Category ►►► Future of Politics
March 24, 2013
How Is an Illegal Alien? (Part 2)
For obvious reasons, lawyers tend to be overly legalistic -- that is, substituting "legal" and "illegal" for "right" and "wrong." If a law has been adjudicated and upheld, lawyers either tend to take that as the final answer, or else they argue that it was wrongly decided; rarely do attorneys argue, even in the political arena, that law is by nature an imperfect guide, and that morality precedes and supercedes it. That's why it's so dangerous to have a Congress and presidency largely controlled by members of the bar: Too many legalistic policies.
Contrariwise, ordinary civilians (non-lawyers) look first and foremost to the issues actually at stake, and little to none at the history of litigation on some arcane point of law. Civilians understand that the right of "jury nullification" is fundamental and vital under the rule of law; most lawyers literally cannot even comprehend the concept: The law is the law!
In the real world, policy schisms must ultimately be fought and decided in the arena of culture, not in the courts (though they are of course important); the culture-war has always been, and will always be more decisive than mere legal rulings.
When I look at the mass influx of refugees from socialism, religious fanaticism, and political chaos, I see a continuity of desperation, comprising both legal and illegal immigrants. I see the great majority of them not as "alien" to us, but reflecting universal revulsion against kleptocracy and theocracy plus universal parental hope of a better life for their children.
The lawyerly mind tends to see the same mass influx as criminals who broke the law and must be severely punished, as if they were nothing but bank robbers, con men, and cutpurses. And certainly not humanized so far as to allow them ever to become citizens!
Cultural forces will decide the issue, not Congress nor the courts. That is why the "anti-legalizers" who oppose any form of a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants -- even one that includes paying a fine, paying back taxes, waiting many years, and so forth -- consistently use the emotionally charged word "amnesty": The activists are trying to crush the cultural meme that says "moving your kids from cosmic horror to something approaching normalcy is a good and decent thing to do, even if it breaks somebody's law."
The anti-legalizers strive to introduce a new meme: "Illegal immigrants are a virus whose only purpose is to destroy America, steal your car, burn down your house, and rape your daughters."
It's a futile attempt; it simply won't work for one very powerful reason: There are so many illegal immigrants in America today that nearly everybody "knows" one (or a former one) within only two or three degrees of separation. And the ones they "know" don't fit the mold of parasite or vampire. Often employer or friend isn't even aware that the immigrant is actually illegal until he or she is outed. The outing rarely induces friends to turn on the illegal; far more likely that friends become allies -- and enemies of those they perceive as trying to throw their pal out of the country for no good reason.
And another conservative conversion bites the dust.
Contrariwise, nearly everybody is familiar with government intrusion, government overreach, government perversity, government theft, and government tyranny. Very few Americans like Congress or the courts, and only about half like any given president (and even that half are mostly tribalists).
Therefore, there is much more sympathy towards illegal immigrants than there is towards the Republican conference that is trying to interdict and deport them.
It's a losing battle; the only question is whether we find a functional compromise of immigration reform that makes future illegal immigration less likely... or whether we make this the last stand of republicanism, and watch ourselves go the way of the Federalists, the Democratic-Republicans, and the Whigs.
I do not want conservatives to usher in another six-decade era like Woodrow Wilson through Jimmy Carter, in which we established the permanent, floating, socialist Leviathan. But if we fight to the death for a losing cause on the wrong side of culture -- immigration is in our national blood -- we may very well live to see President Hillary, President Godfather Rahm, and ultimately President Gavin Newsom. Or we might see the repeal (or ignoring) of the 22nd Amendment, and Barack "Skeets" Obama might be elected to a third and fourth term.
We have already found a workable compromise for gays who want to have the protections of marriage: allowing for domestic partnership but not same-sex marriage, coupled with allowing some form of covenant marriage for those who wish it. It isn't perfect, and it doesn't stop either side from pushing, but that center will probably hold.
We cannot achieve total victory -- but the Left can, if we make it a steel-cage deathmatch. So now is the time for the GOP to offer a real and working compromise... because the alternative to a negotiated compromise is certain defeat.
Defeat is never glorious. Defeat is always ignominious. And defeat has very real and very harsh consequences that can long outlive both losers and victors.
July 8, 2011
We Hold These Truths to Be Valid Conclusions...
~ A government powerful and intrusive enough to arrest two men having gay sex at home is powerful and intrusive enough to arrest a husband and wife having oral sex at home.
~ A government that declares husband and husband the same as husband and wife necessarily declares that mothers contribute nothing unique to child rearing (and women contribute nothing unique to marriage).
