Thursday, August 31, 2006

Red Ken Livingstone doesn't like the negro coming off script.

UK: Another outburst by a white leftist who is furious Trevor Phillips(black), head of the Commission for Racial Equality who has talked about the failings of Multiculturalism.

Ken Livingstone last night sensationally accused the head of Britain's main race relations body of flirting with the BNP. London's maverick mayor said Trevor Phillips was "pandering to the Right" by criticising the failings of multiculturalism. He took the Commission for Racial Equality boss to task for speaking out against decades of Government-led attempts to promote differences between ethnic groups. Mr Phillips, a prominent figure in London Labour circles, has infuriated his political friends with his willingness to challenge some of the most cherished beliefs of the left. He is one of several prominent black Britons, including Archbishop of York John Sentamu and BBC newsreader George Alagiah, who have cast doubts on multiculturalism. But Mr Livingstone branded Mr Phillips a "self-publicist" who had "gone so far over to the other side that I expect soon he'll be joining the BNP".
BNP is your white power party which is trying to change its image as standing up for the white working class and has gained some ground in certain parts of England.
Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly last week became the first Labour minister to admit that the policy of promoting multiculturalism may have actually encouraged separateness and isolation in the Muslim community. Mr Livingstone spoke out on BBC London radio after Mr Phillips suggested the Notting Hill Carnival at the Bank Holiday was not a triumph of multiculturalism. He said: "I don't know where Trevor Phillips is going. When we had the first mayoral election and he was running to be mayor - he denounced me as being a racist because I said to him 'would you like to be my deputy?' "He'd had a brief sort of black power fling - and ever since then he's gone so far over to the other side that I expect soon he'll be joining the BNP." He said Mr Phillips was "trying to move the race agenda away from the celebration of multiculturalism and pandering to the right". He added: "I think I have to say it's an absolutely disgraceful record." Mr Livingstone accused the CRE boss of turning the organisation into a "vast press department" at the expense of legal work on individual race cases. "What he did was turn it into a vast press department and wound down all the legal work," he said. "I think Trevor's view is that he's achieving something if he's in the papers and that isn't the way it works. He's one of those people everyone is always expecting he'll go on to great things. I don't think he does the work," he suggested.
Over here, black people that stray off the liberal plantation are Uncle Tom, Oreo, over there you should be a member of the BNP because you dare to point out the failings of a concept that has made race relations worse off in the long run.
The dispute reflects the split on the Left about how to respond to public concern about the impact of immigration on Britain. Several senior Labour Party figures, including the former ministers Frank Field and John Denham, have insisted that the fears of poor white Britons worried about losing out to immigrants must be acknowledged rather than suppressed. John Reid, the Home Secretary, and Ruth Kelly, the Communities Secretary, have called for a sober debate on immigration. However, others have said that this would be pandering to the far Right, and would only legitimise racism. A spokeswoman for the Commission for Racial Equality brushed off the attack. She said: “The CRE’s and Trevor’s views on multiculturalism have been well documented and well supported. Obviously, the mayor is entitled to his opinions.” However, Brian Coleman, the Conservative chairman of the London Assembly, defended Mr Phillips. “I demand an immediate apology, and can only express my utter embarrassment that a fellow elected politician can stoop to such spurious levels,” he said. “It just shows how out of touch the mayor is with race issues. Trevor Phillips is doing a sterling job in a very sensitive position, and for the mayor to suggest that Mr Phillips joins the BNP is an absolute disgrace. We should expect our elected officials to show some respect, and not resort to childish outbursts.”

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Socialism brings on more gimme me need characters.

France: Includes illegals who are demanding housing, but the overall attitude is France is supposed to be their mommy and daddy.

CACHAN, France (Reuters) - Squeezed on a row of narrow mattresses, hundreds of African immigrants are refusing to move from a gym outside Paris, fuelling a heated immigration debate ahead of the 2007 presidential election. Police evicted several hundred people from France's largest squat two weeks ago, causing an outcry among rights groups who denounced the move as a "media stunt" by Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy to underline his tough immigration stance. Dozens of illegal immigrants were arrested to be sent back to their country of origin and others agreed to be housed in hotels. But several hundred squatters vowed to stay in the overcrowded gym until authorities find them permanent homes. "How would I cook my children dinner in a hotel room?" said Fanta Doumbir, sitting on a tiny mattress she shares with her three small sons. "All I want is a home and some dignity," said the 29-year-old who came as a refugee from Ivory Coast in 2003. "Before coming here, I always painted France as this great country, where everything is possible. Like in a film, a country of rights," she said, looking across what looks like a refugee camp with clothes, toys and food strewn across the floor. Doumbir said she had moved into the squat because she had been unable to find an apartment despite her residency papers, a fate shared by thousands of poor French and immigrant families crammed into shabby hotels or living with friends. Some 300,000 families are waiting for state-subsidised housing in the greater Paris region, officials say. .....There are some 4.9 million immigrants resident in France, official data show. Officials estimate between 200,000 and 400,000 illegal foreigners live in the country. Doumbir said she was afraid police would kick her out of the gym this weekend because pupils needed it back for the start of the new school year. Local authorities have urged the families to leave voluntarily. "I just want a home," Doumbir said, sitting near a board with karate timetables she was using as a laundry rack. "I'm so tired."
I think the French are getting tired of this attitude.

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Miss England touts the victimhood club.

UK: I will repeat it again and again, but UK Muslims are an embarrassment. They gleefully and/or stupidly wallow in being victime which in turns angers more and more people.

Hammasa Kohistani made history last year when she was chosen to represent England in the Miss World pageant. But one year on, the 19-year-old student from Hounslow feels that winning the coveted beauty title last September was a "sugar coating" for Muslims who have become more alienated in the past 12 months. She said: "The attitude towards Muslims has got worse over the year. Also the Muslims' attitude to British people has got worse. "Even moderate Muslims are turning to terrorism to prove themselves. They think they might as well support it because they are stereotyped anyway. It will take a long time for communities to start mixing in more. "People may feel I am just a sugar coating on the situation. I am a symbol to show it's not really that bad. But at the same time, she said, "there is this hostility" which comes "mainly from the Government".
Its everyone elses fault that someone thinks "F this, if they think I am a terrorist, let me be a terrorist!" How stupid does that make Muslims look that they are that simple minded? Gerald Baker hits the bulleyes with this victim garbage.
"....Though the West is surely not blameless, either through history or today, in its treatment of Muslims, the idea that responsibility for the woes of the Islamic world these past few hundred years can be laid at somebody else’s door is escapist fantasy. The nasty regimes of countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt conveniently emphasise this victim status to divert attention from their own repression and inequality and to blame Israel. The failure of Palestinians to create an orderly and successful society is blamed on “the occupation”. The failure of many Muslims in Europe, especially in Britain, to integrate effectively is laid at the feet of a white racist society that excludes them. The real injustices suffered by these communities become a convenient smokescreen to hide their own flaws. This victim mentality reaches its apotheosis in the minds of a few in the hideous distortion of martyrdom. The image of the suicide bomber captures the ultimate catharsis of victimhood and at the same time the ultimate escape and liberation from it — the violent immolation of the victim on the altar of a sacred ideology. Of course this is a perversion of the very idea of sacrifice. Martyrdom is a willingness to die for one’s faith, not a willingness to take hundreds of innocents with you in the process. Pierre Rehov, an Algerian-born French filmmaker, who produced a documentary, Suicide Killers, was asked in a TV interview this year how the world could end the madness of suicide bombings and terrorism. “Stop being politically correct and stop believing that this culture is a victim of ours,” he said. "
Enough already.

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Evo Morales grand visions take a smack from reality.

South America: Hugo Chavez's "little brother" is finding out to carry a revolution these days takes more than big words.

