Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sunday morning music


Here's a real piece of music history - in fact, almost the oldest music history we have.

The Seikilos Epitaph is the oldest known complete piece of music, including a primitive music notation and lyrics.  Wikipedia describes it:

The Seikilos epitaph is the oldest surviving complete musical composition, including musical notation, from anywhere in the world. The epitaph has been dated variously from around 200 BC to around AD 100, but the first century AD is the most probable guess. The song, the melody of which is recorded, alongside its lyrics, in the ancient Greek musical notation, was found engraved on a tombstone (a stele) from the Hellenistic town Tralles near present-day Aydın, Turkey, not far from Ephesus.

Here's the stele.




And here's what the song sounds like.





Music historians are generally agreed on the transliteration of the ancient musical form to a modern equivalent, so I guess that rendition is pretty reliable.  If it's not, don't make a lyre out of me!




Peter

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Chain migration's effect on one Pennsylvania town


City Journal recently published an in-depth article about the effect of chain migration on Hazelton, Pennsylvania.  It's a startling and eye-opening piece of journalism.  Here's a lengthy excerpt.  Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.

With a population long dominated by the descendants of European immigrants, Hazleton has been radically transformed since the early 2000s by secondary chain migration, principally driven by Dominicans—immigrants, both legal and illegal, as well as second- and third-generation citizens arriving from the New York metropolitan area. In 2000, Hispanics made up less than 5 percent of Hazleton’s population; they now account for more than 50 percent. Such rapid and dramatic demographic shifts are rare in U.S. cities. For Hazleton, the consequences have been profound, and the city is struggling to cope.

. . .

Dominicans started moving to New York City in the 1960s, fleeing the Dominican Republic’s political upheaval and mass poverty, just as Congress passed the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, a major policy reform that unleashed family-based chain migration in the United States. Mass chain migration resulted in Dominicans becoming Gotham’s second-largest Hispanic group by 1992. Many moved to northern Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood, which transformed into a Dominican outpost, with bodegas, Pentecostal congregations, restaurants, and cab fleets bearing a Dominican cultural stamp. The Dominican New Yorkers tended to isolate themselves in the neighborhood, preserving their island culture with the aid of modern communications. A 2002 SUNY Albany study on Hispanic residential patterns found that, compared with other Hispanic immigrant groups, Dominicans had higher levels of residential segregation. The “average Dominican,” the report noted, “lives in a neighborhood where only one of eight residents is a non-Hispanic white.” Doubtless as a partial consequence of its isolation, the Dominican community has lower levels of income and higher unemployment, and receives public assistance to a greater degree, than other Hispanic groups.

While New York has enjoyed sustained prosperity and plunging crime rates since the mid-1990s, Washington Heights has remained relatively unsafe and impoverished, and its public schools are dismal. Over time, facing these urban woes, more and more Dominican residents wanted to escape. The September 11 attacks intensified that desire.

Hazleton’s low crime rate, affordable housing, stable schools, idyllic neighborhoods, and proximity to New York made it a perfect choice for relocation. In 1990, just 249 Hispanics lived in Hazleton, making up 1 percent of the city’s residents. But the earliest New York transplants loved their new home. “Most people in New York City think life in Pennsylvania as we’re living it is a dream,” a new resident told the Hazleton Standard-Speaker in 1991. “I can sit down in my house, open my door, watch TV to 10 or 11 at night. I don’t have to worry about someone walking in shooting me, ripping me off.” Another Hispanic transplant said that Hazleton should prepare for mass migration. “People of Hazleton have to realize we are going to keep pouring in,” he told the Standard-Speaker. “If not they have to learn we are just as free as they are. They can’t deny us anything. They have to start dealing with us. If they don’t deal with us, push has come to shove, and we’ll deal with them like in New York City.” After the towers fell, Dominican migrants began arriving en masse.

. . .

