Recently in Crime Category
I recently was made aware of a particular story that has me outraged. There are several things that need to be covered here, and I expect this is something of little controversy, other than what people think of bullying.
First, background ... A young almost 14 year old girl is allowed to use an account on myspace, is monitored closely, and appears to have been the victim of an adult who created another myspace account specifically to gain the girl's confidence. The account was then used to dash the girl's esteem, which appears to have been the trigger event in the girl taking her own life. A newspaper article on the story is at:
There are two issues I'd like to address. One, is how some people in society have hideously accused the parents of the girl who did monitor activities on the account of not doing so closely enough, and two, how the adults who perpetrated this are not guilty of any crime (at least not one with which they can be charged).
[My opinion: Heh. To the extent anyone pays attention to this story, it is ultimately going to work to Greg Ahlemann's favor. Dismissing tickets is a widespread practice, and Mr. Ahlemann inadvertantly, by simply telling the truth, caused his opponents for the sheriff's seat to take untenable knee-jerk public positions which anyone familiar with the workings of law enforcement will immediately recognize as BS. Mr. Ahlemann apparently did a fine job making his case more clearly on all of the local television news outlets this afternoon. This is the type of story that is only effective if it does not have the opportunity to percolate in public consciousness. Once people begin to think about it, they realize the guy telling the truth is on the much more solid ground. The Post sprang it a week too early.]
[Mr. Ahlemann also stated today: "Any voters who don't want to hear their Sheriff telling the truth shouldn't vote for me."]
Yesterday's attempted October surprise on Loudoun County Sheriff Candidate Greg Ahlemann by reporter Bill Brubaker of the local "we try harder" publication has, unsurprisingly, turned into another signature boomerang piece by the Washington Post.
Discerning readers might have gathered from the original story that the contention of supposedly "experienced" Loudoun sheriff candidates Mike George and Steve Simpson that they never dropped tickets or asked for them to be dismissed does not quite ring true. As two officers interviewed in the story stated, it is a common practice. How could Mr. Simpson and Mr. George, with such long service records, have avoided the practice?
Former Loudoun County sheriff's deputy Dave Price (2001-2006) has an explanation: "Total hogwash."
"Dropping tickets" is, according to Mr. Price, "very commonplace."
Regarding the Washington Post reports of the statements by both candidates Mr. Simpson and Mr. George, Mr. Price said any law enforcement officers "read that, they know he's either straighter than any straight arrow they've ever known - or else he's lying."
Mr. Price said his father, a police officer for over three decades, confirmed he "did not know of any that haven't taken a call" to drop tickets.
Mr. Price recalled an incident in which he ticketed a teenage girl for speeding. Soon afterwards, a Fairfax County Police Department lieutenant asked Mr. Price to dismiss the ticket because the girl was on the local softball team. Mr. Price complied - which he said is the practice nearly all the time.
Another incident precipitated Mr. Price's resignation from the Sheriff's Office, about three weeks before he left.
On that day in 2006, Mr. Price was manning radar on River Creek Parkway in Landsdowne, where residents had been complaining of frequent speeders in the 35 mile an hour zone. He clocked a vehicle traveling at 55-60 miles per hour, and proceeded to pull it over. The driver became "belligerent with me, cursing me up and down," Mr. Price relates.
"He would not calm down. Finally his friend in the passenger seat told him to 'shut up, let's just go to court.'"
After writing the ticket, as he drove away, Mr. Price got a message from Sheriff Steve Simpson asking him to call Mr. Simpson's personal cell phone number. According to Mr. Price, Mr. Simpson asked him to drop the ticket, saying "The guy is some building contractor the county is trying to schmooze to get some building built. He said you were very professional with him. He has had lots of tickets and is worried that his insurance will go up. Would you mind getting rid of the ticket?"
Mr. Price agreed to drop the ticket and reports this is when he begain looking for another job.
The Post's Mr. Brubaker elected to just now release a story that would have been breaking news in January of this year.
At that time, former deputy and candidate for sheriff Greg Ahlemann issued a press release detailing an incident that took place in September, 2006, when Lt. Colonel Randy Badura pressured a deputy to agree to drop charges against Bruce Zurschmeide, who the deputy had charged with the triple misdemeanors of DUI, refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test and attempting to elude police. The deputy was asked to agree to the charges, which might have resulted in a sentence of year in prison, being dropped to a petty "drunk in public" which only carries a $50 fine.
Sheriff Simpson reportedly backed Mr. Badura in seeking the reduced charges.
Mr. Ahlemann took an interest in the incident as symptomatic of corruption which was hurting morale within the Sheriff's Office. He proceeded to investigate the details, some of which were divulged in the press release.
He was interviewed by Mr. Brubaker months before he won the nomination.
The Post reporter elected to sit on the story until this past Friday, October 26, when he called Mr. Ahlemann with some follow up questions.
Today, Mr. Ahlemann released to the media some background data which adds a layer of important information to the story. First is an audio recording of Mr. Ahlemann's interview with an internal affairs investigator.
The interview is worth listening to a couple times through, because it demonstrates the IA investigator is not investigating at all, but is in fact attempting to fix the story of what happened to match what would be in Mr. Badura's and Mr. Simpson's best interests. The investigator attempts to ascertain from Mr. Ahlemann that Mr. Ahlemann has not let out any information that would be damaging to the department.
Another interesting note is that the Zurschmeide family now appears to be actively promoting the false idea that the arrest of Bruce Zurschmeide was invalid (the IA interview above affirms the "arrests were good," putting the lie to the Zurschmeides' contention). A recent e-mail circulated from a member of the family argued:
Last Fall my brother was erroneously arrested on his own property by the current Sheriff's department for a DUI. After investigation, the Commonwealth Attorney reduced the charge to a misdemeanor.
In an effort to support his platform, Mr. Ahlemann claims and recently reported in the October 28th issue of the Washington Post that my brother received special treatment "by a high-ranking sheriff's official". The truth is that the arrest took place on private property and after an unsolicited investigation, the Commonwealth Attorney decided to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor. My brother does not have a relationship with any high-ranking official from the Sheriff’s office, nor has he ever met Sheriff Steve Simpson. At no time did Ahlemann bother to speak to the arresting officer or to my brother about the facts of the arrest. Instead he chooses to falsely cite this incident as a platform for change.
The data - in particular the IA interview - accompanying this post, clearly shows the Zurschmeide family should have let this story die.
Regular, non-connected residents of Loudoun County know that for similar behavior they would be behind bars.
So while the Post's front page story attempted to paint Mr. Ahlemann as engaging in unusual practices, the truth of the matter strongly appears to be that Mr. Ahlemann is the only one telling the truth. Mr. Simpson - by advocating for lessening charges that would have any normal citizen facing extended time in detention - has some explaining to do in the case of Mr. Zurschmeide.
As the former deputy Mr. Price noted about Mr. Ahlemann, this entire story should "put Greg up higher because he's actually being honest about it. What's the point of lying about it?"
Supporting the original press release from Mr. Ahlemann, below the fold are copies of the original complaints in the Zurschmeide case filed by the arresting officers.
Harry Reid is trying to push through the "DREAM" act in S 2205 while he thinks no one is looking.
This is a bad, bad bill. See the reasons below. Main reason, it is a front-door amnesty which will lead to immediate reward for illegal behavior while millions are waiting in line to enter the U.S. legally! It is an outrage. Because of chain migration it will result in a new flood of under-educated and unskilled immigrants when social services at every level of government are unable to provide adequate benefits to existing citizens.
We just received word that a group of U.S. senators' staffers are right now in a meeting with a contingent of illegal aliens pleading their case.
We also heard that the phone calls are largely against the "DREAM" act. Let's keep that momentum going!
CALL YOUR SENATORS NOW: Ask them to commit to voting "no" on cloture tomorrow on S 2205 in order to keep it from coming up for a vote in the full Senate.
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
- S. 2205 would do what all amnesties do -- entice millions more people to become illegal aliens here. The word across the world would be that immigration crime pays.
- The DREAM Act amnesty doesn't just offer U.S. citizenship to illegal alien teenagers, it also provides amnesty to the parents of most of them. Once the amnestied teens become citizens they can obtain an amnesty for their parents.
- Plus, anybody who can claim to be under the age of 30 can also make a claim to have arrived before the age of 16 and make a move for the amnesty (plus all of their relaties through chain migration).
- S. 2205 provides for no extra enforcement to help ensure that families around the world don't risk their teenagers' lives by forcing them to enter the U.S. illegally across the deserts. Passage of this amnesty likely would increase deaths of illegal aliens in the desert as more and more people attempt to get into the country in preparation for the next amnesty.
- Many of the advocacy groups pushing the DREAM Act amnesty openly say it is intended as a way to break the barrier and then to push for several more amnesties and rewards for illegal aliens.
- Many of these teenagers weren't brought to the United States illegally by their parents. Rather, many of them came on their own and found illegal shelter with legal immigrants who were from their country. Passing this amnesty will encourage millions more families to consider forcing their young teenagers into dangerous journeys to America to become illegal aliens and hope to get similar rewards.
- If there is a compelling story for giving amnesty to any of these high school students, it should be told only after the rule of law has been restored, including a fully functioning entry/exit system at the border and mandatory verification of all new hires by all businesses, governments and non-profits.
Our buddies at Equality Loudoun just conducted a fascinating, in-depth interview with Loudoun County Sheriff candidate Greg Ahlemann, no holds barred and no punches pulled. As I've said before, Mr. Ahlemann is at his best in one on one personal interaction. His forthrightness is what won him an improbable landslide victory at the June Republican Convention, and the same quality shines here. Thanks to the EV guys for the detailed and undoubtedly laborious transcription.
Go read it now! If you are not very familiar with Mr. Ahlemann, this discussion will definitely help fill in some of the gaps.
And so all I’m talking about doing is a program that the federal government has already said, hey, local jurisdictions, you can use this in your own community to help deal with, you know, the criminal aspect of it. They don’t give us the authority to go in businesses and check IDs and deport people, because they’re not going to take those people. That’s not our job, and that takes away from what we as law enforcement officers need to be doing, which is dealing with crime and the criminal element. Probably the biggest thing that a group like La Voz could get out, and different community groups, is to get this information out, that having the ICE program here is not going to target people who are here illegally who have not committed crimes. We will not have the authority to deport you, to separate you from your family - obviously there will be a deterrent value, there will be a lot of people who will say, Loudoun is hard on it, so maybe I’m not going to go there to drink, maybe if I live in Centreville I’m not going to come down to Pepe’s and drink, and if I get caught drinking and driving I might be deported, so you can’t put a price tag on that.
The recent report on the Virginia Tech shooting as reported by MSNBC has a flaw that few people realize. Those that commit such actions do not think the way normal people do -- while that is obvious, few people realize the only logical conclusions. If someone is determined to kill a large number of people, and themselves (clearly this maniacal murderer's intent) then the only way to stop that outcome is the forceful stopping of the criminal.
An acquaintance spent some time visiting with the Loudoun County Zoning Department yesterday and learned the following:
During inspections of overcrowded housing complaints, if the inhabitants profess to having no identification, and claim to be either A) "extended family" or B) in a Bible study, the Zoning Department inspectors automatically give everyone a pass and cease the investigation. Case closed.
There's some food for thought there, especially regarding how the excuses are being coordinated. These certainly seem to be very common stories, both from anecdotal and press reports. Might there be agencies or NGO's facilitating illegal behavior?
The neighboring town of Herndon, population 24,000, has three times as many inspectors as Loudoun County, population 200,000. In the past, I have stated this is a problem and Loudoun needs to have many more inspectors.
In light of the current revelation, I wonder if Loudoun's Zoning Department might actually deserve to be cut back further. Who needs 'em?
In a related story, someone I know just filed a report to the Sheriff's Office on a house nearby for residents who were switching license plates among cars. A deputy came to the reporting citizen's house during daylight hours and knocked on the door to "discuss" the supposedly anonymous complaint. The citizen said they definitely did not want to publicly discuss the complaint.
The deputy then walked across the street to the allegedly offending residence. The complainant watched through the window as the deputy knocked on the offender's door, and when it was answered the deputy pointed back at the complainant's house.
More on the Sheriff's Office here. It seems like everyone on Sterling Park has stories like these.
Hey, ever wonder why Sterling residents are so reticent about filing zoning or other complaints?
Between Zoning and the Sheriff's Office, the Loudoun County government has done a remarkable job elevating official indifference to an art form - a drive around Sterling Park illustrates this fact quite impressively.
In my view, these and other instances demonstrate why we need a change in mindset among the Loudoun County Supervisors - with Eugene Delgaudio and Mick Staton as good indicators of how the entire Board should be focused - and a change in leadership in the Sheriff's Office, with Greg Ahlemann as the man for the suit.
Today's Post has a feature story on the situation in Sterling that is pretty good ... for the Post. Which is a significant qualification.
But in truth Sandhya, the reporter, is one of the better ones on the issue of the illegal alien problem and if the media as a whole covered the issue in as balanced a manner as she does Americans would have a much better understanding of what is really happening.
In the story, a few residents were interviewed along with some activists from the pro-illegal side. I recommend everyone read it because it gives a partial picture of the local situation.
The article reflects a bit of naivete, repeating zoning department reports that overcrowding inspections often "found Bible study groups." Conversations with locals familiar with zoning violation reporting could have revealed how extraordinarily common such Bible study sessions are claimed to be taking place in houses full of migrant workers. The conversations would have been punctuated with guffaws.
Also, the identification of one gentleman as "a remodeling contractor" would have been slightly more accurate if he were labeled a "former remodeling contractor who was driven out of the business some years ago by corrupt competitors using illegal workers." I happen to know he next tried to build a livelihood as a landscaping contractor - with a similar final result.
But the point that jumped out at me was the sheriff's office report that "only one in 20 gang members in the county is in the country illegally, and most are U.S. citizens." The sheriff himself made this point at a Help Save Loudoun meeting earlier this year, contradicting a report at another meeting in which deputies in the Loudoun Gang Intelligence Unit told our audience that the gang population is largely composed of illegals, and the growth in gang activity parallels the influx of illegal aliens into the area.
The story also repeats Sheriff Steve Simpson's statement from a debate a few months ago in which he told a questioner asking what he would say to Sterling Park residents who felt their neighborhood was becoming less safe, that "the crime rate is going down." In several public events where Sterling residents asked what he intended to do about the increasing problems in the community, I heard the sheriff tell constituents, we are doing everything we can. In effect, he has promised that things are only going to get worse, despite the fact that citizens had laid out a number of initiatives he could pursue to make Loudoun County less hospitable to criminal aliens - and no one had ruled out demanding the Board of Supervisors allocate more funds to do so.
This is known as the "tin ear" approach to dealing with one's consituents, and explains in large part why the sheriff was demolished by his Republican convention opponent, Greg Ahlemann, in a major upset, by a margin of over 2-1.
Well, I have just received a copy of an open letter to Sheriff Simpson, in reaction to the Post article, sent by one of his Sterling constituents to the Board of Supervisors. The letter helps fill in some of the holes in the article:
Dear Sheriff Simpson,
I can't tell you how relieved I am to read in today's Washington Post front page article about Sterling that "only one in 20 gang members in the county is in the country illegally, and most are U.S. citizens."
So the next time my neighbors are assaulted while strolling on the sidewalk, shot at through the walls of their home while they sleep, dodging bullets in the parking lot of the Sterling Safeway, or reporting another theft from their garages, I'll remind them that statistically, their safety is being threatened by fellow citizens, not illegal aliens.
I'll comfort them by quoting your assurances that increasing crime in Sterling is merely "a widespread perception" unsupported by data, and that we're probably overreacting to "a few high-profile shootings and gang-related incidents."
Maybe that information might have stopped my neighbor from moving out of Sterling this summer if he knew that the gang members who bullied his daughter at the middle school last spring are here legally. Now that the Post has widely publicized this important distinction, maybe my neighbors can put their unsold houses back on the market and try for an expensive second time to sell and move away.
I, for one, will feel a deeper sense of pride when I spend yet another Saturday morning picking up hundreds of empty and shattered beer bottles from the corners of my neighborhood streets, knowing that most of this litter was probably created by good old U.S. citizens.
Thanks for your clearly heartfelt concern for the citizens of eastern Loudoun.
As a side note, we don't tend to see much of Sheriff Simpson, at public events, here in Sterling. My guess is this end of the county has been written off in his campaign strategy, such as it is.
Sounds like the tightening of border security is working! You know how you can tell? Just count the dead bodies!
This is the video the pro-illegal alien advocates don't want you to see.
Because of the state's tough immigration enforcement law that just went into effect July 1, illegal aliens in Georgia are leaving in droves - some returning to Mexico, some going to other states.
If we in Virginia can take action at the local and state level to convince the illegals that this may not be the ideal place to come to, more will return to Mexico or other home countries, and thus will begin the process of advocating for reforms there. Which is what should have been happening in the first place and which the corrupt people running those countries are extremely grateful not to have had to deal with.
The following should be required viewing for every current or prospective office holder at every level of government.
David Ritcheson, the victim of a horrible crime, has committed suicide.
He was clearly the victim of a hate crime:
Ritcheson's death comes less than three months after he testified before Congress about how two teens nearly killed him on April 23, 2006 by repeatedly kicking a patio umbrella stand into his rectum while shouting "white power!"
Tuck and Turner dragged Ritcheson, who was Hispanic, into the backyard, where they taunted him with racial slurs, punched and kicked him in the head and burned him 17 times with cigarettes. They tried to carve a swastika into his chest.
His attackers poured bleach on his face and body and left him for dead. No one called for an ambulance until well after daybreak.
The former Klein Collins High School running back and freshman homecoming prince spent three months and eight days in the hospital and endured more than 30 surgeries.
Ritcheson testified for new "Hate Crimes" legislation:
"I appear before you as a survivor," Ritcheson told members of a House Judiciary subcommittee April 17. "I am here before you today asking that our government take the lead in deterring individuals like those who attacked me from committing unthinkable and violent crimes against others because of where they are from, the color of their skin, the God they worship, the person they love, or the way they look, talk or act."
But the article states that, "A skinhead named David Tuck, 19, was sentenced to life in prison for his part in the attack. Keith Turner, 18, received a 90-year sentence."
What more could be done? If such sentences, without new hate crimes legislation, does not deter such beasts, what will?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
...tattooed where no one will see it unless they are in the danger zone? It would avoid cases like this.
'"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
[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.
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 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.
After having been successfully "pwned" in the comments to this post - which is a palate-cleansing experience I recommend to all of you, incidentally - I have seen the error of my ways and intend to make up for it herewith. The lesson learned:
Crimes committed by illegal aliens are a huge problem, exacerbated by elected officials inclined to look the other way. (Hat tip - Zimzo).
We've already covered the tragic results of law enforcement laxity that allowed illegal alien repeat offenders in Northern Virginia (Jose Santos Sibrian Espinoza) and Virginia Beach (Alfredo Ramos) to remain out on the streets long enough to get drunk again and kill innocent American citizens.
