Saturday, June 30, 2007

Immigration News

The Bush-Kennedy amnesty has been defeated in the Senate.

Commentary on the defeat of the Bush-Kennedy amnesty
Joe Guzzardi: Joe On Immigration Vote--“We Had Them All The Way!”
Ericka Anderson: Immigration Victory and Hope
Gun Owners of America: Immigration Bill Dead For Now
Michelle Malkin: Kill the Bill: Shamnesty showdown
Michelle Malkin: Shamnesty on the Senate Floor, Take 2

Commentary on the Bush-Kennedy amnesty
Mac Johnson: Bush’s Amnesty: Bad for America, But at Least it’s Political Suicide
Jed Babbin: Never Give In

General Commentary
Michelle Malkin: Clear the Damn Backlogs First
Steve Sailer: The Axis Of Amnesty’s Ideology Of Cheap Labor

Conservative Victories

Thursday was a great day for conservatives.

An outpouring of opposition from conservatives defeated the amnesty bill, again. The vote was 46-53.

The Supreme Court overruled racial discrimination in deciding where students go to school.

A Senate committee defeated the efforts of Michael Bloomberg and the anti-gunners to reject the "Tiahrt amendment".

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Social spending does not yield greater prosperity

Hat tip to The Economist:

"Mark Thoma showcases this image with this commentary:

These are countries whose per-capita incomes are greater than the OECD average. The point here is that there's no trade-off between high levels of national income and high levels of social spending.

Why, no, there isn't. You could also choose to have enormous deposits of oil and natural gas!

Seriously, I don't understand how anyone is making that argument from that graph. Throwing out Norway, where high GDP is due to fossil fuel reserves that cannot be achieved through any policy decision, there seems to be a downward sloping, although noisy, curve running from America and Ireland through Canada and the higher-spending European countries. Even if you throw out America--even if you throw out Ireland--the relationship is pretty clear.

Am I missing something?"

No, The Economist is not. This graph shows a clear trend of greater GDP per capita inversely proportional to the level of social spending.

Why is this? Conventional wisdom says that citizens with "safety nets" and other social programs to help them out would have greater prosperity than those who do not. Isn't it, after all, the liberal maxim that social programs lead to greater prosperity?

Clearly, we are forgetting the unintended consequences of how these social programs are funded. When you punish prosperity and productivity by enacting crippling taxes on individuals and businesses, the net result is exactly what you'd expect: less productivity, less prosperity. By punishing the productive individuals in society we destroy incentives for them to create more wealth. Furthermore, the drain of deadweight loss, bureaucratic overhead, and inefficient allocation of monies all but guarantees that the tax revenue collected will be significantly under-maximized. The combination of disincentives to productive members of society and wasteful misallocation of taxes creates a significant drain on an economy.

This explains the chart above in that the consequences of a massive tax burden are a less prosperous society. And what of the outlier, Norway? Because the majority of their social programs are not funded through tax, but rather natural resources (read: oil), they do not suffer the same unintended consequences that the tax-supported countries have. Despite this, one wonders that if the oil revenue were held solely in private hands, where it would be used more efficiently, how much additional GDP per capita Norwegians would have.

The conclusion is clear: tax hikes reduce prosperity. Despite this, we have Democrats in the Michigan and US legislature trying to raise them up further. You cannot tax your way into prosperity. While countries around the world (especially, surprisingly, in Europe) are slashing tax rates, all we hear from our government is that they need to be raised.

It is time for the Democrats to wake up.

Immigration Update

The Senate voted to reopen debate on the amnesty bill Tuesday by a vote of 64-35. On Wednesday, they debated parts of a "clay-pigeon" amendment. On Thursday morning, they will vote on cloture to limit debate on the bill. The vote is expected to be close.

Follow the latest developments at Michelle Malkin's amnesty archive.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Anti-Illegal Immigration Rally



The Michigan Federation for Immigration Reform & Enforcement is organizing an:

Anti - Illegal Immigration Rally

Tuesday June 26, 2007 at 12 noon

Senator Debbie Stabenow’s
Lansing Office

221 W Lake Lansing Road
East Lansing, MI 48823

Debbie Stabenow has lost touch with her electorate. We the citizens of Michigan will not stand for further obstruction of our laws and will not accept any Senate immigration bill (McCain/Kennedy Amnesty bill).

Opponents of illegal immigration have been working tirelessly to defeat the McCain/Kennedy bill. Allied Senators have worked hard to add amendments that would weaken the bill and create fractures in the coalition that is working to pass it.

