Friday, March 9, 2012

Demographic Revolution

City Journal's Heather MacDonald paints a depressing picture of the future of California and its demographic revolution. Here are a couple of excerpts:
Jon Pederson works as a pastor in the Willard area of Santa Ana, a formerly middle-class neighborhood of stucco apartment blocks whose balconies now sport bright blue tarps and small satellite dishes. Participation in gangs and drug culture is rising in the second and third generation of Hispanic immigrants, he observes. “It’s a perfect storm. When a family comes from Mexico, both parents need to work to survive; their ability to monitor their child’s life is limited.”

Families take in boarders, often kin, who sometimes rape and impregnate the young daughters. “Daddy hunger” in girls raised by single mothers is expressed in promiscuity, Pederson says; the boys, meanwhile, channel their anger into gang life. Nearly 53 percent of all Hispanic births in California are now out of wedlock, and Hispanics have the highest teen birthrate of all ethnic groups. Pederson saw similar patterns as a missionary in Central America: teen pregnancy, single-parent families with six or eight serial fathers, and high poverty rates.

Routine domestic violence is another Third World import, especially from Mexico. More than a quarter of the 911 calls to the Santa Ana Police Department are for domestic violence, reports Kevin Brown, a former Santa Ana cop who now serves on an antigang intervention team. “Children are seeing it at home—they’re living the experience,” he says.

Nationally, 42 percent of Latino children entering kindergarten are in the lowest quartile of reading preparedness, compared with 18 percent of white children, reports UCLA education professor Patricia Gándara in her 2009 book The Latino Education Crisis. By eighth grade, 43 percent of whites and 47 percent of Asians nationally are proficient or better in reading, compared with only 19 percent of Latino students.

U.S.-born Hispanic households in California already use welfare programs (such as cash welfare, food stamps, and housing assistance) at twice the rate of U.S.-born non-Hispanic households, according to an analysis of the March 2011 Current Population Survey by the Center for Immigration Studies. Welfare use by immigrants is higher still. In 2008–09, the fraction of households using some form of welfare was 82 percent for households headed by an illegal immigrant and 61 percent for households headed by a legal immigrant.
MacDonald has much more dispiriting news at the link, and although she tries hard to find strands of hope to which we might cling one cannot escape the conclusion that in a couple of decades California will have gone from one of the most prosperous regions in the world to a third world basket case.

Anyone interested in sociology or in America's future will want to read her entire essay.

Reluctant Warrior

Andrew Breitbart passed away recently at the age of 43. He had a reputation as a "culture warrior" loved by conservatives and loathed by liberals. The following was excerpted by the WSJ for its "Notables and Quotables" column. It was taken from his book Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World. There's a lot of truth in it:
Make no mistake: America is in a media war. It is an extension of the Cold War that never ended but shifted to an electronic front. The war between freedom and statism ended geographically when the Berlin Wall fell. But the existential battle never ceased.

When the Soviet Union disintegrated, the battle simply took a different form. Instead of missiles the new weapon was language and education, and the international left had successfully constructed a global infrastructure to get its message out.

Schools. Newspapers. Network news. Art. Music. Film. Television. . . .

If the political left weren’t so joyless, humorless, intrusive, taxing, overtaxing, anarchistic, controlling, rudderless, chaos-prone, pedantic, unrealistic, hypocritical, clueless, politically correct, angry, cruel, sanctimonious, retributive, redistributive, intolerant — and if the political left weren’t hell-bent on expansion of said unpleasantness into all aspects of my family’s life — the truth is, I would not be in your life.

If the Democratic Party were run by Joe Lieberman and Evan Bayh, if it had the slightest vestige of JFK and Henry “Scoop” Jackson, I wouldn’t be on the political map.

If the American media were run by biased but not evil Tim Russerts and David Brinkleys, I wouldn’t have joined the fight. . . .

If America’s pop-cultural ambassadors like Alec Baldwin and Janeane Garofalo didn’t come back from their foreign trips to tell us how much they hate us, if my pay cable didn’t highlight a comedy show every week that called me a racist for embracing constitutional principles and limited government, I wouldn’t be at Tea Parties screaming my love for this great, charitable, and benevolent country.

I am a reluctant cultural warrior.
May his work on behalf of human freedom and against statist ideology continue and prosper even as he takes a "sabbatical" from the effort.

Wheeling, Dealing, and Looking Venal

An article in the New York Post claims that President Obama has offered prime minister Netanyahu some interesting inducements to hold off on an attack on Iran:
The US offered to give Israel advanced weaponry -- including bunker-busting bombs and refueling planes -- in exchange for Israel's agreement not to attack Iranian nuclear sites, Israeli newspaper Maariv reported Thursday.

President Obama reportedly made the offer during Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington this week.

Under the proposed deal, Israel would not attack Iran until 2013, after US elections in November this year. The newspaper cited unnamed Western diplomatic and intelligence sources.
If this is correct then it is a case of good news/bad news. It shows Iran that we are serious that negotiations have to work or else there'll be serious consequences. It also shows Israel that we're prepared to give them substantial support, but why is the initiation of hostilities tied to our elections?

If that part is true, if the president really is playing political games with what is potentially the most serious crisis since the Cuban Missile crisis in the early sixties, that would be disreputable. If negotiations are the right thing to do, if arming Israel is the right thing to do, if going to war with Iran is the right thing to do, then they're the right thing to do regardless of the president's political calendar.

Let's hope that the reference to our elections is incorrect and that Mr. Obama is a bigger and better man than to subordinate such momentous matters to his electoral fortunes.