Working for logical immigation reform based on a stable population, a recognition of the finite nature of our natural resources and the adverse impact of continued growth on our quality of life, standard of living, national interest, character, language, sovereignty and the rule of law. Pushing back and countering the disloyal elements in American society and the anti-American rhetoric of the leftwing illegal alien lobbies. In a debate, when your opponents turn to name calling, it's a good sign you've already won.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dee Perez-Scott Doesn't Give a Damn

NBC reports the imminent birth of the 7 billionth inhabitant of the Earth and repeats what we have known for a long time: the Earth's resources are being stretched beyond their carrying capacity. Water is the critical resource with millions do not have access to potable drinking water. But that is only the tip of the iceberg because producing food for 7 billion people also requires large quantities of water. An official from the UN also points out that it takes 2000 gallons of water to produce one pair of jeans so if each of the 7 billion people had only one pair of jeans their production would require 14 trillion gallons of water.

The U.S. is a microcosm of the world. As such we should be taking action to assure our citizens do not suffer the shortages seen elsewhere in the world. Every new mouth in the U.S. requires shelter, food and water. Yet arable land and water are finite natural resources that will become increasingly scarce. Ultimately, this will result in an increase in the number hungry people in the U.S. and a reduction in the average standard of living. Providing shelter for more people not only requires the use of some finite raw materials but also increasingly requires the use of land formerly used for the production of food. One gets the impression that no one is listening or paying attention to these cogent facts; they should be at the forefront in any discussion of immigration and tax policies.

The problem is not how to divide finite natural resources among 7 billion people. The problem is how to successfully institute policies that will lead to negative population growth so that there will be enough of those finite natural resources to provide the good life for all of the Earth's inhabitants. In the U.S. a ten year moratorium on legal immigration and the systematic repatriation of all illegal aliens who are surplus to our economy.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Friday, October 28, 2011

Dee Perez-Scott: The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh

October 28, 2011

Dear Governor Romney,

I have received your latest letter asking for support for your campaign. As I indicated in a previous communication, my family is finding it difficult to support your candidacy because of your stand on illegal immigration. Your credibility regarding the jobs crisis in America can only be judged on the basis of your willingness to vigorously enforce our immigration laws. There are up to 8 million jobs in this country that are currently held by illegal aliens. An additional untold number of jobs are not available to citizens because of excessive legal immigration. It is unconscionable for any candidate to ignore those facts while professing to be a job creator. It’s time to tie our legal immigration quota more precisely to our needs for skilled labor and well-educated scientists and engineers as well as to the U.S. total unemployment rate.

Although no one will argue that all of the jobs held by illegals could be easily filled with citizen labor, millions of them could be. Before any employer is allowed to hire or retain foreign labor, he needs to provide irrefutable proof that he has been unable to fill his jobs by offering a living wage and a hiring preference for unemployed citizens. We believe stern action against the illegals and those who hire them would free-up many jobs to unemployed or underemployed citizens. Can you think of any other way to create millions of jobs for Americans in a relatively short time?

If it was freed from the restraints that keep it from fully exploiting all domestic energy sources, the oil, gas and coal industries could create millions of new jobs. However, it will take longer for those jobs to materialize than those that could be freed up immediately through vigorous enforcement of immigration laws and a reduction in the total number of legal immigrants we allow each year. If illegals are identified, apprehended, and sent on their way home as quickly and as humanely as possible, the newspapers and employment offices would soon begin to advertise large numbers of jobs.

