Patriots Fill Gap in Border Wall

As the federal government struggles to fulfill its basic duties, private citizens are increasingly taking matters into their own hands.  I wrote awhile ago about the GoFundMe page to fund the border wall.  That project is still underway, but seems to have stalled well short of its goal of raising $1 billion.

But there is hope.  The organization connected to that fundraising project, We Build the Wall, constructed a half-mile of wall along a notorious gap on the New Mexico border.

A half-mile is precious little along a border hundreds of miles in length, but it is something.  Further, the specific half-mile section the wall protects is a heavily-crossed gap in existing border fencing.  From The Daily Wire:

The half-mile segment of border wall, the group says, closes a gap frequently used to smuggle both people and drugs. [Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris] Kobach added that on a “typical night” around 100 migrants and $100,000 worth of illegal narcotics passed through the half-mile hole.

The Trump Administration was working on a plan to construct around 234 miles of steel fencing, effectively sealing off the southern border with a “border wall,” but attempts to secure funding for the project have stalled. Congress refused to agree to any funding for the border wall beyond the $1.6 billion promised in the 2018 budget, and President Donald Trump’s “national emergency” declaration — which would have detoured funding to the border wall from other Army Corps of Engineers projects — was halted by a judge pending ongoing litigation.

This excerpt brings up another important point:  the consistent obstruction from Democrats and activist judges of President Trump’s America First agenda.  Even with the declaration of a national emergency, the president has been blocked from making substantial progress on the border wall.

Of course, Republicans passed up a golden opportunity to act on the border wall in 2017 or 2018.  Voters need to send a strong message to candidates in both parties that getting control of the border is important.  Tax cuts and economic growth are wonderful, but for American citizens to benefit, we need strong border security, including a robust deportation system.

I’m encouraged to see private citizens banding together to solve their problems when the government won’t—few things are more American.  Nevertheless, it’s the federal government’s constitutional responsibility to protect our national sovereignty.  It shouldn’t slough off that responsibility and hope that good-willed patriots will pick up the slack.

TBT: Open Borders is the Real Moral Crisis

I’ve been writing quite a bit about immigration lately, as it’s the major issue facing the West today.  Our leaders’ inabilities to address the crisis of immigration suggests their ineffectiveness—and, perhaps, their callous indifference to the damage unrestricted and illegal immigration wreak.

President Trump rose to national prominence and won the presidency campaigning on fixing illegal immigration.  His efforts so far have been a mixed bag, as duplicitous, progressive judges overreach from their elitist perches and block Trump’s efforts at reform.

It seems a distant memory now, but all the faux-outrage from the Left just a year ago was about the “child separation” business at the border.  One still reads some echoes of those melodramatic headlines, but the underlying problem has gone unaddressed.

In fact, it’s gotten worse:  immigrants now realize that if they cross the border with a minor child, they can be swept into the interior of the country.  Once an illegal immigrant is in the nation, it’s incredibly difficult to get him out again.

It’s a sad testament that President Trump and Congress have been unable to accomplish more on this front.  As such, it’s shame that this week’s TBT still sounds all-too-familiar.

Here is “Open Borders is the Real Moral Crisis“:

I typically avoid wading into fashionable-for-the-moment moral crusades, but the hysteria over children being separated from their parents at the border is ludicrous, and demonstrates the typical “facts over feelings” emotionalism that mars our immigration debate.  That feel-goodism is why we’re even in this mess—if it can be characterized as such—in the first place.

Because I’ll be deemed a monster—“Won’t somebody please think of the children!“—for not unequivocally denouncing this Clinton-era policy, I’ll issue the usual, tedious disclaimers:  yes, it’s all very tragic; yes, it could be handled better; yes, I would have been terrified to be separated from my parents at such a young age; etc.

Now that the genuflecting to popular pieties is out of the way, let me get to my point:  this entire situation would be a non-issue if we had simply enforced our immigration lawsconsistently for the past thirty years.  President Trump isn’t the villain here (if anything, Congress is—they can take immediate action to change the policy or come up with some alternative—but I don’t even think they’re wrong this time); rather, the villains are all those who—in the vague name of “humanity” and “human rights”—ignored illegal immigration (or, worse, actively condoned it).

