Media Disconnect: The Winter Olympics and the War on Terror

The media called the US Olympic Team's performance "disappointing." They focused on the inability of guy who skis drunk to win a medal, and the failure of the jump up in the air and turn over and over skiers to dominate, and I guess Michelle Kwan's injury or something. But let's take just a second for a little perspective.

For the second straight Olympics (and the second time ever), the US finished second in the overall medal count. The previous medal record (not counting Salt Lake City) was 14--and the Torino count was 25. For what it's worth, Germany, the top medal winner, also saw a marked drop in their total from Salt Lake City. The US Team broke our old foreign site games record by more than 75%, and it's a "disappointment." We should all be so lucky in our failures.

I think there's a correlation between the Olympics coverage and the way the media views the war on terror. The Olympics coverage didn't have the same knee-jerk opposition that the war does, but it did display the same lack of historical perspective and sense of balance that have marked the media's coverage of the War on Terror, and the war in Iraq in particular.

There was an attempt by Al Qaeda to spark a civil war in Iraq last week with the mosque bombing. But while there was sporadic fighting and violence, there were also unity marches with thousands of participants across the country...guess which one got more attention? Cooler heads appear to be prevailing, and even radical Shiites like Al-Sadr are calling for peace and protecting Sunni sites. What a "disppointment."

There have been three elections in Iraq now. A government is being formed (more slowly than I'd like, but still) that is a reflection of the mixed nature of the Iraqi population. The horse-trading between the various factions is creating an atmosphere of power that comes at the negiotiating table rather than from the barrel of a gun. What a "disappointment."

The Iraqi Army is growing and becoming much more effective. Despite repeated bombings and attacks, courageous Iraqi are still standing in line to enlist. According to the latest Pentagon report this past week, the number of Iraqi battalions rated Level 2 (able to lead a fight but still needing logistical support) rose from 36 to 53 since last September. What a "disappointment."

The list goes on and on. While the press is trying to figure out how many shotgun pellets can dance on the face of a lawyer, progress is happening around the world. The media seem unwilling or unable to place events in any context, and as a result, many Americans are pessimistic about the war and our future. But hopefully events--and the ability of the new media to convey the truth--will catch up with the heirs of Walter Cronkite, and the "disappointments" will continue until morale improves.


Activist Judge Takes Over Arizona Schools

This week's Guard the Borders post hits close to home for me:

As a parent with two kids in Texas schools, I have a pet peeve. I really, really resent that their education is hampered by kids who can’t speak English. I’ve seen classes that move mind-bogglingly slow as teachers have to work one-on-one with children who shouldn’t be there in the first place. It’s enough to make me grind my teeth in frustration!

I am a big proponent of the immersion method of learning a language. It is my firm belief that once in America, immigrants should learn our language, and the best way is by complete and total immersion. When we lived in Mexico, we placed my son into a public school in the local village so that he could learn the language more rapidly. I continued to teach him at home what he needed to know to keep his education above American standards, and his classroom experience was for language purposes only. We asked for no special considerations, we just did what was necessary. It was not easy, but it worked.

That is only one of the reasons it is so offensive to see our tax dollars paying for immigrants, many of them here illegally, to receive special dispensations because they can’t (or won’t) learn our language! But why should they learn, when almost everything is bi-lingual anyways?

Recently in Arizona, an activist judge has ruled that it’s not enough that American citizens pay for a free education for the children of illegal aliens, and it’s not enough that the classes are dumbed-down for non-English speakers, but now the taxpayers must pay exorbitant funds to provide special classes for children who don’t speak English!

One of the most outrageous examples of out-of-control judges is the case called Flores v. Arizona, now pending in federal court in Tucson. Originally filed in 1992, plaintiff lawyers claim to represent an estimated 160,000 children of illegal immigrants attending Arizona public schools.

The case seeks to force Arizona taxpayers to pay for bringing these children, euphemistically called English Language Learners, up to grade level. The lawyers are trying to accomplish this by turning a state legislative issue into a federal judicial command.

The background for attempting to accord special “rights” to non-American, non-English speaking residents was predicated on a case in Alabama where liberals tried to add the word “language” to the Civil Rights Act, thereby making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of language. While the case was originally successful in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, it was reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Based upon that, Arizona Judge Alfredo C. Marquez, appointed by Jimmy Carter, ruled against the Arizona taxpayers, but had enough restraint to recognize that he could not substitute the court's "educational values and theories for the educational and political decisions reserved to state or local school authorities." Nevertheless, he tasked the legislature with performing a cost study.

