They’re Coming to America

photo courtesy 21stCenturySchools.com

photo courtesy 21stCenturySchools.com

Standing in the checkout line at Costco, I watched and listened to the family in front of me chattering in a language that I couldn’t identify.  Was it Flemish?  Behind me a mother and her daughter spoke what I think was Hindi.  Another group of Indians near us was speaking English in their distinctive clipped dialect, and then a passel of giggling little Chinese kids ran by, with Mom and Dad sternly attempting discipline in their home language.  Then the pretty young Caribbean woman began checking out our groceries as two young Hispanic men worked the merchandise and carts and shared a joke in Spanish.

And it hit me like a brick.  The United States I had known all my life is no more.

I know, it sounds cliched, but I (conservative, Tea Party, mature white male) am not a racist.  I have no ill will or condescension toward any kind of people.  I have said I am an “economic bigot” – I expect capable people to work, and don’t particularly care for those who won’t, regardless of ethnicity.  But I enjoy the uniqueness of people from different places and cultures, especially the flavors of family interactions that are so universal – devoted parents raising their fun-loving kids.

No, I’m not a racist, but I couldn’t help but notice that American-born, English-speaking whites and blacks were outnumbered on that Saturday afternoon in that Costco store in a relatively affluent Charlotte neighborhood.

I was flooded with questions and emotions.  Do these foreigners also speak English?  Where do they work?  They seem to have plenty of money – were they wealthy in their native countries?  Are there here legally?  How did they get drivers licenses?  Do they vote?  Are their kids in the neighborhood schools, and how the heck do the schools deal with so many languages and customs?

Of course, no broad-brush answers apply.  Some speak English, some don’t.  Some have jobs, others are on government benefits.  Some are legal.  Some have drivers licenses.  Some vote.  One thing is for sure, suddenly there are a lot of them, as both legal and illegal immigration rates are exploding, compared to our earlier history.  Many states are importing more people than are being born to natives.

The United States will never again look and sound like it did during our lifetimes.  It is a done deal.

But we, as a nation, are still at a tipping point:  Will the values, social structure, and laws that made this country the most prosperous and powerful in the world survive?  Will our new immigrants become Americans who share the love of Mom, baseball, apple pie and Chevrolets, like earlier generations of immigrants?  Or will our great nation be split into hundreds of tribes, each clinging to their native habits, and suspicious of all the others?

It is a time in our history when leadership is critical.   Now, more than ever, we need leaders who care about the well-being of the nation, not just their own or their party’s political success.  We need honest men and women with an understanding of the importance of time-tested rules and practices.  America was built on laws that we could all agree upon, and that were proven to work.  And America was once a “melting pot”, where newcomers assimilated into our culture while preserving their own heritages.  Now is not the time to get fuzzy about our American laws, Constitution, or values.  Our immigrants need order and stability, too – in fact that’s what many seek by moving here.

My wife often complained that our home state of Montana changed radically as more and more people moved there from the west coast.  “They move to Montana because it’s better than California, and then they try to change it into California!”

In addition to accelerating legal immigration rates, our government has decided to erase our southern border and pretty much accept all comers.  They claim their motivations are humanitarian; some of us believe they are political.  But even if the border could be sealed like a Tupperware bowl tomorrow, the United States will never be the same as it was.  So now what?

Many of the newcomers don’t really know what made America great.  They and their families weren’t here.  It’s up to us remaining native Americans (by that I mean those of us born here) to stand up for American traditions. values, and laws.  We must make sure that our history is accurately and broadly taught, and expect our leaders to proudly defend our national identity and solidarity.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

On the boats and on the planes
They’re coming to America
Never looking back again
They’re coming to America

Neil Diamond – Coming to America

 

 

 

The United States of Thunderdome

thunderdomeMost Americans think our nation is superior to others.  We believe that our system of government, based on the world’s finest constitution and a reliable set of laws, makes the United States a better and more secure place to live than, say, a dictatorship where laws are made and enforced at the whim of the political elite.

Don’t look now, but our current administration and department of justice shreds our constitution and our federal laws on a daily basis, and we either don’t see it, don’t get it, don’t think we can do anything about it, or just don’t care.

[Wikipedia] Immigrants can be classified as illegal for one of three reasons: entering without authorization or inspection, staying beyond the authorized period after legal entry, or violating the terms of legal entry.[46]

Section 1325 in Title 8 of the United States Code, “Improper entry of alien”, provides for a fine, imprisonment, or both for any immigrant who:[47]

  1. enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration agents, or
  2. eludes examination or inspection by immigration agents, or
  3. attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact.

