Tag Archives: political parties

Pathway To A Better State–V–Immigration

It is with a heavy heart that both Left and Right don’t truly have a deep-seated pride in their nation anymore.  Both believe that the US is heading in the wrong direction for completely different reasons.  It is right and natural that a citizen should be extremely proud of their country and want to feel they are part of a team working together for a generally agreed upon goal.  We desperately want to have a swelling pride within our breast when we listen to the refrains from America The
Beautiful but so many feel the country they want to love is becoming something they distrust and even revile.  It will be better when both elements can have their own sovereignty and they each can have that desired and admirable pride in their new and separate US.   One of the many contentious issues that divide the Left and Right is the question of immigration and very different views on the path forward to admission of new immigrants.

The Left going back to the 1960’s have had a deliberate and steady policy of loose immigration policy heavily favoring certain segments of the world at the expense of European immigration.  Until then our policy and simple historical, economic and cultural matters propelled the overwhelming majority of the immigrants to the US to be of European origin.  The Left had a harder time recruiting them to their cause when they came here.  They knew as any rational man would that if they allowed more immigrants of perceived minorities and from Socialist or Socialist leaning nations that those new immigrants would much more likely become new members of the Left or Democratic Party.  They overhauled the immigration laws to drastically reduce European peoples and favored heavily immigrants from South American, the Philippines, certain other Oriental countries, Africa and the Caribbean and the Near and Middle East.   They were right.  Those new immigrants did move to the Left as they became citizens and they continue to do so to this day.  The left wanted and got a very lax enforcement policy regarding border security because they would allow even more immigrants to migrate to the US and eventually receive citizenship.  After the Constitutional Convention and the reorganization of the US into two equal and sovereign entities each will be able to pursue their own vision of new immigration policy.

In the new Coastal America it would be the knee-jerk reaction that the immigration policy would be quite liberal and allow generously new immigrants and citizens.  Many would suspect that they would continue the current policy of favoring Third World countries or emerging markets.  Now many of them advocate granting citizenship wholesale even to those who violated US law in coming to the US.  It could well be true that the Left would adopt such a policy but on reflection it might be a bit different from that.  The unions form a strong and influential portion of the Left and advance the Liberal agenda.  It is an important cog in that political movement and would certainly continue to be after the grand division.  The unions are very leery to allow too many new immigrants entry because it would have a negative effect on wages of their members and their job security both of which are dominant issues in their movement.  Of course there is also the fact that after the division the Left will have “won”.  They can take their Socialist or psuedo-socialist agenda as far as they want without interference from the Right.  They can design their society through social engineering and tax policy as they wish.  They won’t be needing new voters to swell their ranks anymore.   They will have their majority for generations.

The Left likes to look to the European model for a goodly portion of its agenda and direction because it is progressive and Socialist to a greater or less degree.   A dispassionate view of Europe today would reveal that they have restrictive immigration policies; they do not have  open borders and immigrants face steep hurdles to becoming full citizens with the right to vote.   Coastal America will have no need for new progressive voters.   The significant majority of Coastal America will already be of one political vision and direction.  There are many on the Left that believe that population growth is a problem or outright evil because it leads to environmental damage and human suffering.   They will have their choices to make.

Middle America will revise its immigration policy most likely in a more restrictive manner.  It is most likely that the driving thrust of that policy will be to admit new immigrants based on merit or economic need of Middle America.  The policy will not be driven by ethnicity or perceived Third World status.   The result will be that more Europeans will likely be admitted along with substantial Oriental influx.   There would be an efficient and flexible guest worker program as they have today in Germany and other European nations.  These special visas would be granted liberally to those who bring “value” to Middle America.  The guest workers would be mostly from South America and Mexico.  That is simply a recognition of social and geographic reality.  Those immigrating with citizenship in mind will be mostly from Europe.  Not because of race but because of education and special abilities and capital to invest in American enterprises.

It is likely in a generation or so Coastal America would grow in population much more rapidly than Middle America but that trend might not last as Coastal America comes to grips with its identity and internal disputes with the entrenched interests of the unions and their power base.  They will have met all their diversity goals and economics will prevail at some point.  Middle America will grow but in a more even manner and become more homogeneous, not ethnically, but in cultural outlook and appreciation.

The great advantage of the separate nations is that each can pursue it own dream for its society through immigration policy.  They can amend  and emend as they wish without the discord of dealing with the other side.  The current disputes and disharmony we face over immigration policy would be gone.  Both Americas would be happy with its p0licy.  The best policy is what makes most of the citizens of each America content as opposed to the distrust and conflict we face as one polarized nation today on the issue.    Let each follow their own drummer.


