Sunday, September 30, 2007

Proofreaders unite!

The Northwest Tollway

Interstate 90 turns into the Northwest Tollway as it enters Illinois at Beloit Wisconsin. It then stops being a freeway until it enters the Chicago city limits.

For that 75 miles of interstate highway it magically becomes a toll road. Ike would not be pleased. The least they could do is make their own road if they were going to make it a tollway.

I pay to sit in traffic every day. My commute is 50 minutes in the morning and an hour at night. 26 miles each way. And I pay for the privilege.

Now, the state legislature has waved their wand and called in the Jane Addams Memorial tollway. (There is a signage contract deal in here somewhere. I just know it.)

Who the heck is Jane Addams? Well, she’s a cousin to The Addams Family. Really! Her cousin was Charles Addams, the twisted, spooky cartoonist who was the inspiration for The Addams Family.

But that isn’t why she was named. Adjectives like feminist, peacenik, socialist, and immigration magnet are her endearing traits.

I would be upset except for the fact that Chicago roads aren’t known for their namesakes. You are more likely to hear reporters talk about The JFK or LSD.

So, the Northwest Tollway will now be referred to as The JAM, which is truth in advertising!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

John 10:1

Politicians at the border

On September 27th a meeting was held in Puerto Penasco Mexico. It consisted of governors from border states in both countries, including Gov. Aaaaaanold. Mexican Presidente Calderon spoke at the event.

One expert from Mexico said: “These animals don't cross the border to shop. They do it out of necessity.” He was referring to the impact on the wildlife that has been disturbed by all this fence building, but I thought it was a great line.

Calderon had some good lines as well. Did you know that Mexico’s most talented people are sneaking into the United States? That’s what he said. According to the AP: Calderón said his country “does not celebrate migration ... our best people are the ones who go.” (So Mexico’s “best people” haven’t finished 9th grade – 32% and don’t have a high school diploma – 17% and have a diploma but nothing else –25%. That’s 74% with zero college. I wonder what he meant by “best”?)

Listen to this quote from el Presidente: Calderón demanded that the United States respect “the right to work wherever one can make the greatest contribution.”

Or this one: “Immigration is a natural phenomenon that is economically and socially inevitable.”

Here’s a good one: He also called for a crackdown on U.S. weapons that “cross the border all too easily.” Calderón said weapons illicitly smuggled in from the U.S. had been responsible for killing dozens of Mexican policemen. (Well, we caught three Mexican policemen at an Arizona gun show buying weapons. Maybe Calderon has a “friendly fire” problem.)

Oh, and it is taking way too long at the border stations. In some places the back-up is five hours. Need I mention that there is no waiting if you are heading south? Perhaps we should take out the inspection stations altogether. Would that suit your fancy, senor?

As for US governors attending, Gov. Schwarzenegger expressed his feeling that we were good neighbors and good friends. Govs. Richardson (NM) and Perry (TX) did not attend.

The AP did not provide any quotes on the US agenda items of drug trade, migration and border security. I would have liked to hear what WE had to say at the conference.

Friday, September 28, 2007


We are committed to informing our readers. Here are two clips of interest to those with ten minutes and some bandwidth.

Clip one is a five minute video of presidential candidate Obama. This was recorded at the Chicago immigration rally on May 1, 2006. Let Senator O speak for himself:

Clip two is a Mexican tourism spoof (cartoon) to cleanse the palate after watching Barack:


Thursday, September 27, 2007

America - Land of the "subs"

There was an article in the Courier News a couple of weeks ago about car insurance. It seems that you don’t need a license to insure your car. Hence, we see the window signs in Elgin insurance agencies that advertise, “Seguros sin licencia.”

So, illegal aliens can insure their cars even if we won’t give them a license. Interesting. Sometimes I think we’ve forgotten WHY we got tough at the DMV. Does anyone remember two 100-story buildings collapsing a few years back?

Anyway, back to car insurance…Most insurance companies want to know a few things about you before they issue a policy. But the article talks about “sub-grade” companies that cater to people who have something to hide.

That prefix “sub” got me thinking about subprime loans. You might think that many illegal aliens hold subprime mortgages. They would be perfect for people who don’t have much money to put down and don’t think they’ll be in town for very many years. So, 100% financing with a 2 year fixed rate followed by an adjustment is just fine with them. Equity is a non-issue.

And of course the politicians are excusing those in default by saying they didn’t know what they were signing. Some point to a language barrier.

No one will ever tell you how many illegals have mortgages. Unlike some countries, they can buy and sell property just like anyone else, as long as someone is willing to do the deal.

Perhaps we are mature enough in this immigration debate to infer something from these numbers mentioned at the Univision presidential debate. It was meant to paint Hispanics as victims needing government aid, but here are the numbers:

Moderator Jorge Ramos said: “One out of every 12 Hispanics will lose their home because of the mortgage crisis.”

Sen. Hillary Clinton said: “about 40 percent of Hispanic homeowners have subprime mortgages.”

I think it is safe to say that illegal aliens have a major role in the subprime loan problem. I also think we are masking the problem. Can banks require proof of legal presence as part of the loan application? Apparently not, since illegals buy homes all the time. Is it illegal for a bank to ask about legal residency? Probably.

Banks relied on fast appreciation of the value of the homes to keep the scheme in play. They didn’t care about the stability of the borrower. Now they do.

The Orange County Register did an in-depth report on one street in Santa Ana. They found families doing desperate things so they could afford the payments; like dividing up the living room to allow another family to live there and renting out the garage.

Here in Elgin we have people simply moving out in the middle of the night, abandoning their home and their mortgage.

It seems like we are making all sorts of special arrangements using subprime loans and sub-grade insurance companies. America is looking more and more like a substandard nation. Is anyone making the connection?

We need to stop saying “yes” to everyone and everything. The time has come to rebuild a nation that is strong and proud.

A story

My name is Manny Flores. I know who killed those two boys over on North Street in July. The killer is a friend of my son. They are both in the same gang. In fact, the gun is hidden in my house.

But I will never tell you. You see, I am undocumented. I like that word you came up with. It makes me feel good.

But worse, I have been deported before. If I am caught, I will do time. I will be a felon.

So, I’m not saying anything.

A sad story, isn’t it? But it is just that, a story.

But the police must grapple with such situations in neighborhoods with large numbers of foreign-born. Chief Womack knows all about it. Sugar Land Texas is 30% Asian. She only spent a year and a half as chief there, but she knows the challenges. That’s why the city hired her.

So, let’s step back. How do we reach Manny and get him to cooperate with police? The short answer is –you don’t!

Well, what if you forbid the police from even broaching the subject of residency? We promise not to bring it up. Well, Chicago has had that policy since 1987. LA issued Special Order 40 in 1979. Does any rational human being think that these policies have had an impact on gang activity among the foreign-born?

Or, what if we gave you a visa for snitching on your family? Actually, we do a have a U Visa program just like that. It doesn't work for all the bureaucracy. And if it did, we have no reason to believe illegals will use it.

How about hiring more Hispanic officers? Manny will go out of his way to hide from them. They have even more tools to discover his dirty secret.

What if we teach McGruff to speak Spanish and pass out t-shirts to Manny’s children? Sorry folks, that won’t work either. These kids live in an ethnic enclave 24/7, a cocoon of protection that keeps them safe from the Gringo ways.

Part of the problem is that Manny has no respect for Americans. None. Manny thinks we are greedy, lazy, and stupid. We are a meal ticket for him and his family. Nothing more.

And we are stupid for thinking Manny will behave like a law-abiding citizen when he is neither.

Ya gotta be careful...

…what you say these days.

A few weeks back I was staying in a hotel, something I don’t do much of anymore. Here’s the routine when I go to my room: I throw the suitcase on the bed, hang up the dress shirts and suits, open the drapes, and grab the ice bucket.

They don’t always put ice machines on every floor anymore. And I’m not real keen on those flimsy plastic bags they use as ice bucket liners.

So, I walk out into the hall with my ice bucket in hand and I see two maids and a supervisor down the hall. I call out, “Ice?”, and they all run for the exit. What’d I say?

That night I was in the restaurant at the hotel and they served my soft drink. I took a sip and it was warm. So I stood up and called across the crowded dining room, “Ice?”, as I pointed to my glass.

The busboys and the cooks scattered like flies.

Then there was the time I served some fruit punch to the crew roofing my garage. I ran back in the house and fixed up a bowl of ice cubes. I walked out the back door, held up my tongs, and hollered, “Ice?”

Four workers jumped off the roof and ran away through the back yard.

I’ve learned that you have to be careful. I’ve also stopped wearing my blue windbreaker.

(For you literal thinkers out there –you know who you are- this is my feeble attempt at creative writing. Label this work fiction.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Is Betty a victim...

...or a fool?
In my mind’s eye I picture Betty Granger as the quintessential black matriarch. Her house is home to all sorts of grandchildren and nephews. And armed with a rolling pin she’s gonna make sure those kids make something of themselves.

Betty was a victim of overzealous policing back in March (or so they say). According to the story, Betty and her husband were having coffee early one Sunday morning when suddenly two dozen cops were busting down the door and searching the house. Everyone got “roughed up” by the cops that morning and they didn’t find a thing.

