constructing the underdog, part ii: immigration
the politics of immigration in the u.s., discussed
by jeffrey d. walker
This article is part a series intended to foster open discussion on the issues as we get set to elect the next President of the United States. See here for more info. You're invited to add your two-cents by joining the discussion.
By my estimation, the immigration debate in the United States is by-in-large dominated by conservatives. Their aim is immigration control: (1) for national security; and (2) for control over undocumented persons currently living and working within our borders.
Immigration for national security is the simpler issue. The United States Government rounded up Native Americans in the 1800s, Japanese persons during World War II, and currently hold a number of suspected terrorists; this is not a new concept. And, few politicians dispute that enemies of the state must be dealt with carefully. As such, the immigration debate in this area is relatively uninteresting.
The much more interesting and complex part of the immigration debate, in my opinion, regards undocumented persons currently within our borders; and just so I'm clear, we're talking about Latinos.
In case this is news, there are a lot of illegal immigrants living in the United States, somewhere between eight and thirty-eight million of them depending on which study you trust, and most of them are Latino. Most of them work in low-skill, low wage jobs; one report estimates that "illegal immigrants fill a quarter of all agricultural jobs, 17 percent of office and house cleaning positions, 14 percent of construction jobs and 12 percent in food preparation."
And in the minds of some Americans, these Latino immigrants are competing with "U.S. Americans" for jobs, consuming our nation's resources (such as welfare), and are generally a drain on our society. It so happens that these minds are conservative, and, in my estimation, it's this viewpoint that drives the immigration debate within the Unites States today (for example, legislation to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico).
There is a force in conservative America; I know not if he is a prophet, or a mere spokesman, but he goes by Rush Limbaugh. Shortly after reaching the conclusion that conservatives control the immigration argument, I sought out his opinion, as he often makes a conservative argument more succinctly than I might be able. And so:
Rush Limbaugh on Immigration Laws
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Many conservatives, and a few others, believe that illegal immigrants should be treated as severely as possible. If that is your feelings on the matter, then Republican contender, Mike Huckabee, seems to have the closest immigration plan to achieve such a result, proposing (according to Wikipedia) that all illegal immigrants register with the Federal Government, and return to their native land within 120 days or face a 10-year ban from the United States.
However, John McCain, who is far ahead of Huckabee in the polls, has (according to Wikipedia) promoted legislation to legalize and eventually grant citizenship to illegal aliens in the United States. Moreover, "McCain has repeatedly argued that low-skilled immigrant labor is necessary to supply service roles that native-born Americans refuse."
This recognition by McCain of the work provided by illegal immigrants is important. Though the visceral conservative reaction that illegal immigrants should "get out" is not an absurd position (after all, illegal immigrants are breaking the law and should not profit from their wrongdoing), often ignored are the benefits that United States citizens derive from the immigrant labor force.
"Since the 1950s, undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Latin America have provided much of the low-wage labor in agriculture, construction, hotels, restaurants, and domestic services in the western and southwestern United States. The wages and working conditions of these jobs do not attract U.S. workers" (Cite: here). As such, I fear that any drastic impact on the illegal immigrant workforce will cause an immediate and irreplaceable shortage labor in our nation's fields, hotels, construction sites, and restaurants (among other places), inevitably leading to increased food costs in both restaurants and grocery stores, hirer new housing costs (in an already troubled housing market), as well as increased domestic hotel and motel bills. And without a viable replacement for illegal immigrant labor, these costs will never go back down. Though a "guest worker" program could work theoretically, if the workers do not wish to participate, then where will America's cheap labor force come from if we upset the balance?
Besides a cheap labor force, Latinos are contributing to our society, every time they pay sales tax, gasoline tax, or any other such unavoidable tax. In some cases, illegal immigrants are paying money into our Social Security System, by using false Social Security Numbers they provide their employer in order to get work, but for which they will never be permitted to collect against even if they reach retirement age. One report stated that "The federal government gets billions of dollars every year that it can't track to anyone. ... illegal immigrants are letting that money go. It's the price of working in a country illegally."
As you might be aware, our nation's Social Security System is already in financial straits. Imagine the situation if we no longer could count on billions of dollars of contributions from illegal immigrants to keep the system afloat.
