September 2006 Archives
The Post had a good article the other day on the sea change in focus on solving the illegal immigration problem. Earlier this year, nearly every local elected official blew off questions about illegal aliens by saying "it's a federal problem."
Lately, not so much:
But that accommodation for the burgeoning illegal population ended abruptly in April, when the Mecklenburg County sheriff's office began to enforce immigration law, placing more than 100 people a month into deportation proceedings. Some of them had been charged with violent crimes, others with traffic infractions.
The program takes one of the most aggressive stances in the United States toward illegal immigrants, and officials in scores of communities, including Herndon and Loudoun County, have been considering adopting their own version. The House earlier this month was weighing a measure "reaffirming" the authority of local law enforcement agencies to arrest people on suspicion of violating immigration laws...
Besides Mecklenburg, six other state and local law enforcement agencies have started similar programs in recent years. A dozen more are being worked out with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. And in the past three months, hundreds of state and local departments have inquired about similar efforts, said Robert J. Hines, who heads the program for the ICE.
"When you are removing the criminal element from the community, it's hard to point a finger and say it's a bad thing," Hines said.
Loudoun County Sheriff Stephen O. Simpson said his department is considering participating....
There are valid reasons to argue that any crackdown on illegal aliens creates a humanitarian dilemma. Certainly it does.
But there is also the humanitarian dilemma of American citizens who have seen their jobs eliminated or wages slashed by companies that have recourse to the cheap labor offered by illegal aliens. It's happened in Loudoun County, where construction, contracting and general blue-collar occupations have been downgraded by the influx of illegal workers.
Anyone remember what happened after Hurricane Katrina? Problem in a nutshell: The local black population got screwed because the companies doing the rebuilding saved some bucks by using illegal workers. More here.
The other humanitarian problem is our neighborhoods. It's nice to cut the people from other countries a break. It's not so nice when this is the result.
Thanks Joe. I had fun with "Amnesty week." School-related work is piling up, so I'm going to have to stop taking so many study breaks! So as we head toward November I'd like to leave everyone with one final message:
ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US!
Immigration enforcement training under section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act for state and local law enforcement officers provides an important and necessary tool to help our public safety officers protect our communities. After receiving approximately 4 1/2 weeks of ICE training, state and local police and sheriff's deputies have the authority to help enforce U.S. immigration laws.
Numerous jurisdictions in the U.S. are already participating in the program. Following is a list of links to information about counties, towns, cities and states currently participating or considering it.
To start with,
here is an excellent overview of how the program works.
From the ICE Web site: initial participants were the Los Angeles County City Jail, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and Alabama State Police.
Tomorrow I'm off to my favorite city in Virginia and I won't be back until Sunday so in the event that Amnesty Week is over I would like to thank a very gracious Joe and the members of this forum for trusting me with access to post here. I wish I'd taken more advantage of my time and posted more thought out and interesting material but like our fair Executive Branch, hindsight is 20/20. I might squeak one more in tonight but in the event that I don't, thank you.
According to USA Today, "House districts held by Republicans are full of married people. Democratic districts are stacked with people who have never married."
Making the unscientific assumption that children are more likely to follow their parents' political philosophies and "Weltanschauung," the demographics don't look good for the Democratic party. Never mind that the evangelical Christians are breeding like... uh, well, breeding like Catholics. Meanwhile, married Democrats seem to favor a woman's career over childrearing.
One liberal friend of mine did break the mold, though. She has five children, and was a stay-at-home mom. Oddly enough, she was also instrumental in making homeschooling legal in Virginia. Of her four adult children, only one has had children (2), and she married a very conservative, Hispanic Navy man.
It does seem that the Democratic Party may be in demographic difficulty. However, there are a couple of bright spots. The first is the retirement of the Baby Boomers. As this generation passes into retirement, they will start collecting Social Security, and they will be joining Medicare. In general, those dependent on government largess, such as those on Welfare, Social Security, and college professors, tend to vote for Democrats, while those footing the bill tend to vote for Republicans. So as the Baby Boomers retire, they can be expected to vote more Democratic. However, all things pass, and so will the Baby Boomers, as they age beyond the capabilities of modern medicine.
Another bright spot for the Democratic Party is the immigrant wave. Many immigrants are poor and uneducated. Most of the poor and uneducated vote Democratic. Perhaps this is one reason the Democrats oppose closing the U.S.-Mexico border, and favor amnesty. The flip side of this argument is that the vast majority of those immigrants are also Catholic, and so generally oppose many tenets of the Democratic party, such as abortion and gay marriage. Perhaps this is one reason some Republicans (W) oppose closing the border and favor amnesty.
Union membership has also been in decline for years, and a large number of the union members who remain also oppose many of the planks of the Democratic platform, notably gay marriage, abortion, and gun control.
In any event, things don't look good for the long-term prospects of the Democratic Party.
In September 2000, an article was published by the think tank, Project for a New American Century (PNAC) called Rebuilding Americaâ€™s Defenses. The article calls for a visionary transformation of the nature and function of the American military, with the goal of establishing a â€œPax Americana.â€ In discussing the difficulty in promoting their agenda to the American people, the authors wrote:
Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event â€“ like a new Pearl Harbor. Domestic politics and industrial policy will shape the pace and content of transformation as much as the requirements of current missions.It does not follow from this statement that these people were in any way involved in the 9/11 attack, however it does speak to the fact that they felt they stood to gain from such a â€œnew Pearl Harbor,â€ which would act as a catalyst in speeding up the implementation of their agenda. PNAC, a voice of the neo-conservative movement, was founded in the mid 90â€™s to promote a global Pax Americana. The signatures of the groups mission statement include Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Chaney, Bill Kristol, Lewis Libby, and Jeb Bush among others.
Most of the people involved with PNAC were, directly or indirectly, students of a political theorist names Leo Strauss. Strauss was a German Jew who fled to America during WWII. His theories developed into a critique of what he felt was an inherent tendency of Western society toward nihilism. He believed that the classical philosophers has understood correctly that, while no higher authority than man actually existed, for the sake of a smoothly-run society it was essential for the masses to have religion. As one article puts it:
Plato benevolently conceived of such a system in order to establish a stable social and moral order and to make the most of the capacities of individuals to serve the community. He was not concerned that the lie he told was false. If the people believed that god put different metals into the souls of different people then they would accept the social order that resulted from this and live in a stable and socially just society. Its claim to social justice would come from a willingness to promote or demote people according to their ability. Even less palatably to us now, Plato also suggested that people be taught the myth that different classes have different metals in their bloodstream, and therefore should not intermarry.
The noble lie is a religious myth told to the people to motivate them to do what is good and right. Without this religious belief they would not behave in a good fashion even if this was what was ultimately in their best interests. It was no use explaining to them why they should behave well because they would not understand. Plato did not have a very good opinion of the ordinary man or woman. He thought mankind should be ruled by super-intelligent Guardians who would know what was right to do. Ordinary people could not rule because they could not be trusted to do what was right. Democracy, said Plato, is the rule of the mob.
Strauss incorporated the idea of the â€œNoble Lieâ€ into his political thought and teaching, and we can see itâ€™s application today. Perhaps the PNAC neocons, who are now heavily represented in the Bush admin., felt the country was ebbing toward a self-destructive nihilism when they constructed a â€œnoble lieâ€ for all of us: that the US isnâ€™t just another superpower poised to expand its power and influence, but that America had a solemn duty to spread â€œfreedomâ€ across the globe. And since God gave us that freedom, anyone who disagreed with us was in opposition to God. Through Bush, theyâ€™ve won over religious groups by couching their noble lie in religious overtones:
the day after 9/11, the President first stated the position he would continue to maintain: "This will be a monumental struggle of good versus evil, but good will prevail." Later Bush defined his enemies as the "axis of evil," a term that is theologically and morally loaded. â€œGiven that state of sublime innocence in his own country, like Adam and Eve in paradise, Bush can muster only one explanation for the terrorists' hatred of his nation: "There are people who hate freedom." In other words, they are so evil that they abhor the good because it is good. (But if the terrorists hate freedom, why have they not attacked Canada, which in some respects is more democratic than the United States? Why is there not the same hatred for Switzerland, Holland or Costa Rica?)http://www.thenation.com/doc/20031222/stam
Rather than just exploiting religionâ€™s potential to be an â€œopiate of the masses,â€ this noble lie is a double edged sword: it gave the people an idea to rally behind; a raison dâ€™etre for post-cold war America, as well as justifying the invasion of Iraq and the radical transformation of the American military which PNAC had called for.
In a press conference yesterday, Bush complained that a leaked report which concluded that the war in Iraq has increased the terrorist threat. He claimed that the reportâ€™s leak was politically motivated, and that it would â€œcreate confusion in the minds of the American peopleâ€ Confusion? To the countryâ€™s leadership, the truth is dangerous. Despite all of the rhetoric about Freedom and Democracy, at the heart of the â€˜Bush doctrineâ€™ is a neoconservative contempt for the masses and democracy, an idea that the people can by manipulated through their religion, and the notion that lies are necessary because the masses canâ€™t handle the truth.
