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Questions on Immigration Reform — Sowell

4 Feb

Thomas Sowell, senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover institution, offers a perspective in immigration reform in a recent column titled “Republicans to the Rescue?”  I have included an excerpt below – the full piece can be read at http://www.creators.com/opinion/thomas-sowell/republicans-to-the-rescue.html

Excerpt:

Listening to discussions of immigration laws and proposals to reform them is like listening to something out of “Alice in Wonderland.”

Immigration laws are the only laws that are discussed in terms of how to help people who break them. One of the big problems that those who are pushing “comprehensive immigration reform” want solved is how to help people who came here illegally and are now “living in the shadows” as a result.

What about embezzlers or burglars who are “living in the shadows” in fear that someone will discover their crimes? Why not “reform” the laws against embezzlement or burglary, so that such people can also come out of the shadows?

Almost everyone seems to think that we need to solve the problem of the children of illegal immigrants, because these children are here “through no fault of their own.” Do people who say that have any idea how many millions of children are living in dire poverty in India, Africa or other places “through no fault of their own,” and would be better off living in the United States?

Do all children have some inherent right to live in America if they have done nothing wrong? If not, then why should the children of illegal immigrants have such a right?

More fundamentally, why do the American people not have a right to the protection that immigration laws provide people in other countries around the world — including Mexico, where illegal immigrants from other countries get no such special treatment as Mexico and its American supporters are demanding for illegal immigrants in the United States?

[End of excerpt]

Personally, although Dr. Sowell may seem a little over the top on this issue, he raises some interesting questions that Americans ought to consider before accepting comprehensive immigration reform that includes broad acceptance of those who broke laws to get into this country.

Citizenship and Civic Virtue — Where Art Thou?

7 Jul

Michele Malkin can be abrasive, over-the-top, etc., but I think this column titled “Rescuing Citizenship and Civic Virtue” is really good – relatively subdued language, but a powerful message.  It comes from

http://www.creators.com/opinion/michelle-malkin/rescuing-citizenship-and-civic-virtue.html

Excerpts:  [Bolding is mine]

As we celebrate our nation’s 237th birthday, a crucial facet of American life has all but vanished. We have forsaken, in any systematic and deliberate public manner, one of our most fundamental duties: fostering civic virtue in each and every one of our citizens.

What does it mean to be an American? Politicians in both parties keep pushing to create a new “path to citizenship” for millions of illegal aliens. But if sovereignty and self-preservation still matter in Washington, citizenship must be guarded ferociously against those who would exploit and devalue it at every electoral whim.

The pavers of the amnesty pathway think illusory requirements of paying piddling “fines” and back taxes will inculcate an adequate sense of responsibility and ownership in the American way. Other fair-weather friends of patriotism satisfy themselves with shallow holiday pop quizzes on American history to fulfill the “well-informed” part of the “well-informed citizenry” mandate of our Founding Fathers.

But Thomas Jefferson said it well: “No government can continue good but under the control of the people; and … their minds are to be informed by education what is right and what wrong; to be encouraged in habits of virtue and to be deterred from those of vice… These are the inculcations necessary to render the people a sure basis for the structure and order of government.”__

John Adams said it better: “Liberty can no more exist without virtue … than the body can live and move without a soul.”

__And Thomas Paine said it best: “When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.”

Civic virtue cannot be purchased with token gestures or passed down in perfect form like a complete set of family china. A life of honor, honesty, integrity, self-improvement and self-discipline is something you strive ever to attain.

Being American is a habit of mind, but also a habit of heart and soul. . . .

Calvin Coolidge . . . echoed the Founding Fathers’ emphasis on virtue, restraint and work ethic. “If people can’t support themselves,” he concluded, “we’ll have to give up self-government.”

The failure of public schools to impart even rudimentary knowledge of self-government principles, natural rights theory and the rule of law is compounded by the suicidal abandonment of civic education. As Stanford University education professor William Damon notes: “Our disregard of civic and moral virtue as an educational priority is having a tangible effect on the attitudes, understanding and behavior of large portions of the youth population in the United States today.”

