Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Dallas say no way to 40,000 potential refugees from Houston.

Nation: Giggle at the code words and then see my translation of this Houston Chronicle piece.

"....AUSTIN - With hurricane season bearing down, a crucial part of the state's elaborate disaster evacuation plan has already hit gridlock: Dallas is balking at a request to harbor as many as 40,000 of Harris County's neediest evacuees. Texas officials, haunted by last year's images from New Orleans of poor and elderly citizens left behind in Hurricane Katrina's wake, have formed a plan in which coastal cities would be paired with inland destinations that would house "special needs" evacuees, those without the means or ability to escape on their own. ....At a recent meeting in Corsicana, an official with Gov. Rick Perry's emergency management division asked North Texas officials to reserve shelter for as many as 40,000 such residents from Harris County. But Kenny Shaw, director of the city of Dallas' office of emergency management, told the Houston Chronicle that sheltering that many needy, disabled or elderly evacuees — and possibly their pets — would be a stretch. "It would be a little bit of a chaotic situation if we got 40,000 people," Shaw said. "We are not going to be able to house anywhere near a 40,000 special needs population." The state can't make any city take special needs evacuees, meaning if "Big D" ultimately refuses to open shelters for them, they'll have to be transported even farther away to wait out the storm."
Translation: "Hell no we are not taking 40,000 refugees from your county to ours where our social, financial infrastructure would be under collapse. You think we don't read papers or hear stories about the crime, murder and tension brought on by the Katrina refugees?"
Houston's reaction The less-than-welcoming news from Dallas prompted a muted response in Houston. "I think these cities and the people of Texas will act in good faith," Mayor Bill White said Tuesday. He added that an evacuation is a huge logistical dilemma and it's "going to be a strain on all our resources." "I'm sure that people in Dallas-Fort Worth and the government will be working to make sure that there's an equitable burden," he said.
Translation: "Shit, they didn't fall for it."
Although there have been some long-term consequences for Houston from the influx of evacuees, many of whom have remained in the area, Frank Michel, a spokesman for Houston Mayor Bill White, said officials are comfortable with the decisions made last year. "There but for the grace of God and the direction of the wind goes Houston. We wanted to offer people the same assistance we'd like to receive," he said.
Translation: " We should have never taken in that many people, even New Orleans don't want them back. We're screwed now."
Shaw, however, said his understanding is there is no agreement yet to take in all of the estimated 40,000 Harris County residents with special needs. He said state officials have not requested a formal meeting with the city to discuss the plans in detail or ask for feedback. "At some point we need to sit down with the state and figure out where they are coming up with these numbers, and have them tell us how they expect us to house that many people if in fact they are going to send that many up here," he said. But Walt said representatives from the state and local governments attended meetings in April and May specifically to discuss the Harris County evacuation to North Texas. The sessions were coordinated by the North Central Texas Council of Governments, a voluntary association of local governments in the 16-county North Texas region. Shaw characterized those meetings, which he attended, as informal. Keith Wells, assistant emergency management coordinator for Tarrant County and Fort Worth, struck a more conciliatory chord on the issue, but he added that he doesn't yet know how much shelter capacity will emerge. "Obviously if something happens, we're going to do what needs to get done," he said. "Hurricane season's fast approaching. It's all moving very fast. A lot of these plans are in process. It has a lot of moving parts."
Translation: " We are screwed." I feel bad for Houston because in a perfect world, the plan would be ideal. Unfortunately, everyone has seen what happened to Houston and they don't want the same to happen to them.


Spaniards getting tired of all those illegals.

EU: That amnesty program worked really well for the socialist government. I mean who would think that granting blanket amnesty would cause even more illegals to come over.

SPAIN’S long tolerant attitude to immigration seems to be hardening amid constant news of African boat people and opposition charges leaky borders have led to a rise in violent crime. A poll conducted for Monday’s El Mundo newspaper showed 70% of Spaniards think the country has too many migrants, 10 percentage points more than a similar poll just five months ago.

The poll showed 70% also thought the government’s amnesty for about 600,000 illegal immigrants last year had prompted a five-fold increase in the number of Africans landing illegally in the Canary Islands. Spain’s Socialist government is now struggling to contain this flow of rickety wooden vessels, sending more patrol boats to the Canaries and demanding help from Brussels. It has also moved more police to Catalonia, where officials blame an explosion in violent burglaries on east European gangs. Kidnappings in Madrid have also surged. One Spanish newspaper headline declared: “30% of killings and injuries the work of foreign criminals”, and numerous stories have detailed how homeowners have been bound and slashed with knives to force them to give up valuables. The conservative Popular Party (PP) has accused the government of losing control of Spain’s borders and unleashing a crime wave, leading one Socialist to liken PP secretary-general Angel Acebes to French far-right politician Jean-Marie Le Pen. But on Monday Acebes renewed his attack. “Spain is paying the price for immigration that is uncontrolled and disorganised,” he said. Attitudes towards migrants in Spain – almost completely white and Catholic until the 1990s – were long tolerant. Support for far-right parties is low and violence against ethnic minorities rare, even in the wake of Islamist bombings in Madrid two years ago. As recently as 2001, there were 1mn foreigners here legally. But the country is now the European Union’s number one migrant destination and government figures show 2.7mn legal migrants in December 2005 – 39% more than in 2004. Carlos Malo de Molinos, head of pollsters Sigma Dos who conducted the El Mundo poll, said the real number of legal and illegal immigrants could be over 5mn – more than 10% of Spain’s 44mn-strong population. “There’s been a spectacular rise in recent years,” he told Reuters, adding that more Spaniards now thought the migrant amnesty was a mistake. “The law was generally well-received at first but perceptions have changed, and now with the avalanche of immigrants in the Canaries as well...” he said.


Evo Morales claims American assassination attempt .

South America: Someone getting paranoid or trying to deflect the fact he pissed off his neighbors by grabbing their companies.

LA PAZ, Bolivia - Leftist President Evo Morales said Tuesday the U.S. government had organized groups to kill him and said he believed Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's assertion that Washington was preparing to overthrow his administration. "I've been informed recently how the U.S. had organized teams — groups to persecute Evo Morales, to kill Evo Morales. They haven't been able to and now we're organized, from unions to this political party and they can't stop us anymore," Morales said, without giving more details. The U.S. Embassy in Bolivia called the charges "baseless."


Hurricane season is here and you are on your own.

Nation: I applaud the states for not babying the public, most have the resources to be prepared at least for a couple of days. If you want to be the cricket, fine but don't come whining to anyone when you are not prepared.

"....Emergency management officials groaned this month at a poll by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research Inc., which found that of 1,100 adults along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, 83 percent had taken no steps to fortify their homes this year, 68 percent had no hurricane survival kits and 60 percent had no family disaster plan. "I can't rightfully say I see any increased sense of people getting ready," said Larry Gispert, emergency management director in Hillsborough County, Fla., home to Tampa. "It's like a psychological issue — 'If I don't think about bad things, bad things won't happen.' " ....In Florida, the second annual tax holiday on hurricane supplies, from May 21 through June 1, has not drawn an overwhelming response, several store representatives said. But at least one store, the Lowe's in South Fort Myers, was selling more generators than barbecue grills last week, said John Sandford, operations manager there. At a Home Depot, Brenda and Jerry Dyche of South Fort Myers were shopping for a generator last Wednesday. With that and a new roof, they said, they had no reason to flee. "We'd just as soon be in our house," Mr. Dyche said. "Where are we going to go? I-75 is a parking lot by the time they evacuate everybody." Likewise, Ronda Burke, who did not go inland last year to avoid Hurricane Rita but stayed on South Padre Island, Tex., to watch over her new health food cafe, Naturally's, said she would probably do the same this year if necessary. "We feel about our store like you feel about a person," said Ms. Burke, whose husband took their two young children to higher ground as Hurricane Rita neared the Texas coast (and eventually came ashore far from South Padre Island). "We'd probably ride it out again."
This part by Gov. Jeb is true.
Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, at his annual hurricane conference this month in Fort Lauderdale, sourly recalled the chaos after Hurricane Wilma last year, where throngs of residents lined up for free emergency supplies that quickly ran out. "It makes it a lot harder when people line up in their Lexuses or Mercedeses to get ice and water at a public distribution site when the Publix is open a block away," Mr. Bush said. As his audience of emergency workers applauded, he added, "I don't know about you, but it sure made me feel better to get that off my chest."
or the lady complaining the day after the storm about the government not having diapers for her baby. The emergency reliefs and government services the few days after the storm should be going towards the seniors and the poor.


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Jefferson tried to hide papers and congress critters go nuts.

Politics: Congress critters protecting their own.

