Saturday, January 7

Assimilation: Finding a healthy middle ground

I was exploring TownHall.com today, and just discovered some of Linda Chavez's work and the Center for Equal Opportunity. One their home page, they have a statement on immigration that I really liked.
With the United States admitting high numbers of immigrants, America's ability to accept newcomers will increasingly depend upon finding a pro-assimilation middle-ground between nativists who say that today's immigrants cannot assimilate and multiculturalists who say that they should not.

CEO promotes the assimilation of immigrants into our society and research on their economic and social impact on the United States.
The Center for Equal Opportunity web site has a paper written by Chavez, titled "Immigration Is Not About Race" that is worth reading. In it she comments on a book by Forbes senior editor Peter Brimelow called Alien Nation.
[Brimelow] confirms the worst fears about what immigrants are doing to America. According to Brimelow, the United States is in danger of becoming, literally, an alien nation, overrun by millions of brown-skinned immigrants from Latin America and Asia.

Brimelow, an immigrant from Great Britain himself, is exercised by what he sees as the racial transformation of the U.S. population. "Race and ethnicity are destiny in American politics," he warns ominously.
Chavez shows the racial focus of the argument.
Brimelow's argument, however, is less about the economic impact of the new immigrants than the racial impact. "Americans have a legitimate interest in their countries racial balance...(and) a right to insist that their government stop shifting it." This type of racial argument was used before, beginning in 1882 with the first Asian exclusion laws and most recently in 1924 to keep out "undesirable" southern and eastern Europeans. In the 1920s, immigration restrictionists warned of the "mongrelization" of America in books like Madison Grant's The Passing of the Great Race. Nativists were then worried about Italians, Poles, Hungarians, Czechs and others. Sen. J. Thomas Heflin of Alabama claimed in 1920 these immigrants were an "alien power" who posed "the greatest evil that has confronted us in a century."

These words sound truly bizarre today when viewing the descendants of 18 million immigrants who came from 1900-1924. But current talk of a new "alien nation" is no less fantastic. Assimilation, not race, is the issue and deserves more attention and reinforcement than it currently receives in the public policy debate.
This is one of my big fears: that the nativist will foster a spirit of racism and distract from the truly important issues that relate to immigration. Our nation cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of our past in the treatment of immigrants. We must be a nation of law and order, and as such, control the influx of immigration in our borders. But to make arguments against immigration on nativist or racist ideals is just incorrect, and immoral. This statement is worth repeating:
With the United States admitting high numbers of immigrants, America's ability to accept newcomers will increasingly depend upon finding a pro-assimilation middle-ground between nativists who say that today's immigrants cannot assimilate and multiculturalists who say that they should not.
The key word here is assimilation.

Friday, January 6

China: Clear and Present Economic Danger

This article made me think about something my Economics professor said in class sometime in relation to China's potentially damaging influence on the U.S. economy. China has been investing heavily in U.S. dollars and government bonds, as well as Gold. Should they want to cause some serious damage to the U.S. economy, all they would need to do is dump the cash and bonds in the world markets, effectively causing massive problems for our economy.

Why is it that no one is talking about this? Here is another story from Market Watch on Gold closing up by over 4%. We should be keeping a closer eye on China!

HT: Drudge Report

Chavez Makes Anti-Semitic Remarks During a Christmas Eve Speech

Drudge Report has a link to a Jerusalem Post story on a Christmas speech by Hugo Chavez, where he alluded to the Jewish community and made anti-Semitic comments. As if the news of shortages wasn't enough, Chavez keeps revealing who he is--good old fashioned, power-hungry, socialist and communist.
A Jewish rights organization accused Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez of making anti-Semitic comments during a Christmas Eve speech.

The Los Angeles, California-based Simon Wiesenthal Center demanded an apology from Chavez in a statement issued Wednesday, saying such remarks have long been used to persecute Jews.

"Some minorities, descendants of the same ones who crucified Christ ... took all the world's wealth for themselves," Chavez said in the Dec. 24 speech.

