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Posts Tagged ‘Immigration’

No, not all Muslims are terrorists.  And not all Muslims in the US are terrorists.  Clearly, very very few are.  But we don’t know which are which, and the non-terrorists have a bad habit of relativizing, sympathizing with, providing aid and comfort to, and otherwise showing more concern for themselves and their tribe than the broader community.

Equally important, the non-terrorist side of the ledger adds very little to our common and collective life.  We could do without any more such immigrants, and we should work to encourage self-deportation among those already here who are not firmly rooted.

Don’t expect to hear this from the Marco Rubio wing of the Republican Party any time soon.

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America does nice things all the time all around the world, and we are rewarded with contempt, hatred, and hostility.  We are like the “Nice Guy” who gets to be alternately a sucker and an emotional punching bag, while the “Bad Boys” get to do what (and whom) they want. 

Today, an Albanian Muslim terrorist was arrested in my neck of the woods. He’s from Kosovo, a criminal neighborhood that the Serbs were cleaning up until NATO decided to align with the Albanian terrorists in 1999 and bombed the hell out of the Serbs.  The false pretenses of the war were soon exposed; indeed, they were many times flimsier than the WMD claims in Iraq.  But it’s all down the memory hole now.
 
Thanks to American airpower, these Albanian clients run prostitution and drugs through the Balkans with little interference.  Even their criminal leader Hacim Thaci  is in on the act.  Sometimes we get to harvest the fruits of their civilization, as in today’s terrorist bomb scare in Tampa.  One of the worst consequence of Humanitarian Wars is that we often get a flood of refugees, even though these wars themselves are supposed to render fleeing from atrocities obsolete.  We have Somalis, Haitians, Palestinians, Egyptians, Kurds, Iraqis, and every other people from the planet Earth living here on various asylum and refugee visas, often engaged in menial work at best and criminal terorrism at worst. We stupidly think the Muslim newcomers will be greatful for us “helping them” or for being exposed to our wonderful way of life, but let’s look at the record.  We’ve helped them in Afghanistan it the 80s, in the entire Israeli-Palestinian peace process, today in Egypt and Afghanistan, yesterday in Somalia and Kuwait and Kosovo, and it makes no difference.  We are hated.  And sometimes we are killed.  Let’s not forget Mohammad Atta and Khalid Sheikh Mohammad both spent a lot of time in the West.  They hated the place too.  Sami Osmakac’s ingratitude and hostility is not new. 

Of course, not all Muslims are terrorists.  Indeed, the vast majority are not.  But Muslims are probably 100X more likely to be terrorists. When they’re not terrorists, they often obfuscate and make excuses for terrorism.  They often are hostile to our country, even if they are nonviolent and do not formally endorse terrorism.  Their marginal contributions to our collective life make their presence in our country a luxury (and more like a liability) that we simply cannot afford.  Indeed, when the US acted tougher–as in bombing Libya to smithereens in 1986–its tough and unapologetic actions have paid much better dividends than our Nice Guy routine today in Iraq and Afghanistan.  And when we acted tougher at home, such as in our rough treatment of Japanese and German agents and supporters in World War II, we found relatively little sabotage and domestic terrorism.

To deal with militant Islam we don’t necessarily need to do any favors for Muslims in Muslim lands.  But whether we shoudl be activist or isolationist, we certainly don’t need to add to the Muslim threat at home by inviting “refugees” and others from the most alien and hostile civilization on earth.  We must live in reality to remain an independent nation, just as we must learn about and master reality to live as self-respecting individual men.

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Ten years ago today, our country and my family received a terrible blow.  We were attacked.  Our countrymen were murdered.  We were shaken. 9/11 is an important historical event that has defined much of the last ten years, but it was also a family tragedy for me, as my Uncle Donnie Regan gave his life that day in the line of duty with the New York City Fire Department.

I distinctly remember the day, as I’m sure most Americans my age do.  I was living in Texas at the time–taking time off and about to start my first law firm job in a few weeks–and received a call from a close friend.  They were evacuating the Dallas Federal Building.  I turned on the TV.  The first tower was already down.  I was stunned.  The second tower came down soon thereafter.  My alarm at this took a little time; at first, I thought this was a replay of the first tower falling.  Then I realized that this situation was even worse than I thought.  Rumors of the “mall in DC” being on fire were on the news.  No one knew the extent of it.   I spoke briefly to my parents, when I heard that Donnie–my uncle and the father of my cousins to whom I am closest–may have been at the towers.

