The question of Muslim immigration

We have a profoundly serious problem of illegal immigration, but we also have a problem of legal immigration, Unfortunately, it is a problem that can barely be discussed. Is there anyone who thinks the continued stream of Muslim immigration from countries with active jihadist groups is a good idea? Canadian poet and essayist David Solway broadly raises the problem of Muslim immigration in the PJ Media column “The new colonizers.” I think he gives voice to reasonable concerns in the back of many minds:

[W]hat I find truly offensive as a citizen of a Western democratic state is the unwillingness of a substantial immigrant cohort to assimilate into the modes, manners and practices of the country that has graciously received it, but rather to insist that the host conform to the guest and accept his established views and rooted premises. Such people, fixed in their chronic orthodoxies, will not abandon their imported attitudes and presuppositions where these conflict with the staple usages of the majority. They refuse to monitor their fractious offspring seduced by the temptation of jihad (and to cease feigning astonishment when their treasonable acts come to light), to repudiate entirely the fraudulent and lethal notion of collective “honor” that bleeds into violence and guilty concealment, to stop treating women as servants and sexual commodities validated by the prescriptions of scripture or the assumptions of a primitive ethnology, and in general to respect the values of everyday conduct, legitimate assembly and consensual decency that enable a society to preserve its settled way of life.

Anyone with a modicum of perceptiveness must be cognizant by now that Islam is advancing its millennial agenda in two ways, that is, via a classic pincer movement: the tactic of terrorism, and the strategy of immigration as elaborated by the Muslim Brotherhood, the latter project an immensely powerful force owing to its stealthy and insidious nature, abetted by leftist and liberal sympathies and policies. By this time its cover should have been blown, and we must begin to speak out, to agitate for legislation to revise our immigration protocols, to reject outright the social camouflage of political correctness, to expose “outreach” and “interfaith” programs for the confidence games they are, to investigate the hotbed mosques spreading like bunkers throughout the land, and to lobby our congressional and parliamentary representatives to pass laws militating against the depletion of our welfare resources, the exploitation of our legal system to silence critics of Islam (known as “lawfare”), and the use of our human rights tribunals that deprive us of our…human rights.

Whole thing here, and all of it is worth reading.

The left prepares to cash in on Ray Rice

The Washington Post claims that “women are pro football’s most important demographic” and wonders whether women “will forgive the NFL” for its handling of Ray Rice who punched out his girl friend (now his wife). But the Post’s article proves that women are not the NFL’s most important demographic, and it is unlikely that female pro football fans are upset with the League over the Rice affair.

According to the Post, women make up 45 percent of NFL fans. But the Nielsen survey it cites shows that women make up only about one-third of the league’s television audience.

What about game attendance? My headcount at Sunday’s Redskins game, both in the parking lot during tailgating and in the stadium during the contest, indicated that women made up about 25 percent of the crowd.

Percentages aside, the NFL would be ill-advised to alienate female fans. But there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that its handling of players who engage in domestic violence risks alienating fans, either male or female.

As the Post’s article acknowledges, female interest in football has surged since the turn of the century. During that period, as the Post also notes, nearly 80 players have been arrested for domestic violence. Discipline by the league has been light.

Rice’s case probably produced more adverse publicity than all of the other cases combined. But according to reports, female fans in Baltimore have not only forgiven the NFL, they have forgiven Rice. In fact, many women wore their Rice jerseys to the Ravens’ home opener against Pittsburgh last Thursday.

Non-Raven fans (of both genders) undoubtedly take a less forgiving view towards the player. But it’s difficult to imagine more than a handful of them boycotting the league over the matter. This is particularly true now that the commissioner has made Rice’s suspension indefinite. What football fan would give up the sport because they disagreed with the commissioner over a disciplinary decision he later reversed?

Contrary to the Post, then, any danger the Ray Rice affair poses to the NFL is not being produced from the bottom up by football fans. Rather, as usual, it is coming from the top down.

Whenever an institution becomes as massive as the NFL, the ideologically driven will attempt to enlist the institution for their own purposes. There was a time when some conservatives enlisted the NFL in an ideological sense as a symbol of American virtues. Nowadays, though, it’s the left that wants to use football, not as a metaphor for American virtue (in which it doesn’t really believe), but to advance specific agenda items and/or to shake the NFL down.

Consider this piece by Jonathan Cohn in the New Republic. The title says it all: “The NFL Owes Domestic Violence Victims a Big, Fat Check.”

Cohn should be commended for his directness, if not his logic. His argument is that by not punishing players who have engaged in domestic violence, the NFL sent the wrong message to “the rest of society.” Thus, says Cohn, “restitution” is owed.

But the NFL is not in the message-sending business and has no duty to send correct messages to “society.” If the criminal justice system is functioning properly, “society” will receive the proper message about domestic violence. If it isn’t, that’s not the NFL’s fault.

Organizations that truly help victims of domestic violence are among the worthy causes that the charitably-minded might support, but they have no special claim on the NFL.

