Letters to the Editor - Summer 2002

Volume 12, Number 4 (Summer 2002)
Issue theme: "People, energy, food production: studies by David and Marcia Pimentel"

Editor Reference is made to "An India/Pakistan War. It could come from unbalanced population growth." by Donald A. Collins, The Social Contract, Spring 2002. I have to agree with so much of what Don Collins wrote. The term "rogue males" as applied to "surplus young males" is unfortunate, but is probably aptly descriptive. From a strictly layman's observations of nearly 30 years in and around Asia, the imbalance of population, both in absolute and gender-mix terms, has to derive in part from cultural and relatively peaceful antecedents. But, mostly, it is the extraordinary improvements in healthcare of infant, child and mother, in the past century, that have allowed such a global explosion ... through pure survival. Addi-tionally, when sons are born early in a marriage, often any effort is used to limit the preponderance of excess offspring, especially in the middle classes, however that is measured. But if daughters are the initial issue, then major conjugal efforts are made for sons, heirs, and name bearers to follow ... even (still) in Western society, this continues; (e.g., three of my neighbouring families, with two girls initially, expanded their families to third born sons.) So where does that leave us? I was in Lahore for the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War (a rather pathetic affair though I was both strafed and in a house hit by ack-ack fallout) and, in my view, any future encounters will be either territorial border clashes or religious instigations; not ideological. Indeed, on a global basis, I think most "old fashioned" ideological warfare is just that, old fashioned and redundant, save in a few isolated outbursts (e.g., Nepal and Mindanao just now, but also Taiwan and the PRC, a more serious, ever present threat, however remote may that be). Much more unsettling are these "rogue males" of which Mr. Collins writes and their almost freelance activism in almost any part of the globe. They are inventive, determined and, let it be said, courageous, if misguided or downright wrong. It is these bored and restless "loose cannons" who might release killer biochemicals or fire "small" and selectively destructive nuclear devices. Only CIA type intelligence will overcome that threat in the short term and the U.S. will likely have to buy that intelligence, even though such a practice may be distasteful. A hundred and thirty years ago, like Rome and others before it, the British Empire began its decline brought on by arrogance and simply the tide of history. It is now that the U.S. must avoid a similar arrogance of "knowing what is best." Allowing other nations to evolve in their ways, along generally acceptable lines and at their own pace, are all essential, even if the model is not what Congress or the President and his appointees wholly endorse. It is also essential to listen to their needs. Social aid (meaning financial aid predominantly) will help extensively along this road of development ... not military spending. Included in this must be a containment of global over-population, along with those "rogue males," as the imbalance remains a critical issue. Presently, there appears to me confused, mixed messages on reproductive/family planning health, though I don't suppose there will be many within the poor masses which understand this. The evidence and conjecture are indicating a powerful linkage between population imbalances and economic underdevelopment, but also emphatically there is the linkage with peace, perhaps with a capital "P" and (in)stability. Yours sincerely, Philip Gethin-Jones Wilton, Connecticut [Editor's note Mr. Gethin-Jones adds "I was an international banker (British) (1966-1991), principally in Asia (India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and Hong Kong) and Group CFO/Finance Director of a Hong Kong Chinese company (1991-1996). I have now retired to the U.S. I serve on the board of a leading U.S. non-profit reproductive health and HIV/AID research organization, serving less-developed nations, but continue my interest in and advice on international affairs."] Editor I'm glad that Joe Fallon has written up a complete analysis and report on the very interesting meeting featuring Stephen Steinlight that was sponsored by the Center for Immigration Studies in New York City in November 2001 (The Social Contract, Vol. XII, No. 3, Spring 2002, page 231) . Unfortunately, Mr. Fallon has misrepresented one of my remarks to Steinlight during the question period. According to his account, Steinlight said that Patrick Buchanan is an anti-Semite, and I then challenged him "to cite even one quotation to substantiate that charge," which Steinlight could not do. That's not exactly what happened. Here is an excerpt from my notes that I wrote down the day of the meeting "I asked Steinlight from the floor ‘You've called immigration restrictionists abominable, racist and dangerous, but when Mark