Well, I for one have had enough!
The Bridgeport, New Jersey Borough Council is reviewing the IIRA/English Only bills . An initial vote to advertise the measures passed 7-1 on each, indicating both would pass on a formal vote.
Details below the fold.
Newton, New Jersey is suffering from an illegal alien population that is causing problems for the legal residents:
Diglio also claimed the growing number of illegal immigrants is to blame for the increase in crime in Newton. He felt the financial strain put on taxpayers and the town was unfair, since "illegal immigrants don't pay taxes, but their kids go to our schools; they use our hospitals, but have no insurance, which makes them wards of the state which taxpayers pay for in the end." Diglio stated he has "respect for legal immigrants, [he] only has a problem with those illegal who are breaking the law."
Newton is considering a version of the IIRA/English Only ordinances
BVBL reports that the Manassas City Council is considering ICE training for local law enforcement personnel, and the Prince William County Board of Supervisors is talking about this issue. Greg notes:
The opportunity to address this problem has never before been so ripe.
Truer words were never spoken. This is our best and last chance to address this issue. We need to have all of the local jurisdictions on board.
Riverside Township, New Jersey, is another community which recently passed the IIRA/English Only bills.
Note: If your town or neighborhood is suffering the ill effects of a growing illegal alien population, follow the link above and send those two pieces of model legislation to your local elected officials - but also be sure to read the note which states you should also get input from IRLI before attempting to pass these as local ordinances.
THE MORE JURISDICTIONS THAT PASS THESE ORDINANCES, THE BETTER.
DON'T WAIT TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS WITH THE HAZELTON LAWSUIT. THE PRO-ILLEGAL ALIEN LOBBY'S RESOURCES ARE FINITE.
The details on Riverside, including the illegal aliens' claim that "Riverside is going to be ours", which should get EVERY legal citizen of America's attention, are below the fold.
While San Bernardino and Hazelton took the tack of pushing for the IIRA/English Only ordinances, a tack many jurisdictions followed (as will be shown on this page), the town of Herndon, Virginia had another problem to solve, first.
The problem was a day labor center for illegal aliens, which the Herndon Town Council approved over the protests of a great many Herndon residents. The local citizens' group Help Save Herndon got active and helped get the mayor and council voted out of office as a result.
Most recently, the NEWLY-ELECTED town government just voted to seek ICE training for local law enforcement personnel.
Herndon is in the process of finding a more comprehensive solution to its illegal alien problem (below the fold):
Carpentersville, Illinois, Trustees have initiated an effort to pass the IIRA and English Only acts passed by Hazelton, Pennsylvania.
A growing population of illegal aliens has had a negative effect on the town:
â€œI have been following what other villages and communities have been doing around the country to try and find a solution to the problem,â€ Humpfer said. â€œWe want to make it more difficult for illegal immigrants to live in the village. That is the extent of it.â€
Two main issues â€” crowding and a spike in public safety costs â€” prompted Humpfer to take action on the measure.
Legal residents of the village are unfairly shouldering health care, educational and other expenses of illegal immigration, Humpfer said.
â€œOur need for officers with special training and equipment has increased with the growing gang problem in the village, and thus has increased the cost of this service to the village,â€ he said. â€œThe need for public safety services increases when we have people living in the shadows of society who are using village services.â€
Although details are not finalized, Humpfer said the police department would likely enforce the ordinance. He said landlords could face fines while business owners could lose licenses, in addition to being fined.
The latest news from Carpentersville is below the fold.
Hazelton, Pennsylvania, was the first jurisdiction to pass the Illegal Immigration Relief Act (IIRA) authored by Joe Turner for San Berndardino, California. Hazelton reworked the original bill to make it easier to defend against challenges by the ACLU and others, by breaking into two parts. One is the IIRA, and the other is the English Only ordinance for local government.
If you are concerned about illegal aliens in your community, one of the first steps you should take is to send both of these model ordinances to your local elected officials.
Also, read this note from the Immigration Reform Law Institute:
The model ordinances are intended to be generic models, potentially adaptable by local governments anywhere in the United States. As such they still require important modifications to conform to the requirements of local and state laws, which can vary greatly from one jurisdiction to another. For a local government that is considering adopting one or both of these models, it is essential that a local government representative, ideally a local attorney representing that government, contact IRLI at email@example.com and Pro-English at firstname.lastname@example.org as far in advance as possible, to discuss critical technical issues in confidence. Improper implementation of a local immigration relief ordinance could expose a local government to legal liability, including civil rights claims.
San Bernardino's ordinance is in legal limbo because the signatures gathered to place it on the ballot in November have been challenged. Hazelton's action is described below the fold:
This is the first in, God willing, a REALLY long list of reports on local jurisdictions that have decided to implement measures to make their communities less inviting to illegal aliens.
The key problems caused by the massive influx of illegal aliens into the U.S. over the past seven or so years are: overcrowded houses and other zoning violations that diminish the quality of life in neighborhoods and cause property values to tank; businesses gaming the system by hiring workers under the table to increase profits and undercut bids by legal contractors; and skyrocketing public costs for safety, health services and education caused by the illegal aliens' impact on crime, hospitals and schools.
These first few articles cover the story from a national perspective. Dozens of communities have acted within the past month to curb the problem. When local bodies lead, our national "leaders" will follow:
We all know that the Social Security program is heading for trouble. According to the SSA, the trust fund will be exhaused in 2040. However, the trust fund is a myth. Currently, we pay more in FICA taxes than is paid in benefits. The surplus goes into the "trust fund," which holds nothing but government bonds. The amount we are overtaxed goes into the general fund in return for those bonds. As soon as that surplus becomes a deficit (in 2017 by current projections), the Social Security Administration will have to start redeeming some bonds. That money will have to come back out of the general fund, which is already several trillion dollars in the hole.
Any business owner who tried to set up a similar retirement system for his employees would soon find himself playing golf in a government-run country club.
The real problem with Social Security is that we are, as a nation, getting older. Our medical advances have increased our longevity, and we are, on average, having fewer children. The result of this aging is that the ratio of working-age people to retirees is expected decline drastically. Now that the problem is identified, the solution is obvious: freeze that ratio.
Here's how it would work. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 12.4% of the population was 65 years old or older. So, let's assume that when the 2010 Census is released, we find that the oldest 12.4% is over 65 years and 10 months. Then in each of the next ten years, we raise the retirement age by one month, and repeat the process with the next Census.
The real beauty of this solution is that it only has to be passed once.
"NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, on the issue of terrorism, I agree with Dr. Ben-Ami's definition. It's the indiscriminate targeting of civilians to achieve political ends. That's a capsule definition, but I think for our purposes it suffices. What does the record show? Let's limit ourselves to just the Second Intifada, from September 28 to the present. The period for that period, the record shows approximately 3,000 Palestinians have been killed, approximately 900 Israelis have been killed. On the Palestinian side and the Israeli side â€” I'm now using the figures of B'Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories â€” on the Palestinian and the Israeli side roughly one-half to two-thirds of the total number were civilians or bystanders. And if you look at the findings of the human rights supports â€” B'Tselem, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights in Israel, and so forth â€” they all say that Israel uses reckless indiscriminate fire against Palestinians, and B'Tselem says when you have so many civilian casualties, you have, you know, 600 Palestinian children who have been killed, which is the total number of Israeli civilians killed. 600 Palestinian children killed.
They said when you have so much, so many civilians killed â€” I don't particularly like the phrase "collateral damage" â€” when you have so many civilians killed, B'Tselem says it hardly makes a difference whether you are purposely targeting them or not, the state has responsibility. So, you could say Israel â€” using numbers, now â€” is responsible for three times as much terrorism in the Occupied Territories as Palestinians against Israel. That's the question of terrorism.
Let's turn to an ancillary issue: the issue of torture. Now, the estimates are, up to 1994-1995, that Israel tortured â€” and I'm using the language of Human Rights Watch and B'Tselem â€” Israel has tortured tens of thousands of Palestinian detainees. Israel was the only country in the world, the only one, which had legalized torture from 1987 to 1999. The record on torture, on house demolitions and on targeted â€”
SHLOMO BEN-AMI: 1999 is when we came to office.
NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, I wish that were â€” I wish that were the saving grace, but . . .
Another school hostage-taking and shooting. Fortunately, only the gunman died this time, although he did shoot one girl.
Do we ever hear of Palestinian terrorists attacking an Israeli school? No, because the teachers in Israel are armed. Why aren't ours?
Well, I have done it! I have been banned from Equality Loudoun's blog! (Jonathan says I'm banned; David says I'm "moderated.") You can go to their website if you'd like to see the whole exchange, with the exception of my last post, which they deleted. (You might also peruse their other posts, just to see how many comments they get without me.)
