If he hadn’t been there, she’d still be alive.

If he’d been handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and kicked back to Mexico (again), he wouldn’t have been there.

If San Francisco weren’t a sanctuary city, the cops would have handed him over to ICE like they were supposed to.

If ICE were better at its job, it would have had the right kind of warrant and San Francisco would have handed him over despite being a sanctuary city. Actually, if ICE were better at its job he wouldn’t have been in the country at all. Maybe once, but then he’d have been deported and that would have been that, if things were managed right.

If we had a wall…

No, not just a wall. A force field. A dome-shaped shield covering the whole of the United States, and you could come through it if you were a real American or, okay, even someone with the right kind of relationship with a real American, but if you were, say, a rapist or a drug dealer or a Muslim, you’d get caught once, and then we’d inject this tiny microchip into you. Into the back of your neck, say, at the base of your skull … or maybe all the way deep into your brain, and then fix it there somehow in a way that makes it impossible to remove without leaving a hole in the precise part of your brain that you most definitely don’t want a hole in. Like the sex part, or the part that makes you breathe.

And if you ever tried to cross the force field, the microchip would activate and your head would explode – BOOM! SPLAT! – just like that. Now that would be cool – and it would work, too. If they figured out a way to do it I bet it would work.

eric andre mind blown GIF by The Eric Andre Show

Anyway, the thing is, if things were being handled right he wouldn’t have been there, sitting on the park bench, and he wouldn’t have picked up the bundle someone left under the bench, and the gun wouldn’t have gone off, and the bullet wouldn’t have ricocheted, and Kate Steinle wouldn’t have died while out minding her own business and taking a walk with her father.

Her poor father – can you imagine? A sunny afternoon, out for a stroll on the pier, and suddenly bang! and she stumbles forward and starts to fall, scarlet flowering on her back, “Daddy, help me!” – those were her last words. The last thing she said to him. “Daddy, help me!” – only he couldn’t. He couldn’t breathe for her.

That wetback beaner bastard murdered her, plain and simple.


Oh no, don’t start with that bullshit. You think him being there wasn’t premeditated? You think he didn’t think about what he was doing every damn time he slithered over the border? Anyway – look – “during the commission of another serious crime” – he was an illegal, for fucksake. Just by being there on that bench he was committing a crime. Oh – it’s not serious enough for you? Read the definition! “Robbery” – what do you think those fuckers are doing, coming over here, stealing our jobs, getting free healthcare, free education, paid for with our tax dollars –

It was murder.

And they let him off with “illegal possession of a firearm.”

What the fuck do you mean, that doesn’t make sense to you either? He’s a felon, for fucksake. Felons are not allowed to possess firearms.


Exactly. He was holding it. It doesn’t matter that he claims he didn’t know what it was. He got his hands on it. That’s possession, even by your own definition.

Anyway, there’s one good thing that came out of it: people are paying attention to the immigration situation and all the illegals. And the American people have finally chosen a leader who will do something about it. We are done with being robbed and raped in our own country.

Yeah, yeah – I know her parents don’t like that her death has been “politicized”. But she’s a public figure now. She belongs to America now, not just them.

We’re all mourning her, not just them.

We’re all mad about what happened to her – and I don’t get how her father can say he’s not mad. Did you see that interview?Β It was online – just google it. He says he hasn’t felt one moment of anger and he doesn’t want revenge.

I mean, seriously, that’s just weird. That’s not natural.

But, whatever – at least we are angry for her – we care enough about what happened to her to want vengeance – and we have a president who knows how to use anger to get people moving, so it’s worth it, I guess, if you look at the big picture. Because we the people are finally taking America back, and we’re kicking those fuckers out. They don’t belong here.

Except, of course, now this guy – what’s his name – Jose Garcia Zarate – he gets to stay. You can bet he’s happy about that! Only three years for murdering a beautiful American girl.

