Shooting For The Moon

This artist's rendering represents a concept o...

Moon Base, via Wikipedia

I am dismayed to see how the GOP is imploding in the recent candidate debates. It is the most interesting development in politics that I can remember. The wide variance among the four candidates is amazing, from this healthcare issue to Gingrich’s absurd pledge to place a permanent colony on the moon just to placate the Space Coast electorate. And while he blatantly panders to aerospace workers in Florida, and even while he and the other candidates seek hispanic support, the far more important national issue of immigration reform festers.

Just adjacent to Florida in the state of Alabama there is a financial crisis unfolding because both state and federal conservative lawmakers have failed to deal with the vital immigration issue. Columnist Raul Reyes laid it out in a USA Today column.  About six months ago Alabama enacted an exceedingly strict immigration law. The results were predictable, as I have previously posted.  Immigrants have fled the state leaving nobody who, despite high unemployment, is willing to do the stoop labor in harvesting crops. The state now finds it has gained a reputation for being unfriendly to all foreigners, including investors and business people, and regular residents are encountering confusing red tape because of new strict citizenship requirements for licenses.

But that’s not the worst of it. The real impact is becoming clear – it is the loss of a productive economic base represented by all those immigrants, people who not only picked the crops, made the beds, mopped the floors and waited on tables, but who patronized businesses, bought medicine, laid the bricks, and sent their kids to the schools. There is now, consequently, real financial pain throughout the state. Alabama lawmakers are vowing to revise the law, but how they will do that isn’t clear yet.

English: Newt Gingrich at a political conferen...

Image via Wikipedia

What we are seeing, I submit, is reality setting in after demagogues had their way.  I blame the Tea Party idealists, the same who made John McCain revise his previously sane stance on immigration four years ago.  The voters in Florida should be paying attention to Alabama’s plight, but I doubt they are. I’m sure the GOP candidates aren’t. They are too busy shooting for the moon while the crops rot in the fields.

About Jim Wheeler

U. S. Naval Academy, BS, Engineering, 1959; Naval line officer and submariner, 1959 -1981, Commander, USN; The George Washington U., MSA, Management Eng.; Aerospace Engineer, 1981-1999; Resident Gadfly, 1999 - present. Political affiliation: Democratic.
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8 Responses to Shooting For The Moon

  1. PiedType says:

    The GOP is certainly left with a sorry field of candidates, it seems to me. But it’s not over yet; they might end up with a brokered convention and new candidate.

    I don’t think the Tea Party “made” John McCain change his stance. A highly principled man (which I used to think he was) would have remained steadfast in his position, no matter what. McCain changed because his desire for re-election at any cost outweighed his principles. I can’t forgive that sort of sell-out.


  2. Pingback: It Ain’t —- ‘Til It’s —- | Sandia Tea Party

  3. ansonburlingame says:


    Blog about the moon colony all you like. Pandering it is by Gingrich and I don’t like it either. Though how to maintain a viable presence in space for the long haul is a good debate to have, in my view.

    Now for immigration. I assume you are attacking Romney in this case. Gingrich is at least supportive of a way to keep long term illegals here, picking crops etc. Well Jim, a long time ago slaves picked cotton in Alabama and then they went away or picked their own cotton. What happened to the Alabama workforce between say 1870 and 2000 when the illegals stormed into that and every other state. Who picked the crops during all those years and why can’t they pick them now.

    Want a good reason why no one in Alabama wants to pick crops now? It is called long term unemployment insurance, for a starter. Or are you of the opinion that in fact “normal” people in Alabama should not be forced by the market to pick crops and it should only be done by illegals?? After all it is intolerable to thing that a “normal” America would actually have to do such work, right, and government should see to it that they don’t have to “stoop” to such labor.



    • Jim Wheeler says:

      You make a very valid point, Anson. I have absolutely no doubt that unemployment insurance is preferable to stoop labor for most people. While I have never worked bent over all day in a field under a hot sun I still recall being on my feet for 10 hours on Saturdays working as a teenager at J.C.Penneys. It was tiring, painful and mind-numbingly boring. The field work would be much worse, so I can actually sympathize with those who opt for the easier path. But apparently you consider it a badge of shame that they don’t get out there and start picking instead. I don’t. Besides, most Americans are so flabby and fat that they would likely collapse even if they tried it.

      A migrant worker program just makes common sense to me, but you seem to prefer cutting the L.T. unemployment and getting those sluggards out in the fields. Fine, that’s your right. Wait, what’s that music I hear in the windmills of my mind? I swan, I do believe it’s Dixie! Ole’ times there are not forgotten after all!


  4. ansonburlingame says:


    OH BS, and you know it. I am not playing Dixie is such comments. Go back to slavery!!! OMG!

    But your said it, not me, “Besides, most Americans are so flabby and fat that they would likely collapse even if they tried it”

    Now how are you going to get government to fix that problem? Oh sure, we need a government program to combat obesity, right, at the cost of just a few $ Billion. Baloney. Cut off the unemployment insurance after a relatively short time and they can either pick crops or …… Of course you are concerned about the …., meaning “starvation” of something like that. I instead call for trading in their big screen TVs and second cars, or moving out of a home they cannot afford. If they expect all that other stuff, let the pick crops and still eat.

    As for “stoop” labor, you bet I did it as a teenager. I bailed hay, cut tobacco, pulled weeds, etc. in the “boiling sun” for several years to make a little money that my parents could not afford to “give” me. What did I learn in those experiences. Get off your butt, Anson, work hard in school, earn your way into a college and NEVER have to live that way to “live”. My father as well preached that into me beginning at a very young age, that hard work, guts, determination, etc. made the difference, not all the other “stuff”.

    As well and just like you, my parents could not afford to send me to college. And there we both wound up, at a “free government school”. And look what we had to do to get there and stay there, for the four most miserable years in MY life, at least. I EARNED every nickel of that education later on as well, just as you did. NO ONE gave me my entrance into USNA. I got there because of my own efforts, including a competitive exam given by my Congressman that appointed me. No politcal “pull” got me into USNA. I did it on my own and I suspect you did as well. Now why should hat not be the case for every kid going to college?

    And if you don’t go as far as your hard work can take you, then better be prepared to work in a differnt manner, like “stoop” labor if necessary, to live. But NO. Americans are too “fat, dumb and happy” to ever “stoop” to such today, as you sort of said above. GOVERNMENT would NEVER expect such from a “full bloodied American” today, right?? Just cut off the government benefits and watch how many “cotton pickin Alabamans start pickin cotton, or tomatoes, or …..”



  5. sekanblogger says:

    I used to register as independent and was categorized as a moderate.
    I have not changed, but now my views are labeled progressive or liberal, and those labels are meant as a slander.
    Sad. Just sad.
    There used to be republicans I supported. I can no longer do that.
    Thanks Grover.
    Thanks tea party.


  6. ansonburlingame says:

    Sekan and others,

    I could care less how you catagorize yourself or how others do as well. But such political catagories are really not the point in this string of comments. The issue as I read above is not “liberal” or “conservative”. It is should “normal” Americans be expected to do “stoop” labor to live, or instead provided government benefits to avoid working in the “boiling sun”?

    My point is all Americans should be expected to work during their productive years, say 18 (or older if they can get into and stay in a good college) up until age 65. And the type of work they do will vary according to their previous efforts to gain an education and their various talents or capabilities after completing their education during their formative but equally important in terms of learning hard work, years. As well some government help for the truly disabled as well is to be expected, but being “lazy” is not a disability, it is a character defect, depending on how one defines “lazy”. But I know it when I see it for sure.



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