During his first months in office, Morales announced a series of sweeping reforms that have helped make him one of the most popular presidents in modern Bolivian history and heightened expectations in a country eager to shed its label as South America's poorest. In May, he donned a hard hat and announced that all foreign energy companies had to surrender operational control to the state's energy company. This month, he celebrated the creation of a newly elected assembly to rewrite the country's constitution, a key demand of indigenous supporters who view Morales, of Aymara Indian heritage, as an advocate. But days after that celebration, the government quietly issued a statement announcing the temporary suspension of the "full effect" of the nationalization program because of a lack of funds. On Monday, the president of the state energy company resigned after being accused of violating the nationalization decree by exporting oil through a Brazilian firm. A day later, members of the Constituent Assembly suspended voting amid tense debate over charges that Morales and his supporters were trying to manipulate the assembly to circumvent Congress and the courts. Before he was elected president, Morales was the leader of a coca growers' union and was known for leading public demonstrations, including some that helped topple two presidents between 2003 and 2005. But this week, Morales found himself on the receiving end of the same sort of social and labor protests that he used to organize. "The honeymoon that this government has had with the social movements is starting to come to an end," said Gonzalo Chávez, an economist and political analyst at the Bolivian Catholic University in La Paz. "The movements are now asking for results, such as more employment and better income distribution. It is causing some problems for the government, but Morales still has very strong support -- his popularity rating is at about 70 percent, according to the most recent polls, which is enormous support for a president in Bolivia. So I think he still has a lot of room to maneuver to avoid serious conflicts."
But the point is that there wasn't going to be room to maneuver, he was elected and the reforms start now to hell with opposition. This is where South American leftist get themselves in trouble, big promises getting hit by reality. The poor people Morales rode to victory don't have the patience to wait on what he promised them. They want it now and that is leading to conflict I bet Morales thought would roll over.
"....Morales' confrontational socialist policies, civic leaders say, have scared off the kind of foreign investment that had helped Bolivia's eastern provinces prosper while the rest of the country stagnated. Government plans to seize and redistribute idle farmland, mostly in the east, have thousands of landowners worrying that they will be kicked off their land. Many have organized armed defenses to protect their property. Morales, who hails from Bolivia's mountainous west and is the country's first indigenous president, never had much support in the east. He won the country as a whole with 54 percent of the vote. But he didn't carry a single eastern province. His actions since have soured what little goodwill he might have had. ''We consider what's happening to be a complete step backward,'' said Edilberto Osinaga Rosado, the general manager of an industry group that represents hundreds of eastern farmers. ``What's happening is crazy. It's making us far less able to compete in the modern world and it's hurting all of us.'' That frustration has contributed to tension between eastern leaders and Morales' government and has fueled talk among some in the east of separating from the rest of the country. .....The province of Santa Cruz, the country's second biggest, accounts for 25 percent of Bolivia's population but 31 percent of the economy and 40 percent of its tax revenues. Many in Santa Cruz say they resent that a disproportionate share of their wealth, derived largely from soybean farming and natural-gas production, goes to the rest of the country, and they argue that the province should be allowed to keep a greater share. Osinaga Rosado predicts that without a decrease in tensions, Bolivia will relive the kinds of social conflicts that closed down cities and forced two presidents to resign since 2003 -- except that this time it will be the prosperous east rather than the indigenous west that takes to the streets. ''If there's more of this kind of confrontation, there will come marches, blockades and then a total paralysis of the whole country,'' Osinaga Rosado said.
Morales better understand without these people, he will have nothing.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

China police deter bomb attempts from Islamic terrorists.

China: More activity in the regions has led to a bigger crackdown.

Chinese police have seized explosives and foiled attempts by separatists to blow up oilfields, power plants and highways in the restive northwestern region of Xinjiang, a Beijing funded Hong Kong newspaper said on Wednesday. Uighur militants, whom Beijing calls terrorists, have been struggling for decades to make the predominantly Muslim region of Xinjiang an independent state called East Turkestan. More than 41 tons of explosives had been seized since 1990 in the fight against the "three forces" of religious "extremism, separatism and terrorism," the Ta Kung Pao daily quoted Xinjiang's public security deputy chief Wang Lexiang as saying. "We've forcefully dealt a blow to the 'three forces' and maintained stability in Xinjiang," Wang was quoted as saying. He did not give a figure for the number of arrests. Police had also confiscated 6,540 grenades and 4.15 metric tons of raw materials to make explosives during the period, Wang said, adding that plans by separatists to bomb power plants, highways and railways had been thwarted. Police had intensified a crackdown on illegal possession of explosives since July, Wang said without elaborating. "The social situation is still grave," he said, adding that the number of violations of rules governing explosives increased by 195 percent last year.

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Where be the Feminists on forced marriages?

UK: Asks Camilla Cavendish

WHERE HAVE ALL the feminists gone? Equality campaigners seem terribly busy wrangling over flexible working and who puts the rubbish out. Few have much to say about women who have been transplanted into this country from cultures that regard them not as individuals but as possessions. Few have commented on 12-year-old Molly Campbell, abducted on Friday from the Hebrides and smuggled to Pakistan. Her mother’s decision to shelter in one of the most remote parts of the British Isles proved to be no protection against a father who was determined to assert his power, and possibly to force her into marriage. No doubt this little girl is torn by conflicting loyalties. Yet her abduction raises fundamental issues of equality that cannot be swept under the carpet to protect “cultural sensitivities”. There is a new front in the fight for women’s freedom. It is in Bradford and in East London, where 90 per cent of the forced marriage cases handled by the Foreign Office originate. A team of diplomats at the British Embassy in Islamabad rescued 105 women last year. Yet the numbers in trouble are far higher. The charity Reunite, which helps victims of child abduction, dealt with 307 new cases involving 454 children last year, up by a fifth from the year before. Pakistani cases are increasing the most. A Foreign Office report on Bradford and Tower Hamlets points to the increasing numbers of young Pakistanis and Bangladeshis reaching marriageable age in this country. The mean age of the UK population is 40; the Pakistani community’s is 26 and the Bangladeshi community’s is 24.
I suspect it has a lot to do with being politically correct, it would be rude to impost evil western values on other cultures. It would make feminists groups seem like those evil right wingers who want to boss people around with their cultural superiority and against the every culture is equal Multicult ways.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Bring on the thought police in Australia.

Australia: I get this feeling she doesn't understand that freedom of speech doesn't mean living in a PC world where she gets to decide what is good or bad speech.

THERE are three good reasons why we should support the controversial Victorian Racial and Religious Tolerance Act as it stands. The first is that it is a declaration of Australian values. The second is that the law promotes freedom of speech. The third is that the law makes it clear we will not tolerate hatred. The Racial and Religious Tolerance Act outlaws vilification on the basis of race or religion. Expressing hatred towards Jews, Muslims and indigenous Australians, among others, is unlawful. It does not stop us from holding opinions, insulting people, or critically commenting on issues relevant to racial or religious groups. It doesn't prevent the practice of religion or even prevent one religious group from proselytising in an attempt to convert non-believers. It simply outlaws expressions of hatred. We should support the law because outlawing hatred sends a clear message to the public: that all people, independent of race or religion, are valued members of the Australian community. It makes it clear we value justice and freedom, and that our Australian identity includes giving everyone a fair go. Making a public declaration that we will not tolerate hatred has a flow-on effect. It affects the way we educate our children and the way bureaucrats go about their business. The law strengthens Australian multiculturalism by recognising the value that different cultures bring to our community. The second reason for supporting the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act is that rather than limiting speech, anti-hate laws increase freedom of speech. Instead of protecting the voice of hatred, the law favours the speech of ordinary people. People who have been targets for hatred are empowered by anti-hate laws to stand up to hatred, to feel confident that it is they who are right and the haters who are wrong. Limiting the speech of those who would express hatred, increases the speech of those otherwise singled out.
and it goes completely wacko at the end. read it.

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Forget Heath Ledger as the Joker.

Media: I nominate Katie Couric in this serious case of photoshop gone wild.

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Change in rape laws in Pakistan brings protest.

Culture: Do you think its a protest because of Musharraf making it harder to prove rape? Wrong.

Both sides in Pakistan's bitter controversy over its rape laws took to the streets over the weekend, either to accuse President Pervez Musharraf of betraying Islam or commend him as the saviour of women. The issue has inflamed the political scene since Gen Musharraf announced last week that he would amend the existing laws that place an almost impossible burden of proof on women bringing a case of rape. On the one hand, thousands of women, from the Karachi-based liberal Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), chanted "death" to leaders of the powerful hardline Islamic Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) alliance. On the other hand, the conservatives have announced a nationwide campaign against the Bill. But the story of Hidayat Bibi's arrest, and thousands of women like her, shows why Musharraf has risked taking this step. On Jan 18, last year, Hidayat, 45, was arrested under the Hudood ordinance after being accused of adultery by her former husband with whom she had a bitter financial dispute. The husband, claiming that the couple had not divorced, signed a police statement claiming that the man who leased her a house had "developed illicit relations with my wife, which is something immoral and un-Islamic". The police raided Hidayat's house after the case was registered. "Five policemen with two policewomen entered our house at about 4am and after searching all the rooms they got me arrested," she said. Although under Islamic law four male witnesses are needed to prove a case of adultery, Hidayat was imprisoned in a jail in Peshawar with her two-year-old daughter for three weeks. She was released after a medical examination proved that she had not had sexual intercourse in recent months. But the damage had already been done. "I am sick with my life. Had I not had kids, I would have committed suicide," she said. "All my relatives have severed ties with me. They treat me as inhuman. What wrong have I done? "The man who falsely accused me is still at large and I was punished for my uncommitted crime." The new Bill, dubbed the "Women Protection Bill", proposes to transfer rape and adultery cases from the Islamic legal system to Pakistan's British-influenced secular penal code. In the case of adultery the Bill asserts that greater evidence must be produced before a person is taken into custody, the penalties are to be reduced and the traditional Islamic principle that in an adultery case the onus of proof is on the accuser is to be enforced. Under Islamic laws imposed by Gen Zia Ul-Haq in 1979, women must produce four adult Muslim male witnesses to prove an act of rape. The new Bill proposes that rape cases be tried under criminal law and that police and judges abide by improved evidence gathering and case assessment practices. The Bill has been referred to a select parliamentary committee representing all parties where it is expected to be watered down by Islamic conservatives. The existing law means that rapists often escape punishment with impunity. The gang rape of a nurse who refused to perform illegal abortions earlier this year was one of the cases that intensified calls for the repeal of its rape laws. Rubina Kousar, 26, was attacked by three men after they burst into her lodgings at a rural health centre at Mattrai in the western region of Punjab.
Its disgusting this is even an issue.

