Still Favor Amnesty, Still Disgusted With Obama

As those who read this little blog regularly know, I’ve been in favor of amnesty since 2007. Let me recap why:

Given the large number of illegal immigrants we have in this nation and the long period of time many millions of them have resided here, it is just not practical nor merciful nor just to deport them all. It is not practical because that many people would take massive resources to detect, arrest and move back to their home nations (they aren’t all from Mexico, after all). It is not merciful because ripping people from homes they’ve lived in for years is just not something that I, as a Christian, could ever support. It is not just because, in the end, we invited these people in. Sure, it was with a wink and a nod. Sure, many people have long been opposed and some tried hard to change the system – but on the whole not only was no real effort made to get them out, but plenty of efforts were made to entice them in.

Because of all that, I have favored amnesty – my basic idea was that if a person has been here for a number of years (5, 7, take your pick) without breaking any laws other than (a) crossing the border and (b) those laws which an illegal has to get around to stay here, then I figure we should allow them to stay. No fines. No going to the back of the line. Just have them come forward boldly and accept their green cards. If they stay a further five years and go through the citizenship process, then they become citizens…if they don’t, then back home, indeed, they go (I don’t want a class of people in this nation who refuse to become citizens – become American, or go back home). Anyone who has been here less time who is a criminal will be immediately deported (if not jailed for their crimes), those who have no criminal background will be provided with funds for transportation back to their place of origin, plus a bit extra – I’d want to entice such people to come forward for what amounts to voluntary deportation. That is the amnesty. Now, on to the rest of it:

The reason we have had all these illegals coming here is because our Ruling Class wants them here – those most concerned with politics were looking for a permanent underclass who could be bribed via welfare to vote Democrat; those most concerned with economics were looking for a permanent underclass who could be made to work for less than their labor is worth (I’ll never forget that time I saw illegals working on house construction on Christmas Day…no American would ever agree to that; but Big Corporation has no problem with a sub-contractor hiring illegals who can be made to work on Christmas…). If we are to amnesty, then we must make certain that the injustice of importing a political and economic underclass is never, ever repeated. And that means very strict border security – border security both in the sense of making the border physically secure, but also coming down like two tons of bricks on anyone who crosses the border illegally and, more important, on anyone who employs – directly or by the ruse of using a sub-contractor – illegal labor. I’m talking 6 months in jail for the illegal, 10 years in jail for the employer (6 months in jail is quite enough punishment to deter illegals who aren’t coming across for criminal activity – it just won’t be worth it for them to make the attempt in service of the goal of money-making if they’ll spend 6 months in jail making no money).

All Obama did yesterday – aside from a bit of Constitution-shredding – is do the bidding of the political race-baiters and those business elements who want cheap labor. It isn’t just or merciful – its a bit of liberal nonsense dressed up in false words of morality. Obama has ensured that the scam continues – and, worse, because now without border security, another 12 million are already lining up to come here, to be the drudges of labor, and the eventual votes for a corrupt political party. After having 24 hours to ponder over it, I’ve found that I am very angry over the whole thing. Disgusted. Nauseated that a President of my nation could do such a cynical, horrid thing and then claim that he’s on the moral high ground.

We’ve got our work cut out for us, good people. We do have to undo Obama. It can be done – but let us keep eyes on the prize. Don’t get distracted. Victory in 2016 is where we can start to restore our Republic, not in getting in a dog fight with someone like Obama. We must endure him for a bit more than two years – that is all.

Secession is the Answer Update

Just another example of what I’m always yammering on about:

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo is inaugurated for a second term in January, he will have New York City voters to thank.

Cuomo’s 13-percentage-point win over Republican challenger Rob Astorino on Nov. 4 was fueled by a large margin of victory in New York City, where he took home 77 percent of the nearly 1 million ballots cast, according to the state Board of Election’s unofficial results.

Take away the city, however, and the rest of the state backed Astorino — albeit by a slim margin. Outside of the five boroughs, Astorino collected 1.3 million votes — or 49 percent — compared to Cuomo’s 1.2 million, or 46 percent, in a low-turnout election. Three third-party candidates were also on the ballot.

