Friday, September 29, 2006

Some Brief Thoughts on Immigration

This isn't normally a topic I delve into for a couple of reasons. First, I readily admit that I don't have as deep an interest in it as I should. Second, and as a likely result of that, there are so many people out there who address the topic far better than I can. One of my favorites is Katie's Dad, who is Unabashedly Unhyphenated. It's worth your time to check him out.

A website that I like is the Trinity Forum, and they send out these regular e-mails and post the same on their website. You can see this week's right here.

After reading this week's piece, I felt compelled to respond. Here's my comments back to the Trinity folks.

"It was Thomas Paine who once said:

'As parents, we can have no joy, knowing that this government is not sufficiently lasting to ensure any thing which we may bequeath to posterity: And by a plain method of argument, as we are running the next generation into debt, we ought to do the work of it, otherwise we use them meanly and pitifully.'

A reason-based objection to lax immigration standards is just this: we are ineffectively administering our current government and its entitlement programs. Given the inequity of our progressive system of taxation and the inability of our elected governors to ascertain independently the relative constitutionality of any specific piece of legislation, adding immigrants to the mix without proper restrictions endangers what most people would agree is the last best hope for mankind: this Republic.

With Liberty in retreat around the world - with some notable exceptions - we have the unique luxury of being able to be selective in who we allow to come to the United States, bearing in mind that assimilation and citizenship should be the natural goals of any immigrants. And, most importantly, that citizenship in the United States is not a civil right, nor a human right, but a honor and privilege to be earned."

Not my most deep analysis, but I think it sums up pretty well my state of mind on the subject. I for one would support closing the borders for some period of time and dealing with the problem we've got before rushing to some ill-conceived "solution." It is our moral obligation to protect that which was paid for with sacrifice and the blood of patriots, after all.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Hon. Ken Starr

I had the pleasure of hearing this gentleman speak at a breakfast meeting this morning, and while the forum wasn't one that lent itself to deep discussion or analysis, I was pleased that in response to questions about Executive power, the Dean did quote Federalist 78 more than once.

Of course, one soul did venture a question about Starr's role as independent Counsel, which pertained to the scope of his inquiry. Rather deftly, he replied that his scope was limited to the accusations of perjury and obstruction of justice.

Hearing Starr speak brought back all sorts of memories of the Clinton fiasco that was his presidency. Got a favorite? Let me hear it.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The American Federalist Party

I've had it up to here (gestures wildly above head) with the state of things in the Republic. Mostly, it's the fault of the people - regular folks like you and me.

See, we've become too selfish as a people. Now, I recognize as plainly as the next person that there is some good that comes from selfishness. For example, the person who lives a good and pious life to please God and reach heaven is being selfish, of course. It is important to focus on the results of our actions, after all, because that's what counts. Suffice it to say that the goodness/motives/results conversation is a long one that we can undertake another time.

When the contributors to this blog found each other at this board and started talking over a year ago, our goal was - and remains - a renewal of this Republic. Through what can only be best described as an iterative process, we sharpened our thinking and made some clear conclusions about where we were, what needed to be done, and what a renewal would look like, over time.

Back to my point: the problem lies with the people. We've been fooled into believing the things that we were taught were true, and been institutionalized by public education and the MSM. Unionized teachers taught me their agendas, which were reinforced by watching the evening news. It wasn't until my mid 20s that I started to see things as they really are, my late 20s when I began to re-teach myself by seeking out material on the subjects that interested me, and not until my early 30s that I started making connections with others who were doing the same. And now, two months into my thirty-fourth year, I find myself looking for the next challenge.

The purpose of this blog - as described early on, if you're interested in going back through the archives - is to educate, first and foremost. When people are aware of how our system of government was created; what it was intended to be; what sustains and invigorates it; what historically has happened to change that and make it less than it was intended to be; and how we can begin returning to the intended functions of our government and the plain meaning of our Constitution, then all that is required is a catalyst. An action. Some event, some person, or some group of people who can plainly say: we know, you know, and now let's act on the truth.

Which naturally led me to the title of this message. Although we've been pleasantly diverted from the point of the blog, I am going to focus on getting back to the heart of the matter. There are two parts, again: education and action. Let us not put the cart before the horse. There is much that needs to be done to educate people on the proper nature of government. You, Dear Reader, will play a part in that. When you read something here that you like, share it with others. When you read something here that you don't agree with, challenge us on it. If we're right, we'll be able to show that. If we're wrong, we'll rethink our ideas.

