Protect and Defend

Welcome to my blog, Protect and Defend. You don’t have to understand me. You only have to agree with me. I can live with losing the good fight, but I can not live with not fighting that good fight at all. - Publius

Friday, July 28, 2006

Friends, Romans, Bloggers

I want you all to know that the posts you make on here are not ignored. In fact, I reply or respond to every post someone on here makes with the exception of any posts specifically written in response to someone else’s post. It is my intention to keep the discussion going, and I try to do so by engaging you all with any points that you have made. I encourage you to check back on any of your previous posts to see if the discussion has continued, and if it appears the discussion seems particularly relevant or engaging I will repost the entire thing at the beginning of the blog so that other may join.

I only have this blog to get things off my chest and to discuss topics and issues with others who often don’t share the same opinion as I do because if we only discuss matters with people who agree with us then we never understand why someone would disagree and we never will get anything accomplished.

So like voting in Chicago, come back early and often and make sure your points were heard.

Fox News

Liberals, Lefties, Kool-Aid Drinkers, stop bashing Fox News. I understand you don’t agree with the opinions and views expressed on Fox News and instead you watch CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, CBS News, ABC News, NBC News, the Daily Show, NPR, etc.
But, think about it like this. Why don’t you like Fox News? Is it because they have poor quality programming, or is it because you do not agree with the views expressed on Fox News? And if it is because you do not agree with the views expressed, then tell me why you don’t feel the same or as strongly about any other network or news outlet? Perhaps you don’t dislike other networks or disagree with other networks and outlets because they do not espouse views that disagree with your own; or translation – they are left.
Doesn’t it seem to reason that those on the Right like Fox News for a reason and don’t like the other outlets for a reason, while the opposite is true for those on the Left? Each is preaching to its own choir.
Let’s be honest, no news is objective. A Producer decides what is newsworthy typically using their own ideas on what is newsworthy. Then they pick talking heads to expound on the story in the light that they deemed newsworthy to support their original decision. Amount of time spent on a story, sources, talking heads, etc, those are all subjective, not objective. In a truly objective news story you should disagree with half of what they are saying or they are not presenting both sides.
So next time you are watching the news, see if you disagree with around half of the “information,” if you do then it is most likely objective news. If you agree with everything they are saying, then not only is it not objective, but you are also most likely not watching Fox News.
The Right loves Fox News because it is slanted to the Right, so ask yourself why the Left seems to love the rest of the media.

The End of Bureaucracy?

Yesterday in the Washington Post there was an article talking about trying to convince college graduates to work in the public sector rather than jumping to the money offered in the private sector (Washington Post, Thursday, July 27, 2006, A23).

Max Stier, president and chief executive of the Partnership for Public Service, was quoted with, “The federal workforce is graying at a very fast rate – nearly half will be eligible to retire in five years, and there is not sufficient interest or knowledge from top talent.”

We already have a shortage of intelligence agents and people working in the federal government with foreign language skills, and soon we might have a shortage in government workers all together. People in this country no longer look at public service as a noble aspiration. What is interesting about this, is that people have decided that money is now more important than power.

Although I am no big fan of Barack Obama, he spoke at a town hall meeting for Washington Interns about joining the federal workforce, and I think he delivered a strong message.

“The possibility for us to engage in the process – not of perfecting the world, but improving it, pushing that boulder up the hill – so that at the end of our lifetimes we can look back and say ‘We made a difference.’ I can’t think of a more worthy project. You don’t have to be in government to do it, but government is one of the most important vehicles by which you can do it” (Washington Post, Thursday, July 27, 2006, A23).

Viking Killings

From the Washington Post (Thursday, July 27, 2006; B01).

Execution of Pagan Devotee Set for Tonight

Va. Man Who Worships Norse Gods Cites Religion in Slaying of Fellow Inmate

It is often said that inmates find God when they get to prison. That is only partly true for Michael Lenz. Once behind bars, he became a devoted pagan, worshipping multiple gods from Norse mythology -- some with familiar names such as the mighty Thor and his father, Odin.
Lenz, a drifter from Prince William County serving 29 years and 30 days in prison for burglary and firearm possession, converted to Asatru, an ancient heathen religion, and helped found a prison chapter called Ironwood Kindred.
The religion became the focal point of his life -- "the only thing that mattered to him," according to legal documents. And it was this devotion to his gods that, according to his testimony, prompted him to plan a murderous ambush at a makeshift pagan altar set up in a prison conference room.
Tonight, Lenz, who still practices Asatru from his cell on Virginia's death row, is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection for killing in the name of his gods. He has applied for a stay of execution by the U.S. Supreme Court and for clemency from Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D).
Lenz is one of a few inmates in Virginia prisons who practice Asatru. But in prisons across the United States, the number of converts has increased in recent years, according to experts, some of whom say prisoners find encouragement for violence in the gods they worship.
"This is a warrior thing," said Heidi Beirich, deputy director of the Intelligence Project for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups and extremist organizations. "What they take out of it is violence, physical dominance and racial purity. To them, Thor represents the ultimate white male."
Beirich said many of the inmates who have converted to Asatru or Odinism are white supremacists. "It is anti-Christian, and these particular pagan religions glorify deities created by the white race," she said. "They reflect values they are drawn to, like being really strong, being able to fight -- Thor with his hammer. And that's what they worship."
Beirich said there are racist and nonracist versions of the religion in prisons and among the general population.
Stephen McNallen, director of the Asatru Folk Assembly, a leading Asatru group in the United States, has been fielding calls from the media as Lenz's execution approaches.
"There is nothing in Asatru that would justify what he did," McNallen said of the killing by Lenz and Jeffrey Remington, Lenz's best friend, who also was an Asatru devotee…
"The best way to describe Asatru is to compare it with other native religions: Native American or other native or indigenous religions in any location on the globe," McNallen said in a telephone interview from his California home. "We are a group of people attempting to follow the way of our ancestors and look toward our ancestors as a source of spiritual comfort, nourishment and connection."
He estimated that 10,000 to 20,000 people in the United States share his religious beliefs and only a small percentage of devotees -- less than 5 percent -- are white supremacists. He guessed that a good number of those people are prison inmates…
Lenz's attorney, Jennifer L. Givens, said that Lenz's religion surely played a role in the killing but that the jury should have been told about Parker's history of violence. Her appeal to the Supreme Court is also based on the fact that a juror was reading a Bible during deliberations.

I have never heard of this religion, or knew anything about it until this article. But it makes about as much sense as any other multiple-God religions. But, how is it a white-supremacist religion? Are Hindus Indian Supremacists? I am sure there must be some “violent” God in their religion too.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

‘N Sync member is Gay?

Lance Bass of ‘N Sync admits he is gay in this week’s People magazine. He admits he did not come out before because he was worried it would hurt the group’s popularity. He also admits he is in a serious relationship with Reichen Lehmkuhl, winner of season four of CBS' "Amazing Race.”

From the Associated Press, Wednesday, July 26, 2006:

NEW YORK - Lance Bass, band member of 'N Sync, says he's gay and in a "very stable" relationship with a reality show star. Bass, who formed 'N Sync with Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick, tells People magazine that he didn't earlier disclose his sexuality because he didn't want to affect the group's popularity.

"I knew that I was in this popular band and I had four other guys' careers in my hand, and I knew that if I ever acted on it or even said (that I was gay), it would overpower everything," he tells the magazine…

The band went on hiatus in 2002. Bass has also found headlines for undertaking astronaut training and failing to raise money for a trip into space.

Bass says he wondered if his coming out could prompt "the end of 'N Sync." He explains, "So I had that weight on me of like, `Wow, if I ever let anyone know, it's bad.' So I just never did."

The singer says he's in a "very stable" relationship with 32-year-old actor Reichen Lehmkuhl, winner of season four of CBS' "Amazing Race."

