You can check how your senator voted.
Both mine, Republican Senators Chambliss and Isakson voted AGAINST the bill.
U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 109th Congress - 2nd Session
as compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate
Alphabetical by Senator Name
Grouped By Vote Position
Grouped by Home State
Posted a link to this in my last entry but feel it is too important to not post in full.
"What about illegal alien protection? The alien and their families who file applications for amnesty “shall not be detained, determined inadmissible, deported, or removed until their applications are finally adjudicated, unless they commit a future act that renders them ineligible with amnesty.” With tens of millions of applications, this amnesty, this provision essentially guarantees an illegal alien years of protection in the United States, even if they do not qualify for the amnesty." -- Jeff Sessions
Although this isn't, as some opponents of the Senate bill have portrayed it, giving Mexico a veto over the fence, what is going to come of it other than delay and condemnations of the project? The whole point of building the fence is to keep people on the Mexican side of the fence from entering our country illegally. The people in Mexico oppose building a fence for exactly the same reasons that we want it built. So, it's like home owners and burglars getting together to discuss the new locks and alarms that are being put into place. It's really none of their business and even if it were, they oppose the fence, so what's to discuss?
This isn't technically part of the Senate bill, but it's being used to help sell it, so it's fair to include it. "Last year the House Immigration Reform Caucus estimated that at least 36,000 Guardsmen would be needed" to adequately cover the border. George Bush sent only 6,000 Guardsmen, for one year, and then decided not to allow them to actually apprehend anyone. Because of this, Border Patrol chief David Aguilar estimated that the move would allow only, "500 officers working in clerical and other jobs to return to law enforcement." Setting aside the fact that this is only a PR stunt that will have very little impact, the Guard will only be at the border for a year, which isn't enough time for a wall to be built or many of the other security measures, such as they are, to take effect.
According to Ed Meese, the current Senate bill would actually prevent police officers from arresting anyone based on the fact that they're in this country illegally. Does that sound like the sort of provision that people who are serious about enforcing our immigration law would add to the bill?
This would have been an extremely important provision because it will take a long time to finish the fence on the border and complete the social security verification system. Just to give you an example of the sort of time period we could be looking at, it took the government 9 years, from 1996 to 2005, to complete a 14 mile section of border fence in San Diego. So, would it surprise anyone if it took the government 10-15 years to build a much larger fence?"The Senate rejected an amendment by Senator Isakson that would have prohibited the implementation of any guest worker program that grants legal status to those who have entered the country illegally until the Secretary of Homeland Security has certified to the President and to the Congress that the border security provisions in the immigration legislation are fully funded and operational." -- Jim DeMint
That means if Osama Bin Laden were to apply for citizenship and mention on the application that he was currently living in New York, it would literally be illegal to tell the FBI. Does that really make any sense?"The bill forbids the federal government to use any information included in an application for amnesty in national-security or criminal investigations." -- National Review
When it comes to enforcing our immigration laws, this country is like the boy who cried "wolf." If we don't enforce the laws that are already on the books this time, why should anyone believe us when we say we'll enforce the laws next time around?"...(T)he low hurdles to citizenship this bill erects—making illegal immigrants stand at the back of the immigration line while remaining in our country (and pushing others outside of the country further back in line); forcing them to pay only three years of back income taxes after the IRS, rather than they themselves, figures out how much they owe; collecting a nominal fee of $2,000 per immigrant—mock and demean the sacrifices of those who waited years to immigrate through our established legal channels. Worse, like the immigration law passed in 1986, it creates a disincentive to legally apply for citizenship.
Those who broke the law when coming into America, broke the law when getting a job, and broke the law by failing to pay the same taxes as American workers, continue to break the law by residing here illegally. This bill is dangerous precedent and sends a chilling message about our national integrity: America has lost the will to enforce her laws, and her sovereignty is for sale—currently, for around $2,000." -- Rick Santorum
Worse yet, according to Matt Spalding from the Center for Immigration studies, you could prove residence in the US for 5 years based on nothing more than an affidavit from a friend."Illegal aliens who have been in the U.S. for more than 5 years would be given citizenship; those who have been here between 2 and 5 years would receive foreign worker cards with a path to citizenship; those here for fewer than 2 years would allegedly go home. Critically, the bill allows flimsy documentation (such as pay stubs and utility bills) to prove how long illegal aliens have been in the U.S., which virtually begs for massive document fraud." -- Tom Tancredo
Even if you set aside the fact that the tier system will be unworkable because of fraud, it's set up to reward the people who have been breaking our laws for the longest period of time. Is that really a wise decision?
Isn't that just what we need here in America: more criminals. Here's an alternate proposal: how about no felons are allowed to become citizens or guest workers?"Republican Senators Cornyn (Tex.) and Kyl (Ariz.) had originally proposed an amendment to make criminals ineligible for either amnesty or U.S. citizenship under the proposed new law. That had been overwhelmingly rejected by the Democrats who then asked Cornyn and Kyl to negotiate a compromise with Kennedy. The two sides agreed—the Republicans reluctantly—that a criminal would now be eligible for amnesty and citizenship if he had committed only one felony or three misdemeanors except that he could commit any number of immigration-related felonies or misdemeanors and still pass muster." -- John O’Sullivan
"Under the bill, an illegal alien can go from illegal to legal by paying a small fine of $2,000. Often, illegal aliens will pay more than five times this amount to a smuggler to get across the border. Also, the $2000 fine may not have to be paid until year eight, which allows the illegal alien to live, work, and play in the United States for years free from deportation." -- Charles Grassley
Although the American people have said, in poll after poll after poll that they favor decreasing the number of legal immigrants coming to America, according to the Heritage Foundation, this bill has the potential to more than triple the number of immigrants becoming US citizens over the next 20 years from roughly 19 million to 66 million.
When you look at the high unemployment rates and in the case of France, riots and car burnings, that these sort of massive increases of immigration has led to in Europe, it becomes obvious that this is a particularly foolish idea.
This might not be so bad -- if the number of citizens added via the guest worker program were subtracted from the number of foreigners added in via legalization each year -- and if these workers, who tend to make low incomes, were ineligible for the earned income tax credit, to receive welfare, their relatives couldn't also come to the US via chain immigration, etc. However, since none of those conditions apply, what we're doing is making a lot of people citizens who're likely to be net drains on the system for decades -- just so we can get our dishes washed and strawberries picked a little bit cheaper over the next few years.
The "Davis-Bacon union wage requirements" are being applied to "jobs performed by so-called temporary workers." On the upside, this may force wages for guest workers to be so high that businesses will be able to hire Americans for less than guest workers.
On the other hand, the Bush administration has been trying to sell a guest worker program as a way to decrease pressure on the border by bringing workers here legally. But, if guest workers are actually very expensive, perhaps even more expensive than American workers, there will still be a powerful incentive to hire illegal aliens. In other words, this will likely make any law enforcement related benefits of the guest worker program negligible.
"Under the AgJOBS component of the substitute, illegal alien agricultural workers who have worked 150 “workdays” in agriculture over the last 2 years will receive a “blue card,” allowing them to live and work permanently in the U.S. However, because current law defines an agricultural “workday” as 1 hour of work per day—the bill language restates that definition on page 397—an alien who has worked for as little as 150 hours—there are 168 hours in a week—in agriculture over the last 2 years will qualify for a blue card.
Blue card aliens can only be fired for just cause, unlike an American citizen worker who is likely under an employment at will agreement with the agricultural employer.
No alien granted blue card status may be terminated from employment by any employer during the period of blue card status except for just cause.
Because blue card aliens are not limited to working in agriculture, this employment requirement will follow the alien at their second and third jobs as well. The bill goes as far as setting up an arbitration process for blue card aliens who allege they have been terminated without just cause. Furthermore, the bill requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to pay the fee and expenses of the arbitrator. American citizens do not have a right to this arbitration process. Why are we setting up an arbitration process for blue card aliens paid for by the American taxpayer?
Regarding free legal counsel, the AgJOBS amendment goes further than paying for arbitrators, it also provides free legal counsel to illegal aliens who want to receive this amnesty. The AgJOBS amendment specifically states that recipients of “funds under the Legal Services Corporation Act” shall not be prevented “from providing legal assistance directly related to an application for adjustment of status under this section.” Interestingly, page 414 of the bill requires the alien to have an attorney file the application for him. Not only will AgJOBS give amnesty to 1.5 million illegal aliens, it would have the American taxpayer pay the legal bills of those illegal aliens. This is unbelievable and unacceptable. We should not be rewarding illegal aliens who break our laws with free legal counsel and a direct path to citizenship." -- Jeff Sessions
"The DREAM Act would... allow illegal alien college and university students to be eligible for in-state tuition without affording out-of-state citizen students the same opportunity. Thus, the University of Alabama could offer in-state tuition to illegal alien students while requiring citizens residing in Mississippi to pay the much higher out-of-state tuition rates.
Allowing all illegal aliens enrolled in college to receive in-state tuition rates means that while American citizens from 49 other states have to pay out-of-state tuition rates to send their kids to [*S5032] UVA, people who have illegally immigrated to this country might not. Out-of-state tuition rates range from 2 to 3 ½ times the in-state resident tuition rate." -- Jeff Sessions
"The Senate approved Senator Inhofe’s amendment to make English the national language and require those seeking citizenship to demonstrate English proficiency and understanding of U.S. History. However, a far weaker amendment by Senator Salazar gutted the Inhofe amendment, leaving it in doubt, and also giving immigrants the right to demand the federal government communicate with them in any language they choose." -- Jim DeMint
If we are going to dramatically increase the number of people being allowed to emigrate to the US, which, by the way, is probably a bad idea, why in the world would we want to try to bring in more ditch diggers and fruit pickers when we could be selecting scientists, engineers, and programmers instead?"Developed nations have reformed their immigration policies to prioritize high-skilled immigration over large scale low-skilled and extended family chain migration. This bill prioritizes low-skilled and chain migration over skill-based immigration, an approach we should reject." -- Jeff Sessions
The bill allows, "unscrupulous employers to pay no back taxes...for hiring illegal aliens." Why should employers of illegal aliens, who've already benefitted by hiring cheap, illegal labor, be allowed to forego paying taxes that they legitimately owe?
"Under the bill, illegal aliens get an option to only have to pay three of their last five years in back taxes. Law-abiding American citizens do not have the option to pay some of their taxes. The bill would treat lawbreakers better than the American people. The bill also makes the IRS prove that illegal aliens have paid their back taxes. It will be impossible for the IRS to truly enforce this because they cannot audit every single person in this country." -- Charles Grassley
Anyone who can't come to the US and make it on their own without getting welfare or receiving an earned income tax credit is a detriment to this country, not an asset. If a new immigrant to the US can't get by without an earned income tax credit, then we'd be better off without them."Senator Jeff Sessions, who seems to be one of only a few senators paying attention to the results of this giveaway bill, says that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that if S.2611 passes, the government would be required to pay $29.4 billion in refundable tax credits over the first ten years. He says that this expenditure, which includes the EITC and child tax credits, represents the biggest outlay in the bill." -- Barbara Anderson
Because the illegals who are here currently and will be allowed to become citizens under the Senate bill will be largely uneducated, low income workers who do manual labor, they'll be an enormous drain on the taxpayers once they become citizens. From Senator Jeff Sessions:
"According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill will increase direct spending by $54 billion and discretionary spending by $64 billion in just the first 10 years. The Heritage Foundation projects the bill will increase long-term federal spending by at least $50 billion a year. These are staggering numbers that indicate that this bill might have costs as great as half a trillion dollars in any future 10-year period. This bill is a huge, monumental budget buster."
Unfortunately, the Senate has now voted to give "undocumented workers" credit for the money that they contributed to Social Security while they were here illegally. That's a big mistake and not just because it rewards illegals for breaking our laws or because we're going to be taking money that would otherwise be going to Americans and giving it to illegals.
Since these illegals have used fake numbers, maybe even multiple fake numbers, and even real numbers that belong to other people, it's going to be incredibly difficult to untangle the mess and figure how much they've really contributed, if anything, to Social Security.
This move, like a lot of others the Senate has made while working on this amnesty bill, puts the welfare of illegal immigrants above that of the American people. "
Republican Representative Jack Kingston is from the 1st District, Georgia.
Quoted directly from Powerlineblog.com.
Below that is "22 Problems With The Senate's Illegal Immigration Bill" from "Right Wing News, link provided.
"Congressman Jack Kingston is one of the most new-media savvy politicians in Washington. He's also solidly pro-enforcement on illegal immigration, and has applauded the Minutemen for their effort to patrol the southern border. His staff (specifically Parks Bennett, I think) put together a nice video that includes footage shot at the border by the Minutemen and a conversation between Congressman Kingston and the Minutemen's spokeswoman. It's good, and Kingston staffer David All made it available to Power Line Video. You can watch it here.
Congressman Kingston's blog is here. Our thanks to Kingston and his staff! "
A psychiatrist testified Tuesday that he believes Robert Kosilek will kill himself if state correction officials refuse to allow the surgery and Kosilek is unable to complete his transformation into a woman.
Kosilek, 57, was convicted of strangling his wife, Cheryl, in 1990.
In 2002, U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled that Kosilek _ who now goes by the name of Michelle _ was entitled to treatment for gender identity disorder, but stopped short of ordering the state to pay for the sex-change operation.
Since then, Kosilek has received psychotherapy, female hormone treatments and laser hair removal. Kosilek, who wears his hair long and tucked behind his ears, has developed larger breasts since beginning hormone treatments.
Kosilek sued the Department of Correction for the second time last year, saying that numerous psychiatrists who had examined him _ including two of the DOC's own experts _ had determined that a sex- change operation is "medically necessary." ..............................
Came in email. Hope you get a chuckle too!!
|ACTUAL EMPLOYEE EVALUATION QUOTES|
1. Works well only when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap
2. His men would follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiosity.
3. I would not allow this employee to breed.
4. This employee is really not so much of a has-been but more of a definite won't be.
5. Since my last report, he has reached rock bottom and has started to dig.
6. When she opens her mouth, it seems that this is only to change whichever foot was previously in there.
7. He would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle.
8. This young lady has delusions of adequacy.
9. She sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.
10. This employee should go far-and the sooner he starts the better.
11. This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.
12. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
13. Got into the gene pool while the lifeguard wasn't watching.
14. A room temperature IQ.
15. Got a full 6-pack, but lacks the plastic thingy to hold it all together.
16. A gross ignoramus-144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus.
17. A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on.
18. A prime candidate for natural deselection.
19. Bright as Alaska in December.
20. One-celled organisms out score him in IQ tests.
21. Donated his brain to science before he was done using it.
22. Fell out of the family tree.
23. Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train is going nowhere.
24. Has two brains, one is lost and the other is out looking for it.
25. He is so dense, light bends around him.
26. If brains were taxed, he'd get a rebate.
27. If he were any more stupid, he'd have to be watered twice a week.
28. If you give him a penny for his thoughts, you'd get change.
29. If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean.
30. It is hard to believe that he beat out 1,000,000 other sperm.
31. One neuron short of a synapse.
32. Some drink from the fountain of knowledge, he only gargled.
33. Takes him 1 1/2 hours to watch the 60 minutes program.
34. Was left on the Tilt-A-Whirl a bit too long as a baby.
35. Wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead.
CAIR or the Council on American-Islamic Relations is an offshoot of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), a group whose founders include the number two leader in Hamas today, Mousa Abu Marzook, and the former North American leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Sami Al-Arian. The IAP, which has, in the past, published the Hamas charter calling for the destruction of Israel, folded its organization shortly after the group was found liable for the murder of an American boy, David Boim, during a Hamas terror operation.
CAIR, itself, is the defendant in a lawsuit put forward by the family of FBI Agent John O’Neill for his murder, during the 9/11 attacks. The group has lost a Civil Rights Coordinator, a fundraiser, a Director of Community Relations, and a founding Director of its Texas Chapter, all through conviction or deportation, all linked to al-Qaeda or Hamas. CAIR’s Executive Director has publicly stated his support for Hamas, and other CAIR officials have called for America and its government to be taken over by Islam.
So much of this information has been repeated, so many times before – all of it true – yet that hasn’t stopped some politicians from embracing the organization.
Florida Gubernatorial Candidate, U.S. Rep. Jim Davis
Jim Davis is the frontrunner in the Democratic race for governor of the state of Florida. Currently he serves as U.S. Representative for the 11th Congressional District of Florida, which consists of portions of the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. He is also the frontrunner in the Democratic race for the radical Islamist vote.
In 1998, Sami Al-Arian donated $200 to the campaign to re-elect Congressman Davis to the House of Representatives. This bit of information was brought to the public’s attention, via the local television airwaves, in February of 2003, subsequent to charges from the FBI that Al-Arian and seven others were actively involved with PIJ. According to one report, this had been Al-Arian’s “first legal campaign contribution on record.” Other officeholders receiving Al-Arian donations, included: Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga; David Bonior, D-Mich; Tom Campbell, R-Calif; and Henry Hyde, R-Ill.
This is not the only time Congressman Davis has been associated with Al-Arian. Only one year after the Al-Arian campaign contribution surfaced, in March of 2004, Davis had been a featured speaker at an event sponsored by the Tampa Bay Muslim Alliance (TBMA), an organization co-founded by Al-Arian. The event, the Eighth Annual Islamic Charity Festival, also featured then-candidate for U.S. Senate and former University of South Florida (USF) President, Betty Castor. According to incorporation papers, Al-Arian was a Director for TBMA from its June 2000 inception till the time of his arrest. Three of the individuals that had been involved with TBMA, during Al-Arian’s tenure, Husain Nagamia*, Rasheed Hakki and Hakim Aquil**, are still with the group today.
In addition to the 2004 speech, Davis’s name appeared as an attendee for TBMA’s fundraising dinner, held in April of 2005. This information was found on the same webpage as a link to the website of the Muslim American Society of Tampa (MAS-Tampa), a site that curses Jews and Christians and calls for waging war against non-Muslims.
To his credit, Jim Davis took Al-Arian’s $200 campaign contribution and donated it to charity, albeit after Al-Arian was taken into custody. [Henry Hyde had done the same with his.] However, it seems that Congressman Davis hasn’t learned from the experience, as he now has accepted a donation from a leader of a group associated with Palestinian terrorist organizations, CAIR.
On September 12, 2005, one day following the fourth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Ahmed Bedier, the Communications Director for CAIR-Florida and the Director of CAIR’s Tampa office, donated $100 to the Jim Davis for Governor Campaign. A listing for the contribution is found on the website of the Florida Department of State Division of Elections.
Being a representative for CAIR is not the only problem with Bedier. Bedier is also the chief spokesperson in the media for Sami Al-Arian and the host of a radio show, True Talk, that regularly denounces the United States government for having close ties to Israel. Furthermore, in December of 2005, on a local television show, “Your Turn with Kathy Fountain,” Bedier stated that, prior to 1995, there was “nothing immoral” about being associated with Palestinian Islamic Jihad. This, while PIJ, before 1995, claimed responsibility for five terror attacks, during which eight innocent people were murdered.
Florida Gubernatorial Candidate, AG Charlie Crist
Charlie Crist is the frontrunner in the Republican race for governor of the state of Florida. Currently, he serves as the Attorney General (AG) of Florida. He has also served as a Florida State Senator and as Florida’s Commissioner of Education. While AG Crist has taken a decidedly different path than his Democratic counterpart, much like Congressman Davis, he has regrettably had his own dealings with CAIR.
On October 31, 2003, CAIR issued a press release stating that, during two separate incidents, happening in the course of three days, “some 20 Muslim middle school students were either removed from or kept from boarding school buses in Jacksonville, Fla.”
According to CAIR’s story, with regard to the first incident, which took place on Wednesday the 29th, after school had ended, the students were “kicked off” and “forced off” their bus by the bus driver, some left at the school and some left five miles from their homes. CAIR stated that the students were made to walk home. One of the Muslim students said that, on the bus, the children were well behaved and quiet. With regard to the second incident, which took place on the morning of the 31st, CAIR claimed the students were not allowed on another bus. CAIR called for the suspensions of both bus drivers.
These accounts differ dramatically from the ones told by the school and the bus company, First Student, who said that the students created “disciplinary problems” and were driven back to school and offered the chance to call their parents but refused and began to walk home. School officials said that administrators and a school police officer followed them and tried to get them to return to school. According to the bus company, the students “disobeyed bus stop rules, misbehaved while on the bus, and were verbally abusive to the driver.” With regard to the second incident, a school spokesperson said the children refused to board the bus in the morning.
Of course, no part of this explanation satisfied CAIR’s need to shout “racism,” as the group held a press converence (led by Ahmed Bedier), threatened a lawsuit, and called for an investigation. Charlie Crist answered that call, which resulted, as one site put it, in a “Sheikdown.”
CAIR’s November 10, 2003 press release read, “CAIR-FL has also been notified that the office of the Florida Attorney General is initiating an investigation into these complaints.” In January of 2005, while admitting no wrongdoing, the bus company agreed to a settlement, which included the “establishment of new antidiscrimination training policies” and monetary payments of $10,000 to a Communities in Schools Program that “aims to keep children in school” and $26,885 to AG Crist’s office for “attorney’s fees and costs.” CAIR proudly displayed this information on its website.
Less than five months following the settlement, On May 28, 2005, CAIR-FL held its annual banquet at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. The fundraiser asked patrons to help in the establishment of a CAIR office in Orlando, which would make it the third CAIR office in the state of Florida.
While they didn’t show up to the event, numerous high-ranking government officials wrote letters of support to CAIR for its fundraiser. One was from Governor Jeb Bush, one was from Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, and one was from AG Charlie Crist. Crist’s letter stated, “Thank you for your kind invitation to attend the CAIR Annual Banquet on May 28, 2005. Unfortunately, previous commitments will keep me from joining you.” And it ends, “I extend best wishes for a wonderful event… Sincerely, Charlie Crist.” The letter was addressed to Ahmed Bedier, and AG Crist signed his (Crist’s) name to it.
On February 25, 2006, CAIR held a press conference to announce the opening of its new Orlando office.
Florida Gubernatorial Candidate, CAIR
Last Tuesday, CAIR issued a press release, stating that “American officials should begin talking with the elected representatives of the Palestinian people.” In other words, CAIR was telling the United States that it needs to begin dialogue with Hamas. This happened at the same time the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation imposing broad restrictions on U.S. aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.
The message CAIR was sending was clear; the group stands against the U.S. government and U.S. interests and, instead, stands with terrorists abroad. The more CAIR is legitimized by our legislators and politicians (i.e., accepting campaign donations and writing fundraiser letters), the more our country’s own morals and requirements will become corrupted.
If Congressman Jim Davis and Attorney General Charlie Crist hope to attract support from Americans concerned with terrorism in the November gubernatorial contest, they could respectively hand back the donation, repudiate the letter, and work for the betterment of Florida’s citizens rather than the progress of CAIR's agenda.
* Since 1996, Husain Nagamia has contributed $1,250 to various Jim Davis Congressional campaigns.
** Hakim Aquil is currently a Democratic candidate for Florida State House of Representatives.http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=22657
Looks like this is very telling for the newspapers.
Hubby brought up an interesting question ..... why haven't the "greens" been after newspapers tooth and nail for deforestation to manufacture paper, also toxicity of some of the print ink?????? Makes one wonder ....
You may need bugmenot.com if you want to read the rest of this article which does require registration to do so.
By the end of 2007, internet advertising will close the gap on regional newspapers, the number two medium, but will still be well short of television, the biggest outlet in the £12bn-a-year media advertising market. "
Lemme see .... this is the same fairhaird darling that said anti-immigration was "racist."
Via Drudgereport.com who digs dirt on them all ............. following the crumb trail.