To do this we need to reform our immigration courts and appeal processes so that where there is prima facie evidence that a person has entered this country or is present illegally he or she can be removed quickly and efficiently. Of course, minor children, regardless of their citizenship, must always accompany their parents who are under a removal order. This does not compromise their right to exercise their birthright citizenship once they reach age 21.
How could this be done? First, we need to augment the immigration judges with a large number of immigration justices of the peace (IJOPs), appointed by the states but operating under a federal mandate. A rigid set of criteria should be provided to facilitate uniform decision-making by these IJOPs. These criteria should assure that a removal order is issued immediately for those who have been apprehended and are unable to produce evidence of their bona fides within a week.
Employers could be put on notice that they will be heavily fined or jailed if any illegals are found in their employ. The employers can protect themselves against those penalties by proving that they have used the E-verification system to check the immigration status of all employees, both potential new hires and current employees. Employers can give first priority to weeding out those among their employees have failed to provide bona fide evidence of their legal presence in the U.S. or who may have presented fraudulent documents. Employers know who they are.
E-verification must be mandated across the board for all employers and all employees and the E-verification records must be available for ICE or local authorities’ audit or inspection at all times. If any complaint of illegal hiring is received, the company involved should be subject to a full audit of employment records, payroll taxes, and E-verification usage. Well-vetted volunteers from among the ranks of the unemployed could be used to do some of the E-verification work and be offered first priority on any jobs that are freed up through that process.
Public notice should be given to all illegals that they must leave this country immediately within a short deadline like six weeks. Those who do not leave voluntarily should be sentenced in absentia to six months working on border infrastructure and transported to the border at their own or their employers’ expense as soon as they can be apprehended. These illegals should be fingerprinted, photographed, DNA’d and put into a national illegal alien data base. After they have served their sentences should be expelled with the admonition that if they return without the proper documentation, they will be classified as repeat offenders and felons subject to not less than two years of hard time.

These measures would be welcomed by the unemployed and by the taxpayers who have to pick up the tab for the cost of Medicaid, education, food stamps, and other social services currently provided to the families of illegal aliens. Teachers have had to be laid off because of the failure of states to manage their fiscal affairs properly. Obama proposes to borrow $35 billion to bail out New York, Illinois and California so that teachers can be hired to reduce class size. As a former governor, you could make common cause with the other 47 governors who would not share on a per capita basis in that bailout. The class-size problem would be quickly solved as soon as the children of illegal aliens are identified and removed from our schools. The homelands of the children of illegal aliens should be responsible for the cost of educating them, not the American taxpayers.

If employers get busy re-advertising their jobs so they can prove those limited number of cases where they must have foreign labor, there should be no problem in keeping America’s economy moving forward and meeting our labor needs. No one wants to deprive employers of the labor they need but neither do they want employers to hire illegals at the expense of unemployed citizens.
Some people will probably take the view that a few million illegal aliens will never threaten America’s culture, language, history and ideals. That is silly in view of what has already occurred in Mexifornia, Mexas, Mexazona, Mexinois and even Mexichusetts. Victor Davis Hansen, a professor of classics, has written about this in his book, “Mexifornia: A State of Becoming.”
One has to argue that if Latin culture is so great, why have so many fled their homelands to come to America illegally? The fact is much of Latin America is rife with disease, oligarchy, pestilence, joblessness, heinous crimes, gangs and drug lords. The more people there are from these countries in the U.S., the more the U.S. will begin to resemble the donor countries. Millions of illegals will simply recreate the very culture and conditions they fled their homelands to escape.

Our population is well over 300 million now. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what it will be like if we add another 300 million before the end of this century. Traffic on our roads and streets will be crushing. Everyone who wishes to go to a national park will have to apply 5-10 years in advance. There will be increasing pressure to develop public lands and encroachment on wild life habitat will increase.

Addressing the population issue helps to solve or mitigate the energy and pollution problems and also enables us to conserve other scarce resources like water. In the Southwest, water rights are being bought up by cities to serve their burgeoning populations. That deprives the farms, ranches, and orchards of the water they need to grow food for the additional people. We should all be watching with dismay the continuing plunder of the Great Plains’ Ogallala Aquifer, the largest underground reservoir in the United States and one of the largest on the planet. It once held as much water as Lake Huron. It is a treasure that took millennia to accumulate. Remarkably, it could cease to be a water resource within another generation. We are left with yet another illustration of an all too common American mindset: short on vision, mired in denial and unable to comprehend nature’s limits.

