THE ERA OF BIG GOVERNMENT
Re: Bernard Chapin’s Is Demography Destiny?:
The last line in Mark Steyn’s interview that a government that can be everywhere at once is not a government to be desired; it is one to be feared comes from the same mould as Gerald R. Ford’s comment that a government that can give you everything you want can take away everything you have. That statement should be engraved on the heart of every conservative, next to Calvin Coolidge’s comment that is much more important to stop a bad law from being passed than it is to pass a good one. So many of George Bush’s policies fail to meet these two standards and it is a good reason why his record is so poor.
— Christopher Holland
Re: W. James Antle III’s Comprehensive Crack-Up?:
Thank you for correctly identifying the Kennedy immigration bill as an amnesty bill. It clearly is, though some commentators who claim to be conservatives are so wedded to the Bush administration that they will deny the obvious.
— Douglas C. Friedman
We can only hope that this immigration bill dies and soon. Both of my Republican senators (Chambliss and Isakson) support it, which is a reversal in what they said and did last year. Chambliss is up for re-election in 2008, and he will not be getting my vote unless he sees the light. I would rather not vote for anyone for senate than to support someone who goes against the wishes of his constituency. I call that taxation without representation.
It’s time to throw some tea in the harbor. The Congress of the United States and the president are not listening to the people. They are ruling like kings. If this latest forcing of “immigration reform” down the throats of the citizens passes, I fear for our country on a number of levels.
Why are the immigration debates focused on the imaginary plight of the illegals that are here rather than the real problems the failure to enforce our immigration laws cause this country? Shouldn’t a president and a senator be more concerned about maintaining our borders than providing amnesty to illegals and workers to those who lobby them? What country do you politicians want to “serve”? Mexico or the U.S.?
If you want to do what’s right for America, Mr. President, then study the problems you will be creating for this country by this outrageous cow-towing to business and foreign interests. Solve the main problem first — close the borders — then in a few years once it is clear that illegal immigration is under control, you can address the other in a bill that is not convoluted and confusing.
Stop acting like we Americans, who are concerned with the future of this country, are racist, nativist, fools. We are not. We believe being an American citizen is a privilege and should be treated with respect. Why aren’t you criticizing the Mexicans who booed Miss USA at the Miss Universe Pageant? What if Miss Mexico was booed here? I’m sure you would be appalled. Do you think we Americans are so privileged that we don’t deserve to be fought for on the world stage? Do we have to give away our country because you feel sorry for Mexicans? Do we have to have open borders and pay for the privilege? Mexico needs to fix its broken system, and it will never do that if you, Mr. President, continue to enable them. Let’s see some of that compassionate conservatism aimed at conservatives, Mr. President.
Who will stand up for us? Anyone?
— Deborah Durkee
Another insightful analysis from Mr. Antle, for which I’m grateful.
I’d really like to figure out, however, how much of Republican senators’ support for the bill is driven by what we are hearing more and more about, if only by innuendo. Namely, the President’s desire for a domestic policy accomplishment that would serve as a notch in his legacy.
To whatever extent there is truth to the surmise, shame on him, and shame on any senator who would let such selfish interests influence his or her thinking on such a profoundly important matter.
I don’t give a damn about Bush’s legacy, but I care passionately about the America which my children and especially my grandchildren will inherit. From everything I’ve read about this bill, I surmise that if it is passed into law then the America of the 21st Century will be vastly different, and worse, than the America in which I grew up.
— C. Vail
President Bush thinks citizens are being scared by using the word AMNESTY, and so they should be. When this North American Union supporter wants to give rewards to people that have come here illegally it is nothing but amnesty. Bush really wants no borders between Mexico and Canada, kiss America goodbye.
The main problem with this killer bill is government can not keep track of the people here on visas. Courts have said to deport someone and then they can not be found. Just how is a government that can not get passports out in a timely manner going to process millions of ILLEGALS. The answer is they will not be able to and when amnesty is granted, another flood of illegals will come here waiting for the next amnesty.
Until the government has proven that it can close our border, stop employers from hiring illegals and find visa jumpers, this bill has no right to pass.
Rep. Lofgren wants family reunification, well the answer here is for the people to go BACK home and be with their families. We did not ask them to come here and leave them.
Another question, if you have to speak English to be a citizen, and only a citizen can vote, why do we print ballots in Spanish? That is a waste of taxpayer money.
— Elaine Kyle
Cut & Shoot, Texas
Ah, the tension of politics! Democrats want people with no skills, lacking English and literacy. That ensures them 12,000,000 new party members. Republicans want skilled people so employers can force down wages for Americans.
