Tuesday Night Open Mic for November 3, 2009

Open Mic 1Good Morning fine readers of Stand Up For America. As I begin writing this evening I am in a fairly good mood. Tuesday night open mic is upon us again and it seems that the very elections we discussed yesterday are dominating the news cycles tonight. I am going to avoid open mic’ing the big governor’s races and the “message sent to Democrats” nonsense that seems to be dominating the airwaves. I will touch on some of the election night news in some different ways, however. I am excited to be working on what I think are some good upcoming articles and I have been discussing a few things with some of the folks that read here daily for future ways to get us back to discussing the things we need to be discussing. I do have a request of everyone though… If you have any guest pieces that you are thinking about, I am in need. I have one from Black Flag that I plan on posting this week, and I know many of you have been anticipating that one. But I have a specific need here…

My gram passed yesterday after a long battle. Don’t worry, I am quite OK with it. She has been ill since February and unable to be herself. She had 84+ good years. And fortunately, I took three separate trips to see her for a week each time this year while she was ill. I was able to spend a lot of time with her towards the end, read to her, and tell her that I love her many times over. I cannot begin to ask for more than that. She left us with my blessing (although she was too stubborn to actually need it, lol) and I am relieved that her suffering is finally over. The last couple weeks have been difficult as we all knew the end was near, and there was little we could do but wait. I am glad that is over as well. I will be handling family business and attending services from Thursday, April 12 through Sunday, April 15. I will not be able to write on those days. That leaves me with three nights of articles that I am unable to provide. Therefore, if any of you want to write, please fire away. I ask that you submit your articles to me by the end of this weekend so that I can edit, approve with you, and schedule to have them post on the appropriate days.

 

Advertisements

Comments

  1. USWeapon Topic #1

    NY-23: 95 Percent of Hoffman Cash From Out of District

    It’s no secret that national fundraising has buoyed the campaign of Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate in the NY-23 special election. But the full extent is remarkable. We crunched the FEC contribution numbers this afternoon to discover that 95 percent of Hoffman’s donations came from individuals and PACs based outside of the district. (Hoffman himself doesn’t even live in NY-23.) Only $12,360 of the $265,341 he’s raised came from potential constituents. Hoffman collected money from donors in 35 states. Of the total 146 donors, only 22 were actually from within the district he hopes to represent. The campaign’s biggest backer is the Washington-based Club for Growth, accounting for more than one-third of all fundraising ($83,260).

    Read the entire article from the Washington Independent: http://washingtonindependent.com/66153/ny-23-95-percent-of-hoffman-cash-from-out-of-district

    The results of this contest seem to be, at the time of my writing this, that Hoffman, despite national support from some big names, lost the election. I will not get into whether this is a bad or good thing. I know many have their opinions, and you are free to voice them. Mine doesn’t count. I don’t know his positions or that of his opponent well enough to yet have an opinion. I do find it interesting that there were so many claims of election shenanigans from Hoffman’s camp today. Claims of Democrats cheating. Claims of his volunteers having their tires slashed so they couldn’t get out to help (a claim that appears to be false from what I can tell). Claims of ACORN intervention. Whatever. You lost dude. Get over it.

    What I am really interested in is what people think of the meat of the article above. 95% of the campaign contributions for Hoffman came from outside his constituency. That seems awful high. And I find myself torn on this subject. On one hand I feel like it is a free country, and anyone is permitted to donate to him if they want. And I also realize that this is not an isolated instance of such behavior. It is quite common. I also recognize that people want their contribution to count for something, to go where it can help. If you live in a heavily dominated area and you know your contribution will not help your side locally, but you want to help in another area where it does help your party, I suppose this is the prudent thing to do. And I will in fact be asking my readers to support a candidate in the coming days who is not going to be in 90% of your areas, because she is a candidate that stands for the things we believe here at SUFA.

    On the other hand, it seems to me that in a case this extreme, 95%, that outside influences are completely overriding the people of the district. The grassroots campaigns and local candidates in a rural area like this don’t have the money to compete with candidates who are nationally funded. In a case like this, Hoffman doesn’t live in the district he would have represented and his campaign money came overwhelmingly from outside donors. He lost in this case. But had he won, a complete outsider would hae successfully come in and stolen the 23rd District right out from under the locals. Imagine Pelosi suddenly swooping in and winning your local Congressional seat or Michelle Bachman jumping out to take over a highly liberal district.

    So what do all of you think on this one?

    • USW:

      Remember its New York. They love having carpet baggers run for office and get elected. Mrs. Clinton???

      Where the funds come from is irrelevant. Who they come from is more important. It appears this fellas money came from groups that had similar views as he did. That is what we should expect. I would be far more concerned over donations from the usual “corporatist” culprits than groups aligned with certain moral issues.

      If Hoffman had already lived in the District he would have been one of the outsider locals you mention and he would have been up against the Democratic Party fundraising machine, which is heavily funded from outside the area.

      I still think the biggest message sent by this race was to the Republican establishment, not to the Democrats. The others that are shivering are the Blue Dog Democrats. Their reaction could slow things down a bit in the House.

      My condolenses to you and your family.

      By the way, getting ready for Articles in April???? Man you are one organized dude.

      LOL
      JAC

    • Very sorry for your loss, USW.

      On to NY 23rd … proof positive that where Palin sticks her nose, the Republican party will suffer. That was a predominantly Republican district. I suspect the Republican party will be strengthened by the end result; they will start to realize that they need to distance themselves from the more conservative base and accept the fact that Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, et al will only hurt them in the end.

      I’m still trying to find how many of my fellow socialists voted in the Jersey fiasco … I suspect 300 or so … maybe 301. Oy-vey …

      • Charlie I disagree. Doug Hoffman was a nobody that the RNC actively campaigned against until their candidate dropped out late this past Saturday. Yes Palin and others threw their support to him but he ran without the RNC machine behind him. I like the idea of a candidate running for office without the Dem or Repub machine behind them. Who knows one day it might actually work. I said yesterday he needed to call himself the constitutional candidate not conservative candidate. I have come to loath the two current parties.

        • Yes Palin and others threw their support to him but he ran without the RNC machine behind him.

          That’s my point, Bama. The RNC machine needs to run from Palin, et al … or they’ll face more of the same.

          I agree with you regarding both parties (they’re useless). All I’m saying is strict conservative are as marginal as my whacky socialists … way to far abreast of what’s needed to win in 2 party system.

          I’d love to see the entire government scrapped and replaced with working people of all ilk rather than leave it to these professional bag men/women.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            “Yes Palin and others threw their support to him but he ran without the RNC machine behind him.

            That’s my point, Bama. The RNC machine needs to run from Palin, et al … or they’ll face more of the same.”

            Actually, that potentially contradicts your point. I believe that what Bama was saying is that if BOTH Palin and the Repub machine had supported Hoffman from the get-go, he probably would have won handily… in spite of, or partially because of, Palin.

            Of course, since the machine chose to support a Republican who was not materially different from the Democrat in the policies which she vocally supported, we will never really know what could have happened.

            I think a lot of people in that race did not vote for Hoffman, simply because they saw that the GOP was going to claim it as a VICTORY, when in fact, it would have been a REPUDIATION of the GOP machine had he actually won.

            I think a lot of voters couldn’t stomach the idea of the GOP claiming credit for something that they had nothing to do with, so the easier path to repudiate the stupidity of the GOP machine was simply to vote for the democrat.

            You see the reason for Hoffman’s failure as Palin. I see the reason for his failure as the attempt by the GOP machine to claim him as one of there own, when clearly up until about 3 days prior to the election they were making no such claim.

            • She’s poison, brother. You can either cheer for her and watch the Democrats win again and again or distance yourself and have a shot at winning.

              It’s what I go through as a socialist. I don’t kid myself about it, though. I have no shot. Neither does Palin or the conservative movement. Not in 2009-10 or for a long time to come (if ever again).

              • I think you are very wrong there Charlie. History shows us that a Democrat controlled government inevitably results in a Republican resurgence in the short term, not the long term.

              • Hey Weapon!

                I strongly agree with your assertion vis-a-vie history. However, what alarms me is in the notion short or long term and by whose definition. It is indeed interesting – enough for me to research it.

                Charlie, there will always be conservatives; like it or not, they will be here no matter what.

                I do find some interesting developments coming out of Europe re: immigration, same-sex marriage, and the entire EU gig. Cheers EVERYONE!

                jps

        • Interesting that the 6% that voted for Dede, after she dropped put, would have resulted in a win for Hoffman.
          Also shows some Republicans are not informed.

          • Absentee ballots were already cast before she dropped out also. These would be included in those totals.

            It’s unfortunate that Dede’s true colors didn’t come out several weeks ago and the ballots would not have had her name on it at all. Hoffman would be the winner today.

          • v. Holland says:

            I find myself always rather confused when I’m watching election returns-I know I heard last night that there were 11000 absentee votes that wouldn’t be counted last night-so how do they know who won-or am I just confused?

  2. USWeapon Topic #2

    Maine Gay Marriage Vote: Voters Repeal Law Legalizing Gay Marriage.

    Gay marriage was put to a vote in Maine on Tuesday in a closely watched referendum that gay-rights activists across the country hoped would prove for the first time that their cause can prevail at the ballot box.

    Voters had to decide whether to repeal or affirm a state law that would allow gay couples to wed. The law was passed by the Legislature in May but never took effect because of a petition drive by conservatives.

    Early returns showed a close contest, as forecast. With 229 of 608 precincts reporting, each side had 50 percent.

    Read the Rest of the Article at the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/03/maine-gay-marriage-vote-e_n_344688.html

    I have a couple of thoughts here. I wanted to do a full article on this, but simply don’t have the time right now. I am disappointed with this result, as it appears there has again been a popular vote veto of gay marriage. But here is the deal. The legislature in Maine passed the law allowing such marriage. The governor signed the law. And the people put together a petition and got it on the ballot. The people voted “NO” to gay marriage in their state. It sucks, but the people have spoken. And I think this has to stand as the answer. This is America, and the way we have worked the system has set it up for this to work as the law of the land. Much like California, the people speak, and that should be the end of it. I don’t think it will be. I think gay rights folks will protest and file whatever they can file. But the gay rights folks have made a critical error in allowing a popular vote to determine the fate of their equality.

    Because the way that I see equal rights for gay couples in America is this: They don’t need the votes of the people to approve their rights. It shouldn’t matter what the “popular opinion” says about gay rights. Because they are RIGHTS. The gay community should have never allowed it to come to this. They should stop lobbying to have referendums on whether their rights will be approved by the people. They should, instead, start affirming that equal rights are something that they are entitled to whether the Christian right or anyone else likes it or not. I am sorry that this offends some of you here. I know there are some strong feelings on this issue. But the bottom line is this: Equal rights an equal protection under the law is a right for everyone in this country. It isn’t up for debate. It isn’t up for popular vote.

    BF often talks about the law of mutuality. And it applies here, even though the christian right thinks it doesn’t. And the christian right is correct….. for now. But times they are a’ changin. I don’t care one bit what your religion says about gay rights or gay marriage. You do not have the right to impose your beliefs on others. If you do commit such an act, be prepared. Because this country is rapidly turning away from the church. When they do, the christian right will be a minority, and will the christian right then accept being told that THEIR beliefs are no longer valid or legal? I think not. So think about that before you try to take away someone else’s rights when it doesn’t impact you in one single solitary way.

    Final answer. We are a country based on rule of law and recognition of natural rights to equality. You either embrace that or you don’t. You cannot pick and choose which equal rights are valid. Those rights belong to the gay community whether you like it or you don’t. Gay community…. Stop asking for your rights to be made legal. Inequality is illegal in America. Change your tactic. Don’t ask for your equal rights to be granted. Simply reaffirm that your equal rights exist and demand that they be protected. Do not give up.

    • Bottom Line says:

      Gay folks bother me 0.

      What bothers me is a bunch of overzealous self-righteous religeous fundamentalist infringing on the rights of others by influencing government entities and pushing their puritan values to the point of virtual theocracy.

      We haven’t moved too far from burning women suffering from ergot poisoning.

    • Full and hardy agreement.

      If black people had allowed their rights to come to pass a popular vote, they’d just be getting them right around now.

      And I’d like to add, the Christian fundamentalists did this before with slavery and Jim Crow. They found cherry picked examples from to bible to “prove” that God thought blacks were sub-human chattel – they eventually abandoned that view, but not until long after the populace had moved on. Now they use examples to “prove” that homosexuality is an abomination, but they will be forced off this stance as well eventually.

      Forty years from now, people will look back at this vote and the one in California and view them the same way we did Jim Crow. Make no mistake, history will not view it kindly.

      • Matt:

        Your history memory is foggy this morning. The Black folks did allow their rights to be put to a popular vote and the majority of white folks agreed with them.

        Thirteenth Amendment ratified December 6, 1865 (abolishes slavery).

        Fifteenth Amendment ratified February 3, 1870 (guarantees right to vote for all color, race and those of prior servitude).

        Twenty Fourth Amendment ratified January 23, 1964 (elimnates poll tax or any tax as a method of denying blacks the right to vote).

        And my dear friend you are very wrong about how history will view descrimination agains gay marriage. It will NEVER be viewed in anything resembling the same villification as we do for slavery or the way blacks were treated during the Jim Crow days. And quite frankly, for anyone to draw a comparison between the two is disgusting as far as I am concerned. The injustices experienced by the black man and woman are not comparible to those experienced by homosexuals. While the latter may be disgusting the former was down right vile.

        • Black people demanded their rights. Yes, there were voted on Amendments to codify those rights, but the rights were obtained because of the civil rights marches, the sit ins, etc. They did not sit around waiting for the courts or legislature to grant them their rights – they took to the streets and said “we demand equality.” That’s how you do it. The Maine/California votes are not going to get it done.

          The people need to understand that it doesn’t matter one ounce what they think. These are rights and gay people will have them one way or another. Period.

          And, yes, in terms of magnitude, Jim Crow was worse, but they are birds of a feather. They will be seen in the same light.

          • Matt:

            Your understanding of what worked and didn’t in that period is I am guessing, distorted by those who selected what to teach.

            Dr. King’s peaceful marches did have a tremendously positive effect. The student sit ins, later followed by more violent demonstrations and takeovers of campus buildings worked to the OPPOSITE effect. The latter efforts organized and instigated by the SDS and Black Panthers in fact alienated the “moderate white” voters whose support they claimed they wanted. These tactics were carried over to the anti Viet Nam demonstrations to the same effect. To some extent it probably extended the war due to general reaction against the demonstrations.

            There is alot more to this story than what you claim. For one thing, you younguns don’t realize how much of the population had virtually no idea about the descrimination that was occurring in parts of the country. Our family got the first TV around 1959. It was the TV that really made a difference. We could all see the marches and listen to the speeches at night in the comfort of our own homes. I remember my parents reaction of surprise and disgust of what was actually happening in parts of the country.

            Imagine how hard it would have been for Dr. King to get the word out if all he had was the newspapers. The radio would have carried the speeches and commentary but only the TV could show the marches and the vile anger on the faces of the racists. Only TV could show the extent of police brutality on obviously peaceful people in a way that sickened the population. A population that already supported “equal rights”.

            Sorry Matt, the demonstrations you think were the tipping point did not convince anyone to “change their minds” about the issues. The initial marches combined with the new effect of TV coverage acted as a catalyst for action by those who were already on the side of justice.

            By the way, you once again changed the argument in midstream. You are not a walnut but a rabbit I think. Your statement that putting their rights up to popular vote in the 1960’s would have resulted in failure was WRONG.

            Did Dr. King’s marches cause a positive response needed to get such a vote taken? Absolutely. But that was not the question. It was whether a popular vote would have resulted in action needed to remedy the injustice. It did.

            • I wasn’t there, of course, so all my knowledge is second hand. I will admit this. And you were there, so you may know better than I.

              But I do know that peaceful protests (in combination with the advent of television) were the catalyst to get the ERA’s passed. I do not believe that, had they pursued their rights in the same manner of the gay community today, they would have succeeded. Perhaps in your part of the country (wherever that is), but in Alabama? Georgia? South Carolina? Not a chance. We can do the math, if you want, but I’d be surprised if you have enough votes for a Constitutional amendment with the entire South and several states in the Midwest voting no.

              My original claim, which may not have been clear enough, is that seeking a vote is insufficient by itself. It must be accompanied by a full-scale campaign to demand those rights. Appeals to fairness will not work, they need to make it clear that they will not be denied.

              Adding, Texas only ratified the 24th Amendment this year.

          • If I were organizing the gay rights protests, I would start by having them apply incessantly in person, for marriage licenses. I have gay couples lined up around the block 24/7 for the application process in every town in America (they are roughly 10% of the population, this should be feasible). Heterosexual couples would have to wait in line with them for their turn. When the person who handles the applications says no, I would have them calmly stand there and ask for an explanation. Then peacefully return to the end of the line any try again.

            It would make great television. I would try to discourage the counterculture that is sometimes attendant to gay rights protests – not because it’s bad or wrong in any way, but because your right to as a man wear a Dorothy outfit is a separate issue and we don’t need culture shock to muddy the waters. While they’re waiting, they can call their representatives and ask the same questions.

            But here’s the catch. It can’t be a day-long protest. That doesn’t get anyone anywhere. One day and over, then people move on to the next issue and forget. You have to do it until something gives. It has to be a commitment on their part. In New York, when I applied for my marriage permit, the office was in the same building as the mayor’s office. How long is the mayor going to be able to ignore a mass of people outside his door peacefully standing in line to be treated equally? How long before the pressure reaches critical mass?

            They cannot be denied if they do not allow themselves to be denied.

            • Matt:

              I like it. Perhaps the Mayor will get sick and so will everyone else. And then maybe once and for all the STATE will abolish its stupid licensing laws regarding ALL marriages.

              • That, sir, is a different issue entirely.

              • Why settle for Silver when we could go for the Gold and solve the entire problem?

              • When you get married, you essentially form new and distinct legal entity. Mathius + Emilius = Mathius, Emilius, and MathEmius. The state should know when new legal entities are created. Thus, you should have to register. But only register, I do not think the state should have to approve you.

              • What “new” legal entity do you think you have?

                There does not exist a “merged” entity.

                Legal marriage gives each of you AS INDIVIDUALS specific legal powers of enforcement upon each other.

                There is not an ‘increase’ in your rights over non-married. You merely have access to the government loot provided to married couples, and access to government violence to use on each other as necessary.

        • The injustices experienced by the black man and woman are not comparible to those experienced by homosexuals.

          Brother, are you way out of line here.

          Matt, you nailed it. The only difference between both forms of prejudice are numbers that we know about — end of story.

          As for the 13th amendment … are you seriously stating that it provided equal rights?

          Brother … you need to rethink this one. Homosexuals tortured and killed (and as recently as a month ago in New York) were treated equally as bad as were slaves (unless torture and murder) are okay in your eyes.

          • What a strange and bizzare mind you have.

            You will not find support for any of your accusations in anything I stated.

            I guess I should expect a devout socialist to view the injustices of slavery and the atrocities against those with black skin as the same as those suffered by the homosexuals. The STATIST sees no difference between a little violence and mass murder. It is just a relative thing to be viewed as minor in its application.

            I know several homosexuals and only one would even try to make such a comparison. But she is one of those people who thrives on being a victim over anything she can dream of, so I give her opinion little weight.

            Tell you what Charlie. Why don’t you share your view with the African Americans in Boston and inner city New York. You know, conduct a little personal survey of how they would view such an opinion.

            I’ll leave my conclusion open until you get back with the results.

            • a little violence and mass murder.

              ???

              There you go … a little violence (those tortured AND killed because they are gay doesn’t equate to murder of any kind?)

              So, I guess women in Afghanistan killed because they aren’t wearing burkas or because THEY were raped … what’s that, a little violence?

              Like I said, you’re way off base.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Sometimes you make a great deal of sense. However, this is not one of those times. How does Arab/Islamic killing of women who will not wear burquas have any bearing whatsoever on a discussion of whether injustices against african americans IN THIS COUNTRY are greater than, less than, or equal to, injustices against homosexuals in this country?

                I don’t see it as having any relevance whatsoever to the conversation at hand. If it does in some way, please enlighten me?

              • Peter, you should know better.:)

                My point was MURDER!!!!

                If a gay is killed because of his sexuality, how is that different from a black lynched for his skin color?

                Come on …

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Charlie, if ONE gay is murdered for his sexuality, that is no different than ONE black person being murdered for the color of their skin, this is true.

              • The discussion was about a “class” of people not individuals.

                When it gets to the individual why does the why even matter?

              • down

          • Charlie there is no comparing slavery and homosexuals.
            How many homosexuals have been enslaved for generations. How many homosexuals have not been allowed to own anything? How many homosexuals have not been allowed to vote? Ride in the back of the bus. Eat in seperate dinning. The only thing the homosexuals have been denied is the right to a marraige certificate.
            This conversation comparing the struggles of Blacks in America to the struggles of a homosexual is ridiculous…..There are probably lots of men out there who wish they had never been given the right to marry.

            • The only thing the homosexuals have been denied is the right to a marraige certificate.

              I’ll borrow a liberal democratic friend’s phrase (that I love): “Sweet Jesus on a Vespa.”

              Are you kidding me? Homosexuals used to be (unfortunately occasionally still are) killed once exposed. Are you seriously trying to ignore that? Does it get worse? I will give you this: one might prefer death to slavery, but to say being murdered is a ridiculous comparison defies logic, brother.

              Or maybe you don’t believe gays are killed for their sexuality? It goes on to this day here in the good old US&A (never mind in the middle east).

              There are probably lots of men out there who wish they had never been given the right to marry.

              Okay, here we agree. Touche.:)

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Charlie,

                I am sure that in your MIND, homosexuals and slaves equate, simply because in both cases there have been INJUSTICES.

                However, I defy you to count the number of homosexuals who have been enslaved and show me that it is roughly equal to the amount of African-Americans or even Africans PERIOD who have been enslaved.

                I would also challenge you to physically count every African-American who has ever been killed because of his race vs. every homosexual who has ever been killed due to his/her sexual orientation.

                Please limit your counting to this country, from about the time it was settled by the WASPs to the present.

                Any discussion of non-burqua-wearing arab women is irrelevant to our conversation, because that evil is perpetrated by another people and another government/religion and, although an example of injustice, has nothing to do with the other 2 subjects at hand.

                I mean, why not point out that in Arab/Islamic countries, homosexuals are stoned to death BY LAW whenever they are found out… oh wait… that’s right, we were talking about HERE, not THERE.

              • I defy you to count the number of homosexuals who have been enslaved

                I didn’t read any further. I defy you to count the true number of homosexual anywhere. Come on, Peter, this is silly shit.

                If a gay is killed because of his sexuality, it is prejudice. The same goes for blacks killed because of their skin color. I don’t know how many gays were killed. Do you know how many blacks were killed?

                if it’s 1:1000000
                it’s still the same thing; murder due to prejudice.

              • Yes…I would agree that at some points in history and in some nations today that is true that a gay person would loose their life…..but in America today it is a crime and has always been a crime to murder a person….except for Black slaves…you could murder them if you wanted because they were considered property. It was different for the blacks. In my life time I have not known for it not to be a crime to murder a gay person in the US. In fact I would like to see a copy of alaw that allows killing of gays in any state. I would venture to say there have been just as many women killed for being women than there have been gays for being gay in the US.

              • I would venture to say there have been just as many women killed for being women than there have been gays for being gay in the US.

                And that makes it okay?

                How does the murder statute make a difference? Certainly not to the person who was killed, eh?

                I’m talking about murder for the sake of prejudice; there’s no difference.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Murder, for the sake of ANY REASON is equally reprehensible. Doesen’t matter if prejudice had anything to do with it or not. EVERY murder is the deprivation of someone’s right to live.

                You can CLAIM that murder is “worse” if prejudice has something to do with it, but it really does not matter what the reason is. Murder is murder.

              • Ok so under your thinking woman do not have rights either because they have been killed because of predujice? Something has gone seriously afoul here. The discussion was on rights, it has been changed to crimines of predujice.

              • Hate squisy can’t see my typoes!!!!

              • Amazed:

                You are figuring it out “Something has gone seriously afoul here. The discussion was on rights, it has been changed to crimines of predujice.”

                The discussion was actually about the magnitude of injustices committed against blacks compared to homosexuals.

                Regardless, you are recognizing how hard it is to chase rabbits. These guys can’t stay on point. Always running here and there, back and forth, but never getting back to where you started.

                I think we should just wait for Charlie to get back with those survey results. I hope he included Philadelphia, I forgot to suggest it before.

                Keep smilin
                JAC

              • I am so tired…. very elusive rabbits!
                Take care JAC I hope you are having pretty weather. It has been so beautiful here!!

              • Most Beautiful.

                cold and sunny.

                But so beautiful

    • Re: the GLBT supporters – I never hear any discussion about the “B” or “T” ?? Whats with that?

    • USW

      First: I am sorry for you loss in your family. My thoughts are with your family.

      I agree with you, we as the gay community should not be asking people to grant us rights. That is a fatal move in my thoughts. If civil rights were up for popular votes in the 1960s they would have never passed as law.

      Ellen

      • A right is a right is a right. The only area that I disagree with you on is the 60’s. I wish it had been up to popular vote because it would have passed. I grew up in the 60’s and even though I am conservative by nature….I would have voted for civil rights and I am military and I believe that the young people, properly motivated would have voted it with no problem and I grew up in Texas…so, I believe that the people were ready for it then. More so than now.

        Now what I feel is hurting this movement, is the fringe element that will also now claim polygamy rights next, and then, we will have some cowboy that will want to marry his horse.

        Texas did define marriage in the last constitutional changes. I did not vote for it but the majority (77%) did and put it into the Constitution as to what defines a marriage…. and that is man/woman. (The one thing that surprised me is that Texas is not Christian Right for the most part. The Christian Right only comprises about 15% of the population.) We are very independent here. But the reason that it carried like that was the fringe element that included everything else as well and the gay movement got lumped into it. I think it will change. Hell, if someone wants three husbands or three wives..who cares. If someone wants to marry his horse…who cares.

        To change the Constitution, takes another vote of the people of Texas. The legislature has no authority to change it. To get it on the ballot takes 75% of the legislature to put it there.

        Love ya Ellen… I am in your corner.

      • Ellen:

        Come on, I thought you were old enough to remember the 60’s. Their Civil Rights were put up to popular votes and the laws were passed. Liberal Democrats and the Republicans joined to pass the Civil Rights laws over the attempts of Southern Democrats to stop it.

        If you look to the Nation as a whole in those days the majority supported the Civil Rights efforts. What many were bothered by was the marching and demonstrations. Dr. King was brilliant in his no violence stance. It kept the moderates (law abiding peaceful folks) from going against them and as the radicals were seen beating the “peaceful blacks” the rest of the country quickly became disgusted.

