Friday, November 27, 2015

Unlimited Immigration is the Enemy of Freedom and Prosperity

The most recent winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics is Angus Deaton, a British-American Princeton economist known for his focus on data to explain sources of economic growth.  In his book, The Great Escape, he attempts to explain why some nations escaped the grinding poverty that has been the condition of most of mankind since the dawn of history.  In my opinion, part of the trick is asking the question properly, not "Why are so many nations so poor?" but "What sets the rich nations apart that they escaped poverty?"  In The Great Escape he summarizes the answer:
Perhaps the best answer is that poor countries lack the institutions—government capacity, a functioning legal and tax system, security of property rights, and traditions of trust—that are a necessary background for growth to take place.
Ronald Bailey notes in his review that this explanation, while well supported by the facts, doesn't explain why some countries have these institutions; just that they are important.  I believe that the European culture which combined both Greek and Christian tradition provided the societal stability and freedom of inquiry to produce a stable society that valued the innovation adequately to reap its benefits.  Whether or not I am correct, we can still look at the world and see which countries have adopted or are adopting similar cultural values to ours which allowed us to escape poverty.

This matters to the immigration and refugee questions.  As a nation, it is our right to ask for and the duty of our leaders to implement policies that benefit the citizens of our nation.  Unrestricted immigration from countries that don't share our values undermines our prosperity.  When I look at the so-called "Syrian" refugee crisis; I see two key sets of facts.  First, the refugees seem to be neither Syrian nor refugees, in large part.  Second, even when legitimate, they come from a society that doesn't share our values.  Contra Obama, there are no shared universal values.  If there were, there would be democracies all over the Arab world.

With regards to immigration from Latin America; the main sources of migrants continue to be from countries with little respect for the rule of law.  It is not coincidental, that as Mexico has improved its internal governance through reform, the number of migrants from Mexico has declined.  Now, dictatorships trans-shipping people through Mexico are increasingly the problem.

On twitter, someone compared the so-called Syrian refugees to the Jews we admitted during World War II.  For brevity, my response was that the Jews were culturally European and therefor worthy of admission.  In other words, they were ready to support and understand our institutions, security of property rights and "traditions of trust" in ways that Syrians are sadly incapable of.

We should limit immigration based on country of origin in order to not dilute the cultural underpinnings of our society.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Thoughts on Paris - From Someone Who Remembers Pearl Harbor

My Dad was old enough to remember Pearl Harbor and its effect on this nation.  After the Paris atrocities, he said some things that seem like such common sense, but in an age of uncommon stupidity, they need to be said.

From Pops:
My wife had just read The Fall of Japan and we were having a discussion with Dean about our feeling over the dropping of the bomb.  I told him that the number of people killed at Hiroshima meant nothing to us [Americans].  Our only thoughts were a giant sigh of relief and “its over, we won’t be getting any more telegrams.”  Those telegrams always started, “We regret to inform you that your son has been killed ...”  Each telegram sent a shock wave of grief through our community. 
Pearl Harbor was vivid in our memories and I think there was a feeling of “you finally got what you asked for,” though I never heard it expressed exactly that way.  The remembrance of the announcement of Pearl Harbor is still vivid in my mind 76 years later.  On that day, our family was going to a funeral in Fremont and the newsboys on the corners were shouting the news.  As a boy, I didn’t really know what it was all about but there was still a feeling in my mind of “We’ll get you guys for this.” 
Several years ago I heard a commentator pontificating on the use of the atom bomb on the Japanese.  It may have been Mike Wallace.  He said that the number killed at Hiroshima shocked the American consciences and is etched on our psyche to this day.  I could only think, “Fella, you weren’t there for Pearl Harbor or the telegrams.  You never felt the pain.” 
What brings this up now is that the attacks on Paris is their Pearl Harbor.  Their feeling and those of much of the rest of the world must be no different from ours on that Sunday in December.  I don’t think the number of ISIS killed in retaliation will grieve any Frenchman or leave a mark on their psyche.  I was glad to see our president declare war on Japan.  I wonder how long it will be before our media and our leaders realize that we are in a war and it must be treated as such.  Will it take a Paris in America to wake them up?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Thanks To My Nation - From a Veteran

As many of you know, I am a veteran.  The amount of attention given to veterans on this day has grown over the years, to the point that some on the left object to it.  Dean has a great post deconstructing leftist objections to Veteran's Day here; predictably the left's objection include the specter of RacismTM.