The Justice Department yesterday vigorously defended the recent weekend raid of Rep. William J. Jefferson's Capitol Hill office as part of a bribery investigation, asserting that the Democratic lawmaker attempted to hide documents from FBI agents while they were searching his New Orleans home last August. The government questioned in a 34-page motion filed in U.S. District Court here whether it could have obtained all the materials it had sought in a subpoena if it had not launched the surprise raid on Jefferson's congressional office May 20. According to the government filing, an FBI agent caught Jefferson slipping documents into a blue bag in the living room of his New Orleans home during a search. ....Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) said he wants Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III to appear "up here to tell us how they reached the conclusion" to conduct the raid, which Sensenbrenner called "profoundly disturbing" on constitutional grounds. The chairman also said that his committee "will be working promptly" to draft legislation that would clearly prohibit wide-ranging searches of lawmakers' offices by federal officials pursuing criminal cases.
It must be nice since all that does is create safe houses out of offices for any wrongdoing. I understand the constitutional argument to a point, but to try make a wide ranging law against searches involving a criminal investigation is ridiculous.
The Justice Department's court filing and Sensenbrenner's comments -- made during a hearing in which constitutional scholars sharply criticized the May 20 raid -- ran counter to recent efforts by President Bush and key lawmakers to calm down talk of a constitutional standoff. Bush last week ordered the seized materials to be sealed for 45 days, allowing time for tempers to cool and for lawyers and elected officials to confer. But Sensenbrenner and several committee colleagues yesterday described the FBI's weekend search of Jefferson's office in the Rayburn House Office Building as an arrogant, unnecessary breach of tradition and vital constitutional protections. The FBI had several other ways to compel Jefferson to surrender specific items, they said. The copying of Jefferson's computer hard drive, they said, was akin to rifling through every file cabinet, including files dealing with matters unrelated to the alleged crimes. The Constitution says House and Senate members "shall not be questioned . . . for any Speech or Debate in either House." Bruce Fein, one of the constitutional lawyers who testified yesterday, said that "when it comes to documents, the only way you can search is to read everything. And when you read everything, you encroach on the 'Speech or Debate' clause." Noting that Gonzales, Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty signaled that they would resign if they were forced to return the Jefferson documents, Fein said: "Well, let them resign. I am astonished that the president would not have fired them for undertaking this action without consulting him in advance." In yesterday's court filing, the government argued that law enforcement authorities should not be barred from conducting searches of congressional offices simply because they contain legislative materials -- such as committee reports, internal memos and drafts of bills -- that are protected under the "Speech or Debate" clause. "If his argument is accepted by this court, members of Congress and their staffs would be able to create search-free zones wherever they go by bringing along some legislative materials," the government said of Jefferson, 59, who has been under investigation since March 2005 over allegations that he took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for using his congressional influence to promote business ventures in Africa.


Film exposing radical islam protested by Muslim group.

Canada: The Manitoba film board, police don't view it as hate propaganda.

The screening of a controversial film about Islamic extremists will go ahead in Winnipeg Monday night, despite concerns raised by local Muslims. Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West premieres in Canada at the IMAX theatre in Winnipeg's Portage Place mall. Local Jewish groups are sponsoring the film, which is sold out Monday and Tuesday night. Members of Winnipeg's Muslim community have filed a formal complaint about the film with the city police hate crimes unit. "I want the police to identify this as hate propaganda," said Shahina Siddiqui, president of the Islamic Social Services Association Inc. Canada. "I want them to be aware who the sponsors are and what they are doing." Police say they have reviewed the matter and don't believe the film constitutes hate speech. The film has been reviewed by the Manitoba Film Classification Board, a provincial body responsible for rating films. The board gave it a rating of 14A — requiring adult accompaniment for children under age 14 — with warnings for violence and disturbing content. Jeremy Feuer, with the Winnipeg Zionist Initiative, one of the film's sponsors, says they plan to go ahead with the premiere despite the complaints, although they have hired police. "The only thing that's been changed is there's just going to be a police presence, which wasn't initially planned but that was brought on by the suggestion that there's the possibility of a protest," Feuer told CBC News. Feuer said he was surprised at the opposition to the film. "The film's been reviewed and the opinion we've received is that it does not promote hatred. In fact, I believe it does quite the opposite. It exposes hatred," he said. We've been quite clear in all of our promotional materials and it will be made clear tonight that again, the film is not, and we are not, anti-Islam."
Knee-jerk reaction to every single thing that comes down the pike with complaints filed only serve to damage Muslim's reputations. You disagree, argue against it as best you can, but labeling it hate speech only serves to give critics ammo against you. Not that these groups who are supposedly representing Muslims ever listen to that advice.


Paris Riots! "youths" setting fires in Paris suburb.

France: What are the police thinking going into these no-go areas and arresting someone? They are being insensitive.

PARIS (Reuters) - Around a hundred youths clashed with police during the night after setting fire to cars and rubbish bins in a Paris suburb that was the scene of violent riots last November, a local official said on Tuesday. Seven police officers were slightly injured and six youths were arrested in a neighbourhood of Seine-Saint-Denis in confrontations that started at about 2030 GMT on Monday evening, according to a security official from the suburb to the North of the French capital. The youths began burning cars in reaction to a police operation in which a young man was arrested several hours earlier. Officials said they did not yet know how many cars had been burned. There were also incidents in the neighboring area of Clichy-Sous-Bois, where last year's riots began after two youngsters died while they were apparently fleeing police.


Australia's Today show gets punked.

Australia: Why would you try to stage manage the army chief? The other question that popped into mind is why did he agree in the first place? But the payoff is worth it.

TV caught out in Timor interview May 30, 2006 AN Australian military commander has tried to ensure truth does not become a casualty of conflict in East Timor, but has embarrassed a TV network in the process. Australian commander in East Timor Brigadier Michael Slater appeared this morning in a live cross from Dili to Channel 9's Today show, with helmeted and heavily armed Australian soldiers standing behind him. He was pressed by Today host Jessica Rowe about whether Dili really was as safe as the Australian military claimed, given the presence of armed soldiers at his shoulder. Pausing briefly, Brig Slater replied: "Jessica I feel quite safe, yes, but not because I've got these armed soldiers behind me that were put there by your stage manager here to make it look good. "I don't need these guys here. "It is not safe on the streets, as it is back home in Sydney or Brisbane – no it's not, if it was we wouldn't be here. But things are getting better every day." Rowe apologised, saying she didn't realise the guards had been placed specifically for the interview. But Rowe ran into more trouble when she persisted with her line of questioning, and referred to footage of looting and violence. Brig Slater told her the pictures were a "couple of days old". TV rival Channel 7 gleefully circulated grabs of the interview this morning, enjoying an element of revenge after Nine's taunting over its exclusive interview with the Beaconsfield mine survivors.
Video of the interview via Daily Telegraph. The guy looked pissed, got the opening and just nuked the interview.


No high school degree? Go to college anyway

Edumacation: I got a bad feeling about this.

It is a kind of Alice-in-Wonderland idea. If you do not finish high school, head straight for college. But many colleges — public and private, two-year and four-year — will accept students who have not graduated from high school or earned equivalency degrees. And in an era of stubbornly elevated high school dropout rates, the chance to enter college through the back door is attracting growing interest among students without high school diplomas. That growth is fueling a debate over whether the students should be in college at all and whether state financial aid should pay their way. In New York, the issue flared in a budget battle this spring. ...The existence of such students — eager, yet at high risk for failure — exposes a split in education policy. On one hand, believers in the standards movement frown on social promotion and emphasize measurable performance in high school. At the same time, because a college degree is widely considered essential to later success, some educators say even students who could not complete high school should be allowed to attend college. Nowhere is this contradiction more evident than in California. This year, 47,000 high school seniors, about 10 percent of the class, have not passed the exit examinations required to graduate from high school. They can still enroll in many colleges, although they are no longer eligible for state tuition grants. State Senator Deborah Ortiz, Democrat of Sacramento, has proposed legislation to change that. "As long as the opportunity to go to college exists for students without a diploma," Ms. Ortiz said, "qualifying students from poor or low-income families should remain entitled to college financial aid." Many community colleges and two-year commercial colleges take these students, as do some less selective four-year colleges. At Interboro Institute, a large commercial college in Manhattan, 94 percent of the students last year did not have a high school diploma. Yet most received federal and state financial aid, up to $9,000 a student for the neediest.
There is the money 'graph. I get the idea these students are taken to get the money more than trying to make a trend. If they fail, there is a pool of willing students out there to take their place. I am not saying anyone who hasn't finished high school could not make it in a college, but its not the desired route to shoot for these days. Politicians and educators should not encourage this type of thinking.


Hillary Rodham Clinton, an enigma to the masses.

Politics: According to Dan Balz's love letter to Hillary.