"Senate Leader Took Free Boxing Tickets
May 29 2:16 PM US/Eastern
By JOHN SOLOMON
Associated Press Writer
"Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid accepted free ringside tickets from the Nevada Athletic Commission to three professional boxing matches while that state agency was trying to influence him on federal regulation of boxing.
Reid, D-Nev., took the free seats for Las Vegas fights between 2003 and 2005 as he was pressing legislation to increase government oversight of the sport, including the creation of a federal boxing commission that Nevada's agency feared might usurp its authority."
Giving credit where due, got this link off the Free Republic site. Very interesting test to assess your risk.
by Ken Pence
"Crime exists. Your vulnerability cannot be ignored. Threat assessment is a means for you to calmly evaluate your risks. The following tests will let you realistically determine your chances. No one but the person looking over your shoulder will have access to any information you temporarily use to determine your risks. Close the door when you take the rape, robbery, stabbed, shot, beaten test so you give yourself a fair assessment. These tests give you a "ballpark estimates" on your risk and are meant to entertain while educating.
Take this test alone so your answers will be unbiased
I've had a Pay Pal account for about 4 years with absolutely no problem and plan to continue using Pay Pal.
However lately it has become the target of PHISHING where "official looking" emails come saying they're going to suspend the user's account, blah, blah, blah ..... if you DON'T UPDATE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION ..... and they so courteously supply a link for you to do just that.
Am putting this email received this morning below so anyone reading this blog can get an idea of WHAT NOT TO RESPOND TO.
Instead if you have a Pay Pal account simply launch your browser and go to https://www.paypal.com/ , plug in your sign in information and check it for yourself.
PHISHING has become so common that I've gotten emails to update bank account with banks I don't and never have had an account with ...... so crooks will try anything no matter what you do on the net.
SPOOF PHISHING "PAY PAL" EMAIL which you NEVER click the link on, NEVER reply to. Simply delete.
Pay Pal NEVER sends out emails like this asking you for personal information. Have forwarded many Spoof emails to them which reply with just that information.
__________________"Dear PayPal Valued Customer,
PayPal is committed to maintaining a safe environment for its community of buyers and sellers. To protect the security of your account, PayPal employs some of the most advanced security systems in the world and our anti-fraud teams regularly screen the PayPal system for unusual activity.
We are contacting you to remind you that on May, 28, 2006 our Account Review Team identified some unusual activity in your account. In accordance with PayPal's User Agreement and to ensure that your account has not been compromised, access to your account was limited. Your account access will remain limited until this issue has been resolved.
In order to secure your account and quickly restore full access, we may require you to verify or update your Personal Information.
If you choose to ignore our request, you leave us no choice but to temporary suspend your account."
I personally hope the senate hits such a roadblock their heads are permanently flat like a stupid looking smiley.
Quoted from Poweline in full below. Live links.
"The Washington Post reports this morning that prospects for the Senate's immigration package are dimming, due to House members' concerns about November's election:
Republican House members facing the toughest races this fall are overwhelmingly opposed to any deal that provides illegal immigrants a path to citizenship -- an election-year dynamic that significantly dims the prospects that President Bush will win the immigration compromise he is seeking, according to Republican lawmakers and leadership aides.
Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) will not allow a vote on a House-Senate compromise that does not have the support of most GOP lawmakers or one that would undermine the reelection chances of his at-risk members, aides said. According to GOP lawmakers and strategists, about 75 percent of the 231 House Republicans are steadfastly opposed to the Senate bill or even a watered-down version of it.
The Post's article cites poll's that supposedly show strong support for the administration's plan, but, as one House member says, "they must not be polling anyone in [my] District."
The Post's reporters clearly think it's unfortunate that the House may be knuckling under to the wishes of the voters:
Many senators, by contrast, represent more diverse populations and are therefore more sensitive to the concerns of Hispanics. Moreover, only one-third of senators face reelection this fall, so it is easier for them to ignore the short-term Republican politics, which are dominated by concerns about any program that resembles amnesty for illegal immigrants.
The Post says "short-term Republican politics," when what it means is, the will of the American people.
By Jerry Seper and Stephen Dinan
Source THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Was going to let this shake out as the Justice Department investigates, buuuuuut picked up this CBS faux pas on another site.
They have this DEMOCRAT NOT REPUBLICAN AS REPORTED BELOW on tape accepting $100,000 in bribery money.
Can't anyone at CBS Google anything???
"Gonzales And Mueller Hinted At Resignation In Battle With Congress
Just got this in email.
>> Isn't this amazing?
>> Accounts Receivable Tax
>> Building Permit Tax
>> Capital Gains Tax
>> CDL license Tax
>> Cigarette Tax
>> Corporate Income Tax
>> Court Fines (indirect taxes)
>> Dog License Tax
>> Federal Income Tax
>> Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
>> Fishing License Tax
>> Food License Tax
>> Fuel permit tax
>> Gasoline Tax (42 cents per gallon)
>> Hunting License Tax
>> Inheritance Tax Interest expense (tax on the money)
>> Inventory tax IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
>> IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
>> Liquor Tax
>> Local Income Tax
>> Luxury Taxes
>> Marriage License Tax
>> Medicare Tax
>> Propert y Tax
>> Real Estate Tax
>> Septic Permit Tax
>> Service Charge Taxes
>> Social Security Tax
>> Road Usage Taxes (Truckers)
>> Sales Taxes
>> Recreational Vehicle Tax
>> Road Toll Booth Taxes
>> School Tax
>> State Income Tax
>> State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
>> Telephone federal excise tax
>> Telephone federal universal service fee tax
>> Telephone federal, state and
>> local surcharge taxes
>> Telephone minimum usage surcharge tax
>> Telephone recurring and non-recurring charges tax
>> Telephone state and local tax
>> Telephone usage charge tax
>> Toll Bridge Taxes
>> Toll Tunnel Taxes
>> Traffic Fines (indirect taxation)
>> Trailer Registration Tax
>> Utility Taxes
>> Vehicle License Registration Tax
>> Vehicle Sales Tax
>> Watercraft Registration Tax
>> Well Permit Tax
>> Workers Compensation Tax
>> Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago and our
>> nation was the most prosperous in the world, had absolutely no
>> national debt, had the largest middle class in the world and only
>> one parent had to work to support the family.
>> What the hell happened
Looks as if it may be sooner than later.
"By ERICA WERNER
"Associated Press Writer
"House panel backs Internet gambling limits
MAY. 25 5:17 P.M. ET A House panel voted Thursday to crack down on the $12 billion Internet gambling industry by applying federal prohibitions to games like online poker, blackjack and roulette.
The legislation would amend the 1961 Federal Wire Wager Act to explicitly prohibit online gambling. It also would outlaw electronic transmission of funds to pay for gambling bets, give law enforcement agencies authority to block such money transfers, and increase penalties for violation of the law.
Although the Justice Department has taken the position that the Wire Act already prohibits online gambling in the U.S., there is disagreement about that. Most of as many as 2,300 online gambling sites in existence are overseas. "......................
"Nothing isn't what it used to be.
Washington Post columnist Sebastian Mallaby recently reviewed Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth." He argued that President Bush "refused to let his administration do anything about climate." And last month New York Times columnist Paul Krugman made the same claim: "most governments have done little to curb greenhouse gases, and the Bush administration has done nothing ..."
One is tempted to ask whether they are being Clintonesque, with nothing depending upon their definitions of nothing. But assuming they were being honest, one can only wonder where they gathered their evidence that the Bush administration was doing nothing.
Obviously it was not from reading Gregg Easterbrook in The New Republic, who in February last year, wrote: "[T]he notion that Bush has done nothing at all about greenhouse gases can only be sustained if you ignore what he has done."
What has that been? Easterbrook was writing about a program called Methane to Markets, which the Bush administration negotiated among several countries in 2004. He noted that most news outlets didn't report a thing about it. Yet, the program promises a reduction in methane -- a greenhouse gas 23 times more powerful than the carbon dioxide that is the focus of most news reporting -- equal to the reductions in greenhouse gases from the more heralded Kyoto Protocol.
One of the fruits of the methane to markets program came last week. China, a chief emitter of methane from its coal mines, has signed an agreement to buy 60 methane generators from Caterpillar Inc. for $58 million. The generators will take in the methane from its largest coal mine, reducing explosions and improving safety and health in the mines while providing 120 megawatts of electricity with reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Neither the Post nor the Times thought that worthy of reporting, nor did most other mainstream media outside of the business press. After all it's a "good news" story -- a kind of win-win-win-win scenario for health, safety, economics and the environment that the mainstream media are loath to report.
And besides, how can you write about the fruit of a program that you've barely acknowledged exists? The Post provided but one brief story about it on its inside pages back in November of 2004, and then gave it mention in a little science brief about a Princeton study that found "reducing emissions of methane ... by 20% from current levels would prevent an estimated 370,000 premature deaths worldwide between 2010 and 2030." And that's nothing compared to The New York Times reporting, which about methane to markets amounted to nothing googleable at all.
All of which may explain the frustration of James Connaughton, President Bush's chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality at a presentation at the American Enterprise Institute the day Mallaby's column appeared. He said he felt like asking the administration's critics such as Mallaby: "What part of 'yes' don't you understand?"
He said there is no longer any debate going on in the administration about the science of climate change nor that there is human contribution to warming. He said there is even consensus among policymakers here and abroad on the scope of action and places where it's needed and the type of arrangements required to help limit that contribution.
Connaughton pointed to 60 federal programs "designed to help reduce emissions by 500 million metric tons of carbon-equivalent (greenhouse gases) through 2012;" voluntary programs, such as Climate VISION, that aim to reduce carbon intensity -- the amount of carbon emissions for a given amount of economic activity -- by 18% by 2012; and federal spending on climate change programs of $26 billion since Bush came into office, about half of which has gone to researching new technology.
Where the administration runs afoul of its critics' demands -- and is considered to be doing nothing -- is in the promotion of caps on carbon emissions. The critics want to force carbon-emitting industries to cap emissions and then allow those who reduce their emissions below their cap to sell credits to those who fail to meet them. But such cap and trade schemes would do little to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Without China and India participating, costly carbon caps will prompt the movement of industrial emissions abroad -- where they will likely be spewed out in greater amounts through dirtier technology.
That is something that the Mallabys and Krugmans and most environmentalists overlook -- you can't force these countries to do what you want. You have to understand their economic and moral need to lift millions of people out of poverty quickly. They will put this goal ahead of reducing greenhouse emissions any day. And who can blame them? Further, from a political standpoint, you aren't going to get far with significant carbon curbs if they hurt your own economy, a fact that helps to explain why the Clinton administration did less than the Bush administration on climate change, if you look at the record.
What can do something to influence what is going on in China and India? As Connaughton pointed out, you can make a deal with them to provide them cleaner, better, safer, healthier, more advanced technology -- if they agree to protect the intellectual property of those who invent that technology. And you can seek to ensure that you don't wipe out incentives here for the development of the kind of clean technology they might buy -- in particular clean coal. You want coal cleaned up as a source of electricity, so as to pass on the technology to coal-dependent nations such as China and India. But it is unlikely these clean-coal technologies will develop if carbon caps force utilities to switch to natural gas.
What's more, recent real-world experience with carbon caps undercuts the arguments of the administration's critics. Canada has indicated it won't meet its caps under Kyoto, and Europe is heading toward failure as well.
Meanwhile, Bush's sweet nothings of Methane to Markets, his Asian Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate Change (AP6), and his promotion of investment in technological development here and its spread through free trade and intellectual property protection abroad are producing measurable gains already with the China-Caterpillar deal.
Of course, don't expect to hear about those gains from Mallaby or Krugman or the rest of mainstream major media. Much like Sergeant Schulz, the guard in Hogan's Heroes who turned a blind eye to the POW's shenanigans, saying, "I know nothing! Nothing!" so he didn't have to report them to Colonel Klink, so they maintain a willful ignorance of the administration's climate activities so as not to complicate their case that the administration is doing nothing -- see nothing positive, hear nothing positive, report nothing positive.
Duane Freese is Deputy Editor of TCS Daily.http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=052506B
This is posted in full directly from Powerlineblog.com. This message is too important to post excerpts.
"The Bush administration and Republican Senators have badly misjudged both the attitudes of most Republicans (and, of course, most Americans) toward illegal immigration, and the intensity of those views. While we have opposed the Senate plan, we have been pretty mild-mannered about it. So I'm turning the microphone over to my friend Bob Cunningham. No one I know of argues immigration-related issues more cogently. Equally important, no one I know of conveys the white-hot anger and sense of betrayal that millions of Americans feel about this issue more effectively.
We know that this site is widely read in the White House and in Congress. To all Republicans in Washington: please, please read what follows with care, and understand that Bob speaks for most Americans and the overwhelming majority of Republicans:
Here's what they're missing, and it is the principal reason, in my opinion, WHY the anti-ILLEGAL forces are so upset -- and so powerful.
It has to do with the bad faith, calculated deceit, Orwellian propaganda, dishonest sophistry, misdirection, arrogance, presumption, indifference to, and, indeed, contempt for the beliefs of huge numbers of ordinary Americans -- including LEGAL immigrants and Hispanic natives! --- on the part of political/media elites.
Let's recognize that the political process has --- democratically --- designated the illegals AS illegal. Why? Because we, as a nation, decided that their presence -- NOT themselves per se (as the false attribution of racism would have it) --- but their presence in such numbers for such purposes (the phony Jobs Americans Won't Do/Jobs Americans Are Not Doing) is undesirable. There are perfectly reasonable grounds for that judgment. When did we vote for the Mexification of America? ANS.: NEVER....Indeed, going back to the 1965 immigration "reforms", assurances were REPEATEDLY given (Kennedy) that such reforms would NOT lead to an influx or demographic change. And guess what? The burden of proof is NOT on the nation to justify this stance.
Period. Full stop. End of discussion.
Since these elites don't like that decision now they want us to accept a fait accompli..and more! They feel perfectly justified in collaborating in the subversion of our democratically enacted immigration regime --- with crass, narrow, economic special interests and with others having perhaps more sinister designs. Their objectives --- open borders, a free flow of cheap labor --- are plain now for all to see. Some no longer even bother to pretend otherwise.
Given that, there is NO REASON to believe ANY of their promises --- the "wall," enforcement of "tough" conditions for a "path to legalization/citizenship" or limits in a "tough and smart" "temporary" "guest workers" indentured servant-helot program. We also know that the very underlying rationale itself for "temporary" "guest workers" (the economically illiterate JAWD/JAAND) is in DIRECT CONTRADICTION to ANY arbitrary "limits"....Indeed, the very claim itself that deportation is "impossible" renders the enforcement promises self-refuting! We should all ignore the false promises and intentional non-feasance in the past?...and do I even have to mention the Simpson-Mazzoli fraud? "This time it's different"?....we REALLY mean it now?....
The ultimate retort of the immigration celebrationists --- let us call it the "immigrants are good people" argument --- is totally beside the point. It is an assertion that no one would disagree with, but it is also an argument that has NO internal LIMITING PRINCIPLE. There is, on its own terms, no non-arbitrary basis for excluding ANY ONE of the 6 billion non-Americans. Other than criminal disqualification, most of them, are, indeed "good people"....so what?
Well, we already decided the question of numbers and limits...and the political/media elites, in conjunction with the scofflaw employers, do NOT have standing to subvert the democratic decision made, upon deliberation, several times in reliance on what we now can see were plainly false promises.
March 1, 2006 | |
In the continuing debate over immigration policy, lawmakers would do well to step back from the politics of the moment and develop a clear, comprehensive, meaningful, and long-term policy concerning immigration, naturalization, and citizenship that is consistent with the core principles, best traditions, and highest ideals of the United States.
As the United States Senate considers a temporary worker program as one aspect of that policy, it is important to review the principles that ought to guide this discussion and against which any proposed temporary worker program should be measured.
The Principles of Immigration
As previously established, four broad principles should guide United States immigration policy.
The Consent of the Governed. The very idea of sovereignty implies that each nation has the responsibility-and obligation-to determine and defend its own conditions for immigration, naturalization, and citizenship. Individuals who are not citizens do not have a right to American residency or citizenship without the consent of the American people, as expressed through the laws of the United States.
National Security. A disorganized and chaotic immigration system encourages the circumvention of immigration laws and is a clear invitation to those who wish to take advantage of our openness to harm this nation. Secure borders, especially in a time of terrorist threat, are crucial to American national security.
The Rule of Law. Immigration is no exception to the principle that the rule of law requires the fair, firm, and equitable enforcement of the law. Congress should require and provide resources to enforce immigration laws within the United States, and individuals unlawfully present in the United States should not be rewarded with amnesty.
Patriotic Assimilation. A successful immigration policy must include and emphasize a deliberate and self-confident policy that welcomes and assimilates permanent immigrants, with the goal being American citizenship. This may be a nation of immigrants, but it is more accurate to say that this is a nation where immigrants are Americanized, sharing the benefits, responsibilities, and attachments of American citizenship.
Guiding Principles for a Temporary Worker Program
The comprehensive reform of immigration policy has little prospect of success unless it seriously reduces the growing number of undocumented workers and benefit recipients in the United States. Among the proposals designed to accomplish this goal is the creation of a temporary worker program that would be open to new foreign workers as well as illegal immigrants currently in the United States.
A balanced and well-constructed temporary worker program, by replacing the incentives for illegal immigration with an option for legal temporary labor and (in combination with other reforms) reducing over time the current population of unlawfully present persons, would foster better national security and serve a growing economy. Such a temporary worker program would be a valuable and perhaps even necessary component of a comprehensive immigration reform proposal.
Nevertheless, reasonable enthusiasm for such a program in theory must be moderated by serious and realistic concerns not only about the failures of such programs in the past and in other countries, but also regarding how a new program would likely be implemented and operate in practice. That both the National Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy and the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform (chaired by the late Representative Barbara Jordan), after extensive study of the matter, rejected a temporary or guest worker program for just these reasons should counsel some trepidation. At the very least, policymakers must bear in mind during the lawmaking process that an ill-defined and poorly constructed temporary worker program would make the current problems of immigration policy much worse.
It is with great care and prudence, then, that lawmakers should address the many thorny questions raised by a temporary worker program. In that process, policymakers should be guided not only by general principles, but also by several principles particular to a temporary worker program. These principles should be used to evaluate and judge any such proposals.
The first priority is national security. Congress must take steps to ensure that immigration policy, or the lack of immigration policy enforcement, does not undermine national security; and, from a national security perspective, preventing illegal entry and reducing unlawful presence in the United States is an imperative. A critical element of any reform proposal must be to build a "system of systems" that welds all of the nation's border assets into a single coherent security strategy-addressing the issue from the point of origin, in transit, at the border, and within the United States-and strengthens all of the activities, assets, and programs necessary to enhance homeland security. While recognizing that a temporary worker program could potentially contribute to the task of policing borders and coastlines, a comprehensive plan for integrated border security must be implemented and operational prior to any temporary worker program.
There should be no amnesty program for illegal immigrants. Regardless of the penalties imposed, any program that grants individuals who are unlawfully present legal permission to remain here rewards illegal behavior and is unfair to those who obey the law and go through the regulatory and administrative requirements to enter the country legally. Those who enter the United States illegally should not be rewarded with permanent legal status or other such benefits, and they should be penalized in any road to citizenship. The cost of changing one's status from illegal to legal is a change of condition from a permanent to a temporary presence in the United States. Unlawfully present individuals who voluntarily leave the United States, register with authorities before leaving through the US-VISIT program, have no criminal record, and agree to abide by the terms and requirements of a temporary worker program and the laws of the United States can then apply for legal entry to the United States without partiality or prejudice.
A temporary worker program must be a temporary program. Participation in the program should be of defined and limited duration. If participation is renewable, there should be a substantive period of time in the home country between renewals; to be temporary, the program must not be indefinitely renewable. Indeed, policymakers must be confident that the program will remain temporary and that, at the end of program tenure, participants will return to their home countries. For those individuals who are not present in the United States, applicants must demonstrate permanent foreign residence. For those that are currently here illegally, a temporary worker program should be seen as an attractive and legal avenue for them to reestablish permanent residence in their home country. In all cases, participants must show an intention to return to one's home country ("nonimmigrant intent"). In order to encourage this outcome, Congress should engage non-governmental organizations and stakeholders in establishing humanitarian support programs to assist undocumented workers in returning to their home countries and could even create a national trust fund, based on voluntary contributions, to assist in covering the expenses of returning undocumented workers to their home countries.
A temporary worker program should not undermine the preferred process of naturalization. Policymakers should be concerned if the sheer size or lack of "temporariness" in a temporary worker program threatens to overwhelm the immigration process and create de facto permanent residents without permanent legal status. A temporary worker program must not be allowed to become merely a legal way to circumvent the rules and procedures of the naturalization process. This process must be protected and should be strengthened, and the distinction between citizen and non-citizen (and between immigrant and non-immigrant) should be clarified rather than blurred. Indeed, to the extent that the need is for a larger permanent working population in the United States, the policy preference ought not to be workers who are temporary, but assimilated immigrants who understand and are willing to take on the long-term responsibilities and obligations of citizenship.
A temporary worker program should be good for the American economy and as market-based as possible. Immigration has always contributed to the expansion of the American economy, and the goal of this particular program should be no different. In general, the economic benefits of the program must be understood to outweigh its costs. The best way to do that is for the operations of a temporary worker program to be as flexible and market-based as possible, in accord with basic principles of free-market economic analysis. It should not be micromanaged by government agencies, but should leverage the capacity of the private sector to develop innovative and effective ways of matching sponsoring employers to eligible employees. As well, a temporary worker program should provide economic incentives for participants to abide by the rules of the program and return home at the end of their program tenure, for both the participant (perhaps in the form of withheld income or investment accounts) and the employer (perhaps in the form of a bond to control the flow of workers and promote compliance). The objective should be to allow for a reliable and stable source of labor, but for that labor to be provided by a dynamic and constantly changing temporary work force.
New programs should not encourage or exacerbate illegal immigration. While recognizing the difficulty and challenge of finding and removing every illegal immigrant in the United States, Congress and the President must take credible steps to reduce illegal immigration in both annual and absolute terms. If for no other reason, policymakers should reject amnesty for illegal immigrants because it would encourage others to emulate illegal behavior and thereby increase rather than ameliorate the problem. In considering new programs, policymakers must also recognize that any program that is vague or unenforceable, or that allows temporary visitors or workers to disappear when their legal status expires, would not only mean a larger illegal immigrant community, but also invite new illegal immigration-and thus create an even larger public policy problem.
Serious immigration reform requires serious enforcement. What immigration policy needs- as any new program requires-is a clear and determined strategy to enforce all the rules. Immigration reform in general, and a temporary worker program in particular, must go hand-in-hand with a much stronger approach to dealing with violations of our immigration laws. This means credible workplace enforcement that imposes steep employer penalties for willfully violating immigration laws and, without requiring a new large federal bureaucratic program, targets the largest employers of unlawful labor and the most egregious violators of immigration laws. Secure documents, biometric identification, and mandatory workplace verification would certainly ease the burden on employees and employers to abide by the rules. Before proceeding, policymakers must have the political will to insist on the rule of law.
A temporary worker plan should be family-friendly. Temporary workers in the United States should be encouraged to establish long-term residences, create stable households, and build families in the country of their permanent citizenship. Policymakers must recognize that for temporary workers to do so in the United States creates powerful conditions of permanency, placing the temporary worker, his family, and those obliged to enforce the law in a difficult and untenable situation. A family-friendly policy that respects and encourages permanent households would break program participation into brief periods, with significant time between renewal for the temporary worker to reestablish ties to his or her permanent foreign residence. It would also permit brief family visits in the United States during periods of program participation while clarifying that, consistent with the temporary nature of the program, children born to temporary workers while in the United States are not automatically United States citizens.