Sadly, it is an issue.  But what else are we to do?  Years of non-enforcement have sent the implicit but clear message to potential illegal immigrants that we don’t take our own borders (and, by extension, our national sovereignty and rule of law) seriously, and that if you’re sympathetic enough, you’ll get to skip the line.  Folks come up from Mexico and Central America fully expecting that, after some brief official unpleasantness, they can dissolve into the vastness of the United States and begin sending remittances back to their relatives—who may then pull up stakes and come.

Further, sneaking into the country illegally is a crime, and the United States has every right to enforce its laws, including those pertaining to immigration.  Mexico, similarly, has that right—and uses it unabashedly to police its own border (or to let Central American migrants waltz through on their way to the Estados Unidos).  Naturally, the punishment for breaking laws is often detainment, and the kiddies don’t join dad in his cell.

To give a common example:  what happens to the children of, say, an American heroin dealer when he’s arrested and sentenced to ten years in a drug bust?  His children—if they have no relatives willing or able to take them in—go into the foster care system.  It’s tragic, it’s terrible, but it’s part of the price of committing a felony.  No one wants it to happen, but it’s a consequence of one’s actions.  This reason is why crime is so detrimental to society at large, even beyond the immediate victims.

Unfortunately, a combination of winking at immigration enforcement (“eh, come on—you won’t get deported”), feel-good bullcrap (as my Mom would call it), and Emma Lazarus Syndrome(trademarked to The Portly Politico, 2018) have contributed to the current nightmare situation.  Now that an administration is in office that actually enforces the duly legislated law of the land—and at a point at which the problem has ballooned to epic proportions due to past lax enforcement—the problem is far thornier and more consumed with emotional and moral peril.

As any self-governing, self-sufficient adult understands, sometimes doing what is necessary is hard.  I do feel for these children who are stripped from their parents arms (although, it should be noted, usually for only a matter of hours), but who cares about my feelings?  We can have compassion for those who try to arrive here illegally, as well as their children, without attempting to take on all of their problems, and without sacrificing our national sovereignty and our laws in the process.

The United States is the most generous nation in the world—and the most prosperous—but we cannot take everyone in; to do so would not make everyone else better off, but would rather destroy what makes America the land of compassion, liberty, prosperity, and charity that it is.

***

For further reference, I recommend the following videos, the first from the brilliant Ben Shapiro, the second from Dilbert creator Scott Adams:

 

I’d also recommend this piece from National Review columnist Richard Lowry, which is quite good:  https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/illegal-immigration-enforcement-separating-kids-at-border/

And, finally, this piece from Conservative Review‘s Daniel Horowitz, which explains the true moral toll of illegal immigration—and misplaced compassion—very thoroughly:  https://www.conservativereview.com/news/the-immorality-of-the-open-borders-left/

Deportemal

I have little patience for illegal immigrants.  Their illegality encourages ethnic cloistering.  Their very presence constitutes a persistent state of lawlessness, which seems to breed further criminality.

Then there’s the matter of the vast gulf between mainstream American culture and the virtually premodern peasant cultures from which most illegal migrants come.  Child rape is serious problem among men of certain Latin American cultures, as a recent piece from The Blaze demonstrates.  A twenty-year old illegal immigrant impregnated an eleven-year old.

You read the piece and you notice something:  the police already told this young man to leave the girl alone.  Why was he not shipped back to his homeland immediately?  Why was he allowed to stick around long enough to get this girl pregnant in his car near her school?

Yes, yes—why did the school let her slip away to have sex with a man nearly a decade her elder?  There’s blame to go around.  As for the parents, the girl’s father apparently wanted to beat the crap out of the illegal alien, understandably, but the police told him to cool it so he wouldn’t get himself in trouble.

That right there illustrates why average Americans are so frustrated with illegal immigration.  Law-abiding citizens are held to a stringent, inflexible standard.  Forget to claim $20 on your income taxes?  The IRS will spend thousands of dollars to get you.  Own land with “wetlands” on it?   You can’t grow anything on it, lest a non-existent frog die.  Want to camp on the beach?  Sorry, you can’t do that.

