Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Border Matters

Do borders matter? Over the weekend I crossed from Maine to New Hampshire and spent $250 on wine and beer. There’s no bottle law there and prices are better because of that state’s tax policies. Real estate agents advertise homes in Lovell, Maine where I live, and in other towns within the Fryeburg area, as “in the Fryeburg Academy school district.” That means high-school-aged children living within district borders can attend Fryeburg Academy, a private school, at taxpayer expense.

From Maine Sunday Telegram
In Portland, two thousand people demonstrated enthusiastically in support of illegal immigrants last Saturday. They chanted and held signs reading: “No Human Being Is Illegal,” and “We were just following orders – Holocaust prison guards 1943 – ICE Officers 2018.” ICE stands for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency struggling to enforce laws governing who can cross our national borders and who cannot.

Other demonstrations were held in Brunswick, Augusta, and Farmington. On my way back to Lovell I saw people in Bridgton waving and carrying signs protesting President Trump’s border enforcement policies. A friend told me of another demonstration in Conway, NH in which a young woman carried a sign proclaiming: “Imagine a World Without Borders.” There were similar demonstrations in cities all across the United States that day.

Last week, another young woman named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won an upset victory in a New York Democrat congressional primary on a platform pledging to eliminate ICE. US Senator and presidential contender Kristin Gillebrand (D-NY) is also campaigning to abolish ICE. Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN), who is also Vice Chairman of the Democrat Party, paraded last week with a T-shirt proclaiming: “Yo No Creo En Fronteras”— Spanish for “I don’t believe in borders.” In a commencement speech for Northeastern University two years ago, former Secretary of State and Democrat presidential candidate John Kerry told graduates to get ready for a “borderless world.”

On Sunday, Mexicans elected a new president who said: “We will defend migrants all over the American continent and the migrants of the world who, by necessity, must abandon their towns to find life in the United States; it’s a human right we will defend.” A headline in Monday’s San Diego Tribune declared: “Californians cross border to vote in Mexican election.” Are they Californians or are they Mexicans? Can they vote in both countries?

Britons voted two years ago to leave the EU — largely to control their borders. Italians just chose a new prime minister in an election the BBC called “dominated by [the] immigration debate.” Austria recently elected Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who wants to strengthen Austria’s border against illegal immigrants. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government is in danger of breaking apart over border issues in neighboring Germany. President Donald Trump was elected here in 2016 promising to build a wall on the Mexican border.

If border enforcement is not the biggest issue in the entire western world, I don’t know what is. Trying to imagine a world without borders as the Conway, New Hampshire young woman advises, seems problematic. Should a Fryeburg cop arrest people over the border in Conway? What about gun laws? They’re very strict in Massachusetts but not in Maine, New Hampshire or Vermont. What about sales taxes and income taxes? New Hampshire doesn’t have any but Maine and Massachusetts do. Who is obligated to pay them and who isn’t? Who should determine that? Will states just abandon their sovereignty?

We purchased fourteen acres on which we built our home in Lovell. Do we have the right to say who can come onto it or who cannot? Can anyone camp out here? Can they cut firewood? How about our dooryard? Does a dog have the right to bark at intruders? New Hampshire poet Robert Frost wrote: “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” Family members have rights to come into our home, but do we have to take anybody? How about our home town? Our home state? Our home country? Are taxpaying citizens obligated to support whoever takes up residence? What is a citizen? Does that designation mean anything?

If people from other parts of the world come into our home town, home state, or home country, are we obligated to pay for their health care and their education? Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got 57% of the vote by declaring medical care, housing, education, and a federal job as “rights,” but for whom? Everybody in the world? There’s serious disagreement about those questions in North American and in Europe. So far, those disagreements are being dealt with through the political process — peacefully, that is — so far.

Here’s hoping it stays that way, but I have little confidence that it will.


Anonymous said...

What conservatives should vehemently point out is that corrupt, socialist leaders (especially the newly elected Marxist, Obrador, in Mexico) should be taking care of their own people by providing educational and economic opportunities for them within their own s**t-hole borders. The scenario in every totalitarian country is the same: the powerful few do extremely well and the common people starve. Then, the dictators of these Central and South American countries encourage them to emigrate here for us to take care of them.

John Lennon's "Imagine" has now become the theme song of the open-border advocates in the Democrat Party. However, "tolerance at the expense of the truth is total stupidity."

Nick Peace said...

I frequently disagree with you Tom, but I agree with you here. Borders are essential to the well-being of any country. Every country is its own ecosystem with its own citizens, culture, business environment, government services, legal system, etc. If you get rid of borders, the ability of the country to regulate itself becomes impossible. No borders is a fantasy for idealists.