        As to the real point however. None of us should be asking for a vote on any of our rights. That includes your right to marry who you choose. Govt has no business in the “marriage” business anyway, that includes the States.

        • Born in 1971, missed the 1960’s competely.

          But I do know that alot of people died, got tortured and just treat pretty badly before things were finally voted on.

          What I am saying, is that no one has the right to vote on someone elses right.

          • Ellen:

            I was and remain in complete agreement with your position that no one should be voting on someones rights.

            The corrolary to that is our current system not only condones such but requires it. That is the problem in a nutshell. Any right to vote on the issue of rights means that such a vote may giveth or it may taketh away.

            I commend you on your revelation.

            Now for you a question I have……sorry just popped up like that…….

            What do you think should be done to remove this barrier to your freedom?

          • Ellen you are still just a kid! Enjoy it….sorry you missed the 60’s
            You are correct…no one should have the right to vote on another rights…..but it sure seems as if we have gotten pretty good at trying such antic lately. We have to vote on marriage but healthcare is crammed down our throat. Doesn’t make alot of sense does it.
            Hope you have a wonderful day!!!

    • The real problem with the tactics that the gay community is following is that they (and yes, most of Americaa does as well) are confounding the legal ability to enter into a state recognized contract with the religious ceremony of marriage. ANY church can perform ANY maeeiage it wants to, you could even marry your dog, BUT the state has a vested interest in defining what constitutes a legal contract combining seperate legal bodies in one legal body. If their goal is to have the same LEGAL recognition that traditional couples have, then more power to them. But DO NOT try to FORCE me to recognize it as something that is MORALLY right. That is just facism undar a different guise.

      • Redleg:

        “That is just facism undar a different guise”. If the state were to recognize such a union it is not facism nor is imposing someone elses morals on you. Lets not confuse definitions over something like this. Facism is govt use of the private sector to control the means of production and transportation of goods and services. There is more to go with it but that is the essence. A govt controlled economic system using the private sector by means of regulations.

        I am curious as to how you see the Moral issue fitting in relative to the two examples of marriage you gave. Is providing the same “legal” recognition to a gay couple imposing their “morality” on you? If your church were to “marry” such a couple is that imposing their “morality” on you?

        It would seem to me the latter would be true but the govt’s recognition would not impose on you in anyway. Yet I sense you have the opposite view. Could you please explain.

        JAC

      • Redleg:

        P.S. I forgot to address the real issue in your comment.

        Why does the STATE have a vested interest in marriage?

        What in your view constitutes a VESTED INTEREST by the STATE?

        • I didn’t say that the state has a vested interest in marriage, I said that the state has a vested interest in the leagal contract that combines two sepaerate legal entities into one leagal entity.

          Using the state to redefine marriage would be facisict(sp?). Using it to redefine a leagal contract is very different. Calling a union “marriage” means something to most people. As the article quoted above when put to a vote, 31 states have turned down “marriage” between two members of the same sex. How many of those same states have civil-union laws? In the eyes of the law, those two a synonomous (see prop 8 court decision), so why the emphasis on getting this legal union called a “marriage”? If you just go by the argumets that the gay marriage proponents use, then geting anything more than a legal civil union being defined as between 2 consenting adults, regardless of the sex, is hypocritical. USe the argument that a church shouldn’t be able to legally join two bodies into one, and I’ll go with that. Trying to force a church to perform marriages it doesn’t agree with, I’ve got a problem.

          I have the freedom to leave my church, or work to get my church leaders replaced

          • Redleg,

            Can you point to some law that addresses two individuals married is considered a single legal entity?

            • Off the top of my head, any financial debts I incur, my wife also incurs. Most states regard us as a single entity for tax purposes. She can’t be forced to testify against me. I can’t point to any specific laws though.

              • Being married is like giving General Power of Attorney over your life to someone. Serious implications, particularly if you failed to choose wisely.

              • Redleg

                1) No.

                Only property held in common can be seized to satisfy the others debt.

                I have organized by affairs in such a way my wife is the sole owner of assets whereas I am the sole holder of all the debt.

                This is immutable.

                The only way this can be undone is after a suit or legal action I move my assets to my wife. This is called “avoidance of consequences” and the court will reverse that action.

                However, all courts recognize a right to organize my affairs to my best advantage.

                Since I have done this prior to any legal action on me, the property exclusively held by my wife is immune to the action against me.

                (2) This is what I mean by subjecting yourself to the State. All States also recognize separation of assets and income – depending on your now precarious situation with the State, it may or may not be in your best interest to combine or disassociate your income earnings.

                (3) The most dangerous assumption of criminal law. Your wife can be compelled to testify.

                There is no legal prohibition to this.

                Consider, your child is physically an extension of yourself – yet, you can be compelled to testify against your child. Your wife holds a lower legal status then the children (that is, your legal obligation is to care for the children first, then the spouse).

                It is only on TV that the “spouse-can’t-testify” is ‘some how’ excluded from compelling. It is a lie of Hollywood.

                However, it has been argued in court that wife testimony would be, naturally, more likely a perjury than truth.

                Therefore, compelling someone to perjure themselves would be (1) not reveal the truth and (2) create another criminal – a backwards walk if one wants justice.

                Thus, the courts have generally held that in cases of less than capital crimes, the courts under their own discretion can or refuse to compel such testimony.

                Remember, you are hold only the right not to incriminate yourself. You however are required by the court to testify on anyone else if so demanded. No exclusions.

                The government escapes this demand by an exclusion of “national security” – which ends the entire proceeding. However, if this claim is denied, even if a sworn oath of secrecy to America is insufficient cause.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                BF,

                In SOME states, all property accumulated DURING the marriage is considered mutual property of each member of the partnership, regardless of how you try to set it up otherwise.

                Likewise, all debts accumulated are considered mutual debt.

                Indiana law regards all property and debt acquired from the date of a marriage to the date of death of one partner or divorce to be mutual property/debt. There is no legal way in Indiana to separate property/debt accumulated during a marriage.

                Upon divorce, the court will simply split all accumlated assets and debts evenly. It does not matter at all if one person accumulated all of the wealth and the other accumulated all of the debt. In the State of Indiana, both marital partners are held equally responsible for both.

              • Of course, it is impossible for one person to know all the obscure laws of every jurisdiction on earth.

                I am positive you can find a perverse law somewhere that turns anything on its head.


                Indiana Divorce Law including alimony and child support. Indiana Divorce Law…

                Indiana Law – What is “Marital Property?”

                In most states, the courts draw a sharp distinction between “marital” property and “separate” property.

                At the divorce, courts in other states divide “marital” property between the parties and leave the “separate” property in the hands of whoever owns it.

                Not so in Indiana.

                Indiana has a “one pot” theory, which means that all property owned by either party at the time of the divorce is fair game to be divided.

                But…
                Community property. In Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico, all property of a married person is classified as either community property (owned equally by both spouses) or the separate property of one spouse. At divorce, community property is generally divided equally between the spouses, while each spouse keeps his or her separate property.

                # Equitable distribution. In all other states, assets and earnings accumulated during marriage are divided equitably (fairly), but not necessarily equally.

                In practice, often two-thirds of the assets go to the higher-wage earner and one-third to the other spouse.

                But, be careful with the debt thing —- because All debts incurred during marriage, unless the creditor was specifically looking to the separate property of one spouse for payment.

                Again, simple organization if you happen to be constrained by State-based marriage you can avoid assuming debts of the other spouse.

        • Sorry, realized I missed something a couple of things.

          I would argue that the state has NO role in marriage, that is between your religious leader and you.

          The reason that the state has a vested interest in that legal union though, is why the state got involed in the first place: inheritance, legal guardianship, taxes, etc. Forex, my wife is legally responsible for any debts that I incur, but my live-in girlfriend is not.

          • I would not say the state has a “vested interest” at all.

            By being married, you subject yourself to the State in such matters of inheritance et al.

            • If I die, my legal spouse automatically get all of my assets, unless I have a specific will saying she doesn’t. when she gets those assets, there are no tax implications, because there was no extra “income” If I am incapacitated, she is the one who dictates care, unless I have left specific instructions.
              The precedent for “the government” whether it was the village elders, or the state, to have a say in these matters has been established over the last 3 million or so years as humanity established its society. People are pack animals, and there will be an “Alpha Male”.

              • Redleg:

                You have made my point, which is that Govt has no “vested interest”. It simply has inserted itself into the bond/contractual/nuptual agreement.

                Govt created the issues of taxation and inheretance, it is not inherent in the marriage arrangement nor has it been so for millions or even thousands of years.

                You have also confirmed BF’s point. Folks seek the Govt sanctioned marriage only because of the “cookies” attached to the recognition, this includes the inheretance issues.

                Every single point you raised, except the taxation benefits, can be addressed contractually without the govt’s involvement. And since taxes should be the same for all of us, as individuals, we simply need to eliminate the “marriage” deduction to get the govt out of the business all together.

              • You missed my last point, ever human society has grown beyond the family unit, there has been a a “government” of some kind. Since tha tpoint, there have always been, and will continue to be, laws, and some body (or somebody) to enforce them. Until you move yourself and your family to an island where you are completely self-sufficient, that is reality.

              • The profit of violence is very good.

                Centralizing the violence is even more profitable.

                Government centralizes violence for its own profit.

                Government is NOT an outcropping of society or social order. Government destroys social order.

          • So,Redleg, how does that wife and live-in girlfriend get along?

    • Boy, am I messed up. I’ve always thought of marriage as a priviledge and an honor. No wonder I’m divorced. Now my ex, he thought of marriage as a right and an entitlement. When you’re entitiled to your ‘right’, why put in the effort? Easy come, easy go,eh? Guess I’m wrong again.

      • Cyndi:

        Your ex was obviously a socialist pig. A true freedom loving man knows you have the “right” to “pursue” happiness and that to achieve it takes hard work and dedication. Only a STATIST would think that a title would entitle you to anything.

        Happy Coconuts and Rum
        JAC

        • You nailed him, JAC. He’s from the UK. Like all Socialists, he was real good at telling me what I wanted hear, then, once he had me where he felt I should be, WHAMO! Totally different guy. I really loved it when he would complain that I didn’t do enough financially. Nevermind that I paid the mortgage, all the house and car repairs, dining out/entertainment expenses, all the vet bills, and most of the groceries. I was the one who had the same full time job for years, while he spent half the same time period unemployed or waiting tables on weekends. Instead of bitching, he should have been thanking me. He cured me of any liberal thoughts I contained. It was a socilaist that made me a hard core conservative. So, that’s one good thing that came out it.

          I see you checked out the link I posted???? Nice, eh?

    • US, One must accept your premise that it is a “right”. I cannot. This “right” could easily be stretched to include incestuous marriage or marriage to multiple partners. Please don’t say it can’t. There are those that make that argument now. They just don’t have the traction yet.

      The concept of a homosexual union, would have been laughable thirty years ago. It is just a matter of time until Muslim Americans, whose ranks will be swelled by the refugees from the collapsed regimes in Iraq and Afganistan, demand their rights. I assume Morman Fundamentalists will get on that banmdwagon too when the time comes. The courts, will ultimately find in their favor. So, by virtue of connecting the dots, officially sanctioned marriage will soon mean nothing.

      It is also just a matter of time until religious institutions who refuse to accept or sanction such unions will be prosecuted. The hypocracy will go full circle when a freedom of religion right will be found by the courts to sanction such unions at the same time the law will punish those who do not recognize it by making that a “hate” crime.

      I sure as s— hate being Cassandra. “Don’t bring that goddam horse inside the City walls”.

      • And, though it appears to violate your sensibilities, what is your right to interfere with another non-violent human being’s action!

        Be very wary, sir, of such involvement.

        You will automatically grant others to deem any of your actions as insensible – and by right of mutuality – condemn you with the violence of the State.

      • Mike M. Houston Texas says:

        I have to agree here. What is my right? This means many things. Is a relationship defined by what the state says is acceptable. Here is where I lose understanding of this argument. I have a gay cousin. He lives his life just the same as I do. He lives with his partner. Attends social events. Has his private time in his own bedroom. Wether or not the state “recognizes his right” or not, his daily life is not affected. Not one bit. If Texas changed their law tomorrow his daily life would not be affected in any way. How on gods green earth does the state not allowing gay marriages affect his daily get up and go to work life? It doesnt.

        Oh but there’s the money issue. I answer that this way. It is my right to buy a yacht but I have to pay for it. It is my right to do alot of things, but I have to pay for it. So he has to file single on his taxes. So he pays a little more. His right to be with who he wants is not infringed he still goes home at night a sleeps with his partner. He can cover his partner on his insurance the same as I can. No loss there.

        Oh but theres the ceremony. Go to a state that allows it or a country that does get married and have your hoopla. Living here does not guarantee the right to do whatever you want to. But it does guarantee you the freedom to live or travel where ever you want.

        Oh but now I am imposing on him by making him go to another state. No I am not as its back to the dollars. If I gave him a million dollars to go do his thing do you think he would care if the state “recognized him”? He would not. Its about the money its not about his rights. There are those that say you are imposing on his rights by making him pay more. Do you really think this is a good argument? We make him pay more because he is different therefore we must change the law. Sounds way toooo much like socialism to me.

        Then there are those that say what about the people that get attacked or killed because they are gay. Wether or not the state recognizes them this will not change. There are normal people that get attacked and killed each day and their marriage is “recognized”. I am even willing to be there are more hetero’s killed each day than non-hetero’s. Well they were not attacked because they were hetero. Well there are azz holes that are just that and they always will be. Changing the law wont change these people.

        So as this day goes by there are thousands upon thousands of people going home to their partners and no one bothers them. Having or not having the law on the books will not change this.

        So you have to pay a little extra to live ouside the norm. Buying a yacht would be living outside the norm. However, I am not on TV screaming about my right to buy that yacht but the price is too high.

        Just go live your life. Do you really need the state to recognize you to be happy?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Let us say 3 men and 5 women decided to form a family unit, have offspring with each other, and raise the kids. Other than the fact that there are 8 adults in the house and you are not really sure exactly what the arrangement is between them, they all seem to be nice folks, and are quiet, considerate, and take good care of the house and yard.

        Just exactly how does this negatively affect you in any way?

        Now, as far as incest, if it is between 2 adult members of the same family, again, how does this affect YOU? You might find it personally disgusting or abhorrent based upon your religion, but that isn’t actually violating your rights in any way.

        In the case of adults claiming the right to have relationships with MINORS, this does not affect you directly, but it DOES affect the rights of the minor, who is deemed to be not of age to make informed decisions on his/her own. So, in cases where the participants are NOT ALL CONSENTING ADULTS, there are definite problems.

        However, as far as I know, as long as your rights are not being violated in any way, the only thing being violated by 2 men living together and having a sexual relationship, or 5 women and 3 men living together and having a sexual relationship is that these violate “accepted social norms”. An accepted social norm is not the same thing as a right.

      • Remember, I was merely talking about marriage and it’s historical, traditional meaning. Nowhere do I say unions cannot or should not be allowed. As a society becomes more mature or more stupid (your call),expanding legal protections to those outside the norm may or may not be a good idea. Insisting that these protections be called marriage is akin to imposing your morality on people who may not agree ( as an aside Flag, is this not violence?). In effect, I believe I have turned the tables on that argument. There is, I believe a Latin phrase for it but I have long ago forgotten what it is.

        Yesterday I discussed the issue of compromise. Here again this topic raises it’s ugly head. For the sake of argument, lets say that I do not believe gays are entitled to any special treatment or protection if they decide to live as a couple. You do. We argue and debate and I finally say that I accept that gays should be granted the same legal contractual rights that are guaranteed through marriage. You compromise with me and say that we will agree to call them “unions”. We shake hands and establish civil unions. Case closed? Not hardly pilgrim. Within a few years you are back demanding marriage. In my life I have seen this way too many times on way too many issues and as a rapidly aging curmudgeon am reaching the point where, “Damn the torpedoes Gridley, Full speed ahead! Screw compromise, lets go for the juglar.

        • “imposing your morality”

          Stopping you from imposing yourself on others is NOT me imposing my views on you.

          You can hold your views whatever they may be, to yourself.

          The moment you believe you can force someone to accept your views, or act in preventing their views, you’re now the imposer.

        • “lets say that I do not believe gays are entitled to any special treatment or protection if they decide to live as a couple. You do.”

          What ‘special protection’?

          Your analogy is too broad.

          Protecting them from violent act may be defined by you as “special”, or perhaps forcing others to pay for security services for them is what you define as “special”.

          I believe the former, they deserve as humans and the latter, no – I do not want to be forced to pay for anyone’s protection.

          • and imposing this newly created “right” is not imposing yourself on me?

            • What ‘newly created right’?

              • legalized civil unions or proposed gay marriage. perhaps the “right” in the abstract has always been there. I could choose to live with anyone or any number I wanted and call it a marriage or whatever I wanted but it has not achieved recognized legal status until roughly twenty years ago. Hence, my choice of the term “newly created”. T’were not there twenty five years ago.

              • The law does not create rights – period.

                Thus, as soon as you start with ‘legal….’, you’re not talking about rights – you are talking about law, the use of violence to enforce edicts

                The challenge a lot of people have is to mix up a “human right” with what is allowed by law.

                There are many government laws that destroy human rights. I would say almost every law today destroys human rights (there are very few laws in ratio that protect human rights)

                There exists not one human right that destroys a Natural Law.

          • again, a newly created right not recognized until 20 years ago.

        • “You compromise with me”

          But why should I compromise between freedom and slavery?

          Either they have the right or they do not.

          There is NO MIDDLE GROUND.

          Why do you care if they call it a marriage or a union or a ho-down or a tree-hugging ceremony?

          Why is it your business in the first place?

          • Using compromise in this instance as an example. If you see yourself as always right, then obviously there is no reason to compromise. Historically, on this issue especially the civil union part,reasonably intellegent legislators have agreed that compromise is necessary. Said compromise has succeeded in getting civil union legislation passed with a slim popular majority. Pushing the envelope to “marriage”, has not resulted in compromise and may result in a backlash which would be unfortunate.

            Do not see the issue of civil union vs marriage as one of freedom or slavery.

            Hard one. Because, words have value, meaning and certain words and their use diminish me. Unfortunately, I already know you disagree, so, we will once again just have to agree to disagree.

            Whose business is it to tell me what I accept and don’t?

            • Using compromise in this instance as an example. If you see yourself as always right, then obviously there is no reason to compromise.

              Between freedom and slavery there can be no compromise.

              It is not a matter of ethics or ‘right vs wrong’.

              Historically, on this issue especially the civil union part,reasonably intellegent legislators have agreed that compromise is necessary.

              Historically, women have been chattel and men slaves.

              That does not make slavery a ‘human right’.

              Said compromise has succeeded in getting civil union legislation passed with a slim popular majority. Pushing the envelope to “marriage”, has not resulted in compromise and may result in a backlash which would be unfortunate.

              What backlash? The backlash that you can no longer enforce, by using violence, your belief on non-violent people??

              Do not see the issue of civil union vs marriage as one of freedom or slavery.

              Those people are doing no violence on you.

              You are threatening using the tool of massive government violence on them.

              It is a matter of freedom vs. slavery.

              Hard one. Because, words have value, meaning and certain words and their use diminish me. Unfortunately, I already know you disagree, so, we will once again just have to agree to disagree.

              Whose business is it to tell me what I accept and don’t?

              You do not have to accept it, just like I don’t accept the ugly color you painted your kitchen.

              But, it is not my kitchen. I still don’t accept the color – but that never can translate into my right to bust into your house and force you to repaint it.

              • If you do not wish to ‘deal with’ gay married persons, it is your right.

                You do not have to buy from them, or sell to them. You do not have to talk to them, and you can ignore them if they talk to you.

              • I’ll just never refer to them as “married”. Then they are free to buy, sell, talk with me if they choose or not.

                I believ that is freedom of association.

              • Yes, it is that – a freedom.

              • I merely advocate that those who who cannot accept the word marriage in other than its
                original sense be allowed to maintain the right to think and believe as they do without massive
                government violence against them which, like it or not seems to be coming.

                They too should be allowed to use their God given right of freedom of speech to maintain the legal definition of marriage. Should you consider this violence on their part or consider that they are trying to “impose” their belief system by force on others, then I most respectfully disagree. I find it no different than attending a “right to life” march which has been described as intimidating and encouraging violence against women. Which I am sure that you know.

                As always, a pleasure, I must now begin the 1 and 1/2 hour trek home.

              • Why bother getting bothered SKT? Near as I can find casually the Sumerian word for marriage is GAŠ-an which predates “marriage” by a looong time and was used by those whose footprint in the oldest biblical writings is substantial.

              • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

                Flag and I have been down this road before. My objection which is often characterized as a rejection of gay partnerships or of hbomosexuals in general has everything
                to do with my perception of the coarsening of the culture and the helter skelter tearing down of all barriers to everything. I was never one to seek change for the sake of seeking change. If something, education, housing, societial norms has worked successfully worked, I do not see the need to change it unless there is a demonstrable benefit. As an “almost” shrink, back in the day, I am appalled by bad behaviuor being excused by psychology as merely an “alternative”.
                We have a society today which has degenerated to the point where the value of life is questioned, the value of the family is in doubt, men are superfulous and despite 40 years of women’s studies, women are seen more as sexual objects, even to themselves, than ever before. Ever watch an episode of “Sex in the City”?

                This is one of those all day seminar issues where we can drink mass quantities of beer and hash it out.

                I was talking to my son the other day about the term “psychobabble”. He of course, being in his twenties cannot remember its origin. I do. It was coined by us old school types to describe the new school types who had an “explanation” for any and all types of behavior.
                I have always been a reluctant buyer of “new & improved”.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                What is your definition of “successfully worked”?

              • SK,

                see below #38

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Yes, equal protection is guaranteed in the Constitution, and Pursuit of Happiness is an unalienable right according to the Declaration.

      That being said, the best way to solve the problem is to GET THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF THE MARRIAGE BUSINESS ALTOGETHER!

      Let us say you are religious and your religion states that homosexuality is wrong. Fine. No problem from me there.

      Further, let us suppose that 2 guys (or 2 women) who are NOT PART OF YOUR RELIGION decide to live together, perhaps even adopt children, and raise them.

      What CAN you do? You can object to this on religious grounds, because your religion teaches you that it is wrong. You can even SAY that you believe it is wrong. HOWEVER, the minute you threaten to use force or actually use force to get SOMEONE ELSE to conform to your beliefs, you have just violated someone else’s rights. So, you may not, in any way, do anything which would constitute and initiation of force or a threat of force against those who will not conform to your beliefs.

      Some of you who may be very religious might say, “I have a right to DEFEND myself and my children against these people, their lifestyle is DANGEROUS.”

      Ok, you DO have a right to defend yourself, however, first you must CLEARLY DEMONSTRATE that there is a threat of violence against you and/or your family or an actual initiation of violence against you or your family. If you cannot demonstrate that, then there is nothing to defend yourself against.

      Someone else refusing to believe the same things you believe does not constitute an implied or actual threat, even though many people somehow try to claim that it is.

  3. USWeapon Topic #3

    Stimulate What is Needed

    Economic growth is like any other type of growth, it operates in fits and starts. But recent efforts to stimulate the economy, at least as it’s seen in Washington and the 50 state capitals, appears to be viewed as simply adding or protecting government jobs. Then, they tell us, the discredited Keynesian multiplier will help us get over the hump, and a governmental Tinkerbell will sprinkle fairy dust on all of us. Of course she will.

    To provide true economic stimulus and job growth, new private enterprises, with the potential for real success, must be receive initial funding, and encouraged to grow into moderate sized businesses. That’s where most of the needed job growth will occur, and that’s where future tax revenues will be generated. But it must be self-sustaining. No government job ever created is self-sustaining. None. Ever.

    Read the rest of the article at The American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/10/stimulate_what_is_needed.html

    I am interested in hearing from the left leaning folks on the site as to how they would answer the claims in this article. Charlie, you seem well versed in discussing economic growth from a big government perspective, for example, so how do you sit in regard to this article? It seems that the claim here is that offering some sort of deferment of taxes on investment money from venture capitalists investing in new businesses is being proposed. The way it is laid out makes sense to me, but I readily admit that I am not an economic guru. And that means that I am looking forward to your thoughts as well, Black Flag.

    Overall, I like the fact that this idea doesn’t come from the top down. Government is taken out of the picture in terms of determining where to put money, because we all know that the federal government is absolutely inept at determining how to do anything correctly, efficiently, or effectively. I wholeheartedly agree that creating or saving government jobs is a complete waste of taxpayer money. In fact, I would almost advocate a massive government shutdown in order to force “trimming the fat” from government bureaucracy as a whole. I would be willing to bet that with Ray’s principles of EEE, we could eliminate 50% of the government jobs, which means 50% of the federal payroll, which means a large reduction in taxes, which means a lot more money in the hands of the people who will spend it more wisely than government has the ability to do.

    OK, Fire away everyone. I know I have it coming.

    • Bottom Line says:

      Is it time for a massive tax revolt and corporate boycott? lol

    • USW:

      The whole idea is predicated on the Keynesian belief system the author criticizes. The use of govt taxing power to manipulate behavior in the economy. I have some experience with Venture Capital firms and this “tax incentive” is totally NOT necessary. They fund through a couple of mechanisms. One is stock purchase for which they get capital gains treatment when they sell the stock. The other is loans, for which they get paid high interest. Their decision making process is based on the risk of failure vs the probability of success. The last thing we need is some Tax Policy messing up that evaluation and decision making process.

      If a new company is a good risk, even in todays market, there is money out there to support it. It is the cost of the money that is making it hard to get. I also disagree with the authors conclusion that what we need are more new companies. In our current state there are a lot of existing companies that need cash to expand.

      We need to stop giving tax breaks, or providing any specialized laws, for portions of the citizenry. All laws should apply to all, equally.

      Extend the qualifying period for Capital Gains treatment to at least one year (where it used to be) and leave the rate at 15%, until we get some debt reduced/eliminated. Then drop the rate to zero.

  4. USWeapon Topic #4

    Rhode Island Hospital Fined $150,000 After Performing 5th Wrong Site Surgery Since 2007

    Rhode Island’s largest hospital was fined $150,000 and ordered to take the extraordinary step of installing video cameras in all its operating rooms after it had its fifth wrong-site surgery since 2007, state health officials said Monday.

    Rhode Island Hospital, the teaching hospital for Brown University’s Alpert Medical School, was fined a second time for wrong-site surgeries, state health director David Gifford said. The hospital also was fined $50,000 after brain surgeons operated on the wrong part of the heads of three patients in 2007. Gifford said his department has issued only two fines — both to Rhode Island Hospital.

    Gifford sent a letter and order to hospital CEO Timothy Babineau on Monday.

