31 March 2006

Way to miss the issue, Snow!

Tony Snow, whom I otherwise enjoy reading, has a column, published at Jewish World Review’s online site, that just irritates the heck out of me. I’m going to comment on it bit by bit.

Illegal immigration seems to have spawned a dreary debate about the merits of Mexicans, when it should be drawing attention instead to a very different matter: how to build on the luster and wonder of the American dream.

The debate isn’t about “the merits of Mexicans.” The debate is about the merits of doing nothing about the trampling of our laws. Part of the “luster and wonder of the Amrican dream” is living in a nation of laws, a nation where our rights are protected by virtue of recognition that those rights exist apart from the consitution which acknowledges them. It is also the dream of living in a nation whose leaders have to obey the laws, just like everyone else. Everyone else except illegal immigrants, I guess. Snow’s position means that we can ignore a set of laws. Well, if we can set aside immigration laws, Tony, why not constitutional law?

Immigration is not the pox neo-Know Nothings make it out to be

Well let’s just drive a tank over the point. I don’t know who has said that immigration is the pox. This pox (read slowly, Tony) is (I’m…writing…very…slowly…for…you…Know…Somethings…out…there) il…le…gal im…mi…gra…tion. Seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee?

Begin with the astounding influx of illegal immigrants, the vast majority of whom hail from Mexico. While the population includes an eye-popping number of crooks, drug-dealers and would-be welfare sponges, it also provides a helpful prop for sustaining American economic growth and cultural dynamism.

In other words: It’s okay to ignore the law if, as a consequence of ignoring the law, we get “a helpful prop for sustaining American economic growth and cultural dynamism.” Oh, yeah. And all you would-be legal immigrants? Thank you for applying, but @#&* you! We’d rather have people who, though they don’t follow the law like you do, nonetheless help us prop up and sustain our economic growth and cultural dynamism. Because, after all, we’re Americans; and, as the world knows, our economic growth and cultural dynamism trumps all other considerations. Yes, even our own laws. So, again, @#&* you very much. Now go away; we already have 10 million immigrants; and they’ll do more work than you for a lot less money.

Princeton University sociologist Douglas S. Massey reports that 62 percent of illegal immigrants pay income taxes (via withholding) and 66 percent contribute to Social Security. Forbes magazine notes that Mexican illegals aren't clogging up the social-services system: only 5 percent receive food stamps or unemployment assistance; 10 percent send kids to public schools.

Hey kids! It’s okay to break a set of laws you find objectionable as long as you pay your income taxes, contribute to Social Security, and don’t clog up our social services system. So you just go on out there, pick a law or set of laws that you don’t like and live it up!!! You have Tony Snow’s kind permission . (Of course, Tony would like it very much if you didn’t break into his house and steal anything. Because if you were to do that, he would probably have you prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And, of course, he’s free to do this because, like you, he pays taxes, contributes to social security, and doesn’t clog up our social services system.)

On the work front, Hispanic unemployment has tumbled to 5.5 percent, only slightly above the national average of 4.7 percent and considerably lower than the black unemployment rate of 9.3 percent. Economist Larry Kudlow praises Hispanic entrepreneurship: "According to 2002 Census Bureau data, Hispanics are opening businesses at a rate three times faster than the national average. In addition, there were almost 1.6 million Hispanic-owned businesses generating $222 billion in revenue in 2002."

This would be very interesting if Hispanics—the merits of Mexicans—were the issue!!! They are not. This is an interesting statistic, but irrelevant.

Skeptics counter that immigrants have clogged our hospitals, which is true — but primarily in places that offer lavish benefits to illegal immigrants.

We are, again, not concerned about immigrants, but (slowly again) il…le…gal im…mi…grants.

As for crime, the picture doesn't quite conform to conventional wisdom. Heather McDonald discovered that illegal immigrants in 2004 accounted for 95 percent of all outstanding homicide warrants in Los Angeles and two-thirds of unserved felony warrants. (Gangs, aided and abetted by laws that prevent local officials from handing illegal-immigrant criminals over to federal authorities, account for much of the mayhem.)

On the other hand, the most comprehensive survey to date of national crime data concludes, "In the small number of studies providing empirical evidence, immigrants are generally less involved in crime than similarly situated groups, despite the wealth of prominent criminological theories that provide good reasons why this should not be the case.”

Okay. It’s okay to break our laws, as long as you don’t…well…break our laws, that is, the laws that Tony Snow, and the other non-neo-Know-Nothings, do like and think people should obey. Besides, our problem is not—again—with “immigrants.” We have a problem with illegal immigrants; and we don’t care which of our many laws they graciously condescend to obey.

