INDEXES OF FREEDOM
Re: Shawn Macomber’s Privately Generous:
As the recently returned to the private sector United States Executive Director at the World Bank, I read with interest your recently published article “Privately Generous.” I want to commend you for spotlighting the Hudson Institute’s Index of Global Philanthropy.
I made frequent references to the Index, and to the Wall Street Journal/Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, in many discussions among the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors regarding aid strategies of specific countries and the World Bank’s policies of general application. Many developing country representatives appreciate the role of remittances and private philanthropy for the reasons cited in your article. Most Europeans, however, resisted our insistence that remittances and private philanthropy be taken into account in keeping “score” regarding rich country generosity, probably for the reasons also cited in the article.
The results were sometimes ludicrous. For example, many annual meeting communiques extolled the virtues of European sponsored global airline ticket taxes to be dedicated to development and downplayed or failed to acknowledge the far more important roles of remittances and private charitable giving. In addition to different cultural perspectives, what this really boils down to is simple anti-Americanism and competition to curry favor with developing country governments.
The Institute should keep up the good work as it is a vital resource for those of us who agree with its rationale, and an important response to advocates of ODA (official government assistance) who claim that neither remittances nor private philanthropy should count when comparing relative anti-poverty efforts because they can’t be measured reliably.
— Robert Holland
AMNESTY STOPS HERE
Re: W. James Antle III’s Immigration Word Games:
Hooray to you, Mr. Antle, in calling for what we still have not had; i.e., a real and highly specific debate, as opposed to breathtaking demagoguery and disingenuousness.
If I’ve written once I’ve written dozens of times, both to the White House and to proponents of greatly increased immigration (real or via “guest workers”) in the Congress, simply asking that they lay out their case and support it with indisputable facts about the present, as well as reasonable assumptions about the future implications if they get what they want.
What are their economic arguments? (And no, “filling jobs that Americans won’t do” is not an argument.) What specifically are the numbers behind the worker shortage? Show me how millions of low-skill but high social service-consuming workers and their families are a net positive for our economy? What will be the economic effect on us of having all those millions here in the event of a severe recession with massive job loss? If Social Security and Medicare are headed for bankruptcy now, will those programs not be headed for total breakdown with millions more on the rolls, many of whom would have contributed little to the so-called ‘trust funds’?” Will America really be brought to its economic knees if lettuce becomes scarce or if the price of a head goes up 100%; if the price of a hotel room goes up 20%; and if the suburban lords of all the McMansions have to shell out for a riding mower and cut their own lawns?
What are their social arguments? How would allowing in tens or even scores more millions of poor, uneducated, unassimilating people from Third World countries make a positive contribution to our already frayed social fabric?
What are their cultural arguments? (And no, “America has always been a land of immigrants” is not an argument.) If the culture of this country is (still) largely Western European by tradition, and if a majority would like to see it stay that way, how to square that with a policy which would seem to suggest that in a couple of decades, if not sooner, there will be two Americas: one still largely rooted in the Western European tradition, and the other distinctly Hispanic and Latino?
What are the political arguments? Or more precisely, what are the political rationales? Does either side in this debate have the honesty to come right out and say that an unspoken part of it is simply a cynical, calculated attempt to pad their party’s voter rolls?
As noted, I’ve already posed these questions, and more, numerous times to the White House. So far, no private response (other than the standard “thank you for contacting us” form reply) nor public response (in that unless I’ve missed it the president still has not addressed, at least not seriously, any of these questions).
Oh well, no harm in trying again, and so I’m copying the White House on this letter. I’ll let you know if I hear anything back.
— C. Vail
McCain and Kennedy have no clue whatsoever as to what goes on with illegal aliens. Nor do the rest of elected officials in D.C. They all have no clues as to how the illegals live in this country. They talk about the millions of uninsured people in this country. Well, if they take the illegals out of the country most all people in the U.S. would be insured. If all the illegal aliens’ children were taken out of our schools, our schools would have all the revenues needed to educate our children. Very simple. It costs less to deport than to pay the price of supporting them. And tell our government to get some backbone and say no to these countries who are exporting their poor to America.
— Tina Grace
Moreno Valley, California
McCain better wake up and quick! Here are some numbers for consideration:
* 270 thousand. Number of illegal aliens in jail for felonies!
* 100 thousand. Estimated number of illegals who belong to gangs.
* $23 billion. U.S. taxpayer transfer payments for services to illegals.
* 28 thousand. Citizens killed by illegals over the past ten years.
* $20 billion. Money that leaves the U.S. for Mexico and points south!
If McCain proposes/supports legislation that grants citizenship to those here illegally; this life long Republican will vote for a third party candidate.
— Bob Montrose
Fort Lee, New Jersey
I just don’t understand what part of ILLEGAL the members of both houses don’t understand. As far as having to pay back taxes to stay, big deal, lots of them don’t make enough to pay taxes anyway. If the first thing someone does getting into America is break the law and continue to break the law with fake ID and SS cards, then I don’t care what you call it, if they are allowed to stay it is AMNESTY.
I heard after the Swift raids that wages were raised and Americans took lots of those jobs. Is this true?
Illegals in America should not be getting any help using tax dollars, schooling, welfare, health care and babies born to illegals should NOT become citizens just because the mom happens to give birth in America. They are killing our schools and causing hospitals to close.
