Thursday, June 28, 2007

TWO GRAND VOTES FOR LIBERTY!!

ITEM: Court Strikes Down School Immigration

YES! This blog wholly supports the SCOTUS striking down this heinous form of prejudice! In the sage words of the Chief Justice:

"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race," Chief Justice John G. Roberts.
ITEM: Immigration Bill Fails Crucial Vote

YES!! As readers of my humble blog know, this is indeed GOOD NEWS for this nation and for all the people who long to immigrate here legally. As I said here we can fix the system in an evenhanded, compassionate manner:


Today I was speaking with a co-worker who thought I was being too harsh on illegal aliens. He knows a woman who came here, illegally, from New Zealand. She was here so long, and wished for gainful employment, so she applied to the IRS for a tax ID number. I was shocked the IRS didn't call the INS!

My colleague tells me that if she returned to NZ and applied for citizenship, she'd be denied because she'd been here already.

You know, a big part of me agrees with that. But I understand the problem.

So here
's Charlie on the PA Tpk's prescription for the illegal immigration issue:
  1. Close the fucking border. Do it now! Increase the number of Border Agents. Build a wall. Give the National Guard permission to shoot any who defy them and have them defend the nation's border! Both north and south borders. Increase funding for the Coast Guard. Do it now.

  2. Start with the Correction System in this nation. Right off the bat: if you are in prison for any felony, once your time is done, you are immediately deported. No time to visit loved ones, nothing. You're GONE! That can't be more than a few hundred per month.

    Once we have numbers 1 and 2 in place and working, we can discuss the rest of the people who are here illegally and what should be done about them. In the meantime, I have these proposals:

  3. If you are in jail for a lessor charge, you have 90 days to leave. If your finger prints come up in the system for a crime after your release, you are immediately deported with extreme prejudice.

  4. While this is decreasing our prison population, begin to ramp up the Social Security mechanisms to determine who is legal based on their Social Security number (or, as the NZ gal has, a Tax ID number). If a person's SS# turns up at, say 3 or more different jobs, in different states, send Immigration Control to the job sites and detain the person. It ought not take months to find out that SS# is bogus or is being abused.

  5. While we are weeding out those who have broken additional laws involving paying their payroll taxes, alert all businesses their proverbial necks will be stepped on if they are employing known illegal aliens (i.e. paid under the table, etc.). If it becomes too expensive to pay people $2/hr., they'll pay more (probably more than minimum wage!) to hire legal residents/citizens!

  6. Streamline the legal immigration system. It ought not to take 5-7 years to come here legally. 2-3 years? Sure. But end the bureaucracy.

  7. Give an honest hearing to those who have come here illegally, and have kept their noses clean otherwise, and even paid taxes legitimately (hat tip to the NZ gal). Some can stay, some will be deported. If you broke the law, you have to risk the penalty.
That's not so bad, is it? And the only people who would be deported are felons, anyway, so who cares?

Enough of this nonsense about you can't split up families. Who says the kids can't go along with the deported parents?

This victory for liberty is a defeat for not only President Bush, but for Senators Kennedy, McCain and Reid. Clearly, President Bush wanted this bill for reasons that are hard to quantify; perhaps he's still trying to reinvent the definition of Compassionate Conservatism (a phrase that struck a sour note with all true Conservatives, everywhere). But everyone knows, especially his opponents across the aisle, that he's almost a lame duck, especially for new policies. That an initiative a 2nd term president wanted failed is not exactly a surprise to anyone.

Sen. McCain hitched his wagon to this bill, and his declining poll numbers and contributions are evidence of the Republican opposition for the bill. And while he has pretended to be a Conservative, those of us who are one know he wasn't one.

Sen. Kennedy wanted this bill, and was one of the loudest voices in support of it. Of course, this loss is minor for a Senator who has survived the scandals he has weathered.

Sen. Reid, however, did take quite a beating. In spite of his efforts to paint the bill as the President's - and to be fair, Mr. Bush did take ownership of it - this is a prime example of the inability of the Senate Majority Leader unable to muster the support of his own party members.

Borrowing the Democrat Party's own rhetoric after last November's election: there is a clear mandate from the people. This bill is dead.

Next battle: the fairness doctrine ...




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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hump Day Humor


The Swear Jar

h/t to Employee Evolution



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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Oui Oui!

Well, by now he's in Paris. I'm referring to Paris Hilton's boyfriend. Unless you live in a pineapple under the sea, you know that Paris just got out of jail. She's got some catching up to do.

