Readability

What Fools Believe

by baldilocks

[cap­tion id=“attachment_59876” align=“alignleft” width=“150”]Die Mauer Die Mauer[/caption]

I wrote the fol­low­ing in 2007, back when then-​President George W. Bush and the Repub­li­can Party were con­sid­er­ing blan­ket amnesty for ille­gal aliens. It seems so quaint now to think that there would have ever been a real secu­rity fence built along what used to be our south­ern bor­der. And in the wake of Pres­i­dent Obama’s Thurs­day speech where he said openly that he intends to grant amnesty to [insert num­ber here] mil­lion ille­gal aliens via Exec­u­tive Order, it’s inter­est­ing to look back and see that nei­ther he nor his party is alone in the desire to sell out the Amer­i­can people.

He and the Democ­rats are merely less polite about it. And my con­clu­sion seems not so tin-​foil hat­tish anymore.

Pre­vi­ously, I made an anal­ogy using the already-​mandated but yet-​to-​be built wall on the south­ern US bor­der to the unla­mented Berlin Wall, say­ing that such a US bor­der wall should have “the ease and effi­ciency of sur­veil­lance which the archi­tects of the Berlin Wall would have envied.” How­ever, I hope that no one would read it and make the erro­neous assump­tion that the two bar­ri­ers would have the same purpose.

It seems that Jeff Jacoby, how­ever, would have read­ers believe that the builders of the two had/​have iden­ti­cal intent and, for this rea­son, that Pres­i­dent Rea­gan – were he alive and whole–would be an advo­cate of the Ille­gal Immi­gra­tion Com­pro­mise (my coinage).

Twenty years ago this week in Berlin, Pres­i­dent Rea­gan uttered his mem­o­rable chal­lenge: “Mr. Gor­bachev, tear down this wall!” Con­ser­v­a­tives who extol Reagan’s legacy might ask them­selves what he would have thought of the idea that our response to hard-​working risk-​takers so eager for a piece of the Amer­i­can Dream that they endan­ger life and limb to come here should be a Berlin-​style wall of our own.

(Empha­sis mine.)

But for the anal­ogy to make sense, a US bor­der fence’s main pur­pose would be to keep US cit­i­zens from escap­ing to a freer coun­try, not the other way around. (To be fair, I sug­gested here—bor­row­ing the idea from Vic­tor Davis Han­son [God com­fort him] – that a sec­ondary pur­pose of a bor­der fence would be some­what sim­i­lar to that of the Berlin Wall; that it would make it more dif­fi­cult for Mex­i­can nation­als liv­ing in the US to travel back to their coun­try of ori­gin, and thus, be one of the prongs which could force them to at least try to assim­i­late to their new home’s cul­ture and society.)

Here’s another area in which the anal­ogy breaks down. The Fed­eral Repub­lic of Germany’s (then known as West Ger­many) pre-​1989 pol­icy towards its Soviet-​controlled brethren to the East was always geared toward reuni­fi­ca­tion (Arti­cles 23 and 146 in West Germany’s Grundge­setz; roughly trans­lated as ‘Con­sti­tu­tion.’*) – espe­cially after the 19601961 Soviet con­struc­tion of the Berlin Wall between French, UK and USA-​controlled West Berlin and Soviet-​controlled East Berlin. There­fore, any escapees from the Ger­man Demo­c­ra­tic Repub­lic (East Ger­many) and from East Berlin specif­i­cally were treated as West Ger­man cit­i­zens. Addi­tion­ally, West Germany’s leg­endary Chan­cel­lor Willy Brandt (pre­vi­ously mayor of West Berlin dur­ing the con­struc­tion of the Berlin Wall and, sub­se­quent to that, West Germany’s for­eign min­is­ter) was the archi­tect of Ost­poli­tik–a pol­icy to nor­mal­ize diplo­matic, eco­nomic and cul­tural rela­tions with the Soviet Union, Poland and, most impor­tantly, East Ger­many — some­thing which was very con­tro­ver­sial at time, to under­state things. How­ever, today the pol­icy is viewed as another impor­tant step in the path toward the sub­se­quent­po­lit­i­cal reunion of the two countries.

With that his­tory in mind, Jeff Jacoby’s idea that Ronald Rea­gan would view the intent of a pro­posed US bor­der fence on either or both bor­ders the same as the intent of the Berlin Wall makes plau­si­ble the idea that our bet­ters have a plan sim­i­lar to that of the rather tin-​foil hat­tish North Amer­i­can Union—a polit­i­cal union between Canada, the USA and Mex­ico. Is that what he is sug­gest­ing is being pre­vented? Prob­a­bly not; though I’ve been wrong before.

