Saturday, September 28, 2002

Mark Steyn Alert!
In the Telegraph (UK), Mark provides a useful categorization:
As I understand it, the British Labour Party is divided between those in favour of war with Iraq and those opposed to it. In the US Democratic Party, it's more complicated:.

Faction A is anti-war but trying hard not to have to say so between now and election day in November.

Faction B was pro-war when it was Bill Clinton in charge but anti-war now there's a Republican rallying the troops.

Faction C can go either way but huffily insists that to ask them to express an opinion would be to "politicise" the war.

Faction D can't quite figure which position alienates least of their supporters and so articulates a whole all-you-can-eat salad bar of conflicting positions and then, in a weird postmodern touch, ostentatiously agonises over the "inherent risks" in each of them.

Faction E thinks the priority right now should be to sit around holding inquiries into why the administration failed to act on what it knew about al-Qa'eda before they killed thousands of Americans. To act on what we know about Saddam before he kills thousands of Americans would be an unnecessary distraction from the important work of investigating why we didn't act last time round.

Taken as a whole, the 50 Democratic senators' current positions on Iraq forms the all-time record multiple-contortionist pretzel display. But a week ago they showed signs of finally remembering the First Rule of Holes: when you're in one, stop digging. Instead of talking about why they don't want to talk about Iraq, they correctly figured that the easiest thing would be to give Bush some qualified, perfunctory support and hastily change the subject to something more favourable, such as the allegedly collapsing economy.

But then Al Gore rose from the dead to demonstrate that his political antennae are still as reliable as a 1948 TV with busted rabbit ears.
More goodness by following the link.
Use Your Trademark Wisely, Grasshopper!
The Washington Times astounds with Kung fu monks fight for trademark:
Don't mess with the monks. The monks of the Shaolin Temple want the world to back off a little. And they're hardly the sort of monks you want to agitate.

With the claw of international commerce at its door, the Buddhist temple with the martial-arts tradition made famous by dozens of kung fu movies is fighting back - and not with its hands and feet - to safeguard the Shaolin trademark from opportunistic marketers.

"It is our unshirkable historical responsibility to protect and rejuvenate the culture of Shaolin," said Shi Yongxin, the abbot of Shaolin Temple, quoted by the official Xinhua news agency.

In recent months, the temple in central China's Henan province has been trying to register "Shaolin" and "Shaolin Temple" as trademarks with the government's General Administration for Industry and Commerce. It also has set up a company, Henan Shaolin Temple Industrial Development Ltd. Co., to safeguard the temple's name and ban its "abusive use" in commercial activities.

"To those who abuse the name for commercial purposes, we're going to take appropriate actions," said Qin Daliang, the new consortium's general manager.
No word on whether the style of the actions will be Crane, Dragon, Panther, Snake, Tiger, or Drunken Monkey.
Day Laborers' Rights Alert!
From down Mexico way comes an article titled Day laborers push U.S. Congress for their rights. I wonder why is worried about the labor situation in the US?
WASHINGTON - A group of day laborers from throughout the country arrived at the Capitol Thursday to lobby Congress for a bill aimed at protecting their rights and improving their working conditions.

The bill, to be introduced Thursday by Rep. Luis Gutierrez (Dem.-IL), sets a minimum daily wage, requires contractors to comply with certain safety measures and provides 10 million dollars to set up employment centers.

Gutierrez told EFE that while these issues are usually addressed at the state and local levels, Congress must act by setting nationwide norms and establishing an institutional mechanism to protect the rights of day laborers.

The lawmaker said the measures must deal with transportation provisions, manner of payment, overtime and resolving disputes with contractors.
He added that one of the ways to improve the situation of the day laborers is through a program to legalize undocumented immigrants, giving them access to better opportunities and the security to stand up for their rights.

"Those who fear deportation won't open their mouths and are abused. We as a society must not tolerate these abuses, because these workers are members of our community," Gutierrez said.
Sounds cool! Let's have the INS run the "employment centers".

They check in, but they don't check out.
Letters to the Editor
From the Tampa Tribune, Gretchen DeMarco from Port Richey says Enough Florida Jokes:
Regarding ``Florida Flops On Election Day'' (Other Views, Sept. 21):

OK, enough with the Florida voting jokes! Why not Miami- Dade and Broward County jokes?