Over the next few years, the Arizona legislature passed three bills for this special funding. However, none of them were as large as Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat, wanted and so she vetoed all three. Governor Napolitano wanted the Arizona Legislature to appropriate nearly $1,200 per immigrant child, totaling $192 million, without accountability for how it was to be spent. Obviously, the governor, with the judge’s ruling on her side, could sit and wait until the legislature saw things her way.

Unfortunately, the next judge in succession of Marquez, upped the ante. Appointed by Bill Clinton, Judge Ramer C. Collins, decided to punitively fine the Arizona State Legislature for not funding special accommodations for non-English speaking students.

In December 2005, Collins imposed fines of $500,000 a day, escalating to $2 million a day, for every day that the legislature fails to authorize funding acceptable to the governor.
Since Jan. 25, millions of dollars in court-ordered fines have been accumulating. If this continues to the end of the legislative session, the fines will total more than $77 million.

Who knew that an activist judge could legislate taxes and state funding?

If there is any issue that should be clearly and exclusively a function of the legislature elected by the people it is the matter of raising taxes and spending the people's money. Unfortunately, there are many supremacist judges who think they (in this case, a judge and a governor) can order the legislature to raise taxes and tell them how to spend taxpayer money.

While many Americans in other states think that these problems are confined to the four states with Hispanic majorities (TX, CA, AZ, and NM) - think again. Small towns across America are finding their educational systems utterly compromised by an influx of illegal workers and their families: Melrose, MN; Delavan, WI; Herndon, VA; Wassau, WI; Des Moines, IA; Raleigh, NC; Fort Myers, FL; Sioux Falls, SD; Grand Rapids, MI and North Platte, NE. Still think it’s not your problem?!

As one small town resident has said, “I, along with millions of other American citizens, am sick and tried of the politicians and others treating illegal aliens like honored guests! They are not honored, and they are not guests.”

H/T: American Daughter


This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It is syndicated by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we're going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the war on terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration in our country, join the Blogburst! Send an email with your blog name and url to euphoricrealitynet at gmail dot com.


Gullible's Travels

This morning I received an(other) email, forwarded to me by well-meaning and well-educated friends. Like most of these (you get them too, don't you?) it had been forwarded over and over again, as people sent it on to their friends. I don't know who started it...I didn't dig down that far. But I do know that another false story is making the email rounds on the Internet.

The problem with these things is that they're so cool people want to believe. This latest one had Ollie North identifying Osama bin Laden as a terrorist during his Senate testimony over the Iran-Contra scandal. The purpose was to show the folly of those (mostly Democrats) who didn't take terrorism seriously then, and don't now.

Like most such stories, there is a grain of truth in it. North did testify regarding a security system installed at his house to protect his family from a terrorist threat. But the terrorist was Abu Nidal, the guy behind the Achille Lauro hijacking where American citizen Leon Klinghoffer was selected because of his Jewish heritage, drug out of his wheelchair and brutally murdered before being dumped overboard. At the time, bin Laden was fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, and while they would have called him a terrorist, we certainly would not--in fact we sent the mujahadeen weapons and money to equip them to win.

And like many false rumors, it hides a more interesting truth. You see, Abu Nidal, killer of Americans and noted international terrorist, has now gone to meet his eternal reward (which certianly does not include any number of virgins, but does include a very warm climate). But he was in the news not all that long ago, when he died at his governemnt-provided apartment in Baghdad, Iraq right about the time our troops showed up...died from a "self-inflicted" gunshot wound to ensure he could not be questions. But of course since everyone "knows" that Saddam had no connection to terrorists, that couldn't be a story...at least not one that would interest our media.

Anyhow, two points. Please for the love of the truth, before you forward one of those emails, take five minutes and check out www.snopes.com and see if it's accurate. It will save you a lot of potential embarrassment, and will keep false rumors from growing at the speed of email. Second, pay attention to what's going on around you. It's hard with the constant glut of non-news stories (like how long it was before the Washington Press Corps--as opposed to local authorities--heard about an accidental shooting) but there are serious and important things happening in the world. You need to know what's going on...and what has already gone on. Then you won't be so quick to fall for twisted versions of history that sound good, but aren't true.


It Ain't Easy Being Green

TaxProf Blog has the rather ironic story that H&R Block has announced that they owe corporate taxes on an extra $32 million dollars of income they failed to report from 2004 and 2005! Since I put on my tax-man secret identity every spring and do tax returns for people, I find this amusing to say the least.

Block is known in the industry for very agressively billing people (TV commercials cost a lot of money after all) for doing their taxes. Whenever I see someone walk into our office with a green block on their folder from last year's return, I know they're going to leave happy with their bill, if not always with their bottom line numbers. (If you want to like the tax guy, talk to him the year before....it's too late to do much by the time you come to see me.)