I would argue that the top public safety officer in a jurisdiction is the one who should step up and smash through that cover by instituting tougher measures at the local level.
Following are a plethora of recent cases you may not have heard about.
Bear in mind that under the provisions of the "immigration reform" legislation currently being debated in the U.S. Senate, all of the criminal illegals detailed below, and thousands like them from any nation, would receive Z visas within 24 hours after applying if USCIS is not able to complete their background checks within that time frame.
This is the post you have all been waiting for.
First, some background: John Andrews, for whatever asinine reason, decided to follow up his impressive direct mail blitz from yesterday - which I believe was probably sufficient to give him a huge boost going into Saturday's election - with a "letter" today bemoaning "dirty tricks" from the Patricia Phillips campaign.
Apparently she sent out a piece that referred to Andrews, whose profession is "developer," as a "developer."
I was not going to delve into this one because frankly I don't see the political angle in it. "You actually take undeveloped land and develop it for uses such as habitation and commerce - well god DAMN you man, how do you live with yourself??!" Who gives a crap if John Andrews is a developer. It's not like he's an abortionist or runs a telemarketing firm.
Patricia Phillips also pointed out his contributions to a Democrat years ago, and somewhere on the Internet (I assume) was the suggestion he was "endorsed by a pro-gay group." No citations are provided for the latter, unfortunately.
But apparently whatever Ms. Phillips did struck John Andrews as a "smear campaign" and "shameful act of desperation."
He goes on: "Your vote will also send a message to Ms. Phillips that you're tired of her dirty tricks and the extremist interest groups who are running her campaign."
My first reaction to this was, "dirty tricks?" Patricia is the mom-next-door. Her campaign, as far as I can see, is being run by her and the nice 20-year old kid who is her campaign manager. They are running a political campaign conducted at the emotional pitch height of a church-retreat kickball tournament. You can make some arguments against Patricia Phillips as the next Virginia Senator, but any complaint along the lines of ethics quickly places the accuser in the "protesteth too much" category.
That "extremist interest groups" note DID get my attention, though. One of my e-mails about lit drops and letters, sent to the local Help Save ... people, got forwarded by an apparent mole to the Andrews campaign. Could it be .... ?
Yes, it could. Read below the fold for an absolutely FANTASTIC expression of Weenie Republicanism, the Republican philosophy which killed every anti-illegal-immigration bill that came out of the Virginia House of Delegates this year, and which was on full display today as "Republicans" conspired with Democrats in D.C. to sell out the American people. This e-mail was sent out by a John Andrews supporter, and exemplifies everything that is wrong with the Republican party and might just indicate the death knell of the GOP.
FIRST: Yes, as Blog Fu advises call your own two Senators right now and tell them rewarding illegal aliens with government benefits was a failure in 1986 and would be tenfold the disaster now. It was supposed to legalize at most 3 million aliens and brought 20 million more illegals. What will legalizing the 20 million bring?
The border is not secure; announcing a path to citizenship will bring millions more across as it did in the 1980s and 1990s.
SECOND: Send a word of support to each member of the "filibuster team" who, it appears, we are really going to need.
Sen. DeMint (R-SC)
While our national elected representatives are dickering over exactly how far to sell this country down the river with the amnesty bill under negotiation behind closed doors, local communities continue to push back.
The latest news from Hazelton, Pennsylvania suggests our national "leaders" had better consider their next steps very carefully.
Lou Barletta won a third term as mayor of Hazleton by thumping all comers in an historic election Tuesday.
Barletta hammered Republican challenger Dee Deakos 1,343 votes to 80 in what appears to be the biggest landslide in city history. By percentage, Barletta got 94.4 percent of the vote, while Deakos got 5.6 percent.
The shocker was Barletta's winning the Democratic nomination through his write-in campaign. He beat Mike Marsicano by a near 2-1 margin, 1,211 votes to 699, according to unofficial results. Again by percentage, Barletta got 63.4 percent of the vote to Marsicano's 36.6 percent...
The result - a write-in candidate in a sizable municipality winning a nomination in the opposite party - may be precedent setting...
"A national audience was paying attention to this race," Barletta said. "Combine this, with Farmer's Branch, Texas, when an IIRA copycat was approved on referendum ... and that should send a message to Congress."
Go here to support Hazelton's fight to control illegal immigration in the city. They are the front line in a war that affects all Americans.
Go here to contact Congress and tell your representatives to kill the illegal alien amnesty bill.
Go here for model IIRA legislation you can bring to your own local elected officials.
Further evidence of the utter uselessness of the mainstream media - in which I would include Fox News although they pose as "alternative" and MSNBC although nobody ever watches them - is highlighted by La Shawn Barber's post on the Newsom-Christian torture-murders earlier this year:
Even if the stripper's allegations had been true, why was the Duke case burning up the airwaves while the Christian-Newsom case barely emits a spark?
What's up with the lack of blanket media coverage? I'm not talking about a story here or there with case updates. The media should be swarming around this story.
I found it via NewsBusters which has more on the story.
We should be close to the point where "hate crime" can be consigned to the Dustbin of Meaningless Terms.
The latest victim: Matthew Watson, 20, of Ellicott City, Md.
It appears an illegal alien named Never Leopoldo Navarro-Montoya got wasted, got in his truck and smashed into the back of a Jeep Mr. Watson was riding in. Mr. Watson was killed; Mr. Navarro-Montoya was found several hours later lying on the side of the road.
Mr. Navarro-Montoya was driving without a license and "undocumented" according to the Baltimore Sun, and is the second such case in the Maryland suburbs in the past six months:
In November, Eduardo Raul Morales-Soriano, a Laurel landscaper from Mexico, was charged with vehicular homicide and drunken driving in a Thanksgiving night crash at Routes 175 and 108 that killed a Columbia Marine home on leave and his date from Montgomery County.
Actually, Mr. Navarro-Montoya was "documented," but his documents happened to be forged or stolen:
Police said Mr. Navarro-Montoya produced a permanent resident card and a Social Security card bearing his name. He told a Prince George's County police officer that the documents were fake and purchased in Texas. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed that Mr. Navarro-Montoya was an illegal alien from Mexico, according to the charging documents.
Eventually, the U.S. must institute a biometric ID card which will be required of every worker in order to be employed. The logical place to start would be to replace the Social Security card since it is integrally tied to employment. The only question is when this will happen.
Addressing the illegal alien problem as a public safety issue (background info here), U.S. Representative Thelma Drake (R-VA) introduced the Empowering Our Local Communities Act. Here is the press release:
Legislation increases funding for federal-state-local partnerships to identify and remove illegal aliens in U.S. judicial system
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Representative Thelma Drake (R-Va.) today introduced legislation strengthening our nation's immigration laws by providing local communities with additional resources to identify and remove illegal aliens. The Empowering Our Local Communities Act authorizes an increase of $35 million over FY 2007 levels for an existing program that encourages partnerships between the federal government and state and local law enforcement agencies. Furthermore, it makes it a criminal offense to be in the United States illegally and toughens national DUI laws for those unlawfully present in the United States.
"Recently our community received a grim reminder of the effects that our nation's broken immigration policy can have on society," said Rep. Drake. "We've seen how lethal the results can be when that failed policy intersects with the epidemic of drunk driving. Local agencies are being overwhelmed to the point that illegal aliens can become habitual offenders before their status is ever discovered."
"Solving our nation's growing immigration crisis is going to require a commitment from every level of government. This legislation emphasizes the need for working partnerships aimed at preventing offenders from falling through the gaps."
Expanding the 287(g) Program
After all the requests for citings of hard numbers on crime levels in Britain since the gun ban, you'd think it'd be as easy as typing in "Britain handgun statistics" at your local neighborhood Google.com. Geez. It wasn't that hard, Jack. Chapter 5 is a good one.
The report also seems to make a particular point of indicating that perceived increases in crime could very well be attributed to changes in crime reporting, whatever that's supposed to mean. . .
The theme of the 2007 Loudoun County Sheriff's race can be distilled down to the two I's: Illegals and Integrity.
Over the next four weeks you are going to hear a lot more on both of these, and if tonight was any indication, the number one issue to be played out in the press and at the Loudoun County Republican Convention next month will be illegal immigration.
Loudoun Sheriff Steve Simpson and challenger Greg Ahlemann faced off tonight at Patrick Henry College (PHC) in Purcelville. This was a substantive debate between two articulate and sincere men seeking the Republican nomination for Loudoun County Sheriff.
Full audio of the debate is available below the fold.
This was a singular event in Loudoun politics, if you ask me. Two men whose job description as Sheriff would not hinge on political debating skills put on a marvelous public discussion. There was lots of back-and-forth right from the beginning, opportunities to respond to one another on the fly. This was NOT a series of canned responses.
Take some time to listen and you will find it well worth the time - highly educational about important issues and revealing about the candidates themselves.
Suprisingly, this debate was more in-depth and interactive than last week's meeting between state Senate candidates Patricia Phillips and John Andrews - also hosted by the PHC Republicans.
Unlike the prospective Senators, the Sheriff candidates did NOT require all questions to be pre-screened by the campaigns - throwing out all those deemed too controversial or difficult - and did not forbid recording, "videography" or "flash photography."
So I got a full recording which everyone can now listen to, and I can assure the citizens of Loudoun their next Sheriff can withstand flash bulbs. (And I say "next Sheriff" because Democratic candidate Mike George made a statement to the press so dumb last week that he should be ruled out of contention right now. Listen to the audio for that.)
Maybe it is that the PHC kids are learning from experience - or at least UNlearning the dopey restrictions implemented for the Senate debate. In any case, the PHC debate management team will provide a fantastic resource for local political races going forward.
