Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Conservative Viewpoint
- Immigration: Melting Pot vs. Boiling Pot

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

On March 18, 1903, the double- stacked Italian steamer Nord America sailed into New York Harbor with her cargo of Italian immigrants, most of who were traveling in steerage. It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the 50’s. Can you imagine the excitement and visualize the scene as these new arrivals crowded the decks to catch their first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty and the skyline of New York? They would soon dock at Ellis Island and be processed for entry into America, where opportunities and freedoms only few imagined awaited them.

Among the passengers was my wife’s grandfather, 22 year old Giovanni Alessandro Palladino, a handsome farmer from Campobasso, Italy. Earlier that year his sister had received a photograph of a young and beautiful Italian maiden by the name of Maria Josephine DeSantis. She and her family had arrived in America 10 years earlier. They settled in Oswego, New York. It was here that Giovanni planned to secure the hand in marriage of a woman he only knew from a black and white photograph.

The couple wed later that year. They raised their family in Oswego; 11 children- seven girls and four boys. They changed their last name from Palladino to Pauldine. Maria Josephine became just Josephine and Giovanni, simply John. To them it sounded more American.

Josephine was already Americanized and helped teach John English. He not only learned the language quickly but the American customs as well.

They didn’t want to just live in America and take from her what they could, but be a part of America and give something back. Owning property, paying taxes and serving their country was an honor and a privilege.

The Pauldines taught their children to respect their Italian heritage, but more importantly instilled in them that sense of gratitude and responsibility they felt toward America. They always referred to themselves proudly as Americans who happened to be of Italian descent- never as Italian- Americans.

Between 1892 and 1949, 33 million new arrivals to the U.S. would pass through Ellis Island and follow similar paths to earning their citizenship. They arrived from all over Europe; Ireland, France and Poland, Italy and Germany. In the end, despite being from varied backgrounds and cultures these immigrants all wanted one thing; to be a contributing part of the American experience.

Legal immigration has provided the U. S. with a never-ending supply of hard working and patriotic people-and some of the most brilliant and creative as well.

Edward Teller of Hungary was the architect of the hydrogen bomb; Enrico Fermi from Italy won the 1938 Nobel Prize in Physics; Irving Berlin, perhaps our greatest American composer, was born in Russia; A. Felix Frankfurter of Vienna Austria became a United States Supreme Court Justice; Andrew Carnegie born in Scotland became a steel tycoon who donated millions of dollars to help build hundreds of libraries across America. And don’t forget Albert Einstein!

And still they come. Last year nearly 700,000 immigrants entered this country legally. Most of them will contribute to the fabric of America in a positive way.

Becoming an American citizen takes more than someone sneaking into a country under the cloak of darkness and lingering in the shadows of an open society that respects diversity, but abhors deception. This is why so many American’s are opposed to amnesty.

Earning U. S. citizenship is a process. Our history has shown it works. It is the key ingredient for the assimilation of immigrants into our democratic society.

To become a citizen one must be here legally and have resided here for at least five years, or three years as a spouse. Immigrants must reside in the state where they apply and be able to read, write and speak English. They are also required be at least 18 years old, of good moral character, have an understanding of the fundamentals of our history and government and support the United States Constitution.

The path to citizenship might seem arduous to some, but in the end it is this process that empowers our nation, our communities and ultimately the immigrants themselves; instilling in them an understanding of what it means to be an American.

Conversely those aliens who come here illegally are forced to live on the fringes of society, unable and ill- equipped to cohesively function as Americans, yet consuming and testing the limits of our resources, our patience and our benevolence.

While filling our nation’s perceived need for cheap labor, illegal immigrants are, perhaps unwittingly, turning this country’s legendary “melting pot” into a scornful “boiling pot.” This caldron of contempt and resentment on the part of many Americans, including most of the legal immigrants who’ve earned their citizenship, is understandable.

This illegal alien crisis is made even more complex because many come here only to work, with no plans to ever become U. S. Citizens. They’re exporting billions of U. S. dollars earned here south of the border, while consuming billions of our tax dollars to help support them and their families while they’re here in the states. The math simply doesn’t work.

The bottom line is this: until we demand our government strictly enforce the immigration laws we have, and/or create stricter laws if we need them, this chaos will continue and ultimately bring this once sovereign nation to its knees.