With Hazleton facing a nearly $900,000 deficit in 2017, Mayor Jeffrey Cusat applied for and received designation from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a financially distressed city. The designation allows Pennsylvania to assist Hazleton in managing its finances and debt. The distress stems from diminished tax revenues, plummeting real-estate values, and the city’s shifting demography, which has led to a surge in demand for services such as public-safety efforts. Rising employee costs and pension obligations have added to the city’s precarious fiscal position. The state’s report on Hazleton’s budget crisis concluded that “the demographic and income changes affecting the city will only compound the future financial challenges.”

Crime has been a big challenge. In 2011, the U.S. Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) released a report on eastern Pennsylvania’s drug and gang threat. It focused on Hazleton as a regional center for illegal drug distribution. According to the report, Dominican drug-trade organizations (DTOs) and gangs started controlling the city’s wholesale drug distribution in the 1990s.

Hazleton’s proximity to I-80 and I-81 made the city an ideal location for Dominican DTOs to centralize their cocaine and heroin operations. The NDIC, which folded into the Drug Enforcement Administration in 2012, noted how “the presence of a long-established Dominican population, along with interstate highways that directly connect Hazleton to other Dominican populations in New York and New England, makes the city a favorable destination for Dominican fugitives seeking a place to operate away from law enforcement pressure in those areas.” In the early 2010s, the opening of a minimum-security halfway house in a historic hotel building in downtown Hazleton worsened the drug-trade problem. When released, halfway-house inmates, it turned out, often committed drug-related crimes or joined local gangs. By 2013, the halfway house yielded to community pressure, closing its facility.

. . .

Of course, Dominicans also take pride in their culture, but their gateway neighborhoods in New York served as an extension of their country of origin; assimilation proved unnecessary. The pattern has repeated itself in Hazleton. The broader Hazleton community has encouraged Dominicans’ political and civic involvement, but the newcomers often remain disengaged in local matters. Hazleton has become an important campaign stop for the Dominican Republic’s leading political candidates, for example, suggesting to many Hazleton residents that their new neighbors, even when U.S. citizens—and many are not—retain stronger ties to their ancestral home than to their city, or even to America. Resentments on both sides have grown.

There's much more at the link.  Highly recommended reading.

The highlighted paragraphs illustrate precisely what the problem is with such migration:  it takes place without assimilation.  That's a fatal flaw.  If one thinks of a community as a human body, the problem becomes somewhat clearer.  In a human body, any outside element that seeks to become established (e.g. a cancer) is recognized as "foreign" and attacked by the body's immune system.  Either it will be overcome (often with the help of medical intervention) and destroyed, or it will win the fight and (eventually) kill the body.  In the same way, one simply can't allow an alien community (which is precisely what we're dealing with here) to become entrenched within a larger, local community if it does not assimilate into that larger community.  If that doesn't happen, inevitably, conflict will arise;  and only one of those communities will be able to survive.  The other will be either taken over, or have to leave for pastures new.

President Theodore Roosevelt put it very well, I think, in a 1915 speech.

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all … The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic … There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.

It seems that Hazelton has a great many hypnenated Americans.  We should be on our guard against the spread of this disease, lest it destroy American society and the body politic arising from it.  I'm not in the least against legal immigration - I'm an immigrant myself, after all! - but let assimilation be a mandatory, required element of legal immigration.  If it's not . . . we'll have far more Hazeltons, and that can't be good for America.

Peter

Life-saving advice for special snowflakes


Courtesy of It Ain't Holy Water:







Peter

Friday, June 22, 2018

Sounds like a war to me


The likely winner of Mexico's imminent presidential elections appears to have declared war on US sovereignty.

Mexican presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) called for mass immigration to the United States during a speech Tuesday declaring it a “human right” for all North Americans.

“And soon, very soon — after the victory of our movement — we will defend all the migrants in the American continent and all the migrants in the world,” Obrador said, adding that immigrants “must leave their towns and find a life in the United States.”

