Friday, June 29, 2007

"Immigration reform" in the USA

Perhaps US immigration rules are flawed in fundamental ways. The long delay in processing spouse visas for US citizen family members is terrible. The bureaucracy of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) often seems deliberately oppressive & unfriendly. Giving citizenship under jus soli rights to children born in the US to foreign students and visitors (yet not to their parents) seems illogical -- in some ways unduly liberal, in another sense regressive.

Should foreigners be given amnesty after criminally entering the USA? I think not.

Of course they have contributed. Their illegal work has received compensation. Most are nice people. Private parties may be satisfied, but the social contract is damaged by these illegal operations.

Americans should be encouraged to invest in their communities and nation. Allowing unrestricted entry is costly. Providing services to new arrivals subtracts something from the common wealth. Perhaps future contributions by immigrants might offset many such costs. Yet who is to be "welcome in" should be a decision for the citizenry. Otherwise there is little incentive to invest in society.

Many Americans may believe that kindness and charity should guide such policies. But the world's people outnumber Americans 20 to 1. Too many to integrate. Darwinist competition and raw untrammeled dog-eat-dog capitalism grow closer with unrestricted immigration.

I know there are many nice, hardworking and friendly people everywhere in the world. But those who force their way into my home and demand feeding at my table are abusive and should be strongly discouraged.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Who's the bigger Jerk?

The USA is endangering East Asia and wasting huge resources jerking around with North Korea. Why?

The US agreed many months ago to return $24 million in frozen North Korean funds they'd demanded confiscated in September 2005 due to what the USA considers irregularities.

North Korea is fundamentally irregular. They wish to be irregular (examine juche ideology to somewhat understand). They're part of the "Axis of Evil" according to President Bush.

But returning those funds was a clear condition for dismantling North Korea's nuclear program. Weeks and months have passed; numerous news reports have cited progress; but the North Koreans still don't have their money.

Now US$24 million may seem like a lot of money to you or me, but to nations it ain't much at all. The South Koreans are forced to remain on alert with 650,000 troops: the North keeps 1,000,000 troops, while US deployment in South Korea is 30,000 troops. How much does that cost? Let's be silly and make a very conservative estimate: for a US soldier, $100 each day: for South Korean soldiers (most under mandatory conscription) $10 per day; and let's say a soldier's maintenance in North Korea costs $1 each day. Thus pure costs are (3,000,000 + 6,500,000 + 1,000,000) well upward of US$10 million each day. How much damage will a nuclear accident do to East Asia? How much would military intervention cost? The USA now spends $195 million every day on the Iraq conflict. And how much are the lives of soldiers and civilians worth? The agreements were reached in so-called "Six Party Talks" requiring great coordination. A one-off $24 million is clearly cheap. But some plump jerks in Washington are stringing this along, and angering close allies in the process.

C'mon USA - you said you'd return North Korea's money. It's clearly more a matter of principle than the funds themselves. Fix it. Cough up. Don't endanger us all with dumbass brinkmanship.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Unlamented (a poem by Genki)

The lineup marches forward
Surging broken & gristly
Optimism mutilated
America's Finest
Taste distant desert sand
Final finest service.

It happened slowly; Unlamented
A tragedy. A hero.
The President himself repeats.
A loss to all who knew her
Family beyond recovering
That last understanding
of dust

LaVena Johnson
Major Gloria D. Davis
Two names, among many
Heroes. Enlisted to serve.
But systematically outmaneuvered.
Pray gone to heaven
Not lost to blackness
White bones wonder why.