Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
The question is: what history will this generation write in the present regarding illegal aliens and unfettered population growth? Will it be based on the myths of the past: our immigrant past-- or will it be based on the present reality of immigration's unarmed invasion with deadly consequences?
Why does our economy need to keep growing? Because our economic model is based upon a capitalist model of growth. The stock market assumes this as well. Not only do companies have to grow, but if they are to be favored in the market they have to grow at a continually accelerating rate. This is, of course, a mathematical impossibility.
When one of these firms hits a natural limit it is punished by the market.
Why can't we picture an economy which is steady-state and not dependent on growth? We could even consider one which is contracting. As the population ages their need for consumer items diminishes and this goes hand in hand with the decline in the work force.
The inability of economists to look at any other models besides "free market" capitalism is why the world is heading off a cliff.
How about a bit of thinking outside the box?" -- Feinman
Feinman hits the nail on the head. As I have pointed out numerous times the limit of finite natural resources per capita as population increases without bounds is zero. We need new thinking, not just the old economic growth argument which as Feinman points out is a mathematical impossibility. (Comments Lupita?)
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Immigration is one of those challenging issues that touch on many aspects of American life.
I (John McCain) have always believed that our border must be secure and that the federal government has utterly failed in its responsibility to ensure that it is secure. If we have learned anything from the recent immigration debate, it is that Americans have little trust that their government will honor a pledge to do the things necessary to make the border secure. The recent failure to fund the double layer fence at the border is just one more example of the perfidy of those who profess to support border security.
As president, I, (John McCain), will secure the border. I will restore the trust Americans should have in the basic competency of their government. A secure border is an essential element of our national security. Tight border security includes not just the entry and exit of people at and between the regular points of entry, but also the effective screening of cargo at our ports and other points of entry. I believe trailers must be unhitched at the border and, after a thorough inspection of the cargo, American drivers and tractors used to move the trailers on American highways.
But a secure border will contribute to addressing our immigration problem most effectively if we also:
- Recognize the importance of building strong allies in Mexico and Latin America who reject the siren call of authoritarians like Hugo Chavez, support freedom and democracy, seek strong domestic economies with abundant economic opportunities for their citizens, and who reject the power and control of oligarchs. Unfortunately, too many of these folks refer to us disparagingly as “gringos” and refuse to cooperate with us or do their part in securing national boundaries.
- Recognize the importance of pro-growth policies while understanding fully the limits of population-driven economic growth -- keeping government spending in check, holding down taxes, and cutting unnecessary regulatory burdens -- so American businesses can hire and pay the best among our citizens rather than depending on foreign labor.
- Recognize the importance of a flexible labor market to keep employers in business and our economy on top. It should provide skilled Americans and legal immigrants with opportunity and protect the jobs and wages of others from the dumping of foreign labor at substandard wages. Our education system should ensure skills for our younger workers, and our retraining and assistance programs for displaced workers must be modernized so they can pursue those opportunities. We must offer a scholarship for every talented citizen who agrees to seek the PhD degree in a physical science or engineering and who is capable of work that level. The Armed Forces have a program for educating medical doctors that could serve as a model for such a program. In effect these doctors pay back the cost of their educations by serving for 6 years in the military and 7 years in the reserve. A similar program for PhDs would put the
back in the forefront of technological innovation and maintain our competitiveness in an increasingly competitive world. We cannot and should not depend on imported skills for this purpose. That is a recipe for the decline of U.S. . America
- Recognize the importance of assimilation of our immigrant population, which includes learning English, American history and civics, and respecting the values of a democratic society. We need community-based programs to insure social integration and cultural and linguistic assimilation. We should outlaw any organizations that advocate separatism or disloyalty.
- Recognize that
will always be that "shining city upon a hill," a beacon of hope and opportunity for those of our citizens who are seeking a better life built on hard work and optimism. We cannot solve the problems of the world by ignoring our own. We cannot maintain our standard of living by increasing the level of poverty in this country through excessive legal and illegal immigration. America
Border security and immigration laws, largely unenforced and sadly in need of strengthening and gross simplification, are examples of an ailing
Too many in Congress and elsewhere in America fail to recognize that if we divide our finite natural resources—water, coal, petroleum, arable land, fish, and other minerals—by an ever increasing population there will be less for each of us and there will be an inevitable reduction in our standard of living and quality of life. What politician could possibly advocate such a course of action!
In too many areas -- from immigration driven by special interests and wasteful pork barrel spending to Social Security, health care, energy security, climate change and tax relief -- business-as-usual politics and political expediency have prevented us from addressing the important challenges facing our nation. If we are contributing more to the climate change problem than our population warrants, think about the size of that problem after our population doubles by the end of this century. We will be swimming up stream if we think we can reduce greenhouse gases at the same time as our population is doubling. Each man, woman and child, on the average produces 20 metric tons of pollutants every year. At that rate, 300 million more people will mean 6 billion additional tons of pollutants per year. Therefore, we should not hesitate to use all the technical means at our disposal to reduce greenhouse gases emissions but the most important thing we can do to keep the problem from getting worse is to curb unfettered population growth through enlightened immigration and tax policies. It would be one of the greatest tragedies of all time if the magnificent polar bear were to become extinct except in zoos because of our shortsightedness. We don’t even know or understand the full ramifications of global warming. How will it affect the water supply in the parched parts of our country? How will that affect our ability to feed our people? That is something we should all contemplate, especially those immigration advocates and myopic environmentalists who fail to see the problems population growth will inevitably create.
