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Archive for April, 2010

Explaining Arizona

Kris Kobach, the author of the new Arizona immigration law, explains what it actually says, something few people have bothered to note.

[The law] prohibits the harboring of illegal aliens and makes it a state crime for an alien to commit certain federal immigration crimes. It also requires police officers who, in the course of a traffic stop or other law-enforcement action, come to a “reasonable suspicion” that a person is an illegal alien verify the person’s immigration status with the federal government.

He also explains why it’s necessary:

Arizona is the ground zero of illegal immigration. Phoenix is the hub of human smuggling and the kidnapping capital of America, with more than 240 incidents reported in 2008. It’s no surprise that Arizona’s police associations favored the bill, along with 70 percent of Arizonans.

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Again? Again!

He seemed pretty definite at the time. I guess that was before he found a friend in Rahm Emmanuel.

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Arizona

The Left is in a snit about the new Arizona law that allows law enforcement personnel to enforce existing immigration law. Why this law is thought to be burdensome is beyond me. Byron York observes:

We are instead confronted routinely by people of all stripes asking to see our driver’s license. When we board an airplane, we are asked to produce a government-issued photo ID, usually a driver’s license. When we make some credit- or debit-card purchases in department stores, we are asked to produce a driver’s license. When we enter many office buildings, both private and government, security guards often ask us to produce a driver’s license. When we go to doctors’ offices and hospitals, we are asked to produce a driver’s license. When we check into hotels, we are asked to produce a driver’s license. When we purchase some over-the-counter drugs, we are asked to produce a driver’s license. If we go to a bar or nightclub, anyone who looks at all young is asked to produce a driver’s license. And needless to say, if we have any encounter with police or other authorities, we are asked to produce a driver’s license….

In addition to the situations requiring a driver’s license, some people might not know that since the 1940s, federal law has required non-citizens who are in the United States permanently to carry on their person, at all times, the official documents proving that they are here legally — green card, work visa, etc. That has been the law for 70 years, and the new Arizona law does not change it.

Victor Davis Hanson points out the absurdity of the Left’s stance:

One either wishes or does not wish existing law to be enforced. If the answer is no, and citizens can pick and chose which laws they would like to obey, in theory why should we have to pay taxes or respect the speed limit? Note that liberal Democrats do not suggest that we overturn immigration law and de jure open the border — only that we continue to do that de facto. Confusion between legal and illegal immigration is essential for the open borders argument, since  a proper distinction between the two makes the present policy  indefensible—especially since it discriminates against those waiting in line to come to America legally (e.g., somehow our attention is turned to the illegal alien’s plight and not the burdensome paperwork and government obstacles that the dutiful legal immigrant must face).

This suggests a criterion for any adequate immigration policy: It should give preference to those who obey the law, and certainly should not give preference to those who break it.

A second criterion is that an adequate immigration policy should not put the United States and its citizens at significant risk:

Mexico is now more violent than Iraq. The unrest is spilling across the borders. The old shrill argument that criminals, drug smugglers, and violence in general are spreading into the American southwest from Mexico is not longer quite so shrill.

A third is that immigration policy should be even-handed in its treatment of applicants from a variety of parts of the globe, so long as they pose no security risk to the United States, and in fact grant preference to those who are likely to make positive contributions to the U.S. The Left’s interest in the issue is primarily one of gaining political advantage:

On the political side, Democrats clearly welcome new voting constituents. Illegal aliens becoming citizens, at least for a generation or so, translates into more entitlements and a larger government to administer.  (Note how there is not a liberal outcry that we do not let in enough computer programers from India, small businessmen from France and Germany, or doctors from Korea).  Then there is the gerrymandering of the American Southwest to reflect new demographic realities, and the pipe-dream of a salad bowl of unassimilated peoples in need of a paternalistic liberal technocratic governing class — all that apparently is worth the firestorm of trying to ram through something so unpopular as “comprehensive” reform.

Glenn Reynolds observes:

Yes, the real scandal isn’t how Arizona is treating illegals, it’s how the Federal government treats people who try to legally immigrate.

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Global Warming Update

It’s currently 34° and snowing in Goshen, New Hampshire.

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I figure I’ll sound smarter if I rip off Thomas Sowell.

First, I want to rat out Philo.  He seems like a nice guy.  And I bet he was a serious nerdgeek in his day.  But he was easily led astray by the fidgeter-miscreant-note-passer par excellence, me, yesterday at a working group hearing in the Texas legislature yesterday.  The reason I like sitting next to Philo is that he cares more about my tiny feelings than he cares that the State Representatives notice that he’s giggling in the fourth row before he gives testimony.  So he laughs at almost everything I write in my running commentary about the witnesses.  As an added bonus, he wrote the funniest comment of all, his only one to my 15 or so, while simultaneously writing his testimony and laughing at my jokes.  If we had gone to college together, he would have gotten the “A,” I would have gotten the “C with commendation.”  By the way, that is how I went through college.

