June 2007 Archives
Here is the full text of the magnificent speech given Thursday night by Ron Maxwell at the Jackson Miller campaign kick off.
Maxwell wrote and directed Gettysburg and Gods and Generals, two films which are not only important works of art but also invaluable historical documents for anyone who lives in this region - or in any region - and has an interest in the evolution of this nation.
He also penned an open letter to President Bush last year, originally published in the Washington Times, which was one of the prime wake-up calls to me about the illegal immigration problem.
(Interesting thought: That April, 2006, letter turned out to be politically prophetic. How different things would have been for this president if he had not chosen to ignore it.)
This one is worth reading twice over. Thanks to Mr. Maxwell for permission to reprint it here.
"The Promise of Home"
I sometimes think that the world is divided into two kinds of people; those who live in three dimensions and those who live in one. Those who live in three dimensions live simultaneously in the past, in the present, and in the future. And when you live in three dimensions at the same time, you realize, as Edmund Burke once said, that those of us who live in the present, at any given time, are the trustees of the past, during our lifetime, to hand it over to the next generation, so that the dead and the unborn are as much a part of life as we are in the minuscule amount of years we have to inhabit this earth.
When we are aware of the past, it means we respect the past, respect our parents, our grandparents, our great grandparents, and the generations all the way back to the beginning of recorded history. It means we read with exhilaration, the historical works of Thucydides, or the artistic works of Aristophanes and Sophocles, reaching back over the millennia - which informs us, which makes us who and what we are, and which enlivens us and which broadens our small world into a world of infinite space, an infinite space of thinking, of contemplation, and of realizing our kinship with the many generations that have gone before us.
It means as well that we cherish the place where we grew up and we regard, as you may recall from the opening credits of Gods and Generals, astronomy; as belonging to that little lot of stars that we see hanging over our backyards every night; if we are fortunate enough to live in a place that is not dulled by light pollution all night long. It means that we cherish that homeland, that home place, where we first realized there was such a thing as trees and grass and wilderness and wildlife, open sky. We all started off our lives in a place. We are connected to those places; we are rooted to those places. They are what make us who we are. It is what we call home.
As the paper of record reports, the death of the amnesty bill represented the will of the American people:
The justifiably furious reaction of the American public, which deluged senators with telephone calls, e-mails and faxes, forced the Senate to reverse itself yesterday and send the amnesty bill crashing to defeat - a potentially fatal blow. It was a devastating setback for the Bush administration and its Democratic Party allies, in particular Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Ted Kennedy.
In addition to being an extraordinary substantive triumph for the American people, it was a huge victory for the conservative movement. Talkers such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham and many others played an indispensable role in making available the research by the Heritage Foundation and NumbersUSA and analysis from editorial pages such as this one to tens of millions of Americans in a very short period of time. But ironically, by demonstrating in a powerful way its ability to reach and educate the public about the specific problems with the bill, talk radio has also made liberal politicians like Sen. Dianne Feinstein even more determined to revive the so-called Fairness Doctrine (the equal-time policy enforced by the Federal Communications Commission until it was eliminated in 1987 at the urging of President Reagan) in an effort to take away the one part of the mass media that conservatives dominate. On the final vote, virtually the entire conservative movement lined up against the bill. On the losing side were the leading Democratic presidential contenders â€” Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - and the Bush administration, vividly demonstrating the political gap between the president and the conservative movement.
On Tuesday - just 48 hours before the legislative coalition supporting the bill crumbled - the bill appeared to have been given a new lease on life. Despite the abysmal poll ratings of the president and Congress, and the fact that barely one-quarter of the American public favored the bill, 64 senators (four more than needed) voted for cloture. This permitted Mr. Reid with White House support to bring the bill to the floor, together with a carefully selected group of amendments that amnesty advocates believed either 1) were unlikely to pass; or 2) if passed would not change the pro-amnesty thrust of the bill in a significant way; and 3) if necessary, could be stripped out of the legislation in conference.
Yet just 48 hours later, the amnesty coalition collapsed, and the 64 Senate supporters became just 46. What happened? As we noted above, talk radio proved that in modern times, it is indispensable for conservative political success. Much of the credit should also go to the bipartisan lobbying organization NumbersUSA, a powerful advocate for strengthening border security, which made it clear to members of Congress that they weren't buying the phony games some lawmakers wanted to play: proposing tough-sounding amendments that stood little chance of becoming law, while voting for cloture - and in effect for amnesty. The 18 senators who switched from supporting amnesty on Tuesday to opposing it yesterday are Democrats Jeff Bingaman, Sherrod Brown, Tom Harkin, Ben Nelson, Mark Pryor and Jim Webb; and Republicans Kit Bond, Sam Brownback, Richard Burr, Norm Coleman, Susan Collins, Pete Domenici, John Ensign, Mitch McConnell, Lisa Murkowski, Ted Stevens, George Voinovich and John Warner.
A point I'd like to make is that the whole "talk radio" element might be overplayed. I never listen to any talk radio at all, and I think a lot of people are in the same boat. I think a lot of the information about the amnesty bill was circulated via the Web and e-mail.
What is significant about this is that Web and e-mail communications fall into the realm of "news" rather than "rabble rousing" which is the mainstream media framing of talk radio.
Really, in the end, the defeat of the amnesty bill was simply the result of wider distribution of information. Wire services delivered all the facts - we did not need Sean Hannity - and that is why the amnesty bill failed.
In a previous life I spent much time in the company of a few early masters of the blogosphere, gentlemen who shaped the genre, who entertained and informed me and also occasionally linked to me.
One of these top dogs was Rob "Acidman" Smith, author of Gut Rumbles, who died almost exactly a year ago. Last time I checked, his blog still gets more than double our traffic here.
Gut Rumbles is notable for its honesty and articulateness. Rob, along with Eric of Straight White Guy, were the first and best blogger-poets to exemplify the potential of blogging everyday life.
In my view, this was one of the key developments of the blogging phenomenon.
Most of the people who do this do it as an outlet for political frustration: Instead of yelling at the television news anchors, we type out our rants.
But there have been those like Rob and Eric who have taken the medium in a different direction and blogged about their thoughts and lives. More personal prose, and less links to public events. It is a compelling model. These guys foresaw what is now immensely obvious: In the blogosphere there is a surplus of political speech, and a deficit of reflection on life.
For all you up and coming, unfocused bloggers out there, I strongly recommend reading the archives of both Gut Rumbles and Straight White Guy.
I think the "citizen journalist" concept for blogging has great potential for those inclined in that direction. But I think the "daily diary" model has greater potential because there are so many more of us who live and can talk about it, than those who can report the "news."
In honor of Acidman, Eric posts this memorial event featuring friends singing one of Rob's favorite John Prine songs.
Over at Too Conservative I got into another argument with Jonathan in which the initial problem was my own bad behavior - which is par for the course for all who know me - but has I think been distilled down to a disagreement over how the illegal immigration issue should be framed.
I'm going to re-post my entire response here with some additions, which I believe falls within the parameters of fair use.
Jonathan, ok point taken: This appears to be my M.O. so let's just say I get to impugn your motivations one or at most two times per message and I allow you to impugn mine twice that number of times, and we should get on famously.
Your argument, and the argument of the article you've linked to, has merit. For anyone considering the illegal immigration issue from a macro standpoint the whole picture must be taken into account. I, for instance, think NAFTA has been a disaster. U.S. companies are selling corn in Mexico cheaper than Mexicans can grow it, so Mexicans are having to come to the U.S. to work. See this excellent post by Stay Puft for a host of links on this topic.
Most importantly, I don't think any intelligent or compassionate person can delve into the issue without delving into the problems with the political institutions of Mexico and Latin America. And, boy, are there problems!
Does anyone actually believe the solution to such problems lies in mass migration? It is not like the migrants are all moving from desert wastelands. They are migrating from countries - Mexico being a stellar example - that should be completely self sufficient. Mexico's corruption, oligarchy and basic mismanagement go back hundreds of years. Bear in mind she won her independence within a generation of our nation doing so.
Considering natural resources and tourism alone, these countries producing the largest numbers of migrants should all be standing on their own two feet. Instead, they have a small, very wealthy and powerful ruling class and an ocean of serfs - a situation that has obtained since before the Spaniards arrived, incidentally, and in which the Spaniards simply filled the appropriate slots with their own folks.
I was lucky enough to attend a very impressive fundraising event in Manassas tonight for Virginia Delegate Jackson Miller, an amazing individual who in his first year in the House emerged as a leader on the immigration reform issue and sponsored legislation that passed the House (before dying in Senate committees).BVBL reports the crowd surpassed 200. Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (left) gave a rousing introduction.
I can tell you I was among the many who were blown away by the keynote speech by film director Ron Maxwell (Gettysburg, Gods and Generals).successful defeat of S. 1639 in the U.S. Senate earlier in the day, and the hope this offers that Americans have now risen up to take back their country one community at a time from the "masters of the universe" - business elites who live only for the present, and who are exploiting cheap labor from south of the border and destroying communities on both sides of the Rio Grande.
The American people are a generous people, but they are not dupes and they are not fools. They have moved from skepticism to mistrust to outrage. Where is our national leadership? Who is defending America and our way of life? Not just in Iraq or Afghanistan. Who is defending it here, in our own homes and our own communities?
It is a healthy feeling of self-survival the American people are feeling, in which they are finally turning to political action and imposing on their elected officials - who sometimes forget who elected them and whom they are supposed to serve. Americans intuitively understand that what's at stake here is nothing less than the survival of our country.
We must ask: Who is profiting from the importation of this cheap labor? Who is it that wants to exploit these poor, third world people? Who is encouraging young men and women to leave their children and their parents behind? Who is causing the division of these families, the millions of broken families and separated loved ones. Who is profiting from their exploitation, only then to pontificate - after the fact, after the damage has been done to the fabric of these communities, after the emotional damage to real life people - that all they really want to do is reunify those families, but not, of course, in their native countries, but here in the United States of America.
Why here? Why not in their countries of origin? So that the present-tensers can then legally import millions more of their relatives through chain migration so that they can be exploited as well. So they can put more American citizens out of work, replacing high-priced American workers with those who will do the work that they, the 300 million citizens of the United States are told over and over again by their own president that they really do not want to do.
As if America, all it's great cities and farms and railroads and highways and skyscrapers and navies and air forces and bridges, all its universities, all its industrial might and its space program were built by Mexicans, Hondurans and Guatemalans.
What rhetorical mischief. What political chicanery. What a colossal con game perpetrated on the American people and on our neighbors to the south.
Maxwell's address was a cry for humane efforts to fix the problems in communities north and south of the border.
If we want "comprehesive" immigration reform, that is how it has to happen.
There are a number of extremely important public offices that will be decided in the November, 2007 elections, and Jackson Miller is among the key ones. He needs your support if you are concerned about solving the illegal alien problem in Virginia.
A few of the other good soldiers in this fight were present at tonight's event, including Delegate Bob Marshall, Delegate Jeff Frederick, Senate Candidate Bob Fitzsimmonds, Loudoun County Sheriff Candidate Greg Ahlemann and Senator Ken Cuccinelli.
UPDATE: Here is the full text of Ron Maxwell's speech.
Congratulations to the current graduates from Loudoun County schools. I hope you continue in your pursuit for knowledge and obtaining a quality life. I am very concerned, though, for what is being taught to our children and whether we are creating a better environment for them to build upon. Let me explain to you why I am worried about this countrys' future.
I'm not 100% sure that ANYTHING new needs to be done to deal with illegal aliens in the U.S., beyond the executive branch of our government enforcing existing laws - which, when you look them over, are not too shabby, albeit so utterly unrelated to the actual reality we inhabit they almost seem as though they belong to another country, possibly on another planet.
But if anything was to be done right now, in the spirit of striking while the iron is hot, it ought to be something exactly like this:
United States House of Representatives
Immigration Reform Caucus
Rep. Brian Bilbray (CA-50), Chairman
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Kurt Bardella
June 28, 2007
WITH KENNEDY-BUSH AMNESTY DEFEATED, BILBRAY CALLS ON CONGRESS TO TAKE ACTION NOW TO ADDRESS ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-CA), Chairman of the Immigration Reform Caucus, released the following statement regarding the defeat of the Kennedy-Bush amnesty bill this morning. The Senate fell short of garnering the 60 votes needed to end debate and move ahead with final passage of the bill. The motion failed 46-53.
"Once again, Americans across our nation took it upon themselves to call Senators and Members of Congress asking them to vote against this flawed bill. Because of their perseverance - this bill is dead. It is important that this defeat not signal the end of our efforts to address illegal immigration but rather represent a new opportunity for Congress to take immediate action and pass legislation that will increase penalties on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, implement a working employer verification system and secure our border."
While the corks are popping and confetti and silly string still hang in the air, let us sneak a glance gamely ahead at the next stage: Local action. Time to ramp it up.
The senators listed below the fold all voted for cloture on S. 1639, which would have allowed the bill to go forward.
There are some fairly prominent names on this list. Good. Some nice fat targets.
UPDATE: And let the gloating begin.
... who voted against cloture on S. 1639.
Here is the tally. Go see whether your senator was a good guy or a bad guy.
Here are the Web forms you can use to send a thank you to your senators who voted against cloture. (Maybe via e-mail would be nice - to give their phones a rest).
Click here to send a thank you to Senator Jim Webb.
Click here to send a thank you to Senator John Warner.
Updated -- Voinovich voted NO!!
Updated -- Final Tally: 46 YEAH, 53 NAY!!!
I just got an e-mail notifying that as of 10:20 am this morning the Senate Sargeant at Arms has "closed down the phone lines" because of the volume of calls. I did not know that could happen, but if it did this is the issue that would do it.
UPDATE: There is now confirmation of this on Drudge.
Nice work, everyone.
John Hawkins has a source inside the Senate.
Then on Wednesday morning, the bill was out on the internet and bloggers started picking it apart and that morning around 10 AM, Reid pulled the bill so it could be re-drafted because he said there were mistakes in it. They spent almost the whole morning drafting it and when they re-released it, it was 400 pages long. That means that it's likely when the vote occurs tomorrow, not a single senator voting on the bill will have had an opportunity to actually read it. Reid's response to complaints about that has basically been, "Trust me." My source told me that the general response to that from the anti-amnesty senators has been something akin to, "Yeah, right."
Read all of that, it is sure to boost your cynicism to unprecedented levels.
I have to say, despite how unbelievably asinine our Republican 'leaders' are, the Democrats manage to go them one better every step of the way.
Last year the Republicans presided over the passing of S. 2611, likely one of the worst pieces of legislation ever devised anywhere. How do the Democrats surpass that one? By pushing through a piece of phantom legislation that is not even written yet and which - obviously - no one has even read.
I just had a private conference with Not Larry Sabato and Black Velvet Bruce Li; and although the meeting was supposed to be completely off the record, I feel morally compelled to share the entire content with all of you right now.
Blogging ethics allow this.