The more we abandon the long held belief in America as the melting pot, the more we embrace the kind of divisive double speak that we see in Barack Obama's church, "Trinity United Church of Christ". Obama claims to be patriotic. He simultaneously advocates the segregation and victimhood status for blacks espoused by his former pastor. These two issues are no more compatible than it is possible to reconcile another of Obama's contradiction. He claims to believe we have an individual right to bear arms and yet says government has a right to deny us that right. Both cannot be true. Obama, is a master of doublespeak.

One thing both Obama and the Democrat Party endorse is the right to citizenship for illegal aliens. This seems to me to be based on a deep seated hatred for America. Illegal aliens don't care about our laws. They care about their own "rights". Obama does not care about America either. He cares about the "rights" of those who have self segregated from our nation claiming victimhood. His pastor hates America and Obama has embraced this man for 2 decades.

We need to return to the concept of "melting pot" and stop embracing the self segregation which is driving us towards the boiling pot Bob describes above.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Conservative Viewpoint
- Has America lost her will?

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

In Alexandre Dumas’s 1844 novel “The Three Musketeers,” a young adventurer leaves home and is taken under the wing of an inseparable trio whose motto is “one for all and all for one.” Today in America that motto might well be “all for one if the one is me.”

America was built on the backs of its citizens who assumed individual responsibility; often forgoing personal gain for the good of all. Sacrifice came in the form of hardships starting with those endured by colonists in the 1580s at North Carolina’s Roanoke Island, by settlers at Jamestown, and continuing through most of this nation’s history.

Mutual sacrifice has been an integral part of the unfolding story of America. From the sacrifice of one’s life, from going without, from buying war bonds, to supporting civil rights – Americans have often sacrificed when called upon to do so.

The concept of shared national sacrifice seems archaic to some. Many from the baby- boom generation, for example, became disillusioned with government, particularly our military intervention abroad. Some of these “boomers” ultimately found their way into politics, newsrooms or teaching positions. Many of this group believes that all the problems of the world – past, present and future – began with America. They relentlessly condition their minions to feel the same way.

And then we have the self absorbed “me generation” where nothing matters but the individual fulfilling his or her needs and comforts with little regard for anyone or anything else.

Former President Theodore Roosevelt once said: “The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living, and the get rich quick theory of life.” Looking at America today from Roosevelt’s perspective in 1917, we may well be on our way to fulfilling his worst fears.

America today seems to have the equivalent of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) – the inability to concentrate and to become easily distracted. The country seldom sees anything through to completion. Every problem is either too difficult to solve, or too unimportant to deal with or focus on. It may have first presented itself in February 1945.

With World War II winding down and victory in Europe imminent, Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin met in Yalta on the Baltic Sea. A weakened Roosevelt agreed with Churchill and Stalin that at the conclusion of the war millions of “liberated” eastern Europeans would be now be under governments controlled by communism, where they remained for 50 years. Our noble purpose for going to war in Europe – to eliminate tyranny and oppression and free the masses from bondage – was tainted by this human bargaining chip. As a nation we fell one step short of total victory.

In Korea we didn’t finish the job either. Nor in Vietnam. Or the Middle East in Desert Storm. Our troops were winning on the battlefield, yet denied total victory by a leadership unable or unwilling to convince the American people that further sacrifice was needed.

Will we let it happen again? The surge in Iraq is working, yet many Americans are growing impatient and weary of war. Our enemies abroad cannot defeat us on the field of battle. Our inner demons and lack of will at home can.

Social problems are no different. Everyone wants their “fair” share of the federal and state dole. With entitlements unsustainable, we still want more. Our educational system is broken; we irresponsibly think money alone can fix it. Illegal immigration is a huge problem; we’re not forcing our leaders to act. Billions of dollars of earmarks are attached to legislation on the state and federal level; we don’t seem to care. There is corruption in government in our state; it’s business as usual.

The free lunch for America as a whole and North Carolina as a state is unsustainable. The political, academic, cultural and corporate elites are sealing our fate and we’re sitting back and letting them do it. We’ve lost our will, and in the process we’ve lost our way.

In November we will have another opportunity to get it right. We must begin to elect individuals at all levels of government that have the strength, courage and will to tell it like it is. We cannot continue ignoring or denying that there are big problems in government at every level. Politicians are not kings; they are servants of the people. Unfortunately many of them and many of us have lost sight of that.

The challenges we face are significant, but not insurmountable. It’s going to take more than a campaign slogan or broad-brush stroked rhetoric. It’s going to take what it always has – the will of the American people.