So speaks Scott Adams, Cartoonist and Best Selling Author, on the release of Paris Hilton. While I have little doubt Ms. Hilton is busy making up for lost time, Mr. Adams also provided a paragraph that is both thought provoking and troubling:

I kid, but I have to confess I like Paris {Hilton}. I've never heard a report of her being mean. She works when she doesn't need to. She has a sense of humor. And
she knows how to enjoy herself. That's more than most people have to offer the world. And we've all done our share of boneheaded things. If you think about it objectively, her career depends on being fascinating to millions of people. She probably does that better than whatever-the-hell you're doing and calling a career.

In many ways, I can criticize Ms. Hilton along with the millions of fans who follow her because she is famous. But at the same time, as Mr. Adams suggests, she is largely harmless; sure, she popularized acting like a skank, which can be a damaging influence to young women, but overall she put herself out there, and the media followed her all over. She wanted to have fun, and didn't directly hurt anyone else, so why not, right?

Of course, the troubling part of his analysis is that he's also right: on the whole, on more days than I care to admit, I'd rather be a drunk and care-free like Ms. Hilton than to be in this cubicle.

While there was some reports that Ms. Hilton was going to turn over a new leaf, I have a feeling there's a good chance Mr. Adams won't be disappointed:

I'm glad shes out of jail so she can go back to the important work of entertaining me.


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STOP AMNESTY!

Have you called your Senators today?

STOP AMNESTY! VOTE NO FOR CLOTURE! KEEP THE DEBATE ALIVE! 202-225-3121

By voting NO for cloture, you are saying Yes, Senators, keep debating the issue. Cloture means to kill all discussion and go to a vote. The more people learn about this bill, negotiated in the dark, the less they like it!

STOP AMNESTY! VOTE NO FOR CLOTURE!
KEEP THE DEBATE ALIVE!
202-225-3121




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Good Cop, Baby Cop

Admittedly, I was probably the last person to see Will Ferrell's The Landlord. I am hoping to rank slightly higher with his latest: Good Cop, Bad Baby.

Good Cop, Baby Cop

While I find these funny, I am glad to see Pearl has 'retired', at least from this milieu. She's probably young enough NOT to remember this stuff as she hits her 3-6 years, so its harmless enough.



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Monday, June 25, 2007

Weekend Camping

Went camping this past weekend. First real camping trip for our oldest boy. He'd been on other Scout overnight trips, which included sleeping in a tent, but this was different. Instead of the car being parked some 30' from the site, we were more than 1.5 miles from the parking lot, which made it a small hike - with backpack. It was the first such trip for many of the kids, and we had fantastic weather.

Some other points are worthy of posting, from laughable to wood ticks, but I don't have the time presently to do so now. Stay tuned.



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Thursday, June 21, 2007

I'm healthier than I thought

I donated blood today; you'd think there could be a tax deduction for that!

I never liked needles; doubt anyone really does (well, most people at least). And for that, I still get nervous leading up to the needle stick. With that in mind, I don't suppose these numbers are at all bad:

  • Temp: 98.3
  • HGB: 13.6
  • BP: 110/80
  • Pulse: 70

In the past, I gave blood for American Red Cross, and they took a drop from your finger and dropped it into a solution to tell if you were anemic or not (sinks or floats). The Central Jersey Blood Center actually measures the hemoglobin (HGB). The minimum hemoglobin is 12.5. Considering I wasn't looking forward to being stuck, I'd say a pulse of 70 is pretty damn low.

So I suppose the TKD workouts are now documented as helping my health. I mean, I know the work-outs help. I am in the best physical shape ever, but I don't yet get the 'high' that others profess.

But hey, these stats are certainly worth the effort.


,

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WW-II revisted

A few weeks ago I mentioned the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum's WW-II Weekened, at the Reading Airport, with the Boy Scouts. It was a great weekend, filled with nostalgia and re-enactments.

Our oldest boy and I shot a .30 machine gun, and he's got the casings to prove it.

The Scouts were there to hand out programs, take tickets, run water bottles to the actors, and so on. While I did snap dozens of pics, I've only vetted a few for public consumption on my flickr page.

The nicest part of the weekend is that our son has a better idea of what happened 60-some years ago, and can have an even better conversation with his great-uncle.



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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mayor Bloomberg switches Party Affiliation from Democrat to Independent

Mayor Bloomberg switches Party Affiliation from Democrat to Independent

I figure that headline would garner some attention. The fact of the matter is that no one who even has a casual interest in politics ever believed Mr. Bloomberg was ever a Republican. True, he did run for election as Mayor of NYC as a Republican, but he was a registered Democrat about year before the election.