(more…)

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Most people recognize that there are disparities of unemployment by region or education.  Florida and the other “sand states” are particularly hard hit. But VDare did an interesting review of unemployment differences between native-born and immigrant workers, and this revealed a serious disparity in unemployment that tilted in favor of the newcomers.

Why might this be?

The folks at the WSJ would suggest this is because immigrants are harder working, more “real” Americans than the lazy welfare cases that are born here.  But is that all of it?  Could it be immigrants don’t want things like insurance or are more willing to walk away from mortgages or have less compunction about paying taxes, nor do they care as much if companies’ adhere to safety protocols?  (By way of illustration, I once observed a Mexican construction worker welding without any eye protection whatsoever.)  And could it be companies like to hire people that are “living in the shadows” because they are more easily exploited?

Here’s Ed Rubenstein’s numbers:

Over the past 12 months:

  • Foreign-born employment rose by 1.7%, or more than eight-times native born job growth (0.2%)
  • The immigrant unemployment rate declined by 4.2%, while the rate for natives declined only 2.1%—half as much.
  • The share of the native-born working age population that is actually workingdeclined for natives; the share of the immigrant working age population that is actually working rose.
  • Perhaps most indicative of future trends: the foreign born population 16 and over (i.e., of working age) rose by 1.6%, nearly double the 0.7% increase for natives.

America’s people, habits, and demographics are all being transformed, and so is our workforce.  These changes benefit a small number of rich business owners and the immigrants themselves, while burdening native-born Americans with lower wages, higher crime, a less solvent state, worse schools, and a weakening of the American character.

America’s Constitution makes no promise to the world or to immigrants or to anyone other than its citizens and their progeny, as it was made to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” But the false consciousness of America as an “immigrant nation” and the willful blindness to the facts by decision-makers and the American people has blinded large swaths of the country too the harm that mass, Third World immigration does to our country’s health and prosperity.  While the more dramatic cases of immigration policy failure are those of terrorist Muslim interlopers, the larger numbers (and problems) come from Latin America. Here the consequence of that is undeniably harmful American worker displacement.

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Obama is getting beaten up by core supporters, his lies are crumbling, his half-hearted war leadership has been exposed, and his lack of political skills and instincts is more and more apparent. Why is this so surprising?  His campaign was a big lie; the media participated in myth-making and didn’t do their job, from checking his Hyde Park left-liberal record to investigating his terrorist associations and the unlikelihood of his authorship of Dreams of My Father.

I am rather enjoying all of this, frankly, and an ideal end game would be a radicalized, alienated, small-government-oriented and ethnically conscious majority, mass disillusionment by liberals, and a serious dismantlement of the welfare state out of sheer necessity.

The only thing to be wary of his the Republican party’s infidelity to decent policy.  From its addiction to nation-building in the Muslim world to its bad faith on immigration, it’s not so clear that this radicalism won’t get defused and wasted on stupid liberal policies simply because they’re advanced by Republicans. That said, Republicans function better as an opposition party, and we are very lucky McCain is not putting the final nail in the coffin that is the GOP.

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When you look at the various policies that have contributed to America’s current crisis, it’s evident that a series of bipartisan, popular-with-elites, and thoroughly short-sighted policies have done much to bring us to where we are.   These policies are largely sacrosanct, particularly among elites, in spite of where we find ourselves as a country.  These include the following:

  • Free trade orthodoxy that eschews any “industrial policy” and has sent a great number of American jobs and much of America’s manufacturing capacity to the Third World, particularly China.
  • A related lack of criticism of our low wage, high consumption economic regime.  Americans’ wages have stagnated and credit–including housing based credit and refinance loans–did much to mask that wealth and wage decline over the last 15 years.
  • Support for multiculturalism, diversity, and mass immigration, which has left America disunited, with a lower wage and lower IQ workforce, and problems of Third World violence and terrorist acts that were formerly unknown to America.
  • A belief that home ownership is something attainable for all and that public policy should support the housing sector with various subsidies for the uncreditworthy.
  • A belief that a college degree is something attainable for all and that it should be subsidized by government grants and loans, which has left many Americans with worthless pseudo-degrees in subjects like “packaging” or “communications” along with mountains of (nondischargable) debt.
  • Indifference to unsustainable government pensions, transfer payments and welfare policies, including Medicare and Social Security, which will be insolvent in short order and will ultimately bankrupt the country.
  • Indifference to high rates of illegitimacy, which is subsidized by various government policies like Section 8 housing vouchers, food stamps, AFDC, and the like.
  • Support for global crusading, interventionism, and other activities that cost a great deal of money, employ our military in thankless and impossible ventures like Iraq and Kosovo, and that create enemies with long memories, while winning us few friends.

The thread that unites these phenomena to me is that they are all mutually enforcing, rooted in cosmopolitanism and sentimentality, and all are far from being solved.  Indeed, some of these problems are being made worse, as in the ram-through of Obamacare.  Elites have offshored jobs and imported cheap labor, which has pushed down wages and reduced productivity-per-worker, as well as the mean IQ, which in turn is masked by easy credit, worthless degrees, welfare policies, deficit spending, and denial regarding America’s various fiscal crises.  The foreign policy problem is mostly sui generis, except insofar as our elites believe so highly in themselves and consider the interests of random Third Worlders equally valuable as those of their countrymen.

In all of these areas, the elites have dissipated the country’s wealth, especially its human capital.  Whether Republican or Democrat, anyone who believes these things does not deserve to govern.

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One notable aspect of the defense of the Ground Zero Mosque is the claim that defending the rights of these Muslims it is part and parcel of living in accord with our traditions of property rights, free speech, and religious freedom.  But this is, frankly, the theory of America.  Yes, these are important and hoary legal rights.  But they were instituted by our Founders and still valued for practical reasons:  we value our own right to worship, we do not want our neighbors policing our worship, we do not want to contribute to the worship of others, with which we may disagree, and we do not want the kinds of violent contests over religion that have characterized much of European history.  In our past, and even now, there were practical limits on the range of expression of speech or religious freedom owing to our common heritage.  Likewise, and with similar practicality, we value democratic institutions because we believe it limits government excess, allows our interests to be filtered through the political process, and prevents the concentration of power in a king or oligarchy.  But, we also knew until recently among whom we were living, voting, and choosing representatives and presidents.  These were not third world rabble on the whole.  We were not going to face violent reactions in either politics or religion if the outcome–conversion or a lost election–were not a desired one.  Once again, experience rendered the theory a practical and beneficient one.

But for liberals–whether neoconservative or “out of the closet” left-liberals–the procedures are often valued without regard for their practical outcome.  And among left liberals in particular, negative practical outcomes are embraced in the name of theories because these outcomes undermine traditional power structures, habits, and people.  Such rhetorical appeals use our honor and contempt for hypocricy as the very means by which our collective happiness will be undermined.  Thus, free speech for Muslims is championed while draconian prosecutions for “hate speech” among our peers in Europe and Canada are greeted with indifference.  Democracy that yields a ban on gay marriage is struck down by the courts, even as it is championed in Iraq to accomplish Sharia or in South Africa to expropriate property from farmers.

If I may paraphrase something I wrote earlier on Bush’s policies on Iraq:  he acted on the assumption that we’re winning in Iraq by turning Iraq into a democracy, but he was mistaken insofar as he believeed “democracy” is a substantive policy outcome and not an interim procedure that could lead to any number of substantive results both for us and the Iraqis.

Procedural schemes in government are justified to the extent they lead to some long-run practical benefit. Procedures and rights are inventions to achieve practical and final ends like safety, commerce, and order. In both foreign and domestic policies, there should be no purely idealistic procedures, if they would likely lead to some abhorrent practical outcome, such as a society’s destruction.

With Bush and his inner circle, the supporters of a deontological and idealistic foreign policy deluded themselves into thinking that they’re the good ones and that their opponents simply lack sufficient commitment to the cause, instead of recognizing that they’re thoroughly ideological in outlook and merely hoping that a positive outcome will result from the unknown nature of Iraqi public opinion as expressed through elections. This was dangerous and irresponsible, considering the stakes.