The bottom line is that they do not want to hear the truth. The truth that they do not want to hear is that the majority of Americans consider gay sex a sin, and do not want their government to condone it, and it doesn't matter whether the homosexuals are "committed" to the person with whom they commit their sin. (In my deleted comment, I did mention that some of the homosexuals do realize this, and so are trying to take over churches, such as the Unitarian and Episcopal churches.)
The Town Council of Herndon, Virginia voted 6-1 last night to seek federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency training for certain town police officers to enable them to perform "certain functions of an immigration officer." Herndon is the first town in the U.S. to officially approve a request for the ICE training, and it is also the smallest of the 6-8 jurisdictions in the nation that have sought such capabilities for local law enforcement personnel.
The ICE training program is a provision of a 1996 amendment which added section 287(g) to the Immigration and Nationality Act. 287(g) authorizes the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to enter into a written Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with state and local government agencies to authorize qualified personnel to question and detain individuals for potential removal from the United States if the individuals are identified as illegal aliens.
The 287(g) program is extremely significant because it allows the local police to help enforce U.S. immigration laws. Dozens of jurisdictions throughout the U.S. are considering or hacve already implemented this program or others related to immigration enforcement at the local level. Currently, many U.S. jurisdictions do not check the legal residency status of persons detained for criminal violations. This has resulted in situations where illegal aliens detained for crimes have been freed or released on bail even though they were in in this country illegally at the time.
This action by the Herndon Town Council amounts to another huge victory for the local citizens' group Help Save Herndon, which provided a detailed report on the 287(g) program to the Council and Herndon Town staff. Help Save Herndon gained international recognition in May, 2006, when its grassroots political efforts succeeded in turning out almost the entire town government over a day labor center which had been created against the wishes of a majority of the town's legal residents. Help Save Herndon's successes can be viewed as the first shots of the current political revolution in America.
The Iraq Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 which was founded in 1991 to promote democracy and economic prosperity in Iraq and the Middle East, has every reason to play up the death count from the Saddam regime. Not that they would overestimate, but they have no political reason to underestimate. An article on their website says this:
Since then, Mr. Hussein's has been a tale of terror that scholars have compared to that of Stalin, whom the Iraqi leader is said to revere, even if his own brutalities have played out on a small scale. Stalin killed 20 million of his own people, historians have concluded. Even on a proportional basis, his crimes far surpass Mr. Hussein's, but figures of a million dead Iraqis, in war and through terror, may not be far from the mark, in a country of 22 million people.
The First Gulf War was short enough to keep civilian casualties relatively low. Between 200 and 2,300 civilians were killed during the fighting, mostly in air raids.
Estimates of the impact of sanctions vary. The Iraqi government claims that 1,500,000 people died as a result of the sanctions. While that estimate is likely to be higher than the reality, an article in CNN sites a UN report which puts the death toll from sanctions at around 1,000,000. Children under 5 account for a disproportionate number of these deaths:
The United Nations estimates 1 million Iraqis, mostly children, have died under the sanctions. The Al-Thawra newspaper gave a higher death toll, claiming 1.5 million people have died as a result of the embargo.
The DoD has famously said that it doesn't keep track of civilian deaths in Iraq, but www.iraqbodycount.net puts number at between 43,000 and 48,000. This number is based on American and Iraqi news sources, as well as the various wire services. A breakdown of these numbers can be found here.
Some may say that Saddam is to be held responsible for these deaths, particularly the ones caused by sanctions. This is a matter of perspective, and a strong argument could be made to support this point of view. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, the US had the power and influence to end the ineffective sanctions and save innocent lives, yet it did not.
We might expect to hear a louder protest to the loss of innocent life on a massive scale coming from members of the pro-life movement, who have voiced strong opposition to the use of stem cells in potentially life-saving research. Why people who call themselves pro-life can get bent out of shape over a lump of cells while remaining utterly silent, or even supportive, of a policy which has caused the death of more than a million innocent people is speaks either to the collective ignorance or hypocrisy of the pro-life movement.
While this movement as a whole has failed to mobilize in any effective way in the issue of the US policy toward the Middle East, some elements within the pro-life community have spoken out, and their message, thankfully, has not been in support of the War. In an article for the Center for Christian Nonviolence, Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy writes about how war inevitably leads to abortion as misplaced persons who are pregnant are faced with few alternatives. He says:
Mass abortions are the necessary and one hundred per cent inevitable consequence of modern war. Morally, that which a person is certain will occur if he or she makes a particular choice represents a choice for which he or she is responsible before God. A person cannot morally claim he or she does not intend abortions that are certain to take place, by claiming he or she only intends to improve the mother's bodily health or the health of the body politic.
To sum up in the simplest terms possible, one cannot be both pro-life and pro-war.
Anyone watching Monday Night Football on ESPN? This is a pretty tootin' good football game. New Orleans hasn't been much in the past but they are impressive. They have about a quarter left to keep Michael Vick and the Falcons down.
Everything considered, it's pretty cool to see N.O. dominate.
Like a Phoenix-S'mores rising from the ashes, NOVA TownHall Amnesty Week continues it's remarkable car crash-like march into the annals of blogospheric history. Rumor has it at some point this audacious, tornadic movement will actually result in a new post on this very page.
In the meantime, it is my distinct pleasure to welcome a longtime commenter and one of the top 10 people I'd like to share a taxi with, our good friend and frequent gadfly, the man who has evolved beyond "liberal" to a place in the ideological spectrum that can only be mapped by positing a fourth dimension, he'd sooner roast you than rebut you, the big guy himself...
Stay Puft Marshmallow Man
All kidding aside, it is a friendly gesture for both Stay Puft and Kevin to even entertain the idea of posting here and I appreciate it immensely. We all have lives away from our computers. Even if they are too busy to do much they are both hereby awarded the Amnesty Week Certificate of Appreciation in honor of their good intentions.
Not good for Hillary.
I just saw a portion of Bill Clinton being interviewed by Chris Wallace and all I can say is our former president is losing it. Does this topic touch a nerve or what!
The overall impression is of someone who cannot discuss the issue rationally and all the elements are there: Defensiveness, ad hominem attacks, deflecting blame, changing the subject.
Now that the transcript is out, this will get some traction.
CLINTON: But at least I tried. That's the difference in me and some, including all the right-wingers who are attacking me now. They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try. They did not try. I tried.
So I tried and failed. When I failed, I left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy and the best guy in the country, Dick Clarke, who got demoted.
So you did Fox's bidding on this show. You did your nice little conservative hit job on me. What I want to know is ...
WALLACE: Well, wait a minute, sir.
CLINTON: No, wait. No, no ...
WALLACE: I want to ask a question. You don't think that's a legitimate question?
CLINTON: It was a perfectly legitimate question, but I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked this question of.
I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked, "Why didn't you do anything about the Cole?"
I want to know how many you asked, "Why did you fire Dick Clarke?"
"They had eight months" probably is not a compelling argument, because "you had eight years" is the rebuttal that will come into everyone's mind.
According to a French intelligence leak, Osama bin Laden died on August 23. This is just my speculation, but I've been saying he's been dead, seriously ill, or very deeply hiding for quite some time.
My reasoning is this: Research on bin Laden has consistently shown him to be a man of conceited pride. His audio and video recordings have shown us he is not one to pass credit on to his subordinates. Late last year, without any obvious explanation, his number two man, al Zawahiri, began making the al Qaeda tapes. Prior to this, al Zawahiri had always been in the background, behind bin Laden, with his mouth shut.
Why the change in spokesman? I believe that if bin Laden is alive and well, he's hiding so deeply that he is incapable of running his organization.
[Editor's note: I am un-posting this for Kevin. He should have the opportunity to fine-tune his posts. Kevin, repost and kill this editorial if you wish.]
Our first new contributor under the provisions of the NOVA TownHall Amnesty Act will be Kevin of Dismantling Leviathon.
Dismantling Leviathon is one of the most wickedly clever blogs I've run across, the logical thread of which is so ingeniously subtle that it truly takes a mensa to follow it. When you figure it out, you will cackle with glee. If you are NOT a mensa, however, you may run into some problems. Just enjoy the pretty pictures, then.
Amnesty Week may shape up like so many of my previous ventures as a complete and total wash out, especially following the events of yesterday morning. Ahem. But Kevin is one of the first I invited and (he does not even know this yet) I may just make him a permanent guest blogger here. His stuff is simply too noggin-scratching good.
Mainly, he brings a new attitude to NOVA TownHall, a certain freshness which we have been lacking. I'm going to post his first post under his name, and I think you'll see why I had to hurry the protocol to get this fellow in play.
I think part of the reason I am so open-minded is because of where I was raised. A few blocks over from our neighborhood in New Jersey, literally on the "other side of the tracks," there was a community of lefties that I had to walk past every day going to and from St. Agnes Catholic School.