There are some who believe our population must grow to enable America’s economy to grow but, in the end, population-driven economic growth is unsustainable. The pro-growth people are false prophets who must be ignored. Well before the final unsustainable stage is reached we will feel manifold adverse impacts on our quality of life and standard of living. The decline in the American standard of living has already been in the news in just this past week or two.
“Inherent in the idea of standard of living is the level of our present and future consumption. America’s “standard of living” is generally considered a measure of how easy it is for us to satisfy our material desires. There are many ways we might look at this--how many televisions or computers we have per household, how much health care we consume on a per capita basis and how many families in our nation live below the poverty level. But however our standard of living is measured, current monetary, fiscal and tax policies will diminish it if we stay on our current path.” We cannot continue to allow our neighbors to dump their poor, uneducated people into our back yard and expect our standard of living to survive that onslaught.

Are the problems illegal aliens and excessive legal immigration cause so difficult to see? Why isn’t our policy one that promotes and enables a stable population with a soft landing for our economy? Shouldn’t we be putting our best economists to work figuring out how this can be done with the least amount of pain?

Written in the late 1800s when immigration was nearing its peak and the U.S. population was only about 50 million, Emma Lazarus’s famous sonnet posted on the base of the Statue of Liberty was an expression of her empathy for those who had fled the anti-Semitic Pogroms in Eastern Europe. The sonnet is a poignant reminder of our immigrant past but the operative word in that phrase is the word “past.” Our population has now increased six-fold. No one can deny that conditions now are different than they were in the late 1800s and therefore our immigration policies should be different.

There are many things in our past: child labor, prohibition, lack of women’s suffrage, Jim Crow laws, and segregation. Few thinking Americans want to go back to that “past” yet too many continue to cling to the idea of “our immigrant past” without a second thought about its appropriateness as a model for the fully-settled and fully-developed America of today with more than 300 million people.

Our immigrant past of the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries should not be our guide for the future. The times, our society and the availability of natural resources have changed dramatically. There are several movements in the U.S. such as Zero Population Growth (ZPG) and Negative Population Growth (NPG) that have tried to impact our tax and immigration policies in a direction that would be most likely to enable us to pass on to our descendents the kind of America we have enjoyed. Even though their cogent arguments have failed to gain traction so far, it is time that we paid more attention to them, especially if we value our standard of living and quality of life.

It is as though we have convinced ourselves that population-driven economic growth can be sustained indefinitely. We seem to have ignored the fact that the “limit” of finite natural resources per capita as population grows without bounds is zero. (The more there are of us, the less there is for each of us.) Why aren’t these issues a part of the public dialogue on immigration and the unarmed invasion of illegal aliens?

Of course our nation has prospered from the generous and hopeful spirit expressed in the Lazarus sonnet but does anyone really believe that what was a good thing in the 1800s must necessarily also be a good thing today? We are indeed a Nation of laws and, although we once were, we should no longer be a Nation of immigrants. We can reconcile these two traditions by giving more substantial weight to all of the changes that have occurred in our country since the past peak of immigration. Our traditions clearly need to be rebalanced to fit the vastly changed circumstances of our country. Again, why does no one speak about immigration reform in these terms rather than in terms of a “broken system” and the conditions that prevailed over a hundred years ago?

Although a ten year moratorium on immigration would be welcomed by many, few would suggest that we close immigration indefinitely. Instead we should limit the total immigration quota to 200-250 thousand per year focused on the skilled labor and PhD scientists, mathematicians and engineers we need to remain competitive in the global economy. That number should be inclusive of all chain immigration of spouses and minor children of citizens or permanent residents, but exclusive of foreign students, temporary migrant farm workers, tourists and other workers for whom there is a demonstrated need. We should expedite citizenship for foreign students who are interested and who have completed the PhD degree in engineering, physical or biological science, mathematics, and medicine.

