Monday, June 30, 2008

An important decision


The top number represents the approximate number of times John Sidney McCain’s heart has beat in his nearly 72 years.

The bottom number is that figure for Barack Hussein Obama, age 47 (almost).

Vice Presidents are very important.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Politically Incorrect Piano

Each year young people from around the world meet to compete in the Bachauer Piano Competition aka the Gina Bachauer Young Artists and Junior Competitions. Here’s the list of entrants:
2008 Junior Competitors (Ages 11-13)
Cai, Stephanie (USA)
Chan, Karin (Canada)
Chang, Chia-Rui (Taiwan)
Chen, Cheng (China)
Dan, Aika (Japan)
Gao, YuTong (China)
Han, Anna (USA)
Huang, Hilda (USA)
Inoue, Hinako (Japan)
Izumi, Aoi (Japan)
Kawasaki, Maya (Japan)
Lee, Kyung A (Korea)
Li, George (USA)
Lin, Tami (Canada)
Lisiecki, Jan (Canada)
Mizumoto, Weston (USA)
Ozaki, Yui (Japan)
Park, Hyo-eun (South Korea)
Poon, Poony (USA)
Sham, Ching Toa Aristo (Hong Kong)
Song, Daniel (USA)
Sun, Qilin (China)
Sun, Yi Fan (China)
Tsuchida, Rieko (USA)
Vojtek, Jan (Czech Republic)
Wang, YiJia (China)
Weiyi, Le (USA)
Wianto, Nayaka Clarence (Indonesia)
Xu, Qi (China)
Xu, Zhi Ge (Angela) (China)
Yandi, Chen (China)
Zhang, Jiyuan (China)
Zhang, Sarina (USA)

2008 Young Artists Competitors (Ages 14-18)
Arai, Asami (Japan)
Cai, Yizheng (David) (China)
Chen, (Jenny) Yen-Yu (USA)
Cho, Joong-Hun (Korea)
Choi, Song (USA)
Chun, Yong Hoon (Korea)
Dmytrenko, Anna (USA)
Floril, Jonathan (Spain)
Gimre, Karsten (USA)
Hou, Kimberly (USA)
Huang, Nansong (China)
Kim, Minkyung (USA)
Kiyone, Marie (Japan)
Ko, David Yoshiaki (USA)
Kociuban, Julia (Poland)
Lazar, Ingmar Anthony (Germany)
Lee, Tony Dongyi (Russia)
Lie, Ning Yuen (China)
Moon, Page Young (USA)
Moshchuk, Ivan (USA)
Rana, Beatrice (Italy)
Tam, Kenric (USA)
Treutler, Annika Maria (Germany)
Tsang, Hin Yat Mozar (Hong Kong)
Vujadinovic, Sara (Serbia)
Woo, Naomi (Canada)
Yang, Song (USA)
Yao, Chengcheng (China)
Ye, Sijing (USA)
Zhang, Hao Tian (Tim) (Canada)

Did you notice anything about the names?

Now, the Wall Street Journal had an article the other day about the racial barrier in baseball. According to the report 29% of Major League Baseball Players are Latinos compared to only 5% of college players.

Something must be done, the politically correct NCAA tells us. These kids need access to the camps and travel teams so they can compete. They don’t seem to beef too much about the Black athletes dominating college basketball (59%) and football (47%).

Rick Majerus characterized the NCAA executives as the kind of guys who have to step out of the shower to take a leak. I like the imagery!

For those who simply must know more about the ethnicity of college baseball players, I suggest you study the ethnicity of high school drop out rates.

Meanwhile, I’m looking for that politically correct article about the unfairness of Asian musician dominance and what in the world are we going to do about it.

YoYo Mama, Bro!

By the way, 1st prize in the Junior Division was Ching Toa Aristo Sham (Hong Kong) and China-born Sijing Ye of the USA won the 14-18 year old division.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Anchors aweigh (er, away)?

The media braintrusts are all abuzz over the gun rights ruling by the Supreme Court. Most add the comment that Justice Roberts isn’t as moderate as he led people to believe.

Everyone agrees he’s been pretty quiet on this particular ruling, but he did vote with the conservatives.

Which brings up the writer of the opinion, Justice Scalia. His work was brilliant. He used a nice balance of amicus input, original language, and (here’s the most impressive part) original public meaning.

Now, if this had been the issue of citizenship at birth instead of gun control we could have had a change in the anchor baby ruling.

In order for this to work there will need to be a strong case brought before the court. They won’t take it just to stir the pot.

I’ve tried to think of what that case would look like. Perhaps a parental deportation/separation case. Or a death row situation where suddenly the inmate claims the rights of a Mexican citizen to prevent execution.

Or, like the Ark decision of 1898, simply someone who left the United States and tried to return as a citizen.

Surely the same quality reasoning we saw displayed this week would overturn the nonsense of anchor baby citizenship. The current Court does offer a glimmer of hope.

Hoosier wisdom

I got a call this morning (Saturday) from my old friend LB in Southern Indiana. It was a little early but I forgive him since they aren’t ever really sure what time it is in Indiana. They’ve got their own ideas about time zones. I flew into Evansville once and the flight attendant simply said, “The local time is 10 minutes past the hour. Don’t ask me which hour.”

Anyway, LB had been to the bank and had to tell me what happened in the teller window next to his. Two Hispanic men came up to the window. One served as translator as the other proceeded to try to cash TWO economic stimulus checks.

She was trying to figure out who the second check was for. The translator assured her it wasn’t his. BOTH checks were for his friend. And he produced TWO Social Security cards to prove it.

The teller asked him why he had two Social Security numbers and he explained that he had TWO jobs. Logical enough, right?

Well, here in Elgin he probably would have received his money and an invitation to open an account, oh and by the way, Illinois has a home loan program where illegal aliens are eligible to participate.

