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Friday Afternoon Roundup - Don't Call It Amnesty

Amnesty is bad. Everyone agrees on that. Even the senators who support amnesty claim not to support it. Instead they support “Comprehensive Immigration Rand Paul official portrait 112th Congress alternateReform” with “A Path to Citizenship”. They support a comprehensive solution that will be compassionate and work as an immigration policy for the 21st century.

No one uses the term “amnesty” anymore except opponents of amnesty for illegal aliens and their more vociferous advocates. This makes for some confusing speeches and press conferences.

The most bizarre argument that advocates of amnesty are making is that we have “de facto amnesty” now. The argument goes that since we have de facto amnesty now, we should just have the real thing and get it over with.

A lack of proper enforcement is not de facto amnesty. Amnesty is legalization. What Rubio and Rand Paul call de facto amnesty is the difference between not arresting a drug dealer and legalizing heroin.

The big sales pitch for 2012 was overall electability. The sales pitch for 2016 is Latino electability. The GOP only wants someone who has a shot with the Latino vote. And Marco Rubio and Rand Paul are busy polishing their Latino vote credentials. It’s a stupid way to run a political movement, but a great way to get ahead.

Even if amnesty is good for Rubio or Paul, it’s not good for the Republican Party, for America or for Latino immigrants for that matter, who are entitled to a legal system of entry, rather than being told that their best route into the country is by bribing a coyote and trying to make it across the border.

And during an economic downturn, championing mass immigration is insensitive to the majority of American workers. The GOP failed to properly make its case to them in two elections. Now it’s giving them a big middle finger while chasing after the Mexican-American vote, even though far from all Mexican-Americans support amnesty.

And worst of all they’re doing it dishonestly.

Take Rand Paul. 

Rand Paul struggled valiantly to tell the media that haggling over terms like “path to citizenship” and “amnesty” gets the debate nowhere.

“[The debate] is trapped in a couple of words — ‘path to citizenship’ and ‘amnesty,’ ” he said. Taking a shot at the anti-immigration advocates, he said later in the call, “Everybody who doesn’t want anything to move forward calls anything they don’t like a ‘path to citizenship’ and ‘amnesty.’”

Sounding a tad forlorn, he then asked, “Can’t we just call it reform?”

Can't we just call it what it is? 

Reform tells you nothing about a policy. Obama called Obamacare reform too. Everyone calls their policy proposals reform. It's a brand. It tells you nothing about what it does.

If you were reading conservatives sites this week, you saw the drama of Rand Paul going back and forth over whether he supports a path to citizenship or not.

As for citizenship, he went around and around with reporters, reiterating in response to each variation on the same question that for citizenship the new visa holders would “get in line” or “go to the back of the line.” He referred to the “existing” line but allowed that there had to be discussion about country limits, how many people are in line, how long they must wait, etc.

He also indicated he was open to “rethinking” his opposition to granting citizenship to children brought here illegally if the border security issue can be resolved.

Lines. Lines lots of lines. But at the end of the line is citizenship. 

“I didn’t use the word citizenship at all this morning,” Paul said. ”Basically what I want to do is to expand the worker visa program, have border security and then as far as how people become citizens, there already is a process for how people become citizens. The main difference is I wouldn’t have people be forced to go home. You’d just get in line. But you get in the same line everyone is in.”

So Rand Paul's proposal would legalize and eventually turn millions of illegal aliens into citizens... but he thinks it's unfair that the end result be associated with him.

He's not proposing to turn them into citizens. He's just proposing to legalize them so that they can apply for citizenship.

The question for those who supported Rand Paul isn't whether you want amnesty. Everyone is entitled to their point of view.

The question is should politicians be up front about the policies they support or should they hide them because they don't trust the voters?

Even though Paul would clearly make it easier to become a citizen, he said he would rather not label it a “path to citizenship,” because using that phrases means everyone “closes their ears” to the rest of the argument.

Is this what you really want?