A great deal of effort needs to be spent getting back to a discussion of what is happening in America. Conservatives have done little to educate the people about the consequences of many actions being taken. Some conservatives seem to have lost sight of the need to keep government from wasting money and supporting corruption. Some conservatives have hurt their own cause by insisting that government has no role at all in providing for a helping had to those who are needy, and thus have lost credibility when trying to stop waste and corruption when Government programs become a free ride for the greedy.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Night Of January 16th - by Ayn Rand

The annual Gates County play for the preservation of the Old Gates County Courthouse is coming soon! This year it is a powerful play.

Sam Tackett stars as Karen Andre in the famous Ayn Rand Play

Deep down inside we all know that we would love to be a juror on a life or death case. That is power. The most power the average citizen will ever have. Playing on that fantasy, Edith Seiling of the Gates County Historical Society is producing a great play in our area for the 10th Anniversary of their efforts to restore the old Gates County Courthouse. It is a reprise of their first play done a decade ago. It is titled, "Night of January 16th" by Ayn Rand. It allows the audience to determine who is lying in a complicated murder case with life or death consequences. Want to see if you can figure it out? Jurors are selected from the audience!

Joyce Brown, Director

Garrett Maroney, stars as prosecuting attorney Mr. Flint

"Night of January 16th" is the famous play by Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead. The play was inspired by the death of a Swedish industrialist who was one of the wealthiest men of his day. It takes place entirely in a court room and is centered on a murder trial. It was the hit of the 1935-36 Broadway season. The play deals with issues of a man's ability to regard oneself as important and exist in a society where moral decay is ever prevalent. It also deals with issues of love, loyalty and betrayal.

Bob Bryan as Judge Heath

Rene' Rother Winslow, Evelyn Eason, Jimmy Smith, Durwood Evans and Elaina Dobay are witnesses in the trial

The play is directed by Joyce Brown, Gates County resident and former Full Professor of Communication at Chowan University. Joyce is a long time participant in the drama groups at Chowan and in Gates County. It stars Gates county residents Sam Tackett, as Karen Andre, mistress and secretary to the dead industrialist Bjorn Faulkner, and Garrett Maroney as Mr. Flint, prosecuting attorney. Karen Andre is on trial for the murder.

Other key players include:
Bob Bryan as Judge Heath

Dee Dee Oakey as Defense attorney Ms. Stevens
Elaina Dobay as Dr. Kirkland, medical examiner
Durwood Evans as the security guard
Jimmy Smith as Homer Van Fleet, private detective
Evelyn Eason as Detective Elvira Sweeny
Rene' Rother Winslow as Magda Svenson
Shelby Palermo as the industrialist's wife Nancy Lee Faulkner
Jerry Killory as John Graham Whitfield, the wife's father
Tony Palermo as Lawrence "Guts" Regan, a gangster
Thomas Hilton Jr as Sigurd Jungquist

Johnny Carter as the Bailiff
Lois Hofler as the Court Clerk

Evelyn Eason is cross examined by Dee Dee Oakey

Jimmy Smith testifies for Garrett Maroney

Shelby Palermo is questioned by Garrett Maroney

These Gates County play are always well done and great entertainment. Don't miss opening night this Saturday, February 23rd at 8:00 PM.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Conservative Viewpoint
- Senator Obama Is No JFK

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

At the 1988 vice-presidential debate in Omaha, Nebraska, Democratic candidate Sen. Lloyd Bentsen told Republican Dan Quayle: “You’re no Jack Kennedy.” Bentsen was responding to Quayle’s claim that he was as prepared to assume the presidency as Jack Kennedy was in 1960 because he and Kennedy shared the same number of years of Congressional experience.

Quayle was actually not far off the mark. Kennedy had served 14 years in Congress before becoming president; Quayle served a dozen years before running for vice president.

The Democrats that year had Michael Dukakis as their standard-bearer facing George H. W. Bush. The Democrats emphasized that the vice president was only a heart beat away from the presidency and that Bentsen, who had served 22 years in the Senate, was much better prepared to assume the reigns of power than the “inexperienced” Quayle.

Democrats were telling the American electorate that Quayle was too young and unproven to be president if and when circumstance required him to do so. They also made an issue of Quayle’s grades in college and suggested he had joined the National Guard to avoid serving in Vietnam during the war.

In an effort to recapture “Camelot,” the word often used to describe the era when Kennedy was president, numerous celebrities and prominent Democrats, including some members of the Kennedy clan, are symbolically passing the torch to Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama, who they see as the next John F. Kennedy.