But this was Indiana. The teller ordered them out of the bank. Three cheers for the Hoosiers.

But there is more to this story. Two other fellows brought in their checks as well. They wired their money to Mexico. Gracias, Boosh.

Friday, June 27, 2008


A local perpetrator made an interesting comment in court on June 26. But first, a little bit about the crimes.

Evaristo Roa, age 24, a resident of Elgin’s swanky Gifford Park Historic District, was arrested because he has trouble discerning between what is his and what belongs to someone else. (Did I mention Evaristo is a Mexican citizen? I guess you can’t really blame the poor guy. Lots of people in this country don’t get the concept that the United States belongs to US, not THEM.)

So here are some of the charges against him:
4/11/2008 – Failure to appear to answer these charges:
Reckless driving
Driving on a suspended license
Possession of marijuana
Attempting to elude police
6/4/2008 – Theft from a locked car
Use of credit cards from that theft
6/6/2008 – Theft from a locked car
Use of credit cards from that theft
6/9/2008 – Theft from a truck
Use of credit cards from that theft

So, the judge at the bond call proceeds to read from her script that because Evaristo is not a citizen it is possible that he could be deported if he pleads guilty* or is found guilty of the charges.

Mr. Roa replies, “I would rather get deported. I don't want to be in jail for years.”

D’ya think, Evaristo?

(As published in the Daily Herald 6/27/08)

*- About this little disclaimer statement, I’ll just bet that the warning these judges read came about because some illegal alien perp got deported as a result of his guilty plea. Some immigration lawyer got him off because no one warned him that deportation was part of the deal for felons.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Supreme Court says Americans have right to guns

It looks like we’re going to need them. Read on.

Suspect in agent's death freed, won't be charged
7:06 a.m. June 26, 2008

A man jailed in Mexicali on suspicion of running down a Border Patrol agent in January, killing him, has been released without charges, it was reported yesterday.

The Attorney General's Office in Baja California confirmed to The Associated Press that Jesús Navarro Montes had been released from a Mexicali jail. No explanation for his release was given.

Navarro was arrested Jan. 22 by Mexican authorities. He was accused of driving a Hummer carrying drugs on Jan. 19 near Yuma, Ariz. Border Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar was placing spike strips on a road to stop the Hummer and a second vehicle when he was struck and killed, Border Patrol authorities said.

Mexican authorities alleged Navarro kept going, crossed into Mexico and gave the Hummer to accomplices.
(end of article)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Top secret - Obama's strategy

This arrived on my front porch last night, wrapped in brown paper. It is a copy of Obama's secret campaign strategy:

blah, blah, blah...a George Bush policy supported by John McCain...blah, blah, blah...which McCain will continue just like George Bush...blah, blah, blah...We've done this for eight years and we can't afford to let McCain continue to do for four more...blah, blah, blah...McCain is just like Bush...blah, blah, blah...Bush has failed, so will McCain by following the same path...blah, blah, blah...and a 100 year war in Iraq.

Coming to a stump near you. Listen for it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Boring baptisms

Ellen Raskin wrote the book “Nothing Ever Happens on My Block” about a little boy who lived a boring life because he wasn’t paying attention. Well, I’m jealous. I’ve attended dozens of baptisms in my life and none were as exciting as this one in Tijuana. You know things are going to get exciting when the Mexican Army shows up.

They arrested 61 people at the baptismal party, including the band and three local policemen.

Oddly enough, these folks can’t leave their work at the office. Here’s a description of items seized at the baptism: “Various rifles and handguns, police uniforms, 460 grams of methamphetamine and 5,000 rounds of ammunition” (and a partridge in a pear tree).

Also in Tijuana there were some very good vibes going on. The Border Meetup Group held a yoga party on both sides of the fence. No drug raid here. It was all hugs and chillin’ out.

Speaking of the border, a ruling came down that Homeland Security can build fences on the border without tree-huggers blocking construction. Actually the Supreme Court refused to hear the case. This allows the feds to invoke waivers where necessary to build the fence.

Now and then we DO win one.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

There's science...

Then there’s junk science…
And finally, there is Government science.

We all studied the scientific method in school. We were taught the rigors of using a control group, taking careful measurements, and making sure you can repeat your experiment and get the same results. That was science.

Then came junk science. Ah yes. Studies that revealed that 50% of people getting married were men, thus explaining the male-dominant society.

But today I have exposed Government science. It has to do with tomatoes. Remember my recent blog about the FDA and tomatoes? Well, they are finally using the M word.

An AP story in my daily paper says this:
Headline: U.S. clears tomatoes from 28 of 31 Mexican states
And this:
"MEXICO CITY -- The U.S. has cleared tomatoes in 28 of 31 Mexican states from suspicion in a recent salmonella outbreak, a move that drew praise from Mexican officials Saturday.

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration now appears to be narrowing its investigation into the outbreak, which has sickened more than 550 people, to some counties in Florida and three Mexican states: Jalisco, Coahuila and Sinaloa."

Here comes the Government science part:
"The decision represents "important progress" and was the result of "a day of intense negotiations between (Mexican) federal authorities and the FDA," Mexico's Agriculture Department said in a press statement."

I know a little about public health and if I recall food poisoning investigations they involved identifying the food or foods that made people sick, looking at the preparation area and workers, finding the source of the product itself, inspecting the chain of custody of the product, and finally the place where it was grown and packed.

Government science uses “intense negotiations” instead. (I guess it helps explain global warming.)

But the AP injects a thin slice of truth with this line about one of the three remain suspect states in Mexico: “While Sinaloa is Mexico's most important tomato-growing state and remains on the warning list, it has ended its tomato-growing season for the year.”

