Thursday, January 31, 2008

My book project

I’ve started working on a book about the Bush White House. The title: “And we will build a border that is more open and more secure.”

George Bush himself gave me the title. It is something he said way back in 2002.

I intend to show that Bush made the illegal alien problem much worse since he took office. I can demonstrate declines in enforcement efforts at the same time as record numbers of illegals were entering our country.

Bush has a reputation for stubbornness and arrogance. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox (a macho man himself) described him this way: “He's quite simply the cockiest guy I have ever met in my life…sort of like walking carrying two watermelons like this.” (one under each arm)

Bush starts out his first term in office sounding very much like a conservative when he says, “The Administration believes that legal immigrants should be greeted with open arms, rather than endless lines. We must be responsive to those who seek to immigrate to this country by legal means, and to those who have emigrated and now seek to become U.S. citizens. While we seek to improve the system that welcomes legal immigrants, the United States is a Nation of laws and must act to combat illegal immigration. Working through the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the Federal Government should take additional steps to defend the security and stability of our Nation against the threats of organized crime, drug traffickers, and terrorist groups. The Administration is committed to improving U.S. immigration law enforcement and ensuring the safety of our borders. (February 28, 2001 New Beginnings Blueprint)

But by September 5 of that same year (2001) he is talking like this: “Temporary Worker Program: We are working with Mexico on options for a new program for temporary workers -one that is grounded in reality and the needs of our economy, and that doesn’t hurt U.S. workers. The program would rest on a carefully worked out partnership between the sending and receiving countries that recognizes the contributions undocumented Mexicans are making in the United States and that brings together willing workers and willing employers. This is an issue that will require close consultations with the U.S. Congress and U.S. civil society.”

Things get very interesting after 9/11. The strangest pronouncements come in 2002 as Bush tries to keep Vicente Fox strung along at the same time he is trying to deal with a failing economy and high unemployment. We are losing jobs and entire manufacturing industries, the hospitality business is on the skids, and he’s pushing guest workers.

It is typical, stubborn Bush. His push for amnesty began in 2001. In July of that year Ari Fleischer was the first Bush press secretary to try to explain that the legalization plan wasn’t amnesty. He wasn’t any better at it than his successors.

Bush was less aggressive after 9/11 but the message was still in there and came out from time-to-time. By January 2004 (election season) he was back in full swing. And his efforts continued from then until now, attempting to legalize millions.

What is perhaps more telling is his effort to push and expand NAFTA. One wonders how he figures NAFTA helps our manufacturing sector? Or our low-skilled citizens? Or the other countries involved, for that matter.

It should be an interesting book. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I just noticed I hit 300 blog entries. This is your chance to tell me to stop!

Another liberal president

What a bummer. McCain takes the lead. Rudy dropped out. Edwards dropped out. We’ve got Romney, McCain, Obama, and Clinton left to choose from. I’m not a huge Mitt fan but I’d pick him out of this bunch any day.

For those of you expecting Paul or Hunter or Bloomberg to mount a renegade campaign, third party candidates would almost certainly dilute the vote and insure a win for the donkeys. Perot with all his money proved that.

I do hope McCain isn’t the GOP choice. Like Bush, he acts like a border state politician on the issue of illegals. He goes after the brown vote with the only perk he has –amnesty. That approach appeals to the socially liberal Dems and Independents and he banks the election on converting those voters. (Think New Hampshire on a national scale.)

Look at me, talking like McCain is a done deal. Everybody needs 2,000 delegates to win. McCain will have some new money after the Florida win. Mitt Romney seems to find money (although he could use some endorsements from other candidates abandoning the campaign right about now).

A miracle at the convention might bring a decent conservative to the ballot.

For the record, my second choice from the list (after Romney) would be Hillary. I can’t believe I just wrote that, but when you look at Bill’s performance on illegal aliens, he outperformed Bush on enforcement and results.

Actually, any choice from that list would be so repulsive that I would skip that section of the ballot altogether.

Let’s hope things look better on the morning of February 6th.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Here we go again!

Meet Flor Crisostomo. She is moving in to Elvira’s old room at the Methodist Church in Chicago. Same old story. She was ordered deported and is supposed to report tomorrow. But she’s going into sanctuary mode in Slim Coleman’s church instead.

And I suppose Emma Lozano, Slim’s wife and Sin Fronteras Latino advocacy group leader, will be there for all the press coverage as well.

