Sanity in the World?

Into all lives, a little Sanity must fall.

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Sunday, May 28, 2006

Top Ten Flaws with Immigration Reform Bill

For Immediate Release
May 23rd, 2006


WASHINGTON --- Sen. Chuck Grassley today said the immigration reform bill being debated in the U.S. Senate is riddled with loopholes and flaws. During a speech on the Senate floor, he outlined for the American people nearly 30 flaws within only two sections of the bill.

“I was burned once in 1986 when I voted for amnesty believing that it would solve our problems. Now, we have a 12 million illegal immigrant problem. I’m not getting burned again,” Grassley said. “Not only do we have a glide path to citizenship, but it’s a glide path with plenty of loopholes that don’t meet the common sense test.”

Grassley has a number of amendments that would help fix the shortcomings in the bill. It’s expected that debate on the bill will conclude this week.

Here is a list of Grassley’s “Top 10.”

1. $2,000 Fine -- Under the bill, an illegal alien can go from illegal to legal by paying a small fine of $2,000. Often, illegal aliens will pay more than five times this amount to a smuggler to get across the border. Also, the $2000 fine may not have to be paid until year eight, which allows the illegal alien to live, work, and play in the United States for years free from deportation. This imposes a financial burden on the American taxpayer for health, education, and infrastructure costs that aren’t reimbursed for five or ten years.

2. Taxes -- Under the bill, illegal aliens get an option to only have to pay three of their last five years in back taxes. Law-abiding American citizens do not have the option to pay some of their taxes. The bill would treat lawbreakers better than the American people. The bill also makes the IRS prove that illegal aliens have paid their back taxes. It will be impossible for the IRS to truly enforce this because they cannot audit every single person in this country.

3. Security Clearances in 90 days – Under the bill, the Department of Homeland Security must perform background checks on illegal aliens in the United States. It also encourages the federal government to complete the background checks on 10 million illegal aliens in 90 days. This is a national security concern because Homeland Security will be pressured to complete these checks without doing a thorough job.

4. Work Requirements – Under the bill, illegal aliens must prove they’ve worked in the United States for three of the last five years. It also says they have to work for six years after the date of enactment of the bill. However, there is no continuous work requirement for amnesty. They could work for 30 days, take off 30 days, work for 30 days. The bill also says that illegal aliens have to prove that they’ve worked in the United States for three of the last five years by showing IRS or Social Security records, or records maintained by federal, state, or local governments, employers, unions or day labor centers. However, the bill also allows illegal aliens to ask anybody to attest that they have been employed. This invites fraud, and the government cannot realistically investigate all these cases.

5. Confidentiality – Under the bill, if an illegal alien applies for amnesty, the federal government cannot use information provided in the application for anything but adjudicating the petition. For example, if illegal aliens write in their applications that they are related to Osama Bin Laden, then our government cannot use that information. In fact, it says that the Secretary of Homeland Security can only share that information if someone requests it in writing. This provision severely handicaps national security and criminal investigators.

Also, if a federal agent does use information provided by an illegal alien in an application for amnesty the agent would be fined $10,000. This is five times more than the alien has to pay to get amnesty.

6. Social Security to illegal aliens -- Under the bill, illegal aliens are not prohibited from getting credit for the money they’ve put into the Social Security system if they’ve worked in the U.S. illegally. Illegal immigrants who paid Social Security taxes using a stolen Social Security Number did not do so with the expectation that they would ever qualify for Social Security benefits. (The Ensign amendment would have taken care of this, but it did not pass.)

7. Employers get a tax pardon for hiring illegal aliens -- Under the bill, employers of aliens applying for adjustment of status “shall not be subject to civil and criminal tax liability relating directly to the employment of such alien.” Businesses that hired illegal workers would now get off scott-free from paying the taxes that they owe the government. This encourages employers to violate our tax laws and not pay what they owe the federal government. In addition to not having to pay their taxes, employers are also off the hook for providing illegal aliens with records or evidence that they have worked in the U.S. The employer is not subject to civil and criminal liability for having employed illegal aliens in the past, or before enactment.

8. Family Members of H-2C Visa Holder need not be healthy -- Under the bill, spouses and children of H-2C visa holders are exempt from a requirement proving that they meet certain health standards. The visa holder is required to undergo a medical exam, but their family members are not which potentially puts Americans at risk.

9. Mandatory Departure isn’t really Mandatory -- Under the bill, the Secretary of Homeland Security “may grant” Deferred Mandatory Departure to illegal aliens in the 2-5 year category. The Secretary “may” also waive the departure requirement if it would create substantial hardship for the alien to leave.

10. No Interview Required. – Under the bill, illegal aliens in the 2nd tier who are required to leave the country can re-enter the United States on a visa. However, the bill does not require these individuals to be interviewed. The bill doesn’t give discretion to our consular offices to require an interview. The 9/11 hijackers weren’t subject to appear in person. Today, the State Department requires most applicants to submit to interviews, and waives them only for children and the elderly.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Town Votes to take Walmart Land by Eminent Domain

Tuesday night, during a sometimes raucous meeting, the city council voted unanimously to take Wal-Mart's land by power of eminent domain. It's a power the Supreme Court affirmed for municipalities in a controversial New London, Conn., ruling, in which the city wanted to take private property for a commercial development.

The Hercules, Calif., land in question consists of a 17-acre stretch next to new homes, offering a view of the San Pablo Bay. The city did not want Wal-Mart to be the centerpiece of its planned waterfront.

While I am not a defender of Walmart, I do support it as a Capitalistic Company, something this Country is founded on, Capitalism. Many flock to our shores for the American Dream, to ern a better life, to perhaps open their own business, to be their own bosses - Captilalism.

Unfortunately this is the door that the Supreme Court has opened, it started small, the ability of Federal and State Governments to take land for use for public projects (roads, overpasses, ect) ro to take over condemned buildings that are rotting away to use the land for other projects.

Then we moved on, again thanks to the Supreme Court, to taking away private property of individual homeowners to give to other private owners to use to put businesses or Condos, as long as it makes more money for the city than the individual Private Homeowner.

Now we have moved to the next stage of if the city doesn't like your business, like Walmart (which they gave the permits and agreed for walmart to buy the land), they will take hte land by force through Eminent Domain, not because it is condemned or a blight, not because the land is a health hazard, but because they want the land so they can have a better VIEW of the bay.

No one has ever used eminent domain to stop Wal-Mart, and in an ironic reversal of roles last night, the company's spokesman cried foul at the town meeting where it reclaimed the land.

"It's not right to take private property for political purposes," said Wal-Mart spokesman Kevin Loscotoff.

Still, some legal analysts said this strategy could be used elsewhere.

"I think it's an important precedent for towns across the country that are trying to maintain some control over what their actual physical makeup is going to be," said David Barron, a professor at Harvard Law School.

Wal-Mart has never gone away quietly, so this could be the start of a battle for the California town.


He is right, this will set precedent for any town that does not like Walamrt, or activist to pressure City and State Governments to try and take Walmart's Land.

So, not only is your Home up for grabs if the City, State or the Federal Government so wishes, but so is your Business.

Federal, state, and local governments may take private property through their power of eminent domain or may regulate it by exercising their police power. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires the government to provide just compensation to the owner of the private property to be taken. A variety of property rights are subject to eminent domain, such as air, water, and land rights. The government takes private property through condemnation proceedings. Throughout these proceedings, the property owner has the right of due process - Eminent Domain Meaning and more on the Eminent Domain HERE

See Sanity's Related Topics:
Eminent Domain vs Unpopular Companies

Eminent Domain - a Blight on our Constitution

Eminent Domain - Pandora's Box Opened

Congress Bars Military Funeral Protestors

Congress Votes to Bar Protesters From Military Funerals, Sending Bill to President Bush.

WASHINGTON May 25, 2006 (AP)— Demonstrators would be barred from disrupting military funerals at national cemeteries under legislation approved by Congress and sent to the White House Wednesday

The measure, passed by voice vote in the House hours after the Senate passed an amended version, specifically targets a Kansas church group that has staged protests at military funerals around the country, claiming that the deaths were a sign of God's anger at U.S. tolerance of homosexuals.

The act "will protect the sanctity of all 122 of our national cemeteries as shrines to their gallant dead," Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said prior to the Senate vote.

"It's a sad but necessary measure to protect what should be recognized by all reasonable people as a solemn, private and deeply sacred occasion," he said.

Under the Senate bill, approved without objection by the House with no recorded vote, the "Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act" would bar protests within 300 feet of the entrance of a cemetery and within 150 feet of a road into the cemetery from 60 minutes before to 60 minutes after a funeral. Those violating the act would face up to a $100,000 fine and up to a year in prison.