I am a 65-year-old, computer- challenged woman and first- time poll worker. The job I was trained to do was to demonstrate how to use the iVotronic machine to the voters. Guess what? No problems! Pasco County was even the first county to report back its official results. Why? Leadership, poll-worker training and guidance.

Let's face it - there was no Florida machine problem; there was a Miami-Dade and Broward County leadership and training problem. Broward County has recognized the real problem by reorganizing and taking Miriam Oliphant out of the loop.

How about the Chicago Tribune and the rest of the country start calling it like it really is?
Because that would spoil the big media agenda, Gretchen. They have a vested interest in "corrupt Florida elections".

Friday, September 27, 2002

Thank Allah It's Friday
So says James Taranto whose Best of the Web is always, well, the best. Today I especially liked the note on the new high school diplomas in Nova Scotia:
On Tuesday, Nova Scotia's governing Conservatives unveiled a plan under which high schools would issue two types of diplomas. Regular graduates would get a regular diploma. But "graduates" who fail their literacy tests would get an "adjusted diploma" that notes their deficiency.
One has to wonder: if they can't read, what can they do? Maybe they're congenial?

Hmmmm - you could put anything on their diplomas - how could they tell?
It's For The Children!
NY State Comptroller Carl McCall, the Democrat party candidate for Governor in the fall election, did his bit at the office:
State Comptroller Carl McCall successfully sought a job for his daughter from a top Verizon exec - while reminding him in the same letter that the state pension fund owned millions of the firm's shares, The Post has learned.

After congratulationg Bell Atlantic honcho Fred Salerno on the merger that created Verizon, McCall cited the state's $143 million in shares - then urged Salerno to consider his daughter as a job candidate.

"Under separate cover, I am sending the résumé we discussed," McCall wrote in the Aug. 19, 1997, letter on official state stationery.

In another mailing, McCall sent Salerno a two-page résumé for Marci McCall, his daughter, who wrote that her goal is "to obtain a position coordinating or directing special events and/or community relations."

Marci McCall was hired by Verizon in November 1998 and worked in one of the company's customer-service centers as a "specialist."

But her employment at the telecommunications giant abruptly ended in March last year, when she was fired for using her company credit card for personal expenses.

Marci McCall was charged with larceny for allegedly writing $97,000 in bad checks to try to cover the expenses, but prosecutors dropped the case three months later because she repaid Verizon $24,000 that she owed.

Marci McCall now works in marketing for Sweetheart Cups, a firm owned by Carl McCall's running mate, Dennis Mehiel.
What a guy! And what a family! There's nothing like the party of the people.

Why isn't the $63,000 she still owes considered a bribe?

Thursday, September 26, 2002

What a Maroon!
(Via Drudge) Major league wingnut action from Babs:
Barbra Streisand has reminded Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt in a blistering memo: "Sadam Hussein did not bomb the World Trade Center."

The Streisand memo, released by the President of the Barbra Streisand Foundation, Margery Tabankin, warns Democrats to "get off the defensive and go on the offensive."

The singeractressdirectorproducer took time out from rehearsals for a performance she's giving on Sunday for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to remind Gephardt [spelled "Gebhardt" in a faxed memo obtained by DRUDGE] not to "ignore the obvious influence on the Bush Administration of such special interests as the oil industry, the chemical companies, the logging industry... just to name a few."

Streisand notes: "Many of these industries, run by big Republican donors and insiders, clearly have much to gain if we go to war against Iraq."
Yeah, Babs, you have to watch out for those militant loggers. And the audience for her act these days is Demo hacks - bwahaha!
Tabankin tells Henry she sent the memo after she had a phone conversation with Streisand. "We had just watched Tom Daschle's speech," said Tabankin. "We were both very emotional."
And clearly not too bright. More blather and cool spelling errors by following the link.
Soft Touch Alert!
Jesse Ventura is leading a contingent of business cheerleaders to Cuba:
Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura arrived in communist-run Cuba on Wednesday with a group of top American food and agricultural executives, bringing California raisins and Perdue turkey pastrami to the largest U.S. Cuban trade show since the 1950s.