I had the opportunity of meeting and speaking with Mr. Bloomberg about 12 years ago. I was working for a VAR of financial applications, and his radio station, WBBR, was in need of an accounting package with a great deal of detailed analysis capabilities. This same package was so adept it was used by a number of larger NFP s, as well as Fortune-500 companies. The meeting with Mr. Bloomberg lasted no more than 15-20 minutes, during which we discussed some of the finer points of the station's reporting needs, and, very briefly, radio broadcasting (since I had a minuscule of broadcast experience ). Charming, certainly, and an intellectual pleasure to speak with, the discussion I had with Mr. Bloomberg could never have last long enough. The contract was later signed and, predictably, he and I never had an occasion to meet again, but his impression has lasted with me ever since.

The Republican Party in New York State is a joke; not the voters, but the Party operatives. There seems to be no clear direction for the party in the state, and that is sad. True, the Party does enjoy seats in the State Senate, but to that end they seek only re-election, and do nothing to help grow the Party. The NYS Conservative Party is far more productive, which is ironic, considering most states do not even have a recognized Conservative Party at all!

Mr. Bloomberg saw a contentious Democratic Mayoral Primary battle in NYC and decided he wanted no part of it, so he switched to the Republican Party. The NYS GOP had previously endorsed Rudy Giuliani (along with, not surprisingly, the NYS Liberal Party), so they were more than willing to back Bloomberg as well. Running as a successor to Rudy Giuliani, in the post September 11th world, this proved to be a winning combination. Had the NYS GOP has any chops of their own, they would have fielded their own candidate with legitimate Republican creds.

Yep; he stuck is finger in the wind and made the switch. If winning at all costs is what you want, then perhaps Mr. Bloomberg is your man. If integrity is what you're after, well...

I doubt, severely, how well Mr. Bloomberg would do if he ran for President in 2008; for starters, he endorses the Global War on Terror and our efforts in Iraq; this won't bode well with the ultra-Left.

More practically, he is not Ross Perot. Mr. Perot earned some 19% of the national vote in his campaign attempts, but he was/is a Texan, a Southerner. In spite of his daily practice of riding the NYC Subways, Mr. Bloomberg can't overcome his limousine style, which will mean he will unlikely score well with the more rural voters of middle America.

Quite frankly, I can't think of any GOP Primary contender that would be bested by Mr. Bloomberg, save for Dr. Ron Paul, since he doesn't seem to have a chance to win at all! Mr. Bloomberg may win a considerable vote, and may even beat Mr. Perot's percentages. But he won't carry the nation.

What Mr. Bloomberg could do, however, (if he did run in 2008) is act not unlike Mr. Perot, and split the vote for the Democrats. As Mr. Perot's views were closer to those of George H. Bush (Bush-41) than of either Governor Michale Dukakis or then-Gov. Bill Clinton, it is easy to see how Mr. Perot split the GOP vote. Other than the war vote, Mr. Bloomberg is well received by the Democrats, so his Independent campaign might fracture their chances of victory.

We can only hope as much!

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Let the hoarding begin

My much-better-half announced she will begin to hoard the now forbidden Kellogg's breakfast cereals, and General Mills' as well, before they're all gone from the shelves.

Why should our kids not have their afternoon snacks?  At least these have vitamins!  Who exactly made the CFCC the protector of us all??

Hey, at least we can share this protest together!


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Friday, June 15, 2007

Dad's Day

To all the dad's out there:
On Sunday I'll be sure to raise a glass in your honor
(after the one I raise in honor of my dad).



Yep, it's Father's Day. Some people do it up big, others take a more reserved approach. I am in the latter category.

In my office, for example, there are two guys who are new fathers (one, for the first time a few months ago), and I know there are new dads and soon-to-be new dads who are frequent this blog, too. They're looking forward to their day. And in the case of moms at the office or reading, they're looking to have a big deal for their man. And they're all entitled.

I did some research this week and found it hard to find anyone else who shares my blasaie1 with Father's Day. My dad - father of 4 - always down-played it, as I am told his dad - father of 8 - did (which, considering our Italian-Catholic heritage, seems contrary to the reported history of the day). Men, ordinarily, don't go for this sort of stuff, but Father's Day is seemingly the exception for most.

From my research, the closest to my position is held by Stanley Bing, noted author, who concludes : {D}on’t tell me that Father’s Day is a big deal, because it’s not.

Now I know it already: some guys are firing up their e-mail or clicking on comments right now, about to let lose on me. And moms, too, are ready to tell me not to dismiss the day, in defense of their plans for their man.


