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  • Archive for the 'Immigration' Category

    Book Review: Menace in Europe, by Claire Berlinski

    Posted by David Foster on 27th August 2014 (All posts by )

    Menace in Europe: Why the Continent’s Crisis Is America’s, Too by Claire Berlinski

    —-

    I read this book shortly after it came out in 1996, and just re-read it in the light of the  anti-Semitic ranting and violence which is now ranging across Europe.  It is an important book, deserving of a wide readership.

    The author’s preferred title was “Blackmailed by History,” but the publisher insisted on “Menace.”  Whatever the title, the book is informative, thought-provoking, and disturbing.  Berlinski is good at melding philosophical thinking with direct observation.  She holds a doctorate in international relations from Oxford, and has lived and worked in Britain, France, and Turkey, among other countries.  (Dr Berlinski, may I call you Claire?)

    The book’s dark tour of Europe begins in the Netherlands, where the murder of film director Theo van Gogh by a radical Muslim upset at the content of a film was quickly followed by the cancellation of that movie’s planned appearance at a film festival–and where an artist’s street mural with the legend “Thou Shalt Not Kill” was destroyed by order of the mayor of Rotterdam, eager to avoid giving offense to Muslims. (“Self-Extinguishing Tolerance” is the title of the chapter on Holland.)  Claire moves on to Britain and analyzes the reasons why Muslim immigrants there have much higher unemployment and lower levels of assimilation than do Muslim immigrants to the US, and also discusses the unhinged levels of anti-Americanism that she finds among British elites.  (Novelist Margaret Drabble: “My anti-Americanism has become almost uncontrollable.  It has possessed me, like a disease.  It rises up in my throat like acid reflux…”)  While there has always been a certain amount of anti-Americanism in Britain, the author  notes that “traditionally, Britain’s anti-American elites have been vocal, but they have generally been marginalized as chattering donkeys” but that now, with 1.6 million Muslim immigrants in Britain (more worshippers at mosques than at the Church of England), the impact of these anti-Americans can be greatly amplified.  (Today, there are apparently more British Muslims fighting for ISIS than serving in the British armed forces.)

    One of the book’s most interesting chapters is centered around the French farmer and anti-globalization leader Jose Bove, whose philosophy Berlinski summarizes as “crop worship”….”European men and women still confront the same existential questions, the same suffering as everyone who has ever been born. They are suspicious now of the Church and of grand political ideologies, but they nonetheless yearn for the transcendent.  And so they worship other things–crops, for example, which certain Europeans, like certain tribal animists, have come to regard with superstitious awe.”

    The title of this chapter is “Black-Market Religion: The Nine Lives of Jose Bove,”  and Berlinski sees the current Jose Bove as merely one in a long line of historical figures who hawked similar ideologies.  They range from a man of unknown name born in Bourges circa AD 560, to Talchem of Antwerp in 1112, through Hans the Piper of Niklashausen in the late 1400s, and on to the “dreamy, gentle, and lunatic Cathars” of Languedoc and finally to Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Berlinski sees all these people as being basically Christian heretics, with multiple factors in common.  They tend appeal to those whose status or economic position is threatened, and to link the economic anxieties of their followers with spiritual ones.  Quite a few of them have been hermits at some stage in their lives.  Most of them have been strongly anti-Semitic. And many of the “Boves”  have been concerned deeply with purity…Bove coined the neologism malbouffe, which according to Google Translate means “junk food,” but Berlinski says that translation “does not capture the full horror of bad bouffe, with its intimation of contamination, pollution, poison.”  She observes that “the passionate terror of malbouffe–well founded or not–is also no accident; it recalls the fanatic religious and ritualistic search for purity of the Middle Ages, ethnic purity included.  The fear of poisoning was widespread among the millenarians…”  (See also this interesting piece on environmentalist ritualism as a means of coping with anxiety and perceived disorder.)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Anti-Americanism, Big Government, Book Notes, Britain, Christianity, Civil Society, Deep Thoughts, Europe, Film, France, Germany, History, Immigration, Islam, Judaism, Leftism, Middle East, Religion | 1 Comment »

    Thought-Provoking Posts from Italy, continued

    Posted by David Foster on 11th August 2014 (All posts by )

    …some additional Joy of Knitting posts found at archive.org.

     

    Immigration 8/29/04:

    Those who want an unlimited number of immigrants to move into our country always say sighingly, to the sound of violins, “we were a nation of migrants…”. Which means that as Eyties once used to migrate to other countries, now we have to be generous and take in a billion people. I’m not against immigration, provided that it’s legal and regulated according to established quotas. But I also think that, as Italy can’t provide a decent livelihood for millions upon millions of immigrants, it’s useless to attract them here only to condemn them to a hand to mouth existence. Better support the economy in their own countries. Likewise the same beautiful souls look indulgently on crimes committed by immigrants reminding us that “we exported the Mafia”. Alas, so we did. However, as foreign governments quite rightly adopted whatever measures they deemed necessary to stamp it out, so we shouldn’t condone immigrant criminality. It would be offensive to law-abiding immigrants, sending them the message that they are racially inferior and therefore unable to tell right from wrong.

