Saturday, November 18, 2006

Passing of a Great Economist

Mike Shelton offers this eulogy to Milton Friedman:

How Illegal Immigration Harms Us

Several readers have written to inform me, with varying degrees of gentleness, that they thought I really didn't explain myself very well in the post titled Build The Fence!! They remarked that as tragic as the murder of this young woman was, murders happen all the time, and it's a bit of an over-reaction to demand a border fence just because one illegal alien has committed a terrible crime.

I confess that there's more I probably should have included in the post for the benefit of those who may not have been following the issue of illegal immigration very closely. So, herewith some facts to illustrate the gravity of the problem and why I think a border fence is necessary:

  • In Los Angeles 95% of all outstanding warrants for homicide (between 1200 and 1500) target illegal aliens.
  • Two thirds of the fugitive felony warrants (17,000) in L.A. are for illegal aliens.
  • 12,000 members of the 20,000 members of the violent 18th St. Gang in southern California are illegals.
  • Between 10% and 20% of all Mexican, Central American, and Caribbean peoples have moved to the U.S.
  • One in twelve illegals caught by the border patrol have a criminal record. That comes to 70,000 apprehended trying to cross the border every year. It is estimated that 300,000 felons have slipped across the border into the U.S. in the last five years.
  • In 2005 there were 687 assaults on border patrol officers.
  • Mara Salvatrucha, a gang responsible for numerous rapes, murders, mutilations, and other crimes, has 8,000 to 10,000 members in 33 states. The illegal aliens in this gang, called MS-13, are all but immune to police arrest and deportation because they operate in cities which have "sanctuary" policies that prevent illegals from being arrested unless they commit another crime. The gang is comprised primarily of El Salvadoran illegals.
  • Illegals are bringing in diseases that had been all but eradicated in the U.S. Malaria, polio, hepatitis, tuberculosis, leprosy, syphillis and other diseases are all skyrocketing in the southwest. From 1960 to 2000 there were only 900 cases of leprosy reported in the U.S. In the first three years of the 21st century there were 7000.
  • Since few illegals have health insurance and since hospitals are obligated to care for them, 84 California hospitals closed their doors between 1994 and 2003 because they could no longer afford to provide free medical care for the numerous illegals who needed it.
  • Immigrants in general and illegals in particular are depressing the wages of low-skilled Americans by almost 8% according to Paul Krugman of the NYT.
  • It is a myth that immigrants help the economy by paying taxes. The cost of schooling, health care, welfare, social security and prisons, plus the costs of pressure on resources like water, land, and power far exceed the revenue that immigrants, legal and illegal, contribute. The net cost to the economy, imposed by immigrants, has been estimated at around $108 billion for 2006.
  • One in every ten babies born in the U.S. is to an illegal alien and these babies are automatic citizens, entitled to all of the benefits of an American citizen, even though many of their mothers came into the U.S. solely for the purpose of having their baby here so that it would be a citizen.

This is but a fraction of the information that Pat Buchanan has laid out in his book State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America. I don't know how much of what he says in the book might be questioned by those more expert than I, but if only half of what he writes is accurate, we have an extremely serious problem on our hands. And unless our leadership in Washington is made to understand this problem and commits itself to doing something to rectify it, our children and grandchildren are going to grow up in a very different country than their parents did.

I, for one, don't wish to see that happen which is why I feel strongly that we need to stop the flow of illegals, and a high tech border fence appears to be the best way to do that. The fact that both Vicente Fox and his successor in Mexico City oppose it counts as evidence for me that the fence would probably be effective.

Killer Bees

Reuters has this story out of Jerusalem:

Israel is using nanotechnology to try to create a robot no bigger than a hornet that would be able to chase, photograph and kill its targets, an Israeli newspaper reported on Friday.

The flying robot, nicknamed the "bionic hornet", would be able to navigate its way down narrow alleyways to target otherwise unreachable enemies such as rocket launchers, the daily Yedioth Ahronoth said.

It is one of several weapons being developed by scientists to combat militants. Others include super gloves that would give the user the strength of a "bionic man" and miniature sensors to detect suicide bombers.

Imagine what a future battle like the one in Fallujah would look like with weapons like these robot "hornets". The military could unleash thousands of these things into the city without having to set foot in it themselves and completely eliminate the enemy by "stinging" them to death before the enemy even realized they were under attack. Amazing.

He Is What He Is

Julie Ponzi at No Left Turns notes fears that conservatives have that Bush will betray them on immigration and offers this gem:

People usually actually are what they say they are in their most honest moments. I don't think Bush has many dishonest moments. About who he is, as in other things, Bush has not lied. It has been conservatives who have lied to themselves about what Bush is all about. Conservatives are bitterly disappointed but have no right to be so. He is what he is--a good man and a decent man, no doubt. He's a man with an enormously difficult task and I think, generally speaking, he has done what he could. I find it difficult to assault him because I do not feel betrayed by him. He never promised us a conservative rose garden. Think back to the primaries of 2000 and recall the main reasons why conservatives supported him. Was he considered a pillar of Reagan conservatism then? No, we just thought he was better than most and, more important, that he could win. And, there was always a sense of his strong character and even a stubbornness that we have alternately admired and found irritating.

She's absolutely right about this, I think. Not only is Bush not an ideological conservative, he never professed to be one. He has not misled people as to what they should expect from him. What he said he would do in his campaigns he has tried to do, and what he has done that conservatives don't like, he never gave any indication that he wouldn't do. He has been perhaps the most transparent president in my memory.

All of which makes it all the more remarkable that so few people in this country are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt when he says he didn't lie to us about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. Bush, like Clinton before him, really believed that Saddam had them or was working to get them, and everything that Saddam did simply reinforced that belief. Yet Bush is still reviled by the obtuse left which can't seem to comprehend the simple fact that a man can be wrong without being a liar.