Get this: I'm not trying to take anything away from you. I'm not saying it shouldn't be a big deal in your homes. If you want to have all the fuss, don't let me stop you. But like Stanley said, there are plenty of other days that rank higher, including:

Mother’s Day ... Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day (Indigenous People’s Day in Berkeley, California), Christmas, New Year’s, President’s Day, Independence Day, and the day the next Harry Potter novel is released.
...and rightly so. Statistically, Mother's Day trumps Father's Day by a landslide, be it long-distance phone calls, dinners out, or even greeting cards. So while you may not agree it isn't a big deal, no one can argue that it isn't as big a deal as Mom's day (and again: rightly so!).

So like Mr. Bing, I'll be more than satisfied with lunch at Denny's (or similar).

Sometimes less really is more.



1 Strangely, I cannot find a dictionary entry for blasaie. The word is used often enough, but I can't verify its proper spelling.

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They were G-r-r-r-r-e-a-t!

Item:

The Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Campaign for a
Commercial-Free Childhood
is says it won't file suit against Kellogg after the company agreed to adopt nutrition standards for the food it advertises to kids and take other steps, including pledging not to put any product placements in any media targeted to kids under 12.

The groups had threatened to file suit against the company and Viacom for "directly harming kids' health since the overwhelming majority of food products they market to children are high in sugar, saturated and trans fat, or salt, or almost devoid of nutrients."

Josh Golin, a spokesman for CCFC, said that all options were still on the table regarding Viacom, and that a suit was "Very possible." While Kellogg approached the groups early on about settling, Viacom has not, said Golin.

So what we see here is Kellogg being fearful of a litigious society and the penchant of juries to hit companies with deep pockets hard! Imagine: a cereal company advertising a sweet cereal to kids!! How did we ever let this happen?

As I pointed out in a similar discussion months ago, I grew up in front of the TV, no doubt watching more than what my parents would have preferred. I knew the character Sugar Bear (who preceded Diggum for you young'ins) used to love his Super Sugar Crisp cereal -- imagine that! They used to use the word 'sugar' in the product's name!!

Quisp, Quake, Cap'n Crunch (Smedley's Peanut butter Crunch was a personal fav), we had them all. Well, not all. Mom drew the line at anything called 'cereal' that had marshmallows in them; that was right out.

Speaking of marshmallows...

But that's the point; Mom and Dad drew a line. I can still recite the words to Barry Manilow's You Deserve a Break Today and can probably do the dance steps like the old commercial well enough to earn praise from Drew Carey. Yet, I never got to go to fast-food more than once or twice a month. My 4 year old, like his older brother before him, always points at McDonald's, Burger King or Wendy's and says he wants to stop there. The answer? No. Unless it's one of those times when mom or I know a regular lunch is out of the question, the answer is no. What is so hard about that? And while my kids do get some sugary cereal, they also get Cheerios and Kix and others that aren't sweet. (As a side note: teaching kids when they're young that parents can and do say 'no' from time to time helps keep them from growing up to be spoiled brats).

Why is it that lawsuits (or merely the threats of them) are directing what is being sold, and not the Law of Supply and Demand?

How is it that Viacom should be responsible for what MY kids eat? Does Sumner Redstone buy the groceries in my house, or do my-better-half and I buy them?

Just because Kelloggs makes stuff that has no nutrition, why are they blamed instead of the parents who buy it?

Who appointed CFCC as guardian of anyone's child, much less mine??

If parents held the reins on what kids eat, where they go, what they spend money on, there would be a whole lot less need for lawsuits and the like.

Bottom line: Who is in charge in your house, the parents or the kids?

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Networking in a large company

Like many others, I've delved into one of those Social Networks, LinkedIn. I got pinged by a former colleague over a year ago, so I signed up. LinkedIn (LI) has a big focus on employment.

Ideally, you network only with people you know; while it is possible to amass 10,000,000 friends, like on MySpace, that is not the intended design (oh look! my page is still there!). This way, you are able to refer people you genuinely know to others, or get introduced to others by people who know you. I am not aggressively looking for a new job, but if I could cut my commute in half (for comparable money) I'd do it.

Last night I got an e-mail from another person on LI, who at first asked if I knew anyone with a secret clearance who would be interested in a programming position in Virginia. That didn't strike me as odd, nor did the follow up request that I join his network. What was odd is that the person, an HR manager, works at another division of my company.

I consented to the joining of networks, but then I suddenly wondered whether that was a good idea. On one hand, if I develop a rapport with this manager, who knows where it may lead? On the other hand, if this HR Manager has contact with my division's HR Manager, who knows where that may lead?