     

    Communism as a Religion 11/18/04:

    The fact that communism is a religion first dawned on me in the seventies. It struck me that, for all their virulent anti-Catholicism, comrades weren’t after all that different from the most bigoted among their opponents. They believed in Marxism with such a blind faith that merely hearing a different opinion made them fly into a rage and scream “fascist!” with the zeal of an Inquisitor. There were lots of dogmas to believe in unquestioningly, the coming of the Revolution, something called “the centrality of the working class”, proletarian violence, and lots more. No one could depart one jot from the approved faith on pain of excommunication. The doctrine was Marxism, enshrined in its holy texts, and the main prophet was Marx, but there were other prophets, like Lenin. There were saints, like Che Guevara. The god of this religion was a somewhat nebulous figure, either communism itself or a mythical entity called the People, or the Masses, or the Proletariat, which did not in reality correspond to any actual group of persons. Comrades talked about their love humanity all the time, but if there was something they couldn’t stand it was people. Human beings are so messy, so unpredictable, always botching up beautiful dreams of a perfect society in which everybody would be free to do as he is told by the comrades themselves, for his own good, of course. Their idea of paradise, where everyone would be exactly like everyone else, would be brought about by the Revolution. Belief in the Revolution was a central dogma of their faith, the one around which everything gravitated. It was the eschatological event that would lead, through purifying proletarian violence, to palingenesis, to total world renovation. It would be the Second Coming, the Apocalypse, the end of time, freeing humanity from its chains and placing it outside history. With the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, the final triumph of the communist god, there would be no more history. That is, no more anxiety-inducing change, but endless stagnation. Where was Satan in all this? It was capitalistic bourgeois society. An often repeated slogan in those days was “The bourgeois state must be destroyed, not changed”. Criminals were therefore seen as romantic outcasts, the victims of bourgeois society, and terrorists were heroes of the People who fought for the Revolution. If they had to choose between criminals (or terrorists) and their victims, comrades would sympathise with the former and blame the latter. Imagine the left’s predicament in these days. Towards the end of the seventies, when revolutionary ideals started showing cracks, many comrades went mad or even committed suicide. Now, they must either wake up, face reality and renege on everything they’ve believed in so far, or just keep on dreaming.

    When the Translator is a Deconstructionist 11/25/04:

    I once bought a book of John Donne’s poems. I found an Italian edition with the original text on one page and the translation on the facing page. Plus, there was a short introduction about ten pages long. So far, so good. I took the book home, sat down to read it, and got a big surprise. When I happened to glance at the translation I found out that it was much more difficult than the original. The critic who had done it and had also written the introduction was a deconstructivist. While Donne’s text was easy to understand and not at all as obscure as I had been told it was, the translation into my own language was incomprehensible, twisted and tortured, with short, abrupt sentences that did nothing to follow the sustained flow of the original. The translator had rewritten the poems to his liking, even deliberately altering the meaning of the words, but the result had nothing in common with Donne’s work. Determined to see all of the horror perpetrated, I tried to read the introduction, ten miserable pages in a mysterious Italian I couldn’t understand. In the end I gave up. The problem is that the average student who couldn’t yet read English Metaphysical Poetry in the original would have thought that was Donne. The same thing happens to all those who touch anything deconstructivists have been messing about with, like cultures and civilizations. Claiming reality doesn’t exist, they present their own mistaken perceptions as the only possible reality, and want others to behave as if that was the only truth available.

     

    Posted in Academia, Arts & Letters, Deep Thoughts, Europe, History, Human Behavior, Immigration, Leftism | 6 Comments »

    How we should respond to the unaccompanied minor crisis

    Posted by TM Lutas on 31st July 2014 (All posts by )

    If your opponent expects you to pull, don’t pull; push.

    The whole unaccompanied minor federal operation is racist to the core. Were a parent in Illinois to put their kid on a freight car to California with the plan that the kid make his way to Los Angeles where a cousin would pick him up, CPS would put that kid in foster care and seek to terminate parental rights. So where are the cases? Why aren’t the state courts being flooded with cases? Why hasn’t there been a federal injunction filed to identify where these kids are being placed so that the state child protective services can start files? Why are we treating these kids differently than we would if they were american kids with a similar fact pattern.

    Why do we even need to go to court at all to assure that all levels of government are able to do their duty? Why is the Obama administration not only not taking care that these kids not fall between the cracks but are shoving them into the cracks as deep as they possibly can with their refusal to inform state authorities where these kids are?

    You can be assured that the termination of parental rights (and thus rights for the parents to get visas if these kids are ever legalized) will change the calculus that sends these children alone across the border, and quickly.

    The question I have is why isn’t Governor Jindal, Governor Perry, and all the other governors who are protesting these actions not activating their own bureaucracies to do their job and treat these kids exactly like they would treat any other kid in the like circumstance?

    Posted in Current Events, Immigration, Obama | 10 Comments »

    How to Get the Obama Administration to Stop the Illegal-Immigrant Influx on Our Southern Border

    Posted by Jonathan on 28th July 2014 (All posts by )

    Start a rumor that the immigrants are Jews.