Let's put it this way: The discussion ended with NLS head honcho Ben Tribbett screaming at me "I will bust you down to COPPER, Budzinski, I will bust your sorry little blog down to freakin' zinc!"
"Get out of town, you crazy bald man" I yelled back, "Zinc isn't even a metal!"
Well, it turns out we were BOTH partially right and partially wrong in that exchange, but who's to quibble over minor details. The important thing is that Don Ben is laying the heavy hand of blog dominance on my back, and I don't intend to submit without a fight.
We've had our run-ins with the Don before, as many of you will recall.
In this instance, the sticking point was illegal immigration. Namely, are those of us talking the talk walking the walk?
Ok, the question has now come up from outside and inside so, lacking anything else of import to blog about at this hour of the night, I might as well answer it:
We have only banned ONE person here in the two years or whatever we've been in existence, and that person was neither liberal nor conservative but simply a freak.
That's not to say we have not had considerable antagonists. We have MAJOR antagonists. They rip us to shreds five ways from Tuesday all the time day in and day out. We can deal with that.
Some of our favorite, blood-feud liberal visitors have been invited to blog here under our own amnesty program, in fact, and one of them very famously took us up on the offer and now has blanket privileges to post whatever he wants at the NVTH Blog.
The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is, I daresay, one of the most interesting, yet completely liberal, people in the blogosphere. He thinks I am a total neanderthal. And he is not only NOT blocked but has admin access to this site.
Kevin is one of our less-than-blood-feud liberal friends who has full access and has also contributed excellent posts here, and is now one of our best friends in the blogosphere and beyond.
Zimzo, if you can believe it, was also offered full access. It was offered to others as well. So I think we have established we are not afraid of open dialogue.
The question is, why are all these guys not always posting here.
The answer is, because they have lives - not because we shut them out.
It takes a LOT of time to engage in a continuing discussion in the comments. It is a big time investment to write all the stuff. It's along the lines of an academic debate, and we do not offer Continuing Education Units.
We are pleased when our liberal commentors weigh in here, but when they don't we fully understand they have other things to do.
That's all there is to it. No conspiracies.
Jim Webb, as of late tonight, is reported leaning "yes" on cloture and "no" on the final bill.
Which would be about as weasely as it gets. Yes on cloture lets the Grand Swindle pass in the Senate while a no on the bill supposedly gets the senator off the hook for supporting it.
No dice, Jim. "Yes" on cloture is "yes" on amnesty. Such a vote would be remembered.
Contact Senator Webb here if you want to help him make the right decision on this.
Senator Voinovich's cluelessness should serve as a reassuring reminder that our Republican "leaders'" proclivity to destroy the country via instant amnesty for tens of millions of illegal aliens is the result of ignorance more than malice. So we have that going for us.
....just an interesting factoid, for anyone who doesn't fully appreciate the fact our federal government is, primarily, slime.
One has to wonder whether it would even be legal for the Senate to pass a bill that is not yet completely written, much less understood. I believe there would be legal justification for arguing that every senator who votes for such a bill should be sent to prison.
Keep calling. Here are the numbers. Scroll down if you have forgotten what to say.
Courtesty of Hot Air - Campaign 2008 kicks off with "Muchas Gracias, Senor Graham":
In light of today's vote to move ahead with legislation to destroy America, I'd like to offer the public service of identifying available domain names which some of you may find useful.
All of the URLs below are available as of this moment. I personally prefer to reserve domain names at GoDaddy, but leave it to each of you to use the management tool of your choice.
The easiest move is to go to GoDaddy and reserve the domain there; it takes about 2 minutes.
Grab 'em while the grabbin' is good. But most importantly - USE 'EM!
What the hell is wrong with you? Why? Why would you vote to let this travesty of a bill go forward? Do you really think you're going to get away with the Kerry-esque, "I voted against it -- after I voted for it"?
Are you so in the pockets of the Mexican lobby that you will so ignore your constituents?
You're pro-illegal immigration, pro-abortion, and pro-gun control. Why don't you stop lying to the people of Virginia and switch to the Democrat Party?
In the words of one more famous than you: "Yes, you're despicable, and... and picable... and... and you're definitely, definitely despicable. How a person can get so despicable in one lifetime is beyond me. It isn't as though I haven't met a lot of people. Goodness knows it isn't that. It isn't just that... it isn't... it's... it's despicable." -Daffy Duck, Rabbit Fire (1951)
...with at least one Senator comatose. What the Hell is wrong with these people? Did they ALL have strokes?
Start calling, and do not stop until the vote is over, which is supposed to be around noon. Here are the numbers.
Well, it is late at night, the cows are lowing, and our U.S. senators have all presumably hit the hay. The treasonous bastards.
If you try to call the pro-amnesty hotline, chances are you will not get through. I think this means we have done our jobs tonight.
That's toobad, though, because it would be entertaining to be able to abuse your senator over why he or she is in the process of selling off the United States. But the voice mailboxes are now all full.
Here is what to keep in mind: The U.S. Senate is currently at war with the American people, and the senators believe they have the upper hand.
The Senate is poised to pass a bill which will punish Americans and people who have applied via legal means to become Americans. The Senate bill 1639 amnesty for illegal aliens will bankrupt social security, our kids and grandkids, and local governments, and will toss every applicant for U.S. citizenship who has applied for citizenship since May 1, 2005, to the back of the line behind tens of millions of lawbreakers. Every illegal alien who applies will receive legal status within 24 hours, regardless of criminal history or willingness to play by the rules.
Our government intends to replace us - or dilute us - with a more compliant class of voters.
If the Senate allows this bill to go forward tomorrow morning, the upshot will not be merely the end of the Republican party and destruction of the political careers of all those who vote for cloture - it will be setting the stage for insurrection.
They can turn off their phones and fax machines, but they will not be able to squelch the will of the people.
If cloture on S 1639 passes tomorrow morning this won't be simply a matter of electoral 'payback'. This will be war.
As Ace says, you've ------ed us over for the last time.
I wrote and send the following to all the fence sitters in the Republican party. No point in sending to a Democrat Senator. S.1639 is going to kill the Republican party.
As a Republican I am writing to you to let you know sir that this is one bill that will kill the party. Passage of this bill will drive the Republican base out of the party. Picture the Democrat Party without Labor, NAACP or the netroots; would it be viable?
Vote no for cloture. A yes vote with a â€˜no-voteâ€™ against the bill, S.1639, later will not fool anyone. You will be committing political suicide. The Democrats won't vote for you and the money from big business will not get the base to come to the polls. We, your base, shall not forget.
This bill is the previous immigration bill with a new number. The American people made their displeasure known then. Do you really think we forgot?
Rewarding lawbreaking is against the principals of the Republican Party. This bill rewards the millions of illegal aliens. We shall not forget.
This bill, especially during the time of war will cripple our ability to deal with terrorist who come here under the guise of immigration. This bill will therefore cripple the common defense. We, the republican base, shall never forget this.
We will organize. We will defeat you in the primary, or, if necessary stay home and let a Democrat take your spot. Because, if you vote for this bill, you are worse than a Democrat, you have violated the public trust. A trust, we the Republican base have given you. We shall not forget.
John Q. Citizen
I figure some staffer might actually read some of the inflow. Who knows? Anyway, I prefer it to some of the other faxes-templates I have seen. Each senator can be contacted through the web. Email maybe a better path than clogged phone and fax lines.
Only about 2 hours left:
Special focus should be on Bond, Burr, Cochran, Hatch, Nelson (of Nebraska), Webb. - all these have given hints they are not planning to vote for the bill S 1639 unless it is substantially changed, and will not commit to voting against cloture. BUT THEY DO NOT SEEM TO REALIZE THE AMENDMENT PROCESS IS A SHAM. The only important vote is on cloture on the motion to proceed tomorrow morning.
UPDATE: When the offices close tonight, start using those fax numbers!! Then please start calling again tomorrow morning prior to the approx. 11:30 am vote on cloture on the motion to proceed.
UPDATE II: Whoa! Here is something you can do tonight to stave off the frustration and rage: Make some calls to the Pro-Amnesty Hotline. Follow the simple instructions to bypass the recording and go to your senator's in box. Let him or her know how much you appreciate the fact they have an "Amnestia, Si!" hotline set up.
The latest word is we need six senators from this list I posted this morning to either vote NO on cloture on the motion to proceed on S. 1639 tomorrow morning, or miss the vote, or simply vote "present."
That means we have about five hours before the offices close to make a point to six senators. Use that list and tell them what you think!
Points to bear in mind:
- If any senator is saying they want to go through the process of discussing the upcoming amendments, they need to be told THIS IS A SHAM. Kennedy and Lott have already indicated anything they do not like will be stripped out in conference. The entire amendment "debate" is an exercise in obfuscation. The outcome is rigged and predetermined.
"THIS BILL STARTED IN A BACKROOM AND IT WILL BE ENDING IN A BACKROOM."
- This bill has already been debated in late May and early June and it died. This is where it should be left. Even bringing it back up is a vote for the bill.
- Your vote on final passage is meaningless politically - it only takes a simple majority to pass the bill, which is likely to occur. The only way to kill the bill is with your vote against cloture on the motion to proceed tomorrow morning. If you have any inclination to vote for cloture and against the bill that would be highly deceitful because it will very likely result in the bill getting passed.
(See this post for explanation of the "clay pigeon" tactic which will make it harder to defeat the bill if cloture is invoked on the motion to proceed tomorrow.)
- The bottom line is this bill promises a host of enforcement provisions which go into effect after the tens of millions of illegal aliens will have been legalized through the instant "probationary" Z-visa program. AND THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAS ALREADY PROVEN FOR SEVEN YEARS IT HAS NO INCLINATION TO ENFORCE EXISTING IMMIGRATION LAWS, SO ALL OF THESE PROMISED ENFORCEMENT MEASURES ARE ILLUSIONS, VAPORWARE. Let them show they can enforce existing laws, and build the fence that was promised last year, and then maybe "enforcement" could be used as a bargaining chip.
As this morning's Washington Post reports, over 1,100 immigration bills were introduced in state legislators this year, double the number from 2006. The reason? Our federal government has failed in its responsibility to enforce the laws. As we reported recently, the current bill under consideration in the Senate would nullify all local enforcement efforts (and hand a nice fat bonus to corrupt employers).
So the feds are not only NOT doing their job, but they are trying to make it impossible for localities to get their own houses in order.
Your Monday morning assignment: Kill S. 1639!
This post contains contact information - office locations, phone and (where available) fax numbers - for a group of senators who have been identified as on the fence on the cloture vote on proceeding with S 1639. The information is all below the fold.
Thanks to Ace for the list of "wobbly" senators. I went ahead and added John Warner in since many of you are in Virginia and should be contacting him. Ace reports we need 3/4 of these to vote against cloture.
You will find the local offices are a great way to get through when the DC lines are jammed, especially for faxing.
The vote on cloture on the motion to proceed will likely take place Tuesday, late morning, so today and tomorrow morning - the next 24 hours - are the prime time for working the phones and faxes.
To recap: We need to send the message to these senators that "a vote for cloture is a vote for amnesty," so we want them to either vote NO on cloture, or simply fail to vote on Tuesday. If cloture passes, the bill will move forward and will likely pass the Senate for the reasons explained here.
Voting for cloture, and later voting against the bill (after the bill has been determined to have enough votes to pass) will offer no cover because we voters understand that any senator voting for cloture is voting for amnesty.
Click the following link for a complete listing of contact information for all the "on the fence" senators, and PLEASE start contacting them. Also, pass this information to everyone you know who is concerned about stopping this disastrous legislation before it goes any further.
Go read about the BIG "sanctuary" problem down in PWC over at Blog Fu (and most importantly in the comments).
Read about some episodes in Loudoun County here and here - thankfully, these are of far less import than rape and murder. But the entire trend is a troubling one and, like Blog Fu, I know of innumerable anecdotal local incidents involving crimes by illegal aliens for which there is insufficient documentation to report.
Help Save Manassas is reportedly going to be taking the sanctuary issue up with the Board of Supervisors - every Prince William County and Manassas citizen should be involved and supporting those efforts.
UPDATE: Further evidence of special treatment of the "undocumented" revealed at Not Larry Sabato. As a side note: I recall reading a recent commentary somewhere that pointed out the "undocumented" are not undocumented nor living in the shadows. Through underground channels they can easily obtain sufficient documentation for banking, getting credit cards, buying and registering a car, renting or buying a domicile, attending public schools and getting free medical treatment at the local emergency room. The only sense in which they are "undocumented" is by the lack of presence on U.S. and local government tax rolls - which is not such a bad deal when you think about it.
UPDATE II: More here.
[UPDATE: I just saw the ad on FNC and it appears the show tonight might be telling the same story as Islam vs Islamists but not play the same film. In any event, the story of this individuals is very compelling so I strongly recommend watching it.]
Free Republic has a notice that the documentary I wrote about in April, Islam vs Islamists, is going to air on Fox News Channel tonight at 9:00 pm. (There is some controversy because it was supposed to air last night, and so far it is not showing up on the Comcast guide.)
I highly recommend everyone watch this short film. It got pulled from PBS under questionable circumstances with the hint of pressure from Islamist advocacy groups.
There is only one possible, practical answer to the biggest problem of our age, and that is reform within Islam. This documentary tells the story of a few very brave individuals who are attempting to accomplish such reform. Don't miss it.
More taxes generated for more roads that someone thinks we need. Who do these roads serve? I moved to Loudoun county over 30 years ago to get away from the metrpolitan area. I also took a job that was close to where I lived. What don't you people understand about "work where you live or live where you work?
My job is driving the roads in this area the majority of my work day. It has gone from bad to worse, especially since we don't have "savvy" drivers that know how help make traffic flow. What I see is a great "gaggle" (always liked that word) of cars on Rt. 7 heading to Tyson's and beyond. Then there is Rt. 28 towards 66 and on to points beyond. Fairfax County Parkway to 95. We built these roads for easement of traffic congestion when in actuality we have been creating a new breed of people...cake eaters!
One of the groups to which I belong, the IEEE, has for many years pushed grass roots efforts to help the plight of U.S. engineers (with a little bit of schizophrenia, as they also have "international" in the name, and have explicit ties to helping engineers world wide). It should come as no surprise that they publish books on how to influence the legislative branch. The one way that works best is to visit in person. You have to visit your representatives, but that has more effect than any other method. I am going to Washington in two weeks if I can get an appointment. The immigration issue is worth it.
I'm not sure were I saw this first, but the message is clear. This clip on YouTube is of a lawyers conference and shows how to get around the spirit of the law not do what is right, and hire foreign workers even though you know there are qualified American workers. The most damning quote: "Our goal here is NOT to find an interested and qualified U.S. worker."
The Honorable John Warner
United States Senate
225 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
June 21, 2007
Dear Senator Warner,
As a constituent and candidate for public office, I am writing to express my concern over S.1639, better known as the Immigration Reform Bill. As a former Loudoun County Deputy Sheriff, I have seen first hand the influx of illegal immigrants into our County. Along with this increase, I have witnessed the gang problems, crime and residential overcrowding that have resulted.