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Dumped illegals in Spain's street causes protest.

EU: It did not take long for communities to get angry about this absurd law by Spain that after 40 days if you can't figure out where the illegal came from just let them go on the streets. That is asking for conflict.

A political row is raging in Spain over the fate of the hundreds of illegal immigrants allegedly being "dumped" across the mainland after arriving by boat in the Canary Islands. With more than 18,000 immigrants arriving from west Africa this year, immigrant holding centres on the holiday islands are at bursting point. Many of the exhausted Africans deliberately ''lose" their identity papers during their journey, making it impossible for Spain to deport them or easily assess asylum requests. Under Spanish law, after an initial 40 days in detention, migrants who cannot be deported are released inside Spain with a piece of paper telling them to leave the country. Most choose to ignore that request and instead become trapped in legal limbo, unable to gain work papers and unwilling to return home. advertisement But as the numbers arriving on Spanish city streets in this way have grown in recent weeks, the local communities have begun to protest. The conservative Popular Party opposition said a disproportionate number of immigrants was sent to regions it governs, while Catalonia's socialist government claimed last week that the interior ministry had flown an aircraft full of illegal immigrants into Barcelona with no prior warning. Although most are offered assistance by non governmental organisations on arrival, the government has been accused of "dumping" them in cities without informing local authorities. A Catalan government spokesman said the policy was leaving immigrants "defenceless" and causing "social alarm". "Immigrants without papers are freely moving around Spain and it is creating a problem on an incalculable scale," said Miguel Arias Canete, the Popular Party's economic spokesman. He estimated that 11,000 immigrants have been scattered throughout Spain so far this year, three times last year's figure. "The government is running blind with a policy that only gets the problem off its back temporarily," Victor Campos, the deputy premier of the Canaries, said last week. He called for urgent negotiations to tackle the problem. "The government is treating illegal immigration as an administrative process. It is only worried about doling out papers, whether to legalise the immigrants, deport them or send them to other regions of Spain."
Spain still running to the EU for help that Zappo and his crew created themselves with passing amnesty last year.
Tomorrow Spain will press the European Union for more help in trying to stem the growing numbers of illegal immigrants trying to reach its shores. The deputy prime minister, Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, is due to travel to Finland, which currently holds the EU presidency, and then to the union headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday to press for greater aid in stopping uncontrolled migration. Officials estimate that nearly 5,000 immigrants have landed in the Canary Islands this month alone, almost as many as in the whole of last year.

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Zimbabwe refugee problem for South Africa.

Africa: It is getting worse and South Africa continues with its weak soft diplomacy in dealing with Mugabe.

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Hezbollah so sorry for kidnapping.

Middle East: This will warm the hearts of Guardian readers and the similar ilk that Hezbollah just meant well and that mean Israel overreacted. Good PR stunt for the gullible.

Hizbullah last night admitted it would not have captured the two Israeli soldiers last month had it known a war would follow. The leader of the militia said that talks were going on to return the two in exchange for Lebanese prisoners held by Israel. The Israeli government refused to confirm this, although officials have said privately that a prisoner exchange was probably the only way forward. Hizbullah crossed into north Israel early on July 12 and captured Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. Eight other Israeli soldiers were killed, and within hours Israel and Hizbullah were plunged into their most serious conflict. By the time of the ceasefire 34 days later, more than 1,100 people were dead in Lebanon and 157 in Israel, mostly soldiers. "We did not think, even one percent, that the capture would lead to a war at this time and of this magnitude," Hassan Nasrallah, the cleric who leads Hizbullah, told Lebanon's New TV channel. "You ask me, if I had known on July 11 ... that the operation would lead to such a war, would I do it? I say no, absolutely not." He said Italy would play a part in negotiating the soldiers' eventual release. "Contacts recently began for negotiations," he said. "It seems that Italy is trying to get into the subject." From the start, Mr Nasrallah has said he wanted to exchange the soldiers for Lebanese and Palestinians held in Israel.
Here lies the future problem for everyone who is not Israel in that region. People of Israel are pissed off at the government and the military leaders for such an embarrassing show of force. They will want changes, the IDF will review training and upgrade its weapons, better intelligence methods and if the government should fall, a more tougher government will be elected. If nothing else this was a wake up call for Israel.

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UK: Liberals turning on Multiculturalism

UK: This is such a tremendous piece by Ron Liddle. It hits upon the failure of Multicult that everyone but the left saw coming.

"....Multiculturalism insisted that communities always changed, were in a permanent state of flux and that if you were white and lived in Oldham or Burnley or Tower Hamlets then you had better get used to the idea quickly. This was a doublethink because the same latitude was not extended to the host population; while it was accepted that immigrants would naturally wish to band together and preserve their cultural identity, when the white working-class communities made similar protestations, this was regarded, once again, as evidence of an antediluvian racism. Your fish and chip shop is now a halal butcher? Your daughter’s school now has a majority of Urdu-speaking children? Good! Celebrate the change! Get over it. One assumes that Kelly would still be telling the white working class to get over it were it not for the BNP’s inroads into the Labour vote (where they have candidates who can read without moving their lips over every word) and, of course, the presence within our midst of people who are possessed of such a loathing of our culture, of our very existence, that they wish to kill us all. It has transpired that this was the final triumph of multiculturalism — to create within British society a sizeable body of people who have been assured that it is absolutely fine not to integrate because, if we’re honest, the prevailing culture is worthless: oppressive and decadent. People who are, as a result, perhaps terminally estranged and who have been relentlessly encouraged in their sense of alienation."
Read it.

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

TIME magazine doesn't know what Hamas is as a group.

Media: Out of all the good news that the Fox News reporters Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig comes this irritating blurb from Time mag.

In its broadcasts, Fox News often portayed the Hamas militants as terrorists, but the kidnapping of the two journalists, sources tell TIME, had nothing to do with Fox's perceived pro-Israel stance or a serious attempt, as the captors first demanded, of swapping the pair for Muslim prisoners in the U.S. Instead, the two newsmen were more likely the victims of a vicious feud between various Palestinian militias.
everyone is a freedom fighter these days.

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America's Muslims Aren't as Assimilated as You Think

Nation: For now it seems to be a more benign version of the younger generation going in defense mode getting more religious as they have in other western countries but without the radicalism. So far it has just shown up in some parts as obnoxious behavior on college campuses and pro-Hezbollah marches in Dearborn.

"....From schools to language to religion, American Muslims are becoming a people apart. Young, first-generation American Muslim women -- whose parents were born in Egypt, Pakistan and other Islamic countries -- are wearing head scarves even if their mothers had left them behind; increasing numbers of young Muslims are attending Islamic schools and lectures; Muslim student associations in high schools and at colleges are proliferating; and the role of the mosque has evolved from strictly a place of worship to a center for socializing and for learning Arabic and Urdu as well as the Koran. The men and women I spoke to -- all mosque-goers, most born in the United States to immigrants -- include students, activists, imams and everyday working Muslims. Almost without exception, they recall feeling under siege after Sept. 11, with FBI agents raiding their mosques and homes, neighbors eyeing them suspiciously and television programs portraying Muslims as the new enemies of the West. Such feelings led them, they say, to adopt Islamic symbols -- the hijab , or head covering, for women and the kufi , or cap, for men -- as a defense mechanism. Many, such as Rehan, whom I met at a madrassa (religious school) in California with her husband, Ramy, also felt compelled to deepen their faith."
The author predictably in these sort of op-eds puts the blame on American policy which once again implies Muslims because their faith in his words comes first above anything else are reactionary.
Despite contemporary public opinion -- or perhaps because of it -- Muslim Americans consider Islam their defining characteristic, beyond any national identity. In this way, their experience in the United States resembles that of their co-religionists in Europe, where mosques are also growing, Islamic schools are being built, and practicing the faith is the center of life, particularly for the young generation. In Europe and the United States, young Muslims are unifying around popular imams they believe understand the challenges they face in Western societies; these leaders include Yusuf in the United States and Amer Khaled, an Egyptian-born imam who lives in Britain. Thousands of young Muslims attend their lectures. In my years of interviews, I found few indications of homegrown militancy among American Muslims. Indeed, thus far, they have proved they can compete economically with other Americans. Although the unemployment rate for Muslims in Britain is far higher than for most other groups, the average annual income of a Muslim household surpasses that of average American households. Yet, outside the workplace, Muslims retreat into the comfort zone of their mosques and Islamic schools. It is too soon to say where the growing alienation of American Muslims will lead, but it seems clear that the factors contributing to it will endure. U.S. foreign policy persists in dividing Muslim and Western societies, making it harder still for Americans to realize that there is a difference between their Muslim neighbor and the plotter in London or the kidnapper in Baghdad.
That excuse holds no water with anyone because the logic behind it is too simple and bias for anyone to take seriously. American foreign policy must take American interests to heart first. To make the middle east happy would be a total 180 where we become someone like George Galloway and Red Ken of London who spit on the western world to embrace what they deem to be the better half, the Middle East.