As to the perception that illegal immigrants are drains on society, studies to determine if illegal immigration is a social or economic burden on the country are usually inconclusive. It should be noted, however, that welfare use is higher in households of legal immigrant families, as opposed to illegal immigrants. "Thus legalization [of immigrants] will likely increase welfare costs still further."
As such, the immigration debate is complex. But what I found strange is that the liberal / Democratic candidates do not counter the conservative arguments on immigration by pointing out the benefits of the illegal immigrant labor force, or note the harsh financial reality we would face if a mass deportation occurred.
Instead, Democrats like Hillary Clinton, promise to "strengthen border security" and introduce "legislation that is essential to establishing an effective, legal workforce for the agricultural sector in New York State and throughout the country." (See: here). Obama, likewise, "... shares the growing public concern about illegal immigration in the United States. The challenge... is how to effectively stop the flow of illegal immigrants across our borders, better manage immigration flows going forward, and deal with illegal aliens who are already living and working in this country." (See: here). It should be noted that Obama has previously indicated his support for a border fence between the U.S. and Mexico.
When I read this, it feels as if the "liberals" are submitting to the conservative immigration agenda. But, were I in their shoes, given that illegal immigrants are, well, illegal, it's virtually impossible to structure a winning political argument in favor of these illegal immigrants: (1) they can't vote; and (2) such talk will be construed as "amnesty" for illegal immigrants, which polls indicate is not favored by U.S. citizens. It's no wonder that Hillary and Obama have opted to endorse the "tough" on illegal Mexican mantra.
Nonetheless, I doubt that many of the polls taken asked Americans if they'd be in favor of higher home prices, higher grocery bills, and more expensive hotel bills. If they had asked these questions, and indicated that these would be likely side effects of any law truly ending the illegal immigrant labor force in the United States, perhaps the polled parties might think twice.
Where the economic benefits of the illegal immigrant workforces are clear, and where any altering of the availability of this workforce will quite likely will lead to increased costs of living for all Americans, I for one, am of the opinion that this issue must be carefully considered. Much like the southern United States took years to regain its financial viability after its slave labor force was removed during the civil war, I am convinced that a misstep in illegal immigration policy might throw America's finances into peril.
But what do you think?
A practicing attorney and semi-professional musician, Walker writes for his own amusement, for the sake of opinion, to garner a couple of laughs, and to perhaps provoke a question or two, but otherwise, he doesn't think it'll amount to much.
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2.20.08 @ 9:13a
Personally, I am mightily conflicted on this issue. As a bleeding heart liberal I want people to be treated well, and welcome immigrants to this immigrant-founded nation On the other hand, I am aware of the security ramifications, and I know that if my candidates were to display the same feelings as I have, they'd be voted out of office in a flash. I've seen conflicting results relative to whether or not illegals cost the taxpayers money. I'd prolly do the beaucratic thing and commission another study of the issue. :-)
2.20.08 @ 11:16a
As the son of a woman who at one point was an illegal immigrant woman (now a citizen AND registered voter, by the way) I totally agree with you. It's such a sketchy issue that has great benefits and counterpoints.
A little point a lot of people forget is the fact that majority of these illegal immigrants not only contribute to the US economy, but they also send money back to their countries, helping the economy there as well. Also, from what I've seen and the people I know, the majority of illegal immigrants do not commit crimes or drain government services, they are just as law-abiding as their gringo counterpart.
Lastly, most of these people don't come here and stay illegally the rest of their life. They start doing the legalization paperwork as soon as they can, being aware of the costs and time it takes to do so.
2.20.08 @ 11:20a
Have there been any studies on the costs associated with harboring millions of illegal immigrants? I'm not talking about that "stealing American jobs" crap; how many unemployed Americans are sitting at home thinking, "God, if I could just pick grapes..." But they do cost in certain terms. I'm curious as to what those are.
2.20.08 @ 11:37a
Adam: I've found no such studies. However, a side note; many of the low-paid jobs accepted by immigrants work longer days than 8 hours, sometimes aren't in conformance with OSHA and other occupational regulations, and aren't being subjected to workers comp, union rates, or any other costs associated often with employment bureaucracy. As such, a legal American (assuming they would even accept the low wage) would also have to be employed illegally, unless the entire system of these "off the books" jobs were brought into compliance with OHSA, FICA, workers comp and a host of other regulations. This doesn't answer your question, but one should note how much more it would cost the farmer if an American did want to take a job picking grapes that it currently performed by an immigrant.