To prevent these amendments, the Senate leadership has tried various tactics. Among these was the cloture plan. On June 7 at 11:41AM, Senate Majority Leader Reid called for a cloture vote – with full knowledge that he would later call a second cloture vote at 8:24PM. Reid and his allies voted against cloture in the first vote ( Roll Call Vote 203) and for cloture in the second vote (Roll Call Vote 206). By doing this, he – and other senators (like Stabenow) - could claim that they voted against cloture.

Stabenow also voted (Roll Call Vote 180) to defeat Vitter amendment 1157. This would have removed the Z Visa which is Amnesty.

Immigration News

The Bush-Kennedy amnesty will return to the Senate next week.

Commentary on the status of the Bush-Kennedy amnesty
Gun Owners of America: Immigration Bill Update
Michelle Malkin: Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill will oppose shamnesty
James Edwards: Are Rational Immigration Laws a ‘Job American Politicians Won’t Do’?

Commentary on the Bush-Kennedy amnesty
John Fonte: Raindrops Keep Falling
WorldNetDaily: Revived illegals bill 'security nightmare'
Phyllis Schlafly: Americans Want English As Our Official Language

General Commentary
Phil Kent: How We Got Here: Foundations Fund Open Borders Agenda
Allan Wall: Mexican Government Vs. Those “Absurd” American Gun Rights
Deroy Murdock: As Immigration Bill Stalls, U.S. Border Invites Terrorists

Against Amnesty
The Bush-Kennedy Amnesty
The Bush-Kennedy Amnesty
Immigration News

Spending Fight Pending?

Robert Novak reports that President Bush is planning to veto most of the spending bills that fund the federal government. If true, this is good news. Democrats in Congress are planning big spending increases, above the increases proposed by the Bush administration.

It's high time for some vetoes.

Spending has increased faster under Bush than it did under Clinton. The same is true for non-defense spending.

Big spenders in Congress can be expected to try to override any vetoes. Fiscal conservatives need at least one third of the members in one body to sustain a veto. That's why the Republican Study Committee circulated a petition to members of the House pledging to sustain a spending veto. The pledge has been signed by 147 Congressmen.

Of Michigan's Republicans, Pete Hoekstra, Thaddeus McCotter, Mike Rogers, and Tim Walberg signed the letter.

Dave Camp, Vernon Ehlers, Joe Knollenberg, Candice Miller, and Fred Upton did not. Why?


This update focuses on trade. Trade can benefit nations, but government regulations and "free trade agreements" cause job losses. Government policies can make trade have negative consequences.

William Jasper: Behind the Job Loss
William Jasper: The Trouble With Our Trade Treaties
Dennis Behreandt: Losing Our Way
Phyllis Schlafly: Prepare for the Big Issue in 2008
Phyllis Schlafly: The Price Of Imported Food Is Too High
Dennis Behreandt: High Toll on U. S. Business & Industry
Mac Johnson: Outsourcing the Arsenal of Democracy?

POLITICAL UPDATES are archived here.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Michigan Politics

1. MCRGO has a letter from Rep. Daniel Acciavatti on a bill to eliminate "gun-free" zones.

Office buildings, hospitals, convenience stores, Post Office buildings, day care centers, schools, universities and chain restaurants have all been targets of shootings with the intent on killing multiple victims. A striking paradox is associated with these incidents because they are much more likely to occur in areas that have been designated as gun free zones.

Schools became a popular target for shootings in the mid 1990’s, around the time that the Gun Free School Zones act of 1994 was enacted. In 1999, John Lott and William Landes published an extensive statistical study of multiple shootings incidents. They showed that mass shootings occur less often in areas where responsible citizens are allowed permits to carry concealed weapons. Have you ever heard of a mass shooting in a police station, a pistol range, or a gun show? Criminals always select a softer target for their acts of violence where they know citizens are unarmed, vulnerable, and where they know people cannot shoot back at them.
2. The Gazette has an editorial criticizing the MCRI. John Miller explains the truth about minority admissions.

What gives? A massive effort on the part of the university to admit students using racial preferences before MCRI took effect:

The University of Michigan Law School admitted six times as many underrepresented minority students before the ban on government affirmative action took place compared with after it took effect, according to admissions data released Thursday.
3. John Beacon, in charge of increasing Western's enrollment, has quit.

4. The bus routes that had been threatened with cuts have been saved.

The private contract with Indian Trails resulted from a multi-party bid and the company provided the best offer.

"Indian Trails gave us an excellent bid for the on-campus routes and Metro gave us good pricing for the pieces we left with them," Rinker said. "The only real negotiations involved hammering out who does what.

"The result is a contract that reduces costs by about 25 percent from last year's, despite increased route traffic, and saves nearly $900,000 over previously projected costs.
So a private business can provide the same service for less money than a government program. Maybe there's a lesson there.

