Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Meaning of Memorial Day

I was sent this link by my cousin Patty.  It explains what Memorial Day is all about - not picnics, or a day off work, nor a chance to kick back and watch some sports.

Remembering the price paid by American servicemen, and the families that lost, so young, these men and women in wars.

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Summertime, and the Living is Easy.....

Monday evening will be the official start for my summer vacation.  But, in spirit, I'm already there.

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Comprehensive Reform, My Butt!

I feel like Tom Peters, the business guru of the 80s, whose signature phrase was, "I don't know how to make this any simpler".  Nice way of saying, "Are you freakin' stupid?"

Comprehensive reform of immigration is a favorite catch-phrase of the Left.  They say, we'd LOVE to stop illegals from violating our borders, but it has to be a COMPREHENSIVE reform of the situation.

BS.

Picture someone saying, "We'd love to stop rape, but we can't just direct our efforts to prevent it, or investigate it, or punish the rapists.  We have to have a Comprehensive Reform of rape."

Would you accept that?

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Calderon, Congress, and Presidential B%%%h-Slapping!

Hard to believe that Rep. Tom McClintock is from CA.  He delivers the slapdown that Calderon and his buddies in Congress deserved!



It is OUR country, and Calderon has NO business telling us how to run it.  He has used our nation to take the pressure off the Mexican political system, which needs to reform, not ship their ambitious citizens off to a foreign country.

BTW, HIS country has far more rigid and anti-immigrant laws than ANY state in the USA.
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Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Catholicism Project

I found this site via The Anchoress.

It's the global story of the Catholic Church today.  The trailer is at the link.  I urge anyone who wants to know more to follow it.

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

What Does the Megachurch Look Like?

And they call the Catholic Church "ritualistic"!
All kidding aside, this reminds me of a discussion I had with my daughter.  She LOVED Sister Act (well, it is quite entertaining and funny).  I said that, for a movie with a "Catholic" understory, it surprisingly showed little of the Church.  I pointed out that the movie showed a mass, but failed to include the central point of the mass, the Eucharist.  For Catholics, the music is nice, but not the essential part of the service (nor, for that matter, is the preaching the main focus).  For Protestants, the music and the preaching are the central parts - is it any wonder that they excel at both?

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I'm SURE There Is No Connection

Via Betsy's Page, I found this link:
The Obama administration appointee who would run a proposed subsidy program dubbed "Cash for Caulkers" has intimate ties to a company that has lobbied for the bill and would profit from it.
Al Gore acolyte Cathy Zoi, the Energy Department official in charge of energy efficiency, has testified in favor of the caulkers bill, which the House passed last week. She would administer it if it became law and is married to an executive at a window company that has pushed for this legislation. Zoi, formerly chief executive officer of the Gore-initiated Alliance for Climate Protection, also owns stock options in Serious Windows.
The massive lobbying army backing the caulkers bill, and the conflicts of interest bubbling up behind the scenes, is one more hole in President Obama's sinking claims of being a good-government reformer and a scourge of the special interests.
Why do I care?  Aside from the fact that the money is MY (the taxpayer's) money, it's incredibly hypocritical for the Obama administration to run on the platform of "clean government", free of connections to lobbyists and beneficiaries of government spending, then turn around and do the same - in spades.  Given the huge amounts of money being flung around at present, for "health care" "the environment" and "economic stimulus", the appearance of shady dealings (and the very real likelihood of such shenanigans), should doom the Spendaholics to a one-term time at bat.


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Saturday, May 08, 2010

Classy Response to A Family Tragedy

The Shaw family lost a child to an illegal immigrant's ability to trespass in the US unopposed.  Their response?


Jamiel's Law

Jamiel's mother had been looking forward to returning from Iraq, but not the way she was summoned - to bury her son.

This was a family tragedy - BUT, a National Outrage!  Sanctuary cities need to be made trespasser-free.

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The Student Flag Dispute

There's a hot discussion going on at The Volokh Conspiracy.   Some American students decided to wear clothing with US flags on them to school on Cinco de Mayo, and were sent home for the day, after refusing to change.  There was some talk about possible suspensions, but I think the school has backed down on that.

I don't know that there is an easy answer to the problem the school administration had on its hands.  Certainly, they took the easy way out - sent the small number of American students home, justifying their classification of US flag clothing as provocative on Cinco de Mayo.

I made a comment about it:
In a school, free speech is always somewhat limited. Given the fact that “wearing the colors” is considered to be deliberate disrespect by members of another gang, I think the school was justified in forbidding the wearing of the US flag, in this case. It would be taken as a deliberate provocation by the Hispanic students.
HOWEVER, the school has to be fair — if the US students can’t wear THEIR colors, neither should the Hispanic students.
Understand, I'm not against wearing US flags on clothing.  It does seem as though the American students doing so, did so to make a political statement.  Again, students' free speech rights under the Constitution have been limited in Supreme Court decisions in the past.  I have no reason to suppose that this case would be any different.  While the school was probably within their rights, they fail the even-handedness test by failing to also send home the Mexican students.