2.20.08 @ 2:21p
Our church does extensive service with immigrants from English and French-speaking African countries, as well as Vietnamese. In many cases, these people are not so much "immigrants" as they are "refugees." They may not be the targeted "illegal aliens" everyone pictures, as they didn't sneak over on a boat from Cuba, or ride in a shipping container from China, or wade across the Rio Grande...but they're still running from desperate conditions THERE to the hope of a better life HERE. We do our best to help them find jobs, learn English, discover the support of their community and, for as many who are willing to work for it, to pursue citizenship.
Columbus, the Pilgrims, et al... there was nothing "legal" about them when they settled in North America. And by the time the native tribes figured out that having all these Anglos building houses wasn't such a great idea, it was too late, for good or ill.
He may be out of the race now, but Mitt Romney, a proponent of the Border Wall between us and Mexico, supported penalties for companies that employed illegals... but somehow managed to look the other way regarding all the Guatemalans that took care of his lawn when he was Governor.
Do I wish there was a good solution? Yep. It's hard to get around the "illegal" part of it and just turn a blind eye. I'd be happier if there was some improved kind of work visa program that went hand in hand with a tight security protocol. Most of the illegals coming in just want to earn a better wage to support themselves and their family...and they're willing to do the work that lazy Americans don't want. How is that a problem to anyone?
I'd much rather one of the candidates come up with a platform plank addressing the flight of jobs from American companies to OVERSEAS workers. Outsourcing, IMO, is a much worse problem, because those workers contribute nothing to the American economy, deprive Americans of jobs, and reduce corporate responsibility. If corporations are not reinvesting in America, then they should be penalized. It's not enough that they're raking in profit... it's profit that comes at the expense of individual and national economic stability.
2.20.08 @ 2:29p
The Democratic Party does not have a winning answer to the immigration issue in America. They may have the right answer, which involves some combination of increased border security followed by the necessary and rightful assimilation of the 11 million illegal immigrants already here and contributing daily to our shared prosperity, but this argument has not proven to be a winning one for anybody in the political arena who has supported it openly. Just ask John McCain. Americans, by and large, have become a fat, dumb and lazy lot, who nowadays seem only too happy to forget the less palatable realities of their very own roots. Our forefathers were primarily dirt poor, grubby laborers just like the majority of illegal immigrants we see risking their lives to cross our borders every day in order to give their children a better life, yet we seem to have forgotten this while scarfing down our Big Macs and burning holes in the ozone in our 400 hp BMWs. We arrogantly assume that our current prosperity comes to us as a sort of magisterial birthright, rather than as a tangible result of the blood, sweat and tears of the millions of immigrants who came before us. There is a gross and deeply offensive sense of protective entitlement in the American populace today, one which says I’m gonna defend what’s coming to me at all costs. That attitude makes any fair and open debate on the issue of immigration, legal or otherwise, all but impossible. We simply don’t want anyone else to come here unless they can prove they are our economic equals already. Otherwise, we might actually have to go to all the expense and trouble of giving them a hand up, and that’s not what America is about anymore, is it? These days it’s about getting me what I have coming to me as quickly and easily as possible.
Why do we make our legal immigration quotas so strict for places like Latin America in the first place? One of the very founding ideals of this country was that America should be a nation where anyone with the drive and determination to succeed could do so, regardless of where they came from. The Mexicans are just the Italians or Irish of today. For me, this is not merely a law and order issue, like the Republicans would have it, nor an economic one, as you seem to suggest, Jeff. Although it involves aspects of both, fundamentally, the question of illegal immigration in America is a moral issue. I, for one, would like to know how in the span of a mere 100 years, we have gone from the nation of Emma Lazarus and “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”, to a nation of Rush Limbaugh and “Get the fuck out, you spics!”
2.20.08 @ 10:05p
There has always been fear and loathing surrounding immigration in America. Could be the Irish, could be European Jews, could be the Japanese, could be Cubans.
But there is a primary issue regarding the wave of Hispanic immigration that does not resemble these other movements: the dual language debate.