    The latest incident last month involved a patient who was to have surgery on two fingers. Instead, the surgeon performed both operations on the same finger. Under protocols adopted in the medical field, the surgery site should have been marked and the surgical team should have taken a timeout before cutting to ensure they were operating on the right patient, the right part of the patient’s body and doing the correct procedure.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,571287,00.html?test=latestnews

    I find this to be a fascinating thing. A single hospital, in just two years time, has made a similar mistake in 5 separate surgeries. As we have all of our discussions about health care, and whether the federal government should be involved in the health care system in America, I think we have to acknowledge things like this happening.

    My first question has to be whether the hospital should, at some point, simply be not allowed to perform surgeries until they can prove that they have taken the steps necessary to fix this apparent lack of focus.

    My second question is why, as a patient, would anyone want to have surgery done at this hospital. We often talk about the power of the free market and how consumers would take their business away from those who cannot provide a service at an acceptable level. For those that propose such theories, how do we account for the fact that the hospital has done it 4 times and yet consumers continued to patronize this hospital? Now we have a 5th instance, a 150k fine for the hospital, and we can all sit back and wait for #6.

    I am interested in everyone’s thoughts on this bizarre story.

    • Bottom Line says:

      USW – “My first question has to be whether the hospital should, at some point, simply be not allowed to perform surgeries until they can prove that they have taken the steps necessary to fix this apparent lack of focus.”

      BL – Don’t fine them. As a patient, you assume the risk when you have surgery.

      USW – “My second question is why, as a patient, would anyone want to have surgery done at this hospital. We often talk about the power of the free market and how consumers would take their business away from those who cannot provide a service at an acceptable level. For those that propose such theories, how do we account for the fact that the hospital has done it 4 times and yet consumers continued to patronize this hospital? Now we have a 5th instance, a 150k fine for the hospital, and we can all sit back and wait for #6.”

      BL – People are stupid.

      • Posting for comments.

      • Bottom Line”

        My dear friend the Quickening seems to have a grip upon you this morning.

        But I must admit, from here you appear to be 3 for 3. Hall of Fame numbers.

        • Bottom Line says:

          ? “the Quickening” ?

          • Yes, remember my post some time back about how I was feeling the stress of fall. Kind of like I have tons to do and no time to do it. Kind of makes everyone tense and short of temper.

            Started noticing folks around me were having similar reactions. Short and terse.

            As I am getting long in the tooth the name seemed to fit how I was feeling at the moment and about life in general. It seems like I can hear the “clock ticking” all the time. Like that crocodile that is always following Capt Hook around…tick tock….tick tock…..time is running out.

            How are you this morining?
            JAC

            • Bottom Line says:

              Good, I guess.

              And you?

            • Damn, JAC….quit throwing that stuff around this early…makes ones head spin. 🙂 How are you, my friend?

              • D13 and BL:

                I am doing fine this AM. Thanks to both of you for asking.

                By the way Colonel, glad to see I am not alone in my memories of how people felt in the 60’s. Was beginning to think I was living in a different universe.

                Sun is shining, air is very cold. Feeling a little bit Revolutionary today.

                How bout you?

              • Yessss….feeling the same way…sun is shining….temps are around 70….a blizzard by my standards….feeling revolutionary….hmmmmm…..am thinking so…wanna start one?

              • All ready have, look what happened to Peter these past few months.

                And then there is that Colonel from Texas. Seems he has turned over a few stones himself.

                Funin aside, it is gettin time to start stirrin the pot in a meaningful way.

                You game?

              • Yep…ready.

              • D13:

                OK then…………

                We need JAC’s, many, many JAC’s spread across the country.

                Now think Kilroy and replace with JAC.

                Teaching, suggesting, commenting, always watching and holding accountable. EVERY WHERE.

      • When I had surgery on my foot back in high school (I was born with an extra bone – go figure), we wrote on my left foot in sharpie “Not this one!” Was it likely that they would operate on the wrong foot? No, but we thought on the off chance that they started in on it, they would probably stop if they saw that..

        That said, it’s a great question: where are your market forces now? How many times do they have to screw up before Adam Smith’s invisible hand would take care of the issue?

        BL: nice to see you echoing Mathius’ First law

        • Bottom Line says:

          That’s 2 so far.

          1. Womens tennis
          2. People are stupid

          • What is the world coming to, I wonder..

            • As the 21st century began, human evolution was at a turning point. Natural selection, the process by which the strongest, the smartest, the fastest, reproduced in greater numbers than the rest, a process which had once favored the noblest traits of man, now began to favor different traits. Most science fiction of the day predicted a future that was more civilized and more intelligent. But as time went on, things seemed to be heading in the opposite direction. A dumbing down. How did this happen? Evolution does not necessarily reward intelligence. With no natural predators to thin the herd, it began to simply reward those who reproduced the most, and left the intelligent to become an endangered species.

              • Have you ever seen the movie “Idiocracy”? Funny, and with a grain of truth, excluding lefty Fox News joke….

              • The years passed, mankind became stupider at a frightening rate. Some had high hopes the genetic engineering would correct this trend in evolution, but sadly the greatest minds and resources where focused on conquering hair loss and prolonging erections.

              • The best and brightest lie in Flanders Fields. Fits the time frame too.

        • Matt:

          When I read you had surgery on your foot, immediately I thought it was to remove it from your mouth…

          😆

          I had to, I just had to take advantage of that opening!

        • Mat,
          I had the same thing in both feet, Dr said that flat footed people have a 30% chance of having the extra bone in their foot. Spent a year on crutches, sucks when you are 13 ..

      • Posting for comments.

    • No excuse but Rhode Island Hospital is a private, not-for-profit hospital located in Providence, Rhode Island. It is a teaching hospital affiliated with the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. To screw up that much someone was not following protocol it would seem. We have a teaching hospital here that is a Southeastern Regional Medical Center and people come from all over the country to be treated here. With 4 boys and sports, we have used them a lot. We (boys) have had 5 knee surgeries, 2 finger surgeries, and 1 shoulder surgery with no problems. Before every surgery a member of the operating staff came in and discussed with us what and where the operation was being performed. They would mark the knee, finger or shoulder that was to be worked on and have us verify that it was correct. No problems.

    • Damn, I started to write something, thought about it and check, and I was wrong. In general, it’s hard to find a straight answer on the quality of medical care offered by local hospitals. Some searching came up with results that should be a joke, such as “was aspirin administered to heart attack patients within 20 minutes of admission.” While that is a valid treatment, I am more interested in survival rates compared to other hospitals.

      But there MAY be better information available now.

      Consumer Reports launches online hospital ratings for more than 3,400 U.S. hospitals

      Posted Saturday, August 29, 2009

      I have not spent the $19 yet, but may in the future. Its difficult to get accurate info, with privacy laws, but I wonder if government ratings of doctors and hospitals MIGHT be a good thing? Relying on local, word-of- mouth strikes me as putting your life on the line based on gossip.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Is there a “private” insurance company in Rhode Island that specifies that patients must either use this hospital or be charged “out of network” fees?

      Many private insurers have such limitations. Such limitations are a VERY GOOD EXAMPLE of how health insurance currently DOES NOT RESEMBLE A “FREE MARKET” in any way whatsoever!

      If you are the average working guy, and your insurer tells you, “You either go to Rhode Island General or you pay an extra 25%” guess what most people are going to do….

  5. Bottom Line says:

    Phoenix Business Journal says crime drops when illegals leave town.

    http://phoenix.bizjournals.com/phoenix/stories/2009/07/27/daily89.html

    A marked drop in Phoenix-area crime coincides with the recession and a drop in the number of illegal immigrants in Arizona.

    Phoenix has seen a 25 percent decline in the number of crimes during the first five months of 2009 compared to the same time period in 2007 when the economy began to slow. Violent crime in Phoenix is down 12 percent, according crime statistics from the Phoenix Police Department.

    The Mesa Police Department reports a 19 percent decrease in total crimes for the first half of 2009 versus the first half of 2007, including a 10 percent drop in violent crime. Tempe has seen a 25 percent total drop.

    At the same time, the state’s illegal immigrant population has decreased by as much as one-third thanks to the down U.S. economy, tougher enforcement polices by the federal government and Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the state’s employer sanctions law which goes after businesses who hire undocumented workers, said Steven Camarota, director of the Center for Immigration Studies.

    CIS estimates Arizona’s illegal immigrant population has gone from 579,000 in 2007 to 388,000 this year — 191,000-person drop.

    Camarota said enforcement was the initial reason for the drop in illegal immigration in Arizona, but now it’s more due to the lack of jobs for migrants entering the U.S. from Mexico.

    Arizona has lost 239,500 — 9 percent of its work force — since the recession began in late 2007, according the Economic Policy Institute. Those job losses have been heavy in industries such as construction, restaurants and services.

    CIS estimates the U.S. illegal immigrant population has dropped from 12.5 million in 2007 to 10.8 million now.

    Tempe total crimes
    Jan.-June 2007: 6,532
    Jan.-June 2009: 4,955
    Phoenix total crimes
    Jan.-May 2007: 50,898
    Jan.-May 2009: 38,257
    Phoenix violent crimes:

    Jan.-May 2007: 4,706
    Jan.-May 2009: 4,153
    Mesa total crimes
    Jan.-June 2007: 11,016
    Jan.-June 2009: 8,910
    Mesa violent crimes
    Jan.-June 2007: 1,091
    Jan.-June 2009: 981
    Source: Police departments

    • Just curious.. is there something inherently violent and criminal about Mexican immigrants in your opinion?

      • Bottom Line says:

        No. As I’ve stated in previous posts, I’ve lived with and worked with illegal mexicans. It’s been my experience that most are genuinely honest good natured people.

        • So how do you explain the correlation you appear to be drawing above?

          I have a theory, but I’d like to hear yours

          • Bottom Line says:

            Matt,

            I’m just pointing out the 800 pound gorilla in the room.

            • Don’t hide behind the gorilla.. (and what’s with people and gorillas lately?). You posted it. In a condensed version, it says “Arizona kicked out a bunch of Mexican immigrants and crime dropped.” The implication is that if they kicked out more, crime would drop more, or that Mexicans are inherently criminal.

              Here’s what I think. Do you know anything about raising pigs? You see, if pigs are given appropriate living conditions and treated well, they develop complex societies where there is little-to-no violence, they are clean, and they even care for their sick or injured. If you do not give them appropriate living conditions or treat them poorly, they become violent, brutish creatures. People are little different.

              If immigrants come here and are treated poorly, are given inadequate pay, no benefits, no respect, bad living environments, and are treated like criminals, is it any wonder that some of them will act like criminals?

              This is a chicken and egg problem. They are treated like criminals, so some become criminals, which justifies treating all of them like criminals.

              The solution is to make it easier for them to migrate here legally, and to get our collective heads out of our asses and realize that there’s nothing inherently violent or bad about the Brown Man.

              Adding…
              Pretty women are walking with gorillas down my street
              From my window I’m staring while my coffee grows cold
              Look over there! (Where?)
              There’s a lady that I used to know
              She’s married now or engaged or something so I’m told

              Is she really going out with him?
              Is she really gonna take him home tonight?
              Is she really going out with him?
              ‘Cause if my eyes don’t deceive me,
              There’s something going wrong around here

              • Mathius says: If immigrants come here and are treated poorly, are given inadequate pay, no benefits, no respect, bad living environments, and are treated like criminals, is it any wonder that some of them will act like criminals.

                Mathius…I think you are very wrong here. They would not be treated this way if they were not here legally. Being here illegally makes them criminals the minute they crossed the border. why are they entitled to benefits even citizens are not? WHY???? I do not understand your reasoning. I am sorry for their plight…I am sorry for their hunger and thirst and the need to support their family…but it is NOT my problem…it is Mexico’s problem. I can empathize but not sympathize. And if you state that it is our problem, then does that not go against everything you stand for as far as being in other countries? You are a stalwart of non interference in other countries and politics but you favor an open door here to violate our sovereignty?

                I luv ya man.,…but here we are miles apart.

              • Bottom Line says:

                Okay Matt,

                Pigs.

                Lets say you have raised a couple dozen pigs, You’ve worked real hard setting things up for them and they are happily living on your ranch. They have a muddy pond for when they get hot. They have a troph that is always full of slop. They have a barn for a refuge against the weather. You give them veterinarian care and delouse/bathe them occationally. You give them lots of TLC and they pretty much have everything they need. They’re doing just fine.

                Then one night while scavenging, a wild herd discovers your ranch and how nice it is set up for pigs. Naturally they find it quite inviting. They start to raid the troph, mount your sows, break your fence, and get half of your pigs sick.

                Now you have the burden of extra food cost, fence mending, and veterinarian bills.

                Since the wild pigs are pigs too and deserve respect and fair treatment, You continue to take on the extra burden.

                After a while, you notice that you are way in the red on your pig care budget, but continue to accept the burden. They’re pigs too, right?

                Eventually you have no funds to take care of your pigs.

                Now your pigs are dying from illness. They’re malnourished, and full of parasites.

                You should have just shot the wild pigs from the start.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Mathius,

                Your premise is faulty. If I WANTED to raise pigs, I would do so.

                If I do not WANT to raise pigs, and my yard is suddenly over-run by pigs anyway, I am going to call animal control and have them hauled off to a pig farm, where someone might actually WANT them 🙂

      • No, just the illegal ones.

    • I am sure that ya’ll are aware of the new law that went into effect November 1? All illegals rounded up in the US are being sent to Presidio, Texas and released on the Mexican side in a town called Ojinaga. To the South is the Chihuahua desert and to the North is the Big Bend country and more desolate ranch land. The ranchers in Texas patrol their land with automatic weapons and ask no questions. The reason they patrol so tough is that the illegal entry is killing their cattle, destroying their fences, taking their water (which is precious), and breaking and entering homes. As Mathius once put it…shoot first and ask questions later. When released, there is nowhere to go for these people. However, they are on the Mexico side and will force Mexico to deal with them. Let the aristocracy in Mexico pony up the money. The closest large town is El Paso and it is miles away through snake infested desert to the south and pissed of ranchers to the north.

      Our government obviously cannot handle the issue in California and elsewhere…so they are shipping them to Texas because we have the strong state laws. We also have the inherent right to protect private property with deadly force and that even includes our garbage. Texas is ranching country and no trespassing is not a warning…it is a threat. Do not do it. If the sign says don’t go in there….don’t. And it is written in English. If you cannot read English…don’t go in there. If you have to cross a fence…don’t. Don’t kill cattle for food and don’t break into our homes for water. Stay in Mexico. Pretty simple actually.

      Sorry…I am very passionate about this. Come into my country legally and I will say nothing but welcome.

      • Bottom Line says:

        D13,

        If you may have already seen this, but I thought you might appreciate it.

        I did.

        • Yep…seen it and done it myself. I will never see any nation’s flag fly above my flag in my country. Never…not without me having something to say about it or doing something about it. If someone wants to fly their flag…fine. Not above the US flag and with my flag under it….that is disrespect.

        • I’ve seen it. Great post!!! I do not think bringing a published article on crime rates dropping means you have an issue will immigrants. Maybe you do have an issue with criminals? Should we discuss that?

          Have you hugged a carjacker or rapist lately?

  6. Bottom Line says:

    http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/article_5cedf831-9d5d-5335-af7e-2af6730a577c.html

    NORTH COUNTY TIMES

    Cost of illegal immigration in California estimated at nearly $9 billion

    By: EDWARD SIFUENTES – Staff Writer

    California’s nearly 3 million illegal immigrants cost taxpayers nearly $9 billion each year, according to a new report released last week by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a Washington, D.C.-based group that promotes stricter immigration policies.

    Educating the children of illegal immigrants is the largest cost, estimated at $7.7 billion each year, according to the report. Medical care for illegal immigrants and incarceration of those who have committed crimes are the next two largest expenses measured in the study, the author said.

    Pro-immigrant groups and Latino researchers dispute the federation’s findings, calling them biased and incomplete.

    Jack Martin, who wrote the report, said Thursday that the $9 billion figure does not include other expenses that are difficult to measure, such as special English instruction, school lunch programs, and welfare benefits for American workers displaced by illegal immigrant workers.

    “It’s a bottom of the range number,” Martin said.

    The federation is one of the nation’s leading lobbying groups aimed at curbing immigration into the country.

    Authors of the report say it culls information from the U.S. Census and other studies addressing the cost of illegal immigration into the country to draw its conclusions.

    Gerardo Gonzalez, director of Cal State San Marcos’ National Latino Research Center, which compiles data on Latinos, criticized the report. He said it does not measure some of the contributions that immigrants make to the state’s economy.

    “Beyond taxes, these workers’ production and spending contribute to California’s economy, especially the agricultural sector,” Gonzalez said.

    Immigrants, both legal and illegal, are the backbone of the state’s nearly $28 billion-a-year agricultural industry, Gonzalez and other researchers say.

    More than two-thirds of the estimated 340,000 agriculture workers in California are noncitizens, most of whom are believed to be illegal immigrants, according to a 1998 study on farmworkers prepared for the state Legislature.

    Local farmers say migrant farmworkers are critical to their businesses, and without them they would have to close their farms or move their operations overseas.

    Martin disagrees. He said illegal immigrants displace American workers by taking low-skilled jobs, keep wages low by creating an overabundance of workers and stifle innovation by reducing the need for mechanized labor.

    “The product of the illegal immigrant is not included (in the report) because if that is an essential product it will get done one way or another,” Martin said. Employers “would have to pay better wages or invest money on mechanization.”

    Martin’s study looks specifically at the costs of educating illegal immigrants’ children, providing medical care to illegal immigrants and jailing those convicted of committing crimes. The report estimates the total cost at $10.5 billion each year, but that is offset by about $1.7 billion in taxes that illegal immigrants pay.

    The study assumes that there are about 1 million children of illegal immigrant parents in California, or about 15 percent of the state’s K-12 school enrolled population. The estimate is based on a 1994 study by the Urban Institute that concluded there were 307,000 illegal immigrant children enrolled in the state’s public schools.

    Martin also added an estimate of 597,000 U.S.-born children whose parents are illegal immigrants arriving at a total of 1,022,000 children. Multiplying the number of children by the estimated $7,577 the state spends on average per pupil, the study arrived at the $7.7 billion figure.

    Including the number of U.S.-born children in the study is one of the reasons pro-immigrant groups said the study is biased.

    “I think FAIR is without doubt an extremist organization that tries to portray itself as a mainstream group,” said Christian Ramirez, director of the San Diego office of the American Friends Service Committee, an advocate group for legal and illegal immigrants.

    The study’s author defended the report, saying that the children were born in the United States as a result of their parents’ illegal entry into the country.

    “In no way does the report identify them as different kinds of citizens, because they would not have been born in the U.S. had their parents not come into the country illegally,” Martin said.

    To arrive at the cost of providing health care to illegal immigrants, the federation’s study used an earlier 2000 analysis of health expenses paid by border counties that concluded the state spent $908 million on medical care for immigrants.

    Martin said he adjusted the 2000 figure for increases in the population and inflation on the cost of providing health care and estimated that the state will spend about $1.4 billion in 2004.

    The report also estimated that the state will spend another $1.4 billion to jail the 48,000 illegal immigrants in state prisons. California is compensated by the federal government to offset the cost of housing this population, but the federal payments were a fraction, about $111 million, of the total cost, Martin said.

    To figure out the contributions that this immigrant population makes in taxes, the federation’s study said it adjusted the Urban Institute’s study estimates of $732 million for population increases and concluded that they contribute about $1.7 billion in sales, income and property taxes.

    A similar study conducted by the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C., and released in August, said that illegal immigrants cost the federal government $10 billion more than they pay in taxes.

    The federal government pays about $2.2 billion in medical treatment for uninsured immigrants, according to the report. It pays $1.9 billion in food assistance programs, such as food stamps and school lunches, for low-income families. And it pays $1.4 billion in aid to schools that educate illegal immigrant children.

    Martin said states bear most of the cost of illegal immigration.

    “State costs are much higher on a per capita basis because of the fact that the largest expenses are medical care and education and those are borne at the local level, not the federal,” Martin said.

    • Another part of this story about the farmers. These farmers dont want to hire a legal person, due to the wages. When I lived out there in the Fresno area, two farms were raided in one season. They rounded up 45 illegal workers total. The owners of the farms were paying a average wage of 2.50-3.00/hr for these workers. To me that is a issue within itself.
      Ellen

    • Bottom Line says:

    • Bottom Line says:

      http://www.azcentral.com/business/articles/0109biz-illlegalscost0110-ON.html

      Report: Illegal immigrants cost state $1.4B in wages
      Ronald J. Hansen
      The Arizona Republic
      Jan. 9, 2008 05:36 PM

      Illegal immigrants cost Arizonans at least $1.4 billion in lower wages in 2005, a prominent Harvard labor economist estimates in a report released this week.

      The report by George Borjas is the latest academic attempt to quantify the impact of illegal immigrants on the Arizona economy. It offered not-so-subtle criticism of a University of Arizona report last summer that found illegal workers overall made a slight positive economic contribution to the state.

      Borjas’ analysis did not attempt to examine any possible economic benefits illegal immigrants may make to the state’s economy, such as lower prices for goods and services.

      Judith Gans of the University of Arizona tried to quantify the net effect of illegal immigrants on the state’s 2004 finances in her report, which immediately touched off a firestorm of complaints that it was not sufficiently thorough.

      The Borjas report was prepared for Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas as part of a lawsuit challenging the state’s employer-sanctions law, which threatens to pull business licenses from companies that knowingly employ illegal immigrants.

      Borjas charged Thomas his customary $625 per hour for the report, which he said he prepared over “a couple of weeks.” Thomas declined to disclose the report’s cost.

      “Dr. Borjas is one of the nation’s leading authorities on the effects of illegal immigration on the American economy,” Thomas said on Monday. “His analysis demonstrates that enforcement of the employer-sanctions law will help to protect and potentially increase wages in Arizona, especially among lower-wage workers.”

      Borjas, a Cuban immigrant described by the New York Times as “the pre-eminent scholar in his field,” declined to comment Wednesday on his report, saying only that he would let it speak for itself. Gans, who manages an immigration-focused public-policy center at UA, could not be reached for comment.

      In different ways, both reports try to quantify the economic impact illegal immigration has on Arizona, a factor often in dispute and at the heart of the issue.

      In her report, Gans wrote that sales-tax revenues from illegal immigrants slightly outpaced the costs they incurred to local and state governments. She did not examine the effect of illegal immigrants on wages.

      Another report, by Marc Rosenblum, a political-science professor at the University of New Orleans, predicts Arizona employers will react to the sanctions law with “defensive” hiring and firing practices and by increasingly paying low-skill workers in a black-market cash system that will cut wages for others.

      Rosenblum, who was paid $225 an hour by business groups suing to overturn the sanctions law, did not estimate the financial impact on the state.

      One of the key assumptions Borjas makes is that immigrants – both legal and illegal – expand the labor pool and inevitably lower wages for American-born workers in the same job field.

      Some economists, like David Card at the University of California at Berkeley, reject that assumption. If true, workers in Bakersfield, Calif., could expect to make more than those in Los Angeles, Card said.

      Borjas, however, said the effects on labor pools ripple across cities and states.

      Borjas wrote that the drop in Arizona’s wages was greatest for those who make the least, high-school dropouts and inexperienced workers.

      For dropouts, wages for legal workers were 4.7 percent lower than they would be without illegal immigrants, Borjas found. Dropouts earned $20,300 in 2005, about $950 less than they otherwise would have been, he calculated.

      By comparison, college-educated workers lost 0.9 percent, dropping their average income $590, to $65,100, Borjas found.

      All the numbers are estimates and are probably worse than he projected, Borjas said in his report.

      That’s because federal officials likely undercounted the number of illegal immigrants, which Borjas estimates as 49 percent of the foreign-born residents in Arizona based on figures from the Department of Homeland Security.

      Also, illegal workers likely are more concentrated in lower-wage jobs than government estimates show, he said.

      In the long term, Borjas said, Arizona’s overall wages would likely have no net harm from illegal workers because of adjustments made by those who compete with them and because businesses would find higher investment and profitability. But it is unclear how long it takes to reach that point, Borjas said.

      “It is not known if these long-run adjustments take place in five years or 10 years or 20 years (or . . . after we are all dead),” he wrote. Also, low-skill workers would still face lower pay in the long run, he said.

      His report focuses on wages only and does not estimate what, if anything, Arizonans saved in the lower costs of goods and services because of illegal immigrants. Also, Borjas did not estimate the impact of illegal immigrants on government, from the extra taxes they pay or the additional services they consume.

      That was the approach Gans used, but Borjas said he could not assess her work because she didn’t fully explain the methods she used to arrive at her conclusions.

      Also, Gans’ work was not peer-reviewed, and she does not hold a doctorate in economics, as he does, Borjas wrote.

      • Bottom Line, we hereby annoint you the Czar against Illegal Immigration!

      • Bottom Line says:

        CBS News.com

        http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/09/10/national/main5301762.shtml

        HOUSTON, Sept. 10, 2009

        Texas Ranger Teams Address Border Violence

        Special teams of Texas Rangers will be deployed to the Texas-Mexico border to deal with increasing violence because the federal government has failed to address growing problems there, Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday.

        “It is an expansive effort with the Rangers playing a more high-profile role than they’ve ever played before,” Perry said of the Department of Public Safety’s elite investigative unit.

        The forces, dubbed “Ranger recon” teams, are the latest effort “to fill the gap that’s been left by the federal government’s ongoing failure to adequately secure our international border with Mexico,” he said.

        The governor early this year asked Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for 1,000 National Guard troops and renewed his call last month in a letter to President Barack Obama. The request is bogged down over who will pay for the troops and how they will be deployed.

        Perry’s announcement Thursday comes amid increasing border violence, particularly in El Paso, mostly involving people with ties to Mexican drug gangs.

        “They’ll be deployed to high-traffic, high-crime areas along the border,” he said. “They’ll give us boots on the ground, put people in these hot spots no matter what or where they may exist.”

        Perry said the effort also would focus on remote areas where farmers and ranchers have complained of being overrun by smugglers and gangs from Mexico in numbers that also overwhelm local law enforcement and border patrol officers.

        “Washington is shortchanging them, not giving them the support they need,” Perry said. “As a result, we’re having to dedicate our resources to deal with the challenges we have along the Texas-Mexico border and ensuing issues that porous border has created all across state of Texas.”

        He said the state would pick up the tab of $110 million, allocated by the Legislature in the past two sessions.

        Perry’s announcement drew immediate criticism from U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is running against the two-term incumbent in the March GOP primary.

        “Today’s announcement is yet another empty election-year promise from Rick Perry on border security,” Hutchison spokesman Joe Pounder said.

        Perry fired back that it was the “height of hypocrisy for someone who’s been in Washington, D.C., for 16 years, who’s had the opportunity to help Texas on our border security, and they’ve been no more successful in delivering the resources and help.”

