The "Minutemen"

Desertrat

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Original poster
Jul 4, 2003
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We've all seen--I guess--the various accusations of racism and armed vigilantes and all that. Here's an interesting commentary with the perspective of some ten days or so of hindsight.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/gaddy/gaddy16.html

The commentary from the Border Patrol guys is particularly interesting:

"MINUTEMAN PROJECT: We want to make it clear because we've had a lot of questions about this...we have not had one single complaint from a rank-and-file agent in this Sector about the Minutemen. Every report we've received indicates these people are very supportive of the rank-and-file agents, they're courteous, many of them are retired firefighters, cops, and other professionals, and they're not causing us any problems whatsoever.

Reports of them causing "ground sensors" to go off are exaggerated because most of those are being set off by the ACLU sneaking around trying to find the Minutemen doing something wrong. The Minutemen have succeeded in shifting the bulk of the illegal alien traffic out of the Naco corridor.

If only President Bush were so supportive of the rank-and-file agents. While President Bush hangs out thousands of miles away in the White House, these people are willing to give up their time and energy to actually do something. While President Bush entices millions of illegal aliens to keep coming with his amnesty proposals and his demoralizing statements that he doesn't want Border Patrol agents chasing "good-hearted people just coming here to take jobs Americans won't do" the Minutemen are trying to get our laws enforced.

The Minutemen have made it very clear that they fully support rank-and-file Border Patrol agents. If only we had such support from the politicians we have to work for (aren't we really supposed to be working for the citizens of this country anyway?)!"

(Edited by 'Rat for paragraphing for clarity.)

'Rat
 

Sayhey

macrumors 68000
May 22, 2003
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Vigilantes are vigilantes, whether they're polite ex-cops or soccer moms towing babies. This is the job of agents of the government not citizens who want to stop illegal immigration on their own. I'm sick and tired of hearing praise this effort from people who should know better. How about I start organizing an effort of citizens who want to harass illegal stock traders on Wall Street? Think I'll get all the same kind of props from Hannity, Dobbs, et al? Funny I don't see Hannity on the Canadian border, why would that be?
 

Lyle

macrumors 68000
Jun 11, 2003
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Sayhey said:
Funny I don't see Hannity on the Canadian border, why would that be?
You may have spoken too soon:
A civilian patrol group that has been monitoring the Mexican border for illegal immigrants wants to expand its mission to the Canadian border, organizers said Tuesday.
link
 

mactastic

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Apr 24, 2003
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I notice the brave Minutemen are heading from springtime Arizona to summertime northern climes. I'm sure Arizona's borders need defending in July as well...
 

Sayhey

macrumors 68000
May 22, 2003
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Lyle said:
You may have spoken too soon:
link
Even if they expand there activities to the Canadian border, I stand by my statement. These vigilantes should be condemned, not applauded. The smokescreen of a Canadian effort does not hide the basic racist fear these folks are exploiting and fomenting toward Mexicans. If one wants a serious discussion about the problems of people coming across the borders for work or about security concerns, then let's have it, but these folks are just mining age old fears and prejudices for their own political gain.
 

mactastic

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I can't really see calling these guys vigilantes, since they're doing nothing more than what a neighborhood watch group does. In that regard I support their efforts to make a difference while staying within the boundaries of the law. However, while I may not have a problem with their tactics, their overall mission is troubling, as it does tap into an undercurrent of racism. Also, their connections to White Supremacy movements, disavowed as they are, is troubling as well.

However, my understanding is that it is the Minutemen (I wonder if their wives call them that :eek: ) who are setting off the sensors at the border, not the ACLU. If that is the case, they are causing more hassle for the Border Patrol than they are helping out. And just because crossings have dropped in the area they patrol does not mean they are having any effect whatsoever on the total number of illegals crossing the border.

I've also heard that they may plan to target employers who hire illegals, which would,IMHO, be a step in the right direction. You'll never stop all the illegals, but if you can force companies who hire them to stop doing it you may make some progress on the problem.

Problem is, I think they'll be about as effective at changing employer behavior as they have been at stemming the overall tide of border crossers.
 

