December 2006 Archives
I don't care what anyone says, the world has been a much better place for almost 24 hours now.
Y'know what, I am getting sick of blogging about politics and current events, and everyone else here is busy, and considering I am probably the worst at it anyway it's sort of silly for me to continue reaching and cutting - and - pasting to create posts when I really don't have many of my own ideas to relate, nor adequate time usually to relate them if I was not sick of it.
Consequently, for the indefinite future I am going to do something else I am REALLY bad at but can at least be original with, which is writing fiction. On top of that, I am going to write the type of fiction I am the very worst at, which is science fiction. And on top of that, I am going to tell the story from the perspective of a type of person I've never even met, which is an elderly Mexican woman. If anyone would prefer more serious subject matter contact me and I will give you a log in. Enjoy.
On the morning of her 75th birthday, Elena Perez walked along a dusty road carrying two plastic sacks of groceries, including cheese, tortillas, soap, hair spray and cat food, when suddenly she saw a flash of light in the sky. "Ay caramba, que es eso!" (Holy mackeral, what is that!) she said out loud, as the ground began to tremble, an eerie roaring sound filled her ears, and nary a bird nor animal of any kind was to be seen in any direction - north, south, east, or west. She knew this because she was spinning around.
Five days later, she was sitting at a card table playing bridge, a game unknown in her hometown in Mexico, but the recreation of choice of our new alien overlords, who had taught it to Elena. Half of the human race had been destroyed immediately by laser-like weapons which caused massive explosions, like the weapons portrayed in the movie War of the Worlds starring Tom Cruise, and the other half of humanity had been coralled into slave labor camps. A select few, mostly elderly Mexican women, were allowed to live in relative freedom and comfort as long as they agreed to complete foursomes when needed. Those with no talent for bridge were given a choice between weekend kitchen duties and certain death. Most chose the former.
During Elena's belated birthday celebration, the head alien overlord, Regis, sat down next to her and looked directly into her eyes.
"Elena Perez," he said with a perfect Spanish accent [Editors note: Regis speaks Spanish to Elena but all of the following will be translated into English for the benefit of our English-speaking readers] "you must be wondering why we have come to Earth, destroyed everything, and forced those we have not killed into slavery. It must seem ... how you Mexicans say, 'a tad crass.'"
"Oh, si senor" said Elena [Editor's note: Ditto on Elena's speaking in Spanish and it being translated] "in my country, we have very few large explosions and we never, ever play bridge."
"Ha ha ha ha ha!" Regis laughed appreciatively. "Somehow, that's EXACTLY what I thought you were going to say! But I do want to explain that we aliens need certain raw materials from your planet - raw materials unkown to mankind because they only exist in the most remote places on Earth, deep underground. Your people - and by this I mean humans, not Mexicans - do not have the technology to locate or extract these materials, and even if you did you'd have no idea what to do with them. That's where we come in."
"Oh, I see: So you and all the other overlords are like mining executives. We have some of those in Mexico City, from what I am told. Or we did ..."
"I'm glad you made that little self-correction at the end, Elena," Regis noted, "because it makes your previous two sentences far more accurate. Yes, we are very much like what you call 'mining executives.' And yes, all of your mining executives are now headquartered near Toledo where one of our regional offices is located. It's a good-sized facility, and fairly comfortable, but they are all slave laborers nonetheless, albeit of the 'white collar' variety. It's no picnic."
Elena finished her last bite of cake, set down the little paper plate, and nodded knowingly while she chewed.
Regis continued: "The raw materials will make us fabulously wealthy, ensuring we can afford to heat our home planet, Accutane, for millions of years."
A strange, perplexing thought went through Elena's mind, and it showed on her face by the slight scowl she made.
"But if all you need is a raw material we did not even know existed, why couldn't you just come and take it instead of killing everybody?"
Regis' eyes turned cold and gray, like the shark's eyes so famously described by the Robert Shaw character in Jaws. "Let me explain something to you, Elena," he hissed. "Alien overlords will do whatever they wish, whenever they wish, and it's not yours to ask 'why.' Your role is simply to eat your birthday cake when appropriate, play a little bridge now and then, and go on with your life, now as an upper middle class person. I have problems, let's call them 'opportunities,' that you would never understand. Oh dear, sweet, innocent Elena. How I wish sometimes I was born a simple Mexican woman instead of an alien overlord. I bet you've never killed anyone or caused a single explosion in your life, now have you?"
"Oh, no, senor."
"Do you mean 'no' you never did those things or 'no' as in you are disagreeing with me because you have actually killed people and/or caused explosions?"
"I mean, I may be a simple, latter day Mexican peasant farm worker who is no spring chicken, but I have not lived in a cave my whole life. I killed two men during spring break when I was 22 years old after drinking mucho tequila - I ran them over with my friend's car."
"Two at the same time?" Regis asked with mock horror.
"No about five hours apart, but the same binge."
"How about explosions?"
"No, I never cause any explosions. Nothing in my house is made to explode."
"Well EVERYTHING in my house is made to explode," Regis said. "So, can I get you some more punch?"
"No, I've had enough. Thank you very much for the party and the explanation of why you invaded our planet," Elena said sincerely. "Do you know if anyone needs a fourth today, or what else might be going on?"
Regis gave Elena the day off, patted her shoulder, stood up and turned resolutely toward the door, feeling rather proud of himself. That had gone MUCH easier than he'd expected. He waved at a group of four other matronly Mexican ladies, clasped his seven-fingered hands together, and strode into the hallway, ducking to ensure his metallic skull did not smash through the top of the door frame.
He saw an overlord rounding the corner ahead, and called out to him: "Hey, Barthlomew!"
"How are the slave labor camps going?"
"You mean before or after I breathed napalm fire down on everyone and burned their hair and clothes off?"
Regis laughed. That was an old joke, but it still tickled his three funny bones every time.
When the jobs dry up, they go home.
Hispanic immigration to the Washington region has always followed a seasonal pattern, as the winter puts a chill on outdoor labor and drives workers south. But with home sales and housing starts dropping after years of steady growth, many Hispanic workers -- legal and illegal -- say the good times are gone.
"The Hispanic population in Virginia has grown too much," said Guzm?n, echoing the sentiments of those who support tough immigration policies, "and that's closed off a lot of job opportunities."
Demographers who track migration patterns and embassy staff members say it's too soon to tell exactly how the housing construction decline has affected the region's Hispanic population. But stories of departing workers abound. Some workers say they're headed home; others, spurred by rumors of construction jobs, try their fortunes in the Carolinas, Georgia, New Orleans.
"It's a little better here, but not much," said Raul Amayas, 21, a Salvadoran immigrant reached by phone in Charlotte. Amayas left Manassas last month after losing his $400-a-week landscaping job. Now he's making $300 a week as a busboy at a Mexican restaurant. "It's hard here. Ugly," Amayas said.
Part one - cutting off the jobs - is indisputable. When employment opportunities for illegal aliens disappear - either because the work is no longer available to anyone, or it is no longer available to illegals because the government requires employers to adhere to existing regulations - the illegals will tend to return home. This will end the blatant unfairness the Bush administration has engendered giving free reign to employers using illegal workers.
Let us not forget, that NO ONE in the local Northern Virginia circle of debate is advocating for mass deportation of illegal aliens. Enforcement of existing laws is the chief emphasis.
When the unfair job opportunities disappear locally, so will the illegals, and legal workers will once again have the opportunity to work throughout northern VA.
Part two is fixing the problems the illegals face at home in Mexico and Latin America. This should be the object of a full court press by the United States government.
"Just pitiful. I'm just stunned," Jones said. "A game like this indicts us at the top, just straight through. It's just disappointing. We ought to be able to have something very special happen to us with (Tony) Romo's emergence. ... You ought to be able to take the pieces that you carefully considered, drafted and built, and those pieces ought to be able to be a good supporting cast, and that's not happening for us."