5. The Kalamazoo County Taxpayers Association applauds the rejection of the proposed 9% tuition hike.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tom Tancredo

Tom Tancredo

US Congressman (1998-present)
President of the Independence Institute
US Department of Education (1981-1992)
Colorado House of Representatives (1976-1980)

House of Representatives:

Rated 100% pro-life by Right to Life
Opposes Roe v. Wade

Foreign Policy
Hawkish realist
Voted to authorize war with Iraq
Opposed war in Kosovo

Gun Rights
Opposes gun control
Rated A by Gun Owners of America

Founder of Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus
Rated A+ by Americans for Better Immigration
Supports securing the border, interior enforcement
Opposes amnesty, chain migration, birthright citizenship

Supports Federal Marriage Amendment
Supports Marriage Protection Act

Opposes McCain-Feingold "campaign finance reform" restrictions on free speech
Supports drilling for oil in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Voted for legislation to withdraw from the United Nations
Supports withdrawing from World Trade Organization
Voted against CAFTA
Cosponsored resolution opposed to North American Union, Trans-Texas Corridor

Regularly votes against government spending and programs
Voted against creation of Medicare prescription drug program
Voted against No Child Left Behind education spending

Supports tax cuts
Pledged not to raise taxes

Married since 1977.

Ron Paul

Ron Paul

US Congressman (1976, 1978-1984, 1996-present)
Medical doctor (obstetrician/gynecologist)
United States Air Force (1963-1965)

House of Representatives:
Campaign: archive:

Pro-life federalist
Opposes Roe v. Wade

Foreign Policy
Strict non-interventionist
Voted against authorizing Iraq war, Kosovo war
Opposes foreign aid
Author of A Foreign Policy of Freedom: Peace, Commerce and Honest Friendship

Gun Rights
Opposes all gun control
Rated A+ by Gun Owners of America

Supports securing border
Opposes amnesty, guest worker program
Sponsored legislation to end birthright citizenship

Opposes "gay marriage"
Opposes Federal Marriage Amendment
Supports Federal Marrage Act to deny federal courts jurisdiction over marriage

Opposes all unconstitutional government regulation
Opposes McCain-Feingold "campaign finance reform" restrictions on free speech
Supports drilling for oil in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Sponsored legislation to withdraw from the United Nations
Supports withdrawing from World Trade Organization, NAFTA
Voted against CAFTA
Opposes "free trade agreements" that regulate trade
Cosponsored resolution opposed to North American Union, Trans-Texas Corridor

Opposes all unconstitutional government spending and programs
Voted against creation of Medicare prescription drug program
Voted against No Child Left Behind education spending

Supports abolition of the income tax
Supports tax cuts
Pledged not to raise taxes
Opposes existence of Federal Reserve, and inflation of money supply

Married for 45 years

Duncan Hunter

Duncan Hunter

US Congressman (1980-present)
United States Army

House of Representatives:

Rated 100% pro-life by Right to Life
Opposes Roe v. Wade

Foreign Policy
Hawkish realist
Voted to authorize war with Iraq
Supported war against Kosovo

Gun Rights
Consistently pro-gun
Rated A by Gun Owners of America

Wrote bill creating border fence in San Diego
Rated A+ by Americans for Better Immigration
Supports securing the border, interior enforcement
Opposes amnesty, chain migration, birthright citizenship

Supports Federal Marriage Amendment
Supports Marriage Protection Act

Opposes McCain-Feingold "campaign finance reform" restrictions on free speech
Supports drilling for oil in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Voted for United Nations funding
Supports withdrawing from World Trade Organization
Voted against NAFTA and CAFTA
Cosponsored resolution opposed to North American Union, Trans-Texas Corridor

Generally votes for funding existing government programs
Voted for creation of Medicare prescription drug program
Voted for No Child Left Behind education spending

Supports tax cuts
Pledged not to raise taxes

Married since 1973.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Immigration News

The discussion of immigration continues across America. The Bush-Kennedy amnesty may soon return to the Senate.

Commentary on the status of the Bush-Kennedy amnesty
Joe Guzzardi: Amnesty Bill Climbing Out Of Coffin—But We Can Slam The Lid
Steve Sailer: The Axis of Amnesty Can Be Defeated For Good
Pat Buchanan: The Regime Against the Nation
Jed Babbin: We Made it a “Miers Moment”

Commentary on the Bush-Kennedy amnesty
James Edwards: No Bill Beats the Bad Senate Bill
Ron Paul: Amnesty Opponents Are Not Un-American
Michelle Malkin: Kill the Bill: Exposing the dirty deal

General commentary
Ann Coulter: 'No Drug Smuggler Left Behind!'
Michelle Malkin: It Ain't Over 'Til the Alien Wins
Phyllis Schlafly: Advice For Education Secretary Spellings
Thomas Sowell: A Home Invader Program?
Thomas Sowell: Bipartisan Betrayal
National Review: Re: The Company You Keep


This update focuses on education. Liberalism and government regulations lead to ignorance and indoctrination in government schools and colleges.