A temporary worker program must be administratively feasible and fully implemented. The infrastructure necessary for such a program, including the creation of a single integrated border services agency, must be in place and working before a temporary worker program is implemented. This is especially the case with those elements of the program (such as a biometric identification registry, verification of identity and criminal security check with the participants' home country, mandatory workplace verification, and a system of secure documents) that contribute to the requirements of national security. Policymakers must have demonstrable confidence (based on system testing and pilot programs, for example) that the infrastructure and its system elements are able to manage a program of this size efficiently and accurately. A pilot program, perhaps based on the expansion and streamlining of existing non-immigrant work visa programs, is a reasonable and prudent policy prior to launching a new program of this magnitude. Given the federal government's poor track record in consistently enforcing national immigration laws and providing the resources necessary to carry out its own policies, there should be measurable border security, internal enforcement and program infrastructure timetables, benchmarks, and goals that must be met in order to proceed with the implementation of a temporary worker program.
International cooperation requires agreements with participating countries. A temporary worker program must include bilateral agreements between the United States and the participants' home countries. Such agreements would strengthen cooperation concerning verification of identity and background security; establish clear agreement to abide by (and encourage participants to abide by) the rules of the program and United States immigration laws; facilitate the return of those nations' citizens at the end of program participation; and reward nations that develop robust programs that assist in significantly reducing the unlawful population in the United States. In lieu of congressional legislation on the matter, such agreements should also clarify the citizenship status of children of program participants. Such agreements are also an opportunity to develop additional incentives for temporary workers, such as allowing program participants to receive credit in their home countries' retirement systems, and generally encourage economic freedom and growth in the nations that these individuals have left for opportunities in the United States.
It goes without saying that many aspects of immigration policy are divisive, splitting not only virtually every segment of political opinion, but also the American people generally. One of the most divisive and controversial aspects of the current immigration debate is the proposal for a temporary worker program. Just as any immigration reform package must be informed by the proper guiding principles, thereby balancing national security, economic interests, and the rule of law, so a temporary worker program-to be acceptable both in principle and in practice, and to contribute to the objectives of comprehensive immigration reform-must be consistent with those principles and thus with the best traditions and highest ideals of the United States.
Edwin Meese III is a Distinguished Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, where he holds the Ronald Reagan Chair in Public Policy. Matthew Spalding, Ph.D., is Director of the B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies at The Heritage Foundation.
Edwin Meese III and Matthew Spalding, "The Principles of Immigration," Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 1807, October 19, 2004.
See, for instance, Dr. Vernon M. Briggs, "Guestworker Programs for Low-Skilled Workers: Lessons from the Past and Warnings for the Future," testimony before the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate, February 5, 2004.
For analysis of the two leading proposals, see James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Janice L. Kephart, and Paul Rosenzweig, "The McCain-Kennedy Immigration Reform Bill Falls Short," Heritage Foundation Executive Memorandum No. 975, July 26, 2005, and James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Janice L. Kephart, and Alane Kochems, "The Cornyn-Kyl Immigration Reform Act: Flawed But Fixable," Heritage Foundation Executive Memorandum No. 982, September 23, 2005.
See National Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy, U.S. Immigration Policy and the National Interest: Final Report, 1981, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, Becoming an American: Immigration and Immigration Policy, 1997.
James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., "Safeguarding America's Sovereignty: A ‘System of Systems' Approach to Border Security," Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 1898, November 28, 2005.
Edwin Meese III, James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Matthew Spalding, Ph.D., and Paul Rosenzweig, "Alternatives to Amnesty: Proposals for Fair and Effective Immigration Reform," Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 1858, June 2, 2005.
See Matthew Spalding, Ph.D., "Making Citizens: The Case for Patriotic Assimilation," forthcoming from The Heritage Foundation.
Tim Kane, Ph.D., and Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D., "The Real Problem with Immigration...and the Real Solution," Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 1913, March 1, 2006.
See Meese et al., "Alternatives to Amnesty."
See Edward Erler, "Birthright Citizenship and the Constitution," Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 925, December 1, 2005. This question can be clarified by legislation and/or bilateral agreement.
This was the position of the Reagan Administration when the idea was proposed in the early 1980s.
Stephen Johnson, "Immigration Plans Need a Foreign Policy Component," Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 948, December 19, 2005; see also Stephen Johnson and Sara J. Fitzgerald, "The United States and Mexico: Partners in Reform," Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 1715, December 18, 2003.
This was on the local news a couple of days ago.
by Steven Yates
April 30, 2006
Forward courtesy of Slim Spurling (www.slimspurling.com)
United States of North America
Elitists in the United States, Mexico, and Canada are plotting to merge these three nations into a single regional government similar to the European Union.
In 1787, 13 former British colonies that had briefly been independent states agreed to create a free trade zone inside a shared security perimeter. People, goods, and capital would move freely throughout that region, ignoring previously existing borders. The union thus created was christened the United States of America.
In the early years of the 21st century, elites in three nations - the United States, Canada, and Mexico - are busy creating a new political configuration called the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP). It would broaden and deepen the relationship between the three nations created in 1994 through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in dramatic ways.
The new architecture would include a free trade zone protected by a common security perimeter, within which goods, people, and capital would move freely across what had once been firmly established international borders.
First of all, it would require that U.S. citizens effectively surrender their citizenship in the independent constitutional republic founded in 1787. Unlike the USA, which was an organic outgrowth of a political system rooted in Anglo-Saxon laws, customs, traditions, and language, the political entity created through the SPP - in effect, the United States of North America (USNA) - would be a forced three-way marriage of wildly incompatible cultures and political systems.
The U.S. and Mexico are separated by language and have fundamentally incompatible political systems. Canada, riven with linguistic and regional conflicts, is hard-pressed to maintain its own unity, without the additional complications that would arise from an effort to join with the United States and Mexico. Lacking the natural affinities that led the original 13 states to create a constitutional republic, the USNA would likely be held together only through corrupt alliances among ruling elites, backed by undisguised force.
This past March, President Bush met in Cancun, Mexico, with Mexican President Vicente Fox and Canada's newly elected Prime Minister Stephen Harper (shown above) to discuss the year-old SPP, which was formally inaugurated a year ago in a similar trinational summit in Waco, Texas.
To judge from the official rhetoric emanating from various governmental sources, the SPP is a collection of harmless or even commendable multilateral initiatives. A March 23 White House press release observed: "The SPP will complement, rather than replace, existing bilateral and trilateral fora and working groups that are performing well."
The "working groups" casually referred to in that statement were created at the March 2005 Waco summit to create common policies for the United States, Canada, and Mexico in various economic and security areas. Those groups are already laying the foundation for a European Union-style integration of the SPP member nations.
Though the leaders gathered at Cancun spoke in measured terms in describing this process, President Fox came close to giving away the game. His remarks underscored the demand for a new U.S. law ensuring "safe and respectful migration, respecting the rights of people."
Migration, unlike immigration, is the unhindered movement of whole peoples within national borders. Similar movement across a national border is either immigration, or emigration. Significantly, President Bush, too, said that the talks in Cancun often centered on "migration," tacitly endorsing the same subversive assumption that the border between the U.S. and Mexico is as inconsequential as that dividing Utah from Nevada.
Devil in the Details
The joint statement on the SPP issued on March 23, 2005 described it as an initiative to "establish a common approach to security to protect North America from external threats, prevent and respond to threats within North America, and further streamline the security and efficient movement of legitimate, low-risk traffic across our shared borders."
Eight trinational SPP "working groups" were then created to deal with different subject areas and instructed to report back within 90 days. Three months later, the working groups presented an array of ideas for new bureaucracies and "public-private partnerships," which were formed almost at once.
From the beginning, security - not liberty - has been one primary focus of the SPP's architects. The "security" agenda provides for three priority areas with these mandates: (1) secure North America from external threats; (2) prevent and respond to threats within North America; and (3) further streamline the secure movement of low-risk traffic across our shared borders.
The idea that the SPP will provide Americans with additional security is absurd. Washington's efforts to secure our present borders are a spectacular failure - and yet, through the SPP, it would assume a large share of the responsibility for defending a much larger "perimeter" encompassing all of North America.
Representative Katherine Harris (R-Fla.), a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a close political ally of President Bush, has introduced a bill into the U.S. Congress called the North American Cooperative Security Act. This bill would begin a process of integrating Canadian and Mexican defense institutions with those of the United States, expanding "consultations on defense issues," and "exploring the formation of law enforcement teams that include personnel from the United States and Mexico."
Repeating in places, almost word for word, the security strategy of the SPP, that measure is clearly intended to begin the process of bringing the military and security institutions of the three nations under a central authority, with a single chain of command. The implications of that merger are profoundly troubling, to say the least.
Mexico is ruled by a political establishment intimately connected to that nation's narco-terrorist syndicates. A 2004 United Press International investigative report into the estimated 3,000 kidnappings in Mexico each year noted: "Mexico has a history of complicity between law enforcement and actual kidnappers."
In a March 31 Houston Chronicle op-ed column, Judge Michael McSpadden of Texas' 209 District Court described some things he learned five years ago while he served "as part of a contingent of Texas judges [who met] with then President-elect Vicente Fox's transition team in Mexico City to discuss possible changes in Mexico's justice system."
"Jury trials were not allowed, even though guaranteed by Mexico's Constitution," wrote Judge McSpadden. "There was no live confrontation of witnesses - the judge decided the case upon the written 'declarations' of witnesses. No bonds were allowed in cases considered serious - such as a false report to a public official."
While Canada's law enforcement system is cleaner and more competent than Mexico's, that country presents a different set of potential security risks. Thanks largely to that country's devotion to multiculturalism and political correctness, Canada is becoming a haven for Muslim refugees, a growing population in which terrorists can take cover.
Corporatism, Not "Prosperity"
The goals of the "prosperity working groups" are similarly misleading. The prosperity agenda originally announced a year ago promoted three broad agendas: improving productivity, reducing the costs of trade, and enhancing the quality of life. But what will their practical effect be?
One useful illustration of the SPP's "prosperity" agenda is the proposed Automotive Partnership Council of North America, which would "help identify the full spectrum of issues that impact the industry, ranging from regulation, innovation, transportation infrastructure, and border facilitation." This calls for integration of both business and government throughout the region through networks of public-private partnerships.
"Public-private partnerships" are better described as "corporatism" - the merger of big business with big government described by Mussolini as the foundation of fascism. In such partnerships, government is always the senior partner. The SPP's "partnership" will offer incentives to businesses to help further integration because they'll get preferential treatment by government. This system will actually circumvent marketplace competition, leading to fewer choices for consumers. It will also permit the emerging regional government to exert more control over business.
The SPP is the product of the same minds that devised NAFTA, a sister-agreement and predecessor of the SPP. The basic treaty of that supposed free-trade accord is laid out in thousands of pages of dense regulations creating scores of unaccountable bureaucratic bodies, including several trade tribunals whose rulings are binding on the citizens of the three NAFTA nations.
Law professor Peter Spiro of Hofstra University said that the implementation of the NAFTA tribunals was "a fundamental reorientation of our constitutional system. You have an international tribunal essentially reviewing American court judgments."
And elected officials in the United States have begun giving precedence to NAFTA rules over the interests of Americans. For example, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was told by advisers in 2004 that a proposed tax incentive package encouraging Californian road builders to recycle 32 million used tires from California's vehicles would violate NAFTA rules by favoring American recyclers over those of Mexico and Canada. Schwarzenegger dutifully vetoed the bill.
As if the history of NAFTA didn't provide enough clues as to where the SPP is taking us, there is still more evidence - the unguarded words of politicians and their associates in the know.
Following his election in 2000, Mexican president Vicente Fox told an audience in California that his government would "use all our persuasion and all our talent to bring together the U.S., Canadian and Mexican governments so that in five or ten years, the border is totally open to the free movement of workers." Fox was similarly candid in a 2002 address to an audience in Madrid: "Eventually, our long-range objective is to establish with the United States, but also with Canada, our other regional partner, an ensemble of connections and institutions similar to those created by the European Union."
The actions and statements of some U.S. politicians have been similarly telling. The Bush administration's proposed "guest worker" program, which is amnesty for illegal immigrants, is a key part of this trinational integration scheme.
Many of President Bush's staunch supporters, who see him as a flinty-eyed custodian of our national security, are puzzled over what they see as his uncharacteristic squishiness on the issue of protecting our borders. They don't understand that George W. Bush has long been a proponent of amalgamating the United States with Mexico, and is an unabashed proponent of regional integration as well.
The SPP, the instrument of that betrayal, does not have any broad base of public support beyond the tiny cluster of political, corporate, and bureaucratic elites that gave us NAFTA and CAFTA.
Americans by the millions have been infuriated by the spectacle of illegal aliens marching in the streets of our cities demanding they be given a fast track to citizenship. Our fellow citizens must be educated about the real design behind the drive for illegal-alien amnesty, and mobilized to defeat both amnesty and the ongoing drive to create the SPP.
Steven Yates, Ph.D., teaches philosophy at the University of South Carolina Upstate and Greenville Technical College. "
For the past several days it's been speculated that the US was headed toward a massive devaluing of its currency, anywhere from 25% to 40%.
Soooo isn't it amazing today's article points toward a US$ rebound simultaneously with news of the senate's open borders immigration bill nearing regurgitation ...... I mean completion.
"More Uncertainty on World Markets
May 24, 2006
"The jitters sweeping global markets have reasserted themselves in Europe, as worries about the continent's economies triggered fresh falls.
Photo: Even though it looks worrying, price volatility helps traders make money
Europe's main share indexes all fell sharply, with the FTSE 100, the Cac 40 and the Dax all losing more than 1.7%, despite earlier solid gains in Asia.
Worries about inflation and interest rates overshadowed profits growth.
Analysts expect volatile trading to continue after poor economic figures prompted a global sell-off last week.
Weighing on the markets is the fear that higher interest rates needed to rein in inflation could kill off the global economic recovery in the process.
Higher borrowing costs put a brake on consumer spending and corporate investment, squeezing profits and jeopardising growth.
The cautious mood had persisted in the US overnight, with the Dow Jones index down 0.25% and the Nasdaq down 0.65%
At the same time, metals prices firmed, crude oil prices slid and the US dollar strengthened against the Japanese yen.
'WE ARE SCEPTICAL'
In Europe, the UK's main FTSE 100 share index was down 105.8 points to 5,572.9 at 1157 GMT, with Germany's Dax losing 100.6 points and France's Cac off by 87.22 points.
In India another volatile day of trading saw the BSE Sensex index lose much of the 341 points gain made on Tuesday, closing down 2.3% or 249 at 10,573.
Analysts say that even though there are concerns that price growth may accelerate and push up interest rates, the sell-off means share prices are coming back to levels that could make them attractive to investors.
As a result, they predict that the declines may be short-lived.
A lot will depend on the quality of earnings and economic reports released in coming weeks. Market watchers said they expected a period of consolidation, rather than a rapid recovery.
"We are sceptical if there is anything fundamental about these falls," said Tristan Hanson of Cazenove. "It is more panic."
Electronic price board showing drop in Asian stocks
Photo: The strength and speed of the sell-off caught many people by surprise
Japan's Nikkei 225 index rebounded strongly on Wednesday as a weaker yen lifted optimism that exporters, including camera firm Canon and carmakers Toyota and Honda, would benefit and foreign sales increase.
One of the main areas of concern has been the rapid rise of commodity prices, amid fears that a market bubble is about to burst.
On Wednesday, gold prices were little changed, while copper rebounded quickly before levelling off.
Meanwhile, the price of crude oil, one of the main factors behind the inflation fears, dipped as supply concerns eased.
In London, a barrel of Brent crude oil fell back 1.4% to $70, and a barrel of New York light crude slid 1.5% to $70.69.
The US dollar had rebounded against both the yen and euro in Asian trading, but pared gains after a surprisingly strong German report on investor confidence.
In early European trading, euro was up 0.3% at $1.2855, while the US dollar was flat against the Japanese currency at 111.95 yen.
Wow, no wonder all but true conservatives are falling all over themselves to pass the senate immigration bill.
No wonder what the senate is "working out" makes no sense whatsoever as far as securing borders.
The more I read about this, the less I like it and expect a voter backlash toward more conservatives being elected from city councils up.
Perhaps pressure to follow through with this has something to do with the US dollar on world money markets ... my conspiracy theory of the day.
"President Quietly Creating 'NAFTA Plus'
by Jerome R. Corsi
Source Human Events Online
"Without announcing his intentions to do so, President Bush has decided to support the creation of a North American Union through a process of governmental regulations, never having to bring the issue before the American people for a clear referendum or vote.
The Bush Administration has decided to "back-door" the creation of a North American Union political entity that would effectively erase our borders with Mexico and Canada and create several super-regional governing bodies that would have jurisdiction over the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court.
This analysis has been advanced by economist Miguel Pickard at the Center for Economic and Political Research for Community Action (CIEPAC) in Chiapas, Mexico. Writing for the International Relations Center in New Mexico, Pickard explains how what he calls "NAFTA Plus" is being put in place by political elites in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, largely without explanation to or understanding by the public in any of the three countries:
Contrary to NAFTA, whose tenets were laid out in a single negotiated treaty subjected to at least cursory review by the legislatures of the participating countries, NAFTA Plus is more the elites’ shared vision of what a merged future will look like. Their ideas are being implemented through the signing of "regulations," not subject to citizens' review. The vision may initially have been labeled NAFTA Plus, but the name gives a mistaken impression of what is at hand, since there will be no single treaty text, no unique label to facilitate keeping tabs. Perhaps for this reason, some civil society groups are calling the phenomenon by another name, the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPPNA), an official sobriquet for the summits held by the three chief executives to agree on the future of "North America."
We have previously discussed the March 2005 summit in Waco, Tex., where President Bush, President Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Martin made their joint statement announcing the formation of "The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America" (SPP). The Department of Commerce documents the extensive working agenda undertaken by the U.S. government to implement the SPP directive.
Miguel Packard goes on to note that Bush has signed onto the North American Union agenda:
After initially rejecting it, the idea of a "North American community" has come of age among U.S. government strategists and a convinced George W. Bush is now vigorously pushing it forward.
We have also pointed to the Council on Foreign Relations' (CFR) task force report entitled "Building a North American Community" that contains the blueprint for creating a North American Union by 2010. The CFR task force report makes clear that a fundamental goal of the contemplated North American Union would be to redefine boundaries such that the primary immigration control will be around the three countries of the North American Union, not between the three countries.
Packard argues that a driving reason Bush has embraced the idea of creating the North American Union is to secure natural resources -- Canadian water as well as oil and natural from both Canada and Mexico. Regarding water, Packard notes that "Bush declared that Canada’s water was part of the United States' energy security." As evidence, he cites "mega-projects" proposed by the U.S., such as a "Grand Canal" that would transport "plentiful water from Canadian rivers and lakes to the Great Lakes." Regarding oil and natural gas, Packard comments that a North American Union would "guarantee a relatively cheap flow of oil," making the idea of creating a single North American space suddenly "not so ludicrous."
Packard documents the extensive work the CFR independent task force (ITF) took to create their blueprint report. ITF had three meetings, in Toronto (October 2004), New York (December 2004), and Monterrey (February 2005), before releasing their final report (May 2005), just after the Waco trilateral meeting. A key adviser to ITF was Robert Pastor, director of the Center for North American Studies at American University. Even though Pastor supported John Kerry for President in 2004, he ends up having a major impact on Bush as the current administration moves forward to implement the CFR plan to form a North American Union.
Even before joining the ITF as vice chair, Pastor was preaching the need for the North American Union to have a political agenda. In a speech titled "A Modest Proposal" in snide homage to Jonathan Swift, Pastor told the Trilateral Commission in 2002 that the North American Union needed to implement a series of political proposals which would have authority over the sovereignty of the United States, Canada and Mexico. Specifically, Pastor called for the creation of North American passports and a North American Customs and Immigrations, which would have authority over U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within the Department of Homeland Security. A North American Parliamentary Group would oversee the U.S. Congress. A Permanent Court on Trade and Investment would resolve disputes within NAFTA, exerting final authority over the judgments of the U.S. Supreme Court. A North American Commission would "develop an integrated continental plan for transportation and infrastructure."
Pastor also advocated the creation of a new currency, the "Amero," to replace the U.S. dollar, the Canadian dollar and the Mexican peso, much as the Euro replaced the currencies of the individual participating countries. The creation of the Amero had first been proposed by economist Herbert Grubel in a 1999 report to the Canadian Fraser Institute calling for a "North American Monetary Union."
Bush's determination to press for a North American Union may well be a key reason the Bush Administration has not secured our border with Mexico. Since 1986, important law enforcement provisions of our various immigration laws have been largely ignored, while "amnesty" provisions have grandfathered millions of illegal aliens to stay and gain citizenship.
The Bush Administration has supported adding enforcement to the Kennedy-McCain bill (S. 2611) currently being debated in the Senate. Are provisions to build a 370-mile wall and to send the National Guard to the border being added merely to look tough, with the real goal being to legalize the 12 million illegal aliens the administration admits are already in the country? Conservatives in the Senate and the House must demand be answers before final votes are taken and a conference committee sets to work.
What is your goal, Mr. President, to establish a North American Union where the border with Mexico is erased, or to secure the border once and for all, such that the invasion of Mexico's underclass into America stops?"
"DEBKAfile reports: Bush is expected to offer the mighty BIG-BLU bunker buster bomb to Israel and Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia
May 22, 2006, 9:11 PM (GMT+02:00)
The intention is to arm US allies with a deterrent against Iran by sharing with them the means for striking the Islamic Republic’s underground nuclear installations.
This Massive Ordnance Penetrator – MOP – known as BIG-BLU (picture) - weighs in at 13,600 kilos and can destroy 25% of its targets in bunkers buried beneath 60 meters of reinforced concrete, a depth greater than any other bomb of its type.
DEBKAfile’s military sources note that this bomb in Saudi hands will also serve the oil kingdom as a deterrent against Israel’s atomic weapons program. In this way, the Bush administration demonstrates it is not solely targeting the military weapons activities of Muslim nations. The bunker busters will no doubt come with strings attached with regard to their use.
Israeli prime minister Olmert, who is due at the White House Tuesday, said he hoped Bush “will lead other nations in taking the necessary measures to stop Iran form becoming a nuclear power.”
DEBKAfile’s Washington’s sources say the Bush administration has little faith in other nations, especially the Europeans, acting to stop Iran, and has embarked on preparations for action on its own initiative. In these circumstances, Israeli ambivalence would be the preferred public stance rather than explicit dependence on Washington. "
Were it not for the internet we'd be just like mushrooms ..... kept in the dark, fed ...... until it's all fully implemented.
No wonder the MSM has been working overtime to "re-educate" us.
My translation of below is that it is being shaped for insertion.
"This trilateral approach should be institutionalized in a new North American Advisory Council.
"The Plan to Replace the Dollar With the 'Amero'
May 22, 2006
by Jerome R. Corsi
The idea to form the North American Union as a super-NAFTA knitting together Canada, the United States and Mexico into a super-regional political and economic entity was a key agreement resulting from the March 2005 meeting held at Baylor University in Waco, Tex., between President Bush, President Fox and Prime Minister Martin.
A joint statement published by the three presidents following their Baylor University summit announced the formation of an initial entity called, "The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America" (SPP). The joint statement termed the SPP a "trilateral partnership" that was aimed at producing a North American security plan as well as providing free market movement of people, capital, and trade across the borders between the three NAFTA partners:
We will establish a common approach to security to protect North America from external threats, prevent and respond to threats within North America, and further streamline the secure and efficient movement of legitimate, low-risk traffic across our borders.
