Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Michelle Malkin, as usual, shines her spotlight on Mexico's oligarchy...

Police state: How Mexico treats illegal aliens
By Michelle Malkin • April 28, 2010 12:36 AM

This is what a “police state” looks like

My syndicated column today responds to Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s demagoguery on Arizona’s immigration enforcement law. Calderon has a long history of bashing the U.S. — and then getting rewarded for it with billions of dollars in foreign aid (see here, here, and here).

I reported on Calderon’s aggressive meddling on behalf of illegal aliens through his government consulate offices in America here. Heather Mac Donald published a thorough investigation of the Mexican government meddle-crats here. Allan Wall has reported on it for years. Mike Sweeney, an Arizona Republic letter-writer underscores my column theme today:

“Having traveled into Mexico last year to various cities on the Baja Peninsula, a distance of more than 1,000 miles round-trip, we were stopped more than 20 times at various checkpoints. At most of those stops, we were told to exit the vehicle and we were subjected to rigorous inspections. Where does Mexican President Felipe Calderón get off with his hypocritical outrage at our Senate Bill 1070?”
Where indeed?

How Mexico treats illegal aliens
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2010

Mexican President Felipe Calderon has accused Arizona of opening the door “to intolerance, hate, discrimination and abuse in law enforcement.” But Arizona has nothing on Mexico when it comes to cracking down on illegal aliens. While open-borders activists decry new enforcement measures signed into law in “Nazi-zona” last week, they remain deaf, dumb or willfully blind to the unapologetically restrictionist policies of our neighbors to the south.

The Arizona law bans sanctuary cities that refuse to enforce immigration laws, stiffens penalties against illegal alien day laborers and their employers, makes it a misdemeanor for immigrants to fail to complete and carry an alien registration document, and allows the police to arrest immigrants unable to show documents proving they are in the U.S. legally. If those rules constitute the racist, fascist, xenophobic, inhumane regime that the National Council of La Raza, Al Sharpton, Catholic bishops and their grievance-mongering followers claim, then what about these regulations and restrictions imposed on foreigners?

– The Mexican government will bar foreigners if they upset “the equilibrium of the national demographics.” How’s that for racial and ethnic profiling?

– If outsiders do not enhance the country’s “economic or national interests” or are “not found to be physically or mentally healthy,” they are not welcome. Neither are those who show “contempt against national sovereignty or security.” They must not be economic burdens on society and must have clean criminal histories. Those seeking to obtain Mexican citizenship must show a birth certificate, provide a bank statement proving economic independence, pass an exam and prove they can provide their own health care.

– Illegal entry into the country is equivalent to a felony punishable by two years’ imprisonment. Document fraud is subject to fine and imprisonment; so is alien marriage fraud. Evading deportation is a serious crime; illegal re-entry after deportation is punishable by ten years’ imprisonment. Foreigners may be kicked out of the country without due process and the endless bites at the litigation apple that illegal aliens are afforded in our country (see, for example, President Obama’s illegal alien aunt — a fugitive from deportation for eight years who is awaiting a second decision on her previously rejected asylum claim).

– Law enforcement officials at all levels — by national mandate — must cooperate to enforce immigration laws, including illegal alien arrests and deportations. The Mexican military is also required to assist in immigration enforcement operations. Native-born Mexicans are empowered to make citizens’ arrests of illegal aliens and turn them in to authorities.

– Ready to show your papers? Mexico’s National Catalog of Foreigners tracks all outside tourists and foreign nationals. A National Population Registry tracks and verifies the identity of every member of the population, who must carry a citizens’ identity card. Visitors who do not possess proper documents and identification are subject to arrest as illegal aliens. (read the rest here)

Friday, April 23, 2010

America's Toughest Immigration Bill Is Signed Into Law In Arizona

April 23, 2010

PHOENIX — Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona signed the toughest illegal immigration bill in the country into law on Friday, aimed at identifying, prosecuting and deporting illegal immigrants. The governor’s move unleashed immediate protests and reignited the divisive battle over immigration reform nationally.

The law, which opponents and critics alike said was the broadest and strictest immigration measure in the country in generations, would make the failure to carry immigration documents a crime. It would also give the police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. Opponents have decried it as an open invitation for harassment and discrimination against Hispanics regardless of their citizenship status.

The political debate leading up to Governor Brewer’s decision, and Mr. Obama’s criticism of the law — presidents very rarely weigh in on state legislation — underscored the power of the immigration debate in states along the Mexican border. It presaged the polarizing arguments that await the president and Congress as they take up the issue nationally.