(And lest there be any question, BOTH of the PHC debates were far superior to - I mean light years above - the bogus Republican presidential "debate" put on by the infants at MSNBC.)
From tonight's discussion, we can assume Loudoun County delegates to the Republican Convention will have a fairly clear-cut choice between an incumbent Sheriff arguing his department is on the right track, and a challenger saying residents demand a change in direction.
I encourage all Loudoun County delegates to listen to the debate and draw your own conclusions.
We are honored to have Greg Ahlemann, candidate for Loudoun County Sheriff, take time to visit NOVA TownHall Blog with the following response to yesterday's decision by Sheriff Steve Simpson to pursue ICE training for Loudoun deputies.
I am personally pleased that the Sheriff has accepted this program. After taking a beating in the press for weeks over his stance, he has responded with what our County has needed for some time.
However, the Sheriff's explanation for changing his mind was that now ICE will "pay for the tranportation of inmates" so he does not have to pay 2 deputies overtime, is very weak. The Joseph Passarelli tragedy alone makes this excuse unacceptable. I won't bore you with quote after quote the Sheriff has made over the last several months as to why he would not take on ICE training, but his most recent point is that "zoning" is the way to deal with it.
While I consider myself to be a fiscal conservative, I have no problem with explaining to the Board of Supervisors or the citizens of Loudoun County that when I'm elected Sheriff I have exceeded my budget for the jail because we arrested too many illegal immigrants who are guilty of violent crimes in Loudoun County.
Is this not the job of the Sheriff's office. Protect the innocent and enforce the law. I have yet to meet anyone who has told me they would prefer to save $10 a year on their property taxes by allowing violent offenders to go free because the Sheriff did not want to pay for the overtime. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of this program will only be as successful as the sincerity of the Sheriff enforcing it.
Thanks to Mr. Ahlemann for visiting and his effort all year to keep the ICE training issue a priority. This is a program HelpSaveLoudoun has been pushing for since last summer and we appreciate everyone willing to help bring it to fruition in Loudoun County.
NOVA TownHall extends an open invitation to Sheriff Simpson to respond and will likewise print any message from him here on the front page.
Announcing "the presentation's probably going to be a little different than I had planned" Loudoun County Sheriff Steve Simpson today informed the board of supervisors that new conditions and reimbursements allowed by the federal Bureau of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have convinced him that his department should seek a memorandum of understanding for Loudoun County deputies to receive immigration enforcement training under the federal 287g program.
Simpson said he had looked into the ICE training last year after it was brought to the board's attention. In his early meetings with the ICE officials "they had said a number of different things the program could and could not do" for the Loudoun County Sheriff's Department, which led Simpson to believe the 287g program would not augment the department's current working relationship with ICE, would be expensive and would, in fact, make it more difficult to get the feds to pick up detainees.
Simpson said several days ago he was discussing the program with one of the ICE agents assigned to the Loudoun County gang unit, and the agent said "you should give it another look" because of a change in personnel and policies at the bureau. After talking to a new ICE contact, Simpson learned the bureau would now guarantee all detainees would be picked up within 72 hours and would reimburse local jurisdictions for expenses incurred to transport prisoners. (Holding more federal detainees often requires the department to incur overtime expenses transporting local detainees to other jurisdictions.)
Therefore, Simpson told the board, if ICE will guarantee "in writing" what he was told on the phone, he would quickly seek to enter into an agreement to have gang intelligence unit and Adult Detention Center deputies receive the ICE training.
Over the past two weeks and up until just a few days ago, Simpson and Greg Ahlemann, challenger for the Republican nomination for Sheriff, have engaged in a debate in the local press (also here) over whether the 287g program is needed in the department.
Ahlemann has maintained that as a matter of community safety the program is a "no brainer," and said contacting ICE would be his first order of business his first day in office if elected.
Simpson had maintained the ICE training would not be an improvement.
(More from Simpson and Ahlemann here.)
Ahlemann questioned Simpson's explanation that new policies at ICE are responsible for the change, saying "the federal government is not going to change their ICE agreement for Loudoun County." Noting that Simpson's testimony today echoed statements Ahlemann has made in the press recently, Ahlemann characterized the Sheriff's change of heart as a "flip flop" for political purposes in response to the growing publicity of the issue in their campaign and that this week is a politically significant time period. (Last week, the Loudoun County Republican Committee reissued its Call for the June 9 convention, re-opening a one-week window - this week - for the candidates to sign up new delegates.)
Simpson responded that "if it was political I would have done this months ago...I met with [ICE} and the initial responses I got from them were not where we needed to go."
Interesting linked article and opinion by the Times' Stacy McCain:
Social criticism cannot explain Cho's violence for the simple reason that such violence is so extremely rare. There are millions of American college students, and only one of them has ever committed such a horrific massacre..
Read it all.
As Blog Fu and others have since noted, the original VV post was really quite sensible.
Basically, Riley of Virginia Virtucon argued the VA Tech killer seemed to be under the influence of radical leftists and Don Ben said, this is an inappropriate argument at this time. Right Wing Liberal then pointed out that the South Korean leftists are, indeed, freaks, and the VA Tech killer might reasonably be assumed to have been in that camp.
Pointing out the ideological connection is not so crazy, in the overall context of this big old crazy world we live in.
Be all that as it may, the question of who is right and who is a freak is one we will likely argue for months to come. Life, death, guilt, innocence, friend, foe, God, Satan: So much remains to be sorted out.
Of immediate, momentous importance, however is that one lingering question which chills our souls: How will this impact the links to my blog?
(continued below the fold)
As a recent victim of online credit card theft and an overall scam aficionado, I take a special interest in the following note which just came across via e-mail from a friend.
Somehow, there's a way people are getting hold of credit card records minus one or two pieces of info. Maybe some careless Web site database was recently hacked? If so, the proprietors should be taken out and shot because you aren't supposed to store customer credit card info anymore unless you're using security and encryption measures out the wazoo. You're supposed to use a third-party like VeriSign to do the validation. In my case they had almost all of the needed info to place an order, and if not for the fact a flag went up when a large order of motorcycle parts under my name was getting "shipped to" Indonesia, I might not have known until long after my money had purchased some happy Indonesians a bracing ride through the Indonesian countryside. Which I hear is lovely this time of year.
But I digress. Get a load of the following. It would be VERY easy to be taken in by this one.
New Credit Card Scam
This one is pretty slick since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they want.
Tonight, Senator Ken Stolle of Virginia Beach held a public meeting in which many questions from the audience focused on issues related to illegal aliens in the state.
The senator is a fantastic public speaker with a seemingly lock-tight constituency in the district. No wonder he is never opposed.
Questioners asked about bills passed by the House of Delegates which were quashed by Stolle's Courts and Justice Committee. The discussion had an element of heightened intensity because of the two girls who were killed in Virginia Beach recently by an illegal alien who had skated on drunk driving and other charges.
You may need to play with the volume because Stolle was amplified and the audience was not.
There will be no editorial commentary for now, although I will say that listening to this back and forth provides an insight into the man whose committee shut the door on six or eight bills addressing illegal immigration passed by the Virginia House of Delegates.
The number of good immigration-related bills passed by the House this year was unprecedented, and the Courts and Justice Committee's dispatching of every single one that came before it was equally unprecedented.
One might expect Senator Stolle to have been a bit defensive.
He articulates the classic argument that no one can do anything about illegal immigration until the federal government does something first.
Grassroots activists on the local level believe the exact opposite, that the federal government will not do anything until local jurisdictions take the lead.
If you want to understand why the state of Virginia has such an increasing problem with illegal aliens despite all of the legislation proposed to fix the problem, spend an hour listening to Ken Stolle talk about it.
Many others, especially those in his home district of Virginia Beach, might reasonably say, too little too late, senator.
Where was the senator a month ago on this issue? Merely killing a boatload of legislation meant to address this very problem.
Here is a report from the 2007 session of Virginia's General Assembly:
"We feel there are so many of these bills and they are so outrageous because they are designed to hurt people," said Nancy Lyall, legal coordinator for Mexicans Without Borders, one of a dozen groups sponsoring the protests.
The protesters may find a sympathetic response from the Senate Courts of Justice Committee.
Late Wednesday, the committee voted to table a key piece of legislation being championed by conservatives, including Attorney General Robert F. McConnell (R), to require state and local police to work with federal authorities in tracking down and detaining illegal immigrants.
Sen. Kenneth W. Stolle (R-Virginia Beach), the chairman, said the committee decided not to act because several police departments opposed the measure. Col. David M. Rohrer, Fairfax County police chief, testified that he worries that Latinos would be afraid to report crimes or cooperate with police if the bill was approved, Stolle said.
"Law enforcement officers are not equipped to do civil immigration law," Stolle said.
No study has ever shown that immigration enforcement activities by local officers depress the reporting of crime in immigrant communities, whereas we don't even need studies to show that the failure of local and state authorities to remove illegal aliens from the community has resulted in tragedy after tragedy.
(And the above only encompass the drunk-driver-illegal-alien segment of the crime problem. The segment comprised by the illegal alien MS-13 and 18th Street Gang members in this town is a story for another day).
While, certainly, anyone with a heart must celebrate the "sympathetic response" the pro-illegal alien lobby received from Virginia's Senate Courts of Justice Committee this year, maybe we can reserve a token sprinkle of sympathy for the legal residents who are being victimized.
With regard to Ken Stolle and the "Stolle" wing of the Virginia GOP: Does anybody in this state's Republican Party happen to have their brain turned on?