Anyhow, I just couldn't let this story pass without comment. (Hat tip Instapundit)


Why Are They Surprised?

According to news reports, the White House has been surprised by the furor over the deal for the British firm that currently manages operations at six ports to a company based in and owned by the United Arab Emirates. Leaving aside whether the deal is wise or not from a security standpoint, this is a grievous self-inflicted political wound. And the White House is surprised?

This is hardly the first time something like this has happened. The same reaction was seen when the President inexplicably nominated Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. The rapid response of the conservative base was vocal, angry and ultimately (thankfully) successful. Yet again, the White House expressed surprise at the reaction. Anybody could have told them.

There are two possibilities that come to mind. First, the White House staff is burned out, tone deaf, and off its game. There is certainly no shortage of indicators that this may be true. Second terms have not been kind to Presidents. The last guy to not run into severe issues that I can think of was James Monroe, and that goes back a few.

But second, perhaps this is another demonstration of the crafty hedgehog at work. While Bush suffered some slings and arrows over Miers, he ended up with Alito--a candidate many observers and commentators thought to be too conservative to be confirmed. So there may be a deeper strategy at work here...but it's hard to see what it is at the moment.


Abortion Spreads Again

The evil of abortion was unleashed on American society largely by Planned Parenthood. Political correctness keeps the racist philosophy of its founders out of sight, but evil cannot be contained. Here's a truly frightening report from Danny Carlton at Jack Lewis.net about a plan to force abortions on black in the Netherlands. Read the whole thing, but here's a clip:

A health official in the Netherlands has called for a debate on the idea of forced abortion and contraception to deal with what she sees as a crisis of unwanted children.

Alderman Marianne van den Anker of the Leefbaar Rotterdam Party wants specifically to target communities of Antilleans and Arubans where she sees the biggest problems of unwanted children....

The Shani Davis Olympic Committee

Shani Davis is a very good speed skater, but he's a very bad person. His behavior this week has revealed him to be a selfish and childish whiner, not even happy when he wins. In my book, anybody who values an individual gold medal over a team gold medal (and accordingly refuses to particiapte with the team) does not deserve to wear the read, white and blue. Davis didn't get to Torino by himself. I say if he wants to be a team of one, let him provide all his own training equipment, build his own ice rink, buy his own plane tickets, and make his own flag. He clearly has no respect for our.


Important Winter Olympics Questions

1) Why do they call it a bobsled? and more importantly
2) Why am I not receiving royalties for the use of my name?

The Need for Gum Control

The travails of the Vice President over a shooting accident (and the disgraceful behavior of the press) led to some talk about gun control--although nothing except outright confiscation of guns would satisfy some people. But a sense of perspective would have us focused more on the former VP than the current one, and the great pressing need for gum control.

To put it simply, Al Gore needs to shut his foolish mouth. When he goes (as he did last week) to Saudi Arabia and complains about the "indiscriminate rounding up" of suspected terrorist, the "unforgiveable conditions" in which they were held, and the "terrible abuses" these unfortunates suffered, Gore is giving aid and comfort to the enemy in a time of war--the very definition of treason. Hey Al, in case you forgot, 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia. And I can guarantee you that none of the people we deported or took into custody for questioning went through the kind of suffering that makes people jump to their death from the 100th floor of a burning building. The fact that this contemptible man almost became President of the United States is truly frightening. His behavior since losing the 2000 election always bordered on bizarre, now his Bush Derangement Syndrome has pushed him over the line into outright treason.

And if the press corps cared about our country at all, that is the story they'd be spending their time on!

The Return of the Minutemen

Since the government refuses to take control of our borders seriously even in a time of war, the people are going to be taking matters into their own hands once again. Here's the latest on the Minuteman Project.


(PHOENIX, AZ) February 16, 2006 – Chris Simcox, President of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (“MCDC”), today announced plans for the group’s nationwide “Secure Our Borders” campaign in April 2006. Simcox also announced a new operational structure for the original Minuteman Border Project to meet the growing needs of the continued expansion of Minuteman border security operations.

Thousands of MCDC volunteers, augmented by the new national support team, will hold border watch patrols in northern and southern states along an estimated 800 miles of international borders during the month of April. The Minutemen will observe and report suspected illegal border crossings to the proper authorities. As always, they will maintain a “no contact” policy with the exception of providing emergency water to those illegal aliens found in distress in the wilderness.

Last year, MCDC revolutionized the national debate about border security and illegal immigration by focusing the nation’s attention on the dangers of America’s wide-open borders in a post 9/11 world. The Minutemen have demonstrated that the borders can be secured with sufficient political will and dedication.

