June 17, 2007

Mark Steyn Exposes Major Aspects of Immigration Bill Old Media Has Ignored

In an ideal world, a news consumer would get his or her essential facts from hard-news coverage, and would read op-ed columns solely to learn writers’ opinions on particular topics of interest — while perhaps being entertained in the process.

We clearly do not live in an ideal world. If fact, the “news” is all often turned upside-down, as journalists supposedly covering the hard news end up focusing on trivialities and personalities, while subtly (or not so subtly) injecting their own opinions into their work. This leaves the necessary work of substantively informing the audience to op-ed writers.

No one does the job Old Media hard-news reporters won’t do better than Mark Steyn.

In his Chicago Sun-Times column today, Steyn, in his typical engaging style, does more in under 1,200 words to inform readers about the real-world implementation difficulties and disparate-treatment outrages in the immigration bill under consideration in Washington than all of Old Media’s hard-news reporters have in several weeks.

Here are just a few of the nuggets in Steyn’s piece that I was not aware of, and that you probably haven’t seen or heard anywhere else:

….. the truth is that America’s immigration bureaucracy cannot cope with its existing caseload, and thus will certainly be unable to cope with millions of additional teeming hordes tossed into its waiting room. Currently, the time in which an immigration adjudicator is expected to approve or reject an application is six minutes. That’s not enough time to read the basic form, never mind any supporting documentation. It’s certainly not enough time for any meaningful background check. Under political pressure to “bring the 12 million undocumented Americans out of the shadows,” the immigration bureaucracy will rubberstamp gazillions of applications for open-ended probationary legal status within 24 hours and with no more supporting documentation than a utility bill or an affidavit from a friend.

….. one of the little-known features of this bill is that in order to “bring the 12 million undocumented Americans out of the shadows,” millions of legal applicants are being hurled back into outer darkness. Law-abiding foreign nationals who filed their paperwork in the last two years would be required to go back to their home countries and start all over again. Not only does this bill reward law-breaking, it punishes law-abiding.

….. The young Muslim men who availed themselves of the U.S. government’s “visa express” system for Saudi Arabia filled in joke applications — “Address in the United States: HOTEL, AMERICA” — that octogenarian snowbirds from Toronto who’ve been wintering at their Florida condos since 1953 wouldn’t try to get away with. The late Mohammed Atta received his flight-school student visa on March 11, 2002, six months to the day after famously flying his first and last commercial airliner.

Along the way, Steyn reveals many of the failures of and biases in the pitiful “hard-news” reporting on the subject, the most obvious of which is this one on the annoying use of the term “undocumented workers”:

Being “undocumented” means being documented up to the hilt as far as everyone else is concerned but “undocumented” only to the U.S. government. Which, when you think about it, is a very advantageous status to have.

He also recounts a telling example of how quickly Old Media members will jump on the bill’s opponents with unsupportable accusations:

On Fox News the other night, I was told by NPR’s Juan Williams, “You’re anti-immigrant!” Er, actually, I am an immigrant — one of the members of the very very teensy-weensy barely statistically detectable category of “legal immigrant.” But perhaps that doesn’t count anymore. Perhaps, like Colin Powell’s blackness, it’s insufficiently “authentic.”

Williams’s rip at legal immigrant Steyn briefly revealed just how despised he (Steyn) is by many beat reporters and Old Media members. It never seems to occur to them that if they would simply concentrate their work more on digging up and reporting the facts and less on injecting their opinions (i.e., if they would just do the jobs they’re supposed to do), there wouldn’t be any need for readers, listeners, and viewers to go to the Steyns of the world to get even the most basic information — though in Steyn’s case, the entertainment value of his writing would still make visiting his work quite worthwhile.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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RELATED: Michelle Malkin — “Memo to Washington: Clear the damn backlogs first,” otherwise known as “Illegals Skate, Legals Wait.” The underlying WaPo article about the backlog in FBI checks is here.

Positivity: ‘Miracle’ survivor receives First Communion from her father

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:58 am

From Rockaway Township, NJ:

June 8, 2007

At 7-years-old, Roxann Peters already has much wisdom about life and how to truly live it. Whether it is a sleigh riding during the winter or a bike ride in the spring, those moments for Roxann are done with extra special joy. Even more special to her was receiving first Holy Communion last month at St. Clement’s here. It was a day she looked forward to with much happiness and excitement.

And while these moments may seem so ordinary to other children, they were almost non-existent for the second-grader after surviving massive brain injuries and a broken neck in a car accident June 2, 2006.

Her father, Vincent Peters, who is a extraordinary minister of Holy Communion at St. Clement’s, said he knows it was God who was there for Roxann and is responsible for her survival. He had the joy to give the Eucharist to his daughter at her First Holy Communion.

“She always wanted to make her First Holy Communion and by the grace of God she did,” said Peters, who is thankful for the faithful support of his parish, family and friends from around the diocese and even around the world.

A fateful day

According to Peters, the accident occured on Route 46 in Rockaway Borough. Roxann’s mother, MaryAnn, was driving Roxann and two of her siblings in a mini-van to school when a car slammed into the Peters’ vehicle right where Roxann was sitting. All the passengers were wearing their seatbelts.

While Roxann’s mother and siblings experienced several injuries, Roxann’s were considered extremely life-threatening and she was rushed to Morristown Memorial Hospital.

“It was very grave,” said Peters who recalls counting minute by minute the news on his little girl’s prognosis. The outlook was so bleak Roxann was given last rites.

Dorothy Halloran, Roxanne’s grandmother, remembers the phone call she received with news that the doctors had doubts whether her granddaughter would recover.

Immediately after the accident, Roxann’s family asked everyone for prayers for the child.

“Within hours, Father James Termyna (pastor of St. Clement) and Father Remigio Rocco (then pastor of St. Francis, Haskell, N.J., and now retired) a long time friend of the family were at the hospital to support our family. The Church just showed an outpouring of support for us,” said Peters.

While she was in a coma for two weeks and in intensive care for a month, slowly, Roxann was somehow pulling through and getting better proving to many that miracles are real.

Go here for the rest of the story.