Those who see unfettered growth as desirable and those who favor their ethnic brethren over their fellow citizens and the national interest and sovereignty need to open their eyes and their minds. Are they willing to sacrifice all that is good about the
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Once upon a time a woman hailed a cab at an airport in a major American city. There was a cab rank with what appeared to be nothing but Somali cab drivers. So, she chose the next one in the queue and popped in with her luggage. She gave the cab driver instructions as to her destination, an international conference at a hotel in this city. Unbeknownst to the driver, the very American looking woman spoke some Arabic. The driver was playing very loudly a tape with an Imam compelling him and others to commit Jihad against unbelievers. The driver smiled in his rear view mirror, thinking that his fare was totally ignorant of what in anger was being said at her. Wrong.
After the outburst was over the woman calmly asked the driver why the message he was listening to was so violent. The driver was flummoxed-shocked that this very American looking woman even understood Arabic. He relaxed and haughtily told her that he had come to America with his uncle by walking across the border from Mexico and told her how easy it was to do that and made his way to join family in this major city.
He doesn't speak Spanish and has no idea what America should do about illegal immigration, but Rev. Larry Kreps knows he's now on a list somewhere of people willing to help illegal immigrants in a time of crisis.
It started out small enough. Months ago, a member of Kreps' suburban
Days later, with just a phone call for warning, dozens of desperate immigrants fleeing a massive raid on a nearby poultry plant turned up on the church's doorstep, seeking sanctuary.
Kreps let them in, and members of his overwhelmingly white congregation sprang into action. Some brought food, some set up space in the gym and a choir room for the immigrants to sleep.
"Someone slipped me $100 to buy stuff," Kreps recalled as he stood in the now-quiet church kitchen where the meals were prepared. It was a tense night as scared families and Kreps himself worried police or federal agents might come knocking.
"I wasn't real clear legally whether authorities could come into a place of worship," he said. "But we saw it as 'What would Jesus do?' in the simplest way -- that you help first and you ask questions later."
But helping illegal immigrants has become an unpopular business in
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Wucker uses this as an argument to justify allowing into our country those immigrants we need the most, the high powered engineers and scientists. She does not admit the possibility that our needs might be met by capitalizing on the latent talent in our own citizens. She is willing to consider all manner of change in immigration laws but has no proposals for developing programs to assist American students in achieving their full potential. She would prefer to allow foreign scientists to work on sensitive pathogens and military systems as well as innovative developments of interest to the general public. Industrial and military espionage is unceasing. It would not be good public policy to make it easier to steal
Saturday, December 22, 2007
As far as uncontrolled borders are concerned, illegal alien advocates point to the immigration laws that have been called “second only to the Internal Revenue Code in complexity” and have been compared to the labyrinth of King Minos of
Friday, December 21, 2007
Rather than adopt that stupid “holiday tree” appellation, let’s return to the pagan days when the evergreen tree was worshiped and fires, lights, and evergreens, as symbols of warmth, lasting life and survival, associated with the winter festival and the winter solstice. When St. Boniface completed the Christianization of Germany in the eighth century, he dedicated the fir tree to the Holy Child to replace the sacred oak of Odin.
Then there still is the possibility of Tannenbaum as in: Oh Tannenbaum, oh Tannenbaum, Wie treu sind deine Blätter. Du grünst nicht nur zur Sommerzeit,
Nein, auch im Winter, wenn es schneit. O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
Wie treu sind deine Blätter.
Now you fat-cat Jews, we all know you run the entertainment industry that makes a lousy product replete with obscenities. But we also know you are the richest people in
Muslims among us—we are working at getting a minaret erected in front of every city hall and in front of the White House during Ramadan. Obama has promised to make it happen. A vote for Obama is a vote for Sharía.
And you Hispanics, do you really think Democrats really care about you? They are pandering to you just like all the other politicians. I mean, isn’t that obvious? A third of your kids are out of work, a third are school dropouts, and the rest are either in gangs or in jail. Do you see any Democrat doing anything about that? What are you going to do, vote libertarian? C’mon, c’mon you’re not going to vote anything but the Democrat ticket.
I mean, c’mon, you can put a million people in the streets with your Mexican buzzard flags and Ya Basta! signs but if you don’t put down the cerveza, tacos and frijoles and get behind someone other than your local drug dealer or wife beater, you’re never going to get rid of those old white guys and gals in the Congress.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
A Christmas Tale of an Illegal Alien
On a late December morning in 1982, he pulled into the vineyard, jumped out of a broken-down station wagon filled with seven kids and asked the farmer if he could do some work in the vineyard until he could find another job. He looked exhausted—red-eyed, unshaven, in dirty clothes. The farmer detected an air of quiet desperation about him. The children looked like they might not have eaten recently. So although he really needed no help this time of year, the farmer gave the Mexican what work he had, even though it was only for two days.
