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Born May 18, 1953; got saved at Truett Memorial BC in Hayesville, NC 1959. On rigged ballot which I did not rig got Most Intellectual class of 71, Gaffney High School. Furman Grad, Sociology major but it was little tougher than Auburn football players had Had three dates with beautiful women the summer of 1978. Did not marry any of em. Never married anybody cause what was available was undesirable and what was desirable was unaffordable. Unlucky in love as they say and even still it is sometimes heartbreaking. Had a Pakistani Jr. Davis Cupper on the Ropes the summer of 84, City Courts, Rome Georgia I've a baby sitter, watched peoples homes while they were away on Vacation. Freelance writer, local consultant, screenwriter, and the best damn substitute teacher of Floyd County Georgia in mid 80's according to an anonymous kid passed me on main street a few years later when I went back to get a sandwich at Schroeders. Had some good moments in Collinsville as well. Ask Casey Mattox at www.clsnet.org if he will be honest about it. I try my best to make it to Bridges BBQ in Shelby NC at least four times a year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Three Burials; Immigration Reform and Baptist Breakouts

Jesus was talking to me on the way from Collinsville to points toward Bham this morning. I passed the place where William Moore was assassinated in 1963; and JFK read about it two days later in NY Times and Sent Bobby Down here to See George.
But I digress. I saw Tommy Lee Jones in Three Burials for Miquel Estrada last night on DVD. I'm on a Tommy Lee kick here lately with Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men which Time said is Number One this year.
Two asides on that. In 1980 Time put Paris Trout in Top Ten. And couple days ago I got a call from out in Texas where an influential revenant said his favorite TLJ line was from Lonesome Dove; not about one of Lori's many pokes; but to the effect you tend to gather the Dust of Those you ride with.
That's Biblical. It was a rejoinder to my choice of No Country: "Point Bein; even in a Contest Between a man and a steer the outcome is not certain."
The Texas Revenant and his brother trade in good sermons. On occasion they share with me, hand me down a DVD or what not. That's how I got the good poem about you know how it is when something different crosses the Threshold.
As they say here in North Alabama; the Mexicans are crossin the border and what are we gonna do about it.
Well to Senator Sessions and his Bishop Willimon and 3rd district Bama's Mike Rogers for One they can watch Three Burials. Watch it close with your heart open to Jesus.
And they can consider whatever affection they profess for Jesus in light of the revelations about how it played recently in Clemson, South Carolina according to Ryan Lizza in the New Yorker; same Ryan Lizza who wrote a master piece on Roger Milliken for tnr.com back in 99.
We know what Roger did in Darlington, South Carolina; already done before Roger Jr. and I were good friends the summer of 1970.
We talked a lot about Nixon.
But New Yorker in Clemson:

After a town-hall meeting in Anderson, South Carolina, he recalled how the Irish were discriminated against in America. As he quoted a placard that hangs on the wall of an aide’s office (“Help Wanted—No Irish Need Apply”), he jabbed his finger in the air with such emphasis that he knocked my voice recorder to the ground and erased our conversation. “It was immigration” that hurt his campaign, he said when he continued, after a series of apologies on both sides. “I understand that. I was told by one of the pollsters, ‘We see real bleeding.’ ”

McCain’s standard answer to immigration questions is that he “got the message.” But every so often this practical McCain, bending to the mood of the primary electorate, gets shoved aside by the quixotic McCain, the one who never seems happier than when he’s championing a lost cause. At one stop in South Carolina, at Clemson University, a student engaged McCain in an argument about whether his plan rewarded illegal immigrants for breaking the law. McCain was by then in a combative mood. Minutes earlier, a professor had asked about a piece of Internet-crime legislation that he argued would group terrorism researchers with actual terrorists. “Am I a terrorist?” the professor asked, his querulous tone suggesting that McCain hadn’t answered the original question. The questioner was wearing tennis shoes, jeans, a pink polo shirt, and a gray blazer, and McCain looked at him carefully. “With those sneakers, you’re not a snappy dresser,” McCain replied after a pause, as audience members gasped and laughed. “That doesn’t mean you’re a terrorist. Though you terrorize the senses.” To the student with the immigration question, McCain patiently explained that some illegal immigrants had faced unusual circumstances, and he mentioned a woman who has lived in the United States for decades and has a son and a grandson serving in Iraq. When the student said that he wanted to see punishment meted out to anyone who has broken the law, McCain stopped trying to find common ground. “If you’re prepared to send an eighty-year-old grandmother who’s been here seventy years back to some country, then frankly you’re not quite as compassionate as maybe I am,” he said. Next question.