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Honesty Is The Norm

When one peruses the headlines it is often quite easy to become discouraged and assume that the world is corrupt and filled with lying, cheating people.  You can take almost any aspect of our daily life and see those disturbing stories.  Politics, business, personal behavior and even sports are all infected with the negative and dark side stories that would lead to that conclusion.  Our news has been filled with crooked businessmen and politicians and lying sports figures–Madoff, Massa and Woods come to mind rather easily at the moment as poster children for this downbeat view of mankind.  All that lying makes one my skeptical and downright cynical about our fellow man.  But take heart brothers all is not lost and that behavior is not the norm. 

The fact is that most people most of the time are honest.  It is not even close.  Think about any aspect of life and you will realize this in spite of headlines filled with liars.  Our laws are based upon the concept of honesty.  Both our civil and criminal laws derive from the basic proposition of what is acceptable and the norm.  Lying can get you in trouble with the law and does on a regular basis for some but that does not make lying the norm.  We assume people will be honest; we reject lying as a society.  Liars get sued and liars are prosecuted if the lie involves the criminal law.  Businessmen are assumed to be honest and that they will fulfil their contractual obligations and when they don’t they are sued.  Our entire economy couldn’t function if there wasn’t a strong underlying belief and fact of honesty in actions.  Who would sell anything to anyone on credit if there wasn’t a fundamental belief they would pay the bill when it came due?  For every Madoff there are thousands of honest businessmen going about their affairs dealing with other honest business men.  Honesty leads to trust.  We must have trust for any economy to work.  If we truly believed everyone was crooked and a liar then no loans would ever be made and no products or services would be sold.

Lord knows we do have too many crooked politicians but the majority are honest; we just disagree with their ideology or sometimes the details of how they propose to enforce the law.  If there wasn’t that foundation of honesty in our body politic then we would have anarchy.  Government could not function if it and the people it was to serve completely distrusted one another.  That is why we are so disappointed when the political system is corrupted because the lie was not the expected norm.  In politics the culprit more often than not is the kissing cousin of lying and that is hypocrisy.  Boy, are they ever guilty of that. 

You couldn’t drive your car and shop at the grocery store unless you had a basic trust in the honesty of the police system and the merchants at the store and the providers of products to the market.  How could you buy cereal if you were constantly worried they were shorting the amount or lying about the contents of the box?  We expect honesty.  We don’t expect lying and that is why we get so angry when we are lied to about the affairs of the day. You assume the others drivers won’t cheat and will follow the rules of the road so you can drive safely; otherwise how could you even negotiate the red lights?  The stock market is built on trust and honesty.  Contrary to what we might feel in the heat of emotion it couldn’t exist without honest people making honest transactions the overwhelming majority of the time.   Honesty is the best policy and it is good business.  Those caught in lies usually don’t survive the exposure of their lies, i.e., Enron, MCI, Madoff, Lehman, etc. 

Even the military is based upon the concept of honesty.  Duty and honor only have relevance if there is a fundamental belief in honesty. The troops have to trust their commanders and the commanders have to believe their oath to defend the Constitution has meaning and meaning would be absent if the government wasn’t fundamentally honest.  The lack of honesty is what leads to revolutions. 

Lastly, the Good Book teaches that honesty is what is expected.  Remember the Jesus railed against hypocrisy more than anything else and that is another form of lying because of the deceptive front presented.  Proverbs is loaded with sayings about the sin of lying and the consequences of it. 

So, take heart, at least for now we are still an honest people.  If we truly lose that trait as a people we are doomed regardless of politics, international troubles or economic woes.  If we retain it then hope will abide.

How many other States will be joining Virginia and rejecting the health care mandate for coverage for its citizens?  Stay tuned there will be many others that will follow and it will set up a badly needed Constitutional confrontation with Congress and the States.  We all need to know if there are any limits to what Congress can do under Art. One, Section Eight and the prohibitions against Congress in the Tenth Amendment.  That is the major political issue before the nation now.   http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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Ethos and Culture Matter

What is it to be an American?   That is always a good question and one floating about a lot these days with heated political rhetoric from all comers.  Nothing wrong with the heated rhetoric as such, ‘it is a mark of our freedoms and rights and we have always been pugnacious when it comes to our politics.  Take a look at our history and the words today are pretty mild compared to some of the utterances from times past.   Basically it could be postulated that the Left doesn’t think that is a relevant question and that we should be aspiring to be citizens of the world and that “nationalism” is a dead cause and even immoral to hear some of them spout it.   There view doesn’t hold to a Judea-Christian ethic system but rather a far more secular and allegedly scientific approach to the human animal.  They are more inclined to believe we act and react from the stimulus around us in certain ways and the duty of government is to control that stimulus and even it out so no one is very far from the mean average–except the leaders at the top which are elite and know what is best for the great unwashed public.

