"If at age 20 you are a conservative then you have no heart. If at age 30 you are a liberal then you have no brains."
Sir Winston Churchill

Obama obviously knows very little about economics, specifically that "Society stagnates when independent productive achievers begin to be socially demonized and even punished for their accomplishments." This dilemma fogs Obama's reality. To him, accepting this truth is a "false choice", his answer to things he doesn't understand. And by the way... where is John Galt?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


I am the son, the husband, the grandson, the nephew, the cousin and the descendant of immigrants.
The first  came in May 1638 on the ship BEVIS out of Southampton England.  Her name was Annis Littlefield and she came with six children and two male bond servants.  She landed in what is now Welles Maine, which then was close to the North East boundary of what was  the Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth Plantation Colony.

 There for 150 years, my ancestors farmed, fished, hunted and fought the French and Indians and then their British cousins in the Revolution.
By 1830 my great-great grandfather Spencer moved to south central New York to work on the Chemung Canal which connected the Erie Canal at Seneca Lake to the Chemung River and then the Susquehanna.
On August 13,1862 his son, my great grandfather Charles, enlisted in the Union Army.  35 days later he was at Antietam, followed by Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and all the battles up to and including the capture of Atlanta.
107th Monument at Gettyeburg
He came home sick from the war and married Mary Jane Bunnell who was of German and Irish ancestry.  My grandfather Forrest was born in 1880 and he would marry my Grandmother, Cynthia Amanda Richards after the turn of the century.  Her family name was originally Richarde but her father Egbert, Americanized it after he married  my other great grand mother Elsie who was a Howe. They and my Grandmother's little sister Bertha all died of diphtheria in 1880 and she and her baby brother grew up as orphans.
The second wave came in 1912 and 1914 from Smaland, Sweden.  My grandfather Gustav came first to make glass in Corning, New York.  My grandmother Klara Franson Erlandsson came next with my father, his two brothers and her sister in May 1914 on the RMS Mauretania just months before the start of the Great War.
Mauretania 1930s.JPG
In 1917 my father ran away at 13 to join the Army and fight the Kaiser.
My Grandfather had to take the train to Buffalo to bring him home.  In 1942 he was back in Buffalo to fight either Hitler or Tojo but this time Uncle Sam found him too old and too married and sent him back to Corning Glass to make CRTs for radar for the war effort.  In between the family had changed their name and become citizens.  By the time I was born my father and my uncles had lost most of their Swedish and were Americans through and through.
The third wave came in  April 2003 on a Northwest Airlines jet from Pangasinan in the Philippines.  This wave was a single person... my wife to be, who four years later became a US Citizen in a ceremony so moving that it still sends chills up my spine.  She is the vanguard of more de la Rosa's, de la Cruz's, Sta. Ana's and others who will follow her here because this nation is still the end of the line for any and all who seek personal and religious freedom, and the  opportunity for the pursuit of happiness and a better life.
My family is comprised by blood, marriage, adoption and choice of gays, straights, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Atheists, Puerto Ricans, Jamaicans, Colombians, Italians, Irish, Poles Russians, English, Scots, Welsh, Filipinas and Filipinos, Chinese, Malaysians and with all due respect to Elizabeth Warren and according to my family lore... American Indians.  What unites this large, diverse and growing family is that while we all know where we came from...we also know who we are now and where we want to go as Americans and that causes as many quarrels as agreements... but so what...that's America.  I mean start a conversation with five Americans and soon you'll have an argument with ten points of view.
My family is the best firsthand  illustration of American exceptionalism that I know and in this national debate about what to do with 11 million people here illegally...American exceptionalism is rarely mentioned... as if if doesn't matter.  The most exceptional thing moreover, about my personal family story is that it is not exceptional at all insofar as it is the basic story of the vast majority of Americans.  It is the motivation and daring of our ancestors and relatives to leave their homes and come here to reinvent and free  themselves, often at the risk of their lives and fortunes, that is the living core of what immigration and naturalization must be about.
Because of all of the above,  the argument over amnesty...a path to citizenship...legal resident status etc.,  can be a painful conflict for me and many others like me. But why people come here and what they want when they get here is central to  this issue and ultimately how to resolve it.  People should not come here  merely to gain the free things that the law entitles them to receive but rather to gain the individual freedom and inalienable rights that the law guarantees and protects for them.
One thing however is  painfully clear... wanting amnesty to gain political hegemony or not wanting it to prevent the other side from getting it, is not a rational or moral reason to go one way or the other.   Moreover it is fairly clear that the present structure and workforce of USCIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services) cannot handle any program that involves everyone who is undocumented at the present time. 
Change then must be gradual or at least staged  and if the goal and objective is to generate true Americans and not simply Democrats at the end of the line...  then applicants must earn what others have had to sacrifice to gain and the pathway should not be easy.  Since they are here because they have broken the law to begin with, the following should at a minimum, be required without in any way stereotyping the appicants:
Applicants for permanent residency should be identified and screened for  past criminal activity or terrorist associations and anyone convicted of a crime before or during the process should be denied and eventually deported...
All applicants must prove they have been living in the United States at least a year prior to the enactment of the legislation...this is a one time opportunity... 
All applicants must be proficient in English and subject to rigid testing in this regard since they have been living here ...some for quite a while...
No language but English should be on all USCIS materials as well as on all voting ballots for all Federal elections going forward from the enactment of the legislation...any applicant found to be illegally registered to vote should be prosecuted and deported...
Any one who has come into the country as a minor, through no fault of their own, graduated College or who has served or is serving in the Armed Forces should be eligible for a fast track process for residency and then citizenship...
All basic applicants should pay all outstanding and back taxes, fines and appropriate fees to USCIS as  part of the application process....they should refund all cash benefits received while here illegally...
All basic applicants must enroll in two years of study at night or during the day of coursework in American History and Civics, including how the Federal, state and local governments work,  prepared by scholars recommended by both five conservative and five liberal 501 (c) (3) organizations named by each political party...
Applicants must pass this course at the end of the two years or be denied residency status with exceptions for persons with a disability that hinders or prevents them from accomplishing this under the statutory timetables ...
All applicants must wait in line for naturalization based on their date of legal application, behind any and all legal applicants regardless of category, who are on long term waiting lists...
 This law would not go into effect until January 21, 2017 to prevent regulatory tampering and/or nullification...
Yes, the borders should be secured for reasons of anti-terrorism and crime fighting alone.  Similarly,  worker visas for high tech or other needed or desired workers should be available and  foreign students graduating from American Schools should be offered a chance to stay and apply what they have learned  for the benefit of the country, provided they meet security requirements.  Family reunification should not be abandoned out of fairness in nothing else to U.S. citizens and legal residents,  but for all of the above who want to become  American citizens,  then they must do what those who came before them had to do ...sacrifice...work hard...and at the end of the line leave the old behind and fully embrace their exceptional new country. 

No comments: