I. The Liberal Mind, Part II. 1. The liberals are all worked up over Arizona's new immigration law. President Obama called the law "irresponsible" and "misguided." But his Attorney General, Eric Holder, is considering challenging the law in court. Never mind that the health (lives even), welfare and property of American citizens are being threatened by Mexican drug cartels - a group that the Mexican government cannot even control. So instead of acting as the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, the Attorney General instead wants to challenge a state law that seeks to enforce a federal law that he will not enforce! As long as we are clear on that.
The liberal media is all in a tizzy about Arizona's law also. Richard Cohen (in the 4/27/10 Investor's Business Daily) opined that "the people of Arizona are not totally crazy. They are merely misguided and scared." He is amazed that 70% of the people of Arizona support the law. He says there is a better way to deal with the immigration problem, but does not tell us what that might be. Instead, he recognizes the "scream of pain and anger from a constituency that has seen immigration laws turn meaningless and the impotence of the government flaunted on a daily basis." Mr. Cohen is obviously a rarity among his fellow liberals - he actually acknowledges that a problem exists! And, by inference at least, recognizes a difference between legal and illegal immigrants.
One Linda Greenhouse, a columnist for nytimes.com and a lecturer at Yale Law School, does not even see the issue of legal vs. illegal. She notes that the Arizona law makes it a trespass to be present on any public or private property while lacking authority to be in the U.S. She refers to it as the crime of "breathing while undocumented." That is one way to look at it. Another way is that the Feds will not enforce the law that says if you want to come here you must do so legally (follow certain procedures). Basically, the Feds (and I blame both parties) have ignored the laws and have followed a de facto open borders policy. So what if EVERY state made it illegal to BE in that state without authorization obtained through federal immigration laws. Then the states could do the job the Feds refuse to do. After all, if it's illegal to come here improperly, should it not be illegal to stay here improperly?
Even the LA Times got it partly right. After refering to the Arizona law as "wrongheaded" in their 4/16/10 editorial, they acknowledge the "state's sense of abandonment by Washington..." The bottom line is that we are in fact a nation of immigrants. But those of us on the right can still differentiate between right and wrong, and legal and illegal. Every other country - including Mexico - enforces their immigration laws. Why can't we? If the laws need to be amended, then so be it. Otherwise, our elected officials should vote to abolish all the immigration laws and acknowledge that anyone and everyone may come here without limitation.
2. "Any Faith Can Become Violent." So was the title of an opinion piece in the 4/19/10 USA Today by Philip Jenkins. Not surprisingly, Mr. Jenkins is a professor - at both Penn State and Baylor Universities. As you may have guessed from the title, he is telling us how any religion, not just Islam, can cause people to behave badly. He takes us back to the time of the Roman Empire to demonstrate just how badly Christians have behaved. Frankly, as a Jew, I only have to go back to the Holocaust to know how badly Christians can behave. But that's not the point either. The point is that radical islamists are the ones using their religion as an excuse to act badly TODAY. Not 70 years ago, not centuries ago, but today. We do live in today, do we not? We do not need a professor to tell us that "any religion can be used to justify savagery and extremism." We cannot change the past. We need to deal with the here and now - and not make excuses for islamic terror. Who is threatening to kill the producers of South Park? Christians? Jews? Hindus? No, it is muslims who take ANY comments they do not like as an insult to their religion or their honor - and any insult warrants the DEATH PENALTY! So let's stop making excuses for people who give such little value to human life.
3. "Yes, I Love Taxes." This was the title of a 4/15/10 opinion piece in the USA Today by a Rich Benjamin. He thinks it is "unpatriotic to demonize the funding of our government." He says he is "proud and glad" to pay his taxes. Nowhere is there any discussion of the tremendous fraud and waste in government spending. Nowhere is there any discussion of whether certain activities are best left to the private sector and not to government. Nowhere does he talk about the corruption of elected officials such as Harry Reid - who used my tax dollars to bribe Senators to vote for the healthcare bill. Does he think Senator Reid was being "patriotic" when he used tax dollars in that fashion? He does, however, make one particularly good point. He notes that "paying taxes makes real my commitment to a functioning America." Too bad he did not use that point to criticize our current income tax structure which allows 40% of Americans to NOT pay taxes. How do those Americans get their sense of "commitment?" Or do those people just get a sense of "entitlement?"