It is a cruel sad irony that there is not a thought for what is good for America. Republicans are making the bosses happy. Democrats are trying to find anybody who buys into their socialism and vote for them. Poor, unskilled people unable to communicate will do that.
But what about the country? This is what I see. In 50 or so years, La Raza will claim the southwest for Mexico. Democrats put in power by illiterate Mexicans will say “we stole it from them it is rightfully theirs.” Since most of those State lean Republican the transfer to Mexico will give more weight to the socialist northeast.
Hawaii will grow closer and closer to Asia until it is a de facto province of China or Japan. The Democrats, now solidly in power will offer to relocate any person living in Hawaii to the mainland prior to the transfer. A few million, mostly undocumented aliens, will come to California (which because it votes with a radical fervor was not transferred to Mexico).
A serious conflict will develop over the northwest. Asia will claim its millions including those in California, the democrats will be loathe to give up more than 30,000,000 socialist voters. Chinapan (the two countries will combine) threatens to go to war over the “unjust enslavement of Asians in America’s labor camps.” War will be averted when Chinapan offers this compromise: “any person residing in the northwest may leave for the United States prior to the cession of these lands, but must take only a change of clothes.”
Democrats promptly agree to this and offer free homes, cars and land in the red states to these millions.
By 2100 the united states (no longer significant enough to be capitalized) exists only to the east of the Mississippi River and is clothed in a French-like socialism. A 25-hour work week. No pay just “entitlement cards” for housing, food clothing and furnishings. Each worker gets 15 weeks of vacation each year, but only democrat party members are allowed to go on vacation; 95% of Americans use their vacations to volunteer to work on highways, building sewer systems and water treatment facilities.
The United States receives from many countries and its poverty is the subject of much rejoicing in the United Nations. America is now 119 in GDP among nations.
President Clinton, Chelsea the fourth, addresses the UN saying, “America is a true workers’ paradise. People have all that they need, they want no frivolities like designer clothes, and Praise Allah, may he shower blessings upon us always, we will forever have enough potatoes to feed everyone.”
But who cares about immigration and its impact on America?
— Jay W. Molyneaux
Denver, North Carolina
It would be very educational for the nation (and excellent politics, too) if Fred Thompson publicly challenged Ted Kennedy to a broadcast debate about the immigration bill pending in Congress.
If Teddy doesn’t agree, then Thompson could challenge Hillary Clinton. And so on, until he finds a taker.
— Cliff Their
Re: Jay D. Homnick’s Melting Pot of Gold:
The essays by James Antle and Jay D. Homnick about the Senate’s illegal alien invasion bill were not reassuring. Informative, but not reassuring.
We are being invaded by illegal aliens and the Senate and the President want to help them come out of the shadows. Not only silly, but also reprehensible.
I lost faith in the President with the Harriet Miers fiasco. I have never had any faith in Congress. If an illegal invasion bill passes that smells as bad as the current lash up, then the lost lives, injuries and efforts of our armed forces have been for naught. We will have lost our country both culturally and fiscally.
I can only hope that the House of Representatives will act responsibly and kill this piece of horse manure. Or, that all of the special interests involved will act like the famous bird that flies in an ever decreasing circle until it flies up its ass thus sending the invasion bill to a dark hole.
Enforce current laws and secure the border. That’s what I want to hear from a presidential candidate, or a congressional candidate. Nothing more, nothing less. Whoever that is will receive my money and my vote.
— Nelson Ward
Cowles, New Mexico
Caught up in the current food-fight surrounding the contents of, the politics behind, and the socio-economic implications of the Senate’s latest “comprehensive” immigration reform bill, I had never even considered how the bill, if passed, might also be viewed as Washington’s latest Full Employment for Lawyers Act. (But then I’m not a lawyer, so such dark subtleties usually escape me.) I have no reason to doubt, however, that the scene which Mr. Homnick paints is indeed “very realistic if not inevitable.” That’s one more reason to prefer the status quo over the Senate bill, one more reason why this monstrosity should die.
— C. Vail
Can anyone confirm whether the Senate bill contains language requiring Homeland Security approval for
hiring and firing nationwide? I saw it mentioned in a blog, but the bill itself is 600 pages and I haven’t been able to find it yet.
— Martin Owens
COMEDY AND HISTORY
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s Additions to the Lincoln Library:
I hope I don’t offend you by spelling your name incorrectly or some other blunder. I am a 91-year-old lady who reads your writings with great relish so you are in no danger from me in any way. I just wanted you to know that I found your remark about our friend John Podhoretz delicious. Please don’t bother to be surprised or contemptuous of my admiration for your skill, I’ll still be a reader of your delicious swats. Thank you for listening and thank you for the good laugh.