Now, Flor’s situation is a bit different than Elvira’s. She was arrested in 2006 with 26 other people at IFCO, a pallet company. She came to Chicago in 2001 and got a job using a fake ID.

Flor has three children back in Mexico and was sending home $300 a week to her three children. (If that is true, her children in Guerrero are well-off indeed. A Mexican worker only earns about $4,500 a year.) Flor is unmarried.

ICE is giving the same statement as before. They will take her at the time and place of their choosing, which meant NEVER for Elvira and our ICE agents. She had to move to California first; then Immigration took her into custody right away.

Part of me wants her picked up right away. The other part of me hopes she gets some press coverage. Elvira elicited very little sympathy and all sorts of criticism.

And in Flor's case “family unification” means that she should be back in Mexico with her kids. No discussion about the 14th Amendment this time – Flor’s kids all read “Made in Mexico.”

So, what makes her a good poster child? Nothing really. But it does point out that the Latino activists have a very poor hand to play. It is really hard to justify crime, isn’t it?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

No public office for me

I have yet one more reason I don’t want to hold public office. The first three have been my philosophy for quite some time now. The fourth I added today.

1) Consensus in today’s world means agreeing to things that are against your core beliefs. As a result, most public bodies these days are devoid of real debate and discussion of the issues. The group must bring forth a unified message.
2) Those of us on the outside can say and write things that an elected official would not be able to say or write.
3) I don’t savor the idea of meeting regularly to take additional rights away from the people. And I’m sure my colleagues would tire of me saying, “On this issue I believe it is none of our collective business.”
4) I would not want to go out and beg money from people to wage a campaign, then not vote for their favorite causes. I was raised with the notion that we “earn” our money. How else would a politician earn money?

I suspect that a large number of respectable people are kept out of public office for variations of these same reasons. Our country is worse off for it.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Up for grabs

There was an article in the Courier News yesterday where Jack Cunningham, our county clerk, admits that it is possible for an illegal alien to register to vote. And there is nothing to stop him at the polls, either.

I blogged about this before ( but it is hard for me to fathom the response of an elected official. He has been able to identify the problem, yet he has no intention of making the effort to fix it.

Here are a couple of Jack’s comments:
"We never single out any group. There has to be a presumption that they are citizens unless it's proven otherwise. We, at this level, don't have much control over the issue."

Well, given the policy of making political activists registrars, exactly who is presuming these people are citizens?

"I'm very concerned that everyone who's on our list is legal. I don't think in Kane County it's a particular problem at this point. We have groups that come in and say it is, and we have groups that say it isn't. It's a very difficult issue."

Of course, we don’t know how big the problem is. If you do a little poll watching on the east side of the Fox River, you’re likely to see significant numbers of voters who do not have a rudimentary understanding of English. Are they illegal? Who knows? Surely the county clerk doesn’t know. He admits it.

Meanwhile, the U. S. Supreme Court is deliberating over the Indiana law requiring photo ID at the polling place.

We are so afraid of offending someone or causing a hardship that we simply look the other way. I’ll tell you how to fix the problem, but it will never fly in our kooky society. Voters would be registered by the county clerk who would only accept secure and verifiable ID from the voter. The clerk would then obtain a signature and photo as part of the registration process. Then cards would be issued like an employee ID or a license.

Any fraud by the voter or registrar would result in prison time.

No more Republican Committeemen or La Raza Officers as registrars. No more wiggle room about proving citizenship. No more utility bills for ID. No more automatic voter cards when you get a Driver’s License. That’s how you stop the problem.

But as long as politicians want to make a voter out of anything with a pulse, we will not ascribe the proper value to the right to vote.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A teacher stabbed

For those of you familiar with Elgin High School, we’ve got some sad news about a teacher who was stabbed by a student on the last day of finals. The teacher has lost the use of one eye as a result of the attack. Her other injuries were superficial.

One of the local newspapers has identified the boy as 16-year old Angel Facio of the 600 block of Jefferson Avenue in Elgin. That’s about a block away from the baseball fields.

The boy was not a student of this particular teacher but was in her class last year.

The school was nearly empty when the boy entered her classroom at about 11:15 am. He asked if he could wait in her room until the bus came. She agreed and continued to work at her desk. The boy threw a coat over her head and began stabbing her with a steak knife.

Another teacher heard her screaming and came to her rescue. She fled the room and the other teacher locked the boy in the room until police arrived.

