August 19, 2011
Statue of Liberty interior to close for yearlong renovation
By Jonathan Allen
NEW YORK: The Statue of Liberty will undergo a yearlong safety make-over, temporarily closing its interior to visitors at the end of October on the 125th anniversary of its dedication….
May 13, 1985
A Rich Lesson In Citizenship
It`s always poignant when a boatload of half-starved Haitians tries to land in this country, only to be turned away because they don`t qualify.
But that`s the way our immigration laws are written. Not just anybody can become an American.
People can`t come here only because they want to improve themselves economically, as the skinny Haitians do.
If that were the only qualification, half the hungry world would be streaming into this country.
Thus, we have the limited immigration quotas, most of which have long waiting lists. And we take some people who are fleeing communist tyranny. (If you happen to be fleeing from a right-wing tyrant, you have a real problem.)
We also admit people who have a skill in short supply here. That`s how many foreign doctors and nurses made it.
So I`m a little puzzled by the matter-of-fact way Rupert Murdoch announced that he intends to quickly become a citizen of this country.
I don`t see how Murdoch qualifies.
For one thing, he`s not fleeing communism or any other form of tyranny. He`s already a citizen of Australia, which is a very nice, freedom-loving country. He`s treated with great respect in Australia because he`s rich and powerful, and anybody who doesn`t treat him with respect will feel bad in the morning.
Nor does he have a skill that is in short supply. By profession, Murdoch is a greedy, money-grubbing, power-seeking, status-climbing cad.
Since when is that skill in short supply? Stroll along Chicago`s LaSalle Street or New York`s Wall Street, and you`ll see thousands of greedy, money-grubbing, power-seeking cads.
Just read the financial pages. It`s all corporate raids, greenmail, hostile takeovers and other forms of modern-day piracy. If John Dillinger were alive, he`d put away his pistol, get an MBA, and if he could pull off a big enough heist, he`d be invited to join the best clubs.
So why does Murdoch want to become a citizen?
For the very same reason that those rejected Haitians and all the Mexican illegals want to come here – except on a much grander, greedier scale.
He`s already incredibly rich, but he wants more and more. That, in turn, will allow him to exercise more and more political influence.
Now, you might think that a man who is already one of the richest, most powerful men in Australia, and who owns newspapers and magazines all over the United States and in England, would be content with his bottom line.
But not Murdoch. Hundreds of millions aren`t enough. He wants billions. He wants all he can get, and then some.
To get it, he`s set out to buy a chain of TV stations in some of America`s major cities, creating his own network. That way, he will make even more money while tinkering with the minds of the viewers.
But a sensible law stands in his way. Because of the potential of television to scramble, shrink or soften our brains, only an American citizen can own more than a minority interest in a TV station.
And because of that restriction alone, Murdoch says he is going to become a citizen of this country.
Well, that doesn`t seem fair. If a Haitian on a leaky boat can`t come here to improve his pitiful economic condition, why should a bloated millionaire be welcome? And for the opportunity to earn a living, the Haitian would be willing to sweep stables, behead chickens or clean toilets. Murdoch? His approach has been to fire American workers and break unions in order to increase his own cash flow.
We might also consider the question of character, of which Murdoch has little.
For one thing, he is a proven ingrate. His willingness to switch national loyalties establishes that. If you had more money than you could ever spend, would you consider giving up your American citizenship just to add to the pile?
But Murdoch is willing to wave goodbye to Australia, because he`s already taken as much as he can out of his homeland. And in England, where he also wheels and deals, the antimonopoly laws frustrate him.
He`s also a proven liar. Only 18 months ago, when he bought the Chicago Sun-Times, he vowed to improve the paper and said he was making a journalistic commitment to this city. Some commitment. He promptly trashed and gutted that once-fine paper. And now he`s casually put it up for sale because he wants to switch to the TV business.
Finally, why would we want to give citizenship to somebody who has contempt for Americans? In his heart, if such an organ exists, Murdoch thinks we`re boobs. That`s why he publishes boob-mentality newspapers. He thinks that`s all we can understand. And he hires only Australian or English editors because he thinks American editors don`t understand what boobs Americans really are.
So if Murdoch is allowed to become a citizen – while we`re turning away people who are running from death squads or starvation – then we should make one small change in the plans to renovate the Statue of Liberty.
Get rid of the torch. Just have the lady hold up her hand – with the middle finger extended.