Similarly, blind supporters of free speech and religious freedom for Muslims in America do not recognize that the lack of commitment to free speech and religious freedom among this subgroup renders that expansion of freedom short-sighted, unwise, and self-destructive in the long-run, or, at the very least, carries some countervailing risks.  What good is “religious freedom” that results in subordination to Sharia in the name of a suicidal consistency and unwillingness to look beyond theory to practice and outcomes?

As Burke stated in reference to another self-destructive experiment in consistency, “Government is not made in virtue of natural rights, which may and do exist in total independence of it, and exist in much greater clearness and in a much greater degree of abstract perfection; but their abstract perfection is their practical defect. By having a right to everything they want everything. Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants. Men have a right that these wants should be provided for by this wisdom.”  Indeed.  While rights and legalities are of high importance, they are not of supreme importance.  They are means to an end, and if they clearly do not serve that end because of some changed circumstance, they must be modified, amended, or in some other way adjusted to deal with reality.

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I like this article by Andrew McCarthy.  It notes the centrality and particularity of Sharia in Islam.  In other words, Islam is in many ways our cultural and civilizational opposite, with alien manners and mores under which our range of lifestyles would grate.  The aim to impose this unified system on the world is why the borderlands of the Muslim world are often so filled with conflict in a way that the collision of Buddhists and Hindus or Orthodox and Catholic are not. 

I especially like the author’s willigness to move the debate beyond terrorism.  Jihad is not just terrorism.  The harm presented by a Muslim influx into Europe and America is not merely terrorism, though that’s a part of it.  Indeed, an Islamic argument can be made against certain kinds of terrorism. But no Islamic argument could be made against the centrality of Sharia, the need to expand Islam by force (i.e., Jihad), or the necessity of harsh punishments for criticism of the prophet.  The threat of Islam includes a rearrangement of our own values, self-censorship, the denigration of our heros and traditions, threats of private violence, the occasional political murder, and ultimately the subordination of America’s historical people to newcomers whose aim is to rule.  This obviously would take a long time, but it’s also easier to address in its early stages than when it is far advanced. 

Not every Muslim is a terrorist.  But every Muslim is a Muslim.  And it takes a very brief perusal of the Koran and a history book to see that this religion aims to rule the whole world in a literal way.  Why make it easier on them?

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Location of Ground Zero Mosque

Obama, like former President Bush, defends the religious freedom for Muslim Americans to insult the rest of us, just as he is willing to defend the honor of Islam itself.  But this is an unpopular stance.  Most Americans have heard the anti-American cheers, seen the strange practices, and become fed up with the murderous triumphalism of Muslims worldwide.

Obama this week weighed in on the propriety of the Cordoba Housea, a large Mosque planned within blocks of the former World Trade Center.  It is called by some a Victory Mosque, not least because it is large, garish, and intended to open on September 11, 2011.  Barack Hussein Obama is siding with Muslims against the Christian majority of Americans in a typically haughty way.  Worse, to do so, he is willing to sketch a false history of America, where Islam was part of our national fabric from its earliest days.

Islam is, in fact, a very recent import, a consequence of the 1965 immigration reform, which favored Third Worlders over Europeans. And the consequences of that change have included periodic acts of terrorism, culminating in the 9/11 attacks, but also including the Nigerian Christmas bombing, the murder of Army recruiters in Arkansas, various “honor killings,” and a number of other foiled attacks.

This Victory Mosque is a middle finger to Americans.  It is a statement of triumphalism by an expansionist, violent religion that is so different from Christianity, that the religious freedom of its believers must be severely restricted, just as the freedom of cults to commit mass suicide, practice polygamy, or smoke Peyote is also restricted.

The Reality of Islam

Obama, Bush, and Mayor Bloomberg all err in treating Islam like any other religion.  While it is a religion, it is a special type; it is both universal (like Christianity) and fully comprehensive in its directives (like Judaism).  It offers a complete way of life for those under its domain, and unlike traditional Judaism, does not exempt non-believers from the vast majority of its detailed directives.  Indeed, for Islam, legislation itself is seen as a God-task, and they believe that Sharia is God-given perfect legislation, that no one is really free without Sharia, and that the destiny of all mankind is to flourish under Sharia.