— Hester Nichols
April 14, 1887 is 22 years, not 12, after the President’s wounding. I wonder if Mr. Tyrrell’s ancestor might have rendered his honored service in 1876, when the Secret Service got wind of the ransom plot, and that he was presented the picture in 1877, not 1887. Just wondering. Oddly enough, I have on my desk at this moment the February 15, 1963 edition of Life magazine, the cover of which features a 1901 photograph of the disinterment of President Lincoln’s coffin in preparation for its reburial in the newly-rebuilt tomb. The cover story is titled, “What Happened to Lincoln’s Body.” Mr. Tyrrell may want to locate a copy of it, as he indicated a lively interest in the recent book on the same subject.
— John A. Greenlee
ALWAYS GETS HIM DOWN
Re: G. Tracy Mehan III’s Still My Kind of Town:
Great cities, like great restaurants, don’t need bragging. The surest sign of mediocrity is a sign or slogan that begins “World Famous…
I thought Chicago was pretty cool first time around, but then my only comparison was Cincinnati. Then I moved back from 10 years in London in 1988. I hated Chicago — I hated every moment from then on. I wouldn’t even mention London and Chicago in the same breath. Chicago has the worst weather of any city on the planet, horrible traffic, and horrible Chinese food. Most of the ethnic food is vastly overrated by Midwestern nabobs who have never eaten the real thing. Good Indian, though.
I can’t comprehend while anyone would voluntarily live in Chicago.
— Stephen Martin
To your list of conservative principles, would you be inclined to add tolerance?
— Mike Roush
In his reply to yesterday’s letters, Quin Hillyer writes, “The fall from grace began in earnest in the autumn of 1998, with the combination of bloodlust against Clinton with a major increase in spending…” I take great issue in his characterization of the impeachment proceedings as “bloodlust.” Recall that in his original article Mr. Hillyer mentions the importance of traditional values, or what I prefer to call standards. This means standards of conduct, standards of performance and standards of character. Mr. Clinton failed to uphold the standards of the office of a public servant and was justifiably called for it. A Congress taking their responsibilities seriously could have done no less in light of the egregiousness of these violations of the standards (adultery, sodomizing a subordinate, perjury, lying to the public). Apparently the tradition-supporting Mr. Hillyer would have overlooked them.
— Paul M. DeSisto
Cedar Grove, New Jersey
Quin Hillyer replies:
Mr. DeSisto raises a good issue, because I did not make myself clear. I fully supported the impeachment of the president. What I did NOT support was the foolish way that Mr. Gingrich and company went about it. They insisted on a set of rules governing impeachment that were unnecessarily stringent (in fact, they ended up, de facto, abiding by most of the rules proposed by Rep. Gephardt, but only after formally, de jure, rejecting those rules unnecessarily); and they insisted on immediate public release of the entirety of the Starr Report, which had the effect of dumping into the public realm a host of details that parents did not want their children to see. Their tone, meanwhile, was not the tone of a sober and dutiful group sadly doing their duty, but instead the tone of banshees eager for the kill. Meanwhile, in order to hold the GOP “moderates” in line for the harsh rules on impeachment, Gingrich let the moderates have their way on spending, which meant abandoning the fiscal discipline that was holding the GOP coalition together.
To equate support for impeachment with “bloodlust” would have been wrong. I did not intend to do so, and am sorry for the misimpression I created. Clinton committed high crimes and misdemeanors, and he should have been removed from office.
I thank Mr. DeSisto for holding me, and Clinton, accountable.
Re: Letters (under “Bending Steel”) in Reader Mail’s Tormented Souls:
I make steel for a living. Two hundred tons every 45 minutes. I can melt steel with jet fuel, diesel, propane, methane, coke, coal, fire wood or paper. The mill I work in uses electricity, natural gas, coke and oxygen. But then we have to be fast and efficient. Give me a couple hours, a six pack, a shovel, a rick of firewood and a vacuum cleaner and I’ll melt your grill into a 2900 degree puddle in your backyard.
We redneck farmboys do this stuff for fun, and make money off it. Ain’t America Great?
I hope this ends this stupid argument.
Thank YOU!!! That explanation of the “steel being melted” via Rosie and Scott never rang true to me. I just didn’t know the logistics of it. I’ve seen blacksmithies and welders at work and knew that steel could be forged and then bent but I only have a mother and bookkeeper’s knowledge of such things. I couldn’t put in words. I wondered why no one ever questioned Rosie’s such vast knowledge of these things and everything else. The problem is that uninformed people BELIEVE her!!!
