Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Latino Conservative

As I was researching my post about immigration, I came across this site: Latino Issues.
Latino Issues is a conservative blog covering news items that relate to immigration, ethnicity, integration, language, culture, and moral values and how they relate to immigrants and citizens alike.
You will be especially interested in The Challenge of Being an Immigrant Talking About Illegal Immigration.

Gate Crasher Worker Program

Previously on Pat's Rick© Says. . .
I had posted about free speech. Does that include the "right" of illegal aliens to protest their illegality? Do the benefits of citizenship belong to anybody just because they are in the U.S. by whatever means? As Cal Thomas asks whose country is this?

A "guest worker" provision for those already here might work, but there should be restrictions on how long they can stay and a requirement that they return home before applying for legal admittance. Accompanied by much tighter control of our borders, such an approach would be in America's best interests. And could we please put this country's best interests first for a change?

Yesterday, I linked to a column by Thomas Sowell, but did not quote from it. I am correcting that now:

Immigration is yet another issue which we seem unable to discuss rationally -- in part because words have been twisted beyond recognition in political rhetoric.

We can't even call illegal immigrants "illegal immigrants." The politically correct evasion is "undocumented workers."

Do American citizens go around carrying documents with them when they work or apply for work? Most Americans are undocumented workers but they are not illegal immigrants. There is a difference.

The sequel is equally good.

What about all those illegal workers that we "need"? Many of the illegals are working in agriculture, producing crops that have been in chronic surplus for decades. These surplus crops are costing the American taxpayers billions of dollars in government storage costs and in the inflated prices created by deliberately keeping much of this agricultural output off the market.
In California, surplus crops grown and harvested by illegal immigrants are often also subsidized by federal water projects which charge the farmers in dry California valleys far less than the cost to the government of providing that water -- and a fraction of what people in Los Angeles or San Francisco pay for the same amount of water.
For too long, we have bought the argument that being unfortunate entitles you to break the law. The consequence has been disastrous, whether the people allowed to get away with breaking the law are Americans or foreigners.

An unfortunate side effect of our failed immigration policy has been the loss of a national identity. Once upon a time people made great sacrifices in order to become citizens of the United States of America. Now people protest for the right to remain in the U.S. illegally, reaping the benefits of the country with no desire to "become" a United States citizen. We have all manner of hyphenated Americans: Italian-American, Greek-American, African-American, Mexican-American, etc. Gone are the days when people struggled to reach America and carve out a new identity. Now they want to retain their old identity and cling to the old systems that they tried to leave.

Kathleen Parker and I do not always agree, but in this article, we do.

There's nothing like the sight of 500,000 protesters on U.S. turf, demanding rights in Spanish while waving Mexican flags, to stir Americans from their siestas.
In Los Angeles, the iconic phrase may be "Si se puede," but in Muncie, it's "What the ... ?"
Suddenly, in the flash of a newscast, polite political debate about guest worker programs visually morphed into what seemed like a full-blown invasion.

And again:

Let's just say that convincing others of one's desire to become an American citizen would be more effective if one were to do so in English - while waving an American flag. Just imagine how welcome 500,000 bubbas waving American flags and chanting, "Hell no, we won't go," would be in Mexico City.
I grew up in Florida with Cubans as my closest friends, and my stepfather is Mexican - a legal immigrant who came to this country at age 16 to attend medical school.

I am, in other words, an unapologetic Hispanophile.
Before I bleed to death or start writing poetry, let me balance this romantic view of the illegal immigrant with another nugget: About 27 percent of all inmates in the federal prison system are criminal aliens, according to government figures. Then again, millions of illegals who are otherwise law-abiding people have lived here for 10-20 years, buying houses, attending parent-teacher meetings and giving birth to native-born Americans.

Although there seems no simple solution to such a complex issue, two nagging thoughts persist: (1) The right to protest was a gift from America's Founding Fathers to the nation's citizens, ergo, non-citizens should protest in their own countries; and (2) the purpose of the legislative branch of government is to pass laws that serve the best interests of the nation's citizens.