"Who are all the people who live in those funny houses?" I remember once asking my mom - I was probably in first grade at the time - "with the front doors right NEXT TO the car ports and the downspouts all feeding off to the left?"
"Those are the left-handed peoples' houses, honey," she said to me, "They build them that way because it's easier for them to get around in."
Then my dad called in from the other room "Don't you go talkin' to any of them 'Lurches' on your way home, you just walk straight home from school, y'heah?"
My mom scolded him as she often would and said to me, "Don't ever use that word. Just because people favor their left hand doesn't mean they're any different than you or me. They can go on to lead remarkably productive lives. President Coolidge was left-handed: Don't ever forget that."
Now, so many years later, I still live by those words.
Just a few years ago I even hired a lefty. I walked into the conference room where he was completing the aptitude test and quickly averted my eyes (like I always do).
The rest of the interview was barely strained at all, save for me consciously trying to avoid using the words "right" or "left" and ultimately I hired the fellow. After we bought the appropriate furniture for his office he worked out just fine.
I have found that giving directions is my biggest challenge when interacting with lefties. I just hate to use the words, I don't know why. So I tend to say things like "when you get to Blossom Boulevard turn towards the big water tower on the far side of town" or "go to the first traffic light and take a turn in the direction of your gas pedal." It works out pretty good, I must say. But sometimes I just have to break down and give the directions in Spanish.
If anyone has any edifying or heart-warming stories about your personal interactions with the "differently-handed" folks, please pass them along. I think there are some lefties in the world feeling a little bit left out and who could use a little love right about now.
Ah, I've been too busy to really blog, as most of you know, and the result has been a bunch of slap-dash posts with a serious mini-essay or two inserted on the very rare occasion. I try to give my best when I can and, when not, to at least give some food for thought which may be from another person's picnic basket.
The day job's a killer, but it's all that's keeping me from the hoosegow.
Tonight, I'm working on a bigger project which with the clock already reading "hour of the wolf" probably won't be completed before my face crashes, as usual, into the keyboard until daybreak.
But I feel the NOVA TownHall Blog is about one post short of its weekly quota, and I have therefore summoned all my strength and will to deliver the final capper to the week. After scouring the Internet far and wide - scaling the heights, plumbing the depths, dropping into the bottle clubs and circumambulating the journeymen philosophers - I finally got something.
In deference to my good buddy Zimzo, I will once again grab the reliably trenchant top story from the number one news service on the Web.
According to this week's Loudoun Easterner, Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio is working to prevent a reocurrence of the Labor Day gas leaks, as well as seeking reimbursement for the cost of the emergency services provided that day.
While this accident did take place primarily in Sterling, this is an issue that affects the entire County of Loudoun. What are the other supervisors doing about it?
I've talked to a number of elected officials over the last week or so on the issue and there is a strong interest in coming back to this issue and proposing some solutions. They are of course concerned about ongoing litigation and being the nail that sticks out for the ACLU to focus on if and when they should take these matters up again.
Fortunately, it seems that more localities are considering changes in zoning ordinances, which presents the interesting scenario of having multiple jurisdictions working on this simultaneously. If that were to happen, these few but noisy organizations likely to protest will not be able to focus all their attention on one locality, which improves the liklihood of passage in all of these localities.
The key here is to have citizens keep the pressure on, as those who are interested in moving forward need evidence of citizen concern in order to drag their less motivated peers along. Localities need to feel the heat, and it's the elected officials on the right side of this issue that are hoping we can deliver on this.
Right now the illegal immigration apologists are on the run. If we fail to take advantage of this situation, the negative side of that old adage of "you get the government you deserve" will inevitably apply.
One additional point: The resources of ACLU and the various 'coalitions' are finite. The full list of jurisdictions (coming soon, here) contemplating action on illegal aliens should embolden each of those jurisdictions to move forward without delay.
"Riverside is going to be ours."
Our towns and neighborhoods are the magnets for illegal aliens, because our local governments have not been enforcing zoning regulations already on the books and have turned a blind eye to employers who procure business licenses and then proceed to violate numerous laws and regulations by hiring workers under the table.
The problem of illegal immigration must be solved by local jurisdictions pulling out the welcome mat and enforcing public safety and health rules. When local communities lead, national elected officials will follow.
The residents of Culpeper, Virginia are experiencing the downside of illegal immigration firsthand:
[A resident] addressed Council stating the issue is multi-family use of single family dwellings and was not about defining family. She noted when she moved to her neighborhood, she understood it was a low density, single family area. [She] stressed how the law is supposed to protect all people. She stated she did not want to discriminate â€“ it is a matter of law. She stressed how she believed Council should protect her, her home and neighborhood as well as everyone else. [She] noted the blight in her neighborhood affects her property value and the new assessments. She believed it was a matter of enforcing the law concerning single home dwellings and that Council should forget about defining â€œfamilyâ€ and enforce the law.
Many municipalities are dealing with the same issues:
Mayor Lou Barletta of Hazleton, Pa., estimates that as "many as half" of the estimated 10,000 Hispanics who were living in Hazleton when it passed an ordinance in July to punish those who hire or house illegal aliens have since left the city.
"We've been notified by some 30 other cities in the United States that are waiting to process such ordinances," he said yesterday in an interview.
In Valley Park, Mo., 20 immigrant families disappeared virtually overnight from a high-crime apartment complex, and at least dozens quickly left Riverside, N.J., this summer when those two small towns passed laws cracking down on employers who hire illegal aliens and landlords who rent to them.
Legislation enacted this week in Suffolk County, N.Y., bars contracts with employers who hire illegal aliens, and a measure that would closely resemble the one enacted in Hazleton will be considered next week in Altoona, Pa.
"Our purpose was a matter of public safety, since there was too much overcrowding and a serious fire" in a house filled with illegal aliens, said Mayor Charles Hilton of Riverside, a blue-collar town of 8,000 on the Delaware River that enacted its ordinance in July.
The situations in Hazelton and Riverside parallel what is happening throughout the country, and every legal resident should be informed about where this is going.
"For every immigrant who feels afraid and leaves Riverside, we are going to find an immigrant to volunteer to come live in Riverside," the Rev. Miguel Rivera, president of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders, said Friday.
"They will be staying at the homes of Brazilians."
And they and other Latinos will be working to obtain mortgages and purchase homes, Rivera said, with the help of at least three banks that his organization is speaking with.
"Instead of tenants, there will be owners," he said, noting that citizenship is not required to purchase property in the U.S.
"Riverside is going to be ours," he said.
If ceding your neighborhood and jobs to illegal aliens does not sound like such a hot idea, check back here often over the next two weeks. We will be presenting some concrete proposals that American citizens can bring to their elected officials to nip the problem in the bud at the local level. And if it is past the 'bud' stage, we'll be working to help you nip the whole damn thing off.
President Bush will sign the bill to construct 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border if it is approved by the Senate, the White House said, as Congress continued yesterday drafting more legislation to combat illegal immigration...
Late yesterday, Democrats finally agreed to allow the bill to be taken up.
The House, meanwhile, approved a slew of new bills to speed the deportation of illegal aliens, outlaw tunneling under the border and close loopholes that allow criminal aliens to be released into the U.S...
The most contentious immigration legislation approved by the House yesterday was a 277-140 vote to give state and local law enforcement more authority to combat illegal immigration. Also, it would close a decades-old loophole that bars federal officials from placing illegals from El Salvador into "expedited removal proceedings." The provision, adopted during El Salvador's 1980s civil war, means that suspected illegals often are freed back into the U.S. to await deportation proceedings but never heard from again.
The vast majority of Republicans in the chamber were joined by 62 Democrats to approve the changes in policy.
The House also overwhelmingly approved a bill to allow federal officials to detain illegals for more than six months if they are awaiting deportation. The same bill also would bar illegals from obtaining political asylum if they are found to be part of a "criminal street gang." That bill passed on a 328-95 vote.
A third bill passed without objection and would close a loophole in current federal law. The Border Tunnel Prevention Act of 2006 would criminalize the construction and financing of border tunnels with criminal penalties of up to 20 years' imprisonment for persons who knowingly construct or help finance an unauthorized tunnel across a U.S. international border...
60-plus House Democrats signing on is a fantastic sign there could be a hint of light at the end of the tunnel.
More cowbell, please.
This will be a continuing series. (Understatement of the year).
BVBL does a pretty spectacular job exposing Jeanette Rishell's ties with the illegal alien advocacy crowd in Virginia, in particular the DC area Zapatistas:
So who are the Zapatistas? Their actions speak pretty clearly:
* December 1992: kidnapped collective farmer Mariano Encino, from Atamira township, who was tortured to death.
* March 1993: kidnapped two military officers in San Isidro El Ocotal, Chiapas. Their remains were found in March 1993, with signs of having been mutilated by an electric chainsaw, burned, and buried in graves covered with lime.
