May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
May 8, 2006
/ 10 Iyar, 5766
Backlash nation and the high cost of citizenship
"Backlash" is one of those words with an iffy reputation, connoting an angry or even unreasoned reaction to a benign or just plain immutable reality. Like a tantrum, a backlash is widely regarded as an emotional spasm that inevitably subsides, leaving the supposedly benign or just plain immutable reality to unfold unmolested. Meanwhile, backlash is cluck-clucked as unenlightened (Backlash to Feminism), mean-spirited (Angry White Men Backlash), xenophobic (Dubai Ports Backlash) — or, in the case of the burgeoning reaction against the illegal-alien amnesty movement, all of the above.
But by whom? Backlash opponents. More often than not, "backlash" is the word mainstream liberals use to describe the sound the silent majority makes when it finally gets around to piping up. The family unit is shattered: That's progress. Somebody says, "Uh, maybe it was better when it wasn't shattered": That's backlash. The nation's borders are breached by millions of illegal aliens, who not only provide an immorally cheap labor force, but also more than 29 percent of prisoners in Federal Bureau of Prisons facilities: That's progress. Somebody yells, "Hey, put up a fence": That's backlash. The following headline in The Washington Post, summing up reaction to May Day amnesty demonstrations, crystallizes this cracked-prism vision. "After Protests, Backlash Grows: Opponents of Illegal Immigration Are Increasingly Vocal."
Who, the Post seems to wonder, do these increasingly vocal "opponents" think they are — illegal aliens?
Of course, such "opponents" not only became "increasingly vocal" this week, some of them actually went to the polls. In Herndon, Va., voters elected what the cultural mainstream would probably dub the nation's first Backlash Legislature — a new city council and mayor who oppose Herndon's "day-laborer center," that law-flouting tax-payer-funded facility that opened last year to match up illegal alien workers with employers of illegal aliens. The Herndon vote seems highly significant: With one exception, no incumbent was re-elected who didn't oppose the center — and all new council members, including the new mayor, oppose the center. According to the Post report, last year's 5-2 majority in favor of the facility now becomes a probable 6-1 majority against. Not surprisingly, the online edition of The Washington Post headlined the election story "Immigrant Backlash in Herndon."
But this is no fit of pique. Indeed, it could be part of an ad hoc movement. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 463 immigration bills have been introduced just this year in 43 states, "the biggest crop of state immigration proposals ever recorded," the Post writes. Most of the measures, the newspaper continues, "are designed to get tough on illegal immigrants, on employers who give them jobs and on state officials who give them benefits" — in other words, to fill the breach left by Congress ever since a patriot-lite Senate failed to pass Rep. Tom Tancredo's eminently sensible immigration bill (complete with border fence) that came out of the House last year.
Will these get-tough — or, at least, get-tougher — state measures pass? The answer will tell us a lot about whether what we're witnessing is a passing "backlash," or a durable national movement, kicked off by the Minutemen Project, that has emerged from the vacuum on border protection and national preservation left by our leaders in Washington.
I'm not sure if it's simply because I'm looking, but I feel as though I'm seeing more anecdotal reports of American citizens taking local action, whether it's a story out of Arizona — "Sheriff's posse to patrol desert" — or from Connecticut, where the appearance of infectious diseases among illegal alien populations has convinced the Board of Health in Milford effectively to ban local restaurants from employing illegal workers. The fact is, if Americans can find a sustainable level of outrage and concern to drive such reform at the state level, we, as a nation, might actually have a chance to survive the hand wringing, no-can-do gridlock in Washington.
Of course, a sustainable level of outrage and concern is no small feat for the extremely comfy people that we are. Then again, times being what they are, the extreme comfort levels to which we have grown accustomed could well become a thing of our past. Which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. Surely, it's time to wean ourselves of immorally cheap labor and immorally cheap goods. Surely, it's time we learn that some things cost more than we want them to, even — no, especially — American citizenship.
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JWR contributor Diana West is a columnist and editorial writer for the Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.
© 2006, Diana West