Obviously, Sharia has little in common with Western ideals of freedom, self-government, and dissenssus, but we continue to delude ourselves that these people’s beliefs will fit in somewhere nicely between Methodists and Presbyterians.

Islam, further, counsels various types of violence against non-believers who resist Muslim expansion, disrespect the Prophet, or otherwise run afoul of its directives.  Since so many Americans would do so without even trying, Islam is not compatible with our way of life.  Recall, for example, that Said Qutb, intellectual grandfather of the Muslim Brotherhood was deeply offended by a church dance in 1940s Colorado.  This was not exactly Times Square circa 1975!

Both Bush and Obama misunderstand Islam for different reasons.  As a religious but sentimental man, Bush saw all religion as a positive for the individual’s moral life, but didn’t really understand the content of other religions very well, as he came from the anti-intellectual evangelical tradition.  As a political man with an identity crisis, Obama, by contrast, sees all religion as identitarian and political, and is pro or con based on whether the group involved claims to be oppressed by the West, but he does not take any religion’s particulars very seriously as theological matters.

I take Islam quite seriously on its own terms and imagine those who believe it do too.  I also am not a “chicken little.” I know most Muslims probably get from Islam what everyone else gets from their religious traditions:  a sense of the eternal, the sacred, human connectedness, the God-given aspects of right and wrong, the importance of decency, etc.  I imagine, like Christianity, Islam gives solace in death, a sense of importance in life’s milestones, and conveys the need for charity.  The difference is that Islam has built into it, and non-negotiably, a specific code. The more serious a Muslim is, the more he understands the necessity of imposing this code as directed by the Koran.

The often used Reformation analogy is inapt.  Hopeful writers argue that Christianity was violent and illiberal prior to the Reformation, and that we’re OK now, and Islam will be too, after it changes its ways in the same manner we have.  Besides having the history quite wrong–the so-called Reformation ushered in a century of European blood-letting–there cannot be a reformation that makes Islam more like modern Christianity, because the past of Islam is as violent as the present.  There, in fact, have been many reformations in Islam, including Wahhabism.  None of these “back to basics” movements involved a rejection of Islam’s total role in the believer’s and nonbelievers’ lives.  To excise Sharia from Islam would be like excising the Gospels from Christianity.  We must conclude that while there are good individual Muslims, they are good only insofar as they ignore or reject large parts of Islam.

The Unlikelihood of Assimilation

What people really want (and in the case of Obama, expect) is for Muslims not to take their religions so seriously, just as Christianity declined in influence the aftermath of the 17th Century’s brutal religious wars.  But there is no reason to think this shift will come from Islam itself.  In Europe, this movement found its roots in shared Christian ideas regarding the conscience.  In other words, to separate Church and State did not do violence to basic Christian teachings.  In Islam, to denigrate the role of religion in the arena of legislation would involve various blasphemies, a downgrading of religion, and a limitation of government power that does not comport with the totalistic nature of Sharia.

While I believe America’s religiosity, tolerance, economic opportunities, and limited numbers have contained the power of Muslims in our country, nonetheless, introducing them to this alien soil was a mistake and continuing to do so increases our collective endangerment.  This has been particularly apparent from the experience of Europe, where Muslims are more numerous, more radical, and substantially more aggressive than they are here.

Some legal basis should be found to stop the Victory Mosque, including a recognition that freedom of religion does not include the freedom of certain religions to conspire against the republic and threaten violence on non-believers.  These are essential aspects of most variants of Islam contra the happy clappy Religion of Peace talk from Bush and Obama and other elites.  Longer term, however, we must recognize that the false “freedom” of open borders is hurting the actual freedoms and inherited way of life of ordinary Americans.

The Freedom to Preserve Our Way of Life

The existence of individually good and decent Muslim American does not change the fact that the au courant restraints on our freedoms that we now endure are a direct consequence of the recent introduction of Muslims into country made up largely of European Christians.  Ours is a country accustomed to an historical balance of liberty and order based, in part, on the loyalty and fellow feeling of the vast majority of Americans. We are now searched at airports, eavesdropped on by the FBI, forced to pay for long foreign wars, and reluctant to “offend the Prophet,” all in the name of the counterfeit “freedom” to have aliens from the Third World living alongside of us.