On June 9th, 2007, I received the Republican nomination for Sheriff of Loudoun County. This was decided by the voters at the largest county convention in the history of Virginia. Unseating a three term incumbent from within the Party was due, in large part, to my stance against illegal immigration. I have expressed my desire for the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office to participate in the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement- 287g) program and the voters have responded.
As you know, this bill would provide amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants and effectively make the ICE program obsolete. Federal and local law enforcement have been losing the battle against illegal immigration and I believe passage of this bill would hinder what little enforcement is available.
Securing our borders and deporting criminal illegal aliens is not an issue tied to one political party or the other. I believe, as my supporters do, passage of this bill would have adverse consequences for our County, our Commonwealth and our Country. I urge you to vote against this or any impending bills that would provide amnesty for those that would attempt to enter this country illegally.
Republican Nominee - Sheriff of Loudoun County, VA
Thank you, Greg! And thanks to Mick Staton for getting the ball rolling.
It would be nice to see whole lot more of our Loudoun County officials do the same between now and Tuesday morning when the Senate will vote on cloture on the motion to proceed with S. 1639. Tell our senators to either skip the vote, vote "present" or vote NO on cloture. A yes vote on cloture is a vote for amnesty. Contact info for Warner is here, for Webb is here.
In case you have been one of the many people getting busy signals when attempting phone and fax contact with Senator John Warner's Washington, DC office, below the fold are all his other offices. Generally you can get through immediately to any of them.
Sending faxes throughout the weekend and up until Tuesday morning would not be a bad thing to do.
Go do all of them right now! It won't take ten minutes.
When you return, please click here for contact information and talking points to carry you through Tuesday when there will likely be a vote on cloture on the motion to proceed with S 1639.
You want to ensure that both of your senators vote NO on cloture on the motion to proceed - or else vote "present" or else simply find something else to do while the vote occurs. We just need to avoid "yes" votes on cloture on the motion to proceed at all costs.
This bill cannot be permitted to go forward. It will will provide instant amnesty - within 24 hours of applying - to tens of millions of lawbreakers, with only the promise of future law enforcement.
It will serve as an open invitation to tens of millions more to stream across our southern border rather than stay home and work for political and economic reform in their own countries.
It will import and eventually legalize a vast underclass which will destroy whatever is left of our Social Security system and create a catastrophic tax burden on our children and grandchildren.
If you are so inclined, make it a point to contact Virginia's junior senator, Jim Webb. He was elected partially on the basis of having a mind of his own and being "one of us." If he is one of us, he has to see what a complete mess S 1639 is, although as a rookie he is undoubtedly under tremendous pressure to follow the GOP leadership off the cliff. He won a historic Senate race: Now let's all tell him we will stand behind him for taking a historic stand against legislation that threatens to destroy this country.
Contact information for Senator Jim Webb at all of his offices is below the fold.
A living symbol of George W. Bush's effort to erase the U.S. southern border, former Border Patrol agent Ignacio Ramos is wasting away in solitary confinement in a federal correctional facility:
A congressional aide who visited Ignacio Ramos in prison said the convicted Border Patrol agent appeared emaciated, losing more than 30 pounds in solitary confinement.
Ramos, who is appealing his 11-year sentence for the non-lethal shooting of a Mexican drug smuggler, has been in a "special housing unit" since he was beaten by inmates in February at the medium-security Federal Correctional Complex in Yazoo City, Miss., said Tara Setmayer, spokeswoman for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif.
"He was very happy to see me, but, overall, he was very emotional," Setmayer told WND. "He is demoralized. Languishing in solitary for 135 days takes its toll on anyone."
The men who bloodied Ramos with kicks from steel-toed boots are in the same unit, Setmayer said.
More on the Bush administration's war on the Border Patrol here, here and here.
Bottom line: Senator, please oppose the Grand Swindle!
Supervisor Mick Staton attended the Help Save Loudoun meeting Monday night, along with a number of other local dignitaries and candidates, and spent some quality time conversing with Loudoun County citizens.
Mick Staton announced the letter he has sent to our one possibly reasonably U.S. Senator, Jim Webb. This is an extremely intelligent act by Supervisor Staton, one which should be duplicated by all of our elected local officials statewide.
It is a slap to the face to every citizen of every community who has to deal with the day to day problems that illegal immigrants bring. Finally, it is a slap to the face of local officials, like myself, who are plagued by the problems created by illegal immigration, but are not even permitted to enforce existing immigration laws due to 'lack of jurisdiction.'
I urge you to vote against this fatally flawed legislation...
Bravo to Mick for initiating this. Let's hope all of our other local officials will follow suit.
Over 85% of those arrested under Operation Predator are foreign nationals - committing the unspeakable acts Americans just won't do:
Just four years after the Department of Homeland Security launched Operation Predator, an initiative aimed at those who sexually exploit children, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced today that its arrests had topped 10,000.
"Operation Predator is a great example of how our transnational partnerships and wide-ranging legal authorities can work to protect children," said Julie L. Myers, Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for ICE. "In the course of this highly successful operation, ICE has investigated and arrested people who tried to use the anonymity of the web, foreign travel or their roles as trusted members of the community to hide their crimes. Nothing makes us prouder than eliminating from our communities those who take advantage of children."
More than 8,600 of those arrested as part of the operation have been non-citizen sex offenders whose crimes make them removable from the United States. As of today, more than 5,500 have been removed from the United States.
Next, I would propose, should be Operation Shut The Gates.
Protesters hit Lott's Jackson, MS offices:
Several dozen people attended a protest outside of Lott's Jackson office Thursday to "voice our frustration, disappointment and not understanding of why Sen. Trent Lott is pushing the Kennedy-Kyl bill," said rally organizer Rodney Hunt, president of the Mississippi Federation for Immigration Reform and Enforcement...
"If he sees legislation that harms the United States, it's his duty to kill it," Hunt said, adding Congress and recent presidents have a poor record of providing the money needed for stricter immigration requirements. "We do not have a guarantee that we'll ever have any enforcement."
Meanwhile, Lott says regarding the phone calls, take a hike, but bring it on:
"I've had my phones jammed for three weeks. Yesterday I had three people answering them continuously all day," Lott said. "To think that you're going to intimidate a senator or any senator into voting one way or the other by gorging your phones with phone calls - most of whom don't even know where Gulfport, Mississippi, is - is not an effective tactic. But it's their right to do that."
I think maybe a two-by-six, about 12 feet long, upon which the senator could ride out of town, would be a more effective tactic.
Labor is waking up to the fact that illegal immigration is a crime against American workers. Hispanic advocates say the Senate bill does not go far enough.
We'll take our allies wherever we can find them:
"This takes a problem we have and, instead of solving it, makes it worse," said Richard L. Trumka, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO. He said the temporary-worker program that the bill sets up would hurt U.S. workers by providing a source of cheap labor that would depress Americans' wages...
The Hispanic groups said there is no reason to change the current system, which favors family reunification, and said there is no clamor for the point system.
"It's important for us to be able to walk away from a bad bill, and that's what we're asking Congress to do," said Brent A. Wilkes, executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens.
...and a crackdown on employers.
Some highlights from a nationwide poll conducted Monday night:
National Immigration Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters
Conducted June 18, 2007 by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC
2* Roughly 95% of illegal immigration occurs at our southern border. Should securing this border be accomplished before trying to legalize unlawful aliens and before creating a guest worker program, or should they all be attempted at the same time?
62% Before legalization or guest worker programs are begun
27% All should be attempted at the same time
11% Not sure
8* Should employers who repeatedly and knowingly employ illegal aliens be subject to jail time in addition to stiff fines?
7% Not sure
13* Would you support mandatory, tamper-proof ID cards for all non-citizens seeking to work in the United States?
6% Not sure
14* If an illegal alien entered the US prior to 2007, should we offer them permanent legal resident status if they pay $5,000, pass a thorough background check and agree they will not be able to become a US citizen?
17% Not sure
15* If an illegal alien becomes a legal US resident, should their relatives in the home country get preferential treatment if they apply for US residency?
10% Not sure
Watch out, fat cats.
...for refusing to yield to the Pro-Amnesty "Masters of Disaster"! (New ad from Eagle Forum).
Recently I visited a blog (tooconservative.com) in which a Democrat was posting to a predominately Republican blog and lamenting Bloomberg and the possibility of his running.
I have scoffed at this possibility of it becoming a serious threat to our two-party system or this race, but have since changed my mind.
A threat to "our" two-party system is a threat to the consolidation of power; the two major parties might become marginalized. A two party system isn't something the constitution explicitly empowers. The constitution would be of very poor construction if it did (the Republican Party did not exist until the mid 19th century!). The comment though (which was favorably received by at least some) shows that there is concern over the "system" remaining.
I am convinced "the system" is inherently bad. The system works to concentrate power in two groups, and those groups are not there for a particular reason other than to elect candidates. One of my friends, who is active in national level politics, said: "You have to remember that the Republican Party is not about any issue or cause [like the Democrats] it is about electing candidates." Both parties then do not stand for anything. They have traditional supporters to whom they bend and sway.
Historically, this seems to be the case as well. There are very few times when a major third party arises; i.e., when a third party can get someone elected to a national office. What appears to happen is some issue will arise, and the major parties adapt to engulf one or the other side of the issue. What that leaves us with is a system that has two groups that fight each other, with neither group being of any particular ideology. Certainly there is some inertia in what party is on what side of an issue. But even then, sometimes things get complicated. For instance, the Democrats have historically been in favor of large government, it was the Republicans that started the No Child Left Behind act which dramatically increased the intrusion of the federal government into education (which is not within the federal government's charter, the U.S. Constitution).
According to the NYT, Bloomberg has renounced his ties to the Republican Party. Good riddance. Bloomberg only became a Republican after he lost the Democrat primary. He then ran for mayor as a Republican and won.
The implication is that he may make an independent run for the White House. So will he take more votes from the Democrats or the Republicans?
My guess is that the Democrats will lose more to Bloomberg than the Republicans will. Bloomberg is a liberal. He is pro-abortion rights and anti-gun rights. He believes more government is the solution to all problems. The only reasons Republicans in NYC voted for him is that they did not have a real Republican to vote for, and the alternative was even more liberal than Bloomberg. The Democratic nomination process tends to result in the most liberal candidate's being nominated. Thus, the blue-collar, union, deer-hunting Democrats may be drawn to the less liberal Bloomberg.
Bloomberg could take votes from the right side of the Democrat Party, as Ralph Nader took them from the left-side. Run, Mikey, run!
I decided to quit sitting on the sidelines and become more involved in the world of politics. After all, just voting doesn't do enough anymore. Sooooo I became a delegate for the Republican Convention. What an interesting surprise. I thought that the Clyde Beatty circus had come back to town. One of the highlights was the forever endless tape loop of people talking about the party and how wonderful it was. Then things started going downhill. I was subjected to a whole bunch of whining (which I can get at work on a daily basis) and then some name calling. We had a couple cherleaders that tried to pump up the audience but basically just made asses of themselves. They did have more spunk than my preacher to give them due. Then we got to vote; or didn't get to vote. Better planning would have meant that ALL the delegates would have had a say. Seems that some decided to jump ship and go do something more interesting. I stuck it out so that I could complete the process. What a waste of time.
I found out that you only need to be a Republican until you don't win the nomination from your party. Then your oath goes out the door and you become an Independant. Now would that be an Independant Republican or Independant Democrat? I voted for York the first time until he failed on his word. It seems that the Republican party didn't like that either so when he didn't win the nomination, he became an Independant.....Independant Democrat that is. Now Sheriff Steve wants to go Independant also. Ryan is heading down the same path after his loss. Where is the party loyalty? Why not wait for the next Convention and try again? If Simpson realized that it is the CITIZENRY that doesn't want him anymore, I feel he would back down. What didn't he complete? I think the brick hit him between the eyes and now he gets it. Too late. Should have got it before. If Ryan had got it then it would have been Waters going to the Independant side. You know why these people didn't win their nomination? They didn't bring enough delegates to the game. Talk about stacking the deck! We all get to hear and see how ALL Stupidvisors act when it comes to the goings-on of county business. I want to know why I couldn't vote on the other district races. It affects me as a whole when it comes to county edict. This doesn't make sense. I should have the same right to pick the jurors at my trial if I got in trouble with the law. That way I could guarentee the outcome. I wish there was a Wig party. I would join if for no other reason than to keep my head from getting sunburn outside after forgetting my hat!
There was but a few candidates that had some maturity about them and had the right things to say. Some won, some didn't. I would like to see Ahlmann stick to his beliefs and bring some honor and integrity to our sheriff's department. Then again, I would like to see that in all positions of our government; county, state and U.S. government. I guess honor is only among thieves as the saying goes. I hope that those individuals that left the party to try again for county positions realize this; if your word is no good and you show that, why in the hell would we want to stick you in any position of authority? You can't be trusted. The people will decide on election day and I am going to help in that decision making process. Let's start getting serious about politics. It is not a job and definitly not a career. It is not a stepping stone to more power and prestige. It is a citizen that wants to selflessly give up his or her personal time so that everyone earns the fruit of this labor. Better accountability, safer environment, quality lifestyle and a personal well being that we live in the right place. The time is now to change what you believe we need and listen to what we deserve. That is your task. If you can't do that, back away and give someone that truly cares about all others the opportunity to have a crack at it. Don't be selfish, be SELFLESS!
Citizens of this county and this state need to stop sitting back and waiting for someone else to FIX THE MESS! It takes more then voting. You need to be aware of what is going on and who is doing OR not doing something and GET INVOLVED! Trust me, there is a place for anybody and everybody who wants to be part of the solution. Don't wait till it becomes a fad and is the NEW thing to do. Be a leader and jump in. ACT NOW!
Craig Hudgins, left, is a jet pilot of some sort who the usually percipient Eileen identifies as a "Biblical values" candidate. That could mean a number of things, I imagine.
This will be interesting to watch.
Why does our government put up with this? It's time for the Army to take up the defense of our borders.
The clay pigeon cometh.
I've heard the first "motion to proceed" on what will likely be a REVISED COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM BILL will take place later this week.
S 1348 is being rewritten as we speak.
Bottom line: The new bill will be introduced with a "clay pigeon" of amendments:
Under the tentative plan, Reid as early as Friday would launch his target - an amendment encompassing all 22 proposals - and shoot it into its component pieces. The Senate would then vote on ending debate on the immigration measure, which would take 60 votes and limit discussion of the bill to 30 more hours. After that interval, all 22 amendments would have to be voted on, with little opportunity for foes to interfere.
This is apparently hard to fight.
What this means is, at the outset of renewed debate there will be a motion to vote for cloture (shut off debate) on the motion to proceed. We need to fight that initial vote for cloture because once the new bill is moving forward in the Senate it will be hard to stop.
Two points grassroots opponents of the Grand Swindle need to continue to hammer on:
1). A vote for cloture on the FIRST motion to proceed is a vote for amnesty!