So Betty complained and the city came out and fixed up the place to the tune of $3,000 in repairs. (I think that was a bad precedent on the part of the city but there wasn’t much else they could do. I can only hope the cops kept a spare key to the new front door so they don’t have to use a ram next time.)

Well, Betty is in the news once more. Two of her grandsons, 17 and 19, were wounded in a drive-by shooting Sunday night. They live with her. The boys were walking along with their friend Benito at 11:15 pm on their way to the gas station for some cigarettes when someone (no one’s talking) took some shots at them.

Now, Betty, I’m going to walk you through this situation and try to help you understand what went wrong. Try to see if there were any signs of trouble leading up to the shooting.

1) Benito Suarez is a hoodlum. He spent 18 months in prison for aggravated use of a weapon. He has three other convictions for violent crimes as well. You know that, Betty. The only appropriate response when Benito shows up to see your grandkids is to chase him off the porch with a garden shovel.
2) Benito is four years older than Raymond. It is not good for a boy that young to spend time with any 21-year old.
3) It is 11:15 on a Sunday night, not a good time for boys to be wandering the streets. If they are the students you say they are, they should be in bed.
4) You just had a shooting around the corner a couple of weeks ago. And you are within four blocks of every gang crime scene this summer. Now is the time to be extra careful with those boys of yours.
5) It just might be time to clean house at your place. Just maybe everyone living under your roof isn’t innocent of the charges filed against them. Maybe the younger ones can be saved, but you’ll have to evict the lawbreakers in your house to do it.

Well, Betty, did any bells go off when I pointed those things out to you? I suspect not. You’re still talking police brutality and "They are not in a gang. Those are teenagers that are going to school and trying to be something." Things won’t improve until you get out of victim mode, Betty.

Unfortunately, Elgin is filled with guardians like Betty. Some of them are named Guadalupe or Javier or Tito or Marisol. (You think that was a racist remark? Let me share with you the demographics of the school in Betty’s Neighborhood. In 2006 Sheridan Elementary had 25 white students, 52 black, and 452 Hispanic students - 275 of them in bilingual ed. Is it racist now?)

There is no hope of solving this gang problem with parents like that. They have no parenting skills. They are in denial about their own kids’ involvement. They are unwilling to tell police what they know.

Parents, are you afraid of your kids? If your child is out of control, gather evidence from his bedroom and call the cops. There isn’t anything in your current relationship that will solve the problem, and you just might save his life.

How many warning shots will it take before the parents of these gang-bangers start telling it like it is?

Unconscionable delays

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan was on WGN with Spike O”Dell on the 24th. She was doing her consumer protection thing, all indignant about “the unconscionable delays” (her exact words) on the part of the federal CPSC in doing the crib recall.

I was thinking Lisa ought to look in the mirror. It has been a month now since her counterpart in New Jersey issued the law enforcement directive requiring police to do 100% screening for illegal aliens in custody.

Why hasn’t she followed suit in Illinois? Must three college students be murdered here before she takes action?

Madigan’s unconscionable delay means that illegal aliens in custody are let out on bail or simply given court dates. They are back on the street and no one knows that they are illegal and a flight risk. No one knows that they could be deported if only someone would investigate and tell ICE.

No one will know unless someone dies. Then the truth comes out. Here’s what ICE spokesman Gail Montenegro said about an illegal alien with prior DUIs who killed a woman in Hoffman Estates in May of 2006: (From the Northwest Herald) Gail Montenegro, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Chicago, said she had no information about Rico or his case. But speaking generally, Montenegro said, agents interviewed foreign-born prison inmates to determine their citizenship status. Illegal immigrants receive a “detainer” tag, she said, and are released to immigration officials after serving their prison terms. “We have agents in place at various locations, sort of as checkpoints, where we can encounter aliens who could be passing through the jail system,” Montenegro said. But in cases such as Rico’s – he never received jail time for his DUI conviction – Montenegro said the department needed cooperation from local authorities. “In those cases, we’re a bit at the mercy of county officals to let us know,” she said. (end of Northwest Herald quotation)

The New Jersey directive makes sure the feds DO know, as well as informing the county prosecutor and the court.

Will it save lives? At first, I think it will not. It will simply mean more illegals reported to the feds that are not picked up for deportation. But that will change as police departments and county sheriffs are able to produce solid proof that an innocent citizen is dead and ICE was told about the illegal alien perpetrator on such-and-such-a-date and they refused to take custody of them.

Only then will our deportations become more aggressive.

At the moment, Lisa Madigan is responsible for those lives because she has a tool at her disposal that she is not using. Don’t delay, Ms. Madigan. That would be unconscionable.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Questions please

As we all know, NPR is a bastion of conservative media – NOT! ; in truth it is more like the anti-Fox.

Their Chicago affiliate is coming to Elgin to do a live broadcast on October 2nd. The topic is immigration. They have lined up some experts to speak and have included a Q & A session.

So, we have a chance to ask questions.

I ask my dear readers to give me your thoughts on what to ask. This is open to anyone who will NOT be attending the event. (They can ask their own questions.)

So, feel free to post a question. Be sure to click the “Anonymous” radio button at the bottom of the comment box before submitting the questions.


Lowrie Elementary...

…is a grade school on the near west side of Elgin. It has a history of parental involvement. In fact, their effort to keep the school open in the mid-1990s is a textbook example of how to conduct a community campaign.

The execution of the plan was nearly flawless. They had studied everything they could get their hands on to justify their request to keep Lowrie open. They studied demographic trends. They studied the costs associated with bussing if their kids were farmed out to other schools. They studied renovation/upgrade costs.

They also did some layout work to prove to the district that the old building could be brought up to life/safety standards, the main reason the district wanted to close it down.

A key element was that the school principal was in favor of the effort and had the courage to say so. Most administrators would have kept silent and supported the decision downtown. But he spoke up.

And an articulate group of parents showed up at school board meetings for several months to get the job done.

In the end Lowrie got their wish. The school was saved and the upgrades were made.

Now, here we are with another Lowrie campaign. It seems that the parents are upset with all the shuffling going on these days. They are moving kids around and canceling morning kindergarten. They are combining grades which causes parents to believe it will harm their children’s future. And all the district is offering is to send the kids to an alternate school. (Wait, you’re asking ME to move?)

What these parents aren’t saying now (perhaps due to political correctness) is that the problem can be traced directly to an influx of children of foreign-born parents, 30% of whom are in this country illegally.

Keep in mind it was a neighborhood school then and it still is today. In 1998, Lowrie had 351 students. 185 were white, 34 were black, and 127 were Hispanic. By 2001, the whites became the minority with 180, blacks fell to 22, and 196 were Hispanic.

By 2006 the white population was 99, blacks crept back up to 30, and Hispanics dominated with 288 students.

Indicators of foreign-born immigrants are low income and limited English proficiency. Lets look at Lowrie in those areas. First, low income:
1998 – 115 students (32.8%)
2001 – 255 students (55.0%)
2006 – 290 students (67.0%)!

Now, limited English proficiency (read: children of families who have been in the USA less than five years):
1998 – 96 students (27.4%)
2001 – 132 students (32.8%)
2006 – 169 students (39.0%)

There is no hiding the fact that the white enrollment has dropped by nearly 45% and the Hispanic student population has grown by nearly 47% in the last five years.

Couple that with the fact that the school district derives 60% of its revenue from property tax bills. In a normal world empty nesters would have funded the slow growth of US-born students at that school.

But in reality you have foreign-born families who commonly have more than one family sharing a single-family home, coupled with a higher birth rate. When this happens (as it has all over this area) you have the double whammy of less revenue from real estate taxes and more children placing demands on the school.

The limited English component means that classrooms, teachers, and textbooks are now devoted to bilingual education.

But be careful what you say; you may be labeled a racist for complaining that you’ve paid into this system all your adult life and now they are asking you to go to another school or make accommodations for the foreign-born.

Now, I hear them already with that, “We are all immigrants” nonsense. Just explain to them that never before have 30% of the foreign-born been illegal aliens. And when you track back to the SEVEN AMNESTY PROGRAMS over the past 21 years, you will find that nearly half of the foreign-born are either here illegally now or were illegal at one time.

There is no point in complaining to the school board. The courts have ruled that districts must educate the children of illegals in a language they can understand.

But the city and the state CAN and SHOULD do some things. And we all ought to be giving Washington an earful.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Liberal confusion

Here’s another story that has the libs doing a little soul-searching. (Oops. Do libs have souls? I mean, did I commit some religious faux pas just now? Please forgive. The offense isn’t here; it’s below.)

Anyway…I read a story that says Mexico is building a natural gas terminal 50 miles south of Tijuana. But this natural gas is impure; it will create TRIPLE the pollution that is acceptable now.

And those wacky Mexicans are refusing to clean it up before they pump it into the pipeline with the clean natural gas we put in there.

And LA is a major user of this gas. Angelinos are very touchy about their emissions you know. This stuff will create THREE TIMES the Nitrous Oxide levels of the SDG&E plant in Escondido, the current record-holder for NOx emissions.