* Jan. 1, 1994: armed uprising, proclamation of the â€œDeclaration of the LacandÃ³n Jungle,â€ in which they declared war on the Mexican Army and Executive branch. The municipal seats of San CristÃ³bal, Ocosingo, Las Margaritas, and Altamirano, were seized by force.
* January 1994: Bombing of the Plaza Universidad shopping center in Mexico City.
* January 1994: dynamite attack, overturning electricity towers in MichoacÃ¡n and Puebla.
* January 1994: failed rocket attack on the Number One Military Camp in Mexico City.
* September 1994: EZLN declared YajalÃ³n and Simojovel as â€œautonomousâ€ municipalities, and banned any presence of the national or state government (eliminate health and education services) and anything related to â€œthe presence of the white man.â€
* December 1994: EZLN returned to seize the municipal offices of Simojovel with armed commandos.
* February 1995: Farmer Gustavo Mar Kanter is kidnapped, tortured, and murdered by quartering.
Read it all.
The Republicans are bad on ending illegal immigration. Really bad, I will grant you. The Democrats are 15 billion times worse, however, about the difference between a lightning bug and the Sun.
Here's the political lay of the land. We want the Republicans to maintain their majorities in the 2006 elections. Otherwise, the Democrats and RINOs are going to sell this country down the river forever. They will open the borders and that will be the end of the American middle class, among other things.
Immediately after the 2006 elections, we want to implement a vice grip, a head lock, a choke hold if you will, on our elected Republicans at all levels. They must be pressured to close the southern border and create a national workers' ID system. Depending on whether this happens, the GOP will either be strengthened or will need to be disintegrated. But we need to give them the opportunity to do these things, which requires they maintain a majority after the upcoming elections.
Why not grab the choke hold right now and vote the RINOs out of office in November? Because there is terrible legislation, e.g. S2611, which might well be passed by a "moderate" Congress and signed into law by our "compassionate" president. The House just these past few months fully got the message that "Enforcement First" is the only immigration policy that will fly with the American public. They need to pass legislation along the lines ASAP. Unfortunately, ASAP means after January 2007.
If you care about your community and the future of your country, vote Republican on November 7. The next day, it's time to kick ass and purge the Republican Party if they can't take a hint.
Those of our esteemed commenters who have not yet responded to their NOVA TownHall Amnesty Week invitations are encouraged to check their e-mails and respond yay or nay. Zero hour is approaching and all the cool people are going to be in.
Amnesty Week is our way of saying 'gracias' for the innumerable hours you all have put in here, while at the same time turning the tables and letting you experience what it is like to craft a brilliant post and have it nibbled to death by ducks.
But mostly it's about the 'saying gracias' part.
You get to post willy nilly at NOVA TownHall! You get to perpetrate the most unbelievable outrages on our stodgy sensibilities! You get to root for the Redskins, for gods sake. Ixnay on the ornpay, however.
If you have not already done so please respond to me at
(Strip out all Spanish words from the above).
Vengan conmigos, muchachos!
The following statement in a comment from Marshmallow:
â€¦ when people propose things like affirmative action to give some down-and-out folks a leg up, it always seems like it's a bunch of white conservatives who stand in the way â€¦
Was posted in a comment, and has inspired the following ...
What tripe. Affirmative action translates into handouts, as often as not. Black conservatives, Asian and Hispanic conservatives, conservatives of all colors reject, government sponsored transfers of wealth (handouts). The issue is not the skin color but philosophy.
Personally, I am all for giving someone a leg up, so long as they do something with the head start. With the rolling out of the 'Great Society' programs under Johnson and Nixon, the government has been singularly unsuccessful when it comes to helping people get out of poverty. The 'New Dealâ€™ of the â€˜30s, Franklin Rooseveltâ€™s legacy, was an update of the 'Square Dealâ€™ developed by Theodore Roosevelt at the turn of the 20th century. Both of these programs had far more targeted objectives than the â€˜Great Societyâ€™ programs of the â€˜60s. The earlier programs were safety nets for the poor and unfortunate.
The â€˜Great Societyâ€™ programs were designed to provide a ladder out of poverty. As such, they were structured differently, and incentives reflected the different dynamic. This nation hurled trillions at the problem of poverty; when money like that is expended, an expanded percentage of poor is not a positive result. The problem with ladders, as opposed to nets, is one must choose to climb the ladder.
Senator Moynahan, (D)-NY, commented 30 years ago on the trend started in the â€˜70s, in which even during an economic upswing, the percentage of people on the welfare roles continued to rise. He saw that as a disturbing trend.
What is interesting is that the welfare reform of the â€™90s has led to a downward trend in the percentage of people on welfare. This trend continued even during the economic downswing we went through at the beginning of this presidency. Reform thus far appears to have given incentives for people to take a job instead of a handout.
This as an optimal trend, for it is through work, not handouts, that one can truly free oneself from poverty. The old â€˜protestant work ethicâ€™ is a better model for defeating poverty than the socialism of the â€˜Great Society.â€™
At Joe's behest, I am moving this discussion from the comments of this entry to a new entry.
It all started with the assertion by the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (a.k.a. "Puffy") that "the US has some of the highest crime rates anywhere in the world." In debunking that myth, I mentioned that the murder rate for White victims in the U.S. is about even with Canada's overall murder rate. (Canada does not publish racial statistics of murder victims.) We got to discussing why the murder rate for Black victims is nine times higher than for White victims, and twice as high as for Hispanic victims. Here is the rest of the conversation:
This just came across the e-mail from PFOX, which is, I recently learned, demonized by many in the GLBT community. I don't understand that at all - maybe someone can explain it to me.
PTA â€“ Peril for Parents?
By Regina Griggs, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) Executive Director
Do the initials â€œPTAâ€ bring to mind innocuous parent-teacher meetings and parent-student school projects? Think again. The national Parent Teacher Association, fondly known as PTA, is under the leadership of chief executive officer Warlene Gary. Ms. Gary previously served as the National Education Associationâ€™s human rights director and that school unionâ€™s liaison to gay interest groups.
PTA bills itself as the â€œlargest volunteer child advocacy association in the nation.â€ It holds an annual convention and exhibition attended by public school teachers, students and parents. Last yearâ€™s convention theme was â€œdiversity.â€ In keeping with PTAâ€™s theme, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) applied for an exhibit booth. PTA rejected our application in favor of a gay organizationâ€™s application on the grounds that the gay organization was there to â€œeducate parents on the topic of school bullying.â€ PTA also allowed the gay organization to hold a workshop.
When we visited the gay organizationâ€™s exhibit booth, we encountered materials that denounced therapy for homosexuals with unwanted same sex attractions, recommended anti-ex-gay publications, essentially denied the existence of former homosexuals (so much for tolerance and diversity), and urged the Southern Baptist Convention to vote against one of its resolutions on homosexuality in public school education.
Let me start by apologizing for my absence the past few months. A major change in my work schedule combined with a move has left me far behind in the blog world.
I know this is old news, but onto Murtha. I wanted to express my support for Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Wuterich. Wuterich is suing Murtha for defamation. Here's a more complete story.
Murtha, a veteran marine and a veteran politician, really ought to know better. His "cold-blooded" comments, made in his official capacity, really put a kink in the due process the Haditha marines deserve. In my opinion, Murtha's comments were misguided and hurtful at best, and a slanderous obstruction of justice at worst.
I'm no lawyer, and I don't know if the suit is justified, but I hope that at a minimum, Murtha will get a loud and clear message that his politicizing of the war has been hurtful to both individual troops and the military as a whole.
Also, if you live in the DC area and don't happen to be a fan of the D-Skins, the local hoopla gets a tad irritating. So you are glad when it gets squelched.
Many years ago, before he was a TV big shot, Juan Williams wrote a Forum letter to the Washington Post saying "I'd sell my children to gypsies before I'd root for the Washington Redskins." Now that my children are grown I don't have so many options in that area, but I'd still stand arm in arm with Juan on general principles.
We all love Joe Gibbs. Let that be stated clearly: Every decent man on the planet must love Coach Joe. But his coaching staff which is essentially a group of head coach headliners, paid head coach salaries, to fill the Redskins' assistant coach positions, is the highest paid coaching staff in NFL history. THAT'S a little easier to dislike. That points to, in essence, the 'Skins owner, Daniel Snyder, who is easier to dislike.
For me, I don't dislike Dan Snyder or anyone else in the Washington Redskins organization. Snyder is committed to winning but has made some major missteps, such as hiring Jeff George and firing some outstanding quarterbacks over the years. But his teams manage to lose to the Cowboys most of the time and that, in my view, from a strictly non-partisan standpoint, is redemption enough. I just love the sport of football.
The House has passed HR 6061 and now the ball is in the Senate's court.
You can contact your Senator via the NumbersUSA 'action buffet' site.
Speaking of Iran...
If you want to understand "Eurabia," dhimmitude and the fate that European countries are bringing upon themselves, (for instance, see this), carve a couple hours out of your day and read The Rage and the Pride, which Fallaci wrote in an apparent single exhalation of outrage in the days after 9-11.
