Our Way of Life

"You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done." - Ronald Reagan

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Bill Targeting Mexican Aid Over Cop-Killer Passes House

Very good news here. The bill by Rep. Bob Beauprez has passed the House by a 3-1 margin! This is one small step, but a sign that Washington is beginning to realize that Americans are becoming very impatient about the problem of illegal aliens. A previous post which provides some background information on the bill is here.

Scandinavia and Islam

Fjordman has an excellent post about the current state of Scandinavia and Islam.


Outsiders frequently tend to view Scandinavia more or less as one country. It is true that these countries have much in common, but the differences that do exist should not be underestimated. When it comes to reactions to Muslim immigration, they are actually quite significant. Sweden is perhaps the most suicidal dhimmi nation in the Western world, and is pretty much disintegrating at this very moment. Neighboring Finland hardly has any immigrants at all. In comparison, 85 % of MPs in Norway recently passed a law saying that Norwegians are guilty of discriminating against immigrants until proven otherwise. At the same time, the authorities are covering up a disturbing amount of rapes committed by immigrants, and the fact that native Norwegians may become a minority in their own country in a couple of generations if the current immigration continues. As a contrast, Denmark is probably the one Western nation where the debate surrounding Muslim immigration is most mainstream and open. What's more remarkable is that it started even before 9/11 or the killings of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh. Since coming to power nearly four years ago, PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s centre-right government has imposed some of the toughest regulations in the EU on asylum seekers. Denmark has tightened its immigration rules to make it harder for fundamentalist Muslim clerics to settle in the country. In a historic ruling, the Danish Supreme Court decided to expel two young Turks from Denmark even though they have lived in the Scandinavian country their entire lives. Several European countries are looking to Denmark for inspiration on dealing with immigration problems.

Do yourself and the West a favor and go read it now.

Perspective

Here is an excellent article by Max Boot which puts the current hysteria over "torture" in perspective.

Pressure Mounts

It is good to see that Instapundit, Mickey Kaus, and even The Corner are mentioning the increase in illegal immigration caused by Bush's quasi-amnesty plan. I hope that Bush's team can come to grips with the fact that they are fighting a losing battle here. If the Republican party wants to win over some moderate Democrat voters, they would be well advised to do an about-face on immigration.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Pakistani Wanted by U.S. Found in Mexico

This is very interesting:


MEXICO CITY — Mexico (search) is investigating what a Pakistani national wanted by the United States for allegedly selling anti-aircraft missiles was doing in a beach community outside Tijuana, President Vicente Fox's spokesman said Thursday.


As President Bush likes to say, "family values don't stop at the Rio Grande"; there is no reason to believe that terrorists do either.

Learning from Israel on Foreign Labor

Israel is showing the West the way to deal with foreign laborers, be they illegal aliens or simply unassimilable immigrants, when it becomes clear that the system is not working:


Since the early 1990s, when Israel reduced the number of Palestinian workers it would allow in the country, it has relied on large numbers of foreign workers from developing nations and Eastern Europe to do manual jobs. The workers come hoping for relatively high wages, but many say they find their promised land offers little more than exploitation and, according to Israeli human rights activists, "slavery conditions."

And, in response to high unemployment rates in Israel in 2002, the government of Ariel Sharon decided to send home 263,000 foreign workers - 10 percent of Israel's workforce.

David watched nervously from a cafe recently as a van of immigrant police drove past. The two officers normally stop suspicious people and demand their papers and, if not satisfied, put them in the van and drive on until it is full. At the police station, they verify the identity of the detainees and let them go or deport them.

Admittedly, some of the steps the Israelis take do sound somewhat heavy handed, but fundamentally they are on the right track: Western countries have to begin unabashedly evaluating their interests, and deporting foreigners who are here illegally or are not contributing to society.

Possibly most importantly however, is to note the scale of the deportation: over 260,000 individuals out of a country of 6,276,883 people. Anyone who doubts that all of the illegal aliens in the U.S. can be returned to their home countries is not being realistic. We can enforce our immigration law, and I believe the eventually we will.

Words Have Consequences

They say it is always that cover-up that gets you. President Bush's thinly veiled amnesty plan has, as many predicted, lead to a huge surge in the number of illegal border crosser. However what we are now learning is that the administration seems to have taken steps to cover up the extent of the acceleration of illegal border crossing after the plan. Judicial Watch, which is spear-heading the effort to get to the bottom of the matter, had concluded that


President Bush’s proposal lured greater numbers of illegal immigrants to violate the law. Approximately 45% of respondents crossed illegally based upon rumors of a Bush amnesty program.

Approximately 63% of the illegal aliens surveyed received Mexican government or media information supporting the notion of a Bush administration amnesty program.

When asked if they would seek amnesty if offered, 80% of apprehended illegal immigrants answered, “yes.”

However, rather than be honest about the effects of proposing what many south of the border believe is an amnesty plan while there is little border security, the administration has actively tried to "protect" Americans from the facts of the situation.


The “talking points memo” uncovered by Judicial Watch instructs Border Patrol agents to withhold information about the negative impact of the president’s proposal. “Do not talk about amnesty, increase in apprehensions, or give comparisons of past immigration reform proposals…Do not provide statistics on apprehension spikes or past amnesty data,” Border Patrol agents were told.

What is more, a poll which provided troubling feedback was aborted when it did not support the administration's border agenda:


On the day President Bush announced his “temporary worker program,” in a January 7, 2004 speech to the nation, the Border Patrol initiated a survey of apprehended illegal immigrants to determine if the president’s proposal was influencing their decision to cross the border. Three weeks after the survey was initiated the Bush administration abruptly shut it down. The federal government never issued a report on the aborted survey or its findings.


President Bush may rightly claim that his plan was not an explicit amnesty, but we all know that it more or less was. We have a right to expect the administration to be accountable for its own action in increasing illegal alien migration.

Hat tip to The Immigration Blog and Lone Wacko.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

CLEAR Act

It sounds like Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-Ga. is doing some great work with his introduction of a new bill, The Clear Law Enforcement for Removal of Criminal Illegal Aliens Act of 2005, which could give local law enforcement help in dealing with illegal aliens that they find in the course of their normal activities. One of the best things that it would do would be to repay the local authorities for the cost that they incur, an aspect which may be critical for many resource-stretched departments.

I would also note that Rep. Norwood seems to really be on the right side of history. Lone Wacko brings attention to more of Rep. Norwood's efforts, including his emphases on the importance of dealing with the current border situation:

Norwood says Massey's study, while confirming the need for an immediate deployment of up to 50,000 troops on the border, should serve as a horrifying wakeup call for all Americans who love their country.

"Dr. Massey has pointed out with jarring candor the real agenda of the 'open borders' movement - the destruction of the United States as an independent nation," says Norwood. "We can fight and win this war right now without a shot being fired through a relatively minor deployment of state and federal forces, or we can let our children either surrender their nation, or be forced to fight a major civil war to defend our Constitution and liberties against globalism..."

Just Desserts Café

Thank goodness we live in a country with some smart insurgents.

For those which were disturbed by the recent Supreme Court's ruling in the "Kelo vs. City of New London" case, here is some delicious news.

It seems that efforts are under way to seize the property that one of of Justice David H. Souter's houses (though apparently not his primary residence) sets on, and turn it into a hotel, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel". It will include the "Just Desserts Cafe", which sounds like the place to go for a quick bite to eat. Obviously this hotel would bring in more taxes for the city, so there is a clear public interest at stake here (if there was not already).

There are five individuals that set on the board which much approve the seizure, so only three must approve to begin construction.

You can learn more about the project here. Best of luck to them.

UPDATE: It seems that Michelle Malkin is also on this here.

Revenge of the Productive, Part III

In part I, some speculation was made as to if a growing unproductive underclass might spur some form of revolt on the part of the productive elements of society. In part II, a possible scenario of what a revolt by the productive elements might look like.

From part II, it does seem reasonable that fairly low-threshold, non-violent action could prove to be very disruptive if targeted at the fault-lines of an unstable PC/MC society. Also, given the fairly small number of "activists" required to initiate such a situation, there would not necessarily need to be a unified productive class before-hand, but rather simply a dedicated core.

Despite the potential danger of such a situation unfolding, there is little reason to expect such a scenario would develop in the near term. First, there is still a significant lack of awareness of the problem among the productive elements of society. Further, multiculturism has not yet reached its peak, and good economic conditions have masked over much friction between groups. Finally however, even action by a few thousand individuals in a coordinated manner would be quite unrealistic at this stage because of the difficulty of planning and recruiting members without detection by the authorities. Without an established infrastructure in which the productive elements could associate, plan, organize and built trust and relationships, executing such a plan would be essentially imposable.