Illegal immigration is a problem and it does need to be policed. However, Trump's policy of separating children from their parents is unnecessary and cruel. Surely we can enforce the immigration laws without taking such drastic measures.

Anonymous said...

How quickly we forget the massive devastation caused by the infamous events of 9/11. Just to under score some statistics pertaining to deaths: almost three thousand Americans died. Why? Because our border production was insufficient and the terrorists repeatedly tested security as close as Logan in Boston. "

"The worst terrorist hijacker in history was allowed to waltz through security without anyone stopping him, asking his name, checking his ticket, taking a picture, looking at his driver’s license or passport, opening his bags or patting him down."

As a society, are we prepared to allow a tragic event or worse to occur again? Lack of borders is an invitation for terrorists. And if you are doubtful, then examine the metrics in Germany provided by "Newsweek.'

"More than 90 percent of the 10.4 percent increase in reported violent crimes was attributed to young male migrants in Germany's southern state of Lower Saxony, according to a new study from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences."

Finally, with respect to Nick Peace's remark: "Illegal immigration is a problem and it does need to be policed. However, Trump's policy of separating children from their parents is unnecessary and cruel. Surely we can enforce the immigration laws without taking such drastic measures."

What, then, is the solution?

Montedoro44 said...

I haven't heard any official interest, going back at least through the prior president's office, of directing emigration to countries that would be similar to, and so likely easier to assimilate in, for migrants and refugees. That would include all of Spanish-speaking Latin-America and South-America for Spanish speakers, and the vast Muslim Middle-East for Muslims, and who are mostly speakers of Arabic. Why is there no pressure put on these countries to participate in this humanitarian work? Or if there was and is, why doesn't it appear in the news? I would make an exception for M-E Christians and other non-Muslims, as their safety in Muslim-dominated countries is at best frail.

But that's a bit off-subject here -- to rephrase, why don't we hear the Left complain about / demonize / preach to other countries that maintain their borders? That would be all of them, I think.

P. C. Poppycock said...

You're right, Tom. "No borders" is an assault on personal property rights writ large.

I heard the latest socialist slogan is "no profits, no prisons, no borders."

Talk about chaos....with no way to pay for you name it....

CaptDMO said...

NH and taxes.
Sales tax on tobacco, alcohol, gasoline, property transfer, (oh wait, that's a fee or something)prepared food, hotel lodging, and of course, "unearned" income.
Just because the extra fee is "hidden" somewhere, doesn't mean it's not there.
The Nuclear reactor "decommissioning fee",(including the one "Never used, like new"), and the highway tolls in the south are particularly annoying.
There's a bunch more "hidden" taxes and fees, but nothing exceptional from what ALL
States do in that realm. Quite a few are (rightfully) "User fees".

Steve Tanton said...

Odd in a way that some people wonder why there's a battle going on for the heart and soul of America. Most have not noticed it seems, but since the beginning of 'civilized man', it's always been collectivism vs. freedom & liberty. Our current 'Civil War' is no exception. As for me, I agree with you Tom, most of the time; in fact I cannot remember when I didn't. And I agree with you here. "The Simple truth is that we've lost control of our own borders, and no nation can do that and survive." - Ronald Reagan Yes, borders matter.

And while "Imagine a World Without Borders" is a warm and wonderful utopian thought, with so much evil in the world today, it is obviously impractical. But never let cognizant thinking get in the way of emotion, especially the emotion displayed by the left and in particular the millennials.

And if you're wondering where this thought originally came from, well, in recent times it is accredited to Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon. “I saw the world without any borders, without any fighting, without any fear (…) and isn’t it the way we perceive things what makes them what they will be?”

Up With People popularized it in their song, 'Moonrider'. Wonderful thoughts of humanity indeed, but one cannot negotiate or make peace with those who give no respect and wish for our destruction. Just like the Democrat Party, what was once a conservative organization has become a Marxist one. Until the human race is much more mature, I think I'll stick with Reagan's 'Peace Through Strength' and Jefferson's definition of peace: “Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.”

Reality Check said...

In response to Steve Tanton, let's clear up right away how eager so many people are to believe things that they want to be true. Thomas Jefferson never said that dopey quote about peace and reloading. So take any other "facts" quoted with a grain of salt.


I would say that since the beginning of time it has always been about collectivism vs. fear and greed. Tribes growing community markets and helping each other vs in-fighting, scared and scattered tribes.

Fear is a great motivator, so much so that it spurs people into irrational actions and thoughts. Dictators and authoritarians throughout history continue to use the power of fear. "So much evil in the world today"? No more than any time. But it is a bit startling to see it take temporary residence in the White House. But it will be soon lanced.

It must suck to live in your scared and paranoid mindset, always nervous about evil brown-skinned people coming to kill you.

Well, I'm off fishing. I hope I manage to avoid an attack while I'm out!