This doesn't just apply to Rand, it applies to Rubio, who has been even worse on this out of the gate. The problem is that the Republican Party is overrun by presidential wannabes who don't want to say what they mean and when they're finally forced to take a position that is mainstream to their base, but edgy by their standards, they mess it up badly and blame the right-wing voters for the consequences.

AMNESTY AND LIBERTARIANS

During the debates over this topic, I wrote,  

 Libertarianism, like every other political philosophy, is not an absolute good. Thinking that way leads to totalitarianism. 

There are good things about it, but there are also self-destructive things about it. 

Proposing to turn 11 million voters who oppose libertarian ideas into citizens is an example of the latter.

Allah and Ace wrote something similar

 Maybe the libertarians are right: Let’s simplify things by opening the borders instead. Offer to hand out voting ballots to anyone around the world who’s willing to pay U.S. taxes. (Imagine what fine libertarian electoral outcomes that would produce.)

Indeed! A mass influx of immigrants from socialist countries with cradle-to-grave entitlements (and broken economies-- gee I wonder if those two are related?) should finally gift us all with Rand Paul and Reason's dream of a public ready for some libertarian economic solutions.

There's a reason that Internationalism doesn't work. It doesn't work when liberals or libertarians champion mass migration and a borderless world because their specific philosophy can turn any group of immigrants around.

Philosophies can be applied to a specific nation. Attempting an international application is how we got the War in Iraq.

Just because a political philosophy works in the United States does not mean it will work in Mexico, El Salvador, Iraq or Afghanistan. 

Refusing to understand that by championing international democracy or immigration is asking for big trouble.

HOW TO DESTROY EVERY FAST FOOD JOINT IN AMERICA IN ONE EASY STEP 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, suggested raising the minimum wage to $22 per hour is only logical if you look at the numbers.

With labor costs running to between 25 to 35 percent at eateries and a lot of retail, tripling that would turn labor costs into the majority of business cost and would put many of them out of business.

The majority of McDonald’s fast food joints are franchisees. Franchisees have to pay a 45,000 dollar franchise fee back to McD’s plus 12.5 percent of sales. The price of meat keeps going up thanks to Obama’s environmental games. Here’s what a typical breakdown looks like.

Typically, food costs range from about 25%-28% of sales, while cooking oil and condiments cost 3%-4%. Labor costs vary from 25% to over 30%, not including management.

Now perhaps Elizabeth Warren can explain how a McDonald’s franchise is sustainable now that it’s paying out 90% of its sales to the workers, not including management.

Elizabeth Warren Proposes Tripling Labor Costs for American Small Business 

HUSSEIN OF JERUSALEM II

As Obama lands in Ramallah, the city’s central Al-Manara square has filled with 200-300 angry protesters demonstrating against the US president’s visit. Many are shouting slogans such as, “We don’t want anything peaceful, only bullets and missiles,” and, “Go home you devil, we don’t want to see Americans here,”

Many protesters are holding up signs calling for Palestinian prisoners to be released, including Fathiya Ajaji, whose son Ahmed is in jail in the US for involvement in the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993. 

Before Obama’s trip to Israel, he met with two organizations that support Hamas. And one of those organizations provided him with pro-Hamas proposals.

During his trip, his language suggested that his administration was softening its line on Hamas, calling on it not to engage in violence, rather than condemning it.

On the other hand when it came to Hezbollah, Obama offered a strong condemnation. 

What’s the difference? Focus on the last 10 words. "[Hezbollah] supports the massacre of men, women and children in Syria." Hamas is part of the Sunni coalition and linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. It’s on the “right side” of the Syrian Civil War. Hezbollah is part of the Shiite coalition. It’s on the “wrong side” of the Syrian Civil War.

Obama told Israelis, "Four years ago I stood in Cairo in front of an audience of young people. Politically, religiously, they must seem a world away. But the things they want — they’re not so different from what the young people here want. They want the ability to make their own decisions and to get an education and to get a good job, to worship God in their own way, to get married, to raise a family. The same is true of those young Palestinians that I met with this morning. The same is true for young Palestinians who yearn for a better life in Gaza."