He then declared it as “a human right we will defend,” eluniversal.com reports.

While the election is not until July 1, Obrador is by far the frontrunner.

There's more at the link.

If Mr. Obrador follows through on his threat, the Wall won't be anything like adequate.  Minefields, barbed wire, Claymore mines and robotic weapons turrets will be more like it.  There won't be any other way to stop what will be, in effect, "human wave" attacks on the US border.

If it comes to that, I'm likely to be very grateful that we have President Trump in charge, and General Mattis as his Secretary of Defense.  At least they won't hesitate to defend this nation's sovereignty.  If Clinton had won, she'd simply roll over and surrender.

Better brace yourselves, folks.  This could turn nasty.  Oh - and if you live within a couple hundred miles of the border, stock up on firearms and ammunition while you can.  You may need them.

Peter

Waste not - because there's nowhere to put it


It looks as if China's decision to stop accepting a large proportion of the world's plastic and paper waste products is going to have a dramatic impact on the way we live.

In the wake of China's decision to stop importing nearly half of the world's scrap starting Jan. 1, particularly from the wealthiest nations, waste management operations across the country are struggling to process heavy volumes of paper and plastic that they can no longer unload on the Chinese. States such as Massachusetts and Oregon are lifting restrictions against pouring recyclable material into landfills to grant the operations some relief.

If Europe and the rest of the world struggle like the United States, according to the study by researchers at the University of Georgia released Wednesday, an estimated 111 million metric tons of plastic waste will pile up by 2030. Based on the amount of domestic scrap exported to China, the researchers estimate that the United States will have to contend with 37 million metric tons of extra waste, an amount it's not prepared to handle.

. . .

"It will impact recycling programs across the country," said Ben Harvey, owner and president of E.L. Harvey & Sons Recycling Services in Westborough, Massachusetts. "If there's no place for this stuff to go, what's the sense of collecting it? We're going to look at the programs and say why are we collecting it, it's not a commodity anymore. It's a big thing. It's a scary thing."

Conservationists who reviewed the study and found it credible said such heavy loads of garbage worldwide would not only continue leaking into oceans but would also likely spill into neighborhoods.

. . .

Studies say that between 8.3 billion and 9 billion metric tons have been produced since 1950. That's more than four Mount Everest's worth of trash. According to a separate study released last year, all but 2 billion metric tons of that plastic still sits on the Earth as garbage in landfills, recycled trash or pollution scattered in the environment, including deep oceans where a plastic island twice the size of Texas floats.

Plastic has been discovered in the bellies of dead whales and the decomposed stomachs of seabirds that mistook it for food. And yet, production of plastic continues almost without regulation ... In 1960, plastic accounted for just 1 percent of junk in municipal landfills across the world. As single-package containers led to an explosion in convenience and use, that number grew to 10 percent in 2005. If the trend continues, researchers say 13 billion metric tons of plastic will sit in dumps.

There's more at the link.  Recommended reading.

The report refers mainly to plastic and paper waste, but there are other waste products that are far more worrying.  In my travels throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa, I've seen the impact of European waste dumping in that continent.  Sometimes it's been deadly to the local people.  What will happen when that sort of waste can't be dumped anywhere else?  How will we dispose of it locally without impacting our residents?  That's a good question.

Peter

Looks like bureaucrats are as Swamp-y as politicians


Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney yesterday outlined the Trump administration's government reform plan.  His explanation of the problem raised a lot of eyebrows - including mine.  I had no idea things were this bad.





That sure sounds like a bureaucracy in dire need of reform!




Peter

Thursday, June 21, 2018

I think I may resemble that remark


From Pearls Before Swine yesterday (click the image to be taken to a larger version at the comic's Web page):




I guess my desk means I'm a creative genius . . . NOT!




Peter

Who will guard the (Catholic) guardians?