Since the MCDC 23-mile border watch in April, 2005, interest in joining and supporting the Minutemen has exploded nationwide. MCDC chapters have been formed in southern and northern border states, as well as interior states. To date, 6,500 men and women have passed the required background check and interviews to qualify to become official Minuteman Border Project volunteers – with more waiting in the queue for approval. Over 120,000 people have become friends of the Minutemen through their support and volunteer work.

Given the success of the Minuteman Border Project efforts, and two successful month long 24/7 operations conducted in April and October of 2005, a new national volunteer operational structure has been launched to support the Minutemen. The new structure is necessary to respond to these thousands of volunteers and supporters asking what they can do to help.

MCDC has asked for and accepted the help of experienced border volunteers who have been on the front lines, some for as long as four years. With this expansion we will be ready for the thousands of volunteers who will participate in the “Secure Our Borders” operation in April 2006. This expansion further solidifies MCDC’s ability to continue the largest neighborhood watch effort in American history. The Minutemen will continue their civil defense operations assisting authorities in securing the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada until properly relieved.

Contact MCDC at (520)829-3112 or info@minutemanhq.com

For more information about MCDC: www.minutemanhq.com


This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It was started by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we're going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the war on terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration facing our country, join our blogburst! Just send an email with your blog name and url to euphoricrealitynet at gmail dot com.

Blogs already on board:

Euphoric RealityCurley's CornerTMH's Bacon Bits
Part-Time PunditThe Right TrackCao's Blog
Mover MikeIn The BullpenStuck on Stupid
NIFKender's MusingsFreedom Folks
Parrot CheckGribbit's WordRight on the Right
Team SwapGina's RantingsThe Irate Nation
Publius RendezvousWatchman's WordsBear Creek Ledger
Something and Half of SomethingOgre's Politics and ViewsIndependent Conservative
The Neo-Con BloggerRavings of a Mad TechThird World County
A Lady's RuminationsMensa Barbie Welcomes YouIntergalactic Source of Truth
Woman Honor ThyselfAdam's Thoughts Amboy Times
Gun Toting Liberal Right on! BlogAmerican Daughter
Right TruthUniverse and Other ThingsA Tic In The Mind's Eye
Jarhead's Firing RangeNova Townhall Blog


Hypocrisy, Thy Name Is Hillary

This morning on Meet the Cuomo Aide, Tim Russert played a clip of Hillary Clinton at a press conference earlier in the week commenting on the Cheney shooting (non)story. She said, "This Administration refuses to level with the American people."

I saw the film. She didn't smirk, she didn't cringe, she didn't fall down on the floor laughing at herself. She said it with a straight face. Wow. It really is a shame how much things have changed since her husband was in the Oval Office isn't it? Back then we always got the truth right away, and there was never any deception. Ah the good old days. What a contemptible hypocrite.


Fitzgerald's Case Falling Apart?

It hasn't been in the news much lately, but the obstruction of justice/perjury case against Scooter Libby brought by independent persecutor (no, that is not a typo) Patrick Fitzgerald is in deep trouble. Of course since there was no crime committed, becuase Valerie Plame was not covert, the charges were always of the weak "Martha Stewart" variety. But Fitzgerald's refusal to turn over documents to the defense this week highlights the problems with the case. I have come to believe that Fitzgerald wants no part of a trial. The case has already beeen put off till next year, and it sure looks to me like Fitz is hoping either something else will come up, or the thing will just die a natural death on a technicality. Either way, the odds of Libby being convicted of anything right now are probably only about 20%. It's a far cry from what Fitzgerald laid out at his press conference. Trusted conservatives vouch for Fitz's integrity and skill as a prosecutor, but those traits certainly haven't been evident in this investigation.


Be Vewy Quiet, I'm Hunting Walyers

I've left the Cheney shooting accident alone, but the continued derangement of the Washington press corps deserves at least a passing comment. So here, in short words (sorry no pictures--I'm out of crayons) is an explanation for the terminally confused members of the media.

A coverup is NOT when you call the sheriff after an accident instead of notifying the press.

A coverup is when you leave a woman to drown in the back of your car and don't bother to mention to ANYONE in authority until the next day (after you've had time to sober up and pass the blood test).

There. See how easy that was? Now grow up and get serious.


Twenty Years After

Twenty years ago today, Brenda and I were married. In typical Tennessee winter weather fashion, the threat of snow and a little ice forced schools to close early that day. Since her people were coming down from Minnesota, they sneered at the southerner's fear of winter and plowed right ahead. The only weather worries today is whether it will hit 80 (and whether it will ever rain again).

