In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 25, 2007 / 8 Sivan, 5767

Cocktails, anyone?

By Jonah Goldberg

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I got my start in Washington in the early 1990s as a researcher at the American Enterprise Institute working for Ben Wattenberg. A self-taught demographer, Ben also happened to be — and remains — one of America's foremost champions of liberal (others would say "lax") immigration policies.

Ben is a brilliant man with many lasting accomplishments to his credit. But one legacy has always grated at me, even as it has seeped into the conventional wisdom on certain parts of the right. One of Ben's favorite rhetorical flourishes is to compare America to a giant cocktail party. He makes the comparison often, and it's caught on among congressmen and think-tankers. It goes something like this:

"Imagine you are in a giant ballroom where 1,000 people are gathered for a Washington cocktail party," he'd say (I'm paraphrasing), "and into the room walk three Mexicans. Those three Mexicans represent the proportion of the U.S. population that immigrants add each year. There is little evidence these immigrants are spoiling the party."

While I agree with Ben on many things, I think it might be worthwhile, given the current debate over immigration, to explain why this analogy is so wrong.

First and most obviously: America simply isn't a cocktail party. And it probably doesn't help the cause to tell people in Peoria to lighten up by imagining themselves at a ballroom soiree in the nation's capital. Lots of taxpayers are already overly suspicious that folks in Washington are too blasť about things "normal Americans" care about. Saying don't worry and drink your champagne doesn't make it better.

At the cocktail party, the guests don't fear a few new arrivals will take their jobs, dampen their wages or overturn their communities. The reality is quite different.

The inherent math of the analogy is deeply flawed, too. It assumes a finite time period and a single input. To be accurate, the proportion of new arrivals needs to be cumulative. So if each year equals, say, 10 minutes at the cocktail party, within an hour you've got 18 mostly poor, non-English-speaking strangers. In three hours you've got 54.

Other variables are left by the wayside as well. Native-born Americans are older than immigrants. So over the course of the cocktail party, the oldsters would start dying. And, of course, people at cocktail parties don't typically have babies.

But the most important variable left out is that some unknowable percentage of the new arrivals are, in fact, party-crashers. And that's why the analogy really doesn't hold. If you had a cocktail party and every few minutes you saw people — poor, hungry, desperate people — sneaking into your party, you'd be concerned. As they bellied up to the buffet and availed themselves of your hospitality, you might ask security to find out what's going on.

No doubt most crashers would be well-intentioned and as polite as they knew how to be. Some might start offering to sell services, shine shoes, whatever, to make a few bucks. Many have harrowing stories about how they got to the party. But they simply weren't invited. Oh, and some very small but significant number of the crashers will be criminals or terrorists.

Now, I've been to my share of schnitzy Washington parties, and let me tell you, the response wouldn't be: "C'mon in, the more the merrier!"

For the record, I'm not anti-immigration. Indeed, by the standards of many of my colleagues at National Review, I'm something of a squish on the subject. But I have nothing but sympathy with the mainstream, well-intentioned objections to the immigration status quo.

The United States isn't some inside-the-Beltway moveable feast where revelers make a living by talking to each other as the prols cater to them. It's a specific place, rooted in specific soil and a specific — albeit open and boisterous — culture. But if we must compare America to a party, there's one immutable fact politicians and business interests ignore: It's our party. We — i.e., the American people — get to decide who is invited and who gets to stay. And the American people — or at least lots of them — no longer trust Washington to check for invitations at the door.

Personally, I favor some kind of tough "amnesty" where many of the existing illegal immigrants in the United States can achieve citizenship if they're willing to meet the obligations of it. I favor generous but smart legal-immigration policies, many of them found in the current Senate plan. But until Washington can be trusted to enforce a by-invitation-only policy, lots of us won't care whom they want to invite in the first place.

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