Again, this is from Obama’s big Jerusalem speech and it proves that he either has no clue what happened in Egypt or is just determined to tell insane lies hoping that college students don’t watch the news.

The outcome of democratic elections in Egypt showed that what they wanted was theocracy, the repression of Christians and women, and a state of sectarian conflict.

They didn’t want to worship God in their own way. They wanted to compel everyone to worship Allah their way.

They didn’t want the ability to make their own decisions, they wanted a theocracy that would make those decisions for them.

Obama’s analogy is dangerously apt. Gaza is run by Hamas, which is the local arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas won the last elections in the Palestinian Authority. If actual elections were held now, Hamas would win them again.

That is why Obama calls on Israelis to trust them, but doesn’t call on his good buddy President Abbas to hold elections that would prove conclusively whether that trust is merited.

 The used car that Obama wants to sell Israel is the beat-up 20-year-old “concessions to terrorists” coupe. It’s got a new paint job, but it doesn’t run because there’s nothing under the hood except paper and empty promises. But every time you turn the key, it blows up and a lot of people die.

So yes, Israel looks great behind the wheel of the peace process. It looks 20 years younger. And 20 years dumber. But strip away the empty compliments and it’s the same dirty old clunker underneath.

EVERYTHING YOU EXPECT IT TO BE

Obama's Israel trip was everything you expected it to be. 40 pounds of flattery with a few ounces of poisonous substance.

In between all the scripted compliments about Israel, Obama pushed a diplomatic solution with Iran, concessions to terrorists and a softer line on Hamas. He hinted at having his own peace plan that he wanted to impose.

And after he left, he oversaw a phone call in which Netanyahu apologized to Turkey's Islamist thug for the interception of a Turkish pro-Hamas boat on the way to Gaza and agreed to give its Islamist regime a role in Gaza.

It was a disgusting act of appeasement by a man who has become Israel's own version of Bush.

Netanyahu gave Hamas a major victory by making the Shalit deal. He gave Islamist Turkey a major victory over Israel with his apology. He gave Islamist Egypt an earlier victory by calling off a ground operation.

While Netanyahu allowed Obama and Erdogan to push him around, he allowed Barak to demolish Jewish homes and in has decided now to declare war on Haredi Jews. And he presided over an election in which a left wing party became the dominant player in his coalition.

As a technocrat, Netanyahu has done a good job on the economy. But he's been terrible on national defense, maintaining a status quo while repeatedly talking about how someone should do something on Iran. It may not have occurred to him that, that someone is him. It certainly won't be Obama.

The real problem among Israeli conservatives, as among American conservatives, is a lack of leadership. When Netanyahu is the default choice, there is something very wrong with the process. Bennett showed some promise, but has been flailing since. Perhaps he'll grow into it, but that is so long as he doesn't turn out to be another Netanyahu.

After Begin and Shamir, the right needed a technocrat. It needed someone who could talk to foreign leaders and understand some of the bigger issues. But it also needs principles.

The Likud needs a post-Netanyahu plan and it doesn't have one. (And no, not Feiglin. I mean a realistic electable plan.) Instead the country is tied up in the usual factitious politics with no end in sight. Haredi and Dati Leumi leaders shriek at each other as if the country's biggest problem were girls schools. The left exploits social dicontents while the right has tried and failed to steal the Shinui vote by trying to draft the undraftable.

I am unfortunately reminded once again of the Second Temple and the eerily similar conflicts that tore it apart. Then as now, Israel fell because there was a lack of common consensus on maintaining a united country, instead of picking endless sectarian fights. But the fights are the only things that some people care about.

The Haredim want to impose their norms on the rest of the country. The left wants to impose its norms on the Haredim and on the Dati Leumi. The Dati Leumi want to impose their norms on the Haredim. And when enough houses are bulldozed and enough teenagers in black have been beaten up, when enough anarchists in red have paraded around, then perhaps history will repeat itself.