She will be missed.
For what it's worth, the House has approved 700 miles of fence along our southern border, which means approximately zip unless our illustrious president is committed to making it happen. Powers reserved to the executive branch and all.
More people continue to pay the ultimate price for the governmental failures of the various banana republics to our south. To paraphrase our attorney general from the August NOVA TownHall meeting: The ideal solution would be to fix the democracy in Mexico so people want to stay there.
This will be a highly eclectic post.
A large icy object that helped spark the debate over Pluto's status has officially been named Eris, after the Greek goddess of discord.
The object had been known as 2003 UB313 since its discovery was reported in 2005 by Mike Brown of Caltech in Pasadena, US. It is slightly larger than Pluto, which prompted Brown and others to refer to it as the 'tenth planet' and generated debate about what should be considered a planet.
Now, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has settled on an official definition of planet, which demotes Pluto to a new category of "dwarf planets".
The IAU has now approved Brown's suggested name, Eris, for the dwarf planet formerly known as 2003 UB313. In Greek mythology, Eris caused a fight over a golden apple, which led to the Trojan War.
Nevertheless, I've always been a huge Pluto guy. Always will.
...for giving us President George W. Bush.
The Texas legislature passed a bill that would allow the voters of Texas to decide whether they wanted Concealed Carry in their State. Gov. Richards vetoed that bill, sealing her political fate and facilitating the election of Gov. Bush.
This really isn't news. The AG is only talking about the current state of affairs, not the effects that the amendment will have in the face of court challenges by anti-gay activists and puritanical Victorian social engineers. For example, as David pointed out, CCV, the parallel organization to VA's "some" families foundation filed an amicus brief that challenged the notion of domestic violence protection for an unmarried household member, as that legal status "assigns" a benefit of marriage.
Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell has just issued his official opinion on the Virginia Marriage Amendment, which will be on the ballot for Virginia voters on November 7.
You can read the complete opinion at the AG's Web site.
Following are key excerpts:
It is my opinion that passage of the marriage amendment will not affect the current legal rights of unmarried persons involving contracts, wills, advance medical directives, shared equity agreements, or group accident and sickness insurance policies, or alter any other rights that do not â€œapproximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriageâ€ or create â€œthe rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.â€ It further is my opinion that passage of the marriage amendment will not modify the application and enforcement of Virginiaâ€™s domestic violence laws.
I guess he did all this stuff when he was a Republican, which makes it a little more understandable.
Democratic Senate candidate Jim Webb has apologized for his former opinions about women serving in the military and says he has changed his mind.
Five female U.S. Naval Academy graduates said Wednesday that Webb fostered an air of hostility and harassment for them with a magazine article he wrote in 1979 titled "Women Can't Fight."
The women, who attended the academy in the late 1970s and early 1980s, said the column in Washingtonian magazine emboldened male midshipmen to humiliate them.
Much more on Virginia's resident ladies' man, here:
An informal group calling themselves â€œWebbitesâ€ shamelessly practices bigotry. Adherents of James Webb, former secretary of the Navy who in a visit to the Naval Academy several years ago referred to female midshipmen as â€œThunder Things,â€ this group has evolved over the past decade from a collection of outspoken critics of women in the military to a secret society, one that in 1991 referred to itself as the â€œWUBA KLUX KLANâ€ and solicited new members to further its goal of ridding the Naval Academy of women.â€ (The New Republic, 8/17/92)
It's less than half the battle, but this is another major indicator that citizens fed up with illegal hiring, crime and other symptoms of illegal aliens in their communities will be a decisive voice in upcoming U.S. elections.
The AZ Star reports that as of 1:00 am Eastern time Randy Graf appears to be headed for a win in the Arizona 8th U.S. House District Republican primary despite the fact the national party ran a campaign against him.
Graf was a huge winner in the border county of Cochise.
The National Republican Congressional Committee in its infinite wisdom spent over $200,000 in the primary boosting Graf's opponent, Steve Huffman. Huffman was judged more electable than Graf against Democratic candidate Gabrielle Giffords, who tonight easily won the Democratic primary.
This means several things:
1) The country-club Republican establishment would rather throw its constituents under the bus than listen to them and mount an aggressive campaign to represent their interests.
2) Illegal hiring, unfair business competition, cheating blue-collar and unskilled American workers of their livlihoods and neighborhoods becoming increasingly unsafe are issues not yet on the radar of many Republican leaders.
3) Giving money to the National Republican Party bodies is for chumps. Randy Graf is running a campaign, too, and he could have used that $200,000 in the general election. Give directly to the candidates you support if you want to have an impact.
Graf will likely be one of the Republican candidates most in need of financial support from the grassroots. Donate here and do it early and as often as you can.
Giving the lie to all the "racist" nonsense the desperate Democrats of Virginia (and elsewhere) have been spreading, George Allen was just endorsed by a senior Democratic legislator who also happens to be African-American. This is a huge endorsement and fantastic news for the George Allen for Senate campaign on a number of levels.
The stuff you would want to happen in August happened in August, and now the important stuff is happening in September where it belongs.
It is quite a forceful endorsement. Here is a quote from the letter from State Senator Benjamin J. Lambert, III to George Allen:
As an alumnus of Virginia Union University and having all of my children attend HBCUs [Historically Black Colleges and Universities], I have benefited personally from the commitment that HBCUs provide in personal and educational development to each student and our entire race...I am grateful that the George Allen of 2006 is the same friend and ardent supporter that he has been to HBCUs over these many years.
Read the whole thing.
Below is the official press release from the Allen campaign.
I want to take a straw poll. The following questons are NOT scientific. I am just curious what folks out there are thinking w.r.t. this movie. If you did not see the movie, that itself is a good piece of info. Your input will be greatly appreciated.
1. Did you watch "The Path to 9-11"?
a. not at all
b. only Sunday night
c. only Monday night
d. both nights
e. kinda sorta, I did a lot of channel surfing
2. If you did watch any of it, do you
a. Strongly agree with the movie
b. Somewhat agree with the movie
c. Somewhat disagree with the movie
d. Strongly disagree with the movie
3. Who was the biggest villain, portrayed in the movie, within the US government?
4. Would you recommend this movie to someone who has not seen it?
5. If yes, why?
6. If no, why?
7. What important element, if any, was left out?
If I get enough replies, I will compute some statistics, and post the best answers. â€˜Bestâ€™ here will come in three flavors: most thought provoking, funniest, and nastiest. Yes, all three categories are entirely subjective; itâ€™s my poll.
Again, your input will be greatly appreciated. Unfortunately, door prizes will not be available.
Stay Puft presents a thoughtful argument that the notion Democrats need to provide an alternative "plan" for Iraq is flawed. He also has a dig at our Jack-Ash brain trust:
Zimzo's evil twin!? Right now you and Jack are sounding a lot like the SAME person, whose name could only be Jack Ash!
hahaha hehehe hahaha oh man that's good stuff!
But I'm not a member of the Democratic party, I'm not campaigning for the upcoming election, and I'm not saying a Democrat WOULD do better in office.
All I'm saying is that the Pres. has the power, the access, the intelligence, the bureaucracy, etc. By "tools" I mean the whole decision making apparatus, made up of the white house, the pentagon, the CIA, the Armed forces, etc.
The US has limited control over the sentiments of Iraqi citizens to begin with. We need to be imaginative, creative, wise, prudent, and well timed if we want to "fix" the situation in Iraq. It's not a matter of "We need more troops here, more money here." It isn't about military tactics and establishing superiority in the air, on the land, and at sea, or whatever disagreements over how best to prosecute a war used to be over. the situation seems so complex and the path to success will be so much more intricate, dealing with PR, public opinion, "hearts and minds."
Under the circumstances, planning a wise solution demands a lot of processing power, if you will, and the White House has access to more RAM than a senator does. I'm just saying that the only people with all the resources to fully understand what's going on are those at the very top.
That doesn't mean that a Democrat would do a better job, it just means that it doesn't make sense to demand a complete plan for this complex situation from people who aren't in the very top echelons of the government/military/intelligence bureaucracy, Jack Ash!
(oh man that's good stuff!)
Ahem. I'll let the local Jack Ash's speak up for themselves. But I will say Democrats CAN make some policy commitments to give an indication what they would do differently. Pull out of Iraq? Throw Israel under the bus? Eliminate all spying on Muslims suspected of terrorist ties? Release the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay on humanitarian grounds?
I'm sure Stay Puft's hair is perfect, but I have to wonder how many pina coladas went under the bridge for him to come up with this messy argument.
Even though they are not in charge, the Democrats can say what they would do differently.
Marshmallow, our liberal denizen in chief, has earned our respect for his knowledge, research skills and feistiness. But I wonder openly and marvel at his claim that asking for an alternative to the President's plan is a 'cheap tactic.' Marshamallow is not engaging in simple name calling, for he reasons that "The gov. has billions of dollars and legions of intelligent folks who they can put to work problem-solving these issues" which is true, on its face. Further more, there are think tanks from both ends of the political spectrum that ponder all that goes on in Iraq and they too attack the problem.