UPDATE: I just heard from someone in the Virginia Beach area who related that Stolle is considered wrong on a decent sized list of issues but is also completely bulletproof, that neither the Republicans nor Democrats will challenge him as long as he wants to keep the seat.
That's too bad. It's almost enough to make one cynical about politics.
Reminder: In the past session of the Virginia General Assembly, the House of Delegates passed over 10 pieces of legislation dealing with immigration enforcement of various types. Nearly all of these proposed laws were passed by the House with veto-proof majorities, meaning even if Governor Tim Kaine continued to oppose any crackdown on illegal aliens, the laws would have passed.
All 10 were killed in committee by the Virginia Senate.
Here is a report on the various House bills sent to the Senate (report as of late Feb - never bothered to do a final update since everything was quashed.)
The much-publicized tragedy of immigration enforcement is at least equaled by the tragedies of non-enforcement. Addressing the latter, U.S. Congressman Phil Gingrey has just introduced H.R. 1355, the Scott Gardner Act, to
close loopholes that allow illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S. after being convicted of drunk driving. The proposal is named in memory of a North Carolina man who was killed by an illegal immigrant drunk driver with five prior DWI charges.
North Carolina has been particularly affected by phenomenon. As the News and Observer reports, immigrants and their advocates note a variety of reasons Hispanic men are responsible for an inordinate number of drunk driving incidents:
When Eliseo Hernandez came to the United States 30 years ago, he thought he drove better after a few beers. Driving drunk had been normal back in Mexico, he said. But Hernandez, 54, learned of its perils firsthand. He quit the practice after falling asleep at the wheel and hitting a tree 18 years ago...
In 2005, there were 37 alcohol-related crashes caused by Hispanic drivers for every 10,000 Hispanics in the state, according to the UNC Highway Safety Research Center. That is more than three times the rate of alcohol-related crashes among non-Hispanics...
Last month, a Johnston County father and son died in a fiery crash authorities say was caused by Luciano Tellez, 31, an illegal immigrant from Mexico. Dwane Braswell, 35, and his son Jerry, 9, were riding in a tractor-trailer cab on N.C. 210 in the Cleveland community of Johnston County when Tellez struck the tractor and rolled it into a ditch, where it caught fire.
Empty beer cans were found in Tellez' car, but authorities say it is impossible to know whether he was drunk.
It was the latest in a string of such accidents caused by Hispanic men. In February in Salisbury, a woman who was eight months pregnant and her unborn child were killed. In October, it was two college students and a high school boy. In January 2006, a man from El Salvador killed a Hillsborough woman in a head-on crash and fled, leaving an injured passenger in his own car...
Bobby Dunn, who counsels Spanish-speaking DWI convicts in Johnston and Wilson counties, said his clients are often young men far from home with money in their pockets for the first time. Many were too poor to have cars in Mexico, so they have little experience behind the wheel.
They also see drinking as a way of showing their manhood.
"The magic number is 12," Dunn said, or "un doce" in Spanish. "If you can drink 12 beers, you're a man."
There are a variety of possible solutions. As the article details, education among the Hispanic community is an important starting point. The elephant in the room during the debate, however, is non-enforcement of existing U.S. immigration law by the federal government. H.R. 1355 represents an important step toward forcing the feds and local law enforcement to end the practice of overlooking immigration status when illegal aliens are convicted of crimes.
Just heard through the grapevine a staffer for Sen. Webb was arrested earlier today for possession of a loaded handgun which was registered to Webb. Capital police confirmed something happened at the Russell Office Building but would not reveal the staff member or Senator in question.
If the rumor is true, maybe it will light a fire under some Democrats to fix DC's highly screwed-up gun laws.
The grapevine says Capital police have now confirmed a Webb staffer arrested for a weapons charge.
Last night, Herndon Mayor Steve DeBenedittis and the Town Council - including Harlon Reece, the sole holdover from the former (ousted) council - unanimously approved the MOA with ICE that will allow up to 7 Herndon Police Department officers to soon begin 287g training.
As a Herndon resident notes:
The mayor and Town Council have provided HPD with another tool to assist them in their efforts to prevent another tragedy like the hit and run murder of Joseph Passarelli.
This places Herndon once again at the forefront of municipalities in the U.S. actively asserting local control over the effects of the influx of illegal aliens.
Read Blog Fu's coverage (and the comments) for the full story of last night's Council meeting.
This is not only significant for western Fairfax County, it is highly significant for Sterling Park in eastern Loudoun because we are right on the doorstep of the Herndon day labor center and whatever problems Herndon is experiencing are mirrored in our communities.
But beyond that, this major public policy development will impact areas north and south of Herndon. Loudoun County, Prince William County, Manassas, Manassas Park and Culpeper are all in the midst of the same conflict, and public officials in all these areas will be called on to consider taking the same measures.
The bleeding edge of the illegal immigration problem in the U.S. is at the local level.
We'll have full coverage of the panel within a week or so; today we'll start with the mayor because Hazleton's date in court begins Monday and we will be tracking the proceedings here daily.
How can a city that is 2000 miles away from the nearest southern border have an illegal immigration problem? That's a question I ask myself often. And if you were the mayor, what would you do about it? Most importantly, what could you do about it?
I think it's important for me to give you a little background about what Hazleton is about so you'll be able to see the motivation I had to pass the Illegal Immigration Relief Act.
Hazleton is a small city of about 30,000 people that sits on top of a mountain in Pennsylvania. Its greatest asset is the quality of life that we enjoy. Many senior citizens enjoy sitting on the porch and children, myself in my own childhood, usually grow up on the playgrounds and traveling about the city without much fear.
It's a city that might average one murder every seven years, so you'll have a background on what Hazleton, Pennsylvania was like. I became mayor in the year 2000 at a time when the city was bankrupt. We had a $1.2 million deficit in only a $6 million budget. And that is important as to what motivated me to get to the point where I'm at.
To understand the problem of illegal immigration at the local level - the only level that seems to have any real relevance currently - please scroll down in this post and take a moment to review the transcripts of the recent HelpSaveLoudoun Candidates' Forum meeting in Sterling, Virginia.
Click here for Part 1 of the February 19 meeting, for the candidates' statements. Scroll down for the latest.
[The next Candidates' Forum will take place at 7:00 pm, March 26, at the Loudoun County Senior Center at Cascades.]
Following is Part 2 of the February 19 Forum, in which we get a sense of local citizens' sentiment about this issue.
- "I happened to have a bunch of seventh and eighth graders in my car yesterday on my way to a ski trip and they were from a few different middle schools in the area, and the big joke was that Sterling Middle School is "SMS", and it's right in the name - "MS" central."
- "The unfortunate part is with gangs, they recruit younger and younger and the older gang members recruit the younger kids - and having kids in school myself I'm very concerned about the future of our schools."
- "As a parent or mentor, you should get involved and tell the school administration - they may not know."
- "They do not come here to become acculturated. They do not come here to become citizens. The main income for Mexico is the income that comes back from people who are working here illegally, and they send that money back home. They don't want to be acculturated. So what we have to do is cut off the funding."
- "I had deputies that I called to my house for noise, public urination: They told me two things. One, 'it's a cultural thing so you just have to understand.' Or, two, 'why don't you move out of the barrio?'"
- "Why don't you just drive through Sterling Park and start ticketing the vehicles that are parked on the streets? Why do we as citizens have to constantly call the Sheriff's department? Why don't they just drive through the Park and ticket them and tow them out?"
- "I know that if we take some of these people in who have not committed some type of major criminal offense, ICE isn't going to take them. What are we to do with them? I have absolutely nothing I can do with them."
- "For the most part, the Democrats want the cheap votes and the Republicans want the cheap labor."
- "We've got a community policing program that is just for show."
- "When fathers come over here they abandon their wives and children - they send back a check but it's causing huge problems in Latin America."
- "We try to make a difference here, then maybe we can make a difference with the chicken farmers in Mexico."
Complete transcript below the fold.
The former president of the Virginia chapter of the ACLU was arrested last week and charged with possession of child pornography. According to the Friday ABC News report, it does not sound like the charges involved quasi-porn nor does it appear that Rust-Tierney was set up:
Rust-Tierney admitted to investigators that he had downloaded videos and images from child pornography websites onto CD-ROMs, according to the complaint.
There is a cushion of plausibility that Mr. Rust-Tierney is innocent, so one would not want to insist the story deserves any coverage at all. In reality, however, normal journalistic practice seems to be to ferret out relevant details regarding the potential importance of the case if such details are available.
Understandably, with the Academy Awards, a snowstorm and spring training hard upon us, a major newspaper certainly faces the quintessential "perfect storm" of de rigeur news, so it's a small wonder the Post managed to cover anything else at all this weekend.
But one can surmise if the alleged offender had been a former official with the Family Foundation or Concerned Women for America, a story the local NBC affiliate had managed to break Friday evening would have been a 2-page spread in the A section of Sunday's Post.
Instead, here is the total WAPO coverage, tucked into a news roundup inside Saturday's Metro section (B-5):
An Arlington County youth sports coach and former ACLU chapter president was arrested on child pornography charges by federal agents who accused him of viewing Web sites filled with explicit images of pre-pubescent girls.
Charles Rust-Tierney, 51, of Arlington was charged with receipt and possession of child pornography. He was ordered detained pending a preliminary hearing Wednesday. Prosecutors said Rust-Tierney coaches various youth sports teams in and around Arlington. A 2002 Virginia ACLU newsletter identified him as the group's president.
