Archive for the ‘Editorial’ Category
Charles Kline Professor of History and Management
Originally posted May 13, 2013, at BurtFolsom.com.
by Edwin Meese III
Experts can’t always predict exactly how public policy will affect the nation, despite our best efforts. But when it comes to immigration policy, we have tried many of the types of reforms advocated by today’s Gang of Eight—so we should consider the effects these reforms had in the past.
In the mid-’80s, many Members of Congress advocated amnesty for long-settled illegal immigrants. President Reagan considered it reasonable to adjust the status of what was then a relatively small population, and as his attorney general, I supported his decision.
The path to citizenship was not automatic. Immigrants had to pay application fees, learn to speak English, understand American civics, pass a medical exam, and register for military selective service. Those with convictions for a felony or three misdemeanors were ineligible.
This should sound familiar, as it’s quite close to the path and provisions set forth by the Gang of Eight.
Today they call it a “roadmap to citizenship.” Ronald Reagan called it “amnesty.” And he was right.
The 1986 reform did not solve our immigration problem—in fact, the population of illegal immigrants has nearly quadrupled since that “comprehensive” bill.
Why didn’t it work? Well, one reason is that everything else the 1986 bill promised—from border security to law enforcement—was to come later. It never did. Only amnesty prevailed, and that encouraged more illegal immigration.
Today, we have many of the same needs we did then. We need to work on better securing our border. We need to modernize our legal immigration system, including effective temporary worker programs. And we need strong enforcement of the laws we already have, including those that enforce immigration policies in the workplace.
The Gang of Eight is making promises now. “Border security” is a big promise. But their proposal spends money and grants amnesty without the guarantee that this promise will be kept.
We are having much the same debate and being offered much the same deal in exchange for promises largely dependent on the will of future Congresses and Presidents.
Instead, we should learn from our mistakes.
America welcomes more immigrants than any other country. As Ronald Reagan said:
In this free land a person can realize his dreams—going as far as talent and drive can carry him. In return America asks each of us to do our best, to work hard, to respect the law, to cherish human rights, and to strive for the common good. The immigrants who have so enriched America include people from every race, creed, and ethnic background. Yet all have been drawn here by shared values and a deep love of freedom. Most brought with them few material goods. But with their hearts and minds and toil they have contributed mightily to the building of this great Nation and endowed us with the riches of their achievements. Their spirit continues to nourish our own love of freedom and opportunity.
But in keeping open that door of opportunity, we also must uphold the rule of law and enhance a fair immigration process, as Reagan said, to “humanely regain control of our borders and thereby preserve the value of one of the most sacred possessions of our people: American citizenship.”
The U.S. Attorney General from 1985-1988, Edwin Meese III is Heritage’s Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus.
Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.
- Another of President Obama’s “recess appointments” of an official has been struck down by a court.
- A bipartisan group in the House (like the Gang of Eight in the Senate) has agreed to its own immigration plan.
- Yesterday, the House voted to repeal Obamacare.
- Texans are cleaning up from a tornado that killed six people and destroyed homes.
- What has your state decided about Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion? Watch our Google+ hangout today at noon ET to learn the latest.
Rubio’s Deceptive Amnesty Ad
By Jon Feere (Center for Immigration Studies)
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) appears in a new television advertisement designed to promote the immigration amnesty bill currently being debated in Congress. The minute-long advertisement calls the proposal “conservative immigration reform” and attempts to make amnesty appealing to Republican voters. Partisan politics aside, the amnesty ad is misleading on a number of counts, outlined below.
The ad was produced by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg who created the floundering FWD.us, an advocacy group aimed at promoting amnesty. One of the group’s offshoots is something called “Americans for a Conservative Direction”, which is cited at the end of the ad. Here is the transcript:
RUBIO: Anyone who thinks what we have now in immigration is not a problem is fooling themselves. What we have in place today is de facto amnesty.
ANNOUNCER: Conservative leaders have a plan, the toughest immigration enforcement measures in the history of the United States.
RUBIO: They have to pass the background check, they have to be able to pay a registration fee, they have to pay a fine.
ANNOUNCER: Border security on steroids. Tough border triggers have no giveaways for law breakers.
RUBIO: “No federal benefits, no food stamps, no welfare, no Obamacare, they have to prove that they’re gainfully employed.