In the early 1850’s the British built the first troopship for transporting troops across the vast reach of the British Empire.  It was the first of its kind being designed not as a fighting ship but to ferry the troops where needed.  It was called the Birkenhead.  After a few voyages it was loaded with replacement troops in England to aid in the Kaffir battles in South Africa in the early 1850’s.  A number of the troops had their wives and children come with them because they didn’t know when they would be returning.  It might be for years.  Due to the exigent circumstances it was overloaded to maximize the troop numbers.  It had almost 700 souls on board.  It left England and hit a severe storm in the Bay of Biscay as it made it way south and the storm lasted for over a week.  The seasickness and damage to the ship was significant.  Everyone was miserable including the experienced sailors on board to handle the ship.  The storm did finally abate as they passed west of Gibraltor.

They made it to the Cape of Good Hope without further incident.  There it was learned that the troops were badly needed around the Cape and some troops disembarked but others were added so that the numbers on board remained the same and still included the women and children.   They sailed again within a couple of days heading east toward Port Elizabeth.  A couple of days out during the night they struck a reef and holed the bottom of the ship.  That was the constant danger before the days of radar, sonar and GPS.  They wanted to sail close to shore in the event of problems but not too close to hit shoals or reefs.  The warning came too late.  Major Seton had been drilling the men constantly while on board since they were mostly all raw recruits.   They had developed a comradery and esprit de corp.  They had even loaded 30 horses and their fodder on the ship at the Cape and were very much over crowded.  It was quickly apparent the ship would sink.  The troops got the horses off hoping some might make shore and to prevent danger to the passengers in their panic.  The sailors and troops got the life boats out and all the women and children were loaded and some of the sailors manned the boats since they were the only ones with that skill.  The horses were immediately attacked by sharks and their neighs of distress bellowed during all this tumult and hurry. 

To prevent panic and to allow literally room for everyone to load the women and children the troops needed to stand still in their formations.  If they moved around it would cause a mob scene and cause further loss of life.  The wives found their husbands and kissed them good bye on their way into the boats, knowing it would likely be the last time they would see them.  The officers all shook hands with each other and addressed their men praising their fortitude.  It was hoped that after all the women and children were boarded that some would have a chance to make shore.  It was only a couple of miles away but the seas were rough and the sharks on the prowl.  The men held their position.  As the last of the life boats left the order was heard to “Stand Fast in the Ranks”.   They did. 

As the boat went down the men did try to escape but most did not know how to swim.  They were from England after all.  Many who hit the water were attacked by the sharks and killed on the spot.  Others drowned including Major Seton and the Captain of the ship who maintained his post throughout.  The next morning a coastal vessel was able to rescue about 40 more survivors.  All told almost 200 were saved including every one of the women and children.  About 400 died that night.   To this day the story of the Birkenhead is cherished as a testament to the courage and discipline of the British Army for the way those men behaved that night.  They were British. They aspired to be a British Gentleman.   They had a common culture and ethos.  That collective attitude reinforced each man to stand with his comrades in the face of danger and death. 

I hope we will have an American culture that will endure.  One that is distinct to our nation and not an amalgamation of diverse ones.  Being an American made our troops stand firm at Bastogne, being an American made us pray together on 9/11.   It is a debate worth having to see who believes that we need and should have “real Americans” running our country.  Ones who cherish and will sacrifice for discrete American ideals.

I recommend highly the French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles for those who like a great yarn and who want an appreciation of what it meant to be a Victorian British Gentleman.  He is one of the great writers of our era and it will give you a sense of the history and power of emotions and loyalties to certain standards of conduct.  www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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Divided We Unite

During any tense election season it it always tempting to think the worse and lose some hope for the future of the country.   I have endured for about half my life Administrations that I either didn’t trust or outright despised.  Even when the Administration was one that I geneally approved of there were always policies and actions that irritated me or disappointed me.   Have you ever worked on a committee at the school, Church or any other civic organization and noticed how a seemingly simple proposition will get so many varied and disparate responses.  We are an argumentative people by nature in the West.   It has been our hallmark from recorded time.   In the East where great deference is paid to age and authority you don’t have that same outlook.   It is considered bad form to disagree publicly with your “betters”.   We in the West don’t like that idea that we have betters.   From Greek times, to Roman to the Middle Ages to Napoleon to this day, our history is filled with contentious disputes about religion and politics, power and money and the shape of society  and the determination of power granted to government and who gets to wield it.