Authors Ramiro Martinez Jr. and Matthew T. Lee note, for instance, that the Latino homicide rate in Miami is three times that of El Paso, Texas, which has one of the nation's largest immigrant populations. That's not just an anomaly. Another major study, "U.S. Impacts of Mexican Immigration," by professors Michael J. Greenwood and Marta Tienda reports that "crime rates along the border are lower than those of comparable non-border cities."

Interesting. But we are not concerned with Mexican immigration. We are concerned with illegal immigration, by anyone.

This doesn't mean immigrants from Mexico are saints — it just means that they may not be the marauding horde some make them out to be. As it turns out, crime rates in the highest immigration states have been trending significantly downward.

Therefore, what? We should continue to do nothing about our immigration policy being trampled by those who see fit, for reasons that seem good to them? All you’re saying, Tony, is that it’s fine for people to break one set of laws (and you’ll decide which set, of course) as long as they don’t break another set of laws (and you’ll decide which set, of course).

Total crime and property crime in California are half what they were in 1980; violent crime has fallen more than a third. The state's Hispanic population during that time has increased 120 percent.

Irrelevant. We’re are not talking about the behavior of Hispanics. I was raised by Hispanics. We’re talking about illegal immigration. And many Hispanics have a problem with illegal immigration. Here's an example of one of them (some may think that my own hispanic credentials are somewhat suspect, due to generations of interracial marriages).

Similar trends apply in other high-traffic states, with the exception of Colorado. While Arizona's population grew 41.8 percent between 1993 and 2003, for instance, the rates for every major category of crime fell.

All we find here is what we’ve already discovered. Tony thinks it fine for a group of people to break a set of laws that he doesn’t particularly care about, just so long as they don’t break sets of laws that he does care about. (In other contexts, we’ll no doubt be treated to a dose of his complaining about how we’re supposed to be a nation of laws, blah, blah, blah.)

Why, then, the fuss? In America today, unemployment remains low, employment is booming, wages have begun to grow in tandem with the economy, tax receipts are exploding at the federal and state levels, and the United States continues to run laps around its European and Asian economic rivals.

Welcome to America, you law-breakers. Feel free to stay as long as you like as long as you don’t break any other laws that I, Tony Snow, care about, and unemployment remains low, employment continues to boom, wages keep growing in tandem with the economy, and tax receipts continue to explode at federal and state levels, and the United States continues to run laps around its European and Asian economic rivals. (But if all that comes crashing to a halt, Tony Snow may then be in favor of kicking your law-breaking butts out of here.)

Hey, Tony, try not paying your taxes and then tell the IRS what wonderful things you do for this country’s economy. See how kindly they treat you. I mean, hey, if we can excuse the breaking of one set of laws on the basis of some supposed good being done by the law-breakers, then quite possibly we can excuse the breaking of another set of laws on the basis of some good being done by the law-breakers in that case. Tony Snow, apparently, wants to have a “law buffet.”

The United States somehow has managed to absorb 10 million to 20 million illegal immigrants not only without turning into Animal Farm, but while cranking up the most impressive economic recovery in two decades and the most prolonged period of declining crime in a century — all in the teeth of the post-9/11 recession, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the double-whammy hurricane season of 2005.

Yes, well whether we’ve actually absorbed them is debatable. It may turn out that we’ll have absorbed them like the Romans did the Goths. Besides, it not a matter of how well we absorb them, but of how well we assimilate them. But hey, who cares about all that as long as we keep “cranking up the most impressive economic recovery in two decades and the most prolonged period of declining crime in a century — all in the teeth of the post-9/11 recession, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the double-whammy hurricane season of 2005.” Screw the laws! The money surf’s up! It’s time to party, dudes!

Rather than panicking, the political class might want to take a deep breath and attempt a little common sense. Virtually everyone agrees that we need to secure our borders, deport lawbreakers and slackers among the illegal-immigrant population, and revitalize the notion of citizenship by insisting that prospective citizens master the English language and the fundaments of American history and culture.

It is interesting to see him think he has something to say about deporting “lawbreakers…among the illegal-immigrant population” (italics added, by me). Is he kidding us?

The Statue of Liberty symbolizes America's affection for the world's tired and poor, the "huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Yes, the Statue of Liberty does symbolize “America's affection for the world's tired and poor, the ‘huddled masses yearning to breathe free’ ”. But that affection is, like everything should be in a nation of laws, expressed by our immigration laws. It is our right and privilege, as a free nation, to decide and to prescribe by law, how—under what, if any, conditions— we will accept the world’s “huddled masses.” And we have done so.

