FEATURED MEXICO

The GOP Case for Passing Amnesty

gopAMNESTYI am not a proponent of amnesty for immigrants who entered our country illegally and especially not at this time.  However, several months ago, I challenged anybody to explain why the Republican Party should support amnesty as part of our immigration reform strategy.  It took a while, but I finally got a response from a pro-amnesty Republican.

His argument; which was very nicely laid out in an almost 3,000 word e-mail; boils down to one issue: replacing the baby boomer generation.  After World War II and the Korean War, the United States was getting busy, if you know what I mean.  If you didn’t get the innuendo and don’t know what I mean, let’s just say that a whole heck of a lot of babies were being born.  Well, many of those babies are retired and the rest will be retiring shortly.  Baby boomers created an enormous market for consumer goods because of their unprecedented purchasing power.  Now that they’re retiring, they are losing their purchasing power.  Within 35 years, they’re going to have almost no active participation in the US economy.

Unfortunately, the baby boomers didn’t reproduce like their parents.  As a result, the population of non-immigrant citizens is beginning to decline.  When the population declines, there is reduced consumer demand for virtually all goods.  What’s worse is that property values will begin to tumble as well as our society actually needs fewer homes than we have in place.  Only this isn’t an artificial bubble we can recover from like the 2008 burst.   This is unfortunate because people continue to put their primary investment in their homes and physical property.

Americans are largely opposed to amnesty at this time in our history; largely due to the tough economic times and sheer principle.
Americans are largely opposed to amnesty at this time in our history; largely due to the tough economic times and sheer principle.

Allowing illegal immigrants to earn legal status in the United States will enable them to become fully active participants in our economy, complete with personal property, investments, and full purchasing power.  Pew Research Center suggests that there are currently 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the United States.  Federal Census data also shows that from 1946 to 1964, there were approximately 74.5 million births in the United States.  And while they certainly did have children of their own, they didn’t reproduce enough to replace themselves.  In 1972, the birth rate dropped below 2 babies per woman and it has skimmed right at or below 2.00 since then.  Given infant and child mortality, the rate was not enough to maintain the population, let alone the growth of the population.  In 2012, the United States was at 1.88 children per woman.

Arguably, that number would be noticeably lower had it not been for the amnesty granted in the 1986; which legalized approximately 2.7 million illegal immigrants; who then had birthrates significantly higher than the national average.

The Liaoning - the first air craft carrier of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).  China is building its aircraft carrier fleet to project its power around the world like the United States does today.
The Liaoning – the first air craft carrier of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). China is building its aircraft carrier fleet to project its power around the world like the United States does today.

To make matters worse, China has recognized this too.  Last year, China relaxed its infamous and evil “One Child Policy.”  Now, as long as you were an only child, you’re allowed to have two children.  It’s now entirely possible that China’s birth rate is going to explode now from 1.66 children per woman to 2.25 children or more in several years.  So while we’re suffering from economic stagnation from a declining population, China is going to have a growing domestic consumer base.  If China’s consumer base manages to grow strong enough that they are self-sustaining with significantly less trade from the United States, it’s a lot more likely that China might try to undermine the US military in the Pacific by targeting our economy.  Unfortunately, we will have more debt than ever before and fewer people to pay it off in the event of a global economic crisis.

illegal immigration protestThe solution to the problem is to provide legal status to 11 million illegal immigrants through a massive amnesty push.  With amnesty, these 11 million new citizens would then provide the United States population with a shot in the arm in the short-term.  In the long-term, it is hoped that these 11 million illegal immigrants receiving amnesty will have a birthrate closer to 2.5 or 3 children per woman.  “Yes, the country will be more Catholic and darker skinned than before but it would soften the blow of the baby boomers leaving the economy.”

I certainly don’t mind a darker skinned United States.  And I think a more Catholic America would be great provided we weren’t afraid to share our common conservative values in Spanish.  What troubles me about amnesty is that these immigrants are coming into a country at a time when there is severely limited economic opportunity.  Amnesty, if we are to do it, should be done at a time when the economy is just starting to boom.  Right now, they would be forced to live on government assistance in some of the worst, most dangerous neighborhoods in the United States.   If any kind of amnesty is to be given, it needs to be done very gradually with assimilation in mind to ensure we are creating legitimate opportunities for success in safe communities while weeding out anybody with a criminal background in our country or their native country (excluding the crime of illegal entry into the United States).

Of course, I have another alternative that I believe is a much better solution than amnesty to the long-term problem.  Over the last 40 years, we have killed 60 million children through legalized abortions.  And my preference to this over amnesty has nothing to do with race.  In urban areas like New York and Chicago, there are frequently more black children aborted than actually born.   Down south in states like Mississippi, it is estimated that 72% of abortions target black children.   Of course, Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and the entire Democratic Party are entirely complicit in the genocide of black children taking place across this country.

If I had to solve this problem, placing value on human life in this country would be my goal.

FEATURED Voting

VIDEO: Democrat-Rigged Voting Machines in Illinois, Maryland

This video is from Moline, Illinois where voters are having problems voting for Republican candidates.  The state claimed this was just a calibration issue and that they fixed the voting machines on Friday, but by the following Monday, the machines were “uncalibrated” somehow.  Here’s a video a young voter took at his early voting place.