You know what really sucks? I read somewhere she was going to get married. I don’t know where – you can find it on Google. And she was pretty, you know? The fact that she was young and pretty, in love, and they say she was a happy person – that just makes it worse. You look at her picture and his picture side by side in all the media, and you tell me – which one would you rather have living in America today? I know, it’s probably “politically incorrect” to say, but fuck that – I’m not a snowflake, and I’m not scared to say there aren’t enough nice-looking, happy people in the world. She deserved to live.

Zarate and Steinle
Jose Inez Garcia Zarate, an undocumented immigrant and Mexican national, and Kate Steinle, whom he shot in 2015. (Back story)

And that fucker will get three years maximum for killing her, andΒ he’ll serve half that because it’s in California and they’re soft on crime. Oh, you can bet he’s smiling. He was homeless and now he gets an 18-month vacation in a comfortable American prison, with widescreen television and ice cream on Sundays, all at the taxpayer’s expense. Don’t you think that’s better than going back to Meh-hee-co?

And you know California’s becoming a sanctuary state now, right? By the time he gets out the whole state will be a sanctuary for illegals. He’ll never have to leave.

I don’t know what’s going to happen to us. But if we could just solve the whole problem of illegals and crime…

You know, that idea of mine – the force field and the exploding microchip – that’s not such a crazy idea, right? If they figure it out, I bet it would work. I mean we already have the technology to put microchips in dogs … We could just quit worrying about Muslims and illegals and anyone else who doesn’t belong. Anyone caught hurting a real American, these inner city kids who join gangs, people who backtalk the police – bing bong, they get a chip. Same for illegals. You wouldn’t even need the wall, or the force field – although that would be cool to have … You’d just need something to activate the chip. A radar scanner or something. Screw up once? You get a chip. Screw up twice? Your head explodes.

If I could just figure out a way to pass this idea along to the president… What’s that Office of American Innovation about? If they’re interested in innovative ideas, this one would qualify, right? And for damn sure I’m an American.

With thanks to Tricia … I read your latest post and started to comment, and then my head exploded.

Ok … talk to me. What do you think we should do about all the violent crime caused by illegals?

Author: Belladonna Took

Well into my second half-century and still trying to figure out what to be when I grow up. Born South African, naturalized American, perpetually at risk of losing my balance and landing ass-first in the Atlantic.

21 thoughts on “If”

    1. LOL – David, I don’t think I could run more counter to Tricia’s position if I figured out how on a spreadsheet. I really like Tricia, but our politics are about as different as they can be. I quite often get steamed up by her posts, and then I start commenting, and … well, this time I just let it roll. But I’m glad you could tell I was being … ermmm … Ironic? Can someone who isn’t a millennial be ironic?

      I actually made a small addition … I have a horrible habit of continuing to edit after posting. Anyway, I think you may have missed it. It’s in the chunk between “Possess” and the mug shots.


  1. OK – A connected world – on the one hand huge wealth inside fortress Europe and N.America blasting its message around the world – and suffering neighbours on the other. What do people expect is going to happen?


    1. Oh please. You seriously expect people to learn from history? How naive.

      David, I don’t know how people don’t see the abyss dividing the few privileged and everyone else, and recognize that it’s fundamentally wrong – fundamentally destabilizing. It hurts my heart.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That applies only to real Americans. The felons are all ragheads, spics, niggers and injuns … I mean, sure, some white people get involved in crime, because they’re weak – probably have some bad blood in them from way back. So they get tempted by all the sickos and criminals pouring into our country, and sometimes they get sucked in. But basically, real Americans aren’t felons.


      1. Wow “ragheads, spics, niggers and injuns”. I didn’t realize people actually used these terms anymore. I agree 100% that the murder was horrendous but do you think this language helps? Don’t let your outrage make you sound like low class trash.


        1. Oh honey … Read the post again. Then go to dictionary.com and look up “irony”. Of course those are horrible terms, and of course people still use them. And honestly I’m glad you find them disgusting – you’re supposed to, and along with the words, you’re supposed to find the entire process of “othering” disgusting. That is what outrageous … the verdict? Less so.