Walter Williams says that competition is better than monopoly.
Phyllis Schlafly exposes Virginia Tech's leftist English Department.
Phyllis Schlafly surveys ignorance and liberalism in college.
Walter Williams explains how FERPA relates to the VPI shootings.
Walter Williams writes that schools promote ignorance.
Michelle Malkin gives examples of schools villainizing Christians.
Walter Williams chronicles college liberalism.
Walter Williams shows that William and Mary is run by liberals.
Phyllis Schlafly explains how schools trample parents' rights.

Learn more about education issues in Education Reporter.

Friday, June 15, 2007

McCain in Trouble

From the Evans-Novak Political Report:


GOP Field: While Sen. John McCain claims that everything is "fine" in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, events strongly suggest otherwise. The former frontrunner is now in deep trouble. With respect to the positive signs a presidential campaign can point to at this early stage -- fundraising, national polls, state polls, endorsements -- McCain finds himself almost empty-handed.

For this and other reasons, the nascent campaign of former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson poses a challenge for McCain in particular. Thompson has reportedly raised millions in just days after filing an exploratory committee, and a new national Bloomberg poll puts him at 21 percent, in a strong second place against former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. McCain has plunged to 12 percent, just ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, but at least Romney has some bright points in his favor: his lead in fundraising and his lead in Iowa and New Hampshire polls.

McCain has no such good news. If Thompson is the charging bear, McCain is the slowest of the three campers fleeing him -- the most likely to be devoured.

First, McCain has fallen out of favor in the important state polls. Romney, who has saturated the Iowa and New Hampshire airwaves with campaign advertisements in recent weeks, has leap-frogged over both McCain and Rudy Giuliani to lead in both states. Romney leads McCain only narrowly in Iowa but has pushed his lead in New Hampshire to 8 percent. In South Carolina, Giuliani and McCain trade a narrow lead. In Florida, Giuliani dominates.

McCain's recent withdrawal from the August straw poll in Ames, Iowa, seemed to come with a sigh of relief. With Giuliani exiting the straw poll first, McCain had an excellent excuse to drop out of an expensive and early symbolic contest that he probably can't win against the moneyed Romney. Especially troubling for McCain in Iowa are his past stances on ethanol, immigration and guns, to say nothing of his campaign finance reform bill.

With respect to fundraising, McCain had a dismal first quarter at $12.5 million, widely considered a disappointment. Now his campaign is setting extremely low expectations by saying simply that he will raise more than that amount in the current quarter (results will be available in mid-July). Such a take would be woefully insufficient for him to continue in earnest, perhaps leaving him with one fourth (or less) of the cash on hand of his top competitors. His campaign is still recovering from its earlier spendthrift ways, even though his staff has now been pared down by more than one third.

More striking are the stories of many high-profile Bush supporters -- so-called Rangers and Pioneers -- from previous campaigns. They are currently keeping their powder dry in spite of McCain's aggressive courtship. The uncommitted heavy-hitters see Thompson looming in the background, prompting many to hold off in consideration of backing the newcomer. McCain is also soliciting help from unusual quarters, giving rise to stories that hardly inspire confidence in his operation.

Third is the recently reported defection of McCain staff and a high-profile supporter, which is more symptomatic than causal of McCain's problems. Fourth is the national poll mentioned above. With non-candidate Thompson 10 points ahead of McCain nationwide, the "electability" rationale for backing McCain begins to fade for many Republicans.

More significant are the negative motivations for supporting the top three candidates, and McCain in particular. As we have argued previously, much Republican support for the top three stands on three pillars, or the Three D's: disagreement with Giuliani, distrust of Romney and dislike for McCain. For example, a conservative Republican who feels overwhelmed by antipathy toward Romney and Giuliani will reluctantly back McCain on these or similar grounds: "McCain may be too liberal on taxes and guns, but at least he is very conservative on earmarks and spending, he's tough on terrorism, and he has a pro-life voting record on abortion." The same sort of thinking applies, in varying degree, to all three candidates.

But with the entry of Thompson into the race, many conservatives will feel -- rightly or wrongly -- that they may have a conservative alternative and need not settle for someone they merely distrust or dislike less than the others. This is the key to Thompson's effortless success so far, his climb from nowhere to 21 percent nationally. (It is also a reason Thompson could suddenly implode once he is defined.)

With Thompson's candidacy all but declared, the outlook becomes even more bleak for McCain. The big money that McCain has been courting could instead flow to the newcomer. Romney, who will never be without money, is sprinting ahead in the early states. Giuliani remains the overall frontrunner. Thompson is luring McCain supporters into his camp.

