Thursday, July 31, 2008

They'll never go home on their own

Conventional (liberal) wisdom suggests that illegal aliens will not self-deport. They say that pressure applied through enforcement will not result in a reversal of the influx of illegal aliens.

They just might be wrong.

Here’s a link to the Center for Immigration Studies that suggests enforcement has resulted in a reduction in illegal aliens to the tune of 1.2 million people:

And here is the bullet-point summary:
“*Our best estimate is that the illegal immigrant population has declined by 11 percent through May 2008 after hitting a peak in August 2007.
*The implied decline in the illegal population is 1.3 million since last summer, from 12.5 million to 11.2 million today.
*The estimated decline of the illegal population is at least seven times larger than the number of illegal aliens removed by the government in the last 10 months, so most of the decline is due to illegal immigrants leaving the country on their own.
*One indication that stepped-up enforcement is responsible for the decline is that only the illegal immigrant population seems to be affected; the legal immigrant population continues to grow.
*Another indication enforcement is causing the decline is that the illegal immigrant population began falling before there was a significant rise in their unemployment rate.
*The importance of enforcement is also suggested by the fact that the current decline is already significantly larger than the decline during the last recession, and officially the country has not yet entered a recession.
*While the decline began before unemployment rose, the evidence indicates that unemployment has increased among illegal immigrants, so the economic slow-down is likely to be at least partly responsible for the decline in the number of illegal immigrants.
*There is good evidence that the illegal population grew last summer while Congress was considering legalizing illegal immigrants. When that legislation failed to pass, the illegal population began to fall almost immediately.
*If the decline were sustained, it would reduce the illegal population by one-half in the next five years.”

(end of quote from the CIS report)

I was startled by the item above that said self-deportation was seven times more effective than the combined enforcement efforts of our government. Just imagine what could happen if Washington got serious about E-Verify and worksite raids. It’s really sad that the Bush agenda was so focused on legalization that they let enforcement go by the wayside.

On a perhaps unrelated note, Homeland Security has just announced a new program called "Operation Scheduled Departure" where they are inviting the deportable fugitives to report for deportation with the agreement that they will not put them in jail for being fugitive absconders.

Time will tell whether the program turns out to be nothing more than a free ride home at the end of the growing season but it has merit. I am particularly pleased that Jim Hayes (the ICE executive who has done so well in Southern California) is heading up the effort. If anyone can make it work, he can.

Now we'll see some action!

It has taken a long time to get Bush to say the word “recession.” (He’s a stubborn one, isn’t he?)

But I read a recent Pew report that is sure to get the politicians to line up at the microphones and demand some action on the economy.

I refer you to a June report from Pew Hispanic Center entitled: “Latino Labor Report 2008.”

The alarm has been sounded.

“Due mainly to a slump in the construction industry, the unemployment rate for Hispanics in the U.S. rose to 6.5% in the first quarter of 2008, well above the 4.7% rate for all non-Hispanics.”

The gap between Hispanic and white unemployment was approaching one half of one percent. Now it is nearly two percent.

But wait…it gets worse. Foreign-born Hispanic unemployment rates are even higher at 7.5%.

And horror of horrors…Mexican-born unemployment is higher still, at 8.4%.

Hold on, folks. Immigrants who have arrived since 2000 have the worst unemployment rate of all at 9.3%

Now, how many of these good folks are illegal aliens? Here’s what the report says about it: “This report is not able to identify immigrant workers by whether they are documented or undocumented because the immigration status of workers is not recorded in the source data. However, estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center show that unauthorized migrants account for about 5% of the U.S. labor force and about one-third of the foreign-born labor force. They are overrepresented in certain industries such as construction, where they account for 12% of employment (Passel, 2006). Most unauthorized migrants are from Latin American countries, with those from Mexico accounting for about 55% of the total.”

With all this bad news Washington will surely take action. We can’t tolerate this kind of economic news. Just watch for Dick Durbin to call a press conference on this matter.

The link to the Pew Report is a 39 page pdf:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Put down that pepper!

We have a winner.
The FDA just confirmed Serrano Pepper salmonella contamination at a farm in Neuvo Leon, Mexico.
They also found Jalapeno contamination elsewhere in Mexico.
Here are photos of those bad boys:

Our next task is to teach the FDA the difference between peppers and tomatoes. Some US growers would appreciate it.

Ruben swerves to the right

Ruben Navarrette is what they call a conservative in San Diego media circles. He’s something of a unique commentator since he is Latino himself. Most of the time he walks the middle of the beam, getting just edgy enough to keep both sides reading his column.

But he’s out on a limb today. He’s actually standing up to La Raza, MALDEF, LULAC and the thousand other groups who “want it all” for illegal aliens.

His topic: Worksite raids.