Dallas had so much to play for in its last two home games yet didn't play like a team worthy of a reward.
Before the stinker against Philadelphia, the Cowboys played New Orleans with second place in the NFC on the line. They responded with their worst defensive game of the season.
So much for Parcells' reputation of getting teams to peak at the right time.
Romo also stunk up the field, along with the defense, so putting the blame on Parcells is a bit simplistic. The whole team did not fall apart because of Coach Bill. The team fell apart because the majority are freshmen and sophomores.
The bottom line is, this is a very young team, still learning about the most basic of mistakes and how to avoid them.
That's also their saving grace, because they are young and have plenty of salary cap room for next year.
But they need to grow up in a hurry in January or they will be smashed and smothered out.
Robert Stacy McCain previews the central upcoming GOP grassroots battleground:
From the lofty heights of the Beltway power pyramid, politicians are sometimes able to look down and see the urban poor, whom the D.C. government's decades of generous welfare policies magnetically attracted to the capital. But what about the American worker? What about the ordinary Americans who have diplomas, rather than degrees? What about those hard-working people who have jobs, rather than "careers"?
Those people are invisible in Washington, at least so far as the Beltway's Republican elite are concerned. The GOP elite find it more pleasant to listen to the sneering snobs of the Wall Street Journal who - in reaction to a recent roundup of illegals at meatpacking plants - opined that "the nation's illegal immigration problem is ... primarily a labor shortage problem." Wall Street, it seems, is another vantage points from which it is impossible to see the American worker.
President Bush has made a habit of talking about illegal aliens who supposedly do "jobs Americans won't do." But when over a thousand illegals were arrested at Swift Co. plants, a curious thing happened: Americans showed up to apply for the resulting job openings.
There is no "labor shortage problem," and there is no such thing as "jobs Americans won't do," but there are apparently jobs that Republican elites in Washington won't do - such as protecting the nation's borders from millions of illegal invaders.
Read it all.
Stacy McCain has been one of our favorite big media folks since the publication of the outstanding Donkey Cons earlier this year. He has had to curtail blogging but his excellent writing continues apace.
Here's how you can tell you have the greatest wife in the world: She buys you crack for your birthday and this for Christmas.
Today is my birthday (technically, yesterday, the 24th) and per the annual family custom my wife bought me a big pile of crack, so I'm a wee bit discombobulated right now.
The Joe Passarelli tragedy has got everyone's attention throughout this corner of NOVA. Joe's daughter-in-law visited NVTH and left this comment:
My husband Michael is the eldest of the three Passarelli boys. We have Joe's first grandson, 14 months old. I want to thank you all for joining the discussion! We are all hurt, angry, and determined to find some peace in our forever changed lives. I believe that this happened in our world for a reason, and I hope I can figure that out. Please keep the discussion alive.
Yes, we will keep the discussion alive here. On behalf of all of us at NVTH, as well as dozens of other local residents who have been discussing this for the past couple weeks, I offer our sincerest condolences.
All of this discussion is separate from the central tragedy that Joe lost his life and the family has to go on without him.
Joe's death has exposed a huge weakness in Virginia's public safety policies. The astounding leniency our laws and courts granted to an illegal alien will serve as a wake up call for people all over the state. There is something dreadfully wrong in Virginia that must be fixed.
Actually, I don't know that the discussion has even started, because local citizens are still trying to get their minds around what happened. An illegal immigrant, whose record of infractions would have brought severe penalties down on any American citizen, received lighter and lighter penalties up till the time he killed a local resident.
The illegal alien's rap sheet is garnering close scrutiny at this very moment, as the Virginia legislature prepares for the upcoming session. The case has revealed a startling policy of leniancy toward illegal aliens who commit crimes in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties.
Citizens have been saying for years that there seems to be an unwritten "don't ask, don't tell" policy among local law enforcement personnel when it comes to illegal aliens involved in crimes. But this is not only a local police issue: It is a public policy issue for the entire state. Joe Passarelli's untimely death will be the impetus for a serious re-examination of Virginia's laws and policies.
Ashley, please stop by anytime. None of us have an iota of understanding what the family is going through, but from the outside perspective we will be talking about this and putting pressure on the people in offices that can make significant changes.
Also, I hope our readers will take a moment to consider donating to the fund that HelpSaveHerndon has set up for the Passarelli family. Joe was well under retirement age and has a kid about to enter college:
HelpSaveHerndon has set up a fund at Mercantile Potomac Bank to collect donations for the Passarelli family. Joseph Passarelli was killed by a hit and run driver at the intersection of Herndon Parkway and Ferndale Avenue. He is survived by his wife and 3 sons.
All proceeds of the fund will go directly to the family.
Checks may be mailed to the
Joseph Passarelli Memorial Fund c/o Mercantile Potomac Bank
783 Station Street Herndon , VA 20170
What I have seen, if properly investigated by the authorities, should reasonably lead to the criminal prosecution of an almost unprecedented number of public officials. David Ruttenberg has tried to use the courts to get this story told, and those courts have, for some reason, at least temporarily failed to allow a hearing of the evidence. Now it's time for that evidence to be presented to the public in a different way...
We'll be reporting on it here, but you need to visit BVBL regularly to stay fully apprised.
Having been on the receiving end of some government-mandated thuggery a couple times, I have a soft spot for those who go up against the Man.
UPDATE: Welcome NY Times 'The Caucus' Blog readers! We don't get many city folk out here in possum gravy country, but we love it when we do. We also love our Rep. Virgil Goode, though I hope you will take a moment to read the full discussion that follows.
At the suggestion of our good buddy Zimzo, I have looked into remarks made by Virginia Congressman Virgil Goode in his recent letter touching on the Koran, religion and immigration, as well as Goode's follow-up statement.
I take exception to Goode's argument that the current state of affairs and the problem of rampant, nonsensical multiculturalism should be blamed on Bill Clinton. Clinton might have initiated the diversity in immigration program, but the Republicans had at least a short spell controlling the levers of power, did they not? They could have fixed it if they had a mind to.
Robert Spencer has a very informed take on this controversy (as tends to be the case with any question regarding Islam and the West):
Goode is not opposed to having "many more Muslims in the United States" out of "bigotry," as CAIR has predictably alleged, but because he is aware that Islam presents a challenge, as we have explained here so many times, to "the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America." He also seems to be aware, when he warns that "our resources" could be "swamped," that Muslim immigrants, including mujahedin, cheerfully live on the dole in Europe -- a situation that is nothing less than suicidal.
Spencer is truly one of the "voices crying in the wilderness" about the threats facing America and the West in general. I've read most of his books and I think he is mostly on point. He knows a lot more than I do about Islam, to be certain.
I also think, however, that it is indubitably the case that the public face of any ideological or cultural movement can appear scarier than it really is - particularly in the case of religion.
Ideologically - and mythologically - religions can be pretty fearsome. A great example is the horrorshow that Roman Catholicism was made out to be in England and America from, like, 1600 until about 40 years ago. I mean, from the Pope right on down to the priests and the scruffy Irish foot soldiers, Catholicism was painted as a menace, an institutional force bent on subverting democracy and taking over the world.
It didn't quite work out that way because, whatever the Vatican might have been planning or not planning, western civilization has a way of smoothing the rough edges of any ideology that purportedly seeks to contravene basic human liberties, respect for the individual, rule of law, beer commercials, and all of the other things that have made the United States the shining city on the hill. There is no reason to think Muslims won't come around in a generation or two and start watching NASCAR and football with the rest of us. (And I do NOT mean soccer.)
