Friday, December 2

GOP Chairman Calls for Higher Ground on Both Border Security and Immigration

SouthCoastToday.com has a Washington Post story by Dan Balz, on comments Ken Mehlman made before the Republican Governors Association yesterday. I don't agree with his wording in calling the White House's and the Chairman's approach a "Middle Ground." It makes it sound weak.

The truth is, a tougher stance on border security and adherence to the law is the higher ground. And, a hospitable, welcoming and supporting approach towards immigration is the higher ground. I appreciate the chairman's concern and warning--it would be a shame if the debate over border security is turned into a nationalistic, anti-immigrant prejudice. The fact is that immigrants have and continue to contribute much to our nation and our culture. This is no time to fall prey to prejudice, and further close our borders to safe and legal immigration. This is more than politics to me--it has everything to do with the continued prosperity, and moral fiber of our country.
Appearing before the Republican Governors Association, Mehlman waded into an issue that political analysts say threatens to rip apart the Republican coalition and inflict long-term damage to the party's hopes of expanding its appeal to Latino and other minorities. A top political hand to President Bush, Mehlman followed the White House lead in treading a middle path on the issue: He issued a strong call for tougher enforcement of immigration laws but extolled the contributions and denounced those who have sought to close the country to foreigners.

"Throughout our history, there have always been Americans who believed that coming to these shores was a right reserved only for them and their ancestors, but not for others," Mehlman said at a meeting of the Republican Governors Association (RGA). Citing Republicans and Democrats from earlier eras who had expressed anti-immigrant prejudice, he added, "Ladies and gentlemen, that was wrong then, and those who argue that now are wrong today."
For those nationalistic individuals who argue that immigration is diluting and hurting our precious, national, cultural values, I say shut down MTV, Playboy, and other smut-fest entertainment coming out of Hollywood--the holy temples of our contemporary culture--before you come and tell me immigrants are damaging our culture!

This is a free market capitalist society. If you are truly concerned about preserving our culture and moral fiber, that's where America needs to start voting with their pocket books and viewing selections--the television.

You can quote me on that.

Thursday, December 1

South African Court Rules for Same-Sex Marriage

From Reuters, more bad news for global human rights with this continued push for special rights for homosexuals.
Reuters
Thursday, December 1, 2005; 10:02 AM

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 1 -- South Africa's top court said on Thursday it was unconstitutional to deny gay people the right to marry, putting it on track to become the first African country to legalise same-sex marriage.

The Constitutional Court told parliament to amend marriage laws to include same-sex partners within the year -- a step that would make South Africa the fifth country in the world to approve gay marriage despite widespread African taboos against homosexuality.
In case you are wondering what does special rights for homosexuals have to do with human rights, here is what Yuri Mantilla, a Bolivian international human-rights expert had to say in reaction to the news that Ake Green – the Swedish pastor accused of committing "hate speech" by commenting on homosexuality during a sermon – was acquitted by that nation's highest court:
"Today we have seen Sweden's Supreme Court uphold true human rights, the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression. Pastors across that country can now exercise their human rights, without fear of going to prison for transgressing the hate-crimes law used to prosecute Pastor Green. The ruling is consistent with natural law and norms recognized by the international community, which a lower court had violated with the conviction of Pastor Green.

"It is important to understand exactly what was at stake with this case: the defense of fundamental human rights and a precedent that sets a standard regarding the right to religious freedom and the right to freedom of expression. The effort to send Pastor Green to jail is an example of the dangerous implications of pro-homosexual legislation. Today's ruling is a victory for those who believe in true human rights and in the key importance of religious freedom around the world."
Enough said.

Tuesday, November 29

Acculturated Latinos Spend 83% More than General-Market Consumers.

Here is an interesting quote--our contribution to American obesity!!

Well, not me--I married a great cook, and a thrifty woman at that, so we eat out about once or twice a month at best. This is quite interesting though.
Latinos spend an average of $71 a week eating out or having food delivered. Non-Hispanics spend $59. Acculturated Latinos spend $108 a week, about 83% more than general-market consumers.
NATION'S RESTAURANT NEWS 10.31.05
HT: IconCulture

Monday, November 28

President Bush's Comments on Immigration

Great speech today by the President, addressing the problem of illegal immigration and border security. I saw two key things I liked: first, he is clearly making a stand against amnesty. Now, whether the laws introduced actually follow through is yet to be seen. According to this, the President's plan clearly calls for ending the policy of “catch and release” and returning all illegal immigrants to their home country.
...there's a lot of opinions on this proposal -- I understand that. But people in this debate must recognize that we will not be able to effectively enforce our immigration laws until we create a temporary worker program. The program that I proposed would not create an automatic path to citizenship, it wouldn't provide for amnesty -- I oppose amnesty. Rewarding those who have broken the law would encourage others to break the law and keep pressure on our border.

