Wed 27 Aug 2008
That is a quote from Robert Velez, a youth pastor in Laurel, Mississippi, regarding the treatment of almost 600 suspected illegal aliens nabbed in a raid at a transformer manufacturing plant there.
My reply is: “Well, yes they certainly deserved that treatment because THEY ARE CRIMINALS according to the laws of the United States of America and the state of Mississippi!”
Federal officials from ICE raided the Howard Industries plant in this southern Mississippi town on Monday, rounding up 595 illegals working at the factory. Their nations of origin included Brazil, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, and Peru. Now, if you only use the accounts written by Associated Press writer Holbrook Mohr in his story titled “Fear grips immigrants after Miss. plant raid,” you would think that our government immigration service is filled with jack-booted thugs who care little for human life and dignity. Included in Mr. Mohr’s piece are phrases like “…too scared to send her son to school” and “…creating panic among dozens of families” and “…the raid was traumatic for families” and “”We have kids without dads and pregnant mothers who got their husbands taken away,” said Velez’s son, Robert, youth pastor at the church. “It was like a horror story. They got handled like they were criminals.”" and “”There was no communication, an immediate loss of any kind of news and a lack of understanding of what’s happening to their loved ones,” he said. “A complete and utter feeling of helplessness.”.”
I may sound heartless towards these people, but I’m damned glad that ICE is stepping up enforcement efforts. As an agency tasked with controlling and preventing illegal immigration, they owe us legal citizens their tireless work and diligence in pursuing these criminals. Yes, I said CRIMINAL (Mr. Velez)!! It might be convenient to sympathize with these people after they’ve come here and assumed comfortable lives in our surroundings. It must be nice to suffer the temporary amnesia that allows an individual, like Mr. Mohr, to overlook the fact that the illegal aliens that were rounded up are indeed criminals, and furthermore they don’t belong here. The state of Mississippi has even enacted a right-thinking legislation making it a felony crime for an illegal alien to accept a job in MS, requiring businesses to perform federal background checks on all job applicants and it applies strict sanctions to businesses that are found to employ illegals. Since the federal government can’t (or won’t) crack down, it is up to the individual states to get tough on this insidious crime.
But I think much needs to be done at the federal level as well. I believe that the more FEAR that exists regarding random round-ups of illegal immigration criminals, there will be more reluctance to commit the crime in the first place. At the present time there is absolutely no consequence or punishment for committing this crime!
Also, just because a person got to their destination by whatever means and started a life and family here doesn’t ameliorate the fact that they committed the predicate crimes of illegal immigration and border trespass. Not to mention, in most cases, the crimes of identity theft, tax evasion and Social Security fraud.
So, eventually, these folks become your “neighbors” and “members” of your community. Fine, upstanding “citizens” one and all. Their kids may go to the same schools as yours. You might even sit next to them in your church. This doesn’t change a thing about them or their crime. And, oh yes indeed, they committed a crime to get here. You can’t justify bad behavior because the criminal might come off as sympathetic or “a nice guy.” People might feel different if they replaced the words “illegal immigrant” to “tax cheat” or “forger” or “bank robber” when they try to rationalize that illegal immigration is a victimless crime…or an offense worthy of overlooking…or it isn’t a crime at all. If this is the case, then legal US citizens hold the dignity and sanctity of our country in very low regard if they justify and sympathize with folks who would ignore and otherwise flaunt our nation’s laws.
I don’t know how anyone else feels, but the US is obviously an easy mark in terms of how it is viewed by the rest of the world. If people can’t get here by hook, they’ll certainly get here by crook! And they know that their crimes of migration will be overlooked or forgotten. But in the end, they are criminals deserving of punishment and deportation. Shame on any US citizen who would overlook or show sympathy to an illegal alien, regardless of their family situation or employment status. Wrong is wrong, and no good will ever come out of a person’s choice to help decriminalize unlawful behavior.
If we want to stem the almost unabated flow of humanity across our borders, then we must take a dimmer view, individually, of the illegal aliens in regards to their underlying law-breaking act. They are criminals. Period.