I do eventually think that there will need to be another choice for voters, which I affectionately think of as the American Federalist Party. You'll probably begin to see us shaping what might be the early stages of a platform. As always, your comments and questions are welcomed. If you have something to say, but do not wish to comment on the blog, you can always e-mail me, or any of us, and we'll do our best to respond thoughtfully and promptly. God bless us all, and make us His instruments.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

But Here's What I Don't Get

First of all, I'm Catholic, which makes me what you might call a conflicted Catholic. I'm down with the Church's stance on the value of life, yet, I object to the moral equivalency on the issue of life. The unborn are innocent; murderers on death row are not. That the Catholic Church fights for both lives bothers me. There is an obvious greater evil, and the resources of the Church should be marshaled against that evil. Once we're not killing babies, let's discuss capital punishment. But not until then. To do otherwise seems to betray a sense of moral confusion. Yes, we can chew gum and walk at the same time, as the argument goes, but this is different.

Furthermore, the Church's stance on "peace and social justice" issues really drives me nuts. Well-documented is the role the Church has played in the illegal immigration issue. Furthermore, the legal plunder that is taking my private property (in the form of taxes) against my will for ill-conceived programs is stealing, pure and simple. Because the federal government is doing it matters not in the least; that the Church supports Congress passing social legislation indicts the Church just the same with that charge. Experience and logic can show that the care of our fellow man is best performed as locally as possible, and forced charity is not charity at all. And again, although I admire the sentiment in my faith that drives people to be concerned about the quality of healthcare for the imprisoned, I beg you: don't speak to me of this until we have forever ended that peculiar "right" to exterminate an unborn baby. Or, "choice" as the left prefers to call them.

Lastly, at least in my Church, the silence has been deafening about the Pope's comments on Islam. Is not faith compatible with reason? Is not the House of the Lord a place where Truth is welcome? Do not the leaders of the Church have an obligation to educate their parishioners? Is it true that Islam is just as valid a religion as Christianity - and if not, why aren't the faithful instructed on the truth?

I suppose the appropriate thing to do is to take up my issues with our priests, and I may yet do so. In the meantime, inquiring minds want to know: regardless of your faith, has the topic of Islam come up in any of your churches, Dear Reader? If so, in what context? If not, am I alone in finding this troubling?

Lastly, come to think of it, I'm acknowledging a past error. I used to call John Kerry a "buffet Catholic" - taking a little of this, a little of that, but hold the pro-life, thankyouverymuch. I suppose upon a candid reflection of my rather inflexible opinions, I am much the same.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I Get It

I now know why the Left loves Islamists. They're so darn charming.

Well, I can understand their rage. I mean, every time the New York Times or the People For the American Way or the Anti Christian Lawyers Union attacks Christians, we burn effigies of lawyers and members of the Sulzberger family, firebomb law offices, and vow that the only thing acceptable will be conversion or death.

Hmmm. Wait, that's not what we do. But do you think they'd respect us if we did?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Rhetorical Question

If jihad and holy war aren't a part of the "real Islam", then why is everyone so upset about this speech? You can read the outrage here, and, well, just about anywhere, for that matter.

It's often called a rhetorical question when you know the answer, folks. But do check out the speech, it's very good.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Impeach Armitage!

A sentiment like this is probably a little absurd to you, Dear Reader, but given the Left's absolute obsession with Valerie Plame and Cheney/Bush/Libby, you'd think the cry would have gone up by now, don't you? I mean, every liberal writer and talking head was certain that the Vice President's office was the source of the leak from Arianna Huffandpout to MessNBC (as Laura Ingraham likes to call the nutwork. Excuse me! Network.)

The Left and the MSM had to be serious about their outrage over the revelation of a CIA agent's identity, right? Didn't they want Cheney to resign or be brought up on charges of treason, or something? Always the principled watchdog, they couldn't have been motivated by partisanship and a hatred of President Bush, could they? Maybe they just haven't heard that the leaker was Armitage, right? (Wait, you're thinking, don't they run the news?)


Was all of that outrage just a partisan charade designed to whip up sentiment against Bush and his Administration?

(Jeopardy music)

Well, folks, I for one am shocked at this revelation. I'm going to start thinking twice about what the MSM says on any given topic. You know, take it with a grain of salt.