Israel's subgroups have spent too much time fighting each other over cultural and religious differences and over government access and subsidies to stop. And the fight itself has become a political shortcut. Everyone is playing a zero sum game with a finite amount of money and power and running for office on a pledge to win the fight.

While houses are falling, there are celebrations because the Religious Ministry is "in our hands" or in someone else's hands. And Netanyahu? No one cares what he does as long the ministries go to the right people.

FIRE IN THE SKY 

When a bomb explosion ripped a hole in the cabin of the Boeing 747 he was piloting between Tokyo and Honolulu, Captain Roy Hawk said that his “job was to fly that plane to safety.” And he did.

The Pan Am Jumbo Ket was carrying 285 people on the “late flight” out of Tokyo.

In the rear of the plane, 16-year-old Toru Ozawa lay on his back in the aisle. His lower abdomen had been ripped open, his intestines seeping out. The explosion had also sheered off one of his legs. He called out for his mother and father; they watched in horror as he died.

On Aug. 11, 1982, Mohammed Rashed, a top 15 May lieutenant, boarded a flight from Baghdad to Tokyo along with his Austrian-born wife Christine Pinter and their child.

Before Rashed disembarked in Tokyo, he activated a bomb under the cushion of window seat 47K. Once on the ground, Rashed and his wife got off the plane, which continued to Honolulu. Ozawa, who was on vacation with his family, sat in Rashed’s seat.

While the FBI waited out Ibrahim, agents did manage eventually to arrest Rashed in 1998 after he was released from a Greek prison. The Jordanian pleaded guilty to bombing the 1982 Pan Am flight in December 2002

But now Rashed is being set loose after spending fairly little time in prison.

Roy Hawk, the Pan Am 830 pilot, said he’s never forgotten the carnage inside the plane. He was dismayed to learn of Rashed’s pending release.

“To tell you the truth, I never figured he’d be released,” Hawk said. “I just figured he’d be in prison the rest of his life, and that was it.”

Muslim Terrorist Who Detonated Bomb on Pan Am Flight 830 Freed from Prison

WHAT SWEET MUSIC THEY MAKE 

I would speculate that this was a deliberate insult, except that the Palestinian anthem following it sounds almost as bad.

To be fair though, the Palestinian anthem, composed by a Greek leftist who grew up being taught that Jews drink blood, always sounds bad. Even at its best the Palestinian anthem sounds like the intro to a Broadway musical. At its worst it sounds like a drunken polka group trying to play a medley of old Nazi marching songs without being able to find the notes.

Oppressed Palestinian People Too Busy Training Suicide Bombers to Train Musicians

AND NOW LIBERALISM'S WORK IS DONE

Brown University Helping Students Fight Gay FeelingsToward White People 

A group of Brown University students appear to be preparing an on-campus workshop in which “queer” participants will separate by race to work past their sexual attraction to Caucasians.

If You Like Your Doctor, You Can See Him at The Same Time as 12 Other Patients

Soda-Obsessed Mayor of Illiterate City to Convene Climate Change Summit in World’s Rape Capital

Department of Education “Kids Zone” Features Communist Quote from Mao

“Whoever refuses to study these problems seriously and carefully is no Marxist. Complacency is the enemy of study. We cannot really learn anything until we rid ourselves of complacency. Our attitude towards ourselves should be “to be insatiable in learning” and towards others “to be tireless in teaching”.

... remember kids, if you want to grow up to be a good Marxist, you have to study.

Head of San Francisco Human Rights Commission Claims Iran is More LGBT Friendly than America

Libya Repays Bernard-Henri Levy’s Support by Banning Him for Being Jewish

Islamic Law Allows Husbands to Divorce their Wives on Facebook

Chris Christie Complains Black Democratic Speaker is Blocking Bill That Would Help Black Families, Accused of Racism 

Public School Administration Grew 7X Faster than Students and 2X Faster than Teachers

FLYING HORSE ARCHEOLOGY HARDEST HIT

For those who are fans of imaginary archeology, the Muslim claim to Jerusalem is based on the “night journey” that Mohammed took on a flying horse from Mecca to Jerusalem.