Hey, Tony. Why don’t you take a drive down to Ciudad Juarez—just across the border from El Paso (the city you mentioned just above)—and take a walk around the city, draped in our flag. And just for kicks, while you’re walking around, yell at the top of your lungs, “América, América! Sí se puede!” See what happens. On second thought, don’t do any of that. I may disagree with you, but I wouldn’t want you to get yourself beaten to a jelly.

Before someone razes Lady Liberty and decides to erect a wall to "protect" America from the world, shouldn't we at least spend a little time trying to get our facts straight?

Yeah, Tony. Why don’t you go down to the border and do that; get your facts straight. Find one of those tunnels, that no one else has found, and be there to greet our illegal guests. Better yet, hang around with ranchers near the border, who have been warned by law enforcement authorities not to go out on their own land to check on their cattle. I myself wouldn’t want to see the welcome that they give to you. But you go ahead anyway. Get those facts straight.
Tags: Tony Snow, illegal immigration, illegal immigrants, Mexican immigrants
30 March 2006

Stolen? By whom, precisely?

In my previous post, I linked to a photo album which contains this photo

If you will look in the upper right corner of the photo, you will notice a sign that says, “THIS IS STOLEN LAND”.  That is an interesting proposition.  To whom might the sign be referring?  To the Spaniards, who stole it from the “natives”?  To the Mexicans, who, after gaining independence from Spain, kept it?  To the Russians, who stole Alaska—and a bit more—from the Eskimos?  I mean, this sign couldn’t really be referring to the US, could it?  After all, the US paid millions of (nineteenth century) dollars (to the Mexicans, the French, and the Russians) for the land that these people think we stole!  (I know.  I know.  There are those who would like to think that we purchased this land by pointing our guns at the Mexicans.  But, really, who points a gun at someone and says, “Here, let me give you some money that will help you pay a great many of your debts”?)

Besides, I thought it was wrong for one group to force its morality on another.  By telling us that we shouldn’t have stolen that land, aren’t these people sorting of forcing their morality on us?  And aren’t they also doing so by, well, trying to steal it back after we bought it fair and square and telling us that we deserve it for stealing it in the first place?

There’s something else.  I thought Mexico was so bad that this is why they are coming here.  By flying the flag of Mexico (a country they are supposed fleeing from) flag here (in a country they are supposedly fleeing to) aren’t they saying “This land should be part of the hell-hole I just left”?  To where would they then flee?

Anyway, you can see more pictures of the new conquistadores at work here.

Tags: Aztlan, reconquista, illegal immigration.
28 March 2006

13 One Thousand Word Pictures

Here is a photo abum of the aforementioned protest, courtesy of The LA Times, where you can see this photo.

There is nothing like loyalty to one's country. So noble. Posted by Picasa
27 March 2006

One Thousand Word Picture

Take a good look at this picture. Posted by Picasa

In my last post, I was concern to stress the importance of distinctions, relevant distinctions. The photograph above is technically correct: the US was, in fact built by immigrants. This would be a good point if anyone was talking about stopping all immigration. Maybe some are, but this protestor is not dealing with that particular issue. The protestor is addressing the issue of current proposed legislation that deals with illegal immigration.

This is an exercise in deliberately ignoring an issue. No one is talking about immigration per se; the current proposed legislation is not designed to stop immigration. The issue is illegal immigration. The question is whether the US were built by illegal immigrants. And even if someone wanted to claim that the US were built by illegal immigrants, previous abuse is no argument against proper use.

Many people are trying to immigrate here legally. They are waiting upwards of 18 months for the paperwork to go through. They are following the laws. Those who immigrate illegally decide that the laws don’t apply to them.

Many of those who are opposed to the proposed legislation are liberals, Democrats. It is interesting to watch them favor immigrants who migrate here illegally, while at the same time screaming about an illegal war in Iraq, and a President who, they claim, ignores the law in order to spy on Americans. I don’t want to make any unwarranted assumptions about the protestors, so it would be interesting to see the results of a poll which would ask respondents how they feel about the legality of the war in Iraq and about illegal immigration.

You know, one of the arguments in favor of illegal immigration, when whittled down to essentials is, “It’s good for us.” One of the arguments in favor of invading the sovereign nation of Iraq and deposing Saddam Hussein is a great deal similar to that one.

So, I guess one question that I have is why can we permit illegal immigration on the one hand, but not an illegal war? Another question is, “We’re a sovereign nation. Why isn’t it wrong for our neighbors to the south to invade us?” Shouldn’t a sovereign nation be able to define by law who gets in and why?

I used the word invasion. At several of these rallies there have been many more Mexican flags than US flags and people chanting, “México! México! Sí se puede!” (“Mexico! Mexico! Yes we can.”) One would expect that if these rallies were about what is good for the US, by people who wanted to be Americans, there would be no Mexican flags and that the chants would be something like “Queremos ser norte americanos!” (“We want to be Americans!”) As it is they are telling us, “We’re here! We’re Mexicans! Get used to it!” (Recall the leftist reaction to the flying of the US flag on Iraqi soil and compare the disimilar reaction to the flying of the Mexican flag on US soil.)