Or maybe I am just paranoid. Time will tell, right?


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A truly Progressive1 view on Immigration

In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...

There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all.

We have room for but one flag, the American flag.. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.

President Theodore Roosevelt, 1919

H/T: Jude, for forwarding this quote.

Sources:


,



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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

It was 20 years ago today...

One of the nicer things about being in my 40's is that I have the benefit of remembering events young'ins may have only read about in text books (if they were even that lucky!).

Much to the chagrin of the US State Department, President Ronald Reagan delivered 6 words, in particular, that became the hallmark of the fall of the Soviet Empire.


We would all do well to re-read (or read for the first time, perhaps) the entire speech given that day.

Update: TrekMedic offers a modern-day comparison.



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Monday, June 11, 2007

Quick poll: all opinions welcome

Quick survey: how many readers routinely work-out? Show of hands...


OK, out of you, how many of you enjoy your work-out? Not necessarily the actual work-out, that's easy. But do you get a good feeling afterwards? Do you get a high?

I never do; clearly, I am in the best physical shape I've ever been in for my entire life, so it is not for naught. The instructor and the classmates are good people, so I have no problem going to the work-out. I have just never reached a point where I can say Damn, that was an enjoyable work-out. People tell me they've reached new highs; the closest I've ever gotten was getting dizzy from lack of air!

Am I the only one?



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What's good for the I-Man ...

Imus fans, unite.

Al Roker, NBC personality, was a harsh critic of Don Imus in April, as is his right.

Apparently, Mr. Roker is a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ kind of guy.

As this link will show, he made a tasteless comment about epileptics, and has since apologized.

Perhaps Mr. Roker should be subject to the same criticism as Mr. Imus:

What he said was vile and disgusting. It denigrated {everyone afflicted by epilepsy} and by extension, a community and its pride in a group that had {dealt with this illness}.

Sound familiar Al?

Let’s let NBC know where we stand on Mr. Roker’s attempt at humor. If he stays on-air, so should Mr. Imus.




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On Paris Hilton

I got a few e-mails asking my take on Paris Hilton.

:sigh:

Right off the bat, in spite of my thinking she's a spoiled brat, famous for being famous, the penalty was a bit steep, in my mind, compared to the reported greater population in the County. That she showed contempt of court by showing up 30 minutes late, tried to phone it in, etc. probably weighed on the Judge, but 45/23 days for the charge was a bit long considering what average folks get.

However, all other things being equal, anyone caught driving with a suspended license (unless in the event of a verifiable emergency) ought to spend a month in jail.

I made some jokes when the Sheriff reassigned her to house arrest. She was on a hunger-strike, and was wasting away to Nicole. Or, I imagine she'll have to perform a lot of, uh, breath-alyzer tests! Yeah, I thought they were bad puns, too.

The coverage of Ms. Hilton epitomizes the old Don Henley song Dirty Laundry.
I make my living off the evening news
Just give me something, something I can use
People love it when you lose
they love dirty laundry!
...
Kick 'em when they're up
kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're up
kick 'em all around!
...
Dirty little secrets,
dirty little lies
got our dirty little fingers in every body's pie
Love to cut you down to size
We love dirty laundry!

We can do the innuendo
we can dance and sing
When all is said and done we haven't told you a thing!
We all know that crap is king,
give us dirty laundry!

Kick 'em when they're up
kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're up
kick 'em all around!

She'll do her time, and then will be in therapy for years afterwards. How her sheltered perfect life collided with the real world. Some speculated over the weekend this was the public getting tired of the Hollywood stars. I doubt it, I mean, what movie was Paris famous for (well, other than that grainy one)?

And if the public was tired of her, why the coverage previously used for OJ?

The one thing that still burns me it the constant reference to her as a 'girl'. Yes, yes, she is female. But at 18 she ceased being called a 'girl' or a 'kid' in that respect. At 26, she's a woman; if she can't deal with the reality of her actions by then, her parents are at fault.

Here's hoping others learn from her mistakes, and their failures.



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Friday, June 08, 2007

Immigration bill defeated... for now.

Many thanks to those of you who have spoken out about this foolish immigration bill. Many thanks to those who called their Congressional representatives, particularly in the Senate, and told them to stop this bill. My thanks to Geo, who in spite of him waiting for his missus to give birth to their second child, took time to let me know I wasn't alone in my thinking.


I had a particularly rude representative of Pennsylvania's senior Senator and co-sponsor of the bill, Arlen Spector. The man spoke down to me, asking me have you really read the bill, or are you just saying you did? What a tool. He then threw out the now hackneyed and lame excuse: Can you actually tell me you could deport thousands of people?

