Bye, Bye Property Rights

Evidently, the Supreme Court and the state of Arizona have no respect for individual rights, including property rights.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld an Arizona law that imposes sanctions against businesses that hire illegal immigrants.

If you own a business, it's yours.  As long as you're not violating the rights of anyone else, you should be able to run your private business as you see fit, including hire and fire whomever you please, but that's just not the case in the US anymore.  A sad day, indeed.

Quote About Immigration

The proposition that Muslims are welcome in Britain if, and only if, they stop behaving like Muslims is a doctrine which is incompatible with the principles that guide a free society. Roy Hattersley

Republicans - Not Serious About Immigration Reform, Not Serious About Free Markets

While I doubt Obama will ever pass meaningful immigration reform, the Republican response to his justified verbal trouncing is, as usual, more delaying. Jan Brewer, governor of  Arizona, said:

'I don't think his comic attitude and laughing at a serious issue is being very well received, certainly not here in Arizona, I would imagine not across America,' she said. 'This is a serious situation. And for him to go to a pep rally and make light of the situation is unbelievable.'

It is a serious situation. Which is why you can't do much besides laugh at the Republicans' prescription for the problem; dig in their heels and demand a gigantic, multibillion dollar border fence, billions upon billions more in Border Patrol and ICE expansion, and the standard of stopping all illegal border crossings and deporting somewhere between ten and thirty million people from the country, before we talk about anything else.

(Oh, and by the way, they want the war on drugs to be done before we talk about immigration, too, since the War on Drugs involves Mexican criminals coming here.)

This is especially ludicrous given that the number of illegal crossings could be cut by more than 90% by simply changing the law; a process that, far from costing taxpayers billions of dollars, could actually be revenue-neutral or even generate revenue, and here's how.

Simply make it legal for anyone to cross the border at a certain point, pay for a medical exam and background check, and then issue them a green card. The green card would be contingent upon not drawing public services, meaning that they could be deported if they used unemployment, food stamps, etc. With no caps, illegal immigration would drop substantially and the violent criminals would no longer have the cover of thousands of people who simply want to come here to work.

This is taking the problem seriously. Addressing the real concerns of those who are being hurt by our country's broken immigration system in the most cost-effective, simple manner possible and implementing it, thus relieving the budget of billions of dollars spent building fences and paying an army of government agents to patrol the border and interior for immigrants who didn't follow the rules.

If the Republicans would adopt real free market ideas such as these, it would show that they truly understand and wish to defend capitalism and individual rights.  Instead, they are oblivious to how they are hurting the economy, eroding American wealth, violating individual rights and keeping a cost-effective labor force out of the country. They simply fail to understand how artificial price controls on the labor market (whether by backwards minimum wage laws or keeping certain people out of the labor market), make American industry uncompetitive, but the Republicans do not and have never understood how basic economics work. For all their lip service, they still believe the government should have a major hand in "protecting" Americans from evil "big business."

The New Colossus - Video from a Friend

My friend writes to me in an email:

I thought you might like this for Mother of Exiles. It's a combination of a reading of Emma Lazarus' "The New Colossus", and does a segue into the aria "The Lady Of The Harbor" for the ending part of the poem. The aria was composed by American composer Lee Hoiby, who unfortunately is no longer with us as of March. Hoiby was a disciple of immigrant composer Gian Carlo Menotti. Like Menotti, his works championed lyricism during a time when such compositions were deemed old fashioned and irrelevant to modern society. Hoiby wrote Last Letter Home in 2006 to the words of U.S. PFC Jesse Givens, who died in an accident while serving in Iraq.

Harry Binswanger on Immigration

Harry Binswanger has a great post on immigration.  Go check it out!

Obama's Speech and the DREAM Act


Here's a video of Obama's speech from El Paso, Texas yesterday.  For those of you who know us or read this blog regularly, you know we're no fan of Republicans or Democrats, and we are certainly not keen on Obama or his socialism, but I have to admit, this was a good speech and I actually agree with Obama on many of his points. 

And perhaps not coincidentally, the DREAM Act is being reintroduced today:

This is timely because today, Senator Durbin is holding a press conference to reintroduce the DREAM Act with Senators Reid (D-NV) and Menendez (D-NJ). The news was making itsrounds on twitter last night.  You can watch the press conference, which starts sharply at 10:15 AM est, live on Senator Durbin’s website.