As much as I support people improving their lives, I still do not support the Spanishfication of all documents. The fact that business cater to the Hispanic population in mass marketing with Spanish products breeds discontent, and rightfully so. It's a mask of inclusion, at the sacrifice of other cultures and, at the core, the American philisophy of being open to all nationalities.
When I call a company and only receive two prompts, English and Spanish, what kind of message does that send? As another example, when I go to get my driver's license, and the forms are in English and Spanish, I question... if you can only speak Spanish, how can you understand American driving laws enough to obey them? I know how confused I felt driving in western Ireland as a tourist, where the majority of signs in the rural areas are in Gaelic, and the map is in Gaelic, and many people preferred that I at least attempt Gaelic before English.
I think when it comes to Hispanic immigration in America, many people feel forced to accept the issue because of how it impacts their day-to-day lives, not the price of lettuce or hotel rates.
2.21.08 @ 8:14a
"I think when it comes to Hispanic immigration in America, many people feel forced to accept the issue because of how it impacts their day-to-day lives..."
Tracey, I do believe this is a feeling shared by more than only you.
But before focusing on the "negative" quality of life issues, consider the positives. Using the stat. quoted in the story, immigrant workers comprise 12% of the food prep. workforce.
Since I quoted Rush, let me now quote a more liberal source, NPR, who justthis morning did a story on how some London Indian restaurants are being forced to close since a law requiring English fluency to enter the country was enacted, undermining their labor pool - people who speak fluently don't want kitchen jobs, and natives don't make good curry. The story is: Here. Such an "English only" rule will have the same impact on some of our nation's Mexican and Indian restaurants, giving us fewer choices in places to eat, while we pay more at the ones that are left because of the food costs. Diversity and affordable food are quality of life benefits afforded to us by immigrant labor.
2.21.08 @ 3:58p
“…The fact that business cater to the Hispanic population in mass marketing with Spanish products breeds discontent, and rightfully so. It's a mask of inclusion, at the sacrifice of other cultures and, at the core, the American philosophy of being open to all nationalities…”
Tracey, I disagree. Businesses cater to Spanish speaking people not because they are trying to create a mask of inclusion, but because it’s a sound business practice. Roughly 30% of the population speaks Spanish as a first or second language. If you are a business, and 30% of your customers prefer to speak in particular language, then you would be foolish not to cater to that need. If 30% of the population spoke Polish, then businesses would cater to them by providing their services in Polish.
It seems to me that whatever “discontent” arises from this fact comes primarily from the not particularly noble or defensible human tendency to resent other people who are assumed to be getting “special treatment.” But as the number of Spanish speakers in America grows, the argument that they are receiving “special” treatment diminishes. How many laws exist which are designed to make public spaces more accessible to the disabled, deaf and blind? What percentage of the population do they make up? Not 30%, I can assure you. And before you protest that the disabled can’t help the situation they find themselves in and therefore deserve special treatment, I would ask if you think a dirt poor, 40 year old Spanish speaking farmworker who just climbed a fence somewhere to have the PRIVLEDGE of working 16 hours a day in the lettuce fields of California in order to put food into the stomachs of his kids, and who has no access to any resources to help him learn English, if that man can fairly be expected to help his situation any more than my dad in a wheelchair? Can he reasonably be expected to survive in, engage with and protect himself from the rank exploitation of a society that insists on communicating strictly in English? And before you point out all those hypothetical Polish, French and Gaelic speaking farmworkers who would face that same situation, I would say that there aren’t enough of those unlucky bastards to worry about, but there are many, many Spanish speaking people just like the guy I describe, more every day, and we as a society (individuals, businesses, government, schools, etc.) have begun to make the practical accommodations necessary to serve the very real needs of those folks...
2.21.08 @ 4:00p
...continued from above cause I never know when to shut up...
Look, you would be very hard pressed to convince me that you or I, as English speakers, are in any way materially disadvantaged, penalized or inconvenienced when we confront a situation in which Spanish is utilized IN ADDITION to English. You may find it annoying, perhaps, maybe even as annoying as I find the ubiquitous nature of Oprah Winfrey’s opinions on everything from politics, to literature, to charity, to social mores, but, like me with Oprah, it’s more of a personal issue than a real problem that needs correction.