Tue 26 Aug 2008
Posted by Tony Marini under Famous and Infamous
, PoliticsComments Off
Two thousand one hundred and sixty-one words. That was the length of the speech that Michelle Obama gave last night at the DNC convention. It was grand opportunity for Ms. Obama to showcase herself as well as to redeem and rehabilitate her image after her lackluster public relations performance during this Democratic presidential primary. But, I’m afraid that Ms. Obama came up very short in the sincerety category…and her speech was full of trite images and slogans to help bolster her image and the standing of her husband in the presidential race. Evoking images of Dr. King on the 45th anniversary of his “Dream” speech and reminding the viewers of her blue collar roots, her speech had many of the same narrative as a blues ballad — except the parts where the dog dies and the dam breaks!
But I think little that Michelle Obama said last night, even with her less than sincere declaration and contrived theatrical moment where she paused and said “That is why I love this country”…waiting for applause after those words as though loving one’s country was some extraordinary feat, soothed any concerns that she is anything but an elitist with a very high opinion of herself and her husband.
If the onion that is her speech is peeled back layer by layer, one will find that she didn’t touch on any inspiring topics or reveal anything thought provoking about herself or her husband, the uh-um, presidential candidate. She spoke of threads, hearts, hopes and fears…and brought all the elements of motherhood and apple pie into the bulk of her words. But as a vehicle for teasing out some nugget of personal information about herself or her spouse or personally appearing more “genuine”, it just didn’t cut it!
Now, I only listened to about the first minute and a half of her speech before I began to feel ill…so the bulk of my analysis comes from the transcript of her oration. But I can only relate to the lack of personal warmth that stunningly came through during the time that I watched her speech. Maybe it was just me, but I think she had the feeling that she didn’t need to do this — Barak is the savior of the nation and I’m a good person. Her delivery was just on the edge of terse and grudging. Her words may as well have included “I’m OKAY, you’re not!”
You know, if you carefully read and re-read her words in transcript for yourself will see an undertone, an ideology substrate, in them where I think she comes through loud and clear as a true believer in the theory that each and every citizen needs an advocate to watch over them. Success is something only a few anointed souls can achieve…the remainder of us need a savior like her husband, Barak Obama, to be our redeemer. Whereas I believe that each and every human being believes they can succeed if the government would just get out of their way…Michelle and Barak Obama see the need for an equalizing and egalitarian government to step into our lives and make all wrongs right, regardless of the expense or the outcome. This type of work needs a facilitator, so enter Barak Obama, changing the world to “the way it should be.”
But through her own words, it seems that Ms. Obama is incapable of making a connection between her enlightened self and the rest of us in US society, the vast unwashed. My God, what have we done for so long without Barak’s hope and dreams? How long can we remain “unperfected?” Her speech had the message that she and Barak were so much like us in terms of their upbringing. But we are the ones without the inspiration, that certain elan, to make meaningful change in our own lives, so face up to it!
Sat 23 Aug 2008
Posted by Tony Marini under Famous and Infamous
, PoliticsComments Off
Well, the wait is finally over. Presumed nominee Barak Obama has chosen his running mate — Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware. It would appear that Obama made the Biden selection in order to shore up his personal dearth of foreign policy experience (which he unsuccessfully tried to buoy with his “European Excellent Experience” this past July!). Like a Boy Scout trying to earn that last important merit badge to make eagle scout, Obama took on a project that held out the promise of the desired badge. But the badge he wants already comes attached to an opinionated, sometimes surly guy who has an extremely high opinion of himself and his intellect. In fact, Biden often thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room…even when other factors and attendees prove the contrary.
But there you have it: What may be the mother-of-all Hail-Mary moves in political history. Obama selects smart-guy Biden to bolster his foreign policy credentials, and with that selection he inherits all of Biden’s baggage. The good senator from Delaware with the long-standing reputation of being a short-tempered, pedantic blowhard who really likes to hear himself talk (and talk and talk). In fact, his flights of oratory fancy are legendary in the halls of the Senate.