The DREAM Act is legislation that would provide lawful permanent residency to undocumented youth who attend college or serve in the U.S. military for two years. When the DREAM Act was up for a vote late last year, it failed to attain the 60 votes to end a Republican filibuster and pass the DREAM Act in the U.S. Senate. Even though the legislation won a majority of votes in the Senate and a majority of votes in the House, members of the Republican minority were able to use a procedural move in order to block DREAM from becoming law. And a handful of Democrats joined them.

Quote About Immigration

''Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!'' cries she with silent lips. ''Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me; I lift my lamp beside the golden door.'' Emma Lazarus

Obama To Speak on Immigration Today

I just received the following email from an immigration organization that I follow (but do not necessarily endorse.)  I will post my response to Obama's comments later.

Kelly --

Pressure from you and millions of advocates across the country has moved the national immigration debate forward once again.

Today at 3:30 PM EDT, President Obama will deliver a major speech about immigration in El Paso, Texas. We encourage you to tune in; while we don't know exactly what he'll say, we do know that his words will have a huge impact on our work.

Please try to make some time today to watch the speech today and send us your comments -- we'd love to hear what you think.

You can watch the speech here.

The fight for common sense immigration reform in Congress, and to reform our nation's enforcement policies, can only be won with pressure from people like us -- and the first step is knowing what the key players have to say.

We'll be in touch later this week after we see the speech...

Adam Luna
America's Voice

The Irish in America

Here's an interesting article that contains a brief history of Irish immigration to America. 

When the Irish come, they stay. Irish have immigrated to the United States since the 1600s, dominating politics, the church and, at times, popular culture. Among those who come to the US, the Irish are among the most likely to settle and stay, often identifying themselves as “Irish-Americans.”

It's hard to imagine America's growth and prosperity without the influence of the Irish immigrants, many of whom were hated after they arrived here.  Oh how some things never change.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs - Reverse Brain Drain

This recent article from Businessweek highlights yet another reason why immigration needs to be reformed in the US; the reverse brain drain.

My team at Duke, UC-Berkeley, and Harvard researches the role that skilled immigrant entrepreneurs play in U.S.competitiveness. After we published our study on the reverse brain drain, many academics and policymakers told me entrepreneurs would be frustrated in their native countries and return to the U.S. They pointed to India's weak infrastructure, China's authoritarianism, and the corruption and red tape in both countries.

This prediction seemed wrong based on our observations during visits to India and China, so we launched a project to learn about the entrepreneurial landscape there. Over eight months, we surveyed 153 workers who had studied or worked in the U.S.and returned to India to start companies, and 111 who went back to China. We detail our findings in our new study, The Grass Is Indeed Greener in India and China for Returnee Entrepreneurs. It shows that the majority of returnee entrepreneurs are doing better at home than they believe they would do in the U.S.

For decades, the US has been the place to be if you have a new idea, initiative and brains.  People were free here, to invent, to produce, to prosper and grow.  Unfortunately, things are rapidly changing for the worse, and you have the statist policies of our government and the intolerance and ignorance of many Americans to thank for that.

Objectivist Round Up - May 5, 2011

Welcome to the Cinco de Mayo edition of the Objectivist Round Up! 

I always find it humorous that Cinco de Mayo is so celebrated in the United States, yet most Mexicans do not celebrate the holiday and many have never heard of it before coming to the US.  Here's some interesting information about Cinco de Mayo from Wikipedia.

So as you enjoy Latino culture, drink your Corona with a lime and eat delicious fajitas tonight, let's also celebrate freedom which is at the core of the Cinco de Mayo holiday.

If one upholds freedom, one must uphold man’s individual rights; if one upholds man’s individual rights, one must uphold his right to his own life, to his own liberty, to the pursuit of his own happiness—which means: one must uphold a political system that guarantees and protects these rights—which means: the politico-economic system of capitalism. ~ Ayn Rand

Now on to the Round Up!

C.W. presents A Real Warning posted at Krazy Economy, saying, "Few seem to be paying attention, but a major battle over our the future is underway. Surprisingly, some unexpected sources have spoken up."

Burgess Laughlin presents What is democratic culture? posted at Making Progress, saying, "Understanding a culture in a particular period involves identifying not only the elements of that culture, but their interrelationships too. Are there patterns among the cultural elements? This post is a brief exercise in identifying and probing one pattern: democratic culture."

Scott Connery presents Islam Says: Pose Nude and Die! posted at Rational Public Radio, saying, "Sila Sahin is the first Muslim woman to pose for Playboy. Predictably, it hasn't gone well. Her family has disowned her, and so many death threats have been made that a German Intelligence Agency is involved."