        2. If you’re interested in what I really think, without irony – and I fully expect you not to be, but anyway … you might read the conversation I had with Tricia, below. She’s the blogger whose post originally got me all steamed up. You’re welcome to join the conversation… πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Well, thank you! I didn’t realize you were one of my favorite people… πŸ™‚ And, even more, thank you for commenting. I took some chances with this post … I know it, and some of my comments, were ugly. As I think I said to someone else, I tried to write a mirror and hold it up to the ugly, but doing so made me angry, so I guess some of that spilled over. Anyway, glad to have you in the conversation.


  2. Hey BT, thanks for the link up and continuing a conversation on an important topic. I’m a little confused though on what your message is, which has more to do with being up late last night and only on coffee cup # 2 this morning than anything else. Would you mind answering these questions:

    Are you for or against deporting illegals who have committed crimes in the country?

    The phrase, “That wetback beaner bastard murdered her, plain and simple”, implies you think people who are outraged over Steinle’s death are racist dolts who are unable to dissect the nuances between 1st degree murder, 2nd degree murder and involuntary manslaughter charges and how CA law instructs juries on which one to apply. Is this what you are saying?

    Do you think people, myself specifically would be less outraged over this if the victim had been an, ugly , old immigrant, spinster?

    Do you believe the only alternatives we have in dealing with our broken immigration system is either the status quo or your magnificently creative micro chip/force field idea?

    Your post implies that those of us who feel massive reforms are needed to the system are living in a hate filled, nativist fantasy world where “only “pure” Americans are allowed entry. Am I correct with that analysis?

    I could be way off here is which is why I’m asking for clarification. Ok, off now to grab coffee up # 3 …..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Tricia, thanks for dropping in. The problem with writing about this topic – and I’m sure you feel the same way – is that caveats and conditions attach themselves to every thought. If one tried to write down, in detail, exactly what one meant, the result would be unreadable … and still some wouldn’t get it. So thanks for taking my ideas seriously enough to merit questions specific to you.

      For or against deporting: Okay, I have such a huge assortment of thoughts on this issue, and it really depends where you want to start the discussion. Here, very briefly, is what I think:
      1. I loathe political borders. They make no sense to me. The ancient Greek city states, boundaries on tribal territories, individual villages, towns and cities – they make sense because they’re about a manageable number of people with shared needs, goals and fears managing their world in a way that optimizes resources and keeps them safe. But how can it possibly make sense, for example, to say Alaska, California, and Georgia all fall within the same border, while Mexico and Texas are divided by a border? (By “manageable number” I mean a small enough number that most people can realistically have some sort of direct social connection with most of the families in the community. Most modern countries, including America, are just too big.)
      2. Moving on … We live in a world with borders. I think if you move into a country, you must respect the laws of that country. If you don’t respect the laws and customs, you should leave. That doesn’t mean you can’t maintain your own customs, or that you can’t interact with people in an effort to change their ideas, but the interaction must be respectful and non-coercive.
      3. I think “the Land of the Free” leads the world in terms of its prison population because it has an awful lot of laws that really don’t benefit society, and an awfully punitive approach to people who break those laws. So we have some “yes but” style doublethink happening in my head here … On the one hand, immigrants must obey the laws or leave. On the other hand, the law is way overdue for revamping.
      4. Taking the spirit of (3) into account, I think it’s right to deport undocumented immigrants who commit violent crimes. Non-violent offenders who repeatedly commit crimes that materially hurt other people – eg theft – should also be deported. But – expanding beyond this particular case – I think it’s immoral and wicked, as well as counter-productive, to deport people who, for whatever reason, are living here as productive, tax-paying members of society, contributing to their community, part of a family. Yes, people like that are breaking the law … but there is a time for grace, even in human affairs.