On another note, the Mexican Consulate is opening an office in Idaho, bringing the total in the United States to 50. Now listen here, I can take my Big Mac without a tomato but it will not be a Happy Meal without FRIES. You crap on my spuds and I’ll take to the streets!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Some very determined coyotes

A coyote is slang for human smuggler. If you want to sneak into the United States, you find a coyote, pay him some money, and he arranges the excursion. Sometimes they are called polleros (AKA chicken herders). The price tag used to be about $1,000 but the price has gone up due to heightened security.

Now, this is a highly illegal business and these guides are not always your church-going types. It is common for them to leave injured people in the desert to die. Sometimes they rape their customers. A common trick is to escort people into the United States, hold them hostage in a drop house, and extort additional money from them to finish the job.

For example, they’ll hold you in a house in Tucson and you have to call your cousin in Chicago to send another $1,500 so they will take you the rest of the way. If you don’t, they threaten to kill you or turn you in to Immigration.

So, this particular case caught my eye.

There were 33 Cuban illegal aliens and four Central American illegals picked up along the Mexican coast near Cancun. Mexican Immigration Agents were transporting them by bus somewhere in Chiapas when the bus was stopped by armed men. The Immigration Agents were ordered off the bus and the Cuban illegals and their coyotes drove away.

Well, 18 of those same illegals walked across the bridge into Hidalgo Texas a few days later and turned themselves in to US authorities. They will be allowed to stay because our laws allow Cubans who reach land to remain here legally.

Those hapless suckers who are caught in a boat are denied entry and sent home. The game (I mean POLICY) is called “wet foot, dry foot”.

So, these smugglers were not about to let Mexico keep their customers. They went after them with guns and didn’t stop until the job was finished.

Of course, these Cuban aliens paid $15,000 each to the mafia to get them into the United States.

And more are choosing the Mexico route all the time. Mexican Immigration Police estimate that they will stop 2,000 such attempts this year. Who knows how many enter through Mexico undetected.

Taking on water

For all you folks out west, the City of Joseph gets a break so far. But Quincy IL (40 miles south) is in serious trouble:

Lincoln and Douglas don't know what to say. (Check out the duck).
And Joseph explains to Brigham that there used to be a road here.

The Mississippi is 15 feet above flood stage but heading in the right direction. The swamp of Commerce remains drained for now.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Comparing speeding to unlawful presence

Maybe I’ve been too hasty in dismissing those who try to compare being an illegal alien with minor infractions like speeding.

There are some similarities. Like the fact that EVERYBODY does it. Out on the tollway nobody does 55. At night even 70 seems slow.

And it doesn’t seem like anyone cares about it. Surely the cops know it is happening but you rarely see anyone get pulled over.

If they really wanted you to go 55, they’d place a cop every mile or so.

Now, let’s try the alien excuses and see how they fly if you get caught.

Listen officer, I’ve been driving 70 on this road every day for five years and no one ever stopped me before. You can’t start enforcing the law now. That’s not right.

Or…officer you have to let me go. I have a child at home who needs me. They will be irreparably harmed if you delay my arrival.

Or…if it weren’t for people like me using the tollway, you wouldn’t have a job. I keep the economy moving by driving. And my speeding keeps all those gas stations open and oil rigs working. By driving along at 70 mph, I keep the economy moving.

Or…it’s a stupid law anyway. There is no reason to drive 55. We should have an open speed limit. I’m not a bad driver. I don’t cause accidents. I should be allowed to drive 80 because I’m a decent person and I obey all the rest of the laws.

Somehow I think I’m getting that ticket anyway with those excuses.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The vernacular of war

Every war has its own terminology and it inevitably spreads around society via the media and soldiers themselves.

The term “jeep” is actually an old army term. You requisitioned the motor pool for use of a General Purpose Vehicle…abbreviated as GP…easily becomes jeep as it rolls off the tongue.

Carpet bombing, Napalm and Agent Orange were terms heard on the streets of America during Vietnam.

And Desert Storm brought us SCUDs and Patriots. Daisy Cutters came back for a reprise as well.
Now we have the IED, the preferred tool of urban terrorists.

But we must all pray very hard that the next terrorist tool of war isn’t the IND, or Improvised Nuclear Device. Two government reports ought to give us cause to pause. First, from Rolf Mowatt-Larssen. Rolf is in charge of Intelligence at the Department of Energy. Listen to what he told a Senate Homeland Security Committee:

“In the early years of the 21st century, we will likely be tested in our ability to prevent non-state efforts to develop and detonate a nuclear weapon.

“We should not assume that the technology of a nuclear weapon is beyond the capability of a terrorist group. There are several differences between a state nuclear weapons program and one that a terrorist group might pursue. A state would want a regular supply of uranium or plutonium that it controls. A state would want a reliable weapon that would detonate only where and when the state chooses. A terrorist group does not need the kind of surety and consistency that a state desires. A terrorist group needs only to produce a nuclear yield once to change history.

“Today, al-Qa'ida's nuclear intent remains clear. Al-Qa'ida obtained a fatwa in May 2003 that approved of the use of weapons of mass destruction. Al-Qa'ida spokesman Suleyman abu Ghayth said in 2003 that it is al-Qa'ida's right to kill 4 million Americans in retaliation for Muslim deaths that al-Qa'ida blames on the United States.”

(Read Larssen’s complete testimony here: )

Ok, so they steal some fissile material and build a crude bomb. How are they going to get it into the country? I present to you government report #2. You are aware that most government agencies have an Inspector General department. They act as auditors. They test the effectiveness and efficiency of the agency. And then there is the GAO, or Government Accountability Office.

You’ll read now and then that some inspectors tested TSA at the airport to see if they can sneak something past them. Frankly, I’m not impressed with the results.

