Thursday, May 27, 2010

What is Fascism?

I'm finally starting Jonah Goldberg's "Liberal Fascism" and so far it's much like "The 5,000 Year Leap" in that I wish I could simply reprint the entire thing for everyone to read. If you have any interest, get a copy. I had taken for granted that I knew what fascism is until I read the first few pages.
Stanley G. Payne, considered by many to be the leading living scholar of fascism, wrote in 1995, "At the end of the twentieth century fascism remains probably the vaguest of the major political terms." There are even serious scholars who argue that Nazism wasn't fascist, that fascism doesn't exist at all, or that it is primarily a secular religion (this is my view*). "[P]ut simply," writes Gilbert Allardyce, "we have agreed to use the word without agreeing on how to define it."

And yet even though scholars admit that the nature of fascism is vague, complicated and open to wildly divergent interpretations, many modern liberals and leftists act as if they know exactly what fascism is. What's more, they see it everywhere--except when they look in the mirror. Indeed, the left wields the term like a cudgel to beat opponents from the public square like seditious pamphleteers. After all, no one has to take a fascist seriously. You're under no obligation to listen to a fascist's arguments or concern yourself with his feelings or rights. It's why Al Gore and many other environmentalists are so quick to compare global-warming skeptics to Holocaust deniers. Once such an association takes hold, there's no reason to give such people the time of day.

In short, "fascist" is a modern word for "heretic," branding an individual worthy of excommunication from the body politic. The left uses other words--"racist," "sexist," "homophobe," "christianist"--for similar purposes, but these words have less elastic meanings. Fascism, however, is the gift that keeps on giving. George Orwell noted this tendency as early as 1946 in his famous essay "Politics and the English Language": "The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies 'something not desirable.'"
*Jonah Goldberg's, that is. He may persuade me to agree.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Another reason I like Tom McClintock

Here's what any US Representative should be saying to Mexican President Calderón:

Arizona has not adopted a new immigration law. All it has done is to enforce existing law that President Obama refuses to enforce. It is hardly a radical policy to suggest that if an officer on a routine traffic stop encounters a driver with no driver’s license, no passport, and who doesn’t speak English, that maybe that individual might be here illegally.

And to those who say we must reform our immigration laws – I reply that we don’t need to reform them – we need to enforce them. Just as every other government does. Just as Mexico does.

Above all, this is a debate of, by and for the American people. If President Calderon wishes to participate in that debate, I invite him to obey our immigration laws, apply for citizenship, do what 600,000 LEGAL immigrants to our nation are doing right now, learn our history and our customs, and become an American. And then he will have every right to participate in that debate.

Until then, I would politely invite him to have the courtesy while a guest of this Congress to abide by the fundamental rules of diplomacy between civilized nations not to meddle in each other’s domestic debates.

McClintock's site has the full transcript. Or watch the video:



Hat tip, Hot Air.

Addition by Andy: I wanted to post the text of the Teddy Roosevelt quotation:
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language ... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Greece and Socialism

This editorialist made a point I've been thinking about, and as it was well said, let me quote:
Greece was told that if it wanted a bailout, it needed to consider privatizing its government health care system. So tell us again why the U.S. is following Europe's welfare state model.

The requirement, part of a deal arranged by the IMF, the European Union and the European Central bank, is a tacit admission that national health care programs are unsustainable. Along with transportation and energy, the bailout group, according to the New York Times, wants the Greek government to remove "the state from the marketplace in crucial sectors."

...

Of course most of the media have been largely silent about the health care privatization measure for Greece, as it conflicts with their universal, single-payer health care narrative.

The public health system in the Hellenic Republic is operated by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, where centralized decisions and rules are made.

It provides free or low-cost treatment through what is essentially a single-payer system established in 1983 when the Socialist Party was in power. Family members and retirees are also covered. Like the systems in Britain and Canada, it has agonizingly long waiting lists.

It should be no surprise that in Greece, health care spending as a percentage of the economy is relatively steep. According to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development data, it's higher than that in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan. Despite all the spending, Greece could never cover 100% of its citizens, reaching only about 83% for primary care.

...

Already we've seen government agencies tell us that the initial estimates for the Democrats' health care overhaul were too low. We've watched as patients have suffered in Britain and Canada because the large demand placed on their "free" health care systems caused them to be overloaded.

We've stood in awe as Washington, refusing to hear the strong message from voters, forced on the American people a new health care system that most clearly did not want.

What more do we need to see?