The sponsor of the House bill, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said he took up the issue after attending a military funeral in his home state, where mourners were greeted by "chants and taunting and some of the most vile things I have ever heard."

It is a sad day when we need to have legislation from our Government to tell a group of people to show respect during a funeral.

Se. Frist has it correct when he states:

The act "will protect the sanctity of all 122 of our national cemeteries as shrines to their gallant dead," Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said prior to the Senate vote.

"It's a sad but necessary measure to protect what should be recognized by all reasonable people as a solemn, private and deeply sacred occasion," he said.

What the bill would do is:

Under the Senate bill, approved without objection by the House with no recorded vote, the "Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act" would bar protests within 300 feet of the entrance of a cemetery and within 150 feet of a road into the cemetery from 60 minutes before to 60 minutes after a funeral. Those violating the act would face up to a $100,000 fine and up to a year in prison

I give major kudos to Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, for sponsoring this bill:

The sponsor of the House bill, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said he took up the issue after attending a military funeral in his home state, where mourners were greeted by "chants and taunting and some of the most vile things I have ever heard."

"Families deserve the time to bury their American heroes with dignity and in peace," Rogers said Wednesday before the House vote.

This is directly related to the so-called Rev. Fred Phelps:

The demonstrators are led by the Rev. Fred Phelps of Topeka, Kan., who has previously organized protests against those who died of AIDS and gay murder victim Matthew Shepard.

More on this so-called reverend can be seen at my previous post Religous Braindead Morons, of his disgusting protests and what he has his 'followers' say and do. Truly a despicable human being.

You can expect the ACLU to once again to be on the wrong side of America, and challenge this just like - ACLU Supports Disrespect of Soldiers.

The bill is H.R. 5037

No Prison for You - Your to Short!

In recent news we have Ken Delay found guilty in the Enron scandal, and of course already the opinions come out how this equates to making President Bush guilty also.

Ken Lay--Guilty. George Bush--Guilty.

John Nichols opinion piece for The Nation, begins with this:

The man who paid many of the biggest bills for George Bush's political ascent, Enron founder Kenneth Lay, has been found guilty of conspiracy and fraud almost five years after his dirty dealings created the greatest corporate scandal in what will be remembers as an era of corporate crime.

First of all, Enron campaign contributions went to both Republican AND Democrat, though to read this you wouldn't expect that to get in the way of laying into the President. This was a conviction of Tom Delay, not the President, no matter how much people will try and push and pull this as a conviction of the President also.

(Sorry, you'll have to squint a bit)
Courtesy of: Open Secrets

On the sixth day of deliberations following the conclusion of a long-delayed federal trial, a Houston jury found Lay guilty on six counts of fraud and conspiracy. In a separate decision, US District Judge Sim Lake ruled that Lay was guilty of four counts of fraud and making false statements.

Tom Delay is convicted of six counts of fraud and conspiracy.
He had his day in court, and justice has prevailed.

Innocent until PROVEN guilty. He has been proven guilty, even though many passed sentence on him long before he actually got his day in court.

Tom Delay also, up on indictment, resigned from his position in the senate.
Will Jefferson a Democrat, who has been caught on tape by the FBI for Bribery and other criminal counts, will he resign? Jefferson says he won't.

Lay, who President Bush affectionately referred to as "Kenny-boy" when the two forged an alliance in the 1990s to advance Bush's political ambitions and Lay's business prospects, contributed $122,500 to Bush's gubernatorial campaigns in Texas. Lay would later explain to a PBS "Frontline" interviewer that, though he had worked closely with former Texas Governor Ann Richards, the Democrat incumbent who Bush challenged in 1994, he backed the Republican because "I was very close to George W."

Needless to say, once Bush became governor, Lay got his phone calls returned. A report issued by Public Citizen in February, 2001, months before the Enron scandal broke, identified Lay as "a long-time Bush family friend and an architect of Bush's policies on electricity deregulation, taxes and tort reform while Bush was Texas governor."

Wow, President Bush has friends, who would have thought it and he has a nickname for him, 'Kenny-boy'!

This piece as it turns out is not so much about Delay, but more on linking President Bush to Delay, guilty by association.

I am sure the President has many friends, some of them good, some of them bad - and unfortunately, Delay turned out to be not the wisest friend to have associated with the Bush team.

But if we are judged by those that help us, those that contribute to us, then you better be willing to open that door FULLY, because I am sure there are plenty of 'contributors' like George Soros from and many others that have backed other senators, congressmen and presidential candidates.

If President Bush is guilty, I will wait till an indictment comes down, and the court finds him so, because whether we still believe in the law (and I find it harder to believe in it each day - see below for why), we are still innocent until proven guilty.

Judge rules sex offender is too short for prison
5-foot-1 man gets 10 years probation for sexual assault of a child

SIDNEY, Neb. - A judge said a 5-foot-1 man convicted of sexually assaulting a child was too small to survive in prison, and gave him 10 years of probation instead.

His crimes deserved a long sentence, District Judge Kristine Cecava said, but she worried that Richard W. Thompson, 50, would be especially imperiled by prison dangers.

"You are a sex offender, and you did it to a child," she said.

But, she said, "That doesn't make you a hunter. You do not fit in that category."

Thompson will be electronically monitored the first four months of his probation, and he was told to never be alone with someone under age 18 or date or live with a woman whose children were under 18. Cecava also ordered Thompson to get rid of his pornography.

He faces 30 days of jail each year of his probation unless he follows its conditions closely.

"I want control of you until I know you have integrated change into your life," the judge told Thompson. "I truly hope that my bet on you being OK out in society is not misplaced."


To SHORT for prison?


I thought this was a joke, but it is true.

He sexually assaults a child, it is the judges job to issue sentence, not to determine whether someone reaches a hieght requirement for prison.

Was this judges last job working the rides at Disney land, making sure you reached the proper hieght requirement?

So, there was no real punishment for a sex offender, just probation.

See Sanity's Related Topics:
Have Judges Lost Thier Minds?

When is a Judge No Longer Fit to Serve?

Others blogging this issue:
Expose the Left, Sister Toldjah, Mark in Mexico, Say Anything

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Culture of Corruption - Part 2

Stopping by Big Lizards, Dafydd makes an excellent point in his observation of how Congress is reacting to the search of Congressman Jefferson, who has recently been busted in a bribery case (along with a few associates).

Congress, both Republican and Democrat, are up in arms about the search of Congressman Jefferson's office, they ignore the fact that a warrant was issued from a Judge to allow the search after the request to search the premise was denied.

United States Constitution ~ Article I ~ § 6 ~ ¶ 1:

The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury of the United States. They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place.

I am not a lawyer, but this does seem quite clear cut how it is stated.

First, Jefferson has not been charged as of it, so he has not been charged with a felony of bribery yet (though this will most likely change very soon). Congressman Jefferson still states he has done nothing wrong and has stated he will not resign from his office. (no bisurprisese there).

Even though Congressman Jefferson has not been charged with a felony just yet, means he cannot be ARRESTED (Privilege from Arrest) during attendance of sessions of the House, the coming and going from sessions of the House and for any debate or speech related to the House.

This does not say his office are off-limits.

This does not mean that in the process of an investigation that the office of a Congressman cannot be searched in accordance to the law. The Law was followed and a warrant was issued.

Is Congress now saying that the Judicial branch has no right to issue a warrant in the process of an investigation?

Dafydd also makes a very astute observation that the illegal activity of Congressman Jefferson will most likely be eclipsed by the 'outrage' that the President (blame the President) has over-stepped his bound in the search of a Congressman's office (it was the FBI that searched under the legal authority of an investigation and had warrant in hand).

I am now more concerned about the sudden want of immunity from search and seizure in the process of a criminal investigation, when there is a warrant issues by the Judicial branch, that these Congressman seem to think they should have.

Why do they have a need of such secrecy?

Why do they seek to thwart law enforcement in the process of an investigation?

Why do they feel they are above the law?

The more I think on this the more I feel outrage that this Congressman's illegal activity is being eclipsed by these other idiots in Congress 'outrage' of a legal search granted by the Judicial branch.

Does Congress think that they are above the law?

Do they think the Judicial branch has no right to issue a warrant in the process of an investigation of criminal activity of a Congressman?

This should outrage all law abiding Americans to see that instead of upholding the law, Congress seeks to subvert it to their own means.