Desertrat

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Original poster
Jul 4, 2003
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Terlingua, Texas
Well, per various accounts they were effective. Units of the Mexican army were turning back would-be crossers, south of the border. Border Patrol guys reported fewer efforts at crossing. Radio intercepts indicated that drug-smuggling efforts in that area were notably reduced.

And what did these guys do, physically? They sat on private lands, or on (I guess) federal lands where they had a legal right to be, and observed. The only action was phone calls to BP. If that makes them "vigilantes" in any negative sense of the word, then every little old lady who is part of a Neighborhood Watch and is ready to dial 911 is a vigilante.

The Border Patrol guys' comments about who was setting off the alarms first made news about ten days into the planned one-month program. Simcox said from the git-go it was to be a one-month program. April is over. The program did its thing and is over. "Bravery" or "Arizona summer heat" had zilch to do with it.

About the only overt racism was the commentary from the folks at Aztlan that the Mara Salvapetruchas (Spelling?) would go to the Minuteman area and "teach those Gringos a lesson".

I did not bother to browse at http://www.stormfront.org to see if they were advocating joining up with the Minutemen. Simcox stated publicly and often that such people were not welcome.

'Rat
 

Ugg

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Apr 7, 2003
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mactastic said:
I've also heard that they may plan to target employers who hire illegals, which would,IMHO, be a step in the right direction. You'll never stop all the illegals, but if you can force companies who hire them to stop doing it you may make some progress on the problem.
Ah, the American public likes empty displays of bravado, especially when guns are being held high. But, when it comes down to having to pay more for cheap stuff at Walmart due to higher wages, or higher monthly payments to the lawn service, house cleaners, nannies, etc, they'll discreetly ignore illegal immigration. Business won this round, illegal documents can be presented and businesses can claim they did the right thing because all they have to do is have proof of the documents, not verify their legitimacy.

Should these vigilantes start pressuring Walmart or Tyson's or the farmer's in the Central Valley, they'll probably be hit with some obscure Homeland Security law, charging them with terrorism.

The billions of dollars being spent on closing the borders would be better spent in assisting Mexico create jobs. There's no point in attempting to create "Fortress America" when there are desperate people wanting to get in.

The Vigilantes are no more than a prop for gun owning Americans from the midwest. Period.
 

tristan

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Jul 19, 2003
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Give the money to Mexico to create jobs? That's nuts - why would they need jobs if we're giving them money? Canada is right next door to the US and is incredibly prosperous, and is a great place to live. Mexico is right next door, and for some strange reason, their per capita income is 75% lower than ours. Somebody obviously doesn't know how to run a country. Why should we give them our tax dollars?

I'm sympathetic to the Mexicans, but having them sneak across the border by the millions and live here as criminals isn't the answer to anybody's problem. They should apply for a green card like everyone else, and come here legally and pay taxes and be a part of society. And if they can't do that, then they should stay home and work to make their own country a better place. Open borders is just not a sustainable domestic policy, especially post-911.

Craig Barret (of Intel) was right on the money. We let an illegal immigrant stay and give him or her all of our free services (education, health care, etc), and at the same time we're telling people who come here and get a masters or PhD that they have to go home after they graduate. It's ridiculous.
 

mactastic

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Believe me, I've heard plenty of racist statements from Minutemen supporters. Whether or not Simcox publicly disavows them or not has nothing to do with who the rank and file supporters of the Minutemen are.

I'm sure the Sierra Club could preach all the platitudes in the world to you and you'd still say their supporters include many enviro-whackos, right? They tap into that vein of disaffected people, the Minutemen tap into a different one. And I'm not saying that's who makes up the movement exclusively, on either side. But it certainly characterizes a certain subset of those groups.

I'd be highly surprised if these guys actually follow through with a campaign to target employers. That would be bravery. Waving your gun and cell phone at a group of migrant farmworkers and their kids isn't.

Yet it would be even braver of employers to stop looking the other way and stop hiring illegals. Step up and pay the piper. Americans will have to bite the big bullet if we really want to rid our economy of illegal workers. Everything from produce to housing will have to increase drastically in price. That's why the Minutemen can patrol every border they can find and it won't stop the immigrants from coming in. Our government won't do anything about it because business interests won't stand for it. The well-off in the community don't want to do anything about it because it allows them to have a nanny or a housekeeper or a gardener who'll work hard for little pay.