But the GAO specifically asked the question about border security. Here’s that report to Congress:

It seems that these government auditors found it quite easy to circumvent border security. We know Canada is a problem. But the risk (and the historical precedence) is along our border with Mexico. Let’s face it, Cubans and Saudis look more like Mexicans than French-Canadians. And regrouping in Mexico is an easier task than gathering undetected in Canada.

But let me quote from the report about the ability to move equipment across the border:
“At the point where the dirt road ran closest to the U.S.–Mexico border, our investigators spotted additional U.S. Border Patrol vehicles parked in a covered position. About three-fourths of a mile from these vehicles, our investigators pulled off the road. One investigator exited the vehicle and proceeded on foot through several gulches and gullies toward the Mexican border. His intent was to find out whether he would be questioned by law enforcement agents about his activities. He returned to the vehicle after 15 minutes, at which time our investigators returned to the main road. Our investigators did not observe any public traffic on this road for the 1 hour that they were in the area, but none of the law enforcement units attempted to stop our investigators and find out what they were doing. According to CBP, because our investigators did not approach from the direction of Mexico, there would be no expectation for law enforcement units to question these activities.”

(It is a bit frightening to note that the government investigators did not feel it was safe for them to conduct their normal tests in Mexico so they had to work from the US side.)

So, here we have two government agencies, both reporting to the Senate, explaining a threat and a method of infiltration. You’ll like this nice logo I found on the Homeland Security website.

It makes you proud to be an American, doesn’t it?

Please keep praying that the term “IND” never becomes part of our society.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Drive a little...

…save a lot.

If you happen to live near the Mexican border it just might be worth the trip into Mexico to buy your gasoline.

Pemex is the company you buy from down there. The government owns them. I’ve talked about them before. They have a low refining capacity and have antiquated exploration and drilling technology.

And yet a gallon of 87 octane unleaded gas will cost you $2.54 in Tijuana. Diesel is $2.20. You won’t find those prices in San Diego.

The downside is that you can spend a couple of hours idling in traffic to get back into the United States.

I suppose this bargain can’t go on forever. I suspect that someday soon President Calderon will make you drain your tank before you leave Mexico.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


We have wide circulation regarding the death of Ginger, a Boston Terrier that was sucked up by a street sweeper in the Bronx. Listen to the emotion from the AP report: “A street-sweeping truck roaring down a Bronx street sucked up a dog and killed her as her owner held the leash.”

This tragedy was reported in print and TV throughout the United States, including these news outlets: CNN-New York Daily News-Chicago Examiner-Reno Gazette/Journal-WNBC Channel 4-Miami Herald-MSNBC-WABC Channel 7-Star News Wilmington NC-Bakersfield Californian-New York Post-Washington Times

As with the sucked up duckling story from a couple of weeks ago, I offer this comparative data on the state of New York. In the year 2005 there were 245,402 live births and 117,944 induced abortions.

The abortion rate is 38.2 for every 1000 women of child-bearing age, nearly twice the national average of 19.4/1,000.

I must have missed the AP story about the tragedy of abortions. We have reverence for life in this country all right; it just appears to be selective in nature.

Now, about street sweepers.

Elgin is the Home of the Street Sweeper

Spec sheet on the mainstay Pelican model:

Oops! Not too many of my readers need the Spanish version. Try this:

They cost about $145K each, nicely equipped.
See this government purchase for details:

Since the City of Elgin has a special deal because the sweepers are made locally, they pay only $160K. (Government math strikes again!)

The BIG pdf file (94 pages) at the other end of this link tells the story on pages 87 to 94:

Some funny curb your dog signs:

Explaining the amnesty problem

I’m always looking for ways to explain immigration problems. It seems that conventional wisdom these days follows along the lines that the “undocumented” are a problem in our country.

And that we ought to "seal" the border.

And that we haven’t put enough employers in jail for hiring the “undocumented.”

And that we ought to figure out a way to deal with the 12 million people who are here already. Deportation is not an option, they say.

That notion has its roots in the White House itself. Bush is on record as saying NO to any mass deportation because, “That ain’t gonna work.” (He can be so eloquent sometimes.)

So people are willing to admit there is a problem and talk about it. But you have to be careful.

My first rule is this: Do NOT use the word “Amnesty”. It is always better to say “Legalization.” Again, we can thank Bush for that one, though he’s never explained the difference very well.

Now, here’s the analogy. It is a bad idea to give a high school diploma to someone who can’t read or write. Why?
1) It rewards him in spite of the fact that he didn’t do the required work.
2) It cheapens the diploma of everyone who earned one.
3) It sends a message to his younger brothers and sisters at home that they too can get a diploma without doing the work.
4) Someday, somewhere the reason for the diploma requirements will become apparent.

Some will still say that it is impractical to round up 12 million people (don’t tell them that the 12 million number is a very low estimate) and send them home.

I explain that every hostess knows that when the food and booze run out the party will disperse. It is a matter of magnets and deterrents. When you remove the reasons they come here and push back by calling attention to their trespassing, they will go home.

There are early indications that the very miniscule efforts we’ve made in the past year or two are actually paying off. Imagine how many would self-deport if we got serious.

And I always end my discussion asking them what they suggest. Very few are in favor of open borders AKA allowing anyone who wishes to come here to do so. When you explain the current situation and what we’ve tried that hasn’t worked, simply ask them for a better idea.

They usually talk about legalization and you need to press them on the matter. Ask, “What did we do wrong in 1986?” “How would you do it differently?” And the clincher, “How does your idea deter future generations who also want to escape the Third World?”

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Yet another reason to go back to Mexico

Happy Fathers Day, Escobedo style!

Mayor Margarita Martinez of Escobedo Mexico is honoring the men in town by passing out Viagra and condoms for Fathers Day.

(Sure beats chocolate chip cookies, neck ties, and golf balls!)

Now, don't you miss the old country?

Friday, June 13, 2008

More typos

Jostens has been serving the educational institutions of the United States since 1897. They’ve got class rings, cap and gown packages, and yearbooks.

