How Immigration Destroys Our Freedom
mass raids of London homes and the arrests of scores of persons for “hate-speech” remind us that diversity, though advanced in the name of freedom, inevitably results in a radical loss of freedom. This is because the large-scale admission of culturally incompatible groups into a democratic country inevitably leads to conflicts which, since they can’t be bridged through normal political processes, must be suppressed, or at least managed, by the state. This management takes the form of laws against so-called hate-speech that are enforced almost exclusively against the majority. Ultimately, politics itself—the free discussion of the public good—must be banned, since such discussion will inevitably revolve around those same unresolvable ethnic and cultural divisions which threaten social peace.
In this connection, VFR readers might be interested in a speech I gave several years ago at a conference of the Carrying Capacity Network, an environmental group that also supports immigration restriction. What follows is an abridged version of the talk.
How Immigration Destroys Our Culture and Our Freedom
Carrying Capacity Network
November 1, 1997
If we want to understand the effects of mass immigration on our cultural and moral environment, and many of them have already been discussed today, we need to realize that immigration is not simply some external force transforming our culture from without, which it certainly is, but that there is something within our culture that opened us up to this mass immigration in the first place, something that continues to render us incapable of restricting it in any meaningful way even when we begin to realize its catastophic effects.
This flaw in our culture can be grasped by reference to environmentalism. We all understand that human power over the earth must be constrained if the eco-system, and civilization itself, is to survive. I was once flying in a small commuter plane over Los Angeles County, and looked down and saw a vast suburban development, stretching out in every direction, interspersed with beautiful hills, but there were wide asphalt roads going up and over those hills, cutting into them like monstrous scars, and I thought to myself: All right, they needed to build houses in this area, but did they also need to mutilate those hills? I was struck by a sense of the demonic nature of human desire and power when they are not held back by any sense of limits. As I will argue, this unconstrained human expansiveness that has spoiled much of our natural environment has deeply harmed our cultural and moral being as well, and ultimately taken away our ability to preserve our nation in any recognizable form.
Any genuine community or culture is formed by a network of restraints, voluntarily obeyed and mutually enforced by all. These restraints derive from respect for realities above and beyond ourselves, whether it be our family, our country, our God, a shared sense of right and wrong, an allegiance to a cultural tradition and identity, or, on a more mundane level, the simple obligation to conduct ourselves decently and not bother other people. It is common allegiance to these things, embodied in authoritative institutions and sacred symbols, that forms the substance of a culture. The essence of Western culture has always been freedom, but freedom in balance with the principle of order and restraint that derive from God.
But over the last several decades the restraints that once formed our culture have been shattered. Now we have a liberationist culture based on absolute personal freedom, the denial of truth and decency, and indifference to standards. If that seems an extreme statement, it is only because we have grown insensibly accustomed to conditions that to previous generations would have been unimaginable. We can all think of examples of sleazy behavior and speech, the transgressive attitudes that have now become the accepted norm in the schools, on television, in sports, and in our whole culture, including the White House. But this unsettled postmodern culture we’re living in also has a so-called conservative side. This so-called conservatism consists in the view that America is not a nation with historical limits but rather an ideological project to re-construct the whole world in the image of American-style democracy and free-market capitalism. Left and right complement each other. The cultural left believes in unlimited personal and sexual expression in a world without norms; the so-called right believes in unlimited economic opportunity in a world without borders. What left and so-called right have in common is a sense of limitlessness, of an unrestrained will to freedom. And one of the correlaries of unlimited freedom is unlimited pluralism.
Left and right work together, not only in dissolving the American nation, but in exporting our ideology of radical freedom and pluralism to the rest of the world, whether we are self-righteously imposing mulculturalism on other countries, with sometimes genocidal results (as happened when we supported the independence of a Bosnian state containing a Muslim majority and a Serb minority that would never accept living under Muslim rule), or disseminating to Western and non-Western cultures our mass entertainment with its demoralizing and deracinating effects. In Hungary, land of an ancient civilized culture that even survived Communism, young men now wear baseball caps backward and T-shirts hanging outside their pants, in the manner of black American thugs. Young Salvadoran immigrants who served prison sentences in the U.S. and were then deported, have brought gang violence back to El Salvador, along with baggy outfits and hip-hop language of Los Angeles youth. The “values” that America is so proudly exporting to the world are those of anti-authoritarianism, pop-culture nihilism, and promiscuity.