The Saturday edition of the local paper of record - which, granted, is a media leviathan with 10 reporters for every 1 at the lowly Post - managed to dig a bit further into the story, and highlight a relevant local angle the Post's Lexis-Nexis search filter may have blocked:
Speaking for the ACLU, Mr. Rust-Tierney was a leading proponent in the late 1990s for unrestricted access to the Internet, arguing before the Loudoun County Library Board that people would "continue to behave responsibly and appropriately while in the library" and that "maximum, unrestricted access to the valuable resources of the Internet" should be allowed...
Mr. Rust-Tierney also argued that parents should have the primary responsibility for setting rules for their children regarding Internet access, and that "older minors should have access to resources appropriate for their age group, even if such materials may be considered by some parents to be unsuitable for younger minors."
A search for "Charles Rust-Tierney" on Google News about 11:00 pm Sunday brought up roughly 7 different stories, none different that the 4 listed above and none, alas, from Sunday's Post.
Bloggers, as expected, are gamely doing the job the mainstream press just won't do:
We had an informative and entertaining kick-off to the 2007 HelpSaveLoudoun Candidates' Forum series of townhall meetings on Monday, February 19 here in Sterling.
Our speakers were the two candidates for the Republican nomination for Loudoun County Supervisor, Catoctin District, and the two candidates for the Republican nomination for Sheriff.
February 19 HelpSaveLoudoun - HelpSaveHerndon Candidates' Forum
l to r: Candidates for Sheriff: Sheriff Steve Simpson and Greg Ahlemann; Local Yahoo; Candidates for Catoctin Supervisor: Geary Higgins, Robert Bruton
The supervisor candidates were very well informed, well spoken and exceedingly genteel. I'm certain we will be covering both of them a good bit more before the June 9 LCRC Convention.
The candidates for sheriff were likewise gentlemen, albeit with a bit more of the fireworks factor. This is not entirely surprising as the theme was "illegal immigration in Northern Virginia" and from the typical citizens' standpoint the law enforcement angle is the most problematic.
This will be the first in a two-part blog posting. We'll cover the candidates' remarks here first, and then later the interaction with local residents.
I think everyone in our area should take an interest in what the two candidates for Catoctin Supervisor, Robert Bruton and Geary Higgins, have to say. The GOP is offering up a couple of incredibly capable, decent men for this post.
I think EVERYONE - and I don't just mean Virginia residents - should pay close attention to what our two candidates for the GOP nomination for sheriff, Greg Ahlemann and current Sheriff Steve Simpson, have to say. They are debating the finer points of the ICE 287(g) program and, really, the whole approach to illegal aliens on the local level since the mid 1990s. Sterling Park is the cutting edge of this unfortunate situation, and these gentlemen are stating different perspectives from smack dab in the middle of it.
If you are anywhere in the U.S. and concerned about having your local law enforcement officers involved in 287(g), you ought to read the testimonies below. This is an issue I've done some reading on, and the discussion here is extraordinarily valuable for filling in the real-life blanks.
And - oh, yeah - if you want to get a sense of the differences between the candidates for the Republican nomination for Loudoun County Sheriff in 2007, the interchange that follows probably paints a pretty good picture.
UPDATE: The Forum was covered by the Easterner and I actually got to spend some time talking with one of the majordomos of Loudoun news, Editor Martin Casey - "just a reporter" he calls himself. Pretty cool.
Data collected by our neighboring town of Herndon appears to confirm that the growing population of illegal aliens in this area is resulting in an increase in certain crimes.
Anecdotally, longtime local residents have been saying that the increasing number of illegal aliens beginning about five years ago has resulted in a corresponding increase in crime and neighborhood blight. Loudoun County public safety officials have told me personally that there has been a direct relationship between the increase in illegal immigration and an increase in gang activity and violent crime.
Now, there seems to be hard data confirming the trend, according to this story in the local Compass newspaper.
The table shows that "Group A" crimes among Hispanics more than doubled over the 3-year period - from 102 arrests in 2002 to 236 arrests in 2004. Arrests among Hispanics in 2004 were more than double the number for non-Hispanics - 236 versus 98.
Left out of the Compass story is any discusson of whether the data allows for distinguishing between crimes committed by the legal vs illegal Hispanic populations. I suspect the assumption is, as reflected by both sides of the 2005 debate over the Herndon day labor center, that the largest share of Hispanic population increase in the town are illegal aliens. But this does need to be based in fact and it's something I will look into.
The story also notes that the Virginia State Police require that all jurisdictions collect this data so we will be asking our Loudoun County officials about this.
In case you needed any further evidence of the futility of "Republican" governance, please read the following update on the case of the U.S. Border Patrol agents currently imprisoned for shooting a drug smuggler.
Long story short: Our government has a soft spot for criminals from south of the border. Scroll to the end for the money paragraph.
"Why" exactly? I don't know. I will bet it has something to do with cheap labor.
Are there any voices of reason in the U.S.? Well, yes there are - namely Tom Tancredo. Can he win the nomination for President? Who knows, but now is the time to be thinking about it and working for it.
If Tancredo cannot be the nominee: How's about a third party, folks? If not now, when?
Here is the latest Guard the Borders Blogburst from Euphoric Reality:
By Heidi Thiess
We are still closely watching the Border Patrol case, especially after last week's explosive news that the DHS had lied to Congressmen who were looking into the case. Close on the heels of that shocking revelation, we noted that US Attorney Johnny Sutton, the prosecutor in this case, has lied openly and repeatedly about this case to the media. In an effort to counter Sutton's lies, here is one of his favorite public statements about Border Patrol agents Ramos and Compean deconstructed:
And where oh where is the media coverage?! On the surface the story of business owner Dave Ruttenberg's treatment by the City of Manassas Park appears to be a tale of an astounding degree of corruption in the government of a small town just waiting to be uncovered. I thought investigative reporters loved this kind of stuff, the prospect of a Pulitzer literally dangling before their eyes?
To get the full picture, click on this link and read from the bottom up.
As BVBL now reports, the city's latest move is to offer a settlement that seems to have the basic components of blackmail.
One might surmise the city or certain parties within it are attempting to make this story go away real quick like, before any major news outlets start sniffing around and get the Virginia Attorney General's office or the even the feds involved.
Someone familiar with the story passed along this bit of information:
Police co-opted David Ruttenberg's head of security Tom Kifer and instructed him to allow known drug dealers to enter the business despite his job to keep them out. Later on at the ABC hearing, the police blamed Dave Ruttenberg for drug activity in the business that the police themsemselves were responsible for instigating. Police told drug dealers from Woodbridge and Dale City to Manassas Park to come to Rack & Roll Billiards and deal who otherwise would have never known the place existed.
It has gotten some limited local coverage but that's about it. Why it's not on the front page of the Times or Post I have no idea. They are missing a huge opportunity.
The following article comes by way of a veritable princess warrior of the blogosphere, Nan of American Daughter. It was directed strictly at a law enforcement audience (for reasons that become clear), and has slipped out of the LE circle into limited public circulation. Nan is pretty plugged in and managed to get her hands on it.
Neither of us can with 100% certainty vouch for the information about training films found in Afghanistan or - obviously - any ruminations about "what's likely here." But based on the news items referenced, which I will vouch for because I remember most of them, the scenario is not remotely far fetched and certainly is worth bringing to the attention of all parents, school officials and local LE's who have not already seen it.
The argument that other states should join New Hampshire and Utah in allowing schools employees to carry concealed in particular makes complete sense to me and seems overdue.
The article also has plenty of good information for parents, but especially for cops.
"If you walk out off-duty without your gun, every time you pass a fire exit or see a fire extinguisher, say to yourself, 'Firefighters have made more preparations than I have.'"
I think you'll find this well worth taking a few minutes to read. Thanks to American Daughter for forwarding it.
In their benevolent wisdom, our government is trying to prevent widespread panic by withholding information from the public. We obtained what purports to be a good copy of a password-protected article from a website for policemen and we a sharing it because we feel that the public has a right to know.
We are reproducing this article in its entirety. Normally we scrupulously subscribe to the doctrine of "Fair Use" and show the utmost respect for the material of other authors. But without the involvement of the bloggers this material would not be available to the general public. And all of this article has already been posted in Yahoo! Groups (such as Nassau County News Flash) and it is in general circulation throughout the "good old boy" email community. We believe that our readers have a right to see this material.
[Caveat: The Police One website carries this notice -- Warning! Some sections of PoliceOne.com are secure for law enforcement only. PoliceOne confirms the Law Enforcement status of all Law Enforcement officers who register on the site. We were unable to gain access to the website to confirm the accuracy of our copy of this article. We are reproducing the text of our copy here because we trust our source.]
Mass Slaughter in Our Public Schools: The Terrorists' Chilling PlanBy Charles Remsberg | 01/03/2007
Probably the last place you want to think of terrorists striking is your kids' school. But according to two trainers at an anti-terrorism conference on the East Coast, preparations for attacks on American schools that will bring rivers of blood and staggering body counts are well underway in Islamic terrorist camps.
- The intended attackers have bluntly warned us they're going to do it.
- They've already begun testing school-related targets here.
- They've given us a catastrophic model to train against, which we've largely ignored and they've learned more deadly tactics from.
"We don't know for sure what they will do. But by definition, a successful attack is one we are not ready for," declared one of the instructors, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. Our schools fit that description to a "T" -- as in Terrorism and Threat.
Grossman, the popular law enforcement motivational speaker, and Todd Rassa, a trainer with the SigArms Academy and an advisory board member for The Police Marksman magazine, shared a full day's agenda on the danger to U.S. schools at a recent three-day conference on terrorist issues, sponsored by the International Assn. of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (IALEFI) in Atlantic City .