However, should conditions continue to disintegrate, and it is likely that organization on the part of the productive elements will increase. In a sense, the Minuteman Project is an example of early conciseness of the collective interests of the productive class. The very existence of such an organization, combined with the publicity and the negative attacks directed against it also serves to further concentrate this group identity.

It has been mentioned by others that any violent attacks on the Minuteman Project volunteers while on the border, say by drug or human smugglers, would likely spawn a resurgence of the militia movement of the 90's (though probably not by Minutemen volunteers themselves). It is certainly true that much of the militia movement was in response to the perceived threats of the Clinton administration, and seems to have largely receded since the Bush administration. So it does seem rather plausible that continued failure by Washington to protect the border, combined with violent attacks on non-violent observers might cause the politically sensitive militia movement to reemerge.

A resurgent militia movement would be one sign not only of an creased awareness and organization on the part of the productive class, but also potential preparation for action. However there could also be other organization going on, with aims less radical than the militia. These organizations might center around other common interests or goals: concern over crime, collective political lobbying, or shared culture and ethnicity.

Certainly the next few years will be interesting to see how our PC/MC society develops. It is possible that efforts such as the Minuteman Project and others may gain enough momentum to start rolling back some of the excesses of our current society. It is also possible however that instability will grow as the parasitic elements mushrooms, creating future instability which we will all wish we had avoided.

Bill to Deport Alien Gang Members

From The Immigration Blog:


Good news: there’s a bill in Congress to detain and deport aliens based on their membership in known dangerous street gangs and criminal organizations.

Bad news: Congress expects the federal immigration litigation bureaucracy of the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)andthefederal circuit courts of appeal to actually carry out the bill and order aliens eported under its new charges.


It does seem rather strange that anyone can be in the U.S. as a legal or illegal immigrant, be involved in organized crime, and still not get shipped back. Regardless, let's hope that this bill passes. One issue of concern would be that this bill would be uniformly enforced; in some of the major urban areas, there is strong anti-gang police activity, but in many of the smaller cities and towns that these gangs are going to, the police often are much less prepared for the bureaucratic red-tape. Let's hope they keep the bill simple and very enforceable.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Revenge of the Productive, Part II

In part I, some speculation was made as to if a growing unproductive underclass might spur some form of revolt on the part of the productive elements of society.

Now I will state here, in case anyone who is not already familiar with this blog is unsure, that I am not suggesting, condoning, glorifying, or in any other way supporting some form of revolt. Rather, at the center of my reasons for this blog is a belief that our PC/MC society is rapidly approaching a point of becoming socially and politically unstable; my hope therefor is that we can correct the problem before it is too late and while these changes can be made peacefully and democratically. In other words, the motivation behind this post is to sound out what we might be looking at in a decade or two if we do not take action soon.

Now back to the primary topic: what actions might the productive elements of society take should their frustration reach a tipping point? Some would be rather predictable -- forming associations to promote their interests, lobbying congress, protesting, and even strikes all seem rather plausible. On the other extreme end of the spectrum, we would likely see a rise of extremist groups, especially among youths. However none of these actions seem very effective except for national strikes, but even such strikes would be difficult to actually pull off effectively.
As in any case were resources are at a minimum and efficiency has to be maximized, serious thoughts must be given the methods used. Since the aim of any such actions would be ultimately political rather than merely destructive, a careful evaluation of the political situation would need to be made. Further, all available opportunities would need to be used to exploit the weaknesses of the opponent, and to trick them into working against themselves whenever possible. This would require a careful eye for their weaknesses, fissures, contradictions, and critical nodes.

What then, is the effective weakness, or at least a prime one, of the PC/MC society compared to the Jacksonian social order? It seems that the weakness is effectively wither individuals and groups have self-imposed order, or externally-imposed order.

The disadvantage which the productive elements face is that they not only have to maintain a self-imposed order, but they are also required to provide a minimum amount of external order for the parasitic elements of society. This boundary, where order is imposed internally or externally, is a core weakness of any PC/MC society, and one which presents a weakness which is very venerable from attack by any enemy, be it Islamic extremist or foreign powers.

In keeping with the above then, it seems that creating the conditions to separate society clearly into these two groups, and emphasize the difference would be the political objective. In order to do this, it would be necessary to remove (temporarily) the means by which to effectively impose order, thereby allowing what amounts to an exaggerated opportunity for the exercise of free will. At the same time, individuals in the productive majority would be forced to reevaluate their ideological foundations in light of a more honest and realistic picture of society, shaking off the contradictions of the the PC/MC society.

What practical implementation might this strategy take? While there are many possibilities, one is given as follows. Using tactics which are non-violent (though possibly not generally considered merely "civil-disobedience") 3000-5000 individuals would carry out vandalizing attacks on key civil infrastructure: traffic control for major intersections, blacking out of the power grid, and obstructing major highways and transportation infrastructure. At the same time, further efforts to create disorder and swamp the civil authorities might be taken, such as setting tires and refuse on fire, agitating crowds of the unproductive elements, etc. All these activities would be taken simultaneously in 30-100 major urban centers, creating a sudden and unexpected disruption of order.

It should be clear that the efforts would not be designed to be especially destructive in and of themselves. Certainly with the lack of manpower available for such action, and potential as few as 30-50 "activists" per urban area, their direct effect would be fairly limited. Rather, the objective of these actions would be to spark further unrest and disorder, as the parasitic elements realize that the civil authorities can not impose order on them, for the time being.

The efforts of the initial disruption of order would be a classical guerilla maneuver, which would be aimed at exposing the opponent and forcing them to overreact and show their true hand. By removing the effective enforcement of order from these parasitic elements, much in the way of their true nature would be reviled. Not only would there be the rather traditional rioting, looting, and opportunistic behavior that characterize such events, but radicalism, be it Islamic, La Raza, or other, would also likely be revealed. As these parasitic elements revel in their new-found "freedom", they would almost doubtlessly begin to display the arrogance of the mob, as they overestimate their power and misread their opponents.

Certainly such a scenario would be a potential death-blow for the PC/MC society. With much of the media infrastructure (TV, internet, papers) temporarily disabled, there would be no way to reframe the situation or scapegoat it onto a less politically correct group; rather, individuals would be forced to make up their own minds based on the scene before the. By putting the instability of a PC/MC society on full display, there would be no room left to believe utopian schemes. Finally, the shared experience would tend to create a new sense of unity and identity among the productive class, thereby bringing the sense of "us" and "them" unmistakably out into the open.

Part III will look at this issue more, including reasons why such actions are unlikely in the near term.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Revenge of the Productive, Part I

One of the results of a politically correct, multicultural (PC/MC) society is to radically reinvent society into a form of bondage or coerced association between a collection of productive individuals on one hand, and parasitic individuals or groups on the other. In every society there have always been children, the elderly, handicapped, and others who could not fully support themselves. However, this new coerced association is marked by the degree to which fully capable adults and feral youths do not contribute, and by the presence of an underclass which is disproportionally costly to society or even anti-social. One of the results of a highly developed, highly educated, yet redistributive society is that even individuals who do some form of minimum-wage work may still be a net-loss to society due to the degree to which they are subsidized, directly or indirectly (consider health care, or driving without auto-insurance as examples).

For some, the thought of calling the parasitic elements of society "parasitic" may seem cruel or hard-hearted; however there is no other word which better describes the situation. It is certainly true that if some individuals take, then some productive individuals somewhere else must in turn give. In this way, there is a clear hierarchy of dependence, but it is only a one-way dependence. It should be obvious that these parasitic elements of society benefit from a system that they neither created, nor could ever create if left to their own devices. Further, it is certainly right to call this state of affairs unjust, for that is what it is. If one doubts the necessity or value of the productive elements of society, the examples of Bangladesh, Mexico, and Zimbabwe should provide sufficient examples to learn from.

While the parasitic elements have benefited from this redefinition of society, many of the leftist and elitist fetishes which have been foisted onto society in these last few decades have only been possible as long as the law-abiding citizens have keep society functioning. It would seem that the democratic process would easily solve this abuse, but there have been several major obstacles which have prevented this from happening. First, those most influential and well off often benefit from the system, or tend to be protected from its negative effects. Secondly, politicians have long since realized that redistributive government measures make it easy to buy the votes of the parasitic elements. Finally, our PC/MC society has made it very difficult to even raise the concerns and interests of the productive elements of society in a direct and honest fashion, much less to actually build enough consensus to generate political results except in the most extreme instances of abuse, such as Welfare reform in the 90's. This produces something of a conundrum for the productive middle class however, because unlike say, the riots during the civil rights period, they can't simply engage in mass-scale civil-disobedience without collapsing the very pillars that keep society held up.