Instead of living in a social order where human appetite is restrained by a higher good, we now live under the rule of appetite. Free-market open-borders “conservatism” is the ideology of the rule of appetite as much as is the ideology of personal liberation. The desire to “express yourself, to “be all you can be,” to “live the American dream,” are all expressions of this. We do not honor the virtues of reason, courage and temperance, and we certainly do not honor the person who seeks truth; we honor the successful fulfilment of appetite. A man of infinite appetite and zero conscience is the natural leader of such a society.
Open immigration is also a symptom of this rule of appetite. How can we oppose mass immigration, when, as it is said, “The immigrants are coming here to work,” “They’re seeking opportunity,” “They’re trying to better themselves,” “The economy needs them,” “They’re expanding our population,” “They’re making up for our birth dirth,” “Immigrants are making us stronger,” “They’re enriching us with their diversity,” or—as is being said more and more frequently—“Racial intermarriage is creating a new American people, beautiful and wise”? All these slogans, which control contemporary debate, are expressions of the values of appetite, the desire for endless expansion constrained by no higher truth and by no allegiance to a culture, a people, a way of life. Of course, this means in practice that the people who clamor the loudest about their appetites—such as big business, ethnic interest groups and universalist ideologues, get their appetites fulfilled, while the rest of us, who limit our own desires and demands, look on helplessly. President Clinton perfectly expressed the combination of spiritual and material greed that drives our immigration policy when he said in a speech a few weeks ago that immigrants from all parts of the earth are “coming here to redeem the promise of America,” and that the diversity brought by immigrants is “our meal ticket to the 21st century.” A guarantee of redemption and a meal ticket in one package—that’s the American mind for you!
Having granted maximum freedom to our own desires, with no higher principle or allegiance guiding them, we also give maximum freedom to the desires of everyone else on the planet—their desire to come here by any means they can, and their desire, once they get here and their numbers keep increasing, to remake our country in their image. Thus our open-borders policy vastly intensifies the cultural and moral nihilism that gave birth to it. As a direct consequence of immigration, we are experiencing, not only the increasing presence of alien customs and standards, but their growing influence, their growing acceptance, the forbidding of any discrimination against them, and finally, the granting of special privileges to them.
Some people will say the loss of national identity, symbols, history, observances, language, moral and legal standards, and even just the experience of being at home in our own country, doesn’t matter, because America is not defined by any particular culture but by freedom. But a nation defined only by freedom, and not by an actual culture, will inevitably lose its freedom as well.
This loss of freedom has several aspects.
First, the diversity that has come into existence through our ideology of total freedom disenfranchises everyone who doesn’t particularly like diversity. Commenting on the working class whites in Philadelphia who felt surrounded and threatened by an influx of Asian immigrants, but did not have the means to move elsewhere, and who were further upset when a white teenager was murdered by an Asian youth gang, a sociologist told the New York Times: “America has become a diverse country and everyone is going to have to be a part of this diversity whether they want to be or not.” If you want to have a career in multicultural America, you have to embrace diversity in your conduct, in your business decisions, in your speech, in your inner thoughts and feelings, simply because the society itself has become so diverse that there is no escape from it.
Second, immigration, based on unlimited individual freedom, also brings the inevitable growth of group rights and privileges and different sets of standards, and thus the loss of individual freedom. The conservatives believe that group rights are just a bad ideology generated by the left, but the truth is that when a democratic society consists of two or more widely disparate groups, with disparate identities, the demand for group rights becomes almost inevitable.
Third, the freedom that we’ve given to cultures that don’t honor freedom destroys freedom. When Iran put out a death sentence on immigrant author Salman Rushdie for blaspheming Islam, Muslims in England demanded that Rushdie’s book be declared in violation of British laws against blasphemy. When it was pointed out to them that those laws only covered blasphemy against Christianity, a delegation of Muslims lobbied the government to extend the blasphemy laws to cover Islam as well, and the Archbishop of Canterbury agreed with them.
As the numbers of Muslims grow in the West, we will inevitably lose our freedom to say anything critical about Islam. The publication of a list of terrorist organizations in America, ordered by President Clinton, was delayed for a year because of 12 organizations on the original list, ten of them were Arab, and the government was afraid of seeming anti-Muslim. So the list was expanded to 24 organizations, including groups no one had ever heard of such as a Bosque group and others.