Further in the article:
The emergence of Trancredoism as an ideological touchstone for two Republican front-runners is a stunning development, another indication of the Party’s rejection of nearly everything associated with the approach taken by George W. Bush. As a border-state governor, Bush boasted of his relationship with Vicente Fox, who became the President of Mexico, and he and his political adviser Karl Rove later argued that Republicans needed a pro-Latino vision for immigration reform. His strategy of cultivating immigrants as integral to the future of the Party seemed to work, and Bush did surprisingly well with Latino voters: in 2004, he won some forty per cent of their vote—double what Bob Dole achieved just eight years earlier.

And also this:
Anti-immigrant passion also owes much to the disproportionate influence of a few small states in the nominating process. National polls show that, as an issue, immigration is far behind the Iraq war, terrorism, the economy, and health care as a concern to most Americans; a recent Pew poll shows that, nationally, only six per cent of voters offer immigration as the most important issue facing the country. But in Iowa and South Carolina, two of the three most important early states, it is a top concern for the Republicans who are most likely to vote. “It’s the influx of illegals into places where they’ve never seen a Hispanic influence before,” McCain told me. “You probably see more emotion in Iowa than you do in Arizona on this issue. I was in a town in Iowa, and twenty years ago there were no Hispanics in the town. Then a meatpacking facility was opened up. Now twenty per cent of their population is Hispanic. There were senior citizens there who were—‘concerned’ is not the word. They see this as an assault on their culture, what they view as an impact on what have been their traditions in Iowa, in the small towns in Iowa. So you get questions like ‘Why do I have to punch 1 for English?’ ‘Why can’t they speak English?’ It’s become larger than just the fact that we need to enforce our borders.”

And Here in this pivotal portion of the New Yorker piece is why it is so important Robert Parham, Cynthia Tucker, Moyers, Vestal, President Carters and Clinton keep their Fellow Baptist Brother Lindsey Graham around for the Immigration workshop; not so much for the political advantage but that maybe we can all rise above the political moment even without the Likes and Rick Lance and Senator Sessions; but hopefully not without Bishop Willimon and at least one representative of the Morgan family of Northeast Alabama
Here is why it is important Graham with all the symbolism his presence would exude should be on site for this breakout and discussion

Besides McCain, who was the original Republican sponsor of the comprehensive immigration bill, South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham is the Republican most associated with the legislation. Graham negotiated the details of the final version of the bill, which went down to defeat, and as a consequence he has become a target of ridicule on the talk-radio right. On the afternoon of the YouTube debate, Buddy Witherspoon, a Republican National Committeeman, was finishing a two-day tour of South Carolina, announcing his campaign to run against Graham in the June Republican primary. Witherspoon’s sole issue is immigration. After watching McCain’s testy forum at Clemson, I travelled a hundred and twenty miles to see Witherspoon in Aiken, a town of about thirty thousand. I found him setting up for his speech in front of a government office building at the end of an alley that abutted a shopping thoroughfare where tourists occasionally passed in a horse-and-buggy, casting curious glances. Exactly thirteen people were there to listen to him, including a ten-year-old who had accompanied his grandmother.
Dean Allen, a plump and friendly fellow sporting an American-flag tie, told me that he runs something called Spirit of Liberty; he’s also helping Witherspoon’s campaign. “Some of these people may be coming in here to get jobs washing dishes, but some of them are coming in here to hijack airplanes,” he explained. “If you’re down there trying to look at the people coming across the border, maybe a lot of them are just motivated by economics, and they want a job washing dishes or cutting grass. But I can’t tell Jose Cuervo from the Al Qaeda operatives by looking at them, because they cut their beard off. It’s like trying to get fly manure out of pepper without your glasses on, you know? I mean, not a racist thing, but they’re all brown with black hair and they don’t speak English and I don’t speak Arabic or Spanish, so if they don’t belong here and they don’t come here legally, I want to know who’s here.” He echoed McCain’s observation that the anti-immigrant feeling is strongest in states with new Hispanic populations. “The illegal Hispanic population, it’s definitely growing,” he said. “I can tell you just from how many you see when you walk in Wal-Mart, and you drive down the street and you see buildings now with writing in Spanish that says ‘tienda,’ which is Mexican for ‘store.’ You didn’t see that even a year or two ago.”