Imagine the hit to our economy if suddenly, or even incrementally, we weeded out all illegal workers and had to pay not only minimum wage, but higher than minimum wage in order to keep experienced hard working employees around. What gringo is going to want to pick strawberries or hoe a field for 10 hours a day for well under $100? What would the bids for construction work look like if you had to pay a white guy $12/hour for laboring work? Where does this labor force come from? Are there enough unemployed, but employable citizens out there?
 

tristan

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Jul 19, 2003
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The "we'll pay more" argument isn't exactly true. When the nanny you hire for $50 a day gets sick, she'll go to an emergency room, and Medicare will pick up the tab. She'll put her two kids in school, which will cost taxpayers about $5000 each. She won't get car insurance, so if she hits your car, your insurance company will pay $3k. When she has her next kid here, they're automatically citizens and eligible for food stamps and medicaid. Her kids will even get pell grants and in-state tuition. So yeah, we will pay more for labor, but other services related costs will go down. Also the nanny doesn't pay social security or income tax. If I hire a US citizen for $100/day, they'll pay the govt $20/day in taxes, which will ultimately reduce my tax burden by another $20 (assuming even distribution).

And we can't get labor cheap enough, then somebody will redesign the task so it takes less labor and more capital. That's why man invented machines - because labor is - and should be - expensive.
 

Xtremehkr

macrumors 68000
Jul 4, 2004
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Like the ACLU don't have enough to do right now.

The Minutemen are pretty much defunct anyway. Need anyone make any "Minutemen" connotative jokes.

Wait while I relive a Dailyshow moment... 'Micro' 'Soft.'

Bwahahaha!, Jon Stewart is the man.
 

takao

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Dec 25, 2003
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while the idea might be interesting at first it is from my experience ( 2 lousy months of "border patrol assistance duty" which i got even a cheap medal for) very likely to fail pretty fast..

the first signs can already be seen the reduced amounts of immigrants who get caught..

the "Schlepper" (german translates to "Pullers" or "Tow-ers") who are earning their money with bringing illegal immigrants across the border are perhaps the fastest adopters out there...

1. what methods of communications do they use: mobil phones ? trackable.. a austrian soldier who get caught with carrying a mobil phone on the border has to pay a hefty fine (150 € from the 400 €/month you get there)
non-encrypted radios with public frequencies ... even worse.. we used digitally encrypted radios with classified frequencies which got changed in changing intervals
and yes the "schlepper" us mobilephone/radio trackers

2. do they change patrol routes/watchout positions regularly and unpredictable ? (we did it every day)
just like us border patrols the 'Schlepper' use nightvision goggles and thermal vision equipment to look out for border patrols

3. it is or could become more dangerous than a lot of people think ... the "Schlepper" (after which we were after mostly) very likely are armed with handguns or even worse

the whole minuteman thing (while couraging) will become counterproductive pretty fast as soon as the "schlepper" learn more from their european counterparts

we were split up in 2 groups: on north towards Slovakia and one in the south towards Hungary
in the north they(police and army assistance force) captured more than 1400 illegal immigrants within 6 weeks while we in the south captured perhaps 1/10 of that.. 3 months earlier it was the opposite and another 4 months earlier it was the same
illegal immigrant movement positions changed wicked fast... sometimes within a week
 

pseudobrit

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I think we should open the borders like we did for the Irish, Italians, Poles, Germans, etc.

Immigration has always been benficial to our nation's health and long-term prosperity.
 

mactastic

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Apr 24, 2003
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tristan said:
The "we'll pay more" argument isn't exactly true. When the nanny you hire for $50 a day gets sick, she'll go to an emergency room, and Medicare will pick up the tab. She'll put her two kids in school, which will cost taxpayers about $5000 each. She won't get car insurance, so if she hits your car, your insurance company will pay $3k. When she has her next kid here, they're automatically citizens and eligible for food stamps and medicaid. Her kids will even get pell grants and in-state tuition. So yeah, we will pay more for labor, but other services related costs will go down. Also the nanny doesn't pay social security or income tax. If I hire a US citizen for $100/day, they'll pay the govt $20/day in taxes, which will ultimately reduce my tax burden by another $20 (assuming even distribution).