As to the question of whether one should be allowed to take an oath on the Koran rather than the Bible: Spencer points out the Koran permits lying. That's a good point, and the Koran appears to permit quite a few additional behaviors one would not hope to see in a courtroom. Whatever criticisms one may have of Christianity's New Testament, you must admit the world would have far fewer religiously-justified murders if everyone followed its rules.
That being said, why do we need a holy book for the swearing in ceremony of a public official anyway? Christians can say "our book is holiest and true" and Muslims may counter, "no OURS is so we want to swear on it."
But the point is, you need to raise your right hand and make a public pledge. If you are a little "off" maybe you want to raise your left hand - sure, we can have that argument. But the pledge is what's important, whether you follow God or Gaia or Reverend Bob Dobbs.
I think an immigration policy that is discriminatory based on the ideology of the applicant is a great idea. Assimilation is a numbers game: Over time, over generations, the host society will influence newcomers as long as the number of immigrants who detest the basic tenets of American culture is much smaller than the number of people already here. Their kids will grow up learning to love football, freedom of thought and fast cars, and will gradually shed their alien cultural baggage.
Whether you are pledging on a Koran or Bible does not seem like such a huge issue because really you are pledging to tell the truth or uphold the Constitution or whatnot, and it seems to me that should be the focus. If Muslims make the pledge and keep the pledge, the law is happy. If they don't, the law will rain down hellfire on them as it will on anyone who breaks such a public oath.
And as long as all their offspring have the opportunity to watch the Daytona 500 every February, I think in the long run everything is going to turn out all right for America.
A business owner named Dave Ruttenberg has run into something of a threshing machine in his attempt to protect himself from the City of Manassas Park government:
In the lawsuit, he named specific individuals, including Mayor Frank Jones, Police Chief John Evans and two undercover police officers. Area police and attorneys have asked the two officers not be named out of fear for their safety.
Ruttenberg alleged the two police officers, as well as Evans and Jones, participated in a plan to shut down his business.
Ruttenberg also alleged that the attempts to destroy his business included an undercover investigation by the Joint Narcotics Task Force, a partnership between Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park, which led to a 2004 drug raid on Rack 'N Roll.
It appears Ruttenberg pissed off somebody in a high enough office to incur the wrath of city hall.
Read Radley Balko as well.
The story begs a serious big journalism investigation. I'll keep you apprised of developments as they come to light.
I just saw Jose Santos Sibrian Espinoza's rap sheet for the past few years and it contains 21 offenses throughout Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties. So the Passarelli family could cast a wide net if it wished to fix blame for Joseph's death.
Don't know what I'm talking about? Espinoza is the illegal immigrant who allegedly ran down Herndon resident Joseph Passarelli a few weeks ago while Passarelli was out walking his dog at 5:30 am. Espinoza allegedly dragged Passarelli 200 ft, and left the scene. Passarelli was in his early 50s with a kid in college and one in high school. More details here.
Let me summarize one interesting section: Driving without a valid operators license is supposed to be punished by increased fines in VA. Espinoza's last few offenses resulted in decreasing fines, beginning at $300 and ending at $75. Um, not to mention, he was not detained before he killed Joseph Passarelli.
Thank you, Fairfax County Government. Thank you, Loudoun County Government. Thank you, Prince William County Government. Thank you, State of Virginia. Thank you, United States Senate. Thank you, Mr. President of the United States.
May you all go to hell, Republicans and Democrats alike.
287(G) Training Could Have Prevented a Tragedy in Herndon
HERNDON, Va., Dec. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a
statement issued by HelpSaveHerndon:
For Jose Santos Sibrian Espinoza, the prime suspect in the November hit and run killing of Joseph Passarelli of Herndon, run-ins with the law were a frequent occurrence.
Court records for the Counties of Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William show that Sibrian Espinoza had a combined total of 21 cases within the last 6 years within those jurisdictions. The charges ranged from driving without a valid operator license, 7 separate incidents, to a DWI conviction. Throw in a myriad of other traffic related offenses such as excessive speeding and failure to obey highway signs, add a trespassing charge whose adjudication was a deferred dismissal and you will have a more complete picture of the person suspected of killing Herndon citizen Joseph Passarelli.
What makes the actions of Sibrian Espinoza so egregious is that Sibrian Espinoza was deported before being brought to justice.
The Passarelli family must now endure what could be months of anguish before the killer of their beloved husband and father is brought to justice, if the government of El Salvador cooperates and allows him to be extradited.
More painful, is the fact that this death was one that could have been prevented had the necessary tools been in place for each of the police departments in the jurisdictions Sibrian Espinoza was charged with an infraction.
The time is now that each of the police departments in the northern Virginia area should work with ICE to be trained in accordance with the Section 287G of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This training would have enabled any of the police departments who brought any of the 21 charges against Sibrian Espinoza within the last 6 years to check immigration status, and begin the procedure to remove a repeat offender from the streets.
Had this occurred before that day in November, one more needless death would not have occurred.
The police departments in each of those jurisdictions are hardly to blame for this tragedy. They did the jobs they are charged with and admirably so.
Blame is shared equally by those jurisdictions that turn a blind eye to illegal immigration, our federal and state governments, and our court system.
Our federal government is not doing enough to stop illegal immigration at the source. Herndon and Fairfax County are both complicit with enabling people like Sibrian Espinoza to find the means to earn a living while flouting our immigration laws.
As far as the courts are concerned, in the case of Sibrian Espinoza there were 7 charges for driving without an operator's license or driving on a suspended license from 2002 through 2006. There were 4 convictions for these charges and court records show that the fine for each occurrence decreased for each subsequent offense.
The message our court system and our elected officials are sending to criminals such as Sibrian Espinoza is loud and clear. It's now time that we ask our elected officials to change the message.
From what I have heard the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has prepared a legislative package for the 2007 session of the Virginia General Assembly which consists of exactly ZERO proposals regarding illegal immigration. Our hands are tied, and ever so shall they remain.
Hey guys and gals, thanks a lot. And congrats for having your collective fingers on the pulse of the electorate. Hope that works out well for each of you in November.
The death of Joseph Passarelli is a horrific tragedy that could have happened to anyone even without the influence of the Loudoun County government. Any one of us could get hit by a falling brick tomorrow.
But this incident hits home because it highlights exactly what so many local citizens have been saying - with deep frustration - to our local elected "leaders" for the past couple years: ENFORCE THE LAW.
It is an extraordinarily tragic manifestation of the rank incompetence of our local elected officials - at the county and state levels - on the issue of immigration enforcement.
It will be interesting to see how the Loudoun BOS responds to this, since the accused killer was a Sterling resident and had been let off several times by our own "public safety" department (Passarelli was killed about 400 yards from the Loudoun County line).
A notion discussed at a meeting of citizens tonight was "Fairfax wants to keep the problem bottled up in Herndon, and Loudoun wants to keep it tucked away in Sterling."
Well, when a guy dies, it ain't so tucked away anymore, "leaders".
If this is what global warming holds in store for us, please count me in. I just want to go kiss a truck or something.
Former employees are suing Swift and Co. for $23 million, alleging the meatpacking company conspired to keep wages down by hiring illegal immigrants.
The 18 former employees are legal residents who worked at a plant in Cactus, Texas, north of Amarillo. The plant was one of six facilities raided in a multistate federal sweep that led to the arrests of nearly 1,300 employees and temporarily halted Swift's operations.
"These plaintiffs are ... victims in a long-standing scheme by Swift to depress and artificially lower the wages of its workers by knowingly hiring illegal workers," said their attorney, Angel Reyes. "By lessening its labor costs and increasing its profits, Swift has severely damaged the potential earnings and livelihood of these hardworking men and women."
We've had a continuing controversy here about whether illegal aliens have anything whatsoever to do with local crime rates. Evidence from the streets suggests strongly they do.
Evidence has linked 28 year-old Jose Santos Sibrian Espinoza to the car and as the driver, police say.
However, now Espinoza can't be located, because he was deported to El Salvador earlier this month, Herndon Police Chief Toussaint Summers says.
Espinoza - who was living in Sterling, Va. - was deported before police believed he had any connection to the case.
Joseph Passarelli was hit and dragged 200 feet in the crosswalk of Herndon Parkway and Ferndale Avenue while walking his dog around 5:45 a.m.
Another driver found him and Passarelli was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he later died.
Maybe we are not so crazy, here in Sterling, for caring about this issue.
Here's a report from Colorado:
As I learned of the immigration raids taking place throughout the country Tuesday, I wondered if one of those arrested was me.
Since 2001, someone has been using my name and Social Security number to gain employment as a seasonal worker.
In June 2004, I received a letter from the Internal Revenue Service, stating I owed more than $1,200 in taxes for "unreported income." The businesses that reported that I had been working for them included a pecan sorting facility in Deming, N.M., and several ConAgra facilities in Texas, Colorado and New Mexico.
I was shocked and a little bit scared. How did someone get my name and Social Security number, and how was I going to fight the IRS so I didn't have to pay the taxes?
Turned out, it was more difficult than I expected.
An elected offical told me recently the majority of local crimes that seem to involve illegals do, in fact, involve illegals.
So where are our elected officials?
UPDATE: Aubrey Stokes of HelpSaveHerndon just sent the following letter to Delegate Tom Rust, who as far as I know is not yet sponsoring any legislation regarding illegal immigration for the upcoming session of the VA legislature:
The hit and run accident involving Joseph Passarelli was a tragedy that could have been prevented.
The suspect, Jose Santos Sibrian Espinoza, had 21 brushes with the law in three jurisdictions in the past 6 years. He was convicted of driving without a license 4 times since 2002 (Charged 7 times with the offense). For each of the subsequent offenses the fine decreased. He was also convicted of driving while intoxicated in 2004. He received a fine and a suspended jail sentence. (I have the supporting data for the above if you would like a copy.)
What message are our courts sending?
Jose Santos Sibrian Espinoza was deported before he could be brought to justice. He should have been deported long before the fatal hit and run.
I believe cases like this bring to light the importance of having our police forces trained in accordance with Section 287(G) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
I also believe that legislation should be introduced to increase the fines and impose mandatory jail time for those convicted of driving on a suspended license or with no valid operator's license.
Would you be willing to sponsor legislation to that effect?
This week's Guard the Borders Blogburst was written by our good friend Nan of American Daughter.
It's especially noteworthy for NVTH readers because it references: 1) lettuce; 2) one of our posts on immigration, and; 3) one of our other posts by our other good friend the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. A great public debate among great thinkers with different views. I mean, it's like Russia, circa 1910. Or high school, circa 1979.
Disclaimer: I have not crunched Nan's numbers.
Today's Blogburst is also available as a Podcast.
The Price of Lettuce
By Nancy Matthis at American Daughter
Federal subsidies do not reduce the COST of food to the taxpayer. They increase it. Likewise, illegal immigration does not reduce the cost of food, or of any other goods and services, to the taxpayer. Illegal immigration also increases those costs.
In fact, illegal immigration increases the citizen's financial burden in exactly the same ways and using the same types of governmental mechanisms as the inefficient and ill-conceived government subsidy programs. Let's just look at the numbers. The available data points come from different years, so our results will not be specific for any single year, but will be representative of the general problem.
Note: This article responds to two comments made by liberals on earlier articles in our Illegal Immigration series.
- Joe Budzinski referenced our report on The Crider Case on Nova Townhall Blog. Over there, they play host to a token liberal, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Stay Puft took it upon himself to publish a response, We Can't Ignore Agriculture, featuring Critique of American Daughter.
"....farmers work on very tight profit margins. They can't pay more. If they paid higher rates, the cost of producing a crop would exceed its market value.
The only way to increase wages in these sorts of jobs would be to increase government subsidies even more (make tax payers pay for the wage increases), or let food prices shoot up (make consumers pay)
both of these options seem untenable. In the later case, the negative economic consequences could be more severe than anything brought on by the recent influx of immigrants....
We need this stuff, but in today's economy it isn't profitable without being propped up with tax dollars. Last year, we put over 16 billion dollars into these subsidies. "
- The Word-Drum took a shot at our friend Doyle, when he cross-posted our article Illegals Deadlier Than War On Terror on his weblog A Cool Change. As you can see, the fellow who left the comment cannot spell any better than he can do math.
"As a Vegitarian American (Democrat) I resent having to pay the kind of prices for lettuce that would occur if we did something about illegals. It's Bush's fault anyway."
Both of these fellows believe in the incorrect "manna from heaven" theory of government assistance. It is an item of religious faith with liberals that we will deconstruct in the following discussion.
Update -- It is likely that the second comment was meant as a joke. The sad fact is that most liberals are so divorced from reality that it sounded like an authentic liberal response. And we are pretty certain that the first commenter really believes in his logic. As our contributor [Bad Moon Rising] likes to say, "They walk among us. And they vote."
It was fun while it lasted.
You remember when you stopped picking up hitchhikers? It was likely in the 80s, right? For me, as late as 1985, I was still feeling that tinge of guilt driving past one (making the "turn" sign with my finger to signal I was, er, turning shortly, anyway).
Hell, I went through some periodic stretches between 1974-1980 when hitching was my chief means for getting around. But by 1992 or so, only a complete freaking idiot would hitchhike or stop for a hitchhiker. A bunch of "bad news" happened - hitchhikers hurting drivers and vice versa - and that was the end of that. Nobody of sound mind hitchhikes anymore - it's just the way it is.
Nowadays, seeing a hitchhiker along the road is more exotic than seeing a family of deer or a caravan of gypsies.
My salad days also began in the carefree 70s: after I'd outgrown my puerile dislike of vegetables enough to appreciate the newfangled "salad bar," which coincided with my early teen years and subsequent appreciation of cheap food. The first one I recall was the Village Inn, a pizza place in Alexandria. For a ridiculously low price you could load up a plate with vegetables, dressing, and bacon bits, and sometimes even pizza slices. Many a day's festivities, or late night sessions, ended up at the salad bar, chowing down.
Needless to say, fast-forwarding 30 years, a lot of lettuce has gone under the bridge. I not only learned to appreciate my veggies, but to treat the salad as de rigeur. Whether in dive diners or places where a meal costs as much as three college credits, my typical agenda has been a caesar salad and steak, medium rare. On the home front, the bag o' salad phenomenon which made life so immeasurably more convenient the past five years, has been the centerpiece of the family's vegetable intake.
We were at Glory Days in Sterling tonight. The waiter brought our drinks and asked "Are you ready to order?" The wife ordered chili, I ordered quesadillas, and she said, "Do you want to split a salad?" I said, "I don't think we should EVER have salad again." She said, "Oh. Yeah."
And that was that. This is how cultures change.
Following a plethora of bad prepared-fresh-food news over the past year, and then bad stories about hundreds of people getting sick from eating at Olive Garden, Taco Bell, and "Taco John's" the past two weeks, I'm fairly certain my fresh-veggie-trusting days are over. There are obviously structural problems with the mass-production model for fresh produce.
In the aforementioned cases e-coli has been named as a suspected cause of the problems.
"E-coli" means someone, somewhere along the line, is violating the wall of separation that should exist between excrement and human rations. Obviously, that breach is now happening on a large scale. Once that divide has been bridged, there is really no going back in the trust department. Is it the workers? Is it the equipment? We don't care. We're going to drive right on past without a hint of apology for not stopping. Goodbye.