Biden also carries with him another bit of political and interpersonal baggage. He and Hillary Clinton are not, nor have ever been, buddies. In fact, during the primary campaign, Sen. Biden was the harshest critic of Sen. Clinton’s campaign. And during the Clinton-Obama runoff at the end of the primary, Biden even declared that he would never consider a VP slot on a Clinton presidential ticket. So much for the time-honored collegial bow-and-curtsy that is the hallmark of the US Senate! In the end, this whole interpersonal gumbo should make for a VERY interesting Democratic Convention. If I were Obama, I’d watch Biden closely and try to attenuate his personality and his oratory. And I’d watch Ms. Clinton even more closely. Regardless of what she says about tacit support for the now Obama-Biden ticket, she must be privately seething that she was bypassed in the selection process. And given that the Clinton’s are the male and female equivalents of political Svengalis, and that Sen. Clinton will have her name put in nomination, if I were Obama I’d be afraid of anything that could happen as a result.
But back to the Biden selection…This looks like an inverse ticket to me. It appears that Biden had more credentials going into this campaign to be the party’s nominee. But he’ll end up as second fiddle to the neophyte, but mystifyingly popular Obama. This must be at some level galling to Sen. Biden. After all, he’s still the smartest guy in the room, and therefore he should be top dog. Right? Certainly he must feel that a Biden-Obama ticket would be a shoe in. This is why I think that Obama’s choice to handle political snakes or nitroglycerin with his choice of Biden could backfire in a most spectacular manner. It wouldn’t surprise me that on any give day the candidate would would be saying one thing and his running mate would be saying the polar opposite. This will necessitate retractions and a two steps forward, one step back process that will ultimately hamper the success of his campaign.
But I guess that’s what puts some fun into the political process. You know, the uncertainty of it all, and the waiting for that Howard Dean “Hindenburg moment” when he spectacularly imploded, politically speaking, on live TV. With the selection of Biden to the ticket, who knows, maybe we’ll get to see a similar spectacle occur this year! And I’ve spoken with lots of folks who say we won’t have to wait long for it to happen!!
One can only hope…
Fri 22 Aug 2008
Posted by Tony Marini under International
, PoliticsComments Off
With the ongoing Russian occupation of Georgia after Georgia’s ill-fated dealings with the breakaway republic of South Osseita, and the disgraceful handling of this situation by the west, including the USA, another geopolitical question begs to be asked. When will China invade and re-take Taiwan by force?
Given the impotent and moribund actions by the US and NATO regarding Russia’s actions, and the subsequent thumbing of their nose at the rest of the world with impunity by Russia, China must be taking copious notes and changing their plans regarding Taiwan. It appears that in order to eventually bring Taiwan back into the Chi-Com fold, they have taken a long view of the situation. This long view was necessitated by the apparent fact that there are strong US-Taiwan relations that exist (and existed), and that any hostilities directed towards Taiwan would prompt a strong diplomatic or even military response from the US.
But with the events that have unfolded in Georgia, and the failure of the until-then assumed American military power supremacy, the world has changed. Russia now occupies large swaths of Georgia and is taking its sweet time withdrawing its troops back to Russia according to the agreed upon time table. This foot-dragging isn’t an oversight…it is a lingering poke in the eye to the US and NATO. Russia feels newly-empowered to engage in diplomacy-by-force because of the ineffectual response by the rest of the world to its activities in Georgia. And you can bet your lucky stars that China is watching this situation with more than casual interest.
With their participation in the world economy, both Russia and China have experienced tremendous growth in government revenues — Russia from the export of its considerable oil reserves to Europe, and China from the dependence upon it by the West (in particular by the USA) for the low-cost goods it manufactures. These new-found revenues are finding their way to each nation’s military. Both Russia and China have been spending tremendous sums of money over the past 5-8 years to modernize and revitalize their armed forces. Russia now manufactures and exports world-class fighter jets and naval vessels, and China has been engaged in a virtual Asian-based Manhattan project to modernize their military. While the Chinese military still lags the capabilities of the US and of Russia, they are catching up quickly. Aiding their progress is a ubiquitous international military and industrial espionage campaign. If they can’t develop the technology natively, they will steal it! And further aiding their military capability is the strength of their numbers — their at-arms military population dwarfs any other country on Earth.