Add militant identity politics, a cancerous welfare state, entitled dependence and tens of millions of unassimilated immigrants to the heap, and you have a toxic recipe for what Damon calls “societal decadence — literally, a ‘falling away,’ from the Latin decadere.” Civilizations that disdain virtue die.

Independence Day sparklers will light the skies overhead this July 4th, but George Washington’s “sacred fire of liberty” belongs in the breasts of Americans every day of the year.

How to rescue citizenship and civic virtue?

Let’s start by sending a message to politicians in the nation’s capital who imperil our sovereignty.

Citizenship — good citizenship — is not just a piece of government-issued paper. It is not merely a bureaucratic “status.” It’s a lifelong practice and propagation of founding principles. A nation of low information is just half the problem. A nation of low character cannot long remain a free nation.

[End of excerpts]

OK – I “excerpted” 90% of the column – I just couldn’t figure out what to omit, and I know that readers often don’t want to click on links.

Republicans Overreaching? I’ll Tell You What’s Overreaching!

23 May

The Democrats have taken to using the term “overreaching” to describe the Republicans’ efforts to get to the bottom of the IRS, AP, and Benghazi situations.  What I think is that someone needs to throw the following list loudly and repeatedly into their faces.

To my way of seeing things:

Overreaching is when the IRS, motivated by Administration-driven partisanship and rhetoric, targets conservative groups for “special” attention.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

Overreaching is when a public employee (e.g., Ms. Lerner of the IRS) proclaims her complete and utter innocence in the matter of IRS targeting of conservative groups and then arrogantly thumbs her nose at a duly constituted congressional probe and proclaims she will answer no questions, taking the 5th instead.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

On the other hand, overreaching is when congressional committees demand higher ethical behavior (e.g., truth) from witnesses that appear before them than these congressmen demand of themselves.

Overreaching is when a huge health care bill that affects every American is rammed down the throats of Americans, who opposed the bill in majority;  a bill that the congressmen never even got a chance to read and digest  – now seen to cost Americans billions, if not trillions, of dollars, while not even achieving its coverage promises.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

Overreaching is when the Administration decrees that all birth control (including morning-after pills) must be provided free of charge in all employer insurance plans, thus both formalizing an infringement on freedom of religion and the government’s approval of removal of all constraints on casual sex and personal responsibility.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

Overreaching is when there are lies about Benghazi concocted and promulgated for weeks after the terrorist event has occurred, in order to prevent damage to a presidential campaign.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

Overreaching is when the Administration targets phone records of journalists to serve its own nefarious purposes.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

Overreaching is when government starts telling us what size drinks we can buy in the marketplace.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

Overreaching is when the President of the United States presumes to tell Americans that the market system is “unfair”, when he has little or no experience in the market system — and the American market system has been the greatest engine of general prosperity ever seen on earth.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

Overreaching is when the President of the United States inflicts unnecessary “pain” on Americans in the name of sequestration, when sequestration does not actually reduce spending by the federal government, and can be implemented with little actual “pain” and inconvenience.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

Overreaching is when the federal government imposes national education standards that actually lower the standards in some states that have implemented their own high standards, and now must reduce those standards to qualify for federal funds.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

Overreaching is when the Administration decrees that free speech can be limited on college and university campuses, and that lives can be destroyed based upon a simple charge of sexual harassment or misconduct without proof being necessary – the assumption of guilty until proven innocent.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

Overreaching is when a gun control bill is slammed together in the aftermath of a tragic shooting event, simply for political show, when the particular bill would have done nothing to prevent this tragedy.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

Overreaching is when the Administration throws billions of taxpayer dollars at financially and logically unsound “green” energy companies, companies often with strong Obama supporters as investors or board members, only to see that taxpayer money go down the drain in bankruptcies.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

Overreaching is when the federal government engineers auto manufacturers’ bankruptcies, entering into financial business partnerships at the cost of the taxpayers in order that supportive unions won’t suffer too much, instead of letting the normal bankruptcy-and-re-emergent process take care of the problem.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