Resentment boiled among senior Republicans for a second day on Tuesday after a team of warrant-bearing agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation turned up at a closed House office building on Saturday evening, demanded entry to the office of a lawmaker and spent the night going through his files.


Speaker of the House Denny Hastert (R-IL), House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Deputy Majority Whip Eric Canter (R-VA) and many other congressman and senators are up n arms about this. They do not show outrage that one of their own has been caught red-handed in felony bribery, but are outraged at the prospect that FBI had the nerve, the audacity to search a Congressman's office with a warrant!

I think their priorities are screwed up.

I think that perhaps there might be even more corruption in our government officials, and they fear searches into possible illegal activity they would hold at their offices. This is just speculation, but when they ignore the illegal activity of one of their members and show more outrage at a search with warrant of his office, makes me wonder about them.

On a side note, did not Congress complain about warrants not being obtained in investigations of the NSA, yet when one of their own is investigated and office searched with a warrant, they are outraged that it happened at all?

Dafydd reaches a very interesting conclusion on this:

But it would seem that the plain meaning of "they shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same" is that members of Congress cannot be arrested during a session, or on their way to the session or from it.

It seems a bit of a stretch to say that "privileged from arrest" means "...and you also can't search their offices." (The other part has the plain meaning that you cannot interrogate them about some speech they made.)

Logically, if we were to take their assertions of blanket immunity from search and seizure at face value, then what is the House, from Republican Speaker Hastert down to the lowliest Democratic mouse, saying?

They are saying that if Marion Barry were elected to Congress, he could sit there in his congressional office, in full view of God and Man, openly smoking crack and shooting up heroin... and the FBI, the DEA, and the Capitol Police could only stand helplessly watching. So long as he kept his stash in the office, he needn't even hide it -- because Congress has a private law that says "what happens under the Dome stays under the Dome."

The Times hinted slightly at this with:

Members of Congress are mindful that much of the public is not familiar with the speech and debate clause, which, among other things, requires that lawmakers be "privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same." Many people may wonder why a Congressional office cannot be searched in a criminal case and what members of Congress are complaining about.

While much of the PUBLIC may not be mindful of the clause, I am sure the Judicial branch IS mindful of the clause, and still issued the warrant to search the offices of Congressman Jefferson. It seems the Judicial branch seems to think this clause has nothing to do with the search of a Congressman's office in an investigation and issued a warrant.

But why are we as American Citizens surprised?
We have laws on the books that are not supported or enforced everyday, why should we expect the Law to matter to Congress anyways?

Some Republicans agreed privately that the search was in line with what they saw as the philosophy of the Justice Department in the Bush administration. They said the department had often pushed the limits on legal interpretations involving issues like the treatment of terrorism detainees and surveillance.

Republicans may have a potential self-interest beyond defending the institutional prerogatives of the legislative branch. With some of the party's own lawmakers and aides under scrutiny in corruption inquiries tied to the lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the former lawmaker Randy Cunningham, Republicans would no doubt like to head off the possibility of embarrassing searches of their members' offices.

While they will deny it of course, with so many aides and members under scutiny for lawbreaking, I am sure it is in their own best interest to try and keep law enforcement and investigations out of their offices and out of their files.

"No member is above the law, but the institution has a right to protect itself against the executive department going into our offices," said Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House. "We all have in our offices information, letters, correspondence, speeches, etc., that we have written, some of which we may have given to the public, put on the public record, some may not be, which is confidential information, just as the White House has confidential information."

The records obtained are not leaked to the public as it so casually seems to happen from other places like Congress.

Law enforcement should have the right to searching for evidence in an investigation when they have a warrant to do so. If a congressman or aide obstructs law enforcement in the act of an investigation they should be arrested.

"I think it is necessary for us to assert our own prerogatives," said Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the deputy Republican whip.

I would be curious as to what he means here in 'assert our own prerogatives.'

Does that means he favors trying to interpret beyond the protections of the clause and try and stretch that to even more protections from liability and prosecution for criminal activity?

He and other officials suggested that the search had been made necessary by a lack of response to an earlier subpoena. "We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that the Department of Justice is doing its job in investigating criminal wrongdoing, and we have an obligation to the American people to pursue the evidence where it exists," Mr. Gonzales said.

When more and more Americans are up in arms about the lack of law enforcement, especially in border security and immigration, the Attorney General will most likely be correct when he states that American people expect law enforcement to do its job and investigate.

See Sanity's related posts:
Culture of Corruption - Part 1

Others blogging on this issue:
Big Lizards, Michelle Malkin, Expose the Left, Sister Toldjah, Riehl World, Outside the Beltway, The Moderate Voice, Strata-Sphere, Right Wing News, Leaning Straight Up, Say Anything

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Culture of Corruption

We hear this so much, the Party of Corruption, the Culture of Corruption, a corrupt administration, the Democrats would never involve themselves with Abrahams (as if Democrats do not have problems of their own).

Well here we find a Democrat caught red-handed, cold-busted, hand-in-the-cookie-jar:

A congressman under investigation for bribery was caught on videotape accepting $100,000 in $100 bills from an FBI informant whose conversations with the lawmaker also were recorded, according to a court document released Sunday. Agents later found the cash hidden in his freezer.

At one audiotaped meeting, Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., chuckles about writing in code to keep secret what the government contends was his corrupt role in getting his children a cut of a communications company's deal for work in Africa.

Why is it people always hide things in the freezer?
That is the first place a criminal or law enforcement is going to check for valuables.

I hope they throw the book at laughing boy, and expand thier investigation to corrupt usage of his office that he admits in an audiotape meeting.

Here is a question - will he resign like other REPUBLICAN senators have when foudn to be corrupt, or indicted?

As Jefferson and the informant passed notes about what percentage the lawmaker's family might receive, the congressman "began laughing and said, 'All these damn notes we're writing to each other as if we're talking, as if the FBI is watching,'" according to the affidavit.

Jefferson, who represents New Orleans, has not been charged and denies any wrongdoing.

Why am I not suprised this is New Orleans?

We have seen a culture of corrupted officials there for a long time that has gone largely ignored, while millions of dollars are siphoned off of what they are intended for and either lined the pockets of government officials or gone to their own pet projects (like remodeling their offices).

Why has he not been charged?
He is on tape, the money from the bribery has been noted, taped and found in his possession.
Why is he not behind bars now?

Or will he get a pass because he is a Democrat?

Jefferson, who has pledged not to resign from Congress in the face of the bribery investigation, speculated about his political future in one of the recorded conversations.

When the informant asked Jefferson about his political plans, he responded: "I'm gonna get your deal out of the way ... and I probably won't last long after that."

By the way, when will I hear the media all over it?
When will I see the media storm over this?
The Silence is deafening, and so is the hypocracy of the media.

As for the $100,000, the government says Jefferson got the money in a leather briefcase last July 30 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Arlington. The plan was for the lawmaker to use the cash to bribe a high-ranking Nigerian official _ the name is blacked out in the court document _ to ensure the success of a business deal in that country, the affidavit said.

All but $10,000 was recovered on Aug. 3 when the FBI searched Jefferson's home in Washington. The money was stuffed in his freezer, wrapped in $10,000 packs and concealed in food containers and aluminum foil.

If your hiding large amounts of cash in your freezer (stupid place to put it), you are obviously doing something wrong. If your hiding that much money there is a reason behind it.

Two of Jefferson's associates have pleaded guilty to bribery-related charges in federal court in Alexandria. One, businessman Vernon Jackson of Louisville, Ky., admitted paying more than $400,000 in bribes to the lawmaker in exchange for his help securing business deals for Jackson's telecommunications company in Nigeria and other African countries.

Up to his eyeballs in this one I would say.

I wonder if his associates have cut a deal with prosecutors and we will see something here shortly on the Senator being charged.

This does not seem to be an isolated incident, and seem to have been going on for sometime.

The affidavit says Jefferson is caught on videotape at the Ritz- Carlton as he takes a reddish-brown briefcase from the trunk of the informant's car, slips it into a cloth bag, puts the bag into his 1990 Lincoln Town Car and drives away.

The $100 bills in the suitcase had the same serial numbers as those found in Jefferson's freezer.

While the name of the intended recipient of the $100,000 is blacked out, other details in the affidavit indicate he is Abubakar Atiku, Nigeria's vice president. He owns a home in Potomac, Md., that authorities have searched as part of the Jefferson investigation.