Years later, the farmer saw el Mexicano viejo again and he still didn’t look good. Now over sixty, with white rather than raven-black hair, he had continued as an occasional farm laborer and now walked permanently stooped. He speaks not a word of English. None of his children graduated from high school. He has many children and grandchildren (anchor babies), some on various forms of disability, welfare and unemployment, others successful and gainfully employed, and a few who had been jailed.
When the Mexican left his homeland many years earlier his government wanted him and others like him to be gone lest they agitate over their poverty or the bleak future looming for their many children they never should have had, given their desperate circumstances.
On the other side of the border, American farmers and businessmen, eager to exploit this source of cheap labor, offered them jobs with substandard wages, poor living conditions and no health care benefits. This laid the ground-work for liberals and ethnic activists who wanted the Mexicans and their families as future “progressive” voters or as statistics in their loyal ranks of needy constituents.
Other Americans didn’t think about that very much. In some locales, the Mexicans came, helped with the harvest, and then disappeared. There were no headlines in the media. Anglos who worked with them or in similar jobs saw no threat from their temporary presence in the community. Then, the numbers of such families began to seem like a flood or an unarmed invasion. Some of them opened businesses catering to their brethren and stayed year round instead of returning to
The Americans assumed initially that the children, at least, were learning English and staying in school until they graduated, offering the prospect that they would eventually become socially integrated and culturally and linguistically assimilated. However, the media soon began to report stories about the high drop out rate among these children, including those who were birthright instant citizens and had never been in
El Mexicano viejo was typical of these migrant workers. He had always planned to die in
Scholastic achievement in the schools plummeted. Although there were new signs of material wealth—newer cars, cell phones, color TVs, CD players and VCRs, there was also much more anger that “aliens”, even if their fortunes had greatly improved in the
The government-subsidized housing just down the street in many cities was full of small children, baby carriages, and pregnant women who have no skills and are wholly dependent on government largess and the minimum wages or less their drop out husbands are able to earn.
Those who managed to escape this fate found themselves in the clutches of ethnic and social studies faculty whose main interest is to secure tenure and assure a continuing supply of pliable minds for their ethnic activism, separatist rants, racist student organizations and later, their adult counterparts.
In a nation beset with new enemies, since 9/11, who wish to destroy us, do we have common values and ideas that unite us more than divide us? If our fundamentalist adversaries see us Americans of all colors, ethnicities and religions, without exception, as infidels deserving of death simply by virtue of being Americans, do we likewise see ourselves as a united people? Is
If snipers, suicide bombers and poisoners wish to kill indiscriminately black, brown, yellow and white Americans because they are alike, why do many professors, journalists and politicians claim that we are and should be different and separate? Sounds like a recipe for disaster rather than a prescription for a unified nation under God, doesn’t it?.
It is folly to emphasize our differences over our similarities, to champion separatism and toy with the principle that the rule of law matters only according to the circumstances and particular interests of those involved.
Christmas 2007—25 years after el Mexicano viejo arrived at the farm in 1982. Merry Christmas.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
To be effective, a solution to the immigration conundrum requires several elements:
(1) Patrol, fortify and militarize our borders to ensure only legal and vastly reduced immigration, perhaps at a national rate of no more than 150,000 or so legal entries per year. Cross-border traffic would have to be reduced substantially and methods found to assure that day visitors and those holding visas exit when their authorization expires.
(2) Under conditions of such strict legality, unless they can make a strong case why they should be allowed to stay, illegal aliens would have to be deported immediately in a systematic, stepwise, orderly process. The deportation appeals would have to be based on the demonstrated labor needs of employers and upon proof of the aliens’ social integration and cultural and linguistic assimilation. All others would be subject to a strict migrant labor law which would require them to return to their homeland every six months or whenever a female migrant worker becomes pregnant.
(3) Insist on rapid cultural immersion and an absolute end to all ethnic chauvinism, bi-lingualism, and separatism. Outlaw MEChA, the Brown Berets, La Raza, Aztlanistas, and other similar organizations that espouse or support separatism or racial supremacy agendas. Remove all local, state or federal support for members of such organizations and for the organizations themselves. (If you want federal student aid, you can’t belong to MEChA or any other seditionist organization.)
(4) Develop a domestic Marshall Plan to inculcate the norms and values of traditional education—a core curriculum that emphasizes the American heritage and unifies us through civic responsibility rather than divides us through an obsession with race. Fund this plan by suspending
This holistic approach would require the adoption of sweeping restrictions on immigration and an end to separatist ideology. Respect for law would be strengthened. Population growth would reach a natural equilibrium by the end of this century giving us the time necessary to: (a) deal with the limits of our natural resources; (b) develop the alternative energy and water sources necessary to serve our citizens; and (c) curb potentially catastrophic climate change and extinction of species.
Businesses would have to accept a permanent scarcity of unskilled workers. Citizens in turn would pay more for their hotel rooms, lawn care, roofing, painting, fruits and vegetables—and have to do more of their dirty work themselves thereby taking the first steps to curb the nationwide epidemic of obesity.
In such a scenario, our present problems would vanish almost immediately, while prices for wage labor would steadily escalate making it possible for many of our citizens on the lowest rung of the economic ladder to make a living. In theory, American citizens without specialized skills would find themselves in far greater demand and would acquire greater leverage in negotiating more than minimum wages. In this scenario, the inclusiveness of daily habit and custom, married with active support of a higher sort of inclusiveness promoted by our schools and government, might make near-instant citizens with a greater degree of loyalty and allegiance than those currently created by the 14th amendment. We could hope then that the children of all immigrants would then have a greater opportunity to enter the middle class, becoming a part of the bourgeoisie disdained by Socialists, Marxists and Communists.