So I demonstrated to him how of the bill I read:
ME: Let's say the bill passes and is signed into law. So people who have already broken the law are supposed to follow this new one. Heh. Fine. So they sign up and start down the path. Immediately, they're granted legal status. Over time, they have to pay these fines, and learn English, and all this list of things in order to gain their citizenship.

HE: So you have read the bill! Good!

ME: But.... what if they decide not to do some or all of the things on the list? Out of the estimated 12 million, let's say 10% refuse to follow the law. What then?

HE: (silence)

ME:
If we can't deport huge numbers of the ones who have no legal standing today are you going to tell me we can then deport 1.2 million people who would then have legal status?

HE: (silence)

ME: Are you still there?

HE: I'll pass your concerns on to Senator Spector. Good bye.
That, girls and boys, is called check-mate!

Today I was speaking with a co-worker who thought I was being too harsh on illegal aliens. He knows a woman who came here, illegally, from New Zealand. She was here so long, and wished for gainful employment, so she applied to the IRS for a tax ID number. I was shocked the IRS didn't call the INS!

My colleague tells me that if she returned to NZ and applied for citizenship, she'd be denied because she'd been here already.

You know, a big part of me agrees with that. But I understand the problem.

So here
's Charlie on the PA Tpk prescription for the illegal immigration issue:
  1. Close the fucking border. Do it now! Increase the number of Border Agents. Build a wall. Give the National Guard permission to shoot any who defy them and have them defend the nations border! Both north and south borders. Increase funding for the Coast Guard. Do it now.

  2. Start with the Correction System in this nation. Right off the bat: if you are in prison for any felony, once your time is done, you are immediately deported. No time to visit loved ones, nothing. You're GONE! That can't be more than a few hundred per month.

    Once we have numbers 1 and 2 in place and working, we can discuss the rest of the people who are here illegally and what should be done about them. In the meantime, I have these proposals:

  3. If you are in jail for a lessor charge, you have 90 days to leave. If your finger prints come up in the system for a crime after your release, you are immediately deported with extreme prejudice.

  4. While this is decreasing our prison population, begin to ramp up the Social Security mechanisms to determine who is legal based on their Social Security number (or, as the NZ gal has, a Tax ID number). If a person's SS# turns up at, say 3 or more different jobs, in different states, send Immigration Control to the job sites and detain the person. It ought not take months to find out that SS# is bogus or is being abused.

  5. While we are weeding out those who have broken additional laws involving paying their payroll taxes, alert all businesses their proverbial necks will be stepped on if they are employing known illegal aliens (i.e. paid under the table, etc.). If it becomes too expensive to pay people $2/hr., they'll pay more (probably more than minimum wage!) to hire legal residents/citizens!

  6. Streamline the legal immigration system. It ought not to take 5-7 years to come here legally. 2-3 years? Sure. But end the bureaucracy.

  7. Give an honest hearing to those who have come here illegally, and have kept their noses clean otherwise, and even paid taxes legitimately (hat tip to the NZ gal). Some can stay, some will be deported. If you broke the law, you have to risk the penalty.
That's not so bad, is it? And the only people who would be deported are felons, anyway, so who cares?

Enough of this nonsense about you can't split up families. Who says the kids can't go along with the deported parents?

In the meantime: call your Senators and House Reps; tell them you're happy the bill has been sidetracked. It's not dead yet, remember. Make them know you won't support them for some bill that does not secure the border first, and punish those (in a fashion like I've outlined above) second.



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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Could we all have misunderestimated him again??

While it is nothing that can be verified independently, earlier this morning I had a conversation with someone about a point Rush Limbaugh just made.

The point I made was a reference to something I posted over 18 months ago:

Could it be that President Bush is using Harriet Miers to further his anticipated nominations of Supreme Court Justices? ...

If the minority party gave such grief over the likes Judges Brown, Owens and Mr. Bolton, all of whom are praised by Conservatives, they can’t very well give any static towards Ms. Miers. If they do, Mr. Bush can easily nominate either Brown or Owens (or others like them) and force the Democrats to vote against them, showing them to be the party of obstruction, yet again.

If the Senate approves Ms. Miers with little or no battle (hardly likely), he can nominate other, more Conservative judges, demonstrating his diversity in candidates. ...

I said yesterday I support Ms. Miers nomination; I can’t say I am thrilled by it, but I am hopeful the President has a bigger picture we’re not privy to yet. I am still banking on his pledge to nominate judges who reflect the principles of Justices Scalia and Thomas.