Here’s what he had to say about them:

“Liberals and others on the left have staked out a position that essentially says this: If illegal immigrants can make it past Border Patrol agents on the front lines, they should be able to find sanctuary as long as they punch a timecard.”


“On the larger issue of whether there should even be raids in the first place, the choice is simple: You either think that immigration laws are important and should be enforced – including through work site raids – or you don't.

“Apparently, there are a lot of folks out there who fall into the second category. And, even though it might be based on good intentions, that kind of thinking is not very useful to the debate.”

(end of quote)

Along the way Ruben takes some swipes at the following:

*Barrack Obama
*La Raza (NCLR)
*Mayors Antonio Villaraigosa (LA), Ron Dellums (Oakland CA) and Greg Nickels (Seattle)
*Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

And he doesn’t leave out the employers. Rightly so, Ruben suggests that we’ve been far too lenient with the companies who hire illegal aliens.

Regarding today's commentary, I agree with Ruben Navarrette.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Nanny vs. Tabby

That wild and crazy Chicago City Council is at it again. As though our reputation for being a Nanny State isn't bad enough with the goose liver pate ban (currently rescinded) to street-corner cameras the Aldermen have come up with yet another intrusion.

They are at this moment debating MANDATORY spaying/neutering of all family pets in the Chicago city limits. The impetus is pit bull breeders but they are taking it to the limit by suggesting that the government has ultimate control over gonads.

(Insert Rod Blagojevich joke now, folks.)

I'm sure it'll pass, too. After all, dogs and cats can't vote.

I suppose they can always move to the suburbs.

I want to attend the training class for the Chicago Police Department. How do you pat down a collie to check for ovaries?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Biblical words to live by

Part of the Postville Iowa protest included an inter-faith gathering at a local church. It included rabbis (it was a kosher meat packing plant), a smattering of Protestant ministers, and the Catholic Archbishop leading the marchers.

According to the Des Moines Register there were some quotes from clergy, such as:
Lutheran Pastor Mark Anderson called for Congress to change the law, so it helps all workers. "Fix the legislation so people of faith do not have to choose between what is legal and what is righteous," he said.

Hmmm…is Pastor Mark suggesting that we screen people at the border and only include “people of faith?” George Bush uses that term quite a bit when talking about illegal aliens. I suppose the distinction is necessary to exclude the dope dealers, drunk drivers, child molesters, and wife beaters from the amnesty program. (At least the government is saving some of the work for our own.)

Another quote from The Register:
A minister quoted from the Bible: "You shall treat the stranger who resides with you no differently than the natives among you," he read. "Have the same love for him as for yourself, for you too were once strangers in the land of Egypt."

I believe he is quoting from the Book of Deuteronomy in the Old Testament. Chapter 10, if I’m not mistaken.

Aaah…Deuteronomy. If one verse is good, perhaps we ought to adopt the old ways in the rest of Deuteronomy as well.

Like chapter 22, where God condemns transvestites.

Or chapter 7, where He forbids inter-racial marriage.

Or maybe 15, where all loans are cancelled every seven years.

Or 19, capital punishment.

Or slavery, as found in 15.

Or 20, where God grants the spoils to invading armies. We could use some free Iraqi oil right now.

And back in chapter 7, God commands the Israelites to wipe out seven nations. In chapter 20, He tells them to kill the women and children as they invade.

I like the way Deuteronomy suggests we deal with stubborn and rebellious sons. Turn them over to the Elders of the city to be stoned to death. (chapter 21)

Speaking of stoning, the same fate awaits girls who aren’t virgins at marriage. Stoning is the remedy for adulterers as well. (chapter 22)

Yes, going back to the law of Moses sounds like a great idea to me. But I’m guessing that the rabbis and ministers stirring up the crowd in Postville will shy away from the finer points of the law found in Deuteronomy.

The flags of Postville

Postville Iowa was ground-zero for illegal alien advocates on Sunday. If you will recall, ICE conducted a raid there in May and found exactly what they were looking for – people who had no authorization to work in the United States – LOTS of them – 400 or so.

So they brought in folks from Madison, Wisconsin (Go Badgers!) and Chicago to hold an inter-faith rally followed by a march through the streets.

Here are some photos of the protest:

Nothings says, “I love America!” quite like carrying around the flags of Mexico and Guatemala. When will they ever learn?

Friday, July 18, 2008

When RINOs Get Together

I just vant to wring his neck ven he sez "nucular."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It's all fun and games...

…until someone gets FINED.

And fined they were. Mack Associates were fined $300,000 to be paid immediately and a schedule to pay another $700,000 in the future.

Joe Gillespie and Jimmy Moore face $250K each and up to five years in prison.