A working agenda was established:
We will establish working parties led by our ministers and secretaries that will consult with stakeholders in our respective countries. These working parties will respond to the priorities of our people and our businesses, and will set specific, measurable, and achievable goals.
The U.S. Department of Commerce has produced a SPP website, which documents how the U.S. has implemented the SPP directive into an extensive working agenda.
Following the March 2005 meeting in Waco, Tex., the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) published in May 2005 a task force report titled "Building a North American Community." We have already documented that this CFR task force report calls for a plan to create by 2010 a redefinition of boundaries such that the primary immigration control will be around the three countries of the North American Union, not between the three countries. We have argued that a likely reason President Bush has not secured our border with Mexico is that the administration is pushing for the establishment of the North American Union.
The North American Union is envisioned to create a super-regional political authority that could override the sovereignty of the United States on immigration policy and trade issues. In his June 2005 testimony to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Robert Pastor, the Director of the Center for North American Studies at American University, stated clearly the view that the North American Union would need a super-regional governance board to make sure the United States does not dominate the proposed North American Union once it is formed:
NAFTA has failed to create a partnership because North American governments have not changed the way they deal with one another. Dual bilateralism, driven by U.S. power, continue to govern and irritate. Adding a third party to bilateral disputes vastly increases the chance that rules, not power, will resolve problems.
This trilateral approach should be institutionalized in a new North American Advisory Council. Unlike the sprawling and intrusive European Commission, the Commission or Council should be lean, independent, and advisory, composed of 15 distinguished individuals, 5 from each nation. Its principal purpose should be to prepare a North American agenda for leaders to consider at biannual summits and to monitor the implementation of the resulting agreements.
Pastor was a vice chairman of the CFR task force that produced the report "Building a North American Union."
Pastor also proposed the creation of a Permanent Tribunal on Trade and Investment with the view that "a permanent court would permit the accumulation of precedent and lay the groundwork for North American business law." The intent is for this North American Union Tribunal would have supremacy over the U.S. Supreme Court on issues affecting the North American Union, to prevent U.S. power from "irritating" and retarding the progress of uniting Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. into a new 21st century super-regional governing body.
Robert Pastor also advises the creation of a North American Parliamentary Group to make sure the U.S. Congress does not impede progress in the envisioned North American Union. He has also called for the creation of a North American Customs and Immigration Service which would have authority over U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within the Department of Homeland Security.
Pastor's 2001 book "Toward a North American Community" called for the creation of a North American Union that would perfect the defects Pastor believes limit the progress of the European Union. Much of Pastor's thinking appears aimed at limiting the power and sovereignty of the United States as we enter this new super-regional entity. Pastor has also called for the creation of a new currency which he has coined the "Amero," a currency that is proposed to replace the U.S. dollar, the Canadian dollar, and the Mexican peso.
If President Bush had run openly in 2004 on the proposition that a prime objective of his second term was to form the North American Union and to supplant the dollar with the "Amero," we doubt very much that President Bush would have carried Ohio, let alone half of the Red State majority he needed to win re-election. Pursuing any plan that would legalize the conservatively estimated 12 million illegal aliens now in the United States could well spell election disaster for the Republican Party in 2006, especially for the House of Representative where every seat is up for grabs.
Mr. Corsi is the author of several books, including "Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry" (along with John O'Neill), "Black Gold Stranglehold: The Myth of Scarcity and the Politics of Oil" (along with Craig R. Smith), and "Atomic Iran: How the Terrorist Regime Bought the Bomb and American Politicians." He is a frequent guest on the G. Gordon Liddy radio show. He will soon co-author a new book with Jim Gilchrist on the Minuteman Project.
"Iran May Already Have Nuclear Bomb: Expert
May 21, 2006
Press Trust of India
"Iran may already possess a nuclear bomb but is "smart" enough to pretend to be on the way to achieving nuclear capability so that it could induce concessions from the international community, an Israeli nuclear expert has claimed.
The Iranians are not necessarily presenting the true facts to the world and may be showing the IAEA dummy presentations of an unfinished bomb, while hiding a fully developed bomb elsewhere, former head of the Nuclear Engineering Department at Ben-Gurion University, Professor Zeev Alfassi, told Ynet.
Tehran may be holding the true bomb in caves or in underground facilities, Alfassi told the news portal.
However, he ruled out any chances that the Islamic Republic will use its nuclear capability saying, "their thinking is fantastic."
"The Iranians, in terms of threats, are smarter than everyone. They threaten with a bomb and the world gives them anything they want, as long as they dont throw the bomb", the expert said.
"Being offered a reward instead of a punishment testifies to the fact that they are very smart," he added.
Alfassi said even five to six bombs won't destroy the Jewish state. A nuclear bomb could definitely hit an entire city, but not destroy a state, he said.
However, if the Iranians fire even one bomb, the United States will annihilate them, the nuclear expert noted suggesting, "If we don't create panic, the Americans won't deal with it."
Alfassi called on the public to recognise the true proportions of the threat claiming that heat and shock waves and not radioactivity factor was the most severe damages by the bomb.
Radioactive material can even aid in treating diseases like cancer, he said noting that even if a nuclear bomb scatters poisonous matter, the danger is not great.
"It's like giving people over 50 a regular dose of aspirin. It would be reasonable if someone was told to stand in a radioactive cell because it could eliminate the development of cancer," Alfassi told the portal.
As part of his research he experimented on rats and dogs, and found out that in Japan the method is used to treat cancer patients.
The professor's recently edited, "Chemical analyses and nuclear methods," has been translated to Persian.
The book does not divulge any information on the atomic bomb but Tehran closely tracks the publication of any book about nuclear science, he said."
Follow link at bottom for photo of ship.
"Warship built out of Twin Towers wreckage
By Tom Baldwin
"In a shipyard in New Orleans, survivors of one disaster are building a monument to another
The USS New York is being built in New Orleans using steel from the September 11 attack on the World Trade Centre (PAIGE EATON)
IN A city still emerging from the floods of Hurricane Katrina, a ship has begun to rise from the ashes of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Bringing together America's two great calamities of the 21st century, the USS New York is being built in New Orleans with 24 tonnes of steel taken from the collapsed World Trade Centre.
There is no shortage of scrap metal in New Orleans these days, but the girders taken from Ground Zero have been treated with a reverence usually accorded to religious relics. After a brief ceremony in 2003, about seven tonnes of steel were melted down and poured into a cast to make the bow section of the ship's hull.
Some shipworkers say the hairs stood up on the backs of their necks the first time they touched it. Others have postponed their retirement so they can be part of the project.
One worker, Tony Quaglino, said: "I was going to go in October 2004 after 40 years here, but I put it off when I found out I could be working on New York. This is sacred and it makes me very proud." Glen Clement, a paint superintendent, said: "Nobody passes by that bow section without knocking on it. Everybody knows what it is made from and what it's about."
The ship is being built by Northrop Grumman on the banks of the Mississippi. It should be ready to join the US Navy in 2007.
Later vessels in its class will include USS Arlington - named after the section of the Pentagon that was also hit by an airliner on September 11 - and USS Somerset, in memory of United Flight 93, which crashed in a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, on the same day as passengers struggled with al-Qaeda hijackers.
Mr Clement said it would be fitting if USS New York's first mission was to capture Osama bin Laden. He said: "They hit us first, but out of a tragedy a good thing has come, in that we're building a ship which can help take those people out."
The $1 billion vessel is one of a new generation of amphibious assault ships capable of landing a 700-strong Marines assault force on a coastline almost anywhere without the need for a port.
Woody Oge, Northrop Grumman's director of operations in New Orleans, was keen to play down suggestions that the ship might be used to spearhead invasions.
He pointed out that LPD vessels had been used as much for humanitarian assistance as for war. One such ship, USS Boxer, was dispatched to help to deal with the aftermath of Katrina.
Although the hurricane smashed its way through the shipyard last summer, the half-completed New York survived intact. The same cannot be said for the homes of some of its builders. About 200 are still living at the shipyard in the hastily set up "Camp Katrina".
They include Earl Jones. More than eight months after Katrina, he does not know if his home in the Lower Ninth ward will be rebuilt. "The insurance company won't even talk to us," he said. "We're having to hire lawyers to chase 'em. I don't like this, but I don't want to be out of work."
Mr Jones's wife was evacuated to Baton Rouge and is seriously ill with breast cancer and pneumonia. He said: "She ain't handling very well me being away all the time."
Katrina and 9/11 are two disasters that continue to produce very different responses from America. Mr Jones does not want his old home enshrined in a $1 billion fighting machine, but a small cheque from the insurance firm might help.
FORCE OF LIBERTY
USS New York, USS Arlington and USS Somerset will be part of a nine-vessel fleet of new amphibious transport ships
Length: 208.5m (684ft) - more than twice as long as the Statue of Liberty
Beam: 31.9m (105ft); weight: 24,900 tonnes; speed: 22 knots
Equipment: helicopters, landing craft, amphibious vehicles, missile launchers
Crew: more than 1,000, comprising 361 ship's company plus 699 marines "
Weather and outdoor related photos by amateurs and professionals. Free membership to upload your own photos. Of course they have radar plus other weather related tools but the photos keep me coming back.
From Drudgereport.com headline.
Why am I NOT happy about this????????
Members in the Council of Foreign Relations at bottom.
"North American Union to Replace USA?
By Jerome R. Corsi
Source Human Events Online
"President Bush is pursuing a globalist agenda to create a North American Union, effectively erasing our borders with both Mexico and Canada. This was the hidden agenda behind the Bush administration's true open borders policy.
Secretly, the Bush administration is pursuing a policy to expand NAFTA to include Canada, setting the stage for North American Union designed to encompass the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. What the Bush administration truly wants is the free, unimpeded movement of people across open borders with Mexico and Canada.
President Bush intends to abrogate U.S. sovereignty to the North American Union, a new economic and political entity which the President is quietly forming, much as the European Union has formed.
The blueprint President Bush is following was laid out in a 2005 report entitled "Building a North American Community" published by the left-of-center Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The CFR report connects the dots between the Bush administration's actual policy on illegal immigration and the drive to create the North American Union:
At their meeting in Waco, Texas, at the end of March 2005, U.S. President George W. Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox, and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin committed their governments to a path of cooperation and joint action. We welcome this important development and offer this report to add urgency and specific recommendations to strengthen their efforts.
What is the plan? Simple, erase the borders. The plan is contained in a "Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America" little noticed when President Bush and President Fox created it in March 2005:
In March 2005, the leaders of Canada, Mexico, and the United States adopted a Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP), establishing ministerial-level working groups to address key security and economic issues facing North America and setting a short deadline for reporting progress back to their governments. President Bush described the significance of the SPP as putting forward a common commitment "to markets and democracy, freedom and trade, and mutual prosperity and security." The policy framework articulated by the three leaders is a significant commitment that will benefit from broad discussion and advice. The Task Force is pleased to provide specific advice on how the partnership can be pursued and realized.
To that end, the Task Force proposes the creation by 2010 of a North American community to enhance security, prosperity, and opportunity. We propose a community based on the principle affirmed in the March 2005 Joint Statement of the three leaders that "our security and prosperity are mutually dependent and complementary." Its boundaries will be defined by a common external tariff and an outer security perimeter within which the movement of people, products, and capital will be legal, orderly and safe. Its goal will be to guarantee a free, secure, just, and prosperous North America.
The perspective of the CFR report allows us to see President Bush's speech to the nation as nothing more than public relations posturing and window dressing. No wonder President Vincente Fox called President Bush in a panic after the speech. How could the President go back on his word to Mexico by actually securing our border? Not to worry, President Bush reassured President Fox. The National Guard on the border were only temporary, meant to last only as long until the public forgets about the issue, as has always been the case in the past.
The North American Union plan, which Vincente Fox has every reason to presume President Bush is still following, calls for the only border to be around the North American Union -- not between any of these countries. Or, as the CFR report stated:
The three governments should commit themselves to the long-term goal of dramatically diminishing the need for the current intensity of the governments’ physical control of cross-border traffic, travel, and trade within North America. A long-term goal for a North American border action plan should be joint screening of travelers from third countries at their first point of entry into North America and the elimination of most controls over the temporary movement of these travelers within North America.
Discovering connections like this between the CFR recommendations and Bush administration policy gives credence to the argument that President Bush favors amnesty and open borders, as he originally said. Moreover, President Bush most likely continues to consider groups such as the Minuteman Project to be "vigilantes," as he has also said in response to a reporter's question during the March 2005 meeting with President Fox.
Why doesn’t President Bush just tell the truth? His secret agenda is to dissolve the United States of America into the North American Union. The administration has no intent to secure the border, or to enforce rigorously existing immigration laws. Securing our border with Mexico is evidently one of the jobs President Bush just won't do. If a fence is going to be built on our border with Mexico, evidently the Minuteman Project is going to have to build the fence themselves. Will President Bush protect America's sovereignty, or is this too a job the Minuteman Project will have to do for him?
"Senator William H. Frist, M.D. - U.S. Senator, Tennessee - U.S. Senate Majority Leader
"Before Easter, the Senate began debate on a comprehensive immigration reform bill, and Republicans were prepared to strengthen the legislation with amendments making the American people safer and more secure.
Shortly before recess, however, Democrats refused to allow any amendments. For an issue this complex, important and controversial, that was simply unacceptable.
My Republican colleagues and I refused to allow tactics of partisan obstruction to stand in the way of achieving meaningful immigration reform. And when the Senate resumed consideration this week, we began offering amendments that have vastly improved the bill.
I invite you to take the opportunity to read through a few of the Republican amendments that passed with my support this week -- and consider how comprehensive immigration reform legislation might have looked without them.
The Senate adopted an amendment by Senator Sessions that would direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to construct at least 370 miles of triple-layered fence and 500 miles of vehicle barrier at strategic locations along the southwest border.
The Senate approved an amendment by Senators Kyl, Graham, Cornyn and Allen to close a loophole in the bill that would allow criminal aliens to obtain legal status. The amendment clarifies that any illegal alien who is ineligible for a visa, or who has been convicted of a felony or three misdemeanors, is ineligible for a green card.
The Senate voted in favor of an amendment by Senator Inhofe to require that English be declared the national language of the United States. It also provides that the English language is the default language for government communication and that no person has a right to have the government communicate in any language other than English unless otherwise authorized or provided by law. The amendment also establishes goals for the redesign of the ongoing naturalization exam requiring that those taking the test demonstrate an understanding of English and of American history. Lastly, the amendment would change provisions in the bill that allow an unauthorized alien to meet the current English language exam by enrolling in an English language class.
The Senate adopted an amendment by Senator Cornyn to strike the ability of future temporary workers to obtain a green card by self-petitioning for one. Green cards could only be obtained if an employer sponsored the application."
"Border Patrol: Fence Stops 95% of Illegals
"The plan passed by the Senate yesterday to build a fence along the U.S.-Mexican border is far and away the most effective means to halt illegal immigration, according to the federal agents who have been struggling with the problem for decades.
More than a ten years ago, the federal government built a fence along the San Diego sector in California. Ed Henry, assistant chief of the Border Patrol for that region, says that the impact was immediate.
"Apprehensions here are down a staggering 95 percent, from 100,000 a year to 5,000," he told National Public Radio last month.
Henry described a triple-layered fence that sounds similar to the one proposed in the Senate plan."The first fence, ten feet high is made of welded metal panels," reported NPR. "The second fence is 15 feet high, steel mesh with the top angled inward to make climbing even tougher. Finally, in high traffic areas, there's also a smaller chain linked fence.
"In between the two main fences," said Henry, "is a one-hundred-fifty foot no man's land, where the Border Patrol has lights, trucks, and soon, video cameras."
"Here in San Diego, we have proven that the border infrastructure system does, indeed, work," the San Diego border agent said. "It is highly effective."
Under the plan passed by the Senate yesterday, most of Arizona would be fenced off, including high traffic areas around Yuma, Nogales and Douglas. Less populated areas to the east would be protected by 500 miles of vehicles barriers and virtual fencing."
Interesting thought .... just heard a call on the radio which suggests that those who voted in favor of tabling (not passing) this amendment are aiding and abetting criminal behavior in the US. Senate vote at the bottom.
Powerline's discussion with Sen. Frist.
"UPDATE: Senator Bill Frist expresses his unhappiness with the defeat of the Ensign amendment:
I believe that illegal immigrants who work in America with forged papers and false Social Security numbers should not qualify for the benefits owed to hard-working Americans.
Moreover, when illegals use false numbers, the American who possesses that number may face tax liability based on that illegal work, IRS audits, and numerous credit problems.
So, Senator Ensign proposed an amendment to the immigration reform legislation on the Senate floor that would guarantee that illegal aliens cannot accumulate credit to qualify for Social Security using false Social Security numbers.
Senator Ensign's amendment represents common sense and fiscal responsibility by refusing to reward illegal work when Social Security is facing such long-term difficulties. I strongly supported the amendment and I voted for it.
Unfortunately, common sense and fiscal responsibility are all too rare in Washington, D.C. So, despite my efforts, the Ensign Amendment failed this afternoon by a vote of 49-50.
(Another comment about social security from a correspondent)
"Since LBJ made Social Security a part of the general fund, there hasn't been a dime of witholding sitting and waiting for anything. Any monies collected for social security are spent on things like a bridge in Alaska, or a new highway for Trent Lott."
"Illegals granted Social Security
By Charles Hurt
Source THE WASHINGTON TIMES
|Question: On the Motion to Table (Motion to Table Ensign Amdt. No. 3985 )|
|Vote Number:||130||Vote Date:||May 18, 2006, 12:50 PM|
|Required For Majority:||1/2||Vote Result:||Motion to Table Agreed to|
|Amendment Number:||S.Amdt. 3985 to S. 2611 (Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 )|
|Statement of Purpose:||To reduce document fraud, prevent identity theft, and preserve the integrity of the Social Security system, by ensuring that persons who receive an adjustment of status under this bill are not able to receive Social Security benefits as a result of unlawful activity.|
|Not Voting - 1|
"The securities class-action law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman was charged today with several criminal counts, including obstructing justice, perjury, bribery and fraud.
The 20-count indictment, handed up by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles, represents the most prominent confrontation between the government and a law firm in years. While federal regulators won multimillion-dollar settlement from big corporate law firms over their role in the savings and loan scandals, no major law firm has faced a criminal indictment in recent memory.
Milberg Weiss has been the dominant law firm in winning multimillion-dollar lawsuits against huge corporations on behalf of shareholders who claimed they were wronged. Its success was so great that Congress raised the legal hurdle for winning such lawsuits in the 1990's. " .......................
"Why Isn't Socialism Dead?
By Lee Harris
Source Tech Central Station Daily
"The President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, celebrated May Day by ordering soldiers to occupy his country's natural gas fields. The purpose of this exercise was not military, but economic: Morales has demanded that all foreign companies currently operating these fields must sign a contract with Bolivia that would allow them to retain only 18% of the production, while the remainder would go to Bolivia's state-owned oil company. The 18% concession to the foreign companies was not an act of generosity on the part of Morales, but simply of expediency: Bolivia needs these companies to tap its natural gas resources, because it is unable, at least at present, to operate the natural gas fields on its own.
Morales, a fiery populist who was elected in a landslide, is clearly seen as following in the footsteps of Venezuela's own firebrand populist President Hugo Chavez. Furthermore, only last week, Morales and Chavez met with Fidel Castro, enacting a kind of socialist love-fest that issued in a partnership agreement aimed at creating a web of economic alliances in South America that would resist the insidious lure of American-style free trade -- its ultimate aim would be economic autarky for the region, free from foreign control.
In addition to sending in the troops, Morales is also sending forth a good bit of inflammatory rhetoric. He refers to the foreign companies operating Bolivia's natural resources as having "looted" them, and his decision to send in troops on the traditional socialist holiday, May the First, was clearly not a coincidence. In a similar vein, Morales' mentor, Hugo Chavez, has also been preaching that to be rich is to be wicked, while to be poor is to be virtuous -- and though he may be quoting scripture to support his arguments, there can be no serious question that Chavez-style populism is simply socialism with a South American accent.
And this leads to the question I want to address, namely, Why isn't socialism dead?
The Peruvian economist, Hernando de Soto, has argued in his book, The Mystery of Capital, that the failure of the various socialist experiments of the twentieth century has left mankind with only one rational choice about which economic system to go with, namely, capitalism. Socialism, he maintained, has been so discredited that any further attempt to revive it would be sheer irrationality. But if this is the case, which I personally think it is, then why are we witnessing what certainly appears to be a revival of socialist rhetoric and even socialist pseudo-solutions, such as the nationalization of foreign companies?
It should be stressed that de Soto is not arguing that, after the many socialist failures of the twentieth century, capitalism has became historically inevitable and that its expansion would occur according to some imaginary iron clad laws without any need for active intervention. On the contrary, de Soto is fully aware of the enormous obstacles to the expansion of capitalism, especially in regions like South America, and his book is full of dismal statistics that demonstrate the uphill battle against bureaucratic red-tape that is involved in getting a business license or even buying a house in many third world countries. But, here again, the question arises, If capitalism is mankind's only rational alternative, why do so many of the governments of third world nations make it so extraordinarily difficult for ordinary people to take the first small steps on the path of free enterprise?
For de Soto, the solution lies in democratizing capital. Minimize state interference. Cut the red-tape. Make it simple to start up a business. Devise ways for the poor to capitalize on their modest assets. If a person in the USA can get a loan based on the value of his $200,000 home, why shouldn't a much poorer fellow get a loan based on the value of his $2,000 shack?
These are all sensible ideas; they are all based on de Soto's belief that the only way to help the poor in the third world is to get the bloated bureaucratic state off their backs, and permit them to use their own creative initiative to do what so many poor immigrants to the USA were able to do in our past -- to start out as micro-entrepreneurs, and to work their way up to wealth and often fabulous riches. But again, we come back to the same question, only in a different form, Why are the people in Bolivia and Venezuela responding so enthusiastically to the socialist siren-song of Evo Morales and Hugo Chavez, instead of heeding the eminently rational counsel of Hernando de Soto? Why are they clamoring to give even more power and control to the state, instead of seeking to free themselves from the very obstacle that stands in the way of any genuine economic progress?
When Hernando de Soto asserts that capitalism is the only rational alternative left to mankind, he is maintaining that capitalism is the alternative that human beings ought to take because it is the rational thing to do. But what human beings ought to do and what they actually do are often two quite different things. For human beings frequently act quite irrationally, and without the least consideration of what economist called their "enlightened self-interest." And it is in this light that we must approach the problem, Why isn't socialism dead?
The Role of Myth
To try to answer this question, I want to return again to Georges Sorel.
National Review's Jonah Goldberg, in his response to my earlier piece on Sorel, made the excellent point that I had left out of my discussion what is unquestionably the heart of Sorel's thinking, namely, his concept of myth, and, in particular, his notion of the revolutionary myth. Furthermore, Jonah pointed out that Sorel's myth was a repudiation of what Marx has called "scientific socialism."
For Marx, scientific socialism had nothing to do with what Marx called utopian socialism; indeed, it was Marx's boast that he was the first socialist thinker to escape from the lure of fantasy thinking that had previously passed for socialist thought. Utopian socialists love to dream up ideal schemes for organizing human life; they engage in wishful politics, and design all sorts of utterly impractical but theoretically perfect social systems, none of which has the slightest chance of ever being actualized in concrete reality. For Marx, on the other hand, socialism had to be taken down from the clouds, and set firmly on the ground. Thus Marx, instead of spending his time writing about imaginary utopias, dedicated his life in trying to prove -- scientifically no less -- that socialism was not merely desirable, but historically inevitable. Capitalism, he argued, had been a good thing; a necessary step that mankind had to take to advance forward; but, according to Marx, capitalism would eventually suffer from an internal breakdown. It would simply stop producing the goods. Like feudalism before it, capitalism was inevitably bound to pass away as a viable system of social organization, and then, and only then, would socialism triumph.