    Posted in Current Events, Immigration, Obama | 12 Comments »

    The Rough Beast, Slouching Towards Destination Unknown

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on 21st July 2014 (All posts by )

    Adrift without a map, we are, in the sea of current events. Especially after this last week, which brought us a ground war in Gaza and the shoot-down of a passenger airliner over Ukraine; both situations a little out of the depth of the past experience of Chicago community organizer, even one who spent his grade school years in Indonesia. Quite a large number of the blogs and commenters that I follow have speculated over the last couple of months – at least since last year – and have predicted disaster. They know not the day nor the hour, but they have read the various augurs according to their inclinations, suspicions and particular expertise, and gloomily speculate on the odds of various events occurring. There is something bad coming, the air is thick and heavy with signs and portents, never mind the cheery cast that the current administration and its public affairs division attempts to put on it. It’s like a makeup artist, plying the art on a six-months-dead corpse; it’s just not working.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Americas, Big Government, Civil Society, Immigration, International Affairs, Latin America, Law, North America, Politics, Terrorism, The Press, USA | 18 Comments »

    TWANLOC

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on 6th July 2014 (All posts by )

    The inestimably acute and prolific blog-commenter Subotai Bahadur coined that acronym and has propagated it across the conservative-libertarian corner of the blogosphere ever since. It has achieved the status of an entry on Acronym Finder, for whatever that is worth. It is shorthand for “those who are no longer our countrymen” – itself an abbreviation for a slashing denunciation of those American colonists who were in sympathy with the wishes of Great Britain by Samuel Adams on American independence, delivered in a fiery stem-winder of a speech at the Philadelphia Statehouse in August of 1776 –

    “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Big Government, Civil Society, Conservatism, Deep Thoughts, Immigration, International Affairs, Leftism, Media, Tea Party | 19 Comments »

    IBD: “Child Alien Crisis Obama’s Fault, But GOP Won’t Pounce”

    Posted by Jonathan on 10th June 2014 (All posts by )

    The more than 90,000 children who crossed the Mexican border into the U.S. and were apprehended this year, and the more than 140,000 expected next year, could and should turn the immigration issue into a GOP weapon against Democrats.
     
    Instead of sending them back home to their parents, Attorney General Eric Holder made it a priority to hire taxpayer-funded lawyers for them. Why don’t we hear Cantor, Ryan and other GOP leaders shout that Democrats are exploiting children to further their political agenda?

    Link

    The main thing the Republicans have going for them is that the Democrats are worse.

    Posted in Immigration, Just Unbelievable, Obama, Politics | 5 Comments »

    Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on 24th April 2014 (All posts by )

    I have been unhappy about our role in Afghanistan for several years. This goes back to at least 2009. Then there was this.

    Watching the last two weeks or so in the White House, gives me the sense that the decision is going to be the wrong one. There are three possible choices that Obama has; one is to take his hand-picked general’s advice and send 40,000 more troops. It will stress our military and the logistical challenges are serious. Afghanistan is land-locked and the neighbors are not friendly. Russia will try to create problems, as they already have in Kyrgyzstan. They do not want us to succeed yet they may fear total failure. In the meantime, they are making serious trouble.

    And then, this development.

    it’s an open secret the Taliban are headquartered across the border in the city of Quetta, Pakistan, where they operate openly under the aegis of Pakistani intelligence — and the financial sponsorship of the Saudis.

    Sending more troops to Afghanistan is a necessary, albeit unfortunate, rear-guard action against marauding Taliban fighters armed, trained, supplied and deployed from Quetta — and funded from Riyadh.

    NATO and U.S. military command know this. They’ve complained about it over and over in military action reports. So have Treasury officials regarding Saudi funding of the Taliban.

    “Saudi Arabia today remains the location where more money is going to terrorism — to Sunni terror groups and the Taliban — than any other place in the world,” testified Stuart Levey, Treasury undersecretary.

    This is Viet Nam all over again. The enemy has a sanctuary and our allies are siding secretly with our enemies.

    Well, today, there is another bit of information

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Afghanistan/Pakistan, Big Government, Conservatism, Current Events, Education, Immigration, Middle East, Statistics | 44 Comments »

    Could Amnesty save the Democrats this fall ?

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on 21st January 2014 (All posts by )

    The catastrophic launch of Obamacare and its continuing problems has been decried as “Stalingrad for the Democrats.” I tend to agree but there is another issue coming soon that is “a cloud no bigger than a man’s hand.” It is Amnesty for illegal aliens and it is coming to a Republican Party near you.

    Mickey Krause, one of the last blue dog Democrats thinks it will be a sellout.

    The coming weeks will see the formal start of the GOP House leadership’s attempt to sneak an immigration amnesty through the Republican caucus and into law. We don’t know the exact details of the proposals, but we know enough:

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Business, Immigration, North America, Politics, Tea Party | 9 Comments »

    What is a conservative ?

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on 30th June 2013 (All posts by )

    Right now we have the immigration bill that has been passed by the Senate after being written by the “Gang of 8.” This bill, like so many major pieces of legislation lately, was written in secrecy and has not been through the usual committee process. “We have to pass it to see what is in it.”

    As if Obamacare were not enough, here we have another opaque and mysterious bit of legislation that is thousands of pages of incomprehensible legalese.

    Jennifer Rubin weighs in with a rather beltway-oriented view. Fair enough as she writes in the Washington Post.

    The immigration battle, the debate over U.S. involvement in Syria and the flap over NSA surveillance have suggested two starkly different visions of the GOP as well as two potential paths for the GOP.

    The question remains whether the GOP will become the party of: Sen. Rand Paul, Ky., or Sen. Kelly Ayotte, N.H., on national security; The Gang of Eight or the Gang of Three (Sens. Mike Lee, Ted Cruz and Jeff Sessions) on immigration; Sen. Rob Portman, Ohio, or Rick Santorum on gay marriage; Broad-based appeal (e.g. Govs. Chris Christie, Gov. Scott Walker) or losing ideologues (Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Michele Bachmann). I don’t know that Angle and O’Donnell were “ideologues.” Angle, at least was an amateur, somewhat like other candidates supported by the Tea Party.

    I’m not sure I agree with her choices but let’s think about it.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Big Government, Book Notes, Civil Society, Conservatism, Current Events, Economics & Finance, Elections, Immigration, Islam, Obama, Politics, Tea Party | 6 Comments »

    Who benefits from Immigration ?