        “So please do that job up there first before you come down here and start criticizing about the state of Texas,” he said.

        Hutchison also took Perry to task for the absence of any Texas agency from a federal program that allows Homeland Security personnel to work with local law enforcement on immigration issues.

        “Texans need a governor they can trust to actually improve our security,” her campaign said in a statement.

        “I happen to think we’ve taken advantage of every program that’s been effective,” responded Perry, who has been branding his opponent as someone from Washington out of touch with her home state. “Pointing out one program that has been funded and leaving the 800-pound gorilla — which is 1,000 National Guard troops that we need — I am stunned someone from Washington, D.C., would say they’ve done enough to secure our border.”

        Brig. Gen. Joyce Stevens, commander of the Texas Army National Guard, said about 200 soldiers and airmen already have started integrated operations with the Rangers.

        Tony Leal, assistant director of the Texas Rangers, declined to provide the number of his officers involved in the effort.

      • Bottom Line says:

        NPR

        http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=106657563

        California Ballot Measure Targets Illegal Immigrants
        by Mandalit del Barco
        July 16, 2009

        As California wrestles with its worst economy since the Great Depression, illegal immigrants are becoming part of the debate. It’s not unlike what happened the last time the state was having money problems.

        Outside the Home Depot in Los Angeles’ Pico Union neighborhood, a group of day laborers wait for construction and gardening jobs. Among them is 40-year-old Justo. He came to California from Guatemala 13 years ago.

        The government is always accusing immigrants of draining money, he says, adding “they look to us as scapegoats.” There’s not much work these days for men like him. He scrapes by on a part-time job as a security guard downtown. Justo says he got hired using a phony Social Security card number.

        “I pay taxes,” Justo says. “I pay FICA, federal and Social Security.”

        Like nearly 60 percent of all undocumented immigrants in the country, Justo doesn’t have health insurance, so he relies on the county hospital emergency room. His young children were born in California and are U.S. citizens. They go to public school in Los Angeles.

        Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich says such situations are, unfortunately, all too typical.

        “It is catastrophic,” Antonovich says. “We cannot be the HMO to the world.”

        One of the greatest burdens in L.A. County, he says, is welfare for children whose parents are undocumented.

        “We’re talking about half a billion dollars. And then you add the cost of criminal aliens in our jails — it was exceeding half a billion dollars. Then you add the delivery of health services — that’s over $400 million a year. So we’re talking about over a billion dollars — that’s a fiscal impact just to one county in California,” Antonovich says.

        As the state tries to dig its way out from under a massive deficit, some say cutting off benefits to undocumented immigrants should be part of the solution. One proposal would stop welfare payments even to the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants.

        It echoes California’s last big financial crisis in 1994. That’s when 59 percent of California voters passed Proposition 187, a ballot measure that outlawed education, health care and social services to illegal immigrants and their children.

        Many Californians still remember the powerful TV commercial with pictures of frightened immigrant families running across freeways after illegally crossing the border.

        “Three-hundred thousand illegal immigrant children in public schools, and they keep coming. The cost: $1.5 billion a year,” the announcer says.

        Even though Proposition 187 passed, the measure was declared unconstitutional in federal court and was never enforced. Since then, several other states have crafted similar measures that have passed legal muster.

        Legislative Analyst Dan Carson says California now spends about $4.6 billion yearly to provide services for — or to incarcerate — illegal immigrants.

        “It’s clear in the aftermath of Prop 187, our ability to balance the state budget by reducing that $4.6 billion is limited. It’s probably more realistic to expect savings to the state in the hundreds of millions, in the short term, not in billions,” Carson says.

        Weighing the costs versus the benefits of unauthorized immigrants is tricky, says Jeff Passel, a researcher with the Pew Hispanic Center. They don’t get paid much, and many don’t report their earnings — but they still end up contributing billions of dollars to the state’s economy. Regardless of their impact, the sheer number of undocumented immigrants in California is huge — around 2.7 million by Passel’s estimate.

        “California has had the largest number of undocumented immigrants in the country for at least 25 years, and during those years, the state’s had budget difficulties but also ran huge budget surpluses,” Passel says.

        Back in Pico Union, Justo, the day laborer, wonders how California has gone from boom to bust so quickly.

        “California was very, very rich. My question is who take this money? The illegal, the immigrants? I don’t think so,” he says.

      • Bottom Line says:

        American Chronicle

        http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/100984

        Swine Fllu is Only the Latest Disease Brought to this Country Through an Open Border
        Dave Gibson
        May 05, 2009

        While all attention is on the current swine flu epidemic, dangerous diseases crossing into this country from Mexico, along with millions of illegal aliens is nothing new.

        It is often said that the flood of illegal immigrants into this country is reaching ‘epidemic proportions.’ While that statement is true, it is just as true that the illegal immigrants pouring over the U.S./Mexican border are endangering this country with actual epidemics. Tuberculosis, hepatitis, dengue fever, chagas, and even leprosy are being imported into the U.S. inside the bodies of illegal aliens.

        A virtual ‘hot-zone’ of disease can be found in this nations border states. Illegal immigrants have set up so-called “colonias” just inside the states of New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. The shanty towns are comprised mostly of cardboard shacks and huts made with cast-off building materials. They have no sanitation, and are surrounded by mounds of garbage. The estimated 185,000 illegals share their makeshift towns with armies of rats. Of course, diseases only common to Central and South America run rampant in these places.

        One of the imports to this country is chagas disease. It is caused by a parasite known as trypanosome. It is a blood-borne disease and is spread by triatomine insects. The parasite burrows into human tissue (usually in the face), where it then begins to multiply. In addition to being spread by insects, it can also be contracted through blood transfusions.

        After cases of chagas were reportedly discovered to have been spread by transfusions in Canada, that nation began testing all blood donations for the disease.

        Once thought to be nearly eradicated in this country, TB is now making a strong comeback. In a 2005 interview with Mother Jones Magazine, Dr. Reichman of The New Jersey TB Clinic said: “In the 1990’s, cases among foreign born Americans rose from 29 percent to 41.6 percent. Antibiotic resistant strains from Mexico have migrated to Texas. Since three years ago, 16,000 new cases of TB were discovered in the United States. Half were foreign born. Strains of TB once only found in Mexico have migrated to the border states of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California. It will move north as illegal aliens work in restaurants as cooks, dishwashers, and food handlers. We sit on the edge of a potential catastrophe.”

        In 2001, New York’s Tuberculosis Control Program discovered that 81 percent of that city’s new cases of TB were attributed to immigrants

        Cases of TB are now being found in many areas of the country, where there are high concentrations of illegal immigrants. In March of 2002, The Washington Post reported that Virginia’s Prince William County experienced a 188 percent increase of TB infections over the previous year. Of course, the streets of Prince William County are over-run with illegal aliens seeking day-laborer jobs.

        Less than two weeks ago, in Chicago, another outbreak of TB was feared, as an infected doctor possibly spread the virus throughout area hospitals. The unidentified physician worked at Evanston Hospital, Children´s Memorial and Northwestern Memorial´s Prentice Women´s Hospital. Chicago has a “sanctuary” policy for illegal aliens, and consequently has a very large illegal population

        It costs between $250K to $1million to treat a patient with TB.

        Despite the dangers presented by the swine flu and the fact that the World Health Organization has raised their threat level to 5 (out of 6). The U.S. government has refused to close our border to Mexico, where the flu has originated and where hundreds of deaths have occurred.

        During an April 27 press conference, DHS Janet Napolitano said: “Well, as I said yesterday, we’re already doing passive surveillance at the border. And with respect to closing the border, again, you would close the border if you thought you could contain disease, the spread of disease. But the disease already is in a number of states within the United States, so the containment issue doesn’t really play out. This particular flu, you can actually have it for a couple of days before you show any symptoms, and so even if—people could be coming through now, even under passive surveillance, who actually have the flu. So that’s a very difficult judgment to make.”

        Then on NBC´s Today Show Napolitano gave the real reason behind this administration´s unwillingness to close the border.

        Napolitano told viewers: “You have to look at what the costs of that are. We literally have thousands of trucks and lots of commerce that cross that border. We have food products and other things that go across that border. So that would be a very, very heavy cost.”

        So, we cannot protect ourseves from the dangerous virus because of “Commerce!”

        As usual, business interest are put ahead of the safety and health of the American public. Fears are growing that as this virus continue to ravage Mexico, scores of people will flood into this country, over our largely unprotected border. Of course, many of them will arrive already infected.

        It seems that every nation except the United States is taking this outbreak seriously. Take a look at the following headlines from around the world:

        “Swine flu prompts EU warning on travel to U.S.”

        ” British holiday companies suspend flights to Mexico”

        ” Air Canada and Westjet are suspending flights and vacation tours to Mexico”

        ” Argentina suspends flights from Mexico”

        ” Cuba halts flights to Mexico as flu virus spreads”

        ” Cruise lines cancel Mexico stops over flu fear ”

        The threats posed to our country by illegal immigration are many. However, our political leaders will undoubtedly continue to ignore them. Our own president is willing to place all Americans at risk, in exchange for securing the Latino vote for the Democratic Party.

        If left unchecked, illegal immigration will destroy this nation one way or another.

  7. Common Man says:

    Everybody;

    Heard about this on Beck last night. The Cloward-Piven Strategy. There is a historical brief on http://www.discoverthenetworks.org that explains it and the historic results.

    It is an interesting read

    CM

    • A very good read, good find!

      http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6967

      First proposed in 1966 and named after Columbia University sociologists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, the “Cloward-Piven Strategy” seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.

      Inspired by the August 1965 riots in the black district of Watts in Los Angeles (which erupted after police had used batons to subdue a black man suspected of drunk driving), Cloward and Piven published an article titled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty” in the May 2, 1966 issue of The Nation. Following its publication, The Nation sold an unprecedented 30,000 reprints. Activists were abuzz over the so-called “crisis strategy” or “Cloward-Piven Strategy,” as it came to be called. Many were eager to put it into effect.

      In their 1966 article, Cloward and Piven charged that the ruling classes used welfare to weaken the poor; that by providing a social safety net, the rich doused the fires of rebellion. Poor people can advance only when “the rest of society is afraid of them,” Cloward told The New York Times on September 27, 1970. Rather than placating the poor with government hand-outs, wrote Cloward and Piven, activists should work to sabotage and destroy the welfare system; the collapse of the welfare state would ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation; poor people would rise in revolt; only then would “the rest of society” accept their demands.

  8. IN A WYOMING BAR

    A man is sitting in a bar far from home when Barack Obama comes on TV.

    The man looks at the TV and says, “Obama is a horse’s ass!”

    Out of nowhere, a local jumps up and punches him in the face, knocking the guy off his bar stool, then stomps out.

    He gets up, rubbing his cheek and orders another beer.

    Shortly after, Michelle Obama appears on the TV. He looks at the TV and says, “She is a horse’s ass, too!”

    Out of nowhere, another local punches him on the other side of the face, knocking him off his bar stool again.

    He gets back up and looks at the bartender, “I take it this is Obama country?”

    “Nope.” replies the bartender. “Horse country.”

  9. Gold blasting through $1095

  10. Matt,

    Capitalist system would solve the ‘problem’ over night – because the free market system cannot produce the boom/bust cycle.

    The boom/bust business cycle is an artifact of Keynesian economics and fiat money. Fiat money requires government monopoly on the creation of money – which immediate contradicts free market economy.

    In a free market economy, money is nothing different then any other commodity – freely created and traded by free men.

    In today’s society, there is a contradiction in understanding that makes people believe money is some how different – and that only government has the ability to manage money creation. With absolutely no surprise, it screws that up as it screws everything up.

    As long as the people believe cartels are bad in the economy, but the cartel of money is good for the economy, boom/bust economic disasters will be our lot.

  11. “Illegal” immigrants.

    …yes, are more violent then legal immigrants.

    As always, when a government interferes with the actions of free men, only those with nothing to lose will attempt actions of resistance to government to achieve freedom.

    With no surprise, the people willing to confront the entity of pure evil and violence on its own ground will tend to have a similar disposition.

    Want to solve “illegal” immigrant violence? Allow free men to work where they can find a job without threat of government violence.

    Then, free men who do no violence will overwhelm those that do – and the violent men will find some other avenue to rage against.

    This strategy worked in 30’s and Prohibition, and will also work on the Violence of the Drug trade and the violence of prostitution.

    • BF:

      There is only one little problem with the discussion and the rationale you present. Most of the “crime” being committed in much of the NW by “illegals” is tied to the Mexican and Central American Gangs, not disaffected nationals you came here looking for work. In fact much of the crime is brown on brown so to speak.

      When we claim to control then we turn our back we should expect the criminal elements to sneak in as well. And yes, I recognize that without our stupid drug laws the criminal elements might be less, but I doubt they would be eliminated.

      • Crime cannot be ‘eliminated’ – there will always be violent men.

        Gangs flourish because the illegals have no recourse for justice. They can’t (or are afraid to) look to typical Law Enforcement for protection/justice.

        Gangs fill that vacuum – highly violent men to enforce a closed-societies need for ‘justice’ and ‘punishment’ that operates outside of ‘legitimate’ resources.

        Same way the Mafia became powerful. They became the enforcement arm of local “justice” of an isolated community – for a “fee”.

        • I think you missed the point.

          The GANGS moved here intact. The folks didn’t come here and then form gangs out of desperation. The Gang organizers snuck in for the purpose of extending the gangs reach into the U.S.. There is no doubt they recruit here but interestingly the stats I’ve seen indicate they are not “illegal aliens” joining the gangs but bonafide U.S. citizens.

          This of course kills the Poor Pig theory of Mathius.

          I know we can’t stop all crime. But if we enforced our border perhaps some of these folks wouldn’t have just walked in unnoticed.

          • We can’t even keep guns out of criminals in the jails – there is no way you can keep out anything or anyone from crossing the border.

            The gangs exist because the illegal aliens create a market for them.

            This no different a phenomena as with the Irish in the 1800’s or the Chinese in “China town”.

            The immigrants -legal or illegal- are isolated and feel no ability to access the security mechanisms of the State. Thus, they avail themselves of the security of the gangs.

            Gangs also realize that the immigrants – especially the illegal ones – will not utilize the police power of the State – thus, offers a prime hunting ground for extortion and vice.

            Gangs are not bothered by lines on a map – in fact, love them. It creates a necessary class of people – illegals – that are willing prey for them.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/index.html?curid=8867962
            The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld

            • BF:

              I do not disagree regarding the history of other gangs and crime relative to other large immigration movements. Even some not so large.

              My point is that there is something else going on this time. It is not all about illegals or legals being disenfranchized. Yes Gangs prey on the illegals. Gangs of all types know they wont’ talk. Same for inner city blacks where “snitching” is a death sentence.

              But what I am hearing from cops and citizens in towns with heavy hispanic populations is that the Americans joining these gangs are the children and grandchildren and they have a pretty good life. Just like some white kids who turn to the gangs that are not dirt poor.

              I am thinking this may go more to the glamour and the belief in getting something for nothing and getting it quick. The erosion of the work ethic for example.

              I don’t have definite answers but it sure seems much more complicated with these Gangs that are being supported from somewhere south of the border.

              • I would suggest it is more along the lines I’ve presented in the past.

                As the Projection of Violence from a Center erodes and contracts, the Projection of Violence at the edge increases.

                Central violence is massive, extreme and overwhelming. We count deaths in the thousands, tens of thousands, millions and potentially billions at a time.

                Edge violence is weak, minor and underwhelming. We count deaths by single – and extremely rare double digits. We are fully assured they will not kill millions.

                However, edge violence is very personal where centralized violence is very impersonal. Thus, as individuals we notice edge violence far more than we notice centralized violence.

                This is what I suggest is occurring. It is the signal that the Centralized mechanisms of overt control is faltering.

                Theories from “The Economy of Violence”

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              “The gangs exist because the illegal aliens create a market for them.”

              I disagree. These gangs exist in Mexico, and are coming here intact as JAC pointed out.

              It is true that they are gaining recruits from among the illegal aliens, but these are likely the same type of people that would have been recruited by the same gang had the people and the gang stayed on the Mexico side of the imaginary line anyway.

              • Peter

                You misunderstand.

                The gangs come here because there is a market.

                They existed in Mexico too because there is a market for them there as well.

                There can exist multiple markets for the same phenomena at the same time.

                I agree in part – as I already said above – the people who tend to make up illegal immigrants are those that are willing to risk heavily. These type of people typically are already on the edges of quiet society.

  12. Mathius said
    November 2, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    What do you think I’m doing on this blog? I’m compiling a list of names..

    LOI and Cyndi, are you now or have you ever been a member of the conservative movement? We will require from you a list of names of all your associates.

    OK, I give up, here’s my list. You are the government, you have the right to know all about me.

    Many, many years ago when I was 23
    I was married to a widow
    Who was pretty as can be.
    This widow had a grown-up daughter
    Who had hair of red.
    My Father fell in love with her
    And soon, they too, are wed.

    This made my Dad my Son-in-law
    And really changed my life.
    Now my Daughter was my Mother
    Cause she was my Father’s wife.
    And to complicate the matter
    Even though it brought me joy,
    I soon became the father of a
    Bouncing baby boy.

    My little baby then became
    A brother-in law to Dad
    And so became my Uncle
    Though it made me very sad.
    For if he were my Uncle then that
    Also made him brother
    Of the widow’s grown-up daughter
    Who was, of course, my Step-mother.

    (Ha ha)
    My Father’s wife then had a son
    Who kept them on the run,
    And he became my Grandchild
    For he was my daughter’s son.
    My wife is now my Mother’s mother
    And it makes me blue
    Because although she is my wife
    She’s my Grandmother, too.

    [these lyrics are found on http://www.songlyrics.com%5D
    (Ha, gosh)
    Now if my wife is my grandmother
    Then I am her grandchild
    (Yea) and every time I think of it
    (ha) nearly drives me wild.
    Cause now I have become
    The strangest case you ever saw,
    As husband of my Grandmother
    I am my own Grandpa!

    Oh, I’m my own Grandpa (ha ha)
    I’m my own Grandpa (whoa)
    It sounds funny I know
    But it really is so!
    Whoa,I’m my own Grandpa.
    (Listen to this now)
    I’m my own Grandpa (would you believe that?)
    I’m my own Grandpa (talk about incest)
    It sounds funny I know
    But it really is so
    [fade out]I’m my own Grandpa……

    • Now you can see why laws regarding incest had absolutely nothing to do with ‘birth defects’ but laws of inheritance.

      Imagine trying to figure out who gets what property out of that story, if the first-person subject happened to die!

    • Only in Arkansas…….

      • THAT IS SO WRONG!!!!
        I have family in at least six other states

        • LOI…is it at this point that I become “offend” by Kathy’s statement????
          This is funny though.

          • Amazed – are you from Arkansas too? Here I’ve been having fun all along with LOI about his state, certainly didn’t mean to leave you out!

            • Yea but LOI is from the north and I am from the central……If you could have been here today you would have thought it was the most beautiful place on earth…….we were truly blessed with a beautiful day!!!

  13. Planned Parenthood Director Quits After Watching Abortion on Ultrasound

    Abby Johnson, 29, stands outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan, Tex., alongside Shawn Carney of the Campaign for Life. Johnson quit after watching an ultrasound of an abortion.

    The former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in southeast Texas says she had a “change of heart” after watching an abortion last month — and she quit her job and joined a pro-life group in praying outside the facility.

    Abby Johnson, 29, used to escort women from their cars to the clinic in the eight years she volunteered and worked for Planned Parenthood in Bryan, Texas. But she says she knew it was time to leave after she watched

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,571215,00.html?test=latestnews

    Johnson said she became disillusioned with her job after her bosses pressured her for months to increase profits by performing more and more abortions, which cost patients between $505 and $695.

    “Every meeting that we had was, ‘We don’t have enough money, we don’t have enough money — we’ve got to keep these abortions coming,'” Johnson told FoxNews.com. “It’s a very lucrative business and that’s why they want to increase numbers.”

    And the call themselves “Planned Parenthood”?

    • Saw this the other day. Interesting that she quit after watching an ultrasound of an abortion. Watching this should be mandatory for all (prospective) abortion candidates, have a waiting period for a couple days, then come back for procedure, if you can.

      The CHOICE in this is when you have unprotected sex; once pregnated it isn’t about CHOICE any long, but about RESPONSIBILITY.

  14. A Puritan Descendant

    Bear with me please, first time post here.

    BL said:

    Gay folks bother me 0.

    What bothers me is a bunch of overzealous self-righteous religeous fundamentalist infringing on the rights of others by influencing government entities and pushing their puritan values to the point of virtual theocracy.

    We haven’t moved too far from burning women suffering from ergot poisoning.

    My ancestry http://sites.google.com/site/dudley12344/myfamilytree includes at least 20 grandfathers who fought on the American side of the Revolution, and 3 who fought to free the slaves in the Civil War. I am very proud of them and the Puritan ancestry they descend from. Were they perfect? Hell NO! But I doubt anyone’s ancestry is perfect. I even have ancestors who were burned as witches. This has not happened again in quite some time.

    I am also a Mainer and consider myself Conservative/Liberterian. I voted to repeal Gay Marriage here in Maine. I don’t let a Liberterian Rule Book cloud my own thinking, and my own common sense. Sorry, I will not get into a debate with any of you about my decision to vote the way I did. I just hope you make your decisions based on your own thought process rather than a possible Liberterian Rule Book.

    Thanks, I respect you all!!!

    • Puritain,

      I’m glad you don’t feel the need to defend your vote. You shouldn’t have to defend it. I respect your decision. I wish more people did their own thinking like you do. Have a great day!

    • Welcome to the site…..speak your mind. No one will hold it against you here….

    • Bottom Line says:

      A Puritan Descendant – “My ancestry includes at least 20 grandfathers who fought on the American side of the Revolution, and 3 who fought to free the slaves in the Civil War. I am very proud of them and the Puritan ancestry they descend from. Were they perfect? Hell NO! But I doubt anyone’s ancestry is perfect. I even have ancestors who were burned as witches. This has not happened again in quite some time.”

      BL – Just to be clear…When I said…

      “Gay folks bother me 0.

      What bothers me is a bunch of overzealous self-righteous religeous fundamentalist infringing on the rights of others by influencing government entities and pushing their puritan values to the point of virtual theocracy.

      We haven’t moved too far from burning women suffering from ergot poisoning.”

      …I wasn’t trying to insult your lineage. I Just don’t like the values of some being pushed onto others. Gay or not, they still have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Who are they really hurting by being gay?

  15. Big Government is more dangerous than Big Business
    by Taft Babbitt on October 12, 2009

    We humans consume a lot of goods and services: cars, homes, food, healthcare, vacations, tech support, security systems, electronics, movies, video games, and the list goes on and on. We have three places to go to in order to get these needs and wants fulfilled. First, we can provide them for ourselves, make our own car, grow our own food, etc. Some items are more practical than others to provide for ourselves. Second, we can purchase these goods or services from a business that provides it. Lastly, we can get the good or service from the government.

    Providing for ourselves is a wonderful route to take when possible and practical. But in modern society it is often not practical to provide for ourselves in all the areas we desire. Building our own car, for instance, while very impressive would be impractical for the majority of us. The big question is what is the trade off between turning to business or government to be a provider of goods and services? When we enter into a relationship with a provider of a good or service there must be power on both sides of the relationship to ensure that one party does not exercise undo influence on the other. If one side gains too much authority the other party can be abused or neglected in ways that are inappropriate.

    Given this, here are the reasons why keeping our goods and services in the hands of business rather than government is better for the people:

    1.
    Business cannot compel someone to purchase. Business cannot pass laws which would require a citizen to become a consumer of any given product or service. Governments have the power to pass laws requiring citizens to act in certain ways.
    2.
    If business sells a harmful product a citizen can appeal the matter to courts for retribution. Businesses are incented to avoid this costly event which could put them out of business. Governments are difficult and sometimes impossible to sue. Governments have no incentive to avoid this because the tax payer will foot the bill for the defense costs.
    3.
    If I fail to pay a business they can cancel my service, take the matter to court to recover costs, or reposses the product. Government has the ability to imprison me for such offences. Government has the power of the police force at their disposal. This service costs them nothing to use; it is fully funded by the tax payer.
    4.
    Businesses are incented to be cost effective and efficient. If they are not able to offer a product or service worthy of buying and do so in a way that allows them to make a profit, then they will go out of business. Government has the power of taxation. Government is unconcerned with being cost effective or running deficits and debts now and in the future. There is no penalty for doing so. Whereas a poorly run business can and will go out of business the government cannot.
    5.
    Business can be regulated by government agencies without a conflict of interest. In this way the government can act as an advocate for the citizen ensuring ethical practices by the business. Government has a terrible record at regulating itself. This is due to the pervasive political nature of the organization. Everything in the government involves politics and partisanship. The government will rarely be effective at regulating itself on behalf of the citizen, its own interests get in the way.
    6.
    The possibility of making profit incents many people to create businesses that compete with one another in the attempt to gain the patronage of the citizen and thereby make profits. This creates the marketplace of choice wherein many flavors, styles, and sizes are created by many businesses. This allows the consumer to find the best product or service available for their needs and wants. The government does not have this motivation. Since the government cannot be put out of business they have the ability to offer only those products and services they want to, regardless of the desires of the consumer.

    There is a very important role for government – to protect and preserve the rights and freedoms of the people. The government should do this from enemies foreign and domestic. The armed forces and intelligence agencies should be focusing on enemies foreign and other government agencies like congress, the courts, the FDA, the FCC, and many others should be focused on domestic enemies including businesses that would participate in unethical practices. This will allow ethical businesses that are seeking fortune through innovation and efficiency to thrive. This would keep the critical balance of power between those who consume goods and services (the people) and those who provide goods and services (businesses) and keep those who should be representing and protecting us (the government) from having conflicting interests and politicizing the marketplace.

    http://www.americansage.us/post/Big-Government-is-more-dangerous-than-Big-Business.aspx

  16. Humor for me and most. Lets see who thinks this is serious.

    http://www.ecofoot.org/

  17. LOI, did you see this?

    Back when Stossel was with ABC, he came to Madison and gave a speech on healthcare reform; similar to what he had done many times.

    Then he joins FOX and gives similar speech in Arkansas and low and behold, gets trashed by NYT!

    http://townhall.com/columnists/JohnStossel/2009/11/04/the_double_standard_about_journalists_bias?page=full&comments=true#comments

    If only, we had more journalists like Stossel!

    • Did not, thanks.

      “It is odd that this is a news story. In August, AFP hired me to do the very same thing. I give the money to charity. The Times didn’t call that “shameful.”

      But in August, I worked for ABC News. Now, I work for Fox. Hmmm. ”

      I did see Mr. Stossel last week. A good speech, a couple hecklers.