      What I think about people who are outraged. That “wetback beaner” sentence is there to shock the reader. I think it works. We all know people, even are related to people, who use that language. Those people are at the extreme edge of the group that is outraged over her death and the verdict. I genuinely try, I think usually successfully, to live outside any bubble, to empathize, and to understand different perspectives. Therefore I would honestly be very unlikely to describe, or even think of anyone as a “racist dolt” devoid of nuance. That said, I don’t agree with the verdict. “Involuntary manslaughter” would have made sense. “Murder” does not, and nor does “Illegal possession of a firearm” … It’s clear that they delivered that possession verdict because they felt they had to convict him of something. As regards what I think about what other people think … Tricia, I’m not the thought police. I don’t judge people on what they think precisely because everyone’s thoughts are incredibly nuanced – and this is true even for those who are doltish. I am interested in what most people think; I choose my friends among people whose thoughts and values resonate in some way with mine; I judge people on how they act. I don’t know if I’ve answered your question … It’s never convincing to say, “Me? I would NEVER think that!” So instead I’ve offered some nuance… πŸ™‚

      More later – gotta go.


      1. Well, ‘Bless your little pea-pickin’ heart”… I was afraid you had ‘gone over the edge’ with that earlier diatribe. Ag Foeitoggie ! !
        (signed) Missus Took’s Husband. <snork!>


    2. To continue… πŸ™‚
      What I think about outrage … Look, I don’t know you well enough to have a firm opinion about what you think. My perception of you is that no, presented with the relevant information, you’re not going to think a death matters less because it happens to someone ugly and old. But where do you get your information? I read several articles about this case while thinking about how to respond to you, and every one mentioned the fact that she was beautiful, pretty, happy. It’s the romantic element that does matter to people. It would be harder to whip that up for, say, someone like me – nearly 60, fat and from Aaaafricaaa. So it wouldn’t make such a big splash in the media, so fewer people would know or comment about it. And you KNOW this is true, because there’s a classic example in the deaths of Princess Diana and Mother Theresa. They happened days apart. Who got the most attention? Who won the most tears and teddy bears?

      You also asked if it would make a difference if the victim were an immigrant. Again, I think yes, it would. I don’t know how much it would make a difference to you – probably not much, and you’d probably strongly resist having such feelings. But I’ve heard and read so many good, caring, compassionate, civilized Americans who are unashamedly way more upset by American war deaths than others. If a US soldier dies, that’s a tragic loss; if a busload of refugees is accidentally bombed by a US pilot, that’s collateral damage; if schools and hospitals are bombed, that’s Isis’ fault because they locate key sites right next to schools and hospitals. I get the logic of “collateral damage” … What troubles me deeply is that so few people seem to feel the horror.

      My thoughts on alternative approaches to our immigration system. Of course not. I have no idea where that force field idea came from … lol. Well, I kinda do – I read a lot of science fiction. But I’m not going to try to talk about what I think we need to do about immigration reform – it’s just too big and this is already a whole nuther blog post. Except for one thing: DACA. I honestly think it’s a gigantic waste of time even to argue about DACA, or to try to figure out a system for dealing with the DACA people. They are American in every way that counts. They have all been vetted up the wazoo, and as I understand it any DACA recipient who abused the privilege and misbehaved lost it. They need to be sworn in as citizens with no further faffing around. We have much more important issues to deal with – more important things to fix … Who would gain from uprooting a bunch of educated, productive people from the only home they’ve ever known and sending them to Mexico? It’s inhumane and it’s ridiculous. Now one kneejerk response to that is, “But then what about all the other illegals who do the same thing?” And I say, “What about them?” We need an effective system of immigration control, coupled with a whole bunch of other things that I can’t go into here, but having to do with reducing the desire to leave Mexico. (I know there are non-Mexicans involved, just keeping it simple.) But you can’t punish individuals and destroy families and inconvenience employers because immigration controls failed 10, 20 or 30 years ago, on the basis that not punishing them will cause the controls to continue failing. It’s two separate issues.