ANNOUNCER: Bold, very conservative, a tough line on immigration.
RUBIO: It puts in place the toughest enforcement measures in the history of the United States, potentially in the world and it once and for all deals with the issue of those that are here illegally but does so in a way that’s fair and compassionate but does not encourage people to come illegally in the future and isn’t unfair to the people that have done it the right way.
ANNOUNCER: Stand with Marco Rubio to end de facto amnesty, support Conservative Immigration Reform.
Every claim made in the ad is deceptive, and each claim is addressed below.
RUBIO: “Anyone who thinks what we have now in immigration is not a problem is fooling themselves. What we have in place today is de facto amnesty.”
Very few Americans believe that we don’t have a serious problem with illegal immigration. It is true that this country is experiencing a de facto amnesty for illegal aliens, and it is largely the result of the Obama administration refusing to enforce immigration laws on the books. The problem is that Rubio wants to turn this “de facto” amnesty into a formal amnesty, and grant millions of law-breakers work permits, driver’s licenses, Social Security accounts, travel documents, and an unknown number of additional state-level benefits. Rubio is trying to help President Obama fulfill his campaign goal of keeping all illegal aliens in the country and giving them benefits reserved for legal residents. If Rubio was actually troubled by the de facto amnesty being advanced by the Obama administration, Rubio would side with the ICE officials who are suing the Obama administration over the president’s effort to prevent them from doing their jobs. Top-ranking ICE official Chris Crane explained the lawsuit to Fox News, here. Mr. Crane’s recent congressional testimony, available here, raises many troubling issues. ICE’s additional concern is that the amnesty bill would make permanent their inability to enforce the law by giving DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano “virtually unlimited discretion” to waive all enforcement of immigration law. If an amnesty is passed, the Obama administration will likely continue to undermine any immigration enforcement provisions in the bill.
Lions And Tigers And Terrorists, Oh My!
by Brandon Smith (Personal Liberty Digest)
The debate over what actions actually constitute “terrorism,” I believe, will become one of the defining ideological battles of our era. Terrorism is not a word often used by common people to describe aberrant behaviors or dastardly deeds; however, it isused by governments around the world to label and marginalize political enemies. That is to say, it is the government that normally decides who is a “terrorist” and who is a mere “criminal,” the assertion being that one is clearly far worse than the other.
The terrorist label elicits emotional firestorms and fearful brain-quakes in the minds of the masses. It causes the ignorant and unaware to abandon principles they would normally apply to any other malicious enterprise. They begin to reason that a criminal should be afforded justice, while a terrorist should be afforded only vengeance, even though the act of branding a person a “terrorist” is often completely arbitrary. This vengeance is usually pursued by any means. Thus, the terrorist moniker becomes a rationalization for every vicious and inhuman policy of the establishment, as well as for the citizenry.
Dishonorable and foolish people claim the existence of terrorism essentially gives license for the rest of us to become criminal, willfully trampling on individuals’ rights to privacy, property, free speech, due process, civic participation, etc. Mass criminality against the individual in the name of social safety is the glue that holds together all tyrannical systems, triggering a catastrophic cycle of moral relativism that eventually bleeds a culture dry.
Historically, the expanded use of the terrorist label by governments tends to coincide with the rising tides of despotism. A government that quietly seeks to dominate the people will inevitably begin to treat the people as if they are the enemy. Those citizens who present the greatest philosophical or physical threat to the centralization of power are usually the first to suffer. I do not think it is unfair to say that any system of authority that suddenly claims to see terrorists under every rock and behind every tree is probably about to rain full-on fascism down upon the population.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is the legal extension of this process, with a vaporous gray language that allows the government to interpret it in any manner it deems useful, which conveniently allows it to interpret a wide range of “offenses” as acts of war against the state.
The Department of Homeland Security’s “If You See Something Say Something” campaign is the social extension of the process, by which it creates the framework for a paranoid self-censored surveillance culture.
The fusion center network is the enforcement extension designed to surround local and State police with an atmosphere of indoctrination and federalized dogma, teaching common cops to profile according to a template that is so ambiguous that literally any activity could be considered suspicious or terroristic.