And diplomas.

Westlake High School (Ohio) ordered up their diplomas for the 330 graduating seniors. They had to send them back due to a printing error.

But, no problem. The corrected diplomas arrived in time for the ceremony. Except, the new diplomas spelled the word “education” as e-d-u-c-a-i-t-i-o-n.

Jostens gets a third chance to get it right.

Out in Stockton California they are reviewing the civil service hiring laws to see if dyslexia can be part of the pre-employment testing.

As for me, I’m grateful that my spelling sins aren’t quite so public. Bill Gates does most of my proofing or I’d be in real trouble.

Culture quiz

Analyze this statement: “Barack is a closet mussulman.”
It means:
a) Barack likes a certain brand of applesauce
b) Barack secretly can bench-press twice his own weight
c) Barack supports Islamic doctrines but doesn’t want you to know it
d) Barack likes to eat clams but his doctor doesn’t approve
e) None of the above

Disclaimer: I am using the name Barack as a first name. Any similarity to persons alive or dead is purely coincidental.

Now, here is a real life question, far more important than the culture quiz above.

Obama’s position on the Supreme Court decision regarding the rights of detainees has the potential of being his Achilles’ heel.

First of all, his weakness is foreign policy.

Secondly, it solidifies the fears of those who are concerned about his Muslim ties.

Third, it plays to the fears of many Americans that the Supreme Court is leaning too far to the left. McCain is a better choice for those who want to move the court in a more conservative direction. (The reality is that GOP presidents have picked some real stinkers, but it won’t stop us for shuddering to think about who Obama might pick.)

Last, it opens a door for Bush to open the wound any time he chooses. Imagine the impact of ANY terrorist activity between now and the election.

Obama would be defenseless against any criticism having gone on record as saying, “Today's Supreme Court decision ensures that we can protect our nation and bring terrorists to justice, while also protecting our core values. The Court's decision is a rejection of the Bush Administration's attempt to create a legal black hole at Guantanamo - yet another failed policy supported by John McCain. This is an important step toward reestablishing our credibility as a nation committed to the rule of law, and rejecting a false choice between fighting terrorism and respecting habeas corpus. Our courts have employed habeas corpus with rigor and fairness for more than two centuries, and we must continue to do so as we defend the freedom that violent extremists seek to destroy. We cannot afford to lose any more valuable time in the fight against terrorism to a dangerously flawed legal approach. I voted against the Military Commissions Act because its sloppiness would inevitably lead to the Court, once again, rejecting the Administration's extreme legal position. The fact is, this Administration's position is not tough on terrorism, and it undermines the very values that we are fighting to defend. Bringing these detainees to justice is too important for us to rely on a flawed system that has failed to convict anyone of a terrorist act since the 9-11 attacks, and compromised our core values.” (from the Obama website - Statement to the press 6/12/08)

Like it or not, Americans believe that Bush was fighting terrorism by keeping our options open at Guantanamo. He didn’t want the ACLU determining how we deal with foreign suspects.

There doesn’t even need to be a terrorist attack. All Bush needs to do is expose another plot somewhere. There were the seven in Florida, the Rockford Illinois mall bomb plot, and the Fort Dix Six. An arrest somewhere else in the world would be even better, muddying the waters with the rights of terrorists on foreign soil.

McCain gets a pass on this one due to his POW background. What a great way to show voters there is a difference between the two candidates.

Obama has just handed Bush the recipe for an October surprise. Watch for it.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Don't say the M word...

...a new game they are playing over at the FDA

Fact #1:
From the official FDA website, the following states and countries have been ruled out in the tainted tomato scare. These areas are NOT the source of the outbreak:
Alabama-Arkansas -California -Colorado-Delaware-Florida (counties of: Jackson, Gadsden, Leon, Jefferson, Madison, Suwannee, Hamilton, Hillsborough, Polk, Manatee, Hardee, DeSoto, Sarasota, Highlands, Pasco, Sumter, Citrus, Hernando, Charlotte)*-Georgia- Hawaii-Louisiana-Maine-Maryland-Massachusetts-Minnesota-Mississippi-New Jersey -New York -Nebraska -North Carolina- Ohio-Pennsylvania-South Carolina- Tennessee -Texas-Utah-Virginia-Washington-West Virginia- Wisconsin-Belgium -Canada -Dominican Republic -Guatemala -Israel -Netherlands -Puerto Rico
Source: FDA 6/11/08

Fact #2:
Mexico sends 80% of its tomatoes to the United States

Fact #3:
35% of our winter tomatoes come from Mexico

Fact #4:
It’s a buyers’ market for tomatoes in Mexico right now. They have diverted their US-bound crop to the domestic Mexican market and they are getting really nice tomatoes at about 30% off normal prices, like 35 cents a pound! But down there they are used to washing their produce in bleach anyway.

Myth #1:
The FDA, under the direction of President Bush, is vigorously investigating the source of the outbreak and will issue a full and candid report as soon as it is available.

Fact #5: The New Mexico Department of Health has already reported that the tainted tomatoes in 62 salmonella cases came from Mexico. Bush ought to give them a call.

Fact #6:
The Mexican Government calls the allegations “pure speculation” and has their excuses lined up already. The Mexican Embassy (Ricardo Alday) has already said, “Even if it were to be determined that Mexican produce (is) the origin of any of these cases, the FDA has to determine if the problem came from the raw product itself or was acquired during the transportation, distribution, storage or cooking processes.”

Enjoy your BL sandwich.

Korea protests

We’ve seen news reports lately that Koreans are turning their noses up at American beef. Officially, the Korean Government has allowed the importation of United States beef after the mad cow disease scare.

The ban had been on-again, off-again since 2003 with the latest ban in April of 2006.