(Hold on, here. Isn’t Nitrous Oxide the stuff your dentist gives you? That gives a whole new meaning to the term “general anesthesia”. And don’t they use this stuff to make cars go faster? Low-rider owners unite! We want more NOx!)

Rewind to all the hoopla about the BP plant on Lake Michigan this summer. Dick Durbin and Dem mastermind Rahm Emanuel couldn’t get there fast enough to hold a press conference on the shores of the lake when they found out that BP had approval to expand the plant without his blessing on emissions.

So BP, tail between their legs, agreed to accept the higher standards and change their plans for the gasoline plant, even though Indiana state regulators had already blessed the original design.

Now, back to the present dilemma…What’s a Democrat to do? Does Durbin rush to Baja California and do another beach scene, demanding that Sempra Energia Costa Azul (a Mexican company) clean up their gas?

Or does a good Democrat simply suck it up because they are an oppressed nation and we should not impose our Anglo point-of-view on them?

I think I detect Rahm Emanuel with crossed eyes. I do hope he can figure out the liberal way to go. “Am I brown or green on this issue? Brown…green…brown…green. One thing I can’t do is call them Dirty Mexicans. Oh, I can’t decide.”

Issues like these are so fun to watch!

Harbor fee

Liliana is an Elvira wannabe. She’s an illegal alien who only goes by her first name. She also has the obligatory anchor baby with her. She’s holed up in the United Church of Christ in Simi Valley California after wearing out her welcome at a church in Long Beach. Her unlawful presence has sparked rallies and protests at the church.

Simi Valley Mayor Paul Miller has invoiced the church $39,306 for police protection. The city can’t make the feds charge the UCC for harboring a known illegal alien, but they can make a point about what it costs the city to protect the church.

Mayor Miller made it clear: “This city is not going to be known as a sanctuary city.”

How refreshing. I think I would fall over dead if Mayor Daley took that sort of initiative, or Mayor Schock for that matter.

Now, astute readers will try to draw a comparison to the Sheriff Beck-Holiday Inn problem a few weeks ago. Remember, the Holiday Inn canceled the venue because the police wanted $3,500 for enforcement services.

The difference is…holding a meeting is not illegal in America; harboring an illegal alien is.

But it is nice to know the ACLU does uphold the right to hold a meeting and the right to protest, at least in California. Maybe someone should tell them about Crystal Lake.

"Paying for the cost of a political demonstration like this is paying for protection of freedom of expression, which is the price of living in a democracy," ACLU attorney Peter Bibring said Wednesday. "If people had to pay, no one would ever demonstrate."

Here’s another comment from a Latino activist:
But the church didn't call the cops, said Hilda Delgado, a spokeswoman for the New Sanctuary Movement, the organization that helped Liliana hole up in the church. Nor did its members cause any more of a scene than the 100 people marching around outside the church's grounds.
She dismissed the bill as a political scare tactic and said it wouldn't shake the church's resolve.
"We did not organize this protest," she said. "We did not call the police. We did not ask them to send their officers. This is ridiculous."
(end of comment – courtesy of The LA Daily News)

I’ll bet the Sheriff Beck organizers thought the same thing.

Franklin, Jefferson, et al. must be smiling right now at the twists and turns of freedom of speech.

Oh, I almost forget…Mayor Miller is the former police chief.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Western civilization on display

I attended “A Night of Excellence” Saturday. It was a church event. A dozen congregations (about 3,000 members total) were invited to participate.

There was a Vivaldi duet, followed by a Seitz violin solo. We had a couple of dramatic readings of works by Tennyson and Ave Verum sung by a women’s quartet. Then a men’s chorus sang Stephen Foster’s Beautiful Dreamer.

We heard a soprano solo of Con te partiro and the conclusion was a Rachmaninoff Piano Sonata (memorized, by the way).

We saw the works of members in ceramics, quilts, oils, and photography. None of the performers of exhibiters would be considered “professional”.

Perhaps 200 people attended the event.

It was really something from the past. No one worried about the racial balance of the program or the thought that someone will be critical that rap or salsa was not represented.

I thought about how meaningless refinement is today. We pay more attention (and money) to that which shocks than we do to that which excels. We have purchased the notion that cultural displays make people feel uncomfortable for all sorts of reasons.

"It smacks of elitism", they say. “Poor children can’t afford violins or voice lessons.” Or, “Native African music is equally complex and should be included in the program.”

Some would say, “Don’t you realize that Mozart was a pervert?”

And like fools we have acquiesced into the abysmal pit of cultural nothingness. We rush about calling every sound “music” and everything that moves “dance.” Excellence has lost its meaning.

I would be lying to say that I enjoyed every performance, but it didn’t keep me from appreciating the talent and discipline the works represented.

It may well be that our overarching efforts at inclusion will spell the end of our civilization; that we no longer have the desire to defend that which is decent and wholesome in our society; that we are afraid to stand up against things that debase and defile.

But for a couple of hours on a Saturday night, this group was indeed appreciating and honoring excellence and refinement. It was refreshing even though it seemed odd in our world.

Another warning about imported products

The bad news for China just keeps going, doesn’t it? We’ve got lunchboxes with lead in them and Barbie’s with lead paint and cribs that can kill. Geez, they are more dangerous than riding with Ted Kennedy.

Take them off the shelf! Lock the warehouses! Send them back! Shoot the factory manager!

Well, part of it is a certain amount of comeuppance aimed at an economy that is actually successful, but I doubt that the campaign will result in production returning to the United States.

But I find it ironic that dangerous imports are not always treated equally.

Take for example an illegal alien busboy who sickens dozens of patrons at a local restaurant. I’d call that a dangerous import. Hepatitis A is not exactly food poisoning. Yet there are no investigative reporters on the case. No congressional hearings are held. There isn’t a check of all busboys nationwide to round up the illegal ones.

No sir. We can look the other way when that happens. The widely accepted number is 25 fatalities – 25 citizens lose their lives each day in the United States at the hands of illegal aliens. About half are criminal-act fatalities and the other half are DUI deaths (the kind that are “less serious” because the driver isn’t a criminal in the traditional sense).

Let me ask you, how many people died from sucking on Fisher-Price wooden toys? I can assure you it wasn’t 25 a day. The crib alarm was sounded over three entrapment deaths TOTAL.

So why is everyone sitting back and watching this without taking some action? I blame the politicians and the media. Any other ideas?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bienvenidos a...

It seems that Aldi has a new house brand called "La Mas Rica". Isn't that special?
They were sensitive enough to at least print half of the panels in English, but as you can see the brand name is in Spanish only.
I looked around the store for any labels in Korean or Tagalog or Urdu but I didn't see anything.
Another retailer goes over the edge in the name of narrow, very selective, diversity. Maybe they need some letters from customers. Care to join me?

Tasers, nooses, and paramedics

Three stories in the news this week are dabbling in monumental issues. It is fascinating to step back and watch as people seek the black-and-white truth in a world they’ve already defined as lacking absolutes.

If all points of view are valid, what are they searching for? Well, fame perhaps…or retribution…or validation…or money.

The problem is that all this dabbling has far-reaching effects on society.

Where the Florida controversy is concerned, freedom of speech and use of tasers hang in the balance.

As for this mess in Jena Louisiana, we are facing new definitions of equal protection under the law as well as hate crimes.

Unless you live in the Fox Valley, you may not even know the paramedic case I refer to. (Google Gloria Lopez Carpentersville.)

In this case we just might forever change the face of EMS in this country. If the paramedics are an extension of the emergency room and therefore must treat and transport everyone who is presented to them, towns (like hospitals) might simply close down their operations. Why risk a $30 million lawsuit every time a paramedic makes a decision?

Looking down the road, it is just possible that towns will get out of the medical business. Private ambulance companies will come back. Treatment will be based on ability to pay and the ambulance drivers will not administer treatment.

The City of Elgin bills around $2 million for paramedic services every year and it is more that twice the size of Carpentersville. I’m sure it costs much more than that to keep paramedics in all the fire stations 24/7. A $30 million lawsuit coupled with increasing insurance premiums suddenly make it a no-brainer to ask the question – is it worth the risk to have paramedics at all?

The trouble with martyrs these days is that they aren’t of the highest quality. A sassy college student, a juvenile delinquent, and the mother of a probable anchor baby can’t hold a candle to Rosa Parks. In fact, all three put together don’t add up to a Rosa Parks!

I guess what I’m saying is that our country is debating significant issues using lousy examples.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sugar Land

Elgin Police Chief Lisa Womack was hired away from Sugar Land Texas (SW of Houston) two years ago.

Lo and behold, she just named her new Public Information Officer…..Ann Dinges from….Sugar Land Texas. No comments were made in the press about a possible connection.

Surely Womack needs a spokesman, someone who is better able to speak in soundbites than the chief herself. I certainly hope Dinges has that talent.

Here are some examples of Lisa-isms:
“We have been provided with no documents that prove legal residency.” This after more than a week of investigating the triple fatality van crash on Kimball Street. Let’s see here. She didn’t have a license, she didn’t speak English, and the van wasn’t insured. Of course you didn’t receive any documents of legal residency…THERE AREN’T ANY!

"Being a member of a gang is not unlawful.” Sounds like an excuse, not a comforting thing to tell the public in response to the gang wars in Elgin.