So, what was their crime? Fries. And Cokes and Big Macks. Yessiree, a McDonald's franchise in Reno. The feds found 58 illegals working for them and the trail led to franchise executives who were aware of the immigration status of some of these workers and helped them with the paperwork.

They also enticed people to come here to work.

Here’s a photo of the protests that erupted right after the raids. I’m glad that 30 of the illegals arrested in the raid have already been sent home. I’m even happier that they got tough with the people who hired them.

I have been paying careful attention lately and noticed that the Burger King restaurants near my work both have E-Verify signs prominently displayed on the wall where customers can see them. I like the idea. It doesn’t mean they are obeying the law but it is one small effort to remind everyone of interior enforcement.

It will be interesting to see if Washington keeps up the effort. It takes money and political will to do this and there needs to be some sort of payback. The payback they are looking for is enough public trust to move forward with amnesty. Barring that, I’m not sure what the long-term motivation is. And all bets are off after November 4th.

Giving away la tienda, promising la luna

Part I, The Obama Promises

I have been reviewing the remarks of both Obama and McCain at La Raza. I believe these remarks show us what to expect if they win the White House and get cooperation from Congress.

Obama spoke first, on Sunday July 13th.
As only Barack can do, he starts with the pain and bitterness of our lives today. He speaks of crumbling schools and kids who can’t read or write. He speaks of young people who can’t afford college. He speaks of Hispanic people “losing their jobs faster than almost anybody else.” (Which begs the question, “Are African-Americans losing jobs faster than Hispanics?”)

He tells us America is broken because 12 million people “live in hiding” and “hundreds of thousands cross our borders illegally each year.” (Funny, not once does he talk about the impact of unskilled immigrant labor on black workers.)

He says that these illegal workers get paid less, are banned from unions, and have few benefits.

It gets good when he talks about the worksite raids: “…when communities are terrorized by ICE immigration raids – when nursing mothers are torn from their babies, when children come home from school to find their parents missing, when people are detained without access to legal counsel.”

Now the sympathy before the miracle: “I know that sometimes, you get tired. Sometimes, you start to lose heart. You start to feel like you’re walking that long, hard road alone – like no one sees the sacrifices you make or appreciates the services you provide.”

He criticizes efforts to push back against the illegal aliens when he complains about:
*“the communities taking immigration enforcement into their own hands”
*“the neighborhoods seeing rising tensions as citizens are pitted against new immigrants”
*“the hateful rhetoric filling our airwaves”

And the answer? “Rise above the fear and demagoguery, the pettiness and partisanship, and finally enact comprehensive immigration reform.” (Well, he ought to know fear and demagoguery; he just delivered 10 minutes of it before he uttered that line in his speech!)

His plan for bringing the 12 million out of the shadows includes:
*“require them to pay a fine”
*“learn English”
*“go to the back of the line for citizenship”
*“we cannot – and should not – deport 12 million people.”

His plan for health care:
*“take on the drug companies”
*“take on the insurance companies”
*“cut costs”
*“guarantee health insurance for anyone who needs it”
*“make (health insurance) affordable for anyone who wants it”
*“help more employers provide health benefits for their workers” As I slice and dice what he said, he is in favor of amnesty for illegals. He is against local cooperation with Immigration. He is against free speech if it happens to be critical of illegals. He is against freedom of the press, especially radio, if they speak out about the immigration crisis.

He is against deportation. He is against worksite raids. He wants universal health care.

Sounds generous…and expensive.

Giving away la tienda, promising la luna

Part II, The McCain Promises

McCain spoke to La Raza on Monday, July 14th.

He started out giving his boilerplate plan for America in general, then switched to the deals he wanted to cut with Hispanics.

First off he said, “I'm an unapologetic supporter of NAFTA, the Central American Free Trade Agreement, and the Colombian Free Trade Agreement.”

He then characterizes the Hispanic drop-out rate by saying it “poses the civil rights challenge of our time.” His soution?
*“shake up failed school bureaucracies with competition”
*“hold schools accountable for results”
*“strengthen math, science, technology and engineering curriculums”
*“empower parents with choice”
*“remove barriers to qualified instructors”
*“attract and reward superior teachers”
*“have a fair but sure process to weed out incompetents”
*“I'm a strong believer in charter schools.”

“Hispanics work hard and sacrifice a lot because their most cherished dreams are the ones they hold for their children. You understand the importance of early childhood development and the active role parents must play in their children's education to make sure they graduate on time and with an excellent opportunity to live happy and prosperous lives.” (What planet is he on? Hispanics are pathetic when it comes to preparing their children for kindergarten or getting involved in the education of their children. That line works with Asian families but not Latinos. But I’m sure the crowd lapped it up as if it were true.)

“You deserve a greater say in deciding how your children are educated, and I am committed to making sure you do.”