The League is, however, partially to blame for its susceptibility to arguments like Cohn’s. If it hadn’t dabbled in disciplining players for issues having nothing to do with football, but instead had limited its jurisdiction, it would be less vulnerable to claims that its handling of specific cases “sends messages.”

The NFL isn’t just under pressure from liberal journalists — if that were the extent of it, there would nothing to worry about. Some corporate sponsors — Marriott Hotels, FedEx, PepsiCo and maybe others –have also gotten into the act.

These sponsors want to stay on the good side of liberal pressure groups like NOW, which has called for the commissioner’s resignation over his handling of the Rice affair. But should they fear a feminist consumer backlash over Ray Rice? Who is going to stop drinking Pepsi because it advertises with a sports league whose commissioner doesn’t suspend domestic violence offenders for enough games?

It doesn’t matter. Corporate America is prone to roll over (up to a point) for liberal pressure groups. They do so in part because corporate American is, itself, liberal, and in part because rolling over is the path of least resistance.

The NFL, when you come right down to it, is part of corporate America and it too can be rolled. Thus, it may well end up writing “a big, fat check” to organizations that deal with domestic violence and its consequences.

There would be nothing wrong, per se, with such a check; in fact, it might do some good. But let’s not pretend (a) that the check is “owed” or (b) that it’s necessary to keep women watching pro football.

JOHN adds: Apart from the specific context of pro football, the significant point here is that big business is predominantly liberal.

Bobby Jindal looks like a solid 2016 contender to me

It has long been clear that you need to get up very early in the morning to beat Scott Johnson to a story. Now it appears that you need to get up even earlier to scoop Scott’s daughter Eliana.

Today, Bobby Jindal delivered an address on energy policy at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. I attended not as much to hear about energy policy as to figure out what I think about Jindal as a presidential possibility.

But when I surfed the internet as we waited for Jindal’s talk, I found that Eliana, in anticipation of the address, had already assessed Jindal’s presidential prospects. Her post went up at 4:00 a.m. this morning.

Eliana called her piece “Jindal’s Gamble.” The gamble is that a “wonk” can win the Republican presidential nomination.

My view is that a policy wonk can, indeed, be the GOP nominee. Bill Clinton won the Democratic nomination as a wonk in 1992. I doubt that today’s Republican voters are less interested in policy or less impressed by the mastery of it than Dems were back then.

Clinton, however, was also a masterful politician. The real question, it seems to me, is whether Jindal has what it takes as a politician.

His address to the Heritage Foundation left me thinking he very well might. Jindal is an impressive public speaker. Today, he spoke without relying on notes except when he cited statistics or ticked off agenda items. He presents forcefully but without sounding strident. My one criticism is that he delivers a little too rapidly. If he runs for president, Jindal will need to slow it down on the campaign trail.

The question and answer session, which included questions about foreign policy and education, offered a good opportunity to observe Jindal in a less wonkish mode. He proved capable of delivering standard Republican talking points effectively. He also displayed a pretty good sense of humor, though little folksiness. And he proved adroit in answering questions from liberals in the audience.

A potential candidate’s nomination prospects can’t fully be evaluated in a vacuum. They always depend on the rest of the field. Few would have thought in 2007 that the Republicans were likely to nominate John McCain.

It’s earlier days yet, but the likely 2016 Republican field appears to provide space for Jindal. Rand Paul and Chris Christie would both be unacceptable to a large chunk of the Party.

Marco Rubio, more charismatic than Jindal and plenty smart though not conspicuously wonkish, would be burdened by his push for “comprehensive immigration reform.” Paul Ryan, as wonkish as Jindal and maybe deeper, would also be burdened by his flirtation with the left on immigration reform and on matters of “social justice” in general.

Ted Cruz might have an edge with many of the voters to whom Jindal would appeal to the most. But Cruz is a lightening rod and may suffer (or prosper) for that reason.

Cruz is a relative newcomer to politics whose biggest claim to fame is the partial government shutdown. Jindal is a seasoned conservative governor. For me, this gives Jindal an edge over Cruz, though not necessarily over other governors and former governors who might enter the race. Scott Walker comes most prominently to mind.

It helps considerably if a presidential contender has a signature issue. For Jindal, that issue might well be energy policy — the topic of today’s address.

I consider it scandalous that under President Obama, the U.S. has failed to take advantage of our energy resources and technologies. Doing so would create millions of jobs for Americans, provide a massive advantage to our manufacturers, and significantly reduce our dependence on foreign suppliers. This issue should be a winner for Republicans.

Jindal has fought the Obama administration on a wide range of energy issues. As befits a wonk, his mastery of these issues seems complete. You can read Jindal’s energy plan at the AmericaNext website.

If Jindal runs for president, he will need to impress both as a wonk and as a traditional politician. Today, he seemed capable of this. But the trick will be to know when to come across as the one and when to come across as the other.