“Throughout Elgin, there has been a steady decline in felony gang activity.” Well, you wouldn’t know it from the bullets flying in July, August, and September.

"What occurred on Saturday was happenstance, folks.” See above. Hard to believe after a summer of gang shootings.

"There is never an acceptable homicide rate. Zero is the only acceptable number when it comes to this rate." Now there is sound police policy.

"It's not about the neighborhood; it's about specific people.” But chief, all six of these incidents happened in an area a mile wide and 1 ½ miles deep. (FYI, the police station is within the box as well.)

“Despite these incidents, violent crime, including those connected to known gang members, is still down in 2007.” Save it, chief. We aren’t the ones evaluating you for a raise.

So, we hope Officer Dinges is allowed to share with us substantial information about what happened and what is being done to address the crime problems in our city. My advice is that she keep the chief and most street commanders away from reporters.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Durbin's letter

I received a letter from Senator Durbin a couple of weeks ago. Frankly, I was impressed with the fact that he actually told me his position on immigration. As regular readers already know, both Hastert and Obama sent me letters explaining what happened with immigration reform this summer WITHOUT telling me their position.

Here is the text of the Durbin letter:

“August 29, 2007
Thank you for contacting me about immigration reform. I appreciate hearing from you.
Our nation faces a host of problems as a result of years of inattention to our immigration policies. An estimated 800,000 illegal immigrants are added to our population each year. Roughly half of them enter the country illegally, while the other half overstay a temporary visa.
Illegal immigration raises national security and economic issues that must be addressed. I have worked to reform our immigration system comprehensively, in a way that is tough, realistic, and consistent with our moral values.
The immigration reform legislation the Senate considered in June would have improved border security by increasing manpower and deploying new technology. Many constituents asked for a bill that will secure our borders before putting illegal immigrants on a path to legal status. In response to that concern, a “trigger” was included in the immigration bill, requiring that the bill’s border security and enforcement provisions be implemented before any program is started that would address the status of illegal immigrants.
The reform bill would have strengthened enforcement against employers who hire illegal immigrants. The federal government must crack down on employers who ignore our nation’s laws and hire illegal immigrants. The reform legislation sought to strengthen the penalties for hiring illegal immigrants and provide more resources to enforce these laws. Although worksite enforcement alone cannot solve the problems caused by illegal immigration, it is an essential element of comprehensive reform.
If we are serious about reform, we also need a realistic approach to the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants who live and work in our country. Mass deportation of these illegal immigrants is not an option. It is impractical and too expensive. Experts estimate that deporting all of the undocumented immigrants would cost over $200 billion, five times the annual budget of the Department of Homeland Security. Instead, we need to offer immigrants who work hard and demonstrate a long-term commitment to be law-abiding, contributing members of our society a chance to pay fines and earn their way to permanent legal status over the course of many years.
Some voices in the immigration debate called the Senate bill an amnesty for illegal immigrants. I oppose amnesty because it is not right to reward those who have broken the law with automatic citizenship. The bill we considered would not have given amnesty to illegal immigrants.
Under the bill, undocumented aliens would have been able to earn their way to legal status only if they had a clean criminal record, were continuously employed, paid thousands of dollars in application fees and penalties, passed a security background check, passed a medical exam, learned English, learned U. S. history and government, paid all back taxes, went to the back of the line behind all applicants already waiting for green cards, and left the United States to apply for legal permanent residence at a foreign consulate.
If we do not give people who are already a part of our communities the chance to earn their way to legal status, we will not solve the problem of illegal immigration. People who are living here illegally will stay in the shadows instead of coming forward to register. This hurts our national security and hurts American workers, who are being undercut by illegal labor.
Strengthening our border security is a critical component of reform. Soon after the debate on immigration reform, the Senate passed a Homeland Security Appropriations bill that would fully fund – and go beyond – the President’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2008 for border security and immigration enforcement. I voted for the bill. It includes $570 million to hire 3,000 additional border patrol agents; $1 billion for border fencing, infrastructure, and technology; $146 million for 4,000 additional detention beds (3,050 more than the President requested); additional funding for law enforcement officials who arrest illegal aliens and ensure their return to their home countries; and $15 million above the President’s request to expand worksite enforcement investigations. The bill includes $3 billion in emergency funding to ensure that the necessary border security and enforcement provisions are implemented quickly.
I am deeply concerned about the potential impact of proposed temporary guest worker programs on the American workforce. In contrast to those immigrants who are already here and actively engaged in our workforce, guest worker programs would bring in a large future flow of workers who might otherwise never come here. I voted to eliminate the guest worker program in the Senate immigration bill. When that effort was unsuccessful, I offered a Hire Americans First amendment to require employers to seek American workers for their open positions before they try to bring in guest workers. This amendment was approved by the Senate in an overwhelming, bipartisan vote. The Senate also approved language I offered to protect American workers and address major abuses in the H-1B visa program.
There is no perfect solution to the problems we face as a result of our broken immigration system. Today, our borders are not secure, our workplace enforcement laws need reform, and our immigration policy fosters a shadow economy for millions of immigrants who simply want to demonstrate that they can be hardworking contributors to the greatness of our country. I will continue to work for a package of reforms that will protect American workers and that will be tough, enforceable, economically sensible, and morally defensible. I will keep your views in mind as the debate continues.
Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator
(end of Durbin letter)

Like I said, at least I know where he stands. He played a bit fast and loose with some of the details, but that is understandable. The reform bill was changing moment-by-moment and I’m sure any statement he made was correct at one point or another. For example, he stated that illegals would have to pay “all back taxes”. Most would agree that “all” was not in the final proposal.
And he talks about leaving the country to reapply. That wasn’t out there for long. Touchbacks were dismissed rather quickly in the debate.

Like Bush, he is in denial about the bill being amnesty. He never really explains why the plan doesn’t amount to amnesty, unless you parse out the phrase “automatic citizenship”.

Durbin appears to be playing to his union supporters when he talks about Hire Americans First, but loopholes abound when people want foreign workers over Americans. IT professionals are hit hard by foreign competition, but at the end of the day people don’t need to move, only electrons. Whether the Indian programmer lives in Calcutta or Chicago, the impact is the same on American IT folks out of work.

Like the rest of them, he takes no blame and offers no apology for the inaction of the past. It is like they are talking about other people when they criticize those who didn’t deal with this before.

Well, get used to Durbin. The GOP in Illinois is in total disarray so it looks like Dick has a job for at least one more term...unless he has a layover in Minneapolis. (No, I’m not implying that Durbin is gay.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

One bite at a time

There are some valid fears out there that Congress is working on comprehensive immigration reform again. Only this time they are doing it by tagging bits-and-pieces on to other legislation.

I suppose that way they get fewer calls, e-mails, and faxes from citizens.

For example, the DREAM act is on the table again, thanks to Dick Durbin and Harry Reid. Actually, that piece of reform is quite a plum for those who vote for it. Who can be against college kids earning their citizenship by going to school?

Personally, I am opposed to it simply because it is another magnet that draws illegals. Not to mention it is a reward for bad behavior. And it is coupled with subsidized tuition at state colleges in ten states (including California and Texas, the top two destinations for illegals).

How much is a subsidy? For Illinois, FAIR calculated it at $12,920 per student per year!

So, the family sneaks across the desert with a child in tow (dumb, to begin with) and we educate them for free in public schools. Let’s say $5,000 a year over 13 years. Then we add four years of college ($12,920 x 4) for a taxpayer hit of $116,680.

And for all of that we are going to grant them citizenship?

So, Durbin is attaching it to the Defense Authorization Bill. Here’s his rationale in a speech on July 13th: “A recent study by the Center for Naval Analyses concluded: Non-citizens have high rates of success while serving [in the military]--they are far more likely, for example, to fulfill their enlistment obligations than their U.S.-born counterparts. The study also concluded that there are additional benefits to enlisting noncitizens. For example, noncitizens ``are more diverse than citizen recruits--not just racially and ethnically, but also linguistically and culturally. This diversity is particularly valuable as the United States faces the challenges of the Global War on Terrorism.'' The DREAM Act is not just the right thing to do; it would be good for America. The DREAM Act would allow a generation of immigrant students with great potential and ambitions to contribute to the military and other sectors of American society.”
(end of Durbin’s speech.)

Does anyone else feel weird that we have non-citizens in the military? I know we always have, but it gives me the creeps, especially given the failure of our nation to identify goofs in the past. Remember the soldier who was throwing grenades into tents in Kuwait in 2003? (I know, Akbar was a citizen. I’m just pointing out that the military doesn’t vet very well.) It just seems odd that we would want more of them.

Uncle Sam isn't your mother

We sometimes fail to see the symbolism of Uncle Sam as an icon of government. Let me compare an uncle to mom.

Uncle Sam is willing to loan you some money, if he has it.
Mom will take out a loan in order to give you money.

Uncle Sam will let you crash at his place for a couple of weeks if you are down on your luck.
Mom will always take you in for as long as you need, dear.

Uncle Sam will offer you leftovers.
Mom will cook you Sunday dinner, complete with your favorite pie.

Uncle Sam will give you a ride.
Mom will let you have her car.