A few weeks ago, referring to the exploding sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church in Chile, I wrote:

The Catholic Church, as an institution, and its bishops acting as a collective, have lied, are lying, and will continue to lie to the people of God about this problem.  They have no interest whatsoever in resolving it - only in protecting their own power, and the institution of the Church as a whole, and its power and prestige in society.  They do not care about the individuals involved, or the victims . . . or the good clergy who have been tainted with the stench of this scandal.

How can I say that?  It's very simple.  Actions speak louder than words - and lack of action is, in itself, an action.  The Church, in the United States, in Chile, in the Vatican, and elsewhere, has taken little or no effective, meaningful action against those who were ultimately responsible for this scandal - namely, its bishops and administrators, who routinely concealed the extent of the problem, shuffled offenders around among themselves, and allowed them to continue to offend, rather than deal with the matter.  Even after the scandal blew up, many leaders of the Church continued to try to defend their offices and the institution of the Church, rather than admit that the situation was absolutely indefensible.

There's more at the link.

Now comes the news that one of the Catholic Church's former (now retired) most senior leaders has been accused of sexual misconduct.  His punishment, however (at least so far) amounts to little more than a public slap on the wrist.

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who led the Archdiocese of Washington and was a political force in the nation's capital, said on Wednesday that he has been removed from public ministry by the Vatican because of a decades-old allegation of sexual abuse.

The Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, "at the direction of Pope Francis," told McCarrick that he is no longer to exercise his priestly ministry in public, said Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, whose archdiocese led the investigation.

McCarrick was also accused three times of sexual misconduct with adults "decades ago" while he served as a bishop in Metuchen and Newark, New Jersey, the current bishops of those cities said on Wednesday. Two of those allegations resulted in settlements, the bishops said.

Again, more at the link.

Cardinal McCarrick is hardly the first prelate to have indulged in sexual sin while in office.  The former Archbishop of Milwaukee, Rembert Weakland, was hardly a shining example of probity, and displayed what appears to have been callous indifference to clergy sex abuse in his archdiocese.  Bishops Symons and O'Connell of Palm Beach diocese both resigned due to their personal involvement in scandal.  They are not alone.

Having been a priest myself, until I withdrew in disgust over the gross mishandling of the clergy sex abuse scandal, I've been informed by clergy in several other dioceses of suspected or alleged misconduct by other bishops, some still in office.  For obvious reasons, I can't name them here, because that would be regarded as hearsay rather than legally admissible evidence, no matter how holy or trustworthy the clergy providing it.  However, I daresay the truth will come out sooner or later.  In fact, I guarantee it will.

The Roman poet Juvenal asked, "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?", meaning "Who will guard the guardians?"  Since the Catholic Church sees bishops as the successors of the Apostles, one might reword that as "Who will guard the guardians of faith?" - or, at least, their consciences and conduct.  It seems some of them certainly need someone to do so!




Peter

EDITED TO ADD:  Tom Dreher has a lot more fuel to add to the fire. Go read it.

The Swamp, exposed. Every US voter needs to see this!


A new TV series, "The Swamp" - on Facebook, of all places - purports to document the shady backroom deals that infest politics and politicians in Washington D.C.  The Federalist explains.

Every grassroots political activist knows something is deeply wrong in Washington, D.C. No matter how hard we work to send good people to Congress, the majority of them go native upon arrival, forgetting their campaign rhetoric and falling in line with the political establishment. The few who retain their principles often seem sidelined and ineffective. Meanwhile, the legislative process is an unfunny joke: the Republican Congress can’t manage to keep its promises and repeal Obamacare, but it can pass a 2,232-page, $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill without reading it.

What’s less clear is why the system is so broken, and what happens to turn our hometown congressmen into swamp critters. What is going on in those smoke-filled rooms? When brand-new representatives and senators arrive in D.C., what do they find?

A new documentary series, “The Swamp,” seeks to answer those questions, pulling back the curtain on the inner workings of Capitol Hill. Created by 28-year-old filmmaker Matt Whitworth, “The Swamp” has been releasing episodes to Facebook since April 4, with three 10-minute episodes released to date.