The admins took the easy route (imagine my surprise - an educational administrator fails to make the gutsy decision), and sent the 5 home.  From a strictly pragmatic standpoint, this was a no-brainer.  It's a whole lot easier to handle 5 protesters than, reportedly, 85.  And, not just 85 students, but MINORITY students.  Who, apparently, had no qualms about leaving class the next day to join in one of those "stand around and congratulate ourselves on how brave we are to stand up to attempts to suppress us" protests.  With, BTW, the encouragement of other, Hispanic staff.

I, myself, am proud and somewhat amused - 5 white guys intimidated 85 Mexicans?

Awesome - the Special Forces ought to send a recruiter out to that school - the kids are naturals, of Alamo caliber.

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Timeline of Immigration - I Mean, Attempts to Control Trespassing

In recent times:
The 1965 Ted Kennedy Bill - Major Provisions
  • Limit of 300,000 visas/year, 170,000 reserved for Eastern Europeans.
  • NO country got more than 20,000/year
  • Unlimited family reunification - which has since shown to be a HUGE mistake
How did Ted, a freshman Senator, sell the bill?  From Wikipedia:
Kennedy, speaking of the effects of the act, said: "First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same.... Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset.... Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia.... In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think.... It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.
The next major piece of legislation, in 1986, attempted to keep illegals from taking jobs from Americans (but, wait..., weren't we promised - see above bolded part...that would NOT happen?).  Major provisions:
  • The Act made it illegal to knowingly hire or recruit illegal immigrants (immigrants who do not possess lawful work authorization)
  • Required employers to attest to their employees' immigration status
  • Granted amnesty to certain illegal immigrants who entered the United States before January 1, 1982 and had resided there continuously.
  • Granted a path towards legalization to certain agricultural seasonal workers and immigrants who had been continuously and illegally present in the United States since January 1, 1982.
WELL!

That should have solved things for all time.  I mean, when a COMPREHENSIVE bill is passed, it clears up the situation entirely, and for all time, doesn't it?

As Sarah Palin has said, "how's that Hopey-Changey thing working out for you?"

Not well.

According to the New York Times (a well-known bastion of Right-Wing, Fascist Thought), it's been even worse.  Funny, isn't it - the more the politicians try to clean up messes, once and for all, the bigger the mess gets?


What has happened since 1986?
But supporters and critics agree that the immigration system created by the current bill, like the one created in 1986, may be vulnerable to fraud, and they raise concerns about the government's commitment to maintaining adequate financing for border security and employee verification. They also warn that the burden on the Homeland Security Department, which would carry out the program, would be enormous.
Two decades ago, about three million illegal immigrants were eligible for amnesty. This time, roughly 10 million people are expected to be eligible for legalization.
The original program didn't result in illegals losing out on jobs, it also created a boom in illegal documents. 

Hmm.  5 times the people, and still resistance to E-Verify or other measures to verify that Americans are the only ones to be able to legally work and reside in this country.  What could go wrong this time?

AZ knows.  That's why they stepped up to the plate, when the Federales wouldn't.

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Monday, May 03, 2010

Danger to Internet Freedom in the USA

I've always said that the real dangers in life are disguised as benefits, or to be as bland-seeming as possible.  Very few dangers come like rattlesnakes - clearly signaling their approach.

Just a few of the troubling legislative tools in response to court upholding of 1st Amendment rights:
Fortunately, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals stymied -- at least temporarily -- the FCC from imposing the Fairness Doctrine on the Internet when it struck down the FCC's "net neutrality" tactics in the Comcast-BitTorrent case.
In response, the FCC is considering reclassifying the Internet by moving it from the lightly regulated Title I to the heavily regulated Title II section of the federal statute that governs the FCC's activities. Title I prohibits the FCC from exercising considerable regulatory authority over information systems. In contrast, industries such as telephony that fall under Title II can be abused like a rented mule. And they are. Subjecting the Internet to the harsh regulatory environment of Title II is deeply disturbing. Only China would applaud the move.
There is still more trouble on the horizon in the form of a bill introduced by Senators Jay Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe last year. The innocuous sounding "Cybersecurity Act of 2009 (S.773)" is anything but innocuous.
There are several alarming provisions including a call to study "the feasibility of an identity management and authentication program." In other words, a national digital ID program. There is also a requirement that certain information technology professionals be licensed by the federal government.
There are relatively few professions that require individuals to be licensed by the feds. So why license IT professionals? The cynic would argue that the easiest way to control the Internet is to control the IT personnel who manage the Internet.
Even more troublesome is the provision allowing the president to designate "nongovernmental information systems and networks" as "critical infrastructure systems and networks." The president would have authority to disconnect these private systems "in the interest of national security." Further, the president could "order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic" during an undefined "cybersecurity emergency."
It would be much easier for a president to shut down the Internet than to turn-off 1,600 individual television transmitters and whose content is much more cumbersome to monitor.
Look, you may or may not like the more outrageous statements by radio personalities that oppose your favored political party.  But their freedom to broadcast shouldn't be curtailed - the antidote to speech you oppose is more speech, not less.  Short of openly advocating for criminal activity (which, BTW, none of the right-wing broadcasters have done), they have that right.