Uncle Sam will tell you when you’re wrong.
Mom thinks you can do no wrong.

Uncle Sam will call on you to die for him.
Mom will die in your place if necessary.

Uncle Sam won’t be fooled by you twice.
Mom will love you no matter what.

Uncle Sam will give you advice.
Mom will give you orders, and punish you if you don’t obey.

Sometimes mom can be a tyrant. There are all sorts of promises being made on the campaign trail. We would do well to ask ourselves if we need more government programs. I think we’d be better off with a lot less government and a lot more self-reliance. At least we’d have more citizens with a little dignity.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Viva Mexico!

Yesterday was Mexican Independence Day. There was the usual display of cars waving Mexican flags all over Elgin. Some were the large 3’ X 5’ variety suitable for the front porch, but they were being waved proudly by Mexicans living in Elgin.

Others were covering the hoods of cars with the edges somehow fastened out of sight between the fenders and the hood.

At sunset they began several ad hoc parades, honking horns and waving flags. I watched as four cars formed a parade and decided to honk their horns as they drove along. A city police car, three cars behind them, did nothing. I suppose they have special “rules of engagement” during such holidays. The honking went on for a couple of hours.

It was a much more agitated celebration back in Mexico this year. The tradition is for the president to step out on the balcony of the palace at midnight and yell, “VIVA MEXICO!” on the eve of independence day. The adoring crowd in the plaza echoes back the greeting.

But some in the crowd planned to drown him out with boos and hissing. You see, the Mexican equivalent of Al Gore is Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Andres and his followers are convinced that Calderon stole the election from him. So they protest his presidency every chance they get.

Back here in Elgin we are doing our best to convey the message that assimilation isn’t important. The motto of our Department of Diversity is, “Come as you are. Don’t change a thing.”

We were treated to a speech by Bankruptcy Court Judge Manuel Barbosa. It somehow makes sense that the Bankruptcy Court would have a “born in Mexico” judge. There was this exchange during the Univision debate:
”MODERATOR: Many people are losing their homes in the United States, Senator Clinton. One out of every 12 Hispanics will lose their home because of the mortgage crisis. What's the role of the federal government to play to ensure that the American dream is not lost?
SEN. CLINTON: Well, this is a serious problem for all Americans, but
it's particularly serious for Hispanics, because, as Jorge said, unfortunately about 40 percent of Hispanic homeowners have subprime mortgages. And given what's happening in the market, if the federal government does not step in and take steps to prevent foreclosure, millions of Americans and many Hispanics will lose their homes.
So I think we have to do several things. We've got to have some
intervention by the federal government.”

So I guess Manny sees a few Hispanics in his courtroom. It’s nice that he can talk to them in their own lingo.

According to the paper, Judge Barbosa explained why we ought to celebrate (or at least care about) Mexican Independence Day. He said that the American Revolution was the inspiration for Father Hidalgo to push for liberation from Spain in September of 1810.
"Our destinies are entwined in many ways. We have the common tradition of seeking freedom and celebrating it."

No mention was made of the war between our two countries in 1846 or the on-going battle at the border today. Nor did the good judge discuss the problems of identity theft, spouse abuse, or gangs that have been imported from south of the border.

No, this was a day for celebrating our common goals. Viva Mexico!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

What Mexicans think of us

A Zogby Poll was conducted in March of 2006. They asked a sampling of Americans and Mexicans to describe one another. The results were interesting. I found that there was a definite socialist bent in the Mexican answers.

For example, question 13 asks: “Which of the following do you feel is more likely the reason why the US is so much wealthier than Mexico?”
Americans answered:
It is a free country where people have plenty of opportunity to work 70%
It exploits others’ wealth 12%
It is a lucky nation, destined to be successful 7%
Other 4%
None of these/Not sure 7%

Mexicans said:
It is a free country where people have plenty of opportunity to work 22%
It exploits others’ wealth 62%
It is a lucky nation, destined to be successful 8%
Other 1%
None of these/Not sure 6%

Ah, the ugly American. So why do we need an electrified fence to keep you out?

The poll also measured how Mexicans view the character of Americans. Here’s the narrative from Zogby:
“Mexicans are much more likely to look poorly upon Americans than Americans
are to do of Mexicans. This is seen as approximately half of Mexicans give low ratings (a
1 or 2) to Americans as “hard working” and “tolerant.” More than two in five Mexicans
(43%) also rate Americans low on being “honest.” The biggest consensus of Mexicans is
observed as a majority of nearly three in four (72%) rates Americans highly on being

Question 1: Is your overall impression of American people very favorable, somewhat
favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable?
Mexicans said:
very favorable 4%
somewhat favorable 32%
somewhat unfavorable 29%
very unfavorable 24%

not sure 12%

But is our multicultural training in school paying off? Is your overall impression of Mexican people very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable?
Americans said:
very favorable 39%
somewhat favorable 45%

somewhat unfavorable 7%
very unfavorable 2%
not sure 6%

There’s nothing I hate worse than not getting credit for the good things I do. I think it is clear from this poll that the folks doing the exploiting here are the Mexicans. They really dislike us but are willing to come here by the hundreds of thousands each year to work and send money home. There is no allegiance to our nation. Their American dream means having a job and sending home as much as possible. They are here for the cash, folks.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Elgin's Braintrust

There’s nothing like an anti-gang violence rally to bring out the pols on a frosty Friday night. And so it was. They met at Clara Howard Park.

Let me give you a little tidbit of history about Clara Howard Park. One of the people who built that park was Andrew Peterson. Andrew is now in medical school. Back then he was working on his Eagle Scout project. I spent a Saturday over there myself, spreading mulch as I recall.

Later on, young men would approach the city to see if they could do an Eagle Project. Too risky. Too much liability. It’d upset the unions. The city can’t get involved in them.

Instead I see those former Eagle Projects being performed by hoodlums in the Elgin Police Community Restitution Program van. And we call ourselves enlightened! What a shame.

So last night all the city fathers showed up to stop the madness. Here is a partial list of dignitaries:
Mayor Schock
Councilman Steffan
Chief Womack
Elgin Icon Dews
State Senator Noland
State Rep. Munson

There were speeches and a brisk walk to the Burger King.

Noland, a democrat, wants to fine the parents of gang members in an effort to get them to rein in their kids or move out of town.

Munson, a republican, wants after school programs so the government can raise the kids because “parents have to work.” Reminds me of something Hillary would say.

Jim Vaughn, the neighborhood group president, gave the most useful advice of the night. He said, “Open your eyes. Open your mouths.” Now there is one wise man.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The gang's all here

"Being a member of a gang is not unlawful.”
Elgin Police Chief Lisa Womack July 30, 2007

Here’s a list of publicized gang activities in Elgin.
July 5th – Shell casings and blood stains found in the College Street area.
July 26th – Two young Hispanic males killed and three others injured on North Street.
August 30th – Rival gangs shoot at each other outside Sheridan Elementary School 15 minutes after school lets out.
September 8th – Black gangs have a shoot out near Drake Field while a football game is in progress.
September 12th – Chief Womack reports to the city council on the problem.
September 12th – A teenager riding his bike was shot in the back on Channing Street, allegedly the victim of crossfire between gang members in cars.

We now have the routine down. There is a shooting, then there is a community meeting. The Chief shows up and tells everyone that crime is down in Elgin. The mayor denies the scope of the problem. Listen to what our leaders have said in response to the problem:

Chief Womack:
"We are watching. We have been watching.”

"What occurred on Saturday was happenstance, folks. It was the wrong place at the wrong time. What we have are rival gang members that have a known dispute. It had nothing to do with the football games at the time." (She then admitted that rival gang members were in the stands watching the football game.)

"I would be absolutely furious if this happened at any event where my child was. We're going to handle the security in the short term and look at the long term." (Use some empathy. Empathy is good, especially if you don’t have answers.)

“Throughout Elgin, there has been a steady decline in felony gang activity.”
“This has happened as the city's Hispanic population has grown. There is no correlation between a rising immigrant population and gang-related crimes. A lot of people are trying to make that tie, but we have had a decrease in our crime rate for many years."
"It's not about the neighborhood; it's about specific people.”
"There is never an acceptable homicide rate. Zero is the only acceptable number when it comes to this rate."

“Despite these incidents, violent crime, including those connected to known gang members, is still down in 2007.” (That’s good. It means she’ll get a nice raise this year.)

"It's unfortunate that generally gang-related violence is gang member on gang member for some perceived slight or dispute. It's also unfortunate that these gang members engage in these actions with absolutely no regard to the risk they are placing innocent bystanders in."

Mayor Schock:
"I live in a neighborhood with its share of gang problems. I'm always amazed by the level of denial of adults when kids get involved with gang activity."

"These gang members were riding through and saw someone they knew or thought they knew. It had nothing to do with Drake Field." (Nice thought, Mr. Mayor, but Chief Womack said the two men arrested, and the victims, were there to watch family members play football.)

“These random acts could happen anywhere.”
Asked what he could say to assuage any fears about Elgin being a dangerous place, Schock said, "For some people, probably nothing would convince them that Elgin is safe. Probably nothing I or anyone else can say would make them feel better or safer."