I live two doors down from an immigrant, a German immigrant. He flies the US flag, not the German flag. He has flown the US flag every day since 9-11-01; and he was the first one on my block to do so. That shamed me.

So let’s not pretend that these immigrants want to participate in our building project. In flying their nation’s flag on our soil and chanting as they did, they have made their loyalties quite clear.

You want to immigrate here? Fine by me, if you will do so legally. Want to fly your nation’s flag? Then go back to that nation you are so proud of and fly that flag on your own soil. For I have no doubt what would happen to me if I vacationed down south and flew my nation’s flag out my hotel window.

Lest anyone think that my motivation is racist: I am the proud descendant of both Viking and Spaniard explorers on my mother’s side. I am the adopted son of a Mexican-American. Viva los estados unidos!
23 March 2006

Certain Distinctions are Supremely Relevant

The title of Justice Ginsberg’s speech which I mentioned in my previous post is "’A  decent Respect to the Opinions of [Human]kind’: The Value of a Comparative perspective in Constitutional Adjudication.”  This title is an allusion to the very first sentence of our Declaration of Independence: “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation (italics added).”

Justice Ginsberg finds some precedent for her “comparative perspective” in the fact that the Declaration expresses a concern for attention to the good opinion of foreign nations.  She would have us to believe that in paying attention to foreign law, and using such to interpret and apply our own, judges do no more than what the Declaration does.  It occurs to me that she overlooks certain distinctions, distinctions which are important and are  made by our very Constitution—the one she has sworn an oath to protect and defend.  I am referring to the distinction between the legistlature and the judiciary, specifically what sort of acts they each may perform, and not perform.

First, she overlooks the fact that the Declaration which evinces this concern for the opinions of other nations, was a legislative act, not a judicial one.  The people, through their representatives in the Continental Congress, expressed this concern and acted upon it by the act of the national Congress.  At the very top of the document one reads: “In Congress, July 4, 1776.”

Second, she seems not to take due note of the fact that the very Declaration which expresses this concern for the opinions of foreign nations, in cataloging the grievances against the King of England, includes among those grievances that, “He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution and unacknowledged by our laws, giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation…. (italics added).”  It is interesting (is it not?) that Justice Ginsberg takes a theme from our Declaration of Independence to justify her (and her fellow travelers’) desire to “subject us to…jurisdiction[s] foreign to our Constitution and unacknowledged by our laws.”  (It is just this sort of selectivity that Justice Scalia criticizes: judges who apply foreign law apply only that body of foreign law which agrees with the position they have already taken!  Here, Justice Ginsberg does it with one of our founding documents!)

Third, she seems unaware of the fact that there is a difference between concern for the opinions of others, and applying the laws of others.  In expressing a concern for “the opinions of mankind” the Declaration does not adjudicate any matter before any court.  It does no more than to express the desire that anyone in the world who may care to know, should know that the reasons behind the revolution were given by the unlawful acts of the King of England.  It is not as if any contrary opinion held by “mankind” would have constituted a veto.  “Mankind” had no vote in the Second Continental Congess.  And I see no reason to give “mankind” a virtual seat on any of our courts.

Fourth, she overlooks the distinction between giving instruction and receiving instruction.  Justices Ginsberg, Breyer, Kennedy and o’Connor, speak of foreign law as instructive though not binding.  But in publishing the facts of the case “to a candid world” the colonists in revolt against the Crown were not seeking instruction; if anything they were giving it.  “These are the reasons,” they inform the world.  They do not—notice!—turn round and ask the candid world, “What do you think?”  Had that candid world stood up in mass and said in unison, “You really should not revolt!” does anyone suppose that any of the colonists would have said, “Wait fellas.  The world has an opinion on this issue we’re struggling with and though it isn’t binding, we really need to pause and consider it”?

Patrick Henry, I’m certain, would have said, “Screw the world.  I still say, ‘Give me liberty or give me death’!”  (Or words to that effect, I’m sure.)

The same Declaration which Justice Ginsberg applies in error, also claims that governments derive "their just powers from the consent of the governed."  We may, from time to time, want to look around the world to see how they address certain issues.  But it isn’t for judges to decide that we, the people, want or need this instruction.  For them to make that decision is to (let me see now, how would Jefferson put it?) “subject us to…jurisdiction[s] foreign to our Constitution” without our consent, as expressed through our representatives in Congress.  Thus another distinction that Justice Ginsberg overlooks: that between representatives and judges, a distinction made very clear in that document which she is supposed (a) to be a master of and (b) to protect and defend; I mean the Constitution, of course.