But if you’re here illegally, you get free medical care, no taxes, and an entire political party eager to grant you the franchise.  You can even sleep with minors, because, well, that’s just your rich, vibrant culture, and we wouldn’t want to burden you with our colonialist Western standards, would we?

Here’s how we rectify this situation:  deport every illegal immigrant the minute he or she runs afoul of the law, for the slightest offense.  If Pedro throws so much as a cigarette butt onto the side of the highway, send him back.

It would be shocking to you how much illegals get away with while here.  I once heard from an attorney about a client that was here illegally.  The client had received his second speeding ticket, as well as a $1000 tickets for driving without a license.  The attorney managed to get the officer to dismiss the $1000 ticket.  Good luck doing that if you’re a citizen.

My question was, “Why didn’t they deport this guy immediately?”  Look, speeding is probably one of the more benign offenses one can commit—that’s why it’s just a misdemeanor in most States—but it can result in injury or death.  That’s tragic enough when it’s a citizen behind the wheel.  But there’s an added element of injustice when the person driving shouldn’t be here in the first place.

Finally, the whole “living in the shadows” thing is rhetoric, pure and simple.  It conjures up images of old abuelas shivering in dark trailers, afraid to go outside lest an ICE agent apprehend them.  What it really means is that they can’t get a Social Security card and get sweet government bennies—they’re in the “shadow” of official existence.  I know some libertarians who would kill to be in that situation.

Rather than huddling up in the forgotten by-ways of America, illegals flaunt their status.  I’ve been to taquerias and been told that half of those present are likely illegal.  Most of them, to be sure, are harmless, and just looking for some opportunity.  But they’ve jumped the line, doing a real disservice to immigrants that go through the lengthy, expensive process the right way.  ICE could hit a couple of these joints in an afternoon and clear them out.

The solution to illegal immigration, like most answers in life, is simple but unpleasant:  deport ’em all.  Stop fooling around with detaining them in our prisons at our expense.  Ship them back—even if it takes multiple tries—and send the message to those still in Central America that their luck won’t be any better.

America needs 100ccs of prescription-strength Deportemal, stat!

Carnival Gets Even Lighter in the Loafers

There’s something inherently flamboyant about Latin cultures.  Maybe it’s all the hip-thrusting dances and melodramatic machismo, coupled with the passionate temperaments of the people.

Whatever the reason, Brazil just got even gayer.  Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled 11-6 last week in favor of criminalizing homophobia and transphobia.  Wrongthink regarding same-sex marriage and other issues will be treated as equivalent to racism.

Violent crimes committed against homosexuals are a problem in Brazil, so rather than prosecute those assaults and murders as such, Brazil will now treat them as “hate crimes.”  Apparently, simply enforcing the law isn’t good enough for gays, so to be treated like everyone else, they want special treatment.

A homosexual rights group in Brazil argues that their kind are subject to violent attacks, citing the deaths of 141 homosexuals in the tropical nation this year.  That figure is, of course, tragic, but consider the high-risk lifestyle associated with being gay, lesbian, or transgender.  We don’t often discuss these risks in polite company, but the gay lifestyle invites dealings with some shady characters—older gays grooming younger men for the lifestyle, dangerous “bed-hopping” activities, etc.

Part of this vote is, surely, a reaction to Right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, a self-described homophobe.  I would never endorse treating homosexuals poorly—or, God forbid, attacking them—because of their sexuality, but it takes a certain amount of courage and bravado to straight-up call yourself a homophobe in 2019.

But I digress:  President Bolsonaro, the “Trump of the Tropics,” strenuously opposes gay marriage and the undermining of traditional Brazilian values.  We might disagree with his tactics here in the United States, but, to his credit, he’s seen what happens when homosexuality becomes normalized.

Consider:  here in the United States, deep-blue States were voting against legalizing same-sex marriage just fifteen years ago.  Now we have trannies reading pro-LGBTQ2+ books to pre-school kids in public libraries.  You can’t blame Bolsonaro for wanting to block his country from sliding down that same slippery slope.