It does not offend freedom to keep foreigners out of our country, any more than it infringes on natural liberty if I have walls around my home to keep out strangers. Real lovers of liberty should see that our freedoms depend upon restricting immigration of cultural aliens, particularly Muslims. If not, we will have the human rights’ equivalent of Gresham’s Law: the false freedom of open borders will replace all of the actual, historical freedoms we’ve come to cherish such as free travel, physical safety, privacy, free speech, artistic freedom, nonviolence in politics, and the rule of law.

There is an essential relationship between liberty and community. A community with a sense of collective identity, mutual interest, and trust can afford a substantial realm of freedom within its confines. Enemies in the gates, however, generate a climate of uncertainty, insecurity, and, ultimately, the suffocation of liberty. This occurs as people rationally conclude that the government’s first duty to provide order is threatened by the combination of dangerous interlopers taking advantage of freedoms that evolved under more peaceful and trusting conditions for the benefit of more peaceful and trustworthy people.

Obama does not feel loyal to this traditional American community, which he regards as racist, overly exclusive, and mean-spirited.   In conflicts between that (mostly white and Christian) majority and minority interests, he routinely sides with the latter, even though this is politically costly.  For him, this reaction is a long-cultivated instinct, just as his defense of Professor Gates against an ordinary Cambridge cop was quite natural and authentic.  Obama can’t help himself in these cases.  He is from the multicultural branch of leftism and wants to “keep it real” and not “sell out.” At best he feels sorry for the primitive, prejudiced New Yorkers who dare, in a very nonviolent and American way, say that enough is enough. 

But I feel contempt for Obama in return. 

These New Yorkers are good people, relatives in many cases of our murdered countrymen, and their patriotism and pride of place are far more admirable and pro-social than any of the corrosive, Marxist, black power trash that Obama believes.  Is it any wonder that the President who went to a Church that cheered 9/11 as our just punishment–“chickens coming home to roost”–wants to bring the insult of this event to its apotheosis?

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Immigration Lawsuit

The new Arizona law is “controversial” in a very typical way: it is immensely popular with everyone other than the elites in Washington D.C.  Obama is throwing down the gauntlet by challenging it in court claiming, among other things, that it is “preempted” by federal law.  But this is an unusual argument; preemption normally means either (a) the federal government exclusively gets to enforce the law because it is highly technical and balances competing interests (as in the case of ERISA) or (b) the state law interferes with or makes impossible compliance with the federal mandate.

In a typical criminal law situation–whether the Assault Weapon ban, drug laws, civil rights laws, or the like–states are free to make laws more stringent than federal laws.  More important, it is unthinkable that a spy, an interstate kidnapper, the owner of an illegal machinegun, or a drug kingpin would be let go, lest the state’s law enforcers “interfere” with federal law by finding the breakers of federal law and terming them over to the feds.  Indeed, one of the arguments the federal government is raising in its suit against Arizona is that turning over all these deportable people will tie up the feds by requiring them to set in motion deportation proceedings against these people.  In other words, Arizona will force the feds to do what they have been reluctant to do and have only done selectively despite their mandates under federal immigration law.

There is no doubt the federal government for many years has under-enforced immigration laws and has no real intentions to get serious about enforcing them.  When a state busts someone and holds someone for violating federal law, this is not seen as a bad thing in nearly any other context. But Obama is taking a stand on the unpopular side of this issue, the side that dissolved Bush’s support among a great many Republicans, and this may be Obama’s undoing.  The fact that the argument’s legal premises are somewhat laughable and defy common sense only reveals the fraud that is “tightening up the border” under Obama.

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Obama and Amnesty

It may seem strange that Barack Obama has recently started to push immigration amnesty, even as he has serious and pressing issues to deal with in Afghanistan, the Gulf of Mexico, and in the economy generally.  But when you look at his trademark initiatives–Cap and Trade, healthcare, “stimulus” support for government workers–it’s pretty clear that he is willing to focus his energies on game-changing and permanent shifts in federal power.  Healthcare, for instance, will bring in huge swaths of the middle class into government dependency, much as Medicare and Social Security have with the elderly.  Amnesty is of a piece with these initiatives:  if successful, it will yield a huge swath of reliably Democratic and largely working class Hispanic voters.  Millions of dependent voters would be created overnight.