Reminds me of an old shaggy rap - It wasn't me:

FEDS: We have you on videotape accepting $100,000 in bribe money
Jefferson: it wasn't me

FEDS: We have your conversations recorded on the bribery
Jefferson: it wasn't me

FEDS: We have your conversations recorded on your corrupt use of office
Jefferson: it wasn't me

FEDS: We have two of your associates testimony and guilty plea they helped you
Jefferson: it wasn't me

FEDS: We have the bribe money you hid in the freezer
Jefferson: it wasn't me

FEDS: It matches the serial numbers of the bribery money you received
Jefferson: it wasn't me

FEDS: We have proof of several other schemes you are involved in
Jefferson: it wasn't me

Attorney General Believes Reporters can be Prosecuted

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Sunday he believes journalists can be prosecuted for publishing classified information, citing an obligation to national security.

The nation's top law enforcer also said the government will not hesitate to track telephone calls made by reporters as part of a criminal leak investigation, but officials would not do so routinely and randomly.

"There are some statutes on the book which, if you read the language carefully, would seem to indicate that that is a possibility," Gonzales said, referring to prosecutions. "We have an obligation to enforce those laws. We have an obligation to ensure that our national security is protected."

So like the terrorists that the reporters and media tipped off, reporters now can move to disposable cell phones to help bypass having themselves be investigated for leaking classified material to the public to make headlines.

Well, it is nice our government is willing to enforce the Laws on the books when it is convienent for them (or perhaps because things have become inconvienent for them). Other laws have been broken that seem to get a pass, from immigration to drunken senators crashing thier cars.

Yes I am a bit jaded when it comes to our government talking about enforcing laws on the books. As I said, when it is convienent for them is when I see this as being touted - but if it was inconvienent for them, they suddenly look like a bunch of kittens trying to cover crap in the litterbox.

In recent months, journalists have been called into court to testify as part of investigations into leaks, including the unauthorized disclosure of a CIA operative's name as well as the National Security Agency's warrantless eavesdropping program.

Gonzales said he would not comment specifically on whether The New York Times should be prosecuted for disclosing the NSA program last year based on classified information.

He also denied that authorities would randomly check journalists' records on domestic-to-domestic phone calls in an effort to find journalists' confidential sources.

"We don't engage in domestic-to-domestic surveillance without a court order," Gonzales said, under a "probable cause" legal standard.

But he added that the First Amendment right of a free press should not be absolute when it comes to national security. If the government's probe into the NSA leak turns up criminal activity, prosecutors have an "obligation to enforce the law."

"It can't be the case that that right trumps over the right that Americans would like to see, the ability of the federal government to go after criminal activity," Gonzales told ABC's "This Week."


I agree that our individual rights should not trump the protection of the whole.
Freedom of the Press means we are not censoring, or limiting what you can and cannot print, but we also have Laws on the books that need to be followed, decency laws, and laws covering publishing classified material. Laws that must be followed and failing that, you should be charged accordingly.

If someone was to 'leak' the codes for our Nuclear Silos, or a backdoor into say the NSA Database or how to bypass Airport Security, does that mean you have the right in Freedom of the Press to publish such information if it was leaked to you?

No you do not.

When is a right limited, I would believe, is when that right can and will put other citizens at risk of harm, injury or death.

When classified information is leaked to the press about something that is significant in National Security (protecting America), I would say that constitutes a very serious breach against the saftey of America, which should be investigated to its fullest and the individuals responsible should be held responsible to the fullest extent of the law.

Mexico Works to Bar Non-Mexicans from Jobs

MEXICO CITY - If Arnold Schwarzenegger had migrated to Mexico instead of the United States, he couldn't be a governor. If Argentina native Sergio Villanueva, firefighter hero of the Sept. 11 attacks, had moved to Tecate instead of New York, he wouldn't have been allowed on the force.

Even as Mexico presses the United States to grant unrestricted citizenship to millions of undocumented Mexican migrants, its officials at times calling U.S. policies "xenophobic," Mexico places daunting limitations on anyone born outside its territory.

Ironic and hypocritical, as Mexico criticizes America for it's plans to try and stop the flow of other country's, including Mexican, citizens from entering into America illegally (and actively helping their Mexican citizens to cross the border illegally into America), Mexico now work hard to make sure the jobs in THEIR country go to Mexican citizens.

Think of the outcry and the protests if we were to do this in America.

Yet, Mexico has the cajones to sit and lecture America on what it thinks we should do. Mexico actively criticizes how America tries to stem the flow of illegal aliens that cross our borders, that use forged documents and identity theft to receive benefits and get jobs in America. It is not just coming across the US border that makes what they do illegal, there is much more, and it is time others begin to see this also.

In the United States, only two posts — the presidency and vice presidency — are reserved for the native born.

In Mexico, non-natives are banned from those and thousands of other jobs, even if they are legal, naturalized citizens.

Foreign-born Mexicans can't hold seats in either house of the congress. They're also banned from state legislatures, the Supreme Court and all governorships. Many states ban foreign-born Mexicans from spots on town councils. And Mexico's Constitution reserves almost all federal posts, and any position in the military and merchant marine, for "native-born Mexicans."

Recently the Mexican government has gone even further. Since at least 2003, it has encouraged cities to ban non-natives from such local jobs as firefighters, police and judges.

Mexico's Interior Department — which recommended the bans as part of "model" city statutes it distributed to local officials — could cite no basis for extending the bans to local posts.

After being contacted by The Associated Press about the issue, officials changed the wording in two statutes to delete the "native-born" requirements, although they said the modifications had nothing to do with AP's inquiries.

"These statutes have been under review for some time, and they have, or are about to be, changed," said an Interior Department official, who was not authorized to be quoted by name.

But because the "model" statues are fill-in-the-blanks guides for framing local legislation, many cities across Mexico have already enacted such bans. They have done so even though foreigners constitute a tiny percentage of the population and pose little threat to Mexico's job market.

The foreign-born make up just 0.5 percent of Mexico's 105 million people, compared with about 13 percent in the United States, which has a total population of 299 million. Mexico grants citizenship to about 3,000 people a year, compared to the U.S. average of almost a half million.

Are you an immigrant in Mexico?
Looking for work has just become alot harder for you.

Not that Mexico wants any immigrants that are coming to Mexico to work. They want those who already have money, to open up businesses, retirees with money, ect.

Interesting that Mexico only grants citizenship to 3,000 people per year compared to America which averages a half a million (I think this is probably higher though).

Mexico seems to be doing what some hard-liners have spoken about, curbing the ability of non-citizens to find work. I do not support this for regular immigrants, but for illegal aliens.

I think if we hit the US companies and small business that hire these illegal aliens at bottom of the barrel wages; exploiting their workers because the workers cannot complain because they are here in the US illegally; start hitting them hard, fining them, jailing them, making it so painful that it will be safer and easier to hire a US citizen than someone who is in America illegally - we will then begin to see a down turn in illegal aliens when the jobs they are coming for begin to dry up and are no longer available.

"There is a need for a little more openness, both at the policy level and in business affairs," said David Kim, president of the Mexico-Korea Association, which represents the estimated 20,000 South Koreans in Mexico, many of them naturalized citizens.

"The immigration laws are very difficult ... and they put obstacles in the way that make it more difficult to compete," Kim said, although most foreigners don't come to Mexico seeking government posts.

J. Michael Waller, of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, was more blunt. "If American policy-makers are looking for legal models on which to base new laws restricting immigration and expelling foreign lawbreakers, they have a handy guide: the Mexican constitution," he said in a recent article on immigration.

I completely agree.

Every time they open their mouths to criticize America and how it is handling its border enforcement or its plans for border enforcement, they should compare it to Mexico's Constitution.

Every time we have La Raza or other radical illegal immigrant supporters spouting about what and why America is doing the wrong thing, break out a copy of Mexico's Constitution (since they seem to be so dedicated to Mexico by placing Mexican flags above the American Flag, ect), let them know of their own Mexican Constitution and compare it to Americas.

Ask them, should we then begin doing the same as Mexico is doing on immigration?

Some Mexicans agree their country needs to change.

"This country needs to be more open," said Francisco Hidalgo, a 50-year-old video producer. "In part to modernize itself, and in part because of the contribution these (foreign-born) people could make."

Others express a more common view, a distrust of foreigners that academics say is rooted in Mexico's history of foreign invasions and the loss of territory in the 1847-48 Mexican-American War.

Yet it does not stop them from 'invading' America trying to find jobs to send money back to their country.

A distrust that seems to go back about 150 years ago?

America and Americans have done much to try and improve their economy with NAFTA and other trade agreements, a decade or more of looking the other way as Mexican citizens sneak across American borders illegally, use illegal and forged documents to achieve drivers licenses, jobs, benefits, welfare, ect.