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

More on Houston wanting to get rid of Orlean's evacs.

Nation: Via Telegraph.

"....Although 9mm semi-automatic pistols are the easiest gun to carry, Jim Pruett, an arms salesman, says that his "looter shooter" - a pistol-grip, pump shotgun retailing at $370 (£200) - is also a big seller. "We've seen a 50 per cent increase in people taking our concealed weapons courses since the Katrina evacuees arrived," he said. "They are scared and they want to be able to defend themselves." Audrey Nelson, 63, a native of Trowbridge, Wiltshire, who moved to Houston 30 years ago with her Texan husband, Phil, knows all about the reality of the chilling crime statistics. Despite the violent reputation of some American cities, the school headmistress never imagined that she would be too scared to take her dog for an evening walk around the affluent Houston suburb of Westchase. That was before thousands of Katrina evacuees were moved into nearby blocks of flats, which had previously been scheduled for demolition to make way for luxury condominiums. Just a few minutes' walk from the Nelsons' well-kept home, a 64-year-old man was shot dead at a car wash earlier this month when he refused to hand over money to four young men armed with a pistol. Three teenagers from New Orleans have since been arrested and the murder weapon was also traced to the Louisiana city. "We opened our arms to these people after what they had experienced," said Mrs Nelson, who has lived in the area for 24 years. "At my school, we collected clothes and toys and sleeping bags; anything we could to help them. But now we've seen what's happened to our pleasant community and realised that many never plan to leave, the mood has changed." The Rev Walter Ellis, the vicar at the Church of the Ascension in Westchase, said: "There was a tremendous groundswell of goodwill and support for these people, but that is fast drying up. "This was a nice place to live with a community atmosphere before, but now car-jackings and homicides are a way of life around here. "People are scared to walk alone at night. Some are getting guns, some are getting dogs, some are getting new security fences, many just want to leave. It's a great shame."

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The EU are now big players in the Middle East

EU: It's so cute to see people thinking they have gone from the little kiddie table to the grown up table.

"With nearly 7,000 soldiers pledged for the UN force in Lebanon, Europe's commitment marks an "historic opportunity", said Spanish Foreign Minister Miquel Angel Moratinos, himself a former special EU envoy to the region. "The time has come for European efforts to relaunch peace in the Middle East," he said Friday after his EU counterparts met in Brussels with UN chief Kofi Annan. "Europeans are gaining more in credibility, in presence and engagement in the future of this region, which is our region," he said Saturday. Italy, which will be the the force's biggest contributor with up to 3,000 soldiers and which will take over its command next February from France, was hopeful that the commitment would mark a new era of EU influence in the region. "It's the first time that Europe assumes such a strong responsibility in the region and we hope there will be a change, not only for the stabilisation of the border between Israel and Lebanon, but also to push peace in the whole region" said Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema. European countries promised at the meeting of the 25-nation bloc's foreign ministers on Friday to provide not only the core of the expanded UN force, which is due to total up to 15,000 peacekeepers. Until now, the EU's role in the Middle East has largely been limited to providing aid and trying to play the honest broker in the volatile region's many conflicts. But the Centre for European Reform's foreign policy director, Mark Leonard, said that the presence of a large number of European troops not only reinforced Europe's credibility with regional players, but could also mark the beginning of a new "strategic" role. "The EU has not behaved in a very strategic way in the past, it has not used the resources that it's put into the region toward political goals and increasing its leverage," he said from London. "But if several members states are directly exposed and have troops on the ground, the EU will have both more credibility but will also behave in a more strategic way," he added."
But lets get the real reason out there.
Europe's new found role comes as the United States standing in the region takes a battering due its staunch support for Israel, its difficulties in Iraq and Iran's defiance to back down on its nuclear ambitions. "For us, the Middle East is a question of stability, our stability. We are so close while for the Americans it's different," said Cristina Gallach, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana. The head of the French Institute for International Relations' Brussels branch, Pierre Defraigne, said Europe's new commitment to the region could level out the influence of United States and its ally, Israel, although ambitious new plans were needed if the EU is to help shape peace in the region. "In principle, it gives us leverage with the Americans and the Israelis, but on condition that we have a better idea (than theirs) for peace in the region," he said. "If you don't have grand designs, then you are only filling the leaks," he said, adding that Europe should also focus on improving people's lives in the region if root problems are to be addressed.
If you want an example of EU behavior in the Middle East, just go look at how they acted during the Mohammed cartoon violence. Utter capitulation and groveling that would make any self-respecting person throw up in disgust.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Inayat Bunglawala writes another implied threat.

UK: The MCB is so cute when it tries to act like its a mainstream all caring group.

The new commission will no doubt come up with some worthy recommendations when it reports next year. But in refusing to hold a public inquiry into the July 7 bombings and now ruling out an assessment of how our policies overseas may be undermining our national security, the government is failing in one of its most basic tasks: to protect and maintain our safety. The plain fact is, in a diverse, multi-faith society such as ours, it would be foolish to believe that we can continue to unleash devastation upon peoples abroad while expecting there to be no social consequences back at home.
Do as we say or some of our faith will blow you up good. Pathetic.

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Blanco sends Nagin itemized expenses in detail.

Nation: This looks like a CYA by Blanco to make sure everyone understands the lack of building and planning for the rebuilding of New Orleans is on Nagin's head.

Governor Blanco has released a financial accounting of the amount of money the state and federal government has spent on New Orleans since Katrina in connection with the rebuild. In the final paragraph of her letter, Governor Blanco stated that “I know you understand the importance of finalizing a solid planning process. The letter was sent to the City Council. The letter comes at a time when citizens are wondering why New Orleans is not rebuilding fast enough. The letter confirms a prior conversation between Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin. Here is the itemized listing and letter to Mayor Nagin
As for the shot that Nagin took against NYC and ground zero. I would have to agree in part that both local governments dropped the ball in NYC and New Orleans in getting things done on time. But it was still a cheap shot by Nagin to deflect the opinion that he has failed so far in getting things in order to rebuild.

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Islamist leaders say no to UN force in Darfur.

Sudan: The only way to solve this is just bomb a buffer out between Darfur and the rest of the country.

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudanese Islamist leaders say they will take up arms against United Nations peacekeepers if they deploy to Darfur, and some have warned they will also fight the Khartoum government if it agrees to the force. The threats conjure up a disturbing image of more bloodshed in the western Darfur region, where tens of thousands of people have been killed in more than three years of conflict, described as "genocide" by the United States. Despite Sudan's objections, the United States and Britain have introduced a Security Council resolution that would deploy up to 17,000 troops and 3,000 police in Darfur, where an overstretched African Union force is monitoring a shaky truce. Leaders of Al Qaeda have called on Muslims to fight any U.N. force in Darfur and while the diplomatic wrangling continues, Khartoum's many Islamic groups have delivered a clear message. "We categorically refuse U.N. troops in Darfur," said Abdel Wahhab Mohamed Ali Ahmed, head of the Sudanese higher council for the coordination of Islamic groups, formed last year. "And if they come we will fight them until they leave." The council is composed of representatives from Sudan's main Islamist movements, including Ansar al-Sunna and the Hizb ut-Tahrir group, outlawed in neighbouring Egypt.

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Swedish Social Democrats busts out the pork.

Sweden: This would be the future of America is the Dems get back into full power. Talk about a panic move.

The Social Democrats have responded to opposition plans to tackle unemployment by unveiling their own measures to deal with the problem. Finance minister Pär Nuder and labour minister Hans Karlsson said that government employment service AMS would create 3,000 places on job seeker courses. They also said AMS would be asked to carry out an analysis of the competences of unemployed people. Pointing to figures from Statistics Sweden that showed registered unemployment down to 6 percent, Nuder said that unemployment would fall to four percent in the autumn, and that the new measures were designed to deal with an improved situation. "These measures are an adjustment of labour policy to respond to the good times we're now experiencing," he said, adding that the problem of unemployment would soon be replaced by "problems with lack of labour". But the opposition parties said the Social Democrats were providing welfare money rather than a programme to create real jobs. The additional measures include increasing the number of young people who qualify for government-subsidized jobs. The government pays 350 kronor a day to employers who take on a young person who has been jobless for more than six months. Under the Social Democrats' proposed arrangements, young people who have been out of work for three months would qualify. This would mean an extra 5,000 subsidized jobs for young people. The party also said that the number of disabled people whose employers qualify for subsidies would be increased.
It would probably be cheaper to keep people home and pay them.
The Social Democrats have said that they will raise the maximum level of unemployment benefit to 930 kronor a day if they win the general election, as they launched their manifesto on Friday. The proposal means that people still in work will be subsidizing the handouts to a tune of 3.5 billion kronor a year. In total, the promises in the manifesto from Sweden's ruling party are calculated by the party to cost 25 billion kronor. "Everyone wins when we support each other. Unemployment is not the fault of the unemployed. People on sick pensions have often slogged away during a long working life. When things are going well for Sweden we want to make things better - not worse - for people who are most vulnerable." The highest daily amount anyone can currently claim in unemployment benefit is 730 kronor. The 200 kronor rise would take effect early next year. The rise would mean that 70 percent of employees keep 80 percent of their wages if they become unemployed. At present only half of people keep 80 percent of their earlier wages when they lose their jobs. In major unions including Byggnads and IF Metall more than half of members get less than 80 percent of their wages. The cost of the reforms has been calculated at between 3 and 3.5 billion kronor a year.
Okay, maybe not. Somewhere in Sweden there has to be hard working people looking at this thinking why am I working to pays lazy bums to sit at home collecting welfare. That is a socialist party for you, just tax and spend like there is no end to it.