4. "Can We Live Too Long?" Such is the title of an opinion piece by Gregory Rodriguez in the 4/19/10 LA Times. He notes that by 2050 25% of Americans will be 65or older, and 20 million will be 85 or older and 1 million over 100. He discusses how Japan already has 25% of its population over age 65. He mentions the "loneliness and ennui" of the elderly population in Japan, and even increased rates of suicide in that same group. His discussion focuses on the societal problems related to an increasingly elderly population. And no doubt about it, there are significant problems. But do we look at it only through those social lenses? Are there moral and religious issues to be considered also? Or should we just get prepared for the "death panels?"
II. Obama vs Israel, Part III. We already know that our President is more concerned with Jewish homes in Jerusalem than nuclear weapons in Tehran. We already know that he has adopted the leftist propaganda that Israeli housing in the West Bank are all "illegal settlements" in "occupied" land. His latest announcement is that the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian problem is now a "vital national security interest of the United States." The basis for this lie is the same as that told in "The Israel Lobby," the anti-Israel and anti-semitic diatribe by professors Walt and Mearsheimer: that Israel is no longer an asset/ally of the United States but rather is a liability. The lie that says all the problems and tensions in the arab and muslim worlds are due to the conflict between Israel and the palestinians. I will not repeat why that is simply untrue (refer to earlier blogs).
The significance is Obama's declaring the conflict to be of vital US interest. Such a declaration warrants the US imposing a resolution to the conflict; and we know which side Obama will favor in any imposed settlement. According to Aaron Klein, as reported in the 4/8/10 Jewish Press, "the US has been negotiating with Israel on behalf of the PA, assuming all palestinian positions and bargaining with Israel from the palestinian side." According to Klein, unnamed sources in the Israeli government said such behavior by the US is unprecedented.
A point that this writer has frequently made was recently stated by Moshe Ya'alon, Strategic Affairs Minister of Israel. He asked: "If we are talking about coexistence and peace, why the (palestinian) insistence that the territory they receive be ethnically cleansed of Jews?" Why indeed? Or is this a type of ethnic cleansing with which Obama will see no problem? It's just the Jews, and Obama's people are the...muslims?
And what about the real threat to vital national security interests of the US - Iranian nukes. Recently, a top secret memo by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to National Security Advisor General James Jones was leaked to the press. Apparently, Gates was complaining about US lack of preparedness for a military response to Iran in the event diplomacy and sanctions fail. As noted before, diplomacy has failed and sanctions have and will continue to fail. The obvious conclusion, therefore, is that Obama has accepted the fact of Iranian nukes. Clearly, he is not concerned about our security, and definitely not about Israel's security.
Meanwhile, Steve Walz reported in the 4/21/10 Jewish Press that the Israeli Air Force nearly attacked a Syrian arms convoy along the Lebanese border. Supposedly, the atack was called off to allow US and Israeli diplomats a chance to dissuade Syria from providing advanced missles to Hezbollah. Israel allegedly got a message to Assad that if Hezbollah launched the Scud missiles against Israel, Israel would bomb Syria "back to the Stone Age." At least some in the Israeli government believe that Netanyahu is rapidly running out of time to decide on a stirke on Iran. Dr. Aryeh Eldad, a member of the Knesset and National Union party, opined that "the only way for Israel to prevent a war with Lebanon and Syria is to show it has a real deterrence capability and that deterrence should be represented by a strike against Iranian nuclear sites." He goes on that "the lack of an aggressive American strategy has put Israel on a direct collision course with the Iranian regime." Instead, Obama thinks that if the US reduces (and eventually gives up) its nuclear arsenal, then others will do the same. But, as pointed out by Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, there is "no historical basis" for Obama's belief. The US nuclear arsenal has been reduced by 80% since the end of the Cold War, yet China has increased their nuclear arsenal, and India and Pakistan and North Korea have all joined the nuclear club since then. (From an opinion piece in the 4/13/10 USA Today.) But as I have frequently noted, Obama is a liberal, and liberals do not need to comport their beliefs with reality.