All that is left for the establishment is to force the vocabulary of fear into mainstream consciousness. This means constant propaganda. This means furious hype. This means an utterly shameless barrage of false associations, misdirections and fantastical fairyland lies. This means that we have reached a point in the grand totalitarian scheme in which the American populace is about to be bombarded with an endless drone of terrorism brainwashing — not demonizing a foreign enemy, but demonizing the hypothetical extremist next door. In fact, the Boston Marathon bombing seems to have been the signal for an escalation of such rhetoric. The high-speed conditioning has already begun.
In Middlefield, Ohio, James Gilkerson, an unemployed man taking care of his elderly mother, was pulled over during a routine traffic stop only to exit his vehicle firing an AK-47 at police officers. The action was obviously unprovoked; the police responded with deadly force, and rightly so. I would have done the same. Gilkerson’s attack was crazy, yes. Criminal? Yes. But Middlefield Police Chief Arnold Stanko’s remarks to the press bring a whole other dark side to this already tragic event. Stanko stated that: “He got out of the vehicle, intending to kill my officers. We don’t know why he did it… He was a scumbag and a terrorist, and he’s dead.”
Stanko doesn’t know why Gilkerson fired at police, but he is certain that the man was a “terrorist.” What if Gilkerson was depressed or overmedicated or he just snapped that day? Terrorism denotes certain premeditation and planning. This attack was clearly not part of a malicious scheme, yet the label of “terrorist” is being thrown around nonchalantly, almost as if law enforcement has been trained to use such rhetoric whenever it suits them.
In Montevideo, Minn., the FBI recently raided the home of Buford Rogers, who was convicted of felony burglary in 2011. Authorities had received reports that Buford was in possession of a firearm, which is illegal for convicted felons. The raid did indeed produce firearms, as well as items the FBI dubbed “explosive devices.” They did not specify what these “explosive devices” were or if they actually posed a significant threat to anyone. After the bust, headlines read “FBI Thwarts Terror Attack.”
Again, there is absolutely no indication here of a planned attack. There’s no indication that Rogers had any intent to hurt anyone or even any ideological motivations to hurt anyone. Yet the terrorism label is used again to describe a routine criminal arrest.
AN OVERVIEW OF COMMOM CORE - EDUCATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION
Researched and written by Jean Obrecht-Romeo Area Tea Party
The following information is taken from the internet site, “Unesco – Common Core” and from a booklet by Orlean Koehle, State President of Eagle Forum of California and former teacher.
What is Common Core? It is an educational format about which even educators do not know the full truth – a battle going on for control of American classrooms for school reform that has never been tested and has been rejected by top education analysts. It is part of the U.N.’s education branch, UNESCO, known as “Education for all” which seeks to teach the same standards to all children (and adults) on a global scale. It supersedes local control over what is taught to students, dismisses the validity of the U.S. Constitution in the name of inclusivity and tolerance for all nations.
National education is contrary to states rights and the U.S. Constitution. Our Founding Fathers purposely left the word “education” out of the Constitution as it was to be left up to the states and to local and parental control. Common Core – CC – pretends to be a benign “State” program, State-written and controlled. It is touted as being “more rigorous” and will “better prepare students for college and the workplace.” None of this is true. It is actually a national program written by a national cartel supported by President Obama and the Federal Department of Education, imposing national standards and curriculum. It is not improving education standards but is dumbing them down. The following are facts and reasons parents and educators should be concerned and reject CC in their States:
- No vote by Congress: Since Obama has his “carte blanche” stimulus money, he did not go to Congress for permission or funding to come up with a new education program.
- No vote by State Legislators: They were bypassed in the decision to accept it into their state.
- No vote of the People: The majority of Americans know nothing about this program, and they have had no opportunity to voice an opinion on it.
- Bribes and Enticements for State Governors: Because of promised grants and competitions to get those grants (with strings attached), governors had to apply and sign on the dotted line before ever seeing the curriculum or standards.
- Waivers: If states sign on to CC they are rewarded by receiving waivers to get out of the rigid requirements and accountability of “No Child Left Behind” which insists that all students in a state are to reach a certain proficiency level by the year 2014 which is almost impossible to achieve.
- Threats: As more incentives for states to sign on to CC, Obama stated in November, 2009, that “Title 1 Money” might be withheld. Title 1 Money is a huge grant of money that goes to the states to help in the education of needy children. It is a big part of every state’s budget.
