoman

    A true story, more on topic. And a question for anyone that's interested in answering.

    In Cairo, an American woman saw an Egyptian beating his donkey outside her apartment. She didn't like it, so went out and paid him 20 pound (pretty good amount) to not hit his donkey anymore. The next day, there were about a dozen Egyptians with their donkey carts, going up and down her street beating the hell out of their donkeys. Obviously the word had got out. After that day, every time someone went past her apartment with a donkey, guess who got an extra belting just in case....

    Did she help the situation, even though she had good intentions?

    I'm not trying to sound callous or cruel, but you do have to balance good ideals versus the reality of the world.

  • robertallen1

    The question is do we really want to bring back the thylacine? It had a good 4-million-year run and the world has changed so much in that time that its extinction was perhaps for the best. How can anyone look at this marsupial cat, and deny large-scale evolution?

    P.S. Somehow, I just can't get too emotional over the Tasmanian devil.

  • docoman

    I can't remember his name, they talked to on that doc, I think he was a Dr. from the USA, who is into bringing back extinct animals. I recall him saying something along the lines of because the thylacine was only a recent, man-caused extinction, and there is lots of it's natural habitat left, it shouldn't upset the eco-balance because it's so recently gone, it's a good candidate to 'bring back'.
    There used to me more species of them, at least 5 I think, all over the mainland. They definitely are/were a weird thing.

    But on the weird scale, I think it's hard to go past the platypus. A mammal, that lays eggs, digs and lives in tunnels and the water, has a pouch, a duck-like snout, and poison spurs (the males only I think). Apparently the first specimen when sent back to England, the English thought it was some sort of joke, and were trying to find how they stitched it together.

    Most of the Tassie Devils I've seen were on the road... flat. They are angry, noisy, hairy little things, but bugger having some face erupting tumor thing. I'd rather go the thylacine way, get shot.

    PS. Maybe that's why I was seeing them run over on the road, they caught the 'plague' and chose the faster way. :)

  • robertallen1

    I saw the documentary too. I see now point in trying to bring back this animal--but wouldn't it be wonderful to find one or two still alive? Have you ever seen a color photograph of a thylacine?

    As for the platypus, the animal ignored by creationist and anti-evolutionist alike--talk about adaptation and survival of the fit, talk about commandeering of parts. It has the bacterial flagellum beat by a mile. Living proof against irreducible complexity and "each after its own kind." Doesn't this creature (the platypus) make you wonder about its ancestors and how they fit into the fossil record. I wonder what its DNA reveals.

    It's amazing what one can learn about biology and evolution in particular from creatures who just don't seem to fit in.

  • docoman

    Yes, I hope there are a couple tucked away in the scrub. It's easy to see why they were thought to be taking the sheep. There are some decent offers, the last I recall was $1Million for proof of them being still alive. No one has collected.

    The platypus and the echidna (pronounced E-kid-na), the spiny ant eater, are the only 2 egg laying mammals, both have pouches. A link back to when mammals and reptiles had a shared ancestor I recall from some documentary. A branch that continued to lay eggs.

    I've only seen the one pair of platypus in the wild. I lived near them as a kid, saw them a few times, I always left them alone. I've come across echidnas quite a few times. If you mess with them at all, they tuck up in a ball, then steadily dig their way straight down into the ground, till only a few spins are sticking out. An aboriginal friend told me they're good tucka! (good food) And the spines can be used as toothpicks later. Haven't tried them myself.
    We're lucky in Australia, we're an old land, that's been separate for a while. There are lots of interesting plants and animals still to be found, let alone starting to look at the fossil record. The mega fauna we used to have, that disappears from the fossil record about the same time humans arrive.
    Have you heard of the Wollemi Pine? They are another living fossil. They recently found a small grove of them still alive. They've cloned them now, I think you can buy them.
    I watched the last part of a series, I think it's still on the ABC website, looking at the history of how Australia got to how it is now. Apparently we're setting an unofficial continental drift speed record, something like 7cm a year. Heading NE, towards the middle Pacific. Another million or so years it would be interesting to see what's happened with more change and ongoing evolution.

  • robertallen1

    I'm curious. Have you ever seen a numbat, a chuditch or a woyly? They all look like mainland creatures with pouches, as do so much of your fauna. Talk about an evolutionary biologist's dream! One look at the wildlife in your country and perhaps you can understand my contempt for fundamentalists, creationists and the like.

    No, I had not heard of the Wollemi pine? On the other hand, did you know that there was once a thylacine lion?

    Have you heard about manukura, the white (not albino) kiwi? Last I heard, they were planning to release it (sex unknown as far as I know) into the wilds which I don't think is a good idea for its color makes it easy prey.