The War in Iraq is a Fraud

Very good. Now that I have your attention, kind reader, I'd like to start over...

The War In Iraq is a Colossal Fraud

What are we up to now, twenty-seven thousand dead Americans? Ah, yes, my mistake, hundred, whatever. It's all a scam, anyway. And for what? Secuuuuurrrrityyyyy?? Demmmmocccccracccccyyyyyy???

Please. If I wanted the former, I'd marry rich; and if I wanted the latter, well, I'd go to New Orleans.

Okay, okay, okay. I can tell that you, patient reader, are as mad as the thirteenth cop on Single-Box-of-Donuts Day. Yes, I am getting to my point, and no, I will not take back anything I just said.

I do not wish to deluge you with links to various and sundry source material and citations at this time; life is just too short, and the timer on this republic is probably even shorter. By now, the reader has likely heard or begun to hear about a pair of border patrol agents who have been convicted of heinous acts of unspeakable evil. Fortunately for their victim, all they managed to inflict upon his person is a bullet wound in the buttocks. Believe you me, those two nasty Americans got their cumuppance. Behold...

That's right, ladies and gentlemen. Two United States Border Patrol agents have been convicted of "assault with serious bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon, and discharge of a firearm in relation to a CRIME OF VIOLENCE", just to name a few, and are facing twenty years in prison. This five-star treatment is the reward they get for pursuing and attempting to apprehend an armed Mexican drug smuggler. This conviction brought to you by the good people at the U.S. Department of ... aww, hell, the Federal Fill-in-the-damn-blank.

It is precisely crap like this that leads me to arrive at the conclusions that brought us together today. As you can see, your patience has been rewarded, and with what? An angry dose of reality that might cause you to wonder for yourself just what the hell good we are doing for the republic by fighting a war against Isalmic terrorism, fascism, what have you, seven thousand miles away, when there is something more than a mere ineptitude of border security administration here at home--something that smells more like malicious intent at the level of the Federal government?

And then there's the air marshal debachle...

Disclaimer: I do believe that it is right and well that American boots and American blood is on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan (and, hopefully soon, Iran) for the purposes of bringing justice to the evil and mercy to the seekers of freedom. But, as aforementioned, good reader, for the love of pete...!

Samuel Adams

Monday, September 11, 2006

In Memory of that September Day

I was driving to a work-related meeting probably a couple of months ago, listening to the Laura Ingraham show. It was the day after the 9/11 tapes were released and she played a little bit of the tapes on her show. It brought back in a rush all the feelings of that day five years ago...

I was working at a large downtown Chicago commercial bank, and it was a day like any other. I rode the train in that morning and was settling in for what was shaping up to be a gorgeous early autumn day.

I first heard that a plane had crashed into the WTC from a co-worker, and called home to see if my bride had heard anything about it. Given heavy traffic, our internet was not responding or taking a very long time to load, which in itself was interesting. She was just getting the day started and would call me when she heard anything.

Most speculation was that it was a small passenger plan that had hit the tower - certainly not a commercial aircraft of any kind. On the phone again with my better half not much later, a second plane hit tower 2. By now it was becoming clear that this was not an accident, and our thoughts immediately centered on nearby landmarks - the Sears Tower being the primary one.

People began leaving the office. On the streets, already late morning, there was an eerie sense of desertion. People had decided to get out of the Loop and there were more leaving by the time I was heading home later that morning.

Union Station was wall-to-wall humanity. Word got to the back of the crowd that they were bringing in trains empty as fast as possible, loading them up with people and sending them off. In about 15 minutes, I was on one, and we were off. No ticket takers on this unscheduled early afternoon milk-run.

Back home, with my bride and Peter Jennings, I started to see the images.

Funny, isn't it, that we don't see these images much any more? The media don't trust us, you see, to stay pacified. And an irate American people is dangerous to the survival of the leftist/media agenda.

Soon, we started to learn the story. 19 psychotic Muslims hijacked commercial jetliners with boxcutters, commandeered the aircraft, flew two of them into the WTC, one into the Pentagon (the Pentagon? I remember thinking, is there any place that's safe?), and one, thankfully, crashed into a remote field in Pennsylvania. They - the heroes of Flight 93 - fought back. The people in the towers never got that chance.