Tags for this post:  Justice Antonin Scalia, Justice Scalia, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg,  Ruth Bader Ginsberg,  judges, judicial tyranny, tyrants, constitutional interpretation, originalism, living document, frozen-in-time interpretation, Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry.
22 March 2006

Now We Call Them Judges

Anyone who listens to Laura Ingraham, has heard about the speech (i.e., "’A decent Respect to the Opinions of [Human]kind’: The Value of a Comparative Perspective in Constitutional Adjudication”) the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg delivered to the Constitutional Court of S. Africa on 7 February, an argument in favor of using foreign law to interpret and apply the US Constitution.  In keeping with my role as the Jack Ryan of the blogosphere (thanks, Mom) I’ve been reading through it.  (It’s my pleasure to read and analyze liberal crap so no one else has to.)  This could take a few days, what with having to stop occasionally and work (just kidding, boss).

Without taking time here to give it the analysis which, in any fair world, it doesn’t deserve, let me display this gem, as good a sampling of this woman’s genuis as surely there ever could be in a work such as this speech.  After taking several pot shots at originalism, framing it as “frozen-in-time interpretation” (and coming very close to  likening opponents of her view to Justice Roger Taney, of Dred Scot infamy) she affirms a position taken in the Restatement (Third) of Foreign Relations, that "[W]herever the United States acts 'it can only act in accordance with the limitations imposed by the Constitution'" (para. 28 of her speech).  Here’s what’s interesting about that affirmation: her brand of Constitutional interpretation tacitly asserts that there are no limitations imposed by the Constitution!  How could there be?  There can be no limitations imposed by a document which, in order to avoid frozen-in-time interpretations must be treated as if it were living and breathing.  A limitation is a boundary.  A living breathing document specifies no boundaries (whether absolute or relative), lest any insistence upon such boundaries be criticized as a “frozen-in-time interpretation.”  What limitations can be imposed by a document whose meaning may shift at any time, for any reason?

Think of it this way.  You are involved in a boundary dispute with your neighbor to the west of you.  He claims, for reasons you don’t fully comprehend, that he owns the property which you believe you own.  After all, you foolishly think to yourself, I have a deed to the property; and it’s recorded in the county clerk’s office.  Off you and your neighbor go, to court that is, where you are certain that you will win hands down, because, again, you have a deed, a legal document stipulating that you have a right to the property it describes and which is also described in the records at the county clerk’s office.  During the trial you produce the documents which specify your and your neighbor’s respective boundaries, that is the limitations on your and your neighbor’s respective property rights imposed by some legal document(s).  You are, needless to say, shocked to find that the documents which describe the pieces of property owned by you and your neighbor respectively are, according to the judge anyway, not subject to “frozen-in-time interpretations;” because they are living and breathing documents and actually have changed in meaning and, when viewed according to some law in another country, the documents which used to say that you owned your property, now say that your neighbor really owns all the property that you thought was owned by you (and actually was owned by you until the meanings of the relevant documents changed without your knowledge)!

Don’t let the sublties involved in the illustration distract you from seeing that Justice Ginsberg has pulled a barely perceptible trick on you.  She has, in fact contradicted herself: she has said both that a (legal) document with no “frozen-in-time interpretations”  imposes limitations.  Think of it!  A document which ultimately specifies nothing, somehow imposes limitations!  Yes.  On everyone except those who will tell us what those limitations are.  We used to call such people tyrants.

Tags for this post:  Laura Ingraham, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Ruth Bader Ginsberg,  judges, judicial tyranny, tyrants, constitutional interpretation, originalism, living document, frozen-in-time interpretation
14 March 2006

Censure without trial?

So, Senator Feingold wants to censure the President for “domestic spying” (see, Ed O’Keefe, “Feingold Calls for Bush’s Censure,” here).

Even if it’s true—and I don’t claim to know or understand the applicable law, or even all of the relevant facts—consider that a censure is a punitive act.  (Representative Hyde explained this during President Clinton’s impeachment.)  You cannot have a punitive act in this country, without a trial of the facts.  It is wrong for Senator Feingold to initiate a punitive measure without a trial.  And there cannot be a trial, in this case, without an impeachment.  Here’s why: you cannot censure someone except for some wrong-doing.  And the wrong-doing must first be proved.  At this point, the President has been accused of wrong-doing.  And the President has admitted to eaves-dropping; but he has not admitted to any wrong-doing.  Therefore, it must be proved before competent authority that wrong-doing has in fact taken place.  You simply cannot, and ought not to be, punished for being accused of wrong-doing.

