Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Conservative Viewpoint
- Illegal immigration: One Of America’s Economic Battlefronts

Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

Voters are telling pollsters the economy is their biggest concern. The president and Congress have proposed a $150 billion incentive package to hopefully avert a recession. Economists and politicians are debating what will work best in the short term. We need something that will work for the long term.

Illegal immigration is a serious economic problem. Our “friends” to the south have been waging an economic war against this country for more than 30 years. We’re losing big-time and we’re letting it happen.

The U. S. Border Patrol estimates that we have between 12-15 million illegal aliens living here. Bear Stearns & Co., a legal global investment firm, puts the figure closer to 20 million. No one knows for sure.

Seventy- eight percent of illegal immigrants have entered the U.S. from our southern border and they continue to come. Fifty-six percent are from Mexico; 22 percent from Central and South America

The U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Service reported there were 702,000 immigrants naturalized in 2006. Eight-four thousand were from Mexico. Approximately 350,000 were from Spanish-speaking countries, with the bulk coming from countries south of our border. They’re not the problem.

Pew Research estimates in excess of 700,000 aliens entering our country illegally every year.

Our politicians are charged with enforcing the laws of the land, but don’t. They would rather appease businesses that depend on the flow of the cheap labor that illegal aliens provide, knowing they’re often rewarded with campaign contributions for doing so.

The U. S. government estimates that at least $80 billion leaves the country every year in cash transfers. The bulk of this money flows into Mexico. Mexico exports unemployment and social problems to the U.S., and imports billions of U. S. dollars that will be spent in Mexico.

Living in America shouldn’t mean a free lunch. For illegal immigrants, it often is. They reap the harvest from our hard-earned tax dollars paid through income tax (state and federal), and Social Security, unemployment and Medicare taxes. While some illegal aliens are paying taxes, many are not. They are either frightened of being caught or sent home and /or work for unscrupulous employers who are gaming the system.

Tina Grigio, a journalist for the Denver Rocky Mountain News, illustrates the cost of harboring illegal aliens:

* In California, if the 3.5 million illegal aliens left the U. S. and returned to Mexico, the state would have an extra $10.2 billion to spend on schools, hospitals and prisons. Less congestion on the roads would mean less pollution. English would again become the predominate language.

* In Colorado, returning their 500,000 illegal aliens along with their 300,000 children and grandchildren to Mexico would save state taxpayers $7 billion.

There are an estimated 1.5 million illegal aliens in Florida and 2.1 million in Chicago.

California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Arizona and North Carolina account for half of our nation’s undocumented population. In North Carolina, one out of every 17 people is an illegal alien.

Listening to Washington and Raleigh politicians, you’d think solving this problem is among the most difficult we have ever faced. This is nonsense.

Fifty-four years ago Republican President Dwight Eisenhower faced a similar immigration crisis. America’s porous southern borders had been violated by 3 million illegal aliens over several years. With only 10 percent of the number of today’s U. S. Border Patrol agents, Eisenhower’s “Operation Wetback” rounded up and removed illegal aliens from the U. S.

The law-abiding citizens among us are being punished because of this nation’s addiction to cheap labor and by politicians concerned about self-preservation. Hispanics represent the second largest U. S. voting block.

In January of 2005 “World Net Daily” reported the Mexican Foreign Ministry had created a pamphlet entitled “The Guide for the Mexican Migrant.” It gives practical advice to Mexicans seeking work opportunities outside of Mexico. It focuses on how to safely cross into the U. S. illegally, the legal rights they’ll have while here, how to avoid detection by the U. S. Border Patrol, what to say and do if you’re caught, as well as how to live unobtrusively in America.

Recent polls have shown that eighty percent of Americans want immigration laws enforced and similar numbers do not support amnesty. They do however support a legalized guest-worker program that permits Mexicans to register in their country for temporary agricultural jobs here.

Our economy is facing many major economic challenges, including dealing with the imbalance of trade with China and the sub-prime mortgage debacle. We’re in this mess because we’ve allowed ourselves and our leaders to succumb to greed, laziness and self-indulgence. We’ve put our sovereignty at risk, as well as our jobs, our language and our culture.

If we are a nation that truly believes in the rule of law, why do we continue to allow this illegal immigration travesty to continue? It can be fixed. Do we have the will to do it?

