An Open Letter in Response to Governor Heineman’s Letter

Dear Governor Heineman,

My name is Ryan Syrek. You don’t know me. At least I think you don’t know me… If you read this blog, you have to tell me, but I know we don’t hang out much. I’m not saying that hurts my feelings, but it’d be nice if you returned at least one of my Snapchats.

I’m writing you today because of your letter. You know, the one where you rail against the “illegal unaccompanied alien children.” Boy howdy, Davey, are you sure you couldn’t squeeze one more derogatory adjective in there? I mean it seems like somewhere between “unaccompanied” and “alien” there was room for something like “smelly” or “scary” or, more to what I believe is secretly your point here, “brown.”

Now, the ACLU and local groups are all up in yo ass about the ridiculous invasive requests you’ve made. I believe you ran afoul of people when you asked for “the names of the alien children; their alien identification numbers and dates; their sponsors’ names and addresses; and the immigration status of their sponsors.” For the record, you left out “blood type, favorite Menudo member (they’re like the Hispanic Beatles), willingness to vote GOP despite it not being in their best interest should they become citizens, and preferred side of the bed.”

For a party that likes to have small government, one that tightens its collective sphincter at the thought of having a national gun registry, one that constantly compares President Obama’s tenure to oppressive regimes, asking for this information feels like, what’s the word I’m looking for here…oh, right, bullshit.

I don’t know much about the sponsors these kids are with, but I’m guessing they volunteered to help, as the last I checked we can’t force people to do such a thing. So that last part, where you ask for all the details on the sponsors, that’s especially effed up. You basically are saying “I want to know everything about people willing to help refugee children so I can potentially harass them.” You know, like Jesus would do!

The reason for your unprecedented concern is that you’re allegedly worried about this being a threat to “the health and safety of our communities.” I know that I can personally think of literally nothing more terrifying than a refugee child who has no possessions, is likely undernourished, has no family, and is scared. Why, it’ll be a miracle if the 200 of them don’t seize the capitol building and declare this whole state New New Mexico!

You end with a whiz-banger, Dave. “Both the adjudication and return of these individuals to their countries of origin are the responsibility of the federal government.” In Larry the Cable Guy speak, you want to “Ship their asses back to MEH-HEE-CO!” But as I talked about on Tuesday, these are kids fleeing the worst places in the world. They are children running from places like Nicaragua, where their friends are beheaded if they don’t join gangs. These are places like Honduras, which has the highest murder rate in the world. These are places so bad, so terribly violent, they would rather ride this:

Train of Death

This is the “Train of Death.” They call it THE TRAIN OF DEATH. So these kids look around, they see what their home looks like, and they think “I would RATHER ride THE TRAIN OF DEATH.”

Dave, you are the lamest of lame ducks when it comes to this one. No matter how many times you use the term alien to refer to children (none of which share DNA with ET or Alf), you can’t strip the humanity from them. These are not “illegal unaccompanied alien children.” These are refugee children.

If we were to call them that, things dramatically change. The legal protections for refugees are different than those for “illegal unaccompanied alien children.” If your letter did anything, it should be to plead for that!

But that’s not why I’m writing this open letter to you. I’m writing it because I want an answer. Do you believe that the cost of 200 children, whatever it is, to be safe from hell on earth is too much? Do you believe that it’s more important to follow bureaucratic channels, legislative hurdles, and state vs federal hierarchies than it is to keep CHILDREN from suffering?

How about this, an even better question: Do you truly believe this harms ANY Nebraskan in ANY way? Was I just about to receive a fat check from the state before Johnny Centralamerica was moved here? Do our cornfed boys and girls born and raised in this great state now miss out on some opportunity?

You’re scoring political points on the backs of suffering refugee children. I mean, mother of God, that is some BIBLICALLY EVIL SHIT! Like, somewhere Satan is down in hell going “Too far, Dave. Too far.” By my count, you’ve now spent at least a week almost exclusively focused on this one issue, an issue that has no practical bearing on Nebraskans’ lives. You’ve committed yourself to the most anti-christian position next to “guy who prepares the Satanist sacrifices.” And now you’ve gone so far to the right with this offensive letter, JEFF FORTENBERRY wouldn’t sign on. That guy would piss himself on command for the GOP.

In closing, check yourself, Dave. These are kids. These are kids who are suffering. These are kids who need help. The right answer isn’t “Tell me everything you can about them and anyone helping them and then send them back to hell.” The answer is to be compassionate and try to work positively to help them.

Why is it that your party is so quick to anger and judgment and not kindness and empathy? If you said, “I agree, we can’t send these kids back to die, but let’s talk other plans” it’d be so different. But you don’t. You whip up frenzied anger. That sucks. And you suck for doing it.