"In your words, the two central arguments of anti-Semitism emerge ... the accusation that Jews killed Jesus (and) associating them with wealth," the Center said in a letter sent to Chavez. "Our center strongly condemns your anti-Semitic declarations."
On a side note, that same article mentions that Chavez said something about Jesus being a socialist. Why do Socialist claim Jesus as one of them?? I just don't get it. It's the old false idea that the left has a monopoly on social justice, and the poor. The problem is that it's been proven that socialism only harms a nation, and specially the poor! Of course, those same people on the left will just as quickly dismiss Christians. You just can't win with the left.

Sharon out of surgery

From the Associated Press via Drudge Report:

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had emergency brain surgery for five hours Friday after doctors detected further bleeding and increasing pressure, a hospital official said without giving details on the premier's condition.

Sharon, 77, then was taken from the operating room for a brain scan, Hadassah Hospital spokeswoman Yael Bossem-Levy said.

We continue to pray for his prompt recovery.

Foot in Mouth: Robertson suggests God smote Sharon

I don't usually care or comment on what Robertson says on his TV show. I am not even sure I understand why he says the things he says, or what sort of viewers he has that put up with his mouth.
(CNN) -- Television evangelist Pat Robertson suggested Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine retribution for the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, which Robertson opposed.
But, I thought I would throw in my 2 cents simply to contrast and clarify--he does NOT represent the opinions and perspectives of all Christians. He does NOT represent the opinions and perspectives of most conservatives. He does NOT represent or come close to sharing my views, perspectives, and probably a lot of aspects of my theological perspectives.

Yesterday I was listening to Medved, who had a great discussion on the repercussions of Sharon's having to step down. I am concerned for Israel, and their pending political turmoil. Sharon is my prayers and the nation of Israel is my prayers. I hope new strong leadership rises to fill the shoes left by Sharon--a incredibly tough challenge.

Tags: , Politics, Religion, Israel.

Venezuela: The beginning of the economic end

Publius Pundit is reporting of increasing shortages in Venezuela. And so the beginning of the end is at hand. Oil prices may be able to sustain the fool's ambitions, but nothing can stop the actions of the economic "Invisible Hand." Chavez is getting his Economics 101 lessons--I suspect he will get an "F" regardless. Pay attention to this, as it is economics playing out according to basic rules. We have hundreds of years of history as proof of what works and what doesn't--but some refuse to get it. Lives are lost because of misplaced ideals and collective philosophy.

Artificial price controls are a no-win situation for the producers, and the net result has been rationing of coffee and other goods due to inevitable shortages.

These shortages occur in every communist country - and it makes me recall that it was price controls that took down the Soviet Union, following decades of stories about factories that made thousands of left shoes - and no right ones - among other things. All of that was a function of price controls. Mess around with prices and watch it all come down.

But Hugo Chavez would have you believe that to support him to is to tap a bottomless well of free goodies, cost-free, accountable only to him. And that the only reason there is any cost at all for things is the 'greed'’ of merchants. Caracas Chronicles has an awfully good piece on this very issue here. These shortages, and the causes of them, completely misunderstood by the Venezuelan government and anyone who thinks populism is the answer, are showing up the lie of that myth. As economists say: anything that can’t go on, won’t.

Publius Pundit is also linking to various related stories--Miami Herald on electrical shortages, Associated Press explaining economic dynamic, FT with more on food shortages, and more on world coffee prices.

Thursday, January 5

Italian court is tackling question: Did Jesus exist?

Wow. Talk about the Roman courts going overboard. The truth is that there is no story here. This is all about a PR stunt by an atheist who wants to sell more copies of what I am sure is an uninformed book.
An Italian court is tackling Jesus -- and whether the Roman Catholic Church may be breaking the law by teaching that he existed 2,000 years ago.

The case pits against each other two men in their 70s, who are from the same central Italian town and even went to the same seminary school in their teenage years.