The new Korean president Lee Myung Bak decided to make nice with Bush and lift the ban. But Koreans have taken to the streets to protest. The beef battle is really a lightning rod for general disapproval of the Korean economy and Lee Myung Bak’s leadership.

Koreans are quick studies. It only took them four months to figure out that they don’t like their new president. Here it takes us over four years despite the warning signs. Then we’re stuck with him for a second term. That’s happened twice since 1992. Why DO we bring them back?

But I digress. This president has a lower approval rating than Bush. Actually, it’s about the same as our Congress, about 20%.

Beef imports are the issue of the day but they are symbolic of other Korean issues such as a pending free trade agreement, inflation, and the falling Won.

Like Bush, Lee insists that free trade is a good thing for Korea. They talk about free trade as a $20 billion boost, though they aren’t saying who will benefit the most from it. Like most politicians, they avoid the details.

We’ve learned that we gain cheaper goods but lose jobs. I’m guessing that Korea loses natural resources and gains pollution. But they keep the factories open. Even that benefit erodes when they subcontract the work to China or other Pacific rim nations. Korea becomes the middle-man, which never lasts for long as people figure out how to “buy direct.”

No one really knows at this point how strong the North Korean pull really is. We worked hard to keep Seoul happy and successful to avoid a rematch of the Korean War. But there are some new factors involved.

1) Korea has advanced in electronics, cars, and heavy equipment. The US is not their only customer.
2) The fall of the US Dollar has made us less of a player internationally.
3) Commerce is more important than ideology. We buy from China, our arch-enemy just a few years ago. There is no loyalty to allies anymore.
4) The US is now known for our ability to consume goods and borrow money; not exactly a position of strength.

From the US perspective more Americans all the time are wondering what life would be like without Kias and Hyundais and LG televisions. More of us wonder if we haven’t sold our birthright to Japan, Korea, China, Mexico…

And more of us wonder if the expedient political answers of the past did more harm than good.

By the way, Homeland Security estimates that Korea ranks #7 as supplier of illegal aliens. They account for 250,000 of the total 12 million. I say we keep our beef at home and send back the trespassers. If they’re gonna complain, we might as well give them a reason.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Springfield antics

A 14 page list of talking points and FAQs, purported to have been written by the staff of Illinois’ leading House Democrat Mike Madigan has been distributed to Democrat candidates for State Rep.

It lays out the case for impeaching the Governor and explains how it is done. It also contains a laundry list of Blago’s sins.

Now Gov Blago is not well-liked in the state but I can’t recall a time when his own party leaders have gone out of their way to destroy him. But this time they have.

As is often the case with such attacks, this document says as much about Madigan as it does about Blago. (Caution: Do NOT take these remarks as a defense of the gov. Far from it.)

The document makes it clear that the user is not to implicate Madigan in the scheme. Instead, the candidate is supposed to claim it as his own idea. I quote: “Are you doing this at Mike Madigan's behest? This has nothing to do with Mike Madigan. I'm doing this because, after carefully considering the facts and thinking about what is in the best interests of the state, I am convinced that it is the best course and now is an appropriate time. As far as I now (sic), the Speaker has been resistant to the idea of impeachment.”

There are some rather hilarious typos in the document as well.

So, is Madigan behind the document? Well, he hasn’t denied it.

Some other tidbits of information to help you digest this trickery:
1) Mike Madigan is also the Democratic Party Chairman for Illinois
2) Lisa Madigan is Mike’s daughter.
3) Lisa is our Attorney General.
4) Lisa has been named as a strong candidate for governor in 2 ½ years.

With all of this Democratic rancor you would think that the GOP is having a great year in Illinois. So far they have not.

Try as they might both parties are in self-destruct mode in Illinois. And there is good reason to believe that the GOP is in bad shape all over the USA.

If I might suggest what is happening. .. Politicians will have a rough go of it. After Watergate, reporters were out for blood and tried hard to expose corruption in government.

That same “gotcha” mentality has only intensified as a result of the Internet. With all the eyes on politicians almost anyone can find out what a politician had for breakfast and blog about it before lunch.

Our elected officials generate enough boneheaded bureaucratic nonsense in a week to last a lifetime. So, approval ratings are down because more is known about them than ever before. Times get tough. People get angry. The politicians get criticized.

So if it seems like our politicians are worse than ever, maybe part of the problem is that we know more about them than ever before. As they adjust to life in a fishbowl we will have scandals and low approval ratings.

Well, what do you think of my theory?


Way back when Tony Snow was fronting for the President as White House Press Secretary, he told reporters that being in the country illegally was like getting a speeding ticket. It was no big deal.

And even today we have people who will tell you that violating immigration laws is a civil matter. Calling it a crime is too harsh, they say.

I found a website that does a good job explaining the felonious nature of working in the United States illegally. The link is:

When you think about it the estimated 6.8 MILLION illegal aliens working in the United States (5% of the total workforce) have to commit a FELONY just to work. They have a choice of one or more of these felonies:

Use a fake Social Security Number (as in not yet issued): Crimes? Forgery, fraud and perjury.

Use the Social Security Number of another person: Crimes? Identity theft, perjury and fraud.

Work for cash (under the table): Crime? Tax evasion.

And with a Social Security number you can get all sorts of government benefits. You might even get a Drivers License.

This group goes on to explain how there are cases where a child is born with a stolen identity. Some crook makes up a Social Security number and later on the government issues that number to a newborn baby. Right out of the gate the baby’s credit history is trashed. How’s that for a victim?

I like what this group is trying to do. People need to realize the impact of these decent, hard working people with family values who just came here for a better life. If you got all your information from Bush, the Democrats, and the media you might miss out on this important aspect of the illegal alien crisis.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Baby steps - federal style

President Bush signed an executive order on Friday but you probably didn’t hear anything about it.