Life provides us with an infinite number of situations that can teach us valuable lessons. The problems in Greece are teaching us one of those right now. If we don't learn from this history lesson, we are bound to repeat it.
The New York Times article mentioned is here. Naturally, they're a little more reserved in their commentary (emphasis mine):
Another reform high on the list is removing the state from the marketplace in crucial sectors like health care, transportation and energy and allowing private investment. Economists say that the liberalization of trucking routes — where a trucking license can cost up to $90,000 — and the health care industry would help bring down prices in these areas, which are among the highest in Europe.
In related news, yesterday the Telegraph in the U.K. opined that the Euro is dead. That means that the economic union in Europe may soon be a footnote in history. Meanwhile, the U.S. seems to continue to work toward a North American economic union.

Why are we copying failed systems after they've already begun collapsing? Is the left actually trying to destroy the U.S.?

President Obama insisted he wanted a system that smooths out economic cycles, preventing crashes and also limiting market highs. He's copying European socialism, however, where they did experience slower growth than the during the good times, but they crashed just as quickly as we did. By copying their faltering policies, he and Congress are setting up America to fail and pushing us down the path toward civil unrest.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wolf Blitzer's shocking interview with President Calderón

Wolf Blitzer of CNN had an interview with Mexican President Felipe Calderón. He asked some surprising questions and President Calderón had some hypocritical answers. What's shocking is that President Calderón was so truthful. Here's the transcript. The interesting portion is here (emphasis mine):
BLITZER: After president Calderón's visit to the White House, he came right here to THE SITUATION ROOM for an exclusive interview. This is his only television interview during his state visit to Washington.

I asked him, what's wrong with the folks in Arizona wanting to protect their border?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PRES. FELIPE CALDERON, MEXICO: That is not exactly the problem. I fully respect the right of any nation to establish the legislation that that nation wants -- or their people -- and, of course, the right of any nation to enforce the law and protect their own borders.

But the problem is first that we need to -- to face this challenge in a comprehensive way as President Obama says. And that implies to recognize the rights and the contribution of the people to the growth of this great nation.

But, on the other hand, and in particular, in Arizona, there is some racial profiling criteria in order to enforce the law that it is against any sense of human rights and, of course, is provoking a very disappointing things -- or a very disappointing opinion in Mexico and around the world, even here, in America.
Of course, President Calderón either hasn't read the law or is deliberately lying, as pointed out in a previous post when President Obama and his staff said similar things. Blitzer pointed that out and Calderón simply deflected.

[snip]
BLITZER: All right. Let's talk a little bit about Mexico's laws. I read an article in "The Washington Times" the other day. I'm going to read a paragraph to you and you tell me if this is true or not true. This is from "The Washington Times": "Under the Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony punishable by up to two years in prison. Immigrants who are deported and attempt to reenter can be imprisoned for 10 years. Visa violators can be sentenced to six year terms. Mexicans who help illegal immigrants are considered criminals."

Is that true?

CALDERON: It was true, but it is not anymore. We derogate or we erased that part of the law. Actually, the legal immigration is not a -- is not a crime in Mexico. Not anymore, since one year ago. And that is the reason why we are trying to establish our own comprehensive public policy talking about, for instance, immigrants coming from Central America...

BLITZER: So if...

CALDERON: -- (INAUDIBLE).

BLITZER: So if people want to come from Guatemala or Honduras or El Salvador or Nicaragua, they want to just come into Mexico, they can just walk in?

CALDERON: No. They need to fulfill a form. They need to establish their right name. We analyze if they have not a criminal precedent. And they coming into Mexico. Actually...

BLITZER: Do Mexican police go around asking for papers of people they suspect are illegal immigrants?

CALDERON: Of course. Of course, in the border, we are asking the people, who are you?

And if they explain...

BLITZER: At the border, I understand, when they come in.

CALDERON: Yes.

BLITZER: But once they're in...

CALDERON: But not -- but not in -- if -- once they are inside the -- inside the country, what the Mexican police do is, of course, enforce the law. But by any means, immigration is a crime anymore in Mexico.

BLITZER: Immigration is not a crime, you're saying?

CALDERON: It's not a crime.

BLITZER: So in other words, if somebody sneaks in from Nicaragua or some other country in Central America, through the southern border of Mexico, they wind up in Mexico, they can go get a job...

CALDERON: No, no.

BLITZER: They can work.

CALDERON: If -- if somebody do that without permission, we send back -- we send back them.

BLITZER: You find them and you send them back?