    • v. Holland says:

      I saw him on Bill O’Reilly last night -he said after years of calling for government regulations to protect consumers-he started to realize that all the regulations were hurting more than helping-Isn’t it funny that so many people respected his advice on consumer products all these years but aren’t interested in hearing about what all his years of experience has taught him.

  18. Anyone watch this “V” show last night? TV for me is some news shows and sports so I’m not familiar with it, but it is getting some interesting comments online today.

    • v. Holland says:

      I wanted to watch that-but as usual missed it-oh well, will just watch it on hulu.

    • Bottom Line says:

      No, but I remember when it originally aired on network TV as a mini-series in the 80’s.

      It could have been done so much better.

      Maybe one day, someone will do a remake for release in the theatres.

  19. Another one……

    http://nicedeb.wordpress.com/2009/11/04/new-obama-cult-videos-appear/

    Wouldn’t be surprised if there will be one coming out of Madison today; Obama is in town visiting a school.

  20. JERUSALEM — Israeli commandos seized a ship Wednesday that defense officials said was carrying hundreds of tons of weapons from Iran bound for Lebanon’s Hezbollah guerrillas — the largest arms shipment Israel has ever commandeered.

    The Israeli military said an Iranian document was found on board, showing that the arms shipment originated from Iran, although the paper was not shown to reporters. Rear Admiral Roni Ben-Yehuda, the deputy Israeli navy commander, said that despite its size, the shipment of weapons was “a drop in the ocean” of arms being shipped to Hezbollah.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,571548,00.html?test=latestnews

    • U.K. file on Entebbe contains claim that Israel behind hijacking
      By Haaretz Service

      Newly released British documents contain a claim by an unnamed contact that the Shin Bet security service collaborated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine to hijack the June 1976 flight from Israel that was diverted to Entebbe, Uganda, the BBC reported Friday.

      Israel’s rescue of the dozens of hostages taken in the hijacking of the Air France plane, popularly known as the Entebbe raid, is considered one of the most daring and successful operations in Israeli history. Elite Israel Defense Forces troops stormed the airport where the hostages, many of them Israeli, were held and overpowered the hijackers and Ugandan soldiers.

      Although the captors used the hijacking to demand the release of Palestinians or Palestinian supporters, a British government file on the incident quotes the unnamed source as telling a British diplomat in Paris that Israel was behind the hijacking. The claim is not known to be backed up by corroborating evidence, and the file does not make it clear whether the British government took the claim seriously.

      “The operation was designed to torpedo the PLO’s standing in France and to prevent what they see as a growing rapprochement between the PLO and the Americans,” the BBC report said British diplomat D.H. Colvin wrote in the document, citing his source.

      “My contact said the PFLP had attracted all sorts of wild elements, some of whom had been planted by the Israelis,” Colvin reportedly wrote. “According to his information, the hijack was the work of the PFLP, with help from the Israeli Secret Service, the Shin Beit.”

      The document was written on June 30, 1976, three days after the hijacking and prior to the rescue operation.

      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/865937.html

      • Not sure what has relevance, but my post was from today, not 1976.

        I do approve of Clinton’s statements that Israel must stop allowing settlement in Palestine land.

  21. I just got this from my who is living in my house in florida:

    I really hate to tell you this, however; I think you know it already in your heart. It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better, nomater what the prognosticator or economist say. They say unemployment is at 9.7% but that is a bunch of crap, the only 9.7% are those still drawing unemployment. The real figures her in the state of Fl is over 14, and that is based on people filing for welfare and if you include the ones already drawing it (those great soles that are generations of welfare families) it is way over 22%. I see more and more people panhandling at stores and shopping centers. It’s a mess kiddo. I just pray for some kind of miracle for us all.

    Hope and Change, kiddies…..

  22. …from my friend….

  23. From the Daily Reckoning….

    In today’s edition of The Daily Reckoning, our friends over at the US Global Investors Global Resources Fund shed a bit more light on this frightening truth.

    But first, let’s hear what Dan Denning, our correspondent in Melbourne, Australia, has to say about yesterday’s surprising disclosure that India snapped up $6 billion worth of gold from the International Monetary Fund:

    Well how about that! India pipped China at the post to walk away with 200 tonnes of IMF gold. Granted, India had to pay US$6.8 billion for the yellow metal. But with China steadily accumulating gold as a reserve asset (at the household AND central bank level), everyone thought China has this one in the bag. Not so!

    Something more than meets the eye is going on here. The IMF sale was part of a plan to unload 403.3 tonnes of gold. It’s halfway there, and will use the proceeds to fund itself and loans to the developing world (or perhaps Britain and America when they go broke). But what else is going on?

    In the past, large sales of gold – mostly by European central banks – swamped the gold price and kept it in check. Why did they sell?

    The central bankers believed they had too much gold on their balance sheets doing too little work. In other words, these thoroughly modern bankers would explain, “Gold pays no interest.” So they thought it “prudent” to exchange their gold reserves for interest-bearing assets like Treasury bonds. So far, that’s been a horrible trade…and it is becoming an even more horrible trade as gold advances from record high to record high.

    Nevertheless, the central bankers of the West continue to unload their gold reserves to the central bankers of the East….

    India’s central bank is now the proud owner of 557 tonnes of gold. That gives it the tenth largest gold holdings among central banks. But it probably isn’t finished. Gold makes up just six percent of India’s foreign exchange reserves. There’s plenty of room for that to grow.

    But don’t forget China. China has $2.3 trillion in foreign exchange reserves. But 70% of those – or $1.6 trillion – are in US dollars. It owns over just 1,000 tonnes of gold. That makes up less than 2% of China’s reserves and makes China the seventh largest holder of above ground gold. In fact the gold exchange traded fund (NYSE:GLD) owns more gold than China. France, Italy, the IMF, Germany and the United States round out the top five (from fifth to first).

    What this tells you is that China could double (and then double again) its gold reserves and gold would still make up less than 10% of its total forex reserves. Compare that to 66% in Italy, 69% in Germany, 70% in France, and 77% in the US, according to official numbers. So what’s the big deal?

    There will always be a threat that European Central Banks release gold supply on to the market. In fact, European central banks just renewed a five-year agreement (including the IMF) to sell down a maximum of 400 tonnes of gold per year from their holdings. They’ve agreed to this to disgorge their gold in an orderly fashion.

    But it would not surprise us to see the Europeans fail to sell the gold they’re allowed to sell under the agreement. Our old desk mate in London, Adrian Ash (now with Bullion Vault) is at the London Bullion Market Association’s annual meeting in Edinburgh. Word from UBS analyst John Reade, also at the meeting, is that European Central Bank official Paul Mercier reckons that official holders of gold will, “no longer be net sellers of gold.”

    As we predicted earlier this year, the European central banks would rather hoard their gold than sell it in a rising market. There may be a price at which they do sell it, in order to pay down sovereign debts. But psychologically, the fact that central banks want to own gold and not sell it is pretty important.

    Also, it shows you how the balance of economic power in the world has shifted East. True, the European banks can still dump gold on to the market to drown the price. But between the ETFs, central bank buyers in India and China, and the average man on the street in Beijing, Mumbai, and elsewhere, there are more buyers of gold now than sellers.

    And if we were right yesterday that the GFC is slowly morphing into a sovereign debt crisis, then the case for gold is that much stronger. This explains why gold futures were up by nearly 3% overnight and Old Yeller hit a new high at US$1,084.90.

    The only worry? So many hedge fund managers and pundits are singing the same tune: long gold and short US Treasuries. These feel like “crowded trades.” So as a contrarian, you’ve got good reason to be a little worried about becoming a victim right about now.

    Nevertheless, in the long term, the end of the Super Cycle in fiat money results in the re-monetisation of gold. That is what you’re seeing now. And it’s probably what you’ll see for a few more years. It also ought to benefit other precious metals, and of course, precious metals shares.

    — Outstanding Investments Metals Report —

    From Hulbert’s # 1-Ranked Advisory Letter Over 5 Years, Our Most Shocking Forecast Yet…

    • Gold fell back to $1085 (probably profit-taking), then blew right back up over $1096.

      One has to go a bit deeper into the IMF sale.

      Remember the IMF pre-announced the sale. If you are selling a large amount of a commodity – why would you alert the market before you sold? Such action would drive down the price, before you sold.

      So if you were selling to improve your profit or financial position, you would do so slowly and quietly to maximize your return.

      The IMF did exactly opposite.

      The IMF is not interested in getting the “top-dollar” on its sale. It was interested in an attempt to drive down the gold price and hurt the gold bugs.

      Further, and equally important, this gold sale did not hit the market place. It was a transfer to another central bank – that of India. Again, the purpose was not to dispose of the gold but force its price down.

      However, Barrick closed all their short position for a $5.4 billion loss. Everyone noticed this. This means they no longer believe the price will go lower than $1040/oz. This is a disaster for the central banks.

      The four biggest bullion banks are short by close to 30 million ounces (~$40 billion)in the futures market, plus whatever they borrowed as leases. Everyday, their losses are getting worse.

      When they reveal they no longer hold the gold in their vaults, all hell will break loose. Remember, most gold trades are non-delivery trades. Suddenly, every long position will demand delivery of gold that simple does not exist.

      Let the fun begin!

      • Is the IMF trying to lower the price of gold so that the masses don’t figure out what’s really going? I guess the longer they can forstall the inevitable panic, the better for them? Is that what’s going on here?

        • No.

          All governments hate gold. Gold prevents government (mis)action, which is why throughout history, government has worked to destroy the people’s faith in it.

          This is no different.

          The move to gold is a move away in the faith of government action. Higher the price of gold, the more demand for gold, the lower the faith in government fiat.

          By driving the price down, they are trying to show gold to be flaky (pun intended), full of risk, and drive up the faith in government.

          The elite will lose this war. The people are – slowly – losing their faith in government and their cartels.

          • So what happens when people lose their faith in government and cartels? Panic? Violence? The masses will figure it out eventually, right?

            • I am cynical about most people.

              They say they believe in one thing, but they do not act in terms of what they say they believe in.

              They say they believe in freedom, but instead they invest lies.

              If you don’t lie to these people, they won’t won’t listen.

              So what hapens? Who do most people listen to? The government.

              They may say they don’t, but they really do.

              They believe that Uncle Sugar will always be there. The system will always hold.

              Most people are truly idiots.

              He/she believes in Uncle Sam’s promises. There are tens of millions of voters who agree. They will be trapped when the back side of the lie – the real truth – hits.

              They will demand that those who have prepared share whatever they have. “You owe it to us! We are destitute!”

              You must distance yourself from such people.

              Our task is to learn what we can, prepare while we can, and encourage each other along the way. There are no free lunches. There are no magic feathers. There is no silver bullet.

  24. Bottom Line says:

    East Valley Tribune

    http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/138927

    4 arrested in Mesa’s largest meth bust
    Mike Sakal, Tribune
    May 7, 2009

    In what authorities believe to be the biggest methamphetamine bust in the city’s history, Mesa police arrested four illegal immigrants from Mexico and seized 16 pounds of the addictive drug valued at more than $300,000 on Wednesday.

    Police arrested Luis Camacho-Paco, 40, Remedios Carranza, 24, Bernave Reyes, 24, and Briceida Urrea-Garcia, 22, all living in Phoenix, on suspicion of possession of dangerous drugs and suspicion of transporting drugs, according to Mesa police.

    Police also confiscated $31,000 in cash during the arrests.

    A tip from a resident who called the Mesa Police Department’s citizen observer crime alert program last month led police to a west Mesa residence where a man believed to be part of the ring was arrested April 28, according to Assistant Police Chief John Meza. His name has not been released, and more arrests are expected.

    “This is a lot of meth,” Meza said. “We are vigilant, and we are looking for this sort of thing. We want to let people know we’re making arrests, taking the drugs off the streets and making the streets safer.”

    All but two pounds of the meth was discovered in two vacant west Phoenix homes where search warrants were executed; the remainder was found in hidden compartments of two vehicles Mesa police conducted traffic stops on in west Phoenix late Wednesday, police said.

    The homes where the meth was seized were being used to cut and distribute the drug, according to Lt. John Pruitt, of the police department’s Dobson Street Division which conducted the investigation.

    “We believe this is significant, and that south of the border is involved,” said police Cmdr. Mark Wesselman.

    The four people arrested are being held in a Maricopa County jail without bond, and a hold has been placed on them by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Wesselman said.

    • Bottom Line says:

      The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

      http://www.ajc.com/news/content/printedition/2009/04/30/drugbust0430.html?cxntlid=inform_artr

      Drug sweep hits 11 metro houses
      FBI says Mexican cartel used homes as bases. Raids in North Fulton, Gwinnett net 17 arrests, millions in cash, cocaine.
      By Andria Simmons

      The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

      Thursday, April 30, 2009

      The blue house, or “la azul” as the drug-runners called it, is a nondescript ranch with a well-kept yard, like so many others lining Cruse Road in Lawrenceville.

      Federal authorities say that’s exactly why the Gulf Cartel chose it. The house was one of 11 low-key bases of operation that the powerful Mexican drug trafficking organization used in its enterprise, police said.

      About 200 federal, state and local law enforcement officers simultaneously raided the locations in Gwinnett and North Fulton counties before dawn Wednesday and made 17 arrests. At least three of the locations were single-family houses in residential neighborhoods.

      The raids were the culmination of a year-and-a-half-long investigation the FBI dubbed “Operation Grand Finale.”

      Neighbors hadn’t a clue about what was allegedly going on at the blue house.

      “I’ve never seen anyone in that house ever,” said Sarah LeBaron, a 16-year-old who lives next door. “The first noise I heard from them was this morning when there was a loud boom. I guess that’s when police arrived.”

      The operation hit people “at the top of the cell all the way through,” said Greg Jones, special agent in charge of the FBI field office in Atlanta. “I think every arrest hurts, every seizure hurts.”

      Authorities confiscated more than $3.6 million in cash, 800 kilograms of cocaine worth $20 million, $5 million worth of methamphetamine and 2,000 pounds of marijuana as a result of the operation in Atlanta and parts of Texas, Jones said.

      Investigators used wiretaps, electronic surveillance and confidential sources to track the cartel’s activities, Jones said.

      The smugglers transport drugs into the country over the Texas border in tractor-trailers and small vehicles equipped with hidden compartments, he said. The dope travels to metro Atlanta for further distribution in Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, Illinois and elsewhere. Proceeds are shipped back to Mexico along the same route, Jones said.

      On Nov. 15, intercepted phone calls led authorities to search a tractor-trailer that departed from an Atlanta warehouse headed for McAllen, Texas. Inside, $2 million was concealed in a load of frozen pork products.

      Another tractor-trailer bound for Atlanta from Texas was intercepted on the eastbound lanes of Interstate 20 on Dec. 10. Its load of cabbage hid about 145 pounds of methamphetamine and 391 kilograms of cocaine, according to the federal indictments unsealed on Wednesday.

      Jones said the suspects were caught off-guard by the latest raids. They did not offer resistance, although 20 high-powered assault weapons were seized at the locations.

      The suspects are believed to have been responsible for at least one shooting that occurred in Gwinnett last fall, said Jones. Details about the shooting were not made available to reporters Wednesday.

      Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway, whose deputies participated in the operation, said he was concerned cartels are becoming better armed and may start fighting back.

      “I just want to see these people out of our community,” Conway said.

    • Bottom Line says:

      ABC affiliate KCRG TV

      http://www.kcrg.com/news/local/18875764.html

      Immigration Raid: Officials had Inside Source
      By Josh Hinkle, Anchor/Reporter
      By Becky Ogann

      Story Created: May 12, 2008 at 5:30 PM CST

      Story Updated: May 12, 2008 at 5:39 PM CST

      WATERLOO – The move to place judges at the Agriprocessors detention site is unprecedented in Iowa. The number of arrests and anticipated prosecutions is just too large for the courthouses in both Cedar Rapids and Sioux City to handle. That kind of move really shows the impact of this investigation.

      There are more than 300 arrests so far all because of a 60-page search warrant. Jumping right in, TV9 learned about a former supervisor who gave agents a fair share of dirt. This anonymous person says the plant’s human resources manager was hiring numerous illegal workers from Mexico, Guatemala and Eastern Europe. This person estimates that 80 percent of the workers under his or her guidance were illegal.

      The supervisor also alleges finding a meth lab in the plant, even workers carrying weapons. All of this, not to mention several workers having the same Social Security number.

      Those detained Monday morning probably didn’t know that several former and current co-workers were a big part of this search warrant. Read through it, you’ll find one of these workers — listed only as Source #7 — keeps popping up. Immigration agents wired this person with an electronic audio monitoring device as he or she applied for work at the meat processing plant.

      Source #7’s audio revealed a human resources employee saying it was okay to work there without a social security number. Others told Source #7 how you could work there without papers completely and just receive cash. A supervisor at the plant even told Source #7 to fix his or her Social Security number to be able to work. Source #7 eventually got a job at Agriprocessors hanging cattle.

      What Source #7, along with other sources named in the affidavit, found was enough for agents to suspect Social Security fraud, ID theft and illegal workers at the plant. Click on the related content links above left to read the entire affidavit.

    • Bottom Line says:

      WINK NEWS

      http://www.winknews.com/news/local/26046869.html

      UPDATE: Fort Myers Police make largest crystal meth bust
      By WINK News

      Story Created: Jul 29, 2008 at 10:46 AM EST

      Story Updated: Jul 29, 2008 at 6:53 PM EST

      FORT MYERS, Fla.- Fort Myers Police busted six people in connection to a crystal meth trafficking scheme.

      One of the six people arrested includes Jose Flores, the owner of the Palm Beach Boulevard auto dealership, City of Palms Auto.

      “Tell you the truth, I don’t believe it yet,” said Leandro Rodriguez, manager of a nearby auto dealership.

      People who know Flores were shocked to learn he was put behind bars, accused of negotiating a drug deal that brought what police call a significant amount of crystal meth to Fort Myers.

      “Pretty nice guy, he drove kind of an old car, a 1996 white car, not a lot of money on him…nothing like that,” said Rodriguez.

      We asked if there was ever any indication Flores had been negotiation drug deals out of the dealership, “No indication, never,” he said.

      Police say Flores made it onto their radar about eight months ago after hearing he allegedly negotiated smaller drug deals out of the business.

      “We knew we had high level distributor here and we just maintained constant surveillance, figured out what his habits were, what his contacts were stuff that he did when he didn’t know we were with him and we were,” explained Sgt. Jay Rodriguez with the Fort Myers Police Department.

      Using a confidential informant, police were able to get Flores to negotiate a deal to bring down six pounds of crystal meth, $140,000 worth from Georgia to Fort Myers.

      The deal went down on Friday at Flores’ home on Fifth Street East.

      Six people were arrested, including Flores, his bodyguard Obdulio Medina, and the supplier who drove the drugs to Southwest Florida, Gladis-Arias Garcia.

      Police say the three other suspects in custody are in the country illegally from Mexico, including Arias-Garcia, Miguel Sanchez and Javier Medina Santoyo.

      Mexico is the same place police believe the drugs originated, in a so-called “super lab”.

      “The quality is very high quality, the crystals are super hard, so we do believe these came from South America, Mexico,” said Sgt. Rodriguez.

      Police aren’t sure how the drugs made it across the U.S. border. We are told when the drugs made it to the Atlanta area, they were driven to Southwest Florida.

      Detectives do not believe the crystal meth was to stay in Fort Myers, instead, they say it probably would have been divided up and transported to other areas for sale.

      Police say this may be one of the biggest crystal meth busts ever for the city. The US Attorney’s Office will prosecute the case.

      All six were in Lee County Jail custody, each on $30,000 bond as of Tuesday afternoon.

      ORIGINAL STORY:
      FORT MYERS, Fla. – Fort Myers Police bust at least six people in a crystal meth trafficking scheme. The department tells us it could be the largest crystal meth bust ever for the city.

      According to reports released to WINK News, about six pounds of crystal meth was driven from Georgia to be sold in Fort Myers.

      Detectives worked with a confidential informant to make the bust after an eight-month-long investigation.

      The reports also say three of the suspects in custody are illegal aliens from Mexico.

      The six arrested and charged with trafficking crystal meth are:
      Gladis Arias-Garcia, DOB: 9/28/76 (source of supply, illegal according to FMPD)
      Jose Emigdio Flores, DOB: 8/5/64 (local source of supply)
      Obdulio Medina, DOB: 9/15/88 (Flores bodyguard)
      Miguel Sanchez, DOB: 1/28/84 (courier, illegal according to FMPD)
      David Arreola Williams, DOB: 8/4/79
      Javier Medina Santoyo Alejandro, DOB: 12/10/85 (courier/driver, illegal according to FMPD)

    • Bottom Line says:

      New Haven Register

      http://www.nhregister.com/articles/2009/03/28/news/metro/a1_–_assaultrape.txt

      Woman viciously beaten, raped

      By Ann DeMatteo, Assistant Metro Editor

      HAMDEN — A town woman, 25, survived a vicious attack by a co-worker who allegedly tried to snap her neck, stomped on her chest, raped her and left her for dead early Friday in East Rock Park, police said.

      After the man drove off in her car, the severely beaten woman made her way from the park, down a hill through grass and branches, to a house on Ridge Road, and frantically rang a doorbell.

      A resident who had been sleeping on the couch on the first floor heard a commotion and opened the door to a horrifying sight.

      “The girl’s eyes were completely closed and blood was all over her face. It was like something out of a horror movie,” he said. “She was saying ‘Help me, help me, please help me.’”

      The homeowner’s wife called 911, and in less than five minutes, police arrived, the man said. The woman is being treated at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

      According to Capt. Ronald Smith, the woman was repeatedly beaten and raped by the co-worker, who was later found at a house in New Haven’s Newhallville section.

      The suspect was booked on charges of criminal attempt to commit murder, first-degree sexual assault, kidnapping and strangulation and second-degree assault, and is being held in lieu of $1 million bail. Police are trying to determine the man’s citizenship status.

      Police are not releasing the name of the victim or her assailant, “due to the continuing investigation,” Smith said.

      “Our uniform and investigative personnel did an outstanding job piecing together this brutal and heinous crime,” Police Chief Thomas J. Wydra said. “The victim’s strength and survival instincts ultimately led to her surviving this attack.”

      The assault apparently began after the man and woman finished their shifts and left Temple Grill on Temple Street in New Haven, sources said. A woman who answered the phone at the establishment Friday night said she didn’t know anything about the incident.

      The victim told officers that at about 1:30 a.m., her co-worker asked for a ride home, police said. Police do not know the reasons behind the incident, or whether they were acquaintances or friends.

      As she drove, he punched her in the face, causing her to fall out of her car, Smith said. She tried to call police from her cell phone, but the man took it from her and broke it.

      “She was then continuously beaten and sexually assaulted,” said Smith, who didn’t know the location of that assault.

      The man then forced the woman back into her car, and drove her to the Hamden section of East Rock Park. They got out of the car, walked along a path and he sexually assaulted her again, Smith said. As she pleaded for her life, she was beaten again, he said.

      The man then attempted to snap the woman’s neck and began stomping on her chest, Smith said. He continuously used a branch to hit her in the head and body. The victim then played dead, and the man left in the woman’s car, Smith said.

      The woman then walked to Ridge Road, where she was helped by the homeowner and his wife. The wife called police at 3:40 a.m.

      The husband said he had just woken up and turned off the television when the doorbell rang furiously. He didn’t let the woman in the house because he feared it could have been a home invasion scam.

      The woman was described as white, with black hair and wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt and sweatpants. She was barefooted. The man believes she may have rung other doorbells before she got to his house.

      “I was at the door, making sure she was OK. I wanted to help her. When police went to the edge of the driveway, she collapsed on the ground,” said the resident, who declined to give his name.

      The homeowner said he watched as she gave a statement to police.

      “She stated the assailant tried to poke her eyes out with a stick,” he said. “I wish I could have done more. It was a horrific thing to see.”

    • Bottom Line says:

      Center For Immigration Studies

      http://www.cis.org/IllegalAliensCrime

      Crime & the Illegal Alien: The Fallout from Crippled Immigration Enforcement
      By Heather Mac Donald
      May 2004

      Some of the most violent criminals at large today are illegal aliens. Yet in cities where crime from these lawbreakers is highest, the police cannot use the most obvious tool to apprehend them: their immigration status. In Los Angeles, for example, dozens of gang members from a ruthless Salvadoran prison gang have snuck back into town after having been deported for such crimes as murder, shootings, and drug trafficking. Police officers know who they are and know that their mere presence in the country is a felony. Yet should an LAPD officer arrest an illegal gangbanger for felonious reentry, it is the officer who will be treated as a criminal by his own department — for violating the LAPD’s rule against enforcing immigration law.

      The LAPD’s ban on immigration enforcement is replicated in immigrant-heavy localities across the country — in New York, Chicago, Austin, San Diego, and Houston, for example. These so-called “sanctuary policies” generally prohibit a city’s employees, including the police, from reporting immigration violations to federal authorities.

      Sanctuary laws are a testament to the political power of immigrant lobbies. So powerful is this demographic clout that police officials shrink from even mentioning the illegal alien crime wave. “We can’t even talk about it,” says a frustrated LAPD captain. “People are afraid of a backlash from Hispanics.” Another LAPD commander in a predominantly Hispanic, gang-infested district sighs: “I would get a firestorm of criticism if I talked about [enforcing the immigration law against illegals].” Neither captain would speak for attribution.

      But however pernicious in themselves, sanctuary rules are a symptom of a much broader disease: the near total loss of control over immigration policy. Fifty years ago, immigration policy may have driven immigration numbers, but today the numbers drive policy. The non-stop increase of legal and illegal aliens is reshaping the language and the law to dissolve any distinction between legal and illegal immigration and, ultimately, the very idea of national borders.

      It is a measure of how topsy-turvy the immigration environment has become that to ask police officials about the illegal crime problem feels like a gross social faux pas, something simply not done in polite company. And a police official, asked to violate this powerful taboo against discussing criminal aliens, will respond with a strangled response—sometimes, as in the case of a New York deputy commissioner with whom I spoke, disappearing from communication altogether. At the same time, millions of illegal aliens work, shop, travel, and commit crimes in plain view, utterly confident in their de facto immunity from the immigration law.

      I asked the Miami Police Department’s spokesman, Detective Delrish Moss, about his employer’s policy on illegal law-breakers. In September 2003, the force had arrested a Honduran visa violator for seven terrifying rapes. The previous year, Miami officers had had the suspect, Reynaldo Elias Rapalo, in custody for lewd and lascivious molestation, without checking his immigration status. Had they done so, they would have discovered his visa overstay, a deportable offense. “We have shied away from unnecessary involvement dealing with immigration issues,” explains Detective Moss, choosing his words carefully, “because of our large immigration population.”

