I wanted to talk a little bit about something that was bothering me on the way home from work tonight. Allow me to be serious for a moment or two and then I promise it’ll be right back to t-shirts and video games.

What was bugging me were the things that a certain Houston area radio DJ was saying. Today the hot-button topic in the news is the immigration package being passed through congress. While my personal opinion on the matter is that if people want to come here, it should be legally, end of story, I’m always open to hearing diverging opinions from other people.

So, since I’ve practically disabled the FM button on my car stereo, I occasionally listen to the news AM station, mostly for the traffic report for my commute home. While I’m waiting to hear about what massive traffic jam I’m headed towards, this moronic talk show host is going on and on about “immigration reform”. He was debating with a caller about what will happen if people are allowed to stay here under that guest worker program. His caller was concerned about criminals and terrorists being here, being allowed to stay and not being monitored. The host said something to the effect of “well, that’s while we’ll just have to monitor their every move.” To which the caller responded, “if they become American citizens, what about their right to privacy?” “Americans don’t have a right to privacy, reread you constitution” says the host.

I had to turn the radio off.

First of all, I don’t consider myself extreme in either (left or right) direction. I think people who shouldn’t be here should be sent home, made to fill out the correct form, and wait in line just like everyone else did 100 years ago. People came to this country by the boatloads, sat in lines for days, filled out paperwork, and became Americans. I don’t see any reason why people need to skirt that and run/swim across a boarder. But that’s not what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about privacy. It seems Mr. Radio Host needs to reread the constitution himself. While the articles don’t expressly state “thou shall have privacy” there is the very important and often overlooked 9th Amendment.

It states:

“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

That means that whatever rights are spelled out shouldn’t negate those that aren’t. Basically, some rights are assumed simply because we exist. My right to eat, not spelled out. My right to walk through a park, not spelled out. My right to play video games until 2am, not spelled out. Yet all of these rights are mine, and no one can take them away. Just because our forefathers didn’t expressly state that everyone had a right to go to the bathroom, doesn’t mean its not so. Some rights they felt were just basic human rights and didn’t need to be spelled out. I believe privacy is one of those rights.

Sadly, people have begun to forget that they have rights like this. Ever since our War on Terror began, people politicians have been more than ready to trade things like privacy for a little false sense of security. Sure, we could theoretically tap everyone’s phones, monitor the internet, and install Orwellian security systems in hopes of catching a few bad guys, but at the end of the day, bad guys are still out there and you’ve created a place where no one can do anything without looking over their shoulder. “But they shouldn’t be worried unless they have something to hide” say conservatives. True, but everyone has things that, while legal, they want to hide. Should it be public knowledge who goes to what doctor for what reason? Should it be public knowledge what lingerie story someone goes into to buy something for his/her spouse? Where’s the line? Who collects that information? Who gets to see it?

This is all slippery slope material that I’ll save for another time. My point was that we DO have the right to privacy. Everyone should enjoy and cherish that right. If, by legal means, someone comes to this country and becomes a citizen, then they too have the right to privacy, and just because they became a citizen in 2007 and not 1927, doesn’t mean they have that right to any lesser degree.

That last statement might confuse people when taken with my earlier statement about the finality of the law. Allow me to explain. I don’t support a “guest worker program”, I certainly don’t support “amnesty” but I also don’t think that we should hunt down and shoot people without papers. This isn’t German and we’re not cleansing the ghetto. Some conservatives would have you believe that these people are nothing but a drain on our economy. Some liberals would say that if they’re here, their kids were born here, we can’t send them home. They’re both full of shit.

First off, to all those people complaining that it’ll be a drain on health care, health care is hard core fucked up in the first place. The fact that anyone, white, black, hispanic, martian, whatever has to wait hours in an emergency room for help is complete bullshit. Maybe, instead of saying that all these people will be a drain on the system, we should fix the frigging system. There are plenty of causes to blame for the trouble we’re in all ready, we don’t need to be creating more. Second, on the other side of the coin, we sure as hell can (and should) send some of them back. If you’ve been here for years, started a family, own a house, all that crap, you should have applied a long long time ago. I have little to no sympathy for people who don’t follow basic laws like that. Yes, your children are Americans, good for them, now take them with you when you go home. When you get back there, turn around, fill out some paper work and come back the correct way. Since your kids are already citizens, that’s one less form they’ll have to fill out.

I don’t mind anyone coming here. Just fill out the forms and try your best to not be a burden on society. I think that’s what most people are worried about. That people will come here in the hundreds of thousands and sit around and do nothing. Guess what, that’s when you change the welfare system to not allow that. Change the disability system while you’re at it too. You want people to not be worthless lay-abouts, don’t give them the money to do that. White people can be just as lazy as hispanic people. If you make people work, or (gasp!) help them find jobs, then they can’t sit around and do nothing.

Here’s an idea. Make everyone who’s on welfare work X number of hours in a DPS road crew. Picking up trash on a highway for money for food seems like a fair trade. People on disability? Surely there’s a desk job they can do, how about 911 operators or police dispatchers? There are millions of people getting paid to do nothing and millions of jobs no one is doing, does anyone else see where I’m going with this? If we’re worried about people being a drain on the country, how about we give them something to do. What a novel concept.

I’m sorry, I’ve gone off on a tangent. This whole imigration thing just has me ticked off. One side demands right this instant while they’ve done nothing to deserve them. The other side wants to put up fences and gun turrets and they’re completely paranoid.

Remember, privacy IS a right. Oh, and vote Perry in ’08.