Bass and Fatone, 29, are developing a sitcom pilot inspired by the screwball comedy "The Odd Couple," in which his character will be gay…

I’m sorry, but I am on comment overload here. But I will say this, I find it funny that he thinks being gay might make us not like ‘N Sync. I didn’t like the “band” because they made awful music.

Ricky, Milk not Marijuana makes strong bones

According to the Washington Post (Tuesday, July 25, 2006, E3).

Ricky Williams had surgery on his broken left forearm, but there is no timetable for his return to the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts.
Williams was hurt Saturday night in the first half of the Argonauts’ 26-23 win over Saskatchewan when he used his hand to break his fall on the turf…
Williams is expected to miss at least four to six weeks of the CFL season…

Oh Ricky you’re weed is so fine, you’re weed is so fine, you blow my mind, Hey Ricky.

University of Virginia Dean of African-American Affairs M. Rick Turner acknowledges he misled DEA about drug dealer

From the Cavalier Daily, the University of Virginia student newspaper, full story here:

Turner put on leave after probation agreement

Dean of African-American Affairs M. Rick Turner has been put on administrative leave after signing a pretrial diversion agreement with federal prosecutors. According to the agreement, Turner acknowledged that last July, during a Drug Enforcement Administration investigation, he misrepresented his knowledge of the activities of a "known drug dealer." Turner signed the agreement, requiring him to serve a year-long probationary period and truthfully testify in court proceedings, in exchange for not being prosecuted and the charges being dropped at the conclusion of his cooperation.
Turner has served as dean of the Office of African-American Affairs since 1988, and is a controversial and outspoken advocate of black students and the local black community. Outside of his role at the University, he is president of the Charlottesville/Albemarle chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People…
According to the agreement, Turner faced up to five years' imprisonment and a fine for violating a federal law which subjects any person who makes materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statements or representations in the course of an investigation.
By signing the pretrial diversion agreement, Turner is instead subject to a 12-month probationary period, during which he must report to a probation officer and waive his rights under the Fifth Amendment by testifying truthfully at any court proceedings, among several other specific conditions.
College fourth-year Gregory Jackson, former president of the historically black Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, expressed his support for Turner and Terry.
"I'm confident that Dean Terry will do a great job in Dean Turner's leave," he said.
Tamara Dottin, president of the Black Student Alliance, urged members of the community to wait for all of the facts before passing judgment.
"His many accomplishments speak for themselves, and I think it's best we wait for details to surface before rushing to judgments," Dottin said…

In the past Turner has advocated for the government to take away property and wealth from White Americans and redistribute it to Black Americans as a form of reparations for slavery and Civil Rights Violations. It is an embarrassment that the top Public University in the country has only put this man on administrative leave and not fired him outright. He was an embarrassment before and now he is a criminal. He would not have agreed to probation if he was not guilty, and the fact that there are still people sticking by him shows how ignorant they are too.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

NumbersUSA announcement

This was from an email I received from NumbersUSA, if you have not gone to their website yet and learned more about the organization, I ENCOURAGE you to take a look:

Rep. Pence (R-IN) has finally announced the specifics of a House bill that he has been threatening to offer for weeks. And Sen. Hutchison (R-TX) announced she will introduce it in the Senate.
There is not yet a bill number.
The major news media are touting it as an inspired breakthrough that will allow the Senate (which passed a virtually open-borders bill) and the House (which passed an enforcement-only bill) to compromise.
The basic outline of a very complicated bill is this:
1. Most of the 12 million illegal aliens would be legalized, allowed to work and live in the U.S. for the rest of their lives as long as they can find a job.
2. In order to be allowed to do this, the illegal aliens would have to go across the U.S. borders to specialized centers run by private industries which would run the security checks on the aliens before they would take up their legal residence.
3. The illegal aliens would, thus, have their status laundered from illegal alien to legal guestworker and could renew their residency/work visas every two years. They could go back home for awhile and come back later, if they wanted. Once they accumulated 17 years of work, they could become U.S. citizens.
4. The amnesty/guestworker program would not start until after at least two years of increasing border security and some other enforcement measures.

Bill is not a rational compromise -- but it is rational enough to pose a danger of passing.
This plan is indeed between the highly rational, sober-minded HR-4437 passed by the House and the almost-insane open-borders S. 2611 passed by the Senate.
But the fact that it would not totally transform America and virtually surrender its sovereignty -- like the Senate bill -- does not mean it is a rational compromise.
At least it is not a rational compromise if you believe that illegal aliens should not be rewarded for their crimes by offering them permanent residency and U.S. citizenship .... and if you believe that Americans should not be saddled with the continuing tax subsidies for these mostly low-wage foreign workers..... and if you don't believe the federal government should be using immigration to further congest the already overcrowded cities and urban regions of our nation.
Speaker of the House Hastert (R-IL) and Senate Majority Leader Frist (R-TN) have already indicated that they think there is a lot of merit in the Pence-Hutchison bill and appreciate the efforts for a positive compromise.
There are indications that this bill is going to be championed by the Wall Street Journal and other promoters of a new Robber Baron era of unlimited, cheap foreign labor and depressed American wages.
The White House has indicated a lot of enthusiasm for this bill.

News reports quote both Pence and Hutchison as saying that their challenge in forming their bill was to find a way to keep most of the illegal aliens working in the U.S. without it being called an amnesty... they have come up with a lot of maneuvers to "launder" the illegal aliens status so that when they get citizenship they won't at that time be illegal.
But the effect is that the only way you apparently can get into this program is to prove that you have broken immigration laws.
Once you prove you are an illegal alien and find an employer willing to hire you (presumably your old employer who also has been breaking the law for years by hiring you then), then you get the reward of legal residency and work…
Pence and Hutchison make a lot about the fact that there is no automatic citizenship and that a person has to wait 17 years instead of the usual five…
About the only thing under this bill that will keep an illegal alien from staying here the rest of their lives is if they decide on their own to move back to their home country.
By providing a path to U.S. citizenship for illegal aliens, Pence and Hutchison have provided an incredible reward for illegal aliens, regardless of how many years it might take for them to get the citizenship.
But keeping the illegal aliens on a short-leash with two-year renewals allows their employers to have a lot of control over them, turning them into something like indentured servants.
This country outlawed indentured servanthood in the 19th century because (1) it created a kind of sub-worker class open to harsh exploitation and (2) it dragged down wages and working conditions for regular American workers.
This bill assumes that Americans and legal resident aliens who currently work in construction, health care, food handling, hospitality and other occupations where employers are clamoring for foreign workers make too much money right now. The bill assumes that there is a need for massive numbers of foreign workers to help hold wages down for the legal workers who also are in those occupations.

The Pence-Hutchison bill should be called the Return to the Robber Baron Era Act…

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Another 60 Iraqis killed today in violence

And another 200 wounded in Baghdad and Kirkuk, and more than 40,000 have died since the war began. I take no solace in this. I do not enjoy the deaths of innocent people. I do not believe that when Iraqi civilians die that it is a good thing.
More than 2,500 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq since the war began. I take no solace in this. I do not enjoy the deaths of American soldiers. I do not believe that when American soldiers die that it is a good thing.

Wars are costly and brutal. There has never been a war without violence, destruction, and death. The US started this war, and regardless of the situations, excuses, reasoning, or logic behind the invasion, the US started this war. We used bad intel, bad assumptions, bad reasoning, and bad troop deployment. But, the US started this war. We invaded a country, we took over the country, we took down the Iraqi Army, we took down the Iraqi Police, we took down the Iraqi Government, and we took down the Iraqi Bureaucracy. We have made a mess in Iraq and that mess threatens to destabilize the entire Middle Eastern region, if not the world. Our soldiers are in Iraq so we can do virtually nothing in Iran. Our soldiers are in Iraq so we can do virtually nothing in North Korea. Our soldiers are in Iraq so we can do virtually nothing in Afghanistan. The US has created a situation in Iraq the likes of which may have never been seen before.