      Police commanders may not want to discuss, much less respond to, the illegal alien crisis, but its magnitude for law enforcement is startling. Some examples:

      In Los Angeles, 95 percent of all outstanding warrants for homicide (which total 1,200 to 1,500) target illegal aliens. Up to two-thirds of all fugitive felony warrants (17,000) are for illegal aliens.

      A confidential California Department of Justice study reported in 1995 that 60 percent of the bloody 18th Street Gang in California is illegal (estimated membership: 20,000); police officers say the proportion is undoubtedly much greater. The gang collaborates with the Mexican Mafia, the dominant force in California prisons, on complicated drug distribution schemes, extortion, and drive-by assassinations, and is responsible for an assault or robbery every day in Los Angeles County. The gang has dramatically expanded its numbers over the last two decades by recruiting recently arrived youngsters, a vast proportion illegal, from Central America and Mexico.

      The leadership of the Columbia Li’l Cycos gang, which uses murder and racketeering to control the drug market around L.A.’s MacArthur Park, was about 60 percent illegal in 2002, says former Assistant U.S. Attorney Luis Li. Frank “Pancho Villa” Martinez, a Mexican Mafia member and illegal alien, controlled the gang from prison, while serving time for felonious reentry following deportation.

      Good luck finding any reference to such facts in official crime analysis. The LAPD and the Los Angeles City Attorney recently requested a judicial injunction against drug trafficking in Hollywood. The injunction targets the 18th Street Gang and, as the press release puts it, the “non-gang members” who sell drugs in Hollywood on behalf of the gang. Those “non-gang members” are virtually all illegal Mexicans, smuggled into the country by a trafficking ring organized by 18th Street bigs. The illegal Mexicans pay off their transportation debt to the gang by selling drugs; many soon realize how lucrative that line of work is and stay in the business.

      The immigration status of these non-gang “Hollywood dealers,” as the City Attorney calls them, is universally known among officers and gang prosecutors. But the gang injunction is silent on the matter. And if a Hollywood officer were to arrest an illegal dealer (known on the street as a “border brother”) for his immigration status, or even notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),* he would be severely disciplined for violation of Special Order 40, the city’s sanctuary policy.

      [ * In 2003, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) was broken up into three bureaus in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS): the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP); and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This Backgrounder focuses on ICE, which is responsible for, among other things, enforcement of federal immigration laws in the interior of the United States.]

      A Safe Haven

      The ordinarily tough-as-nails former LAPD Chief Daryl Gates enacted Special Order 40 in 1979 — in response to the city’s burgeoning population of illegal aliens — showing that even the most unapologetic law-and-order cop is no match for immigration demographics. The order prohibits officers from “initiating police action where the objective is to discover the alien status of a person.” In practice, this means that the police may not even ask someone they have arrested about his immigration status until after criminal charges have been entered. They may not arrest someone for immigration violations. Officers certainly may not check a suspect’s immigration status prior to arrest, nor may they notify ICE about an illegal alien picked up for minor violations. Only if an illegal alien has already been booked for a felony or multiple misdemeanors may they inquire into his status or report him to immigration authorities. The bottom line: a cordon sanitaire between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities that creates a safe haven for illegal criminals.

      Los Angeles’ sanctuary law, and all others like it, contradicts everything that has been learned about public safety in the 1990s. A key policing discovery of the last decade was the “great chain of being” in criminal behavior. Pick up a law-violator for a “minor” crime, and you’ll likely prevent a major crime. Enforcing graffiti and turnstile-jumping laws nabs you murderers and robbers. Enforcing known immigration violations, such as reentry following deportation, against known felons would be even more productive. LAPD officers recognize illegal deported gang members all the time — flashing gang signs at court hearings for rival gangbangers, hanging out on the corner, or casing a target. These illegal returnees are, simply by being in the country after deportation, committing a felony. “But if I see a deportee from the Mara Salvatrucha [Salvadoran prison] gang crossing the street, I know I can’t touch him,” laments a Los Angeles gang officer. Only if the deported felon has given the officer some other reason to stop him — such as an observed narcotics sale — can the officer accost him, and only for that non-immigration-related reason. The officer cannot arrest him for the immigration felony.

      Such a policy is extraordinarily inefficient and puts the community at risk for as long as these vicious immigration-law-breakers remain free. The department’s top brass brush off such concerns. No big deal if you’re seeing deported gangbangers back on the streets, they say. Just put them under surveillance for “real” crimes and arrest them for those. But surveillance is very manpower-intensive. Where there is an immediate ground for arresting a violent felon, it is absurd to demand that the woefully understaffed LAPD ignore it.

      The Impact of Sanctuary Policies

      The stated reason for sanctuary policies is to encourage illegal alien crime victims and witnesses to cooperate with the police without fear of deportation and to encourage all illegal aliens to take advantage of city services like health care and education (to whose maintenance illegals contribute little). There has never been any empirical verification whether sanctuary laws actually increase cooperation with the police or other city agencies. And no one has ever suggested not enforcing drug laws, say, for fear of intimidating drug-using crime victims. But in any case, the official rationale for sanctuary rules could be honored by limiting police utilization of immigration laws to some subset of immigration violators: deported felons, say, or repeat criminal offenders whose immigration status is already known to the police.

      The real reason why cities prohibit their police officers and other employees from immigration reporting and enforcement is, like nearly everything else in immigration policy, the numbers. The population of illegal aliens and their legal brethren has grown so large that public officials are terrified of alienating them, even at the expense of annulling the law and tolerating avoidable violence. In 1996, a breathtaking Los Angeles Times expose on the 18th Street Gang, which included descriptions of innocent bystanders being murdered by laughing cholos [gang members], disclosed for the first time the rate of illegal alien membership in the gang. In response to the public outcry, the Los Angeles City Council ordered the police to reexamine Special Order 40. You would have thought they had suggested violating some shocking social taboo. A police commander warned the council: “This is going to open a significant, heated debate.” City councilwoman Laura Chick put on a brave front: “We mustn’t be afraid,” she said firmly.

      But immigrant pandering, of course, trumped public safety. Law-abiding residents of gang-infested neighborhoods may live in terror of the tattooed gangbangers dealing drugs, spraying graffiti, and shooting up rivals outside their homes, but such distress cannot compare to a politician’s fear of offending Hispanics. At the start of the reexamination process, LAPD Deputy Chief John White had argued that allowing the department to work more closely with the INS would give officers another means to get gang members off the streets. Trying to build a case for homicide, say, against an illegal gang member is often futile, he explained, since witnesses fear deadly retaliation if they cooperate with the police. Enforcing an immigration violation would allow the cops to lock up the murderer right now, without putting a witness’ life at risk.

      Six months later Deputy Chief White had changed his tune: “Any broadening of the policy gets us into the immigration business. It’s a federal law enforcement issue, not a local law enforcement issue.” Interim Police Chief Bayan Lewis told the Los Angeles Police Commission: “It is not the time. It is not the day to look at Special Order 40.”

      Nor will it ever be the time to reexamine sanctuary policies, as long as immigration numbers continue to grow. After the brief window of opportunity in 1996 to strengthen the department’s weapons against gangs, Los Angeles politicians have only grown more adamant in their defense of Special Order 40. After learning that police officers in the scandal-plagued Rampart Division had cooperated with the INS to try to remove murderous gangbangers from the community, local politicians threw a fit. They criticized district commanders for even allowing INS agents into their station houses. The offending officers were seriously disciplined by the department.

      Immigration politics have had the same deleterious effect in New York. Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani sued all the way up to the Supreme Court to defend the city’s sanctuary policy against Congressional override. A 1996 federal law declared that cities could not prohibit their employees from cooperating with the INS. Oh yeah? said Giuliani; just watch me. He sued to declare the 1996 federal ban on sanctuary policies unconstitutional, and though he lost in court, he remained defiant to the end. On September 5, 2001, his hand-picked charter revision committee ruled that New York may still require that its employees keep immigration information confidential to preserve trust between immigrants and government. Six days later, several former visa-overstayers conducted the most devastating attack on the city and the country in history.

      The 1996 federal ban on sanctuary laws was conveniently forgotten in New York until a gang of five Mexicans — four of them illegal — abducted and brutally raped a 42-year-old mother of two near some railroad tracks in Queens. Three of the illegal aliens had already been arrested numerous times by the NYPD for such crimes as assault, attempted robbery in the second degree, criminal trespass, illegal gun possession, and drug offenses. The department had never notified the INS.

      Unfortunately, big city police chiefs are by now just as determined to defend sanctuary policies as the politicians who appoint them. They repudiate any interest in access to immigration law, even though doing so contradicts the universally respected theory of broken windows policing. (Sentiment is quite otherwise among the rank-and-file, who see daily the benefit that an immigration tool would bring.)

      Overwhelmed by Numbers

      But the same reality that drives cities to enact sanctuary policies — the growing numbers of legal and illegal immigrants — also cripples federal authorities’ own ability to enforce the immigration law against criminals. Even if immigrant-saturated cities were to discard their sanctuary policies and start enforcing immigration violations where public safety demands it, it is hard to believe that ICE could handle the additional workload. Perennially starved for resources by Congress and the executive branch, ICE lacks the detention space to house the massive criminal alien population and the manpower to manage it. In fact, little the INS and its successors have done over the last 30 years — above all its numerous displays of managerial incompetence — can be understood outside of the sheer overmatch between the agency and the size of the population it theoretically oversees.

      In theory, ICE is supposed to find and deport all aliens who have entered the country illegally through stealth or fraudulent documents. (Illegal entry could in theory also be prosecuted as a misdemeanor by a U.S. Attorney prior to the alien’s deportation, but such low-level prosecutions virtually never occur.) In fact, immigration authorities have not gone after mere status violators for years. The chronic shortage of manpower to oversee, and detention space to house, aliens as they await their deportation hearings (or, following an order of removal from an immigration judge, their actual deportation) has forced the agency to practice a constant triage. The bar for persuading managers to detain someone has risen ever higher.

      Even in the days when the INS and the police could cooperate, the lack of detention space defeated their efforts. Former INS criminal investigator Mike Cutler worked with the NYPD catching Brooklyn drug dealers in the 1970s. “If you arrested someone who you wanted to detain, you’d go to your boss and start a bidding war,” Cutler recalls. “He’d say: ‘Whaddya got?’ You’d say: ‘My guy ran three blocks, threw a couple of punches, and had six pieces of ID.’ The boss would turn to another agent: ‘Next! Whaddid your guy do?’ ‘He ran 18 blocks, pushed over an old lady, and had a gun.’” But such one-upmanship was usually unavailing. “Without the jail space,” explains Cutler, “it was like the Fish and Wildlife Service — you’d tag their ear and let them go.”

      Triage. Currently, the only types of aliens who run any risk of catching the attention of immigration authorities are, in ascending order of interest: illegal aliens who have been convicted of a crime; illegal aliens who have reentered the country following deportation without explicit approval of the attorney general (a felony punishable by up to two years in jail); illegal aliens who have been convicted of an “aggravated felony” — a term of art to refer to particularly egregious crimes; and illegal aliens who have been deported following conviction for an aggravated felony and who have reentered. (Aggravated felons become inadmissible for life, whereas mere deported aliens may apply for a visa after 10 years). A deported aggravated felon who has reentered may be sentenced for up to 20 years. The deported Mara Salvatrucha gang members that LAPD officers are seeing back on the streets fall into the latter category: they are aggravated felons who have reentered, and hence are punishable with 20 years in jail.

      To other law enforcement agencies, triage by immigration authorities often looks like complete indifference to immigration violations. An illegal alien who has merely been arrested 14 times for robbery, say, without a conviction will draw only a yawn from an ICE district director. In practice, the only real sources of interest for immigration authorities are aggravated felons and returned deported aggravated felons.

      “Run Letters.” Lack of resources also derails the conclusion of the deportation process. If a judge has issued a final order of deportation (usually after years of litigation and appeals), ICE in theory can put the alien right on a bus or plane and take him across the border. It rarely has the manpower to do so, however. Second alternative: put the alien in detention pending actual removal. Again, no space and no staff in proportion to demand. In the early 1990s, for example, 15 INS officers were responsible for the deportation of approximately 85,000 aliens (not all of them criminals) in New York City. The agency’s actual response to final orders of removal is what is known in the business as a “run letter” — a notice that immigration authorities send to a deportable alien requesting that he kindly show up in a month or two to be deported, when maybe the agency would have some officers and equipment to take custody of him. The results are foreordained: in 2001, 87 percent of deportable aliens who received “run letters” disappeared, a number that was even higher — 94 percent — if the alien was from a terror-sponsoring country.

      John Mullaly, a former homicide detective with the NYPD, shakes his head remembering the INS’s futile task in Manhattan’s Washington Heights, where Mullaly estimates that 70 percent of the drug dealers and other criminals were illegal. “It’s so overwhelming, you can’t believe it,” he explains. “The INS’s workload was astronomical, beyond belief. Usually, they could do nothing.” Were Mullaly to threaten a thug in custody that his next stop would be El Salvador unless he cooperated, the criminal just laughed, knowing that immigration authorities would never show up. The message sent to the drug lord and to the community could not be more clear: this is a culture that can’t enforce its most basic law of entry. And if policing’s broken windows theory is correct, the suspension of one set of rules breeds more universal contempt for the law.

      ICE’s capacity deficit gives an easy out to police departments when a known immigration violator commits a terrible crime. Testifying before Congress about the Queens rape by the illegal Mexicans, New York’s criminal justice coordinator, John Feinblatt, peevishly defended the city’s failure to notify the INS after the rapists’ previous arrests on the ground that the agency wouldn’t have responded anyway. “We have time and time again been unable to reach INS on the phone,” Feinblatt told the House immigration subcommittee in February 2003. “When we reach them on the phone, they require that we write a letter. When we write a letter, they require that it be by a superior.”

      No Answer. However inadmirable his failure to take responsibility, Feinblatt nevertheless was describing a sad fact of life: Even when police agencies do contact immigration authorities about illegal aliens, they rarely get a response. Federal probation authorities in Brooklyn, who currently have 148 illegal alien felons on their active caseload, have given up trying to coordinate with ICE on deportation. “Our thinking is: these guys should be removed ASAP,” says a probation supervisor. “Should the taxpayer be paying for our services to monitor, investigate, and provide services for individuals who are not citizens and should not be here at all?” But the supervisor’s sense of urgency is not answered at the other end of the line. “You send the paperwork over to the INS, and you never hear back,” explains the federal probation official. “We used to have a person assigned to us from the agency, who told us to not even bother sending over forms.”

      Immigration numbers stymied a program to ensure that criminal aliens were in fact deported after serving time in federal and state prisons. The Institutional Hearing Program, begun in 1988, was supposed to allow the INS to complete deportation hearings while a criminal was still in state or federal prison, so that upon his release, he could be immediately deported without taking up precious detention space. But the process immediately bogged down due to the magnitude of the problem — in 2000, for example, nearly 30 percent of federal prisoners were foreign-born. The agency couldn’t find enough pro bono attorneys to represent criminal aliens (who have extensive due process rights in contesting deportation), and so would have to request continuance after continuance for the deportation hearings. Securing immigration judges was a difficulty as well. In 1997, the INS simply had no record of a whopping 36 percent of foreign-born inmates who had been released from federal and four state prisons without any review of their deportability. They included 1,198 aggravated felons, 80 of whom were rearrested for new crimes in short order.

      Conflicting Missions

      Resource-starvation is not the only reason immigration authorities fail to act against criminal aliens, however. The INS and its successor agencies are creatures of immigration politics, no less than immigrant-saturated cities and states. Until it was broken up, the agency had two conflicting missions: handing out immigration “benefits” such as permanent residency, citizenship, and work permits, on the one hand, and enforcing the immigration laws against border trespassers, illegal workers, counterfeiters, and felons, on the other. Local politicians are usually only concerned about the benefits mission: the more green cards issued in their districts, the happier the ethnic voters. So INS district directors were traditionally under enormous pressures to divert enforcement resources into benefit distribution and away from criminal or other investigations. In the late 1980s, for example, the INS refused to participate in an FBI task force against Haitian drug trafficking in Miami, for fear it would be criticized for engaging in “Haitian-bashing.” In 1997, the Border Patrol announced it would no longer accompany Simi Valley, Calif., probation officers on home searches of illegal-alien-dominated gangs. The change in policy followed protests from Hispanic activists, after a highly-publicized raid netted nearly two dozen illegals. Crowed an attorney with the Ventura County Mexican-American Bar Association: The Border Patrol’s reversal showed that it “can be at times responsive to the desires of all segments of a community.”

      The disastrous Citizenship USA project of 1996 was a classic instance of the politically-driven sacrifice of enforcement responsibilities to benefit distribution. Citizenship applications from resident aliens had skyrocketed in the first half of the 1990s, due in part to the increasingly likely prospect of welfare reform. Most welfare reform proposals promised to disqualify non-citizens from the dole. In response, welfare-consuming immigrants were applying for citizenship in record numbers to preserve their eligibility for a monthly government check. The Clinton Administration sensed a potential political windfall from hundreds of thousands of newly-naturalized, permanently-welfare-qualified citizens, and ordered that the naturalization process be radically expedited. Due likely to relentless administration pressure, a 1996 audit showed that 99 percent of applications in New York contained processing errors while 90 percent contained errors in Los Angeles. As a result, tens of thousands of aliens with criminal records, including for murder and armed robbery, were naturalized.

      Extended Stay

      Immigration numbers also lie behind the daunting array of due process weapons that criminal aliens deploy to defeat their deportation. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is a powerful force on Capitol Hill. It has won an elaborate set of trial rights for criminal aliens that savvy attorneys can use to keep them in the country indefinitely. Federal probation authorities in Brooklyn have two illegal aliens on their caseload — a Jordanian and an Egyptian with Saudi citizenship — who look “ready to blow up the Statue of Liberty,” according to a probation official, but, at the time of this writing, the department couldn’t get rid of them. The Jordanian had been caught fencing stolen government checks, such as Social Security checks and tax refunds; now he sells phone cards, which he uses himself to make untraceable calls. The Saudi’s offense consisted in using a fraudulent Social Security number to get employment — a puzzlingly unnecessary scam, since he receives large sums of money from the Middle East, including from millionaire relatives. But intelligence links him to terrorism, so presumably he worked in order not to draw attention to himself. Ordinarily such a minor offense would not be prosecuted, but the government used whatever it had. Currently, the Saudi changes his cell phone every month.

      Probation overseers desperately want to see the men deported, but the two Middle Easterners have hired lawyers and are staging lengthy deportation fights. “Due process allows you to stay for years without an adjudication,” says a probation officer in frustration. “A regular immigration attorney can keep you in the country for three years, a high-priced one for ten.” In the meantime, Brooklyn probation executives are watching the bridges.

      No Fear of Enforcement. Finally, the overmatch between the immigration authorities and the numbers of illegal immigrants mars what should be the happy end of the criminal alien saga: their deportation. Even where the ICE successfully nabs and deports criminal aliens, the reality, says a former federal gang prosecutor, is that “they all come back. They can’t make it in Mexico.” The tens of thousands of illegal farm workers and restaurant dish-washers who overpower U.S border control every year carry in their wake hundreds or thousands of brutal assailants and terrorists who use the same smuggling industry as the “good” illegal aliens, and who benefit from the same irresistible odds: there’s so many more of them than the Border Patrol.

      The government’s inability to keep out criminal aliens is part and parcel of its inability to patrol the border, period. The reasons are the same in both cases: numbers-driven politics and acute institutional incapacity. As a result, for decades, the INS had as much effect on the migration of millions of illegal aliens into the country as a can tied to the tail of a tiger. And the immigrants themselves, despite the boilerplate image in the press of hapless aliens living fearfully in the shadows, seem to regard immigration authorities with all the concern of an elephant for a flea.

      Fear of immigration enforcement is not in ready evidence among the hundreds of illegal day laborers who hang out on Roosevelt Avenue in Queens, in front of money wire services, travel agencies, immigration attorney offices, and phone arcades, all catering to the local Hispanic population (as well as to drug dealers and terrorists). “There is no chance of getting caught,” cheerfully explains Rafael, an Ecuadorian. Like the dozen Ecuadorians and Mexicans on his particular corner, Rafael is hoping that an SUV seeking carpenters for a $100 a day will show up soon. “We don’t worry, because we’re not doing anything wrong. I know it’s illegal, I need the papers, but here, nobody asks you for papers.”

      Even the newly fortified Mexican border, the only spot in the country where the government devotes significant resources to preventing illegal immigration, is regarded as a minor inconvenience by the day laborers. The odds, they realize, are overwhelmingly in their favor. Miguel, a reserved young Mexican with a 12-year-old son back in Mexico, crossed the border at Tijuana three years ago with 15 other people hidden in a truck. Border Patrol spotted the truck, but the outcome was predetermined. There were six officers to 16 illegals. Five were caught; the rest, including Miguel, got away. “But even if you’re caught,” he reflects, “they don’t do nothing. You only get one night in jail.”

      In illegal border crossings, you get what you pay for, according to Miguel. “If you want your family to come safely, you pay money. If you want to go over the mountain, pay little.” Miguel’s wife was flying in from Los Angeles that very day, but he was blasé about it, not even knowing at which airport she was arriving. “Because I pay, I don’t worry.” (The bill was $2,200 this time.) If you try to shave on the fee, however, the coyotes will abandon you at the first problem. But hasn’t security gotten tighter at the border recently? I ask him. “You can always find another way,” he shrugs. “Everything’s possible. Para nosotros, es facil.”

      Jobs Magnet

      The only way to dampen illegal immigration and its attendant train of criminals and terrorists, short of revolution in the sending countries or an impregnably militarized border, is to remove the jobs magnet. As long as migrants believe they can easily get work, they will find ways to evade border controls. But the enforcement of laws against illegal labor is at the absolute bottom of the government’s priorities. In 2001, only 124 agents in the entire country were trying to find and prosecute the hundreds of thousands of employers and millions of illegal aliens who violate the employment laws, the Associated Press reports. Interior enforcement generally, whose mandate includes not just the worksite, but also document fraud, alien smuggling, and criminals, has always been laughably underfunded compared to border operations, a situation that has been likened to a football team’s placing its entire defense on the line of scrimmage. Currently less than 2 percent of immigration resources go for interior enforcement, and a mere 2,000 agents police the entire country beyond the borders — responsible for deporting some 10 million illegal aliens, eradicating thousands of counterfeiters, finding hundreds of thousands of scofflaw employers, and breaking up smuggling rings.

      Lack of Legal Tools. But even were ICE to allocate resources to worksite investigations commensurate to the magnitude of the violations, not much would change, because its legal tools are so weak. That’s no accident. Though it is against the law to hire illegal aliens, a coalition of libertarians, business lobbies, and left-wing advocates has consistently blocked the prerequisite to making that ban enforceable: a fraud-proof form of work authorization. Libertarians have erupted in hysteria at such proposals as a toll-free number that would allow employers to confirm Social Security numbers with the Social Security Administration, hurling out comparisons to concentration camp tattoos and godless Communism. Hispanics warn just as stridently that giving employers a means to verify work authorization would result in invidious discrimination against Hispanics — implicitly conceding the point that there are vast numbers of Hispanics working illegally.

      The result? Hiring practices in illegal-immigrant-saturated industries are a form of play-acting: Millions of illegal workers pretend to present valid documents, and thousands of employers pretend to believe them. The law imposes no obligation on the employer to verify that a worker is actually qualified to work, and as long as the proffered documents are not patently phony, the employer will nearly always be insulated from liability merely by having eyeballed them. To find an employer guilty of violating the ban on hiring illegal aliens, immigration authorities must prove that he knew he was getting fake papers — an almost insurmountable burden. Meanwhile, the market for counterfeit documents has exploded. Fraud now pervades every aspect of the immigration system. In one month alone in 1998, the INS seized nearly two million counterfeit documents in Los Angeles, destined for workers, welfare seekers, criminals, and terrorists.

      For illegal workers and employers, there is no downside to the employment charade. If immigration authorities ever do conduct an industry-wide investigation, which will at least net the illegal employees, if not the employers, local congressmen from the affected areas will almost certainly call it off. An INS inquiry into the Vidalia onion industry in Georgia in the late 1990s was not only aborted by Georgia’s Washington delegation, it actually resulted in a local amnesty for the growers’ illegal workforce. The downside to complying with the spirit of the employment law, on the other hand, is considerable. Ethnic advocacy groups are ready to picket employers who dismiss illegal workers, and employers understandably fear being undercut by less scrupulous competitors.

      In 1999, the sheer numbers of illegal aliens again dictated immigration policy, rather than vice versa. The INS announced a “major shift” of strategy away from worksite enforcement to alien smuggling, alien absconders, and document fraud. The agency was merely rationalizing the real: An official told The Washington Post that the new priorities reflected an “inability within current resources to deal with the undocumented population in the U.S.” And the revised strategy was little more than window-dressing: as long as the worksite remains wide open, alien smuggling, document fraud, and the attendant influx of criminal absconders will continue at record rates.

      Blurring the Line

      The continuing surge of illegal and legal migrants is changing American politics, demographics, and culture in ways that have yet to be grasped. But one of the most profound changes is already visible: the breakdown of the distinction between legal and illegal entry. Everywhere illegal aliens receive free public education and free medical care at taxpayer expense. In 13 states, they can get drivers licenses, according to Mexican officials. States everywhere are being pushed to grant in-state college tuition and scholarships to illegal aliens; many accede. One hundred banks, over 800 law enforcement agencies, and dozens of cities accept an identification card created by Mexico to credential illegal Mexican aliens in the United States. The Bush Administration has given its blessing to this “matricula consular” card, over the strenuous protest of the FBI. The massive security loopholes in the card, warns the FBI, make it a natural for money launderers, immigrant smugglers, and terrorists. Border authorities have already caught an Iranian man sneaking across the border with a Mexican matricula card, as well as an alien smuggler with seven cards, each with his picture and a different name.

      But the rhetoric of contemporary immigration is as startling as its legal attributes. Hispanic advocates have successfully pushed the idea that to distinguish between a legal and illegal resident is an act of irrational bigotry, not a consequence of the law. “These are hate, wedge issues,” cried Dolores Huerta, a regent of the University of California, as the California State Senate repealed a recently-enacted law giving drivers licenses to illegal aliens. In signing the ill-fated law, former California governor Gray Davis had explicitly renounced any distinction between illegal and legal immigrants. (An eruption of populist rage against the measure catapulted Arnold Schwarzenegger into the governor’s mansion, but ethnic advocates are having the last laugh, since Schwarzenegger, having repealed the bill, has already promised a revised version.) Arrests of illegal aliens inside the border are now inevitably accompanied by protests, often led by the Mexican government, and those protests will inevitably feature signs calling for No mas racismo. It is the government that is constantly on the defensive now for enforcing the law, not those who break it.