More than 280 companies from 33 states hope to recover a lost market for U.S. food products as they push for further lifting of sanctions imposed on Cuba after Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution.

Cuban President Castro and Ventura, whose trip to Cuba met with Bush administration disapproval, will open the fair on Thursday, said a spokeswoman for show's main sponsor, agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland Co. .

Other industry giants promoting their products in Havana are Cargill, ConAgra Foods Inc., Tyson Foods Inc. and Del Monte Foods Co.
But it's not trade they really want, it's trade on taxpayer backed credit. And Cuba is a famously poor risk.
Havana is also banking on the end of a U.S. prohibition on credit that has forced it to pay cash up front for the imports needed to feed Cuba's 11 million people.

Cuba has not recovered since the collapse of the Soviet Union more than a decade ago, and has exhausted most of its credit with suppliers in European and other nations.

European diplomats in Havana complain that Cuba is paying cash for its U.S. imports while it owes their countries tens of millions of dollars in past purchases.

"Cuba is an international deadbeat," Cason, the U.S. interests office chief, told reporters.

He warned U.S. companies that Cuba had defaulted on most of its loans, had the lowest possible credit rating and owed its international partners $11 billion.

"We don't want to be in that queue of people asking to get their money," he said in a statement read out to reporters.

"It's great to sell eggs for cash, but let's not stick the U.S. tax payers with a big, giant goose-egg," Cason said.
Not to mention that Cuba is a totalitarian regime of the most odious sort, and well known for its sponsorship of terrorism.

We know what the "business leaders" are. This hoedown merely establishes the price. And Jesse apparently loves pimping them.
Political Correctness Alert!
The Washington Times claims Southern Pride:
Is being "just a good ol' boy" the equivalent of being a racist? Former Democratic Rep. Ben Jones - Cooter from the hit 1980s TV show "The Dukes of Hazzard" - has been tarred with that brush as he mounts a new campaign for a House seat outside Richmond. And it's not because of the grimy wife-beater T-shirt he wore in the show, but because of the car he drives.

Mr. Jones has made appearances with the souped-up, bright-orange, 1969 Dodge Charger from the TV show - the General Lee - which in addition to its day-glow hue has a huge Confederate flag painted on the roof. Mr. Jones, a liberal Democrat who was actively involved (on the right side) in the 1960s civil rights movement, and who has strong support from minority constituents, has been attacked by members of his own party for "insensitivity," and for making an implicit appeal to bigots. Former Gov. Doug Wilder wrote that Mr. Jones is "using his flying of a Confederate flag as a campaign strategy" and that the use of the General Lee is "of great concern to the broad body of responsible Virginians."
It's a tossup who's the bigger idiot, Ben Jones or Gov. Wilder.

But when does Daisy Duke show up?
DemoWhine Alert
Malignant dwarf Tommy Daschle had a tantrum on the Senate floor yesterday. NewsMax sums it up:
Squealing like a stuck pig suffering a nervous breakdown, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle took to the Senate floor Wednesday and began shrieking that President Bush should apologize for claiming Democrats don't care about national security.

In fact, Bush had made no such charge. But it's too bad he didn't.
And the reasons are numerous.

At the end of the article is a link to a NewsMax audio of Bubba admitting that he turned down Sudan's offer to extradite Osama bin Laden to the US. Just in case Bubba's memory goes bad. Again.
The Democratic National Committee at Work
More than 16 months after he was first nominated for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Miguel Estrada will finally get a hearing today before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

That's the easy part.

Unfortunately, committee Democrats - led by chairman Patrick Leahy and New York's Chuck Schumer - have trained their sights on the nominee in a blatantly partisan drive to reject him.

Make no mistake: The Democrats' opposition to Estrada has nothing to do with his qualifications - which many leading Democrats admit are exemplary.

This is strictly about the Democrats' refusal to approve nominees who don't share their own ideology.

Which is why the federal court system now faces a serious crisis, owing to its growing vacancy rate.
Hey, 16 months is speedy! It's even money whether Patrick Leahy can find his butt with a roadmap in 16 months.

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Follow the Money
(Via InstaPundit.) Claudia Rosett has the goods on our pals at the United Nations:
Who is Saddam Hussein's biggest business partner?