So illegal immigration is illegal, right?

[Wikipedia]Article VI, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, known as the Supremacy Clause, establishes the U.S. Constitution, federal statutes, and U.S. Treaties as “the supreme law of the land.” The text provides that these are the highest form of law in the U.S. legal system, and mandates that all state judges must follow federal law when a conflict arises between federal law and either the state constitution or state law of any state.

So federal law trumps state law, right?

And yet yesterday thousands of illegal aliens lined up at DMV offices all over Nevada to get their “driver privilege cards”.  The Nevada legislature and Republican governor Brian Sandoval passed a state law last year that not only authorizes licenses for illegal aliens, it also prohibits the DMV from sharing information about the criminals for immigration enforcement purposes. 

How is this possible in the United States of America, a nation that looks down on North Korea and Iran and Belarus and Ethiopia because of the superiority of our constitution and the reliable enforcement of our laws?

Colorado legalizes the recreational use of marijuana even though it is clearly illegal under federal law.  Our president changes major provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act without legal authority or even consulting congress, and the nation accepts it as law.  States pass laws disallowing gay marriage and are overruled by liberal courts who have no authority to create or abolish laws.

For the first time in our nation’s history, our laws are no longer sacrosanct.  They are not even meaningful.  As this trend evolves, and nobody knows who has authority and which laws will be enforced, we grow closer and closer to anarchy.  Why is illegal immigration okay, but illegal tax evasion is not?  If the president can create or change laws, or choose which ones to enforce, why can’t a governor?  A mayor?  A policeman?  If illegal use of recreational marijuana is okay, why isn’t illegal use of heroin, or LSD, or cocaine okay?

an·ar·chy

noun \ˈa-nər-kē, -ˌnär-\

: a situation of confusion and wild behavior in which the people in a country, group, organization, etc., are not controlled by rules or laws

Welcome to the United States of Thunderdome.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side Looking for something we can rely on
There’s got to be something better out there
Love and compassion, their day is coming
All else are castles built in the air
We don’t need another hero!
We don’t need to know the way home!
All we want is life beyond the thunderdome . . .

Thunderdome – Tina Turner

There Is No “Candy Man”

prioritiesThese days we often seem to bounce around in life’s pin-ball machine, feeling that much around us is out of control.   We are distracted by a barrage of information as the media pulls us this way and that.  Generally, whichever news story has the hottest video footage or the most startling sound byte is pumped up to become the “important” story of the day, or the week.  Example: Sandra Fluke and her birth control.

I’m as guilty as anybody else.  I get upset and pumped up over things that are insignificant, both on a personal scale and in the bigger scheme of things.  When I find myself getting a little over-wound, I find it helpful to do a personal priority check.  What are the most important things to me, and in what order?

My top priorities always pertain to my family.  Are we healthy?  Are we safe from physical harm?  Are we financially okay?  Are we generally happy and fulfilled?  Are we preparing for our future?

Our brilliant founding fathers established a government that is “of” the people, and that carries responsibility.  It is our duty as citizens to prioritize the makeup and the work of our government.  Maybe it’s time we do a government priority check.  What are the most important things that our government should do, and in what order?

I look at government the same way I do insurance. I see government as a way that I can spend a portion of my personal resources to do the things I can’t do by myself.  Individually I can’t defend the borders of my neighborhood, much less my state or nation.  But I am willing to join other citizens to give some of my time or money for that purpose, because it is a priority for my family.  I can’t build a highway.  I can’t put out a big fire.  I can’t do brain surgery.  You get the picture.

Of course I can only spend a portion of my time and money on these shared priorities, because I have my own personal priorities to attend to.  So my government priority list is fairly short.   Our brilliant founding fathers had a short list too; it’s called the Constitution.

Lately I find that many of my government’s top priorities are way down my family priority list, or not on my list at all.   Our leaders operate like the “Candy Man”.  They believe they can keep adding benefits to those already in place, without limit, and without having to prioritize.  Irresponsible voters endorse that fantasy, but realists know it can’t go on.

It’s time for a good, hard look at priorities.  Our own personal priorities come first, of course, and our government priorities are an extension of that.  As we consider each government activity at our schools, our city and county commissions, our state and federal governments – as we consider the “Fiscal Cliff” – we must compare our government’s priorities with our own family priority lists.  If they don’t match up, we owe it to our families to do something about it.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side
The government takes everything we make
To pay for all of their solutions
Health care, climate change, pollution,
Throw away the Constitution!
The Government Can – Tim Hawkins