Obama’s listlessness and alleged incompetence may be real, but they are secondary issues; he shows great cunning and precision when looking to expand federal power to pursue liberal ends.  Indeed, this same passion for shifting power away from America’s traditional elites–whites, business owners, local governments–also explains his odd foreign policy gestures, which are typically insulting of traditional European allies while obsequious to the hostile Third World.  Obama is his father’s son:  the Third World anti-imperialist revolutionary with a socialist bent, smarting over the indignities of yesteryear and also today, where his own group’s arrested development is a daily embarrassment.  Obama’s “incompetence” coupled with his use of political power makes sense when we realize he has no interest in American power or preserving it, but instead is interested in advancing the interests of outsiders, foreigners, minorities, the poor, and other groups that have historically been less powerful and less successful under the free market, limited government economic regime of historical America.  A la Charles Beard, this order is ipso facto unjust precisely because the people that Obama wants to succeed do not do so well under this system, even as formal barriers to minority participation and advancement have been removed and, indeed, been replaced with an extensive affirmative action bureaucracy to advance their interests at the expense of the talented American majority.  Obama will not be content until the high have been made low.  It’s like the 1970s Ten Years After song, “Tax the rich, feed the poor, till there are no rich no more.”

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Whose Team Are You On?

The recent legislation in Arizona is a good opportunity for American-born and naturalized Hispanics to show if they’re loyal to this country and care about its welfare, or, alternately, if they are what their spokesmen describe:  an insular, self-interested, foreign group with the spirit of a colonizer, resentful, angry, contemptuous of, and alienated from the native-born majority.

Ruben Navarette asks, “This law is a reality check for all Latinos. It’s a helpful reminder that — as hard as we work, as much as we accomplish and progress — we are, by virtue of skin color or accent or Spanish surname, still on probation as far as some people are concerned. And we will be for life.”

Well, yes, that might be partly be true.  Of course, that’s true of any law enforcement measure where one group is disproportionately offending. There’s another dimension to this issue that’s not true for Chinese or British immigrants: we share a very long border with a Third World nation that has no respect for our sovereignty and that has sent literally millions of poor, illegal, and highly visible Mestizos into our majority-white country for the last 40 years. And, worse, many native-born Hispanics identity with, socialize with, marry, harbor, and protect these illegal aliens that do so much harm to our country.  As is typical for our multicultural age, Navarette and other immigrant activists ask for the right of his coethnics to insult us and be disloyal, while complaining about the natural consequences of such behavior for those Hispanics that are loyal and of legal status. By dint merely of living here, they want all the rights of other Americans, even as they show so little willingness to make any sacrifice for the common good.  Their ethnic and tribal good always comes first.  God forbid they say, as some South Asian Americans have with regard to terrorist profiling, “Search me first and leave grandma alone.”

I also think his chicken-little worries are over-stated. Any Hispanic legally in this country can probably get out of any trouble from this law through a few simple steps that nearly all native-born Hispanics can accomplish:  knowing English, having a driver’s license, or having a social security number that matches their name.  If these things are not in order, you cannot expect not to be confused with what you appear to be:  a non-American.  There is a price to living off the radar or not knowing English.  Why shouldn’t this be?  This minor imposition is a far cry from the “papers please!” melodrama invoking the internal passport regime of the former Soviet Union. There is post-arrest due process in America, and there is already a duty under federal law of legal immigrants to have their immigration papers upon them.

Arizona is bringing an issue to a head that is the albatross of the multicultural Democratic party.  It does more to unite diverse American whites than any other issue.  And why?  Because native people at every level of American society know that the recent influx of a huge number of low skill, unassimilated, and excessively proud Hispanics from a neighboring and unsuccessful nation is a formula for significant internal change, decline, and disempowerment. Good for Arizona for doing the obvious in these circumstances.  And good for Arizona for letting the rest of us see how Mexican chauvinism interferes with the ability of these largely recent arrivals to care about the common good.