For a documentary featuring members of Congress, “The Swamp” is striking in how unfiltered it feels. Whitworth was granted unprecedented access to film and interview several House members as they work, meet with staff, and visit with constituents back home. Shockingly, the congressmen signed a film participation release relinquishing all editorial and creative control of the project.

. . .

“The Swamp” focuses heavily on the top-down power structure in Washington, D.C., where just a few party leaders make the majority of decisions, punishing members who won’t toe the line. After watching the first three episodes, I found these six revelations the most striking:

1. Partisan gridlock? Nah, the parties work together when they want to.

“We have a bipartisan bankruptcy going on,” Rep. Buck says near the beginning of Episode 1. “I think both parties are engaged in a quiet deal that we will support our base, and if it leads to bankruptcy, okay, and you will support your base, and if it leads to bankruptcy, okay.”

In Episode 2, the congressmen cite an example: Republican and Democrat leadership worked together to make sure the bloated omnibus spending bill came up for a vote. When a number of conservative Republicans voted against the rule in an attempt to stop the bill, the Democrats changed just enough of their customary “no” votes to make sure it passed.

“You could just see the Democrats huddled around Nancy Pelosi, and she would just send the next one down to make sure that the rule passed,” Buck recalls. “When it comes to bankrupting the country, they cooperate all the time.”

There's more at the link.  Worthwhile reading.

The first three episodes are now available on YouTube.  Each is relatively short (plus-or-minus 9 minutes).  They make very interesting viewing, and I recommend them.











I have to commend the (lamentably few) congressional representatives who were willing to give this sort of access to the documentary makers.  If I were in their constituencies, I'd vote for them on that basis alone!  We need more honesty and openness like this in Washington.

I'd like every American voter to watch these videos, and learn from them, and ask their congressional representatives to explain their role in such proceedings.  I'd like to see them squirm as they try to weasel out of answering!

Peter

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

It sounds like President Trump brought the smackdown to Republicans in Congress


At least, that's what DC Whispers reports.

“You really want to try and win your election in November without me? I don’t think so.”

UPDATE: “I’m following the law as it’s written. If you don’t like the law then Congress needs to change it. It’s simple. Simple. I’m with you but if you don’t like it you need to do something about it…It looks bad. Sure. Really bad. If you want to change that then change the law. DO SOMETHING. You people (Congress) have to change it. That’s how it has to be done.”

. . .

UPDATE #3: “Why is this coming up now? I mean, it’s so obvious am I right? Mitch knows. The economy, jobs, North Korea, there’s so much great news they had to do the fake news. I’m not saying the pictures aren’t bad. They’re bad. Certainly not good. They make it look bad. You have to do something. You have to work together. It could be such a big, beautiful thing if you did that. The Democrats won’t help. We all know that. They think this is good for them. We’ll see about that. But doing something, working together, isn’t that why you’re here? It should be. And if you don’t do that and November doesn’t work out for you then I’m sorry but you shouldn’t be here. Go do nothing somewhere else.”

There's more at the link.

"Go do nothing somewhere else."  I wonder when last (if ever) a President has spoken to his own party's representatives so harshly?  Yet, I think it was deserved.  If they won't get off their backsides and do what they were elected to do, then let them go to the wall, and let's find better representatives to replace them.

Peter

How China sets about global economic domination


The White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy has just released a report titled "How China’s Economic Aggression Threatens the Technologies and Intellectual Property of the United States and the World" (link is to an Adobe Acrobat document in .PDF format).  It's obviously a partisan report, given its source, but even without that, it provides enough links to verify its arguments that it's hard to dismiss as merely a political perspective.  It makes sobering reading.

Here's how it begins.