The other part of this ruling must surely be the creeping secular-progressivism that seems to afflict ruling elites of many Western and Western-ish nations.  No good thing can go unsullied for long from the globalist tentacles of Soros, Inc.

Finally, it does seem that Bolsonaro’s popularity is fading.  But like Trump, he retains a die-hard group of core supporters, and it could be that the overwhelmingly enthusiasm of his historic campaign is merely dwindling as the difficult task of governance continues.

All people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.  That said, the aggressive attempts to normalize homosexual behavior and other alternative “lifestyles” are destructive to social stability and civilizational survival.  We shouldn’t be celebrating our own decadent embrace of decline.

Memorial Day 2019

It’s Memorial Day here in the United States, which marks the unofficial start of summer.  More importantly, Memorial Day is a federal holiday set aside to remember veterans who have fallen in combat.  The United States observes two other days dedicated to veterans:  Armed Services Day, which honors those men and women currently serving in the armed services; and Veterans’ Day, which honors all American servicemen and women, living, dead, retired, active, etc.

We often hear encomiums this time of year about the numbers of men and women who have died to preserve our freedoms.  These tributes are, of course, true (and, one hopes, heartfelt), and are worth reiterating.

I end every year of my American history courses urging my students to remember how precious their patrimony is, and that liberty is a fragile thing that must be preserved.  I, too, mention the “men and women who gave their lives so that we might be free.”  I then follow that up with noting that, while they hear that sentiment expressed often, they now know (having completed a year of American history) how true it is.

Nevertheless, it’s easy to forget the magnitude of that sacrifice.  In an age where wars are so distant and remote they barely register for us anymore (remember:  we’re still fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan), it’s easy to take our soldiers for granted.  It’s easier, still, to forget the sheer number of combat deaths—750,000 in the American Civil War alone.

To that end, I’ve elected to spare you any further pontificating, and present instead this Wikipedia entry on “United States military casualties of war,” which breaks down the numbers succinctly.  Yet even dry statistics and bar charts speak volumes.

God Bless America!

–TPP

Lazy Sunday XII: Space

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Long-time readers will know that I have a love of and fascination with space.  One of the first calls I ever made to a talk-radio show was back in 2009 to the now-defunct Keven Cohen Show.  The occasion was the fortieth anniversary of the moon landing, and the question was, in the midst of the Great Recession, should the government invest in space exploration and going to the moon (and beyond)?  In my clumsy call, I argued that, yes, it should.

As I noted earlier this week, I lack a strong technical foundation in these matters.  I assume that any practice problems of exploration, colonization, and exploitation of space are, ultimately, technical in nature, and will eventually get figured out.  My interest is more philosophical and political in nature:  what are the possibilities of space?  What benefits could expansion into space offer?

But, really, I’m just a childlike nerd who wants to walk on the moon.  If I’m being totally honest, that’s my primary motivation:  I want to visit the moon.  I also relish the idea of humans partaking in bold space adventures.  Is it any wonder one of my favorite movies of all time is Guardians of the Galaxy?

And I’m not alone.  According to (yet another) Rasmussen poll, 43% of American voters would take a trip to the moon and back given the chance.  That total includes 56% of men, but just 31% of women, so I suppose all those single moms posting on Facebook about loving their children “to the moon and back” is a sentimental expression, not a concrete pledge.

Here’s hoping that the eggheads at NASA and in the private sector take note of all the Americans eager to engage in some lunar tourism.  Market forces are far more likely to incentivize galactic expansion than government programs, so maybe offering affordable round-trip flights to the moon could one day turn a profit.  Who knows?

What I do know is that this Sunday I’m happy to share my various posts on space.  I hope you “love them to the moon and back”:

  • America Should Expand into Space” – this post was the topic of Thursday’s “TBT” feature.  As such, I’ll refrain from lengthy pontificating about it.  Essentially, it looks at the geopolitical reasons for expansion into space.  Short version:  don’t let the Chinese build a death laser on the moon!
  • Breaking: President Trump Creates Space Force” & “Why the Hate for Space Force?” – back in June 2019, President Trump announced the creation of “Space Force” as a separate branch of the armed services.  It’s a bold, visionary idea—and a damn good one.  As “America Should Expand into Space” suggests, space is the next frontier, not just for settlement, but for war.