And we can't get labor cheap enough, then somebody will redesign the task so it takes less labor and more capital. That's why man invented machines - because labor is - and should be - expensive.
While there will certainly be some offset in savings from reduced public services to illegals, it is completely true that consumer goods, particularly in certain areas of the economy, will see a huge cost increase. With government's penchant for spending any unused tax dollars, I don't see the gains from savings in public services exactly trickling down into my pocket. However if the cost of produce doubles you can bet that will be coming right out of your wallet.

And believe me, if there was a way to make machinery that could do what a human can do in a field of lettuce or strawberries at a reasonable cost it would be in the fields regardless of whether or not there was a source of immigrant labor. I haven't yet seen a machine that can distinguish between a weed and a crop however.
 

Desertrat

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Original poster
Jul 4, 2003
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Terlingua, Texas
Well, mac, machinery seems to do well with corn, wheat, cotton and onions. Cabbage, also. And most of the winter veggies in the A&Poo Feedstore are imported...

Roger1, the Minuteman area must have done fairly well against the drug smugglers. Radio intercepts indicated they were avoiding the area to a much greater extent than in the past.

Ugg, your use of the word "vigilante" is totally uncalled for and is erroneous.

Takao, one problem our law enforcement folks have with some of the "coyotes" (the smugglers of illegals) and the drug smugglers is that they have enough money to buy state-of-the-art night vision and encrypted communications equipment. Some of the smugglers in the area between Del Rio, Texas, and on down below Laredo, Texas, possess and have used fully-autmatic M16 rifles. A few ranches which border the Rio Grande have been subject to forced sale to drug lords. The rancher is offered about double the appraised value of his land, and is told he can be paid in "oro o plombo": Gold or lead. Money or bullets. Others are told that if they hear trucks trespassing across their pastures at night, either stay in bed or come outside and die.

Funny-odd: I've read many threads on this issue on other boards. The only objections are to illegal immigrants. There are almost zero objections to the idea of guest-worker programs or legal, green-card immigrants, and a helluva lot of support.

The idea that a Nazi might be supportive of the Minutemen and thus the Minutemen are evil and racist is the intellectual equivalent of saying that because of the Unabomber we should get rid of environmental protections.

'Rat
 

pseudobrit

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Desertrat said:
Funny-odd: I've read many threads on this issue on other boards. The only objections are to illegal immigrants. There are almost zero objections to the idea of guest-worker programs or legal, green-card immigrants, and a helluva lot of support.
That's because they know there won't be a massive giveaway of greencards and guest-worker programmes keep them segregated and beneath us.

I say welcome them in with open arms and make them full members of our country.
 

mactastic

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Apr 24, 2003
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Desertrat said:
Well, mac, machinery seems to do well with corn, wheat, cotton and onions. Cabbage, also. And most of the winter veggies in the A&Poo Feedstore are imported...
Oh yes, and the factory farms that can afford that equipment do very well. But I don't know of any farm that can completely replace hand labour with machines. Out where I live most of the work of planting and harvesting, not to mention field maintanance, is done by hand because the farms are typically well under 50 acres.

Are you suddenly arguing that immigrant labor isn't really necessary, that employers only do it because they like Mexicans so much?

Also, answer me this: Have you ever seen a machine that could frame a house on site?

Roger1, the Minuteman area must have done fairly well against the drug smugglers. Radio intercepts indicated they were avoiding the area to a much greater extent than in the past.
'Rat, they just went around the Minutemen. You don't think the Minutemen actually prevented any drugs from crossing the US border somewhere do you? They shifted the shipment east or west a little bit and brought it on over. Same with the illegals. The Minutement probably caused an increase in illegal traffic in towns other than the ones they were in.

Their project was symbolic, nothing else. It was designed from the beginning to attract attention to the problem, not solve it.

Funny-odd: I've read many threads on this issue on other boards. The only objections are to illegal immigrants. There are almost zero objections to the idea of guest-worker programs or legal, green-card immigrants, and a helluva lot of support.
I've heard and read enough commentary from folks who simply hate those with non-white skin. They complain that Mexicans come and take their jobs. THEIR JOBS! Like they want to wash dishes for minimum wage, or dig trenches, or hoe row after row of newly-planted crops. So I'd say there is plenty of the rhetoric you say you haven't heard.