Although highly-skilled applicants should enjoy immigration priority, we should level the playing field for all others so that they have an equal opportunity with that of the adult relatives of citizens or permanent residents. Adult relatives have traditionally made their own way and made their own choices. They need no special dispensation in the immigration rules. The new quota will reaffirm our rich tradition of welcoming immigrants who can benefit our country rather than those who would strain our budget and further stretch our finite natural resources. To do otherwise will certainly result in America’s decline. The time has come for an exclusionary immigration policy. All nations and all potential immigrants must be put on notice that we have only a limited need and capacity for new legal immigrants and it will be our policy to carefully meter future immigration.

There is a broad consensus around building a solution that stops the flow of illegal aliens across our borders and prevents employers from hiring them. The problem is our unwillingness to take the steps necessary to bring that consensus to fruition. We cannot stop the flow of illegal aliens by granting those already here a pathway to citizenship. We cannot stop employers from hiring them unless we implement E-Verification across the board immediately and severely penalize every employer who fails to use that system to avoid hiring illegals. The best way to accomplish both objectives is vigorous and continuous internal enforcement based on mandatory E-verification across the board for all employers, public and private, and all employees, current and potential new hires.

Some say the repatriation of a significant number of illegal aliens is not feasible. From a logistical point of view, they are dead wrong. Using a heavily damaged transportation system, eight million ethnic Germans were repatriated back to the heartland of Germany from the East in less than a year following the end of World War II. Many died because of a lack of food and warm clothing during the winter journey in 1945. They were given thirty minutes to appear at the railroad depot and allowed only one suitcase.

No one proposes such draconian measures for the illegals in this country. The advocates of the repatriation of large numbers of illegals favor a systematic, humane approach based on E-verification of work status and attrition through enforcement with due advance notice to the illegals that they are expected to leave voluntarily. Those who choose to ignore that notice will have to face the consequences. We must send the message that if you come here without the proper papers, we will catch you and send you home at your own expense or that of your employer, after you have served a six month sentence working on border infrastructure. Repeat offenders should face hard time for a minimum of two years.

Over the past several years we have invested a great deal of resources into strengthening our borders by increasing staffing and improving infrastructure. We have yet to revise the rules of engagement so that there is no catch-and- release at the border or internally. Recently, usurping the power of Congress, Obama has ordered the courts to review all of the cases where illegals are already under removal orders and release those who have no criminal records. Instead, all of those illegals should have been deported immediately. That is the quickest way to clear up any backlog in the immigration courts. If they can’t produce the proper documentation within a week that is prima facie evidence that they are here illegally and may have entered illegally. They should be summarily dealt with without further delays or appeals. Although visa-overstays may have entered legally, if their visas have expired, they are now present in the U.S. illegally and must leave immediately. We have gotten really sloppy about visa enforcement. Visa overstays must be put on notice that they will be treated in a similar fashion to those who have entered illegally.

After notice has been given and posted, illegals apprehended at the border or internally must be sentenced immediately to at least six months working on border infrastructure. It is estimated that an illegal alien who persists in his or her attempt to get across the border has an ultimate probability of success of about 95%. Illegal aliens believe that if they can escape the immediate environs of the border and the clutches of the border patrol, they will be home free. This constitutes a strong argument for vigorous internal enforcement as a part of any immigration reform.

The East Germans found to their dismay that even mine fields, machine gun towers, multi-layered fences and walls did not deter those who wished to escape to the West. Why? Because the escapees knew if they made it, they would never be repatriated? We need to take that lesson to heart.
The East German experience illustrates the need for the expeditious repatriation of a large enough number of illegal aliens to send the clear message that if you come here without proper authorization, we will catch you, sentence you to work on border infrastructure for at least six months. You will then be expelled to your homeland with the admonition that if you return you will do hard time as a felon and a repeat offender. This is the clear solution to border security. This approach has not been implemented to a sufficient degree to send a message to those who would violate our borders. Quick sentencing and repatriation are the sine qua non of border security. Our borders will never be secure without them.