McCain may be able to overcome any one of these setbacks, but can he survive them all simultaneously? The futures markets are already counting him out, putting his contract at $12 to the $29 price on Thompson.

Portage elections

The 2007 elections in Portage are beginning to take shape.

Moderate Republican mayor Peter Strazdas plans to run for reelection.

Longtime moderate-conservative city councilman Ted Vliek has announced that he plans to retire.

Conservative Margaret O'Brien and moderate Larry DeShazor have not yet announced whether they plan to run for reelection. Both may be interested in running for the seat of State Representative Jack Hoogendyk, who will be term-limited in 2008. DeShazor was defeated in a primary challenge to Jack in 2006.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tuition hike rejected

The WMU Board of Trustees rejected a proposed 9% hike in tuition because they believe it is too large. This is a good decision, but it leaves open the possibility of a smaller increase. The Kalamazoo Gazette lists the size of tuition hikes in previous years.

Tuition has increased by 68% in the last six years.

When will all the people who attack oil companies accuse universities of "price gouging"?

Gun debate continues

Professor James Gregory has a devastating response to Paul Pancella's recent letter to the editor criticizing guns on campus.

He provides a valuable reminder of the history of the debate over concealed weapons. Anti-gun forces made the same arguments in 2000, when Michigan's concealed carry law was passed. None of their predictions came true; in fact, crime declined.

The whole idea of science is to develop a hypothesis, test it, and reject it if the data contradict its predictions. But anti-gun forces never seem to learn from experience. Dr. Pancella should apply his knowledge of the principles of science to this issue.


Gun-free policies don't prevent violence
James Gregory

In response to Derek Getman's criticism of Western Michigan University's gun-free campus policy, professor Paul Pancella maintained that allowing legally armed students and faculty members to carry concealed firearms on campus would more or less ensure an increase in gun violence here at WMU.

By Dr. Pancella's logic, an increase in the number of cars on the road would, by default, more or less guarantee an increase in the number of drunk driving offenses on record. Simply because individuals are given a right does not mean that they will all abuse it. Dr. Pancella has essentially expressed the same unrealistic concern that opponents of Michigan's concealed carry law voiced prior to its passage in 2001, only on a smaller scale. Those who stood against making Michigan a "shall-issue" carrying concealed weapon state maintained that an increase in the number of lawfully trained, registered and concerned citizens carrying firearms could only result in a dramatic increase in violent shootings throughout the state.

No such condition of general chaos and disorder has descended upon our pleasant peninsula. In addition to basic education and awareness on the subject of school shootings, the only way to prevent an incident like that which recently occurred at Virginia Tech is, frankly, to make the school less attractive as a target. Either increase the number of armed police officers on campus who are trained to deal with and quickly react to shooter scenarios or allow lawfully armed individuals to carry on university grounds.

The fact is that those who intend to do harm against others, people like Seung-Hui Cho, will disregard as many laws and policies as can be put in front of them. Criminals, by definition, break laws and regulations that others follow. Having decided to commit murder, especially on a large scale, makes it quite easy to ignore rules against possessing guns on a campus - or anywhere else for that matter. In the face of a deranged individual who cares little for following such rules, the average law abiding and policy conscious students or faculty members would find themselves at a serious, and perhaps deadly, disadvantage.

James Gregory
WMU foreign languages department

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Victory for now

The magical compromise from heaven, aka the Bush-Kennedy amnesty, has been defeated for now. The bill failed a cloture vote in the Senate on Thursday. Of course, it could reappear at any time. Still, its backers seem to have lost their best chance to pass a bill in this session of Congress.

Michelle Malkin chronicles the debate in the Senate and lists how Senators voted.

The heroes here are the conservatives (and more) who rose up to defeat this bill.

The Senate's three conservatives, Tom Coburn, Jim DeMint, and Jeff Sessions deserve great credit for their work to defeat this bill. Another hero is Democrat Byron Dorgan, who proved that at least one Democrat sincerely cares about American workers.

As for the other side, see the last section of this article.

Next up: defeating the Law of the Sea Treaty.

The Bush-Kennedy Amnesty

The Bush-Kennedy amnesty appears to have been defeated for now.