    I also lament in the latter of these twin pieces that Americans no longer look boldly to the future in space as a new frontier, but instead remain firmly earthbound with various toys and gadgets.

  • To the Moon!” – this brief essay explores the metaphysical and cultural benefits of lunar colonization.  In it, I summarize the ideas of an oddball writer, James D. Heiser.  Heiser is a bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America and a founding member of the Mars Society.

    He wrote a book,  Civilization and the New Frontier:  Reflections on Virtue and the Settlement of a New World, about the colonization of Mars.  In Civilization and the New Frontier, Heiser argues that the strenuous nature of such an endeavor would require and cultivate virtue, thereby reinvigorating our civilization.

    It’s an intriguing idea, and one that rings true:  anything worth doing is (usually) difficult.  The sacrifice that such a mission would require is self-evident, and would require men and women of great virtue and courage to achieve.

  • To the Moon!, Part II: Back to the Moon” – this post discussed NASA’s acceleration of its timetable for another manned mission to the moon.  The goal is to return by 2024, rather than 2028.  It would be the first manned mission to the moon since 1972—a sobering, depressing duration.  When I was a kid, we were told we’d see a manned mission to Mars by the year 2000.  So much for that.

As the preamble to this list demonstrated, there is hunger for holidays on the moon.  I, too, want to ride the mighty moon worm!  Sure, there are huge technical problems to overcome—but those can be overcome.  Let’s worry less about queer studies outreach Islamic countries.  Our destiny is among the stars!

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Immigration by the Numbers

Yesterday I wrote about the dangers of inviting in large numbers of immigrants from a fundamentally alien culture into Western societies.  The Somali population of Minneapolis has created a veritable “Little Mogadishu” (consider paying homage to such a blighted place) in the heart of the Twin Cities, a neighborhood riddled with crime and terrorist recruitment.

Most immigration to the United States is not nearly so pernicious—unlike Europeans, Americans generally don’t have to worry about waves of unassimilable Muslims conquering entire swaths of our major cities—but while our immigrants are more assimilable than Europe’s, the sheer number of immigrants makes that assimilation more difficult.

As I wrote yesterday, the old friction of immigration is no longer there.  Families can instantly contact one another across oceans and time zones, and travel back home—or, more likely, travel to the new home in the West—is more affordable than ever.

Couple that ease of travel with our ludicrous interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment, which allows foreign nationals to spit out “American” citizens if they can just cross the border when the contractions begin, and you have a recipe for invasion.

The family situation goes beyond the “anchor babies” phenomenon and the child migrant crisis.  Our immigration system prioritizes family members over skilled, English-speaking immigrants.  As Scott Rasmussen notes, nearly 750,000 immigrants annually enter the United States legally simply because they’re related to someone already here.  Immigrants can send for their spouses, children, and parents under this system—who then can bring over their spouses, children, and parents, creating the “chain migration” President Trump has decried.

The president is not alone.  According to Rasmussen, 75% of voters believe our immigration system should prioritize skilled immigrants, not family members.  That cuts across partisan lines (suggesting that immigration reform is a winning issue for electoral candidates).  And that 750,000 number reflects 66% of legal permanent residents admitted to the United States.

Remember, another key source of friction in immigration is that, in the old days, it could be years before an immigrant could bring his family over.  Indeed, some immigrants might never see them again.  It’s probably humane to allow Pedro to bring his wife and eighteen kids.  But his doddering parents?  His alcoholic uncle?  His son’s wife and kids? Where do we draw the line?

A further issue is that, with the ease of wire transfers, more and more wealth produced in the United States is sent back home.  Rasmussen reports that immigrants send a whopping $148 billion home.  That’s wealth produced working in the United States.

$30.02 billion of that $148 billion goes to Mexico.  When President Trump campaigned on Mexico paying for the wall, he didn’t mean the Mexican government would cut us a check.  Instead, he argued that the United States could tax these remittance payments to fund the border wall.

