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Los Gladiators and the Fall of Phoenix

Has anyone seen the Spartacus mini-series on Starz?  The first 10 episodes is mainly about Spartacus getting enslaved, abused, seeing his wife murdered, becoming a mindless gladiator, having visions, and the break-out scene. 

In it, much is made of the gladiators making money to earn their freedom.  Meanwhile, Roman citizens use the gladiators.  Rich women with too much time on their hinds use them for sex and watch them have sex with other slaves.  Pre-pubescent boys have gladiators fight and kill each at birthday parties much in the same way that Elmo might show up at a party today.

Political influence and economic power is gained and lost based on the success of the athletes.  Politicians fund stadiums with taxpayer funds and the fans show up and cheer.

Poor citizens were kept "fat, dumb, and happy" with free bread, free running water, government-sponsored athletic spectacles and rampant vice.

The "barbarians" (who are called that because they don't speak Latin and allegedly sound like sheep baa-baa-ing) are good enough to fight in wars at slave wages but are not good enough to stand up for their own families or become Roman citizens.  They really didn't want to invade Rome so much as they wanted to be Roman and enjoy the privileges of Roman citizenship -- it is questionable as to whether the Roman economy could have taken the weight.

Los Suns?

I was at a Season Ticket Holder Meeting a little while ago and one of the suggestions was "more access to the players" -- i.e., they should be forced to spend time with us at events and sign hats and shirts and stuff because we pay good money to watch them play.  Not quite forced fornication or party appearances, but along the same vein.

Taxpayer money subsidizes stadiums and arenas, which in turn subsidizes players' salaries.

The Roman Empire had a military empire that fell under its own weight.  Today, economic imperialism probably has a greater impact that the guns and bombs.  I'm not sure how that's holding up.

We've got illegal immigrants that keep our some of our base industries (agriculture and construction) running at a low rate.  Although we like to think we are in a service-based industries, we've seen that house of cards fall.  An economy actually needs to "produce" something.

Some of these persons want to live in America.  Some are willing to die to get here.  Many of those properly percieve (because that's how they are treated, not how they should be treated) that they are treated as "second class" (I almost wrote "second class citizens" but that would be innaccurate).  Some come over illegally with the sole purpose of committing crime.  Some come over illegally to be exploited and send a pittance back home.  Few are willing to do that which is required to become a U.S. citizen.

Industry wants them without any sort of Guest Worker Program because it would mean increased wages, insurance and taxes -- even if the Guest Workers were not afforded all of the benefits of an American-Citizen Worker.  Government likes to keep Census numbers high as an excuse to increase "government programs" -- i.e., largesse and inefficiency and more government control.

Meanwhile, we cheer and clap at the spectacle in the arena.

In order to boost ticket sales, the owners of the athletes open their arms to any demographic with the funds to purchase their wares.  Sometimes, it is a simple recognition of a cultural identity (heck, the Gorilla dresses up as a leprechaun in March to give out lottery tickets).  Sometimes, it is a larger outpouring of an invititation -- like Hispanic Week/Night in the NBA.

Sometimes, it is a patronizing statement to a community.  It's funny how sometimes the argument is, "We need a change and at least this is something" (socialized, government-run healthcare), but other times, the argument is, "Yeah, we need a change, but this is not it and I'm not going to offer any solutions."

Meanwhile, however, let's make the disaffected community like us better.

Right, wrong or indifferent, 11-1051(B) says:

For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official ... where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the imigration status of the person ...

"Lawful contact" means that you cannot be radomly stopped or profiled.  Understandably, one may argue that this creates the potential for abuse.  True.  Very true.  Did you know that you can be stopped for weaving within your own lane of traffic because it is one of dozens of potential indicators of DUI?  So, if you're not driving perfectly straight, you can get pulled over.  Who is protesting that?

Next, the cop needs to have a "reasonable suspicion" that someone is an alien.  Again, there is a potential for profiling.  Serial killers are profiled.  Terrorists are profiled.  Every criminal is profiled.  When searching for someone who has committed a crime, every rookie cop tries to figure out "who might have done something like this."  It's done all the time.  Good and bad.  Huge potential for abuse.  Just like every other law, however.

If a cop has a "reasonable suspicion" that your house is being robbed, he/she is entitled to investigate further.  The cop can watch the guy casing your house and investigate.  This has been the law for decades.  Here, if the cop has a "reasonable suspicion" he/she can investigate.  The problem with this law is that the best way for "reasonable suspicion" to arise, especially in Arizona, is to simply see someone who has brown skin and/or does not speak the language.

Then, there's the whole "checking papers" thing, which is scary.  That bugs me a lot, and I'd imagine it bugs a lot of others.

However, how do you enforce the law?  What other process is there?  Until the voters decide to take the immigration laws off the books, they need to be enforced.  To argue that there is "potential for abuse" is a hollow argument.  There is "potential for abuse" every time you give a 21-year old a few months of training, a badge and a sidearm.  Oddly enough, most cops -- just like most everyone else -- are good people with good consciences.  That's probably one of the biggest reasons it is news (i.e., something out of the ordinary) when you see a cop doing something wrong.

Or, you could also change things around -- amend the law.  Don't remove it, but fix it.

Who knows what the answer is? 

It's not, however, going to be an easy one to find when you've got persons on the left and the right who benefit from the status quo, and a population trying to get closer to their idols.  These same idols are a source of civic pride and subsidized by the fat, the dumb and the happy. 

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