"Very frustrated, very angry, I'm sure like most Elginites, that a few miscreants can make it difficult for our community and everybody in it. We've been making tremendous progress reducing crime. So when something like this happens, it's just so frustrating."

Council member Mike Powers:
"When this stuff happens it really is disconcerting on a lot of levels. I'm absolutely concerned. I'm raising a family in this town. It's unfortunately and ultimately unacceptable to have guys shooting up our town."

Police Lt. Cecil Smith:
"Right now we're going through hopefully a short trend of disruption. The police are aware of it. The citizens of the community should feel as safe as they normally do."
"We're not the small village we were 20 years ago. Some of these things are bound to occur. Our job is to alert and inform our citizens that things are going on. Let them know the city is a safe place to be."

When I listen to these leaders, I get the feeling that they see it as a PR problem. They are playing a numbers game that involves votes and pay raises. I can see now that Womack was hired from Texas, not because she was a tough cop, but because she could get along with minorities. The objective is not to clean up crime in the streets but rather keep everyone happy.

And the foreign-born in Elgin have zero respect for that kind of police work. When 8,000 residents of this town snuck into the country, stole someone’s identity, get their wages paid under the table, skip out on medical bills, and drive without license or insurance…AND GET AWAY WITH IT YEAR AFTER YEAR…what respect do they have for our laws? And perhaps more importantly, what kind of parents are they?

Perhaps the Mexican Police can give us some pointers on law enforcement. It certainly won’t involve a McGruff costume.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


As the presidential candidates debate about national health coverage, we ought to take a close look at who will benefit. (We already know who will pay for it.)

The census bureau helps us see the whole picture. They analyzed who has health insurance of any kind. When you take out corporate health plans, plans purchased by individuals, Medicare, Medicaid, and military health coverage, you find that 15.8% of the population does not have health coverage.

But when you break it down by race/ethnicity, you see a clearer picture of who lacks health insurance:
Whites 10.8%
Blacks 20.5%
Asians 15.5%
Hispanics 34.1%

Here’s the link for those who care to look at it (hint: It’s on page 21 of a 78 page pdf):

But look a little deeper and you’ll see the data sliced this way:
Native-born Americans 13.2%
Naturalized citizens 16.4%
Not a citizen 45.0%

That’s right; almost half of the “guests” in our country, invited and uninvited, don’t have health insurance! No wonder the earlier methods of charity care don’t cover the tab anymore. We are going to pay for those who are least vested in our nation. Seems wrong to me.

So when you hear the libs talking about free health care for all, keep in mind who will benefit the most from their program. When they had the Univision presidential debate in Spanish, Chris Dodd said he intended to apply his program to illegal aliens.

State Rep. Ruth Munson (RINO-IL) is all for free or reduced clinics for the illegals so they don’t clog up the emergency rooms. It’s a nice thought, but how about the state helping to enforce the immigration laws on the books rather than creating new magnets?

Of course, if we institute a national health care plan and don’t do a better job of qualifying people for benefits, the illegals will get coverage anyway.

In 1965 when we opened the doors to mass third world immigration, we started down this path. This is just one example of the consequences.

We don't need no stinking....

….FOIDs. Three men decided to attend a Phoenix gun show recently. They bought three guns and 450 rounds of ammo. Nothing unusual about that.

Except these three made the long trip north from Mexico. And it gets better.
Carlos Alberto Flores, 36, is the Baja California state police director
Guillermo Valle Medina, 33, is a Baja State Police Commander
Jose Santos Cortes Gonzalez, 41, is a federal police commander in Baja California.

It seems that ICE agents were undercover at the gun show, looking for thugs who were going to smuggle out firearms, a real sore spot in US-Mexican relations. The story goes that Mexico would be a safe place if US guns weren’t so easy to get. But they caught these Mexican Police officials instead of gang bangers on a re-supply trip. Some people will tell you there isn’t much difference between the good guys and the bad guys in Mexico anyway.

Tom Mangan of ATF was quoted as saying, “It is ironic we are receiving a great deal of criticism regarding our efforts to stem the tide of illegal weapons, and then we have three law enforcement officers trying to buy weapons here.” It sounds like Tom is tired of Mexico blaming US for the gun violence south of the border.

By the way, these purchases were made from private sellers and they did not violate the law by selling to these hombres.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pimping Saulito

Big John Howell and Cisco Cotto do a radio show on WIND here in Chicago. They frequently express their disgust with Elvira and friends “pimping Saulito”. I suppose pimping is the right word for it.

I was a fool to think that once Elvira returned to Mexico, Saul’s life would get back to normal. Not a chance! He is traveling more than ever since mom was deported.

His picture was in the papers today, holding up something his mother never had; papers showing he is legal.

Saul’s godmother/guardian is a Latino activist. So I was a fool to think that the exploitation would cease. She was also Elvira’s key handler.

Americans see it for what it is – exploitation of a little boy. From the AP this morning it appears that some Latinos are starting to catch on as well. They too are disgusted to see the boy used for PR purposes.

For his sake, I hope the negative press will result in a more normal life for Saulito.

And for the nation’s sake, I hope he serves as a reminder that something needs to be done to correct anchor baby citizenship.

Our Fast-acting Congress

The House of Representatives has scheduled a meeting of the subcommittee on Consumer Protection to investigate recent complaints about unsafe levels of lead in toys imported from China. The hearings are to begin on September 19th.

Not to be outdone, the Senate Appropriations subcommittee began meetings on the same topic TODAY.

I have already discussed the format of all congressional hearings.
1) Find a high level corporate or government leader of the minority party
2) Make a grand speech about the congressman’s astute command of the problem, along with accusations of malfeasance on the part of the witness.
3) Follow up with a baggage-laden question.
4) The witness (#1 above) makes a grand speech about what is wrong with the system and/or explaining why they made the only possible decision.
5) Answer the question as ambiguously as possible.
6) Repeat 1-5 above until the media tires of the issue and removes cameras and microphones from the chambers.

So they will rake Mattel and Toys-R-Us executives over the coals for a couple of weeks, add headcount to the CPSC, and claim victory during their next campaign.

Do you wonder why they jump on these hot-button issues within 30 days but only review the immigration issue every ten years? I suppose it has something to do with the fact that these hearings always result in blaming some large institution but they avoid blaming themselves.

They scarcely have time to govern with all these special hearings.

I don’t suppose it ever occurred to them that between the competitive forces of capitalism and the threat of litigation, just maybe American business can handle this problem without Congress. Of course, government always improves every process they touch. (Puke.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Univision plays the race card

There was another episode of Candidates Road Show the other day. This one was for the Democrats and was a Univision event. (Univision, like Telemundo, is a Spanish-language network that broadcasts here in the USA.) It was the “first presidential forum broadcast exclusively in Spanish”, except for the questions and answers, which were given and answered in English, then translated. I’m confused.

I’m gonna need some help with the logic here. Only citizens can vote, right? Knowing English is a requirement for becoming a citizen (anchor babies excluded), right? So, why do we need a Spanish language debate?

It would be like having elected officials conduct village business in Spanish and refuse to tell the citizens what they were saying. That would be arrogant and rude. No one would do that, would they?

Bill Richardson and Chris Dodd were both forced to respond in English, even though both have a solid command of Spanish. It’s only fair, since the other candidates didn’t get past tape one of Berlitz. Sweet irony there, folks.

The forum was clearly a “pollo in every pot” performance by the libs. One could hear the dollars being sucked out of the treasury with nearly every response.

The very first question was a set-up. The candidates were asked if participating in a debate specifically for Hispanics was a political risk. They all said no, and proceeded to heap praise upon the Latino community.

One early question at the debate seemed particularly troubling to me. Someone asked the candidates if they would “promote Spanish as a second national language in the United States?” Hmmm. It was hard to hear their answers for all the tap-dancing but no headlines resulted so they must have been successful at ducking the question. Kucinich said, “Yes”, then went on to explain his close ties to Hispanics in Cleveland. Dodd and Richardson both did a little dance. The top three horses weren’t even asked that particular question.

Univision threw in a token question about Iraq, then went back to border fences and how quickly they would solve the immigration problem once elected.

It seems to me that signs like these tell me that Latinos have taken "Salad Bowl" Assimilation to the nth degree. They want their own bowl! Separate but equal. Viva la raza! I say we give them California, but others may say Texas.

For you Romney fans, Dodd has a huge skeleton in his closet. Chris Dodd is married to a Mormon. Kennedy may not have listened to Rome, but for a man to ignore his wife for his term in office would be impossible! A very dangerous possibility indeed.

Bonus section
Here are the topics covered by the moderator at the debate:
Q1 – The risk of participating in a Latino debate
Q2 – Spanish as a second national language
Q3 – Iraq war
Q4 – Capturing bin Laden
Q5 – Border fence
Q6 – Comprehensive immigration reform. When, not if.
Q7 – Halting immigration raids
Q8 – Jobs Americans won’t do
Q9 – Anti-Hispanic sentiment
Q10 – Latin American diplomacy (Venezuela and Cuba mostly)
Q11 – Latino drop out rate/bilingual education
Q12 – Free health insurance (even for illegals)
Q13 – Subprime loan mess
Q14 – Greatest contribution of Hispanics in America

It takes a village...