Hillary Rodham Clinton has fashioned a political persona that generates intense passions but defies easy characterization. She is viewed as a hawk on Iraq and national security, stamped as a big-government Democrat for her work on health care in the 1990s, and depicted as seeking the middle ground on abortion. After three decades in public life, New York's junior senator is one of the most recognized women in the world, her every move and utterance interpreted amid the assumption in Democratic circles and her own circle that her reelection campaign this fall will pivot into a run for president in 2008. Yet for all her fame, there are missing pieces to the Clinton puzzle: What does she stand for? And where would she try to take the country if elected?
and it goes on like this for 3 pages on the site. Its very easy to figure out Hillary, she is a politician who will say anything at any given time if she thinks it will benefit her and be on the right side of a topic with public opinion. She will never be called on it by the MSM who is at the ready to guide her thru 2008 as the biggest set of bodyguards against attacks you will ever see. It's that simple. Not that she is the only one, but she is the master of it while everyone else is learning.


Christians embracing and influencing Hollywood

Culture: You can tell by the snarky sub-line by David Cohen "Christians embrace formerly evil biz" this is something that isn't looked upon fondly by Hollywood types.

New Line isn't alone in going after the "faith community" audience. A small but growing portion of the majors' slates targets the faithful. At the same time, the religious community is taking a hard look at how it can up its influence with the film business. "The church is increasingly recognizing that film has become a major way, if not the major way, of telling our stories as a society," says Rob Johnston, professor of theology and culture and co-director of the Reel Spirituality Institute. "If 63% of all Americans saw 'Finding Nemo' in its first year out, then that story is influencing how we understand reality, and if the church is to be relevant it needs to join the dialogue." This wasn't always the case, says Johnston. For decades, many of the faithful dismissed movies as escapist and possibly harmful. Today, though, even comic-book tentpoles get a warm reception from the faithful, and studios are only too happy to provide Bible study guides to go with those movies. Southern California Christian colleges such as Biola U. -- which formerly banned its students from watching movies -- and Azusa Pacific now have film programs and are sending aspiring professionals to Hollywood. Christians also are interacting more heavily with movies through Web sites from the fairly objective to the hellfire-and-damnation review site "That's a very important shift that's happened in the last 10 years," says Johnston. " 'The Passion' is one important indicator of the change that's going on. 'Narnia' is another. 'Bruce Almighty' is another." The decision of Christian leaders and many of their parishioners that movies matter has created a vast "psychographic" of people who want films that are family-friendly and/or explore spiritual themes. "You can call the Christian community a niche market," says Boyter, "but we're talking about 150 million-plus who go to church every week, so it's a rather large niche. '' Craig Det-weiler, chair of the Film, Television & Radio program at Biola says, "Hollywood has rediscovered the sweet spot of the marketplace between Los Angeles and New York. "They've discovered that the flyover district has plenty of dollars and plenty of interest in going to the movies if Hollywood will serve them."
You can't change anything by sitting out, Christian groups/leaders are seeing results because of increased involvement. Cohen gets a bit weird mixing in the Da Vinci code as a movie made for religious types.
By sheer market power, that audience is beginning to influence what movies get made. Disney and Walden were happy to stress the Christian allegorical aspects of "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," helping spur socko B.O. and homevid sales. In fact, the homevideo divisions have taken the lead in responding to the Christian aud . Warner Home Video repackaged vintage titles "The Nun's Story," "The Shoes of the Fisherman" and "The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima" in a "Films of Faith" box, with an endpaper that will look just fine next to a King James Bible. And Fox even plans to launch a dedicated "Fox Faith" label. On the feature side, Sony is moving ahead with plans to film more Dan Brown stories after the "Da Vinci" triumph. "Da Vinci," perhaps even more than "The Passion of the Christ," shows that there is a market for such films. Mel Gibson's film got enormous support from church groups of all denominations. But Sony's thriller, which questions the very divinity of Jesus, bowed to boffo B.O. despite active resistance from the Catholic Church -- not to mention a slew of bad reviews.
But the overall tone is there is a huge market for wholesome movies with religious overtones that you shouldn't run away from or make to mock the majority of people in America.


Monday, May 29, 2006

Europe vows to help Spain with illegals.

Immigration: Not that it is doing so out of pity and it really likes Spain.

MADRID, Spain May 29, 2006 (AP)— European countries far removed from Spain's immigration crisis in the Canary Islands pledged Monday to send planes and patrol boats to help stem the flood of destitute Africans seeking a better life, officials said. Some 400 more migrants arrived at the islands by boat over the weekend. Authorities have intercepted more than 6,000 migrants since January, compared with 4,751 caught in all of 2005. The accord is a follow-up to an announcement of aid last week from the European Commission in Brussels, although more meetings are planned to decide which countries will send what and who will pay for it, the Spanish Interior Ministry said. Spain estimates that in addition to its own planes and vessels monitoring small, crowded boats that bring migrants from west Africa to the Canary Islands, the new plan requires at least five patrol boats, five helicopters and a surveillance aircraft, Deputy Interior Minister Antonio Camacho told a meeting of European Union representatives. The next meeting to decide the details is scheduled for sometime after June 2, the ministry said. The countries that have agreed in principle to help Spain are France, Britain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Finland, officials said. The problem is European not just Spanish because the Canary Islands are just like any other part of Spain, and in theory at least, borderless EU travel rules mean someone arriving in the islands can travel to many other parts of Europe without having to show a passport.
Thanks to Spain giving amnesty last year, the illegals have been coming in droves because of this. They figure all they have to do is get there and in a couple of years another amnesty program will happen. The rest of the EU was furious with Spain when they did this, but now its everyone's problem.


Europe on high alert for the next attack.

EU: Islamic terrorists being watched in various countries.

MADRID, Spain (AP) - European intelligence networks have thrown a blanket of surveillance over a small but fiercely violent cast of Islamic militants, many homegrown with no direct links to al-Qaida, whose fingerprints they expect to find on the Continent's next big terrorist attack. Senior security officials across Europe warned in interviews with The Associated Press that the relative ease and low cost of an attack, combined with the anger and isolation felt by Muslim populations, mean more bloodshed is almost inevitable. The officials painted a picture of a diverse group of militants with competing agendas, vastly different social and educational backgrounds and a litany of gripes that makes it difficult to predict their next move. While they may be motivated by Osama bin Laden's call for worldwide jihad, they mostly operate independently of al-Qaida's leadership, the officials said. ``There is no profile; they come from everywhere,'' said Manfred Murck, deputy director of the German Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which tracks extremist activity in the northern city of Hamburg, home to three of the four Sept. 11 suicide pilots. ``You can't concentrate on certain targets, you can't concentrate on certain persons ... Everything is possible, anything goes, and you just have to try and be as close as you can to the whole group.''
Cartoons and Paris Riots blamed for the higher threat.
No link to al-Qaida has been established in any of the incidents, though British authorities are still looking into a trip two of the bombers there made to Pakistan in the year before the bombings. Said Heinz Fromm, Germany's domestic intelligence chief: ``One today cannot talk any longer of a central leadership role of al-Qaida.'' Bin Laden's group has become a ``diffuse, amorphous organization'' that provides inspiration for attacks, rather than a guiding hand, he said. Riots in heavily Muslim inner cities of France, and the global Islamic outburst over the publication of Danish cartoons featuring the Prophet Muhammad, have further heated the climate for terrorism. ``We have recorded a significant increase in the number of threats'' because of the cartoons, said Lars Findsen, the intelligence chief in Denmark. The Internet is replacing militant mosques as the main meeting site for potential terrorists, said Sybrand van Hulst, the director of the Netherlands' CIA equivalent, the AIVD. It has also become their manual.


Google ignoring Memorial Day?

Google: Via NRO corner and Instapundit.

JONAH GOLDBERG ON GOOGLE: " It's kind of sad. They change their homepage logo for all sorts of holidays and occasions. Just last week they paid tribute to Arthur Conan Doyle's birthday. But Memorial Day doesn't seem to rate anything at all." posted at 08:05 AM by Glenn Reynolds
I get the feeling anything that could directly tie in to celebrating America troops is going to be a no no for a worldwide company like Google. They don't want to be seen as too American and patriotic. But on December 26th when Mao Zedong birthday comes up, I am keeping an eye on Google China.


Divorced men in the U.K: RUN! FLEE! HIDE!

UK: Future headline in 2050; Marriage rate at 1%.

A landmark House of Lords ruling last week could open the way for hundreds of divorced women to go back to court for more money, according to leading lawyers. The principle laid down by the law lords that women who gave up a well-paid career to raise children were entitled to compensation for their sacrifice has come too late for partners who divorced with a clean break. But those still receiving maintenance from high-earning former husbands could go back to court to ask for a big increase, lawyers said, even if their divorce was years ago. Experts in the field are only now realising that the judgment, which came when the lords ruled in the cases of Melissa Miller and Julia McFarlane, could potentially be applied retrospectively. Many hundreds of women with existing maintenance orders will try for "massively increased payments", said Jeremy Levison, the solicitor who acted for Mrs McFarlane's ex-husband, Kenneth, a £750,000 a year accountant. "I'm already seeing women this week about this very topic," he said. "I'm being consulted by two classes of people: men who are worried and are asking are they going to have to pay their wives a lot more, and women who are asking does this mean we're going to be receiving much increased payments? One will have to do a careful analysis of the law but ... one would have thought that the answer ... must be yes."