The People’s Republic of China (China) has experienced rapid economic growth to become the world’s second largest economy while modernizing its industrial base and moving up the global value chain. However, much of this growth has been achieved in significant part through aggressive acts, policies, and practices that fall outside of global norms and rules (collectively, “economic aggression”). Given the size of China’s economy and the extent of its market-distorting policies, China’s economic aggression now threatens not only the U.S. economy but also the global economy as a whole.

In some respects, China has been transparent about its aggressive acts, policies, and practices. They are revealed in Chinese government documents, through behaviors of Chinese State actors, and from reports produced by business organizations, think tanks, and government agencies. Four categories of such economic aggression which are outside the scope of this report include:

  • Protect China’s Home Market From Imports and Competition: This category features high tariffs, non-tariff barriers, and other regulatory hurdles.
  • Expand China’s Share of Global Markets: Industrial policy tools include financial support to boost exports and the consolidation of State-Owned Enterprises into “national champions” that can compete with foreign companies in both the domestic and global markets. Chinese enterprises also benefit from preferential policies that lead to subsidized overcapacity in China’s domestic market, which then depresses world prices and pushes foreign rivals out of the global market.
  • Secure and Control Core Natural Resources Globally: China uses a predatory “debt trap” model of economic development and finance that proffers substantial financing to developing countries in exchange for an encumbrance on their natural resources and access to markets. These resources range from bauxite, copper, and nickel to rarer commodities such as beryllium, titanium, and rare earth minerals. This predatory model has been particularly effective in countries characterized by weak rule of law and authoritarian regimes.
  • Dominate Traditional Manufacturing Industries: China has already achieved a leading position in many traditional manufacturing industries. It has done so in part through preferential loans and below-market utility rates as well as lax and weakly enforced environmental and health and safety standards. As the European Chamber of Commerce has documented: “For a generation, China has been the factory of the world.” By 2015, China already accounted for 28 percent of global auto production, 41 percent of global ship production, more than 50 percent of global refrigerator production, more than 60 percent of global production of color TV sets, and more than 80 percent of global production of air conditioners and computers.

In addition, China pursues two categories of economic aggression that are the focus of this report. These include:

  • Acquire Key Technologies and Intellectual Property From Other Countries, Including the United States

  • Capture the Emerging High-Technology Industries That Will Drive Future Economic Growth and Many Advancements in the Defense Industry

This report will document the major acts, policies, and practices of Chinese industrial policy used to implement these two strategies. Through such implementation, the Chinese State seeks to access the crown jewels of American technology and intellectual property. (A compendium of the acts, policies, and practices used to implement China’s six strategies of economic aggression is presented in the Appendix.)

There's much more at the link.  Highly recommended reading, particularly with all the alarmist news reports about a "trade war" between the USA and China.  In reality, this is the USA attempting to restore a more even, more level playing field in its economic relationship with China.  The facts speak for themselves.  Just look at the tariffs China has been charging on goods imported from the USA, versus those the USA has been charging on goods imported from China.  Q.E.D.

Peter

It's not about the children - it's about the state of the world


The concerted, all-out media and left-wing and progressive onslaught against the present Administration's practice of separating newly-arrested parents from their children is nothing less than hypocrisy.  Precisely the same policy was followed by the Obama administration, and before it by the Bush administration.  It's nothing new.  It's simply being used as a convenient emotional rallying cry by the forces arrayed against President Trump, who are determined to remove him at any cost.

However, it's also symptomatic of an underlying reality that not only won't go away - it's going to get worse.  That reality is the state of the world as a whole.

If you look at where these illegal aliens are coming from, their native societies are riddled with corruption, graft, crime and violence.  Consider these headlines (and follow the links if you're so inclined):


Those factors are having an inevitable, degrading effect on society as a whole.  They absorb resources that should be going to education, health care, etc., but aren't - because governments are corrupt to begin with, and what's left after graft has to be devoted to security issues.  This article summarizes the situation south of our borders very concisely.