Given these factors, it won’t be long before China is emboldened enough to take the last step in the “reunification” of Taiwan with the government of the mainland. In what must be a delightful turn of events for China, the time scale for this absorption of Taiwan changes from decades to a closer time of their choosing.
And the USA and the west will be similarly impotent to do anything about this action.
Sat 9 Aug 2008
Posted by Tony Marini under Famous and Infamous
, PoliticsComments Off
That single statement regarding the recent amusing John McCain political commercial indicates that a lot of crazy people have a lot of time on their hands. And it is a sad commentary on how low our political system has degenerated over the past 30 years or so.
In case you’ve been buried underground for the past week, I’ll recap this political ad for you. The ad shows Obama at various angles in various long and close-up shots at his recent “speech” in Berlin. It has crowd shots, including scenery and face shots of Obama. Now, some would just see the ad for what it’s worth. But apparently Bob Herbert, a columnist for the New York times and Keith Olbermann of MSNBC see not-so-subliminal phallic symbols and degenerate racism inserted in the ad by evil Republicans, as depicted by the “Leaning Tower of Pisa” and the “Washington Monument.” I normally hate using links to another location, but a picture is worth 1000 words, and the video of this ad can be found HERE. To see the crazed Herbert making his assertion before the obviously flummoxed Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan, click HERE. To see the unquestionably mental Keith Olbermann along with the odious Jonathan Alter making complete fools of themselves discussing this imbroglio, click HERE.
Notwithstanding the simple fact that the “phalluses” that exist in the ad are found in the Tiergarten Park in Berlin, where by the way Obama gave his “speech” in July 2008, these erstwhile political detectives are seeing penises and racial slights in a clever political ad. It is unfortunate that demented folks like these are given credibility and credence by the media at large, and furthermore their outlandish and patently untrue statements pick up traction in the mainstream media — becoming worthy of protracted consideration, discussion and analysis.
So, were the McCain folks supposed to edit out the Victory Column (Herbert’s “Leaning Tower of Pisa — what a maroon!) that Obama chose to speak before when he was in Berlin? Similarly, were the creators of the ad supposed to remove the obelisk at the far end of the promenade where he spoke in the long shots of Tiergarten Park? Nah, to the crafty, racist Republicans they became convenient phallic symbols to help perpetuate some odd racial stereotype. Well at least in the minds of Herbert, Olbermann and Alter.
Not only does this whole tempest in a teapot regarding this political ad show the ignorance of these men, but it also shows the hair-trigger propensity for closed minds like theirs to cry “racist” at any circumstance that they don’t understand or that they misinterpret. And then you have millions of self-satisfied idiots who immediately take the pronouncements of these racial oracles and believe them as hard-and-fast truth.
But this is the lunacy that the Democrats apparently want this presidential campaign to degenerate towards. They are promoting a flawed candidate, who also happens to be black; someone who can’t hold his own in the political debate much beyond the novelty of his race. But it is apparent that they chose this man for that very reason. So, if Sen, McCain and his campaign criticize this man for an action, comment or policy, then they therefore MUST be racist.
However, a little accusation of racism goes a long way. And eventually the average person, black or white or any color, grows tired of this nonsense. If the McCain campaign criticizes Obama because he has a flawed energy policy, or he has drawn the wrong conclusion regarding the troop surge in Iraq…it might just be because he’s WRONG. Not because of his skin color or ethnicity.
If this is what US politics is degenerating into — this inference of racism any time a criticism or attack is launched at a black political candidate, then we have lost our way. It is allegations like those of Herbert (and Olbermann) that divide us and make us grow to distrust or, worse, hate, each other. Reasonable men and women must not let this happen, and the purveyors of this hatred should be called out and immediately discredited when they try to employ these odious tactics for the sole reason of political gainsmanship.