I have, in my life, heard left-wing advocates argue that their supporters should commit crimes (burn down recruiting offices, smash windows, throw paint on fur coats, etc.).  How come it's the essence of "hate" for Limbaugh to say that he "hopes Obama fails" in his efforts to re-form America?  That's not exactly calling for cross-burning.  Yet, some are treating it as though it were.

Freedom is precious.  We can't allow our dislike of the messengers to lead to restriction of those freedoms.

And the 1st Amendment is the most essential, and precious, freedom.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Oil Spill Poll on CNN

The Question:
Do you approve of the way President Obama has handled the Gulf of Mexico oil spill?
The Yes answers are leading, which I have to believe is mostly staffers and the like answering.  Go there and let them see what average American voters think.

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WHY the Anti-Illegal Immigrant People Feel That Way

You know, I sort of feel about this Immigration Divide - one side wants to stop being the destination for anyone who can walk across the border, the other side KNOWS that the ONLY reason for not wanting to prefer having these scofflaws in America is because THOSE people are Racist, Bigoted, and Just Hateful, not to mention Secret Nazis - like my dad did about desegration orders back in the 60s and 70s.

He always asked:
If it's such a good thing, why aren't the people that support it sending their own children to those schools?
Now, please, before you tell me how your high-priced private school or its suburban equivalent has 0.5 percent black students, ask yourself - are those kids the gang-bangers, the professional drug dealers, the convicted felons whose lawyers managed to persuade the judge to give them probation provided they return to school?

I thought not.  We aren't talking about the same kids.

The same with the illegals each side knows:
The Pro-Illegal Immigration Side:
The gardener, the Nanny (who loves their kids like her own - you know, the ones she don't see for a week or so at a time), the deserving high school graduate who just wants to be able to attend college at in-state rates (instead of being grateful that he managed to get a free K-12 education that he WASN'T entitled to).
The Anti-Illegal Immigration Side:
The thief, the mugger, the drug dealer, the gangsta', the rapist, the drunk who runs into them in an uninsured car.
Are there "good" people who walked across the border without permission?  If by good, you mean willing to ignore the laws about border-jumping, visas, employment, collecting welfare, taking money from taxpayers to send their children to school, etc., well, yeah.

But, that's not my idea of being good.

Might I add that none of those above-mentioned activities are legal in...Mexico.  The Mexican government will get right after you if you break those laws, including fines and imprisonment - and Mexican jails are not "happy places".

Check out what Mark Steyn has to say about both sides.
That’s Arizona. To the coastal commentariat, “undocumented immigrants” are the people who mow your lawn while you’re at work and clean your office while you’re at home. (That, for the benefit of Linda Greenhouse, is the real apartheid: the acceptance of a permanent “undocumented” servant class by far too many “documented” Americans who assuage their guilt by pathetic sentimentalization of immigration.) But in border states, illegal immigration is life and death. I spoke this week to a lady who has a camp of illegals on the edge of her land: She lies awake at night, fearful for her children and alert to strange noises in the yard. President Obama, shooting from his lip, attacked the new law as an offense against “fairness.” Where’s the fairness for this woman’s family? Because her home is in Arizona rather than Hyde Park, Chicago, she’s just supposed to get used to living under siege? Like Gillian Duffy in northern England, this lady has to live there, while the political class that created this situation climbs back into the limo and gets driven far away.
Somehow, I don't think the American Dream is meant to create a permanent underclass of serfs for the rich liberals.  If the laborer is worthy of hire, pay market rates.  Stop justifying your using illegals by saying how much better their lives are.

That's exactly what the slaveowners of the South said.

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Conspiracy?

I'm not a huge fan of Conspiracy Theories - although I loved the Mel Gibson/Julia Roberts movie.

But, there's been a niggling prod at the back of my head, ever since I heard about the oil spill in the Gulf.  That prod says:
  • How convenient.  Obama didn't want to drill, but was pressured into it.  Now, thanks to the spill, ALL drilling may be eliminated due to fears of an environmental catastrophe.
  • Funny, although the cause has been speculated about, the word "terrorism" hasn't been mentioned.  Oh, well, I'm SURE terrorism is a myth, anyway.  Everyone, including radical Islamicists and Environmental wackos, loves us.
  • What are the odds that, just as the push to start getting that Cap & Trade bill moving again, an energy-related crisis would erupt?  Which, of course, provides cover for Congress to pass the bill.
  • Lastly, JUST as unemployment benefits end, there's a new crisis that has to be dealt with, and the funds can be approved without political penalty.  Hey, maybe we can employ some potential voters with EPA funds!  Win-Win!
Ever since the financial meltdown that was SO convenient for the election, yet didn't seem to affect financial guru George Soro's fortunes, I've been suspicious about these crises.  Are they being manufactured for political (and, probably, financial) gain?


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Popping in for a Quick Update

I'm doing most of my blogging at this time on either Liberty's Torch , or The Declination . I was doing a lot of subbing, but am try...