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on 27th May 2013 (All posts by )

    The British seem to be discovering something about immigration that was obvious to many of us on this side of the Atlantic a long time ago.

    documented immigrant

    The release of a previously unseen document suggested that Labour’s migration policy over the past decade had been aimed not just at meeting the country’s economic needs, but also the Government’s “social objectives”.

    The paper said migration would “enhance economic growth” and made clear that trying to halt or reverse it could be “economically damaging”. But it also stated that immigration had general “benefits” and that a new policy framework was needed to “maximise” the contribution of migration to the Government’s wider social aims.

    The Government has always denied that social engineering played a part in its migration policy.

    However, the paper, which was written in 2000 at a time when immigration began to increase dramatically, said controls were contrary to its policy objectives and could lead to “social exclusion”.

    Imagine that !

    Last night, the Conservatives demanded an independent inquiry into the issue. It was alleged that the document showed that Labour had overseen a deliberate open-door ­policy on immigration to boost multi-culturalism.

    Voting trends indicate that migrants and their descendants are much more likely to vote Labour.

    The existence of the draft policy paper, which was drawn up by a Cabinet Office think tank and a Home Office research unit, was disclosed last year by Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett.

    He alleged at the time that the sharp increase in immigration over the past 10 years was partly due to a “driving political purpose: that mass immigration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multi-cultural”.

    Yet Marco Rubio assures us that the new immigrant citizen will vote for Republicans out of gratitude.

    Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of Migrationwatch, said the document showed that Mr Neather, who claimed ministers wanted to radically change the country and “rub the Right’s nose in diversity”, had been correct in his account of Labour’s immigration policy.

    It’s too late for the Brits, as we see.

    What does our future hold ? Of course, our new immigrants don’t use meat cleavers.

    Posted in Britain, Civil Society, Immigration, Latin America, Politics | 15 Comments »

    Lessons from Boston

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on 20th April 2013 (All posts by )

    Update #2: I have great deal of respect for Richard Fernandez and his opinions.

    The second part of the response is that an outsourced, privatized jihad will probably be increasingly met by privatized security regime based on reputation. With the government unwilling to profile in a increasingly vulnerable public space some entrepreneurs may create members-only events where attendance is limited to pre-cleared individuals who pay to have themselves vetted.

    I think this has merit.

    UPDATE: There have been three more arrests of young people with heavy Russian accents near U Mass. They had a car, a BMW, with the license plate “terrorista #1. Photos at the link.

    One jihadist is dead and the other is in custody. The younger bomber’s wounds have not been described so it is impossible to say if he will survive. The emergency is over and now it is time to think about why this happened. It now appears that both young men were long time residents of this country and, at least the younger was a citizen. Both had registered to vote, according to Nexis. The older brother was married with a child. His wife had converted to Islam and, according to reports yesterday, was wearing a full chador when she was taken from their home protesting about a male FBI agent handling a Muslim woman. She was lucky, as one commenter observed, that she was not strip searched as Chechen women have been prominent in terrorism cases in Russia, sometimes as suicide bombers wearing bomb belts.

    The majority [of suicide bombers] are male, but a huge fraction — over 40 percent — are women. Although foreign suicide attackers are not unheard of in Chechnya, of the 42 for whom we can determine place of birth, 38 were from the Caucasus. Something is driving Chechen suicide bombers, but it is hardly global jihad.

    I doubt the Times’ insistence on the absence of Islamist motives although Chechens have been at war with Russians for centuries. The suicide bomb is a common weapon for jihadists. The Palestinian “Mother of Martyrs” comes to mind.

    Mariam Farhat, who said she wished she had 100 sons to die while attacking Israelis, died in a Gaza city hospital of health complications including lung ailments and kidney failure, health official Ashraf Al-Kidra said. She was 64.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Anti-Americanism, Britain, Civil Society, Immigration, Islam, Leftism, Middle East, National Security, Politics, Religion, Russia, Terrorism | 5 Comments »

    Archive Post: Borderland

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on 17th October 2012 (All posts by )

    (From the archives of the Daily Brief – a meditation on living in the borderlands. Business is suddenly jumping for the Tiny Publishing Bidness, and I suddenly have a lot of editing to do and a short time to do it in. I honestly don’t have anything else to say about the debate last night that the other guyz haven’t already said.)

    It’s part of the tourist attraction for San Antonio, besides the Riverwalk and the Alamo. Even though this part of South Texas is still a good few hours drive from the actual physical border between Mexico and the United States, the River City is still closer to it than most of the rest of the continental states. It falls well within that ambiguous and fluid zone where people on both sides of it have shifted back and forth so many times that it would be hard to pin down a consistent attitude about it all. This is a place where a fourth or fifth-generation descendent of German Hill-Country immigrants may speak perfectly colloquial Spanish and collect Diego Riviera paintings…. And the grandson of a semi-literate Mexican handyman who came here in the early 1920ies looking for a bit of a break from the unrest south of the border, may have a doctoral degree and a fine series of fine academic initials after his name. And the fact that the original settlers of Hispanic San Antonio were from the Canary Islands, and all non-Hispanic whites are usually referred to as “Anglos”, no matter what their ethnic origin might be, just adds a certain surreality to the whole place. Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Civil Society, Diversions, Immigration, North America, Personal Narrative, Society, Urban Issues, USA | 4 Comments »

    Impressions of the second debate.