So far, all we have on all this amounts to: (1) the accusation of wrong-doing; (2) assertions that the evidence (including statements by the Administration) demonstrates wrong-doing; (3) assertions that this evidence is incontrovertible.  All of this, is, at best the opening statement of the prosecution at trial.  It sure as heck shouldn’t count as verdict!

Oh, one more thing.  Typically, a censure is the act of a body of one of its members.  The President, while not above the law, is not a member of the Senate.

Tags:  Russ Feingold, domestic spying, censure Bush, impeach Bush
10 March 2006

Great Moderates of our Times

I am moved by a recent Michael Medved program to compile, impromptu, a short list of the greatest moderates of recent history. You see, several callers expressed dismay that there are no moderates in much of American politics. So, here it is, my short list of Great Moderates.

1. Neville Chamberlain is the first person I normally think of when it comes to great moderates. And everyone knows who he is, right? Long after Churchill is forgotten, people will remember Chamberlain whose political legacy is defined by his dealings with and appeasment of Nazi Germany. He signed the Munich Agreement with Adolf Hitler in 1938 which effectively allowed Germany to annex the Sudetenland, leaving Czechoslovakia vulnerable to German attack, one of the steps on the road to World War II. Chamberlain remained in office during the Phoney War, from September 1939 to May 1940, but resigned the premiership immediately after Germany invaded the Netherlands, Belgium and France. Sure, he failed to act to avert war, a war which ultimately became a world-wide war; but—and this is important—he brought peace in his time. Of course, his time didn’t last very long. (Hmmmm. On the other hand, he wasn’t very moderate about avoiding war, at any cost, including not acting to enforce the terms of an international treaty violated by Adolph Hitler. Kind of like the UN.) Long after Churchill, Hitler, Stalin, and Roosevelt are fogotten, the world will remember Neville Chamberlain.

2. Arlen Spectre. Who could be more moderate than a Republican who is pro-choice on the abortion issue? This guy is a Republican senator from a largely liberal state. He must work overtime trying not to piss off a sufficient number of both Democrats and Republicans in order to continue to be elected. Hmmmm. On the other hand, he isn’t moderate on the abortion issue. How could one be?

3. How about Joe Leiberman?

Oh, never mind.

This is a waste of time. Moderation for the sake of moderation is ridiculous. I think it was C. S. Lewis who said, “You can’t be a good egg all your life. Sooner or later you must hatch or rot.” Moderates are people who apparently stand for nothing except not standing for anything, or not pissing anyone off. In other words, they are people without commitments; or, if they have commitments, have not the courage of their convictions. More to the point: they are pussilanimous whimps.

Tags: Michael Medved, Neville Chamerlain, Arlen Specter, Joseph Leiberman, moderates, Munich Agreement, Sudentenland, Phoney War

Was the President set up?

A reader of this blog (thanks, for reading) writes:

“Reading Philologous' latest on Dubai I thought I would mention an interesting tidbit I heard yesterday. Do you know that Democratic (former) Senator Daschle represents Dubai in some way? Pres Clinton was advising them for a $fee & there was another Democrat named but can't remember right now. You don't think the Bush Administration was "set up" by these guys do you? They might have guessed what the reaction of Republicans would be. The fact that Hillary says she didn't know Bill was involved, makes a person really skeptical as she isn't that stupid, or is she? Just some facts I heard & know that Philologous knows how to dig further into it.

Also there are two companies looking into buying the ports deal now but don't know if they have the capital to do it. But there is one that does that someone mentioned & that would be the former company of VP Cheney. Wouldn't that be a "hoot" if that came about? How could Congress veto that American company that came to the rescue?”

I’ve done a bit of searching and what I have found is that, in fact, Daschle does not represent Dubai Ports World.  The Daschle connection is this: he works for the  Alston & Bird lobbying and law firm in Washington, D.C., which he joined in 2005 at  Bob Dole's inviation.  It is, in fact, Bob Dole, who represents DPW.  (For more on this read this article, "White House hastens to brief lawmakers on ports deal," by Keith Koffler.)

I too have read and heard that President Clinton has received money from Dubai.  However, what I have found is that this may have little or nothing to do with the ports deal.  First, the money has come from the UAE’s leaders, not from the executives at Dubai Ports World.  (Yes, DPW is a government-owned entity.  But look, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is a government-owned entity; that doesn’t mean that President Bush, or even Karl Rove, approves the programming.)  Second, the money was given as a function of a relationship which has existed between the former President and the UAE and which may have nothing to do with any ports anywhere in the world.  It seems to have more to do with the American Universtity in Dubai.  (For more on this, read this article.)