Here’s what the Chicago Tribune reported about the boy’s reaction during the attack. (Rescuing teacher) “Gannon yelled "Stop!" and the teen sat at a desk and put his head down.”

Now, this was on Friday, the 18th. On Tuesday, the 22nd, the city of Elgin releases its initiatives to crack down on illegal aliens. Some folks are making a connection, but I’m not so sure. We may never know.

We also may never know the immigration status of the boy and his family. Why? Because Elgin High is in Cook County and Cook County is a declared sanctuary county. Not that it matters; this boy will spend the most productive years of his life in a prison or a locked mental hospital. His family would probably welcome deportation, but that isn’t an option for a long time to come.

And once again, every student will suffer because of one kook. The district is now reviewing its security policy. It will almost certainly result in full-time metal detectors and backpack searches.

It is a losing battle in our open society. The founding fathers warned us that our freedoms were designed for a moral, God-fearing, society. It won’t work if the people are wicked. A certain amount of restraint and “goodness” are required of the citizenry. And there aren’t enough laws or police or prisons or metal detectors to compensate.

Updated information: It turns out that this boy was implicated last August in the rape of an 8-year-old girl. But Kane County has a child advocacy program that has kept him out of jail. DNA backlogs and DA caseloads have kept him from being charged with the crime or taken into custody.

But the State's Attorney is taking the case to a grand jury TODAY. Isn't it funny how priorities shift?

All indications are that the boy is in the United States legally (as in a citizen). Deportation is not an option, so we'd better pray he is tried as an adult. Otherwise, he could be released when he turns 21.

Update #2: This story gets worse all the time. It came out in the paper today that two days before he stabbed the teacher, Angel attempted to abduct a 13-year-old girl over by Larsen Middle School. The girl got away but has identified him as the one.

Also, the judge ruled that for the August charge Angel will be tried as an adult. This will get him six to 30 years. As for the stabbing, we're still waiting to hear if he will be tried as an adult.

Then again, this is looking more like a lunacy case all the time.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A slap in the face

Two related news items out of Mexico, our number one source for immigrants and illegal aliens.

First, comments by their president, Felipe Calderon about the “culture of machismo” in Mexico. He says, “As a citizen, as a husband, as a father, as president, I am worried and indignant over the mistreatment millions of Mexican women still receive.”

He also remarked about “the false premise of subordination, submission and even inferiority of women with respect to men. This is a cultural obstacle that we have to reverse.”

Those comments were made last November.

Today I read about a solution to the problem: Pink buses for women only. The San Diego Union Tribune carried an article on the subject today with the headline, “Mexico City starts grope-free buses for women.”

Now, lest I start getting hate mail from women, let me assure you that I detest abuse of women in all its forms. I was raised by parents who taught us that no amount of violence is acceptable in the home. It was their opinion that no spouse should be given a second chance if they strike you.

What I found interesting is that in Mexico they can tell the truth about the problem and speak out about it. If you do that here, you are labeled a racist.

Here’s a link to the National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence:

If you study the website, you will note that they spend half their time telling everyone that Latinos don’t have a problem in that area! Hmmmm.

Call them an “underserved population” but never admit there is a problem. Ah, the intricacies of political correctness. Do you think it ever dawns on the libs how foolish this all seems?

What irks me is that our society has spent a generation teaching society about this problem and yet we refuse to admit to ourselves that this is a key assimilation problem among the foreign-born. Let’s stop lying to ourselves.

Elgin gets tough

I never thought I’d see the day when the city of Elgin would even say the word “illegal” in the context of the immigrant population. But they did!

And they made a public announcement about it in the form of a press release. Pretty bold move, especially since the mayor seems to like having illegals in town. To him they are nothing more than a byproduct of an immigration policy that didn’t account for the cheap labor needs of lazy, graying Americans.

So they went public with what they call “Several Initiatives to Combat Illegal Immigration.”

They plan to:
1) Enroll in the ICE ACCESS program
2) Screen all foreign born arrestees using the IAQ system
3) Resume checking Social Security numbers of all new hires
4) Do random audits of contractors hired by the city to make sure they are using E-Verify.

So, way to go, Elgin! If enough citizens complain for long enough, they listen.

Friday, January 18, 2008

A money-back guarantee

If you don’t like the economy, Washington is going to give you your money back. $800 worth.