2). Senators who vote for cloture with the hope they can escape responsibility by later voting against the bill will not be let off the hook by voters this time: We understand that backroom negotiations on amendments and what will occur in committee will result in Senate passage and we will hold responsible any senator who votes for cloture.
Here is contact information for senators who need to be contacted:
No major surprise here:
It's immigration, an issue with a lot more life in it than the controversial bill recently put on the Senate's back burner, maybe permanently, maybe temporarily, in the face of mostly Republican opposition. Opponents say it offers amnesty for 12 million illegals; proponents, with justification, say it does no such thing, but who's reading the bill?
Top idea of the month: Whoever throws in against Lindsay Graham in a primary will immediately become the largest Internet fundraiser of all time
A letter from the Costa Mesa, CA city council to President Bush:
Dear President Bush:On behalf of the Costa Mesa City Council, I wish to convey our position on illegal immigration. We feel it is vital that local governments such as ours communicate our concerns in this area. Our community suffers significant social, civil and law enforcement impacts, which appear to be the result of unfettered illegal immigration.
Promoting the deeply flawed SB 1348 is an affront to all law-abiding Americans. Passage of such legislation would be a disaster for our community and nation. We strongly oppose amnesty by any other name; just making something legal does not set things right, and will not address the impacts Americans suffer.
Since December 2006, we have had an Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent assigned to work in our city jail. In the last six months, an astounding 262 arrestees have been flagged as probable illegal aliens from points around the globe who will be subject to deportation after their jail time is served. This demonstrates at a local level that existing laws can work if they are applied.
The immigration system is not "broken," the only thing that is broken is the will to uphold the law. Your administration's lack of will to meet its obligations regarding immigration enforcement is disrespectful toward all American citizens and legal immigrants.
Please uphold the existing federal immigration laws. Please provide all federal, state and local agencies the necessary resources and training to assist where they can. Federal funding is also needed to reimburse local governments' social, civil, and incarceration costs of illegal immigration.
Mr. President, we are weary of the massive local impacts of unfettered illegal immigration. We do not want amnesty for tens of millions of illegal aliens; we do want strong enforcement of our existing immigration laws.
Allan R. Mansoor
Religious intolerance and bigotry here in Loudoun county? You have to wonder. While most of the time people think of this in terms of the KKK, I have to wonder if the pendulum has swung to the opposite extreme. I hope not, and I hope our friend Loudoun Insider is wrong about the people of Loudoun. I hope we are collectively not a bunch of bigoted sods that would look at someone's religious views as disqualification from office. I cannot believe we have become so intolerant that we would take someone who is sincere about their faith--someone that is consistent--and pronounce them as unqualified for political office.
I personally believe all people would appreciate integrity; all people would appreciate consistency of belief. One of the things presently so distasteful to so many is the inconsistency of those that have signed pledges as delegates or candidates for the Republican convention here in Loudoun, and then reversed their position when they lost. We have all rightly said that is not acceptable behavior to say one thing, then do another. Would someone that is outwardly that religious do this? It certainly would not be in character.
For example, suppose I had decided that Gary Clemens should not have another term, and that even though he beat me in the convention, I felt I could beat him in the election. If I had run as an independent, I would expect that just mentioning that my position was contrary to my stated Christian beliefs would have me turning back to what is truly important (honoring God with all I do!) I have to put the election in God's hands; I have to live by my principles.
It appears those who do not value their word as bond could change what they do, or at least allow others to persuade them. I still hope for repentance on their part, but I have to believe they are not the "outwardly religious" people that LI states cannot be elected. Perhaps instead of deriding those that have character as unelectable, he should be pushing for more outwardly religious people to be running. It would suit his views on honoring signed pledges at the very least.
This follows on my post earlier in the week about how the Grand Swindle will overturn all local enforcement efforts:
Ragnar notes business executives look around at what the grassroots are beginning to demand from local and state officials and they are shaking in their Bostonians:
If you're an employer who's been skirting the law for years with a wink and a nod, this change in the winds has to be keeping you up at night--with good reason. Some CEOs looking at public opinion polls and knowing their employment rolls haven't been even close to right with God, have to be dealing with some serious heartburn at the thought of angry villagers at the corporate gates demanding massive fines and/or a few years in federal pound-me-in-the-*ss prison.
If the employers can just get across the line on this, they've significantly reduced their exposure. This Amnesty Bill represents a sort of "get out of jail free" card for these executives.
This seems plausible. We need to make sure this message gets out loud and clear the next few days. It is surprising there are not more Democratic politicians getting on board with the pro-enforcement efforts so far.
Gary Clemens' presentation was entertaining. No one can deny that. What concerned me deeply, having had more time to examine the facts, was his complete dismissal of key valid criticisms of his performance in his first term as Loudoun County's Clerk of Court.
Brian Withnell has spoken to the matter of the audits -
- the "clean" 2000 audit (as Gary came in the door),
- the 2002 audit, which was a disaster, and which referred to some previous correspondence (I'm guessing 2001) when the auditors warned Clemens of the issues they would ding him on when they returned in 2002,
- the 2004 audit that was improved, but still a mess.
Gary Clemens dismissed all this by saying "but hey, I've got two clean audits now!".
As someone who would enjoy time in a gulag over that spent balancing a checkbook, I'll move on to the portion of Gary Clemens' speech/performance that really burned me the most - that dealing with privacy of personal online data. On the stage, Gary Clemens crumpled up a letter from a victim of identity theft, who knows well his history on this issue, threw it away, and referred to it is "trash", undeserving of a response.
My fellow Americans: Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.
And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:
Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.
Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.
They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.
They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.
For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.
Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.
And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas -- whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them--help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.
Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.
Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.
And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.
And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.
With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.
Thy will be done, Almighty God.
-Franklin Delano Roosevelt
I've got a few hours left. I should be able to periodically check in throughout my deployment. Good luck to everyone. Thanks for reading.
As one of Jack's commenters noted the other day, it is absolutely sinful for anyone to make money on "health" related work.
It therefore warms the cockles of my heart to learn that leftist auteur-provocateur Michael Moore is finally able to put his money where his mouth is by giving away the fruit of his labors.
Some things are just too important to be sullied by the profit motive.
My constant needling, haranguing, hectoring and general face-slappery of our perpetual antagonist, the hunched-over, beady-eyed one, Loudoun Insider, has finally achieved its desired result:
Ha ha ha ha HA! This is how it always begins ... and this is what I live for. Toobad nobody bothered to inform our Lillipution Incubus that by the time he realizes that war has begun HIS DEATH THROES ARE ALREADY IN THE FINAL STAGES!!
Take ye care, Liberal Insensate, lest the flames ye fan devour ye.
UPDATE: Ah, criminy - capitulation before the smoke from the first salvo has even ceased stinging our nostrils. Story of my life ...
Senators Jim Demint, David Vitter and especially JEFF SESSIONS have been heroically performing the duty of a lifetime as the three key opponents to the Grand Swindle, and they deserve our sincere thanks.
If you have been making phone calls and sending faxes to scold all of those who are leaning toward supporting the treasonous legislation, perhaps you might enjoy a change of pace with a positive call or two?
The men could use any words of support and encouragement to stop the progress of this insane legislation. The more info Americans get about this bill, the more of them will be outraged it is even being discussed.
These three senators deserve a pat on the back and support for putting on the brakes and allowing more time for word to get out about what exactly is being rammed through the Senate under a veil of secrecy about the actual contents (the bill is not even in final form yet!).
Contact information for the "Hero trio" is below the fold.
The ease with which politicians leave behind the pledges they make is mind boggling. Personally, I've known used car salesmen with better scruples. When I posted here for the first time (after the convention) some questioned my values; would I run as an independent? While I truly believe that the post in question was out of lack of knowledge of me (Honlon's razor applies), it does raise the question of what is or is not typical of politicians.
You could not make this stuff up.
Well now the Grand Swindle is supposedly back on track because - brace yourself - the president has now promised ... actual money to pay for the fence!!
Oh yeah, this is rich. And I mean Alice-in-Wonderland rich, 1984-rich.
Not only that, but the money will also pay for ... enforcement of immigration laws!
Which, incidentally, are already on the books, but why quibble over technicalities.
Not only that, but the money which is suddenly needed to do what was supposed to already be getting done will come from ... funds raised by this new legislation. As in, after millions of lawbreakers have received their "probationary" Z-visas and millions of would-be legal immigrants who were dumb enough to get in line after May 1, 2005 are pushed to the back of the line behind all the lawbreakers.
In other words, no time soon. Pretty sweet deal, huh?
We need to recall this entire government.
[UPDATE: For obvious reasons this post is going to get bumped back to the top of the page periodically until either S 1348 is defeated or we as a country turn out the lights, whichever comes first.]
President Bush said, "I'll see you at the bill signing."
Now is the time for all citizens to call their senators and the White House and tell them, "No means no!"
Everyone should already know these points by heart, but here they are again:
The Grand Swindle promises us a fence that was already supposed to have been built; it will allow massive fraud; it will cheat millions of people who have been waiting to immigrate by putting them in the back of the line behind tens of millions of lawbreakers; and worst of all, it grants instant amnesty to all who apply within 24 hours - no background checks of any kind required.
This legislation is treasonous and must be stopped permanently.
More information is available here.
Here are the numbers:
White House Switchboard: (202) 456-1414
White House Comments Line: (202) 456-1111
Sen. Webb (202) 224-4024
Sen. Warner (202) 224-2023
Ace says keep calling because the GOP now says it has enough senators to invoke cloture, and he has a bunch of good phone numbers, including a special hotline for non-citizens who want to call a senator in favor of amnesty.
If you can believe that.
Big news, and I am talking in the Grand Scheme Of Things:
We are going to have two new bloggers joining us!
First is a wonderful individual - "ACTivist", who shall remain pseudonymous until he/she decides to reveal any personal hints. You are going to enjoy this one.
Second is .... drumroll please...
Along the lines of my post from last night: John Hawkins has an important brief on what is really happening with the "comprehensive" immigration reform bill in the Senate. Click here to read it which I HIGHLY recommend.
I'm probably going to just outright steal the post and reprint it here next week - it is that important - but for now I encourage you to visit John's site if you are concerned about this issue.
Since I have not seen anyone else do this yet, here goes: Congratulations to the Loudoun County Republican Committee for putting on a fantastic convention this past Saturday. It did not run as quickly as some might have hoped, but it ran well and there were not many controversies after the votes.
Paul Protic, Suzanne Volpe, Mark Sell, Eve Barner and whoever else was involved at a management level deserve everyone's thanks for a job well done.
There are a number of quasi-prominent people on the Web who have made something of a cottage industry of obsessing about the purportedly ominous machinations of the LCRC.This extremely well managed convention should quiet them. But it won't.
Anyway, thanks to everyone who worked so hard to put it on. It was no small feat. Just managing the number of people would be one thing, but there seemed to be a large number of non-political newbies in attendance and they (and their kids in many cases) had to be treated somewhat gingerly and herded around relatively gently compared to the hard-edged politicos, and for the most part everyone seemed content with the way it all worked.
I understand there was some frustration with the way the voting was conducted and how long it took, but I believe any "lost votes" from delegates having to leave early would have cut both ways - and although I was planning to write a very snarky post on the matter I now understand that it was a question of erring on the side of accuracy which, after all, is sort of key.
Great work, LCRC. Thank you!
[Continuing Loudoun Insider's worst nightmare, we have another great post from Brian Withnell as a comment on this post about whether it is appropriate to be paid for work in religion, health or education.]
I have only one major disagreement with this. A pastor is someone that cannot do any other task because God has called him to be a pastor. If someone could do anything other than be a pastor, they should not be a pastor. If someone thinks of being a pastor as a way to make money, they need to leave that "job" and get out of the church. The worker may be worthy of his wages, but those wages should be the median wage of the people attending his church.
As to teaching, I can say only that while I agree in principle, I find that I am constrained in much the same way. When I ran for Clerk, I actually had a strong hope that I would not win. I love teaching. It doesn't pay. (I paid more in taxes as an IT Director than the gross pay I receive now as a teacher.) But there is a reward in getting nearly every one of my students to pass the SOL this year. There are students that I tutored long into the evening, and other I came early to help in the mornings. And when I see those students passing what they thought they would not pass, it makes my day, week, month and year! I am sure that if things were different, I would be back to IT in a heart beat, but as it is, as long as I can stand the negative cash flow of being in teaching, I will. (I'm hoping that the increases in my taxes will eventually stop outpacing the yearly increases in salary, and that could eventually make it a "break even" proposition.)
Money is fun to have, seeing a student grasp a difficult concept (that is, seeing "the light bulb go on") is truly rewarding.
While that is true, I also understand that I'm the exception. Not many of the teachers I meet are converts from industry. Few in fact. I've not met any successful industry "convert" that wasn't dedicated to teaching. Having pay related to subject has been done in some areas, and from what I understand, it has had success. That said, I am still in a place where I'm paying forward what was given me, and more satisfied doing it than what the obvious lack of money would explain.
-- Brian Withnell
How utterly ironic and, frankly, sick: John McCain is "guardedly optimistic":
...that we can get the bill to the floor of the Senate just before the fourth of July recess, and pass it through the United States Senate.
How utterly blatant an example of what Fredo Arias King identified as usurpation.
In a mind boggling exercise in governmental overreach, these idiots are attempting to shove down our throats a policy that will undermine our laws and livelihoods, despite massive public opposition - and they are planning to get it done just prior to the anniversary of our independence from the overreach that led to our emergence as a nation.
Ironic? You bet.
Comic? Only if you are on the delivering end rather than the receiving end.
If you are on the delivering end, it is a friggin' hoot what this bill would do to the typical American citizens....
You know, all of us retrogrades who cannot afford to live in gated communities and have to send our kids to the public schools. In other words: all of us chumps.
Bernard Bailyn identified the dominant ideological foundation of the American Revolution in the "radical" movement of 17th and 18th century England:
They insisted, at a time when the government was felt to be less oppressive than it had been for two hundred years, that it was necessarily - by it's very nature - hostile to human liberty and happiness; that, properly, it existed only on the tolerance of the people whose needs it served; and that it could be, and reasonably should be, dismissed - overthrown - if it attempted to exceed its proper jurisdiction.*
Dismissed and overthrown. Has a nice ring to it, does it not?
[*Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1967, p. 47]
The current "comprehensive immigration reform" swindle has an added feature that has been greatly underreported: It would nullify all local and state legislation aimed at curbing the negative effects of illegal aliens because - voila - they would all be "legal" within 24 hours.
As an e-mailer to Rich Lowry notes:
Far from simple being empty promises, this amnesty bill is actually a blatant attempt to head off any attempts at enforcement at all. After all, states and cities can't deny services or enforce laws against illegals if the government makes them all legal.
(Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link).
Adios, everything you might be working on at the local or state level. S 1348 trumps all of it.