Governor Brewer said the new law strengthened Arizona:

"This law represents another tool for our state to use as we work to solve a crisis we did not create and the federal government has refused to fix. It protects all of us, every Arizona citizen and everyone here in our state lawfully and it does so while ensuring that the constitutional rights of all in Arizona remain solid."

The law would take effect 90 days after the legislative session ends, meaning by August. Court challenges are expected immediately.

Sponsored by Russell Pearce, a state senator and a firebrand on immigration issues, SB 1070 has several provisions.

It requires police officers “when practicable” to detain people they reasonably suspect are in the country without authorization and to verify their status with federal officials, unless doing so would hinder an investigation or emergency medical treatment.

It also makes it a state crime, a misdemeanor, to not carry immigration papers. It also allows people to sue local governments or agencies if they believe federal or state immigration law is not being enforced.

The Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles called the authorities’ ability to demand documents Nazism. While police demands of documents are common on subways, highways and in public places in some countries, including France, Arizona is the first state to demand that immigrants meet federal requirements to carry identity documents legitimizing their presence on American soil.

Governor Brewer acknowledged critics’ concerns but sided with arguments from the law’s sponsors that it provides an indispensable tool for the police in a border state that is a leading magnet of illegal immigration.

She said that racial profiling would not be tolerated, adding, “We have to trust our law enforcement.”

Among other things, the Arizona measure is an extraordinary rebuke to Janet Napolitano, who had vetoed similar legislation repeatedly as a Democratic governor before she was appointed homeland security secretary by Mr. Obama. Her successor, Governor Brewer, is a Republican.

The unchecked flow of illegal aliens has seen Phoenix become the kidnapping capital of the nation, and is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans, including the recent murder of Arizona rancher Rob Krentz.

An anonymous commenter on al-Reuters had this to say:

While the law is not perfect, the fact that a state with so much at stake in terms of protecting legal residents and visitors is willing to move beyond the federal stalemate needs to be applauded.

The ability to protect their legal citizens from the thousands of illegals that cross over the borders and either stay within the state or move on to virtually every state in the country is a priority for them. From a financial standpoint, this law will help to reduce everything from the education budget, the state supported healthcare services and the continued law enforcement costs behind battling the drug cartels and human trafficking organizations that have been holding turf wars in the streets and communities of the major cities within Arizona.

In reality, this should not be a state’s individual responsibility but rather a federal mandate that we enforce the existing laws on the books and establish a zero tolerance policy that keeps those who seek to avoid the US laws. But Arizona is now forced to go it alone and enact policies that are extremely sensitive and tip toe along the fine line of legal and ethical actions. Unfortunately, those who choose to knowingly break the US laws will pray on the kind hearted humanitarian nature of the general US public. What is even more arrogant are those who actually believe some ancient position that the borders should not exist for them because at one time they lived on this land and therefore they don’t need to follow this sovereign nation’s laws.

It is foolish to think that the police will have enough time to simply pick people randomly out of the crowd simply because they see a potential illegal immigrant. What most of the complainers forget is that they are required to carry a drivers license and proof of insurance while driving and if stopped, they need to present all of these as part of the initial discussion. If you walk along a public street and are not doing anything illegal, don’t expect to be stopped. Create an incident, do something potentially illegal and if someone calls the police expect to be questioned and asked for documentation. Don’t carry identification and regardless of your color, race or religion and you can expect to be subjected to further questioning or police action.

Who else is to blame? Try the Mexican government. Filled with corruption and a lack of real interest in seeing the more than 12 million returning to their country where they would seek public and social services, education and job opportunities. They are far more content to reap the benefits from the billion’s of dollars that make their way back across the border to the extended family members who remain behind.

From a business point of view, this is purely a one-sided deal. Mexicans can simply cross the border and create their own business opportunities, purchase land and become homeowners, yet a US company cannot enter Mexico autonomously and establish a similar opportunity. We must secure a Mexican partner and are often relegated to leasing land and homes for long term contracts that have no rights should their be a regime change.

Look north of our country’s border and to find work in Canada, you must first prove that only you can do the proposed job and that no Canadian is available to fill that position.

Both Democrats and Republicans carry an equal amount of blame because illegal immigration has supporters on both sides of the political isle. Some seek a legal path to naturalization for the sake of more votes. Others have large supporters who enjoy the benefits of a second class workforce that is forced to accept lower wages and poor working conditions in exchange for looking the other way.

