Monday, August 31, 2009

Personal Asides: The Prematurely Orange-Haired Lefty …Obama’s Deservedly Short Honeymoon…The Hispanic Lag Behind Whites.


Comparing Fawell to Rove.

When you get right down to it, there is nobody in Chicago journalism more disgusting than the one-woman monopoly (Sun-Times, WTTW-TV, Channel 5) Carol Marin, the prematurely orange-haired far-Left creature who is back from vacation having slurred the National Rifle Association with a false charge.

Yesterday her Sun-Times column discussed her WTTW-TV interview with Scott Fawell, the convicted aide to the jailed ex-Gov. George Ryan—and she described Fawell, who spent three years in jail having been convicted for racketeering and mail-fraud charges, as Ryan’s Karl Rove. She could have said Obama’s Rahm Emanuel but she didn’t. She is literally so twisted Left she can’t lay straight in bed.

How long are we to suffer with this dirty tricks-playing, thumb-in-the-eye far-Left-wing parody of a journalist? The fact that part of her pay at `TTW is done with taxpayers’ money is disgusting. Or “viewers like you” as the promotion goes…which I hope does not include anyone of intelligence who reads this.

Down for the Count.

I’ve never seen a shorter presidential honeymoon enjoyed by…nor an administration which has bollixed things up more than… Barack Obama’s. Which means that unless he can turn things around pronto, Obama will not just be a one-term president but an utter one-term failure like Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter.

His health care initiative has terrified not just conservatives but elderly of all political views who fear their care will be rationed and given to new recipients. And having heard of scary Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Rahm’s brother, they worry that the aged…as for example someone 80-plus who needs a hip replacement…will be disqualified before a federal health panel rather than a 22-year-old HIV positive felonious slack-jawed gang banger with a drug problem.

Obama has been contradicted in his estimate of the health care cost by the Democratic-controlled House Budget office. Last week his budget people admitted their March prediction of deficits 10 years out was off by almost $3 trillion. Nor has the administration in response along with its liberal media Enablers been astute: demonizing angry people showing up at the Town Halls as Nazis. (Here in this state, pantingly liberal U. S. Senator Catholic pro-abort Dick Durbin has said he does not want to contaminate his reading of the electorate by holding Town Halls.)

Exactly fifteen years ago, Bill Clinton was in generally the same position, stuck with a disastrous health care bill. Clinton, an opportunist but not a liberal ideologue, smoothly switched gears, turned to the right and changed the subject. Advocating deregulation and welfare reform along with the Defense of Marriage Act, addressing the 1996 State of the Union with the statement “the era of Big Government is over,” he saved his presidency. Can Obama do this?

Nope. Strangely for a man who advocated “hope and change,” change from this disastrous posture is not in him. His press secretary said as much the other day that people can abandon all hope that he’ll switch: that he is prepared to spend only one term in the White House, sticking it out to the last if his wishes are not fulfilled. Obama’s views are as old as Marx’s. Assuming all wealth is distributed by the government rather than through individual creativity and ingenuity, he sees economic life as a violent struggle of each against all for one’s “fair share.” Believing that capitalists have seized too much of the nation’s resources, he advocates programs of retribution (excessive regulation) and redistribution (“spreading the wealth around,” as he told Joe the Plumber). His is a zero-sum economy, which has always been and will continue to be the chief cause of poverty.

None is so blind as he who will not see. Nothing is more deleterious to the poor than redirecting resources from entrepreneurs who know how to enlarge them to government which knows only how to spend politically. But Obama is a creature of the Left—as are most of the mainstream media. If government were the superior investors, the USSR would have built prosperity rather than catastrophe. What Obama believes shorn of its veneer is in a deep and all-encompassing Marxism that is hostile to the wealth-producing sector of the country. This is slowly dawning on the electorate—in many places but not the big name university faculty lounges including those with Catholic names.

Add to this, cap and trade, huge deficits, the overseas excursions by Obama where he apologizes for America’s past presidents and the congressional lions who wanted two multi-billion aircraft of their own for junkets…a 1,000-page “stimulus bill” nobody has read in full including, by his own admission, the president…the wailing that illegal aliens can’t scrape together $300 a month to pay for health care when it’s common knowledge they send that amount back to relatives in Tijuana…the whining that mid-20s youth are not covered when we know the average kid prefers an I-pod, Blackberry and nights out to saving his cash each month for health insurance?

Change is coming via the ballot box but the question is: will there be enough time? Any other president caught in a bind like this would concentrate on the debt, would freeze spending at, say, 2% per annum. Barack Obama is not the man to do this. A Third World creature by inclination if not by birth, he has surrounded himself with two prime Mayor Daley prodigies, David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel.