The United Nations. The same U.N. whose secretary-general, Kofi Annan, stands as one of the chief ditherers over removing Saddam. Here are the ingredients of a conflict of interest.

Under the U.N.'s Office of the Iraq Program, which supervises the six-year-old Oil-for-Food Program, the U.N. has had a hand in the sale of more than $55 billion worth of Iraqi oil. Iraq ships oil out to U.N.-approved buyers under the terms of the sanctions agreement. The U.N. vets the inflow of "humanitarian" imports into Iraq.

The process is simple. Iraq contracts to import goods, and the U.N. gives the outside vendors cash collected from the oil sales. The U.N. has approved about $34 billion in such deals so far. The money it hasn't yet doled out--at least $21 billion--sits in U.N.-administered bank accounts. U.N. officials refuse to divulge much information about these accounts--not even the countries in which they're held.

Measured in dollars, this is by far the U.N.'s largest program. The sums involved are large enough--and their handling has been perverse enough--for this program to deserve more attention than it has so far received.
I wonder what the daily interest is on $21 billlion?
Delving into these matters gets tough, because the U.N. shuns transparency. Given that more than $20 billion from the Iraq program is now sitting in U.N. escrow accounts awaiting some combination of Saddam's planning and U.N. processing, one wonders which banks, and which of those countries now taking part in the Iraq debate, might be getting thick slices of Saddam's business. A few years ago, all Oil-for-Food funds were kept at a French bank, Banque Nationale de Paris. More recently, the funds have been diversified among five or six banks, according to U.N. treasurer Suzanne Bishopric. But the U.N. does not permit her to disclose the names or locations of the banks, or details such as interest accrued.


In another craven move, the U.N.'s Iraq program even allowed Saddam to dictate in October 2000 that he no longer wanted the Oil-for-Food accounts to be held in the currency of the enemy, meaning U.S. dollars. Obediently, the U.N. switched all Iraq funds from that stage forward to euros, in effect helping Saddam impose his own version of sanctions on the U.S.
And be sure to include the handling fee, because the UN loves to handle it.
And--oh yes--2.2% for U.N. administration of the program, $1.2 billion so far. That's enough that the U.N. secretariat, awash in Iraqi cash, has turned over a surplus $211 million for aid to Iraq. That still leaves a cumulative $1 billion bankrolling U.N. administration of a program that by now, in effect, has the U.N. working, on commission, for Saddam. As a man of integrity, Mr. Annan might want to footnote that in the debate over what to do about Iraq.
Sure, any day now.
Distilled Essence of Global Wingnuttery
(Via Free Republic.) The Daily Trust in Abuja, Nigeria brings us what appears to be the "after picture" from a "this is your mind on drugs" commercial, provided by an Abdullahi Keni St. George. Then it goes downhill. A few of the choicer quotes:
It seems that America's confused and immoral Foreign Policy will cause her further problems.

The poisons (Agent Orange and other deadly potions) that America used in Vietnam and the Nuclear Bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, during the 2nd World War will live as testimonies with their harmful, deadly effects reeking havoc for the next millennium. Sooner or later America must stand trial in the world court for crimes against humanity.

That America is under a mild fire from her allies in Europe as well, for her criminal support for Israel to do to the Palestinians what Hitler did to the Jews in Germany during the 2nd World War, is quite refreshing.

Then there is the question of the environment. How can America turn away and refuse to sign Kyoto Protocol which is warning mankind about the earth's destruction. This year alone, we are beginning to see signs of "Noah's arc" . . . intense flooding from Germany, The Czech Republic, Bangladesh, nay, the entire world. From here it will get worse for mankind. He that prefers dollars to God, his umbilical chord that sustains him, the miraculous air-land-water, is a compound fool. How can America go it alone pretending that the rotten dollar (Enron) is mightier than the environment which is God. void-non-void, environment, galaxies, the original building block of life, god materialised, the sustainer, the miraculous air-land-water, light, our umbilical chord. So even here America is in trouble and at odds with the rest of the world and with God. America is increasingly out of step with reality and her allies in every topic. America is now the most hated country in the world. Is this what the Founding Fathers planned?