~ A high government official who preaches that "it takes a village to raise a child" certainly believes that it doesn't take parents to raise a child.
~ A nanny state with authority to outlaw cocaine or opiates can just as easily outlaw Coca-Cola and cough syrup.
~ A government that taxes cigarettes to force you to quit smoking can also tax fast food to force you to lose weight.
~ A government strong enough to tell you how long you must cook food is strong enough to tell you what food you can cook in the first place.
~ A government with the power to ban trans-fat must also have the power to ban meat.
~ A government with the chutzpah to force children to eat school-prepared breakfast and lunch regardless of what his parents want necessarily has enough nerve to force children to eat school-prepared dinner too -- regardless of what his parents want.
~ An FDA that can ban silicone breast implants because it opposes "sexism" likewise has the power to ban hair dye because it opposes "blondism."
~ A government so powerful that it can confiscate "unexplained cash" if you fly on a government-regulated airliner is a government that can confiscate the same bankroll if you walk on the government-owned sidewalks.
~ If government can use its heavy hand to advantage today's minorities as reparations for yesterday's racism, then it can use its other hand to advantage tomorrow's majority as reparations for today's "affirmative action."
~ A government with the reach to transform losers into winners via the invisible hand of welfare, must also have the reach to transform winners into losers via the invisible foot of regulation.
~ A government with the authority to ban art for the subjective crime of being "obscene" must also have the authority to ban art for the subjective crime of being "in poor taste."
~ A government that has the power to ban speech it considers "hateful" likewise has the power to ban speech it considers "seditious."
Something for everyone; think about it.
March 17, 2011
Libya vs. Wisconsin: Mob? or Uprising Against Tyranny?
I was listening to and reading the propaganda of the protesters in Wisconsin before they upped stakes and skedaddled, and the one slogan that irritated me the most was, "This is what democracy looks like!" -- applied, in a burst of unnoted irony, to a rent-a-mob's attempt to shut down the state legislature.
On the other hand, the rioting and now combat against Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, and previously against Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran, really do look like democracy in its nascence to me. So what is the difference? What is a simple way to sort whether violent protests constitute the birth of democracy or of mob rule?
I see a very simple test, derived from the rule enunciated by Ann Coulter anent the potential need for a union. Last month, the hot-right chick wrote:
The need for a union comes down to this question: Do you have a boss who wants you to work harder for less money? In the private sector, the answer is yes. In the public sector, the answer is a big, fat NO.
I understand the distinction the blonde bombard is making, though I still disagree with her formulation; if you have a boss who wants you to work harder for less money, your best bet is still Capitalism: Get some "hand" in the game by making yourself a more valuable employee, then negotiate a raise or promotion.
Still, the Coulterism is succinct and full of pith, easily adaptable to the distinction between Libya and Madison. Let's phrase it thus:
- If you're protesting because neither election nor even dissent is allowed, then what you have is an uprising of freedom.
- If you're protesting because you lost the election -- then what you have is an anti-democratic, totalitarian front.
See? Politics needn't be abstruse or recondite. Betimes the most basic rules are best.
March 16, 2009
Happenings Four Years Time to Go
Power to Chair National Intelligence Council
As National Intelligence Director Adm. Dennis Blair broadly hinted in recent weeks, the lengthy interim tenure of Peter Lavoy is about to end, as Blair has selected Samantha Power, director for multilateral affairs at the National Security Council, to be the next chair of the National Intelligence Council. Power served as Barack Obama's chief foreign policy adviser during his campaign until she was forced out after referring to then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as "deceitful," a "monster," and a "hairy-chested she-male."
The NID was outspoken about why he selected Power for the position. "After the Israel Lobby killed any chance that Chas Freeman could serve as chairman, he recommended Samantha. We had a nice chat, and she agrees 100% with my position and the president's position, especially on the subject of the Israeli occupation of Israel. But I know from our conversation that she will give a fair, accurate, and utterly unbiased summary of all the intelligence on the Palestinian peace plan, the Iranian reconciliation with the Shia in southern Iraq, the Syranian attempts to quell the violence in their province of Lebanon, and our peace-partner China's troubles with internal dissention caused by radicals trying to seize control of public spaces in Beijing."
Asked whether Power might run afoul of the same shadowy Republican smear campaign that felled the universally praised Freeman, Blair predicted a swift "Power shift" on the Council. "Chas would have been a wonderful pick, but he spoke truth to the power of the Jewish Lobby once too often. Samantha has been more circumspect in identifying the enemy within."