The bill does nothing to ensure local business licensing rules or zoning laws are enforced. It does nothing to crack down on employers who hire under the table. It does nothing to limit the influx across our southern border. It provides blanket amnesty, and opens the door for migrants to apply for state benefits, with the promise of enforcement sometime in the future.
The president and a substantial portion of the U.S. Senate have essentially declared war on the American people.
The "bill" currently under discussion is so utterly detrimental to the interests of most Americans that if more of them simply understood what it contains, there would be talk not so much of "voting them out" in 2008, but of descending on the White House and Capitol with tar and feathers right now.
Howard Fineman makes this interesting but not entirely accurate observation:
His timing was perfect, as in wrong, just as he was preparing to attend the Senate Republicans' weekly luncheon on the Hill. "I'll see you at the bill signing," he said, chestier than usual.
He might live to regret such playground bravado. If you are president, the only thing worse than issuing a public threat to your own party is failing to make it stick.
It really is quite extraordinary. Here he is, an unpopular leader fighting an unpopular war. His two-term presidency is clattering to a conclusion, besieged on all sides, taking hits on everything from his attorney general to his general incompetence. And so he decides to do what? Climb into the ring for an ultimate fighting bout with the base of the very Republicans who got him to the White House.
The fissure in the Republican Party over immigration is significant, and - by the way - it precedes George W. Bush. There are far more powerful forces than the U.S. president advocating cheap labor and open borders. But Bush has chosen to ignore the concerns of the regular citizens.
These are now everywhere disingenuously referred to as "the base" whether "Republican" or "conservative." In reality, the outrage is coming from Americans of every ideological stripe who are now seeing the negative effects of the illegal alien invasion in their own communities.
There is no doubt the president is on course to destroy the Republican Party, although not because of besmirching it over the illegal alien issue. Certainly, many Americans will realize that if not for a handful of Republican senators this bill would have passed the Senate weeks ago.
He is going to destroy the GOP by forcing the question of party loyalty and deepening internal fractures to the breaking point in the 2007 and especially 2008 elections. As blogger Ace of Spades has promised:
Every single one of you voting for this bill is looking into your political grave. There will be casualties; there will be a bloodbath...
You're done. You've radicalized the right into a Kos-like political vendetta machine, and we will not only cut our own throats in order to slice yours, we'll enjoy doing so.
Read all of that, by the way.
Beyond the party, what Bush is saying to mainstream Americans is "trust me, and follow me over the cliff" by allowing him to open the floodgates once and for all. He is not just picking a fight with the hard core of his party - he is picking a fight with the citizenry as a whole. Luckily, Americans are now inclined to view the "trust me" exhortation skeptically and more and more of them are realizing they, their kids and their grandchildren are under attack.
The time is ripe for patriotism of the kind that inspired the "revolutionaries" here 231 years ago, who were not trying to overturn a social system but rather fight off a pernicious threat being imposed on their existing social and cultural order from above.
No this article is not about politics, but it is about America. It is about our culture, how we see ourselves, and how we see our icons. Like him or not, think he is juiced or not, Barry Bonds is an icon.
Barry Bonds is now chasing Hank Aaron's all-time home-run record of 755. Bonds, as of June 11, 2007, had 747. Bonds is not my favorite baseball player, that place is taken by Tony Gwynn. Nonetheless, I think Bonds is unfairly treated by the media and the fans, because the media lives on scandal.
Some say Bonds is, or was, on the "juice," steroids. But allow me to compare his output vs. Aaron's, and see if the numbers support that theory.
...tattooed where no one will see it unless they are in the danger zone? It would avoid cases like this.
The first send-off for No Relation was such a roaring success we had to do it again, so a few of us gathered at Leesburg's Downtown Saloon again to bid a fond farewell and godspeed to our local hero.
NR joined the military right out of high school - about ten years ago - when he was just 17 years old. He completed his first tour of duty overseas (Afghanistan) in 2005 and goes back on active duty next week. He will be in the Middle East around the end of summer. In total, he will be out of civilian life and living the infantry life until about the end of next summer.
Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio made a very welcome surprise appearance.
Among other dignitaries present was Republican precinct captain for Sterling, Fred Avila, and artiste-wunderkind Kevin of Digital Camel (also an esteemed NVTH "amnesty" blogger). Kevin drove down from Baltimore for the event.
Funny thing: After we first arrived the topic of conversation turned to Eugene Delgaudio, with several of us trying to explain to Kevin the ineluctable, mysterious charm of our Supervisor, and me finally saying "You just have to meet Eugene sometime. Words hardly do him justice."
When ten minutes later who should walk in but the Supervisor himself! Suffice it to say, before long Kevin had the full experience and I trust he now understands how to know Eugene is to love him.
The old and the new: After returning from Afghanistan NR spent several months working for Eugene. Here he is with current Delgaudio laborers Josh and Ryan. Josh emceed the recent candidate debates hosted by Patrick Henry College and Ryan was campaign manager for Patricia Phillips' successful primary campaign.
Not long after Kevin left, the shadowy Jacob Ash of NVTH Blog arrived. I somewhat regret those two did not get to meet, but since this was merely a biker bar I was also relieved on behalf of the customers the encounter did not occur. I'm thinking "Clash of the Titans" type stuff and I don't know if the other patrons' tender sensibilities could have handled it.
I'll be seeing NR at least once more before he leaves so there will be further posts here in the near future.
Our beloved drunken vet is on his way back to active duty in less than a week, so don't forget to stop by if you can, anytime after 8:30 tonight.
Got the following in an email, I think it sums things up pretty well
Ever wonder what would happen if someone threw a Presidential Election and no one came??
Keep on pushing this misguided "Immigration Reform Bill" and you're going to keep pushing people like myself to give up on the Republican Party, which I've been a strong supporter of since 1980.
People like me who see many problems with the bill in its original form, in its present form and would prefer that a problem this size be addressed step by step vs trying to address every angle in one bill. We want the step by step approach to be applied so that the best of the best ideas can be considered, the Federal Gov't can demonstrate that it can handle the task, more debate can take place, so if maybe a loophole was discovered in one bill, it can be addressed in the next step/bill and the bill isn't so filled with loopholes that it become a raging success like the 1986 immigration bill has become.
Please relay to President Bush, John McCain, Lindsay Graham and those of their ilk, I'm not a nativist, bigot, racist, xenophobe and I don't appreciate that accusation. I am an American born citizen who has been living with the results of the bad immigration legislation over the last 20 years who will do whatever possible to prevent this bill from passing and having my children have to live with the results of poor immigration legislation that doesn't seem to effect them since they are so isolated from the citizenry.
John Q. Citizen
Our party is in need of some hard fought primaries. Those who support the kind of 'thinking' that goes into this current disaster of a bill need to be challenged and removed from the political arena. With the RINO put out to pasture a real Republican can then run. While Elephant hunting during the primaries can be considered risky, the current status quo is lethal to the party.
One of our socialist readers from Across the Pond posted an interesting comment yesterday. He concluded:
Three things should be eternally free from commercial interests - religion, education and health. Making money from any of those is morally contemptible.
-- Har Noah Neemus
I would like to address these seriatim.
'"Put simply, the Constitution does not allow the President to order the military to seize civilians residing within the United States and then detain them indefinitely without criminal process, and this is so even if he calls them 'enemy combatants'," the court said.'
Article below the fold
I've been away from blogging on this site for a while, and I'm not 100% sure when I'll be up to speed again. However, politics never stops moving, and tomorrow is primary day across the Commonwealth.
I have to admit that I was leaning towards Jill Vogel for a long time in the 27th state senate district, but now I'm convinced that she needs to win. We cannot hope to defeat the democrats with a candidate who is indicted. I used to have great respect for Mark Tate as a person and leader. However, his actions since his indictment have been inappropriate and counterproductive. He has destroyed his future both as a politician and citizen. I wish he had taken the high road, but revenge seems to be the only objective on his mind.
I point readers to this post on Virginia Virtucon for background information, and if you live in Frederick, Fauquier (part), Loudoun (part), Clarke, or Winchester City, please get out and vote tomorrow for the future of the party.
[The following Resolution was passed unanimously by the Loudoun County Republican Committee Convention delegates on Saturday, June 9. Congrats to Chair Ranjani Johnson (shown below reading the Resolution) and the LCRC Issues Committee. It is a very strong statement which reflects the growing sentiment among American citizens that something must be done to address the negative effects of illegal immigration in their communities.]
Resolution in Support of Legal Immigration and Enforcement of Current Immigration Law
Whereas, respect for the rule of law unites Americans of diverse ancestry and national origin, and legal immigration is grounded in respect for the rule of law; and
Whereas, fundamental fairness dictates that those individuals who respect our laws should first receive the benefits of citizenship under current law; and
Whereas, current law, which mandates deportation of those who violate our immigration laws, should be enforced; and
Whereas, the negative effects of illegal immigration are pervasive and create an increasing burden on every segment of society; and
Whereas, any weakening of our current immigration law compromises the rule of law and our national security; and
Whereas, the negative effects of illegal immigration include a depressed wage base, increased violent crime, degradation of community standards, and overburdening of our education, healthcare and social welfare systems; and
Whereas, these negative effects cumulatively threaten the national sovereignty of the United States of America; and
Whereas, it is unconscionable for those entrusted with the protection of our society to ignore these negative effects or reward the violation of our laws; now, therefore be it
Resolved, that we, the delegates to the Loudoun County, Virginia Republican Convention of Two Thousand and Seven, call on all our elected officials to oppose any legislation which rewards violation of our current immigration laws; and, be it further
Resolved, that we call on our elected officials, at all levels of government, to support and enact legislation which effectively penalizes any entity which aids or abets or promotes the violation of these laws; and, be it further
Resolved, that the Convention directs its Chairman to cause a copy of this resolution to be distributed to the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, to the Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, to the Republican members of the General Assembly representing Loudoun County, to our statewide elected officials, to our members of the House of Representatives and United States Senate, to our members of the Board of Supervisors and to members of the press.
Paul Protic; Chairman, June 9, 2007 Loudoun Republican Convention
We will be meeting Tuesday night, June 12, 8:30 pm. at the Downtown Saloon in Leesburg, to see our own hero NR off to the Middle East.
If history is any guide, we will be there for awhile.
Anyone from distant provinces is welcome to crash at my house. You know how to reach me.
[The following message is from Greg Ahlemann, who - in a major upset - won the Republican nomination for Sheriff at yesterday's Loudoun County Republican Convention. More info on Mr. Ahlemann is available here.]
I want to publicly thank Roger Zurn for his support. I respect all of the constitutional officers and the exceptional work they have done and continue to do. I am honored to receive the Republican Party's nomination for Sheriff.
I would have hoped that Sheriff Simpson would have kept his word when he took the oath to support all the Republican Party's nominees, but I was not suprised as this had been discussed for some time within the Sheriff's Office. It is unfortunate that he described his tenure as Sheriff with words such as "honesty and integrity" when I and the other officers in the department saw this lack of sincerity on a regular basis.
I have been flooded with calls and emails from deputies who are excited about the change that will be taking place. Much like 4 years ago when three officers gave up their jobs with the Loudoun Sheriff's Office, I resigned in January of this year to give the deputies a leader who they believe in.
When I resigned, I knew it would be difficult to unseat a three term incumbent from within the party. I also knew that at the time, the constitutional officers were running as a team to fend off challengers. I understood the rules and the risk I was taking but believed it was the right thing to do for the department and the county. I was encouraged early on by one of the officers who ran last time, to "take Simpson to the convention" because of his belief that many citizens were ready for change as well. More than two thirds of the delegate vote, and I believe every district, chose "Ahlemann" for Sheriff.
Despite this clear message by the voters, Simpson has again reversed himself. I believe that Simpson should have given up his party affiliation prior to the convention if he was going to run as an Independent. Instead, he allowed many of his supporters, as well as mine, to spend hours waiting, to have their voices heard in this race, only to be told by him that he did not care by choosing to ignore their voice in the election process. I glady accept the Republican nomination and will continue to work hard to secure the win for our deputies, our party, and our county. I believe the citizens of Loudoun are ready for a Sheriff that is not a politician. I believe they want a Sheriff who gives his word and keeps it.
I also believe the residents of Loudoun want a Sheriff who will make tough decisions based on what is best for the community and not what is best politically. I am a conservative Republican but I believe the enforcement of our federal immigration laws is more important than party affiliation. For these reasons, I look forward to November when all the residents of Loudoun - Republican, Democrat and Independent - will choose their next Sheriff. I will work for and support all the Republican nominees, as I pledged I would do, but more importantly, I look forward to providing Loudoun with a Sheriff not a Politician.
I want to express my appreciation to Help Save Loudoun and Help Save Herndon for their dedication to bettering our communities.
Following is Greg Ahlemann's speech to the Loudoun County Republican Convention in June 9.
More from the Loudoun County Republican Convention:
How do I work this? I was a bit dumbfounded about how to best maximize the fortuitous melding of Republican politics and Christian real estate.
I needn't have worried. After Brian Withnell gave his reasonably nuts-and-bolts speech about why he wished to be Clerk of the Circuit Court, it all became very clear.
As soon as Withnell left the podium, the lights dimmed and the spotlight swirled as fog covered the stage floor.
A twangy, syncopated funky bass line cut through the thick air. I was wondering whether this was Bootsy Collins from his P-Funk days or his Talking Heads days when, suddenly, a tall figure appeared stage right flanked by two hunched-over assistants who pulled the shiny, purple cloak from his back as he stepped up to the mike.
A booming voice exclaimed "Ladies and gentlemen of the Republican Convention, give it up now for the CLERK OF SOUL!!"
The white lights zapped to full intensity as he shouted "Hellooo, RePUBLICANS!!! Are you all proud to be REPUBLICANS??!"
We all shouted "Yeah!"
Your humble correspondent cannot afford a camera fast enough to capture cleanly the whirlwind of motion and light that IS the Clerk of Soul
"And are you proud to be here affirming the principles of representative government?"
We all screamed "YEAHHH!"
"And are you HAVING A GOOD TIME!!!?"
The funk went up numerous decibels, we all began clapping, while this amazing showman commenced telling us each our life stories. The entire auditorium seemed to sway:
"I believe in our families and communities, do YOU?!!"
"Do you believe in the HOPE of our principles and the TRUTH of our conservative movement and the FAITH of our dedication to what we have always held dear?!!"
The guy in the seat next to me asked "What does any of this have to do with his Clerk of Court job?"
I answered, "For the love of all that is good and holy, man, DON'T THINK ABOUT IT - JUST EXPERIENCE IT!!!"
And at that moment I realized:
Brian Withnell was merely running for Clerk of Court.
Gary Clemens was running for Clerk of GOD. And how you gonna compete with that?
Clemens bounded from one side of the stage to the other, delineating the accomplishments of his office:
"We cut wait times from an average of 30 minutes to 22 minutes."
"We met all federal standards for on-time filing of records!"