I don't want commercially produced fresh vegetables served raw. I want vegetables cooked, or brined and salted, or otherwise heavily infused with chemicals - or I want them home-grown. Rather than buy a Big Mac or Burrito Whatever on a road trip, I will grab eight or ten Slim Jims from the gas station. When the waiter asks which dressing I prefer with my salad, I will say, "None please, but I do want that caesar salad boiled."
Closer to home, we are going to have a garden next year, but in the meantime we have also decided to get much more focused on having steamed green vegetables with our meals in place of salads. Steamed cabbage, broccoli, spinach, kale, etc. provide all you need healthwise. Anything we eat "fresh" will be vetted - and that means goodbye to the bagged lettuce.
Hey, it seemed too good to be true, did it not? Well, it was.
If you don't have a trusted local source for fresh vegetables, here's how you use commercially produced vegetables: Get yourself a simple steamer set up, which is a metal or bamboo grate that you put vegetables in, and then put in a large sauce pan. Put an inch of water in the pan and boil the whole deal, covered, for 8 minutes. That's your vegetables.
When you go out to eat, forego the salad, and order a nice, cooked appetizer, and have steamed vegetables with your meal. "Salads" should be viewed as skeptically as you would view sushi. It's just the way it is.
Has everyone visited Charles of Two Conservatives recently?
He has produced what appears to be the mother of all home Christmas light shows. Amazing.
I wrap some lights around a bush and the post on our front porch and crash on the couch for the remainder of the winter. After seeing what this nut has accomplished, I don't know whether to be awed, or shamed. I guess the only proper response is to feel both. This may require a pilgrimage to Manassas.
Does anyone in their right mind think there is anything remotely compelling about the "political fallout" relative to Senator Tim Johnson's sickness? I'm not going to post any links because I haven't run across any total idiots and the instances of inappropriateness I've seen referenced so far seem born more of hyperventilation than serious thought. I assume most will step back once they've thought the issue through.
Yeah, it's theater. Tim Johnson and every other public figure signed on for this type of public treatment when they signed on for the jobs. 51-49 or whatever it is; control of the US Government; celebrity status; referendum on Bush; blah blah blah - some element of the public world is absolutely going to wait with bated breath to see how this plays out. It doesn't mean the world is sick, it just means this is part of the show.
But, damn: What really lies in the balance? Does anyone make the case with a straight face that our future depends on whether the Senate committees for the next two years are chaired by Democrats or Republicans? I mean, Republicans???
Give me a break. The theater aspect is interesting, I admit. But in the end, let's just hope Senator Johnson gets better soon. Nothing more important lies in the balance.
I just had a conversation with a high level Loudoun County law enforcement officer who helped shed some light on the current situation here and some possible solutions. This is an individual who has great familiarity with the evolving situation "on the ground" in Loudoun County over the past decade, and who has nothing to gain from exaggerating one way or the other, because in their opinion the change is all going to have to occur at the federal level. I don't completely agree with that, but I also don't expect an L.E. to be considering issues related to business licenses and zoning and such. Because this is someone who considers themself not really having a dog in HelpSaveLoudoun's local fight, though, I give this person's appraisal a very high degree of credibility.
On one aspect of the issue, their observation confirms what many of us who live here have been observing: Local crime has increased with the increase of the illegal alien population. On another aspect, I got some constructive criticism of one of our agenda items, namely the 287g program for Loudoun, and also I got some clarification on the number of illegal alien detainees at the adult detention center, which I will take to heart. There is more violent crime as a result of the increase in illegals here over the past few years, but they don't all get caught and the makeup of the jail population has not been greatly changed.
Here's the conversation:
What impact has the increase in illegal immigration had on crime in the county?
It's had an impact in terms of the stabbings, the violent crimes, the robberies and things. You don't always catch them all, but we do pretty good with getting them deported, turning them over to ICE if we catch them - we have a pretty good relationship with them.
I don't think it's been huge as far as the inmate population goes. Once they do their time with us ICE usually picks them up. If it's drunk in public and stuff like that ICE won't take them for that. The Feds need to do more, I think, on their side of things. But it's not a huge issue for us right now, from a jail perspective.
From a crime on the street perspective, it's a big deal.
What's the answer?
It's almost going to have to be federal issue, because just being here illegally is not enough to have anything done with you. We pick up a drunk in public or any number of other things, and unless they've committed a crime the Feds won't deal with them because they're so overloaded. Even in some cases when you deport somebody they're back here in 30 days. We just had a stabbing here in Leesburg, and one of the guys who was involved had been deported about 45 days prior. It's just a revolving door. We send them back, they come back here. Nothing happens to them over there. I don't know what the answer is, but it's trying to find a way to keep them out, or to make it more severe when they're caught.
Deporting is not that big a deal for some of them. For some of them it is, and they're afraid of that. But a lot of them who have been through the system, they know that somehow they're going to come back.
It's got to happen on the federal level, because our hands are tied. With this 287g - there's only so much we can do with that. We can't even do really what we're doing right now. Because the ultimate decision's up to the Feds, and if they don't want to take them they don't have to take them. I think the expectation about that program, for some people, is that once we do this we can just - if there are ten people standing in front of 7-11 who are here illegally we can just get them all out of here. It's not going to do all that. All it's going to do is, basically, what we currently do, but there are actually some more restrictions.
So we're better off without it because of the relationship we have with ICE now. If we have that (287g) agreement, the inmate we have automatically stays here because they don't have any place to put them. If (currently) it's a local inmate, after they've done their time with us, they're obligated to pick them up within 24-48 hours. If we have the agreement we have to house them. Yeah, they (ICE) will pay us, but it's a matter of space for us. So we'd like to have the training, but we don't know: If we have the agreement, it might hurt us. And if we don't do it the community's going to kill us, so I don't know - it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't...and just talking about illegal immigration can make it sound like now you're a Nazi.
Regarding that last note: I'm going to maintain this person's anonymity.
I'll also note that the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office is the best in the entire NOVA region - I am told - as far as working with ICE. Our public safety department in the county is doing more without 287g than they might be able to do with it. The argument that 287g would force Loudoun County to keep illegal detainees, while under the current arrangement ICE comes and takes them within 48 hours, is a pretty compelling one.
I imagine the fact that Dulles airport and innumerable government agencies and contractors are located in Loudoun County is one element that makes our jurisdiction a relatively high priority for the Feds, so maybe our Sheriff's Office is already getting what other departments would only get via 287g.
Now, go read BVBL right now for another perspective related to this issue. He's dug out an amazing instance of Virginia governmental political correctness subverting public safety.
Shaun Kenney has got an interesting Jim Webb story - opposition research on bloggers. I'll be ticked if they don't have a file on me. I guess I'll be a wee bit scared if in fact they do.
On a related note, here's a breaking macaca story from the always vigilant MonkeyWatch. Keeping it real.
Finally, the guy who lives the life basically every guy wishes he could live is having a nice day. When's the last time you felt so centered you were impelled to blog about simple pleasures like getting the car detailed and Godiva milkshakes? I can't remember, either.
Federal agents conducted a massive round up of illegal workers at Swift and Co. meat packing plants in six states Tuesday, causing substantial anger and consternation among illegal immigrants, their families and their advocacy groups. Among victims of identity theft, not so much:
One victim was a U.S. Border Patrol agent. Another was a woman whom the Internal Revenue Service accused of not paying taxes on $120,000 in earnings that were news to her.
Court documents released Tuesday showed how some victims had their identities stolen by workers who used them to get jobs at Swift & Co., a meatpacking plant in Greeley. Still other victims had no clue how Swift employees used their identities to find jobs, open credit accounts and even collect unemployment benefits...