But in this case, what was the role of the revolutionary? For Marx, it made no sense for revolutionaries to overthrow capitalism before it had fulfilled its historical destiny; on the contrary, to overthrow capitalism before it collapsed internally would be counter-productive: the precondition of viable socialism was, after all, a fully matured capitalist system that had already revolutionized the world through its amazing ability to organize labor, to make the best use of natural resources, to internationalize commerce and industry, and to create enormous wealth. Therefore, for Marx, there was no point in revolution for the sake of revolution. Instead, the would-be revolutionary had to learn to be patient; he had to wait until the capitalist system had failed on its own account, and only then would he be able to play out his historical role.
Yet even here the role of the revolutionary would be severely limited; there would only be a need for revolutionary violence if the dwindling class of capitalists were themselves prepared to use violence to defend their own political supremacy. This explains why Marx, toward the end of his life, argued that in the United States, which he regarded as the most progressive nation in the world, the transition from capitalism to socialism could in fact take place without any need for violent revolution at all -- the whole process, he said, could be brought about democratically and without bloodshed.
The school of Marxism represented by Eduard Bernstein adapted this approach in regard to all the advanced capitalist nations of Europe, especially Germany. Known as "revisionism," this form of Marxism came to dominate the socialist parties of Europe before the First World War, and, in particular, the German Social Democrats who demonstrated their repudiation of revolutionary violence by taking part in the German Parliament, of which they made up an enormous bloc. For them, there was a peaceful and democratic path to socialism. Not only would socialism itself be rational; it would also emerge rationally, and without any need for anyone to man the barricades or to seize by violence the state apparatus.
It was this approach that Sorel entirely rejected. As Jonah Goldberg writes: "Sorel had contempt for socialists who wanted to make their case with facts and reason. Sorel called the prominent Italian socialist Enrico Ferri, one of those 'retarded people who believe in the sovereign power of science' and who believed that socialism could be demonstrated 'as one demonstrates the laws of the equilibrium of fluids.' True revolutionaries needed to abandon 'rationalistic prejudices' in favor of the power of Myth."
But why did Sorel, trained as an engineer and knowledgeable about science, reject scientific socialism? The answer, I think, is that Sorel suspected that socialism, in practice, simply might not ever really work. Jonah Goldberg points out Sorel "remained at best agnostic" about whether the General Strike would usher in socialism; but I would go further: Sorel himself was skeptical not only about the efficacy of the General Strike, but about the possibility of socialism as a viable economic system.
For example, in the introduction to Reflections on Violence, Sorel says that the French thinker Renan "was very surprised to discover that Socialists are beyond discouragement." He then quotes Renan's comment about the indefatigable perseverance of socialists: "After each abortive experiment they recommence their work: the solution is not yet found, but it will be. The idea that no solution exists never occurs to them, and in this lies their strength." (Italics mine.)
Sorel's response to Renan's comment is not to say, "Renan is wrong; there is a socialist solution, and one day we will find it." Instead, he focuses on the fact that socialists gain their strength precisely from their refusal to recognize that no socialist solution exists. "No failure proves anything against Socialism since the latter has become a work of preparation (for revolution); if they are checked, it merely proves that their apprenticeship has been insufficient; they must set to work again with more courage, persistence, and confidence than before...." But what is the point for Sorel of this refusal to accept the repeated historical failure of socialism? Here again, Sorel refuses to embrace the orthodox position of socialist optimism; he does not say, "Try, try, try again, for one day socialism will succeed." Instead, he argues that it is only by refusing to accept the failure of socialism that one can become a "true revolutionary." Indeed, for Sorel, the whole point of the myth of the socialist revolution is not that the human societies will be transformed in the distant future, but that the individuals who dedicate their lives to this myth will be transformed into comrades and revolutionaries in the present. In short, revolution is not a means to achieve socialism; rather, the myth of socialism is a useful illusion that turns ordinary men into comrades and revolutionaries united in a common struggle -- a band of brothers, so to speak.
Sorel, for whom religion was important, drew a comparison between the Christian and the socialist revolutionary. The Christian's life is transformed because he accepts the myth that Christ will one day return and usher in the end of time; the revolutionary socialist's life is transformed because he accepts the myth that one day socialism will triumph, and justice for all will prevail. What mattered for Sorel, in both cases, is not the scientific truth or falsity of the myth believed in, but what believing in the myth does to the lives of those who have accepted it, and who refuse to be daunted by the repeated failure of their apocalyptic expectations. How many times have Christians in the last two thousand years been convinced that the Second Coming was at hand, only to be bitterly disappointed -- yet none of these disappointments was ever enough to keep them from holding on to their great myth. So, too, Sorel argued, the myth of socialism will continue to have power, despite the various failures of socialist experiments, so long as there are revolutionaries who are unwilling to relinquish their great myth. That is why he rejected scientific socialism -- if it was merely science, it lacked the power of a religion to change individual's lives. Thus for Sorel there was "an...analogy between religion and the revolutionary Socialism which aims at the apprenticeship, preparation, and even the reconstruction of the individual -- a gigantic task."
It should be emphasized here that when Renan spoke about the repeated failure of socialist experiments, he was referring to the rather modest and small-scaled experiments undertaken by various utopian socialists of the nineteenth century. In 1906, neither he nor Sorel knew that in the dawning century there would be socialist experiments far beyond the scope and scale of Brook Farm or the Owenite communes. They could hardly envision entire nations falling into the hands of men who thought of themselves as dedicated revolutionaries -- avowed communists like Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao, and Ho Chi Min, but also avowed fascists, like Mussolini and Hitler. The Nazis regarded themselves as genuine revolutionaries, and they call themselves revolutionaries, just as they always referred to their take-over of the German state as their revolution: for the Nazi, their revolution, and not the Bolshevik revolution, represented true socialism -- national socialism.
Can Socialism Die?
In light of the horrors brought about in the twentieth century by the revolutionary myth of socialism, it is easy to sympathize with those who believe mankind could not possibly be tempted to try the socialist experiment again. If the liberal rationalist Renan was surprised that "Socialists were beyond discouragement" at the beginning of the twentieth century, how much more surprised must his contemporary counterparts be to discover that socialism is also beyond discouragement at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Yet this is a lesson that Evo Morales and Hugo Chavez, under the guidance of their mentor, Fidel Castro, seem determined to impress upon us.
It may well be that socialism isn't dead because socialism cannot die. As Sorel argued, the revolutionary myth may, like religion, continue to thrive in "the profounder regions of our mental life," in those realms unreachable by mere reason and argument, where even a hundred proofs of failure are insufficient to wean us from those primordial illusions that we so badly wish to be true. Who doesn't want to see the wicked and the arrogant put in their place? Who among the downtrodden and the dispossessed can fail to be stirred by the promise of a world in which all men are equal, and each has what he needs?
Here we have the problem facing those who, like Hernando de Soto, believe that capitalism is the only rational alternative left after the disastrous collapse of so many socialist experiments. Yes, capitalism is the only rational method of proceeding; but is the mere appeal to reason sufficient to make the mass of men and women, especially among the poor and the rejected, shut their ears to those who promise them the socialist apocalypse, especially when the men who are making these promises possess charisma and glamour, and are willing to stand up, in revolutionary defiance, to their oppressors?
The shrewd and realistic Florentine statesman and thinker, Guicciardini, once advised: "Never fight against religion...this concept has too much empire over the minds of men." And to the extent that socialism is a religion, then those who wish to fight it with mere reason and argument may well be in for a losing battle. Furthermore, as populism spreads, it is inevitable that the myth of socialism will gain in strength among the people who have the least cause to be happy with their place in the capitalist world-order, and who will naturally be overjoyed to put their faith in those who promise them a quick fix to their poverty and an end to their suffering.
Thus, in the coming century, those who are advocates of capitalism may well find themselves confronted with "a myth gap." Those who, like Chavez, Morales, and Castro, are preaching the old time religion of socialism may well be able to tap into something deeper and more primordial than mere reason and argument, while those who advocate the more rational path of capitalism may find that they have few listeners among those they most need to reach -- namely, the People. Worse, in a populist democracy, the People have historically demonstrated a knack of picking as their leaders those know the best and most efficient way to by-pass their reason -- demagogues who can reach deep down to their primordial and, alas, often utterly irrational instincts. This, after all, has been the genius of every great populist leader of the past, as it is proving to be the genius of those populist leaders who are now springing up around the world, from Bolivia to Iran.
This is why socialism isn't dead, and why in our own century it may well spring back into life with a force and vigor shocking to those who have, with good reason, declared socialism to be no longer viable. It is also why Georges Sorel is perhaps even more relevant today than he was a hundred years ago. He knew that it was hopeless to guide men by reason and argument alone. Men need myths -- and until capitalism can come up with a transformative myth of its own, it may well be that many men will prefer to find their myths in the same place they found them in the first part of the twentieth century -- the myth of revolutionary socialism.
This is the challenge that capitalism faces in the world today -- whether it will rise to the challenge is perhaps the most urgent question of our time, and those who refuse to confront this challenge are doing no service to reason or to human dignity and freedom. Bad myths can only be driven out by better myths, and unless capitalism can provide a better myth than socialism, the latter will again prevail. "
Lee Harris is author of Civilization and Its Enemies. "
Directly quoted from Powerlineblog.com about the US Senate vote yesterday.
http://powerlineblog.com/ for more discussion on the matter.
This is going to be good if it's true. Picked it up via Powerline to The Strata-Sphere.
Live links embedded.
The most interesting part of this political and ideological cage match is that few of the usual labels have much utility. President Bush and Senator Kennedy agree on a lot. Howard Dean and Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, can sound like conservative Republicans in their demands to close the border. Weekly Standard editor and Fox News sage Bill Kristol declares himself a “liberal” on immigration and “soft” on illegal immigration. Both the Weekly Standard and the editors of the Wall Street Journal consider National Review to be part of the mob of “yahoos” trying, in Kristol’s words, to drive the GOP “off a cliff.”
So this seems like a propitious time to ask: What if illegal immigrants were crack?
It’s not such a crazy comparison, by the way. There’s a reason why the drug war and illegal immigration have similar scripts, even though the actors reading the lines change.
The overwhelming majority of drugs entering this country cross the U.S.-Mexican border. Indeed, in the 1990s, to the extent that the debate over building a wall along the border got any traction, it stemmed from the war on drugs, not a war on illegal immigration. The steel fence constructed between San Diego and Tijuana—which works quite well, by the way—was built to stop drug traffickers, not gardeners.
Meanwhile, labels like “Left” and “Right,” “liberal” and “conservative” don’t get you very far when debating the drug war either. For example, National Review is foursquare against the drug war (though I dissent from my colleagues on this front). Meanwhile, the Weekly Standard has been a staunch supporter of the drug war, even taking hawkish positions on medical marijuana.
In 1996, NR’s editors wrote:
t is our judgment that the war on drugs has failed, that it is diverting intelligent energy away from how to deal with the problem of addiction, that it is wasting our resources, and that it is encouraging civil, judicial, and penal procedures associated with police states.
Similar arguments—from La Raza to Jack Kemp, Ted Kennedy to Ben Stein—fill the air today, with charges that immigration officials are a new “Gestapo.”
“How many border guards would it take to make the U.S.-Mexican border impenetrable?” asked the Washington Post this week. “The answer ... is: It depends. It depends on how much money people are willing to spend and how many trappings of a police state they’re willing to accept.”
There are other similarities. For many, “comprehensive reform” really means decriminalizing and de-stigmatizing illegal immigration just as “reform” of our drug laws translates to the same thing for drug use. Charges of racism echo each other in both debates as well. Somehow, it’s the fault of those favoring border security that most illegal immigrants are Mexicans and the fault of drug warriors that minorities are disproportionately in the drug trade.
But for me the most interesting similarity is the issue of futility and will. Drug-war doves claim that you can’t win the drug war because you can’t defeat the laws of supply and demand. As long as there is demand for drugs, there will be a supply, and no acceptable amount of militarization of the drug war will change that. This argument gets flipped on its head when it comes to immigration. Suddenly, militarization is essential to the top priority of cutting off supply.
But the fact is, in all likelihood your average illegal immigrant, desperate to start a new life for himself and provide for his family, will be no less determined to sell his labor than a drug dealer would be to sell his goods.
Some drug legalization advocates hang their position on a lot of moral preening about the absolute right of the individual to do what he wants. But many of the same people will then argue that it is—and should be—an outrageous crime to hire an illegal immigrant. Well, conservative economic dogma considers the right to form contracts with whomever you wish to be sacrosanct. It is “the socialist society” according to the philosopher Robert Nozick, “which would have to forbid capitalist acts between consenting adults.”
My point here is not to say one position is more right than the other. Drugs and immigration are, ultimately, very different things, and it’s the differences that explain why the analogy isn’t perfect. Citizenship, sovereignty, rule of law: These things are rendered meaningless if the distinction between legal and illegal immigration is meaningless.
But the key similarity is important. Most opponents of the drug war came to their position because they consider the effort worthy in principle, but ultimately futile in the face of a more determined “enemy,” and a bit silly since the gains of winning aren’t that important to them. The burgeoning war against illegal immigration has already been preemptively surrendered by many for roughly the same reasons. What that says about America probably depends on what you think about illegal immigrants or drugs. "
I don't know who - what - where with the Senate bill on immigration but they have their heads squarely where no sun shines ..... they're totally out of touch with reality.
First section is what Republican Senator Isakson says. Georgia's Republican Senator Chambliss is even more conservative so don't believe Georgia is dropping the ball(s).
However, it sounds like some other senators from other states need to find theirs.
Contact Washington through email or fax or phone ... it's my understanding since the anthrax scare that they simply don't open snail mail.
Embedded live links.
Weighing in is Powerlineblog.com
"Reconquista, Here We Come!
"The Heritage Foundation and Senator Jeff Sessions try to blow the whistle on the Senate's compromise immigration "reform" bill, via the Washington Times: (article below)
"mistake" = agenda ........... it's getting VERY old. Shameful and tasteless.
Then again .. it could just be a lack of skill in the control room. Good help is hard to find these days."
Chattering class socialists always "know what's best for us" but taking a look at European social engineering shows they don't have a clue out where the rubber meets the road.
"Reality of the Leisure Class
By Constantin Gurdgiev
Source Tech Central Station Daily Europe
"Andrew Carnegie's century-old conjecture asserts that large inheritance will decrease a person's labor-force participation. The idle wealthy classes aside, a somewhat different proposition applies for the working classes: a decrease in after-tax real income through higher taxation of wages and consumption will, in general, lead to falling hours worked and less leisure time.
From the point of view of European policymakers, accustomed to chronic unemployment, it is the latter part of this proposition that presents the greatest problem. Proponents of the European social model have argued that the excessively long hours worked by Americans cannot be accepted by European workers, who are willing to sacrifice higher income for more quality leisure. This implies that the European social model, with higher taxes, more social spending and severe restrictions on work time and working conditions, yields more free time to be spent on cultural activities, education, travel, family and friends.
There is, however, one problem with this idea: it is simply not true.
The latest evidence from the US Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the University of Chicago shows that while the length of the average work-week has been nearly steady in the US over the last four decades, the leisure time available to the American workers has risen even faster. According to the study's authors, Mark Aguiar and Erik Hurst,
"...between 1965 and 2003 leisure for men increased by 6-8 hours per week (driven by a decline in market work hours) and for women by 4-8 hours per week (driven by a decline in home production work hours). This increase in leisure corresponds to roughly an additional 5 to 10 weeks of vacation per year, assuming a 40-hour work week. We also find that leisure increased during the last 40 years for a number of sub-samples of the population, with less-educated adults experiencing the largest increases."
Thus, for women, paid working hours are getting longer; for men, they are falling. But unpaid working hours in household services, for both men and women, have been falling even faster. Thus, total work hours declined and leisure increased.
The second point made in the above quote is even more revealing. Apparently, it is the lower-educated, lower-income groups that are seeing the greatest expansion in leisure time. If the European Social Engineers are right and more leisure leads to a more meaningful and more satisfying life, the American model implies that the greatest beneficiaries of more flexible labor markets are the poor. This does make European complaints about increasing income inequality in the US somewhat fallacious.
Another myth is that Americans work more than Europeans. By now, a wealth of studies have found very little difference in work and leisure times between American and European employees, once one takes into the account the hours spent working in household production of trivial home services.
A January 2003 study from IZA-Berlin compared Americans and Germans and found that "...overall working time is very similar on both sides of the Atlantic. Americans spend more time on market work but Germans invest more in household production." According to the authors "...these differences in the allocation of time can be explained by differences in the tax-wedge and wage differentials."
The tax-wedge is a measure of tax burden that combines income tax, employment tax and consumption taxes to assess the overall effect of government levies on household income.
Ronald Schettkat of Utrecht University confirms that "...when time in household production is included, overall working time is very similar on both sides of the Atlantic" and shows that American men work almost exactly the same hours, paid and unpaid, as German men, while American women work actually 1.5 hours a week less than their German counterparts.
Conny Olovson of Stockholm University conducted a comparative analysis of the effects of tax regimes in Sweden and the US on labor market decisions by the households. The study found that while "market work per person is roughly 10% higher in the US than in Sweden, including home production on the side of work hours reduces the difference to approximately 1%". Just as before, higher labor and consumption taxes were responsible for the majority of the observed differences in the household decision to purchase or to supply home services using their own labor.
There is more to the story of the different labor markets found across the Atlantic than the simple home vs. firm production hours story told so far suggests. Thomas Sargent and Lars Ljungqvist in their 1997 paper show that the persistently high unemployment that plagued the European economies since the 1970s can be attributed to a large extent to the "welfare states' diminished ability to cope with more turbulent economic times, such as the ongoing restructuring from manufacturing to the service industry, adoption of new technologies and a rapidly changing international economy". Furthermore, the authors show that the European Social Welfare states' approach to the labor markets regulations is conducive to cumulative losses of skills in the economies with high unemployment rates.
According to the 2004 study by Stephen Nickel of the London School of Economics, "Comparing ... France, Germany and Italy with the United States, the difference in the tax wedge (around 16 percentage points) would explain ...around one quarter of the overall difference in the employment rate." The remainder can be attributed to other Social Welfare state features of the European model including the substantial differences in the social security systems and labor market institutions. Omitting Italy from consideration, Edward Prescott shows that the effective marginal tax on labor income accounts for most of the differences in labor supply across the Atlantic.
Finally, using the data for the OECD economies, Steven Davis of the University of Chicago and Magnus Henrekson of the University of Stockholm showed that during the mid 1990s "a tax rate difference of 12.8 percentage points was associated with 122 fewer market work hours per adult per year, a drop of 4.9 percentage points in the employment-population ratio, and a rise in the shadow economy equal to 3.8 percent of GDP. It also leads to 10 to 30 percent lower employment and value added shares in (a) retail trade and repairs, (b) eating, drinking and lodging, and (c) a broader industry group that includes wholesale and motor trade." To put this into perspective, the current tax wedge between the US and the EU15 stands at 18 percent.
All of this evidence does not bode well for the European model. While generating lower incomes than the US-styled approach to labor markets regulations and taxation, the so-called socially caring Welfare States of Europe effectively imprison large percentage of their population in perpetual unemployment. As the unemployed lose skills due to jobs absence, those in paid employment are forced by higher taxation of their income and consumption to waste their time off work on largely unproductive activities such as house work and DIY.
Less regulation and more flexibility in the labor markets, coupled with lower taxation of income and consumption, delivers in reality what the European model only promises in theory."
As if we don't have enough diseases to be concerned over, here comes another.
May 12, 2006
KENS 5 Eyewitness News
If diseases like AIDS and bird flu scare you, wait until you hear what's next. Doctors are trying to find out what is causing a bizarre and mysterious infection that's surfaced in South Texas.
Morgellons disease is not yet known to kill, but if you were to get it, you might wish you were dead, as the symptoms are horrible.
"These people will have like beads of sweat but it's black, black and tarry," said Ginger Savely, a nurse practioner in Austin who treats a majority of these patients.
Patients get lesions that never heal.
"Sometimes little black specks that come out of the lesions and sometimes little fibers," said Stephanie Bailey, Morgellons patient.
Patients say that's the worst symptom — strange fibers that pop out of your skin in different colors.
"He'd have attacks and fibers would come out of his hands and fingers, white, black and sometimes red. Very, very painful," said Lisa Wilson, whose son Travis had Morgellon's disease.
While all of this is going on, it feels like bugs are crawling under your skin. So far more than 100 cases of Morgellons disease have been reported in South Texas.
"It really has the makings of a horror movie in every way," Savely said.
While Savely sees this as a legitimate disease, there are many doctors who simply refuse to acknowledge it exists, because of the bizarre symptoms patients are diagnosed as delusional.
"Believe me, if I just randomly saw one of these patients in my office, I would think they were crazy too," Savely said. "But after you've heard the story of over 100 (patients) and they're all — down to the most minute detail — saying the exact same thing, that becomes quite impressive."
Travis Wilson developed Morgellons just over a year ago. He called his mother in to see a fiber coming out of a lesion.
"It looked like a piece of spaghetti was sticking out about a quarter to an eighth of an inch long and it was sticking out of his chest," Lisa Wilson said. "I tried to pull it as hard as I could out and I could not pull it out."
The Wilson's spent $14,000 after insurance last year on doctors and medicine.
"Most of them are antibiotics. He was on Tamadone for pain. Viltricide, this was an anti-parasitic. This was to try and protect his skin because of all the lesions and stuff," Lisa said.
However, nothing worked, and 23-year-old Travis could no longer take it.
"I knew he was going to kill himself, and there was nothing I could do to stop him," Lisa Wilson said.
Just two weeks ago, Travis took his life.
Stephanie Bailey developed the lesions four-and-a-half years ago.
"The lesions come up, and then these fuzzy things like spores come out," she said.
She also has the crawling sensation.
"You just want to get it out of you," Bailey said.
She has no idea what caused the disease, and nothing has worked to clear it up.
"They (doctors) told me I was just doing this to myself, that I was nuts. So basically I stopped going to doctors because I was afraid they were going to lock me up," Bailey said.
Harriett Bishop has battled Morgellons for 12 years. After a year on antibiotics, her hands have nearly cleared up. On the day, we visited her she only had one lesion and she extracted this fiber from it.
"You want to get these things out to relieve the pain, and that's why you pull and then you can see the fibers there, and the tentacles are there, and there are millions of them," Bishop said.
So far, pathologists have failed to find any infection in the fibers pulled from lesions.
"Clearly something is physically happening here," said Dr. Randy Wymore, a researcher at the Morgellons Research Foundation at Oklahoma State University's Center for Health Sciences.
Wymore examines the fibers, scabs and other samples from Morgellon's patients to try and find the disease's cause.
"These fibers don't look like common environmental fibers," he said.
The goal at OSU is to scientifically find out what is going on. Until then, patients and doctors struggle with this mysterious and bizarre infection. Thus far, the only treatment that has showed some success is an antibiotic.
"It sounds a little like a parasite, like a fungal infection, like a bacterial infection, but it never quite fits all the criteria of any known pathogen," Savely said
No one knows how Morgellans is contracted, but it does not appear to be contagious. The states with the highest number of cases are Texas, California and Florida.
The only connection found so far is that more than half of the Morgellons patients are also diagnosed with Lyme disease.
For more information on Morgellons, visit the research foundation's Web site at www.morgellons.org.
Embedded live links.
"TROOPS TO THE BORDER? IT'S ABOUT TIME
With 8 out of 10 Americans wanting our border with Mexico shut down, it may just be that the politicians in Washington are starting to listen. Or at least maybe somebody at the Pentagon doesn't have their head stuck up their you know what. It all started yesterday. The House voted to allow the Pentagon to help the Department of Homeland Security secure the border.