Cronulla race "wars" still happening.

Australia: The local government is still looking the other way while events are happening around them. Unless they would like a repeat, it would be in their best interests to cut the P.C. nonsense and get to work.

Almost six months after those December revenge attacks, not a single significant arrest and conviction has been logged in response to the self-styled "intifada" by groups of young Muslims who assembled in Punchbowl and Lakemba - inside the electorate of the Premier, Morris Iemma - to launch attacks on eastern beach suburbs. Even now, the Iemma Government remains in denial about the extent of what happened on those nights, as entire convoys were able to assemble, attack and escape while screaming racist threats. One woman, Wendy R, said she and her husband were driving along Canterbury Road on the night of Monday, December 12, when they encountered carloads of men with Lebanese flags hanging out the windows and heard one man screaming, "Do it for Allah!" This left a deep impression, though not as disturbing as the inability of the police to notice what was happening, let alone deal with it. On Friday, police released an identikit photo of three "men of Middle Eastern appearance" wanted for the attack on Dan, a 26-year-old mechanic, stabbed five times and seriously wounded after four men leapt from a car outside Woolooware Golf Club on the night of December 11. As usual, women were involved. The men had shouted insults from the car at two women leaving the club with Dan. As usual, the stab wounds were in the back. As usual, it was four on one. The undertow of hate crimes and menace is continuing, with the proverbial "men of Middle Eastern appearance" (MOMEA) constantly appearing on the crime log of the NSW Police: May 21: a MOMEA charged with the murder of Bassam Chami and Ibrahim Assad, two Lebanese men who were known to police. May 21: a group of MOMEA involved in stabbings in Green Valley. May 26: an off-duty police officer insulted and assaulted by two MOMEA in The Rocks. May 26: two MOMEA arrested in Riverwood for possession of heroin and a handgun. And that's just the past week, and only crimes logged on the police website.


Sunday, May 28, 2006

Canadian Liberals Kyoto plan kinda sucked.

Kyoto: In a it wouldn't have worked no matter how many billions they would have put into it.

OTTAWA (CP) - The Liberals' $12-billion plan to implement the Kyoto Protocol over seven years would have been largely ineffective, says an as-yet unpublished report by the C.D. Howe Institute. The report, marked "do not cite or circulate," was written before the current government axed Project Green, as the plan was dubbed, and may have been a factor in the Conservatives' decision to scrap it. Project Green largely relied on voluntary measures and incentives which have been shown not to work, says the study, which sarcastically calls the package "Project Dream." "This policy approach will fail dramatically to meet national objectives and yet will entail a substantial cost," says the report, whose lead author is Mark Jaccard of Simon Fraser University. The study was written in April and obtained by The Canadian Press on the weekend. It is finally expected to be made public this week. The report says Project Green would have cost $12 billion by 2012, with much of that money being spent outside Canada. It would have reduced emissions by 175 megatonnes compared with a business-as-usual scenario, far short of the 230 to 300 Mt. reduction required to meet Canada's Kyoto target. Efforts like the One Tonne Challenge advertising campaign, which urged individuals to reduce their own greenhouse emissions through lifestyle changes, have "negligible effect," says the study. "The policy approach of Canada since 1990 and continued with Project Green is clearly ineffective in causing the disconnection of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions from the economic output that must take place if these emissions are to be reduced and their atmospheric concentrations stabilized at low risk levels." Canada's domestic emissions remain on a path that would miss its Kyoto target by at least 270 Mt. in 2010, equivalent to almost a 30 per cent emissions gap, the study says. "Indeed, the policy approach epitomized by Project Green allows emissions to continue to grow at close to their BAU (business-as-usual) rate."


Dick Durbin says Mexico must give us permission.

Immigration: What a suck up little runt.

"FOX NEWS SUNDAY" HOST CHRIS WALLACE: Joining us now from his home state of Illinois, the Democrats' assistant leader in the Senate, Dick Durbin. Senator, welcome back to "FOX News Sunday". SEN. DICK DURBIN, D-ILL.: Thanks, Chris. WALLACE: One of the features of the Senate immigration bill that has drawn the most fire, as we just discussed with Senator Frist, is this measure that requires that before any building of fences goes on along the U.S. border that the U.S. officials must consult with Mexican authorities. You, in fact, voted for that, Senator. Is it the view of the Democratic Party that the United States does not have the sovereign right to enforce its own borders? DURBIN: Well, of course we do. There's no question about it. And we have to start with good border enforcement. The Dodd amendment that you're referring to was part of a manager's package, but I supported it. I mean, to think that we would build a fence without any conversation or consultation with Mexico — that doesn't makes sense. WALLACE: Why do we need a consultation? It's our border. Why do we need to confer or consult at all? DURBIN: Good fences make good neighbors, too. And remember that when it's all over, there'll be cities across the border from one another in the United States and Mexico, and you'll find in most instances they try to find a level of cooperation. We ultimately want to have the cooperation of the Mexican government. That's going to make this a lot easier, to stop the corruption on either side of the border, to stop these coyotes that are taking thousands of dollars to push people across that border at the risk of losing their lives. We should have consultation. There's nothing wrong with that.
Mexico will never agree to anything that will hurt their side even though it would help our side. You will see that no fence will be built along the border as congress critters hope people will forget about it in the near future.


Kill those babies with club feet and cleft palate

UK: The line keep getting pushed further and further across the pond as babies being born with "defects" easily fixed are being aborted for not being perfect.

MORE than 20 babies have been aborted in advanced pregnancy because scans showed that they had club feet, a deformity readily corrected by surgery or physiotherapy. According to figures from the Office for National Statistics covering the years from 1996 to 2004, a further four babies were aborted because they had webbed fingers or extra digits, which are also corrected by simple surgery. All the terminations took place late in pregnancy, after 20 weeks. Last year, according to campaigners, a healthy baby was aborted in the sixth month at a hospital in southeast England after ultrasound images indicated part of its foot was missing. News of the terminations has reignited the debate over how scanning and gene technology may enable the creation of “designer babies”. In 2002 it emerged that a baby had been aborted late — at 28 weeks — after scans found that it had a cleft palate, another readily corrected condition. .....Despite the ease with which it can be treated, the perception that club foot is a serious birth defect has remained among some parents and doctors. “It was strongly suggested that we consider abortion after they found our baby had a club foot,” said David Wildgrove, 41, a computer programmer from Sheffield, whose son Alexander was born in 1996. “I was appalled. We resisted, the problem was treated and he now runs around and plays football with everyone else.” Pippa Spriggs from Cambridge, whose son Isaac will celebrate his second birthday in July, was also dismayed when a scan halfway through the pregnancy revealed that her baby had the defect. “Abortion certainly was not openly advised, but it was made clear to me it was available,” she said. “In fact he has been treated and the condition has not slowed him down at all.” ...Naomi Davis, a leading paediatric surgeon at Manchester children’s hospital who specialises in correcting club feet, said: “I think it’s reasonable to be totally shocked that abortion is being offered for this. It is entirely treatable. I can only think it is lack of information.”
There are defenders of these gutless parents and doctors.
Jane Fisher, director of the charity Antenatal Results and Choices, defended the right of parents to terminate pregnancies when defects were found. “This is not part of a move towards designer babies,” she said. “These are difficult and painful issues.”
I can see how difficult it is to kill a baby because he has a problem that can be easily fixed after he is born. Understandable.


Immigration tidbits

Immigration: Couple of news items on immigration and illegals. Malaysia sets up special courts just for illegals and has an amnesty program I can support.

"....On the setting up of special courts, the Deputy Prime Minister said the committee would discuss the matter with the courts, adding that this was necessary to ensure effectiveness of the country’s immigration laws. “We want all these in place to act as a deterrent to illegal immigrants and those who want to violate immigration laws. “I am also pleased to note that the police, Rela and Immigration department are continuously carrying out operations to nab illegal immigrants,” he added. Najib said, over a five-year period ending March 31, a total of 362,958 illegals were deported. This number did not include foreigners who returned home during the two amnesty programmes offered by the Government. During the first amnesty programme in 2002, 439,727 illegal immigrants left the country while two years later, 382, 082 went home."
Massachusetts lawmakers ban illegals from getting public housing funds. Yes Massachusetts in the United State of America, shocking I know.
The passage of the housing proposal, which still needs approval from House-Senate negotiators, came amid high emotions over an issue that has drummed up significant debate in local communities. “It’s unconscionable to be giving taxpayer benefits and public money to illegal aliens,” said Framingham Housing Authority Executive Director William Casamento, who wrote a letter supporting the Senate measure. “There is no more public housing built. It is a very finite resource.” Immigrant advocates argue, however, that state attempts to crack down on illegals, whether it be on taxpayer benefits or employment by Bay State companies, will only drive them further underground and divide communities. “(Illegal immigrants) are not seeking to get ahead in any line anywhere,” said Thomas Keown of the Irish Immigration Center. “Turning all manner of state agencies into customs and immigration enforcers is not the way to go.” In addition to empowering housing authorities to check applicants’ immigration status, the Senate’s measures would create a state hotline to report employers who hire illegal immigrants and force courts to confirm defendants’ immigration status at arraignments or risk losing funding. State Sen. Robert Hedlund (R-Weymouth), who proposed two of the three measures, said he was continually hearing from local housing officials who complained they had no means of ensuring that taxpayer benefits were not going to illegal immigrants. “It’s insane,” he said. “They broke the laws of our country to get here and they’re getting subsidized taxpayer housing at the expense of needy American citizens.” Immigrant advocates have argued there is no data showing illegal immigrants are seeking or receiving public housing benefits.


