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Monday, January 26, 2009

An Open Letter to President Obama

Dear President Obama:

Recently, you said that you're willing to consider any idea that has a chance of improving the country and fixing the economy. Wonderful! I'm taking you at your word.
Let me list a few easy steps to take to fix this country. They are the only steps that would have a long-term shot at success. They're things we've long needed to do, but simply haven't gotten around to implementing.

The Economy:
1. Pass a Fair Trade Bill. This bill would set up a committee to determine the tariffs that our trading partners impose on our goods, and match them. We would impose no tariff on any country's goods unless it was one they imposed on us. Considering just the tariffs imposed by China and Japan, we could pay off the foreign-owned portion of the national debt within a month or two. Another year or two and we'd have the whole thing paid off. Every year the committee would submit a new report to Congress, and Congress would then have to vote to change the tariffs. (There would be no "let it lapse" clause.) As nations reduced their tariffs on our goods, we would do the same. This would level the playing field for our companies, who currently must fight against a raging tide of international protectionism. Some of our trading partners have warned against such an action; this would have a lot more weight if they were not already laying burdensome duties against our products. We would be fools not to reciprocate. Correction: We are fools for not having done so already. A comprehensive tariff policy would tariff the value of goods originating outside of the United States, regardless of whether the company in question was American or foreign. This would discourage outsourcing, and keep more jobs at home.

2. Enforce immigration laws. I used to work as a medical courier in a warehouse. I was paid eight dollars an hour with medical benefits. Most of my coworkers were Mexican immigrants, which was the norm for California. I thought nothing of this situation until, returning to work on a Monday, I noticed that half of the staff at work was gone. I asked my supervisor what happened, and she informed me that we had been raided by the INS, which had discovered that a large number of my coworkers did not have work visas. I was also informed that I would be receiving a raise of one dollar an hour because we'd have to hire legally from now on. This event taught me a valuable lesson about labor. Immigration really does affect salary. This should be obvious to anyone with even the most minimal education in economics. Labor is an asset. The more scarce an asset, the more people will pay for it. The reverse is also true. In times like these, when unemployment is so high, we can't afford to let foreigners steal jobs from hard-working Americans. Enforcing immigration laws would have a huge effect on the economy. It would raise wages, increase benefits, and reduce unemployment. It would help the poor more than the rich since the jobs most illegals take are of the low-end variety. We must ask ourselves to whom we owe the most loyalty: Ought we to be more loyal to our own citizens than to citizens of other nations? I say yes.

Foreign Policy:
1. Make the Border Patrol a military branch. The Border Patrol needs the authority to return fire, and the autonomy to do so without being thrown in jail. Ramos and Campeon are in jail for doing their job, after all. A drug dealer turns and fires at them while fleeing. They return fire, hitting him in the side of the buttocks, at an angle which would be demonstrably impossible had he not been turned toward them. Somehow, this drug dealer is given standing in our courts to sue for damages, and is awarded millions. We have a problem! The Border Patrol needs more authority. Why can we go into Pakistan looking for terrorists, but we can't go into Mexico when we know exactly where the criminals are? This is a ridiculous situation, and must be remedied. We should promote the Border Patrol to a branch of the military, making any attack on them an act of war. Then, we should use the next attack from a drug cartel in Mexico as justification to use our military, including units from any and all branches, to take them all out.

2. Build a wall. Congress has already approved the money for this project, so why isn't it done? In truth, an executive order would be all the approval necessary. After all, it would be a step toward making immigration laws enforceable, which falls within the domain of the executive branch. We need a real concrete wall, at least twelve feet high, running the length of the Mexican border. If we can put up hundreds of miles of such walls along our freeways just to block the noise of our cars, we can do the same on our borders. It can even be attractive, if designed properly. Private contractors could be hired, thus stimulating the economy. As someone from a border state, I have first-hand knowledge that this would be the only way to establish lasting control over immigration. Unless we can control who comes into our country and who does not, we have no sovereignty.

President Obama, please consider these ideas. We all know they would work, and that they'd be the only real way to fix the problems they address. Be man enough to ignore the screeching voices of the idiots among us and do the right thing! We need that kind of president now. Be that man.

Christian London Palmer

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Problem with Villification

I have a theory about politicians. It may sound a tad naive, but it keeps me sane in these days of rampant socialism and government overspending. My theory is that everyone who gets into the political arena does so for altruistic reasons. People may have different ideas of what that altruism may entail, but they all want to help make the world a better place.

If I'm right about this, it means that I've engaged in quite a bit of hyperbole as a blogger. After all, I use the odd bit of ad hominem now and again. I'm a traditionalist, so I see any attack of the Judeo-Christian moral code as an act of evil. Indeed, deviance from traditional ethics has done incredible damage to countless people, ruining and even taking many lives. Still, those who preach acceptance of amoral lifestyle choices don't do so to harm people. They truly think that doing as they plead will help, not harm, society. It just so happens that they're wrong. A 46% illegitimacy rate and a skyrocketing HIV infection rate make that perfectly clear to anyone with eyes to see.

I don't believe that Barack Obama is out to destroy America. He wants to help. I just disagree with his plans for doing so. I am really very curious about how much the intimate details a president receives about things like terrorism, the economy, and foreign relations will affect his policy positions. I notice he's already toning down some of his campaign promises. It's amazing how quickly reality bites politicians in the backside after an election is won. When I hear him speak, I can't help but believe that he's sincere. I hope he really is willing to consider all sides, even the conservative one. Who knows? Maybe he'll grow enough in office to become a true moderate. Maybe his daily briefings will convince him that socialism is not the answer to a depressed economy. I hope, for all our sakes, that we were wrong about him, myself and all of the other conservative voices in the crowd.

He's our president, for better or for worse. I always wish the best for America, no matter who's at the helm.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Beginning of the End

I really, really hate being right. Especially when I'm being a pessimist. I predicted an Obama victory, actually endorsing him as a surefire means of bringing the right wing right again. He won. Republicans are talking about things like fiscal discipline, the right to life, and are actually trying to stand in the way of liberal bills. So why am I so miserable?

Oh, wait. Maybe it's the trillion dollar spending plan he's pushing. Maybe it's the retards he's putting in high places, like Leon Panetta as CIA chief. Perhaps it's the fact that he's already equating the "president" of Hamas to the Israeli Prime Minister. Ah, yes, that's showing the terrorists! Fire missiles at Israel and you get a free chitchat with the U.S. president. Obama now declares that government is the only thing that will get us out of this recession. Didn't government get us here in the first place? Wasn't it the liberal loan policies pushed by Democrats onto the finance companies that caused them to give huge loans to people who couldn't afford them? Weren't two quasi-private corporations, formed by the government, behind the entire credit collapse? Aren't government-required fuel standards, the prohibition of drilling our own oil, and the failure to tariff our competitors the way they've been doing to us the real cause of the auto manufacturers' crisis?

Yes, President-elect Government has the solution: let the government control even more of the economy. Every dollar seized by government is one less dollar in the business cycle. I know! Let's take a trillion dollars out of the economy! That will fix everything!

Sigh... I know, I know. He hasn't even started yet, and I'm already ripping him apart. I feel like a liberal after Bush was elected. After all, it's not as if there isn't a precedent for this sort of behavior.

Maybe the only way to beat liberals is to use their tactics against them. Desperate times call for desperate measures.