Saturday, June 30, 2007

Immigration post-mortem

There is just so much than can be said about this week’s defeat of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill, but I’ll try sticking to the ‘clueless Republican’ caucus.

Captain Ed has some interesting quotes from the GOP chair Mel Martinez. Let’s start with:

“The Chairman of the Republican Party on Friday lambasted Democrats and Republicans who helped kill an immigration bill in the Senate and challenged them to come up with a solution beyond ‘just build a fence along the border.’”

This is rather like saying ‘Let’s come up with a method for procreation beyond just having sex.” Calling for a solution that, at the same time, dismisses the biggest piece of the puzzle is silly.

“The voices of negativity now have a responsibility to come up with an answer.”

This is an irresponsible canard for a man in Martinez’s position. Consigning opposing points of view as mere “negativity” is a Democrat device used side-step legitimate objections. Angrily confusing opposition to a bad bill with mere negativity will not set the party up for a successful 2008.

“How will you fix the situation to make peoples' lives better? How will you continue to grow the economy? How will we bring people out of the shadows for our national security and for the sake of being a country that is just?”

For starters, the purpose of the Federal Government should be to enforce current law, not create post-facto paths around it for those who have acted criminally. The economy will continue to grow just fine if we simply enforce the laws we already have and never received another illegal immigrant. And the Z-visa provision, along with an undefined ‘due process’ for deportation of criminal Z-visa holders are tailor-made for assisting sleeper cell terrorists.

For Mr. Martinez’s benefit, I have a “solution.” Start by realizing this bill died due to lack of trust the people have that immigration laws will be enforced. People who don’t trust you on an issue will not be receptive broad sweeping legislation. Trust will have to be built slowly, one successfully enforced law at a time.

Step 1: Start with the border security provisions of this bill first. Build the fence, get the agents in place, etc.

Step 2: Get workplace enforcement firmly established. Make it difficult for illegal aliens to be hired.

Step 3: Eliminate, at the Federal level, the existence of ‘Sanctuary cities.’

Once these steps are done and seen to be working, the American people will be receptive to possible laws that allow illegal aliens to stay in the country legally.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Heads they win, tails Isreal loses

John Hinderacker at Powerline provides a tight, insightful post that not only capsulizes the current difficulty in Gaza, but the root mindset of western Palestinian apologists. I’ll steal two points here. Point one:

“The violence going on now in Gaza is horrific. What is striking, of course, is how little anyone seems to care. If Israelis were murdering Fatah members with the gusto now being shown by Hamas, the U.N. Security Council would be in special session, cranking out resolutions. It would be an international crisis, on which events in Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Egypt and Afghanistan would be blamed for decades to come. But no one seems to get too exercised about Palestinians killing one another.”

One could accurately add “…or anyone else” to the end of the thought. Outrage over violent events in and around Israel are highly selective and preemptively focused, depending on who’s doing the death-dealing in whatever TV clip is currently making the rounds.

Second point: John introduces a Reuters caption to a photo of a female Palestinian suicide bomber:

“Violent Muslim, Christian and Jewish extremists invoke the same rhetoric of 'good' and 'evil' and the best way to fight them is to tackle the problems that drive people to extremism, according to a report obtained by Reuters.”

John’s response gets to the heart of Reuters’ jaundiced world view:

“Yes, it all makes perfect sense: you have to watch out for those dangerous wackos who talk about "good" and "evil." Meanwhile, Reuters is looking for photos of Christian and Jewish suicide bombers and will publish them as soon as they can find them in their archives.”

There is, of course, no equivalence between “Violent Muslim, Christian and Jewish extremists” because there are no Christian or Jewish equivalents to the Islamic Jihadists populating and spreading around the world. It is a self-delusion designed to fit a ‘template,’ rather than decipher the root of the real “problems.”

Long ago, it seems, elites in politics and media abandoned the pursuit of ‘spiritual’ judgment and/or discerning philosophy required to recognize ‘good’ and ‘evil,’ instead relying on a materialist/relativist world view that demands policy solutions to moral rot. The ultimate end of such a methodology is appeasement and capitulation. Which, of course, only encourages more “extremism."

Saturday, June 09, 2007

A mirror for the GOP Senate.

The immigration debate this week provided a perfect encapsulation as to why Republican Senators have sown the seeds of their own defeat. Trent Lott’s speech prior to the second cloture vote is people’s exhibit ‘A.’

Columnist Mark Steyn conversed with Hugh Hewitt and encapsulated the GOP Senate political standing:

“…people like Trent Lott are in large part responsible for the debark last November, in that he embodies, both in his generally witless remarks, but also in the idea that he forms part of this permanent governing class, everything that the Republican base came to loathe about the Republican Congress….”

“…you have a situation where both parties in a two-party system are at odds with the vast majority of the American public. And if bipartisanship means that the two parties agree to gang up on the citizenry of this country, then I’d rather have none of it….”

“…I think if the Republican Party wants to reduce their base to undetectable levels, I think it would be a great idea to send Trent Lott on a nationwide tour of country Republican parties, because this is exactly what the Republican base doesn’t want to hear. It doesn’t want some puffed up grandee from the world’s greatest deliberative body, which by the way is a lot of nonsense by any reasonable measure, the Senate is a low-grade deliberative legislature….”

“…this is what they loathe about [Republican Senators], that they become clubby, process bores, and the process, their love of the process overrides everything else… The needs of the Senate club do not override the interests of the United States of America.”


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A CGWE believer turns ‘atheist.’

It happens more often than you hear, but there are former believers in the Church of Global Warming – Evangelical (CGWE) who have left the flock. One is David Evans, who was in charge of CO2 modeling for the government of Australia. He traces his path from ‘outsider’ to ‘insider’ back to ‘outsider’ here, but the Cliff Notes version is as follows:

In the late 90s the argument for global warming caused by CO2 emissions convinced Mr. Evans:

  1. CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
  2. Since 1975, CO2 and global temperature have risen in tandem.
  3. Ice core data confirms the in-tandem relationship long-term.
  4. There were no other credible causes global warming.

But, as he points out, “…starting in about 2000, the last three of the four pieces of evidence outlined above fell away or reversed.”

  1. The near-term CO2/temperature tandem broke down as you looked past 1975.
  2. Further examination of the ice core data showed that CO2 was a lagging, not leading, indicator of global temperature.
  3. Credible alternatives to CO2 have emerged as triggers for global warming, such as the sun’s recent hot phase, and the albedo effects of cosmic rays on cloud formation.

Mr. Evans doesn’t stop there, however. He notes how ‘science’ no longer drives discussions of the matter:

“Unfortunately politics and science have become even more entangled. The science of global warming has become a partisan political issue, so positions become more entrenched. Politicians and the public prefer simple and less-nuanced messages. At the moment the political climate strongly supports carbon emissions as the cause of global warming, to the point of sometimes rubbishing or silencing critics.

The integrity of the scientific community will win out in the end, following the evidence wherever it leads. But in the meantime, the effects of the political climate is that most people are overestimating the evidence in favor of carbon emissions as the cause of global warming.”

I might add only one thing, and that is to address item #1. While CO2 is indeed a greenhouse gas, it is low in amount and weak in efficiency when compared to other greenhouse gasses. A tale, perhaps, for another time.

Read more about Mr. Evans here.

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