Address problem of illegal immigrants locally

To the editor:

Monday’s Review-Journal article by Sean Whaley on the 200 new laws that took effect on July 1 was a sad reflection on the complete lack of urgency, exhibited by our state lawmakers, concerning the devastating effects of our bulging illegal alien population.

Though Nevada ranks 10th in the number of illegal aliens (240,000 per a 2005 U.S. Department of Homeland Security study) our state and local politicians have succumbed to the big money business interests and the pro-illegal immigration lobbies.

Remember, every illegal alien hired by local businesses, be they large or small, is subsidized by the taxpayers. Though Nevadans might save a few dollars on what cheap labor brings, it is more than offset by spiraling costs for educational, health care, public safety and jail services.

Because our federal government has completely dropped the ball on protecting this country’s sovereignty, it is time for our state legislators and local government officials to emulate such proactive states as Colorado and Georgia in passing legislation to get a handle on our illegal alien problem.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a sheriff in Clark County who could earn the title of “America’s Toughest Sheriff”? Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., presently holds that title for his tough, innovative policies in upholding the law and having a positive impact on the illegal alien crime problem in his jurisdiction.

The next time our sheriff says he doesn’t have the manpower or space to apprehend illegal aliens who commit identity theft and other apparently non-crime crimes, think tent cities and 40-cent bologna sandwiches.

John J. Erlanger

LAS VEGAS

Live free

To the editor:

Steven Greenhut’s superlative commentary on American freedom that appeared in this past Sunday’s Viewpoints section is rife with a certain mal du siecle. His statement that “the history of mankind is a history of tribalism, violence, war, pillage, enslavement, dictatorship and totalitarianism” pays utter disregard to the countervailing opinion that what separates man from the animals is a certain “striving” — or as Georg Hegel eloquently wrote, our “struggle for recognition.”

In effect, a soldier in battle rolls over a grenade to save not only his fellow comrades in arms, but also to preserve the ideals of his social order, to secure the freedoms he ideologically strives to pass along to future generations. We are not blank slates gaining knowledge based on experience and bound to become war-mongering creatures because we live in a world of hate. Rather, we identify with ideals that motivate or encourage us to consider the context of our lives.

History will show that what we find most compelling about ourselves is the importance of our social lives, the regard we have for each other, and the “other directedness” of our lives. We storm hills in battle not for the sheer delight of gaining territory but to secure the ideals accorded to freedom and the other self-evident truths. Happiness is not a commodity sold on the open market at a price, but rather an ideal, a state of mind that opens doors to discovery. What we need to consider most is that with our freedoms we gain a deeper and more refined sense of our humanness. We can choose to explore the universe from star to star, but also learn as much from exploring the behavioral territory that lies within.

Freedom is best thought of as an “urging,” a psychological craving that has motivational significance. It has moved armies before our time and will continue to do so long after we are gone. What was perhaps overlooked by Mr. Greenhut is that our government has exacted prices for this freedom because other people are not inculcated with the same appreciation of self-discovery. In fact, we are quickly finding that other cultures are not imbued with a sense of purpose that can match our own highly energized and productive lives.

Many cultures have already shown their glib deference to our freedoms, their basic “wanting” (in a Keynesian economic sense) of what freedom provides without paying an appropriate tariff or making any sacrifice. The American experience of freedom is our raison d’être, and has extended and improved the quality of our lives far beyond anything created in most other parts of the world.

We should also note that the concept of freedom driving our lives has not been altered since its original inscription and elaboration in the Declaration of Independence. It has merely changed in the context of the present world; modified as part of the “other directedness of our lives.” We live free in America because of the sacrifices we make. And while these sacrifices may sometimes come home in body bags, in the end we all agree it is worth the price to live and die free.

Lawrence M. Scheier

LAS VEGAS

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