This is not Vietnam. The US knew if they withdrew the communist government of North Vietnam would come in and take over. This is not North Korea. The US government knew if they withdrew the communist government of North Korea would come in and take over.
On the first one, we withdrew and Vietnam went communist, millions in the South suffered, and Vietnam has been a third-world country ever since. On the second one, we did not withdraw instead signing a Peace Treaty and South Korea is a modern, industrial world power while North Korea has remained a third-world country with a hereditary rule crazed dictatorship. But, we don’t have the same options in Iraq, there is no communist regime waiting to take over Iraq if we leave. There is also no Theocracy waiting to take over Iraq if we leave. If the US soldiers leave there is nothing but Civil War and millions will die until either the Sunni or Shiite destroy one another before turning their guns on the Kurds, or another strong man enters to take over the entire country and rule with an Iron Fist as Saddam did.

Perhaps there is no hope for Iraq. But, I am tired of hearing on blogs about the number of casualties and deaths that have occurred in Iraq as if posting them will suddenly make the war go away. I am tired of hearing the war being blamed on President Bush as if he were to leave office tomorrow that suddenly the war would be over and there would be peace in Iraq. I am tired of the fighting and arguing over how or why we got into war and how bad the war is and how bad the war is going. THIS SOLVES NOTHING. You can not wish this war away, it is not going away, and it might not get any easier or any better anytime soon.

Both sides of this argument are wrong. Those on the Right who argue for staying the course are wrong because staying the course is not working. Those on the Right who argue that Iraq isn’t any more violent than the streets of the US are wrong
And those on the Left who argue for troop withdrawal are wrong because without those soldiers there, there will be civil war and it will involve all the Middle Eastern religious sects. World War III could very well start with the Iraq War. And those on the Left who keep talking about impeaching a President for getting us into Iraq are wrong because removing him does not remove the violence.

Neither side is offering any viable alternatives. The UN can’t fight a war, stop a war, or even prevent countries from gaining the nuclear material to use in a war. There needs to be more boots on the ground but no one is offering. The Sunnis and Shiites are going to continue to kill each other until Iraq has a government, police force, and army that can stop them. But, this is not going to happen over night nor anytime soon. So we can stay the course and pray for the best or we can withdraw our troops and pray for the best, but prayers are not going to solve this conflict. It is time we stopped arguing about why we got into the war, who sent us off to war, who supports the war, when soldiers will come home, or if wanting troop withdraw is “Un-American” and “cut and run,” and instead we need to be talking about how we are going to prevent civil war in Iraq and how we are going to have a government there that can stop the killing. The US is not good at nation building. The UK is no good at nation building. The UN is not good at nation building. A nation is only good at building its own nation.

So if you don’t have a solution other than troop withdraw, than keep it to yourself. If you don’t have a solution other than calling the other side Un-American, than keep it to yourself. Perhaps if the people stop arguing about the trivial than maybe our government will stop arguing about it as well. It shouldn’t be about whether you are for the war or against the war, it should be about how we are going to end this war, and then the Iraqis won’t still be dying and then our soldiers won’t still be dying, and then you can tell me all about how many American soldiers have come home in the past month.

Stop spending you time looking for someone or something to blame and instead spend your time on finding a way to end this violence.

Friday, July 21, 2006

More Voting Rights Act Nonsense

Voting Rights Act Extension Passes In Senate, 98 to 0

By Charles Babington (Washington Post, Friday, July 21, 2006; A01)

The Senate voted 98 to 0 to renew key provisions of the Voting Rights Act yesterday, permitting the federal government to continue its broad oversight of state voting procedures for the next quarter-century, and allowing Republicans to claim equality with Democrats in protecting minorities' clout at the ballot box.
The act requires several states, mostly in the South, to obtain Justice Department approval before changing precinct boundaries, polling places, legislative districts, ballot formats and other voting procedures. It also requires many jurisdictions throughout the nation to provide bilingual ballots or interpreters for voters whose English is not strong.
Those two provisions caused a mini-revolt among House Republicans last week. GOP leaders had to scramble -- and rely on heavy Democratic support -- to defeat proposed amendments that they said would dilute the bill and prove politically embarrassing.
The law, first passed in 1965, retains near-iconic status in civil rights circles, even though some elected officials say it is no longer needed. GOP leaders were eager to renew it before the November elections. Unlike the House, where some Southern Republicans opposed provisions that focus on their states, the Senate passed the bill unanimously after hours of one-sided debate in which member after member praised leaders of the 1960s desegregation movement.
President Bush, addressing the NAACP's annual convention while the debate was underway, said he looked forward to signing the measure. "A generation of Americans that has grown up in the last few decades may not appreciate what this act has meant," he said. "Condi Rice understands what this act has meant," Bush said, referring to the secretary of state, an African American who grew up in Alabama in the 1950s and '60s…
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) shook hands with Rep. Melvin Watt (D-N.C.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, when the result was announced...
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) was a bit more grudging. "While I support this bill, I continue to have some serious concerns with several aspects of it," including its "extension for an extraordinary 25 years," he said from the floor. The defeated House amendments, he said, "would have strengthened this bill and updated it to reflect the reality of profoundly improved race relations" in Georgia.
The act, originally signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, outlawed practices such as poll taxes and literacy tests that many Southern jurisdictions used to depress black voter turnout. As amended over the years, it required such jurisdictions to obtain federal "pre-clearance" for an array of voting-related practices that might have the effect of reducing minority voters' influence.
Some local and national officials say the targeted oversight is no longer justified and is a relic of days when Southern states could not be trusted to treat all citizens justly. But others say abuses still occur. "Where would the citizens of Georgia be -- particularly low-income and minority citizens -- if they were required to produce a government-issued identification or pay $20 every five years in order to vote?" Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) asked …

So this bill once again alludes to the belief that racism is still prevalent in this country but only in the South. That although the talk around the bill mostly involves black people and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, the bill will allow bilingual ballots which means that this country will only require non-Spanish speakers to learn English. And John Kerry outright attacks the state of Georgia for being racist still.

This bill was once a necessity. But, to believe that racism only exists in the South is ignorant and yet the bill only covers Southern jurisdictions. And that it allows for bilingual ballots only reinforces the notion that the Senate is doing everything it can to placate Hispanic voters. This extension for 25 year of the bill does not cover all immigrants or treat them all fairly. Someone from Europe, the Middle East, India, Asia, or Africa is forced to learn English if they wish to vote but we don’t hold Spanish speakers to the same standards.


Is it OK to rape a woman if you play sports?

No Penalty for MidshipmanOwens Found Guilty of Two Non-Rape Charges

By Nelson Hernandez (Washington Post, Saturday, July 22, 2006; B01)

The U.S. Naval Academy quarterback acquitted of a rape charge will face no punishment for having sex with a fellow midshipman in her dorm room or violating an order to steer clear of the woman, a jury decided yesterday.
After a high-profile, 10-day court-martial, the jury of five naval officers rejected prosecutors' arguments that Midshipman Lamar S. Owens Jr. should be dismissed from the Navy for misconduct, a step that would have required him to repay the $136,000 cost of his four-year education.
The jury also declined to reprimand Owens for his actions Jan. 29 despite finding him guilty Thursday of conduct unbecoming an officer and of violating a military protective order.
Owens, 22, still could face administrative discipline -- and a possible discharge -- for breaking rules prohibiting sexual contact on campus and fraternization between members of the same company…
"The Academy will review his situation to determine the best course of action," a spokeswoman wrote in response to an e-mail.
After the jury's president pronounced the words "no punishment," Owens, standing at attention, silently looked up at the ceiling of the wood-paneled courtroom with tear-filled eyes. Family members and friends sitting behind him exhaled with relief and held one another's hands. When the judge closed the court a few moments later, they began hugging one another and Owens finally cracked a smile in relief.
"I had tears in my eyes because this young man needed and received justice today," Owens's attorney, Reid H. Weingarten Weingarten said that Owens "feels vindicated, as he should."
The outcome was a turnaround for Owens, who went from leading the Navy football team in its Poinsettia Bowl victory to facing a maximum life sentence on the charge of raping a 20-year-old female midshipman. Despite a secretly taped phone conversation in which Owens repeatedly apologized to the woman, the jury decided there was enough reasonable doubt in her account -- she had been drinking that night and could not recall parts of what had happened -- to acquit Owens on the most serious charge…
For the remaining charges, Owens faced a maximum penalty of a year and a half in prison, but the prosecution did not ask for jail time, arguing instead for his dismissal from the Navy in dishonor.
The debate in the courtroom centered on whether the jury should forgive a young, aspiring officer who had made a mistake or whether they should throw him out of the Navy…
"He has to live with a very public allegation that he raped a woman," Weingarten said. "This is a heavy burden to bear."

