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Loser Nation by Greg Palast

After our recent discussion on the immigration issue, Greg Palast's recent article struck a truth. We have been given permission to post it here.  Please pass it along.



Tuesday, April 11, 2006
by Greg Palast

America is a nation of losers. It's the best thing about us. We're the dregs, what the rest of the world barfed up and threw on our shores.

John Kennedy said we are "a nation of immigrants." That's the sanitized phrase. We are, in fact, a nation of refugees who, despite the bastards in white sheets and the know-nothings in Congress, have held open the Golden Door to a dark planet.

Looking out at the temptest-tossed sea of protesting immigrants today, I finally figured out what's wrong with George Walker Bush. He's so far away from his refugee loser roots that he just doesn't get what it is to be American. So he steals the one thing that every American is handed off the boat: a chance. It's not just the immigrants denied a green card. When Bush threatens to take away your Social Security; when Bush's oil wars hike the price of crude and threaten your union-scale job at the airline; when Bush tells you sleeper cells are sleeping under your staircase, you don't take chances anymore -- you lose your chance -- and the land of opportunity becomes a landscape of fear, an armed madhouse.

You want to say that George W. Bush is an evil sonovabitch? I'd go further: he's UN-AMERICAN.

And that's why he lost the election. Twice.

I'll stick with the losers. Take one, Anna, from Poland, who snuck across the US border near Windsor, Ontario. She was grabbed by La Migra -- 80 years later -- just short of her 100th birthday.

My father told Immigration, "OK, send her back." They didn't.

Grandma Anna taught me what two million marchers this week are trying to teach that slow learner, George W.: In America, it's not where you come from that counts, it's where you're going.

Greg Palast is the author of Armed Madhouse: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War, to be released in June, from which this commentary is adapted. To view Palast's investigative reports for BBC Television, go to www.GregPalast.com

Posted by Charlene Johnston on April 17, 2006 at 10:04 PM | Permalink


While I was reading a newsletter from the SPIN Project that discussed the immigration issue and how well the immigrant rights movement is going, they showcased a problem with popular language used to describe the situation. It reminded me of the point that Bob raised in Tom Hughes' guest blog last night, so it may be of interest.

"The word 'illegal' is still used as a noun to describe immigrants without legal authorization to live and work in the US. Even news stories generally friendly toward immigrants use the term. Hopefully, we can educate journalists about the hate and danger behind this" word.

Posted by: Charlene | Apr 18, 2006 1:04:47 PM

In this neck of the woods we call them migrant or seasonal workers. Most come during apple picking time, but some are day laborers for construction firms - of course non-union.
The seasonal workers live in cinder block buildings - that's just about it. Water, sanitation - perhaps, no heat. Still, they come for that "chance" - that opportunity to improve their lives. They are going someplace.
I agree with Greg - you can't get too far away from your [shady] roots - without your ego exploding!

Posted by: Bob | Apr 19, 2006 2:30:33 PM

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