Your position on illegals appears to be the same as Obama’s. He and you apparently want illegal aliens who are already here to step out of the shadows and onto a responsible path to citizenship by demonstrating sound character, a commitment to America, and a strong work ethic. By advocating that position you not only undermine our laws and the rule of law but ignore the most effective border security measure we have, quick apprehension and removal.

You can’t compete with Obama for the Hispanic vote. He has already given the racist organization La Raza everything it asked for including funding and de facto amnesty. We have to appeal to Hispanic citizens on the basis of their own enlightened best interests. They are or will be adversely impacted by the decline in our standard of living and quality of life just like everyone else. They are sustained by the same finite natural resources as everyone else. They don’t enjoy congested highways and streets anymore than anyone else does. One would hope that they also have some interest in clean air and water and the environment in general. Some of them must be among the unemployed who could get jobs if the illegals were expelled and the border secured. The number of jobs available in America is limited right now. Our Hispanic citizens deserve to have access to those that are now held by illegals willing to work for substandard wages while being paid under the table. Surely, an articulate candidate like yourself can get this message across and convince them that illegal aliens are not in their enlightened self-interest or the national interest. All civilized societies are based on the rule of law. Subverting the immigration laws simply leads to more lawlessness like that observed along our southern border.

As long as unemployment hovers between a total of 9% and 15%, those affect will fundamentally disagree with any amnesty for the illegals already present in our country. The common understanding of amnesty is any measure that would allow the illegals to remain here and work and profit from their illegal presence. In looking for what Obama has called that “illusive middle ground”, the beginning point always seems to be amnesty for those who are already here. That is not the middle ground -- not even close! We tried that in 1986 and it failed for lack of enforcement. Now we must try a different approach. We can determine those among the millions of illegals are essential to our economy and who are not. We can determine what labor needs can be met by utilizing our unemployed first. That is the middle ground and that is where we should begin.

We need to develop broad domestic coalitions to deal with this problem and how to proceed. That consensus will never be achieved as long as proposals include a blanket amnesty for all illegal aliens.

I hope you will give these ideas careful thought and become more forthright and decisive in your future remarks on the subject of immigration in general and illegal aliens in particular. Obama has already usurped the role of congress on immigration. I’m surprised that none of the GOP candidates have belabored this point ad infinitum. Surely one among you must have the courage to speak out on the issue of this usurpation and all of the lies Obama has told as he pursues his rules for revolution based on the Alinsky Model.

Yours for a secure future for America, a stable population, and a continued high standard of living and quality of life for our children,

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dee Perez-Scott Ignores Sharia Law