Finally, the free immigration of peoples from alien cultures destroys our own freedom to criticize or restrict immigration itself. I once asked John Vinson of the American Immigration Control Foundation why people who wrote letters to AICF’s newsletter were often identified only by their initials. What do they have to be afraid of, I asked. In response, Mr. Vinson sent me a copy of a letter he had received from a person in Riverside County, CA., who wrote: “I do not sign my name this time… . I and many Anglos live in fear and intimidation. Increasingly in southern California, anybody sending letters to the editor about capping legal immigration and stopping illegal immigration is receiving threatening telephone calls, tires are being slashed, and other forms of violence.” The writer added that local libraries do not carry any books critical of immigration because all such books are immediately stolen from the shelves. As the number of immigrants and particularly of Hispanics increases, so will this sort of intimidation.
Meanwhile Republican leaders are retreating even from enforcing the laws against illegal immigration, so as not to be called racist by Hispanics. The conservative columnist Robert Novak wrote in 1997 that if the GOP did not vote to allow Central American illegals to remain in the U.S. while they become legalized, that would justly be seen as a sign that the Republicans wanted a “lily-white” America—as though such a thing were possible at this point. This sort of comment shows the never-ending power of the racist charge. Even after America’s historic white majority people have, in the name of diversity and inclusion, voluntarily given away their country, they’re still accused of being racists. Even more remarkable, they’re still afraid of being called racists. In any case, Republican fear of the growing Hispanic vote has effecitvely given Hispanics, or those who speak in their name, a large measure of effective control over U.S. immigration policy.
The lesson is that before a host country decides to open its doors to foreigners, that country is free to discuss whether it wants these people or not. But once the foreigners have entered en masse and become our fellow citizens, the host country loses that freedom, because to say that we shouldn’t have more of these people is now seen as attacking one’s own fellow citizens.
I should point out here that this is not just a problem of the post-1965 immigration, but goes back to the descendants of the Ellis Island immigration. It was the descendants of those immigrants who redefined America as a “nation of immigrants,” and declared that it would therefore be selfish and immoral to restrict future immigration. But this should make us question the very idea of mass immigration from different cultures.
As I write in my pamphlet, Huddled Cliches:
The uncompromising pro-immigration stand of various ethnic organizations, ranging from the American Jewish lobby to the newly formed Asian American Association, presents an even more pungent irony. If all descendants of immigrants, particularly of ethnically diverse immigrants, have a hereditary obligation to crusade for open borders, then as soon as a nation lets in any diverse immigrants at all, it has spawned a domestic pro-immigration lobby that will (1) work incessantly to expand the numbers and power of its own group; (2) agitate to expand immigration generally; and (3) deny the society any moral right to restrict future immigraiton. If those are the rules of the game, if immigrants are destined to become colonial occupiers, then what rational society would want to admit any immigrants?
For us, that question may only be academic at this point. We have already imported a diversity that no one can now criticize or escape, even as that diversity continues to displace us and our culture.
This may happen through balkanization and ethnic conflict, or through a continued grinding down of our cultural and moral essence by a quasi-totalitarian multicultural regime, even in the midst of great prosperity. Either way, very little of what we Americans once were will remain, indeed much of it is already gone.
How can I speak this way in this nice hotel, in this magnificent city, in this ever-more wealthy country? Life is going on, very comfortably for many of us. But as a friend said to me recently, the fact that life goes on doesn’t mean that our culture hasn’t been destroyed.
Since I’m addressing an environmental group, I’d like to end on this point. I have sometimes heard ecologists claim that the Bible is the source of our environmental woes, because in the Book of Genesis God gave man dominion over all the earth. This is a very dangerous mistake. The same Biblical passage in which God gives man dominion also states: “And God created man in his own image and likeness … Male and female he created them.” Since we are made in God’s image, Christianity and Judaism tell us that we cannot do whatever we please. It was not the belief in God and in traditional Christianity that unleashed human arrogance upon the earth and the ecosystem, but the modern rejection of God and traditional Christianity. It was the elevation of man and his desires into a god which wrought so much damage both on our natural environment, and, even more disastrously, on our culture.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 14, 2002 02:53 PM | Send
All true and I have liked your letters and articles for Commentary.