So, if it’s not bad enough that Governor Pat Quinn (D-IL) and Illinois Democrats have resorted to attacking Bruce Rauner for ordering a hot dog with ketchup for a staffer, now they’re actually rigging voting machines. Whatever it takes to win, damn the Constitution and ethics.

Voting machines in Maryland are suffering from the same “calibration problems.”   Of course, we won’t know just how bad these calibration issues are until after the election when the results of some of these closer races are contested in court.  I suspect these “calibration” issues are going to be most visible in states with Democrat Secretaries of State and with a US Senate Seat up for grabs.

For what it’s worth, I prefer my hot dogs with ketchup only.

featured-tea-party

Why Catholics Can’t Be Libertarian

Libertarian-Eve-4-27-11colorA year or so ago, some readers asked me a very interesting question: Can you be both Christian and Libertarian?  I said that it depends on your denomination, but that Catholicism and Libertarianism are completely incompatible.   Fast forward several years later and I hear about this conference on the Catholic Argument Against Libertarianism.

So, Msgr. Stuart Swetland words this much more eloquently than I did in my e-mail response back to them, but the idea is the same.

A Democrat cousin of mine told me once that to be Libertarian is to be intellectually lazy, and I’ve stolen that line a few times.  This is why.  Libertarian ideology is singularly focused on and overemphasizes the importance of the individual to the point where everything else is either a necessary evil or an unnecessary evil.

To parents of young children, that might be easy to believe.  The United States is quickly becoming a very difficult place to raise well-adjusted, intelligent, mentally healthy kids.  It’s very simple to point out the window and say, “That out there is evil.  All that you can rely on is yourself.”

But that is not the teaching of the Church.  Community is hugely important in the Christian faith.  While Libertarian ideology focuses on oneself, Christian (at least Catholic) ideology focuses on your neighbors and those most in need.

How then can a Catholic be a Libertarian in government?  To define common good as one’s ability to be free of all outside influence, damn the consequences, is quite frankly dangerous (or at least intellectually lazy).  That’s anti-Catholic but that’s the Libertarian ideal.  The conference did a great job illustrating that.

FEATURED Technology

Usage Based Internet Service Won’t Work

I’ve been exploring options to move my website’s hosting from Bluehost and onto my own, locally hosted server, but aside from needing a static IP address, I wasn’t sure what kind of plan I would need from an Internet Service Provider.  When I was trying to figure this out, I stumbled across Comcast’s page displaying “My Current Data Usage.”

Monthly Data Usage on Comcast

This might seem extraordinarily high to some of you.  Please keep in mind that Krista and I don’t have television (even antenna) in the house and our singular source of entertainment comes from streaming Netflix and free content on Amazon Prime (click here to see my review of Amazon Prime!).

However, before you even realize how much data we’re using; the first thing you should notice is how inconsistent our data usage is!  We used almost three times as much bandwidth in August than we did in September.  What did we do in August that we didn’t do in September?  I have no freaking clue!

One of the biggest variables is that we don’t visit the same websites from month to month.  This gets to the core of the problem with use based internet plans, or plans that are priced on how much data you use.

At the end of the day, you have virtually NO control over the data you request besides deciding not to request it at all.  Most of you have no idea what that means, so allow me to provide an example.

I get the feeling that you have all recently visited KTracy.com; if not, it is a fantastic website managed by this really stellar conservative genius – I really can’t say enough good things about him.  Well, when you go to KTracy.com, you have absolutely no control over what content I put up on the website.

This article is mostly text with a couple of images placed to keep your attention and make this topic look a lot more interesting than it is.  That’s not going to use a lot of data on your end.  However, there is nothing that prevents me from embedding an MP3 audio file that would play automatically as soon as you get to my site… nothing besides awareness of good website design.  That would take up more data.

Bad website design comes in many shapes and sizes.
Bad website design comes in many shapes and sizes.

But if I was enough of a novice to make that kind of design mistake, I would probably be too dumb to convert my WAVE file into an MP3.  So you would instead be streaming an uncompressed audio file; which takes up a LOT more data.

Net-NeutralityFurthermore, there is nothing stopping me from embedding and automatically playing a video on my website.  Or even worse, embedding it in the sidebar so the video streams every time you click on a link to another page on my website.  On a Use Based Internet Service plan, the internet subscribers who surf the net could pay an arm and a leg because of a crappy website designer.

The obvious solution is to eliminate network neutrality; which would require website owners to pay internet service providers for the information that other people download, which is unfair for its own reasons, but in the event of an embedded video, it’s actually YouTube’s data that’s being transmitted, not the data of the website the video is playing on.

The most fair internet model is the monthly model the internet has grown and expanded under for almost 20 years now.  And as the internet becomes an increasingly important part of our lives, everybody fully expects that data usage will continue to increase for individual surfers.  Within 20 years, we’re going to be downloading items to physically create in 3D printers.  We’re going to watching entertainment in new and exciting ways.  20 years ago, there was no such thing as High Definition television.  Now we stream HD content over the internet regularly.  20 years from now, we’ll all have 4K televisions and be downloading and streaming 4K video from the web… assuming video is still the form factor of choice.  We have no idea what the future holds, and neither do Internet Service Providers.  But if you limit how people develop data or how much of it internet users can enjoy, you’re limiting the amazing potential of the internet and the potential of humanity to make amazing scientific and creative leaps.

Entertaining, Informative, and Usually Sarcastic