Commentary on the defeat of the Bush-Kennedy amnesty.
Michelle Malkin: Kill The Bill...
Mark Krikorian: Amnesty, R.I.P.
Joe Guzzardi: Ding, Dong, The Bill Is Dead! (Probably)
WorldNetDaily: Bush wants Reid to resurrect bill

Commentary on the Bush-Kennedy amnesty.
VDARE: Ten Reasons The Amnesty/Immigration Surge Bill Is Appalling
Byron Dorgan: Unlabor Day
Mike Franc: American Support For Amnesty Fades
Human Events: Pro-Illegal-Immigrant Crowd Gets Nasty
Tom Tancredo: Senator Kyl’s Stockholm Syndrome
R Cort Kirkwood: Will Congress Turn Its Back on You When It Comes to Immigration?
Phyllis Schlafly: Immigration Sellout, Not Reform
Ron Paul: Immigration ‘Compromise’ Sells Out Our Sovereignty
Mike Franc: Amnesty's Heavy Fiscal Impact
Ericka Andersen: Amnesty for Honest Gang Bangers
Deroy Murdock: Immigration Bill Subverts Americanization, English Language
James Edwards: Amnesty Spin Zone

General commentary.
Don Feder: Ten Myths Used to Sell Amnesty to Americans
Ann Coulter: Bush's America: Roach Motel
Heather MacDonald: Illegal Immigration's Family Breakdown
Marcus Epstein: Attrition—Alternative To "Mass Deportation?"
Ann Coulter: A Green Card in Every Pot
Aryeh Spero: The Biblical Green Card?
R Cort Kirkwood: Social Security for Immigrants
William Jasper: Immigration "Reform"?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Immigration Myths

The immigration debate is full of many myths promoted by supporters of amnesty.


"Jobs that Americans won't do"

There are no jobs that Americans won't do. This myth ignores the role of prices. Illegal immigrants are willing to do the jobs for less. Even in fields that are traditionally associated with illegals, Americans usually still constitute the majority of the workforce.

"Our economy needs illegal immigrants"

No, it doesn't. Economies are dynamic. Ours would survive just fine without illegals. If having lots of cheap, unskilled labor were the key to economic success, the third world wouldn't be so poor. In fact, the key to economic success is investment in new technologies that save labor. Importing cheap labor discourages this investment and may actually harm the economy over the long run.

"Immigration is a product of the free market"

Much of our immigration problem is caused by government policies. The welfare state encourages illegal immigrants to come and discourages them from leaving. (Half of the 'great wave' of the early 1900s went home.) Illegals who cause problems for their employers can be deported. Many illegals are paid under the table and hence don't have to pay taxes. Many of the immigrants who come to America are fleeing the destitution caused by restrictive government in their home countries.

"We shouldn't restrict immigration, we should end the welfare state"

Some libertarians make this argument. Whatever the merits of ending the welfare state, as long as we have it, unrestricted immigration is untenable. As Milton Friedman pointed out, unrestricted immigration is incompatible with the welfare state. Immigration of poor people costs taxpayers billions of dollars, and so is a net restriction of freedom. Ending the welfare state is politically impractical now, and allowing lots more poor immigrants will make it even harder.


"Hispanic immigrants are social conservatives"

See this article by Heather McDonald. Representatives of majority Hispanic districts almost always support legal abortion and other socially liberal causes.

"Hispanic immigrants are Catholics"

Latin America is only nominally Catholic. When it was colonized by Spain, the Catholic church was established as a state church. Despite, or rather because of this, the faith never really took hold. Actual church attendance rates are generally 5-10%.

"Hispanic immigrants are natural Republicans"

Why? They are not social conservatives, and few would accuse them of being fiscal conservatives. Historically, new immigrants vote Democratic unless they are refugees from communist countries like Cuba.

"Illegal immigrants aren't criminals"

Yes they are. Illegal immigration is a crime, and for very good reasons. In addition, one-twelfth of illegals are criminals even beside coming to America illegally.

"Immigrants don't have higher crime rates"

In most cases, they do. For example, Mexico has crime rates that are significantly higher than in the United States. This carries over to Mexican illegal aliens and Mexican-Americans. Crime rates are determined more by culture than any other factor and are not easily changed.

"Most immigrants aren't terrorists, so we shouldn't restrict immigration"

It only takes a few terrorists to do a lot of damage. Most of the 9/11 terrorists were here illegally. A rational immigration policy would screen out terrorists, and to do that, we need to secure the borders and develop functional controls on tourist and student visas.

"Immigrants love America"

Some do, some don't. Some are indifferent. Some hate America, as can be seen in the pictures linked from this post. A rational immigration policy would distinguish between those who love America and those who don't.


"America is a nation of immigrants"

Obviously, a large majority of Americans are native-born. This is only true in the sense that Americans have ancestors who immigrated. But the same is true of every other nation on Earth, including Britain, France, Japan, etc.

"America has always had high levels of immigration"

Wrong. America has alternated between high and low levels of immigration. For example, America had low levels of immigration between 1930 and 1965.

"People had the same complaints about immigration in the past, and they were wrong"

They weren't wrong. Past mass immigration caused tremendous social and cultural problems. These problems were eventually solved, but that doesn't mean that they didn't exist. These problems were solved by cutting off immigration and aggressively promoting assimilation, which still took decades.