Krikorian asked you what specifically you found objectionable about them, you said that it was that they didn't come clean about their own identity politics. Is that all you mean by abominable and racist?' Steinlight gave an evasive answer. "I asked him ‘Can you name anything Buchanan has said on immigration that's racist and dangerous?' He replied that he didn't have any quotes at hand, but that Buchanan was an anti-Semite. This was changing the subject. Joseph Fallon who was at the meeting pointed out to me afterward that if Steinlight really knew Buchanan to have said something so awful, he would have remembered it and been able to quote him." I particularly want to clear up this mistake since, as I wrote in an article at Front Page Magazine this past April, Buchanan's recent articles in which he has demonized Israel for defending itself from suicide bombers and has made other leftist-style arguments against Israel that he would despise in other situations have persuaded me, to my great sadness, that Buchanan is indeed (as others have insisted for years) driven by an anti-Jewish animus. However, though I had not yet come to that definite conclusion as of November 2001, I still would not have challenged Steinlight on that point, given the many well-known charges of anti-Semitism that have been made against Buchanan over the past ten years. Sincerely, Lawrence Auster New York CityLetters to Other Editors The Washington Post on March 24 featured an article by staff reporter Hanna Rosin, framed by the title, "Snapshot of An Immigrant Dream Fading." It seemed to this writer that throughout the compassionate article was the underlying notion that one may be selective with respect to which laws one will obey. In the case of Ansar Mahmood, the Pakistani immigrant who had broken a law by helping an undocumented friend from Pakistan obtain an apartment, reporter Rosin passionately implied that because such an action is a "common favor" in the immigrant network, Mahmood should not have been charged with breaking the law. An interesting, empathic point of view, especially in the case in point, so touchingly presented by the writer. However, given that Mahmood's predicament as presented in the article was heart-rending, it should not be easily dismissed [since] it raises the larger issue of selective enforcement and obedience of the law. Is it OK to break the speed limit because most other drivers "commonly" do so; to run caution lights because most other cars commonly do so; to break North Carolina's law against unmarried co-habitation because so many other heterosexual couples commonly do so; to shelter alleged bomber Rudolph because he is against abortion and meets the criteria of a sub-cultural "good ol' boy"; or to drink and drive because so many other drinkers commonly do so; and on and on ad nauseam? Regardless of what one thinks about the apparently pathetic plight of Mahmood and other immigrants who break our laws, one must nevertheless place these and other violations ... into the larger contact of selective obedience or enforcement of the law. This has become a grave issue in today's multicultural society where millions of new arrivals have not been brought up on traditional American values. If "peace" in the social sense, as Benito Juarez once said, is respecting another's rights then however contradictory some of them may seem, all laws on the books must be obeyed - even the ones we believe to be heartless, stupid, unfair, or all of the above. People cannot arbitrarily choose which laws they will obey and which they will not. Even in the pitiable case of Mahmood, one must reluctantly come down on the side of enforcing the law, regardless of who you are or where you come from. [This is] a street maxim which should apply equally to law-breakers and law-enforcers. Denos P. Marvin Laurel Springs, Maryland [The following Letter to the Editor was published in the Fort Collins Coloradoan on June 30, 2002 ] Re U.S. Workers In A Bind Hewlett-Pachard Co., has cut 10,000 jobs and plans 15,000 more. Agilent has cut 8,000. Motorola has laid off 43,000. Yet while all this is going on, Congress has a special program, H- 1B, to bring in foreign high-tech workers 195,000 last year; 195,000 this year; and next year, 195,000. So we're in a recession and the electronics industry has massive layoffs. Companies cutting jobs don't do much hiring. In addition to the normal unemployment levels there's lots of fresh-cut workers looking for jobs. Why then does Congress continue to bring in foreign workers under H-1B visas? This can only make the task of finding a new job more difficult for those who have been laid off. Is that what Congress wants? Perhaps Congress doesn't understand the impact of its own programs. More likely, they are simply indifferent to American workers. While Congress is embracing aliens, they've turned their back on Americans. They've even made it a crime to hire Americans exclusively. Watch on the Fourth of July, I bet Congress will pretend to be patriotic. Perry Lorenz Fort Collins, Colorado