A temporary worker program, by contrast, would decrease pressure on the border. I support the number of -- increasing the number of annual green cards that can lead to citizenship. But for the sake of justice and for the sake of border security, I'm not going to sign an immigration bill that includes amnesty.
Secondly, I appreciated his affirmation for the contributions immigrants make to our nation, and the importance of assimilation. These are important issues to be addressed, as the nation attempts to confront the problem of illegal immigration.
Our nation has been strengthened by generations of immigrants who became Americans through patience and hard work and assimilation. In this new century, we must continue to welcome immigrants, and to set high standards for those who follow the laws to become a part of our country. Every new citizen of the United States has an obligation to learn our customs and values, including liberty and civic responsibility, equality under God and tolerance for others, and the English language. (Applause.) We will continue to pursue policies that encourage ownership, excellence in education, and give all our citizens a chance to realize the American Dream.
Sounds to me like he is finally speaking out and addressing a problem he should have addressed a long time ago. It's good to see him take leadership on this issue. Gop.com is providing a fact sheet.

Sunday, November 27

Latino or Hispanic: What's in a name?

Interesting article. Informative, but not conclusive in any major way. I found it interesting mostly because I have never had an issue with people calling me Latino or Hispanic. Truth is, I think I find it to be a label with which people can grapple with my heritage. I am a US Citizen, and consider myself an American, but the fact remains that I speak Spanish fluently, and my parent's come from Cuba. We live in a culture where this needs to be "tagged" and identified in some sort of way, so if the government wants to call me something, I don't care. As long as it does not infringe or minimize my rights and responsabilities as a citizen, I'm fine. Something to think about.

Here is a little side bar from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists:
LATINO

An umbrella ethnic term describing people in the United States who are either themselves from a Spanish-speaking country or whose ancestors were from a Spanish-speaking country. The U.S. Census Bureau in the 2000 Census applied the terms Latino and Hispanic interchangeably, although Hispanic is a controversial term among some Latinos who view it as a government-imposed label. The term Latino is an ethnic label, not a race of people.

Latino tends to be used more frequently on the West Coast, while Hispanic is more common in the Northeast and Southwest.

HISPANIC

The catch-all ethnic label describing people in the United States who are either themselves from a Spanish-speaking country or whose ancestors were from a Spanish-speaking country. The term Hispanic is controversial among some Latinos who view it as a government-imposed label. The U.S. government created the term and first used it in the 1980 Census to ensure a more accurate count of people in the United States who are of Latin American or Spanish heritage. Because the term strictly applies to those who trace their ancestry to a Spanish-speaking country, the U.S. government does not view individuals from Brazil and Caribbean nations as Hispanics, even though some point out that Brazil and Caribbean nations are geographically located in Latin America. Although Spain is not in Latin America, individuals from Spain are Hispanics, according to the U.S. government. Also, the term Hispanic is an ethnic label, not a race of people.

Source: National Association of Hispanic Journalists
I think this is fine for the purpose of census and administrative issues, but I don't feel it speaks to the issue of identity. I would hope this would be true for other US citizens of Latin American descent.
Lisa Navarrete of the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic activist group based in Washington, D.C., said a 2004 poll by the group found the majority of people did not prefer one label over the other.

The labels attempt to unify "a group of people who are not homogeneous, but are connected in very profound ways," she said. "Whether you use Latino or Hispanic, for our purposes, we're referring to exactly the same group of people."

However, regional preferences exist, she said.

"There's places where Latino is the term preferred and you're not well regarded if you don't use that term," she said. "If you're in California, you need to use Latino. If you're in Texas, you use Hispanic."

Fifteen years ago, most people preferred to be identified by their country of origin, but that has changed somewhat as Latino and Hispanic become more widely used, she said.

Tancredo: looking to blame immigrants for our own cultural problems

It's unfortunate, but it is my opinion that Tancredo has no credibility to speak on the issue of immigration. For him to say that legal immigration is where the nation's crisis starts, is to ignore the truth for the sake of his pet-cause and his drive for power and influence.

In one of two extensive interviews with The Denver Post about his life and career, Tancredo said that immigration - both legal and illegal - is just where the nation's crisis starts. While some celebrate the country's multitude of cultures, he sees it as dangerous.

Immigrants who cling to their language, heritage and loyalties while living in the U.S. threaten to turn the nation into a "Tower of Babel," he said.

He rails against what he calls "the cult of multiculturalism," or "people who are intent upon dividing America up into cultural enclaves, who are intent upon essentially minimizing the importance of Western civilization."

Don't get me wrong--he is right in a way about certain things. For example, I do think he is right in speaking against the "cult of multiculturalism" and the minimizing of Western civilization. Where he is missing it is that these problems are not coming from immigrants--they are born within our own liberal, left-wing academics. Multiculturalism and the ideals of "self-determination" are born in the breeding ground for leftist ideas--our universities.

Most, and I do mean a majority, of legal immigrants who enter this country come with an appreciation for Western values, and the Jude-Christian worldview that comes from a deep Catholic heritage. So, when you hear people like La Raza, MECHA, or others like them, do not be fooled into thinking that these ideals are being imported. These are all home-grown, American made values.

So, in a way Tancredo is right, but he is missing the root of the problem, when he blames legal immigrants of importing multiculturalism. Tancredo, we are doing all of that to ourselves, without any help from immigrants.

Why are you looking to blame immigrants for our own cultural problems? I suppose because it serves your purposes.