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on 16th October 2012 (All posts by )

    Obama was much more animated and his supporters will be happier tonight.

    I think Romney was more impressive but I am a partisan. What surprised me was a focus group collected by Frank Luntz that decided that Romney won overwhelmingly. These were Obama voters in 2008. Their comments were very interesting. One woman supported Obama because of his comments about contraception. She was pretty much alone.

    Obama said some things that will be in RNC ads next week.

    1. He said that oil and gas leases were increased on public land during his administration. That is not true and Romney called him on it. Chris Wallace checked the facts and Romney was correct.

    2. He said that Romney would raise taxes on the middle class and he had cut them. I don’t think anyone believed him. Romney did a good job, better than the first debate, in explaining his proposals.

    3. The was only one question on Libya and Obama lied about what he said the day after the attack. That was foolish and we will see the Rose Garden statement many times before the election. He mentioned terrorism but the connection with Benghazi was not made. For weeks after, Obama and his underlings, especially Susan Rice the first black UN ambassador, kept offering the story of the anti-Muslim video.

    4. The concerns about Candy Crowley as moderator were well based. She cut off Romney multiple times and Obama talked right past the clock. He ended with 7 more minutes of time. In addition, contrary to the agreement, Candy Crowley inserted herself into the questioning and supported Obama in his assertion that he had described the attack on the Benghazi consulate as terrorism. She later, after the debate was over admitted her mistake. That will be a topic until the election.

    5. There was a dumb question about an “assault weapons ban.” Romney did well to note that automatic weapons are already illegal, a detail that escapes most Democrats, like Diane Feinstein

    All in all, I thought Romney did well and Obama improved his performance from last time, although at the cost of a number of falsehoods that will provide fodder for the large Romney ad budget in the next two weeks.

    There were several exchanges on immigration policy and education but these were the highlights for me.

    Posted in Economics & Finance, Elections, Health Care, Immigration, Middle East, Politics, Terrorism | 26 Comments »

    Obama and amnesty

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on 16th June 2012 (All posts by )

    On Friday, as is often the case, Obama announced a new executive policy to impose a two year moratorium on deportation of young illegals if they can show they were brought here as children and have finished high school with no encounters with the law. They must be under 30 and were brought here before age 16. He promised that citizenship was not included and did not mention if family members were affected. Janet Napolitano, head of Homeland Security announced that this was the new policy but there has been no confirmation of an executive order.

    I don’t have a real problem with this policy but it avoids Congress and legislation, a problem that even Obama acknowledged last year. It is a transparent ploy to appeal for Latino votes. Everyone knows that.

    It also will close an opening for compromise.

    Obama’s decision probably reduces the likelihood that the scenarios of greatest concern to me will come to pass, especially if Obama is re-elected. Irate Republicans are even less likely than before to cooperate with the administration on this issue now that it has acted so high-handedly and in such a patently political manner. As Marco Rubio, who is planning to sponsor some sort of DREAM Act, said today, by imposing a new policy by executive order, Obama has made it harder in the long run to reach consensus on “comprehensive policy,” i.e., one that gives illegal immigrants additional benefits and a path to citizenship.

    The attraction of the action taken by Obama may have been that it would trump a possible Republican compromise on this topic. Now, suspicion has grown that amnesty and voting rights are the next step. The use of executive order for such a change in policy has been attacked as illegal.

    So what we have here is a president who is refusing to carry out federal law simply because he disagrees with Congress’s policy choices. That is an exercise of executive power that even the most stalwart defenders of an energetic executive — not to mention the Framers — cannot support.

    Even Obama said the same a few months ago in explaining his then inaction. “I wish I could wave my magic wand,” Mr. Obama said. “Until Nancy Pelosi is speaker again… At the end of the day, I can’t do this all by myself. We’re going to have to get Congress to act. I know Nancy Pelosi’s ready to act. It’s time to stop playing politics.”

    Well, playing politics is the order of the day and the Republicans should focus on the illegality of doing it by executive order and not on the policy, itself. With proper safeguards, the policy is a good idea although there may be backlash from semi-skilled unemployed who just got a million new competitors. Certainly the unemployment figures should now be adjusted for all the new legal job seekers.

    The distraction of the Daily Caller reporter interrupting the president was an amusing sidelight. Had Obama demonstrated humor and a benign manner, it might have been a good moment for him. Instead, he showed anger and the incident will probably lead to more interruptions as it seems to be the only way to ask this president a question.

    Posted in Big Government, Crime and Punishment, Cuba, Immigration, Law Enforcement, Politics, Speeches | 26 Comments »

    Grasshoppers and Frost

    Posted by L. C. Rees on 26th April 2012 (All posts by )

    On September 22, 1859, Edmund Rees, wife Margaret, and the five Rees children (ages 12-18 months) arrived in Great Salt Lake City, the twelve-year old capital of the nine-year old Utah Territory. Edmund and Margaret were natives of Monmouthshire in the southeastern corner of Wales. While they’d both joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the early 1850s, they didn’t gather to Zion and emigrate to Utah until Edmund developed asthma after years spent cutting coal in the Monmouthshire mines that fueled the early Industrial Revolution.

    The Rees family started their journey with $500, the results of selling their home. $100 got them from Wales to Iowa: they left the old country on April 11, 1859, sailed across the Atlantic on the John Talbot, landed at New Orleans, and sailed up the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers to Council Bluffs, Iowa by steam boat. Another $100 got them two oxen, a covered wagon, a milk cow, and safely across the Plains to Utah.