The unfortunate answer is that many Americans, a large number in both our major parties, have rationalized the acceptance of those among the invaders who help them. The mother who uses a cheap child care worker she could not otherwise afford, the plumber who works 80 hours and doesn’t have time to mow his lawn, the small business that uses cleaning crews at night, farmers who need workers to get in the crops they barely make money on, the socialist who is committed to “the workers of the world”, the liberal politician who needs their votes to assure victory, the civil rights leader who needs another constituency of the aggrieved . . .

Because of this rationalizing an excuse to tolerate, and in some cases glorify, these economic invaders there is no political will to take direct action to cure the problem. The American people are the ones who will crucify anyone who takes direct action such as deporting long time neighbors who are found to have been here illegally. However they want the problem solved and they want new invaders kept out and they want life to be hard for those who have not yet made a life here.

That is a complicated challenge. There are a few for whom Bob’s charge of being greedy, lazy and self indulgent is accurate, but some have simply not figured out how to do this so that the same people demanding action will not “shoot the messenger”. How do you put pressure without taking direct action?

We have to fix this problem. Bob is right when he says that it is all about willpower.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Conservative Viewpoint
- Robert Charles Weaver

"We shall never surrender. They will."

Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

Is prior military service mandatory to be the president of the United States? Not necessarily. But it is a barometer for measuring character under fire.

Robert Charles Weaver, my mother’s older brother, was in his early twenties when he served in the Pacific theatre of operations during World War II. He was assigned to the Signal Corps under the command of Gen. Douglas MacArthur until MacArthur’s evacuation from the Philippines in February 1942.

Before Bataan’s fall to the Japanese on April 9th, my uncle was evacuated to Corregidor where he would serve under the command of Lt. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright. Uncle Robert worked in an underground fortress, tapping out messages for help to MacArthur’s military command in Australia, advising him of the plight of the 11,000 who remained bunkered down in the tunnels of Corregidor. They were in desperate need of food, water and ammunition. It never arrived.

Corregidor was under constant bombardment from the Japanese Navy. The Japanese established a beachhead. They would accept nothing less than complete surrender. Unwilling to see the 11,000 people under his charge needlessly slaughtered, Wainright sought and received permission to surrender, and did so on May 6, 1942.

For the next 28 months these American prisoners were moved from camp to camp, performing forced labor on air-fields, or harvesting rice or rattan from the jungles. Their Japanese captors were brutal. Many prisoners died from beatings, disease, and starvation.

On September 7, 1944, the U. S. submarine “Paddle” fired two torpedoes into a Japanese convoy hitting a freighter, the “Shinyo Maru.” The skipper of the submarine had no idea this was an unmarked P.O.W. “Hellship,” transporting prisoners to Manila. The human cargo had been crammed into locked holds below deck, where they had remained for nineteen straight days. The 50 year old tiny freighter quickly sank. My Uncle and 667 of his fellow prisoners went down with her.

My Uncle Robert had been assured an appointment to West Point at the conclusion of the war. He was a leader. He had the right stuff. So did many other prisoners on board the Shinyo Maru that ill-fated day. Perhaps one of them would have become a future president of the United States.

Thirty of our former presidents participated in some form of military or militia service. Names like Washington, Eisenhower, Jackson, Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, Truman, Lincoln, LBJ, Kennedy, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, G.W. Bush, Carter, Ford, Grant, Madison and Monroe.

Neither John Adams, nor his son John Quincy Adams, ever served in the military; nor did Van Buren, Taft, Cleveland, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, FDR or Clinton.

Military service does not guarantee a great president. Jimmy Carter was a Navy veteran and had a failed presidency. Franklin Roosevelt never served in the military, yet led our nation out of the great depression and to victory in World War II.

Discipline, courage, character and leadership are qualities that are developed and often called upon during the rigors of one’s military service. These skills have been beneficial to many presidents at times of crisis.

The current Democratic candidates today don’t talk much about courage, commitment, honor and valor on the field of battle. When they speak of the war, it’s usually in the context of extracting our troops from the battlefield. Somehow they project “just bring them all home and we’ll all be fine.”

Neville Chamberlain, a former prime minister of Britain thought that way too. He found out from Nazi Germany, that appeasement doesn’t work.

Winston Churchill, an army veteran and First Lord of the Admiralty, became Britain’s prime minister in 1940. His experience, iron will, determination and rhetoric were his greatest strengths. He was instrumental in rescuing England from the jaws of defeat.