We’ve almost forgotten Hillary’s great book. The title says it all; we are all wards of the state and government’s role grows larger by the day.

But there is a voice of reason out there. Mike Bailey over at the Courier News wrote a fine editorial about the role of parents. It ought to be required reading for everyone in this country who is fertile (and I mean the males as well).

You see, we’ve had a gang shooting spree in our town this summer. It started on July 5th when police found shell casings and blood stains on the ground. Three weeks later someone took shots at a crowd of Hispanic boys. Two are dead and three were wounded.

Ten days ago rival gang members were shooting at each other across the street from Sheridan Elementary School just fifteen minutes after school let out for the day. And then Saturday there were gang members swinging baseball bats and firing shots in the vicinity of a neighborhood football field, at 10:30 in the morning!

These events, and the frustration of the community led editor Bailey to conclude:
“If anger must be directed toward a source, it should be at the parents of those gang members and the familial, cultural and social infrastructure that supports them. The machinery of city government cannot stop gang violence. But parents can. If civic and social pressure is to be exerted, it should be toward that end.”

I agree, but Bailey only nibbles at the edges of the root problem for Hispanics: a lack of assimilation. These neighborhoods have benefited from a generation of “tolerance talk” on the part of schools. These kids have scarcely grown out of their DARE t-shirts. They probably still have their G.R.E.A.T. graduation certificates in the bottom dresser drawer.

And they, along with their classmates, were filled with the message that all cultures are valid and we must not judge.

I’m sure they attended all the ethnic parades and fiestas offered by the community.

May I suggest that the core problem with Latino gang members is a failure to assimilate? These boys move in and out of cultures but have never bought into the sense of community. Neither have their parents. That is the problem with ethnic enclaves.

Transitional bilingual education and community-sponsored ethnic festivals send the strong signal that we do not want them to assimilate. Keep your third-world ways. We don’t want to impose our white culture on you.

But now, with teenagers dying in the streets, are we ready to call our liberal experiment a failure?

Look at the demographics of the local schools, Sheridan and Huff.
84% of Sheridan students are Hispanic. 50% speak limited English. As for Huff, Hispanics make up 80% of the student body with 41% speaking limited English. If you’re looking to blame blacks, they are in the single digits in both schools. The Hispanic graduation rate is only 78%, whereas blacks and whites are in the 90’s.

To be sure blacks and whites are involved in gangs. They are often from dysfunctional homes. But the crux of gang activity today stems from the foreign-born.

Educators see something different when they look at the demographics. They say it is a poverty issue. These are low-income kids and that’s why we have trouble with them. Well, duh. When 30% of the foreign-born are here illegally that would be expected. When another 30% are here without adequate sponsorship, poverty is predicted.

Yet the official position of the NEA is to embrace the illegal alien and push for comprehensive immigration reform.

Yes, Mr. Bailey, it is time for these families to pick up the ball and insist that their children become responsible American citizens. That is a tall order if mom and dad are here illegally. Maybe Teddy Roosevelt’s ideas about dual allegiance are correct after all.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Illegal aliens: Read this

Below are some words of advice in the form of a Scotch blessing, delivered by a Dutch uncle. You won’t understand what I just wrote but neither will the culturally illiterate among us. Our schools have become love-fests of multicultural sensitivity at the expense of cultural literacy.
1) Regardless of what Presidents Calderon and Bush have led you to believe, you do not have a right to be here.
2) Ditto for the thoughts of Elvira Arellano.
3) The Statue of Liberty symbolizes an invitation to form a democracy, not immigration policy.
4) If you do not wish to be separated from your US-born children, don’t have any. If you have given birth, opt to take them home with you when you are deported to your homeland.
5) Some human beings are indeed illegal.
6) Auto insurance is required in our culture.
7) Health insurance is also the norm.
8) It is expected that you pay for the medical care you receive if you do not have insurance. The same goes for injuries and damage you cause to others.
9) If you’ve had two beers, call a cab.
10) We don’t fire guns into the air to celebrate.
11) We do not litter the streets. Find a garbage can.
12) If you are deported, consider it an act of compassion. In some countries you would be put in jail for a few years. Don’t come back.
13) We don’t care how much you paid to get here, or that you almost died in the desert, or that you paid $1,000 for your fake ID.
14) There are people in the world who live in far greater poverty than you did back home. The fact that we share a border doesn’t qualify you as the neediest.
15) It is rude to speak your own language when out in public or doing business. We speak English here. Deal with it.
16) Your protests swell the ranks of people who want you to leave.
17) You are creating social friction for your countrymen who came here legally.
18) Before sending money home make sure you are paying your own way here first. We are under no obligation to feed you, clothe you, house you, or heal you.
19) Speaking of housing…one house, one family. Repeat that until you have memorized it.
20) You are not entitled to Social Security benefits paid under a fraudulent card.
21) If any of this offends you, report to the nearest border station and we will arrange for you to leave. In some cases we will take you to the airport nearest your hometown. Remember, don’t come back; you didn’t like it here.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Special Report - Global Warming Kills!

I was listening to WBBM on the way to work this morning. They had a special report about heat-related deaths and global warming. Some professors have crunched the numbers and determined that higher temps will cause an increase in heat related deaths

Mary Frances Bragiel ended the report with the statement, “More than 23,000 people could die from heat-related death unless something is done about the problem.”

Was that 23,000 a year? Was that in Chicago? Don’t know. She didn’t make that clear. So I looked it up. Some professors from Florida and Oklahoma spruced up a 1997 study and released it again this year. It’s hitting the news now because some Chicago environmental group issued a press release this week as though the report was fresh research. It turns out that a Google will reveal that all sorts of media outlets took the bait this week. The 23,000 additional deaths are in the 21 largest US cities combined over a 50 year period. But a big number does make you listen up, especially when the reporter leaves out the details.

Last year a U S Congressman from Iowa, Steve King, wrote a rebuttal to the “A day without immigrants” protests. He said it should be called “A Day Without ILLEGAL Immigration.” I quote from a portion of his letter: “The lives of 12 U.S. citizens would be saved who otherwise die a violent death at the hands of murderous illegal aliens each day. Another 13 Americans would survive who are otherwise killed each day by uninsured drunk driving illegals.”

So illegals are killing 25 citizens a day (that’s 9,125 a year) and no one is doing special reports on the radio about the problem. And those aren’t “scientific” theories; those are death certificates folks!

Instead, the media continues merrily along its way with the party line that illegals are decent, hard working people of faith, who have just come here for a better life, and are doing the dirty jobs we won’t do anyway…blah, blah, blah…

They seem to want to report the daily death toll of American soldiers and Iraqi citizens. (Detour: Someone on the radio last night said: "America is not at war. The Marines are at war. America is at the mall.” Now, back to my rant.) I wonder what would happen if they reported on those 25 people killed each day at the hands of illegals. But that is mean-spirited and it attacks a non-white group from another culture. The media is after white men and large institutions. What tripe.

I dream of the day when our society can speak the truth and address the real problems.


This blog will need a little personal background. I’m not much of a union man, and I’ll tell you why. My father died young at 55. He was a union man for 30 years, Local 84 Carpenters.

I watched him pay his dues. I watched him sit home some winters because there wasn’t any work “under roof” for him to do. And it happened every two or three years. As a parent now, I can’t imagine what it must have been like for him to scramble during those lean years to provide Christmas for his five children. He never talked about it and presents were always under the tree.

Yet he paid his dues even when he wasn’t working. And he honored the picket lines.

So when he died, I took Mom to the union office with his death certificate to figure up his retirement. This was 1977. They did a little calculating and told her that after thirty years and two back surgeries and wearing a brace with metal staves to hold his spine up so he could work through the pain, my father’s union was going to provide his 53 year old wife with $267 a month for the next five years or $98 for the rest of her life.

That’s it? She took the five year plan and went looking for a job. As we walked out of the office that day, we passed a newsstand and there was a headline that some union boss was going to jail for mob ties in the construction business. Thus ended my appreciation for labor unions.

Now…on to the story. I told you a few days ago about the judge in San Francisco who is blocking the effort of Homeland Security to crack down on Social Security Card fraud by getting tough about “No Match” letters. Judge Maxine issued a restraining order forbidding the feds from carrying out the plan.

I was surprised to see the AFL-CIO as the primary plaintiff in the case. I am also surprised to see unions throwing support to the illegal aliens when they protest for amnesty. They print up signs, they speak at the rallies, they lobby in Washington.

Here’s a quote from July of 2006 by Ana Avendano, assistant general counsel for the AFL-CIO: "There is no good reason why any immigrant who comes to this country prepared to work, to pay taxes, and to abide by our laws and rules should be denied what has been offered to immigrants throughout our country's history -- a path to legal citizenship." Ana, you left out, “..and is willing to pay union dues…”

Like so many others, union leaders have sold out to their members and gone out recruiting the illegals. If I were a union member I would be livid about it. Here they are spending dues money to campaign in behalf of people who come here illegally and take away union jobs. Remember, illegals make up 14% of the workforce in the construction trades (Pew research report, March 7, 2006).

And their presence is driving down the wages of loyal union members.