New York isn’t one State, it is two. There is the NYC-Albany bit of the State, and then there’s the rest of it. And the two are not in any way, shape or form of the same ideas.

Cuomo’s New York is perfectly within it’s rights in getting the government it wants. Those people want a nitwit socialist like De Blasio as mayor and a liberal political hack like Cuomo as governor. Good for them. But why do the rest of New York’s citizens have to put up with it? Why do the people of Buffalo have to deal with a governor – and a government – which is entirely subservient to the people of New York City? Don’t the people of Buffalo deserve to have people leading them who reflect the values of Buffalo?

The answer, as I’ve been saying for years, is secession – break up New York into two States. West and East New York. Think about it – the liberal pinheads of East New York will have a happy hunting ground for pure, unadulterated liberalism even more so than now, while West New York would get a chance for sanity in government. Everyone’s happy – and, Democrats, think about it: you’d have two Senators-for-life in East New York and still have a shot at some times grabbing a Senator from West New York. Its win-win for ya! Win-win for West New York, too, of course…because they won’t have to put up with quite as much liberal nonsense.

Can the Constitution be Saved?

Charles Cooke notes that some on the right appear to be eagerly anticipating the time when a Republican President can invoke the “Obama rule” and just start doing whatever he or she pleases – and he doesn’t like it:

…I am afraid that I consider this approach to be little short of suicidal, and I can under no circumstances look forward to a system in which the executive may pick and choose which laws he is prepared to enforce. On the contrary: I consider the idea to be a grave and a disastrous one, and I would propose that any such change is likely to usher in chaos at first and then to incite a slow, tragic descent into the monarchy and caprice that our ancestors spent so long trying to escape. During the last 500 years or so, the primary question that has faced the Anglo-American polities has been whether the executive or the legislature is to be the key proprietor of domestic power. In one form or another, this query informed both the English Civil War and the Glorious Revolution that followed it, and it was at the root of the Revolution in America. Cast your eyes across the Declaration of Independence and you will notice that the majority of the “long train of abuses and usurpations” have to do with the violation of the rights of assemblies by individuals who believe themselves to be the dominant arbiter of the state’s affairs…

I don’t like it, either; but the question is, can the cat be put back in the bag? That is where we get into very doubtful territory. Earlier in his article, Cooke notes the impossibility of actually explaining what is at stake to the average audience – which either won’t know the issues (thanks, public schools!) or won’t have the patience to deal with it. We are a very long way from any sort of America which fully understands what is at stake. This puts anyone who wishes to have a constitutional republic at a disadvantage as it is useless to discuss the finer points of what is actually a human right against someone who is promising the sun and the moon in a political campaign.

No system will ever work better than the people who run it. And the trouble with all human systems is that they are run by human beings – human beings who are prey to cowardice, greed, pride, flattery and all that. The historian Will Durant, in discussing the Principate established by the first Roman Emperor, noted that in legal terms the powers the Emperor had were no greater than those of an energetic American President – how, then, did the Principate so swiftly degenerate from the high tone of Augustus to the madness of Caligula and Nero? Because the people who ran the system allowed it to happen – it was easier to just let the Emperor rule; to take the bribe, the obtain the sinecure position, to let things slide. Fighting for principal only forced you to work and exposed you to attack. Better to go along to get along. One would have hoped in 2009 that Congressional Democrats would have been keen to preserve their own power vis a vis the White House, regardless of who is in office. But, nothing doing – once Obama was sworn in, Congress became the merest rubber stamp…and once the GOP gained the House in 2010, nothing happened in Congress because Reid, the alleged leader of the Senate, decided that it was just easier to let Obama do whatever he pleased. This it the nature of things in human affairs – and no system we have or can create will really change it.