So, no, I don’t think that the Administration was set up.  It is not as if any and every sale of any and every bit of property (and a port terminal is property) goes across the President’s desk and awaits his personal approval and, on at least this occasion, he got caught.  What I do think happened is that opportunists of both Democratic and Republican stripe took advantage of an opportunity to prey upon people’s fears, and, when accused of this, to blame the President for creating those fears in the first place, as if he has always encouraged us to fear every Muslim nation, never asserting that there are actually peace-loving Muslims in the world.  Hasn’t he been chided for his oft-repeated assertion that Islam is a religion of peace?  Indeed, my friends, The Red Sky Brothers, are constant in mocking this assertion.  I’m sure that we may color them sceptical of the President’s assertions.  BUT…the fact that he has made these assertions goes, I think, a long way toward demonstrating that the President has not, in fact, been urging in us a fear of every Muslim nation.

Don’t get me wrong: I wish there was a way to implicate the Clintons (and Daschle) in all this.  But it just doesn’t seem to be true.

Finally, I for one would not mind seeing a US company owning these port terminals, even if it’s Halliburton.  Operating port terminals is not a business engaged in by everyone.  Besides even Charles Shumer has indicated that he has no objections to the port terminals being owned by Halliburton.  That’s generous of him, isn’t it,  that he has no objection to a company owning something?

Testing, one, two, three

This post is a test.  If you came to read an actual post, just scroll down.  Thank you.  Alternatively, you could go here, since the post below links to it anyway.

Why the Alien Media Nation hates the President

The Dragon Master Gunner has another good post (on the putatively impending civil war in Iraq) in which he asks

Why do they honestly hate him so much? Because they misunderestimated his strategery during the 2000 and 2004 elections? Or because they think of themselves as so much smarter than the rest of us, you know, Red Staters. Do they really think we're ignorant country bumpkins for voting our moral conscience?

I have long pondered this question. I was clued in to the answer during the 1996 Olympics, thanks to Bryant Gumbel’s brother (whose name I cannot recall presently). Those who watched the games may recall being incredulous that the media covering the events just could not bring themselves to root for the American team. When asked about this, Brant Gumbel’s brother explained that they didn’t want to lose their “objectivity”.

Why do the media hate the President? Because they are marxist in worldview. As such they despise capitalism and virtually everyone and everything associated with it, including the nation-state. No doubt, they share Jay Bennish’s view that capitalism is, among other things, opposed to human rights. The action in Iraq, however it may be characterized, is an action by a free nation-state. More than that, it is the action of a free capitalist nation-state. And this free nation-state’s leader is a capitalist; and not just any type of capitalist, but an uber-capitalist. After all what is more capitalist than (gulp and spit) big oil?

That’s why the media hate the President, and their country. It’s part of their hatred of capitalism. And this isn’t their country; the world is their country.


nation-state, capitalism, main stream media, MSM, Marxism, Iraq, Red Staters, Red States, Bryant Gumbel, Jay Bennish

Comparisons are odorous

I was listening to Bill Bennett’s
radio show on the way in to work this morning. James L. Swanson (author of the book, Manhunt: The 12 Day Hunt For Lincoln's Killer) was his guest. Bennett asked Swanson to compare Presidents Bush and Lincoln. Swanson, in commenting on Bush supposed violation of civil rights and of the Constitution generally, said, essentially, that President Bush has done nothing when compared to President Lincoln.

Now, I don’t believe that the President has violated any provision of the Consititution. (In fact, I doubt that it is any secret that I am a fan of the President.) But really, saying that one President has done nothing when compared to some other President is like saying that an accused murderer (including a cop killer here where I live) has done nothing when compared to, say, Charles Manson.

That doesn’t strike me as the best defense. Should the President actually be impeached, I’m glad that Swanson won’t be managing his defense. Should President Bush be impeached, the question at his trial before the Senate will be whether he violated the Constitution or some other provision of federal law, not whether he engaged in fewer violations than some other President.

Besides, I’m not very impressed by President Lincoln anyway. The man took the first step in virtually destroying federalism in this union. (It is possible, you know, to believe in states’ rights without at the same time believing in slavery, racism, or segregation.) In fact, this isn’t much of a union; it’s a dominion. But that’s just me.

Tags: Bill Bennett, James L. Swanson, impeachment, civil rights, Bush, Lincoln, federalism, states’ rights
09 March 2006

An object argument in favor of the line-item veto

Recall that the President said he would veto any bill that would stop the Dubai ports deal (of which I have not been a particular fan). Recall also that the President is committed to financing the war on terror. The President is now in the position of having either (a) to veto a bill financing the war in order to veto a bill blocking the ports deal or (b) signing a bill blocking the ports deal in order to sign a bill providing funding for the war. Why? Because a bill which, among other things, will provide additional financing for the war has an amendment attached to it; and this amendment blocks the port deal. With a line item veto, the President could get the funding for the war and still have the ports deal go through.