      Do I think you’re living in a hate-filled, nativist fantasy world? No. Not you, anyway. Nothing I’ve read of yours gives even remote credence to such an idea. But I do think there are people, Americans, who do indeed fantasize about such a world. We saw some of them in Charlottesville. And I think they exert a frighteningly powerful influence on the national conversation about immigration, race, security, morality, the role of the state, the US’ role in the world, and so on. I think that sometimes you, and people who agree with you, say things that are influenced, tinged by their message of nationalism. And I think sometimes the not-hateful, relatively moderate, proudly patriotic, Christian type of American identifies more with their message than with the message of, say, Black Lives Matter. I think they are in danger of being more angered by football players who kneel than by police officers who kill. I think they are insufficiently on their guard against a real and present evil.


      1. Well I do appreciate your detailed answers here BT and I think it’s pretty safe to say we differ vastly on our views of border enforcement and illegal immigration. We do share some beliefs though, the DACA people for example in my opinion should be allowed to stay. It was not their fault our system is so messed up and I think uprooting and kicking them out would be stupid. Honestly I think Trump does too but he’s stuck from having made a dumb campaign promise that will never be kept. Same thing with the wall, which I am not for and I doubt you are either. I do agree too that Kate Steinle’s looks and youth do allow for much more news sensationalizing, but I think the outrage over the actual death of someone older and less attractive would be the same.

        I wanted you to clarify your thought process because honestly the way you wrote your post and then linked it to mine seemed like you were insinuating people like myself and those that agree with with my post would be the type to speak of immigrants as “wetback beaners” and who live in hate filled nativist world. I’ve only ever know one person in my life who used the word beaner and she happened to be a liberal friend of mine who thought herself very progressive and enlightened. Go figure.

        Anyway I suppose we shall have to leave it to the “experts” to figure out how best to reform things. It sure would be nice if they consulted Tricia and Belladonna once in awhile though! πŸ˜‰

        One last thing, the very definition of involuntary manslaughter under California law makes it very difficult to see how Zarate could have been charged with anything but that. And that’s if you believe his latest version of events. His original confession was that he intentionally shot the gun in to the crowd in a bizzaro form of Russian roulette which would have garnered a 2nd degree murder charge. That was before he changed his story. Twice.


        1. Looks like you followed the case more closely than I did; I wasn’t aware of his original confession. Mind you – and without diminishing the value of your perspective – he sounds more than a little whackadoo, so it’s also possible that his confession was a fantasy. I don’t know, honestly … My focus is less on this individual case and more on the weird logic I’ve seen in quite a few comments on the subject. Essentially, it follows the first few paras of my text – that it doesn’t matter whether or not he actually intended to murder her; the fact that he was here illegally culminated in her death and therefore it’s murder.

          I see bizarre logic everywhere I look – among conservatives and liberals. It’s depressing … 😦


        2. Oh, also … my post grew out of the response I started writing on your post. I linked back to your post for the sake of context, and also because we’re pretty much on opposite sides of the seesaw … I think we both want the same outcomes, but we have vastly different ideas about how to get there. At any rate you always challenge me to THINK about my opinions, and I appreciate that. But there was no personal attack or other hostile intent to either writing or linking. I guess what I tried to do was write a mirror and hold it up to people at the extreme end of the side of the spectrum that you’re also on.


          1. Oh I for sure think we both want the same things, just different paths to get there. A huge issue in American culture/politics is people assuming bad intent by those they disagree with. That was one of the original reasons I began blogging, to maybe shed some light on what conservative philosophy is to those that just have only learned warped, demonized versions of it via the NYT, CNN, etc…Not so much to change positions but the lense on which people view things through.

            Well, that was once a goal until but my writings are all over the place topic wise and I’m thinking it’s time to focus up a bit.

            Anyway, you always challenge my thinking too, which is good!

            Liked by 1 person

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