Sneaking into Mexico a bad idea.

Immigration: Mexico enforcing immigration laws that American Senate refuses to do.

"....As tough as the United States can be for workers who slip in from south of the border, Mexico is in a poor position to criticize. The problem goes far beyond the predatory gantlet of thugs and crooked cops facing defenseless transients like Moisés. There's ample precedent in Mexico for just about everything the United States is—or isn't—doing. Calling out the military? Mexicans may hate the new U.S. plan to deploy 6,000 National Guard troops on the border, but five years ago they cheered President Vicente Fox for sending thousands of Mexican soldiers to crack down on their southern frontier. Tougher laws? Hispanic-rights groups are enraged over U.S. efforts to criminalize undocumented aliens—yet since 1974, sneaking into Mexico has been punishable by up to two years in prison. Foot-dragging on amnesty? Fox has spent the past five years urging the United States to upgrade the status of millions of illegals from Mexico. Meanwhile, his own government has given legal status to only 15,000 foreigners without papers. Some of the worst abuses take place on the coffee plantations of Chiapas state, where some 40,000 Guatemalan field hands endure backbreaking jobs and squalid living conditions to earn roughly $3.50 a day. Some growers even deduct the cost of room and board from that amount. "If you ask them, 'Why are you bringing in Guatemalans to work?' they say, 'You can't depend on Mexicans. They don't work hard; they're irresponsible'," says George Grayson, a political scientist specializing in Mexico at the College of William & Mary. "The truth is, you can pay [the guest workers] a pittance. And if they cause the slightest disturbance, you can send them back to Guatemala." At least a few Mexicans are balking at the hypocrisy. Late last year their National Human Rights Commission issued a report criticizing Mexico's widespread mistreatment of aliens; the report described sub- human facilities where captured illegals are kept until they can be deported. Several international news agencies ran stories on the publication. But most of Mexico's leading papers ignored it."


House members getting the message on immigration.

Immigration: A great A1 article from Washington Post where the royalty of the Senate who ignored the voters while the House who are closer to the people are getting a clear message about this amnesty bill.

Republican House members facing the toughest races this fall are overwhelmingly opposed to any deal that provides illegal immigrants a path to citizenship -- an election-year dynamic that significantly dims the prospects that President Bush will win the immigration compromise he is seeking, according to Republican lawmakers and leadership aides. The opposition spreads across the geographical and ideological boundaries that often divide House Republicans, according to interviews with about half of the 40 or so lawmakers whom political handicappers consider most vulnerable to defeat this November. At-risk Republicans -- from moderates such as Christopher Shays in suburban Connecticut and Steve Chabot in Cincinnati to conservative J.D. Hayworth in Arizona -- said they are adamant that Congress not take any action that might be perceived as rewarding illegal behavior.
The brick mailings worked.
The nearly united front of Republicans from the most competitive districts against Bush's approach to immigration underscores the difficulties the president is facing as he tries to coax his partisans in the House to embrace what he calls a "rational middle ground," along the lines of a bipartisan bill that passed the Senate by 62 to 36 Thursday. GOP leaders in the House are basing their legislative strategy in large part on how it will affect members in the most jeopardy this fall. Several Republicans said they are getting more bricks in the mail -- as part of a new grass-roots campaign promoting a fence between the United States and Mexico -- than letters or calls supporting Bush and the Senate bill. Most said 80 to 90 percent of feedback coming from constituents last week was in opposition to Bush and the Senate on the citizenship question. Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) will not allow a vote on a House-Senate compromise that does not have the support of most GOP lawmakers or one that would undermine the reelection chances of his at-risk members, aides said. According to GOP lawmakers and strategists, about 75 percent of the 231 House Republicans are steadfastly opposed to the Senate bill or even a watered-down version of it. Despite some national polls showing strong support for a comprehensive solution of the sort favored by Bush, nearly every GOP lawmaker interviewed for this article said the House plan to secure the borders and enforce existing immigration laws is unquestionably the safer political stand in his or her district. Many Democrats from vulnerable districts say the same thing, although the Democratic Caucus as a whole is more sympathetic to a Senate-style compromise. Rep. Chris Chocola (R-Ind.) said he told White House officials, who keep citing polls showing wide support for the Bush approach, that "they must not be polling anyone in the 2nd District."
The House members pointed out what is the main difference between them and the Senate.
Keller, like most House Republicans in tough races this year, has a small percentage of Hispanics living in his district, which strategists said makes it easier to reject a broad compromise. Many senators, by contrast, represent more diverse populations and are therefore more sensitive to the concerns of Hispanics. Moreover, only one-third of senators face reelection this fall, so it is easier for them to ignore the short-term Republican politics, which are dominated by concerns about any program that resembles amnesty for illegal immigrants. "House members' elections are not periods with us, they're just commas," said Rep. Gil Gutknecht (R-Minn.). "We keep our finger on the public pulse all the time, not just every six years." Gutknecht, who represents a southern Minnesota district that is 93 percent white, rejected claims by McCain and others that it would be disastrous if Republicans, who control the White House and Congress, failed to strike a compromise this year. "It would give the administration time to demonstrate they are serious that they can defend the law," he said.
This is one of the many ways the Senate put the House and the GOP in general in a bad situation.
Shays, who represents an upscale, largely white swing district in Connecticut, said he informed GOP leaders of his opposition to Bush's path to citizenship after talking to local voters in a recent 18-stop tour. If anything, voters are growing more "adamant" in their opposition, he said. In an interview, he proposed allowing illegal immigrants a chance to stay and work but not become citizens, which many senators said would be a deal-killer. This highlights the hurdles to a compromise. House Republicans appear inalterably opposed to any bill that paves the way for citizenship. They plan to name representatives to the House-Senate conference committee who share this view. They will fight for the security-only approach and are prepared to walk away from the conference if they don't get their way, according to GOP leadership aides. On the other side, the fragile Senate coalition that passed a more comprehensive bill is held together by a common belief that it would be unwise and unworkable to deal with the borders only and not solve the problem of what to do with the 11 million illegal immigrants living here today. The coalition will crumble if the House Republicans prevail, according to senators and aides. The White House, led by Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, has been lobbying House members to soften their position and expects that more moderate lawmakers would eventually side with Bush.
Wonderful, the blinders are on and riding the party to disaster.
Some Democrats are feeling similar pressure. When the House voted on its get-tough bill that also made illegal immigration a felony, 13 of the 17 Democratic incumbents who face tough races sided with Republicans. "The folks I represent in Georgia are sick and tired of the fact that nothing's been done to stem the tide of illegal immigration," said Rep. John Barrow, who dismissed the Senate bill as "amnesty-light -- no matter what they try to call it." Still, many House Democrats are open to a Senate-style settlement. Rep. John N. Hostettler (R-Ind.), a top Democratic target who represents a district so competitive it is known as the "bloody 8th," warned that if House Republicans do not oppose guest workers, temporary workers and anything "that looks like amnesty," they could very well lose the House. "There are lot of people on Capitol Hill that have no clue what November is going to bring them on immigration," he said. "It could be something like a tidal wave that could benefit the Democrats simply because Republicans don't do the right thing. To survive through November, the folks up here [on Capitol Hill] are really going to have to understand the passion behind this."


Saturday, May 27, 2006

Illegals protest Canada's immigration laws.

Immigration: This is what happens when you don't say no and enforce your laws to make the point you have to follow them.