Best decision I ever made was marrying Brenda. She has been my friend, my encourager, my muse, and way too good a cook for the comfort of my waistline. I've never seen a mother more dedicated to loving, teaching and protecting children. And I've been blessed to have her along for the ride. Life throws a lot of curves at people that they don't expect...and her grace and patience have been a huge asset every single day.

Thanks Babe. You're the best.

House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD. Proverbs 19:14


Coming for Jobs or for More Money?

By Darnell McGavock at Independent Conservative

Contrary to popular belief, most illegals coming to the USA already had jobs in the country that they left. Also, they are seeking much higher paying jobs than some might believe. Their days of trying to just pick fruit are over!

Here are some details, although it is best to read this entire article:

Study: Most illegal immigrants had jobs

The research, believed to represent the largest-ever study of undocumented migrants, contends that the vast majority of illegal immigrants from Mexico were gainfully employed before they migrated to the United States, and failure to find work in their native Mexico did not seem to be the primary reason for their departure, said Rakesh Kochhar, associate director for research at the center and author of the report.

In fact, the majority of new migrants will look for work with higher wages in industries such as construction, hotels or sales, said Roberto Suro, director of the Pew Hispanic Center.

Only 5 percent of the 4,836 migrants surveyed were unemployed in Mexico before moving to the United States - a significantly lower number than in past studies and theories about migrants, Suro said.

Ironically, Kochhar added, immigration status (in the United States) has little to do with finding employment. Migrants without identification had the same chance of landing a job as those with valid U.S. IDs.

So much for all that talk about illegals needing to find work. They already had work where they came from. They just come to the USA for a higher wage. And so much for all that talk about illegals only filling jobs "that Americans will not do". As I've previously explained, Americans did those jobs and can do them again. And never mind "those jobs", now the illegals are going for YOUR JOB. They want to move up the pay scale. The illegals coming in now are better educated than prior generations and so they are seeking higher paying jobs that require a higher skill set.

The actual report is available here.

The complete report mentions:
Once they arrive and pass through a relatively brief period of transition and adjustment, migrants have little trouble finding work. Family and social networks play a significant role in this; large shares of migrants report talking to people they know in the U.S. about job opportunities and living with relatives after arrival. They easily make transitions into new jobs, even though most find themselves working in industries that are new to them.

There is a steady and strong demand for migrant workers from Mexico in agriculture, construction, manufacturing and hospitality. These four industries employ about two-thirds of the survey respondents, irrespective of their background in Mexico or their year of arrival.

Migrants from Mexico are responsive to regional variations in demand for their services. Construction is the dominant industry for employing migrants in Atlanta, Dallas and Raleigh; hospitality is the major employer in New York City; manufacturing in Chicago; and agriculture in Fresno.

The percentage of survey respondents employed in agriculture in the U.S. has dropped from 17% of those in country more than 15 years to 9% of recent arrivals. At the same time, the percentage employed in construction and hospitality has increased from 23% to 42%.

The time is now to close our borders to illegal immigration.


This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It was started by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we're going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the war on terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration facing our country, join our blogburst! Just send an email with your blog name and url to euphoricrealitynet at gmail dot com.

Blogs already on board:

sa Barbie Welcomes You
Euphoric RealityCurley's CornerTMH's Bacon Bits
Part-Time PunditThe Right TrackCao's Blog
Mover MikeIn The BullpenStuck on Stupid
NIFKender's MusingsFreedom Folks
Parrot CheckGribbit's WordRight on the Right
Team SwapGina's RantingsThe Irate Nation
Publius RendezvousWatchman's WordsBear Creek Ledger
Something and Half of SomethingOgre's Politics and ViewsIndependent Conservative
The Neo-Con BloggerRavings of a Mad TechThird World County
A Lady's RuminationsMen
Right Truth
Intergalactic Source of Truth
Woman Honor ThyselfAdam's Thoughts Amboy Times
Gun Toting Liberal Right on! BlogAmerican Daughter


"Stand a Little Taller"

Tonight on the local NBC affiliate, they were running a pre-Olympic show. They interviewed one of the snowboard guys. He talked about the effect of putting on the USA uniform and said, "It makes you stand a little taller." Now frankly, from my old foggy perspective, he looked like a little bit like a punk, and I have to say that I really don't get his "sport." But the fact that this young guy has the same pride and love of country that I do...and that makes me proud of our country, and more optimistic for the future. And even in a sport I don't understand, I hope he wins.

"Do you believe in miracles? YES!"