Axelrod is neck-deep in conflict of interest, his old firm paying him his final settlement in large part from business generated from his present political job. Emanuel is the guy who first suggested that the $787 billion “stimulus” fund be given to Nancy Pelosi for her to decorate with as many superfluous spending programs as she desires; moreover he is the one who suggested Obama not design a health care bill but allow the Congress to craft one by itself: hence even the president can’t compute what it would cost.

They encourage Obama on with his class warfare, deriding those who make over $150,000. His anti-rich crusade is all the more ironic for his life-style, including the places he vacations in—the people who join him in festing while he lives at resorts costing $15,000 a day.

Punishing Those Who Protect the U. S.

As if the fiscal wreck of the United States is not enough, with ample proof to show that tough action against captured terrorists here served up a veritable rolodex of names enabling us to prevent future attacks on our shores, we find…astoundingly…that the Obama administration is determined to wreak vengeance on the very agency that protects us: the CIA. And this is one of the most curious spectacles in American history.

Every other president, good and bad, has exerted the power to control his administration. Not Obama. He has said publicly that he wishes the country to look forward, not backward, and not punish men in past administrations on spurious charges of “torturing” captured terrorists. He is the man who was elected: Barack Obama. But now we get his Attorney General, Eric Holder, whom no one elected who is ready to go ahead contrary to Obama’s supposed wishes to examine and punish those who participated in water-boarding of some of the CIA’s high value detainees.

What is the reason for this duplicity—the spectacle of a president who says we will not punish CIA experts and an attorney general who says we will? It is a high-level game of Good Cop/Bad Cop taken from the style of the Daley administration here in Chicago. Obama wants full well to prosecute and persecute those who prevented recurrence of terrorism for one reason alone. Why?

The same animus that propelled Captain Ahab in Herman Melville’s great novel of 1851 and which has become an American classic, Moby Dick. Ahab was a sea captain who was injured in an earlier encounter with an old, large sperm whale known to all whalers as “Moby Dick.” In a tussle with it, it turned over Ahab’s boat as he poised with a harpoon and caught in the undertow, Ahab lost a leg. Now, perched on a peg leg, Ahab told his crew he was out for revenge against the whale—snow white, with mottled hump.

It is clear to most people in Washington who the reincarnation of Moby Dick is that spurs Obama’s obsession. It is Dick Cheney, the vice president who pushed the CIA to use its maximum resources to extract enough information to prevent further attacks on our shores. So while Obama adroitly protects himself by saying he would prefer to live in the present than the past, he says his attorney general should be “fully independent” from the White House.

Thus he has full faith in Holder to make the decision on whether to reopen the cases with an eye toward possible criminal prosecution. Criminal prosecution will mean to the CIA, FBI and entire national security apparatus that in the future no one who values his reputation will do more than cursory lip-service to apprehend or interrogate terrorist prisoners. The Obama administration has ruled that from now on terrorists will be interrogated by FBI personnel, unschooled in the knack of getting them to talk as has been CIA experts. The media don’t care and so most of America doesn’t know this.

Does Obama have any recognition of the danger he is putting this country in by pursuing such an irresponsible course? Of course. His own CIA Director, Leon Panetta, has resorted to a shouting match and has threatened to resign. It doesn’t concern Obama. He is…as I have said many times earlier…essentially a Third Worlder, aloof from any of the climactic struggles that embraced the U. S. against fascism and terror.

Do Axelrod and Emanuel have any recognition?

They are Jewish and should understand from the days of the Holocaust the danger of Rahm’s brother Dr. Ezekiel fooling around with plans that set subtle but nonetheless precedent-setting priorities on the value of human life, putting a mark of Cain on those who are elderly or, as Ezekiel has said, “demented.” Why don’t they understand? Because they are not conspicuously religious Jews—but concerned with power and the wish to reelect their man, no matter what it takes.

Thus my view is that the good news is that America is at last…and maybe for all time…being awakened to the challenge of radical liberalism, truly called in its current state, a mental disorder. That’s the good news. The question is: do we have time? Time to elect a Congress in 2010 that can strengthen the opposition to this radical liberalism? Time to elect a new president in 2012 who will drastically change this course? I think there is. But the danger is great: particularly with our national security with which Obama is tinkering via Attorney General Holder and our economic strength—a condition that despite an administration projection of deficits that was off by nearly $3 trillion, he wants to superimpose a massive health care program atop it.

In short, until we can act, now’s the time to pray. And hard.

The Hispanic Lag.

A prevailing myth circulating here and in the country says that the millions of immigrant Hispanics—legal and illegal-- will follow the same trend as the Irish, Italians and Poles: their children and grandchildren will go on an upward trajectory with at minimum three generations to convert just-off-the boat entry-level greenhorns into cosmopolitan Americans.