With the development of inclusive standards, multiculturalism and watered-down, feel-good curricula would lose some of their vitality. The race-based organizations, ethnic studies, and ethnic chauvinist dinosaurs would gradually die off as their habitat became depleted of new clients and their landscape altered through the effects of intermarriage and the assimilative youth culture. Professors of ethnic studies might have to find real work and their graduate students might have to produce theses and dissertations that actually advance our knowledge of the world in which we live.
The capitulation scenario is a logical culmination of our present policy of de facto open borders, a high rate of legal immigration, and an amnesty for or mass legalization of illegal aliens, rewarding them with the objects of their illegality--the chance to stay and work in the
Unable to allow viewers and voters to decide for themselves about the effectiveness of Romney's recent speech on his religion, talking heads assumed we needed their input and analysis. I lived in Brigham City, Utah for about 3 1/2 years and my Mormon neighbors and co-workers there were among the finest people I have ever met. These are folks who live their religion in their daily lives and treat all people accordingly.
The unique aspects of Mormonism some may find incredible and unbelievable but at the bottom line these folks are Christians who believe in the teachings of the bible. I would have no greater reluctance to have a Mormon in the White House than I would anyone else.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
In advocating more medical interpreters for Mexican patients on the dole, such "experts" from academia's growth industry allege that doctors on average spend far less time with Hispanics than with white counterparts. ( I don't now about you but my appointment with a specialist rarely lasts more that 30 seconds; it's hardly worth the trip.) Again the methodology was never exactly specified. (What constituted "Hispanic"-- one-quarter, one-half, three-quarters Mexican ancestry? Who and how many doctors or patients were interviewed, what were they asked and what objective standard was used to judge the results?) This is the quality of the scholarship coming out of the ethnic studies departments. No wonder they give social science a bad name.
But all this begs some even more important but unpleasant questions: Why should American doctors hire interpreters for patients inside America? Why does the Hispanic community not insist on more English immersion programs t ensure that the sick are able to communicate effectively and at length with doctors? Why do not children or relatives who speak English interpret for patients instead of costly state translators? Is this a distinctly American problem? Would the Mexican government worry much that Americans in Mexico did not understand Spanish--and therefore got shorter shrift from doctors-- when they visited Mexican hospitals? And finally, what about patient responsibility? Can one expect wholly satisfactory medical care if one refuses to take some responsibility themselves or, through relatives, to ask the right questions and insist on answers?
This is a perfect opportunity for Dee and Lupita to post what they think it means to be an American. Of course, they have different perspectives. Dee is a citizen and Lupita is a "wannabe" whether she admits it or not. At least Lupita can summon up from past criticisms of America, Americans and gringos what she thinks we are and what to be an American should mean to us. Then she can, of course, add what an American would be in an ideal world.
It is reported that diabetes is more common among Mexican people after they arrived in the U.S. than it had been in Mexico--a result of their partaking of a malignant diet. Such an unfortunate statistic may be true. But does this mean that cheap American fast food, through nefarious corporate advertising, had been foisted particularly upon people of color and was contributing in a racist fashion to their premature deaths? Absurd, whites eat that same fast food in vast quantities. Mexicans, like everyone else, must educate themselves and their children as to the value of fruits and vegetables, and strive to avoid Coca Cola, beer, Big Macs and fries, with Twinkies for dessert. No statistics were reported to compare obesity and diabetes prevalence among poor white people--a group that seems to have been no more successful in avoiding such lethally starchy, high-fat diets. Nor did the report acknowledge that such unwholesome fare, while certainly unfavorable to well-being and longevity, might be safer in the short term than many of the foods and water in rural Mexico that are laced with bacteria and parasites. Thus, while Mexican aliens are perhaps are becoming obese like many Americans, they are now suffering far less from catastrophic dysenteries and malnutrition--and therefore, on the whole, living longer in America that they would in rural Mexico.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Hansen makes little distinction between Mexicans and Mexican Americans because there is no way to do so and because they are part of the same community, sharing a common cultural heritage. Some folks take umbrage at the lumping together of Mexican nationals and
Hansen makes no attempt to make his book a scholarly thesis with extensive footnotes, bibliography and other documentation. In some sense, his work relies on his first hand experience in the context of today’s California and its burgeoning population of Mexican illegal aliens, their children, as well some of the older generations who may be somewhat ambivalent about the whole situation. He neither believes that
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Hopefully, we will have an opportunity to prove our friendship in our daily attitude and actions toward those among the millions of men and women of foreign-birth and legal entry, who live among us and share our life, and we shall be proud to prove that to all who are in fact loyal to: this country, their fellow citizens, and this government in this period when our loyalties are being tested. They are, most of them, as true and loyal Americans as if they have never known any other allegiance. We expect they will be prompt to stand with us in rebuking and restraining those who may be of a different mind and purpose. If there should be disloyalty, it must be dealt with a firm hand; but if it lifts its ugly head, we all hope that it will be lifted only here and there, not in any organized way or in any organization with racist or separatist agendas or tendencies to illustrate in stark detail their disloyalty and perfidy.