Now he gets down to business with Comprehensive Immigration Reform. He says:
*“I and many other colleagues twice attempted to pass comprehensive immigration legislation to fix our broken borders”
*“ensure respect for the laws of this country”
*“recognize the important economic contribution of immigrant laborers”
*“apprehend those who came here illegally to commit crimes”
*“deal practically and humanely with those who came here”

Well, that didn’t work, so here’s his plan to take another run at reform:
*“We must prove we have the resources to secure our borders and use them”
*“while respecting the dignity and rights of citizens and legal residents of the United States”
*“When we have achieved our border security goal, we must enact and implement the other parts of practical, fair and necessary immigration policy.”

Now McCain does a little hanky time. I think he’s talking about the bodies of those found in the desert and describes three of them. Then he gives this caution to all of us: “We can't let immigrants break our laws with impunity. We can't leave our borders undefended. But these people are God's children, who wanted simply to be Americans, and we cannot forget the humanity God commands of us as we seek a remedy to this problem.”

So, unlike Obama, his offer is not quite so generous. He talks about education reform and an amnesty “after we have achieved our border security goal.”

Both were pandering. Both claim success with Latino voters in past elections. I think the veep selection is critical for McCain. Right now he’s RINO approved. He’s about as far left as the GOP can safely take him. He needs to work the base with a good, conservative Vice President (if one can still be found in this country).

So, there you have it. Promises made to La Raza by both candidates. Obama passes the screen test. McCain comes in a distant second with this crowd.

"There's a problem with your order"

Somewhere this morning a hapless drug dealer is explaining to his boss that his shipment of cocaine has been delayed. Anyone who has had to deliver bad news to his boss can feel sorry for this poor fellow. But since this boss carries a loaded pistol I’m sure the distress is heightened.

It was a great plan. Pack the cocaine in a submarine in Colombia and head north; except the Mexican Navy got in the way.

There’s an old joke that the new vessels of the Mexican Navy have glass bottoms so they can see the old Mexican Navy…but in this case it paid off.

The 30-foot sub with a crew of four was intercepted 200 miles off the coast of Oaxaca State.

Thor Heyerdahl they ain’t, but it was a clever idea. Imagine the problems we could solve in Washington with ingenuity and determination like that.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Illegals are (were) cleaning up...

…in Rhode Island.

Back in March the governor of Rhode Island issued an Executive Order cracking down on illegal aliens in our smallest state.

Governor Carcieri put together a panel of advisors to monitor the situation and make sure the Order doesn’t infringe on the rights of legal immigrants and citizens.

At the same time this committee was meeting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was conducting a sweep of janitors at six Rhode Island courthouses.

The courthouses are cleaned by workers hired by independent contractors, not government employees.

Well, what have we here? The press reports say there were “dozens” of arrests made and a “substantial” percentage of the employees of the two contractors involved were arrested.

The Rhode Island State Police assisted in the operation.

And as one might expect, there were protests from Latino activists and at least one state senator, Grace Diaz. And there were comments that there are innocent children involved. That is the card they will play, you know.

One article noted that the investigation was initiated in June by the state judiciary and turned over to ICE for further investigation and execution of the raid.

But, what about the toilets? Who will sweep the floors and polish the glass?

From The Providence Journal
“The courthouse doesn't seem to suffer from a lack of maintenance. The lobby floors shine and a first-floor bathroom appears clean.”


Asked who will clean the courthouses today, Berke said, “They’ll be cleaned. Not every employee of the vendor was taken into custody today. And we also have daytime maintenance staff who will have to do double duty” today.

(end of quotes)

Pushing back is not pleasant, but it IS possible.

Jody Weis and the Magic Mirror

Chicago’s new police superintendent, Jody Weis, was called to appear before the city council and explain all the gun violence this summer.

He took a large imaginary mirror and turned it around so the aldermen could see themselves. Then he explained that they were looking at the problem with the Chicago Police Department.

He explained that THEY were running things now and the cops on the street were doing EXACTLY what the city council had asked them to do. It was the city council that shut down the Special Operations Section. It was the city council who wanted to publish the names of every cop who ever had a complaint filed against them, whether proven legitimate or not. It was the city council who always came to the rescue of the criminals whenever a brutality charge was filed, making statements to the press implying that the police officers were always guilty.

Officers have always felt they were alone on the street but now they are afraid of lawsuits. What did you think the reaction would be? The cops are not going to take any risks for this liberal city council.

Well, actually Weis was more diplomatic than that. He’s new. He’s not from the ranks. And the papers are calling it a whipping of Weis at the hands of the city council.