    Dr. Dawkins was so right to ask why people have to make up fairy tales when the truth is so much more fascinating.

  • docoman

    No, I've never seen those 3 you mention in real life. I've not spent much time in Western Australia, most of the time I was there I was working. I didn't know about the thylacine lion. I bet it was pretty mean looking too. The last footage taken in the Hobart zoo, just after the camera stopped rolling apparently the tiger gave the cameraman a nip in his butt.
    When I was in Tasmania, I caught a nice big Rainbow Trout. Cooked it for dinner, there was more then I could eat, so I left the rest in a pot, and put it just outside my van, to clean up in the morning. During the night I heard something getting into the pot outside, I turned on the light and it was a young Quoll, a carnivorous marsupial. I got to watch it for about the next 10 min while it finished off the fish. They're getting rarer too apparently. That's the only one I've ever seen.
    I hadn't heard of manukura. One thing in it's favor, I don't think NZ has any real native threats. Introduced cats and dogs now maybe. I've had a maori friend, a very tough man, sh1t scared of a harmless stumpy tail lizard. (about 1 foot long) I asked him why, he said they don't have any snakes in NZ, he doesn't like reptiles. I think that is why the kiwi became flightless, it didn't need to escape any predators. Still, it would be a bright shinny target if something was hungry.
    Apparently, we used to have a mega goanna, 5 times bigger then the Komodo Dragon. And a mega, carnivorous kangaroo. There are some good fossil hunting spots here I've heard. I haven't done any for a few years now, but I used to get into metal detecting for gold. I've seen plenty of pretty cool animals while out camping and detecting. Frilled neck lizards are interesting. Koalas, goannas, dingos, roo's ect, even a cassowary up in North Queensland. They're an interesting bird, you can't miss the likeness to some of the dinosaurs.
    It's a pretty tough land in places, you can't help but admire the skills the aboriginals had to not only survive, but thrive out there. They say somewhere up to 100k years they've been here. That's a pretty good run.

  • docoman

    I finally got around to watching The Human Ape. Thank you, I found it a very interesting doc. To be honest, I was very amazed at that chimp's short term memory recall with the random position numbers. I would have lost a bet on that one.
    I also found the jaw muscle mutation new and interesting information.
    Probably one of the most interesting aspects to me, was their finding of how much we are wired to copy and co-operate from the very start. It helps explain to me something I've come to think. That being, I find the biggest, if not only miracle from the bible, is actually how many people seem to truly believe it. Still, in this day and age with the amount of knowledge that is easily available? Now that to me is a miracle. But, it seems maybe we are wired to copy what went before us and are also predisposed to co-operate with others even if there is no immediate personal reward.
    I also see now why you pointed me to this doc in regards to the question of a moral compass. If we are wired to co-operate and copy/conform by default, this may help go towards explaining why most normal people feel some need/preference towards doing what is considered morally correct. Most are taught early that 'good' is right, and so by default tend to copy and want to do good in order to conform to the culture. However, children that are abused ect. have learned a different set of rules to copy/conform with, and therefore have a different moral compass to abide by, hence their often culturally dysfunctional behavioural problems later.
    It is interesting how what is morally acceptable changes depending on circumstance. I have a good mate, a war veteran, who has told me a couple of things about what he/they did. Most people would probably find this horrifying, (the poor man still has trouble dealing with it, nightmares ect) I know him quite well, I think he is a decent, moral human being. I can understand that he was in a different world, the rules were all different, it was his JOB to do what he did. He knows and understands this better then I ever could, but it still haunts him. It is a painful paradox he has to live with.
    Maybe if he grew up where it was just a normal, every day experience to kill people he wouldn't care. To most people cannibalism is very morally wrong. But to many island people from down my side of the planet, it used to be a very acceptable, social thing to do. The long pig, going to be a good feast tonight!

    PS. That doc. also makes many of the arguments I've seen for creation, against evolution, very untenable.

  • robertallen1

    Please consider this a response to your last two e-mails.

    Last night, I watched a fascinating documentary on mini marsupials have not achieved the general recognition of their larger relatives. While quolls were not covered in the same detail as numbats, chuditchs and woyly’s, they were mentioned. One thing I noticed about these mini marsupials is that they all seemed so high-strung. Considering the one-time proliferation of these creatures, I wonder if their ancestors occupying the continent prior to the English had this trait or whether it was acquired as a result of the introduction of predatory animals such as foxes by the British settlers into Australia.

    Indeed, there was a thylacine lion, just as there was a thylacine tiger, both of which constitute superb examples of convergent evolution.