Well, actually it isn’t YOUR money. Your money is being used to pay interest on a $9 TRILLION national debt. Those $800 checks will simply be added to the debt. It’ll be worth it and it’ll only cost $150 billion to do it. $150 billion looks like peanuts added to the $9 trillion.

And what a shot in the arm it will be for us. We can take that $800 and buy a blue ray at Best Buy. Or maybe put a down payment on a new Toyota so they can out-sell GM this year.

If you’re wise, you’ll use it to pay down the old VISA card. But that isn’t very glamorous is it? And it doesn’t exactly fit the model economists are hoping for. You have to buy something and put that money into circulation.

It’s all about perception. “Happy days are here again!” Retail sales are up!

It is hard to believe but there was a time in this country when the value of company stock was based on things like sales, inventory, equipment, orders, new products….. Now we trade stock based on what we think others will think the stock is worth. The company itself? Not so important. Everything is temporary anyway. They outsource the product, use temps in the warehouse and the office, contract with independent reps for a sales force, lease the furniture and fixtures, and have the computer support done in India. Not much value there, huh?

But we are buying the bread and circuses. Personal savings accounts are a thing of the past.

May I suggest that an economy manipulated by government (as it has been for decades now) is very fragile indeed and can only be maintained with frequent (and more intrusive) stimuli such as the one being offered now. It masks the true value of goods, services, and loans. It makes us dependent on foreign capital.

And worst of all, it is not self-sustaining.

Did I mention that in China the personal savings rate is 30%? In the United States it is…well, we don’t have one because it has gone negative. And it has been close to zero for several years. Don’t you think that if “spending our way out of a recession” actually worked, we wouldn’t be where we are today?

You really have to worry when the Republicans and Democrats agree on an idea. Fret away, folks.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Such a nice place...

…to have a baby.

Demographers are excited that the birth rate in Mexico is dropping. In 1970, Mexican women had 6.8 children each. Now that number is 2.4, still higher than the US average of 2.1, but a vast improvement.

UNLESS...that Mexican woman is living here in the United States. Now, the figure changes to 3.2. That’s right. Mexican women in Mexico have 2.4 children each. Mexican women living here have 3.2 children each.

The reason? According to an AP article in our paper today, “’They're more optimistic about their future here,’ said Jeff Passel, a Pew Center demographer.”

Or maybe you like this explanation:
“Some complain that many illegal immigrants come here purposely to have children.
‘The child is an automatic American citizen, thus entitled to all benefits of American citizens. This gives a certain financial incentive for people coming from other countries illegally to have children here,’ said John Vinson, president of the Virginia-based American Immigration Control Foundation.”

Or maybe it’s the EMTALA Law passed by Congress many years ago, making it illegal to turn anyone away from an Emergency Room, even if they can’t pay. In fact, the “AL” part of EMTALA stands for “Active Labor.”

And who is coming across the border illegally? Young people. People of child-bearing years. 84% of illegal alien adults are between the ages of 18 and 44. Among native-born Americans that number is only 60%. (Pew study, 2005)

And illegals are the parents of 4.7 million children. Some are anchor babies and some came here as children.

The moral of the story is that if you don’t like seeing all these kids running through the stores unsupervised, move to Mexico. They have fewer children. Go figure.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

We've got you covered

You may recall my blog a few weeks ago about the missing manhole covers here in Elgin.
Well, we have good news. Here are the suspects in the case.

Meet Mr. Sheppard and Ms. Head. The 33-year-old Ms. Head was pulled over by Elgin police for not using her turn signal. (I leave mine on full time to avoid such problems. Just ask Joe!)

And they found 11 manhole covers in her car. The officer immediately became suspicious! Despite his model citizen appearance, Mr. Sheppard was also implicated in the scheme.

Now, I’ve talked about ROI before but this is a real bad example. The scrap yard was giving these folks $5 or $6 per manhole cover and the city pays $100 each for them. That is a real bad investment folks. I’ll bet Head has one of those subprime loans, too.

They branched out into stealing those sewer grates as well, but the return was about the same for them. All that heavy lifting for $5!

FYI, both of the suspects have priors for “possession of a controlled substance”, and you can bet it wasn’t muscle relaxants.

Perhaps this will be the end of “open road” driving in Elgin neighborhoods.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Latino math

In the spring of 2006 the Latino activists rallied the masses with a two-pronged agenda in mind:
1) Counter the passage of HR 4437 in December of 2005, which called for strict enforcement of immigration laws.
2) Show solidarity for McCain-Kennedy amnesty on the horizon in the Senate, hoping for passage while Bush was still in the White House.