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Iran to the West: Just give us everything.

Iran: Iran's demands have been leaked and thanks to the EU3 failure to be anything other than a doormat, Iran is just throwing everything out there while they continue on with their nuke program.

The US would have to lift decades-old sanctions against Iran and probably give assurances that it has no policy of regime change towards the Islamic republic to settle Iran's nuclear dispute with the west, according to leaks of the Iranian response. Iran is demanding firmer guarantees on trade and nuclear supplies, a tighter timetable for implementing agreements and clearer security pledges from the west before it decides whether to freeze its uranium enrichment programme and explore an offer of a new relationship. ....In June the Europeans, the US, Russia and China offered Iran an extensive package of incentives if it delivered a verifiable halt to uranium enrichment, a process that can deliver the wherewithal for nuclear bombs. But the negotiations on that package - everything from the fine print of Iran-EU trade agreements to a pact on "regional security arrangements" and the details of European supplies of nuclear reactors for a civil nuclear programme - could take at least 10 years. The Iranians are balking at having to pay up front, by freezing uranium enrichment now, for a set of contracts and agreements that may - or may not - deliver years down the line. The Iranian response to the international offer tabled in June is said to contain about 100 queries. The Iranians want more explicit international recognition of and support for Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy. American sanctions in place against Iran would prevent, for instance, European firms supplying nuclear technology to Iran because the companies would imperil their trade in America. "Is the United States willing to lift some if not all of those sanctions?" Tehran has asked, according to the leak. The response's authors suggest Iran will freeze uranium enrichment if it is persuaded the deal on offer is iron-clad. But European diplomats see the Iranian move as a stalling tactic, while international reaction to the response has been mixed.

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NYTIMES to Judge Taylor: You idiot!

Politics: Every once in a while judicial watch gets something right and does the Times hate that it had to be this situation.

When Judge Anna Diggs Taylor was given the job of deciding whether the Bush administration’s wiretapping program was unconstitutional, she certainly understood that she would be ruling on one of the most politically charged cases in recent history. So it would have been prudent for her to disclose any activity that might conceivably raise questions about her ability to be impartial. Regrettably, it was left to a conservative group, Judicial Watch, to point out her role as a trustee to a foundation that had given grants to a branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, a plaintiff in the case. The foundation in question — the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan — is a large charity that gives out grants to a broad range of organizations engaged in community activity, including some regularly involved in litigation. The $125,000 in grant money directed to the state A.C.L.U. office over several years was for educational programs concerning issues unrelated to the wiretapping case, like racial profiling. While the judge clearly erred in not disclosing this involvement, it wouldn’t seem, based on the known facts, to rise to the level of a conflict of interest reasonably requiring that she recuse herself from hearing the case under existing ethics rules. Judge Taylor’s role at a grant-making foundation whose list of beneficiaries includes groups that regularly litigate in the courts is still disquieting — and, even worse, it is not all that unusual for a member of the judiciary. The most important lesson here may be the wisdom of re-examining the sort of outside activities that are appropriate for sitting federal judges.

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More praise for Juan Williams new book

Culture: Via Clarence Page in the Detroit Free Press.

"....And the failure was not limited to government, as my friend and colleague Juan Williams argues in his new book, "Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movement, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America -- and What We Can Do About It." As you might guess from its mouthful of a title, Williams, author of "Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965," targets a failure of black leadership, too. "We are facing a series of crises in the black community today," writes Williams, a senior correspondent for National Public Radio and political analyst for Fox News Network. "A century's worth of progress seems suddenly in peril. The lessons and values that carried an oppressed people from slavery to freedom seem in danger of being forgotten. Hard-won victories seem in danger of being squandered." As Pogo, the cartoon star of our youths, once said, Juan has "seen the enemy and he is us." He takes on the superstar black leaders like the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton -- unfairly, both say -- and major civil rights groups like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for letting our people down. The problems he spotlights are real, regardless of your political pedigree. Whether you think of today's civil rights leaders as genuinely motivated by conscience or feathering their own nests, today's problems of black poverty and opportunity call for a broader array of remedies than those offered by the civil rights medicine cabinet. Williams calls on black parents at all income levels to begin the next revolution with their own children. Few would argue that, as black out-of-wedlock birth rates soar to nearly 70 percent, we need to restore the black family as a bedrock institution of black progress. Williams, like Bill Cosby, also calls on the black middle class, burdened as we may be by our struggles for upward mobility against institutional racism, real or perceived, to reach back through mentoring and other support to help break the culture of poverty. An anti-poverty political agenda also is needed, but with a realization that government can't solve all of our problems. All of this has the makings of a new national consensus on which most Americans can agree across racial lines, as most of us did in the glory days of the civil rights movement."

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Muslim news roundup.

Culture: Quick hits for now. UK Culture Minister questions Multiculturalism.

LABOUR will today admit for the first time that multiculturalism encourages divided communities. And alleged terror plots and arrests of British Muslims means the country “feels different today”, Communities Minister Ruth Kelly will say. Her words will spark debate about why some Britons raised in ethnic communities have not integrated and others committed mass murder. Ms Kelly is due to say: “We have moved from a period of near uniform consensus on the value of multiculturalism to one where we can question whether it encourages separateness.” The Government is desperate to stop resentment of Muslim communities, but Ministers are anxious to avoid being seen to worry about offending minorities. The alleged plot to blow up airliners has added to people’s fears.
Germany looking at tougher terrorism laws.
German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has called for new anti-terror measures following a failed bomb attack on two trains last month. Mr Schaeuble proposed increased monitoring of the internet and more video surveillance. The minister also appealed for help from Germany's Muslim community to counter Islamic extremists. One Lebanese man was arrested in connection with the plot and another is believed to have fled Germany.
Accusations of racial profiling at JFK airport. NYTIMES with a feature on an East London area where suspects from the UK terror plot lived as the residents look and try to figure out what is going on.
Mr. Qadir runs a community foundation in East London that tries to steer young people, most of them British-born Muslims, away from drugs, violent gangs and religious extremism. He knows 5 of the 22 suspects being held by the British authorities in what has been described as a plot to blow up airliners on trans-Atlantic routes, including 2 of the men who were charged Monday. Since learning about the charges, Mr. Qadir said he was convinced that he and others should have been doing far more to shield the younger generation of Muslims from propagandists and recruiters for radical Islamic groups who have gained a foothold in neighborhoods like his. He derided such groups as “evil minded” and said “they don’t represent any faith.” “This goes to show you how the community has failed to protect our young,” Mr. Qadir said in an interview on Tuesday. “It makes me feel sick. I thought that I knew who the extremists were and where they were coming from.”

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Sumner Redstone fires Tom Cruise.

Entertainment: Fallout from Cruise acting like a tool over the past year, but there has to be more than this going because if not it would make Sumner the most moral person in Hollywood.

Tom Cruise and Paramount Pictures are parting ways, and the split, announced Tuesday, has turned unusually bitter. Telephones at the major studios were ringing off the hook Tuesday after Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone told TheWall Street Journal that his company's Paramount Pictures unit is ending its 14-year relationship with Cruise's film production company, Cruise/Wagner Productions. Redstone cited the actor's offscreen behavior, which has included the Scientologist's public criticism of antidepressants and his very public courtship of star Katie Holmes, with whom he has an infant daughter. "As much as we like him personally, we thought it was wrong to renew his deal," Redstone told the Journal. "His recent conduct has not been acceptable to Paramount." Redstone could not be reached for comment, although a Viacom spokesman confirms the story and says that Cruise/Wagner's deal with Paramount will not be renewed. Splits between a studio and star are nothing new, but the tone of the separation stunned many in Hollywood, including Cruise's producing partner, Paula Wagner. "I don't understand why this would be turned into a personal attack," Wagner says. "Because that's what it is. That's letting one of your greatest assets walk out the door. It looks like bad business to me." Cruise has been a cash cow for the studio. His films have grossed more than $2.5 billion for Paramount. And while his latest film, Mission: Impossible III, was seen as a domestic disappointment with $133 million, it has taken in more than $390 million worldwide. Wagner also disputes that it was Paramount that ended the relationship. She said that talks broke down within the past week. "We had ceased negotiations," she says. "I'm not sure why this happened. You need to respect your artists. This isn't respectful to me. It's not something that dignifies a response." The split is not likely to change the types of movies Cruise makes or the salary he demands. But it could be another blow to the actor's increasingly difficult public relations battle. And that could affect his long-term clout as a box office — and Hollywood — titan. "It looks bad, and he may have to make a few smaller movies until he has another blockbuster," says David Poland of moviecitynews.com. "But he's still going to make lots of money. He's still going to make lots of movies." Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who made several Cruise hits, including Top Gun and Days of Thunder, says that Cruise could end up the winner. "He's as viable an actor as he always was," Bruckheimer says. "He's a worldwide star, and a lot of people want to work with him, including me."