Experts note mounting criticism of the GOP for shooting down two potential chairs in a row. Mr. Ayers was never formally introduced as an appointee, but a lengthy speech on the floor of the Senate by the ranking Republican on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Christopher Bond of Missouri, effectively killed Ayers' chances before being named. Committee Chair Diane Feinstein of California also objected to the appointment of....
Treaty Inked Between US, Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Qaeda
Will offer construction of training camps and educational facilities in Minnesota for "verifiable assurances" of no further attacks
SIDEBAR: "Peace in our own time," says Hillary Clinton at jubilant campaign rally
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton hailed the treaty breakthrough as an "historic diplomatic victory" against violence and militarism in the Middle East and elsewhere. She credited the "tough negotiations" of President Barack Obama and his diplomatic team - Chief Middle-East Advisor and senior negotiator Dennis Ross, State Department liaison and Ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill, and White House liaison and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William J. Burns rounded out the diplomatic "smart-power" team and actually crafted the final language of the treaty. Secretary Clinton had suggested Deputy Secretary of State James B. Steinberg, but Mr. Emanuel rejected the appointment due to the sensitivity of asking the representatives from Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and al-Qaeda to hold discussions with Mr. Steinberg, who is Jewish-American. "Some have suggested he may have dual loyalties," said National Intelligence Advisor Charles "Chas" Freeman.
The wide-ranging treaty has been praised by most Middle-East experts as "inarguably the best deal we can get" without the application of greater military force, which the Obama administration has already taken off the table as "impractical" in the new era of international law and "soft power." Under the terms, several training and religious compounds will be erected in remote areas of northern Minnesota. In addition, three Salafist madrasses and a Qom-school Shiite mosque will be opened for the growing Muslim population in the Minneapolis area. All compounds, educational facilities, and religious facilities will be under the administration of the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy of Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota.
In exchange, the United States has received "verifiable assurances" that none of the Islamic charitable and service groups would target American civilian facilities in the 48 contiguous states of the homeland, and that the Republic of Iran would not attack American forces in Iraq or Iraqi Shia as an official action of the Iranian government. None of the signatories would admit that they had ever previously done so, and no specific verification procedures were agreed upon.
"I was very pleased when I was informed by the Vice President of the parameters of the deal," said Mrs. Clinton. "I was afraid we would have to offer the camps and schools for nothing."
Reached for comment, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a leader of the conservative wing of the Republican Party, sounded cautiously optimistic about ratification in the....
Exodus: Israeli Refugees Offered Camp in Amazon Basin
Obama apologizes for failure of previous administration to prevent nuclear escalation in Middle East
"The circumstances are... certainly regrettable," agreed President Barack Obama in a private, closed-door meeting with representatives of the former nation of Israel and reporters. "America is ah a generous um nation that will... We extend - extend - extend the hand of... I hope you will always feel uh welcome to."
The administration hastened to note that the surprise Iranian attack on several cities in territory claimed by both Israel and also the Palestinian people who have lived there for millennia did not technically violate the treaty signed last month. "Much as the Israel Lobby would have us believe otherwise," said chair of the National Intelligence Council Samantha Power, "Jerusalem and Sderot are not vital American interests."
In a nationwide speech last night, the president tried to buoy spirits, expressing hope that change would soon come to the volatile region. "These sorts of crisis failures of the previous administration cannot last forever. Eventually all of the important players will realize that the reckless Republican policies of corruption, personal attack, and intransigence about the disputed nation of Israel has come to an end."
Intelligence Czar Charles "Chas" Freeman ordered the National Intelligence Director to re-evaluate all previous National Intelligence Estimates in light of the right of Iran to defend itself from Israeli imperialist aggression. Freeman also offered his analysis of the many mistakes of the "Zionist Occupied Government" based in Crawford, Texas, that led to....
Omnibus Business Alliance Manu-Marketing Act Will Streamline Industry, Says Administration
In a joint conference with the president from the White House briefing room, Economics Czar George Soros defended the pact, which places all business transactions above fifty thousand dollars under the regulatory control of a series of "business alliances," modeled upon the recently enacted Health Care Revitalization and Consolidation Act. "Capitalism a good run had," said Mr. Soros, "as did Communism. But now the time for a third path of 100% American-internationalism it is."
A panel of business professors from Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Georgetown, Stanford, and Wellesley gave an enthusiastic thumbs up to....
"Fulfilling Democracy": Voter Intent Law Strengthened
The Department of Elections "Project for Democracy and People," formerly the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), has released final rules for the 2012 congressional and presidential elections, to be held from July 1st through December 31st next year. "The Universal Assisted Voting Act will be fully enforced," said Elections Secretary Maude Hurd, reached at her departmental headquarters in Davos, Switzerland....
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