    Edmund was unfamiliar with handling livestock: the first time he put the yoke on the oxen, he put it on upside down.

    So Margaret took over.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in History, Immigration | 19 Comments »

    Hoffer on Hope & Change

    Posted by David Foster on 19th February 2012 (All posts by )

    The millions of immigrants dumped on our shores after the Civil War underwent a tremendous change, and it was a highly irritating and painful experience. Not only were they transferred, almost overnight, to a wholly foreign world, but they were, for the most part, torn from the warm communal existence of a small town or village somewhere in Europe and exposed to the cold and dismal isolation of an individual existence. They were misfits in every sense of the world, and ideal material for a revolutionary explosion. But they had a vast continent at their disposal, and fabulous opportunities for self-advancement, and an environment which held self-reliance and individual enterprise in high esteem. And so these immigrants from stagnant small towns and villages in Europe plunged into a mad pursuit of action. They tamed and mastered a continent in an incredibly short time, and we are still in the backwash of that mad pursuit.

    Things are different when people subjected to drastic change find only meager opportunities for action or when they cannot, or are not allowed to, attain self-confidence and self-esteem by individual pursuits. In this case, the hunger for confidence, for worth, and for balance directs itself toward the attainment of substitutes. The substitute for self-confidence is faith; the substitute for self-esteem is pride; and the substitute for individual balace is fusion with others into a compact group.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Civil Society, History, Immigration, USA | 7 Comments »

    Honor killings

    Posted by Charles Cameron on 7th March 2011 (All posts by )

    I had occasion today to give myself a quick refresher course on honor killings, one form of which is already present in the Torah as of Leviticus 21.9:

    And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.

    and found myself once again noting that there is a substantial swathe of regions of the world where honor killings are found, and that where it is found (including in immigrant communities from those parts of the world) the practice is not confined to any one religious group.

    Hence this DoubleQuote:

    I think it is appropriate to consider honor killing a form of religious violence when the claim is made by those who do the killing that they are acting in the name of their religion — but that it is also important to distinguish such acts committed in a cultural context in which they are practiced across religions from acts that are the exclusive province of one religious tradition.

    There are examples of honor killings which are performed in the name of Islam, and/or advocated by Islamic scholars — and the same could no doubt be said of other religious traditions — but honor killing as a genre is fundamentally more cultural than religious.

    Sources: Brandeis studyBBCSydney Morning Herald

    The analytic point:

    From my point of view as an analyst, it is important to note and compare both religious and cultural drivers — neither avoiding mention of the one out of “correctness” — nor overlooking the other for lack of comparative data.

    Posted in Afghanistan/Pakistan, Britain, Christianity, Human Behavior, Immigration, India, International Affairs, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Judaism, Middle East, Morality and Philosphy, Religion, Society | 36 Comments »

    Answer To Their Prayers

    Posted by James R. Rummel on 15th February 2011 (All posts by )

    There has been some activity on the news channels about how the head of an anti-illegal immigrant group was convicted of murder.

    It appears that a few of her followers dressed as police officers in order to kill and rob a family involved with drug dealing. The motive was money and drugs that might have been in the home, and these ill-gotten profits would then be used to fund “border operations”.

    Of course, the convicted was kicked out of a better established group before deciding to start her own. To all indications, she was oen of those strange and disturbed characters that one always finds on the fringes.

    I expect that advocates of “immigration reform” will find this incident to have a great deal of value to them. Anyone who suggests that border enforcement comes first will probably be tarred as a murderous vigilante.

    Posted in Crime and Punishment, Immigration | Comments Off

    The next assassination attempt

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on 13th January 2011 (All posts by )

    The shooter in Tucson is an obvious paranoid schizophrenic, uninterested in and ignorant of political rhetoric.

    Ashleigh Banfield said that Loughner “disliked the news. He didn’t listen to political radio. He didn’t take sides. He wasn’t on the left. He wasn’t on the right,” according to an interview on “Good Morning America.” Loughner wasn’t shooting at people, “he was shooting at the world,” Banfield said, according to the report.

    The next shooter will probably be very interested in the hate-filled rhetoric coming from the left and directed at talk radio and Fox New, plus of course, Sarah Palin.

    I fear that the torrent of hate and slander that has poured from the left, including the “paper of record” the New York Times, will agitate some leftist radical and we will have an ugly incident. Libertarian (and gay) Dutch politician (and professor), Pim Fortuyn was assassinated in 2002, three weeks before the next election, by a Green and “animal rights” activist.

    However, words have power and if someone is called a racist often enough, an impressionable mind may decide that saving the world from the latest Hitler will require that person’s murder.

    Some version of that scenario appears to have taken place in the Netherlands on May 6, 2002, with the political assassination of Pim Fortuyn, a rising star in Dutch politics who could possibly have become the next Prime Minister. A man identified only as an “animal rights activist” shot him down in the street near a radio station.

    Certainly Professor Fortuyn’s notoriety played a part in his being targeted. Both the media and Dutch politicians in the ruling party attacked him mercilessly in the most disparaging language. Prime Minister Wim Kok called him a fascist, as did the European press. Anyone who objects to massive Muslim immigration is branded automatically as a racist, xenophobe and fascist. Mr. Fortuyn was regularly compared with real right-winger Jean Le Pen, although aside from the immigration issue, the men had nothing in common.

    The assassin was a typical leftist activist.

    A vegan animal rights activist accused of the murder of the controversial Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn has confessed, public prosecutors said on Saturday. Volkert van der Graaf is reported as saying he saw Mr Fortuyn’s far-right views as a threat to vulnerable sections of society.