If you break that apart, it is not just illegally entering the country, it is using forged documents, lying on application forms, welfare and benefit fraud, identity theft, ect. There is more than just coming across the border that is illegal when it comes to this.

And it is time for it to stop.
It is time for America to quit giving a free pass to illegal aliens.
Being an American citizen is a PRIVILEGE, not a right.

When people take for granted being an American citizen, this country becomes less in their eyes; it is taken for granted and easier to talk trash and hate America when people do not think it is a privlege but their right to be here.

Speaking of the hundreds of thousands of Central Americans who enter Mexico each year, chauffeur Arnulfo Hernandez, 57, said: "The ones who want to reach the United States, we should send them up there. But the ones who want to stay here, it's usually for bad reasons, because they want to steal or do drugs."

Some say progress is being made. Mexico's president no longer is required to be at least a second-generation native-born. That law was changed in 1999 to clear the way for candidates who have one foreign-born parent, like President Vicente Fox, whose mother is from Spain.

But the pace of change is slow. The state of Baja California still requires candidates for the state legislature to prove both their parents were native born.


See Sanity's related posts:
Immigration Bills being Voted On

Fences, Ditches and Smuggling

Fencing the US - Mexican Border

Arizona Sheriff - Throwing Illegals Aliens in Jail

Is Brown the New Black

Georgia Governor Does What Congress Won't

Mexico and Americans Illegal Immigrant Comparison

Politicians Pandering to Illegal Immigrants

Immigration Bill Stalls - President Blames Reid

Elton Believes All Photographers Should be Shot

Elton John says photographers "should all be shot"

CANNES, France (Reuters) - British pop star Elton John launched an expletive-laden tirade against the press in Cannes late on Saturday while presenting an award to a young actor during the annual film festival.

At a ceremony held by luxury jeweller Chopard, everything seemed to be going smoothly enough as John presented the Chopard Trophy to young Canadian actor Kevin Zegers, who co-starred in the film "Transamerica" with Felicity Huffman.

"He (Zegers) is only 21 years old, already he showed incredible talent and maturity," said John, wearing dark glasses and accompanied by actress Elizabeth Hurley.

"I sincerely believe he will be a huge star and a great actor for many, many years to come."

Then, as photographers called out during his address, he added: "If you saw 'Transamerica' ... I'm talking ... you fuckwit, fucking photographers you should be shot, you should be all shot. Thank you."

After handing the award to a smiling Zegers, he added: "They are a nightmare."

John, who is 59, is no stranger to strong language. Most recently, viewers complained when he swore during the Paul O'Grady Show on British television.


Ah Elton, such class and elegance you portrait.

I still like some of your music, but as a person, your turning very....'bitchy'.

Open Thread

Have much I need to get done this weekend, so I will leave this as an open thread and open trackback for any who wishes to stop by.

I hope to be able to get some posting done here shortly as time constraints are freed up.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Immigration Bills being Voted on

Immigration Bill that is being voted on right now is S.2611 Sponsored by Sen Arlen Spectre.

Title: A bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes.

Half a dozen amedments voted on for this bill.

Establishes a temporary guest worker program (H-2C visa). Provides: (1) that the Secretary of Homeland Security shall determine H-2C eligibility; (2) for a three-year admission with one additional three-year extension; (3) issuance of H-4 nonimmigrant visas for accompanying or following spouse and children; (4) for U.S. worker protection; (5) for implementation of an alien employment management system; and (6) establishment of a Temporary Worker Task Force.

Expands the S-visa (witness/informant) classification.

Limits the L-visa (intracompany transfer) classification.

Fairness in Immigration Litigation Act of 2006 - Sets forth provisions respecting remedies for immigration legislation.

Sets forth backlog reduction provisions respecting: (1) family-sponsored and employment-based immigrant levels; (2) country limits; (3) immigrant visa allocations; (4) minor children; (5) shortage occupations; and (6) student and advanced degree visas.

Widows and Orphans Act of 2006 - Establishes a special immigrant category for certain children and women at risk of harm.

Immigrant Accountability Act of 2006 - Provides permanent resident status adjustment for a qualifying illegal alien (and the spouse and children of such alien) who has been in the United States for five years and employed (with exceptions) for specified periods of time.


Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security Act of 2006, or AgJOBS Act of 2006 - Establishes a pilot program (Blue Card program) for adjustment to permanent resident status of qualifying agricultural workers who have worked in the United States during the two-year period ending December 31, 2005, and have been employed for specified periods of time subsequent to enactment of this Act.

Related bills for immigration are:

H.R.4437 Sponsored by Rep. James F. Sensenbrenner, Jr.
Title: To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to strengthen enforcement of the immigration laws, to enhance border security, and for other purposes.

Title II: Combatting Alien Smuggling and Illegal Entry and Presence - (Sec. 201) Amends INA to revise the definition of "aggravated felony" to include all smuggling offenses, and illegal entry and reentry crimes where the sentence is a year or more.

(Sec. 202) Revises alien smuggling and related offense provisions to: (1) provide mandatory minimum sentences for smuggling convictions; (2) revise criminal offense and criminal penalty provisions; (3) expand seizure and forfeiture authority; and (4) provide extraterritorial jurisdiction over such offenses.

(Sec. 203) Makes illegal U.S. presence a crime.

Increases prison penalties for first-time improper U.S. entry. Expands: (1) penalties for marriage and immigration-related entrepreneurship fraud; and (2) criminal penalties imposed upon aliens who illegally enter the United States or who are present illegally following convictions of certain crimes.

(Sec. 204) Provides mandatory minimum sentences, with a specified affirmative defense exception, for aliens convicted of reentry after removal.

(Sec. 205) Subjects an individual who knowingly aids or conspires to allow, procure, or permit a removed alien to reenter the United States to criminal penalty, the same imprisonment term as applies to the alien so aided, or both.

(Sec. 206) Includes among smuggling crimes the carrying or use of a firearm during such activity.

(Sec. 207) States that: (1) the provision barring entry to aliens who have made false claims to U.S. citizenship also applies to aliens who have made false claims to U.S. nationality; and (2) the Secretary shall have access to any information kept by any federal agency regarding persons seeking immigration benefits or privileges.

(Sec. 208) Revises voluntary departure provisions to: (1) reduce the maximum period of voluntary departure that can be granted before the conclusion of removal proceedings from 120 to 60 days, and reduce such period from 60 to 45 days after the conclusion of removal proceedings; (2) require (currently, authorizes that such bond be provided) an alien receiving voluntary departure prior to conclusion of removal proceedings to post a bond or show that a bond would create a financial hardship or is unnecessary to guarantee departure; (3) require as part of a voluntary departure agreement that the alien waive all rights to any further motion, appeal, application, petition, or petition for review relating to removal or relief or protection from removal; (4) provide that a subsequent appeal would invalidate the voluntary departure grant, as would the alien’s failure to depart; (5) provide that failure to depart in violation of such an agreement would subject the alien to a $3,000 fine, make the alien ineligible for various immigration benefits for ten years after departure, and prohibit the reopening of removal proceedings, except to apply for withholding of removal or restriction on removal to a country where the alien's life or freedom would be threatened or to seek protection against torture; (6) authorize the Secretary to reduce the period of inadmissibility for certain aliens previously removed or unlawfully present; and (7) preclude courts from reinstating, enjoining, delaying, or tolling the period of voluntary departure.

(Sec. 209) Makes aliens ordered removed from the United States who fail to depart ineligible for discretionary relief from removal pursuant to a motion to reopen during the time they remain in the United States and for a period of ten years after their departure, with the exception of motions to reopen to seek withholding of removal to a country where the alien's life or freedom would be threatened or to seek protection against torture.

Subjects aliens who improperly enter the United States after voluntarily departing to improper entry fine and/or imprisonment provisions.

(Sec. 210) Directs the Secretary to establish a Fraudulent Documents Center (Forensic Document Laboratory) to: (1) collect information on fraudulent documents intended for U.S. use from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, and foreign governments; (2) maintain a database of such information for ongoing distribution to law enforcement agencies.

(Sec. 211) Amends federal criminal law to include distribution of fraudulent immigrant documents among the offenses subject to document fraud and misuse fine and/or penalty provisions.

(Sec. 212) Amends INA to make a motion to reopen or reconsider a removal decision discretionary with the Attorney General.

Sets forth a special rule for alternative country removal.

(Sec. 213) Amends federal criminal law to revise provisions respecting passports, visa, and immigration fraud.

Makes it a crime subject to fine and/or imprisonment to knowingly defraud a person in an immigration matter, including falsely claiming to be a lawyer.

