Greatly to the annoyance of their political establishment, the Swiss voted crushingly (57% to 43%) in Sunday's referendum not to weaken their country's immigrant-unfriendly citizenship laws. Turnout was high.
Already, a fifth of Switzerland's population—which totals only 7.3 million—is non-citizen. Some of them are second and third generation residents. Even these have great difficulty getting Swiss passports. The contrast with America's "give-birth-five-minutes-after-crossing the-border-and- your-baby-is-a-US-citizen" birthright citizenship system could be not extreme.
Imagine how the different the politics of California would be under Swiss law!
The proposals had been run through the Swiss Parliament and until recently appeared likely to pass the referendum. Then, to the fury of those in favor, the Swiss People's Party, the furthest right member of the governing coalition, orchestrated a counter attack. Featured were some outspoken newspaper advertisements—in the words of the Swiss government information agency:
"One advertisement claimed that Muslims could make up the majority of the population by 2040, while another showed a Swiss identity card with a picture of the Saudi extremist Osama bin Laden. Another showed dark-skinned hands grabbing Swiss passports."
This earned the People's Party an unprecedented joint condemnation by their coalition partners.
It also produced victory.
Think about it. Defy conventional opinion. Run effective, hard hitting ads.
Someday this will get through to at least some American politicians.
Some Hispanic leaders and political groups are behaving like spoiled brats now that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told them to buzz off re driver's licenses for illegal aliens. They are threatening to organize protests and national boycotts of California convention business.
Obviously, the reconquistas are not used to hearing "No!"
My advice to them: get used to it; plenty more set backs are on the way. [Sep. 25, 2004 Hispanics Threaten Calif. Boycott for Veto by Michelle Morgante, AP]
After I wrote this item suggesting that levels of software piracy reflected different levels of national honesty, I got some criticism. It might, my critics said, reflect different levels of national income. The countries using illegal knock-offs have a much lower per capita income.
This is putting the cart before the horse. Frequently, those countries are poor because they're less honest—because Crime Doesn't Pay. Differences between national levels of honesty are important for international trade.
Peter Brimelow interviewed Milton Friedman for Forbes magazine in 1988, and Friedman pointed this out:
BRIMELOW: You've mentioned what you see as the institutional prerequisites for capitalism. Do you think there might be cultural prerequisites too?
FRIEDMAN: Oh, yes. For example, truthfulness. The success of Lebanon as a commercial entrepot was to a significant degree because the merchants' word could be trusted.
It cut down transaction costs.
It's a curious fact that capitalism developed and has really come to fruition in the English-speaking world. It hasn't really made the same progress even in Europe—certainly not in France, for instance. I don't know why this is so, but the fact has to be admitted
I'll admit that the BSA's report isn't a scientifically rigorous, peer reviewed study of national honesty. We could file it under the infamous "anecdotal" category.
But while I'm being anecdotal, try this one.
I read out of copyright books online, or on my Palm Pilot, using sites like Project Gutenberg or BlackMask.com, which publish books, generally pre-1925, that you don't have to pay for. Occasionally, you stumble across websites that have books that are still in copyright, but someone has scanned them in and put them online.
I assumed that because of the flagrancy of the copyright violations involved, thatThuongViet.com must be headquartered in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
It's not, it's headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.
Which is why I suggested that this kind of thing impacts US immigration policy.
LA Times pundit Rodriguez is mad at the 57% of "Anglo" Californians who say the state will be a worse place to live in two decades. Rodriguez sums up:
California's crumbling infrastructure can be rebuilt, and its broken education system can be repaired. But that's not going to happen until we re-create the social contract that built postwar California. That contract must be founded on a shared vision of the future. If Anglo California is not willing to provide one, then at the very least it should make way for those who do.
Okay, but considering that already in LA County, an amazing 53% of the adults are functional illiterates, perhaps Mr. Rodriguez should ponder who, exactly, is going to be left to read his essays in the LA Times after the remaining Anglos "make way."
[Crossposted from Isteve.com]
A few months ago, Henry Louis Gates, the boss of Black Studies in America, complained about how black immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean are taking about 2/3rd of the affirmative action spots at Harvard that everybody thought we're supposed to go to African-Americans as compensation for slavery and Jim Crow. Today, he writes in the NYT a column called "Getting to Average" about what could help the lower half of black America get off its back economically. He perceptively notes:
The glory days for the black working class were from 1940 to 1970, when manufacturing boomed and factory jobs were plentiful. But when the manufacturing sector became eclipsed by the service economy, black workers ended up—well, stuck in a demographic Buffalo.
Hmmhmmhh, what's happened since then to drive blacks out of blue collar jobs or undermine their pay? So, does Gates take this golden opportunity to complain about illegal immigrants economically damaging African-Americans who aren't potential Harvard students? Of course not, for the usual reasons why black leaders don't publicly attack the illegal immigration that's hurting blacks, as I explained last June in VDARE.com.
[Crossposted from Isteve.Com]