Opus Dei presents I Shall Cross the Ridge posted at Ayn and Self..., saying, "When Howard Roark was ostracized for his greatness, his passion, his love, his self-esteem, he stood looking out of the window one day - a day when every work that deserved this worthy man was snatched from his hands and gifted to some third-rate ignoramus. Then, I wanted him to speak. He didn't, so I did."

Edward Cline presents Atlas Shrugged, Part I: Or, Cortlandt Homes, Redux posted at The Rule of Reason, saying, "It was startling to see the title, Atlas Shrugged, on the theater marquee. I did not expect to live long enough to witness it. Unfortunately, “Atlas Shrugged, Part I,” the movie, has little or nothing to do with the novel. It is a badly made template, with a lot of doodling in the film outside the stencil."

Joshua Gregg presents The Immoral Royalty: Why the Monarchy in the UK is Immoral posted at Persona Non Grata, saying, "Incessant clamoring over the ‘majestic’ and ‘magical’ place the Royal Family enjoys feeds a perverted sense of governance, and in fact does violence to the very nature of man."

Hanah presents Cat Up a Tree posted at Charlie's Bookshelf, saying, "In this very funny children's book, find out what happens when the fire department refuses to rescue a cat that's stuck in a tree."

Jeff Meek presents Female Genital Mutilation: Anti-Life posted at Rational Public Radio, saying, "A discussion of the difference between male circumcision and female genital mutilation."

Scott Connery presents Bin Laden is Dead! posted at Rational Public Radio, saying, "Bin Laden is dead, but the story doesn't end there. Was Pakistan harboring Bin Laden? Were they quietly "looking the other way?" In either case, that is practically an act of war. What will Obama do?"

Ari Armstrong presents Films Show Fight Against Tyranny: Atlas Shrugged, Harry Potter, King's Speech posted at Free Colorado, saying, "The common theme between Atlas Shrugged Part I, The King's Speech, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I."

Arwen Morton presents The Birth Certificate Distraction posted at The Renaissance Woman, saying, "Why we shouldn't focus on the Birth Certificate release."

Zip presents Epiphany posted at UNCOMMON SENSE, saying, "The Strikers Oath states in its first sentence “I swear by my life, and my love of it”, well this apathy toward my own birthday was not showing my life (Me) the ‘love’ it/I deserve."

John Drake presents The Art of Nonfiction, Chapter 1 posted at Try Reason!, saying, "In Rand's The Art of Nonfiction, I identified three main points in Chapter 1. In this post, I discuss those three points."

Julia Campbell presents easy chicken salad with truffle mayo posted at the crankin' kitchen!, saying, "A simple weeknight meal or weekend lunch made wonderful with homemade truffle mayonnaise."

Joshua John M. Lipana presents Let’s Privatize Government Schools « This is Joshua Speaking posted at This is Joshua Speaking.

Joshua John M. Lipana presents American Thinker Blog: America Cannot 'Afford' President Obama's Policies posted at American Thinker, saying, ""President Obama is mistaken in saying the U.S. economy cannot "afford" a government shutdown. What the U.S. economy really cannot afford is a continuation of his policies that are destroying the private sector.""

Rational Jenn presents A Lesson in Rational Self-Interest posted at Rational Jenn, saying, "Recently, I helped my daughter with a situation in which she was being altruistic and making herself unhappy."

Joshua Gregg presents Time to End All Corporate Welfare posted at Persona Non Grata, saying, "It’s high time we end corporate welfare, not just for oil companies, but for all companies."

Santiago and Kelly Valenzuela presents A Response to a Friend on Facebook posted at Mother of Exiles, saying, "This post is a copy of a message I sent to a friend on Facebook and it hits on a lot of the common myths and misconceptions about immigration."

Gene Palmisano presents Misnomer of the Week posted at The Metaphysical Lunch, saying, "Check out the misnomer of the week, then click on the link for my podcast: Confessions of a Neophyte Objectivist."

Paul Hsieh presents Doctor and Drug Shortages posted at We Stand FIRM, saying, "A few quick links on how the government is contributing to doctor and drug shortages in the US."

Rachel Miner presents Observing posted at The Playful Spirit, saying, "A brief post detailing a little experiment I'm going to conduct over the next week. If anyone else conducts an observation experiment with their kiddos too, I'd be interested in the results!"