It appears all the suspects rounded up in Greeley on Tuesday were Latino and were using identification belonging to legal U.S. residents with Latino surnames. Over the course of their nine-month investigation, authorities compared legitimate driver's license photos of victims to photos of the suspects and determined they weren't looking at the same person.
The niece of one identity-theft victim was overjoyed when told that a man suspected of stealing her uncle's ID had been arrested.
"Thank God," said Arlene Juarez of Bakersfield, Calif.
Arlene is the niece of Aaron Rey Juarez, who told authorities he had lost his wallet. Because of the ID theft, authorities have targeted Juarez for not paying child support - for children who aren't even his, Arlene Juarez said.
"He needs a whole new Social Security number," she said. "Every time they do a credit check, it's fraud this or fraud that."
Needless to say, the right-wing extremist media outlets are all over the story:
A day after federal agents netted 1,300 meat plant workers in the largest immigration sweep in U.S. history, federal officials pledged on Wednesday to continue a crackdown on illegal workers and identity theft...
Tuesday's sweep of meat plants in six states, which temporarily shut the Swift and Co. plants, was the culmination of "Operation Wagon Train," a 10-month investigation into alleged illegal aliens using fake documents, and in some cases documents belonging to real people, to get jobs.
Anti-illegal immigration activists should note the raids highlight a very real problem with the federal "Basic Pilot" program
"We believe that the genuine identities of possibly hundreds of US citizens are being stolen or hijacked by criminal organizations and sold to illegal aliens in order to gain unlawful employment in this country," said Julie Myers, ICE assistant secretary. She called it "a disturbing front in the war against illegal immigration..."
All of the arrests at the Swift plants Tuesday targeted illegal immigrants who held actual - not fake - Social Security numbers. Many businesses that make use of immigrant labor participate in a national test program for employers called Basic Pilot, an online system to verify employees' Social Security numbers.
"Basic Pilot" is held out by some as a critical step toward increased enforcement of employment regulations at the state and local levels. It is also a de facto part of the Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act (GA SB521), currently recognized as the strongest state legislation in the U.S. related to enforcement of legal employment. The Georgia act does not go into effect until July and one can surmise those charged with implementing it will be calling for a more secure federal program to be put into place.
As T.J. Bonner, president of the border patrol agents' association, said in May, the ultimate solution will likely involve a new version of the social security card with some type of biometric verification built in.
In this post we're going to cover a few issues related to the problem of illegal immigration in the U.S.
First is crime. Last week's Guard the Borders Blogburst homes in on the simple fact that some illegal aliens commit crimes in America, and more Americans have died as a result of illegal immigration than from the battle in Iraq:
... illegal aliens in the United States are more than fourteen times as lethal (14.48 actually) as a full scale armed conflict.
Some pro-immigration advocates attempt to twist the question by asking "So you think Hispanics are more likely to commit crimes than people of other ethncities?"
But that is not the question at all. The question is: Would those specific crimes have been committed if those specific illegal aliens were not in the U.S.? The clear answer to that question is - "no". If the perpetrator was not here, the crime would not have been committed.
The documentary, Cochise County, USA: Cries From the Border, depicts the real-life suffering that has been caused by the massive influx of illegal aliens across the Arizona-Mexico border. Stories include families who own land on the border, land which they can no longer use, and property which has been destroyed by the invaders. The point has nothing to do with the race of the invaders. The point is simply if the illegals were not coming across, these American citizens would not have been victimized.
(Anyone who wants to watch the documentary can let me know and I will lend them the DVD.)
Whether we are talking about destruction in the Tucson sector, or gang violence in Sterling, Virginia, the fact of the matter is the crimes identified in these cases are definitely being committed by illegal aliens. Maybe the criminals are a tiny segment of the whole. Maybe local citizens are committing more crimes - who cares? The issue at hand is people in the U.S. illegally who are committing crimes here.
If they did not have a safe landing area here, they would not be committing crimes here.
Next is the question of "numbers."
Next week or Christmas week I'll be doing some guest blogging at Dismantling Leviathan, as soon as my schedule opens up a little. Kevin has graciously extended the opportunity again even though his antennae keep picking up signals of puppetry from me.
Believe me, if Crazy Joe were ever to create a sock puppet, it would knock your socks off.
The 2006 Weblog Awards is now taking place and I want to suggest a course of action:
Vote for Ace of Spades for Best Conservative Blog. Please go cast that vote right now.
Here is why I make the recommendation (on the off chance you are not already an A of S reader):
What I want in the ideal blog is a Web site I can go over and visit throughout the day and find something new to interest and amuse me. Sometimes I want the Stooges, sometimes I want Steyn, sometimes I want the latest news, and sometimes I just want to be freaked out. That's all what you get from Ace, day in and day out. It is one great Web site.
I see the overwhelming competition is Little Green Footballs. Nothing against LGF, but it is really a different sort of deal. LGF is fantastic and has the mega first-to-market advantage, but not nearly at the same level of personal effort. Ace works his ass off while Charles rides his bike and takes photographs of waves. Ace is a funnyman, a highly irreverant man, while Charles is more of the wonkish type. Which do you prefer at the end of a long, hard day?
Don't get me wrong: These are BOTH good Web sites, both guys of my generation and both guys I'd trust to have my back in a knife fight or hearing before the local committee of the liberal intellegentsia. But "Best Blog" to me means the one you are inclined to visit the most frequently. Ace wins that contest hands down.
1: "That's what I'm tellin' you man, I'm a contract worker. A day laborer in construction."
1: "So that's what I'm tellin' you. All you need to tell her is what you do. You don't need to be goin' into this and that, tellin' her something that you' not."
2: "I can tell her Ima spot welder making $25 an hour, what difference is that gonna make," he turned to me and flashed a smile of gold teeth. Looking at me, "She gonna see her money, I could be a spot welder makin' $25 an hour, how she gonna know?"
1: "But that's what I'm sayin' man, don't be stupid. Why would you tell her you something that you not? That's what I'm sayin'. Listen, the woman is a creature of God, right?"
I spent some time in the ol' stacks today, and found some nice stuff. They don't have everything on google, yet. I came across this book published in 1913 called, "The Immigrant Invasion" (sound familiar?) and spent some time thumbing through it. Some have argued on this blog that immigrants in the past were somehow different from the modern ones. Even if that is the case, the arguments used against them haven't changed too much. Check this out:
"That this competition of the Slavs and Italians, which has forced the English-speaking races and the native workers out of the anthracite mines, is operating to-day with equally significant results in every one of our important industries, is a fact to be observed on all sides.
Even better than observations are the convincing facts of an official investigation conducted by the Commission on Immigration of the State of new York... The results of the extended inquiries of the commission show, for illustration, that in the manufacture of cuffs and collars, the Irish are being supplanted by Poles and Armenians; in that of woolens, worsted, and underwear, the Irish and English by Poles and Italian.
...Let us glance at some of the social consequences ...the mass of poverty, want, and vice that accumulates in every large manufacturing center is dumped on the charity of our churches and the hospitality of our poorhouses. We see the dreary dwellings of the earners of scanty wages..."
There's more, but I'm not typing out anymore of it right now. An edition of Migration and Development from 1994 had an article by John R. Fraser which dealt with "the limits of sanctions against employers," attempts to fine employers under Reagan and Bush I are discussed, and the conclusion is that these have been ineffective for a number of reasons:
"A long-term approach to combating illegal immigration must include mor effective but humane border control, better inforcement of labor standards in the workplace and a sustained commitment to greater social equality and economic development in immigrant sending areas.
...Better enforcement of labor and immigration laws in the workplace will serve more to regulate the flows of illegal workers within the US labor markets (ie across the boundaries between transitional and more mainstream employment opportunities) than across US borders.