After speaking for forty-five minutes, Witherspoon walked across the street with me to Tako Sushi and we sat outside, where heat lamps warmed us. Witherspoon is tall and bald, and he spoke quickly, like a man full of opinions he’s been eager to vent. In his speech, he had run through many of the issues that have been festering on the right: the Law of the Sea treaty; an alleged plan to combine Canada, the United States, and Mexico into a super-state; the Patriot Act. But he was most exercised about immigration and about Lindsey Graham’s betrayal on that issue. “There’s a lot of unrest in South Carolina,” he told me gravely. “And people are concerned that the Senator no longer represents the views of mainstream South Carolinians in a lot of ways. Immigration is the No. 1 issue, no question there. We’re concerned about illegal immigrants coming in here and—well, under the Bush Administration, it’s now seven years into his term, and he hasn’t done a lot about it.” He was not impressed by Bush’s big-tent philosophy of courting Hispanics as the future of the Republican Party. “The big tent is great. But that doesn’t mean ’cause it’s a big tent you should include everything under the tent.”
When I talked to Graham a couple of days later, he did not sound alarmed by the Witherspoon challenge. With more than four million dollars in his campaign account, he can afford to be somewhat, but perhaps not entirely, relaxed. His pollster, Whit Ayres, has been monitoring the issue closely, and Graham was eager to share the results. His role in the immigration debate has indeed hurt him. “What’s happened for me is my negatives have gone up about ten points,” he told me. “My approval rating has come down about eight or nine points. That’s the consequence to me.”
But the numbers told another story, too. Graham read me one of the questions that his pollster asked about immigration. The poll tested voters’ opinion of three different proposals to deal with illegal immigrants: “arrest and deport”; “allow them to be temporary workers, as long as they have a job”; “fine them and allow them to become citizens only if they learn English and get to the back of the line.” In two separate polls, the majority supported the third option. The average for the first option was only twenty-six per cent.
“What it tells me is that the emotion of the twenty-six per cent is real, somewhat understandable, but if not contained could destroy our ability to grow the Party,” he said. “And I don’t think you need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that if you’re going to win a general election you have to do well with Hispanic voters as a Republican.” He continued, “My concern is that we’re going to have an honest but overly emotional debate about immigration, and we’ll say things for the moment, in the primary chase, that will make it very difficult for us to win in November. There’s a fine line between being upset about violating the law and appearing to be upset about someone’s last name.”

The Full article can be clicked here
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/12/17/071217fa_fact_lizza?currentPage=4



Back to Fox The New Baptist Covenant is meeting in Atlanta last weekend of January. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, also given a lot of ink in the Newyorker.com piece is having a breakout on the matter Friday afternoon. Bill Moyers will be there that weekend as well. He and Lindsey Graham should read the New Yorker piece before Atlanta and arrange their schedules to be there for the Breakout.

Welcoming a Stranger
Thursday, January 31 2 - 3:15 p.m. and 3:45 – 5 p.m. Richard Munoz – Director, The Immigration Service and Aid Center (ISAAC), Dallas, TexasFriday, February 1 2 - 3:15 p.m. and 3:45 – 5 p.m. Daniel Carro – Latino/Hispanic Kingdom Advance Ambassador, VBMB, Annandale, Virginia Richard Wilson – Columbus Roberts Professor of Theology and Chair of Christianity Department, Mercer University, Macon, Georgia



If I keep my nerve I will ask the Alabama Senators about Jesus and the politics of it all in the next few months.
On this matter I will need the help of Matthew Morgan and his smart brothers and his Dad; even some of the influential politicians in their congregation.
Bishop Willimon can help. A friend in Georgia is taking Richard Land to the altar.
Here is public notice.
Come back after Christmas and I will drop some more names.
When you look in the Manger, this Christmas, see if you don't see an immigrant in there and ask yourself are you doing Justice by the powerless one.
Ask yourself if as a Christian a simple thing for you to do is at a minimum ask whoever your Sessions is if The Dream Act isn't a first major step in the right direction.

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