“…As another example, when I go to get my driver's license, and the forms are in English and Spanish, I question... if you can only speak Spanish, how can you understand American driving laws enough to obey them?”
In answer to this question, I would point out that there are driver’s manuals in Spanish too. American driving laws are based on universal ideas that are merely written down in English because that happens to be the language of the majority of Americans. But words can be translated into any language, including Spanish, without having their meaning altered. One does not need to speak French, for example, to know that a red octagonal sign that says “Arret” on a Montréal street corner means stop. There are very good reasons why traffic signs and signals come in unique shapes and colors – back when traffic laws were first written, a sizable percentage of the population was illiterate. Frankly, I would be much more concerned about giving a driver’s license to the person who can’t read the driver’s manual at all, than I would be the person who read the Spanish translation.
“There has always been fear and loathing surrounding immigration in America. Could be the Irish, could be European Jews, could be the Japanese, could be Cubans…”
That’s absolutely true, but I’d like to think we can do better now. The mistakes of the past should in no way be allowed to justify the injustices of the present.
2.21.08 @ 5:31p
russ carr:I'd much rather one of the candidates come up with a platform plank addressing the flight of jobs from American companies to OVERSEAS workers. Outsourcing, IMO, is a much worse problem, because those workers contribute nothing to the American economy, deprive Americans of jobs, and reduce corporate responsibility. If corporations are not reinvesting in America, then they should be penalized. It's not enough that they're raking in profit... it's profit that comes at the expense of individual and national economic stability.
I have such HUGE ISSUES with this right now. I've always hated when I call a company during their hours of operation and gotten a person who barely speaks english, much less comprehends my problem.
For example: I am trying to get in touch with TransUnion, a credit reporting agency...you may have heard of them. No matter what time of day or night you call - you are calling India. And you know what else? They have NO IDEA what they're doing. I called because I got my credit report through TransUnion, and noticed uite a bit of wrong information. I called to verify MYSELF, using MY NAME, MY SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER and MY ADDRESS.
The woman on the phone asked me questions about my credit history to verify my account, including exactly how much I spent on my last car (which was, like, six years ago - I don't remember exact amounts!), etc. Then she said that she wouldn't change the information. My account has the wrong name and the wrong current address. I have charges on my credit report that are NOT MINE...and I can't do anything about it. Oh, until I mail TransUnion a copy of my security card. Um, no. I already appear to be a victim of identity theft, do you REALLY think I'm going to send you something like that in the mail?
Anywho, I seem to have vented, but my point was that this horrible customer service - which is no longer just Outsourcing, but what I like to call Outsourced Caring - is being provided by people who do nothing for the American Economy and couldn't give a crap less. As a result I feel less inclined to give my business to these companies, which, in a tiny way DOES affect our economy.
Except, in this case, it's TransUnion, and I kind of HAVE to follow through on this...it's my effing credit report :(
2.21.08 @ 9:33p
"I would say that there aren’t enough of those unlucky bastards to worry about, but there are many, many Spanish speaking people just like the guy I describe, more every day, and we as a society (individuals, businesses, government, schools, etc.) have begun to make the practical accommodations necessary to serve the very real needs of those folks...
Right. Because it's America's fault that Mexico and other countries in Central America exploit their own people. That they don't provide for their people. That their people are "forced" to leave their families and homeland to pick the lettuce for rich Americans so a country like Mexico can reap 6 BILLION dollars on average annually in free money sent back home by these individuals. Nice import if you can get it.
As it always happens with the dual language debate, it become less about inclusion and more about exclusion. Don't you think Laotian or Sudanese immigrants would like to have a driver's manual in their native language? Wouldn't it be easier for Cuban immigrants to step into any Wal-Mart in the country and have signs in authentic Cuban directing them to the chips and dip aisle? And what about Bosians - shouldn't they be able to fill out U.S. government forms in their language?
You hit it right on the head, Rob. It's all about "good business" practices. Other immigrants to America considered it to be an honor and privilege to learn English while retaining their cultural heritage. It broadened their education, provided them with more opportunities.
But while companies choose to exploit this growing population, either by hiring illegals when raids are still so prevalant or by providing checking services in Spanish, it's less about meeting their "needs" and more about securing a stronger bottom line.
At no other time in America's history has this issue been so important.