Otherwise, we will not be able to survive the intellectual tyrranny that will be unleashed upon us all when a “different” political candidate decides to run for public office.
Sun 3 Aug 2008
Posted by Tony Marini under Famous and Infamous
, PoliticsComments Off
Barak Obama, how dare you! How dare you play the “race card” in accusing the McCain campaign of dirty racial campaign tricks.
So let me ask you straight out: Are you going to use your race as an asset or as a crutch? Because falling back to the “poor little old minority me” may buy you a few points with the electorate, but it won’t be long before folks just tire from this desperate political move. It makes one wonder aloud if any slogan or ad or statement made about you by the McCain campaign, just because you happen to be black (or half-black, as is the case), will be analyzed for some unintended or obscure racial slight.
If this is the case, you are setting yourself up to be a poor role model for black kids, or any kids for that matter! What will kids learn if they see a bona fide candidate for president of the US cry foul when the going gets tough? Will there ever be a time when a funny political ad is just that…a funny political ad? Or does the ad have to be dissected by media consultants looking for the slightest hint of ambiguity or faux racial insult?
You proclaim yourself the agent of change. I don’t think so!! A true agent of change would have recognized the last two McCain ads as pretty funny stuff. They were, admit it! You could have made a statement that said “Boy those last two McCain ads were hilarious. Touche, Sen. McCain.” Instead, your campaign sought to score political points by “re-crafting” the message of those ads — from comedy to subliminal racism. This is not something that the campaign of an agent of change would do. An agent of change would have let these funny ads go by without comment or would have re-focused the debate back to an issue that they were promoting.
I don’t support you, and I don’t like your politics. But that doesn’t stop me from respecting you. It takes a certain je ne sais quoi for a man to run for president. But trotting out the race card has definitely diminished my view of you, BIG TIME! It makes you no better than those race whores Jesse Jackson or Al Shaprton. They don’t wear their race and ethnicity as a badge of honor. Oh no, they use their race as a weapon of retribution and as a means to make a living off the backs of others (Jesse Jackson makes a fine living blackmailing large corporations with racial quotas and other “diversity”-related issues.)
Is this you, Barak Obama? A cheesy politician…and more of the same-old, same-old? If elected president, are you going to use your race as a club and shield to make sure you get your way? Accusing others when you know that their intentions were anything but of a racial nature? After what you did in this campaign recently, how can we trust that you won’t keep doing this again and again and again? Simply put, we can’t!
And oh yeah, you don’t look like the presidents on our paper money. None have been black, and most are older than dirt! And they certainly don’t have those world-class jug ears!! I had big ears as a kid until I tortured my parents enough that they be fixed, so I can safely comment on this issue. And you know what else? You accuse the McCain campaign of trying to scare voters with some phony race-baiting. I think people are scared by YOU. Not by your color, but by your attitude. Reasonable people can only wonder how desperate you might become when in office and what behaviors wouldn’t be out of the question for you to use against your political foes or our nation’s enemies.
I know it really makes me wonder about you. And it makes me sad and disheartened to see the contest for the president of the United States be degenerated to such a low level by cries of “racism” by a candidate who apparently didn’t want the campaigns to focus on his race as an issue. But you did it — it’s done — shame on you.
All I have left to say to you is: How dare you!
Fri 1 Aug 2008
Posted by Tony Marini under General
, The EconomyComments Off
According to the DNC party line spouted by every Democrat holding political office, we simply can’t drill our way out of the current energy crisis. You know the crisis I’m talking about — the one where you’re paying ~$4 per gallon for gasoline. No, contrary to the logic and reality that gets petroleum here in the first place (by drilling), the Democrats was to solve this problem using “other methods.”
And filling in some missing detail and adding some textural elements to this philosophy is none other than Mr. Democratic Presumptive Nominee, Barak Obama. Yup, Obama weighed in on the plan that will bring us all energy deliverance: “There’s things that you can do individually though to save energy. Making sure your tires are properly inflated. Simple thing. But we could save all the oil they are talking about getting off drilling if everybody was just inflating their tires? And getting regular tune-ups. You could actually save just as much.”