    Note that Fortuyn’s speeches were principally concerned about Muslim immigration. For that position, he was called “far right” and a fascist. This person who did the killing that was obviously being called for by leftist politicians and the media, had nothing to do with Muslims. He was responding to the rhetoric from the political left.

    I fear we may see a similar attempt this year as the next election begins to raise the temperature of political speech. I hope Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin have good security. She is probably the most vulnerable and I really worry about her safety.

    Posted in Civil Society, Conservatism, Europe, Human Behavior, Immigration, Leftism, Media, Politics | 17 Comments »

    The Shooting in Tucson

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on 9th January 2011 (All posts by )

    I have had a house in Tucson for the past five or six years. It is in Gabriel Gifford’s Congressional district. I know the corner of Ina Road and Oracle Road where the shooting occurred. I know and like Tucson and Arizona. I would rather be living there than here because I have serious fears about California’s future while I think Arizona is now in pretty good hands. They had a housing bubble but they have more sensible people in that state government.

    Gabriel Gifford’s district includes some of the most affluent areas of Tucson. To be re-elected, she had to be a “blue dog” Democrat. She has an appealing personal story. Her father is a sheriff of a neighboring county and her husband is an astronaut. I would not have voted for her because she had a very attractive opponent but there was very little of the animosity in that election that there was in other district races. Some of her constituents were unhappy about her healthcare vote. She had gotten the message and voted against Nancy Pelosi for minority leader of the Democrats, one of 17 Democrats to do so.

    The press conference by the Pima County sheriff yesterday was disgraceful. I watched the whole thing. He went over and over his theories that harsh political discourse was somehow a cause of the shooting. He repeated the whole mantra three times by my count. Other than that, he provided very little information, for example, declining to give the suspect’s name when everyone with an internet connection knew what it was. I think he may have been reacting to personal distress as he probably knows Ms Gifford’s father and has known her for a long time. I also suspect he is a Democrat as Tucson is a rather left wing city being the site of the University of Arizona. The City Council has been very left wing and several members were defeated in the previous election as they had spent far too much money on frivolous projects, some of which had never been completed.

    There is a lot of wild talk on left wing web sites, some of which is being rolled back as Daily Kos and the DNC scrub web sites of similar images and rhetoric as conservative sites and people they are attacking. A lot of it has been scrubbed but some people have found Google caches.

    Like this DLC “targeting map.”

    There has been a lot of talk about how “angry” Arizona people are. Well, maybe they have reason to be angry. The Obama administration has sued the state to try to stop an Arizona law that merely enforces a federal law that Obama seems disinterested in enforcing. Arizona is overrun with illegals immigrants, drug violence is 60 miles away in Mexico and auto insurance rates are sky high because of car theft. Someone I know had a LoJack system installed in his car. When he realized the car was stolen, the police activated the locator and the car was already 60 miles into Mexico.

    Some of the angry rhetoric comes from a sense that the people have lost control of the government since Obama was elected. The health care bill was opposed in every poll of public opinion. The Republican minority was completely opposed. Yet, the bill was passed by procedural maneuvers never before used to pass legislation of this magnitude. As the people have learned more about the bill, they like it less. Nancy Pelosi told us they have to pass it so we can find out what is in it. Yes, the people of Arizona are angry. But it had nothing to do with yesterday’s shooting.

    The young man is obviously a paranoid schizophrenic. His ramblings on a You Tube video contain the typical delusions of schizophrenics. He goes on about the government controlling minds through grammar. He appears to be obsessed with grammar and goes on about introducing a new currency for which he will be the Treasurer. These are the delusional ravings of a psychotic. There appears to be some level of disappointment that he is not associated with a political ideology, especially the tea party. There are already think pieces about “violence”, by which they mean talk radio and Fox News, just as Clinton did after the McVeigh bombing in Oklahoma.

    By day’s end, the argument that the political right—fueled by anti-government, and anti-immigrant passions that run especially strong in Arizona—is culpable for the Tucson massacre, even if by indirect association, seemed to be validated by the top local law enforcement official investigating the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D).

    This refers to that disgusting press conference by the Pima County sheriff. They even have a video of his rant.

    Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, an elected Democrat, at a news conference Saturday evening.

    Yup, I guessed right.

    One veteran Democratic operative, who blames overheated rhetoric for the shooting, said President Barack Obama should carefully but forcefully do what his predecessor did.

    They need to deftly pin this on the tea partiers,” said the Democrat. “Just like the Clinton White House deftly pinned the Oklahoma City bombing on the militia and anti-government people.”

    Another Democratic strategist said the similarity is that Tucson and Oklahoma City both “take place in a climate of bitter and virulent rhetoric against the government and Democrats.”

    Isn’t it odd that movies about the assassination of George Bush are not considered too extreme ?

    I think Representative Gifford will recover as the gunshot wound track passed from her temple out her forehead, probably missing her brain. A family friend said she is now in induced coma, no doubt to minimize cerebral edema from the contusion to the brain from the shock wave. I don’t know if the Democratic party will recover from its disinterest in debate and its tendency to try to demonize its opponents instead of argue with them.

    Posted in Big Government, Conservatism, Crime and Punishment, Elections, Health Care, Immigration, Law Enforcement, Media, Politics, Terrorism, The Press | 18 Comments »

    Tea Party Bozo Show

    Posted by Bruno Behrend on 19th October 2010 (All posts by )

    Miller cites Communist East Germany as effective in dealing with border security

    The scuffle between the editor of Alaska Dispatch and Joe Miller’s security guards at a public forum in Anchorage late Sunday is getting much national attention today. Getting lesser but growing attention is Miller’s answer at the forum to a question from the audience about how he would deal with illegal immigration. Anchorage blogger Steve Aufrecht was there and is among those today who are criticizing Miller’s response that Communist East Germany is a good example of a nation achieving border security. He quotes Miller as saying: “The first thing that has to be done is secure the border. … East Germany was very, very able to reduce the flow. Now, obviously, other things were involved. We have the capacity to, as a great nation, secure the border. If East Germany could do it, we could do it.”

    What a blithering idiot!

    These apparently are the only choices for Rs these days.  A class of in-bred crooks who serve the functional equivalent of perverted uncles molesting American principles, or a class of pseudo articulate ass-clowns.

    Oh well, the upside is that I’ll likely get my wish that Rs don’t get the senate. That’s a nice silver lining.

    Posted in Germany, Immigration | 32 Comments »

    Own Goals?

    Posted by Jonathan on 23rd May 2010 (All posts by )

    The other night on Fox one of the heads characterized Rand Paul’s principled libertarian criticism of the 1964 Civil Rights Act as a political “own goal”.

    Meanwhile, President Obama not only did not take issue when President Calderon of Mexico, a guest at the White House, used a joint press conference to criticize his hosts because of the State of Arizona’s new anti-illegal immigration law, Obama actually spoke in support of Calderon’s argument and against the government of Arizona and, implicitly, against his own country.

    Here are a couple of questions:

    -Did Obama and Calderon coordinate their remarks ahead of time?

    -Who really made an own goal here?

    Posted in Immigration, Obama, Politics | 9 Comments »

    Mr. Calderon, Tear Down this Wall

    Posted by Mitch Townsend on 27th April 2010 (All posts by )

    The president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, does not like the immigration law recently enacted in Arizona. He thinks it “doesn’t adequately guarantee respect for people’s fundamental rights.” Whether there exists a right to enter and remain in a foreign country without permission is certainly a proposition open to debate, and not often said to exist in other circumstances.

    The US border has long served as a safety valve for Mexico. When there are no jobs available there, unemployed Mexicans have often come north for better prospects. Not only does this situation permit Mexicans to make their living here and support the families they left behind, but it also takes pressure off the Mexican establishment. From the point of view of the Mexican authorities, the poor and unemployed are better off working in the US than staying home causing trouble. The prospect of violence and insurrection is a real one. A porous border protects Mexico from some of the effects of its statist policies. The remittances from abroad, even with the US in recession, are still second only to oil as a legal source of foreign income.

    The US has an official policy of excluding illegal immigrants from Mexico, a business policy of employing them cheaply, and a political policy of appealing to whatever side of the question brings in votes and money. What we have not done is address the Mexican government’s policies. The current Mexican policy is to encourage illegal emigration to the US in sufficient numbers to compensate for the lack of economic opportunity within Mexico’s borders. Mexico makes little or no effort to restrict the northward flow, and has no incentive to do so.

    Leaving Mexico out of this discussion makes it completely useless to deal with the subject at all. Any immigration reform in the US that is not acceptable to Mexico will be subverted.

    Physical barriers can make it more difficult to cross into the US, but no barrier is impenetrable. Past efforts have affected the immigration flow only marginally. Now people cross the desert in Arizona instead of California. It is more dangerous and expensive now, which makes the smuggling gangs more important and prosperous. Short of erecting a Soviet-style border defense, with barbed wire, minefields, and machine gun posts, this is an approach that has not worked and will not work.

    The single largest factor that reduced illegal immigration from Mexico was the US recession. We should take a hint from that. Think of the border as a semi-permeable membrane. If the border is impermeable to investment, but permeable to people, people will flow across toward where there is investment (and jobs) until an equilibrium point is reached. To reduce this osmotic pressure, and reach an equilibrium point involving less movement across the border, it is necessary to increase investment in Mexico.

    Under the Mexican constitution (Article 27), all mineral rights belong to the government. Oil is extracted and processed by a state monopoly, Pemex. With the state desperate for money, Pemex has deferred maintenance and exploration, and is considered to be in a run-off mode as existing petroleum reserves are used up and newer extraction techniques are ignored. Nevertheless, Mexico has for many years issued licenses to foreign mining companies, and is the world’s second largest producer of silver. Under the same article, foreigners cannot own land within 100 km of a border or 50 km of the sea. Various restrictions also apply to foreign ownership in communications, transportation, and financial services.

    The Mexican state uses its power over the economy to reward political allies, punish enemies, and extract benefits for the politicians themselves. Nothing about this should seem unfamiliar to residents of any large American city, but the scope given by Mexican law for self-serving politicians is something even big city mayors could only dream of.

    We are going to have to accommodate a certain large number of Mexicans coming to the US. The circumstances of their coming and remaining should be debated, but so should the conditions that drive them. We should not let it happen without getting economic concessions from Mexico.

    Update: Fausta has much more about the Mexican government’s cynical policy on immigration.

    Posted in Americas, Economics & Finance, Immigration, North America | 13 Comments »

    Containing Mexico

    Posted by Joseph Fouche on 5th April 2010 (All posts by )

    tehag comments on Alas! Poor Mexico. So Far From God, So Close to Chaos:

    Containment worked for the Soviet Union. Do you think it will work for Mexico?

    I figure that’s worth a post.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Americas, Immigration, Latin America, Law Enforcement, National Security, Urban Issues | 4 Comments »