It’s an idea brilliant in its simplicity, and it shifts the costs of illegal immigration to the immigrants.  Want to pick our tomatoes at slave labor wages and send the money back home?  Fine, but you’re going to pay for the means by which we’ll prevent your mountain village from crossing over, too.

Immigration policy should benefit America and its citizens first.  I often hear the specious argument that “Americans won’t do certain jobs.”  Hogwash.  Big corporate farmers and Silicon Valley billionaires just want cheap fruit-pickers, coders, and nannies.  There are millions of working poor Americans who, for a living wage, could fill those jobs.  Alternatively, mechanization and automation could complete many of those roles.

The South went through the same issue with slavery:  wealthy Southern planters wanted cheap labor to grow cotton, and Northern textile mills were happy to pay a reduced rate for slave-produced cotton.  The losers were poor working folks and farmers.

Similarly, elites profit financially (and socially—they get to feel virtuous for employing Consuela to raise their kids) while wages for working men stagnate.

President Trump and Republicans in Congress should push again for the taxing of remittances, and a major push should begin to rid ourselves of “birthright citizenship,” a ludicrous misreading of the Fourteenth Amendment (which was intended to naturalize the former slaves and their progeny, not the children of foreign visitors who happened to give birth on American soil).

More importantly and immediately, we need to build the wall and deport any and all illegal immigrants.

Somali Shenanigans

Mass immigration and open borders are huge problems, but their costs are sometimes difficult to see.  Generally, Americans take a rosy view of immigration, as it conjures up images of plucky Irishmen crammed onto ships, chuffing past Ellis Island.  We’re the melting pot—people of different creeds and races come here, each contributing some distinct spices to the stew, but ultimately subsuming into the larger cultural heritage and mores of the host country.  Learn English, learn the Constitution, follow the rules, and you’re golden.

Of course, that all assumes the assimilability of the immigrants.  Back in those rose-tinted Ellis Island days, waves of Irish, Italian, and Eastern European immigrants (not to mention Chinese and Japanese migrants to California) caused great consternation, as each ethnic tribe and nationality stuck to its own.  With the National Origins Act of 1924, that great wave of migration trimmed to a trickle, with quotas favoring immigration from Western Europe.  Combined with the national struggles of the Great Depression and the Second World War, those migrants had time to get “baked in” to the national pie, and emerged full Americans.

Consider, too, that these immigrants came to the United States at a time when there was significant friction by doing so.  Many of them would never return to their home countries, or would do so only many decades later.  Lacking the access to mass, global communications networks, many of them never saw or heard from their relatives and families again.

Today, immigrants are able to communicate seamlessly with their relatives back home—a wonderful marvel of our modern-age.  They can also hop a jet plane and be back in hours (or get here quickly).  That same friction is no longer present to the same extent as it was 100 years ago.

Couple that with massive legal and illegal immigration, and the push to assimilate begins to vanish rapidly.  That push becomes more of a gentle nudge, if that.  Why learn English and the local customs when you can be surrounded by your hombres from back home?

Let’s go a step further:  what if your host culture no longer promotes or defends the rightness of its own beliefs and values?  Instead, it promotes multiculturalism and diversity as self-evident goods.  The official and cultural messages are no longer “assimilate” and “respect our laws, values, and God,” but instead become, “do your own thing” and “we’re nothing special—we don’t even really believe this stuff.”  Suddenly, there’s no compelling reason to assimilate into a culture that lacks confidence in itself.

Take all of that and add in a culture that does have some conviction in the rightness—and righteousness—of itself, and you’ve got the makings of a cloistered, insular community of unassimilable immigrants in your midsts.

Such is the situation in Minnesota with the Somali “refugees” living there.  They are, almost universally, devout Muslims.  They are also what the cool kids call “visible minorities”—they’re black—which serves as a further impediment to assimilation.  Islam in its most fundamental form is, essentially, at odds with Western civilization.  The very existence of Sharia law conflicts directly with the Constitution.  It’s all a recipe for disaster.

Indeed, the situation in “Little Mogadishu“—the Somalian neighborhood in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area—is a miniature form of the Islamic migrant crisis Europe has endured for years now.  Like the banlieues of France and Belgium, Somalian Muslims have created their own ethnic enclave in the heart of a State once dominated by Swedes and Germans.