Provides for: (1) increased penalties for terrorism-related offenses; (2) seizure and forfeiture; and (3) additional jurisdiction and venue.

(Sec. 214) Establishes a rebuttable presumption that an alien should be detained if such person: (1) has no lawful U.S. immigration status; (2) is subject to a final order of removal; or (3) has committed a specified felony under INA or federal criminal law.

(Sec. 215) Establishes a ten-year statute of limitations for immigration, naturalization, and peonage offenses.

(Sec. 216) Amends INA to make certain passport and document fraud conforming amendments.

(Sec. 217) Makes certain passport and immigration violations under federal criminal law grounds for inadmissibility and deportation.

(Sec. 219) Requires the Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to undertake maximum efforts to reduce processing and adjudicative backlogs.

S.2454 Sponsored by Sen. William H. Frist.
Title: A bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide for comprehensive reform and for other purposes.

Makes alien members of criminal street gangs inadmissible and deportable. Denies temporary protected status to gang members.

S.2612 Sponsored by Sen. Chuck Hagel.
Title: A bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes.

Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security Act of 2006, or AgJOBS Act of 2006 - Establishes a pilot program (Blue Card program) for adjustment to permanent resident status of qualifying agricultural workers who have worked in the United States during the two-year period ending December 31, 2005, and have been employed for specified periods of time subsequent to enactment of this Act.


Authorizes mandatory departure and immigrant or nonimmigrant reentry for a qualifying illegal alien who has been present and employed in the United States since January 7, 2004. Establishes a three-year mandatory departure status, and sets forth immigration prohibitions and penalties for failure to depart or delayed departure. Subjects the spouse or children of a principal alien to the same conditions as such alien, except that if such alien meets the departure requirement the spouse and children will be deemed to have done so.


Immigrant Accountability Act of 2006 - Provides permanent resident status adjustment for a qualifying illegal alien (and the spouse and children of such alien) who has been in the United States for five years and employed (with exceptions) for specified periods of time.

There is more, but this is just a few picked from it.

Most of the bills seem to be identical with a few exceptions or small change in wording.

Some stand out with a few extras, like what I posted above, which seem to imply a type of amnesty.

Frist's bill at least targets the gangs and gang members who are illegal aliens, where I don't really see anything like that in the other bills.

Sen. Spectre and Sen. Hagel's bill seem very similiar including the proposed 'amnesty' of those illegal aliens that have been here and working for a set amount of time.

Rep. Sensenbrenner seems to have the only bill that I have noticed that wants illegal US. presence a crime, (wording seems a bit off, like he isn't talk about illegal aliens) and speaks of increasing prison penalties and mandatory sentences, which seems to be lacking in the other bills.

Spectre and Hagel's seem to mirror each other, while Frist and Sensenbrenner seem to have a bit more original ideas placed in their Bills.

Click on the links provided for each Bill to see the summary of each bill, including the Amendments, votes and co-sponsors of the Bill.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

California Mandates Adding Gays in School Textbooks

California okays lessons on gays in textbooks

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California's state Senate passed a bill on Thursday that would require textbooks in public schools to instruct students on contributions by gays and lesbians in the state's development.

The Democrat-led state Senate passed the bill on a 22-15 vote and forwarded it to the state Assembly.

The bill by Sen. Sheila Kuehl, the legislature's first openly gay member, would also mandate public school textbooks to include lessons on contributions by transgender people.

Kuehl told Reuters she believes her bill is the first of its kind at the state level and predicted it would win support in the Assembly, where Democrats also have a majority.

"I think it has a very good chance in the Assembly because its members voted for marriage equality," Kuehl said, referring to the chamber's endorsement of same-sex marriage. "I think this is a lot easier vote."

"It would help to shape attitudes of what gay people are really like," Kuehl said, noting their absence in state history textbooks.

Karen England of the conservative Capitol Resource Institute said in a statement the bill "seeks to indoctrinate innocent children caught in the tug-of-war between traditional families and the outrageous homosexual agenda."

A spokesman said Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has not taken a position on Kuehl's bill.


Ok, not sure what to make of this.

I am not homophobic by far, and have had some really wonderful friends who were gay, and some not so wonderful friends who were gay. Same as any friendship, so it should not matter what sexual orientation they are.

Now, I would have to see exactly what they are trying to add into the text books to make any definitive and concise remarks on this, but I really do not think sexual diversity needs to be put in high school textbooks.

If you wish to point out what a person has done to improve life or made a contribution to society, that is fine, and if you wish to give background when asked on it, if that is part of the story then that is fine also. But to mandate including specific incidences of one sexual orientated group contributions does not seem right.

This also opens up the door for other groups to try and get themselves manadated as part of the learning process of young minds through highschool textbooks. Where will it stop?

Perhaps we should be more concerned in the quality of the education that our children are getting taught when we have lawsuits to bypass mandated tests:

Mere weeks before high school graduations, Judge Robert Freedman of Alameda County Superior Court may stop before it starts the state’s essential mandate that high school graduates score at least 60 percent on a test of eighth-grade math and 10th-grade English.


I always though passing was 70% or better.

Will it become common place if you cannot pass 8th grade math and 10th grade english that you must sue to graduate?

If you cannot pass simple math and english, should you be allowed to graduate? No you should not. If you cannot pass these basics, then the teachers are not doing their jobs by teaching you and you are not doing yours by learning from them.

Can we please stick to learning geography, what capitals are where, how to do math, and how to speak and write english properly?

Liliana Valenzuela, an 18-year-old senior from Richmond and the lead plaintiff in Valenzuela vs. California, was in an English class at Richmond High on Friday when she got a cell phone call informing her of the judge’s decision. Containing her excitement, she quietly told her teacher, then slipped from class to meet her lawyers.

“I feel very happy,” she said later in Spanish. “Now I’ll be able to have my diploma and fulfill my desire to become a nurse.”


What is scary is if she cannot pass such a simple exam, she wants to become a nurse?!

How can you fulfill your desire to become a nurse if you cannot pass 8th grade math and 10th grade english?

Will you sue to get your diploma next?

Remind me not to get health care where she gets a job as a nurse!

So we have those suing to bypass an Exit exam to show you can pass 8th grade math and 10th grade english, but we have to mandate having a gay and lesbian agenda included in highschool textbooks?

Something is wrong with this picture.

Others blogging on this issue:
Sister Toldjah, The Unalienable Right, Zoli's Blog, Heartland Institution

Possible Weapons Grade Uranium Found in Iran

More Uranium Reportedly Found in Iran

VIENNA, Austria - The U.N. atomic agency found traces of highly enriched uranium at an Iranian site linked to the country's defense ministry, diplomats said Friday, adding to concerns that Tehran was hiding activities aimed at making nuclear arms.

The diplomats, who demanded anonymity in exchange for revealing the confidential information, said the findings were preliminary and still had to be confirmed through other lab tests. But they said the density of enrichment appeared to be close to or above the level used to make nuclear warheads.


Uranium enriched to between 3.5 percent and 5 percent is used to make fuel for reactors to generate electricity. It becomes suitable for use in nuclear weapons when enriched to more than 90 percent.


Iran's refusal to give up enrichment ambitions has led to involvement by the UN Security Council, which has the power to impose sanctions but remains split on how firmly to pressure Tehran.

Key U.N. Security Council members agreed Tuesday to postpone a resolution that would have delivered an ultimatum to Tehran, giving Iran another two weeks to re-evaluate its insistence on developing its uranium enrichment capabilities.


The Islamic republic denies accusations it wants to make nuclear arms and says it is only interested in uranium to generate power.

To argue that it never enriched uranium domestically to weapons grade, it cites the IAEA's tentative conclusion last year that weapons-grade traces collected from other sites within the country with no suspected ties to that military came in on equipment from Pakistan.

The origin of the samples now under perusal created some concern in that regard.
One of the diplomats told The Associated Press that the samples came from equipment that can be used in uranium-enriching centrifuges at a former research center at Lavizan-Shian. The center is believed to have been the repository of equipment bought by the Iranian military that could be used in a nuclear weapons program.


I do not see anything happening with this.

Perhaps I am a pessimist, but what can we do?

We could strategically bomb them, try and wipe out the suspected sites, but our ever leaky government has already leaked that to the press, and the Russians have sold Iran anti-aircraft weaponry after it was leaked out.

We could put in specialized teams to try and take out the sites, but again, because of our leaky government, that would put our men in jeapordy because now the Iranians would be expecting that because information has been leaked to the media, and now Iran can prepare against this kind of action.