The University of Costa Rica recently published a study entitled “Central America Torn,” which documented, through a survey, the reality of poor communities in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Roughly half of these young people between the ages of 14 and 24, are not enrolled in school. Of that total, 56 percent are females, while 44 percent are males.

More than half responded that they want to leave the country, with higher figures registered among Salvadorans (76%) and Hondurans (60%), according to AFP.

Having to deal with high levels of poverty, they often dream of migrating to another country to get away from the violence, gangs, lack of opportunity, as well as inadequate health care and education.

There's more at the link.

That's the fundamental reason why illegal aliens continue to stream towards, and into, the USA.  They have nothing where they are.  They want a life, a future.  The only nation within reach of them that offers those things is . . . guess what?  The United States!

Added to that, of course, are forces that decry the existence of national borders at all, and want to see free movement of peoples anywhere, anytime they please.  George Soros has been accused of funding such groups all over the world, and there's strong evidence to suggest that he's doing so;  but he's by no means the only one.  All sorts of groups see advantage in allowing greater immigration, legal or otherwise.  To name but a few well-known examples:

  • Left-wing, progressive politicians see such immigrants as a ripe source of future votes, as they tend to support parties and individuals who pander to their needs;
  • Religious groups (most particularly the Catholic Church, but not exclusively) see their numbers dwindling among the local populace.  They know that many, if not most, of the illegal aliens heading this way are (at least nominally) members of their faith group;  so, if they're allowed to stream in, they will automatically boost the numbers (and income, and influence) of those faith groups.  (This is also why churches are disproportionately represented among immigrant aid groups.  They're not doing it to help the immigrants so much as they're helping themselves.)
  • Socialist and anti-capitalist forces see illegal immigration as a necessary driver for greater spending on social services and the "welfare state", which automatically furthers their interests as well.

There are many others who benefit from the flood of illegal aliens.  All of those forces are doing their best to impede or shut down any and all efforts to control the situation.

The latest brouhaha over the separation of illegal aliens' children from their parents is just the latest move on the chessboard, appealing to emotion rather than fact.  If it is allowed to succeed, it will become yet another wedge to drive into the cracks that are already wide open in our immigration policies and procedures.  For that reason alone, we dare not let its proponents carry the day.  We have to face facts, because their reality will ride roughshod over our feelings if we don't.

I think the Border Wall (yes, I've capitalized it) is not a bad start . . . but it's only a start.  It has to be backed up with rigorous internal enforcement of the law, and external assistance to nations near us to improve their own situation, so that their people don't abandon them out of sheer desperation.  That includes tying economic and other aid to progress in the fight against crime and corruption, and directing it through non-governmental channels in an effort to bypass and choke off official graft.  There are many nations that won't allow that, of course;  they regard it as the right of politicians and officials to milk their share of other peoples' largesse.  That's going to have to change - how, I don't know, short of overthrowing governments and dealing with the worst offenders the hard way, but it has to change.

I think we also have to publicize the real cost to the USA of the illegal alien epidemic.  They appear to cost this country at least $113 billion every year, and perhaps as much as $148 billion . . . and that's probably the tip of the iceberg.  It also ignores the crime, violence and health issues that these immigrants bring with them.  If you've been raised in an environment where such things are an everyday occurrence, you can't help but bring them with you.  It's ingrained into your nature and your outlook on life.  That's just the way it is.  Read for yourself about the impact of gangs such as MS-13 on US schools and suburbs.  Again, that's just the tip of the iceberg.  It goes far deeper than that, as anyone familiar with US prisons will tell you.

The illegal alien invasion isn't new, and it isn't going to go away.  It's going to be there for the rest of our lives, and our children's lives, and their children's lives.  It's not a battle we can win once, and then ignore.  It's going to be a daily drain on our attention and resources for generations.  If we don't keep it under control, then we're going to end up in the same mess as the countries from which those illegal aliens are fleeing.  That's the plain, simple, brutal reality of the situation.

Peter