The critics have frequently misunderestimated President Bush… critics on both sides of the aisle may well be doing so again.

Obviously, the GOP are no longer in the majority any more (well, I could ask how long the people of South Dakota are supposed to wait on Senate representation, but that would seem to some as being cruel to Sen. Tim Johnson). However, since the likes of Sen. John McCain had supported the bill, there's little reason to think it would matter.

None of this theorizing changes my opinion of how President Bush has not properly secured the borders, which was overdue even in the days before September 11th. But perhaps he supported this to fire up the Conservatives; after all, President Bush has nothing to lose.




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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Getting to know you

I am so over due for this post.

A few weeks ago, I was meme-tagged by Just A Girl in The World's Lisa Sabin-Wlison. The idea was simple enough:

“Face Behind the Blogger” collection was started by Dave Airey because blogging is truly international, and the chances of meeting the people behind your favorite blogs are slim, a face to the name of someone you haven’t met helps recognition and adds a more personal feel to your conversations.

However, I had to decline to play along. Long time readers will recall I strive for anonymity; yes, you all know my first name, and I've made no doubt that I live in Pennsylvania. But I have reasons to balance speaking my mind with not identifying myself.

No, I have no delusions of a superhero or the like. I have reasons, and they're probably not as good as I think they are, but they are mine and such you'll never get photos of me, current or otherwise.

However, that doesn't mean the idea is a bad one! So I encourage one and all to visit Lisa's site to see her contribution, and maybe make your own in my stead.


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These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc

You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.

-Pres. Ronald W. Reagan

We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For four long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.

We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but 40 years ago at this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men, and the air was filled with the crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. At dawn, on the morning of the 6th of June, 1944, 225 Rangers jumped off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs. Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. The Allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here and they would be trained on the beaches to stop the Allied advance.

The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers--the edge of the cliffs shooting down at them with machine guns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing. Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After two days of fighting, only 90 could still bear arms.

Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there.

These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.

Gentlemen, I look at you and I think of the words of Stephen Spender's poem. You are men who in your lives fought for life . . . and left the vivid air signed with your honor.

I think I know what you may be thinking right now--thinking, "We were just part of a bigger effort; everyone was brave that day." Well, everyone was. Do you remember the story of Bill Millin of the 51st Highlanders? Forty years ago today, British troops were pinned down near a bridge, waiting desperately for help. Suddenly, they heard the sound of bagpipes, and some thought they were dreaming. Well, they weren't. They looked up and saw Bill Millin with his bagpipes, leading the reinforcements and ignoring the smack of the bullets into the ground around him.

Lord Lovat was with him--Lord Lovat of Scotland, who calmly announced when he got to the bridge, "Sorry I'm a few minutes late," as if he'd been delayed by a traffic jam, when in truth he'd just come from the bloody fighting on Sword Beach, which he and his men had just taken.

There was the impossible valor of the Poles who threw themselves between the enemy and the rest of Europe as the invasion took hold, and the unsurpassed courage of the Canadians who had already seen the horrors of war on this coast. They knew what awaited them there, but they would not be deterred. And once they hit Juno Beach, they never looked back.

All of these men were part of a rollcall of honor with names that spoke of a pride as bright as the colors they bore: the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Poland's 24th Lancers, the Royal Scots Fusiliers, the Screaming Eagles, the Yeomen of England's armored divisions, the forces of Free France, the Coast Guard's "Matchbox Fleet" and you, the American Rangers.

Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet, you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief; it was loyalty and love.

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge--and pray God we have not lost it--that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.

You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.

The Americans who fought here that morning knew word of the invasion was spreading through the darkness back home. They thought--or felt in their hearts, though they couldn't know in fact, that in Georgia they were filling the churches at 4 a.m., in Kansas they were kneeling on their porches and praying, and in Philadelphia they were ringing the Liberty Bell.

Something else helped the men of D-Day: their rock-hard belief that Providence would have a great hand in the events that would unfold here; that God was an ally in this great cause. And so, the night before the invasion, when Colonel Wolverton asked his parachute troops to kneel with him in prayer he told them: Do not bow your heads, but look up so you can see God and ask His blessing in what we're about to do. Also that night, General Matthew Ridgway on his cot, listening in the darkness for the promise God made to Joshua: I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.

These are the things that impelled them; these are the things that shaped the unity of the Allies.

When the war was over, there were lives to be rebuilt and governments to be returned to the people. There were nations to be reborn. Above all, there was a new peace to be assured. These were huge and daunting tasks. But the Allies summoned strength from the faith, belief, loyalty, and love of those who fell here. They rebuilt a new Europe together.