Sanctions? It will not work in this case. It will only work if you do not have other countries undermining the effort, countries like Russia and China. Did sanctions work for Iraq? Not with a corrupt UN and corrupt members of the UN that participated in the 'oil for food' program. The only thing sanctions did was hurt the Iraqi people, it did nothing to hurt Saddam, and if a dictator cares nothing for his own people, then Sanctions will never work.

Sadly I think the UN has become useless.
It has no teeth, and defying the UN will get you a stern letter.
Ignoring the UN will get you another stern letter.
Laughing at the UN will get you, yet again, another stern letter.

The UN is full of corruption and countries that are the worst for human rights seem to sit on committees for human rights. You would think this was a joke, but it isn't.

Without support, especially a unanimous agreement for dealing with Iran's nuclear ambition; Iran's increasingly incinderary rhetoric about 'wiping Israel off the Map' and other threats against sanctions and other possible actions; without support in dealing with this, there is nothing we will be able to do.

I fear Iran will become nuclear, and with it's close ties to Hamas, and other terrorist organizations, it is only a matter of time before terrorists, instead of using bomb belts, are using nuclear bomb belts.

So when a nuclear bomb goes off, say in Israel, remember who opposed doing anything about Iran. Remember those that gave aide to the terrorists in making nuclear terrorism a possibility.

Others blogging this issue:
Stop the ACLU, Right on the Right, Counterterrorism Blog, Flopping Aces, FullosseousFlaps

Moussaoui's Life Spared by One Obstinant Juror

Lone juror saved Moussaoui from death: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Zacarias Moussaoui was saved from a death sentence by a single juror who never explained his vote to other members of the jury that sent the September 11 conspirator to prison for life, The Washington Post reported on Friday.

The foreman of the 12-person federal jury told the newspaper that the panel voted 11-1, 10-2 and 10-2 in favor of the death penalty on the three charges for which Moussaoui was eligible for execution.

A unanimous vote on any one of the three terrorism charges was required to return a death sentence.

Moussaoui, 37, a French citizen of Moroccan descent, was sentenced on May 4 to spend the rest of his life in prison for his part in the hijacking plot that killed nearly 3,000 people.

The foreman, a Virginia math teacher who contacted the newspaper and spoke on condition of anonymity, said she voted for the death penalty because the government proved its case, the Post reported.

"I felt frustrated," the foreman said, "because I felt that many of us had been cheated by the anonymity of the 'no' voter. We will never know their reason. We will never be able to hold their reason up to the light and the scrutiny of evidence, fact, and law," she said.

She told The Washington Post that deliberations nearly broke down on the third day because of frustrations over repeated 11-1 votes on one charge while no one voiced objections during discussions.

April 26 "was a very intense day," she said. "But there was no yelling. It was as if a heavy cloud of doom had fallen over the deliberation room, and many of us realized that all our beliefs and our conclusions were being vetoed by one person."

Another juror, who spoke to newspaper after the verdict, said he voted for a life sentence because he believed that Moussaoui was a minor figure in the September 11 plot, but he did not reveal how the jury voted.

The foreman said most of the jurors did not give much weight to Moussaoui's testimony and thought some of his actions, including volunteering to testify for the prosecution, were "bizarre."

But she told the newspaper they did not believe the defense argument that Moussaoui was mentally ill.

"I think most of us found Moussaoui to be intelligent, smart, crafty and a great manipulator. Those were the comments that were frequently thrown around the table," she said.


Charles Krauthammer has an excellent Op-Ed Article about Sparing Moussaoui for the Wrong Reasons.

While he does not support the Death Penalty, and believes this did not warrant the death penalty in this case, he also believes cases like this are held in the wrong venue, and makes an excellent point in:

But that appears not to be why the jury spared him. Instead, fully nine of 12 jurors found mitigation in his "unstable early childhood and dysfunctional family," lack of "structure and emotional and financial support" and "hostile relationship with his mother." Plus the father with the "violent temper."

The jury foreman tells The Post that only two of the jurors voted against the death penalty. Nonetheless, these childhood deprivations were cited more than any others as mitigating factors. What a trivial consideration. So Moussaoui had a tough childhood. I'm sure Pol Pot's was no bed of roses either. Who gives a damn? On those grounds, there is not a killer in history who cannot escape judgment. What next? The Twinkie defense -- the junk food made me do it -- for Khalid Sheik Mohammed?

The Moussaoui verdict came out right, but the process was atrocious. The jury's list of mitigating factors was risible. And the entire process was farcical, a 4 1/2 -year charade manipulated by a self-declared terrorist gratuitously given a world platform by those he was working to destroy. We need no more lessons in the obvious: Civilian court -- with civilian procedures, civilian juries and civilian sensibilities -- is not the place for those who make war upon us.

Others blogging on this issue:
Sweetness & Light, A blog for all, My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, Urbangrounds

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Even in Grief, Fallen Marine's Father Supports the War

Grief Compels Marine's Dad to Support War
By TERRY KINNEY, Associated Press Writer
Sat May 13, 8:08 AM ET

FAIRFIELD, Ohio - A soft-spoken suburban real-estate broker, John Prazynski didn't consider himself political and never expected to become a public figure, much less a pro-war activist. But in the year since his son Taylor, a Marine, died in Iraq, Prazynski has devoted much of his time to supporting the troops through fundraisers, two trips to Camp Lejeune, N.C., and interviews backing the war effort.

"I could easily have gone the other way," Prazynski said. He says his activism is a tribute to his son, trying to "make something positive happen out of something so negative. That's what Taylor would want us to do."

Marine Lance Cpl. Taylor Prazynski, 20, died May 9, 2005, of shrapnel wounds from a mortar shell that exploded near him during combat in Anbar Province. In his last phone calls, the fun-loving, popular man who had spent much of his senior year of high school helping special-needs students told his father he wanted to become a special education teacher.

Since his son's death, Prazynski, 43, has been interviewed repeatedly about the war while organizing a series of 5-kilometer runs and motorcycle rides to raise money for scholarships for students who attend his son's high school.

"I do this to keep Taylor's memory alive," Prazynski said.

On opening day of the baseball season in Cincinnati, he joined President Bush and two wounded soldiers on the field in pregame ceremonies. Prazynski said he wanted to thank Bush for his support "and give him two thumbs up with his positive stance on security, military and veterans' issues."

The former Air Force tech school instructor shares the pain — but not the viewpoint — of Cindy Sheehan, who became a high-profile war protester after her son Casey was killed in Iraq in April 2004.

"She's grieving, as we are," Prazynski said. "She's chosen to direct her energies in a different direction. I say God bless her.

"My son died for the Constitution that allows her to do what she's doing. Her son died, and God bless him, too, to support and defend the Constitution that gives her the right to speak freely, and I'm all for that right.

"I just don't think that I clearly understand what her agenda is."

Sheehan, who helped found Gold Star Families for Peace, has called for the impeachment of Bush, whom she says duped America into invading Iraq.

Prazynski understands the constant hurt of losing a child, and why such a loss has turned some grieving parents against the war. Even now, he said, "Every day is painful."

The father searched the Internet and found several groups he felt he could support, but chose Impact Player Partners because it was based in nearby Cincinnati. The nonprofit group, an advocate for wounded and disabled veterans, invited Prazynski to take part in the opening day presentation with Bush.

Prazynski also works with the Washington-based Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors and hopes to raise donations for its activities by running in the Marine Corps Marathon in October.

"We're so grateful for his participation," said TAPS founder Bonnie Carroll. "It's an incredible opportunity to honor and help all those who are grieving the loss of a loved one."

Prazynski's last trip to Camp Lejeune — some 700 miles on a motorcycle — was another step.

"That's part of the healing process, to meet parents of other Marines and soldiers who died and just be able to talk to them," he said.

On his way home, Prazynski made a spur-of-the-moment 300-mile side trip.

"I went up to Arlington (National Cemetery) and visited Taylor's grave, and the other Cincinnati fallen heroes and the other men he served with. That's part, I guess, of how I deal with things," he said.

"I spent most of Saturday afternoon in Arlington. It's just peaceful; I could probably sit there for days, seriously."


How much of what he supports, what he thinks, and what he believes in will be reported on by the media?

Media? Hello?

If he was against the war; if he was calling the President a murderer and a traitor; if he had support of and Code Pink and assorted other Left Wing Radical you think the media would be all over him trying to get the story out?

I think they would.

Unfortunately, such support as this grieving father is giving falls to the wayside as if he doesn't matter.

You do matter Sir, and your efforts and kind words are appreciated. Your sacrifice and your son's sacrifice will not be forgotten; should never be forgotten.

You honor your son in your actions.

