Thursday, March 30, 2006

Good News, Bad News

Laurie over at Soldiers’ Angels New York has agreed to do an interview at Basil’s Blog. Here’s your chance to find out everything you wanted to know about Laurie but never asked… I’m working on my questions!

Best news of the day: Journalist Jill Carroll Released in Iraq. Ms. Carroll was held captive for 82 days. One wonders how an individual summons the strength to survive such an ordeal. Even though Ms. Carroll took great pains to let us know she was not mistreated in any way, the mere knowledge her captors had threatened to kill her “within 72 hours” if their demands weren’t met just had to be terrifying. Kidnappers in that part of the world have a track record of delivering on their threats. We’re all glad she’s safe.

Worst news of the day: Republicans face a deeply divisive “wedge issue” in the immigration debate. As if we needed another damned issue to divide, rather than unite us. (When I say “we,” I’m speaking of both Republicans and little “c” conservatives.) Dubya’s at a low ebb in the polls, the general perception is the war is going badly (note I said perception, not reality), Abrahamoff/Cunningham, wiretapping, and on and on. On the one side we have the rabble-rousers like Michelle Malkin and her acolytes screaming “no amnesty!” and publishing inflammatory photos from the recent, very large, demonstrations held by the “illegals” in Los Angeles, Denver, and other places. And on the other are the more moderate voices, like George Will. Mr. Will has an excellent op-ed in the WaPo today, which I’ll quote at length:

America, the only developed nation that shares a long -- 2,000-mile -- border with a Third World nation, could seal that border. East Germany showed how: walls, barbed wire, machine gun-toting border guards in towers, mine fields, large, irritable dogs. And we have modern technologies that East Germany never had: sophisticated sensors, unmanned surveillance drones, etc.

It is a melancholy fact that many of these may have to be employed along the U.S.-Mexican border. The alternatives are dangerous and disagreeable conditions for Americans residing near the border, and vigilantism. It is, however, important that Americans feel melancholy about taking such measures to frustrate immigration that usually is an entrepreneurial act: taking risks to get to America to do work most Americans spurn. As the debate about immigration policy boils, augmented border control must not be the entire agenda, lest other thorny problems be ignored, and lest America turn a scowling face to the south and, to some extent, to many immigrants already here.

Of the nation's illegal immigrants -- estimated to be at least 11 million, a cohort larger than the combined populations of 12 states -- 60 percent have been here at least five years. Most have roots in their communities. Their children born here are U.S. citizens. We are not going to take the draconian police measures necessary to deport 11 million people. They would fill 200,000 buses in a caravan stretching bumper-to-bumper from San Diego to Alaska -- where, by the way, 26,000 Latinos live. And there are no plausible incentives to get the 11 million to board the buses.

Facts, a conservative (John Adams) said, are stubborn things, and regarding immigration, true conservatives take their bearings from facts such as those in the preceding paragraph. Conservatives should want, as the president proposes, a guest worker program to supply what the U.S. economy demands -- immigrant labor for entry-level jobs. Conservatives should favor a policy of encouraging unlimited immigration by educated people with math, engineering, technology or science skills that America's education system is not sufficiently supplying.

And conservatives should favor reducing illegality by putting illegal immigrants on a path out of society's crevices and into citizenship by paying fines and back taxes and learning English. Faux conservatives absurdly call this price tag on legal status "amnesty." Actually, it would prevent the emergence of a sullen, simmering subculture of the permanently marginalized, akin to the Arab ghettos in France. The House-passed bill, making it a felony to be in the country illegally, would make 11 million people permanently ineligible for legal status. To what end? (ed: emphasis mine)

I agree with Mr. Will. They’re here. A great number of them have assimilated. They’re doing work most of us won’t do, at any wage. Those illegals who have assimilated, and those that want to assimilate, will comply with the provisions of the process laid out in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s version of an immigration law. Federal and state law enforcement agencies can then free up their resources to concentrate on those illegals who do not comply with the law. Immediate deportation of non-complying individuals would be necessary and above all, appropriate. But…First things first. No matter which immigration bill you support, the first thing that must be done is to lock down the borders. Period. We cannot continue to exacerbate the problem.

For an alternative point of view, see John Hawkins’ “13 Frequently Asked Questions About Illegal Immigration.” And Michelle Malkin, of course.

Damn. I missed it! GOP Vixen gives us the rundown on what looks to be the best South Park episode, ever. Here’s a bit:

In the episode, Kyle's dad buys a hybrid car (called a "Pious") and starts getting environmentalist ego, putting fake tickets on all the gas guzzlers. When the rest of the town gets angry at him, he decides South Park just isn't enlightened enough and moves the family to San Francisco. Stan misses Kyle and tries to lure the Braflovskis back by encouraging everyone to buy hybrids. After Stan writes and performs a "gay little song" about ecofriendliness, everybody buys hybrids. Then local weather officials freak out because South Park is becoming covered in smug generated by smug eco do-gooders. This combined with the No. 1 smug region in the nation -- San Francisco -- will soon be combining with the smug front generated by George Clooney's Oscar acceptance speech and forming a destructive smug storm.

There’s more, and it’s funny! I will not miss the re-run!

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