From our birth as a Nation we have broken into factions and blocs for various reasons and causes.   The early country was split most vehemently between the merchant class (generally the New England states) and the rural and agricultral classes (mostly in the South and western portions of the country).   It was not geography so much as economic interests and outlook toward the world that mattered.   The New England states were the driviing force behind the increasing tensions with England that lead to the War of 1812, the South mostly followed along but once committed joined whole heartedly.  Remember A. Jackson and the last battle at New Orleans to finish the war.   The respective sides said really vile things about each other.   We endured the War Between the States and the ongoing struggle between the “East” and the Western expanding portions of the country.   Teddy Roosevelt had vitrolic enemies during his terms as President and so did his later cousin.   One way or another we managed to survive our disagreements and disputes.   Those strong differences are both our glory and our curse.  I try to remember that in trying times.  

Now with our economy  very shaky our differences of opinion become more pronounced and strident.  Surely you have noticed that not even all those in the same party are in agreement on the correct course of action and that applies to both parties.   We as a nation will make some mistakes, our leaders will make mistakes, and there will be the usual inefficiencies of democracy but I have confidence the ship of state will right itself in time.   As long as we keep our freedom we will be alright.   As long as the Government remains our servant and not our boss we will be fine.   Our danger is not fear or tumoil or a weak economy, it is any eroision in our rights and privileges or the ceding of individual responsibility to the collective wisdom of Government.   We must have a Government that allows for the rewarding of industry and integrity, not one that rewards simply based on existence or status.   If our freedoms remain intact we will survive our disagreements and our different points of view will merge into a consensus that will keep us well.   Compromise is the evil we hate when we are losing the argument, but it is the bedrock of a large and rambunctious society.  Both donkeys and elephants are beast of burden to aid man but remember that they each need a firm hand and guidance by man.   Left to their own devices each can be very destructive and tear up the field and crops.   Let’s remember who needs to be the leader here and now.

The Federal Reserve Bank in New York was the repository for the gold stores of many different nations for years.  It may still be for all I know, I have not read that it ever has changed.   In those vaults there was gold bullion stored in the name of each country with reserves.  When one nation owed another for debts they would literally measure out the right amount of gold ingots and move them from one storage vault to another.  Interesting that all the nations in the civilized world trusted us with that duty.   Churchill during the early days of WWII commented privately often about the drop in the reserves of England as she had to pay her debts for war materiel from the US before Lend Lease and then our entry into the war.

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Congressional Oversight

You can’t watch the news or read the paper these days without hearing about some Senator or Congressman calling for an investigation of this or that.   They do conduct those hearings all the time and then there is a “report” prepared ostensibly for purposes of drafting legislation to right another wrong found by Congress.   You are reminded that under our Constitution that is the only way the Congress can conduct an investigation–in preparation for new legislation.  They are not the FBI but legislators.  Of course that power of investigation has been abused so often over the years that it is to the shame of Congress mostly, not to its credit.  The most notorious example was the McCarthy hearings, but the annals of Congress are filled with so many more than just that one.   The hearings are usually used for “one-upmanship” by the party controlling the Congress.

Those hearings are completely controlled by the party in power and they are not free flowing debates or real investigations but a platform for pontificating and making propaganda for the agenda of that prevailing party.  As soon as any issue becomes politically “hot” you can rest assured there will be investigative hearings with subpoenas and testimony under oath.  Do some investigation of you own.  Look into the record of these proceedings and reach your own conclusion.  It is my opinion that the majority of them are abusive, not constructive forums to consider and draft needed legislation.   The shame of it all cuts across party lines.

Besides we need fewer laws anyway not more.  I can’t wait for a politician to come along and make it his campaign pledge that he will introduce legislation to remove laws from the books.  Just think about the Internal Revenue Code.  It should be 10 pages long at the most but it is thousands and you know why.  It is filled with “goodies” for special interests groups.  Those special interests groups are not merely different businesses or industries but environmental, charitable and union groups.  Everyone has their finger in that pie and all that money raised gives enormous power to the politicians which they crave.

These investigative hearings are nothing new by the way.  I have a few volumes from the hearings conducted in the 42nd Congress after the War Between the States. It is called the report on the Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States and is followed by a report by the committee.  Makes very fascinating reading.  The hearing were by the winners of course and all the data and evidence taken was to support the draconian effects of Reconstruction.  But it is real history and one more example that there is nothing new under the sun.   The hearings would no doubt have been televised if they had had the technology.  Of course if they had had that technology the war would have ended much sooner if people saw the destruction and death nightly around the dinner table.  Rather than an investigation by Congress I would prefer a debate between representatives of each party with such experts as either of them wanted to assist them during the debate about the real issues and concerns of the day, like energy.  Make them reveal the details.   Talk to the people honestly and intelligently without the pandering from Capital Hill steps or hearing room daises.

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