Distinguished Senator, Hilary Rodham Clinton. Yes I love this woman. I really do. A charismatic, lovable iron lady with the beautiful aura of caring liberalism. We need this intelligent woman to ease the tension worldwide by giving independence to Palestine. She will lift the hate blockade of Cuba, implement Kyoto Protocol on Environment and stop the silly war with Iraq. And she will see the world through these scary times. In an era of fire we will obviously need water to dowse it - a woman.

So to my brother, Osama, please cool it now in the name of the loving Allah of the Universes known and unknown. ... Please, Osama, stop here. You have surely made a mark in the history of mankind. Is it for good or bad? I am not a judge. Please let America be. America will change and that change will be gradual starting with Independence for the nation of Palestine with President Yasser Arafat as the President.

During the global flower power, spiritual, musical, cultural and scientific revolution of the 1960's-70's, remember Vietnam, Music groups, Beatles, Grateful Dead, Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Ozo, Santana, Fela, Victor Olaiya, Broadway band of Ghana, Black Uhuru, Miriam Makeba, Rex Lawson, Bob Marley, etc and Revolution makers Che Guevera, Fidel Castro, Andy Warhol, Martin Luther, Kennedy, Kwame Nkrumah, Mao, Uncle Ho Chin Ming, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Tafawa Balewa, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Patrice Lumumba, Golda Meir, Nasir, De Gaul etc, in America, Great Britain and, I must say, all over Europe and I suspect worldwide, one component of universal wisdom was revealed to me through meditation and my spiritual teacher/guru and that is that "Man is a tortured tormented soul."
I wonder who has the magic mushroom concession in Nigeria?

Bozo Alert!
A despicable speech from a contemptible man

Al Gore, Wimp

Gore's position for 2004: Far left

Ten Reasons to be Glad Al Gore Isn't President

Al Lurches Left

Twist and turn, weasel boy.

Bowling for Dollars
Erstwhile Senator Erskine Bowles has several loads of dirty laundry from his service with Bubba:
Mr. Bowles said, "in my opinion, it's not a question of legality or illegality. I think what was done was legal, but we at the White House were in the fight of our lives. You know, this president was fighting for what he believed in." That philosophy is why 26 persons were convicted, and more than 140 people either plead the Fifth Amendment or fled the country for their part in illegal fund-raising during Mr. Clinton's 1996 campaign.
To say he is ethically challenged would presume he had some sort of ethics.
Da Torch Alert!
Torricelli files motion to block release of Chang letter:
Attorneys for U.S. Sen. Robert Torricelli asked a federal appeals court Tuesday to block the immediate release of a memo that describes how a now-imprisoned man made illegal campaign contributions to the senator.

Several media organizations are seeking the memo's release. The document outlines businessman David Chang's cooperation with the government.
Da Torch can't stop it being released, but hopes to delay it until after the election. He's the best Senator money can buy!

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Little Tommy Friedman Has A Hissy Fit
Lloyd Grove tells all at the WaPo:
Critiquing President Bush in the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone magazine, the best-selling author says in an interview: "I don't think he is a particularly complex human being, and a lot of the rap on him is true: There is a real, silly frat-boy side to him."

Waxing acidic, Friedman continues: "The Bush people are really good at smashing things. If you've got a wrecking job, they are your guys. ...

The Timesman goes on: "I think these guys are bought and paid by Big Oil in America, ..."
More blather by following the link. I wonder if next he'll hold his breath until his face turns blue?
Kumbaya Alert!
(Via Best of the Web.) In Connecticut, Friction Stalls Sensitivity Training:
The goal was to increase sensitivity between police and the people they serve. But a recent multicultural training session between Hartford police officers and a South African instructor didn't exactly end with a group hug and a stirring rendition of "Kumbaya."

Five white officers walked out of the Aug. 28 session, claiming the instructor was biased against the United States, white people and police and other authority figures. The training was temporarily suspended because of the officers' complaints.

"I'm a Gulf War vet, and I shouldn't have to sit and listen to someone bad-mouth my country," said Officer Darren Besse, one of the officers who walked out of the class after it deteriorated into a shouting match between the instructor and the officers.


