Friday, May 28, 2010

Gummi Bear Surgery.





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Irony.

Michael Moran of Brighton is a staunch supporter of the “sanctuary” approach to illegal immigration we have here in Massachusetts. He voted against the Perry amendment that would require applicants for state benefits to prove they’re here legally. Moran voted for subsidized college tuition for illegals, too.

It’s safe to say that no Massachusetts politician has done more to make illegal immigrants feel welcome. Illegal immigrants like 27-year-old Isaias Naranjo, who (ahem) “met” Moran on the streets of Brighton last week.

According to Fox 25, Naranjo was driving 60 mph when he slammed his car into Moran’s. Naranjo was also drunk, driving without a license and - in an only-in-Massachusetts twist - was wearing a “Mexican costume” at the time.

Now if Naranjo were just another Massachusetts taxpayer, he would be in some serious guacamole. But Fox reports that when police tried to explain the seriousness of his situation, he just laughed.

“Nothing is going to happen to me, man,” Naranjo told the cops. That’s because he was “going back to my home country, Mexico.”

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Can We Quit the UN Yet?

Why on Earth are Americans, unlike their enlightened comrades in Europe, so skeptical of the United Nations? I haven't a clue, though I suspect that, as Tim Cavanaugh noted a few weeks ago, it might have something to do with Iran being nominated to the UN Commission on the Status of Women. This was Tehran's Plan B, having been pressured into abandoning its bid to sit on the UN Human Rights Council. Hilarious, right? After slaughtering demonstrators in the streets, filling the torture chambers at Evin prison with students, they wanted to adjudicate on human rights violations in other countries? Silly Mullahs, those spots are resevered for countries like Switzerland, Spain, and...Libya.

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Trickle-Down Misery in L.A.

Increasingly, government workers are the electoral base of the party of government. So Villaraigosa must live with the arithmetic of interest-group liberalism. The federal government, he says, can run deficits and print money; the state government (supposedly) must balance the budget but can push burdens down onto cities. There, he says, “you have 10 cookies in the cookie jar and every interest wants all 10.”

The nightmare numbers include the state’s unemployment rate (12.6 percent)—it is higher than the nation’s (9.9)—and the city’s rate (13.5), which is higher than the state’s. The city’s long-term success depends on its schools, in many of which most of the children come from homes without fathers, and in some of which, Villaraigosa says, 40 percent of the children are in foster homes. He has little control over the school system and, anyway, unions oppose radical reforms. He would like to emulate the education reforms of former Florida governor Jeb Bush, a recent visitor to the mayor’s residence, but, holding his fingers three inches apart to suggest the thickness of the standard contract with the teachers’ union, Villaraigosa calls the union “the most powerful defender of the status quo.”


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The New Old German Problem.

I’ve been walking the last two days through Munich. Much of the city core was bombed out by the allies by spring 1945. Yet today there is little evidence of such destruction. The museums are among the best in the world, the streets and parks spotless, the infrastructure superb, and the people as hard at work as ever. To walk an urban street in Germany is a different experience from say in Athens or Istanbul — traffic follows law, pedestrians are respected, horns are used rarely, trash is absent. In other words, things work and work well.

Such observations sound stereotypical these days, but to even the casual observer the difference between life in Germany and much of the eastern and southern Mediterranean seems far greater than the divide between a Minnesota and Mississippi. For someone who has lived in Greece and occasionally visits Germany, it becomes increasingly clearer each year why the European Union won’t work. Germans work and create wealth. Yet under the present system, they do not receive commensurate psychological rewards — and they increasingly receive insufficient material compensation as well.

And history shows us that an unhappy Germany is a very dangerous thing indeed.



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We’re too broke to be this stupid.

Back in 2008, when I was fulminating against multiculturalism on a more or less weekly basis, a reader wrote to advise me to lighten up, on the grounds that “we’re rich enough to afford to be stupid.”

Two years later, we’re a lot less rich. In fact, many Western nations are, in any objective sense, insolvent. Hence last week’s column, on the EU’s decision to toss a trillion dollars into the great sucking maw of Greece’s public-sector kleptocracy. It no longer matters whether you’re intellectually in favour of European-style social democracy: simply as a practical matter, it’s unaffordable.

More here.