They reminded the audience that patrol officers, including perhaps some with their own children involved, will inevitably be the first responders when terrorists hit. And they documented chilling descriptions of the life-or-death challenges that likely will be faced.
In Part 1 of this three-part report on highlights of their presentations we focus on what's known about the threat to our schools to date, why terrorists have selected them as targets, and what tactics you're likely to be up against in responding to a sudden strike.
In Parts 2 and 3, we'll explore Grossman's and Rassa's recommendations for practical measures you and your agency can take now to get ready, including some defensive actions that don't require any budget allocations.
Following is the latest Guard the Borders Blogburst from Euphoric Reality. Another coffee-spewer from Heidi ...
I have to give huge kudos to Shawn Christopher Phillips, of the Wry & Coy Report, for compiling some of the least known and most misreported facts surrounding the case of the two Border Patrol Agents prosecuted for shooting a drug smuggler. Shawn has raised some very troubling questions surrounding the case - questions worth asking and investigating. He has also connected the dots in a way that the media has been unable (or unwilling) to do.
Shawn's original research material can be found at www.patgray.com here and here. I have supplemented the accounts with further information from my own research and from Pat Gray's radio show on KSEV, since he and his co-host, Edd Hendee have been investigating the anomalies surrounding this very muddled case.
I have taken the liberty of condensing Shawn's material from several posts to place it into a rough timeline of events as they occurred. As well, I wanted to include information about some of the major players in this case, from the drug smuggler himself all the way up to U.S. Congressmen and Senators.
The central perpetrator in this travesty of justice is the U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, who has old boy Texas connections from the judge overseeing the case all the way up to President George W. Bush. These connections, though not openly disclosed, have greatly impacted the case, as highly placed government officials look the other way while testimonies, evidence, and statements are manipulated behind the scenes.
Here's a pretty interesting site at Globalsecurity.org which seems to be documenting the releases of detainees from Guantanamo.
Also, a link to a report by Mark Denbeaux and Josh Denbeaux, Esq. Mark is a Professor at Seton Hall University School of Law and both he and Josh are counsel representing 2 detainees. It's actually pretty interesting.
The Joe Passarelli tragedy has got everyone's attention throughout this corner of NOVA. Joe's daughter-in-law visited NVTH and left this comment:
My husband Michael is the eldest of the three Passarelli boys. We have Joe's first grandson, 14 months old. I want to thank you all for joining the discussion! We are all hurt, angry, and determined to find some peace in our forever changed lives. I believe that this happened in our world for a reason, and I hope I can figure that out. Please keep the discussion alive.
Yes, we will keep the discussion alive here. On behalf of all of us at NVTH, as well as dozens of other local residents who have been discussing this for the past couple weeks, I offer our sincerest condolences.
All of this discussion is separate from the central tragedy that Joe lost his life and the family has to go on without him.
Joe's death has exposed a huge weakness in Virginia's public safety policies. The astounding leniency our laws and courts granted to an illegal alien will serve as a wake up call for people all over the state. There is something dreadfully wrong in Virginia that must be fixed.
Actually, I don't know that the discussion has even started, because local citizens are still trying to get their minds around what happened. An illegal immigrant, whose record of infractions would have brought severe penalties down on any American citizen, received lighter and lighter penalties up till the time he killed a local resident.
The illegal alien's rap sheet is garnering close scrutiny at this very moment, as the Virginia legislature prepares for the upcoming session. The case has revealed a startling policy of leniancy toward illegal aliens who commit crimes in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties.
Citizens have been saying for years that there seems to be an unwritten "don't ask, don't tell" policy among local law enforcement personnel when it comes to illegal aliens involved in crimes. But this is not only a local police issue: It is a public policy issue for the entire state. Joe Passarelli's untimely death will be the impetus for a serious re-examination of Virginia's laws and policies.
Ashley, please stop by anytime. None of us have an iota of understanding what the family is going through, but from the outside perspective we will be talking about this and putting pressure on the people in offices that can make significant changes.
Also, I hope our readers will take a moment to consider donating to the fund that HelpSaveHerndon has set up for the Passarelli family. Joe was well under retirement age and has a kid about to enter college:
HelpSaveHerndon has set up a fund at Mercantile Potomac Bank to collect donations for the Passarelli family. Joseph Passarelli was killed by a hit and run driver at the intersection of Herndon Parkway and Ferndale Avenue. He is survived by his wife and 3 sons.
All proceeds of the fund will go directly to the family.
Checks may be mailed to the
Joseph Passarelli Memorial Fund c/o Mercantile Potomac Bank
783 Station Street Herndon , VA 20170
What I have seen, if properly investigated by the authorities, should reasonably lead to the criminal prosecution of an almost unprecedented number of public officials. David Ruttenberg has tried to use the courts to get this story told, and those courts have, for some reason, at least temporarily failed to allow a hearing of the evidence. Now it's time for that evidence to be presented to the public in a different way...
We'll be reporting on it here, but you need to visit BVBL regularly to stay fully apprised.
Having been on the receiving end of some government-mandated thuggery a couple times, I have a soft spot for those who go up against the Man.
I just saw Jose Santos Sibrian Espinoza's rap sheet for the past few years and it contains 21 offenses throughout Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties. So the Passarelli family could cast a wide net if it wished to fix blame for Joseph's death.
Don't know what I'm talking about? Espinoza is the illegal immigrant who allegedly ran down Herndon resident Joseph Passarelli a few weeks ago while Passarelli was out walking his dog at 5:30 am. Espinoza allegedly dragged Passarelli 200 ft, and left the scene. Passarelli was in his early 50s with a kid in college and one in high school. More details here.
Let me summarize one interesting section: Driving without a valid operators license is supposed to be punished by increased fines in VA. Espinoza's last few offenses resulted in decreasing fines, beginning at $300 and ending at $75. Um, not to mention, he was not detained before he killed Joseph Passarelli.
Thank you, Fairfax County Government. Thank you, Loudoun County Government. Thank you, Prince William County Government. Thank you, State of Virginia. Thank you, United States Senate. Thank you, Mr. President of the United States.
May you all go to hell, Republicans and Democrats alike.
287(G) Training Could Have Prevented a Tragedy in Herndon
HERNDON, Va., Dec. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a
statement issued by HelpSaveHerndon:
For Jose Santos Sibrian Espinoza, the prime suspect in the November hit and run killing of Joseph Passarelli of Herndon, run-ins with the law were a frequent occurrence.
Court records for the Counties of Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William show that Sibrian Espinoza had a combined total of 21 cases within the last 6 years within those jurisdictions. The charges ranged from driving without a valid operator license, 7 separate incidents, to a DWI conviction. Throw in a myriad of other traffic related offenses such as excessive speeding and failure to obey highway signs, add a trespassing charge whose adjudication was a deferred dismissal and you will have a more complete picture of the person suspected of killing Herndon citizen Joseph Passarelli.
What makes the actions of Sibrian Espinoza so egregious is that Sibrian Espinoza was deported before being brought to justice.
The Passarelli family must now endure what could be months of anguish before the killer of their beloved husband and father is brought to justice, if the government of El Salvador cooperates and allows him to be extradited.
More painful, is the fact that this death was one that could have been prevented had the necessary tools been in place for each of the police departments in the jurisdictions Sibrian Espinoza was charged with an infraction.
The time is now that each of the police departments in the northern Virginia area should work with ICE to be trained in accordance with the Section 287G of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This training would have enabled any of the police departments who brought any of the 21 charges against Sibrian Espinoza within the last 6 years to check immigration status, and begin the procedure to remove a repeat offender from the streets.
Had this occurred before that day in November, one more needless death would not have occurred.
The police departments in each of those jurisdictions are hardly to blame for this tragedy. They did the jobs they are charged with and admirably so.
Blame is shared equally by those jurisdictions that turn a blind eye to illegal immigration, our federal and state governments, and our court system.
Our federal government is not doing enough to stop illegal immigration at the source. Herndon and Fairfax County are both complicit with enabling people like Sibrian Espinoza to find the means to earn a living while flouting our immigration laws.
As far as the courts are concerned, in the case of Sibrian Espinoza there were 7 charges for driving without an operator's license or driving on a suspended license from 2002 through 2006. There were 4 convictions for these charges and court records show that the fine for each occurrence decreased for each subsequent offense.
The message our court system and our elected officials are sending to criminals such as Sibrian Espinoza is loud and clear. It's now time that we ask our elected officials to change the message.
From what I have heard the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has prepared a legislative package for the 2007 session of the Virginia General Assembly which consists of exactly ZERO proposals regarding illegal immigration. Our hands are tied, and ever so shall they remain.
Hey guys and gals, thanks a lot. And congrats for having your collective fingers on the pulse of the electorate. Hope that works out well for each of you in November.
The death of Joseph Passarelli is a horrific tragedy that could have happened to anyone even without the influence of the Loudoun County government. Any one of us could get hit by a falling brick tomorrow.
But this incident hits home because it highlights exactly what so many local citizens have been saying - with deep frustration - to our local elected "leaders" for the past couple years: ENFORCE THE LAW.
It is an extraordinarily tragic manifestation of the rank incompetence of our local elected officials - at the county and state levels - on the issue of immigration enforcement.
It will be interesting to see how the Loudoun BOS responds to this, since the accused killer was a Sterling resident and had been let off several times by our own "public safety" department (Passarelli was killed about 400 yards from the Loudoun County line).
A notion discussed at a meeting of citizens tonight was "Fairfax wants to keep the problem bottled up in Herndon, and Loudoun wants to keep it tucked away in Sterling."
Well, when a guy dies, it ain't so tucked away anymore, "leaders".