CALDERON: Yes. However, especially with the people of Guatemala, we are providing a new system in which any single citizen from Guatemala could be able to visit any single border (INAUDIBLE) in the south. And even with all the requirements, he can or she can visit any parts of Mexico.
President Calderón is admitting his country, like just about every other country on earth, will check to see if you're legally present there. He tries to make it sound like they're very tolerant and only check papers at the border. If you've traveled in Mexico, you know that's not true. They will check your status before providing any service to you, even taking a police report. If you're an illegal alien, they don't care about what you're trying to report, they arrest you. They have checkpoints in the interior of the country where there aren't polite border agents asking politely to see your license and registration, but military squads stopping you at the point of machine guns.

Every time he's asked, President Calderón speaks plainly and truthfully: if you want to be in Mexico, you must have proper documentation, and you'll be asked to show it, or you'll be arrested and deported.

No rational country would do less to protect its culture and prevent the theft of taxpayer-supported services by those not entitled to them.

Update: For those who would like the video, here is the relevant section:



If you'd like to see the full interview, it is here:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

President Obama and President Calderón's outrageous comments

I'm deeply upset by the news conference President Obama and Mexican President Calderón held today. Let's start with the most ludicrous comment by President Calderón.



"With such laws as the Arizona law that is placing our people to face discrimination," is the key phrase. No one is forcing citizens of Mexico to face discrimination. Firstly, Arizona's law does not put them at any greater risk of discrimination and secondly, they don't have to be here. As President Calderón so clearly stated, they're Mexico's people. They are entitled to the full rights and privileges that come with Mexican citizenship. They are not U.S. citizens. They are not entitled to the full rights and privileges of U.S. citizenship. If he is truly concerned for their welfare, he should order all of them to come back to Mexico, or at least ask politely, not seek to have U.S. policy (which is amazingly lax compared to Mexican immigration policy, even if we actually enforced it) changed to the benefit of his citizens and the detriment of ours.

U.S. citizenship is not a human right.

Now let's examine some of President Obama's infuriating comments.



The key phrase in this clip is, "In the 21st century we are defined not by our borders, but by our bonds." Actually, President Obama, a political state (commonly called a nation) is defined as a community of people or peoples living in a defined territory and organized under a single government. If your territory is not defined, or you don't bother to defend your territory through enforcement of your borders, you quickly cease to be a nation.



During his comments the President suggested the Arizona law might promote discrimination, and violate civil rights. Here's that clip. The key section is:
"My administration is taking a very close look at the Arizona law. We're examining any implications, especially for civil rights, because in the United States of America no law abiding person, be they an American citizen, a legal immigrant, or a visitor or tourist from Mexico should ever be subject to suspicion simply because of what they look like."
The more I hear Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and President Barack Obama malign Arizona's law while claiming not to have read it, the more disgusted I become. Of course they've read it. It's 17 pages long. They're claiming not to have read it so they can lie about it, because if they admit to having read it there's no way they could make the outrageous statements they continue to make.

Anyone who reads the law should be angered by the blatant lies that keep spilling from the President's supposedly ignorant lips. The full text with all revisions, may be found here.

Notice a key phrase that is repeated multiple times in the law:
"A law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state may not solely consider race, color or national origin in implementing the requirements of this subsection except to the extent permitted by the United States or Arizona Constitution."
The fact is, the law doesn't permit any officer to act based on race, color or national origin.
"For any lawful stop, detention or arrest made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of this state or a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state in the enforcement of any other law or ordinance of a county, city or town or this state where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien and is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation."
The officer must make lawful contact with a suspect. If during the course of that lawful contact suspicion is raised as to the suspect's legal status in the country, then the officer is required to determine that status.

Arizona's law consistently refers to Federal law. In fact, it's essentially just a directive that local law enforcement act on Federal law, which they have the well-established right to do.

It's time for the administration to stop lying and decide whether they stand for or against the enforcement of our laws.

Delegation of Mexican lawmakers denounces employer sanctions law

This is nothing more than a repost. Since these articles sometimes disappear in time, I wanted it available for reference.

From: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0116az-delegations16-on.html

Delegation of Mexican lawmakers denounces employer sanctions law

Associated Press
Jan. 16, 2008 06:16 AM
TUCSON- A delegation of nine state legislators from Sonora traveled to Tucson to make the case against Arizona's new employer sanctions law,

The lawmakers say it will have a devastating affect on the Mexican state.

At a news conference Tuesday, they said Sonora cannot handle the demand for housing, jobs and schools it will face as illegal Mexican workers in Arizona return to their hometowns without jobs or money.

The law, which took effect Jan.1, punishes employers who knowingly hire individuals who don't have valid legal documents to work in the United States.

Businesses found violating the law face suspension or loss of a business license.