"Today's immigrants will assimilate just like past immigrants did"

There are a number of differences that make assimilation today less likely. The 'great wave' was cut off, which has yet to happen with today's wave. In the past, assimilation was aggressively promoted, while today the dogma of multiculturalism discourages assimilation. Past immigrants came from many different countries with different languages. An unprecedented percentage of today's immigrants come from a single county, Mexico, and speak a single language, Spanish. Past immigrants had to cross an ocean, while many of today's immigrants are from a country next door. Mexico has a historic grievance against us, while the sources of past immigration did not. Past immigrants were virtually cut off from their homelands, while communications today make it possible to keep in touch with the home country and maintain its culture. In the past, America didn't have a welfare state, so many of those who didn't succeed went home.

"We didn't cross the border, the border crossed us"

The only reason that the American Southwest was ever a part of Mexico is that it was colonized by Spain. When Mexico became independent, it became Mexican by default. It had few Mexican inhabitants. It was largely unsettled, and most of its few inhabitants were American Indians. The territory was settled by Americans, and was only under the control of Mexico for a few decades.

"We should follow the words of the Statue of Liberty"

The Statue of Liberty had nothing to do with immigration. Its famous poem was added years after it was built, and is in no way official government policy. Yet even that poem contains the crucial qualifier "yearning to breathe free", which is much different from "yearning for a better job".

"The Bible demands open borders"

Wrong. See this article by Rabbi Aryeh Spero.


"We can't deport 12 million people, so we need amnesty"

This is a false choice. Whether or not we can deport that many people isn't the issue. Mass deportation is a straw man. The policy that immigration patriots are advocating is attrition. That means secure the borders, step up interior enforcement, end catch-and-release, and hold employers accountable. This will discourage illegal immigration and encourage voluntary deportation.

"We can't secure the border"

Let's try it and see.

"We need a comprehensive solution"

Why? Why not secure the border before discussing whether amnesty or guest workers are necessary? Given the many past broken promises of immigration proponents, there is no reason to trust such deals.

"It's not amnesty if we require that a fine be paid"

It is illegal for illegal immigrants to be in this country. Any policy that allows them to stay legally is by definition amnesty. Besides, paying a fine is a joke when legal status makes immigrants eligible for government benefits.

"The problem is illegal immigration, not legal immigration"

The problems of illegal immigration would not disappear if illegals were legalized. The cultural and economic problems are pretty much the same either way. Fiscally, legal immigration is actually worse since legals are eligible for more government benefits.


"Opponents of amnesty are racist/xenophobic/nativist/jingoist/hate Hispanics"

Roughly seventy percent of Americans support immigration enforcement. This includes many people of all races. In 2004, Arizona passed proposition 200, which banned welfare for illegals, over the opposition of "conservatives" John McCain and John Kyl. It got 47% of the vote from Hispanics, more than President Bush got. Do 47% of Hispanics hate Hispanics?

"Opponents of amnesty are anti-immigrant"

Wrong. Most immigration patriots favor some legal immigration. Immigration is not all or nothing. Immigration can be beneficial at low levels and detrimental at high levels. Some immigrants benefit America while others harm America.

"Your grandfather was an immigrant, so it's wrong for you to support restrictions on immigration"

If admitting 'your grandfather' benefited America, then you should be grateful and advocate policies to protect America. If admitting 'your grandfather' hurt America, then if anything you are even more obligated to advocate polices to protect America to make up for it. Right or wrong, past immigration policies cannot be changed. We can only act in the present and affect the future. The question is what policies are best for America today.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Diversity Shibboleth

It seems that you can't cross the street these days without hearing about diversity. This phenomenon is particularly acute on college campuses, where it seems as if everyone is constantly worrying about diversity, studying diversity, celebrating diversity, and promoting diversity.

This is being taken more and more ridiculous extremes. For example, one commentator noted the "diversity" of the victims in the Virginia Tech shooting.

What's going on here?

First, what is diversity? The dictionary essentially defines it as "being different".

This leaves much to be desired. Different how? There is a theoretically infinite number of variables concerning people that can be measured. There's everything from arm length to IQ to favorite movie.

However, the proponents of "diversity" aren't equally concerned with every possible variable. In practice, diversity seems to mainly concern three variables: race, "sexual orientation", and gender, in descending order of importance.

For simplicity, consider race.

The advocates of diversity assert that more diversity is better, at least given where we are now. This means that they see some racial distributions as better than others.

We can consider distributions which are the same except for one person. Preferring one distribution to another comes down to preferring one person over another based on race.

Think about that.

If, all else being equal, you preferred sitting next to a white person rather than a black person in class, you would be accused of racial prejudice. But the attitude is the same if the races are reversed. Thus preferring one racial distribution to another is racial prejudice, so advocating racial diversity is racial prejudice.