I have written to both of my Senators and my Representative to do some serious looking at this issue. But, as Kathleen observed,

The question of what to do with some 11 million to 20 million illegal immigrants already living and working in this country may be too problematic for mere politicians.

What do you think?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Let's Talk About Immigration

Let's start with this:  We have an immigration problem because people WANT to come here.
For all the America-bashing by the left, the fact remains that this IS the land of opportunity.  If life here were not more attractive than life there, nobody would leave their home to come to America.  So it is good that life in America is desirable.  Great.  Wonderful. 
And it is good for America to have a legal flow of these immigrants because they will know better than those hot house inculcated liberals that life in America is WAY better than life anywhere else.  Our "poor" have a standard of living higher than most of the rest of the world.  We need the fresh blood to remind us of the benefits of our way of life.  Great.  Wonderful.
Here's the problem:  We have a system for people to legally become American citizens.  We have a system for people to legally visit the United States as a student or worker.  These are legal methods.  That is in contradistinction to illegal methods.  It is a violation of federal law to enter the U.S. without following the procedures.  Thomas Sowell has an excellent article about the difference between legal and illegal. defines illegal thusly:

Prohibited by law.
Prohibited by official rules: an illegal pass in football.
Unacceptable to or not performable by a computer: an illegal operation.
An illegal immigrant.
What is it about "illegal" that is so difficult to understand.  "Undocumented" does not mean "illegal".  "Guest worker" would imply that this is someone you have invited.  Again, look at's definition of "guest"(noun):

One who is a recipient of hospitality at the home or table of another.
One to whom entertainment or hospitality has been extended by another in the role of host or hostess, as at a party.
One who pays for meals or accommodations at a restaurant, hotel, or other establishment; a patron.
A distinguished visitor to whom the hospitality of an institution, city, or government is extended.
A visiting performer, speaker, or contestant, as on a radio or television program.
Zoology. A commensal organism, especially an insect that lives in the nest or burrow of another species.
Only the last comes anywhere near describing the illegal immigrant.
We need to address the issue of illegal immigration the same way we address the issue of illegal parking, illegal withdrawal of funds from a bank (aka "robbing"), illegal transporting of someone across state lines (aka "kidnapping"), and other illegal activities.  Or else we need to grant amnesty to these violations as well.
 I am all for immigration - just not illegal immigration.

Friday, March 24, 2006

It's Called Free Speech

At a meeting in Wheeling West Virginia, a military spouse posed this question:
This is my husband, who has returned from a 13-month tour in Tikrit.
. . .
His job while serving was as a broadcast journalist. And he has brought back several DVDs full of wonderful footage of reconstruction, of medical things going on. And I ask you this from the bottom of my heart, for a solution to this, because it seems that our major media networks don't want to portray the good. They just want to focus -- (applause) --
. . .
Q They just want to focus on another car bomb, or they just want to focus on some more bloodshed, or they just want to focus on how they don't agree with you and what you're doing, when they don't even probably know how you're doing what you're doing anyway. But what can we do to get that footage on CNN, on FOX, to get it on headline news, to get it on the local news? Because you can send it to the news people -- and I'm sorry, I'm rambling -- like I have --
THE PRESIDENT: So was I, though, for an hour. (Laughter.)
Q -- can you use this, and it will just end up in a drawer, because it's good, it portrays the good. And if people could see that, if the American people could see it, there would never be another negative word about this conflict.
The applause was thunderous and spontaneous. Her question came from the heart and echoed the sentiments of many. I thought the President's answer was particularly good.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I appreciate that. (Applause.) No, it -- that's why I come out and speak. I spoke in Cleveland, gave a press conference yesterday -- spoke in Cleveland Monday, press conference, here today. I'm going to continue doing what I'm doing to try to make sure people can hear there's -- why I make decisions, and as best as I can, explain why I'm optimistic we can succeed.

One of the things that we've got to value is the fact that we do have a media, free media, that's able to do what they want to do. And I'm not going to -- you're asking me to say something in front of all the cameras here. (Laughter.) Help over there, will you? (Laughter.)