The rather obvious danger is that society will slowly sink to the level of the lowest element, or at least diverge into an overclass and underclass as is the case in many third world countries. However there is a second possibility which could emerge, especially an an Anglo-Saxon, common-law culture. Specifically, that the productive citizens might turn the tables and force the rest of society to recognize their importance. It should not be forgotten that the productive elements of society also have the potential to be far more effective in their application of destructive action than others: what they create they can also destroy. Their superior social organizing ability, education, sense of order, and productivity trace back to what Victor Davis Hanson calls the Western way of war, and have low provided the West with an advantage over its advisories.

By "destructive action", one should not take this to mean anti-government para-military action, terrorism, or any other such extremism however. The probability of any actual revolt by the productive elements of society would tend to be exponentially more likely with respect to lowering the threshold of action. This is to suggest that civil-disobedience type behavior would both be the most likely result of middle class frustration, and probably the highest degree of disobedience and danger which would still draw large support. For this to be a possibility would require that these social-disobedience type actions would need to be effective enough to have at least some chance of generating change. If this condition can not be established, then the chances of such instability are quite low.

Part II will look at what form low-threshold, non-violent actions might take, and what results they might attempt to create.

Texas and the Minuteman Project

Here is an excellent article on the Minuteman Project in south Texas. If there is one area of the border which is the most dangerous, it is probably south Texas. However I think the best protection is lots of press coverage and publicity, so help get the word out about the MP's progress.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Private Property Rights and Drawing Blood

If there is one supreme (no pun intended) example of how our leaders, government, and courts have become drunk with power, this is it. I heard that the supreme court had ruled that cities could seize property for non-vital use on the radio around noon, and as I ran some errands I noticed that other people around town were talking about it too. This issue is really something which resonates with people, as the injustice and the threat to them that it poises is so clear and obvious.

We conservatives might be inclined to see this as just one more of many bad rulings, but I think we would be mistaken. This issue could be the tip of the dagger which draws blood; this issue is so fundamentally unjust and anti-common-law that we MUST press it.

The reality is that the court has essentially backed itself into the corner on this one. It is very hard to change a supreme court ruling, but that is actually to our advantage, because once the issue is raised and becomes a popular outrage, there is very little that the court can do to back away without showing weakness. This is like a splinter which simply digs itself in deeper and deeper.

Do your part and spread the word, be it word of mouth, email, or blog.

Hat tip: Michelle Malkin

More here, here.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Pro-Illegal Alien Extremism


Yes, you know where you have seen that gesture before.

Yesterday a protest against illegal immigration was held at a Home Depot store in California. If anyone doubts the problem of illegal immigration, they should look at the photos of some of the counter-protesters. There is a little more going on here than just people coming to "do the jobs that American's won't do".

Hat Tip: Michelle Malkin.

Illegal Aliens Enter Nuclear Weapons Plant

This is a very disturbing story:


Sixteen foreign-born construction workers with phony immigration documents were able to enter a nuclear weapons plant in eastern Tennessee because of lax
security controls, a federal report said Monday. Controls at the Y-12 weapons plant have since been tightened and there was no evidence the workers had access to any sensitive documents, said the National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees nuclear weapons facilities for the Department of Energy.

However, the DOE inspector general's office said in the report issued Monday that its field agents found "official use only" documents "lying unprotected in a construction trailer which was accessed by the foreign construction workers" at the plant.

"Thus, these individuals were afforded opportunities to access ... (this) information," the inspector general wrote. "We concluded that this situation represented a potentially serious access control and security problem."

In this previous post, I wrote about the danger of terrorists infiltrating the U.S. via the illegal alien infrastructure:


Using the same human and physical infrastructure as used for illegal immigration and drug smuggling, terrorists would smuggle into the U.S. some combination of weapons and operatives (possibly including a dirty bomb or biological/chemical weapons). The terrorists might attempt to fake an identity as Mexican Indians or some other ethnic group which speaks an uncommon language. These terrorists might live with or near a group of other illegal immigrants, possibly doing manual labor periodically as part of their cover. They might work as a part of a maintenance crew around nuclear, petroleum, or port facilities, either to scout out the site, or to actually carry out a terrorist attack.

As long as our government winks at illegal immigration, we are going to continue to have these problems.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Palo Versus Neo

These days everyone is familiar with the boxing of most conservatives into either "palo-conservatives", or "neo-conservatives". There is quite a bit of disillusionment and distrust between both camps, which is not entirely unanticipated, given the rather large differences between them.

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you may be wondering where I fall. This blog probably seems a bit schizophrenic, as some posts seem to fall one way, others another. Obviously however, the general theme of this blog does seem to have a distinct palo direction to it due to the main topic.

However, I have to say that I think of myself as just a conservative, or maybe a neo-Jacksonian-conservative if one wishes to be more specific. The views which I have and try to express on this blog are less a product of my interpretation of palo or neo ideology as they are a result of my belief in the importance of always considering human nature and history. I have observed that human nature is not escapable; political movements which try to ignore it or remake it always fail. Also, history has provided us with a rather rich portfolio of just what human nature tends to make us do in difference situations. I believe that obviously intelligent people can step beyond mere instincts, but no such claims can be made when considering people in the aggregate.

Maybe all this is at least partly a result of being an engineer. We are naturally empirical, we know the value of a robust system, versus an ideal but marginally stable one, and we know that no matter how well designed something is that you create, someone, somewhere, will screw it up eventually.

So the fundamental influences on my worldview are empiricism, a deep respect for instincts and the emergent behaviors of cultures (i.e. traditions), the importance of robustness over idealism, and an abiding belief that human nature will always be with us. If you are wondering if these are palo or neo values, I will save you the trouble: these are the values of our founding fathers and the inspiration behind the constitution.

It should come as no surprise to anyone reading this blog that I view political correctness and multiculturism as prime enemies. These ideologies are after all ideologies designed to do the maximum damage to the ideas of our founding fathers, and thus they are diametrically opposite mine as well. These ideologies are designed to clog-up our natural survival instincts, to discard any believe in robustness, to demand idealism at the expense of all else, to ignore that life involves trade-offs, to destroy our culture and sense of ourselves as a part of something larger, and to convince us that somehow human nature has been reformed, so that lessons of history are no longer useful to us.

Personally, I would love to revert back to some form of muscular, neo-isolationism that the palo's might suggest. However, I fear that as much as I would like this, that it simply is not an option in our current situation. Fighting the war on terror is the biggest area were the neo's trump the palo's in my personal view. That said, simply being the lesser evil still leaves the neo's far from the Jacksonian's views on war-fighting. If I had to choose between a neo and a Jacksonian policy, it would not take even an instant to switch; I suspect that this is true for many of the palos as well. Also, I am very concerned with the neo's somewhat weak grasp of human nature, as well as their too frequent subservience to (watered down) political correctness and multiculturism.

The palo's are right on many things, in my view, but I can't say that I feel that I can fit in their camp either. Too often the palo's as represented by Buchanan are negative and at times start to sound anti-American like the left. Also, some of their ideas in regards to foreign policy are poorly developed and present no serious alternative to the neo's, or they fail to address who would fill the vacuum if we became isolationist again.

That said, I think that conservatives of all strips should work together whenever possible. On this blog I at least try to be a "uniter, not a divider"; I respect both the palo's and neo's views, up to a point at least, and am not hostile to either camp. My only true loyalty however, is towards the ideas of the founding fathers and the Jacksonian weltanschauung.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

A Pragmatic Approach to Illegal Immigration



If you like political satire, you will enjoy this piece in the Seattle Times.


Consider how our Southern border is currently monitored: The Border Patrol stays close to the big cities and population centers, then thins out in rural areas and the desert. A coincidence? Doubtful. This policy effectively weeds out the weak and makes the trip tough enough that it discourages families and small children (bad for the U.S. economy), and makes the difficult passage overland a journey that mostly young males would be willing to risk (good for the U.S. economy).

In essence, you have a system that encourages the most desirable illegal immigrants, and discourages the rest. Americans then get the best of both worlds: cheap labor to do the backbreaking work that most in this society wouldn't want to do, and a competitive price for fresh fruits, vegetables and many other things dependent on manual labor.


Great stuff. Hat tip: Lone Wacko.

Population Relocation

This article in the L.A. Daily News offers some disturbing statistics:

One in every 11 people born in Mexico and still alive is a U.S. resident, and about half of these immigrants crossed the border illegally, according to a comprehensive report released Tuesday.
This much relocation is not natural. And if one were to be fair, I don't think that the above statistic even provides the whole picture. If we assumes that the illegal alien population is around 23 million, which may be more realistic than the 10.3 million number that the article uses, the ratio might be even higher.