I’m not totally convinced that this is a good example. Rather, I’d suggest the reason for the conflict in the first place was the lack of integration on the part of immigrants, combined with the actions of an overzeolous govt.
In terms of limiting speech, it will be curious to see if the US Homeland Security Bill, can also be turned against any who criticize the govt?
What integration does is tell A and B that neither can do things in the way they’ve worked out and become accustomed to over time. Instead for the sake of unity they have to come up with some new way each must accept that is unlikely to fit either very well. Why is that — in general — a good thing? Wouldn’t it be better to avoid creating situations that force that on people as a necessary remedy for conflict?
Jim Kalb asks very reasonably, “Wouldn’t it be better to avoid creating situations that force that on people as a necessary remedy for conflict?” Of COURSE it would, Jim! But don’t you get it??? Doing it that way wouldn’t allow the Liberals to feel Ohhhh sooooooo morally superior to everyone else!!! DON’T YOU SEE??????? You CAN’T deprive them of their only chance to feel like somebody in life, rather than the pathetic nobodies they really are!!!
Don’t be THAT mean, Jim!!
Perhaps we’re using different definitions of integration. By integration, I’m meaning assimilation, whereby A (immigrant) does the changing…and hence the need for a consistent and thorough system of educating/indoctrinating immigrants into their new society.
Also, I was wondering if you could point me to a post on your stance on immigration for a read? I ask, because I’m not sure if you’re saying you’re totally opposed or in favor of limited (depending on social, class, job, education, race, etc) immigration.
Mr. Jesus Gil says, “In terms of limiting speech, I will be curious to see if the US Homeland Security Bill can also be turned against any who criticize the govt?”
Neither Mr. Auster nor anyone who is truly on Mr. Auster’s side wants to limit speech. Nevertheless, Mr. Gil is right to raise that question as a more general concern — he is as right to raise it as our side is to protest against our own muzzling when done by the other side.
In this spirit, I’ll add that I was a little concerned at something Daniel Pipes wrote in this article of Nov. 12th, entitled “Profs Who Hate America” (same article at both URL addresses):
Mr. Pipes wrote,
“The time has come for adult supervision of the faculty and administrators at many American campuses, [who may make outrageous pro-enemy statements in time of war]. Especially as we are at war, the goal must be for universities to resume their civic responsibilities.
“This can be achieved if outsiders (alumni, state legislators, non-university specialists, parents of students and others) take steps to create a politically balanced atmosphere, critique failed scholarship, establish standards for media statements by faculty and broaden the range of campus discourse.”
Alumni and others calling for more political balance on campus, as David Horowitz (www.FrontPageMag.com) is doing, EMPHATICALLY YES AND IT’S ABOUT TIME AND LONG OVERDUE — THIRTY-FIVE YEARS OVERDUE, TO BE EXACT!! Critiquing idiotic leftist scholarship, ABSOLUTELY YES, MORE OF PRECISELY THAT IS NEEDED — MUCH MORE!! Broadening the range of campus discourse, again EMPHATICALLY YES, by means of seeing to it that the Left cannot continue to keep non-Leftist professors from being hired, and in other ways.
HOWEVER … What made me feel uneasy was Mr. Pipes’ wording in two spots: 1) “The time has come for adult supervision of the faculty and administrators …,” and 2) “[This ‘adult supervision’ of university faculty] can be achieved [if university outsiders] … establish standards for media statements by faculty … “
I hope Mr. Pipes’ wording is not a call for censorship using our “being at war” as justification.
The left has a greater moral responsibility than the right to vigorously denounce what the London Metropolitan Police Diversity Directorate did, because the Diversity Directorate is a creature of the left. The left is behaving disgracefully in not fulfilling this responsibility. Let not our side commit the same moral lapse by failing to question those on our side when the need arises.
Mr. Gil’s notion of integration strikes me as a fiction. Assimilation is slow and doesn’t just work one way. That’s especially true when there are many new arrivals so they can establish their own communities.
Even if you dispersed immigrants by force so they couldn’t establish their own communities assimilation would work both ways. Culture is mostly unforced and unstated and so can’t help but be affected by newcomers, especially those who in a very few years will have to be treated as equal citizens if they so choose and make a minimal effort. If they’re here they have to be dealt with as they are. And in any event culture can’t be made a matter of explicit statement and formal indoctrination without becoming something quite other than what it was.
