By Colin Powell... the general who thought that leaving Saddam Hussein and his sons in power after Gulf War One ended was a bright idea... the Secretary of State whose top aid (Richard Armitage) betrayed all ethical and moral standards... and finally... the "Republican" private citizen who supported and voted for Barack Obama.
* * *
Many years ago, after I had become a four-star general and then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Times of London wrote an article observing that if my parents had sailed to England rather than New York, “the most they could have dreamed of for their son in the military was to become a sergeant in one of the lesser British regiments.”
* IF ONLY POWELL'S PARENTS HAD SAILED TO ENGLAND! IF ONLY...!!!
Only in America could the son of two poor Jamaican immigrants become the first African-American, the youngest person and the first ROTC graduate from a public university to hold those positions, among many other firsts. My parents arrived — one at the Port of Philadelphia, the other at Ellis Island — in search of economic opportunity, but their goal was to become American citizens, because they knew what that made possible.
* THEIR GOAL... THEIRS...
Immigration is a vital part of our national being because people come here not only to build a better life for themselves and their children, but to become Americans.
* SOME DO. MANY DON'T. SURELY YOU'RE AWARE OF THIS, MR. SECRETARY, WHY NOT JUST... BE HONEST...???
With access to education...
* HEY... FOLKS... ABOUT THAT "ACCESS"... DID YOU KNOW THAT IT COSTS MONEY TO PROVIDE SCHOOLING (NOT TO MENTION ALL THE OTHER BENEFITS OF LIVING HERE IN AMERICA) TO IMMIGRANTS?
* FUNNY... I DOUBT POWELL WILL FOLLOW UP HIS REMARKS WITH AN ACCOUNTING OF WHAT LEGAL IMMIGRATION - LET ALONE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION - COSTS US.
...and a clear path to citizenship, they routinely become some of the best, most-patriotic Americans you’ll ever know.
* AGAIN. SOME DO. MANY DON'T.
That’s why I am a strong supporter of immigration-law reform: America stands to benefit from it as much as, if not more than, the immigrants themselves.
* HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!
Contrary to some common misconceptions, neighborhoods with greater concentrations of immigrants have lower rates of crime and violence than comparable non-immigrant neighborhoods, according to a 2015 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
* FOLKS... JUST READ THE SUMMARY AND TELL ME IF IT SOUNDS "FAIR AND BALANCED" TO YOU... OR IF IT COMES ACROSS AS SOME SORT OF MARKETING OUTREACH.
* IN ANY CASE... TO CONTINUE WITH POWELL'S OP-ED...
Foreign-born men age 18-39 are jailed at one-quarter the rate of native-born American men of the same age.
* SO... EXACTLY HOW MANY FOREIGN-BORN MEN ARE WE TALKING...???
* AND... WHY "MEN?" WHY ONLY "MEN?"
* AND... WHY USE "JAILED?" WHY NOT USE "ARRESTED?" HMM? WHAT ARE THE NUMBERS IF WE'RE TALKING "ARRESTED?"
* FOLKS... THESE ARE THE TYPES OF QUESTIONS THAT ANYONE VERSED IN STATISTICAL ANALYSIS - AS I AM - WILL ASK. (BUT OF COURSE THESE AREN'T THE QUESTIONS LIBERAL JOURNALISTS WILL ASK...)
Today’s immigrants are learning English at the same rate or faster than earlier waves of newcomers...
* UH-HUH. SO... WE CAN DO AWAY WITH BI-LINGUAL EDUCATION? WE CAN DO AWAY WITH BI-LINGUAL... EVERYTHING?
* SOMEHOW I DOUBT POWELL IS GIVING US THE UNVARNISHED TRUTH... THE TRUE STORY.
...and first-generation arrivals...
* WHAT ARE "FIRST-GENERATION ARRIVALS?" LEGAL IMMIGRANTS? ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS? BOTH...???
...are less likely to die from cardiovascular disease or cancer than native-born people.
* FREE MEDICAL CARE COURTESY OF THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER?
* SERIOUSLY... WHAT'S YOUR POINT, MR. SECRETARY?
They experience fewer chronic health conditions, have lower infant-mortality and obesity rates, and have a longer life expectancy.
* WOW! THEY'RE SUPER-HUMANS!
* I WONDER... DOES THIS PRESENTATION MATCH WHAT YOUR AVERAGE COP, EMT, NURSE, DOCTOR, OR FIREMAN WOULD TELL YOU?
* FOLKS... I'D HAVE TO GO OVER THE ACTUAL RESEARCH. ALL I'LL TELL YOU IS THAT... MY GUESS IS THAT POWELL IS SKEWING HIS PRESENTATION VIA RELYING UPON SKEWED - AND THUS MISLEADING - STATS.
My parents met and married here and worked in the garment industry, bringing home $50 to $60 a week. They had two children: my sister Marilyn, who became a teacher, and me. I didn’t do as well as the family hoped; I caused a bit of a crisis when I decided to stay in the Army. “Couldn’t he get a job? Why is he still in the Army?”
We were a tight-knit family with cousins and aunts and uncles all over the place. But that family network didn’t guarantee success. What did? The New York City public education system.