This doesn't mean that advocates of diversity are "racists", at least not in the usual sense. But it does mean that advocating "diversity" is the opposite of advocating a color-blind society.

All else being equal, whether a society is diverse or not makes no difference. Diversity isn't bad, it's just no better than non-diversity.

Just as a person of one race is no better or worse than another, one racial distribution is no better or worse than another.

Diversity in Education

When questioned, advocates of diversity often cite its educational benefits as the reason for promoting it.

Let's subject that claim to scrutiny.

How does diversity benefit education? Its proponents argue that having other perspectives is essential to education.

Right off the bat, there are plenty of subjects where this just doesn't apply. How does more diversity help you to learn mathematics, or engineering, or music?

There are some subjects in which hearing multiple perspectives can be helpful. However, it is easy to exaggerate its importance. Good teaching is most important to learning, not classroom discussion. Good teaching can include presenting multiple perspectives, not just hoping they appear in discussion.

Besides, diversity is a pretty poor measure of ideological diversity. People who have the same superficial characteristics often have very different perspectives.

Furthermore, the same people who advocate diversity tend to be the most opposed to intellectual diversity. They often discourage dissenting views in class, defend campus speech codes, refuse to invite or fund conservative campus speakers, and excuse disruption of such speeches.

There is no empirical evidence to support the notion that diversity is essential or even beneficial to education.

The best schools, however diverse they may be today, got to be the best while they were hardly diverse at all. Indeed, there are constant complaints that the best schools are not diverse enough. Their critical lack of diversity doesn't seem to be stopping them from delivering quality education.

Ironically, the argument for diversity, taken literally, means that minorities are being used for the benefit of the majority. This is because there are more people in the majority than the minority, and minorities are more likely to encounter the majority than vice versa.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with diversity when it occurs naturally. But artificial attempts to impose diversity through racial and other preferences are harmful to all, particularly minorities.

No same-sex benefits

From the Detroit News:

Kalamazoo no longer will provide health benefits to gay partners

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- The City of Kalamazoo no longer will offer health insurance benefits to the partners of gay workers, becoming Michigan's first public employer to take away such benefits in the wake of a 2004 ban against gay marriage.

Kalamazoo City Manager Kenneth Collard confirmed Monday that the city will eliminate domestic partner benefits for four non-unionized employees effective June 30. He cited a May 23 order from the Michigan Supreme Court.

The high court agreed to hear an appeal of a state Court of Appeals decision blocking same-sex benefits, but it also let the earlier decision take immediate effect.

"We have no authority, as being a creation of the state, to ignore the (Michigan) constitution as defined," Collard told The Associated Press. The affected employees were informed last week and their partners have about a month to get other insurance, Collard said.

Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, said public universities and state and local governments should follow Kalamazoo's lead and "honor the will of the voters."

Monday, June 04, 2007

Spot the Error

In the Herald


Quotes & Comments

"When I looked at the issue, I saw a weak case on the part of the administration," said Sen. Barack Obama at Sunday night's democratic debate in reference to the Iraq war.

Weak indeed. I remember thinking the same thing, but it is hard to believe that it was a whole four years ago when entry into Iraq was the hot issue of debate.Barack Obama has won favor with me, as I sure he will with others, because he voted not to allow President Bush to go into Iraq at a time when the public wanted to give Bush that power.

Support for the Iraq war has been steadily declining among the American public - a fact made evident by a recent CBS poll. Only 35 percent of Americans say the U.S. did the right thing by invading Iraq, 76 percent say the war is going badly (a 10 percent increase this month), and 47 percent say the war is going very badly.

While I haven't decided who to vote for in any coming elections, Obama's vote not to allow Bush to go into Iraq bodes well with me. After Kerry's attempt at the presidency three years ago, I think it's especially important to avoid the words "flip flop" at all costs.

Nick Schwerin, news editor

Saturday, June 02, 2007


This update focuses on liberalism. Liberal organizations promote radical agendas, often hiding them behind seemingly reasonable goals. Liberalism promotes policies and attitudes that damage America. The media and labor unions advance liberal goals.

Thomas Sowell examines the anger of liberals.
Catherine Moy exposes the lies of Media Matters.
AD Lelong examines Michael Bloomberg's war on guns.
Ryan Ellis exposes labor unions' corporate campaigns.
Deroy Murdock exposes labor union thuggery.
Cheryl Chumley exposes the agenda of the Progressive Causus.
Ivan Osorio exposes the misdeeds of ACORN.
John Stossel explains how the media scares people.
Thomas Sowell explains how the media distorts marriage.

Much information on liberal individuals and organizations can be found at David Horowitz's Discover the Network site.