In conclusion, please reconsider your inexplicably hardline stance against children. Also, if you send me a Snapchat with a funny doodle on it, I promise not to screenshot it.

Sincerely,
Ryan

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4 thoughts on “An Open Letter in Response to Governor Heineman’s Letter

  1. Hi Ryan,
    This must be an issue you feel incredibly passionate about, that is great! I think there are some egregious assumptions however in your open letter. Often, I hear from colleagues and acquaintances that lean left how “right” Europe does things. Typically this is in reference to policies on healthcare and economics, which no offense to Europe but I personally prefer our economic system. Anywho, I often find myself wondering, if Europe does it “right” why do we not talk about their border policies? They don’t just let people come into their country. There is a process that one must follow in order to become a citizen. It would seem to me that they take a more “conservative” approach to people open migrating into their country, so do they have this wrong? Now, I typically enjoy your write ups, they are the right combination of satire and seriousness, but this open letter seems to take the most drastic stance against anyone opposing open borders and demean those people as heartless, greedy, and UN-christian. I have to ask, what do you make of this:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/glenn-beck-immigration-border-radio-show-108911.html

    and this is where we will begin to disagree. I believe we as a people do have a duty to look out for our fellow man. These poor children are not at fault, and they can’t be faulted for wanting to make a better life for themselves. I would ask, is it admirable to have the government do the bidding of helping these people out? Why can’t you and I contribute to non profits that are set up to help these refugee children? I would think you’d feel like your resources were being better allocated if you went this route. Just telling congress to pass a few billion dollar bill and calling it good doesn’t really get to the core of helping these people out, and additionally it does not take courage to have the government take money and send it to people. What does take courage is looking at an already tight budget, and deciding to cut back on a few things in your month, like going out to dinner, shopping, etc. and allocate those funds to an organization devoted to helping these people. I understand your position that certain people on the right have been improperly handling this situation at the border in the past, but it aggravates me that you overlook incredibly passionate acts by someone like Beck, and portray everyone on the right as a monster. Also, where is the acknowledgement of obama’s shortcomings in handling this border crisis. Were you not the least bit frustrated that he went down to Texas for a fundraiser and failed to even visit the crisis? He was a hop, skip, and jump away from it all!

    You laid out a good article a couple weeks back that talked about political conversations sucking. I have no problem pointing at people on my “side” of the aisle and calling them out for their wrongdoings. To start, we’ll go with grey bush sr and jr, mccain, graham, king, cantor( so glad he’s out), porker, mcconnell, rove and that’s just a start. These crony capitalists have caused so much trouble it’s despicable that they still exist in our positions of leadership. What irks me is that in reading many posts and having many conversations with people that say they’re on the other “side” is that they rarelycall their own out! I don’t know that I recall a time in any of your posts where you’re calling out your own “side” for their wrongdoings. How are we ever to move to compromise when one side is expected to come all the way over to the other side? That goes against the logic of the meaning of compromise 🙂 .

    Wrapping up I would ask how you think the best policy for immigration can be implemented? I would have to agree, the current process is far too cumbersome and expensive to be taking seriously so it definitely needs to be modified. I know you’re a fan of the train of thought, people are crazy, as we went back awhile ago and my libertarian ideas were squashed because you said people are too crazy to be trusted, hence regulation equates to a good thing. Now I’m wondering, if we apply that logic to this immigration situation, wouldn’t you say that we should at least know what someone is going to do before we make them a citizen of our country? If people are crazy, then we should try to keep the most crazy out, correct? These being the ones that violate universally accepted no-no’s, like stealing, murdering, raping, pillaging, etc. just wondering how you would go about changing this up?

    Thanks,
    Chris

    • Often, I hear from colleagues and acquaintances that lean left how “right” Europe does things.

      – Sure. You just didn’t hear that from me! 🙂

      I have to ask, what do you make of this: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/glenn-beck-immigration-border-radio-show-108911.html

      – I think that it places the concept of a cohesive family above the reality of the situation facing people in these countries. They are refugees fleeing from terror.

      I would ask, is it admirable to have the government do the bidding of helping these people out? Why can’t you and I contribute to non profits that are set up to help these refugee children?

      – A few things: 1.) The government is in the best position to help. 2.) Nonprofits can’t get people placed in safe areas. 3.) The majority of nonprofits waste money and are unsuccessful. 4.) If we’re not okay, especially Christians, with tax dollars helping kids, what are we okay with? The fallacy here is that there’s an alternative. There isn’t. This is a RIGHT NOW issue that can’t be dealt with “down the road” thinking.