To be sure, there are similarities between Kennedy and Obama. Kennedy had charisma; so does Obama. Kennedy was a great orator; Obama shares that strength as well. Kennedy was a youthful, energetic, good looking man married to a beautiful woman. So is Obama. It is easy to see why the media and many Americans are caught up in “Obama-mania.”

In this era of instant gratification, a total unknown can become a super-star overnight. Just look at television programs like “American Idol” that take everyday Joe’s and Jane’s and potentially turn them instantly into pop sensations. Electing the next president of the free world, however, requires more than a candidate simply winning a series of beauty pageants, which primary elections often are.

On the eve of Super Tuesday, I was watching a focus group on television comprised of California Democrat and Independent voters. Pollster Frank Luntz asked how many supported Obama for president. He then asked the same question about Hillary Clinton. Most favored Obama.

Luntz then asked those who would support Obama to identify one piece of legislation he was responsible for, or one accomplishment he had during his eight years in the Illinois Senate or three years in the U. S. Senate. There was deafening silence.

When Jack Kennedy was running for president in 1960 he already had a long-standing national profile. He was a decorated Navy war veteran who commanded the infamous PT-109 in the Pacific theatre of WWII. In 1957 Kennedy won the Pulitzer Prize for his book “Profiles in Courage.”

By the time he ran for president, Kennedy had already served six years in the House of Representatives and eight years in the Senate. And even then-former President Harry Truman thought Kennedy’s experience was insufficient to qualify him for a shot at the highest office in the land.

JFK was a hawk when it came to foreign policy and an advocate for tax cuts across the board. One of his appointments to the Supreme Court, Byron “Whizzer” White cast the lone dissenting vote in the historic Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion in the U. S.

Now contrast Kennedy with Obama. Kennedy wanted tax cuts across the board; Obama wants to raise them. Kennedy was a hawk; Obama is a dove who wants to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and find the quickest exit out of Iraq in spite of the success of the “surge” and rapidly improving situation there.

While Kennedy held no litmus test for appointing judges to the bench, Obama is almost certain to do so, appointing liberal judges to the courts who could undermine many of our Constitutional rights.

In addition, President Kennedy and his brother Bobby, both victims of assassination, were lifelong members of the National Rifle Association. Obama is in favor of weakening many aspects of our rights to bear arms.

While unaffordable health care and a sluggish economy are concerns to every American, the threat of nuclear terrorism is seldom discussed by Obama. Kennedy made the Soviets stand down during the Cuban Missile crisis. In doing so Kennedy himself, like those he wrote about in his Pulitzer Prize winning book, was a profile in courage.

America needs an experienced leader at the helm of the ship of state to chart the perilous waters that lie ahead. Barack Obama may be a good and decent man and he may ultimately become our next president. But to paraphrase the late Sen. Lloyd Bentson: Sen. Obama, you’re no Jack Kennedy.

The childish belief of Barack Obama that we can end the war againt Islamo-fascism by singing Kumbaya and "talking" with people who want to behead us does not bode well for him becoming a "Commander in Chief" I will trust to defend our nation. Obama is always happy and smiling and expresses his feelings with such sincerity that it is easy to miss the fact that he hates much about our nation that is great. I have called him the "happy hater" in an earlier posting. That still seems to be the problem. Many who support him hate things about America they want changed. Many who are supporting him do not recognized how much change he really wants. The happy image hides the hate filled goals.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Chris East Announces Campaign At
Historic Chowan County Courthouse

Chris East, our Republican candidate for the North Carolina state house from district two, announced his candidacy today on the steps of the historic Chowan County Courthouse. The district two state House seat covers Chowan, Washington, Hyde and Dare Counties.

At 11 AM, Chris was in Plymouth at the Board of Elections Office to pay his filling fee and he then spoke on the courthouse steps there in Plymouth.

Next stop at 3 PM, Chris East (shown above) had his formal announcement on the front steps of the Chowan County Court House. Bob Steinburg, Republican Chairman for Chowan County introduced Chris.

Chris spoke with great passion about his concerns for the mismanagement of education in North Carolina and the district. He also spoke about the problems with corruption in the democrat party in our area of North Carolina. He hit a number of themes that he promised would be the focus of his campaign for the 2nd District.

After the announcment speech, Chris (shown below) went to the Chowan Herald offices to have his picture taken and meet the Publisher Bob Piazza III.

For the final event of the day, Robert Steinburg, "A Conservative Viewpoint" author, held a reception for Chris' supporters at his home in Edenton.