Executive orders are funny things. For example, Chicago’s sanctuary city policy actually came about as a result of an executive order issued by Harold Washington after the feds requested that one of his high level staff members prove her legal presence or face deportation. (Duh! She was Puerto Rican!)

Daley continued to uphold Washington’s executive order for years. It was finally legitimized by the Chicago City Council last year.

Some executive orders are rather meaningless. Like declaring June 10th as Brad Pitt day or some such nonsense.

Executive orders are subject to challenge but are not the same as a law passed by Congress. But they can be powerful tools since the executive branch is supposed to obey executive orders.

So, this order signed by Bush last Friday requires companies doing business with the federal government to use E-Verify as a means to establish the immigration status of new hires. In other words, federal contractors cannot hire illegal aliens.

The executive order (#12989) is an interesting document. It is actually an amended version of a previously issued order.

But the interesting thing is the language involved. I’m not surprised since it came from Bush, but much of the wording is about the rationale for the order. He’s apologizing for issuing the order and tells us it is because the federal government needs “stable” contractors with “stable” employees and this is the way to accomplish it.

Heck, it seems to me that he could have simply said, “This is the law of the land and if you want our business you will obey it.”

I can’t imagine any politician hemming and hawing over something like an anti-discrimination clause or OSHA regulations.

We’ll take what we can get, but I’m still disappointed that our government treats this issue differently than all the other laws, as though obedience were optional.

To read the announcement from Homeland Security go here:

To read the White House information go here:

Monday, June 9, 2008

An epiphany

That burning smell isn’t your computer. It is the smell of a soul experiencing fire and brimstone.

No, it isn’t Father Pflager. He’ll be back at St. Sabina’s in a couple of weeks. He just needed a theological time out. Besides, his parishioners demand that the Archdiocese return him. They just love the way he talks like a black preacher. Why, if it wasn’t for Pastor Pflager they’d go back to being Baptists or maybe become Muslims with mystical names like Mohamed or Kareem.

Besides, Mayor Daley’s brother-in-law (Father Vanecko) needs to get back to his other duties as a Catholic Priest over at St. Kilian’s.

Anyway, the burning smell…Some poor drug smuggler will have Hell to pay for his latest stunt. He decided to mix plaster and cocaine and create a statue of the Savior. Now, who’s going to question a Mexican woman bringing a statue of Jesus across the border?

Well, normally no one. Except that the dogs went crazy over this particular statue and they figured out why.

The woman told police she was paid $80 to haul the statue into the United States and take it to the Laredo bus station. She then slipped back across the border into Mexico (sounds like an act of spontaneous justice to me) but the narcs did pick up the 61-year-old Mexican man who arranged the delivery.

I’m thinking he’ll do better in front of the judge in the black robes than he will with The Judge Himself.

As for the law, he might have tried to pass it off as a means for enhancing spirituality. The Native American Church is granted the right to use peyote as a sacrament. Timothy Leary wasn’t so successful with LSD for the same purposes.

Either way you’re still in trouble with God but the courts and the ACLU try to keep morality out of the equation. The doctrine of “different strokes for different folks” allows a great deal of leeway in court cases these days. John Adams had a different idea. He felt that our freedoms need some restraint supplied by God-fearing citizens. He wasn’t alone in his day but you’d be hard pressed to find a leader in Washington willing to stand up and say that today.

Friday, June 6, 2008


"British Army Works to Diffuse Giant WWII-Era Bomb in London"
Now I ask you, why would anyone want to spread the bomb all over London? Furthermore, the easiest way to “diffuse” it is to blow it up. That way it will be diffused all over the place in little tiny bits.

Fortunately, the article itself was correct.
"LONDON — Military engineers were working Friday to defuse a giant bomb from World War II that was discovered in east London during construction for the Olympic Games, but the work was not going as quickly as hoped, a military spokesman said."

Thursday, June 5, 2008

On cars (again) and NAFTA

Here are a couple of tidbits to augment the Ford Fiesta blog from the weekend.

First, GM announced earlier this week that they don’t need to continue to build more big trucks. They are closing four plants. In a great NAFTA gesture one is in Canada, one in Mexico, and two in the USA (including the Janesville plant).

Second, Mexico is mirroring the actions of the UAW. They are LOWERING wages for assembly workers to stay competitive with Asia. And more Mexicans all the time are asking the same question we are: “Where’s the benefit of NAFTA?”

For reference, the wage cut at Ford will put entry-level wages at about $2.25 an hour. Volkswagen is cutting starting wages to about $1.50 an hour.

NAFTA dictates that minimum wage rules are upheld, which is $5 a day in Mexico.

Benefits packages are cheaper in Mexico.

Unions in Mexico are limited to a plant, or in some cases a company. Unlike the UAW here, it is hard to cripple an industry with limited clout.

The main issue driving wages down is supply-and-demand. Mexico has about ONE MILLION young adults attempting to enter the workforce EACH YEAR. (Sadly, about half of them come here either legally or illegally.) It is an employers’ market in Mexico.

And although birth rates are dropping in Mexico, it will take over a decade to show the effects of the decline on the available labor pool. There’s no end it sight for cheap labor in Mexico.

And China is continuing to compete on the world market with cheap labor AND higher quality than Mexico. The US UAW worker isn’t even on the map at starting wages around $14.20 an hour plus a costly benefits package primarily attributed to feeding the health care industry and ambulance chasers.

Ain’t globalization great, folks? No wonder the politicians are so enamored with it!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hot political topics

Right here in Chicago the battle of the clergy rages on. We thought the Reverend Jeremiah Wright controversy was over long ago. Then Wright embarked on a road trip to the National Press Club and the Detroit NAACP convention, only to rip open the wound again and create some new ones to boot.