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Reaching breaking point of Katrina evacs in Houston?

Nation: Driving to work scanning the radio I hit the commentary segment of the Tom Joyner show and listened to them carry on about Spike Lee's new documentary. In the middle was this plea from the woman on the show for Houston people to just stay calm with the evacuees which I thought was odd. I hadn't seen a new story about the tension between the groups in a couple of months till I got home and caught this from the LATIMES.

HOUSTON — Almost a year after Hurricane Katrina caused the country's largest mass migration since the Dust Bowl, as many as 150,000 evacuees still live in this city, and increasingly many are indicating that they no longer plan to go home. To many Houstonians, that's overstaying the welcome. Houston's homicide rate has shot up 18% since the storm, and police statistics show that one in every five homicides in the city involves a Katrina evacuee as suspect, victim or both. More than 30,000 evacuee families in Houston still live in government-subsidized housing, and a Zogby International survey sponsored by the city found that three-fourths of the adults receiving housing help were not working, raising questions about how they will survive when federal aid runs out. Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Houston Mayor Bill White opened their doors to neighbors needing shelter in the nightmarish aftermath of the storm that devastated New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast. But privately, Texas leaders quickly began to fret that the bedraggled masses that accepted their invitation were overwhelming the state. In December, White declared that "Houston is full" after more than 250,000 evacuees, including hundreds of families rescued from the fetid Louisiana Superdome, filled the city's housing to the brim. White and other civic leaders remain committed to helping hurricane victims rebuild their lives, and become Texans if they choose. But in the crowded, apartment-lined neighborhoods here where most evacuees wound up, the famous Texas hospitality is wearing thin. Many residents are fed up with rising crime, and some are upset that evacuees could end up being a financial drain on the city. "It's time for them to go home," said Victoria Palacios, the manager of an EZ Loan store in southwest Houston that has been held up four times in the last year, crimes she is convinced evacuees committed because of the distinct accents of the robbers. "Ever since they came here, we've been getting robbed."
Read the whole thing and also this article from Star Telegram.
A jump in homicides All over Houston, the impact of the evacuees on the crime rate remains a hot topic. Overall crime hasn't climbed significantly but homicides have jumped dramatically. From Jan. 1 to Aug. 14, 56 of Houston's 252 homicides -- more than 1 in 5 -- involved either a suspect or victim from New Orleans. "If they were warring in New Orleans, suddenly they were warring in Houston," Houston police spokesman Alvin Wright said. "The only difference was now you were getting killed in Houston." The police have saturated the hard-hit Fondren district in southwest Houston with overtime officers to patrol the dozens of apartments filled with evacuees. They also said they'd learned that criminals were often committing crimes in Houston then fleeing to New Orleans. Like everyone else, police worry about what will happen if evacuees eventually get evicted. "There was one guy from New Orleans who warned us it could get pretty ugly when their housing assistance runs out," Houston patrol officer C.B. Nickerson said. "He told us all hell is going to break loose."
I said it before and got some caustic emails, but I am glad I am not living in a situation like Houston, glad Florida wasn't stupid enough to pull a Texas on this because I figured this would happen. Don't think this is a color deal, this is about the perceived character of the population from New Orleans, its the reason why the rest of LA is doing everything it can not to absorb back that population. I am all about setting up programs that will give people the opportunity to make their lives better because there are only two types of people in this world, those who will and those who won't. Houston seems to have been stuck with the latter.

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Cost of Senate Immigration bill: $127 Billion dollars.

Immigration: That about wraps it up for the Senate Amnesty bill.

The Senate's embattled immigration bill would raise government spending by as much as $126 billion over the next decade, as the government begins paying out federal benefits to millions of new legal workers and cracks down on the border, a new Congressional Budget Office analysis concludes. Law enforcement measures alone would necessitate the hiring of nearly 31,000 federal workers in the next five years, while the building and maintenance of 870 miles of fencing and vehicle barriers would cost $3.3 billion. Newly legalized immigrants would claim nearly $50 billion in federal benefits such as the earned income and child tax credits, Medicaid, and Social Security.
As for the costs of adding illegal immigrants to the welfare role and Medicare.
The CBO study, released Friday evening, not only details the Senate bill's cost but also enumerates the plan's impact on the population. By 2016, CBO researchers estimate, more than 16 million people would either become legal permanent residents under the bill or attain some other legal status. That total includes 4.4 million legalized undocumented workers, 3.3 million guest workers and 2.6 million family members brought in through the new programs. By 2026, the addition to the U.S. population would jump to 24.4 million. That number is far lower than the Heritage Foundation's estimate of 103 million immigrants legalized by 2026, a calculation that has been widely circulated in conservative circles. But the CBO estimate is far higher than the 8 million figure White House officials have pointed to in their rebuttal of the Heritage study. The report said legalized immigrants would represent "only a modest increase" in enrollment for child nutrition programs, food stamps and Medicaid. Caseloads would be 2 to 3 percent higher by 2016, the CBO said. But that may understate the political costs of those entitlement claims. Over the next decade, legalized workers and their families, in addition to guest workers and theirs, would claim $24.5 billion in tax refunds through the earned income credit and child credit, $15.4 billion in Medicare and Medicaid, $5.2 billion in Social Security benefits and $3.7 billion in food stamps and child nutrition programs, the report estimates.
Thats not going to fly in any circles.

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It was Black community sensible talk today.

Culture: First Juan Williams writes a nice op-ed in Wash Post that hits upon the main points of his new book. “Banish the Bling: A Culture of Failure Taints Black America.”