Kelly Elmore presents ATLOSCon: Providing You with an Authentic Southern Experience Since 2010 posted at Reepicheep's Coracle, saying, "Don't miss the Southern, cheesy fun of the Stone Mountain Lasershow during ATLOSCon on May 26-30 in Atlanta. This post tells you all the gory details."

Doug Reich presents The Unpresident posted at The Rational Capitalist, saying, "What has turned a seeming victory in the war into an ignominious defeat?"

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of objectivist round up using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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El Salvador Lobbies for US Immigration Reform

"We have been negotiating with the U.S. State Department, with the National Security Department, and (El Salvador's) President (Mauricio) Funes has also made specific requests about how our people can benefit from the granting of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) as part of an integrated immigration reform," he said.

A link to the full story can be found here.

While I want the US to reform its immigration laws to be more favorable to immigrants, I cannot say I have much sympathy for President Funes.  If he would implement capitalism in his own country, his citizens wouldn't have to make the dangerous journey into America in an attempt to survive.

Furthermore, it's certainly in President Funes best interest to ensure that his citizens be allowed to immigrate to the US.  Latin American countries such as El Salvador are "popular destinations for remittances."  Remittances are payments sent from people living and working in the US to family members abroad.

In 2005 approximately $2.5 billion was sent to El Salvador. The amount represented more than 13% of El Salvador’s GDP, or gross domestic product. It is estimated that Latin Americans residing in the United States send $30 billion dollars to their native countries.

How amazing is it that with America's awful mixed-economy, we are able to support not only ourselves, but represent a huge portion of the GDP of other nations as well?  Can you imagine how much more we could produce, how much wealthier we could be and how many more people could be supported in a pure, capitalist environment? 

If President Funes is envious of the productivity and wealth of the US, he should repeal his country's restrictive laws, implement pure capitalism and watch the prosperity unfold.  Not only would he be hailed as a hero, but he'd be rich beyond his wildest dreams.  And so would his people.

I wish President Obama would do the same.

Chickens Coming Home to Roost for Arpaio

A federal judge ruled that the office of Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio violated the constitutional rights of an Hispanic father and son who were arrested during an immigration raid in this Arizona metropolis.

The article continues:

The Moras were driving in their automobile near Handyman Maintenance Inc., a landscaping firm, where an immigration raid was being conducted at that time.

Soler Meetze said that U.S. District Judge David Campbell ruled on Monday that the Moras were detained for no reason and without probable cause, which is prohibited under the 4th Amendment.

Father and son were taken to the site of the raid and detained for more than three hours.

"This decision also shows that Maricopa County has to take responsibility for the actions of Sheriff Arpaio," said Soler Meetze.

Currently, Arpaio is also under investigation by the Justice Department on accusations of making racial profiling arrests during his operations.

It's pretty darn ridiculous when a citizen and his son can't drive down the street without being harassed because of their name or the color of their skin.  The only job of the US government is to protect individual rights, and it's failing miserably.

Quote About Immigration

From this article:

"If I had one thing to do," Smith said, "I would staple a green card to the diploma of every foreign-born national that gets a Ph.D. or master's in science or engineering in the United States." [Intuitive's Chairman of the Board of Directors and former CEO and President, Lonnie Smith]

Latinos Slower to Assimilate

From this article:

The report by the Migration Policy Institute said the nation's Latinos generally are having a tougher time when compared to Asian, black and non-Hispanic white immigrants.

"Progress among the United States' different immigration groups is highly uneven, however, Latinos are not faring as well," author Tomas Jimenez wrote.

But the report makes clear that immigrant groups in general are doing "reasonably well" in integrating into American life.

I highly suspect that is because many if not most Latino immigrants can only come into the US illegally.  If you are in this country legally, it's a bit easier to come out of the shadows and live an American life, to move up and prosper.  In addition, there is so much xenophobia directed at Latino immigrants, it seems only natural to me that they stick to their own communities and cultures.

Despite everything they have going against them in the US, I'm remarkably surprised at how many Latino families thrive in this country.  They have better job and educational opportunities in the US and although they may do it a bit slower than some, they do embrace American culture and improve their situations.

US Government Selectively Violates Rights

While I'm certainly glad this student has been allowed to stay in the US, for now, it's disgusting that our country's arbitrary immigration laws allow for individual rights to be violated on a case by base basis.  From the article:

ICE spokesman Chuck Jackson says the agency has wide discretion and tries to ensure that humanitarian concerns and individual circumstances are given top priority in evaluating who is allowed to stay.