(By the way, it is curious to observe that the NAACP did nothing to censure Wright for his blatantly racist comments in Detroit. In fact, their blog authors all support Wright’s rhetoric as typical Black Church sermonizing that must be allowed due to ancestral suffering. Is this the same NAACP who was so indignant about Minuteman Frances Semler serving on the Park Board in Kansas City, that they threatened to cancel their reservation to hold a convention there? Don’t they see that the rest of us view that as something of a double standard? I guess not. In their eyes if you are black, you are right. Well, except Bill Cosby who is too frank for their liking.)

So Obama eventually denounced Wright publicly and figured he could close that chapter in his campaign book. NOT SO! Along comes Father Pfleger (known to Chicago reporters as Father Flagrant for always being controversial) to be the guest speaker at Wright’s former church.

Pfleger, a white man, assumed his black preacher mannerisms and accent and proceeded to create more wounds of his own. Barack denounced not only Wright but Trinity UCC. What else could he do?

The Catholic Church was left with an albatross as well. Pfleger has been reassigned to other duties for an indefinite period of time. His parish council (St. Sabina’s) is complaining about the loss of their beloved Pfleger.

Religion has surfaced over and over again throughout this presidential race. Huckabee spoke in the Born Again tongue when he “innocently” asked, “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and Satan are brothers?”

Then he had the subliminal cross in some of his campaign ads.

And who can forget McCain’s mother going after the “corrupt” Mormons for ruining the 2002 Olympics? (By the way, can McCain maintain any relationships with women his own age?)

Larry O’Donnell took on Romney over his religion. Romney was forced to give his version of the JFK-Pope speech in order to defuse his church troubles.

I think it is instructive that no cellphone videos surfaced of embarrassing Mormon church leaders. The anti-Mormon stuff thrown at Romney was historical in nature. (How do you distance yourself from things Brigham Young said 150 years ago? Well, you can’t.)

Race and religion seem to be hot topics in this election. I think I have something of an explanation here. I think it has to do with the nature of the topics. They are generally considered taboo in conversation. We have become so enlightened and tolerant that these two topics go into the “whatever” column.

So, political strategists dangle a little bait trying to expose a hidden position that will make an opponent seem extreme or intolerant. The candidates are left to either explain or denounce, neither choice being very effective.

Video of Obama’s religious surroundings are as foreign and radical to most Americans as a KKK rally. Most whites are left saying, “Wait a minute here. All my life I’ve been pushing my father’s prejudices from my life and the lives of my children. And all the while Blacks have been spewing out this garbage. They aren’t advancing unity; they are raising a generation of haters.”

We’ve never seen this brand of mud before. And it is particularly poignant due to Obama’s biracial bloodlines. Pass the popcorn.


A flame war is raging as people post comments to a Chicago Tribune article about what is drving the immigration debate.

Link to the article:,0,2477785.story

One poster from California who calls himself "Old Vet" clarifies the debate with a few simple questions. He wrote:
Can your kids get summer jobs?
Still enjoy your parks and beaches?
Schools getting better?
Like sharing the road with the uninsured?
Visit an emergency room lately?
Pay taxes to support jails full of illegals?
Wonder why TB is coming back?
Did you buy ID theft insurace yet?

And that was all he wrote. Thanks for the clarity, Old Vet.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Mom was wrong - again!

She said beggars can’t be choosers, but they can.

At least if the beggars are the Mexican government.

You see the United States Government (that means the taxpayers) was generous enough to offer to help Mexico fight the drug cartels. Bush was meeting with his old pals south of the border in March of 2007 and said, “Heck, we’ll help. I’ll get you $500 million next year and about the same for the next two years after that.”

Except that Bush doesn’t hold the checkbook. Now our congress wants to attach a few strings to that money. For example, they want to make sure that human rights violations committed by Mexican officials are investigated by an independent group.

Well, that’s unacceptable to Presidente Calderon.

According to Mexico’s Interior Minister Juan Camilo Mourino: “The initiatives approved by both chambers of the U.S. Congress incorporate some aspects that, in their current versions, are unacceptable for our country.”

It’s a good thing I’m not in the White House or I’d be telling Calderon to look elsewhere for assistance in cleaning up the corrupt mess he has in law enforcement in Mexico. I’d take that $500 million and clean up the Chicago Police Department.

Here’s the State Department’s official explanation of the program:
“If approved, the Merida Initiative will provide funding for:
*Non-intrusive inspection equipment, ion scanners and canine units for Mexico and Central America to interdict trafficked drugs, arms, cash and persons.
*Technologies to improve and secure communications systems that collect criminal information in Mexico.
*Technical advice and training to strengthen the institutions of justice – vetting for the new police force, case management software to track investigations through the system, new offices of citizen complaints and professional responsibility, and witness protection programs to Mexico.
*Helicopters and surveillance aircraft to support interdiction activities and rapid response of law enforcement agencies to Mexico.
*Equipment, training and community action programs in Central American countries to implement anti-gang measures and expand the reach of these measures.”

A song from OZ

is gone.

And it only cost Obama $11 MILLION. A bargain.

Monday, June 2, 2008


I was reading a great paper on immigration, given by Economist Vernon Briggs in 1999.
Link here:

Here’s a quote from it regarding the 1965 immigration reform act:
Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass), the floor manager of the bill in the Senate, stated

"this bill is not concerned with increasing immigration to this country,

nor will it lower any of the high standards we apply in the selection of immigrants."

Kennedy also said "our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually," that

"the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset" and

"it would not cause American workers to lose their jobs."
(Kennedy quotes from U.S. Senate, Subcommittee on Immigration and Naturalization of the Committee on the Judiciary, Hearing, (February 10,1965), (Washington, D.C.: US. Government Printing Office, 1965) pp 1-3.)

Briggs comments, “None of these assurances has proved to be valid. Supposedly, these assurances were made at that time because they would not be desirable policy outcomes.”