"We have a dilemma. We love the benefits of low-cost labor -- the nannies, the cooks. On the other hand, we don't want all the pressure. We complain when they go to the emergency room," said David Hayes-Bautista, director of the center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at the University of California, Los Angeles. "Something has got to give."

It would be interesting to know who "We" is; I don't think that most American's have nannies and/or cooks, Hispanic or otherwise. It might be more correct to point out that big business and the wealthy enjoy the benefits of low-cost labor, but that the masses have a different self-interest.

Hat tip: The Immigration Blog.

Bill Targets Mexican Aid Over Cop-Killer

Many readers are already familiar with the problem of Mexico not extraditing criminals back to the US if they risk getting the death penalty or even life in prison without parole. The latest high profile crime by an illegal alien is in regards to the killing of Denver Police Detective Donald Young last month.

Rep. Bob Beauprez is a man who intends to do something about the situation:

Rep. Bob Beauprez wants to block $66 million in aid to Mexico if the country will not hand over accused cop-killers without strings attached.

...

Their bill, expected to be filed this week, would cut off foreign aid to any country that fails to live up to extradition treaties in cases involving suspects accused of killing federal, state and local law enforcement officers.

While it's true that $66 million is small change, it is an important symbolic gesture, especially when we have an administration which is very deferential to El Fox, et tribe.

Please do what you can to support this bill, even if it is just spreading the word by mouth or blog.

"Living Wage" and "Jobs American's Won't Do"

Here is a good article about the myth of "jobs American's won't do", and the hypocrisy of liberals who support mass low-wage immigration (legal or illegal), and then complain when people can't live (well) on minimum wage jobs.

Liberals whine about raising the minimum wage—because they say that the average person isn’t making enough to live on—while, at the same time, they support immigrants who come into this country illegally. These trespassing, illegal immigrants undermine the negotiating power of American workers, so how can the liberals claim to be on the side of the American worker? On the other side of the coin, let’s not forget about the business managers—whether liberal or conservative—who hire these illegals.

On top of all that, illegals raise the cost of health care, education and other services—and those costs are passed along to taxpayers, in the form of higher taxes, fees, fines, licenses, permits, etc.—so how can liberals claim to be a friend to those who don’t have much, when they are contributing to rising taxes and an increased cost of living?

Friday, June 17, 2005

Slow Week

I have been rather busy this week with some school related stuff, so I have not been as productive here as I would prefer. However, I hope to get around to a couple more analytical posts this weekend that I have not yet had time to address.

For some entertainment the mean time, if you are not already familiar with the band Carbon Leaf, go check them out here. Not bad music.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Professional ICE

The AP reports that about 200 illegal aliens have been arrested recently in an operation to deport people who have been ordered to leave, due to a criminal record, but which have failed to do so. One must admire the work that the guys on the ground are doing, and doing quite skillfully it sounds like:


As the man with long dreadlocks walked to his pickup truck, he didn't seem to notice the six sport utility vehicles with tinted windows idling on the street, waiting for him to leave his Boston apartment early one morning. When he opened his truck's passenger door, that was the signal for more than a dozen federal agents and sheriffs' deputies to move in. They boxed in his truck, searched and handcuffed him, then stuffed him in the rear of a cruiser.

Less than three minutes later, the SUVs and the cruiser sped off and the street was deserted again _ except for a group of stunned neighbors who came out to investigate the commotion. The quick, peaceful end to the surveillance operation pleased Jim Martin, deputy field director for the New England field office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "That's what happens when you do your homework," Martin said as he headed back to the team's command post outside a Boston jail.

The man they arrested, a native of Trinidad who has 22 criminal charges on his rap sheet and was ordered deported five months ago, is one of at least 187 illegal immigrants who have been rounded up over the past six days in a sweep organized by the Department of Homeland Security.

You could say that they are giving "alien abduction" a whole new meaning. I am afraid that this is no laughing matter however:

Last year, ICE arrested 10,982 of an estimated 500,000 illegal immigrants who were considered fugitives after they were ordered deported, including 755 arrests in the six New England states, Chadbourne said.

If you think that the above is disturbing, try this:

The number of arrests could rise sharply this year: Homeland Security officials recently announced plans to increase the number of ICE "fugitive apprehension teams" from 18 to 38 within the next two months, according to Chadbourne. Each team consists of roughly seven agents.
So ICE has currently only 18 seven agent teams in operation right now? For a country of almost 300 million people and half a million "fugitive" aliens, this is not a serious response. While the guys on the ground are doing a great job, the government is really missing in action on this one I am afraid.

...many illegal immigrants aren't immediately deported after they finish serving jail or prison sentences because local officials fail to notify federal authorities of their release. "Some of them have gone through the criminal justice process, and we were not even aware of it," Chadbourne said. State prison officials, he said, "are not experts in immigration law. That's where we come in."

One thing that we citizens can do is to help ensure that local authorities know their immigration law, and know that we expect them to carry out their responsibilities. Given that the bottle-neck is at the federal level, local actions may not have much direct effect, but at least it will not let the federal government get away with claiming they did not know about the fugitives.

Hat tip: Modern Tribalist (read this blog every day, it has my highest recommendation).

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Rewriting History

Michelle Malkin calls attention to an attempt to have the National Parks service build a politically correct, one sided memorial regarding the Japanese internment during WWII. This is the last day to send in your comments, so please do so. The people do contact are: carol_shull@nps.gov ; Anna_Tamura@nps.gov ; jon_jarvis@nps.gov ; neil_king@nps.gov ; Fran_Mainella@nps.gov.

Here is what Friends of Historical Accuracy wrote to the NPS (bold mine):

Please put me in the public record for option A.

The following is a piece I wrote regarding this history back in November, 2002. This was around the time I attended a Minidoka meeting here on Bainbridge Island at the Senior Center and spoke directly with Anna Tamura about my concerns regarding the 100% accuracy of this history as portrayed by the NPS. At the time I provided a pile of primary documents five inches thick with information that needs to be incorporated into any memorial's "interpretive center". Tamura's response to me was, "People are entitled to believe what they want." My jaw dropped at her arrogance and it became quite clear she was indeed educated in Landscape Architecture and not History. I'll agree people are entitled to their own opinion. They are not entitled to their own historical facts. A good historian must seek out and document the 100% truth to the point of callousness. That means Japanese Americans need to acknowledge some of the darker chapters of their own history, too, rather than cherry picking certain events that provide an inaccurate and one-side conclusion. Is not white-washing an entire ethnic group equally as racist as tarring an entire ethnic group?

Why not include that 15 ethnic Japanese on Bainbridge including Frank Kitamoto's dad were arrested in early 1942 for violating the Enemy Alien Contraband Law? Why not include that by Frank's own admission his dad was visiting the Japanese Consulate Annex down on Rich Passage daily, the manager of the greenhouses there who up and disappeared immediately prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor? Why not mention that kids were coming out of the Japanese "Language School" telling the Caucasian kids, "...you'll be working for us someday..." Don't hear much talk about the "language school", except that everyone in the Japanese-American community has disassociated themselves from it, in my lifetime at least.

This history as it is currently being portrayed on Bainbridge Island is a white-wash. Go down to Moriwaki and Kitamoto's gate at the post office here on Bainbridge and read for yourself. Moriwaki and Kitamoto have done more to damage decades old friendships and acquaintances between ethnic Japanese and Caucasians on Bainbridge Island than Pearl Harbor ever did. Shame on them and shame on you for providing nothing more than lip service to our concerns.


Please do your part and take 30 seconds to send the NPS your input in support of Option A. Also, see Friends of Historical Accuracy for more.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Unforgivable

I try to keep the tone of this blog down to a reasonable decibel, but in this instance, I won't mince words. From this article:


The Kansas preacher who tried to erect an anti-gay monument in a Boise city park says he's coming to Idaho this week to picket the funeral of a fallen soldier.

Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, says God killed Idaho National Guard Corporal Carrie French with an improvised explosive device. Phelps says God is retaliating against America for a bombing of his church six years ago.

French was a 19-year-old Caldwell High School graduate and varsity cheerleader. She was killed June 5 in Iraq's northern city of Kirkuk by an improvised explosive device.

Now I am not exactly a fan of people who bomb churches, nor am I too excited about abortion or gay marriage, but what this guy is doing is simply crossing a line.

I would hope that some folks over Idaho way would see fit to do the right thing. My hypothetical suggestion would involve a 12-gauge to the face at point blank range, but I am all for creativity. (Not that I am suggesting anyone actually do anything illegal of course.)

Hat tip: Michelle Malkin and Mudville Gazette.