And when the Democrats swept Congress in November of 2006, they took the credit and painted the Hispanic voters as sending a message that they want immigration reform. (I’ve written before that their advocates have cheapened the opinion of Latino voters who voted for the Democrats because of the war, deficit spending, and scandals…not simply over immigration reform.)

Some numbers for you:
From a Pew analysis of the 2006 election:
6.8% of registered voters are Hispanic
10.9% of registered voters are Black
79.1% of registered voters are White
3.1% of registered voters are Other
(Note: These are the REGISTERED voters. The percent who ACTUALLY VOTED was even less. 5.8% of the votes cast in 2006 were Hispanic votes.)

From a Rasmussen poll in August 2007:
79% of Americans want illegals fired from their jobs for using false documents
74% want renters to prove their immigration status
68% want stronger border security
12% believe the government is doing enough about illegal aliens
16% thought the McCain-Kennedy plan would result in fewer illegals
28% believe a legalization program is very important

From Gallup results released yesterday:
32% think Bush is doing a good job
23% think Congress is doing a good job

These numbers explain why John McCain went from saying this about the need for immigration reform on June 2nd: “In case you hadn't noticed, the thousands of people who have been relegated to ghettos have risen up and burned cars in France. They've got huge problems in France. They have tremendous problems. The police can't even go into certain areas in the suburbs of Paris. I don't want that in the suburbs of America.''
…to being out of town when the DREAM Act vote came up, and now telling the crowds on the campaign trail, “I commit to securing the borders first. We can secure those borders. As president, I would have the border state governors certify that those borders were indeed secure.” (UNH Debate September 5th)

He’s still talking about amnesty…er “we offer fines; lines; & long waits” (ibid)…which puts him to the LEFT of the Democrat Governor in his home state.

Even Clinton, Obama, and Edwards have to be careful what they say after the problem with driving permits in New York.

So, how effective was the Latino activist campaign? Are the votes worth courting? My guess is that the Republicans have resigned themselves to the fact they won’t be getting 40% of the Hispanic vote. When that happened the Democrats own most of the 5.8% and the risk of losing everyone else keeps them from venturing much beyond a strong border security stance.

The numbers simply aren’t there to do anything else. (But that doesn’t mean they still won’t push for amnesty once they are elected. The same goes for McCain.)

The magic wand of change

All the candidates are running around claiming to be the candidate of change. Like a new brand of soap flakes, they want to be “New and Improved.”

Well, I don’t hear any candidate claiming they want Dick Chaney as a running mate, and Bush has run into the law on term limits…so there will be change in January 2009 no matter what. All of you can claim that you will bring change to the White House.

Seriously, how does a president change things? There is a great deal of talk about a national sales tax to replace income tax. There is talk about ending the war in Iraq, or creating jobs, or universal health care, or energy independence. But don’t things like that require help from Congress?

McCain’s website touts this line: “Border security and our failed immigration system are more examples of an ailing Washington culture in need of reform to regain the trust of Americans. In too many areas -- from immigration and pork barrel spending to Social Security, health care, energy security and tax relief -- business-as-usual politics prevents addressing the important challenges facing our nation.” (How long have you been in Washington, John?)

Hillary posts this: “Well, how about this for a new approach? No more cronyism, no more corruption, and no more deception. And here's an old-fashioned idea: let's start appointing qualified people to positions of power again.” (Mrs. Clinton, read the the front page of the Washington Post from 1993 to 2000.)

Obama’s website: “Obama's Transparency and Integrity in Earmarks Act will shed light on all earmarks by disclosing the name of the legislator who asked for each earmark, along with a written justification, 72 hours before they can be approved by the full Senate.”

Romney says: “The American values that have been at the heart of our historic rise to world leadership are being challenged everyday. We must promote a culture of life, protect America's children, and stop the erosion of America's basic freedoms.”

(The rest of the candidates sound pretty much the same. Those on the fringes are even more spectacular.)

Now, think for a minute about Pelosi’s “100 Hours” of reform in the House. How did that work out? Or the 1994 Contract with America. For these presidential candidates to do anything they would need to have the support of the House and the Senate, and various Federal Judges. We don’t have much confidence in any of them.

To keep those promises, they would need to violate the separation of powers (checks and balances) that our government is built upon. Are these people running for President or Monarch?