I wonder how the female cadet feels knowing she has to live with being raped while her accuser goes free. THAT is a heavy burden to bear.

And why is it that those on the Left seem so unable to speak up when it is an athlete who rapes a woman, even with overwhelming evidence to support the allegation? Or do they only speak out when it is lacrosse players?

Gay Marriage Divorce?


Same-sex marriage pioneers split up

Lesbian couple helped make gay marriage legal in Massachusetts

Updated: 5:17 p.m. ET July 21, 2006

BOSTON - The lesbian couple whose landmark lawsuit helped Massachusetts become the only state in America where same-sex couples can marry legally have split up, a spokeswoman said Friday.
Julie and Hillary Goodridge and six other gay and lesbian couples sued Massachusetts for the right to marry and won when the state’s highest court ruled narrowly for them in 2003.Their suit helped spark a nationwide debate on gay marriage.
The women “are amicably living apart,” Mary Breslauer, a spokeswoman for the couple said. “As always their number one priority is raising their daughter, and like the other plaintiff couples in this case, they made an enormous contribution toward equal marriage. But they are no longer in the public eye, and request that their privacy be respected.”
They have not filed for divorce.
Julie and Hillary Goodridge married on May 17, 2004, the first day same-sex couples were allowed to wed, in a festive ceremony attended by dozens of journalists.
Their daughter, Annie, accompanied the women down the aisle serving as ring bearer and flower girl while guests hummed “Here Come the Brides.”
News of their split upset many who had supported their quest for same-sex marriage. “We are very sad for them,” said Carisa Cunningham, a spokeswoman for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
Two states — Connecticut and Vermont — have legalized same-sex civil unions. California, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., offer gay and lesbian couples some legal rights as partners.
The debate over gay marriage recently has heated up again in Massachusetts after the state’s Supreme Judicial Court last week ruled that voters can decide whether to ban same-sex unions.
If enough lawmakers in the state’s legislature approve the measure, it will be put on the 2008 ballot for a popular vote.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

My Apologies Again

I have been a bit remiss recently with my postings on illegal immigration. But that is because sadly the issue has hit the backburner as North Korean missiles, Israel vs. the Arab World, Stem Cells, and the oppressive heat on the East Coast has taken over the news. But, needless to say I am still fighting the good fight and I continue to encourage you all to go to NumbersUSA to find out more, register, and become involved. Here is the link:

Now that it has been a few days

Ok it has been a few days since the North Korean missile firings so can we discuss why we really didn’t take these missile tests seriously? Could it partially be because the North Korean long-range missile that might be able to reach Alaska and the West Coast didn’t work and in fact fell into the water almost immediately after takeoff? OR…is it because their medium range missile with a range of 995 miles capable of hitting Japan is called the NODONG and the long-range missile with a range of 3,500 miles is called the TAEPODONG or pronounced No-Dong and Type-O-Dong.
This shows just how little North Korea understands the West, how are we not supposed to chuckle when we hear about Kim Il Jong’s No-dong and Type-o-dong? I was a bit concerned at the time when I heard about his missile aspirations but once I heard that the missile tests were a complete failure I went back to eating my Kum Pow Chicken from Fu King Gourmet.

You may have to say that last one out loud to get it.

We win one and we lose one

For those of you who don’t know, Pam Anderson is no longer singe and has gotten married to Kid Rock; we lost one. But, Carmen Electra has gotten separated from Dave Navarro; we win one. One rich, untalented actress, ex-Baywatch star, and former Playboy model gets married while the other one goes single.
The one we lost has two kids and Hepatitis C and the one we gained was once married to Dennis Rodman so it might be a fair trade.

Stem Cell Research

Ok so the President used his first veto in 5 years in office to veto a bill to allow embryonic stem cell research. On the news they said it was to pander to his conservative base. As a conservative, can someone tell me why I am supposed to be against stem cell research? When you put Michael J. Fox as the spokesperson for stem cell research, how am I supposed to be against it? I have never claimed to be a scientist or biologist or a geneticist so maybe I am missing something here, but what is wrong with using these embryonic stem cells if they are most likely going to be discarded anyhow and yet they have the potential to save millions of lives.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Israel vs. the Middle East

Is it anti-Semitic to be against Israel attacking the Palestinians and Lebanese with bombs, tanks, and artillery?
Or is it justified that Israel is attacking Hamas and Hezbollah and attacking facilities at night when there is less chance of civilian casualties? Israel has said that all attacks will cease once their soldiers are returned unharmed, whereas their enemies have preached that Israel has no right to exist.
I can not fathom what it must be like to live in Israel and to constantly be fearful for your life, but the world is better for having an Israel than to not have one at all.

Ingrid Vandebosch

Supposedly the Belgian model is the new fiancé of NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon. The two met on the set of the horrible movie Taxi with Jimmy Fallon and got engaged in May of this year. According to Sports Illustrated, Jeff and Ingrid told family and friends about the engagement “with a cabernet toast at a croquet party” (Sports Illustrated, July 17, 2006).
The Rainbow Warrior and a Model, something seems wrong there.

Eva Longoria

Now I have never thought that the Desperate Housewives star was all that attractive and quite undeserving of all the attention. And now we get to see her without all the make-up and my suspicions are confirmed.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The New Hate Crime

From Newsweek (July 17, 2006, p.29)

A Gang War With a Twist

Gangbangers in L.A. on trial for deadly hate crimes

Kenneth Wilson was murdered looking for a parking spot in Latino gang territory. Driving in the working-class Los Angeles neighborhood of Highland Park in 1999, the African-American man passed a stolen van filled with members of the feared Avenues street gang. Seeing Wilson, one of the Latino gangsters asked: "You wanna kill a n----r?" according to one gang member who has become an informant for federal prosecutors. "F--- it!" the others agreed, as three of them barreled out of the van and gunned down the 38-year-old.
Was Wilson killed because he was black? That's what federal prosecutors in L.A. contend, and they're taking the unusual approach of prosecuting four of the Avenues gang-bangers under a civil-rights-era statute and a hate-crime law based on the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery. The men are on trial in a high-security courtroom, charged with a six-year conspiracy to enforce an alleged gang "policy" to intimidate blacks into steering clear of predominantly Latino Highland Park. Kenneth Wilson was killed "because the Avenues had promised each other ... that they would drive African-Americans out of the neighborhood by threats, by force, by murder," prosecutor Alex Bustamante told jurors in his opening statement.
The heart of the case against Gilbert (Lucky) Saldaña, Alex (Bird) Martinez, Fernando (Sneaky) Cazares and Porfirio (Dreamer) Avila—a fifth Avenues gangster is still a fugitive—will come from the testimony of three former gang members turned informants. The informants will attempt to connect the defendants to a series of two dozen assaults, threats and intimidations between 1995 and 2001—including the murders of two local black men, Chris Bowser and Anthony Prudhomme.
Defense attorneys acknowledge that their clients were members of the Avenues, a gang with roots reaching back four generations. But they maintain that the violence was part of gang life, not a vendetta against blacks. "It wasn't racially based," said attorney Mike Shannon, who represents Cazares. Already, the defense team is trying to discredit the informants, pointing out that they have been granted immunity: Jesse Diaz and Jose de la Cruz, who is serving a life sentence for Wilson's murder, are both in state prison and are hoping to receive reduced sentences in exchange for helping prosecutors.
Meanwhile, two of the defendants are already serving life sentences. If prosecutors have their way, all four will be behind bars for life—making the streets of Highland Park safer not only for blacks but for everyone.