Dee Perez-Scott has been notably silent about the legislative and constitutional developments following the so-called “Arab Spring.” She repeatedly expresses her support for illegal aliens and her tolerance for Islam even though she would be told to “sit down and shut up” if Sharia Law came to her neighborhood. If she were to be raped, God forbid, she would then have to produce four male witnesses to support her charges and to avoid being charged herself and being subjected to stoning under Sharia law. Maybe she thinks she would be able to flaunt Sharia Law in the same way she flaunts her disregard for immigration laws.
Under the Obama Administration policies, the removal tyrants like Khadafy, Assad, Hussein, Mubarak and others, as expected, is resulting in Islamic law (shari’a) being imposed as the basis of countries’ legal systems. Comments by Libya’s interim leader raised new questions about just how progressive the so-called “Arab spring” will turn out to be. The answer seems to be “not very.”
Islamists are playing prominent roles in the transitions in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt, and are also believed to be a factor in the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Praise for the removal of Muammar Khadafy – or of Assad, should he go – are being muted by growing concerns that Iran may not be altogether wrong when it characterizes the regional upheavals as an “Islamic awakening” rather than the ushering in of greater democracy.
Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil raised eyebrows Sunday when he told a rally in Benghazi that the country’s post-Khadafy legal system will be based on shari’a.
His declaration that “any law that violates shari’a is null and void legally” implied that Islamic law would not merely be one of several sources of inspiration, but the ultimate one. Although not unexpected, this should send shudders through the Western world especially among feminists, and believers in religious tolerance and basic human rights.
Abdul-Jalil’s comments appeared to preempt a process spelled out by interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril a day earlier – an election within eight months, followed by the drafting of a new constitution, which will then be put to a national referendum.
On Monday, Abdul-Jalil told a press conference in Benghazi that he wanted to assure the international community that Libyans were “moderate Muslims.” He also said that in his earlier remarks he had been to a temporary constitution. What is the likelihood that Sharia having been included in a temporary constitution will be later excluded in the final document submitted to a national referendum?
A draft constitutional document for the transitional stage,” released by the NTC last August, declared that “Islam is the religion of the state and the principal source of legislation is Islamic jurisprudence (shari’a).”
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said disingenuously on Monday the administration was encouraged by Abdul-Jalil’s “clarification.”
“We seek a democracy that meets international human rights standards, that provides a place for all Libyans, and that serves to unify the country,” she told a briefing. Is this further evidence of Obama’s audacity of hope? More likely the NATO assistance to the rebels in Libya will have enabled the country to jump from the pot into the fire as far as human rights are concerned. It won’t be long before they begin re-creating the Libyan version of the anti-American sentiment that pervades the Islamic world.
Asked whether the U.S. government had any objection to shari’a forming the basis of countries’ legal systems, Nuland replied, “We’ve seen various Islamic-based democracies wrestle with the issue of establishing rule of law within an appropriate cultural context. But the number one thing is that universal human rights, rights for women, rights for minorities, right to due process, right to transparency be fully respected.”
Nuland added, “I would simply say that the term [shari’a] is – has a broad application and is understood differently in different places and by different commentators.” Undoubtedly it is fully misunderstood by the Obama Administration or encouraged as a part of his treasonous outreach to Islamic nations.
Although shari’a covers a broad range of matters, it is most notoriously associated with “hudud” punishments, including the death penalty for apostasy, and stoning, flogging and amputations for other offenses. (“Hudud” – literally “limitations imposed by Allah” – are enforced in countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and some Nigerian states.)
Women face severe discrimination under shari’a, according to rights advocacy groups. The legal testimony of a woman carries less weight than that of a man, and in some countries a rape victim must present four male Muslim witnesses to back her allegation – or risk being charged with adultery herself. Dee Perez-Scott doesn’t seem to mind. At least she hasn’t been nearly as adamant in her opposition to the implications of Muslims in the U.S. as she has in supporting outlaws who violate U.S. immigration laws.
Even apparently mundane aspects of shari’a can be problematic, and may lead to the loss of inheritance, loss of access to children, and the annulment of marriage in family law cases. Businesses may face penalties if they contravene the prohibition on charging or paying interest. One wonders what appeal these provisions have for Perez-Scott.
Tunisia, Egypt, Syria
In Tunisia, where the “Arab spring” began late last year, elections held at the weekend will give rise to a national assembly tasked with drafting a new constitution. Provisional results show the vote was dominated by Ennahdha, an Islamist party that declares itself to be “moderate.”
The English translation of the Ennahdha party platform stated: “[t]he Movement considers that Islamic thought is in need of constant innovation so that it can keep up with progress and contribute to it, stemming from its belief that Islam accepts anything that is beneficial and encourages it such as the International conventions on human rights, and which are generally compatible with Islamic values and objectives.”
On the other hand, Ennahdha and most other Tunisian parties favor retaining in the new constitution an article declaring that Islam is the official religion.
“Whether this formulation of Islam as the state religion will only be perfunctory or whether it will have a significant impact on the legal framework is difficult to foretell, given the still-untested nature of the political landscape and the growing religious conservatism of parts of Tunisian society,” Amna Guellali, a Tunisia researcher for Human Rights Watch, wrote last week.
A Human Rights Watch briefing paper, based on Tunisian parties’ responses to a questionnaire, found that most parties want new constitution to protect rights such as freedom of expression, although some differed over issues such as reserving the presidency for Muslims and the right of non-Muslims to proselytize.
In post-Mubarak Egypt, Islamists are expected to do well in a drawn-out parliamentary election process, due to begin in a month’s time.
Islamists account for two of four major blocs in the contest – the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated “Democratic Alliance,” and the Salafist Nour party-led “Islamist Alliance.” (The other two are the liberal/center-left “Egyptian Bloc” and the left-leaning “Revolution Continues bloc,” according to Cairo’s Al Ahram daily.)
The Muslim Brotherhood is campaigning under its traditional “Islam is the solution” banner while the Salafists have pledged to push for the implementation of shari’a.
As in Tunisia, the elected government will draw up a new constitution. Coptic Christians were especially troubled last March when a provisional constitution was adopted that left intact an article upholding Islam as the state religion and the principles of shari’a as “the principal source of legislation.”
In Syria, the extent to which Islamists are driving the protests aimed at removing Assad remains unclear for now.
An opposition Syrian National Council formed in Istanbul has a 29-strong general secretariat representing opposition factions including the Muslim Brotherhood (banned in Syria since 1982), Kurds, liberals and independents.
Of the 29 secretariat members, 19 have been named publicly. According to Mideast expert and author Barry Rubin, 10 of the 19 are Islamists.
On October 19 Libya’s NTC said it was recognizing the Syrian National Council as that country’s “legitimate authority.”
Iraq, Afghanistan too
Years before the “Arab spring,” troubling aspects of shari’a survived the toppling of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Baathist regime in Iraq.
In Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai’s government signed a new constitution into law in January 2004 which claims to uphold freedom of religion but enshrines the primacy of shari’a.
Article two states that Islam is the official religion, but “followers of other religions are free to exercise their faith and perform their religious rites within the limits of the provisions of law.”
Article three, however, states that “no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam.” Article 149 says adherence to the tenets of Islam “cannot be amended.”
Two years after the constitution was approved, Christian convert Abdul Rahman was sentenced to death for apostasy,
and it was only after the U.S. and other coalition countries put pressure on Karzai that was allowed to seek asylum abroad.
Iraq’s 2005 constitution states that freedom of religion is upheld, but also says no law may be passed that “contradicts the undisputed laws of Islam.”
Iraqi Christian leaders made a last minute plea for the clause to be removed of amended, without success.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dee Perez-Scott: How much have you contributed to this decline in our standard of living?