---paraphrased, modified and supplemented from a speech by Prsident Woodrow Wilson
In 1918, President Wilson campaigned on a platform that was sympathetic to those who viewed the number of immigrants flowing into the country as dangerous. He often lectured Americans about old-country allegiances. This a natural phenomenon given the number of German -Americans and our involvement in a war with Germany. Racial profiling and persecution was not uncommon and most German-Americans and immigrants went out of their way to demonstrate their loyalty and patriotism. Incredibly, Governor William Harding of Iowa issued what was known as the Babel Proclamation, which banned the use of any language but English in any public gathering of two or more people. The ban even covered telephone conversations, as several grandmothers discovered when they were jailed for speaking German on the phone. A Swedish minister also ran afoul of the law for conducting a funeral for two soldiers in Swedish so that the fallen men's grandmothers could understand.
The current concern about the English language has never included such Draconian measures. The proposal has always been limited to the concept of Official English. This merely means all activity and publications at all levels of government should be conducted or printed only in English. It would have no effect on foreign language instruction or on languages used in any public or private gatherings. One would hope, of course, that as a matter of common courtesy, that most public gatherings and public conversation would be conducted in English so that all could feel included. Obviously, there will be some, mostly private, meetings where the mother tongue could be spoken without fear of interference from language police or other restrictions. Some proposals provide for billable interpreter services at emergency locations such as fire departments, police stations, and hospitals. At the same time, public interpreters would be offered free of charge to those who could not afford one.
The purpose of this post is to illustrate that the emphasis on English and the resistance to the encroachment of foreign languages is not a new phenomenon. The concern about Germans in our midst has long since disappeared. They are no longer thought of as hyphenated Americans and the use of the German language is now just a footnote to history as is the persecution of Germans that occurred during two wars and the similar treatment meted out to Japanese internees.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Mexican bureaucrats criticize our efforts to restrict issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants with no proof of citizenship, so why does Mexico require an American to have a valid visa in order to get a Mexican driver’s license? In Mexico you cannot receive free social services and an education unless you are a Mexican citizen. Why does Mexico feel illegals should get these benefits free in the United States?
Illegal immigrants caught on Mexico’s southern border are often beaten, robbed and thrown in hellhole prisons. Why is Mexico concerned with how illegals are treated in our country?
Mexico claims to be working to stem the flow of illegals into our country, but it issues maps showing them how to enter the United States illegally. Mexican air carriers are doing a booming business booking flight to get illegals near our border, and police officials ignore all the smugglers and businesses that have sprung up along the border that exist solely to help illegals sneak into our country.
Monday, November 26, 2007
A key excerpt:
The reason is that the Democrats--and Bush--are out of line with public opinion on the issue. That became clear as the Senate debated a comprehensive immigration bill in May and June. Most Republicans and many Democrats, in the Senate and among the public, turned against the bill. Supporters of the bill tended to ascribe that to something like racism: they just do not like having so many Mexicans around.
But if you listened to the opponents, you heard something else. They want the current law to be enforced. It bothers them that we have something like twelve million illegal immigrants in our country. It bothers them that most of the southern border is unfenced and unpatrolled. It bothers them that illegal immigrants routinely use forged documents to get jobs--or are given jobs with no documents at all.
You do not have to be a racist to be bothered by such things. You just have to be a citizen who thinks that massive failure to enforce the law is corrosive to society.
And now comes Shelby Steele, the Hoover Institution scholar, with an essay arguing that Obama's public stance is essentially synthetic. In 'A Bound Man,' Steele makes the case that Obama has adopted a mask familiar to many other African-Americans, designed to appease white America's fear of being thought racist by offering them the opportunity to embrace a nonthreatening Black.
Steele writes that 'the Sixties stigmatized white Americans with the racial sins of the past -- with the bigotry and hypocrisy that countenanced slavery, segregation and white supremacy. Now, to win back moral authority, whites -- especially American institutions -- must prove the negative: that they are not racist. In other words, white America has become a keen market for racial innocence.'
Steele likens Obama's success to the fame and fortune won by Oprah Winfrey, Bill Cosby, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. But Obama is the first to carry the 'masking' technique of the 'Iconic Negro' into the realm of politics."
David Broder, The Washington Post.
Pressed to respond, Obama offered a zinger feathered with amused disdain: 'My understanding was that she wasn't Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration, so I don't know exactly what experiences she 's claiming.'
It took him nine months, but he finally found a perfect pitch to make a trenchant point. She was not elected or appointed to a position that needed Senate confirmation. Neither did she show good judgment in her areas of influence -- the legal fiefdom, health care and running oppo-campaigns against Bill's galpals.
Obama's one-liner evoked something that rubs some people the wrong way about Hillary. 'She hasn't accomplished anything on her own since getting admitted to Yale Law,' wrote Joan Di Cola, a Boston Lawyer, in a letter to the Wall Street Journal. All Hillary is, is Mrs. Clinton."
----Maureen Dowd, The New York Times
Saturday, November 24, 2007
During the Great Wave immigration, more than one-third of all immigrants -- most of them Europeans -- went back to their home countries. Many of the returnees became involved in fighting for change in their homelands. What a novel idea!