I’m not kidding you. You just can’t make this stuff up!
Now, since his prescient comment about automotive air pressure and lube jobs, I’ve seen about ten different analyses regarding just how much oil we could save if Americans were to do those two things that Obama suggested. Given that there is about a trillion and a half barrels of oil in restricted areas in the form of crude oil and shale oil deposits, it would take Americans over 11,000 years to save the equivalent gasoline with crackerjack AAA-recommended care of their cars.
I don’t know about you, but I’d like to save some dough in my lifetime!
I’m not quite sure how the Democrats got stuck on the “no drilling” plan, but I’m convinced that they’re putting ideology firmly in front of common sense and the welfare of US citizens. Even the most ardent Democratic supporters must admit that it sounds silly to declare that drilling for oil and increasing supplies won’t help to lower the price of gasoline and help to lessen our dependence on foreign oil.
Well, even if you won’t or can’t admit it is, it is!
And the corollary theory to the “no drill” plan is similarly daffy. Don’t know what that is? Well, the Democrats are now getting tough — they are insisting that oil companies drill on the lands that they have already leased. Their so-called “use it or lose it plan” sounds tough, and makes the oil companies look greedy by their proposing it. However, scratch the surface of this tough talk, and it’s plain that this isn’t tough talk…it’s a juvenile attempt to embarrass big oil companies and to deflect attention away from the problem at hand. The problem of inadequate supplies available to American consumers (and consumers worldwide.)
The “use it or lose” it demand would be perfectly valid if the existing oil leases were sitting atop lakes of oil. In fact, very few of the existing oil leases have appreciable, drillable oil under them! The vast majority of US oil reserves exist under legislatively-restricted areas that need to be opened by the Congress in order for oil exploration to take place. Simply put, oil companies want to make money — for their shareholders. Surprise, surprise!! So, they want to go where the oil is and drill where the oil actually exists. Not into speculative, hit or miss wildcatter lease areas. Again, is there anyone who thinks that the oil companies are sitting on vast deposits of oil in their present leased lands?
I didn’t think so! Because if they were, they be drilling NOW!
And before you jump on your high horses…I realize that the oil companies are seeing record profits. I say…GOOD FOR THEM! That’s the hallmark of capitalism. See, profits aren’t the most important part of the cost of gasoline…it’s the actual foreign-supplied crude oil itself, at roughly 86% of the price of gasoline. And profits follow after gasoline and other taxes currently placed on gasoline/oil sales. This leads us to the third prong of the Democrat’s solution to the energy crisis. They want to place a “windfall” tax on the profits of oil companies. Hmmm…let’s see, legitimate US companies making legitimate profits on a high-demand and short supply commodity. Oh, that’s a BAD thing! At least in the universe of though of the egalitarian, share-the-wealth socialists who describe themselves as Democrats. See, since there are many players in the petroleum industry, the Democrats can’t claim there is a greedy monopoly at work. They can’t use legislation to break up that bad, bad monopoly like they did so successfully with the former “Ma Bell”, AT&T (that worked out well’ didn’t it?).
So they need another tool to exact their vengeance against big oil. And that tool would be the threat of “windfall” taxes. A tool of retribution and peevish jealousy rather than a legitimate means for lowering the price of gasoline. So, here we see the vapid, bankrupt plan of the Democrats to lower gasoline prices in it’s fully glory: ridiculous proposals, inane demands and blunt-force intimidation.
Sounds like a plan to me!
No, rather it sounds like the desperate gropings of an idea-barren political party adrift in a situation that they cannot understand and, furthermore, cannot control with their usual approaches. You know, like taxing the problem until it goes away.
I guarantee you that this problem will not go away until the Democrats wake up to reality and concede that drilling for actual oil is the ONLY way to increase actual oil and gasoline supplies. Yes, we must conserve when we can…but oil will not appear unless we DRILL FOR IT!