But I did hear she was responsible for those whales leaving that river in CA and heading out to sea. Story goes she stood on the bank of the head of that river and started to expound on her ideas. They asked for the check pronto.
— Joan Moriarty
I love reading TAS early each morning. One of the things that is so appealing is the letters column. Within you find collective knowledge and experiences that facet discussion of current events in a meaningful manner. Reading the column this morning on immigration crack up was one treat as was the column in the reader’s section from Mr. Auerbach on steel and his explanation of discovery on why something did not work. As a cattle rancher, it is the practical experience learned, that I apply to all issues I see on the National Front. I cannot help but do so.
Like Mr. Auerbach’s explanation of steel giving way, I see correlations regarding immigration in my cattle ranching. I have written somewhat about this before but as I explained in the letter to my President, who is also a cattle rancher, I began by talking about why all cattle ranches have fences around them. We build fences to keep our own cattle in and other cattle, we don’t want to feed, doctor, or breed with our cattle out. Fences are born of practicality and necessity. Several years ago we found out another lesson the hard way.
A neighbor of ours bought himself a new bull. Normally, on larger ranches you have large sections and you place your bull with your cattle only during the time of breeding. I began to hear allot of carrying on in my back pasture one day. I grabbed my cane and began to walk back over the hill to see what all the commotion was, only to see two bulls going at it. It seemed the Black Brangus of my neighbors decided he wanted a different herd of cows (mine), than the ones he was provided with. Being raised on a ranch, and coming from a family of ranchers, I wisely went home and called my husband! I know better than to try to get between two bulls.
By the time my husband got home the ruckus had stopped. He walked back to see what was happening and found the neighbor’s bull dead. It appeared that the neighbor’s bull came through the fence to our pasture to get to our cows. He was stopped by our bull and gored. I had never seen that happen in my entire lifetime. I had heard of bull fights and stories of the old bulls of the 1930s from my Dad, but this was a new one for me.
Well, despite our insurance absolving themselves from the loss, (they reasoned, rightly, that the neighbor’s bull broke through from his side of the fence provoking the incident!), we found ourselves doing the neighborly thing and giving our neighbor one-half the cost of a new bull. In Texas, and elsewhere, we work to be good neighbors with other ranchers.
Now, in my letter to our President recently, I spoke about ranching and why we fence. I spoke about not desiring to be responsibility for the feeding and medical care of my neighbor’s cattle. To me it only seems like common sense to understand the practical and impractical in every situation. And here is where Congress loses out.
Folks talk about Beltway Mentality. I know exactly what that term means, as we lived around the Beltway during my husband’s last military assignment. It was awful. The sense everyone had on the Beltway was a superiority that I had never seen before. Each person I met felt more entitled to privilege than the next, and the most peculiar trait each longtime Beltway resident had was the sense that his/her thinking was most superior to everyone else in America. I saw this highlighted daily for four years. It came to its zenith during the Clinton years, as The CLINTONS spoke with cradle to grave authority, as if they knew what was best for us common folk. I found it very insulting.
During the duration of our years of the last military assignment in D.C., I flew home to my Dad’s ranch as often as possible to work with my hands and regain a sense of normality. What happens in D.C. is not normal. It is a hyperactive hornet’s nest with deals being made by the minute with total disregard of common sense or concern for morality and the national interest. It hasn’t changed one bit since we left, only gotten more self centered and further away from how “normal/the rest of America” thinks. Witnessing this stupid debate about immigration only fuels my thoughts that we should only send an elected official to Washington after they have been inoculated against greed, stupidity, and irrelevant thoughts. Then, after one term each official needs to hand over his/her office to another person from the heartland who still possesses common sense.
We have a military fighting for a very real enemy and a country that is falling from within, like Rome in its last days. Sold out by our leaders who vowed to protect and defend, it remains for those possessing the wisdom born from hard work and right thinking, to call out to Washington day by day and remind these folks of their sworn duties. And, I keep inviting them to the ranch where they can see real life….not the Beltway fantasy world, and perhaps they’d understand about bulls, cows, and the need for secure fences!
— Beverly Gunn
East Texas Rancher
Proud mother of serving pilot
THE CARTER DOCTRINE
Re: Edmund Dantes’s letter (under “Light to Touch”) in Reader Mail’s Tormented Souls:
When the USSR invaded Afghanistan, Carter’s retaliated by not sending the U.S.A. Olympic Team to Russia for the Olympics. Wow, talk about taking tough action.
— Fred Edwards
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