Obama’s got charisma and the experience of a speech at the Democratic National Convention, but so did Jesse Jackson. Can that charm work on Congress? Is Barack really strong enough at building consensus with the Republicans? His voting record looks nearly identical to Kennedy’s and Durbin’s. That doesn’t exactly smell like bipartisanship to me.

Change sounds great to the public, but just exactly how do you candidates plan to do it?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

If money is the answer

I’ve talked about the gang problems in Elgin before. Things have settled down since the weather turned cold. Either they aren’t shooting at each other or we don’t hear the gunshots with the windows closed and the furnace running.

Either way, we haven’t had any reported victims in a couple of months now. Which is good.

But the citizen gang committee is meeting twice a month and even the neighborhood associations are showing they are still active. The two neighborhood groups involved in the hot zone are Gifford Park Association and Summit Park Neighborhood Association.

Gifford Park is known for wealthier folks who have purchased the Victorian mansions and restored them. The wine and cheese set is known for getting the city to install street lights worthy of their lovely homes. Picture the wrought iron look with fancy globes.

Their plan for the future includes the city granting homeowners money to clean up and paint their properties and the deconversion program (aka convert the homes with apartments in them back into single-family homes at government expense).

Step back and look at what I just wrote. There was a time in this town when you bought your own paint and the government stayed out of your house. Throwing grant money around was supposed to fix neighborhood blight. Has it? Or have people decided it is the government’s responsibility to buy paint for us?

The funny thing is that some towns (like C’ville) go to great lengths to hand out the money. The feds give the town some cash and they have to beg people to take it.

Another funny thing is that the government has no problem taking your home and turning it over to a developer “in the interest of the community as a whole.” (Trivia: A landmark case over private development and eminent domain had to do with a sandwich shop in New York. It was torn down to build the World Trade Center. Courtesy Sandwich Shop v. Port of New York Authority.)

Summit Park is a new group, brought together as a result of the gang shootings last summer. They were handed $15,000 in government money and used it for trees, a sign, and a sculpture.

They liked the idea of free cash and now want another $28,000 for street signs. Not just any street signs, mind you. These are politically correct street signs that break away when you hit them with your car.

So, follow the money here. A small group of neighbors want street signs. The government tells them what kind of signs they need to buy. I’m sure there are drawings, surveys, grant writers, approvals, contracts, vendors (all certified as paying the prevailing union wage), inspections, and ribbon-cutting parties. Are you sure $28,000 will be enough? Have enough people been fed at the government trough?

Who cares? It isn’t our money; it’s a GRANT! It’s free cash from an institution that is $9,203,784,926,906.34 in debt.

But don’t worry. This isn’t all the city is doing. They’ve increased police patrols, brought in special units to assist, purchased new surveillance equipment, and changed some officer assignments to put more “boots on the ground”. (When I use the word “surge”, please put me out of my misery!)

You and I also funded the above paragraph.

So if money is the answer we’ll have these gang shootings taken care of in no time at all. It takes a village to raise a child…and a whole lot of tax money. Past performance is no guarantee that this government initiative will fail. Close cover before striking. Not applicable in some states. Your results may vary. No refunds, exchanges, or substitutions. All bags subject to inspection. Always wear your seatbelt. Airbag may cause injury or death. Not responsible for use of this product (May not apply in all states, which means we ARE responsible in some states but we aren’t going to tell you which ones, but Alabama is probably one of them because they have really generous judges and juries and our lawyers hate cases there, but the weather is nice, except for the tornadoes……….)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Stupid is back

Perhaps you heard that Hillary has employed the services of James Carville, Bill Clinton’s original campaign advisor.

Carville is credited with creating the phrase, “It’s the economy, stupid!” that brought down Bush “41”. It sounds like a slam on George H. W. Bush, but it was really meant as a reminder to Clinton to stay on message.

Carville put up a sign at headquarters with three key talking points for Bill. They were:
1) Change vs. more of the same.
2) The economy, stupid.
3) Don't forget health care.
It evolved as a slam against Bush but he wasn’t the original target.

So, what will be the three key points Carville has for Mrs. Clinton?

1) Leave Bill at home.
2) Don’t talk about immigration.
3) I already know my way around the White House.

Maybe not. Any other ideas for the three main points of a Carville campaign for Hillary?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Employment opportunities

Something has been bothering me lately about jobs for teens. It is sort of related to the illegal alien problem and the whole idea that good help is hard to find.