Well! Let's get right to it. Our border with Mexico is 1,952 miles long...and spans four states. Let's send all the troops that aren't in Iraq down there to stop the invasion of illegal aliens. The orders could be simple: our border is shut down....anyone caught trying to cross will be stopped. Any one that fires on our troops will be treated like a hostile invading force. should stop the influx.
So now the Pentagon is working on a plan to send the National Guard down there to help. It's about time. The governors of the four border states have been jumping up and down for months asking for help from the feds. After all, it is the responsibility of the federal government to protect the borders.
Now there will be opposition to this. Some will say the Posse Comitatus Act prohibits federal troops from conducting law enforcement duties. They're wrong. They're stopping an invasion. If we can't use troops to stop an invasion, what can we use them for?
Besides...remember when Bush Senior sent the Marines to Los Angeles to put down the L.A. riots? It's been done before.
Boy, it's really hit the fan over this NSA wiretapping database. USA Today is reporting that the federal government has been keeping phone records on tens of millions of Americans, all with the help of AT&T, Verizon and (soon to be part of AT&T again) Bellsouth. Supposedly, the arrangement is that the calls are not listened to or recorded. Evidently the NSA analyzes the calling data...numbers dialed, duration and so forth...to detect any terrorist activity. Sort of like credit card companies tracking your spending patterns to search for fraud.
The president came out yesterday and insisted nothing was amiss, saying "The government does not listen to domestic phone calls without court approval. We're not mining or trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans." Members of Congress weren't swayed...lawmakers from both parties are quite upset. Expect investigations with the phone companies being hauled before Congress.
But people shouldn't be surprised. This has been going on for decades. The NSA was created in 1952 by Harry Truman, and has been spying ever since. In fact, there was a scandal 30 years ago that showed the NSA had been wiretapping for 20 years. It is outrageous that the government can do all of this without a warrant, but only a fool would believe they never do.
The moral of the story? Watch what you say into a telephone...because big brother might be listening --- or your husband could be on the extension.
Thanks to Powerlineblog.com for the heads up on this story.
You have to be a subscriber to access the rest of it so should you wish, click the lower link to see if you can find a suitable sign in.
"Iran Declares War
New York Sun Editorial
May 11, 2006
"President Ahmadinejad's letter to President Bush, widely interpreted as a peaceful overture, is in fact a declaration of war. The key sentence in the letter is the closing salutation. In an eight-page text of the letter being circulated by the Council on Foreign Relations, it is left untranslated and rendered as "Vasalam Ala Man Ataba'al hoda." What this means is "Peace only unto those who follow the true path."
It is a phrase with historical significance in Islam, for, according to Islamic tradition, in year six of the Hejira - the late 620s - the prophet Mohammad sent letters to the Byzantine emperor and the Sassanid emperor telling them to convert to the true faith of Islam or be conquered. The letters included the same phrase that President Ahmadinejad used to conclude his letter to Mr. Bush. For Mohammad, the letters were a prelude to a Muslim offensive, a war launched for the purpose of imposing Islamic rule over infidels." ....
This is the site of a storm chaser who has some excellent stills of midwest supercells, of tornados forming, also some great animal pictures. Amazing.
Bill Sammon, The Examiner
May 11, 2006 7:00 AM (4 hrs ago)
“The New York Times continues to ignore America’s economic progress,” blared the headline of an e-mail sent to reporters Wednesday by the White House press office. "..............
Taxes slow growth, by lessening purchasing power, lowering our standard of living because there is less money to spend on things that make our lives better.
Hatred of the rich is Marxist thinking which has been a core philosophy of US leftist (themselves very rich, well insulated, tax sheltered by the best tax attorneys their well protected $$$$$ can buy) politicians for years. Anything for votes including creating class warfare which is a tactic lifted directly from the communist playbook.
As I said in a comment on Todd's blog socialism and communism are fraternal twins.
We can learn much by the best socialist model going .... or better yet sputtering ..... the European Union and compare its economy to our own bustling, growing economy. No wonder they and our own leftist politicians want us to follow lock step behind the EU ............... to slow our economy into non-competition with theirs.
"Bloomberg columnist Amity Shlaes alerts TCS readers to the tax situation in Germany, and lessons for Americans:
Right now we're having an intense debate about the merits of the Bush tax program. But it is probably worthwhile to recognize that the idea of tax increases is not merely theoretical. The other half of the experiment is being carried out in Europe.
Germany has a budget problem and so is increasing the value added tax (VAT). To deliver what the budget teams demand, Germany has discovered to its own chagrin, a rather large tax increase is required. So Germany is now planning the largest tax increase in history, an increase in the Value Added Tax to 19 per cent from 16 percent. The government recognizes and is even openly acknowledging that the consequence will be lost growth. (For more on this, see my updates at Bloomberg).
As if that were not enough the Social Democrats are demanding and getting a "Reichensteuer," a rich man's tax. It is an increase in the top marginal rate of income tax, mainly just to demonstrate that they are good class warriors. Aside from scoring points for the left-leaning party, the only effect of that should be to drive the job-creators over to Belgium or Luxembourg. Or to other tax havens.
The Social Democrats are, to my mind, worse than their Marxist parents. Hey, everyone is wrong from time to time. At least the Marxists of West Europe were sincere! Did I mention that they are also talking about introducing expanding the capital gains tax so that it affects more individuals?
You really want to keep your eye on Chancellor Angela Merkel. The reality is that she is stuck in a grand coalition, which means she must share the leadership with the Social Democrats. Angela is clearly a "mensch'' and she is hard not to like after Gerhard Schroeder, who was so very plastic.
But you want to remember that she is by training a particle physicist. The first half of her career was about doing science from top down; in other words she is more of an engineer by philosophy than a gardener. Temperament matters in a leader. Even someone who hates communism viscerally, as Angela does, won't naturally be a free marketeer unless it fits in her personality. "
Amity Shlaes is a columnist with Bloomberg news and a TCS contributor. "
"Everything you know is wrong
By John Stossel
"Where are the bodies?
For years, reporters have been alerting America to one scare after another. Chemicals, cell phones, SARS -- everything is going to kill us! You would think by now we'd be doing nothing but digging graves.
Instead, Americans are living longer than ever. Not that you'd ever know that from the mainstream media.
So let's grab a shovel to clear away the nonsense and dig out the truth: Myths, lies and stupidity are often the basis of today's scary news stories.
Reports that motorists using cell phones were triggering explosions at gas stations sent fear at gas stations through the roof (where gas prices, adjusted for inflation, haven't gone). But there is no evidence that cell phones are much of a threat.
The media keeps pumping out the stories. In 2004, the Poughkeepsie [N.Y.] Journal ran this scary headline: "Cell Phone Ring Starts Fire at Gas Station."
The story quoted the local fire chief, Pat Koch, as saying gas vapors were ignited by the ringing of a cell phone. But -- stop the presses and start shoveling -- just days later, Koch said: "After further investigation . . . I have concluded that the source of ignition was from some source other than the cell phone . . . most likely static discharge from the motorist himself." The truth is that anything that involves static or sparks can ignite gasoline fumes, including rubbing your rear end against a cloth car seat on a dry winter day.
At the University of Oklahoma, there's a "Center for the Study of Wireless Electromagnetic Compatibility," which researches the effects of electronic devices on our lives. The center examined incident reports and scientific data, and concluded that there was "virtually no evidence to suggest that cell phones pose a hazard at gas stations." The researchers went even further: "The historical evidence," it said, "does not support the need for further research."
You're about as likely to be toasted by a dragon. To its credit, the Poughkeepsie Journal gave its follow-up story as much play as the original. The media rarely do that. Usually, the alarmist and scientifically clueless media just keep churning out the scares.
A persistent media myth holds that chemicals are responsible for "the cancer epidemic." The truth is, there is no cancer epidemic. In fact, the cancer death rate has been declining for more than a decade. If you're tempted to argue that fewer die from cancer today simply because there are better treatments, look at the cancer incidence rates.
The incidence of prostate and breast cancer is up, but that's only because there's more early detection. Lung cancer increased in women because more women took up cigarettes, and skin cancer increased because of lunatic sunbathing. But overall, cancer rates are flat, and lots of cancers, like stomach, uterine, and colorectal cancer, are on the decline.
We think there's a cancer epidemic because we hear more about cancer. It's a disease of an aging population, and fortunately, more people now live long enough to get cancer. More talk about it, too. Many years ago, people who got cancer were secretive about it.
But the main reason we think there is an epidemic is that the media, suspicious of technology, hype dubious risks.
Almost every week, there is another story about a potential menace. Reporters credulously accept the activists' scares: While I've been a reporter, I've been asked to do alarmist reports about hair dye, dry cleaning, coffee, chewing gum, saccharin, cyclamates, NutraSweet, nitrites, Red No. 2 dye, electric blankets, video display terminals, dental fillings, cellular phones, vaccines, potato chips, farmed salmon, Teflon, antiperspirants and even rubber duckies.
I refused to do most of those stories. If one-tenth of what the reporters suggested was happening did happen, there would be mass death. The opposite is true: Despite exposure to radiation and all those nasty new chemicals, Americans today live longer than ever.
So grab a bar of chocolate (it's healthier than you think, if you eat the right kind) and a copy of my new book, just out this week.
Everything you know is wrong -- and that's very good news.
Seems what we need to do is close the border except for leaving, enforce our current immigration laws while mandating a chipped ID for any guest workers. Not too much to ask after 9-11.
For beginners there's the "Send A Brick" movement to send a brick to Washington to start building the wall.... Perhaps even the slow ones will get the message. http://www.send-a-brick.com/
"It's All About the Documents
by Ray Haynes
"Everything we do in life is about the documents. We are born, we live, and we die with documents attached to us. So whenever you here someone claim that something is not wrong, it is just “undocumented,” keep that in mind.
For instance, in California, if you practice law without the appropriate documentation twice, you are guilty of a felony. Would it be a defense to that felony charge that you are not a felon, but rather just an undocumented lawyer?
How about the unauthorized practice of medicine? If someone dies, and you don’t have the right medical documents, you are guilty of murder. It is not just the “undocumented” provision of medical services.
Unlicensed contractors? Just undocumented carpenters, bricklayers, engineers, plumbers, and electricians.
We even have documents that establish our ownership of our property. Car thieves are car thieves, not undocumented motor vehicle operators. Trespassers are trespassers, not undocumented easement holders. If you take property from a store without a receipt, you are a thief, not an undocumented possessor of property
Businesses require the right licenses from government. Indeed, if someone starts up a bank and does not get a license from the state and federal government will find that they will go to jail for being an “undocumented” money lender or “undocumented” savings institution. It is not a defense to their crime to say that they don’t “have the right documents.”
One of my favorites came from one of my legislative colleagues this last week, when informed that the Democrats wanted to take last Monday off to participate in the immigration protests. He said he had found former legislators who were qualified to do the job of the California Legislature, were willing to do the work of the current Legislature at half the cost to the taxpayer, and would show up to do the job. Their only problem? They were undocumented, they had not received the right documents from the Secretary of State to vote in the Legislature.
The absurdity of the claims of those who wish to justify the lawlessness of those who break our immigration laws by calling those illegal aliens “undocumented immigrants” is evident. Everything we do in life is about the documents. We get a birth certificate that establishes our citizenship, and a death certificate that establish inheritance rights. Deeds say who owns real estate, and contracts establish legal obligations. If we don’t have registration for our car, we can go to jail as a thief, or, at the very least get a ticket. In fact, we don’t even have laws unless some legislator gets a document passed through the Legislature and signed by the Governor. All of life requires the right “documents.”
The protests of this last week can be encapsulated this way: thousands of criminals wanted the government to ignore their crime. That reality is not changed by saying that they “are human and we need to recognize their humanity.” Of course we recognize their humanity; they just need to follow the law. We will not justify their lawlessness any more that we would justify the lawlessness of a trespasser or thief on the grounds that they “needed” the property they took. Marching in the street, protesting the enforcement of a law does not justify breaking that law. A legal system that rewards lawbreakers is destined to collapse into anarchy. Indeed, those who protested this last week were asking for anarchy; an open border and unlimited immigration. That is dangerous for our country (as 9/11 pointed out), and extremely shortsighted.
Our immigration laws may be complicated, but that does not justify ignoring them. We should enforce those laws, and, if the enforcement proves that the laws are unworkable, then you look at changing the law. But until that happens, the laws should stand, and they should be enforced -CRO-
Mr. Haynes is a California Assemblyman representing Riverside and Temecula and freuent contributor to CaliforniaRepublic.org.
"Immediately after he pulled off his '72 coup against President Oboto in Uganda, strongman Idi Amin -- full title: His Excellency President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea, and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular (and also, curiously, King of Scotland) --decreed Africa should be for Africans. One of his first decisions as lord of beasts and fishes was to eject all the Asians -- some 40,000 or so, who were third generation descendants of Indians who had come to work for the British colonial administration during the days of Empire and who, when the British Empire was dissolved, created commercial enterprises.
Not for nothing had Amin been mentioned in a dispatch, when he was on the British side during the Mau-Mau uprising, as "virtually bone from the neck up, and needs things explained in words of one letter."
Having decided to eject the country's wealth-creators, he further ruled that these people, uprooted from their country of birth, could take with them only what they could carry. They had 90 days to get out.
The crisis this provoked in Britain at the time has been softened with the passing of the years, but because they were Commonwealth citizens with British passports, the government, in the face of almost universal opposition at home, did the right thing and decided to give them refuge. So 40,000 ethnic Asians arrived in an alien, monocultural group of islands in the clothes they stood up in and the one suitcase holding the meager possessions they had managed to carry with them. Their confusion and distress at having had to leave their country of birth and all their possessions to come to a cold, damp, hostile island must have been almost unendurable.
Back home Idi Amin distributed the property they'd been forced to leave behind among his friends and presided noisily over the decline of Uganda. The Asians, meanwhile, were billeted in drab refugee centers until they found their feet, and they displayed a resilience that still astounds.
What a difference two generations can make.
The British high-circulation Asian newspaper Eastern Eye, in conjunction with The Daily Telegraph of London, has just published its annual list of Britain's richest Asians. In all, six from East African refugee families made it into the top 10.
Number one is Mike Jatani, one of four brothers who started the Lornamead Group (beauty products) in 1978, eight years after the Amin explusion. Today, their company, started from scratch, is worth £650 million ($1.2 billion).
According to The Daily Telegraph, the pharmacy sector is the biggest, with the Mehta brothers (8th) and husband and wife team Navin and Varsha Engineer (12th) between them accounting for £300 million -- over half a billion dollars.
In the fashion segment, one of Britain's best loved women's clothing chains, offering outstanding fashion value for money, is New Look, owned by one Tom Singh, whose Indian parents brought him to England when he was one year old and set themselves the task of peddling goods from door to door. Tom Singh and his wife opened their first store in 1968. By the mid-1990s they had 200 stores. In 1998, they sold the chain to a venture capitalist for £156 million and Singh took a role as non-executive director. In 2004, New Look returned to the private sector and Singh rejoined as managing director. Sikh Tom Singh's in the No 6 slot. Also in fashion, Shami Ahmed, who created Bloggs jeans, comes in at No. 13.
Another Sikh, Jasminder Singh, born in Dar-es-Salaam, with his Radisson Edwardian Hotel chain, comes in at No 5.
The only new entry to the top 20 this year is an entrepreneurial travel boss at no. 18 with £95 million, displacing the fetchingly described "curry magnate", Sir Gulam Noon. Last year, Noon was 16th on the Asian rich list with £100 million, but now with just £85 million doesn't merit a place at the Asian top table. (The displaced Noon has been otherwise engaged in the traditional British rich man's sport of trying to buy a peerage under the table -- the second such Asian businessman caught in Tony Blair's latest wheeze to raise money for the Labour Party -- an encouraging demonstration of just how integrated Britain's Indians have become.)
Steel parts tycoon and cricket-enthusiast Lord Swraj Paul (he rather sweetly lists his membership of the MCC -- the world famous Marylebone Cricket Club -- on his resumé and contributes time and money to helping disadvantaged boys take up the game), is No 3 and worth £450 million. He and his wife recently managed to get Non-Resident Indian status from the Indian government, which means they will have the right to settle in India one day. Who comes around goes around.
Those expelled from East Africa were third generation immigrants to Africa, and had created assets and wealth. Which is why Idi Amin was so interested in them. Now, those families are again third generation immigrants, this time to Britain, and again they are rolling in wealth. How was this extraordinary feat accomplished twice?
How does one account for a group of people who came from the Third World to the First World with nothing but a suitcase, within three generations, overtook around 99.5 percent of the natives in terms of wealth?
Like the Chinese, ethnic south Asians have a reputation for possessing shrewd commercial instincts and a willingness to sacrifice short term advantage (i.e. going to work for someone else in return for a regular salary) in the service of a long-term goal. The entire family stays focused.
Those families in the 1970s were indeed strangers in a strange land. They didn't waste time on regrets. They hunkered down and got to work. The parents of Tom Singh traipsed around neighbourhoods peddling goods from door to door for years. As did others. They were thrifty. They worked long hours. They saved their money and reinvested it in themselves. Indians keep it all in the family and the mates of their children marry into the business also. Tom Singh's parents amassed some money from their door-to-door peddling, but it was their son Tom and his wife who opened the family's first store, and subsequently 200 more.
Another key to ethnic Indians' success is, they do not look to banks for money. If money is needed, they look within the family or extended family, offering a part of the business by way of repayment.
The three richest British Asians were excluded from the Eastern Eye/Daily Telegraph list because their business interests lie primarily outside the United Kingdom. Numbers two and three would be the notorious Hinduja brothers, whose fortune is estimated at around $8 billion.
Finally, not only the richest British Indian, but Britain's richest-ever individual come together in the person of international steel panjandrum 54-year old Lakshmi Mittal, born in Rajastan and whose £14.8 billion fortune puts him third in the world after Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.
Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain is worth $818 million. "
Val MacQueen is a TCS contributing writer. "http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=050906A
From Powerlineblog.com. Good news from Iraq totally ignored by Democrats and MSM per usual .... the truth is not on their agenda.
......"CENTCOM announced today that they had captured al-Qaeda correspondence in Iraq that discusses the state of the insurgency, especially around Baghdad but also around the entire country. Far from optimistic, the documents captured in an April 16th raid reveal frustration and desperation, as the terrorists acknowledge the superior position of American and free Iraqi forces and their ability to quickly adapt to new tactics." ...........
......"So, put it all together: al Qaeda in Iraq is failing. It has little military strength, and the Iraqi people "do not support its cause." It has succeeded in one arena only: the American media. Yet, despite the despair manifested by the authors of the captured documents, that one success may be all that al Qaeda needs. Because the perverse negativity of the American press is the only view that most Americans get of the conflict's progress. And, because of their shoddy coverage of the war, our reporters and editors provide the terrorists with their only gleam of hope."
By Dave Montgomery
WASHINGTON - Forgers are making tens of millions, and possibly billions, of dollars selling counterfeit Social Security cards, driver's licenses, immigrant registration cards and other papers to an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants.
The dominant forgery-and-distribution network in the United States allegedly is controlled by the Castorena family, say U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
Its members emigrated from Mexico in the late 1980s and have used their printing skills and business acumen to capture a big piece of the booming industry.
Only trained experts can distinguish its fake identity documents from real ones, and the Castorena Family Organization, or CFO, as immigration officials call it, has spread to at least 50 cities in 33 states.
At a sentencing hearing for one family member in December, U.S. District Judge Lewis Bab of Denver said that the CFO's criminal reach is "simply breathtaking" and strikes "at the heart of the sovereignty of the United States of America."
The threat of terrorism has made document forgers even more menacing since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Two of the Sept. 11 hijackers used fraudulent notarized forms to obtain valid Virginia ID cards, which enabled them to board the two airliners that crashed into the World Trade Center.
Julie Myers, assistant secretary for ICE, calls document forging an "epidemic."
Her agency, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, is waging a nationwide crackdown on forgery rings and has formed multiagency task forces in 10 cities, including Dallas, Philadelphia, Atlanta and St. Paul, Minn. ".....
A couple of roses before the rain got them. They're nothing fancy but in my opinon pretty. Photoshopped picture frame only, flowers unaltered. Enjoy!!
"Oil Shortage Cause"
Heartfelt thanks to all readers who take the time to read my blog posts!! I'm not a writer so can't entertain ... but have always been an information gatherer. Probably inherited that trait from my grandmother who read and listened to what was network news not agenda, well up into her 80's and was one of the most "with it" persons I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.
To anyone who does not like the content or frequency of my blog posts, I simply invite you to be an adult and skip over it. I care more about this nation than opinion about me.
Some of the posted immigration articles are redundant but I believe those that are do sufficiently contain a kernel of different thought worthy of posting.
It appears that this issue is not going to start and end in Washington but is becoming a groundswell at the ballot box felt all the way from local through national offices as has already begun. I personally believe the immigration issue is going to be a uniting force for America, much to the chagrin of leftists who have worked diligently for the past 40 years to divide us as a nation.
Again, thank you very much for taking time to read!!
"Amnesty is not the solution to problem of illegal immigration
"Let's cut past all the hype and spin of Monday's hoopla. Illegal aliens are just that, so let's call them what they really are -- illegal aliens. They have no right to work in this country -- they have no right to even be here.
Under current federal law, any person, business or organization is subject to civil penalties up to $10,000 and 10 years in prison if they:
* Assist aliens whom they should reasonably know are illegal or who lack employment authorization,
* encourage those aliens to remain in the United States, by transporting, sheltering, or assisting them to obtain employment, or
* knowingly assist illegal aliens due to personal convictions.
Illegals do not make a net contribution to our economy. The National Academy of Sciences found that the taxes they paid do not cover the cost of services they received. We are footing huge costs so that large companies can profit by employing illegals in low-wage positions. While we struggle to provide the high quality education, health care, and retirement security that our citizens deserve and carry the burden of illegal immigration, Mexican national policy promotes it, because the billions of dollars in remittances supports their failing economy.
Businesses are eager to hire cheap, compliant labor -- ever actively recruiting illegals. This serves as an irresistible attraction to the flow of illegals that are willing to work at substandard wages and working conditions and depress the wages for all workers. The U.S. Council of Economic Advisors says, the effect of immigration on low-skilled Americans is profound and widens the gap between rich and poor. Our fiscal well-being and the health of our labor market are in jeopardy.
Amnesty isn't the answer. In 1986, amnesty was granted to all illegal aliens who had evaded deportation for four years, or were illegally working in agriculture. Instead of stemming the flow of illegal aliens, the numbers have swollen upwards of 12 billion.
We also became fully responsible for the welfare of the 2.8 million illegals granted amnesty -- plus the family members they brought in later. A study by the Center for Immigration Studies of the first 10 years shows the net costs of the 1986 amnesty (direct and indirect costs of services and benefits to the ex-illegal aliens, minus their tax contributions) at over $78 billion. The costs of a new amnesty would be astronomical, and it would do nothing to stem the debilitating flow of illegal aliens.
By simply enforcing our current laws, deportation of our illegal population would become a non-issue. If illegal aliens were denied employment, public assistance benefits, public education, public housing, or other taxpayer-funded benefits there would be no reason for them to come -- or stay. There would also be no need for the billions we are spending at the border to keep them out. For those already here, we should provide any assistance they need -- to leave. It's the only rational solution. As long as we reward illegals they will continue to come.
The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the editorial viewpoint of the Times-Standard. "
Click the image for Mr. Dyson's commentary.
Laying it out in simple terms this article states current laws illegal aliens are violating.