*A more accu­rate trans­la­tion: ‘Basic Law.’ IIRC, my Ger­man lan­guage teach­ers said that the dif­fer­ence between a Grundge­setz and a Ver­fas­sung (Con­sti­tu­tion) was that the lat­ter could only exist in a coun­try that was whole. How­ever, the Grundge­setz remains in force today.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was pub­lished in 2009; the sec­ond edi­tion in 2012. Her sec­ond novel, ten­ta­tively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2015.

Please con­tribute to Juliette’s Projects: Her new novel, her blog, her Inter­net to keep the lat­ter going and COF­FEE to keep her going!

Or con­tribute to Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Inde­pen­dent Journalism — -»»baldilocks

by baldilocks

Die Mauer
Die Mauer

I wrote the following in 2007, back when then-President George W. Bush and the Republican Party were considering blanket amnesty for illegal aliens. It seems so quaint now to think that there would have ever been a real security fence built along what used to be our southern border. And in the wake of President Obama’s Thursday speech where he said openly that he intends to grant amnesty to [insert number here] million illegal aliens via Executive Order, it’s interesting to look back and see that neither he nor his party is alone in the desire to sell out the American people.

He and the Democrats are merely less polite about it. And my conclusion seems not so tin-foil hattish anymore.

Previously, I made an analogy using the already-mandated but yet-to-be built wall on the southern US border to the unlamented Berlin Wall, saying that such a US border wall should have “the ease and efficiency of surveillance which the architects of the Berlin Wall would have envied.” However, I hope that no one would read it and make the erroneous assumption that the two barriers would have the same purpose.

It seems that Jeff Jacoby, however, would have readers believe that the builders of the two had/have identical intent and, for this reason, that President Reagan–were he alive and whole–would be an advocate of the Illegal Immigration Compromise (my coinage).

Twenty years ago this week in Berlin, President Reagan uttered his memorable challenge: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Conservatives who extol Reagan’s legacy might ask themselves what he would have thought of the idea that our response to hard-working risk-takers so eager for a piece of the American Dream that they endanger life and limb to come here should be a Berlin-style wall of our own.

(Emphasis mine.)

But for the analogy to make sense, a US border fence’s main purpose would be to keep US citizens from escaping to a freer country, not the other way around. (To be fair, I suggested here—borrowing the idea from Victor Davis Hanson [God comfort him]–that a secondary purpose of a border fence would be somewhat similar to that of the Berlin Wall; that it would make it more difficult for Mexican nationals living in the US to travel back to their country of origin, and thus, be one of the prongs which could force them to at least try to assimilate to their new home’s culture and society.)

Here’s another area in which the analogy breaks down. The Federal Republic of Germany’s (then known as West Germany) pre-1989 policy towards its Soviet-controlled brethren to the East was always geared toward reunification (Articles 23 and 146 in West Germany’s Grundgesetz; roughly translated as ‘Constitution.’*)–especially after the 1960-1961 Soviet construction of the Berlin Wall between French, UK and USA-controlled West Berlin and Soviet-controlled East Berlin. Therefore, any escapees from the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and from East Berlin specifically were treated as West German citizens. Additionally, West Germany’s legendary Chancellor Willy Brandt (previously mayor of West Berlin during the construction of the Berlin Wall and, subsequent to that, West Germany’s foreign minister) was the architect of Ostpolitik–a policy to normalize diplomatic, economic and cultural relations with the Soviet Union, Poland and, most importantly, East Germany—something which was very controversial at time, to understate things. However, today the policy is viewed as another important step in the path toward the subsequentpolitical reunion of the two countries.

With that history in mind, Jeff Jacoby’s idea that Ronald Reagan would view the intent of a proposed US border fence on either or both borders the same as the intent of the Berlin Wall makes plausible the idea that our betters have a plan similar to that of the rather tin-foil hattish North American Union—a political union between Canada, the USA and Mexico. Is that what he is suggesting is being prevented? Probably not; though I’ve been wrong before.

*A more accurate translation: ‘Basic Law.’ IIRC, my German language teachers said that the difference between a Grundgesetz and a Verfassung (Constitution) was that the latter could only exist in a country that was whole. However, the Grundgesetz remains in force today.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2015.

Please contribute to Juliette’s Projects: Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or contribute to Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>baldilocks