UPDATE: I thought I should make clear, as some individuals are not very bright, that my beef with this Phelps weirdo is with his actions, not his ideas or right to speak his mind. If he stays home and posts whatever he wants on the internet, then great for him. But if he and his group show up to ruin and disrespect the funeral of a dead 19 year old girl killed by a bomb in Iraq, society has to step in and enforce some (very) minimum standard of conduct. Phelps is an adult and he knows he can't do what he is planning to do to the family and friends of the victim, in such an emotionally charged situation, and expect to get away with it. If society does not step up to the plate and enforce some minimum standard of behavior and respect in such an extreme example as this, then I fear that we will all be much worse off in the long run. And no, I am not seriously suggestion that he should be killed for this, but some form of coercion is in order.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Congressional Representation

A very interesting post on Lone Wacko concerning the counting of illegal aliens in congressional representation. Currently illegal aliens are counted, however steps are being taken which might change that, with the introduction of legislation by Candice Miller (R-MI).

If Amendment had been adopted before 2000:
* California would have 6 fewer seats in U.S. House of Representatives
* New York, Florida, Texas would have 1 fewer seat
* Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Utah would have 1 additional seat
This is something which needs to be changed so as to not reward states which have a large illegal alien population.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Freedom, Discrimination and Culture

Here is another excellent essay by Jim Kalb which I strongly recommend reading.

In spite of the power of its supporters, civil rights law is vulnerable to discussion because it depends on the acquiescence of those it treats as morally unfit to choose their own associates. "Civil rights" can retain its status as an established religion only while it is not questioned openly. Once its premises become debatable and civil rights measures have to be justified one by one to those they will bind, its power will evaporate. It inherently unstable in a society in which speech is free and power depends ultimately on consent.

Its proponents of course have their arguments. Like armies, prisons and economic inequality, discrimination has a destructive side that is easily visible. The issue, however, is whether it is so dangerous and unnecessary that it should be categorically forbidden. That conclusion is asserted as if it were obvious, but as we have seen it is hard to defend. Anti-discrimination laws are novelties, they have done enormous damage, and prospects are dim they will work better in the future. There is nothing uniquely righteous about the concerns that motivate them. Even in the century that has given us the Ayatollah and Nazism, the most successfully murderous regimes have been ones that aimed to destroy ethnic and religious attachments in the name of universal ideals.

Any rational response to racial prejudice and the like must recognize that characteristics like race penetrate human life in complex ways, and a legal prohibition of discrimination inevitably interferes with normal ways of doing things and forbids conduct that is neither crazy nor malicious. As with economic life, the complexities of inter-group relations go far beyond anything judges and bureaucrats can deal with intelligently. Such things are so complex and intangible that people must sort them out for themselves; the best answers arise not out of central control but out of freedom.

Civil rights advocates understand, at least implicitly, the weakness of their position, and therefore prefer speech codes and court orders to free debate and government by consent. The trend of the times is against them. In the age of the Internet it is becoming more and more difficult to silence speech for the sake of re-engineering society. The civil rights laws are an expression of a period of extraordinary political centralization through control of economic life and public discussion. That period, which gave us communism, fascism and managerial liberalism as well as the civil rights laws, is dying. The abandonment of socialism and fall of communism are the dawn of a new and less managed age. That age will have its own problems, but there is reason to hope the civil rights laws will not be among them.

This is of course a very politically incorrect topic, but it is one which deserves fair and open discussion like any other topic of such importance. The fundamental idea, that the government can, should, and will regulate the free association of individuals in private business and organizations (as opposed to equality before the law and government), is quite stuck in the big government era of the 1960's. One can certainly oppose the morally repugnant aspects of discrimination in situations of private association without supporting legal coercion, just as one can support the biblical commandment to "love one's neighbor" without supporting a thought or religious police to enforce it.

Hat tip: American Kernel.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Dead-End Jobs?

Thomas Sowell has an excellent article here, in which he challenges the negative view towards "menial work" and "dead-end jobs" which many have used to suggest that these jobs are not good enough to be done by Americans.

Many low-level jobs are called "dead-end jobs" by liberal intellectuals because these jobs have no promotions ladder. But it is superficial beyond words to say that this means that people in such jobs have no prospect of rising economically.

Many people at all levels of society, including the richest, have at some point or other worked at jobs that had no promotions ladder, so-called "dead-end jobs." The founder of the NBC network began work as a teenager hawking newspapers on the streets. Billionaire Ross Perot began with a paper route.

You don't get promoted from such jobs. You use the experience, initiative, and discipline that you develop in such work to move on to something else that may be wholly different. People who start out flipping hamburgers at McDonald's seldom stay there for a full year, much less for life.

...

Notions of menial jobs and dead-end jobs may be just shallow misconceptions among the intelligentsia but they are a deadly counterproductive message to the poor. Refusing to get on the bottom rung of the ladder usually means losing your chance to move up the ladder.

Welfare can give you money but it cannot give you job experience that will move you ahead economically. Selling drugs on the streets can get you more money than welfare but it cannot give you experience that you can put on a job application. And if you decide to sell drugs all your life, that life can be very short.

He makes this point very skillfully, and I strongly suggest that you read the article.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Cheap Guilt

I have been reading some blog posts lately of individuals who do not agree with enforcing border laws, or at least believe in having an open-border policy for labor with Mexico. I have started to notice a pattern, which may just be limited to my experience, but seems rather common. Typically, when attacking those of us who believe in enforcing immigration laws and border control, their attack takes the following pattern:

1. Opposition strawman: "the anti-illegal immigration right believes/does/says/thinks X, Y, Z", though often no specific example or links are given.

2. Personalization of the debate: rather than focus on the aggregate phenomenon of illegal immigration, they instead try to focus on the illegal aliens as individuals, and claim their opposition strawman hates or is attacking the illegal aliens as individuals.

3. Blessed are the poor: once they have established that the strawman is more or less a hatemonger, they contrast with their position as the defender of all which is holy, just, and good. Typically this includes their appreciation for the work which illegal aliens do, as well as some rather economically questionable claims about how desperately the U.S. economy depends on illegal aliens. They may also include a disparaging remark or two at the thought that any Americans might actually be willing (much less needing) to work the jobs that the illegal aliens do.

I believe that I have figured out what draws all this together: guilt. More specifically, the guilt which comes from gaining from illegal alien workers, either directly or indirectly.

This cheap guilt is the average Joe's version of the liberal rich-guilt which we see from individuals who have benefited from the system, but instead of supporting it, back whatever feel-good and redistributive measures that politicians propose. Average Joe looks at the illegal aliens serving him coffee, cutting his grass, harvesting his crops, etc, and knows that he won't pay a dime more to have it done by a citizen. But at the same time, he feels guilty because he sees how much better off he is than these individuals which work so hard for their minimum wage pay. So what does Joe do? He coverts, to the wonderful guilt removing and morally self-righteous secular religion of political correctness and multiculturism. And like any good convert, he repays his debt by proselytizing, "standing up" for those poor individuals who (as Joe never fails to point out) work so desperately hard for him. Never mind wither more illegal aliens coming across the border to further depress wages and working conditions for illegal aliens helps anyone. After all, the harder they work, the more thankful that good ol' Joe will be, right?

Illegal Alien Trespassing

Vie The Immigration Blog, this article in the Washington Times has an excellent review of the efforts in New Hampshire to crack down on illegal aliens using trespassing law.

The police chief of this tiny whitewashed New England town has crafted his own border-control policy -- he has charged illegal immigrants from Mexico with trespassing in New Hampshire.

The novel legal strategy has made a minor celebrity of W. Garrett Chamberlain. The 36-year-old police chief hops to his feet and deposits a pile of letters on his desk, from Alaskans and Californians, Border Patrol agents and soldiers in Iraq, all applauding his initiative. Fox News commentators have called, too, seeking his views on national immigration policy.

...

Already, another police chief, Richard E. Gendron in nearby Hudson, N.H., has followed suit. A few days ago, Gendron brought trespassing charges against two illegal immigrants from Mexico after his officers stopped a van with a broken headlight. Several police chiefs in New Hampshire have suggested that they might pursue such tactics in the future.

Naturally, the Mexican government is not very happy:

The Mexican consulate has hired an attorney for Ramirez, fearing that a court may uphold the trespassing charges and so set a national precedent.

"The Mexican government was understandably worried that this could become the charge du jour across the country," said Claire Ebel, executive director of the New Hampshire American Civil Liberties Union, which helped find the lawyer for Ramirez. "They worry about vigilante police chiefs who will round up people based on the color of their skin."