...employer sanctions could have several negative effects: i) that sanctions would impose additional administrative costs on employersâ€¦ ii) that sanctions could result in additional employment discrimination iii) that counterfeit and fraudulent documents to circumvent sanctions could proliferate."
The idea is that these sanctions have a larger effect on the type of jobs immigrants work, rather than whether or not they stay in the country. When these measures have been adopted in the past, the results were a surge in counterfeit documents (from both immigrants and employers) combined with a reluctance among employers to hire any Hispanic workers for fear that they could be illegal.
I also came across some more blog-friendly electronic resources:
This is an article by Hernando De Soto , who's thing is property rights as the key to development in Latin America.
"Illegal Employers" discusses the issue of employers and undocumented workers. The idea is that it's important to enforce fair labor standards.
These are three articles dealing the different aspects of the impact of free trade and neoliberal reform on Latin American economies:
and of course,
So Chavez was just reelected. If the people prefer socialism to capitalism, it's because the perception in much of Latin America is that capitalism has failed miserably in fostering development and creating jobs. I think this move we're seeing in Latin America toward populist, socialist politicians can be seen as a rejection of the failed neoliberal economic policies which the US and other OECD countries have pushed on South America. These same policies have played a major role in the creation of the large-scale migration of Mexican workers into the US.
Our leaders need to be working on bi-lateral efforts to create jobs and economic growth in Mexico and Latin America. We need to send the message that we're committed to working together to find a fair and workable solution. Building a wall would send just the opposite message.
Well jiminy cricket don't that take the cake.
I spill my sweat and blood building this stinkin' blog and while I toil away against the spam-bots and can't even comment on me own blog, in comes this galavantin' Charles with his fancy Typekey ways. Registering in, thank you very much, leaving comments to and fro, here and there, like he doesn't have a CAAARE in the world, submitting his precious comments, watching them post successfully and flittering off on his twinkly little toes - "Ta ta, by the by, Charles was here, so very nice to comment at your blog!"
Well, isn't that just peachy-kins. Old Charlie boy is speaking his peace and showing off his skills. I'm happy. So happy, in fact, that I just might stand atop the roof and shriek like Rodan herself: "AAAUUURRRRGGGHHH - AAAUUURRRR - AAAAUUURRRGGGHHH!!!" blasting the somnorific denizens of Sterling out of their slumber, shaking their foundations and sending their rottweilers scurrying under their beds whining like mewling little newborn bunnies.
Well I just can't say what I think, if this is how the comments are going to be. No spam. No Joe. Charles when he deigns to toss us a comment. Oy feel loyk a prisnah, govnah; a prisnah in me OWN blog. It's a shame, is what it is.
Well that was a bracing onslaught, I must say. We haven't been inundated, we've been SPAM-um-dated!!
It appears our lazy, hazy, crazy days of open commenting at the NVTH Blog are over. There may be filters to deal with this new variety but from what I've seen it would take a Jack or Jacob to implement (I'm a humanities guy, sorry). I don't really like instructions that take longer than a paragraph because after that much technical reading I'm checking e-mail, baking cookies and gazing absently off into the distance.
Plus, I prefer the more definitive, robust, possibly injurious approach to any problem ... so won't you seh hallo to mah little fren ...
From now on if you want to contribute here your papers better be in order, or you will have to move on to the next blog where the undocumented are still welcome. The upside is, this should be the end of spam which will make me happier and free up some time. The downside is, I'm told the Typekey handshake with Movable Type is broken and therefore comments will be broken as well until I tinker it to death.
Hey, it ain't perfect, but it's a blog, dammit, and it's our blog, and there are parts of the world where they'd give a herd of goats just to have a broken blog like this one. So we should all be grateful.
Get ready, I shall now commence activating authentication. Anything might happen.
UPDATE: I can't comment on me own blog! I cannot comment! Ohhh, the humanity!
BUT we've had no spam in almost five minutes! Heaven smiles upon us!
UPDATE II: Not doing so good here, are we? I am googling "registration is required" so have no fear. I always immediately find exactly what I need to know on google. In the meantime, I'm sure many have been banging into the same wall, yet full of thoughts they are bursting at the seams to post here.
In the spirit of the season, let me venture to convey what some of our commenters would be typing if they could be typing:
Gozer: "You lightweight, panty-waist magazine reader and think-tank supplicant. Read some damn actual research and maybe books for a change and then we will talk. Also, Go Florida."
Kevin: "I shall believe your tales of illegal immigrants only when every one of them has personally stepped on my toe and provided DNA evidence of their illegality. Till then, I scoff. I also drink, but even then, I scoff."
Zimzo: "Joe, you magnificent, wonderful bastard! You have been right all along! Merry Christmas, Joe, Merry Christmas, everyone!"
Jack: (Jack isn't saying anything, just standing in the background with his whacking stick, giving us all the Clint Eastwood glare.)
UPDATE III: Not too good. In the process of resetting and rebuilding I had to open up comments for about 9 minutes and during that time 7 spam comments all got through my filter, so I am convinced this present state of affairs is unavoidable.
The Typekey-Movable Type combination pretty much blows, which does not say much for SixApart, which owns them both. You would think all the effort required to keep Movable Type in good form would inspire them to provide a functioning integration with THEIR ONLY OTHER BUILT-IN AUTHENTICATION SOLUTION WHICH THEY ALSO HAPPEN TO OWN.
I will eventually get it figured out, not necessarily tonight.
He is the prime subject on every pregame and postgame show. He is the Rocky story of the day. Undrafted, unheralded, sat on the bench for years. He is what every single person in America aspires to become: Recognized and given a chance on the basis of sheer merit.
If Romo can do it, anyone can do it, if they are just willing to work. Cal Ripken saved baseball following the strike. Romo is saving sports following the umpteen scandals that have dirtied every physical contest. He is the good kid who made good. And he is a friggin' Cowboy. Go figure.
Watch the news, folks, it is becoming all Romo all the time.
In my travails across the 'internets' I've come across some interesting links. The Urban Institute, a nonpartisan study group by Wiki standards (and actually by their own self-proclamation) did a report, of which a summary was "Posted to Web: June 30, 2000", entitled "Illegal Aliens in Federal, State, and Local Criminal Justice Systems" Quite interesting, in fact, though a little outdated. But then that makes this an interesting topic for debate:
The increase in prosecutions and convictions of illegal aliens appears to have significantly affected both the number and the estimated costs of incarcerating and supervising of defendants convicted in federal courts. Since a substantial share of the increase in illegal aliens convicted appears to be due to increased border enforcement, this increased burden on the federal criminal justice system can be seen as a secondary cost of such border enforcement. If border interdiction efforts successfully reduce attempted illegal entry, this negative impact on the federal criminal justice system may be short-term.
More below. . .
85% of the 400+ people that bothered to watch Fox45, and bothered to sit down and send in a reply, responded "Yes" to this question. I guess it was a "hot button issue".
Mod of A Moderate Voice is inviting a couple contributors to join her at the best new blog in No VA - and she is conducting the search in the most blatantly discriminatory fashion. Needless to say, I approve heartily.
Well, it's no surprise that the Democrats are backing down from their campaign promises (they are politicians, after all), but couldn't they at least wait until they were actually in control of Congress? No, indeed. They have already reneged on their promise to implement all of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations:
... either 'Bowl Championship Series' or 'BS Championship Series' depending on your perspective. Since the inauguration of the computer-based system, I think there've been an equal number of each.
Being a Florida fan, I would not mind seeing them get a shot. Winning the SEC is a big deal.
However, having watched both teams a few times, I have to admit Michigan is better. They deserve to be in the championship game.
Final judgment in approx. 7 minutes. Should be interesting. It will also be interesting to see whether Fox is going to milk the announcement suspense for a half hour a la American Idol, or just let them make the announcement and then talk about it for the rest of the half hour.