Protests were also held in Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal and Fredericton to demand the federal government immediately grant permanent resident or landed immigrant status to all illegal workers, estimated at 500,000 across the country by the protests' organizers. The demonstrators also demanded the Conservative government put the wheels of a full-regularization program in motion. Marchers in Toronto said officers for Canada Border Services Agency are targeting immigrants such as Mr. Aranga, knocking on the doors of people they suspect are living here illegally, stopping them in shopping malls and subways and using children as bait to nab parents. “The Harper-style immigration policies are ... intolerable,” said Sima Zerehi, a spokeswoman for No One is Illegal Toronto. “We want Prime Minister (Stephen) Harper to end these practices. We want an immediate moratorium on deportations and an immediate regularization program that meets everybody's needs.” The federal opposition parties are applying pressure on the government as well. Toronto-area Liberal MPs Boris Wrzesnewskyj and Mario Silva, and NDP MP Olivia Chow, were all in attendance at the Toronto rally on Saturday. Ms. Chow says she expects a motion asking the government to temporarily halt deportations, offer work permits to some non-status workers and create a program to integrate skilled workers into the construction and service sectors will pass when she submits it at the committee level on Monday. From there, the motion could come before the House of Commons this week. Marching at the rally were Kimberly and Gerald Lizano-Sossa, 15 and 14, the brother and sister who were picked up by border service agents at their Toronto high school last month and taken with their mother and grandparents to an immigration holding centre. The siblings have become the poster children of the movement against deporting illegal workers. The family was later released, but must leave the country by July 2, days after the siblings finish the school year. Gerald Lizano-Sossa, the children's father, says he's already bought the plane tickets but is hopeful that with demonstrations like Saturday's and political pressure from federal opposition parties, he will be allowed to stay. “I have the tickets already but I hope I'm going to lose that money I paid for it,” he said.


Full press on the House for Amnesty bill.

Immigration: Interesting piece by David Broder in the Wash Post, who doesn't think the House will give the Amnesty bill a pass. But the worst sort of half-assed reasoning belongs to another rockerfeller Republican.

An odd thing has happened. While the Senate was debating immigration and moving to give the president most of what he wants, the attitude of House Republicans has stiffened. If anything, more of them seem more determined than they were a month ago to shut the border -- and do nothing else. They believe the public is with them. Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia, a former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of the House GOP, is symptomatic of the shift. A few months ago, Davis, whose district includes a large section of affluent Fairfax County, was decrying fellow Republican Jerry Kilgore's tactic in trying to use sentiment against illegal immigrants as a wedge issue in his losing campaign for governor. Last week Davis said that even his highly educated and financially comfortable constituents favor the House approach more than the Senate's. "They want a tough bill," he said, adding that immigration has become "a hot issue" for more than "the hard right." As a campaign strategist, Davis said, he fears that an impasse over immigration "certainly doesn't help the Republican Congress." With voters already frustrated over Iraq, gasoline prices and scandals in Washington, the climate for the midterm election is grim. "We need to change things, or it's going to be a long election night," Davis said. For that reason, he threw out several hints that he hoped Hastert would bend his rule -- and open the way for the House to "work its will" on immigration with a coalition of most Democrats and a minority of Republicans. But with Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the principal author of the House bill, likely to lead his chamber's negotiators, it's doubtful Davis will get his wish. And it's doubtful that Bush will get his bill.
People are furious and telling their House representatives no deal and this idiot hopes the House will pass it by having the RINOs and the Democrats work together.


Jefferson now a Republican says CBSNews.

Media: What say you owls?


Canadian bookchain runs scared of Mohammed cartoons

Islam: The reacton of the Harper's publisher John MacArthur shows he is ignorant or plain stupid.

Canada's largest retail bookseller has removed all copies of the June issue of Harper's Magazine from its 260 stores, claiming an article by New York cartoonist Art Spiegelman could foment protests similar to those that occurred this year in reaction to the publication in a Danish newspaper of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed. Indigo Books and Music took the action this week when its executives noticed that the 10-page Harper's article, titled Drawing Blood, reproduced all 12 cartoons first published last September by Jyllands-Posten (The Morning Newspaper). The article also contains five cartoons, including one by Mr. Spiegelman and two by Israelis, “inspired” by an Iranian newspaper's call in February for an international Holocaust cartoon contest “to test the limits of Western tolerance of free speech.” ....Harper's publisher John MacArthur said he was “genuinely shocked” by Indigo's action, in part because two large U.S. chains, Borders and Waldenbooks, are selling the issue. (Three months ago, both chains yanked a small U.S. publication, Free Inquiry, when it reproduced four of the Danish cartoons. That Free Inquiry issue with the cartoons is currently on sale at Indigo.) “I'd expect an American company to do this, not a Canadian,” Mr. MacArthur said yesterday. “Even though you have tougher libel laws than us and your own versions of political correctness, to my mind [Canada] has always been a freer place for political discourse.” The U.S. news media have become “terribly prone to self-censorship,” especially after the events of Sept. 11, 2001, he said. “There's a more wide open debate [in Canada] than in America.”


English in Yuma County is hit and miss.

Immigration: Incredible the excuses given by some people where English should be learned by everyone who doesn't speak it when they come to America.

Mindy McClain has attended the same state-sponsored child-care training program for years. But this year, when she signed up and paid her $20 fee, she was told that the program, which is funded through the Arizona Department of Economic Security, would be presented in Spanish instead of English for the first time. If she wanted to hear it in English, she would be provided with a translating device. "I'm like, excuse me ... I don't think so," said McClain, the director of the Children's Center preschool in Yuma. She and 10 other women demanded their money back and promised not to attend. "I feel very offended," McClain said. Since then, the DES has given in to pressure from McClain and a few others, and the program will be held in English, despite the fact that 85 percent of those attending will be Spanish-speaking caregivers, according to Lourdes Encinas, who helped organize the event. "It's bad enough that with a bachelor's degree, I can't go out and get a well-paying job with benefits I'm qualified for because I don't speak Spanish in my own country," McClain said.
McClain is not very tolerant, she should celebrate the multicult and diversity.
Linda Elliott-Nelson, a Spanish professor and division chair of modern languages at AWC, said it makes sense for the government to look for one "commonality" that would bring Americans together, adding that translation can be expensive. And yet she said it is understandable why immigrants would want to hold on to their own languages. "People identify themselves very strongly with their language," she said, adding that diversity brings an "energy" to American culture.
It is understandable, but that is no excuse to not learn the language.
"It's a good thing and it's well past time" that English was made the nation's official language, said Barb Sutton, director of the Yuma Reading Council, a literacy center that receives federal funds to give free English classes. Sutton said there are weekslong waiting lists at the Reading Council to take English classes, but that a lack of funding for English instruction and a lack of motivation on the part of non-English speakers keeps the numbers of those taking classes way below what the need is. "Why are there not 10,000 people in line (to take English)? Think about it. Yuma County is what, 140,000 people? How many times do you go out in the course of a day and see people that seemingly do not speak English? It just happened to me at Wal-Mart," Sutton said.
The fact English hasn't been pushed as a national language is why there is no motivation to speak it in areas where now the majority speak another language.
San Luis, Ariz., resident Jorge Gallegos said if the government wants everyone to learn English, it needs to provide the means for people to do it. The problem, he said, is that many immigrants are working long hours and preoccupied with meeting basic needs and so have little time to learn English. "Imagine the people that work in the fields ... how do they have time to learn a language?" he asked. Gallegos speaks English, but his wife Guadalupe doesn't, despite having lived in the U.S. for over two decades. "My children still scold me for it," she said, while working in her family-owned butcher shop in San Luis.
No, the government is not your parent and shouldn't have to hold your hand. The wife not learning even a smidge of English while being here for over 20 years shows a lack of will to learn. Read the Article, the whiny by some is a bit annoying.


Friday, May 26, 2006

Bill of rights for Apes now!

Culture: The great ape project first argued for in Spain's Francisco Garrido in parliment now gets more backing from Peter Singer in the Guardian.

In his History of European Morals, published in 1869, the Irish historian and philosopher WEH Lecky wrote: "At one time the benevolent affections embrace merely the family, soon the circle expanding includes first a class, then a nation, then a coalition of nations, then all humanity and finally, its influence is felt in the dealings of man with the animal world ... " The expansion of the moral circle could be about to take a significant step forwards. Francisco Garrido, a bioethicist and member of Spain's parliament, has moved a resolution exhorting the government "to declare its adhesion to the Great Ape Project and to take any necessary measures in international forums and organisations for the protection of great apes from maltreatment, slavery, torture, death, and extinction". The resolution would not have the force of law, but its approval would mark the first time that a national legislature has recognised the special status of great apes and the need to protect them, not only from extinction, but also from individual abuse. I founded the Great Ape Project together with Paola Cavalieri, an Italian philosopher and animal advocate, in 1993. Our aim was to grant some basic rights to the non-human great apes: life, liberty and the prohibition of torture. The project has proven controversial. Some opponents argue that, in extending rights beyond our own species, it goes too far, while others claim that, in limiting rights to the great apes, it does not go far enough. We reject the first criticism entirely. There is no sound moral reason why possession of basic rights should be limited to members of a particular species. If we were to meet intelligent, sympathetic extraterrestrials, would we deny them basic rights because they are not members of our own species? At a minimum, we should recognise basic rights in all beings who show intelligence and awareness (including some level of self-awareness) and who have emotional and social needs.
It sounds far-fetch and seems to be some nut who wants to get rid of the idea human beings are not the top dog of the chain by elevating or downgrading each creature's status depending on how you look at it. This part of the article gives away the game, this is nothing more than a backdoor way of extending it to all animals.
Some of the opposition stems from misunderstandings. Recognising the rights of great apes does not mean that they all must be set free, even those born and bred in zoos, who would be unable to survive in the wild. Nor does it rule out euthanasia if that is in the interest of individual apes whose suffering cannot be relieved. Just as some humans are unable to fend for themselves and need others to act as their guardians, so too will great apes living in the midst of human communities. What extending basic rights to great apes does mean is that they will cease to be mere things that can be owned and used for our amusement or entertainment. A final group of opponents recognises the strength of the case for extending rights to great apes, but worries that this may pave the way for the extension of rights to all primates, or all mammals, or all animals. They could be right. Only time will tell. But that is irrelevant to the merits of the case for granting basic rights to the great apes. We should not be deterred from doing what is right now by the fear that we may later be persuaded that we should do what is right again.
Basically protecting all animals from the human beings interest, consumption, "ownership" will become the drive behind this new movement. Nothing more than a benign version of PETA to be played over a long term goal. There are laws now that protect animals from animals abuse and gives them certain rights to make sure their lives are to be given high standards by those who have them. This is taking it to the next level.