"....Cosby said that the quarter of black Americans still living in poverty are failing to hold up their end of a deal with history when they don't take advantage of the opportunities created by the Supreme Court's Brown decision and the sacrifices of civil rights leaders from Martin Luther King Jr. to Thurgood Marshall and Malcolm X. Those leaders in the 1950s and '60s opened doors by winning passage of the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act and fair housing laws. Their triumphs led to the nationwide rise in black political power on school boards and in city halls and Congress. Taken as a whole, that era of stunning breakthroughs set the stage for black people, disproportionately poor and ill-educated because of a history of slavery and segregation, to reach new heights -- freed from the weight of government-sanctioned segregation. It also created a national model of social activism to advance the rights of women, Hispanics, gays and others. Cosby asked the chilling question: "What good is Brown " and all the victories of the civil rights era if nobody wants them? A generation after those major civil rights victories, black America is experiencing alarming dropout rates, shocking numbers of children born to single mothers and a frightening acceptance of criminal behavior that has too many black people filling up the jails. Where is the focus on taking advantage of new opportunities to advance and to close the racial gap in educational and economic achievement? Incredibly, Cosby's critics don't see the desperate need to pull a generational fire alarm to warn people about a culture of failure that is sabotaging any chance for black people in poverty to move up and help their children reach the security of economic and educational achievement. Not one mainstream civil rights group picked up on his call for marches and protests against bad parenting, drug dealers, hate-filled rap music and failing schools. Where is the civil rights groundswell on behalf of stronger marriages that will allow more children to grow up in two-parent families and have a better chance of staying out of poverty? Where are the marches demanding good schools for those children -- and the strong cultural reinforcement for high academic achievement (instead of the charge that minority students who get good grades are "acting white")? Where are the exhortations for children to reject the self-defeating stereotypes that reduce black people to violent, oversexed "gangstas," minstrel show comedians and mindless athletes?
They are too busy teaching African studies pushing the excuse/victim game like Peniel E. Joseph of the Department of Africana Studies at Stony Brook University.
For Williams, Cosby stands out as a prophet amid a searing American wilderness: bold enough to expose the rough truth that individual responsibility is more responsible than "systemic racism" for black crime, educational shortcomings and bad behavior. In Cosby's speeches and Williams's book, fleeting acknowledgments of racism are trumped by simplistic, at times repetitive lectures cautioning blacks to look at their own shortcomings before blaming anyone else. Beyond Williams's polemics lies a more complex story about the political economy of racism whose effects on poor neighborhoods elude those who romanticize ghetto and "gangsta" culture. His discussions of the "stop snitching" campaigns that discourage cooperation with police and Cosby's outrage over the epidemic use of the "N" word are worthy of serious debate. But that would require the kind of rich analysis, penetrating insight and layered narrative that Enough lacks, as well as a hard look at the impacts of unemployment, racial profiling, police brutality and other features of modern-day racism, along with the lingering effects of slavery and Jim Crow, which continue to disfigure the lives of blacks and distort the shape of American democracy. Unlike The Covenant With Black America , a bestselling anthology with concrete proposals for community empowerment, Enough concludes with a flurry of righteous condescension, preaching that youngsters can best avoid poverty by finishing high school, getting a job and postponing marriage and child-bearing until at least 21. Williams's praise for African Americans' creative resilience during the rough road from slavery to freedom is commendable, as is his ardor for the achievements of civil rights activists. But even as civil rights victories opened doors of opportunity, white backlash, the decline of industrial jobs and fatigue over racial conflict helped blunt the movement's more ambitious dreams: ending poverty, forging genuine racial integration and eliminating social, political and economic disparities based on race.
The only condescension I am seeing is from Peniel. The first thing that needs to be done is self-improvement in the black community while dismissing/discarding/ignoring the negative threads that only do it harm. The movement got hijacked along the way where empowerment became entitlement. Everyone waiting around for their 40 acres and a mule while demanding everyone beat themselves over and over for the wrongs of history. As that is happening, everyone else is moving on up and moving along not bothering with going down that gimmie path. Its the reason why the NAACP is a shell of its former self, why the only so called leaders left are Rev Al and Jesse. There are certain entities and people that will lose their purpose if enough Black people start leaving the liberal mindset of you are always a victim, stay that way and be happy. Here is a disturbing thread that invokes the Cos, Black preschool kids are being thrown out at rate higher than any other group. Via Clarence Page.
Nationally, preschool programs expel children at more than three times the rate of kindergarten-through-12th-grade programs, according to a first-of-its-kind study by Yale University's Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy. Black children were twice as likely to be expelled from preschool programs as white or Latino children, and five times as likely to be expelled as Asian-American children, the study found. "Now, what's going on there?" Dr. Poussaint, a black man, asked the mostly black crowd at "Paths to Success: A Forum on Young African-American Men." "Is racial profiling starting at age 3 or 4?" he asked. "Or is there something going on before preschool that relates to the family and the community that already is making some of these young black males unable to adapt, unable to fit, in a preschool level?" If you thought he was about to point fingers in knee-jerk fashion at white racism, you'd be wrong. Instead, Dr. Poussaint said he believes we all should be asking where that early anger is coming from. He zeroed in on abnormally high levels of child abuse and neglect, particularly in the homes of low-income black families. His principal target was what the forum's featured speaker, Bill Cosby, has called in his own famously blunt terms, "parents who are not parenting." "There's an overuse of beating kids - corporal punishment," Dr. Poussaint said. "So that you have 80 percent of black parents believing you should beat them - beat the devil out of them. And research shows the more you beat them, the angrier they get. It is not good discipline." Abuse also does not have to be physical, he said. Heads in his audience nodded in agreement as he described black parents cursing, shaking or slapping their prekindergarten kids or demeaning them with statements like, "You're no good, just like your father." As someone who grew up with more than a few "whuppings" from loving parents, I have learned as a parent that other forms of discipline, like "timeouts," work better than physical or verbal abuse. Of course, these nonviolent forms of discipline take more patience than some parents are able to muster.
I think there is a huge difference between a few butt whuppings and what is likely happen in a bad home which is vicious child abuse. I don't agree with lumping everything into one group. But heavy handed beatings that cross the line in a bad low income home where you are most likely dealing with multiple kids, single moms is a receipe for disaster.

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Germany shocked a terror plot happens in their zone.

EU: It seems every other month, another country gets hit over the head with the reality of the situation.

errorism experts stopped short of comparing the train plot to the foiled attempt to blow up passenger planes flying from Britain to the United States. The explosives, Mr. Tophoven noted, were clumsily made, and there is no evidence that the perpetrators intended to be suicide bombers. Still, the case has rattled Germans, many of whom have clung to the belief that their government’s opposition to the war in Iraq would insulate them from attacks like those in London or Madrid. Last month’s trouble-free World Cup in Germany reinforced the sense of security. “People thought for the longest time that Germany would be safe because we didn’t send troops to Iraq,” said Johannes Schmalz, the president of the agency for the protection of the constitution — a rough equivalent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation — in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg. “This presumption is wrong,” he said. “The enemy of violent Islamists is the Western world as a whole.”
Welcome to the party pal.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Equipment Stolen From Katrina Memorial

Nation: It is New Orleans people.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Thieves hauled off $100,000 worth of heavy equipment that was being used to help build a Lower Ninth Ward memorial to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. A Bobcat excavator and a Bobcat T300 Skid Steer Loader, both of which require trailers or flatbed trucks to transport, were removed from the site sometime between midnight and 6:30 a.m. Saturday, construction company officials said. In the neighborhood that remains nearly pitch black at night almost a year after the levees failed, the equipment didn't last three days at the site. "This takes a lot of guts," said Bill Petty, senior vice president of Walton Construction Co. and a 26-year veteran of the construction business. "I've never seen it happen like this in my entire career." National Guard soldiers have been keeping an eye on the construction site at the request of Walton and city officials. "I don't know what broke down," Petty said. "It could have looked as if (the thieves) were the owners of the equipment moving it off." Walton, a Kansas City, Mo.-based firm, and its subcontractors broke ground on the memorial project Wednesday afternoon. "It's just ironic," John Martin, Walton president and CEO, said by phone from Phoenix. "People are down there trying to do something good. Nothing has been happening in the area for nine months."
Big question, why is there $100,000 being spent on a memorial instead of just spending that money to help clean the area up? How about we lose the back slapping memorials until after everything else gets done?

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Arabs tells the UN to give Sudan more time on Darfur.

Africa: I guess not enough people have been killed in Darfur by Sudan so lets give them more time.

CAIRO (Reuters) - Arab governments on Sunday asked the U.N. Security Council to postpone a meeting on Darfur and give the Sudanese government more time to explain its plan to restore order in the troubled region. After a one-day meeting in Cairo, Arab foreign ministers also backed an extension of the mandate of the African Union peace force in Darfur until the end of the year. The United States and Britain have introduced a resolution in the Security Council that would deploy up to 17,000 troops and 3,000 police in the western Sudanese region, despite opposition from the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum. Junior diplomats have started negotiations on the draft, drawn up by Britain, and will resume work on Tuesday. Sudanese Foreign Minister Lam Akol told the meeting, at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, that the diplomatic activity at the United Nations was "tendentious" and Arab countries should support Sudan's plan instead. Under the Sudanese plan, the Khartoum government would send 10,500 new government troops to Darfur. The rights group Human Rights Watch says the plan would violate a peace deal and was just a way to avert the deployment of U.N. peacekeepers.

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UK Muslim cheer on radical suicide bombing supporter.

Terrorism: Seriously, there has to be a way to name Islam in the UK as a seperate strain of Islam onto itself because its just one stupid embarrassment after the other coming from these "leaders."

A British-based Muslim radical appeared to back suicide bombing yesterday when he claimed that dying for your beliefs was 'just'. Dr Azzam Tamimi told an 8,000-strong crowd that standing up for your principles was the 'greatest act of martyrdom'. The 51-year-old was speaking at the ExpoIslamia convention in Manchester. The Palestinian-born academic - who previously boasted he would carry out a suicide bombing in Israel - also repeated his public backing for Hamas, which remains banned in the UK. He said: "The greatest act of martyrdom is standing up for what is true and just. Martyrs are those who stand up and stand up in defiance of George Bush and Tony Blair. You stand up to them and you say desist. Stop this injustice. Stop this oppression." Dr Tamimi claimed the war on terrorism was a war on Islam. "We are Muslims in Europe, not European Muslims," he added. "Being fair and just means finding the middle path. The middle path is not rubbing shoulders with Tony Blair and George Bush." The crowd erupted with cheering and applause when he said that Israel had been defeated by Hezbollah. He continued: "Hamas is making sacrifices for you. We tell this government Hamas is not a terrorist group. It is elected by the people of Palestine. We are not terrorists. We are defenders of the truth. Fighting those who invade Muslims is a just cause. "The government is trying to turn the war on terror into the war on Islam."

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Spain's Zappo calls for help because of the mess he created.

Immigration: The idiot is in a panic because of the jump in illegal immigration from Africa.

The Spanish government has intensified calls for EU help in coping with the flow of illegal immigrants from Africa. Three more boatloads landed on the Canary Islands this morning, bringing the total number of people to have arrived since Friday to over 1,100. Over 17,000 have turned up on the holiday islands this year, searching for a better life. Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said illegal immigration presented a serious, difficult and complex challenge. "The EU and the governments of the countries where the immigrants come from have to get involved," he said.
As pointed out before why did this happen?
According to the Canary Island Government, only 8 per cent of those who arrive by boat are repatriated. Of those who cannot be sent back, most are flown to the Spanish mainland and can be seen sleeping rough on the streets of Madrid and Barcelona. From there, many hope to reach France and Britain. Spain gave legal residence to more than 500,000 foreigners in an amnesty last year, boosting tax receipts from previously illegal workers. However, the Opposition has said that the move served to encourage thousands more to attempt the crossing. Authorities in the Canary Islands say that they cannot cope with the influx. “We urgently need the Spanish Government and the European Union to take charge of the situation,” Froilán Rodríguez Díaz says as he tries to find accommodation for another group of new migrants. “We can’t be forgotten; we’re not that far away.”