By encouraging illegal aliens and their 14th Amendment parasite offspring, members of La Raza are major contributors to the decline in the American standard of living and quality of life.

Old-fashioned parents know how important it is to teach their children the “value of a dollar.” Uncle Sam doesn’t seem to have learned this lesson though, which has grave implications for our future standard of living.

For most of this decade, the Federal Reserve has pursued a policy of having a “weak” dollar, a dollar that’s cheap in relation to other currencies. Current Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke prevailed on former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan to adopt this policy, and Bernanke is now continuing it. And if continued much longer, a weak dollar policy—combined with overspending and bad tax policy--will irreparably reduce America’s standard of living.

Inherent in the idea of standard of living is the level of our present and future consumption. America’s “standard of living” is generally considered a measure of how easy it is for us to satisfy our material desires. There are many ways we might look at this--how many televisions or computers we have per household, how much health care we consume on a per capita basis and how many families in our nation live below the poverty level. But however our standard of living is measured, current monetary, fiscal and tax policies will diminish it if we stay on our current path.

Now, clearly some people benefit from a weak dollar. Farmers and other exporters who sell abroad benefit because their products are cheaper (and thus more attractive) on world markets. But because we purchase so many more foreign goods than we export, a weak dollar policy is very bad for consumers and decreases our purchasing power.

