Friday, August 29, 2014

Why I Don't Approve this Message

Mexican Family sneaking across the U.S. border

I've often said that Americans are stupid. It may be that this stupidity is the result of complacence, or ignorance, or credulity, or misplaced empathy. Often, in their vanity, Americans don't want to know the inconvenient truth, the facts that might embarrass them into acknowledging how irrational and senseless many of their sentimental beliefs are. 

The American media was skeptical for a long time about the presumed obligation America is supposed to have for the poor, dispossessed, ignored, ailing, populations of Central and South America. But in the last year or so, they're coming around to a position of unambiguous support for a full scale national refugee accommodation. In 2008, during the Bush Administration, the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act was signed into law, making it impossible to efficiently deport minors back to their native countries, without elaborate petition hearing processes. Word quickly spread throughout Central America, that children could "beat the system" by pretending to be eligible for various kinds of "asylum" or "family reunification." Many of the new illegals are accompanied by a parent, or a relative. Others are brought in by "coyotes," human traffickers who charge about $10,000 a head to escort them across the border. 

Once here, the U.S. Immigration system treats these minors, and those who are accompanying them, as honored guests. They are "processed" into detention centers, and scheduled for hearings at Immigration courts. The pro-forma initial "hearing" is nothing more than a formal identification and acknowledgement of the illegal's presence, at which a later court date is set to present the "case" for legal residence. Presently, it is reported that well over half of all such "detainees" never show up for their formal hearing, but simply "melt into" American society, and are never heard from again. 

In order to elicit sympathy and generate support, we're being told now that the reason all these illegals--especially children--are coming is to escape persecution, drug trafficking violence, political enemies, discrimination, poverty, unemployment, and hopelessness. In the vast majority of these cases, these are not new conditions. Central and South America have been in social and political and economic turmoil for over a century. NAFTA, and the Amnesty enacted during the Reagan Administration, and the new enforcement initiatives of the first Obama Administration, were supposed to reduce illegal immigration, but statistics show that more illegals are coming here now than ever before. The stream has become a deluge.

Meanwhile, there's a movement now in this country to welcome the illegal minors from Central America, to enable them to "beat the system" by helping them overcome the regulations designed to control them, to provide homes and support for them, schooling, health care and welfare. Some cities in the U.S. have designated themselves "sanctuary cities," where national immigration laws will not be followed, and aid and comfort will be provided to illegal immigrants. The San Francisco Chronicle, in what has become a far left-wing initiative, has been running a series of reports on the City's efforts to provide assistance and aid to the illegal Mexican immigrant community. The reports are tacitly supportive, even pridefully boastful of the City's own illegal actions. The City refuses to follow federal regulations about referring illegals who've committed crimes to the IN&S, the Department of Homeland Security. 

Putting aside what one thinks about the humanitarian priority of welcoming wave upon wave of poor, sick, uneducated, non-english speaking economic refugees, there's the question of why America should want or need to take on more burdens. Ten years ago, if someone had suggested that we should lower our immigration threshold in order to accommodate foreigners simply because they wanted to live better lives, would have been regarded with amused scorn. Two-thirds of the world population would love to emigrate to America, and the reasons are obvious. That we should need to find an ethical pretext that allows us to accept this lowered standard is nothing more than hypocrisy. Nothing in Central America has changed. What has changed is our attitude about what we're willing to tolerate. The immigrant advocates have succeeded in moving the debate several degrees to the left, and are persuading Americans that we have a moral obligation to thwart our own immigration laws and system, by providing aid and comfort to whole populations of foreign nationals, simply because they want what we have. Unable to make a reasonable distinction between universal want, and reasonable accommodation, Americans simply throw up their hands and declare "amnesty!" 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Vive Les Girls

Sabina ("Sabine") at 3+ months

As reported in a previous post, we recently acquired two new Siamese kittens, sisters born of a litter of  a breeder in Hayward, California. Sabina and Capuccine. As readers of this blog know, we name all our cats after coffees or coffee concoctions. But Sabine (above) is a departure from this tradition. 

It isn't easy to tell how small these kittens are from the pictures. Sabine and Capuccine are about 11 inches long--but have probably grown at least two inches apiece since we got them just about a month ago. They aren't twins, but are very close in physical build; Sabine resembles a lilac point Siamese at this point, while Capuccine looks like a chocolate point. 

Sabine is very much the little lady, careful and pliable, while Capuccine is more rambunctious and adventurous. They both eat with enthusiasm, and will soon grow into young adults. Being sisters, they tend to play together, sleep together, and eat together. 

Our resident male, Su-Mee (seen here below with the two newcomers) is suspicious, but tolerant. They run rings around him, but he's so much bigger then they are now, that it's really no contest when the wrestling begins.     

Su-Mee with the two girls at mealtime

I've "adopted" Sabine, while Merry claims Capuccine. This is the first time we've ever gotten two cats at the same time, and from the same litter. Su-Mee and I are now outnumbered in the household by three ladies. 

Sabine comes to me in the wee hours of the morning, in the dark, and cuddles up next to my shoulder in bed, purring up a storm. She's making Su-Mee a little jealous, so I have to keep reassuring him that he's still number one in the house. 

All things considered, they're getting along quite well.