Steinegger-Keyser, a black South African native who moved to the U.S. four years ago, told the gathering of officers that her country has become more of a true democracy, and less oppressive of minorities than the United States in the 10 years since apartheid and white minority rule were overthrown, according to Besse and other officers who attended the session. The other officers asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation.

"She made it really clear that she thought our country was racist and that police in general contributed to the problems in our country," Besse said. "She's saying all this a few days before the Sept. 11 anniversary. It just didn't sit right with us."
Needless to say she was being paid by the taxpayers to peddle this trash.
Who's Got the Itching Powder?
The NY Post reports that BESIEGED ARAFAT GETS FRESH SUPPLY OF UNDIES. Time to buy shares of Kimberly-Clark.
Today's Welcome The "New Neighbors" Highlights
Washington Times - 'We Are Overwhelmed':
The Tohono O'odham Nation here, the second largest Indian reservation in the United States, is facing a medical crisis.

Every month, more than 50,000 illegal aliens cross the reservation, which is located in the harsh desert regions of southern Arizona and shares 76 miles of the international border with Mexico. ...

The hundreds of illegal immigrants who have been injured or have fallen victim to dehydration or heat stroke on the reservation have overloaded its only hospital. The medical costs of illegal aliens seeking to enter the country have also affected dozens of other hospitals along the U.S.-Mexico border, at a cost to taxpayers of millions of dollars a year.

"We are a small rural hospital funded by Congress to take care of our Native American population," said Darrell W. Rumley, director of the Sells Indian Hospital, which serves the nation's 25,500 members. "We are the only hospital between Tucson and Yuma, serving an area about the size of Connecticut.

"But we are required by law to treat those who present themselves for care, including the illegal aliens who show up on their own and those being brought here by the federal government. Over the last few years, their numbers have been going up in a big way," he said. "We're doing what we can to survive."

Mr. Rumley's situation is not unique.

Dozens of hospitals in the 28 counties along the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California have either closed their doors or face bankruptcy because of losses caused by "uncompensated care" given to illegal immigrants. ...

A similar crisis exists in public education, where illegal immigration has had a major effect on elementary and secondary school enrollments, particularly among the four border states.

Schools, like hospitals, are prohibited under federal law from denying immigrant students access to a free public education. As a result, the annual cost to taxpayers to provide that education is estimated in the billions of dollars.

A report last month by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) said that rising immigration numbers were to blame for school overcrowding, adding that if the flow of immigrants were not cut, they would account for 96 percent of the future increase in the school-age population over the next 50 years.

The report said the numbers included a massive flow of illegal aliens into U.S. schools and predicted that the quality of education would not improve if the government did not stop illegal immigration.

In 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, said children of illegal immigrants have a constitutional right to a free public education. The high court prohibited schools from adopting policies or taking actions that would deny illegal aliens access to education based on their immigration status. ...

The Urban Institute and others have estimated that 15 percent of all kindergarten through high school children in California are illegal immigrants, who cost the taxpayers $1.6 billion annually. Elected officials and education and immigration experts do not have specific numbers for New Mexico, Arizona and Texas, but believe that between 10 percent and 15 percent of the total enrollment in those states are illegal aliens.

NY Times - Immigrants Back In School:
Five children, who were removed from their schools here by the district superintendent three weeks ago because their mothers were in the United States illegally, were allowed to return to school today after state education officials intervened.

NY Post - Sudan pilot charged in immigration fraud:
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - A Sudanese pilot who officials say is being investigated for possible al Qaeda links is accused in an affidavit of falsifying immigration documents in an attempt to stay in the United States.

FBI agents said in the affidavit filed in federal court that Mekki Hamed Mekki said he submitted several forms with variations of name, date of birth and place of birth to improve his chances in an immigration lottery.

He submitted the forms for this year's U.S. diversity immigrant program, which makes 50,000 permanent visas available to people from countries with low rates of immigration, the agents said. ...

In the black bag, the agents said they found 20 entry forms for the U.S. diversity immigrant visa program, the form that Mekki said he had submitted with several names, dates of birth and places of birth.

Michelle Malkin - The Deportation Abyss:"It Ain't Over 'Til the Alien Wins":
Credibility in immigration policy, as the late Texas congresswoman Barbara Jordan remarked, rests on three simple principles: "People who should get in, get in; people who should not enter are kept out; and people who are deportable should be required to leave." ...

