Monday, June 28, 2010
Marriott on Immigration
Alexander Marriott has written a lengthy, but superb blog post on immigration. He comments on many aspects of the issue, but I particularly like his take on the situation at the Mexican Border.
Without a quota and visa system, the current mess on the Mexican border should almost entirely evaporate as far as concerns people interested in making an honest living go. It's far safer, cheaper, and easier to enter a known border crossing to undergo an identification confirmation and medical examination than to hike through the desert with hardcore criminals. As for the criminals, they will suddenly find themselves as isolated figures in the desert easy to handle for the resources already appropriated for the purpose. No more endless sea of humanity to hide in. The key is to not drive honest decent people into the arms of rapacious unsavory criminals in order to achieve non-objectionable ends. No citizen of the United States has any right to interpose themselves between prospective employers and employees except in a case where someone's legitimate individual rights are violated.Marriott ends his post with a proposed constitutional amendment.
Less-than-Elephant Gives Birth to Less-than-Mouse
At the Charlotte Capitalist is a short review of Glenn Beck's most recent show focusing on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.
Do I think the publicity for Atlas Shrugged from Beck's show is of value? Perhaps, but I question the message, the messenger, and the target audience. If I had never heard of Ayn Rand prior to the last two years and had to rely solely upon the predominant current Atlas publicity, my impression would be that Rand was some kind of self-appointed prophet who wanted us to head to the mountains to escape from the government. I would not be interested.I'd have to agree, although I hold out hope that Yaron Brook's appearances on the show might steer a few people in the right -- meaning correct -- direction.
Why the fuss?
I don't have a problem with people having different tastes from mine regarding optional values, but I always wonder when those who do feel the need to insult what I like. Pursuant to the below game, two sports writers deliver textbook examples of this phenomenon in the form of snide columns titled, "Unpatriotic or not, who cares about World Cup?" and "Americans now return to regularly scheduled fandom."
I have some ideas on why this is so, but would be interested in what others who have noticed the same thing have to say.
USA 1, Ghana 2 (Overtime)
Well, I got my answer early on the question of whether fighting spirit or iffy defense would ultimately decide the fate of Team USA in this World Cup. Mrs. Van Horn and I were going to watch this at a pub, but it was full, so we went back home. The US team was already behind, on a goal scored within the first five minutes of the match, when we arrived.
This was not a big surprise -- until I learned of two positively Martian lineup decisions by Coach Bradley: He started both the not-ready-for-primetime Robbie Findley -- and Ricardo Clark, whose miscue caused the Ghanaian goal and who had already handed England its early goal in Game 1! Bradley ended up burning two of his three substitutions to rectify these errors, ultimately meaning that there would be no fresh legs for overtime. It also did not help that Goalkeeper Tim Howard had an off day. He was out of position for the first goal and probably could have stopped the second on any other day.
But then again, how far can a pair or two of fresh legs go when the whole team has had to play like maniacs for the three games previous due to its habit of spotting opponents a goal or two? This may be a surmountable problem during the qualification stage (and it was going on then) when players have time to recover physically and mentally. But during the World Cup? For a team thin on talent, but obviously still capable of playing at a respectable level, no.
Take the early concessions out of the picture and, to be conservative, pretend we didn't score on England. We'd have finished the first round with two wins and a draw, atop the group, and defeated Ghana 1-0. We'd still be in the easiest quarter-bracket of this tournament, with beatable Uruguay as our biggest obstacle to the semifinals.
Nevertheless, this team was better and got farther than the one we fielded in 2006, but it could have and should have done more. The signs of progress for the sport in America are good news, but this tournament will also go down as a huge missed opportunity.