But, unfortunately, that’s not so according to latest population studies as reported by Jason Richwine, a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. “If we were to discover that, say, Slovenian Americans did not assimilate over several generations there would be little cause for alarm,” Richwine writes in The National Review. “There are simply too few…to change our society in a meaningful way. Hispanics, on the other hand, have risen from 4% to 15% of the American population since 1970.” And the Census Bureau predicts roughly 30% of the nation will be Hispanic by 2050.

Why aren’t more Hispanics developing a solid middle class as did other ethnic groups? Hard to figure at first. Children of Hispanic immigrants are much better educated than their parents; yet three-plus generations later, making allowances for some exceptions, their average earning power is on par with the second generation with about the same earning power as the second (definitely not like other immigrant groups) and well below whites. And there’s stalled non-improvement between the second and third generation of Hispanics. What gives?

Your standard liberal-lefties will use the same tired old refrain: white racism, substandard schools, labor market discrimination, housing segregation. But all these things were present in abundance as other immigrants progressed upward. One symptom comes from the Pew Hispanic Center Survey (2002) which shows a high total—46%--identify not as American but as Hispanic and Latino, showing an “apartness” and resistance to joining a unifying national culture. This prompts conservatives to argue that government-sponsored multiculturalism and politicized groups ala La Raza, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, and the Hispanic Lobbyists Association spur apartness.

In this town we have a Latino demagogue equal to the Rev. Jesse Jackson with the blacks: Democratic Cong. Luis Gutierrez, born in Puerto Rico, a Catholic pro-abort, endowed with an in-your-face style, who is the boss of the Hispanic-majority district created in 1992 and chairman of the House Hispanic Caucus, author of a bill to allow illegal immigrants who have been in the U. S. six years to apply for “conditional non-immigrant status.” He says, “we are tired of going to church on Sunday and seeing that the person who sat next to us during Mass the week before has disappeared—which was saluted by the lefty editorial boards in town. (Earlier, Gutierrez called himself a Protestant so it would be instructive to ask him what Mass he goes to).

Gutierrez stirs up a feeling of bitterness and apartness not just in his congressional district which is just west of the Loop where the Chicago river splits into North and South branches penetrating the old neighborhoods where new arrivals, fresh off the boat, first got their start in Chicago. Now these neighborhoods are arrival ports again: on the South Side is the city’s Mexican community; on the South Side are many Puerto Ricans. In the 1990s the city’s Hispanic population increased from 545,000 to 754,000, the largest Latino concentration north of Texas and Florida and between the two coasts…just slightly less than the 1.1 million blacks. The city’s population is just 30% Hispanic which with a number of Spanish-speaking radio stations has become a major political force.

The bitterness is particularly true of Mexicans. Mexicans three generations out earn a significantly lower income than white Americans. Richwine argues that a major step should be taken to improve the quality of immigration flow: Canada assigns points to those seeking to immigrate. Holding a graduate degree gets five times as many points as holding a high school diploma. Good old egalitarian United States doesn’t do that. “While it is important that spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens be allowed to immigrate, our present policy extends well beyond the nuclear family. U. S. citizens can sponsor their parents and children with them and their adult brothers and sisters who may also bring their own spouses and children with them.” So far so good.

But these new green-card holders can then acquire citizenship and bring in their own extended families—continuing the cycle. “This is `chain migration’ and it causes the number of unskilled immigrants in the U. S. to increase swiftly.” This is one reason why “the grandchildren of today’s Hispanic immigrants will lag far behind the grandchildren of today’s white natives.”

As one who a few years ago spent lots of my free time teaching Latino kids and adults the rudiments of English at The Port, a fine Catholic social service agency and Erie Neighborhood House, an equally good non-sectarian settlement house (established in 1870 in the settlement house tradition similar to Hull House launched by Chicago Nobel peace prize-winner Jane Addams), I have a theory of my own.

Non-family structure has begun to paralyze the Hispanic community almost on a par with the blacks. While marriage and family is promoted at The Port, it is unmentioned at Erie and largely ignored at Catholic Charities which worries that by expressing moral views it may lose its valued federal subsidies… and certainly is not preached from the Catholic pulpit to any degree. The reason again is timidity and political correctness: It is believed that to stress the need for marriage instead of the usual federal goodies is to insult the Hispanic community.

Fear and the usual litany of liberal correctness stem from this Chicago archdiocese which often behaves as indeed it is: an unofficial wholly owned subsidiary of the liberal Democratic party and which, when challenged, lapses into the habit of parsing-parsing-parsing instead of embracing change.

1 comment:

  1. "she can't LIE straight in bed." Writers who don't know LIE from LAY shouldn't be writing.