I don’t know, but it seems like a hate crime to me. Why is it that these stories receive so little news? Black people are being terrorized in California by Hispanic gangs and yet the news ignores it. I would love to hear as explanation as to why.

Is Osama bin Laden so evil?

I was listening to the Penn Jillette radio show on Thursday or Friday, even though I don’t find it to be all that good of a program, but it was on so I listened; yes the same Penn Jillette or Penn and Teller has his own radio show.
Penn had a caller on the air who was talking about how he believes that the prisoners at Gitmo should be released. The caller said that if Osama was at Gitmo then he could understand why the US would keep prisoners at Gitmo indefinitely, but because the enemy combatants who were being kept at Gitmo were not the important guys they should be allowed a trial and a hearing. But here is the thing; the 19 hijackers on 9-11 killed over 3,000 Americans not Osama. The London bus and subway bombers were not Osama. Osama was not a member of the Buffalo cell found awhile back, Osama was not part of the Canadian cell, and Osama was not part of cell that wanted to blow up underground lines in NYC.
Don’t get me wrong Osama is evil and dangerous and I still want his head on a pike in the middle of Time Square for the world to see. But who is more dangerous? Is it the person who plans the attack or those who carry out the attack? Has Osama actually killed a single American or has he sent those who killed Americans? In some respects those in Gitmo are more dangerous that Osama because they are the ones who are going to strap a bomb to themselves or be the ones who actually plant the bombs in our subways.

For some reason my brain had never made this thought process before. But the question still stands, who is more dangerous, the person who plans the attack or the person who carries out the attack? If the answer is the second one than I think we know that those in Gitmo can not be released or allowed a civilian trial and instead should be kept in Cuba indefinitely.

Colbert Quote

“It’s the only sport that leaves your hands free for obscene gestures.”

Stephen Clobert, on why he likes soccer (Sports Illustrated, July 17, 2006).

BOO to Sports Illustrated

This week’s issue of Sports Illustrated put 5 baseball players on the cover, none of whom I have heard of, and in the top left corner put a small picture of Fabio Cannavaro, the captain of the Italian World Cup team, holding the World Cup trophy with the caption “Forza Italia!” If the fact that five New York Mets players got the cover over the World Cup champion was not bad enough, there was a three and a half page article on the Mets on the inside plus a two-page photo spread to begin the article. A story on the new Cleveland Browns’ WR Joe Jurevicious got a full-page picture plus a two and a half page article, a story on Wimbledon which about 3 people watched got two pages and three and a half of photos, and an article about the over-the-hill Andre Agassi was deemed worthy of nine pages and a full page photo. And the World Cup coverage, what did Sports Illustated dedicate to the World’s most popular sport and to a game watched by over a billion people? Well the World Cup got a two page story and a full page photo.

That is just a poor showing by Sports Illustrated.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

We would watch but there is nothing on

From the Washington Post Style Section (July 12, 2006, C7)

NBC's "America's Got Talent" was the only show last week to crack the 10-million-viewer mark…
TV viewing was down considerably during the July Fourth holiday week. The Associated Press reports that it was the least watched week in recorded history for the big four broadcast networks...

Well of course no one was watching TV, all there is on TV in the summer is reruns and junk. Two of last week’s top ten programs were “America’s Got Talent,” and Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance.” If there was anything on that we hadn’t already seen or if there was anything on that was any good we as Americans would be in front of our TVs and instead we are in front of our computers blogging.
Maybe it isn’t so bad after all then.

The First Immigration Election

From the Washington Post Metro Section (July 12, 2006). Full Story:

No Talk of Labor Center As New Council Meets

With little fanfare, the Herndon Town Council last night held its first public session since voters unseated the mayor and four incumbents in May, a result widely viewed as a reflection of anger over the establishment of an employment center for immigrant workers.
New Mayor Steve J. DeBenedittis, who led a de facto slate of candidates critical of the town's role in opening the Herndon Official Workers Center, entered the council chambers to a smattering of applause. But DeBenedittis and other council members avoided any direct discussion of the center or its future.
"I look forward to working with each member of the council and with you over the next two years," DeBenedittis said in brief opening remarks.
The only hint of controversy came in discussion of an issue related to the day-labor center: concern about overcrowded housing conditions created by immigrant workers in the western Fairfax County town, where about 40 percent of residents are from Latin America.
Town Attorney Richard B. Kaufman asked the council for authorization to sue owners of two allegedly overcrowded homes, the latest in a series of legal actions the town has taken to address the issue. The council is to take formal action on the request next week.
The council voted in August to establish a center where immigrant day laborers could make contact with potential employers. Supporters said the measure was an alternative to a chaotic scene at a 7-Eleven where laborers gathered to find work. The center, in a residential neighborhood, is managed by a nonprofit and receives funding from the county.
In May, residents ousted Mayor Michael L. O'Reilly and four council members, replacing them with challengers who have called for major changes in where and how the center is operated. Some have called for a halt to the use of public funds in operating the center. Others want it moved, possibly to an industrial or commercial area.
The election results shifted the council from a 5-2 majority in favor of the center to an apparent 6-1 majority in opposition…
The labor center thrust Herndon into the national debate over illegal immigration. At one point, Town Hall was forced to unplug its phone lines after listeners of a radio talk show deluged the switchboard with what officials described as hate calls regarding the day-labor site.
Although fewer than 3,000 people -- about 26 percent of the town's registered voters -- turned out for the May 2 contest, it was widely regarded as a test of public sentiment over immigration policy.
DeBenedittis said after the election that his victory reflected the feeling among voters that they had not been taken seriously when the issue was first debated.
"A lot of us felt our voices hadn't been heard," he said…

When the people decide and when the people vote, it is against illegal immigration.

Duke Prosecutor can learn a thing or two here

From the Washington Post Sports Section (July 12, 2006, E2).

Prosecutors rejected a sexual assault claim against Los Angeles Lakers center Kwame Brown yesterday because of lack of evidence.
The allegation was made during the Lakers’ first-round Western Conference playoff series with Phoenix and had been under investigation since. Brown had denied any wrongdoing and was never arrested.
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said it decided not to prosecute Brown after “a medical exam of the victim was reviewed and revealed no signs of forcible sexual assault.” There was also no corroborating forensic evidence, it said.

So this story tells us one of two things, either it is ok to rape a woman if you play for the Lakers (ala Kobe Bryant) or if there is no sign of forcible sexual assault and no DNA evidence there was not a rape. Too bad the Duke Lacrosse players did not play in LA.

Bad News for German Soccer

From the Washington Post Sports Section (July 12, 2006, E2).

SOCCER: Juergen Klinsmann , who led host Germany to a third-place finish at the World Cup last week, is stepping down, the co-president of the German soccer federation said early today. . . .

The local World Cup coordinator for Berlin, 65-year-old Juergen Kiessling , shot himself in the head hours after Sunday's final in an apparent suicide attempt, a police spokeswoman confirmed. . . .

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Ugly Americans on Futbol

From Fox Sports:
Although they are right about the cheerleaders, even though you see a lot more women in the stands at soccer games than at football games, and it is hard to beat those Brazilian women.