I only wish a certain other person would honor her son, because it does not seem like she does, in fact she seems to go against everything her son believed in.

Sir, if ever word of what I write reaches your ears, you have but to ask and any support I can garner to help you and what you do will be yours.

Your sacrifice is beyond words, I am left with prayers for you and your son.

Bless you and your son.

Friday, May 12, 2006

A Democrat White-Supremacist Racism?

Alabama candidate for AG disputes Holocaust, is coming to NJ

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- A Democratic candidate for Alabama attorney general denies the Holocaust occurred and said Friday he will speak this weekend in New Jersey to a "pro-white" organization that is widely viewed as being racist.

Larry Darby concedes his views are radical, but he said they should help him win wide support among Alabama voters as he tries to "reawaken white racial awareness" with his campaign against Mobile County District Attorney John Tyson.

The state Democratic chairman, Joe Turnham, said the party became aware of some of Darby's views only days ago and was considering what to do about his candidacy.

"Any type of hatred toward groups of people, especially for political gain, is completely unacceptable in the Alabama Democratic Party," said Turnham.

Speaking in an interview with The Associated Press, Darby said he believes no more than 140,000 Jewish people died in Europe during World War II, and most of them succumbed to typhus.

Historians say about 6 million Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis, but Darby said the figure is a false claim of the "Holocaust industry."

"I am what the propagandists call a Holocaust denier, but I do not deny mass deaths that included some Jews," Darby said. "There was no systematic extermination of Jews. There's no evidence of that at all."

Darby said he will speak Saturday near Newark, N.J., at a meeting of National Vanguard, which bills itself as an advocate for the white race. Some of his campaign materials are posted on the group's Internet site.

"It's time to stop pushing down the white man. We've been discriminated against too long," Darby said in the interview.

New Jersey's Democratic State Committee chief on Friday decried Darby's planned visit, and said in a statement that denying the Holocaust was "historical blasphemy."

"Hate and prejudice are destructive qualities that are not welcome in New Jersey and should be condemned wherever they occur," said party Chairman Joe Cryan. "Mr. Darby should turn around before crossing the Jersey stateline and then give thought to turning his abhorrent attitudes around as well."

A poll published last month indicated the Democratic race for attorney general was up for grabs. The survey showed 21 percent favored Tyson to 12 percent for Darby, but 68 percent of respondents were undecided.

Darby, founder of the Atheist Law Center and a longtime supporter of separation of church and state, said he has no money for campaign advertising and has made only a few campaign speeches.

Tyson said aside from his views on race and the Holocaust, Darby also has publicly advocated legalizing drugs and shooting all illegal immigrants.

"I am astonished as anyone has ever been that anyone is running for public office in Alabama on that platform," said Tyson. "I do not take him as a serious candidate."

Turnham said the party began an investigation last week after hearing about some of Darby's comments in a television interview. While the party supports the free-speech rights of any candidate, Turnham said some of Darby's views appear to be in "a realm of thought that is unacceptable."

"We have Holocaust survivors and families of Holocaust survivors here in Alabama, and many of them are members of the Democratic Party," said Turnham.

The winner of the Democratic primary on June 6 will face either Republican Attorney General Troy King or Mark Montiel, who is opposing King in the GOP primary.


Fences, Ditches and Smuggling

Minutemen to build Arizona - Mexico Fence

The Problem:
Understanding the illegal immigration problem:

* Illegal immigration into the United States is out of control, particularly across our southern border.

* Several members of Congress and Governors have declared states of emergency.

* The problem is not merely the number of illegal immigrants. In addition to the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants from Central and South America, there are several hundreds, perhaps thousands, of illegal aliens from countries that sponsor terrorism or harbor terrorists entering the United States each year across our border with Mexico. Thus, it is a national security issue as well as an immigration issue.

The Solution:
Why is a fence the right solution?

* A secure, state-of-the-art border fence must be one element of any comprehensive effort to address the illegal immigration problem. Similar fences in Israel have reduced terrorist attacks by up to 95%.

* Until the border is secured and the tide of illegal immigration is stemmed, proposals to adjust immigration quotas, whether up or down, are doomed to ineffectiveness.

* A border fence is entirely compatible with a guest worker program. In fact, a guest worker program would be reduced to irrelevance without such a fence.


San Diego at night.

Tijuana River Valley Regional Park in the County of San Diego:

The triple fence is just what that name implies. The southernmost fence is constructed of steel plate and is about eight feet high. The second fence is constructed even of massive concrete columns 10 feet high and spaced not more than a few inches apart and all topped with fine mesh chain link fencing which is tilting towards Mexico.

This secondary fence was placed here because Mexicans were using fully laden heavy trucks to crash the older barriers and enter the United States with loads of cocaine. This second fence has been designed to stop any vehicle weighing up to about 40,000 pounds and traveling at even 50 miles per hour. The terrain south of this barrier is such that speeds of even 15 miles per hour are excessive.

Much of this second fence system is planted many feet into the ground so that tunneling beneath it is far more difficult. That is not to say tunnels are not popular. An average of about five tunnels are discovered right in this area every year.

One recent tunnel was connected to an existing storm drain on the U.S. side of the border. Huge plastic wrapped bricks of cocaine were then handed out the curb-side storm drain inlet to a waiting van. One smuggler’s arm would stick out of the storm drain and hand the block of cocaine to another arm sticking out of the bottom of the van. These entrepreneurs just draped a dirty bed sheet along the bottom of the van so that no one would see them at work.

Other tunnels have included narrow gauge railways (with steel tracks) and lighting, and even high volume fans to blow in fresh air. Some of these special tunnels have been even a quarter mile long.

The Border Patrol has tried all sorts of things to “detect” these tunnels. One problem they have is the soil along here is high in clay content and that makes some of the “detectors” ineffective. Another problem they have is that protecting our borders is not funded because it would be mean spirited to protect our borders.

Some of the tunnels built over the last few years were more than a quarter mile long and wide enough to bring a quarter megaton nuclear warhead into America. Since these special tunnels cost even a million dollars to build, there is no lack of money, interest or intent here, only in the selection of the product to be imported


The driver/smuggler of this van never touched the brakes before hitting this irrigation ditch. He fled into the night and left twenty-one undocumented aliens to care for themselves. Fourteen of them went to the hospital (three were in critical condition). The aliens still tried to protect the driver by refusing to admit they were to pay money for their trip.


The safety of the undocumented alien is not considered when compared to the lure of the easy dollar. This incident had sixty nine undocumented aliens crammed into a van for a trip to Phoenix. A run like this can net the smuggler over $55,000. The risks are greater for the undocumented alien who endure horrid conditions for hundreds of miles without any consideration for their well being. Would you believe these aliens still tried to claim they purchased the vehicle in a cooperative effort to enter the United States illegally?

In Southern Arizona, the smugglers are constantly changing tactics to ensure a higher success rate to make it through the Border Patrol's area. The smugglers know that the agents are spread thin so they have tried to "shotgun" vehicles through selected areas. Three to four vehicles will push through at the same time knowing an agent can only stop one of them. Some drivers will leave the vehicle in gear while they jump out and run. They know the agent will try to keep the vehicle from getting out of control before someone gets hurt.

Agents spend a lot of time and effort trying to make a case against an alien smuggler. The Mexican culture creates an artificial image that the smuggler is a good person and the immigration officer is to be hated and feared. The aliens are usually coached by the smuggler to claim a cooperative purchase of the vehicle and it takes many hours and relentless questioning by skilled interviewers (usually the field agent) to determine the truth. The interview process can often take up to six hours and the agents must then prepare the case to be presented to a United States Attorney for prosecution. An agent may work a sixteen hour day to successfully present a case for prosecution.

The Casa Grande station works with two separate court systems due it's geopraphical boundaries. Apprehensions made along the Southern Border (Pima County) will be presented in Tucson, Arizona. The Sector has a very strong prosecution program and they continually break records for the number of cases being presented on a yearly basis. Cooperation with the United States Attorney Office is high as a result of the quality of the cases being presented. Cases encountered in Pinal County will be presented in Phoenix, Arizona and it is extremely difficult to get a prosecution accepted. Agents are continually frustrated with the declinations that routinely happen on good smuggling or criminal alien cases.

Drug Siezures from on the US - Mexico Border: Link

See Sanity's related posts:
Fencing the US - Mexican Border

Arizona Sheriff - Throwing Illegals Aliens in Jail

Is Brown the New Black

Georgia Governor Does What Congress Won't

Politicians Pandering to Illegal Immigrants

Immigration Bill Stalls - President Blames Reid