They are rightly worried about a precedent being set. Until now border control has been monopolized by the federal government, lacking the balance of power or parallelism often found in other aspects of our federal governmental structure. Returning to communities their basic right to live in a town without illegal aliens could quickly spiral towards demands for national action. Even if the number of towns which might start to implementing such strategies would be fairly low, the net effect would be to collect illegal aliens into towns and cities which harbor illegal aliens, straining their resources even more, and in turn driving new demands for action.

Let us hope that the ACLU does not succeed in depriving the citizens of Hudson of their rights.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Starting Scenarios

As promised in this previous post, here are some possible starting scenarios which might form the jump-off point for any serious efforts to deal with the illegal alien problem. These scenarios could form what might be the critical event for drawing attention to the problem, and galvanizing citizens and politicians will to dealing with them. This list is not exhaustive, nor does it account for the (rather slim) possibility that Washington might take the initiative on this issue of their own accord.

Name: Al-Quaeda Infiltration
Probability: Medium
State of Mexico: Any
State of U.S.: New domestic terrorist attacks, near attack, or sudden awareness of terrorist infiltration.
Expediency of Action: Very High
Description: Using the same human and physical infrastructure as used for illegal immigration and drug smuggling, terrorists would smuggle into the U.S. some combination of weapons and operatives (possibly including a dirty bomb or biological/chemical weapons). The terrorists might attempt to fake an identity as Mexican Indians or some other ethnic group which speaks an uncommon language. These terrorists might live with or near a group of other illegal immigrants, possibly doing manual labor periodically as part of their cover. They might work as a part of a maintenance crew around nuclear, petroleum, or port facilities, either to scout out the site, or to actually carry out a terrorist attack.

The net effect of a terrorist infiltration of the underground illegal immigration system could be used as a pretext for the need on a guest worker program, however it is not clear that such a program would be a realistic solution. For one reason, many illegal aliens are not likely to be too trusting of giving up their name and location to the government, so getting all illegal aliens to register within a small time-frame seems unlikely. Another problem would be the inability to actually screen or process 11-23 million aliens to weed out the terrorists. Thus, the most likely response of this scenario would be a concerted effort to remove illegal aliens and the underground infrastructure and cover which they tend to create.

Name: Southern Instability
Probability: Medium
State of Mexico: Rise of extreme left or right-wing government in Mexico.
State of U.S.: Any
Expediency of Action: High
Description: Facing the failure of Fox's reform claims, voters in Mexico might turn to an extremist (probably leftist) candidate who would follow a path similar to that of Venezuela. The Mexican government could be hostile to the U.S., or it could simply be very ineffective, producing even more illegal aliens fleeing an economic collapse. Facing either a refugee crisis or millions of foreign nationals of a hostile government in our country would make immigration and border enforcement a necessity.

Name: Minuteman Success
Probability: Medium to High
State of Mexico: Any
State of U.S.: Strong public support for enforcement.
Expediency of Action: Low to High
Description: After a successful fall border campaign and fruitful interior action by the Minuteman Project, there is a significant chance that the issue of illegal immigration could reach critical mass. Given the '06 election and the possibility of another border watch again in the spring and fall, politicians are likely to be pressured to address the issue sooner rather than later. Failure to do so could result in lowered campaign contributions, numerous third-party or independent candidates, or even the beginning of a spiral towards isolationism as voter's opinions diverge from that of the elected.

Name: U.S. Economic Downturn
Probability: Low to Medium
State of Mexico: Any
State of U.S.: Economic downturn, especially with lower consumer economic activity.
Expediency of Action: Medium
Description: In this scenario, an economic downturn which produced more middle and lower class unemployment than the last recession, combined with the flood of illegal immigration and increasing media awareness of the problem, could trigger a nativist response, calling for the removal of illegal aliens. This might also include a focus on the reportedly 400 billion dollar tax envision associated with illegal aliens, forming a politically easy solution to a rising deficit.

Name: Ethnic Confrontation
Probability: Low
State of Mexico: Any
State of U.S.: Radical Latino political ideas spread though a potential resentful illegal underclass, sparking ethnic unrest (though possibly aimed at another minority group).
Expediency of Action: High
Description: Feeling the squeeze of fiercer competition for resources as government pressure mounts and still more aliens flood in, illegal aliens could provide a fertile ground for extremist groups to grow their movements. Actions might come in the form of terrorist attacks on critics of illegal immigration, or in the form of gang-sponsored attacks on other minorities to gain gang turf.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Radical Muslims, or Just Brutal Honesty?

A recent protest in NYC by Islamists, with video here, shows some refreshing honesty on the behalf of the Islamists. On the video, the Islamists say, in plain English as they stomp an American flag in the street:


Just to show where our loyalty belongs to -- you see this flag here? It's going to go on the floor [sic]. And to us, our loyalty does not belong to this flag, our loyalty belongs to Allah

From this article with further information on the protest, the organization behind it is reported to have said:


We reject the U.N., reject America, reject all law and order. Don't lobby Congress or protest because we don't recognize Congress! The only relationship you should have with America is to topple it!

Now we can not know how well that these opinions reflect that of the other Muslims in the U.S. and West generally. However, given their statement's concurrence with the Koran and historical precedents, we are right to be concerned. If other Muslims do not agree with these extremists, it would be good for them to say so, publicly and frequently.

Hat tip: Michelle Malkin.

Ahead of the Curve?

Drudge reports that Toyota fears a protectionist backlash if U.S. automakers fail. The chairman of Toyota, Hiroshi Okuda, is concerned enough that he has proposed that Toyota might raise prices:

"Many people say the car industry wouldn't revisit the kind of trade friction we saw in the past because Japanese auto makers are increasing local production in the United States, but I don't think it's that simple," Hiroshi Okuda told a news conference.

General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. are symbols of U.S. industry, and if they were to crumble it could fan nationalistic sentiment. I always have a fear that that in turn could manifest itself in policy decisions," he said, speaking as the head of the nation's biggest business lobby, the Japan Business Federation.

Okuda, who as chairman is removed from the auto maker's day-to-day operations, raised eyebrows and invited criticism on both sides of the Pacific when he said two months ago that Toyota should think about ways in which it could aid U.S. auto makers -- such as by raising product prices -- as they reel under massive health-care costs and sliding sales.


Now I am not pro-protectionism, nor do I find helping a competitor by raising prices very capitalistic or good for the consumer. However, Okuda is certainly ahead of the curve in terms of grasping the complicated and potentially fragile nature of globalism. While many proponents of globalism have tended to believe their own spin, including that the course of globalism is inevitable, Okuda seems to realize (if only implicitly) that the gains in efficiency from a highly connected world come at the price of robustness of the broader system. In other words, events at the most connected nodes of our interconnected world can be amplified, producing grossly exaggerated end effects.

For example, if the U.S. were to engage in the kinds of protectionist impulses which Okuda fears, having the prime economic engine of the global economy turn to protectionism would almost inevitably force other economies to enact protectionist measures, both to avoid dumping and to protect their own internal markets as a place to sell their now over-production of goods. The ultimate response of Asia would be very hard to predict, but India's and even more so China's dream of their "inevitable" rise be crushed. Further economic collapse and political instability would tend to create a vicious cycle which would be hard to leave.

Now I am not suggesting that we in the U.S. must hold up the global economic system even if it is a net negative for us; we are certainly a sovereign nation, and if our decisions lead to poor consequences for nations which have voluntarily chose to hitch their wagon to our's (including creating exaggerated export-based economies rather than broad, balanced economies) that is their problem. But it would be in our own interest to reevaluate our policies towards globalism with respect to the balance between economic efficiency and robustness for the sake of national and economic security.

As one additional note, I would point out that it is rather ironic that "American" automakers are possibly the most European-like of all industries in the U.S. today. Organized labor, government intervention and bailouts, and centralization (not to mention the dealership sales model) are all major reasons why the U.S. automakers need major changes. I don't think that they should try to necessarily copy the Asian model, but significant decentralization, deunionization, and general competitiveness need to be brought about should these automakers come to the government for another handout.

Thought Experiment

Chris Kelly over at The Immigration Blog has proposed a thought experiment for individuals who support guest worker programs, or do not strongly oppose illegal immigration. The problem statement is as follows:


If we absolutely had to deport a significant portion of the illegal aliens currently in the U.S. as quickly as possible, how could we do it? If you need numbers, assume 1 to 2 million within 6 months. Please give a specific plan and succinctly describe two or three scenarios (favorable, unfavorable) for how that plan might work out from beginning to end.

He lists a few rules which you can read from the post here. If you fit the description above, please check it out, and if you do not fit the description, help spread the word.