By this time I could feel the subconscious excitement building and the hairs on my neck began to stick up. Something strange was happening here, some preternatural expression of bureaucratic excellence on the level of the Pharoahs and the Caesars. My arms were twitching; the audience was shouting incomprehensibly, when Clemens let loose the cannon blast:
"In 2005, the state compensation board recognized my office as being ranked in the top 15 out of 120 offices in Virginia for financial management practices."
My neck muscles tensed and my eyes bulged while an explosion formed in my lungs; my head shook spastically from side to side as I exclaimed "YEAHHHH!!! YEAHHHH!!!"
I looked at my neighbor and our eyes locked as we both shouted in unison "OHHHHH!! YEAHHHHH!!!".
Financial management practices? Oh, gosh, yeah! That's WHY I became a Republican.
The entire crowd went berserk. I needed air so I lurched out into the aisle, lay down on the floor, watched the ceiling spin above me, gasped for air, when suddenly a wing-tipped toe smashed into my chest between the 3rd and 4th ribs. It was Deacon Ken Reid, charging down the aisle.
Or leaping, I should say. I should have been more careful.
I had noticed during Brian Withnell's speech that the Deacon was jogging up and down the aisles passing out signs and whispering instructions. The Deacon covered the entire hall, from one end to the other, and by the time Rev. Clemens was into his sermon, the Deacon was literally jitterbugging with his "Clemens" signs and rousting others to join in.
I tried to get in sync but it was hard. Clemens exclaimed "We have established standard operating procedures. We have provided training for our staff."
This denotation of bureaucratic accomplishment is surely red-meat for most Republicans so the cries rang out "YEAHHHH!! AUGGHHHHH!!! WHOOOO-HOOOOO!!!"
But I was pretty sure some internal organs were damaged so as much as I wanted to join the shouting, I just rolled to the side of the aisle and let the Deacon have his runway.
I was flecked with Deacon Reid's sweat and spittle. By this time the music was so loud, the sweat so infusive, and (I was pretty sure) incense so pervasive, I was ready to pass out.
When the Reverend said: "My fellow Clerks thought so highly of my customer service initiatives that I am first vice president of the Clerk's Association of Virginia, and if I'm elected today I'll be president!" the audience went ballistic.
Flashbulbs were popping. Women swooned. Babies wailed. Men howled and slapped each other in the face for no reason.
It was pure bedlam, but a good kind of bedlam. We all put the funk on, which is definitely what you want to get from your Clerk of Court.
[Full disclosure: Most of this post is imaginary. Only those in attendance will appreciate the elements which bear on reality.]
[UPDATE: Loudoun Insider is labeling this post and the fact we DARED to print a letter from Brian Withnell an "assault" on Gary Clemens. Apart from the fact I wrote immediately after the Convention I was planning to have fun at Gary's expense - thereby giving him plenty of time to brace himself - I think Gary's speech was unusual enough to merit some kidding. LI has become a bit of a Withnell-phobe and it appears he will not rest easy until Brian Withnell leaves the country and is expunged from all public records. I have to believe Gary Clemens has slightly thicker skin.]
Here is the video of Eugene's speech yesterday - posted pretty quickly, I must say. It provides a good window into why he is so popular in the local community.
[The following was submitted by Republican candidate for nomination for Clerk of Court Brian Withnell. Withnell lost out for the nomination to incumbent Clerk Gary Clemens at yesterday's convention.]
Now that the contest is over, I'll actually make some comments.
First, I wish Gary all the best. In fact, I hope--very definitely hope--that the problems in his office are over (and they might be). I hope I also had a part to play in that correction.
Now, why run. From a very strict point of view, the running is just part of who I have always been. Not that Loudoun County would ever know it. I used to live in Maryland many years ago (where being a Republican was equal to having no voice in politics) and still managed to work toward moderating the liberal bent there. I happened to have worked in Maryland political circles many years ago, mostly on an issues basis. Bethany Christian Services got a lot of work from me helping them establish a home for unwed mothers. I set up the Annapolis chapter's computers for them (and donated computers to them). I worked in Wicomico county with the local Life Line Pregnancy Center in much the same way. I worked with the College Republicans in Salisbury.
Why not around here? First, when I moved here, my wife became pregnant soon after. When the child was one year old, my first wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, and for the next 3 1/2 years, my focus was helping her. After she died, it took a lot out of me, and I was a single Dad. Try that with 3 children for a while. It is busy.
Then I met a wonderful woman, and we married. My top priority in this world was then integrating her into a family of five. After that, we had my second, then third son (that's right, we have five children in all).
At this point, time is just now starting to be something other than "already taken" by higher priorities. Oh, sorry, I believe all those things are in fact higher priorities--disagree if you wish, but you never have to worry about me doing something for ulterior motives.
Now again, why choose to run for this office? First, I really do believe Gary had done a rather lame (at best) job. His record speaks for itself. I love the fact that he stated he had two clear audits from the accounting office (he actually had three, the first one was the first year he was in office--the errors were not left over from the prior clerk, the prior clerk had clean audits at the end of his term, and Gary's first was clean also). The fact is that it takes time to get things into a mess, and the audit I cited was almost three years into his term. So just from the standpoint of audits, out of the seven years he was in office, he had only three years that were "okay." The first was okay (from the prior clerk's work) and the most recent two. What that says to me is that he mismanaged the office for at least 4 of the prior 7 years. 3 of 7 right (at best) is a failing grade in every math course I've taught.
But why run? If you aren't willing to be part of the solution, you don't have any right to complain about the problem. I was willing to run for two reasons. First, I really believe I could have done a better job. Believe it? That is a little weak. I know I could do a better job. It may have been a lot better for me to become involved sooner, let myself be known more, put in an appearance for a year or so ahead of time. But that isn't what I thought I could do at the time. And guess what? This only opens up once every eight years. I certainly hope Mr. Clemens doesn't repeat his prior performance (i.e., do poorly for five years, followed by getting his act together at the last 2 prior to election). I threw my hat in the ring the only time I could have, and while that did not allow for a thorough campaign, it will have at least made it plain that people do care about his performance.
Would I run for a different office? Perhaps I would. But I would want to know that I would be able to do the best job of those that are running. That said, I also have to admit that part of the job (getting a nomination, and then being elected) is not my strong suit. But then, I have always thought that while that is the most important part of actually getting the job, it may be the most contrary indicator of who is best for a job. (For example, Clinton was elected easily, but I certainly think he was one of the worst people for the office of President yet).
As I said before, I wish Gary Clemens all the best. He is unopposed in November, so he should sail into another eight years. I hope I don't have any reason to run for that office again.
P.S. as a corollary to not being able to complain if you aren't willing to be part of the solution, I now have earned the right to complain. :)
Changing course again! Loudoun County Sheriff Steve Simpson, who signed a pledge to support all Republican candidates in the November elections, took less than 24 hours to decide to violate that pledge, apparently, and has decided to run as an independent.
Hey, here's an interesting question: I wonder what the rest of our "constitutional officers" are going to do? If the LCRC is going to be so gung ho about party purity, getting a solid statement of support from all three officers for Greg Ahleman might be a great place to start.
The Ahlemann's made major sacrifices to pull this off - and by sacrifices I mean money and time for a family not awash in either, and living for months under a big cloud of uncertainty about the future. To see the sheer exhileration and relief when the big announcement was made was pretty darn touching.
Loudoun County Republican Convention report:
Greg Ahlemann won by what someone overheard was a "huge" margin - though this is third-hand information so I can't vouch for it.
But from the response during the speeches, which was an order of magnitude louder than that for any of the other candidates, it sounds reasonable. The cheer for Ahlemann was a massive roar that caught me by surprise. This was a groundswell, an outpouring - whatever you want to call it - flowing directly from the overflowing reservior of frustration that has been building here, particularly over the illegal alien problem.
Listen to Greg Ahlemann's Convention speech here:
Sheriff Steve Simpson was the most immediate target of resident's ire, and though he probably did not help himself by his responses (or lack thereof) in certain cases, the Sheriff went down a little harder than he really deserved to. But candidates at every step up the hierarchy had better take note. This was just the first shot for 2007 (well, counting Patricia Phillips I guess this was the second) in Loudoun and Virginia as a whole.
In other races:
Geary Higgins beat Robert Bruton.
Mark Albright beat Ben Weber.
Gary Clemens beat Brian Withnell.
Eugene Delgaudio beat George Hidy.
And the biggest shocker of all: Lori Waters beat Jack Ryan.
Because of acclamation (we all agree on a candidate and leave the contest behind) none of the numbers are available (yet) except for Delgaudio beating Hidy 110-22 because of the lack of acclamation.
Don't ask me to explain any of that because I cannot.
Congrats to all the winners. They all deserve our support. The GOP has a strong slate going into the fall campaign.
All in all a pretty well-run affair. There were some hiccups but you have to hand it to the LCRC - it was really fairly smooth excepting a VERY long delay counting the votes. But better late than inaccurate.
(I am going to have some fun at Gary Clemens' expense in an upcoming post which I hope he will also see the humor in.)
The Ahlemann's ran a fantastic campaign. To overcome the odds against such a strong incumbent is hard to conceive of. The amount of support they managed to corral from throughout this really BIG county is amazing.
On a personal note, I almost crashed my car when I got the call that Patricia Phillips had won on May 19. This was right up there.
I am supporting Eugene Delgaudio for Sterling District Supervisor because he works extremely hard for the citizens of Sterling and is the only Supervisor to initiate any public policies to address the negative effects of the growing illegal alien population in our area. He has been a huge asset to our community.
Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio with Herndon Mayor Steve DeBenedittis.
Supervisor Delgaudio literally works all hours for the residents. He has given his personal phone number and e-mail to pretty much the entire community. During snowstorms he rides around looking for areas the plows are most needed. During the gas leaks he was out late that night and sending e-mail updates until after midnight. When the state planned to leave the new Sterling Boulevard/Route 28 overpass closed for weeks if not months, Mr. Delgaudio was getting the message out to the press and citizens about how much time we were all wasting sitting through the traffic lights. He kept up the pressure until the new intersection was opened. He coordinates all sorts of volunteer projects throughout the year and has raised large sums of money for programs to benefit the community.
He led the Loudoun County side of the opposition to the Herndon Day Labor Center and publicly supported the candidates for town council and mayor who eventually swept most of the previous town government out of office. Supervisor Delgaudio has been a strong supporter of Help Save Herndon and Help Save Loudoun.
On the Board, he authored the overcrowding ordinance which reduced the number of people allowed to live in a home from ridiculous to merely surprisingly high levels - more work is needed here but legislation needs to be passed in Richmond to allow local jurisdictions to do more. He was pushing the Sheriff to pursue the ICE 287g training when all of the other Supervisors were still silent on the issue. As it stands, he is only one of nine so it has been a challenge to get the rest of the Board's attention about the illegal alien problem - although this seems to be changing in a big way in recent months.
To address the crisis caused by the negative effects of the influx of illegal aliens into Loudoun County, we need Eugene Delgaudio on the Board of Supervisors - and we need several other Board members to step up and take notice.
Some people have an issue with Eugene's personality, his tendency to joke around regarding issues which are supposedly too serious to kid about.
Personally, I think much of what our government does - at all levels - is so ridiculous the only attitude one SHOULD have to much of it is an attitude of irony. When the entreprise itself is insane, the guy laughing may be the only one who sees the truth.
When he sends out a pseudo-serious press release about a family of ducks saved from certain death at the local shopping plaza, I frankly welcome it.
And I think the vast majority of Sterling residents enjoy him as well.
I am voting for Eugene Delgaudio at the Convention because he is the best advocate the citizens of Sterling have to represent their interests at the county level. He has proven himself serious about addressing illegal immigration: We have a lot more to do, but Supervisor Delgaudio has gotten the job started even when he was the only one toiling away.
I have had numerous conversations with both Republican candidates, have watched two debates between the men and have read many newspapers articles and interviews in which they discuss their views. Greg Ahlemann demonstrates by far the best understanding of what is really happening in Loudoun County and what the citizens are dealing with.
Since the first time I heard him speak back in February, Mr. Ahlemann has been saying there is more the Sheriff's Office can do while the current Sheriff has been saying, essentially, "we are doing all we can."
Mr. Ahlemann has been saying the Sheriff's Office should participate in the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) training program under section 287g of the Immigration and Nationality Act, whereby local deputies can become authorized to enforce U.S. immigration law and gain access to databases that help identify criminal aliens. Herndon, Virginia is participating in the 287g program as are a growing number of jurisdictions throughout the U.S.
The illegal alien problem in Loudoun County cannot be laid solely at the Sheriff's feet. The roots of the problem are non-enforcement of business licensing rules, non-enforcement of laws against hiring illegal aliens, and certainly non-enforcement of zoning regulations (Herndon, a town of 23,000 has six zoning inspectors fluent in Spanish; Loudoun County, with a population of 220,000, has one.) These are all issues that need to be addressed, at least initially, at the Board of Supervisors' level.
Greg Ahlemann has also been saying from the beginning that the Sheriff must be an advocate to the Board of Supervisors, telling them that reducing gang crime and other problems caused by illegals will require the coordinated efforts of the entire government. I think we need a Sheriff who will be an advocate for the citizens' safety rather than one who will tell them nothing more can be done.
In a debate last month at Patrick Henry College, the question was asked: "What would you say to residents of Sterling Park who believe their neighborhood has become less safe in recent years?"
Sheriff Steve Simpson's response was: "The crime rate in Sterling has gone down."
In my view, this demonstrates the disconnect between our current Sheriff and the citizens of Loudoun County. All statistics aside, for those of us who live here, the deterioration of our neighborhoods is a real thing. Sterling definitely HAS become less safe in recent years, if safety can be measured in whether you can go to the Safeway after dark, or whether you can walk on your neighborhood streets. To tell us that the crime rate has decreased is no answer at all to the question but shows the Sheriff has no appreciation for the fact the problem exists. It certainly does not give reason to hope the problem will be solved.
Similarly, in a presentation to the Board of Supervisors early last month, Sheriff Simpson implied that Mr. Ahlemann has been using "fear" for political purposes and exaggerating the illegal alien problem. In fact, the citizens of Loudoun County have been outraged about the problem since long before Mr. Ahlemann was a blip on anyone's radar. I have attended meetings during the past year in which representatives of the Sheriff's Office have been barraged with questions and complaints from Sterling residents over what has happened in their neighborhoods. Greg Ahlemann is talking about this reality when he talks about the problems local citizens are facing.
Most importantly, Greg Ahlemann seems to best understand that the perception of the Sheriff's Office needs to change. As he noted in a speech in February, when he was growing up he knew the Herndon police were extremely strict about cracking down on speeders, so whenever he drove into Herndon he was careful to slow down. If the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office participates in 287g training and the Sheriff becomes an advocate to the Board about beginning to fix the illegal alien problem in Loudoun, it will help to build the public perception that Loudoun County is not the place to come if you are an illegal alien.