Great Wave immigrants who stayed in America soon learned that they were indeed in the land of opportunity. After a feeling developed that the country was being overrun by foreigners, immigration was cut back dramatically and, as a result, the immigrants were able to assimilate faster and develop a greater attachment and loyalty to their new country. This also eased the demographic pressure because, although the immigrants were from many different countries, most were Europeans who blended in easily with the earlier arrivals. They also understood that a common language was not only an imperative to be able to communicate with each other and achieve success in business and in the professions, they knew intuitively that a common language would be the single most important unifying influence in a diverse America.
The adoption of a common language and the assimilation in the new land did not mean: the end of ethnic holidays and parades; the rejection of foreign words and phrases like "kindergarten"; the avoidance of ethnic foods; or the blending of foreign traditions with those of the dominant culture.
But poverty, joblessness and instability are hard to overcome if the solutions are made more difficult by excessive immigration and population growth, threatening demographic shifts, a failure of social integration, and an attachment to the old ways that had not served the immigrants well in their homelands.
That same year, 1918, a German-born would-be miner came to a community in Illinois looking for work. "He had applied to become an American citizen, but because he had not received his naturalization papers, he dutifully registered with the government as an enemy alien." At a gathering in a nearby town he uttered some remarks that, although never accurately recorded, struck some of the locals as "disloyal utterances against the United States and President Wilson."
Later, in spite of his vehement written and oral protestations that he was loyal to the United States, alcoholic spirits mixed too liberally with patriotic spirits led to his lynching. In the ultimate act of irony, the man was buried wrapped in an American flag, as he requested. In spite of what amounted to a confession by the man who assumed leadership of the mob, all eleven defendants who were brought to trial were acquitted in only a matter of minutes.
Whatever the real reasons were for the German immigrant's death, it brought into sharp relief the peculiarities of the American character: a love of country and belief that this is a fair and tolerant nation, coupled with the ability to compartmentalize incidents that contradict those beliefs.
Crystallizing passions now surge around a new wave of legal and illegal immigrants and protestations of loyalty in the face of some evidence to the contrary. Social tensions have been created by economic changes combined with massive arrivals of poor immigrants, many of them illegal.
Strangely enough, many of the earlier immigrants had no plan to become Americans and came here for seasonal employment from as far away as Europe or Asia and then returned to their homelands when the job was done. An estimated 63% of Italians who came here from 1902 to 1923 returned to Italy after performing seasonal work. Likewise, 46.5% of Hungarians, 36.3% of the Croatians and Slovenians, 48% of the French and 46% of the Greeks went back.
The current concern about illegal aliens and excessive legal immigration is not a totally new phenomenon. The U.S. has always been ambivalent about newcomers. By the 1780s, when our nation was still in its infancy and relatively unsettled and unpopulated, Thomas Jefferson warned of the danger of indiscriminately promoting rapid immigration. A century later, Congress passed an Immigration Act establishing a head tax on immigrants and barring convicts, lunatics, idiots, and persons likely to become public charges. In 1891, Congress created a bureaucracy to process the arrivals of new immigrants and authorized the deportation of illegal aliens.
Mirroring some of the concerns of today, a statement of certain labor unions in 1908 could be paraphrased as follows: "As long as California is white man's country, it will remain one of the grandest and best states in the union, but the moment the Golden State is subjected to an unlimited invasion of immigrants and illegals there will be no more California."
German Americans, passionate to show their loyalty and patriotism, actually sent leaflets to their Fatherland intended to help convince their former compatriots to surrender and bring an end to WW I. No similar sentiment is noted today among those of the same ethnicity as the legal immigrants and illegal aliens. What does that silence say about their loyalty and patriotism?
President Wilson, although endeavoring to keep hostility to citizens of German descent from getting out of hand, stated,"The gravest threats against our national peace and safety have been uttered within our own borders. There are citizens of the United States, I blush to admit, born under other flags [and even under our own flag] but welcomed by our generous naturalization laws to the full freedom and opportunity of America, who have poured the poison of disloyalty into the arteries of our national life."
(This post is based in part on excerpts, anecdotes, quotes, and ideas from Michele Wucker, "Lockout", Perseus Books Group, Cambridge, MA, 2006)
Friday, November 23, 2007
America is failing to train enough domestic talent to to provide the supply of skilled workers U.S. companies need. Immigration laws must be greatly simplified to make sure no innocent student or legal immigrant becomes a needless victim of the bureaucracy. Needless to say, we do need to be mindful of the renewed emphasis on industrial and other espionage so that foreign workers involvement in sensitive work and work vital to the security and technological leadership of the United States is not jeopardized. There are a few simple things that can be done: (1) limit visas to three basic types: tourist, student and work; (2) limit permanent residency to those in the last category who have entered the U.S. legally and to students who possess advanced skills not available domestically; (3) limit a pathway to citizenship to those who have never entered the U.S. illegally and who read, write and speak English; (4) get rid of all of the other immigration legislation that permits chain immigrations and creates other loopholes; (5) grant a full scholarship to American doctoral students who maintain their grades and whose professors agree have promise and talent.
