Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!


Unintended consequences

Something strange happened on Monday morning to the weather. It's still hot, sure, but when I went outside at about 6.15 to get the newspaper, it was cool and a slight pleasant breeze was blowing. All morning it was strangely nice when I wasn't directly in the sun. The afternoons have still been hot, but you can tell that the summer has shifted to the autumn and it doesn't feel like you're going to die when you go outside. The nights have been remarkably cool. I haven't noticed the weather change this obviously in all the years I've been here. It's interesting. It's getting to that time of year when I have one less reason to hate this place.

But that's not the point of the post, just an interesting observation. When I was reading the paper on Monday, I saw this article, which made me laugh. For those of you too lazy to read it, I will summarize, because I care:

The columnist points out an issue with Proposition 200, which Arizona voters approved last election. Ah, Prop. 200. Prop. 200 was an initiative that was very anti-illegal immigrant, because good white Arizonans are all scared of those weird brown people coming over the border and taking all our jobs, getting our welfare checks, and breeding with our fine white women and creating weird mixed babies. Oh, the horror! Actually, Proposition 200 was simply a law that says that the state must verify the immigration or legal status of anyone getting benefits from the state. Guess what? We had a bunch o' refugees here from the Gulf Coast who got benefits. Guess what those people did not have? If you said proof of their identity, you get a gold star.

Beautiful. Here we are, trying to help people displaced by a horrible natural disaster, and the voters of this state said we can't help them. The law makes no provisions for emergencies. Because the writers of the proposition didn't want to be racist, it makes no provisions for race. If someone wanted to, someone could sue the state for violating the law. No one will, of course, but they could.

The writer of the initiative, Randy Pullen, said it's obvious the initiative was not meant to target disaster relief efforts such as this. He does not think the state government is doing anything wrong by helping the victims of Hurricane Katrina. He does not think Arizona is violating the spirit of Proposition 200. I love tough law-and-order types. Whenever something happens that they agree with, the argue it's not a violation of the "spirit of the law." But if it's something they disagree with, we must abide by the letter of the law! Screw the "spirit" of it!

The article points out that most voters didn't bother to read the initiative. They were sending a message to illegal immigrants, whoo-hoo! Pullen said he wasn't sure why the provision about the law applying regardless of race or national origin was included in the measure. "Some legal reason," he said. [How about: because it's racist?]

Because its target was clear: people from Mexico and Central America who crossed the border illegally. Pullen said it was a shame that couldn't have been made clear in the proposition. "That's hard to do," he said.

I love how this guy admits that he is racist. If the illegal immigrant is from Norway, that's fine. This guy would argue we don't have any of those, but I bet in this country there are a few illegal immigrants who look like good white people. At least a few!

Anyway, I love the fact that we voted for this. I love unintended consequences, because people rarely stop to consider them. We all jumped in and voted the Patriot Act into law without considering the consequences, and now look at the mess it's become. Laws are a hell of lot harder to get rid of than enact, and that's why we need to be careful about this stuff. But in the rush to prove that we're tough, we vote for crap like this. I would LOVE IT if someone sued the state because they're giving benefits that come from MY TAXES to some stupid people who may or may not be citizens and were living in a submerged fishbowl. Fuck 'em. Let 'em put their sorry lives back together by themselves. Isn't that the American Way?


Blogger Matthew said...

Texas has had some constitutional amendments and initiatives approved by voters that had unanticipated consequences or that were just bad, because the legislation was appealing on its face or because it was marketed well.

17/9/05 4:23 AM  
Blogger Roxy said...

People don't like to think Greg. Especially of consequences down the road. It would be too difficult to actually be responsible enough to think about the effects of our actions.

17/9/05 8:41 PM  

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