Speaking of college, I have been to several of these hearings with this particular committee, and I haven’t been to one yet where the chair fails to mention the grad school he went to.  Often, he goes on to mention that other committee members went to Harvard and Princeton.  It’s the Ivy League Litany.  There’s even one member who has mentioned, on more than one occasion, something that someone said when he was at Harvard…at a leadership conference [sotto voce].

Other randomness: our accident-prone dog was found to be bleeding profusely from a gash behind her ear in the wee hours of the morning.  I opted for the “let nature take its course” strategy, which paid off because she clotted nicely and we took her to the vet at a reasonable hour.  We couldn’t tell, really, because of all the blood-matted hair, what the nature of the injury was, and thanks to her generally stoic and slightly senile nature, we didn’t even know how or when she got injured.**  So I dropped her off at the vet and called later to see if she was ready to be picked up. Yup, said the tech.  “We cleaned the area, shaved it, and glued it back and she’s good to go.”  Glued it back?  I didn’t have the presence of mind to ask what they glued back.  Anyway, she’s back and the damage only cost about 40% of emergency treatment rates.

** This is not unusual with her.  She was once stabbed by a deer (those antlers are sharp) right above the collar bone but she hardly bled and didn’t limp or anything.  By the time we noticed it (“Oh, lookie here: Stripes gotta big ol’ hole in her chest”) the vet said it was healing nicely that’ll be $50 please.

Meanwhile, in other news: Arizona’s soon-to-be law cracking down on illegals is pretty draconian,  but when Nina Easton did her best to sound moderate in her critique of it,  Bret Bair got more worked up than I’ve ever seen him.  Granted, his “worked up” is Keith Olbermann’s comatose, but it made me sit up.  He said (paraphrasing from memory) that Arizona had the highest kidnapping rate int he world last year and that the cartels and the drug/human trafficking were making south Arizona a no-go zone (like Mexico proper, in other words.)  To that, Nina Easton said that the state should crack down on employers to cut off demand for illegals.  This obviously is a non-sequitor.  We’re talking violent crime and drugs: tossing the guy in the WalMart warehouse back to Mexico isn’t going to reduce the cartel activity.

Meanwhile, Elena Kagan is not a lesbian. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  The best part: Anita Dunn rebuking the CBS blog for saying so with this: “The fact that they’ve chosen to become enablers of people posting lies on their site tells us where the journalistic standards of CBS are in 2010.” I think this whole pot-calling-kettle thing is racist.  And for once, we Republicans are way ahead of the curve on CBS. I seem to recall an incident in 2004“Courage.”

Meanwhile, apart from all the other fishiness surrounding the Goldman Sachs suit (no warning, announced in middle of day on a week day, coincident with Obama’s Slayer of Financial Titans Act, etc.) I would like to point out that the person that the SEC has named as a bad guy isn’t the “boss,” he’s a trader.  He may have been intimately involved with shenanigans that may or may not be prosecutable in court, but he isn’t the “big fish.” He is, however, a French citizen living in London.  I think that’ll be pretty convenient for him and BO’s cronies back home.  Prediction: Goldman pleads down from charges involving stuff none of us really understand to misdemeanor spitting on the sidewalk, gets a slap on the wrist that has a monetary value of something less than they donated to BO,  Chuck Schumer, and Kirsten Gillibrand**, and we call it a day for Super Dooper Crimestoppers of the SEC, aka Bernie Who?  **BO “is not embarrassed by Goldman Sachs contributions” so he’s keeping the nearly $1 million the firm donated to him.  Hey, he takes a lot of money from a lot of people.  Good to know that his personal embarrassment is the measure here.  From my experience, pols are pretty shameless, so no rebates, folks.

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As Iran becomes a nuclear state, it appears the people there are looking for more help with their economic plights. From the Telegraph.co.uk:

When Iran fuels Western alarm over its nuclear ambitions – as it did again yesterday with orders to start construction of new uranium enrichment plants – it has in the past been able to count on widespread domestic support. Even critics and opponent of the regime led by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have stood up for Iran’s right to develop nuclear technology. However there is now increasing resentment that the once popular nuclear programme could be detracting from more urgent needs in the face of economic mismanagement and sanctions.

Today Dennis Miller on his radio show identified our latest round of sanctions: we will no longer permit Iran to receive blue-ray dvd’s from Netflix.

So I guess we hope will pull the plug on their nuclear ambitions due to these economic pressures, sanctions come down, and happy days are here again. Not so fast. Per Mark Steyn at National Review online, North Korea is fast on the nuke trail and they don’t even have an economy. All it takes is an plutonium fisted leader and let’s roll down the nuclear highway. Don’t be fooled, Iran is not backing off one bit in their quest for nuclear power regardless of their economy.

I believe the US is no longer trying to prevent Iran from obtaining these weapons, and have gone into containment mode, and we are running some kind of 4-corner offense – wait, basketball is over – we are running a penalty kill on a 5 minute major, except the clock isn’t running. Ahmadinejad doesn’t care, he’s still on offense, and we’re a man down.

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God bless Victoria Jackson.

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