But the AFL-CIO is seeing brown and figures illegals are the next big thing. Tradesmen ought to be making noise about this while they still can.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

El Presidente

I just read the State of the Union address—from Mexico. It was delivered on Sunday, September 2nd, by Felipe Calderon.

First some background. Calderon was elected last year to replace Vicente Fox. The transfer of power includes passing on the presidential sash and a speech in the Congressional Chambers.

Except there was trouble in Congress. We send lawyers to Florida to count votes when the election results are questioned; in Mexico the Senators show up for a lucha libre! (See the photo at the top of this post.)

This is hardly the venue for a solemn ceremony, especially when George “41” Bush and Gov. Aaanold are invited. But Calderon pulled it off. The Senators had been at each other’s throats for three days before the ceremony. At 9:45 am they quickly called a quorum, they snuck him into the chambers through the back door, he took the oath, Calderon gave a short speech, and he was outta there.

Well, here we are nine months later, and El Presidente still has trouble going up to Congress. It is customary to deliver the State of the Union before Congress. Instead, Felipe surrounded himself with supporters at the palace and gave his speech.

Here are some tidbits from the official Mexican website:

“The Rule of Law and Public Security.
When I took office as President, I found public security in a tenuous state. Therefore, during the period covered by this Report, we have launched a frontal assault on violence and organized crime.
The fundamental objective of this effort has been to ensure the Rule of Law throughout our national territory. To refuse to allow crime to take what is ours. We are fighting so that our families, our children, women, and every Mexican are able to travel Mexico’s streets and roads, through our villages, towns and cities without fear.
The problem was not only the presence of organized crime, but also the violence and impunity with which several criminal organizations had taken territorial control of various regions of the country.
Let us not forget that what the criminals intended was, and still is, to take the future of Mexico captive. Although there is no higher law than that emanating from Congress, organized crime seeks to impose its own law. If, by definition, the State has a monopoly on the use of force, these groups seek to impose their own force, to dominate citizens and paralyze the government.
In short, they had defied the State and sought to replace its authority.
The situation had gone beyond the capabilities of local authorities, and as a result the federal government was obliged to take subsidiary and solidary action.
The seriousness of the problem, and the risk of it continuing to multiply, did not allow indecision or delay. That is why we decided to act with all the force of the State, to reestablish order and authority.
My Administration’s response has been equal to the magnitude of the problem. Thus, during the first days of my administration, we deployed several operations that have had the decisive and determined support of our Armed Forces, as well as the coordinated participation of the General Attorney’s Office and the Ministry of Public Security.
The main objective was, and is, to restore to the State the power that cannot be delegated or renounced.”

(My comment)
It sounds like what we often hear from people who are opposed to illegal aliens…”We are a nation of laws.”

But now, El Presidente goes south with these remarks, remarks that brought down the house with approval:
“Finally, I have said that Mexico does not end at the border, that wherever there is a Mexican, Mexico is there; this is why the actions of the Government in favor of our migrating countrymen is guided by principles, by the defense and protection of their rights, by prevention for detecting measures that may affect our people and by the professionalism we must offer our co-nationals.
For this reason, we are already using all the resources of our consular network for the benefit of Mexicans abroad.On behalf of the Mexican Government, I again strongly protest the unilateral measures taken by the United States Congress and Government, measures that are making the persecution and humiliating treatment of undocumented Mexican workers worse.
The insensitivity shown toward those who contribute a great deal to the economy and to society in the United States has been incentive to redouble our battle to gain recognition of their enormous contribution to the economies of both nations and to defend their rights.
Therefore, the Government of Mexico will continue to firmly insist to both countries’ societies and Governments on the necessity of comprehensive immigration reform and of categorically rejecting construction of a wall on our common border.”

Well, that sounds like great rhetoric, Mr. Presidente. It would probably be well received in some circles here in the United States. But see what happens if you are caught in Mexico without papers. I understand it is not pretty. Elvira’s treatment was a picnic compared to hard time south of the border. You can begin by adopting our rules for illegals in your own country, Senor Calderon.

But his speech does enlighten us about the feeling of entitlement held by illegal aliens in this country. If their President encourages and protects them, what do you expect?

FYI, Calderon’s approval rating is 65%. Bush is still in the low 30’s.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

"I don't know. That doesn't make sense to me."

Those were the words of Denny Hastert, then Speaker of the House, when asked right after Katrina if it would be wise to rebuild New Orleans below sea level. He made a quick retreat from those comments just hours later when he was bombarded with criticism.

The counterargument goes that you must rebuild in the same spot because of the historic and emotional significance to the victims.

Two years after I’m thinking Hastert was right the first time. There was an AP article today bemoaning the fact that businesses are not coming back to the big easy. I think it is hard to make rational business decisions in the face of high insurance rates, crime that was bad before the storm and is worse now, and a dysfunctional local government.

The federal government has rung in with a new VA hospital complex which should add to the economy, but there have been major employers who have chosen not to rebuild, primarily oil and gas companies.

Some will come back, of course. The two major industries before the storm were government jobs and tourism. Those will rebuild. But it doesn’t look good if you’re looking for a solid, self-sustaining, economy.

Perhaps if they had chosen to build a brand new city inland from the present location (read: above sea level) things would have been different. It would take a PR campaign, but a futuristic city like Brasilia just might work. It could be a modern, planned city with all the high tech advantages and green features.

But Hastert was cut off before anyone could even consider the possibilities. So, we will all pitch in our tax dollars and help throw good money after bad.

Mona Charen editorialized on the New Orleans subject in our paper today. It is worth a look.

On a related note, there is a large electronic construction sign in the middle of the road just before I get on the tollway. It has been there for a few days. It flashes “Storm Damage?” and “Call 847-XXX-XXXX” The fact that it is a hazard sign and it is parked in the middle of the road tells me it isn’t a message from insurance companies.

No, it is a sign that should read, “Call this number for free government money!” I guess not enough people are calling in for federal disaster relief and they are fishing for victims.

Last winter when Denver was hit with three major snowstorms, Paul Harvey read an essay about FEMA and the high plains. Snopes didn’t like it, but the message is true, at least for the residents. Like they always do, Denver residents picked up snow shovels and went to work taking care of their own problems.

I miss Ronald Reagan.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

The morning paper

Here’s my morning look at The Daily Herald
Above the fold on page one is an article called, “Are Spanish-speaking students ‘coddled?’
The school board president down in West Chicago explains that he learned English through immersion because it was required just to get by. He’s afraid that we treat Hispanic students as though they were stupid and spend 4-5 years teaching them English.

So that was a pretty good article, especially since there is a federal grant in motion in our area to slow down the bilingual programs. Now THAT doesn’t make sense.

Then on page six there is an AP article called, “Caught in the Middle” about Marshalltown Iowa. They have a Swift meatpacking plant in town and this article focuses on the poor victims of the ICE raids that separated families.

They interviewed one fellow that was caught in a raid ten years ago and came back. He was caught again in the last raid as well, only this time he has two children and tells the reporter, “I’m not a bad guy.” Yes, Francisco, you are a bad guy. Your second illegal entry into the United States makes you a felon and you’re barred from coming here for ten years and you fathered two children into this mess of your own creation.

Enter Professor Mark Grey of the University of Northern Iowa. He says that the illegals are part of the community and they are here because they are destitute and we are benefiting from their presence and the community would not be the same without them and they contribute to the economy and….Spare me.

Then there is little Elizabeth who was born here but who’s parents are both illegal. She fears that the day will come when she will be forced to live in Mexico in order to stay with her parents. Don’t tell me; tell your parents.

Back in the Opinion Section is a letter from Mr. Carrozzo who says that the government ought to go after the churches that sheltered Elvira and the companies that hired her. He’s also pleased that Immigration finally did their job.

This immigration debate is a debate about ideas. There are some serious questions about assimilation (or the lack of it) and whether or not we should wink at the fact that one third of the foreign-born are here illegally.

School teachers have been telling our children to accept everyone regardless of the impact on our society. The great social sin in their eyes is intolerance. But it ignores the costs as well as the deterioration of society as third world immigrants continue to practice their ways. They don’t like to talk about that part.

But our nation must talk about those issues before we decide to legalize a few million more people.

Hey, Jesse! Hey, Al! Hey, ACLU!

Where are you guys? There was a peaceful meeting shut down in Crystal Lake because some hotel didn't like the topic. Where are you guys?

You're all big on the rights of the people. How come none of you stepped forward to speak out against the injustice?

And Jesse Jackson was right in the neighborhood. Jesse grabbed a Catholic priest and protested in Barrington, just a few miles east of Crystal Lake. He had his megaphone and his sign-carriers outside of D S Arms, a gun manufacturer.

D S Arms makes guns for the military and the police. But no matter; it was a gun company and he was going to make his point.

It makes you wonder if these guys are in favor of the Bill of Rights or against it.

Surely Jesse and Al know that illegal immigration hits minorities the hardest in two ways:
1) They take entry-level jobs
2) They keep wages artificially low. (Think the labor equivalent of dumping.)

But to stand up against illegal aliens goes against the liberal agenda, and that trumps everything else.

Is anybody buying their brand of social justice any more?