Sensenbrenner slams Amnesty bill from Senate.

Immigration: The fence consulting bit is just making people more angry.

WASHINGTON, May 26 — The leading House negotiator on immigration denounced on Friday the bipartisan legislation that passed the Senate this week, saying House Republicans would never support a bill that gives illegal immigrants a chance at American citizenship. The negotiator, Representative F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Republican of Wisconsin and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said he could envision legislation that included a guest-worker program. But he insisted that strong enforcement measures would have to be in place first, including an employment-verification system and tough sanctions on employers who hired illegal immigrants. Mr. Sensenbrenner said he would continue to reject President Bush's call for a compromise because he believed that the president, who supports a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, remained out of touch with the public. "The president is not where the American people are at," Mr. Sensenbrenner said at a news conference. "The Senate is not where the American people are at." "Amnesty is wrong because it rewards someone for illegal behavior," he said. "And I reject the spin that the senators have been putting on their proposal. It is amnesty." Mr. Sensenbrenner's stance put him on a collision course with backers of the Senate bill who say they will not accept any legislation that does not legalize illegal immigrants. "There's going to have to be a path to citizenship," Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said on Friday.
Schumer sees more victims of a racial group for the democrats to exploit.
Matthew Dowd, a strategist for Mr. Bush, said in a memorandum that polls conducted for the Republican Party suggested strong support among Republicans and conservatives for a temporary-worker program and for legalizing illegal immigrants. But House conservatives strongly disagreed. One House aide said on Friday that constituents were furiously calling lawmakers to express outrage about the Senate plan, which would require the government to consult with Mexico before building a fence along the border. NumbersUSA, a conservative group that supports reduced immigration, said the plan "would create the largest immigration increase in U.S. history — a disaster for American workers and taxpayers." Mr. Sensenbrenner said the Senate was poised to "repeat the mistakes" of the failed 1986 amnesty law, which was supposed to end illegal immigration by legalizing illegal immigrants, securing the country's borders and cracking down on employers. Instead, fraudulent applications tainted the process, many employers continued illicit hiring practices, and illegal immigration surged. "I would hope the Senate would take a look back," Mr. Sensenbrenner said.
Now its time for the MSM to paint the Senate bill as the nice caring and compassionate and paint the House as Evil.


You can call yourself American in Michigan school system.

Edumacation: Now they have to get to work on getting the children to spell it right.

Baffling thoughts: Todorov told me Michigan school children should be taught to avoid the "ethnocentric" terms because they risk offending people in North, South, and Central America who may also refer to themselves as "Americans." If it doesn't offend us that others proudly seek affiliation with our great country, why should they have any concern about what we call ourselves? Thankfully, Michigan schools Superintendent Michael Flanagan promises he would never approve such ill-conceived political correctness. "We're not a bunch of radical, liberal wackos around here," Flanagan told me. If only we could expand his level-headed sphere of influence to other areas of government.


Mexico has veto power over America's borders.

Immigration: I thought I couldn't be more pissed off at the Pro illegal republicans in the Senate, but nope they got me with Amendment SA 4188 with Mexico now having veto power over America's border. We also have to give resources to Mexico to help them create jobs.

(c) Cooperation Regarding Circular Migration.--The Secretary of State, in cooperation with the Secretary of Labor and other appropriate Federal officials, shall work with the appropriate officials from the Government of Mexico to improve coordination between the United States and Mexico to encourage circular migration, including assisting in the development of economic opportunities and providing job training for citizens and nationals in Mexico. (d) Consultation Requirement.--Federal, State, and local representatives in the United States shall consult with their counterparts in Mexico concerning the construction of additional fencing and related border security structures along the international border between the United States and Mexico, as authorized by this title, before the commencement of any such construction in order to-- (1) solicit the views of affected communities; (2) lessen tensions; and (3) foster greater understanding and stronger cooperation on this and other important security issues of mutual concern. (e) Annual Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Secretary of State shall submit to Congress a report on the actions taken by the United States and Mexico under this section.
Malkin and Hotair has the round up.


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Congress critters upset with Jefferson office search.

Politics: Via AP.

Rep. Dennis Hastert, the House speaker, complained directly to President Bush yesterday about the FBI's unprecedented raid on Rep. William Jefferson's office. Meanwhile, officials said that senior Democrats were working to ease Jefferson, R-La., out of a powerful committee assignment, at least temporarily. "My opinion is that they took the wrong path," Hastert, R-Ill., told reporters after meeting with Bush in the White House. "They need to back up, and we need to go from there." White House officials said they did not learn of the search of Jefferson's office until after it happened. They promised to work with the Justice Department to soothe legislators' anger. "We are hoping that there's a way to balance the constitutional concerns of the House of Representatives with the law-enforcement obligations of the executive branch," said Tony Snow, the White House press secretary. FBI agents raided Jefferson's office over the weekend and issued an affidavit saying that they earlier had discovered $90,000 in cash wrapped and hidden in the freezer of his home. ....Historians said that the search, carried out on a warrant issued Thursday by Judge Thomas Hogan of U.S. District Court in Washington, is the first in the 219-year history of the Congress. The House and Senate Judiciary committees were looking at the ramifications of Hogan's action, but their respective chairmen, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., declined to comment yesterday. Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, the majority leader, sharply criticized the search, telling reporters that Hastert's aides are reviewing several responses, including legal options. Top Democrats stood with Republicans in their protest of the FBI search's search of a congressman's office. "No member is above the law, but the institution has a right to protect itself against the executive department going into our offices," said Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., the minority whip
Bitch please, you can't have it both ways.


Giscard begs for the EU constitution to be voted on.

EU: This is some fine rationalization and hubris.

The architect of the EU constitution and former French president Valery Giscard d'Estaing has called for the charter to be ratified in France through a new referendum or a parliamentary vote. Mr Giscard d'Estaing was the chairman of the European Convention, a body of EU politicians which presented the draft EU constitution in 2003, and has since been lobbying for his text despite "no" votes on the charter in France and the Netherlands last year. The French politician again strongly defended the constitution in an interview with the FT on Tuesday (23 May). "It is not France that has said no. It is 55 percent of the French people - 45 percent of the French people said yes," he said. "I wish that we will have a new chance, a second chance, for the constitutional project." Mr Giscard d'Estaing indicated that the treaty could be put to French voters in a second referendum, or be ratified by the French parliament. "People have the right to change their opinion. The people might consider they made a mistake," he said on a possible new referendum. On the parliamentary option, he stated "If we had chosen to have a parliamentary vote last year the constitution would have been easily adopted. It is the method that has provoked the rejection


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Man loses legs in New York Elevator.

Nation: This is beyond horrible.

May 20, 2006 -- A man's legs were severed early today as he tried to escape from inside an elevator packed with revelers leaving a party in The Bronx, police and witnesses said. The bizarre accident occurred at 12:15 a.m. when an apartment building elevator at 2395 Tiebout Ave. in the Fordham section got stuck between the first floor and basement, police said. That's when the man - who was not identified, but only described by cops as being in his 20s - was following two other men who had safely climbed out of the elevator to the lobby. As he shimmied through the open doors, the elevator began to move, severing the man's legs, witnesses said. The accident left the 14 people standing inside the elevator splattered in blood. "Half of his body was cut in the elevator," said Carmen Valentin, 48, who lives on the second floor of the building. "Half of his body was inside and half outside. There was blood everywhere." Cops worked to free the man before transporting him to St. Barnabas Hospital in critical condition. The other trapped riders were freed an hour later.


Charlie Gibson new ABC news anchor.

Media: I said this in October when the news started up about Vargas and Woodruff, that this is not a good move, instead of two anchors, get one great anchor. They have now done that.All the news at TVnewser. Even with the tragic circumstances didn't occur to Woodruff, thus affecting Vargas in the process. I believed ABC news would have made the move by the end of summer. Woodruff/Vargas didn't have the gravitas and the two headed monster deal just wouldn't have worked.