- In spite of the grants that some governors may be receiving, it is estimated that the overall costs for the states to implement the CC program will be $1.6 B.
The most disturbing element of CC is that it stems from U.N.’s “Agenda 21” which imposes the global concept of “environmental awareness and sustainable development” and states in Chapter 36.2 “we should “reorient” worldwide education toward sustainable development:
- Environmental education will be incorporated into formal education.
- Any value or attitude held by anyone globally that stands independent to that of the U.N.’s definition of “sustainable education” must change. Current attitudes are unacceptable.
- Education will be belief – and spiritually based as defined by the global collective.
- Environmental education will be integrated into every subject, not just science.
Common Core is really International, driven by UNESCO and Agenda 21. This is how sustainable development will be pushed into every school and university.
What can we do? Do your own research and gather more information. Speak out in school board meetings; write letters to the editor; contact your state legislators – give them information; contact your governor. Let them all know how opposed you are to Common Core.
A lot of Americans know that the US government is out of control. Anyone who has cared enough to study the US Constitution even a little knows this. Still, very few of these people are taking any significant action, and largely because of one error: They are waiting for “the good guys” to show up and fix things.
Some think that certain groups of politicians will pull it together and fix things, or that one magnificent politician will ride in to fix things. Others think that certain members of the military will step in and slap the politicians back into line. And, I’m sure there are other variations.
There are several problems with this. I’ll start with the small issues:
- It doesn’t happen. A lot of good people have latched on to one grand possibility after another, waiting for a good guy to save the day, and it just doesn’t happen. Thousands of hours of reading, writing and waiting are burned with each new “great light” who comes along with a promise to run the system in the “right” way, and give us liberty and truth. (Or whatever.) Lots of decent folks grab on to one pleasant dream after another, only to end up right back where they started… but poorer in time, energy and finances.
- Hope is a scam. It’s a dream of someday, somehow, getting something for nothing. People who hope do not act – they wait for other people to act. Hope is a tool to neuter a natural opposition: they sit and hope, and never act against you. Even the biblical meaning of hope is something more like expectation (or sometimes waiting) than the modern use of hope.
- Petitioning an abuser for compassion. The “good guys” are considered to be a few people inside the abusive government. But if the good guys were really good, wouldn’t they have dissociated themselves with an abuser some time ago? By pleading for the good guys to rise up, people are asking one sub-group of the abusers to save them from the rest of the abusers. However, they all work for the same operation; they all get paid out of the same offices; according to the same rulebook. And if the good guys are so willing to turn against their employers, why would they have waited until now?
- Movies. We all grew up in the company of movie heroes who rode in at the last minute to save the noble victims. From John Wayne to Star Trek to Bruce Willis, the story line differs little. These are pleasant stories, of course, but cinema is not reality, and hoping for it to become reality is something that we should get over prior to adulthood.
But, as I say, those are the smaller issues. Let’s move on to the serious ones.
The Magic System
A lot of Americans believe that the American “Founders” created a system that automatically fixes itself. They talk about the “balance of powers,” and think that it will always save them from a tyrant. The balanced powers of the US Constitution, however, were trashed within fifteen years and doubly-trashed just a century ago.
In the Constitution, the states balanced the power of the national government (the one now in Washington, DC.) Not only did the states control half of the legislature, but they decided if and how they would implement the edicts of the national government. And that included deciding whether a law was constitutional or not.
This changed in 1803 with the Marbury v. Madison ruling. This ruling – taught as a work of genius in American schools – was a fraud against the US Constitution. In it, the Supreme Court held that they understood the Constitution better than James Madison, the man who wrote it!
But worse than even this, they held – with absolutely no basis – that it was they who would decide what was constitutional or not. The states were tossed aside. Even the sitting President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, called it “a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.”
Marbury’s Judicial review (the Supremes ruling on constitutionality) merely involves one branch of the national government providing a check on the other branches of the national government. After Marbury, no one could check the national government.
Washington DC was unleashed with Marbury v. Madison. What made it almighty was the 17th Amendment of 1913, which took the powers of the states and transferred them to Washington, by mandating the popular election of senators.
With senators being elected directly by the populace, the states were cut-out of the equation. In their place, political parties gained massive power, and nearly all power was consolidated in the city of Washington.
And so it is today. Washington is an unfettered beast. The system will NOT fix itself; the mechanisms to do that were lost a long time ago.
