This isn't just an 'Around The Blogs' collection of links, because many of them are news articles or opinion pieces. I found them while writing various articles over the past week, and the way they dovetail with each other - often painting a very worrying picture - make me save the links: so here they are.
The immigration crisis and our response
Through a link at Sarah Hoyt's blog, I found two articles that admirably sum up the progressive approach to such crises:
The author's thesis is that empathy is being turned into a weapon against the First World. It's being used by the far left, Islamic extremists, and anyone else who can to force us to support the cause du jour (in this case, so-called 'refugees'), in the process breaking down the structure of our own society. He makes a very compelling case. Both articles are highly recommended reading.
On the subject of 'refugees' and immigration (legal and illegal), William J. Federer looks at lessons we can learn from the fall of Rome, and how those problems contributed to it. There are far too many uncomfortable similarities . . .
The 'Welfare State' and Affirmative Action
Several articles demonstrate how these two problems are interrelated, and how they're affecting people of color in America in very negative ways.
First, former Senator Jim Webb (whom I regard as one of the more promising Democratic Party candidates for the 2016 Presidential elections) wrote an article back in 2010 titled 'Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege'.
I have dedicated my political career to bringing fairness to America's economic system and to our work force, regardless of what people look like or where they may worship. Unfortunately, present-day diversity programs work against that notion, having expanded so far beyond their original purpose that they now favor anyone who does not happen to be white.
In an odd historical twist that all Americans see but few can understand, many programs allow recently arrived immigrants to move ahead of similarly situated whites whose families have been in the country for generations. These programs have damaged racial harmony. And the more they have grown, the less they have actually helped African-Americans, the intended beneficiaries of affirmative action as it was originally conceived.
There's much more at the link. Very interesting reading in this pre-election year.
The trouble is, too often we view such problems through partisan political spectacles. We blame 'the Republicans' or 'the Democrats' when in fact both parties are equally guilty of allowing things to degenerate to their present dismal state. As I've said often before, neither party can be trusted to put America first. In that light, I found an opinion piece by Bob Lonsberry to be accurate, but flawed, because he puts the blame for the problems on the Democratic Party. They're just as much the fault of Republicans, IMHO. However, if you can read past that flaw, his analysis is pretty good. Here's a sample.
The Democrats are right, there are two Americas.
The America that works, and the America that doesn’t. The America that contributes, and the America that doesn’t.
It’s not the haves and the have nots, it’s the dos and the don’ts. Some people do their duty as Americans, to obey the law and support themselves and contribute to society, and others don’t.
That’s the divide in America.
It’s not about income inequality, it’s about civic irresponsibility. It’s about a political party that preaches hatred, greed and victimization in order to win elective office. It’s about a political party that loves power more than it loves its country.
Again, more at the link. If you replace 'a political party' with the more inclusive 'political parties', he's probably not far wrong.
Unfortunately, the more feckless elements in US society are often subsidized in their fecklessness by a welfare system that's out of control. DC Clothesline points out that 'Welfare Is the Best Paying Entry Level Job In 35 States', and provides evidence to back up that headline. If getting a better-paying job means having to give up part or all of one's welfare and entitlement income, it's no wonder that many refuse to do so. It's a lot less work to take the easy way out - even if that damages them, their families, their communities and our economy.
In that light, Joel Kotkin has a very insightful article titled 'Obama, the Left downsizing the American Dream'.
Three ideas prevail in shaping today’s new politics: sexual liberation, racial redress and environmental determinism. The first notion has made rapid progress ... The second major thrust of the reconstituted American Dream is the imposition of a regime of permanent racial redress. In contrast to assuring equal rights, the new drive is to guarantee similar results. In every aspect of life, from immigration and housing to school and work, “people of color,” which increasingly excludes Asians, will be categorized by race. This includes the call for “reparations” for African Americans and essentially open borders for undocumented immigrants.
. . .
... today’s climate-change-focused environmentalism increasingly opposes economic growth per se, seeing in it a threat to the planet. For some people, the solution for the planet lies in depressing living standards by such steps as ratcheting up the cost of basic necessities, from energy to housing. Environmental advocates often work in concert with those who benefit from subsidies for everything from solar energy to transit lines, but the goal remains to constrain consumption and raise prices for such basics as housing and energy.
Yet these negative impacts don’t mean much to many green activists who, notes the Guardian’s George Monbiot, see the climate struggle as a way to “redefine humanity.” The target here is the economy itself, which remains driven largely by the desire for material wealth, upward mobility and support of families. Monbiot envisions a war against what he calls the “expanders” by the rational legions of green “restrainers” who will seek to curb their foes’ economic activities.
The celebration of economic stagnation is accepted openly among European greens who support an agenda of “degrowth.” It is also reflected in American calls for “de-development,” a phrase employed by President Obama’s Science Adviser John Holdren. The agenda, particularly in high-income countries, seeks to limit fossil fuels, raise energy prices, stem suburban development and replace the competive capitalism system with a highly regulated economy that favors designated “green’ energy industries over others.
More at the link. If he's right and this is the future, we're in deep trouble, IMHO . . .
Finally (on this topic at least) Francis W. Porretto has written a deeply troubling fictional 'future history' look at race relations. It's designed to make his readers think very hard about one possible extreme into which the current problems of racial tension, economic contraction and the 'welfare state' could lead our society. I hope and pray that he's wrong. For that matter, he says himself, "I don’t want it to happen. I fear it greatly." Nevertheless, we shouldn't be blind to it, because there are already some calling for that sort of a solution. Read his words for yourself, and think about them. I submit that it's better to confront this sort of problem now, while there's still (hopefully) time to do something to prevent it, rather than after it's too late.
Finally, in case you were wondering why you haven't seen much straight talk in major news media about these or other problems endemic in our society, Bloviating Zeppelin reminds us of the 'Truth about the American Media Maggots'. The truth hurts, even when one's laughing at the way it's presented.