They got to make all their speeches saying things like:
Alderman Isaac Carothers: "Are you aware that arrests are down and police appear to be doing less?"
Alderman Ray Suarez: "I'm from Missouri, the Show Me State. In six months, we're going to come back."
Alderman Sandi Jackson: "Areas of my ward are called terror town. We need help. Where are we in the queue for that help?"
Alderman Eugene Schulter: "It's beyond me why police officers are being taken out of our community on a regular basis."
Alderman Sharon Dixon: "What happened at the Taste (of Chicago) happens everyday where I live. I need more police patrols."

So they took shots at the new guy and he took the punches with dignity. But he also reminded them of the culture they (the Aldermen) created with all their criticism of brutality when he said, “I tell the rank and file officers, Never compromise your integrity and never do anything that can be viewed as brutalization or corruption. But don't be timid. Be aggressive.”

We’ll see if the cops on the street are willing to work for a new desk cop for a boss along with the city council breathing down their necks. Law and order in a town governed by liberals is hard to maintain.

Monday, July 14, 2008

An eloquent explanation

Have you noticed all the institutions in ourcountry that are ashamed to be called American? Thomas Jefferson is no longer a brilliant statesman but rather the father of illegitimate slave children.

Benjamin Franklin has been reduced to an adulterer.

Abraham Lincoln slept with other men.

Well, someone has written an explanation. His name is Mark Krikorian. The book is “The New Case Against Immigration.” Here’s what he wrote:
“…our elites in government, business, education, religion, philanthropy, journalism, and other fields have become ‘post-American.’ Post-Americans are not necessarily anti-American; it’s just that their chief political allegiance is no longer with the United States. They don’t feel the visceral emotional attachment to the American national community that is the mark of patriotism, instead seeing themselves chiefly as ‘citizens of the world’ or perhaps as part of a multinational corporation or of an ethnic or other group that is the chief object of their affections and attachment.” Pg. 26

He goes on to explain that these elites see things quite differently than we do. He cites a survey of executives, Congressmen, labor leaders, media executives, religious leaders, and leaders of special interest groups and think tanks. The Chicago Council on Foreign Relations published these results.

Current levels of immigration pose “a critical threat to the vital interests of the United States.”
60% of us commoners said yes.
14% of the elites agreed.

Reducing illegal immigration
70% of us.
22% of the elites.

Reduction of legal immigration
55% of the general public
18% of the elite.

Krikorians point is that these results aren’t just about cheap labor. The elites who represent the institutions of America have been converted to a global view of things, to the detriment of patriotism.

And our immigrants have taken that cue and failed at patriotic assimilation. They prefer to be identified as Mexican-American or Asian-American or some other hyphenation.

As I have become involved with anti-illegal alien organizations I have noticed a large number of war veterans. They are offended by people who come here uninvited and take advantage of our country. And they feel that our politicians have sold us down the river.

When Obama tells a town meeting…“You know, it's embarrassing, it's embarrassing when -- when, uh, Europeans come over here, they all speak English, they speak French, they speak German. And then we go over to Europe, and all we can say is, ‘Merci beaucoup.’”…is he showing his stripes? Does America embarrass Obama?

I know he didn’t mean to dis our country when he said that, but the lapel pin thing and this statement lead me to believe he wants America to be more cosmopolitan.

I know churches that don’t like to display the American flag in the sanctuary because it might offend someone from another country. They tell the congregation that true patriotism is in your heart, not on the flagpole. And that’s a fine explanation.

But institutional leaders sometimes need to back the USA. Remember how we felt in the weeks and months after 9/11? Sure we flew the flag, but other things began to happen.

People started going back to church. They began praying again. They got married. They started families. They enlisted. They reformed relationships with estranged siblings. They gave blood.

We don’t want to be post-American. We don’t want to be cosmopolitan. If “multiculturalism” means turning our country over to other customs, cultures and languages, then we don’t want that either.

Watch for post-Americanism coming out of the mouths of politicians, principals, and preachers. And stand up and call them on it.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Vulgar VIPs

The latest example is “Rev.” Jesse Jackson and his comments about Obama’s private parts. (No wonder McCain is dodging questions about birth control.)

For me the first shocking revelation about the vulgarity of a public figure came when I read the Watergate tapes transcripts. Here was a Republican President, a Quaker, swearing like a sailor. And those around Nixon were doing the same.

I learned later that LBJ had a foul mouth as well.

And just a few months ago Bill Clinton revealed his potty mouth at the end of a radio interview when he thought they had disconnected the phone.

And entertainers like Robin Williams and Bill Cosby can get pretty raunchy in their stage shows.

Historians and biographers would probably tell us that most occupants of high office in this country were vulgar in private settings. In former days these traits were more easily swept under the rug by staff and forgiving journalists. Nowadays I would guess there are fewer colleagues willing to keep quiet.

Jackson’s comment had shock value even in our society. The comment led to an in-depth public discussion about Obama and his true allegiance to the black cause in America. And the discourse continued about personal responsibility for advancement. But no talk about affirmative action. My guess is that the Democrats don’t want to go there.