Our nation is at a crossroads in our war on terror. The recent surge has shown progress. But we must acknowledge that we’ve made mistakes and they have cost us much in lives and treasure. We must also acknowledge that with or without retreat, this war will continue for many years on one front or another.

Our next president will be faced with choosing between continuing the fight on his terms without succumbing to the temptation of the prevailing winds of opinion, or possibly face having to one day deal with terms and conditions set forth by adversaries.

In the aftermath of the New Hampshire primaries, I paid close attention to the candidate’s remarks in either addressing their victory or defeat. One voice stood tall among them all. In a Churchill- like manner John McCain said, “We shall never surrender, they will.”

Addressing the House of Commons after the British deliverance at Dunkirk in 1940, one of Britain’s darkest hours, Churchill said: “we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, and we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.”

Sen. John McCain, a former prisoner of war for five and one- half years, understands the consequences of defeat. Like Churchill, he also knows what it takes to win: courage, character and conviction. Our next President will need all three.

It is the strength of America that a great number of families have their own Robert Charles Weaver. We are a nation of men and women who will sacrifice their own lives that our nation remain free. Our youngest generation still has the same type of people. You have to be in awe of the young men and women who are defending our freedoms in the battlefields of the middle east. They have answered the call like so many before them.

When I hear stories of people like Robert Weaver my first reaction is to say, thank you. My next is to remember the words of General George Patton on a similar occassion. He said, "Don't mourn that men such as these died. Thank God that men such as these lived."

God bless America and all who hold her freedoms dear.

A Conservative Viewpoint
- Northern Migration Into N.C. Could Favor Republicans

Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

The political landscape in eastern North Carolina is changing. New party voter registration numbers indicate the Democrats’ long dominance in this state is weakening. For the first time in modern history, Democrat registrations have fallen below 45 percent, while total Republican registration remained flat at 34 percent. Democrats gained net voter registrations in 29 counties, while Republicans had gains in 45 counties. Many of the Republican advances came here in the East.

Republicans had net gains in registration over Democrats in Brunswick, Johnston, Craven, Wayne, Currituck, Edgecombe, Duplin, Camden, Northampton, Beaufort, Greene, Chowan, Pamlico, Gates, Martin and Carteret. Democrats had a net gain of 12 new registrations over Republicans in Dare County.

New net registrations in Pitt County favored Democrats over Republicans by two to one, Nash County by almost three to one. In New Hanover County Democrats had 373 net registrations over Republicans. Martin County had a plus 36 registration advantage for Democrats, who also had a single digit advantage in Tyrell County.

Changes in the number of Party enrollments can be attributed in part to the continuing rise in unaffiliated voters. In addition, voter rolls are being culled by local Boards of Elections. In 2006, election boards were required by law to implement “statutory list maintenance procedures.” In other words, let’s get the folks who have died, moved away, or who are no longer eligible to vote, off the rolls.

Democrats have a slight advantage in metropolitan areas, but in most of the state’s counties, Republican registrations continue to outperform those of Democrats.

In the 2006 state House and Senate elections, more total votes were cast for Republicans than Democrats. Yet Democrats still control both houses of the state legislature through voting district gerrymandering.

Gerrymandering is the process of altering borders or boundaries to give the party in control an unfair advantage in keeping them in power. But when one party’s candidates are outpolling the other party’s candidates, and yet aren’t even close to controlling either house of the legislature, something is wrong.

If you are a true conservative and really believe in conservative values, than you have no way of expressing those beliefs as a Democrat. In effect, you end up being untrue to your values and to yourself.

Nationally, the Democratic Party is heavily influenced by special interest groups like the National Education Association, gay and lesbian rights groups, peace groups, radical environmentalists, pro- abortionists and labor unions. None of these groups would ever be accused of being conservative.

Conservative values are the foundation of the Republican Party. Barry Goldwater was the first conservative to run for President in 1964. Soundly defeated at the polls, he was successful in giving that movement and its ideals national exposure and a base on which to build.

It was 16 years before the Republican Party would nominate another conservative for President. Ronald Reagan’s campaign captured the hearts and minds of not just Republicans but Democrats who no longer felt their Party’s message was resonating with them. These “Regan Democrats” were the key to Ronald Reagan’s ascension to the rank of Commander and Chief.