It is true that 287g will not solve all of our problems. But it will begin to solve the public perception problem. Even at the Board meeting when he changed positions several weeks ago and agreed to look into 287g, Sheriff Simpson actually spent most of the time talking about the reasons he did NOT want to get involved in 287g sooner and why it is NOT everything the citizens might expect. I have strong reservations about whether the Sheriff is actually committed to participating in the ICE training and I don't think he realizes that his Office actually can do a great deal toward fixing our problem simply by taking a more prominent public stance on the issue.
I recently spoke with Julia Rush, communications director for the Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, Sheriff's Office. Mecklenburg was the first local jurisdiction to participate in 287g training and their Sheriff, Jim Pendergraph, has become a prominent advocate for the program. Ms. Rush told me that the program actually has paid for itself (one of Sheriff Simpson's reservations has been the cost). In part, this is because Mecklenburg County is reimbursed $109 per night for every federal prisoner it holds, which includes illegal aliens held under the 287g authority. Loudoun County is reimbursed only $55 per night. Ms. Rush said the reason Mecklenburg gets double the remimbursment is because their liaison to ICE demanded it and "camped out in their office" until it was provided.
In other words, the effectiveness of the ICE program depends on the will of the participating jurisdictions, on the seriousness with which the law enforcement agency views the illegal alien problem.
Loudoun County has been beset by a massive increase in illegal aliens over the past five years. We deserve a Sheriff's Office that is taking the lead and doing everything possible to deal with criminal aliens.
Greg Ahlemann has shown he truly understands the problem and that much more can be done. From his years as a deputy working the streets of Loudoun County, he saw firsthand the growing gang problem. He has spent many hours talking with residents about the crime, overcrowding, and unlicensed businesses that have changed Sterling for the worse and are now affecting the rest of Loudoun as more illegal aliens arrive and continue to settle further to the west. If you live in Landsdowne, Leesburg, Balls Bluff, Countryside, Ashburn or even Brambleton, you are on the verge of experiencing the same issues of increased crime and neighborhood blight if you are not seeing them already.
We need Greg Ahlemann for Sheriff because the time is now to address the illegal alien problem in Loudoun County.
I do have to add I do not think Sheriff Simpson has been a poor Sheriff or that he does not wish to solve the problem in Loudoun. As everyone who knows him realizes, he is a decent man. I think either of the Republican candidates is head and shoulders above the Democratic candidate - who said he was in favor of ICE training but enrolling more than one deputy would be "overkill." This is patently ridiculous; as Sheriff Simpson asked "would that deputy work 365 days a year?" and it shows the Democrat has no intention of really dealing with illegal immigration but is trying to make political hay off the issue. I will go to work enthusiastically for whichever Republican candidate for Sheriff wins the nomination at tomorrow's Convention.
I just think Greg Ahlemann has a better grasp of what needs to be done, and that he will do more to change the perception of our Sheriff's department into one which is, like Mecklenburg's, tough on addressing the negative effects of illegal immigration.
You can read about the Sheriff's decision to change course on 287g here.
Following on the incident of a few weeks ago, here is another example of what people in Sterling Park regard as the Sheriff's Office's hands-off approach to illegal aliens and lack of concern for Sterling residents.
A good friend of mine - who lives on a street where if the majority of residents are not illegal aliens, the actual count is probably not much less than half - saw this from her front porch. It happened the Saturday before last, May 26, at 10:30 pm.
She heard a great deal of noise outside and went to her front door to see what it was. Apparently because of a large party down the street, the street was lined with cars and cars were driving very fast up and down the street. Trash and empty beer bottles were strewn on various front yards.
Suddenly a group of about 10 men came running down the street yelling. When they had passed by her house, they dispersed into several front yards, and several of them could be seen urinating in the front and side yards of different houses.
My friend called the Sheriff's Office and reported a large, loud party that had spilled onto the street, rowdy behavior and obvious evidence of drinking and driving and open containers. The representative at the Sheriff's Office told her that deputies were already on the scene.
She then stepped out into her yard and saw that several houses down there were in fact two deputies sitting in their cruisers, with the engines running. She stood and watched for awhile and they never budged from their cars.
As she told me about it, she asked "What the hell are they doing there if they are not going to put a stop to the speeding cars and rowdy behavior?"
I would go one step further and ask: What does this tell us about how the illegal alien community perceives local law enforcement, when the sight of two deputies is no incentive to slow down or drive more cautiously, and when a group of men feel they have sufficient leeway to run right past two Sheriff's deputies and start peeing in the front yards a short distance away??
As our neighborhoods in eastern Loudoun decline, gang activity continues to spread, and more and more areas become "off limits" after dark and to women walking alone, there is a preception that the Sheriff's department has given up on us.
The longtime residents of Sterling Park - the few who still live there - gave up on this Sheriff's department long ago. I have attended numerous public meetings over the past year where frustrated residents of the Park absolutely lambasted representatives of the Sheriff's Office over what has happened in their neighborhoods. But the rest of Sterling and the rest of Loudoun are becoming equally affected by the huge influx of illegals and the hands-off policy of so many of our elected officials.
If you are elderly or a single woman living alone, you can be forgiven for thinking NO ONE is going to look out for your safety. Citizens and illegals alike can be forgiven if their instinctive reaction is "Oh, that's just the Loudoun Sheriff's department, they won't do anything" about the class of crimes which may not be headline material but make an enormous difference in the quality of life in our neighborhoods.
As we watch U.S. senators debate with straight faces an "immigration reform" bill which will grant immediate amnesty to tens of millions of illegals, citizens of this country have to wonder how such a bunch of traitors and ignoramuses have the authority to sell our country down the river. I will tell you how: Because we as citizens and voters have not paid enough attention to who we put in office at every level and we have not held them accountable when they do not act in the public's interest.
One way or another, the perception of the Loudoun Sheriff's Office - by legal residents AND illegal aliens - needs to change.
S 1348 is fatally flawed because it grants immediate amnesty to nearly anyone who applies through the 'Z-visa' program, it allows illegal aliens to jump in line ahead of millions of people who have applied for U.S. citizenship legally, and the "enforcement" provisions are totally bogus because of the simple fact that the fence we supposedly were going to get as a result of 2006 legislation does not yet exist.
Senator Harry Reid is trying to cut off debate and send this abortion of a bill - which has not even been written beyond draft form - to the full Senate for an up or down vote.
Call your senators and tell them to vote NO on cloture because of the reasons given above or any of these 20 good reasons to kill S 1348.
DC Office of Senator John Warner
Midlothian Office of Sen. John Warner
D.C. Office of Sen. James Webb
Virginia Beach Office of Sen. James Webb
Virginia Beach, VA
UPDATE: Cloture was voted down 61-34 a short time ago; supposedly it will be voted on again at 5:00 pm today. So don't stop calling, faxing, e-mailing, etc! Also, be sure to thank your senator if he or she voted against cloture in the earlier vote. Both Warner and Webb voted against cloture (see how your senator voted by clicking here).
The UN is right; you can't be any more "un"
Than you are right now, the UN is undone.
Another mushroom cloud, another smoking gun,
The threat is real, the Locust King has come.
Don't tell me the truth; I don't like what they've done.
It's payback time at the United Abominations!
-From the song: "United Abominations"
It's not very often the music I like has anything to do with this blog. When it does, it's usually the extreme opposite (see: Ashes of the Wake). Finally, Dave Mustaine and Megadeth have given me something besides the D&D/young angst lyrics I usually tolerate for my favorite musical genre.
Musically, this is my favorite Megadeth album since 1990's "Rust in Peace". 2004's "System has Failed" was their excellent return to full-fledged speed-metal; With "United Abominations" they're completely back in their element.
Lyrically, this has got to be my favorite Megadeth album ever. Never one to shy away from political topics (see: Peace Sells...But Who's Buying?), Mustaine approaches matters like the War on Terror and immigration with a lyrical snarl likely to raise Saddam from the dead just so he can kill him again. Referencing Biblical Apocolypse, nuclear holocausts, the Roman Empire, and "Columbian Neckties," nothing is sacred in this musical takeover of the global situation. They seem to have figured out that reality is much darker than fantasy. Somebody call Ronnie James Dio and let him know.
We are just a war away from Amerikhastan,
When God versus god; the undoing of man.
-From the song: Amerikhastan
Scenes from today's NumbersUSA "virtual rally" in Arlington. A few dozen volunteers showed up at the NumberUSA headquarters to join thousands of others who participated via telephone.
We spent a solid hour making calls and sending faxes. And blogging a wee bit.
Real time updated metrics on faxes going out throughout the U.S.
NumbersUSA's Caroline Espinosa and Rosemary Jenks participated on the call, along with their boss, Roy Beck and Congressman Tom Tancredo.
UPDATE: Yes that is Fox News' Major Garrett in the top photo. Also, Roy Beck announced that NumbersUSA's membeship has grown from something like 200,000 to 380,000 in the past few weeks since the Senate began considering the "reform" legislation.
There are petitions out there for one and all to sign, showing our 'leaders' in the Senate that we are opposed to open borders and amnesty.
I am asking all those who are against this bill to pass this information on. As you can imagine MSM is not reporting the existance of these petitions, so it is up to us.
I no longer consider him the head of my Republican PartyHow true. And how rarely one of our state legislators rises to the level of statesman.
Virginia State Senator Ken Cuccinelli, one of the very few in office at any level that I trust, says what so many of us are thinking - and what so many who hold office are so reluctant to say.
Dear Fellow Republican:
My President Is Wrong. There's no other way to say it.
Like you, I believe that I am a loyal American, Virginian and Republican. As a general matter, I believe that most people view the President as the head of the Republican Party in America. It is not a formal position, but as the elected head of our nation, Presidents typically also function as the head of their respective political party. For much of his Presidency, President Bush has functioned as the head of the Republican Party.
Not any more.
President Bush began his Presidency somewhat inauspiciously by pushing and signing the largest increase in the role of the Federal Government in local education in history with the so-called 'No Child Left Behind' legislation. The President's partner in that enterprise was Senator Ted Kennedy.
More recently, the President has teamed up with Sen. Kennedy again. This time on immigration and the result may be much worse for America than their last partnership.
Given the clear message that had been coming from the Republican faithful on the issue of immigration, i.e., actually secure the border before doing anything else, it could only be said that the President has chosen to ignore us. At least, that is how I would have characterized it until he started attacking those of us that oppose his bill - and with shocking severity.
Not too long ago, the President declared that he would start 'pushing back' against opponents of his bill. This tells me that he wasn't merely ignoring his Republican base, he was thumbing his nose at us (or worse). Well Mr. President, as President you can certainly 'push harder' than I can, but I promise you that on this issue I will 'push back' too.
And I will not be alone.
Like the mythical "sky hook" older Boy Scouts would send young Webelows hunting for on their first camping trip, the "border fence" is a fantastical concept contained in the suicide-by-immigration bill now under consideration by the U.S. Senate.
One of the supposed "enforcement" provisions of the bill is construction of 370 miles of barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border. A portion of this is supposed to be actual fence while some 180 miles will consist of "virtual" barriers such as video cameras and scarecrows. Good enough.
It was also a great idea last October, just prior to the elections, when the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which provided for over 700 miles of fence, was passed with great fanfare by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Bush. Only 11 miles of that fence has been built and already we have a new proposed law which shortens it by about 400 miles.
So in less than a year, the scoundrels have repackaged what they were already supposed to have delivered, and are trying to sell it to us all over again but only this time they are promising to deliver even less.
What does this say about how our elected officials respect the intelligence of the American people?
That we are collectively the BIGGEST MENTAL RETARDS TO EVER INHABIT A COUNTRY!
That our attention spans are so short we will not only let them get away with it, but will vote them back into office again.
You can just imagine the conversation five years from now when they want to make Spanish the official language of the Southwestern U.S.:
"Hey guys, what can we promise the suckers in return?"
"Let's promise them .... A FENCE!! TA Hah hah hah hah!!"
"We anticipate that many of those would remain in the United States illegally after their visas expire," CBO said of the guest-worker program, which would allow 200,000 new workers a year to rotate into the country.
And in a blow to President Bush's timetable, the CBO said the "triggers" -- setting up the verification system, deploying 20,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents to duty and constructing hundreds of miles of fencing and vehicle barriers -- won't be met until 2010...
"CBO estimates that those measures would reduce the net annual flow of unauthorized immigrants by one-quarter," the report said. Still, with estimates of hundreds of thousands to one million illegal aliens per year, CBO is assuming a large problem will remain.
Follow with me here, please: The amnesty would be overnight. I'm talking, this summer.
The enforcement "triggers" will not go into effect until 2010. Worse, as the past has shown us, there will in reality be no enforcement. And the CBO prediction, as in the past, will turn out to represent the low end estimate. The corruption of the incumbents is hastening the influx of illegals.
Yeah, a "large problem will remain." Such as, by 2009 the millions of imported voters will be able to change the face of America.
As Alexander Fraser Tytler said: "A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury."
And not only that, they will be inclined to support the usurpers, the corrupt ones who are facilitating the social re-structuring.
In other words: That pension you have been saving? Fuhgeddaboudit. It will be taxed to provide for the less fortunate who have newly gained citizenship here.
Your grandchildren? They don't get the country you would bequeath to them. They get the country a hundred million or more settlers from Latin America decide on.
Well, not really, and the way the Republican Party is going, I may just start calling myself a conservative, instead. Anyway, depending on how the nominations are turning out come primary time in Virginia, I may vote in the Democratic primary, rather than the Republican. (Who knows, the Republicans may have a caucus instead.)
Why would I do that? Am I a traitor to my party, as some Republicans would say? No. It is a matter of trying to lessen the evil in the greater of the evils. I would certainly prefer almost any Republican for President over any Democrat, with the exception of Bloomberg, who only became a Republican after losing the Democratic primary, and who is, like any good Democrat, an anti-gun, pro-abortion socialist.
If I do vote in the Democratic primary, I will be voting for Bill Richardson.
Simply put, Bill Richardson is a Democrat I could live with. Unlike Obama, Clinton, and Edwards, he has real foreign policy and governing experience. We may not agree on how to solve the immigration problem, but as the governor of a border state, he has an understanding of the problem that no other candidates have.
Finally, he is running on his resume, and on his policies, not on his looks.
No one with a smidgen of actual information about USCIS should be under the illusion the agency could even begin to administer the "enforcement" related provisions of the proposed historic fraud.
The following is by one of the foremost experts on the issue, Kris Kobach:
The amnesty starts immediately - with the issuance of probationary Z visas.
And that qualifier means little: The probationary visa is nearly as good as the non-probationary one, giving the alien immediate lawful status, protection from deportation and work authorization the alien to work. He or she can exit and re-enter the country (with advance permission).
It will extremely hard for the government to prevent criminals and terrorists from getting these probationary visas. The bill allows the federal government only one business day to do a "background check" on each applicant.
The bill's authors seem ignorant of what this means in practice. The government has no single, readily searchable database of all the world's dangerous people. Much of the relevant information exists only on paper, while foreign governments are the source for other data.
NOR does the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have the resources to implement an amnesty on this scale. Consider a few numbers.