I've had this debate on other discussions. My ideals are based on interviews that I've conducted with Latino businesspeople about the "enabling" and "disabling" of the Hispanic community with the English/Spanish/Spanglish issues in our country. I also live in one of the more highly Hispanic-populated neighborhoods in Des Moines. I pass all-Spanish billboards on my streets, shop in all-Hispanic grocery stores.
Companies that choose to communicate in English/Spanish send an exclusionary message to other populations. Instead of building success with ELL programs so that all may progress with multiple language learning (a program that continually suffers from lack of funding and volunteers), companies actually perpetuate the division of the society, not only among English speaking individuals, but between the various immigrant groups.
English as the official language provides a foundation of certainity so that funding can be put into programs like ELL, instead of advertising.
2.21.08 @ 9:43p
Oh and Rob, to answer your other statistics question about the percentage of Amercians with disabilities:
Number of Americans with some form of disability: 54 million
Number of Americans with a severe disability: 27 million
Percentage of Americans over 65 with some form of disability: 50%
Number of people over 65 who have a serious visual impairment: 5 million1
Projected increase in this figure by 2030, in percent: 100%1
Number of Americans who are legally blind: 1.8 million
Number who have a serious vision disability: 7.7 million
This summer, I was a national judge for the Ms. Wheelchair America program. As these brave women so adequately and accutely explained to me, disability can affect anyone, anytime. It does not discriminate along racial or cultural lines.
I, for one, would rather make sure that all people have the accessibility they need, not just a select group viewed as untapped marketing potential.
2.22.08 @ 1:56a
Tracey Kelley is right.
Let's stop the puerile bullshit that pervades every conversation we have about immigration or race, and just be honest.
People are taking advantage of their supposed 'victim' status, and we need to end that.
We can't have an intellectually honest discussion about race in this country because certain liberals have deemed the subject to be 'too sensitive'.
Ironically, as long as we live in a country that has a federal government that encourages us to identify with some sub-group that they have defined, we have doomed ourselves to live according to that unwelcome definition.
IN other words, and to quote John Lennon, I THINK I DISAGREE. LET ME TAKE YOU DOWN...
3.17.08 @ 6:03p
Here are some facts about illegal immigrants you should know:
40% of all workers in L. A. County (L. A. County has 10 million people) are working for cash and not paying taxes. This was because they are predominantly illegal immigrants, working without a green card.
95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens.
75% of people on the most wanted list in Los Angeles are illegal aliens.
Over 2/3’s of all births in Los Angeles County are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal whose births were paid for by taxpayers.
Nearly 25% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally.
Over 300,000 illegal aliens in Los Angeles County are living in garages.
The FBI reports half of all gang members in Los Angeles are most likely illegal aliens from south of the border.
Nearly 60% of all occupants of HUD properties are illegal.
21 radio stations in L. A. are Spanish speaking.
In Blackout (the movie) 5.1 million people speak English. 3.9 million speak Spanish (10.2 million people in Blackout).
29% of inmates in federal prisons are illegal aliens.
(All from the Los Angeles Times)
Less than 2% of illegal aliens are picking our crops but 29% are on welfare. And there are plenty of other statistics at this website:
Over 70% of the United States annual population growth (and over 90% of California, Florida, and New York) results from immigration. The cost of illegal immigration to the American taxpayer in 1997 was a NET (after subtracting taxes immigrants pay) $70 BILLION a year.
The lifetime fiscal impact (taxes paid minus services used) for the average adult Mexican immigrant is a NEGATIVE.
[Professor Donald Huddle, Rice University]
3.18.08 @ 1:26a
Okay. So we're all in agreement that illegal immigrants are bad for Los Angeles County.
3.18.08 @ 10:25p
It's totally WEAK that you'd come to a real political discussion and post what was probably a forwarded email next to my column. It just so happens that here's a messageboard from 2006 that is your same post, along with the rest of the posts afterward that will demonstrate how foolish those statements are. I can only pity a fool like you that would repeat such crap without checking their facts.
PS - here's an article from TODAY showing how immigration reduces crime rates.
3.19.08 @ 4:06p
Note, too, that Mr. Wisher apparently joined Intrepid Media just to post that drivel. His membership date is 3/17/08!
3.19.08 @ 9:29p
I did notice that, Lucy. It is curious.