Marshmallow then uses the great sport of baseball to make an analogy, and basically says that one does not need to pitch better than Bonderman to criticize Bonderman's pitching performance in a particular game. This statement is also true on its face. Marshmallow by using baseball to make a point has proven that he is a great American. However, I am not asking Gnossis to pitch. What I am asking him is, "What in particular can Bonderman do to improve his pitching?"
It has just come to my attention that the NOVA TownHall Blog is being considered for membership in the inscrutably selective Hillbilly Ecosystem.
Nothing is set in stone yet, and normally even broaching the subject prior to a final decision by the Hillbilly Judges Consortium would be a major faux pas, punishable at a level similar to that meted out for using the French language.
We feel we have nothing to fear, however, and even if our application is rejected the ensuing abject humiliation will be, frankly, like waking up in the morning for the NOVA TownHall bloggers.
We expect a final verdict from Lemuel Calhoun in the very near future. If you feel you have a dog in this fight, please drop by Hillbilly White Trash and leave a comment as to why we should, or should not, be admitted to the Hillbilly Ecosystem.
Just leave it on any recent post there, Lemuel will get it.
[The only Ecosystem that's worth a dang, if you ask me. That Truth Laid Bear nonsense has us bouncing from Large Something-or-other to Oily Duck with no rhyme or reason].
It appears ABC has folded to the liberal ideologists and Clinton legacy industry and will sanitize the less-than-favorable aspects of its "The Path to 9-11" docudrama.
"The content of this drama is factually and incontrovertibly inaccurate, and ABC has a duty to fully correct all errors or pull the drama entirely," Mr. Lindsey wrote. "It is unconscionable to mislead the American public about one of the most horrendous tragedies our country has ever known."
Also yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and four other Senate Democrats wrote to Mr. Iger urging him to cancel the miniseries, which they said "could be construed as right-wing political propaganda."
Next, I plan to write to the producers of every single other show on ABC, which "could be construed as left-wing political propaganda."
Just kidding. Actually, I plan to watch football or the Food Network those nights because I don't care what the idiots in charge decide to do. Screw ABC. They should have immediately told Albright, Berger et. al. to relieve themselves up a rope.
We all know what the Clinton administration did about al Qaida.
(Hint: It's a Spanish word beginning with 'n' that rhymes with 'dada'.)
If you are a glutton for punishment, or have no access to cable or satellite and have no deck of cards with which to play solitaire and therefore feel compelled to watch the program, you might check in with Accuracy in Media or Hugh Hewitt (start here and here.)
One of them may be posting updates on the changes ABC may implement on behalf of the Boy President.
But I'd recommend just doing something else Sunday and Monday nights. If the "uncut" version is ever released you can buy it via the underground and watch it in your bunker.
(Or: When 'Extras' Attack)
138 x 45 = 6210
These are the key figures.
First, the Washington Post reports:
A pro-immigration rally that promised to bring tens of thousands of marchers from across the nation to Washington yesterday managed to draw only a paltry number of demonstrators, raising questions about the movement's tactics and staying power.
With fewer than 5,000 people attending, organizers from other localities expressed two worries about the turnout...
In anticipation of a crush of people, Metro had planned to start its rush-hour service an hour early, at 2 p.m. But by early afternoon, "there were not enough people in the system" to warrant the extra rush-hour service, and none was added, spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said.
Fifteen minutes before the march was scheduled to begin, only a few hundred demonstrators were milling before the stage.
Lou Dobbs' live reporter at 6:30 pm tonight relayed the information that 138 buses brought in "demonstrators" from as far away as Maine and Tennessee. You can fit about 45 people on a bus. This means, in light of a total attendance under 5,000 that a bunch of buses filled less than capacity brought in the vast majority of the participants.
So practically no one bothered to show up in our nation's capital under their own steam to advocate for illegal aliens' rights.
Got the message, fearless elected Republicans? Weigh this data against what you've heard from your constituents and your base over the past three months.
The problem is our GOP senators have misidentified the loaf.
The "whole loaf" isn't "comprehensive" immigration reform. The whole loaf is the whole border is shut down and the whole U.S. business environment requires legal workers everywhere under the threat of draconian penalties against employers who hire illegal aliens.
Just thinking out loud here. We have some wonderful liberal commenters on this site and I wonder if we could be doing a little more to recognize them, like at the end of the year swim team parties nowadays where every single little waterbug gets a trophy.
You have to get the details below the fold, however, because any more long posts on the front page might seriously jeopardize the chances of any of you reading JACK'S FIRST POST AT NVTH BLOG. It's up now! Go read it!
Click below for the rest of my sudden vision.
Hazleton City Council will enact the latest revisions to the Illegal Immigration Relief Act during a rare Friday afternoon meeting.
The revisions are fairly substantive.
First, it will be split into two separate ordinances. The â€œofficial Englishâ€ provision will become a free-standing ordinance, leaving IIRA itself to consist of the prohibitions on renting to and/or employing illegals...
Your posts about the threats to property rights by The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area Act (identical bills in Congress S 2645 and HR 5195) are dead on target!
The Act was planned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP). It spawned an offshoot named The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership, which in turn hired lawyers to write the Act. The Partnership promoted its bill for several years amongst state and local elected officials and found Congressional sponsors. It misrepresented its purpose as being an honorific partnership for historical tourism and downplayed the land acquisition written into the actual legislation.
In fact, one of the main duties of the management entity, which consists of the Partnership under the supervision of the National Park Service, is to acquire land. Property owners are not protected by the language of the bill, because although no federal money can be used for land acquisition, the Partnership can use the federal money for advertising and is empowered to raise state and private money for acquisition. There is no prohibition of down-zoning as a tool to coerce "willing" sellers.
The pretense of the Partnership that their Act is needed to preserve our country's heritage is belied by the actual facts. The area already abounds in tourism and money.
Consider the existing funding of historic sites:
My mother recently purchased a vacation home in Nova Scotia. One of the things she likes about it is that she feels safer there than she does at home in Virginia Beach, because Canadaâ€™s murder rate is so much lower than it is in the United States. Our neighbors to the North pride themselves on their low crime rate, usually citing that their murder rate is far lower than ours (1.9 vs. 5.5 per 100,000 people in 2004). Frequently, proponents of gun control have held Canada up as an example of the benefits of gun control, again citing Canadaâ€™s lower murder rate. But does that lower murder rate mean my mom is safer there?
While Canada does have a lower murder rate that the U.S., the rates of all other violent crimes are higher in Canada â€“ significantly higher. In the U.S. last year (2005), there were approximately 471 violent crimes per 100,000 people. In Canada, there were 943 per 100,000. Thatâ€™s twice the U.S. violent crime rate. So why is our murder rate more than two-and-a-half times theirs? Because Blacks and Hispanics are murdered at a far higher rates than are Whites and Asians, and Canada has relatively few Blacks and Hispanics. Since my mom is neither Black nor Hispanic, I thought I would try to look at just the murder rates for White victims.
(N.B.: The statistics used here reflect who has been murdered, not who's doing the murdering. The point of this investigation is to show the relative safety of a White person, namely my mother, in the United States as compared to Canada, so the emphasis is on victim counts. I do not care about the race of the perpetrators here, because I do not think living in Canada will turn my mom into a violent criminal.)
Unfortunately, and unfathomably, the FBI does not keep, or at least does not publish, data on Hispanic crime victims. The options are Black, White, Other, and Unknown. Hispanics are classified as one of the above. Fortunately, some states do track Hispanic crime victims, and the Census Bureau tracks the races into which Hispanics classified.
Although the data is sketchy, some studies have concluded that the murder rate for Hispanics is about 9.1 per 100,000. U.S. Census data that tells us that 91% of Hispanics consider themselves â€œWhiteâ€ (when forced to choose), and 6% consider themselves â€œBlack.â€ With these census numbers and the Hispanic murder rate, we can derive the number of Hispanic victims, which we subtract from the reported Black and White victim counts. When we go back and recompute the murder rates for Whites and Blacks without the Hispanic victims, we find that the murder rate for Black victims is 18.1 per 100,000, while the White murder rate is only 1.9 per 100,000. Thus, the White murder rate in the U.S. is right in line with Canadaâ€™s.
So why, then, is Canadaâ€™s violent crime rate so high? The property crime rate is not significantly higher in Canada (3738 in Canada vs. 3517 in the U.S., per 100,000 people), so why should the violent crime be that much higher? Because we have guns. In the United States, a homeowner or a person shopping in the mall is far more likely to have a gun than is a Canadian, who is not permitted to carry a loaded handgun, even when he is licensed to have one at all. In Canada, handguns may only be transported if they are unloaded, are equipped with a trigger lock, and are locked in a case; and no stops may be made between oneâ€™s home and the (government approved) shooting range.