On top of the millions of illegals already in the country, we can expect a mass influx of millions of new illegals arriving to fraudulently apply for the amnesty. Fraud won't be hard: To show they were "actually" here before Jan. 1, the bill requires USCIS workers to accept any bank statement, pay stub, remittance receipt or similar record - all easily forgeable.
Repeat after me: There will be no enforcement.
There never could be because what is in the works is not "immigration reform" but elected officials establishing a permanent hold on power by importing a new class of voters. (Read that essay, by the way. I'm only going to remind you about five more times).
As research by Heritage's Robert Rector details, the purported "immigration reform" bill would cause a seismic economic shift in the U.S. over the next decade - for the simple reason that low skilled, uneducated people are expensive to have in your economy in the first place, and making millions more eligible for entitlement benefits makes the problem exponentially worse.
But that's not the financial pinch this post is about.
This post is about the tragic, tragic news the National Republican Party is seeing a drop off in fundraising because prior contributors object to the Republican leadership's treasonous policy of encouraging and forgiving illegal aliens. A lot of people have stopped giving to the RNC altogether, apparently.
This is, on one level, an impressive development. But on another level, I have to say there is something juvenile and futile about suddenly cutting off one's contributions to the Party.
If we want to really send a message to the traitors, we have to do more than reduce their revenues: We have to cause reverse cash flow. We have to subtract money, not simply refuse to add it.
This can be done in a number of ways, but as explained in this post, it can be as simple as taping a Republican Party business reply card to a phone book and bringing it to the Post Office counter. Wrap the phone book in some wrapping paper or a brown paper bag and tape the BRC on there and you are good to go - works every time.
Do this over and over and eventually we'll make an impact. When was the last time you used any of your phone books, anyway? And with all the people who are dropping off the RNC's membership roster, they surely need all the contact information they can get. I challenge each of our readers to ship at least 2 phone books COD to the Republican National Committee or the Republican Senatorial Committee.
The Paper of Record also reports that a short list of state Republican parties have seen increases in donations because of the leadership's excellent advocacy for an enforcement-only policy.
Alas, my state's Republican party does not appear on that good-guy list. No huge surprise there.
The massive fraud our government is in the process of committing will, if allowed to go forward, destroy our country.
That's in the long run. In the short term, it is going to make a bunch of people very, very angry. Chief among these will be anyone who has been trying to follow the legal steps toward American citizenship.
The "comprehensive immigration reform" bill would provide amnesty and a path to citizenship for anyone who was in the U.S. illegally as of Jan 1, 2007. The recipients of this are subject to one proviso, that they get in line for citizenship behind some of those already in line, according to section 602(a)(5):
BACK OF THE LINE- An alien may not adjust status to that of a lawful permanent resident under this section until 30 days after an immigrant visa becomes available for approved petitions filed under sections 201, 202, and 203 of the Act that were filed before May 1, 2005.
Note: "before May 1, 2005."
There are currently millions of people waiting for USCIS to process their applications for U.S. citizenship status. What the new legislation would do is allow the tens of millions of new "Z-visa" amnesty recipients to CUT IN LINE and get ahead of anyone who has filed an application for U.S. citizenship AFTER May 1, 2005.
What do we say to those who followed the rules and have now had their wait time extended indefinitely?
HA HA! Saps! Friggin' goodie-two shoes morons! What do we need you for anyway? Can you mow our lawns or clean our pools any better than these decent, hardworking, incredibly cost-effective people who don't complain and don't want to live anywhere near our gated communities? We think not.
The purported basis of "compromise" that yielded the Grand Swindle was a trade off of amnesty for enforcement. After certain enforcement "triggers" are in place, such as a border fence and enforcement of existing employment laws, then 12-20 million or more illegal aliens in the U.S. would be granted a "path to citizenship."
In reality, however, the very first clause of the very first paragraph of the draft bill provides for an "exception of the probationary benefits" which - if you scroll down to section 600 - will allow over 12 million illegal aliens to receive "Z" visas "by the end of the next business day" after they apply for the visa if their background checks and other tests have not been completed.
USCIS, the agency responsible for processing those applicants, with it's current workload is already an "agency mired in inefficiency."
So how they gonna administer tens of millions more?
HA HA! They're not - you IDIOT!!!
The entire "enforcement" portion of the deal is a sham: Section 601 erases it and makes it irrelevant. Within 24 hours anyone who applies gets benefits of citizenship and is immune from deportation.
With no border security or other enforcement provisions in effect, amnesty will be granted to tens of millions of illegal aliens and millions more will stream across our southern border - just like happened last time.
We'll cover the ramifications in future "Swindle" posts.
Read the relevant portions of section 601 below the fold:
This was such a blast we have to do it again.
Actually, it was so loud because of the karaoke show that the only conversation possible was my conscience asking me what brand of hearing aid I plan to wear in 10 years, and even THAT only received a muffled reply. This did No Relation no good whatsoever, so we are going to reprise the event next week, probably Tuesday the 12th. Let me know if you need details.
Put another feather in the cap of Socialism. Now, patient in the U.K. will have to quit smoking for four weeks before surgery. You see, since smokers' generally take longer to recover from surgery, they cost the system more. With socialized medicine, they cannot simply charge for the extra time. So they refuse care instead. I'm sure this will, as one commenter said, extend to requiring one to go on a diet before surgery.
And four weeks!! When an operation is necessary in the U.S., it might be four days away, but not four weeks. Such is the beauty of the health care system our Socialist, a.k.a. Democrat, Party wants for the United States. The father of one fellow I know in the U.K. waited two years for surgery on his hand. Shortly before his operation, he was told that, because he did not need his hand for his work, he would not be getting the surgery. He is now saving his money to fly to the U.S. for the surgery, which he will pay for himself. The socialists among us would take even that hope away from him.
The Demonrats in the House and Senate have proposed a bill (S.1173/H.R.1964) that will repeal the partial-birth abortion ban, specifically mentioned in Sec. 2(9), and override every State and local law restricting a woman's right to kill her child before it is born:
"Sec. 4(b)(1)(B) A government may not deny or interfere with a woman's right to choose to terminate a pregnancy prior to viability;"
"Sec. 4(b)(1)(C) A government may not deny or interfere with a woman's right to choose to terminate a pregnancy after viability where termination is necessary to protect the life or health of the woman;"
Of course, viability is defined by "the best medical judgment of the attending physician" (an abortionist, naturally), as is the health of the mother, which in the liberal mentality includes her "emotional health," and probably her economic health as well.
Strangely, the bill does not define "woman," so it may be taken to include minors as well. After all, if she can get pregnant, she must be a woman, right?
Well, facts have nothing to do with their arguments, as usual. In their "findings," Sec 2.(5) says, "Before Roe, it is estimated that thousands of women died annually in the United States as a result of illegal abortions." The truth is that, "by 1972, the year before the Roe v. Wade decision, the Centers for Disease Control reported that 39 women died from illegal or self-induced abortions." They also "found" that "an estimated 1,200,000 women each year were forced to resort to illegal abortions." Bollocks. According to the CDC, there were 586,800 abortions in 1972 ("The American Almanac -- Statistical Abstract of the United States" 113th edition).
Further straining the bounds of reason, Sec. 2(15)(B)and(C) say, "Federal protection of a woman's right to choose to prevent or terminate a pregnancy falls within this affirmative power of Congress, in part, because reproductive health clinics are commercial actors that regularly purchase medicine, medical equipment, and other necessary supplies from out-of-State suppliers; and reproductive health clinics employ doctors, nurses, and other personnel who travel across State lines in order to provide reproductive health services to patients."
Congress was given the power to "regulate commerce... among the several States." It does indeed require having a mental disorder to interpret that to mean that Congress has power over everything that may even remotely involve any interstate transaction.
But of course, the liberals in Congress do not care about the U.S. Constitution. The bill itself tries to violate the Constitution. Sec. 6 says, "This Act applies to every Federal, State, and local statute, ordinance, regulation, administrative order, decision, policy, practice, or other action enacted, adopted, or implemented before, on, or after the date of enactment of this Act." So, according to this bill, should it become law, a later Congress cannot override it? That's not constitutional. But when did that ever stop them?
...at the Downtown Saloon in Leesburg. We'll be there for awhile, hope to see some of you there.
[UPDATE: Well waddaya know, me and Loudoun Insider agree on a topic du jour. Mark the date, folks, and treasure the memory...]
By Friday, our kitchen table and countertops resemble a Hallmark store after a tornado, from the amount of mail (for me, the wife and two adult kids), newspapers, magazines, political agitprop, knick-knacks and miscellaneous pocket leavings that have accumulated since last week.
And you can't just throw all the crap out willy nilly, because it is inextricably intermixed with numerous credit solicitations which, if purloined intact from our trash, would enable someone to pay for and enroll in college as me, spend four years failing classes and wracking up debt, then mail the final horrific grades to my employer who would immediately fire me and demand repayment of 19 years worth of wages. And I can't have that.
So it ALL sits there and piles up throughout the week until a moment like this one, when I get home, grab a snow shovel, clear a place at the table, and sit down to relax, get the shredder humming, and have a moderate number of drinks.
You can imagine my delight when, upon sifting today's mail haul of about 35 items, I found the Loudoun County Republican Committee has sent a note reminding of the Convention details, on the off chance the 17 previous reminders from various candidates did not make a sufficient impression.
Ok, that's fine: It is important for the LCRC to ensure everyone has that information. And the fact we received another card to detach, complete and return to confirm our attendance is also fine, because my initial sift only resulted in 18 "immediate action" pieces of direct mail and that measly number would leave me twiddling my thumbs for the rest of the evening.
What really got my attention was the letter informing of the new LCRC Pledge Yo' Ass Now! program. I think this is a GREAT idea which will help lead the Republican Party to the final, glorious end stage that I have been predicting here for months.
You see, in order to register as a delegate, one had to sign a simple initial pledge affirming that "by the sacred beard of Odin I hereby foreswear and renounce all previous political affiliations and on the lives of my unborn grandchildren I pledge to support Republican candidates hereafter be they short or fat, wise or dumb, freemen or indicted co-conspirators, and if I violate this pledge I willingly submit to disembowelment and the gouging of eyes." Pretty standard stuff.
Now comes the notice that the onsite registration process for the June 9 Convention will include a separate RE-AFFIRMATION of the pledge, in which attendees will be politely diverted off to the side of the sign-in table by a Credentials and Internal Examination Committee member, asked to recite in loud voice your basic "I hereby declare, for real, that I intend to support all the nominees of the Republican Party of Virginia and renounce affiliations with any other political party on pain of DEATH" re-pledge, salute the flag while exclaiming "huzzah!", stamp their right foot three times to commemorate the victory of Joshua over the Philistines, and bow their heads. New delegates will then have their left pinky cut off and be directed to the seating area.
This may contribute to a slight backup in the registration line, but it will reaffirm the eternal truth that joining the political process is a scary, shadowy business which might well get you killed.
I'm trying to get some friends and family members more involved in public life, some of whom maybe did not consider themselves party animals of any stripe but are concerned about the immigration issue and see the GOP as the best chance to fix the problem, and Pledge Yo' Ass Now! is exactly the sort of initiation I was hoping they would undergo so we can separate the wheat from the chaff.
Some clown is fulminating over at Blog Fu's place about state Senator Ken Cuccinelli, calling the senator weak on an issue that he is actually strongest on.
(The purveyor of this "black is white" argument is also bemoaning the fact Senator Cuccinelli will not return his phone calls. I can help you with that one: Senators don't waste their time on crazy people. The guy also supposedly runs an anti-Cuccinelli Web site, which I would advise also does not elevate that return call on the priority list.)
Senator Ken Cuccinelli has been one of the most important proponents of stricter immigration law enforcement at the state and local level in the entire nation. He has been involved with Help Save Herndon since soon after it was formed and has supported the group's work ever since. He was the highest-ranking local dignitary at the HSH victory celebration after they bounced the former town government out of office.Help Save Herndon member and Herndon Compass co-founder John Neil. (The Compass, the newspaper HSH started in order to get a fair hearing after the existing local press either ignored them or wrote them off as bigots, was a key factor in turning out the town council.)
As I mentioned the other day, some state lawmakers are taking proactive steps to ramp up immigration enforcement across the country and have formed an organization called State Legislators for Legal Immigration to further that effort. Along with Senator Jay O'Brien, Ken Cuccinelli is a founding member of SLLI from the state of Virginia.
UPDATE: The individual who made the false claims about the senator has retracted his complaints and has in fact fully reproduced this refutation, even the smackdown phrases. That's an act of intellectual honesty, which should be commended. So while we are in the mode of planting kisses on each others' cheeks, I'd like to ask WHY IN THE NAME OF GOD IS HE TRYING TO BRING DOWN ONE OF THE BEST ADVOCATES WE HAVE FOR FIXING THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IN OUR STATE???
The guys at Too Conservative are having a conniption over the fact that Brian Withnell is challenging Gary Clemens for the Republican nomination for Loudoun County Clerk of Court.
The gist of the argument seems to be "How dare he!"
While I will admit, in the spirit of full disclosure, that I seem to be on the other side of pretty much every political contest from the TC folks, I think there is room for objective discussion here.
[More full disclosure: My totally non-political wife, a couple months ago, said this about TC following her initial naive surfing of the blogosphere: "I thought 'Too Conservative' meant they exposed people they thought were too conservative." Heh. From the mouths of babes...]
Anyway, whatever the relative qualifications of the two men, let's examine a simple fact about the Clerk of Court:
The Clerk of Court gets elected for an eight-year term, and the salary is $130,000 a year - and as some insiders have said, it's not exactly a brutal job.
Interesting factoid: If you state the above sentence to anyone in Virginia, 99% of respondents will reply "reeaally??"
So I would say: Considering all the calculations that go into deciding whether one should run for office, this Clerk of Court deal has the added bonus of being a pretty friggin' good job. Better than the governor's or your average congressman's, in fact.
Yeah, it is "public service." But it is also pretty sweet public service.
The outrage at TC, I would therefore submit, is misdirected. I would say, in fact, that if there is any job that we should expect to see contested every eight years, it might be this one. It's a little surprising to me that people are not falling over themselves to line up for the primary.
Hell, it would be an upgrade for me, that's for damn sure.
I wish I had more information on the issues of the campaign. So far, Brian Withnell has established he is a nice guy but has not made it exactly clear why he would be the better man for this cherry position. Gary Clemens has made it clear he is also a good guy, and who can blame him for wanting another eight-year stint.
While I respect Loudoun Insider much of the time and read his posts pretty regularly, I have to think he is overdoing it a bit to hyperventilate over the fact that Withnell is trying to get this job. We do have a democratic process in this country, and oftentimes it is fought over jobs far less remunerative than the Loudoun County Clerk of Court. Supervisor, for instance. I think Gary Clemens should expect a challenge once every eight years and be ready to defend his position.
Brian Withnell is a tech-wonk guy - this is one of the things he did communicate the other night at the LCRC meeting. A lot can change in eight years, and in a data-intensive environment as a court oversees such a person has solid standing to say he should be considered for the position.