But the current controversy should say more about Jackson than Obama. I doubt if he will be held accountable for the remark. And so goes the double standard in America.

Maybe Jesse can make lemonade. I hear tell he is in contact with Shure Microphones. He’s trying to pitch a new lapel mic with the tag line, “So sensitive it’ll pick up a whisper.” (Just kidding! A feeble attempt a humor.)

Obama: Learn Spanish

Barack Obama was dissing the English-only crowd at a town hall meeting in Georgia the other day. He said Americans were arrogant and ought to learn additional languages like the rest of the world.

But let’s get down to brass tacks here. In our school district (U46) we are dumping millions into bilingual education for immigrant children. If all goes well, they will have preserved complete fluency in their native tongue (Spanish) and speak English with native ability.

But if you happen to be an immigrant from some other country (like Korea or the Czech Republic) we don’t have a program for you. It is sink or swim.

Perhaps more to Obama’s point, school districts don’t have the money to offer French in Middle School. The best we can do here is a 9-week survey course which is nearly worthless.

And lest Barack forgets, studies show that first generation immigrants have a pathetic record when it comes to learning English.

They do much better in the second generation BUT WE ARE PAYING FOR THE LESSONS.

If Obama is serious about this issue, he’ll get behind a plan to change bilingual programs into one or two year courses and shift the cost savings into foreign language classes for our own children. But you’ll never hear those words out of his mouth.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I think I'll head north...

…and start a business.

Ah, the first thought that someone wants to join the American Dream. The best and brightest leaving the Third World behind and starting afresh in the United States.

Case Study #1
Flavio Perez came here 15 years ago. He obtained a green card, rolled up his sleeves, and went to work hanging drywall. He started a business: Chateau Drywall. His goal was to retire by the time he was 35.

Great! He’s creating jobs and contributing to the economy.

Ooops! Flavio wasn’t so good with accounting. In 1996 he shorted the IRS $3,000 by understating his profit. By 2001 the shortage was $160,000. The total amount of taxes due by the time he stopped came to $392,070!

He’s 34 now. He’ll be spending his 35th birthday in prison, serving out his three year sentence. Then Immigration will VOID his green card and send him back to Mexico.

You don’t suppose he ever used illegal aliens as laborers, do you?

Case Study #2
Nuevo Foto Munoz. That’s the name of a little shop that specializes in passport photos, run by Mexican immigrant Elias Munoz, age 63. In 1992 Elias set up his studio in Little Village, a Latino neighborhood in Chicago.
It was a nice fit. Elias never learned English. He never sought citizenship. He just wanted to take pictures.

He made about $300 a day (cash) as part of a fake ID ring that was broken up in 2007. People knew that if they needed a fake green card or a drivers license they could hang out at the Little Village Discount Mall on 26th Street. Someone would find you, negotiate the deal, and send you to Elias for a photo. The indictment said that Munoz “provided members of the organization order forms, which he kept in a box on a desk in the entryway of [the shop].”

Elias entered a guilty plea in court yesterday. He confessed that he knew they were making fake documents with his photos. He could do five years and owe $250,000 in fines, but it’ll probably be much less than that.

His business partners (21 of them in all) are quite unsavory. Here’s a link to the family who ran the show:

Now, the day of the arrest caused quite a stir in Chicago. Some people accused the feds of intimidating Latinos just a week before the May Day demonstrations. Others felt the feds were heavy-handed, showing up in riot gear and forcing innocent bystanders to the ground.
One Chicago Alderman remarked, “It was way overkill. They had machine guns, shotguns, bullet-proof vests. It was a huge, huge endeavor. They struck fear into the heart of the Little Village community.”

That Alderman was 22nd Ward’s Ricardo Munoz, son of Elias Munoz. Ricardo had no comment after his father’s guilty plea yesterday.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

More evidence of the protected class

The story is all too familiar. Hispanic male, no license, driving drunk. He slams into another car and takes a life.

And we wonder if he’s illegal or not.

This happened way back in March but the story is still unfolding.

His name was Alejandro Antonio Rivas, age 46.
He lived in Newton Grove, North Carolina.
He had “bottles” (plural) of open liquor in the car.
He crossed the center line and struck a minivan driven by a college professor, Dr. Lewis M. Fetterman Jr, age 57. Fetterman’s wife was in the car. Her life was spared because Dr. Fetterman swerved abruptly to the right just before impact and took the brunt of the collision himself.
Rivas had no license.
His insurance was not valid.
Toxicology reports on Rivas came in with a BAC of 0.29.
Rivas also died in the crash.

The highway patrol and county sheriff approached Immigration to determine if Rivas was in the United States legally.

Well, they got an answer (sort of) 3 ½ months later.