The defendant, Enrico Righi, went on to become a priest writing for the parish newspaper. The plaintiff, Luigi Cascioli, became a vocal atheist who, after years of legal wrangling, is set to get his day in court later this month.
And here is the truth.
"In my book, 'The Fable of Christ,' I present proof Jesus did not exist as a historic figure. He must now refute this by showing proof of Christ's existence," Cascioli said.

Speaking to Reuters, Righi, 76, sounded frustrated by the case and baffled as to why Cascioli -- who, like him, came from the town of Bagnoregio -- singled him out in his crusade against the Church.
Righi, of course, is correct when he asserts "there is plenty of evidence to support the existence of Jesus, including historical texts." There is that, and a ton more hard evidence. If you have wondered yourself, check out "A Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel.

UPDATE:

Captain Ed has writen some thoughts on the story. Check it out.
Had this been an American court, I don't doubt that Cascioli would have had about ten minutes in front of a judge before being reminded that (a) no one forces him to believe in Jesus, either as a historical figure or as the Son of God, and (b) unless Cascioli could prove that he was personally damaged by the supposed fraud, he had no standing to bring legal action. Unfortunately, the Italian court did not choose to exercise a little common sense; for that matter, the Italian legislature should have understood the "abuse of popular belief" law would generate this kind of mischief from the beginning.

What is it about atheists that drive them to sue to eliminate all mention of God and faith in public? It demonstrates that everyone has a need to revere and worship something. In the case of atheist activists (a small but annoying percentage of atheists), apparently they have simply decided that courtrooms have replaced churches and judges have replaced priests. The worship of penal codes and case law instead of a higher power inevitably leads them to drag religious churches onto their own altars for a strange kind of sacrifice to their little demigods.

All New Visitors: Welcome to Latino Issues

I noticed I am now featured on PunditDrome. Its an interesting automatically updated Table of Contents to a selection of syndicated blogs. Check it out.

Welcome to PunditDrome readers who are visiting for the first time. Also, thank you to A.M. Mora y Leon at Publius Pundit for his strongly worded compliment. Welcome to Publius Pundit readers. I welcome and usually respond to comments. I hope you all enjoy this first visit (if its your first) and will come back often.

For those who haven't read it yet, check out A.M. Mora y Leon's comments on immigration. He has a solid post. Good stuff.
There's an immigration crisis in the U.S., prompting our more Neanderthal congressmen to propose building a wall to keep illegal immigrants out. Latin America's good presidents, people like Vicente Fox and Tony Saca and Oscar Berger, much to my grief, have taken offense at this. But the Le-Pen-like reaction of our U.S. Congressional Neanderthals is a response to a problem that is real: the fact that too many people from Latin America just don't want to live there. For years, many Latin American nations have used the safety valve of immigration as the solution to their own failures to create viable states that people want to live in, states that can create wealth, jobs and a significant middle class.
Beyond the economic situation, Latin American countries continue to allow injustice and crime to grow unchallenged, as corrupt leaders line their pockets with foreign aid. This foreign aid, followed by left wing liberal strings attached--or worst yet, no strings and no accountability--is feeding their greed.

People not only want to know they can work and earn a decent wage and be able to feed their families. They want to know their wives are safe walking to the market, that their children will have better opportunities, that there is justice for crimes committed, and that they can actually slowly improve their lives. These governments offer nothing but despair, fear, and hopelessness.

What can we do? For me, I write about it, and I support with my money and time organizations like Great Commission Latin America. GCLA, over at www.reachinglatinos.com, is working on the ground in Latin American countries like Venezuela, Honduras, El Salvador, and most recently, Mexico, and is providing micro-entrepreneurial opportunities, social and civic education, and spiritual support and development that gives much needed hope to the people of Central and South America. For me as a Christian, that is where ultimate change happens--a life transformed by a relationship with a true and personal God, who lived among us as Jesus Christ. Not a myth. Not fiction. History. I've seen it happen with my own eyes. And the true Biblical principles of Christianity do have real economic and social consequences.

I invite you to consider this message, if you have never thought about it. If you are already a Christian or follower of Christ, I invite you to check out www.reachinglatinos.com.