      Just telling congress to pass a few billion dollar bill and calling it good doesn’t really get to the core of helping these people out, and additionally it does not take courage to have the government take money and send it to people. What does take courage is looking at an already tight budget, and deciding to cut back on a few things in your month, like going out to dinner, shopping, etc. and allocate those funds to an organization devoted to helping these people.

      – You have this belief, as many libertarians do, that the individual is in position to help. They aren’t. What I would propose is that instead of the individuals in this country, the majority of whom have fallen out of the middle class, bearing the burden for this, we let the government cut corporate welfare and give that money to refugee kids.

      I understand your position that certain people on the right have been improperly handling this situation at the border in the past, but it aggravates me that you overlook incredibly passionate acts by someone like Beck, and portray everyone on the right as a monster.

      – God no. Not everybody on the right is a monster! Just their elected officials who pander to the extreme base in order to win elections in the primaries. Thank you, Tea Partiers. Look, Beck is doing BETTER than before, but he’s still wrong about sending these kids home. Period.

      Also, where is the acknowledgement of Obama’s shortcomings in handling this border crisis. Were you not the least bit frustrated that he went down to Texas for a fundraiser and failed to even visit the crisis? He was a hop, skip, and jump away from it all!

      – No. It didn’t bother me at all. He already asked congress for money, has begged for reform that he can’t himself bring to the table, and the policy that’s slowing everything down is from the Bush era. Him going to the wall would have been a photo op for the right.

      I don’t know that I recall a time in any of your posts where you’re calling out your own “side” for their wrongdoings. How are we ever to move to compromise when one side is expected to come all the way over to the other side? That goes against the logic of the meaning of compromise .

      – The perspective of this blog is that I live amidst a sea of red. I have no shortage of the “other side’s” opinion but can’t find my own locally no matter how hard I try. If you want the criticisms of my side, turn on any local radio station, pick up the paper, talk to a neighbor, anything. I would tell you that as much as you haven’t seen me CRITICIZE my own side, you also have only really seen me CHAMPION one person, and that’s Chuck Hassebrook, because I fully support him. For the record, I spend the majority of my time fighting off fellow liberals who want me to “tone it down” while I get in my car and hear on local talk shows discussions of ridiculous positions regarding “Obama’s tyranny.” To put it another way, one not need BE balance to help PROVIDE balance. I’m trying to offset the other side that yells in a Nebraskan echo chamber with no response. I’m not here to show both sides. I’m here to show the OTHER side in the hopes that people out there can have an understanding of both sides.

      Wrapping up I would ask how you think the best policy for immigration can be implemented?

      -The problem is, we can’t even have that discussion. Cantor was shitcanned for CONTEMPLATING Immigration Reform. To me, it’s very simple: We have to have a path to citizenship. Laugh at the comparison, but no white person is here legally in a moral sense. We took this land from the natives and declared that the starting point of this area, which is horseshit. The least we can do is provide a path by which those here illegally can become legal.

      I know you’re a fan of the train of thought, people are crazy, as we went back awhile ago and my libertarian ideas were squashed because you said people are too crazy to be trusted, hence regulation equates to a good thing. Now I’m wondering, if we apply that logic to this immigration situation, wouldn’t you say that we should at least know what someone is going to do before we make them a citizen of our country? If people are crazy, then we should try to keep the most crazy out, correct? These being the ones that violate universally accepted no-no’s, like stealing, murdering, raping, pillaging, etc. just wondering how you would go about changing this up?

      – If we soften our standards, ease the time to legal citizenship, offer a path to citizenship (that measures for crazy or dangerous), I’m good with that.

  2. Hi Ryan,
    I must ask, him going to bar and shooting pool with a beer in his hand later that night…that’s not a photo op for the right?

    We will always agree on the crony capitalists being a sinkhole, and that I think would be fixed by issuing term limits and enabling the flat tax system. Your take on the individual just doesn’t make sense to me though. You say we’re crazy, that we need to be regulated, yet these are mere people that run in public office. They too are crazy man! How else do you explain senators that have never worked in the private market their entire lives becoming millionaires? Clearly they are getting some additional padding from somewhere. Harry Reid is the perfect example of that. It goes both ways and is equally despicable, and that is why term limits would kick ass!

    To say that nonprofits waste money and are unsuccessful…c’mon man, don’t make me laugh too hard. Is uncle sam not the most prolific money waster in the history of the world?

    I’m in agreement with you on the path to immigration reform. I would also add that we make it less expensive as well. I haven’t done much research, but awhile back when I was a banker, a latino family I assisted gave me a price around 4K as the fees they’d face to become legalized. Not sure of the validity of that price, but that seems terrible to me. It’s not like we won’t steal at least that amount in tax dollars eventually from the newly legalized citizen. That’s a whole new topic for discussion, but if our taxes keep going up, nobody is going to want to migrate here 🙂

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