Here are my observations on the news of the day.
IN THE NAME OF DIVERSITY – Until the capture and arrest of the latest Islamic terrorist, who used a truck to kill and injure people walking and riding bikes on a popular path in New York City, I suspect that most of you, like me, never heard of the Diversity Visa Lottery. Sayfullo Saipov came to this country from Uzbekistan via that provision.
The immigration aberration was the brain child of then Rep. Charles Schumer (D-NY), intended to take in people from countries that don’t otherwise send many immigrants to the United States. Each year, 50,000 visas are awarded to those countries at random. It is estimated that there are some 25,000 Uzbeks here.
President Trump singled out the program as a “Chuck Schumer beauty,” and announced that he would move to discontinue the program, favoring a merit based plan. While lottery winners make up fewer than 5 percent of the total legal immigrants, it’s wise to stop this activity, especially when some 80 percent of Uzbeks are Muslim.
The day after the terrorist incident, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio came to the microphones with their usual “New Yorkers are tough and resilient” speeches, stating that the Halloween parade would go on and people should go about their business. To do anything else would give the terrorists a victory.
A cadre of law enforcement officials were there, including the FBI. New York has perhaps the best police force and counter-terrorism force in the world, and yet Saipov was able to work under the radar. In 24 hours they were able to pull together a fairly detailed profile on the terrorist, but after the terrorist successfully did what he set out to do.
One thing seems clear. We are expected to look upon terrorist acts like the ones in France, Spain and now New York, as the new normal, and go about our business, taking time-out to place flowers, teddy bears and candles at the scene.
CANCELING YOUR TESLA MODEL 3 DEPOSIT? Don’t count on a timely refund. More than 10 percent of Model 3 preorders have been cancelled, even before the recent manufacturing problems came to light. Tesla holds an estimated $616 million customer deposits in the amount of $1,000; kind of an interest-free loan. While the company states that refunds will take up to three weeks, many have waited months and have even complained on Twitter.
DON’T GET EXCITED ABOUT THE TAX PLAN positives or negatives. It still has to go to the Senate, where the Finance Committee has been drafting its own plan, presumably while working with the House. Then it goes back to the House to work out details of the final plan. I know … it’s like making sausage.
THE ‘AMERICAN DREAM’ WITHIN REACH – Most people (36 percent) say their family has achieved the American dream, while 46 percent indicate that they are on their way to achieving it, according to Samantha Smith at the Pew Research Center. Only one-in-five (17 percent) say the American dream is “out of reach” for their family.
The American dream means different things to different people, however, far fewer Americans say “becoming wealthy” is essential to the American dream than say the same about personal freedom and good family life. Just 11 percent of the public say “being wealthy” is essential to their own view of it.
Whites (41 percent) are more likely than blacks (17 percent) or Hispanics (31 percent) to say they have achieved the American dream. But more blacks (62 percent) and Hispanics (51 percent) than whites (42 percent) say they are on their way to achieving it.