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Immigration and the End of Trust

November 20th, 2014

[In government] the constant aim is to divide and arrange the several offices in such a manner as that each may be a check on the other–that the private interest of every individual may be a sentinel over the public rights. ~ James Madison, The Federalist, No. 51, February 6, 1788.

President Obama is expected today to announce an executive order with dramatic implications for up to five million illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States. He is taking this step, by many accounts, against the will of the American people as expressed in public opinion polls and through the results of the most recent election, which placed control of the U.S. Congress firmly in the hands of the Republican Party, where the debate over immigration policy is still unsettled.

The president himself realizes that unilateral action on immigration is politically unpopular, since he chose to delay action until after the election so the issue couldn’t be used against Democratic candidates. It didn’t seem to matter to the voters, however, who were apparently astute enough to recognize the delay as a purely political decision, and they sent a message that they want a Congress not beholden to the president to speak for them on the issue.

Despite the electoral outcome, the President seems determined to move forward with his immigration plan, setting up a battle between him and the Congress before the newly elected and reelected legislators have a chance to take their seats in January.

Not coincidentally, a recent Pew Research poll shows that distrust in the federal government remains near historic highs.

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Remembering the Wall

November 9th, 2014

In 1985, as a young 1st lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, I went on a “familiarization tour” of Berlin with my commanding officer and several of the members of our unit, an intelligence detachment assigned to a NATO wartime bunker in the Hunsrück region of what was then West Germany.

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Keep Calm and Carry On

November 8th, 2014

Another election night in America is in the books, and it’s safe to say the American people shook things up a bit, did they not? Read the rest of this entry »

Fierce Convictions – A Book Review

November 2nd, 2014

When I first heard that my friend and Liberty University colleague, Karen Swallow Prior, was writing her second book, a biography chronicling the life of noted British writer, educator and social reformer Hannah More, my initial reaction was, “How does she find the time to do that?”

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Stealing Work from American Hands

October 8th, 2014

Note: An edited version of this article, titled “Obama Takes Jobs From Blacks And Gives Them To Immigrants“, was published on the Investors Business Daily website, Investors.com, on October 2, 2014.


 

In 2008, federal immigration enforcement officials descended on a poultry processing plant in South Carolina, arresting 11 plant managers that summer and more than 300 illegal workers in October. A subsequent audit revealed that, of the 825 employees at the plant, 777 had falsified paperwork.

After the parent company denied knowledge of the illegal hiring practices and agreed to obey immigration laws, the plant’s workforce underwent an amazing transformation. Prior to the raid, Latino workers comprised more than 80% of the plant’s employees. After the illegal workers were replaced by Americans looking for work, the plant’s demographic composition was more than 70% black.

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Don’t confuse me with the facts

September 27th, 2014

“The people at Politifact are terrified of being considered partisan if they acknowledge the clear fact that there’s a lot more lying on one side of the political divide than on the other…So they’ve bent over backwards to appear ‘balanced’ — and in the process made themselves useless and irrelevant.” ~ Paul Krugman

Everybody hates the fact-checkers.

Liberals hate them because they believe themselves to be superior to their ideological opponents who are bigoted, homophobic, misogynistic, anti-intellectual and evil personified, and therefore lie more than anyone else in human history. As a result, liberals’ statements are beyond dispute.

Conservatives hate them because they are all tools of the Left, which routinely misleads and misinforms because of their contempt for the hoi polloi in flyover country, who have more wisdom from life experience than these elitists have from all the diplomas hanging on their walls.

These are generalities, of course, but they aren’t far from the perceptions each side has of the other, and they despise fact-checkers precisely because they refuse to take sides.

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The Forgotten Constant

September 20th, 2014

Note: This is the first chapter of a book I’m working on which addresses the three essential elements in the equation which has determined the success of the American constitutional republic for 227 years – liberty, law and virtue.

The recent political debates have focused on the conflict between liberty (the individual) and the law (the state), but has practically neglected virtue (the space between the individual and the state). Virtue determines the very nature of the people who exercise liberty and the law. Without it, neither liberty nor the law are properly ordered, and the struggle becomes one between individual licentiousness and state oppression and, in either case, the republic cannot stand.

My argument is that virtue is the key to our viability as a nation, and we must come to a consensus on how to restore virtue from the bottom up, not as a mandate from the state, but as a desire from within.

The rest of the book will focus on what changes we must make in our worldview in order to create a climate in which virtue can be properly addressed and applied, but this first chapter sets the stage by explaining the basis for my equation.

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Personal Reflections on 9/11

September 11th, 2014

Note: I was appointed to the Bush Administration in 2001 as the chief information officer (CIO) for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and, subsequently, I served with the Homeland Security Transition Planning Office, the White House team that laid the groundwork for the launch of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), where I served briefly as a senior adviser to the DHS CIO. I was a leader and active participant in the initiation of our nation’s federal homeland security infrastructure, and it was all due to the timing of my arrival in Washington during the summer prior to the largest enemy attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor. This story is excerpted from my book SELLOUT: Musings from Uncle Tom’s Porch.

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Facebook and the End of Thought

August 30th, 2014

One of the more pervasive stories on the Internet over the past few weeks involves Facebook Messenger, a seemingly innocuous smartphone “app” – to old-timers like me, it’s an application, but we’ll go with the current lingo.

Surveys done by Facebook and other technology vendors have revealed that most smartphone users don’t like all-in-one apps, preferring separate apps that do one thing well, so they decided some time ago to take the most popular functions of Facebook and break them out as separate apps. Messaging apps are among the most popular on smartphones, so Facebook created a separate app for that purpose, and made it known some time ago that it would be shutting down that feature in the Facebook mobile app.

So why is this a story?

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My problem with Ferguson

August 23rd, 2014

Earlier this week, Attorney General of the United States Eric Holder, visiting the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri after days of unrest following the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer, made a statement that perfectly illustrated the racial divide in today’s America.

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