If I told you I looked around and couldn't find any reason for gun owners to be nervous about the left taking their rights away, would you tell me to look again, or would you say 'Oh yeah, he's probably right.' ? ;)

The idea that a Nazi might be supportive of the Minutemen and thus the Minutemen are evil and racist is the intellectual equivalent of saying that because of the Unabomber we should get rid of environmental protections.

'Rat
Would you be comfortable supporting the actions of an enviromental group who attracted members of ELF or Earth First! while publicly eschewing violence? Would you possibly comment on that relationship to anyone who was arguing that you should support that group's aims? I think you might mention it...

Look, I'm not entirely against what these guys are doing, but I'm concerned by who's involved. Anti-immigration sentiment is a dangerous one to tap into. A lot of people have been killed because someone whipped up a mob into a frenzy of some flavor of immigrant. Seeing the gun-radicals and the racists flocking to this group's actions is what disturbs me about it, not what they are trying to accomplish. They have their own agendas that may not mesh with the stated goals of the mission.
 

Dont Hurt Me

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Dec 21, 2002
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Its a sad day when the govt and its politicians dont uphold and defend the laws they were sworn in to defend. There is a point where the USA starts and Mexico ends. Vote All Incumbants Out! :D
 

pseudobrit

macrumors 68040
Jul 23, 2002
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Dont Hurt Me said:
Its a sad day when the govt and its politicians dont uphold and defend the laws they were sworn in to defend.
Er... in the case of most of the elected government, their jobs have nothing to do with upholding laws. They write them.
 

Desertrat

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 4, 2003
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Terlingua, Texas
mac, re "Are you suddenly arguing that immigrant labor isn't really necessary..."

No. I have no problem with any orderly and controlled process. For that matter, back when the numbers were quite dramatically lower, I didn't have a lot of problem with disorderly and uncontrolled.

"You don't think the Minutemen actually prevented any drugs from crossing the US border somewhere do you?"

Well, obviously in their area. So, we either need more Minutemen for longer periods along more miles of border, or equivalent numbers of Official Persons.

"Their project was symbolic, nothing else. It was designed from the beginning to attract attention to the problem, not solve it."

Yep. Rep Tancredo couldn't get attention. The resident ranchers couldn't get attention to their plight. Simcox put a deal together which got attention. Whether or not TPTB give a dam for very long is unknown to me.

"I've heard and read enough commentary from folks who simply hate those with non-white skin. They complain that Mexicans come and take their jobs. (Snip) So I'd say there is plenty of the rhetoric you say you haven't heard."

I'm fully aware of the penchant for hatred of otherness. I was startled at the amount of it I saw in NW Florida when I got out of the Army in 1958. I was further startled at the amount when I worked in Detroit in 1962/1963. I guess what I'm saying is that most rational folks lack the hatred but want an organized system with controls over who comes into the US. "Most" as in a helluva lot larger number than the totality of the KKK/Nazi/etc crowd combined.

"Anti-immigration sentiment is a dangerous one to tap into."

Agreed. You'll note that Simcox has strongly commented in favor of legal immigration, and the focus of his commentary, otherwise, has been against the failure of the government to enforce the law.

"A lot of people have been killed because someone whipped up a mob into a frenzy of some flavor of immigrant."

Again, I agree. But Simcox and the Minutemen are not that "someone".

"Seeing the gun-radicals..."

'Scuse me. I'm a moderator at TheHighRoad.org, and regularly visit TheFiringLine.com where I'm "moderator emeritus". That's some 30-ish thousand members between them (sure, some overlap). I don't know that I'd call all of us "gun-radicals", but I do know that the overall consensus is that legality is the issue, not race and not legal immigration.

So, what "gun radicals" are you talking about? Where are they? What Internet sites?

'Rat
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
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Gun Radicals = One Issue Voters

You know who they are and where to find them. Heavy crossover from anti-immigrant groups, anti-government militia types, and survivalists.

Question: Do you believe there are radicals in the environmental movement?

Once again, it's not what these guys are trying to accomplish that I object to; it's the tactic they're taking that I don't like. Put down the guns and focus on the employers, not the immigrants themselves, then I'd be much more inclined to support what these guys are doing.