— Elaine Kyle
Our immigration problems are the result of two conditions – (1) a border that is too porous and (2) a process to attain legal immigration status that is so arduous and expensive that few even attempt it. Address these two problems with an eye toward serving the bests interests of this country and we will finally be on the road toward a rational immigration system.
— J. Brick
Beaver Dam, Arizona
CARL & JAY
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s Show Trial Senators:
Senator Carl Levin awaits the closing of business hours every afternoon at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue so he can fish through the wastebaskets and dumpsters there. All the while, his home state of Michigan loses jobs and businesses to other state that have no aversion to “profits.”
Senator Jay Rockefeller, a beneficiary of “Big Oil” doesn’t seem to mind anything “big” as long as he or his wealth isn’t the object of “big” government’s observations.
Thus, what we have here is the Democrat party, looking for a cause. What cause are they looking for? They’re hoping the wastebaskets and dumpsters of the White House and Department of Defense provide them with one.
— P. Aaron Jones
Huntington Woods, Michigan
Re: Neal McCluskey’s A Puny Step Forward:
McCluskey is right about what’s wrong with public schools but wrong about the solution. When private schools get enough of their financing from vouchers, the establishment will take them over, just like they have taken over our private colleges and France’s Catholic elementary and high schools. Parishes will stop subsidizing parochial schools and the teachers will unionize. It will be as hard to find your kid a kindergarten that shares your values as it is to send your daughter to a college free of the Vagina Monologues.
— D.M. Duggan
Re: The Prowler’s Run, Fred, Run:
Below is the text I recently sent Senator Thompson. It is not remarkable and unfortunately I received no answer from him. But I now say it again.
Dear Senator Thompson:
I know you have retired from political office. I know the costs both monetary and personal of running for election to office.
However, I implore you to run for the Presidency. Our party needs you and more important our nation needs you.
I suppose you may get many communications like this. I am neither a political operative or consultant just another citizen.
Please consider or reconsider the matter. There is a great hole in the party which I feel you can ably and nobly fill. I am reminded of another individual who was a radio political commentator during 1974-1976 after he left office as Governor of California. I see and I think our party will see a great resemblance between the two of you.
Yours very truly,
— David Sonenstein
Las Vegas, Nevada
Re: Mark Tooley’s William Wilberforce Forced Left:
What the religious left fails to realize is that they are aligned with the party of slavery, Jim Crow, segregation and appeasers of Godless tyranny and genocide around the world. Republicans on the other hand liberated the slaves, insured the passage of America’s civil rights laws, rallied to FDR (they could have easily impeached him for Pearl Harbor) to defeat fascism, under Reagan brought down the Evil Empire and today while DemocRATS seek to appease Muslim terrorists and wrongly confer civil liberties on terrorists George W. Bush and the GOP are standing firm in defense of the values of freedom and democracy. If William Wilberforce were alive today he’d be a conservative politician and member of the religious right just as he was in the 19th century.
— Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina
Re: Jim Bono’s and Bob Foster’s letters (under “Betrayal”) and Rolland Miller’s letter (under “Selling Rope”) in Reader Mail’s Wish List Woes:
Jim Bono and Bob Foster (not the former Light Heavyweight Champ, are you?) nailed it, absolutely. Then, there were others with Morality Police attitudes and, methinks, misplaced priorities — those who care more about the extreme religious right’s evangelistic agenda than (1) WINNING wars, (2) shutting borders, (3) cutting government and spending, and (4) getting a real leader with some guts in there, one not afraid to actually shoot some bad guys and maybe even break some things in the process of making this world a safer place.
‘N then there was Mr. Miller’s wimpy approach, expressly designed to flush our country down the toilet even faster than Dubya and his inept bunch in Washington are presently doing?
Still shaking my head in wonderment…
Or is it disgust?
Letter writer Rolland Miller sounds awfully naive for someone his age and being so “worldly.” Clear thinking people know that America would have to be seriously provoked before she would ever unleash her nuclear arsenal because we certainly have a greater appreciation of the consequences. Mr. Miller’s statement that: “Bush has even taken the attitude that if we think you may be dangerous, you will strike with no regard for life.” [sic] is nonsense as is his claim of “millions” of deaths attributable to U.S. forces. America has painstakingly made huge investments in both the development and the deployment of more accurate weapons and tactics in order to minimize unintended casualties. We now have lawyers on the battlefield for heaven’s sake. And if Mr. Miller doesn’t think America practices liberty and freedom then all I can say is lay off the Kool-Aid already, we know the N.Y. Times dispenses it in great quantities, show some restraint.
September 11th 2001 convinced me that we are indeed in a war with elements that are supported in the shadows by governments who by day pretend to be our friends along with those who openly proclaim to be our enemies. Laying down and being passive would only result in the situation we see in Europe and U.K. — radical hate speech against the state, openly issuing death threats to anyone who opposes them and a population so afraid it that it is giving ground to Islamic fascism, and their societies are becoming less westernized and more middle-eastern.
Our intentions no matter how flawed are honorable, Mr. Miller you should wake up!
— John Nelson
I thought about responding to Mr. Miller’s letter, then decided not to bother.
As my grandfather used to say: “Never try to teach a pig to sing. You’ll only waste your time and it annoys the pig.”
— Michael Tobias
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
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