It's good to know these things.
Monday, December 17, 2007
The U.S.A. has an immigration system, under laws passed by the people's representatives in Congress. For twenty years the federal government, for reasons to do with ideology and "interest," has failed to enforce those laws. As a result, tens of millions of foreigners have settled in our country unlawfully, while other foreigners who wish to settle here but respect our laws, wait long years in their home countries for permission to enter.
A great many Americans are very angry about this. If you were to poll those angry Americans on the topic of legal immigration, you'd get all sorts of answers, from severe-restrictionist to couldn't-care-less. The center of gravity of the answers would probably be somewhere like: "Sure we should have immigrants, but it should be done legally, properly."
The anger, the shouting, the jammed Congressional switchboards, the cable-news bloviating, is about the federal government's failure to enforce federal law. To glibly dismiss it all as "anti-immigrant" is gross propagandistic distortion. . .
Oxford University Press has published a book by professor David Benatar of the University of Cape Town called “Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence.” The author “argues for the ‘anti-natal’ view – that it is always wrong to have children … . Anti-natalism also implies that it would be better if humanity became extinct.” As does Alan Weisman’s “The World Without Us” – which Publishers Weekly hails as “an enthralling tour of the world … anticipating, often poetically, what a planet without us would be like.” It’s a good thing it “anticipates” it poetically, because, once it happens, there will be no more poetry.
It's kinda funny that all erroneous stories seem to cut the same way. Must be a coincidence.
Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, interpersonally-sensitive, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2008, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. This wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.
Paulson has been criticized for saying that some subprime borrowers "will become renters again." But some borrowers put no money down on their houses, or took mortgages with negligible "teaser" rates, or accepted mortgages requiring them at first to pay only interest, not principal. Such borrowers are effectively renters.
The country launched its first lunar probe, the Chang'e 1 (named after the Chinese Moon Goddess), in October and released a photo featuring a patch of grey moon surface splotched with craters last week, hailing the mission as a "complete success".
But some Chinese Internet users have questioned its originality after comparing it with an almost identical lunar image from the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Two business partners asked their lawyer to hold $20,000, making him promise to get both of their signatures before disbursing any of it.
As soon as one partner left town, the other pressed the lawyer for $15,000, citing an emergency. The lawyer reluctantly gave it to him, and he disappeared.
On his return, the other partner was irate, so the lawyer explained that he had donated the $15,000 out of his own pocket.
"Then give me the $20,000 you're holding," said the partner.
"All right," said the lawyer. "Give me the two signatures."
Accused Terrorist: We Were Hunting Loch Ness Monster
O’Donnell is no longer a liberal in the sense I understood it growing up. In fact, he runs away from defending the basic cannon of liberalism without which it cannot exist – free speech. A true liberal is a man like Flemming Rose who had the courage to defend that freedom against the onslaught of opposition to the publication of the Danish cartoons. Where was O’Donnell on that? Quivering in his corner, worrying whether he will be shot? Where was O’Donnell (a man of the entertainment industry, no less) when director Theo Van Gogh was stabbed to death by an Islamist on the streets of Amsterdam for making a film critical of Islam? Busy attacking George Bush, I imagine. The courage of Rose and Van Gogh (and Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Ibn Warraq and Wafa Sultan, etc.) is paying O’Donnell’s check from the McLaughlin Group in a very real sense. He owes them all a commission.
The two enterprising gents shown here decided prison didn't suit them, so they removed some cement blocks that stood between them and the verdant paradise known as New Jersey. They figured the warden might object to their plans, so they covered their egress with "photos of bikini-clad women." It worked.
Taxpayers hit by the AMT can't deduct state and local taxes from their federal income tax bill. Sooner or later, that puts downward political pressure on state and local spending. And that, in turn, threatens the vested interest of a key Democratic constituency, the public employee unions. Democratic voters in suburban New Jersey, for example, who feel far from rich, face a substantial tax increase if they're suddenly covered by the AMT. They may take their revenge on Democratic candidates and on New Jersey public employee union members.
Moreover, again in contrast to J.K. Rowling's books (which were criticized by some Christians for their use of magic and witchcraft), Mr. Pullman's series is bluntly anti-Christian. In the third book, "The Amber Spyglass," a former nun tells the two child protagonists, Lyra and Will, that "the Christian religion is a very powerful and convincing mistake, that's all." The church and its members do nothing but evil.
Only a bigot would argue that every Muslim was violent or opposed to Western freedom. But only a coward or a liar would argue that there was not a profound and deeply worrying link between conservative Islam and myriad acts of terror, intolerance and hysterical anger.
It is not I who say this but the countless Muslims who take to the streets at the drop of a cartoon to scream for blood and war; or the Muslims who preach jihad in North America and Europe, where they enjoy open societies founded on Christian enlightenment.
They may represent a minority, but the harm they do is incalculable. This dysfunctional venom does not come from Christian, Jew, Hindu or Buddhist and fatuous relativism will only blind the foolish. It is time for free discussion in this free country, whether it offends or not.
I'm increasingly convinced that Mike Huckabee is basically Bill Clinton without the charm.
``I know it's unusual for a Democrat to be endorsing a Republican,'' Lieberman said at an event in New Hampshire today. ``Political parties are important in our country, but they're not more important than what's best for our country.''