Did I mention that I’m not a big fan of the ports deal? What I dislike more than things like this ports deal are dirty tricks like this latest stunt!

By the way: not being a fan doesn’t mean I’m opposed. It just means I’m a sceptic. That’s all. Of course, now that Dubai is pulling out, it doesn't really matter.

Intelligent Design and Plausibility Structures

I wanted to follow up my two posts on Intelligient Design with one on plausiblity structures. But this one at evangelical outpost is already written and posted. Why re-evolve the wheel? While you’re there, this one on dropping use of the term supernatural is also worth the reading.

Terrorist mindset

You’ve got to go to Red Sky Brothers, specifically, right here. They have a 16 minute interview with three former Islamofascist terrorists. It is truly MUST SEE TV.
08 March 2006

The Left’s Problem with America

We hear the Left scream, yell, and rant about American Imperialism. For a change of pace (not to mention tone and volume), try reading this article, “The New Geopolitics of Empire,” by John Bellamy Foster, which at least makes a case without engaging in the sort of annoying whining that most leftists do. How good a case? In the end, Foster’s problem is that the world empire that the US is supposedly building is a capitalist one and not a socialist one. Here’s his conluding paragraph:

What hope remains under these dire circumstances lies in the building of a new world peace movement that recognizes that what ultimately must be overcome is not a particular instance of imperialism and war, but an entire world economic system that feeds on militarism and imperialism. The goal of peace must be seen as involving the creation of a world of substantive equality in which global exploitation and the geopolitics of empire are no longer the principal objects. The age-old name for such a radical egalitarian order is “socialism.”

He simply prefers a pax marxiana to a pax americana. That's his right. But he doesn't really make an ethical case for why socialism is superior to capitalism, or why capitialism is evil. He just writes under the implicit assumption that this is the case. More than likely he would say that the superiority is in the goal of socialism to bring about an equal distribution of wealth. But of course this assumes that such a state of affairs is ethically superior to that state of affairs in which there is an unequal distribution of wealth. Because the marxist worldview is atheistic, I deny that it is in a position to talk ethics. But that's just me.

At any rate, Foster offers something better than typical leftist screed. And he may actually be correct that the powers that be are building an American empire. Well, so what if we are?
03 March 2006

Unlike his students, you have a choice…

[Headnote: This was supposed to have been posted on Friday. I have no idea what happened. File it under Better-late-than-never, even if, now, a bit irrlevant.]

If you would like to hear capitalism-hating Jay Bennish’s geography class anti-Bush tirade Michelle Malkin has posted a link to it here, or you can just click here. (Scroll down on the page to where it says "Listen to the taped remarks made by Overland High teacher Jay Bennish in a 10th grade World Geography class. They were recorded by student Sean Allen. "

In addition to “incompetent” and “whining”…

New Orleans Mayor Ray “School Bus” Nagin can add “disgraceful” to the list of adjectives that fit him.

When you look at something like the photo of the son of a [sorry, I was about to have a Patton moment] below, you must surely agree with the Master Blaster’s assessment.

Can you believe the gall of this sack of [sorry, almost had another Patton moment]? There he is, looking for all the world like a third world dictator, while dressed up in a mock-up of a US military uniform.

Who didn’t know about those darn levees?

As we all know from listening to the news yesterday, the big story is that Bush knew about the levees. The Alien Media Nation, as Bill Bennett likes to call them, are worse marksmen than VP Cheney. Those of us who remember, know that what we all knew about the levees was the possibility that they would be topped, not breached. And that is what the President knew.

The media spent most of yesterday talking as if topped and breached were synonymous terms; and they are not. Of course, it is not very easy to fault them for this error: being so cozy with gays they could easily get the idea that being topped and being breached are the same thing because they are…for gays. Ahem.

But see
this article
for a bit more information regarding what the President knew and, more importantly, where he got some of his information.

Now, I just happen to believe that the AMN (i.e., Alien Media Nation) do know the difference—when it comes to levees—between being topped and breached. What they are counting on is this: that the majority of us do not know the difference.

And their purpose for this? Must be to continue to work on the portrait of the President as a not-Benevolent Dictator (when compared of course to their Benevolent Dictators life Roosevelt and Clinton). For whatever it’s worth, I don’t care whether the President care about me. I don’t want a President to care about me. In fact, I want a government that doesn’t care about me. For, as I said in a previous post, at some point we just have to take responsibility for saving our own asses.

Clash of what?

Interesting exchange here about the nature of the conflict between Muslims and non-Muslims. A brief defense of Jews and Christians by an Arabic-speaking secular humanist.

About Me

James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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