Overreaching is when the federal government makes it more economically advantageous for the unambitious among us to be on the taxpayer dole than to be a part of the work force.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

Overreaching is when the President of the United States stays in constant campaign mode for over 5 years (and counting – with associated costs being charged to the taxpayers who are having to tighten their own belts – millions upon millions of dollars.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

Overreaching is when the President of the United States makes a college graduation speech in which he re-emphasizes the mindset and continuation of victimhood in the United States.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

Overreaching is when the President of the United States weighs in on white-on-black crime in America (e.g., the Trayvon Martin case), when it is a fact that black-on-black crime is a far, FAR more serious problem than either of the other two combinations.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

Overreaching is when the Administration’s Justice Department overlooks direct violation of polling place neutrality by failing to seriously investigate those in the New Black Panther Party who adopted on-site intimidation methods.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

Overreaching is when a Democrat-controlled Senate fails to obey the law and pass an annual budget – for three years running.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

Overreaching is when the Administration not only selectively fails to enforce federal immigration laws, but prevents states from then passing and enforcing their own.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

Overreaching is when the federal government puts together an “immigration reform” bill that is loaded with “overreaching” garbage, for example the fixing of wages of immigrant workers, and special consideration for foreign ski instructors (both of which are found among dozens of other “overreaching” provisions in the new immigration reform bill.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

Overreaching is when politicians blame any specific administration, party, or market segment for The Great Recession when they know that it was loose government policies and failure to execute to existing regulations that caused the major problems.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

Overreaching is when the government tries to cover up its own contributions to The Great Recession by blaming market forces and piling on new [mostly unneeded] regulations for business, thus significantly slowing down the economic recovery.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

Overreaching is when the President of the United Sates repeatedly lies to the American public about the intentions and beliefs of his political opponents.  Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should ALL be outraged at this.

You can feel free to suggest your own examples of overreaching.  But in my opinion, these are the overreaches, NOT a committee’s attempts to investigate them.  Where there is true innocence, there is truly nothing to fear.

A Gem from Dr. Sowell

19 Mar

From the book, “Intellectuals and Race”, by Thomas Sowell, 2013

Excerpt:  [Bolding is mine; content in brackets [ ] is mine]

“Although economic and social inequalities among racial and ethnic groups have attracted much attention from intellectuals, seldom today has this attention been directed primarily toward how the less economically successful and less socially prestigious groups might improve themselves by availing themselves of the culture of others around them, so as to become more productive and compete more effectively with other groups in the economy. When David Hume urged his fellow eighteenth-century Scots to master the English language, as they did, both he and they were following a pattern very different from the pattern of most minority intellectuals and their respective groups in other countries around the world. The spectacular rise of the Scots in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries – eventually surpassing the English in engineering and medicine, for example – was also an exception, rather than the rule. A much more common pattern has been one in which the intelligentsia have demanded an equality of economic outcomes and of social recognition, irrespective of the skills, behavior or performance of the group to which they belong or on whose behalf they spoke. In some countries today, any claim that intergroup differences in outcomes [result from differences in behavior or performance] are dismissed by the intelligentsia as false “perceptions,” “prejudices,” or “stereotypes,” or else are condemned as “blaming the victim.” Seldom are any of these assertions backed up by empirical evidence or logical analysis that would make them anything more than arbitrary assertions that happen to be in vogue among contemporary intellectual elites.”

[End of excerpt]

Most of you know that Thomas Sowell is a black conservative economist (a rare combination) who is unrelenting in his attempt to expose errors in the thinking of liberals when it comes to race relations.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform – Definition

7 Feb

Mark Levy, author of the “Dear Mark” syndicated column, included the following Q&A in a recent column.  Black highlighting is mine.