Why our football is better than their football
The World Cup is over, and NFL training camps open in less than three weeks.
Which got the
FOX Funhouse staff thinking about why we like our football better than the world's football ...
Much better looking trophy given to the champions.
Overtime is sudden death ... first to score, wins.
Championships not decided by the random guessing game that is a penalty kick.
Though it has yet to happen, a Super Bowl champion would be decided in sudden-death overtime.
We won't have to wait another four years for a new Super Bowl champion.
No third-place game played before the Super Bowl.
The French aren't any good at our football.
Football has cheerleaders.
Football has cheerleaders who wear revealing clothing.
No need to make apologies when you tell friends you're a football fan.
Players only carried off field on stretchers for real, serious injuries.
There's no "magic spray" in football.
Our football players can use their hands, and feet, and whatever else they feel like using.
Prevent defense only played in final couple minutes, rather than 90 minutes.
Games not decided by penalty kicks, only kicks that are made by an undersized kicker being pursued by hulking 300-pound behemoths.
Kickers in football are viewed as small and weak, and everybody makes fun of them.
Roughing the kicker penalty doesn't give a team a free shot at a touchdown.
There's no pretending to be fouled.
There's no pretending to be hurt.
A blowout isn't 2-0.
Ties rarely ever happen.
Offsides rule in football easier to understand than offsides rule in soccer.
The U.S. would never lose to Ghana in a game of football.
Fat guys can play.
Unlimited substitutions in football make for a faster, and therefore, better game.
Breaks in play allow for much-needed bathroom breaks.
Bone-crushing hits in our football are considered highlights and applauded. Bone-crushing hits in soccer get players reprimanded, red cards and immediate ejections.
With obvious exception of Philly and Oakland, very few hooligans.
As amazing as this is to admit in light of the 2006 Super Bowl, referees are more competent in our football.
We know exactly how much time is remaining in the game at all times.

Zidane and Materazzi

This story is going to be around for while. From the Associated Press (July 11, 2006).

MILAN, Italy - Marco Materazzi admits he insulted Zinedine Zidane before the France captain head-butted him in the World Cup final. Materazzi denies calling him a "terrorist."
"I did insult him, it's true," Materazzi said in Tuesday's Gazzetta dello Sport. "But I categorically did not call him a terrorist. I'm not cultured and I don't even know what an Islamic terrorist is.”
Zidane and Materazzi exchanged words after Italy broke up a French attack in extra-time of Sunday's final in Berlin. Seconds later, Zidane lowered his head and rammed Materazzi in the chest, knocking him to the ground.
Zidane was sent off, reducing France to 10 men. Italy won the game in a penalty shootout.
"I held his shirt for a few seconds only, then he turned round and spoke to me, sneering," the Italian defender said. "He looked me up and down, arrogantly and said: 'If you really want my shirt, I'll give it to you afterwards.'"
The 32-year-old Inter Milan player did not elaborate exactly on what he said to Zidane.
"It was one of those insults you're told tens of times and that always fly around the pitch," he said.
Media reports, based on interpretations by lip-readers, have suggested that Materazzi called Zidane a terrorist or insulted his mother or sister. Materazzi denies these claims, too.
"For me, the mother is sacred, you know that," Materazzi told the newspaper.
Materazzi is no stranger to controversy. He was suspended for two months for punching Siena defender Bruno Cirillo after a Serie A game in February 2004, and earned condemnation following a brutal tackle on Sweden and Juventus striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic in October 2005.
Materazzi was also sent off three times while playing for Everton in the 1998-99 season…

What makes this even stranger is that according to today’s Washington Post Zidane is “the 34-year-old son of Christian Algerian immigrants” (Washington Post, July 11, 2006, E6). So Zidane is not even Muslim nor are his parents. It seems like everything is speculation and will continue to be so until Zidane comes out and talks about this.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Bathroom stall

I will admit I have never been in a women’s bathroom, I don’t know what they look like in there and what they do with the extra space from not having urinals; I figure they have more mirrors since the women’s line is always so much longer so the space can’t be used for toilets.
Today I was doing some shopping in Home Depot when I had to use the bathroom. There were only two urinals and someone was already standing at one and because there was no divider wall I used proper urinal etiquette and used a stall. Above the toilet at about eye level someone had written in black permanent marker “For BJ and then some number.” I can’t help but wonder who writes this? Is it a joke? Does someone really expect someone else to call? Does anyone actually call these numbers offering free solicitation? This was not the first time I have seen such scribblings in a toilet stall but this was the first time I have decided to ponder it and share my pondering with you all. What even possesses someone to go to the trouble of writing this on the wall, and why in a Home Depot?
I am not expecting anyone to say that they have written anything on the bathroom wall or that they have made the call to one of these numbers. But, perhaps someone can explain to me the rationalization behind it.

Zinedine Zidane

Ok, I have already commented on the classlessness of the French players following the World Cup Final. I have also talked about the utterly stupid and classless head butt by Zidane on Materazzi which according to some reports was caused by Materazzie calling Zidane a terrorist. But, I did not bring these things up as an excuse for French-bashing.

First and foremost, Zidane is not French, and instead is of Algerian descent according to the Washington Post (July 10, 2006, Sports Section, E10). In addition, for anyone who wanted the French team, you might have noticed it would appear a lot of the French players are not from France either, although I can not say for certain.

Let’s look at this for what it was: stupid. There are plenty of reasons to not like the French and plenty of people have given personal accounts as to why, but this was not about a French player, this was about an Algerian who wore the French colors who in front of a billion or so people made what is going to go down in history as one of the stupidest acts ever committed during a sporting event.

Rather than dwell on his national team, perhaps we can change the subject a bit to if anyone can think of a worse moment in sports? The only other one that even comes to mind is Kermit Washington hitting Rudy Tomjanovish in the face in 1977 and almost killing him.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Congratulations to Italy on winning their fourth World Cup in penalty kicks, twelve years after losing in the World Cup finals to Brazil on penalty kicks.

The Italians were playing in their second straight extra-time match, and even though they were exhausted and struggling to even make it up and down the field, they showed class and an enthusiasm for the game thus deserving the win and the trophy over a classless and unsportsmanlike France.

Zidane and the French losers

Leave it to the French to wait till the World Cup Championship to show how classless a team and a people they are. Zinedine Zidane ended his soccer career with an ugly head butt when he slammed the crown of his big bald head into the center of Italy defender Marco Materazzi's chest after the two exchanged words while walking down the field in extra time.
Eight years ago, Zidane was red-carded for stomping on an opponent while playing Saudi Arabia. At this World Cup he collected two yellow cards and was suspended for France's third group match against Togo.
Five years ago, Zidane was also red-carded for butting Jochen Kientz in a Champions League match for Juventus against Hamburger SV.

Zidane’s career ends on one of the stupidest and most classless moves ever made by an athlete especially considering that this World Cup Final was most likely the most watched sporting event in history with over 1 billion viewers, and that it was the second overtime period in a tied World Cup final in a match his team would eventually lose on penalty kicks. I don’t know if he was asked to not return to the pitch or if he refused for the medal ceremony, but his head butt was only the beginning of the displays of an overall classlessness by the French.

After the match and during the medal ceremony, some of the French players were seen having their silver medals placed around their neck in an Olympic style ceremony only to take these medals off moments later while still on camera. This move of unsportsmanlike conduct by a poor loser was then done by the French coach as well who as soon as receiving his medal placed around his neck took it off and put it in his pocket.

I am glad the French lost, I was never rooting for them in the first place, and now I know why.

Friday, July 07, 2006

London Tunnel and Bus Bombings

“A two-minute silence is observed at King's Cross station in London on Friday. Four explosions from suicide bombers one year ago killed 52 people” (Associated Press, July 7, 2006).