Unadorned’s comment that the liberals’ motive is to allow them to feel morally superior to everyone else is interesting in light of the standard liberal cliche, often voiced by former President Clinton, that when white people show a concern about black crime, or express any other un-PC view, their real motive is the need “to look down on others.” Is it possible that, like so many other charges that liberals make against non-liberals, that this is a projection onto conservatives of what the liberals really feel themselves?
So just to clarify my previous post, and I think you answered it, you would propose a total end/closure to immigration.
And I seem to remember from other posts, that this has nothing to do with economics, rather it would be willingly accepting the fact that a nation with closed borders runs a very serious risk of being left behind economically. So with that in mind, how or what would you propose to maintain the “economic motor,” and perhaps more specifically how would you convince others that feel the crimp in their pockets, that this is a needed measure.
As always, respectfully
I oppose continued large-scale immigration to the United States and haven’t spent time fine-tuning the view. I don’t see though why even an absolute cut-off would noticeably injure the economic interests of those already here. Why do you think it would?
It’s late Saturday, and just logging on (my mind is a bit tired right now) and I admit I’m still going through figures as well, but most of the items that I’ve seen so far, suggest that countries with closed borders suffer not only from a lack of workforce (i.e. existing workers, middle class refusing to do menial labor), but also there being a danger of new ideas arriving to help in technological advances, etc. NOt to mention possible trade barriers raised, etc. Carrying out that a bit, it would suggest that it’s possible the standard of living for a population could drop, in comparison to other countries with a more flexible border policy.
Again, this is a bit rough, and I’m still going through various articles, etc. on subject.
FYI, you’ve probably seen in November’s Economist, there was a interesting section (I dont know if its on the web) that deals with some alternatives, i.e. temporary visas, charging for immigration, maintaining a certain status quo percentage of population to immigrant.
Steve Sailer’s take
( http://www.vdare.com/sailer/could_win.htm )
on a big part of what makes the California Democrat Party favor massive incompatible immigration:
“The Democrats favor mass immigration because more immigrants means more poor Democratic voters, which increases the population, which creates more sprawl, crowding, and pollution, which increases the pressures for more environmental regulations, which Democrats favor, which means more affluent, tree-hugging voters vote Democratic. Got that? Well, then, you’re almost unique. Obviously, the Democrats’ positions are contradictory. But as long as the GOP is terrified of talking about immigration, it can’t point that out.”
I wish to request that Mr. Jesus Gil put this in his “lack of workforce, lack of technological ideas arriving, increased trade barriers, and drop in standard of living” pipe and smoke it.
We have lots of people and different sorts of people in the U.S. already. It’s true it would be advantageous to some people now here to bring in additional workers to provide more competition to those at the lower levels already here, or in some cases to save the trouble of educating and training American workers. It’s not clear to me though why that would be to the advantage of most people. Plainly it would have the effect of exacerbating economic inequalities and otherwise reducing social cohesion, which I think would be bad politically.
The “menial jobs” issue strikes me as a non-problem. If it’s important to get something done, cutting the grass or whatever, 300,000,000 people are going to find some way to get it done. Even before the modern immigration era began in 1965 it was possible to get menial jobs done here. It’s true that if there are lots of unskilled immigrants (many of them here illegally) they will cluster in some occupations and depress wages and working conditions so that natives won’t be willing to work there. That doesn’t seem to me an argument for immigration though.
We have lots of ideas here and we can get more through all the cross-border contacts that don’t have much to do with people coming here to be permanent residents under (in Mr. Gil’s view) an obligation to assimilate. In any event, immigrants haven’t been a main source of major technical and economic advances here. And trade barriers are a different issue.
Mr. Gil should consider the economic costs of immigration. In addition to higher social welfare costs, increased crime and so on (there have been studies of this sort of thing — maybe a search of http://www.vdare.com/ would turn some up) there are the strictly economic costs of “diversity” — for example, antidiscrimination programs that interfere with efficient personnel policies, and that reduce cohesion and complicate informal cooperation within enterprises.