      The editor of Los Angeles’s biggest Spanish-language daily, La Opinion, reflected recently that the Virgin Mary would never have imagined that her followers would find themselves discriminated against not for the color of their skin, but for their lack of documents. But it is not “discrimination” to
      experience the legal consequences of breaking the immigration laws; it is to encounter the inevitable results of one’s freely-chosen actions.

      Immigrant advocates now use the nebulous language of “human rights” to trump such trivia as citizenship laws. The apprehension of some illegal aliens in San Diego and San Juan Capistrano, Calif., last summer triggered a huge outcry, well-summed up by Christian Ramirez of the American Friends Service Committee: The arrests showed that “the current administration wants nothing to do with human rights,” he said. “They are simply establishing a state of repression in Latino communities and other immigrant communities across this nation.” In other words, no law enforcement agency has any legitimacy in enforcing the fundamental laws of entry.

      “No Person is Illegal.” The term “amnesty” is under attack, since it implicitly acknowledges the validity of borders even as it dissolves them. “Amnesty — there’s an implication that somehow you did something wrong and you need to be forgiven,” grouses Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D- Ill.). It’s the border that is illegal, not the crossing of it without permission. “No person is illegal,” Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahoney told parishioners on a day of protests in California against the repeal of the driver’s license bill. That same day, a march for amnesty arrived at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, under the banner: “Messengers for the dignity of a people divided by a border” (“mensajeros por la dignidad de un pueblo dividido por la frontera”). New York’s Monsignor Josu Iriondo greeted the marchers, and repeated their call for the elimination of the border between Mexico and the United States.

      As with every contemporary protest movement, the push for open borders is replete with the language of entitlement and plaintive calls for respect and dignity. Illegal aliens and their advocates speak loudly about what they think the United States owes them, not vice versa. “I believe they have a right . . . to work, to drive their kids to school,” said California Assemblywoman Sarah Reyes after the license bill repeal. The organizer of an economic boycott in California against the repeal, Nativo Lopez of the Mexican-American Political Association, says that the action is about “justice, dignity, and respect.” An immigration agent says that people he’s stopped in the past “got in your face about their rights, because our failure to enforce the law emboldens them.”

      Expect the push to dissolve any distinction between citizens, legal aliens, and illegal aliens to accelerate. Joaquin Avila, a UCLA Chicano Studies professor and former legal advisor to the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), argues that to deny non-citizens the vote, especially in the many California cities where they constitute the majority, is a form of apartheid. Voting laws allow an ethnic minority (presumably white Californians) to impose their will on the majority, he says.

      Taken to its logical conclusion, this movement against the law of borders and citizenship points towards the dissolution of national sovereignty itself. Sen. Alan Simpson observed in the early 1980s that Americans “are fed up with efforts to make them feel that [they] do not have that fundamental right of any people — to decide who will join them and help form the future country in which they and their posterity will live.”

      Conclusion

      The most striking political constant in the last four decades of immigration policy is the overwhelming popular desire to rein in immigration, and the utter pulverization of that desire by special interests. No poll has ever shown that Americans want ever-more open borders, yet that is exactly what the elites deliver year after year. If the idea of giving voting rights to non-citizen majorities catches on — and don’t be surprised if it does — Americans could be faced with the ultimate absurdity of people outside the social compact making rules for those inside it.

      But the push to annul the laws of immigration does not even help its purported beneficiaries. Sanctuary policies contribute to the terrorization of immigrant communities. By stripping the police of what on occasion may be their only immediate tool to remove a psychopathic gangster from the streets, sanctuary policies leave law-abiding immigrants defenseless against the social and financial devastation of crime and handicapped in the march up the economic ladder. Anyone who cares about their future success should want every possible law enforcement means deployed to protect them. And immigration optimists, who argue that assimilation into American ideals is proceeding just fine and dandily, should take another look: In many immigrant communities, assimilation into gangs seems to be outstripping assimilation into civic culture. Toddlers are being taught to flash gang signals and to hate the police, reports the Los Angeles Times. In New York City, “every high school has its Mexican gang,” and most 12 to 14-year-olds have already joined, claims Ernesto Vega, an illegal 18-year-old Mexican who works at a New York association for Mexican empowerment. Such pathologies are only exacerbated when the first lesson of American law learned by immigrants is that Americans don’t bother to enforce it. “Institutionalizing illegal immigration creates a mindset in people that anything goes in the U.S.,” observes Patrick Ortega, the News and Public Affairs Director of “Radio Nueva Vida” in Southern California. “It creates a new subculture, with a sequelae of social ills.”

      Taking immigration law seriously may make a start in combating these worrisome trends. The police should be given the option of reporting and acting on immigration violations, where doing so would contribute to public safety. The decision about when to use immigration rules will be a matter of discretion, but discretion is at the heart of all wise policing. The CLEAR Act, now before Congress, would help by clarifying the authority of local law enforcement to cooperate with immigration authorities. The police should have access to federal databases of immigration violators, an idea that the administration is slowly acting upon, against great opposition from the usual suspects.

      And then the successor agencies of the INS should be given the resources they need. More detention space should be built, or contracted through private providers, so that deportable aliens are not released back to the streets. The missing link in workforce law — a fraud-proof work ID — must be created, and then employers must be held responsible for demanding it.

      Advocates for amnesty argue that it is the only solution to the illegal alien crisis, because enforcement clearly has not worked. They are wrong in their key assumption: Enforcement has never been tried. Amnesty, however, has been tried — in both an industrial-strength version in 1986, and in more limited doses ever since — and it was a clear failure. Before we proceed again to the ultimate suspension of the nation’s self-definition, it is long past time to make immigration law a reality, not a charade.

  25. Bottom Line says:

    South Florida Blade

    http://www.floridablade.com/2009/10-15/news/localnews/6370.cfm

    Oakland Park beating victim dies
    Third suspect charged in beatings of two gay men

    By DMITRY RASHNITSOV
    OCT. 15, 2009

    A gay man who was beaten into a coma more than six months ago has passed away while another suspect for the crime is under arrest.

    Craig Cohen, 47, died in a hospice on Wednesday Oct. 7. Cohen and 27-year-old David Villanova were beaten in the early morning hours of Monday, April 6 in separate attacks by the same group of men, according to the Broward Sheriff‘s Office. The victims were attacked within hours of each other’s incidents.

    Cohen’s funeral was on Tuesday Oct. 13 at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Pompano Beach. A candlelight vigil organized by Gay American Heroes will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15 at the Shoppes of Wilton Manors—there will be a short presentation with Craig’s family, co-workers, and community leaders, followed by candle light walk down Wilton Dr.

    The family is asking that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The Craig Cohen Animal Advocacy Project (CCAAP). Also condolences may be sent to The Family of Craig Cohen, 24 Lago Vista Place, Palm Coast, FL 32164.

    Cohen was walking home on Oakland Park Blvd. after eating at Peter Pan Diner when a group of men attacked him, stomped his head into the ground, stole his cell phone and left him bleeding on the sidewalk. Cohen suffered trauma to the head and according to his brother Dr. David Cohen, had to undergo five surgeries including removing part of his skull and brain tissue to alleviate the pressure from the internal bleeding. He also had a tube inserted in his neck to assist with breathing and a V.P Shunt in his head that assisted with draining brain fluid into his abdomen. In his last few days Cohen had blood clots, an infection and organ failure.

    Villanova was attacked outside the 7-Eleven at 1545 N.E. 4th Ave. in Fort Lauderdale, where he was also beaten and had some belongings stolen from him. He suffered trauma to the head, but has made a full recovery.

    The Broward Sheriff’s Office arrested 18-year-old Chad Alexander Olah of Fort Lauderdale on charges of felony first-degree murder and strong-armed robbery. He is the third person under arrest for the crimes. Previously Victor Gonzalez, 22, and Pargu Leandro, 25, of Deerfield Beach were arrested with charges of Attempted Felony Murder, Strong Armed Robbery and Aggravated Battery. Olah was 17 at the time of the assault and is being held at the Juvenile Assessment Center. Both Gonzalez and Leandro are being held in the main jail and have immigration holds placed on them.

    According to Broward Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Dani Moschella, “the charges will probably be enhanced to murder,” for Gonzalez and Leandro. In addition Moschella said that none of the men will be charged with a hate crime. She said that during the interviews with the sheriff’s officers all the suspects said they did not target Cohen or Villanova because of their orientation and instead went after them because they were walking alone. The attackers did not take Cohen’s wallet, credit cards, cash or watch.

    “In the weeks following the attacks, there was some speculation as to whether they had been fueled by hate and perpetrated because the victims were both gay men. However, detectives have determined that the sexual preference of the victims didn’t factor in when their attackers were planning or committing the crimes,” said Commander Rick Wierzbicki of BSO’s Hate Crimes Task Force. “Cohen and Villanova were innocent victims, chosen simply because they were alone and defenseless.”

    Wierzbicki added that witnesses to the attack also corroborated the accounts of the suspects leading detectives to take the hate crime enhancement off the table.

    Wildlife lover, plans to retire

    According to friends, Cohen loved animals of all species and had a 15-year-old Schnauzer named Eddie and five cats. Cohen also volunteered at the Wildlife Nature Center.

    “He was a very gentle, loving kind soul, that never had a negative word to say, and yet he would be straight up honest with you,” said friend William Kirby. “He was a very sweet guy. He used to come to my house on Thanksgiving Day.”

    Kirby said that Cohen had purchased some land in northern Florida where he wanted to retire in 2010 and open an animal rescue shelter.

    Members of the Wildlife Nature Center have set up the Craig Cohen Animal Advocacy Project as part of the Pet Project as a way to help animals that are orphaned due to crime/violence/death.

    Hate Crime

    People in the Wilton Manors community are still in shock about the crime many months later and outrage is high that the Sheriff’s office is not pursuing the hate crime charges.

    “His death saddens me deeply as well as scares me,” said Russ Crossman, a business development manager in Fort Lauderdale who did not know Cohen personally but plans on attending the candlelight vigil. “To me and many others this was an obvious hate crime and it could have happened to anyone – myself, my friends, or others in the community. It is unacceptable that this happened here in Fort Lauderdale and I hope that our community will finally come together and let others know that we will not allow these types of crimes to happen here.”

    • Bottom Line says:

      This guy is a riot.

      • Bottom Line says:

      • BL”

        Man oh man, I can’t stop laughing.

        Water squirting out of my eyes, can’t wweee the cscrreeeeen.

        If I tried that I would blow a gasget.

        • Care to wager, will he die from stroke or heart attack?
          I’ll put $20 on stroke.

        • Bottom Line says:

          I can do this at a constant, stopping only to sleep and eat. Illegal bashing is easy! There are COUNTLESS examples of illegals raping America. Todays posts are a drop in the bucket. To be honest, Im trying to tone it down a bit.

          I’m just trying to point out the 800 lb. gorilla to Matt.

          There People too. Yeah and there are about twenty or thirty million of them invading our country, raping our women, taking our jobs, giving us diseases, killing people, getting hammered and causing hit and run fatal type accidents, trying to re-e over “AZTLAN”, burdening our schools, hospitals, welfare system, dropping property values, ect ect…

          And for what?

          Cheap slave labor?

          Is it worth it?

          “but they are people too”

          ARE YOU F*&%^$G KIDDING ME?

          Where’s the shot gun?

          I’m going to ask sherrif joe if I can get deputized.

          It’sime ta round ’em up and kick ’em out!

    • Bottom Line says:

      The Washington Times

      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/26/illegals-targeted-sheriff-as-part-of-gang-initiati/

      Illegals targeted sheriff as gang initiation
      By Jerry Seper
      February 26, 2009

      The attempted assassination of a South Carolina deputy sheriff was a gang initiation carried out by three illegal immigrants including a 15-year-old boy who was supposed to “kill a cop” in order to be admitted as a member, according to a confidential Department of Homeland Security advisory.

      Lexington County, S.C., Deputy Sheriff Ted Xanthakis and his K-9 police dog, Arcos, were attacked by the three illegals armed with a 12-gauge shotgun during a Feb. 8 incident in West Columbia, S.C., shortly after 3 a.m. The deputy and his dog survived.

      Two of the men were identified in a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) report as members of the Surenos gang, or SUR-13, a collection of Mexican-American street gangs with origins in the oldest barrios of Southern California.

      Hundreds of SUR-13 gangs operate in California and have spread to many other parts of the country. The paramilitary organization has been described by federal law enforcement agencies as actively involved in illegal-immigrant and drug smuggling.

      According to the ICE report, the attack occurred as the deputy responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle.

      The 15-year-old and two others, Carlos Alfredo Diaz De Leon, 17, and Lucino Guzman Guttierrez, 20, were later arrested by sheriff’s deputies and members of the U.S. Marshals Service. Diaz De Leon and Guzman Guttierrez were charged with assault and battery with intent to kill.

      Deputy Xanthakis and his dog were in a marked patrol car at the time of the shooting.

      The 15-year-old was taken to a pre-trial detention facility, where he was awaiting a hearing in family court. Prosecutors said they would recommend that the boy be prosecuted in family court on a charge of assault and battery with intent to kill.

      Under state law, law enforcement officials cannot identify the boy because he is a juvenile.

      Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts told reporters that Diaz De Leon, Guzman Guttierrez and the 15-year-old illegally entered the United States from Mexico. He said Diaz De Leon and Guzman Guttierrez were living in West Columbia and a search of their house netted items thought to have been stolen in vehicle break-ins in Lexington County, including a Global Positioning System devices and car stereo systems.

      The sheriff also said that deputies recovered the shotgun that was used to shoot at Deputy Sheriff Xanthakis.

      ICE detainers have been lodged against the adults.

      The ICE report, made public Wednesday by the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), said interviews determined that the 15-year-old was the shooter and the incident was a gang initiation. It said gangs “have long posed a threat to public safety and law enforcement but the threat is now increasing in scope. … Never before have the street gangs in South Carolina actively targeted law enforcement officers for gang initiation.”

      ICE agents, as part of a nationwide crackdown on gangs, have arrested members of SUR-13 in Tennessee and Georgia on charges ranging from felony theft and illegal re-entry after deportation to murder, attempted murder, carjacking, armed robbery and drug dealing.

      William Gheen, president of ALIPAC, described the attack as the “beginning of America’s nightmarish future as we descend into the type of anarchy found in Mexico.

      “In Mexico, things have deteriorated so much that police are demoralized and are being killed by these gangs of a weekly basis,” he said. “That’s what happens when your nation loses respect for the rule of law as we see with the effect of millions of illegal aliens in America.”

      He said the U.S. needs to secure its border and enforce its immigration laws “or we will begin to lose more officers and as we loose officers, gang rule will replace the rule of law.”

    • Bottom Line says:

      Wilcox Range News

      http://www.willcoxrangenews.com/articles/2009/04/08/news/news05.txt

      DPS: Border violence grows more chilling
      By Philip Franchine/Wick Communications
      Published: Wednesday, April 8, 2009 12:57 PM CDT

      The profitable and brutal human-smuggling trade has led to a rise in border-related violence that a top state police officer characterized as “a new level of depravity, almost.”

      The vicious competition among drug cartels in Mexico continues to spill over the border among lower-level drug-runners in Arizona who are competing for turf, Department of Public Safety Deputy Chief Pennie Gillette-Stroud said Friday.

      Gillette-Stroud painted a chilling picture of border violence in a briefing Friday in Tucson, saying human-smuggling has changed dramatically in the past five years. “Bajadores,” or border bandits, increasingly have preyed upon both drug- and human-smugglers and the people being smuggled.

      Gillette-Stroud and Chief David Denlinger of the DPS Criminal Investigations Division, described the drug-smuggling operation as a highly specialized illegal business involving growing, manufacturing, warehousing, transportation and distribution, in which there is violent competition for turf at every level. The human-smuggling operation, which even five years ago involved relatively few attacks, has increasingly become a target of bajadores in recent years.

      There has been a marked increase in home invasions in Southern Arizona and kidnappings statewide as bandits and smugglers seek ransom from the family members of illegal immigrants who have crossed the border with coyotes or smugglers, Gillette-Stroud said.

      When the bandits hijack a load of illegal immigrants, or take the cash from the smugglers, the latter, having lost their payment for smuggling, turn into kidnappers. They turn drop houses or safe houses into prisons for the people who were being smuggled. The prisoners may have their fingers cut off or may be whipped while speaking by phone to family members, pleading for thousands of dollars in ransom that obtain their freedom, Gillette-Stroud said.

      The violence practiced and allowed by smugglers can easily spill over into the world of law-abiding people, she said. Gillette-Stroud also noted that smugglers are putting families with children into groups with sexual predators, and that rape and other sexual assaults often occur during the journeys or kidnappings.

      Home invasions appear to be on the rise because criminals are increasingly preying on each other, and once one faction or gang learns that another faction made a large drug sale or collected a ransom, a home invasion ensues, Gillette-Stroud said. Sometimes the bandits get bad information and hit the wrong home, terrifying innocent residents.

      The large profits seen in human smuggling contributes to the heightened level of depravity, she said. In the past when criminals stole drugs from a “mule,” they wouldn’t stick around to continue the attack. Now, however, criminals are attacking each other as competitors and as the human-smuggling trade has become more lucrative, the human cargo itself becomes a target of violence, she noted.

      DPS officials said there were 132 kidnappings for ransom state-wide last year, most in the Phoenix area, and 17 in the first two months of this year.

      Gillette-Stroud, a former interim police chief in Sahuarita, said the state works closely with federal, county and tribal police, sharing intelligence and conducting field operations through joint task forces such as the Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission (GIITEM) and the Illegal Immigration Prevention Apprehension Co-op Team (IIMPACT).

      The IIMPACT task force dealt with 132 kidnappings or ransom cases at 49 drop houses involving 631 immigrants. The team filed 63 kidnapping charges, 45 extortion charges and 31 assault charges on incidents that involved eight murders and three sexual assaults. There were 169 felony arrests, including 129 human smugglers, resulting in 232 state felony charges, 12 bajadores being identified, and the confiscation of 30 handguns, 11 rifles, five shotguns and five vehicles as well as $131,512 in cash.

      Denlinger said that by cross-checking the state’s list of 60,000 outstanding felony warrants with other police data, they identified more than 40 gang members who also are undocumented aliens and are wanted, and a police group is going after them.

      During 2008, DPS seized 4,420 stolen vehicles; turned 7,964 undocumented aliens over to the Border Patrol (which reported 317,297 apprehensions); seized 67 tons of marijuana, 800 pounds of cocaine and 80 pounds of methamphetamine and seized 35 chop shops.

      Another task force, HIDTA, that includes DPS and federal and local units, seized 1.1 million pounds of marijuana (550 tons); 2.2 tons of cocaine, 295 pounds of meth and 537 pounds of heroin and the gang task force made 944 felony arrests, seized 118 firearms and took in $495,859 in currency.

      • Bottom Line says:

        ABC NEWS

        http://i.abcnews.com/US/story?id=4813617&page=1

        Rape Charge After Girl, 10, Delivers Baby
        Illegal Immigrant Held on Rape Charge in Idaho After Child Gives Birth
        ST. ANTHONY, Idaho — May 8, 2008

        A man has been charged with raping a 10-year-old girl who later gave birth in eastern Idaho. The girl gave birth less than two weeks ago by caesarian section at Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg, Fremont County Sheriff Ralph C. Davis and other authorities said. Officials would not disclose the gender, date of birth or paternity of the baby.

        “I wouldn’t have believed a 10-year-old could conceive in the first place,” Davis said.

        A hospital spokeswoman would not discuss the condition of the girl or the baby and would not say whether either was still in the hospital Wednesday.

        The story was first reported by KIDK Television in Idaho Falls.

        St. Anthony police began investigating on April 28 after medical officials reported a pregnant child, and Guadalupe Gutierrez-Juarez, 37, of St. Anthony, was arrested the same day, Police Chief James Smith said.

        “We had good information from witnesses,” Smith said.

        In documents that were filed April 29 in 7th District Court and obtained by The Associated Press, Gutierrez-Juarez is charged with one count of rape. He remained in jail with bail set at $250,000 pending a preliminary hearing May 13.

        Authorities said Gutierrez-Juarez did not have legal documentation to live in the United States. His home town and nationality were not immediately clear, but police said they had received no complaints about him before investigating the pregnancy.

        The investigation was continuing. Smith would not give details on the condition of the girl but said additional counts of rape could be filed.

        “The prosecutor is still considering doing that,” he said.

        Prosecutor Karl H. Lewies did not return telephone calls Wednesday from The AP.

        Child protection laws prohibit the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare from confirming whether the agency was contacted about the case, spokesman Tom Shanahan said.

        “In a situation like that, we probably would be contacted by the hospital,” Shanahan said. “If there was a crime committed we would be working with local law enforcement.”

  26. How Do All

    Here is the cartoon of the day.

    Hope all is doing well today.

    • Beware!

      A ‘heads up’ for those men who may be regular Home Depot customers. This one caught me by surprise.

      Over the last month I became a victim of a clever scam while out shopping. Simply going out to get supplies has turned out to be quite traumatic. Don’t be naive enough to think it couldn’t happen to you, or your friends.

      Here’s how the scam works: Two seriously good-looking 21 to 23 year-old girls come over to your car or truck as you are packing your shopping into the trunk/bed. They both start wiping your windshield with a rag and Windex, with their breasts almost falling out of their skimpy T-shirts! It is impossible not to look. When you thank them and offer them a tip, they say ‘No’ and instead ask you for a ride to McDonalds. You agree and they get into the back seat. On the way, they start undressing Then, one of them climbs over into the front seat and starts crawling all over you, while the other one steals your wallet.

      I had my wallet stolen May 4th, 9th, 10th, twice on the 15th, 17th, 20th, 24th & 29th. Also June 1st & 4th, twice on the 8th, 16th, 23rd, 26th & 30th, three times last weekend and very likely again this upcoming Monday.

      So tell your friends to please be careful.

      P.S. Wal-Mart has wallets on sale for 2.99 each…

      I found cheaper ones for $1.99 at K-Mart and bought them out.

      Also, you never will get to eat at McDonalds.

      I’ve already lost 11 pounds just running back and forth to Home Depot

    • Blondes Are The Best!!!
      >
      >
      > A blonde and her husband are lying in bed listening to the next door neighbor’s dog. It has been in the backyard barking for hours and hours. The blonde jumps up out of bed and says, “I’ve had enough of this”. She goes downstairs.
      >
      > The blonde finally comes back up to bed and her husband says “The dog is still barking, what have you been doing?”
      >
      > The blonde says, “I put the dog in our backyard, let’s see how THEY like it!
      >
      > ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      >
      > Two Blondes With Hammers…
      >
      > Lynn and Judy were doing some carpenter work on a Habitat for Humanity house. Lynn was nailing down house siding, would reach into her nail pouch, pull out a nail and either toss it over her shoulder or nail it in.
      >
      > Judy, figuring this was worth looking into, asked, ‘Why are you throwing those nails away?’ Lynn explained, ‘When I pull a nail out of my pouch, about half of them have the head on the wrong end and I throw them away..’ Judy got completely upset and yelled, ‘You moron! Those nails aren’t defective! They’re for the other side of the house!’
      >
      > +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      >
      > Did you hear about the two blondes who froze to death in a drive-in movie? They had gone to see ‘Closed for the Winter.’
      >
      > +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      >
      > You might have to think twice about this one.
      >
      > A blonde hurried into the emergency room late one night with the tip of her index finger shot off… ‘How did this happen?’ the emergency room doctor asked her.
      >
      > ‘Well, I was trying to commit suicide,’ the blonde replied.
      >
      > ‘What?’ sputtered the doctor. ‘You tried to commit suicide by shooting off your finger?’
      >
      > ‘No, Silly’ the blonde said. ‘First I put the gun to my chest, and
      > then I thought, ‘I just paid $6, 000.00 for these implants..
      >
      > I’m not shooting myself in the chest.’
      >
      > ‘So then?’ asked the doctor.
      >
      > ‘Then I put the gun in my mouth, and I thought, ‘I just paid $3,000.0 0 to get my teeth straightened I’m not shooting myself in the mouth.’
      >
      > ‘So then?’
      >
      > ‘Then I put the gun to my ear, and I thought: ‘This is going to make a loud noise. So I put my finger in my other ear before I pulled the trigger.
      >
      > ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      >
      > A blonde was driving home after a game and got caught in a really bad hailstorm. Her car was covered with dents, so the next day she took it to a repair shop. The shop owner saw that she was a blonde, so he decided to have some fun. He told her to go home and blow into the tail pipe really hard, and all the dents would pop out.
      >
      > So, the blonde went home, got down on her hands and knees and started blowing into her tailpipe. Nothing happened. So she blew a little harder, and still nothing happened.
      >
      > Her blonde roommate saw her and asked, ‘What are you doing?’ The first blonde told her how the repairman had instructed her to blow into the tail pipe in order to get all the dents to pop out.
      > The roommate rolled her eyes and said, ‘Uh, like hello!
      > You need to roll up the windows first.’
      >
      > +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      >
      > A blonde was shopping at Target and came across a shiny silver thermos.
      >
      > She was quite fascinated by it, so she picked it up and took it to the clerk to ask what it was.
      >
      > The clerk said, ‘Why, that’s a thermos…… It keeps hot things hot, And cold things cold.’
      >
      > ‘Wow, said the blonde, ‘that’s amazing….I’m going to buy it!’ So she bought the thermos and took it to work the next day.
      >
      > Her boss saw it on her desk. ‘What’s that,’ he asked?
      >
      > ‘Why, that’s a thermos…… It keeps hot things hot and cold things Cold,’ she replied..
      >
      > Her boss inquired, ‘What do you have in it?’
      >
      > The blond replied….. ….’Two popsicles and some coffee.’
      >
      > +++++++++++++
      >
      > AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST
      >
      > A blonde goes into work one morning crying her eyes out.
      >
      > Her boss asked sympathetically, ‘What’s the matter?’
      >
      > The blonde replies, ‘Early this morning I got a phone call saying that my mother had passed away.’
      >
      > The boss, feeling sorry for her, says, ‘Why don’t you go home for the day? Take the day off to relax and rest.’
      >
      > ‘Thanks, but I’d be better off here. I need to keep my mind off it and I have the best chance of doing that here.’
      >
      > The boss agrees and allows the blonde to work as usual. A couple of hours pass and the boss decides to check on the blonde. He looks out from his office and sees the blonde crying hysterically.
      >
      > ‘What’s so bad now? Are you gonna be okay?’ he asks.
      >
      > ‘No!’ exclaims the blonde. ‘I just received a horrible call from my sister. Her mother died, too!

    • Subject: BEST LAWYER STORY

      THE UNITED WAY REALIZED THAT IT HAD NEVER RECEIVED A DONATION FROM THE CITY’S MOST SUCCESSFUL LAWYER. SO A UNITED VOLUNTEER PAID THE LAWYER A VISIT IN HIS LAVISH OFFICE.