The Content of His Character: Jimmy Carter Fails Dr. King's Test

Showing the same lack of grace and dignity that marked his tenure in the White House, Jimmy Carter helped turn today's memorial service for Coretta Scott King into just another opportunity to unleash partisan shots at President Bush. Carter referenced the wiretapping of the Kings (failing to mention that it was done by those notable power hungry Republicans Jack and Bobby Kennedy) in a clear swipe at the NSA surveillance program. Descending even further into moonbattery, Carter decried the racism of Hurricane Katrina for harming the African-American community disproportionately. The fact that this claim is untrue (and the further fact that it was Mayor Ray "Busses" Nagin who harmed that community more than anyone else) did not seem to bother the peanut farmer.

Dr. King once famously declared that he wanted his children to be judged by the content of their character rather than by the color of their skin. Regardless of his skin color, Jimmy Carter has no character, and he displayed it (again) today for all the world to see. He is a disgrace to the office he once held. He is a shameless opportunist who has forfeited any claim on our respect.

I feel sorry for the King family. Mrs. King was a national figure, but she was also a mother, a grandmother, a sister, an aunt...and her family deserved the dignity of a service devoted to honoring her life and contributions. Instead it was taken over by cheap shots and politcal posturing. That's really too bad.


McCain Slams the Hammer Down on Barak Obama

I'm not the world's biggest fan of John McCain. His grandstanding gets a little old, and his blatant assault on the Constitution in the guise of "campaign finance reform" is disgusting. But the man knows how to drop the hammer on a disingenuous Democrat. The whole letter is posted here on McCain's website, but here's a taste:

Dear Senator Obama:

I would like to apologize to you for assuming that your private assurances to me regarding your desire to cooperate in our efforts to negotiate bipartisan lobbying reform legislation were sincere. When you approached me and insisted that despite your leadership’s preference to use the issue to gain a political advantage in the 2006 elections, you were personally committed to achieving a result that would reflect credit on the entire Senate and offer the country a better example of political leadership, I concluded your professed concern for the institution and the public interest was genuine and admirable. Thank you for disabusing me of such notions...please be assured I won’t make the same mistake again.

That is a major-league putdown. Full props are due to the lost art of the gracious insult. I once heard a man described as "the kindest and gentlest man ever to slit a throat or scuttle a ship" and this letter from McCain comes pretty close to fitting that description.

Elephant Rising: 10 Reasons the GOP Will Gain Senate Seats in 06

Conventional wisdom is that the Democrats will cut into, but not erase the current 55-45 (counting Jeffords) advantage Republicans hold in the Senate in this November's elections. Their inability to mount a filibuster to stop the confirmation of Justice Alito highlighted once again their position of weakness...and their desire to change it. Traditionally the incumbent President's party has lost seats in the 6th year election. Polls show high disapproval ratings for Congress, and the Republicans in particular. Yet in spite of all that I believe the stars may be aligning for the Republicans to actually increase their margin in the Senate. In no particular order, here are ten factors which augur well for the Republican Party.

1) How-weird Dean. The DNC Chairman is a gift that keeps on giving for the Republicans. It's hard to think of a public character with less control over his mouth since Curtis LeMay. As one of the public faces of the Democratic Party, Dean's loose lips, poor strategic judgment and record of profligate spending are a big plus for the GOP. YEEARRGGH!

2) NSA Surveillance (Part 1). The Dem's decision to join their allies in the liberal media in whacking the President for being too zealous in his attempt to defend us from further terrorist attacks is lousy politics. They're opening themselves up to the same devastating attack that killed them in 2002--they're simply not serious about security, and as a result, a lot of people will hold their noses and vote Republican who otherwise would not.

3) NSA Surveillance (Part 2). There is a significant possiblity that one or more Democratic Senators (yes, Jay Rockefeller, I'm talking about you) may be involved in leaking the story to the New York Times. If this does prove to be the case, the entire party will be (properly) tarred with a very ugly brush.

4) Judges. The disgraceful performance of the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee during the Alito hearings are part of a much larger and long-term pattern of bad behavior that has bitten them before. (Yes, Tom Daschle, I'm talking about you.) The Republican base will not forget, especially if the pattern continues between now and then. The prospect of a further Supreme Court appointment, given the age and health of the Court's most liberal members, will further energize the conservative voting block.

5) The Patriot Act. On both a practical and political basis, opposition to the Patriot Act is a loser. A measure passed by a vote of 98-1 in 2001 that has not had one single credible story of misuse or abuse of anyone (no, Ted Kennedy, a lie made up by a college student about the Sayings of Chairman Mao doesn't count) has no reason to be opposed. The clip of Harry Reid surrounded by the Senate Dem leadership grinning broadly and saying "We killed the Patriot Act" is going to be featured in a lot of campaign commercials this fall, to devastating effect.

