On NRO today, Edward Blum of AEI has an incredibly important column about the sheer perfidy of President Bush and top Repubs in both houses of Congress introducing legislation to renew Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. I've written on this many times. Whereas most of the Voting Rights Act is permanent, as it should be, Section 5 originally was only supposed to last for five years. That was about 40 years ago. What Section 5 does is require the time-consuming process of "preclearance" from the Justice Department for ANY change in election procedures in several suspect (read: Southern) states. Blum explains why this is, philosophically, a horrible provision. What he doesn't make clear is that, in practical terms, Section 5 is even worse than it looks on paper. DoJ has to weigh in on election changes as small as moving a polling place from, say, a school's gym to the same school's cafeteria. Examples are numerous of local election officials running into problems even holding elections on time while waiting for DoJ officials to get around to preclearing such changes. Thurbert E.
Illegal immigrants shouldn't have a head start over those already in line for legal entry into the U.S., as Jay Homnick argues this morning.
NPR had an excellent commentary along those lines today, by an Indian doctor who has gone through the work visa, the green card, and has patiently waited for years for citizenship. What a shame that law abiding immigrants may wait longer because of those who have circumvented the existing, albeit poor, system.
Paul, you're dead right. One glaring index of how the West's loss of faith goes far deeper than race guilt is how far the West has gone to eliminate personal guilt as a peril of right feeling. In the absence of compelling spiritual doctrine, neurotics of identity turned to psychotherapy to destroy guilt. But guiltmaking acts continued to pile up, and psychoanalysis is an inefficient replacement for religion when neurotic feelings must be picked off one at a time.
Thus have we developed our cults of selfhood. The "Me" Generation is a passe prelude; one "me" is not enough, expecting too much and too little of us. Ours is now the "My" Generation, where all of our products are customized and we are customized right along with them. This unholy marriage of psychotherapy and capitalism has just been consummated with a feature in The New York Times.
I have a long meditation on this epochal and ugly phenom here.
Things are heating up for the fall. We've got a bog primary election in Ohio, where Secretary of State Ken Blackwell is attempting to win the Republican nominagtion for Governor.
But this morning the real news is going to be out of Nebraska, where we hear that Sen. John McCain this morning will endorse Rep. Tom Osborne in his primary challenge of sitting Republican Gov. Dave Heineman.
Osborne, better known in his previous career as head coach of the University of Nebraska football program, is putting up a fight for this one. Why is this interesting?
Well, first Chuck Hagel has already endorsed Heineman, throwing a bit of a twist into what was thought to be a close relationship between McCain and Hagel.
And second, we're seeing political decision being made here less to do with Osboune and Heineman and more to do with the ambitions and egos of McCain and Hagel. Both men want to run for President. And some of Nebraska's media markets are shared with Iowa, where the first caucuses will beheld. This gives both men some political coverage in both states.
You may remember Marine 1st Sgt. Brad Kasal from the May 2005 TAS article entitled, "Forty Minutes in Fallujah." Kasal, who with a few of his men charged into a house in Fallujah to rescue other Marines who were pinned down, gun-fought the insurgents for almost an hour and received several wounds while saving the lives of those other Marines.
I'd speculated that Kasal's bravery wouldn't go unnoticed, and it hasn't. According to this LA Times Report, Brad Kasal has been promoted to Sergeant Major and awarded the Navy Cross, which is the next-highest award to the Medal of Honor in recognition of valor in combat.
Kasal has been assigned to recruitment duty in his native Iowa. He'll be an inspiration to all the young folks who come into his office, and in all the schools he'll visit. Congratulations, Sergeant Major. You're an inspiration to us all.
James, the morning papers are bearing out your point about the lack of impact of the illegal immigrant "economic boycott." (Ol' Howard Beale, I mean, Lou Dobbs noted how only the Washington Post is calling the protesters illegal immigrants as opposed to just immigrants.)
But when the New York Times writes of letdown in the second paragraph, you know it was a flop. "The demonstrations did not bring the nation to a halt as planned by some organizers...." The papers and wires show photos of downtown L.A. -- how impressive is it to fill Wilshire Blvd. with illegal immigrants on any given day? It makes for an easy front page shot, but what I want to know is: did they play in the streets of Peoria?
Mexico is in favor of immigration. Mexico has made drug possession legal, at least in small amounts. So it should follow that all American drug addicts would be given a one-way ticket to Mexico city. Open borders are open in both directions.
Yet were, say, I to deploy that ignominious phrase, amongst reflections on the Spanish-inflected hoohah wafting through the window of my flat, I would be doomed -- not just doomed but a doomed racist. Fortunately I won't say any such thing. The Wash Post itself reports that illegal immigrants seem rather more difficult to lead than some had predicted. The mixed baggery of the Great School & Business Walkout suggests that at least some of the poor would prefer to work and some of the uneducated to learn. How about that for an American tradition?