Government watchdogs have found the INS to be habitually lax in its efforts to track down and help boot out the worst criminal offenders among the alien population. A number of federal laws require the agency to initiate deportation actions against aliens convicted of aggravated felonies as quickly as possible and before they are released from federal or state prisons. Congress increased funding and staffing for a Justice Department program to speed up this process. Yet, thousands of criminal aliens have been released into the public after serving their sentences because of the INS's failure to screen and send them into deportation hearings. ...

Meanwhile, untold hundreds of thousands of "absconders" are roaming the country - illegal alien fugitives who have been ordered deported by immigration judges but who continue to evade the law. In December 2001, INS Commissioner James Ziglar revealed for the first time under oath that the INS did not know the whereabouts of "about 314,000" fugitive deportees. Only then did Justice Department officials move, for the first time ever, to place their names in the FBI's National Crime Information Center database.

The absconder statistics remain in dispute after the agency conceded to reporters from Washington, D.C.-based Human Events newspaper that it could not vouch for the accuracy of the number. Some, including Representative George Gekas, a Pennsylvania Republican who chairs the House immigration subcommittee, believe the actual number could run as high as one million. ...

While the INS receives much-deserved flack for the deportation quagmire, a large portion of the blame lies with the independent agency in charge of the nation's immigration courts, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), and its appellate body, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), which thrive on making the deportation process as time-consuming and unwieldy as possible. Together, these two independent agencies - separate from the INS, but also housed under the Justice Department - hold the ultimate keys to deportation. While the INS has responsibility for apprehending and bringing immigration charges against aliens, it is the little-known EOIR that has jurisdiction over the nationwide Immigration Courts and their companion appeals system. More than 200 immigration judges preside in 52 courts across the country. They oversee removal proceedings, as well as bond re-determination hearings, in which the judges can reduce the bond imposed by the INS for aliens in custody who seek release on their own recognizance before final deportation.

The BIA's 20-odd members, based in Falls Church, Va., are politically-appointed bureaucrats who have the power to overturn deportation orders nationwide. The panel - comprised largely of alien-friendly advocates from immigration-law circles - receives more than 30,000 appeals every year, and has a backlog of 56,000 cases, of which 34,000 are more than one year old, 10,000 are more than three years old, and some are more than seven years old. There's even a saying among immigration insiders in Washington about the deportation process: "It ain't over 'til the alien wins."
Blast From The Past
On May 23, 2000, who said:
"The classic challenges of war and peace extend beyond Israel's immediate neighborhood, to Iraq and Iran. " In 1991, I broke with many in my own party, and voted to use force to stop Saddam Hussein's aggression in the Middle East.

Despite our swift victory and all our efforts since, there is no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein still seeks to amass weapons of mass destruction. "You know as well as I do: as long as Saddam Hussein stays in power, there can be no comprehensive peace for the people of Israel, or the people of the Middle East.

"We have made it clear that it is our policy to see Saddam Hussein gone. We have sought coalitions of opponents to challenge his power from within or without. I have met with the Iraqi resistance, and I have invited them to meet with me again next month ? when I will encourage them to further unite in their efforts against Saddam.

"We have maintained sanctions in the face of rising criticism, while improving the oil-to-food program to help the Iraqi people directly. We have used force when necessary. And we will not let up in our efforts to free Iraq from Saddam?s rule. Should he think of challenging us, I would strongly advise against it. As a Senator, I voted for the use of force.

As Vice President, I supported the use of force. And if entrusted with the Presidency, my resolve will never waver."
Yup, it was the Goron.

Maybe going off the steroids changed his mind.

Monday, September 23, 2002

How'd They Get So Lucky?
The Australian reports that UN may quit Australia:
THE UN may close its Australian headquarters as part of sweeping reforms to the world body unveiled by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan early this morning.

The move would symbolise the end of an era for the UN in Australia ? there has been an office in Sydney since 1948, when Ben Chifley was prime minister.


The UN's six-person Sydney office is responsible for informing government, the public and media about UN decisions and promoting the UN's agenda in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.
Another good return on the dues - they spent their time lobbying for more. But good riddance. Now if we could only get them out of New York City.