I’ve been checking out the sites of Steven Sailor as you suggested, but is there any particular reason - other than he’s the “founder” of the Human Biodiversity Institute? Is there some other sites that I should be reading…
Also, a question to Unadorned? Is there some reason you are so rude? Have I called you names? Have I insulted you? I’m not offended, just trying to figure out what’s with you. I’m just posting asking questions, as I thought that’s what this site was about. But in general, your responses always seek to go to a personal level. In fact, your tendency to label people makes me suspect that you’re really showing your liberal colors by trying to smear all the rest of us here who are interested in having a serious dialogue and exchange of ideas.
In regard to what site you should be reading, I think you should start with the one you’re posting on right now — “View From the Right,” at www.Counterrevolution.net/vfr . It’s one of the top three or four on the internet and is the one for you — the one you need most. My recommendation would be to read every word in the archives by every author posting articles on the site, then continue to keep abreast of VFR’s ongoing contributions to normal as opposed to degenerate/totalitarian thought.
In response to your second point, I skimmed back and saw where I called leftists hypocrites, liars, disgraceful, and narcissistic. On reconsidering, I find I can’t retract anything. (Check out Ann Coulter’s latest book.) I also recall a certain Mr. Jesus Gil calling people xenophobes and saying they could only be acting out of fear when they protested against being ethnically-cleansed by forces whose ethnic hatred made Hitler’s, Adolph Eichmann’s, and Alfred Rosenberg’s pale in comparison.
You can’t mean, can you, that only one side gets to use irony, sarcasm, and — where warranted and richly-deserved — frankness?
Excuse for saying, but I never once brought up Adolph Eichmann, nor Alfred Rosenberg. Nor, did I bring up Hitler in the terms that you perhaps suppose. What I said (or tried to say), was Le Pen and Haider are not good examples, as they do have their roots - or are sympathetic - to the National Socialist, Nazi party. I too like frankness, and I too don’t like PC terms. I’m sorry that it offended you to hear me suggest that these two weren’t good examples, and I know that in modern day dialogue one is never supposed to mention the “Nazi” word…but the fact of the matter is, it’s very apt in the case of these two individuals to identify there political leanings (is there a PC word that I should use to describe them?), something that I’m sure you can appreciate. Does that make me a liberal for calling a spade a spade? Don’t think so, I probably would have called it a “shovel.”
And with respect to these gentlemen, yes, I do say they are xenophobic, with respect to calling you that, I apologize. Please accept my apologies.
Go to Le Pen’s party’s web-site and read its platform. You’ll find nothing there expressing sympathy for Hitler or the Nazis. I’m actually in the process of translating the whole thing into English (the site’s own English version of the platform is anemic compared to the one in French).
It may have been Dan Seligman who said in National Review some years ago that an ethnic group isn’t morally obliged to disappear or change into some other ethnic group merely in order to prove it isn’t racist.
If groups trying to preserve themselves from ethno-cultural extinction keep getting called Nazis for that, no dialogue is possible — your side has already declared them to be beyond the pale.
I’m very glad your children are trilingual — that’s a wonderful way to start them off in life, and it’ll be a great advantage for them later, not only in terms of career choices, but simply in terms of personal broadmindedness. You, their mom, and they, are to be congratulated on that.
However, just as is the case with heiress Pat Stryker who wants her daughter to learn Spanish, the fact that your children are multi-lingual is no reason to erase any of the world’s cultures or ethnicities, or to consider the preservation of any to be less important. If anything, it is a reason to respect each culture all the more.
Put that in your “Nazi” pipe and smoke it.
Just an update on the issue of free speech in Britain.
A Mr Robin Page was arrested and taken to Cambridge police station after making a speech to the Countryside Allliance. His crime? He said:
“I urged people to go on the march and I urged that the rural minority be given the same legal protection as other minorities. All I said was that the rural minority should have the same rights as blacks, Muslims and gays.”
It seems that it’s now illegal to even request procedural equality, or to challenge the liberal oppressor/oppressed dichotomy.
Also, a Mr David Wilson has been jailed for four months in a Glasgow prison. He distributed a leaflet which challenged British immigration policy by pointing to crimes by Muslim youth in the area.
The diversity police are getting serious in Britain.
Another note on free speech in Europe: it appears that the Swedish parliament has given final approval to an amendment to the Swedish constitution making it illegal to say bad things about homosexuality. (This is from correspondence — I couldn’t find the text of the amendment or indeed a news story confirming that final approval had been given.)