Two of my kids have had jobs at the mall. Retail sucks according to most people. But aside from dealing with picky customers, there is a bigger issue.

Someone decided that the company owns these kids. You get scheduled for six hours a week and you are supposed to be “on call” for 20. That would be OK if they called you in for 16 of those hours but most of the time you go a week or two without being called in to work at all.

Whatever happened to the days when part timers had a schedule? You know, 4-9 on Monday and Friday plus Saturday 8-5. And everyone could count on it.

This “on call” or “available” scheduling isn’t a job at all.

So if stores can string along a bunch of teens with the idea that they will call you if they get busy, I don’t really buy the idea that they have to hire illegals because people don’t want to work.

If they would get their act together and create job schedules that allow teens to earn some money on a reliable basis, just maybe the teens would rise to the occasion. D’ya think?

Monday, January 7, 2008

Even God...

…doesn’t like these two.
I haven’t written much about that AFLA group but I must say they do have their enemies.

First was the Thanksgiving message from Laurel Bault, a local Democrat who has been involved in numerous community causes and an unsuccessful bid for state rep. Her letter to the editor was one of those “shame on you for not being grateful…and by the way let the illegals stay because that’s the nice thing to do.” (Sorry, that’s not a quote from her letter. It was a quote from my mind after reading it.)

Then ELIPAC took a swipe at them. George Irizzary is a buddy to councilman Juan Figueroa. Some say they are joined at the hip. Allegedly one is the mouth, the other is the brains…but they switch roles now and then to keep people guessing.

George and a group of latino activists showed up at city council the end of November and spoke about the campaign, making light of their 1,000 supporters and warning that C’ville wound up with protests at council meetings when they tried to get tough. And these efforts brought “disharmony”. Maybe they thought ALFA would be there that night to spar with them. They were not.

Next came Shirley, scolding the group for picking on Hispanics. And personally praising Elgin’s diversity as the reason she moved from a white community. Her parting shot at David White was that if he didn’t like the color of Elgin he ought to move, giving new meaning to Elgin’s “White Flight” problem. But a local citizen wrote in to expose Shirley as an immigration lawyer.

Then a couple of city council members engaged in some name calling of their own, saying they were disgusted with the tactics of AFLA and calling them xenophobes.

Then there was Dr. Rosenfeld, Psy.D who psychoanalyzed the group (at no charge) and told citizens to turn away from these haters and manipulators.

And just yesterday there was a letter to the editor from The Church of the Brethren claiming that the group promotes racism and prejudice.

But there are also more than a few defenders of AFLA in town. They write to the papers, they call the Courier’s “Speak Out” line, and I presume they are giving the city fathers an earful as well.

And there are some signs of life over at city hall, presumably because of this group. They are talking about screening for illegals and working with Immigration a bit more. And they are making some overtures about a contractor ordinance with teeth. It’s too early to tell if these attempts will be effective or mere window-dressing.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Mission Accomplished - Obama style

You’ll recall all the flak Bush caught because he had the nerve to thank the sailors on the Lincoln for their help in eradicating the Iraqi army using the “Mission Accomplished” banner. As it turns out, the libs took it to mean that Bush was trying to deceive the American people into thinking that the Iraq war had been won.

(I guess we all have something to learn about fighting terrorists. They didn’t listen to Rumsfeld when he talked about the long, hard slog of street fighting that laid ahead after the army was vanquished. Rumsfeld was warning us of the hand-to-hand, sniper fighting in our future even during the shock-and-awe phase the first week of the conflict. He was telling us that this was not going to be Desert Storm all over again.)

I always felt the press was never held accountable for denying praise to those sailors who fought against Saddam and his army by criticizing Bush for his “Mission Accomplished” speech.

So now we see that Barry Obama has true politician grit; he is taking credit for something he didn’t do. And something that didn’t work. If he is hoping for a national health care plan patterned after what he created in Illinois, it shouldn’t be a problem because ILLINOIS DOESN’T HAVE A UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE PLAN.

And the only thing Obama sponsored was the formation of a commission to study how it might be done.

So, if that’s an example of his leadership the voters deserve what they ask for if the vote for him. As a state senator he was famous for voting “present” rather than taking a stand on controversial issues.

And now we see that his vision for American health care consists of studying the problem and claiming credit for a program that doesn’t exist.