Stemming the Problem of Illegal Immigration

Jake Jacobsen from from Freedom Folks commented on yesterday's immigration post.
I just feel it's time for Mexico to get it's shit together and start taking care of it's people. That is not the United States problem nor responsibility.

And unfortunately, we provide a relief valve for the corrupt Mexican Gov. by eliminating the need for them to change. So long as people can come here illegally, and so long as remittances comprise such an astronomical portion of the Mexican economy, I guarantee they won't change.
The thing is, we live in a growingly global economy, and this has real implications for society and culture. So, in fact, it is our problem too! But, you are right--it should NOT be our responsibility. That's why I have been in favor of CAFTA and NAFTA, because it empowers Latin American countries to take steps forward economically.

Jacobsen is affirming the exact point I was attempting to make--that "we provide a relief valve for the corrupt Mexican Gov. by eliminating the need for them to change." To ad injury to insult, police officers and other branches of the government are having their hands tied, and are many times not allowed to even ask an individuals immigration status! That is probably going to start changing, as voters put pressure on their local governments do reform in this area.

I had not thought about the question about allegiance. For citizens, I agree without a doubt. A new citizen should immediately renounce all past allegiances, and should not be allowed to participate in foreign political processes. Of course, and illegal immigrant should not be in this country in the first place, so there is no question about allegiance--they should not have any conveniences or the normal voting and civic rights a law-abiding individual enjoys.

An immigrant resident, while not a US citizen, may be on track for citizenship. So, perhaps that should be part of the application process--if you are planning to apply for citizenship, then you should not be allowed to participate in a foreign countries political processes. I do not see a problem with a worker on a legal temporary work permit being allowed to continue being a good citizen of his or her home country.

In short, illegals have to much influence, and its given to them by the left who want to hinder enforcement. Illegals are also moving a lot of money, so you know that is a big influencer domestically and in these foreign countries. Perhaps money transfers should be restricted to legal immigrants, individuals on legal work permits, legal tourists, residents and citizens. This would dry up the flow of money. To be clear, I am not against an individual sending money to his or her family in a home country--as long as they are the country legally. We live in a global economy, so any dollars produced through honest hard work will return a dividend for the American economy either way. There is not question about the economics of this--it is more an issue of immigrants living under the law.

Michelle Mallkin has more on the issue of enforcement.

Tags: , ,

Wednesday, January 4

Expatriate Mexicans to Vote in 2006 Mexican Elections

BlueLatinos.org is reporting that expatriate Mexicans will be allowed to vote in the 2006 elections. I am not sure what to think of this. On one side, it reflects the growing influence of the expatriate voting block. Perhaps legally emigrated Mexicans will put political pressure on the Mexican government to enact real changes to improve the Mexican economy, and secure the borders from that side. After all, research is showing that a majority of Latinos do not agree with illegal immigration. But, who knows. It may just make things even more convoluted than they already are.

Are you a Mexican citizen? If you are, you might be eligible to vote in next year's presidential elections.

Earlier this year, the Mexican government passed a law giving Mexican citizens abroad the right to participate in the July 2, 2006 presidential elections. In the U.S. alone, approximately 4 million Mexicans could be eligible to vote in this historic election. This move to allow expatriate Mexicans to vote absentee represents a long overdue validation of what migrants mean to Mexico's well-being.

Socialism: Just a Bad Idea That Kills People

Mary Katharine Ham wrote over at Hugh Hewitt on the whole idea of socialism, and the truth about Castro's "forty-seven years of crimes against humanity and the human spirit." It's a must read for the day.

There is a whole region of the world at stake, along with generations of the people who live within it. When I see these things, I wonder how people can be taken in yet again by a theory proved wrong so many times over.

Charismatic leaders, the promise of something better, and an idea that sounds nice. But it's not nice. It's brutal in practice and soulless in theory.

Socialism is a nice idea, in theory, they tell me. I won't be conceding that point anymore. Too many have conceded it for too long, and too many have been fooled into thinking it can work-- again. And, the costs of that particular thought are just too high.