6) 9/11 Anniversary. Two months before the elections will be the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attack. Memories of that terrible day, and five years of evidence about which party takes it seriously, and there is only one, will play a major factor in many races (see note on New Jersey below).

7) Open Republican seats. The only open seat where Republicans are in a close race is Tennessee, where the feckless Bill Frist is (thankfully) retiring. Polls show the race close right now, but the voting trends of the state make this a very doubtful switch. NET CHANGE--none.

8) Vulnerable Republican seats. There are four--Missouri, Montana, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania. Talent should hang on in Missouri, and Burns may well be replaced in Montana by the popular represenative Denny Rehburg, who would easily hold the seat. I hope the human waffle (Chafee) loses Rhode Island. That leaves Pennsylvania. Santorum has closed the gap from nearly 20 points down to "just" 10. Bob Casey is a well-known name in the state, but a lousy campaigner and Santorum does know how close. The candidacy of Lynn Swann for governor may be just enough to pull him over the top. (Dems would like to include Arizona on this list, but that's beyond wishful into delusional. Kyl will win in a walk.) NET CHANGE--minus one GOP.

9) Open Democratic seats. Minnesota and Maryland are two traditionally blue states. But the Republicans have two outstanding candidates in Mark Kennedy (MN) and Michael Steele (MD). The Democrats are so afraid of Steele that it was his files that Credit Check Chuck's people were digging in. Throw in the gay marriage debate in Maryland and the Infume imbroglio, and Steele has a real shot. The Socialist (his label, not mine) Bernie Sanders will probably win Jumpin Jim Jeffords' flopped seat in Vermont. NET CHANGE--plus two GOP.

10) Vulnerable Democratic seats. New Jersey, where Menendez was appointed by the the corrupt Democrat machine led by Jon Corzine, is home to Sam Alito, and has a huge Italian-American population. Menendez' vote against Alito combined with the candidacy of popular Tom Kean Jr will join with the 9/11 fifth anniversary to make this another potential GOP gain. In addition, weak first-termers Cantwell (WA) and Stabenow (MI), and the longtime Senator and former Klansman Robert Byrd (WV) are all facing tough, well-funded opponents [UPDATE: A linker points out what I had forgotten, that Domino's CEO David Brandon has decided not to run against Stabenow in Michigan. So her opponent is not well-funded.] and while all could win, a loss by any of them would not be a huge shock. I think the elephants grab at least one of these (for the good of the nation and our aching ears, I hope it's Byrd.) Both Nelsons (FL and NE) will probably win, due to Republican failure to recruit first-class challengers against them, even in two very red states. NET CHANGE--plus two GOP.

Overall NET CHANGE--plus three GOP. This analysis does represent a best-case scenario for the Republicans, but it is not at all out of the realm of possiblity, and would represent a huge change from what conventional wisdom is calling for.


Anchor Babies?

You may remember Credit Check Chuck Schumer grilling now Justice Alito during the confirmation hearing regarding attempts to more clearly define the 14th Amendment as it relates to children of illegal immigrants who are born here in the US. This week's Guard the Borders post focuses in on the topic:

Anchor babies. We all know about this: illegal immigrants, sneaking across the border just in time to rush to the hospital and give birth for free at any hospital (thanks to the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1985). Right now, those babies born on our land are given automatic citizenship, which allows the illegal parents to not only stay in our country, but reap the benefits of a government-paid lifestyle: food stamps, free health care, free schools, free everything.

What's the problem, besides the fact that none of them should be here to begin with? The Constitution doesn't even give them this right - unlike what open border lobbyists will have you believe. The entire "anchor baby" problem is due to a complete and utter bastardization of the American Constitution. The phrase "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof" is in that amendment. It means those who subscribe to the laws of the land; those who come under American jurisdiction; those who choose to be American.

Jack Ward has a phenomenal article on anchor babies, and explains the misinterpretation:

To understand the correct interpretation of the 14th Amendment we need to understand what the co-author of the amendment wrote about the Amendment. In 1866, Senator Jacob Howard wrote, "This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, 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." Senator Howard wrote the addition phrase specifically because he wanted to make it clear that the simple accident of birth in the US is not sufficient to justify citizenship.

Does the government already know this? Yes.

The US Supreme Court recognized this when they ruled in 1873 that the phrase (and subject to the jurisdiction thereof) excluded "children of ministers, consuls, and citizens of foreign states born within the United States." Since the court recognized that the children of foreign citizens and diplomats should not be granted US citizenship, why should anyone think that the children of those that enter the US illegally are subject to the jurisdiction of the US government? The simple answer is no thinking person would. The anchor baby parents are neither US citizens, subject to US jurisdiction, nor do they owe any allegiance to the US. Federal immigration laws require aliens to renounce all allegiance to any foreign government and to support the US Constitution to become citizens. The parents of anchor babies never fulfilled this obligation and were never "subject to the jurisdiction" of the US.