Muslims seized the holiest site in Judaism, planted a mosque on the site but Muslim vandalism isn’t just limited to other people’s holy sites. Islamists are notorious for destroying even Muslim shrines. That is how Wahhabism began. It’s what Salafis are now doing in Libya and Mali.

And now the Saudi royal family has destroyed a whole bunch of Islamic heritage sites… including the column from which Mohammed supposedly took off on his flying horse from Mecca.

Saudi Arabia Tears Down Column Marking Muslim Claim to Jerusalem

A VOICE OF REASON ON WHAT THE REPUBLICANS SHOULD DO

Should the Republicans evolve on gay marriage or amnesty? Is that going to save the party? Or how about doing what the GOP failed to do in a whole bunch of elections and go Reagan by focusing on bread and butter issues for ordinary voters.

I'm not endorsing everything in this proposal, but it's far more sensible than most of the GOP makeovers.

 The economic decline of the past few years has led to a rising number of “1099 Moms” or “Etsy Earners” – women who've started home businesses or found contracting work to make ends meet and to stay engaged in their careers in the longterm, recognizing they'll have to go back to full-time work as soon as they are able. The overall 1099 portion of the economy has grown dramatically – Houston alone has seen about a 12% increase since 2009. What are some ways conservatives could approach reaching these women and other work-from-home professionals?

Here are five general approaches to policy areas that can serve as a starting point for crafting an Etsy Earner agenda.

TAXES: Start with a push to end the massive tax penalties on self-employed work. Self-employed Etsy Earners pay 15.3% out of pocket on payroll taxes, and are penalized if they don’t cut a check every 3 months (rather than having it deducted out of your count, and your employer paying half of it). To add insult to injury, those who are married also suffer from a dramatic marriage penalty: they are taxed at their spouse's marginal rate even if they're making a fraction of what he earns.

A DRONE BY ANY OTHER NAME 

Sen. Leahy may be interested to know that Lt. Gen. David Deptula, USAF (Ret.), the first general in charge of Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, has also pointed out the inaccuracy of the term “drones”:

The critics don’t understand the reality of “drone” operations, nor do they comprehend that our adversaries are most certainly conducting an aggressive perception management campaign on this issue – a very effective one if the recent hysteria over RPA [(Remotely Piloted Aircraft)] use is a measure of effectiveness. In military parlance, a “drone” is a flying target.

The media like to use it because it is only one word and they don’t have to explain what a “Remotely Piloted Aircraft” is. But the word “drone” connotes a degree of autonomy that RPAs simply do not possess. It takes over 200 people to operate a MQ-1 Predator or MQ-9 Reaper RPA orbit for 24 hours. This little-known fact among the RPA naysayers is one of the reasons that the use of “drones” allows for more ethical oversight than any other weapon. Drones allow us significantly greater control, oversight, and review before a shot is fired than occurs using manned aircraft or other operations conducted by soldiers, sailors, airmen or Marines.

Fighting Words on UAVs

GREENING THE NEGEV?

The Argan tree

is a very special tree- it has roots that can reach 70 meters (about 210 feet!) into the earth. One of the oldest trees on this planet, it is called "the tree of life" in its native Morocco. It has very specific cultivation needs that are identical with our conditions here in the town of Mitzpe Ramon in the Negev desert.

Besides being a great ecological boon, this tree has been only recently discovered by the West and the market prices reflect the value of its product: precious argan oil.

Argan of the Negev

is a pilot project. We have received a parcel of land in the Negev desert outside of the town of Mitzpe Ramon in Israel. This land was used for military training but is being converted to agriculture. A real example of turning swords into plowshares!

 Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century. He blogs at Sultan Knish.

 

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