 

Dear Mark: Immigration reform is the topic de jour in Washington today, with a bipartisan group of senators proposing a comprehensive framework for legislation. What is going to happen? — [Signed] Illegal is Still Illegal

Dear Illegal: “Comprehensive” is a word used in Washington that is worshipped, as if coming up with “comprehensive” legislation is somehow nobler than achieving a goal with simple legislation. Other [worshipped] words in that category include “bipartisan” and “compromise.” In my book, “comprehensive” can be defined as legislation that creates a new bureaucracy full of red tape, loopholes and corruption. It also increases spending and government employment, while failing to achieve its mission. Beware of bipartisan committees bearing legislation.

 

Mark’s entire column for this day can be found at

http://www.creators.com/opinion/mark-levy/economic-shrinkage-comprehensive-reform-and-44-000-years.html

Thomas Sowell: “Obama versus Obama” — Great Stuff!

26 Sep

Thomas Sowell has just written a series of essays titled “Obama versus Obama”.  In my opinion, these are excellent portrayals of the “before and after” Obama, and well worth the read and redistribution – and re-read.

I usually provide excerpts and refer the reader to the entire essay, but this is another of those instances where I cannot begin to do justice to this series by just providing “sound bites”.

Read ‘em and weep . . . . or better yet, become re-energized

http://www.creators.com/opinion/thomas-sowell/obama-versus-obama.html

http://www.creators.com/opinion/thomas-sowell/obama-versus-obama-part-ii.html

http://www.creators.com/opinion/thomas-sowell/obama-versus-obama-part-iii.html

http://www.creators.com/opinion/thomas-sowell/obama-versus-obama-part-iv.html

Random Thoughts from a Close Observer

28 Jul

Another excellent piece by Thomas Sowell.  A collection of observations, the totality of which can be found at www.Creators.com

 Dr. Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.  A black conservative economist (a rare breed), he has published several excellent books and essay collections.

 Some excerpts from this column:  [Bolding is mine]

 Random thoughts on the passing scene:

Even squirrels know enough to store nuts, so that they will have something to eat when food gets scarce. But the welfare state has spawned a whole class of people who spend everything they get when times are good, and look to others to provide for their food and other basic needs when times turn bad.  .  .  .

Two reports came out in the same week. One was from the Pentagon, saying that, in just a few years, Iran will be able to produce not only a nuclear bomb but a missile capable of carrying it to the United States. The other report said that the American Olympic team has uniforms made in China. This latter report received far more attention, both in Congress and in the media.

People who lament gridlock in Washington, and express the pious hope that Democrats and Republicans would put aside their partisan conflicts, and cooperate to help the economy recover, implicitly assume that what the economy needs is more meddling by politicians, which is what brought on economic disaster in the first place. (Skeptics can read “The Housing Boom and Bust.”)

Racism is not dead, but it is on life support — kept alive by politicians, race hustlers and people who get a sense of superiority by denouncing others as “racists.”  .  .  .  .

Those who talk as if more people going to college is automatically a Good Thing seldom show much interest in what actually goes on at college — including far less time spent by students studying than in the past, and a proliferation of courses promoting a sense of grievance, entitlement or advanced navel-gazing and breast-beating.

One of the most dangerous trends of our times is making the truth socially unacceptable, or even illegal, with “hate speech” laws.  It is supposed to be terrible, for example, to call an illegal alien an “illegal alien” or to call an Islamic terrorist an “Islamic terrorist.” When the media refer to “undocumented” workers or to violence committed by “militants,” who is kidding whom — and why?  .  .  .  .

Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Then he proceeded to generate fear among businesses for years on end, with both his anti-business rhetoric and his anti-business policies. Barack Obama is repeating the same approach and getting the same results — namely, an agonizingly slow economic recovery, as investors hang on to their money, instead of risking it in a hostile political environment.  .  .  .

There seems to be something “liberating” about ignorance — especially when you don’t even know enough to realize how little you know. Thus an administration loaded with people who have never run any business is gung-ho to tell businesses what to do, as well as gung-ho to tell the medical profession what to do, lenders whom to lend to, and the military how to fight wars.

[End of excerpts] 

Anything to add?