For anyone reading this post, understand that I am for legal immigration where anyone who wishes to follow the prescribed steps to becoming a citizen should earn our praise and support. What I am not for is those who somehow feel entitled to what the US has to offer and somehow should not be subject to the existing immigration laws, regardless of how challenging they might be.
So now, boys and girls, it's ILLEGAL to be an illegal immigrant. Fascinating. Before you know it, it'll be illegal for illegals to work illegally in the sovereign state of Arizona. Wait, what? It always has been illegal?

So what's the difference?

ENFORCEMENT. Good job, Guv'nuh.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ron Paul: Obama Is Another Corporatist, Not a Socialist

"The race is not to the swift."—Ecclesiastes ix. II.

Ron Paul: Obama Is Another Corporatist, Not a Socialist

New American
Written by Steven Yates
Tuesday, 13 April 2010 11:59

The idea that President Barack Obama is a socialist is popular among many conservatives; all of us have seen automobiles sporting the bumper sticker reading, Don’t Blame Me; I Didn’t Vote For the Socialist — obviously referring to Obama. Not so fast, says, of all people, Ron Paul (R-Texas).

Addressing the Southern Republican Leadership Conference during its third day, Dr. Paul told the audience, “The question has been raised about whether or not our president is a socialist…. I am sure there are some people here who believe it. But in the technical sense, in the economic definition of a what a socialist is, no, he's not a socialist.”

Dr. Paul continued, “He's a corporatist. And unfortunately we have corporatists inside the Republican party and that means you take care of corporations and corporations take over and run the country.”

What he means, and whether or not he is right, depends on what we mean by socialism and what by corporatism. In its classical usages (classical here meaning within classical Marxist usage and its derivatives) socialism means: an economic system that is abolishing or has abolished the private ownership of the means of production in favor of public (i.e., state) ownership, with all wealth shared.

In this classical sense, Obama is clearly not a socialist. Nothing he has done, not even in the recent healthcare bill, seems aimed at abolishing private ownership of the means of production.

Much of what he has done since taking office, however, has vastly increased government control over the means of production — e.g., when he personally demands that a CEO step down (think General Motors). Is this what we mean by corporatism? Ron Paul described the healthcare bill as containing many corporatist provisions: “We see [corporatism] in the financial institutions, we see it in the military-industrial complex. And now we see it in the medical-industrial complex.”

Corporatism is often seen as monopolistic capitalism in which business and governmental elites partner with each other. This isn't too far from the mark. Business elites possess what we might call the power of the purse — they have the money. Governmental elites possess what we might call the power of the sword — they write the rules. We might debate which one, if either, is truly dominant since both scratch each other’s backs and benefit handsomely from having thwarted both genuine marketplace competition and a truly open political and electoral process.

Corporatism hardly began with the current administration, of course, or its predecessor. In an article published in 2002, which deserves far more attention than it has ever received, commentator Robert Locke outlined the basic ideas behind corporatism and traced some of its history and influence.

According to Locke, corporatism “has the outward form of capitalism in that it preserves private ownership and private management, but with a crucial difference: as under socialism, government guarantees the flow of material goods, which under true capitalism it does not.” (Emphasis in original.) Corporatism does not really trust the marketplace to provide. It manipulates the marketplace “to deliver goods to political constituencies [which now include] basically everyone from economic elites to ordinary consumers.”

What has made corporatism so tempting is thus not hard to see. Locke explains further:

Big business, whatever its casuists at the Wall Street Journal editorial page may pretend, likes big government, except when big government gets greedy and tries to renegotiate the division of spoils. Although big business was an historic adversary of the introduction of the corporatist state, it eventually found common ground with it.

The first thing big business has in common with big government is managerialism. The technocratic manager, who deals in impersonal mass aggregates, organizes through bureaucracy, and rules through expertise without assuming personal responsibility, is common to both. The second thing big business likes about big government is that it has a competitive advantage over small business in doing business with it and negotiating favors. Big government, in turn, likes big business because it is manageable; it does what it is told. It is much easier to impose affirmative action or racial sensitivity training on AT&T than on 50,000 corner stores. This is why big business has become a key enforcer of political correctness.

Locke traces the history of corporatism to the idea that the marketplace is not really self-regulating, since the "big boys" will not "play fair"; hence economic activity requires outside management, be it through regulation, subsidy, or control over the monetary system. The first major corporatist enterprise of the 20th century was none other than the Federal Reserve, a private corporation that is embedded within the federal government — as its own literature states, “independent within the government.”

Then, in the 1930s, the (Fed-caused) Great Depression further eroded confidence in the marketplace to deliver material goods without government intervention. That period gave us Social Security and Medicare: the beginnings of the intergeneration redistribution of wealth we have been stuck with ever since. As political constituencies both large and small have grown, the corporatist edifice has grown along with them, often with the full support of the mainstream voting public both liberal and conservative.

