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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My Two Cents' Worth on Immigration Reform

On Newsmax, I saw that Michael Burns is calling on the GOP to embrace immigrants.

Excuse me?  Since when did the GOP not embrace immigrants? True, they didn't have the urban political machines associated with the "immigrant vote" of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but something tells me that in those days, the GOP wouldn't have had its foothold in the Midwest without the children of German and Scandinavian immigrants, and even now we see sons of immigrants such as Jindal, Cruz, and Rubio close to its heart.

My guess is that both Newsmax and Michael Burns are accepting the recent re-definition of "immigrant" as meaning someone here illegally.  This both insults the millions of immigrants in the USA who came here in full conformity to US law and allows the unscrupulous Democratic media to define the terms of debate (even after its own members have voted to put the immigration laws we now have on the books). If this is so, the GOP rightly deserves the designation of "stupid party".

The country needs to be reminded very loudly that there is a very clear path to citizenship here.  It's called legal immigration, and the USA still admits more people legally than any other country on earth.  Further, whether a legal immigrant becomes a citizen or not is his own call, after he's been here for five years.  Uncle Cephas has no desire to shut down this pathway (his own wife and daughter-in-law, plus two grandfathers, were all legal immigrants)--and does not know of a single responsible GOP spokesman who has called for such a thing.

Yes, I can't help but feel some sympathy for kids who were brought here illegally by their parents, and can see that there may be some people here illegally who may be on the wrong side of horrendous government or lawless elements at home.  Once caught, such people might well be slapped on the wrist, fined, and told to fill out a set of papers to let them stay rather than face deportation. 

But the Democratic Party's newest plan to pander is just wrong.  No country on earth can afford to erase its own borders; and it cannot be healthy to give our country a large, new population whose entry was made by scoffing at law--at least, if we are to continue to have the rule of law.

Reflections on Bumper Stickers

I just saw a bumper sticker that read:

"I'm proud of my footprint".

I couldn't help but think that I'd like a bumper sticker that read,

"I'm proud of my footprint: it's bigger than Al Gore's."

Actually, the only reason my footprint is bigger than Al Gore's is because I'm certain my shoe size is bigger than his.  Alas, I am not wealthy enough to have as big an environmental footprint as his.

I also saw this one:

"Good women seldom make history".

My only observation is that women who make history usually go to their graves followed by their countries' curses.  While Johnnie Knox got a bad portrayal in the execrable film on Mary Queen of Scots starring the even more execrable Redgrave, he really got it right in his _First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment [rule] of Women_.  The line goes back to Athaliah, Queen Mother of Judah, who tried to wipe out the seed of David.  Knowing a bit of Chinese history, the lineup including Yang Guifei, Wu Zitian, and the Qing dynasty's Ci Xi is horrid enough.  As for Queen Elizabeth I, who was not amused at Knox's tract, she was probably an exception who proved the rule.

I also note that there are a lot of bad women who somehow don't die at a ripe old age surrounded by loving (as opposed to scheming and rivalrous) families.  Then again, something tells me that the lady sporting the sticker I saw probably isn't reproducing anyway.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Korean Misgivings

A new war is brewing in the Korean Peninsula, and one that might go both nuclear and global.  Hence, Uncle Cephas sadly moves from his recent meditations on biblical themes to the areas of international politics, an area in which he has worked and which formed one of his areas of specialization for his Ph.D. in political science.

Kim Jong-eun's recent saber-rattling does not represent the ravings of an unhinged madman, nor is it the posture of a man yet too immature to handle the power entrusted to him. It is a calculated move to bring about one of the long-standing goals of the Pyongyang regime and its protector in Beijing, namely, the removal of meaningful US influence from Northeastern Asia.  A re-opening of the Korean War seems to offer this, especially since the US has seemed thoroughly unprepared for such an eventuality up till now.

Communist Chinese policy has been testing the Obama administration for a number of years now. On a state visit, the pianist Lang Lang played "My Motherland", a theme from a Korean War-era propaganda film that glorified killing Americans. No official response was forthcoming, assuring Beijing that this administration is not wary of Beijing's intentions. Beijing is also well aware that both official America and the major American media are positive towards Beijing and trust it to be a restraint on rather than an enabler of North Korean ambitions.  Washington breathes a sigh of relief when Beijing cuts off supplies to Pyongyang for a day or two; but fails to ask other questions.

The buildup of Chinese land and air forces along the Yalu and Tumen rivers and the deployment of its naval power in the Yellow Sea seems more a signal to Kim's regime that Beijing is watching his back rather than trying to warn him to refrain from drastic action. Further, recent cyber attacks on South Korean banking and communications targets, traced to China, and hacking American computers also suggest "dry runs" for military technologies which China has been openly pursuing for a number of years.  The choice of a South Korean target also suggests that Beijing is also thinking in terms of a reopening of Korean hostilities.

Kim is no fool.  His bellicose noises echo those of his father, who drew numerous concessions through threats.  This, and continuing Chinese rhetoric about the "lips and teeth" relationship between Communist China and North Korea, tell him that he has nothing to fear. 

Further, the Communist giants had a longstanding history of loyalty to allies and clients, while the US has long proven itself fickle (as even Israel and Britain are learning from the Obama administration).  This, perhaps, coupled with the excellent training the East German Stasi used to give the security forces of erstwhile Soviet Third World clients, goes far in explaining the unending string of Communist successes in the so-called Third World throughout the Cold War.

To fight the next Korean War, US policy needs to consider what it would take to successfully counter a Communist Chinese intervention.  Yet it shows no sign of doing so. American cyber-warfare capabilities remain in their infancy, and the smart money in Washington continues to bet on cooperation with the PRC.

The men who rule in Beijing also know that we are not watching them.  Further, they have everything to win from a new Korean War in which the US is again unprepared for their intervention on behalf of Pyongyang.  Aghast at the possibility of a repeat of 1989, dismayed that even "progressive" opinion in the West sympathized with the protesters in Tiananmen, aware that they are the last and best hope for 20th century totalitarianism, confident that they can rally their population against a perceived foreign threat, and students of Sun Zi, they are probably confident that they can trap the Obama administration into a war that the US will lose.

Should war break out in the Far East, it is hard to see how the Middle East will keep quiet.  Certainly Iran will be emboldened to show some support for Beijing and Pyongyang, both of which contributed to its own nuclear development. A preoccupied America could easily lead Arab rejectionists (who are clearly the winning party) to launch new attacks on Israel.  Erdogan's Islamicist Turkey would not be a reliable US ally in such a scenario, threatening the possible breakup of NATO. At no time have dangers been so great.

The US and South Korea need to mobilize world opinion against Pyongyang--although that will be difficult in an era in which even the American administration sees its foreign policy as a neo-colonialism of which it must be ashamed.  Both need to quickly develop their own cyber-warfare capacities and plan for a conlfict in which Mainland China will again be a key player.