Disbelief and shock were the operative words for the remainder of the day. We heard that our Parish would be opening the doors to the Church that evening for people who wanted to come together. We went. For three days, the networks didn't air a single commercial. I remembered all of this. But I forgot the blinding, white-hot rage that I felt as soon as the shock wore off.

In his book Happiness is a Serious Problem, Dennis Prager talks about the lower nature in each of us, and I'm reminded of this when reflecting on that car ride just a couple of months ago, listening to the release of the 9/11 tapes. The old hate was back, and back with a vengence, surprisingly springing tears from my eyes on the way to my meeting. It's a part of my lower nature that I've always struggled with. I pray that God grants me wisdom and grace, that I can continue to control this part of me, my lower nature.

You see, I had forgotten how deeply hurt I was by the attacks. I didn't lose anyone I knew in the attacks, but that doesn't matter much to me. I'm going to open up a little bit here, and if it's harsh, well, my apologies.

There's something about what those SOBs did on 9/11/01 that revolts me to my core. What a cowardly and gutless bunch of bastards, to take people by surprise on a plane, lie to them, and use the plane as a missle. Not surprisingly, as soon as there was a group of people who knew what the situation was like those heroes of Flight 93, they fought back immediately.

That's the nature of our enemy, and we'd do well to remember it. If we forget, if we lose our resolve, they'll remind us. Maybe it'll be like the Belsan school next time. Or maybe they'll shoot up a big crowd, like the nut in Seattle who did so at the offices of the Jewish Federation, but just on a bigger scale.

Let's all try and remember who started this fight, and vow anew who is going to finish it. Take five minutes today, please, and remember what it felt like after the shock wore off. What it felt like when we found out what they did, and how they did it. If you have kids who are too young to understand, write down everything you can remember about that day five years ago - God knows that when they're in high school reading about American history (right after the 15 pages dedicated to Marilyn Monroe and Elvis and the 20 pages on how Bill Clinton "saved the Constitution") they're going to need to hear the truth.

Footnote: Yesterday at Mass, the elderly priest who served the 8:00 crowd remarkably, unbelieveably, shockingly was alluding to our actions and those of "corrupt corporations" as the cause of 9/11. I sat, jaw on the floor, through the rest of his homily. Just goes to show how even the moral can become morally confused.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Alexander Hamilton: Brad Pitt is a Giant Idiot

AP and Reuters headlines often crack me up, like this one... Brad Pitt: I'll marry when everyone can.

I considered entitling this post, "Alexander Hamilton: Brad Pitt is Mentally Retarded" except upon further insepction this is an insult to the mentally retarded: the mentally retarded actually use their brains, just slower than most.

But I guess that's where we're at today. The media takes it's cues on morality from vain sissy boys who put on little girl's plays and have illegitimate children. What I'm dying to know is what this Mensa-member thinks of the Hamdan decision.

There is no more radical idea espoused by the left - none - than the redefinition of marriage. It's never been considered in the history of humankind, and God help us if we ever decide as a society to allow liberals to work their social experiments on us. We'll have people marrying multiple partners, people marrying their cats, God knows what.

I've said it before in this space: what party is it that consistently attacks the family, the very foundation of a self-governing people and the necessary component of a functional federal representative republic? Three guesses folks, and the first two don't count.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Alex Update

Hey Dear Reader, it's been a while, hasn't it?

What can I say, I've been busy. Work remains priority #2, following family, and it's been hectic. But, #2 feeds #1, so I'm making hay. Before I get hammered with "where's religion on that list?" let me say that faith is such an integral part of my everyday life that I would just as soon rank "breathing", "eating", or "brushing my teeth" if you see where I'm going here. My hobbies - this here blog, for one - rank somewhere down the list.

I've read a short book, Happiness is a Serious Problem by Dennis Prager, one of my favorite radio personalities. I've started Godless by You-Know-Who, and already she had me laughing out loud at her comments.

Some recent observations...

Robert Novak seems to be less pessimistic about the GOP's chances in the November elections. What was deemed a sure loss of both the House and the Senate before recess now seems more in doubt. Which means the GOP won't lose both, and if they get their message right in the next 2 months, won't lose either.

The Administration has done a nice job recently in framing the discussion on our necessary involvement in Iraq. Bin Laden himself pictures it as the capital of the caliphat, lest any Demos think that Iraq has nothing to do with the War on Terror.

Hope y'all had a good Labor Day holiday. I'll try and post again before Monday, when I'll have some thoughts to share. Until then, be good and do good.