The Left likes corporatism for three reasons, says Locke: (1) it satisfies government’s (i.e., politicians’) lust for power; (2) its machinery makes redistribution of wealth to favored constituencies possible; and (3) it enables politicians to accomplish this while remaining personally affluent.

The Right likes corporatism for three different reasons, says Locke: (1) big business can achieve enormous profits, capitalist-style, while unloading some of the cost and risk onto government; (2) the merger of business and government enables those at the helm of big business to influence government in ways favorable to themselves (e.g., thwarting true competition, which big business has seen as a nuisance since John D. Rockefeller, Sr. was heard to pronounce competition a “sin”); and (3) this merger seems able to minimize or dissipate whatever social unrest its policies create in the masses.

Locke provides several examples of corporatist endeavors besides the Federal Reserve. Some are even more obvious in today’s post-bailout climate: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the insurance industry generally (especially evident given Obama/Pelosi-care!), real estate, federal financing of scientific research, agricultural price-supports, and many others; we would probably want to add to our list so-called "free trade" agreements (e.g., NAFTA, CAFTA, etc.).

The point to all this is that if we going to criticize the Obama administration’s economic policies, we need to be sure we have its economics right — and if we are paying attention, we see far more continuity with past administrations than we do change. There have been no fundamental changes, despite candidate-Obama’s mantra about “change you can believe in.” (For this reason, many on the Left have grown as uneasy with this administration as any Tea Partier, even if for different reasons.)

Isn’t corporatism just a form of fascism? Yes and no. The most famous quote attributed to Italy’s Mussolini (the quote appears to be apocryphal) is that “fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” Under fascism, unlike socialism, government did not assume ownership over corporations but controlled them, allowing nominal ownership. I would submit that if there is a difference, it is that in the English-speaking world more of a partnership between the two has emerged, and over a longer period of time — perhaps born of the quiet realization that many in the upper echelons of the corporate domain are as interested in power as any statist authoritarian has ever been, and that the two can achieve far more working together than they can separately. Working separately will, in fact, ensure that the two will butt heads more often than not.

Corporatism may be thought of as “soft fascism,” which is oligarchic but not totalitarian. Part of its genius has been to win acceptance from the voting public through (1) having created a mass and organizing it into groups, or political constituencies; (2) delivering goods to those constituencies; (3) all the while creating a sense of security for them if they play ball; and (4) (although the idea calls for a
separate article) corporatism has sponsored “public schools,” further encouraging its acceptance through consistent ratcheting down of education not just about our founding principles but absent clear thinking about economics and even personal finance, while ratcheting up the current mixture of pop culture and job skills training (e.g., school-to-work, no-child-left-behind, etc.). The vast majority of teenagers educated this way will not question the system; the few who do can be safely marginalized.

Ron Paul has been the one Republican operating clearly outside the corporatist mindset. This might help explain why he and his supporters have been marginalized within the Republican Party, the mainstream of which serves corporatist interests. There are probably Democrats who are not corporatists. Dennis Kucinich might be an example.

All of which brings us to the question: If corporatism really is the best name for the economic system currently throttling America, can it be fought — and perhaps undermined? Of course, we have to identify it first. Most people have never heard the term. Then we might argue that corporatism is, in the long run, unsustainable: Social Security and Medicare, those two 1930s corporatist standbys, are both technically broke and on the federal equivalent of life support. As Baby Boomers retire, the situation will grow progressively worse! It was not without reason that Keynes said, "In the long run, we are all dead." Corporatism incorporates Keynesian economics and encourages massive spending by both government and consumers as the key to rising prosperity without looking far into the future. When people will not spend, generally because they cannot spend, there is an incentive to get money into their pockets; otherwise the economy falls into crisis. Spending money one does not have creates debt. The temptation is to monetize government debt. The result is the slow erosion of our dollars' purchasing power. The dollar in fact has lost 10 percent of its value in just the past year. Massive and still-growing indebtedness has the potential to be our downfall and the downfall of corporatism.

These considerations are all imminently rational, but the corporatist edifice we now live under has been built up under such a long period of time — several generations, in fact — that dismantling it all at once would precipitate chaos. Moreover, the public is now accustomed to it. They fear the loss of their safety nets, and might argue reasonably that they spent their lives paying into Social Security and are now
entitled to benefit from it. Healthcare costs are indeed astronomical; moreover, without Medicare (or some type of government aid), they would be priced beyond the reach of many elderly people. These are the main reasons Social Security and Medicare are politically untouchable, and that any politician proposing to abolish them would be rejected immediately by the majority of voters except for libertarians.