Little Mogadishu is, sadly, following the pattern of other Muslim-dominated areas in the West.  It’s crime rate is through the roof, growing 56% in 2018.  Most of that increase is due to gang violence between competing Somali street gangs.

Minnesota—in a suicidal display of “Upper Midwestern Nice”—has encouraged the accumulation of Somalis into its State, creating a powerful ethnic voting bloc that holds increasing sway over the Democratic-Farm-Labor Party (the technical appellation for the Democratic Party in Minnesota).  Freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who can barely speak English without an anti-Semitic accent, is a troubling figure to have walking the highest corridors of power.  She’s a political figure ripped straight out of sub-Saharan

That’s had lethal consequences, too, such as Somali police officer Mohammed Noor’s fatal shooting of Australian Justine Damond.  That killing drew attention to what was likely an unfortunate diversity-hire.  The Minneapolis Police Department is, apparently, attempting to hire more Somali officers to improve community outreach in Little Mogadishu, but why did the city allow such an alien enclave to develop in the first place?

That incident at least received coverage from the mainstream media.  What didn’t was this piece from InfoWars, which details (with police documents) the antics of a group of eight or ten Somali teens.  It seems these precocious, vibrant youngsters were spreading diversity with hammers and pipes in an attempt to rob elderly white people.

Some of these attacks are, no doubt, the result of typical inner-city gang violence.  But the insidious influence of radical Islamism is alive in well in the environs of this Minneapolis banlieue.  Fox News calls it “the terrorist recruitment capital of the US.”  Ami Horowitz, in a jaw-dropping YouTube video, demonstrates that Somali Americans believe Sharia law is preferable to (and, by implication, should replace) America’s constitutional law.

So, how does the United States avoid replicating the errors of Europe and Minnesota?  Tighter immigration restrictions would be a key first step.

Another would be more drastic, and unlikely politically.  Indeed, were it to succeed, the precedent it established could be destructive in the long-run to religious liberty.  I’ll elaborate:

Article VI of the Constitution states that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust.”  That is a beautiful statement in favor of religious liberty.

That said, Islam may very well be the grand exception.  It is a faith that is fundamentally incompatible with the faith, culture, and laws of the West.  It has no desire to reform (indeed, it may lack the ability to do so), and it contains within it no separation of church and state.  The faith of Islam is the law code.

As such, one could argue it may be necessary to amend the Constitution to ban Muslims from serving in higher office.  That is a bold step, and one that I shrink away from even as I ponder it.  But can there be any guarantee of loyalty from followers of a religion that is so hostile to American and Western values?

Of course, the flaw in this approach is that individual Muslims are, like lapsed Catholics and Protestants, sometimes easygoing about their faith.  At the same time, even lax Muslims have a tendency to radicalize quickly.  Just look at the Boston Marathon bomber, who went from being a pot-smoking loser to killing innocent people in the blink of an eye.

Regardless, the West has to wake itself up to the real, existential threat Islam represents.  We’ve spent nearly 1400 years fighting against its aggressive expansion—the Battle of Tours, the defense at the gates of Vienna, the Reconquista—only now to invite the invaders in with open arms?

A few hundred Muslim immigrants a year is no big shakes.  But if we adopt Europe’s “come one, come all” approach, we’ll lose everything that makes our country great, and free.

TBT: America Should Expand into Space

On Tuesday, I wrote about NASA’s quest to put humans back on the moon by 2024Space exploration and strategic dominance in space were early topics on this blog.

Indeed, today’s #TBT, “American Should Expand into Space,” was one of the first posts of the TPP 3.0 Era.  The piece looks at the “heartland theory” of geopolitics, and applies that 115-year old concept to space.  “He who controls space, controls the future,” or something like that.

It’s a compelling argument, and while I can’t take credit for applying this particular theory to space—I didn’t know about “heartland theory” until reading Captain Hendrix’s National Review piece about it—I’ve long argued that if the United States doesn’t expand into space first, our enemies will.  You’d better believe the ChiComs wouldn’t hesitate to point a lunar laser at Washington, D.C. (hmm… perhaps not the worst of outcomes) given half the chance.