"We Don't Need No Stinkin' Reform
by Bob Parks
" Well, those wacky illegals are at it again, and our politicians are taking the bait. Although our laws are quite clear on how to legally enter the United States, apply for work, as well as what's expected of immigrants once they get here, hundreds of thousands of lawbreakers have once again been allowed to protest en masse in our streets demanding we change those laws in order to forgive their transgressions.
I wish it were that easy.
What exactly are our lawmakers going to reform? It would seem as a starting point, that they should enforce the law already written, because as I've read them, they are reasonable, there are no gray areas, and they debunk the slogans carried by illegals that they are not criminals.
Yes, they are.
Let's take a look at the laws on the books, as documented by the Department of Justice....
1911 8 U.S.C. ¤ 1325 -- Unlawful Entry, Failure to Depart, Fleeing Immigration Checkpoints, Marriage Fraud, Commercial Enterprise Fraud
Section 1325 sets forth criminal offenses relating to (1) improper entry into the United States by an alien, (2) entry into marriage for the purpose of evading immigration laws, and (3) establishing a commercial enterprise for the purpose of evading immigration laws. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) amended 8 U.S.C. ¤ 1325 to provide that an alien apprehended while entering or attempting to enter the United States at a time or place other than as designated by immigration officers shall be subject to a civil penalty.
Comment: Further discussion of these offenses is set forth in Chapter 4 of Immigration Law, published as part of the Office of Legal Education's Litigation Series, and as part of the USABook computer library.
This appears to be fairly cut-and-dry. Section 1325 clearly reads that coming into the country without the proper paperwork, thus permission, is a crime. So, if you cross our border illegally, hide out as to avoid arrest, detention, and removal from the U.S., you are breaking the law.
It doesn't make exceptions for those wanting a better life for their families. Lots of people around the world want a better life for their families. Bank robbers want to buy a new home for their mother. No one is going to forgive their breaking of the law. What makes these illegals think their special?
Section 1325 also covers people who get married just to get into the country. Network news magazines cover this issue periodically, but unfortunately it becomes more of a love lost issue than that of law enforcement. The section also covers those who profit from the importation of illegals into the United States. "Coyotes" are breaking the law, not providing a service. Lawyers providing "Immigration Assistance" are finding ways around the law. That, too, is wrong.
What needs to be "reformed" as far as the present law is concerned? Most of the people who've immigrated to this country had to play by those rules. Nothing in this section need be "reformed."
1908 Unlawful Employment of Aliens -- Criminal Penalties
Title 8 U.S.C. ¤ 1324a(a)(1)(A) makes it unlawful for any person or other entity to hire, recruit, or refer for a fee, for employment in the United States an alien knowing the alien is an unauthorized alien, as defined in subsection 1324a(h)(3).
Subsection 1324a(2) makes it unlawful for any person or entity, after hiring an alien for employment, to continue to employ the alien in the United States knowing the alien is or has become an unauthorized alien with respect to such employment.
Subsection 1324a(f) provides that any person or entity that engages in a "pattern or practice" of violations of subsection (a)(1)(A) or (a)(2) shall be fined not more than $3000 for each unauthorized alien with respect to whom such a violation occurs, imprisoned for not more than six months for the entire pattern or practice, or both. The legislative history indicates that "a pattern or practice" of violations is to be given a commonsense rather than overly technical meaning, and must evidence regular, repeated and intentional activities, but does not include isolated, sporadic or accidental acts. H.R.Rep. No. 99-682, Part 3, 99th Cong., 2d Sess. (1986), p. 59. See 8 C.F.R. ¤ 274a.1(k).A scheme for civil enforcement of the requirements of ¤ 1324a through injunctions and monetary penalties is set forth in ¤ 1324a(e) and ¤ 1324a(f)(2).
In addition, 18 U.S.C. ¤ 1546(b) makes it a felony offense to use a false identification document, or misuse a real one, for the purpose of satisfying the employment verification provisions in 8 U.S.C. ¤ 1324a(b).
Let's be clear on this. It's illegal to hire a person you know is an illegal alien. That also means that any illegal who asks you for work doesn't give a damn about you or your business, as they are putting you in legal jeopardy. I'll take it for granted these illegals are intelligent.
This means whether you employ illegal aliens to work in a factory or trim your hedges, employing these people puts the person(s) who hire them at further risk as false documents are sometimes accepted to verify employment eligibility.
What needs to be "reformed" as far as this present law is concerned? Most of the people who've immigrated to this country had to play by these rules. Nothing in this section need be "reformed."
1942 18 U.S.C. ¤ ¤ 1541 to 1546 -- Passports and Other Entry Documents
Title 18 U.S.C. ¤¤ 1541 to 1546, provide criminal penalties for offenses related to passports, visas, and related documents. Sections 1541 to 1544 exclusively concern passports. Section 1545 deals with safe conducts as well as passports. 18 U.S.C. ¤ 1546 deals with visas, permits, and related documents. See 3 A.L.R.Fed. 623.
A passport is defined at 8 U.S.C. ¤ 1101(a)(30) as "any travel document issued by competent authority showing the bearer's origin, identity, and nationality, if any, which is valid for the entry of the bearer into a foreign country." The Supreme Court has stated "[a passport] is a document, which, from its nature and object, is addressed to foreign powers; purporting only to be a request, that the bearer of it may pass safely and freely; and is to be considered rather in the character of a political document, by which the bearer is recognized, in foreign countries, as an American citizen; and which, by usage and the law of nations, is received as evidence of the fact." See Haig v. Agee, 453 U.S. 280, 292 (1981).
Title 8 U.S.C. ¤ 1104 entrusts control of passport and visa matters to the Department of State, and establishes a Passport Office and a Visa Office. Title 8 U.S.C. ¤ 1185(b) makes it unlawful for a United States citizen to attempt to depart from or enter the United States without a valid passport, except as authorized by the President.
Section 211a of Title 22 authorizes the Secretary of State to issue United States passports in foreign countries. Title 22 U.S.C. ¤ 212 limits issuance of United States passports to United States nationals only. Section 213 prescribes the method of applying for a passport, Title 22 U.S.C. ¤¤. 213, 214a, and 215 control the fees for passports, 22 U.S.C. ¤ 217a limits the temporal validity of passports to no more than 10 years. State Department regulations governing passports appear at 22 C.F.R. Part 51. See 59A Am.Jur.2d "Passports" for a general discussion of the law of passports.
The statutory maximum term of imprisonment for violations of 18 U.S.C. ¤¤ 1541 - 1546 is 10 years. However, 18 U.S.C. ¤ 1547 provides that notwithstanding any other provision of title 18, the maximum term of imprisonment that may be imposed for passport and visa violations (except violations under 18 U.S.C. ¤ 1545) if committed to facilitate a drug trafficking crime is 15 years; and if committed to facilitate an act of international terrorism is 20 years.
The statute of limitations for violations of 18 U.S.C. ¤¤ 1541 to 1544 is 10 years. See 18 U.S.C. ¤ 3291.
Now while I can understand how easily one can be fooled by a false document nowadays, especially if you are in a border state, care should be taken and checks should be conducted to assure that the person you are hiring is not only an illegal, but whom he/she says they are. The current concerns on national security dictate additional vigilance regarding the verification of documents.
What needs to be "reformed" as far as this law on false documents? Most of the people who've immigrated to this country had to play by these rules. Nothing in this section need be "reformed."
1945 18 U.S.C. ¤ 1543 -- Making or Using a Forged Passport
Section 1543 of Title 18 proscribes the forgery, alteration, etc., of passports or the use of or furnishing to another of a forged, altered, void, etc., passport or purported passport. It applies to instruments issued or purportedly issued by foreign governments as well as by the United States. See United States v. Dangdee, 616 F.2d 1118 (9th Cir. 1980).
The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) amended this statute to provide for enhanced penalties if the offense was committed to facilitate an act of international terrorism or a drug trafficking crime.
Heads up for the criminal free-lance enterprises going on around Alvarado Street in Los Angeles. Making or using a forged passport, no matter what country is on the cover, is illegal. The only possible use of such a forged document is for deception of one's identity. It doesn't matter what immigrant rights groups or the clergy says. When you make or use a false passport to obtain anything, you are trying to pull the wool over someone's eyes. You are attempting to bamboozle someone. You are attempting to make someone think you are someone else. You are being dishonest from the very first time someone meets you.
There is nothing in Section 1543 that needs to be reformed, that is unless you wish to make all persons who provide passports suspect as to their true identity. Also, the financial ramifications of such deception is obvious.
Federal, state, and local social service benefits can be improperly obtained using such documents. That, by all definitions, could be considered fraud. And who usually ends up paying for fraud, waste, and abuse...?
1943 18 U.S.C. ¤ 1541 -- Issuance of Passports Without Authority
Section 1541 of Title 18 makes it a crime to issue or verify a passport, or other instrument in the nature of a passport, without authority to do so. For example, state and local governments may not issue documents designed to facilitate overseas travel of their residents. 17 Op.Att.Gen. 674 (1884). Similarly, forgery of a document purporting to be such a travel document issued by a state or local government would also violate 18 U.S.C. ¤ 1541. 9 Op.Att.Gen. 350 (1859). 18 U.S.C. ¤ 1541 also makes it a crime for consular officers to verify passports for persons not owing allegiance to the United States, even if they are citizens.
The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) amended this statute to provide for enhanced penalties if the offense was committed to facilitate an act of international terrorism or a drug trafficking crime.
Simply stated, Section 1541 makes it illegal to "issue" a United States passport for the purpose of misleading an employer or government entity as to the false identity of a bearer. Section 1541 says nothing about use of such a false document to provide for anyone's family. Giving out a passport is clearly done to make someone appear as someone else.
There is nothing in Section 1541 that needs to be reformed. Distribution of a false document for the purpose of creating a false identity is not a humane act. It is deception, pure and simple.
1947 18 U.S.C. ¤ 1546 -- Fraud and Misuse of Visas, Permits, and Related Documents, and False Personation
The first paragraph of 18 U.S.C. ¤ 1546(a) proscribes the forging, counterfeiting, altering or falsely making of certain immigration documents or their use, possession, or receipt. The second paragraph proscribes the possession, or bringing into the United States of plates or distinctive papers used for the printing of entry documents. The third paragraph makes it a crime, when applying for an entry document or admission into the United States, to personate another or appear under a false name. The fourth paragraph makes it a crime to give a false statement under oath in any document required by the immigration laws or regulations.
The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) amended subsection 1546(a) to provide for enhanced penalties if the offense was committed to facilitate an act of international terrorism or a drug trafficking crime.
Subsection 1546(b) makes it a felony offense to use a false identification document, or misuses a real one, for the purpose of satisfying the employment verification provisions in 8 U.S.C. ¤ 1324a(b).
COMMENT: Further discussion of offenses defined in 18 U.S.C. ¤ 1546 is set forth in Chapter 7 of Immigration Law, published as part of the Office of Legal Education's Litigation Series, and as part of the USABook computer library.
As I mentioned above, the only reason one would obtain falsified passports or other documents of identification, is for receiving employment or social benefits while being in the country illegally. There is no social good that can be had for allowing anyone to use a bootleg visa or Social Security card. In essence, those using false documents are also stealing.
They are stealing jobs from someone who is legally eligible to obtain one in America. They are stealing food stamps, WIC benefits, Section 8 housing, thus they are stealing taxpayer money from every citizen in the United States. For every activist who claims that illegals pay taxes, the amount we have to pay in services for those who deem themselves victims, thus worthy of our charity, dwarfs whatever taxes they "pay."
The bottom line is this:
The laws currently on the books are straightforward, non-discriminatory, and fair. They clearly define what is bad behavior. There are no exceptions to ignoring these laws so people can provide better lives for their loved ones. In every case, a person who violates these rules does no service to the United States or her citizens. The violators are attempting to deceive others and extract benefits from taxpayers. They are thieves; they are criminals. They are not undocumented, especially when they use false ones.
The only thing reforming the current laws will do is invite more to break them because it will be easier. Reforming our current immigration procedures will provide a victory to the millions who came here illegally and the millions who are coming to take advantage of reforms, should they occur.
I say should, because I believe this is not a done deal. I hope that the politicians in Washington understand that they are trying to make 11 million or so people who have broken many of the laws stated above legit, at the expense of the 300-plus million of us who pay all the bills. Hopefully, they'll get their minds right and realize that it's not the United States and her immigration laws that need reforming. It's the behavior of those who have no problem breaking our laws and soaking us all in the process.
Reform? We don't need no stinkin' reform. "
Bob Parks is a former Republican congressional candidate (California 24th District), Navy veteran, single father, member/writer for the National Advisory Council of Project 21, and is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc.
The opinions expressed in this column represent those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, or philosophy of TheRealityCheck.org "
"When Exploitation is Mutually Beneficial
By Matt McIntosh
Source Tech Central Station Daily
"Exploitation is a word often used but rarely defined. In its most literal meaning -- I 'exploit' you if I in some way benefit from your existence -- it is the reason human society exists. We all benefit from one another's existence. We all exploit each other."
-- David Friedman, The Machinery of Freedom
Let us say that I am poor and you are wealthy. I live a harsh life of bare subsistence farming, while you make several thousand dollars per day as a business owner in the widget industry. One day you hire me to make widgets for you at a rate of $1 per widget, which you then sell to make a profit of $2 per widget. Which of us has benefited the most from this exchange?
If you answered that it must be you, this is wrong. It's true that you are still much, much better off than I am in absolute terms, and that in dollars, you have gained more than I have. But considering our relative starting points and the basic fact of diminishing marginal utility, this transaction has benefited me more than it has benefited you. Simply put, the principle of diminishing marginal utility states that each extra unit of a good provides less subjective benefit to an individual than the last one did: an extra dollar means much, much more to a pauper than to a millionaire. Thus I get much more subjective utility from the extra dollars I now have than you do from the extra dollars you have.
This is a straightforward lesson in basic economics, and yet it's constantly overlooked in discussions about trade with people of developing nations. The image presented to the public is one of transnational corporations benefiting disproportionately from the exploitation of cheap labor. A recent article on Indian sweatshops in the UK Observer, for example, the author discusses the "disturbing consequences" of "soaring sales" by the multinational Austrian firm Daniel Swarovski. The article quotes a charity representative who says that "the firm has created a life of servitude" for young, third-world laborers. Yet what is going on here is basically our little economics lesson writ large. Trade between rich and poor countries almost invariably benefits the poor more than the rich.
The skeptical reader may well say that this theory is all a little too neat, and that reality is not always like that. So, let us set theory aside for the moment and ask whether or not multinational companies really do make poor countries demonstrably wealthier. When we repair to the data, we find consistently that they do. In Fighting the Wrong Enemy, Columbia University economist Edward Graham reports that, on average, total workers' compensation offered by U.S.-owned manufacturing companies is 80 percent higher than the average compensation offered by domestically-owned manufacturing companies in middle-income developing countries; in low-income developing countries this figure is even higher, at fully 100 percent more than the average for domestically-owned manufacturing.
Moving from the general to the slightly more specific, a particularly reviled example of the activities of multinational corporations are Export Processing Zones (EPZs) -- special areas with greatly decreased taxes and labour regulations, whose main purpose is to attract multinationals in order to build up export industries. Often these will focus on single industries: there is a jewelry zone in Thailand, a leather zone in Turkey, a tea zone in Zimbabwe, and so forth. As of 2002, there were approximately 43 million people working in around 3000 EPZs spanning 116 countries, producing clothing, footwear, electronics, toys, and other consumer goods. The products of EPZs are familiar to anyone who's noticed the "Made in China" or "Made in Taiwan" seals on cheap consumer products. The factories in these areas are colloquially referred to as "sweatshops." Surely one could find no greater whipping boy of the anti-globalization movement.
However, the data paint a significantly less damning picture. In Beyond Sweatshops, Theodore Moran of the Brookings Institution reports on surveys conducted by the International Labor Organization (a UN agency which "seeks the promotion of social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights" -- no lackeys of capital, they). The ILO's surveys "have regularly found that the pay for workers in EPZs . . . is higher than what would be available in the villages from which the workers come." He then reports on studies by the U.S. Department of Labor which find that "firms producing footwear and apparel generally pay more than the minimum wage and offer significantly better working conditions than those in agriculture."
We can drill down further into three particular case studies, to illustrate the general point:
That last case is worth dwelling on as an exemplar of a sad trend: as a rule, the poorer a country is the more dependent women are on their fathers, brothers and husbands. It would be unnecessary to go over the well-known details of how women are generally treated in such societies, but suffice it to say that the autonomy granted by wages earned in factories has disproportionately benefited women at the expense of patriarchal social systems. As they gain modest wealth of their own, women attain the leverage to postpone marriage and motherhood, and are better prepared financially for it when the day does come.
Also, Lipsey and Sjöholm explain that the presence of foreign-owned factories tends to drag up wages in domestically-owned factories due to increased labor demand, spillover effects from technological capital, training of workers and managers with basic skills that make them more productive, and so forth. Even here in the poorer countries, competition truly does raise the tide which raises all boats. The recent success stories of countries like China, India and Taiwan are remarkable examples of this. And this is exactly what one would expect given an understanding of basic economic theory.
None of this is to downplay the fact that conditions of life in poor countries are positively awful compared to our own. The point is to emphasize that the surest way to bring these countries up to more tolerable standards of living is through free trade, the process by which the capitalist exploits the worker and the worker exploits the capitalist. To the extent that poverty still exists on our planet, it is due to insufficient exploitation. The only way to defeat absolute poverty is by greater productivity, and that means leaving people free to engage in mutually beneficial exploitation. More, and faster please. "
Matt McIntosh is a blogger at Catallarchy "
A friend sent me this in email along with their explanation about ANSWER which was covered indepth in one of my previous blog entries.
(Allows for Windows Media or Quick Time.....)
VERY eye opening. "
I don't like the signs mentioning blood and war.... gives me a real creepy feeling for US citizens to be threatened on their own soil.
In the second link of gallery photos they're registering them to vote..... so sitting here in Georgia with our new voter law requiring a state issued photo ID I guess each state gets exactly what it has allowed its legislators to pass.
"Borders, What Borders?"
There is also a link to a photo gallery of the May 1 illegals protests.
Due to the amount of embedded links this article will not cut and past correctly for me ... who does not know HTML well enough to solve the problem.
Very worthwhile article, very worth your time to read.
Shows why the media is hanging its rating$$$$$$ and revenue$$$$$$ on 'greenhou$$$$e ga$$$$$es."
"Ozone smog levels have plummeted during the last three years. Between 2003 and 2005, the fraction of the nation's ozone monitors violating the federal 8-hour ozone standard plunged from 43 percent down to a record-low 18 percent. The last three years were the three lowest-ozone years on record. "............
Great article as are the overwhelming majority from this site.
"Everyone is looking for a solution to illegal immigration.
Big Labor fears immigrants will take away jobs from union workers. Big Environmentalism fears immigrants as they grow wealthier will increase their fossil fuel use, heating the globe. Big Nutrition fears immigrants will simply fuel themselves more, feeding the obesity epidemic
Many simply fear immigrants are undermining American values. After all, look what the great waves of European immigration did to Native American culture.
And worst of all, Republicans fear immigrants will vote for Democrats, while Democrats fear immigrants will become capitalists, get rich, and support Republicans.
It has become obvious to all these fearful folk that current protections against immigration don't work. When millions of illegal immigrants join rallies, smile for the cameras and declare "we've decided not to be invisible anymore," you begin to suspect that Homeland Security is oxymoronic.
So what to do? Grant those here five years amnesty! What a great ad for document forgers. Wall off our borders! How far out to sea? Provide a guest worker program! Look out for gate crashers. Punish employers who hire them! Right. The French have accomplished wonders by discouraging employers to hire new workers of any kind.
So, what really can be done about illegal immigration? Well, maybe we need to do what Time magazine said we should do about another problem -- global warming. The writers and editors there suggested at the end of their Global Warming Report: "Maybe we can begin by living a bit more like the average Chinese or Indian -- before they start living like us."
There you have it: The only way to turn the corner on energy use, and thus greenhouse gas emissions, at least in the short run, is to make us all poorer - a lot poorer.
Currently, after all, per capita income in the United States is $41,400. To live more like China and India, we will need to lower our energy usage, and thus incomes, down to their levels -- $1,300 and $650 per capita. Take it from Time - Poverty is the answer.
And as it turns out, it is the perfect answer to the problem of illegal immigration... and much, much more.
Think about it. Why have Mexicans, Guatemalans, Salvadorans, Colombians, Vietnamese, Thai, Sudanese, Ethiopians and others decided to break our laws by breaching our borders? Opportunity, of course. What does opportunity represent? The chance to make a better living for yourself -- to make more money; to trade muscle power for horsepower.
If we impoverish ourselves as a nation and individually, why would they want to come here? No money? No immigration problem.
The job security issues labor is concerned about? No one wants a job that doesn't pay. So, no one will want to take anyone's job. No money, no job security problem.
Our obesity problem would fade away as well. It takes money to buy food, or else you have to grow it and breed it yourself. Doing that burns calories. No money, no obesity problem.
What about gasoline price-gouging. You only need gasoline to drive cars, right? No money, no cars, no gasoline price-gouging.
The same goes for the housing bubble. No money, puff, the housing bubble disappears.
As for the rancorous relations between Democrats and Republicans in Congress. No money, no problems. No rich, no tax cuts for the rich; no rich, no taxes to spend. As a nation, we would all be in the same boat, so a lowering tide would sink all of us together. Hallelujah!
And as for our overseas relations? You don't see a lot of protestors in foreign lands burning the flags of Burundi and Bangladesh, do you? No money, no problem. Heck, we might even wangle some foreign aid -- as long as it left us poor.
Prescription drug benefits? Die young and you don't need it. Same for Social Security.
What all this will do for global warming, we don't know. If other countries don't join us in our race to the economic bottom, then they will produce the greenhouse gases Time claims are going to destroy the planet.
And, of course, they and no doubt tens of millions of other Americans might decide to leave here for greener economic fields abroad. But, hey, then we'd be other nations' illegal immigration problem. No money, their problem. Sweet revenge, eh? "
Duane Freese is Deputy Editor of TCS Daily. "
BTW, pink flamingo yard statuary is an ongoing joke in this area.
Hmmmmm protestors at the Capital building in Atlanta are reported by the news to be chanting "We're here and we're not leaving."
Certainly does NOT gve me the warm fuzzies no matter how they try to shove it.
Discover the Networks (dot org) gives background and funding information about many organizations steering politics today. Excellent reference.
International ANSWER http://www.discoverthenetwork.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6147
International A.N.S.W.E.R. (often, simply ANSWER) is a front group for the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party (WWP), which uses the anti-war movement as the vehicle by which it promotes Communist ideals and condemns American society, American foreign policy, and capitalism. "..................
“We want full amnesty, full legalization for anybody who is here [illegally],” said Rodriquez, organizer for one of the unions of AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees of the AFL-CIO. “That is the message that is going to be played out across the country on May 1.”
Listen to the cynicism behind Rodriquez’s arrogant statement. Government workers who belong to AFSCME unions will not see their jobs taken or wages depressed by illegal aliens, as will poor and undereducated American citizens. On the contrary, illegal aliens will generate more government jobs – the one sector where unionization is growing – with their demand for more taxpayer-funded services (read: welfare).
By one estimate, every illegal alien household in America on average consumes at least $2,736 more in taxpayer-funded services than it pays in taxes each year. This adds a total burden that could exceed $27 billion on American citizen taxpayers.
Six decades have passed since the last large organized labor protest in the United States staged on May Day, the traditional date of the Soviet Union’s annual parade of its latest weapons through Moscow’s Red Square and holiday for its Euro-socialist fellow-travelers.