I suspect that most realistic scenarios for repatriating illegal aliens to their home countries would be fairly gradual, carried out at least over one to two years before significant changes would be seen. However it is certainly true that having a large number of foreign nationals in our country does carry with it certain security risks, especially when they are living outside the bounds of the law. For example, if we discovered that a significant number of al-qaeda operatives were using the already present illegal alien and drug smuggling infrastructure as a means of moving and hiding people and weapons into the country, we could not tolerate an extended process to shut it down. Another situation which might require a quick response would be the rise of an extreme left or right-wing president in Mexico.

Tonight I plan on posting some possible starting scenarios which might form the jump-off point for any serious efforts to deal with the illegal alien problem. Scenarios may include terrorist infiltration though the southern border, rise of a far left or radical Mexican government, successful Minuteman campaign, sudden rise of radical Latino groups, U.S. economic downturn, etc. I may try to propose possible plans as part of a thought experiment this week, but if anyone else would like to use the scenarios for their own thought experiments, they are welcome to as well.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Rewriting History

In one of my previous posts, More on Ideology II, I propositioned that one requirement of an ideology is to be able to make sense of the past. This assumes, however, that history of the past is accurate and unobstructed.

Today Michelle Malkin comments on the apparent takeover of the World Trade Center Memorial Cultural Complex by leftist ideologues. Some of those influencing the content of the memorial exhibits include:

Michael Posner, executive director at Human Rights First who is leading the world-wide "Stop Torture Now" campaign focused entirely on the U.S. military. He has stated that Mr. Rumsfeld's refusal to resign in the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal is "irresponsible and dishonorable."

Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, who is pushing IFC organizers for exhibits that showcase how civil liberties in this country have been curtailed since September 11.

Eric Foner, radical-left history professor at Columbia University who, even as the bodies were being pulled out of a smoldering Ground Zero, wrote, "I'm not sure which is more frightening: the horror that engulfed New York City or the apocalyptic rhetoric emanating daily from the White House." This is the same man who participated in a "teach-in" at Columbia to protest the Iraq war, during which a colleague exhorted students with, "The only true heroes are those who find ways to defeat the U.S. military," and called for "a million Mogadishus." The IFC website has posted Mr. Foner's statement warning that future discussions should not be "overwhelmed" by the IFC's location at the World Trade Center site itself.

George Soros, billionaire founder of Open Society Institute, the nonprofit foundation that helps fund Human Rights First and is an early contributor to the IFC. Mr. Soros has stated that the pictures of Abu Ghraib "hit us the same way as the terrorist attack itself."

This is an attempt by a small minority to overtake the will and the views of the overwhelming majority in this country. But it is more than this: the agenda and narrative that they display in the memorial exhibit is but a preview of how the left will try to retell and teach history in five, ten or fifteen years from now, including to those who are too young to remember that day. For if the multicultural, politically correct left could not make sense of the world on 9/11, there is no reason why they can not simply rewrite history to fit their ideology.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Ok, it's a Problem, But...

This article by Mortimer Zuckerman on USnews.com starts out good:

[H]ow should Americans come to terms with the fact we now have more than 11 million people living here outside the rule of law? I refer, of course, to the shadow population of "undocumented workers" or "illegal aliens" that outnumbers threefold the American population at the founding of the republic!

If a proliferating community of illegal aliens is the price of immigration, most Americans feel it is simply too high. No poll has ever shown that Americans want more immigrants. In fact, more than half want fewer. Why? Illegal aliens are widely seen as undermining law enforcement and security, undercutting native-born workers, and diffusing the very identity of America.

Ok, so we agree that there is a problem. But what should we do about it? For the open-border types, as well as many well intended but confused individuals, the answer seems to be, well, open borders.

Zuckerman continues

We have to figure out how to fully integrate these illegal immigrants into our nation so that they become productive, law-abiding citizens, paying taxes and learning English. President Bush and, more recently, Sens. John McCain and Edward Kennedy have offered serious proposals to address the problem. The first phase of a solution would be a guest-worker program that would permit migrant workers to cross the border legally and do the field, construction, and service work they have for almost a hundred years. The workers would not be granted the right to stay here permanently, but we would know who and where they are. The hope would be that once the available jobs were filled by authorized immigrants, those unauthorized would stop coming because employers could no longer hire them. This would free the Border Patrol to look for terrorists--instead of people just seeking work.

"The hope would be..."? I seem to recall President Bush saying that hope was not a strategy, and I certainly agree with him on that.

The next phase would be trickier. How would we develop some kind of earned legalization program for the illegal workers already here without creating the expectation that asylum would eventually be granted to all?

Both the Bush and the McCain-Kennedy plans make allowance for illegal immigrants to gain what would be, in effect, a temporary visa. They could work for a prescribed time, pay taxes, and, in time, apply for a green card.

Intuitively, many Americans reject these ideas because they smack of accepting illegality and providing an amnesty. In fact, the proposals don't forgive illegals for breaking the rules but offer them an opportunity to earn their way back to the right side of the law--an American version of a second chance. Yes, they must wait as long as other applicants for full legal status, but at least they can begin the process of assimilation. But there should be one constraint: We must stop the endless chain of immigration that results from an absurdly loose family reunification policy that allows an immigrant to bring a brother who brings a sister who brings a brother-in-law, who brings a daughter, ad infinitum. At the same time, we would do well to balance the influx of unskilled workers by reopening the door now half-closed to people with the unique education skills and vitality we need.

Zuckerman feels that illegal aliens deserve a second chance. But what about a second chance for Americans to undo the damage that has been done by Washington's failure to enforce the border? Will the cost, both economically and socially, to Americans be addressed? No, rather Zuckerman suggests that to deal with the massive influx of unskilled workers, we would also need to drastically increase legal immigration for skilled workers as well.

How could we deal effectively and fairly (to everyone) with the illegal immigration problem in the US? I am not sure that I necessarily support the following plan, but my aim is rather to conduct something of a thought experiment for what could actually be done to get results. Let's take a look at some steps which could be taken to repatriate illegal aliens to their home countries:

  1. Secure the border. Obviously the first step would be to stop the bleeding.


  2. Stop businesses from using illegal aliens. Allow a 90 grace period, in which anyone with illegal alien employees could a) verify the proper paperwork with the government b) declare and make a good faith effort to render any illegal aliens over to law enforcement and c) hire legal employees. After these 90 days, penalties would include a) strong verification enforcement b) stiff fines c) jail time for anyone guilty of employing more than 3 illegal aliens within a 5 year period, and c) allowing generous opportunities for fired legal employees to sue employer if they were replaced by an illegal alien.


  3. Repatriate illegal aliens to their home countries. After a 180 day grace period, stiffer punishments could include a) fines, b) seizure of property and c) lengthy jail time for anyone still in the US who has a criminal record of any kind. Temporary retention/jail space could be provided by "tent city" type facilities located in southern locations such as Arizona.


  4. Crack down on gang and criminal activity, with a special emphasis on foreign nationals.

I would note one exception to the above plan, and that would be to provide an exemption to anyone and their immediate family who has or is serving in the U.S. armed forces.

At this point, most unattached illegal aliens would be pressed enough that they would repatriate themselves. From "Operation Wetback" conducted in the 1950's, we can estimate that for every one individual which has to be removed by law enforcement, 10 or more will do so of their own accord.

What would remain would be individuals who are here illegally, but who have "anchor babies" which would allow them to remain in the U.S. If necessary, further steps could be taken to force these individuals to either fully integrate, or to repatriate themselves back to their original location. These steps could include:

  1. Require english be the official language of all government activities.


  2. Take appropriate actions to reform welfare benefits so as to not subsidize illegal aliens.


  3. Require that parents of children who are not native english speakers, and who are consistently failing make good faith efforts to support their children's education (i.e. meet with teachers, provide feedback on notes sent home, etc).


  4. Pass appropriate zoning laws and ordinances so as to force ghettoes and slums to organize themselves and present a reasonable aesthetical appearance (i.e. no excess trash, junked cars, etc).


  5. Require that parents learn english, take basic lessens in U.S. history and civil government, and stay free from criminal activity, or else face deportation when their children who are U.S. citizens turn 18.

Now as I wrote previously, I am not necessarily supporting these ideas. I am not sure that they would ever be widely supported, but I do think that they could be effective. Regardless of what specific plan we might take, the key point which we should never forget is that the illegal alien problem can be reversed, no matter what some individuals say. Taking action is certainly no more controversial than mass amnesty.