The lawmakers were to travel to Phoenix Wednesday for a breakfast meeting with Hispanic legislators.

They're expected to tell them how the law will affect Mexican families on both sides of the border.

"How can they pass a law like this?" asked Mexican Rep. Leticia Amparano Gamez, who represents Nogales. "There is not one person living in Sonora who does not have a friend or relative working in Arizona," Amparano said in Spanish.

Amparano said the Sonoran legislators are already asking the federal government of Mexico for help.

Rep. Florencio Diaz Armenta, coordinator of the delegation, represents the agricultural rich San Luis, Rio Colorado, area south of Yuma which employs some 28,000 legal Mexican workers.

"What do we do with the repatriated?" he asked. "As Mexicans, we are worried. They are Mexicans but they are also people's fathers and mothers and young people with jobs who won't have work in Sonora."

Diaz said the Arizona law will lead to the disintegration of the family, as one legal Mexican parent remains in Arizona and the other returns to Mexico.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Spain green jobs: expensive and a net job loss

Spain was way ahead of the rest of the world on the "green job" bandwagon. Now they've realized it was a massive waste of money. There were plans to offer stock on a photovoltaic power plant, but those have been shelved.
They tried to crucify Gabriel Calzada for pointing out that their wind and solar programs were a big waste of money.

But even the Spain’s socialist government recognizes economic reality when default comes knocking. You can’t keep spending $750,000 per “green” job created when you’re going broke.
The article links to Gabriel Calzada's study (as a PDF), which showed that for every "green job" created, 2.2 jobs were lost.

Green jobs, costing a fortune and a net loss of jobs all around! Thanks team eco-police!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Arizona's not so new and not so controversial law

Today is May 1st, a traditional communist rallying day, and as in the past, illegal aliens have chosen today to march in protest of unfair immigration laws, especially Arizona's recent passage that will allow local law enforcement officers (LEOs) to take action on illegal immigration.

Before we begin, let me make a couple of general notes related to the subject. First, U.S. Citizenship is valuable, despite the tearing down of the U.S. that liberals and progressives have done for decades. Second, U.S. Citizenship is not a human right. We can't accept and care for all six plus billion people on Earth to the U.S. Third, absorbing the most adventurous and enterprising of other nation's populations is deeply unfair to those other nations and robs them of the chance to improve. Fourth, I'm disgusted that it's considered "compassionate" to allow a flood of what are essentially slave laborers into our country so we can have low prices on tomatoes. If we ever do grant amnesty to this modern slave labor force, then they'll be unemployed and we'll have to import new slaves for the cycle to continue. It's unjust and inexcusable in our modern society. Finally, no nation can survive if it allows foreign nationals with no interest in the preservation and strengthening of the country to force alteration of its laws through protest. Other countries understand this. Mexico, for example, would throw such illegal alien protesters into Federal prison and then deport them.

Moving to Arizona's law, if you've followed the news, you've seen them call it new, tough and sometimes shocking. It's none of the above. The law isn't really new to Arizona, or for that matter California, Massachusetts or New York. In fact, Arizona's law merely mirrors Federal statute. The uproar is because unlike the Federal government, Arizona plans to act on that statute, and liars in the media and far left groups are pretending that's a new and bad thing.

These liars will tell you that Arizona's law makes it illegal to be Latino, and the police can stop you just for having dark skin. In fact, many of the LEOs in Arizona are of Latin origin, and really couldn't care less what color your skin is. The truth is, both Federal law and Arizona's mirror law provide that an officer must make lawful contact based on suspicion of another crime. Thus you can not be pulled over for driving while Latino, but you can be pulled over for speeding. Once you're stopped, if you have no identification and can't speak English, the officer has cause to check your immigration status. It doesn't matter if you're brown, white or chartreuse or you only speak Spanish, Norwegian or Klingon. If you're walking down the street you can't be stopped for being Latino, but you could be stopped for violating local ordinances, and again, if you can't produce identification or speak English, there's cause to check your status.

An interview with Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has successfully arrested illegal aliens for years despite multiple court challenges based on Federal law allowing local LEOs to enforce Federal law (imagine that) provides more details.

Washington, D.C.: How can law enforcement "reasonably suspect" someone of being undocumented without racial profiling? Other than race, what are the key indicators?

Sheriff Joe Arpaio: When you have a legitimate contact during law enforcement operations, you should be able to ask for identification which law enforcement does anyway on a daily basis. You ask for ID and you see if that person is here illegally by checking out the immigration status of the person. We don't go around picking people off the streets because they look like they're from another country just because of their race. [Transcription errors corrected--the Washington Post needs a new transcriptionist or program]

_______________________

Los Angeles, Calif.: What criteria will law enforcement officers use to determine whether someone is suspiciously illegal? If the criteria is not codified in the law, will it then be up to the police officers to create their own criteria, creating disparate application of the law across the state?