Our now-tattered and broken system had a good run. From 1787 until 1950 it pretty much worked as planned, aside from a few abuses. It worked because everyone kept it working – the President didn’t abuse and Congress was vigilant in protecting it’s power. Since 1950, though, it as rather fallen apart (the signal for this, by the way, was Truman’s commitment to war in Korea without obtaining prior Congressional authorization: going to war in Korea was correct American policy – but Truman should have got a declaration of war from Congress, first). We have just drifted along with the tide of events – and Congress passed its legislative powers away: first to the Courts, later to the bureaucracy and now to the merest whim of the President. The one defense the Founders gave us against Executive abuse – impeachment – is a dead letter. It never really worked (if it had, a good dozen Presidents would have been removed from office over the years), and it was killed off when Clinton was acquitted by the Senate even though he clearly had broken the law and should have been removed from office. Unless by some political miracle you can get 67 Senators in opposition to a President, impeachment will never happen – and I can’t see either major party ever getting to 67 Senators while the other party is in the White House. Freed from any fear of impeachment, a President can do as he pleases while in office – there’s really no way to stop him (some people hold that the power of the purse can still be invoked: I ask, how? Suppose the President draws money out of the Treasury which hasn’t been appropriated; what is the only sanction you can hit him with? The aforementioned dead letter of impeachment…).

I don’t know how we get back to a place where the President holds himself in check and/or the Congress vigorously protects it’s own power. It could be that we’ll need to go through a period of executive tyranny (you know, dictatorship) which leads to revolution and the re-establishment of constitutional law. I hope it doesn’t come to that. And as a means of trying to prevent that, I do have some suggestions:

1. Don’t be afraid to rake over the past a bit. When a new Administration comes into office, one of its first orders of business should be the investigation of the previous Administration. This is especially true when it is a change of political party as well as a new Administration. Sure, this means that Bush Administration officials would have been raked over the coals by Obama people – but it also might mean that Obama people get the same raking over by President Walker’s troops. The thought that in just a few years the other guys might be in power and thus looking to send you to jail would produce a great deal of fear about abusing power and breaking the law.

2. Term limits. Part of the problem with Congress is that they can stick around too long…you’ve got a nice office, a large staff, things are going pretty well: why rock the boat? Might cause you to lose office. Better to just go along to get along. Term limits brings that to an end – if you can’t re-seek your current office next year, then might as well do your job (true, some people will just coast along to the end of their term…but others will be ambitious for different office, and what better way to make a name than to shake things up?).

3. Make all government officials – elected and appointed – directly responsible for their actions. No more government pays when official so-and-so screws up: nope, the official pays. In criminal and civil penalties. No more immunity for government officials: and no more anonymity, either…their names, salaries, positions and performance reviews are on line for everyone to see. Having the people kinda looking over their shoulders might make them less willing to do wrong.

That is just a few things; other people can come up with other ideas. But do keep in mind that there are two ways to make a government behave: have honorable men and women as a majority of the government, or put the most intense fear of retribution into the minds of government officials. We can’t ever be sure that anyone is actually honorable (even the best of us can go wrong), so we should concentrate on putting the fear on them – the thought that you are to be hanged in a fortnight does concentrate the mind wonderfully…and if a government official is worried every day that he might be called to account for his actions, he’ll either do as little as possible or be as honest as possible…in either case, we’re ahead of the game.

Weekly Open Thread

A few topics to discuss:

- ISIS beheads another American. How many more Americans need to be beheaded before Obama takes this seriously?

- After 6 years of essentially doing nothing – Obama now deems immigration to be a crisis and promises to act unilaterally before the new Congress is sworn in. Polls show that a vast majority of Americans have other top priorities, but when has that concerned the leader of the new permanent minority?

- Open enrollment for the ACA is on again, and while 56% of Americans disapprove, MSNBC was able to find that those enrollees who receive subsidies actually like the law. Imagine that? The Supreme Court could change all that soon however if they actually uphold the law as it was written – meaning that only State exchanges can hand out subsidies. Of course, Justice Roberts has once before violated that trust, so who knows.

- And Ferguson remains on edge. Apparently, being completely wrong and over reactionary about the facts of the case have not embarrassed the instigators and race baiters, nor has it given them reason to pause and reassess their juvenile actions.  Instead they move forward, sell merchandise, and request that the UN be involved in their struggle for justice. Justice of which fits with their narrow views and victim mindsets.