I read on a blog the other day someone discussing what to write on September 11th. This being the first year I have a blog, and God willing I am around to write something come September 11th, I don’t know what I will even write. In some ways today is a bit or practice for when that September day comes.

One year ago on Thursday, July 7, 2005, I woke up in my hotel room in Venice, Italy. The person I was traveling with and I got cleaned up and went down for breakfast, packed our bags up and headed back to Frankfurt, Germany. We walked to a water taxi, got on with about 30 to 40 other people to the bus station and got in a cab to take to the airport just outside of Venice at an old Air Force base. We boarded the plane and made the short flight to another airport which was an old US Air Force base outside of Frankfurt where we got on a bus for the hour and a half bus ride and headed to the main train station in Frankfurt. We then got on the Frankfurt metro and rode out to her flat. It was already mid to late afternoon at this point as we walked down to her apartment and stopped to buy a couple of Pilsners and then went up to drop off our stuff. We went inside and sat down and barely had time to turn on the TV to the only English-speaking station in Germany, the BBC, when the phone rang. I starred in amazement at the television talking about the London bombings while she talked on the phone to her parents who wanted to know if we were alright as they knew we were traveling from one US ally to another. Her brother was coming in to Frankfurt that same day from Barcelona and her parents wanted to know if we had heard from him yet. He was arriving into Frankfurt that day and taking the same metro we had just been on to her apartment. She told her parents we were fine, I called my parents to tell them I was fine, and a few hours later her brother made it into Frankfurt fine as well.

I only mention this because so often we go about our day and our daily lives, no matter how unordinary that day might be in our normal routine, oblivious to the world around us. The world is a dangerous place and sometimes we get too caught up in the routine or our own daily activities and we forget that there are so many things around us that we don’t know and people around us who can turn an ordinary day into an unexpected tragedy. The people in London one year ago who were on their way to work did not think that day was going to be their last, but for 52 of them it was.

I often make posts on here about nothing or that might seem fun. I also know that there are only a few people out there who read this page of mine. I write things on here sometimes because I find a need to get things off my chest but mostly to remind others and myself that there are many people out there and many things out there that are changing our lives in unexpected and harmful ways. Stay extra vigilant and find ways to combat those that want to harm us and change our lives. America is the greatest country on Earth because we change the world rather than the world changing us, but that is no longer the case. We can no longer afford to stand on the sidelines and let the world happen and instead we need to use everything in our power to make sure the evil in the world does not harm us or change who we are.

Today London’s police chief warned that more attacks on the UK are being planned. Today the FBI announced that they have stopped a plan to blow up subway tunnels into New York City. Recently, a group of terrorists in Miami were arrested who wanted to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago. And we all remember 9-11. We all have survived so far but mostly by luck than anything else. We know that the government alone can not protect us from terrorists so we must be on watch as well. The world is more dangerous than it has ever been and even if we only take a few minutes out of our day to do something, we need to stay active even if that means only passing on more information to others or writing our elected officials to remind them of what is important. Remember that all political issues mean nothing when we are all at danger.

May the world never have to face another terrorist attack and may God Bless us all.

I Apologize

Somehow I made a mistake on the settings page that only allowed me to make comment posts. That is now fixed, so comment away.

Sometimes I can be a dumbass – and I can admit that too.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Virginia Senator against America


Sen. John Warner (R-VA) sponsored an amendment to a Dept. of Defense authorization bill (S. 2766) that will extend the exemption of certain low-skill, seasonal foreign workers from the 66,000 annual cap on H-2B visas until October 1st, 2008.
The amendment was accepted without debate on a voice vote.
This amendment dramatically increases the flow of foreign workers into the United States, and hurts Americans seeking employment, including college students seeking summer employment to help pay for their educations. Currently, 14 million Americas cannot find full time work. The employment rate among the 12 million American adults who do not have a high school diploma is almost 9 percent and these workers are the most vulnerable to unemployment. Increasing the number of H-2B workers will reduce the number of jobs available to these Americans, drive down wages, and increase unemployment among American citizens.
Every year, several senators tell the American people that our summer is in danger and there won't be enough seasonal workers unless Congress passes an increase in the allotment of H-2B visas. The exemption was included on an emergency spending bill for Iraq last year. Nevertheless, the startling fact is that the three industries that use the most H-2B workers have the highest unemployment rates of any U.S. industry. Unemployment among agricultural workers (including landscapers and forestry workers) was 11.8 percent. Unemployment among construction workers was at 10.3 percent, and unemployment in the leisure and hospitality industry was at 8.3 percent!
Senator Warner chose the special interests and cheap labor lobby over the American people, specifically the 14 million underemployed Americans. Senator Warner is out of touch with a majority of Americans and his constituents, and is neglecting his most basic duty – to protect the American people.

Senator Warner’s website:

DC mailing address and phone and fax numbers:
225 Russell BuildingWashington, D.C. 20510
Telephone: (202) 224-2023(202) 224-6295 FAX
Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00a.m. to 6:00p.m.

Email Contact:

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Fourth of July

Happy American Independence Day.

I hope you all get to spend it with your family and friends and that you get to get outside and cook-out or barbeque and enjoy a wonderful and important day in American and world history.

Happy Fourth of July

Drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776, the Declaration of Independence is one of the nation's most cherished symbols of liberty and Jefferson's most enduring monument. The Declaration of Independence was signed 230 years ago.

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Spanish-language radio is feeding listeners with misinformation

From the Washington Post Business Section (July 3, 2006). Full Article:

Spanish-Language Radio's Big VoiceStations Act as Community Center and Tutor to Bridge the Gaps Between Homeland, United States

Monday, July 3, 2006; D01

Turning away from his microphone, WACA-AM host Alejandro Carrasco went to a commercial break and whispered in Spanish to his assistant, "I need to know when the 14th Amendment was ratified."
Minutes later, Carrasco was explaining to listeners of his tiny station in Wheaton that any move to deny citizenship rights to children born to illegal immigrants living in the United States would be unconstitutional.
"The initiative is not new, and it has not had success in the past," Carrasco said, noting that the Constitution's 14th Amendment, which defines rights and terms of citizenship, has been in force since 1868. "All persons born here are citizens of the United States and the state they are born in. To revoke this you would have to amend the Constitution."…

WACA (1540 AM), a Spanish-language news and talk station, is offering listeners a heartier morning diet. During his four-hour shift, Carrasco, who is also the station's owner, will not only broadcast the latest news from Latin America, but will also offer a virtual tutorial in the American way of life to the tens of thousands of Latin American immigrants living within the sound of his voice. There will be news they can use about local school boards, citizenship requirements, local Hispanic politicians and other topics too small for mainstream stations…

Nationwide, the number of outlets broadcasting music, news or talk in Spanish grew 27 percent, to 678 stations, from 1998 to 2004, Arbitron said. While that still is only a small percentage of the nation's 12,500 commercial and non-commercial stations, the audience share of Spanish-language stations now collectively surpasses that of many traditional radio formats, including country music, rock and Top 40…

Spanish radio's power to mobilize was underscored by the hundreds of thousands of people drawn this spring by locutors -- Spanish radio personalities -- to rallies around the country protesting proposed changes in immigration law…

Carrasco's marketing strategy has been to draw close ties to local immigrant communities, the largest of which is from El Salvador. He recently signed up longtime Salvadoran soccer announcer Carlos "Escopeta" Osorio to oversee WACA's sports coverage, and every Saturday he does a radio exchange with a station in San Miguel, a city in eastern El Salvador. Callers in both countries send emotional messages to their far-away relatives and sometimes even announce their safe arrival across the U.S.-Mexico border…

More MS-13 Murders

From the Washington Post Metro Section (July 3, 2006). Full Article:

Relatives, Friends Remember Goals Of Slaying Victims

Monday, July 3, 2006; B01

His son was shot to death, and now Ruben Dominguez, tears filling his eyes, was struggling with a question he never thought he would have to answer: Where to bury his son?
"We can't leave him here if we leave and go back to Mexico one day," said Dominguez, 49, his voice disappearing as he stood outside a red-brick apartment complex in Silver Spring yesterday.
"We can't send him to Mexico if we stay here."
Late Friday night, his 19-year-old son, also named Ruben, and two other young men were fatally shot at a Prince George's County apartment complex, the latest victims, police say, of the violent gang Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13…
Besides Ruben Dominguez of Silver Spring, police yesterday identified the other slain victims as Jesse Salvador, 20, of Hyattsville and Juan Fredy Rosales-Mendes, 29, of the District. The fourth man, who was not identified, is hospitalized with injuries not considered life-threatening, police said. Their assailants, as many as five or six, remained at large late yesterday…
Copeland said investigators have not determined whether the victims were chosen at random or targeted. There was no immediate indication that the shooting was provoked by a disagreement, he added. Witnesses said the gunmen yelled out the name of the gang as they opened fire.
MS-13 was started by Salvadoran immigrants in Los Angeles in the 1980s. In the Washington region, the gang initially operated in Northern Virginia and more recently became active in Prince George's and Montgomery counties…

It is a good thing that MS-13, a gang made up of mostly illegal El Salvadorian immigrants, is not violent and that the government is doing so little to prevent more from getting in to this country.

O’Reilly vs. Coulter

Yesterday on the Radio Factor, Bill O’Reilly called Ann Coulter a Right-Wing Kool-Aid Drinker. He said he completely disagreed with Coulter for saying that 9-11 widows were enjoying their husband’s deaths. So for those of you who despise O’Reilly, just understand that even he can see outright stupidity even when it comes from the far Right.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Doing the legwork

I have composed a letter you can send to your state representative to ask them to propose legislation in your state legislature to end birthright citizenship in your state. All you have to do is fill in the blanks or make any changes to the letter you want, but most of the work is done for you. Use it if you want, ignore it if you want, either way it is up to you.

I would also like to thank Cubed because I used some of his post on the 14th Amendment to write this letter. In addition there are some more facts included about birthright citizenship and the term jus soli that you might find interesting.

Dear (…),

I am writing to you about an issue that concerns all of us here in (…) and all over the country. I originally learned about your strong stance against illegal immigration in (…). Since I (…), I have been proud to call you my local representative. As you know the House and the Senate have each passed immigration reform bills with the House passing a bill that concentrates on border security and the enforcement of our laws while the Senate passed a bill that grants amnesty to millions, increases overall immigration, forgives those who broke the law by coming here illegally or overstaying their visas, requires consultation with Mexico before building any additional border fencing or walls, increases a guest worker program that takes away jobs from Americans including jobs in the tech fields, creates a separate set of criminal and tax laws for illegal immigrants, and in general opposes the will of the majority of Americans.

I am sure you are well aware that many localities have taken on the immigration struggle as the House and Senate continue to disagree while ICE only manages photo-op arrests of illegal immigrants while rarely going after the employers who unlawfully hired the illegal immigrants.

With the federal government refusing to take action, many localities outside of the federal government have been forced to combat illegal immigration and that is why I am writing to you. As you may or may not be aware, about 3.1 million children are U.S. citizens by birth, even though one or both of their parents are here illegally, according to estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center. This is what is known as “anchor babies” or children who are granted citizenship by simply being born within US borders. Many people mistakenly believe birthright citizenships is granted by the 14th Amendment, but they are mistaken; the actual wording of the 14th Amendment:

Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The misinterpretation of the Amendment centers around the words “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof;” people in this country illegally are not subject to the jurisdiction of the city, county, parish, state or country because they do not pay state or federal taxes, they can not vote, and they do not have to register for the draft. Therefore, their children would and should not become subject to any state, local, or federal jurisdiction simply from being born within our borders.

Some additional history on the 14th Amendment:

In 1866, Congress realized that the legal status of recently freed black slaves was in limbo, so the 14th Amendment was written in order to clarify it.Senator Jacob Howard wrote: "Every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, or who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons."Thus, the original intent was specifically limited to freedmen, and specifically excluded "foreigners" and "aliens."The 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868; it was not designed to enable illegal aliens who were breaking U.S. law to be given all manner of privileges or citizenship.Problems with the wording of the 14th Amendment arose a little over 100 years ago, when the decision about whether American Indians, whose reservations had been granted the status of independent nations, were citizens of the United States. The Supreme Court held to the original, narrow intent of the 14th Amendment, and said they were not U.S. citizens; the phrase "subject to its jurisdiction" excluded them as "children of ministers, consuls, and citizens of foreign states born within the United States." This presented a number of difficulties, so Congress decided to pass a special act, the "Citizens Act of 1924," which granted American Indians full citizenship. The act said: "The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth: 1) a person born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof; 2) a person born in the United States to a member of an Indian, Eskimo, Aleutian, or other aboriginal tribe."The provision "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" excludes aboriginal tribes not "subject to the jurisdiction" of the U.S. - hence, it excludes members of aboriginal peoples of foreign jurisdictions like Mexico and other Central and South American countries.

The idea of birthright citizenship or jus soli, right of birthplace, is a misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment even by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:

“The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees citizenship at birth to almost all individuals born in the United States or in U.S. jurisdictions, according to the principle of jus soli. Certain individuals born in the United States, such as children of foreign heads of state or children of foreign diplomats, do not obtain U.S. citizenship under jus soli.”

But, even as a misinterpretation it can still be overturned by a new law.

So what does this have to do with (…)? Well the first piece of documentation a child receives when they are born is a Birth Certificate. I recently found my own and it was not issued by the federal government but instead by (…) and I was not issued a Social Security number but instead a (…). Included on my Birth Certificate is also my mother’s and father’s Place of Birth; the Birth Certificate clearly shows whether the parents were born in this country. In (…) only citizens are able to earn a Drivers License, so it is simple to check if the parents of a newborn have legal documentation to prove their own residency and citizenship status.

Children born in (…) to parents who are in (…) illegally could still be issued a Birth Certificate showing when and where they were born, which doctor performed the delivery and the certificate would also show who the parents of the child are and their country or state of origin. Children born to parents who are here illegally could be issued a separate Birth Certificate that does not start these newborns down the road to citizenship that they were never granted by our 14th Amendment. You personally in the (…) Legislature could bring about the change that shows that simply being born here does not make you a citizen of (…) and thus not a citizen of the United States. The Federal Government can not mandate who is and is not a citizen of (…), and if (…) does not grant them citizenship it would be up to the federal government to decide this issue once and for all. In effect you would be doing what so many local communities are doing in passing laws to help solve the illegal immigration problem and thus forcing the federal government to finally take action. Instantly it would put you on the national stage as a political leader on this issue and it would show that you side with the majority of Americans in wanting our laws enforced. Only the federal government can take away someone’s citizenship, and in passing a law that children born to illegal immigrants in (…) will not be considered citizens of (…) and thus not citizens of the United States, you would not be revoking the citizenship of anyone already born here because that is beyond your jurisdiction. But, it does solve a problem here in (…) and around the country that is only getting worse by forcing the federal government to finally take some action on the issue of illegal immigration, and it makes you a national leader on the issue at a time when it is the most important issue for so many Americans.

I ask you to think about this proposal and I encourage you to find a way to present legislation to the (…) that will no longer continue to misinterpret the 14th Amendment and stop granting (…) citizenship to children born in (…) to parents who are not subject to (…) jurisdiction. By passing such a law, it shows that children born to parents in this country illegally are not subject to (…) jurisdiction and thus not citizens. It would not be retroactive or take away anyone’s citizenship, but it would end the practice of “anchor babies” in (…), bring this issue to the national stage, and it would put you at the forefront of the national debate.

Thank you,