The Sun Belt is the strength of the Republican Party. Folks moving here are primarily transplants. Many in the Northeast have come south to retire or to escape the wrath of the tax man. The overregulation of businesses, sometimes their own, have brought others. Unions killed the steel business and currently the American automobile industry is fighting for its survival. Hiring has been replaced by layoffs and terminations. Doors that once read “Welcome – open for business,” now read, “Closed,” or “Out of business.”

Many Northern states are referred to as “progressive.” Their liberal and often mismanaged social programs, have led to increasing numbers of unemployed and indigent citizens from elsewhere, to seek refuge there. This leads to further economic stress on those state and local government agencies responsible for providing assistance to the new arrivals. The added social burdens mean higher taxes for everyone. Fed-up, many folks finally say “enough!” “I’m looking for someplace to live where there are others like me and where I can make ends meet.” That someplace is often North Carolina. If new voter registrations in eastern North Carolina are an indication, many are Republicans.

It’s not just transplants that recognize the dangers of reckless spending and liberal ideology. Several years ago former North Carolina State Sen. Lawrence Davis, a life-long Democrat from Winston-Salem, became a Republican. He is a devout Christian. When asked why after all these years he bothered to change parties, he said: “I can no longer express my values within my Party, or remain true to my beliefs, by continuing to be a Democrat.”

It appears in North Carolina, increasing numbers of folks may agree with him.

This migration is going to change the Inner Banks. However I have already heard some democrats argue that stopping the migration will be best for them, even it if hurts the economy of the area. The opposition to the Ahoskie U.S. 13 Bypass is based on this logic. The idea of rejecting change because our area is already "perfect", holds a lot of appeal for some.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Conservative Viewpoint
- When It Matters Most
- Character Counts

Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

Great leaders arise out of great tests, like war and economic depression, and their character is ultimately assessed by how they respond to crisis and adversity.

Character isn’t just knowing what is right; it’s also doing what is right.

Last month, Benazir Bhutto, the former two-time prime minister of Pakistan, was assassinated. She and her husband were accused of stealing more than $1.5 billion when she was prime minister from 1988 to 1990, and again from 1993 to 1996. But she had returned from self-imposed exile in an attempt to redefine herself and to give Pakistan another chance at democracy. She announced plans to crack down on terrorism, knowing that she might be killed. She risked her life and paid the ultimate price.

President John Kennedy, an advocate for civil rights, worked diligently to get a civil rights bill to a vote. He wasn’t even able to get his proposals out of committee. The Mob wanted him dead for the war he and his brother Bobby were waging against organized crime. Castro wanted retribution for the failed assassination attempts by the CIA against him. To underscore his commitment to civil rights and to show he would not cower or bend to intimidation, he placed his nation’s interests ahead of his own personal safety and went to Dallas in November of 1963 against the advice of his staff. He too, made the ultimate sacrifice.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was enacted by Congress seven months after Kennedy’s assassination.

The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a civil rights activist who advocated non-violent demonstrations to protest segregation and racial prejudice, as evidenced in the South’s many Jim Crow laws. White segregationist hated King. Threats against his life were ever present. Many of these “peaceful” demonstrations were met with mob and police violence. Even though King knew he was a target,he believed sacrifice-even the sacrifice of his life- would be necessary to help end discrimination, bringing racial equality to all Americans. King was right, and paid with his life.

Prior to the Second World War, President Franklin Roosevelt risked impeachment by secretly violating America’s Neutrality Laws. Roosevelt was providing extensive support to the British war effort against Nazi-Germany. The U. S. had not yet entered the war, and Britain was struggling to hang on. Had FDR not had the courage of his convictions, it’s likely the face of Western Civilization would look much different today.

President George W. Bush also has faced incredible adversity. After the attacks of 9-11, Bush announced his world-wide “War on Terror.” He acted decisively and hasn’t wavered in his belief that this nation is now engaged in the “mother of all wars.” Bush is not popular today. But history, not popularity polls, will determine his legacy.

Simply reacting to polls to determine where to shift the rudder of state is not leadership. Leaders are not super-heroes. Yet we often expect the impossible from them.

Character is essential to leadership. Bhuto eventually showed it. So did Kennedy, King, Roosevelt and Bush. It’s the same mettle that the brave men and women of our armed forces have been exhibiting to freedom-loving people of the world for more than 230 years.

In November we’ll elect a new president. We’ve been fortunate to have had many men of character occupying the White House – presidents who’ve kept us safe, while advancing the cause of freedom and liberty, here and abroad.