    There are several short documentaries (about 1 to 2 minutes apiece) on Manukura which bear watching. However, I must correct you on something. Aviation is a serotinous trait. In other words, flightless birds came before flighted ones. The kiwi, like the ostrich and the emu, has always been flightless. Well, one way or the other, I’m sure both of us wish little Manukura the best.

    Your account of your experiences in the outback, together with your paleontological descriptions of the mega goanna (which must have weighed 1,500 pounds--I think it got simply too big for its britches and went extinct)and the mega kangaroo, not to mention creatures such as the platypus and the spiny anteater, justify my characterization of your flora and fauna as “beautiful chaos,” militating against the alleged fine-tuning of our planet espoused by creationists, fundamentalists and those equally ignorant. In other words, evolution with all its mechanisms is far from a methodical or organized process.

    I’m glad you found “The Human Ape” as fascinating and enjoyable as I did—and you’re right, it’s amazing that with our ostensible finely developed brain and the unprecedented availability of knowledge, a disquietingly large number of people merely paul-parrot the nonsense (read the Bible and religion in general) with which they’ve been inculcated since childhood and now cling to at all costs and expect others to do so as well.

    As for the way we are wired, have you read Dr. Dawkins’ book “The Selfish Gene?” I don’t know if I agree with all of it (and perhaps my opinion will change), but I certainly respect it and its author and thus recommend it hands down.

    I am delighted that you picked up on the concept of moral compass. However, I must take issue with your statement about abused children. While some of them become what is known as sociopaths, the vast majority are able to put the past behind them and lead normal lives. I found this out from reading about the Catholic scandal (of course, Catholicism itself is a scandal). The main thing is that, as I’m sure your friend and you realize, morality and ethics take their color from their surroundings—some consider the late Jack Kevorkian a murderer and others (like myself) regard him as a hero. Again, I recommend “The Selfish Gene.”

    You must have gotten a lot out of “The Human Ape” to realize that indeed it renders arguments against evolution untenable. Something else to take into consideration: the cheating, distortion and outright lying and misrepresentation practiced by creationists and the like to promote their beliefs and denigrate mainstream science. (Have you heard of Kent Hovind?) Compare the number of scandals on the one side as opposed to the other. This says a lot.

  • Guest

    Most likely some people find your conversation interesting but i don't see the rapport with immigration. May be migration. We all take side steps.
    az

  • robertallen1

    I don't see the rapport with you family matters either, but I don't object.

  • Guest

    As i said, we all take side steps...i do a lot more often then you do but perhaps not in such lenght.
    It was more as a joke...migration.
    az

  • docoman

    You're right, I did get off topic and quite long winded. A conversation better suited to a more appropriate documentary. As an earlier poster pointed out, this (being immigration) is an important issue. I didn't mean to trivialize this topic.
    I should have 'migrated' to a more suitable doc. for the conversation :)

  • docoman

    Back on topic :) That story I posted earlier about donkeys being beaten, made me realize years ago that some problems are bigger then any solution that I could come up with. Sometimes, trying to help only makes the situation worse.
    Apparently, there are around 7 billion humans on the planet now. Without petrochemical fertilizers in the future (oil will run out eventually), regardless of what world climate does, I find it hard to see how we can sustain the current population, let alone any more increases. I have heard that currently the world produces enough food, if distributed evenly, no one need starve. I can't see things staying that way with our current population, even if we got things 'fair'.
    So, if we can't even eventually sustain the people we already have, what's going to happen as the pressure increases on the available resources. (some argue that the recent gulf wars are early symptoms of this)
    Fighting over the scraps as things become worse, to me seems inevitable, as does the probability our future is going to have some hard times in it.
    So, do we go with the policy of everyone's in it together, one in all in, share everything and all go down with the ship as some say we should? Or, do we go with a more self serving policy, that being every man (human) for himself? I've got my supplies, go away anyone else less fortunate.
    I think we are just one more expression of life on the planet. I think our purpose in life when it all comes to the crunch is to survive, and have your offspring survive. If that is true, people will do whatever they can for themselves to survive (you'll see this time and time again though out our history) That is the law of the jungle, we are subject to it too.
    I'm sorry for other people in need. If I have extra I, like any decent person, will help. I think that's going to get harder and harder to do. Immigration is one expression of this.
    Some would call me a pessimist, I believe I'm more of a realist. As far as immigration goes, we should take in what we can, to the rest, sorry, no room left. It's sad, some say inhumane, but that's the way things are.

    (still long-winded... sry)

  • robertallen1

    One of yesterday's front page stores was of a woman in Mexico (near the U.S. border) with four children who now, after fertility treatments, is pregnant with nine fetuses. Her husband is a mere laborer. She should definitely be prevented from entering this country to give birth--as a matter of fact, she should be prevented from entering this country period. This is Mexico's problem, not ours.