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

France leads ... sort of

EU: As the Sunday Times brings the snark.

When Israel launched its attack on Hezbollah in Lebanon, President Chirac was among the first leaders to call for a ceasefire, cocking a snook at the Anglo-Saxon pair, President Bush and Tony Blair, the prime minister. M Chirac went on to be instrumental in the passing of the United Nations resolution which demanded just that, and which promised to send in UN troops to ensure that southern Lebanon was free from Hezbollah. There is, of course, no such thing as “UN troops”. There are, rather, national troops loaned to the UN when it assembles a mission. Now that there is indeed a ceasefire of sorts and the UN is required to assemble troops, one might have assumed that it would have a substantial number from the nation that had been most vocal calling for such a UN force: France. As if! When France started, as the saying has it, to “talk the talk”, M Chirac suggested that some 5,000 troops were needed, a Middle East expedition to rival Napoleon’s adventure in Egypt. The French, however, appear to be reluctant to “walk the walk”, offering the grand total of 200 soldiers. The Italians have come forward with 3,000. Not that one should be surprised. There are few more regular — or entertaining — sights than French statesmen indulging in grandiose statements of political and philosophical intent, and then proceeding to do absolutely nothing. Whether it is French domestic reform, the future of the European Union, Nato or foreign policy, the French are past masters at saying one thing and doing quite another. And they are all the more reliable for that. Diplomacy relies on the ability to predict the behaviour of another nation. So the predictable unpredictability of the French is a godsend. Heaven help us if the French were to be consistent with their words: nobody would have a clue what was happening.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

France backtracks on sending troops to Lebanon.

Middle East: All this after they pushed and said they would lead the peacekeeping force.

PARIS, Aug 18 (Reuters) - France defended on Friday its decision to send only 200 additional troops to a United Nations peace keeping force in Lebanon, insisting it wanted a clearer mandate before committing more soldiers. United Nations officials have openly expressed their disappointment that France hasn't dispatched a much larger force, but Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie dismissed any suggestions that Paris had let down its allies. "I can't let it be said or implied that France is not doing its duty in the Lebanese crisis," Alliot-Marie told RTL radio. France already has some 200 troops attached to the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the new detachment will come from an engineering regiment which will focus on transport and building projects. "They will help the mobility of the UNIFIL troops," a statement said, adding that the force would set sail from France on Sunday initially bound for Cyprus.
But I can't say I blame them though this is an excuse because they agreed to lead even though it was pointed out how vague this ceasefire deal was in the first place.
The French reticence stunned some U.N. officials after Paris played such a central role in drawing up last week's resolution to end the fighting in Lebanon and establish the new U.N. force. During the negotiations France insisted that UNIFIL take charge of the peacekeeping, rejecting U.S. suggestions that the operation should be separate from the United Nations. However, Alliot-Marie said on Friday that problems with recent peacekeeping missions meant France wanted to see the small print before dispatching any more troops. "You can't send in men telling them: 'Look what's going on, but you don't have the right to defend yourself or to shoot'," said Alliot-Marie, who is politically very close to Chirac. "I'd like to remind you of the experience of painful operations where U.N. forces did not have a sufficiently precise mission or the means to react," she added. France lost 84 soldiers during a chaotic mission to Bosnia in the early 1990s while 58 French peacekeepers died in a 1983 bomb attack in Beirut blamed on Muslim guerrillas. The French caution in Lebanon has caused a few raised eyebrows back home, with many people previously taking for granted that France would make up the bulk of the U.N. mission. Le Monde daily said the situation in Lebanon today was very different from Bosnia in the 1990s, when U.N. forces were sent in with the war still raging. It urged the government to make its future intentions much clearer. "If France refuses to make up the backbone of an efficient UNIFIL, which is capable of helping Beirut militarily, it will leave the field free for Hizbollah to rebuild its state within a state," the newspaper wrote in its weekend edition.

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Inigo Wilson suspended for not amusing the unamused.

Culture: On a very weak case, we have a Orange telecommunications buckling under to MPACUK which has an interesting history as documented by LGF. Inigo put up an post called the lefty lexicon which such entries like

Child-centred - education: "we can't be bothered to teach them… perhaps they’ll do it themselves". Terrorist - no such thing. Only people suffering from ‘root causes’ and ‘legitimate grievances’. Stigmatise - what we do to anti-social people if we ask them to stop. Social exclusion - where bad people, behaving badly, somehow became our fault. Multi-cultural - All culture is valid - unless Western in some way. Usually to be 'celebrated' and always found to be 'vibrant'. See 'diversity'
But he got in trouble for his definition of Al Qaeda, Palestinians and Islamophobic. Orange suspended him, MPACUK cheered and others are livid. Just another day in the politically correct U.K.

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Immigration tidbits from around the nation!

Immigration: We go to St Louis where a new law is having its desired effect.

VALLEY PARK, Mo. - A new law in the St. Louis suburb Valley Park has forced more than 20 families to leave the town, and the Archdiocese of St. Louis is helping them relocate. An ordinance passed July 17 fines landlords $500 per violation for knowingly renting to illegal immigrants. Many of the families that have left were staying at Cheryl Lane Apartments. Some left so quickly they didn't take their furniture, apartment owner James Zhang told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Zhang and his apartment manager went door-to-door last week, telling residents that if they weren't in the country legally, they needed to move out. Of his 48 units, 20 are now empty, said Zhang, noting that the fine is more than the $450 he charges for monthly rent.
In Chi-town, the newest immigration idol is sorta wearing out her welcome even for her supporters.
Elvira Arellano came to this country from Mexico seeking a better life, but she came here illegally. For five years, she lived fairly anonymously, like millions of other illegal immigrants. She worked as a cleaning woman at O'Hare International Airport until she was arrested in 2002 during a post-Sept. 11 security sweep at the nation's airports. Last week, the Department of Homeland Security gave Arellano, 31, a deadline for deportation. Instead of reporting to homeland security by 9 a.m. Tuesday, though, she took refuge in Adalberto United Methodist Church in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. She has said she will stay in the church indefinitely, in pure defiance of immigration authorities. They say they have the legal right to arrest her in the church and will do so at a time of their choosing. Arellano is hardly anonymous now. In fact, she has become something of a local symbol for those who most ardently believe U.S. immigration law is patently unfair. That doesn't mean her example is helpful to their cause. It is not. Arellano was arrested and deported once before and re-entered the country illegally. She was found to have used a fake Social Security number to work. And yet she has benefited from some extraordinary political support, which few illegal immigrants get to enjoy. She won the help of members of the Illinois congressional delegation, who rallied around her because her 7-year-old son, Saul, a U.S. citizen, has ADHD and other health problems. She has been granted three stays of deportation since 2003. U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) sent a letter to President Bush on Wednesday asking that Arellano be granted yet another stay. But Sen. Dick Durbin, Sen. Barack Obama and others have said there is nothing more they can do for her. Because her son's condition has improved, some of those sympathetic to her cause suggest that another stay of deportation cannot be justified. And so, she stands in public defiance of U.S. law--a symbol, as well, for those who say the only problem with immigration law is that it is not tough enough on those who violate it.
ICE has to move in and get her because other illegals will start to use this as a method for the cause. The upside is she is so arrogant about it that she comes off as a being a bad symbol for the cause.
Arellano remained defiant Wednesday and said if authorities want her they will have to come inside the church and get her. "My son is a U.S. citizen," she told reporters. "He doesn't want me to go anywhere so I'm going to stay with him." Arellano was deported shortly after illegally crossing into the United States in 1997. She returned within days, living for three years in Oregon before moving to Chicago in 2000. Arrested two years later at O'Hare International Airport, where she was working as a cleaning woman, she was convicted of working under a false Social Security number and ordered to appear at the Chicago immigration office Tuesday morning. Instead, she went to the church, where she is an active member. But activists say things aren't that simple. They talk about her 7-year-old son, a citizen because he was born in the country. They talk about how she came here to work and provide a better life for herself and her son. They say her story highlights why they believe the nation's immigration laws must be changed. "She is a leader in the movement who has made the issue of family unity the key issue in the question of the undocumented," Coleman said of Arellano, president of United Latino Family, a group that lobbies for families that could be split by deportation. "That is the most sympathetic issue there is." Others aren't so sure. "I don't think the immigration debate should be focused on a woman who ... disregards an order," said Carlina Tapia-Ruano, a Chicago attorney and president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. "I do believe the discussion should be what to do when you have a situation where someone has sought legal status and waited for 7 to 10 years to be reunited with their families (as well as) the employers who can't get enough people and need to get illegal immigrants to fill their jobs." Tapia-Ruano said she worries Arellano's story will be used by extremists on both sides of the issue. "The risk of focusing on her particular hardship is it will be viewed as (an example) of how illegals come here to be in flagrant disregard of our laws, and I don't think that's true," she said.

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