With uncertainty and danger lurking in every corner of the world, our next president’s character, courage and resolve will be tested, perhaps like never before. For the sake of all of us, and for the future of this republic and perhaps Western Civilization itself, may we choose wisely. Character: it’s always mattered; it always will.

Good job, Bob.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

A Conservative Viewpoint
- Talk Radio’s Future Still In Doubt

Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

Many might agree that there is no one more intolerant of an opposing point of view than a liberal. The fact they would like to shut down or reduce the amount of conservative talk radio available to listeners today is a sign of their continued paranoia.

In June of last year, by a vote of 309-115, the U. S. House of Representatives defeated an attempt to impose the Fairness Doctrine on broadcasters, primarily aimed at conservative talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh. While this was certainly a victory for free speech, Republicans continue to worry about new regulations if a Democrat wins the White House in 2008.

The Fairness Doctrine, crafted in 1929, required broadcasters to balance political content with different points of view. It often ended up doing the opposite. Station owners, fearing potential law suits, frequently sought to avoid controversy instead.

The Fairness Doctrine was anything but fair. Bill Ruder, assistant secretary of Commerce under President Kennedy acknowledged that “Our massive strategy [in the early 1960’s] was to use the Fairness Doctrine to challenge and harass right-wing broadcasters and hope that the challenges would be so costly to them that they would be inhibited and thus decide it was too expensive to continue.”

In 1984, U. S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, writing for the majority in a test of the Fairness Doctrine, stated that in effect it was “chilling speech” and that the Supreme Court would be forced to revisit the constitutionality of the doctrine if it did have “the net effect of reducing rather than enhancing speech.” In 1987 the FCC abolished it. Yet in 1991 Democrats attempted to reinstitute it, but backed off under the threat of a veto by then President George H. W. Bush.

Conservative talk radio burst on the scene in 1988 with Rush Limbaugh. Today there are many other conservative syndicated talk radio hosts like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck, Bill Bennett, Bill O’Reilly, and Laura Schlessinger. If there is an AM radio station in a market, there’s probably talk radio.

Conservative talk radio reaches more than 75 million listeners and is very profitable. It’s the lifeblood of AM Radio. Yet liberal Democrats still want the Fairness Doctrine re-instated. Unable to compete in the free market place of ideas, liberals will continue to try and do what they do best- over regulate it out of existence.

Its not that liberals haven’t tried to compete in talk radio. Air America was born in March of 2004, led by Al Franken and a host of other celebrities that today include Randi Rhodes, Thom Hartman and Rachel Maddow. In over three years this network has yet to develop a significant listening audience. In October of 2006 Air America filed for bankruptcy. They still operate today. But with few listeners and fewer advertisers many stations are drowning in red-ink, simply to appease Democrats they fear may sweep to victory in 2008 and reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.

Reading the tea-leaves these station owners’ fears may be justified. Democrats like retired General Wesley Clark and former Vice President Al Gore, along with Democratic Senators Dick Durbin, Dianne Feinstein and John Kerry, are all in favor of reinstituting the Fairness Doctrine. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, both Democrats, want to “aggressively pursue” its reinstatement as well.

“Media Matters for America” is a not for profit organization formed in 2004. Its stated purpose is to monitor, analyze and correct conservative misinformation in the U. S. media. This is the same organization that was behind the smear campaigns last year against Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly that backfired. They’re also responsible for the firing of Don Imus by his employer over his racist remarks.

In a speech in Chicago last August 4th,, only 37 days after the Fairness Doctrine’s attempted revival was hammered in the House, Hillary Clinton proudly announced that she was one of the founders of Media Matters. If one needs further proof that the Fairness Doctrine will be at the top of her agenda if she is our new president, this may be it.

It’s a funny thing about freedom of speech. Racist comments like those made by Don Imus disgust me. And Howard Stern? I won’t waste this newspaper’s ink describing my feelings for his brand of “entertainment.” But under our Constitution, folks like Stern and Imus have the right to say what they please. I will fight to protect that right. I’ll also fight to keep the Fairness Doctrine where it belongs- on the ash heap of history.

Liberal intolerance of the views of others was the basis for political correctness and is the basis for their attempts to silence conservatives on talk radio. The idea behind political correctness was that once liberals had decided an issue, no one would be permitted to disagree, or even bring up the subject again. It was settled. The idea behind the "fairness" doctrine is to permit liberals to shut down radio programs that dare to dispute liberal positions. It is simply the latest version of PC thought.