Sunday, September 22, 2002

I'm Shocked!
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution demonstrates its grasp of rocket science with: Census: Hispanic poverty rose 500% in '90s:
As Hispanics pour into metro Atlanta, poverty is coming with them.

New census figures show poverty among the region's fastest-growing ethnic group increased nearly fivefold in the 1990s. And it's bringing challenges unlike any those communities have faced.

In Coweta County, for example, the Hispanic population went from a few hundred in 1990 to nearly 3,000 a decade later, and almost all of the increase in people living in poverty was among them, the census numbers, released last week, show.

In some parts of Coweta, at least one in four Hispanic families lives in poverty, which the federal government defines for a family of four as a household income below $17,500 a year.

Among the scenes of destitution a health care worker has witnessed there: A Hispanic mother who lived with her newborn on a leaky front porch. A bare mattress on the floor of a rickety trailer. A tiny pot of rice boiling on a stove while roaches climb the walls.

In counties with little experience in dealing with poverty, the problems can be compounded. Language is a barrier. Culture can be another. Fear of deportation is the toughest. Many of the Hispanic poor are so-called "undocumented" immigrants, in the country illegally.
"So-called 'undocumented' immigrants' "? Is that like illegal aliens?

OK, a horde of illegal aliens have arrived and are living in what we would consider to be squalid conditions. Time to send them back home, right? Somehow, that solution never gets mentioned. What does get mentioned is the strain that the illegals are putting on local taxpayer supported services, particularly medical and educational, and the need for more "outreach".
Latino leaders say governments must recognize the needs of the growing Hispanic poor and work to address them.


Luz Borrero, executive director of the Latin American Association, said it's in counties' best interests to pay attention to Hispanics and their needs.

"They're going to be here and they're going to be accessing these services, and somebody has to pay for them. If we don't enable them to pay, we'll be subsidizing them," she said.
Thanks for sharing, Luz, but the kind of services we ought to be subsidizing are provided by Greyhound.
Henry Luce is Spinning in His Grave
Time rag, demonstrating that more than ever, it's a one trick pony, has nominated little Tommy Daschle as its Person-Of-The-Week:
Daschle, South Dakota's moderate senior Senator
Moderate? Compared to Who? Cynthia McKinney?
Bush's fixation on theoretical threats overseas
I get it now. Compared to the Kumbaya crowd infesting Time.
They Got Off Easy
The Washington Post reports that FEC Issues Record Fines In Democrats' Scandals: Commission Faults Players in 1996 Foreign Fundraising:
The Federal Election Commission disclosed yesterday it has imposed a record-setting $719,000 in fines against participants in the 1996 Democratic Party fundraising scandals involving contributions from China, Korea and other foreign sources.

The FEC documents describe Democratic fundraisers who set specific prices for foreign nationals to make illegal campaign contributions in return for meetings with then-President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. A Democratic finance vice chair, for example, said organizers would have to contribute $100,000 in return for Gore's appearance at a Buddhist temple in Los Angeles.

Those penalized included the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton-Gore campaign, the Buddhist temple and nearly two dozen people and corporations acting as conduits for illegal contributions. All have agreed to pay, according to the documents.

The total in fines would have been significantly higher except that some of the corporations have folded and others were dummy operations, with no assets, set up as conduits for money from China, Venezuela, Canada and other countries. Foreign individuals and organizations are barred from contributing to federal elections. In some cases, foreigners who would have been subject to fines could not be located and served with papers. In other cases, the individuals pleaded guilty in criminal cases and are bankrupt.
A reprise of the all too familiar dirty details by following the link.
Shoot the Boob Tube
Ananova reveals that TV show to put US democracy to the test:
The next President of the United States could be the winner of a new Pop Idol-style reality television show.

US trade newspaper Variety reports that plans are under way for an ambitious series which would climax with the US public choosing a "people's candidate" to run for president in 2004.

Cable network FX has joined forces with Austin Powers director Jay Roach and producers RJ Cutler and Tom Lassally on the long-term project, American Candidate.

The idea is that the show will go on the hunt for untapped political and leadership skills just as Pop Idol, and its US version, American Idol, sought out undiscovered musical talent.