Our Whiny President, on the Radio

Seth Leibsohn was formerly Bill Bennett’s producer and now has his own radio show in Phoenix. He enjoyed my post Our Whiny President and asked me to come on the radio to talk about it. As it turned out, we discussed some other things too, like country music and the Minnesota Senate race. It was a fun couple of segments; here it is:

Is John Kerry a GOP Double-Agent? [With Comment by John]

Never mind the idea that Nancy Pelosi may be a GOP deep-cover double-agent.*  I think I’ve figured out who is operating in even deeper cover: Secretary of State John Kerry. Today in Jakarta Kerry spoke about the causes of climate change.  Here are some highlights of Kerry’s keen grasp of science:

The science of climate change is leaping out at us like a scene from a 3D movie. . .

In fact, this is not really a complicated equation. I know sometimes I can remember from when I was in high school and college, some aspects of science or physics can be tough – chemistry. But this is not tough. This is simple. Kids at the earliest age can understand this.

Try and picture a very thin layer of gases – a quarter-inch, half an inch, somewhere in that vicinity – that’s how thick it is. It’s in our atmosphere. It’s way up there at the edge of the atmosphere. And for millions of years – literally millions of years – we know that layer has acted like a thermal blanket for the planet – trapping the sun’s heat and warming the surface of the Earth to the ideal, life-sustaining temperature. Average temperature of the Earth has been about 57 degrees Fahrenheit, which keeps life going. Life itself on Earth exists because of the so-called greenhouse effect. But in modern times, as human beings have emitted gases into the air that come from all the things we do, that blanket has grown thicker and it traps more and more heat beneath it, raising the temperature of the planet. It’s called the greenhouse effect because it works exactly like a greenhouse in which you grow a lot of the fruit that you eat here.

This is what’s causing climate change. It’s a huge irony that the very same layer of gases that has made life possible on Earth from the beginning now makes possible the greatest threat that the planet has ever seen.

And there’s more, much more.  This bit about the “quarter-inch” layer “at the edge of the atmosphere” “sets a new standard for utter imbecility” in the words of my CEI pal Myron Ebell.  Myron adds:

Later in his speech, Secretary Kerry made the usual sneering remarks about people who don’t think that global warming is a crisis: “President… Obama and I believe very deeply that we do not have time for a meeting anywhere of the Flat Earth Society.”  I suspect that were Secretary Kerry to find the time to attend a meeting of the Flat Earth Society, his presence might lower the level of discourse.

Kerry is a double-agent, I tell ya’, more necessary now that Gore has become so utterly useless.

* Did you hear Pelosi’s latest?  The whole Ray Rice situation is somehow the fault of . . . Republicans.

JOHN adds: So Kerry thinks the Earth’s temperature has been stable for “literally millions of years”? What an idiot. Has he not heard of the Ice Age? Here is a reconstruction of the Earth’s changes in temperature over the last 450,000 years, based on ice cores:


Give Code Pink Credit for Consistency

It is hard not to enjoy the spectacle of the Obama administration making the case for pre-emptive war in Iraq, and relying on the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq, which President Obama wanted to revoke just a few weeks ago, as its legal authority for the war. It is also interesting to see the reaction on the Left. For the most part, liberals are remaining mute, as though they haven’t noticed that Obama has reversed himself on the signature issue that brought him the Democratic nomination, and the presidency.

A few on the Left are consistent, however, including Code Pink. This morning the Senate Armed Services Committee conducted a hearing on the threat posed by ISIS. Code Pink invaded the committee room and repeatedly disrupted the proceedings, to the great annoyance of Chairman Carl Levin. I detest Code Pink, but again, we can only enjoy the fact that it is the Democrats’ turn to be subjected to the group’s obnoxiousness:

Don’t hold your breath waiting for a full-blown anti-war movement to develop, however; not with a Democrat in the White House.

Census Report Shows Income Stagnation Under Democrats

The Census Bureau has released its annual income and poverty report for 2013. You can read it here. Not much changed last year–which, actually, should be a major news story. At a time when we should be experiencing rapid growth coming out of a recession, incomes continue to stagnate:

Median household income was $51,939 in 2013, not statistically different in real terms from the 2012 median of $51,759. This is the second consecutive year that the annual change was not statistically significant, following two consecutive years of annual declines in median household income.

In 2013, real median household income was 8.0 percent lower than in 2007, the year before the most recent recession.

Democrats love to talk about the middle class, because it distracts attention from how bad their policies have been for ordinary Americans. This graph, showing median household income in constant dollars from 1967 through 2013, tells the story. Click to enlarge:

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 12.51.57 PM

When you have slow-growth policies, you will get slow growth. When you have slow growth, incomes stagnate or even decline. That is pretty much the story of the Obama years.

One other interesting sidelight in the report:

The real median income of households maintained by a non-citizen increased by 6.0 percent between 2012 and 2013.

As opposed to no statistically significant increase for citizens. I am not sure what this means; non-citizens were starting from a lower base. Still, the difference is striking.