If you're so inclined, a donation to the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is a great way to help everyone remember the victims of this theory.

NOW calls to Latinos, uses "discrimination" to argue against Alito nomination

Olga Vives, long-time NOW activist, a former sales and marketing professional and originally from Cuba, was on C-Span along side other NOW executives calling on all Latinos to stand against the Alito nomination as part of a larger NOW campaign to defeat the Alito nomination. She used common concerns to Latino immigrants, saying that Alito was a threat to the fight for women's rights, discrimination, and my all time favorite--"reproductive rights." What an embarrassment!!

The NOW website is using biased, unsubstantiated scare tactics, calling Alito a "fanatical, anti-abortion judge."
*Newsflash*
Restrictions on legal abortion increasing.
Women refused access to birth control.
Access to justice denied.
They can call it "defending" women's rights, "fighting" discrimination, and paint it any other way, but its still the same thing--plain old extreme-left scare tactics. The real danger is NOW's ongoing discrimination and war against traditional American culture and conservative values in this country, and the extremes they are willing to go for the sake of their cause.

On the same story, the Associated Press is reporting on the ABA's top rating for Alito. This is the one Latino voters need to pay attention to--true, factual qualifications that represent a step forward for the nation's highest court.

"As a result of our investigation, the committee is of the unanimous opinion that Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr. is well-qualified for appointment as associate justice of the United States Supreme Court," said Stephen L. Tober, chairman of the ABA panel.

The ABA rating--the highest--is the same that Alito received back in when President Bush's father, George H.W. Bush, nominated him to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, pointed out how Democrats selectively value or dismiss their very own standards.

"Unfortunately, the hard left groups decided long before these ratings were announced that they would oppose his nomination," Cornyn said Wednesday. "And some Senate Democrats, including some who have previously described the ABA's evaluation as the gold standard, will now dismiss the rating as meaningless."
I'm calling on all voters, regardless of race or background, to use common sense, and discern between myth and facts. Alito is a well qualified, proven defender of justice and law, and a great candidate to our highest court. Call your Senators and ask them to support the Alito nomination.

Tuesday, January 3

Latin America: Fight American imperialism, but keep sending dollars.

I can't say that these immigrant dollars are coming from illegal immigrants. And I don't see a problem withMexican ex-pats contributing to the development of their home towns per say. But this quote from IconCulture points to the root of US immigration problem--broken Latin American economies and corrupt or lazy governments that refuse to correct the problem.
Tenango, a rural Mexican town, built its electrical grid through a government program called Tres por Uno (Three for One). For every dollar immigrants in the U.S. contributed, the Mexican government threw in three - funding some 1,436 similar projects in the country in 2004. NEWSDAY 12.4.05
What is clear, though, is that Mexico (and many other Latin American countries) continues to rely on the U.S. economy as a crutch for their own failures and refusal to accept that socialism does not work. That is the problem.

The mass movement of labor from third world countries to the United States is a clear demonstration of the function of supply and demand, and clear proof of how well Capitalism works. We can talk all we want about the people immigrating, but the bottom line is that Central and South America continue to implement disastrous economic policies that continue to hold back Latin America's economies. To top it off, we now have socialist administrations in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Brazil. This means a continued real estate bubble in Miami, and more unemployment in their countries, as the rich take out their money and bring it to Miami for safekeeping.

Why is that Latin America can't seem to get the message that centralized controlled economy does not work. So what do they do? Hate America, talk about the US' cultural or economic imperialism, while encouraging immigrants to send money back!

They use this influx of dollars to prop up their failing economies, and it gives them a way to deal with unemployment, corruption, and bureaucracy that discourages entrepreneurship. They are unable to sustain a business environment that provides for the employment of their populations, so they just send them our way! I want to hear our Administration call Latin America on their economic problems, because its OUR problem too! Stop lending out money, stop forgiving debts, and start holding these countries' governments accountable for the aid we give them. Maybe then we can see some real reform that will encourage Latinos to stay or return in their home countries.