At the top of the steps, arriving for the reception, are Bill Schultz, Bob Steinburg, Chris East, Eddy Browning and Glenna Browning.

The reception was great, with great food and a warm fire. A perfect conclusion to an enjoyable series of events.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

A Conservative Viewpoint
- OLF: New Targets - Same Issues

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

Believe it or not, there are some who suggest that opposing an Outlying Landing Field (OLF) in northeastern North Carolina is equivalent to being anti-military. It’s an absurd supposition.

Secretary of the Navy, Donald C. Winter recently announced a narrowed list of three Virginia and two North Carolina sites being considered for an OLF to support the Master Jet Base, Naval Air Station Oceana, at Virginia Beach. Southampton, Surry, and Sussex counties in Virginia are being considered. So are Sandbanks in Gates County and the Hales Lake area in the Camden/Currituck section of North Carolina.

Earlier this year the Navy removed from further consideration five locations originally targeted for an OLF. Those sites were located in small, rural and relatively poor northeastern counties: Craven, Bertie, Hyde, Perquimans and Washington.

With few financial resources and little but grit and determination, these rural North Carolinians persuaded politicians in Washington D.C., and some in Raleigh, that preserving their way of life was critical. The economic justifications for an OLF in northeastern North Carolina weren’t there. They still aren’t.

These patriots stood tall, holding their ground against formidable odds. With all due respect to the Navy, their original site selection plan was flawed. The Navy also seemed to lose site of the “carrot-and- stick” philosophy of economics. Had they offered financial incentives, there might have been enough support in one or two counties to merit their further consideration of an OLF.

So after 10 years, the Navy now finds itself back at square one with five new sites in their cross hairs. We’ll soon find out if the Navy learned anything from its initial foray into northeastern North Carolina. Economic incentives may be the balm needed for the Navy to seal the deal this time around.

One thing is certain. The people here have learned a great deal about themselves and their region and it has nothing to do with patriotism or a lack thereof. In fact, if this region held the only available site that could logistically support an OLF, the people would be willing to sacrifice for the needs of their country. Virginia is receiving the bulk of economic benefits from The Navy’s facility at Oceana and the folks here discovered there were plenty of options for locating an OLF there.

At the state’s Republican State Convention last year, a resolution opposing an OLF in northeastern North Carolina was presented by the chairman of the counties being targeted for an OLF by the Navy. The resolution passed overwhelmingly. There was empathy and support from not only those eastern counties, but western counties and the Piedmont as well. Republican U.S. Senators Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr announced soon afterward that they, too, would oppose an OLF unless there was broad-based support from the residents of the counties affected.

Democratic Reps. Butterfield and Price also argued against locating an OLF in Washington County and were instrumental too in that site not being chosen.

Had the grass-roots community efforts not been there from the very beginning the politicians likely would have quietly, albeit unwittingly, gone along with the Navy. We may never hear the names of the local people who battled proverbial city hall – and won. Yet their efforts are revealed in the reams of paper documenting their findings. This volunteer army developed Web sites to share detailed information. As a result, many more joined the cause. In the end, a potential environmental and economic meltdown to one of the poorest areas in America was averted.

Northeastern North Carolina has become a destination point for retirees and others who want to escape the hustle and bustle, and the noise and pollution that accompany a more urban existence. Recognizing this, leaders in northeastern North Carolina have been marketing their counties in a way that will capitalize on what God has so richly bestowed on them – rich and fertile farmlands, meandering scenic waterways, quaint historic villages and towns, and patriotic, God-loving people.

I recently heard Dole speak at a dedication of new fire equipment in Hertford. During her remarks, she reiterated that she would oppose an OLF in any area in the northeastern part of the state where the majority of its people opposed it. Burr’s office later stated he also whole-heartedly concurred.

In Hertford, Dole humbly asked for everyone to pray for guidance in decisions she and others in Congress may face in the future that were “beyond human wisdom and will have a large impact on all of us for generations to come.”

Some may view opposing an OLF as not rising to the level of decision Senator Dole was referring to when asking for our prayers. But don’t tell that to the folks who live in Gates, Camden and Currituck counties.

It is good news for the First District that Bertie, Perquimans and Washington Counties, especially the favored location in Washington, have been dropped. Locating the OLF in these 3 counties is definitely not needed or in the interest of our nation. The entire North Carolina Republican delegation to congress is opposed to the OLF locations in Gates and Camden Counties too.

I will do anything that I can to assure that Gates County is dropped from the list as soon as possible.