Studying the recent history of the Illinois health plan might be enlightening. Gov. Blagojevich tried to pass it last year but the state house and senate both reminded him that we don’t have any money. He threw a couple of tantrums to try to get it passed but no one fell for it.

He tried to pass a Gross Receipts Tax (essentially taxing inventory every time it changes hands) but got no support in Springfield for that either.

So, the short summary in Illinois is that it is too expensive and would require huge additional taxes to fund it. Is that your plan, Mr. Obama? Just like the plan in Illinois, Mr. Obama? I certainly hope the American public is wise enough to reject this socialist and his expensive ideas.

Obama and Huckabee

Iowa has spoken. They experienced a good turn out and came up with two winners. The media has also spoken and declared that “evangelicals” were responsible for Huckabee’s victory.

I enjoy watching liberals fight with each other so I can’t fault them for making religion a central issue for conservatives. I suppose it is an oversimplification just like with most issues.

There are some significant dilemmas here in America and each candidate has their own views about a solution. You’ve got the war, the economy, immigration, health care, global warning (not a misprint), steroids, terrorism, dog fighting, government spending, mortgage problems, infrastructure repairs, misbehavior by elected officials…

Debates have their place; they allow us to see how they think on their feet. They convey how a candidate will look when serving as president. Screen tests are good. But the forums aren’t everything.

Romney spoke for 20 minutes about his religion last month. Wouldn’t it be great is somehow we could have a four page position paper from every candidate on every one of those issues? No “gotcha” questions, no debate, just a concise explanation from each one on how they would deal with each of the issues of the day.

If you think those papers exist on the websites, you are mistaken. They parse words, spin, and sanitize every issue to the point that you don’t know where they stand. They are short and they don’t say enough about the details. The stand out exception from what I can see is Huckabee. He doesn’t always go way out on a limb but he does get rather specific about several issues.

Check out the websites yourself and see how much substance is there.

Every election the candidate PR packages get more formal and more calculating. They do not serve us well. Everyone sounds good and yet their term in office always disappoints. There must be a better way.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

One Way Street - Northbound Only

Perhaps you have missed the great controversy surrounding Mexican trucks rolling into the United States. Bush is all for it; American truckers are against it. Many see this as the SPP taking shape.

And Mexico is all for it. Let’s get our trucks and drivers into the US to compete for jobs and freight accounts. Let’s get Mexican goods into US markets. It all makes sense.

But when you try to move our goods south into Mexico it is a different story. You see, when NAFTA was passed there was a 15 year moratorium on certain products like corn, beans and sugar entering Mexico.

Well, the deal expired January 1 and the Mexicans took to the streets and blocked ports of entry. US products are cheaper because they are subsidized (and because cousin Tito snuck into California and is working for cash).

There is no way the Mexican farmer can compete with the American farmers.

But there were protests here in Chicago as well. Emma Lozano has created a new organization and is shouting about how unfair it all is. (FYI, Emma was Elvira’s handler here in Chicago. She was Saulito’s guardian. She’s married to Rev. Slim Coleman. She’s the Chicana version of Jesse Jackson, going from cause-to-cause.)

It all points to the fact that these activists on both sides of the border are only out for themselves. It isn’t about fairness or reciprocity. It is all about what benefits Mexicans. And the rules change along the way.

Mexico is ruthless about illegals entering their country from the south. They treat immigrants harshly and impose strict rules. Yet they expect US to legalize everyone and provide free services.

They want Mexicans to be able to do business here without restrictions but refuse to afford US companies the same privilege.

Sadly, our politicians allow them to get away with it. That needs to change. And if it doesn’t we would be foolish to allow Washington to proceed with this SPP nonsense. Just like immigration policy, if it doesn’t benefit the people of the United States we shouldn’t do it. They work for us, not Mexico.

I agree with protesters that NAFTA hasn’t worked. I disagree with those who want half of NAFTA; the part that benefits them.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Mouse hunt

It used to be a man knew where he stood. The Mrs. would scream “Eeeek!” and he would dispatch the mouse with the handle of a broom for his grateful wife.

Now when he does so, he is never quite sure of her reaction.
1) Traditional: “Thank you, my love. You are so brave.”
2) Feminist: “You Neanderthal. Are you implying I couldn’t have done that myself?”
3) Tree hugger: “Have you no respect for innocent creatures? Does that make you feel powerful?”

I’m getting a cat.

Anyone got any other reactions?