In my travails across the 'internets' I've come across some interesting links. The Urban Institute, a nonpartisan study group by Wiki standards (and actually by their own self-proclamation) did a report, of which a summary was "Posted to Web: June 30, 2000", entitled "Illegal Aliens in Federal, State, and Local Criminal Justice Systems" Quite interesting, in fact, though a little outdated. But then that makes this an interesting topic for debate:
The increase in prosecutions and convictions of illegal aliens appears to have significantly affected both the number and the estimated costs of incarcerating and supervising of defendants convicted in federal courts. Since a substantial share of the increase in illegal aliens convicted appears to be due to increased border enforcement, this increased burden on the federal criminal justice system can be seen as a secondary cost of such border enforcement. If border interdiction efforts successfully reduce attempted illegal entry, this negative impact on the federal criminal justice system may be short-term.
More below. . .
The Tuesday post on the incident in Sterling has been taken down for the time being after my back and forth with Kevin in the comments and a note received from someone with an interest in the matter. The comments from Kevin and Had Enough point to one of the reasons a revision is needed and I have preserved these here below the fold.
Most blogs have a double nature of part news reporter or aggregator, and part personal journal. That post rested firmly in both areas, relating an event that just took place from the perspective of someone who was involved. As a slice of life in Sterling, it is perfectly valid. But the way I presented it also gave the impression of a news report, augmented by my editorial comments regarding the local crime rate. Often this site is found by people doing Google searches on news-related items. With that in mind, I think it would be more responsible to do some additional research and fact-checking in order that the "news" aspect be up to snuff. We don't need to be spreading misinformation.
The section of comment thread copied below is worth reading.
BVBL reports the foot soldiers of the party of tolerance are tearing it up in Prince William.
When liberal activists move on an area, they tend to have an advantage because they are willing to do the underhanded jobs that red-state folks just won't do. My experience is from the past few election cycles spent in the People's Republic of Reston, a sparkling sapphire in the blue bastion of Fairfax County in Northern Virginia.
The weeks before the 2004 election provide a good snapshot. I was working with a guy doing signs and flyers. Campaign signs would be put out in the afternoon and evening, and by the next afternoon nearly all would have disappeared. We occasionally would spot the opposition running reconnaissance behind us: A guy in a car would make a call via cell phone about the areas we were hitting, and sometime later all our signs would be snatched up. The day before election day, there were hardly any Bush-Cheney signs in Reston - at least, only a fraction of the ones that had been posted.
The exact same thing is playing out in Manassas Park this week. More here.
I don't know Prince William politics well enough to hazard a guess as to why the Republicans have come under guerilla attack. In Reston we learned to expect it because being a conservative there was like being a coal miner at a polo tournament. We were kind of thankful just to be allowed to breath the same air.
Let's hope the story grows some legs in the next week and the local press picks it up.
Commenter Had Enough responds regarding the proposal to give local police officers authority to enforce immigration laws:
I think the main point is that once the local police begin to enforce immigration laws and start deporting the illegal drunk driver with no license, the illegal who is using a citizens social security number and identity, the illegal who is manufacturing and selling documents to other illegals, the illegal rapist, the illegal child molestor, the illegal drug dealer, the illegal gang member,the illegal caught shoplifting, etc. in no time at all the word will spread that they will no longer be tolerated and the illegals will all move on or leave the country in order to avoid official deportation and the local police can then go back to serving the citizens.
It is totally irresponsible to allow the illegals to continue their crime spree because someone says that they will stop reporting crimes if the police can inquire as to their legal status. If the majority of them were not here most of our crime rates would drop drastically.
To ignore illegals because they may report crimes committed against them by other illegals (in the majority of cases) is disgusting. Deport them or send them packing and we don't have to worry about it in either case.
If they can't get a job, rent a house, get a business license, etc. and they know the first time they break the law they will be deported they will self deport.
The police are dealing with the illegals everyday all day. It won't take as long to process them out of the country as it does to arrest them 2, 3, or 4 times for offenses they continue to commit (some under numerous or fake identities).
"NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, on the issue of terrorism, I agree with Dr. Ben-Ami's definition. It's the indiscriminate targeting of civilians to achieve political ends. That's a capsule definition, but I think for our purposes it suffices. What does the record show? Let's limit ourselves to just the Second Intifada, from September 28 to the present. The period for that period, the record shows approximately 3,000 Palestinians have been killed, approximately 900 Israelis have been killed. On the Palestinian side and the Israeli side â€” I'm now using the figures of B'Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories â€” on the Palestinian and the Israeli side roughly one-half to two-thirds of the total number were civilians or bystanders. And if you look at the findings of the human rights supports â€” B'Tselem, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights in Israel, and so forth â€” they all say that Israel uses reckless indiscriminate fire against Palestinians, and B'Tselem says when you have so many civilian casualties, you have, you know, 600 Palestinian children who have been killed, which is the total number of Israeli civilians killed. 600 Palestinian children killed.
They said when you have so much, so many civilians killed â€” I don't particularly like the phrase "collateral damage" â€” when you have so many civilians killed, B'Tselem says it hardly makes a difference whether you are purposely targeting them or not, the state has responsibility. So, you could say Israel â€” using numbers, now â€” is responsible for three times as much terrorism in the Occupied Territories as Palestinians against Israel. That's the question of terrorism.
Let's turn to an ancillary issue: the issue of torture. Now, the estimates are, up to 1994-1995, that Israel tortured â€” and I'm using the language of Human Rights Watch and B'Tselem â€” Israel has tortured tens of thousands of Palestinian detainees. Israel was the only country in the world, the only one, which had legalized torture from 1987 to 1999. The record on torture, on house demolitions and on targeted â€”
SHLOMO BEN-AMI: 1999 is when we came to office.
NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, I wish that were â€” I wish that were the saving grace, but . . .
[Editor's note: I am un-posting this for Kevin. He should have the opportunity to fine-tune his posts. Kevin, repost and kill this editorial if you wish.]
My mother recently purchased a vacation home in Nova Scotia. One of the things she likes about it is that she feels safer there than she does at home in Virginia Beach, because Canadaâ€™s murder rate is so much lower than it is in the United States. Our neighbors to the North pride themselves on their low crime rate, usually citing that their murder rate is far lower than ours (1.9 vs. 5.5 per 100,000 people in 2004). Frequently, proponents of gun control have held Canada up as an example of the benefits of gun control, again citing Canadaâ€™s lower murder rate. But does that lower murder rate mean my mom is safer there?
While Canada does have a lower murder rate that the U.S., the rates of all other violent crimes are higher in Canada â€“ significantly higher. In the U.S. last year (2005), there were approximately 471 violent crimes per 100,000 people. In Canada, there were 943 per 100,000. Thatâ€™s twice the U.S. violent crime rate. So why is our murder rate more than two-and-a-half times theirs? Because Blacks and Hispanics are murdered at a far higher rates than are Whites and Asians, and Canada has relatively few Blacks and Hispanics. Since my mom is neither Black nor Hispanic, I thought I would try to look at just the murder rates for White victims.
(N.B.: The statistics used here reflect who has been murdered, not who's doing the murdering. The point of this investigation is to show the relative safety of a White person, namely my mother, in the United States as compared to Canada, so the emphasis is on victim counts. I do not care about the race of the perpetrators here, because I do not think living in Canada will turn my mom into a violent criminal.)
Unfortunately, and unfathomably, the FBI does not keep, or at least does not publish, data on Hispanic crime victims. The options are Black, White, Other, and Unknown. Hispanics are classified as one of the above. Fortunately, some states do track Hispanic crime victims, and the Census Bureau tracks the races into which Hispanics classified.
Although the data is sketchy, some studies have concluded that the murder rate for Hispanics is about 9.1 per 100,000. U.S. Census data that tells us that 91% of Hispanics consider themselves â€œWhiteâ€ (when forced to choose), and 6% consider themselves â€œBlack.â€ With these census numbers and the Hispanic murder rate, we can derive the number of Hispanic victims, which we subtract from the reported Black and White victim counts. When we go back and recompute the murder rates for Whites and Blacks without the Hispanic victims, we find that the murder rate for Black victims is 18.1 per 100,000, while the White murder rate is only 1.9 per 100,000. Thus, the White murder rate in the U.S. is right in line with Canadaâ€™s.
So why, then, is Canadaâ€™s violent crime rate so high? The property crime rate is not significantly higher in Canada (3738 in Canada vs. 3517 in the U.S., per 100,000 people), so why should the violent crime be that much higher? Because we have guns. In the United States, a homeowner or a person shopping in the mall is far more likely to have a gun than is a Canadian, who is not permitted to carry a loaded handgun, even when he is licensed to have one at all. In Canada, handguns may only be transported if they are unloaded, are equipped with a trigger lock, and are locked in a case; and no stops may be made between oneâ€™s home and the (government approved) shooting range.
Another consequence of the Canadian gun ban is that, in Canada, 50% of burglaries are of occupied homes. That rate is only 13% here. Along with the higher burglary rate in Canada, that means that burglary of an occupied home in Canada is four times more common than it is here. Burglars don't get shot in Canada.
I am far less concerned for her safety when she is home in Virginia Beach than when she is in Nova Scotia, which has an even higher violent crime rate than does Canada as a whole. (Halifax, the capitol of Nova Scotia, has the highest crime rate of any city in Canada.) My mother is a widow, and one of the Social Security generation. Without a gun, she has no chance of defending herself against a typical young criminal. Here in the United States, my mom has the right to own a gun for personal protection. She is also protected here by the deterrence provided by our collective gun ownership, because the criminals donâ€™t know whether she has a gun or not.