I quote from the story in The Sampson Independent newspaper:
Barbara Gonzalez, national spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said only that Rivas’ name was a common one. She could not speak to his status, and cited problems and privacy issues in dealing with individuals who are deceased.“That’s not something we confirm,” said Gonzalez.

Sorry folks, we’ll never know the answer to that one.

Gonzalez went through the motions of explaining that had Rivas survived he could have been deported after serving his time in the United States. But she knows better than that. A DUI raises little interest with Immigration.

Maybe if the feds actually picked up the identified illegals, local police would be more likely to call.

Monday, July 7, 2008

"A true conservative"

On February 10 George Bush called John McCain “a true conservative,” like Bush would know anything about that.

Bush is a true conservative on three or four points.
Taxation – He seems to understand the need to keep taxes low. (But he misses the other half of the equation. See Spending below.)
Defense – He understands the need for a strong military.
Personal morality – There is no talk that Bush drinks, takes drugs, or cheats on his wife.
Judges – On this point it may have been just a matter of luck. There was the Harriet Miers fiasco first of all. That leads me to believe that the Roberts nomination was more luck than anything else. But even an ugly win is a win after all.

But Bush fails the “true conservative” test in these important areas.
Spending – Bush fails miserably. He spends like the rich brat he is, as though the federal treasury were a no-limit American Express card. Reagan upset all sorts of people but he cut off spending and hiring. His message was simple; if your people want it fund it locally.
Globalization – Bush bargains around the world with his free trade agreements. Eliminating tariffs may make imports cheaper but at the expense of American jobs. Conservatives aren’t isolationists, but they aren’t dopes either.
Sovereignty – Conservatives yearn for a national identity. Border state politics differ from the rest of the country. We need a leader who will stand up to the world and defend our language and traditions, not patronize the flavor of the day, be it Cinco de Mayo or Muslims who consider themselves jilted in some way or gays who want the right to marry. Rove wanted to dance with everyone. Bush went along.
The global warming hoax – Bush is chasing Al Gore, trying to catch up to him. That can’t be good.
Energy – Had he vigorously pursued nuclear power and exploration we might have had some leverage with oil prices.
Regulation – Entrepreneurs now go to India, Australia and China to set up shop. We’ve become Europe with too much government interference in the business world.
Anti-entitlements – Bush has presided over the house of cards where loans were given to people who had no way to pay for them. Much of federal spending above went to people living off the government. He tries to act tough in the face of unemployment benefit extensions or mortgage bail-outs, but these are token gestures in the face of a history of spending.
Rule of law – A true conservative obeys the laws of the land. Bush is our #1 enforcer and he has failed to enforce immigration laws. Only since 2006 has he made an effort to catch up with Bill Clinton.

Time will tell how conservative McCain turns out to be, but an endorsement from Bush is not a good sign.

McCain may be the lesser of two evils in November, but that doesn't make him "a true conservative."

The amigo vote

The candidates are off to the races, competing for their fringe votes now. The solid, convention-bound party regulars are all tucked in to bed so let’s change the message and go after the undecided.

Using Monty Hall tactics, John McCain rushes over to the Latino voters. He holds a closed-door meeting with Hispanics in Chicago.

(Now, there is no such thing as “closed-door” for a presidential candidate. Was McCain thinking he could cut a deal with Latinos and keep it a secret from heartland voters? If so, he’s not fit for the office.)

McCain told the 150 invited Latino activists exactly what they wanted to hear: "I was proud to work for Comprehensive Immigration Reform and if I am elected President I assure you that in 2009 I will ask Congress to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform."

And he threw in the guest worker program to boot.

He also described Mexico as our “dearest friend”. By the way, he went to Mexico on July 1-3 and did a photo op with Jeb Bush and got a blessing from the Monsignor himself in the Catholic Church in Mexico City.

And he snuck in a visit with Columbia’s President Uribe.

And McCain has come out in support of NAFTA and a Columbian version. Heck, why not a NAFTA for ALL of the Western Hemisphere? McCain is all for it.

He is proving himself to be a true George Bush conservative.

But Obama has his eye on the same demographic.

From what I can see, the Hispanics have moved back to the Left. We have returned to the voting patterns of 1996. Cubans will vote Republican. The rest will side with the Democrats. The only question is whether or not Hispanics will vote this time. Lots of money is flowing into the campaign to get Latinos to vote in November.

Even State Farm Insurance kicked in $1 MILLION for a Spanish-language ad campaign to stimulate voting. (I don’t call that being a “good neighbor”.)

McCain is wasting his time. He’d do better going after the blue collar worker and the intellectual independent.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The dogs of politics

I suppose all modern presidents have had a First Dog.

I’m a bit cynical about all of this. I side with Dick Chaney regarding the use of animals as political props. Remember all the hoopla each Thanksgiving when the president spares a turkey?