This issue is much larger than Obama. One way or another, he'll be gone in a few years. The problems will remain, and would have worsened even if McCain had been elected in 2008. How do we “turn back the clock”? Can we?

Robert Locke offers these troubling thoughts:

With these two different kinds of trust [in the self-regulating nature of the marketplace, and its ability to deliver material goods] gone, corporatism becomes not only worthwhile, but necessary. Crucially, it becomes psychologically necessary, independently of whether government can deliver on its promises, because people instinctively turn to government as their protector.

Anyone who is serious about getting rid of corporatism must explain how they are going to restore these two kinds of trust or persuade people to live without them. In particular, it is almost certainly useless, as verified by the fact that government has grown under every postwar Republican administration, to try to nibble away at big government without renegotiating the social contract that underlies it. If we don't have a plan to renegotiate this social contract, we must face the fact that the electorate will demand that it be respected.

Photo of Ron Paul: AP Images

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hating the Government

Hating the government finally goes mainstream

By: Chris Stirewalt
Political Editor
Washington Examiner
April 15, 2010

Three years ago, the Republican establishment piled scorn on the presidential candidacy of Ron Paul. Today, he is in a statistical tie with President Obama in 2012 polling. His son, an ophthalmologist who has never run for elective office, is well ahead of not only the GOP's handpicked candidate for Senate in Kentucky but also both Democratic contenders -- all statewide officeholders.

What happened? Did America sudden develop an insatiable appetite for 74-year-old, cranky congressmen from Texas? Is the gold standard catching on? Paul will not likely be the next president. And his son still faces the most arduous part of his journey as Democrats spend millions to paint him as soft on defense, lax on drug enforcement and too radical on welfare programs.

But there's no doubt that hating the government and the powerful interests that pull Washington's strings has gone from the radical precincts of the Right and Left to the mainstream. It turns out that watching Goldman Sachs, the United Auto Workers, public employee unions and a raft of other vampires drain the treasury at America's weakest moment in a generation will make a person pretty hacked off.

After Barack Obama's election, Democrats assumed that the American people were battered, bruised and ready for a morphine drip of European-style socialism. Republicans, shocked by their stunning reversals, figured the Democrats were right and started looking for technocrats of their own.And in a political system fueled by special-interest money, it was hard for the leaders of major parties to imagine anything other than an activist government. After all, if you pay for someone to get elected, you don't expect him to just sit there.

Just 18 months ago the leaders of both parties were quite sure that Obama would be the popular, transformative president he aspires to be. The Republicans who emerged from the wreckage of November were certain to look a lot more like Charlie Crist and Mitt Romney than Marco Rubio and Ron Paul. But Crist's embrace of Obamanomics seems to have utterly destroyed his chances at a Senate seat that was once his for the taking. Romney, considered a near lock for the 2012 Republican nomination, has seen his candidacy badly damaged by a populist revolt against the passage of a national health care plan that looks like the one he designed for Massachusetts.

Obama, who said that passage of his health plan proved that Washington could still do big things, finds himself deeply at odds with an electorate that is not confident of government's ability to do anything at all.His election has turned out to be not the result of a national lurch toward government intervention but his own skill at disguising his policies, the failures of the Republican Party and the bursting of the lending bubble.

A year ago, the tea parties caught most everyone by surprise.It was a conservative flash mob and hundreds of thousands of Americans took to the streets.Republicans scrambled to get to the head of the parade and Democrats claimed that it was all a put-up job by their enemies in the special interest wars. The press tried to treat what had been a spontaneous outburst as if it were a traditional political party and asked all the questions they teach in journalism school: Who's in charge? Who are they opposed to? Is it racist?

This year, the political parties and the press will not be caught off guard. Republican politicians will address tea party rallies, Democrats will denounce the supposed puppeteers of the movement and the press will look for hate speech.

But few will glean the real meaning of the protests or the booming support for Ron and Rand Paul. It's not about the Pauls themselves or the guys with the "Don't tread on me" flags It's about the people at home who might not be willing to march in the park or join the next Paul money bomb, but who don't blame the folks who do.

Libertarian sentiment has finally gone mainstream. A movement that said that people should do whatever they wanted as long as it didn't hurt anyone else couldn't compete during the culture wars that began in the 1960s. But after two wars, a $12 trillion debt, a financial crisis and the most politically tone-deaf president in modern history, Americans may have finally given up on big government.

Chris Stirewalt is the political editor of the Washington Examiner. He can be reached at