The radicals have insisted on May Day for “Day Without Immigrants” nationwide Hispanic rallies and “Buy Nothing Gringo” business boycotts, as well as work and school walkouts, and planned disruptions of major American cities (including cities such as New York and Chicago that historically were never “Mexican” territory).
The radicals behind this protest chose May first, rather than Cinco de Mayo, for a reason – and their allies in the Democratic Party, the racist Hispanic reconquista movement, and the Mexican government are behind them all the way.
The most vocal of these radicals, who also set last month’s nationwide pro-amnesty immigration protests that blocked Los Angeles streets with half a million Mexican flag-waving marchers, are activists with International ANSWER, a front group for the avowedly Marxist Workers World Party.
Do not be surprised on Monday if ANSWER activists in one guise or another try to cause violent confrontations with police, property damage or other violence. A longstanding radical tactic, such confrontations are intended to produce overreactions that polarize an issue and force those involved to “choose sides.” Confrontations on May Day would be calculated to produce a public backlash and to push otherwise-culturally conservative Hispanics into the arms of the Left.
This prospect has troubled even fellow leftists. Some of these graying comrades worry the backlash would stiffen the spines of politicians of both major parties who until now have been more than willing and eager to grant amnesty to America’s 12 million or more illegal aliens, despite overwhelming public opinion against doing so.
“It’s no accident that those pushing hardest for the May 1 boycott,” wrote Marc Cooper of the far-Left Nation Magazine and host of its tax-exempt foundation’s Radio Nation, “…have never shown much concern for real-world results, preferring to act out their ideological impulses.”
May Day was chosen for this mass demonstration as a “conscious nod” to the class confrontation traditions of this day, wrote the Socialist Worker. This journal proudly describes itself as standing “in the tradition in the Marxist tradition, founded by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, and continued by V.I. Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg and Leon Trotsky.”
May Day, traditionally a spring day of pagan fertility rites, May Poles, and sprinklings for the May Queen (as celebrated in a song by Led Zeppelin), was expropriated in the 1880s to become the holiday of European and North American labor radicals, socialists, and Marxists.
Democrats, who dominate the California legislature, voted last week along party lines to endorse May Day’s protests in resolutions describing the school, worker and buyer walkouts as the “Great American Boycott 2006.”
“American wouldn’t have been created without illegal action,” said State Senator Richard Alarcon and Democratic Senate Whip of the Los Angeles suburb Van Nuys. “They dumped a bunch of tea in Boston harbor, illegally.”
And where does Senator Alarcon fit on the ideological spectrum? His sister Evelina has been Vice Chair of the Communist Party USA and chair of the Southern California District of the Communist Party USA as well as a “state coordinator” for the United Farm Worker union. Senator Alarcon has been featured speaker at a banquet for the People’s Weekly World, the newspaper of the Communist Party USA.
In voicing his support for the May Day protests, Democratic State Senator Gil Cedillo of Los Angeles “likened the debate over immigrant rights to the fights over slavery, women’s suffrage, the internment of Japanese during World War II, and the Vietnam War.”
Senator Cedillo has relentless authored bills to provide valid California Driver Licenses to illegal aliens, a legal document for the undocumented. He refuses to acknowledge that Mexicans in the United States can use a Mexican driver’s license. Cedillo has rejected Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s request that any such California license carry a distinguishing mark so it could not be used as ID to register a voter or for other privileges requiring American citizenship.
As a student at the University of California Los Angeles in the 1970s, Cedillo was an activist in the racist Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan, MEChA, dedicated to reclaiming the southwestern United States for Mexico.
The head of UCLA’s incendiary MEChA chapter in that era was Antonio Villaraigosa, later to become Speaker of the lower house of the California legislature, later Los Angeles City Councilman, and current Mayor of Los Angeles. As documented in this column, both Cedillo and Villaraigosa attended and became lawyers with the help of the People’s Law School, a factory for the manufacture of radical left-wing lawyers.
Another close Villaraigosa friend and ally has been Mario Obledo, co-founder of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), who was awarded the 1998 Presidential Medal of Freedom by Bill Clinton.
Research studies have found that when Hispanics learn to speak English and move from the barrio into the larger society, they start voting Republican in roughly the same proportion as other Americans. If this continues to happen with America’s fastest-growing minority, it would mean demographic doom for the Democratic Party. No wonder its members in California want to deny opportunity and education to young Hispanics, as will happen during Monday May Day – when Hispanics will walk out of school and work.
More evidence of the left-wing divide-and-conquer effort to drive wedges that split Americans apart came this past week in what purported to be a Spanish language version of America’s National Anthem, the “Star-Spangled Banner.”
As this columnist has noted, it’s odd to have a National Anthem that would get you arrested for speaking its lyrics about “bombs bursting in air” at a public airport or school. But the remixed Spanish version changes our anthem’s lyrics to say such things as “These kids have no parents, cause all of these mean laws…let’s not start a war with all these hard workers; they can’t help where they were born.” These new lyrics pervert America’s anthem into doublespeak making morality appear immoral and illegality appear legal.
The man who conceived this distortion is British music producer Adam Kidron, who will market it on the album Somos Americanos, “We Are Americans.” One dollar of the album’s $10 price, he said, will go to the National Capital Immigration Coalition (NCIC) in Washington, D.C.
No leftist mainstream media reporter pressed Kidron on what this organization is. NCIC is a front group for the radical Service Employees International Union (SEIU) that twisted arms to install Howard Dean as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. A majority of SEIU members are government employees, so it shares the same cynical politics against working Americans and in favor of higher taxes and bigger government as AFSCME. It is one of America’s biggest and richest labor unions. SEIU also played a major role in organizing the massive illegal immigration rallies throughout the Southwest.
The president of the newly-formed NCIC is Jaime Contreras, who arrived from his native El Salvador in 1988 and worked his way up from an SEIU janitor’s union to become one of the leaders of SEIU. No wonder he has been featured on every left-wing media outlet from National Public Radio (NPR), to Pacifica Radio, to Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now!” These outlets know how to build up and promote their own, although few bother to tell their audience of Contreras’ union background or extremist connections.
Unlike many other unions, SEIU retains the old radical dream of concentrating all union power in a few hands able to shut down all of America at the snap of a union boss’s fingers. It has welcomed illegal immigrants as a source of new membership to save the dying labor movement. SEIU has promoted the use of mass walkouts and disruption of entire cities to intimidate and force itself on employers and politicians.
It should not surprise us that this new anti-American anthem in Spanish is being used not only to advance radicalism but also to help fund the activities of a radical labor union disguised as a neutral-sounding immigration coalition.
“I think the National Anthem ought to be sung in English,” said President George W. Bush (who grew up in Texas, speaking both English and Spanish). “And I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to
As we debate this issue, said President Bush, we should take care “not to lose our national soul.” Unlike other nations rooted in a single religion, race, culture, or history, the United States has gathered its people from throughout the world; Americans are held together by our ideals, our laws, our shared language English and our Manifest Destiny. The radicals behind Monday’s May Day demonstration advocate immigration that breaks our laws, rejects assimilation into America and insists on using Spanish as a language to keep it apart from the rest of America.
If illegal immigrants, most of whom are Mexican, in America want a day of protest, why not Cinco de Mayo, the Fifth of May, that arrives this coming Friday?
This is already a Mexican and Latino day of pride, the anniversary of Mexican forces in 1862 defeating a slightly larger French force in that first Battle of Puebla? In fact, during that battle, French troops were surprised to hear their opponents singing “La Marseillaise,” the revolutionary French national anthem, in Spanish.
Cinco de Mayo is already widely celebrated in the southwestern United States. But just as Hanukkah is celebrated more in the United States than in Israel, Cinco de Mayo is more of a holiday in the U.S. than in Mexico. Mexicans know that in the second Battle of Puebla in 1863, French troops crushed the Mexican army, days later occupied Mexico City, and continued to rule Mexico for the following four years.
The French Emperor Napoleon III dared to send troops to occupy Mexico only because the United States was preoccupied with its own War Between the States, a.k.a. our Civil War. When our war ended, we massed a huge American army on the Texas border with Mexico and informed the French Emperor that under the Monroe Doctrine we would not tolerate European control of Mexico.
Napoleon III beat a hasty retreat, leaving his installed “liberal” Hapsburg puppet “Emperor of Mexico” Maximilian I to be overthrown and executed by the locals in 1867. But drinking their beer each Cinco de Mayo, educated Mexicans bitterly remember that it was pressure from the United States that liberated their country from French colonial rule. The cultural residue of French influence in Mexico remains in many odd ways, e.g., the hired singers called Mariachis, whose name (despite frantic Mexican nationalist denials) was first used in 1852 and probably derives from the French word for marriage that arrived via the surreal 1838 French incursion known as “the Pastry War.”
France could also be blamed for Mexico’s loss of what is now the western United States. Napoleon I sold the U.S. the Louisiana Territory, which created a potential legal claim to a large, poorly-defined share of the wild West. Napoleon I also overthrew the government of Spain and put his own brother on the Spanish throne, which plunged Spain’s colonies such as Mexico into political chaos. The resulting uprisings in Mexico ousted Spain and installed a domestic revolutionary government that could not control the centrifugal forces that broke apart Spain’s old North American empire in Mexico (as well as South America with the uprisings of Simon Bolivar and Jose San Martin).
Many who stayed in the New World remained loyal to Spain. Mexico thus sent troops three times into California to suppress revolutionary Californios who did not want to be ruled by newly independent Mexico. The lands now part of the western United States were slipping free from Mexico’s tenuous, anti-democratic control even before America moved to secure them (preemptively, as it were, before Great Britain attempted to do so).
When American forces arrived in California in 1846, half the Californios greeted the Trailblazer John C. Fremont (in 1856 to become the first Republican presidential candidate) and his men as liberators freeing them from Mexican tyranny. President Abraham Lincoln returned to the Roman Catholic Church the Spanish missions that the greedy and corrupt Mexican government had expropriated.
Spain might have a weak historic claim to the southwestern United States. But post-revolutionary Mexico has virtually no legitimate claim whatsoever, contrary to the propaganda of racist groups such as MEChA. Since such groups speak of a mythical land they call Aztlan that they aim to restore, were the Aztecs ever here? Apparently not, except for rare raiding parties to attack tribes near today’s Mexican border in search of fresh victims for its pagan human sacrifices. What sane person would embrace such a flimsy territorial claim? And, as mentioned earlier, Monday’s May Day protests have targeted New York City and Chicago, both many hundreds of miles beyond any imaginable historic Mexican lands.
These protests will exploit innocent Hispanic children and fearful Hispanic adults to create hostility between Latinos and American citizens. This advances the anti-American radicals’ agenda, and that is why the radicals behind this protest selected May Day.
A backlash against the May Day protests is almost inevitable. In this, as Debra Saunders of the San Francisco Chronicle recognized, American citizens will see students who refuse to go to school, workers refusing to be reliable, and illegal aliens thumbing their noses at the law.
In the wake of such protests more than a month ago, the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute did polling in one state. The mass demonstrations made 17 percent of citizens more sympathetic to the immigrants’ cause, but they made 38 percent – more than twice as many – less sympathetic. The demands of these illegal aliens produced alienation.
…And Americans do not want to become an illegal aliens’ nation. As Quinnipiac’s assistant director Peter A. Brown observed, Americans are likely to respond negatively, not only to Monday’s protests but also to its deliberately having been set on May Day, a day associated with Communist nations. “The symbolism of [May Day’s] choice for the immigration economic boycott,” said Brown, “may not go down well in much of the country.” Moreover, wrote Brown, “American history is not one in which change has occurred in the streets. General strikes are not a U.S. tradition, as in many other countries in Latin America and Europe.”
The very nature of this style of mass protest, designed to show a group’s power by its ability to disrupt the lives and businesses of the rest of us, seems alien, threatening and un-American to most of us. We expect such things to be decided in the polling place, not on the streets.
Down on the border, meanwhile, the Minutemen have been constructing their own six-foot barbed wire fence 50 miles east of San Diego. They may be hoping that some illegals knock it down, thereby providing another polarizing issue for the other extreme of this debate. Even many leftists, from Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to the Washington Post’s columnist Robert J. Samuelson, now agree a border fence is necessary.
And the pro-illegal immigrants protestors have painted themselves into a corner. By making May Day a “Day Without Immigrants,” they must either demonstrate major social and economic disruption or become an example that America can, indeed, live happily without its illegal immigrant workers. If they “go on strike” and nobody notices, their political and economic clout will evaporate.
But if they “go on strike” and cause massive social disruption, this will make millions of Americans afraid, angry, and unhappy at the actions of these foreign bullies. Either way, the politicians in this election year might suddenly realign on the side of those demanding a crackdown on illegals. President Bush, who grew up among Latinos and won 40 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2004, last Monday declared that the “massive deportation” of 12 million Latinos living in the United States is “unrealistic.” The Tonight Show’s liberal comic host Jay Leno, who lives with a wetted finger in the air to sense the shifting winds of public opinion, had a pointed rejoinder to the President. “We’re not able to send 12 million Mexicans out of our country?” said Leno. “Mexico did.”
To offset the economic impact of Monday’s boycott, radio talk show hosts across the nation have variously urged Americans to turn May Day into a “buycott,” spending as much as possible to erase any sign that a Hispanic boycott is effective.
One such radio host is Los Angeles radio station KFI’s Bill Handel. “Have you noticed,” he says, “that the politicians and activists talk about how important ‘immigrants’ are to American but never use the word ‘illegal’? What you won’t be shown on Monday,” said Handel last Friday, “is what illegals cost us in public services, in taxpayer dollars. That won’t be shown by the media.”
“Don’t want to pay $10 a head for lettuce?” say other opponents of illegal immigration. You already are in the form of overcrowded and dangerous public schools for your kids, hundreds of closed hospital emergency rooms where illegals broke the bank by demanding and getting free treatment, and in a thousand other burdens they impose on society that increase your taxes. This “cheap labor” already costs you a fortune and is on the verge of costing you your country.
South of the Border, meanwhile, the Mexican government is maintaining unconvincing official neutrality about Monday’s May Day boycott. It will be keeping its consulates and embassy open. Mexico’s Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez describes the boycott as “a strategy that is being defined by them [U.S. activists], not us.” But Mexican radicals in sympathy are staging a “Buy nothing Gringo” day to punish the Mexican owners of franchises such as McDonald’s. Approximately 40 percent of employed Mexicans in Mexico who do not work for government, work for American companies.
In Mexico, polls now show leftist candidate Manuel Lopez Obrador ahead for that nation’s July 2nd presidential election. This veteran of Mexico’s long-ruling revolutionary and corrupt PRI party cheers on illegals in the United States who send back $20 billion each year to relatives in Mexico, making them its most lucrative export. Obrador’s cultural advisor Elena Poniatowska openly advocates the reconquista, “reconquest,” of the United States. And he proposes to create a new electoral super-district which he calls the Sexta Circunscripcion for Mexican citizens. This Sixth Electoral District of Mexico would be the United States. Aztlan, anyone?
If Obrador becomes Mexico’s president, get ready for a very strange Fourth of July in the United States with lots of fireworks. "
By Horace Cooper
"The debate over illegal immigration has managed to conflate two separate issues -- American immigrant citizenship status (and related requirements) on the one hand, and the economic consequences of having limited access to unskilled workers in the domestic labor pool. The two issues are not one and the same. Thus, resolving the complex choices associated with each will be easier when they are treated differently.
On the one hand, US immigrant citizenship policy as modified in 1986 by the Immigration Reform and Control Act -- which attempted to address seasonal temporary workers -- has been an abysmal failure. The act made it unlawful to knowingly hire an undocumented worker and provided for a one-year amnesty for illegal aliens who had already worked and lived in the U.S. since January 1982. Although at the time there were less than 3 million illegal aliens in the U.S., the grant of amnesty sent a signal to the world that the U.S. would no longer be serious about its border. Combined with a phasing out of employer sanctions, predictably the number of illegals has swelled nearly 4 times to more than 11 million people (many of whom assume that a new amnesty is waiting just around the corner).
Today it is vital that we adopt a policy that separates those aliens seeking permanent status from those only interested in temporary employment opportunities. Unfortunately, much of the present debate treats the groups as if they are one and the same. By failing to make this distinction, we risk going forward with an updated-but-incoherent program.
Economic Refugees, Labor Flexibility
First and foremost, policymakers must recognize that there are significant economic consequences to allowing geographical barriers to determine wages -- particularly in the context of low-skilled workers. Every American household pays an arbitrarily (and therefore wasteful) higher price for the goods and services that are provided when they are denied the benefit of competition simply because of where they live. Although often mentioned in the context of goods, the principle is no less true of labor costs. A rational temporary worker plan recognizes that we exist in a global economy that requires labor flexibility and allows honest workers interested in coming to America to provide for their families while respecting our laws.
Let's look at it from the low- or unskilled-laborer's perspective: Typically these workers are economic refugees plagued by the corrupt and chaotic economic regimes and attendant policies of Mexico or other countries in Latin America. The problems in these countries are not America's fault. Arguably, many of these workers would likely challenge their own governments if they didn't have America as a viable outlet. Nevertheless, it is in our economic interest to allow them to enter our labor force if not but to help maintain our own economic vitality.
To be sure, the presence of these workers has the effect of deflating salaries among unskilled or low-skilled laborers, but this consequence is offset by the benefit of increasing the standard of living for Americans which occurs because the lower priced goods and services they provide are made more readily available than they would be otherwise. Unless this process is only good when Wal-Mart does it, it should be recognized as an integral part of international competition.
And such facts are borne out in the numbers. According to the President's Council of Economic Advisers 2002 Economic Report, immigrants effectively raise the income of Americans by upwards of $12 billion a year. A rational temporary worker program would allow us to match foreign workers with American employers for wages that no American is willing to take, but does not require that we throw in citizenship as part of the deal.
Unfortunately the 1986 act had the unintended effect of turning seasonal illegals into long-term permanent lawbreakers by increasing the risks of crossing back and forth. Alternatively, a temporary legal status would alleviate much of the pressure for illegals to seek permanent status since they would be free to come and go across the border at will. Under the rules today they have the opposite incentive. Why, because the barriers to frequent entry are so high that once they come in (legally or otherwise) they have every incentive to make a permanent residence of America including resorting to having "anchor babies" (children born by illegal aliens in the U.S. that automatically become citizens). And by reducing the flow of illegal aliens, we can apply border enforcement resources more efficiently against those who present a threat to the country.
Ultimately, since the primary motivation for these workers is not citizenship, there should be no easy footpath to citizenship built into the program. Working in America is an economic opportunity of a lifetime -- in other words, getting the work permit is its own reward. With a temporary worker program, economic migrants would be given a chance to obtain wealth and related economic sustenance they can't get in their home country. Therefore, there is no need to offer citizenship as an added inducement.
Putting the Heat on Illegals
Once operational, those individuals here in America illegally will face a choice. Go to their home country and apply for the program or watch as others do exactly that while they miss out on the benefits of legal status. Employers will quickly demonstrate that they far more prefer a steady and reliable supply of legal unskilled workers (who have all passed background checks) to the outlaw labor force they rely on today. Ironically, it will be the illegal aliens who will feel the heat of competition most, because when the program is up and running and operating on a first-come-first-served basis, those that join in first will see the benefits sooner. (And by charging a fee for this, a temporary worker program could likely be used as a revenue source to pay for itself as well as provide additional border enforcement resources.)
Ideally rather than a fixed limit, the program would have a fluctuating fee level which would rise and fall depending on demand. Starting at around $1500 (the going rate for smugglers) and rising to say $10000 per applicant, potential workers and their employers could decide for themselves what the ultimate level should be. On the other hand with a floor of $8 billion and a ceiling of nearly $55 billion in revenue even if only half of the undocumented workers joined the program, the American taxpayer would easily come out ahead.
Additionally the plan should have two features. First like worker's comp programs all across the nation, it would require potential employers to be responsible for the social services used by these workers. Employers could provide health insurance if they chose. If not, whenever the temporary workers are provided assistance, hospitals and other government service providers would be allowed to seek reimbursement from the employers instead of sending the bill to the American taxpayer. A second feature would be that participants in the program would agree that their participation in the program in no way may be used to advance or assist them in seeking citizenship status.
And the program would have other benefits as well such as being attractive to fathers and older sons and single women who generally prefer to work seasonally or annually and then return to their home country. In a return to the practice prior to the act of 1986, participants in the new program would have little incentive to uproot their entire family or to have "anchor babies" in order to protect their ability to maintain their presence in the U.S.
On the other hand, for those individuals uninterested in employment opportunity, the U.S. should signal a reinvigorated commitment to controlling border security and American citizenship. The U.S. has every right to restrict who it will invite to become an American and to set the terms. Indeed, any policy that rewards those who enter the country illegally is a poor one.
In fact, knowing who is crossing our borders has taken on a greater urgency -- particularly after 9/11. The U.S. should commit itself to a policy of returning every illegal alien caught crossing the border without exception (and rules like this could help provide incentives to other countries to help). New approaches such as interior repatriation for Mexican nationals (which transports illegals to interior portions of Mexico instead of simply escorting them back across the border) should be employed, and greater use of electronic surveillance at border sites should be undertaken.
The completely unworkable policy of "catch and release" should be ended within the next 15 months. Under this practice, if non-Mexican illegal aliens are apprehended they are released and told to return later for an immigration status hearing. As you might imagine, 75 percent of these persons simply fail to ever show up for their day in court. Also, the US should commit the resources to allow expedited hearings and new detention facilities so that once illegal aliens are caught by border patrol, they aren't allowed a chance to escape deportation, and instead are forced to actually appear in court. As illegal border crossings of economic migrants are reduced, interdiction of other drug smugglers and related criminals will be much easier to accomplish.
Ultimately, by separating immigrant citizenship policy from a temporary unskilled labor program, America will be living up to its own ideals -- keeping our borders open to legal travel and honest trade while securing them from exploitation by criminals, terrorists and drug traffickers. And by ensuring that citizenship is granted solely to those who understand and value the benefits of being an American, we'll protect our culture and the American way of life.
Horace Cooper is an assistant professor of law at George Mason University. "http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=050106B
First I've seen about hard costs of illegal aliens to the US taxpayers.
"A Day Without Illegal Aliens Is a Boon to Taxpayers"
by Rep. Tom Tancredo
Posted May 01, 2006
Source Human Events Online
"Rep. Tom Tancredo (R.-Colo.), chairman of the 97-member House Immigration Reform Caucus, released the following statement about Monday’s planned boycott by illegal immigrants.
A day without illegal aliens would be a boon to U.S. taxpayers who wouldn’t pay for the tremendous social service costs of persons not legally in our country. On May 1, illegal alien activists are threatening to shut down major cities in what has been called “The Great American Boycott” and, alternatively, “A Day Without an Immigrant.”
The activist protestors are trying to confuse the American public by lumping legal immigrants with illegal aliens. A day without legal immigrants would be a day without almost all Americans. A day without illegal aliens, on the other hand, would be a boon to the American taxpayer.
The net cost to the federal government in 2002 for public services provided to illegal aliens was $10.4 billion or $2,736 per household according to a report by the Center for Immigration Studies. Estimates for 2005 put the amount at $11.7 billion or $3,080 per household.
Illegal Alien Costs By Social Service
Fortunately, Americans have seen through the protestors’ half-truths. A Rasmussen poll released last week showed widespread disfavor of recent immigration protests, with 26 percent holding a favorable opinion and 54 percent holding an unfavorable opinion.
Americans don’t respond well to illegal aliens who demand amnesty. As I’ve said before, that doesn’t play well in Peoria. Every time illegal aliens and their supporters take to the streets, it drives home the point to most Americans that illegal immigration is a problem in their home towns, and that we urgently need to get control of our borders.
Rep. Tancredo (R.-Colo.) is chairman of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus. "
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