We Just Can’t Work With Liberals

Over at Free Beacon, Sonny Bunch notes a recent article by Jonathan Chait wherein Chait demonstrates his abiding hatred of all persons Republican. Meanwhile, we have the Gruber revelations that bald-faced lies were used to enact ObamaCare. The question I ask is: how can we work with people who hate us and will flat-out lie to us? The answer: we can’t.

This is not an argument to start lying, nor an argument to start hating. In fact, it is our duty to be more careful that what we say is true, and that how we say it betrays not the slightest hint of hatred towards the other side. But it is an argument that there is no common ground for us to meet the left upon. And, I think, we all know this – and have known it for a long time. Even on this little blog, we found over the years that we just couldn’t so much as discuss things with liberals, let alone hammer out some mutually acceptable course of action. Any time we got a liberal on here, the discussion would immediately be filled with falsehoods and invective from the left. Didn’t matter what the subject was, it always went that way (to be generous, some liberals spread lies out of ignorance – they might sincerely have thought their falsehoods true, but that still doesn’t change the fact that lies were being spread). This is because liberals hate us, and hold to a view which believes that a lie, if it is allegedly in the service of a greater good, is ok. As we are not liars and we believe that there are some things out of bounds no matter how allegedly worthy the desire, there is just no way to get together with such people. We’re oil and water.

We could endlessly discuss just why the liberals are like this – but it would be a bit pointless. Unless they decide to change, there’s nothing we can do about it. Other than oppose them with all our powers and, hopefully, eventually remove them from any position of influence or authority within our nation.

This won’t be quite a difficult as it might sound. While it appears that our liberals are ubiquitous, their real numbers are somewhere around a mere one in five Americans. They just appear very powerful because they own most of the societal megaphones – especially in the popular culture. But the real basis of their power is, ultimately, government – either directly or indirectly they live and die by government subsidy. Once we cut that out, they will whither and die. Governor Walker – intentionally or not – has shown the way in Wisconsin. Wisconsin has been a very reliably blue State for a long time – it was, after all, one of the States wherein the early 20th century Progressives had some of their greatest successes. But, lo and behold, Walker has won three times in the past four years…and the GOP strength in the State government has increased, to the point where even if Hillary wins in 2016, we might see that State going GOP at the Presidential level. What was the main thing Walker did? He went after the government unions – the primary mechanism whereby taxpayer money (ie, money which mostly belongs to centrists and conservatives) is funneled to liberals. Without that government money, the liberals were just unable to rule the political roost. Do this on a State-by-State level and the federal level, and you’ll see a collapse in liberal power: enough of a collapse, in my view, where we can over time completely rid ourselves of them (as an aside, another line of attack is on the student loan scam – this funnels mostly conservative and centrist money to colleges, almost all of which are completely owned by the left…I’d agree to an annulment of all college debts in return for a cancellation of the student loan program: it’d be worth it in the long run…imagine thousands of “studies” teachers and liberal apparatchiks in college Administrations suddenly out of work, and no longer able to funnel money to the left!).

But we can’t do this if we’re looking to “work across the aisle”. If we do that, we’re just allowing liberals to continue to force centrist and conservative America to fund them to our own detriment. Its not that we’re unwilling to compromise, but that we’re unwilling to commit suicide. Unless liberals change, we can’t work with them – and even if they announce a change, we can’t trust them because we know they lie about everything all the time. Our best course of action is just rigid opposition to whatever they propose combined with a forthright argument in favor of our own cause. Let the voters decide which way to go – but if they choose us, then let us go our way, right down the line. This is, after all, just what liberals do – you might recall the dearth of argument for compromise in late 2008 and early 2009. If liberals have the power, they do as they please; if they don’t have the power, they demand we do as they please. No more of that. If we win, we do our thing – if the people reject us at the next election, so be it. But I don’t think they will – no more than the people of Wisconsin rejected Walker. Most people, as I said, are centrists and conservatives and so a center-right governing philosophy will always command majority support as long as it implemented (when center-right governments start acting liberal, they lose).

