Are you familiar with the Minuteman Project? This isn't a secret missile project, or even a study of faulty male plumbing. "The Minuteman Project (MMP) is a citizens' Vigilance Operation monitoring immigration, business, and government." Oh, and by the way, they are "Americans doing the jobs Congress won't do."
And just what job would that be? Securing our borders. Well, they're pretty much okay with the stray Canadian or two wandering into Montana by mistake - Minutemen watching the border up north won't be wearing sidearms, but the flood of illegal immigration from down south - well that's another matter. Don Goldwater, a Republican candidate for Arizona governor, said he had a message for President Bush"Build us that wall now!" Yes, ladies and gentlemen, just a scant quarter century after Ronald Reagan's impassioned plea for Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall, we have the nephew of the late Barry Goldwater promising that if elected, he would put illegal immigrants in a tent city on the border and use their labor to build the wall. Apparently these folks' sense of outrage has become so highly developed that they can no longer sense irony.
Jim Gilchrist, Minuteman-in-command had this to say about last week's demonstrations in Los Angeles (and elsewhere): "These armies of bused-in demonstrators who have converged on Los Angeles, most of whom are in the U.S. illegally, are demanding citizen rights, privileges, and benefits, and threatening that if their demands are not met, then the ultimatum is anarchy." I'm wondering when the last time Jim visited the screaming Metropolis and melting pot that is New York City. I wonder if he has ever considered the three hundred foot reminder of some of our country's principles, standing out on the eponymously named Liberty Island (another case of immigration related name-change, it was once "Bedloe's Island"). A plaque with the text of the poem "The New Colossus" was mounted in 1903 on the inner wall of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. Written by American poet Emma Lazarus , the most famous lines read: "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Chris Simcox, the Minuteman group's national leader, said four watering stations placed by the group Humane Borders to keep migrants from dying in the desert will be among the sites under surveillance. Last year, more than 400 people died trying to cross the desert, many from dehydration or heat exposure, according to the U.S. Border Patrol.
"We watch them all the time," Simcox said of the water stations. "It's a great place to report illegal activities." Is it just me, or does this start to conjure up mental images of Wile E. Coyote setting out "Free Bird Seed" signs to catch road runners?
My favorite thing about the Minuteman site? I finally have an answer to the problem with education here in the United States: "The education system is being destroyed by anti-American teachings that encourage the destruction of the constitution." I'm not sure, but I think they're talking about algebra.