There was first a great reconciliation among those who had been enemies, all of whom had suffered so greatly. The United States did its part, creating the Marshall Plan to help rebuild our allies and our former enemies. The Marshall Plan led to the Atlantic alliance--a great alliance that serves to this day as our shield for freedom, for prosperity, and for peace.

In spite of our great efforts and successes, not all that followed the end of the war was happy or planned. Some liberated countries were lost. The great sadness of this loss echoes down to our own time in the streets of Warsaw, Prague, and East Berlin. Soviet troops that came to the center of this continent did not leave when peace came. They're still there, uninvited, unwanted, unyielding, almost 40 years after the war. Because of this, Allied forces still stand on this continent. Today, as 40 years ago, our armies are here for only one purpose--to protect and defend democracy. The only territories we hold are memorials like this one and graveyards where our heroes rest.

We in America have learned bitter lessons from two World Wars: It is better to be here ready to protect the peace than to take blind shelter across the sea, rushing to respond only after freedom is lost. We've learned that isolationism never was and never will be an acceptable response to tyrannical governments with an expansionist intent.

But we try always to be prepared for peace; prepared to deter aggression; prepared to negotiate the reduction of arms; and, yes, prepared to reach out again in the spirit of reconciliation. In truth, there is no reconciliation we would welcome more than a reconciliation with the Soviet Union, so, together, we can lessen the risks of war, now and forever.

It's fitting to remember here the great losses also suffered by the Russian people during World War II: 20 million perished, a terrible price that testifies to all the world the necessity of ending war. I tell you from my heart that we in the United States do not want war. We want to wipe from the face of the Earth the terrible weapons that man now has in his hands. And I tell you, we are ready to seize that beachhead. We look for some sign from the Soviet Union that they are willing to move forward, that they share our desire and love for peace, and that they will give up the ways of conquest. There must be a changing there that will allow us to turn our hope into action.

We will pray forever that some day that changing will come. But for now, particularly today, it is good and fitting to renew our commitment to each other, to our freedom, and to the alliance that protects it.

We are bound today by what bound us 40 years ago, the same loyalties, traditions, and beliefs. We're bound by reality. The strength of America's allies is vital to the United States, and the American security guarantee is essential to the continued freedom of Europe's democracies. We were with you then; we are with you now. Your hopes are our hopes, and your destiny is our destiny.

Here, in this place where the West held together, let us make a vow to our dead. Let us show them by our actions that we understand what they died for. Let our actions say to them the words for which Matthew Ridgway listened: I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.
Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their value [valor], and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.

Thank you very much, and God bless you all.

-- Ronald Reagan, President, 40th Anniversary D-Day Address

Transcript from Reagan Library

Hear the complete speech at American Rhetoric



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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Paying tribute to the Greatest Generation

This weekend is the annual WW-II airshow at Reading (PA) Airport. The
boys got in for free, and camped on the grounds in exchange for
selling show programs, moving water and ice around the event to the
re-enactors and stamping hands at the gate. Loads of Vets, vintage
aircraft, and a French village where numerous battles were held. I
will get photos up next week!

--
Charlie On The Pennsylvania Turnpike
http://whatsit2you.blogspot.com

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Looking back, looking forward

How can someone who gets it so right on National Defense, right on economic stimulus (read: taxation), and right on a number of different issues miss so badly when it comes to the security of our borders??

One of my all-time favorite writers puts it succinctly:

Bush the younger came forward, presented himself as a conservative, garnered all the frustrated hopes of his party, turned them into victory, and not nine months later was handed a historical trauma that left his country rallied around him, lifting him, and his party bonded to him. He was disciplined and often daring, but in time he sundered the party that rallied to him, and broke his coalition into pieces. He threw away his inheritance. I do not understand such squandering.

Now conservatives and Republicans are going to have to win back their party. They are going to have to break from those who have already broken from them. This will require courage, serious thinking and an ability to do what psychologists used to call letting go. This will be painful, but it's time. It's more than time.

Peggy Noonan,
Contributing Editor of
The Wall Street Journal,
on OpinionJournal.com
I will never forget how President Bush has defended this country, has made it economically stronger (albeit without the necessary discipline in pork-barrel spending), has helped reshape the Supreme Court in the manner in which the Founding Fathers had intended.

This Immigration Bill, however, is an anathema to all Conservative principles and the rule of law. It is diametrically opposed to the Global War on Terror.

It doesn't make sense!

It.must.not.pass.


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