Both the author of the 14th Amendment and the US Supreme Court recognized that an alien mother and her baby are subject to the jurisdiction of their native country - not the US. The 14th Amendment wasn't created to provide an end run for aliens to defy US immigration laws. But politicians have subverted the Constitution and allowed citizenship to any child born in the US. This misinterpretation is not accidental - it is intentional. An error of this magnitude could not be accidental.

In Oklahoma, social workers are knowingly allowing immigrants to sign up for welfare by putting in someone else's Social Security number for them! In other words, if you like in Oklahoma, you might be ‘receiving welfare’ and not even know because some illegal is receiving benefits under your name. Isn't that nice?

The Supreme Court already has ruled on a case! There is precedent, case law already on the books for anchor babies! There is no excuse for this going on, just as there is no excuse for illegal immigration at all.


This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It was started by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we're going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the war on terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration facing our country, join our blogburst! Just send an email with your blog name and url to euphoricrealitynet at gmail dot com.

Blogs already on board:

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Earthen Vessels or Dirty Vessels?

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. II Corinthians 4:7

But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. II Timothy 2:20&21

The controversy over The End of the Spear seems to be destined to last longer than the movie itself. After a disappointing first week of release, the movie has tumbled so fast that its gross receipts are no longer being tracked. The production company's decision to use outspoken gay activist Chad Allen to play the role of missionary Nate Saint at the very least calls their judgment into question. As I noted earlier, the story of the missionary martyrs is one of the most inspiring in modern church history, and to see it debased in this way is very disheartening.

Perhaps even more disheartening has been the response of some church leaders. Rather than condemning wrongdoing, they have cried foul and launched assaults on those who pointed out the error, most notably Jason Janz of Sharper Iron. The lack of willingness to stand up for Biblical truth is striking. One of the most revolting defenses I've read (in several places) is the line that it shouldn't be that big a deal because "all of the actors are sinners."

That's true. And it's irrelevant. We are, as Paul noted in his epistle to the church at Corinth, earthen vessels--jars of clay to coin a phrase. But a pot made of clay is not necessarily a dirty pot. Its essential nature, what it is made from, cannot change. But it can be cleaned, "purged" in Paul's formulation to Timothy. A sinner who is repentant and striving to please God is an earthen vessel, but a clean one. A sinner who is campaigning actively and publicly to promote his blasphemous view of God and for acceptance of his perverted lifestyle is a dirty earthen vessel.

Those who stood up and spoke out for righteousness on behalf of a self-proclaimed "Christian" entertainment company were right to do so. Crying foul in response and attacking the messenger only compounds the original error. I hope that ETE will somehow learn a lesson from this, but their responses so far do not lead to optimism on that score. Even worse, the modern church's casual approach to sin has been revealed yet again, and sadly that does not seem likely to change either.


House Republicans on the Brink

Hopefully the fact that the House Republican caucus is going to vote for a leader to replace Tom Delay on Groundhog Day is not an omen. The one thing that might save the Democrats from themselves and give them an actual chance at retaking the majority this November is the election of Roy Blunt. I prefer Shadegg to Boehner, but either would be infinitely preferrable to the "business as usual" guy from Missouri.

If you want to talk seriously about changing the "culture of corruption" and reducing the role of lobbyists, Roy Blunt is not your guy. A man who was literally sleeping with a lobbyist (Blunt not too long ago divorced his wife of more than 30 years to marry the lobbyist from the Altria Group--the new name for tobacco giant Philip Morris--with whom he had been carrying on an affair.) is hardly the face the Republican Party needs to put forward to put the Delay/Abramoff mess behind them.

Given the relentless drumbeat of the liberal media on anything that can possibly be slanted against Republicans, Blunt's election would be guaranteed to focus attention on the very problems they're hoping to put behind them. Blunt claims to have the votes to win, but given the secret balloting, that may not hold up. For the conservatives, Shadegg seems the best choice, but if he finishes third on the first round (assuming no majority), he'll be out and Boehner will be the best alternative.

I still haven't gotten around to the post I've been promising on the 06 elections, but this seemingliy inconspicuous leadership election is one of the two or three most important things that's going to happen between now and then. Blunt's election would seriously dampen the optimism I'm planning to write about...we'll see.

UPDATE: Well, it's Boehner. Not as good as Shadegg, but the Democrats have still lost a major attack point (not that they still won't try...Pickett had nothing on these guys) for the 06 elections. Hopefully Boehner wasn't just talking the reform game to get elected...time will tell.