Over the last 20 years, America’s appetite for foreign goods has increased multifold. And it is not that easy just to “buy American.” In many cases, there may not be an American choice in a particular product category and if there is, the “American” product may still have significant foreign content in it. This means that as the dollar weakens, our purchases of foreign goods cost much, much more. We will see our household purchasing power decline in future years as effects of the weak dollar policy filter through our economy.

Another effect of a weakening dollar is that investors fear holding assets in dollars. And so the steadily weakening dollar has produced capital flight from the U.S. which harms our economy, as investors seek assets denominated in other, stronger currencies. This leads to a downward spiral as dollars become less and less desirable.

U.S. per capita gross domestic product (GDP) has fallen over 25% since 2000 when measured in euros (a more stable gauge of value than the weak dollar), according to top Wall Street economist David Malpass. Germany’s GDP has overtaken America’s GDP on a per capita basis. And America’s standard of living relative to the rest of the world is falling off a cliff -- with President Obama’s policies giving it a two-armed push over the edge.

Spending plays a major role. The Obama budget also includes record shattering federal spending increases and trillion dollar annual deficits, doubling the national debt in five years, and tripling it in ten. The Administration’s own budget numbers now show total Federal debt reaching $23.3 trillion in 2019. That debt will exceed 100% of GDP by 2011, giving us the honor of the 7th highest government debt-to-GDP ratio in the world. As Judy Shelton recently reported in The Wall Street Journal, that puts us in the company of Zimbabwe, Lebanon, Singapore, Jamaica, Japan, and Italy.

To put our national debt in perspective -- a country cannot even join the European Union unless its government debt-to-GDP ratio does not exceed 60%. This means that even if we wanted to join the EU, our economic fundamentals may soon be seen as too weak.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) projects that under current policies, the federal debt will climb to almost 300% of GDP by 2040. Even during World War II, the national debt peaked at 113% of GDP. This was only a temporary condition and at least we vanquished Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in return for spike in the debt. Now, huge debts are a way of life in America. Obama’s budget busters include increasing federal welfare spending by one third in just his first two years, with total welfare spending soaring to $1 trillion by 2014 and $10.3 trillion over the next 10 years, according to the Heritage Foundation.

Consider also the effect of taxes. President Obama’s budget provides for increasing the capital gains tax rate by 33% at the start of 2011. The top federal income tax rate would also increase by almost 30% if a health care reform bill similar to the one passed by the House this weekend becomes law. These prospective tax increases on earnings in dollars would cause further capital flight, increasing the downward spiral of the dollar and our standard of living.

These soaring tax rates and crushing deficits will lead to a continued decline of American living standards. Based on the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s GDP and inflation assumptions, continued declines in household wealth holdings are projected from 2009 to 2014, with real U.S. per capita GDP falling to below 2000 levels. So much for the Obama recovery.

But the hit to our standard of living could be much worse than even these numbers show. The economy has performed substantially worse this year than was assumed in the Obama budget, with our growth lower and unemployment at a much higher level. Economists predict that these negative trends will continue in the near future. -- This means future deficits and debt will be far higher than the administration projects.

Unlike our government, Americans have drastically cut back on their discretionary spending in response to frightening economic conditions. In some cases, Americans have done this because they are unemployed and can’t afford to spend, but many others have done this out of fear of what may be to come. We may think that it is appropriate for Americans to learn to consume less. But even if we chose now voluntarily to reduce our consumption of cars, electronics and houses, we still want to be able to afford to purchase them in the future.

The decline of America’s standard of living can be reversed with a dramatic change in course to pro-growth economic policies. But American voters need to wake up, or face declining standards of living far into the future. While a Susan B. Anthony dollar may be larger than a euro in size, it will take change to our fiscal and monetary policies to make the value of our dollar approach that of the euro any time soon.

Mallory Factor is the co-chairman and co-founder of the Monday Meeting, an influential meeting of economic conservatives, journalists and corporate leaders in New York City.