Last year Bush decided he needed to pardon not one, but TWO turkeys. And Cheney suggested they be named Lunch and Dinner.
But some have used the old canine as a political tool even before they made it to the White House.

Of note is Checkers, the family pet of Senator Dick Nixon. After sharing the details of his meager family budget in the face of graft charges (entire speech here) Nixon goes on to explain that his dog Checkers was a gift from a man in Texas and he wasn’t about to give it back. Then there is Buddy, the Bill Clinton dog. Bill spent so much time in the dog house that he surely bonded with his dog.
And in my research about Barney, the Bush dog, I was amazed to discover the amount of time, attention and tax revenue expended on the White House dog. There is a photo album of DAILY pictures of the dog taken for a couple of years. That has been replaced with Barney-cam. Can you imagine a White House photographer assigned to capture and publish a daily photo of Barney?
I don’t deny a man the right to own a dog, but do I have to pay for a photographer to take daily pictures of him? Seems a bit much to me.

Speaking of excessive, there is a photo going around as part of a book promotion. It shows Obama holding a white dog with the Lincoln Memorial as a backdrop!
Did I mention that it is a three-legged dog?

Obama needs to join the Catholic Church. At least that way he’d have a shot at sainthood. He’s well on his way.

But Obama has some stiff competition. Boy, dog, altar, the Blessed Virgin. It doesn't get any better than that.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I just received the most recent issue of Imprimis. I always find the articles interesting.

This issue had to do with the dedication of a Margaret Thatcher statue at Hillsdale College. The speech was by John O’Sullivan.

I was impressed by his analysis of Thatcher’s impact on the economy of Great Britain. It would appear that we need a strong dose of the same medicine. I wish I could say that England has stayed the course set by Lady Thatcher but they have not; thus I have no evidence that her path would lead US where we need to go.

Her first lesson is that what we found when the wall fell was a Soviet system that didn’t work. Government was not only ineffective but also corrupt. As some of these new nation-states replaced Soviet rule, they often turned to the model of democracy.

O’Sullivan remarked in his speech, “Lady Thatcher became a hero to these new societies. But when she visited them, her message was political as much as economic: It was that they should treat the rule of law as being vital to both democracy and market freedom. Her message was one of ordered liberty.”

She sought to bring back the “vigorous virtues” of self-reliance, diligence, thrift, trustworthiness, and initiative.

In 1986, Alexander Natta of the Italian Communist Party commented on the welfare state and government meddling in the free market. Natta remarks, “Any bureaucratization encourages the apparatus to protect its own interests and to forget about the citizens’ interests. I suppose that is exactly why the Right’s demands of re-privatisation are falling on a fertile ground in Western public opinion.”

Today Thatcher sounds a warning regarding this mania over free trade agreements. Everywhere we look Bush is trying to strike a new deal (NAFTA, CAFTA, North Korea…) with some emerging nation. It is the “bait” of diplomatic negotiations for Bush.

But O’Sullivan remarks that Thatcher in her book “Statecraft” claims that vigorous virtues and ordered liberty and exactly what we need in the globalization process. “She believes in international cooperation between sovereign nation-states rather than global governance by transnational institutions. In particular, while urging a warm relationship with continental Europe, she proposes that Britain should regain and exercise its sovereign independence in a wider commonwealth of English-speaking peoples.”

I agree. I think we are seeing the effects of a NAFTA that is “too close” and an EU that often forgets the sovereignty of its member nations. Certainly the United Nations cannot guide us out of these malformed alliances. Being self-preserving, NAFTA will ignore or even disguise the failures in the agreement. Sales figures notwithstanding, NAFTA has NOT improved the quality of life on either side of the border.

If it was supposed to relieve the pressure of illegal immigration at the border it has failed. To the contrary, there has been a steady increase in unlawful presence from Mexico since NAFTA began.

I believe Thatcher helps us to understand WHY it has failed. It isn’t because border crossing is too cumbersome or trucking policies have not been fair for Mexican drivers. It is because of a lack of fundamental virtue and respect for sovereignty and the rule of law.

Congress and candidates alike miss this important point.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A new "F" word

The old stand-by vulgarity is getting some competition.

We now hear that Uncle Sam can’t find the tainted tomatoes. Maybe it wasn’t the tomatoes at all. And lots of people from grocers to restaurant owners are complaining to the government about the scare.

The new F word is Food, as in FDA.

That’s actually a second strike for them. People are already upset with them over the drug development and approval process.

Or, it could be the other F word – Federal, as in FAA.

And there are a few federal F words in the banking industry these days. And the stock market regulators.

If we are going to be a socialist country with half of us working for the government, you would think we could at least expect good service. (Has it ever really worked that way?)