CAIR says speak to the terrorists.

Middle East: This is why I dismiss CAIR as a representive of Muslims, they are a professional apologist clean up crew.

In its statement, the Washington, D.C.-based group said: "We urge President Bush to tell Mr. Olmert that the American people will not support unilateral actions such as settlement land grabs, Apartheid-style walls or denial of basic humanitarian needs that block progress toward a just resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Mr. Olmert should also be told that he cannot expect American taxpayers to continue financing Israel's illegal and counterproductive actions, which impede the peace process. "It is in our nation's interest to recognize that the issue of Palestine is a core concern of Muslims worldwide and that our past one-sided approach to the conflict has only served to damage America's image in the international arena. "Decades of unbalanced foreign policies have undermined our nation's efforts to spread democracy in the region and have called into question our own adherence to the most basic American values of freedom and justice for all. "As a start, President Bush should lift the current siege imposed on ordinary Palestinians by the withdrawal of humanitarian aid and American officials should begin talking with the elected representatives of the Palestinian people. "If we truly seek to promote democracy in the Muslim world, we should respect the results of elections and not starve those who exercise their democratic rights."
Everyone respect their decision to elect Hamas, that doesn't mean automatic acceptance, respect and love for a suicide bombing organization. You elect them, you deal with the fallout.


Italy leftist government considers illegals amnesty.

EU: The fact they consider this in light of the problems Spain is having now with illegal Africans coming across in record numbers because of their amnesty last year shows the new government is packed with idiots.

The new minister in charge of immigration in Italy plans to overhaul tough policies and relax the criteria required for being a legal immigrant. Paolo Ferrero says he intends to normalise the position of immigrants already in Italy, if they have jobs. Italy has a growing number of illegal immigrant workers arriving in the south of the country from Africa. Mr Ferrero was appointed by Romano Prodi, whose centre-left coalition came to power after winning April elections. Italy has had several amnesties for illegal immigrants and on each occasion, the number of residency permits available has been far exceeded by the number of people applying. Two months ago, more than 500,000 people queued for just 180,000 permits. The numbers applying show there are far more illegal immigrants living in Italy than official statistics suggest. Shadow economy Mr Ferrero, a member of the Communist Refoundation Party, blames the immigration law passed by the previous centre-right government, which only granted access to immigrants who could demonstrate they had a regular job. It has made it impossible, he said, to migrate to Italy legally. And most politicians accept that thousands of small businesses in the country now employ illegal migrant workers. There is a huge black economy particularly in the north of the country. Some did come to Italy legally, but it can often take over 18 months to get an annual work permit renewed and most do not bother. While surveys show most Italians would like to see illegal immigrants expelled, two-thirds say they are willing to legalise those who have jobs.


Jim Naugle ticks off the Lenin-Sentinel.

Florida: Even worse, he made the communist columnist Michael Mayo angry by stating forcing developers into affordable housing is the government sticking its nose into the marketplace.

I've got to admit, when I first read Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle's comments pooh-poohing this whole so-called affordable housing crisis in South Florida, I nearly spit out my beer and fell off my couch. Let them work overtime or get second jobs, King James basically sniffed. "I'm supposed to subsidize some schlock sitting on the sofa and drinking a beer, who won't work more than 40 hours a week?" Naugle told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel last week, voicing opposition to a city plan that would force developers to build some affordable units or pay extra fees. "I deny that there is a problem." That's easy for him to say. King James, whose Rio Vista neighbors include captains of industry and trust fund beneficiaries, bought his home on the New River for $362,500 in 1996. Today, that kind of cabbage won't even get you a teardown shack in parts of his city. On Monday, Naugle said he was taken out of context because he personally wouldn't be subsidizing anyone under the proposal. Oh. "It's the developer and the person who buys a higher-priced unit that will be subsidizing them, and I think that's wrong," Naugle said. "It's government interfering with the marketplace and that's Karl Marx." I asked how forcing a developer to set aside 10 percent of units at lower prices was akin to communism. "The person who's working 60 hours to get ahead and making $90,000 a year is going to subsidize the person who's working only 40 hours a week and making $60,000," Naugle said.
Okay, so Naugle could have been a bit nicer in slamming the proposal, but it would have been less entertaining seeing Mayo literally foaming at the mouth thru the rest of the column. Here is the gist of the proposal and the original quote that made the Sun Sentinel ticked off.
The city is under pressure from Broward County to pass a law. Otherwise, the county says it won't allow another wave of construction of thousands of condos downtown. South Florida's cities recently decided housing prices had reached crisis-level highs, and Fort Lauderdale is one of the first to seriously attempt passing a law to do something about it. Fort Lauderdale's law would make residential developers pay for affordable housing, either by providing it within their housing complexes or by paying fees into a trust fund to subsidize housing for the middle class. Mayor Jim Naugle, a conservative politician serving his final term, said people are mistaken if they think they are entitled to an affordable single-family house on a 40-hour-a-week work routine. People need to work more hours and settle for a condo or townhouse, Naugle said. "I'm supposed to subsidize some schlock sitting on the sofa and drinking a beer, who won't work more than 40 hours a week?" he asked. "I deny that there is a problem. You can buy condos all day for $160,000." Working-class residents have told the city they want to buy a home but can't afford it. Still, Naugle's opinions might hit home with some people. "Gas is unaffordable. Now, do gas station owners need to go out and supply affordable gas?" asked Doug Eagon, president of Stiles Corp., which built many of downtown's big towers. Naugle calls the proposed law a "luxury housing tax." "The concept of this ordinance is 'from each according to his ability, to each according to need,' which is the 'Communist Manifesto,' " he said. "One person is working two or three jobs to get ahead and one person isn't," he said. "Should we tax the person that's working hard to get ahead to pay for the one who isn't?" Jim Carras, head of the nonprofit Broward Housing Partnership, countered the mayor's Marx by paraphrasing President Truman. "A decent place to live is the right of every American. "We have maybe stepped away from how we fund it, but even the most conservative Republicans in Congress and the state Legislature see a role for government," Carras said.
I doubt Truman meant that people have to build you a condo downtown then subsidize something you can't afford. If you can't afford a downtown place at the original price, how are you going to afford the places surrounding downtown who sell items at higher prices? I am looking thru the bill of rights and have yet to see anything close to saying affordable housing in the place of your choosing is a God-given right. That is the problem with South Florida, lots of people want stuff they can't afford and demand the government give it to them. Naugle may be crass, but he is 100% correct. If Broward County was serious, they would have given the developers tax breaks/credits and incentives to build affordable housing, instead they want to hit people who can afford it with a stealth tax. Back to Mayo who can't argue with the premise so he falls back on the class warfare bit where all the rich people are just lazy bums with inheritances.
The argument seems based on the faulty premise that people who make more work longer hours. Naugle also seems to think that working harder will translate to home ownership, something that's not always the case in South Florida, where wages lag compared to many other urban areas. Plenty of people work two full-time jobs and can barely afford rent. And if Naugle is so bothered by sloth, how come he doesn't take aim at people who live off inheritances or investments? Non-labor income keeps getting taxed lower than ever, if at all. (See: Florida repeal of intangibles tax, federal repeal of estate tax.) On and on we went, him not realizing how callous he sounded and me wondering how a politician who fancies himself a compassionate conservative could be so tone deaf on the struggles facing many working South Floridians. "So now I'm a `schlock' because I only work 40 hours a week?" Michele Stadler, a full-time working mother, wrote city commissioners and Naugle by e-mail. "To insinuate that by not working more we are lazy is really a disgrace. He needs to take that silver spoon ... and look at the reality of life here in Fort Lauderdale and how it has changed in the last five years from the [perspective] of the middle class."
Then move out of Fort Lauderdale to a place you can afford, you don't have a right to stay there on taxpayers dime just because you feel you deserve it. Then Mayo really goes over the edge.
Naugle said plenty of affordable housing options are around, just maybe not the single-family homes of people's dreams. He also said they should find jobs they love, not be "stuck on working 40 hours a week," and hold off on having children until they are in a better financial position. "It's good to be a gatherer and build a nest before having a family," Naugle said. "That's what I did. I waited. Let's get people thinking about that." While we're at it, maybe we should think about ditching those quaint 20th-century notions about home, work and family. Maybe we need a new model, one that would make a Dickens villain proud. Maybe it's time for nonstop work. After all, if we work only 40 hours a week, that leaves a whole 128 hours open. With all that idle time, it's no wonder people want a place to sleep, eat and spend some quality time with the family.
What part did Naugle say that wasn't true? You don't purposely start a family without figuring if your financial situation can bear it. Did couples saving for a house and kids while focusing on their careers become out of style? People popping babies out like pez then realizing they put themselves in a financial bind? Mayo as usual goes off the deep end because he cannot logically refute Naugle's entire argument.

Copyright Narbosa 1998-2006
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by