* SERIOUSLY... HE'S GONNA COMPARE HIS NYC SCHOOL SYSTEM - BACK THEN - TO TODAY'S...??? REALLY...??? WOW... I WONDER WHY THERE ARE SO MANY PRIVATE SCHOOLS IN NYC...
I’m a public-education kid, from kindergarten through to Morris High School in the South Bronx and, finally, City College of New York. New York University made me an offer, but tuition there was $750 a year. Such a huge sum in 1954!
* YES, MR. SECRETARY... 1954.
* FOLKS... THIS GUY IS FULL OF SHIT AND HE KNOWS HE'S FULL OF SHIT. THAT'S WHAT'S SO DISGUSTING.
I would never impose that on my parents, so it was CCNY, where back then tuition was free.
* NO, MR. SECRETARY, TUITION WAS NEVER "FREE." THE COST WAS FINANCED ON THE BACKS OF THE TAXPAYERS.
I got a B.S. in geology and a commission as an Army second lieutenant, and that was that. And it all cost my parents nothing. Zero.
* DID YOUR PARENTS PAY TAXES? (DO YOU UNDERSTAND BASIC ECONOMIC REALITY, MR. SECRETARY?)
After CCNY, I was lucky to be among the first group of officers commissioned just after the Army was desegregated.
* FOLKS... GOOGLE "WILSON + MILITARY SEGREGATION".
* FOLKS... NEXT GOOGLE "FDR + MILITARY SEGREGATION".
(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)
I competed against West Pointers, against grads from Harvard and VMI and the Citadel and other top schools. And to my surprise, I discovered I had gotten a pretty good education in the New York City public schools. Not only in geology and the military, but also in wider culture. I had learned a little about music, about Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” and theater and things like that. I got a complete education, all through public schools, and it shapes me to this day.
* I ATTENDED PUBLIC SCHOOL K-12 - TAXPAYER FINANCED. I THEN ATTENDED NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY... PARTIALLY FINANCED BY MY FATHER... LARGELY FINANCED BY... ME.
(*SPITTING ON THE GROUND*)
This amazing gift goes back to 1847 when the Free Academy of the City of New York was created with a simple mandate: “Give every child the opportunity for an education.” And who would pay for it? The citizens and taxpayers of New York City and State. They did it and kept at it when the Academy became CCNY in 1866, because they knew that poor immigrants were their children. They were the future.
* AND TODAY... 50 YEARS OF MODERN "LIBERALISM" HAVE BASICALLY DESTROYED THAT ONCE GREAT SYSTEM.
* IT'S TRUE. WE ALL KNOW IT'S TRUE. BUT... COLIN POWELL DOESN'T CARE. SAD. PATHETIC.
They still are. Today some 41 million immigrants and 37.1 million U.S.-born children of immigrants live in the U.S. Taken together, the first and second generations are one-quarter of the population.
* AND THIS AIN'T GOOD!
While some countries, like Japan and Russia, worry that population decline threatens their economies, America’s economic future vibrates with promise from immigrants’ energy, creativity and ambition.
* UH-HUH. OUR "VIBRATING" ECONOMY. OUR "VIBRATING" DEFICITS! OUR "VIBRATING" DEBT!
Every one of these people deserves the same educational opportunities I had.
* FIRST OF ALL... THEY'RE NOT GONNA GET IT BECAUSE THE LEFT HAS DESTROYED THE SCHOOLS; SECOND... ARE WE (YOU) TALKING LEGAL OR ILLEGAL ALIENS? HMM?
It wasn’t, and isn’t, charity to immigrants or to the poor.
* UM. YES. YES IT IS!
Those early New Yorkers were investing in their own future by making education and citizenship accessible to “every child.” They knew it — and what a future it became!
* AGAIN. MR. SECRETARY. IT'S NOT 1954!
We still have that model. But today too many politicians seem to think that short-changing education...
* HA! HA! HA! YEAH... SURELY IF ONE LOOKS AT WHAT AMERICA SPENDS UPON EDUCATION ONE WILL SEE LITTLE "SHORT-CHANGING."
* SERIOUSLY, FOLKS... POWELL IS A FAKE, PHONY FRAUD. PERIOD.
...will somehow help society. It does not. It hurts society.
We need people who know that government has no more important function than securing the terrain...
* I WISH! (SOMEHOW I DOUBT SECRETARY POWELL IS REFERRING TO SECURING OUR BORDERS...)
...which means opening the pathways to the future for everyone, educating them to be consumers, workers, leaders — and citizens.
We are all immigrants...
* NOT ME, DUDE. (INDEED, NOT YOU!)
* HE'S JUST... SO... FULL OF SHIT!
...wave after wave over several hundred years. And every wave makes us richer: in cultures, in language and food, in music and dance, in intellectual capacity.
* NOT THIS WAVE. CLEARLY NOT THIS WAVE. WHO DOES THIS CLOWN THINK HE'S FOOLING? SERIOUSLY...?!?!
We should treasure this immigrant tradition, and we should reform our laws to guarantee it.
In this political season, let us remember the most important task of our government: making Americans.
* "FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGED" AMERICANS, MR. SECRETARY?
Immigrants — future Americans — make America better every single day.
* EXCEPT THE ONES WHO... DON'T.