      THE VOLUNTEER OPENED THE MEETING BY SAYING, “OUR RESEARCH SHOWS THAT EVEN THOUGH YOUR ANNUAL INCOME IS OVER TWO MILLION DOLLARS, YOU DON’T GIVE A PENNY TO CHARITY. WOULDN’T YOU LIKE TO GIVE SOMETHING BACK TO YOUR COMMUNITY THROUGH THE UNITED WAY?”

      THE LAWYER THINKS FOR A MINUTE AND SAYS,

      “FIRST, DID YOUR RESEARCH ALSO SHOW YOU THAT MY MOTHER IS DYING AFTER A LONG, PAINFUL ILLNESS AND SHE HAS HUGE MEDICAL BILLS THAT ARE FAR BEYOND HER ABILITY TO PAY?”

      EMBARRASSED, THE UNITED WAY REP MUMBLES, “UH… NO, I DID NOT KNOW THAT.”

      “SECONDLY, ” SAYS THE LAWYER, “MY BROTHER, A DISABLED VETERAN, IS BLIND AND CONFINED TO A WHEELCHAIR AND IS UNABLE TO SUPPORT HIS WIFE AND SIX CHILDREN.”

      THE STRICKEN UNITED WAY REP BEGINS TO STAMMER AND APOLOGY, BUT IS CUT OFF AGAIN.

      “THIRDLY, DID YOUR RESEARCH ALSO SHOW YOU THAT MY SISTER’S HUSBAND DIED IN A DREADFUL CAR ACCIDENT, LEAVING HER PENNILESS WITH A MORTGAGE AND THREE CHILDREN, ONE OF WHOM IS DISABLED AND ANOTHER THAT HAS LEARNING DISABILITIES REQUIRING A HUGE ARRAY OF PRIVATE TUTORS?”

      THE HUMILIATED UNITED WAY REP, COMPLETELY BEATEN, SAYS, “I’M SO SORRY, I HAD NO IDEA.”

      AND THE LAWYER SAYS,

      “SO…IF I DIDN’T GIVE ANY MONEY TO THEM, WHAT MAKES YOU THINK I’D GIVE ANY TO YOU?”

    • Three Men

      One was an Alcoholic, one was a Chain Smoker, and one was a Homosexual. The doctor, addressing all three of them, said, “If any of you indulge in your vices one more time, you will surely die”.

      The men left the doctor’s office, each convinced that he would never again indulge himself in his vice. While walking toward the subway for their return trip home to the suburbs they passed a bar.

      The Alcoholic, hearing the loud music and smelling the ale, could not stop himself. His buddies accompanied him into the bar, where he had a shot of whiskey. No sooner had he replaced the shot glass on the bar, he fell off his stool stone cold dead.

      His companions somewhat shaken, left the bar, realizing how seriously they must take the doctor’s words. As they walked along they came upon a cigarette butt lying on the ground,still burning
      The Homosexual looked at the Chain-Smoker and said, “You know if you bend over to pick that up, we’re both dead.

    • Oil change
      >instructions for Women :
      >
      >
      >
      >1) Pull up to Jiffy Lube when the mileage reaches 3000 miles since
      >the last oil change.
      >
      >2) Drink a cup of coffee.
      >
      >3) 15 minutes later, write a check and leave with a properly maintained
      >vehicle.
      >
      >Money spent:
      >
      >Oil Change $25.00
      >
      >Coffee $1.00
      >
      >Total $26.00
      >
      >
      >
      >==========================================================
      >
      >
      >
      >Oil Change instructions for Men:
      >
      >
      >
      >1) Wait until Saturday, drive to auto parts store and buy a case of
      >
      >oil, filter, kitty litter, hand cleaner and a scented tree, write a check
      >for $50.00.
      >
      >2) Stop by 7/11 and buy a case of beer, write a check for $20, drive home.
      >
      >3) Open a beer and drink it.
      >
      >4) Jack car up. Spend 30 minutes looking for jack stands.
      >
      >5) Find jack stands under kid’s pedal car.
      >
      >6) In frustration, open another beer and drink it.
      >
      >7) Place drain pan under engine.
      >
      >8) Look for 9/16 box end wrench.
      >
      >9) Give up and use crescent wrench.
      >
      >10) Unscrew drain plug.
      >
      >11) Drop drain plug in pan of hot oil: splash hot oil on you in process.
      >Cuss
      >
      >12) Crawl out from under car to wipe hot oil off of face and arms.
      >
      >Throw kitty litter on spilled oil.
      >
      >13) Have another beer while watching oil drain.
      >
      >14) Spend 30 minutes looking for oil filter wrench.
      >
      >15) Give up; crawl under car and hammer a screwdriver through oil filter
      >and twist off.
      >
      >16) Crawl out from under car with dripping oil filter splashing oil
      >
      >everywhere from holes. Cleverly hide old oil filter among trash in
      >
      >trash can to avoid environmental penalties. Drink a beer.
      >
      >17) Install new oil filter making sure to apply a thin coat of oil to
      >gasket
      >surface.
      >
      >18) Dump first quart of fresh oil into engine.
      >
      >19) Remember drain plug from step 11.
      >
      >20) Hurry to find drain plug in drain pan.
      >
      >21) Drink beer.
      >
      >22) Discover that first quart of fresh oil is now on the floor. Throw kitty
      >litter on oil spill.
      >
      >23) Get drain plug back in with only a minor spill. Drink beer.
      >
      >24) Crawl under car getting kitty litter into eyes. Wipe eyes with
      >
      >oily rag used to clean drain plug. Slip with stupid crescent wrench
      >
      >tightening drain plug and bang knuckles on frame removing any excess
      >
      >skin between knuckles and frame.
      >
      >25) Begin cussing fit.
      >
      >26) Throw stupid crescent wrench.
      >
      >27) Cuss for additional 5 minutes because wrench hit bowling trophy.
      >
      >28) Beer.
      >
      >29) Clean up hands and bandage as required to stop blood flow.
      >
      >30) Beer.
      >
      >31) Dump in five fresh quarts of oil.
      >
      >32) Beer.
      >
      >33) Lower car from jack stands.
      >
      >34) Move car back to apply more kitty litter to fresh oil spilled during
      >any missed steps.
      >
      >35) Beer.
      >
      >36) Test drive car.
      >
      >37) Get pulled over: arrested for driving under the influence.
      >
      >38) Car gets impounded.
      >
      >39) Call loving wife, make bail.
      >
      >40) 12 hours later, get car from impound yard.
      >
      >
      >
      >Money spent:
      >
      >
      >
      >Parts $50.00
      >
      >DUI $2500.00
      >
      >Impound fee $75.00
      >
      >Bail $1500.00
      >
      >Beer $20.00
      >
      >
      >
      >Total — $4,145.00
      >
      >
      >
      >But you know the job was done right!

  27. Has congress gone to far this time? Read the article here.

    http://www.theonion.com/content/news/congress_approves_500_billion_for

    Congress Approves $500 Billion For Monument To Human Folly

    WASHINGTON—In recognition of mankind’s inherent propensity for tragically foolish decisions, Congress allocated nearly $500 billion Monday for the construction of a new national monument honoring human folly.
    “From Hannibal’s disastrous crossing of the Alps to Custer’s humiliating defeat at Little Bighorn, human history has been plagued by senseless mistakes, and it is high time we built a memorial to honor that history,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said of the expensive and ill-advised monument. “My deepest hope is that future generations of Americans will one day look upon this pointless edifice and be filled with a sense of awe and wonder at mankind’s utter lack of foresight.”
    “To think of all the ways our time and money could have been better spent,” Pelosi continued. “I can imagine no more fitting tribute.”
    According to the bipartisan plan, the proposed monument will be built precariously over a Washington freeway overpass, and will require as many as 30 years of grueling labor to complete. As a representation of humanity’s failure to learn from past mistakes, the project is being designed by the architecture firm of Ganz & Weiss, best known for their work on a series of dangerously constructed St. Louis public housing projects that were condemned in the late 1990s.
    “Our goal is to create a structure that, like the human race itself, is doomed from the outset and plagued by innate flaws that can never be corrected,” Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) said of the monument, which he claimed would eventually sink into the federally protected wetlands that surround it. “Not only will it be an aesthetic disaster, but it will also require constant, expensive maintenance just to ensure that the whole foundation doesn’t topple suddenly and kill hundreds of innocent people.”
    The lead architect on the project, Robert Wheeler, told reporters that the monument would be a stirring testament to more than 200,000 years of arrogance, idiocy, and waste. He also confirmed that no fewer than eight different blueprint designs would be clumsily patched together in order to preserve the spirit of indecision and gross incompetence with which mankind has approached the vast majority of its endeavors.
    “The face of the building will be covered with recently excavated sections of the Titanic, as well as several faulty pressure valves from the Chernobyl power plant and hundreds of uranium-tipped shell casings from the first Gulf War,” said Wheeler, whose design calls for the monument to be surrounded by dozens of oil derricks pumping night and day into bare dirt. “But the most exciting feature of the memorial, in my opinion, is the giant glowing orb at the top that will symbolize humanity’s needless overuse of energy and will itself use a staggering 12 gigawatts of power per second.”
    According to sources, thousands of poorly paid migrant laborers will carry out construction on the monument, digging straight through underground power lines and gas mains in order to clear a space for the soon-to-be dilapidated foundation. In addition, officials from the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed Monday that the construction zone has already been designated as a highly toxic Superfund site, setting the entire project three months behind schedule.
    “So far we’ve spent $40 billion and lost a total of 300 or so construction workers, and we haven’t even put in a full day’s work,” said project manager Tom Matthiessen. “It’s been a challenge, but knowing that we’re doing this to commemorate the countless lives and resources squandered by human beings throughout history makes it all worthwhile.”
    Added Matthiessen, “At this rate, I’d say the whole project should be a total, top-to-bottom nightmare by late December.”
    Although a vast majority of legislators supported the $500 billion bill, a few dissenting voices claimed that the project is an improper use of congressional funds.
    “While I am all for paying homage to mankind’s tragic legacy of imprudence, surely there are more appropriate ways to do so than this,” Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) said. “Why can’t we simply give the money back to the taxpayers so they can waste it all on bad investments, botched plastic surgery, and misguided real estate deals? Wouldn’t that be a more suitable way of recognizing the complete inanity of our pathetic existence?”
    At press time, Congress, and all of humanity itself, was trapped in a self-perpetuating loop of failure that is expected to continue until the inevitable extinction of the human species.

  28. You’ve got to listen in and/or read the transcript of our favorite Treasurer Timothy and David Gregory’s exchange about the stimulus, job created/saved and the overall economy. Matt is right on this one…..People.Are.Dumb

    http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/32770/

  29. I reiterate … a class of people … what gays have gone through can easily be compared to what blacks have gone through unless you discount those who were (and continue to be) killed because of prejudice. We’ll never know how many gays (or blacks) were actually killed worldwide or in America because of prejudice but there’s no separating one from the other (unless you value gays less and I’m sure none of you mean to suggest that).

    • Hi Charlie!

      Not sure how this discussion turned to prejudice and murder, but I think that at some point anyone can say that they, or their ancestors were murdered because of prejudice. It will most likely continue to happen, sadly, as there is no way to truly stop it. The government cannot, and won’t protect anyone from this action. They can only make laws that punish the violator.

      The sad part is, to me, is that these elections took place at all. If a person is against homosexuality because of religious beliefs, and voted those beliefs, then they should be asked how they would feel if a member of a different religion forced thier religious views upon them, how would they feel?

      G!

      • hey, G-man … I forget how it started to … something about Matt comparing what blacks went through to what gays went through … are they comparable, etc.

        I agree with you … these things shouldn’t be issues in the year 2009.

    • Charlie:

      This is a fallacy of false choice “I reiterate … a class of people … what gays have gone through can easily be compared to what blacks have gone through unless you discount those who were (and continue to be) killed because of prejudice.”

      The first statement is your opinion, that somehow the injustice against both classes can “easily be compared”. Of course the precise argument is that they are “not equal” not that they can or can not be compared. I will assume you meant “compared as equal”.

      But the second part creates a false choice to defend the position in the first part. In effect you argue that “My position that they are comparible is true unless you personally can “discount” or in other insinuated words “overlook”, “accept” or otherwise “condone” the death of a homosexual person.”

      The first part in REALITY has nothing to do with the other part. When deciding whether the atrocities against one class are greater than those against another class one DOES NOT have to discount or ignore the death of a single person of either group. The conclusion that one group suffered more than the other does not condone the atrocities committed against the loser of the contest nor does it diminish the evil.

      And of course, you play the same trick again in your last statement. It is equally false as the first.

      Do I value the life of one over the other? NO!
      Do I place more importance on the death of one over the other? NO!
      Do I think the magnitude, severity and duration of the atrocities against one group are greater than the other? YES!

      And next on my list is the North American Indians. They got it worse than the homosexuals as well. Unless of course you don’t think the murder of Indians was a crime.

      Any guesses whose third on the list?

  30. There’s been plenty of talk about illegal immigrants and crime. But what is the root cause of the problem? Most illegals do not commit violent crimes, or there would be a race war going on. With that said, most violent crimes occur in low income, crime ridden neighborhoods, not necessarily committed by illegals in most cases. So, I will contend that the root cause of the problem (illegal immigration, violent crimes etc.) is a product of Welfare and entitlements. Without welfare, immigrants would be forced to leave, and most criminals would be forced to get a job.

    In conclusion, government, in all their wisdom, have caused many of our biggest problems we know of, and discuss.

    G!

    • Bottom Line says:

      G-MAN – “But what is the root cause of the problem?”

      Answer: A lack of immigration policy enforcement. No fence. And a poulation that, half of which, is in denial.

      • Bottom Line says:

        Correction: population

        I’ve made all kinds of spelling and typing errors today.

      • BL,

        That’s just a part of it. Take away the welfare, the free schooling for the kids born here, the free healthcare, they would not be here! Root cause is entitlemnets that government provides at our expense! Our elected one’s are the cause, and our stupidity put them there!

        G!

        • Bottom Line says:

          I can’t really argue. I think it’s an “all of the above and then some and so on and so forth” kinda things.

  31. Finally, A Sensible Gun Registration Plan

    Vermont State Rep. Fred Maslack has read the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as well as Vermont ‘s own Constitution very carefully, and his strict interpretation of these documents is popping some eyeballs in New England and elsewhere.

    Maslack recently proposed a bill to register non-gun-owners and require them to pay a $500 fee to the state. Thus, Vermont would become the first state to require a permit for the luxury of going about unarmed and assess a fee of $500 for the privilege of not owning a gun.

    Maslack read the “militia” phrase of the Second Amendment as not only affirming the right of the law-abiding individual citizen to bear arms, but as a clear mandate to do so. He believes that universal gun ownership was advocated by the Framers of the Constitution as an antidote to a “monopoly of force” by the government as well as criminals.

    Vermont ‘s constitution states explicitly that “the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State” and those persons who “are conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms” shall be required to “pay such equivalent.”

    Clearly, says Maslack, Vermonters have a constitutional obligation to arm themselves so that they are capable of responding to “any situation that may arise”.

    Under the bill, adults who choose not to own a firearm would be required to register their name, address, Social Security Number, and driver’s license number with the state. “There is a legitimate government interest in knowing who is prepared to defend the state should they be asked to do so,” Maslack says.

    Vermont already boasts a high rate of gun ownership along with the least restrictive laws of any state – it’s currently the only state that allows a citizen to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. This combination of plenty of guns and few laws regulating them has resulted in a crime rate that is the third LOWEST in the nation.

    • LOI:

      This law and this fellows interpretation existed at the time the Constitution was ratifed.

      Either N. Carolina or S. Carolina had similar laws on the books at the time. It even specified the type of weaponry and amount of shot and powder each person was to maintain on the ready.

      Military drills were mandatory from the ages of somewhere around 16 to 60.

      Live Free
      JAC

  32. Former UK ambassador: CIA sent people to be ‘raped with broken bottles’

    By Daniel Tencer
    Wednesday, November 4th, 2009 — 3:31 pm

    Former UK ambassador: CIA sent people to be raped with broken bottlesThe CIA relied on intelligence based on torture in prisons in Uzbekistan, a place where widespread torture practices include raping suspects with broken bottles and boiling them alive, says a former British ambassador to the central Asian country.

    Craig Murray, the rector of the University of Dundee in Scotland and until 2004 the UK’s ambassador to Uzbekistan, said the CIA not only relied on confessions gleaned through extreme torture, it sent terror war suspects to Uzbekistan as part of its extraordinary rendition program.

    “I’m talking of people being raped with broken bottles,” he said at a lecture late last month that was re-broadcast by the Real News Network. “I’m talking of people having their children tortured in front of them until they sign a confession. I’m talking of people being boiled alive. And the intelligence from these torture sessions was being received by the CIA, and was being passed on.”

    http://rawstory.com/2009/11/ambassador-cia-people-tortured/

    ….yep, and they tried to make us believe ‘water boarding’ was the worst they did …

    • The only part of this that I might question is the boiling alive part, dead people don’t talk. Bringing water in a large vat with a person in it, would kill said person before the boiling point was achieved. Boiling someone is not torture, it’s murder.

      I prefer the mental aspects of getting the answers I want, no violence at all, which is very effective for an untrained average person. The “threat” of violence is OK as well, as long as physical violence is not used. The best way to get info is through mental anquish, not physical pain. Just my humble opinion!

      G!

  33. I always wonder what the MSM is saying sometimes.

    A guy is going for life for killing 7 in a fast food robbery.

    MSM appends “…. netting only $2,000″….. as if the guy netted a couple of million, it would have been worth it….

  34. Good post. One thought though: no matter which side of the isle is in power after the 2010 elections, we need jobs, and we need them now. Small businesses create more jobs than any other sector of the economy. There are many businesses that will close after one generation of family ownership because of the estate tax, and the only people profit from it are the big insurance companies.
    Please watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GLfcT5-a4E

    • Hi Michael,

      You are right, we need jobs now.

      I’m not sure I understand your putting estate taxes and big insurance companies together. I agree, estate taxes and in fact all taxes are ridiculously high. That is a government issue and its going to get worse if health care and cap and trade go through. It’s why the tea parties are being held, why tomorrow’s health care march in Washington is taking place, and I believe played a part in the two Repub Govs being elected last night.

      But why are insurance companies the bad guys too?

  35. Love the humor…. Nobel Peace Prize – get yours here!

    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2009/11/shot-of-the-day.html

    • Oh, That’s too funny, I like that. Think maybe I’ll try and get mine tomorrow. Nobel Prize that is.

  36. USW: I think this is my last post, as after what I am going to say you will bar me from the site. When a person, male or female has to use their tongue to get sexual satisfaction, it is morally wrong, the tongue was not made to insert into a woman, or a tongue was not made to suck a mans penis. This is say is why the Bible says it is an abomination. Now I am finished

    • Goldie,

      That won’t get you barred. Remember, my rule is that you don’t attack anyone on the site personally and that you treat others with respect. I don’t see that you violated those rules. That being said, I respect your opinion. I have no issue with you feeling that homosexuality is wrong, an abomination, or an act that god wouldn’t approve of. We are all entitled to our opinions. Where I have issue is when someone that feels the way that you do believes that because of what you believe on the religious side, that you have the right to control or impact someone else’s life. To follow one section of the bible and believe that it is an abomination, you must also follow the rest of the good book and remember that only God has the right to judge another. If it truly is an abomination, then those who “sin” will face judgement when their time comes. Make sure that you don’t judge others, lest you also face judgement when your time comes.

      Those from the GBLT community have FAR too much to offer for me to ostracize them because of who they choose to spend their life with. I cannot imagine life without all the diversity we see, and that includes that community.

      USW

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Goldie,

        There is nothing at all wrong with believing that certain things are right and certain things are wrong, and living by those standards.

        Where it becomes wrong is when you attempt to FORCE other people to adhere to your standards.

        If other people adhere to the same standards as you voluntarily, that is fine.

        If people are engaging in an act that you find to be abhorrent, yet they are not harming anyone or forcing anyone to do anything, then you cannot use force to stop them from doing whatever it is that they are doing.

        Believing what you believe, and even telling everyone exactly what you believe and why you believe it is absolutely fine! Everyone should!

  37. SK

    I understand your frustration.

    However, I urge you to understand the roots of what you see.

    The very reason you are seeing the disintegration of society is exactly because of the very position you take – that is, the use of force to demand compliance to someone else’s beliefs.

    The Law of Mutuality is killing you – and the only recourse you can see is to continue to do precisely what is destroying you to destroy others. I suggest you break the death spiral and grasp a new paradigm.

    The authorities in your life (parents, government, church, peers, etc.) have taught you to marry for love. Nothing wrong with that.

    But legalizing marriage is merely using the violence of law to create an unearned advantage over other men.

    (Unearned – something gained without the voluntary agreement of free men)

    Because you use legal violence to gain unearned advantages – other men also will use legal violence to gain unearned advantages over you.

    The latter is what you are complaining about.

    You do not see it is a consequence of the former.

    The debate about legalizing marriage is merely one side attempting to prevent another group from seizing an advantage from legal violence vs. a group trying to obtain access to legal violence to gain those advantages.

    To me, both sides of this argument are vile.

    • Peter B

      Successfully worked.

      Well, that’s always going to be a bit subjective but how about this….

      Once upon a time there was a Public Education system in New York City that processed millions of children. Most of these children were the children of immigrants speaking many languages and having wildly different customs. Despite this the system taught these children the lingus franca and they grew up and prospered. In the 1920’s, 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s this system was the envy of the world. Educators from all over cams to study and copy it.

      Long about 1963 or so it was decided by God knows who that the system needed improvement. That was probably made by the same folks who gave us jr. high schools. Jr. High schools of course are things that have no logic or reason behind them but just continue on. Anyway, it was decided that the old ways don’t work anymore. Social promotion was more important than mastering skills. English was suddenly too hard a language to have immigrant children taught in. “Let us all have bilingual education”, said Robert Kennedy, and lo it happened. let us learn the new math they said, and it became so. We suddenly had schools of education and people who majored in administration rather than work their way through the teaching ranks (getting actual combat experience along the way). They then told the teachers, note I never called them educators, how to do their jobs. In New York, it ws decided that 39 elected community school boards should individually run their districts rather than a central board which had been in place successfully for a hundred years. Nepotism and political patronage grew on a scale not seen since the demise of the Roman Empire.

      Do I have to go on?!

      In my own field, do I have to mention anything beyond the words “Urban Renewal”?

      The best part is that when you call the yahoos who created this mess, they answer with, “Well, things are different now, we can’t do them the way we used to”. Really?

      Peter, I hope you see where I am coming from. Change for the sake of change is not necessarily a good thing. It may be, but I agree with Harry S. Truman, “Show me.” To paraphrase my daddy, how you feel or what you think does not mean diddly squat compared to what I KNOW!

    • SK Trynosky Sr says:

      BF,

      I can see your point but don’t agree with it.

      I often think that where you and I tend to part company is the point on the scale where one voluntarily surrenders a right or more accurately, a freedom of action in order to belong to a a social group. In the abstract I agree but in the world as I see and live it, it must be done. Many is the time that I have told the wife that what I would like to do is sell it all off, buy a small mountain somewhere put a .50 cal on a ringmount on the crest and just get on with my life interacting only when I feel like it. She claims this to be impractical.

      I think humanity suffers, and why I care, I don’t know, when one man or group disrespects another. I have led a life where I have, to the point that many think me a patsy, turned the other cheek on occasions where the appropriate answer would have been considered a punch in the mouth. I must admit, that by trying to be both rational and honest, I have found myself in the middle of those situations when others would have cleared out much sooner.

      An example if I might; a community meting where I spoke up, based on my knowledge for a development that I believe would have benefited the town and certain sub groups within the town. It was not necessarily a popular position since one always runs into the NIMBY people at these meetings but it was something that needed to be said to at least make the options clear. When the meeting was over, a gentleman sought me out and accused me of being on the payroll of the developer! Sir, the answer to him should have been a quick uppercut to the solar plexus. He apparently never learned civil behavior from anyone and unfortunately, did not learn it from me that day. Words and more importantly the way they are delivered have consequences.

      I grew up in a house where I was taught to respect all and never, ever use those nasty N, or F words. This, based on my fellows at school was not the norm in the 1950’s. It wasn’t done according to my Dad and his tenth grade coal region education because I owed all men as individuals my respect. He taught me this not with the back of his hand but by example. I do so wish others would realize the effects the words they use on others and be as civil in their choice of those words. ,

      • Whew! That is about the most eloquent prose I’ve heard in such a long time. Straight up, I couldn’t agree with you more. The power of words is one issue that should never be taken for granted or lightly for that matter.

        I openly admit that I’ve read the majority of comments here and although I started on several different occasions to reply, I sought discipline so as not too write when emotionally charged. This is a particular enigma of mine that has come from experience – good and bad – and therefore, realizing the impact of words, moreover, the misunderstanding of them can be detrimental to the point of non-reconciliation.

        If I may…we all know how verbal communication can be distorted; instances where we meant one thing however, the exact opposite is what we’ve communicated. And who among us can possibly say that they write precisely what they’re thinking? It serves us all – to realize that written communication – is by far the hardest form to convey one’s message.

        Many have shown (good judgment, as always!) yet some still tend to fire off daggers with fiery brands and arrows when their point is either misunderstood or not supported. Therefore, I ask whoever reads this comment to simply ask themselves this question: What is a right; what is ‘rights talk;’ and who is entitled to any particular right?

        I ask this question with sincerity. And yet, there exists a hidden agenda with every query or question: Simply put what is it precisely that allows one individual to advocate say…the LGBT movement as a right, while at the same time trampling the poor individual who happens to find it repulsive?Doesn’t the individual who is status quo have rights?

        The entire same-sex marriage movement has little or nothing to do with ‘equal rights’ or being separate but equal; however, I do respect nature and the notion that basically if one wants various liberites — rather than the ‘I don’t care’ attitude, or no one has the right to tell someone else how to live (…Brad Pitt) please be reminded of societal norms, how cultures evolve, and the manner of laws that we have that are designed to protect those liberites.

        Well stated SK Trynosky Sr., and quite inspiring. Cheers gang!

        jps

        • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

          Thank you for the kind words. I happen to agree vis a vis getting mad and have found that the best thing to do is write your angry comments and sleep on them. The next day, you can be embarrassed, delete it all and write something rational. Dad, and my 11th grade English teacher used to say that you should be careful what you write, you can’t take it back.

          There is an exception, smugness, whenever I run into smugness, I attack, always, ruthlessly and with the dictionary open. Just can’t stand smugness, another crime worthy of the death penalty.

  38. Maybe Matt’s clock struck twice…

    What happens when good robots go ‘bad’?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33510503/ns/technology_and_science-tech_and_gadgets/

%d bloggers like this: