As discussed in more detail below, the following is very far from the worst example of the United States' inhumane and indefensibly restrictive immigration policies. But it is still another sickening and reprehensible sign that the moral inversion of America today is all but complete:
Sebastian Horsley, a British author who has written an eyebrow-raising memoir detailing a life of rampant drug use and voluminous encounters with prostitutes, was turned back at Newark Liberty International Airport on Tuesday as he tried to enter the United States for a book party and New York news media tour.This is utterly appalling on several levels.
Mr. Horsley, whose memoir, "Dandy in the Underworld," was published last week in paperback by Harper Perennial, a unit of HarperCollins, said he was detained by United States customs authorities for eight hours and questioned about his former drug addiction, use of prostitutes and activity as a male escort.
"I?m absolutely shattered and upset and gutted about not being able to come to America," Mr. Horsley said in a telephone interview from London, where he had returned on Wednesday. "I was very much looking forward to meeting everybody."
Lucille Cirillo, a spokeswoman for the New York office of United States Customs and Border Protection, said she could not comment on specific cases. But in an e-mail message, she said that under a waiver program that allows British citizens to enter the United States without a visa, "travelers who have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude (which includes controlled-substance violations) or admit to previously having a drug addiction are not admissible."
An American cannot read these two books without total revulsion at the reaction of his own government to Hitler's policies against the Jews. Both authors detail the methods by which American politicians and bureaucrats, while maintaining an appearance of great humanitarianism, used immigration policies to prevent Germany's Jews from escaping to the United States.The underlying political principles include these:
"In 1938 the Nazis burned every synagogue in the nation, shattered the windows of every Jewish establishment, hauled twenty-five thousand innocent people to concentration camps, and forced the Jews to pay 1,000,000,000 marks for the damage.
"Five days later, at a White House press conference, a reporter asked the President 'Would you recommend a relaxation of our immigration restrictions so that the Jewish refugees could be received in this country?'
"'This is not in contemplation,' replied the President. 'We have the quota system.'
"The United States not only insisted upon its immigration law throughout the Nazi era, but administered it with severity and callousness. In spite of unprecedented circumstances, the law was constricted so that even its narrow quotas were not met. The lamp remained lifted beside the golden door, but the flame had been extinguished and the door was padlocked."
In my earlier related piece, I offered some excerpts from an article by Sheldon Richman. I'm certain that many readers were puzzled and possibly very taken aback by this paragraph of Richman's in particular:Note that last point, which is directly relevant to the case of Sebastian Horsley.But ["illegal" immigrants] came into our country without permission, conservative talker Tucker Carlson and his ilk say incessantly. Without whose permission? The whole population of the United States? The federal government? Why the assumption that either of those aggregates can have the right to give or withhold permission for someone to relocate here? This is a country, not a country club, and rights are natural not national. If someone wants to come here and can do so without trespassing on private property, that's his right and his own business.As my previous essay indicated, this view that "permission" is required for an immigrant to come to the United States is hardly limited to conservatives; most liberals believe it, too.
Note that this was not the case in nineteenth-century America, as Hornberger discusses. Americans could travel anywhere without passports "or other evidence of governmental consent," and foreigners could come to the United States as they chose, for the government was prohibited "from interfering with the right of people everywhere to come to the United States to live and work." I also note that the idea that anyone in this country needed to ask "permission" from the government to engage in virtually any activity (assuming that it did not violate anyone else's fundamental rights) is directly antithetical to the original conception of the United States. (and as I documented in a recent installment of the "Dominion Over the World" series, for much of our history Americans could freely purchase almost every drug whose purchase and use is now criminalized.)
The United States, a Private and Exclusive Country ClubThis should properly be followed by a brief warning to prospective applicants for membership, as well as to those requesting only brief visiting rights:
Please be advised that our membership requirements are restrictive in the extreme. We maintain the most rigorous standards of admittance, and only allow a select number of new members to join each year. If you think you have cause to wonder whether you are the right kind of person for our club, you are not.With regard to Mr. Horsley, his "crimes" involved drug use and prostitution. If we are talking about voluntary behavior engaged in and chosen by adults --
"God bless America, land of the free, but sadly not the land of the depraved," he said. He referred to the recent resignation of Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York, in the wake of revelations that he had frequented prostitutes. "I?m not a politician, I?m an artist," Mr. Horsley said. "Depravity is part of the job description."I appreciate Horsley's irony in the face of injustice. It should go without saying that in light of the metastasizing American surveillance state and the numerous ways in which individual liberty is destroyed daily in this country, to say nothing of the Horsley story itself, "land of the free" is now the dream that has gone. And let us set aside judgments about whether Horsley as a person or in his work is "depraved." Again, if we are speaking of adult behavior that impinges on the rights of no other person, it is none of the government's business whether Horsley, you or anyone else is depraved. If you choose to be depraved in any or every area of your life, that, too, is your inalienable right. Or rather, it used to be. You once had a right to be "a bad person" on your own time, so long as you did not force your evil on anyone else.
He added that he regarded his memoir as "a very moral book in the same way that Bret Easton Ellis?s ?American Psycho? was a moral book." He added, "I?m not a bad person."
China has been desperate to have the spotlight and now they have it. For years they wanted to show the world how much they have progressed but now all the world sees is the same old thugs who slaughtered protesters at Tienanmen Square. China can blame everyone else but they're the ones sending in the good squads to Tibet. The more aggressive they are the more the governments shows everyone just how fragile their system really is. Is this what they really want to show the world? Is this who we want to be doing business with and relying on as a critical trade partner? What an impressive regime and please step over the dead bodies while entering the Olympic village.
A new Rasmussen poll out today on West Virginia, which has its primary on May 17.
Senator Hillary Clinton holds a huge lead over Senator Barack Obama in the West Virginia Presidential Primary. The first Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of the race shows that Clinton attracts 55% of the Likely Democratic Primary Voters while Obama is supported by 27%. Eighteen percent (18%) are not sure.
Clinton is viewed favorably by 72% of West Virginia’s Primary Voters, Obama by 53%. By a 48% to 31% margin, the West Virginia voters believe Clinton will be the stronger general election candidate against John McCain.
Most of those polled believe Obama will win the nomination. But,
If Obama is nominated, just 42% of Clinton supporters say they are even somewhat likely to vote for him against McCain. Eighteen percent (18%) of Clinton voters say that they are Not Very Likely to vote for Obama and 35% say they are Not at All Likely to vote for Obama.
On the other hand, if Clinton is nominated, 57% of Obama voters are at least somewhat likely to vote for the former First Lady.
Shorter version: Hillary, not Obama, is the unity candidate in West Virginia -- and most likely to vote Democratic in November.
Newly inaugurated New York Governor David Paterson is America’s third black post-reconstruction governor.Who are the other two black governors in American history and who is Mr. Paterson?( Please click here for a post on black U.S. Senators and reasons why there have been so few black Senators.) Click here for information about black statewide officeholders in the United States. It was only relatively [...]
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Yesterday's five year anniversary of the greatest foreign policy blunder in U.S. history was marked by George Bush telling us we must stay the course, and with Dick Cheney saying whether we like it or not. And between the two, Dana Perino's baldfaced lie almost fell through the cracks:
Q The President warned of the danger that al Qaeda could gain access to Iraq's oil resources. But I don't understand how a fragmented, clandestine, non-Iraqi terrorist organization could produce and sell Iraqi oil on the global market, especially when the majority of Iraqis have turned against al Qaeda. Could you describe a plausible scenario?
MS. PERINO: The purpose of what the President said is that al Qaeda should not be allowed to have safe haven in Iraq and take over --
Q How can they take over Iraq's oil reserves --
MS. PERINO: Well, if we were to leave we would certainly ensue chaos and not be able to -- if we were to leave too soon, it would certainly be chaos and it would be terrible for not only the innocent Iraqis, but the entire region and, in fact, our own national security. That's what the President --
Q But the Iraqis would let a foreign terrorist organization take over their oil?
MS. PERINO: You're missing the point, and I think that you should go back and read --
Q No, I --
MS. PERINO: Yes, actually, I think you are missing the point. And I call on you because I see what you write about how you come here and you really want to have questions asked. And I'm calling on you and I'm providing it to you, but I suggest that you read the President's speech and read it in context, because that's -- what you're suggesting is not what the President said.
Well, there's nothing like a Perino challenge to read the President's own words for context and meaning. Here's what Bush said:
Out of such chaos in Iraq, the terrorist movement could emerge emboldened -- with new recruits, new resources, and an even greater determination to dominate the region and harm America. An emboldened al Qaeda with access to Iraq's oil resources could pursue its ambitions to acquire weapons of mass destruction to attack America and other free nations.
So, who missed the point?
By the time Queen released The Game in 1980, they were already on their way to Beatles/Stones status, at least commercially, if not critically. Their greatest hits collection is a virtual compendium of anthems from society’s collective unconscious. “Another One Bites the Dust,” like The Game, went straight up the charts to #1 and is [...]
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What a depressing juxtaposition this is. I got these two items via e-mail literally minutes apart. The first is the video at the top of this post: a BBC report about a "Dubyaville" shantytown in Los Angeles full of people who lost their homes in the[...]
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Well, it's the 20th of the month, so that means it's time to take a peak into the finances of the two parties three main fundraising arms -- the main party committee and the committees for each house of Congress. CommitteeFebruary ReceiptsFebruary[...]
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By Big Tent Democrat
Speaking for me only
Via TPM, Spencer Ackerman finds this outrageous fundraising e-mail from the McCain campaign:
"My Friends," it read, "I am not running for president to be somebody, but to serve our country with honor. I seek the office of the President of the United States because I am as confident --"
"Stop right there" writes Spencer. And he is right. The race baiting invocation of Jesse Jackson is obvious. John McCain's actions here are disgraceful.
On the March 19 edition of NBC's Today, discussing the release of 11,000 pages of schedules from Sen. Hillary Clinton's time as first lady, NBC News Washingtonbureau chief Tim Russert asserted: "Senator Clintonhas made her experience such a part of this campaign, particularly her eightyears as first lady. So this may be very rich in termsof exactly how did she spend her time, who did she meet with?" Russert added that "this, Ithink, today will be analyzed very closely by all of us at NBC News[...]
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