For myself, sometimes the attention is a little embarrassing, because I feel so blessed to have served and benefited from my service.  Today, I say thank you to my country for the opportunity to serve and for the benefits I received.  Here is a short list that pertains to me:
  • I received a first rate education in Annapolis and in Monterey.
  • I made life-long friendships with some great Americans.
  • I was trained to perform challenging and demanding missions on behalf of my nation.
  • I received fair compensation and benefits.
  • I retired with a good pension and benefits.
  • I can point with pride to my service.
These benefits came about because I serve a nation that values the defense our veterans have provided and continue to provide.  I am happy that my country thanks me, but I must thank my country in turn.

God bless the United States of America.

United States Flag design as it existed on November 11, 1918.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Oorah! USMC Birthday

Happy Birthday to the Marine Corps of the United States of America!  The oil painting pictured above is described on Wikipedia as:
New Providence Raid, March 1776 Oil painting on canvas by V. Zveg, 1973, depicting Continental Sailors and Marines landing on New Providence Island, Bahamas, on 3 March 1776. Their initial objective, Fort Montagu, is in the left distance. Close off shore are the small vessels used to transport the landing force to the vicinity of the beach.
This was the first battle in which the Continental Marines, later to become the U.S. Marine Corps, took part and set the precedent for daring amphibious assault that became one of the hallmarks of the Corps.  A good retelling is located on Military History Now.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Paying Tribute to Veterans at Mount Soledad

I spent the morning at Mt. Soledad Veteran's Memorial with men from my church.  If you live in San Diego or ever pass through, you should definitely visit the site; it is one of the gems of the city.

Today, we paid tribute to veterans we knew and talked about their lives and how service to their country was an integral part.  I was struck at how members of the World War 2 generation, were and still are reticent about their war experiences.  Certainly, war is always horrible, regardless of the technology used to fight; but it seems that men are much more willing to discuss what happened today.  I am not passing judgement on this, just an observation.

I was also struck but how unspoken our assumptions about military service are.  There are many motives for signing up, but in our nation, we have traditionally believed that serving in the military served a higher calling; because our nation is, was and always will be a beacon for good.  We exercise our freedom of religion, but collectively believe that our national belief in a good and just God makes us a nation worth defending.

Such concepts are under assault by the left on a daily basis, especially on our campuses.  The ease with which College Insurrection produces clickable headlines for conservatives has to do with the outrageous way that the left behaves on campus.  (Today's headline: University cuts Pledge of Allegiance from Veterans Day Chapel. Short rebuttal: Faith and patriotism have always been linked.)  If those of us who cherish our liberty and the cultural conditions that produced limited, constitutional government continue to lose the culture wars, then military service will be dead.  Freedom for our nation will be dead as well.

The good news is that the left always lies and their dogma makes no sense.  The bad news is that they are influencing the culture successfully.  We are heirs to two millennia of intellectual tradition and greatness.  To lose when holding such a winning hand would be ludicrous; but is possible.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Fences Prove Popular

Who'd a thunk it?  Hungarian President is restoring his party's standing by building fences and closing off Hungary's southern border to so-called refugees. 
With an anti-immigrant campaign and razor-wire border fence Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has reversed a slide in his party's popularity, emerging at home as a winner in the crisis that has divided Europe.
The fence seems to work as well:

I won't support any Republican Presidential candidate that won't build a fence on the southern border.  This is within our ability.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

White Working Class Death Rates and The Culture

I already posted about the increase in the death rate among middle-aged white people without college degrees and its tie to immigration.  Heartiste has done a great job in summarizes all of the causes behind the statistic:
Think about the ingredients of a happy life: 
Family — destroyed by welfare, feminism, gogrrl careerism, obesity, and sinking earnings for working class men.
Community — destroyed by population density and Diversity™.
Work — destroyed by open borders, automation, and oligarchic greed.
Faith — destroyed by SCALE-induced materialism and noblesse malice.
The working poor and less-educated need these four pillars, perhaps more than effete SWPLs do, to feel like their lives have purpose. Instead, malignant elements in our ruling class have done everything in their power to knock those pillars over and smash them to dust.
SWPL = Stuff White People Like, but has become a term of derision for effete college-educated whites who identify as liberal as long as they never have to encounter an actual black man.

The lack of faith, as evidenced by rampant materialism, is driving down birth rates, which in turn become a source of depression.  We see this most rampantly in Germany, which despite being an economic engine of Europe now, won't remain so for long with a fertility rate of 1.4 (well below replacement of 2.1) and a mere 8.2 children born per 1,000 inhabitants over the last five years.  It is not coincidental that Germans are gutting churches to make room for Muslim immigrants.