There is a rising clamor to shut the borders, keep out foreign people and goods and ostensibly to "keep in" technology and jobs. These are all legitimate aims if they serve the national interest. One of the most powerful elements of America's identity is its immigrant past, where "past" is the operative word. Today our goal must be to admit legally only those who are demonstrably needed to serve our national interest and provide the skilled and unskilled labor needed by higher education and businesses. Here the operative word is "demonstrably".
America can no longer be ambivalent about immigration. Our policies must be tailored precisely to our needs rather than to the fact that we were once a nation of immigrants or that we have millions of illegal aliens already present. The Indians perhaps would like to turn back the pages of time when they inhabited and controlled this continent. That is not going to happen and there is little likelihood that the indigenous peoples could have ever withstood the flood of European immigrants once this vast and largely unsettled continent was discovered. This would be true even if the Indians had battled initially tooth and nail to slaughter every visitor from abroad or drive them back into the sea. The past is gone. We can't get it back and it has little bearing on our present circumstances and needs. It is useless to argue about it. The past does not constitute a rational argument for any immigration policy.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
"The scientists now have done their work. I call on political leaders to do theirs," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said upon formally receiving the report Saturday in Valencia, Spain.
That will require a drastic reworking of industrial processes, transportation, agricultural practices, the buildings people live in, and a reduction in the world population, especially in the United States, Russia, China and India where the production of greenhouse gases per capita is the highest.
If the world's spiraling growth in greenhouse- gas emissions does not end by 2015 and does not stabilize carbon dioxide emissions until 2030, the planet's temperature will increase by as much as 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit above 2000 temperatures. That level of warming would result in widespread extinctions of species, as slowing of the global ocean currents, decreased food production, a loss of 30% of global wetlands, flooding for millions of people and higher numbers of deaths from heat waves. It is virtually a matter of life or death for some communities on Earth.
So what can be done to save Planet Earth and what can be done to enable the U.S. to do its part in meeting our share of the needed reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions. An earlier U.N. report drew the rather obvious conclusion that, with a high probability, people are the cause of global warming and greenhouse-gases. But it is not just the growth in the raw numbers of people but the things they demand: beef from flatulent cows, autos, refrigerators and air conditioning, power and all manner of manufactured items the processes for which produce these gases directly or indirectly. We can all begin by "going green". In the U.S., we can adopt stringent immigration controls and secure our borders to make sure we can stabilize our population. We need to adopt tax policies that encourage families to limit the number of children to the replacement level, a fertility rate of about 2.03 for all women during their child bearing years.
We need all citizens of whatever ethnic origin or political leanings to get on the band wagon and insist that Congress take this threat to our planet seriously. We can no longer listen to Republican propaganda. We can no longer allow illegal aliens to enter or remain in our country with impunity. W e must reduce legal immigration below 200,000 per year. Every loyal American needs to support these goals before it is too late. It is a matter of humanity at its most fundamental level.
(See Doug Struck, The Washington Post for the basic report on this subject)
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
How Congress And The President Are Working Behind-The-Scenes To Un-Do The Secure Fence Act
Despite grandiose claims, our government has built just 5 miles of the the 854 miles of double-layer border fence mandated by the Secure Fence Act of 2006. While this fact is outrageous in and of itself, it begs a question: Why?
If the law mandated a double layer fence covering 854 miles of fencing, then how come such little progress has been made?
The truth is Congress and the President are playing games with the American people -- pretending to support a real border fence but then working behind the scenes to ensure that the Secure Fence Act is never really implemented.
Secure Fence Act Hoax of 2006
In the fall of 2006 when Congress passed and the President signed into law the Secure Fence Act, most Americans thought they understood what they were getting. The plain text of the law states that "the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide for [at] least 2 layers of reinforced fencing, the installation of additional physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors" along a specified range of the U.S.-Mexico border. The Act then stipulated the precise regions of the border, covering a total of 854 miles. Before the Senate passed the Secure Fence Act, Senate leaders had already hatched a plan to, in essence, un-do the Act. More precisely stated, Congress passed another law giving the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) discretion over how and where the fence would actually be built. That night, after the Secure Fence Act was passed, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison rose to the floor of the Senate and expressed her concern that the Act was too restrictive and would impose too much of a burden on Texas' border communities. of fencing and other physical infrastructure along the southwest border of the
A deal had already been struck to basically un-do the Secure Fence Act before the vote was even taken. The whole event was carefully staged to create the impression that Congress was clamping down on illegal immigration. Interestingly, as the Senate was voting on the Secure Fence Act vote, it became clear that Congress had decided that saving their seats is more important than securing the borders."
It gets worse. The funding bill passed by Congress required that DHS report to Congress on how it would spend the funds prior to most of the funds being release. It is in DHS's report that it becomes clear that neither Congress nor the Administration really ever intended on adhering to the Secure Fence Act. First, DHS's plan -- called SBInet (Secure Borders Initiative) -- does not reference the goals of the Secure Fence Act. Second, DHS's report back to Congress in December 2006 openly questioned whether the border fence was necessary.
Instead, DHS arbitrarily decided there should be 570 miles of total border barriers, of which 370 miles would be actual pedestrian fencing (not double layer). Thus, instead of 854 miles of double-layer fencing, DHS set a goal of 370 miles of "pedestrian" fencing (i.e. not double-layer fencing). It is clear that DHS felt no obligation to fulfill the specific requirements of the Secure Fence Act.