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The Real Haters

Arizona recently passed a law designed to address the continuing problem of illegal immigration.  It strikes me as a perfectly reasonable attempt to leverage the eyes and ears of local enforcement to address the open and notorious scandal of America’s colonization by Mexicans and other Latin Americans. 

The elites of the Obama administration, the media, and various Hispanic chauvinist organizations are all predictably aghast.  As in the case of gay marriage, whenever the ordinary people of America are given a chance to speak up on controversial social issues, they almost invariably disappoint the elites.  These elites, in turn, react with the thinly veiled contempt they hold for ordinary Americans of a conservative bent.  The only reason any working class white Americans vote for Democrats is their justifiable suspicion of corporate America.  But beyond that the Democrats have a shakey coalition, where the vast majority of Americans oppose key parts of their program.

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There’s a lot of talk about the recent attacks in Bombay being India’s 9/11.  But there was another such attack by Islamic militants in July 2006, it killed over 200 people, and I wrote about it here.  In 1993, a series of bombings killed 250 Indians in the same city.  Neither event is exactly ancient history.

I am struck, however, about the massive death toll the modest number of terrorists–10 by the latest reports–were able to inflict.  Any open society, whether in Europe or North America risks these kinds of attacks.  What would stop a similar group with similar goals from shooting up shopping malls, sporting events, or country fairs here at home.

Coupled with the attackers’ unappeasable demands and the high cost of stringent security measures, they appear inevitable and likely to be repeated barring what has for some years become unspeakable.  The most cost effective and least draconian solution for societies like ours still appears to be (a) not let people from the world’s aggrieved and militant populations within our borders and (2) make life difficult and laden with suspicion with an ultimate goal of self-deportation or assimilation for those whom we improvidently have allowed in.  Yet this approach is treated as unspeakable, while strip searching 80 year old grandmothers at airports is A-OK. The values of equality and diversity trump all others, including genuine security and our historic liberties.

We are not India.  Pakistan is not on our border, nor is there any source of organized militancy to be found at home.  While there are aggrieved groups among America’s poor, various ethnic minorities, and home-grown losers in the trends of globalization, their organization is lacking and their grievances dispersed in all directions against what may loosely be called “The Man.” In other words, these are problems of our own making; the root cause is easily identified, but we are too scared of not living up to our au courant value of open borders.  I should think if the body count of these types of attacks climbs high enough in Europe and America, the current order will be exposed as a fraud, and both regions will be ready for what is now considered radical political change.  For now, we have meaningless gestures of condemnation by the Bushes and Obamas of the world, neither of whom has shown any insight or moral courage on the big picture issues.

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Bush adopted his “compassionate conservative” agenda on the theory that the harsh rhetoric and self-consciously anti-government conservatism of Gingrich’s “Contract with America” was unpopular and unlikely to win. There may be some truth to this. But, at the same time, Bush downplayed conservative positions on everything from abortion to affirmative action. He instead emphasized his support for No Child Left Behind, help for those suffering with AIDS in Africa, and an aggressively pursued, but ultimately liberal, neo-Wilsonian agenda of democratizing the Middle East.

Elections are funny inasmuch as we don’t know whether people voted for or against someone for any particular view or position they held. Each candidate always advances a grab bag of positions ranging, which many voters do not fully understand and upon which much of the campaign machinery is designed to put a positive spin. But if anti-gay-marriage ballot initiatives can succeed in such liberal states as California, does this not suggest that the libertarians have it all wrong and the social piece of the traditional conservative coalition is not only popular but the most likely wedge with which to pry away socially conservative democratic voters. Instead in the 90s and now again, many of the professional pundits such as David Frum counsel that conservatism must abandon many of its “red meat” issues while also failing to fulfil its traditional role as the “tough medicine” slowing down or stopping profligate new entitlements. Instead of elections being referenda on gun control and gay marriage, we’ll instead have dueling neologisms such as “Compassionate Conservatism” and “Change We Can Believe In.” I doubt we’ll win any of those battles, not least because some of us at least don’t want to see the welfare state expand, nor do we have much use for “compassionate” conservatism other than as the punch-line for a joke.

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