I just got to keep talking. And one of the -- there's word of mouth, there's blogs, there's Internet, there's all kinds of ways to communicate which is literally changing the way people are getting their information. And so if you're concerned, I would suggest that you reach out to some of the groups that are supporting the troops, that have got Internet sites, and just keep the word -- keep the word moving. And that's one way to deal with an issue without suppressing a free press. We will never do that in America. I mean, the minute we start trying to suppress our press, we look like the Taliban. The minute we start telling people how to worship, we look like the Taliban. And we're not interested in that in America. We're the opposite. We believe in freedom. And we believe in freedom in all its forms. And obviously, I know you're frustrated with what you're seeing, but there are ways in this new kind of age, being able to communicate, that you'll be able to spread the message that you want to spread.

While I am certain that the President is just as frustrated as many of us about the lack of balance in the reporting about the war, he is committed to freedom. Did you notice that? "I mean, the minute we start trying to suppress our press, we look like the Taliban. The minute we start telling people how to worship, we look like the Taliban. And we're not interested in that in America. " Here is a man committed to principle.

You can read the whole transcript here. You can see a video of it here.

Monday, March 20, 2006

What Social Security Surplus?

You probably know that Social Security is in jeopardy. Presidents from Clinton forward have acknowledged that.
What you might not know is that there is a current surplus. However, it is largely imaginary.
President Clinton gives the impression he is committed to saving future Social Security surpluses and not using them to finance other spending or tax cuts. But his actual five-year budget does the opposite. Over the next five years for which the President has submitted an explicit budget he proposes to divert more than $30 billion of Social Security surpluses to finance a variety of other forms of government spending. His claim that this will be made up sometime after those five years is not backed by details. That's one reason why we favor a Social Security reform that would transfer some of these surpluses into individual investment accounts. Although using budget surpluses to build up such accounts would not buy back government debt explicitly, they would add directly to national saving just as they would if they remained in the Social Security trust fund. And by taking the funds away from the government and putting them into individual accounts, the government's temptation and the ability to spend those funds would be eliminated.
The current Social Security system allows Congress to spend the Social Security surplus on other government programs. The surplus now only consists of IOU’s stacked in a vault in West Virginia.
Senators Jim DeMint and Mike Crapo introduced an amendment to stop the raiding of Social Security. Unfortunately, that measure failed. It is not surprising that the Democrats voted against it. What is more surprising is that a number of Republicans did. The upset votes are:
You may recognize these names as having previously been called RINO (Republican in Name Only). Now you know why. And you may wonder about George Voinovich. He did not vote.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Employers Who Deserve Our Support

I recently received an eMail touting Sear's stance in providing the difference between active military pay and the employee's salary and continuing to keep health benefits in place for their employees who are fighting the War on Terror. I checked with and Snopes, both of whom verify the story. It turns out that several other employers (including Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney, and BestBuy) also provide good benefits.
Yes, I said Wal-Mart. You know, that cold-hearted company that keeps prices low and employs many part-time workers. That company vilified by the American left because they don't pay a "living wage".
Go figure.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Left Libels Luminaries

In an outrageous ad, DefCon (The Campaign to Defend the Constitution) tries to smear James Dobson and two other religious leaders. You can tell why in the last paragraph of the ad:
Dobson, Reed and Sheldon have formed an unholy alliance with the Bush Administration to wage war against our Constitution, to intrude in our personal lives. They led the fight to involve government in the Terry Schiavo case. They’re among the leading opponents of stem cell research. All the time, they must have been betting they wouldn’t get caught taking their thirty pieces of silver and selling out the millions who believed in them. They were wrong.
Dr. Dobson has already responded. You can let him know how you feel here.
Of course, hypocrisy is one thing with which the left is familiar. But that all depends on the meaning of "is".

Monday, March 06, 2006

More on the Ports

In a previous post, I mentioned that the Port Authority at the ports has operational control.  I intended to link to those Port Authorities, but did not.  Here are the links.
Oh, and for those who might want to nit-pick, there is also a Port of Vancouver, USA.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Any Port in a Storm

The Democrat opposition to the Dubai Ports World acquition of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company seems to be fairly principled. The principle is: Whatever Bush Does is Wrong. OK, I get that.

Harder to understand is the opposition by many Republicans and Conservative pundits. Perhaps it is fueled by rhetoric like this:

Our Government is selling control of six major U.S. Ports to a company owned by the United Arab Emirates.

See more at Stop the Port Deal.

There are several problems in just the above statement:
  1. The government is not selling anything. The stockholders of P&O authorized the sale of their container shipping operations to Dubai Ports World.
  2. Nobody is selling control of the ports. The Coast Guard retains authority over port security, just like they did when P&O owned the shipping operation. The local Port Authority of each port retains control of the operations.
  3. Only five of the ports in question are U.S. ports. The complete list follows: Vancouver, Newark (If you count New York and New Jersey separately, you get six. But it is the Port of Newark), Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami.

I can understand some of the confusion because the players seem intermingled. If you follow the links I provide here, you will see what I mean. A principal subsidiary of P&O is P&O Ports. According to their web site,

P&O Ports is the container terminal operator and stevedore of choice for many shipping lines and marine consortia.

They, in turn have port operations around the world. If you click on the North America symbol, you will see the six ports that are part of the deal. The head of the division is Robert Woods. Note from his biography:
In 1971 he joined P&O General Cargo Division and transferred to Overseas Containers Limited (later P&O Containers Limited) in 1980, heading the Company's Gulf headquarters in Dubai. Returning to the United Kingdom in 1984 he was appointed General Manager of the Far East Trade. Two years later he became Trade Director of the Australia / New Zealand Service. In 1989 he was appointed Joint Managing Director and a year later became sole Managing Director of P&O Containers Limited.
In January 2004 he became Chief Executive of P&O Steam Navigation Company, retaining direct executive responsibility for P&O Ports and at the same time relinquishing his position as Group Managing Director of P&O Nedlloyd Container Line. He is Chairman of Tilbury Container Service (TCS) and Southampton Container Terminal (SCT).

Note that he headed P&O's Gulf headquarters in Dubai. Also note that Dubai is not a country. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country, of which Dubai is an emirate (administrative division), along with Abu Zaby (Abu Dhabi), 'Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Ash Shariqah (Sharjah), Ra's al Khaymah, and Umm al Qaywayn. The Capitol of UAE is Abu Dhabi.

Now it gets a little confusing, because there is a P&O Ports North America that shows a number of ports on the Eastern seaboard of the US. At first I wondered about that, then I noticed that five of the six above ports are listed (in fact, there are separate dots for New York and New Jersey). However, P&O has a joint venture called Port Newark Container Terminal (PNCT). P&O has merged with A.P. Moeller-Maersk (a Danish company) as part of a reorganization which led to the sale of the terminal operations. If you visit the Dubai Ports World home page and wait long enough, you will see a Maersk container being processed.

Some of the criticism of the deal cites the UAE failure to recognize Israel. This is strange, in light of the fact that an Israeli company, Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd, has said they have good relationships with Ports World.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The chairman of Israel's largest shipping firm has strongly backed a deal that would give a United Arab Emirates-based shipping company control of several U.S. port terminals, while another GOP leader expressed strong opposition.
"During our long association with DP World, we have not experienced a single security issue in these ports or in any of the terminals operated by DP World," Ofer said in a letter written February 22. "We are proud to be associated with DP World and look forward to working with them into the future."

So it would seem that the one country in the region that would know about terrorist ties has no problem with the deal. The "strongly backed" link above connects to a letter written to Senator Hillary Clinton by the CEO of Zim, Idan Ofer. In the letter he stresses security:
“As an Israeli company, security is of the utmost importance to us and we require rigorous security measures from terminal operators in every country in which we operate, but especially in Arab countries. And we are very comfortable calling at DP World's Dubai ports.”

So, if the Israeli's have no problem with security, why would we?

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Anti-Cindy

Not all moms who lost a son or daughter in Iraq garner media attention. 
Remember the template.  The exempt media promotes stories that will bring down the U.S. and exalt our enemies.  Here is a story that you haven't seen on national TV:  Pro-military mom silenced by aminstream media.
Visit the Military Families United website for more details.