We’ll see how the next two years go. I’m hopeful that even our more RINOish Congressional leaders have learned a bit of a lesson. The harsh invective and unconstitutional actions of Obama supported by Reid should have, it is hoped, opened a few eyes. These people on the left are serious – and they are hate filled and dishonest, into the bargain. Keep them at arms length and just keep on pushing a center-right agenda. Maybe we lose – and that is fine; at least we’ll have lost on principal. But I think we’ll win – and in 10 years, we just won’t have these liberals to deal with any longer…they’ll be out; out of government subsidies, out of power, out of any ability to use hatred and lies to advance their agenda. And that will be good for America – and good for them, as well: it might make them start to re-think their views.

Weekly Open Thread

Mark is quite prolific at posting thought provoking articles, so much so that it is hard to keep up with. Thus, I have decided to take on the difficult task of posting a weekly open thread and considering the current state of chaos in our body politic there is much to discuss.

Take for example Jonathan Gruber’s recent admission that the ACA was intentionally opaque, disguised, and lied about in order to secure passage, and thankfully the American electorate is stupid and never figured it out. This of course excludes the many conservatives that repeatedly warned everyone about dangers of this legislation, but unfortunately too many gullible people stood with slack jaws and wonder as Nancy Pelosi proclaimed – “we have to pass it to find out what’s in it”.

Better yet, how about Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough saying that “Washington will work better if Obama has is way”.

I can predict one thing. Now that the Democrats are entrenched as the minority party of this country, from Congress on down to State Legislatures, their comments and actions will become even more brazen and even more outrageous over the next two years. This is just the start of it. I think they are genuinely upset and privately panicking about these last elections where Americans soundly rejected their policies and tactics, and now they suddenly find themselves with a very weak bench of young talent, tired old campaign cliches, and just one polarizing figure as their best hope for 2016.

It was just five years ago that the Republican party was thought to be soon relegated to a regional party comprised primarily of old white men. How those fortunes have changed thanks to the arrogance and over reach of a rabid ideologue in the White House and the justice Department, and to the Tea Party for their continued opposition in the face of strong head winds and ridicule. Now the GOP boasts majority numbers across this country comprised of a lot of diverse and young talent. The GOP’s prospects are strong provided they stick to conservative principles, Constitutional governance and common sense.

Does Merit Lead to Success?

Very interesting article by Robin Hanson:

How much does merit contribute to success? A rosy view is that success is mostly due to merit, while a dark view is that success is mostly not due to merit, but instead due to what we see as illicit factors, such as luck, looks, wit, wealth, race, gender, politics, etc.

Over a lifetime people gain data on the relation between success and merit. And one data point stands out most in their minds: the relation between their own success and merit. Since most people see themselves as being pretty meritorious, the sign of this data point depends mostly on their personal success. Successful people see a rosy view, that success and merit are strongly related. Unsuccessful people see a dark view, that success and merit are only weakly related…

And then James Joyner puts his two cents in:

…While lots of very successful people will acknowledge that luck played a large role in their success, most will point to the real merit that got them to where they are. They worked harder, were more persistent, delayed gratification, and otherwise behaved more admirably than their peers who were less successful. And, for the most part, they will be right on those scores while overlooking the extent to which luck also factored in.

Of course, defining “merit” and “success” will be controversial here, with reasonable and intelligent people disagreeing, sometimes quite broadly, as to what they mean. Several of Hanson’s commenters, for example, treat possession of extreme talent, even “genius,” as evidence of merit when it’s just as easily dismissed as luck. It’s not obvious why being extremely smart is any less a matter of happenstance than being pleasingly tall or attractive…

I don’t know – perhaps I haven’t met as many successful people as others have, but I don’t see many successful people acknowledging that luck played a role in their rise. And by “luck” I mean any particular factor which was outside of the individuals control – and this includes who your parents are, what sort of people you meet, etc. Most people I’ve met who have had the easy route to the top appear convinced that they really merited it all. To take the most egregious recent example, I get the distinct impression that Obama believes he’s President based upon his meritorious actions…even though I can’t think of any he’s done, other than being a good father to his daughters, which is a very meritorious thing, indeed, but hardly something to set him apart and raise him to the most powerful office in the world.

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