But I digress.  Here’s hoping a combination of public and private investment in space exploration will yield a new era of boldly conquering the stars.  Here is June 2018’s “America Should Expand into Space“:

Retired U.S. Navy Captain Jerry Hendrix has a piece up at National Review Online entitled “Space: The New Strategic Heartland” in which he urges Congress and the Department of Defense to establish a “Space Force” and to get serious about space exploration and colonization.  It’s an excellent read, and makes some compelling points about why space is, truly, the final frontier.

Captain Hendrix bases his analysis in “heartland theory,” developed in 1904 by British geographer Halford Mackinder.  114 years ago, Mackinder argued that the “heartland” of future geostrategic conflict was Eurasia.  Decades later, as Hendrix explains, former President Richard Nixon wrote that the Middle East and Africa—with their vast mineral resources—would hold the key to determining the victor in the Cold War (influence in these regions, Nixon argued, would determine whether capitalism or communism would prevail).

Now, Hendrix makes the case that space is the new “heartland,” and makes some intriguing points to that effect.  Anyone who has followed the career and writings of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will be familiar with these arguments; indeed, a decade ago I wrote a rough draft of a paper arguing for lunar colonization on similar grounds.

To summarize, they are as follows:

  • China and Russian are looking to disrupt America’s dominance in communications, entertainment, and strategic defense, which we enjoy because of our preeminence in space—think of how disruptive it would be to lose communications or military satellites, which the Chinese are already targeting.
  • Automated construction and manufacturing in space provide the capability to build and launch deep-space rockets more cheaply (the gravity of the moon is one-sixth that of Earth’s), allowing for more cost-effective space exploration.
  • The free market will—and already has!—get more involved in space exploration.  There are meteorites with more gold than has ever been mined on Earth.  Consider, too, China’s dominance of rare-earth metals, which are abundantly available in the space, particularly the asteroid belt.

If space is going to remain a competitive domain, the United States will have to take the lead.  I shudder to think of a Chinese controlled-moon, for example.  I know it sounds batty, but do you really want the Chinese constructing a lunar death laser?  They have the manpower and disregard for human life to do it.

There is room, too, for a conservative approach to space exploration, and we shouldn’t reflexively recoil at government involvement in this regard, so long as it’s done the right way.  Just like the Homestead Act of 1862 (Gingrich actually proposed a “Homestead Act” for the moon!) or the role of the federal government in leasing lands for railroad companies, Congress can provide the framework for space exploration and colonization that would allow the free-market and private enterprise to kick in and work their magic.

What we should avoid is a bureaucracy that is so obsessed with “safety” and “diversity” that our space program is stillborn in its terrestrial cradle.  Fortunately, there is a way forward, and Newt Gingrich delivers again.

Shortly after winning the South Carolina Republican presidential primary in 2012, Gingrich gave a speech in Florida in which he promised that, by the end of his second term as President (sigh… if only), we’d have a colony on the moon.  When he gave this speech, I began hooping like a silver-backed gorilla—and immediately donated $100 from my meager 2012 salary to his campaign.  He was widely derided for this position, but John F. Kennedy made a similarly bold claim in his young presidency—and, sure enough, by 1969, we had a man on the moon.

Since then, Gingrich has remained a strong supporter of space exploration.  Indeed, he’s written on the topic twice recently, and I would encourage readers to explore his ideas further (I should note that I am heartened to see so many writers suddenly taking an interest in space exploration again).

1.) “A Glimpse of America’s Future in Space in 2024” (22 April 2018):  http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/04/22/newt-gingrich-glimpse-america-s-future-in-space-in-2024.html

2.) “Entrepreneurs will change space exploration (31 May 2018):  https://good-politic.com/newt-gingrich-entrepreneurs-will-change-space-exploration/2614/

The economy is swinging again, American patriotism is back in style, and President Trump is a bold reformer who dreams and acts big (league).  America is perfectly poised to build upon our already substantial lead in space exploration, and frontiers are our specialty.

Let’s go to Mars!  Let’s build a colony on the moon!  Let’s mine asteroids!