But that's just the beginning....
Border Fence Funding Scam of 2007
Skip ahead to this fall as Congress has been considering a $3 billion funding bill for border security and allegedly the fence. As you may know, that amendment was stripped out of the Department of Defense appropriations bill last week. But even if they had passed the $3 billion funding amendment, DHS will not be required to use any of that money for the border fence! Not ONE DIME!
That's because of another amendment put forward by Sen. Hutchison that said DHS would not have to build the fence. This Amendment (SA 3176) seems, at first glance, to support building a fence. It is entitled "Improvement of Barrier At Border" and states in Subparagraph A:
"(A) REINFORCED FENCING.--In carrying out subsection (a), the Secretary of Homeland Security shall construct reinforced fencing along not less than 700 miles of the southwest border where fencing would be most practical and effective and provide for the installation of additional physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors to gain operational control of the southwest border."
Note the phrase "where fencing would be most practical and effective." Basically, DHS has an opt-out clause built in. But it gets worse. Page Two of the Hutchison amendment then states:
"(D) LIMITATION ON REQUIREMENTS.--Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), nothing in this paragraph shall require the Secretary of Homeland Security to install fencing, physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors in a particular location along an international border of the United States, if the Secretary determines that the use or placement of such resources is not the most appropriate means to achieve and maintain operational control over the international border at such location"
Just in case Subparagraph A was not clear enough, Hutchison added Subparagraph D to leave no room for doubt that this amendment is intended to make sure DHS is under no legal obligation to ever build any fence, never mind the 854 miles of double-layer fencing mandated by the Secure Fence Act of 2006. "Notwithstanding" means "in spite of." Thus, Subparagraph D says that in spite of anything stated in Subparagraph A, DHS is under no mandate to build the fence.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
When Hillary Rodham Clinton fumbled a recent debate question about
Why, then, are we granting them driver's licenses?
Thus far, eight states allow illegal immigrants to receive licenses or permits (and 10 states offer in-state tuition) -- all in the spirit of making
We don't want to encourage immigrants to come here illegally.
The illegal immigrant problem is huge, obviously, and there's no single solution. But there is one word that would get the ball rolling in the right direction and win a lot of voters' hearts: disincentivize. Stop making it so attractive to slip through, over and under the border.
We should remove the incentives like birthright citizenship, jobs, medical treatment, driver's licenses and in-state tuition for those who come here illegally, why would any right-thinking, would-be immigrant take a number and wait his or her turn? Why not just throw in the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders and free tequila while we're at it?
We must also create disincentives for border violations by assuring that those who are apprehended are expeditiously repatriated with the admonition that if they return and are apprehended again they will be jailed for not less than two years. All deportations must be treated as involuntary so that the jail time penalty is automatic. The social security number/name mismatch and multiple SSN use notifications would be another significant set of disincentives, especially if the perpetrators of ssn fraud were to be quickly deported at their own expense. Birth and death registries, tracking of visa overstays, and the reform of the 14th amendment would provide added disincentives.
Arguments favoring services and privileges for illegal immigrants always point to the broader benefits to society. Healthy immigrants mean a healthier
The latter seems unconvincing given that illegal immigrants, by definition, tend not to think legally. In any case, by the same logic, we might also say that amnesty is good for the country because then everyone would be legal. Rather than fix something, we simply accommodate circumstances. As in: Kids are having sex anyway, so we'll just give them condoms.
Advocates for licensing also argue that illegal immigrants can't get jobs without a driver's license. Do I hear bingo? Isn't that the point?
On the one hand, we argue that employers should be penalized for hiring illegal immigrants; on the other, we insist that the immigrants need driver's licenses because employers demand them. I'm beginning to see how
The Monday morning quarterback is, of course, a brilliant seer and the stands are filled with hindsight prophets this week. Here's one more shoulda for the pile-on. When NBC's Tim Russert asked why she thought New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's proposal to give illegal immigrants driver's licenses made sense,
"It makes sense for states to seek solutions given the federal government's failure to reform immigration, but I'm not 100 percent satisfied with the licensing plan. Unfortunately, Tim, I'll need more than 30 seconds to outline my concerns."
Or something to that effect. Instead,
Surely, we can love our neighbors and be a pro-immigrant nation without granting de facto citizenship to illegal immigrants through a menu of rights and privileges. As is, all that's missing is the oath -- and any meaning attached to it.
Beyond principle, there are practical reasons for denying licenses to illegal immigrants. As some reformers have pointed out, the driver's license is more than a permit to drive. It's a nationally recognized ID that implies citizenship, and is the most coveted "breeder document" of terrorists because it allows them access to all the other things they need to blend in -- jobs, housing, bank accounts -- as well as access to commercial airplanes and rental cars.
Many states still don't verify applicants' identities. In May 2001, when Tennessee dropped its requirement that applicants supply a Social Security number, tens of thousands of illegal immigrants applied for licenses, according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
It would be refreshing if we began to take seriously what it means to be a citizen and stop making it so attractive to be a lawbreaker.
That would make sense.
The above is excerpted, paraphrased and modified from an OpEd by
Kathleen Parker is a syndicated columnist based in