10th District suffered a reprimand for the manner of which their election for chair occured. The video has definitely made the rounds, and no one is happy with the manner of which the convention was conducted. It certainly has stained the reputations of those involved, and that sentiment has been made very clear.
Thanks to BVBL for the link.
Thanks, also, to John Grigsby for providing the video.
Thanks, finally, to the 10th District leadership for reminding us all that 'power' is not simply an abstraction.
It was mildly scary but one heck of a Convention.
The dirty little secret of the pro-illegal immigration advocates is their cause has nothing to do with ethnic or racial fairness. As the recent voting in Arizona demonstrated, Hispanics are just as likely to support anti-illegal immigration measures as voters in other ethnic groups:
All four of Arizona's anti-illegal immigration propositions passed by wide margins - and, perhaps surprisingly, several surveys showed that between 40 percent and 50 percent of Hispanics voted for them...
In several different surveys, pollsters found that many Hispanics in Arizona continued a trend of voting in favor of antiillegal immigration measures.
Rod Fernandez, 44, said he voted for all four of the anti-illegal immigration propositions partly because he deals every day with the headaches of illegal immigration.
He said his livelihood has been hurt by day laborers across the street from his job at Karl's Custom in Mesa.
"They'll all pile into the truck looking for work," he said. "Recently, a couple of customers said they were afraid to come here, or they won't leave their car overnight."
Fernandez said the issue is not about race, but about playing by the rules.
"I'm not against Hispanics from Mexico," he said. "I'm against them coming out here and getting all the benefits I have that I'm entitled to because I'm a taxpayer."
There is a theme of thought in America that the Muslim extremists who commit acts of terrorism are simply oppressed and misunderstood. Let me tell you: Nothing could be further from the truth.
My platoon returned to our base in Ghazni province one morning in the spring of '05, after an uneventful night patrol. We found the entrance of the base scattered with local Afghans. This by itself was fairly common...Afghans were often coming in and out of our base for legitimate reasons and had to wait outside before they were cleared for entry.
There was a big difference this time. The locals were clustered into maybe a dozen small groups, and within these groups were bloodied bodies. Some were moving, and some were not. We heard a few screams and moans as we went by.
As we continued through the entrance of our base, we saw the medics lined up outside of our aid station, ready to go to work. Most of us grunt troops just went to bed. We'd been out for a while and we were exhausted. There was nothing we could do, and the sight the blood and bodies was nothing new to us at that point. My platoon's medic, however, knew his work wasn't done, and hurried off as soon as he could.
We found out later that the Taliban had crashed a local wedding party and thrown a grenade into the crowd. I'm not sure exactly why this particular party was targeted, I only know that these terrorists had decided to kill people who did not support them, while they were in peaceful assembly. This was a typical thing.
I wondered if people back home would ever know what it cost the soldiers to win this war. In America, things were already beginning to look like peacetime. The standard of living was on the rise, racetracks and nightclubs were booming, you couldn't get a hotel room in Miami Beach...it was so crowded. How could anyone ever know of the price paid by soldiers in terror, agony, and bloodshed, if they'd never been to places like Normandy, Bastogne, or Haguenau?
-PVT David Webster, as quoted in the HBO mini-series "Band of Brothers"
I've decided to start sharing some of my personal experience from Afghanistan, so this will probably become a regular post for me.
I usually try to avoid the topic in conversation. The few times I've tried to tell stories about it, I usually get blank looks and meaningless comments. Often, I get sympathy, which is the opposite of what I desire. While I appreciate it, the people it comes from have no idea, and it just makes me feel more distant.
Understanding is what I want. I want America to understand what we've been through. I want America to appreciate what we've done and what we've accomplished, rather than just pay us lip service.
Most of all, I want America to support us through to the only acceptable option...
From the Far East I send you one single thought, one sole idea, written in red on every beachhead from Australia to Tokyo...THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR VICTORY!
-General Douglas MacArthur
You may already know about it or you may not. Whichever the case, you should definitely go check out 3hive, the blog that is "sharing the sharing". It's likely that no matter what your musical tastes are, you'll find something you like at 3hive. A collective, 3hive is contributed to by Sam, Sean, Jon, Clay, Shan, and Joe. These guys review bands and provide links to mp3s posted on the bands' record label websites (translation: totally free and legal music). If you hear something you like, buy it. If there's a band you're wondering about, or if you're just interested in a particular genre (they've even reviewed Sufjan Stevens), search for it with the Navotron (right hand column). Some of the older posts have links that have since been killed, many appear intact. For those of you with dial-up you'll just have to exercise a little more patience. Worth it.
Being as how the blog posting action has been kind of slow here I'm going to do what I always seem to do which is reach way back into the imagination grab bag and yank out something that could be interesting or, just as likely, self-incriminating. What the hey. The next step is to go down to the Herndon Day Labor center and gather up some undocumented bloggers to come back here and share their personal stories, but I'm not going to shell out $9 an hour unless things become truly desperate. But, nevertheless, y'all better be brushing up on your espanol just in case.
So here is a bunch of photos. I love the photo gig. (Hey, did you figure out yet that Kevin has another site going? Right here. The man is a frickin' artiste, is what he is.)
These are all of the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque in October. We took an amazing sky tram ride and saw views that 100 years ago you'd basically have to sacrifice your life to see.
UPDATE: A few more below the fold.
This is from reader Had Enough, who I suspect is local, and who I know is seeing things first-hand:
When 80% of the invaders are from a specific source, it must be the main problem.
It makes no difference where you read or hear about the crimes with illegal aliens that 80% commit 95% of the crime.
And, let's not forget John Lee Malvo either. Now we are footing the bill for the rest of his life.
No matter who they are it does not matter - they are all illegal aliens and they are not supposed to be here to begin with.
I do not care where they come from, they need to go home.
I believe that the 4,500 or so Citizen families that lose a family member each year agree. If the laws had been enforced most likely those 4,500 people would still be alive.
No ivory tower proclamations are needed.
Another challenge to our liberal friends - this editorial at Free Republic:
A 2005 study appearing in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons found that 60 hospitals had closed in California alone between 1993 and 2003 as a direct result of illegal immigration. Under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1985, hospitals must treat the uninsured without reimbursement. Though the law was intended to guarantee that no emergency room would turn away a patient in crisis, it's led to illegals using ERs for their primary care. Those 60 hospitals had all reached a point where they were paid for less than half of the services they performed. The study also found 24 hospitals on the brink of bankruptcy.
Whose wages would Jesus decimate? In 1980, according to the Department of Labor, a meat packer could expect to make $19 an hour. Today the going wage is less than $10. Across the board, American wages are lowered by as much as $200 billion dollars by illegal aliens. The Left speaks a lot about the squeezed middle class, but these champions of the working man will line up to vote for amnesty in Congress in the new year.
How many false Social Security numbers would Jesus use? Arellano was going to be deported because she convicted of that exact crime. The immigration bill the Congress narrowly rejected this year even had provisions for paying out Social Security benefits to those who've stolen other people's numbers. Of course that only applies if they came over the border illegally; legal immigrants and native born citizens get to go to jail when they steal someone's identity.
Using a fake SSN is, I think, a felony.
I suppose, according to the logic of some of our commenters, that Americans who have had their identities stolen should be grateful for the opportunity to help the disadvantaged from other countries. Therefore, I issue this challenge: Pro-illegal liberals, please forward your social security numbers, names and places of birth, because we have illegal aliens in Northern Virginia who can really use that information, Also, if you are not local, send us your addresses or, at least, zip codes, so we can circulate the availability of your neighborhood as a sanctuary city. The more specific, the better.
If you are not willing to do these things, please keep your opinions about our efforts to bring Loudoun County under the rule of law to yourselves.