The Easy Way Out
Standing up against a beast like Washington DC is scary, to be sure. Understandably, not many people want to do such a thing. But if the beast is abusing you, what other choice do you have? You can certainly avoid or evade the beast, but we all know that the beast hurts people it catches avoiding it, so the risk of doing this isn’t zero either.
So, what’s a person to do?
Dr. Ben Carson Dazzles Local Gathering
Shelby Township, MI
April 22, 2013
By Jay Corey
On Monday night, April 22nd, Dr. Ben Carson addressed a dinner gathering of 1300 people, who were spell-bound for well over an hour with his speech and Q&A session. The Romeo Area Tea Party hosted the event at The Palazzo Grande in Shelby Township. The dinner was attended by the Tea Party faithful, as well as groups from Republican clubs and many concerned individuals from the surrounding area.
Dr. Carson spoke on a wide range of subjects highlighting personal responsibility and self determination using examples from his compelling personal story. He also touched on some of the common sense solutions that he proposed at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C. this past February.
You could have heard a pin drop as Dr. Carson spoke softly, relaying the personal challenges he faced as an inner city boy in Detroit. With the support of his then under-educated mother, he learned to take control of his own destiny to become one of the most accomplished and successful pediatric brain surgeons in the world. His soft spoken delivery contrasted dramatically with his highly successful career and fame. Dr. Carson’s gentle style and accomplishments as a healer seemed to be the correct prescription for a nation in desperate need of healing.
The Romeo Area Tea Party organized a highly successful evening that will be a fond memory for the fortunate 1300 people who attended.
April 16, 2013 by Brandon Smith
In America, our cultural method of debate tends to divide individual issues into carefully separated spheres of discussion. This hyperfocus on single issues, from gun rights to illegal wars to invasion of privacy, draws us away from looking at the bigger interconnected picture, otherwise known as the “macro.” Each social or political conflict is compartmentalized by the mainstream, the dots are left isolated and the overwhelming overall threat to our foundational principles is marginalized.
The problem with this civic philosophy is that the general public is left without peripheral vision and unequipped to comprehend that there is a process in motion, an overarching plan that is eating away at the edges of our liberty from every angle, one small piece at a time. That is to say, we have been conditioned to obsess over the pieces and ignore the plan.
I want you to imagine the globalist establishment and the useful socialist idiots it employs as a hive of ants lurking in the grass around a bountiful picnic basket you (or your forefathers) worked very hard to procure. Now, one ant snatches a single crumb and races away, and you think to yourself that losing that one crumb is not such a sacrifice. A few more ants pilfer crumbs, and you shrug it off. A dozen more arrive, and you start to worry a little but are still too lazy to pull out the Raid. The rest of the hive sees your apathy and attacks, gobbling everything in a swarm of single-minded destruction. Left with nothing, you sit dumbfounded and hungry, wondering where you went wrong. The truth is, you went wrong with the first ant.
Not only are personal wealth and property ransacked by the collective in this way, but also personal freedom.
Every time a smaller attack on liberty is exposed or openly announced by the cult of statism, elitists invariably respond with a false face of rationality and common sense. They claim that they respect the line. They claim that they will take only the minimum. They claim that they are pursuing only a reasonable compromise. They expound on the “virtues” of their motives. They sing songs of unity, brotherhood and the greater good. They appeal to our diplomatic side; and if that doesn’t work, they try to shame us instead for being “selfish” or “ignorant” of so-called “social progress.” But this never has been and never will be about social progress.
Their goal is not to introduce greater understanding or awareness. It is not about public good or public safety. And at the very core, it is not about truth. If they cared about truth or principle and if their objectives were honorable, they would not feel the need to constantly lie, cheat, steal, manipulate and threaten in an effort to impose their own worldview on the rest of us. If their purpose was as righteous as they pretend, then deceit and subversion should be beneath them. Their philosophy should be able to carry itself, without their convoluted efforts.
The power elites and the people who blindly follow them are not interested in being on the right side. They are interested only in being on the winning side, and the two are certainly not the same. In the end, the result they covet most is not to achieve compromise on Constitutional ideals, but to achieve total and unequivocal destruction of those ideals. They seek to erase our heritage from history, along with those of us who value it. They want to annihilate Constitutional culture.