UPDATE: Katie's Dad from American Kernel in the comments section linked to this article by Mark Krikorian which details a realistic strategy for dealing with the illegal immigration problem. I recommend everyone who is interested in the problem of illegal immigration take a look at it.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

A Positive OTM Report

After growing so used to our government officials turning their back on anything but the most basic illegal immigration enforcement, it is finally good to hear at least one positive story where common sense took the upper hand. During sentencing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Felix Recio told an OTM which had crossed near Brownsville:


I want you to tell all your friends in Honduras that if they come through Brownsville, Texas, they will not be paroled into the system and they will be put in jail and deported

Now if more would follow his approach.

Hat tip to the always informative Immigration Blog.

Also, see my previous post on OTM's for more background on the problem.

More on Ideology II

In continuation of the previous post, More on Ideology, I wanted to further extend the previous thoughts. Specifically, how can a new ideology take root over another failing ideology?

I think one of the most interesting cases of this phenomenon is the rise of the neo-conservative movement after 9/11. As I mentioned in the previous post, an important part of any ideology is its predictive or explanatory ability. That is, can it explain the world around us and could it have predicted the current situation from past information?

Before the attacks, we tended to look at terrorism as being a fairly minor problem, and one which was caused more by poverty rather than broken societies lacking freedom, etc. In an even broader sense, after the end of the Cold War, we knew that one era had ended, but not what would take it's place. So for over a decade, we seem to have been picking up ideologies like a sponge: multiculturism, globalism, free trade, political correctness, internationalism, etc. These ideologies tended to be the path of least resistance, often seen as "moral" policies, summarized essentially as "can't we all just get along?".

The terrorist attacks in 9/11 showed that getting along was not always an option. For a decade, the overwhelming trend had been towards becoming more "global" and connected; it had benefited a large number of interests, not the least of which were the educated international elite, big business, and the multicultural left. But suddenly not only was not everyone content to simply get along, but in fact there were people who were actively trying to destroy some of the most important nodes of the new interconnected global world.

The feel-good ideologies of the 90's had not predicted this. The attackers came from middle class backgrounds, often with university educations. They were not provincial either; many had extensive experience living and studying in the US and Europe. The prescription for what to do next was rather weak as well. There was no way we could send in peace keepers to a non-state actor, nor could we negotiate an international treaty with them. The left's reaction to the upheaval of their world view was to start blaming the US for the attacks, demanding that we ask why they hate us, etc. This only went to further show the left's lack of ideas.

Into this void stepped the neo-conservatives. They brought with them an ideology that had not been cooked up on the fly; rather, it was a result of at least a decade of intellectual effort, during which they had been generally ignored. But after 9/11, they had something which gave them a tremendous advantage over their competitors for how we would view the world in the post 9/11 attack era.

What they had was a unified ideology which explained why the attacks had happened, and what their cause was, and what we could do. Specifically, they explained that the attacks had happened because American power had been allowed to wane, their cause was a lack of democracy in the middle east, and what we could do would be to promote our values aggressively. In addition, though the ideology may have been controversial, it carried though with the 90's era feel-good practice of promoting wonderful things for everyone, and a hope that eventually we could all get along when everyone lives in a democracy.

Now my goal is not to criticize or promote the neo-conservative ideology; it certainly has it's strong and weak points. But I think that their are some things we can learn from this if we wish to stand up for our way of life.

First, it is important to have an unified ideology before a paradigm shift. As long as peoples' current ideology explains the situation, they are not likely to be open to changing their views. However, when their current ideology falls apart, their is a brief period in which rapid, even viral, growth of an ideology is possible.

Secondly, an ideology has to make sense of the past.

Third, an ideology has to make sense of the current situation or whatever events inspired the paradigm shift.

Fourth, an ideology must be able to express a solution or way out of the current situation to a desirable or at least acceptable end state.

Fifth, the "cost of entry" of an ideology has to be low enough for mass consumption. In other words, the farther a new ideology deviates from their old ideology, or the more easily it can be tarred as politically incorrect the harder it will be to spread.

w.bloggar

If you are still using the Blogger online interface to add new posts, you really should take a look at w.bloggar.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Refuting the Illegal Aliens Equal Cheap Labor Myth

One of the most common excesses for illegal immigration is the idea that they provide "cheap labor", which trickles up to benefit the rest of us.

What people often fail to understand however, is that illegal aliens are not cheap labor so much as they are subsidized labor. Employers pay minimum wage, but the additional cost of these "cheap workers" is paid by citizens in the form of higher premiums for auto and health insurance, not to mention tax dollars spent in welfare, police, schools, and prisons.

Jon Dougherty has an excellent article here which goes much farther in refuting the "cheap labor" myth, including statistics from the National Research Council which put the net cost of illegal immigration at around $11 billion to $22 billion per year.

Specifically for the state of Texas, the estimated cost of illegal immigration is $725 per household "headed by a native-born resident."

Hat tip to Lone Wacko.

Islamic Tipping Point?

In a recent post, ShrinkWrapped discusses some developments in the world and the possibility of the Islamic threat reaching a tipping point which sparks major global changes. He makes a prediction:
A prediction: The Islamists, in their certainty that Allah is favoring them, will overreach again, most likely in Europe with a series of atrocities. At some point, the Europeans will become so frightened they will resort to their historical baseline and mobilize against an enemy with their usual indiscriminate panache. There will be increasing chaos in Europe, a third intifada will be launched against Israel (again, it will be premature, in that the Palestinians will be totally unprepared, militarily, to face the IDF), and Iran with their nukes will be threatening both. The gloves will come off first in Europe, and once the Europeans are pre-occupied with their own violence, the Israelis will be free to respond to the Palestinians with a real, unrestrained, war. It will not be pretty and if, in fact, Iran has nukes, it will rapidly escalate.

Personally, I find this plausible. There is also the distinct possibility however, that rather than reaching a tipping point, we instead have such a slow change that it never generates a distinct tipping point. In other words, the terrorists attacks would increase slower than we would adjust our tolerance or threat threshold.

For example, the intifada against Israel was certainly ridiculously brutal and morbid, but what was especially remarkable was how well many in the West, especially in Europe, became desensitized to the ritualistic slayings of civilians and especially children, all just on the other side of the Mediterranean.

Ironically, our efforts to stop terrorists, by tending to make large scale attacks the hardest, may help prevent or at least delay the terrorists from breaching our tolerance threshold.

Political Consequences

There is a good post over on the DOW Blog which I recommend reading. In it, Darrell discusses the long term political consequences which we will face if we do not get illegal immigration under control.

I Want This

I believe I have just found what I want for Christmas:



I realize this is a bit off of the topic of this blog, but you must admit, this is a fine looking rifle.

You can get it here.

Jihad Watch

There are a bunch of good posts over on Jihad Watch.

First, there is a report that al-Zarqawi is now dead.


The Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq - died on Friday and his body is in Fallujah's cemetary, an Iraqi Sunni sheikh, Ammar Abdel Rahim Nasir, has told the Saudi on-line newspaper Al-Medina. He claims that gunfights which broke out in Fallujah in the last few days involved militants trying to protect the insurgency leader's tomb from a group of American soldiers patrolling the area.

I am skeptical, but hope it to be true. Ideally, we would dig up the body, but if it is not him that might be bad PR. (Also, its probably booby trapped.)


In another post, there is also a fear that Europe may be facing a new generation of terrorists.


LONDON -- European counterterrorism officials say they are facing a new, more dangerous generation of Islamic extremists, who are younger and more radical than their forebears, and in some cases trained and battle-hardened in Iraq.

...

His comments echoed remarks from officials in other European countries, who discussed concerns over terror cells formed by grown-up children of Muslim immigrants, recruited in jails or over the Internet. For these new networks, Judge Garzon said, "al Qaeda is an ideological reference point, not a real articulated structure with a command chain." Because these youngsters often have no history of connection to extremist groups, intelligence and law-enforcement agencies are not aware of their existence, he said. As citizens of European nations, they can travel to the United States without a visa.

Given the high birth rate of Islamic immigrants in Europe, using young Muslims with no background could be an almost limitless resource for terrorists. This is certainly not a good situation.


Al-Qaida in South Florida? It looks like there still are quite a few Al-Qaida members in the US.


Despite the massive federal, state and local law enforcement effort to stop terrorists from entering the United States, there is no strong evidence of how well it is working. Many experts are concerned that there are plenty of terrorists or sympathizers already in the country who have been here for years. Some are even citizens. The Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers were the first wave and now the increasing number of arrests seems to signal a second wave of terrorism in South Florida. Boca Raton physician Rafik Sabir is accused of conspiring to help al-Qaida. If this is true, terrorism analysts such as Walid Phares fear there is a second wave of al-Qaida terrorists operating in South Florida.
It would be very helpful if "moderate" Muslims in the US would speak out more loudly against radical Islam. Still, if Al-Qaida manages to make a second, large attack in the US after everything we have done, I am not sure what the public reaction might be.