    You mention the population explosion (7 billion). I blame the Catholic church for a lot of this. Why anyone would lead his life according to the dictates of the Vatican is beyond me.

  • robertallen1

    Now I read that this whole thing was a hoax. Apparently, the story was not checked out before it was published. How irresponsible!

  • docoman

    Hmm. How and why have fertility treatment if you already have 4 kids? If they're asking to come to the US, I'd suggest its a ploy. (showing how desperate some people are and what lengths they'll go to for a better life). After that media circus with that Octo-mom woman in the US a little while back, it's not surprising someone else would try the tactic.
    I personally would be annoyed at my government if they let someone manipulate us like that and come in that way.
    If people want to help her, help pay for her hospital bills in her own country. If there is no decent medical assistance there, help pay for the hospital and doctor training there. If you want to help her later, move in with her and change some nappies (diapers).
    If someone wants to help someone that has done what the papers say she has that's up to them, I don't think it's fair of them to ask their fellow citizens to also reward manipulation. I'd feel the same about someone from my country that has 4 kids and then more fertility treatment. If you choose that, you pay the price for your decision, don't ask me to.

    7 billion people, I blame the pleasure of sex. If it felt bad instead, people would really think about it more before having children. :)

  • docoman

    Lol. Reporting at it's finest. Be the first to break the story, check it out later!

  • robertallen1

    If it felt bad, the Vatican would complain.

  • robertallen1

    I know. Anything for a headline.

  • Guest

    The flow of humans intermixing on earth is an unstoppable river. No law, no government, no hatred, nothing can stop it. It has been for eons. That's why our DNA goes back to Africa (and what before?). It is impossible to know the exact path of that journey.
    And then we will take that outside the earth....and there also, it will be unstoppable unless the life of humans ends because of our sense of division, hatred and unfair laws.
    az

  • lakhotason

    Our human DNA goes back to Africa. The rest of it goes back to the beginning of life. That's a long, strange immigration!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002763334752 Connie Buckley Smith

    Since when did Aljazeera become so empathetic towards illegal immigrants when they could be doing a lot more documentaries about mid-eastern countries where their expertise in propaganda is taken at face value.

  • titanbd

    You Sir, are an id**t. Your great grandfathers left merry old Europe running away from religious, social and economic persecution. They dreamt of a better life for their families when they arrived on these shores yet here you are condemning people who just want an opportunity to work to improve their lives. And don't give me that **** about how your grandfather immigrated legally because we all know how europeans were welcomed with open arms and other races were either dragged in chains or guess what arrived illegally. Oh......I know they don't look like you. If there's one thing I know people like you fear, it's anyone with a bit of a tan and that gives you a right not to give a damn about what they go through each and everyday.

    You probably don't have kids because if you did you would never understimate the desire of a parent to give their kids a better life.

  • Guest

    You could have done the same without sir and idi0t. But yes this reflect the opinion and judgement of many.
    az

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001840847401 Don Steiner

    Is that you Spanish satan? I THINK IT IS! Listen up we will not change our minds satan. We will never just open the gates for everyone especially people who dont care enough about our laws to follow them. The people that are welcome are the people not flee the justice system, we will not welcome people with existing medical communicative diseases, And we will not accept those with criminal histories. So satan stop trying we know you game and you can just go back to hell and play with your self

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001840847401 Don Steiner

    Plain and simple we do not want law breakers flooding in and just taking from us. How many of you immigrants would not throw out a person who just walked into your house and opened your fridge and helped themselves. Then went and climbed into your bed. Would any of you let them stay or would you kick them out. You who protest, are simply ignorant and are attempting to justify your actions or the actions of someone you care about. The people who follow proper channels and wait patiently deserve to come

  • robertallen1

    So you're a grown man who believes in Satan?

  • thekingbeyondthegate

    Did the Red Indians allow the white man to immigrate? Why is it only the European right?

  • robertallen1

    So what? We owe illegals nothing except a quick deportation back to where they came from. As for the Indians, they've never had it so good.

  • Eraserface

    Why is it white people think they're so SPECIAL? I'm a white immigrant to my country and we slaughtered the s*it out of the natives here. I do not feel special about this and neither should you. Open your mind and realize you are simply the spawn of colonialism like me. You have no culture, you are cog in the machine of your own enslavement.

  • S W

    We can not take in the whole entire world and continue to exist as a nation, Eraserface. This is why we have a legal immigration system and it should be respected from step 1.

  • S W

    She should be forcibly neutered. This is, of course, illegal and inhumane; however, so too is having wayyyy too many babies and contributing to the overpopulation of planet earth with no regard to the rest of the world's people. She should be sterilized. This is madness.