Thursday, April 20, 2006

Semper Fidelis

From the official U.S. Marine Corps website:

Semper Fidelis was adopted about 1883 as the motto of the Corps. Taken from Latin, it means "Alwas Faithful." But it is more than just a motto for Marines, it is a way of life. It is a commitment we all share to our country, to our Corps, and to each other. This is why there are no ex-Marines, only former Marines.

Thanks for the Memory to Trouble at Dubious Wonder.

If you're unclear on what that statement at the Corps website means, if you don't get it, if you want a glimpse of the kind of sacrifice and commitment and camaraderie that's embodied in the phrase "Semper Fidelis" (or "Semper Fi" for short), go read these twelve pages.

Done reading? Now do you get it?

It's all there: the faithfulness to their country even if it means dying (Lincoln's "final full measure of devotion); the faithfulness to each other even beyond that death ("Instead, he found himself faced with an assignment that starts with a long walk to a stranger's porch and an outstretched hand. It continues with a promise steeped in the history of the Corps that most people associate only with the battlefield: Never leave a Marine behind"). And it goes beyond that -- there's a faithfulness being displayed in these stories that is obvious, but that the USMC site modestly overlooks: The Marine Corps is, in return, faithful to its Marines, and to their families.

Semper Fidelis. Always faithful. Not just to each other, but to a country that sometimes repays that fidelity with scorn. That is why, when it comes to those in our military, this lifelong civilian has adopted for himsef a motto based on the Marine Corps motto: Semper Memoralis.

Always Grateful.

Quote of the Day

Thanks for the Memory to Anna at A Rose By any Other Name.

"People can be divided into two classes: those who go ahead and do something, and those who sit still and inquire, why wasn't it done the other way?"

Oliver Wendell Holmes

"All Things Being Equal" Only Applies When All Things ARE Equal

Thanks for the Memory to Hans Gruber at Advocatus Diaboli.

On Monday, Steve Sailer wrote an excellent piece in rebuttal to an article in the New York Times regarding the impact of illegal immigration on wages in the US.

The article in question looks at the change in averages wages of high school dropouts in California from 1984 to 2000 and compares that change to Ohio during the same time period. Because the change is far more significant (17% in California vs. 31% in Ohio), the article concludes that such unskilled labor is far worse off in Ohio than in California, and thast therefore, the impact of illegal immigration is far less.

But as Sailer points out, the article makes a couple of glaring omissions. For one, it fails to take into account differences in cost of living. California's cost of living is one of the highest in the nation, while Ohio's is below the national average. Adjusted for cost of living, underemployed Californians are far worse of than similar Ohioans.

Furthermore, the NYT article ignores other dynamics that may have had an impact on Ohio -- namely, the loss of high-paying Union jobs in Ohio, as opposed to California, a traditionally less unionized state.

I'm no economist, but it seems obvious even to me that it was disingenuous of Porter to ignore the other dynamics that affected the statistics, and I remember just enough of my statistics class to know that taking one state to compare is cherry-picking.

But as both Sailer and Hans Gruber point out, such considerations seem to be ignored when discussing issues of immigration, whether it's out of a fervor for supporting illegals, as Hans asserts, or out of a disdain for the American working class, as Salier claims (I suspect it's a combination of both). The Times has its mind made up -- don't confuse it with facts.