Another consequence of the Canadian gun ban is that, in Canada, 50% of burglaries are of occupied homes. That rate is only 13% here. Along with the higher burglary rate in Canada, that means that burglary of an occupied home in Canada is four times more common than it is here. Burglars don't get shot in Canada.
I am far less concerned for her safety when she is home in Virginia Beach than when she is in Nova Scotia, which has an even higher violent crime rate than does Canada as a whole. (Halifax, the capitol of Nova Scotia, has the highest crime rate of any city in Canada.) My mother is a widow, and one of the Social Security generation. Without a gun, she has no chance of defending herself against a typical young criminal. Here in the United States, my mom has the right to own a gun for personal protection. She is also protected here by the deterrence provided by our collective gun ownership, because the criminals donâ€™t know whether she has a gun or not.
To everyone who's got their shorts in a bind over my supposedly immoderate post from last night, I think you will all be pleased to know we are adding a new voice here at the NVTH Blog, one who will undoubtedly soften some of our rough edges.
I am, personally, very excited about this because it's not too often you get to "push the envelope" in terms of ideology. As a group I think we've shown here that we are, if anything, open to new ideas and perspectives.
With the introduction out of the way, I will go ahead and reveal who our new moderate-in-arms will be. You can wait until the person posts their first post, or you can click the link below to ruin the surprise.
The gay community undoubtedly appreciates you, moron. Thanks for providing the first absolutely perverse and hostile comment at the NVTH Blog in just about one year of existence.
I take it you are in Columbus, OH, and you are what the right-wingers warn about when they talk about a "gay agenda."
Don't worry about your pearls of wisdom being lost, because I have saved them, along with 220.127.116.11.
And you know what, "Rusty?"
I think you might have just spilled a bit more than you intended to.
Congrats. You conveyed a very important aspect of the gay, lesbian, blah blah blah whatever the hell it is bunch of people's - ok I won't say "agenda" I'll just say modus operandi.
Funny how that little element has managed to slip under the radar in the debate, eh?
There is more to come on this topic, believe me. We've been lucky here so far to have the David's and Jonathan's of the world as our ambassadors from the GLBT community (pardon me if I mixed up the letters) because D and J are such gentlemen. But that happenstance misses a bigger reality:
The Gay-Lesbian-etc-etc community has a bit of an edge to it.
And, no, this statement isn't just based on the unfortunate singular comment of an individual here. That individual's comment fit a pattern, a very recognizable pattern. It reminded me, for instance, of things I've heard since the 1980s. Not from my gay friends, mind you, of which I have had many, but from the gay ACTIVISTS - a separate group and an obnoxious group whose, uh, agenda, seems to be to impose on the rest of society a sexual more designed to provoke outrage.
It isn't just me and Jacob talking with David and Jonathan about bedroom politics. It's gay folks who want to demonstrate gay behavior around straight people's children. The ones who walk up to our kids at a public event embracing and kissing solely for show and the outrageousness of it all. Homosexuals and bisexuals don't want merely to be accepted: They want to ram their sexual practices down our throats and our families' throats.
Here's a free piece of advice to the gay- etc-etc community: We heterosexuals think of you as regular people who engage in different sexual practices. Beyond those practices, we're the same.
But when your PR takes the form of indoctrination about your own sexual practices, we tend to say "STOP."
And then we tend to spell out all the reasons we do not want homosexuality advocated in the public sphere.
Let's not any of us forget that the reason the latter argument has had to be made is because the gay community has thrown the grenades. They're the ones who want to blow our minds, expand our horizons, expand our KIDS' horizons, and generally make everyone very uncomfortable with the hope the discomfort can be attributed to heterosexuals' "uptightness."
Nope. Sorry, boys, but we see through it. You are hostile.
You have a massive arena for self expression in society and freedom to carry on whatever private sexual activities you want. But you want more than that. You want everyone who is less enlightened than you about the superiority of alternative sexual practices to have to hear about your sexual practices all the time. You want our kids to hear about it. You want to rock our world.
Memo to the gay activists: You are breaking no new ground. All of us in the heterosexual camp are familiar with the concepts of sexual experimentation and the fluidity of sexual identity. "Homosexuality" is, I submit, a commonplace idea. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy does not leave us freaked out with eyeballs spinning. We know what it is.
The key question is, how RUDE are you going to be in trying to press your agenda. Because there is an agenda - don't try to hide that. Maybe David and Jonathan are the lone civic purists seeking no more than equal standing for gays in Virginia. But some of their compatriots certainly seek what many gays and lesbians seem to seek, which is the overthrow of the social norm of heterosexuality.
Mark Steyn is a blogger who is in my opinion witty, erudite, and factually correct. His most appealing attribute is his humor. It is telling, the level of animus that he generates. Attached is an observation Mark makes regarding the war in Iraq.
For the Iraqis, "Iraq" is about Iraq. For everyone else in the world, "Iraq" is about America. This country has acquired the habit either of losing wars or of ending them inconclusively. A similar result in the Middle East would lead not just the Chinese, Russians, and Iranians but also the Norwegians, Singaporeans, and Australians to conclude that the nation's hyperpower status was some freak accident â€” like Jerry Lewis stumbling into a boardroom meeting and being mistaken for the new chairman. They would make their dispositions according, there being no reason why anyone should take Washington seriously ever again. If the Democrats think that's good for the world, I'd like to know why.When did we become so myopic as to be unable to stop the politics at the waters edge? Politicsâ€™ ending at the waterâ€™s edge used to be the by-word for presenting a united front to the enemy. The back-rooms of Congress were where the back stabbing, acrimony, and mendacity occurred that are the hallmarks of a healthy republic. We are airing our laundry out in front of the world and giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
How do we put the genie back in the bottle? We are doing ourselves no favors. I see this as suicide. It is all the more painful that it is taking us so long to die.
The link to the above is here:
The economics of illegal immigration has been touted as a boon for our country by those who are unwilling to stem the flow of illegals over the border. Who benefits? The construction industry benefits because paying an illegal immigrant to work in a trade (be it carpentry, masonry, or plumbing), half of what a legal immigrant or native born tradesman would be paid, is obvious. The agricultural industry benefits; again, low wages are always attractive to the man supporting the payroll. There are many other industries in which the impact of illegal immigration has made itself felt.
The consumer of a product made with illegal labor also benefits, provided the payroll savings are reflected in the price of the item being consumed or bought. I myself have seen the workers who built my home. None spoke English. Some were Latin, others Asian. The odds are good that many are illegal immigrants. Did I see a cost savings in the price of my home?
Who suffers from illegal immigration? One group is the tradesmen in this country, who see their wages undercut, their Union-inflated wages not withstanding. Trade Union members are suffering from competition with illegal immigrant labor. In order to become more competitive they must undergo disasterous cuts in wages and benefits. For example, a typical native, unionized, sheet-rock hanger may receive $28/hr. If an illegal is receiving $14/hr for the same work, the unionized worker, to stay legal and be competitive, would need to agree to be paid $10/hr. Why? Because Social Security and Medicare taxes and other benefits paid by the employer bring the cost of a $10/hr employee up to $14/hr. The bottom line is typically the legal worker is hurt to the tune of ~60% of his wages. Similar situations occur in other industries, especially in the service economy sector.
The illegal aliens have an additional advantage over the native and legal workers. An illegal alien is much less likely to bring a civil or criminal suit against his employer. Considering the cost of litigation in the country borne by all of our industries this is not a small advantage.
Another difference between the native/legal workers and the illegal aliens is their contribution to the local economy. Natives and legal immigrants buy homes, and invest in their savings here. The illegal aliens, by and large, will send their wages home. The economic feedback that a worker typically provides is missing with illegal aliens.
Localities that have large illegal alien populations are strained to provide services to these populations. Schools, hospitals, and law enforcement all see large portions of their budgets consumed to serve the illegal alien populations. In classrooms, the pupil-to-teacher ratios rise. The emergency rooms are swamped, and the police are forced to contend with the typical problems associated with large, poor groups of non-English-speaking aliens.
Since the illegal alien population is wedded to a black market economy, it is not in their interest to become legal and pay local and federal taxes. The potential local taxes could offset the drain on local services, but, since the interests of the illegal labor market are contrary to joining the mainstream economy, granting amnesty will not solve the problem of getting the aliens not paying taxes. Why should they? They currently get the service gratis.
It's up at Not Larry Sabato.
No wonder this outstanding statesman, Ken Cuccinelli, has won twice in Fairfax County. He's fast on his feet and he's right on the issues.
Alternate title: Blog-fu Vaporizes Bumbling Lilliputian
A small man and a small campaign just got a little smaller:
So now the investigation is complete...This sordid affair conclusively demonstrates that Judy Feder is utterly unfit to hold a position of public trust.
Go read BVBL, and send him a thank you note for obliterating the Virginia blogosphere's end-of-summer lull.