Sheriff Joe Arpaio: Technically in the law it says no racial profiling, that's in the new law. That's why there's a lot of training going on to train police officers to ensure that there is no racial profiling.

_______________________

Perris, CA: How confident are you that this law will not lead to civil rights lawsuits going against the State of AZ and why?

Sheriff Joe Arpaio: My office in the last three years has been very tough on illegal immigration. We have investigated, arrested, detained in our jails over 38,000 illegal aliens with very few lawsuits. So I'm confident that this law can be carried out without many allegations of racial profiling

That's right. It may come as a shock, but local law enforcement officers could actually already have been doing this, but it took a reinforcement of Federal law by Arizona State to get most police departments to even consider doing it. It is amazing that given rampant crime and Phoenix becoming the kidnapping capital of the U.S. (trailing only Mexico City worldwide), most LEOs in Arizona refused to follow Sheriff Arpaio's example to make citizens depending on them for protection safer.

As if to slam home the point, a suspected illegal immigrant shot a Pinal county deputy in the stomach yesterday during a routine traffic stop. Illegal alien activists will tell you it was in response to the new law, but that's a lie. The law hasn't gone into effect. The law hadn't been passed and wasn't in the national spotlight when suspected illegal aliens shot and killed a rancher. The law wasn't even being considered in 2009 when Phoenix had over 370 kidnappings, most related to illegal alien drug and human smuggling. Arizona's law isn't spurring violence, it's a desperate measure against the violence that has been spilling across the border for years, and the media refuses to report.

This not so new and not so controversial law in Arizona is in fact supported by the majority of Americans. Depending on the poll you look at, 60% to 70% of Americans favor Arizona's law. Those claiming it violates basic human rights are confusing the rights of U.S. citizenship with human rights. If you really want to see human rights abuses, you have to look to how Mexico treats their illegal aliens. After Mexican President Felipe Calderon condemned Arizona's law and issued a travel warning about it, he had to backtrack because Amnesty International released a report on how Mexico treats its illegal aliens.

Kidnappings of migrants, mainly for ransom, reached new heights in 2009, with the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) reporting that nearly 10,000 were abducted over six months and almost half of interviewed victims saying that public officials were involved in their kidnapping.

An estimated six out of 10 migrant women and girls experience sexual violence, allegedly prompting some people smugglers to demand that women receive contraceptive injections ahead of the journey, to avoid them falling pregnant as a result of rape.

Nice work, President Calderon. Perhaps you should look to the beam in your own eye?

The truths about Arizona's law just don't match up with what the media is reporting. Most Americans support this law. It won't allow for racial profiling. It isn't new or controversial. It's perfectly Constitutional. They just don't like it, and want to paint anyone who supports it as a racist.

The media's word choices have reflected their bias. They've called this law and its supporters "anti-immigrant," much as they did the Minute Men and other lawful immigration activists. Calling these groups, who support legal immigration "anti-immigrant" is much like calling Mothers Against Drunk Driving "anti-driving." It's a bold-faced lie that should be rejected by any reasonable American.

The media even makes statements that should be easily recognized as idiotic: "the new immigration law signed last week by Gov. Jan Brewer (R), which criminalizes illegal immigration..." Illegal immigration is by definition criminal. I heard of one news crawl (I believe on CNN) which declared, "Arizona law makes illegal immigration illegal." Yes. 7 in 10 of us are aware and want something done about it.

We can't afford the crime or other social costs of illegal immigration. With a new health "reform" bill designed to put private insurers out of business and institute Socialized Medicine, we have to follow the example of our European allies and take a tougher stance on illegal immigration, including ending birthright citizenship in the U.S. We're very tardy in getting that done. "Most countries have abandoned birthright citizenship. England did so in 1981 and Ireland in 2004, the last of the original fifteen European Union nations to give up birthright citizenship."

It's time for the lies and misinformation to end and the action to begin. As for today's protests, as in past years, I suspect illegal aliens will do more damage to their cause by making outrageous demands that anger citizens than they will to elicit sympathy.

Added 05/02/2010, some extra links:

Fair treatment in an unlikely location, the Huffington Post.

Top 10 Dumbest Things Said About the Arizona Immigration Law

Arizona bans Ethnic Studies (this deserves its own post)

Mexico's immigration laws are tougher than ours.

An Arizonan on the issue.