Speaking to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Albuquerque in 2001, George W. Bush declared that, as Mexico was a friend and neighbor, "It's so important for us to tear down our barriers and walls that might separate Mexico from the United States."
Bush succeeded. And during his tenure, millions from Mexico exploited his magnanimity to violate our laws, trample upon our sovereignty, walk into our country, and remain here.
In 2007, backed by John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Teddy Kennedy and Barack Obama, Bush backed amnesty for the 12 million people who had entered America illegally. The nation thundered no. And Congress sustained the nation.
The latest mass border crossing by scores of thousands of tots, teenagers and toughs from Central America has killed amnesty in 2014, and probably for the duration of the Obama presidency.
Indeed, with the massive media coverage of the crisis on the border, immigration, legal and illegal, and what it portends for our future, could become the decisive issue of 2014 and 2016. But it needs to be put in a larger context. For this issue is about more than whether the Chamber of Commerce gets amnesty for its members who have been exploiting cheap illegal labor.
The real issue: Will America remain one nation, or are we are on the road to Balkanization and the breakup of America into ethnic enclaves? For, as Ronald Reagan said, a nation that cannot control its borders isn't really a nation anymore.
In Federalist No. 2, John Jay wrote, "Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people — a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs ... "
He called Americans a "band of brethren, united to each other by the strongest ties." The republic of the founders for whom Jay spoke did not give a fig for diversity. They cherished our unity, commonality, and sameness of ancestry, culture, faith and traditions.
We were not a nation of immigrants in 1789. They came later. From 1845-1849, the Irish fleeing the famine. From 1890-1920, the Germans. Then the Italians, Poles, Jews and other Eastern Europeans. Then, immigration was suspended in 1924.
From 1925 to 1965, the children and grandchildren of those immigrants were assimilated, Americanized. In strong public schools, they were taught our language, literature and history, and celebrated our holidays and heroes. We endured together through the Depression and sacrificed together in World War II and the Cold War.
By 1960, we had become truly one nation and one people. America was not perfect. No country is. But no country ever rivaled what America had become. She was proud, united, free, the first nation on earth. And though the civil rights movement had just begun, nowhere did black peoples enjoy the freedom and prosperity of African-Americans.
Attorney General Eric Holder said Sunday that America is today in "a fundamentally better place than we were 50 years ago." In some ways that is so. Equality of rights has been realized. Miraculous cures in medicine have kept alive many of us who would not have survived the same maladies half a century ago.
But we are no longer that "band of brethren." We are no longer one unique people "descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion."
We are from every continent and country. Nearly 4 in 10 Americans trace their ancestry to Asia, Africa and Latin America. We are a multiracial, multilingual, multicultural society in a world where countless countries are being torn apart over race, religion and roots.
We no longer speak the same language, worship the same God, honor the same heroes or share the same holidays. Christmas and Easter have been privatized. Columbus is reviled. Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee are out of the pantheon. Cesar Chavez is in.
Our politics have become poisonous. Our political parties are at each other's throats.
Christianity is in decline. Traditional churches are sundering over moral issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. Islam is surging.
Our society seems to be disintegrating. Over 40 percent of all births now are illegitimate. Among Hispanics, the figure is 52 percent. Among African-Americans, 73 percent.
And among children born to single moms, the drug use rate and the dropout rate, the crime rate and the incarceration rate, are many times higher than among children born to married parents.
If a country is a land of defined and defended borders, within which resides a people of a common ancestry, history, language, faith, culture and traditions, in what sense are we Americans one nation and one people today?
Neocons say we are a new kind of nation, an ideological nation erected upon a written Constitution and Bill of Rights. But equality, democracy and diversity are not mentioned in the Constitution. As for what our founding documents mean, even the Supreme Court does not agree.
More and more, 21st-century America seems to meet rather well Metternich's depiction of Italy — "a geographic expression."
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00
On behalf of all liberals — living and dead — I'd like to apologize to Adam Bellow. In 1976, Bellow was at a Michigan State University writing workshop when a radical feminist publicly rebuked him for saying she had "balls." He says he meant that as a compliment.
Some formative experiences are forged in the hell of war, others in the crucible of writing class.
Bellow never recovered from his. In a recent piece for National Review, he recounts this 38-year-old hurt as exhibit A for why the right needs to launch its own literary movement to tell its own stories.
"I didn't see why I should be called out in front of the group and angrily chastised as though I were merely an embodiment of the white male heterosexual power structure," complains Bellow, son of the great novelist Saul Bellow.
I don't see why, either, but how about a larger picture? More recently, right-wingers disrupted town hall meetings, shouting down the elected representatives trying to address their constituents. Might that be "a bare-knuckled attempt to enforce an ideological orthodoxy by policing the boundaries of acceptable speech," an accusation Bellow chucks at the left?
Such examples would cloud the simple tale of mannerly conservatives battling the '60s hippies. So down the memory hole they go.
But the long-term memory still works fine. For boomer conservatives, the '60s remain fresh material. It matters not that most of today's students barely remember the '90s, much less the '60s.
Anyhow, Bellow complains that when he joined the culture war in 1988 as an editor, "conservatives had little to read." One of the rare examples he cites was "The Road to Serfdom."
"Serfdom" is a classic we all should read. I especially hope its conservative fans will review Chapter 9, where Friedrich Hayek advocates government-guaranteed health care. But I digress.
Bellow acknowledges that on the nonfiction lists, the right is doing OK. Actually, more than OK.
A quick check shows that No. 1 and No. 7 are by conservative movement authors. No. 8 is by an evangelical Christian, and No. 10 by a Republican strategist. The only liberal in the lineup is Hillary Clinton at No. 3.
The top book, "Blood Feud," was issued by Regnery, a conservative publishing house. "For the past 15 years," the publisher's website says, "Regnery has boasted one of the best batting averages in the business — placing more than 50 books on the New York Times bestseller list, including nine books at No. 1."
The author at No. 7 is Ben Carson, a hero of the right. He's published by Sentinel, a conservative imprint of the Penguin Group. Perhaps, just perhaps, the objective of the media conglomerates now publishing books is to sell books.
But their business interests don't reach into fiction, according to Bellow. In fiction, conservative authors are "embattled and excluded."
The only way to fight liberals' "thought control," Bellow insists, "is by turning their weapons against them and channeling the spirit of the Sixties counterculture."
Conservatives must bypass the establishment. They're already self-publishing their novels through digital technologies, though some are afraid to use their names. "Their resistance and courage are deeply inspiring," Bellow writes.
You've seen those midnight roundups of right-leaning novelists, haven't you?
The publishing houses must have been asleep at the switch when they let conservative Ayn Rand through the barricades. Her novels currently rank No. 1 and No. 2 on the Modern Library reader's list of 100 best novels.
Well, imagination is a good thing. And in that vein, I can almost hear the feminist meanie telling Bellow to "man up."
And don't anyone ask me to take that back. One apology per column.
(A member of the Providence Journal editorial board, Froma Harrop writes a nationally syndicated column from that city. She has written for such diverse publications as The New York Times, Harper's Bazaar and Institutional Investor.)
Last Updated on Monday, 14 July 2014 08:24
The news that Google executive Forrest Hayes died on a yacht after being injected with heroin by a "date" he met on a website that connects "sugar daddies" with "sugar babies" has prompted not only charges against the woman, 26-year-old Alix Tichelman, and an investigation of a similar death (ruled accidental) involving Ms. Tichelman in 2013, but also questions about the website that brought the dead husband and father into contact with the woman who literally killed him.
While police have described the woman as a high-priced escort with an ongoing "prostitution relationship" with the executive, the website "Seeking Arrangements," denies that its site in any way condones prostitution. According to the site's spokesperson, "What we do know is that these were two adults that were involved in a consensual relationship that was ongoing. This appears to be a case of recreational drug use gone wrong."
Actually, it appears to be quite a bit worse than that. It wasn't just that Tichelman allegedly injected Hayes with a lethal dose of heroin. The security cameras show her injecting the heroin, and then watching as Hayes' body went limp. Instead of calling 911, as anyone with an ounce of humanity would do, Ms. Tichelman allegedly finished her wine, packed up her needles and heroin, and then stepped over his body to leave, pausing only to reach back and pull down the blinds so no one would see the dying man inside.
This is, of course, according to the police. Ms. Tichelman is innocent until proven guilty. But if the report of what was captured on camera is correct, she deserves to be charged not with manslaughter (the current charge against her, along with drug and prostitution charges) but murder. She may not have intended that Hayes die when she injected him, but her actions once she did so establish malice; to leave someone to die, much less pull down the shades, when they are potentially facing death is an omission that is as serious as an intentional act of killing. And the fact that another man — this one in Georgia, last year — died under similar circumstances while Ms. Tichelman was showering not only raises questions for Georgia police, but also is relevant to Tichelman's knowledge and intent on the night she injected Hayes.
In short, Ms. Tichelman has big problems, as well she should. The degrees of murder reflect the fact that not all killings are alike: The killer for hire, the killer who plans his act, are punished more seriously because they are, quite simply, more evil than one who kills in the heat of passion. On the "scumbag scorecard," a woman who would finish her wine and pull down the shades after killing the man with whom she was supposedly "involved in a consensual relationship" deserves to be in that same category.
And the website? They claim that matching a "sugar daddy" with a "sugar baby" for a "no-strings" ideal relationship for the daddy and financial stability, shopping sprees and exotic travel for the baby has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with prostitution. Meet "background-checked" babies, the men are promised. I wonder if Ms. Tichelman's background check picked up the man who died while she was in the shower? I doubt it.
Prostitution by another name is still prostitution. A website which facilitates prostitution is complicit in that crime, at least. There are so many sites like that on the web (to quote the song, "The Internet Is for Porn,") that it would be impossible to shut them down, even if anyone had the will to try. But when prostitution leads directly to death, there is a case to be made that all those complicit share in the responsibility for the death, if not under the criminal law, at least under the civil law, and certainly as a matter of morality.
(Susan Estrich is a professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California Law Center. A best-selling author, lawyer and politician, as well as a teacher, she first gained national prominence as national campaign manager for Dukakis for President in 1988.)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00
Well, summer is officially here! Time to barbecue, have something cold to drink, and play the N.H. state pastime; a good old game of Corn Hole. Well, maybe not, but grilling is definitely on the list. That brings me to a discussion on the Summer Kitchen (pronounced "Summa Kitchin.") But what is a Summer Kitchen?
Well, in the olden days when our Patriot forefathers had to cook their meals over an open flame in the big kitchen fireplace on a sweltering July day things got just a little bit overheated. It was already over ninety five degrees in the house and a roaring fire to cook marinated steak tips really put the old man over the edge. So, he went outside and built another little building with a kitchen in it. The "summa kitchin" was born.
Today we still have "summa kitchins" but they generally aren't in another building. Today, especially on lake front homes, you can find them conveniently located in the lower level walk out next to the patio. That way you can entertain without going back upstairs after a dip in the lake. That helps keeps the sand off the hardwood flooring. Other "summa kitchins" are built outside on the deck or on the patio where sun worshipers can grill, eat, and sunbathe all at the same time. Today with the air conditioner cranked up inside you end up going outside to warm up. We have come a long way!
Now you don't have to be a millionaire to have a "summa kitchin," but it helps. Most of us get by with just a barbeque and maybe a cooler for nice cold drinks. But if you are interested in the real deal, here are a couple elaborate "summa kitchins" to choose from. Of course, you have to buy the whole house to get one so chances are I'll see you down at Lowe's looking for a new grill.
First up is the "summa kitchin" at 13 Shore Drive on Governor's Island in Gilford. This is a patio style "kitchin" with awesome views of the lake. It features an L shaped stone island with plenty of seating and Lynx grill and appliances. There's additional dining space on another patio closer to the water's edge where you find a sandy beach and docking. The .42 acre lot has 120' of level frontage. Pretty awesome! Inside the 3,866 square foot, three bedroom, four bath custom built Adirondack home that comes with this "kitchin," you'll find another awesome kitchen with custom cabinetry, granite, Viking appliances, and wet bar. This super high quality Timberpeg Post and Beam home has all the bells and whistles including in-floor radiant heat, whole house generator, security, and irrigation system for the beautifully landscaped yard. There's also an oversized three car garage for your toys. This "kitchin" can be yours for just $1.999 million. I'm sure they'll throw in some steak tips and sauce.
There's a pretty fabulous lower level "summa kitchin" up in Meredith at 64 Wagon Wheel Trail. It has custom cabinetry, stainless steel, granite, a center island with seating, beautiful wood ceiling, natural wood work, wainscoting, and tile floor. And I bet it won't get too warm in there as it has plenty of a.c. There's also a recreation room, two full baths, and two bedrooms on this level in case you eat too much and have to take a nap. Upstairs in the Adirondack, you'll find another 4,163 square feet of high quality construction including the requisite great room with cathedral ceiling and fireplace, a designer kitchen, wonderful four season porch, three more bedrooms and four and a half more baths. Superb! Outside there's lots of deck space, meandering walk ways, lush landscaping, patios and of course a dock on the 204' of owned frontage. And, this all comes with great sunset views to dine by. This property is priced at $3.995 million. I pretty much guarantee you can get some steaks thrown in on this deal...
As of July first there were 1,218 residential homes on the market in the twelve Lakes Region communities covered in this market report. That is up from the 1,139 homes on the market as of June 1 and up just a bit from the 1,210 last July 1st. The current inventory level represents a 14.6 month supply of homes on the market.
Please feel free to visit www.lakesregionhome.com to learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market and comment on this article and others. Data was compiled using the Northern New England Real Estate MLS System as of 7/1/14. Roy Sanborn is a realtor at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-455-0335.
Last Updated on Friday, 11 July 2014 08:19
Increasingly, across this city, the "I" word is being heard.
Impeachment is being brought up by Republicans outraged over Barack Obama's usurpations of power and unilateral rewriting of laws. And Obama is taunting John Boehner and the GOP: "So sue me."
Democrats are talking impeachment to rally a lethargic base to come out and vote this fall to prevent Republicans from taking control of the Senate, and with it the power to convict an impeached president.
Still, Republicans should drop the talk of impeachment.
For the GOP would gain nothing and risk everything if the people began to take seriously their threats to do to Barack Obama what Newt Gingrich's House did to Bill Clinton.
The charges for which a president can be impeached and removed from office, are "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."
With Bill Clinton, the impeachers had a solid case of perjury.
With Richard Nixon, they had a preponderance of evidence that, at least for a time, he had sought to obstruct justice in the investigation of the Watergate break-in.
Article II of the impeachment of Richard Nixon was for misuse of the IRS in what turned out to be futile and failed attempts to have the agency harass political enemies by having them audited.
As yet there is no evidence Obama knew of the IRS plot to delay and deny tax exemptions to Tea Party groups, which would be an abuse of power and a trampling upon the constitutional rights of Tea Partiers, who were denied the equal protection of the laws.
The GOP response to the lost emails of Lois Lerner and crashed computers that went missing should be a drumbeat of demands for the appointment of an independent counsel, not an impeachment committee in the House.
Obama claims he did not learn of the IRS abuse until years after it began, and weeks after his White House staff learned of it. In the absence of those emails, the claim cannot be refuted.
In the Benghazi scandal, the president's defense is the same. He had no idea what was going on. And cluelessness appears here to be a credible defense. Two weeks after the Benghazi atrocity, Obama was at the U.N. still parroting the Susan Rice line about an anti-Muslim video having been the cause of it all.
Has the president unilaterally rewritten the Obamacare law, while ignoring the Congress that wrote it? Indeed, he has. But would a Republican Party that failed and folded when it tried to use its legitimate power of the purse to defund Obamacare really stand firm in an Antietam battle to impeach a president of the United States?
Or is this just "beer talk"?
Impeachment is in the last analysis a political act.
The impeachment of Nixon was a coup d'etat by liberal enemies who, though repudiated and routed by the electorate in 1972, still retained the institutional power to break him and destroy his presidency. And, undeniably, he gave them the tools.
In the case of Nixon, political enemies controlled both houses of the Congress. Washington was a hostile city. Though he had swept 49 states, Nixon lost D.C. 3-to-1. The bureaucracy built up in the New Deal and Great Society was deep-dyed Democratic.
Most crucially, the Big Media whose liberal bias had been exposed by Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew were hell-bent on revenge.
All three power centers — the bureaucracy, Congress, the Big Media — worked in harness to bring Nixon down. No such powerful and hostile coalition exits today with Obama.
In 2008, Obama carried D.C. 24-to-1 over John McCain. The While House Correspondents Association has at times behaved like an Obama super PAC. Liberal Democrats dominate the bureaucracy and control the Senate.
Any Republican attempt at impeachment would go up against a stacked deck. And the GOP would be throwing away a winning hand for a losing one.
For while the American people have shown no interest in impeaching Obama, they are coming to believe they elected an incompetent executive and compulsive speechmaker who does not know what the presidency requires and who equates talk with action.
With the economy shrinking 3 percent in the first quarter, with Obama sinking in public approval, and with the IRS, NSA and VA scandals bubbling, why would Republicans change the subject to impeachment? The effect would be to enrage and energize the Democratic base, bring out the African-American vote in force and cause the major media to charge the GOP with a racist scheme to discredit and destroy our first black president.
Does the GOP really want a fight on that turf, when they currently hold the high ground? If you are winning an argument, why change the subject?
If the nation is led to believe Republicans seek to gain the Senate so they can remove Barack Obama from office after a GOP-led impeachment, then Republicans are not likely to win the Senate. Maybe that is why the Democrats are wailing about impeachment.
Republicans should take away the football.
(Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three presidents, twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He won the New Hampshire Republican Primary in 1996.)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 July 2014 08:37